In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country in 1908-09

By Mary Ellicott Arnold; Mabel Reed | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
The Unmapped Way, and How, Finally, We Hit the Trail, and the Mountains Closed Around Us

The clerk at Thomas Cook and Sons leaned his elbows on the desk.

"I don't know whether I can help you much," he said. "Not many people want to go to Somesbar. It is up in the northern part of the state just below the Oregon line. See, here it is on the map. Yes, that is the place, here in the Coast Range, about an even distance from Yreka on the railroad and Eureka on the ocean. But I wouldn't advise you to try the railroad. Good deal of snow up there now. I'd like to help you ladies out but we don't have much information about the country up there. It's mostly Indians; and they don't come to us when they travel." He gave us a very engaging grin.

"Tell you what I will do, though. Sell you two tickets from San Francisco to Eureka. Get you a nice stateroom on the Pomona. She sails Saturday. That's five days from today. Give you plenty of time to get ready. Then when you get to Eureka, it ought to be easy to find some folks who will tell you how to get up into the mountains."

The SS Pomona was a small boat and there were not many passengers. The rain pattered on the deck as we came up the gangplank. Tamalpais was only a faint blur in the mist. Although we did not know it at the time, we were to be in sore need of Indian Steve and the Grasshopper Song for several months to come. As we left the Golden Gate behind us and turned up the coast, a wave flapped

-11-

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