If a prisoner died there the state gave him a wooden basket and a suit of clothes. If his people wanted his body, they had to bear the expense, the basket, the suit, and taking him away.
The time came when Frank Boswell put a stop to the big business I ran in Kilby prison. The old warden general, I guess he couldn't stand competition. Convicts running other stores, they didn't like it the way I had things sewed up. They put the screws on me, ratted me off.
One night a guard, he caught me with my stock and said I must go before Boswell.
Captain Frank saw about twenty-five dollars' worth of stuff before him in a large-sized box. He didn't know I had more stuff in the cell block. This floorwalker who picked me up, he told Boswell I had almost as much stuff in my cell as they had in the commissary. Boswell, he questioned me about it. He wanted to know how much profit I was making on Brown Mule tobacco. I got a half plug of it for ten cents and sold it for fifteen. The commissary couldn't afford to carry chewing gum because guys put benzedrine in it and chewed it. I carried it. I bought it for a dollar a carton and sold it for three dollars a carton. Boswell told me, "You won't be allowed to operate any more stores in the place. You sell that stock of stuff and don't buy no more."
I had to sell it out. It was nice stuff. Even the guards, they bought it off me, but at the cost price.
YOU take yeast, sorghum syrup, and water. Mix that in certain amounts and let it set for four or five days. You get julep. Julep was the main drink in Kilby if you could keep the making of it secret from the guards.
I knew that I wanted out. The right kind of a fuss, that would put me out on the farm. They wouldn't ever think of putting me back in the cotton mill after what happened the year before.