Quote 5

"I leaned over and touched him, hoping that some of that stuff he had found back there in the swamps might rub off on me.

Dirty Red says this line at the end of Chapter 19 when he reaches over to touch Charlie's dead body. The "stuff" that Dirty Red is trying to obtain is the courage and fierceness that Charlie seems to have gathered back when he was hiding in the swamps. Traditionally, Charlie was the weakest and most cowardly black man on the plantation. The community is astonished at his transformation first into the murderer of Beau Boutan, and next into the fiercest fighter in the final shootout with the whites. Ever since Charlie returned from the swamp, he has acted like a man who knows no fear. His bravery impresses everyone so much that they wonder if some physical "stuff" brought about his transformation. Charlie's fearlessness is the stuff that Dirty Red wants to gather for himself. In fact, everyone wants some of it. After Dirty Red touches Charlie's body, everyone in the community does including young Snookum and his siblings. All of the people pay homage to Charlie for his bravery, courage, and manhood by laying their hands on his body.