Saigon, French Indo-China

Friday, August 16, 1929

A messenger boy hauled me out of bed at the unreasonable hour of eleven AM today. The “why” was a notice from the bank saying I had some money waiting for me there. That was a speedy telegram—42 hours after I sent it, the answer is back. Well, I knew the Consul was leaving on a Chinese freighter shortly after noon and there was no good reason why I shouldn’t do the same. I got a rickshaw and had my money by eleven-thirty. Then a dash out to the Consulate. It was after hours and everything closed. The Consul had already left. I remembered having seen a Mr. Wright talking to the consul, so went to the Continental Palace to find him. Finally located him in the dining room at lunch. He didn’t know the name of the ship, but gave me the new Consul’s name and telephone number. So I called him from the Nationes but couldn’t raise him. These blamed phones are a crime when one is in a hurry. Took down the receiver and turned the crank for a long time without results. There were two ear-pieces and I tried them separately and together with negative results. Finally the good-looking office girl came to the rescue and turned the crank before taking the durned receiver off. Thus I got central—to whom I repeated huit-huit-huit several times till I felt like a farmer auctioning off his wheat. She answered a couple of times, but I thought she didn’t get the number. So once more the office girl came to the rescue—but it seems as though central had been telling me no one answered the number. Personally I don’t care much for French phones.

That brought me to the end of my resources— at 12:30. I had lunch and went out to the Consulate at two. There I learned the boat left at 12:30. Too bad I missed it. Much more fun to pick up and travel on an hour’s notice than to plan days ahead of time.

There was no mail. As I was leaving Mr. Wright called for his mail and we walked back to the Post Office together where I mailed a letter to the Consul at Port Said and sent a parcel of books home. Just outside the Consulate I came across my old friend Scotty—this time evidently sober. I am mildly curious to know why he is calling on the Consul (new consul is Mr. Waterman). I have a hunch one of his sprees lasted a little too long and he missed his ship.

Went back to A.B. David Co. this afternoon to inquire about another boat. There is one about the 22nd I think and the man has promised to try to arrange it so I can buy a deck-class ticket and perhaps by paying a little extra get the captain’s cabin, for whites cannot go deck in the East—east of Suez—and second class is a single room of bunks full of coolies. I never put much faith in the results of such promises, but at any rate I think I can get the passage somehow for $25 without food. I ought to—still 16 and never been kissed.

That red-headed gal downstairs has more than been raising the roof with one of the servants here. That red hair turns black in comparison to the way she spiels off lectures. She has plenty of practice too. Runs about the annex in a Chinese costume of black, shiny, loose trousers and loose white shirt. She must work here. A sample of her lectures would run: [see illustration upper right]   Werry bleasant und indstructing.

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