San Francisco is a mad city - inhabited for the most part
by perfectly insane people, whose women are of a remarkable
When the "City of Pekin" steamed through the Golden Gate, I saw
with great joy that the block-house which guarded the mouth of
the "finest harbor in the world, sir," could be silenced by two
gunboats from Hong Kong with safety, comfort, and despatch.
Also, there was not a single American vessel of war in the
This may sound bloodthirsty; but remember, I had come with a
grievance upon me - the grievance of the pirated English books.
Then a reporter leaped aboard, and ere I could gasp held me in
his toils. He pumped me exhaustively while I was getting ashore,
demanding of all things in the world news about Indian
journalism. It is an awful thing to enter a new land with a new
lie on your lips. I spoke the truth to the evil-minded Custom
House man who turned my most sacred raiment on a floor com-posed
of stable refuse and pine splinters; but the reporter overwhelmed
me not so much by his poignant audacity as his beautiful
ignorance. I am sorry now that I did not tell him more lies as
I passed into a city of three hundred thousand white men.