Brown Man Smiled As He Stood On Brink Of Eternity
At approximately 8 o’clock this morning, Henry Anderson Jobes and Ishil, the Japanese, met death by hanging in the yard of the Provincial jail. With remarkable celerity and without a single hitch the double hanging took place and those who witnessed the execution went away with an indelible impression stamped on their memories of a gruesome task well and ably done.
Not a word was spoken during the one minute the doomed men were on the scaffold, except by the spiritual advisers of the condemned men.
Jobes was calm and showed no sign of weakness, while the Japanese smiled and looked at the wondering faces of the spectators in the yard below.
At four minutes to eight Ishil appeared at the head of the death procession, followed by a little Japanese minister who wore a green and gold sash over his right shoulder and carried a book in his hand. Behind them came Jobes, followed by a minister of the Presbyterian faith.
Looking down at the spectators below with a smile on his not unhandsome face, the Japanese stepped onto the trap beneath the westward noose, while Jobes took his place beneath the eastward coil of rope.
Quickly the hangman placed the cap over the smiling face of the Japanese, adjusted the noose about the stocky neck with the knot beneath the left ear and then stepped over to where Jobes stood with bowed head and eyes cast downwards. Quickly the black cap was drawn over the head of the white man, the noose adjusted and his ankles strapped together. The ankles of the Japanese were fastened together in the same manner.
THE LAST PRAYER
With his hand upon the right shoulder of Henry Anderson Jobes, the minister began to say the Lord’s Prayer, while the little Japanese minister stood in front of his fellow countryman, book in hand and while his lips moved no sound from them was audible to the spectators in the yard below. Steady, strong and clear, the old, old words of the Lord’s Prayer rang out on the chilly morning air, each word slashing the silence like a sabre stroke, while with bared heads the spectators gazed at the two men poised on the brink of eternity. “Thy will be done,” said the clear, steady voice and with the last word it was. The trap was sprung and two forms shot from view into the enclosed space beneath the gallows platform. With a snap the ropes stood the strain of the shock and then settled to their deadly work. All that could be seen by the spectators in the yard were two short stretches of rope from a drab coloured beam leading into a boarded enclosure. The ropes swayed and twisted for a few moments silently telling their terrible tale.