Indeed I did cause trouble! There wasn’t a man under much closer watch than I was twenty years ago. Just one incident will illustrate this and show what a change God brings about in a man’s life when he is soundly converted. It was in 1890 that a pal of mine and I were told of a place in Atlantic City where there was any amount of silverware, etc., in a wealthy man’s summer home, so we undertook to go there and see if we could get any of the good things that were in the house. We reached the city with our kit of tools, and my pal went and hid them a little way from the station, waiting till night, as we did not want to carry them around with us. Tom said, “Dan, I’m hungry; I’ll go and see what I can get in a bakery.” We were not very flush and could not afford anything great in the way of a dinner. Off he went, and I was to wait till he came back.
I sat down in the waiting-room, when a man came up and sat down beside me, giving me a good-day. “Nice weather,” said he. I said, “Yes.” Said he, “How’s little old New York?” “All right,” I answered. “Have you got your ticket back?” said he. I thought he was a little familiar, and I said, “It’s none of your business.” He was as cool as could be. “Oh, yes,” he said, “it is my business,” and turning the lapel of his coat he held a Pinkerton badge under my nose, at the same time saying, “The game’s called, and I know you. Where’s the tools?” I told him I did not have any. “The only thing that saves you,” said he. “Now you get out of here when that next train goes, or there will be a little trouble.” My pal came in at this time, and I winked at him to say nothing. He understood. We took that train all right, and lost our tools.
I never saw Atlantic City again until 1908, when I was asked to speak at the Y. M. C. A. I told this story in my talk. I’ve been back four times; I’ve been entertained at one of the best hotels there, the Chalfonte, for a week at a time. What a change! Twenty years ago, when I was in the Devil’s employ, run out of town; now, redeemed by God, an invited guest in that same place. See what God can do for a man!
It’s a hard thing to close this record of the grace of God in my life, for I feel as though I was leaving a lot of friends. If at any time you are on the Bowery—not down and out—and want to see me, why, call at No. 131, the Squirrel Inn Mission and Reading Room, and you’ll find a hearty welcome.
***End of the project gutenberg EBOOK Dave Ranney***
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