Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 504

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Page 504

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 504BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY
Susannah Sykes of Lexington Destrict. And, O ! Lawd ! says I to
myself, says I, how dreadful a thing to be married to sich a critter
aginst ones will and liking! And O ! Lawd ! to think that I should be
the husband of a Mar'maid!
"I hed hearn tell of Mar'maids before, but I never altogether
believed in sich critters; but seeing is believing, and feeling's the
naked truth ! I knowd now that thar waur sich critters, and that I
was captivated by a rigilar Mar'maid!
"Now, fellows, you must'nt ixpect me to tell you all. Thar's some
things, you know, not to be mentioned among civil, decent white
people! Only onderstand, I was at the marcy of a Mar'maid, the
Queen of the alligators, who had a parfect army, a rigiment, I may
say, of the most powerful bull alligators always in her sarvice ! I
jist hed to submit, and say no more about it!
"Now, how long I staid in this sawt of captivation, heving nothing
to eat but fish and eystars, and shrimps, and whatever they could
catch out of the river and the sea, I kaint tell you. It might have been
thirty days or sixty months. I did'nt keep any count of time. The
Queen fed me upon shrimps and clams and eystars and all kinds of
fish ; but every thing had to be eat raw. She tried her best, I confess,
to make me relish cat and trout, and rock, and sheephead, and cavalli,
and other things out of the sea; but twas hard work for me to come
it, considerin' that I was a born cook by Nater!
"She picked out the best, biggest and fattest eystars for me, and
showed me the nicest fish and the nicest parts of the fish.
"I did 1'arn something onder her!
"But twas no go; and when she seed me, picking up sticks and
building up a fire, she seemed to onderstand what I was about, and
she jist grinned, after her fashion, and said nothing about it! The
alligator sarvants brought in the fish.
"When I hed cooked some, a'ter my way, but without no salt,
I offered her some, and she tried to eat; but she flung 'em away, and
took to the raw baits.
"But I went on cooking for myself; and of you kin onderstand
how a white man kin git on, with fish and eyestars, without never a
morsel of bread, why, you may believe me when I tell you, I made
out to make a pretty hairty meal every day, and sometimes three
times a day !