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This is how he remembered it be-
fore us:

"The morning it happened, I came
to the gin. I came up on the highway
where Hurst and this colored fellow
was arguing. Hurst looked at me and
quieted down, but I could still hear
him. I walked up the highway past the
truck, behind, where I could still hear
and see. Lee hopped out on the passenger
side. Hurst ran around the
front. Hurst lowered the gun at him,
but didn't shoot the first time. He shot
the second time."

After shooting, Allen saw another
white man lead Hurst into a
truck and drive away from the gin.
Allen, knowing full well what he had
seen, could mean only trouble for him,
walked away also.

He told us the rest of his story. No
one can know, now, whether he told
it true. It can never be told in court,
or proved or rebutted. But Louis Allen
believed it, and so a listener who knew
the history and manners of Mississippi
might also.

"I was sitting in the garage when
Mr. B -- came along and said, `Come

Bates Town Marshal

to the gin.'When we were going down
he said, 'They found a piece of iron
on that nigger.'I said I didn't see no
piece of iron. 'They found a piece of
iron, you hear?' he said.

"At the coroner's jury, someone

MARCH 1964

asked about the piece of iron. I said I
hadn't seen no iron.

"'Is this the piece of iron?'

"'Yes', I said.

"Then they swore me in and I left."

Bob Moses, the former New York
school teacher who had begun SNCC's
Mississippi work, told us that Allen
had come to him, wanting to change
his testimony, but fearing for his life.
Together they had called the Justice
Department in Washington.

"We're not running a police department,"
they were told.

Notes and Questions

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wnmartin

the paragraph that begins "I was sitting in ..." is split after the "...`Come" line
by the left part of an drawing (of the cotton gin, I believe, since there are cotton bales shown).
The drawing extends across the page under the last paragraph.