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Newspaper Page Text
THERE IS A MIGHTY GOOD TIP FOR BOYS IN
THE LETTER WRITTEN BY A BOY
BY JANE WHITAKER
"Miss Jane Whitaker I read your
story to Johnny, Tommy and the rest
of the bunch and I think you under
stand fellows, so I am writing to you,
thinking you might make a story out
of what I have to say. Only don't
put in my name because I'm writing
"It is slow for a fellow in a big city
because there isn't a thing to do that
doesn't seem to be wrong, but it's
bad to get in with a gang unless the
gang has got sense, and there is lots
that a fellow can do by himself, as
my case shows.
"My mother died when I was a kid
and I live with my father and big sis
ter. I went to work like my father
in a place as shipping clerk when I
was 15, and that isn't any trade and
it is hard work, too, but if don't pay
so much to a boy, anyway, so I didn't
have money for good times.
"I did belong to a gang most fel
lows do and we got gang ideas, too.
Not to get in wrong by sticking up
any guys or anything like that, but
we wanted to do adventurous things,
as you say. I would have been with
the gang yet, but I wanted to be lead
er and they let a fellow be leader who
had a stiletto that a dago used to kill
a man, so I quit the gang.
"That was more than a year and a
half ago, when I just started work
ing, and, take it from me, I was lone
some. I used to moon around our
house until one night when my sister
expected her beau she asked me why
I didn't go out like other boys.
"Don't you put that in wrong about
my sister. She's the best, ever. She's
been a mother to me and she don't
get married because she knows dad
and I need her, but she didn't want
me keeping fooling around when she
had company, so I went out.
"I didn't know where to go or what
to do. When I broke with the gang
because. J. fioulda't be .leader tiegf
thought I was a sorehead and they
didn't act friendly and I didn't, either.
"I walked for half an hour and
then I saw a public library reading
room open and I went in and sat
down and picked up a book.
"It got me in the habit of going
there every night it was open, and
one night a fellow there asked me
why I didn't go to night school and
take manual training or something
to improve my mind, instead of read
ing novels, and I started in.
"I've had lots of fun out of night
school, and it's teaching me a trade,
and some day soon I'm going to get
regular work that pays something,
but if I don't I have discovered some
thing you can pass on to the fellow
who is lonely that will keep him from
getting in trouble with gangs, and
"In the fall, winter and part of the
spring he can go to night school and
take up things that will keep him in
terested, and not only that, but will
do him good, and, what's more, he'll
go home so good and tired he won't
want to think of the gang.
"And if he's not anxious to study
and learn things he don't need to do
his adventuring with a gang, either.
He can go into the public library
reading rooms and get all the adven
ture he can put into his system read
ing of other guys' adventures, and it
won't land him in Joliet.
"That's all. I hope you will write
it up for some other fellows."
It's a story that doesn't need
"writing up." It tells itself. Many
thanks. I hope some of the boys will
take a tip, for you've given a good
Just between ourselves, I think I
do understand fellows, and what '
leads me to think I do is that I like to
do the things that boys like to do. I
always wanted to go adventuring
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