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 218

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 218

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 218 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
recover his equilibrium finding, too, that he had suffered rather in his
clothes than in his skin, and than his scratches, though painful, were not
very serious, his confidence returned, and with it the full volume of his
vanity. He had bragged famously about his double-barreled Manton, and
upon his excellence as a shot, and he now said:
"Well, I may admit that the boy shot the bear, but he might as well
have spared the bullet, for my pellets were already in the beast, and when
I shook him off finally, he had got his mortal hurt. My own knife would
have finished him, if the little rascal had not stabbed me in the thigh.
Search the bear and you'll be sure to find my pellets.""Yes, here are some of them," said Wood and Dolby, who had been
examining the animal. "Here are three pellets, as you calls 'em, but they
air hairdly skin-deep. They've just cut the skin, and hid themselves away
in the fat, and so far as they hurt him, he might have wallowed for the
next hundred years, if no better weapon didn't squelch him. Them pel-
lets jist riled his sperrit, and so he would ha' riled you, ef twan't for that
boy's quick trigger and steady narves."
Fairleigh growled savagely and turned away, especially as Bulkley and
his companions seemed not unwilling to see his vanity rebuked. Bulkley
had already conceived the humor of a quizzing course for the benefit of
the party, and the savage looks of Fairleigh failed to check him in his jests.
Suddenly Fairleigh turned about and said abruptly, turning to the
professional hunters:
"Well, who's to have the meat?"
Even Bulkley, however well he knew the man, was taken by surprise
at this exhibition of his meanness, and gazed at him with blank amaze-
ment, while Wood replied bluntly:
"Why who should hev the meat but the person that killed the brute?""My shots were in him," doggedly replied Fairleigh.
"Don't make yourself ridiculous, Fairleigh. Mount your horse and
let's be off. The bear belongs to the boy, if ever boy had a right at all. Let
us ride.
And with his hurts bandaged up with handkerchiefs, which covered
also the rents in his trowsers, Fairleigh rode off, growling as he went.
"Now," said Sam Fuller, "did you ever see sich a mean-spirited son
of a critter, that I won't call by name and sich a dod-durned jackass
in the skin of a white man before? Why the fellow's a born ediot. Durn
his buttons, but ef it hadn't been for the boy's big hairt, and quick eye,
and steady narves the redikilous fellow wouldn't hev got up from that
wrastle alive. He'd hev hed the dry scratches from the crown of his head