Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIV / Glimpses Along Shore of the Old North State >> Page 315

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE ALABAMA QUIZ. 315
ulation which has reached the age of forty seldom achieve any
new development of the resources of a country. To hold their
own�to be what they have been and keep as they are, is
all that can reasonably be expected at their hands. But they
are doing much mole than this. As a state, and as communities,
they are making large general improvements, and as individuals,
they are rising equally in education and in prosperity."" Glad to hear it, but take leave to doubt," responded the
man of bile. " You are evidently an enthusiast, my friend ; a
word in your ear�"
Here he slid up to the previous speaker, looked him slyly un-
der his green spectacles, gave him a nudge in his side, and
whispered:
" Don't I know Rip Van Winkle as well as you or anybody
else, but don't you see that this little fellow don't know me. We'll
have some fun out of him. He has a large capital of patriotism
out of which we shall manufacture many a broad grin, such as
would do no discredit to a Washington politician. Listen now,
while I touch him under his diaphragm.� It's something of a
waste of words," he resumed aloud, "to be discussing North
Carolina. But one question. Have you ever been to Smith-
ville ? If you want to know something of her, go to Smithville.
We once put into that port, somewhat in distress, making the
voyage from Charleston to New York in one of those cockle
shells which Pennoyer got up to run between the two places.
She was the Davy Brown I think. She had very nearly car-
ried me to Davy Jones'. It is a God's mercy that these miser-
able little mantraps had not gulfed their hundreds as did the
'Home.' Well, we put into Smithville a gale blowing on
deck, and fifty children squalling in the cabin. A few of us got
to shore, counting on an oyster supper. We met a fellow seven
feet high, with his back against a bank of sand that kept off the
wind, while the fragment of an old cutter's deck, hanging over
the bank, covered him from the rain all except drippings and
leakage.- There was the bottom of an old turpentine tub beside
him from which he detached occasional fragments of gum to
gnaw upon. We questioned him about oysters.
� Reckon it's hard to find 'em now.'� Why?'