In Thank You M'am by Langston Hughes, Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones does not intend to allow Roger to run away without learning the value of honesty and integrity. She seizes this opportunity to teach him a lesson but at the same time she refuses to conclude that his actions are malicious and she realizes that he needs guidance. Mrs. Jones has noticed how unkempt he looks and that his face could probably do with washing and his hair needs combing. She ponders that if he were her son, she would teach him the difference between right and wrong. She also wants Roger to understand that just because he wants something does not mean he should just steal from others. She remembers the time when she wanted things she could not have and when she did things that she would rather not mention. However, she draws the line at stealing. To Roger's surprise, she suggests that he "could of asked me."
Roger begins to feel safe with Mrs. Jones and does not try to run away when she leaves him alone. The level of trust that she apparently has in him is also indicative of her intentions. She would hate for Roger to make the same mistake again and she tells him so, warning him that shoes "come by devilish like" (meaning shoes that are obtained dishonestly) will only "burn your feet." She sends Roger on his way with the money for the shoes and hopefully a strong message to "behave yourself, boy!"