National Geographic : 1921 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Ralph Stock UNDER TIlE AWNING AT LAS PALMAS, CANARY ISLANDS Buttons come off, rents occur in clothing, and holes in socks, even aboard a Dream Ship. Peter proves as handy with needle and thrrl an with frvincr-nnn nd tiller-rone. was overwhelming, but that- Nothing made any difference. Somehow we found ourselves in a car, the chief operator's first car, that he had learnt to drive during the dinner hour the previous day. Out into the moonlight we sped, or rather zigzagged at the rate of forty miles an hour, while between Peter and myself a youth named Bill-I shall never forget Bill-kept up a running flow of informative rhetoric. "On the left we have the famous Isthmus of Panama, intersected by the still more famous Panama Canal-a miracle of modern engineering, as it has been aptly termed (see leaflets). Fear not, lady" (this is an aside to Peter), "the man at the wheel val ues his life as much as yours, perhaps more. "And now we ap proach the historic city of Panama, pass ing on our left the Union Club, other wise known as the Onion Club. fre quented solely by the nobility and gentry of the neighborhood. "An d on the right-" On the right was the blazing portico of a cabaret, and the car had come to a jarring full stop. In vain we pleaded our costume, the hour of night, the utter degradation of expos ing ourselves to the public gaze in such a condition. We liter ally found ourselves at a table drinking imitation lager beer and grape juice and listening to raucous voiced, imported la dies rendering washy ballads to the accom paniment of tinkling ice and tobacco smoke. It all sounds sordid enough, but it was vastly amusing to sea-weary wanderers, and will remain with us a memory of kindness and good-fellowship. Today we lie at anchor off Balboa, in the Pacific Ocean. We have come far and hope to go a great deal farther. To do so we have come to the conclusion it will be necessary to make some money. How? Well, we have a ship; a group of pearling islands lies thirty miles to the westward, and-but of this anon. A strange life, my masters, but one that I would not exchange with any man.