Mrs. Atherton is at her best in the clear-cut vivid stories of the Pacific Coast, whether she pictures "The Splendid Idle Forties" or, as here, the San Francisco of later days when the old ideas of Span were blending with those the "gringo" brought to form an entirely new type of aristocrat.
himself and Polk on any subject but money and the manner of its multiplication; and, as the years passed, and Polk's prophecy was fulfilled, he gave the devotion of a fanatic to the retention of his vast inheritance and to the development of his grafted financial faculty.
Between the mines, his store, and his various enterprises in San Francisco, Polk rapidly became a wealthy man. Even in those days he was accounted an unscrupulous one, but he was powerful enough to hold the opinion of men in contempt and too shrewd to elbow such law as there was. And his gratitude and friendship for Don Roberto never flickered. He advised him to invest his gold in city lots, and as himself bought adjoining ones, Don Roberto invested without hesitation. Polk had acquired a taste for Spanish cooking, cigaritos, and life on horseback; his influences on the Californian were far more subtle and revolutionising. Don Roberto was still hospitable, because it became a grandee so to be; but he had a Yankee major-domo who kept a
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