He came to the St. Francis Hotel, on the corner of Dupont and Clay Streets. There was an outside stair that led to the balcony that ran all round the second story. The doors of the rooms opened upon this balcony.
A man came out from the office.
“Can I get lodging here?” asked Joe.
“How much do you charge?”
“He must take me for a millionaire,” thought Joe.
“I can’t afford it,” he said.
As Joe descended the stairs he did not feel quite so rich. Six dollars won’t go far when lodging costs three dollars and supper two.
Continuing his wanderings, Joe came to a tent, which seemed to be a hotel in its way, for it had “Lodgings” inscribed on the canvas in front.
“What do you charge for lodgings?” Joe inquired.
“A dollar,” was the reply.
Looking in, Joe saw that the accommodations were of the plainest. Thin pallets were spread about without pillows. Joe was not used to luxury but to sleep here would be roughing it even for him. But he was prepared to rough it, and concluded that he might as well pass the night here.
“All right!” said he. “I’ll be round by and by.”
“Do you want to pay in advance to secure your bed?”
“I guess not; I’ll take the risk.”
Joe went on to the Leidesdorff Hotel and was cordially received by Mr. Folsom.
“How much have you earned to-day, Joe?”
“Five dollars and my supper.”
“That’s good. Is the job finished?”
“And you have nothing in view for to-morrow?”
“No, sir; but I guess I shall run across a job.”
“Where are you going to spend the night?”
“In a tent a little way down the street.”
“How much will they charge you?”
“I wish my bed was large enough to hold two; you should be welcome to a share of it. But they don’t provide very wide bedsteads in this country.”
Mr. Folsom’s bed was about eighteen inches wide.
“Thank you, sir,” said Joe; “I shall do very well in the tent, I am sure.”
“I am thinking of making a trip to the mines with my friend Carter,” continued Folsom. “Very likely we shall start to-morrow. Do you want to go with us?”
“I expect to go to the mines,” said Joe, “but I think I had better remain awhile in San Francisco, and lay by a little money. You know I am in debt.”
“Yes, for my passage. I should like to pay that off.”
“There is no hurry about it, Joe.”
“I’d like to get it off my mind, Mr. Folsom.”
About nine o’clock Joe left the hotel and sought the tent where he proposed to pass the night. He was required to pay in advance, and willingly did so.