Yollop eBook

George Barr McCutcheon
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 95 pages of information about Yollop.
any attention to except the shorthand reporter,—­and them just settin’ there sort of helpless and not even able to say a word in their own behalf because the law says they’re innocent till they’re proved guilty,—­ why, I tell you, Mr. Dewlap, it’s heart-breakin’.  And all because some weak-minded smart aleck gets them paroled.  As I was sayin’, the law’s all right if it wasn’t for the people that abuse it.”

“This is most interesting,” said Mr. Yollop.  “I’ve never quite understood why ninety per cent of the paroled convicts go back to the penitentiary so soon after they’ve been liberated.”

“Of course,” explained Mr. Smilk, “there are a few that don’t get back.  That’s because, in their anxiety to make good, they get killed by some inexperienced policeman who catches ’em comin’ out of somebody’s window or—­”

“By the way, Cassius, let me interrupt you.  Will you have a cigar?  Nice, pleasant way to pass an hour or two—­beg pardon?”

“I was only sayin’, if you don’t mind I’ll take one of these cigarettes.  Cigars are a little too heavy for me.”

“I have some very light grade domestic—­”

“I don’t mean in quality.  I mean in weight.  What’s the sense of wastin’ a lot of strength holding a cigar in your mouth when it requires no effort at all to smoke a cigarette?  Why, I got it all figured out scientifically.  With the same amount of energy you expend in smokin’ one cigar you could smoke between thirty and forty cigarettes, and being sort of gradual, you wouldn’t begin to feel half as fatigued as if you—­”

“Did I understand you to say ‘scientifically’, or was it satirically?”

“I’m tryin’ to use common, every-day words, Mr. Shallop,” said Mr. Smilk, with dignity, “and I wish you’d do the same.”

“Ahem!  Well, light up, Cassius.  I think I’ll smoke a cigar.  When you get through with the matches, push ’em over this way, will you?  Help yourself to those chocolate creams.  There’s a pound box of them at your elbow, Oassius.  I eat a great many.  They’re supposed to be fattening.  Help yourself.”  After lighting his cigar Mr. Yollop inquired:  “By the way, since you speak so feelingly I gather that you are a paroled convict.”

“That’s what I am.  And the worst of it is, it ain’t my first offense.  I mean it ain’t the first time I’ve been paroled.  To begin with, when I was somewhat younger than I am now, I was twice turned loose by judges on what they call ‘suspended sentences.’  Then I was sent up for two years for stealin’ something or other,—­I forgot just what it was.  I served my time and a little later on went up again for three years for holdin’ up a man over in Brooklyn.  Well, I got paroled out inside of two years, and for nearly six months I had to report to the police ever’ so often.  Every time I reported I had my pockets full of loot I’d snitched durin’ the month, stuff the bulls were lookin’ for in every pawn-shop in town, but to save my soul I couldn’t somehow manage to get myself caught with the goods on me.  Say, I’d give two years off of my next sentence if I could cross my legs for five or ten minutes.  This is gettin’ worse and worse all the—­”

Project Gutenberg
Yollop from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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