There was a trusty, name of Kendricks, who was into me for some pretty heavy money back in the fifties, and it was four years before he got it all paid off. Most of the interest he paid me was information - in my line of work, you're dead if you can't find ways of keeping your ear to the ground. This Kendricks, for instance, had access to records I was never going to see running a stamper down in the goddam plate-shop.
Kendricks told me that the parole board vote was 7-0 against Andy Dufresne through 1957,6-1 in '58, 7-0 again in '59, and 5-2 in '60. After that I don't know, but I do know that sixteen years later he was still in Cell 14 of Cellblock 5. By then, 1976, he was fifty-eight. They probably would have fatten big-hearted and let him out around 1983. They give you life, and that's what they take - all of it that counts, anyway. Maybe they set you loose someday, but ... well. Listen: I knew this guy, Sherwood Bolton, his name was, and he had this pigeon in his cell. From 1945 until 1953, when they let him out, he had that pigeon. He wasn't any Birdman of Alcatraz; he just had this pigeon. Jake, he called him. He set Jake free a day before he, Sherwood, that is, was to walk, and Jake flew away just as pretty as you could want. But about a week after Sherwood Bolton left our happy little family, a friend of mine called me over to the west corner of the exercise yard, where Sherwood used to hang out, and my friend said: 'Isn't that Jake, Red?' It was. That pigeon was just as dead as a turd.
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