By Chester Himes
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Extra info for Cast the First Stone
He promised to stop and see me every time he came up our way for coke for the furnace. It was tough seeing him go. He'd been good company. It was in the evenings, when we used to talk, that I missed 42 CAST THE FIRST STONE 43 him most. I didn't know I could miss anyone so much or get so lonely in a big dormitory full of men. I liked old Mal, I sure did like that boy. Jeep tried to make friends with me, after that. He said he had been in twenty months and had never had a friend -not a real pal, anyway.
Old convicts waited there to be transferred from one company to another. Convicts who had been reported for infractions of the rules waited there to be tried. Convicts who wanted to see any of the inside officials waited there. At the back of the waiting room was a door leading into the courtroom. Somewhere back of that I knew was the hole. Kish, ·the big Greek hole attendant, came out from in back somewhere and tried to start a conversation with me. I didn't feel like talking. He went and stood in the doorway.
He seemed vindictive and slightly hysterical. It seemed as if he hated the convicts. In the course of his sermon he said it was good we were there. I think he meant it was good we were in church, not in prison. But most of the convicts accepted the latter meaning. They began booing so loudly that the deputy finally had to stand up and wave his hands for silence. They respected the deputy and quieted down. The Reverend Glisser went on denouncing sin. " The colored convicts started booing then, and the deputy and nobody else could stop them.