Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Eight: Lost! Gone! >> Page 147

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Page 147

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription LOST! GONE! 147
We suppress sundry coarse epithets, which larded freely every broken
sentence of this speech. Words which we hardly ever dreamed to exist
within the knowledge of women, were as unscrupulously used by the fine
lady, as if she had received her diploma from the stews. And this con-
firmed the opinion of Aunt Betsy which she might have borrowed
from Dean Swift, or Sam Johnson that your very nice people have fre-
quently very nasty ideas. Certainly, on this occasion, the stately, aristo-
cratic and fashionable Lady of Fairleigh Lodge was terribly emphatic in
the use of words, which are universally ignored among the tender gen-
der and all genteel people. But Mrs. Fairleigh had her excuse, possibly, in
being in such a rage as to demand a large addition to her ordinary vocab-
ulary. She found it at her need.
Poor Rose was overwhelmed. There was her letter flopping in her
very face. Her secret was discovered. She had not violated her oath, if
oath it was. She had esteemed it as such. It might have been only a
solemn promise. But, without her will or consciousness, her secret had
been discovered.
She sank, crouching at the feet of the raging woman, and as the latter
retreated from her, with the look, if not the act to spurn her, the poor girl
crawled towards her, and lifted up her hands, as it were in prayer for mercy.
"Back, wretch! back!""Mercy, madam; forgive me!""Impudent !" We forbear the atrocious epithet. "Is this your
letter?""It is! forgive!""And you have dared to write to my son, and to tell him this!""Oh! Mrs. Fairleigh, I promised him not to tell, until I swore,
ma'am
"Until when, you vile woman?""Until he came of age, when he promised ""Tell me no lies " Here another terrible epithet, which we suppress.
"I am no , Mrs. Fairleigh." Poor Rose had hardly the strength
to speak the dismal word with which she had been characterized; but she
recovered a moment after, and with unexpected firmness rising to her
feet, exclaimed rapidly:
"No, madam, I am your son's wife lawfully married!"
Mrs. Fairleigh fairly shrieked.
"Infamous liar! treacherous hypocrite! Have you sought to entangle
that boy, just from College, in your villainous snares? You his lawful wife!
You! There could have been no such fool, woman, in the house of
Fairleigh."