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FORTY SHILLINGS FOR THE FRANCHISE.

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FORTY SHILLINGS FOR THE FRANCHISE. By MARIE WINTON EVANS. III. The cell in which we had been placed was opposite to the inspection room, and we stood watching our fellow-prisoners hurry past with boots unlaced, and hair let down, into the inspection room, presently to emerge hurriedly again, carrying a towel and a couple of sheets, and then disappear. One or two emerged from the inspection room wearing prison clothes, and we no longer recognised who they were, so different did they appear in the ugly, clumsy clothes. On seeing them we decided that we should stick to our identity by wearing our own clothes. Along one side of the inspection room was a row of recesses containing baths, and each prisoner, after inspection, made use of the bath before again dressing herself to return into the cell. The officers, or wardresses, whose duty it was to superintend new arrivals, seemed to be overwhelmed with work by such an influx of prisoners, and great commotion prevailed everywhere. There were constant running to and fro, hurried consultations, instructions sharply delivered in all directions, entries quickly made in a ledger, or log book, and frequent calls to prisoners who had been ordered to prepare for inspection to hurry up, there, quickly." Presently we noticed a prisoner, in a state of great agitation, being held by two others, while a wardress bandaged her foot. She did not belong to the suffrage band, and was protesting in a very excitable manner, that seemed to indicate that the shrieks that had previously terrified us had come from her. Nothing that we afterwards saw threw any light upon that incident, and we had to content ourselves with the explanation inferred. After waiting for some time, vainly endeavouring to obtain a hint with regard to the proceedings in the inspection room from a passing member of our company, our turn came. A wardress appeared with instruc- tions to "Unlace your boots, take your hair down, open your bags, get your money ready, and go into the inspection room We obeyed, and, taking with us our goods and chattels, went forward to be inspected. Seated in this room were two wardresses, each with a ledger to take down particulars re- garding the prisoners. One of these I found to be the irritable wardress who had received us on arrival, and her manner was extremely officious and overbearing. Into her charge I had to deliver all articles of jewellry— including my watch—fancy combs, hat-pins, and even some of my hair-pins, while my purse and money were also taken away. All these articles were entered separately in her ledger, and I was told to sign the entry. Afterwards she ran her fingers through my hair, and bidding me slip off my clothes, she satisfied herself that nothing was hidden upon my person, and proceeded to turn out my pockets and my bag. Finding nothing therein but a few articles for personal use, and some books, she informed me I could keep the bag and its contents, and I was delivered into the hands of the second ward- ress, who was less officious and more human in her manner. By her I was requested to state my name and address, age, birthplace, religion, and length of sentence. These entries also having been endorsed, I was duly weighed and measured, but a request for information regarding either process was met with the stolid indifference which characterises the English official. When all these formalities were completed, I was directed towards the bath, but on finding that these baths were only as little removed from absolute publicity as an organised system for the degradation of offenders dared permit, I objected to submit to the indignity of using it. Other prisoners also objected, and, owing to our number being so large, and the fact that prison rules insist upon every prisoner being inspected and placed in her cell on the day of arrival, the objections were allowed, and that par- ticular regulation was not enforced. The absence of privacy with regard to the ;y baths and the lavatories are unnecessary indignities to which prisoners are compelled to submit, and should be remedied, for surely nothing is gained by violating the sense of decency of prisoners. If Society expects them to return into the world chastened and reformed, it defeats the pro- fessed objects of imprisonment by brutal- ising and degrading them through a system that is barbarous and inhuman. On objecting to use the bath, I was ordered to take all my clothes and other belongings, and to make room quickly for others who followed me. A small, coarse towel was given to me, together with a pair of coarse, heavy sheets and a small card bearing my description, such as name, age, and length of sentence. These I was told to take with me into an adjoining cell, there to wait until I should be conducted into the cell which was to be my permanent abode. Some time afterwards a wardress came and bade me bring all my things and follow her. She conducted me through a heavy door which was unlocked to let me pass through, and afterwards re-locked, and we stepped into a courtyard. The night air was balmy and refreshing, after all those hours in the oppressive atmosphere of the reception cells the moon shone brightly in the starry sky; and I longed to stay outside to forget all I had passed through on the day. But liberty was no longer mine I was hurried on, and followed my guide into the new wing of the prison, where the first division cells which we were to occupy were situated. This wing was spacious and lofty, con- taining three tiers of cells, and lit by elec- tricity. The wardress conducted me up an iron staircase to the second tier, and into cell No. 22, by which number I was hence- forth to be known. She placed my descrip- tion card in a rack on the door, told me to pick up the "devotional books" that were on the floor outside the cell and place them on the table inside, and without a word of explanation about the preparation of my bed, she locked the door and left me to my own devices. It was nearing midnight when I reached my cell, but some of the suffragists did not reach theirs until four o'clock in the morning I was too tired to start making acquaint- ance with my cell that night, and proceeded to prepare my bed out of materials which I presumed belonged to it. Looking around, I saw an upright plank of wood, on which rested a pillow in a corner was a rolled-up mattress, and another roll containing a counterpane and two coarse, woollen blankets. The wooden plank was about twenty-two inches wide, by about six feet long, and was raised about two inches above the floor by a bar of wood at either end the mattress and pillow, both of which were stuffed with fibre, were very hard and extremely uncomfortable to lie on; the bed clothes, though coarse, were heavy and warm and as a hot-water pipe heated the cell, we could not complain of cold. Sleeping, however, was an ordeal, as a prison mattress is an instrument of torture, and was never meant to induce sleep Weariness may snore upon flint, but not upon a prison pillow How long I tossed upon my bed, seeking a spot that was less hurtful than the other parts, I know not; but, at last, sleep did come, and with it came the end of my first day in prison. (Continued.)

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EISTEDDFOD MILE END.