Beck Center English Dept. University Libraries Emory University
Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Women's Genre Fiction Project

Panola, an electronic edition

by Sarah A. Dorsey [Dorsey, Sarah A. (Sarah Anne), 1829-1879.]

date: 1877
source publisher: T. B. Peterson & Brothers
collection: Genre Fiction

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IT was the very brightest and most sunshiny of days, and the mocking-birds were trying to kill themselves with singing, when Panola drove up to the door of Docteur Canonge's house. The old man was at the gate, to clasp "his darling" in his arms; and Lizbette too, who not only hugged Panola but also Ellen in the fervor of her welcome. Ellen | | 253 did not half like being kissed by the old mulattress, but Panola returned her embrace very warmly; then leaving them all far behind her--for hers were the footsteps of youth and joy--Panola sprang up the steps and into Mark's study. There he sat in the old place. Without a thought of wrong, Panola rushed towards him with her outstretched arms.

"Mark! dear Mark!"


With that word, Mark, for the first tine in his life, clasped to his heart the one woman he loved. He strained her to his bosom with an immense passion he could not control for an instant. Panola recoiled, and seemed to struggle to free herself from that passionate clasp. The meaning burst upon her. It was only for an instant. The next, her arms were about his neck, and her lips turned up to meet his kiss--one supreme moment of bliss after long parting. Panola heard grandpapa coining but she did not move; she lay still in Mark's embrace.

Joy, intense and beyond expression, thrilled through Mark. Life seemed to pour in an immense wave of emotion and vital force through every nerve, every muscle. His heart beat like a drum; its pulsations could be heard.

Docteur Canonge stopped short at the door, transfixed by the sudden revelation betrayed by the grouping of the actors in this little domestic drama.

"Ah! vat is dis?" he exclaimed.

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Mark laughed aloud. he was radiant in his happiness. He gently lifted Panola from his boson.

"She will never leave us again, grandpapa," said Mark.

"No, never!" replied Panola, energetically throwing herself upon the old man's breast. She wept a few tears of joy.

"Grandpapa! Panola!" cried Mark, suddenly, lifting himself up from his chair, by resting his hands on its arms; "Grandpapa, give me your hands. It seems to me as if a new vigor was pouring through my nerves! I think--I believe Panola! Let me try--help me to try to walk."

The two sprang towards him. They seized his hands. They drew him to his feet. Mark stood tottering with their arms around hint. Panola kissed his hands violently. "Try, Mark! dear Mark, try! One step, Mark!" Poising one hand upon her shoulder, and resting the other upon his grandfather's arm, Mark, by an immense effort, lifted his foot and made one step forward, then another. They sustained him, their very souls hanging upon his movements.

"Grasp my hand firmly, Panola!" he cried. "Life power seems to flow into me from the clasp of your hands!"

They held him firmly. he walked across the room to the window, then back.

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"Now," he said, "let go my hands." They dropped his hands. Docteur Canonge was weeping. Panola walked away to the other side of the room, stopped, stood leaning forward with her arms extended wide, as a mother does when her child makes its first tottering steps. There was a whole heaven of love and strength in her eyes. "Mark, my love! Mark!" she said, softy.

Mark laughed in his wild, joyful excitement. Throwing his head back, he stood erect and walked firmly though carefully across the room, and caught Panola again in his arms; covering her face with kisses, he bowed his head above hers, hidden upon his breast.

"My God! I thank thee!" he said.

Docteur Canonge stole out of the room; but a half hour later, he poked his head inside of the doorway, his eyes very red from weeping for joy, and he called out in quavering tones:

"Mark, I muss apologize to zie manes of my good brudder Jacob! A wise man was Jacob! He know how to make you get well again. He was better docteur as me! I have been most ungrateful to Jacob. You will have all zie money, and zie Charitee will go beg. How wise was Jacob!"

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