Red Rock

Thomas Nelson Page

Red Rock, by Thomas Nelson Page, was published in 1899. It is entitled “A Chronicle of the Reconstruction,” and is a faithful portrayal of the political and social conditions which existed during that era. The scene is laid “partly in one of the old Southern States and partly in the land of memory,” and opens just before the war. Red Rock is the name of a plantation which has been owned and occupied by the Gray family for many generations, and which takes its name from a rock with a huge red stain upon it, which was believed to be the blood of the Indian chief who had slain the wife of the first Jacquelin Gray. The present Jacquelin, the central figure of the story, is a young lad at the time of the breaking out of the war, and, after the death of his father in battle, he enlists, at the age of fifteen, to fight for the South. After many trying experiences, in which he shows great nobleness and courage, he returns home at the close of the war seriously wounded. He finds desolation and ruin all about him and is forced to witness his mother’s death and her burial in alien soil, as their home and patrimony have been wrested from them by dishonest means. Jacquelin has always loved Blair Cary, the companion of his childhoods’ days, but he holds aloof from her, thinking that she is in love with his dashing cousin, Steve Allen, and his suit does not prosper. After many thrilling episodes with “Carpet-baggers,” Ku Klux raids, and law-suits, Jacquelin at last comes into his own, winning back the estate of his father and the hand of the girl he loves. Steve Allen, the hero of many exciting adventures, marries Ruth Welch, a charming Northern girl who has come to make her home in the South. Dr. Cary, who figures prominently in the story, is a noble character and spends his last strength in visiting the bedside of his enemy Leech, the villainous overseer, who has everywhere worked havoc and desolation.

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