Letters of Franklin K. Lane eBook

Franklin Knight Lane
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 506 pages of information about Letters of Franklin K. Lane.
which had given up the fight was asleep on a haystack somewhere in the Western Addition.  He went out and found them.  They had been working for thirty-six hours; they lay like dead men.  Lane kicked the soles of the nearest fireman.  He returned only a grunt.  The next fireman, however, woke up; Lane managed to get him enthusiastic.  He found a wrench, and together he and Lane went from hydrant to hydrant, turning on the cocks.  The first five or six gave only a faint spurt and ceased to flow.  Then, and just when the fireman was getting ready to go on strike, they turned a cock no more promising than the others, and out spurted a full head of water.  No one knows to this day where that water came from, but it was there!  They shut off the stream.  ’It will take three engines to pump it to that blaze,’ said the fireman.  He, Lane, and Anderson scattered in opposite directions looking for engines.  When twenty minutes later, Lane returned with an engine and company two others had already arrived.  But they had not yet coupled the hose up.  The companies were quarreling as to which, under the rules of the department, should have the position of honor close to the hydrant!  Lane settled that question of etiquette with speed and force.  They got a stream on the incipient fire, and the water held out.  The other side of Van Ness Avenue gradually burned out and settled down into red coals.  The Western Addition was saved, and the San Francisco disaster was over.”

A few days later Lane started to Washington in an attempt to raise money for the rebuilding of San Francisco.  When he found that Congress would not act in this matter, he, with Senator Newlands, of Nevada, and some others, went to the President and the Secretary of the Treasury to see if Federal help could be secured for the ruined city.

To William R. Wheeler

New York, June 23, [1906]

My dear will,—­I have just returned from Washington, where I hope we have accomplished some good for San Francisco, although it was mighty hard to move anyone except the President and the Secretary of the Treasury.  But I did not intend to write of anything but your personal affairs.  Yesterday, on the train, I discovered that you had met with another fire.  This is rubbing it in, hitting a man when he is down.  The Gods don’t fight fair.  The decent rules of the Marquis of Queensberry seem to have no recognition on Olympus, or wherever the Gods live.  I can quite appreciate the strain you are under and the monumental difficulties of your situation, dealing as you are with dispirited old men and indifferent young ones, I hope this last blow will have some benefit which I cannot now perceive, else it must come like almost a knock-out to the concern.  Brave, strong, bully old boy, no one knows better than I do what a fight you have been making these last few years and how many unkindnesses fortune has done you.  There is not much use either in preaching to one’s self or to another, the advantages of adversity.  I don’t believe that men are made by fighting relentless Fate, the stuff they have is sometimes proved by struggle,—­that is the best that can be said for such philosophy.

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Letters of Franklin K. Lane from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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