Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVIII / The Story of Blackbeard >> Page 455

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Page 455

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription TO THE SHARKS. 455
trigger. The bullet only ruffled the monstrous whisker of the ruffian. It had been aimed well, but, in the moment when the trigger was pulled, the arm of the young merchant had been struck up by one of the nearest pirates. Baffled in the desperate deed, the merchant dashed upon Blackbeard with the famishing cry of the panther striving for ber young ; and strove, with more certain dagger, to mend the failure of his first attempt. But he might as well have cast his slight form against the bulk of a mountain. His blow was thrown upward, the stroke parried, and he himself stricken down with a blow from the butt of a carbine, which covered his head and face instantly with blood.
My husband ! oh ! my husband !' cried the wretched woman, now seeking again to break away from that iron grasp which never once relaxed its hold upon her. In vain.
Fling the carrion overboard. Sharks are not made to go hungry*?
He was remorselessly obeyed ; and, partly stunned, but conscious, Louis Chastaign was lifted in half a dozen stalwart arms, and thrust over into the yawning sea. Then the wife broke away; �but, ere she reached the side of the vessel, she was again in the grasp of the ruffian. She never saw her husband more. His head appeared but a moment upon the surface�his hands were thrown upward, then his shriek was heard � a single piercing shriek of agony ; and when the French captain looked upon the sea, it was colored with blood, and he could perceive the white sides of the glancing sharks, a dozen of them, as they were tugging, below the surface, at their living victim !

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THERE are some scenes which art does not attempt to delineate
some agonies which baffle the powers of imagination. Such was the terrible, though momentary, horror and agony, of the wretched wife of the young merchant. In such cases, Nature herself seems to acknowledge the 1same necessities with art,�acknowledges her own incapacity to endure, what art lacks the power to delineate ; and interposes a partial death, to spare to the victim the tortures of a horrid dying. Pauline Chastaign swooned and lay unconscious upon the deck.