John Muir


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The clouds thickened & pressed down on all the gray expanse of the glacier & the gloom grew darker & darker

No tongue of man ever told trouble more eloquently & he brought forward the world of humanity that under ordinary circumstances lies hidden in dogs animals

His serene self-possession & solemnity of manner seemed ludicrously unnatural in so small a dog

When we reached camp I don’t remember what we ate though hungry. The Hoona had brought the porpoise meat & wild strawberries & John the hunter had brought a goat from the rocks back of camp but we were too tired to eat much & quickly fell into troubled nervous sleep. Before morning both of us were again & again on that narrow bridge & started up etc.

He never put on airs & had none at all of that masterful dignity that belongs to big dogs nor yet the merry twinkling vivacity of little ones

Time had not yet begun to tell on him as far as I could see His only features that looked old were his eyes & they seemed old as the hills & as unmeasurable I never tired looking into them. It was like looking into a landscape without bounds. He pursued his small game of ermines, mice etc. with dogged industry.


Setting out

Now don’t. This rough day has nothing for you. Stay in camp & keep warm, there is no game astir today, not a foot or wing is moving. Keep warm & get your breakfast with the Indians & your master. The ice will hurt your feet etc.

A boisterous torrent from the east side of the glacier roared past us rolling bumping boulders with a thudding sound beneath its muddy flood & rushing ahead as if impatient to join the ocean at this call.


I know nothing of his antecedents. He was very grave & wild as a wolf quiet but in presence of death his voice was human & explained his terror & agony of mind in sublimity of deadly fear in unmistakable language. Only once before had I heard a human voice of equal power in telling deadly fear. When a professor in his sleep by a campfire in the High Sierra of Cal fancied he was attacked by a bear.

Serene self possession & solemnity of manner seemed ludicrously unnatural in so small an animal

□ The Grant Gl [Glacier] drawn from Crillon & La Perouse will ever be haunted with memories of Stick as a window through wh [which] I had my clearest views of my fellow mortals of the animal kind.

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MuirReel33 Notebook01 Img047.Jpeg

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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