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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 17, 1912, Image 7',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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THE SALE OF A, TAILOR, OR
A SKIRT FOR TWO BITS
Peoria, 111., Feb. 17. J. B. Mel
vin, who has just been remanded
to jail under a $1,200 bond, is, or
was, the head of a garment com
pany. He is charged w'ith swind
ling hundreds of women through
a lottery scheme, by which they
were to obtain a silk skirt for 25
cents. Melvin says he worked the
plan in Fort Wayne, Ind., and it
Anyhow the women fell for
the scheme, though they ought to
know it 't'ain't possible to make a
silk skirt for two bits, even
though the present fashion does
not neces'sitate the ,use of much
goods. But when the skirts be
gan to come in, and the women
began to get into the skirts, they
raised a row, and Melvin also got
in to jail.
.His bond was fixed.at $1,200.
"Ah, cruel, cruel, judge," cried
the tailor; "you are unjust: you
"The deuce I am," replied the
court, losing his dignity. "You
talk like I was a skirt."
"I will never give that exces
sive bond. You may have my gore
first. Bind me over," wailed the
"Now, look here, Mr. Melvin,"
said the court, "you are trying to
cloud the issue with all this talk
of gores, biases and binding, but
that bond stands."
Melvin wailed again. That was
the best thing he did. From all
accounts, he was a better wailer
.than tailor. Today he called up
his wife overth"e long-distance
phone in Indianapolis.
"I am in jail," he told her. "they
are cruel to me. They wont let
me out.- Send me some cigarets.
I must have them. Yes, I knew
you would. It was women that
got me into this. A woman
should help me."
They may be good cigarets, but
the cost of Melvin will be about
$5. "What do you know about
that?" said a jail attendant, shak
ing the makin's into a paper
trough. "Wouldn't give bond,
but pays that much for cigarets."
The stories of some of the wo
men were pathetic. This is a very
sad ptory all through, for every
one but the telephone company.
"He made me a striped skirt,"
said one woman, who even by her
friends, is called plump, "A strip
ed skirt, your honor, but the
stripes ran around and around,
instead of up and down, tl didn't
add at all to my appearance."
"And I wanted a tight skirt,
judge," said another. But I didn't
want half of a pair of pants. That
is what the skirt loked like. Why,
I couldn't even carry a dollar in
my well er er about me."
Several other women had equal
ly pathetic tales. They were very
touching. In fact some of them
even declared that the skirts
"touched", either in front or rear.
And all agreed that they had been
But about those cigarets
"Suppose if he had ordered cigars
he would have given every wom
an a Havanna wrapper," mourn
ed one jail guard.