make much impression on me, mere verse, I thought it; but "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" and other stories seemed to me almost masterpieces in spite of their romantic coloring and tinge of melodrama. Especially the description of Oakhurst, the gambler, stuck in my mind: it will be remembered that when crossing the "divide", Oakhurst advised the party of outcasts to keep on travelling till they reached a place of safety. But he did not press his point: he decided it was hopeless and then came Bret Harte's extra-ordinary painting phrase: "life to Oakhurst was at best an uncertain sort of game and he recognized the usual percentage in favor of the dealer". There is more humor and insight in the one sentence than in all the ridiculously overpraised works of Mark Twain.
One afternoon I was alone in the box-office of Liberty Hall when Rose came in, as pretty as ever. I was delighted to renew our acquaintance and more delighted still to find that she would like tickets for Bret Harte's lecture. "I didn't know that you cared for reading, Rose?" I said, a little surprised.
"Professor Smith and you would make anybody read," she cried, "at any rate you started me". I gave her the tickets and engaged to take her for a buggy-ride next day. I felt sure Rose liked me; but she soon surprised me by showing a stronger virtue than I usually encountered.
She kissed me when I asked her in the buggy but told me at the same time that she didn't care much for kissing: "all men", she said, "are after a girl for the same thing; it's sickening; they all want kisses and try to touch you and say they love you; but they can't love and I don't want their kisses".
"Rose, Rose," I said, "you mustn't be too hard on us: we're different from you girls and that's all".
"How do you mean?" she asked. "I mean that