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HOME > Classical Novels > Charles W. Quantrell > The False Jonah
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The False Jonah
EARLY in the year of 1861, about in January, Jim Lane sent a false Jonah down to Missouri to investigate the location of the negroes and stock, preparing to make a raid within a short time. This Jonah located first at Judge Gray’s house at Bone Hill, was fed by Judge Gray’s “niggers” and was secreted in an empty ice house where they kept ice in the summer time. He would come out in the night time and plan with the “niggers” for their escape into Kansas with the horses, buggies and carriages and other valuables belonging to their master that they could get possession of. But an old negro woman, old Maria by name, gave the Jonah away.
Chat Rennick, one of the neighbors, and two other men secreted themselves in the negroes’ cabin so as to hear what he was telling the negroes. After he had made all his plans for their escape Chat Rennick came out on him with the other two men and took him prisoner and started north to the Missouri River. Securing a skiff, they floated out into the river and when in about the center there came up a heavy gale, and one of these gentlemen thought it best to unload part of the cargo, so he was thrown overboard. As for the negroes, they repented in sack cloth and ashes and all stayed at home and took care of their master and mistress, as Jonah did in the olden times. As for the14 Jonah, I do not know whether the fish swallowed him or not, but if one did he did not get sick and throw him up. This took place at my wife’s uncle’s home, Judge James Gray.

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