Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 508

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 508

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 508BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY
" `You see what you're to come to yit, by that Mar'maid woman!'
"Lawd ! Lawd ! I could onderstand now, mighty well what them
sharp white teeth of my Mar'maid was good for; and my flesh
crawled to think how, when she kissed me, she always gin me
a bite that drawed the blood. The infarnal critter was a-tasting me
all the time, and calculating the meal she was to make of me!
"I tuk hairt;—some thing told me; and I squatted down and
sarched and examinated the skillytones, and I felt sure that they was
all of 'em the skillytones of white men like myself; for you see, the
skulls were all the skulls of white men, not niggers or Ingins. They
waur all broad and high, with big fronts, the eyes setting low onder
the foreheads. Now, the nigger you know, hes his eyes high up,
and most of his head is on the back of it; and the Ingin's skull is
sharp and narrow, and runs back too; not so wide as the nigger's, but
longer backward and more like a woman's!—and Ingin and nigger
skulls are all mighty thick! Now, all these skulls were thin, and in
the front part pretickilarly, some a'most as thin as paper!
"I got out of that cussed place as soon as I could, and made my
way out of that infarnal thick wood; but I fair staggered as I went,
with my flesh crawling over me, jest as ef I was gitting on a coating
of snakes !
"Now, when I got back to the skairt of wood, whar all the leetle
spies of alligators drapt off from me, Lawd! what should I see, but
the whole rigiment of 'em, lying squat about and waiting for me.
"And soon as they seed me, they tuk up the line of march, some
in front, some in rear, and some on the flanks of me, jist as ef they
were a rigilar troop, edicated at West P'int!
"And so we marched on, not heving a word to say to one another,
tell jist as we got in sight of the beautiful place where the Queen of
the Mar'maids kept me in captivation ; they all set up to bellow, with
their small v'ices, a sort of howling and singing together, jest as
you hyar in a frog pond, in a cloudy night when rain is ixpected!
"By the time we reached the grand hall, the Queen had done
her bathing, swimming, playing and cavorting in the river, and thar
she sate, shining bright, and with that cussed snake smiling, so like a
grin, upon her beautiful wisage. When I stood before, she jist shook
her head good humouredly, and one of the leetle alligators, he set
up a small bellow, as ef to tell her every thing.