es and Italian whitehalls came and went at every turn. A Stockton River boat went by, her stern wheel churning along behind, like a huge net-reel; a tiny maelstrom of activity centred about an Alaska Commercial Company's steamboat that would clear for Dawson in the morning.
No quarter of one of the most picturesque cities in the world had more interest for Wilbur than the water-front. In the mile or so of shipping that stretched from the docks where the China steamships landed, down past the ferry slips and on to Meiggs's Wharf, every maritime nation in the world was represented. More than once Wilbur had talked to the loungers of the wharves, stevedores out of work, sailors between voyages, caulkers and ship chandlers' men looking--not too earnestly--for jobs; so that on this occasion, when a little, undersized fellow in dirty brown sweater and clothes of Barbary coast cut asked him for a match to light his pipe, Wilbur offered a cigar and passed the time of day with him. Wilbur had not forgotten that
Terrific adventure tale, and an example of the story driving the author rather than the opposite.
Halfway through Norris has the bright idea of removing one quasi-hero and replacing him with another. This works extremely well.
Eventually though, it seems, he tires of the tale and decides to brusquely terminate it by removal of the love interest in a bizarre and unbelievable fashion, only partly compensating for this by the method of her funeral.
It is a nice tale of adventures, with some romance included.