in The Golden Chain.
The homely house furnishings seemed to leap out of the darkness; the stove, the littered table, and the couch, the iron crucifix, and the carved cradle in the corner—all his long life Juan will see them so—and ’Cencion turned; the dusky veil was blown and rent like the sea mist, revealing—Holy Mother of Heaven! her father, Cenaga, the outlaw! Juan Lopez fell on his knees below the window, the smoking rifle clattered from his broken grasp, and the missile sped, aimless and harmless, high into the adobe wall.
GERTRUDE B. MILLARD,
in An Outlaw’s Daughter, S.F. Argonaut, Nov., 1896.
Dim in the noonday fullness,
Dark in the day’s sweet morn—
So sacred and deep are the canyons
Where the beautiful rivers are born.
LILLIAN H. SHUEY,
in Among the Redwoods.
The glow of the days of Comstock glory was still in the air. San Francisco was still the city of gold and silver. The bonanza kings had not left it, but were trying to accommodate themselves to the palaces they were rearing with their loose millions. Society yet retained its cosmopolitan tone, careless, brilliant, and unconventional. There were figures in it that had made it famous—men who began life with a pick and shovel and ended it in an orgy of luxury; women, whose habits of early poverty fell off them like a garment, and who, carried away by their power, displayed the barbaric caprices of Roman empresses.
The sudden possession of vast wealth had intoxicated this people, lifting them from the level of the commonplace into a saturnalia of extravagance. Poverty, the only restraint many of them had ever felt, was gone. Money had made them lawless, whimsical, bizarre. It had developed all-conquering personalities, potent individualities. They were still playing with it, wondering at it, throwing it about.
in Tomorrow’s Tangle.
Menlo Park, originally a large Spanish grant, had long since been cut up into country places for what may be termed the “Old Families of San Francisco!” The eight or ten families that owned this haughty precinct were as exclusive, as conservative, as any group of ancient families in Europe. Many of them had been established here for twenty years, none for less than fifteen. This fact set the seal of gentle blood upon them for all time in the annals of California.
in The Californians.
John Bidwell, prince of California pioneers, was my chief in a memorable camping trip in the northern Sierras. What a magnificent camper was Bidwell! What a world of experience, what a wealth of reminiscence! What a knowledge; what unbounded hospitality! Not while life lasts can I forget the gentle yet commanding greatness of this man, whose friendships and benefactions were as broad as his spreading acres of Rancho Chico.