“No; but we have Sambo Ebony here, and he’s going to be hurt if he tries to stir.”
President and treasurer of the Melliston Company raced to the spot. Barely sixty seconds afterward Foreman Corbett, with four negroes and one Italian laborer, also came up.
“Corbett, you have the handcuffs I gave you the other night, haven’t you?” Tom asked.
“Yes, sir. Here they are.”
Tom took the steel bracelets, ordering Mr. Sambo Ebony to turn over and lie face downward, with his hands behind his back. Then the handcuffs were slipped over the black wrists.
“Now, Sambo,” called Tom laughingly, “we’ll set you on your feet and whistle the rogues’ march for you all the way.”
“Yah, yah, yah!” jeered one of the negroes who had come up with Foreman Corbett, as he gazed contemptuously up and down the bulky figure of Mr. Ebony. “Yo’ done been tellin’ us ’spectable cullud fo’ks dat de great way to injye life was to be tough an’ smaht, lak yo’se’f. How ye’ feel erbout it now? Doan’ yo’ wish yo’ been mo’ ‘spectable yo’se’f? Doan’ ye’ done wish dat ye’ had been to camp-meeting a few times in yo’ life? Doan’ yo’ wish ye’ been honest most er de time, an’ been a hahd-wo’kin’, pay-ye’-bills niggah lak some ob de rest oh us? Yo’ fool lump er tar, yo’ boun’ ter go de way ob all de wicked—–down to ye’ grave in misery an’ sorrow. It’s de way oh all ob yo’ lazy, ugly, wuthless kind!”
“I’ve heard philosophers talk,” laughed Dick, in an aside to Tom Reade, “but I can’t say that I ever yet listened to a trained philosopher who had the truth of life down any more pat than the negro workman who just now gave his views.”
“On all matters of good behavior wise men of all degrees hold about the same views,” nodded Reade, “even though they may express their thoughts in differing grades of speech. This good negro knows just where the bad negro has failed in life.”
Mr. Sambo Ebony was marched off to jail. Even up to the minute when he was sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment the big black stubbornly refused to give his real name. He was therefore taken away to prison under the name “Sambo Ebony.”
Evarts got off with eight years and four months in prison. He is still serving that sentence.
Hawkins and his crew of gamblers and bootleggers were sentenced to two years apiece, as only misdemeanor charges could be preferred against them.
From the foregoing it will be inferred that the proposed jail delivery by other members of the gang from elsewhere did not come off according to plan. The truth was that the citizens of Blixton, when appealed to, organized a strong guard which was thrown around the jail. Doubtless the gang-members were warned in time, and so did not attempt to commit wholesale suicide by running against a citizens’ posse.
Mr. Bascomb is still president of the Melliston Company, and he is holding up his head. No further fear of blackmailers oppresses him.