Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Four: The ''Cub'' Saves his Father's Life, But Administers a Sharp Admonition >> Page 212

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 212 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
precise grandmother. But his field of performance and reputation was
that of the hunter only.
Mike Baynam, having left young Fuller with his tutor in Spartanburg,
returned to engage in a very exciting winter hunt, which was destined
to be as profitable as exciting. Never had the hunters known the brute
creation to be so numerous, or so obtrusive. The deer were abundant; the
bear wallowed in every hollow; and the panthers were more numerous
than ever before known, on all the hills.
Mike Baynam, Sam Fuller, and our "Cub" were on the alert from day
to day, and scores of hunters besides; and rarely did a day pass without
bringing some grist to the mill of Rosedale Cottage. Nor were gentry (so-
called) of the mountains unwilling to join in the exciting pursuit. The
report of a herd of full-grown bears, five in number, moving from the
Black and Balsam Mountains, in the direction of the Hogback, brought
out a large party assembled at Fairleigh Lodge, consisting of Col.
Fairleigh himself, his friend Bulkley, and three or four other guests, from
remote parts of the country.
Fairleigh was now about thirty-six years old; but he looked much older,
having led a roaming life, living fast in the enjoyment, especially of the
pleasures of the table. He had lost most of the graces of his youth, with-
out acquiring those which become the gentleman of middle age. He had
grown obese; his face had become beefy and rubicund, and attested the fre-
quency and potency of his draughts, at all hours, of peach and honey,
applejack and usquebaugh! To ride and hunt and game were his chief
employments, and, in their indulgence, he had grown neglectful of those
large interests which his mother had so long and so ably economized.
That lady had gradually declined into the sere and yellow leaf; was now
a shriveled, little old woman, hugging her arm chair most of the time, and
fretting over the improvidence and extravagance of her son. Her passion
for dress continued still, in spite of her bent figure; and the jeweled neck-
lace still hung upon the bosom whose wrinkles only became the more
conspicuous from the ornaments which could not conceal them.
The younger Mrs. Fairleigh, proud, haughty, and passionate, had
ceased altogether to attempt any acts of conciliation with the old lady;
and their intercourse was daily embittered by harsh words and intem-
perate discussion. Nor did the young dame show much more respect or
consideration for her husband. She was simply a fashionable wife, kept
for show, rather than companionship or comfort. Her chief amusement
consisted in driving or riding with some one of the young gallants, of