The weather that fall was terrible; well actually, it was just a little worse than normal. We were in a hunting camp in the mountains about one hundred miles North of the Peace. There were three guides with three hunters. Knarley Manners, my best friend, had a nice quiet hunter that was serious about hunting and wasn’t worried about the cold, miserable conditions. I had one of a pair of hunters from Chicago: the two of them had won the hunting trip through a company contest and they were as different from each other as two men can be. My hunter was a former small game hunter who had grown up on a farm in Illinois, this was the trip of a lifetime for him and he wanted to have a successful hunt. The other hunter was a huge man, he stood at least 6 foot 6 and weighed way over three hundred pounds. He was as out of place in the mountains as a person can be and never stopped complaining. He was a perpetual whiner. Hunting was not his way to have fun, but he won the trip and was determined to take advantage of the prize, even though he hated every minute he was there. He was quite proud of himself to the point of being arrogant.
He would have taken over the whole camp and passed out orders to everyone; except, in these conditions, he new nothing, I was in charge and I wasn’t about to relinquish control over to this arrogant giant that thought he knew everything. Since he couldn’t give orders, he complained about the weather, the food, his saddle, the lack of game, (that’s why they call it hunting), the sleeping arrangements, and his horse. I put him on the biggest packhorse we had, Ol’ Moose, because our favorite hunter who became known as Mr. Big couldn’t ride a lick and I didn’t want him hurting any of the smaller horses. Because of the constant complaining, I put him with John Belcourt; John was a Chips Indian and a giant himself. John was always cheerful and would never let this guy’s attitude get to him. Neither would John be intimidated by the size of the surly one, for if there was a guy who could wrestle a Grizzly bear, it was John. He was as strong as 4 or 5 strong men and could move like a cougar.
He was helping me log some years back and we were standing on a log deck about 20 feet high and thirty feet wide; we were talking and counting logs when the deck started rolling, I turned and ran toward the end to jump while scrambling over the moving logs thinking that poor John wouldn’t be fast or nimble enough to make it off the deck and he would be crushed between the fast moving logs. He passed me while I was running and looked at me with a big grin on his face and asked if I was going to make it: I shook my head yes and yelled out “yes” while scrambling over the wildly moving logs. He sprinted to the end twice as fast as me and made a big jump to safety and had time to turn around and see me scramble off the rolling death trap. John was not a guy who would be intimidated by an arrogant phony.
At dinnertime, between the complaints, we heard all about Mr. Big’s house, his importance at the office, of his golf country club, of how he was a scratch golfer, how the women at the office all went out of their way to do special things for him and flirt with him, he had the best cars, the best rifle, the smartest kids and truthfully none of us could care less; yet, he had this overwhelming desire to impress us with his success and image.
When the temperature drops and the rain turns to snow and ice, the real personality of your companions begins to show. Our big man from Chicago was becoming even more belligerent as the temperature dropped. John always kept a smile on his face while his hunter complained unceasingly about the weather, the hunt, and the fact that John didn’t care what he complained about.
John took his hunter out one morning and after they were gone for a couple of hours, the fog moved in; now, when the fog comes in, you can’t move in the mountains, because you are likely to walk off into the middle of nowhere or at least take a fast trip down a mountain for a 1,000 or more feet. It is best in the thick fog to sit down and wait it out; even it takes three or four days, better to wait than be dead.
The fog had us ’socked in’ for 48 hours. John didn’t return with Mr. Big, his hunter; I wasn’t worried, John could take care of someone for the whole winter, if necessary.
Two days later John walked into camp with a very mad hunter who was demanding I cook a meal immediately. I started a meal, this is a service industry and we are supposed to cater to the customers.
I asked John what happened to our hunter to get him from a miserable personality to a really mad personality.
He told me, they were stopped by the fog, and he shot two nice grouse with an air pistol he kept for such emergencies. He packed the birds in mud and roasted them in the fire, but the hunter didn’t want to partake since the birds had just been packed in mud like a potato instead of being plucked and gutted in the white man’s fashion. John knew the feathers would come off with the head and feet when he broke the hardened mud covering after baking the birds for 30 minutes or so. John was surprised when the hunter refused his share of the meal; so John ate both the birds.
John told me he made a nice shelter in a dry creek bed. The floor was lined with spruce boughs with a tarp over the top. It was designed so that the two men’s bodies would warm each other because of the close quarters. Mr. Big refused to crawl into the small emergency tent until the temperature dropped to twenty below; he then decided that sleeping next to the big Indian might not be such a bad idea after all.
Despite John’s efforts at saving Mr. Big, Mr. Big entered camp with a profound dislike of John and insisted that John leave camp and that he wanted a White Man to guide him for the rest of his hunt. I started to tell Mr. Big that most of the residents in the Peace were at least part Indian, but figured it wasn’t with the effort. Now this presented a problem, if John left camp, he could walk to base camp in a day and send back another guide; but we were talking about a two or three day period with three hunters and two guides.
I figured I could handle the craziness and wrote a note for John to give to our boss, explaining the situation. John thought everything was humorous and took off through the timber at a pace that was just a wee bit slower than a marathon runner. I watched him until he disappeared and marveled at the strength and stamina of the big man.
I made a nice meal of eggs with onions, huckleberry pancakes, and chopped potatoes with bacon and coffee; Mr. Big’s spirit lifted and he said he would like to try and get a moose later on that day.
He was tired; but he seemed to be back to normal and a guide is supposed to cater to a hunter, at least, to a certain point.
We rode to within a half-mile of a lick that would surely have a moose show up that afternoon. I picketed the horses and we walked toward the lick.
On the way in, there is a trail crossing that left good vision from a hill down four trails for at least a quarter mile in each direction. I instructed Mr. Big in whispered tones to watch the trails for an hour while I took his partner in to the lick; game would be using the trails and he had excellent visibility and with the lick a few hundred yards away, he would have an excellent chance for a bull moose or elk. I told him not to leave this area, no matter what; if I heard a shot I would be over right away to take care of the animal. He nodded his head yes, and I took his friend in close to the lick and we waited in a natural blind.
I sat with the second hunter for an hour in complete silence, we saw a cow moose and her calf come into the lick, the hunter picked up his camera and took some great shots at about forty yards. He was pleased to get the shots and was happy to be seeing game. After the cow and her calf walked away, I motioned that I needed to check on Mr. Big and I left him at the lick.
I walked to the trail crossing carefully, thinking about Mr. Big standing there with a rifle and his problem of being overly self-conscious, I was a little apprehensive, people can sometimes become spooked waiting for someone in total silence.
I broke cover, near the trail crossing, but there was no Mr. Big. I walked into the open and called out with a loud voice, there was still no hunter. I looked down each trail and there was no hunter to be seen. This was bad, this was really bad, there are no street signs out there and the likelihood of seeing another human being is slim and none; in other words, if I didn’t find this guy, he was dead meat in 24 to 48 hours and more than likely we would never find his body, because the bears and other animals would have it eaten and the bones scattered within a few days.
I walked down each trail looking for sign, the man was big and heavy, he would leave a good track in soft dirt; although, the ground was quickly freezing. I finally found a track in the semi-frozen mud near a warm water spring. He was traveling West and in a hurry; the tracks were spaced about four feet apart, that meant he was almost at a run.
I was following the tracks and becoming more apprehensive at the speed this guy was traveling; then I saw his rifle and parka on the side of the trail. The situation was disintegrating by the minute; he had obviously lost his mind and had taken off his jacket and thrown away his expensive Browning Magnum. I took the rifle back to the spot I had picketed the horses and hid it; I didn’t want a crazy man getting a hold of a rifle. I saddled my horse and took off at a trot following the trail. At the speed he was traveling, I was going to have trouble catching him because I had to travel slow enough to read sign.
My horse and I passed the parka and soon we were passing other articles of clothing; I’d heard of this before, when someone loses their sanity, they will often take off their clothes and run naked. This is a sure way to die in the mountains; but I think at this point they are long past the ability to use reason. Eventually, he stopped to take his boots and socks off; his trousers and long johns were scattered about the same area and that meant he was now completely nude, as naked as the day he was born and still running like a mad man. He wasn’t likely to leave anymore sign with out his hard sole boots and no more clothes or weapons to throw away, so I put my horse in a lope and hoped he didn’t stray from the trail. The last sign I had seen had an eight foot stride, a horse only has a 12 foot stride at a canter; I don’t know how fast he was traveling, but he was in high gear that’s for sure.
I couldn’t help myself, I started laughing at the ridiculous situation; I was on a horse chasing a huge naked man who was a big time business man in Chicago, he had already run several miles and showed no sign of slowing down. My horse was starting to get tired of this pace at this altitude. I used the heel of my moccasins and asked my horse to pick up the pace a notch.
My horse was already in a lather and her lungs were laboring to keep up with the pace I was asking of her. I was beginning to wonder whether it was worth killing the horse to catch this bastard, when I saw my naked man; he was about a quarter of a mile ahead of me, running up a mountain with sharp rocks for footing instead of dirt. I figured the sharp rocks would slow him down; but he kept running without noticing that his feet were being cut to rag dolls.
The trail was a blood trail now, I put my horse in a gallop and caught up to him. Riding along side of him, I yelled, “Hay! Hay! Do you want to stop, we need to talk.”
He didn’t even look at me, he just kept running. I urged my horse up ahead and jumped off to face him, he kept running and I was beginning to think he was going to run right over the top of me. He wasn’t slowing down! I pulled my saddle horse to me and turned her so that if he was going to run into us he would have to meet her hind shoes first and I am sure they would stop him, if they didn’t kill him.
He stopped before he ran into the horse, I turned the horse away and tried to talk to Mr. Big; but he was blathering on in a nonsense kind of language and drooling at the same time. I couldn’t help but think of the story in the bible of the Tower of Babel. He began slapping me in the chest with his hands to emphasize his bizarre speech and I started to worry over my own safety. Since I was only a teenager and had not yet attended school to receive training in psychology, I decided the only thing to do was to hit this monster a good one to try and ‘knock some sense into him’.
My dad had boxed in the Navy and he had taught me the fundamentals of how to hit; but I had never punched anyone in anger. I decided that I was going to need to hit him as hard as I could; because if he decided to tear me apart, I might need to shoot him to keep from being hurt.
I threw an overhand right to his jaw like I was swinging an ax and he fell to a sitting position. He wasn’t knocked out; but he was stunned and thankfully quiet.
I tried to talk to him, but no one was home; eventually, I led him by the hand, back the way we came and made him put his clothes back on at each spot; truthfully, I had to help him get dressed, like helping a small child.
I couldn’t help but think that I was glad that Knarley didn’t see this and take a few photos; I would have been humiliated for years with pictures of me leading a naked giant and a horse through the mountains.
His friend was quite upset that his hunting trip was over, merely because his partner had suffered a nervous breakdown; but someone had to fly with him back to Chicago. And I didn’t want any Looney tune types near the rifles.
Years later, I asked the outfitter about Mr. Big’s fate and learned he had never been the same, he didn’t recover, and never worked again.
I have thought about this incident many times over the last 45 years: asking myself, what I could have done differently to have avoided the situation. Even though “Mr. Big” had a superiority complex and was arrogant to the point of being obnoxious; he still had a family that depended on him back in Chicago.
I eventually determined that if a man is considered a special man with authority and he doesn’t really have the moral integrity that is normally considered part of the process of becoming a leader; in other words if he unqualified for a position of leadership, he must adopt a false sense of arrogance to compensate for psychological shortcomings. This sense of arrogance can be interpreted as Narcissism; unfortunately, the greater the moral and intellectual incompetence coupled with an even higher position, the greater the sense of arrogance and Narcissism will be exhibited. Mr. Big was put in a situation that caused his extreme lack of confidence and poise to overwhelm his false sense of arrogance and Narcissism. Thus when he was tested for an hour on his own, in a condition where he couldn’t relate and reaffirm his sense of accomplishment and superiority by belittling others, his arrogance fell apart, leaving little more than a blubbering weakling.
In 2008, we elected a person to the presidency who had no experience and seems to need to qualify his personal inflated view of himself as a superior individual, a view that was bestowed on him immediately by the MSM with no substance or records to qualify those opinions, feeding his arrogance and Narcissism on a daily basis. With only vague and dubious claims of superior intellect, claims that can’t be substantiated because of a lock down of intellectual records, a move that is even further complicated by the ever glaring possibility or likelihood of Affirmative Action having been a greased path of least resistance throughout his academic career. Thus instead of having a great intellect as once vaunted by the MSM, the great intellect has become circumspect by the ‘unavailability’ of academic records and his inability to speak without a teleprompter.
The mistakes and miscues concerning basic economic theory and an embarrassing lack of etiquette and knowledge of foreign affairs have made the president vulnerable to stinging criticism; unfortunately, like Mr Big, a neurotic Narcissist will become desperate as the false image that has been created, begins to crumble away, thus at a certain point the Narcissistic neurosis becomes a malignant psychosis.