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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 359

marched past to the long tables where the plates of roast turkey stood in expectant rows, with a whole little mince-pie at each plate, the little shavers were last in the line. They were just as brimful of mischief as they could be,—that was easy to see. The superintendent pulled my sleeve as they went by, with a “Watch out now and you ’ll see some fun.” What he meant I did n’t know then. I saw only a swift movement of their hands as they went by the table,—too swift for me to follow. I found out when they sat down and eight grimy little hands shot up and eight aggrieved little voices piped:
  “Mister, I ain’t got no pie!”
  “What!” said the superintendent, with another wink to me; “no pie! There must be; I put it there myself. Let ’s see about that.”
  And he went over and tapped the first and the smallest of the lads on the stomach, where his shirt bulged.
  “What ’s that?” he said, feeling of the bulge.
  “Me pie,” said the lad, unabashed. “I wuz afeard it w’d get stole on me, and so I—”
  They had “swiped” the pies in passing.