Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Seven: The Wedding Ring >> Page 140

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 140 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
"Ah! Jane Carter, ef you hedn't filled the poor child's head with your
fool talk, she'd ha' been the happiest woman in the world!"
In three days more, Aunt Betsy was summoned back to the mountain
cottage, and, glad to go, though she left Jane Carter only to the care of
Mattie Fuller had been long in that condition in which, according
to Shakspeare, "women wish to be who love their lords." Aunt Betsy took
temporary charge of the household, while Sam Fuller made pap for the
baby. There was a bouncing boy born into the world, and already dis-
tinguished in it, by the high-sounding name of Michael Baynam Fuller;
Mike Baynam, himself, keeping as much out of the way as possible, dur-
ing the stay of Betsy Moore.
He now followed the chase most frequently alone. An idle fit was
upon Sam Fuller, who, never having seen a baby before, that he might
call his own, made himself, as his wife phrased it, a "fair Tom Fool,
instead of Sam Fuller, in playing with it." It is the usual infirmity of inex-
perienced sires; a pardonable weakness, in reference to the first-born,
which, as Aunt Betsy remarked, is very apt to "play the devil with the brat,
ef it don't play the devil with the daddy."
Betsy Moore, after seeing Mattie Fuller safely through her domestic
embarrassments, hastened back to see that Jane Carter had her usual
dose of "drops." She was succeeded at Mattie's bedside by Mrs. Childs,
who, having no baby as yet, was not unwilling to acquire experience in
the household of Mattie Fuller.
She, also, had a budget of news to deliver.
Only the day before her coming, (Sunday,) Rose Carter was taken sick
in church, and fainted. That was a subject upon which Mrs. Childs could
expatiate, and giving the comments of all the spectators, and much coun-
try scandal besides.
It seems that Rose had gone to the village church, accompanied only
by Mrs. Sweetzer, Mrs. Fairleigh having decided to pursue her own devo-
tions in private. This good lady spent the hours of prayer in a close search
through all the drawers in Rose's bureau, having long before judiciously
provided extra keys for every lock in the house. If she made any discov-
eries, however, she kept them to herself. Even Sweetzer, though fully in
her confidence, knew nothing of the keys. She was interrupted in her
pious searches by the unexpected arrival of the carriage bringing home
the poor girl, whose swoon had been a long one, and occasioned great
excitement in the church. She was lifted into the carriage without her
own consciousness, and was only recovering slowly when the vehicle