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The crime that is committed in "Thank You Ma'am" is attempted robbery. This is usually considered a felony.
Sometimes this crime becomes a felony if a certain amount of money is stolen, if the defendant is guilty of possessing criminal intent, or if someone should die during the robbery. In addition, if the defendant is taken only to jail, the crime may be reduced to a misdemeanor instead.
Therefore, Roger is very fortunate that Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones does not press charges and, instead, is charitable toward him. While she does scold him rather severely, Mrs. Jones takes Roger home in order to wash his face and have some time to talk with this boy. She obviously understands that Roger is not really bad; he has simply acted spontaneously without thinking about the consequences.
After she feeds Roger, Mr. Jones gives him ten dollars and tells him to go buy some suede shoes. Roger is speechless as she has shown him such Christian charity. This lesson has probably done more for Roger than anything else, such as going to jail, would.
The boy tries to take the old woman's purse to purchase a pair of blue suede shoes
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