Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XV / More of the Genius of the Old North State >> Page 330

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 330 SOUTHWARD HO
That's true. There is such a likeness, I admit."" Of course you must admit. Everybody sees it. The won-
der is, that, boasting such a great antiquity, they are so little
ambitious. Their enterprise is limited to an occasional visit to
the oyster-bank, where it is said they will feed for some hours
at a stretch, but they never trouble themselves to carry any of
the fruits away. The pearl-fisheries, which conjecture supposes
to have been very active here at one period, were discontinued
and fell into neglect somewhere about the time of the Babylonian
captivity. Smithville is a place that should largely command
the veneration of the spectator, apart from its antiquity of site,
and the antiquities which may yet bo found within its precincts
after proper exploration ; it is a study for the ethnologist. There
is one peculiarity about the race�all the children here are old
when they are born. The period of gestation seems to be about
eighteen years. The child is invariably born with a reddish
mustache and imperial, and a full stock of reddish hair."" Bless me, what a story ! Why, how they have imposed
upon you, old fellow ! I tell you, I myself know the families
of Button and Black, and�and they all have children�real
children, just like any other people's children�little, small,
helpless, with hardly any hair upon their heads, not a sign of a
moustache, and the color of the hair is whitish, rather than
reddish, when they are born."
The assurance was solemly given by our Carolinian.
How a man's own eyes may deceive him ! My dear friend,
you never saw a child in Smithville of native origin at all.
The natives are all full grown. If you saw children there
ordinary children�they were all from foreign parts, and griev-
ously out of their element, I assure you. Your supposed facts
must not be allowed to gainsay philosophy. I repeat, the re-
gion, on this score of idiosyncrasy in the race, should attract
the ethnologists. In mere antiquities�in the proofs of ancient
art�it is also rich. I have found curiously-wrought fragments
of stone there, sharp at the edges, somewhat triangular of
Nothing but Indian arrow-heads, I reckon.""My friend, why expose yourself? They were sacrificial
implements, no doubt. Then, curious vases, in fragments, are