A good many years ago, a little girl twelve years old was passing the old brick prison in the city of Chicago, on her way to school, when she saw a hand beckoning to her from a cell window, and heard the weary voice of a prisoner asking her to please bring him something to read.
The next Sunday she went to the prison, and carried that poor prisoner a book to read from her father’s library. And then she kept on doing this every week. Several months after this, she was sent for to go and see that poor prisoner on his death-bed.
When she entered his room, he said to her, “Little girl, you have saved my soul. And now, before I die, I want you to promise me that you will keep on visiting the prison, and try to do for the other poor people in prison, the good you have done for me.”
She promised to do so; and she has kept her promise. Her name is Linda Gilbert. She has been for many years the steadfast friend of the prisoners. And how very useful she has been in carrying on this work, it is impossible to tell. She has been the means of establishing good libraries in many prisons. She has visited and helped great numbers of prisoners. From among these she has a certain knowledge of not less than six hundred who are now living honest and useful lives. Men who were once prisoners in all parts of the country, know her, and love her for the good she has done them. And this life of great usefulness all grew out of that little girl hearing the prisoner’s call, and trying to help him in his need.