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Newspaper Page Text
BE MEN OR .1
WHAT DO WE WANT OUR CHANCELESS BOYS TO
MUCKERS ANSWER IS OURS
By Jane Wh'rtaker
Not long since I read a magazine
story called "The Mucker." The villain-hero
was a Chicago boy, raised
in the "chanceless" environment from
which come many other hoys, prac
tically homeless from childhood, fre
quenting resorts where men criminals
discussed killings especially when
they were, done in the back with an
air of bravado amid the worship of
lads like the mucker.
In this atmosphere the boy became
the only thing he could become a
mucker. He had no respect for wom
en he would as willingly strike a
woman as a man; V had no respect
for property; he haA no regard for
human life and yet in the handling of
the story the author placed the blame
where it belonged on the civilization
whose indifference to t!he conserva
tion of the future manhood of its
"chanceless" boys turns "thumbs
down" against them and then whines
at the price these boys later exact o-
I thought of this story yesterday,
when Jack Robbins, Big Brother of
many "chanceless" boys, called me
on the telephone to ask me if I would
make an appeal for these boys that at
least would leave the public unable to
say it did not know.
Mr. Robbins told me a pitiful story.
He told me of a lad of nearly 17, a
boy who has been in the Home for the
Friendless, who has been on the Al
lendale Farm and who lived for a time
in the Deborah Boys' Club where
boys are boarded at a very nominal
sum? but where they must have this
sum or they cannot stay.
This boy lost his job and had to
leave the. Deborah Club three weeks
ago. Since that time he has wander
ed around, hunting work, going hun
gry most of the time and sleeping
where he could.
Wednesday night, while a merry
crowd was dancing at the first mu
nicipal dancg in Dreamland hall, this 1
lad of less than 17 was huddled in the
alley back of the hall and he slept
there all night after a day of starva
tion. Yesterday morning he went to Jack
Robbins to ask for one 'Tast chance."
Mr. Robbins told me this is only
one of eighty boys he is attempting to
help at the present time. These boys
are not asking charity, they are ask
ing work, and they are asking in
And every day institutions like St.
Charles, and the institution at Glen
wood are turning out boys of 16 and
telling them to get along the best
they can. The John Worthy school
sends boys away with 10 cents car
fare and no work.
Yesterday I stood waiting for a car
when a boy came along with his face
grimy, his clothes tattered, and he
smiled at me bravely and extended
He was a lad I met in the boys'
eourt and wrote of a few weeks ago
as a "chanceless" boy whose mother
died when he was a baby and whose
father was killed two years ago, leav
ing the boy, homeless and adrift.
He tested a trifle over 9 years in
the psychopathic laboratory though
he is nearly 20, and it was with the
bravado of a child that he talked to
"I been out of town since I saw
you," he said. "I beat it to New York
to try to get a job, but, gee, there ain't
anything doin' there, so I beat it back.
Rode the rods all the way. Didn't
have a thing to eat for two days after
I got here but I struck a pal "who gave
me a feed and a stake."
I didn't tell him how I pitied him;
we just talked together like boy to
boy. He confided in me that he was
going to meet some fellows and get
drunk. I told him that wouldn't help
him beat the game and he answered
that "he wduldn't know a thing until
some time tomorrow, anyway."
What are we going to do with these