Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 477

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Page 477

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY477
"Well, I larne'd, in that school of the kitchen, to smoke cigars
instid of Powhatan pipes! And I larned to love 'em mightily! But I
durstn't let the offsers see me at it, and so, of an a'ternoon, when
they waur all dressing and drilling, and filing and marching, on the
parade, I used to slip off to the `thick,' a-most down to the river, and
git under some big tree, hiding away snug, and thar smoke my 'plan-
tation' to my own satisfaction. I never stopt short of three of an
a'ternoon, and I swallowed smoke sometimes pretty free at night
time, whenever I got a chaince.
"Meantime, I made my little drummer boy, `Scullion' we called
him,—la'rn his business! Ef the little rascal didn't wash up all the
plates and dishes, and hev the pots and pans all clean, when I come
back from my smoking, I 'gin him Jesse! I thrashed him, ontell I
made him larn his lessons!
"Well, 'twas jest in one of these a'ternoons, when the rigiment
was a drilling, I slipt off to the `thick' along the river, and laid my-
self down and lighted my `long nine', and gin myself up for a
grand smoke! But fust, afore that, I hed drunk up a full hafe
bottle of as good liquor, as ever was left to take care of itself on a
dinner table. So, when I come to lie down, onder the tree, and got
the cigar in my mouth, I felt a leetle overkim,—drowsy like, though
I didn't get quite to sleep! And thar' I puffed, and I watched the
beautiful blue and white smoke clouds curling upwards all about my
head, jest as ef they knowd I was a-watching em, and loved to see
'em curling up, beautiful in the sun; and I had sweet thoughts, of
a thousand things that waur all pleasurable; and I thought to my-
self, how happy I waur; and ef this sort of life could only last for-
ever, with hairdly nothing to do, 'cept to lick the scullion boy drum-
mer, and make him larn his business; and with jist a plenty always
to eat of fine things; and to drink of fine liquors; and to smoke of fine
cigars, I would'nt kear to be a King or even a President!
"Well, jist as my head was chock full of this pleasant thinking,
a-most like a dream, what should I hear, but pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat,
right behind me, as ef a soft foot was sot down upon the dry leaves,
making a sort of crinkle. And, says I to myself, ef it should be a
beautiful young woman now! Lawd-a-marcy! ef it should only be
Susannah Sykes, the prettiest gal in all Lexington Destrict!