'Why Don't You End It?'
Original Author: Howard Pyle
Created: 1900
Medium: Oil on canvas

“‘Why Don’t You End It?'”,University of Virginia Library ,Monday

The frontispiece of Mary Johnston's novel To Have and to Hold (1900), by the renowned artist Howard Pyle, depicts the hero, Captain Ralph Percy, dueling with a pirate. This is the last of three sword fights against pirate opponents, all of which Percy wins. His final victim, shown here, admits defeat by asking Percy, "Why don't you end it?" Percy decides to spare the pirate's life if he makes Percy the group's new captain, an offer the pirate accepts.

Johnston's best-selling novel is set in colonial Virginia in 1621 and 1622.