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Page 409 The Life of Mark Twain: The Early Years, 1835-1871:

The Quaker City weighed anchor the morning of June 23 [from the Azores] and six days later arrived on the continent at Gibraltar, where the passengers scattered like marbles. They planned to rejoin the ship later at its stops in Marseilles, Leghorn, or Naples. While most of the pilgrims headed north to Spain and England, Sam, Colonel Denny, James H. Foster of Pittsburgh, Dan Slote, and a couple of others, accompanied by five bottles of champagne and seventy-five cigars, steamed forty miles south to spend a night in the ancient city of Tangier, Morocco, “This is the infernalest hive of infernally costumed barbarians I have ever come across yet, he reported to his family, though he expressed modest enthusiasm for it in an Alta letter: Tangier was ‘full of interest for one day, but after that it is a weary prison.” It was remarkable not for “its civilization” but for its exotic fashions. Sam and his companions bought “Moorish costumes,” including red fezzes, to wear back to the ship,.

They returned to the Quaker City on July 1 before its evening departure for France.

A week of buffeting a tempestuous and relentless sea; a week of seasickness and deserted cabins; of lonely quarterdecks drenched with spray—spray so ambitious that it even coated the smokestacks thick with a white crust of salt to their very tops; a week of shivering in the shelter of the lifeboats and deckhouses by day and blowing suffocating “clouds” and boisterously performing at dominoes in the smoking room at night.

Within the hour we were fairly within the Straits of Gibraltar, the tall yellow-splotched hills of Africa on our right, with their bases veiled in a blue haze and their summits swathed in clouds—the same being according to Scripture, which says that “clouds and darkness are over the land.” The words were spoken of this particular portion of Africa, I believe. On our left were the granite-ribbed domes of old Spain. The strait is only thirteen miles wide in its narrowest part.

Rock of Gibraltar

In a few moments a lonely and enormous mass of rock, standing seemingly in the center of the wide strait and apparently washed on all sides by the sea, swung magnificently into view, and we needed no tedious traveled parrot to tell us it was Gibraltar. There could not be two rocks like that in one kingdom.

At this present moment half a dozen of us are taking a private pleasure excursion of our own devising. We form rather more than half the list of white passengers on board a small steamer bound for the venerable Moorish town of Tangier, Africa. Nothing could be more absolutely certain than that we are enjoying ourselves. One can not do otherwise who speeds over these sparkling waters and breathes the soft atmosphere of this sunny land. Care cannot assail us here. We are out of its jurisdiction.