A Backward Glance at Eighty eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about A Backward Glance at Eighty.

     To Our Friends and Patrons

     a—­We have lost all our records of accounts.

     b—­Our net loss will exceed $400,000.


     First—­Will each lawyer in the country send us a statement of
     what he owes us, whether due or not due, and names of books covered
     by said statement on enclosed blank (blue blank).

     Second—­Information for our records (yellow blank).

     Third—­Send us a postal money order for all the money you can now


     May 15, 1906.

Returns of money and of acknowledgment were prompt and encouraging.  Some of those considered doubtful were the first to acknowledge their indebtedness.  Before long they were able to reproduce their books and the acknowledged balances nearly equaled their estimated total of good accounts.  Remittances were made until over $170,000 was paid.  Of this amount about $25,000 covered accounts not included in their estimate of collectible indebtedness.  This brought their estimated total to $200,000, and established the fact that over eighty-five per cent of all that was owed them was acknowledged promptly under this call on honor.

Four years later they were surprised by the receipt of a check for $250 from a lawyer in Florida for a bill incurred long before, of which they had no memory.  Let those who scoff at ideals and bemoan the dishonesty of this materialistic age take note that money is not all, and let those who grudgingly admit that there are a few honest men but no honest lawyers take notice that even lawyers have some sense of honor.

Some few instances of escape are interesting.  I have a friend who was living on the Taylor Street side of Russian Hill.  When the quake came, his daughter, who had lived in Japan and learned wise measures, immediately filled the bathtub with water.  A doomed grocery-store near by asked customers to help themselves to goods.  My friend chose a dozen large siphon bottles of soda water.  The house was detached and for a time escaped, but finally the roof caught from flying embers and the fire was slowly extending.  When the time came to leave the house a large American flag was raised to a conspicuous staff.  A company of soldiers sent from the Presidio for general duty saw the flag several blocks away, and made for the house to save the colors.  Finding the bathroom water supply, they mixed it with sand and plastered the burning spots.  They arrested the spreading flames, but could not reach the fire under the cornice.  Then they utilized the siphon bottles; one soldier, held by his legs, hung over the roof and squirted the small stream on the crucial spot.  The danger was soon over and the house was saved with quite a group of others that would have burned with it.

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A Backward Glance at Eighty from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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