We found Arcata bedecked for the coming anniversary. The whole community felt its significance. When the hour came every store in town closed. Seemingly the whole population assembled in and around the Brizard store, anxious to express kindly memory and approval of those who so well sustained the traditions of the elders. The oldest son made a brief, manly address and introduced a few of the many who could have borne tribute. It was a happy occasion in which good-will was made very evident. A ball in the evening concluded the festivities, and it was with positive regret that we turned from the delightful atmosphere and retraced our steps to home and duty.
(After Bret Harte)
On the south fork of Yuba, in May, fifty-two,
An old cabin stood on the hill,
Where the road to Grass Valley lay clear to the view,
And a ditch that ran down to Buck’s Mill.
It was owned by a party that lately had
To discover what fate held in store;
He was working for Brigham, and prospecting some,
While the clothes were well cut that he wore.
He had spruced up the cabin, and by it
For he never could bear a hotel.
He refused to drink whiskey or poker to play,
But was jolly and used the boys well.
In the long winter evenings he started
To discuss the affairs of the day.
He was up in the classics—a scholarly cub—
And the best of the talkers could lay.
He could sing like a robin, and play on
And he opened a school, which was free,
Where he taught all the musical fellows to toot,
Or to join in an anthem or glee.
So he soon “held the age”
over any young man
Who had ever been known on the bar;
And the boys put him through, when for sheriff he ran,
And his stock now was much above par.
In the spring he was lucky, and struck
a rich lead,
And he let all his friends have a share;
It was called the New Boston, for that was his breed,
And the rock that he showed them was rare.
When he called on his partners to put
up a mill,
They were anxious to furnish the means;
And the needful, of course, turned into his till
Just as freely as though it was beans.
Then he went to the Bay with his snug
There was seventeen thousand and more—
To arrange for a mill of the most approved style,
And to purchase a Sturtevant blower.
But they waited for Boston a year and
And he never was heard of again.
For the lead he had opened was salted with pay,
And he’d played ’em with culture and brain.
THE GREATER FREEDOM