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IV.

It would have been well for those infamous prisoners, Freeman and Hansen, if they had passed utterly from the great man's mind. Unfortunately for them, however, the statement Captain Wright made in evidence before the Supreme Court at a later day, “that he could not charge his conscience with having overlooked any man on the Island,” was quite true—a thing not to be said of other portions of his testimony. He perfectly remembered them the next morning.

“Reports, sir!” deferentially remarked (with a salute) the gaoler.

“Yes, Thorpe. I'm ready to take them.”

Mr. Thorpe opened his report-book.

“Freeman, sir—foul language and threatening to assault constable who took him his food.”

“Pass Freeman for the present. I propose to deal with him in a new way!”

“Yes, sir. Greene, sir. Found in possession of improper article, sir. Tobacco!”

“I thought he was celled?”




  ― 137 ―

“So he is, sir. No 5!”

“And ironed?”

“Trumpeters—fifteens—and wall-cuffs.”note

“Then how the devil”—the insulted feelings of the offended System breathed in the Commandant's tones—“did Greene get the tobacco? Some of your men to blame there, Thorpe!”

“No, sir, 'm quite sure o' that. The sentries passed it——” Thorpe paused. He had forgotten that here, with the civil and military command vested in the one person, it was scarcely a wise thing to play the game so familiar to other settlements, of blaming the military for the lâches of the “establishment.”

“Now, Thorpe, be careful. I'll have none of this accusation of the garrison to excuse neglect on your own part or corruption on your men's. Where's the tobacco? Is it produced?”

“No, sir. Th' pris'ner swallowed it, sir! I was goin' rounds after breakfast, and No. 5 stands up and gulps something down, and I knew 'twas tobacco by the smell of his breath.”

“Did you charge him?”

“Of course, sir; but, of course, he denies. He said


  ― 138 ―
it was a bit of crust left from breakfast that he was chewing.”

“Oh, a likely story that! You're sure of the smell?”

“Quite, your Honour!” affirmed Thorpe, a tall, fresh-faced ex-soldier, who was not half a bad fellow under Major Anderson, but under Wright was a miniature of that tyrant—he took his cue always from his superiors.

“He is handcuffed to the wall, is he?”

“Yes, sir!”

“One hand only?”

“Yes, sir!”

“Then double my gentleman's irons, and darby the other hand. Next!”

“But, beg parding, sir—what about the bad languidge, sir?”

“Yes, I was forgetting that. Was it very bad?”

“Awful, sir! Made my blood run cold!”

“Four hours' tube-gag! Next!”

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