Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Book Fourth / Chapter One: Twelve Years of the Life of ''The Cub'' >> Page 189

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Page 189

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription TWELVE YEARS 189
past services, which this personage considered herself to have merited in
such eminent degree.
Breathing fire and fury as she went, Mrs. Sweetzer found temporary
shelter with Mrs. Childs, formerly Miss Hall; and it was not till then that
the public became enlightened as to those latter cruel scenes in the life of
Rose, which led to her temporary derangement and flight by night from
"Fairleigh Lodge."
The horrid Mrs. Sweetzer did not suffer her portrait of the stately lady
to lose any of its effect from inadequate coloring; and she found a ready
listener in Mrs. Childs, who cherished many warm resentments of
her own.
Between the two, the whole country side obtained possession of as
complete a history of the treatment of Rose, as was necessary for the proper
cohesion of all parts of this narrative; and public opinion raged with impo-
tent, though savage passion, whenever the subject was brought up.
According to Mrs. Sweetzer, the stately lady had made such discov-
eries, while in New York, of the interview between Rose and her son, as
determined her to make secret arrangements for sending the latter off to
Europe, on a tour of travel to last two years.
She might still have tolerated Rose as a guest and companion, but for
the shocking consequences which threatened the full exposure of the
illicit intercourse between the young people.
Her house was to be relieved of the infamy. Her son was to escape
the shame; and, in the solitude of Rosedale Cottage, Rose Carter was to
hide her disgrace as well as she could; leaving public scandal at liberty
to fasten upon any other offender.
Her destroying the marriage certificate of the poor girl whether that
certificate were a fraud or no was one of those crimes which especially
made the story odious among the better classes, the more fashionable
circles, in which Mrs. Fairleigh moved; and, for a long time after, and
while the events were still fresh in the popular mind, the good name of
the good lady now that she was absent was a common by-word of
reproach and loathing with nearly all classes.
But, two years in time, has a wonderfully obliterative effect in soci-
ety; and when Mrs. Fairleigh, at the end of that period, returned to
"Fairleigh Lodge," accompanied by her son, and a beautiful English bride
whom he had picked up on his travels, the story of poor Rose Carter was
pretty much forgotten.
The fashionables were quite well pleased to forget all the unpleasant
history, as soon as Mrs. Fairleigh resumed housekeeping, on the same