A Child of the Ghetto (1910)
- Summaries (2)
After her mother's death, Ruth struggles to support herself as a seamstress. While Ruth delivers shirts to the factory owner, the owner's son steals some money and Ruth is accused of the crime. She flees the ghetto of New York's Lower East Side and hides in the country where a young farmer takes her in and they fall in love.
At the visitation of the Angel of Death in the little home taking off the poor widowed mother of Little Ruth, the poor orphan realizes she must henceforth fight life's battle alone. From her squalid room in Rivington Street, New York, she goes through the Ghetto looking for work. After a time she secures a bundle of work at a shirt factory to take home and finish. She completes the lot and starts back to receive the pittance with which her labor is to be rewarded. As she enters the office, the scapegrace son of the proprietor is imploring money of his father, who positively refuses to accede. The youth is desperate and while the father is examining Ruth's work, he extracts several bills from his father's wallet, which lies on the desk. The loss is discovered and the boy fearing detection, contrives to have Ruth blamed by slyly placing the notes in her work bundle where they are found in the search. Officer Quinn is sent for, but before he arrives Ruth seizes upon a chance to escape, realizing her inability to prove her innocence in the face of the convincing evidence, and makes her way to her room, but as her name and address are on the books and her face has been seen by the officer, he finds little difficulty in trailing her. She eludes him, however, by going down the fire escape and boarding a trolley car bound for the suburbs. All trace of her is lost by the officer in the congestion of Rivington Street, and when the car makes the last stop she is well out of reach of her pursuers. On she trudges until she faints from exhaustion and is found later by a young farmer who brings her to the house and puts her in the care of his mother. Here she is treated as one of the family, and her hitherto sorrow-clouded existence changes to sunshine. Here she learns to smile. As time goes a strong attachment grows between the young farmer and herself until a betrothal is imminent. At this time Officer Quinn is accorded a vacation, and with a friend goes for a day's fishing at the brook that borders the farm. Desiring some milk, he goes to the house to procure it. The young farmer and Ruth are standing by the well, he on the point of proposing, when Quinn appears. The farmer offers to get him some milk, and while awaiting his return the officer is struck by the seemingly familiar face of Ruth. After he returns to the water's edge, he still puzzles, until at last it dawns on him who she is, and he goes back with the intention of doing what he deems his duty, but the couple are now betrothed, and a glance in her honest face convinces him of her innocence, and instead of arresting her, he wishes them luck.
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