Against Heavy Odds

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A win against heavy odds

But otherwise we were abreast. Those days came vividly back to me last winter, when in a Wisconsin country town I was rehearsing the story of the long fight, and pointing out its meaning to us all. In the audience sat a sturdy, white-haired, old farmer who followed the recital with keen interest, losing no word. I was there. It was the first pitched battle in the fight.

He had driven twenty miles across the frozen prairie to hear my story. It is his kind who win such battles, and a few of them go a long way. A handful of Methodist women made the Five Points decent.


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  • translation and definition "fighting against heavy odds", Dictionary English-English online.

We think now that the death-rate of New York is yet too high at 19 or 20 in a thousand of the living. When the congregation grew rich, it handed over its house to the devil and moved uptown. That is not putting it too strong. Counting in the front tenements that shut out what little air and sunshine might otherwise have reached the wretched tenants, it had a population of according to the record, and a mortality of 75 per thousand! The sketches of the Fourth Ward and Wooster Street barracks are reproduced from an old report of the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor.

In fifty years how will it be? It comes to the same thing. Whether seen from the point of view of the citizen, the philanthropist, or the Christian, the slum is the poorest investment a city can make, and once made it is not easily unmade. Just now it was too valuable for factory purposes.

When the city had grown opulent, in say twenty-five years, they would be willing to hand it over. Fatal delusion! Men do not grow that kind of sense as they grow rich.

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It is like fighting a fire. Chasing it up is hard and doubtful work; the chances are that you will not overtake it till the house is burned down. Its judgment has been more than borne out.

In the thirty-five years that have passed since, it has in fact been reduced over fifty per cent. Men and women were found living in cellars deep down under the ground. One or two of those holes are left still in Park Street near the Five Points Mission, but they have not been used as living-rooms for a generation. His was not a case of conscience. More came every day. I remember the story of those shown in the picture.

"odds" in Business English

They had been built only a little while when complaint came to the Board of Health of smells in the houses. A sanitary inspector was sent to find the cause. He followed the smell down in the cellar and, digging there, discovered that the waste pipe was a blind. It had simply been run three feet into the ground and was not connected with the sewer.

The houses were built to sell.

His name, by the way, was Buddensiek. A dozen years after, when it happened that a row of tenements he was building fell down ahead of time, before they were finished and sold, and killed the workmen, he was arrested and sent to Sing Sing for ten years, for manslaughter. That time he had forgotten to put lime in the mortar.

It was just sand. When the houses fell in the sight of men, the law was at last able to make him responsible. It failed in the matter of the soil pipe. It does sometimes to this very day. Knocking a man in the head with an axe, or sticking a knife into him, goes against the grain. Slowly poisoning a hundred so that the pockets of one be made to bulge may not even banish a man from respectable society.

We are a queer lot in some things. However, that is hardly quite fair to society. It is a fact that that part of it which would deserve the respect of its fellow-citizens has got rid of its tenement-house property in recent years. It speculates in railway shares now. Twenty cases of typhoid fever from a single house in one year was the record that had gone unconsidered. Bedrooms in tenements were dark closets, utterly without ventilation.

The houses were built like huge square boxes, covering nearly the whole of the lot. Some light came in at the ends, but the middle was always black. Put a brand upon the murderer who would smother babies in dark holes and bedrooms. He is nothing else. Forbid the putting of a house five stories high, or six, on a twenty-five foot lot, unless at least thirty-five per cent of the lot be reserved for sunlight and air.

Forbid it absolutely, if you can. I have known drunkards to wreck homes a plenty in my time; but I have known homes, too, that made drunkards by the shortest cut. That last might not be my way, but it is a human way, and it breeds hatred which is not good mortar for us to build with.

It does not bind. A plus for all subjects that Swati has managed to secure fighting the odds is an inspiration to all those who think of giving it up at the first challenge that life throws at them. True to her nature, the teenager first thought of her school and the teachers who supported in her treatment and studies alike. She visited the school with a box of sweets and shared the good news with teachers who were more excited than she.

Persevering Against Heavy Odds

Her father M. The surgery was conducted on July 13 last year and she missed classes for four months. Krishnankutty has no big dreams for her daughter.