Notes Of A War Correspondent By Richard Harding Davis







































 - 

With us a condemned man walks only the short distance from his cell
to the scaffold or the electric chair - Page 4
Notes Of A War Correspondent By Richard Harding Davis - Page 4 of 202 - First - Home

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With Us A Condemned Man Walks Only The Short Distance From His Cell To The Scaffold Or The Electric Chair, Shielded From Sight By The Prison Walls, And It Often Occurs Even Then That The Short Journey Is Too Much For His Strength And Courage.

But the Spaniards on this morning made the prisoner walk for over a half-mile across the broken surface of the fields.

I expected to find the man, no matter what his strength at other times might be, stumbling and faltering on this cruel journey; but as he came nearer I saw that he led all the others, that the priests on either side of him were taking two steps to his one, and that they were tripping on their gowns and stumbling over the hollows in their efforts to keep pace with him as he walked, erect and soldierly, at a quick step in advance of them.

He had a handsome, gentle face of the peasant type, a light, pointed beard, great wistful eyes, and a mass of curly black hair. He was shockingly young for such a sacrifice, and looked more like a Neapolitan than a Cuban. You could imagine him sitting on the quay at Naples or Genoa lolling in the sun and showing his white teeth when he laughed. Around his neck, hanging outside his linen blouse, he wore a new scapular.

It seems a petty thing to have been pleased with at such a time, but I confess to have felt a thrill of satisfaction when I saw, as the Cuban passed me, that he held a cigarette between his lips, not arrogantly nor with bravado, but with the nonchalance of a man who meets his punishment fearlessly, and who will let his enemies see that they can kill but cannot frighten him.

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