Vardis Fisher

A Free and Sovereign Being – Free Trapper by Charles M. Russell


“…He set on a pot of coffee. When the supper was ready he spread a robe for them to sit on, with their backs against an overhanging precipice of stone. The rifle at his side, a revolver and knife at his waist, and his gaze on the only direction from which an enemy could approach, he rinsed his mouth with cold mountain water and began to eat. What more, he asked Lotus, did any fool want in the world? She asked what “fool” meant. “The King of England”, he said. “The President of the United States. All fools, because money-or-power mad.” They had never tasted such grouse. They never would. The world, he said, before sinking his teeth into half a breast and tearing it off, was full of vanity and vexation of spirit, as the Bible said; as well as of persons who didn’t have enough get-up-and gumption to go find their food, after their mothers had painted their nipples with aloes and tucked their breasts away. Feeding flesh and juices and hot mushrooms into his mouth, he told his staring wife that in no restaurant on earth could such fowl be found, or such mushrooms, or such odors of heaven in a place to eat, or such paintings as the magnificent sunset yonder, with two rainbows through it. Tomorrow they would have buffalo loin basted with boss; mushrooms simmered in marrow and hump fat; hot biscuits covered with crushed wild currants; and they would before long have buffalo tongue and beaver tail, and flapjacks shining with marrow fat like golden platters. Waugh! What a life they would have!…”

The words of my hero Sam Minard, from Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher.


Michael Patrick McCarty

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A Journal of Honest Food, Freedom, and The Natural World