Calico Palace

By: Bristow, Gwen

Price: $20.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good

Book club edition. Lightly rubbed. 1970 Hard Cover. 589, [5] pp. 8vo. Calico Palace is a story of men and women who lived in California at the time of the gold rush. But they were not the forty-niners. They were the people who were there when it all began. They were the forty-eighters. The gold of California was discovered in the early part of 1848; it took nearly a year for the news to reach the states on the Atlantic side of the continent. But the forty-eighters were in California already. They heard -- and doubted -- the first rumors of gold that drifted into the village of San Francisco (population, 900 persons). When they could no longer doubt the rumors, they went up to the hills and came back staggering under the weight of the treasure they carried. They began the transformation of San Francisco from a frontier shanty-town into one of the most brilliant cities in the world. They created the legends of the golden days. The forty-eighters had not come to California looking for gold. Why, then, were they here? Why had they left their own civilized communities to make a dangerous journey five or six months long, with nothing at the end of it but a mud-caked settlement out at the end of the world? Every one of them had a different reason. Often they were reasons they did not talk about. There was Kendra, who came to California because her stepfather was an army officer assigned to duty in San Francisco, and Kendra had to come along with her mother, because while she knew they did not want her, nobody else wanted her either. There was Ted, who said he had come West because he was bored with working in a law office in New York; Hiram, who had worked his way out as a sailor but did not say why; a pleasant fellow named Pocket, who had left a rich farm in Kentucky to join a wagon train, but did not say why either; Captain Pollack of the Cynthia, who had never loved a woman but was in love with his ship. And Marny, an audacious redheard with a talent for card games, who went to the mining camp called Shiny Gulch to set up a gambling tent called the Calico Palace. This story tells about these people and many others, people who left home and walked right into one of the most spectacular adventures in the world's history. They saw the first samples of gold brought to the office of the army quartermaster, who officially said they were flakes of yellow mica. They were there when men who said they had seen gold in the creeks were laughed at and called crackbrains. They were part of it all from the beginning. and they laid the foundation of the golden empire before the first forty-niners got there. Some of them could not meet the demands of this strange new world, and crumpled up before it; others grew stronger, and shared the greatness of the country they had helped to build. Calico Palace tells about them all. Gwen Bristow is the author of Jubilee Trail, Celia Garth, Tomorrow Is Forever, Deep Summer, The Handsome Road, and This Side of Glory. Her novels have been published in eleven languages and read around the world. Miss Bristow was born in Southern California.