A slave girl is actually quite white. She has a baby at the same time as the mistress who dies in childbirth, so she has to look after both. Some of the other slaves can't resist the temptation to take cash left lying around and are caught and "sold down the river", ie further South on the Missippi where they work the slaves harder. She can't face the future oppression .and thought of her son growing up to be "sold down the river" so she goes to commit suicide. When she swaps the clothes around so her son won't die in rags she realises she could just swap the babies her son Chambers and the master's boy Tom around.
Her son grows up to be the junior master, but unfortunately a spoilt brat, who treats her and the real master like dogs. He gets all the benefits of a college education, but just becomes a drunk with gambling debts. As his debts grow he sinks lower, stealing from the village gentry. His mother who was freed when the master died, worked hard and saved money, but then the bank went bust. So she came back to him to beg for money. He laughed at her, provoking her to reveal the secret. He is absolutely shell shocked to find he is a "nigger slave". He agrees to give his mother half the allowance each week.
He can't help himself again loses a lot of money in gambling. This time he can't risk asking his rich uncle to pay as he might be cut out of his will completely. His mother comes up with the plan to promise the creditors money plus interest when his ailing uncle is dead.
He goes on another stealing spree. 2 Italian twins turnup in town, whilst drinking with them he insults them and is beaten and humilated in payback. Not only that he can't sell his swag as the police are on the lookout for it. Stupidly while his own uncle judge is fishing he successfully takes the Italians in front of another judge. For his uncle and the locals this is the ultimate dishonour, they believe he's a jessy. When he refuses to challenge them to a duel to get back the family honour the uncle disinherits him.
Tom is finshed now, his uncle might die and he won't even receive any money.
So he sets off to sell the swag, but on the way to pay his creditors his swag is stolen from him. His mum to save him suggests he sells her, but hard man that he is sells her to the first convenient person. He's sold her down the river.
Tom learns his Uncle has relented and changed back the will.
She escapes the harsh place pursued by the new owner. Now Tom needs cash to payback the new owner right away. He has to steal from his uncle to get the money.
In the process he kills his uncle. The murder is blamed on the Italians. But Pudding head Wilson who has collected fingerprints all his life matches the the fingerprints on the weapon and reveals the baby swapping. So eventually Tom is revealed to be Chambers and in a twist his uncle is revealed to have had enormous debts so the creditors argue he should have been their property before the murder so they have a prior claim before the hangman. So they sell Chambers down the river to help recover their debt.
Meanwhile in the subplot Wilson who has been treated as a fool for 20 years, proves himself thro 20 years of diligent work and rises to be mayor.
Those Extraordinary Twins|
When he wrote the above story he decided to split into 2 different stories. So this time the twins appear as conjoined twins, they have different personalities. One is a freethinker and a drinker while the other is a Christian and temperance. They end up standing as councillors for opposing parties.. then with one elected and the other not, the council collapses as nonmebers cannot go to council meetings.. as ever good characters, but the feeling of not been finished.
The man who corrupted Hadleyburg
Again interesting, but not really finished. A town with a reputation for honesty, but I vindictive prankster comes up with a scheme to tempt all of the locals with greed and get all of them to lie.