Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Ten: The Midnight Summons >> Page 156

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER TEN
THE MIDNIGHT SUMMONS.
WE HAVE REACHED a point in our narrative which makes it necessary that we should appeal to the higher susceptibilities of the reader's imagination, or what is spiritual in his nature, to prompt suffi-
cient credence in our legend, as popularly believed in the obscure world
in which the events occurred.
That region had not survived, forgotten or discarded the early super-
stitions of the race, as descended to its people from their ancient British
progenitors. A people living in solitude, indeed, rude, unsocial and
nomadic, are usually singularly tenacious, indeed, of the superstitions
which they inherit. Tradition with them becomes a more sacred thing
than any books or history, and in the absence or deficiency of human
associations, the mind naturally looks for, and recognizes, a superior
companionship in the supernatural world. It is from a rude and wild
people, like the Arabs, that we derive most of these creations of wood and
water, mountain and lake the dryad and faun and satyr; the Ondine
and Naiad; and those exquisite and capricious tribes of elf and fairy
which have prompted the inspirations of our poets for five thousand
years.
Our legend will now exhibit, in some degree, the susceptibility of our
mountain people to spiritual influences; show the faith which they still
possess in agencies beyond and above those of humanity, and exhibit that
working of the individual soul, here and there, which demands, in