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by Earle Ashley Walcott
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1907. The mystery begins: A city of hills with a fringe of houses crowning the lower heights; half-mountains rising bare in the background and becoming real mountains as they stretched away in the distance to right and left; a confused mass of building coming to the water's edge on the flat; a forest of masts, ships swinging in the stream, and the streaked, yellow, gray-green water of the bay taking a cold light from the setting sun as it struggled through the wisps of fog that fluttered above the serrated skyline of the city-these were my first impressions of San Francisco.
To the south the cross-street stretched to Market with an unbroken array of lights, and as my unwary watchers had disappeared in the darkness, I hastened down the incline with so little regard for dignity that I found myself running for a Sutter Street car--and caught it, too. As I swung on to the platform I looked back; but I saw no sign of skulking figures before the car swept past the corner and blotted the street from sight.
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