THE FREEHOLDER by Joe David Brown


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Horatio Tench, born in a Yarmouth prison, is taken from the Waif's Home to be apprentice to a brutal ropemaker, knows his only kindness from the dwarf, crippled handyman, Aber. He loathes fighting but is lethal when his anger is aroused and this is the cause of his murder of his master. He escapes to America where his indentures are bought by General Jameson, of the plantation, Fair Haven, in South Carolina. Horatio rises to overseer through his handling of the out of hand slaves, earns the respect of their leader, mighty King, fascinates Clover, Jameson's daughter, by his terrific drive, his great energy. His indenture period over, he is thwarted in his hope for land of his own by Jameson's kindly despotism, his dreams of marrying Clover are insultingly spurned, and he takes his freedom when he learns of Jameson's deceit in withholding the truth of how Aber paid for Horatio's crime. With King he goes to Alabama, there wins his land, a bride and a family which he raises to believe in real freedom. And when the time comes, his sons are ready to fight against slavery. A good rousing tale, that keeps the human values of Stars In My Crown (1947) and that provides a better story.

Publisher: Morrow