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Newspaper Page Text
A GIRL WHO HAS NINE WEEKS OF EXISTENCE
BEFORE HER SHE HAS SEEN BETTER DAYS
BY JANE WHITAKER
There is one girl in Chicago who will soon have to answer the question
the vice commission put to employers so frequently: "Where is a girl to
get the difference b'etween what you pay her and what it costs her to live?"
And like the employers, this giri cannot answer yet.
I went to see her last night Tn response to a letter asking me to call.
She lives in a fairly nice neighborhood, and she has a fairly nice room.
It isSather small, but it has running water, and she feels that this is neces
sary because a great many people live in the house and there is only one
Like the majority of working girls who live in this manner she must
entertain her visitors in 'her room. Landladies of this character of houses
usually partition the parlor off and rent it then they put a couch bed in a
girl's bedroom and .tell her she can
entertain there if she leaves the
Ij: isn't a good custom. Not that a'
girl takes liberties with the privilege,
'butthere are so many women who
are not fair-minded in judging others,
and I know personally of several girls
-whose reputations have been lost be-
cause a suspicious, narrow-minded
landlady slandered5 them.
This girl's room was furnished
tastefully by herself. The pictures
belonged to her mother he silver
toilet articles were gifts of "girl
friends in the days when she did not
work. And the large, easy chair in
which I sat had been used by her
father until he died.
The girl', herself, "bad never been'
trained by environment to work, and
she seemed more like the butterflies
one sees promenading the shopping
district than the, serious woman who
waits upon one in the store.
She greeted me kindly, but with
just a little air of condescension.
"You are Miss Whitaker, I suppose.
You have certainly had a very .hard
struggle, haven't youbut you do not
I smiled. It is a serious drawback
to-iook so. healthy when someone is
ejecting to find you a wreck.
I hava never known what poverty,
is." she continue 1, with a little Dride. ,
"I wish ycu harl visited me a .year I
ago when I lived at home. We had
two. maids, but this "
I hastily interrupted her. ".Why
thisis real comfortable. You have a
dear little room and it has the charm
"Most of my things are from
She stared at me silently until I
felt uneasy. I puHed up the collar
of my coat, unbuttoned my gloves,
took out a handkerchief to wipe off
my face in case it wasn't clean, and
then I realized that she didn't see
me at all-phe was looking through
me and beyond me.
"Comfortable?" There was con
tempt in her voice. "It isn't even liv
ing. -Before my father died we lived
in a ten-room house and L had a re
ception room for my friends. I have
stopped having men friends call here
because I won't entertain them' ih a
bedroom even if it does make a pre
tense of 'being a sittingroom,- and- a
man won't take you to the theater
every times he calls on you. They
expect to sit home and' talk to you .
about -five times for every one -time-they
take you out" s
"But workingmen are. not able to
take a girl out every time -they feel
lonesome to see her," I explained "
She said something that made me
feel a. little' chilly. "
"A girl .is a fool to .bother-with a