Jim Bridger and the Glass Mountain

                    Jim Bridger (ol’ Gabe) and the Glass Mountain

Jim Bridger was a storyteller extraordinaire and a good enough entertainer to always be in demand.  Everyone wanted to here old Gabe spin a yarn.  Bridger may have been as good a yarn spinner as he was a trapper and explorer.  The following story, one of Bridger’s favorites was told dozens of times around the campfire, often with some new twist and the story always started the same way----

“Now this here is a true story, the absolute truth or I ain’t the greatest Mountain man, and trapper and trader who ever lived.  I woke up one morning was about daylight up in the hot water country of the Yellowstone.  I rolled out of my Buffler robes, gave my eyes a good rub and took me a peer outside of the teepee to see what was about.  My eyes couldn’t believe the good fortune they was seeing, not twenty five feet away stood a big Bull Elk with his head down eating grass.” 

“Well ya see I was a might hungered this time of year and I crept to the back of the lodge and picked up my rifle.  I poked the barrel of that old fifty-four caliber through the door opening took careful aim at that sitting duck Elk and squeezed the trigger.  The Elk never even looked up, I took me a quick look see around to make sure no one was about to see ol’ Gabe make the worst shot of his life and started reloading. This time I steadied the rifle over my saddle; beings as I must have missed on account of not being completely woke up yet, and squeezed the trigger.  The Elk never moved.  Well sir I dove back into that Teepee and started to, real carefully load that old rifle and shot again.  Why I think I’ve figured it out I can’t shoot no more and to my good fortune that old bull is deaf.  I shot and nothing happened.  I says to myself, this here rifle is plum worn out but that old deaf Elk is still a standing just as pretty as a lonesome tree on a rocky hillside.”

“I pulled out my skinning knife and gave that Elk the Bridger charge, with a mind to jump him and slit his throat, a trick I had used on Buffler and Indjen alike.  Not four steps from the teepee I hit a wall of solid glass, yes sir a solid glass mountain not twenty feet from my camp.  I spent the rest of the day riding around that mountain of glass, which I later determined had perfect magnification cause that Elk I was a shooting at was not twenty-five feet away but twenty-five miles.  And I am a telling you, that story is as true as if I were a sitting here telling it to you myself, which I am.”

Good Night!

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