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The Outcasts of Poker Flat

The Outcasts of Poker Flat is a short story written by Bret Harte. For the first time, it was published in 1869.

The story follows Poker Flat, a Californian community located near the town of La Porte. Poker Flat is on a downward slope. The town has lost lots of money and experienced a moral decline. In order to save what is left of the town and make it a "virtuous" place, it is decided to create a secret society which could decide whom to exile or kill. On 23 of November 1850, four individuals are exiled from Poker Flat. The first of them, John Oakhurst, is a professional poker player. He is sent away because he won from people of the secret committee. The other people who are exiled are a saloon girl named The Duchess; a madam named Mother Shipton; and the town drunk and a suspected robber Uncle Billy. After a day of their journey, they decide to make a camp over a mountain range. All exiles, except for Oakhurst, decide to stop at noon to have some rest.

During their rest, the group meets a pair of runaway lovers who want to go to Poker Flat to get married. They are a fifteen-year-old girl named Piney Woods and Tom Simson or "the Innocent." Tom and Oakhurst have met before when Oakhurst won lots of money from Tom. Oakhurst gave the money back to Tom, demanding him to promise that he would never play poker again because of being a terrible player. Tom is very happy to meet Oakhurst again and decides that he and his girlfriend will stay with the group for some time. The lovers have no idea that the group is one of exiles. They believe that The Duchess is an actual duchess.

All people decide to spend this night together. Tom discovers a half-butty cabin and leads the group there. In the middle of the night, John wakes up and sees a snowstorm raging. He thinks that he is the only one awake, but soon see understands that Uncle Billy is missing, with the group's horses and mules stolen. The people have to wait for the end of the storm. They have limited provisions that will likely only be enough for ten days. In a week, Mother Shipton dies because she was secretly starving to help the young Piney. Oakhurst makes some snowshoes for Simson to go for help, telling the others that he will accompany the man part of the way to Poker Flat. When he returns to the cabin, he finds out that Duchess and Piney died. They look innocently and peacefully, and it is hard to say who the madam is and who the virgin is.

Oakhurst commits suicide. He is later found dead beneath a tree. He left a playing card with a note.

The Outcasts of Poker Flat is a short story written by Bret Harte. For the first time, it was published in 1869.

The story follows Poker Flat, a Californian community located near the town of La Porte. Poker Flat is on a downward slope. The town has lost lots of money and experienced a moral decline.

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Assignment ID
100002737
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CREATED ON
November 8, 2016
COMPLETED ON
November 9, 2016
Price
$20
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December 8, 2016
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December 1, 2016
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