Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Appendix: Chinquapin Hunts >> Page 281

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Page 281

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHINQUAPIN HUNTS 281
Chinquapin Hunts
From Statements of Mr. Daniels.
The five pages immediately preceding the "1847 Journal" in the vol-
ume "Personal and Literary Memorials" are a penciled draft of part
of the deleted chapter nine of The Cub of the Panther. Entitled
"Chinquapin Hunts," it is written on light grayish-white wove paper
bearing a seal and embossed "J. H. Walsh & Sons Newburgh." It is
impossible to be sure when Simms wrote these pages, but its text con-
cludes on page one of the "1847 Journal," which begins in the middle
of that page. A safe conjecture is that Simms actually made these notes
in mid-September on the spot (perhaps near Spartanburg) before he
commenced the journal of his trip on September 26, 1847.

It is now the middle of September. The watermelon and most ordinary
fruits have disappeared. The crib is pretty well laid by. The pressing labors
of the farm are over; and the young are prepared to take a holiday.
Chinquapins are beginning to ripen. The chinquapin is a species of ches-
nut. It is to be hunted for, not so much with the appetite that it provokes,
as with the sports that accompany it. They turn out accordingly in par-
ties of twenty or thirty of both sexes, and these in pairs or groups more
numerous will scatter themselves over the region which the chinquapin
delights in. This region is ordinarily of inferior soil. The chinquapin is
commonly here the sign of poor land. The Hunters sometimes divide
themselves into two parties, equally of the two sexes, and pick for a
wager. In this way, they consume the day. Each family carries with it
a supply of creature comforts, which at a given hour, are produ [c] ed at
a place of rendezvous, and a pique nique is the consequence. Well, a
suff[i]cient quantity being gathered, the frolicking begins. The hunt is
not laboriously pursued, sufficient allowance being given for sport.
Pleasure, not toil, is the object of the gathering. Several pretty petty
games ensue. `Hull Gull!' exclaims the damsel. `Hand full,' replies the
young fellow. Pass on How many? is the next question, and his guess
ensues if over the supposed number in her hand, he reconciles the
inequality if under, he makes it up to what she has. "Another
game ["]—she cries `Ching' in my hand, or, I have chinquap—for sale!
Sell to me?' is the answer. Who by['] or `send your messenger,' returns
the other," [sic] upon which the party calls for a third party if a gent,
a lady, if a lady a gent. This 2d. person guesses the number or not, and