Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Eight: Lost! Gone! >> Page 146

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 146 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
"Well, Sweetzer, you are sure of your preparations, you say? If there's
a letter you'll get it?""Sartin, ma'am. Leave me alone for that. I haint cut my eye teeth for
nothing. Ef so be she puts a letter in that mail-bag to-day, we'll be sure
to get it, ma'am dead sure."
She answered with her usual grin, which, on this occasion, was even
more hyena-like than usual. She hated Rose for her beauty and accom-
plishments, and there was exultation in her eyes as well as hate, as she said:
"I've got my man posted beyond the place whar she meets Benny.
And, ef you says so, ma'am, I'll take the short cut round by the carriage
house and stable, jist skairt about the yellow stone knob, and git on into
the road jist this side of old Childs' farm, where my man's a-walking. And
ef thar's a letter in that bag and I'm sure there is we'll nab it, sure.""Very good. Begone at once. Lose no time, Sweetzer. But wrap up
well. It must be very cold."
Poor Rose! She little knew that all her poor little cunning was to be
exercised in vain.
The conspirators were too much for her; the letter was found in the
bag, and Mrs. Sweetzer, not capable herself of reading, yet gloated over
the address, without a doubt of the party to whom it was written.
Hiding the unfortunate letter in her bosom, she made her way back
to the house, by the same circuitous route which she had taken before,
an hour after Rose had reached her chamber.
Poor girl, she sate shivering with cold, without a fire, and was now
wrapped up in cloak and shawl, trying to recover the caloric which she
had lost in recent thoughtless exposure, when Sweetzer appeared at the
door, and with a malicious smile upon her face, very politely requested
her to appear before Mrs. Fairleigh in that lady's chamber.
Rose Carter shivered visibly but not from cold, but fright. Her
instincts warned her of impending evil. That malicious grin of Mrs.
Sweetzer was full of significance; and, with a heart sinking with a feel-
ing akin to terror, she descended to the chamber of the stately lady.
The first glance at the face of Mrs. Fairleigh, was quite enough to con-
firm all the apprehensions of the young girl. It was inflamed to the deep-
est purple. Her eyes seemed filled with fire. She approached Rose with
something of a rush the moment she showed herself within the room,
and shaking an open letter in her face, she shrieked, rather than spoke:
"Ah! you ungrateful wretch! did you write that letter? Is that your sig-
nature, and how had you the audacity to write to any son of mine, on such
a subject? Speak, wretch confess, if you have the face for it confess! Tell
me all. Keep back nothing, you—you—you "