Straight Stuff From a Hobo with Brains in His Head


Oppression the Cause of Poverty.

The Truth From A Man on the Road.

We left St. Louis about 9 p.m. in a downpour of rain. Our troubles only started. A short way from St. Louis, on the first siding after crossing the Missouri bridge, on the Wabash Railroad, the shacks piled us in a car with 21 Hoboes and they covered us with gats. They frisked the bunch with the exception of five of us and got six dollars.

Any Hoboes beating the Wabash should be on a lookout for a frisk by the shacks at that place.

After getting to Height Hill, the train was tied up over night.

The next morning at 6 a.m. we pulled out for Moberly. We got off at Moberly; while jungling up there the police came up and walked us out of town.

We had to walk seven miles to the next tank and after getting there we found out that we were marooned, as there were wash outs on the Wabash, M. P. and the Alton Railroads.

As there were no trains running to Kansas City we were stalled in the rain for two days.

Sunday morning we caught the first train to Kansas City and the engine broke down at the first station and we had to wait six hours for another crew to pick her up, and after we got on our way again we lost our hoodoo and made Kansas City in good time.

The two Red Balls and the Hot Shot that leave St. Louis every night about seven p. m. for Kansas City on the Wabash carry brakemen that are practically hold-up men.

They hold up the hoboes riding their trains at the point of a gun, and take every cent they can find, even stripping them in their search for money; then ditch them.

The National Office in St. Louis should take the matter up with the Wabash offices at St. Louis and see that these thugs are discharged and their practices broken up. I have been working about seven days on a railroad job and did not get back to Kansas City till yesterday.

I have been working for about seven days on a railroad job for $1.40 a day and after my seven days’ work, I had $2.13 coming.

So I jump my job and I am back in Kansas City once more.

Did you ever work for $1.40 a day? If you have not, don’t do it because you will lose money even if you did not have a damn cent when you started to work.

Editor’s Note: This story from the “Road” comes from a perfectly truthful, reliable and intelligent man. We have heard thousands like it. It typifies the life of the “Hobo,” the Migratory Worer, the man who is forced by the pressure of circumstances to take to the road and get any job he can pick up, or starve. Our good Christian friends tell us that any man who wants it can get a job. It is true, sometimes, but not very often. When he can get a job, this article will tell what he gets. What kind of a life do you think that this man can lead? Will you figure out his troubles getting the comparatively short distance from St. Louis to Kansas City? Can you appreciate the discomfort, the sleepless nights, the everlasting fear of murder from the crooked railroad hands. Every mile of our railroad fences covers the grave of some poor down and out man murdered by the railroad hands. Can you comprehend the minor inconveniences? The lack of food, the need of a bath, the need of clean clothing to keep himself in the Kingdom of Self-respect while hunting for that beautiful job at $1.40 a day. A job in which the Commissary department skinned him out of one-half at least? We suppose that some of the “respectable” citizens of the United States will read this. If you do, it is up to you to change this infernal condition, or “we will turn the world over, as a plowman turns the clods.”