Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 488

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 488BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY
ful of fine Spanish cigars, smuggled all the way from Cuba, to smoke
off the misquitars!
"Warn't I the happiest man !
"And jist when I was the very happiest man, you sees what a
change; with hairdly nothing to eat, fit for a Christian sinner, and a
white riprobate, with a cuff on one cheek, and a clip on t'other;
with a red skin to poke me with his knife, when I went too slow; and
to shake his tomhog at me, ef I went too fast; and an old woman,
ugly as Satan, and I reckon jist as bad, to lay a stick over my
shoulders when she was in a bad humour;—thar I had to tote the
cussed leetle dirty wretch of a red skin papoose, from daylight to
dark; and ef the brat cried, I got a whack over my back; and ef I got
in any one's way, I got another, with a kick to balance!
"Jist consider, and ax yourselves, if I was n't about the most
unfortunit pusson that ever walked on his naked feet among the
snakes, with the tigers driving him from behind, all in full cry!
And jist consider, as I did, ef twarn't a thousand times better to
have swallowed the bullet of the red skin, and let him take the
nateral sculp from my head, instid of the whig!
"Oh! I was the most desprit man!—all day with that brat of a
papoose; all day kicked and cuffed about by every body, and never
let to have any peace at night ! Ef I warnt carrying the brat, I was
fetching wood and water for the Fillystines; and they'd rout me up,
with a kick, at any hour of the night, to do any dirty sawt of work,
that they didn't want to do for themselves!
"I waur desprit, I tell you; and the thought come into my head
more than onst, to make a short eending of the misery, by running
upon some sharp knife, or jumping plump into the river; or taking
some red skin by the throat, jist when he hed his tomhog ready,
and gitting myself knocked in the head at onst, and git rid of all the
misery.
"But then, you see, when I come to consider, I couldn't bring
myself squar' up to any of them idees! For, you see, a stick from a
sharp knife, even ef it don't kill you, will make you mighty oncom-
fortable; and gitting drowned is apt to choke a pusson from taking
in so much water, without the leetlest drop of licker in it, and as
for being tomhogged,—that, you see, would give a pusson gitting
the knock, a very great pain in the head; and I 'membered that a
pain in the head was always mighty hard upon me to bear.