I tossed my hat in his face. He spit. I jumped him. Then I killed him for getting away on me. I skinned him and got his hide.
I've seen the mother rattler when she was scared somebody was coming for her young. She opened her mouth and the little ones ran into her mouth. That's the way she protected them. I let her alone.
Another time I came on a nest of thirty-eight rattlers. A guard we called Scarepants, he took out his pistol and killed them out.
Whenever a snake came into the prison they just matter-of-fact called on me and said, "Hey, Snake Eye, one of your friends under the table there. Take him out."
WARDEN FRANK KELLY called me into his office one day and asked, "Who do you get mail from, white or colored?"
"To tell you the truth, Warden, I get mail from both sides, white and colored."
"That's what I thought. We got a letter from a white gal here. Says her name is Millie Almund. There's her picture. She's in a swimming suit. She's in a goddamned pair of shorts and she sends you a picture of herself that way!"
"I can't help that, boss, if she takes a picture of herself and sends it to me."
"No, you can't help it, but goddamnit, we can help it. You ain't getting no more mail, nigger. We cutting out your mail. Any time a white gal sending you mail like that you ain't getting it. We find you writing to white women, you catch it from us too. Hear?"
I was lucky not to get lynched then and there, I guess. Down there, the way they figured, a black man and a white woman fifteen hundred miles away was still too close. Millie Almund was a New York girl who wrote to me very often.
With a few I had been talking back and forth for years by letter. A Catholic woman, Mrs. Lillian McCracken, she lived at Lake