Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Ephraim Bartlett, the Edisto Raftsman >> Page 420

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Page 420

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 420EPHRAIM BARTLETT
look around me, there I was with Bram stooping over me and trying
to raise me from the ground."
"Rat's true ! " said Bram, laying special emphasis on dat's (that's)
and shaking his head significantly. Ephraim continued:
"The strangers were all gone in the twinkling of an eye,—they
had swept the platters, carried off every thing clean,—carried off
tables and chairs, bottles and cups, plates and dishes, dinner and
drink, pots and ovens, and had even put out the fire; sence, when
Bram waked up, there was not a sign of it to be seen. My jug was
broke all to pieces, and lying beside me at the door, and not a drop of
liquor to be had. What they didn't drink, they wasted, the spiteful
divels, when they broke the jug over my head."
Such was Ephraim's story, grown into a faith with many, of the
Haunted Forest and House near Izard's Camp. In Ephraim's pres-
ence, Bram does not venture to deny a syllable of the story. He only
professes to have seen nothing of it, except the full jug when they
arrived at the house, and the broken and empty vessel when he
awoke from his sleep. In Ephraim's absence, however, he does not
scruple to express his doubts wholly of the ghostly visitors and the
strange liquor. His notion is, that Ephraim got drunk upon the
"bald-face" (whiskey) and dreamed the rest. His only subject of
difficulty is that the jug should have been broken. He denies, for
himself, that he took a drop too much considering the state of his
stomach. We must resume our journey hereafter.