The World of Jack London Ranch Album
Jack London's Bedroom
Exhibited at the House of Happy Walls Museum

Jack's Bedroom ". . . Before Jack retired at night, usually at eleven o'clock, Nakata fixed his night table with notepaper, pencils, galley proof, the books and pamphlets he was reading, manuscripts from aspiring authors sent to him for correction and criticism, some light food to nibble on to fight off sleep, a box of cigarettes and pitchers of iced drink which he kept sipping to hydrize his mouth, parched from incessant smoking. The lamp burned deep into the humming silence while the man alone on the sleeping porch studied, made notes, smoked, sipped his iced drink, poured over printed words, words of wisdom, and falsity, words of justice and man's inhumanity to man . . . until fatigue gathered like specks of dust under his burning eyelids. He drove himself continously to acquire knowledge, not only because he loved knowledge, but for fear he might be missing something new or important in the world. And always on that night table, never to be moved until after his death, was a two-volume work by Paul du Chaillu, whose African Travels had been the first adventure book to fall into his hands when he had been eight years old, living on the ranch in Livermore. The two-volume work was called The Viking Age.

About one o'clock in the morning he would place a match in his book to mark his place, then set the hand on the cardboard time-dial hanging outside his door to show Nakata at what hour he wished to be awakened. He rarely allowed himself more than five hours of sleep; the latest time indicated on the dial is six o'clock. generally at five Nakata would awaken him with his coffee, after which he would lie abed revising the previous day's manuscript, which Charmian had typed, reading the various government reports and technical studies for which he had sent, correcting the latest batch of galley proofs from his publishers, making notes for the day's work or future stories. By eight he was at his desk composing his original thousand words, glancing occasionally at the poem tacked on the wall:

'Now I get me up to work,
I pray the Lord I may not shirk;
If I should die before the night,
I pray the Lord my work's all right.'"
SOURCE: SAILOR ON HORSEBACK: THE LIFE OF JACK LONDON By Irving Stone. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin - chptr 9
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