John Muir


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Through the rising tumult of his fears as he hushed himself by main strength of will & ran his eye over the narrow slipping rope like suspension bridge. Apprehending the danger at the ends & middle

# That ice-bridge which proved to me the connecting link between animal & man

But it is difficult to say to readers sitting in comfort all I learned in this glacial storm what is simply true without seeming to indulge in fanciful exaggeration

He was (reminded me of) like one of those little plump squat unshakable cactuses that give no sign of feeling in calm or storm He could keep calm & fat in any desert without care Could make [his] way through any wind (his hair) unruffled like a salmon through swift rough water A little black dumpling of a dog

16 years have gone but I still see that awful gulf & its bridge with the shallow notch steps at the ends & see Stick fearing, hear his agony & see it his little feet his mind working his wild eye, hysterical joy of deliverance

The mystery in wh [which] we all live & die in part revealed & its identity revealed in both

Bright & dark on glaciers, quick flashes of summer & winter come close together

When we came to villages seemed hardly to notice other dogs. Wholly unlike those King dogs with a company of lesser cur at heels, rather a hermit, a wandering star


too small & dull to be seen. Had none of the fun briskness & wriggling fussiness common to small dogs

Fury of energy. Compact solid looking features like cobble

Near fever fear my boy We’ll get over this all right though it’s not easy. We are made for work my boy & misery in this rough world as well as pleasure. No [easy] road is easy in this rough world for the wicked or saints either.

The crevasse a huge threatening mouth 3 ms l [miles long] [□] clear quick vivid attention, very memorable vision piercing to the heart of the doom-like danger. How earnest his trouble made him & how comprehensive his statement of it. His eyes became windows opening into a mind & soul

# [□] No d [dog] ever more darkly hidden. His talent in [napkin] No merriness- music in his feet – never noticed [them]

Short strength like sticks in cheap toy dogs. Nothing about him to attract attention no speaking tail nose ears, legs like sticks like those children make in first attempts at drawing

This calm as a boulder embedded & nested in grass

His mental balance always in trim. Insignificant, not even ugly, featureless in form & behavior.

Seemed silly but when the trial came out came his strength. No dog ever puzzled me so much, the solidest, most opaque dumpling of [a] dullness, only his eyes so preternaturally solemn as to excite curiosity & attention.

Brim full of meek dull solemnity, cold & undemonstrative as a glacier

Passion of fear would make grave for an army

If we fall well make fine skeletons for the ter mor [terminal moraine],

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img017.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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