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(Harte, 1886, p. 1)
The story is set in the 1850’s where a band of men living in the foothills of the Sierra Hills were brought together by one common goal of mining gold in the region. However, when the town’s prostitute, Cherokee Sal, died giving birth to a baby boy, all the men in the camp were shaken for birth was an uncommon occurrence in the region. They were all fascinated by the baby and this marked the start of a beautiful metamorphosis, where the men at the camp not only assumed responsibility for the infant but began to make radical changes in their appearance and lifestyle to provide a comfortable home to the boy, who was later christened as Thomas Luck by the townsfolk.
This was one time, when the townspeople got their act together and took care of Luck in the best possible way. They wanted to give him “the best that money could buy” and strangely enough, the infant was loved and nurtured by this uncultured band of men (Harte, 1886, p. 3). The most profound instance of budding paternal affection is depicted, when the new born Luck holds on to Old Kentuck’s finger that thoroughly embarrasses the man, but he is unable to hide the deep surge of emotion and joy that flushes over him and he relates that event to every man in the camp. The men then find ways to bond with each other and even decide to welcome visitors in this otherwise secluded, notorious town.
All the men in the camp began taking extra care of their hygiene and there was a marked fall in the number of profanities that spewed out of every mouth. They were truly trying to be the best father figures for young Luck and despite the fact that fate had a different plan for the Townspeople but it sheds great light on human nature on how they can turn from wild men to protective, responsible adults as soon as an infant made its entry into their lives. Kentuck dies saving the
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