On the stroke of two every article in the room began to rattle, whilst out of the tin vessel flew a blood red moth. After circling three times round each of the sitter’s heads, the moth flew back again into the vessel, and the silence that ensued was followed by a soft tapping at the window, and the appearance of something, that resembled a big tube filled with a thick, pale blue fluid, made up of a mass of distinct veins. This tube floated into the room, and passing close to the three sitters, who involuntarily shrank away from it, disappeared in the wall, behind them. A loud crack as if the branch of a tree had broken, terminated the phenomena—the room again becoming pitch dark. But the three sitters, although they knew there would be no further manifestation that night, were too terrified to move. They remained huddled together in the same spot till the morning was well advanced.
San Francisco possesses one great advantage—you can easily get out of it. Leaving the pan-handle of the Park behind one, and following the turn of the cars, one passes through a pretty valley, green and fair as any garden, and dotted with small houses. An old cemetery lies to one side of it; where unconventional inscriptions and queer epitaphs can be traced on the half-buried stones, covered with a tangle of vines and weeds. Still moving forward one reaches Olympus, and climbing to its heights, one sees away below, in the far distance, the Coast Range—like a rampart of strength; the blue waters of the bay, sparkling and dancing in the sunlight—steamers flashing their path on its bosom; and tiny white specks scudding in the breeze. Below is the city, its houses, small, and closed in, like toy villages in Christmas boxes; whilst the slopes around are green with fresh grass; and here and there are thick clusters of eucalyptus and pines. The ocean is partly hidden from view by a peak, which rises directly to the west, and is separated from that on which one is standing by a deep and thickly wooded valley. Descending, by means of a narrow winding path, one passes through dense clumps of hickory, chestnut, mountain ash, and walnut trees, whose strong lateral branches afford ample protection from the sun, and at the same time furnish playgrounds to innumerable bright-eyed squirrels. Further down one comes upon gentle elms, succeeded by sassafras and locust—these, in their turn, succeeded by the softer linden, red bud, catalpa, and maple; and at the foot of the declivity, and in the bottom of the valley, wild shrubbery, interspersed with silver willows, and white poplars. Still following the path down the vale, in a southerly direction, one, at length, finds oneself in an amphitheatre, shut in on all sides by trees and bushes of a still greater variety; here and there, a gigantic and much begnarled oak; here, a triple-stemmed tulip tree of some eighty feet in height, its glossy, vivid green