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The Pride of Palomar

Peter B. Kyne




  Author of Kindred of the Dust, etc.

  Illustrated by H. R. Ballinger and Dean Cornwell

  Cosmopolitan Book CorporationNew York


  [Frontispiece: The man--Don Miguel Farrel.]




  I have at last finished writing "The Pride of Palomar." It isn't atall what I wanted it to be; it isn't at all what I planned it to be,but it does contain something of what you and I both feel, something ofwhat you wanted me to put into it. Indeed, I shall always wish tothink that it contains just a few faint little echoes of the spirit ofthat old California that was fast vanishing when I first disturbed thequiet of the Mission Dolores with infantile shrieks--when you firstgazed upon the redwood-studded hills of Sonoma County.

  You adventured with me in my quest for local color for "The Valley ofthe Giants," in Northern California; you performed a similar service inSouthern California last summer and unearthed for me more local color,more touches of tender sentiment than I could use. Therefore, "ThePride of Palomar" is peculiarly your book.

  On a day a year ago, when the story was still so vague I could scarcelyfind words in which to sketch for you an outline of the novel Ipurposed writing, you said: "It will be a good story. I'm sold on italready!" To you the _hacienda_ of a Rancho Palomar will always bringdelightful recollections of the gracious hospitality of Senor CaveCoutts, sitting at the head of that table hewed in the forties. Littledid Senor Coutts realize that he, the last of the dons in San DiegoCounty, was to furnish copy for my novel; that his pride of ancestry,both American and Castilian, his love for his ancestral _hacienda_ atthe Rancho Guajome, and his old-fashioned garden with the greatBougainvillea in flower, were the ingredients necessary to theproduction of what I trust will be a book with a mission.

  When we call again at the Moreno _hacienda_ on the Rio San Luis Rey,Carolina will not be there to metamorphose her home into a restaurantand serve us _galina con arroz_, _tortillas_ and _frijoles refritos_.But if she should be, she will not answer, when asked the amount of thescore: "What you will, _senor_." Ah, no, Mul. Scoundrels devoid ofromance will have discovered her, and she will have opened an inn witha Jap cook and the tariff will be _dos pesos y media_; there will be astrange waiter and he will scowl at us and expect a large tip. AndStephen Crane's brother, the genial judge, will have made his fortunein the mine on the hill, and there will be no more California wine as afirst aid to digestion.

  I had intended to paint the picture that will remain longest in yourmemory--the dim candle-light in the white-washed chapel at the IndianReservation at Pala, during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament--theyoung Indian Madonna, with her naked baby lying in her lap, while shesang:

  "Come, Holy Ghost, creator blest, And in my heart take up thy rest."

  But the picture was crowded out in the make-up. There was too much towrite about, and I was always over-set! I saw and felt, with you, andregarded it as more poignantly pathetic, the tragedy of that littlehandful of San Luisanos, herded away in the heart of those barren hillsto make way for the white man. And now the white man is almost goneand Father Dominic's Angelus, ringing from Mission San Luis Rey, fallsupon the dull ear of a Japanese farmer, usurping that sweet valley,hallowed by sentiment, by historical association, by the lives andloves and ashes of the men and women who carved California from thewilderness.

  I have given to this book the labor of love. I know it isn'tliterature, Mul, but I have joyed in writing it and it has, at least,the merit of sincerity. It is an expression of faith and for all itsfaults and imperfections, I think you will find, tucked away in itsomewhere, a modicum of merit. I have tried to limn something, howevervague, of the beauty of the land we saw through boyish eyes before thereal estate agent had profaned it.

  You were born with a great love, a great reverence for beauty. Thatmust be because you were born in Sonoma County in the light of God'ssmile. Each spring in California the dogwood blossoms are, for you, acreamier white, the buckeye blossoms more numerous and fragrant, thehills a trifle greener and the old order, the old places, the oldfriends a little dearer.

  Wherefore, with much appreciation of your aid in its creation and ofyour unfaltering friendship and affection, I dedicate "The Pride ofPalomar" to you.




  JUNE 9, 1921.

  _Acknowledgment is made of the indebtedness of the author for much ofthe material used in this book to Mr. Montaville Flowers, author of"The Japanese Conquest of American Opinion."_

  P. B. K.


  LOIThe Man--Don Miguel Farrel . . . . _Frontispiece_

  Here amidst the golden romance of the old mission, the girl suddenly understood Don Mike

  The Girl--Kay ParkerELOI