Wednesday, March 22, 2017

St. Louis Frank

"I know nothing about it, sir," I answered very decently; I was afraid. Like a flash one of his hands went to my throat. He pinned me to the wall, choking me, and brought something down on my head with the other hand that turned everything yellow and made my knees weaken. Still holding me by the throat he lifted me clear of the floor and threw me into the cell like a bundle of rags. There was about a half an inch of water on the cell floor. I lay there, and looked about me by the dim light of a gas jet out in the corridor. There was nothing in the cell but a wooden bench. After a few minutes I crawled over to it, and, pulling myself up, stretched out, more dead than alive. If people can be corrected by cruelty I would have left that cell a saint.

St. Louis Frank, in another part of the jail, got a worse beating than I did.

From that day on St. Louis Frank smiled no more. He became snarly, short spoken, and ugly. We got our money and parted. He went out on the road, "bull simple," simple on the subject of shooting policemen. The stories told about him are almost unbelievable. Years later I saw him in the San Francisco county jail waiting trial for the murder of a police officer in Valencia Street. The day he was sent to San Quentin where he was hanged, he sang out to me, 'So long, Blacky. If I could have got Corbett I wouldn't care.'"

Jack Black, You Can't Win

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