CHAPTER I. RETURN TO SAN FRANCISCO...
RETURN TO SAN FRANCISCO—THE ALLUREMENTS OF THE ‘‘BALDWIN’’—THE INVITATION FROM THE AZTEC MINING COMPANY—THE PREPARATIONS—WHISKEY, LOOKING-GLASSES AND STARCHED SHIRTS—INTERVIEWED AT THE DEPOT—THE SCENE FROM OAKLAND.
HAVING completed my labors as correspondent of the trans-continental tour, organized by Mr. Frank Leslie in the Spring of '77, in the interests of his many publications, I made known to him my long intended purpose of writing and illustrating Arizona—the most interesting of all our frontier territories. Long had this been a cherished desire of mine, and long had I, in my many trips to the coast kept an eagle eye on this obscure, but wonderful region. As jealously had I picked up from time to time all scraps and hear-says of this territory, as the ravens within its borders now pick up the morsels scattered by travelers
I returned to San Francisco and in August made preparations for an extended tour through Arizona. No fitter time had ever presented itself for a representation, digestion and general unraveling of Arizona's vast resources in all channels of human industries, than the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad to the Colorado River, which was expected to take place the following month. A more propitious or favorably auspicious event will never probably be known in the history of that territory except perhaps the purchase of the southern portion of it. To go to Arizona heretofore and find what you wanted—where to go, or how to go, reminded one of that emblematic hay stack and its needle. A double combination of events have transpired this fall which will be an era in the history of Arizona—the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad on its way across the territory, which takes you to this hay stack, and Col. R. J. Hinton's Hand Book and Guide, which enables the traveler to unravel that hay stack and find the needle when he is once there; and the object of this book is to show you the
Again in San Francisco, and the very recollections of the luxuries of its famous Baldwin Hotel seem to allure us to the spot and already stimulate us to new ambition. The soothing quiet of this hotel is a marvel even in the nucleus of the most brilliant hotel achievements in the world. Never was there a combination of such rare and rich material brought together in such perfect and complete harmony. This hotel is the most attractive institution under that name that ever decked American soil. We feel free to say it. It is an allurement to all travelers and tourists who have once seen it.
While in San Francisco preparing for a new departure, I received an invitation from Col. J. D. Graham, Secretary of the Aztec Mining Company of Arizona, to accompany him and his party on an extended tour through southern Arizona, to the mines of the company. I appreciated this, knowing that to the indomitable pluck and energy of the members of this company, were due some of the greatest mining enterprises and
I left San Francisco amid all the vicissitudes consequent upon going on a big trip. I felt this spirit of bigness—of vastness, forcing itself upon me; not so much that the trip itself was to be a long one, but of the interest and importance that the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad to Arizona was ushering into existence. Although I had plenty of time, as the moment approached for me to depart, I found I had fallen a victim to that treacherous ‘‘last moment’’ which had, with its wonted subtleness crept unawares upon me, and like a thief in the night, found me asleep. The express called for my trunk; I tried to squeeze two seconds into one, forgetting the lesson in applied philosophy learned when young, that no two things could occupy the same space at the same time. Being intuitively reminded of this by some automatic
I rushed frantically about for something that would work on the capillary system, to wipe up the muss. I seized a towel from the bureau, and in turning quickly around, broke a glass which cost, me ten dollars and fifty cents.
Becoming exasperated, and with a spirit indefatigable to conquer, I chucked—this is the best word just here—everything into my trunk promiscuously, resolving to remodel things on the train, by bribing the baggage-master to let me have access to it there. The express man got my trunk and rushed off. I was too late for the ‘‘Bus,’’ which is one of those emblematically punctual institutions, especially when you happen to be a few minutes behind. I took a horse-car. At the railroad office I called for my ticket for
The cause of a greater portion of all my vicissitudes I trace back to the allurement I was under at the ‘‘Baldwin.’’ We all know what an effect pleasing surroundings will have, to the neglect of sterner duties, causing the mind to swerve until it forgets itself and becomes dilatory, and reason itself becomes tossed and cannot at once find its equilibrium. Oh! this allurement! Oh! the infatuation that makes mockery of self control. This fascination that causes one to miss trains, miss everything in life while under its influence.
And yet they are the very allurements that we are most willing to be charmed by. But we are really justified in them in exemplification of our nature, as explained in Romans 7th and 15th: ‘‘“For what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”’’
In twenty minutes we had spanned the bay of San Francisco to Oakland, where all passengers for Southern California and Arizona take the trains of the Central Pacific Railroad. Oakland has been so long compared to the Brooklyn or New York in its proximity to San Francisco, that it has become typical of it. The concourse of people swarming like bees and increasing from day to day as are, to almost incapacitated proportions, makes good the similitude.
The train stood waiting at the Oakland wharf hissing off its virulent steam, anxious for a start. The evening was inexpressibly charming, under the mellow light of an occident setting sun. I took my seat in the sleeping car, and scanning the bay of San Francisco, beheld the glorious scene which has become the emblem of the city; the pride of its people; and the joy of the traveler and tourist—a setting sun at the Golden Gate! And I must here waive the old adage, not to give advice until one had been ‘‘thrice asked for it’’ and proffer it to all travelers, not to miss this phantomed halo.