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of itself appear sufficient to have caused death. The itself; this money value being in many cases merely charge that A. did 'steal, take, and carry away,' omit- nominal. ting ‘feloniously,' has several times occurred, and has It was not until the year 1699 that any improvealways been held fatal; and so in bigamy, the accusa- ment whatever began to be effected in the matter of tion that B. feloniously married one C., his former indictments. An act then passed which made it comwife D. being then alive, was held altogether insuf- pulsory on the clerk of the crown, when any indictficient, the proper form being, that B., “with force and ment was found defective in form, to draw a fresh arms, feloniously married one C., his former wife being instrument without any fee, or, in default, to forfeit still alive,' &c.
L.5 and costs. This, although it imposed a salutary But above all, the value of the thing stolen in check upon the carelessness of officials employed in larceny, and of the instrument which caused the death the drawing up of such documents, did nothing at in homicide, were always required to be stated. In all towards providing for their amendment of defects larceny, because if the value amounted to twelve pence, discovered in them. In 1731, an important act was the crime was grand larceny; if under that sum, petty passed, which entirely abolished the use of Latin in larceny-two crimes which, in olden times, were very law proceedings, and provided that all such, indictdifferently punished, the former incurring the punishi- ments included, should for the future be in English. ment of death; the latter, of whipping and imprison- In 1827, a further and a grand improvement was ment only. In homicide, the value was required in made by the legislature enacting, that merely formal consequence of the existence, until a few years back, errors in indictments should not invalidate them, but of the laws relating to deodands, about which very upon exceptions being taken, such should be amend. curious subject we must say a few words.
able by the judge on the trial. Still, however, all the According to ancient custom, whatever chattel was long legal phraseology was retained, and regarded with the immediate occasion of the death of any reasonable as much jealousy as ever; and it was not until her creature, became forfeited to holy church, and was present majesty had been fourteen years upon the applied, before the Reformation, towards obtaining throne, that the coup de grace was given to these masses for the deceased's soul, just as was the apparel fearfully long-winded and complex instruments. of every stranger found dead, and subsequently was It would be wearying to writer as well as to reader distributed in alms by the king's high almoner.
to attempt to set forth, in any regular order, the vast These forfeited articles were called deodands, from improvements which the last statute introduced into Deo-dandum (to be given to God); and Britton tells us, these documents; we cannot better inform the reader's in his Pleas of the Crown, that the intention of the for- mind upon the subject, and at the same time illustrate feiture was, that nothing which was the immediate how useless forms and unnecessary phraseology may cause of so awful an event as the death of a reasonable be got rid of, when any one is bold enough to set creature, should seem to go unpunished; but this heartily at work upon the subject of their reformation, assertion of the early lawyer has been much disputed, than by setting forth the two forms of indictment for the law allowed no deodand upon the death of an respectively used before and after the passing of such infant under years of discretion; thus favouring the statute. idea that the intention of these forfeitures was simply We will suppose that a certain John Smith, being to procure the means of conducting a religious cere- angry with a woman, Frances Bolt, throws a candlemony after the death, and for the benefit of the soul of stick at, and kills her. the deceased; for no mass or other purgation was Now, the old form of indictment against John Smith necessary upon the death of an infant.
would, in its very shortest form, be thus worded : The rules relating to deodands are not by any Middlesex to wit.— The jurors for our lord the king, means free from obscurity, either as to their origin or upon their oaths present, that John Smith, late of intention. If anything without motion was the cause of Westminster, in the county of Middlesex, labourer, not death, only that part of it immediately connected with having the fear of God before his eyes, but being the death was forfeited; but if the body was actually moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, on moving, the whole of it became a deodand.
the first day of May, in the fourth year of the reign of Thus, when a man climbing into a cart at rest, fell our sovereign lord George the Third, by the grace of off the wheel and was killed, the wheel only was the God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, king's property ; but when in another case the cart was defender of the faith, and so forth, with force and arms moving at the time of the accident, the whole of it, at Westminster aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, in with its load, was forfeited. So, again, where a man and upon one Frances, the wife of one William Bolt, fell from the side of a ship going down a river, and was late of Westminster aforesaid, carpenter, in the peace killed, strictly speaking, the whole ship, whatever its of God and our said lord the king, then and there being, size or value, was a deodand; but if while on the deck feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, a bale of goods fell upon and killed him, the bale only did make an assault; and that he, the said John Smith, was a forfeiture, for he was himself moving in the ship, a certain brass candlestick of the value of one shilling, and so far as his death was concerned, the whole ship which he in his right hand then and there had, and might be considered to be at rest.
held, did then and there, at and against the said The golden rule about these forfeitures was, 'what- Frances, cast and throw; and with such candlestick ever moves to the death is a deodand;' and in the quaint aforesaid, so cast and thrown by him, the said John old book called Termes de la Ley, it is thus expressed : Smith as aforesaid, in and upon the head of her, the Whatever moved to kill the dead,
said Frances, on the right side thereof, near to the Is deodand, and forfeited.
temporal muscle, then and there feloniously, wilfully,
and of his malice aforethought, did strike and bruise The most curious illustration of this rule is to be found her, the said Frances, giving to her, the said Frances, in an ancient case, where a man fell from a mill-wheel then and there with the candlestick aforesaid, and into the stream, and was drowned, every part of the by the stroke aforesaid, in manner aforesaid, in and machinery actually in motion at the time was declared upon the head of her, the said Frances, on the right to be a deodand-- that at rest, not.
side thereof, near to the temporal muscle, one mortal This forfeiture of valuable articles, often without wound of the length of two inches, and of the depth of any blame at all being attachable to their owners, was half an inch, of which said mortal wound, she, the snid found to be so oppressive, that, in modern times, a Frances, as well at Westminster aforesaid, in the practice was adopted by juries, of finding as a deodand county aforesaid, at divers other places in the said the money value of the thing, instead of the thing county, from the said first day of May in the year
aforesaid, until the second day of May in the same year, () sister! come out of the bath.' did languish, and languishing did live, on which second For what reason should I? Our friends come ? day of May at Westminster aforesaid, in the county They are early: let them wait, my Georgy. Go you aforesaid, she, the said Frances, of the mortal wound and entertain them. I mean to enjoy myself this aforesaid, did die. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon most beautiful of mornings; the water 's just righttheir oaths aforesaid, do say that the said John Smith, delightful! Isn't it, Viola ? Ho! I shall have a swim her, the said Frances, in manner and form aforesaid, round the pond : here goes !! feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, And then there was a fresh plashing in the water, did kill and murder, against the peace of our lord the mingled with a cheerful abandon of laughter in the king, his crown, and dignity.
voices of my sister and her maid. At the present day, the above lengthy document I shouted at the top of my voice: would be thus curtailed :
"Hear me, Virgine ! dear sister! For Heaven's sake, Middleser to wit.— The jurors for our lady the come out! come' Queen, upon their oaths present, that John Smith, There was a sudden cessation of the merry tones ; late of Westminster, labourer, on the first day of then came a short sharp ejaculation, followed almost May, in the year of our Lord 1852, feloniously, instantaneously by a wild scream. I perceived that wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, did kill and neither was a reply to my appeal. I had called out in murder Frances, the wife of William Bolt, against the a tone of entreaty sufficient to have raised apprehenpeace of our lady the Queen, her crown, and dignity. sion; but the voices that now reached me were
By the former of these two instruments, it would be uttered in accents of terror. In my sister's voice I incumbent upon the prosecution to prove the murder heard the words : of Frances Bolt in the very manner stated, and if it See, Viola! O mercy-the monster! Ha! he is turned out that by some other violence of the prisoner coming this way! O mercy! Help, George, help! she met with her death, he would be acquitted on the Save-save me!' indictment; by the latter, proof that the prisoner
Well knew I the meaning of the summons; too murdered the deceased in any way, would be sufficient well could I comprehend the half-coherent words, and to convict him.
the continued screaming that succeeded them. It is not improbable that, after perusing the two Sister, I come, I come!' documents, the reader may ask how it is that other Quick as thought, I dashed forward, breaking through long legal instruments connected with the common the boughs that still intercepted my view. law, and especially with conveyancing, cannot also be
• Oh, perhaps I shall be too late? She screams in shortened and simplified ? For an answer to this agony; she is already in the grasp of the alligator?' question, we must refer him to those far wiser than A dozen bounds carried me clear of the grove; and, ourselves in the theory and practice of the law. gliding along the embankment of the turtle crawl, I
stood by the edge of the tank. A fearful tableau was
before me. O GEOLA:
My sister was near the centre of the basin, swimming towards the edge. There stood the quadroonknee-deep-screeching and flinging her arms frantically
in the air. Beyond, appeared the gigantic lizard; his YELLOW JAKE! the alligator!'
whole body, arms, hands, and claws clearly traceable They were all the words I could utter. My mother in the pellucid water, above the surface of which rose entreated an explanation; I could not stay to give it. the scaly serrature of his back and shoulders. His Frantic with apprehension, I tore myself away, leaving snout and tail projected still higher; and with the her in a state of terror that rivalled my own.
latter he was lashing the water into white froth, that I run towards the hommock-the bath. I wait not already mottled the surface of the pond.
He was to follow the devious route of the walk, but keep not ten feet from his intended victim.
His gaunt straight on, leaping over such obstacles as present jaws almost touched the green baize skirt that floated themselves. I spring across the paling, and rush train-like behind her. At any moment, he might have through the orangery, causing the branches to crackle darted forward and seized her. and the fruit to fall. My ears are keenly bent to My sister was swimming with all her might. She catch every sound.
was a capital swimmer ; but what could it avail? Her Behind are sounds enough: I hear my mother's bathing-dress was impeding her; but what mattered voice uttered in accents of terror. Already have her that? The alligator might have seized her at any cries alarmed the house, and are echoed and answered moment; with a single effort, could have caught her, by the domestics, both females and men. Dogs, and yet he had not made it. startled by the sudden excitement, are baying within I wondered why he had not; I wondered that he the enclosure, and fowls and caged birds screech in still held back. I wonder to this hour, for it is not concert.
yet explained. I can account for it only on one suppoFrom behind come all these noises. It is not for sition: that he felt that his victim was perfectly within them my ears are bent; I am listening before me. his power; and as the cat cajoles with the mouse, so
In this direction I now hear sounds. The plashing was he indulging in the plenitude of his tyrant strength. of water is in my ears, and mingling with it the tones These observations were made in a single second of of a clear silvery voice-it is the voice of my sister! | time-while I was cocking my rifle. “Ha, ha, ha!' The ring of laughter! Thank Heaven, I aimed, and fired. There were but two places she is safe!
where the shot could have proved fatal—the eye or I stay my step under the influence of a delicate behind the forearm. I aimed for the eye. I hit the thought; I call aloud :
shoulder; but from that hard corrugated skin, my “Virgine ! Virgine!'
bullet glinted as from a granite rock. Among the Impatiently I await the reply. None reaches me; rhomboid protuberances it made a whitish score, and the noise of the water has drowned my voice?
that was all. I call again, and louder. “Virgine ! sister! Virgine!' The play of the monster was brought to a termina. I am heard, and hear:
tion. The shot appeared to have given him pain. At "Who calls? You, Georgy ?'
all events, it roused him to more earnest action, and “Yes; it is I, Virgine.'
perhaps impelled him to the final spring. He made it And pray, what want you, brother?'
the instant after.
CHAPTER IX.-THE BATII.
Lashing the water with his broad tail—as if to gain Mother, father, all had given expression to their impetus-he darted forward; his huge jaw hinged gratitude; all had signified their admiration of his vertically upward, till the red throat shewed wide gallant conduct: even my sister, who had recovered agape; and the next moment the floating skirt—and consciousness before being carried away, had thanked oh! the limbs of my sister were in his horrid gripe ! him with kind words.
I plunged in, and swam towards them. The gun I He made no reply, further than to acknowledge the still carried in my grasp. It hindered me. I dropped compliments paid him; and this he did either by a it to the bottom, and swam on.
smile or a simple inclination of the head. With the I caught Virgine in my arms. I was just in time, years of a boy, he seemed to possess the gravity of a man. for the alligator was dragging her below,
He appeared about my own age and size. His figure With all my strength, I held her up: it needed was perfectly proportioned, and his face handsome. all to keep us above the surface. I had no weapon; The complexion was not that of a pure Indian, though and if I had been armed, I could not have spared a the style of his dress was so. His skin was nearer hand to strike.
brunette than bronze: he was evidently a 'half-blood.' I shouted with all my voice, in the hope of intimi- His nose was slightly aquiline, which gave him that dating the assailant, and causing him to let go his fine eagle-look peculiar to some of the North American hold. It was to no purpose: he still held on.
tribes; and his eye, though mild in common mood, was 0 Heavens! we shall both be dragged under- easily lighted up. Under excitement, as I had just drowned-devoured
witnessed, it shone with the brilliancy of fire. A plunge, as of one leaping from a high elevation The admixture of Caucasian blood had tamed down into the pond—a quick, bold swimmer from the shore the prominence of Indian features to a perfect regu. -a dark-skinned face, with long black hair that floats | larity, without robbing them of their heroic grandeur behind it on the water-a breast gleaming with bright of expression; and the black hair was finer than that spangles-a body clad in bead-embroidered garments of the pure native, though equally shining and luxuri-a man? a boy!
ant. In short, the tout ensemble of this strange youth Who is this strange youth that rushes to our was that of a noble and handsome boy, that another rescue ?
brace of summers would develop into a splendid-lookHe is already by our side—by the side of our terrible ing man. Even as a boy, there was an individuality antagonist. With all the earnest energy of his look, about him, that, when once seen, was not to be he utters not a word. He rests one hand upon the forgotten. shoulder of the huge lizard, and with a sudden spring I have said that his costume was Indian. So was it places himself on its back. A rider could not have -purely Indian-not made up altogether of the spoils leaped more adroitly to the saddle.
of the clase, for the buckskin has long ceased to be Å knife gleams in his uplifted hand. It descends - the wear of the aborigines of Florida. His moccasins its blade is buried in the eye of the alligator !
alone were of dressed deer's hide; his leggings were The roar of the saurian betokens its pain. The earth of scarlet cloth; and his tunic of figured cotton stuff vibrates with the sound; the froth flies up under the -all three elaborately beaded and embroidered. With lashings of its tail, and a cloud of spray is flung over these he wore a wampum belt, and a fillet encircled his us. But the monster has now relaxed its gripe, and head, above which rose erect three plumes from the I am swimming with my sister to the shore.
tail of the king vulture—which among Indians is an A glance backward reveals to me a strange sight-I eagle. Around his neck were strings of party-coloured see the alligator diving to the bottom with the bold beads, and upon his breast three demi-lunes of silver, rider still upon its back! He is lost-he is lost! suspended one above the other.
With painful thoughts, I swim on. I climb out, and Thus was the youth attired; and, despite the soaking place my fainting sister upon the bank. I again look which his garments had received, he presented an back.
aspect at once noble and picturesque. Joy, joy! the strange youth is once more above the 'You are sure you have received no injury ?' I surface, and swimming freely to the shore. Upon the inquired for the second time. further side of the pond, the hideous form is also above • Quite sure—not the slightest injury.' water, struggling by the edge-frantic and furious • But you are wet through and through; let me offer with the agony of its wounds.
you a change of clothes : mine, I think, would about fit Joy, joy! my sister is unharmed. The floating you.' skirt has saved her : scarcely a scratch shews upon her * Thank you. I should not know how to wear them. delicate limbs ; and now in tender arms, amidst sweet The sun is strong: my own will soon be dry again.' words and looks of kind sympathy, she is borne away You will come up to the house, and eat something ?' from the scene of her peril.
I have eaten but a short while ago. I thank you. I am not in need.'
' Again I thank you-water is my only drink.' 'I ALF-BLOOD.'
I scarcely knew what to say to my new acquaintance. The alligator was soon clubbed to death, and dragged He refused all my offers of hospitality, and yet he to the shore-a work of delight to the blacks of the remained by me. He would not accompany me to plantation.
the house; and still he shewed no signs of taking his No one suspected how the reptile had got to the departure. pond—for I had not said a word to any one. The Was he expecting something else? A reward for belief was that it had wandered there from the river, his services ? Something more substantial than comor the lagoons—as others had done before; and Yellow plimentary phrases ? Jake, the most active of all in its destruction, was The thought was not unnatural. Handsome as was heard several times repeating this hypothesis ! Little the youth, he was but an Indian. Of compliments he did the villain suspect that his secret was known. I had had enough. Indians care little for idle words. thought that besides himself I was the only one privy It might be that he waited for something more : it to it; in this, however, I was mistaken.
was but natural for one in his condition to do so, The domestics had gone back to the house, toating' and equally natural for one in mine to think so. the huge carcass with ropes, and uttering shouts of In an instant my purse was out; in the next, it was triumph. I was alone with our gallant preserver. I in his hands—and in the next it was at the bottom of stayed behind purposely to thank him.
'I did not ask you for money,' said he, as he flung the alligator. I was hunting by the swamp. I saw the dollars indignantly into the water.
the tracks. I suspected something, and crossed the I felt pique and shame; the latter predominated. fields. I had reached the thicket when I heard cries. I plunged into the pond, and dived under the surface. I was just in time. Ugh!' It was not after my purse, but my rifle, which I saw You were in good time, else the villain would have lying upon the rocks at the bottom. I gained the succeeded in his intent. Fear not, friend! he shall be piece, and, carrying it ashore, handed it to him.
punished.' The peculiar smile with which he received it, told "Good-he should be punished. I hope you and I me that I had well corrected my error, and subdued may meet again.' his capricious pride.
A few words more were exchanged between us, and “It is my turn to make reparation,' said he. 'Permit then we shook hands, and parted. me to restore you your purse, and to ask pardon for my rudeness. Before I could interpose, he sprang into the water,
CHAPTER XI. and dived below the surface. He soon recovered the shining object, and returning to the bank, placed it in my hands.
About the guilt of the mulatto, I had no longer any “This is a splendid gift,' he said, handling the rifle, doubt. The mere destruction of the fish could not and examining it—'a splendid gift; and I must return liave been his design; he would never have taken home before I can offer you ought in return. We such pains to accomplish so trifling a purpose. No; Indians have not much that the white man values- his intent was far more horrid; it comprehended a only our lands, I have been told '-he uttered this deeper scheme of cruelty and vengeance; its aim was plirase with peculiar emphasis. Our rude manufac- my sister's life!-Viola's !-perhaps both ? tures,' continued he, are worthless things when put in Awful as was such a belief, there was no room left comparison with those of your people--they are but to doubt it; every circumstance confirmed it. Even curiosities to you at best. But stay-you are a the young Indian had formed the opinion that such hunter? Will you accept a pair of moccasins and a was the design. At this season, my sister was in the bullet-pouch? Maümee makes them well'
habit of bathing almost every day; and that this was Maümee?'
her custom was known to all
upon the plantation. I My sister. You will find the moccasin better for had not thought of it when I went in pursuit of the hunting than those heavy shoes you wear: the tread deer, else I should in all probability have acted in a is more silent.'
different manner. But who could have suspected . Above all things, I should like to have a pair of such dire villainy ? your moccasins.'
The cunning of the act quite equalled its malice. 'I am rejoiced that it will gratify you. Maümee By the merest accident, there were witnesses; but had sball make them, and the pouch too.'
there been none, it is probable the event would have Maümee!' I mentally echoed. 'Strange, sweet answered the intention, and my sister's life been name! Can it be she?'
sacrificed. I was thinking of a bright being that had crossed Who could have told the author of the crime? The my path-a dream-a heavenly vision--for it seemed reptile would have been alone responsible. Even too lovely to be of the earth.
suspicion would not have rested upon the mulattoWhile wandering in the woods, amid perfumed how could it? The yellow villain had shewn a groves, had this vision appeared to me—in the form of fiendish craft in his calculation. an Indian maiden. In a flowery glade, I saw her- I was burning with indignation. My poor innocent one of those spots in the southern forest which nature sister! Little did she know the foul means that had adorns so profusely. She appeared to form part of been made use of to put her in such peril. She the picture.
was aware that the mulatto liked her not, but never One glance had I, and she was gone. I pursued, dreamed she that she was the object of such a but to no purpose. Like a spirit she glided through demoniac spite as this. the dædalian aisles of the grove, and I saw her no The very thoughts of it fired me, as I dwelt upon more. But though gone from my sight, she passed them. I could restrain myself no longer. The criminot out of my memory; ever since had I been dream- nal must be brought to punishment, and at once. ing of that lovely apparition. Was it Maümee? Some severe castigation must be inflicted upon him
Your name?' I inquired, as I saw the youth was something that would place it beyond his power to about to depart.
repeat such dangerous attempts. *I am called Powell by the whites: my father's How he would be dealt with, I could not tell-that name-he was white-he is dead. My mother still must be left to my elders to determine. The lash lives; I need not say she is an Indian.'
had proved of no avail; perhaps the chain-gang would 'I must be gone, sir,' continued he after a pause. cure him-at all events, he must be banished the * Before I leave you, permit me to ask a question. It plantation. may appear impertinent, but I have good reason for In my own mind, I had not doomed him to death, asking it. Have you among your slaves one who is though truly he deserved it. Indignant as I felt, I did very bad, one who is hostile to your family?'
not contemplate this ultimate punishment of crime; There is such a one. I have reason to believe it.' used to my father's mild rule, I did not. The lashWould you know his tracks ?'
the county prison—the chain-gang at St Marks or 'I should.'
San Augustine : some of these would likely be his "Then follow me!'
reward. 'It is not necessary. I can guess where you would I knew it would not be left to the lenient disposilead me. I know all: he lured the alligator hither tion of my father to decide. The whole community of to destroy my sister.'
planters was interested in a matter of this kind. An • Ugh!' exclaimed the young Indian, in some improvised jury would soon assemble. No doubt surprise. How learned you this, sir?'
harsher judges than his own master would deal with •From yonder rock, I was a witness of the whole the guilty man. transaction. But how did you come to know of it?'. I stayed not longer to reflect; I was determined his I asked in turn.
trial should be immediate. I ran towards the house ‘Only by following the trail—the man—the dog- / with the intention of declaring his guilt.
In my haste, as before, I did not follow the usual and over again, with commands, with threats; but no path, which was somewliat circumambient; I made answer came back. Where was he ? direct through the grove.
The stables were searched, the shed, the kitchen, I had advanced only a few paces, when I heard a the cabins—even the corn-crib was ransacked—but to rustling of the leaves near me. I could see no one,
no purpose. Where had he gone ? but felt sure that the noise was caused by some person He had been observed but the moment before-he skulking among the trees. Perhaps some of the field had assisted in dragging the alligator. The men had hands, taking advantage of the confusion of the hour, brought it into the enclosure, and thrown it to the and helping himself to a few oranges ?
hogs to be devoured. Yellow Jake had been with Compared with my purpose, such slight dereliction them, active as any at the work. It was but the was a matter of no importance, and I did not think moment before he had gone away; but where? No worth while to stay and hinder it. I only shouted out; one could tell! but no one made answer, and I kept on.
At this moment, I remembered the rustling among On arriving at the rear of the house, I found my the orange-trees. It might have been he ? If so, he father in the enclosure by the grand shed-the overseer may have overheard the conversation between the
Old Ilickman, the alligator-hunter, was there, young Indian and myself-or the last part of it—and and one or two other white men, who had casually if so, he would now be far away. come upon business.
I led the pursuit through the orangery: its recesses In the presence of all, I made the disclosure; and, were searched; he was not there. with as much minuteness as the time would permit, The hommock thickets were next entered, and described the strange transaction I had witnessed in beaten from one end to the other; still no signs of the the morning.
missing mulatto. All were thunderstruck. Hickman at once declared It occurred to me to climb up to the rock, my the probability of such a manæuvre, though no one former place of observation. I ascended at once to doubted my words. The only doubt was as to the its summit, and was rewarded for my trouble. At the mulatto's intent. Could it have been human lives he first glance over the fields, I saw the fugitive. He designed to sacrifice? It seemed too great a wicked. was down between the rows of the indigo plants, ness to be believed. It was too horrible even to be crawling upon hands and knees, evidently making for imagined !
the maize. At that moment all doubts were set at rest. Another I did not stay to observe further, but springing testimony was added to mine, which supplied the link back to the ground, I ran after him. My father, of proof that was wanting. Black Jake had a tale to Hickman, and others followed me. tell, and told it.
The chase was not conducted in silence-no strataThat morning—but half an hour before-he had gem was used, and by our shouts the mulatto soon seen Yellow Jake climb up into a live oak that stood learned that he was seen and pursued. Concealment in one corner of the enclosure. The top of this con- was no longer possible; and rising to his feet, he manded a view of the pond. It was just at the time ran forward with all his speed. Ile soon entered that " white missa’ and Viola went to the bath. He the maize-field, with the hue and cry close upon his was quite sure that about that time they must have heels. been going into the water, and that Yellow Jake must Though still but a boy, I was the fastest runner of have seen them.
I knew that I could run faster than Indignant at his indecorous conduct, the black had Yellow Jake, and if I could only keep him in sight, shouted to the mulatto to come down from the tree, I should soon overtake him. His liopes were to get and threatened to complain upon him. The latter into the swamp, under cover of the palmetto thickets ; made answer that he was only gathering acorns--the once there, he might easily escape by hiding--at all acorns of the live oak are sweet food, and much sought events, he might get off for the time. after by the plantation-people. Black Jake, however, To prevent this, I ran at my utmost speed, and was positive that this could not be Yellow Jake's pur- with success; for just upon the edge of the woods, I pose; for the former still continuing to threaten, the came up with the runaway, and caught hold of the latter at length came down, and Black Jake saw no loose flap of his jacket. acorns- not one!
It was altogether a foolish attempt upon my part. “ 'Twan't acorn he war arter, Massa Randoff: daat I had not reflected upon anything beyond getting up yaller loafa wan't arter no good-daat lie wan't sure with him. I had never thought of resistance, though sartin.'
I might have expected it from a desperate man. So concluded the testimony of the groom.
Accustomed to be obeyed, I was under the hallucinaThe.tale produced conviction in the minds of all. tion that, as soon as I should come up, the fellow It was no longer possible to doubt of the mulatto's would yield to me; but I was mistaken. intention, horrible as it was. He had ascended the He at once jerked himself free of my hold, and tree to be witness of the foul deed; he had seen them easily enougli. My breath was gone, my strength enter the basin; he knew the danger that was lurking exhausted-I could not have held a cat. in its waters; and yet he had made no movement to I expected him to run on as before; but instead of give the alarm. On the contrary, he was among the doing so, he stopped in his tracks, turned fiercely upon last who had hastened towards the pond, when the me, and drawing his knife, plunged it through my screaming of the girls was summoning all the house- arm. It was my heart he had aimed at; but by hold to their assistance. This was shewn by the suddenly throwing up my arm, I had warded off the evidence of others. The case was clear against fatal thrust. him.
A second time his knife was upraised-and I should The tale produced a wild excitement. White men have had a second stab from it-but, just then, and black men, masters and slaves, were equally another face shewed itself in the fray; and before the indignant at the horrid crime; and the cry went round dangerous blade could descend, the strong arms of the yard for • Yellow Jake!'
Black Jake were around my antagonist. Some ran one way, some another, in search of him- The fiend struggled fiercely to free himself; but the black, white, and yellow ran together--all eager in muscular grasp of his old rival never became relaxed the pursuit--all desirous that such a monster should until Hickman and others arrived upon the ground; be brought to punishment.
and then a fast binding of thongs rendered him at once Where was he? His name was called aloud, over / harmless and secure.