Tragedy in Dedham: The Story of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case

By Francis Russell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
THE NIGHT OF MAY 5

A week after Stewart's visit, Simon Johnson received a long-distance telephone call at his garage from Boda asking if the Overland was ready. Johnson told him it was. Boda said he would pick it up next day. Next day he did not appear. Another week passed, and Johnson began to worry about his bill. He asked Stewart if he could sell the car for what was owing on it. Stewart told him to wait.

On the evening of May 5 Johnson had felt out of sorts and gone to bed early. At a little after nine o'clock his wife, Ruth, was sitting in the front bedroom of their one-story wooden house on North Elm Street, a quarter of a mile from the garage, when she heard a knock at the front door. Going to the vestibule, she asked who it was. A voice replied that it was Mike Boda and that he had come for his car. From the bedroom Johnson recognized the foreign voice. As his wife came back, he whispered to her to go next door and telephone. She nodded, then said loudly enough to be heard outside: "Mr. Boda is here for his car. While you're getting up I'll go over for the milk."

As she opened the front door and stepped outside she found herself caught in a beam of light. At first she could make out nothing beyond the whiteness, then she saw Boda vaguely outlined against a telephone pole ten feet away. As her eyes grew more used to the glare, she noticed two strangers walking toward her from across the railroad bridge thirty feet south of the house. She could hear them talking-- in Italian, she thought. The glare caught them. They looked foreign. One was wearing a derby and an overcoat. The other, who wore a felt hat, Ruth Johnson remembered afterward because of his drooping mustache. Boda called out something to them and then walked toward her.

-60-

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Tragedy in Dedham: The Story of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Chronology vii
  • Chapter One The Tragedy in Dedham 1
  • Chapter Two 10
  • Chapter Three April 15, 1920 28
  • Chapter Four Bridgewater And West Bridgewater 49
  • Chapter Five The Night of May 5 60
  • Chapter Six The Men and the Times 71
  • Chapter Seven 93
  • Chapter Eight The Year Between 107
  • Chapter Nine The Trial: I 129
  • Chapter Ten The Trial: II 158
  • Chapter Eleven The Trial: III 176
  • Chapter Twelve Post - Trial: I 216
  • Chapter Thirteen Post-Trial: II 237
  • Chapter Fourteen The Confessions 270
  • Chapter Fifteen More History, Written And Otherwise 302
  • Chapter Sixteen 1926 326
  • Chapter Seventeen 1927 349
  • Chapter Eighteen 380
  • Chapter Nineteen August 1927 404
  • Chapter Twenty Aftermath 451
  • Index 471
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