A B Davis High School - Maroon and White Yearbook (Mount Vernon, NY)

 - Class of 1933

Page 147 of 180

 

A B Davis High School - Maroon and White Yearbook (Mount Vernon, NY) online yearbook collection, 1933 Edition, Page 147
Page 147



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UYCAROON AND WHITE THE LAST JGURNAL OF A CONDEMNED MAN IN THE YEAR 1779 They will be coming to take me away --away to the gallows in two short hours. A short prayer, the tying of a black hood about my head a short. quick jerk. and my stay upon this earth will be ter- minated. Inglorious? Yes. Cruel? No. In point of fact this will be the only kind act that has been performed for me in the past few weeks. For when a man's faith in his fellow men has been destroyed. when his trust and confidence in those about him have been undermined, what is the use. what is the aim, what is the earthly good of the prolongation of his existence? His is a sorry fate. a useless struggle with his soul which ultimately ends in madness. My attitude towards man since I was so cruelly and foully deceived has been one of distrust tempered with hostile sus- picion. which vents itself indiscriminately on anyone who crosses my path. Even the old and decrepit jailor who brings food to me is usually an innocent victim of my almost insane wrath. Since the reading of that fateful letter on the night follow- ing my trial my mind has been in a half stupor. But now as the hour of death draws nigh my brain seems to be clearing and I am in full control of my senses. It is because of this that I have decided to set down for posterity the true version of my crime. I wish to state here that I feel sure in my heart that I pursued the right course in the Hrst place. although it ulti- mately turned out to be the wrong one. The story which I am about to relate opened on a stormy night during the autumn of 1779. The scene was the liv- ing room of my small farmhouse in Mon- mouth and I was just making everything ready for the night when I heard a knock at the front door. A thousand thoughts and fears went streaming through mv mind. Who could it be at this time of night. I asked myself. Might it be the British whose early arrival was much her- alded in rumors rife in the village at that time? Or was it just a neighbor coming iNETEEN THIRTY-'IIIIIHE over for an evening smoke and chat? Another knock, impatient, and louder than the first one woke me from my reverie and sent me hurrying to unbar the door. A gust of wind and rain accompanied my nocturnal visitor in and extinguished the lamps in the room. but before complete darkness fell upon us I was able to ascer- tain beyond doubt that he was neither a British soldier nor a neighbor. In fact l was quite sure he was a perfect stranger to IHC. In the dim shadows of the darkened room I was just able to see him shaking the rain oil' his cape. but as yet he had not spoken a word. However. when he perceived that I was moving towards the table, presumably to relight the lamps. he called out rather sharply in a voice which seemed vaguely familiar. "Avast there. matey, leave the glimmers doused. I'm used to the dark and it's easier for me to talk and think when my eyes are not be- dazzled." The harsh tone of my visitor's voice with its salty tang of the sea scattered my already bewildered wits, but even in my state I felt that I subconsciously knew this man. I stepped up to him. "Who are you and what right have you to order me about my own home?" I asked. He chuckled unpleasantly. "Before many more bells ye'll see what right I have and ye won't be so chipper about it!" With this his scarcely visible figure sank down into a chair. By now I had recovered from my momentary stupefaction and my temper was fully aroused by the hih-handed ac- tions of my unwanted guest. With a smothered exclamation I made as if to leap upon him and drag him bodily to the road. Seeing my intent he said quick- ly, "lVIatey. I wouldn't do that if I were ve!" And then, "Don't ye know me. Tal- bot?" Dumbfounded at his knowing the name which I had given up years before, I Page One Hundred and Forty-three

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