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The Cynosure

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testify that I was an industrious, dependable workman, that my chief fault was in trying so hard to bring a little light to understanding into the dark lives of my fellow-workers. For some time I did manual work of the hardest kind in the construction undertakings of Sampson & Douland, for the city. I can almost say that I have participated in all the principle public works in Plymouth. Almost any Italian in the town or any of my foremen of my various jobs can attest my industry and modesty of life during this period. I was deeply interested by this time in the things of the intellect, in the great hope that animates me even here in the dark cell of a prison while I await death for a crime I did not commit.

My health was not good. The years of toil and the more terrible periods of unemployment had robbed me of much of my original vitality. I was casting about for some salutary means of eking out my livelihood. About eight months before my arrest a friend of mine who was planning to return to the home country said to me: "Why don't you buy my cart, my knives, my scales, and go to selling fish instead of remaining under the yoke of the bosses?" I grasped the opportunity, and so became a fish-vender, largely out of love for independence.

At that time, 1919, the desire to see once more my dear ones at home, the nostalgia for my native land had entered my heart. My father, who never wrote a letter without inviting me home, insisted more than ever . and my good sister Luigia joined in his pleas. Business was none too fat, but I worked like a beast of burden, without halt or stay, day after day.

December 24, the day before Christmas, was the last day I sold fish that year. A brisk day of business I had, since all Italians buy eels that day for the Christmas Eve feasts. Readers may recall that it was a bitter-cold Christmas, and the harsh weather did not let up after the holidays; and pushing a cart along is not warming work. I went for a short period to more vigorous, even if no less freezing work. I got a job a few days after Christmas cutting ice for Mr. Peterseni. One day, when he hadn't work enough to go around, I shoveled coal for the Electric House. When the ice job was finished I got employment with Mr. Howland, ditch-digging, until a snow

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