The action takes place in Florida in the early 1830’s. before and during the so-called Second Seminol War. The protagonist George Randolph is the son of an impoverished planter who moved from Virginia to Florida. In his veins there is an admixture of Indian blood, which is considered to be a matter of pride in America.
At the very beginning of the narrative we get acquainted with other heroes. Among them are slaves Yellow Jack and Black Jack, Mulatto and Negro, Mulat is described as a creature gloomy, spiteful, cruel and vindictive – qualities that the hero, on whose behalf the story is narrated, considers the psychological feature of mulattoes in general: “Mulattos are proud of their yellow skin and pose themselves “above” Negroes both mentally and physically,
Between the mulatto and the negro there is a rivalry because of the beauty of the Viola quartrononca. Once the mulatto, wishing to achieve her favor, lies in wait on the forest path, and from violence Viola is saved only by the appearance of the hero’s sister, young Virginia. The mulatto is punished; from revenge he kills his beloved Virginia deer, he is punished again, and then he decides to the extreme – lures the alligator into the pool where the girl usually bathes.
Her death is saved by an Indian youth named Powell, the son of an Indian and white.
The mulatta decided to execute a bitten off for the life of a white mulatto girl – to burn alive. In the preparations for the execution, the owners of the neighboring plantation, the father and son of Ringgold, take a keen interest in the preparations – everyone knows that young Ringgold dreams of marrying Virginia. Powell and Arge Ringleg are exchanging insults, and as a result of the fights between them, Yellow Jack manages to escape. He is followed by a chase, but in front of his pursuers, he becomes a victim of a crocodile.
In the meantime, Ringgold and his friends Ned Spence and Bill Williams decide to punish the proud Indian, and the hero saves him from beatings with whips.
This is how the friendship between the hero and the Indian develops, to which Virginia and Sister Powell Mayumi subsequently join. This friendship does not last long: soon the parents of the hero learn about it, and it is urgently sent to study at West Point.
When he returns to Florida, there is a war with the Indians, the lands of which the white settlers are claiming. However, it is impossible to drive the Indians out of their land simply because there is a special agreement on this matter. White’s task is to dissolve the existing one and conclude a new treaty providing for the resettlement of the Indians to new lands. In case of refusal of Indians it is decided to use force. Government troops are being drawn to places of resettlement of Seminoles.
Among the Indian leaders there is no unity on the issue of resettlement: some are ready to agree to the conditions of whites, others prefer to fight with the troops.