Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Mesmerides in a Stage-Coach; Or, Passes en Passant >> Page 212

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Page 212

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
lap of my companion. "Rollo! stop ! none of that ! " was the exclama-
tion from the lips of the chuckling farmer, now startled from a very
pleasant condition of natural sleep. Then followed a struggle, in
which, with no scrupulous hands, our farmer strove to push the
invader of his premises back to his proper place. But this was no
easy task. The young chatterbox, now silent enough, was tenacious
of his new position, and seemed obstinately bent on retaining it at
all hazards. Though a slender person, and his opponent a stout one,
he seemed no easy customer, but exhibited a degree of nerve and
strength which promised to lead to surprising and, perhaps, disquiet-
ing results, if I had not thought it advisable to interpose. I again
exercised my will, and the patient sunk back into his seat at the
very moment when his doggedness seemed most invincible. "Habet ! "
of that there was no longer question, and, satisfied with the result
so far, I suffered the sleeper to enjoy his nap. Indeed, it would have
been equally difficult and dangerous to try other experiments under
existing circumstances, and I delivered myself once more up to the
train of thinking which such experiments were well. calculated to
While thus engaged, the stage stopped before a cottage some fifty
yards from the roadside. A light was burning in one of the windows
by which it was made discernible. The driver hallooed to us within,
a hoarse, sullen sentence of three words, seemingly of inquiry. I
had noted this fellow before, and remarked his surly demeanour and
violent carriage. Of course, I paid no attention to what he said, and
after a few minutes delay, he thundered out what seemed to be a
volley of oaths, of which he seemed always to have a sufficient supply
coiled up in his jaws, and giving the lash to his team, we dashed
ahead with a speed as reckless as if he had the finest macadamized
road before him and a broad noonday sun burning over head.
I suppose we had driven half an hour, or even more for I was
deeply shrouded in the tangled depths of thought when it suddenly
struck me that I might be carrying my involuntary sleeper far
beyond his place of destination. I now remembered that he had
brought no baggage nothing but an umbrella, cane and small valise