Act 1, Scene 1
* In the throne room of a West Indies palace, Smithers interrogates an old woman about where the natives have gone.
* The old woman says that the natives have fled to the hills and when Emperor Jones enters, Smithers tells Jones that the natives have started an uprising.
* Emperor Jones describes his authority over Smithers and the natives, an authority he holds through the natives' superstition that he can only be killed with a silver bullet.
* Jones rings for the servants, and when no one comes, he gets scared and heads for the hills.
Act 1, Scene 2
* Jones reaches the edge of the forest, where he looks for food he hid under stones. He does not find the food.
* As he starts to panic, he hears the far-off sound of a tom-tom drum, beating insistently.
* Formless fears begin to squirm toward him and when he shoots at them...
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