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Newspaper Page Text
LOSS OF LOOP STORE JOBS
THROWS GIRLS INTO SLAVERY
Marian Palmer, 17 years old and
unaware of the ways of the loop,
came to Chicago from St. Louis with
her sister, Charlotte, a year younger,
and went to work in the Boston Store
just before Christmas.
The girls say they were paid $2 a
week and -commissions by the State
street store. This was just enough
to keep warm food in their stomachs
and pay the rent on the squalid room
at N. State and Superior sts. It was
just enough' to live on. But the girls
were glad'toget along.
When the Christmas days were
gone and the store swept the tinsel
and holly from the windows ' and
started an agressive January sale,
things went badly for the two girls.
Thousands of Christmas purchases
were returned and "every time an
article that the girls had sold came
back the commission they got was
deducted from their salary for the
week the purchasers got tlieir money
So Marian and Charlotte, soon
after Christmas, found that they
would lose almost alof their wages
for some weeks to come under this
Boston Store system. So they quit
Then followed hungry days of job
seeking with no luck. They wouldn't
place with another store because
every one of the loop houses had laid
off hundreds of girls just as fast as
they, were not needed after the
Oiristmas Holiday rush was over.
One day as Marian, the older girl,
'was walking along Dearborn street
after a vain attempt to get work in
the Fair, she noticed a swarthy man
who had followed her from the store.
He dogged her steps and made
leveral attempts to speak.
He grew very bold as she reached
the front of the Crilly building and
the girJL darted into the lobby to es
cape him. Breathless and frightened,
she attracted the attention of two
dapper young fellows standing near
her. They approached and finally
asked her if -they could assist her.
And she told them what had hap
pened. They offered to protect her and
-when tiie feeling of restraint had
passed away, the girl told her whole
story about coming to Chicago, de
scribed ttfe treatment she got at the
Boston Store and explained that she
was out of a job.
"That's fine!" one of the girl's new
friends said. "I know just where I
can place you. I am in the theatrical
business running an employment
agency and I can get you a fine job
on the road. That is, of course, if
you are really looking for work."
"Oh, we are looking for work,"
Marian answered "We are just
worried to death over prospects and
I don't know what we are going
"Well, you just come with me and
I'll fix you up with the best job you
ever had. I've got an office in the
Saratoga hotel. Come along,'-' he
said with a pleasant smile. And
Up ii Room 600 of the hotel, ten
minutes later, the girl Regretted her
hasty decision. One of her escorts
he gave the name Jack Press was
trying to excuse himself from the
"office," which had a bed and bath
room in it like any hotel room.
But Press slipped out and closed
the door after him. Marian was
alone in the room with the other of
her "rescuers." He talked earnestly
to her for a few minutes and moved
closer and closer.
When the girl was thoroughly
scared she screamed for help. An
other guest on the 6th floor pound
ed on the door of Room 600 and
asked what the trouble was. Her
captor opened the door and ex
plained that there was riothing what
ever the matter, that they were just
having a friendly squabble and, to
prove this to the man, he .took Mar
ian by the arm and led her from the
room and out of the hotel.
So ended her first Escape.