( A bright, crispy, October day on Devil Island,French Guiana,1888.)
( LaCarre was the most hated man on Devil’s Island . He treated the prisoners like dogs,picking on them for the least infraction, and he loved to send them to the "Box"- a small 4’x4’ enclosure, with a corrugated zinc roof, placed in the centre of the compound, next to the guillotine .
The prisoners having enough of his harsh treatment ,decided to revolt and capture the"Beast" as La Carre was known in the prison.
After overpowering the prison guards,they went to the Warden’s office,kick down the door and caught him hiding behind a shelf of books, roughly grabbed him and led down the narrow corridor ,down the stairs and out into the open square
A crowd of raggedly dressed prisoners surrounded the guillotine looking on intensely at the proceedings. Hatred in their eyes.
La Carre,hands tied behind his back, was led up the thirteen steps by four prisoners to the platform where the lonely guillotine stood waiting. It’s sharp blade glinting in the sun.
He was placed on his back, head FACE UP on the block. he cried out "No! No ,Please, I beg of you,have mercy!" his eyes widened and beads of perspiration washed down his face as he watched the sharp edge of the blade,ascending.
The crowd began chanting, "Off with his head! Off with his head!"
The Executioner held the rope with the blade firmly.
A hush fell over the crowd.
"Have you anything to say before you die, Pig!" asked the headman Pierre, The leader of the revolt stepping forward. He was a tall, thin man , wearing an eye patch and dressed in gray stripped prison garments .
‘Mercy, I beg you,Pierre, have mercy!" I--I don’t want to die, Please!" He pleaded,his fat face awashed in perspiration.
"Mercy,dog,?" Pierre replied a glint in his eye," when you have never shown any, you must die, pig, die!" replied Pierre,spitting in his face.
He then walked over to the Executioner and whispered something in his ear. The Executioner nodded. Pierre stood back.
The crowd held it’s breath.
The Executioner then release the rope that held the blade and caught it again expertly as the blade was but an inch from La Carre’s throat.
La Carre fainted from shock.
The crowd roared.
La Carre was never the same person again. He was posted back to France a changed man and ironically, became a champion on Prisoner’s rights on Devil Island.
Copyright 2006 Michael Lance Kersting