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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, September 23, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 11

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-09-23/ed-1/seq-11/

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By Jane Whitaker.
When detectives were known as
"trailers of men," which meant of
criminals, the very danger of their
calling excited a certain admiration.
At least it might be said of such
trailers of men that their task
was fraught wtih danger and they
placed their lives in jeopardy.
Today, however, in the city of Chi
cago, there are a number of detec
tives who should be called "trailers
of women." They are the morals
squad. They exist for the purpose of
keeping the professional reformer in
a state of coma produced by reading
statistics of the number of women of
the streets these trailers of women
are able to bring before the bar of
But, though I have sat for hours in
the Morals Court searching for some
reason for which to admire them, I
have searched in vain. There is no
danger in trailing and leading into a
trap a woman of the streets. Most of
these women are like children in
mentality. Most of them are broken
women. Many of them are desperate
ly fearful women and I might say all
of them are desperately needy wo
men. No, it doesn't take courage to trail
women of this kina. It might take a
little more courage if the method of
the trailers was a different one. It
might take more courage, at least
more moral courage, if the trailers of
women watched until theysaw a man
approached who yielded to the solici
tations and then arrested both indis
criminately, but that is rarely done.
And when it is done you have only
to listen to the story the trailers of
women tell the judge to understand
that the man just happened to step
hito the trap the woman was the
However, of late, except in raids,
that method is seldom used by the
morals squad. Instead, there is a girl
or a woman walking along the street
The trailer of women decides she is
a prostitute. He quickens his step
until he is beside her and then walks
at her side.
There is nothing about his appear
ance to warn the girl of the trap that
is being laid for he The girl might
even mistake him for a working man.
She is soliciting. God alone knows
why and it doesn't make any differ
ence, anyway. She is soliciting. The
man is timing his step to hers. Ap
parently he is willing to be ap
proached. Later, in the Morals Court the
trailer of women tells his story. Be
side his well-fed bulk stands a woman
whose womanhood has been denied.
"I walked beside her," says the
trailer of women. "She asked me if
I wanted to go somewhere for a little
while." It may have been to her
room or to a hotel. In either event
he went with her as far as he thought
necessary. He even has asked her
if "business is good" and she has flip
pantly replied, and he doesn't know
If she lied in bravado or was truthful
but he uses what she said against her.
Sometimes the story varies. The
trailers of women have worked in
pairs. One has gone to a rdom with
a woman. The other goes up after
ward and arrests her and the testi
mony is corroborated.
And then. The law provides a fine
for the crime of soliciting men. So
far the Morals Court has been fortu
nate in the judges who have presided
over it, for while they are bound by
the law, they have shown a degree of
The girl pays the fine. She pays
it out of the little she had, or borrows
it, or she goes to the Bridewell, but
in any event the end is the same.
Having paid out of the little she
had, having borrowed it or having
served her time for debt ind coe
out of the Bridewell penniless, the
story is the same.
She goes on the street to earn back
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