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[240] to Huckleberry Finn and the negro Jim and Pudd'nhead Wilson, when one feels Mark Twain's power in sheer description and episode, his magic in evoking landscape and atmosphere, his blazing scorn at injustice and cruelty, his contempt for quacks.

Bret Harte, another discoverer of the West, wears less well than Mark Twain as a personal figure, but has a sure place in the evolution of the American short story, and he did for the mining-camps of California what Clemens wrought for the Mississippi River: he became their profane poet. Yet he was never really of them. He was the clever outsider, with a prospector's eye, looking for literary material, and finding a whole rich mine of it-a bigger and richer, in fact, than he was really qualified to work. But he located a golden vein of it with an instinct that did credit to his dash of Hebrew blood. Born in Albany, a teacher's son, brought up on books and in many cities, Harte emigrated to California in 1854 at the age of sixteen. He became in turn a drug-clerk, teacher, type-setter, editor, and even Secretary of the California Mint — his nearest approach, apparently, to the actual work of the mines. In 1868, while editor of The Overland monthly, he wrote the short

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