Many of the sketches contained in "Some Folks" were written by me during the past five years, and some of them published by Mr. Leslie in his Illustrated Newspaper and his Chimney Corner, from which journals they have been collected by friends who believe that in these stories is displayed better workmanship than I have since done. For myself, I can claim for them only an unusual degree of that unliterary and unpopular quality called truthfulness. Although at present mildly tolerated in the East, I was "brought up" in the West, and have written largely from recollection of "some folks" I have known, veritable men and women, scenes and incidents, and otherwise through the memories of Western friends of good eyesight and hearing powers.
to see how gold was obtained. It seems as if it must be very easy to handle those little pans. Don't you--don't you suppose some miner would lend me his pan and let me try just once?"
"Certingly, marm; ev'ry galoot ov'em would be glad of the chance. Here, you fellers--who's got the cleanest pan?"
Half a dozen men washed out their pans, and hurried off with them. Toledo selected one, put in dirt and water, and handed it to Miss Brown.
"Thar you are, marm, but I'm afeared you'll wet your dress."
"Oh, that won't harm," cried Miss Brown, with a laugh which caused one enthusiastic miner to "cut the pigeon-wing."
She got the miner's touch to a nicety, and in a moment had a spray of dirty water flying from the edge of the pan, while all the boys stood in a respectful semicircle, and stared delightedly. The pan empty, Toledo refilled it several times; and, finally, picking out some pebbles and hard pieces of earth, pointed to the dirty, shiny deposit in the bottom of the p