Who is it who has reported this unfortunate sedition, so eloquently
spoken in the back room of the rotting tenement on Godesdam Street?
There was not much to the supper as I am led to understand it; some black
bread and common beer; half a wheel of sour cheese, a few green olives.
Even the light they dined by appears to have been quite poor;
an old kerosene storm lamp: not even a handful of holiday candle.
But still the unveiled words, the sermon, must have flamed very brightly;
winged its way high to such mistaken ideas of justice and moment. It certainly
unhinged the unidentified fool of an informant. He excused himself promptly,
climbed out through the stinking privy window: from there he staggered
through the streets on fat shaking legs—so bringing the sorry affair
to our attention—all this and not one thought for gold?
It was clear from the idiot’s prostrations that the diners must be guilty. Given such
circumstances, what could be done but to send in the troopers? They were
armed to their teeth and tongues with the Book of Regulations; with night sticks,
with handcuffs, with shotguns, the obligatory tasers. Not one single diner
tried to leap to their feet to abandon the trestle table. So we had the official
photographer shoot them right there, all twelve with their unbarbered leader
caught with his arms raised, sitting fairly in the middle. As to further details—
the beating of the potboy, the taking of the cook, his sister—all will be properly
redacted for the sake of the public order: but the deportations and the execution
will go forward this dreary morning. Then when all has died down, in private
sans identity, we will find a very strong rope with which to hang their traitor.
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