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Newspaper Page Text
WHO'S TO BLAME THE GIRL OR THE MAN?
By Evelyn Nesbitt.
People may think I'm putting too
much blame on the men in these
stories. Who is it that takes girls
to places where they encounter dan
ger? The girl ought to be blamed also,
lots of f6lks believe. She meets a
man half way, they say. She may
after she started wrong, but never
in the first instance.
It's not only the weak girls who
succumb. I have told how the white
slavers work to get victims. Now
I'm going to tell how the ordinary
"rounders" work. They are as guilty
as the slavers.
They work principally among good
girls who have had, or are getting,
good educations, live in respectable
homes, look forward to a happy life
and are fond of a good time.
Every girl, unless she's a freak, is
fond of a good time.
It's a girl like that, of ordinary
strong character, who are found easy
by the "rounders," who are either old
enough to know better or young sap
heads whose only excuse is that they
Its an awful sight to see a man
like that in a cafe with a little girL
Now, take the case of the girl of
strong character, and of any age be
tween 16 and 20. She accepts an
invitation from some man that she
knows is considered "fast."
That girl knows that she is playing
with fire. But she has supreme con
fidence in herself. She's certain she
can walk among temptations and
remain untarnished. They all think
that at first.
When they reach the resort road
house or cabaret and walk in, she
looks over the others with a sort of
patronizing contempt, as if they were
strange animals guzzling drinks.
Her companion orders drinks, and
the self-abasing waiter shortly pro
duces a lean bottle from his napkin.
The fizzling beverage is poured
out. One glass won't hurt. She drinks
it It's cold and tastes good.
An orchestra is playing seductive
strains. All around is gayety and
laughter. The clink of glass and gur
gle of liquors blend with the soft
Another drink won't hurt. The
man assures her it's very light. So
she takes it
A minute later she's scared. Her
head feels big and there's a sub
dued roaring in her ears. So she
grits her teeth and clenches her fists
and resolves that she won't get
"Come on, have some more," urges
the man, refilling her glass.
But she won't she says. All the
arguments against liquor she ever
heard come surging into her brain,
queerly confused with a voice warn
ing her of danger and that roaring
He laughs at her. She's dimly
aware of it Anyway, she thinks,
what harm would another do. She
could take care of herself. And she
giggles exultantly while a wave of
recklessness and defiance sweeps
She drinks a third.
She feels joyous and laughs im
moderately and has a "don't care"
Everything is ludicrous. Every
thing the man says is terribly funny.
Prom time to time she drinks more,
until she seems detached from earth
ly and carping cares and floating
away on a soft billowy cloud.
The girl's defenses are all gone.
She's dimly aware that somebody's
arms are around her and somebody's
lips on hers, and to her tliere doesn't
seem to be any future or any past.
That's about all she remembers
next morning. The "morning after
the night before" is a standing joke,
but In many cases it's the grimmest