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Selected Stories


SELECTED STORIES
BRET HARTE
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
THE LUCK OF ROARING CAMP
THE OUTCAS TS OF POKE R FLA T
MIGGLES
TENNESSEE’S PARTNER
THE IDYL OF RED GULCH
BROWN OF CALAVERAS
HIGH-WATE R MARK
A LONELY RIDE
THE MAN OF NO ACCOUNT
MLISS
THE RIGHT EYE OF THE COMMANDE R
NOTES BY FLOOD AND FIELD
AN EPISODE OF FIDDLE TOW N
BARKER’S LUCK
A YELLOW DOG
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1
A MOTHER OF FIVE
BULGER’S REPUTATION
IN THE TULES
A CONVE RT OF THE MISSION
THE INDIS CRE TION OF ELSBE TH
THE DEVOTION OF E NRIQUE Z
INTRODUCTION
The life of Bret Harte divides itself, without adventitious
forcing, into four quite distinct parts. First, we have the
precocious boyhood, wit h its eager response to the intellectual
stimulation of cultured parents; young Bret Harte assimilated Greek
with amazing facility; devoured voraciously the works of
Shakespeare, Dickens, Irving, Froissart, Cervantes, Fielding; and,
with creditable success, attempted various forms of composition.
Then, compelled by economic necessity, he left school at thirteen,
and for three years worked first in a lawyer’s oce, and then in
a merchant’s counting house.
The second period, that of his migration to California, includes
all that is permanently valuable of Harte’s literary output.
Arriving in California in 1854, he was, successively, a school-
teacher, drug-store clerk, express messenger, typesetter, and
itinerant journalist. He worked for a while on the NORTHE RN
CALIFORNIA (from which he was dismissed for ob jecting editorially
to the contemporary California sport of murdering Indians), then on
the GOLDE N ERA, 1857, where he achieved his first moderate acclaim.
In this latter year he married Anne Gris wold of New York. In 1864
he was given the secret aryship of the California mint, a virtual
sinecure, and he was enabled do a great deal of writing. The first
volume of his poems, THE LOS T GALLEON AND OTHE R TALES, CON-
DENSE D
NOVELS (much underrated parodies), and THE BOHEMIAN PAPERS were
published in 1867. One year later, THE OVERLAND MONTHLY, which had
aspirations of becoming ”the ATLANTIC MONTHLY of the West,” was
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