Story by Bret Harte, published in the Overland Monthly (1868) and reprinted in The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches (1870). It is often called the first example of local-color fiction.
A child is born to Cherokee Sal, a prostitute in the California gold-mining settlement of Roaring Camp. The mother dies, and the child, christened Thomas Luck, is adopted by the hardened miners, whose spirit is changed to a beautiful though awkward sympathy. The following year, when the river rises, Roaring Camp is engulfed, and Kentuck, one of the miners, is drowned with The Luck in his arms.