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Newspaper Page Text
States to -frWclLJake tookn appeal
has said virtually, that anything is
cbnstitutionarwhlch 'will tend to keep
a desperate convict 4rom attempting
The criminal tendency, which later
was to run a "scarlet thread, through
the story of hislife, was already pret
ty well defined,, when Jake at 23 came
tOrFolsom under a 50-year term for
The guards promptly sethim-down
as'a "bad one" and proceeded-to ap
ply the. only cure they lraew.
"We'll make -him good by making
it hell for him to be bad," they said.
So they put him in thestraight-jacket
for days at a time? they triced him up
by the wrists; put him in the terrible
chloride of Jime cell where the fumes
ate away the membranes of his eyes
and throat; starved him, and et him
Ife on the frosted stone of the dun
geon through winter days.
A brute's cure that never yet; cured
Incidentally they stored up night
mares for -themselves, for Oppe'n
lieimer shortly afterward cut a.
guard to ribbons as he was-being led
to-the torture chamber for a alight in
fraction of the.rules. For that hegot
solitary confinement for life. He be
came a striped nemesis whom no
prison' watchman was ashamed to ad
mit he feared.
And yet this Is the man -who gave
up his one chance, when a new war
den made him trusty of the solitary
ward, by cutting a hole into an ad
joining cell to relieve a consumptive
youngster's laBt pains with the
precious smoking tobacco he receiv
ed as a privilege of trustyship; the
man "who refused to be comforted
when a lahie sparrow which he had
tamed, flew to freedom, or a little
prison mouse, which he nightly snug
gled to his breast under the coarse
A strange fellow who steeped him
self In. the classics during the day,
and at night crouched before his cell
dck?r filing away athe bars for an
hour's liberty to take the life of a
"stool pigeon'" A paradox who has
written tender poetry about children
and who killed a neighbor, Francisco
Quipada, in the condemned ward in
a corridor duel over insults mumbled
through the walls.
Good or bad, the state failed to pro
tect him from himself; failed to give
him security from other desperate
felons, and could not give the others
security from his fury.
"The most difficult thing to do in
prison," says Oppenheimer in sum
ming "up his 18 years in the cell, "is
to perform a kindly deed, a humane
act, toward one's unfortunate fel
lows. The rules are against it. In
stead ofthe comfort -and 'stimulus.of
friendly, "wholesome human relation
ships, which alone can make a man
bigger and better and" keep him sane,
they give us-tbe helplessness, the ter
ror, the Jury and-he needless" vacuity
of the solitary; cell. How do they ex
pect to cast- a man anew in such a
THE BROKEN VOW
"There's nought upon this earth, my
Can separate us, dear.
Ill never, never leave your side, ''
You'll always "find me near."
And then he gave afrightful yell
And jumped 'most twenty feet.
She'd left a hatpin one yard long
Upon the sofa seat.