After talking with the dying man, and keeping him company until he lapsed back into unconsciousness, Gideon wondered what he should do. Of course, the dying man had spoken his last wish -- and maybe that wish had little to do with the Good Lord's work.
Or maybe it had everything to do with the work that he, Gideon, had to do. So he turned then to the one whose name was Mr. Hamlin, and asked, "Do you know Kate Somers? Can you send for her right away?"
"Why, ain't this playing it a little too low down?" said Mr. Hamlin. "She -- she's got no character!"
But Gideon knew what he was about.
In "By Shore and Sedge," and three other stories of the far West, Bret Harte (1836-1902) tells of the hopeful souls convinced of the glories to be won in the Gold country -- and of the hardened ones who must struggle to raise themselves above the desperate and toilsome life of the pioneer.
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