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From Broadcloth to Flannel Stripes
Denver Post, October 20, 1905

E. M. Johnson, Convicted Bank Wrecker, Is Now Known Officially as Convict 6433. He Arises at 6 O'Clock, Eats the Cheap Prison Fare and Goes Forth to Labor on the Rock Pile.

Canon City, Col., Oct. 20. - Edwin M. Johnson, former president and wrecker of the Fidelity Savings association of Denver, which went to the wall last year to the loss of thousands of workingmen and women, is now breaking rock at the state penitentiary stone quarry. He was sent out yesterday afternoon for the first time with 250 other convicts and ordered to go to work. He broke rock steadily for five hours, at the end of which time he was quite exhausted and his hands were blistered from wielding the heavy hammer. This morning Johnson was again sent out, and from now until his term of imprisonment expires he will work free for the state in expiation of his crime. His guard today is "Jack" Bell, the former Denver newspaper man. Bell is a dead shot with either rifle or revolver, and any effort on Johnson's part to make a dash for freedom would probably result in his body being perforated with lead.

In addition to the guards over each gang sent to the stone quarries, the entire section of the country where the prisoners are worked is patrolled by a cordon of sharpshooters armed with rifles. Should a convict attempt to escape, the guard who has control of that particular gang would at once fire his revolver to warn the sharpshooters and then do his best to stop the fleeing prisoner with lead. If the prisoner escaped the guard's bullets, the chances are a thousand to one that the rifle men would bag him.

Every convict in the prison knows all about Johnson's crime, and he is generally referred to as "Fidelity," a nicknbame that will probably cling to him as long as he lives.

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