TOMMY LUCK?

Cherokee Sal, the only feminine inhabitant of a Calif ornian gold-mining camp, died soon after her son was born. The arrival of a child caused consternation among the miners, ready as they were to cope with almost any other contingency ; but in sportsmanlike fashion they decided to adopt the infant, little realising the changes which this was about to work in their mode of life. They christened the child Thomas Luck, and entrusted it to one of their number, Stumpy, who was half volunteer, half conscript for the post of nurse. Stumpy did his duty nobly. He scrubbed and papered and whitewashed his cabin until owners of neighbouring establishments felt obliged to do likewise. Scrupulous cleanliness was insisted upon in the baby's vicinity, and visitors who turned up with unwashed hands and grubby shirts were frowned at severely. Rackety camp concerts were abandoned, lest The Luck's slumbers be disturbed. Swearing was reduced to a minimum, in case his pure ears should be contaminated. All through a long, golden summer Roaring Camp knew marvellous tranquillity. The child grew big and strong in the balmy air of the Sierras. Often the miners would carry him out into a clearing of the woods, and sit watching him play with his toys, the sunbeams, the pine-cones, and the blue jays. But in the winter a great flood swept down the valley, carrying trees and houses before it, and, in spite of valiant efforts to save him, The Luck was drowned in the arms of his rescuer. " The Luck of Roaring Camp " is one of Bret Harte's best stories.