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4                                A FEW MEMORIES
they eloped, and were clandestinely married. The young couple, after a year's sojourn in New York and Philadelphia, wended their way westward. This was in 1859, only a few weeks before my birth. While in mid-ocean, bound for California, their ship caught fire. Providentially, there was no wind, or the vessel, and probably every soul on board, would have perished. My mother displayed remarkable courage on that occasion. While every one rushed about the deck, panic-stricken, she stood leaning against a mast, calmly awaiting the inevitable. Fortunately the fire was mastered, and but little damage done. The ship continued
her trip safely, landing her passengers at------ a
few days later. My parents went at once to Sacramento, where, on the 28th of July, I first saw the light; my birthplace a quaint hotel, surmounted by a huge golden eagle, from which it took its name. My mother, scarcely nineteen, and still child enough to be pleased with only pretty people and things, was greatly distressed on first seeing my ugly, red little face ; and the nurse's consoling and conventional remark, " Never you mind, ma'am; you may be proud of her some day," was met with a hopeless " Never!" However, before a month had passed, she, in the way of mothers,