The governor. I’ll make a point of seeing him to-day.
Cokeson. I’m much obliged to you. I thought perhaps seeing him every day you wouldn’t notice it.
The governor. [Rather sharply] If any sign of injury to his health shows itself his case will be reported at once. That’s fully provided for. [He rises]
Cokeson. [Following his own thoughts] Of course, what you don’t see doesn’t trouble you; but having seen him, I don’t want to have him on my mind.
The governor. I think you may safely leave it to us, sir.
Cokeson. [Mollified and apologetic] I thought you’d understand me. I’m a plain man—never set myself up against authority. [Expanding to the chaplain] Nothing personal meant. Good-morning.
As he goes out the three
officials do not look at each other,
but their faces wear peculiar expressions.
The chaplain. Our friend seems to think that prison is a hospital.
Cokeson. [Returning suddenly with an apologetic air] There’s just one little thing. This woman—I suppose I mustn’t ask you to let him see her. It’d be a rare treat for them both. He’s thinking about her all the time. Of course she’s not his wife. But he’s quite safe in here. They’re a pitiful couple. You couldn’t make an exception?
The governor. [Wearily] As you say, my dear sir, I couldn’t make an exception; he won’t be allowed another visit of any sort till he goes to a convict prison.
Cokeson. I see. [Rather coldly] Sorry to have troubled you. [He again goes out]
The chaplain. [Shrugging his shoulders] The plain man indeed, poor fellow. Come and have some lunch, Clements?
He and the doctor go out talking.
The governor, with
a sigh, sits down at his table and takes up a
The curtain falls.
Part of the ground corridor of the prison. The walls are coloured with greenish distemper up to a stripe of deeper green about the height of a man’s shoulder, and above this line are whitewashed. The floor is of blackened stones. Daylight is filtering through a heavily barred window at the end. The doors of four cells are visible. Each cell door has a little round peep-hole at the level of a man’s eye, covered by a little round disc, which, raised upwards, affords a view o f the cell. On the wall, close to each cell door, hangs a little square board with the prisoner’s name, number, and record.
Overhead can be seen
the iron structures of the first-floor and
The warder instructor,
a bearded man in blue uniform, with an
apron, and some dangling keys, is just emerging from one of the