Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 1) >> A New Simms Mountain Yarn >> Page 29

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Page 29

Secondary Scholarship | 1993
Transcription know, Judge, that is about the worst symptom in the case of a nigger or
free white man. And I then could never look at nothing; nor like nothing;
and I hadn't a taste for nothing and, a'ter all the love and feeling I had
for Sall at first, you'll be surprised to hear that I couldn't look at her with any patience at all. She didn't seem to me to be puny at all now; and her
eyes seem'd to git a sort of squint; and her mouth was all in a pucker;
and the more I look'd at her, the uglier she growed. And I jest felt, for all
the world, like gitting somebody to knock me on the head and put an
eend to me. And sometimes I had a sort of harkening to butt out my own
brains, ef there was any than, agin the first rock or hard-bark'd tree in the
woods! And I laid up, jest now as poor a dying, or half-dead critter, as
you ever seed; and Doctor Clinkers, who is a mighty smart man, he was
mightily worried to know what to do. First he gin me a powder; then he
gin me a drink; then a big pill; then he stuck on a plaister; then a blister;
and I don't know what all besides; and no good. So, one day, he made
me talk up, and tell him all my feelings; and when I said, 'twas the
curiousest thing of all, that I didn't love my wife no more, a'ter all the
fust loving time, when I couldn't keep my eyes off her--he cried out
'That's it! That's your misery! You must quit Sall, and go off from her!
You see too much of that woman at a time! You must cut and run. Ef
you looks too long at the purtiest thing in creation, it'll make the eyes
sore. Ef you eats nothing but sweetmeats, it'll make the stomach sick. Ef
you sticks to any one thing, and calls it your happiness, it'll be sure to
turn out your dog's misery. So, I say, Jake, you must quit Sall."Lord,
Doctor, quit the woman I used to love so hard?'"`Exactly so,' says he. `That's the very reason. You must turn your
eyes off her, ef you wants to git back your stomach for her. I don't say
you must set your eyes on any other. woman; but t'wouldn't hurt your
case much ef you did! Now,' says he, 'jest take your gun and dog, and
go off on a week's hunt, in the mountains; and mark me, at the eend of
the week, you'll be thinking hard upon Sall again; but don't you come
back 'tell another week's over; then you may come; and when you do,
Jake, you'll see that the squint's gone out of her eyes, and the pucker out
of her mouth, and the yaller out of her skin, and she'll begin to look
again jest as she did when you first went a-cavortin about her; and when
you find that she begins to squint agin, be off agin; and keep at it; go and
come, jest as you see the squint, and feel the call; and, I warrant you,
you'll git your stomach back agin for all the good things in nature; and
what's more, Sall will like you the better; for, Jake, I'm a thinking she
begins to think that you've got a squint in your eye, and a big ugly
pucker in your mouth, and a most cantankerous yaller-brown color in
your skin! I see she does; and more--she has tell'd me that, one time you