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Newspaper Page Text
"PUBLIC DANCE AND 'RAGGING LEAD MANY A
GIRL WRONG," DECLARES EVELYN NESBITT
By Evelyn Nesbitt.
There are big dance halls where
you can dance for five cents a cou
ple for each dance.
There's no fault to be found with
the. dancing in those places. "Usually
it's orderly, and respectable and rag
ging is strictly barred. The managers
do all in their power to keep the
places on a high level.
But it's the promiscuous meetings
and associations that menace.
Strange girls dance with strange men
continually. I've often danced with
men whose names I didn't know. And
lots pf school girls have, too.
The man may be . all right But
again he may be all wrong. There's
no way of telling.
I know a girl called Alice. She
used to enjoy that beach dancing.
Thousands of respectable people do.
Alice danced in a certain pavilion
on many evenings with perfect safe
ty. But one night a strange young
man bought her dances for her.
After several numbers she was ex
cited and exhilarated! so he suggest
ed a stroll to the end of the pier.
It was lonely and deserted out there,
no sound but the slapping of the
waves against the wharf.
The man told Alice he loved her.
She fooled and flirted with him and
they stayed there until the lights in
the pavilion went out and Alice dis
covered it was very late. The last
car had gone. The man vanished
and Alice was left alone.
All night she stayed at the beach.
Her parents didn't want to take her
back. Her father wanted to shoot
her first and then shoot the man and
her mother was hysterical. They
took her and moved to another city
ran away from the disgrace.
In some of those dance halls, girls
stand around like slaves being in
spected before a sale, waiting for
gome man. to winder by,"Jook them
over and invite them to dance. The
men consider them for sale, at five
cents a dance. Yet mothers give their
daughters free rein to visit such
If a mother should burst suddenly
into a parlor and find a man standing
with both arms tight around her
daughter and her head on his shoul
der, and her arms around him she'd
expect the man to announce that
the girl had just accepted him.
One night J went out with a crowd,
and there were some introductions.
I met a Mr. Smith. In 15 minutes he
had his arms around me and mine
were around him and we were sway
ing slowly on a dancing floor to the
strains of "On the Mississippi," and
nobody even turned to look at us.
Everybody else was doing it It
was the regular thing. An hour later
I said "Goodbye" to Mr. Smith and
never saw him again, or expect to.
We had "ragged" together, but that's
I like to "rag." Everybody does.
But the very words of the "rag"
songs aptly describe the sensations
of the "ragged." "Ragging" may be
all right at private parties. But it has
the same effect on some people as
a war dance has on an Apache In
dian. Very often, when a girl arrives at
the roadhouse, which supplies both
the drinks and the ragging, she is
already feeling rather reckless as the
result of a fast automobile ride.
The ragging has the same effect
on her, often, as the liquor. It saps
her reserve and her defense almost
as quickly and sometimes more ef
fectually. And that automobile rider Put the
most sedate old maid in a powerful
car on a moonlight night, let her
sweep over the country 40 miles an
hour, with dark villages shooting
past and the cool breeze whistling
through her feair, let her listen to the