Jim stayed after the meeting and we talked things over pretty well. He was a mechanic, but his tools were in pawn. I said, “Jim, I’ll meet you to-morrow and we will go and get your tools out.” In the morning Jim and I went down to the pawnbroker in New Chambers Street, and Jim produced the tickets, paid the money due, with interest, and received his stock in trade, the tools.
The next thing was a job. I knew a boss mason who was putting up a building in Catherine Street. We saw the boss and he took Jim on. He went to work and made good. He would always come and see me at night, and always testify to God’s keeping power. He would ask me, “Do you think I can get back to my wife and children again?” “Yes,” I would answer; “wait a little while. Have you written to her?” “Yes.” “Got any answer?” “Yes, a couple of letters, but I don’t think she takes any stock in my conversion. Dan, can’t we have our pictures taken together? I have written my wife a lot about you. I told her you were worse than I ever was. Perhaps if she sees our faces and sees how I look, she may think of old times and give me one more chance.”
Jim had been four months converted at this time, and God had him by the hand. It was great to see that big strong man, like a little child in God’s love. We went out and had our pictures taken and Jim asked me to write and urge his wife to give him one more chance. I did as Jim wanted me; in fact, I wrote her about everything he said and enclosed the picture.
Every night Jim would come around with the question, “Danny, any word from up State yet?” “Not yet, Jim: have a little patience, she will write soon.” We finally got the longed-for letter, but it wasn’t favorable. Among other things she said she took no stock in her husband, and that she knew he was the same old good-for-nothing, etc. It was hard lines for poor Jim, who was reading that letter over my shoulder. I looked at him. I could see some of the old Devil come into his eyes. The wife little knew what an escape Jim had then and there. I cheered him up and we got on our knees and prayed good and hard, and God heard the prayer and Jim was sailing straight once more and trusting Jesus.
A thought flashed through my mind, and I said, “Jim, have you any money?” “Yes,” he said, “I have over sixty dollars.” He gave me the money and we went to the postoffice and I took out a money-order to Mrs. Jim, Syracuse, N. Y., for sixty dollars and sent it on signed by Jim and took the receipt and put it in my pocket.
Five days after I was sitting at my desk in the Mission. A knock came to the door. I said, “Come in,” and a woman with two little girls entered. I placed a chair and waited. She said, “You are Mr. Ranney. I recognize you from your picture.” She was Jim’s wife, as she told me. Then she began about her troubles with her husband: he was a good man, but he would drink. She said, “I begin to think that Jim has religion, for