Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIV / Glimpses Along Shore of the Old North State >> Page 316

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Page 316

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 816 SOUTHWARD HO
Why, you see, we've done cleaned off all a 'top, and them
down low in the water's mighty hard to come at. Don't get
much oysters at Smithville now. Reckon there mought have
been a right smart chance of 'em long time ago 'bout the
Revolution.'
Well, do you think we can get any broiled chickens any-
where V
Chickens don't do so well at Smithville. I'm thinking they
drink too much of the salt water, and the gravel's too coarse for
'em, but they die off mighty soon, and there's no cure for it.'
tc"Egg's ?'
Well now, as for eggs, somehow the hens don't lay as they
used to. Folks say that there's a sort of happidemic among the
poultry of all kinds. They don't thrive no more in Smithville.'
And what have you got in Smithville ?'
I reckon there's pretty much all the Smiths here that was
here at the beginning. Old granny Pressman Smith lives thar
in that rether old house that looks a'most as if it was guine to
fall. 'Lijah Smith keeps opposite. He had the grocery, but
he's pretty much sold out�though they do say there's a
schooner expected mighty soon with some codfish and p'taters
for him, from down East. Rice Smith owns that 'ere flat, you
sees thar' with its side stove ; and the old windmill yander with
the fans gone b'longs to Jackson W. Smith, the lawyer. He's
pretty much broke up I hear, by buying a gold mine somewhere
in the South. I'm a Smith myself�my name's Fergus Smith,
but I'm the poorest of the family. I don't own nothing, no
how, and never did.'" Now there's a chronicle," said our orator. " Was there ever
such a complete picture of all sorts of debris and ruin ?"" But Smithville is not North Carolina," was the reply of our
little red-faced native, who seemed particularly to resent this
portraiture.
" I am afraid it is," was the reply of the orator, coolly spoken,
and without seeming to heed the evident ruffling of the young
one's plumage. " I have seen somewhere," Ile continued, "a
picture of the old North State, of which I remember just the
heads. Doubtless there is some exaggeration in it, but on the whole the thing is true. It i8 true in generals if not details�