Dumb For Two Years
Two years ago, says the Auburn Advertizer, George Scott, one of a gang
of desperadoes in New York City, committed a robbery, for which he ought
to have received ten years in prison. When he was arrested he feigned to
be deaf and dumb. Upon his trial he made much of his infirmity, and the
result was that he succeeded in escaping with a sentence of two years.
Being transferred from Sing Sing to Auburn prison, he still kept up
appearances, by means of which he escaped from doing heavy work, but was
assigned to duty in shoe shop No. 1 as waiter, being supposed to be fit
for no more valuable service. He was sharp, ready and intelligent, and
generally well behaved, though hot tempered. Keeper Bacon, under whom
he was placed, had him always under strict surveillance, but never was
led to suspect by anything in his conduct that he was not deaf and dumb.
Indeed, he says that he once saw Scott, who always went in the shop by
the name of "Dummy," so roused up and maddened by something that had
occurred, that he thought he would go crazy, yet he gave no sign that he
was otherwise in respect to hearing and speaking than he seemed. About
two months ago Dummy's time was up, and he was discharged. To give him a
start in life again, keeper Bacon hired him to do some gardening.
Principal keeper Gallup did the same thing. He worked in this way for
two or three weeks. While at his work children would talk to him and
play round him, yet he was always apparently oblivious to their
presence. But Dummy had a tongue and could use it, and his hearing was
as keen as anybody's. One day he fell in with a fellow convict who had
just been discharged from prison, and they went off up the street
together, talking gaily. Captain Russell, foreman in one of the
departments of the prison shoe shop, who was in the street, overheard
their conversation; and on another occasion it happened that one of the
keepers met Dummy at Louis Schuch's and talked with him for a long time.