John Muir


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the big knife in his coat pocket and the bloody head in his hands. He has all along shown himself a keen killer or sportsman, taking the life of anything eatable, however will supplied with more becoming food. A bad shot, however, hitting ducks at a dist[ance] of 15 aces about once in five or six times. Guns were always wet, three or four caps snapped to every shot. Poor bungling Indians as well as Mr. Y[oung]. I said that he looked in coming into camp more butcher than minister-follower of the Prince of Peace, which he did not like. It seems strange to me that the path of a minister of the gospel of universal peace should be thus bloody. No thought whatever has he shown of the pain he causes his earth-born companions and fellow-mortals. A wounded duck fleeing for its life, perchance escaping to die a lingering death with mortifying limb is not for a moment to be weighed against the possibility of the pleasure after plucking and bleeding and gutting of a mouthful or two of meat while already overfed. One of the shot ducks continued to flap after it was thrown into the boat, when Sitka John finished in the minister’s job of killing by taking its head in his mouth and crushing in its skull with a savage craunch. He is the most savage of our Indians and has a bad face – such a man with his own people roused and whetted with a beginning of blood would be fiercer than a hungry tiger. Just as we were passing the S lip of the Port Houghton Bay we heard a shout and saw smoke in a side bay, and in a few minutes moer saw a canoe putting towards us making the water fly with their paddles. In about an hour they overtook us, an Indian with his {Sketch: View of 3 gls. Flowing into Sitideka, looking North, nearly}

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 18 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist