Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IX >> Page 135

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Page 135

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE LAME DUCK. 135
the commissioners, and her confidence of success finally encour-
aged them with a similar hope on her behalf. They gave her
the necessary funds and certificate, partially persuaded that
There swims no goose, however gray in state, Who can not find some gander for her mate.'
And the cripple went on her way swimmingly."" And the event ?"" Justified the faith of the legless damsel in the bounty of
Providence. Very great was the rejoicing in James river, when
the stout vessel wearing English colors was seen pressing up
the stream. They knew what they had to expect, and each
was eager for his prize. The stout yeomanry of Jamestown
turned out en masse, each in his best costume and behavior ; and
as each had yet to make his choice, and as a wife is always,
more or less, the subject of some choice, each was anxious to
get on board the ship in advance of his comrades. Never was
there such a scramble. Wives rose in demand and value ; and
but little time was consumed in seeing the parties paired, and,
two by two, returning from the vessel to the shore. How
proudly they departed´┐Żour brave adventurers, each with his
,pretty commodity tucked under his arm ! The supply fell
short of the demand. There were several who retired with sad
hearts, and lonely as they came. All were snatched up except
our lame girl ; but she was not the person to despair. She put
on her sweetest smiles, as the unsupplied seekers circled about
her. They had no objection to her face. Her smiles were suf-
ficiently attractive ; but that leg of English oak, which she in
vain strove to pucker up under her petticoats. The truth had
leaked out ; and it was no go. Though grievously in want of
the furniture so necessary to a warm household, it was rather
too much to require our well-shaped and clashing Virginians to
couple with a damsel of but one leg ; and after circling her with
wobegone visages, half doubting what to do, they at length dis-
appeared, one by one, resolved to await a new ship, and a bride
of adequate members. The prospect for our lame duck became rather unpromising ; but Fortune, amid all her blindnesses and
caprices, is usually governed by a certain sense of propriety and
fitness. It so happened that there was a cobbler in the colony,
whose trade had been chosen with reference to the painful fact