Изображения страниц
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

John Muir's Cabin Home on the Edge of Muir Glacier all that they do, giving a distinct local Californian writers to turn hermit, now flavor to the least as well as to the great- and then. Thoreau, from his retreat est creations of their pens.

beside Walden Pond, sent a letter to the The call of the mountains, of the world, a study of literary hermit life, forests, and of the streams is irresistible that will live through many generations, to the lover of nature in California. to delight urban folk; but Thoreau's


1900, by OVERLAND MONTHLY PUBLISHING Co. All rights reserved.)

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][graphic]

John Muir Sierra, he wrote back to the Thoreau-ad- another of the homes where this “More miring East: “ This is a more wonderful wonderful man than Thoreau” lived man than Thoreau.” But even Emer- during the years when he climbed and son did not then guess what would be the delved about that marvelous region, makextent of John Muir's achievement in ing himself master of those icy records, studying nature in her sternest moods. and gathering the notes for the fascinatIn the most inaccessible depths of Yosem- ing papers that delight us so greatly ite stands a little hut which Mr. Muir from time to time as they appear. built with his own hands, a meré shelter When Mr. Muir gave me permission to use the accompanying pictures of this home he charged me to be sure and say that the gun leaning against the big chimney-jamb is not his. During all his thirteen years' sojourn in the wilderness he never used such a thing. He lived among the birds and the beasts, but he did not kill his neighbors. A bag containing bread he carried over one shoulder. A packet of tea and an alcohol lamp traveled in one pocket. These constituted his provision in the food line. A little melted snow gave him water for his tea, the bread satisfied hunger. His bill of fare seldom

men would regard his life, even when toasting and working beside the hospitable fire that used to roar up the great chimney, as that of a sybarite. The world owes a great deal to that little hut on the edge of the glacier. People do not pilgrimage to it, as they do to the place where Thoreau's cabin stood beside Walden Pond,—its site marked by an evergrowing heap of stones reared by visitors; but it is as pleasant to think of Mr Muir's tiny house with its big warm heart, up there in the ice, as it is to remember Walden.


Interior of Mr. Muir's Cabin on Muir Glacier varied during his long, hard tramps. He I was reminded of Mr. Muir's remarks had to travel light. There were seasons about the gun when, some time ago, Yone when, so arduous were his labors, that he Noguchi, telling me of his home and could not carry on his climbing tramps friends in far-away Japan, said, “My

‘ even the thin half-blanket which on more father has never heard any sound of luxurious journeys he sometimes took gun.” Noguchi is about the only one left with him. Then he was wont to make a to us of our hermit writers. He is still blanket of the soft snow, hollowing out upon his hill-top, mooning among the reda bed from its white depths, in which, woods, and there I visited him recently. with feet toward his camp-fire, he slept He saw me from afar, as I did him, but the sleep of weariness.

instead of coming to meet me he fled to In his glacier-bound storm-nest, how- his cabin, hastily closing the door after ever, he took his ease, or what he was him. I stood without and laughed, knowpleased to consider his ease, though few ing full well the cause of his panic, until, Yone Noguchi at Home Not being a celebrity myself, I escaped to remonstrate, to realize that they, and much of the hunting that fell to the share not I, had intruded. of my leonine neighbors; but I have a It was doubtless experiences exactly vivid recollection of one funny occasion similar to these that prompted Yone's flight at the sight of visitors. He was are teaching him. He has not famed himafterwards much exercised in his courte- self yet. Until he does, may the Fates forous mind, to explain his mistake. He is fend that any new

recognizing me from the window, he threw open the door and came forth with outstretched hands.

“Excuse me!” he cried, "I thought it was people!”

How well-I understood him; for I, too, have lived, for my own comfort," far from the madding crowd," and well I knew the type of mind that takes its corporeal encasement to seek out the abodes of those who have fled the presence of just such as it. I remember passing one day, with some friends, Joaquin Miller's house on

The Heights.” In the pathway before the door stood two women, and at one side of the house two men were standing, peeping in at the window.

“He's shut the door," one of the women said, as we drew near. does n't want us to see him.'

“Pshaw !” was the reply of her companion, “all the more reason why we should go in after coming so far to look at him.” And they proceeded boldly to storm the castle.

when returning to my house, after a tramp about the hills, I found my door locked. I was not in the habit of locking it, so I knew some one must be within, and I knocked, demanding admittance. After a considerable interval the latch was lifted and a man who stood in the doorway regarded me severely.

“Well,” he said, at last, as I was too astonished to volunteer any remark, “ what's wanted ?”

“I wondered who was in my house," I suggested, meekly, and glancing past him I saw a group of perhaps half-adozen people seated about my table, eating:

Oh," the man said, with a most dégagé air, “it was so windy outside, we sought shelter while we ate our luncheon."

Much abashed, I apologized for my intrusion and went and sat in the grove until, their meal finished, my guests took their departure; and so effectual is the power of sheer impudence that I was actually too stunned, until it was too late

66 He


“ discoverer” should still working hard in his chosen retreat, chance upon the “homeless snail ” and although friends in the East are urging drag him forth again!

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed]

Yone Noguchi

From a Water Color Sketch by M. Takahashi him to try a hazard of new fortunes On Jackass Flat, not far from Jimbeyond the Rockies. He came down to town—the Jamestown of modern elethe level some time ago to tell us of an gance, but Jimtown, still, to the men who enthusiastic letter he had just received knew it in the days of '49—stands, halffrom the East.

hidden among friendly old trees, a cabin “Come to New York," this letter long since fallen into picturesque decay, urged. “It is the place of all places for but around which linger still some of the you. We'll give you a boom; you really richest literary associations of early Caliought to come.”

fornia. Here dwelt, so tradition declares, His distress over the advice would have that loquacious friend of Bret Harte, been funny had it not been so genuine. “ Truthful James” of Stanislaus, whose

“Must I go?” he asked me. “Ought real name was Geless. Here, too, so the I to go? I love life here in California. I oldest inhabitants declare, Bret Harte have no thought even to go to my Japan himself sojourned for a season. Harte again. I can work here; I can grow here. could never, however, have been a hermit Why should I go to the East and be given from choice; of that we may be certain. 'a boom'? What is this thing, to be He was always, to the sound heart of him, given ' a boom'? Is it not to hurt the urban and cosmopolitan. But it is pleaswork?”

ant to think that the old cabin may at The boy was wise, and returned to his some time have been his shelter. This refuge in the hills. Some day, beyond a whole region is closely associated with a peradventure, we shall hear what the hills large part of his work. From Carquinez

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »