Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 11: No 1) >> Chronicles of Ashley River — No. 5 >> [Page 31]

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[Page 31]

Short Stories | 1829-10-15
Transcription obtain pQsseS§ion of the weapon. This er-
ror proved fatal to the member concerned,
for releasing his grasp upon the gun the
Sergeant seized upon the arm of the savage
and drawing it still farther, with a sudden
and violent jirk he pressed it upon the
part of the plank on which it rest and
snapt it as easily as if it had been a piece
of glass. A scream of intense agony fol-
lowed this feat. The hand sunk power-
less, and the bone at the elbow tore its
way upwards through the skin. In the
meantime he seized a pistol which had
not been discharged in order more fully
to complete the vengeance taken upon
the adventurer for his audacity. He
was, however, disappointed in this hope,
the Indians rushed to the support of their
comrade and through the fire which now
began to blaze with a degree of fury, not
a little heightened by the breeze which
had considerably increased, as if delight-
ing to add to the misery of their condi-
tion within, they bore him by mere dint
of animal power from the sturdy gripe of
the Sargeant, the the unfortunate wretch be-
ing unable to speak or to resist and lying
lifeless in the arms of his comrades. Deep
pain also carries with it a deadening and
stunning power, which, by a species of
strange but certain reaction becomes its
own antidote and loses its agonizing ef-
fect upon the subject.
This success on the part of the besieged
was but temporary. The savages were
now perfectly satisfied to let the destruc-
tive element which they had let loose
upon the ' Old Lion' do its work. No
effort in tack was necessary. No resis-
tance could be offered and no avenue for
escape appeared to relieve the despairing
inmates of the burning mansion. If they
made their way through the flames, they
but rushed upon the tomahawks of their
enemies, who, surrounding the building
in anticipation of some such plan, ap-