Why does Mrs. Jones treat Roger the way she does in "Thank You, M'am?"

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Mrs. Jones treats Roger kindly because she understands what he is going through.

Roger tries to steal Mrs. Jones’s purse, but instead of trying to call the police on him, she takes him home and makes him something to eat.  She is nice to him, because she realizes that he is just a sad boy with no one to look after him and nowhere to go, and she has been where he’s been.

Mrs. Jones seems aware when she looks at Roger that he has no one at home. 

 "Um-hum! And your face is dirty. I got a great mind to wash your face for you. Ain’t you got nobody home to tell you to wash your face?"

"No’m," said the boy.

Once she has him...

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