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The Octopus [A California Story] - Frank Norris

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THE OCTOPUS
A Story of California

by Frank Norris



Book 1

CHAPTER I


Just after passing Caraher's saloon, on the County Road that ran
south from Bonneville, and that divided the Broderson ranch from
that of Los Muertos, Presley was suddenly aware of the faint and
prolonged blowing of a steam whistle that he knew must come from
the railroad shops near the depot at Bonneville.  In starting out
from the ranch house that morning, he had forgotten his watch,
and was now perplexed to know whether the whistle was blowing for
twelve or for one o'clock.  He hoped the former.  Early that
morning he had decided to make a long excursion through the
neighbouring country, partly on foot and partly on his bicycle,
and now noon was come already, and as yet he had hardly started.
As he was leaving the house after breakfast, Mrs. Derrick had
asked him to go for the mail at Bonneville, and he had not been
able to refuse.
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