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To Mrs. Jane Clemens and Mrs. Moffett, in St. Louis:
No. 2--($20.00 Enclosed)
LICK HOUSE, S. F., June 1, '63.
MY DEAR MOTHER AND SISTER,--The Unreliable and myself are still here, and still enjoying ourselves. I suppose I know at least a thousand people here--a, great many of them citizens of San Francisco, but the majority belonging in Washoe--and when I go down Montgomery street, shaking hands with Tom, Dick and Harry, it is just like being in Main street in Hannibal and meeting the old familiar faces. I do hate to go back to Washoe. We fag ourselves completely out every day, and go to sleep without rocking, every night. We dine out and we lunch out, and we eat, drink and are happy--as it were. After breakfast, I don't often see the hotel again until midnight--or after. I am going to the Dickens mighty fast. I know a regular village of families here in the house, but I never have time to call on them. Thunder! we'll know a little more about this town, before we leave, than some of the people who live in it. We take trips across the Bay to Oakland, and down to San Leandro, and Alameda, and those places; and we go out to the Willows, and Hayes Park, and Fort Point, and up to Benicia; and yesterday we were invited out on a yachting excursion, and had a sail in the fastest yacht on the Pacific Coast. Rice says: "Oh, no--we are not having any fun, Mark--Oh, no, I reckon not--it's somebody else--it's probably the 'gentleman in the wagon'!" (popular slang phrase.) When I invite Rice to the Lick House to dinner, the proprietors send us champagne and claret, and then we do put on the most disgusting airs. Rice says our calibre is too light--we can't stand it to be noticed!
I rode down with a gentleman to the Ocean House, the other day, to see the sea horses, and also to listen to the roar of the surf, and watch the ships drifting about, here, and there, and far away at sea. When I stood on the beach and let the surf wet my feet, I recollected doing the same thing on the shores of the Atlantic--and then I had a proper appreciation of the vastness of this country--for I had traveled from ocean to ocean across it.
- Mark Twain