Kipling pp 180-185 | Cite as

A Visit to the Bohemian Club of San Francisco

  • Robert H. Fletcher
Part of the Interviews and Recollections book series (IR)


Lieutenant Carlin was the executive officer of the Vandalia, which was totally wrecked with a loss of five officers and thirty-nine of the crew. And it was in this fearful chaos of wind and water and crashing timbers that Mr Carlin, who was a large and powerful man, did such effective service as to call forth the admiration of his no less heroic shipmates and of his fellow members of the Bohemian Club. And thus it was that the latter gave him a ‘welcome home dinner’ on 5 June 1889. As may be imagined, the Club was gorgeously decorated with national emblems, particularly of a nautical character; the Stars and Stripes, blocks and tackles, laurel wreaths, boat howitzers, stands of arms, anchors, ships’ cutlasses and signal flags made up a glittering scene of military beauty, while the various stuffed owls of the Club gazed peacefully out upon this warlike show from various points of vantage. Many were the fine speeches that were made and inspiring were the songs. But perhaps the most interesting description of the affair, if not the most accurate, is that given by an outsider, that outsider being no less a person than the distinguished author, Rudyard Kipling. Mr Kipling had only a few days before landed from the steamship that had brought him from India, and having a letter of introduction to one of the members, Mr George W. Spencer, was given a card to the Club and invited to this dinner.


Fellow Member Morning Star English Army Confidence Game Distinguished Author 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1983

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  • Robert H. Fletcher

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