A man named Gillis had gone to San Francisco with Twain. Gillis went as a compositor on The Call. These two for a time before beginning work went about town in a social way, dressed in their best. At night they feasted and made merry. When Twain set to work his duties took him to the police courts to get the news of the fights between the Irish, and between the Chinamen. Twain called this work "awful slavery for a lazy man." At night he made the rounds of the six theatres, getting a passing glimpse of the play or the opera, and afterward pounding his head for something to say about them. He saw police brutality and wrote about it. But The Call suppressed such comment.
In the same building in which The Call was housed was the office of The Californian, of which the young Bret Harte later was editor, at this time twenty-five years of age. The Golden Era, a magazine founded in 1852, was one of the prides of San Francisco. At its of-