Due to the shortage of water, an elaborate fire organization existed in San Francisco. In the main square a fine artesian well was being
dug which was designed to supply water to all cisterns in the city. In
anticipation of this water supply the firemen held daily practice
without water; they could be seen running with their purnPs> their American helmets, and their blue trousers from one end of tne city to the other, which invariably gave rise to the belief that fire had broken out in San Francisco.
During my relatively improvident youth, I was of the belief that tne lack of a safe place in which to lock up my money was the sole cause of my prodigality. Not knowing where to deposit it safely, I allowed it freely to slip into the pockets of others; so my first precauti°n> when I had my own establishment, was to procure a strong-box.
found a splendid one built of iron that was so heavy that I could
scarcely move it. I was asked 150 piastres for it, but I finally
secured it for 100 piastres—which was, I believe, a good bargain. I was convinced that in case of fire a solid iron chest would be a melting'Pot where
I should find my gold and silver melted into bullion, but where I could
ultimately recover it. So I placed my chest at the foot of mv counter and every night stored away my profits for the day.