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LEGAL AID SOCIETY FURNISH THE BOYS
.COURT WITH A "BIG SISTER"
, BY JANE WHITAKER
They have a ''Big Sister" in the Boys' Court now. She is Miss Alice
ijjThompson, placed there by the Legal Aid Society to act as defender lor
"""'boys who are unable to hire a lawyer and yet for whom ttiere is much to be
said in extenuation.
She sat by three boys yesterday as P entered the courtroom, and I
heard her say:
"These boys, two of them, your Honor, are without mothers or fathers.
. Their mothers, are dead and their-fathers deserted them. They work hard
and have never been in trouble before. They have been in the county jail
for several days now and I believe they have had an opportunity to think this
'over and decide never to do such a thing again. At any rate, they have all
told the truth, willingly, and 1 believe if they were paroled for a year they,
would not get in trouble-again."
The three boys, Stephen, 11, Raymond and Otto, both 18, but all little
fellows who looked much younger, .raised wistful eyes to Miss Thompson.
They seemed to appreciate shewas doing her best for them 'and they seemed
-a. little sorry that they had no't been able to give her any better reason to
plead for mercy, and then their eyes traveled, back to the face of Judge
Scully and rested there. .
Two of them were little red-heads and the sister of one said that she
had told him lots of times to keep
dway irom "bad boys," but he didn't
"They always scolded me at
home," the "red head" belonging to
"Of course they scolded you,"
Judge Scully said. "They want to
make a man of you and you prefer to
run around with bad boys and stay
out at night and not work. How did
you come to steal this pocketbook?"
The littlest boy, with sandy hair
arid very big blue eyes became the
"We was all out of work and we
hadn't any money. And" we- saw a
wonian with a pocketbook, and we
said: 'Gee, if we had the money she's
- got in her .pocketbook!' That's what
we thought because we didn't have
any mqney. And we , snatched a
pocketbook, but we'll pay the money
back wheq,, we get working again, if
we get a chance."
"How did you knowt but what the
wqman from "whom ybu stole the
pocketbook might not have needed
the, money as badly herself?" "Big
Brother" Thomas F Scully asked.
"Perhaps she had a family and, her
children needed that money as badly
as you thought you did."
The boys were silent. That was
a new thought
"They told the truth aboutit, your
Honor," the Big Sister said again. "I
am sure they will be good boys from
this time on. They have learned a
lesson. If you will just parole them"
"I do not excuse their stealing- a
pocketbook," the judge said, , "but
these boys seem to be the victims of
circumstances. Their mothers are
dead and their fathers have deserted
them. There has been no one to
teach them right from wrong or to
give them any moral foundation,"
"They have only blundered this
once," the Big Sister said. "I think
thejrTvill make, good men if they are
given a chance."
And they were given a chance pa
roled for a year, and the two little
redheads, and the littlest b'oy with
very" blond hair and big blue eyea
looked shyly at the Big Sister and
then disappeared from' the court
room. , jf JQ