Travel Letters: Palace Hotel, San Francisco, California (1886)

MY DEAR GERTIE, — What a good time we shall have this summer ! I will tell you all about the Pacific Ocean, and how fine it is to stand on the rocks and look way off to China. There is a great deal of China here. The other night I went to a Chinese theatre, and the way they howled, and grinned, and cut up on the stage was something wonderful. Their play goes on for a month, being taken up each evening where they happened to leave off the night before, so you hit it at one point, and it is very hard to make out what the story is. Besides, it is in Chinese. There is no scenery, and the spectators (those that pay half a dollar) sit right on the stage and go through the dressing-room. The quarter of a dollar people sit in front of the stage, just as our audiences do. It was very confused, picturesque, and funny. Next week I am going up to Oregon, and shall be somewhere there when you get this letter. I wonder what that country is like. It always sounds as if people went about in furs and talked Ojibway to each other, but I dare say they do not. However, I shall see next week, and then can tell you. We shall sail through the Golden Gate, and have a lovely voyage up the coast to Portland, in a beautiful steamer. How I wish you would come, too.