John Muir


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The we both collapsed into seeming lifelessness

The wind moaned as if Azrael the Angel of death had his wings spread over it

The gloom of the sky blending with the gloom in the depths of the chasms

Seemed determined that come what might he would never suffer his comic dignity to be lowered degraded by undue familiarity

In this dire distress the mystery of his closed mind was revealed. Unlike most storms which hide landscapes this storm of distress laid the little dog bare, & one could look into his mind & see its [the] workings [of his mind] as we could those of a clock out of its case. All apathy vanished

Storms of trouble lay character bare, in dogs & men

The bravest dog might well have felt his heart sink all ordinary dangers were as nothing to this, none could do better

Nothing makes people so alert as personal danger

How much I tried to gain his confidence but he seemed inaccessible to kindness & coaxing

Encumbered with dignity scratch ears pat him [say] food or


Are you hungry cold call him to come nearer the fire but not a thanks wriggle of recognition or single wag of tail for your pains

Great are the woes of adversity showed me the heart & soul of a dog & something of all [the] my fellow mortals great & small a new light of a better

Of all the perils encountered in my years of ex [experience] never found myself in such a fix before. Was caught in a trap

Life & death lurked in a single glint of my hatchet in the slant & [nearness] of finish of a single step

Never had contempt of death though to meet fate in the heart of a glacier is clean & sure compared to that of a mean accident in a street or bed

A rather shabby specimen of doghood neither bold nor cowardly too small for dignity most insignificant

Never before excited or put to his mettle in most imminent danger & now kind Heaven guide & brace those tender feet

In gulf of ebon darkness walled in & overarched by the close everyday [by the] forest we saw a portentous wedge of light in the water that seemed made by some leviathan of the deep, cleaving his impetuous way nearer [ ] it came

Night dry, rough smooth fair weather & foul all alike to Stick

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img034.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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