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Newspaper Page Text
CAREER OF THE "CHANCELESS"
END IN ONE DAY IN,
By Jane Whitaker.
Did you ever follow the career of
the "chanceless" boy? It is an inter
esting and an easy thing to do, for it
isn't at all necessary to watch one
cuanceiess. Doy inrougu. iub j"
from the beginning to the end of the
road you can make a composite
"chanceless" boy out of a dozen in
dividual "chanceless" boys in one day
in the courts of Chicago.
There was a little lad of twelve in
the Juvenile Court He was thin
faced, hungry looking, yet very eager
and very curious about everything.
He was accused of snatching pocket
books from women.
"I ain't got no father and mother,"
he said, indifferently. "I lives with
me sister. I took the money and
bought me some clothes."
"The boy has been sleeping in
barns, your honor," the officer says.
"He hasn't been at his sister's home
for over a week. His sister didn't
know anything about him."
There was a boy of 18 in the Boys'
Court. He was charged with petit
larceny stealing pigeons and car
rying a gun. His record showed that
he had been a ward of the Juvenile
Court. He received a Bridewell sen
tence. There was another boy two years
older. He was accused of having held
up a saloon at the point of a gun. He
had been arrested a week later with
two companions when he was so
drunk that the other boys were trying
to get him off the streets.
JP lost his eager curiosity now. He is
no longer in ignorance of his fate
when he is arrested. He ia no longer
And he no longer looks with ad
miration at the brass buttons of an
officer. He fights like an animal at
bay. He cannot hire a lawyer, and
so he tries to act as his own lawyer.
The evidence against him is very
Blight, One boy has identified him
BOY CAN BE TRACED TO THE
and the saloonkeeper and bartender
have failed to identify him.
He eagerly and desperately springs
upon each weakness in the testimony,
i "How could this man say it was
me if he wasn't near me? How is he
so sure of me when he says he don't
, know the other fellows because he
, didn't have his glasses on and
I couldn't see well? I ain't been iden
j tified by anybody else."
1 But the one witness is insistent
, The other suspects prove their alibis,
but the "chanceless" boy loses and is
held to the grand jury. And as he
I leaves the courtroom to go into the
room where the prisoners are confin
ed until they are taken back to jail,
he snarls like an animal at the officer
who arrested him and who persists
' in keeping his hand on the boy's
shoulder. The boy shakes it off, he
curses under his breath; the eyes of
the hunter and the hunted meet in a
glance that has much hidden mean-
j ing and the 'boy is shut away.
In the criminal court stands a boy
of twenty-one. He is on trial for bur
glary. His face is gray white with
the pallor that comes from being shut
away from the sunlight. He hasn't
the defiance in his eyes they ha,ve
become dogged. He ias buried his
last hope of a "chance." Now he is
waiting to see what is going to be
done to him.
Somehow he reminds one of an
animal that has been trapped and is
resting because it can no longer
struggle or has discovered that strug
gling is vain.
The sentence is passed. His record
alone would condemn him. Hasn't he
been a ward of the Juvenile Court?
Hasn't he served time in the Bride
well? It is a penitentiary sentence this
time and for just a fleeting moment
the old fighting spirit returns as the
officer leads him from the courtroom
and the boy looks hate. Then hi?
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