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Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). Spoon River Anthology. 1916.

128. Clarence Fawcett

THE SUDDEN death of Eugene Carman

Put me in line to be promoted to fifty dollars a month,

And I told my wife and children that night.

But it didn’t come, and so I thought

Old Rhodes suspected me of stealing

The blankets I took and sold on the side

For money to pay a doctor’s bill for my little girl.

Then like a bolt old Rhodes accused me,

And promised me mercy for my family’s sake

If I confessed, and so I confessed,

And begged him to keep it out of the papers,

And I asked the editors, too.

That night at home the constable took me

And every paper, except the Clarion,

Wrote me up as a thief

Because old Rhodes was an advertiser

And wanted to make an example of me.

Oh! well, you know how the children cried,

And how my wife pitied and hated me,

And how I came to lie here.