The first meal Hugh Glass ate when he had a gaping throat, bare ribs, and a broken leg from a bear attack was crushed berries soaked in water. His second food was a snake that he killed with a stone and ate raw. A bear had left him half dead on the banks of the Grand River. How he survived the attack and the journey that followed has made him a legend.
Glass is the great survivor of the West, the most extreme example of resistance in extreme conditions. His story has given rise to dozens of books and two movies. The last one is ‘Reborn’, from 2015 and starring Leonardo Di Caprio.
Hugh Glass lived this adventure in South Dakota. In the fall of 1823, when he was part of a trapping expedition, a bear attacked him on the banks of the Grand River. He found himself in an unexplored area hundreds of miles from anywhere he could be helped and surrounded by hostile Indians. His injuries were so severe that his companions left him for dead. Seeing that he was still alive, the head of the expedition ordered two members of the expedition – John Fitzgerald and the adolescent Jim Bridger – to stay with the wounded man while he recovered or died. They abandoned him after taking his rifle, knife and flint.
fight with wolves
Glass dying, vowed to survive to settle scores. Revenge was her fuel. The trapper mended his broken leg as best he could and began to crawl to the southwest. He knew that 320 kilometers away was Fort Kiowa, the nearest inhabited place. He crawled for weeks and on the journey he came to fight with some wolves that devoured the carcass of a bison. He scared them away and ate the carrion that was left. It took him a month and a half to reach the Cheyenne River and there he built a raft to get closer to his destination. Along the way, some friendly Indians helped treat his wounds.
Glass recovered and searched for the trappers who had abandoned him. He forgave Bridger because he realized he was a kid. He didn’t kill Fitzgerald because he had joined the US Army, but he warned him that if he left his uniform, he would find him and finish him off. Ten years later, Glass was killed in an ambush by the Arikara.