When I was 27 years old, I worked in an office in San Francisco. I did my
job well and my future was promising. I was alone in the world and I was
happy. On Saturday afternoons I didn't work. I sailed my little sailboat on
San Francisco Bay. One Saturday afternoon, I sailed out too far. The strong
afternoon wind pushed my sailboat out of the bay, into the Pacific Ocean.
That night, when I had lost all hope, a small British brig saw me and
took me on board. The brig was sailing to London. The voyage was long and
stormy. I worked as a sailor to pay for my trip.
When I arrived in London, my clothes were old and dirty. I had only one
dollar in my pocket. With this dollar, I ate and slept for the first twenty-four
hours. During the next twenty-four hours, I didn't eat and I didn't sleep.
At about ten o'clock the following morning, I went to Portland Place. I saw
a child walking past, holding a big pear. The child ate one small piece and
then threw the pear onto the street.
I stopped and looked at it. I was very hungry and I really wanted that pear.
But every time I tried to get it, someone passed by and looked at me. I
quickly turned in the other direction and waited for the person to pass by. I
tried again and again to get that pear, but the same thing happened. I was
desperate. I decided to get the pear and not to worry about the people who
saw me. At that moment, a gentleman opened a window behind me and said,
"Come in here, please."
A well-dressed servant opened the door. He took me to a beautiful room.
Here, two old gentlemen were sitting and discussing something important.
Their breakfast was still on the table. I was very hungry and I stared at
I want to tell the reader that the two gentlemen had made a bet several
days before. I knew nothing about the bet until later. Let me tell you what