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The Yellow Chief by Mayne Reid

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

The Yellow Chief By Captain Mayne Reid Illustrations by Anon Published by George Routledge and Sons. This edition dated 1875. The Yellow Chief, by Captain Mayne Reid.


________________________________________________________________________ THE YELLOW CHIEF, BY CAPTAIN MAYNE REID.



"To the pump with him! And see that he has a double dose of it!"

The words were spoken in a tone of command, earnest and angry. They were addressed to the overseer of a cotton-plantation not far from Vicksburg, in the State of Mississippi, the speaker being Blount Blackadder, a youth aged eighteen, and son to Squire Blackadder, the owner of the plantation.

Who was to receive the double douche?

Near by stood a personage to whom the words evidently pointed. He was also a youth, not very different either in age or size from him who had given the order; though his tawny skin and short crisped hair bespoke him of a different race--in short, a mulatto. And the time--for it is a tale of twenty years ago--along with other attendant circumstances, proclaimed him a slave of the plantation.

And why ordered to be thus served? As a punishment, of course.

You may smile at the idea, and deem it a joke. But the "punishment of the pump" is one of the most severe that can be inflicted; far more so than either the bastinado, or castigation by the lash. A man may writhe while his back is being scored by the cowskin; but that continuous stream of cold water, at first only refreshing, becomes after a time almost unendurable, and the victim feels as though his skull were being split open with an axe.

What had "Blue Dick"--the plantation sobriquet of the young mulatto-- what had he done to deserve such chastisement?

The overseer, hesitating to inflict it, put this question to Blount Blackadder.

"That's my business, and not yours, Mr Snively. Enough when I say he has deserved; and darn me if he don't have it. To the pump with him!"

"Your father won't be pleased about it," pursued the overseer. "When he comes home--"

"When he comes home; that's my affair. He's not at home now, and during his absence I'm master of this plantation, I guess. I hope, sir, you'll recognise me as such."

"Oh, sartinly," grumbled the overseer.

"Well, then, I've only to tell you, that the nigger's got to be punished. He's done enough to deserve it. Let that satisfy you; and for the rest I'll be answerable to my father."

What Blue Dick had done the young planter did not condescend to explain. Nor was it his passion that rendered him reticent; but a secret consciousness that he was himself in the wrong, and acting from motives of the meanest revenge.

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