Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 507

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 507

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY507
natured and coaxing, and she was mighty loving, a'ter her fashion; but
it was a coaxing and a loving that somehow kept me in a continuyall
skear, and I fought shy of her whenever I could; and when she'd
let me, I'd jist wander away, ixploring the island, and finding out all
I could; for I seed that twould be a mighty fine place for a leetle
settlement, and I calkilated that, of I could onst git off, and git among
my people, I could git up a good force of twenty stout fellows, and
git boats, and cross the river, and captivate the island, and kill off the
whole alligator nation in short order!
"Well, one day, when I was a navigating and explorating the island,
and when thet Queen of the Mar'maids was taking her a'ternoon
swim, I got off about hafe a mile, and when I got to a sartin line, all
them leetle spy alligators stopt following a'ter me.
"I couldn't tell what to make of thet, but I warn't sorry to git shet
of 'em; so I pushed ahead, and went on, 'tell I got into a thick
wood.
"Twas mighty dark and thick, so thick that the sun's blazes couldn't
git in, only hyar and thar, with a faint leetle light that jist sarved to
show what a dark and dismal place it was.
"I could hear the squarrls jumping and barking among the trees,
and evey now and then an owl, would sweep out, singing his great
'Whoo-Whoo-Whoo! Whoo-Whoo!'
"And then I'd hyar the rush of some big birds with great rattling
wings, —1 reckon they waur eagles ;—and by a leetle pond, I seed
more than a hundred great white cranes that walked about the pond
and never seemed to mind me; and onst, I seed a beautiful flash of
flying birds that looked most like leetle rainbows, and by their cries,
I knowed them to be parroquitos.
"But in the midst of my looking, I stumbled over something, and
when I picked myself up and looked, what should it be but the
skillyton of a man, with the flesh picked off clean to the bone.
"How my flesh did creep at the sight! But how much worser did
I feel, when as I could see better, I seed a whole pile of skillytons,
more than a hundred, I reckon, all stretched out, and all picked clean
to the bones.
"Oh! twas dreadful! Thar, without eyes to see, they seemed to
look out from the sockets at me, and I thought I haird them all
say at onst,