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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, June 05, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 18

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-06-05/ed-1/seq-18/

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By George Prentiss, Jr.
"Prisoners' Reformation Society!"
growled Red Lanagan, glancing bit
terly after the secretary, Mrs. Hubert,
as she swept majestically away, her
silken garments trailing audibly over
the floor.
Red felt aggrieved in his inmost
soul. Two weeks before he had come
out of state's prison after serving a
term of two years for grand larceny.
He had really meant to run straight
after marrying Lizzie, but it was hard
for the ex-jailbird to get a position
and harder still to keep it, with the
police always hounding one. So Red
had fallen. The temptation was a
strong one, for they were both starv
ing. He had gone to the penitentiary,
and he had never seen Lizzie since
the day he was sentenced.
When he came out he realized that
all efforts to find her were doomed to
disappointment Lizzie had disap
peared and it was evident that she
would never return to him. She had
been a servant, but bred in a com
munity of decent country people, she
had no use for a jailbird, even though
he had stolen to assist her.
Embittered and hopeless, Red had
drifted into the Prisoners' Reforma
tion society rooms on the Bowery,
where he had heard Mrs. Hubert, as
sisted by a parson, hold forth upon
the right of the criminal to redeem
himself. The discourse seemed to
Red so preposterously untrue to life
that he could not restrain his indig
nation. When Mrs. Hubert stepped
smiling, down from the platform, he
approached her.
"Say! That's fine dope you've been
giving us," he sneered. "Maybe it
didn't occur to you that a man can't
get a job, nor yet hold a job when he
has been in the penitentiary."
Mrs. Hubert, sympathetic, turned
Red over to a committee. The com
mittee investigated his case and an
nounced that be could get a position i
of trust, to run errands for a store,
at $8 a week.
"What about a raise?" sneered
Red bitterly. He, who had handled
thousands, felt the temptations to
honesty miserably inadequate. "Say,"
he bawled, "could any of you. support
a wife on $8 a week? Honest, could
They had not known Red was mar
ried. The comittee investigated that,
delaying as committees do. Red
told them that if they could find his
3F5iil I'Mr
"It's Part of the Came, Them Prom
ises." wife he'd try to run straight on $8. It
was a pathetic offer and significant of
Red's real desire to reform.
Thereafter Mrs. Hubert took the
case in hand and told Red, with much
smiling and bland patronage, that
when he had proved his manhood the
committee would find his wife for
him. So for a whole month Red
worked at his job, gradually losing
the fight against embittered loneli
ness. One night he fell. Ike Williams, an
old crony, who had himself been a
'."victim" of the sopjety, as he ex-

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