Whited Sepulchres


I am a citizen of no mean City. Thus the average St. Louisan, as he swells his chest and blows about the wonders of his home town. If he could only see the meanness and greed of the system he thinks so perfect!

The Public Press is immaculate. It preaches virtue and Pecksniffian righteousness in every line. It has all the cardinal virtues. None can gainsay it. There is no opportunity. But now the time has come to lay bare this consummate hypocrisy.

On any downtown corner, from five to ten a. m. you will see the ‘newsboys,’ men and women, aged, infirm, crippled, blind, our poorest brothers and sisters. They sell you your morning paper. You give them a smile as you pay your penny and pass on. You do not know that vile and filthy greed has them in its clutches.

They must take out just as many papers as the circulation manager decides should be sold at each particular corner. No matter what the weather, or the prospect for sales. THEY MUST TAKE THEM. They must pay for them in advance, The paper needs the money. They are not permitted to return a single unsold copy. Consequently, they often get ‘stuck’ with unsold copies. Let us show you how it works, Our newsman, we dare not tell you his corner, or he would be fired for telling tales out of school, at five o’clock this morning, took out one hundred and fifty morning papers, for which he had to pay in cash ninety cents. He sold one hundred and twenty-five papers and the other twenty-five were a dead loss. So he paid out ninety cents, took in one

dollar and a quarter and made a profit of thirty-five cents. And this was a good day. He has a whole thirty-five cents to keep body and soul together until sunrise tomorrow. Do you believe this, citizens. Find out for yourselves. Wake up to things as they are.

The tramp who stole the milk out of the baby’s bottle was a gentleman and a scholar compared to these pirates.