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certainly a fact that nothing is too soiled, too torn, or too insignificant, to find a collector; which does not, however, mean, that natives have not a very keen sense of the value of things. But they are very clever in turning even what has been discarded as totally valueless, to some sort of use. I once gave a native, a carver in wood and ivory by trade, an old disused sweater, not thinking that he would be able to turn it to any account. A few days later he appeared in my camp with a rakish white cap, culminating in a red cocarde made out of a strip of flannel. This cap was the torn-off collar of the sweater, which had been sewn together on one side, and then decorated with the cocarde. Shortly afterward the owner told me that he had found a purchaser for his novel head-gear.
If, as some people pretend, the secret of making poverty endurable- of reconciling champagne tastes with a lagerbeer income- lies in abstaining from necessaries and indulging in luxuries instead, the negro undoubtedly has adopted this method. He buys unnecessary trifles-old watches past repair, matchboxes of metal, pencil-cases, whistles, motor-goggles-at ridiculous prices, while repudiating almost with indignation the suggestion to buy remedies for his own or his own people's use, or a plate or a tumbler for his household. The latter particularity, by the way, presents the greatest obstacle to giving a native any medicine to take home with him. How can one expect a member of a numerous household, in which the only drinking vessel consists of an old condensed-milk tin, to take, every two or three hours a certain number of drops of, say, chlorodyne, diluted in water? - quite apart from the fact that every inhabitant of the village would insist on tasting the stuff! In this respect, as in some others, the Latin axiom, Cœlum, non animum, mutant,
qui trans mare currunt, would seem to apply to the Ethiopian in the same degree as to the European. Has not Booker T. Washington told us how, in a negro household in Virginia, which could boast of a single cup only, he found a piano? This happy-go-luckiness is, perhaps, a manifestation of the artistic temperament. Everybody has seen reproductions of the celebrated drawings of the Kalshari bushmen, but it would be a mistake to imagine that this gift is their monopoly. Often, in countries hundreds of miles apart, I have bought little clay figures of animals, made by children in play, and have always been struck by the astounding accuracy with which the creatures' main characteristics had been caught, however disproportionate the measurements. Among the grown-up people one often finds real artists who represent human beings and animals with equal skill. As an avocation, carving usually runs in families, descending from father to son, several brothers being sometimes employed in the same trade; and the self-manufactured implements which they use are almost as great a subject of surprise as the result produced.
At one time I saw a great deal of one of these carvers in wood and ivory. He was a Yao, called Beeboo — quite a remarkable creature, who might have posed as a sample of the artistic temperament quite as well as any Quartier Latin art student pictured in Mürger's La Vie de Bohême. His likenesses of animals were extraordinarily lifelike, if occasionally somewhat out of symmetry; but he also gave free scope to his active imagination by inventing animals with new and grotesque shapes. When trade was brisk, as was the case during the war, he lived on the product of his knife and saw only, and walked about, a haughty and independent swell. When times were bad, he used to work for his
livelihood on some plantation or farm, watering flowers or cropping the lawn. It was during one of these periods of penury, when I had given him a job, that I caught him helping himself to my provisions. I dismissed him immediately; but we remained on cordial terms all the same, and he often came into my camp afterward, either to offer me pieces of art for sale or to borrow a shilling.
I once entered his hut, where he was living alone at the time, having just been deserted by his wife a usual occurrence with him. There was no furniture except his stretcher; but everywhere on the ground stood old oil tins and clay pots filled with decorative
plants, flowers, ferns, and low shrubs with berries.
I cannot help thinking that Beeboo, if he had been born in Paris, might have developed into another Rodin, or a male Rosa Bonheur. Born in the Middle Ages, in a cathedral town, he would surely have been a famous gargoylesculptor. But he, too, was not free of those aberrations in taste to which I have alluded before. One day he shaved the lower part of his head all round in a circle, and then let the hair on the upper part grow to an enormous length, so that he looked as if he wore a huge helmet of fur, like one of Napoleon's grenadiers. He looked fearful, and I told him so, to his intense delight.
MOUNTAINEERING IN AMERICA
BY VERNON KELLOGG
By America I mean the United States without Alaska and the overseas appanages, and by mountaineering I mean much besides scaling high peaks. One cannot put all the qualifications into a title.
There is altogether too little told and written about the mountains of our country, the high mountains, higher than the Alps, and about the joys and adventures of climbing them. Because they are not snow- and ice-clad,
a few are, with névés, crevasses, and ice couloirs to tell about, and because one does not climb them in a roped-together chain-gang, led and followed by professional guides in pic
turesque costumes, along well-known paths often staircased and balustraded, the mountains of California and Colorado seem to have few attractions for Americans who have a fancy for climbing.
But actually they demand as strenuous and careful work, and offer as much adventure, as the more favored and familiar European mountains. You can climb as high, fall as far, and land with as much disaster, in the Sierra Nevada or Rockies as in the Swiss or Tyrolean Alps. And there goes with the climbing itself in America a lot of fine things that do not go with the Swiss climbingthe camping, the pack-train, the trout
It seems an odd thing that the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the Colorado Rockies are all of about the same height. Take the highest twenty in each of the two mountain-systems, and not only will their average be very close to 14,000 feet in the case of each group, but the range of height in the whole forty will come within 500 feet above or below the fourteen-thousand-foot average. The high points of both Sierras and Rockies seem to have been cut off in their aspiring at fourteen thousand feet or a few hundred feet above or below that level - although there is little indication on many of these summits of any cutting off, the tip-tops of some, indeed, making two men standing close together on them seem badly crowded. But some, on the other hand, have a really truncated top, often surprisingly broad and level.
This is true, for example, of Long's Peak, one of the highest and best of the Colorado peaks-meaning by 'best,' most interesting, and possibly adventurous, to climb. One could lay out a very decent little farm on its summit, if the soil were a little further on in course of making so far it is only in its first, or rock, stage. But in getting up to this broad, flat top, you have to work carefully almost completely around the great cliffy cap of the mountain, with a dizzying narrow ledge on one face, to test your head; a long steep trough, with snow and loose rock in it, at one corner, to try out your heart, lungs, and climbing luck; and a steeper, most
ly smooth wall-face, to swarm up on the last stretch.
Long's Peak is much beset by wind and sudden sleet-storms, and its really safe climbing season is unusually short, although it is often climbed before and after this safer period. One such attempt at a late climb, however, cost an adventurous woman her life; and a headboard, fixed among the harsh rocks of the great Boulder Field just beyond which the real climbing begins, commemorated, as long as it stood, her death on the mountain from fall and exposure in storm. The inscription reads, Here CARRIE J. W
Lay to rest, and died alone, with the date, which I have forgotten.
She died alone because the local mountaineer who, after much protest, went up with her when she declared that, if he would not accompany her, she would go anyway by herself, and who found her helpless on his hands in a sleet-storm on the summit, had, after carrying her down the more dangerous part of the mountain, through hours of struggle in blinding snow and cutting ice-sleet, until he was almost as exhausted as she, left her at nightfall in the comparative shelter of the great rocks of the Boulder Field, himself to stumble on down the mountain in the dark, for help.
He had a difficult decision to make. Should he stay there with her, and both almost certainly perish before dawn, or should he take the chance of leaving her and possibly get help up to her during the night, and thus save both? He took what he believed the only chance of saving her. Alone, he could not possibly get her farther. Staying with her, he could have done nothing but, in all probability, die with her. He got down the mountain to his father's cabin. The rescuers started back at once. But it took long hours to get to her. They
found her dead. She had, in panic or delirium, left her shelter among the rocks, and, stumbling about, had fallen near-by, striking her head against the merciful granite. It has been always a haunting question with that man as to whether he had done what a brave man should do under such circumstances. Knowing the mountain and the man, I believe he decided as a brave and experienced mountaineer should have decided.
I know of another fatal accident on Long's Peak. There may have been still others. This one came about through a man's inexperience and foolishness. He carried a loaded revolver in his hippocket on his climb. He fell in a bad place, and the cartridge under the hammer was exploded, the bullet shattering his hip. His one companion did what he could to drag him along the narrow ledge on which he lay; but little progress was possible, and, after hours of suffering, the wounded man died. The companion was a prematurely old man when he finally got down the mountain and found helpers to go up for the body.
I have always maintained that there should be three men together on mountain climbs, one to get hurt, one to stand by, and one to go for help. But most men hunt mountain-tops in pairs; some like to go alone. I knew one such, besides John Muir, who, with his bit of bread and pinch of tea, almost always went alone, who did much climbing in the Sierra Nevada and took many chances. He used to carry a rope and, in difficult places, where he could not reach high enough for hand-grips, he would tie a big knot in one end of his rope and throw it up until it caught firmly above him. Then he would drag himself up, without regard to the fact that he probably could not get down more than the uppermost one of these places by using his rope. He trusted to finding a different and easier way down
- and always did. He climbed Mount King-a very pinnacly peak in the King-Goddard divide, which juts out westward from the main Sierran crest near Kearsarge Pass in this way, by
one of its seemingly impossible faces. Although at best it is a difficult mountain, it has at least one fairly negotiable face. He came down that way.
American mountain-climbing, at all events as I am limiting it, is rock-climbing. There can be a good deal of snow on the symmetrical cones of the old volcanoes, like Rainier, Baker, Hood, and the others that are the high mountains of Oregon and Washington; and there are elsewhere occasional snowpatches and a few scattered, insignificant, persisting remnants of the once mighty local glaciers that did so much in the old days to give the Sierras and Rockies their present configuration. But these are rarely in the way of the climber; in fact, the ice-remnants have to be sought out to be seen, and are among the special goals of the mountaineers. Two or three in the Front Range of the Rockies, near Estes Park, now included in the Rocky Mountain National Park, are among the most accessible.
Climbing the American mountains, then, demands no special knowledge of the characteristics and habits and dangers of deeply crevassed glaciers, with their thin snow-bridges, or of the behavior of snow when it inclines, under proper weather conditions, to cornicebreaking and avalanche-making. But it does require, for safety's sake, a considerable knowledge of the character and habits of various kinds of rock in various states of firmness and brittleness, as met variously on cliff-faces or in narrow chimneys. It also requires some judgment as to the critical angle at
which loose rock may lie for the time quietly, yet may not be stepped on with careless confidence. It does not require ropes and ice-axes, but it requires hands as well as feet, and a steady head. Narrow ledges, hand-hold crevices on steep faces, knife-edges, both firm and badly weathered, and long steep troughs of mixed snow, loose stones, and easily excited granite-dust make earnest call on the American mountaineer's nerve and confidence and expert judgment of the possibilities.
It is not always the highest mountain, of course, that is the hardest, even in its demand on endurance, to say nothing of skill. Our highest point south of the Canadian border is Mount Whitney, yet it is but a tiresome steep walk to its summit, after one has made the long, beautiful, and inspiring forestand cañon-trail trip to its western foot. Its eastern foot stands in a desert. A few miles north of Whitney is the slightly lower peak of Williamson, one of three closely grouped splendid Sierran notabilities (Williamson, Tyndall, Barnard). But Williamson offers everything to the climber which Whitney, except for its height and position, does
I had the privilege of spending a few weeks again last summer in the Sierras, after an absence of years. Our small party was composed of members of the Sierra Club, that organization which has done so much to make the California mountains known and accessible to mountain-lovers; and one of our group was intent on attempting to get up a certain peak which has long resisted the attacks of climbers — not that it has been so often tried, but that the few tries have been made by climbers well known for their success with difficult mountains.
We, therefore, pushed our pack-animals up a great side cañon tributary to the greater cañon of the Kern, until we
could make camp in a last little group of tamarack pines practically at timberline (about 10,500 feet here), and directly under a high northwest spur of this unclimbed mountain, which connected with its main peak by a long, rough knife-edge. From careful study of the mountain from various points, it had been decided that the most likely approach to the peak-summit seemed to be this northwest spur and knife-edge. In our previous movements we had nearly encircled the great group of which the unclimbed peak was one, and members of the party had climbed another mountain, not far away, mainly for the sake of an orienting examination of the upper reaches of the resistant peak.
The actual vertical height of the peak above our timber-line camp was only a little more than three thousand feet, as the Geological Survey maps attribute an altitude of 13,752 feet to it. But three thousand feet can be much more difficult than five or six thousand. However, if the summit could be reached at all, it could probably be done in a day from our high camp. So the climbersproperly three- made a five-o'clock start, aiming directly for the summit of the spur. The going, though steep, was fairly good and entirely safe, and the top of the spur was reached in a few hours. But the knife-edge, bad enough where it was continuous, revealed itself so deeply notched at several points, that it proved wholly impassable. It was necessary to try a different way. The north face of the knife-edged spur was as impossible as the knife-edge itself. But the south face is gashed by a number of narrow steep troughs leading almost up to the main peak, any one of which might prove itself, on trial, to be possible, but any one, or all, of which might be unfeasible because of interrupting cliffs not visible from the climbers' point of