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Newspaper Page Text
THE BADNESS OF LIDA
By Paul Strong
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
"There are many kinds of women,"
said the old frontiersman. "Some of
them are good, somevery good, and
a few only a few are bad. A wom
an who's bad seems to me somehow
a perversion of what nature intended.
And that's not sentiment, but obser
vation." He was one of the men of the last
frontier the great expanse of terri
tory that stretches northward be
tween Edmonton and Alaska. There,
over thousands of square miles, roam
the Indian and the caribou. It will
never be settled, that virgin land that
nature has marked for her own. Its
vastness, as much as its cold, defies
the puny efforts of man.
"Her name was Lida, my bad wom
an," resumed the frontiersman. "I
make mention of her, because, as I
was saying, or meant to say, there's
the same cure for badness in women
that there is for badness in men. And
that's love. Again, pbservation, not
"Lida was a half-breed half In
dian, half French. She came from
some settlement along the Slave. She
was 19, no more, when I made her
acquaintance in Edmonton jail, of
which I was warden. That was in
the old days. Edmonton was a fron
tier camp then, and that's not so long
ago, neither. The jail was a log one.
Lida had been rounded up by one of
the police. She was serving a year
for stabbing a man.
"Nineteen, I said, but she had had
years of a wild life behind her. Now
put a pin in those words. In one
sense, in a customary sense, Lida was
good! Every man knew that to his,
cost you couldn't try anything
wrong with that girl. The man she
-bbed had tried to kiss her.
"-t-she was a natural-born devil,
" Her father had been an
She was the wildest, most ruffianly
if 1 can use such a word piece of
a girl in the northwest. And at last
she got a year. It would do her good,
the judge thought. He wanted her
taught while she was in jail. Taught?
She flung the spelling book at the
lady missionary's head and called her
a few names that sent her running
out of the place with her hands be
fore her eyes.
"After that there was no doing
anything with Lida. The matron had
Who Are You?'
handled some tough customers in her
day, but she admitted, that Lida ter
rorized the jail, and, as you can't
flog a woman, she had the run of the
place. She did what she wanted to
and we all looked forward to the time
when she would be set free. And we
hoped that she wouldn't serve her
tsy brothers were outlaws. 1
next tune lh Edmpnton.
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