Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Eleven: Buried in the Snow >> Page 169

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription BURIED IN THE SNOW 169
Mike could swear at times.
"I'll watch here! Leave the dogs. I'll watch till you come back. My
God! my God! Have mercy upon her! I would have saved her from wind
and snow, and panther. But she would not! Poor, poor Rose!"
And, while he murmured the piteous sorrows of his soul aloud, never
heeding who heard, Sam Fuller sped away; how slowly, was the thought
of Mike! And how tedious seemed that single hour, which Sam needed
to harness the horses, and bring out the wagon, laden with mattress and
blankets.
But they came at last.
Meanwhile, Mike had thrown off his overcoat cleaned off the snow
from the unconscious girl, covered her with the overcoat, and then cov-
ered that with the snow.
"It will keep her warm," he murmured, "and unless she keeps warm
she will die! Great God! How does it happen? Why is she here? What have
they done to her, those miserable people? Oh, Rose! Rose! had you but
suffered me, I had saved you from all this!" Poor fellow! He had as yet no
suspicions of the truth. Rose moaned even in her unconsciousness. There
were frequent spasms, leading to the contraction of all her limbs, and the
writhing of all her frame.
"It is cold," said he. "It is fatigue. What a night she must have had
upon these hills! And surely it was her voice that cried to me for succor.
Three times! Three times! Had I only come at first! "*
* The rude ballad of the mountaineers, illustrating the legend, to which we have already referred more than once, is still sung along the mountains, as the hunter winds through their solitudes. This ballad is one that Rose Carter was supposed to have sung during that period of delirium which carried her off from Fairleigh Lodge in the midst of a snow storm. Its coarseness, bordering on vulgarity, will not permit of its publication; but one of the verses may well be preserved, on account of its touching simplicity. It is the only one that we dare to detach, and runs thus:
"I wish that my poor little babe was born, A-setting on his father's knee,
And I, poor girl, were dead and gone,
And the green grass growing over me! Oh! what will my mother say to me,
When she shall see—when she shall see?"