The Outcasts of Poker Flat Questions and Answers
by Bret Harte

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What story elements of "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" make it regional fiction?

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The short story "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" by Bret Harte takes place in the small town of Poker Flat, which is near the present-day town of La Porte in the mountainous country of northeastern California. The time is November of 1850, which is in the era of the Old West. A secret committee has decided to banish all "improper persons" from the town. This includes the gambler John Oakhurst, a saloon girl named the Duchess, a woman named Mother Shipton, and a drunkard and thief known as Uncle Billy. They head up over the mountains to another town called Sandy Bar. On their way, they meet a couple, Tom Simson and Piney Woods, who are on their way to Poker Flat to get married and seek their fortune.

The six travelers take shelter at a dilapidated cabin for the night, and in the morning, Oakhurst discovers that Uncle Billy has gone off and stolen their horses and mules. A snowstorm hits, and the group of five remaining travelers is trapped at the cabin with provisions for only ten days. Within...

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