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The Silverado Squatters - Robert Louis Stevenson

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The Silverado Squatters
by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Silverado Squatters

THE scene of this little book is on a high mountain.  There 
are, indeed, many higher; there are many of a nobler outline.  
It is no place of pilgrimage for the summary globe-trotter; 
but to one who lives upon its sides, Mount Saint Helena soon 
becomes a centre of interest.  It is the Mont Blanc of one 
section of the Californian Coast Range, none of its near 
neighbours rising to one-half its altitude.  It looks down on 
much green, intricate country.  It feeds in the spring-time 
many splashing brooks.  From its summit you must have an 
excellent lesson of geography:  seeing, to the south, San 
Francisco Bay, with Tamalpais on the one hand and Monte 
Diablo on the other; to the west and thirty miles away, the 
open ocean; eastward, across the corn-lands and thick tule 
swamps of Sacramento Valley, to where the Central Pacific 
railroad begins to climb the sides of the Sierras; and 
northward, for what I know, the white head of Shasta looking 
down on Oregon.  Three counties, Napa County, Lake County, 
and Sonoma County, march across its cliffy shoulders.  Its 
naked peak stands nearly four thousand five hundred feet 
above the sea; its sides are fringed with forest; and the 
soil, where it is bare, glows warm with cinnabar.
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