Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XV / More of the Genius of the Old North State >> Page 328

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 328

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 3 28 SOUTHWARD HO
sons for several seconds sitting upon his unsupported body. He
stretched out his arms to the group.
" Feel them."
They were all muscle � so much whip, cord and wire.
You spoke of pistol and rifle," continued the orator. " You
shall have a sample of shooting." He retired for a few moments,
and returned, bringing with him a large case which, when opened,
displayed a beautiful brace of pistols and a rifle of elegant pro-
portions and high finish. The pistols were already charged. A
bottle was thrown into the sea, and, at the flash of the pistol, was
shattered to a thousand pieces.
" My friend," quoth the orator, " I have led just that sort of
life which makes a man up to anything ; and the use of the
weapon, of every sort, is natural to me in any emergency."" Well, t'aint your muscle and strength and good shooting that
would keep me from having a trial with you, in case you show'd
a disposition to insult me."
But I avow no such disposition, my excellent friend of the
old North State."" Many's the man that's a good shot at a bottle, who
can't take a steady aim, with another pistol looking him in the
face."" Nothing more true. But we need say no more on this head,
unless you still think that I designed offence."" Well, since you say you didn't, of course, I'm satisfied."" I'm glad of it. There's my fist. I didn't mean offence to
you, my friend ; but I confess to amusing myself at all hazards
and with any sort of customer. You happened in the way, and
I stumbled over you. You are a clever fellow, and I don't like
you the less for standing up for your state, which is a clever and
most respectable state, a state of size, and some sizable steam-
boats and schooners, not forgetting the hermaphrodite. And
now, let us have a touch of snake and tiger together."" Where were you born ?" demanded the North-Carolinian.
I was born in a cloud and suckled by the east wind."
Oh, get out ! I reckon you're crazy, after all."
I'll defend myself against the imputation when you'll prove
to me that anybody is quite sane. It is but a difference in
degree between the whole family of man."