Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 11: No 1) >> Chronicles of Ashley River — No. 5 >> [Page 39]

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[Page 39]

Short Stories | 1829-10-15
Transcription now called old then new town. Every
blast of wind increased ,the danger as it
increased the flames, and at length the
inhabitants, otherwise too weak and too
timid to contend with the savages and du-
ring the night-time were compelled to
sally out to avoid the flames. ,With arms
in their hands, collected in a body and
grown bold by desperation they assaulted
suddenly and with excellent conduct the
Indian aggressors ; unprepared for this
new and unexpected attack, they offered
comparatively but little fight. Several of
them were slain upon the first fire and
though many of the whites perished, the
Indians were finally dispersed and fled.
All this the black (Caesar) had witness-
ed with perfect ease. His eyes -seemed
inured to the influence of smoke, and
resolutely bade it defiance. The scene
was lit brightly for miles round, and as
one side of the house fell down a smoul-
dering ruin he beheld the no longer
doubtful struggle between the whites and
their foes. 1With a violent effort he suc-
ceeded in raising his young mistress from
the floor where she had fallen. The fire
and smoke had less influence upon them
in that situation. than might have been
expected. The application of a little wa-
ter and they revived. Cesar was now
assisted by one or two of the people of
the town who had approached the burn-
ing tavern, but ivitli little hopes of ,find-
ing_any of its inmates living. Their gal-
lant defence had excited general admi-
ration and while the Sergeant and Cap-
tain remained in a lethargic condition,
Caesar was the hero who had achieved
every thing.
Assisted by the new comers, Caesar
contrived to revive the whole party. To
convey the females through the burning
embers, was from their dress, not so easy
a performance. To rescue them at once
was necessary. The falling of a greater
portion of one end of the building proved