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´╗┐Title: Jimmie Moore of Bucktown
Author: Trotter, Melvin Earnest
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Jimmie Moore of Bucktown" ***

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Jimmie Moore _of_ Bucktown

By Melvin E. Trotter



Chicago

The Winona Publishing Company

MCMIV



Copyright, 1904

by

The Winona Publishing Company

_August._



Contents

    I. The Invasion Begun
   II. "Der Gang"
  III. "The Busted Funeral"
   IV. Jimmie's New Pa
    V. Mrs. Cook's "Opery"
   VI. Mrs. Cook's First Prayer
  VII. Floe
 VIII. Bill's Pension
   IX. "Auntie's Favorite Horse"
    X. Jimmie's Education
   XI. The Meeting in the Market
  XII. Fred Hanks
 XIII. "Fagin's Meetin'"
  XIV. Fred and Doc
   XV. The Picnic
  XVI. Dave Strikes His Gait



Jimmie Moore of Bucktown



CHAPTER I

_The Invasion Begun_


"Please kin yer tell me where is der boss of dis Mishun?"

The superintendent turned sharply about and beheld a boy of
singularly striking appearance. His stature was that of a child
of ten or twelve years and his face that of a worn-out, heart-broken,
disappointed old man. His eyes, set far back in his head under
heavy eyebrows, indicated an almost abnormal development of
the perceptive faculties. In other respects the contour of the
head was not remarkable; but the face was one, once seen, never
to be forgotten. The nose was pointed and pinched, the cheeks
hollow, and the glance of his eye at once appealing and defiant.
There could be no doubt that this boy was a bread winner, and
that the burdens he carried were altogether too heavy for such
young shoulders.

From the ragged cap which he turned nervously in his hands to
the large pair of sharp-pointed ladies' shoes on his feet, every
garment was a misfit. The loss of a button from the neckband
of his blouse-waist permitted it to gap wide open and disclosed
the fact that he wore no underclothing. The day was bitterly
cold; and the boy's shivery look showed how greatly he suffered.

As the superintendent took in all these facts he realized that,
despite his unseemly attire and generally distracted appearance,
the boy was by no means an ordinary character. Down deep in
the dark gray eyes that never wavered under his steady gaze
he saw the making of a man mighty for good or evil.

"I guess I'm the man you want," said Morton, kindly. "Come into
my office."

Leading the way, he was followed by the boy into a small private
office at the back end of the big mission hall. Offering the
lad a seat, he turned to his desk, on which stood two telephones.
In an instant that boy was again upon his feet. Looking with
wide-open eyes, he inquired, "Be yer goin' ter call der bull?
I ain't as't yer fur nuthin'. Me Pa said yer was a good guy
and wouldn't squeal. I mus' go."

Morton intercepted the boy at the door. But it was some time
before he could persuade him that it was not his intention to
turn him over to the police, "the bull," for begging.

"I want to help you," he said. "I'll be your friend, and I won't
squeal on you either."

"Well, be yer Mister Morton?" asked the boy.

"Yes, that's my name," replied the superintendent. "And now
I want you to tell me all about your trouble. Who sent you to
me?"

"Me Pa. He heard your talk on der gospel wagon down at der square.
He don't talk about nuthin' else and he wants yer ter come an'
see him."

"Is he sick?"

"Sure he's sick. He's been in bed ever since Wednesday. Ma says
he's outer his head. Tuesday night he didn't come home home
from work, and Ma says, 'I guess he's drunk ag'in.' We waited
fur him till eleven o'clock and den I couldn't stay awake no
longer. 'Sides, der wood was all burnt up and we had ter go
ter bed ter keep warm. At five in der mornin' Mike Hardy, der
bar-keep' at Fagin's, saw Pa layin' in Rice's wagon box, out
in front of der market. It snowed on Pa, and he was near frozed.
Mike calls Bill Cook and dey brings Pa home. Bill and Pa is
chums; an' Bill gets drunk, too. Ma says dey bot' works fur
Fagin. When dey gits paid dey take all der money straight to
Fagin's and spends it for booze."

"Well, what's your name and where do you live?" interrupted
Morton.

"Me name's Jimmie Moore, and we live down in Bucktown near der
market."

"Go on with your story, sonny," said Morton.

"After dey got him in der house Ma and Bill gits his clothes
off and Bill goes and gets some wood and built a fire. I carried
me mornin' papers, and when I gits back I stayed wit' Pa while
Ma went ter Ransome's house up on der Avenue to do deir washin'.
Pa he slept all day till four in the afternoon, and den he raised
up straight in bed and, lookin' at somethin' in der corner of
der room, said, 'Can't yer see me hand? I raised it twice. Why
don't yer come and git me?' I couldn't see nuthin', but he keeps
on talkin' dat way fur a long time. Den he laid down again and
cried and said he wanted der mishun man ter come and see him.
When Ma gits back she sent me to der barber shop to git Fred
Hanks ter telerphone ter Dr. Possum. He's der city doctor. He
looked at Pa and said he had ammonia. Den Ma she cried, 'cause
she had no money ter git supper for us kids and fer the doctor's
paper, too."

"Pretty soon Mrs. Cook, that's Bill's missus, comes in and she
said she'd help take care of Pa. The neighbors done all dey
could, but we ain't got no money, er no wood, and der rent ain't
paid. We ain't had no fire since yisterday, and dis' mornin'
Ma sits down and cries 'cause der's nothin' for der kids ter
eat. Her and me don't mind, but we got four girl kids that's
hungry all der time. Pa set up in bed and said, 'Go to der mishun
man and tell him I mus' see him.' Ma sent me up ter see if yer
won't come down ter see Pa."

Finding a knitted scarf for the boy to tie about his neck, the
superintendent and Jimmie started for the sick man's bedside.
The section of the city where the Moore family lived, locally
known as Bucktown, contained the only real slums to be found
in the busy and rapidly growing metropolis. It was located on
a low tract of ground between the city market and the river,
and was inhabited chiefly by negroes and very poor white people.

On the way Jimmie continued his story, and the superintendent
tried to tell him about the Father above who loves the poor
and who sent His Son to die that all the world might live and
have access to the unsearchable riches of God. "The only help
that is sure and lasting," he said, "comes from God. He can
find a way out of your trouble for you."

"I don't see how He kin help us," replied the boy. "They won't
give us no help at der city hall, 'cause we ain't been here
long enough. We ain't no city case er nothin' else, I guess.
The man said he would put us kids in der Children's Home and
Pa in der poorhouse, er send us all back ter Dalton. Ma said
she'd die widout us kids."

When the boy stopped talking Morton took him by the hand and
told him about the Jesus who loves little boys and their fathers
and mothers, and how He would do all things for them. "If you
believe in Him," said the superintendent, "you can ask for anything
in His name and get it."

"Where is Jesus?" asked Jimmie.

"He's right here now," replied Morton. "You can't see Him, but
He's always with us to watch over us and care for us."

This was a stunner for Jimmie. For a full minute he looked straight
ahead of him, as if in deep thought, and then raising his eyes
until they met Morton's, said: "Watcher givin' us, Cully? Do
yer tink I am bug-house?"

"No, I don't think you're crazy, but what I have said is true,
Jimmie. You can't see the wind, but you know there is wind because
you feel it. I cannot see Jesus with my natural eye, but I know
He is here, just as well as you know that the wind is blowing.
I trust Him for everything, and He supplies all my needs. I
have loved Him and He has kept me for seven years. I never help
any one myself; I do it for Him. He gives me the love and the
money, and if I help you, you must thank Him and not me."

"Maybe He loves good boys; but I'm no good, ner never was. He
can't love no kid like me, kin he?"

"Yes, my boy, just as much as He does me."

"Den He don't know me, for everybody dat knows me says I'm bad.
Me Ma, even she says so. I guess He don't love no one in Bucktown."

"Yes, He loves every one in Bucktown, and He will care for you
all if you will trust Him and ask Him for what you need."

"Kin I ask Him fur somethin' ter eat."

"Yes, you can, and you'll get it too. But you must love Him
and thank Him for what you get."

Jimmie looked up to see if Morton really meant what he was saying.
When he saw the look of intense earnestness on the superintendent's
face he knew that he was not deceiving him.

"I hope He'll help Pa," said Jimmie thoughtfully. "I guess he
needs it mor'n der rest of us do."

"If your Pa will tell God what a sinner he has been and will
ask Him for forgiveness, He will help him. God is a friend of
sinners, Jimmie."

"This is where we live," said the boy, turning to go into a
miserable shack.

The house was one of the most disreputable looking places in
the neighborhood. It consisted of a lean-to portion of a house
from which the original building had been moved away. There
was no wall beneath; the building stood on four posts, one at
each corner, and open on all sides, the wind having a clean
sweep beneath the floor in every direction. Within there were
two rooms. In the front one was a bed upon which the sick man
lay, an old table, two chairs and a box to sit on. In the next
room an old wood-burning cook-stove, a big box for table and
cupboard combined, and a broken mirror constituted its complete
furnishing. The roof leaked, and most of the spaces in the window
sashes were filled with rags and paper instead of glass.

A baby of six months, lying in a market basket, was being pulled
about the room by an older sister. When Morton entered, two
other girls, older than the baby, one two, the other past three
years of age, darted under the bed and peeked from beneath the
ragged comfort hanging over the edge.

"Dis is Mister Morton from der Mission," said Jimmie proudly,
still clasping the hand of the superintendent, "and he says
dat Jesus loves every bloomin' one of us, and'll be our friend
and owns the whole business. If we lives fur Him, He lives fur
us, and--and--"

"You shut up, Jim," said his mother, as with her apron she wiped
the dirt off the seat of the nearest chair.

"Sit down, Mister Morton," she said. "Glad to see you. We ain't
got much of a place here; but Robert wanted to see you so bad,
I sent Jimmie up to the Mission to bring you."

After greeting the little ones, Morton went to the bed and spoke
to Mr. Moore. He was sick indeed; and the superintendent knew
that he was facing a man who would never stand upon his feet
again.

"Oh, sir," said the sick man, "I'm dying, and I'm not saved.
I know I'm not fit to go, and I don't know the way to git fit.
I heard you talk on the gospel wagon and I've tried to find
God by myself, but I don't seem to get any answer to my prayers.
Back in Pennsylvania, at a meeting in our little country schoolhouse,
I promised God I would live for Him, but after we was married
I came out West, and settled in this country where it was wild.
Maybe you know how it is. I learned to drink, and that has spoiled
all my chances. Since I've been sick here I've seen it all over
again, and I want God to save me before I die. I know I've been
awful wicked, but I heard you say God loved everybody; now I
want you to pray for me."

Moore broke into tears as he thought of his awful sin, and he
was weeping bitterly. The superintendent read the third chapter
of John slowly and with emphasis, and told of the marvelous
love of God that makes the way for the salvation of even the
most unworthy. The man said he was ready to give up, but wanted
first to confess his wickedness. The story of his life was one
of toil and privation. He had learned to drink after he became
a man and had a family. From that time on his descent was rapid.
He made no attempt to shield himself, but laid bare before the
superintendent and before his own family all the secrets of
his sinful career. He left his home at Dalton to escape arrest,
and when times got hard in the city he feared to go back to
his old home on account of the possible consequences of his
sin.

When he had finished, the superintendent pointed him to the
One who alone could help him. The sick man said he would believe
and trust God. That little gathering, with the prayers that
followed, was an experience that Morton will remember as one
of the events of his life. The wife also expressed a desire
to know the Saviour, and both prayed for forgiveness.

There was a joy there that seemed to fill the old shed with
the glory of God. Moore's eyes beamed with love, and the whole
family seemed to rejoice in the peace that had come to him on
his sick bed. Then the superintendent sung a hymn, and little
Jimmie, standing close by his side, grasped his hand, and, looking
up into his face, said, "If Jesus will love me I'll love Him
and be his boy." Morton took him to the grocery and market.
When he left him on the corner, with a basket well filled with
good things to eat, he said, "Now, Jimmie, I'll see you in the
morning. You tell your Ma and every one that Jesus is your friend
and sent you this basket."

"I'll do it, yer bet; and I'll tank Him for dis lot of stuff.
Gee! We'll eat till we bust!"



CHAPTER II

_"Der Gang"_


Socially and terrestrially Bucktown was situated beside a river.
Once a year, when the spring freshet caused the Big Grandee
to overflow its banks, the whole tract was inundated. At such
times most of the people were compelled to leave their homes
and find temporary quarters elsewhere. Along the Market side
of the district the ground was a trifle higher, and here a few
houses were beyond the reach of the floods. One of these was
the shack in which the Moore family lived. Other near-by sections
of the city had been filled in to raise them above the level
of the high water mark, but Bucktown remained as it was in the
beginning.

Its houses were the oldest in the city, and some of them in
their day had been the residences of the best citizens. Some
were first erected where they now continued to stand; but many
others had been moved to make room for the rapidly growing business
district, and had been set down here because land was cheap
and nowhere else would such worn-out, dilapidated structures
find tenants.

Unlike the slums of larger and older cities, Bucktown was largely
peopled by men and women who, like its houses, had come from
happier and more elegant surroundings. Few of its older inhabitants
were born in the slums, and among its people were to be found
many whose careers in life were begun under really favorable
circumstances; but, like driftwood, they had been crowded out
of the busy stream of human effort into this pool of stagnant
humanity. In this way the neighborhood had become the dumping
ground for everything that was undesirable in a population of
more than one hundred thousand souls.

Stall saloons and houses of ill-fame were numerous, and sin
and wickedness stalked forth in open daylight with a boldness
that knew no hindrance. One-third of the population was colored,
and the whites were made up of almost every known nationality.
No effort was made to draw the color line. Negroes and whites
lived in the same or adjoining houses, and in some families
the husband was of one color and the wife of another.

The second house from the Moore home was the celebrated "Dolly"
resort, known everywhere as the most dangerous place of the
kind in the city. It was luxuriously furnished and was famous
for its pretty girls and its dances.

In an old shanty back of Moore's home lived "Yellow Liz," or
"Big Liz," a monstrously hideous woman who had once been the
wife of Abe Tobey, now doing a long term in State's Prison for
murderous assault. "Big Liz" had a wart as large as an acorn
in the middle of her forehead and wooly red and black whiskers
on her chin and lower jaw. She was recognized as one of the
features of the neighborhood, and slumming parties from "uptown"
never failed to visit her domicile.

Another house close by had been the home of Tom Beet, who murdered
his wife by saturating her clothing with kerosene oil and setting
fire to her body while she lay in a drunken stupor on the bedroom
floor.

There was no high-toned moral element in the slums. Nobody made
any pretense of being good. Every man, woman and child in the
community knew that he was a sinner and recognized the fact
that other people knew it too. "Oily Ike" Palmer, whose junk
shop was the resort of thieves, and who acted in the capacity
of a "fence" for all of them, together with Dave Beach, the
horse trader and political boss of the ward, were the heroes
of the community. "Oily Ike" was known to the police as a criminal,
but although many offenses had been traced to his door, the
evidence necessary to place him behind the bars was always lacking
and he had never been convicted of a crime. He was also an opium
eater and a drunkard, while it was said he had once held an
honorable position in society. His vices had been the cause
of his downfall, and at the time Superintendent Morton of the
City Rescue Mission made his acquaintance he was a crafty,
unscrupulous rascal, with the qualities of a beast of prey rather
than those of a man.

Beach, the horse trader, sometimes called the "Mayor of Bucktown,"
was proprietor of a "Traders'" barn, a once prosperous livery
stable on Brady Street. His place was a "growler joint," and
was frequented by all the toughs and criminals in the neighborhood.
In his own way, Dave was an autocrat of no mean power. When
he O.K.'d a man, that man stood ace high; but when he said
"Jiggers," everybody shut up like a clam. Beach was a bad man;
but he had brains, and everybody paid court at his throne. It
was said he could deliver the vote of Bucktown intact at election
time, and there could be no doubt of the effectiveness of his
pull with the authorities. He could drink more whisky, and stay
sober, than any man in the community. If any one could whip
him in a rough and tumble fight, the fact had not been demonstrated;
and no one seemed anxious to establish it.

Gene Dibble, a good-natured, big-hearted fellow, worked in the
North Woods in the winter, but came to Bucktown every spring
to spend his money. He was a fine singer, and could dance the
Buck-and-wing, Turkey-in-the-Straw and the Rag like few men.
He was a favorite in Bucktown, and a warm friend of Dave Beach.

When it was noised about that Moore had sent for the "Mission
Guy," as Morton was known in Bucktown, most of the neighbors
waited for Beach to speak before they expressed any opinion.
People had been sick and died before; but none had ever been
so bold as to send for the mission man, and though they said
nothing, some of Moore's best friends thought he must be out
of his head.

The day following Morton's visit to the sick man little Jimmie
stopped at Dave's barn and told a crowd of fellows who were
present what had happened.

"Der main squeeze of der Rescue Mission was down ter our house
last night, and he tol' Pa dat Jesus loves us and will give
us anyting we wants. De doc says Pa is goin' ter die; but Pa
tol' de Mission Guy he believed and now he's saved. He ain't
goin' ter drink no more booze er nuthin'. We all belongs ter
Jesus now, and He's goin' ter take care of us. Yer kin as't
Him fer anyting yer wants, and if yer love Him and confesses
Him you'll git it. Dat's wat der Mission Guy tol' Pa."

Although a favorite with the crowd that hung around the barn,
Jimmie's little speech provoked a derisive laugh, and, catching
the boy by the coat collar, Jewey Martin, an ex-convict, started
to fire him out of the door with the advice to "chase himself."
Before he had taken three steps Dave Beach had his great fist
about Jewey's throat and had shoved him back into a corner.

"You let the kid alone. He's all right and knows what he's talking
about. If you was more like that boy, mebbe you'd git to heaven
sometime. You don't have to believe what he says if you don't
want to, but you want to recollect what I tell you, that you
better let him alone around here."

Some religious apologists might question the conversion of a
boy of Jimmie's make-up; but among the people of Bucktown there
was no doubt about his sincerity and his belief that Jesus loved
him and heard and answered his prayers. With Dave Beach back
of him he did not hesitate to repeat his story, and it was not
long before every one about the market place had heard the tale
from his lips.

As Morton would not allow Jimmie to thank him, but taught him
that he must thank God for everything, he learned to call Morton
"Jesus' storekeeper," and "Jesus' hired man"; and he sang his
praises from daylight until dark. In this way he helped Morton
to gain a foothold in the neighborhood, and when the people
found that he wanted to help them rather than to pry into their
affairs he was made welcome when he visited Bucktown.

Jimmie had never learned to read; but one day he told Morton
he wanted a little red Testament, such as the superintendent
had given his father.

"You jus' tell me some of dem verses like I heard yer read to
Pa an' gimme der book, an' I can make a bluff at readin' 'em
anyhow."

Using colored inks, Morton marked John 3:16, John 10:28, and
other well-known texts. He also explained their meaning to the
boy. "Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find," and
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these,"
were Jimmie's favorites, and although he quoted them in language
all his own, he never failed to convey their full meaning.

The days that followed Moore's conversion were trying ones for
the family. When the fever broke the sick man's cough grew worse,
and he required constant attention. Through the Mission, Mrs.
Moore found work enough to keep her busy six days in the week,
and the task of caring for the sick man fell upon Jimmie and
Mrs. Cook, who proved to be a woman of generous impulses and
an excellent neighbor. She ran in many times a day to see how
they were getting along. Jimmie had a morning newspaper route
and in the afternoon sold papers on the street. At other times
he stayed close at home and never tired of talking with his
father about Jesus and His love for wicked men and women.

His childlike faith in God was wonderful. He was quick to learn
and often surprised Morton by his aptitude; but his chief
characteristic was his almost phenomenal grasp of spiritual
truths. He prayed to God for food, coal, wood and clothes; and
when he had told Jesus what he wanted he always counted it settled.

Mrs. Morton, wife of the superintendent, was a frequent visitor
at the home, and brought many things to make the bed more
comfortable and the two rooms more cheerful for the sick man.
No matter what the articles might be, Jimmie always said, "Jesus
sent 'em."

On one occasion, when the Mission woman had gone, Mrs. Cook,
who was present, turned to Jimmie and said, "I sh'd think you'd
thank her for all she's doin' for you folks. She's the best
friend yer ever had, and I'll bet none of yer ever even said
'Much erblidged.'"

"We don't have ter tank her," said Jimmie. "Jesus is der one
we're ter tank. Everyting belongs ter Him, and I'm His'n, too.
When we needs anyting we jus' tells Him an' He sends it."

"Well, she's the one who brought that flour this morning, fer
I seen her come," said Mrs. Cook, "and none of you thanked her
at all."

"Aw, yer go on," replied the boy. "Yer don't know wot you're
talkin' about. Dis ain't no graft dat we's a-workin'. Jesus
is our friend an' He loves us; dat's why He takes care of us.
He'd love yer, too, if you'd let Him, but when yer takes Him
for your friend yer got to cut out dose cuss words an' de growler,
too. Dat's wat me an' Pa has done, and we belongs to Jesus now.
'Twouldn't be de square ting by Him for us ter tank anybody
else, and we ain't afeard but wat He'll give us all we needs."

As for Moore, while he never doubted his salvation, there were
times when he was despondent and gloomy. The memory of his misspent
life and the consciousness that he had nearly reached the end
lay heavily upon his mind, and, left alone as he was for hours
at a time, with no one but Jimmie and the other children in
the house, he brooded upon his troubles until he grew very
miserable. At such times it was interesting to hear Jimmie hold
up Jesus and preach the gospel of love as his juvenile mind
comprehended it.

"Pa, yer act jus' as though Jesus didn't love yer," he said
one afternoon, when the superintendent's wife was present. "He
knows yer coughin' spells hurt yer, and He'll help yer to stan'
'em, 'cause He was hurted once Hisself. Ain't He takin' care
of us, and didn't He send der Mission Guy ter help us? Yer ain't
got no right ter worry; just look how good He's been ter all
of us."

One morning when Dr. Snyder, who had been called in on the advice
of the Cook family, came to see the sick man, Moore anxiously
inquired if there was no chance of his recovery. While he was
conceded to be an able man in his profession, the doctor, himself
a drinking man, was sometimes rough and heartless in his manner,
and, replying to the question, said:

"Well, if you've got any unfinished business on hand you better
call a special session and close it up. You'll be pushing clouds
within a week."

"Do you mean he's goin' ter die?" asked Jimmie, whose quick
ears had caught the remark.

"That's just the plain English of it, my boy," replied the doctor.
"The old man's a goner, and no doctor on earth can save him."

"Well, he'll go straight ter Jesus," said Jimmie, "'cause he
got saved las' Friday. Gran'ma and Gran'pa er up dar, and Pa
an' Ma an' the rest of us is all a-goin'."

"What's the matter with the kid, Moore?" asked the doctor. "Has
he gone daffy?"

"No, Doc, the boy's all right. Leastwise if he's daffy, as you
call it, I wish to God we'd all got that way long ago. Then
we wouldn't be in the condition you find us to-day. Say, Doc,
don't you ever expect to be a Christian? If you were in my place
you'd see what it means to face death without God."

"Gee, you're good!" said the physician. "The way you talked
to Gene Dibble when I sewed up your head after the fight didn't
sound much like a prayer to me. You want to get forgiven here
before you ask God to do anything for you there. Now, kid, you'd
better forget about this religion and tend to the old man. Give
him his medicine every hour, and I'll be in again to-morrow.
Good-bye."

He slammed the door, and Jimmie sat for a moment in deep thought.
Then he turned to his father and said: "Pa, Gene'll forgive
yer if yer ast him. I'll go over ter Fagin's and if he ain't
dere I'll tell Mike ter send him over wen he comes in."

"How's the old man, Jimmie?" asked Fagin as the boy entered
the saloon.

"Doc says he's dyin'. Is Gene Dibble here? Wish't you'd tell
him Pa wants ter see him," said the boy as he turned to go.

"Wait a minute, Jimmie; I want to send a little medicine to
your father."

He took a bottle from the back bar and began to wrap it up in
a scrap of old newspaper. "This is about all the poor devil
lived for," he said to himself, "and he ought to have a taste
now that he's dyin'."

"Is dat booze?" asked Jimmie.

"It's just a nip for the old man. It's his favorite brand,"
said Fagin.

"Not his'n; he's got saved an' don't need it in his business,"
replied the boy, starting for the door.

"Come here, you little fool, and take this bottle to your dad
with my compliments," said the saloon-man in anger.

"It's your compliments wat's ailin' him now," answered Jimmie.
"Yer got his nine dollars last Tuesday night, and now he's dyin'.
I seen yer Ralph goin' ter school wid new shoes and rubbers
dis mornin', an' I'm wearin' yer compliments," said the boy,
holding up one of his feet encased in a worn-out lady's shoe.
"I promised Pa dat I'd take care of Ma an' der kids, and we
don't need no booze ter help us, not us."

Jimmie ducked and dodged out of the door just in time to escape
a soaking wet bar towel the saloon-man had thrown at him, and
at a single bound jumped to the middle of the sidewalk just
in time to collide with Bill Cook.

"Hello Bill," he said. "Why ain't yer workin'? Drunk agin? Gee!
you'll be seein' 'em agin. Der las' time yer was crazier den
a bed bug."

"You be d----!" said Bill. "Guess I'm all right. Only had three
drinks. You's is gittin' too good for this neck o' woods. Yer
orter move up on der boulevard amongst der bloods."

"Don't Ma do washin' up dere now, smarty? We got friends up
dere; see? Why don't yer come over an' see Pa? He's dyin'."

"Go on!" said Bill. "Ye don't mean it! Kin I see him?"

"Sure, come on."

Bill staggered into Fagin's and took two more big drinks and
then followed Jimmie across the street. He was badly intoxicated,
but the sight of Moore's pinched features and fever-lighted
eyes nearly brought him to his sober senses.

Bill was rough and wicked; but his heart within was almost as
tender as a babe's. Drink was his worst trouble, and when he
was sober he was rather a decent sort of fellow. His effort
to appear at ease and say something encouraging to Moore was
painful. He stammered and hawed and finally said, "It's all
off, Bob; I can't make no speech. Let 'er go t' 'ell."

He pulled up the box, sat down at the bedside and began to cry.
The sick man stretched forth his emaciated hand, and, placing
it on Bill's head, said:

"Never mind, old man, I know what yer mean. You're my friend
all right; but you can't say nuthin' that will help me now.
I guess I must cash in pretty soon; but I ain't no coward, Bill;
I've just been prayin' and everything is all right 'tween me
and God. I don't know what'll become of the old woman and the
kids, but I guess He'll take care of them. Maybe they will be
better off when I'm gone than when I'm here. I'll tell you,
Bill, booze don't get yer much when the doctor says you're up.
I wish I'd cut 'er out the first time we saw the gospel wagon
down on the square. The Mission man was here just a little while
ago, an' he says he will help Jimmie take care of Ma and the
kids. He says Jesus loves me, and when he prayed I put in too
and says, 'I'm ready, Lord.'"

Moore's effort to talk exhausted his strength and brought on
a sinking spell. He gasped and coughed and grasped his throat
as though he was strangling. Bill thought he was dying, and
grabbing his hat started for the door, telling Jimmie to stay
there while he brought the doctor. The scene had been too much
for his shattered nerves, and, reaching the middle of the
sidewalk, he stood and yelled at the top of his voice:

"Moore's dyin'! Moore's dyin'! Git the doctor and the undertaker
and der Mission man, quick! Moore's dyin'! Moore's dyin'!"



CHAPTER III

_"The Busted Funeral"_


The commotion that followed made dying a hard matter for Moore.
When the doctor and Mrs. Moore reached the house it took them
ten minutes, with the help of Dave Beach, to clear the room
of the people. When Mr. and Mrs. Morton came, quiet had been
restored on the inside, but on the street and at Fagin's they
were talking about the funeral expenses, etc., before they had
a corpse. In this neighborhood a funeral was looked upon as
something of a party or social function, not to be missed. Every
one turned out, never failing to dress for the occasion. Mrs.
Rose, Mrs. Kinney and Mrs. Washington (colored) were easily
in the lead when it came to professional mourners. As Dave Beach
said one time, they "could cry real tears at a moment's notice,
and keep it up as long as the water lasted and occasion demanded."
When Charlie Slater was drowned in the Slough they cried for
three days with Mrs. Slater, never going home for meals. Both
they and their children put black crape on their arms and lived
and cried with Mrs. Slater until Charlie was found. Mrs. Rose
kept the crape, and after a funeral would wash and iron it and
put it in the "burer" drawer until some one else died. When
she heard Bill's cry, she came running with a piece tied on
each arm and at least twenty pieces in her hand to supply the
neighbors. That she considered her first and solemn duty. Inside
of five minutes after Bill yelled and gave the alarm, every
one of the regulars was decorated for action.

Bill went to Fagin's and got three big drinks without money,
on the strength of Moore's death. He went into the back room,
buried his face in his hands and began to weep. He was honest
in his weeping, but he had too many drinks aboard and his snores
soon told their own story. Bill's cry of "Moore's dyin'!" was
soon turned to "Moore's dead; Bill says so." Of course Bill
knew nothing of the disturbance he had created, and slept
peacefully on in Fagin's back room. In the meantime Mrs. Cook
was trying to "square" Bill with the neighbors. After the mistake
was discovered every one blamed Bill that Moore was alive. Bill
and his wife would fight with each other almost daily. Bill
would swear that he had not tasted a drop when he was so drunk
he could scarcely see. He contended that he was never drunk
so long as he was sober enough to deny it. Mrs. Cook was possessed
of an uncontrollable temper, and when she became angry--and
she always did when Bill lied to her--she would completely lose
control of herself. As Jimmie said one day:

"Gee, der old girl'll bounce irons er any old thing she can
git her mitts on when she's sore. Her nose and her chin comes
together so fast when she talks dat she's got corns on both
of 'em."

She washed and worked until three or four o'clock in the morning
to care for her children, and would do anything she could for
any one, but when she got "sore," as Jimmie said, every one
gave her the right of way. "She calls Bill every name on der
calendar, but when it comes ter any one else saying a word about
him, she won't stand fer it."

"If Bill said that Bob Moore's dead, he's dead, er soon will
be," she said. "He knows a dead one when he sees it. It's a
sure thing anyhow, and what difference does an hour or two make?
The doctor says he's done fer anyhow."

As Mr. Morton left the house after Moore's death, he led Jimmie
by the hand. The little fellow had made some big promises for
one so small and frail, but he said God could and would help
him. He knew that he could do no more window work for Jewey
and his gang, neither could he work the depot crowds on Sunday
excursion trains with Fred Hood. As he passed Mrs. Cook he simply
said, "He's dead." Before leaving the house Morton had promised
Mrs. Moore to help her hold her family together and not allow
them to be sent to the Children's Home. Perhaps the promise
was not a wise one, but it is hard to refuse a mother such a
request in the presence of her dead husband. To raise girls
in Bucktown and have them turn out right would be the eighth
wonder of the world. The Children's Home would be much the best
place for them; but the mother heart revolts at separation.

"We must pray for money to pay your father's funeral expenses,
Jimmie," said Morton. Not knowing whence any of it was coming,
but believing that He would provide, they went to the undertaker
and made arrangements for the funeral. The next day being Sunday,
Morton spoke in one of the big down-town churches, and at the
close of his talk on "City Missions" he stated to that fashionable
audience just what was needed in the Moore household. After
the meeting enough money was placed in his hand to pay for one-half
of the entire expense. The next day was a busy one at the Mission.
To get clothes for all the children and to keep them clean enough
to go to the funeral at two o'clock was no easy matter. The
clothes room in the City Rescue Mission is a room where old
clothes sent in by well-to-do people are kept for the poor,
and hundreds of the less fortunate are cared for every year.
Three nurses from the hospital helped Mrs. Morton with the work.
With a tub of hot water, ivory soap and sapolio the scrubbing
started. They polished their faces until Jimmie said, "They
shine like a nigger's heel." The dressing was the hard part.
A blue skirt to fit the oldest girl could only be matched in
size by a bright green waist, and by her own choice a red ribbon
for a belt, with yellow ribbons for her stiff "pig-tails." Mrs.
Cook said "she looked like the pattern in a false-face factory."
Cast-off shoes were secured for all but Jimmie, and Mr. Morton
was compelled to take him to a shoe store and buy him his first
pair of new shoes. He had always worn shoes that some one else
had discarded. He could not keep his eyes off them as he walked
along the street. His warm underclothing and suit from some
rich boy's wardrobe, with new shoes, all in one day, was more
than he could stand. He was spotted by one of his friends who
was yelling, "Extra Press; read all about it!" Mr. Morton and
Jimmie came along and to them he said, "Paper, Mister?"

Jimmie raised his eyes from his shoes long enough to say, "Hello,
Swipsey! How'd yer like 'em?"

"Where'd yer git 'em?" asked Swipsey.

"Git 'em? I got 'em, ain't I? How'd yer like 'em?"

"Dead swell. Do I git yer old ones?"

"Ain't got no old ones; I give 'em ter the shoe store man. We
got a funeral at our house ter-day. Me Pa's died."

As Morton and a quartet reached the house with the children
a wonderful gathering was there to greet them. The old bed had
been taken down; the casket had been placed between the two
windows. Folding chairs, furnished by the undertaker, were placed
in rows before the casket. They were nearly filled by the friends
and mourners. Bill Cook sat close by the door, so that he might
be free to spit without getting up. "Big Liz" sat next to him,
smoking her pipe, but at the sight of Morton she put it under
her old apron. Several of the girls from the Dolly resort were
there to pay their respects. All the neighbors were there, either
in person or by proxy. As the quartet started to sing the old
song, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," every one seemed to take it
as a signal to cry. No one seemed to know why they cried; but
all did their part in making the funeral a "howling success,"
as Mrs. Rose said. Before the song was ended "Big Liz" was weeping
louder than all the four singers could sing. Morton knew that
he must have a brief service, and after a short prayer and
Scripture reading he spoke words of comfort to the family and
told of Moore's wonderful conversion. As he pictured the glories
of heaven that await the redeemed and contrasted them with the
awful condition of the unrepentant in sin and hell, every one
trembled. Morton was very anxious to bring the people to a
decision, and felt that the time had come for a final invitation.
Bill Cook's eyes were fastened on Morton and, as he spoke of
hell and judgment, he was sure it was all intended for him.
"Big Liz" had forgotten the pipe in her lap. It had fallen over
and the contents had set her dress on fire. The smell of smoke
caused by the burning of cotton, wool, and dirt together did
not make a pleasing accompaniment for Morton's words. When the
smell reached Bill, he leaped into the middle of the room and
shouted, "Hell's here now!" Just at that moment "Big Liz" felt
the heat from the fire, and she jumped to Bill's side and said,
"Yer right, honey, and I'm sure in it." Morton saw what was
causing the trouble, and with the help of the undertaker succeeded
in getting Liz out upon the street. He called Bill and told
him to help her put out the fire. Bill was very much excited,
and he took Liz by the hand and started for the big watering
trough at the corner of the market. When he reached it he pushed
her into the water backward. "That busted up der funeral," as
Jimmie said. Such screaming had never been heard in Bucktown.
When she at last managed to get out of the icy water she started
for Bill, determined to kill him. Dave Beach headed him away
from Moore's funeral and gave Morton a chance to close with
a feeble prayer. The chance that he had prayed for so long,
to reach the people of Bucktown with the gospel, had come and
he had lost. He was heart-broken and felt the disappointment
keenly. Jimmie was quick to see it and, as the people viewed
the remains, he slipped up to Morton, and, pressing his hand,
said, "Don't yer care, we'll git 'em all yet."



CHAPTER IV

_Jimmie's New Pa_


Jasper, the reporter on the Press, knew a good story when he
had found one. A quiet visit to the Moore domicile the next
afternoon, a brief call at Bill Cook's, and a few liberal potations
at Fagin's, were responsible for the write-up which appeared
in the evening Press. The pathetic story of sickness, death
and privation appealed in a powerful manner to the community.
Many well-meaning people flooded the place with provisions and
a miscellaneous assortment of wearing apparel, running from
silk dresses and opera cloaks to cotton jumpers and soleless
patent leathers. As is the case generally, this kind of charity
did much more harm than good. For a week they had provision
enough to feed every man, woman and child in Bucktown. Mrs.
Moore thought it would always be so. She gave up her work and
said "she would do nothin' fer nobody."

Five days after the funeral Jimmie rushed into Morton's office
at the Mission and said, "Say, I got er new Pa at my house."

"A new what?" asked Morton in surprise.

"A new Pa," said Jimmie. "Me Ma says that Charlie Hathnit would
be me Pa from now on; he's been livin' with us fer two days
now."

Morton was dumfounded. He sat looking at Jimmie a moment; then
he said, "Jimmie, this is all wrong. God cannot bless your home
with that man there." Morton, reaching out, drew Jimmie to his
side and continued, "You promised your father you would run
the house and help your mother to care for the family."

The diminutive figure of Jimmie suddenly straightened and seemed
to increase an inch in height as he answered, looking Morton
straight in the eyes, "So I did, and I meant it, too."

Then said Morton, "You must not allow that loafer there at all."

A moment later Jimmie was at the door. "Where are you going?"
inquired Morton.

"I'm going home ter clean house," said Jimmie, as he dashed
down Brady Street. As he entered the house a few minutes later
he was not the little Jimmie of an hour before. Almost unconsciously
there had been born within him a stern resolve to right wrong;
an invisible line had been passed; dependent childhood seemed
to fade away and in its place came manhood; he stood there another
recruit to the great army of child heroes, the great army of
those who are forced to face the stern realities of life. As
he looked up into his mother's face the little tempest which
had gathered within him for a moment was calmed; he caught her
hand in both of his, pressing it against his cheek, an old habit
of his when he had sought to comfort his mother or to express
some emotion when lips would fail.

"What the h--l ails the kid?" snarled Hathnit.

Jimmie, realizing that there was stern business at hand, and
ashamed of his momentary emotion, replied:

"Jus' dis: I got somethin' ter ast yer; what are yer doin' in
our house anyhow?"

"Hush, Jimmie," interposed Mrs. Moore. "Yer mind yer business."

"That's jus' what I'm doin', Ma. I seen Morton, an' he says
it's all wrong fer yer ter keep this piker here, and yer know
I promised Pa der night Jesus took him up dare----"

A curse followed from Hathnit which was so awful that it would
have shaken anything but Jimmie's determination. "Go an' tell
dis Bible-banging Morton to keep his d---- advice to himself.
I'm a peaceable man, but if I mix with this Mission galoot he'll
cut out givin' his advice to you kids. As fer you, you better
duck till you git this nonsense out of yer head." Hathnit strolled
to the door and opened it, and Jimmie was compelled for the
time being to leave the house.

"It's no more than I expected," said Mrs. Cook to Jimmie as
he related the events of the morning. "When I heard Hathnit
was a-livin' ter yer house, I jus' told Bill that no good would
come from it. Poor Jimmie, you jus' wait till I git these here
clothes out of this here bluing water; I'll go over wid yer
to see what can be did."

Soon the last towel was through the wringer, and Mrs. Cook,
hastily drying her hands on her apron, accompanied Jimmie to
his home. The conference that ensued was not productive of any
good. Hathnit was a man devoid of all manly principles, lazy
to the limit, ill-bred, ill-kept, illiterate, but still possessing
one noticeable characteristic--a keenness which cannot be
overlooked in men of his ilk.

Mrs. Cook came to the point at once. "Mis Moore," she said,
"yer boy Jim tells me you've took Hathnit here for yer man."

"Right yer be," replied Hathnit. "Yer needn't guess again."

"But yer ain't married yet," said Mrs. Cook.

"Well, yer see it's dis way," proceeded Hathnit. "She said she
wanted me and I said I wanted her, so that's ernough. It used
ter be the style ter go before the Justice with your dollar
and a quarter paper and git tied, but that's a dead one now."

"Well, where's Mollie? She's yer wife, ain't she?" asked Mrs.
Cook.

"Naw, Tom Ellen's got her now; he took her while I was doing
a two-year contract fer the State."

"But it's wrong," burst out Jimmie. "Mr. Morton says so."

"To h--l with Morton!" said Hathnit. "Now look here, the high-tone
guys do that right along, only they spends their good money
fer lawyer's licenses and divorce cases. I found this mornin's
Herald at the depot, and it says there was six marriage licenses
and eight divorces granted in this town yisterday. Fer every
five marriages in dis whole State last year there was one divorce.
Der people gits married ter-day with the understanding that
if they don't like each other they can get a divorce. If that's
all marriage amounts to--and it is--I think a man's a blooming
sucker ter blow his good money to der lawyers. In dis town a
dozen lawyers lives on divorce money alone. Society, so-called,
says it's right, and when they gits up deir dancin' parties
they have ter git an expert to keep from invitin' hubbie number
one, two and three at the same time. If the bloods kin have
two or three wives by payin' some cheap lawyer their good dough,
I can have two or three an' save my money fer weddin' celebrations.
The women all over the country went wild about Smoot and Polly
Gamy."

"Yer means Pollie Gainey, that lived over Fagin's last year,
don't yer?" asked Mrs. Cook.

"Naw, I means jus' what I said; Polly Gamy means yer can have
all kinds of wives," said Hathnit. "Now, ter my way of thinkin',
Smoot has as much right ter his wives as these women has ter
their husbands. If he would send his money ter some cheap lawyer
he'd be O.K. ter their way of thinkin'. Smoot takes care of
his kids, anyhow, but these society guys sends theirs ter the
Children's Home fer the city ter care fer. There's sixty-six
kids there now, and fifty-two of them are from divorced families.
Dis Morton that yer crackin' up ter me is kickin' about us livin'
tergether without marryin'. He says it's wrong; why don't he
say somethin' ter the church members? That big guy, where Bob
Evans is coachman, got a divorce from his Missus and gave her
the home ter live in. He built a new house on der next block
and took another woman, and she took another man. Bob says that
Ralph, the kid, calls one Papa and the other Daddie. They all
goes ter the same church Sunday mornin' and nothin's said. Why?
'Cause they pay der lawyer. If they're all right, I'm all right;
the church stands fer it, the law stands fer it, and society
stands fer it. That cheap Mission guy with his old Bible don't
cut much ice against that bunch.

"I know the Bible says it's wrong ter put away yer wife an'
take another, but no one believes that old book nowadays. Why,
I heard one of dem preachers from a dominie shop in Chicago
say, when he was preaching down at the Bull Pen, dat the Bible
wasn't der word of God at all, and he oughter know 'cause they
got der very latest th'ology out. They discover things over
there in Chicago. If the kid here don't like der way thin's
is doin' he kin duck. I'm runnin' dis house now. Tell Bill ter
come over ter der celebration, Mrs. Cook. So long." With this
he fished a cigar stub out of his pocket, bit off a portion
of it, expectorated freely into the stove hearth, and turning
his back to them walked into the front room.

Mrs. Moore was about to follow him, when Jimmie plucked at her
dress. When she turned around and their eyes met, the mother
love had vanished.

"Ma," he said, his voice faltering, "which one goes, me or that?"
pointing to the door where Hathnit had disappeared.

She turned and disengaged his hand, replying, "Ask him, Jimmie;
he's runnin' the place now."

Jimmie went out into the world with a heavy heart. He did not
mind the fact that he had no home so much as he did that his
mother was doing wrong. "I guess I can't keep der promise I
made Pa when he died; but I believe he knows that I'm doin'
der best I kin."



CHAPTER V

_Mrs. Cook's "Opery"_


Bill Cook continued to drink day and night until it was plain
to all that he would have another one of his "spells," as his
wife always called an attack of delirium tremens. There was
no hope for Bill when he once got started. He never stopped
until he was arrested or went into the tremens. He could not
borrow a five-cent piece, but could always get all the liquor
he wanted. It is a fact well known to all drinking men that
men will buy them fifty cents' worth of drink rather than give
them five cents in money. If they wanted the money for bread
for the children they could not get it; but drinks go any time.

Dave Beach had found Bill in the street, and taken him to his
barn to sleep off a little of his "jag," as Dave said. Dave
and Mrs. Cook never agreed as to the cause of Bill's trouble,
so Dave was very careful not to get near her when Bill was coming
down with one of his "spells." "He was shot in the army and
has bad spells. 'Tain't drinkin' at all 'at ails Bill; he's
sick," she would say. Dave found it was better to let her have
her way about it; so he put Bill into a box stall, until he
could send him home with Jimmie.

Every one in the neighborhood knew that Jimmie could be trusted.
He was never known to tell a thing he should not, and had a
way of knowing nothing when some one was looking for information.

Mrs. Cook knew that he had left home and was staying in Dave's
barn at night and eating anywhere and anything he could get.
When Bill failed to come home, she called Jimmie into the house
as he came from up-town. "Had yer supper, Jim?" she asked.

"Yep, I'm eatin' up-town now," answered Jim.

"Better have a cup o' tea," she said as Jimmie closed the door.
He had lived that day on three dry buns and a drop cookie, and
tea, warm tea, sounded good to him. He pulled off his cap and
jammed it into his coat pocket as he sat down at the table.
"Jim, I was yer friend when yer was in trouble, now I want yer
to help me. Bill's been gone all day and I'm scart fer him.
Dr. Snyder told me that the next time he had a "spell" he'd
die. No better man ever lived than Bill Cook, and I've been
thinkin' ter-day 'at somethin's got ter be did. Last night he
cried out in his sleep, jus' like he did las' time he had 'em,
and at three o'clock this morning he got up an' left the house.
I ain't seen nothin' of him since; the younguns think he's
workin', and I don't want 'em ter know no different. Bill loves
his younguns, and they think there's no one like their Pa. There
never was a kinder man than Bill Cook; no siree, not a kinder
man nowheres. He's been gittin' worser an' worser since yer
Pa's funeral, an' honest, Jim, I'm scart."

"Well," said Jimmie, as he finished his third cup of tea, "I
know jus' what he needs, but you'll have ter help."

"I'll do anyting yer say, Jim," said Mrs. Cook.

"Say, 'Hope ter die,' and cross yer heart," said Jimmie.

"I'll do it, yer bet."

"All right," said Jimmie. "Der first thing I want yer ter do
is ter go ter der Mission wid me ter-night."

"Me? I can't go, Jim; I ain't got no clothes ter go there;
'sides, it's Bill yer want ter help an' not me," she said.

"Yer promised me," said Jimmie, "an' yer mustn't ast no questions.
Yer get yer duds on an' I'll be back fer yer in five minutes."
Jimmie went over to Dave's barn, told him what was on and Dave
promised to get Bill into the house while they were gone.

Mrs. Cook took the children over to Hardy's to play while she
made a "call." When Jimmie returned to the house for Mrs. Cook,
she was all ready to go.

"Gee, where yer git der lid?" said Jimmie.

"Never you mind, sonny; that hat's some more of yer business."
As Jimmie stood and looked her over, he almost wished he had
not suggested the trip. Her hat was an old straw derby with
two chicken feathers stuck in it. She had put an old wine-colored
skirt over her blue wrapper.

"I'm ready," she said, "but yer mustn't sit up front."

"Yer needn't worry," answered Jimmie as he looked once more
at her hat.

She was very nervous at first; but after she discovered that
no one was looking at her she soon felt at ease. The singing
seemed to carry her out of herself. She forgot her trouble and
settled down into the chair to enjoy the very best hour she
had had in years.

"It's better 'n a opery," she whispered to Jimmie.

No place in the world do people sing as they do in a Rescue
Mission. Every one sings there, and the one who can make the
most noise is considered the best singer. Each one tries to
outdo his neighbor. They sing the old gospel songs with a vim
and never seem to tire of them.

The sermon that followed the singing was listened to by Mrs.
Cook; but the testimonies almost drove her to say things. She
hardly breathed as one after another got up and told what Jesus
had done for them.

"I believe my soul, that's Lousy Kate," she whispered to Jimmie
when one woman arose and told how God had found her at a jail
meeting.

"Sure 'nough, it's her; I knew her when she did that very thing,"
she said as she followed her in her testimony. "Why, that woman
was so crooked she couldn't lay down in a round-house."

When Superintendent Morton gave an invitation for all who wished
the prayers of the Christians to come forward, she started for
the door. When she had reached it she turned and watched the
people as they went forward. She watched one poor drunken man
as some of the workers helped him up the aisle. Big tears were
in her eyes when she turned to Jimmie. "If that man kin be saved,
drunk as he is, there's hope fer Bill, 'cause Bill's no drunkard,
he's sick."

"There's hope fer you, too," said Jimmie, when they had reached
the sidewalk.

"Me!" she almost shouted. "I ain't no drunkard, ner I never
killed anybody, and 'sides, it's Bill yer want ter help, not
me."

"The Bible says yer a sinner an' yer need fixin' jus' as bad
as Bill," said Jimmie. He knew he was on dangerous ground, but
he was determined to push the case as far as he dared. Without
giving her a chance to answer, he continued, "Jesus says we're
all sinners, an' whosever kin be saved, and that means you."

"I ain't no whoserever, I'm German, and my name's Annabella
Cook, and I don't want you nor none of yer friends ter fergit
it, sonny."

Jimmie was stumped for a minute. He had asked Morton what to
say, but he could not remember the Scripture, so he simply said,
"Yer swear, and yer drink, and yer don't pray, and if that ain't
sin I don't want a cent. If yer was to die ter-night, you'd
want somethin' more than 'em cuss words ter take ter Jesus.
Yer Freddie is in heaven and me Pa is there, and yer got too
much sense ter miss seein' 'em over there, and 'sides that yer
can't never help Bill till yer helped first."

Jimmie had touched a tender chord in Mrs. Cook, and he knew
it. She loved her family, and Bill was the apple of her eye.
She did not get angry, as Jimmie had feared, but walked along
in silence, thinking of what she had heard and how Jimmie had
brought it all home to her very door. At last she said, as though
speaking to herself, "Yes, I do swear when I git mad, but I
don't mean it ten minutes after. No, I guess I ain't ready ter
die, but, oh, Jimmie, what made yer mention Freddie? It near
kills me." And she began to cry. Freddie had died a few months
ago of membranous croup, and his death had caused a great sorrow
in the Cook family.

Jimmie slipped his hand into hers, and said, "I'm sorry; but
I'm so bloomin' anxious ter see yer both Christians, 'cause
yer so good ter me. I guess I'll never have no more Ma but you.
Say, how'd yer like der meetin'?"

"It's jus' fine," said Mrs. Cook, glad to change the subject.
"I'm goin' agin ter-morrow night."

Bill was all tucked away in bed when Mrs. Cook got home. Dave
had put him to bed. The doctor had given him a powder to quiet
him.

After the children were asleep Mrs. Cook sat alone thinking
of the night's happenings. The market clock struck twelve before
she came to herself and thought of going to bed.

"O God, I can't see it; I can't see it," she cried; "but I want
ter. I can't see it; I can't see it that way; but I want ter."

"I've seen 'nough fer both of us," said Bill, as he bolted
upright in bed. "There's one under my pillow now wid a thousand
legs!"



CHAPTER VI

_Mrs. Cook's First Prayer_


Early the next morning Jimmie was at the Morton home. After
a long talk and much prayer he started for Bucktown, armed with
that sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. He had some more
verses marked in his Testament, and after Morton had quoted
them many times he felt sure that he could handle them. Mrs.
Cook had confused him the night before so that he could not
answer her; but he was sure of his ground after his talk with
Morton.

"I wish I could read 'em myself," he said to Morton sadly. "Der
yer tink I kin ever learn?"

"Yes, Jimmie, I know you can if you will study. You have five
hours that you are not busy with your papers; you can use that
time to learn to read. I think that Mrs. Price, a worker in
the Mission, will be glad to help you. She used to teach school
before her marriage. I will ask her to-day and if she consents
to take you as a pupil you must study hard."

"I will, yer bet." And so Jimmie went on his way.

As he quietly pushed open the door of the Cook home, he heard
Mrs. Cook talking with three of her neighbors on the back porch.

"Where do you suppose I was las' night, Mrs. Fagin?" she was
saying. Jimmie listened with keen interest for her account of
the Mission service. He knew that Bill would never get right
until she did.

"How do you s'pose I know?" answered Mrs. Fagin. "Where was
you?"

"I was to der Mission with Jimmie Moore," she said, "and it's
the best time I've had since the balloon extension on the market,
six years ago."

"I'd like ter know how yer can have a good time in church,"
said Mrs. Fagin.

"'Tain't no church, it's a Mission, and they have jus' as good
singin' as dey do in Uncle Tom's Cabin, and 'sides, it's a good
deal like dat play, too, 'cause yer laff jus' as hard as yer
kin one minute and the next minute yer cry like Eva was a-dyin'.
Yer couldn't guess in a thousand years who I saw there. I saw
Lousy Kate, that you used ter live next door to, and that
Hatfield that yer thought was such a dood. Yer oughter hear
what he said--yer know every one speaks in der Mission meetin's.
He ain't no dummy, that man ain't. He's been an awful drunkard,
and when Morton found him he was that fur gone that his wife
had ter leave him an' go an' live wid her Ma. He said he got
saved, an' now they're happy, and he works in der wholesale
house and----"

"Who saved him? Morton?" asked Mrs. Fagin in disgust.

"No, he said it was all Jesus and no Morton about it; that's
what Jimmie says erbout Morton, too. I guess he don't amount
to much nohow. He says he can't help no one, but can tell them
of One who can. I thought I'd split when Hatfield said he was
so low down he had to reach up ter touch bottom. Every one
laffed like all git-out; but when his woman got up and said
it was all true, and that her and her baby come near starvin',
every one 'round me cried, and I cried, too. I tell yer, I'd
know how ter sympathy with her; only Bill ain't no drunkard,
he's sick."

"What's Kate doin' there?" asked Mrs. Fagin.

"She's saved, too. She got saved in jail. Now she's livin' straight
an' goes ter meetin' every night. She looks so good, you'd hardly
know her, looks ten years younger; but the biggest surprise
of all is Morton. Yer know Dave Beach said that he know'd more
'an he looked, and I allowed he'd orter. But say, he's been
through der mill and knows der ropes like an' old rounder. He
said his mother teached him ter pray and be a good boy, but
he got ter boozin' and soon went ter pieces. He got in trouble
and fer years lived among thieves and drunkards and knows 'em
like a book. He's seen 'em killed and go down in nearly every
old way, but never knew any of 'em ter git anywhere until dey
git Jesus. He couldn't git no work 'cause he wa'n't honest and
couldn't stay sober, so he'd jus' clean up saloons fer his toddy,
like Fred Hanks der barber is doin' now. I wish Morton could
git Fred. One time he got a plant an' left fer Chicago; then
he went into a Mission like his'n is now and got saved. You'd
never think he ever did worser than pull his sister's hair,
to look at him now; but he knows what's what, and that's why
he was after Moore and all the rest of us, I guess. He says
jus' what Jimmie says, that Jesus loves us all and wants us
all. There, 'tis eleven o'clock and I've got ter give Bill his
medicine. Say, I'm goin' agin ter-night. Go 'long with me?"

"Fagin would go wild if he knew I'd go there; but I'd like ter
see it once," said Mrs. Fagin.

For seven nights Mrs. Cook and Jimmie went to the Mission. On
the seventh night she rose to her feet and was the first one
to go forward to the altar. After prayer she stood up and said
she would serve God the best she knew how, and wanted every
one to pray for Bill, her husband.

Every one shook hands with her and she forgot that it was getting
late. She visited with all the ladies, one after the other.

Jimmie had found Morton at the platform and slipped his hand
into Morton's. As their eyes met, both seemed ready to weep
for joy. "The ice is broken, Jimmie. And we must not give up
until the whole Bucktown gang are in the Kingdom of God. Bill
comes next, and you had better get Mrs. Cook home, as it is
late. You may hurt your case with Bill if you get him angry."

At last Jimmie got her started, and when they reached the house
Bill was nearly wild with rage. He was very nervous and needed
something to quiet him.

"Where in h---- have you bin?" he shrieked at the top of his
voice. "I want a drink and I want it d---- quick."

"No doubt, sonny, yer do," said his wife, "and you'll want it
quicker 'an that 'fore yer git it. Now shut yer mouth until
I'm done," she went on. "I been to der Mission ter-night and
I give my heart ter God, an' no more booze comes inter my house,
no more, not mine. If yer tongue was hangin' out as long as
a clothes line I'd tie it in knots and throw it under der bed
'fore I'd give yer a drop. All der people at der Mission are
prayin' fer yer, and Jim is goin' ter der drug store fer somfin'
fer yer nerves and ter make yer sleep, and if yer able ter-morrer
yer goin' ter der Mission an' git saved too. And oh, Bill! we'll
git a carpet fer our front room when yer gits yer pension, and
you'll git a new suit of clothes and we'll git a monument fer
Freddie's grave, and oh, Bill! we'll go ter be with Jesus and
Freddie some day in heaven."

She stooped down and took Bill's bloated cheeks between her
hands and kissed him again and again.

"I guess dis is where I lose out," said Jimmie. "I'll go ter
der drug store and by that time maybe dey'll have deir love
feast finished. Gee, when old Bill gits any booze ter-night,
he don't!"

Jimmie spent his last five pennies for a powder for Bill, and
went on tip-toe back to Cook's house.

As he opened the door he heard Mrs. Cook praying. She was kneeling
by Bill's bed, and this is the prayer Jimmie heard: "O Lord,
keep Bill from wantin' booze ter-night, and if he gits gay call
him down fer Jesus' sake. Amen."



CHAPTER VII

_Floe_


Jimmie was very happy as he gave Bill and Mrs. Cook "Good-night."
"Don't yer worry erbout nothin'," he said to Mrs. Cook. "Yer
got Jesus ter help yer, an' he'll take care of yer all. I'll
see yer in der mornin'. So long."

He started for Dave's barn, where he "roomed." His nerves were
all unstrung, he was much too excited to go to bed. He sat down
upon the curb in front of the barn and went over the whole
evening in his mind. The best he knew how, he prayed and thanked
God for answering his prayer. As he sat with his head in his
hands, he heard a piercing scream which came from the direction
of the Dolly resort. There was nothing unusual about a scream
in Bucktown any time of the day or night; but Jimmie jumped
to his feet and started on a run to the direction from which
it came.

"Dat sounded like Floe's voice," he said to himself. "I hope
she ain't hurted."

Floe had been very kind to Jimmie, many times giving him something
to eat, and she had given him the pair of shoes he was wearing
when Morton first saw him. She always put herself out to speak
to him, and when he was "stuck" with his evening papers she
would persuade the other inmates of the house to help him out
by buying them.

Let it be understood now that Jimmie's ideals of morality were
based entirely upon the Bucktown standard. Floe was the best
dressed woman in Bucktown; she lived in the best house in Bucktown;
she was the handsomest woman in Bucktown; and these facts, to
Jimmie's child mind, put Floe and the Dolly resort far in the
lead of anything in Bucktown. He knew nothing of their business,
and the question of their being wrong had never entered his
head. Had any one asked Jimmie a question about the character
of this black-eyed woman, his answer would have been, "She's
an angel, sure."

The little girls in the neighborhood would say, "When I git
big I'm goin' ter have clothes like them girls, an' go ridin'
in hacks with white horses. Gee, won't I shine!" The highest
ideals of womanhood to these little girls were the women of
the Dolly resort. Is it any wonder that Jimmie was interested
when he heard Floe scream? When he reached the house he saw
her lying at the foot of the stairs; he rushed to her side as
others were trying to get her upon her feet. They put her upon
a couch and sent for a doctor.

"Did yer fall downstairs?" asked Jimmie.

"Oh, Jimmie, what are you doing in this awful place?" she said.
"This is worse than hell itself; do go out, child; I can't stand
to see your pure face in a place like this."

"If it ain't er good place fer me, it ain't fer you, Floe. Yer
better 'n I am, er ever could be. Are yer hurted much?"

Just then Doctor Snyder came in, and after a brief examination
said he found a broken arm and three broken ribs. Floe would
not tell how she happened to fall; but several who saw it said
that a girl by the name of Maud, in a fit of jealousy, had pushed
her downstairs.

"Hello, kid! What are you doing here?" said Doctor Snyder to
Jimmie. "You should be in bed at this time of night. How's Bill
Cook getting on?"

"Bill's better," said Jimmie, "an' Mrs. Cook got converted at
der Mission ter-night, and she's happy all over. When I left
there she was prayin' at Bill's bed and he was cryin'. I'll
bet he gits saved next."

"You better go home and go to bed, Jimmie; you're excited
to-night. You'll feel better in the morning," said the doctor,
with a knowing wink at the people standing around. "We must
get this girl to her room now."

"Can I come ter see yer to-morrow, Floe?" asked Jimmie.

"If the doctor will let you come; but I don't like to have you
come into this awful house."

"I'll be here jus' the same; I'm goin' ter ast Jesus ter help
yer," he whispered to her, and slipped quietly out into the
street and started for the barn. When he reached there, Dave
sat in his old office chair smoking and trying to look unconcerned;
but it was plain to Jimmie that he had something on his mind
besides his hat.

"Where have you been so late?" he said to Jimmie. "Sit down
and tell me about it."

"Mrs. Cook got saved ter-night and Bill's comin' next, I'll
bet," said Jimmie in one breath. "Yer see, we's prayin' fer
him at der Mission, an' he's got ter come. Say, Dave, Floe jus'
got hurted, an' I went ter see her when I heard her holler,
an' she said she didn't like ter see me in such a bad house.
Is that nice house bad, an' what's Floe doin' dere if it is?"

"Well, the house is anything but good, Jimmie, and I wish Floe
lived somewhere else. If you can go to see her I wish you would
talk to her just like you did to Mrs. Cook. Tell her about,
well, tell her about yer Friend, you know."

"Who do yer mean? Morton?" asked Jimmie.

"No, I mean the Friend you say Morton works for."

"Oh, yer means Jesus," said Jimmie.

"Yes, that's who I mean; she has heard of Him before, and maybe
you can do her good. The poor girl has had lots of trouble and
has lost heart in life. Tell her that--that Je--er--that yer
Friend loves her and will fergive her all her past and--well,
you can tell it better than I can."

"I'll do it, yer bet," said Jimmie, "'cause Jesus loves every
one of us, don't he, Dave?"

"Most every one, but not all of us," said Dave.

Jimmie made a dive for his Testament and turned to John 3:16;
the page was so dirty and soiled from handling that it could
scarcely be seen.

"Der yer see that word marked wid red ink?" asked Jimmie.

"Yes, I see it."

"Well, what is she?"

"It's 'whosoever.'"

"Well, who does that mean?"

"I guess it means just what it says; but you see, with me it
is different. I was raised to do right; my father was a Methodist
minister, and he taught me to pray and read the Bible when I
was a child. I knew what was right, but with my eyes wide open
I went into the most awful sin, and God can never forgive one
who sins against the light."

"Say, read der whole verse," said Jimmie.

"I know it without reading it; I learned it at my mother's knee
before I could talk plain."

"Well, git busy and say it then."

"God so loved the world----"

"Loved der what?" asked Jimmie.

"The world," said Dave.

"Go on," as Dave hesitated.

"That He gave His only begotten Son----"

"Dat's Jesus, ain't it?"

"Yes, that is who it means."

"Go on," said Jimmie.

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever----"

"Who?" asked Jimmie.

"Whosoever," said Dave.

"Don't that mean you?" asked Jimmie.

"I'm afraid not," said Dave.

"Den dis is der way ter read it," said Jimmie, "'Dat whosoever,
'cept Dave Beach, kin have everlastin' life.' Not on your
fottygraff; it ain't writ dat way."

"Well, in another place it says that if you know to do right
and do it not it's sin," said Dave.

"And dat makes yer a sinner, don't it?" said Jimmie.

"Yes, it does, and a bad one, too," said Dave.

Jimmie put his thumb into his mouth to wet it and turned leaf
after leaf. At last he said, "Read dat."

Dave took the book and looked hard and long in silence.

"Read her," said Jimmie.

Dave read very slowly: "This is a faithful saying and worthy
of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to
save sinners."

"Save what?" asked Jimmie.

"Sinners," said Dave.

"Are yer a sinner, Dave?"

"Yes, I am a bad one."

"Worser dan dis guy? Read der rest of 'er."

"Of whom I am chief," David read.

"All right," said Jimmie, "if He kin save der chief of sinners,
can't He save Dave Beach?"

Before he could answer, Jewey, Oily Ike and Fred Hood came in.

"Send the kid home," said Jewey.

"He's at home now," said Dave; "he sleeps here. You can do all
the business you have with me in a minute er two. I'm tired
of this crooked business; and for my part, I'm going to cut
it out. Whatever your haul is to-night you can keep it or let
Ike there handle it; I'm done.

"No, don't get leery; I won't turn you. But I don't want no
more of it here."

"You'll be havin' Sunday school here every day if that kid hangs
around much longer," said Jewey.

"Well, he'll be here just as long as he wants to," said Dave.
"It's two o'clock, Jimmie; you had better turn in and I'll call
you at three-thirty. Good-night."

Jimmie lay down upon a horse blanket without taking off his
shoes or clothes and was soon fast asleep. His day had been
a long one and he was very tired, but happy.

After Dave's callers had gone, he stood looking down into Jimmie's
tired face. "Poor little Jimmie," he said, "if I knew your paper
route, I'd carry it myself rather than wake you up this morning.
There's no use talking, that kid don't get enough to eat. I
saw him give his little sister his supper money last night,
and I know he went to sleep hungry; I never saw his beat. He
preaches to every one in his sweet child way and he makes me
feel as though I was the biggest devil on earth. By thunder,
it breaks me all up." Dave was talking to himself, or thinking
out loud.

He was very much moved by Jimmie's life and words; he pulled
his old office chair beside Jimmie's pallet and began to weep.
Big, strong Dave had broken down and was once more a boy. He
was ashamed of his tears and tried to brace up and stop them;
but when he would look at Jimmie's little pinched face on the
old horse blanket, the tears would start afresh and creep through
his dirty fingers and fall to the floor in spite of all he could
do. Dave Beach was a strong, big fellow; he had drunk and fought
his way through the world and for many years had suppressed
his emotional nature. Tears to him were a sign of weakness and
he would rather have lost his barn and horses by fire than that
any one should see him cry. He jumped to his feet and started
to pace up and down the office. "D---- fool that I am! I'm
bawling worse than a yearling heifer. It's time to call Jimmie
and he must not see me this way." He went to the hydrant out
in the barn and washed and pulled himself together as best he
could, and then went back to call Jimmie.

"It's time to get up, Jimmie," he said as he kicked the bottom
of the boy's foot. Jimmie rose and rubbed his eyes, but was
so tired and sleepy he fell back again upon the blankets.

"Come, my boy, I want you to go to the lunch counter with me
and have a cup of coffee." He reached down and picked the boy
up bodily and held him in his great, strong arms a moment, but
had to drop him for safety; he would be weeping again if he
did not get busy at something else.

"Go out and wash your face, Jim, and you'll feel better."

The cold water did its work.

"Guess I's hard to wake up, wasn't I, Dave?" said Jimmie, as
he wiped his face on the lining of his cap--a trick of the
newsboys.

"You're all right, Jimmie; but you need more sleep. After you
get your papers carried, come back and go up into the haymow
and sleep all morning."

"I can't do 'er, Dave. I got ter see Bill and call on Floe and
take me first lesson from Mrs. Price and go ter Morton's house,
all dis mornin'."

"Well, come, we'll go over and get something to eat," said Dave.

"I don't feel very hungry," said Jimmie, "and I guess I won't
go over jus' now. I'll git somfin later."

Dave knew what the trouble was and took Jimmie by the hand and
started for the all-night lunch counter.

"You're going to eat with me this time, Jimmie; I have enough
money for both of us. No, you'll never pay me a cent of it back.
Just a little treat, you know."

Jimmie never wanted something for nothing, but he grew so hungry
as he thought of the good things at the counter that he could
not say No. Dave ordered their meal, and when it came upon the
table Jimmie's big gray eyes stuck out. "Is dis all fer us,
Dave? Der meat, an' eggs, an' taters, too, an' coffee 'sides!
Gee! it must of cost a quarter, didn't it, Dave?" As he grabbed
his knife and fork to start his meal, he looked up at Dave with
such love in his eyes that Dave lost his appetite for food and
wanted to finish the "bawl" he had started in the barn.

"Go on and eat, Jimmie. You'll be late for your papers," he
said.

"I mus' pray 'fore I eat, Dave," he said as he jammed his cap
into his coat pocket. "Now, Jesus, I'm glad yer give us all
this here good stuff ter eat. It's more'n we got comin'; but
yer always givin' us more'n we could ast er tink. Dave's a good
man fer payin' fer it, and he's feedin' you when he's feedin'
me, 'cause I'm your'n. Make Dave gooder and gooder fer Jesus'
sake. Amen."

Dave jumped to his feet and started for the door. "You eat,
Jimmie; I'll be back in a minute." He was overcome and the "bawl"
had got the best of him. He stood outside the door in the dark
and cried as if his heart would break.

"D---- fool that I am! I wish some one would come along and
call me names so I could lick him within an inch of his life.
I'd feel better anyhow."

After several unsuccessful attempts to control himself, he went
to the door and told Jimmie to eat both meals, as he had to
go.

"I'll pay you, Mose, when I come over." Before Jimmie could
answer he was gone.

He went to Fagin's, got several drinks, tried his best to pick
a fight with Mike, then went home and went to bed.

Jimmie ate all there was in sight, and with a full stomach became
very cheerful and talked to Mose, the colored waiter.

"Gee, I guess me belly t'ought me t'roat was cut. I bet if it
could talk it would ast me what I was doin' up dere."



CHAPTER VIII

_Bill's Pension_


After Mr. and Mrs. Morton had listened to Jimmie's story of
Mrs. Cook's prayer, Floe's "gittin' hurted" and Dave's talk,
he went into detail as he described the wonderful breakfast
he had eaten. "Gee, I was scart I'd bust when I straightened
up. I don't feel like I wanted nothin' for a week."

"Tell me more about Floe," said Mrs. Morton, much interested.
"Do you think she would come to live with us while she is sick?
I would love to care for her and be her friend if she would
let me."

"Do yer mean she can board here?" asked Jimmie in surprise.

"No, I want her to come and live with us; I want her for my
friend and companion. She can be our Floe and make this her
home."

"Will her name be Floe Morton then?" asked Jimmie.

"Yes, you may call her that if you like, but I do want her to
come and live with us. When you go to see her this morning,
ask her if she will allow me to see her. If she will, you come
right back for me and we will go down together."

After prayer Jimmie started for Bucktown, very happy, and confident
that the day would be a day of victory for Jesus. His faith
was wonderful. His prayers were so simple and childlike; he
prayed to God and asked Him for things in the same language
and tone of voice he used when he talked to any one else. He
had not acquired the professional whine as yet, and for that
reason he received answers to his prayers, because he prayed
to God and did not whine to the people who might be around to
hear him. Many godly people have been shocked in the Mission
because some redeemed drunkard would use slang in his fervent
prayer to the Almighty. He simply prayed in his own language.
The language of the slums is just as much a language as German
or French; it must be learned before it can be understood. The
idea that these men must not pray until they have learned that
professional, unnatural, painful whine, is as absurd as confining
prayer to Latin. When a man or woman is occupied by the wording
of a prayer and not with the prayer and with their God, it may
be beautiful, but it never gets higher than the bald spot on
their head.

Jimmie prayed as he ran along the railroad tracks, and asked
God to help him say the right thing at the right time.

"Hello, Bill, yer up, are yer? Yer must be feelin' better."

"Yes, he's up and he ain't had a drink ter-day nor las' night,
have yer, Bill?" said Mrs. Cook proudly. "And what's more, yer
ain't goin' ter have none, are yer, Bill?"

Bill was eating canned tomatoes from a can with a spoon. Tomatoes
taste good to a man in Bill's condition and they will stay down
when nothing else will. "He's got ter git out ter-day an' sign
his pension papers, 'cause he won't git his money on the fifth
if he don't," said Mrs. Cook. "I wish you'd go with him, Jim,"
she whispered. "He ain't very strong yet."

"I'll do it, yer bet," said Jimmie. "What time do yer want ter
go, Bill?"

"About ten o'clock I'll be ready." Bill spoke with great
difficulty; he was very weak and nervous.

"Dat'll gi' me time ter go and see Floe," said Jimmie. "I'll
be back at jus' ten o'clock. Yer make him wait fer me, won't
yer, Mrs. Cook?"

"Yep, I'll keep him if I can."

The colored cook let Jimmie into the Dolly resort through the
kitchen, and he was shown to Floe's room by the nurse, who had
been called in by Doctor Snyder the night before.

"Oh, Jimmie child, I'm so glad to see you. I've been thinking
of what you said about asking Jesus to help me. He can't help
me now; it's too late. Come here, Jimmie dear, I want to ask
you to do something for me." Jimmie went to her bedside.

"Will you do what I want you to do?"

"I'll do der best I kin ter help yer," said Jimmie proudly.
"Yer was good ter me and I want ter be good ter you. I'll never
forgit the dollar yer sent ter Ma when Pa was sick, and the
shoes yer----"

"Oh, never mind any of that, Jim; I want to ask you to do me
this favor before you get started to talk and say something
I don't want to hear," said Floe.

"For years the whole aim of my life has been to forget, forget,
forget the past. I had succeeded to some extent and begun to
believe that I was away from even the thought or desire for
anything better than this kind of life. What you said last night
has brought it all back to me and I have been living in the
past all night, only to awake this morning to this awful reality.
Now, Jimmie child, I don't want to hurt you, but I want you
to promise me that you will never mention anything of that kind
to me again. It can never do me any good and it only makes me
miserable."

"Jesus never makes yer miserable, Floe. He makes yer glad yer
livin'," said Jimmie, and before she could answer he went on
in his enthusiastic way: "Say, Floe, you know Mrs. Morton at
the Mission? Well, she's the best that ever happened. Talk 'bout
der limit; what der yer tinks she wants now? I went up ter der
house this mornin' and tol' 'em about yer gittin' hurted, den
I tried ter tell 'em 'bout Dave Beach, but Mrs. Morton, she
says, 'Tell me more about Floe.' 'Do yer know Floe?' I ast.
'No, I do not, Jimmie, but I want to know her.' And dis is what
she said: She wants yer to come up ter her house while yer hurted
and live with her. She says it ain't so bloomin' noisy, er somfin
like dat. You'll git well quicker and she says she wants ter
take care of yer, and yer can live dere all der time if yer
wants ter, and be Floe Morton. Gee, dey got a swell house with
carpets, an' pictures an' things jus' like yer got here, and
grass and trees outside and a hummock ter swing in, an' I'll
come ter see yer every day. Mrs. Morton tol' me ter come jus'
any ol' time I wanted ter. Won't that be fine, me an' you both
there?"

Floe tried to speak, but Jimmie talked so fast she couldn't
get a word in edgewise.

"Dis here lady with a white doo-bob on her top-knot says I can't
stay only fer a minute, so I wants ter tell yer what we're doin'.
Me an' Mrs. Morton is comin' up ter see yer, and she's goin'
ter tell yer what she wants, and if Doctor Snyder and dis lady
says yer can be took, Mrs. Morton is goin' ter get a hearse
wagon an' take yer home, an' I'm goin' along. I never rid in
one of 'em tings yet. I must go now, but I'm comin' back with
Mrs. Morton. So long."

"Wait a minute, Jimmie," cried Floe. "Don't bring that woman
in here, Jimmie, do you hear?" But he was gone, or at least
he did not give her a chance to talk back.

Jimmie went straight to the Cook home. Mrs. Cook said Bill had
just left, but had promised not to take a drink. Jimmie hurried
out of the house, and for some reason, unknown even to himself,
started for Fagin's. He slipped in unnoticed and there stood
Bill on one side of the bar and Fagin on the other. Bill had
just got a drink to his mouth with great difficulty after Fagin
had poured it out. When he set the glass down upon the bar,
Fagin filled it up again and Bill "downed" it. As Fagin filled
it for the third time, Jimmie rushed up with his canvas bag,
in which he carried papers. Swinging it around his head with
all his strength, he hit the glass and bottle and sent them
across the room, breaking both on the floor. Bill thought it
was his wife. As he ducked his head, he said, "I didn't drink
no booze, that was for Fagin."

"Don't lie, Bill. I saw yer git two, but I don't blame yer fer
it. Fagin knows how near yer come ter cashin' in and how weak
yer are, and wants ter git yer goin' agin 'cause yer pension's
'bout due; he knows he'll git it if yer drunk."

Fagin was white with rage and started for Jimmie, but Jimmie
straightened up and made himself as large as he could, and,
with his big gray eyes fastened upon Fagin, said, "I'm not scart
of yer bluff; yer coward 'nough ter hit me 'cause I'm little,
but yer goin' ter listen while I tell yer somfin. Yer killed
me Pa, an' yer know it. After yer got all his dough, yer put
him out and he was left in Rice's wagon box ter freeze, while
yer slept in yer good bed. When it come ter buryin' him yer
didn't give nothin' but a lot of poor booze ter git der people
drunk, and der funeral broke up in a free-for-all; now yer after
Bill 'cause yer tinks yer can git his pension. His woman's got
her second washin' out so fur dis mornin' an' when I ast her
how she did it she said she washed all night long, 'cause rent
was up and Bill was sick. Then she said she'd wash her finger
nails off if she could help Bill git saved. She loves Bill and
her kids jus' as much as your woman loves yer and yer kids,
and I don't see what yer want ter kill him off fer. Dey never
done nothin' ter you. Ah, go on! he wouldn't either git it nowhere
else if he didn't git it here." A big tear stole down Jimmie's
face as he stood looking first at Fagin and then at poor Bill.

"Der Bible say that God loves everybody, and I believe it 'cause
it says so, but I can't see no show fer a dog like you, Fagin.
You're worser than any guy I ever see'd. You go ter church every
Sunday mornin', and Sunday afternoon and the rest of the week
yer booze and steal and raise h----. Yer got ter----"

"Oh, shut up, you little fool; some one told you to say that;
no kid your age got off such a temperance talk without some
one helping him. That fresh guy from the Mission put you up
to rubbing it into me; I'll fix him, and you, too, if I ever
hear any more of it." Fagin was beaten by the boy and he felt
the defeat keenly.

"I suppose you'll hit him in der back of der head wid a stone,
like yer did der poor dago last spring. If yer lookin' fer a
good square game I tink Morton could fix yer so you'd need one
of yer fottygraffs on yer shirt front ter tell yer wife who
was comin' home ter dinner. Come on, Bill, let's git out of
here and go sign yer papers. Dis is no place fer gentlemen like
me and you."

Jimmie took Bill by the hand and started for the door. Bill
had not spoken during the "temperance lecture," and when Jimmie
took him by the hand he allowed himself to be led away and seemed
glad to have a chance to get out of the place. He did not want
to drink, and yet he could not help it.

"So long, Fagin," said Jimmie when he had reached the door with
Bill. "When yer confess next Sunday mornin' be sure ter tell
'em 'bout dis hold-up, and tell 'em dat all der money yer gits
is money yer steals from der women and kids of Bucktown. An'
say, Fagin," Jimmie yelled from the sidewalk, "tell 'em erbout
Bill's pension yer didn't git. So long."

Jimmie got Bill back home after the papers were signed and Mrs.
Cook put him to bed. Neither spoke of the two drinks to her
and she was very happy as she thought of the wonderful things
ahead of her. "Fer thirty years Bill's been havin' spells,"
she said to herself. "Now I believe it's goin' ter change. He
can't help gittin' saved if he hears them people at der Mission
tell how Jesus kin save 'em."



CHAPTER IX

_"Auntie's Favorite Horse"_


Dave Beach had traded for an old pacing mare. She was very sore
forward, at least sixteen years old, but had a world of speed
for a short distance. In the harness she was quiet and kind,
but in the barn she would drive nearly every one from her. To
feed her was a trick few men cared to learn. She would kick
and bite, and any one who was the least bit timid could do nothing
with her. Dave had traded for her in another city. She was not
known to horsemen around here. He expected to make some money
with her, so he kept her out of sight as much as possible until
he got her "fixed up a bit," as he put it.

He had her teeth filed until she had a six-year-old mouth. Her
shoes were pulled off to let her feet spread and grow. The clippers
had removed her long hair, and Dave had fed her to bring the
best results for looks and speed. He knew nothing of her breeding,
but that was "easy" for a man as horsy as Dave. When she was
ready for the public to see she looked as racy as even Dave
had hoped for.

The morning paper contained the following advertisement:

"For Sale.--The bay pacing mare Becky Wilkes, by Forward, by
George Wilkes, by Hamiltonian 10, by Abdallah 1. Dam: Mamie
B, by Brown Hal, by Tom Hal, Jr., by Kitrell's Tom Hal, by old
Kentucky Tom Hal. This mare is six years old, kind and gentle,
perfectly sound, and can show a 10 clip to wagon. With proper
work she would be a world beater. Reason for selling--death
in the family. Call mornings at Beach's Livery, Brady St."

After Dave's experience with Jimmie he went to bed and slept
until ten o'clock. He was standing in the big double door of
the barn, thinking what a fool he had made of himself, when
a young fellow drove up to the curb and stopped.

"Is this Beach's Livery?"

"Yes, sir, this is the place," said Dave.

"I see by the paper that you have a pacer for sale." The speaker
was a fine-looking young man, with a good face and an easy manner.
He was dressed in the pink of fashion, and his general make-up
would denote wealth. Dave was not sure of the kind of man he
had to deal with. He looked him over carefully, but somehow
he was unable to tell whether he was "horse wise" or not. "He'll
soon show his hand," said Dave to himself. "He's either 'dead
wise' or 'dead easy.'"

"Yes, sir, I have a very fine bay mare and she's for sale to
the right party," said Dave. "No one can get that mare to abuse,
as she is very dear to our family. Do you want a horse for
yourself, sir?"

"Yes, I want one that can go faster than these," pointing to
his own team.

"I have the one," said Dave.

"Can I see it?" asked the stranger.

"Sure you can; I'll hitch her up. (Did you hear him say 'it'?
Mamma, he's easy!) Oh, Hank!" he shouted. "Put the harness on
Becky. (I knew that he'd soon show his hand," said Dave to himself.
"He don't know no more about a horse than a jack-rabbit knows
about ping-pong, or he'd never say 'it.' Just watch me hand
it to him.) Ginger up a bit, Hank, this man is in a hurry."
Of course Hank, the barn man, knew what that meant, and when
Becky came out she was champing the bit and pawing like a race
horse. Dave was proud of the way she was acting.

"She's perfectly safe and kind, but full of life. Not a mean
thing in her make-up, and if you can find an 'out' about her
I'll give her to you."

As he was hitching her to his light wagon he kept up his horse
talk, and no one could beat him talking horse if he thought
the man had money.

"You see this mare is out of Colonel Thompson's celebrated string.
The Colonel's wife was my aunt, and when this mare was a colt
auntie fell in love with her and would not allow her to be raced
down through the circuit. When Johnny Seely broke Joe Patchen
he used Becky to work him out and she would go away from him
like he was tied to a post. Yes, siree, man, this is the greatest
mare on earth and she never had but one chance to show what
she could do, and I'll stop and tell you about that right now.
Just once we got her away from the home stables and I'll never
forget that day. There had been much good-natured bartering
among the owners and drivers down through the grand circuit
during the season and much money had changed hands among them
that did not reach the 'bookies.' When we got to Lexington,
Kentucky (our old home), at the close of the season, the owners
got together and put up five hundred dollars each for a special
race. Mile dash, free-for-all, either gait, association rules
to govern. Harry Loper to start them and the first horse under
the wire to take the jack-pot. The Lexington association added
five thousand dollars.

"The day of the race was ideal, clear and warm and no wind blowing
to speak of. Oh, my! I'll never forget the excitement of that
day till I die. There was Splan with Newcastle, Geers with Robert
J., McHenry with John R. Gentry, Curry with Joe Patchen, Curtis
with Walter E., Wade with Dr. M., Kelly with his California
wonder. You see every one had to start some horse, even if he
was outclassed. Old Dad Hamlin said to the Colonel, 'What are
you going to start, Colonel?' 'I don't know; I'll find something,'
he said."

The young man did not understand a word that Dave said, but
looked at him in wonder.

"After a talk with Seely," Dave went on, "it was decided that
they would slip this mare over to the track. Yes, sir, this
very mare here, and Johnnie was to drive her in the special
race. In the betting she was never mentioned until the Colonel
went up and asked for a price on her. 'Oh, about fifty to one,'
said Al Swarengen. 'Do you want a dollar's worth of her?' 'Give
me a hundred dollars' worth,' said the Colonel. He bet a hundred
dollars with every bookie in the bunch at fifty to one. When
they scored for the word, Johnnie was in fifth position. They
got away the third time down. Every horse was on their stride.
Mack had the pole, Curry lay alongside, and Geers, with Robert
J. going strong, moved in from the outside just after they left
the wire. A blanket would cover the three horses at the quarter
pole. Johnnie was trailing close up with Becky, but the trotters
Newcastle and Walter E. with Dr. M. were outclassed. The pacers
went the first quarter in 30 3/4 seconds, but slowed some in
the back stretch. At the half Gentry made a skip, but recovered
quick and still held the pole in the upper turn. No one in the
grand stand seemed to notice the little bay with her nose at
the wheel of Gentry's sulky. The Colonel knew she was there,
and he knew also that if Johnnie could get her though the bunch
at the head of the stretch there'd be a horse race in Kentucky
that day that would make the Doble-Marvin days look like deuces
in the Mississippi steamboat jack-pot. As the horses entered
the stretch Geers spoke to his knee-sprung bay and he responded
as only Robert J. could. Patchen, the big, honest black, was
pacing the race of his life. McHenry can team 'em in the stretch
like few men, and Gentry was on his tiptoes but holding his
place. Johnnie could see no opening to get through as they entered
the stretch, so he made a long swing clear to the outside with
Becky and then pulled her together for the finish. A hundred
yards from the wire it was anybody's race. Mack was reefing
Gentry; Geers was talking to Robert J. in his own way; Patchen
kept his feet, although Curry was standing up yelling at the
top of his voice. The people in the grand stand hardly breathed
as Seely came up strong on the outside with Becky. 'Who is that?'
they cried. 'See that bay horse come up on the outside. What
horse is it? Who's driving her? Come on, boys!' they cried.
When within fifty yards of the wire Johnnie shifted both lines
into his left hand and cut Becky with the whip the full length
of her body. She shot forward with a mighty lunge and Johnnie
rained blow after blow upon her. Just before they reached the
wire Robert J. and Becky were neck and neck, with Gentry and
Patchen at their throat-latch. Drivers and horses were straining
every nerve. The great crowd in the stand were holding their
breath. The judges and timers forgot their duty. Never will
the excitement of that moment be forgotten. Just in reach of
the wire Johnnie let go of Becky's head and she shot her nose
under the wire about two inches ahead of Robert J. For a moment
all was still, then that crowd of Kentuckians threw their hats
in the air and yelled themselves hoarse. As the drivers came
back to dismount, Johnnie was lifted high in the air and was
literally carried into the weighing-room, while Becky was led
to the stables to be cooled off. The niggers rushed to the Thompson
mansion on the river and told Mrs. Thompson about Becky's victory.
When the Colonel drove back home, with Johnnie leading Becky,
Mrs. Thompson came at once to the stables and said to Johnnie,
'Uncover that mare.' 'She is very warm, ma'am,' said Johnnie.
'You can see her in the morning all right.' 'I want to see her
now,' she said, and she did. When she was those whip marks she
was very angry and said, 'That mare will never race again while
I live, nor after, if I can help it.'

"When auntie died she gave the best she had to her favorite
nephew, with the understanding, of course, that I would never
enter this mare in a race, and I meant to keep her for my own
use, but every time I see her it reminds me of my poor, dead
aunt, and I am determined to let some good man have her, but
he must use her right. It would kill me to think that auntie's
favorite horse was abused."

Hank got a coughing spell and started on a run for the back
end of the barn. He fell into a box stall and rolled and laughed
until it seemed he would never get his breath.

"Oh, mamma!" he said, "if that dood gits that old blister he'll
wish she was in heaven with Dave's auntie about the first time
he goes to feed her." He doubled up again and rolled in the
straw and laughed until he cried. "I like a liar, but Dave suits
me too well," he cried. He peeked out of the stall just as Dave
and his victim started out of the door. "Becky sure feels her
ginger this morning," he said, and then fell back in the stall
and rolled and laughed some more.

Dave drove down over the pavement slowly, talking "horse" as
he went. When he got down on the river bank, where there was
about eighty rods of good dirt road, he "cut her loose." She
was used to a "brush" and liked the dirt, and the way she threw
dust into that "dood's" eyes pleased Dave. "Did you ever see
anything like it?" said Dave as he pulled her up. "And she only
got started on that short road. She goes a mile better than
a quarter." Dave turned her around and handed the lines to the
young man and said, "You drive her down this time."

He fell in love with her on the way to the barn and said to
Dave, "How much do you want for her?"

"That's the trouble," said Dave, almost ready to cry. "When
it comes to parting with her it almost breaks my heart; but
I can't keep her around the barn, as she constantly reminds
me of dear auntie. I hardly know what to say. You'll be kind
to her, won't you?"

"Oh, yes, I'll be kind to her for your aunt's sake," the young
man replied kindly.

As they got back to the barn Dave looked at the slick, fat team
that belonged to the young man and said, "Where did you get
that pair of farm horses? They'll do for plowing, but you want
something that will beat anything in town, and Becky can do
it."

After much talk about breeding and speed, Dave finally made
him an offer to trade Becky for the team of five-year-olds and
one hundred dollars. The man counted out the money without saying
a word and Dave nearly fell dead, as he said afterward. "I could
just as well got five hundred. What a chump I was!"

As the young man's coachman led the mare away that afternoon
after delivering the five-year-olds, Dave called to him and
said, "Say, watch her a little in the stable. She's cross, but
if you ain't afraid of her you can handle her easy. Don't let
her bluff you."

"Thrust me for that, laddy. Oi've seen the loikes of this before,"
pointing with his thumb to the mare. "Oi sure feel sorry fer
paple and harses that are in their second choildhood. Shure,
if yer aunt was old enough to remember when this mare was a
colt she was old enough to die."

Dave smiled, but made no reply. Generally after a good trade
Dave took every one out for a drink and felt very happy. The
boys stood around and waited, but Dave failed to say anything.
At last Hank ventured to say, "Are yer any good, Dave? We're
spittin' cotton."

"You go treat the boys, Hank; I don't want a drink now," said
Dave, throwing him a dollar.

For the first time in his life he felt as if he had robbed some
one. Everything is fair in a horse trade, and he figured that
the fellow could afford to get beat once. "It will teach him
a lesson," he said.

"I think he is too game to come back and holler, and I'm not
afraid of that; but it sort of looks like taking advantage of
his ignorance."

Jimmie and his Friend kept coming up before him until Dave almost
wished the old mare was back in the barn.

"I'd give this hundred dollars if I didn't feel so much like
an old fool woman. I don't know what's ailing me. I've traded
my dead aunt's favorite horse at least fifty times and it never
hurt me before like it does now. I guess I need a drink. I'm
losing my nerve."



CHAPTER X

_Jimmie's Education_


"Don't it beat the Dutch, Fagin, the way things is goin' in
Bucktown?" said Mike, the bartender, to Fagin one afternoon.
"The gang all seem ter be on the bum. When I went home fer dinner
this noon, my old lady said she was goin' ter the Mission with
Mrs. Cook and Bill ter-night. Ever since that funeral of Moore's,
she's been sendin' the kids to the Mission Sunday school and
not one of 'em will come inside of this place now. I've been
thinkin' I'd put a stop to the whole business and not let her
nor the kids go near that place, but I guess I'll keep my hands
off until they git to interferin' with my business; then I'll
stop 'em hard."

"Has Bill Cook been down to the Mission?" asked Fagin.

"Yes, and I guess they've got him, too. His woman says he's
converted, er whatever they calls it, and he told me this mornin'
that he wasn't drinkin'. I ast him to have one, but he said
he'd foller the water wagon the rest of his life. I give him
the laugh, but he wouldn't stand fer it."

"This is pension day, isn't it?" asked Fagin.

"I think so," said Mike.

"Well, if Bill stays sober after he gets his money, then I'll
think there's somethin' ter this Mission business," said Fagin.

"That kid of Moore's is makin' most of this trouble and Jewey
says that Dave Beach is stuck on him. Dave always had good sense,
but he don't show it now. He paid for the ambulance that Mrs.
Morton used to take Floe to her house with, and that must 'a'
cost three dollars anyhow."

"Does he come here much now, Mike?"

"Not much, and when he does come he acts sore all the time.
The other mornin' about four o'clock he came in here and got
a couple of drinks and he was so mad he was cryin'. When I ast
him what was eatin' him he wanted to lick me. I tell you, things
are changin' in Bucktown, Fagin, and I don't like it a little
bit."

The women of Bucktown were talking the same way, and little
groups of them could be seen here and there in earnest conversation
about Mrs. Cook, Bill Cook, Floe, Jimmie, etc.

"I'll bet Bill'll be drunk when he gits his money," said Mrs.
Kinney. "You git her mad and she'll swear like she always did.
Where der yer suppose she got that hat she's wearin'? When I
ast her she said the Lord give it to 'er, and she says she's
goin' ter have a carpet and curtains. I wish Bill would git
drunk and just teach her a good lesson. She's gittin' too smart.
She'll quit speakin' to us next thing we know, and that Floe
that Mrs. Morton took home with her, I'll bet she'll be a bad
girl agin. If I don't miss my guess, they'll be sorry they ever
saw Bucktown."

Even the children would stand and look at Bill when he passed
by on the street. Morton had gone with him to his old employer
and told him how he was saved, and he gave Bill back his old
place in the shop. He worked ten hours each day and went to
the Mission every night.

Jimmie was getting on well with is studies under Mrs. Price.
She gave him an hour each morning and he worked hard to get
his lessons. On Saturday morning he rushed into Morton's office
very much excited. "What's the matter, Jimmie?" said Morton.

"Matter? Matter 'nough, I guess. What yer been steerin' me up
against? I was jus' gittin' my lesson up at Price's and her
man comes home. He's a travelin' man and gits home once a month.
He stood lookin' at me and, pointin' his finger at me, says,
says he, 'What's dis?' His woman says, says she, 'Dat's Jimmie
Moore and I'm teachin' him ter read and write. He's one of der
Sunday school boys at der Mission.' 'I don't want no such cattle
in my house,' he said ter his woman. 'He's covered wid vermum
(er somfin like dat) and'll steal yer blind when yer ain't
lookin',' and said he wa'n't runnin' no mission, and 'f I didn't
git he'd sling me out der winder."

"Well, what did you do, Jimmie?" asked Morton.

"Do? I ducks out, and ducks out fast is what I do. Did yer ever
see him? He's one of them tall, skinny guys and he's got er
high shiny hat dat makes him taller and skinnier. He'd go fer
a lead pencil at der masquerade in Bucktown, if he had a rubber
on his head. Den his overcoat is so big dat he's got a belly-band
buttoned on behind it ter make it littler. Gee, he looked like
er rat-tail in er quart cup. I wouldn't care so much, but I
left my book dere, and I'm scart ter go after it."

"Did you say anything to him, Jimmie?" asked Morton.

"Not on yer life, I didn't have time; he came near beatin' me
to der door as it was."

"Well, never mind, Jimmie. It may be all right. I will get your
book for you and you will learn to read and write yet," said
Morton kindly. "Romans 8:28 says that 'all things work together
for good to them that love God.'"

While Jimmie's experience with Price was hard for one so
sensitive,  before the day ended he was very glad it had happened
as it did.

As Mr. and Mrs. Price started for down-town that evening to
do some shopping, Mrs. Price took Jimmie's book with her. When
they reached Brady Street, where the Mission is located, she
turned suddenly to Mr. Price and said, "I have that boy's book
with me and I want to take it to him at the Mission. Please
walk down with me; it is rather rough on Saturday night and
I am timid alone." For what followed, hear Mr. Price's own words
as he stood up to speak in the Mission at the end of the service.

"If any one had told me this morning that I would be in a place
like this to-night, I would have considered that person insane.
It was all a mistake on my part, but I thank God for the mistake.
For years I have been a traveling man. To hold my trade and
be a good fellow I have always treated my customers right. In
this way I got into the habit of drinking. Never got drunk very
often at first, but the habit kept growing until it has been
the other way--never got sober very often. Ten days ago, in
another city, fifteen of us boys met at the supper table in
the hotel and one of them bet the drinks for the crowd with
another one. I do not know what the bet was about, but after
supper we all adjourned to the barroom to drink with the loser.
Before we stopped we had all treated and every one was ready
for anything. To make a long story short, we have all been drunk
for ten days. I reached home this morning without money; I left
my hotel bill unpaid. My firm does not know where I am. When
I went into the house my wife had company, and I was mad in
a minute. I tried to kick a boy out of doors that she was teaching
to read. I have not spoken a pleasant word all day. To-night
my wife asked me to come to this place with her, as she had
a book she wanted to deliver to that boy. He was nowhere to
be seen, so I sat down with her in the back part of the building
to wait for him. Two large women came in and we moved in against
the wall to make room for them. I became very nervous and wanted
to get out, but I couldn't get past those women. I was angry
enough at my wife to choke her, but she sat there and sung those
old songs and never once looked at me. When my eye caught sight
of the motto there, 'How long since you wrote Mother?' I almost
fell from my chair. Listen, fellows; I had as good a mother
as God ever gave a boy. I had promised her many times that I
would not take another drink, but never could keep my word.
One day when I was in a barroom, I received a telegram from
my wife which read, 'Come at once. Mother is dead.' When I reached
home they told me that the last conscious words were a prayer
for her boy. I had promised her to meet her in Heaven, but I've
gone lower and lower since her death. I thank God for that boy;
I thank God for those words on the wall and for Mr. Morton's
invitation to come to Mother's God. Since I came to this altar,
Jesus has saved me and I mean to live for Him and meet Mother
over there."

As he sat down there was scarcely a dry eye in the house. Jimmie
went up to him and put his hand on his arm and said, "I was
sore at yer ter-day, but I love yer now, Mr. Price." Price took
the boy in his arms and hugged him. "I love you, my boy, and
will always be your friend. You will always find my home open
to you."



CHAPTER XI

_The Meeting in the Market_


The first day that was warm enough for people to stand outside
and listen, Mr. Morton had his big, white stallions hitched
to the gospel wagon, which was also white. The team had wintered
well and weighed 3400 pounds. As they stood champing their bits
outside of the Mission, Jimmie watched them for a few minutes
and then, turning to Morton, said, "Please, kin I go erlong,
Mr. Morton?"

"Where shall we go, Jimmie? We want to have about three meetings
this afternoon if the weather stays warm, as it is now."

"Have all t'ree of 'em in Bucktown," said Jimmie. "I bet I kin
git Dave Beach ter come over ter the corner ter see dem dere
horses, and I'll bet Fagin and Mike'll come over ter hear Bill
Cook make his speel, and say, come here er minute." Jimmie took
Morton off to one side, away from every one, and whispered into
his ear: "If you'll git Floe ter go down there an' sing dat
dere song erbout 'Tellin' yer Ma I'll be dere' [Tell Mother
I'll be There], it'll git der whole bunch out to der meetin'."

"Floe is not very strong, Jimmie, and I hardly think she would
care to sing in the open air."

"If she'll do et, will yer let her?"

"Oh, yes, if she cares to go I will be glad to take her with
us on the wagon. You must not tell her I wanted you to ask her,
Jimmie," said Mr. Morton as the boy started on a run to ask
Floe to sing.

"She'll be dere by der time der wagon is," said Jimmie, all
out of breath, "an' I'm goin' down now ter tell der gang you're
comin'."

Before the second song had been sung at least two hundred people
stood before the gospel wagon at the corner of the Market. All
ages, sizes, colors, kinds, some drunk, some under the influence
of morphine and opium, and some Greeks and Russians who could
not understand one word of the English language. On the edge
of the crowd were three or four girls from the Dolly resort,
and as many more from other houses of this same type near by.
Oily Ike, Fred Hood and Jewey were there; but Fagin, Mike, Dave
Beach and Jimmie were nowhere to be seen. When the male quartet
arose to sing, every one became very quiet and listened attentively
to the singing.

Morton read the first Psalm and then told the crowd just why
they were there. "We are here to tell you about the Lord Jesus
Christ and His power to save; because we know that every one
of you needs Him," said Morton.

This class of people can never be "fooled," and one endeavoring
to help them in a spiritual way must be very frank and honest,
and never, never use "nice" words or sayings to catch them.
They are very suspicious of everybody and when any one attempts
to win them to his way of thinking he must do it in a straightforward,
honest manner. Do not call them "dear friends" or "dear brothers
and sisters"; do not tell them that they are all good people,
as they at once begin to look for a collection box or expect
you to have something to sell. They say, "He's either a fool
or thinks I'm one."

"The City Rescue Mission stands for the old Gospel of Christ,
to save from sin," Morton continued. "And on this wagon to-day
are those who were once far in sin, but who are now happy in
Him. Every one here knows Mr. Cook. He is your neighbor and
I believe your friend. You all knew him in his old life and
most of you know how God has kept him these past weeks. I know
that you will all want to hear from him, and after he speaks
to you I shall ask a lady to sing. She will sing, by request,
'Tell Mother I'll be There.' I take great pleasure in introducing
to you Mr. William Cook."

"What's the matter with Bill?" yelled a voice.

"He's all right!" came from nearly every throat as Bill stood
up to speak.

Jimmie stepped from the side entrance of Fagin's saloon and
was quickly followed by Mike, Fagin, Dave Beach and Gene Dibble.
Bill started to speak just as they lined up in front of him,
and he became so nervous he could scarcely stand up, much less
say anything. Fagin was quick to notice his embarrassment and
laughed a rough Ha! Ha!

"Cut that out, Fagin!" said Dave, stepping up to him.

The look in Dave's eyes told Fagin that he meant all he said.

"Go on, Bill, you're a winner," he said. "We want to hear you
speak."

"Well, fellows, yer know that this is a new one on me. I've
never been up against this gospel wagon game before in my life.
My trainin' has been along other lines. I can't make no speech,
but I can tell yer this, that fer six weeks I ain't wanted no
booze and I've been workin' most of the time and got money in
my pocket to buy booze if I wanted it. See?"

"Good boy, Bill," yelled Dave. "You're getting your second wind;
all you need is a little more weight forward and jogged every
morning in hopples for about ten days and you've got 'em all
skinned in your class."

"Go on, Bill," said Jimmie, "tell 'em what yer told 'em in der
Mission last night."

"It's this way," said Bill, great drops of perspiration standing
on his forehead. "It's this way. In the army I learned to drink.
After I came home I took up my old trade and have always worked
when I could keep sober. Since I have lived in this part of
town I've been drunk more than I have been at work. Every time
it happened, I'd swear that it would never happen again, but
I'd go and git it before I'd git my breakfast. I tried to stop,
but couldn't handle myself at all. Every one round here knows
how my family suffered. I could make enough ter keep 'em good,
but I'd spent it fer likker. My wife has took in washin' to
keep the kids from starvin' and freezin'. She had to work all
night, more'n one night, and when Freddie died--Oh, my God!
I wish I could forgit that! When Freddie died--I was drunk.
Just before he passed away I promised him I'd never drink another
drop, but I went out and got into the delirium tremens before
I stopped. When I came to myself I found that my wife had sold
everything in the house but the stove, table, a few chairs and
one bed to pay the funeral expenses. You can call it fun, if
yer want to, but I tell you it's hell on earth. Most of you
know what's happened lately. When my old pal, Bob Moore, died,
I was in bad shape; but I never got away from what God did fer
him before he died. When I got out of bed, Jimmie took me to
the Mission and Jesus saved me the first night I went there.
My wife was saved the night before, and I tell you we're havin'
different times at our house nowadays. We had chicken fer dinner
to-day and we've had meat once a day fer two weeks. I've eat
garlic sausage and rye bread on the free lunch counter fer thirty
years, but now I'm eatin' chicken and givin' the old lady and
kids a chance ter eat too."

When he sat down some tried to clap their hands, but the crowd
did not feel that way. Every one knew that Bill had told the
truth and they were touched with the earnest way in which he
told his simple, straightforward story.

"Now, while you are quiet, I will ask our friend to sing for
us," said Morton. "Please come to the wagon, sister," he said
to Floe.

As she stepped upon the wagon every eye was upon her. She was
dressed in a dark tailor-made suit, very plain but neat. Mr.
Worden at the organ started to play softly. Floe walked to the
front of the wagon and looked down into the faces of many she
knew. Her large black eyes beamed with love for them all. She
was very pale, but calm, and as she stood there she looked like
a queen.

"It's Floe," said Dave. "She can beat 'em all singin'."

"Gee, don't she look swell! I'd hardly know her," said Gene
Dibble.

"Before I sing this song for you," she said in a clear, sweet
voice, "I wish to say something about it. Most of you, no doubt,
know this song and many of you like it, but to me it means more
than any song I could sing. It simply tells my life story. Let
me read it to you.

 "When I was but a little child, how well I recollect,
  How I would grieve my mother with my folly and neglect.
  And now that she has gone to Heaven, I miss her tender care,
  Oh, angels, tell my mother I'll be there.

 "Tell mother I'll be there, in answer to her prayer,
  This message, guardian angel, to her bear.
  Tell mother I'll be there, Heaven's joys with her to share,
  Yes, tell my darling mother, I'll be there.

 "When I was often wayward, she was always kind and good,
  So patient, gentle, loving, when I acted rough and rude.
  My childhood griefs and trials, she would gladly with me share,
  Oh, angels, tell my mother I'll be there.

 "When I became a prodigal and left the old roof-tree,
  She almost broke her loving heart in grieving after me.
  And day and night she prayed to God to keep me in His care,
  Oh, angels, tell my mother I'll be there.

 "One day a message came to me, it bade me quickly come,
  If I would see my mother ere the Saviour took her home.
  I promised her before she died for Heaven to prepare,
  Oh, angels, tell my mother I'll be there.

"This last verse has been enacted in my life within the past
week. Mrs. Morton had written home and told father and mother
that I was with her. This message came the next day, 'Come at
once. Mother is dying'; it was signed 'From your Father.' In
company with Mrs. Morton I reached the old home at four o'clock
the next afternoon. I used to think the place was lonely and
dreary, but I can never tell you how glad I was to set my foot
in the old yard once more. Everything looked so good to me,
and the same old apple tree where I used to swing when I was
a little girl seemed to welcome me home. Dear old Rover came
to meet me and, although it had been three years since he saw
me, he knew me. We hugged each other and in his dog way he made
me feel that I still had a place in his warm heart. The night
I left home, the old dog followed me down the road and it nearly
broke my heart when I had to send him back; he loved me when
I thought all the world hated me. As I reached the porch, father
came to the door. Oh, how different he looked! When I left home
he was strong and active and now he is bent with sorrow, sorrow
that my sin has brought to him. He took me in his arms and kissed
me again and again. I tried to ask him for forgiveness; but
he would not listen to me. 'You have been forgiven ever since
you left home that awful night, and I have searched for three
years to find you and tell you so. But come, my child, you must
see your mother; she has been calling for you ever since her
sickness.' He led the way into mother's bed chamber. 'Here's
daughter, Mother,' he said.

"'Oh, I knew you'd come,' she said with a feeble voice; 'I just
knew that God would send you to me before He called me home.
Raise me up, child, I can't see you.'

"I lifted her frail body and held her in my arms and--and--well,
after I made the promise that is in this last verse, she smiled
and, with her eyes turned heavenward, my dear, sweet mother
went to be with Jesus. You all know my life, how I suffered
for my sin; I tried to forget father, mother, home and God.
Loving hands have lifted me back to life once more and Jesus
has saved me from it all and I can truthfully say, 'Oh, angels,
tell my mother I'll be there.'"

The song that followed carried everything before it, and nearly
every one was weeping. The rich contralto voice was never better
and Floe was singing from her very soul. She forgot the people
around her, she was in another world. When the chorus had been
sung for the last verse the male quartet took it up, singing
softly, and seemed to carry that crowd into the very heaven
of which Floe had been singing.

Morton closed the meeting in prayer and was inviting them to
accept Jesus as their Saviour. While he was talking, Floe stepped
from the wagon to join Mrs. Morton; as she passed Jewey he made
a remark to her and insultingly referred to her past life.

Gene Dibble, hearing it, threw his coat to Dave Beach, and stepping
up to Jewey said, "Get out of your clothes and square yourself.
No man can insult a girl that's tryin' ter trot square and make
me like it." There was an old grudge of long standing between
these men and every one knew that a fight was unavoidable; both
men were strong and each had a reputation as a fighter to sustain.

"Give 'em room," cried Dave. "We'll see fair play."

"Oh, Mr. Dibble," cried Floe, "don't fight for me. I deserve
all he said and more."

Gene turned to Floe, and awkwardly raising his hat was about
to speak, when Jewey said, tauntingly, "Oh, I guess he ain't
looking fer it very bad; he was just bluffin' anyhow."

Jimmie took Floe by the hand and pulled her away from the ring
that Dave had formed by crowding the people back. Every one
wanted to see Jewey whipped, but all knew that Gene had his
hands full to do it.

It is not the purpose of the story to describe this fight, but,
from a fighter's standpoint, it was a beauty. Gene had just
come from the North woods and he was hard and strong, and had
better wind than his antagonist. It was give and take from the
start; blood was flowing freely on both sides. Jewey was becoming
winded and began to beat the air and strike very wild.

"Keep out an upper cut," said Dave, "you've got him coming all
right."

Gene pulled himself together and went in to finish his man.
With a right swing, he caught him square on the point of the
jaw; in short, as Dave said, "Gene won it in a walk. Bully for
Gene!"

On the way to the Mission, Morton sat with his head in his hands.
"Beat again," he said. "Every time I get that people together
the devil spoils the whole business."



CHAPTER XII

_Fred Hanks_


The topic of conversation in Bucktown on Sunday evening was
the Gospel wagon service. Many little groups were seen here
and there talking about Floe, Bill, the singing or the fight.
Every one but Mrs. Kinney liked some part of the service, but
she was never known to be pleased with anything.

"The idea of Bill Cook sayin' the things he did! And if I'd
'a' been his wife I'd hide my face. My! I was ashamed fer him.
I'll bet he'll be drunk for weeks out and I jus' wish he would,"
she said.

When some one said they thought the singing was fine, Mrs. Kinney
said, "Hum, you call that singin'? That big feller that stood
on the end and singed bass looks like a catfish when he opened
his mouth. The fellow that plays the organ looks for all the
world like a girl, and if you call that singin', I wish you
could hear the singin' I heard at the Indian Medicine Show last
summer; that's what I call real singin'. And that Floe standin'
up there, singin' afore that big crowd and her mother hardly
cold in her coffin! The style is that she mus' not go in 'siety
fer a year, and if you call that singin' you don't know the
first principle of music er 'siety. To my way of thinkin', them
big horses should be a-workin' 'stead o' hawlin' a lot o' lazy
galoots around town fer pleasure. Why, that Morton wears as
good clothes as the undertaker. I'll bet he steals the money
out of the collection box at the Mission."

Mrs. Kinney never missed an opportunity to express her opinion
and the neighbors knew just what to expect from her. She was
the only person in the neighborhood who dared criticise Dave
Beach.

"He's a devil, and you'll all find it out when it's too late,"
she said.

At the Mission the house was packed and several who had been
at the Bucktown wagon service were in the audience. Gene Dibble
was there with a "shanty" over his eye, his lip was swelled
to twice its natural size and his right hand was tied up in
a red handkerchief. He certainly looked the worse for wear.
He dropped into a back seat and not a word sung or spoken escaped
him.

When Floe arose to sing, by request, the same song of the
afternoon, Gene straightened up, and before she was half through
the song he was standing on tiptoe. Floe saw him as he stood
there and recognized him as the man who had fought to defend
her that day.

At the close of the meeting, Morton gave an invitation and Gene
was the first one to raise his hand for prayer. He raised the
one with the red handkerchief about it and Floe went at once
to the rear of the room, to speak to him about his soul.

"I'm so sorry to have caused you all this trouble," she said.
"You would not be in this condition to-night were it not for
me."

"That's nothin'; I'd 'a' done it fer any girl that's tryin'
to trot square. It's that song that's botherin' me, not the
fight. Do you think I could ever be a Christian like you folks
talk about? I have a good mother, but I'll never meet her there
like you sing about in the song, the way I'm goin' now; what
will I do?"

When Floe and Gene walked up the aisle together, several people
from Bucktown saw them. Before Gene could reach Dave's barn
the news had preceded him. When Gene and Jimmie walked into
the barn, Dave leaped to his feet and, taking Gene's free hand
in his, said, "You're right in the step you've taken to-night
and I'm glad for you. I know that your life can be a useful
one and I don't want any one to put a straw in your way. No,
don't say a word about that; it's not for me, but I feel just
as much pleased to see you get into it as if it were for me.
I know it is right, but I've lost my chance."

At the conference in Morton's home the next morning, there was
a time of great rejoicing, also a time of great anxiety. Jimmie
was very happy over Gene's conversion.

"We'll git der whole bunch yet," he said to Morton. "Der was
five of 'em at the altar from Bucktown, last night, 'sides Gene.
Fred Hanks was er comin' ter der Mission, but he got pinched
at der railroad crossin' fer bein' drunk. Fagin give 'm four
big drinks and er bottle ter start on, den steered him fer der
meetin'. He got nabbed 'fore he got dere."

Fagin had hoped to have Fred cause a disturbance at the meeting.
He, Mike and Jewey were doing everything in their power to stop
the Mission work in Bucktown. The fight on Sunday was a part
of their plan; unfortunately for them, Dave Beach was there
to see fair play and it resulted in a victory for Gene. Morton
knew that the long fight that was to follow in Bucktown would
be hard and bitter, but he also knew that God could give the
victory.

"Is Fred in jail now, Jimmie?" he asked.

"Dat's what Dave tol' me dis mornin'."

After prayer, Jimmie with Morton started for the jail.

"Dis is Mr. Morton from the Mission, Fred; he wants ter see
yer." With great difficulty Fred arose from the old plank upon
which he was lying. He took hold of the bars with both hands,
but was so weak he could not stand on his feet.

"Just sit down, my boy; I want to talk to you," said Morton,
kindly.

Fred fell back exhausted upon the plank. In the city police
stations of this country, a plank built against the wall is
used for a bed.

"You see," continued Morton, "I've been all through this thing
and know just how you feel. Jimmie tells me you have been drinking
for several weeks without a let-up. Have you had a drink this
morning?"

"No, and I'm near dead fer one," said Fred.

"If I should take you out of here and help you to get on your
feet, would you like to make a try for a better life?" asked
Morton. "I was in a worse shape than you when I staggered into
a Mission and learned of Jesus' power to save drunken men. I
turned myself over into his keeping and I've not wanted a drink
for over seven years. I know you are weak, but God is strong
and He will fight for you. If you will promise me to do as I
tell you, I will pay your fine and take you out of here."

"I drew a ten spot or a three thirty-five," said Fred. "If you'll
pay it for me I'll pay you back as soon as I get to work and
I'll never take another drink as long as I live."

"Unless you let the Lord undertake for you," said Morton, "you'll
be drunk again inside of a week."

Morton prayed with him and then went to the clerk of the police
court and paid his fine.

After Fred had had a bath and shampoo Mr. and Mrs. Morton went
with him to his home. His wife and boy had not seen him for
ten days and they were actually suffering for the necessities
of life. It required much talk and coaxing before Mrs. Hanks
would agree to give him one more chance.

"You do not know him as I do," she said to Mrs. Morton. "A thousand
times he has promised me to stay away from saloons and not drink,
but he's broken every promise he ever made me. Our rent is two
months behind, and baby and me have gone to bed hungry more
than one night on account of his drunkenness. I'm tired of it
all, and if it wasn't for baby's sake I'd end my life. I wish
I was dead." She buried her head in her hands and wept bitterly.

"It'll never happen again; I'm done this time sure," and he
meant what he said.

Morton left money with Mrs. Hanks to buy things to eat. She
put Fred to bed and cared for him as tenderly as loving hands
could. A woman's love is wonderful. In a few days Fred went
to work at his old job, determined to be a sober man the rest
of his life.

That night he stood up in the Mission and said he was sober
and was going to remain sober. On his way home to dinner next
day, Fagin called to him from the saloon door.

"Hello, Fred, they tell me that you're going to be a Mission
stiff. Come in here a minute." Fred stepped inside.

"I never thought you would get yellow on the bunch," said Fagin.
"A man's a baby that will admit he can't take a social glass
and stop when he wants to. Let's all take one together. Give
us all something, Mike," said Fagin.

Fred did not have the courage to say No. He not only took a
drink with Fagin, but remained there until he was so drunk he
couldn't see. Never had he been worse, that night he was helped
into the Mission by Fagin's gang. They followed him in and waited
to see the fun, but Fred was too drunk to make a noise and soon
fell asleep.

At the close of the meeting, Mr. Morton shook him until he awoke.
"Come, Fred, I want you to go home with me to-night; I want
to help you and be your friend." The next morning Fred was so
ashamed of himself that he did not want to see the Mortons.
He dressed himself and tried to slip out of the house unnoticed.
Mrs. Morton intercepted him at the door.

"Never mind about the past, my boy," she said. "You let God
take care of you for to-day and you'll be all right. Your boss
said you could go to work and your wife wants you to come home.
We'll help you in every way we can, and if you'll only trust
God, everything will brighten up."

Fred was heartbroken.

"I don't deserve such treatment from you folks; I turned you
and lied to you like a thief," he said.

"But Jesus loves you and we love you and your family loves you
and you can go out in the strength of God and win the fight.
Keep away from saloons and pray for help," said Mrs. Morton.

Bill Cook was having a hard fight with the Fagin crowd. They
had tried every way to get him to drink but he had been able
to say No, in the name of the Lord. Then they attempted to get
him angry.

"Bill gets paid fer testifyin' in the Mission; he's just workin'
a new graft," Fagin said one day.

Bill was angry in a moment and wanted to fight, but before he
could say anything, Jimmie said to Fagin, "Yer bet yer life
he gits paid fer servin' Jesus. Look at dem clothes he's wearin'.
He never had 'em when yer was gittin' his dough. He's dressin'
jus' as swell as yer dressin'. When his woman gits rigged up
fer meetin' she makes yer old gal look like er wheelborrer in
er autermobile parade. Say, Fagin, yer worked up 'cause yer
thinks yer kin git Bill sore an' den he'll take one. Not him;
he's drinkin' other kind er booze, eh, Bill?"

Gene Dibble was tormented almost beyond human endurance. He
walked into Dave's barn one day white with rage. "If I've got
ter stand this kind of a deal ter be a Christian, I'll cut this
whole business out."

"What's the trouble?" asked Dave.

"There'll be trouble enough when I see Fagin," said Gene; "I
just came from his place, but I can't find him. The dirty thief
says that Floe is wrong and that I'm just playin' this here
religious dodge just to get Floe. Floe an' me have been singin'
together some and he says we're not trottin' square. I'll tell
yer, Dave, there'll be singin' over to his house and he won't
know anything about it if he don't stop mentioning Floe's name
in that old cheap booze dump. That name's too good ter even
be spoke in there."

Dave smiled and Gene was quick to see it.

"Now see here, Dave, you're wrong. I'm not stuck on Floe and
no dog like Fagin can kick her down while I live."

"You stay away from Fagin's," said Dave, "and don't let anything
that you hear bother you. I'll see him to-day and he'll stop
talking or I'll make him stop."

After Fagin learned that he was causing Gene and Bill so much
trouble he doubled his efforts to persecute them. "They're afraid
to pass by the place any more," he said. "If they're tryin'
to do good, why don't they come in and talk to us? I guess Gene
can't leave his girl long enough.

"Say, kid, come here," he called to Jimmie. "Why don't Morton
come down here and try to convert us? Does he think we're so
good we don't need it?"

"Der yer want him ter come?" asked Jimmie.

"Sure I want him, but he won't come; he's scart of the cars."

Thirty minutes later, Jimmie rushed into Fagin's. There were
ten or twenty men at the bar and Jimmie called out so every
one could hear, "Say, Fagin, Mr. Morton said he'd come ter-night
at eight er-clock an' hold a meetin' in yer saloon if you'll
promise ter sell no booze from eight ter nine. Will yer do it?"

"Be game, Fagin, be game!" cried several voices. "Don't let
him bluff you."

Fagin hesitated a moment.

"You're yellow, Fagin. I heard yer ask the kid why he didn't
come and now yer afraid he will come."

"Be game, old man; we'll all come to the meeting," said another.

After much good-natured talk of this kind, Fagin turned to Jimmie
and said, "Tell 'em to come, kid, and we'll give 'em the warmest
time they've had in months."



CHAPTER XIII

_"Fagin's Meetin'"_


At eight o'clock Fagin's big bar-room was filled with people.
The crowd was mostly made up of men, although several women
had ventured in to see the fun. At the bar men were standing
three deep. Mike and Fagin were both working hard, but were
unable to wait upon the crowd.

"Here they come," cried some one at the door.

In a moment every one was quiet and still, as Morton and his
workers filed into the place. Fagin's place was known as a free
and easy. In the rear of the room was a platform upon which
stood several chairs, a table and an old grand piano.

"Go back to the platform," said Fagin.

Jimmie, Floe, Gene Dibble, Bill Cook, Mrs. Cook and Morton stepped
upon the platform. Floe went to the piano and started to play
the old song, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." Without an invitation
nearly every one joined in the singing and Morton was pleased.
As the song ended about twenty strong voices started to clap
their hands and sing:

 "Monday I got awful drunk,
   Tuesday I got sober,
  Wednesday night I stayed at home
   To think the matter over.
  Thursday I went out again,
   Friday I took more,
  And Saturday night they found me tight
   On Fagin's cellar door."

They repeated it three times, making more noise each time. Just
as they stopped, Floe and Gene started to sing:

 "On Sunday I am happy, on Monday full of joy,
  On Tuesday I've a peace, the devil can't destroy.
  On Wednesday and on Thursday I'm walking in the light,
  Friday 'tis a Heaven below, the same on Saturday night."

Without a stop they ran into Doane's greatest song, "Hide Me,
O My Saviour, Hide Me."

Whatever Fagin's plans were, he had forgotten them. Never were
two voices better adapted for this sort of music. Gene's tenor
voice blended perfectly with Floe's rich alto. But, what is
more essential in the singing of the Gospel, they both knew
what they were singing about and to whom they were singing.

The best story teller on earth can not tell a story well unless
he knows it, neither can the best singer on earth sing the Gospel
well unless he knows it. The question so often asked to-day,
Why are there no conversions in our church? could be answered
sometimes by a glance into the choir loft.

Every one stood spellbound as Floe and Gene put their very souls
into the song:

 "Hide me when my heart is breaking, with its weight of woe,
  When in tears I seek the comfort, Thou canst alone bestow."

Every word was a prayer and Floe was singing to God alone; she
seemed to forget the crowd and the place; she remembered the
time she had taken her broken heart to Jesus with its weight
of woe. Gene was self-conscious, but no one knew it, as every
eye was upon Floe. She stopped playing and stood up as they
very softly sang the chorus the last time. Falling upon her
knees, she said: "Let us pray. O Father, we thank Thee, that
Thou hast given us a chance to praise Thee in this room. In
former days, in this same place, we blasphemed Thy Holy Name.
We thank Thee for forgiveness, for peace, for power to overcome
sin, and now, O Father, our prayer is for the people in this
room. We know that Thou lovest them all; may they realize to-night
that Jesus is the sinner's Friend. For the habit-bound ones,
we pray, set them free, O God!" With tears streaming down her
cheeks she prayed for Dave Beach, Fagin, Mike, Ike Palmer, and
the girls that were living lives of shame; the plea she made
to God for Fred Hanks would almost melt a heart of stone. "Forgive
these men for getting poor, weak Fred drunk to-night," she prayed.
"He is trying hard, but Mr. Fagin and his helpers are doing
all they can to kill him; for Jesus' sake stop them, for the
sake of his heart-broken wife and his little boy, stop them.
May every man, woman and child here to-night be saved for Jesus'
sake. Amen."

Not a person moved during the prayer; every word went straight
to the hearts of the people; many of the women were weeping
and the men were fighting back their tears with more or less
success.

After Fagin had consented to allow a meeting in his place he
and his crowd had gone after Fred and filled him full of liquor.
At the right time he was to be brought into the room and introduced
as one of Morton's converts. This was to be the signal for the
crowd to break up the meeting.

Floe had spoiled their plans by her prayer. Fred came into the
room unnoticed while she was praying, and at the close of her
prayer he pushed his way to the platform. In his drunken way
he said he didn't want to blame the gang for his condition,
but he had tried as hard as he could and it was no use, there
was no hope for him. He began to cry and left the room by the
rear door. He pulled the door open again and, waving his hat
in the air said, "You pikers will never git another chance to
make a monkey out of me," and slammed the door.

Morton jumped to his feet and said to the crowd, "I want Floe
and Gene to sing for you, but before they sing I will ask Mrs.
Cook, one of your neighbors, to say something about Jesus in
her home." Morton was afraid to have Bill Cook speak, but thought
Mrs. Cook could keep the crowd still better than a man.

"Everybody here knows me," said Mrs. Cook. "We've lived here
in this town for thirty years. All that time, until a little
while ago, we've had a drunkard's home. Jesus saved me one night
and my husband came the next night and we're havin' the blessedest
time yer' ever heard tell on. Bill don't drink no more and I
ain't been mad fer two weeks now, 'cept when Fagin and Mike
tried ter git Bill ter drink. I don't see fer the life of me,
what they want ter git Bill back inter the gutter agin fer"--Morton
trembled--"they oughter be satisfied; they've had all his money
fer years. I wouldn't do that ter them er their families if
they was tryin' ter git along like we are," and she began to
cry.

Before she could go on with her talk, Morton arose and said,
"Floe and Gene will sing." The song selected was the duet, "They
are Nailed to the Cross."

 "There was One who was willing to die in my stead,
   That a soul so unworthy might live,
  And the path to the cross, He was willing to tread,
   All the sins of my life to forgive.

 "They are nailed to the cross, they are nailed to the cross,
   Oh, how much he was willing to bear!
  With what anguish and loss, Jesus went to the cross!
   But he carried my sins with Him there.

 "He is tender and loving and patient with me,
   While He cleanses my heart of its dross;
  But 'there's no condemnation,' I know I am free,
   For my sins are all nailed to the cross.

 "I will cling to my Saviour and never depart,
   I will joyfully journey each day,
  With a song on my lips and a song in my heart,
   That my sins have been taken away."

After the song Morton gave an invitation. Mike stepped out from
behind the bar, untied his white apron and walked up to the
platform. "If you people think that I kin be fergiven I want
it right now," he said. "I did try to get Bill to drink and
I got Fred Hanks drunk and I'm an awful sinner, but I'm done
with the whole business; I'll never sell nor take another drink
in my life if God will forgive me the way I've used Him." Mike's
wife pushed her way through the crowd and they both bowed in
prayer at the old saloon platform. At least twenty-five men
and women came forward that night and prayed to God for mercy.
Fagin stood with his elbows on the bar and watched everything
that was going on, but he said nothing.

At nine o'clock Mr. Morton said, "We agreed to get through in
this place at nine o'clock and our time is up. I wish to thank
Mr. Fagin for his kindness to us, and before we close I wish
to ask God to bless him and his family and get him out of this
business."

Fagin bowed his head as Morton prayed, and as they passed out
he shook hands with all of them and invited them to come again.

The next night at the Mission the first man upon his feet to
give a testimony was Oily Ike Palmer. "I was in Fagin's bar-room
meeting, and before I went to sleep last night Jesus saved me.
Every one in the First Ward knows me and they know very little
good of me. I was educated for the ministry and expected to
be some one in this world. Everything was bright before me;
my parents were both Christians and well to do. Every one, in
the little place where I lived, pointed me out as a model young
man. A so-called doctor gave me morphine for pain one day and
told me to carry it with me always. Some of you know the rest
of my story without my telling it; it soon got the best of me.
For fifteen years I have been a drug fiend. I have tried every
known remedy and they have all failed. With the drug I began
to drink whisky. In order to keep myself in these things, I
became dishonest. For ten years at least I have made my money
in a crooked way. My family have suffered everything through
my sin. We were not raised in the slums, but have drifted to
the very bottom because of my vicious habits. My brothers and
sisters never mention my name, and in the old home my picture
has been turned toward the wall. Last night, when Jimmie Moore
came to my home and invited me to the Fagin place, I could not
refuse him. He told me that Jesus could help me and that you
people here would be my friend. I went to Fagin's and heard
of my way out; I left that place determined to find God if I
could; I spent half of last night upon my knees, and to-night,
although very weak and nervous, I know that I am saved. I've
been twenty-four hours without drug or whisky and I could never
do that unless God was with me. I just want to say one more
thing before I sit down. Jimmie Moore came to my house again
to-day and invited me to this meeting. When I told him I had
no clothing fit to be seen in a place like this, he took every
penny he had, thirty-seven cents, I believe, and bought these
pants from Rosenbaum. He has promised to leave an evening paper
there for sixty-three days to make up the dollar--the price
of the pants. I did not know that until this evening, or I should
not have allowed him to do it. Jesus saved me, but that boy
did his share of it and under God I want to thank Jimmie for
my salvation."

Mike and his wife both spoke and thanked God for salvation.

Bucktown was well represented at the meeting and several professed
conversion. After the meeting Jimmie said to Morton, "When we
git Dave and Fagin, Fred Hanks and Doc Snyder saved, Bucktown
will be just as good as der Bulevard ter live in. Jewey got
pinched ter-day and he'll git a ten spot, 'cause dey found der
goods on him."



CHAPTER XIV

_Fred and Doc_


When Fred Hanks left Fagin's, he started for the river determined
to end his life. Fred had made many desperate attempts to live
a sober life, but with him it was out of the question. He had
made resolution after resolution. He had taken the gold cure
and in less than forty-eight hours after being cured he was
drunk again. His own father had said to Morton, "There is no
hope for him, and I wish that he was dead." Five different times
Morton had prayed with him and Fred had promised each time to
stay away from drink and trust God; and he meant every word
he said. Men do not get to be drunkards from choice; they cannot
help it. It is the first drink that makes drunkards, not the
last. The hundreds of thousands of young men and women who are
drinking just for fun to-day will be a great army of helpless
drunkards to-morrow. Of course, if they were told this, every
one would laugh at the idea that they would ever be drunkards;
but, allow the question, where else do the drunkards come from?
Many men say they can drink or they can leave it alone. Every
drunkard in the world has been able to say the same thing sometime,
but that time passes for nearly every one. Men who say they
can drink or leave it alone, invariably drink. The same thing
is true with the poor fallen girl. Never did a girl start out
with the intention of going into the very depths of sin; but
Charles N. Crittenden tells us that three hundred thousand women
are living in houses of ill-fame in the United States alone.
Their average life is only five years and it takes six thousand
girls every thirty days to keep the ranks filled. Seventy-two
thousand girls enter upon a life of shame every year; again,
allow the question, where do they come from? No man starts out
to be a drunkard; no girl starts out to be a harlot; why are
there so many? Unconsciously they become slaves to sin, and
the result is, our country is reeking with this class of people.
One who has given a life among women of this class says that
nine out of every ten come from the dance hall. One thing is
certain, they all come from our homes. Nearly all would gladly
leave the awful life they are living if they could, but, like
poor Fred Hanks, they are bound hand and foot by sin. Nothing
but the power of God can save the fallen.

Fred went to the bridge over the East Side canal and, climbing
to the top of the railing, deliberately leaped into the dark
waters, twenty feet below. Several people saw him when he leaped
and he was rescued from the water before he could drown. When
the officer from the corner saw who it was he called the wagon
from the police station and Fred spent the night in his wet
clothing on the plank in a cell. As he was loaded into the wagon
several people inquired who he was. "Oh, only a drunken barber,"
was the reply; "we get him often. It ain't the first time he's
tried this."

The next morning, with Jimmie, Morton went to the station and
took Fred to his home. There was a change in Fred; Morton saw
something in him that he had never noticed there before.

"Fred," he said kindly, "you have had a very close call; but
God in His love and mercy has seen fit to spare you. What do
you mean to do with your life?"

"With God's help I'll give it all to Him." And right then and
there he unconditionally surrendered himself to God.

Mrs. Hanks took her baby in her arms and paid Fagin a visit.

"O Mr. Fagin, won't you please give Fred a chance to stay sober?
Every time he gets away from liquor for a few days, you do all
in your power to get him drunk again. Last night he nearly
succeeded in killing himself, after you had filled him up, and
you would have been his murderer had he accomplished his purpose.
Baby and myself have had nothing to eat to-day and I cannot
stand this strain much longer; for our sake, won't you give
him a chance?"

Fagin was very nervous as he thought of the awful way he had
acted. He promised her, not only to refuse Fred any liquor in
his place, but said he would do all in his power to keep it
away from him in other places. As she left the place, he slipped
a dollar into her hand and said, "Feed the kid; he looks hungry."

Fred was sick from the effects of his bath the night before;
but so determined was he to do right, that he went with Jimmie
to Doctor Snyder's office and from there to work. The doctor
gave him some medicine and called him "a d---- fool" for his
attempt of the night before.

"Say, Doc," said Jimmie, "Fred's got Jesus ter-day and boozin'
and him is done. Ter-night in der Mission he's goin' ter speak
erbout it. Yer promised ter come down some night; won't yer
come ter-night t' hear Fred?"

"If Fred will speak I'll come down and sit on the front seat,"
said the doctor, tauntingly, as he turned to Fred.

"You'll be on the front seat then," said Fred, "'cause I'm goin'
to speak if God lets me live. I've tried lots of times to brace
up, but this time I'm trustin' God. If you're a man of your
word you'll be in the Mission to-night and on the front seat
too."

That night the doctor was there. He had several drinks aboard,
but was not in the least intoxicated. After the singing and
Scripture reading the meeting was thrown open for testimonials.
Bill and Mrs. Cook stood up and told how God had saved them.
The doctor had never heard them speak before and he at once
became very much interested. When Mike Hardy stood up to speak
the doctor was so surprised that he turned around in his chair
and unconsciously said, "Well, I'll be d----! When did he get
into this game? If there's nothing in this religion they're
talking about, a mighty lot of people are getting fooled in
this Mission business."

Fred Hanks took hold of a chair in front of him and with difficulty
rose to his feet. "I don't expect any one to take stock in me,"
he said; "I have made so many mistakes and turned the Mission
people so many times I am almost ashamed to look at them. I'm
not making any promises this time. I've turned my case over
to Jesus Christ. If I get drunk now, He's to blame, 'cause he's
running the whole shooting match. My life has been a failure
from start to finish. When I was a boy I carried papers; one
of my regular customers was an old Dutch woman, who used to
brew her own beer. Every evening when I delivered her paper
I got my glass of beer. I got so I looked ahead to it and when
I was sixteen years old I could drink as much beer as a man.
I learned the barber's trade, and before I was twenty years
of age I was known as a drunken barber. I braced up many times,
but when I started again I always went lower than I was before.
I got into trouble, was arrested, and pled guilty. On account
of my parents, the judge suspended sentence with the understanding
that if I ever took a drink, he would call me up before him
and give me five years. With the State prison staring me in
the face I managed to stay sober three months. During that time
I worked hard, got good clothes on me and married one of the
sweetest girls that ever lived. After our marriage--well, it's
the same old story; why should I tell it again? I've been in
jail all over this country. My picture is in the Rogues' gallery
in more than one city. I did not want to be dishonest, but a
man can't drink whisky and be honest.

"I have stolen the pennies out of my baby's bank to satisfy
that awful desire for whisky. Don't tell me that a man does
that because he wants to; I couldn't help it. God help me; I've
tried as hard as any man ever tried to be somebody but that
craving for whisky was there and it had to be first in my life.
Whisky was my god, I worshiped it, I loved it better than my
family, my life. I've taken the shoes off my feet in the winter
time and traded them for whisky. But to-day, thank God, I've
not even wanted a drink. The first day in years that I've not
wanted whisky is to-day. Gold cure failed; prison bars failed;
wife's tears failed; but Jesus has taken even the desire for
it away. When a man has that gnawing at his very vitals there
is but two things that will touch it, a big drink of whisky
or the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank God, I have Him, and I'll never
thirst again. Last night I leaped from the bridge into the water
to end my life; but God saved me from death and hell. I do not
understand how He can love such a brute as I am, but He does
and now I'm saved."

The doctor was very much moved by what he had heard.

"I never heard it just this way," he said. "The way you folks
put it it's a personal matter and I never could believe that.
I believe there is some great Supreme Being; but I do not believe
in a personal God. I think that after you die you get what's
coming to you; but you people say that you're saved right now
and you know it. That can't be."

In the inquiry meeting, Morton took his Bible and sat down beside
Dr. Snyder. "Doctor, read that verse," he said, opening his
Bible to John 5:24.

"Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth My Word and
believeth on Him that sent me, hath----"

"Does that mean, 'will have'?" asked Morton.

"No, 'hath,' is in the present tense," said the doctor.

"'Hath everlasting life', then, means that we have it now, don't
it, doctor?"

"That is what it says, sir."

"Now look at Isaiah 53:6," said Morton.

"All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one
to his own way and the Lord hath laid----"

"Not 'will lay'," said Morton. "'Hath laid' upon Christ 'the
iniquity of us all.' Does that mean you, doctor?" asked Morton.

"Can it mean me?" asked the doctor.

"If the Word is true, it means you," said Morton.

Like a flash it dawned upon the doctor that Jesus had borne
his sins in His own body on the tree. He leaped to his feet
and said: "All these years I've been a chump! I've never been
satisfied with myself. Had I known this was for me I would have
had it long ago." He was very happy and went from one to the
other shaking hands. When he met Jimmie, he hugged him.

"I want to go to Bucktown and tell the gang I'm saved," he said.

After the meeting Fred Hanks, Doctor Snyder and Jimmie went
from place to place in Bucktown and the doctor did all the talking.
He preached to every one he met. In Fagin's, he told them all
how Fred and he had been saved and begged every one of them
to give their hearts to God. The last place they went was to
the Dolly resort. Never was there such a plea made for purity
as the doctor made to that crowd of women. "There is something
better for you than this sort of life," he said. "God loves
every one of you and wants to save you now. If you will trust
Him to save you I will find you a different home than this."
He did not look for what happened.

"If you will find me a place where I can live like other people,
I'll leave here to-night," said one. "I don't like to live this
way, but there's no one cares for me."

About midnight the door-bell rang at the Morton home, and when
Mr. Morton opened the door, the doctor, Fred and Jimmie stood
there with three women from the Dolly resort.

"I was preaching to the people down in Bucktown," said the doctor,
"and I told them I'd find them a better place to live if they
would trust God. They took me at my word and I have nothing
else to do but bring them here."

Every bed was filled but they were made welcome by Mrs. Morton.

"Come right in," she said. "One of you can sleep with Floe and
the other two can sleep in this bed downstairs. To-morrow we
will get another bed and put it in Floe's big room."

Mr. and Mrs. Morton slept on the floor that night.

When Jimmie reached the barn it was two o'clock.

"Where in the world have you been, Jimmie?" asked Dave.

Jimmie told Dave of all that had taken place and he was as much
interested as was Jimmie.

"Gee, der doc is a comer sure!" said Jimmie. "He can preach
jus' as good as he can peddle pills."



CHAPTER XV

_The Picnic_


Mrs. Morton and Floe spent most of the time during the day in
the homes of Bucktown. They would call the neighbors together
to sew for a certain family. After the sewing a prayer meeting
was held and many women and children were saved in these meetings.
In this way the wives and children were made ready to join with
the heads of the homes in Christian living. The children were
dressed and put into the Mission Sunday school; the family altar
was established and home life took on a new phase in Bucktown.
Many were after the loaves and fishes only; and they got them.
Mrs. Morton knew that they were trying to deceive her but she
never stopped helping them. When real trouble came they would
always send for her and many that started out to "work" the
Mission found Jesus before the "work" ended.

As time drew near for the Mission picnic, the young people and
children talked of nothing else. Six or seven hundred people
attend the annual picnic and the day is one never to be forgotten
by those who go.

Two days before the picnic, Jimmie rushed into Morton's office
and said, "Mr. Morton, I want ter ast you fer somfin'."

"What is it, Jimmie?" asked Morton.

"Well, kin I have it?"

"You can have anything I can give you, my boy; but what is it?"

"I want der gospel wagon and white horses fer picnic day."

"Now, what in the world do you want with a thing like that?"
asked Morton.

"Didn't yer say dat everybody was invited ter der picnic?" asked
Jimmie.

"Yes, that's what I said."

"Well, I want ter take der Bucktown gang what can't go dere
by demselves, and I want der wagon ter haul 'em. Der's more
'an twenty of 'em 'at can't go dere in street cars. Der's
one-winged Bob, Hump Rumpord, Goosefoot Sus, Stumpie-der-shine,
Nigger Mose, Hop Hawkins, Blind Billy, der pianer player at
Dolly's, 'sides those nigger kids of Griffin's 'at's been sick
all winter, and 'sides, Mrs. Rollins says Swipsey can go wid
me if I'll take care of 'im. He near died wid der dipteria and
he's just gittin' over it."

"Well, can you run such an excursion, if I get a good man to
drive the team?" said Morton.

"Kin 'er duck swim? 'Course I kin run her. Kin I have her?"
asked Jimmie.

"Yes, you may have them and we will help you in every way we
can," said Morton. "How's Dave Beach getting on?"

"Gee, he's under construction. He's mad at everybody, drinks
like er fish and swears ter beat der cars," said Jimmie.

"You mean that he is under conviction," said Morton.

"Well, what ever she is, Dave can't swaller 'er an' she's near
choking him."

The day of the picnic was warm and bright, a great crowd was
there with lunch baskets, and every one was in the best of humor.
Thirty minutes after the cars reached the park, Jimmie's excursion
came. The white horses were covered with foam and never did
they seem so proud as they danced and pranced up the steep hill
to the park. Jimmie stood on the back step and was as proud
as the team. Bill Cook lifted Swipsey from the wagon and placed
him in a hammock. Jimmie introduced his load as "der bunch."

"When do we eat, Hump?" asked Bob.

"I dunno. I hope mighty soon. Jimmie says it's goin' to be swell."

"Wonder what dey'll have. Did yer see any of der stuff?" asked
Hop.

"Nope, but I hope they have pie an' soup an' cake wid raisins
in it. Say, Mose, which you'd rather have, sweet potates and
possum or watermelon an' 'lasses?"

"Hush yuh business, man! Hush, yuh business! I'd drop dead suh,
if I'd see a possum. Who said watahmelon? Look yah, man, I ain't
had no pokchop foh moh 'an a week. Hush, man! I can't stan'
no foolin' 'bout such impotent mattahs."

When dinner was announced Morton gave orders to have Jimmie
with "der bunch" sit at the first table. He told the young ladies
who waited upon them to give them everything they wanted. The
first things that were passed to them were several plates of
ham sandwiches.

"Please, how many kin I have of 'em, missus?" asked Hump.

"You can have all you want of them; help yourself," replied
the lady.

He took no less than seven sandwiches the first grab. All that
the rest of "der bunch" needed was some one to start the thing
right, so they all took a like amount.

"Leave der rest of 'em for Blind Billy," said Hump, as one of
the ladies started away with one of the plates.

"What's dat yeller stuff comin', Jim?" whispered Swipsey.

"Gee! don't yer know nothin'?" said Jimmie knowingly. "Dat's
hard eggs wid corn mush over dem."

After Swipsey had tasted of it a few times, he turned to Jimmie
and said, "Them's taters, jus' common taters, wid dat stuff
spilt on 'em and they tastes jus' like green walnuts."

More sandwiches, baked beans, pickles, potato salad, lemonade,
etc., were being stored away so fast that it kept several ladies
busy waiting upon them. When they were well filled Mrs. Morton
sent a plate of fried chicken to their table. Mose stood up
and looked at it.

"Look, yuh woman, where dat chicken come from? I'd give my hat
if I had dat ol' ham an' bread out of me. I'll put my share
of dat chicken away if I bust."

They all grabbed at once. Jimmie got the largest piece and gave
it to Blind Billy. "I don't want no chicken, no how," he said.

Two large watermelons followed. They were cut in fancy scallops
and the waiter put them both down in front of Mose. He took
the largest piece and laid his face upon it and laughed until
he cried. "Mah, watahmelon, what am I eveh 'gwine to do with
you. If I eat dat melon, I'll die suh. But I neveh could die
any happier."

They all ate watermelon till they could hardly straighten up.
Then, when the ice cream and cake was set before them, there
was great sorrow.

With tears in his eyes, Stumpy stood up and said, "We're der
biggest lot of d---- fools what ever lived. Here we'se are
full to der neck wid bread and taters and dem cheap beans dat
we'se kin all git ter home and never left no room for chicken,
watermelon, ice cream and all dis here kinds of cake. Somebody
oughter take us out in der woods and kick us ter death."

"An' yer all doin' der same ting every day," said Jimmie. "Yer
gits so full of cuss words and shootin' craps and boozin' and
stealin' and lyin' dat yer don't have no room fer Jesus. Jesus
is ice cream and cake an' watermelon, an' Morton says He's honey
outen der rock. Yer don't git no feed like dis at Fagin's or
no where else where they ain't got Jesus."

On the way home, Jimmie attempted to get his load of cripples
to accept Christ; and the argument they had about "'ligion,"
as Mose called it, would make splendid reading for preachers;
but we will pass most of it by. Jimmie told them that Jesus
loved them all and was able to help them.

"In der picture I see'd of Him, He's got long hair and wears
long dresses like a woman and looks jus' like he's goin' ter
cry. What's He know erbout guys like us? I can't walk er nothin'
and kin a womany man help me?" asked Hop.

"I don't care erbout no pictures," said Jimmie. "He ain't no
womany man. He built houses and barns and was a carpenter when
He was here. He was born in a barn and slep' in a barn same's
I do an' He didn't have no more home 'an I got. He jus' knows
what I'm doin' an' what I need an' kin take care of me, 'cause
He's been there."

When they were in the midst of their argument the wagon stopped
in front of Dave's barn. Dave's opinion on any subject was final
in Bucktown.

"Say, Dave, come here, will yer?" cried Jimmie. "Dese pikers
are tryin' ter say that Jesus don't love 'em and can't save
'em and sech like and I want yer ter prove that I'm right. Don't
Jesus love everybody?"

"Yes, everybody," said Dave.

"Ain't He got der power der save everybody?"

"Yes, everybody," said Dave.

"Cripples an' all?" asked Jimmie.

"Yes, cripples and all," said Dave.

"Won't He fergive 'em all der mean things dey done?"

"Yes, all of them," said Dave.

"An' won't He take care of 'em all der time?"

"Yes, all the time," said Dave.

"Now, smartie, what did I tell yer?" said Jimmie to Hop.

"Say, Dave," said Hop, "do yer believe all yer sayin'?"

"I certainly do," said Dave.

"Say, Dave, why don't yer git it if yer believe it?"

Dave was dumfounded.

"Oh, it's not for me, boys," he said. "You see, it's----"

"Den it's not fer us neither," Hop ejaculated. "So yer see yer
don't believe a word yer say. We're goin'. So-long, Dave."

Jimmie's eyes filled with tears as he watched Dave stand there
with his head down. Never had he known Dave to get the worst
of an argument before. As the team started, Dave looked up at
Jimmie; their eyes met for an instant. The pain and sorrow on
Jimmie's face pierced Dave to the heart.



CHAPTER XVI

_Dave Strikes His Gait_


After Jimmie had sold his evening papers he started for Dave's
barn. His heart was heavy. Dave had a wonderful influence over
this boy. Jimmie loved him and believed him to be a wonderful
man. He found Dave in his office. "Dave, I want ter talk ter
yer erbout what Hop said ter yer. He said 'at if it wasn't fer
you it wasn't fer him either. Yer didn't say nothin' and I've
been thinkin' maybe yer didn't have nothin' ter say. If yer
sure it's not fer yer, how kin it be fer me? I don't know what
ter do. I pray fer yer every day but if God don't want yer I
might as well give yer up."

He buried his face in his hands and began to weep.

"It's me that's been wrong, Jimmie, not you. I've fought God
ever since I've known you. After you went away to-day I hated
myself for my cowardice. I know what is right and I'll do it
or die."

Jimmie looked up and said, "Der yer mean yer are goin' ter get
saved?"

"That's just what I mean, Jimmie, I am----" But before he could
finish his sentence Jimmie jumped into his lap and hugged him.

"Dear old Dave, I knowed you'd come. Let's go to der Mission
right away, it's time fer der singin' already."

Dave walked so fast that Jimmie had to run to keep up. The song
service was in progress when they reached the Mission. They
sat down in the front row of seats and after a few songs Dave
jumped to his feet and said, "Excuse me, I want to get saved
and I want to get saved bad. I can't wait for the word. I want
to get off now. I've scored at will, I've scored by the pole
horse and I've laid up a heat or two; but I want to get on my
stride and face the wire agoing square. I'm done jockeying and
with everything else that's crooked and I'm going into this
race teaming for first money. I'll win by the help of God."

After the meeting, Floe, Gene, Bill Cook and his wife, Ike Palmer,
Mike Hardy, Mr. and Mrs. Morton and Jimmie went with Dave to
Bucktown. He invited them to visit him at his barn; but his
office was so small they could not all get in, so they went
to the Cook residence. Dave excused himself and in five minutes
returned with Fagin. Fagin was surprised when he saw the crowd,
but he did not seem displeased. Dave was the first to speak.

"Fagin, I let Jesus into my life to-night and I want you to
do the same thing. We're going to start a Sunday school in Bucktown
and we want your room for the purpose.

"This afternoon I denied Christ and I feel that I've turned
a lot of young folks from God; I will get them back for Him
if I have to start a Sunday school and have meetings in the
old barn besides. You know, Fagin, the other day when Fred Hanks
tried to kill himself, you told me you were tired of your business
and wished you could be a Christian. You told me how sorry you
were you boozed him up six times after Morton had got hold of
him. Now, Fred has given himself to God and is doing good work
in the Mission and we want you to join us."

Mrs. Fagin was sent for and it took very little persuasion to
bring her to a decision for the right.

"Mr. Morton and myself will take the lease for the building
off your hands and we'll pay you for what stock you have," Dave
told them. "You can get into the factory where you used to work
and you can live like a man."

Very little remains to be said. The men that came to God through
Jimmie Moore's ministry made the greatest Gospel-wagon crew
ever known. In jail, street and Mission meetings they worked
like one man, never once was any jealousy known to spring up
amongst them. Not one of them ever went back into the old life
for one hour. Five of them have been called into God's work
and all have been prospered and blessed of God.

Jimmie is living with Mr. and Mrs. Gene Dibble and no one ever
saw a happier home.

Jimmie says, "Floe's der best cook what ever happened." Dave,
Bill and Fagin used their influence and elected aldermen who
closed every stall saloon and house of ill-fame in Bucktown.
For eight months Fagin's place was used for a kindergarten during
the week and Sunday school on Sunday. The Railroad Company bought
the old houses in Poverty Row and razed them; a side track running
to the market has taken their place.

One day Jimmie stood at the market and said, "Gee! dis don't
look no more like old Bucktown dan a man what's smokin' looks
like a Christian."





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