Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Eight: Lost! Gone! >> Page 143

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Page 143

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER EIGHT
T MIDNIGHT, Rose awakened to consciousness. For a long time,
however, she failed to realize the events of the day. All, for a while,
seemed a blank; but slowly she recollected having gone to church, accom-
panied by Mrs. Sweetzer; then she recalled a strange feeling of feebleness
and terror which oppressed her during the service; but nothing farther.
When she found herself in bed, undressed, and in her night clothes, she
"My God! if they have taken that!"
She rose in the dark, and felt about for her garments. She found them
on the chair where she was wont to place them, and eagerly snatching up
one of the articles, she proceeded to search it with fingers which so trem-
bled that they scarcely availed her in the search that she was making. But
she persevered in the darkness of that midnight.
It was not yet the time for lucifer matches, nor had the clumsy little
pewter phosphorus box found its way into use among the mountains.
The flint, steel and tinder-box were the primitive sources of light, and,
though provided with these in her chamber, Rose hesitated to employ
them on this occasion. Suspicion was giving sharp edge to caution, and
secrecy lay in the darkness.
And so she persevered, fumbling in the dark, until she expresssed her
satisfaction at finding what she sought.
"Thank God! it is here! It is safe! But, oh! this dreadful secrecy! Why
was I sworn so solemnly to keep it? It was not right! I knew it was not