“That’s very different,” sez Jane Olive.
“Why different?” sez I. “If they both fall morally their morals ort to be mended up agin both on ’em. The woman ort to be carried to the Home for Fallen Wimmen, the Home for Magdalenes, and the men to the Home for Fallen Men, the Home for Mikels.”
“There hain’t no such place!” sez Jane Olive agin decidedly.
Sez I, “Did you ever inquire?”
“No,” sez she, “I wouldn’t make a fool of myself by inquirin’ for such a thing as that, Home for Mikels! I don’t know what you mean by that anyway.”
“Why,” sez I, “fallen men angels. You know Mikel wuz a angel once and he fell.”
“Well, there is no such place,” sez she, tossin’ her head a little.
“Well,” sez I, “you ort to know, you’re from the city and I hain’t; but I know that if there hain’t such a place it’s a wicked thing. Just look at them poor fallen men that are walkin’ the streets night after night, poor creeters goin’ right down to ruin and nobody trying to lead ’em up agin to the way of safety and virtue—poor fallen, ruined men! I feel to pity ’em.”
Sez Jane Olive, “Oh, shaw! they don’t feel ruined, they’re all right, I’ll resk them.”
“How do you know how they feel? Take a tender hearted, innocent man, that some bad, designin’ woman has led astray, led him on till she has betrayed and ruined him, and he feels that the screen door of society is shet aginst him——”
“Oh, shaw!” sez Jane Olive agin. “The door of society hain’t shet aginst the man, it never is.”
“Then,” sez I, “there is sunthin’ wrong with the door and it ort to be tended to.”
Sez she, “Things are winked at in a bad man that hain’t in a bad woman.”
“Not by me,” sez I firmly. “The man won’t git a wink out of me more or less than I would give to the woman.”
“It don’t hurt a man,” sez Jane Olive. “And,” sez she, “no self respectin’ man goes to any place that hain’t licensed and respectable.”
“If such houses are respectable,” sez I, “and the law makes ’em so, why hain’t the wimmen called so that keep ’em? Why hain’t the wimmen looked up to that work there?”
Sez Jane Olive, “You don’t talk no good sense at all.”
Sez I, “Jane Olive, I am spozin’. Mark you well, I don’t say they are respectable; I say they are the depths of infamy. But I am talkin’ from the standpoint of legislators and highest officials, and if they call ’em respectable, and throw the mantilly of law and order over ’em it is only justice to let the mantilly spread out, so it will cover the males and females too. Agin I quote the words of the poet to you, ’what is sass for the goose ort to be sass for the gander.’”
Says she, “Such things are looked on so different in a man, they can hold their heads up jest as high as they did before.”
“Not if I had my way,” sez I. “If the female is dragged off to the Home for Fallen Wimmen let the same team come back and haul the men off to the Home for Fallen Men, tie ’em up with the same rope, preach to ’em from the same text, let ’em out when they’ve both repented and want to do better. That’s my scheme,” sez I.