Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Eight: Lost! Gone! >> Page 144

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 144

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 144 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
right at the time! But I was so weak, so feeble, so willing, for anything
at his hands!"
These murmured sentences escaped her at intervals.
She began to shiver, and crept back into bed. As she covered herself,
she found the opal ring slipping from her finger. It had been loosed from
its hold on the ring beneath it, by the efforts of Mrs. Fairleigh. As the girl
forced it back to its place, she murmured:
"It is very strange; but I certainly did dream that they were trying to
take it from me, Mrs. Fairleigh and that horrid woman Sweetzer!"
She did not sleep again that night, and moaned through the dreary
hours, until the light of dawn began to thicken in her chamber; then she
rose, and began to dress herself. While thus engaged, she again resumed
her midnight search for a paper which she had ingeniously sewn up in
a portion of her dress not the bosom, fortunately, but the skirt. The
bosom had been searched, while she slept, by that horrid Sweetzer.
She felt, and again found it snugly sewn up in one of the flounces of
her skirt. Satisfied with this discovery, she breathed more freely, and in
due time Mrs. Sweetzer looked in upon her, and, with her usual grin,
congratulated her on her recovery.
"But you was very sick yesterday in church, Miss Rose mighty sick,
and all on a suddent too, and you fainted, you know, a dead faint. I was
so dreadful frightened.""I suppose it was so. It must have been, Mrs. Sweetzer, but I have no
recollection of it. It was midnight before I awakened to consciousness.""We gin you laudanum to quiet you, for you was all over in a shiver,
narvous to death, starting and groaning, though you were once wakened
to your senses. It was a mighty suddent attack. What could it ha' been?
"I don't know," was the faint answer of Rose. "I have had several of
these attacks since I had the sea-sickness.""Well, now, don't you think you ought to send for Dr. Hardy? He's the
great Doctor, you know, for all these parts. He'd soon find out what was
the cause of all your ailing.""Oh, no, no!" Rose answered hastily. "I feel much better. I'm quite well
now.
"Well, of so, you'd better come down and git a little breakfast. A cup
of hot coffee, I reckon, would set up your blood and narves."
And Rose went down to breakfast, where Mrs. Fairleigh sate in state,
presiding with her usual dignity. She vouchsafed a nod in answer to the
"good morning, ma'am" of Rose, and condescended to hope that she felt
better after her strange and sudden attack of yesterday. Rose expressed her-
self quite well; her wan cheeks, however, mutely contradicting her words.