Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva

The Pity Of It

It was after midnight and bitterly cold – so cold that even the police seemed to have found some warm spot and were not to be seen – when a party of ladies and gentlemen came out of the Tkachenko Cafe on Avenue Joffre, where they had partaken of something to warm the inner man after a cold ride from the cinema. On the sidewalk they were accosted by a little fair Russian girl, about seven to eight years of age, poorly and insufficiently dressed. She was shivering in the biting wind and sobbing bitterly.
After giving her some small change one of the party, a Russian gentleman, asked her why she didn't go home; she replied between sobs that she wanted to go home out of the cold and had already been to the house three times with the money she had begged, but each time the money was taken out from her and she was driven out into the cold again by her father and mother.
They tried to find out where she lived, but owing to the great dread that she had of her parents, she refused to tell or even allow them to go with her to the house, and as there were no police to be found, nothing could be done, which was perhaps good, as there would have been one member of the child's family at least, who would have been very warm that night, in fact, one might say, disagreeably warm.

A vignette in The China Press, 12 Dec 1929.

Tags: 1920s, article, newspaper, restaurants, russians, shanghai, tkachenko

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