Grumby

Character Key Number: 
370
Display Name: 
Grumby
Sort Name: 
Grumby
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 
Yes
Biography: 

The outlaw named Grumby seems designed to strike every possible reader - regardless of race or region - as a villain. He first appears in the short story "The Unvanquished," as the leader of Grumby's Independents, an irregular group intent on terrorizing the Mississippi countryside. Although Grumby carries a commission allegedly signed by General Nathan Bedford Forrest, suggesting that he is loyal to the Confederacy, in fact he is interested only in wreaking havoc for his and his company's own gain. He never appears in this story, but the depredations of his gang make his name a source of terror to both the black and the white inhabitants of Yoknapatawpha. "Vendee" takes place immediately after Grumby has killed Rosa Millard, with Bayard, Ringo, and Uncle Buck in pursuit of vengeance against him. When they catch him, Bayard describes him as "a thick-built man with a reddish stubble and pale eyes, in a faded Confederate uniform coat and Yankee boots, bareheaded, with a long smear of dried blood on his cheek and one side of his coat caked with dried mud and the sleeve ripped away at the shoulder" (112). This story, including the grisly form their revenge takes, is repeated in The Unvanquished, and briefly referred to one more time in The Hamlet.