Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Nine: The Panther in Pursuit >> Page 150

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER NINE
I T WAS DARK. The night had come on prematurely; cold, cloudy everywhere, and the snow falling thickly. There was a moon, but she shed only a faint, ghastly light, that lay upon the snow, like the smiling of
a broken heart on the face of the dead. Little gusts of wind rose up from
the gorges, and swept the snow drifts along, so many cloudy veils, against
the sides of the mountains, and down the long stretches of valley that lay
between. The tops of the rocks began to show, like so many great bald
scalps of the sea in white foam. There was a moaning, as of a great sor-
row, among the mighty trees growing in the deep hollows; and the fre-
quent cascades lifted their voices louder than ever, as if in sympathy with
the universal nature. A dull sky of leaden-like vapors hung over all, while
the snow drifts sped onwards, flight upon flight, like so many legions of
sheeted ghosts, speeding headlong to unwelcomed graves.
The two hunters rose to the top of the yellow-stone knob, and paused
for a few moments, as if to take in the prospect, before descending the
gorge which should take them through the valley where ran the road by
which they were to reach their mountain cabin.
The day had been to them an exhausting one of labor and excitement.
But they had been successful. Each of the hunters carried his buck behind
him, and a goodly wild turkey, a splendid gobbler, weighing some twenty
pounds no doubt, hung at the saddle of Mike Baynam. The life of our
melancholy hunter had resolved itself into one pursuit; and action
perpetual action the daily hunt after the beasts of the wilderness, saved