The only excuse that can be pleaded for Joe Brown is that he was hungry and desperate on account of the apparent impossibility of finding honest work. When he asked Preston Senall for a job, and Senall not only refused, but added an gratuitous insult by telling Joe that he was a worthless loafer, Joe was certainly wrong in losing his temper. Whether his offense merited the severe prison sentence given him when he was arrested on Senall's complaint is another matter. The fact that Joe saved the life of one of the wardens during an outbreak in the prison had a great deal to do with his early release. In the tenement in which he roomed after his release, Joe met Mrs. Burrowes, who supported herself and daughter by sewing. Joe was able to be of some service to her on one or two occasions, and an intimacy sprang up between them. One day Joe learned that Preston Senall had been the cause of Mrs. Burrowes' poverty. When Joe found Preston Senall's young son, Harry, who had strayed away from ...
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