California Sketches, Second Series eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about California Sketches, Second Series.


Dick The Diggers The California Mad-House San Quentin “Corralled” The
Reblooming The Emperor Norton Camilla Cain Lone Mountain Newton The
California Politician Old Man Lowry Suicide In California Father Fisher
Jack White The Rabbi My Mining Speculation Mike Reese Uncle Nolan
Buffalo Jones Tod Robinson Ah Lee The Climate of California After The
Storm Bishop Kavanaugh In California Sanders A Day Winter-Blossomed A
Virginian In California At The End


Dick was a Californian.  We made his acquaintance in Sonora about a month before Christmas, Anno Domini 1855.  This is the way it happened: 

At the request of a number of families, the lady who presided in the curious little parsonage near the church on the hill-side had started a school for little girls.  The public schools might do for the boys, but were too mixed for their sisters—­so they thought.  Boys could rough it —­they were a rough set, anyway—­but the girls must he raised according to the traditions of the old times and the old homes.  That was the view taken of the matter then, and from that day to this the average California girl has been superior to the average California boy.  The boy gets his bias from the street; the girl, from her mother at home.  The boy plunges into the life that surges around him; the girl only feels the touch of its waves as they break upon the embankments of home.  The boy gets more of the father; the girl gets more of the mother.  This may explain their relative superiority.  The school for girls was started on condition that it should be free, the proposed teacher refusing all compensation.  That part of the arrangement was a failure, for at the end of the first month every little girl brought a handful of money, and laid it on the teacher’s desk.  It must have been a concerted matter.  That quiet, unselfish woman had suddenly become a money-maker in spite of herself. (Use was found for the coin in the course of events.) The school was opened with a Psalm, a prayer, and a little song in which the sweet voices of the little Jewish, Spanish, German, Irish, and American maidens united heartily.  Dear children! they are scattered now.  Some of them have died, and some of them have met with what is worse than death.  There was one bright Spanish girl, slender, graceful as a willow, with the fresh Castilian blood mantling her cheeks, her bright eyes beaming with mischief and affection.  She was a beautiful child, and her winning ways made her a pet in the little school.  But surrounded as the bright, beautiful girl was, Satan had a mortgage on her from her birth, and her fate was too dark and sad to be told in these pages.  She inherited evil condition, and perhaps evil blood, and her evil life seemed to be inevitable.  Poor child of sin, whose very beauty was thy curse, let the curtain fall upon thy fate and name; we leave thee in the hands of the pitying Christ, who hath said, “Where little is given little will be required.”  Little was given thee in the way of opportunity, for it was a mother’s hand that bound thee with the chains of evil.

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California Sketches, Second Series from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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