One evening about eleven o’clock at night, Mrs. Jones was walking to her house after work. She was carry her large and heavy pocketbook, when suddenly a young boy from behind tried to snatch her it. The strap of the bag broke and the weight of the purse made the slim boy about fourteen years –old, lose his balance and fall on his back on the floor.
At first, the large woman was mad. She turned around and kicked the boy in his blue-jeaned sitter, and then she grabbed the boy by his shirtfront, and shook him for few seconds. She asked the boy to pick up her pocketbook.
The woman still held the boy tightly, but at the same time, she bent down to allow him to pick up her pocketbook. Then she asked the boy, if he was feeling ashamed of himself?
Mrs. Jones noticed that the boy’s face was dirty, and she asked him “don’t you got anybody home to tell you to wash your face?”
The boy said; “No’m”.
“Then your face will get washed this evening”. Said the lady.
Walking and dragging the boy behind her.
The young boy looked: frightened, skinny and wild. He was wearing tennis shoes and blue jeans.
The large woman said: “You should be my son. So I would teach right from wrong”.
The least I can do right now is to wash your face. Then, she asked him: “Are you hungry?”
“No’m said the boy. I only want you to turn me loose”.
She asked: “Did I bother you when I turned that corner”. The boy said “No’m”.
The woman continued asking question and then, she said: “When I get through with you, sir, you are going to remember Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones”.
Sweat was on the boy’s face and he began to struggle.
Finally, Mrs. Jones stopped and jerked him in front of her. She drags him up the street until her place. The large lady dragged the boy inside, into a large kitchenette-furnished room. The lady turned on the light and left the door open. The boy could hear people laughing and talking in the large house. Some of the room doors were open too.
The boy knew that he and the woman were not alone. Mrs. Jones was still holding the boy in the middle of the room. She asked the boy’s name and he said: “Roger”.
Then she said: “Roger, go to the sink and wash your face”. When she released the boy, he did not know what to do. He looked at the door-looked at the woman- looked at the door again- and finally went to the sink. The boy let the water run until it gets warm. Mrs. Jones gave him a clean towel. The boy asked: “Are you going to take me to jail?” In addition, the lady said: “I would not take you anywhere”.
Then she explained to the boy that she was trying to get home to cook herself a meal, when he tried to snatch her pocket book. At the moment, Mrs. Jones asked Roger, if he had his dinner. The boy answered, that nobody is at his house.
The lady said: “Then we’ll eat, I believe you’re hungry or been hungry to try to snatch my pocketbook”.
Roger told her that he wants a pair of blue sued shoes.
“Well, you didn’t have to snatch my pocketbook to get some suede shoes”, said Mrs. Jones. You could ask me”.
The boy looked at her and said: “Ma’m and the water was dripping from his face. He dried his face and without knowing what to do, he dried it again, and then he was wondering what next. When they reached Mrs. Jones’s apartment the door was open. Roger would rush to run and disappear, but he did not do it.
Then the woman was sitting on a day bed. After a while, she explained to Roger, that when she was young, “she wanted things she could not get”. However, she did not snatch people’s pocket book. She told him that she did things too; that she would not tell him and not even to tell God, if he didn’t already know”. Then she said: “”Everybody’s got something in common”.
She asked the boy to sit down and brush his hair, while she cooks something.
At the point, Mrs. Jones did not supervise Roger anymore, not even her purse that was on the bed.
The boy decided to sit on the far side of the room, away from the pocketbook, and where Mrs. Jones could easily see him. Now, he did not want to be mistrusted.
Roger asked Mrs. Jones, if she needs milk or something from the grocery store.
She said: “Not, unless you want sweet milk for your cocoa”.
While they were eating some lima beans and ham, Mrs. Jones talked about her job in a hotel beauty shop that stayed open late. She did not ask him any personal question, about his family or where he lived. Mrs. Jones gave Roger a piece of cake. When they finished eating, the lady gives to the boy ten dollars, to buy some blue suede shoes. Then she told him to not to repeat the same mistake to try to steal people’s pocket book, and to behave himself.
Then she said: “Now I need to take a rest”. “Good night!”
Even though, the boy wants to say more than thank you to Mrs. Jones, he could not even say that. He only looked up at the large woman in the door and shut the door.
At first, Mrs. Roger was very mad about Roger’s behavior and at the end of the story; she likes him, and probably feels sorry about the boy’s life and future.