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 192

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 192 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
living the lonely bachelor life to which he had evidently resigned him-
self. He seemed satisfied that he now kept in what had been the chamber
of Rose, and that he dandled, at each return from the chase, the son of
Rose upon his knee.
With this dandling, the boy grew apace with wonderful strides; at
four years old, he sat like a monkey behind Mike, on horseback. He soon
learned to ride, and, at eight years, he had his single barreled shot gun,
and was keen of sight, rarely missing his bird. He and young Sam Fuller,
nearly of the same age, were reared in the same hardy school; both were
vigorous, lithe, elastic, if not equally reckless in the pursuit of their game.
At twelve they accompanied their seniors in the chase; and, day by day,
grew into possession of its mysteries. They were both in good training to
take the places of their teachers, the "Cub" certainly.
The fortunes of the young "Cub of the Panther," who went by this
name first as currently as by that of his father, by adoption, "Mike
Baynam," were subjects, at first, of very frequent and earnest discussion
in the family. Mattie Fuller was of opinion that his real father, assum-
ing young Fairleigh to be the person, had the right to the boy, and that
he should be made to take care of him. This was just after the return of
Fairleigh from Europe, with his English bride. The matter, though sev-
eral times brought up, was always discountenanced by Mike Baynam,
and finally silenced decisively.
"How do we know that he is the father, in the first place; and, even if
we did know, what reason have we to suppose that he would acknowl-
edge him? If they cast off the mother, they are just as ready to cast off the
son. They don't want the connection. They would rather, a thousand
times, never hear of the boy, or that Rose Carter had a boy; and with a
boy so marked as this, do you not see that every look at him would bring
up the history which they would rather forget than remember? Besides,
what chance that young Fairleigh would listen for a moment to the facts,
now that he has brought a young wife with him from England? He would
deny every thing, and where's your proof, since the old woman destroyed
the marriage certificate? No! it's enough for me that the boy is Rose
Carter's. I'll do the best for him I can. He shall be mine; and I will teach
him all I know, and he shall heir every thing I leave. That's enough! Let
me hear no more about the matter.""And I 'grees with you, Mike Baynam," said Aunt Betsy "and it's like
you to do for the boy as of he was your own. I'm for not being beholden
to these great swell-heads. They'll git the curse upon 'em yit! You'll see!
I kain't guess how it's to come; but come it will, and there's some on us