Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Nine: The Panther in Pursuit >> Page 151

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription THE PANTHER IN PURSUIT 151
him from those brooding thoughts of disappointment, which if
indulged, had brought him to despair.
But, though hunting with the tenacity of his own hounds, Mike
Baynam could not altogether forego thought, and now that he stood, for
the first time in many months, upon a spot which gave him a full view of
the settlements at Fairleigh Lodge, memory bore him back with a rush
that was irresistible, to the pleasant times that had been, and the hopes
that he now could know no more.
The hunts of the day had taken him and Sam Fuller in a direction
which for some time he had scrupulously avoided. The prevailing north-
easter had driven the beasts before it, and the hunters had followed them.
And now, as he suddenly rose to the top of the "knob," he groaned
without his own consciousness; and Sam Fuller held back in deference
to his emotions.
There, plainly glimpsing through the snow drifts, and in the wan
atmosphere of that dreary dusk, rose the stately abode of Fairleigh Lodge,
with its numerous tenements, its handsome grounds and teeming gar-
dens; and there, in that abode of luxury, reposed the one, over all, for
whom Mike Baynam would have sacrificed all the wide world's treasure!
There, as he brooded, she sat and sang, a happy bird, happy to sing
because of the gilded cage in which she dwelt. Such were Mike's fancies.
Alas! for poor Rose, and our melancholy hunter! Little did he dream,
how, at that very hour, she lay prostrated on the floor in her dreary cham-
ber, clasping with both hands her agonised temples, which seemed about
to burst with their swollen tortures!
Mike almost forgot himself as he gazed, till the whimpering of the
shivering hounds at his feet, and the voice of Sam Fuller, recalled him
to his proper progress.
"Let's be getting on, Mike! It'll be quite dark in hafe an hour; the snow
thickens, and will swallow up that moon before we can round the moun-
tain. Hyar, this way, man, to the left of the knob. Hev you forgot the great
gulley to the right?""It is so long since I have been here, Sam.""No reason we should stay long now we've got hyar! This way, of you
wants to git down easy."
And Sam led the way down through the gorge into the valley road,
which they found with ease, though it was already covered with snow.
Then they rounded old Childs' farm, and taking a right-hand path, which
they well knew, they ascended the long slope of the mountain, upon the
opposite side of which stood their humble dwelling.