Everett Ruess: A Short Story

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It was a cold November 16, 1934 and Everett Ruess was in a sticky situation. He was stuck in a snow igloo hastily made 6 days before his hands were poisoned by a rattlesnake’s bite. The rattlesnake that had bitten him had an owner, Frank Dandis, his greedy childhood friend who moved to Escalante, Utah five years before. Six days ago, they were the best of friends, but now they were bitter enemies stuck in an igloo because of a whirlwind snowstorm. Frank Dandis was a farmer who had always dreamed of being a roamer, one who explores nature’s natural beauty as a profession. However, he didn’t have enough time for such exploring because he had a snappy wife and two whiny children who lived outside of Escalante…show more content…
So he invited Ruess back to his home so they could discuss the paintings. On the long horse-back ride from the bustling town they talked about Everett’s past. He learned that Everett Ruess, a young Californian artist, poet, and writer who loved to make works of art based off nature. On this trip Everett was going to Mexico with funds from trading his artwork; because God had told him that Mexico would be Everett’s homeland. Everett said, “And when the time comes to die, I wished to be buried where my savior leads me…show more content…
The only reason Frank had let the snake out is because he wanted Everett’s art for his mistress. Frank’s mistress already had her Van-Goughs and Picassos, but she desired art, such as Everett’s, from Frank which brought nature inside her home. By the time Frank got the snake off Everett Ruess’ hand; Everett’s hand was numb. However, the snow was falling fast and a shelter needed to be made, Ruess and Frank started building a snow igloo to weather the storm out. His hands twisted with pain, but he finished the structure and suddenly a boom broke out of the Utah mountains. “Uh-oh”, said Everett, “Go into the igloo, Frank, an avalanche is coming!” They rushed into the igloo as the snow came rushing down the mountain. So much snow came down in the avalanche that igloo was covered by snow. With limited food and water, bitterness began to grow between them. Frank had all the food, which was some cornmeal and salted pork, so Ruess could only eat if he traded a precious print in exchange. Both the air and the duo’s food supply quickly grew thin. However, Everett Ruess’ youth and grim determination to make it to Mexico kept him going, while Mr. Dandis’ slowly faded

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