Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 471

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Page 471

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY471
" `But Cudjo, how do you guide your alligator horse, or boat?'
quoth McCord.
"The saucy negro interrupted him with an air of scorn, as he
replied,
" `Misser McCode, you hab no sense! I hab for tell you ebbry
ting! Wha' da dat?'
"Holding up his right hand thumb.
" `That's your thumb!'
" `Ah ! you hab t'umb enty ! Well, you guide 'em wid dat ! You 'tick
(stick) your t'umb in he eye ! Dat will guide em 'cross de ribber.'
" `But, suppose Cudjo, I want him to carry me down the river?'
" `Well, wha' den? Ef you wants em to go down de ribber, 'tick
you t'umb in he right eye ! Den he go down.'
" `But,' says McCord, `suppose I wish him to go up the river,
Cudjo?'
" `My God, Misser McCord, you hab no sense? I hab for tell you
ebbry t'ing? Enty you got 'noder t'umb? Well, you want 'em for
go up de river? 'Tick you udder t'umb in he leff eye; dat shall mek
'em go up de ribber!'
" `But suppose, Cudjo, I want him to go neither up nor down, the
river, but to go, just as we wish to go now, straight across ; how
then shall I manage him?'
" `My God! Misser McCode, you hab no sense? You can'nt tink
for you seff? I hab for tell you ebbry 'ting? Enty you got two
t'umb? 'Tick bote t'umb in he eye; dat will mek him carry you
'traight cross de ribber!'
" 'But, Cudjo, suppose he should, just when we are in the middle
of the river, take it into his head, to go straight down to the
bottom?'
"Here the African was at his wits end; his resources were ex-
hausted; he fidgetted; looked dubiously at McCord and then at me,
and, having no other alternative, seizing his pole, and working
fiercely at the flat, he replied
" 'Ah ! Misser McCord, of de alligator go down to de bottom, and
hab you on he back; da berry bad ! You hab for swim out de bes'
way you kin!'