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It was the invariable spike meal, always the same, whether breakfast, dinner or supper–half a pound of bread, a bit of margarine, and a pint of so-called tea.
It took us five minutes to gulp down the cheap, noxious food.
Then the Tramp Major served us with three cotton blankets each, and drove us off to our cells for the night.
Six greasy, slippery roller towels had to serve for the lot of us.
What talk there was ran on the Tramp Major of this spike.
He was a devil, everyone agreed, a tartar, a tyrant, a bawling, blasphemous, uncharitable dog.
Then we set about smuggling our matches and tobacco, for it is forbidden to take these into nearly all spikes, and one is supposed to surrender them at the gate.
We hid them in our socks, except for the twenty or so per cent who had no socks, and had to carry the tobacco in their boots, even under their very toes.
The woman was sent off to the workhouse, and we others into the spike.