We arrived at Windsor and I was safely inside of the prison at three o’clock in the afternoon. Warden Harlow met me with a joke, to the effect that, had it not been for my handcuffs he should have taken the officer who brought me, to be the prisoner, I was so much the better dressed of the two. He then talked very seriously to me for a long time. He was sorry, and surprised, he said, to see a man of my appearance brought to such a place for such a crime; he could not understand how a person of my evident intelligence should get into such a scrape.
I told him that he understood it as well as I did, at all events; that I could not conceive why I should get into these difficulties, one after the other; but that I believed I was a crazy man on this one subject-matrimonial monomania; that when I had gone through with one of these scrapes, and had suffered the severe punishment that was almost certain to follow, the whole was like a dream to me-a nightmare and nothing more. With regard to what was before me in this prison I should try and behave myself, and make the best of the situation; but I notified the Warden that I did not mean to do one bit of work if I could help it.
He took me inside, where my fine clothes were taken away, and I. was dressed in the usual particolored prison uniform. I was told the rules, and was warned that if I did not observe them it would go hard with me. Then followed twenty-four hours solitary confinement, and the next afternoon I was taken from my cell to a shop in which scythe snaths were made.
It had transpired during my trial at Montpelier, that when I was a young man, I was a blacksmith by trade. This information had been transmitted to prison and I was at once put to work making heel rings. It was some years since I had worked at a forge and handled a hammer. Consequently, in three or four days, my hands were terribly blistered, and as the Warden happened to come into the shop, I showed them to him, and quietly told him that I would do that work no longer. He told me that I must do it; he would make me do it. I answered that he might kill me, or punish me in any way he pleased, but he could not make me do that kind of labor, and I threw down my hammer and refused to work a moment longer.
The Warden left me and sent Deputy Warden Morey to try me. He approached me in a kindly way, and I showed my blistered hands to him. He thought that was the way to “toughen” me. I thought not, and said so, and, moreover, told him I would never make another heel ring in that prison, and I never did.
He sent me to my cell and I stayed there a week, till my hands were well. Then the Deputy came to me and asked me if I was willing to learn to hew out scythe snaths in the rough for the shavers, who finished them? I said I would try. I went into the shop and was shown how the work was to be done. Every man was expected to hew out fifty snaths in a day. In three or four days the shop-keeper came and overlooked me while I was working in my bungling way, and said if I couldn’t do better than that I must clear out of his shop and do something else. My reply was that I did not understand the business, and had no desire or intention to learn it. He sent for the Deputy Warden, who came and expressed the opinion that I could not do anything. I said I was willing to do anything I could understand.