Roger had a chance to run away when Mrs. Jones told him to wash his face.
Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones was walking home at night when Roger tried to steal her purse. He didn’t succeed because he really wasn’t the purse-snatching type, and she saw that right away. Feeling sorry for the scrawny Roger, she took him home.
When Mrs. Jones had Roger home, she gave him an opportunity to choose to stay or to run. She told him to wash his hands, and he chose to do so.
“Then, Roger, you go to that sink and wash your face,” said the woman, whereupon she turned him loose—at last. Roger looked at the door—looked at the woman—looked at the door—and went to the sink.
Even though Roger didn’t run, he asked if she was going to take him to jail. She told him that she wouldn’t take him anywhere unless he had washed his face. She also told him that they would eat after he finished.
The situation is usual. Although Roger chose not to run, he still was not sure what to do after that. She was sitting across the room, and he realized he could run. However, she was talking to him, and she was sympathetic.
The door was open. He could make a dash for it down the hall. He could run, run, run, run, run!
The woman was sitting on the day-bed. After a while she said, “I were young once and I wanted things I could not get.”
At home, Roger had no one. He certainly did not have a lot of sympathetic motherly figures to talk to. That is why he didn’t run. He wanted to stay because he was curious, and because he was drawn to her. Mrs. Jones showed him some tough love. She also told him that if he wanted money, he should have just asked.