Brian Ransom Dr. C. Shaman Comp II September 3, 2010 Paper 1, Draft 1 Innocence stolen by incomplete thoughts This is the story of Samuel. It is about the consequences of rebellious youth and the carelessness of ignorant adults that process thoughts incompletely. The story takes place in New York and begins with 4 youths, one whose name is Samuel, recklessly playing on a train plat-form. Adults in the train cars are agitated and become restless at the site of the young boys pretending to fly with their arms extended wide as they hang over the train railing while laughing and giggling. A few of the men on aboard recall their youth and how similar their behavior was at times. On the other hand, the women, the mother and the grandmothers become angered and annoyed. How dare these small, innocent and immature boys be out there playing and without caution or supervision, was a few of the ladies thoughts, as described by the author, “The ladies in the car became very angry when they looked at the four boys. Most of them brought brows together and hoped that the boys could see their extreme disapproval” (Paley 41). Even though most of the women felt this way only one had the courage to say anything about the situation and that came with little effectiveness and some mockery from one of the boys. It wasn’t until one of the men decided to take matters into his own hands that the story took a turn for the worst. An angered man, fed up and drove pulled the emergency cord bringing the story to its climax for young Samuel was flung between the cars and killed. At this point, my heart sank I could not comprehend the thought process of this man. As Paley points out, “He stood up straight and looked at the boys for a couple of seconds. Then walked in a [CITIZENLY] way to the end of the car, where he pulled the emergency cord” (41). “What the hell was he thinking or was he?” either way it was not a completed thought for it lead to the mutilation of a young boy. The meanings in this short story are endless, but the only thing I can think about is how bad that heroic citizen feels right now. Had this been a true story charges would have been filed and he could have thought things through while he is serving his sentence for man-slaughter in the New York Dept of Correction. At this point, I could even question the cord puller’s intentions before he took his first step towards the cable. Perhaps his intention was to teach the out-of-control teens a lesson. At any rate, Samuel was someone’s son and the crime did not fit the punishment.