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Newspaper Page Text
HOW ABOUT THE YOUNGSTER OF A WOMAN
WHO "LOVED NOT WISELY BUT TOO WELL?"
BY JANE WHITAKER
We are all prone to forget the tempests of life when our own barks sail
on a calm sea.
We become wantonly happy in the possession of a warm place in which
to live; bur favorite pictures on the wall; the books we love on a shelf,
ready to pass away an idle hour;' enough money to buy the little luxuries
that appeal to us, to even cater to our palates rather than our necessity for
It gives us a chance to look on life selfishly; sometimes to boast that
what we are we have made of ourselves; sometimes to look superciliously
on those who have less and take the credit of our more to ourselves.
And then, just when we grow absolutely content, a shoulder brushes
ours in the crowd and we look into eyes haggard with a nameless dread; or
shoulders bowed with a hopeless misery; poverty stalks close to us in its
tattered rags, a mendicant begs alms, or a woman falls from hunger, and
we awaken to the fact that after all we are just lucky in being happy and
that even our comfort in our happiness will not permit us to forget that
misery roams abroad.
One rainy morning not long since I was walking on the street warmly
clad against the cold, quite content with what life had to offer, and then a
girl stopped me to inquire where a i
certain convalescent home was.
She had a tiny bundle on her arm,
just a little bundle, shapeless, covered
with a blanket In the other hand
she was carrying a heavier bundle.
She had no umbrella and the rain was
trickling down off her hat and had
moistened the little bundle.
I directed her to the home, quite a
few blocks away and then I asked:
"Is that a baby you have there?"
"Yes," she answered.
"My dear child," I expostulated
she was only about twenty ''what
are you doing with a baby out in a
rain like this without an. umbrella?"
. "I couldn't carry an umbrella,"
she said. "And they expect me at
the home today."
I turned and walked back with her,
and we talked about the little bundle.
"It is only two weeks old," she said,
"And you are out on the street?"
"Yes, I got up because I thought I
could go to work, but I am not strong
enough yet, so I am going to the
home for a couple of weeks and then
I will get work. You know I have
the baby and I am not married."
I said the only thing I could think
of to qomfort her:
"The best of us cannot boast of
what may happen until we have been
She smiled at me wanly. "I guess
that is true," she said. "I never
thought such a thing could happen
to me. And now well, I came from
the country and I don't want my peo
ple to know, so when I get strong I
will go to work and take care of both
of us. I want to keep my baby."
The rest of the little story came
out as we walked along. She had
come to the city from a little town.
She had worked as a clerk in a de
partment store. She was paid $7 a
week. She was lonely. There was
a clerk who took her to the nickel
shows in the evening because she
hadn't any place she could ask him
And sometimes they went to the
park. He told her he loved her, but
after he had betrayed her love he was
just a contemptible' little beast who
didn't even bother seeing that she
had any care, even if he weren't hon
orable enough to marry her.