Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 11: No 1) >> Chronicles of Ashley River — No. 5 >> [Page 38]

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[Page 38]

Short Stories | 1829-10-15
Transcription to prevent her and none to retrieve the
money thrown away. Wealth had no
charms to those who had no hope of life,
and with a broken and despairing accent
the wretched old woman continued to
rave about and lament the fate of her dear
and truly interesting daughter.
This young woman, alone, betrayed
that gentle calm and sweet serene, equal-
ly remote from the two extremes of des-
pair and apathy. As soon as it was un-
derstood that their fate- was inevitable
she had been engaged earnestly in prayer.
Her voice was seldom heard and only
when her mothers 'extravagance of pas-
sion rendered it necessary that she should
be quieted. Thus situated, the group
beheld with as much fortitude as they
were able to command the approach of
the flames; the smoke was nigh to suf-
focation and rolled in broad volumes
through the room. They were gradually
and insensibly overcome. One by one,
except the Negro, they sunk upon the
floor resigned and as they supposed to
perish. Cesar alone, who was fully
proof to every thing like smoke, having
lived, and slept and fattened in the ashes
of a chimney place, twelve feet. broad,
was enabled to keep his feet.
Mounted upon the barrel of salt fish
upon which we have had occasion to
place him once before, he was still ena-
bled at intervals to observe the progress
of the conflagration, and speculate for
some longer time than his companions
and superiors upon his probable fate.
While affairs stood thus at the ' Ould
Lion,' the tide of war took a turn, eery
tainly unexpected and by the red men,
quite unlooked for and undesired. The
flame incautiously applied to the tall canes
and dry grass and reeds, growing promis-
cuously about, encouraged by the, wind,
had by this time laid siege to the best
part of the but lately erected village---