When the Earth Trembled (Fragment)

Clark Ashton Smith

Bernice and I, Harry Travis, have followed our trade, or what was our trade, many lands and with varying success. When we came to San Francisco as passengers in a boxcar, we were what is called "old offenders." San Francisco, as the metropolis of the west, appealed to our lucrative instincts, and on that account and because of sundry designs on our liberty by the Chicago police, we arrived via boxcar. The boxcar was owing to our straitened circumstances. These circumstances it was our purpose to better.

Our first point of view, upon arriving, was the habitation of an old friend of mine, situated on what is known locally as the Barbary Coast, where we obtained shelter, food, professional advice and information.

Editor's Note: This seems to me to be far advanced of the "Oriental" stuff, and has the slant of humor common to W. C. Fields—particularly his Dickens characters; e.g., the elevated vocabulary of the "con" artist type. The handwriting appears also to be the more mature standard.

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