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The servants were so attentive and the beds so soft that many of the ladies fell into the custom of having breakfast in the staterooms.
After lunch one sunny day we mounted the steep little stairs to the captain's quarters. His spacious combination living and bedroom with private bath was a miracle to those of us who had to have the room boy move the luggage in order to have space enough to open the quaint little bureau drawers. On his center table was one of those strange dwarf Japanese trees, that are not permitted to be imported. These odd plants seem to thrive in spite of their diet of whiskey and the binding of their branches with tiny wires - perhaps, if they must be fed exclusively on whiskey, there is another reason besides the possibility of their bringing into our country a foreign insect that excludes them.
We were told that the captain's and officers' quarters were certified and not counted when the capacity of the ship was figured, so the ship seemed bigger than ever to us. Next we invaded the chart room, saw the device that tells the whereabouts of a coming typhoon, listened to the telephonic arrangement that proclaims the proximity of the buoy bells, watched the little indicator that makes a red line depicting the exact course of the ship on a circular chart, tried out the fire alarm system that instantly rings a bell if a high temperature is registered any place on the ship, from the bridal suite to the darkest corner of the hold. We set the fog whistle to blow at regular intervals. We were told that the searchlight could enable the pilot to discover objects about five miles out, and by the time the gyro compass and numerous other devices had been explained to us, we were ready to believe that the ship cost seven million dollars, and that five thousand dollars was the daily operating expense (two thousand dollars of which was spent for the one thousand gallons of oil).
The mock trial was one of the features of the trip. Nearly everyone was arrested, sentenced or fined. Mrs. F. Panter's and Captain Ruben Robinson's trials were the most sensational. In spite of Carl Westerfeld's efforts to save Captain Robinson from being convicted of fox trotting with a certain charming widow, he was heavily sentenced. Louis C. Brown was released upon the hearing of the eloquent pleadings of his attorney, Louis H. Mooser. At the close of the session, Commissioner Francis Krull imposed a fine upon himself for his merciful tendencies as the judge.
When a crowd of us piled into the wireless room and asked the whys and wherefores, the poor operator gave up trying to explain why the messages were all sent at night, and settled the matter by telling us that the atmospheric conditions were better then, and that the ship was equipped with two systems, the spark and the arc, but that the arc was given the preference. The Empire State kept its apparatus tuned to the one at Sloat Boulevard, so if any of those at home missed us, just all they had to do was to drive past that station any night, and, perhaps, at that very moment, a message was being received from us.
When we saw land, the women immediately planned a meeting to discuss what to wear and do when we arrived in Honolulu on the following day. A. I. Esberg gave an address the evening before on the meaning of our Commercial Relationship tour and the good-will that he believed San Francisco would establish by this mission. Afterward we danced, then followed a Chinese supper. Yes, we were eating again.
No alarm clock that was ever invented smote the ears with greater animosity than did the ship's gong at 6:30 the morning we arrived at Honolulu. If it had not been for the fact that the committee was there (just outside our portholes, in yachts loaded with leis to welcome us) it would have taken even more than that disturber of the peace to arouse us, for sleep seemed the most desired thing after the Chinese dinner dance that had lasted until the wee hours.
We were all at the luncheon given to us by the Honolulu Commercial Club. Faxton Bishop told us of the seriousness of the labor situation and asked our aid. We all remember how eloquently our much lamented spokesman, A. F. Morrison, answered the address and said that California's prosperity depended in many ways upon Hawaiian prosperity and their problems were our problems.
Wallace R. Farrington, Governor of the Territory of Hawaii, said that the labor situation must be solved to insure the prosperity of the islands.
We were next whizzed to the Outrigger Club, and if everyone had seen how hard Warren Shannon paddled to reach the crest of a wave before it broke, they would all be convinced that he was the hardest working supervisor we have.
John H. Wilson, the mayor of Honolulu, motored our party around the island and gave us a luncheon at a hotel near one of the beaches. We will remember this day as one of our happiest.