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 quite a pleasure to hear from you again, and to learn that you were so happy in the society of Miss Flanoy and the other fair damsels of the campagne. I delivered your messages to grandpapa and to Mark. They were obliged for your remembrance of them. I don't think Mark is improving at all in health, though grandpapa is very reluctant to concede the fact; and Mark is so very patient and considerate that he is not willing to destroy suddenly the airy fabric built up by grandpapa's sanguine hopefulness. Mark is weaker than, he was, and I think he will have soon to give up the use of these powerful baths. I have been taking them moderately. Undoubtedly they are great cosmetics, for I never had such roses and lilies in my face before. I am very glad I came, for it is a good preparation for my winter campaign in Paris.

"This is a rough but interesting place. The country must have been of volcanic origin. There are innumerable hot springs; I believe, more than eighty on this low mountain, sending up steam and vapor continually. The water is hot enough to boil | | 173 an egg in, and there are places where beautiful crystals of rock quartz are found, and great quantities of magnetic loadstones; plenty of white limestones, with red veins through it, almost marble in hardness. I found a beautiful piece with an exquisite fossil leaf in it yesterday. There is also sandstone here, and jet. Onyx and large garnets are also found.

"There are many guests here, chiefly composed of invalids. It is rather a Bethesda, but one always finds somebody worth seeing and talking to. I have not been yet ennuiee. I have a good deal of amusement in watching Mark. All the women here are taken with him, and it is funny to see how they run after him. There are several here that I call 'his train,' who never let him have a moment's peace, they are so devoted. It is a study to me, who, you know, and rather accustomed to see things done differently, that is, to see men éperdus for women. It teases Mark a good deal. But he is gentle and polite. I tell him he is gently cruel to his adorateuses. They seem to be on the watch for him; they time their meals to suit his; they bring him wild flowers (which are extremely beautiful here); they bring him offerings of crystals and jet, and all sorts of stones and weeds and leaves and fruits. They read the most tender poems to him. They write him feeble verses. They watch his face. They exist only in the sunshine of his smile. One of | | 174 them, rather an old girl, who wears spectacles and does up the principal literary characters, is perversely jealous, even of me! I think, according to your transmigration theory, she was evolved through the frogs; she has that sort of a face. Mark is getting tired of it. He does not like the painful rank of a beau in society. I think he will soon persuade grandpapa to go home.

I have just had a letter from the Reads, in New York. They sail soon for Europe. I think I shall join them. There is a family going from this place to New York next week. So I shall probably not return to Louisiana with grand papa and Mark. If you should be in Paris next winter, you will probably find me, as usual, at my cousin, Madame Ronher's. I expect I shall meet you some day unexpectedly on the drive of the Bois de Boulogne, jusqu'a cetteheure de ravissement. I am, dear Victor, your cousin and friend, NATIKA.

"P. S.--Antony Coolidge has been here a week. he begins to be tiresome. Mark has just rolled himself out to my side on this verandah, where I am writing; and here appear the train also. It is astonishing, the necessity of ordinary women for something to gush over upon. They must expend the overflow of sentiment in their tender bosoms, whether it be on parrots, or poodles, or men. For my part I prefer poodles, though you never had any patience with Fanfan. She likes the warns baths | | 175 page image : 175  IN THE DARK HOURS. here very much. I take her in every day. It is good for her health."

"I wonder why women like Natika are so satirical towards their own sex," thought Victor. "The two women I know best, she and Panola, are certainly not given 'to gush,' as she calls it. God knows she is as changeable as a chameleon and very difficult to keep pleased with anything; that is just her charm. And Panola is cold as an iceberg. It would be interesting to thaw her snow. She is far the nobler woman. But then Natika is so cursedly fascinating. Other women are so commonplace beside her!"

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