Friday, March 23, 2012

Bunch's Bend and the Pirates

[spelling and grammar is same as in the Aug. 1, 1896 newspaper]
"Late at night, in the month of May, 1766, the moon is hidden by clouds, the Mississippi river is dark and turbulent. The black hulk of the schooner Spy, tosses like a toy ship on the waves, a single yellow torchlight flares from the mast. Aboard the deck are some dozen men, rough, drunken, boisterous. On either side of the mighty, swollen stream they see only "the dark, awful impenetrable forests." Their coarse voices shock the stillness of the North Louisiana landscape. They half shout, half sing the words:
We are rounding Bunch's Bend,
Come drink, brave river men.
We have ravaged glade and glen
Of the gold that none would lend,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
We hail the old sand bar,
Stretching round the near and far,
And our meeting none shall mar,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
We are rounding Bunch's Bend!
The boat gives a lurch as it strikes the mud, the pirates cease singing; they carry a load from the deck. It is a long box of black iron, and four men stagger beneath its weight. Landing it safely on shore, they tie the boat and proceed to a spot some twenty feet from the water's edge. Four small trees are so covered by the wild grape vine they form the posts of a summer house. Reaching their rendezvous, the pirates fall back. Only Bunch and his wife enter the enclosure of vines. The dark cruel eyes of the man look defiantly around the forest, the eyes of Conscience Cloyee glance timidly first into the face of her husband, then into the tangled brushwood. The moon comes from behind the drifting piles of smoke-pearl clouds, and sheds a weird radiance over the scene. Captain Bunch proceeds noiselessly to bury the treasury. An arrow whizzes thro’ the undergrowth. Conscience Cloyee falls, and the blood streams from her heart. Raising his head Bunch sees the malicious, cunning eyes of an Indian peering at him through the dim half light of the firest. He reaches for his pistol, but before he can use it, he is felled by a tomahawk. The red man gives a war whoop and darts like a panther through the woods. The pirates rush for their boat. They row furiously against the stream. The moon is hidden by a cloud. The wilderness is vast and silent."

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