OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 22, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 10

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-04-22/ed-1/seq-10/

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DEPARTMENT STORE GIRL, WHO EARNED $4 A WEEK, WINDS UP
IN MORALS COURT JUDGE RAPS STORE.
"I dreamed that I was standing
near a crowd of prosperous-looking
angels and a policejnan took me by
the wing and asked ifhbelonged with
them.
" 'Who are they?' I asked.
" 'Why,' said he, 'they are the men
who hired working girls and paid 'em
$5 or $5 -a week to live on. Are you
one of the bunch?'
" 'Not on your immortality,' said I.
'I'm only the fellow that set fire to
an orphan asylum and murdered a
blind man for his pennies.
That's the way O. Henry wound up
his "Unfinished Story," the tale of
Dulcie, the $6-a-week department
store girl, who lived in a hall bed
room and who saved herself from
"the easiest way" by the ideal of Lord
Kitchener.
Dulcie of the story paid $2 for a
room. Her breakfasts and lunches
cost her altogether $1.20 for the
week and her dinners came to $1.05
The rest Dulcie could spend on
clothes, if she found the right sort of
bargains.
But Dulcie with her $6 was a prin
cess compared to Lillian H., who was
arraigned in the morals court yes
terday. Lillian came to Chicago a
few years ago expecting to find the
"promised land."
What Lillian really found was
drudgery in the State st. department
stores for rotten wages, cheap hall
bedrooms, unfit food and an average
of two dresses a year.
Lillian has been working at
Woolworth's 5 and 10 cent store for
the past six months. Her wages have
been $4 a week. Department store
owners testifying before the O'Hara
vice commission said that they pay
living wages.
Possibly Lillian may not be quite
as economical as the department
store owners, but for some reason
she could not live on $4 a week.
Her spirit cracked under the op-1
pressive wages. She came to a point
where she couldn't go any further
decently. She's extremely pretty and
last Monday, disgusted and discour
aged with life as slie found it from
behind the counters of the State st.
stores, she fought her great battle
with herself. The desire for the ne
cessities of life triumphed. She
turned her mother's picture to the
wal, daubed a little powder on her
already clear face and hurried into
the night to patrol the streets.
But Lillian's self-consciousness
proved her undoing. She made one
or two weak attempts at flirtation.
But when men came toward her she
faltered.
A plain-clothes man caught sight
of Lillian parading the streets. He
followed her, saw her-make curious,
awkward little bows to men on the
street and then arrested her.
Judge Heap heard her case yes
terday. And when the girl, be
tween choked sobs, had gotten half
way in her arraignment of the mil
lionaire department stores the owl
like sternness of the veteran jurist,
who has heard so many hardened
tales in the morals court, was re
placed by a look of sympathetic ten
derness. '
The girl .looked peculiarly out of
place standing before the bar of the
morals court. She was dressed sim
ply, like an old-fashioned high school
girl. He face was strangely soft and
innocent. Behind her a line of "reg
ulars" from the old redlight district,
waiting for their usual "$10 and
costs," made the contrast more
startling.
"I don't like to see a-girl like you
here," said the judge, and his voice
was very low and humane. "You're
not the sort of girl who should be
here. Your crime is on the heads of
men who pay starvation wages. If I
give you one more- chance will you be
a better girt"
Lillian's answer made the judge
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