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He was the plantation work boss. He's a local Cajun man, well respected in his community. Among the employees in his charge, Baton has a reputation as a particularly cruel man. He punishes without mercy. His murder is described at the outset of the novel, providing the premise.
Candy is the partial owner of the plantation and fills in for overseer occasionally. She feels loyalty and kinship with the employees and devises a scheme to protect Mathu from the law which involves all of the other plantation men.
He is the primary accused person for Beau's death. As a black man, he is the sheriff's primary suspect.
She is the owner of the plantation. Miss Merle does not believe that Candy killed Beau, but she insists they must pursue the case and find the murderer.
He is a prejudiced local official, known to be friends with Fix and all the radical racial activists in town. He suspects Mathus from the start but must find evidence.
He's Candy's boyfriend who accompanies the sheriff.
Fix has historically and somewhat famously led multiple lynch mobs. He's angry and racist and set in his ways. The threat of his arrival with a mob to enact vengeance for Beau's death looms throughout the book.
Charlie confesses to the murder as Mathu is being led away. He insists that he made Mathu take the fall for him. He does not appear, however, strong enough to have killed Beau. The sheriff is inclined to believe Charlie, however, because he is also a black man.
Gil is Beau's brother. He's the start on the Louisiana State football team. Although his favorite teammate, Cal, is a black man, Gil still suspects some sort of conspiracy on Cal's part int eh murder of his brother.
Luke is associated with Fix and all the angry, violent white men in town. He's a young man who spends most of his time getting into trouble, unable to contain his aggressive energy.
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