Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 478

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 478

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 478BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY

"Pit-a-pat! Pit-a-pat ! It come closer and closer; and, at last, I
felt a sort of breathing jist over my shoulder. Twas my right
shoulder. Then, suddent, I haird a sort of snort, and, turning my
head a leetle, for I was too lazy to git up, Lawd love you, what
should I see but a great big brown b'ar, a-most as big as an elephant,
with his great snout jist over my shoulder!
"My hairt jumpd into my very mouth. I had no we-pon, and
didn't know what to do! The b'ar hed the whip hand of me, I
knowd, for he was on his legs, and I hafe stretchd out on my back.
But Natur tell'd me what to do. 'Twas all Natur, for I never thought
about it, ontell the thing was done; but, suddent, without trying
to git up, I tuk the `long nine' out of my mouth, and clapt the fire
eend to his nose!
"Lawd love you! Ef iver you seed a b'ar back out from a skrim-
mage, you'd ha' seen it then! Soon as he felt the fire at his nose, he
snorted deep; then stept backward, about three steps, going tail
foremost; then he stopt to rub his nose, with one paw a'ter the
other!
"Soon as I seed that, I sees that I had got the whip-hand of him!
So I puts the `long nine' back in my mouth; draws a couple of
good whiffs; takes another cigar out of my pocket; lights thet, and
puts it in my mouth besides. Then I drawed quick on both cigars, and
I gits up, and faces the b'ar, and makes at him; puffing, as haird as I
could, all the time!
"Soon as he sees me coming at him with two blazing stars in my
mouth, he begins to back agin ; snorting free, as ef he was still
feeling the fire! He went on, waddling backward, tail foremost,
clumsy enough and cur'ous to see; and I a'ter him, puffing my
cigars hairder than ever ! When he sees that, he fairly turns tail
and runs; mighty awkward, but mighty fast, as you know a b'ar kin
run; and, in three minutes, by the sun, he was out of sight and
kivered up in the 'thick'! I should'nt be afear'd to say that he was
rubbing his nose to this very hour! It's mighty sartin, to my think-
ing, that ef he's living now, he's never forgot that transaction!
"That was my first fight with a b'ar; and I licked him fair, though
he did git the whip hand of me at the beginning! And now, `Big
Lie,'—don't you think twould be good to liquor all round, jist to
keep the cold wind off a man's stomach?"