Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Five: The Amiable Sisters >> Page 132

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 132

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 132 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
upon you. Well, I must endure you as well as I can; for, after all, you are
my sister though it is very surprising that it should be so. I can endure
you, Betsy, though you do shock my senses; but mark me, Betsy Moore,
when Rose Carter marries, it will be unendurable, such a tongue as yours,
in the presence of her husband, and of the fashionable circle in which she
will then revolve. You will then, Betsy Moore, do well, if you love the
child your own niece, remember to avoid her when there are other
parties present. Seek her only in private, in her husband's absence, and
when you are sure there is no company. I shall counsel her to receive you
at such times!"
The effect of this cold-blooded and deliberate speech found Aunt
Betsy utterly incapable of utterance. She choked with the effort to artic-
ulate, fairly foamed at the mouth with vexation; and rushed stammering
towards her refined and accomplished sister, with one fist doubled, the
other grasping a wet mop, as if it were a spear; both thrust out from the
extremity of her red and bony arms; both bare to the elbow (she had
been washing cups, plates and saucers) and, for a moment, no one who
beheld her would have doubted that, failing in words, she would have
expressed her resentment in blows, vigorously plied.
Mrs. Carter evidently had some such apprehension. Her face grew
white through terror she threw up both her hands, and cried with faint
voice:
"Oh! do not strike me, Betsy. Remember I am your sister, and a
wretched invalid.
Aunt Betsy recovered and restrained herself, though her face was still
inflamed with passion.
"Oh! yes," she replied, when she had regained her voice. "Yes, Jane
Carter, you kin remember I'm your sister only to insult me, and call me
wicked names, and think wicked things about me, and I'm to 'member
you for my sister only to wait on you, and work for you, and clear up a'ter
you! Lawd! Lawd! how long kin I stand this fool woman, and all her fool
talk? Now, look you, Jane Carter, I wants to set you right 'bout your wul-
gar sister, Betsy Moore. Ef she is wulgar and ignorant, she's got sense
enough to know never to set foot whar she's not axed for; and never to
show her face to people that don't like the looks of it. If Rose Carter and
her husband gits to be sich tip-tops that they kain't call me `Aunt Betsy,'
and say `come,' of the gal that I've nussed from the cradle, and sarved,
and done all I could for, now gwine on twenty years when her mammy
couldn't and wouldn't do nothing, but lie on her bed, talking redickalous
fool talk about fool people I say, of that gal don't want her husband to