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A Drift from Redwood Camp
Bret Harte

Page 1 of 39

A Drift from Redwood Camp 

by Bret Harte 

They had all known him as a shiftless, worthless creature.  From
the time he first entered Redwood Camp, carrying his entire effects
in a red handkerchief on the end of a long-handled shovel, until he
lazily drifted out of it on a plank in the terrible inundation of
'56, they never expected anything better of him.  In a community of
strong men with sullen virtues and charmingly fascinating vices,
he was tolerated as possessing neither--not even rising by any
dominant human weakness or ludicrous quality to the importance of a
butt.  In the dramatis personae of Redwood Camp he was a simple
"super"--who had only passive, speechless roles in those fierce
dramas that were sometimes unrolled beneath its green-curtained
pines.  Nameless and penniless, he was overlooked by the census and
ignored by the tax collector, while in a hotly-contested election
for sheriff, when even the head-boards of the scant cemetery were
consulted to fill the poll-lists, it was discovered that neither

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