Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 502

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Page 502

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 502BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY
alligator. He kept thar close to her feet, and I seed her an'inting his
eyes with something that they brought her in a shell.
"Now, one body of them leetle alligators, leading the way before
me, and another body, following close behind, was jest the same as
saying,
" 'March!'
`And they made me feel it so, when the bloody beasts in the rear,
come close up and kept pressing me for'ards, with their horny snouts.
"They did'nt hurt me, that's true and not one of 'em tried to bite;
but, jist as sartin as ef they did, they pressed me on for'ard, showing
me what they wanted, ontill, they got me alongside of my big stallion
alligator, and at the feet of the strange, queer, astonishing reddish
woman, that was, I reckon, a sawt of Queen among the alligators!
"My big stallion wheeled about and looked me full in the face, with
his cussed little sharp eyes, bulging out from onder the lightwood
knot of horny scales above them.
"But he did'nt offer me any provvication; and, in a minnit, the
strange woman, gin out a kind of sound, like a frog's chuckle, and
jist as they haird it, all the alligators, big and leetle, my old stallion
among 'em, they wheeled about and made off, going through the
openings, and all making for the lake, as happy as boys jist let out
from school!
"And thar' I stood, by my own solitary self, not knowing what
was to come next. I seed that I was captivated; —a prisoner, and
heving no wepons, and no chaince for escape!
"But all was so wonderful and cur'ous, that I hafe lost the feeling
of skear. Says I to myself, says I,
" `What's to come next?'
"I didn't hev to wait very long for the answer. The woman she
eyed me close, with her bright sharp lightning-like eyes, big and black,
and she shook her head till the long hair floated about her as ef the
wind was a-rising in it; and I could then see that it was long enough
to wrap her body round and round about, close to her feet !
"And she stared at me; and she laughed,—no—not laughed—she
made no sound; but she smiled, and sich a smile! Lawd, love you !
She showed through them thick pulpy lips of her'n, sich a double
row of the whitest teeth, every one sharp as a dog's grinder, that I
begun to think, she would dewour me without turning me over to
the cook, or using any salt to the dressing!