A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 119 pages of information about A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil.
had never supported his mother, he was affectionately devoted to her and always kindly and good-natured.  Perhaps it was because he had been so long dependent upon a self-sacrificing woman that it became easy for him to be dependent upon his wife, a girl whom he met when he was temporarily acting as porter in a disreputable hotel.  Through his long familiarity with vice, and the fact that many of his companions habitually lived upon the earnings of “their girls,” he easily consented that his wife should continue her life, and he constantly accepted the money which she willingly gave him.  After his marriage he still lived in his mother’s house and refused to take more money from her, but she had no idea of the source of his income.  One day he called at the hotel, as usual, to ask for his wife’s earnings, and in a quarrel over the amount with the landlady of the house, he drew a revolver and killed her.  Although the plea of self-defense was urged in the trial, his abominable manner of life so outraged both judge and jury that he received the maximum sentence.  His mother still insists that he sincerely loved the girl, whom he so impulsively married and that he constantly tried to dissuade her from her evil life.  Certain it is that Jim’s wife and mother are both filled with genuine sorrow for his fate and that in some wise the educational and social resources in the city of his birth failed to protect him from his own lower impulses and from the evil companionship whose influence he could not withstand.  He is but one of thousands of weak boys, who are constantly utilized to supply the white slave trafficker with young girls, for it has been estimated that at any given moment the majority of the girls utilized by the trade are under twenty years of age and that most of them were procured when younger.  We cannot assume that the youths who are hired to entice and entrap these girls are all young fiends, degenerate from birth; the majority of them are merely out-of-work boys, idle upon the streets, who readily lend themselves to these base demands because nothing else is presented to them.

All the recent investigations have certainly made clear that the bulk of the entire traffic is conducted with the youth of the community, and that the social evil, ancient though it may be, must be renewed in our generation through its younger members.  The knowledge of the youth of its victims doubtless in a measure accounts for the new sense of compunction which fills the community.

CHAPTER III

AMELIORATION OF ECONOMIC CONDITIONS

It may be possible to extract some small degree of comfort from the recent revelations of the white slave traffic when we reflect that at the present moment, in the midst of a freedom such as has never been accorded to young women in the history of the world, under an economic pressure grinding down upon the working girl at the very age when she most wistfully desires to be taken care of, it is necessary to organize a widespread commercial enterprise in order to procure a sufficient number of girls for the white slave market.

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A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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