S. Hall Young
Cordova, Alaska;June 14th, 1910.John Muir, Martinez, Cal.,My dear Friend,Yours of May 31st came by the last steamer and I reply by its return. I am sincerely sorry if I made a mistake in the facts of the climb. I aimed to be absolutely truthful in the story as far as my memory goes. And still, while acknowledging that you must be correct in the matter of our not crossing the glacier on the way up because--well, because you are you, I cannot make my recollection of it come other than as I told it. You should have felt at liberty to make the correction.I did not see George Wharton James's article on the subject, but I know James and his tendency to get facts mixed. He knew my purpose to publish the story, and should not have "butted in". There was a ridiculous version of the story published in the Toledo Blade last year; I have forgotten the author. My main purpose in the story, and in the two or three stories that will follow if the publishers want them, is to write a tribute to John Muir; and if I do justice to him that is my chief concern.Since writing you I have sent a sample story of the series called The Mushing Parson to the manager of the Fleming H. Revell Co., who is a personal friend of mine. The title of this is "Cussin' Jim". It is a dialect story of the Klondike stampede. I am finishing to send by this mail what will be the first story of the book. Its title is The Trail, and the scene will be laid at Skagway and the Chilcoot Pass in '97.Now as to the name of the book: I have consulted my most literary Alaska friends and some in the East, and all are taken with the title. If slang is "language on probation" the word "mush" as universally used in the North West has surely passed the probationary stage. In fact there is no other word used up here to express the same idea. And so constantly has it been employed by writers who write of the North that the country at04794
1910 Jun 14
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.
Reel 19, Image 0505
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