Before the rise of the curtain, the room presented a strange and animated look. In the fi rst place, the crowd pressed, crushed, jammed together on all sides, but impatient, full of expectation, every face glowing with delight. In the last ranks was the groveling, confused mass of convicts. Many of them had brought with them logs of wood, which they placed against the wall, on which they climbed up. In this fatiguing position they paused to rest themselves by placing both hands on the shoulders of their companions, who seemed quite at ease. Others stood on their toes, with their heels against the stove, and thus remained throughout the representation, supported by those around them. Massed against the camp-bedsteads was another compact crowd; for here were some of the best places of all. Five convicts had hoisted themselves up to the top of the stove, whence they had a commanding view. These fortunate ones were extremely happy. Elsewhere swarmed the late arrivals, unable to fi nd good places.1