Hugh Glass

Black Harris and Hugh Glass were sent out to hunt for some meat. Glass was somewhere ahead of Harris, when he ran into a big ugly grizzly bear. The bear charged Glass, but instead of running as a greenhorn would probably have done, Glass stood his ground and attempted to give a good account of himself. When Black Harris got to the scene and finally killed the bear, and recovered Glass, he was amazed to find him still alive. The rest of the trappers made camp and tended to the injured man as well as they could and figured that his time was short. Night closed in around them and everyone thought Glass would be dead, he wasn’t. When they turned in for the night they knew he would have “gone under” by morning.

The next morning they found to their surprise that Glass was still hanging on. Henry, the Booshway, made the decision that it was too risky for the group to stay at the present location any longer. Besides, there was beaver to be caught and that was more important. It was dangerous and too much work to move Glass, so the Booshway asked for volunteers to stay back with Glass and bury him when he died. He got a 19yr. old kid, by the name of Jim Bridger and another of the party named John Fitzgerald who said they would stay. Henry said they would be paid for the job when it was over. With arrangements made, the party of men left with the supplies and continued their trip to the Fort at the Yellowstone.

For five days the two men stayed with Glass while he remained more dead than alive, but never “going under.” Though in that period of time he had brief moments when he appeared awake, but never really conscious; most of his time was spent feverish, delirious and incoherent. Fitzgerald had had enough. The other mountain men were catching beaver and he and Bridger were sitting around watching a dead man die. The kid was reluctant, but Fitzgerald kept after him and Finally in the end told the boy that if he wasn’t going with him then he could “stay and die with the ol’ man.” So Bridger and Fitzgerald took all of Hugh Glasses equipment and left him to die and went back to trapping.

So, on a September morning on the Plains of South Dakota, Hugh Glass awoke from a coma and found himself alone, severely injured, defenseless, and mad as heck! The following morning Glass struggled to a near by log that was infested with maggots. He lay down on the log and let the maggots clean out the wounds on his back. The next day he found water nearby and even managed to eat some berries that were close enough for him to reach. Gathering his remaining resources Hugh began crawling. Staying close to the river he crawled for three days. He found a rattlesnake and killed and ate it. The next day he came upon some wolves that had killed a buffalo calf. Knowing that a crawling man wouldn’t pose sufficient threat to run the wolves off from their downed game, Glass gathered all his stubborn determination and with the assistance of a branch laying nearby he was able to run the animals off. For several days he stayed by the calf carcass, when at last he left the remains, Glass was walking. Seven weeks after the grizzly had attacked him, Hugh Glass stumbled into Fort Kiowa, after having traveled about 250 miles in hostile Indian country, wounded, defenseless, but alive. The men at the fort did not even know who he was he was so thin and filthy.

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