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hotel, and the idea of my going up to the icle in one of the great Parisian dailies, prison and asking to be shown around he went all to pieces, and he told me sevseemed simply preposterous: besides, there eral times he felt more distressed by this were three cordons of sentries about the piece of news than by his isolated life prison settlement, which I could see, about in Siberia. When this exchange of souhalf a mile away from the river, on the venirs in regard to distant places and brow of a hill. In this mood I walked times so dear to us both was over, I told down a side street, and seeing the sign of him what I wanted. He put on his hat a photographer, concluded to go in and and said: “Well, come along; we'll go up have a talk about plates and slides and to see the chief of police; he's a good developers. I only hoped to succeed in friend of mine. You tell him that you killing half an hour of the time, but it want your passport 'visaed,' to have turned out to be a most happy inspiration, everything right and proper, and while to which I owe some of the pleasantest this is being done I'll say you want to hours I spent in Siberia. The photogra- go through the convict station, and he'll pher was a Frenchman, a man of educa- show you around himself, I'm sure." tion and refinement. We had lived in “But I haven't any credentials!" I exParis about the same time; we had both claimed. “How will he know but that I read and admired the poems of M and am a Nihilist, or something like that?" of D— which are now, after ten years, "Oh, that will be all right," said my still announced as en préparation. We new-found friend. “I'll go your bail.” had never met in Paris, but we had both With that he slipped his arm in mine, been subscribers to La Batte des Déca- and we walked up the street to the police dents. That was certainly a close bond headquarters. I felt as though I were of union, for there were only three other upon my native heath, or even in Texas, subscribers. When I told my new friend, and I owed all my photographer's kindor, rather, vew-found old friend, that the ly support to the perusal, more than ten poet D— was writing the bicycle chron- years ago, of some poems which were too good to be published! Our meeting was rounded by a still higher fence, watched one of the strangest coincidences of my and guarded by sentries, only fifty feet life, and nothing but pleasant results apart, with repeating-rifles, and bayonets flowed from it, which is unusual after fixed. This fence was thirty feet high, meetings of this kind. Why this French and spiked on top. To me it seemed photographer was in Siberia I never quite impossible for any prisoner to make knew. In Siberia it is even less sase his escape, but later I was shown one who than in other countries to inquire into made his escape three times, carrying people's antecedents, so I never asked. with him his foot chains and his manacles. I hoped that the chief of police would There are no cells in the prison, and the some day tell me, but in this I was dis- prisoners live, four or five together, in appointed.
large rooms about thirty feet long and In a few minutes we entered the police twenty broad. They are perfectly free to headquarters — a long, rambling frame move about in these rooms at their will, building, which was at once the head- and only those whose bad behavior had quarters of the police and of the firemen. been repeated and seemed incorrigible Clinging to the topmost rungs of a ladder were wearing manacles or were restrained stretching far above the roof of a tower, by chains. The beds in which they sleep a fireman was on the lookout for the are the same little iron bedsteads upon outbreak of flame anywhere in the set- which I had slept in all the hotels in Sitlement. A rope connected the lookout beria. Each of these rooms or dormitower with the stable, and this he pulled tories in which the prisoners were conwhen it was vecessary to give the alarm. fined, except in the hour or two each day We went into headquarters, and were in which they were permitted to walk up received miost kindly and courteously by the chief. He was a handsome, finelooking man, of about forty, and when I told him that I was an American traveller, and would like very much to see the penal station here, which I understood was the central station of the whole province, he said that he would show me around it with the greatest of pleasure, and in five min. utes-he having spoken to no one in the mean while—I and down in the jail yard, is lighted by entered his carriage and we drove to the from three to six large windows, which, prison.
though they are heavily barred and wired The prison was a great long building, off to prevent the possibility of escape, surrounded by half a dozen storehouses admit plenty of sunlight. In the corriand other smaller buildings. Each one dor upon which these dormitories open stood in a separate enclosure, surrounded there were stationed sentries, and now by a high fence and barred gates, with and again a patrol of four or five soldiers soldiers on guard. The whole place, about would pass tramping through the long half a mile in circumference, was sur- echoing corridors to see that each and
prison there were men of all nationalitiesJapanese, Chinese, Koreans, Goldies, and Russians—and they messed and roomed
together, receiving absolutely the same LUCIUS TCHECK.
treatment and the same food. They are divided into companies of ten, and each division is told to elect a starosta, or captain, and he becomes responsible in the
eyes of the prison authorities for the nine every sentry was at his post and that all men who have honored him with their was quiet in the prison. I spent some votes. Whenever a detachment of ten time in the kitchen, which was scrupu- men is responsible for some infringement lously clean, and the food that was sup- of prison rules, and the individual delinplied to the convicts was of the same quent cannot be ascertained, the captain, quality as that served out to the soldiers starosta, receives the punishment. -soup, boiled beef, heavy rye bread, and This system, it is said, works well, and rather insipid kvass.
makes for law and order and good beThere was not a knout in the prison, havior in the dormitories. The captain, though this merciless scourge of cowhide who must bear the brunt of all punishthong knotted together is still used, and ment, naturally is a friend of law and with advantage, I am told, upon the more order, and his nine companions not unhardened criminals at Nicolaieff and Sa- naturally feel bound to spare him the inkhalin. The convicts and prisoners I found fliction of punishment as often as they uniformly cheerful, apparently in good reasonably can, out of brotherly feeling spirits, and in good health. There was springing from a common misfortune. not a dark cell in the whole prison, and There were at this time in the prison the punishment of solitary confinement, some four hundred convicts, and there not unknown to our own penal system, were in the immediate vicinity of Khawas abolished here many years ago. The barovka at least two hundred more that only punishments, in fact, practised in the had been let out to contractors for work prison at Khabarovka are the putting on on the railway. They were convicts of of the chains and the manacles, and an all classes, though only two or three occasional sentence upon some incorri- political prisoners. Some were on their gible to a diet of bread and water. In the way to Sakhalin, and some were returning from there, as the time for the expira- more cheerful ring-a something which tion of their sentences was approaching; cannot be counterfeited or disguised. Beand other convicts were only waiting fore I came to the door and saw that the the decision of the authorities as to their men who spoke them no longer wore the destination as to where their sentences prison stripes, I knew that these men were should be carried out. I walked through free, and the chief of police told me that each and every one of the corridors in they were only awaiting the coming of the prison, accompanied by the chief of one of the regular convoys to start for police and the chief warden - a most home, free men, having paid their debt to kindly and mild-looking old gentleman- society. and they were evidently doing their very On the second floor of the prison was best to show me everything that was to the jail for women. Admittance to it be seen, and to give me a clear idea of was secured only after a parley through the inside working of prison life, and the the iron grating in the heavily barred daily routine of the prisoners.
doors. They were at last thrown back As we passed along the corridor the by women turnkeys, all dressed in black, prisoners, hearing our footsteps. gathered and each carrying a great pistol in a holround the grated door, and when the ster, with open flap, ready for use. None chief of police and the chief warden of the women prisoners were in chains, came in sight, would give the military and they occupied large and sunny rooms, salute, and shout, “Good-morning, your never more than two in a room. Sevlordships.” Then the chief of police and eral had their children with them. In the warden would look them over, the one room we stopped and talked with two warden telling his chief exactly what the women who were as unlike as day is to men had been doing, and what report of night, and yet they taught an object-lestheir conduct he had to make since the son in our common humanity and equallast visit of inspection. For almost ev- ity, despite the differences of race, reliery one of his fellows, as he called m, gion, and color. the kindly warden had thing pleasant or nothing at all to say, whereupon the chief would draw himself up, and say, turning to the prisoners, * Well, my little brothers, it is well; I am glad to hear good reports of you." And they would invariably reply, in a loud, cheerful chorus,
We are always very happy when your lordship is pleased with us." As we
walked along the corridor we came to another and larger room. The
Good - morning, your lordships, which rang out towards us from
CONVICTS BRINGING SOUP FOR THE NOONDAY MEAL IN THE TEMPORARY this room had a
PRISON NEAR KHABAROVKA.
One of these women was a great band- the directions of the visiting doctor to the some blond girl from Russia. She might nurse. These black slates looked for all well have served the sculptor as a model the world like tombstones, and the writfor Diana. Her face was goodness itself; ing of the physician like the lettering of her eyes were soft, ingenuous, and al- an epitaph. They had better food, and most childlike. She had poisoned her apparently excellent attendauce, and were husband for love of another man. Across as well cared for and as comfortable as the sunlit room there ood er sister in any men could be under similar circuma similar crime; but what a contrast in stances. outward appearance! She was a Goldie Another interesting building in the enwoman, and she too had poisoned her closure was the storehouse. Here I was husband for love of another man. Her shown the clothing, which is served out face was yellow and sallow, her forehead to the convicts as occasion requires. The low and receding; her nose was flat, and blouse, the loose linen trousers for sumher lips drooped and curled like a deer- mer wear, great boots for out-door labor, hound's; her face was without expression, softer and lighter shoes for in-doors, wooldull and stagnant, like a muddy puddle. len mittens, and great leather gauntlets
Next to the prison, and connected by to wear over them, and heavy felt overa covered way, was the hospital. In it coats of a thickness of half an inch,
which must keep them warm even through a Siberian winter.
I went away from the prison in an unexpectedly cheerful frame of mind; for me, at least, there less liorror in the living world; one picture of man's inhumauity to mau had been painted blacker than the reality justifies
un usual discovery, and one of sufficient moment to be written down in golden letters in the diary of my
life. The high CONVICT LABORERS GOING TO WORK UNDER GUARD, KHABAROVKA.
walls and the
triple file of senthere were about a dozen sick men, suf- ies about this station were forbidding fering from fevers and exposure brought enough; still, as I look back upon them, as on by work upon the railway. Here I walked the city, I will carry the convicthere were only two men in each room; tion that those who are l'estrained from the bed-clothing was better than in the their liberty liere are treated with humanprison proper, and the rooms themselves ity, and are as happy and as comfortable quite comfortable, and not at all bare. as they can be under the circumstances. Over the beds there Jung great slates, The Rev. Dr. Lansdell publicly stated, upon which, under the symbol of the after a thorough visit to Siberia, that should white cross, was written the name, or be ever have to change from clerical to rather the number, of the sick man, with convict life, he would choose Siberia, and