Page:Alaska days with John Muir.djvu/35

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The Mountain

But I was handicapped in a way that Muir was ignorant of, and I would not tell him for fear of his veto upon my climbing. My legs were all right—hard and sinewy; my body light and supple, my wind good, my nerves steady (heights did not make me dizzy); but my arms—there lay the trouble. Ten years before I had been fond of breaking colts—till the colts broke me. On successive summers in West Virginia, two colts had fallen with me and dislocated first my left shoulder, then my right. Since that both arms had been out of joint more than once. My left was especially weak. It would not sustain my weight, and I had to favor it constantly. Now and again, as I pulled myself up some difficult reach I could feel the head of the humerus move from its socket.

Muir climbed so fast that his movements were almost like flying,