OCR Interpretation


The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, May 10, 1896, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1896-05-10/ed-1/seq-18/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for 18

18
HOW GEO FRANCIS TRAIN
HELD UP THE GERMAN MAIL.
1 FIRST met GeoFge Francis Train just
two days before I started with him on
that sixty-seven day tour of the world
- from Tacoma to Tacoma. The start
was made on the 16th of March, 1890.
Going out of Commencement Bay by
special steamer to meet the Canadian
trans- Pacific liner Abyssinia in the Royal
Roads opposite Victoria, we rode into
Tacoma by special train from the East on
the afternoon of the , an interval
of sixty-seven days between the farewell
waved to the gay crowd of excursionists on
the steamer Olympian in the 6traits of
Fuca and the greeting to the other gay
crowd with its other brass bands in the
streets of Tacoma seemed, when it was
done, but a twinkling, and yet, seen
through the experiences that bad come
between, seemed a decade. Figuratively, it
was a cup of tea in Japan, "'just one more
in China, a sniff at the spices of Ceylon
and Araby, a glass of wine in Paris, a
momentary struggle with a London fog,
and then New York and the crash ol the
brass band and cannons on the
hills of Tacoma. Literally, it was
sixty-seven days' driving behind the
world's swiftest engine, sixty-seven days
churning the ocean and roaring over rails
westward. And none of the peoples of all
the earth will forget that sixty-seven-day
visitation. It recurs to me like a torch
light procession, with unbroken ranks and
skyrockets and red fire and a long trail of
astonished natives.
The Olympian and the Abyssinia lashed
together in the Straits of Fuca and Train
and I stepped from the one to the other.
The one backed away, and while the band
played and the crowd yelled, neaded for
Victoria; the other started her ponderous
machinery with her nose pointed toward
a stormy ocean and the Orient.
W hat I had seen of George Francis Train
up to that time was simpfy a man of un
usual vitality, a public speaker of unusual
capacity to entertain, a man of apparently
unusual executive capacity, thinking of a
thousand details of his trip and keeping
everybody about him busy with prepara
tions while he himself pnve his time to
every little tot that came into his room or
crossed his path. To be sure when intro
duced he kept his hands to himself, fold
ing them together while bowing in the
most courtly fashion. His "eccentricity"
in this matter was well known, however,
and taken in connection with his abun
dant pood spirits was passed with a smile.
Now, however, he and I were alone, co to
speak. For, although our sensational
entry into the ship had brought passen
gers and crew on deck, they stood aloof,
and we were shown to our two big state
rooms on the lower deck and for the first
time sized each other up as inseparable
for the next two months or so.
"We are going on an important mis
sion," said Train. "We are to show the
THE AGENT TELEGRAPHS TO HOLD THE GENERAL WERDER.
[From a sketch.]
real way round the earth— the short way.
Do you drink and carouse around?"
I told him I was simply a plain news
pa pei man, but that I would do the best I
could.
Train had been an irrepressible joker
himself up to this time. Now he said:
"On the contrary. I do not drink anything
myself, and we must keep our heads about
us for this business. We will travel like
princes, but we will be very busy at every
post. We must make absolute connection
everywhere or the enterprise will fall flat."
For sixteen days we plunged through
bleak and stormy seas, with rain and
snow accompaniment. We had counted
on fourteen days across. There had been
no plan beforehand, however. We knew
notmng of the sailing days of ships west
ward in the Orient. It was simply a trust
ing to Train's "psychics" — another name
for luck. The loss of two days on the
Pacific did not disturb him in* the least.
He was the same philosopher in raid
ocean that he had been in Madison square.
On the 2d of April, fourteen days out. a
faint line of purple came into the western
horizon. As Train and I stood at the
ship's rail watching it, he with a glass and
his big fur-collared coat buttoned about
him, he said: "That is Japan. In forty
eight hours we begin business. Running
forty miles an hour, once, across the
American continent— l was conducting a
party of notables over the first Pacific road
—I touched a light to the prairie at night
"WHAT!" SAID TRAIN. "THREE DAYS!"
[Sketched by a "Call" artist.]
and awoke the sleeping train to see the
sea of tire. Y'oa are rarely fortunate. You
will witness the like again. lam about to
set the prairie on fire. I have the twist
upon the world. I shall enter the United
States like Monte Cristo rising from the
sea. I have found the riches and the world
is mine."
On the morning of the 4th of April we
rounded into the harbor at Yokohama.
The day was beautiful and as we ran up
the bay through the moving life and
color of the harbor, dotted witn sampans
and stranee sea cruft, with h»re and there
* big ooean liner, the roofs of Yokohama
making jatrged points along the rim of the
sea, while Fujiyama lifted its white cone
into the distant sky and the water about
us sparkling with light and life, the sen
sation vas like that of drinking wine.
Train had been on deck since daybreak.
With his glass c was studying the flags
in the harbor, looking for the English or
German, for they are fast sailers. We
slowed down some distance out and a
pilot came on board and told him that
the General Werder — North German
Lloyds — had sailed two days before to
make connections with vessels of its own
lino clear into the Mediterranean. Ttier*
would not be another vessel south in a
week.
Do you think that rattled the chief? Not
a bit of it.
"Well, well, let us go to breakfast," he
said. "We will see about it when we get
ashore. "
The 4th of April happened to be Good
Friday, and in this land of Buddha was
religiously observed. The town was prac
tically shut up. We took a rickshaw to
the office of the Japan Gazette, enlisted
the editor, wto led the way to the resi
dence of the agent of the German Lloyds.
Arrived there we found the door locked
and the blinds drawn. The agent was still
abed.
He was awakened by a clamor at his
THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL, SUNDAY, MAY 10, 1&96.
door. He heard his little Japanese maid
pull back the bolts in the hallway, and
i card men's loud insistent voices and her
timid remonstrance that her master must
not be disturbed ; he heard footsteps ap
proach bis own bedroom, and then an
alarming knocking upon the panels of the
door. He sprang out of bed.
"Who's there?" he cried.
"George Francis Train, sixteen days
from Tacoma. bound round the world in
sixty days. Come! let me in."
"What do you want? I'm in my night
shirt."
"Very well; Seep it on! Come, let me
in, I'm in a hurry! 1 want to catch the
Werder."
"The General Werder sailed two days
ago."
"Oh, come, open the door! Don't you
suppose I know that? I want to catch
her."
Douutingly Herr Leopold turned the
key in the lock, and then the door was
pushed open from the other side and
three men walked in. He of the con
versation was a tall, large-framed man
with snow-white hair and gray mustache,
extremely rapid in manner and speech,
faultlessly dressed in a gray suit, brown
overcoat, gloves and patent-leather shoes
The line of argument was generally in
terrupted.
"Where is the Werder now?" asked
Train.
"At Kobe."
"Kobe is 300 miles down the coast and
can be reached by rail?"
"Yes."
"When will she sail from there?"
"To-morrow morn in •."
"She sails with the tide?"'
"No. There is plenty of water where
she lies."
"It is twenty-four hours from here.
What time does a train leave?"
"At 3 this afternoon."
41 It would be too late. You must hold
the vessel."
"Impossible, sir. It cannot be done.
Under any circumstances it cannot. The
General Werder carries the German mail."
But it was done. As an excuse for say
ing all that he did pay in the time he took
to it Train explatned that he was in a
hurry. He told Leopold that it meant
two first-class passages from Kobe to the
canal — almost a third the way round the
earth— worth in money $800; in fame with
out price. This trip was history, he must
get into it. We had a kodak with us; we
would take a photograph of the agent in
his nightshirt in the act of sending the
mpssage that held the Werder.
It was effective. Mr. Leopold rang; his
little Japanese girl i responded; by his or
der she brought a bottle of yellow label.
Having been won to the enterprise sne be
came enthusiastic in it, and Anglin, the
editor, was so delighted that he hugged
and kissed the little Japanese girl re
peatedly. But he might have done that
upon Blighter provocation. She only
smiled and was still demure.
Then we jumped into the rickshaws
again and rode to the Consul's office.
There was a little rush of pleased excia
mation and reminiscence at the meeting
with Consul Greathouse and then Train
stated the business: "I am on my every
twenty-year tour of the world. I want
passports for two."
"Ah!" said Greathouse. "That is red
tape. You will have to see the American
Minister, Mr. Swift, at Tokio,"
"Very well. Can you tell me about the
train ?•'
"It leaves at 11."
"And when return?"
"At 2."
"That will do nicely. It will give me
thirty minutes in Tokio. lam to catch
the 3 o'clock train for Kobe."
"The 3 o'clock train for Kobe!" The
Consul laughed. "You might as well sit
down and be easy, for that is impossible."
"Why? Impossible seems to be very
lightly spoken in Japan."
"Well, It is impossible," he repeated.
"Minister Swift win have to seethe Japan
ese Minister, and there is a whole lot of
hocus pocus. Besides this is a Japanese
holiday and I don't think you could get
one of them to move in the matter to-day
even if they could be found, which is very
doubtful. A passport has never been ob
tained under the most favorable circum
stances and strongest pressure in less than
three days."
"What," exclaimed Train, "three days
to sign a paper? It is time, then, that I
reduced the limit to about three minutes.
You watch me."
I did not go to Tokio, but between 11
and 2 o'clock saw Yokohama. At 2 o'clock
a little party of friends, invited, sat and
stood about a table in the dining-room of
the Grand Hotel watching the clock. The
waiters stood by equally anxious. The
guests tried their best to" make it appear
that they did not feel silly. Anglin, the
editor, who had been shifting the resDon
sibility of his 200 pounds from one leg to
another, made a mental note that the
clock marked twelve minutes past 2, and
that that was three minutes slower than
his watch, when Consul Greathouse
laughed outright, saying that if the dinner
was to cook until Train came back with a
passport, there would be very little use in
ordering anything rare.
A bauquet without the host would be
100 novel to attempt in the Orient and
they might as well — A whirlwind swept
some napkins to the floor and George
Francis Train despatched seven waiters in
search of oysters and snipe and wine, and
begged his guests to be seated.
"We have forty minutes ta eat and
drink and talk and catch the train," he
said. "The passports? Certainly. I
don't eat meat myself, waiter; bring me
some Lyonai3B potatoes and a biscuit.
And speaking of passports reminds me of
the last time I was at Tokio, in '70. There
was an English minister, Sir rienry
Parkes, who moved in greater splendor
than the Mikado.
"His carriage was drawn by four white
horses, and he ha<l a more brilliant retinue
than Thomas a Beci>et. He rode through
the streets looking straight before him,
not noticing native or foreigner except of
the higher order. He was the most mighty
thing in all Japan — the English Minister
— and that just after Commodore Perry
and I bad made it possible for him to come
ashore. I saw him drive by once, and my
private secretary, George Pickering Bemis,
now Mayor of Omaha, stepped to one side
to make room for him. 'Never do that
again,' said I. 'To-morrow at this time
you come here with six white horses, and
when you make this ambitions Minister
turn out for you, he will probably ask you
who you are. Then tell him you are my
private secretary.' Waiter, some more
wine for these gentlemen."
As a part of the singular luck that fol
lowed us round the world this train that
we took that afternoon was the last that
was to travel over the road until the fourth
day following. The Emperor had been
reviewing his troops at Kioto, the demon
stration was over and the Government
was to take charge of the road for the dis
tribution of the troop".
The train ran into the station at Kobe a
little after 3 o'clock. It had not come to
a full stop when the door swung open and
a lusty German voice said, "Are you Mr.
Train'?"
"Yes."
"Where is your baggage? I am the
agent of the Norddeutscher Lloyd. We
have been waiting for you and want to get
you aboard as quickly as possible."
Our string of satchels and trunks were
piled on two trucks, we mounted the ever
present rickshaw and a beautiful race took
place to the quay. There a customs offi
cer just glanced "into one of the trunks,
we tumbled into a sampan, and a few
moments later stood on the deck of the
General Werder, which, with steam up and
anchor weighed, was standing in the
roadstead. Thus, by the capture of the
German mail, with its complete line of
connections round into the Mediterranean,
the swiftest tour of the world was made
reasonably certain.
THEIR FAVORITE DISHES.
Git«tronouiic Tastes of Some European
Sovereigns.
In a recent issue of Cassell's Saturday
Journal is an article records the
gastronomic tastes of some of the reign
ing sovereigns of Europe. Queen Vie-
MORNING ON THE BAY.
[From a picture painted by Alexander Harrison in 1878.]
toria, it appears, is devoted to oatmeal
soup. She likes pickled cucumbers, and
roast beef is always served. She drinks
white sherry out of a silver cup.
According to a custom instituted by
George 11, the name of the cook who pre
pared a dish is announced when it is
placed upon the table. The King and
Queen of Italy, when the royal guests are
exclusively Italian, revel in spaghetti,
garlic, onions and oil. Fritto is another
favorite dish. It is made of artichokes,
chickens' livers, calves' brains and cocks'
combs. The Grand Duchess of Baden
makes her own coffee, while her husband
grows bis own wine and is his own head
cellarman.
Both delight in lentil soup, seasoned
with vinegar, and Frankfort sausage. The
Pope is very simple in his tastes. His
breakfast consists of a roll and cafe au lait.
For dinner, which is eaten at 1 o'clock, he
has soup, meat, pastry and fried potatoes
or other vegetables. At this repast he
drinks a single glass of old Burgundy. At
6 o'clock he takes a glass of claret and
bouillon, and at half-past 10 a supper com
posed of cold meat and another cup of
bouillon.
King Oscar of Sweden liices the national
dish of raw saimon preserved in earth and
a soup composed of boiled barley and
whipped cream. In case he is deposed lie
A Brownie, the Creation of Palmer Cox
That lias brought Him lame and For'
tune.
is well trained to conduct a boarding
house, as all the remainders of roasts are
made into hash. The Emperor of Austria
likes spaetzle, a kind of macaroni, and
apple wine; while the food of the Empress
consists of cold meats, fruits, the juice of
raw beefsteak and tea. She is very careful
of her diet, as she is solicitous to preserve
her figure.
The present Emperor of Russia is a man
of moderate habits in eating. To provide
for his simple wants he has a French chef,
who ranus ».s colonel in the arniv. This
functionary is profusely decorated, and
has under his command at court banquets
about 1200 subordinates. On ordinary oc
casions four head intendants, twenty-four
sub-intendants, thirty-four lackeys, sixty
buffet moujiks, two chefs and four under
chefs are in service.
SAN FRANCISCO ART STUDENTS
WHO HAVE BECOME
FAMOUS.
year 1872 can be set down as
jj marking the beginning of art cul
* ture in San Francisco. It was
J| then that a little group of talented
fellows began to form plans for
getting some sort of study. They started
the Graphic Club, laid the foundations for
tne School of Design and began a struggle
that has led several of them to fame.
At first these earnest young men used
such rooms as they could afford to rent
temporarily for the purpose of sketching
from life. All worked at some sort of un
congenial business during the day, and
could only draw a few hours at night. A
number worked at painting in their own
"LA CREPESCULE," ALEXANDER HAMILTON'S BEST AND MOST FAMOUS PAINTING.
PALMER COX WHEN A STUDENT AT THE SCHOOL OF DESIGN.
[From a drawing made at the time by Thomas Bill.]
homes and when they thought they had
enough "stuff" to exhibit they "clubbed"
in and rented a hall for one night. It was
thrown open to the public and hundreds
came to look at the pictures, but in those
days purchasers were mighty scarce. As
the years went by the artists became more
and more Btrongly banded together.
Everybody with any talent tried to make
uae of it and encouraged others. Art
never struggled against greater odds nor
had less advantages than it did here in
San Francisco, but the result is most grat
ifying and encouraging and still further
proves the old theory that genius can ex
ist anywhere and will not be suppressed.
Three men whose fame to-day is world
wide did their first studying in San Fran
cisco. Two women have climbed high on
the ladder of National fame, and several
young men have taken rank with the best
in America and promise greater things in
the future.
Tracy, the great painter of scenes in
American hunting-fields, has been most
strongly identified "with the art growth of
this City. Before there was any thought
of organization Tracy was a hard worker.
He had no fundamental instruction at all.
but simply worked from nature, add
painted such things as pleased him. When
the Graphic Club and School of Design
started he was one of the men who de
voted considerable of bis time to study
and also to the instruction of others not
as far advanced as himself. In some way
Tracy seemed to know what was good in
art, for be made steady improvement as
the years went by. In the latter part of
the seventies Tracy moved to St. Louis,
where he did well in a financial way, and
brought his work to such a high standard
of artistic excellence that it soon attracted
attention. In 1883 be went to New York
and at once took a position as one of the
great painters of this country. Since then
his fame has constantly been on the in
crease. Every picture he paints is sold
before it is off the easel, and there is a con
stant demand for reproductions of them.
His "Hunting Grouse" is perhaps his
most famous work. The landscape is full
I of light and color, and the figures of men.
i dogs and birds are painted in a masterful
I manner. When Tracy was in San Fran
cisco his work sold at any price he could
get— from $5 to $25. Now he seldom gets
less tLan $1000 for even a very small work.
His "Autumn in the Fields," one of his
late works, sold for $5000.
Alexander Harrison is conceded to be
{ one of the greatest marine painters in the
I world to-day. He ia also an old San
I Francisco art student, who began his
career on his own account. He first made
sketches around the bay, and realizing
that he had talent he joined the Coast Bur
vey for the purpose of studying water.
Xli is undoubtedly did him a great deal oi
good in the way of impressing the effect of
the ocean on his mind.
By the year 1876 the School of Design
was on a iair basis, and Harrison went in
for a course of instruction. He remained
two years, but his studies were not con
sidered of any great importance. His
studies from nature made at the time are
also lacking in many of the things that go
to make up a genius. The painting from
which the accompanying drawing was
made is a very weak piece of work. The
water is flat and dry, and the drawing of
the boats is very poor.
Alexander Harrison left Ban Francisco
in 1879 for Philadelphia, where he re
mained for about Iwo years studying in
the Bchool of Design tnere. He then
went to Paris, wherehe has practically re-
mained ever since. He studied with the
best masters, and it was not long before he
was able to make use of the vast amount
of knowledge be had acquired while in the
Coast Survey and when studying the
waters of the bay of San Francisco. In
1887 a prize of $3000 was offered (or the
best picture by an American artist, to be
exhibited in "New York one year later.
Harrison came back from Paris on pur
pose to compete. He felt that lie would
have a good show, but his picture took the
p.rt world by surprise and captured the
prize. It was entitled 'La Crepescule,"
and has been said by many eminent
critics to be the finest and most realistic
bit of water ever painted. This work is at
present in St. Louis, but it has been re
produced so many times that it is known
all over the world. To look at "La
Crepescule" it is hard to realize that it is
nothing but paint and canvas. Every
wave seems to be dancing toward the
shore, and the light of the rising moon is
reflected in a thousand points of scintillat-
PORTRAIT OF THOMAS HILL.
from o drauiny made by Palmer Cox when he was a student at the School of Design.]
ing brilliancy. One forgets that one is in
an art gallery, and seems to hear the low
murmur of the surf pulsating through the
evening atmosphere. Harrison has never
stopped in his art, but is constantly mak
ing improvement. He exhibited a picture
about a year ago that the great Mesdag de
clared to be a masterpiece.
Palmer Cox, the creator of the Brown
ies, is known to aimost every person in
America and England. He began his art
career in this City about 1872. At the time
ho was working at his trade of jeweler, but
found occasional opportunities to attend
the Graphic Club and School of Design.
He was very industrious and worked from
life a great deal, but did not show any ex
ceptional talent. He did not show any
trace of what he was goiug to build his
fame on. His great effort was always to
draw portraits. "" It was a difficult matter
for him, however, and his career Bhows
that his strong point lay in tne direction
of caricature. The accompanying draw
ing of' Thomas Hill was made in 1575,
when he had been working several years!
To give it all the credit it deserves it can
only be said to De very ordinary. It shows
a lack of the comprehension of fni^^^l
slso timidity in the way of handling the
pencil. Of course Palmer Cox can liardiv
be said to be a great artist, but there is no
denying the fact that he is a genius. The
Brownies are the fun nirst caricatures O f
human beings ever made, and his ability
to weave them into peculiar incidents has
been one of the things that has helped to
make him famous. Palmer Cox's firn
Brownies were drawn for St. Nicholas
about 1879, but his best work was dona
two years ago. It was a series of articles
in the Ladies' Home Journal entitled
'•The Brownies' Trip Around the World."
Theodore Wores was one of the first
students to attend the School of Design.
He showed a strong inclination toward
still-life subjects, and always selected
those with plenty of color in them. After
about two years of study he went to
Munich and worked under a number of
the best masters. He then made two
trips to Jat>an, and is, perhaps, best known
by the work he did there. Mr. Wores'
work is very well known in this City, but
whenever he has exhibited in the great
art centers of the world he has always had
the most favorable criticism. He was one
of the pioneers in Japanese subjects, and
many of his pictures have been sold for
large sums. At present he is in New
York, engaged on some important orders
with which he feels greatly encouraged.
Julian Rix is also an old San Francisco
art student. He worked in the School of
Design for several years, but demonstrated
to himself that he would do better in land
scape than anything else. He soon ranked
as the best in his field in the State. All of
the grand California scenery has been
painted by him, but he did not achieve
fame until he went to New York about
rive years ago. He at once sprang into
prominence, and to-day is at the head of
his profession. Some of his later work
has been declared to be magnificent in
tone and. at the same time," having an
originality of execution that places it on a
le-el with that of the great masters of the
world. His work is reproduced to a large
extent and sold all over the country.
Miss Lotz was one of the first pupils of
the School of Design. She worked there
for nearly six years before going to
Europe. Her talent was discovered by
Dan Cook, who provided several years'
instruction for her under the famous
animal painter, Van Mark. She produced
several good pictures that sold readily and
has been constantly improving. All of her
work has been confined to animals. It is
of a high order of merit and gives her a
strong position in the art world, out as yet
she has not produced a real masterpiece.
Miss Lizzie Strong bears a high reputa
tion-in the world of art as a painter of
dogs. She went to the School of Design
about 1876 and remained there for over
four years when she went to Paris and
studied in the schools and under different
masters. Her work is known all over the
world and several of her pictures are owned
in this City. It ia strong in color and the
drawing is exceptionally good. She also
manages to get a great deal of sentiment
in her work that eives it an individuality
sure to lead her to the highest round of the
ladder of fame.
The well-known water color painter,
Harvey Young, got hia first knowledge of
art in San Francisco. He was a member
of the Graphic Club and did considerable
work in the School of Designs He is best
known to-day as a painter of Mexican
scenes. He never attempts anything
large, but gets good prices for all the small
things he can paint. His studio is in New
York, but most of his work is done out of
doors, so that he spends most of his time
in Mexico.
Of the artists who have achieved local •
fame nearly all obtained their first
instruction at the School of Design. In
fact the best artists in California are en
tirely the home product.

xml | txt