Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 510

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Page 510

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 510BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY
the stream, and followed by a thousand alligator bulls, she was out
of sight in a minnit.
"And, jist at the greatest of the outcry, all the leetle sentinel
spy alligators, that was a watching me, picked themselves up, and
began to bellow; and they too rushed off for the river; and soon I
saw their hundred le'ttle pine-knot heads bobbing one a'ter t'other,
and going down the river, following, fast as they could, the hundred
thousand bull alligators and the Queen.
"Then I ran down to the water side; and, far as I could see, thar
they waur, all pushing for dear life, and the whole face of the river
was kivered with foam!
"What could be the matter? When they all got out of sight the
Queen of the Mar'maids, and the bull alligators, and the leetle spy
alligators, —1 could still hear the mighty bellowing below, as ef a
thousand battles was a guine on, all at the same time, and prehaps
fully five miles off.
"I was mightily conflusterated; but, while I was a looking about
me, and wondering what could be the 'casion for the great fuss and
uproar and ixcitement—for it was cl'ar to me that thar was some tall
fighting guine on below, what should I see, but a nice new little
dug-out, a cypress canoe come floating across the river, right
towards me!
"Oh! how I watched that dug out! As it come nigher and nigher,
I could'nt hold myself in!
"I jumped into the river, when it was about thirty yards off,
and waded out, 'till I hed to swim; but I got to the dug out, and
cotch'd fast hold of it! And thar, inside, was a pair of as good new
paddles of ash, as you would wish to handle; and thar was a sack
and a bundle; by which I knowed that it had been fresh used by
somebody thet didn't know, or kear how to make a boat fast to a
sapling.
"I didn't wait to'
say `good bye' to anybody ! I jumped in. There
was nobody and nothing to see me. You couldn't see, any whar, a
single knot of an alligator's head above water. They waur sartinly all
below, and fighting for dear life; for I could hyar the great bellow-
ing; and every now and then a mighty big roar, as ef from the
throat of some mighty stallion alligator, some big fellow, sich as
I had straddled in my last ixtrimity.