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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 122 pages of information about Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
No matter how innocent a slave might be—­it availed him nothing, when accused by Mr. Gore of any misdemeanor.  To be accused was to be convicted, and to be convicted was to be punished; the one always following the other with immutable certainty.  To escape punishment was to escape accusation; and few slaves had the fortune to do either, under the overseership of Mr. Gore.  He was just proud enough to demand the most debasing homage of the slave, and quite servile enough to crouch, himself, at the feet of the master.  He was ambitious enough to be contented with nothing short of the highest rank of overseers, and persevering enough to reach the height of his ambition.  He was cruel enough to inflict the severest punishment, artful enough to descend to the lowest trickery, and obdurate enough to be insensible to the voice of a reproving conscience.  He was, of all the overseers, the most dreaded by the slaves.  His presence was painful; his eye flashed confusion; and seldom was his sharp, shrill voice heard, without producing horror and trembling in their ranks.

Mr. Gore was a grave man, and, though a young man, he indulged in no jokes, said no funny words, seldom smiled.  His words were in perfect keeping with his looks, and his looks were in perfect keeping with his words.  Overseers will sometimes indulge in a witty word, even with the slaves; not so with Mr. Gore.  He spoke but to command, and commanded but to be obeyed; he dealt sparingly with his words, and bountifully with his whip, never using the former where the latter would answer as well.  When he whipped, he seemed to do so from a sense of duty, and feared no consequences.  He did nothing reluctantly, no matter how disagreeable; always at his post, never inconsistent.  He never promised but to fulfil.  He was, in a word, a man of the most inflexible firmness and stone-like coolness.

His savage barbarity was equalled only by the consummate coolness with which he committed the grossest and most savage deeds upon the slaves under his charge.  Mr. Gore once undertook to whip one of Colonel Lloyd’s slaves, by the name of Demby.  He had given Demby but few stripes, when, to get rid of the scourging, he ran and plunged himself into a creek, and stood there at the depth of his shoulders, refusing to come out.  Mr. Gore told him that he would give him three calls, and that, if he did not come out at the third call, he would shoot him.  The first call was given.  Demby made no response, but stood his ground.  The second and third calls were given with the same result.  Mr. Gore then, without consultation or deliberation with any one, not even giving Demby an additional call, raised his musket to his face, taking deadly aim at his standing victim, and in an instant poor Demby was no more.  His mangled body sank out of sight, and blood and brains marked the water where he had stood.

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