Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter III >> Page 30

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Page 30

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SOUTHWARD HO!
Whether it was that their conscientiousness was too active or their courage too dormant, they submitted before they came to blows ; and the whole foraging party�� the entire swine'� an entire tribe of that peaceable sachem, Penn�in a body, every mother's son of them eighty or ninety in number�were driven into an extemporary logpen at the muzzle of the musket. Around this our angry Virginians kept vigilant watch. The Quaker that raised head above the battlements, though but to peep out at the evening sunset, was warned backward with a tap of spear or sllilelah. They were held thus trembling for two or three days in durance vile, until they had paid heavy ransom. It required some fifteen hundred dollars, cash, before the foragers were released. This was a famous haul for our guid folk of the Eastern Shore. For some time it had the effect of keeping off trespassers. But when was cupidity ever quieted short of having its throat of greed cut at the carotid? The practice has been resumed, and our Eastern Shore Virginians are again beginning to growl and to show their teeth. When I was there last, they were brushing up their guns, and newly priming. They promise us a new demonstration shortly, both parties, Whig and democratic, preparing to unite their forces to prevent their innocent young shellfish from being torn away from their beds at midnight.""And loving oysters as I do, I am free to say they could not peril their lives in a more noble cause. Stamped paper and tea were nothing to it."