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THIS IS THE STORY OF A WOMAN
TO TAKE CARE
By Jane Whitaker
This is a page from life when life
seems coldly brutal. When it takes
from a man and a woman the best
that is in them, and throws them,
worked out, on the scrap pile.
Life can do that with some men
and some women, when there is no
one but themselves to consider, and
the broken" puppets will utter no com
plaint, but accept the ruling of life
But when there are others to suf
fer because of the discard, there is al
most a sublimity in the way that
broken men and women will struggle.
And in this page from life there are
five dependent children and a mother
who is worked out, but who is as
ferociously fighting for her children
as a crippled lioness for her cubs, the
while she lavishes tenderness upon
her hurt mate.
The story was told to me by two
of my friends the man told it with
the tears close to his eyes; his wife'
"She came to our house begging.
I said to my little boy: 'Tell her there
isn't anything we can do,' because,
you know, my own need all that we
can manage, but my little boy said:
'Papa, this is terrible. If you would
just see her.'
"Meanwhile my wife had asked her
in and set some food before her as I
entered the room. She looked wild
desperate. She was sobbing as she
vainly tried to force the food down
her poor throat.
" 'A woman had me arrested for
begging,' she told my wife. 'A wom
an who lives in a nice home. She
asked me to come in and make my
self comfortable after I had told her
about my children that are hungry
and my husband who is sick, and I
who am sick myself.
" 'She told me to make myself
comfortable, and then she went to
the telephone and called up the po
lice station, and told them, to send an
WHO IS DESPERATELY FIGHTING
OF HER YOUNG
officer to arrest a beggar.
" 'And I tried to get away, but she
made me stay until the officer came,
and he took me to the police station.
" 'Oh, I was so afraid. I never
wanted my children to know what
their mother was doing, but I could
not let them starve. I will not. I
will steal for them before I will let
them go hungry. There is no place
for poor people. I have worked all
my life, and worked hard, and my
man worked until he got tuberculosis
from your sweatshops, and even now
he goes out gathering rags while the
sweat wets his coat as though a hose
had been turned on it.
" 'At the station the man at the
desk listened to the policeman tell
that I had been begging. And then I
told him why.
" 'He said I should have applied to
the charities. I said to him that if he
could go to the charities and get from
them 2 cents' worth of help I would
be willing to stop begging and just
turn on the gas and die, but the char
ities do not help. I know, God, how
well I know!
" 'And then he said that I should
go home and do the best I could.
" 'What i9 the best I can do? Sit
in my four rooms and watch my chil-.
dren starving. Kill us all in a night,
maybe. I don't know what I am to
do. I am crazy, almost.
" 'I went to my alderman and
begged him to get me a license so I
could sell things on Milwaukee ave
nue. I don't care what. Shoestrings
or papers anything that will bring
in a few cents but he said there was
too much opposition, and he could
not afford to offend big politicians. It
takes pull to get a license, and I
haven't got it.
" 'I had to be desperate before I
begged. I laid awake at night think
ing of my babies, the oldest one
eleven my babies that would some
day be such &t Comfort to me, but
must be taken care of now, and. I ,
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