"It was destroyed in the great earthquake of 1887," I explained. "It was very old."
There was a pause. He was busy reconstructing in his old eyes the youthful vision of that fair temple by the sea.
"The stairway is still there," I aided him. "You can see it from all over the harbor. And you remember that little island on the right-hand side coming into the harbor?" I guess there must have been one there (I was prepared to shift it over to the left-hand side), for he nodded. "Gone," I said. "Seven fathoms of water there now."
I had gained a moment for breath. While he pondered on time's changes, I prepared the finishing touches of my story.
"You remember the custom-house at Bombay?"
He remembered it.
"Burned to the ground," I announced.
"Do you remember Jim Wan?" he came back at me. "Dead," I said; but who the devil Jim Wan was I hadn't the slightest idea.
I was on thin ice again.
"Do you remember Billy Harper, at Shanghai?