Creator

Cora Cressey Crow

Recipient

John Muir

Transcription

[2]

homeward and now that we are [really?] settled for the winter, it seems very good to be back again for the Crows realize that "the world has a million roosts for a man but only one nest." But I am thoughtless to keep you waiting all this time, well knowing the masculine mind is prone to curiosity and you are wanting to know of our trip after leaving you--that keen morn- [frost?] & soda water & [illegible] of [illegible] ing air was sufficiently exhilerating to infect the spirits of our horses and knowing we had a long days ride in store for us, allowed them to take a merry pace, until we came in sight of the Lake when we paused, to observe the magic beauty of it, the water took on such various tints of blue and green and the trees on the opposite shore were so beautifully reflected in this perfect mirror, that is was infinitely more attractive in its placidity than when dotted with the little white caps. We came away with a beautiful picture stamped indellibly upon our minds. As we scampered madly along, stopping not for briar or bush, we thought, "shade of

[1]

[letterhead]

My dear Mr. Muir,

Shall I begin at the beginning in a truly rational manner and tell you of the eventful happenings which befell me after bidding you a regretful adieu, in the garden of gentians? Not at all, that would be an entirely too orthodox proceeding. so I will first tell you what a bright spot your letter made in the bleak day. with its howling wind blustering about everywhere and how warmly it was welcomed by Paul and me When it was sent into us as we were lunching tete [diacritic] a [diacritic] tete [diacritic], paterfamilias and Auntie being from home. Mr. Crow's business necessitated an earlier return than we had anticipated and although we were loath to bid a long farewell to the dear, old pines, that had been our companions during such a pleasant summer, we nevertheless turned our heads

02032

[3]

John Gilfin had ye but eaten flap-jack for breakfast, you nier had feared to part company from your steed,"secure in this knowledge we galloped on, drawing rein as we passed The California with its beautiful granites and natures own frescoing then on again reaching Aspen Valley at four-thirty, our Sancho having arrived an hour before, Ah Louis, "blessed be his name," had, I record it with joy, made gorgeous preparations to entertain four stomachs! We suffered no ill-effects from our forty-mile ride which is not surprising for Holmes says and we agree with him that "saddle-leather is preferable to sole-leather. One's hepar, or, in vulgar language, liver, goes up and down like the dasher of a churn, in the midst of the other vital arrangements, at every step of a trotting horse. The brains also are shaken up like coppers in a money box." (N. B. My Pegasus was a trotter, so if this is rather muddled, attribute it to the fact that my brains were a bit much disturbed--not to any real deficiency for believe me, seven years at Mills seminary, [nie?] College, is guaranteed not only to cultivate to the fullest extent what brains one possesses, but to supply them when a deficiency occurs! I do not quite understand when you say "Mrs. Muir went to Mills seeking knowledge" know that those of us who went there with that end in view found that it was like [illegible]dy's Kingdom of Heaven, "to be had for the asking" it was a pity that "little Johnny Muir" ever lost his flannel petticoat, otherwise he too might have gone to Mills! But because of this do not spend your life in a vain regret, none of us can have all of the good things of life and I think, to be earnest, that you have your share, but I cannot find it in my heart to envy you, for you paid a heavy price for it. Now here's a bit of gossip. There was a dinner party the other night and Mrs. Crow was there, in all her glory, the magpie who, as usual, was listening at the window told me she imagined that she was entertaining

[5]

to thank you for your paper on the Muir glacier, shall have my brother get me. he goes to Alaska next week for a sea voyage to benefit his health and am sure he will enjoy everything so much more after having read your article, don't ever tell us again about grinding out words it doesn't sound at all plausible. Do not, I beg of you, thank us for your pleasant hours in Aspen, for believe me, the whole delight of it emanted from yourself and we never tire of telling each other how great was our privilege in having you for a cicerone, as we wended our way through those magnificent forests of pine. As we sallied forth early that Saturday morning, surely we were as noble a cavalcade as ever Chaucer started forth toward Canterbury, with the guide Elwell in the rear, flanked by Tomasso's curveting steed as he "rounded up" the pack animals in true vaquero fashion, and all this in company with a man whose mind was full to over-

[4]

[letterhead]

the company royally but that in reality it was the greatest piece of plagiarism imaginable for she told John Muir's stories and stories of John Muir and even went so far as to malign him most horribly by making the people laugh at some tale of a wood-chuck that he intended for someone else and had to eat himself!
It was so kind of you to want to send me Rab and his friends but it is so little known that I am not surprised you could not find a copy but of course you know of the great rivalry that has been going on over that famous book the Three Mar[illegible] by the best publishing houses. will send you a copy and in the meantime do not, I beg, let people know you're not familiar with it!
Wish you could as easily cover up the fact that you never went to Mills--but you did the very next best thing by marrying a wife who had been there, all of which reminds me that I want

02032
[5]

to thank you for your paper on the Muir glacier, shall have my brother get me. he goes to Alaska next week for a sea voyage to benefit his health and am sure he will enjoy everything so much more after having read your article, don't ever tell us again about grinding out words it doesn't sound at all plausible. Do not, I beg of you, thank us for your pleasant hours in Aspen, for believe me, the whole delight of it emanted from yourself and we never tire of telling each other how great was our privilege in having you for a cicerone, as we wended our way through those magnificent forests of pine. As we sallied forth early that Saturday morning, surely we were as noble a cavalcade as ever Chaucer started forth toward Canterbury, with the guide Elwell in the rear, flanked by Tomasso's curveting steed as he "rounded up" the pack animals in true vaquero fashion, and all this in company with a man whose mind was full to over-

[4]

[letterhead]

the company royally but that in reality it was the greatest piece of plagiarism imaginable for she told John Muir's stories and stories of John Muir and even went so far as to malign him most horribly by making the people laugh at some tale of a wood-chuck that he intended for someone else and had to eat himself!
It was so kind of you to want to send me Rab and his friends but it is so little known that I am not surprised you could not find a copy but of course you know of the great rivalry that has been going on over that famous book the Three Mar[illegible] by the best publishing houses. will send you a copy and in the meantime do not, I beg, let people know you're not familiar with it!
Wish you could as easily cover up the fact that you never went to Mills--but you did the very next best thing by marrying a wife who had been there, all of which reminds me that I want

02032

[6]

glowing with the beauties of nature and a scientific knowledge of them and who made one realize how much of beauty there is in our daily environment which we continually pass by unnoticed then the magnificent views which burst before us at every turn as we began the descent into the Yosemite Creek Basin, so beautifully "[paved?] with do[illegible]" and where you aptly took your first lessons in Nature's sculpture, the trees, rocks and flowers all came in for their share of attention and from the depths of our degenerate brains we realized how superficial is the knowledge gleaned from books when this page of Nature was ofered to us and her hieroglyphics transferred into plain prose by a certain ROSETTA STONE at our sides! I write this as Ina Coolbrith did when telling a friend she had pleuro-pneumonia, saying, "I write it in capitals because that's the way I had it." Indeed I feel like using capitals to describe the entire trip, but my limited supply of ink incapacitates me; from making even as large an exclamation point as yours after you had said something particularly nice about the members of Camp Cuervo, however, "a woman does not mind, having a dozen or more such compliments to string on the rosary of her remembrances," so I thank you very much "for the Crows[illegible]" Kindly tell Mrs. Muir I shall take great pleasure in meeting her, in that she knew my father, knowing and liking him, which were one and the same thing, is the open sesame to my heart. Tell Wanda and Helen that we have no beautiful forests at El Cuervo but if they want ot learn to ride horseback to come up and let Paul teach them. he is a very busy little lad these days-practices on the piano an hour a day and studies well. but isn't overly fond of his books I am afraid.

Location

Crow's Landing [Calif]

Source

Original letter dimensions: 20 x 25 cm.

Resource Identifier

muir08_1203-let.tif

File Identifier

Reel 08, Image 1203

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Pages

4 pages

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