She wanted to see Jim, so we went round to where he was working. There he was up four stories laying front brick. I watched him, so did his wife. Finally I put my hands like a trumpet and called, “Hello, Jim!” Jim looked down, seeing me, and then looking at the woman and children a moment he dropped everything, and to watch that man come down that ladder was a sight. He rushed over, threw his arms around his wife, then took the little girls in his arm, and what joy there was! There was no more work that day.
Jim showed her the saloons he used to get drunk in, and he did not forget to show the place where he was converted, and on that very spot we all had a nice little prayer-meeting, and as a finale, Mrs. Jim took Jesus, saying, “If He did all that for Jim, I want Him too.”
They are back in Syracuse, living happily. Jim has a class of boys in the Sunday-school and is a deacon in the church. I had the pleasure of eating dinner in their home. I often get a letter from Jim, telling of God’s goodness. He says he will never forget the fight he made for the pants or his friend Danny Ranney.
[Illustration: One of Mr. RANNEY’S open-air meetings.]
The Bowery has always been a notorious thoroughfare. Twenty years ago there were few places in the world that for crime, vice and degradation could be compared with it. Many changes for the better have taken place in the last few years, however. Following the Lexow Commission investigation, scores of the worst haunts of wickedness were closed and vice became less conspicuous. The Bowery, however, still maintains its individuality as a breeding-place of crime. It is still the cesspool for all things bad. From all over the world they come to the Bowery. The lodging-houses give them cheap quarters, from 7 cents to 50 cents per night. These places shelter 30,000 to 40,000 men and boys nightly, to breathe a fetid and polluted air. Those who have not the price—and God knows they are many—homeless and weary, “about ready to die,” sleep in hallways, empty trucks, any place for a lie-down.