Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Seven: The Wedding Ring >> Page 141

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 141

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription THE WEDDING RING 141
reached the lodge. She was instantly put to bed, and restoratives applied.
A dose of laudanum was subsequently administered by the sagacious
Mrs. Sweetzer, who prided herself greatly on her medical experience; and
while the poor girl slept profoundly, the two matron old ladies meditated
the mysteries of her case in Mrs. Fairleigh's chamber.
If our readers can comprehend the obscure fragmentary dialogue
which ensued between them, and which is all that has reached us, it is
more than we pretend to do.
Mrs. Fairleigh sate; Mrs. Sweetzer stood.
"And you are now sure of it, Sweetzer?""I'd bet my life on it, ma'am! You see, I had her in my arms almost the
whole way home. I could take my bible oath on it now!""It is horrible! but the worst is, Sweetzer—" Here the lady paused.
"Yes, ma'am.
"If it should be, Sweetzer! Great God! I am afraid to know! And
yet and yet
"Yes, ma'm! It's very dreadful to know! Ef it should be ""Don't speak it for your life, Sweetzer.""Never, maam.
"And yet, we must get that letter, Sweetzer. I must know all, though
I believe nothing.""Next Saturday, ma'am.""That will probably tell us all. We must get that letter, Sweetzer,
though it will almost kill me to read it, if the thing is what I fear.""One thing, ma'am, I must tell you.""Well?""She's wearing a wedding ring on the wedding finger, ma'am.""Ha! but no, Sweetzer, that's an opal. I know the ring, though I do
not recollect when and where she got it. A wedding ring, you will remem-
ber, is always a plain one, without any stone.""Yes, ma'am; I know the ring with the stone very well; but here's the
cunning of it. That ring fits close over the plain ring, and kivirs it so nicely
that nobody kin see it onless they looks for it, ma'am.""Do not tell me that, Sweetzer. Do not, I say! He cannot have been
such a fool! No, no! impossible! One thing is fortunate. By this time he
is in Europe. I am looking for letters every day. We must wait, Sweetzer,
with what patience we may. Remember Saturday. I depend on you,
Sweetzer."
When Mrs. Sweetzer had retired, Mrs. Fairleigh stole to the cham-
ber where Rose slept soundly under the influence of the opiate. She