At the door of the Refuge we were glad to escape from our jinrikshas
into the cool shade of the house. The Matron seemed much troubled, and
spoke of things that she had not understood previously, but now that
she had learned many things from our investigations and from her own
questioning of the girls, they had taken on a painful meaning to her.
Our hearts grew heavier and heavier as we talked together. The
Matron, said: "Why, I thought when I came here it was to do a regular
Christian work for these girls. That was my purpose, but the more I
inquire into the matter, and study over the things I am expected to do
and ask no questions, such as sending girls over to the Lock Hospital
at the Chief Inspector's request, the more I feel that I am being
worked for purposes of which I cannot approve. I cannot stay here."
At last we got to ask her about her talk with the Inspector. "What
did he say when you told him what we discovered the other night--that
little girls go freely to the Licensed Eating Houses, and live in the
brothels?" "Is it really true that the authorities have been deceived,
and did not know of this flagrant violation of the Ordinance to
protect women and girls?"
The Matron's face was sadly troubled. She gazed at us a moment
quietly, and then said:
"He told me, Why, of course he knew about those children. There were
scores of them."
"But will he do nothing about the matter?" we exclaimed.
She replied: "He said: 'What can I do? I caught a whole handful
of them once and sent them to the Lock Hospital, and had them all
examined. The doctor pronounced them all
"I myself profess to be a Christian, and endeavor according to my
light, and as far as my nature will allow, to conform my conduct
to the standards of my religion; while holding these principles, I
certainly feel that I should not be acting in accordance with the
wishes of my Master, were I not to advocate most strongly that healing
should be extended to the poor, the helpless, and afflicted, whether
they be harlots or any other kind of sinners, who; unless the
Government assist them by forced examinations, will suffer and often
die in misery from the want of medical assistance." Perhaps the most
charitable view to take of this creature is that suggested by himself.
He was a Christian, he claims, "as far as my nature will allow." Had
his nature only allowed him to see further, he would have perceived
a distance as wide as heaven is from hell between the conduct of the
Divine Master who "went about healing all that were oppressed," and
the man who prostitutes the healing art to the service of libertines,
in making it healthier, if possible, for them to defy the commandments
of that same Divine Master. Such doctors are the offscouring of the
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