OBI; or, THREE-FINGER'D JACK
A SERIO-PANTOMIME, IN TWO ACTS.
[NOTE: Scenes that have been dramatized on video are in bold and bracketed with an icon . To download the files, just click on the icon at the beginning or end of the section. Please note that these files are quite large and will take a few moments to download]
SCENE I—View of an extensive plantation in Jamaica. A private gate, 3 E.R.H. A large house, L.H. The centre representing Slaves and Oxen, in figures, tilling the ground, At the back are sugar houses, and a practicable wheel, representing a mill at work, R.H. in perspective.
QUASHEE'S WIFE discovered, R.H. and SAM'S WIFE, L.H.
DUETT. The white man comes, and brings his gold—
The slaver meet him on the Bay—
And, oh, poor negro then be sold,
From home poor negro sails away.
Oh, it be very, very sad to see
Poor negro child and father part—
But if white man kind massa be,
He heal the wound in negro's heart.
Enter QUASHEE, SAM, and other Male and Female Slaves
CHORUS OF NEGROES.
Sing ting a ring terry—sing ting a ring terry—
Good massa we find, ting a ring.
When buckra man kind, then negro heart merry—
Sing ting a ring, wing terry.
We love massa—we love massa, when he good,
No lay stick on negro's back—
We love much kouskous he gives for food
And save us from the Three-finger'd Jack.
Sing ring a ring, terry, &c.
Enter OVERSEER, L.H.
Black ladies and gentlemen, please to draw near,
And attend to the words of your grand Overseer,
Leave work till to-morrow, my hearts, in the morning,
Be jovial and gay,
For this is the day,
That our master's, the good Planter's daughter was born in,
'Tis your lady's birthday,
There-fore we'll make holiday,
And you shall all be merry.
Sing ting a ring, sing ting a ring, wing ting a ring terry—
PLANTER. Yes—yes, he has landed! he's now on his way from the shore to embrace me—
OVERSEER. Who is it?
PLANTER. Captain Orford, from England—
OVERSEER. What, landed to-day?
PLANTER. Yes—the son of my oldest and very best friend.
OVERSEER. Then he comes with the troops they have lately expected—
PLANTER. Right. Prepare for his welcome—see nothing neglected.
Exeunt all except Overseer, L.H.
Overseer calls on eight Slaves, L.H. who enter with sugar canes. He directs them to carry them to the sugar houses. They exeunt, R.H. Enter Tuckey, with a letter, L.H. He comes forward, and shews he can't understand the direction. He perceives the Overseer, taps him on the shoulder, salutes him as he turns round, beckons him forward, requests him to direct him where he can find the person to whom the letter is addressed. Overseer takes the letter, and discovers it to be for the Planter, tells Tuckey so, and carries it off at gate, R.H. Tuckey, pleased at discovering who the letter is for, sees the Slaves, who have before gone across with the sugar canes—goes up the hill, looks at them with contempt—showing, though of the same complexion, the superior situation he conceives himself to be in, compared to the Slaves—turns round, and observes Overseer and Planter, who enter from gate, R.H. the latter with letter in his hand. Planter enquires of Overseer who brought the letter—Overseer points to Tuckey—Planter beckons him—Tuckey runs up and salutes him. Planter asks if he brought the letter—Tuckey answers in the affirmative. Planter then enquires where his master is—Tuckey points off, L.H. Planter then directs him to fetch his master. Tuckey runs towards L. but recollects he has not taken proper leave of Planter, turns round, bows, and as he is going off, L. returns, and informs Planter that his master is coming, pointing to Captain Orford, who enters L.H. Tuckey salutes him. Planter walks down, shows he is happy to see him, and they embrace each other. Planter shows him his house, and plantations. While they are looking about, a loud laugh heard R.H. Captain enquires the reason—Planter informs him the Slaves are coming to celebrate his daughter's birth-day, requests him to stay, and witnesses the sports. Captain consents. March. Procession of Negroes, R.H. Eight Negro Boys, in pairs, with Triangles—Six Dancing Girls, in pairs, with Bells. They go round in front of the Stage, and range up R. & L.H. Quashee and Sam on opposite sides in front. Enter Rosa, and two Female Attendants, at gate, R.H. Rosa distributes presents to the Slaves of ribbons, handkerchiefs, &c. Planter comes forward—Rosa kneels R. of him. He raises her—brings down the Captain, introduces them to each other—their admiration is mutual, which Tuckey observes with satisfaction. Captain approaches Rosa, and kisses her hand. Tuckey observing this, appears overjoyed, and runs up the Stage. Planter comes down, points to Rosa, and asks the Captain how he likes her. Captain expresses his approbation. Planter then asks his Daughter the same question. Rosa likewise expresses her approbation of him. A horn sounds without, as a signal for the Captain to retire. Captain makes an offer to go, but is anxious to stay. Tuckey pulls him by the sleeve, and reminds him of the signal. Captain appears angry at his interference. Horn sounds a second time. Captain still wishes to stay. Tuckey urges him to go—he shows more anger at his importunity, but at last decides on going. Kisses his hand to Rosa—Tuckey catches hold of his other hand, and they both exeunt L.H. Planter and Rosa go up Stage. Negro Dance by the Six Negro Men and Women—at the end of which the Men sit down. R. the Women, L.H. A gun heard. Tuckey screams, and runs on in a great fright—calls all the Negro Men around him, holds up his three fingers, repeating the word "Jack!" at sound of which they all start up, and ask him what's the matter. Tuckey tells them that his master has been shot at by Three-Finger'd Jack—they all appear terrified, repeating the work "Jack!" —retire, and make room for the Planter, who comes forward and asks what's the matter. Tuckey informs him—and then goes to the Negroes, asks them to go to the Captain's rescue. They still appear more terrified, and refuse to go. Overseer threatens them, still they refuse to go. Rosa now comes down and entreats them—they seem inclined to obey her—go round the Stage, she following them. Another gun heard. The whole of the Negroes return towards R.H. Planter returns, enraged at their temerity, with Overseer and Tuckey. Planter still reprimanding them for their cowardice. At length Quashee and Sam come forward, agree between themselves to go, and inform the Planter of their determination. Planter approves their conduct—shakes them by the hand, and they go off, R.H. preceded by Tuckey. Rosa comes forward, reprimands the Slaves, and they slink off abashed, R.H. She then prays for their success in rescuing the Captain, and for their safe return, and overcome with emotion, is nearly fainting. The two Attendants support and place her in a chair, who with the Dancing Negroes from a groupe around her. Enter Captain, supported by Planter, Overseer, and Tuckey, who is holding his hand. Quashee and Sam assisting behind, all seeming anxious for his recovery. Tuckey gets a chair from L.H. and they place him in it, all forming a groupe around him. One of the Female Attendants, leaving Rosa, runs to see the Captain, observes his wound, is terrified, and returns to Rosa. Rosa asks if he is wounded—she answers in the negative. Rosa, not satisfied, and fearing he is hurt, rushes from her attendants, goes to the Captain, finds he is wounded—lays her hand upon his heart, expresses great joy at feeling it bear. Captain gradually recovers—finds Tuckey at his knees, embraces him for his fidelity. He turns his head, sees Rosa, expresses great joy, shewing every token of affection for her, kissing her hand several times. During this the Planter is expressing his approval of the courage of Quashee and Sam in accompanying them. Tuckey shews the Captain the gate, R.H. and entreats him to go in, and, with Rosa, raises him from his seat—as they walk forward, the Captain, from the loss of blood, faints into her arms. Planter runs to his assistance, and raises him up. They all lead him off at the gate, R.H. The Female Attendants and Six Dancing Negresses go off U E.R.H. Overseer comes forward, calls on the Chorus of Negroes, who all enter L.H. at various entrances.
Swear by the silver crescent of the night,
Beneath whose beams the negro breathes his pray'r—
Swear by your fathers slaughter'd in the fight,
By your dear native land and children swear.
Swear to pursue this traitor, and annoy him—
This Jack, who daily works your harm,
With Obi and with magic charm—
Swear, swear you will destroy him!
Kolli kolli kolli, we swear all—
We kill when we come near him—
But we swear loud, for when we bawl,
Three-Finger'd Jack he hear us.
Swear to pursue, &c.
Kolli kolli kolli, &c.
Enter Tuckey, Captain, and Planter, R.H. The Captain's dress changed, and much reversed. Planter and Tuckey get him a chair, which he refuses, assuring them he is better. Enter Rosa, with caution, R.H. anxious to ascertain the state of the Captain. Enter Servant, L.H. calls off the Planter—they both exeunt, L.H. Captain turns and sees Rosa—goes to her, thanks her for her care of him—makes every token of affection, which she receives with timidity, yet with pleasure. He drops on his knees—she gives him her hand. At this instant the Planter enters behind, L.H. He runs between them abruptly—they start and rise, much confused. Planter asks Rosa the meaning of their actions—Rosa acknowledges her affection for the Captain. Planter turns to the Captain—interrogates him—Captain vows eternal love. Planter takes Rosa's hand firmly, then the Captain's, and blessing them, places their hands together—they express great rapture, falling at his feet. Planter raises them, and sends Rosa off, R.H. Enter Four Servants in livery, with apparatus for shooting. Planter invites Captain to partake of the sports with him—he accepts the offer—takes his gun—Slaves put shot belt round him, and assist him. When prepared with their apparatus, they go off, as if to shoot—Slaves following, R.H.
SCENE III—The Inside of an Obi Woman's Cave, cut in the heart of a large rock. At the extremity is seen, in perspective at the top R.H. a cavity, which may be supposed an entrance. Opposite to this, likewise at the top, L.H. but nearer the audience is seen another cavity, covered with rushes and straw. The whole of the walls are entirely covered with feathers, rags, bones, teeth, catskins, broken glass, parrots' beaks, &c. &c.
OBI WOMAN (an old decrepid Negress, dressed very grotesquely) discovered in one corner of the cave, 2 E.R.H.
Enter to her, through the cavity at back, R.H. six Negro Robbers. Before they enter they give each a signal of approach by whistling. Obi Woman answers. Robbers climb down, and presenting her with some present, as in succession they approach her. She answers, in return, that she will present then with Obi. After they have all passed, and given and received their presents, a tremendous crash is heard U.E.L.H. Jack enters from opening at top of tock, L.H. bearing in his hands the Captain's sash, epaulettes, gorget, &c. of which he has robbed him. Robbers prostrate themselves before him. Obi Woman shows signs of joy at seeing him. He presents her with the spoil—she ties the sash round, having first ornamented it with Obi. Obi Woman then fills his Obi horn. Jack then crosses all the Robbers' foreheads to prevent their betraying him, when Obi Woman gives horn and scarf. A gun heard over them—they all start up, and fly to their arms. Jack orders them to be silent. Robbers listen—hear a noise over head, and wish to go. Jack prevents them—takes his arms, orders them to lie down upon their faces, arranged in such a manner as to render it impossible for Jack to get out the way they came in. While they are in this situation, Jack climbs up, and goes out at the cavity, L.H. Obi Woman orders them to rise. When they find Jack gone, they express great surprise and astonishment. Obi Woman then shews them a cavity at the bottom of the cell, and orders them to descend—they go down, following severally and silently. The last one closes the trap, and the Obi Woman goes off, 2 E. R. H.
Tuckey discovered on the rock. R.H. with a dead bird in his hand, with which he is descending—the Captain discovered at bottom of the rock, as having shot it. Tuckey descends with the game, and presents it to the Captain. Enter Planter, L.H. with four Livery Servants, bringing game they have killed. Captain shews them his game: while they examine it, the Captain loads his gun. They then look round as if in search of more game, but seeing none, Planter proposes to look further. All go off, R.H. Jack now pops his head out of a hole at the bottom of a rock, R.H. and watches them—sees the Captain and Tuckey returning, R.H., runs up the rock, and lies down behind a bush, out of sight. Enter the Captain and Tuckey, R.H. as if in search of game. Captain, unsuccessful, is going, when a bird is seen to fly across the stage from L.H. and alights on top of a rock near which Jack has concealed himself. Captain and Tuckey creep round to L.H. Captain fires, and the bird falls—Tuckey runs up to get the bird—Captain turns from the rock to load his gun, when Jack springs up and throws Tuckey from the top of the rock into the sea. Tuckey screams violently. Captain turns—sees him in the water—runs as if to plunge after him— Jack still remains on the rock, and makes a horrid yell—presents a pistol as Captain approaches—Captain retires a few steps much agitated, and eager to go to the boy's assistance. Jack threatens to shoot—Captain catches up his gun, butt upwards, as if to run up the rock to Jack—approaches, when Jack fires his pistol and wounds him in the arm. Captain drops his gun, and staggers down the stage, L.H. During this Tuckey is seen swimming to the boat—gets into it, pulls up anchor, and paddles away L.H. Jack comes from the rock and approaches the Captain, who endeavors to defend himself. Jack demands his powder flask, &c. Captain refuses, and makes a faint resistance. Jack hears a noise behind R.H. as if of the tread of some persons approaching. Captain leaning against L. wing, fainting from loss of blood. Jack seizes him, throws him down, and at last drags him into the cave at the bottom of the rock, R.H. Enter Planter and Four Livery Servants, R.H. Planter sees the Captain's hat and gun, and in great agitation, looks about for him—not finding him, goes out much distressed, L.H. with hat, &c. Slaves take up the gun and cluster round it—holding up their hands with three fingers, and turning up their eyes. Jack makes a yell from behind. Slaves turn round—see him, throw down gun, and rush off trembling, L.H. Jack comes forward, takes up gun, and exits into cave.
Enter Planter, L.H. very much dejected—meets Overseer, R.H. Planter tells him he fears the Captain has fallen into the power of Jack. Enter Tuckey, L.H. his clothes wet. Tuckey, with great horror, tells the fate of the Captain. Enter Rosa, R.H., she welcomes them on their return. Rosa enquires for the Captain. Planter turns away—she then asks the Overseer—he points to Tuckey, who stands with his head against the third Wing, L.H., dejected. Rosa runs to him, and catches him by the arm, brings him to the front of the stage, and demands of him where the Captain is. Tuckey tells her of his fate. Rosa stands a moment motionless—stares vacantly, then starts, makes an effort to depart, but, overpowered by her feelings, faints in the Planter's arms, and is borne off, R.H. Enter Officer of Government, U.E.L.H. with Guards, attended by Slaves, bearing a large Proclamation, on which is written in large characters:—"Reward for killing Three-finger'd Jack! One Hundred Guineas, and Freedom to any Slave who brings in the Head of Three-Finger'd Jack!"
Mode of the foregoing entry:—
Six Soldiers, in pairs.
Chief Officer of Government.
Two Slaves, bearing Proclamation.
Eight slaves, in pairs.
They enter U.E.L.H. March across to R.H. down R.H. Wings, across the front of the stage, and up L.H. Wings—place the Proclamation in C. Officer then comes down L.H. takes his situation behind the first six Soldiers, R.H. and they all march off, R.H. in the order they entered, leaving the Proclamation standing in the C. of the stage. All the Slaves who went off R.H. now re-enter, and the rest of the Slaves, with their Wives and Children, come on L.H. They all view the Proclamation, but shake their heads, and scout away. At length Quashee and Sam come and look at it on opposite sides—seem as if animated by the Same feeling—point particularly to the word "Freedom," then to their Wives and Children. They each take up a little Black Child, and kiss it very affectionately, and swear to perform the great task. They then take each other by the hand, and come down the stage firmly. Tuckey, who has observed all that passed, comes between them, and offers to accompany them. They caress him, and accept his services. Enter Planter—he encourages them. Quashee goes on his knees, and makes signs of a wish to be christened. Planter promises it shall be performed. Quashee rises in great glee—tells the rest of the Negroes, who all follow the Planter off, R.H. making attitudes of dancing, leaving only Quashee, Wife, and Child.
Quashee he load his gun—
Me go kill Jack, dear—
Hill will no cover sun
When Quashee come back, dear.
War be no certain,
And gun be no true—
Quashee should Jack kill,
My heart break for you.
Sweet music tink a tank,
Stay here delighting,
No go to battle—
Big Death come in fighting.
Me laugh at Obi charm—
Quashee strong hearted.
Ah, me fear many harm,
When you and me parted.
No go, sweet Quashee, me pray—
Yes—go, but long me no stay—
Me drop so when you far away,
Sweet music tink, &c.
The Two Female Attendants of Rosa discovered in balcony of House.
Three rows of benches placed on each side of the Stage—also at the back, below the house, rising in a gradual ascent.
The Scene represents a Negro Ball. All the Slaves discovered with Jonkanoo (the Master of the Ceremonies), as follows.
Six Dancing Negresses, with bells, Chorus of Negro Men & Women, and Eight Boys, with Drums and Fifes, ranged on benches at back.
Chorus of Negro Men and Women, indiscriminately—Chorus, &c. as above—Three Dancing Negroes—
Negro Boys, with triangles, &c. are arranged on R.H. benches.
Chorus of Negro Men and Women, indiscriminately—Three Dancing Negroes—Chorus, &c. as above.
Negro Boys, with triangles, &c. are arranged on L.H. benches.
Jonkanoo (Master of the Ceremonies) stands c. half way up the Stage. A Negro with cymbals R. A Negro with cymbals, L. Flourish of Drums and Fifes the moment the Scene is discovered.
Enter Planter, Overseer, and Clergyman. All the Negroes bow to them. Quashee and Sam advance to the front of the Stage. Clergyman follows them in C. They vow to destroy Jack—kneel—Clergyman blesses them alternately. All the Slaves at the Same time wave their hands, make a particular sort of chattering, by repeating several times the name of "Jack!" Quashee and Sam are then presented with arms, viz.—a gun and a sabre. Exeunt Planter and Clergyman R.H.
FINALE. CHORUS OF NEGROES, ETC.
Accompanied with a Dance by the Negro Girls, under the direction of Jonkanoo.
We negro men and women meet,
And dance and sing, and drink and eat,
With a yam foo—with a yam foo!
And when we come to negro ball,
One funny big man be massa of all—
'Tis merry Jankanoo.
Now we dance, sing, and eat,
Yam foo, &c.
Massa he poor negro treat,
Give grand ball, and Jonkanoo.
Jack he did good Captain wound—
Shoot him shoulder, hurt him back—
If by Quashee Jack be found,
Then good bye, Three-fingered Jack.
Now we dance, &c.
Jack have charm in Obi bag—
Tom cat foot, pig tail, duck beak—
Quashee tear the charm to rag,
Make Three-finger'd Jack to squeak.
Now we dance, &c.