Louie [Strentzel Muir]
July 4th 1889
I'm pegging away & have [invented?] a few good lines since coming here but it is a hard subject & goes slow. However I'll get it done somehow & sometime. It was cold here last evening & I had to put on everything in my satchel at once. Saw Mrs. [Porteous?] in the Viennese Restaurant. She sends her love & wishes to be remembered & is very anxious for a visit from you & the children. Last evening an innocent looking Examiner reporter sent up his card & I really [illegible]
told the boy to let him come up. He began to speak of the Muir glacier but quickly changed the subject to horned toads snakes & gila monsters. I asked him what made him change the subject so badly & what there was about the Muir Glacier to suggest such reprobate reptiles! He said snakes were his specialty & wanted to know if I had seen many etc. I talked carelessly for a few minutes & judge of my surprise in seeing this villanous article - "John Muir says they kill hogs and cat rabbits but dont eat hogs becuase too big etc" What poetry!
Its so perfectly ridiculous I have ad least had a good laugh out of it. "The toughness of the skin makes a difference" etc. - should thing it would. The air has been sulphurous all day & noisy as a battlefield. Heard some band musci but kept my room & saw not the procession. Hope your finger is not going to be seriously sore & that the babies are well. I feel nervous about them after reading about thsoe geological snakes of John Muir. Give my love to Cousin Fannie
& tell her to help watch the children while Im away. My room is better than last & I might at length feel at home with my Puget sound scenery had I not sun & had nerves shaken with those Gila monsters - I hope Ill survive though the Examiner makes me say "If the poison gets into them it takes no time at all to kill them" (the hogs) & my skin is not as think. Remember me to Grandma Grandpa & the babies & tell them not the sad story of the snakes of Fresno. Ever yrs
Grand Hotel, San Francisco, Cal
1889 Jul 4
Original letter dimensions: 24 x 15 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Louie [Strentzel Muir], 1889 Jul 4." (1889). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 1829.
Reel 06, Image 0117
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters