Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Six: A Philosophical Husband >> Page 230

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 230

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER SEVEN
FLIGHT.
WHEN, ON THE EVENING of the memorable day of the bear hunt, Mrs. Fairleigh, the younger, retired to her chamber, after submitting to the brutal treatment of her husband, she said, looking at
Bulkley, as she passed from the room, "It needed but this."
The words were audible to others; but the self-esteem of Bulkley
made him persuade himself that they were meant for his ears only. Upon
this, for the first time, did his vanity build a hope. It will only need to
be mentioned here, that fully understanding the miserable relations
which existed between Fairleigh and his wife, Bulkley had made
approaches to the lady, which she only did not encourage.
On reaching her chamber that night, she penned on a slip of paper,
without address or signature, this brief mission:
"Will you, when the family retires, order my carriage-driver, Clinton,
to have my pony-carriage at the door?"
This was all! It was handed to Bulkley by the waiting-maid of Mrs.
Fairleigh, after supper was over, and while he was pacing the piazza, pipe
in mouth, alone, and in the darkness.
He soon found an opportunity to read it, and his vanity was still fur-
ther quickened with hope. We need not say that he performed the required
duty successfully, and when he assisted Mrs. Fairleigh into the carriage, was
about to follow her, as a matter of course, when she resisted him.
"Not so, Mr. Bulkley your own horses, I perceive, are here.""But my servant rides one, and will lead the other," was his reply.