THE PEPPER TREE by John Jennings


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The looked like an armed frigate and had a strange reputation. She brought a fortune to her owner. Whipple, and to her Captain, Shubael Coit, for she always brought pepper when pepper was not to be found. Coit kept the secret- even from the owner -- and men who knew too much aboard her died. Jem Shaw, frustrated in his love for Jessie, shipped aboard her hoping to find the answer. He did not know that Jessie, too, was coming aboard, reluctant wife to Coit -- or that the first mate held the secret of his and Jessie's love as a threat. It was a grim and shadowed voyage- with hate and fear aboard- and the secret of the Pacific island was well concealed as a native crew took them in through dangerous reefs. But the worst was yet to come, and the adventures ashore gather momentum as the native chief seeks to detain the lovely white woman- and Coit plots her release and Jem's death- and a man hunt with hairbreadth escape sets the island on its ears- and a miniature war breaks out which costs the death of many, Coit and the Chief among them, before Jem rescues Jessie, is himself rescued, boards the Java and takes her to safety. Straight melodrama with only a modicum of period atmosphere and nothing of the historical background for which Jennings has a reputation. But easy reading throughout its length.

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1950
Publisher: Little, Brown