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The Boy With the U.S. Census
written by "Rolt-Wheeler, Francis, 1876-1960"
...ot;Odd jobs?" "Oh, no, sah, in the big nu'sery here." "On regular wages, then?" "Yas, sah, nine dollahs a week." "I don't have to put down how much he earns," the boy explained, "only to state whether he is paying wages, or being paid wages, or working on his own account.—But you must find it hard to get along on nine a week." "Ah make mo 'n he does," the woman explained. "You do? How?" "Washin', sah. An' Ah take a lot o' fine washin', laces an' things like that, which the ladies want jes' as carefully done! Ah make as high as twelve an' sometimes fifteen dollahs a week." "That helps a lot," said Hamilton, as he noted down the facts that the woman was a laundress, and that she worked on her own account, typified by the letters "O.A." in the wage column. "You both read and write—or, wait a bit, I think you said you couldn't write, and that you have to get the neighbors' children to help you." "Ah can read pretty well," the woman replied, "but Ah never had enough schoolin' to write much; mah mother was ill all the time, an' Ah had to stay home. But Steve, he writes beautiful, an' he makes out all mah bills an' things like that." "I think there's only one question more," the boy said, delighted to find that after all, even in the house of a negro laundress who did not know how to write, the information could be so easily secured. After jotting down a "Yes" and a "No" respectively for Husband and Wife in the columns for literacy, he continued, "And that question is, whether this house is owned by you or whether you rent it." "We're only rentin' it, sah. Steve wants to buy it an' put a mo'gage on, but Ah don't know anythin' about mo'gages an' Ah won't buy until Ah can pay the whole price right down. Don' yo' think Ah'm right?&quo...

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