Thus and here my long walk was interrupted. I thought that a few days of rocking in the Gulf waves would land me among the famous flower-beds of Texas, but the expected ship came and went while I was helpless with fever. The very day after reaching the sea I began to be weighed down by inexorable leaden numbness, which I resisted for three days, trying to shake off the heaviness that so oppressed me by bathing min the salt waves and by dragging myself about among the palms and strange shells and plants of the shore and doing a little mill work. I did not fear any sickness, for I was never sick before, and was unwilling to pay attention to my cloudy feelings, but yet heavier and more remorselessly pressed the growing fever, rapidly gaining on my strength. On the third day after my arrival I could not take any nourishment, but craved acids. Cedar Keys was a mile or two distant, and I started there to buy limes. On returning about the middle of the afternoon the fever broke on me like a storm, and before I had staggered half way to the mill I fell unconscious on the narrow trail among dwarf palmettos. When I awoke from the hot fever sleep the stars were shining and I was at a loss to know which end of the trail to take, but fortunately guessed right, and afterwards as I fell was careful to lie with my head in the direction I thought the mill was. I rose and staggered and fell I know not how many times in delirious bewilderment, gasping and throbbing with only moments of consciousness. When I would raise myself upon my elbow to look and listen in order to ascertain where I was and what in the world I was about. The night wind from the sea rustled in the palmettos, and had many a strange sound besides, and as I listened hastily I heard many strange night-birds calling and strange insects, and it was often-times long ere I could know that I was indeed in the
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist