When he asked for writing materials he was told that the punishment meted out to him automatically eliminated all the privileges of a convict; and he was not permitted[Pg 107] to write home or to receive visitors for two months. The electric light in his cell was cut off and he was not allowed to read books or magazines, newspapers being always barred.
In the beginning of my stay in prison the use of profane language was, to put it mildly, quite prevalent; but it became rare soon after the election of Mayor Gaynor. Even their sticks were taken away from the keepers for a while. And it was discovered that discipline did not suffer in the least from the lack either of foul language or the stick.
The food, brought up by a convict from the keepers’ kitchen to the hospital, is distributed by us thrice a day, on a long table covered by white linoleum and standing in the middle of the room.
We have to clean the bathroom and the[Pg 108] spittoons, sweep the floor, empty the garbage can, get the ice, make the beds, give the medicine, take the temperatures, mark the charts, help the doctor, besides giving and receiving the laundry—in short, the immediate and dirty work of the hospital is in our hands. The one happy hour of the day is at nine in the morning, when we are privileged to empty the garbage can at
the docks on the Brooklyn side or go to a nearby oven to burn its contents.
For a few minutes, while filling a pail with water from the river to wash out the empty garbage can, we watch the tug boats, the canal boats, passenger boats or yachts pass by, and the people on board always greet us with a wave of the hand or a merry shout. But never have the passengers of the aristocratic yachts even condescended to look at us.
No matter if it rains or snows, or if fog hangs over the whole landscape, the 杭州养生馆体验 few minutes alone, untrammelled by the [Pg 109]presence of a keeper or the crisscross pattern of the bars, make us feel as if we were really free men; then we march reluctantly towards the ice house to the big chest containing the supply of ice for the different departments. The ice is cut and put into the empty and clean garbage can. When there are no keepers around we linger to talk to the “skin” gang, which is composed of a few convicts whose duty it is to peel potatoes, onions, carrots and cabbage for the kitchen.
It is a great place for the exchange of news of the day—of the gossip of new arrivals, the punishments, the petty incidents or the headliners of the most important events, the opinions of the convicts about the goodness or badness of the keepers; in short it is a sort of clearing house for information as to 杭州保健按摩上门服务 whatever is happening in the penitentiary.
One of the men in charge of the gang is a blond, powerful, fine-looking convict of German parentage. He belongs to the[Pg 110] high caste among the prisoners, and shows it by his manner toward the lesser castes.
In the beginning he answered my questions in monosyllables, but after several months of daily intercourse, when he had thoroughly satisfied himself of my status, my attitude, and my antecedents, and when he learned that I was an aristocrat only in thought but a democrat in manners, he became talkative, and piece by piece, incident by incident, he told me of his life, until I was able to construct it almost as a whole.
He was the son of honest parents, who had started him in life as a skilled workingman. He lost his position during a strike, and one of his children died of 杭州桑拿全套信息披露 starvation. Fearing that his other child would meet a similar fate, and seeing no prospect of another job, he started on his career as a burglar. Being a skilled mechanic, he found it easy to fashion tools for his trade, which, as he claimed, brought immediate and satisfactory results.
One morning as a young convict was walking on an errand towards the shops, a letter dropped from his coat onto the ground in the yard. The warden, who was walking in the same direction, not far behind, picked up the letter and shouted to the man to stop. The convict turned back and appeared confused when he saw the warden with his letter in his hands. The warden flayed him with his heavy sarcasm, upbraided him for violating the rules about writing letters, and leered at him in malicious anticipation of the punishment to come. Finally he 杭州洗浴按摩一条龙 condescended to read the letter, so as to fit the punishment with a few quotations from the letter.
But strange to relate, after he had read the letter, his frown disappeared, and with it his terrible anger. In a voice which had turned from a broken falsetto of anger to a gentle, low pitch, he inquired where the[Pg 112] young man was working, how many more months he had yet to serve, and finally asked if he had a preference for any other place besides his present assignment. The young convict reluctantly admitted that he would prefer to work in the keeper’s kitchen.
The same day he was transferred to his new duties, which are considered privileged by convicts because of the liberty and the better food they afford. The young convict, being disgusted with the prison fare, and the monotonous, unhealthy work in his shop, with a 杭州油压按摩哪家好 cunning almost Machiavellian, had hit upon the original and brilliant idea of writing a letter to an imaginary friend in which he praised the penitentiary and lauded the warden in fulsome, enthusiastic, unstinted praise. He dropped the letter purposely, knowing that the warden was only a few paces behind him. The acting was done to perfection, the trick worked without a hitch, and our youthful Ulysses got his job for a laudatory song.