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Well, on this day Hank was going to the jail, not on account of any of his own misdeeds, but on an errand of mercy. The night before, the priest had come to Hank's home and told him that his old friend, Jim Jackson, had begged for him to visit the jail. Hank at first refused, but the priest told him that Jim had no friends and was anxious to have a few minutes' talk with him before he died; Jim had some message that he wanted to give Hank that he could not leave with anyone else. Hank knew that Jim was to be hanged on Friday, and he had thought about it a good deal in the last few days and wished that it was over. He had known Jim for a long time; they had often been out together and sometimes got drunk together. Jim, once worked in the yards, tut one night one of the other boys was struck by the Limited as it pulled out on the main track, and Jim and Hank gathered him up when the last Pullman coach had rolled over him; and after that Jim could never go back to the yards; so he managed to get an old horse and wagon and began peddling potatoes on the street.
One evening Hank took up the paper, and there he saw a headline covering the whole page and a little fine print below telling how Jim had killed his wife with a poker.