Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 501

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
said something that I couldn't hear, and on a sudden, more than
twenty leetle bits of alligators, that I hed'nt seen, all lying about
her, and waiting, jist like little sarvants, they jumped up, and come
towards me.
"Lawd love you, how skear'd I was ! I was fair fastened to the
ground! My feet stuck thar; my tongue seemed to dry up in my
throat! I couldn't talk, and I couldn't walk ! I couldn't fight, and I
couldn't run; and yit thar was twenty on them leetle devils, big
enough, but nothing like my two stallions; they jist come towards me,
in three columns, 'minding me of Gineral Scott's grand marching
through the Ingin country; so I reckon the ticktacks of the West
P'inters and the stallion alligators must be purty much the same,
that is a'ter a dicklyration of war !
"I ixpected them to dewour me at onst, in a single mouthful. They
was enough to do it; but to my wonderment, when they got up to
me, they made a sawt of military movement, by files, right and left
oblique, spread out like riflemen for a skrimmage, and made a par-
fect ring around me.
"Says I, to myself, says I
" `I'm captivated agin! '
"But I couldn't move nor speak; but jist kept my eyes rolling
from side to side to see what was guine to happen next. And I
thought agin of Gineral Scott, when the offsers and the troops made a
ring about him, and he made a speech, giving 'em thanks for their
sarvices, and telling 'em how beautiful they could ha' fout ef only the
red skinned innimy hed only gin 'em the chaince !
"But as for my making a speech, Lawd 'a' massy, I warnt then
quite sartin that I hed a tongue at all.
"Suddent then, all them little army of leetle alligators begun to
bob their heads at me, open their jaws, give a leetle bit of a bellow,
and wag their etarnal long tails. This they did three times, as
rigilar as ef they hed the word of command and had been under
West P'int drill for a hundred years. Twas beautiful to see how they
did it!
"Then, without any word of command, they made another army
involution, and, half of them in front and half in the rear, they
wheeled about and tuk up the line of march to whar the woman sot,
watching them all the time, and talking, I reckon, to the great bull