Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Nine: Catstrophe—Conclusion >> Page 249

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Page 249

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Most of the professional hunters have some notion of surgery, and,
in ordinary cases may be safely trusted. But the moment that Mike saw
the wound, where planted, and what the extent of the orifice, he shook
his head significantly. Bitter groans, meanwhile, escaped from the
wounded man.
"It is mortal!" said Baynam, in low tones.
"Ah!" cried Fairleigh, as if comprehending what was said.
"Great God!" exclaimed Sam Fuller, "and to think he should be killed
by the hands of his own son!""What! what's that you say?" demanded Fairleigh, now opening
his eyes.
"I say it's your own son that stabbed you! The boy is the son of Rose
Carter, that perished in the snow, this day seventeen years ago! Ef it ain't
a God's judgment, my friend, then I don't believe in any judgments at all!"
The eyes of the wounded man opened again, as he said:
"Where is he? Let me look at him."
The group parted, and the wild-eyed and strangely-branded boy
stood before his father, upon whom he looked indifferently.
"Take him away! Take him away!" cried Fairleigh, after a moment's
gaze, moved by some inscrutable sentiment.
Mike Baynam proceeded to bind up the wound. It was all that could
be done. The patient called for brandy. His lips were only wet with it, and
he called for more.
"Give it him! It can do no harm," said Baynam. "Meanwhile, we must
have him taken to some shelter. Whose is the nearest house?"
Frey's cabin was named.
"It will be well, if he can bear it, to take him home to Fairleigh Lodge
at once. Can we get a cart and a mattress, Mr. Frey? The shortest road
is five miles and better; but it is a good wagon track."
Briefly, after some hours of slow and painful carriage, the patient still
living, groaning, and stimulated at intervals with brandy, the vehicle
reached the entrance of Fairleigh Lodge.
Binkley rode ahead to break the news to the wretched man's mother.
She staggered from her chair to meet her son, who was still living, though
groaning incessantly, and evidently in great agony; when, at the very
entrance, the last frail threads of life gave way and the miserable woman
fell forward, feebly grasping at the mattress, as they bore the dying man
into the hall.
When they raised her from the floor she was dead! In a single instant
the withered heart had ceased to beat!
"Ef that ain't God's Providence and judgment, then I'm a sinner past