John Muir


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of the icy wilderness. When discovered they were regarding us attentively from a large cake of ice, each on a hummock commanding good views of the ship, an object they no doubt saw for the first time in their lives. One of them was perched on top of a pile of blocks, the topmost of which was a pedestal square and level as if built up for an outlook. He sat erect and, as he was nearly the color of the ice, was not noticed until we were quite near. They watched motionless, for some time, throwing forward their long necks and black-tipped noses as if trying to catch and pass judgment on the scent of the big, smoking black monster that was approaching them. When we were within about 50 yards of them, they started to walk a step or two, and turned to gaze again as the strange object came nearer. Then they showed fear and began to lumber along over and across the wavelike rough hills and dales of the ice, afraid, perhaps, for the first time in their lives. For polar bears are the master existences of these frozen regions, the walruses

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 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