Swamp by Tallahatchie River (Location Key)


While all the land along the Tallahatchie river is swampy, two texts refer to a specific part of it as 'a swamp.' In "Red Leaves," "the swamp" (333) is where "the Negro" takes refuge, and probably where he is bitten by a "cottonmouth moccasin" (338). It is small enough in area for the Indians to "form a circle" around it, which is how they finally capture him (337). It's interesting to think about how close in Faulkner's imagination this location is to the "cave under the river back" in Absalom! that is "thirteen miles from Sutpen's camp" where the pursuers finally overtake that other antebellum fugitive, the French architect. We can only speculate, but if the architect runs east, the two places are probably close. On the other hand, it's less speculative to identify this swamp as either the same or very close to the swamp in "Pantaloon in Black" where the moonshiner lives, and where Rider buys a jug of whiskey and wanders restlessly between "the close walls of impenetrable cane-stalks" (247).

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Swamp by Tallahatchie River
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Swamp by Tallahatchie River