[時事閒聊] The morning after this I went for exercise

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When he returned he seemed in some excitement: “Well, it’s perfectly true,” he exclaimed, “they have used you shamefully! I assure you it is no fault of mine. Three persons have united against you—the colonel of the gendarmerie, the governor of the town, who controls the police, and the commandant of the military garrison. 78Before your transference to this prison they all three came here, settled all the arrangements, gave their orders, and sent subordinates from their own departments to keep guard over you. Unfortunately I cannot overrule these arrangements on my own responsibility, but I will apply personally to the authorities concerned; and all I can do in the meantime is privately to advise the governor of the gaol to consult your wishes as far as possible Makeup class.”

Thereupon the governor was called in, and the Public Prosecutor repeated this to him in my presence. We then concluded a sort of compromise. A proper bed was brought into my cell for the night, my books were given to me, and a table and writing-things for the daytime. All these things had to be taken away again if any officials were coming round who might report the matter. That I might get a little fresh air the governor arranged for me to take exercise in an outer courtyard where the other prisoners could not see me. Upon these conditions I consented not to prolong my “hunger-strike,” and that evening I partook of some food. It was only when I began to eat that I realised how fearfully hungry I was. I could have devoured an ox; but knowing that in such cases care is advisable, I put a curb on my appetite. During the two following days I felt very seedy, as though I had had a bad illness, and my attendants treated me rather like a convalescent; the governor and the deputy-governor inquired frequently after my health; even the gruff gendarme made himself agreeable, and went to the kitchen to buy me food and simple dainties.

, accompanied by my four guardians. The yard set apart for me was a space between the prison building and the surrounding wall. The soldiers posted themselves at a little distance from each other, standing at attention, while I strolled up and down the space between them, closely attended by the gendarme and the policeman. It was heavenly weather, the clear, mild autumn of the South. As my 79guardians seemed equally to appreciate the spell of freedom after the narrow, close corridor, our walks lasted longer and longer. I attempted on these occasions to get into more friendly relations with the gendarme, who, besides being stiffened by severe discipline, was naturally of a gloomy, morose turn of mind.

When we were walking up and down, especially if the policeman were temporarily absent, I tried to engage him in conversation, and asked him questions on indifferent subjects. This man had been selected from among many others as the most trusty, zealous, and incorruptible. I must explain that as he had no substitute during his watch over me (which lasted two or three months), he was supposed to be never off duty, but to spend his entire time in the corridor outside my door, to eat there, and to sleep there as well as he could. To my knowledge he never once changed his clothes! The policeman, on the other hand, only remained twenty-four hours at a time on duty, being then relieved by another member of his force; and the two soldiers were changed every two hours, from the regular military guard which is attached to every Russian prison.


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