A group of bearded men, in sad-colored clothes and gray steeple-crowned hats, stood in front of a wooden building. Beside them stood a group of women, some wearing hoods. The heavy door of the building was made of oak, covered with iron spikes.
The founders of a new colony, no matter how optimistic they were, always set aside a portion of land for a cemetery, and another portion for a prison. They probably built the first prison near Cornhill and the first burial ground on Isaac Johnson’s land. It was around Johnson’s grave that the old churchyard of King’s Chapel grew.
Fifteen or twenty years after the settlement of the town, the wooden prison was already weatherbeaten and showed the evident signs of age. The rust on the iron-work of the oak door made it look older than anything else in the New World.
In front of this sinister building was a plot of grass, covered with ugly weeds. Evidently, there was something congenial in the soil outside a prison-the black flower of civilized society — something that encouraged ugly weeds to grow.
But on one side of the entrance, there was a wild rose bush. In the month of June, it was covered with delicate, fragrant roses. They offered their fragrance and beauty to the prisoner who entered the gloomy building, and to the condemned criminal who left it to meet his doom.
Let us pick one of its flowers and give it to the reader.
Hopefully, this sweet flower will serve to soften the dark tones of a tale of human frailty and sorrow.
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