It is a travel story book. The warning gong had sent all but crew and passengers ashore, though our ship did not leave the dock. Her great bulk still lay along the piling, though the gangway was withdrawn. The small groups on the pier waited tensely for the last words with those departing. These passengers were inwardly bored with the prolonged farewells, and wanted to be free to observe their fellow-voyagers and the movement of the ship. They conversed in shouts with those ashore, but most of the meanings were lost in the noise of the shuffling of baggage and freight, the whistling of ferries, and the usual turmoil of the San Francisco waterfront. I was glad that none had come to see me off, for I was curious about my unknown companions upon the long traverse to the South Seas, and I had wilfully put behind me all that America and Europe held to adventure in the vasts of ocean below the equator. But the whistle I awaited to sound our leaving was silent. Officers of the ship rushed about as if bent on relieving her of some pressing danger, and I caught fragments of orders and replies which indicated that until a search was completed she could not stir on her journey.