On Wednesday, October 9, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was invited by the Mayor of Berkeley to speak to a large public gathering at a high school auditorium in Berkeley.
“Many University dignitaries and University people were to gather…’As the appointed hour for departure approached, the hostess went upstairs to warn ‘Abdu’l-Bahá…He smiled and waved her away, saying “Very soon! Very soon!” She left Him with some impatience…After some time she went up again, for the automobile was honking at the door…At last her patience was quite exhausted for she knew that they could not possibly arrive…in time. Suddenly there was a ring at the door bell. Immediately ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s step was on the stair, and when the door was open he was beside the maid, pulling over the threshold a dusty and disheveled man whom no one had ever heard of, but whom ‘Abdu’l-Bahá embraced like a long lost friend’. He had read of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the newspapers and felt he must see Him, but as he did not have enough money for the car fare, he walked the fifteen miles into San Francisco.”