Excerpt


This was probably the last place in the world for a factory. There were pine-covered hills and windy bluffs stopped still in a wavelike roll down to the Pacific, groves of fragrant trees with clay-red trunks and soft greenery that made a white sound in the wind, and a chain of boiling, fuming coves and bays in which the water —when it was not rocketing foam—was a miracle of glassy curves in cold blue or opalescent turquoise, depending upon the season, and depending upon the light.

A dirt road went through the town and followed the sea from point to point as if it had been made for the naturalists who had come before the war to watch the seals, sea otters, and fleets of whales passing offshore. It took three or four opportunities to travel into the hills and run through long valleys onto a series of flat mesas as large as battlefields, which for a hundred years had been a perfect place for raising horses. And horses still pressed up against the fences or stood in family groupings in golden pastures as if there was no such things as time, and as if many of the boys who had ridden them had never grown up and had never left. At least a dozen fishing boats had once bobbed at the pier and ridden the horizon, but they had been turned into minesweepers and sent to Pearl Harbor, San Diego, and the Aleutians . . .