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Newspaper Page Text
"WHAT OF THE GIRL WHO GOES OUT IN THE
NIGHT AND NEVER RETURNS?"
" ' BY NIXOLA GREELEY-SMITH 1
)th ? (Copyright, 1913, by the Newspaper Enterprise Assqciation.)
On a day early in December of this year a young girl left her home hi
Brooklyn, N. Y., to go for a walk and did not return.
Three years ago, almost to a day, a young girl left her home on the
upper West Side of New York city to go for a walk. She, too, did not return.
The police and the newspapers all over the United States are looking
everywhere for Jessie McCann, the latter of the two girls to disappear. Hen
face is being flashed on the screens of moving picture shows throughout
But no one searches for the second girl. No one, not even the grief
stricken members of her own family now has any hope that Dorothy Ar
nold will ever again be seen alive! t
Where is she?
Where are the hundreds of other girls who, year after year, go forth
from supposedly happy homes and neVer come back?
NO ONE can answer. But in all these disappearances there is one)
question even more important than that conveyed by the word WHERE. It
lies in the little syllable WHY.
In each of the instances I have cited the girl came of a well-to-do fam
ily and, as far as anyone knew, there was no shadow upon her life. But in
the thousands of other similar cases the reasons are less far to seek.
And yet no reason on earth should be adequate to send a young girl
out of her home forever.
In nearly every one of these cases the search for the cause leads into
the family circle and blame belongs to the father and mother more than,
to the girl herself. We hear so much of the debt the child owes the parent
that we are apt to overlook the much greater obligation the parent shouldi
be under to the child.
We talk about the gift of life. We say children should be grateful to
those who GAVE them life. But to GIVE implies acceptance, implies con
sent, l he child does not accept lite,
does not consent to it. It is forced on
him and it is entirely in the hands of
those who, unasked, have summoned
a new soul into the world whether
this "gift" shall prove a Blessing or a
The average mother may protect
her children fairly well physically.
Does she guard them so well mor
ally? Does a girl choose ever to leave a
home wherein a mother has accept
ed fully her responsibility to that
young life and has undertaken to di
rect it, not by sermons and prohibi
tions, but through love and sympathy
Perhaps the mother who is a prude
is the greatest menace to the home.
I have known families wherein girla
grew up in the most dangerous igno
rance because of their false modesty
in which their mothers had been,
A mother has a little baby girl who
is attracted by the warmth and the
color of a candle-flame. The baby
puts out her little hand and tries to
grasp the beautiful dancing fire,
"Don't do that," says the mother,
"You'll hurt yourself." But the call
of that dancing flame is, for the mo
ment, everything that the baby hears.
She pushes her fingers into the fire
and the fire burns her.
Now what does the mother do? She
gets flour or olive oil and applies it
to the burn. She kisses the poor