If ever there was a book which honestly reflects Indian and Pio/ neer life in Northern California, it is to be found in the pages of In the land of the Grasshopper Song, by Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel Reed. In their book they tell the warm, unvarnished story of life as it was in 1908-09 along the great and primitive Klamath River. Here, hidden away, self-sufficient people lived a life unmindful of the world about them. Their immediate presence gave them all they wished to be concerned about. The history that is told is refreshing and revealing.
The book made a rather unheralded appearance in 1957 and I would have never known about it, had I not found it listed in some very small type in Publisher's Weekly, a journal for the book trade. I sent for a copy, and I found it delightful reading. I publicized the book in my column, "Redwood Country" (in the Times- Standard, Eureka), and a number of copies were acquired by readers in the Northern California area. But not enough people had the opportunity to read it. I have offered excerpts from . . . the Grasshopper Song in my classes at the College of the Redwoods, where listeners often expressed a desire to obtain a copy.
The authors have since passed away, and the rights to the book were inherited by Mrs. Diana T. Coffey, of Moylan, Pa. She was a close friend of Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel Reed.
Realizing the need for greater circulation of the book and its story, Mrs. Coffey consented to the publishing of a reprint of the book. The original pages and photographs are exactly as they appeared in the first edition and it is my hope the story as told by the authors will please you as much as it has most readers I have talked with about the book.
This edition of In the land of the Grasshopper Song is dedicated to Mrs. Coffey, to whom we are grateful for permission to reprint it.
June 1, 1980