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Exhibit item: JOHN GNEISENAU NEIHARDT, The Song of Hugh Glass, 1915

Exhibit item:
The Song of Hugh Glass, 1915

Hugh Glass became a legendary figure of the American fur trade when he survived an attack by a grizzly.

The Ashley-Smith Explorations and the Discovery of a Central Route to the Pacific, 1822-1829, 1918

"...The lad spurred gaily; for he doubted not
His cry had brought Hugh’s answering rifle shot.
The laggard air was like a voice that sang,
And Jamie half believed he sniffed the tang
Of woodsmoke and the smell of flesh a-roast;
When presently before him, like a ghost,
Upstanding, huge in twilight, arms flung wide,
A gray form loomed. The wise horse reared and shied,
Snorting his inborn terror of the bear!
And in the whirlwind of a moment there,
Betwixt the brute’s hoarse challenge and the charge,
The lad beheld, upon the grassy marge
Of a small spring that bullberries stooped to scan,
A ragged heap that should have been a man,
A huddled, broken thing - and it was Hugh ! ...

On the evening of the fifth day of their journey, Glass was attacked by a grizzly bear and horribly mangled... Two men, Fitzgerald and a youth of some 17 or 18 years [Jim Bridger] were left to care for Glass until he should die or recover sufficiently to move, neither of which he showed any inclination of doing.

His attendants, confident that in the end he must succumb, cravenly decided to abandon him, taking with them his rifle and all his other belongings. Hastening on to join Henry, they reported Glass’s death. On discovering his plight, Glass made a new resolve to recover if only to have vengeance on his cowardly companions.

Living for some time on berries and spring-water, he finally pulled himself together sufficiently to crawl on his hands and knees. He set out and, gradually recovering enough strength to walk, struck across country toward Fort Kiowa on the Missouri, about one hundred miles distant."

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