Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 491

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Page 491

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY491
"But my seat was a mighty oneasy one, for I hed no purchase
of arms or hands, 'cept by hugging him round the neck, and this
I tried fust; but, jist then, it flashed across me, as I seed his sharp
leetle eyes, looking out from his pine-knotty head, that I could
manage him by gouging, much better than by spurring. Gouging is
a nateral art, you see, wharever a pusson hes got strong fingers and
thick nails! 11'arned to use both of 'em at school, but not in writing
nor 'rithmetic; and so one a'ter the other, I stuck my fingers into
his eyes!
"Now, that made the beast see straight! He bellowed out like a
great buffalo bull and made right for the shore agin. By the time he
got thar, I could see he was mons'ous sick at the stomach, and jist as
he touched the land, he womited the leetle red skinned brat of a
papoose, cl'ar out among the bushes; it bellowing all the time, as
ef twaur murdered ! and I reckon the sharp teeth of the alligator
hed hurt its dilikit feelin's, hyar and thar! I could see the blood a
trickling from side and shoulder.
"Well, I was jist making ready to let go and jump off my water-
stallion, when Lawd love you, he gives a bellow, wipes his long tail
right round me, so as to tie me down to his back, and then pushes off
into deep water as fast as he could go ! "
IX.
Alligator Bull Fight.
"Here was a fix! You'll all say `That was a fix! ' I could git on,
but I couldn't git off! But, my gitting on was down-stream, and jist
as rapid as a steam boat. It was jist one long plunge for'ard! But
I kept my fingers in the sockets of his eyes, and I worked 'em thar, so
as to make him bellow as we went.
"But he went on!
"Soon, I seed the river a-widening; and I thought ef the dern'd
beast, would have twisted his tail off of me, I'd hev tried a swim,
though not much of a swimmer, before the land got too fur off!
But, for all my fingers working in his sockets, he held me fast! I
was captivated by him! His tail curled, like a snake, over one of my
thighs, fixing it fast, and lapped the other. Ef I only hed a knife
now, I could have made him let loose, for I seed jist whar to cut