This is not a bad jail, as jails go. I was in a much worse one, in Texas, seventy-odd years back on my personal time line. In that one the cockroaches slugged it out with each other for a thin chance of finding a few crumbs on the floor, there was no hot water at any time, and the screws were all cousins of the sheriff. Bad as that joint was, wetbacks used to sneak across the Rio and break a window or mo in order to get themselves locked up, so they could fatten up for the winter. That says something about Mexican jails that I don't care to investigate.
Pixel comes to see me almost every day. The guards can't figure out how he does it. They all like him and he has given several of them his conditional approval. They fetch titbits in to him; he deigns to eat some of their tribute.
The warden heard about Pixel's Houdini talents, came to my cell, happened to show up when Pixel was making a call on me, tried to pet him and got nipped for his presumption not hard enough to break the skin, but the message was clear.
The warden told me (ordered me) to be sure to let him know ahead of time when Pixel went in or out; he wanted to see how Pixel managed to sneak past and not set off alarm. I told him that no mortal man or woman could predict what a cat would do next, so don't hold your breath, buster. (Guards and trustees are okay, in their place, but a warden is not my social equal. Apparently Pixel realises this. )
Dr Ridpath has been in a couple of times, to urge me to plead guilty and throw myself on the mercy of the court. He says that I http://storekitchen.ru would be certain to get no worse than a suspended sentence, if I convinced the tribunal that I was truly contrite.
I told him that I was not guilty and would rather be a cause célèbre and sell my memoirs for an outrageous sum.
He told me that I was apparently unaware that the College of Bishops had passed a law years back under which any profits arising out of a case of sacrilege went to the Church, after the fee for disposing of the body was paid. ‘Look, Maureen, I'm your friend, although you don't seem to know it. But there is nothing I or anyone can do for you if you won't co-operate. '
I thanked him and told him that I was sorry that he was disappointed in me. He said to think it over. He didn't kiss me en he left, so I conclude that he really is vexed with me.
Dagmar has been in almost daily. She doesn't try to coerce me into confessing, but what she did do last time had more effect on me than Dr Eric's reasonableness: she smuggled in a Last Friend. ‘If you are going to be stubborn about confessing, this will help. Just break off the tip and inject it anywhere. Once it takes hold - five minutes or less - even a slow fire won't hurt. .. not much. But for Santa Carolita's sake, ducks, don't let anyone find it! '
I'll try not to.
I would not be dictating this if I were not in jail. I don't necessarily have publication in mind, but the discipline of sorting it all out may show me where I went wrong. .. and that may show me how to straighten out the mess and go right.
The Battle of New Orleans was fought two weeks after the War of 1812 was over. Poor communications. .. But in 1898 the Atlantic Cable was in use. The news of Spain's declaration of war went from Madrid to London to New York to Chicago to Kansas City to Thebes almost with the speed of light - only the delays of retransmission. Thebes is about eight hours west of Madrid, so the Johnson family was in church when the dreadful news arrived.
The Reverend Clarence Timberly, our pastor at Cyrus Vance Parker Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, was preaching and had just finished fourthly and was digging into fifthly when someone started ringing the big bell in the county courthouse cupola.
Brother Timberly stopped preaching. ‘Let us suspend services for a few moments while the Osage Volunteers and members of the bucket brigades withdraw. '
Ten or a dozen of the younger men got up and left. Father picked up his bag and followed them. Being a doctor Father did not serve on the volunteer fire team but, being a doctor, he usually did go to fires if not actively engaged in treating a patient when the bell rang.
As soon as Father closed the church door behind him our preacher got back to work on ‘fifthly' - what it was I don't know; during sermons I always tried to looked alert and attentive, but I rarely listened.
On down Ford Street someone was shouting; he could be heard right through Brother Timberly's loud voice. Those shouts came closer.
Presently Father came back into the church. Instead of returning to his pew he walked up to the chancel rail and handed a sheet of newspaper to our pastor.
I should interject that the Lyle County Leader was a four page single sheet, printed on what was then called ‘boiler plate' - newsprint printed on one side with international and national and state news, and shipped that way to small country papers, who would then fill the inside pages with local news and local advertising. The Lyle County Leader bought ‘boiler plate' from the Kansas City Star with the Leader's own masthead printed on it.
The sheet Father handed to Brother Timberly was of that sort, with the same local stuff inside as had been in the Leader's weekly edition dated Thursday, 21 April 1898, except that the upper half of page two had been reset in large type with one short news story: