Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen > Page 74
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.  1904.

Page 74
 
the Little Missouri. To grasp fully the meaning of the comparison with Poe, read this from his account of an elk-hunting trip out there:
  “The tracks led into one of the wildest and most desolate parts of the Bad Lands. It was now the heat of the day, the brazen sun shining out in a cloudless sky and not the least breeze stirring. At the bottom of the valley, in the deep narrow bed of the winding watercourse, lay a few tepid little pools, almost dried up. Thick groves of stunted cedars stood here and there in the glen-like pockets of the high buttes, the peaks and sides of which were bare, and only their lower, terrace-like ledges thinly clad with coarse, withered grass and sprawling sagebrush; the parched hillsides were riven by deep, twisted gorges, with brushwood on the bottoms; and the cliffs of coarse clay were cleft and seamed by sheer-sided, canñon-like gullies. In the narrow ravines, closed in by barren, sunbaked walls, the hot air stood still and sultry; the only living things were the rattlesnakes, and of these I have never elsewhere seen so many. Some basked in the sun, stretched out at their ugly length of mottled brown and yellow. Others lay half under stones or twined

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