Once, long ago, Claus Spreckels owned an enormous amount of land in the Salinas Valley, and he owned the little town of Spreckles, too, where his workers lived and spent their money. From time to time, John Steinbeck works for Spreckels, too. While most of the town is gone, the post office and the market and a few other buildings remain.
Micky walked out of the little store, beer cans discreetly hidden in a paper bag. He had been absent from the Salinas Valley for an indeterminate amount of time, working with his hands in Jackson Hole, and he wore in Spreckels the same hat he had worn in Wyoming. For now, he was home, the prodigal son returned, home in the Salinas Valley, home in the Valley of the World. Friday night might be waiting expectantly for Micky's arrival, but for now he paused in front of the old, faded sign that graces the side of the Spreckels market. He ruminated over the past few months, and remembered the view of the Valley of the World that could be enjoyed from the top of the Gabilan Mountains, east of his rediscovered Eden.