Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 11: No 1) >> Chronicles of Ashley River — No. 5 >> [Page 37]

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[Page 37]

Short Stories | 1829-10-15
Transcription before assaulted ; and without any distinct
plan in view, they threw themselves at
once into the jaws of danger. They
were repulsed by the firmness of those
within ; two more of their party were
shot down, and the rest blinded and
scorched by the flames, fled back in con-
fusion. Their number was now sensibly
diminished, but still they did not des-
pair. They were taught prudence by
their repulse and cautiously left the flame
to complete the work they had begun.
These had now completely surrounded the
building ; they attacked and raged in ev-
ery part—the roof was enveloped and
trembling, and large masses of flame
rushed through the open window above.
They crept swiftly and penetrated through
the crevices between the logs and the
excessive heat began to be felrlike the
application of a torture to the wretched
inmates. The Sergeant had sunk into
his original stupor. Archer was picking.
his nails with an old knife. And the
black C; tsar was waiting patiently for
the commands of his mistress to kneel
down and pray. She herself was no lon-
ger mistress of her reason. She now
raved and continued in the most passion=
Ate terms to entreat the two men to save:
her daughter from the flames. She pro-
mised not merely the bag of money al-
ready noticed, the cmnteuts of which
must have been considerable, but count-
less sums besides, magnified certainly I
by her insanity beyond her most probable
means. Finding all of no avail and con-
vinced more than by words, by the gen-
ral apathy of M'A11ister and Archer of
the utter impracticability under present
circumstances of escape, in a sudden par-
oxysm she hurled the bag containing her
sole wealth, and doubtless the labors of
many years, by a violent effort into the
approaching flames. No effort was made