What are the main events of the story "Thank You, M'am?"

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estoverl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story opens with an action scene depicting a stout woman, walking down a city street at night carrying a large purse. A boy runs up behind her, attempting to steal her purse but instead, falls backwards when the purse strap breaks. The woman, Mrs. Jones, takes complete control of the situation from this point on and turning, kicks the boy.

When Mrs. Jones realizes he has no one at home waiting for him, she insists the boy come with her and half drags him back to her home in what appears to be a boarding house. Once there, she lets go of him and tells him to wash then proceeds to feed him. She asks him if he needed the money from her purse for food and he admits that he wanted ten dollars to buy blue suede shoes. The entire time, her door is open and he could obviously escape but Mrs. Jones commanding presence causes him to obey her and stay. They talk and she admits she too has done things about which she is not proud.

Mrs. Jones shares her sparse meal and cake with him then hands him ten dollars, walks him to the door and shutting the door as he leaves, instructs him to behave himself.