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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about Vignettes of San Francisco.

Every adjective he uses has its significance.  Take “ranch” eggs, how pastoral they sound and fanned by fresh zephyrs.  The same with “yard” eggs, such an “out in the open — let the rest of the world go by” impression they confer.  And so reassuring, too, as though they couldn’t have been manufactured for Woolworth’s.

There is much, I find, to be written about eggs.

Isn’t it “up-looking,” as Mr. Wilson would say, that they are so cheap now?

I cannot help wondering if that woman’s hens — the hens that went with the crow — if they laid well when eggs were so high.

On the California-Street Car

She was a little black girl about four years old, riding with her mother on the observation seat of the California street car.  She was a little black girl and didn’t know the difference — she might have been as white as milk for all she knew.  She was poor but daintily dressed beside being very neat.

The rest of us in the car were grown-up and white — well-dressed people who looked as though we knew a lot.  We were all riding along; we and the little black girl with her mother, when suddenly we came out from the surrounding wall of apartment houses into the open, facing a side street — .

And there before us, in all its morning glory, lay the great city of Saint Francis.  It was just emerging out of fog.  The smoke and steam rising, touched into color by the sun, softened it into a great mystery with forms and hulks coming into relief through the mists.  For a moment it wasn’t a city but a magnificent singing of the morning.

In a dull, inert way I suppose all of us, the grownup people, glimpsed some of its beauty.  But we were all intent upon the business of the day — we didn’t look out very far — .

But the little black girl who didn’t know any better, the little black girl raised her two arms above her head and exclaimed in a high, joyous child voice — “Gee whiz!”

Western Yarns

The men around the corner store at home were forever telling stories about the big yarns that Were told in the West.  One of the favorites was that ancient one of the Western town that was so healthy they had to kill a man to start a graveyard.

Having been brought up on this tradition of Western yarns, I have been surprised since living here never to have heard a single story that didn’t sound perfectly reasonable.  But it has dawned on me recently that the “Yarns” are true.  Therefore, they are no longer yarns, but facts.

Here is an oil boom story I heard first-hand the other day.  I believe it, but you couldn’t get those men around the corner store to believe it — .

It was in a dusty town where everyone rushed in to make quick money and never mind about the main street even if they did have to plough through dust to their knees.  Then one day a heavy rain came that made the street one slough of soft oozy clay which no one could cross.

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