John Wantamaker, a southern planter, w a major in the confederate army, sits in a union prison minus one leg, nearly starved, about out of his mind and missing Martha, his black slave and mother of his seven children. Being locked up like a caged animal and deprived of the opportunity to provide for himself, triggered a realistic understanding of how his slaves felt in their condition. His dilemma causes him to wonder if fighting a war to prolong slavery is worth it. Lilly, John's faithful wife, following his instructions to keep Buster, one of his highly intelligent slaves, close to assist her on the plantation while he is whipping the yanks, finds herself in Buster's arms. She, like many plantation owner's wives, resented their husband's relationships with black women in the slave quarters. For years, she watched John sneaking down to the quarters and return smelling to high heaven with the tell-tell evidence. Her ever pressing thought was: I wish I could get even with this obxious bastard!