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Let me put this heavy load down and take some of these bulky clothes off andIll tell you about how I became a short story and novel writer My name is John Griffith London But I like to be called Jack I was born in SanFrancisco in 1876 Most of my childhood I was very poor I had to help my parents earna living by doing odd jobs I delivered papers worked on ice-wagons cleaned up bowling alleys helped in the cannery and only made ten cents an hour I usually workedten hours a day I learned what it was like being a member of the working-class and Ialways had a distaste for its drudgery I kept telling myself Jack some day you will berich I loved to read and often borrowed books of adventure travel and sea voyages At fourteen I left school to lead a wandering and adventurous life so I thought Jobswere hard to find but I was employed by the fish patrol in San Francisco Bay Imaginehopping on every boat that pulls into the bay and counting the number of fish on boardand having to write fines to the sailors that had too many fish This sure wasnt a popularjob in the bay area I was smart enough to figure I could be on the other side of the lawand rob and steal vessels so I became an oyster pirate I had a real passion for the sea and so in 1893 I took a job as a common sailor aboarda sealing vessel that ventured as far as Japan This lasted about a year When I returnedback to the bay area I drifted from job to job I told you I liked to wander I left the bay and headed for New York City I went onthe road and lived as a tramp Without any place to stay I was soon jailed for
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