Friday, February 22, 2008

Woman and the Pin


It was in a deductive way that the captain found out that Ethel Clare Le Neve, the supposed accomplice of Dr. Crippen, was a girl though she was dressed in boy's togs. She had applied a missing trouser's button with a safety pin. The method was entirely feminine, says the Cleveland Leader. A boy would have borrowed a marline spike or a nail, or whittled a wooden peg.

This dramatic use of the safety pin again focuses the attention on woman's marvelous capacity as a pinster. Give her a hat pin and she can affright a footpad or lure olives from a long-necked bottle, with equal ease. She makes it decorative, too, and deadly. In a crowded street car it is as fearsome a weapon as the cries of a Malay running a-muck.

But her chief record is made with the common or garden pin. She fastens buttons or shoes with it and when baby swallows the rattle, harpoons it out with a pin. If a tornado blows and the shingles are threatened she crawls out on the roof and pins them down.

Writers of those fascinating summer stories in which a man and a lovely girl are cast away on a South sea island miss the chance of their lives when they do not provide the heroine with a paper of pins as her salvage from the wreck.

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