Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 505

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY505
"Now, how long I lived in them quarters, onder them sarcum-
stances, I kaint raally tell you! It may have been twenty one days.
I don't think rally twaur more than sixty nine or thirty one. But the
days and nights passed away without my counting 'em.
"I hed too much to think about and to worry me. I hed to think
about my captivation; and how long I was to be kept away from my
people; living in the city of alligators, and with that strange Queen
of Mar'maids; jist doing as she pleased, and not able to turn from
one side to the other without being watched.
"When she hed'nt got me in her own sight, why she hed a dozen
of them dern'd leetle sarvant alligators, that followed me all about,
and seed a'ter me; and, go whar I would, they was always hyar and
thar, ahead or astarn, or on the flanks of me, and I reckon, ef they hed
seen me moving off, they'd ha' mounted me, every mother's son on
em.
"But how to git off ! Thet was the question thet worried me. I
didn't know well whar I was. I guessed I was on some island, for,
turn which way I would thar was the water. 'Twas wide, too, and
spread out jist like a lake; though I could see the trees on the
t'other side. Twas a mighty beautiful place, and ef I could only hev
had Susannah Sykes thar, with jist hafe a dozen of the fambly and
neighbours, from old Lexington, I could have spent the rest of my
days thar, and never would hev got vexed with the Lawd, if they
hed never come to an eending!
"There was some fine hammock land on the island that would hev
brought any thing, from corn to cotton, from pindars (ground nuts
or ground peas) to potatoes; and one piece of bottomy land, where
I'm sure I could make five hundred bushels of rice to the acre ! Ef
I only hed that island now, in any raal white man's country, I'd
live like a fighting cock!
"But 'twant living now that I was. In truth, I felt it was a sawt
of dying out from all the world; and the Queen of the Mar'maids
pretended to be mighty fond of me, yet she kept me in a contenuyall
skear!
"Them teeth of her'n, 'specully when she laughed or tried to
laugh, for twan't nothing better than a grin they waur all so
white and shiny and sharp, that I never seed 'em but I thought of the
white double saws in a shirks (shark's) jaws, and the white sharp