Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 11: No 1) >> Chronicles of Ashley River — No. 5 >> [Page 30]

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[Page 30]

Short Stories | 1829-10-15
Transcription He at once entered into the councils,
which it seemed impossible to make
Sargeant comprehend the necessity of,
and many and various were the plans
proposed and abandoned for their Escape
from their present danger. The neces-
sity became urgent and necessarily more
difficult to be met and provided for. The
flames were seen spreading in every di-
rection and one or two places had made
a regular lodgment on the body of the
house. Fortunately, however, for the
inmates, after the rubbish and dry reeds
about had been consumed, the fire in-
creased but slowly upon the larger tim-
bers of the building and were particular-
ly delayed by the dampness arising from
a recent and very heavy rain. The In-
dians however were indefatigable in pro-
vidiug faggots and fuel, and the flames
bad at 1ength taken a certain and steady
hold in several places. In the mean
time a sudden and bright blaze showed
to the watchful Sergeant the form of a
tall savage directly under the aperture in
the door; busily employed in pressing the
torches beneath the lower joists of the
house. An opportunity of this kind was
not of frequent occurrence and was, as
may be supposed not suffered to pass un-
noticed by the determined Sargeant. In
a moment, he had drawn the musket to
his face and in another he drew the trig-
ger. A groan, succeeded by the falling
of a heavy body announced the success
of the discharge, while a shout of fury
from the Indians indicated their anger-
and vexation. Before the Sergeant had
time to withdraw the musket from the
aperture it had been grasped by a stout
and athletic savage. But the Sergeant
had all the muscle common and natural
to his countrymen. He drew the
ket in, and the Indian being equally de-
termined allowed his hand and arm to
be drawn in with it ; his hope being to