The story is set in San Francisco in the sixties. Eleanor Fenwick, a young girl of a wealthy family, is returning from an early morning shopping trip and passes down a deserted street in which there is a notorious gambling house. Just as she approaches the house she sees a man fall through the door onto the stoop and drop dead. Following him there is a young man with a revolver in his hand. As the only witness of the affair she is called upon the stand, and her testimony as to what she saw convicts John Montgomery of murder. Through the manoeuvres of a Mexican woman who loves him he escapes on his way to prison. Later he meets Eleanor Fenwick, with whom he has fallen in love and finds that his love is returned...
d often I could get around Mr. Dingley when father, for all his being pleasant, wouldn't have given an inch. But father said he had to be very stern, or other people would spoil me. By that he meant not so much Mr. Dingley, who was the same to everybody, as Señora Mendez, who had been mother's greatest friend. She had been a New England girl, who, in the early days of California, had married a Spanish gentleman. She was lovely to me. It was at her house that I went to my first ball. Except the Fergusons', hers was the only house in the city with rooms large enough to dance in, and that ball is still the most dazzling I can remember. I wore a rose-colored tulle skirt with a peasant waist of rose-colored satin, and father, for a great surprise, had given me a pair of pink silk stockings. No other girl in town had such a beautiful thing, and in the dressing-room they would not let me go down until I had shown them. The lighted dancing-rooms, and all the strange people, and my tall partners made me nearly
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