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Find them in our Bargain Basement. Ready to hop? As you visit the designers below, be sure to leave comments! You have until December 9th to leave comments! Beth Chiu. Julie Warner. James Street. Only the two of us. Zarossi was not there," I maintained. The prosecutor shifted the attack from another angle. You wrote that note? I did," I confirmed with the same nonchalance of a George Washington under the cherry tree.
The hearing ended right there and then. My old schoolmate left the courtroom in a rage: like a wild man. The prosecutor asked the court to dismiss the charge. The judge ordered Zarossi discharged, but gave him twenty-hour hours to leave Canada. I went back to the jail. Before I left the courtroom, the prosecutor, a young Italian, came up to me. But you can't prove it," I replied to him with a grin. Back in the jail, there was nothing else for me to do than to await patiently my own trial.
Crucial to succeed and move forward is tracking the performance of every single coupon and campaign you launch. We would have gone inside, but were afraid to embarrass some of the boys. And I finally found and bought white matte enamel dots - I can match them to any color with my Copic markers, and I'm really happy about that - I may need to buy a lifetime supply! And that goes to show that Barnum was right. In fact, I was in a jam right then and there—in an economic ham and a critical predicament at that and five thousand miles away from home and five hundred or more miles away from my ultimate destination, in a strange country, with no friends and no money. Lupo approached me in the prison yard during a ball game. I was introduced and took the floor.
Zarossi had left Montreal, followed shortly afterwards by his family. Their destination was unknown. My old schoolmate, apparently, had also dropped out of sight. I was brought into court in October, I believe. There for the first time, I learned the exact nature of the charges against me.
I was accused of having forged that very check which my old schoolmate had presented for certification and payment. I don't remember whose name had been forged. That of some shipping broker, I believe. I pleaded not guilty. The witnesses were called to the stand to testify. Four of them, I think. The man whose name had been forged, the two detectives and the paying teller. The shipping broker said he knew me. Said I had called at his office occasionally on Zarossi's business. That, was true. He also stated that the check had been torn from the back of his check book.
Undoubtedly, that was also so. But he was unable to say whether I had done it. He had not seen me around his office about that time. If it had been some poor man's money, he would not have got it back so easily. But, being the money of the Bank of Hochelaga, a great bank, the police must go out of their way, actually violate the law, to see to it that the bank is not inconvenienced. I want to see where the responsibility rests for the unwarranted return of that money.
Upon the proper identification of that money, hinges, to a large extent, the defendant's guilt or innocence. He has a right to be confronted with the alleged proofs against him.
He has a legitimate title to that money until it has been properly identified in this court as someone else's property. After that blasting from the bench, a blasting which made headlines in the Montreal papers, I went back to the jail in high spirits. I felt reasonably sure that the judge would dismiss the case. And that goes to show how little I knew about judges at that time. In fact, when the trial was resumed, the judge's attitude was changed. The money incident was dropped.
The last witness was called to the stand. He was the paying-teller. The paying-teller said he "presumed" I was the man. Three months had elapsed and he had not seen me since, he admitted. However, he was under the impression that the man who presented the check was taller, thinner, clean shaved and had light hair. His description certainly did not fit me. It was more like that of my old schoolmate.
For an identification, it was a corker! But it got by. Anything would have got by that day. Besides, I couldn't butt in because I was represented by counsel. I hadn't mentioned that. But I had a lawyer. He had volunteered to represent me gratis because I had saved his client from jail. He was the least loquacious member of the bar I ever ran across.
Cal Coolidge was actually garrulous alongside of that lawyer. Throughout the whole trial, he never cross-examined a witness, he never put in an objection, he never so much as glanced in my direction. The only thing he did was to get up, presumably to argue in my behalf, and say:. When I heard that, they could have knocked me down with a feather. He had virtually conceded my guilt even before the court had pronounced me guilty.
In a way, I am glad he did not say more.
If he had, they would have hung me! I got my first taste of legal uncertainties when the judge spoke:. Now, can you tie that? Brilliant argument of counsel, etc …! He could have said just as well: "Failure of counsel to put up a defense, compels me to conclude that my belief in the defendant's guilt is shared by counsel …" and let it go at that. It wouldn't have been half as raw as the other way. A few days later, the court sentenced me to three years of imprisonment in the St.
Vincent de Paul Penitentiary. The same afternoon, I was transferred there from the jail. An hour afterwards, my own mother would not have recognized me. I was bathed, shaved, clipped, dressed in a hideous uniform, mugged, fingerprinted and numbered. I had ceased to be a citizen.
To have a name of my own. I had become a number! The St. Vincent de Paul Penitentiary was no kindergarten. It was a prison where a man did time every minute of the day. It was a gaol. A replica of the Old Bailey. Of the Bastille. From the sack of corn leaves and cobs which served as a mattress to the basement dungeons, that prison was indeed a place of penance and punishment. But, with all of that, I cannot say that I have ever witnessed an act of brutality or cruelty. The rules were strict.
The utmost severity prevailed. But the prisoners were not abused unnecessarily nor exposed to inhumane treatment. Favoritism was not practiced there. Each man stood on his own merits, be he a banker or a laborer, a native or a foreigner. Each had to start from the bottom of the ladder and work his way up with good behavior and industry. Outside influence did not get beyond the gate.
But there were opportunities for advancement. There were jobs better than others. Privileges to be earned, and a man had to earn what he got. My first assignment was to be a shed where they "made little ones Out of big ones". Just that. I was supposed to pound lumps of rock into gravel with a mallet for seven or eight hours a day, and I did it.
In the two or three months I was in that shed, I figure I crushed enough rock to gravel the Yellowstone National Park.
I got to be so proficient at it, that they must have blasted a couple of mountain ranges out in the Rockies to keep me going. After I started on that job, British Columbia never looked the same. Had they kept me at it a little longer, I would have flattened that province down smoother than a pancake!
Eventually, my prowess received recognition and I was promoted to a clerkship in the blacksmith shop. From there I graduated into the Chief Engineer's office. Then, out front with the Chief Clerk and in the Warden's office. I couldn't go any further up without stepping out of the gate. As the Warden's clerk, I had the freedom of the prison. I could go anywhere within the walls, at any time, without being escorted by a guard.
I was permitted to talk to other prisoners on official business. But, of course, a guard forty feet away could not tell whether my conversations with other prisoners were official or private. So, I conversed frequently. Especially with an ex-banker, because what I wanted to know in the worst way was how in the world I could have been arrested on a Monday morning for a forged check cashed only the preceding Saturday night.
In the first place, it did not seem likely that the forgery could have been discovered in that short a period of time. Secondly, since my name did not appear on the check and I was unknown at the bank and at police headquarters, it looked like a physical impossibility that I could be connected with that check within less than forty-eight hours. A Monsieur Lecoq or a Sherlock Holmes could not have traced that check to me in forty-eight hours.
Even a sorcerer or fortune teller could not have done that. For the very good reason that any person gifted with superhuman vision would, in any event, have gone to Pizzoccolo first. Then, perhaps, he would have come to me. But it was absolutely inconceivable that two detectives, who could not see further than their nose, should, although in error, outclass a Lecoq, a Sherlock Holmes, and even a seer!
When I explained the circumstances to the ex-banker, he said it was clear as daylight that somebody had tipped off both the bank and the police. It could not have gone from the branch to the main office much before 10 o'clock Monday morning. Checks are usually held in banks longer than that, two or three days, sometimes. At the main office they had no way of telling it was forged, since they had not detected the forgery at the time of certification.
The man whose name had been forged did not know and could not know. He would have known of it only at the end of the month when he got his statement from the bank. Or, he might have learned of it before if the forged check should have caused him to overdraw his account. Beside, he could not put me in trouble and keep out himself. You are in trouble and he is not.
He was probably figuring you wouldn't," he retorted. The both of you would've been convicted. By the way," he asked, "where is he now? Has he written to you? Has he helped you in any way? Write a letter to the bank and tell on him! They may help you to get out! I'll catch up with him some day! Little did I realize then how difficult it is to track down a man who does not want to be found. In fact, all my inquiries about him never got further than the West Coast. I heard he bought some moving picture shows. That he was at it for a couple of years. Then, I lost track of him entirely.
The main reason probably was that he was not the only one in that territory at that time opening up moving picture shows. There were others doing the very same thing. Adolph Zukor too, I believe, was there. Some did well, some went under. Zukor, for instance, did exceedingly well. He organized or acquired the Paramount. But my old schoolmate dropped out of sight as if the earth had swallowed him. He is either dead or he has been so successful in altering his identity as to defy recognition.
It's true that we have never met face to face since. One such meeting might make all the difference in the world. What started me on his trail was a visit from my Montreal landlady. She called at the prison shortly after my conversation with the ex-banker. I was hungry for news. News of my girl. Of Zarossi. Of everybody I knew. I never heard from any of them.
She was my girl. And you? Have you heard from her? I hated to think she had dropped me so abruptly. She never said much," my landlady replied. What could have made her say that? After I was arrested? Before," said my landlady somewhat disappointed at my lack of perception. Were you blind? Hadn't you noticed that he too was stuck on Angelina? What's become of him? I heard he went West. In several places. All over, I guess," she informed me. That visit gave me all of the information I needed to figure out what had happened to me.
There could be no longer any doubt that he had framed me. With jealousy as the motive, he had planned and executed the crime. Then he had fastened it on to me and led the police to my door. And he was doing well while I was doing … time! Fortunately, there is an end to everything. Even to a prison term. And the end of mine was approaching. Not very fast, it's true. But approaching nevertheless. In fact, approaching faster than I thought because I was not counting the unexpected. On a … Never mind. I was going to let the cat out of the bag beforehand.
Here is what happened. One day, the 13th of July, , I was sitting at the typewriter in the Chief Clerk's office. The Warden came in with a paper in his hand. I put a sheet in the typewriter, I laid the one to be copied in front of me, and I started to write. It was a printed communication from the Governor General's office.
I had typed scores of similar communications before. They all began the same way. This one looked like a pardon. I kept on typing mechanically until I got to the inmate's name. The Warden was standing in the back of my chair watching me. When I got to the name, I paused petrified. My eyes felt blurred. I rubbed them with the back of my hands and looked again at that name. It was there. Just as plain as day. There could not be any doubt about it. It was a name I had not heard in twenty or more months. It was my name! The Warden chuckled and patted me on the shoulder. But, for your sake, I am glad it's over.
Run along now and get dressed so that you can make the afternoon train for Montreal. He did not have to urge me twice. I flew inside and up to the tailor-shop. I took the first suit they gave me. Who cared whether it fitted or not? Who cared for appearances? All that mattered was freedom. And two hours later I was on the street, dressed somewhat grotesquely, with only five dollars in my pocket but happy. I was a free man once more! ON MR. Back in Montreal the same evening, I stayed with friends. I couldn't go back to the Windsor Hotel on five dollars.
Hardly anywhere, in fact, because the money had to last me until I landed a job. But I couldn't stay in the street either. So, I accepted the hospitality which was tendered to me by those kind hearts, figuring that in a couple of days or so I would be able to find work. However, I soon discovered that I was entirely too optimistic. A few calls among people, who knew me and who, ordinarily, could have used my services, brought to me the realization that I was up against it.
I had a prison record! I was a jail bird! They could not hire me. They would not have me around. I explained my predicament to one of my old schoolmates, who was running a bank there, a combination of labor and steamship agency. He and I had worked together some years before. He suggested that I leave Montreal and return to the United States. Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, anywhere. You might get a job as a time-keeper and interpreter in some camp. A few days later, he told me that there were some such camps around Norwood and Ogdenburg, in New York State.
We sent a lot of men down that way when we were with Zarossi. That, decided me. Zarossi had placed thousands of laborers in that territory. Both with railroads and private contractors. Zarossi's men had built the Transcontinental. They were everywhere. With the C. On both sides of the border.
And I, as one of Zarossi's former clerks, was fairly well known among contractors and foremen. In the morning of July 30, , I left Montreal. My old schoolmate was at the depot when I bought my ticket. With him were five men. Apparently, there were going my way. They were Italians. Newly arrived immigrants, and he asked me to look after them.
They have to change trains at Norwood. The train was one of those locals that stopped at every shed along the road, for ten and fifteen minutes at a stretch. It hobbled on most of the morning in the direction of the border and made it about noon. At the last station on the Canadian side, it settled down for what looked like a regular siesta.
A United States immigration inspector came on board and went through the coaches, pausing here and there to interview each passenger. Eventually, he got to where the five Italians and myself were. He spoke to them first. They did not understand a word. So, he turned to me. I think. I had to ask the men before I could answer the question. They said they were going on some job. I believe they even exhibited some letter to show their destination. Five minutes later, the train started off again. The next stop was Moers Junction, N. We were looking indifferently out of the window at the usual activity which follows the arrival of any train, when somebody yelled out:.
We turned around and saw the immigration inspector on the doorway of the coach. He was addressing us. No doubt about that. I conveyed his order to the five Italians and we did as we were told.
He took us to a little shack. A sort of an office. There he informed us that we were under arrest. He said we had violated the immigration laws of the United States. The same afternoon, we were transferred to Rouses Point. A couple of days later, we were brought to Plattsburg and put in jail there to await trial in the Fall. I was held for smuggling aliens into the United States. The five Italians were held as material witnesses. The whole thing did not seem to make sense. I tried to figure it out. But gave it up as a bad job. Finally, I had a chance to see an assistant United States Attorney.
I told him the facts. He listened. We were merely on the same train. You have acted as interpreter for them," he insisted. None of you had a permit to enter. I was never asked for one. I never met with an immigration inspector on the train. The only officials I ever ran across at the border were custom officers.
They would come aboard and inspect the baggage. The train was not in motion. If we were not admissible for any reason, it seems to me that that was the time to exclude us. The inspector should have told us then. To keep us from violating the law.
Regardless of whether or not we were ignorant of the law. Instead, he actually coaxed us, led us, into a violation of the law in order to make a record for himself. I have no earthly use for that sort of public official. He, and not I, is the one who should be charged with smuggling those aliens. By then I was ready to relegate him to the seventh hell. If I didn't tell him so, he certainly read my mind because he brought the interview to a close. All five of us languished in the Plattsburg jail until October.
We could not raise bail. Fortunately, I had a cell all to myself, while other prisoners were required to bunk together. I managed to kill time sleeping and reading old magazines. But jail life, with its depressing idleness, began to get on my nerves. Two months of it had put me in a frame of mind where I no longer cared what happened to me, so long as I could have it over with. Evidently, that assistant United States Attorney was a psychologist I will let it go at that. It is not exactly what I thought he was.
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But "psychologist" sounds better. He knew or sensed that I was ripe for any sort of an approach. Just think of it! What an uncanny intuition that man had! He was utterly wasted in a district attorney's office! He was a naturally born "con" man! One who could tell and play a sucker better than any professional. He sent for me. Told me how sorry he was about the whole thing. How he hated to go through with it. But his duty was clear.
He was under oath to uphold and preserve the Constitution … etc. It never occurred to me then to tell him that the Constitution had been preserved so long that it was actually pickled! Instead, I felt so blue over his predicament that it almost brought tears to my eyes! It certainly was a darned shame that any scalliwag like me should be permitted to put such a nice man in that kind of stew! The situation was so tense, that I actually expected him any minute to fall all over me and weep!
I was scared. The prison suit I had on was not pre-shrunk. A good cry and it would have been all over with it. It would have left me looking like a bell-boy in shorts! You are a pretty good sort of a fellow. Will you take my advice? I might have felt soft-hearted. But not that soft. I am advising you for your own good.