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Island in the Swamp Recap

A rowboat with Bret tied up in it floats up to the docks in bayou country. Ladybird Forge is fishing off the dock and sees the rowboat, and exchanges pleasantries with Bret. She says that she doesn't know who he is so she isn't going to untie him, and Bret suggests that she check his wallet. There's nothing there but a cigar, and Bret notices another woman watching them from the nearby college. Ladybird says that it's her big sister Victoria, and Bret offers to show Ladybird that she can use the cigar as bait. Bret offers to show her how if Ladybird unties her, and Ladybird cuts him free. Ladybird explains that he's at Ellis Settlement and takes him in to eat. As they go in, Victoria runs out the back.

Inside, Ladybird serves Bret rice and gravy. Victoria peers at them from outside, and Ladybird tells that Victoria doesn't show herself to strangers. Daddy Forge, his son Herbert, and Oliver Offord arrive . Oliver glares at Bret, asks if he's been hanging around Victoria, and punches Bret before he can answer. Ladybird tells Oliver that Bret hasn't talked to Victoria and barely seen her, and Bret punches Oliver into the water.

Daddy stops Oliver and points out that he started the whole thing. He then has Ladybird explained what happened, and Ladybird admits that the boat delivered off. Bret explains that he was the River Queen bound for St. Louis when someone hit him from behind and put him a rowboat. Daddy warns that they don't take strangers in, and they're on an island and they don't have any rowboats to spare. When Bret asks if someone can row him, Oliver says that he's seen "it". Daddy explains that they have to have the other colonists vote on the measure, and takes Bret in to eat.

Inside, Daddy explains that Herbert is by his first wife and Ladybird is by his second. Oliver comes in and Daddy says that Oliver is mooning after Victoria. He explains that they're an English colony, and asks Bret not to gawk at Victoria when she comes in. Victoria comes in and looks shyly at herself in a mirror. Oliver notices as Bret watches her and breaks the mirror. He explains that Bret was staring at Victoria, and Daddy tells him to cool down because he's a visitor in his home.

That night, the colonists meet and Ladybird says that there was a number 3 on the side of the boat. The name on it was the same as the River Queen. Bret asks if it's a crime why he came there, and Daddy advises him to keep quiet. Anthony figures that Bret is a government spy and set the whole thing up. Bret points out that he hasn't seen anything, and Anthony says that they're not sure he hasn't seen anything.

Daddy tells Bret to step out of earshot while they take the vote. Once he does, Oliver's father Anthony votes to kill Bret and Oliver seconds the motion. Daddy notes that if Bret doesn't go back, others will come back looking for him. They take a vote and call Bret out, and tell him that they're not going to let him leave until they're sure about him one way or another. Until then, Bret can live among them as one of their own as long as he doesn't try to escape. Oliver complains that they made a bad vote.

Daddy shows Bret to a cabin where he's staying and he finds Victoria inside. She quickly leaves, and Daddy asks Bret for his boots so he can't escape. Weeks ago by, and Bret explores the island. When he runs into Victoria, she runs off. One day Bret finds the boats, and Herbert and Daddy come along and say that he wouldn't get far.

Riverboats pass by, and ignore Bret when he tries to get their attention, figuring that he's waving to them. One day Sampson rows by with his boatman, and Bret calls them over. He advises them not to land on the island because they don't let outsiders leave, and Sampson points out that he's the postman. Sampson invites Bret to hide underneath a tarp and continues to the dock. They continue to the dock, and when Sampson goes inside Herbert comes over and tells the boatman to let him know if he sees any strangers. An hour goes by, and Bret sees a tattoo on the boatman's hand.

Sampson finally comes back to the rowboat, and Daddy comes out and complains that Sampson is robbing them. Sampson points out that he takes a risk a risk peddling them in the city, and Daddy reluctantly takes his price but by says that he knows they're robbing them. They row out and the boatman draws a knife on Sampson's signal, preparing to kill Bret. Bret punches him and dives overboard, swims away, and hides behind a tree. Once Sampson leaves, Bret swims ashore and returns to the colony.

Later at the Forges' cabin, Bret talks to Ladybird. She offers to give Bret his cigar back if he teaches her how to read and write. Bret says that he's not a teacher, and Ladybird gives him his cigar for being honest. Daddy and Herbert come in and Daddy talks about having a schoolhouse there. He tells Bret that they're going to have lock Bret up for a spell but won't say why.

That night at the colony meeting, Daddy hands out some clothing they bought with the money Sampson gave them. Meanwhile, Bret knocks a hole in the side of his hut and sneaks out. He sees the shipping crates at the town meeting and realizes that he's fallen among Bayou pirates. Daddy sends Herbert to let Bret out, and Bret gets back just in time.

Two days later, Bret figures that visitors are coming and the colonists don't want them to see him. The Cajuns arrive and the spokesman, Phillipe Theirot, says that he speaks for the Arcadians. Daddy users the Cajuns in to do some trading, and Victoria watches Phillipe go.

That night, Bret brakes out of the hut again but this time Herbert is wise to him and immediately boards the hole over. Ladybird comes by later with his shirt, and explains that Daddy didn't want her to visit Bret for fear she would give away what's going on. She says that the colonists are trading for fishing boats and leaves. Phillipe and one of the other Cajuns come by to discuss the deal, and Bret calls them over and says that he needs help. They don't speak English and walk away, laughing at Bret.

When the trading ends, the colonists release Bret. He confronts Victoria, who is singing and walks past him. Victoria ignores Oliver as well. When Bret goes back to the colony, he overhears Daddy and Anthony discussing him. Daddy trusts Bret, but Anthony has heard that Bret leap out of Sampson's boat. Anthony asks if Daddy will abide by popular vote, and Daddy agrees. Bret figures that he'd better escape before the vote goes against him.

That night, Bret tries to sneak off the island. He sees Victoria in a party dress walking out into the swamp and follows her. Victoria comes to a boat and Bret approaches her. Phillipe jumps Bret and Bret pins him to the ground. Victoria draws a gun on Bret and tells him not to harm Philippe, and Bret lets Philippe up. She explains who Bret is, and Bret figures that they were running away together to stay with his people. Victoria figures that they have to take Bret away. Phillipe hear the colonists approaching and they quickly depart in the boat.

The trio leave the island, and Oliver and the others realize that they escaped in a boat. Daddy goes to get a boat while Oliver and the others go around the other way. The colonists cut off Phillipe's escape, and Phillipe pulls the boat behind a tree to wait until they pass. Daddy hears them and they move in, and Philippe says that the only direction remaining for them is toward their cache. He wades through the water to check it out, and Victoria tells Bret that a freight boat washed up in the last big storm and they've been selling it bit by bit to Sampson. Bret knows about the ship, The Maria, because he read about it in the papers. The crew got off in lifeboats and the freight boat disappeared.

Phillipe returns and says that they have to go to the cache. When they get there, Bret tells Victoria and Philippe to run along while he draws the colonists away. Daddy and the others put ashore and go to the cache on foot, while Bret reaches the beached freighter, sits on a crate, lights a crate, and starts singing. The colonists hear him and move in, and Bret cheerfully greets them. Herbert stops his fellow colonists from shooting Bret, and Bret says that Victoria left with Philippe to get married. Bret offers to make them three times as much selling the cargo, impressing Anthony.

Bret tells the colonist that they're selling dresses worth $75 for $10, and says that he can sell them for $60. In return he wants 5%, and they can build a schoolhouse with the profit. Daddy agrees, figuring Bret has to deliver, and Bret tells them that the crew abandoned The Maria so the cargo belongs to whoever finds it. The colonists can legally sell the goods on the open market, and Anthony points out that they don't need Bret. Daddy insists on sticking by their deal, and Anthony admits they wouldn't have had the stomach to kill Bret.

Soon the colonists are relaxing with Bret in style in New Orleans thanks to their newfound money. Ladybird learns how to read, and Larry admires her girlish ways. He assures Daddy that he's praising Ladybird, not insulting her, and Daddy admires his determination to marry a Forge woman.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 20, 2019

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