Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 489

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Page 489

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY489
"But, still them idees come up to me, day a'ter day, though I hed
my argyments always ready to put them down. And one day, with
the brat of a red skin in my arms, walking by the side of the river,
I got the leetle wretch to sleep, and laid it down on the dry leaves
at the foot of one tree, and laid down myself in the shadow of
another big tree; and thar I sot, thinking of my dreadful, horrid,
miserable, owdacious situation, ontill I was all over in a sawt of
bloody sweat of agony and rejection! And I looked upon the river;
so smooth and sweet, so cool and comfortable, it flowed along; I
thought to myself
"Drowning would be better! That's sartin!
"But drowning's very onpleasant, with swallowing and choking
with so much water ! And then, says 1,-1 should never see Susannah
Sykes any more; and some other man will git her; prehaps, some
of my own rigiment, when he gits back ! He'll tell her how I hed
to carry a cussed red skin papoose, smelling like a pole cat, and that
I drowned myself in my misery, and was eat up whole by the Flur-
riday fishes, that air as big, some of them as a yearling calf!
"And the poor gal would marry him, as she had no more chaince
of me!
"Lawd! Lawd!
"The idee was enough to shake the very snakes out of the soul
of a sinner!
"And I groaned in the sperrit and the flesh together; and I felt
like guine home right away, and thrashing the dern'd lying trooper
out of his breeches.
"And jist then, when I felt all over wolfish, with the hair grow-
ing innards, I haird the cussed leetle red skin, pole cat papoose give
a great screech, as of the devil had it on an eend!
"And so he hed!
"When I looked thar was the leetle wretch snatched up by an
alligator, more than two hundred feet long ! "
"Two hundred feet ! " was the exclamation of one of the group
of listeners
Bauldy answered impatiently:
"I don't mean edzackly ! I never measured the beast! He mout
have been only fifty five feet and a few inches. Don't you stop me