The Jacket (Star-Rover) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Jacket (Star-Rover).
a soil to be acid or alkali.  I repeat, farm-husbandry, in its highest scientific terms, was my genius, and is my genius.  And yet the state, which includes all the citizens of the state, believes that it can blot out this wisdom of mine in the final dark by means of a rope about my neck and the abruptive jerk of gravitation—­this wisdom of mine that was incubated through the millenniums, and that was well-hatched ere the farmed fields of Troy were ever pastured by the flocks of nomad shepherds!

Corn?  Who else knows corn?  There is my demonstration at Wistar, whereby I increased the annual corn-yield of every county in Iowa by half a million dollars.  This is history.  Many a farmer, riding in his motor-car to-day, knows who made possible that motor-car.  Many a sweet-bosomed girl and bright-browed boy, poring over high-school text-books, little dreams that I made that higher education possible by my corn demonstration at Wistar.

And farm management!  I know the waste of superfluous motion without studying a moving picture record of it, whether it be farm or farm-hand, the layout of buildings or the layout of the farm-hands’ labour.  There is my handbook and tables on the subject.  Beyond the shadow of any doubt, at this present moment, a hundred thousand farmers are knotting their brows over its spread pages ere they tap out their final pipe and go to bed.  And yet, so far was I beyond my tables, that all I needed was a mere look at a man to know his predispositions, his co-ordinations, and the index fraction of his motion-wastage.

And here I must close this first chapter of my narrative.  It is nine o’clock, and in Murderers’ Row that means lights out.  Even now, I hear the soft tread of the gum-shoed guard as he comes to censure me for my coal-oil lamp still burning.  As if the mere living could censure the doomed to die!

CHAPTER II

I am Darrell Standing.  They are going to take me out and hang me pretty soon.  In the meantime I say my say, and write in these pages of the other times and places.

After my sentence, I came to spend the rest of my “natural life” in the prison of San Quentin.  I proved incorrigible.  An incorrigible is a terrible human being—­at least such is the connotation of “incorrigible” in prison psychology.  I became an incorrigible because I abhorred waste motion.  The prison, like all prisons, was a scandal and an affront of waste motion.  They put me in the jute-mill.  The criminality of wastefulness irritated me.  Why should it not?  Elimination of waste motion was my speciality.  Before the invention of steam or steam-driven looms three thousand years before, I had rotted in prison in old Babylon; and, trust me, I speak the truth when I say that in that ancient day we prisoners wove more efficiently on hand-looms than did the prisoners in the steam-powered loom-rooms of San Quentin.

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The Jacket (Star-Rover) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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