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Newspaper Page Text
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THIS LAD'S CRAVING FOR GOOD FOOD GOT
HIM INTO CONSIDERABLE TROUBLE
BY JANE MHITAKER
In a cell in the County Jail, alone
with his thoughts, a boy charged
with burglary is awaiting the action
of the grand jury and crying out his
fear of punishment, his loneliness, his
regrets, his excuses, while he humor
ously yet piteously blends in his let
ters to his one friend his healthy ani
mal craving for good food that
doesn't desert him even in the terror
If it can be said that there are
ever excuses for crime, life has offer
ed this boy a few.
He has been an orphan for several
years; his best friend, his older sis
ter, is dead. Another sister is shallow-minded,
pitying not the plight of
the boy, but herself for the disgrace
he has brought upon her. His broth
ers so far have done nothing for him.
The home of his older sister was
closed to him by his brother-in-law
as soon as the sister was placed in.
her grave and the boy was thrown
out, without work or money, on to
He came under the influence of bad
company, youthful desperadoes who
persuaded him, when he was hungry,
to join them in their crime of robbing
a drug store.
And for almost three months he
knew secret fear and remorste and
even a little of the comfort of believ
ing he would never be found out or
have to pay for his one criminal act,
and then the shadow covered him
and he was arrested.
His story and the letters he has
written were given to me by his one
friend, a little woman with a great
big heart, who hoped that the publi
lation of thev letters might serve to
warn some other boy of the wages
of sin, even while she is doing every
thing in her power to save this boy
from paying to the full extent of the
, The first letter was written before
he was held to ,the grand jury and
after his arrest. It reads:
"Dear Mrs. C: I was arrested last
Thursday and I will have my trial Fri-
day, the 3d of April. I am in such a -
bad fix, with no one to do anything
for me. I think I will be bound over
to the grand jury. If I do, I will be
here 90 days before I have a trial. I r
wish I had someone to speak a good
word for me in court. I am to be' '
tried before Judge Scully. Won't you
please come and see what becomes of
me? I may get from 1 to 20 years.
"Oh, if some one would only come
and see me. If some one would only f
come to my trial and help talk for
me maybe I could get out on a year J
parole. Judge Scully is a good judge.
"I am lonesome and I am sorry for
what I have done. I and three other -boys
held up a drug store last Janu-
ary. Just got arrested for it. I wish
I had something good to eat. Can
you come and hear the trial? Please "
don't forget me. I pray to God you
wil do the best you can for me. Will '
you buy me something to eat? I feel
that I am going to the penitentiary.
"Answer at once please, and try '
to see my trial." 4
The next letter was writen after '
the trial before Judge Scully, when
the evidence against the boy was so
strong that he was bound over to the
"Dear Mrs. C: I received the
books, also the very nice food. How r
I enjoy it and appreciate it from the
bottom of my heart. I am in a place t
where I realize everything that 'is
done for me. If it were not for you, i
I don't know what I would do. And i
don't forget if I am given a chance
in life I will try to repay you. I never J
will forget you.
"That happened last January and 1 i
have not done anything since. I have V
suffered through life and at nights t
when I say my prayers I hope some", a
I thing may turn up to give me a