Manuel Pereira committed.
It was nearly eleven o’clock as they ascended the jail steps and rang the bell for admittance. The jailer, a stout, rough-looking man, opened the iron door, and as Manuel was about to step over the stone sill, Dunn gave him a sudden push that sent him headlong upon the floor. “Heavens! what now?” inquired the jailer with a look of astonishment, and at the next moment Dunn raised his foot to kick Manuel in the face.
“You infernal beast!” said the jailer, “you are more like a savage than a man-you are drunk now, you vagabond,” and jumped in between them to save him from the effect of the blow. As he did this, the gentleman who accompanied them from the “corner-shop,” as a protection against Dunn’s cruelty, fetched Dunn a blow on the back of the neck that made him stagger against a door, and created such confusion as to arouse the whole jail. Turning to Manuel, he, with the assistance of the jailer, raised him from the ground and led him into the jail-office. “Mister jailer,” said Dunn, “the prisoner is mine until such times as you receipt the commitment, and I demand protection from you against this man. He has committed two violent assaults upon me, when I’d be doing me duty.”
“You have violated all duty, and are more like an incarnate fiend. You first decoy men into rum-shops, and then you plunder and abuse them, because you think they are black and can get no redress. You abused that man unmercifully, because you knew his evidence was not valid against you!” said the gentleman, turning to the jailer, and giving him the particulars of what he saw in the “corner-shop,” and what cruelties he had seen practised by Dunn on former occasions.
The jailer looked upon Manuel with commiseration, and handed him a chair to sit down on. The poor fellow was excited and fatigued, for he had eaten nothing that day, and been treated more like a brute than a human being from the time, he left the ship until he arrived at the jail. He readily accepted the kind offer, and commenced to tell the story of his treatment.
“You need’ not tell me,—I know too much of that man already. It has long been a mystery to me why he is retained in office.”—
Here Dunn interrupted. “Sure it’s yer master I’d obey and not yerself, an’ I’d do what I’d plase with prisoners, and, it’s his business and not yeers. If ye had yer way, sure you’d be makin’ white men of every nigger that ye turned a key upon.”
“Give me none of your insolence,” said the jailer. “You have no authority beyond my door. Your brutal treatment to prisoners has caused me an immense deal of trouble-more than my paltry pay would induce me to stay for. Suppose you were indicted for these outrages? What would be the result?” asked the jailer.
“Sure it’s meself could answer for the sheriff, without yer bothering yerself. I’d not work for yer, but for him; and he’s yer master anyhow, and knows all about it. Give me the receipt, and that’s all I’d ax yer. When a nigger don’t mind me, I just makes him feel the delight of a hickory stick.”