But, explain it as we may, the consoling fact remains that civilized races, including slum-dwellers, have a distinctly lower death-rate from tuberculosis than have savage tribes which are exposed to it even under most favorable climatic and hygienic conditions; that those races which have survived longest in city and even slum surroundings have a lower death-rate than the rest of the community under those conditions; and that certain of our urban populations have lower death-rates than many of our rural ones.
Caswall also felt trapped, and all the brute in him rose to the emergency. In a voice which was raucous and brutal much like that which is heard when a wife is being beaten by her husband in a slum he hissed out, his syllables cutting through the roaring of the storm: "You came of your own accord without permission, or even asking it. Now you can stay or go as you choose.
At right angles, touching the mosque, was such a house as one can see only in the East fantastically old, fantastically decayed, bleared, discolored, filthy, melancholy, showing hideous windows, like windows in the slum of a town set above coal-pits in a colliery district, a degraded house, and yet a house which roused the imagination and drove it to its work.
They dwell in the midst of Hell, and in their daily warfare with a hundred devils it seems incredible to them that anyone can doubt the existence of either one or the other. The Slum Sister is what her name implies, the Sister of the Slum.
Doctors are never molested in the slum. It does not know but that its turn to need them is coming next. No more was I. I can think of only two occasions in more than twenty years of police reporting when I was in actual peril, though once I was very badly frightened.
Many of them, as it appeared, had remained in their old slum more from force of habit and association than because of necessity. "Everything takes ten years," said Abram S. Hewitt, when, exactly ten years after he had as mayor championed the Small Parks Act, he took his seat as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Small Parks. The ten years had wrought a great change.
After his wife's death, the husband, who earned his living by selling laces on London Bridge, went down in the world, and his room became filthy. The Slum Sisters told him that they would clean up the place, but he forbade them to touch the bed, which, he said, was full of mice and beetles. As he knew that women dread mice and beetles, he thought that this statement would frighten them.
Among them, to take some that she mentioned, which recur to my mind, are the questions of illegitimacy and prostitution, of maternity homes for poor girls who have fallen into trouble, of women thieves, of what is known as the White Slave traffic, of female children who have been exposed to awful treatment, of women who are drunkards or drug-takers, of aged and destitute women, of intractable or vicious-minded girls, and, lastly, of the training of young persons to enable them to deal scientifically with all these evils, or under the name of Slum Sisters, to wait upon the poor in their homes, and nurse them through the trials of maternity.
Far removed from him as Silas Finn was in mode of life and ideals, he found much in common with his father. Each had made his way from the slum, each had been guided by an inner light was Silas Finn's fantastic belief less of an ignis fatuus than his own? each had sought to get away from a past, each was a child of Ishmael, each, in his own way, had lived romantically.
To illustrate the way in which this would work, let us revert to the case of a block of slum property.