While he is gone for another and another, I watch those that have already arrived, and presently someone comes and tries to take my trunks saying they are his. Then I make my way to Union Square, where I see some of my friends, and one of them tells me he has lost everything except his voice, but he is thankful that he has still got that.
And they tell me to come to a house that is still standing; but I say houses are not safe, nothing is safe but the open square, and I prefer to remain in a place where there is no fear of being buried by falling buildings. So I lie down in the square for a little rest, while my valet goes and looks after the luggage, and soon I begin to see the flames and all the city seems to be on fire. All the day I wander about, and I tell my valet we must try and get away, but the soldiers will not let us pass. We can find no vehicle to find our luggage, and this night we are forced to sleep on the hard ground in the open.
My limbs ache yet from so rough a bed. Then my valet succeeds in getting a man with a cart, who says he will take us to the Oakland Ferry for a certain sum, and we agree to his terms.
We pile the luggage into the cart and climb in after it, and the man whips up his horse and we start. We pass terrible scenes on the way: buildings in ruins, and everywhere there seems to be smoke and dust.
Calisphere: San Francisco during the eventful days of April, personal recollections
The driver seems in no hurry, which makes me impatient at times, for I am longing to return to New York, where I know I shall find a ship to take me to my beautiful Italy and my wife and my little boys. When we arrive at Oakland we find a train there which is just about to start, and the officials are very polite, take charge of my luggage, and tell me go get on board, which I am very glad to do.
The trip to New York seems very long and tedious, and I sleep very little, for I can still feel the terrible rocking which made me sick.
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Even now I can only sleep an hour at a time, for the experience was a terrible one. Recorded for Victor Red Seal records in Enrico Caruso Enrico Caruso is the son of a mechanic, resident in Naples.
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His age is thirty-three, and for many years he adopted his father's calling, earning commendation for industry and application. His vocal powers and possibilities were divined by one Vergine, Italian singing master, who at once took in hand their development, until a successful debut was recorded in "Traviata," year , place Naples. Caruso is the most charming and lovable of characters, never shirking rehearsal duties, and by this very adaptability and amiableness.
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When he is not singing, his chief delight lies in sketching caricatures of himself and his acquaintances. Return to the earthquake eyewitness accounts.
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