There is a common idea that the age of miracles is past. Perhaps it is, but if so, the change must have come about within the past few weeks—after I escaped into Holland. For if anything is certain in this life it is this: this book never would have been written but for the succession of miracles set forth in these pages. Miracles, luck, coincidence, Providence—it doesn't matter much what you call it—certainly played an important part in the series of hairbreadth escapes in which I figured during my short but eventful appearance in the great drama now being enacted across the seas. Without it, all my efforts and sufferings would have been quite unavailing. No one realizes this better than I do and I want to repeat it right here because elsewhere in these pages I may appear occasionally to overlook or minimize it: without the help of Providence I would not be here today. But this same Providence which brought me home safely, despite all the dangers which beset me, may work similar miracles for others, and it is in the hope of encouraging other poor devils who may find themselves in situations as hopeless apparently as mine oftentimes were that this book is written.