“It liberates the vandal to travel…” (Garrison Keillor, Jimmy Buffett, Clint Eastwood)
NARRATOR: Sam Clemens loved to travel. After leaving Hannibal when he was in his ‘teens, his curiosity about the world spurred him to visit new places.
HUCK: “…it was a grand adventure, and mysterious, and so it hit him where he lived…”
NARRATOR: From Nevada he went to San Francisco and then visited Hawaii, or the Sandwich Islands as it was called back then. When he headed east, he wanted to see more of the world. He booked passage on the steamer, the Quaker City, for a five-month excursion to Europe and the Holy Land. He had contracted with the San Francisco Alta newspaper to send letters back describing his tour and the voyage and all the places he would visit. But when they docked in Greece, the passengers learned that they were to be quarantined and were forbidden to leave the ship. The itinerant journalist chafed at the news.
TWAIN: “It was the bitterest disappointment we had yet experienced. To lie a whole day in sight of the Acropolis, and yet be obliged to go away without visiting Athens! Disappointment was hardly a strong enough word to describe the circumstances. At eleven o'clock at night, when most of the ship's company were abed, four of us stole softly ashore in a small boat, a clouded moon favoring the enterprise… Seeing no road, we took a tall hill to the left of the distant Acropolis for a mark, and steered straight for it over all obstructions… The full moon was riding high in the cloudless heavens, now. We sauntered carelessly and unthinkingly to the edge of the lofty battlements of the citadel, and looked down -- a vision! And such a vision! Athens by moonlight!” (The Innocents Abroad)