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A Ward of the Golden Gate
Bret Harte

Page 1 of 270


A WARD OF THE GOLDEN GATE 

by Bret Harte 

PROLOGUE. 

In San Francisco the "rainy season" had been making itself a
reality to the wondering Eastern immigrant.  There were short days
of drifting clouds and flying sunshine, and long succeeding nights
of incessant downpour, when the rain rattled on the thin shingles
or drummed on the resounding zinc of pioneer roofs.  The shifting
sand-dunes on the outskirts were beaten motionless and sodden by
the onslaught of consecutive storms; the southeast trades brought
the saline breath of the outlying Pacific even to the busy haunts
of Commercial and Kearney streets; the low-lying Mission road was a
quagmire; along the City Front, despite of piles and pier and
wharf, the Pacific tides still asserted themselves in mud and ooze
as far as Sansome Street; the wooden sidewalks of Clay and
Montgomery streets were mere floating bridges or buoyant pontoons

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