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and coffee dat binds us tight and
dey'll let us toin in to dere charity
house and lay on der floor all night.
BY JANE WHITAKER
Say, pard, have-you heard of de
latest scheme dey got" fer de down-and-out?
'Taint nuthin' new, but it
took a swell dame ter bring it about
When we gets t'ru in de harvest fields
and woikin' de railroad track, and de
country guys says "Beat it, bo, and
wait ter spring ter come back," and
we gets to Chi., and wot wit' de rain
and de graftin' crew dat preys on de
harvest stiffs we ain't got coin dat
will float us along fer days.
And we says to de town: "Say, it
ain't our fault dat you ain't got woik
fer us all and we wouldn't come here
if dere wuz a chanct to stay any
where at all; but say, me friend, we're
de stuff, you know, datGodtoinedout
of clay, and we got to live, though
dere's dose of us dat wishes we wuz
out of de way give us a chanct as
if we wuz men just down on dere
luck, you know, and maybe some
time you'll be glad to t'ink dat you
helped out a homeless bo.
"We ain't just bums, but wot if we
wuz? We got bellies and dey can
ache, and we got hearts dat ain't
much good, but God! dey can some
times break. And maybe we seem
like a beggin' crew, but, say, we tip
you square! It's hell ter have ter ask
fer a bite you know if you've ever
been dere. And our legs, dey cramp
in de freezin' cold and our backs, dey
easily chill, but Christ Almighty, ain't
it queer dat we keep on livin' still!
"We want ter woik, oh, yes, we do,
"just give us a chanct ter stick. But
say! we is men, not doity dogs dat
lick your hand fer a kick. Give us a
show wit' a handicap dat we gets in
de harvest field and we'll take it,
friend, and we'll come across wit' all
dat our strengt' will yield!"
I got talkin', pard, as if it wuz true
dat we had a chanct at all, but God, I
forgot wot dere handin' out, if we
licks dere hands and we crawl Dey'll
But wait, it isn't dey gives us dat fer
just de price of our pride when we
stand in line and torn our souls so
dat dey can look inside. It isn't den
dat dey give us dis, though our man
hood must slink away as wit' lowered
head and wit' fingers clenched we
hear wot de bosses say.
Oh, no sir, pard, dat ain't de
scheme took a woman to t'ink of
dis. And God! I always thought dat
a guy from the day of his mother's
kiss could t'ink of a skoit as a kindly
t'ing, but I'm goin' ter put yer wis'e, a
society dame aw, say, go on, do
yer t'ink I would tell yer lies? Dis
ain't a skoit dat gives yer a bite and
talks of a wayward son She says
"pue de bo on de woodpile foist, he's
nuthin' but a bum."
And I woiked dere when de rain
come down and me clothes wuz wet
like rags and dat's de reason, pard,
dat dis left shoulder sort o' sags, I
got a touch of de rheumatiz', but say,
I woiked in dat rain, and I sawed on
ties dat wuz cedar-gummed 'till me
breat' come wid a pain.. And den a
guy says: "You is t'ru. come in and
get your pay." And pard, I'll show
yer de rock of bread I didn't eat but
Wot's dat yer say? Dey is savin'
coin! Dont make me laugh, you
hear! De dame dat says we is only
bums gets five t'ousand bones a year.
Dey spends de coin dey saves on de
bums on de high life bunch on top,
but you and me, and de likes of us
well, pard, dey got de-drop!
But hell! dere's always a silver lin'
to a cloud, me mother said, when I
wuz a kid thank God dat she is
lyin' among de dead and out of it all
but de silver lin' do you see dis
two-bit piece and me belly full? Well,
I got dem, pard, where you'd t'ink to
ive u a .flop and some gttnkgn stew. et dem teas', la. a jJoor,old shack.
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