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Berkman, Alexander (1912) Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, Mother Earth Press.


The Death of Dick


JAN. 15, 1900.


I write in an agony of despair. I am locked up again. It was all on account of my bird. You remember my feathered pet; Dick. Last summer the Warden ordered him put out, but when cold weather set in, Dick returned. Would you believe it? He came back to my old cell, and recognized me when I passed by. I kept him, and he grew as tame as before--he had become a bit wild in the life outside. On Christmas day, as Dick was playing near my cell, Bob Runyon--the stool, you know--came by and deliberately kicked the bird. When I saw Dick turn over on his side, his little eyes rolling in the throes of death, I rushed at Runyon and knocked him down. He was not hurt much, and everything could have passed off quietly, as no screw was about. But the stool reported me to the Deputy, and I was locked up.

Mitchell has just been talking to me. The good old fellow was fond of Dick, and he promises to get me back on the range. He is keeping the position vacant for me, he says; he put a man in my place who has only a few more weeks to serve. Then I'm to take charge again.

I am not disappointed at your information that "the work" will have to wait till spring. It's unavoidable, but I am happy that preparations have been started. How about those revolvers, though? You haven't changed your mind, I hope. In one of your letters you seem to hint that the matter has been attended to. How can that be? Jim, the plumber--you know he can be trusted--has been on the lookout for a week. He assures me that nothing came, so far. Why do you delay! I hope you didn't throw the package through the cellar window when Jim wasn't at his post. Hardly probable. But if you did, what the devil could have become of it? I see no sign here of the things being discovered: there would surely be a terrible hubbub. Look to it, and write at once.


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