Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Six: Clouds about the House >> Page 137

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CLOUDS ABOUT THE HOUSE 137
countenance, and a sharp speech for all those to whom she dared express
herself in her natural humor? Had not this woman told her of Miss Hall,
and the quarrels she had had with her; and had she not boasted of her
own spite and malice, in the persecution of that young woman?
Was not this woman watching her even now? Was she not under espi-
onage? Had she not been followed in her walks? Had not the secrets of
her chamber been penetrated? Had not her little writing-desk been
searched?
Rose persuaded herself that she had good reason to believe all these
things.
Rose was unhappy.
Mrs. Fairleigh was certainly cold. There was something suspicious
in all her glances, and very prying in her manner. She had not once sum-
moned her to read for her since her return home, and there were no
preparations made for winter company.
She had not asked for music.
She bestowed few words upon her.
Mrs. Sweetzer was evidently a spy upon her footsteps and actions; and
she, in turn, frequently surprised Mrs. Sweetzer and Mrs. Fairleigh in pri-
vate conferences, which were always instantly broken off when she
appeared; Mrs. Sweetzer moving away with a grin upon her lips, which
might be designed for a smile; and Mrs. Fairleigh giving her only a single,
stony glance from her pale, gray, cold, freezing eyes, as she retired in
silence to her own chamber.
Rose was unhappy.
She had evidently survived her uses in that palatial abode, as Miss
Hall had done. Was there anything farther? Alas! alas!
That painful consciousness in her own heart was her worst suffering;
and seeing her now, as she sits within her chamber, after being passed
in review as it were, by the malacious eyes of Mrs. Sweetzer, and the icy
stare of Mrs. Fairleigh; and few, who knew the glad, gay, capricious girl
of a year ago, would recognize her in that sad woman who sits, with her
hands clasped in her lap, and gazing outwards, with eyes of vacancy, the
very picture of despair!