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[242] of six, the well-known theory of the unity of effect of the brief tale. This unity Harte secured through a simplification, often an insulation, of his theme, the omission of quarreling details, an atmosphere none the less novel for its occasional theatricality, and characters cunningly modulated to the one note they were intended to strike. Tennessee's partner, the Outcast of Poker Flat, and all the rest are triumphs of selective skill — as bright nuggets as ever glistened in the pan at the end of a hard day's labor. That they do not adequately represent the actual California of the fifties, as old Californians obstinately insist, is doubtless true, but it is beside the point. Here is no Tolstoi painting the soul of his race in a few pages: Harte is simply a disciple of Poe and Dickens, turning the Poe construction trick gracefully, with Dickensy characters and consistently romantic action.

The West has been rediscovered many a time since that decade which witnessed the first literary bonanza of Mark Twain and Bret Harte. It will continue to be discovered, in its fresh sources of appeal to the imagination, as long as Plains and Rockies and Coast endure, as long as there is any glow upon a distant horizon. It is

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