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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 14, 1913, Image 14

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-10-14/ed-1/seq-14/

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DAY WITH WASHINGTON'S "HONOR? CONVICTS
Day Book Correspondent Tells What He Saw and Heard
at the "Honor' Camp Where Felons From the State
Penitentiary Are Allowed to Work Without
Armed Guards Standing Over Them.
By Fred L. Boalt.
Hoodsport, Hood's Canal, Wash.,
Oct. 14. Thirty-two men are mak
'ing a road from Hoodsport to Ialli
waup, five miles along the west shore
of the canal.
Thirty of the 32 are convicts re
cently brought here from the peni
tentiary at Walla Walla. One is a
highwayman, one a horse thief, five
are forgers and the rest convicted
of robbery and grand larceny. Nine
are "second termers."
The two who are not convicts are
Prank Randolph, superintendent, and
L. D. Packard, engineer.
When night comes the convicts
.leave their work and troop to the
'9ionor camp."
J'Goodnight, boys," calls Randolph.
"Goodnight, sir."
And Randolph and Packard go the
other way!
"It's a kind of game," said Ran
dolph, as together we stood and
watched the last t)f the construction
gang disappear.
"If I had a rifle those men would
be constantly on the lookout to make
a getaway. They would scurry into
the bush like rabbits. Why riot?
Over that hill and .Randolph's arm
made a sweep "is a wilderness as
hig as the state of Ohio. Once a man
has entered it he could hide out for
months. But they won't do it."
"They know when they are weH
off," I said. ''After cells at Walla
Walla and the jute mill, shut in by
walls, this life in the open and 50
cents a day, and "the prospect of a
jpardon "
"You don't understand," inter-1
rupted Randolph. "It isn't the free
dom, the money or the prospect of
a pardon. It's honor. . . Oh, I know;
society sneers when you talk of
'honor In convicts. The men of this
'honor' squad weren't picked for their
morals. Nevertheless, I trust them.
I never visit them at night unless In
vited. "Night or day. I am never
armed. There isn't a gun within a
mile.of the job."
"What are they doing now?" I
asked.
"I don't know," Randolph replied.
"It's none of my business. You might
go and find out."
So, through the gathering dusk, I
tramped to where lights of the
"honor" camp blinked.
Another man, coming down the
valley,tmet me at the door of a tent
and we entered together. He was a
"con." A bucket filled with black
berries dangled from the crook of
his arm. His entrance was the sig
nal for a joyous uproar, and a jovial
fellow, who, when free, is a burglar,
hollered:
"Hey, cook! Blackberry pie to
morrow!" "Sure! Like mother used to
make."
They smoked, talked and played
cards. They turned In when the felt
like it. Two went to town to buy
tobacco; the Test were too tired, for
the work is hard.
The talk turned to getaways, and
the horse thief said: "It would be
dead easy. I promised I" wouldn't
try to get away, and I ain't going to.
'Twouldn't be right"
'Daybreak found me on the Hoods-
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