Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Five: ''It Needed But This'' >> Page 221

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 222 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
moment, his knife would have given the beast the coup de grace. He
coupled this assertion with denunciations of the boy, for wounding him
gratuitously, and swore to horsewhip him at the first opportunity.
"If I hadn't been so sore and exhausted," he exclaimed, "I'd have given
the little rascal fifty lashes on the spot."
This sort of speaking filled the party with infinite disgust, but they
forebore commenting upon it, all save Bulkley, who, with the freedom of
a long intimacy from their college days, and a growing feeling of scorn
and contempt which might possibly be allied with other feelings did
not hesitate to speak plainly what he thought, having but little deference
to the bragging vein of vanity which was one of the most disgusting of
the characteristics of Fairleigh, next to his gross debaucheries of the table.
"And had you laid whip on that urchin, you'd have had all those
mountain hunters on your back, and they would have given you a much
more savage tickling than the knife of the boy has done.""There would have been two parties to play at that game. We should
have been more than a match for them. We could lick them," was the
reply of Fairleigh.
"I doubt that very much, Fairleigh," was the answer of Bulkley. "These
mountain hunters are tough, hardy, strong and monstrous active, and we
should have felt their bullets, or their knives, before we could well get our
own weapons ready. It would be a word and a blow with them, let me tell
you, and the word hardly so quick as the blow. The less frequently you
cross their path the better for you.""Let them take care not to cross mine. They are an impudent set of
rascals, and I have some old scores to settle with some of them yet, as
soon as I can find them out, for trespassing in my park. As for a fight with
them, I'm willing, with this same party here, to take them, two for one,
and engage to drub them off the mountains.""Well, Fairleigh," said Bulkley, "there are such things as possibilities.
I have heard of a wife cutting her husband's throat with a feather; but I
doubt if, in such a fight as you propose, you and your party would stand
half so good a chance as you had with Bruin to-day. But, let me say to you
here, I deny the right of any man, however intimate he be, or however
close a friend, to drag me precipitately into his rash quarrels, according
to his humor, or because he happens to be drunk.""Drunk! Do you mean to say that I am drunk, Bulkley?""If you are not already, Fairleigh, you are in a fair way for it; and if
you'll take my counsel, you'll fling out that rye from your cup, for another
swallow will make it very difficult for you to sit your horse going home."