At Woodward’s Garden, in the city of San Francisco, is a rather badly chiselled statue of Pandora pulling open her casket of ills. Pandora’s raiment, I grieve to state, has slipped down about her waist in a manner exceedingly reprehensible. One evening about twilight, I was p...
<p>At Woodward’s Garden, in the city of San Francisco, is a rather badly chiselled statue of Pandora pulling open her casket of ills. Pandora’s raiment, I grieve to state, has slipped down about her waist in a manner exceedingly reprehensible. One evening about twilight, I was passing that way, and saw a long gaunt miner, evidently just down from the mountains, and whom I had seen before, standing rather unsteadily in front of Pandora, admiring her shapely figure, but seemingly afraid to approach her. Seeing me advance, he turned to me with a queer, puzzled expression in his funny eyes, and said with an earnestness that came near defeating its purpose, “Good ev’n’n t’ye, stranger.”</p>
<p>“Good evening, sir,” I replied, after having analyzed his salutation and extracted the sense of it. Lowering his voice to what was intended for a whisper, the miner, with a jerk of his thumb Pandoraward, continued: “Stranger, d’ye hap’n t’know ’er?”</p>
<p>“Certainly; that is Bridget Pandora, a Greek maiden, in the pay of the Board of Supervisors.”</p>
<p>He straightened himself up with a jerk that threatened the integrity of his neck and made his teeth snap, lurched heavily to the other side, oscillated critically for a few moments, and muttered: “Brdgtpnd – .” It was too much for him; he went down into his pocket, fumbled feebly round, and finally drawing out a paper of purely hypothetical tobacco, conveyed it to his mouth and bit off about two-thirds of it, which he masticated with much apparent benefit to his understanding, offering what was left to me. He then resumed the conversation with the easy familiarity of one who has established a claim to respectful attention:</p>
<p>“Pardner, couldn’t ye interdooce a fel’r’s wants tknow’er?”</p>
<p>“Impossible; I have not the honour of her acquaintance.” A look of distrust crept into his face, and finally settled into a savage scowl about his eyes. </p>
<p>“Sed ye knew ‘er!” he faltered, menacingly. </p>
<p>“So I do, but I am not upon speaking terms with her, and – in fact she declines to recognise me.”</p>
<p>The soul of the honest miner flamed out; he laid his hand threateningly upon his pistol, jerked himself stiff, glared a moment at me with the look of a t...