Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter III >> Page 24

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Page 24

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SOUTHWARD HO
was that our pilot could do nothing more likely to effect the cure
of his abraded nostril, than to subject his nose to an oyster-
scraping in all the months which contain the irritating letter.
This episode over, our Gothamite continued his narration : �
The invasion of the oyster-beds of Jersey, thus formidably
led by Jones the Big, was at first a surprise. The Jerseyans
never dreamed of the malice of their neighbors. But they had
been vigilant, and were valiant. The Jersey Blues had enjoyed
a very honorable reputation for valor from the Revolutionary
period, not exceeded, perhaps scarcely equalled, by any of the
neighboring colonies. They had a proper pride in maintaining
this reputation. It was at once a question of life and honor,
and they rushed fearlessly to the rescue. The slaughter of
their innocents had begun, and they were suffered but little time
for preparation. Hastily snatching up what weapons and mis-
siles they could lay hands upon, they darted forth by land and
sea. For a season, the war consisted of unfruitful skirmishes only,
but the two armies at length drew together. The great cities
of refuge of the oyster were in sight, the prize of valor. The
audacity of the invaders increased with the prospect. Sam Jones
led his followers on with a savage desperation peculiarly his
own. Very fearful had been Sam's experience. He had slept
upon a circle of six feet, on an oyster-bed, with the Atlantic rol-
ling around him. He had enjoyed a hand-to-hand combat with a
shark, of sixteen feet, in five-fathom water. He had ceased to
know fear, and had learned to snap his fingers at all enemies.
No wonder, led by such a hero, that the Gothamites went into
the fray with a rush and shout that shook the shores, and made
the innocent muscles under water quake to the centre of their
terrified beds. They rushed to the attack with a courage which,
as the moral historians are apt to say, was worthy of a better
cause. The Greeks at Troy, under the conduct of Ajax the
Buffalo, never darted under the hills and towers of Ilium with
more defiant demeanor."
I am impatient for the issue," said the lady. " Pray, how
did the Jerseyans stand the shock ?"
Most gallantly as if duly inspired by the innocence which
they sought to defend. The Trojans, led by Hector and Troilus,
lever showed fiercer powers of resistance than did the serried