It was about eleven o’clock at night,and she was walking alone,when a boy ran up behind her and tried to snatch her purse.
The strap broke with the single tug the boy gave it from behind. But the boy’s weight and the weight of the purse combined caused him to lose his balance so, intsead of taking off full blast as he had hoped, the boy fell on his back on the sidewalk, and his legs flew up. the large woman simply turned around and kicked him right square in his blue-jeaned sitter.
Then she reached down, picked the boy up by his shirt front, and shook him until his teeth rattled. After that the woman said, “Pick up my pocketbook, boy, and give it here.” She still held him. But she bent down enough to permit him to stoop and pick up her purse. Then she said, “Now ain’t you ashamed of yourself?”
The woman said, “What did you want to do it for?” The boy said, “I didn’t aim to.” She said, “You a lie!” By that time two or three people passed, stopped, turned to look, and some stood watching. “If I turn you loose, will you run?” asked the woman. “Yes’m, ” said the boy. “Then I won’t turn you loose, ” said the woman. She did not release him. “I’m very sorry, lady, I’m sorry, ” whispered the boy. “Um-hum! And your face is dirty. I got a great mind to wash your face for you. Ain’t you got nobody home to tell you to wash your face?”
. Mrs. Jones stopped, jerked him around in front of her, put a half-nelson about his neck, and continued to drag him up the street. When she got to her door, she dragged the boy inside, down a hall, and into a large kitchenette- furnished room at the rear of the house. She switched on the light and left the door open.
When they were finished eating she got up and said, “Now, here, take this ten dollars and buy yourself some blue suede shoes. And next time, do not make the mistake of latching onto my pocketbook nor nobody else’s—because shoes come by devilish like that will burn your feet. I got to get my rest now. But I wish you would behave yourself, son, from here on in.” She led him down the hall to the front door and opened it. “Good-night! Behave yourself, boy!” she said, looking out into the street. The boy wanted to say something else other than “Thank you, m’am” to Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, but he couldn’t do so as he turned at the barren stoop and looked back at the large woman in the door. He barely managed to say “Thank you” before she shut the door. And he never saw her again.