The men of Roaring Camp are initially presented as a rough bunch with quite a bit of tumultuous life experience behind them. Some of them are actual fugitives from justice. The group has plenty of gamblers and a history of shooting each other to death. Some of the men are missing various body parts: fingers, toes, ears. The best shot has only one eye and the strongest man has only three fingers on his right hand. The narrator proclaims that "all were reckless."
The importance of this description lies in the reason the group is gathered in the beginning of the story: they await the birth of a baby. Since there are no children in the town and the baby's mother has committed many "sins" which have brought her to this moment, the childbirth provides multiple reasons that attract men's interests.
"Cherokee Sal" dies shortly after giving birth, and this "reckless" group is left with the task of raising a child. The story shows how a pure and innocent love transforms a group of rough men and...
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