Jane Olive wuz highly tickled with her success, and then, as is the way of human creeters, when she’d done well she wanted to do better. She wanted to outdo the other females settin’ on the boards with her, she wanted her board to tip higher than theirn, so she took it into her head to build a Home for Fallen Wimmen in that end of the city where she lived. She said that there wuz sights and sights of wimmen that had fallen round there, and sights that wuz fallin’, and I spozed there wuz. I spozed that anywhere that Sam Perkins lived there would be apt to be, and she took the idee of buildin’ a home for ’em, it wuz a first rate thought, but in my opinion it didn’t go fur enough, it didn’t cover the hull ground.
Well, Jane Olive had gin of her own money ten thousand dollars and had raised nine thousand more, twenty thousand would build it, and she wuz collectin’ round even in St. Louis when she met anybody she thought would give; she knowed how the welfare of humanity, specially female humanity, lay down on my heart, therefore she tackled me.
She talked real eloquent about it, and kinder begun to shed tears. She’s a capital hand to git money, she could always cry when she wanted to when she went to school, did it by holdin’ her breath or sunthin’.
And when I say that I don’t want it understood that I believe she did all her cryin’ that way. No, I spoze she could draw on her imagination and feelin’s to that extent and git ’em so rousted up that she did actually shed tears, wet tears jest like anybody, some of the time, and some she made, so I spoze.
Well, when she begun to cry I looked keen at her and sez, how much she made me think of herself when we went to school together. And she stopped sheddin’ tears to once and acted more natural and went on to tell about her skeem. She said female vice wuz stalkin’ round fearful, fallen wimmen appeared on the streets with shockin’ frequency, sunthin’ must be done for these lost souls or their blood would be on our dress skirts.
She told me how much she’d gin to this object and how much ministers had gin and how they wuz all goin’ to preach sermons about these poor lost wimmen and try to wake the public up to the fact of the enormity of their sins and the burnin’ need of such an institution.
She talked powerful about it, and I sez: “Jane Olive, I’ve gin a good deal of thought to this subject, and I think this house of yourn is a good idee, but to my mind it don’t cover the hull ground. Now I will give five dollars for the Home for Fallen Wimmen and the other five for the Home for Fallen Men.”
Sez she, and she screamed the words right out: “There hain’t any such institution in the hull city!”
“Why, there must be!” sez I. “It hain’t reasonable that there shouldn’t be. Why, if a man and a woman go along over a bridge together, and both fall through, and are maimed and broke to pieces, they are carried to a male and female hospital to be mended up. Or if they fall through a sidewalk or anywhere else they have to both be doctored up and have the same splints on and rubbed with the same anarky, etc.”