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The Scarlet Woman




by: R. Nathaniel Dett

Once I was good like the Virgin Mary and the Minister's wife.

My father worked for Mr. Pullman and white people's tips; but he died two
days after his insurance expired.

I had nothing, so I had to go to work.

All the stock I had was a white girl's education and a face that enchanted
the men of both races.

Starvation danced with me.

So when Big Lizzie, who kept a house for white men, came to me with tales
of fortune that I could reap from the sale of my virtue I bowed my head to
Vice.

Now I can drink more gin than any man for miles around.

Gin is better than all the water in Lethe.





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