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Newspaper Page Text
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NO PLACE FOR THE CHANCELESS BOY OF
TODAY, WHO IS THE MAN OF TOMORROW
BY JANE WHITAKER
There is a common expression "tossed from pillar to post." It doesn't
mean much ordinarily, but it has a terrible significance when we apply it
to the "chanceless" boy, for that is his fate.
There is no place for him. True we have built penal institutions that
are splendid examples of architecture on the outside and splendid examples
of barbarism on the inside, and we may send him to one of these where
he may learn a still deeper hatred of us.
There are municipal lodging houses where men may gain shelter oc
casionally, provided they apply before the places are filled, because they
are never big enough, and we boast quite a little of these, but they do not
shelter the "chanceless" boy.
Perhaps you will doubt that there are really "chanceless" boys. Per
haps you will say, "Oh, they probably had a chance and didn't take it."
But there were a number of "chanceless" boys in the court of Judge
Thomas F. Scully Monday morning, and I am positive that the first chance
any of those boys got came from "Big Brother" Tom Scully.
Two little lads came to Chicago from Arkansas. Nobody cared at all
about them. One lad's mother was dead and his brother gave him a ticket
to umcago ana $5, with the admoni
tion that he take care of himself.
The, other lad, more wee still, was
sent all that distance to live with his
sister, but he hasn't yet completed
his journey, and here in Chicago the
two "chanceless" boys have been liv
ing a tramp's existence; sleeping hi
alleys, eating when they could get
food, and they were in court charg
ed with stealing pennies from news
boys. There wasn't anything desperate
looking about the faces of these boys,
though their frayed and soiled cloth
ing was desperate enough. They
hadn't even become hardened, be
cause they still clung to'the rainbow
of hope, just twisting their little
hands about the tail-end of it and tell
ing each other they "were going tp
make good when they got a chance.."
Judge Scully let me talk to them,
but they asked no odds of me, save
that the littlest "chanceless" boy
said: "Did you ask the judge if he
would let us go," and when I told
him that I thought the judge intend
ed to do that, he said: "Will -you
please ask him anyway. We can get
work in Michigan, and we can work
our way) across, if we just get a
And there were a lot of other
youngsters, boys who had no par
ents, boys( whose address was "no
where." These were not hardened,
either; they, too, still clung to the
tail-end of the rainbow of hope. In
their eyes still lurked a belief that
somewhere, sometime they would
"get a chance."
They were brought in for stealing
rides. It doesn't seem criminal to the
"chanceless" boy to' "steal a ride"
when he hasn't railroad fare. He
figures that nobody loses anything
but himself, because he doesn't sit in
a red plush chair, nor does he eat in
the luxurious dining car, He just
hangs on in some obscure place
where his life is jeopardized every
moment by the rushing onward of
the train, and where the next moment
may see him hurled into eternity.
And always he is chasing that one
"chance." He didn't get it in New
York city and he came to Chicago to
find it. And he may not get it here,
but he won't lose his faith in it, he
still thinks the rainbow ends in a land
of milk and honey, and so if he isn't
I caught in Chicago, or if he is caught