Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 484

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 484

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 484BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY
VI.
Bauldy a Captive. How Rescued from the Torture!
Bald Head Bill, swallowed his liquor, wiped his mouth, groaned
bitterly with his memories and resumed.
"We walked on, the cussed red skin pushing me before him, every
now and then, when he seed me falling behind, with the sharp eend
of his knife. I could hairdly keep my legs, or hold up my head, and
thar was a something gathering all the time in my eyes, that a'most
blinded me from seeing. And somehow, I tried to think of Polly
Hopkins, my mar', and thin agin of Susannah Sykes of Lexington
Destrict, jist for a sort of divarsion, and to keep from thinking of
Dade's Rigiment; but Lawd love you, I could think of nothing
else; for jist as I tried to think of Susannah, I was minded that I,
prehaps, would never see her agin! And jist then, I'd feel the sharp
p'int of the red skin's knife, poking me for'ard from astarn!
"We marched, as I reckon, about three miles in this way, going
down and keeping close to the river-swamp all the time. Then we come
to a lagoon, and thar was a dug out. The cussed red skin made me git
in and take up the paddles; and he sot a-watching me, with rifle and
tomhog and knife ready, ef I didn't work the dug out as he wanted.
So he'd p'int to this side and that side, and I paddled him through the
lagoon, ontill we got out into the river, and then he p'inted me to
cross to t'other side. Thar we got into another lagoon, and run up a
bit ontell we got to a sawt of hammocky island. It looked so; as I
could see nothing but water all about me.
"And sich a place as twas ! The snuggest hiding place in the
whole world; a rigilar swamp thick all round about it, so thick, thet
you had to pass into the darkness of night before you got to the camp
of the rid skins; and thar they all was, more than fifty warriors, with
twice as many squaws, and a great swarm of boys and papooses, of
all sizes and ages, and most of them jist as stark-naked as ef they
waur jist then mother born.
"And only three miles off from our campment, whar we had been
a-watching, and scouting, marching and counter-marching, for a month
and more, in sarch of the red skins, and could never find 'ern!
"It was cl'ar to me that thar had been a scrimmage! Thar was a
great hubbub among 'em; the warriors having a grand dispute about