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Then I started West with a show. It wasn't hard work. The girls were
paid from $12 to $18 a week.
Chorus girls have no harder a time keeping good than any girls do.
It's no harder for a chorus girl at $15 a week to repel men's advances than
for a shopgirl at $6. In fact, It's very much easier. A chorus girl has to
keep straight. The work is exacting and if she doesn't keep right hours
she doesn't keep her job.
In Seattle I met Christine Neal. She's been sentenced to Whittier until
she's 21. But then she was as good
and sweet a girl as anybody could
find. And I was all right, too.
We came to Los Angeles on the
boat after the season ended. On the
way down I was convinced that
Christine was all right. Men tried
to talk to us, of course, but they
didn't get very far. We had a good
time in SanFrancisco and were care
ful and got along fine.
Oh, plenty of traps were laid for
us. They were wide open towns for
the most part that had those traps
and I dodged them. Some girls fell
in because they wanted to. Others
because they couldn't help it But
Christine trusted me a lot and we
stepped over all the snares.
When we reached Los Angeles I
thought all our troubles and our
dodging, all our need for caution, was
ended. But we were both sadly
After a few days I had a httle
money we went down to the beach.
We went to Long Beach. When we
went out in our bathing suits every
body spoke to us. It was the first
time I had ever hit anything like that.
I thought maybe it was the cus
tom here. California had always
seemed to me to be an outlandish
sort of place. Nothing surprised me.
So we answered when they spoke.
Before I'd been in Los Angeles a
week I found out where a lot of the
danger lies. It's in the mashers on
the streets. I never saw bo many
mashers m my life as I have here.
If a decent girl stays out after dark,
and even in the daytime, she's ac
costed. You cant' go down to the
corner drug store to telephone with
out having some man speak to you.
But we passed up the street mash
ers. Then I found that the masher
in his worst form existed in the best
hotels. At luncheon in one of the
swellest downtown hotels I, for the
first time, had a man come up and
make a straightout invitation to me
while I was sitting eating, with a
waiter not ten feet away.
I didn't want to make a scene, so
I just stared at him. He dropped hip
cane and almost ran away. I never
saw a fellow of his type yet that
wasn't a coward. I knew a girl once
that scared a prominent business
man away from his work by threat
ening to shoot him. He retired to
the mountains and let his business
go to the dogs. When he failed that
girl had a better revenge than shoot
After this fellow in the hotel had
departed, I paid my bill and got Dut.
That is, I aimed to get out But that
lobby was a regular hotbed of mash
ers. Two more bowed and grinned
'and tipped their hats and when I got
outside I was mad clear through.
Then I met the man I blame I
just blame one man.
It makes me laugh to hear men
criticize unfortunate girls. Men are
the responsible people In every case.
Yet he.y have the nerve to blame us.
I liked this fellow then. But oh,
how I detest him now. Our cash
was running low when we met. He
had a big tan automobile and he him
self was an engaging, strong fellow
and I went out with him.
We went to the Vernon Country
Club. I was 17, but we got past the
gatekeepers all right. The Vernon
Country Club is no place for young
girls. They don't try to keep them
put. In all the times I was there I