Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
Lawrence McIvor was twenty-two when he heard his family’s story for the first time. Just out of college, he had been summoned to his Uncle Pleasant’s house deep in the coves of Winston County, Alabama. There, through all of one dark winter night, he listened to his kinsmen’s tale of hatred and grim vengeance.
The McIvor troubles began in Georgia, at a militia muster where powerful old Cameron McIvor refused to wrestle one of the reckless Caruthers twins. Several days later, Job Caruthers attacked McIvor, and the planter broke the young man’s arm. After his recovery, Job and his brother, Mebane, returned a borrowed team of horses in a wind-broken condition. Furious, McIvor shot Job. The brother then started a lawsuit that left the planter almost ruined. McIvor decided to move to Texas. Pleasant, his favored son, was sixteen at the time.
The McIvors traveled by wagon with their cattle and remaining slaves. Near Wetumpka, Alabama, they met Tyson Lovell, a wealthy landowner who offered McIvor five hundred acres of good land to crop on shares. Not long after they had settled in their new home, William, the oldest son, married a storekeeper’s daughter and went to live in town. Pleasant and his younger brother, Levi, helped their father and the hands in the fields.
There was something mysterious and sinister about Lovell. After McIvor and Pleasant, tracking a lost mule, found a shack in which two neighbors named Wilton were...
(The entire section is 1228 words.)
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