The Mission floor was with weeds o’ergrown,
And crumbling and shaky its walls of stone;
Its roof of tiles, in tiers on tiers,
Had stood the storms of a hundred years.
An olden, weird, medieval style
Clung to the mouldering, gloomy pile,
And the rhythmic voice of the breaking waves
Sang a lonesome dirge in its land of graves.
Strangely awed I felt, that day,
As I walked in the Mission old and gray—
The Mission Carmel at Monterey.
MADGE MORRIS WAGNER,
in Mystery of Carmel.
Up to the American invasion, the traveler in California found welcome in whatsoever house. Not food and bed and tolerance only, but warm hearts and home. Fresh clothing was laid out in his chamber. His jaded horse went to the fenceless pasture; a new and probably better steed was saddled at the door when the day came that he must go. And in the houses which had it, a casual fistful of silver lay upon his table, from which he was expected to help himself against his present needs. It was a society in which hotels could not survive (even long after they were attempted) because every home was open to the stranger; and orphan asylums were impossible. Not because fathers and mothers never died, but because no one was civilized enough to shirk orphans.
CHARLES F. LUMMIS. in The Right Hand of the Continent, Out West, August, 1892.
Go as far as you dare in the heart of a lonely land, you cannot go so far that life and death are not before you. Painted lizards slip in and out of rock crevices, and pant on the white-hot sands. Birds, humming-birds even, nest in the cactus scrub; woodpeckers befriend the demoniac yuccas; out of the stark, treeless waste rings the music of the night-singing mocking bird. If it be summer and the sun well down, there will be a burrowing owl to call. Strange, furry, tricksey things dart across the open places, or sit motionless in the conning towers of the creosote.
in The Land of Little Rain.
EL CAMINO REAL.
El Camino Real—“The Royal Road,” is the poetic name given to the original government road of Spanish California that joined the missions from San Diego to San Francisco de Solano. The route selected by the Franciscan Fathers was the most direct road that was practicable, connecting their four Presidios, three Pueblos and twenty-one Missions. By restoring this road and making it a State Highway with the twenty-one missions as stations, California will come to possess the most historic, picturesque, romantic and unique boulevard in the world.
MRS. A.S.C. FORBES,
in Missions and Landmarks.