San Francisco Has Been
Pitched Down On The Sand Bunkers Of The Bikaneer Desert.
one fourth of it is ground reclaimed from the sea - any old-timers
will tell you all about that.
The remainder is just ragged,
unthrifty sand hills, to-day pegged down by houses.
From an English point of view there has not been the least
attempt at grading those hills, and indeed you might as well try
to grade the hillocks of Sind. The cable cars have for all
practical purposes made San Francisco a dead level. They take no
count of rise or fall, but slide equably on their appointed
courses from one end to the other of a six-mile street. They
turn corners almost at right angles, cross other lines, and for
aught I know may run up the sides of houses. There is no visible
agency of their flight, but once in awhile you shall pass a
five-storied building humming with machinery that winds up an
everlasting wire cable, and the initiated will tell you that here
is the mechanism. I gave up asking questions. If it pleases
Providence to make a car run up and down a slit in the ground for
many miles, and if for twopence halfpenny I can ride in that car,
why shall I seek the reasons of the miracle? Rather let me look
out of the windows till the shops give place to thousands and
thousands of little houses made of wood (to imitate stone), each
house just big enough for a man and his family.
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