Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Seven: Flight >> Page 232

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription FLIGHT 233
"Drive on, Clinton."
It was only occasionally, when in difficult places along the road the
carriage moved slowly, that Bulkley had any opportunity of snatching
a few remnants of conversation at the carriage windows.
And so the progress was made, and the public house in Asheville
reached in safety.
Mrs. Fairleigh and Bulkley were both well known to the proprietor,
and welcomed accordingly. Mrs. Fairleigh at once retired with her maid,
to the chamber assigned her, while Bulkley, pretty well tired of the day's
hunt and the night's ride, found temporary refuge in his own.
"Confound it!" he exclaimed, as he undressed himself, "what the devil
can she mean? But she cannot well escape me. She is compromised. She
has no refuge but in my arms."
And with this pleasant reflection of the roue, he slept, possibly with
a conscience easy because of its callosity.
Mrs. Fairleigh did not find sleep so easy, though we doubt not that
her conscience was in better condition than that of the gentleman. She
was a woman, and she was therefore weak, in many respects; she had a
woman's, and a passionate nature, and she was excited and depressed
because of the peculiar circumstances in which she was placed, as a
woman. But she had a strong will, and was essentially a creature of power
as well as passion. She, too, had her soliloquy.
"I could not do otherwise. I could no longer sleep in that house. Oh,
God! what of torture have I not borne from that man, and his cold-
blooded, selfish mother!"
She thought of Bulkley, and smiled as she thought. "He, too, yes, he
too, mistakes. He does not comprehend me. Is there any man who can
fully comprehend the nature of woman?"
Possibly, Mrs. Fairleigh; but the difficulty of comprehension seems
mutual.