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Oh, I was out in West Duluth visiting with
my brother, and we saw these headlines. I assumed then that
there would be a lynching, and there was. The mob. . . There
were six prisoners in jail, but at daybreak they had only
lynched three. And they were all exhausted. But there were
women and children in the mob. And then after. . . The next
night, after the mob — the white people — said
they were going to run all the niggers out of town. And I
remember, I had just come back from the war then, you see.
I didn’t have a bathrobe. I had an army raincoat. And
we’d decided that we’d just barricade ourselves
in our house. I was the only one who had a gun. I had a .45
Colt automatic that I’d brought back from the war. I
still have that gun by the way. In the night, the sheriff
and. . . There were several, quite a few concerned white people
about our welfare, and wanted to make a relationship with
us. But we’d decided to go it on our own. There was
a telegram come to our house. Someone had heard something
about it and was concerned about the relatives. The messenger.
. . In those days they didn’t telephone, they brought
the telegram; delivered it. And I was rooming with these people.
It was a family. This Rodney who I told you about. I was rooming
at his mother’s house. She was a widow woman. When the
door rang, he who was older, Wallace who was older than I,
said, “See who’s at the door, Ed.” So I
put on my raincoat and had these pockets that go through the
army raincoat, and I put the .45 Colt automatic down in there
and cocked the trigger back, and I went to the door. And there
was a white lad out there. And I said, “What do you
want?” He said he had a telegram from Western Union.
But if he would have tamped his foot I would have murdered
him. We were that tense.