"It was about eleven o'clock at night, and she [ Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones ] was walking alone, when a boy [Roger] ran up behind her and tried to snatch her purse."
"Instead of taking off full blast as he had hoped, the boy fell on his back on the sidewalk, and his legs flew up."
" 'You ought to be my son. I would teach you right from wrong. Least I can do right now is to wash your face. Are you hungry?' 'No'm.' said the being-dragged boy. 'I just want you to turn me loose' "
" 'There's nobody home at my house.' said the boy. 'Then we'll eat,' said the woman. 'I believe your hungry-or been hungry-to try to snatch my pocketbook.' 'I wanted a pair of blue suede shoes,' said the boy. ...'You could of asked me.' "
"The woman did not ask the boy anything about where he lived, or his folks, or anything else that would embarrass him. Instead, as they ate, she told him about her job in a hotel beauty shop that stayed open late, what the work was like, and how all kinds of women came in and out..."
"When they were finished eating she got up and said, 'Now here, take this ten dollars and buy yourself some blue suede shoes...' '...But from here on in, son, I hope you will behave yourself.' "The boy wanted to say something other than, 'Thank you m'am,' to Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones, but although his lips moved he couldn't even say that as he turned at the foot of the barren stoop and looked up at the large woman in the door. Then she shut the door."