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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hugh Glass: Legendary Trapper in America’s Western Frontier


Every man there knew Hugh Glass was a gone ‘coon.’ They had only to look at what little the she-grizzly’s 3-inch claws had left of the old trapper. At least what they could make out through the blood, which was everywhere. To look at his shredded scalp…face…chest…arm…hand. To see how she’d chewed into his shoulder and back. They had only to listen to the blood bubble from the rip in his throat with his every breath. What astonished them was that he breathed at all. Again. And yet again.

Tough as they’d found the old coon (a term mountain men used to describe themselves) to be that summer of 1823 as they challenged the Upper Missouri tribes to reach the beaver streams, Major Andrew Henry and his nine trappers would have been incredulous if they’d known how indestructible Glass and his story have proved to be. That he would become the subject of controversy would not have surprised them. That some men would call him a liar and accuse him of slandering a gallant comrade might have puzzled them. The notion that Hugh Glass was about to crawl into American legend, to become an epic hero of story and poem, would have made them laugh.

He was going to die. Any minute now. Any fool could see that.

Hostile natives had already finished off 17 of their brigade. Arikara (also known as Ree) Indians had killed 15 in a June 2 attack that forced them off their Missouri River keelboats and–that route to the mountains closed–set them trudging west up the Grand River valley. August was two-thirds gone, yet several of them still nursed scars from that battle, including Old Glass, who’d taken a ball in his thigh. That hadn’t stopped him, but the grizzly had finally done him in.

He was old compared to most of his fellow mountain men. Nearing or in his early 40s, Glass was old enough to be the father of young men like Jim Bridger, who was beginning his second year as a trapper. But they called him ‘old’ with a measure of affection and respect. He was a loner, who often insisted on going his own way. His willful foray up the draw for ripe plums, which had ended in ‘Old Ephraim’s’ embrace, was typical. But his skill and courage had served them all well. Tall and powerfully built, he wasn’t a man to run from a fight.

Read the rest about Hugh Glass's brand of Bad-Assery here 

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I remember watching Man in the Wilderness with my Pepaw as a youngster, that was themed around the Glass story. That old cajun pouldeau had damned near every paperback that Louis L'Amour ever wrote in his collection of books. Memories of flipping through those L'Amour pages and wondering what was going to happen next are still with me to this day.  

There will be a new movie about Hugh Glass out in December called The Revenant. I'll probably be inclined to watch it as well. Obviously, there's no mention of him having a son in what you just read above, but we all know the books are better than the movies anyways...




2 comments:

Sarthurk said...

If decaprio is in it, I aint watchin it. Leftist elites are shit.

Stackz O Magz said...

I see the insertion of political indoctrination in many films. I hear what you're saying. I don't care for an actor's personal life honestly, but if they are paid incredibly well to do their jobs, I fully expect them to deliver. What about Tom Hardy? He's a Brit, and also another great actor.