"Righteousness shall go before him and
shall set us in the way of his steps."
THE Bishop was not in the habit of
carrying much money with him, and the
man with the stake who was searching him
uttered an oath at the small amount of
change he found. As he uttered it, the
man with the pistol savagely said, "Jerk
out his watch! We might as well get all
we can out of the job!"
The man with the stake was on the
point of laying hold of the chain where
there was a sound of footsteps coming
"Get behind the fence! We haven't
half searched him yet! Mind you keep
shut now, if you don't want--"
The man with the pistol made a
significant gesture with it and, with
his companion, pulled and pushed the
Bishop down the alley and through a
ragged, broken opening in the fence. The
three stood still there in the shadow
until the footsteps passed.
"Now, then, have you got the
watch?" asked the man with the pistol.
"No, the chain is caught
somewhere!" and the other man swore
"Break it then!"
"No, don't break it," the Bishop
said, and it was the first time he had
spoken. "The chain is the gift of a very
dear friend. I should be sorry to have
At the sound of the Bishop's voice
the man with the pistol started as if he
had been suddenly shot by his own
weapon. With a quick movement of his
other hand he turned the Bishop's head
toward's what little light was shining
from the alleyway, at the same time
taking a step nearer. Then, to the
amazement of his companion, he said
"Leave the watch alone! We've got
the money. That's enough!"
"Enough! Fifty cents! You don't
Before the man with the stake could
say another word he was confronted with
the muzzle of the pistol turned from the
Bishop's head towards his own.
"Leave that watch be! And put back
the money too. This is the Bishop we've
held up -- the Bishop -- do you hear?"
"And what of it! The President of
the United States wouldn't be too good
to hold up, if -- "
"I say, you put the money back, or
in five seconds I'll blow a hole through
your head that'll let in more sense than
you have to spare now!" said the other.
For a second the man with the stake
seemed to hesitate at this strange turn
in events, as if measuring his
companion's intention. Then he hastily
dropped the money back into the rifled
"You can take your hands down,
sir." The man lowered his weapon slowly,
still keeping an eye on the other man,
and speaking with rough respect. The
Bishop slowly brought his arms to his
side, and looked earnestly at the two
men. In the dim light it was difficult
to distinguish features. He was
evidently free to go his way now, but he
stood there making no movement.
"You can go on. You needn't stay
any longer on our account." The man who
had acted as spokesman turned and sat
down on a stone. The other man stood
viciously digging his stake into the
"That's just what I am staying
for," replied the Bishop. He sat down on
a board that projected from the broken
"You must like our company. It is
hard sometimes for people to tear
themselves away from us," and the man
standing up laughed coarsely.
"Shut up!" exclaimed the other.
"We're on the road to hell, though,
that's sure enough. We need better
company than ourselves and the devil."
"If you would only allow me to be
of any help," the Bishop spoke gently,
even lovingly. The man on the stone
stared at the Bishop through the
darkness. After a moment of silence he
spoke slowly like one who had finally
decided upon a course he had at first
"Do you remember ever seeing me
"No," said the Bishop. "The light
is not very good and I have really not
had a good look at you."
"Do you know me now?" The man
suddenly took off his hat and getting up
from the stone walked over to the Bishop
until they were near enough to touch
The man's hair was coal black
except one spot on the top of his head
about as large as the palm of the hand,
which was white.
The minute the Bishop saw that, he
started. The memory of fifteen years ago
began to stir in him. The man helped
"Don't you remember one day back in
'81 or '82 a man came to your house and
told a story about his wife and child
having been burned to death in a
tenement fire in New York?"
"Yes, I begin to remember now." The
other man seemed to be interested. He
ceased digging his stake in the ground
and stood still listening.
"Do you remember how you took me
into your own house that night and spent
all next day trying to find me a job?
And how when you succeeded in getting me
a place in a warehouse as foreman, I
promised to quit drinking because you
asked me to?"
"I remember it now. I hope you have
kept your promise."
The man laughed savagely. Then he
struck his hand against the fence with
such sudden passion that he drew blood.
"Kept it! I was drunk inside of a
week! I've been drinking ever since. But
I've never forgotten you nor your
prayer. Do you remember the morning
after I came to your house, after
breakfast you had prayers and asked me
to come in and sit with the rest? That
got me! But my mother used to pray! I
can see her now kneeling down by my bed
when I was a lad. Father came in one
night and kicked her while she was
kneeling there by me. But I never forgot
that prayer of yours that morning. You
prayed for me just as mother used to,
and you didn't seem to take 'count of
the fact that I was ragged and tough-
looking and more than half drunk when I
rang your door bell. Oh, what a life
I've lived! The saloon has housed me and
homed me and made hell on earth for me.
But that prayer stuck to me all the
time. My promise not to drink was broken
into a thousand pieces inside of two
Sundays, and I lost the job you found
for me and landed in a police station
two days later, but I never forgot you
nor your prayer. I don't know what good
it has done me, but I never forgot it.
And I won't do any harm to you nor let
any one else. So you're free to go.
The Bishop did not stir. Somewhere
a church clock struck one. The man had
put on his hat and gone back to his seat
on the stone. The Bishop was thinking
"How long is it since you had
work?" he asked, and the man standing up
answered for the other.
"More'n six months since either of
us did anything to tell of; unless you
count 'holding up' work. I call it
pretty wearing kind of a job myself,
especially when we put in a night like
this and don't make nothin'."
"Suppose I found good jobs for both
of you? Would you quit this and begin
"What's the use?" the man on the
stone spoke sullenly. "I've reformed a
hundred times. Every time I go down
deeper. The devil's begun to foreclose
on me already. It's too late."
"No!" said the Bishop. And never
before the most entranced audience had
he felt the desire for souls burn up in
him so strongly. All the time he sat
there during the remarkable scene he
prayed, "O Lord Jesus, give me the souls
of these two for Thee! I am hungry for
them. Give them to me!"
"No!" the Bishop repeated. "What
does God want of you two men? It doesn't
so much matter what I want. But He wants
just what I do in this case. You two men
are of infinite value to Him." And then
his wonderful memory came to his aid in
an appeal such as no one on earth among
men could make under such circumstances.
He had remembered the man's name in
spite of the wonderfully busy years that
lay between his coming to the house and
the present moment.
"Burns," he said, and he yearned
over the men with an unspeakable longing
for them both, "if you and your friend
here will go home with me tonight I will
find you both places of honorable
employment. I will believe in you and
trust you. You are both comparatively
young men. Why should God lose you? It
is a great thing to win the love of the
Great Father. It is a small thing that I
should love you. But if you need to feel
again that there is love in the world,
you will believe me when I say, my
brothers, that I love you, and in the
name of Him who was crucified for our
sins I cannot bear to see you miss the
glory of the human life. Come, be men!
Make another try for it, God helping
you. No one but God and you and myself
need ever know anything of this tonight.
He has forgiven it the minute you ask
Him to. You will find that true. Come!
We'll fight it out together, you two and
I. It's worth fighting for, everlasting
life is. It was the sinner that Christ
came to help. I'll do what I can for
you. O God, give me the souls of these
two men!" and he broke into a prayer to
God that was a continuation of his
appeal to the men. His pent-up feeling
had no other outlet. Before he had
prayed many moments Burns was sitting
with his face buried in his hands,
sobbing. Where were his mother's prayers
now? They were adding to the power of
the Bishop's. And the other man, harder,
less moved, without a previous knowledge
of the Bishop, leaned back against the
fence, stolid at first. But as the
prayer went on, he was moved by it. What
force of the Holy Spirit swept over his
dulled, brutal, coarsened life, nothing
but the eternal records of the recording
angel can ever disclose. But the same
supernatural Presence that smote Paul on
the road to Damascus, and poured through
Henry Maxwell's church the morning he
asked disciples to follow in Jesus'
steps, and had again broken irresistibly
over the Nazareth Avenue congregation,
now manifested Himself in this foul
corner of the mighty city and over the
natures of these two sinful sunken men,
apparently lost to all the pleadings of
conscience and memory and God. The
prayer seemed to red open the crust that
for years had surrounded them and shut
them off from divine communication. And
they themselves were thoroughly startled
The Bishop ceased, and at first he
himself did not realize what had
happened. Neither did they. Burns still
sat with his head bowed between his
knees. The man leaning against the fence
looked at the Bishop with a face in
which new emotions of awe, repentance,
astonishment and a broken gleam of joy
struggled for expression. The Bishop
"Come, my brothers. God is good.
You shall stay at the Settlement
tonight, and I will make good my promise
as to the work."
The two men followed him in
silence. When they reached the
Settlement it was after two o'clock. He
let them in and led them to a room. At
the door he paused a moment. His tall,
commanding figure stood in the doorway
and his pale face was illuminated with
the divine glory.
"God bless you, my brothers!" he
said, and leaving them his benediction
he went away.
In the morning he almost dreaded to
face the men. But the impression of the
night had not worn away. True to his
promise he secured work for them. The
janitor at the Settlement needed an
assistant, owing to the growth of the
work there. So Burns was given the
place. The Bishop succeeded in getting
his companion a position as driver for a
firm of warehouse dray manufacturers not
far from the Settlement. And the Holy
Spirit, struggling in these two darkened
sinful men, began His marvelous work of