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**CLPRA scripts are working drafts for recording sessions. Recorded performances may vary due to editing for broadcast.**
Mary Ellicott Arnold (1876-1968) & Mabel Reed (1876-1963)
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It Would Be a Pity
From In the Land of the Grasshopper Song, 1957. Reader: Jessica Teeter

Photograph: "A smoky day at the Sugar Bowl—Hupa." Larger. Hoopa Valley Tribe.
California's remote regions exert a strong appeal to adventurous men and women. But if you travel through them, you'd better keep a close eye on your friends.

In 1908 young Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel Reed headed toward Eureka as newly appointed Field Matrons in the U.S. Indian Service. They knew nothing about the terrain, and eagerly learned about the Klamath and Salmon River country while traveling in the company of a variety of new companions.
On his last trip across, George had a sharp brush with a panther. He told us how scared he had been and all the things he did that he should not have done, and we laughed so hard we quite forgot to notice that George had not only killed the panther, but that he had held a badly frightened horse and a lantern with his other hand and had shot the panther in the eye, in the shifting light.

Puma concolor, Panthers in North America refer to the cougar. Larger.
No mean feat for any man. As we thought about the panther, we were very glad to have George with us. And especially glad that he had his gun. But I did look a little doubtfully on the way George carried his gun. Its muzzle was trained on me. Not exactly in the eye, but right smack on my abdomen. As George jolted along and the gun jolted along, I could see quite clearly down the muzzle. I did not want to bother George with such a small detail, but if George's horse were to stumble, and the gun were to go off, aimed, as it was, right at me, I couldn't help feeling it would be a pity.
At the end of each day for a year, Reed and Arnold collaborated on a record of their experiences, which was eventually published as In the Land of the Grasshopper Song.