Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> ''Bald-Head Bill Bauldy,'' And How He Went Through the Flurriday Campaign! >> Page 511

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Page 511

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription BALD-HEAD BILL BAULDY511

"And as I pushed off, and struck across for t'other side of the
river, —1 hed seen enough of this side —I thought of the Queen of
the Mar'maids, and how she would miss me, ef ever she got back!
"And then I wondered what sawt of fighting she could do ef thar
waur a fight sartinly guine on! And then I axed myself, ef evey
nation of alligators hed its own Queen; and I begun to consider,
what sort of Queen the other was; and ef the two would hitch to-
gether in the skrimmage! I could see, in my thinking, what work my
Queen would do with that tail of her'n, and how she would make
them dog teeth meet in the flesh, at every grin !
"But, when I thought of them teeth, and ricollected how clean
all them skillitones had been picked to the bones, I bent and buckled
to my paddles, and worked my way, till I sweated like a bull in fly
time, pushing up stream.
"Twaur mighty haird work, I tell you; but, whenever I'd begin
to feel faintish, I'd think of them skillitons and them dog teeth of my
Mar'maid, and I'd pull the harder!
"When, at last, I struck the shore, and made a landing, I jest had
strength enough to make the boat fast to a sapling; to walk into
the woods, a leetle way; jist to kiver myself out of sight, and then
to throw myself at the bottom of a big tree, say a short prayer, and
give myself up to the blessed sleep ! I reckon t'want three minnits
before it wrapt me up, jist as ef I was in a blanket ! But, in them
three minnits, Lawd ! how I did long for a drink ! I'd ha' given a
hundred dollars, ef I hed it, jist thin, for a good swallow of peach
and honey! And what say you fellows, for a kiss of the sarpent
now. "
A pause while we liquored.
XIV.
The Catastrophe. Bauldy's Greatest Miracle of All; and His Escape
From Susannah Sykes.
`And now, fellows, the most extonishing part of the history of
my campaign in Flurriday, is yet to come; for, I reckon, you'll all
say, a'ter you've hairn me out, that nothing could be more strange and
surprising, in what's gone before, than what I've got to tell you now!