Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 11: No 1) >> Chronicles of Ashley River — No. 5 >> [Page 36]

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[Page 36]

Short Stories | 1829-10-15
Transcription Archer handing one piece to the slave,
while he loaded the other himself. Placed
upon a chair, he could easily perceive the
band of savages that encircled them in
their calamity, entirely preventing the
possibility of their escape, and triumph-
ing by the most discordant shouts and
antic gesticulations over their distresses
And anticipated fate. For a moment, the
fatal tube varied from its original position
under his eye ; it seemed changed in or
der to adopt itself to some' more distiu-
guished mark; again it varied in its range,
and once as a sudden burst of smoke in-
tercepted his side it sunk quietly from his
shoulder ; the obstacle passed away ; the
piece resumed its direction, and settled
steadily in the grasp of the brawy cap-
‘ Are you ready, Cesar.''Ay, ay, massar, Archer.'
A second, and the trigger .was drawn,
a loud report succeeded ; the smoke
cleared assay and-the African perched up-
on a barrel of salt fish announced the
success of the discharge by marking down
an additional stroke to that already drawn
upon the door.
The Indians, although highly skilful
in conducting a stratagem, are neverthe.
less frequently incapable of that coolness
necessary to all affairs of war, where ev-
ery thing depends upon cautious and pol-
itic management. Led too much -from
under cover by the exultation which fol.
lowed their successful experiment .of
burning the fortress they had otherwise
assailed in vain, they were now driven
to a sudden ebullution of rage and, vio-
lence which threw them still open to the
vengeance of the few defenders they has
penned up within it. The death of one
of their body, drove them with horrid yells
and demoniac gesticulations through the
flames towards the door which they had