Sailed from Seattle at 9:00 AM on the S.S. Princess Kathleen. Although smaller than the coastwise boats it was fitted out much better. The sailors spend a good deal of their time washing white paint. Everything was ship-shape and I was well pleased with this steamship line.
The weather continued overcast and the scenery of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca was lost. We docked at Victoria at 12:45 PM. The first object to be noticed when entering the harbor is the beautiful Empress Hotel, a large red stone structure and literally covered with climbing vines. I had lunch at a nearby restaurant where the service seemed slow. The food was all right but I felt like I was being gypped when I received Canadian money as change for my American bill. These pictures of English kings were acceptable as money and so I was satisfied. It made me realize that I was now in another country.
The beautiful parliament buildings face the Inner Harbor at Victoria and in taking a picture of them I had the misfortune of making a double exposure. One of my best pictures, too. There is a very fine Alaskan museum adjoining the buildings and I spent an hour and a half observing some real souvenirs. The basket ware and totem poles of the Esquimaux are very well made and very artistic, that is, for this style of work and the facilities for being artistic. While walking through the Parliament Buildings I saw only one person who appeared to be working there. Very funereal.
As usual, a barker sold me a sight-seeing trip and as it did not start for a few hours I started up town, using Shank's mare as before. Victoria is in a foreign country. It is a bit of the old world and the English influence is noticeable on all sides. They have gabled roofs on the office buildings, men wear real mustaches and smoke bull-dog pipes, a snappy combination seems to be white sox and black shoes, window signs announce barristers and solicitors and every business seems to be limited. The language is different from ours. And one more thing, there are very few good-looking girls.
The rubber-neck tour took us out of town and through some inviting back country. We visited an observatory where the main attraction was a 72-inch telescope. The view was spoiled by the cloudy weather but the exhibits in the observatory were very interesting as I had never been in such a place before.
From here we went to Butchart's Gardens. Now, here is where I meet my Waterloo. There isn't a chance of me reciting anything that will convey the slightest conception of the beauty of these gardens. They surround the very beautiful home of the owner of the place and cover a considerable area. The idea is somewhat similar to that of the Busch Gardens in Los Angeles, only this place far exceeds anything we have in California. There are fish ponds, waterfalls, gnomes, bridges, flagstones, trellises and all sorts of garden ornament. The flowers grow to an immense size and any one of the plots seem to exceed an exaggerated anticipation. In short, it is the most beautiful spot I have ever seen. It even surpasses Mill Valley during a cool Spring evening when the sun is dipping below Tamalpais. Enough of this.
We returned to town at five-thirty and had to kill time until nine o'clock. The boat sails at eleven forty-five but I am anxious to get aboard as I have seen enough of Victoria.
After dinner I visited the Crystal Palace Gardens, just back of the Empress Hotel, and watched the swimmers. They have a dance started in the adjoining pavilion and a good many girls appeared. I didn't get the impression that any of them wanted to dance with me, but I decided to rest my weary feet that had been pounding pavement a good part of the day. The Victorian music is very deceptive. The first round is played very slowly. And the encore - woof - is so fast that my eyes couldn't keep up with the dancers. That combination absolutely ruins the charm and grace of my performance on a dance floor.
I left this place about nine-thirty and headed for the Canadian Pacific dock and my home for the next nine days, the Steamship Princess Louise. During my wanderings around Victoria I met many familiar faces. It seems that quite a few of the passengers on the "Louise" came up on the "H.F." with me. They are a nice crowd and very sociable.
The "Louise" is certainly a first class boat, it is smaller than the "Kathleen" but of the same type. The atmosphere is just what I wished for and this trip is worth every cent it costs. In fact it may be that I have been under charged. I have a nice outside room on the main deck, not far from the dining room and drew an upper berth. Everything is katish as we say in dear old Metlakatla. To quote one of my new friends from Lost Angeles, "I haven't had so much fun since I shot my first mother-in-law." Why didn't I take this trip before?
I turned in before sailing time and was sound asleep when we pushed off. The disturbance of getting under way woke me up, and being a little startled I sat up to look things over. My forehead met the hand rail beside my berth and though the pain was slight the blood flowed in a copious stream. I hit the deck and rang for the steward. He was more frightened than I at the carnal sight. I was dripping, but a towel around my head stopped the deluge, and I had much the appearance of one Ali Ben Ali of the Desert Song. After a change of pajamas and bedding I was able to place my weary head on the pillow and drift into a troubled sleep.