OCR Interpretation


The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 12, 1896, Image 17

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

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1896-07-12/ed-1/seq-17/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for

Having only a shining silver quarter of
a dollar in my pockets, I started forth to
be a prince for a day in gay San Francisco
on this amount of cash. The problem was
bow to get at least two good meals, to
visit the leading places of interest in town,
to keep abreast of the news, current litera
ture, etc, of the time, to hear one or two
tine concerts of instrumental music of
high class, and generally to have a really
ropai time on two bits. My instructions
included an admonition not to accept fa
vors on account of personal acquaintance,
the purpose of this being to have the net
result such as may be achieved by any
person who is much alive to the possibili
ties inhering ir. existing local conditions.
Keen and pungent odors proceeding
from open doorways on East street sug
gested gustatory delights, and a police
man, who was inducted into the condition
of the royal exchequer, "opined" that in
this neighborhood breakfast could be most
satisfactorily obtained.
"You see it is this way," said the knight
of the locust club. "You can go into this
office and get a ticket which will entitle
you to a free breakfast at the Salvation
Army Lifeboat; or you can go around
into Jackson street and get a pint of wine
and some meat stew for a nickel, but I
would not advise that, because the wine is
the dregs of vats; or you can go into one
of these places and get a large glass of
steam beer and something to eat for 5
cents."
Five minutes later the edge of the appe
tite of the morning was beine dulled rap
idly through the agency of three shiny
frankfurter sausages, bread ad libitum
and potations from a deep glass in which
foamed the amber liquid popularly known
as steam beer. The sausages were evi
dently cooted by a cUef. The smooth and
' burnished exterior indicated the interior
to have been properly prepared. Sightly
and shapely like the "lady fingers" made
by the pastry cooks, they were as easy to
take in one's digits, and they crackled
deliciously at the first pressure of the in
cisors. Then from them was exhaled a
fragrant odor which impelled a flow of
gastric juice and caused expectation to
run riot. Here was a beginning of which
JEscuiapius could approve ; upon which a
philosopher like Seneca might look with
satisfaction, and which would call forth
the commendatory nod of broad-girthed
Gambrinus.
Upon the surface of amber-colored beer
floated foam as evanescent and light as
thistle down. The receptacle holding the
beer was as deep and as musical, as it was
clintced against another, as a beli of Shan
don "That sounds so grand on the River
Lee." Ciearly through its translucent
sides could be observed the sparkling effer
vescence, the riotous ascent of sparkling
globules which conferred, as a reward for
patronage of a plebeian beverage, a delight
ful tang, in which was all the lusty flavor
of sun-kissed fields of bearded barley,
waving and rustling in the wind. The re
porter moved nearer the bread dish. There
was a general human gravitation in the
same direction. The "barkeep" looked on
benignly.
Squared off before this array, as the
frankfurter imparted its sweetness, the
staff of life lent its staying and blood-mak
ing qualities, and the beer percolated
soltly as cool spring water drips from a
mossy spring down a grateful throat, not |
staying nor speeding, the clouds of yester
day vanished as a wmith. The present be
came radiant with expectation, money
was dross and the fiture— i. c., this one
<iay of princeship — wa^fi lied with premoni
tions of pleasing accomplishment.
Ail this time other odors were blown i
about, like smells fr«tn a Ik-Id of wild j
flowers. The bracing »nd brain-creating
Boston bean, flanked win stitches oi red-
•111 Sr i-^^Pjl 1^"
seamed and juicy I
pork, smoked invit-H
ingly by. A salt seal
smell, such as mightM
be enjoyed by tbel
swirling blue deptusM
of the Pacific, whereH
beaches are a-gliru-H
nier in the afternoonH
light and nsermaicisH
comb their hair sit-H
ting in seaweed gar-H
dens or fair pas-H
tures of kelp, stoleH
insinuatingly its wayM
to fond apprecia-M
tion. Clams! clams^ir^cnowaer^witri
potatoes tucked in as neatly as
babes in a truckle bed; clams im
pacted ; and reveling in the per
fection and joy of. being steamed clams;
clams ,that were juice, only juice, the
wine of the sea, the tonic of the dysDeptic,
the inspirer of dreams of a hoe, a robust
constitution, a wade in sparkling water, a
dig and a find. Glorions crustaceans, mag
nificent peanuts of the sea, it is your pro
pinquity that insures the superiority of
the seaside brain to that of the person who
shrivels under heat where salt breezes do
not blow.' %
For 5 cents the prince of a day could
have the choice of any of these dishes,
■with bread and beer. There was no grudg
ing about it. The "barkeep" had no
sooner drawn the beer than he briskly in
quired, "What will you eat?" There was
a marplot in the place, a man who sug
gested sordid considerations to the man
behind the bar and lunch-counter, hinting
that beggary lies this way and ' that in
solvency must chase by night and day the
man who would give 5-cent meals with
steam beer thrown in. On him were bent
sinister looks and the general .verdict was
that lie should be claimed by th*" sea, with
all its wealth of luscious food full in sight,
and be forced to dine, sup and breakfast
upon starveling smoked herring — as red
and smoky, salt and bony as Dossible. V
- I must explain here that I ate the frank
furters because I knew that economy made
it necessary to have something that would
stand by me for some hours and stand
any hints of hunger. . '
. It was early in :, the day to start for the
park and the Cliff. The bonton would
not come out until later.' There was
enough to do in the meantime. Two or
three preliminary preparations for burst
ing into the fashionable throng at the
park on terms of equal footing were neces
sary. There were spots on the reportorial
shoes; the reportorial face needed a razor;
the indispensable boutonmere must be
procured. The shave could be secured
free. The boutonniere might come easily,
but how about a shine? The presence of
sufficient blacking on the shoe-leather
was evident. Oh, for a brush for a minute
free!
"Sire," said Napoleon when he »con
templated and discussed a winter : foray
over the mountains into Italy, "sire, there
shall be no Alps." " '
I was not Napoleon, but Italy, by a
rocky road, was nevertheless my destina
tion. The problem was to swoop down,
so to speak, upon a bootblackery; to seize
a brush and administer ! personally half a
dozen free rubs and to ; get away • free.
Some of ' the Italians have eyes - like
stilettos, their gaze piercing you through.
Others are mild as the skies of their only
lovely native land of song and vine. Be
fore a drowsy Italian knew what had hap
pened I bad a brush and was dusting the
reportorial hat. It was a shoe-brush and
the Italian said hospitably, "Taka disa
brusha." Fatal amiability. The prince
of a day had sized him up correctly. With
lightning speed the shoe-brush whisked
over bis shoes, and they shone like a drum
THE SAX FRANCISCO CALL, SUNDAY, JULY 12, 1896.
I major's Fourth of July shake. Nor were j have survived to this electrically advanced
I the Italians more ' astonished when they time, it is pleasing to think that such'urn
saw Napoleon come at them, over the brellas are no longer in use. The , philoso-,
wintry roads from the Alps, than was the pher, ambling amiably through the streets
proprietor of this blookblack-stand. of Philadelphia with that umbrella raised
•'Thank you," I said and walked away. in a thunder shower, would be.' a
There was next a shave to be secured, fit pictorial : companion .!"., piece .-forj-
The fact may not be generally known, but Ajar defying the lightning, both j
it is a fact that in this commercial and calculated to make Ajax get in
money-seeking City there is a tonsorial and do something. • " Close by the Franklin
emporium where the penniless wayfarer, relic is 'Daniel Boone's fowling * piece,
so be it that he is hirsute, is sought for. There are relics enough and metallurgical
From the highways" and the byways men specimens enough in glass cases to interest
with beards and flowing locks are gathered one or a week. The prince of the day had
in to supply practice to the' students of a BO far seen two museums, had one meal,
• : ' . ■ ' • ' - ' -■■■•■ one shine, one shave and one refusal to
"""""^"""^^"^^"""^""^^^ accept a bath— all for a nickel. The next
I step was equally economical. V The Free
I Public Library contains the newspapers of
I the day. The morning news was- duly
I digested, the paonthly' magazines were
I scanned, and note was made of the park
I programme of music for the day. There
I had not been an idle moment or a dull
■ moment so far. HSgBS^' I/'
barber school which is on Howard street
near Eleventh. Not even a prince for a
day would derogate from his dignity by
accepting a favor where he was not able to
confer one of eaual size in return. Scis
sors snip and razors meander endlessly
over cheeks without a fee. Young men
and old men and at least one young
woman have become students in an
! eight weeks' course in the barber school.
j With a towel tucked under my chin
and lathered tor the coming event, I
kept ruy shiny shoes carefully out of the
reach of anything that could injure iheir
gloss, and soon emerged with a face more
beautiful and princely than ever. On my
Hyperion-like locks had been deposited
sweet scents. This being i.ear the Lick
free baths a visit was paid to that e.-tub
lishment. As a stranger an invitation was
extended to bathe freely and without price
by a genial attendant, who dispenses
towels and generally superintends. This
invitation would have been accepted but
for the shine and the hair dressing. This
was bad generalship and unworthy of a
"man who aspired to emulate Napoleon,
' but the retreat was masterly as it was ac
companied by an invitation to "call
again."
It was barely 11 o'clock, too early still for
the bonton.
Standing on pedestals, with outstretched
paws, two large bears guard the portals of
the museum of the California Academy of
Sciences. Passing along a marble floor
and over palatial stairways, the prince of
a day allowed his haughty eyes to dwell
with cold, unrelenting and scientific
cynicism upon the huge but counterfeit
mammoth which stands pre-eminent
among a bevy of articulated prehistorics.
But soon the delights of contemplation
came surging across the reportorial mind
like racing scons. Once more the earth in
fancy became tne battle-ground of huge
amphibians, wallowing in fear or shak
ing their arena witb their ponderous
tread. Huge winged serpents with ser
rated teeth shot horribly across the
sky. Lizards came to \he one thou
sandth anniversary of the birthday
of the equanodon, and the honors of the
day were divided between the pterodactyl
and the ichthyosaurus. The behemoth,
"that sweated blood," shrieked with
all the vigor of prehistoric lungs of
leather. Here in a glass case the dreaded
python writhes. There the egg of the
Mississippianis contains dull possibilities
of producing an Easter alligator. There
was no reporter's "detail" connected with
this; no danger of a "scoop"; no story to
be extracted. The post-pliocene and plio
cene periods might become inextricably
mixed and no one could be held responsi
ble. This show could be viewed with the
free spirit which belongs to the ordinary
mortal; getting more intense joy because
the big animals are as big as the laws of
nature permit and because their names
are mostly unpronounceable.
There was the State Bureau of Mining
standing open with free and inviting as
pect. In a glass case is the umbrella
which was once owned by Benjamin
Franklin. It is a vivid blue color as to
cloth. The stick is stout as a truncheon
and terminates in a ferrule of brass. While
there could be only grief in an American
mind that Benjamin Franklin could not
Transportation to and from the park was
a serious matter. Although only one
nickel bad been taken from the treasury the
units which go toward making up a
quaner of a dollar, one dime and two nick
els, clinked insignificantly in my pockets
as if they knew that they were very small
fry and were twitting each other on that
humiliating fact.
When the prince of a day boarded a
streetcar it was with the idea of having a
long ride for a nickel — not the longest In
the town, but as long as was compatible
with the plans of the day and the time re
maining in which they could be carried
out. Lotta's fountain was settled as
the point of departure. The first
car that came along would do
and from a front seat the moving spectacle
of Market street was enjoyed. After rid
ing some blocks westward a transfer was
taken to Powell street and a northward
course wa3 pursued. Then the second
transfer took the nickel tourist out over
the Jackson-street line, from which there
were line views of the Golden Gate and
handsome residences and grounds which,
as they were passed, stimulated a sense of
aristocratic enjoyment. Central avenue
caused the issuance of a third transter
and the beginning of a fourth ride for a
nickel. The itinerary had included a tour
westward, a second tour northward, a
thira tour westward and southward, and
now, for the same nickel, the fourth tour,
westward and still further southward to
Golden Gate Park was taken.
Oa these four trips two pieces of good
luck came along which could not be thrown
away. The h'rst waa tne capture of a
morning paper which was lelt by a pas
senger. The second was the acquisition
of the coveted boutonniere. Information
from the paper, strategically volunteered,
led to a conversation with a family party
bound for the park, the conversation being
based on mv admiration for pinks, of
which one of the young persons bad a
bunch. Would I accept a boutonniere?
Why, certainly, with pleasure. The news
paper was a gold mine, for it was subse
quently aold, after some brazen use of
lung, for a nickel to a party from the coun
try who wanted to look up a time table.
That nickel secured a glass of beer and a
free lunch near the park, but that lunch
was so poor that the less said about it the
better.
The greatest conservatory on the Pacific
Coast, namely, the one in Golden Gate
Park, was made to furnish its quota of
entertainment. A cigar would have en
hanced the joy of this part of the day, but
that was denied and this is the only re- ]
membered deprivation. In the conserva- !
tory the eyes are regaled with the choicest (
vegetation. The humid air is like the
tropics, and its fostering influence causes
the plants in its soil to burgeon forth '
bravely in a bewildering opulence of
graceful Sowers and rainbow-hued petals
and fronds. The orchids reveal their sin
gular habits and charm the eye. Clamber
ing vines decorate their graceful foliage i
with gaudy blossoms. By the time the
edge has worn off this pleasure the aviary
calls for a visit and the buffalo paddoclc
invites. The birds sing beautifully, the
squirrels gracefully antic, the inhabitants
of the paddock charm and there are three
nickels still in the treasury, these incur
sions into botany, floriculture and zoology
not having cost a cent. Three shows in
one, added to four separate rides and the '
other diversions of the day and the best
was yet to come.
Travelers tell of the gay sights on "TJn
ter den Linden," the Bois de Boulogne,
Fifth avenue, Commonwealth avenue and
famous boulevards where wealth and fash
ion congregate in dress parade. Taking a
comfortable bench under a shady tree, I
took in the fashion and gayety of all the i
"nobby" people in San Francisco, to which \
was added the tourists from all climes. A
gay cavalcade speeds between the banks of j
living green, upon which are drifts of
flowers. The wheels flash as they merrily
whirl. The voices of the riders of horses
and bicycles are raised in gay laughter
ana genuine glee. The wind rustles de
liciously through the trees, but there is
lacking still the flavor and odor of a good
cigar. Fifteen cents would take the tour
ist down on the cars and give him v
dinner of three courses on Kearny street —
soup, meat and dessert — the course dinner
costing 10 cents and the ride a uickel.
A vaunt, course dinner! Better the fra
grant weed and the satisfying 5-cent coffee
and cake than the pampered appetite of
three courses which shall cause this other
wise perfect scene of present bliss to be
marred. It is then a tournament— at dice.
A lucky tnrow that, and the prince of a
day has a cigar and still retains the entire
15 cents.
If before the scene was blissful it is now
Elysian or Nirvana like. The benches in
the park are no more hard. The trees
whisper more softly to each other as they
interchange jocular confidences and leafy
quips. The sun dial truly "tells only the
sunny hours." The women seem more
beautiful aud chic. The bicyclists speed
along with dream-like ease and insub
stantiableness. Every flower in the park
area diffuses a sweeter and subtler breath.
The park police would be excused for as
suming suddenly a heroic pose as riders
ot Bucephalus. The afternoon passes all j
too fast on golden wings. The sweet cool
ness that follows sunset, the sky being
Jaced with purple and gold, is delicious.
From the sward rises tlie steam
of new - mown hay. The horses'
hoofs rattle like castanets on the
hard road. Over the steep Bides of |
Tamalpais, as the prince of a day climbs |
the stairs leading upward toward the north
side of the park, there is a purple shadow,
a deep robe of royal purple, in wliich early
stars soon begin to glisten like jewels. But
the glory of the mountain is also only for
a day, and at once a bond of sympathy
exists between the prince and the royal
mountain.
There will be no evening cigar, but there
is a course dinner ahead and a conce rt
The course dinner is not bad. It consists j
of soup, roast beef and pudding, with
coffee. Now comes the last event of the
day. After the evening papers have been j
read— free— tne steps of r eople are wending \
inward from Market street to the Em- ;
porium. Therein, perched on an elevated
music-stand, are the orchestra. They play
music by Mercadante, Rossini, Weber,
Verdi, and so on. The cadence rises and
falls. The prince drinks it all in. Penni
less as be is he feels that he "dwells in
marble halls," and the marble all about
him assists the illusion. Truly, 1 have
been a prince for a day in San Francisco
on two- bits. There are no to-morrows.
Eternity is now.
About 2000 sailing vessels of all kinds
disappear in the sea every year, carrying
down 12,000 human beings, and involving
a loss oi about £2,000,000 in property.
Interpenetration of Solids.
Some Startling possibilities of tke Firxer
Forces of |Jat\jre.
This is the age of invention and discov
ery. Professor Crookes of England, the
greatest chemist of the world, some years
ago invented a peculiar tube which has
j lately come into general use through the
X (or unknown) ray. Canaille Flam
marion, the great French astronomer, hae
demonstrated the probability of human
life in tbe planet Ma s. Both of these
scientists assert that what is referred to as
''the fourth dimension of space" is an ac
| tual fact in nature, and that in addition to
length, breadth and thickness, matter may
possess a fourth dimension. Eminent -as
these gentlemen are in their respective
professions their belief in "the new dimen
sion" has been received with ?reat incred
ulity, and it is only within the past few
months that even the faintest show of
respect has been extended by the world
for their belief in this direction.
What is the fourth dimension? How
| can there possibly be a measurement be
■ sides length, breadth and thickness? In
reality there is not. But there is a prop
j erty or quality of matter which at first was
! thought to be equivalent to a new dimen
sion, and for convenience these scientists
employed the word "dimension" when
referring to it. The newly discovered
quality of matter ranks in importance
next to lengtb, thickness and breadth. It
is "permeability." It has been discovered
that two solid bodies may exist in the
l same place at once; that solid matter can
, pass through solid matter without the
slightest injury to either object.
It is through the X ray that tbe first
great public demonstration of this law is
made. It is a scientific axiom that no
two molecules of matter really touch each
other, but each is surrounded by an inter
space of ether. All molecules are known
to be in constant motion, the rate
of vibration varying according to tbe
texture and density of the substance of
which they are parts. Now, when the
X ray 1* employed on an object, it fur
nishes so powerful a light that it illum
inates these elheric interspaces, and the
molecules themselves being so innnitesi
xn.illy fcmall, and in constant motion, they
offer little or no resistance to the illumina
tion, hence under proper conditions it has
been proven that the human eye can see
all through a solid mass of matter, through
iron plates, stone walls and human bodies,
with about the same degree of clearness
that it sees through the atmosphere.
Two distinct inventions or discoveries
lie ahead in this direction. The first is
to scientifically prove that gross matter
can pass tnrough gross matter; the sec
i ond, to project the human body through
solid substances. Both these feats may
be pronounced impossible; and even where
one admits them for the sake of argument
he in apt to claim that there could be no
radical difference in the two operations
and that one discovery would include the
other. But this is not so. The first dis
covery will be made long before the sec
ond can be demonstrated to the satisfac
tion of science.
Actually, both of these feats have been
accomplished by hundreds of investigators
of the finer forces of nature, but as they
have considered such thines as of very
small importance compared with what
they were searching for, they hay© rarely
taken the trouble to say anything about
the ''incidental" feats they performed.
They Dave also acquired the ability to see
through solid matter by using the X-ray
of the body,«nd to these investigators the
invention of Koentgen appears a very
clumsy affair.
I will giv.- Western materialistic societies
a clew if they wish to explore this new
realm. It is merely a hint, but if some of
them take the trouble to follow it up they
may become more widely known than
Edison or Tesla. Starting with the known
fact that all molecules are in a state of
rapid vibration, under certain laws of co
hesion, each molecule keeping entirely
separate from all others and each being
surrounded by an atmosphere of ether, as is
now demonstrated by the X ray, it follows
that if we could procure a point suffi
ciently tine it could be inserted into the
interspace between the molecules. The
interspaces have a greater breadth than
the molecules. Taking two objects of the
same composition, iron, for instance, the
one can be passed through the other, if
we can once succeed in getting the mole
cules of one piece to exactly join with the
interspaces of the other.
There are certain laws of rhythm which
govern the constant inclination in all
grades of matter., and when one is once
able to learn the harmonic action and in
teraction by which the molecules play
back and forth he has the problem half
solved and has next to acquaint himself
with the peculiar quality of force which
must be applied in order to compel the
atoms of different objects to interpenetrate
each other. It is enough at present to say
that this force is electrical in its nature
and that when applied in a certain way the
scientist will be able to pass wood through
iron, brass through marble and iron
through glass without the least fear of
damage.
The next result referred to in connection
with the new quality of matter is the pos
sibility of living men passing through
solid walls, no matter of what kind of ma
terial composed, or of descending through
the solid crust of the earth, with less in
convenier.ee than the diver sinks to the
bottom of the sea.
This will ba accomplished in an entirely
different manner from the method first
described. In that case there was an in
terpenetration of molecules. But in the
case of the human body the molecules are
knit around with such an intricate net
j work of nadis (minute nerves) arid vital
I essences that should there be a penetra
! tion of gross substance through them it
j would result in death or dangerous injury.
There are, of course, certain loci in the
body at which there are invisible open
ings in which one may jab himself with a
dagger without any real injury— provided
he knows bow, but speaking of the body
as a whole it is not safe to disarrange its
molecular arrangement. In order to
transport the body through solid sub
stances one must entirely discompose
those molecules which his body contacts,
and then build them up again after he has
passed through. This is accomplished by
a knowledge of electrical forces; and the
displacing and replacing of the molecules
can be accomplished with the rapidity of
thought. An instance of this operation
was given in The Call of June 7, in its
article on Magician Tautriadelta, where
the latter described an African who floated
through the walls of abut and back again,
the walls remaining intact.
The fourth; dimension of space then,
while it concerns, the interior of matter, is
not a dimension in reality, but it has to do
with a quality or ; property of matter
permanently — which is entirely unknown
to western science, though in my own
country— lndia— it is a matter of general
knowledge, and was also known to a num
ber of the mystic philosophers of Europe.
In India it is a common matter for the
traveling fakirs to give performances in
which they thrust their hands through
solid doors, put books through books,
enter houses with only one door and pass
out through the wall on the other side.
Many fakirs of comparatively little power
are able to do these things. They possess
enormous^will power, and having gained a
knowledge of some of the subtle essences
of nature, they are able to perform feats
which seem miraculous to the uninitiated.
But the higher class of fakirs or yoeis
never appear in public, and are said to
possess knowledge as far in advance of the
average fakir as the fakir is ahead of tbe
American scientist in this line.
It is said by some of the Eastern seers
I that America is to make some treat dis
coveries regarding the "fourth dimension
of space" during the coming century, and
perhaps after a few years the above will
not sound as strange as it does to-day.
Ram Sikqh.
17

xml | txt