Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nyarlathotep: Part 8 social upheaval

Since this is a prose poem, Chrispy has rearranged these sentences into free verse.

I do not recall distinctly when it began,
but it was months ago.

The general tension was horrible.

To a season of political and social upheaval
was added a strange and brooding apprehension
of hideous physical danger;
a danger widespread and all-embracing,
such a danger as may be imagined
only in the most terrible phantasms of the night.

At 3:00 P.M. on April 15,1920, a paymaster and his guard were carrying a factory payroll of $15,776 through the main street of South Braintree, Massachusetts, a small industrial town south of Boston. Two men standing by a fence suddenly pulled out guns and fired on them. The gunmen snatched up the cash boxes dropped by the mortally wounded pair and jumped into a waiting automobile. The bandit gang, numbering four or five in all, sped away, eluding their pursuers. At first this brutal murder and robbery, not uncommon in post-World War I America, aroused only local interest.

Three weeks later, on the evening of May 5, 1920, two Italians, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, fell into a police trap that had been set for a suspect in the Braintree crime. Although originally not under suspicion, both men were carrying guns at the time of their arrest and when questioned by the authorities they lied. As a result they were held and eventually indicted for the South Braintree crimes.

Vanzetti was also charged with an earlier holdup attempt that had taken place on December24, 1919, in the nearby town of Bridgewater. These events were to markthe beginning of twentieth-century America's most notorious political trial.

In addition to these things, the end of WWI had caused an upheaval with the dough boys coming back seeking jobs. The incredible Spansih Flu had taken the lives of many. Women were finally given the right to vote. The immigrants had finally risen up and began to seize their second generation American rights which scared the hell out of the old guard elite - like HPL.

No wonder he wrote these words in late 1920!

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