Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Two: How the ''Cub of the Panther'' Proves too Much for the Bear >> Page 197

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription HOW THE CUB PROVES TOO MUCH FOR THE BEAR 197
announced to them that they were to ride forth on the morrow, on the
"long hunt" with their seniors.
From this day forth, the lads took to mountain ranges regularly under
the training of the two old hunters; and, day by day, they sped forth, eager
to excel in their new vocation, and showing such aptness in it as greatly
to delight their teachers.
And on these expeditions they learned to fish in the mountain
streams as deftly as to pursue the hunt in the mountain gorges. They
learned to swim; and in the variety of country sports, they became as
expert and agile as athletic.
We have not thought it worth while, hitherto, to mention that their
arts were not limited to those of the chase. Mike and Sam carried on their
farm, and the boys were taught to work it from their tenth year. Nor was
their schooling neglected in their physical training. Mike Baynam under-
took to teach their academics, which he did in nightly lessons, reading,
writing, and cyphering, as far as the rule of three being the extent of his
own acquisitions and the measure of theirs.
In these studies both boys made reasonable progress, Sam Fuller's
son, however, leaving our "Cub" always at no little distance behind him.
Mike Baynam possessed a small collection of books besides, and it
was noted that while Sam's son voluntarily sought and read them at odds
and ends of time, the "Cub of the Panther" found no satisfaction in them,
and never took a book in his hands unless to get his lessons. He had a
marked passion for dress and ornaments, however, which good Aunt
Betsy had somewhat stimulated by giving him to wear a chain and a
brooch, from the stores of his poor mother. Some of her rich dresses had
she cut up also, out of which to manufacture waist-coats for both the
boys, and each of them, at fifteen, had his neckerchiefs wrought out of
the same material. It was astonishing to see how naturally and promptly
the "Cub" could "make himself up" for display, while Mattie Fuller would
reproach her own son with the contrast between them, young Sam being
confessedly something of a sloven, thinking more of his books and his
brains than of his breeches and brooches.
It was the second winter after the boys had got their ponies and rifles,
and being seasoned through one term of practice with the old hunters,
that the latter prepared for a "long hunt," a series of arduous drives,
which would necessarily be protracted through a very long day, and pos-
sibly through several days. The winter had set in with severity; the snows
already covered the ground at intervals, and reports were current of a