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THE OCTOROON ***




Produced by Roger Burch, from scans obtained from the Internet Archive




THE OCTOROON;
OR, LIFE IN LOUISIANA.
A PLAY, IN FIVE ACTS

BY, DION BOUCICAULT, ESQ.,
AUTHOR OF "The Coleen Bawn," "West End," etc.

PRINTED, NOT PUBLISHED




Boston Museum, 1861. Howard Athenaeum, 1861.
George Peyton, _Mr. John Wilson._ _L. F. Rand._
Salem Scudder, _William Warren._ _D. Setchell._
Mr. Sunnyside, _R. F. McClannin._ _W. H. Curtis._
Jacob McClosky, _Jos. Wheelock._ _H. Langdon._
Wahnotee, _William Whalley._ _E. L. Davenport._
Captain Ratts, _G. F. Ketchum._ _D. Hanchett._
Colonel Pointdexter, _Louis Mestayer._ _W. S. Lennox._
Jules Thibodeaux, _J. E. Whiting._ _T. E. Litton._
Judge Caillou, _Sol. Smith, Jr._ _S. H. Verney._
Lafouche, _J. H. Ring._ _J. H. Browne._
Jackson, _Bartlett._ _Blaisdell._
Old Pete, _F. Hardenbergh._ _F. Hardenburgh._
Paul (a boy slave), _Josie Orton._ _Miss O. Marshall._
Solon, _J. S. Nolan._ _W.H. Otis._

Mrs. Peyton, _Miss Emily Mestayer._ _Mrs. J. E. Sylvester._
Zoe, _Kate Reignolds._ _Miss Josie Orton._
Dora Sunnyside, _Annie Clark._ _Mrs. H. W. Smith._
Grace, _Louise Anderson._ _Miss Burbank._
Minnie, _Lizzie Baker._ _Miss Ramsey._
Dido, _Mrs. E. Thompson._

* * * * *

COSTUMES.

George Peyton. - Light travelling suit.
Jacob McClosky. - Dark coat, light waistcoat, brown trousers.
Scudder. - Light plantation suit.
Pete and Negroes. - Canvas trousers, shoes, striped calico shirts.
Sunnyside. - Planter's nankeen suit, broad-brimmed straw hat.
Ratts. - (Captain of a steamer.) Black coat, waistcoat, and trousers.
Planters. - Various characteristic suits.
Indian. - Deer-skin trousers and body, blanket, moccasons, Indian
knot and feathers for the hair.
Mrs. Peyton. - Black silk dress.
Zoe. - White muslin dress.
Dora. - Fashionable morning dress, hat and feather.
Female Slaves. - Striped skirts and calico jackets, some with
kerchiefs round the head.




THE OCTOROON.




ACT I.


Scene I. - _A view of the Plantation Terrebonne, in Louisiana. - A
branch of the Mississippi is seen winding through the Estate. - A low
built, but extensive Planter's Dwelling, surrounded with a veranda,
and raised a few feet from the ground, occupies the_ L. _side. - A
table and chairs,_ R. C.

Grace _discovered sitting at breakfast-table with_ Children.

_Enter_ Solon, _from house,_ L.

_Solon._ Yah! you bomn'ble fry - git out - a gen'leman can't pass for
you.

_Grace._ [_Seizing a fly whisk._] Hee! ha - git out! [_Drives_
Children _away; in escaping they tumble against and trip up_ Solon,
_who falls with tray; the_ Children _steal the bananas and rolls that
fall about._]

_Enter_ Pete, R. U. E. [_he is lame_]; _he carries a mop and pail._

_Pete._ Hey! laws a massey! why, clar out! drop dat banana! I'll
murder this yer crowd, [_He chases Children about; they leap over
railing at back. Exit_ Solon, R. U. E.] Dem little niggers is a
judgment upon dis generation.

_Enter_ George, _from house,_ L.

_George._ What's the matter, Pete.

_Pete._ It's dem black trash, Mas'r George; dis ere property wants
claring; dem's getting too numerous round; when I gets time I'll
kill some on 'em, sure!

_George._ They don't seem to be scared by the threat.

_Pete._ Top, you varmin! top till I get enough of you in one place!

_George._ Were they all born on this estate?

_Pete._ Guess they nebber was born - dem tings! what, dem? - get away!
Born here - dem darkies? What, on Terrebonne! Don't b'lieve it, Mas'r
George; dem black tings never was born at all; dey swarmed one
mornin' on a sassafras tree in the swamp; I cotched 'em; dey ain't
no 'count. Don't b'lieve dey'll turn out niggers when dey're growed;
dey'll come out sunthin else.

_Grace._ Yes, Mas'r George, dey was born here; and old Pete is fonder
on 'em dan he is of his fiddle on a Sunday.

_Pete._ What? dem tings - dem? - getaway [_makes blow at the_ Children.]
Born here! dem darkies! What, on Terrebonne? Don't b'lieve it, Mas'r
George, - no. One morning dey swarmed on a sassafras tree in de swamp,
and I cotched 'em all in a sieve. - dat's how dey come on top of dis
yearth - git out, you, - ya, ya! [_Laughs._] [_Exit_ Grace, R. U. E.

_Enter_ Mrs. Peyton, _from house._

_Mrs. P._ So, Pete, you are spoiling those children as usual!

_Pete._ Dat's right, missus! gib it to ole Pete! he's allers in for
it. Git away dere! Ya! if dey aint all lighted, like coons, on dat
snake fence, just out of shot. Look dar! Ya! ya! Dem debils. Ya!

_Mrs. P._ Pete, do you hear?

_Pete._ Git down dar! - I'm arter you! [_Hobbles off,_ R. 1. E.

_Mrs. P._ You are out early this morning, George.

_George._ I was up before daylight. We got the horses saddled, and
galloped down the shell road over the Piney Patch; then coasting the
Bayou Lake, we crossed the long swamps, by Paul's Path, and so came
home again.

_Mrs. P._ [_Laughing._] You seem already familiar with the names of
every spot on the estate.

_Enter_ Pete. - _Arranges breakfast, &c._

_George._ Just one month ago I quitted Paris. I left that siren city
as I would have left a beloved woman.

_Mrs. P._ No wonder! I dare say you left at least a dozen beloved
women there, at the same time.

_George._ I feel that I departed amid universal and sincere regret. I
left my loves and my creditors equally inconsolable.

_Mrs. P._ George, you are incorrigible. Ah! you remind me so much of
your uncle, the judge.

_George._ Bless his dear old handwriting, it's all I ever saw of him.
For ten years his letters came every quarter-day, with a remittance
and a word of advice in his formal cavalier style; and then a joke
in the postscript, that upset the dignity of the foregoing. Aunt,
when he died, two years ago, I read over those letters of his, and
if I didn't cry like a baby -

_Mrs. P._ No, George; say you wept like a man. And so you really kept
those foolish letters?

_George._ Yes; I kept the letters, and squandered the money.

_Mrs. P._ [_Embracing him._] Ah! why were you not my son - you are so
like my dear husband.

_Enter_ Salem Scudder, R.

_Scud._ Ain't he! Yes - when I saw him and Miss Zoe galloping through
the green sugar crop, and doing ten dollars' worth of damage at every
stride, says I, how like his old uncle he do make the dirt fly.

_George._ O, aunt! what a bright, gay creature she is!

_Scud._ What, Zoe! Guess that you didn't leave anything female in
Europe that can lift an eyelash beside that gal. When she goes along,
she just leaves a streak of love behind her. It's a good drink to see
her come into the cotton fields - the niggers get fresh on the sight
of her. If she ain't worth her weight in sunshine you may take one of
my fingers off, and choose which you like.

_Mrs. P._ She need not keep us waiting breakfast, though. Pete, tell
Miss Zoe that we are waiting.

_Pete._ Yes, missus. Why, Minnie, why don't you run when you hear,
you lazy crittur? [Minnie _runs off._] Dat's de laziest nigger on dis
yere property. [_Sits down._] Don't do nuffin.

_Mrs. P._ My dear George, you are left in your uncle's will heir to
this estate.

_George._ Subject to your life interest and an annuity to Zoe, is it
not so?

_Mrs. P._ I fear that the property is so involved that the strictest
economy will scarcely recover it. My dear husband never kept any
accounts, and we scarcely know in what condition the estate really
is.

_Scad._ Yes, we do, ma'am; it's in a darned bad condition. Ten years
ago the judge took as overseer a bit of Connecticut hardware called
M'Closky. The judge didn't understand accounts - the overseer did. For
a year or two all went fine. The judge drew money like Bourbon
whiskey from a barrel, and never turned off the tap. But out it flew,
free for everybody or anybody to beg, borrow, or steal. So it went,
till one day the judge found the tap wouldn't run. He looked in to
see what stopped it, and pulled out a big mortgage. "Sign that," says
the overseer; "it's only a formality." "All right," says the judge,
and away went a thousand acres; so at the end of eight years, Jacob
M'Closky, Esquire, finds himself proprietor of the richest half of
Terrebonne -

_George._ But the other half is free.

_Scud._ No, it ain't; because, just then, what does the judge do, but
hire another overseer - a Yankee - a Yankee named Salem Scudder.

_Mrs. P._ O, no, it was -

_Scud._ Hold on, now! I'm going to straighten this account clear out.
What was this here Scudder? Well, he lived in New York by sittin'
with his heels up in front of French's Hotel, and inventin' -

_George._ Inventing what?

_Scud._ Improvements - anything, from a stay-lace to a fire-engine.
Well, he cut that for the photographing line. He and his apparatus
arrived here, took the judge's likeness and his fancy, who made him
overseer right off. Well, sir, what does this Scudder do but
introduces his inventions and improvements on this estate. His new
cotton gins broke down, the steam sugar-mills burst up, until he
finished off with his folly what Mr. M'Closky with his knavery began.

_Mrs. P._ O, Salem! how can you say so? Haven't you worked like a
horse?

_Scud._ No, ma'am, I worked like an ass - an honest one, and that's
all. Now, Mr. George, between the two overseers, you and that good
old lady have come to the ground; that is the state of things, just
as near as I can fix it. [Zoe _sings without,_ L.]

_George._ 'Tis Zoe.

_Scud._ O, I have not spoiled that anyhow. I can't introduce any
darned improvement there. Ain't that a cure for old age; it kinder
lifts the heart up, don't it?

_Mrs. P._ Poor child! what will become of her when I am gone? If you
haven't spoiled her, I fear I have. She has had the education of a
lady.

_George._ I have remarked that she is treated by the neighbors with a
kind of familiar condescension that annoyed me.

_Scud._ Don't you know that she is the natural daughter of the judge,
your uncle, and that old lady thar just adored anything her husband
cared for; and this girl, that another woman would a hated, she
loves as if she'd been her own child.

_George._ Aunt, I am prouder and happier to be your nephew and heir
to the ruins of Terrebonne, than I would have been to have had half
Louisiana without you.

_Enter_ Zoe, _from house,_ L.

_Zoe._ Am I late? Ah! Mr. Scudder, good morning.

_Scud._ Thank'ye. I'm from fair to middlin', like a bamboo cane, much
the same all the year round.

_Zoe._ No; like a sugar cane; so dry outside, one would never think
there was so much sweetness within.

_Scud._ Look here; I can't stand that gal! if I stop here, I shall hug
her right off. [_Sees_ Pete, _who has set his pail down_ L. C. _up
stage, and goes to sleep on it_.] If that old nigger ain't asleep,
I'm blamed. Hillo! [_Kicks pail from under_ Pete, _and lets him
down._] [_Exit,_ L. U. E.

_Pete._ Hi! Debbel's in de pail! Whar's breakfass?

_Enter_ Solon _and_ Dido _with coffee-pot, dishes, &c.,_ R. U. E.

_Dido._ Bless'ee, Missey Zoe, here it be. Dere's a dish of
pen-pans - jess taste, Mas'r George - and here's fried bananas; smell
'em, do, sa glosh.

_Pete._ Hole yer tongue, Dido. Whar's de coffee? [_Pours out._] If it
don't stain de cup, your wicked ole life's in danger, sure! dat
right! black as nigger; clar as ice. You may drink dat, Mas'r George.
[_Looks off._] Yah! here's Mas'r Sunnyside, and Missey Dora, jist
drov up. Some of you niggers run and hole de hosses; and take dis,
Dido. [_Gives her coffee-pot to hold, and hobbles off, followed by_
Solon _and_ Dido, R. U. E.]

_Enter_ Sunnyside _and_ Dora, R. U. E.

_Sunny._ Good day, ma'am. [_Shakes hands with_ George.] I see we are
just in time for breakfast. [_Sits,_ R.]

_Dora._ O, none for me; I never eat. [_Sits,_ R. C.]

_George._ [_Aside._] They do not notice Zoe. - [_Aloud._] You don't
see Zoe, Mr. Sunnyside.

_Sunny._ Ah! Zoe, girl; are you there?

_Dora._ Take my shawl, Zoe. [Zoe _helps her._] What a good creature
she is.

_Sunny._ I dare say, now, that in Europe you have never met any lady
more beautiful in person, or more polished in manners, than that
girl.

_George._ You are right, sir; though I shrank from expressing that
opinion in her presence, so bluntly.

_Sunny._ Why so?

_George._ It may be considered offensive.

_Sunny._ [_Astonished._] What? I say, Zoe, do you hear that?

_Dora._ Mr. Peyton is joking.

_Mrs. P._ [L. C.] My nephew is not acquainted with our customs in
Louisiana, but he will soon understand.

_George._ Never, aunt! I shall never understand how to wound the
feelings of any lady; and, if that is the custom here, I shall
never acquire it.

_Dora._ Zoe, my dear, what does he mean?

_Zoe._ I don't know.

_George._ Excuse me, I'll light a cigar. [_Goes up._]

_Dora._ [_Aside to_ Zoe.] Isn't he sweet! O, dear Zoe, is he in love
with anybody?

_Zoe._ How can I tell?

_Dora._ Ask him, I want to know; don't say I told you to inquire, but
find out. Minnie, fan me, it is so nice - and his clothes are French,
ain't they?

_Zoe._ I think so; shall I ask him that too?

_Dora._ No, dear. I wish he would make love to me. When he speaks to
one he does it so easy, so gentle; it isn't bar-room style; love
lined with drinks, sighs tinged with tobacco - and they say all the
women in Paris were in love with him, which I feel _I_ shall be;
stop fanning me; what nice boots he wears.

_Sunny._ [_To_ Mrs. Peyton.] Yes, ma'am, I hold a mortgage over
Terrebonne; mine's a ninth, and pretty near covers all the property,
except the slaves. I believe Mr. M'Closky has a bill of sale on them.
O, here he is.

_Enter_ M'Closky, R. U. E.

_Sunny._ Good morning, Mr. M'Closky.

_M'Closky._ Good morning, Mr. Sunnyside; Miss Dora, your servant.

_Dora._ [_Seated,_ R. C.] Fan me, Minnie. - [_Aside._] I don't like
that man.

_M'Closky._ [_Aside,_ C.] Insolent as usual. - [_Aloud._] You begged
me to call this morning. I hope I'm not intruding.

_Mrs. P._ My nephew, Mr. Peyton.

_M'Closky._ O, how d'ye do, sir? [_Offers hand,_ George _bows
coldly,_ R. C.] [_aside._] A puppy, if he brings any of his European
airs here we'll fix him. - [_Aloud._] Zoe, tell Pete to give my mare a
feed, will ye?

_George._ [_Angrily._] Sir.

_M'Closky._ Hillo! did I tread on ye?

_Mrs. P._ What is the matter with George?

_Zoe._ [_Takes fan from_ Minnie.] Go, Minnie, tell Pete; run! [_Exit_
Minnie, R.

_Mrs. P._ Grace, attend to Mr. M'Closky.

_M'Closky._ A julep, gal, that's my breakfast, and a bit of cheese,

_George._ [_Aside to_ Mrs. Peyton.] How can you ask that vulgar
ruffian to your table?

_Mrs. P._ Hospitality in Europe is a courtesy; here, it is an
obligation. We tender food to a stranger, not because he is a
gentleman, but because he is hungry.

_George._ Aunt, I will take my rifle down to the Atchafalaya. Paul
has promised me a bear and a deer or two. I see my little Nimrod
yonder, with his Indian companion. Excuse me ladies. Ho! Paul!
[_Enters house._]

_Paul._ [_Outside._] I'ss, Mas'r George.

_Enter_ Paul, R. U. E., _with_ Indian, _who goes up._

_Sunny._ It's a shame to allow that young cub to run over the Swamps
and woods, hunting and fishing his life away instead of hoeing cane.

_Mrs. P._ The child was a favorite of the judge, who encouraged his
gambols. I couldn't bear to see him put to work.

_George._ [_Returning with rifle._] Come, Paul, are you ready?

_Paul._ I'ss, Mas'r George. O, golly! ain't that a pooty gun.

_M'Closky._ See here, you imps; if I catch you, and your red skin
yonder, gunning in my swamps, I'll give you rats, mind; them
vagabonds, when the game's about, shoot my pigs.

[_Exit_ George _into house._]

_Paul._ You gib me rattan, Mas'r Clostry, but I guess you take a berry
long stick to Wahnotee; ugh, he make bacon of you.

_M'Closky._ Make bacon of me, you young whelp. Do you mean that I'm a
pig? Hold on a bit. [_Seizes whip, and holds_ Paul.]

_Zoe._ O, sir! don't, pray, don't.

_M'Closky._ [_Slowly lowering his whip,_] Darn you, red skin, I'll
pay you off some day, both of ye. [_Returns to table and drinks._]

_Sunny._ That Indian is a nuisance. Why don't he return to his nation
out West.

_M'Closky._ He's too fond of thieving and whiskey.

_Zoe._ No; Wahnotee is a gentle, honest creature, and remains here
because he loves that boy with the tenderness of a woman. When Paul
was taken down with the swamp fever the Indian sat outside the hut,
and neither ate, slept, or spoke for five days, till the child could
recognize and call him to his bedside. He who can love so well is
honest - don't speak ill of poor Wahnotee.

_Mrs. P._ Wahnotee, will you go back to your people.

_Wahnotee._ Sleugh.

_Paul._ He don't understand; he speaks a mash-up of Indian and
Mexican. Wahnotee Patira na sepau assa wigiran.

_Wahnotee._ Weal Omenee.

_Paul._ Says he'll go if I'll go with him. He calls me Omenee, the
Pigeon, and Miss Zoe is Ninemoosha, the Sweetheart.

_Wahnotee._ [_Pointing to_ Zoe.] Ninemoosha.

_Zoe._ No, Wahnotee, we can't spare Paul.

_Paul._ If Omenee remain, Wahnotee will die in Terrebonne. [_During
the dialogue_ Wahnotee _has taken_ George's _gun._]

_Enter_ George, L.

_George._ Now I'm ready. [George _tries to regain his gun;_ Wahnotee
_refuses to give it up;_ Paul _quietly takes it from him and
remonstrates with him._]

_Dora._ Zoe, he's going; I want him to stay and make love to me
that's what I came for to-day.

_Mrs. P._ George, I can't spare Paul for an hour or two; he must run
over to the landing; the steamer from New Orleans passed up the river
last night, and if there's a mail they have thrown it ashore.

_Sunny._ I saw the mail-bags lying in the shed this morning.

_Mrs. P._ I expect an important letter from Liverpool; away with you,
Paul; bring the mail-bags here.

_Paul._ I'm 'most afraid to take Wahnotee to the shed, there's
rum there.

_Wahnotee._ Rum!

_Paul._ Come, then, but if I catch you drinkin', O, laws a mussey,
you'll get snakes! I'll gib it you! now mind. [_Exit with_ Indian,
R. U. E.

_George._ Come, Miss Dora, let me offer you my arm.

_Dora._ Mr. George, I am afraid, if all we hear is true, you have led
a dreadful life in Europe.

_George._ That's a challenge to begin a description of my feminine
adventures.

_Dora._ You have been in love, then?

_George._ Two hundred and forty-nine times! Let me relate you the
worst cases.

_Dora._ No! no!

_George._ I'll put the naughty parts in French.

_Dora._ I won't hear a word! O, you horrible man! go on. [_Exit_
George _and_ Dora _to house._

_M'Closky._ Now, ma'am, I'd like a little business, if agreeable. I
bring you news; your banker, old Lafouche, of New Orleans, is dead;
the executors are winding up his affairs, and have foreclosed on all
overdue mortgages, so Terrebonne is for sale. Here's the Picayune
[_producing paper_] with the advertisement.

_Zoe._ Terrebonne for sale!

_Mrs. P._ Terrebonne for sale, and you, sir, will doubtless become
its purchaser.

_M'Closky._ Well, ma'am, I spose there's no law agin my bidding for
it. The more bidders, the better for you. You'll take care, I guess,
it don't go too cheap.

_Mrs. P._ O, sir, I don't value the place for its price, but for the
many happy days I've spent here; that landscape, flat and
uninteresting though it may be, is full of charm for me; those poor
people, born around me, growing up about my heart, have bounded my
view of life; and now to lose that homely scene, lose their black,
ungainly faces; O, sir, perhaps you should be as old as I am, to feel
as I do, when my past life is torn away from me.

_M'Closky._ I'd be darned glad if somebody would tear my past life
away from me. Sorry I can't help you, but the fact is, you're in
such an all-fired mess that you couldn't be pulled out without a
derrick.

_Mrs. P._ Yes, there is a hope left yet, and I cling to it. The house
of Mason Brothers, of Liverpool, failed some twenty years ago in my
husband's debt.

_M'Closky._ They owed him over fifty thousand dollars.

_Mrs. P._ I cannot find the entry in my husband's accounts; but you,
Mr. M'Closky, can doubtless detect it. Zoe, bring here the judge's
old desk; it is in the library. [_Exit_ Zoe _to house_.

_M'Closky._ You don't expect to recover any of this old debt, do you?

_Mrs. P._ Yes; the firm has recovered itself, and I received a notice
two months ago that some settlement might be anticipated.

_Sunny._ Why, with principal and interest this debt has been more
than doubled in twenty years.

_Mrs. P._ But it may be years yet before it will be paid off, if
ever.

_Sunny._ If there's a chance of it, there's not a planter round here
who wouldn't lend you the whole cash, to keep your name and blood
amongst us. Come, cheer up, old friend.

_Mrs. P._ Ah! Sunnyside, how good you are; so like my poor Peyton.
[_Exit_ Mrs. Peyton _and_ Sunnyside _to house._

_M'Closky._ Curse their old families - they cut me - a bilious,
conceited, thin lot of dried up aristocracy. I hate 'em. Just
because my grandfather wasn't some broken-down Virginia transplant,
or a stingy old Creole, I ain't fit to sit down with the same meat
with them. It makes my blood so hot I feel my heart hiss. I'll sweep
these Peytons from this section of the country. Their presence keeps
alive the reproach against me that I ruined them; yet, if this money
should come. Bah! There's no chance of it. Then, if they go, they'll
take Zoe - she'll follow them. Darn that girl; she makes me quiver
when I think of her; she's took me for all I'm worth.

_Enter_ Zoe _from house,_ L., _with the desk._

O, here, do you know what annuity the old judge left you is worth
to-day? Not a picayune.

_Zoe._ It's surely worth the love that dictated it; here are the
papers and accounts. [_Putting it on the table,_ R. C.]

_M'Closky._ Stop, Zoe; come here! How would you like to rule the
house of the richest planter on Atchafalaya - eh? or say the word, and
I'll buy this old barrack, and you shall be mistress of Terrebonne.

_Zoe._ O, sir, do not speak so to me!

_M'Closky._ Why not! look here, these Peytons are bust; cut 'em; I am
rich, jine me; I'll set you up grand, and we'll give these first
families here our dust, until you'll see their white skins shrivel
up with hate and rage; what d'ye say?

_Zoe._ Let me pass! O, pray, let me go!

_M'Closky._ What, you won't, won't ye? If young George Peyton was to
make you the same offer, you'd jump at it, pretty darned quick, I
guess. Come, Zoe, don't be a fool; I'd marry you if I could, but you
know I can't; so just say what you want. Here then, I'll put back
these Peytons in Terrebonne, and they shall know you done it; yes,
they'll have you to thank for saving them from ruin.

_Zoe._ Do you think they would live here on such terms?

_M'Closky,_ Why not? We'll hire out our slaves, and live on their
wages.

_Zoe._ But I'm not a slave.

_M'Closky._ No; if you were I'd buy you, if you cost all I'm worth.

_Zoe._ Let me pass!

_M'Closky._ Stop.

_Enter_ Scudder, R.

_Scud._ Let her pass.

_M'Closky._ Eh?

_Scud._ Let her pass! [_Takes out his knife._] [_Exit_ Zoe _to
house._

_M'Closky._ Is that you, Mr. Overseer? [_Examines paper._]

_Scud._ Yes, I'm here, somewhere, interferin'.

_M'Closky._ [_Sitting,_ R. C.] A pretty mess you've got this estate
in -

_Scud._ Yes - me and Co. - we done it; but, as you were senior partner
in the concern, I reckon you got the big lick.

_M'Closky._ What d'ye mean.

_Scud._ Let me proceed by illustration. [_Sits,_ R.] Look thar!
[_Points with knife off,_ R.] D'ye see that tree? - it's called a live
oak, and is a native here; beside it grows a creeper; year after year
that creeper twines its long arms round and round the tree - sucking
the earth dry all about its roots - living on its life - overrunning
its branches, until at last the live oak withers and dies out. Do you
know what the niggers round here call that sight? they call it the
Yankee hugging the Creole. [_Sits._]

_M'Closky._ Mr. Scudder, I've listened to a great many of your
insinuations, and now I'd like to come to an understanding what they


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Online LibraryDion BoucicaultThe Octoroon : a play in four acts → online text (page 1 of 4)