When flames swept Nob Hill during the Great Quake, destroying the towering multi-storied mansions of Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker, Collis Huntington and Leland Stanford, the common people of San Francisco felt it was poetic justice. They believed those monuments to bad taste were erected by wealthy barons who had acquired their vast fortunes through the misery and sweat of others.
Jack London, famed author of adventure tales, came down from his Sonoma ranch to witness the quake aftermath. Amazed at what he observed, he wrote: “While the whole city crashed and roared into ruin, it was a quiet night. There was no shouting or yelling. Never, in all of San Francisco’s history, were her people so kind and courteous, as on this night of terror.”
It was a frightening gang of tong hatchet men. Even at this distance, Nick could see their gaudy clothing. They wore black pleated gowns belted with a band of white silk. Under their round black bowler hats, pigtails coiled about their foreheads like black snakes.
Nick shoved the girls behind him. The tongs slowly advanced. Some had small razor-sharp hatchets stuck in their waste bands. Others carried long knives, wicked-looking meat cleavers, and heavy clubs.
One man, taller than the rest of the gang, was clearly the leader, in a bright red silk jacket. He shouted, “kill the white dogs. But do no harm to the one called Mei-Li. She’s my stolen property. Ah-koo-ar. Attack them.”
This is an excerpt from the newly released novella, TIME TROLLEY. It is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014EMQULM. And FREE on KDP Unlimited.