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Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized

Henriette, and talking to her about the child's health and her own future. He considered that George had had his lesson, and urged upon the young wife that he would be wiser in future, and safe to trust. George had indeed learned much. He got new lessons every time he went to call at the physician's office--he could read them in the faces of the people he saw there. One day when he was alone in the waiting-room, the doctor came out of his inner office, talking to an elderly gentleman, whom George recognized as the father of one of his classmates at college. The father was a little shopkeeper, and the young man remembered how pathetically proud he had been of his son. Could it be, thought George, that this old man was a victim of syphilis? But it was the son, and not the father, who was the subject of the consultation. The old man was speaking in a deeply moved voice, and he stood so that George could not help hearing what he said. "Perhaps you can't understand," he said, "just what it means to us--the hopes we had of that boy! Such a fine fellow he was, and a good fellow, too, sir! We were so proud of him; we had bled our veins to keep him in college--and now just see!" "Don't despair, sir," said the doctor, "we'll try to cure him." And he added with that same note of sorrow in his voice which George had heard, "Why did you wait so long before you brought the boy to me?" "How was I to know what he had?" cried the other. "He didn't dare tell me, sir--he was afraid of my scolding him. And in the meantime the disease was running its course. When he realized that he had it, he went secretly to one of the quacks, who robbed him, and didn't cure him. You know how it is, sir." "Yes, I know," said the doctor. "Such things ought not to be permitted," cried the old man. "What is our government about that it allows such things to go on? Take the conditions there at the college where my poor boy was ruined. At the very gates of the building these women are waiting for the lads! Ought they to be permitted to debauch young boys only fifteen years old? Haven't we got police enough to prevent a thing like that? Tell me, sir!" "One would think so," said the doctor, patiently. 88


by Upton Sinclair Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized 1 Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eu...