The Red Kimona

1
This is a true story. Much
 of it is on record in the
Superior Court of California.
If it contains bitter truths,
remember that I only turn 
 the pages of the past.

2
I cite you the case of
 Gabrielle from the files
of this newspaper office,
with the hope that you 
will help - rather than
hinder - the upward strug-
gle of such unfortunates.

3
Gabrielle, in the begin-
ning, a child - trusting,
believing - had committed
the sin of loving too well.
Ground in the mire, numb
with heartache, we find 
  her in New Orleans,
     - - deserted.

4
Clara - the "girl"
  next door.

5
"I hate to tell you, kid,
but - - Howard went
to Los Angeles to get
      married."

6
"They're all alike. He's
  coming back - or -"

7
"- - or he'd have
 taken - those."

8
"I'm going to Los
     Angeles."

9
In Los Angeles, she
 traced him to - -

10
"Howard - speak to
   me - - - -"

11
"Howard - forgive me -
   I love you - -"

12
Through the dead silence 
 of interminable nights,
a woman, repentant, prayed
to the Almighty Judge for 
forgiveness. Helpless, alone,
she awaited the third day 
     of her trial -

13
Mrs. Beverly Fontaine -
  who has taken up
social service because it
helps her socially - sees
  a new opportunity for 
 publicity in Gabrielle.

14
"Tell the court and jury
   how you first met
    Howard Blaine."

15
Home is any place where
  a mother smiles at
children. Other places are
 just houses. In one of
 these lived Gabrielle.

16
"Where you goin'?"

17
"I was just going for
       a walk."

18
"She's goin' to meet that
  Blaine guy she's been
   seein' every night."

19
"Go ahead - maybe he's 
the marryin' kind an'
I won't have to feed 
   you any more."

20
"But don't you ever 
come back here, if
  it don't take."

21
Three words - I Love
 You - sometimes as
beautiful and sacred as
a prayer - sometimes a
    cowardly lie.

22
"- and we'll go to my 
place in New Orleans
  and be married."

23
"He took me to New 
    Orleans -"

24
"Mr. Mack is sort of - 
  in charge around 
        here."

25
"Another? I'm sorry 
     for her."

26
"I didn't know what to 
 do - I loved him so."

27
Then years of bond-
 age - sorrowful -
     sordid -

28
"That is all -"

29
"You shot Howard Blaine
because he was going to
marry another woman -
    didn't you?"

30
"I had given him -
   my life - -"

31
"This court is not
 interested in your
 romance - answer
   my question."

32
"I loved him and I thought
 he cared. If he had a
wife, I couldn't go on -
    don't you see?"

33
"When I saw him buying 
 her wedding ring with 
    the money I - -"

34
Days of torture - a
  hushed moment -
and then -

35
"NOT GUILTY!"

36
"I don't want to go 
        back!"

37
"Have you no friends, 
       child?"

38
"- nor any money -"

39
 "- even my rings, the
lawyer took for his fee."

40
"That's what I want 
to do - wipe out the 
 past, by service."

41
Terrance O'Day - whom
 Mrs. Fontaine calls
"Freddy" on the theory
 that it annoys him.

42
"My dear, I've finally
 decided to take you
    home with me."

43
"... charity vaunteth
not itself, is not
puffed up ..."

	1 Corinthians, 13

44
"I want you to look 
 as interesting as 
      you can -"

45
"- for your sake, of
       course."

46
"Don't be long, dear -
some of the ladies
actually gave up the
matinee to see you."

47
"Ladies - this is Gabrielle -
  my poor little wounded 
 bird - Fleur de Pavé, as
     the French say."

48
"I've been dying to talk 
 to you alone - I just
   knew we would be
 drawn to each other."

49
"You see I understand
so thoroughly - for I,
too, have been pursued 
     all my life!"

50
"My husband can't give 
 me any information
 about these things -
he's like a babe in the 
  woods - - - he's a
   traveling man."

51
"Now tell me - is it true
   that all men - - -"

52
"- - - and do you poor 
dears have to - - - -"

53
"My dear, you can't leave 
 now, - why, you're the 
    guest of honor!"

54
 "You were quite a
sensation, my dear."

55
"I don't belong here -
  I want to do some 
 useful work - earn 
   my redemption."

56
"What you need, my 
dear, is rest - and 
this environment."

57
 "But I want to become 
a nurse - please, please
       help me."

58
 "A worthy ambition my
 child, and when I feel
it's time, I'll arrange it
      all for you."

59
"Well - how do you 
 like the museum 
     by now?"

60
"These curtains must 
be kept closed. The
sun fades the rugs."

61
"Well, Pansy, - it's like this.
    The Queen sent me to
   tell you she was havin'
   a coupla dames to tea."

62
"Dames - ?"

63
"- LADIES!!"

64
"You heard me, Violet!
    I said DAMES!"

65
"Mrs. Fontaine does not
allow her books to be
taken from this room."

66
"Now, Buttercup - you
know that's the bunk
- the Duchess don't 
even know she has 
     a book."

67
"Don't mind old Hatchet
Face - she don't mean
to hurt your feelings
     - - much!"

68
"Any other little thing 
  I can do for you?"

69
"Sure there's nothin' 
        else?"

70
"Sure?"

71
The publicity value
 of being seen with 
her protege was gone -
so Mrs. Fontaine sent
Gabrielle riding alone.

72
And for the first time 
  in twenty thousand 
 miles, the Fontaine
limousine headed toward
   Ford territory.

73
To Gabrielle a new
  manner of man
lifted from the common 
clay, to stand like a
  defending Knight.

74
"Well, I guess you're 
through here! Madam's
gone on one of her trips.
 Left this for you."

75
"You stayed longer 
than most of them 
- the bank robber
only lasted a week."

76
"I'm drivin' the Queen of 
  Sheba to Sacramento.
   Be gone a coupla
        months."

77
"Poor kid - life knocked her
for a loop, but I like her
a lot - an' I ain't braggin'
    about my own past."

78
The County Hospital -

79
"Aren't you that Gabrielle 
         woman?"

80
"That notoriety-seeking 
old biddy knows there'd 
be trouble if I put you 
   in training here!"

81
No references - - - -

82
A job - a chance -

83
"Isn't that the girl your
  husband defended for 
        murder?"

84
"Is Fred back yet?"

85
"If he is, he doesn't want
 to have anything to do
        with you."

86
"The Matron you want
isn't here any more."

87
Licked -

88
It is tradition that help
 comes whole-heartedly
from the Sisterhood of
Sorrow. Clara answered
       the call.

89
"I wonder if you know 
how soon I can get a 
train to New Orleans."

90
"Hey, - Orchid!"

91
"Have you seen Gabrielle?"

92
"She came here looking 
 for you - but I sent 
       her away."

93
"- - she's leaving on the
 three o'clock train for
      New Orleans."

94
"Do you know you drove
 that kid back to the 
streets with your two-bit
 philanthropy an' your
  society circus - -"

95
"You just happened to 
 be lucky - you got a
    wedding ring."

96
"How dare you!"

97
"From now on, I won't 
 need your services."

98
"I'll tell the world you
  won't! I'm going to 
       find her."

99
"The next train for
 New Orleans leaves
    in an hour."

100
Three days of anguished
 travel - and Gabrielle
faces her Gethsemane.

101
Freddy arrives - -

102
"You don't want to run 
away - I could be pretty 
      nice to you."

103
"Looks like an accident -
      wanna stop?"

104
"Go ahead - haven't 
       time!"

105
"I've been expecting 
 her, but she isn't 
     here yet."

106
Faces - - white - splotched
  with red - swimming in 
the fog of the nights - -
  but never the one he
         sought.

107
"GABRIELLE!"

108
While Gabrielle -

109
Blaring bands - marching
 men on city streets -
transports slipping away -
khaki columns on white
French roads.  America
 had entered the war.

110
 "We must have more 
nurses - helpers - the
 Flu is blocking the 
       wards."

111
"Please let me help -
I'm strong now - I'd
    do anything!"

112
"Ten more for Ward
      Seven."

113
"Put her to work!"

114
"EXTRA! EXTRA!
NEW ORLEANS MEN
LEAVING FOR THE 
    FRONT!"

115
"Hear that? I'll be going
     any minute now."

116
"Gabrielle, I love you -
won't you marry - - -"

117
"Not now - - - perhaps
 when you come back -
  and I've earned my 
 right to happiness."

118
"Don't you understand -
it's because I love you."

119
"I'll be waiting!"

120
You have seen the temp-
tations and struggles of
this modern Magdalen, and
though she won her redemp-
tion and found love and 
happiness, - there are others
  - countless others - -

121
"- - and it is toward these,
that we women must face
our responsibility, if we
would fulfill the duty of
    true womanhood."

122
Remember the death-
  less words of the
Carpenter of Nazareth - -

123
"He that is without
sin among you, let
him first cast a stone
at her."

Home