looked so high and hard to get over. They were concrete. We could see guards in the shacks along the wall tops next to their machine guns. Barbed wire stretched on top of the walls all around.
They took us in through steel gates.
Then, death row opened to us . . . a dozen cells facing each other, six to a side, and a thirteenth cell for toilet work.
Right off a guy in the cell opposite, he said, "So you're from Scottsboro. Been reading about you guys. The papers in New York making a big fuss about it. The governor will insist you go now."
"To the chair . . . it's right there."
I tried twisting my neck and eyes out the front of the cell to the death room: but it was just out of my sight.
THAT guy opposite, they called him Gunboat, he kept talking. "Do you want a Bible to make your soul right?" He was holding up a little red book in his hands for us to see. "You going to die tonight, you know. You Scottsboros better get busy with the Lord."
Willie Roberson, he was leaning up against the door with me listening, and he put a frown on. Willie got scared and excited and started talking about things. "You sure we going to die tonight?" he asked. We were both afraid. We didn't know. Sometimes other prisoners, they heard about things before we did.
Another guy in a cell next to Gunboat's was shaking his head from side to side like we should pay no mind to him. This fellow, name of Ricketts, called Gunboat a liar and said, "You fellows ain't going to die tonight. Gunboat don't know nothing about your case."
Gunboat yelled out, "Them guys going to die tonight! Here, take this here Bible!"
Ricketts waved his hands and said, "Keep away from that thing. That Bible never did us niggers any good!"