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FORTY SHILLINGS FOR THE FRANCHISE.

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FORTY SHILLINGS FOR THE FRANCHISE. BY MARIE WINTON EVANS. V. When the toilet service was washed, and I returned into my cell, the door was immedi- ately closed, but was soon thrown open again by another wardress who carried a slate, and called out any applications ? Now, we had been advised, by others who had already suffered imprisonment, to be vegetarians while in prison, to escape the meat, the tea, and the cocoa; but as all dietary regulations are within the province of the medical officer, it was necessary to get his consent to any change of diet, and I therefore applied to see the doctor. The next time the door was opened it was to deliver the order "get your plate and 'pint' ready." These I brought from the stone shelf, and placed on my table, and a wardress appeared, accompanied by two women in prison dress carrying between them a large urn of tea, out of which my pint' was filled. On finding it sweetened, I asked the wardress if I might have tea without sugar, but she sharply replied that no distinctions were made, and I must take the food provided. Two other women prisoners, carrying a large basket full of brown rolls, followed, one of which was placed on my plate, and the door was again closed, leaving me to reflect upon the appetising breakfast placed on my table. The tea was an impossible preparation, and had to be abandoned the bread was better, and, though coarse, was quite palatable. No butter was allowed on that morning, but after the first day we were given, each morning, sufficient butter for the whole day. Dry, coarse bread, with no beverage, is not a particularly appetising meal, but I hoped that, when the vegetarian diet was estab- lished, I should fare better, and I solaced my hunger in the company of some books I had brought in with me. Some time afterwards, I heard the doors along the corridor being thrown open, and the tramp of many feet going down the stairs, but, for some reason, I was not in- cluded in that part of the proceeding, and was left to wonder what was going on. While waiting for their return, the doctor came, in reply to my application, and sneered about the number of "voluntary vege- tarians he had already visited, but granted me the necessary permission for the change of diet, which was all I wanted from him. The next visit was from a wardress who brought in a third division prisoner to show me how to fold my bedclothes, and to dispose of the bed during the day-time. She told me to observe very carefully how the bed-clothes were folded, as I should be required to keep them in that condition every day. Each article was folded twice, rolled tightly one inside tho other, and the edges so carefully manipulated that the ends of the roll, when finished, resembled coils of rope. This was then placed, with the rolled-up mattress, on the lower stone shelf; the plank was raised into its vertical position against the wall, and the pillow placed on the top of it. The wardress then unfolded the dusters which I had previously noticed, and, show- ing me the bath-brick, told me that, by mixing the powdered brick with some soap, the tins would polish brightly, and must be kept in a state of brightness. A small brush, with no handle, which resembled nothing more than a child's ball, made of fibre, she explained was for the purpose of sweeping the floor, and the dust pan, like the other articles, was to be polished brightly every day. All these explanations being given, she fastened on to my coat a large round disc of yellow cloth, with the number Dx 20, sus- pended by a leather tab, and withdrew. Peace, however, was not yet to be mine, for another wardress appeared to summon all the new prisoners downstairs into the hall, there to have the ledger entries of the previous night checked by the matron her- self. She checked each prisoner separately, and was exceedingly curt and officious. While waiting my turn, I learned from Miss Milne, the secretary of the Manchester branch, who was one of the prisoners that had already suffered imprisonment, that there was a short service in the chapel every morning, and that the reason why I had not been allowed to go with the others was be- cause I had to wait for the doctor's visit. When the matron had checked the entries we were sent back into our cells, and I was wondering how long I should be left undis- turbed when the jingling of the heavy keys was again heard, and the cell door was again flung open. The wardress who now appeared, was followed by a prisoner, who placed in- side my cell a pail of water, a floor cloth, and another fibre brush; and I was told to "wash your cell-bed, table, stool and all." The clanking of pails above, below, and on either side told of the scrubbing opera- tion that was being performed by all, and I set to, to get my duties done. The water was cold, and no soap was allowed, so that the scrubbing of the wood was a difficult process if there were any stains to be re- moved. The floor was easier, and being quickly dried by the heat, required little more than the wetting it got from all of us. The prisoner who brought the water after- wards collected the pails, and we were actually undisturbed until dinner time (To be continued.)

The Welsh Summer School, 1907.

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