My background is crowded with robberies, burglaries, and thefts too numerous to recall. All manner of crimes against property. Arrests, trials, acquittals, convictions, escapes. Penitentiaries! I see in the background four of them. County jails, workhouses, city prisons, Mounted Police barracks, dungeons, solitary confinement, bread and water, hanging up, brutal floggings, and the murderous straitjacket. I see hop joints, wine dumps, thieves' resorts, and beggars' hangouts. Crime followed by swift retribution in one form or another. I had very few glasses of wine as I traveled this route. I rarely saw a woman smile and seldom heard a song. In those twenty-five years I took all these things, and I am going to write about them. And I am going to write about them as I took them - with a smile.