January 20, 1908


Hope of Freedom Had Long Since
Died in His Breast -- Society
That Aids the

Up in the Kansas City Life building there are two small offices stuck away under the stairs. One of them is the headquarters of the Anti-Saloon League and the other that of the Society of the Friendless. The Friendless are men just out of the penitentiary. The society finds work for them and gives them the "glad hand" generally. One of the "Friendless" turned up yesterday to say that it was tougher on him at liberty than it had been in captivity, for while he had been able to endure eighteen years' imprisonment at Lansing, Kas., working steadily all the time at hard labor, two weeks' work at liberty had put him on the flat of his back. He was up again, though, like a good fellow and was ready to go to work. Not quite understanding the lay of the land a casual visitor to the headquarters of the society offered the man a small contribution. "Much obliged to you, all the same, sir" the ex-prisoner replied. "I do not need it. Hand it to some fellow that does. I do not mean to be offensive but I am all right."

Inquiry developed the fact that the man had but recently got out of the Kansas state penitentiary.

"How long were you in?" he was asked.

"Life," he replied, and he laughed as he said, "they made me do eighteen years of it. My, but that is a long time. I hardly knew the cities when I got out. D. R. Anthony used to work for me and his little boy who used to play around my place is now in congress. Goodness, but how the little fellows grew up in that long, long eighteen years.

The man asked to have his name suppressed for fear publicity might embarrass him at work.

"Did the changes surprise you when you got outside?" he was asked.

"Nothing surprised me as much as news of the governor's pardon. I had been expecting it for many years. We all do. Three weeks ago I was at work in the prison when I heard a shout from a gang in another part of the building, and the boys came running to me saying I was pardoned. They 'ganged' me right then and there. I could hardly believe it. It was too much. I had been sent up for life for killing a man, and thought I ought to be at liberty, but thinking I ought to be at liberty and being at liberty were quite different. I did not believe it, but the boys brought the Kansas City Journal to me and then I read it myself. They had been watching The Journal every day for the list of Thanksgiving day pardons. It was great news for me."