Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 6: No 2) >> Simms's Scarlett O'Hara: Zulieme de Montana Calvert of Panama in The Cassique of Kiawah >> Page 10

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Page 10

Secondary Scholarship | 1998
Transcription without the safety of Kiawah, could have been burned with Beaufort or
With Harry and his crew's help, the Indians are defeated, although the
Carolinians' settlements are burned down. Indian captives are sold as slaves into
the Caribbean islands. Olive Berkeley dies at last. The brothers, Edward and
Harry, are reconciled. And Harry and Zulieme depart for the Spanish Main on the
Happy-go-Lucky. Still, does Zulieme really have Harry Calvert back at the end
any more than Scarlett O'Hara has Rhett Butler? Who can tell.
I do not think a sequel to Simms's The Cassique of Kiawah would help
Zulieme any more than Scarlett has been helped by Alexandra Ripley's 1991
sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Let us just leave Zulieme
with her hope for Harry's love. Indrawn and selfish as ever at the end as at the
beginning, he says he wants only to "'lose myself . . . in dream and moonlight. '
A little before this admission by her husband, desperate Zulieme has told him
something to "'make you love me ... as you loved her.'" Zulieme is going to
have Harry's child: "'I am a woman now,' she says. And he, condescending,
surly, unrelenting, brushes her off again: "'You a woman, indeed! You are only
a pet —a plaything!" (599-600)
Harry Calvert's passionate kisses seem reserved now in the memory of his
brother's love-sick, physically and mentally decayed wife, Olive. A few pages
before the above shipboard scene with the healthy, courageous, enduring Zulieme,
Harry had stood by Olive's rank sickbed, bent over, and passionately "glued his
lips" to hers as Zulieme looked on helplessly (593). Neverthless, in closing his
complex, often syntactically orotund romance, Simms writes some sentimentally
reassuring words that a careful, wary reader might not be willing to take to heart
Tough optimistic Zulieme with distracted Harry aboard the Happy-go-Lucky sings
for her dreamy, neglectful, dispirited husband:
And in the delicious moonlight of the South, while the
good ship sped on her course like a winged creature, and the breeze
fanned her sails lovingly, our rover, half reclined upon the deck,
hearkened to his child-wife, as with exquisite effect she sang those
wild, romantic ballads of the Moors of Granada, which appeal so
sweetly to the heart and fancy,
. ..the music rose and fell on the delighted air—Calvert
yielding himself to those seductions with which Love subdues
War, and makes even Ambition forgetful of his aim! . . . the