We had met Prohibition first at Honolulu, not a few of the passengers receiving the shock of their lives on learning at the hotel that only "soft drinks" were permitted. Our second reminder of the new regime came as we entered American waters off the Golden Gate and the ship's bar was formally closed. And then, in San Francisco, we found "dry" land indeed. In this connection let me say that in the hotel I made acquaintance with an official of great power who was new to me: the buttoned boy who rejoices in the proud title of Bell Captain. He gave me a private insight into his precocity (but that is not the word, for all boys in America are men too), and into his influence, by offering to supply me with forbidden fruit, in the shape of whisky, at the modest figure of $25 a bottle. He did not, however, say dollars: like most of his compatriots (and it is a favourite word with them) he said something between "dollars" and "dallars."

I had, a few days later, in Chicago, a similarly friendly offer from a policeman of whom I had inquired the way. Recognizing an English accent, he had instantly divined what my dearest wish must be. I then asked him how prohibition was affecting the people on his beat. He said that a few drunkards were less comfortable and a few wives more serene; but for the most part he had seen no increase of happiness, and the extra money that it provided was spent either on the movies, dress, or "other foolishness." I did not allow him to refresh me. After a course of American "tough" fiction, of which "Susan Lenox" remains most luridly in the memory, I had a terror of all professional upholders of the law.