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"Thank You, Ma'am" is a short story by Langston Hughes. In the story, Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones grabs a boy who is trying to steal her purse. The boy tried stealing to obtain money to buy a pair of some blue suede shoes. Now, under Mrs. Jones' control, the boy believes that she is going to take him to jail.
"You gonna take me to jail?” asked the boy, bending over the sink."
Instead of taking the boy to jail, Mrs. Jones takes him to her house where she intends to feed him. After washing his face at her home, the boy contemplates running. He has trouble believing that she is not going to turn him over to the police.
Mrs. Jones recalls experiences of her own. She explains to the boy that if he wanted money to buy blue suede shoes, he should have asked her instead of trying to take her purse. Instead of taking the boy to jail like he thought, she gives him $10 to buy himself the shoes.
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