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 190

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Page 190

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 190 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
grand scale of hospitality which had distinguished "Fairleigh Lodge"
before. Young Fairleigh and his bride were to have a welcome; were to
be duly installed in the ancient circle. There was to be a grand reception
in which no expense was to be spared. Balls and dinner parties succeeded
to each other with great rapidity, and, in the newly resumed gaieties and
festivities of "Fairleigh Lodge," the catastrophe of poor Rose was fully for-
gotten, and the new bride of young Fairleigh, with her rich blooms and
foreign attractions, soon rendered society oblivious of all those painful
memories, which had been so greatly the annoyance of the stately lady,
prior to her departure for Europe.
"Fairleigh Lodge" was again a fashionable centre. Edward Fairleigh
became one of the hopefuls of the country, and was soon put in nomi-
nation for the Legislature. He became a fox hunter and a deer hunter; and,
in his revels, supported by his friend, Bulkley, he seemed emulous of the
renown of that jovial English Squirearchy, which talks horse and deer, and
prides itself, each member, on his capacity to hide his two bottles of port
beneath his belt.
Of poor Rose Carter, and her fate, he seemed to give himself little con-
cern. His mother, however, had not left him uninformed of the melan-
choly catastrophe. Scarcely had they met in Germany, when she began her
reproaches, in the severely virtuous manner of a lady who regularly
attended church service. He treated her reproaches very irreverently.
"Why, what can a girl expect, mother, if she throws herself in a man's
way? She had her calculations, and I had mine, she tried her best to catch
me, as a husband, and was caught herself. That's all! ha! ha!""But how could you be so foolish as to give her a marriage certificate?""Ha! ha! ha! all a sham, mother! It was a pretty farce; my excellent
friend, Lieutenant Grimshaw, of the navy, played chaplain, and with his
portly abdomen, big wig, and solemn accents, he played the part to per-
fection. It was hard work to escape coughing during the ceremonies. It
was the night when you went to the Van Rensselaer party. She feigned sick
headache to stay at home; Bulkley went for you, as you remember.""It was a great error, Edward —a very great mistake! Do you know
that that certificate would have bound you legally?""Pshaw! nonsense, mother! Grimshaw was not in orders; he was only
a lieutenant in the navy, and one of the most blasphemous fine fellows
you ever met.
"It was fraud, and the law, upon proof, would have held it to be a legal
marriage, for marriage is a civil contract, not needing anything divine for
its performance; and you took that girl to wife, before witnesses. It's lucky
I got hold of the certificate and destroyed it."