Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Five: The Amiable Sisters >> Page 127

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription THE AMIABLE SISTERS 127
cuss! says I, and no good'll come of it, Jane Carter. You've made the gal
as rank a fool as you air yourself. Then she'll say, `I kin forgive you Betsy
Moore, all your bad temper, and all your wulgarity, in the consideration
of my da'ter's happiness, and the reflection that the dear child now moves
in her proper sphar.
Bating the pronunciation, Aunt Betsy could imitate her sister very tol-
erably; and her affectations of elegance and languor leaning back on
her cushions, smelling of the Cologne, and occasionally passing the
scented handkerchief over her face were all personated to the life, espe-
cially when, in her collapsing stages, she found it necessary to call for "her
drops"—a call, it would seem, of very frequent recurrence.
Aunt Betsy's visits to the Fullers were usually of short duration, and
on these occasions she rarely met with Michael Baynam. He grew more
and more silent, shy, and uncommunicative. His passion for hunting now
revived in all its strength; and, in the winter which was passing, his suc-
cesses were greater than they had ever been before. They were a surprise
even to Sam Fuller, who was delighted with the daily increasing meat,
bear and venison, which was to find its way to the contiguous village
markets.
"But," he would say to his wife, "he's so dreadful risky now. He makes
nothing of putting in with his knife only, jist when the bar's grinding
his teeth together to do his worst; and that last fight we hed with the great
he-painther, ten feet from tip to tail, I did think, at one time, 'twas all over
with Mike; for, you see, the beast wasn't so much hurt by the bullet; it was
a sort of stunned shot, and he only looked as ef he was dead, but
rekivered just as soon as he began to feel the tickling of Mike's knife in
his buzzom. Then, Lawd! how he did tear, with teeth and hands, and toe-
nails! Mike's too venturesome by hafe, and some day he'll pay for it when
he leetle thinks, with a good opening somewhar in his ribs.""You must always hunt with Mike, Sam," said Mattie.
"I likes nothing better, Mattie, for when I hunts with him we're always
sure to start, and ef we once starts, we're sure to bag the beast.""But you must help him in a hard fight, Sam.""Is it needful, Mattie Fuller," was the indignant reply, "that you should
tell me that? Does I look like a pusson that's gwine to back out from his
friend?""Oh! I only said ""What was mighty foolish of you to say. Shet up, woman, and don't
be always a-talking."
The winter passed slowly. It was not a severe one, and the hunters