Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Seven: Flight >> Page 231

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 232 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
"You will ride the other, if you please," she quietly answered.
He expostulated, warmly, passionately, humbly, entreatingly, but she
was firm.
"It is impossible, sir. Besides, I expect my maid in a moment with
some necessary articles of luggage."
The maid just then appeared, and took her seat within the carriage.
Bulkley with difficulty suppressed his pique and mortification, and
it was in tones of tremor that he said:
"I have taken the liberty of ordering the driver to take you to the
house of Mrs. Clarkson, for the night, at least.""I thank you, Mr. Bulkley, but I shall need to change the direction."
This was said very coolly and quietly. The next sentence was
addressed to Clinton, the driver.
"Clinton, you will drive to the public hotel at Asheville.""Yes, ma'am.
"Good heavens! Mrs. Fairleigh, what is it that you mean? To Asheville,
and a public hotel!""Precisely, Mr. Bulkley, that is exactly what I mean. The more pub-
lic the better."
Bulkley was confounded, disquieted, absolutely bewildered.
"I really thought," he continued, "that the more private, under the
circumstances—""It is because of the circumstances, Mr. Bulkley, that I desire my pro-
ceedings to be as public as possible.""But the fatigue of so long a drive by night now, Mrs. Clarkson's
is at least six miles nearer.""I am not likely to feel the fatigue," she answered dryly, "and Mrs.
Clarkson's is entirely out of the question."
Mrs. Fairleigh did not need to be told that Mrs. Clarkson was a gay
and lively widow, of whom scandal spoke rather freely; nor was she igno-
rant that the dwelling of the gay widow had been a place of frequent
resort by her husband, Mr. Bulkley, and other lively young men.
Bulkley was baffled.
"At all events, Mrs. Fairleigh, I must be permitted to escort you to
Asheville.""I shall be honored, sir, if you please to do so; but I hardly need any
escort."
Bulkley said something about frequent obstructions among the
mountains, and while he was yet speaking, the lady called out to the
driver: