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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 19, 1912, Image 20

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-03-19/ed-1/seq-20/

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. . STORY "ABOUT A BURGLAR v -
L - x '
- Wl3t with drink, chil'dhboH in the slums and one thing or"an-
other, Tom Daly found himself at manhood's estaten a California
penitentiary, as a burglar. He wasn't a bad acting fellow, or a bad
looking fellow, and' so they wished him well when he'd' served 'his
term of five -years and went forth into society to "begin lifeyandvv.
J It was last Christmas season when Tbm.got'out and so'we'may
; imagine , that 'his heart was full and that-'his determination to do
better was strong.. Moreover, during those' lqng five .years, Tom's
mother had been -working, thinking and praying for him. She was
about the ojily real friend Tom had left, in ttie outside world, and
she knewhow hopeless, helpless ' and forsaken her boy was going
i to feel 'upon coming out among. his fejlows with that awful name
of "exconvict" to wear, and so the good soul worked and. saved
f that her boy might have something to start oh. ' ,
r Ninety-nine dollars was all she could raise and this was m
Tom's hand when the penitentiary gates clanged behind hinvlast
December.
With such a mother's savings with him,' we "rather' guess, that'
Tom's resolutions were good rather than bad. Be that as it may,
, , Tom hadn't been out a week when the police spotted him. The
' police couldn't s'ee his good resolutions. They couldn't tell that.. he
was determined to make his noble old mother happy by living right.
They simply knew him as an "ex" and suspected him. y
Now, it is the law, largely as made by the police that when' a
fellow who ought to be committing crime, according1 to official
theory, isn't doing so, he can Tie arrested "on suspicion.'" It satisfies
? the police, albeit that it destroys the soul o the would-be reformed
"suspect." .
s Funny, isn't it? That whereas the law says that every accused
f man is presumed to" "be innocent until proved, guilty,the law seizes
' man because it thinks he is going to commit some offense'. But so
i it is. They couldn't quite, make up their- minds to grab Tom "on
' suspicion," since he' had Been atr liberty 6nly fiye daysand so the
' police'had recourse to anpther favoriteN proceeding of theirsr -f
i If you haven't anything,' as was concluded in Tom's case, since
fie had just got through a five-year job thafpaid nothing, the law
seizes upon you. It calls'you a "vagrant," "'a perspn without visible
means of support." Don't you s,ee how the, charge seemejl4 to fit
Tom, whom' society had kept shut up for five year in order to re
form him? Well, they arrested Tom for vagrancy, for. havinglno
.visible means of support, fivedays after he left the prison '
r m In police court Tom showed the $99 Vhjch his mother "had

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