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California: The Land of the Sun

Mary Hunter Austin

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Palatingwas, even though the whole region of Warner's ranch is still full of the shame of it and the rending cry. The struggle of men with men is at best a sick and squalid affair for one of the parties; but men contriving against the gods for possession of the earth is your true epic. The brave little towns which start up there with their too early florescence of avenue and public square, the courageous acres which the vineyardist clears [21] in the chamisal and the chamise takes again! All along the upper mesa, Pan and the homesteader keep up the ancient fight. And with what unequal weapons! The wild gourd, the bindweed, the megarrhiza, at the mere rumour of a cleared space, come beckoning and joining hands. Though he goes gunning all day without finding one young rabbit for his pot, the bark of the homesteader's orchard trees will be gnawed by them at the precise sappy moment. At dawn the quail may be heard with soft contented noises between the rows of bearing. . . Read More