Dave Ranney eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about Dave Ranney.

I had quite a time with the money while it lasted, went out to the old Bowery Theatre, and had a good time in general.  I little thought then that in after years I would be sitting on the old Bowery steps, down and out, without a cent in my pocket and without a friend in the world.


I was a boy of fourteen at this time, working in a civil engineer’s office for three dollars per week, but I knew, young as I was, that as a profession engineering was not for me.  I knew that to take it up I needed a good education, and that I did not have.  I didn’t like the trade, anyway, and didn’t care whether I worked or not.  That is the reason I lost my job.

One afternoon my employer sent me up Newark Avenue for a suit of clothes that had been made to order.  He told me to get them and bring them back as soon as I could.  I must say right here that my employer was a good man, and he took quite a liking to me.  Many a time he told me he would make a great engineer out of me.  I often look back and ask myself the question, “Did I miss my vocation?” And then there comes a voice, which I recognize as God’s, saying, “You had to go through all this in order to help others with the same temptations and the same sins,” and I say, “Amen.”

After getting the clothes I went back to the building where I worked—­No. 9 Exchange Place, Jersey City—­and found the door locked.  I waited around for a while, for I thought my employer wanted his clothes or he would not have sent me for them.  Finally I got tired of waiting, and after trying the door once more and finding it still locked, I said to myself, “I’ll just put these clothes in the furniture store next door and I’ll get them to-morrow morning.”  I left them and told the man I would call for them in the morning, and started for home.

I was in bed dreaming of Indians and other things, when mother wakened me, shouting, “Where’s the man’s clothes?” I couldn’t make out at first what all the racket was about.  Then I heard men’s voices talking in the yard, and recognized Mr. M., my Sunday-school teacher, and my employer, the man that was going to make a great engineer out of me.  I went out on the porch and told him what I had done with the clothes, and he nearly collapsed.  He was very angry, and drove off, saying, “You come to the office and get what’s due you in the morning.”  I went the next morning, got my money, and bade him good-by.  That was the last of my becoming one of the great engineers of the day.

I was glad, and I went back to school determined to study real hard, and I did remain in school for a year.  Then the old craze for work came on me again.  Father had died in the meantime, and mother was left to do the best she could, and I got a job with the determination to be a help to her.


Project Gutenberg
Dave Ranney from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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