Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 495

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY495
"But, as I driv on and on, and my alligator stallion didn't onst offer
to slack his speed, I begun to be skeary, and to think he was guine to
carry me too fur out of my beat, and out of his own ! And so I
thought of some plan to stop him, jist only that we might take an
osservation.
"So, it come to me from Natur, that ef I was to gouge one eye
and let to'ther alone, it would make him wheel about, right or left
no matter which, and run me up on dry land onst more.
"I noticed that the river was spreading out mighty wide, into
what peoples calls a Lake, and I noted agin, that the water was so
cl'ar that I could see down to the very bottom, and a'most count the
shells that was a lying thar. I'm sure, ef you hed dropt a silver
picayune thar, I could ha' seed it, lying upon the bottom, all was so
beautiful cl'ar in that water, though I reckon it was a thousand foot
deep!
"Well, as I considered all things, and seen a beautiful green rising
of the shore kivered with almighty big oaks, I gin my stallion a
desprit screw in his right eye, and it would have done your hairt good
to hev haird him.
"How he did bellow!
"How he did turn about and twist about, even ef he didn't jump
Jim Crow! But he a'most jumped himself out of the water; then he
come down with a thundering squelch ; run ahead about twenty feet,
and then, O ! Lawd,—he went right down, down, down, and carried
me onder,—for, in the same minnit, he quiled his tail about my
thighs, jist as my t'other stallion, and fastened me close as wax, to
his saddle.
"Down! Down ! Down! we went, till thar was no more airth, and
no more sky, and I begun to feel, all over, what people onderstands
by drowning, and hanging, and all sawts of a massacree."
XI.
Out of the Depths.
"How long I lived in thet sitivation, who can tell! I kaint cal-
kilate. I thought it was a month of Sundays; a whole year of holi-
days, and thar was no fun in Sundays or Holidays! My breath was
fair stopt short; I know'd thet I couldn't stand it long! I felt death