Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/452

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California stream of the typical sort. It has a wide, shallow bed, almost dry at the moment, but in spring and winter it brawls in dangerous fashion, and often carries away its bridges. We ride up to the point near a certain railroad bridge where the water is first diverted. It is taken out by two small canals, one for the city proper, one for the thriving suburb of East Los Angeles. We find that the dam by which the river is checked for this purpose is constructed of earth, with a facing of stout posts and planking. At the beginning of winter the planking is removed, and the stream allowed to sweep away the rampart of earth, which is replaced by a new one, the succeeding spring. Chain-gangs of convicts from the prison are set upon this labor.

A canal is taken out of the same river twelve miles above, which supplies water for drinking and irrigating the higher levels. There are two very different levels in the configuration of the city, one rising from the other with great abruptness, as at Santa Cruz.

Upon the height are remains of the fort built by Fremont when he entered the city. Directly at its foot is the cottage of Pio Pico; the big hotel, still bearing his name, in which he sunk a handsome share of his fortune; the little cypress-studded plaza; and the shabby white quarter of Sonora. The mass of the city lies to the right, without striking features. Beyond it, toward the river, stretch breadths of a russet bloom which we know to be vineyards, together with lines and parallelograms of orange and eucalyptus, as formal as the conventional trees in boxes of German toys. Across the river, "Brooklyn Heights" and "Boyle Heights" rise to a wide, rolling table-land (mesa) which extends back to the blue Sierra Madre Mountains. Toward most of the horizon stretch expanses of a garden-like vegetation of