Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Fourteen: Catastrophe at Rosedale >> Page 182

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 182 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
baby what's got no father. Laud ha' marcy on us! to be a mother and
hev no husband!""What horrid nonsense are you telling me, Betsy Moore, you and that
vulgar fellow? Send him hence! He is slandering my poor child over the
whole country! Tell me nothing more.""But I kain't help it, ma'am," said Sam, desperately. "I'm sent to tell
you. Your da'ter's at our house; and she's had the baby this very morn-
ing; and—""We must go to her, Jane Carter. Don't be gitting into any of your fool
tantrums now. I'm afeard it's all true, and wuss than true. Mike Baynam
and Mattie Fuller ain't gwine to send me any word of lie. The poor gal's
been tempted and overkim. The weakness of the flesh! She's got a baby
oh, Laud! She's a mother without being a wife!""Infamous slanderer! Vile blasphemer! You, Betsy Moore, to utter,
and repeat, and believe, the monstrous scandals of that vulgar fellow.
They all hate my child, because of her superiority. I know that class of
people. Envy of the noble is the aliment their souls delight in. I will not
hear. I will not listen. Send him hence.""You'll hev to hear, ma'am; you'll hev to listen, Mrs. Carter," said Sam,
"though I'm sorry to hev to tell you. I didn't want to come and tell you
bad news, but Mattie fair driv me off. It's all true, sure as Gospel. Your
da'ter was picked up out of the snow heap this very morning. Mike killed
the painther that was a'ter her; and we picked her up, and hairdly had we
got her to the house when she had the baby, and a smart chance of a boy
it is. You must come to her ma'm, soon as you kin, for she's a-dying.""Liar, begone!" cried the old lady, rising and staggering forward from
her easy chair, with arms out-stretched towards the speaker. Her limbs
trembling; her eyes starting from their sockets; her cheeks inflamed to
more than purple redness; even Aunt Betsy was appalled by her aspect,
so unusual.
"Don't, Jane," she cried, "don't be foolish. Hear to Sam Fuller. He
wouldn't tell you a lie.""Not for the world, ma'am.""He tells you Rose is a-dying.""He lies! he lies! he lies."
Then Sam Fuller, straightening himself up stiffly, said solemnly:
"Mrs. Carter, Rose is dead!"
At the words, with a terrible shriek, Mrs. Carter staggered towards
him, with hands and arms still outstretched, like those of a harpy, as if to
rend, when she suddenly fell forward prone on her face; incontinently