"What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?"
"The gallows-maker; for that frame outlives a thousand tenants."
"I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallows does well; but how does it well? It does well to those that do ill: now, thou dost ill to say the gallows is built stronger than the church; argal, the gallows may do well to thee."
Ladies and gentlemen. This is Gus Johnson, who you have heard of as a bad man. Some think I am a monster. My father was a colonel in the rebel army and bore a good name. I am to die for killing a negro fourteen miles down the Coosa River. I am sorry I killed him. Deputy Sheriff Sharp has been with me a good deal. I think a heap of him. He has a duty to perform, and I do not think less of him for it. His wife is a good woman, and has been a friend of mine. I have always been a bad boy. I have killed four men in my life. I can swear to two. I have friends in the crowd who would rescue me, but I want them to let me hang.
Augustus J. Johnson, from the gallows; 1878