Embassy to the grand office of the Department of Agriculture. An immense crowd waiting, but we were quickly called in and politely received by the grandly-clad and decorated, witty, ruddy old gentleman with profound bows and handshakes. He said we could see specimens of all the Siberian trees here, that the natural woods were very bad and ugly, not much worth seeing etc. Kindly promised us letters and any assistance in his power. Called on us at our hotel, and detailed a young forestry man to go with us on our short trips around the city and adjacent towns, etc. P.M. Drove to Zoologic Gardens, saw the animals - bears, lions, tigers, etc., fed. Saw an old elephant turning hand organ with trunk and at same time beating time with one of its front feet on a drum and cymbals, then reach out trunk for pennies and hand them to his keeper, wise, homely, wrinkled, pitiful old friend of man with almost human sagacity, yet braggingly shot for
Original journal dimensions: 9.5 x 16 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist