OCR Interpretation


Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, October 21, 1934, Image 79

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1934-10-21/ed-1/seq-79/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for 9

lief going. He should have had a
sat down, put the handkerchief
and poured another drink from
ttle that Bill had put under the
. Pretty soon he leaned over toward
nd started getting confidential. He
lis arm around her shoulders with
iaggerated air of carelessness. She
ed to slap him, but instead she
ully lifted the offending hand away,
ihook her finger under his nose and
"Naughty! Naughty!"
the way home she wouldn't let
kiss her—she never did—and she
found that it was easiest to refuse
positively when they wanted to
up to her apartment.
■ SATURDAY night they went to
Hlu Phaison D'Ore with an elderly
Hi from Chicago and on the follow
Brhursday night they went out with
■buyers from Detroit. One was big
H heavy and redfaced, with a blus
high-pressure-salesman manner,
^les-man was small and timid, with
Htle mustache under his nose. The
Hi igh- pressure man was Mr. Yaeger.
■ forgot the other s name as soon as
Η heard it. She wouldn't draw him
Hvay.
Hey went to the Four-Four Club.
Η had heard from one of the girls in
■office that Alyce De Vere was sick—
■hoped she croaked—and she was not
Hrised when two strange girls came
Hg. The three of the'm went into
H ladies' room as soon as they got
He, to powder noses and paint lips
■ straighten stockings.
He two new girls were quite nice.
I Duval was a tall, straight brunet
H a swagger and an extremely close
■cut. Strangely, her low-cut eve
H gown looked very well on her,
Hough she wore it as carelessly as
■would a riding habit. Jean wondered
H Bill hadn't brought her before, she
H so much nicer than the would-be
Hi Alyce. Sally, the other girl, was
Hll and gray and shy. She would be
Hi the yes-man. Quite evidently her
H.s to night clubs were few and far
Heen. She tried to act indifferent,
H her cheeks were flushed and her
Hds were never still.
Hie three men were standing in a
He group out in the lounge. Bill and
Hi-Pressure Yaeger were having an
Hiest discussion about something and
H continued it as they came across
Hhe girls.
hey were walking together, talking
ach other so that Jean had no inti
ion of anything unusual beforehand,
wasn't until Bill lightly touched her
w and they all moved toward the
She looked up at him puzzled. He
walking along beside her with a
of familiar, proprietary air, Btill
jnuing the discussion with Yaeger,
had Pat Duval in tow.
■an could feel her heart suddenly
η to beat furiously. Bill had ar
;ed it! He had wanted to go Willi
It couldn't be that he thought
Duval woman could better entertain
buyer. It was only last week that
lad told her how satisfied he was
ι her, Jean.
the bar her brown eyes peered
the rim of her cocktail glass at
ger, making progress with Pat Duval,
had his arm around her waist and
heard him say:
îee, baby, I haven't seen you In a
i s age. How've you been, anyway?"
Iwell, honey. It has been a long
hasn't it? Not since that brawl
Atlantic City," she laughed, loudly.
Ϋ, was that a party?"
an brought her glass down slowly,
that was it. Bill hadn't known Pat
al at all. Yaeger had brought her,
self. And she, Jean, was a substi
for Alyce De Vere. Of course,
'd been a little fool to think it
anything else.
ELL, this was her opportunity any
way. He'd have to pay some at
ion to her. She'd be gay and scin
ting and maybe he really would no
her. Suddenly she began to wonder
how one goes about being gay and
tillating. She knew how to do it
ι the old fogies she had had to en
ain. Just flatter them and tell them
ι were wonderful. Pile it on thick,
lit Bill wasn't an old fogey. He had
some common sense. He'd be disgusted
with her if she tried to pull any of that
stuff on him. He'd seen it so many times
that he probably knew the whole line
himself by now. No, it had to be some
other way.
She tried telling a couple of stories.
They were gopd stories, too, and she
thought she told them well. They all
laughed heartily, even Bill—the same
way he laughed when a customer told a
joke he had heard a dozen times. She
was beginning to feel very much like
crying.
She excused herself and went Into
the ladies' room. A plump fuzzy-headed
blond was having a bad time with a
broken shoulder strap. She said, "Hullo,
dearie," through a safety pin between
her lips. She turned around and Jean
recognised Mildred, the girl whose last
name she could never remember.
"Hullo, there," she tried to make it
enthusiastic, "I didn't know you were
here."
"Been sittin' over behind you—say,
pin this darned thing up, will you?"
Jean went over and got the strap
pulled around tight in place. Mildred
continued:
"See you've finally landed the boss,"
she approved, over her shoulder. "I
never did like that De Vere dame," she
added, turning around. Then: "Say-y—
what's a matter? Dry those tears, baby.
What's he done?"
Jean dabbed at her eyes, "He doesn't
even know I'm alive."
"Doesn't? Say you're here with that
guy, ain't you?"
"Y-y-yes. But that's because Alyce is
sick. I'm only a s-s-substitute."
"Y'mean to say he doesn't fall for the
goo-goo eyes? Did you tell him he was
wonderful?"
"Of course, not," she sobbed indig
nantly. "Bill's different. He'd be dis
gusted with that."
"Don't be a sap. Bill's a man, ain't
he? Tell 'em they're wonderful and
give 'em that come-hither look an*
they'll all fall for you, baby. I know.
I've seen 'em."
Jean blew her nose, hopefully, "Do
you really think so?"
"Has it ever failed yet?" Mildred was
scornful.
"No—but "
"well, you ainT geixin any piace now,
are you? Go ahead an* try it and see
what happens."
Jean washed her face in cold water
and got the redness out of her eyes.
She put a little rouge and lipstick back
on and powdered her nose. When she
went back to the table heads turned
to look at her. She saw with satis
faction that all of them were not male.
That was a criterion. If the men looked
at you, you were beautiful. If the women
looked at you, you were well dressed.
If they both looked at you, you were
all set.
The three men at the table stood up
when she approached. Before she had
a chance to sit down Bill took her arm.
"Let's dance," he said.
She cuddled her head close to his
shoulder and looked up at him dreamily
frbm under half-closed lashes.
"I love dancing with you, Bill," she
said in an intimate tone of voice.
He didn't smile and he only said, "I
like dancing with you, too," but there
wasn't that cold tone of politeness in
his voice.
"THEY finished the dance in silence, but
it seemed no* as if the two of them
had melted into one and were floating
on a cloud across the floor
When the music stopped he took her
arm and bent his head to her ear. "That
was wonderful," he said quietly and this
time she knew he meant it and her
heart sang fiercely in her breast.
Back at the table he told a story. It
wasn't a very good story and she had
heard it before, but while he told it she
sat with her chin on her hand and her
elbow on the table and gazed at him
with that I-think-you're-wonderful look.
She didn't have to put it on now. All
she had to do was let herself go and
all the admiration she really felt for
him shone in her eyes. Once, in the
middle of the story, his eye caught hers
and he completely lost track of the
story.
When he had finished she leaned over
Intimately and whispered, "You tell a
story so convincingly." He reached out
and patted her hand where it lay on
the table, and after that they sat there
shamelessly holding hands Wi front of
everybody.
He took her home «lone in a taxi. She
let him put his arm around her and
when he bent his lips close to her and
said, "Jean," very softly she didn't dare
move or turn her head for fear he would
stop.
"I've been afraid of you, darling," he
continued.
"I don't bite."
"No-o-o, but you've been so nice to
the customers and so cool to me."
"I've been cool?"
••you."
"But how about you?"
"Me?" He was puzzled. "I thought
you were afraid I'd take advantage of
my position and force my attentions on
you. I've hated seeing you with cus
tomers."
"I've hated being with them."
Their heads were getting closer and
closer together until finally, their cheeks
touched lightly. They sat like that, si
lently, for a long time.
"Darling," he said at last.
"Yes?"
"I couldn't possibly think of having
my wife entertaining customers."
She put her head on his shoulder and
reached up and kissed his chin.
"I've been wanting to do that for a
long time," she said.
(Copyright. lft.'U )
- - - - - -
THE DRY GUILLOTINE 1
Continued From Fifth Page
sleep much. The stench was nauseating, the
vermin and mosquitoes swarmed (orth for
their nightly feast; and the rain, beginning to
rattle on the rusted tin roof, streamed through
in a score of places. The largest stream was
right over my bed. I paced the aisle all night
between the rows of snoring murderers and
bandits, and by sun-up looked as bedraggled
as the rest.
At 6 the barrack door was unlocked. We
all filed out to the kitchen where we seized
tin cups, plates and spoons and received our
breakfast of coffee and bread, which we ate
seated on our canvas beds. Then the whistle
blew and the prisoners, still hungry, scattered
to their various daytime jobs.
The jobs are not exactly select—houqe boy,
scavengers, water-carriers, beasts of burden in
the lumber yards. The prison tries to occupy
every well-behaved convict in some way. But
there would not be enough work to go around
(for Cayenne has less than 10.000 people and
is commercially dead > were it not lor the
fact that a good quarter of the prisoners are
always incapacitated from sickness, and an
other quarter locked up in special cells as
punishment for trying to escape.
Walking home from my barrack, along
Cayenne's mud-puddle lanes, I noticed numbers
of forlorn figures, sitting so quietly and so de
jectedly on their wheelbarrows that the buz
zards were flying down and stalking about
them. These were the libérés, the prisoners
who had finished their prison term, but must
remain in the colony for an additional period
equal to the original sentence. They are sup
posed to develop the land. But with no state
support whatsoever—no money, no tools, no
guidance—they have not driven back the jungle
one inch in 70 years. In fact, their lot is far
worse than that of the prisoners themselves,
for they can eke out only the most wretched
livelihood with their wheelbarrows and cob
bling shops. Often, starving, they deliberately
commit crimes which will put them back in
the barracks where there is food and shelter.
Having sampled that food and shelter, I could
understand how desperate the lot of the
libérés must be, and came to feel more pity
for them than for the convicts.
AS I walked on through the shabby town,
it was rousing itself sluggishly, indiffer
ently, for another day—β day which would
bring nothing new to break the monotonous
routine which Cayenne has long since accepted
as inevitable. No one but myself looked up to
notice a two-wheeled cart, drawn by four con
victs, which was bearing a crude new coffin
along the street. But I decided to follow this
informal funeral to see where It would lead.
It led straight to one of the most terrible
features of Guiana—"the bamboos"—a few
square rods of ground surrounded by thickets
of tall cane, the convicts' burial place. I eall
it "most terrible," not because it is as sicken
ing as the barbarous conditions from which
death releases the convicts, but because in one
shocking scene It sums up and symbolizes the
Whole inhuman system.
In this small plot probably 10.000 men have
been buried since 1860. though the area is not
sufficient to contain 200 graves. Space is un
limited in Guiana, but even so, the same ground
Is used over and over ε gain. Methodically and
grimly, the furrows of fresh earth, turned up
beside the old graves, move back and forth
across the cemetery, the bones of previous
burials being dug up and burned to make room
ior the newcomers. One hundred and forty
times in 70 years this ghoulish eviction has
been repeated.
The gravediggers never stop working. On
the morning of my visit they had 12 graves
ready. The bones and skulls of 12 disinterred
dead were piled at one side, to be carted to the
fire. The new coffin which had drawn me there
was dumped into the nearest hole, earth piled
on and a wooden stake, marked with the con
vict's number, fixed at the head. That was the
funeral ceremony.
Nothing I saw in Guiana brought home to me
as forcefully as this charnel field the appalling
mortality among the convicts. Fifty per cent of
each new shipment dies during its first year
dysentery, fever, tuberculosis and malnutrition.
And the succeeding years are almost as bad.
For days afterward I was haunted by the pic
ture of the line of raw graves, dug by the dozen,
and never, never enough: and by the piles of
ghastly skulls, nameless and forgotten long
before they died, grinning horribly at the
gravediggers as if amused that perhaps the
next wholesale eviction would be to make room
for the diggers themselves.
As I walked away, sick over what I had seen,
!t took all the detachment and objectivity I
could muster to keep myself convinced that
even theoretically the imprisonment of convicts
in Guiana was a fine thing for the public back *
in France.
(NOTE: Next Sunday, when Mr. Halliburton
conclude» his Devil's Island narrative, he will
tell what he saw during his four weeks on the
lies du Salut—the punishment pits, the guil
lotine, the galley-slaves—and discuss the nu-amt
and chances of escape J
(Copyright. 1934.»
r
Old City Center
Continued, from Seventh Page
conducting the ceremonies at laying thfe
corner «tone.
Newspapers of the day.
After the exercises a collation was served
by Mr. Leturno In the City Hall.
DUT this was a period of depression and
Andrew Jackson did not improve condi
tions when he came into office three years
later. The burden proved to be more than
the fraternity at that time could bear, and the
result was that the building finally went out
Of its hands, and quarters were secured else
where. Later the building became the property
of Joseph H. Bradley, an eminent Washington
lawyer, who not only defended and secured
the acquittal of Miss Mary Harris, charged
with the killing of A. J. Burroughs, a Treasury
Department clerk, back in 1865, but later
married his client.
Many will recall the old Pendall Building,
which stood opposite the Masonic Temple, the
Municipal Court Building a little to the south
in the same block, and other buildings on this
etreet, no longer standing. They had little
historic value, but it does seem that the Metro·
, poll tan and First Presbyterian Churches and ·
the old Masonic Hall should be permitted M
remain for all time·
On DeviFs Island, the convicts locked
behind bars dream only of escape. But
of 50 prisoners u ho make a dash for
liberty, only one succeeds. The jungle,
the ocean and the guards make escape
difficult.

xml | txt