The Outcasts of Poker Flat Questions and Answers
by Bret Harte

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What are the virtuous traits of Mother Shiton and Piney Wood from "The OutCast of Poker Flat?"

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Mother Shipton, the Madam in the house of Prostitution and Piney Woods, who is an innocent that the outcasts meet on the road, really don't have much in common. 

Mother Shipton, who cares for Piney Woods like a daughter, sacrifices her rations of food so that the young girl can have more food.  Mother Shipton starves herself to death so she can save the young and innocent Piney Woods. 

It is unexpected to find this type of virtue in the character of a Madam of a house of prostitution.  Self-sacrifice is a virtue that Mother Shipton expresses in the story.  She finds great  comfort in caring for the young girl.

Mother Shipton has motherly feelings for,  and wants to protect Piney Woods.  

Piney Woods virtue would be innocence.  She is also very trusting.  She does not know Mother Shipton, but accepts her, and respects her. This makes Mother Shipton feel like she has a new purpose, caring for the young Piney becomes of the utmost importance to her.  

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