Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Five: ''It Needed But This'' >> Page 222

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription "IT NEEDED BUT THIS" 223
Fairleigh scowled savagely at the speaker, and muttered in undertones:
"If I didn't know you as my friend, Bulkley, by G —d I'd pitch into
you.
"No, you wouldn't, Fairleigh," answered the other very coolly, with
a stern eye fixed upon the besotted man, a cold and inflexible stare, which
warned him not to presume too far upon ancient associations.
But Fairleigh swallowed the insult, if so he considered it, and the
stoup of rye together; and when Jared, the body servant, returned with
the clothing, his master required his services and Bulkley's assistance to
get him fairly into them. With cold water from the fountain the party
bathed his head and arms; with the bottle of balsam they anointed the
scratches made by the bear; and with fragments of the shirt, which they
removed from his body, they bound up the slight flesh wound in the
thigh, which had been made by the misdirected knife of the "Cub."
With these helps and appliances, the half drunken man somewhat
recovered. His fits of drunkenness usually came on slowly, but rapidly
passed off; and a copious discharge from the stomach, after a brief inter-
val, enabled the party to place him in the saddle, and they proceeded
slowly on their way back to Fairleigh Lodge; Bulkley riding close on one
side of its proprietor, and Jared equally close on the other.
He recovered himself amazingly in the progress homeward, but not
'till he had taken a fresh potation of the "rye" to "settle" the irritation of
the stomach.
They reached the court yard of the "Lodge" about dusk of the
evening, and found all the ladies in the piazza awaiting them. There had,
no doubt, been some anxiety in the family, the exaggeration of Jared hav-
ing prepared them for a more serious injury to the squire than was really
the case; even the old mother, now a withered automaton, had been
wheeled out from the parlor, in her easy chair, impatient and apprehen-
sive of the event.
Their alarm and anxiety were changed to surprise on seeing Fairleigh
alight, however slowly, from his horse, without help, though this was ten-
dered by Bulkley, and Jared's shoulders were presented for the occasion.
The now half-sobered man contrived, without staggering, to reach the
steps, and, holding on to the string-piece of the balusters, managed to
ascend to the piazza, still without succor. Here he steadied himself for a
moment, his wife coming up and confronting him.
Mrs. Fairleigh, the younger, though now about thirty-six years of age,
was yet a magnificent woman, tall and stately, beautiful still, with rich fair
English complexion, large, bright blue eyes, and a lofty and rather