The History and Remarkable Life of the Truly Honorable Col Jacque, Commonly Call'd Col Jack (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Colonel Jacque, called Colonel Jack, an adventurer who commits many misdeeds. An illegitimate child, he is given to a nurse who dies when Jack is but ten years old. Having to fend for himself, Jack the waif becomes a successful though sometimes conscience-stricken pickpocket. He is tossed by fate into the American Colonies and becomes an indentured servant on a plantation, where he becomes a successful and kindly overseer of slaves. When freed from his period of indenture, he becomes a landowner in Virginia. Leaving his plantation in the hands of his faithful overseer, he returns to England and marries. Unfortunate in love, he attacks his wife’s lover and flees to France to become a professional soldier, fighting with the French against his countrymen. After another sojourn in Virginia and many adventures, he finally repents of his life of crime and violence, seeks a pardon from the English crown, and settles down in England, persuaded that only the goodness of God has saved him. He hopes that his life story will make other persons repent of their sins and become good Christians.
Captain Jack, Colonel Jack’s thoroughly evil foster brother. He is a witty, intelligent rogue who introduces Jack to the picking of pockets. Captain Jack rebels against indentured servitude, flees to England to resume his criminal life, and is at last hanged as a common...
(The entire section is 399 words.)
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Summary (Masterplots: Revised Category Edition, British Fiction Series)
The illegitimate son of a gentleman and a lady, Colonel Jack, as he was later known, was early in his life given to his nurse to rear. There he was brought up with her own son, Captain Jack, and another unwanted child, Major Jack. She treated the boys well, but she had little money and so they were forced to fend for themselves. When Colonel Jack was ten years of age, the good woman died, leaving the three boys to beg for their food. Lodging did not bother them; they slept in ash piles and doorways in the winter and on the ground in summer. Captain Jack soon turned to picking pockets for a living and was so successful that he took Colonel Jack into partnership. The two young rogues preyed on wealthy men who were careless with their money. One of the boys would take the money, extracting only a small note from the whole; then the other would return the rest to its rightful owner and collect a reward for its return. One of the duped men was so grateful to honest-seeming Colonel Jack that upon the return of his wallet he agreed to keep the reward money for the boy and pay him interest on it. Since Colonel Jack had no place to keep the stolen goods safely, he had asked the gentleman to do him that service. Later, Colonel Jack took more stolen money to the same man for safekeeping and received his note for the whole amount, to be paid only to Colonel Jack himself. After the scamps had robbed a poor woman of all her savings, Colonel Jack was so ashamed that he later...
(The entire section is 1353 words.)