BY-WAYS - 4/3/47 - More about the Tenants - Cornelia & Arvest

Diary for Week of March 8

"Everything happens to us," said Cornelia this morning, speaking of her husband, Arvest, and herself. "When I woke up this morning our door was standing wide open. When I went to the bathroom, there lay Arvest's pants on the floor. His wallet was in the hip pocket, with all his papers stickin' out of it, but every cent of money was gone" For the first time since this young couple arrived in November, they failed to lock their door. After a late movie Cornelia sat up to write a letter home to Arkansas. (She thinks nothing of writing eight or nine pages). When she finished, she was so "tard, I just plopped into bed." The nocturnal visitor came some time between 2 and 5. Of course I reported it to the police. A sergeant and a rookie came right over. While the latter was getting a full report from Cornelia, the sergeant surveyed the scene of the theft, asked me few questions, and commented, "He fits the pattern of the 'pants burglar." He prowls around these apartment houses and rooming houses at night, tries all doors. If he does get in, he takes only money; carries no weapons - takes no jewelry or anything that can be identified.

When I realized Arvest's reaction and fear - that the prowler might bop him on the head and harm Cornelia, the sergeant scoffed at the idea. He said that in most cases of rape the girl has invited such molesting.

"How about the 'Black Dahlia'?" I asked of the former Long Beach waitress, whose mutilation murder set 1,000 policemen on the search for the criminal.

"She had a record ten miles long. I know. She should have been put away long ago." Thus spoke the hard-boiled sergeant.

He bade Cornelia lock her door at night. "That's what locks are for." So the Mayberry's (fictitious) are $7 poorer and wiser.

Tuesday, March 11 - Dr. George B. Taubman, pastor emeritus of the First Christian Church of Long Beach, passed away in his home.

Friday, March 14 - The funeral services for this great man, in the church that he loved - amid the greatest array of floral tributes that I have ever seen. But the richest tribute was the presence of several hundred men, snow-haired and bald, sitting in a group - former members of his famous Bible class - at one time the largest in the United States. Uncle Sam Smith was a loyal member of that class, and talked with deep affection of that great man, who, by the force of his great personality and his zeal for Christ, could attract 4,000 men to is Sunday morning lessons.

What a life! While the sneak thief goes stealthily in the night, the soul of a great soldier for Christ goes marching on.

Florence B. Taylor.

Next - 4/10/47 - C.S.O.
By-Ways Table of Contents y