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William Hepworth Dixon, White Conquest: Volume 1, Chapter 15: Bay of San Francisco. (search)
planing deals, then a cook on board a steamer, afterwards a digger at the mines, now the president of a bank, and one of the princes of finance. Come to Belmont; give you a rest, and do you good, cries the magnate. We accept, for not to see Belmont is not to see the Bay of San Francisco. Ten years since, Belmont was a rocky cafion, cleaving a mountain side, so choked with spectral oaks and cedars that the mixed bloods called it the Devil's Glen. Coyotes and foxes hung about the woods, and Indian hunters, following elk and antelope, lit their fires around the springs. No track led up the ravine, for no civilised man yet dreamt of making it his home. To-day Belmont is like a valley on Lake Zurich. A road sweeps up the glen as smooth as any road in Kent. The forests have been tamed to parks. A pretty chalet peeps out here and there, with lawns and gardens trimmed in English taste. Five or six villas crown the knolls and nestle in the tress. Geraniums are in flower, and r