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Full text of "North-pole voyages embracing sketches of the important facts and incidents in the latest American efforts to reach the North pole from the second Grinnell expedition to that of the Polaris"

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Captain C. F. Hall. 

See page 289 












Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by 

in the Oflice of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 


FOR more than three hundred years an in 
tense desire has been felt by explorers to 
discover and reveal to the world the secrets of 
the immediate regions of the- North Pole. Nor 
has this desire been confined to mere adventur 
ers. Learned geographers, skillful navigators, 
and scientific men of broad and accurate study, 
have engaged in these enterprises with enthu 
siastic interest. The great governments of the 
Christian world have bestowed upon them lib 
erally the resources of their wealth and science, 
and never to a greater extent than within the last 
three years. Failure seems but to stimulate 
exertion. Scarcely have the tears dried on the 
faces of the friends of those who have perished 
in the undertaking before we hear of the de 
parture of a fresh expedition. Something like 
a divine inspiration has attended these explora 
tions from the first, and their moral tone has 
been excellent. 


This volume sketches the latest American 
efforts, second to no others in heroism and suc 
cess, and abounding in instructive and intensely 
interesting adventures both grave and gay. 

We have followed in this volume, as in its 
companion volume, " The Arctic Heroes," the 
orthography of Professor Dall, of the Smith 
sonian Institution, in some frequently-occurring 
Arctic words. 








VI. THE OPEN SEA.... 53 


































XL. THE " POLARIS " 333 














THE readers who have been with us before 
into the arctic regions will recollect the good 
American brig Advance, and her wonderful drift 
during five months, in 1851, from the upper waters 
of the Wellington Channel, until she was dropped 
in the Atlantic Ocean by the ice-field which in 
closed her. Dr. Kane, then her surgeon, took 
command of this same vessel, in 1853, for another 
search for the lost Franklin. We have seen that 
the place of Franklin's disasters and death was 
found while Kane was away on this voyage, so the 
interest of the present story will not connect with 
that great commander, except in the noble pur 
poses of its heroes. 

The Advance left New York on the thirtieth 
of May, having on board, all counted, eighteen men. 
Kind hearts and generous purses had secured for 
her a fair qutfit in provisions for the comfort of 
the adventurers, in facilities for fighting the ice 
and cold, and in the means of securing desired 
scientific results. Of the thousands who waved 


them a kind adieu from the shore many said sad 
ly, "They will never return." 

We shall make the acquaintance of the officers 
and men as we voyage with them, and a very 
agreeable acquaintance we are sure it will be. 
The rules by which all agreed to be governed 
were these and no others : " Absolute obedience 
to the officer in command ; no profane swearing ; 
no liquor drunk except by special order." 

The voyagers touched at St. John's, and among 
other kindnesses shown them was the gift by the 
governor of a noble team of nine Newfoundland 

At Fiskernaes, the first Greenland port which 
they entered, they added to their company Hans 
Christian, an Esquimo hunter, nineteen years of 
age. Hans was expert with the Esquimo spear 
and kayak. He will appear often in our story, 
and act a conspicuous part ; he at once, however, 
prepossesses us in his favor by stipulating with 
Dr. Kane to leave two barrels of bread and fifty 
pounds of pork with his mother in addition to the 
wages he is to receive. The doctor made his cup 
of joy overflow by adding to these gifts to his 
mother the present for himself of a rifle and new 

The expedition next touched at Lichtenfels. 
Dr, Kane obtained here a valuable addition to his 
outfit of fur clothing. Stopping at Proven, a sup 
ply of Esquimo dogs was completed; lying to 
briefly at Upernavik, the most northern port of 
civilization, their equipment in furs, ice-tools, and 

Notthward. 1 1 

other necessary articles known to arctic voyagers, 
was rendered still more complete. At this last 
port the services of Carl Petersen were engaged 
for the expedition. We have met this intelligent, 
heroic Dane among our "Arctic Heroes." He 
will for a long time appear in the shifting scenes 
of our story. 

On the twenty-seventh of July the " Advance " 
drew near to Melville Bay. The reader who has 
accompanied the earlier arctic explorers into this 
region will remember their terrific experience in 
this bay. Every arctic enemy of the navigator 
lurks there. Their attacks are made singly and in 
solid combinations. At one time they steal upon 
their victim like a Bengal tiger; at other times 
they rush upon him with a shout and yell, like a 
band of our own savages. Giant icebergs; fierce 
storms; cruel nips; silent, unseen, irresistible cur 
rents; with ever-changing, treacherous "packs" 
and " floes," and the all-pervading, relentless cold, 
are some of these enemies. A favorite movement 
of these forces is to so adjust themselves as to 
promise the advancing explorer or whaler a speedy 
and complete success; then, suddenly changing 
front, to crush and sink him at once, or to bind 
him in icy fetters, a helpless, writhing victim, for 
days, weeks, or months, and finally, perhaps, to 
bury both ship and men in the dark, deep waters 
of the bay. 

The "Advance" was; at this time treated by 
these guardians of the approach to the North Pole 
with exceptional courtesy. We suspect that they 


secretly purposed to follow them into more north 
ern regions, and there to attack them at even great 
er advantage. This they certainly did. 

But just to show them what it could and was 
minded to do, the evil spirit of the bay invited 
them at one time to escape impending danger by 
fastening to a huge berg. This they did, after 
eight hours of warping, heaving, and planting ice- 
anchors, a labor of prostrating exhaustion. Hard 
ly had they begun to enjoy the invited hospitality 
of the berg, when it began to shower upon them, 
like big drops from a summer cloud, pieces of ice 
the size of a walnut, accompanied by a crackling, 
threatening noise from above. A gale from out of 
its hiding-place on shore came sweeping upon 
them at the same time, driving before it its icy 
supporter. Mischief was evidently intended. 
The " Advance " retreated from the berg with all 
possible haste, and had barely gone beyond its 
reach when it launched after it its whole broadside, 
which came crashing into the water with a roar 
like a whole park of artillery. Could any thing 
be rougher ? But then it was true to its icebergy 

The " Advance " was not injured, but the ice 
held as a trophy more than two thousand feet 
of good whale line, which had to be cut in the 

These bergs, though thus harsh and treacherous 
as a rule, can do a generous thing. May be, like 
some people, they are all the more dangerous on 
account of exceptional generosity. The loose ice, 

Northward, 1 3 

soon after this incident, was drifting south, and 
would have borne the navigators with it back from 
whence they had come, perhaps for hundreds of 
miles. But a majestic berg came along whose 
sunken base took hold of the deep water current, 
and so. impelled by this current, it sailed grandly 
northward, sweeping a wide path through the rot 
ten floes. It condescendingly offered to do tug 
boat service for the "Advance," and invited its 
captain to throw aboard an ice-anchor. We won 
der he dared to trust it, but he did, and, grappling 
its crystal sides, made good headway for awhile 
until other means of favorable voyaging were pre 

Soon after the explorers parted from this bergy 
friend the midnight sun came out over its north 
ern crest, kindling on every part of its surface fires 
of varied colors, and scattering over the ice all 
around blazing carbuncles, sparkling rubies, and 
molten gold. 

August fifth the "Advance," fairly clearing the 
hated Melville Bay, sailed along the western coast 
of the " North Water " of Baffin Bay. At North 
umberland Island, at the mouth of Whale Sound, 
their eyes were again delighted by an exhibition 
of beautiful colors, delicately tinted, but this time 
not made by a gorgeous sunrise over a gigantic 
iceberg. The snow of the island and its vicinity 
bore, over vast areas, a reddish hue, and great 
patches of beautiful green mosses broke its monot 
ony, while here and there the protruding sandstone 
threw in a rich shading of brown. So God paints 


the dreariest lands in colors of great beauty, and 
scatters over them profusely at times the richest 
sunlit gems. 

On the sixth of August they passed the frowning 
headland of Smith's Sound, known as Cape Alex 
ander. It'stands like the charred trunk and limbs 
of some mighty oak, at the entrance of an unex 
plored, gloomy forest, seen in the murky dark 
ness. Cape Alexander seemed a mighty sentinel 
of evil purpose, toward all who dared pass to the 
mysterious regions beyond. It inspired the sailors 
with superstitious fear, and admonished their offi 
cers that eternal vigilance must be the price of 
safety in the waters beyond. 

Arriving at Littleton Island, our explorers built 
a monument of stones as a conspicuous object from 
the sea, surmounted by the stripes and stars, put 
under it a record of their voyage thus far, and, two 
miles north and east, upon the mainland, deposited 
a metallic life-boat, with provisions and various 
stores. These were for a resort in case of acci 
dent in their further progress. 

While making this deposit they discovered the 
remains of Esquimo huts, and graves of some of 
their former occupants. The dead had been bur 
ied in a sitting posture, their knees drawn close to 
their bodies; the few simple implements belonging 
to the deceased were buried with them. In one 
grave was a child's toy spear. So even the rude 
Esquimo child has its toys, and, no doubt, the 
mother looks upon its trinkets, as she lays them be 
side its dead body, with tearful interest. 

Northward. 1 5 

Soon after making these deposits in the life-boat, 
the "Advance," while making a vigorous struggle 
with the broken ice, was borne into a land-locked 
inlet, which Dr. Kane called Refuge Harbor. It 
was rather a cosy place for an arctic shore, and in 
it the explorers waited for the movement of the 

While here they were much annoyed by their 
dogs, fifty in number. Two bears had been shot, 
which were the only game which had been taken 
for them. They were now on short allowance, and 
were as ravenous as wolves. They gulped down al 
most any thing which could go down their throats, 
even devouring at one time a part of a feather-bed. 
Dr. Kane's specimens of natural history fared hard 
at their jaws. He happened once to set down in 
their way two nests of large sea-fowl. They were 
filled with feathers, filth, moss and pebbles a full 
peck, but the dogs made a rush for them and gob 
bled down the whole. There were plenty of 
wolves not far from the brig, on which they delight 
ed to feed. But the hunters had no luck in trying 
to take them. Rifle balls glanced from their thick 
hides as if they had been peas from a toy gun. 
They needed the Esquimo harpoon and the Es- 
quimo skill. But fortunately a dead narwhal, or 
sea-unicorn, was found. Under its soothing influ 
ence, when fed out to them, the dogs became more 

After remaining a few days at Refuge Harbor, 
a desperate push was made to get the vessel far 
ther north and east. For twelve days they man- 


fully battled with the ice, and made forty miles. 
This brought them to the bottom of a broad shal 
low bay, which they named Force Bay. Here they 
fastened the brig to a shelving, rocky ledge near 
the shore. 

Anchored at Last. 17 



ON Wednesday, August seventeenth, the her 
alds of a storm from the South reached the 
brig. They made their announcement by hurling 
against her sides some heavy floe-pieces. Under 
standing this hint of what was coming, the explor 
ers clung to their rocky breakwater by three 
heavy hawsers. Louder and louder roared the 
blast, and more fiercely crashed the ice which it 
hurled against the ledge. At midnight one of the 
cables, the smaller of the three, parted, and the 
storm seemed to shout its triumph at this success as 
it assailed the writhing vessel more vigorously. 
But the ledge broke the power in a measure of 
the wind and ice, and was, indeed, a godsend to 
the imperiled men, so they put it down on their 
chart as Godsend Ledge. 

The next day the huge, human-faced walrus came 
quite near the brig in great numbers, shaking their 
grim, dripping fronts. The dovekies, more cheer 
ful visitors, scud past toward the land. Both wal 
rus and fowls proclaimed in their way the terrible- 
ness of the increasing tempest. The place of the 
broken hawser had been supplied, and the worried 
craft strained away at three strong lines which 
held on bravely. Everything on board was stowed 


,away, or lashed securely, which could invite an as 
sault by the wind. 

Saturday, late in the afternoon, Dr. Kane, wet, 
and weary with watching, went below and threw 
himself for rest and warmth into his berth. Scarce 
ly had he done this before a sharp, loud twang 
brought him to his feet. One of the six-inch haw 
sers had parted ; its sound had scarcely been lost 
in the uproar before a sharp and shrill " twang ! 
twang! " announced the snapping of the whale line. 
The brig now clung to the ledge by a single cable 
a new ten- inch manilla line, which held on 
grandly. The mate came waddling down into the 
cabin as the doctor was drawing on his last article 
of clothing to go on deck. " Captain Kane," he 
exclaimed, " she wont hold much longer ; it's blow 
ing the devil himself." 

All hands now gathered about the brave manilla 
line on which their fate seemed to depend. Its 
deep Eolian chant mingled solemnly with the rat 
tle of the rigging and the moaning of the shrouds, 
and died away in the tumult of the conflicting 
wind and sea. The sailors were loud in its praises 
as they watched it with bated breath. It was sing 
ing its death song, for, with the noise of a shotted 
gun, and a wreath of smoke, it gave way, and out 
plunged the brig into the rushing current of the 
tempest-tossed ice. 

Two hours of hard and skillful labor were be 
stowed on the vessel to get her back to the ledge ; 
first by beating, or trying to do so, up into the 
wind ; and then by warping along the edge of the 

Anchored at Last. 19 

solid floe, but all in vain. A light sail was then 
set, that they might keep command of the helm, 
and away they scud through a tortuous lead filled 
with heavy, broken ice. 

At seven o'clock on Sunday morning the vessel 
was heading, under full way, upon huge masses of 
ice. The heaviest anchor was thrown out to stay 
her speed. But the ice-torrent so crowded upon 
the poor craft that a buoy was hastily fastened to 
the chain, and it was slipped, and away went " the 
best bower," the sailor's trusted friend in such dan 

The vessel now went banging and scraping 
against the floes, one of which was forty feet 
thick, and many of which were thirty feet. These 
collisions smashed in her bulwarks, and covered 
her deck with icy fragments. Yet the plucky lit 
tle brig returned to the conflict after every blow 
with only surface wounds. 

These assaults failing to turn back or to de 
stroy the little invading stranger, the arctic warri 
ors now brought into the field their mightiest 
champions. Not far ahead, and apparently clos 
ing the lead, was a whole battalion of icebergs. 
It was an unequal fight, and down upon them, 
with pnwilling haste, came the "Advance." As 
it approached it was seen that a narrow line of 
clear water ran between the bergs and the solid, 
high wall of the floe. Into this the vessel shot, 
with the high wind directly after it. The sailors, 
caps in hand, were almost ready to send to the 
baffled enemy a shout of triumph, when the wind 


died away into a lull, which amounted, for a mo 
ment, to almost a dead calm. But on that mo 
ment the fate of the expedition appeared to hang. 
The enemy saw his opportunity and began to 
close up. There seemed no possible escape for 
the brig. On one side was the steep ice-wall of 
the floe, on which there could be no warping. On 
the other were the slowly but steadily advancing 
bergs in a compact line. Just in time, the anx 
ious, waiting, and almost breathless crew, hailed 
their deliverer. It was a broad, low, platform- 
shaped berg, over which the water washed. It 
came sailing swiftly by, and into it they planted an 
ice-anchor attached to a tow line. Away galloped 
their crystal racer, outrunning the " pale horse " 
which followed them ! So narrow became the 
channel between the bergs and floe e'er they 
reached the open water beyond, that the yards 
had to be " squared " to prevent them from being 
carried away, and the boats suspended over the 
sides were taken on deck to prevent them from be 
ing crushed. They came round under the lee of a 
great berg, making the enemy of a moment ago 
their protector now. Dr. Kane says: " Never did 
heart-tried men acknowledge with greater grati 
tude their merciful deliverance from a wretched 

But the fight was not over. A sudden flaw 
puffed the "Advance" from its hiding-place, and 
drove it again into the drifting ice along the edge 
of the solid floe. Once she was lifted high in the 
air on the crest of a great wave, and, as it slipped 

. Anchored at Last. 21 

from under her, she came down with tremendous 
force against the floe. The masts quivered like, 
reeds in the wind, and the poor craft groaned like 
a struck bullock. 

At last they reached a little pond of water near 
the shore. They had drifted since morning across 
Force Bay, ten miles. A berg, with pretended 
friendliness, came and anchored between the brig 
and the storm. The situation seemed to warrant 
a little rest, and the men went below and threw 
themselves into their bunks. Dr. Kane was yet 
on deck, distrusting the treacherous ice. Scarcely 
had the men begun to sleep before the vessel re 
ceived a thump and a jerk upward. All hands 
were instantly on deck. Great ice-tables, twenty 
feet thick, crowding forward from the shore side 
with a force as from a sliding mountain, pressed 
the vessel against the shore front of the berg ; had 
this been a perpendicular wall, no wood and iron 
wrought into a vessel could have prevented a gen 
eral crash. But the unseen Hand was apparent 
again. The berg was sloping, and up its inclined 
plane the vessel went, in successive jerks. The 
men leaped upon the ice to await the result. 
Personal effects, such as could be carried and were 
deemed indispensable, were in readiness in the 
cabin for leave-taking. Sledge equipments and 
camping conveniences were put in order and 
placed at hand. The explorers had experienced 
a midnight assault, and were ready for the flight. 
But Dr. Kane bears warm testimony concerning 
the coolness and self-possession of every man. 


While awaiting the fate of the vessel, on which 
hung their own fate also, not a sound was heard 
save the roaring of the wind, the crashing ice, and 
the groaning of the vessel's timbers, as she re 
ceived shock after shock, and mounted steadily up 
the ice-mountain. Having attained a cradle high 
and dry above the sea, the brig rested there sev 
eral hours. Finally she quietly settled down into 
her old position among the ice rubbish of the 

When the escape was apparent, there was for a 
moment a deep-breathing silence among the men, 
before the rapturous outburst of joyful congratu 

While this last thrilling incident had been tran 
spiring, four of the men were missing. They had 
gone upon the ice some hours before to carry out 
a warp, and had been carried away on an ice- 
raft. When the morning came, and the vessel 
grounded in a safe place, a rescue party was sent 
out, who soon returned with them. A little rest 
was now obtained by all. 

Thrilling Incidents. 23 



AFTER a brief rest our explorers continued 
their voyage. They warped the vessel round 
the cape near which they found shelter, into a bay 
which opened to the north and west. Along the 
shore of this bay they toiled for several days and 
reached its head. It seemed impossible to go far 
ther, for the ice was already thick and the winter 
at hand. A majority of the officers, in view of 
these facts, advised a return south. But Dr. Kane 
thought they might winter where they were, or 
further north if the vessel could be pushed through 
the ice, and their explorations be made with dog- 
sledges. To learn more fully the practicability of 
his view he planned a boat excursion. While this 
was in contemplation an incident came near end 
ing all further progress of the expedition. The 
brig grounded in the night, and was left suddenly 
by the receding tide on her beam ends. The 
stove in the cabin, which was full of burning coal, 
upset and put the cabin in a blaze. It was choked 
by a pilot-cloth overcoat until water could be 
brought. No other harm was done than the loss 
of the coat and a big scare. 

About the first of September the doctor and seven 
volunteers started in the boat " Forlorn Hope " 


to see the more northern shore-line.. The boat 
was abandoned at the end of twenty-four hours, 
all the water having turned to ice, and the party 
tramped many a weary mile, carrying their food 
and a few other necessary things. Dr. Kane at 
tained an elevation of eleven hundred feet, from 
which; with his telescope, he looked north beyond 
the eightieth degree of latitude, and through a 
wide extent of country east and west. From this 
observation he decided that sledging with dogs 
into and beyond this region was practicable. 
This had seemed doubtful before. He therefore 
returned with the decision to put the " Advance " 
into winter-quarters immediately. 

A few facts interesting to the scientific were 
learned on this excursion. A skeleton of a musk 
ox was found, showing they had been, at no dis 
tant time, visitors to this coast. Additions were 
made to their flowering plants, and up to this date 
twenty-two varieties had been found. 

The brig was now drawn in between two islands, 
and the mooring lines carried out. The explorers 
were in a sheltered, and, as to the ice, safe winter 
home. They called it Rensselaer Harbor. Near 
them an iceburg had anchored as if to watch their 
movements. A fresh-water pond on the upland 
promised them its precious treasure if they would 
cut for it. An island a few rods distant they 
named Butler Island, and on this they built a store 
house. A canal was cut from the brig to this isl 
and, and kept open by renewed cutting every 
morning. They then run the boat through this 

Thrilling Incidents. 25 

canal, thus transferring the stores from the hold to 
the store-house. 

While one party was thus engaged, others were 
equally busy in other directions. The scientific 
corps selected a small island which they called 
Fern Rock, and put up a rude " observatory," from 
which not only the stars were to be watched, but 
the weather, the meteors, and the electrical cur 
rents were to be noted. 

While this outside work was going on Dr. Kane 
was taxing his ingenuity to arrange the brig, now 
made roomy by the removal of the stores, so as to 
have it combine the greatest convenience, warmth, 
and healthfulness. A roof was put over the upper 
deck, which was then made to answer for a prom 
enade deck for pleasure and health. 

Even the wolfish Esquimo dogs were remem 
bered in this general planning. A nice dog house, 
cozy and near, was made for them on Butler Isl 
and. But the dogs had notions of their own 
about their quarters. Though so savage at all 
'times as to be willing to eat their masters if not 
kept in abject fear, yet they refused to sleep out 
of the sound of their voices. They would leave 
their comfortable quarters on the island and hud 
dle together in the snow, exposed to the severest 
cold, to be within the sound of human voices. So 
they had to be indulged with kennels on deck. 

While these matters were being attended to the 
hunters scoured the country to learn what the 
prospect was for game. They extended their 
excursions ninety miles, and returned with a 


report not very encouraging. They saw a few rein 
deer, and numerous hares and rabbits. It was 
plain that hunting would not make large returns. 

The winter came on with its shroud of darkness. 
On the tenth of September the sun made but a 
short circuit above the horizon before it disap 
peared again. In one month it would cease to 
show its disk above the surrounding hills; then 
would come a midday twilight for a few days, fol 
lowed by nearly a hundred days of darkness in 
which no man could work. Even now, at noon, 
the stars glowed brightly in the heavens, though 
but few of them were the familiar stars of the 
home sky. 

While the work of which we have spoken was 
going on Dr. Kane's thoughts were much upon the 
necessity of establishing, before the winter nights 
fully set in, provision depots at given distances 
northward for at least sixty miles. These would 
be necessary for a good start in the early spring 
of a dog-sledge journey North Poleward. For the 
spring work the Newfoundland dogs, of which he 
had ten, were in daily training. Harnessed to a 
small, strong, beautifully made sledge called " Lit 
tle Willie," the doctor drove his team around the 
brig in gallant style. These Newfoundlanders 
were a dependence for heavy draught. The Es- 
quimo dogs were in reserve for the long, peril 
ous raids of the earnest exploration into darkness 
and over hummocks. 

While all this busy preparation was going on 
the morning and evening prayers were strictly 

Thrilling Incidents. 27 

maintained, bringing with them a soothing assur 
ance of the Divine care. 

On the twentieth of September the provision de 
posit party started on an experimental journey. It 
consisted of seven men in all, M'Gary and Bonsall 
officers. They carried about fourteen hundred 
pounds of mixed stores for the " cairns." They 
took these stores upon the strong, thorough-built 
sledge " Faith," and drew it themselves, by a har 
ness for each man, consisting of a " rue-raddy," or 
shoulder-belt, and track-line. The men then gen 
erously did a service they would in future have 
the dogs do. 

While this party was gone the home work went 
on, enlivened by several incidents involving the 
most appalling dangers, yet not without some 
comic elements. 

The first was occasioned by rats. What right 
these creatures had in the expedition is not appar 
ent ; nor do we see what motive impelled them to 
come at all. If it was a mere love of adventure, 
they, as do most adventurers, found that the results 
hardly paid the cost. They were voted a nuisance, 
but how to abate it was a difficult question. The 
first experiment consisted of a removal of the men 
to a camp on deck for a night, and a fumigation 
below, where the rats remained, of a vile compound 
of brimstone, burnt leather, and arsenic. But the 
rats survived it bravely. 

The next experiment was with carbonic acid 
gas. This proved a weapon dangerous to han 
dle. Dr. Hays burnt a quantity of charcoal, and 


the hatches were shut down after starting three 

The gas generated below rapidly, and nobody 
was expected, of course, to go where it was. But 
the French cook, Pierre Schubert, thinking his 
soup needed seasoning, stole into the cook room. 
He was discerned by Morton, staggering in the 
dark ; and, at the risk of his own life, he sprung to 
his relief, and both reached the deck bewildered, 
the cook entirely insensible. 

Soon after this Dr. Kane thought he smelt a 
strange odor. The hatches were removed and he 
went below. After a short tour between decks, he 
was passing the door which led to the carpenter's 
room, and he was amazed to see three feet of the 
deck near it a glowing fire. Beating a hasty re 
treat, he fell senseless to the floor at the foot of the 
stairs which led to the upper deck. The situa 
tion was critical. A puff of air might envelope the 
hold in flames, with the doctor an easy victim; 
but the divine Hand still covered him. Mr. 
Brooks, reaching down, drew him out. Coming to 
the air the doctor recovered immediately and 
communicated his startling discovery quietly to 
those only near him. Water was passed up from 
the " fire-hole " along side, kept open for just such 
emergencies. Dr. Kane and Ohlsen went below, 
water was dashed on, and they were safe. 

The dead bodies of twenty-eight rats were the 
net result of this onslaught with carbonic acid gas. 
But they were but few among so many. The rat 
army was yet in fighting order. 

Thilling Incidents. 29 

The other incident was less serious, yet quite on 
the verge of fatal consequences. Several Esqui- 
mo dogs became the mothers of nice little fam 
ilies. Now these young folks in the kennels were 
considered intruders by the master of the vessel 
rather hard on them since they were not to blame 
in the matter. But it happens with dogs as with 
the human race, that they sometimes suffer with 
out fault of their own. Six puppies were thrown 
overboard ; two died for the good their skins might 
do as mittens ; and, alas ! seven died more dread 
ful deaths they were eaten by their mammas ! 
Whether these puppy calamities bore heavily upon 
the brains of the dog mothers or not we cannot tell, 
but the fact recorded is that one of them went 
distracted. She walked up and down the deck 
with a drooping head and staggering gait. Finally 
she snapped at Petersen, foamed at the mouth, 
and fell at his feet. " She is mad ! " exclaimed 
Petersen. " Hydrophobia ! " was the dreadful cry 
which passed about the deck. Dr. Kane ran for 
his gun. He was not a moment too soon in reap 
pearing with it. The dog had recommenced her 
running and snapping at those near. The New 
foundland dogs were not out of her reach, and the 
hatches leading below were open. But a well-di 
rected shot ended at once her life and the danger. 

It was now the tenth of October. The sun, 
though just appearing above the horizon to the sur 
rounding country, only sparkled along the edge of 
the hill-tops to the gazers from the " Advance." 
The depot party had been gone twenty days, and 


Dr. Kane was beginning to feel anxious about 
them. He harnessed four of his best Newfound 
landers into the " Little Willie," and, accompanied 
by John Blake, started in search of them. 

For a little time the party progressed very well. 
But after awhile the new ice between the broken 
floes was found thin. The seams thus frozen had 
to be leaped. Sometimes they were wide, and the 
dogs in their attempts to. spring across broke in. 
Three times in less than as many hours one had 
received an arctic bath. The men trotted along 
side, leaping, walking, running, and shouting to 
the dogs. Extended and exhausting diversions 
were made to avoid impassable chasms or too 
steep hummocks. Thus four days had passed in 
a fruitless search for the missing ones. 

On the morning of the fifth day, about two hours 
before the transient sun showed his glowing disk, 
Dr. Kane climbed an iceberg to get a sight of the 
road ahead. In the dim distance on the snow a 
black spot was seen. Is it a bear? No, it now 
stretches out into a dark line. It is the sledge 
party ! They see their leader's tent by the edge 
of a thinly-frozen lead ; into this they launch their 
boat and come on, singing as they come. The doc 
tor, in breathless suspense, waits until they draw 
near, and counts them : one, two, three, four, five, 
six, seven ! They are all safe ! Three cheers go 
up from both parties, followed by hearty hand 
shaking and congratulations. The depot enter 
prise was a success. 

Lost and Rescued. 3 1 



THE sun had disappeared, but the moon com 
pleted her circuit in the heavens with great 
beauty. Her nearest approach to the horizon was 
twenty-five degrees. For eight days after the re 
turn of the party to the vessel it shone with almost 
unclouded brightness, as if to give them a joyful 

When November came our explorers were well 
settled in their winter-quarters. They had made 
them by judicious ventilation and a careful distri 
bution of heat tolerably comfortable. Below decks 
they had a uniform temperature of sixty-five de 
grees above zero, and under the housing of the 
upper deck it never went below zero, while out 
side the thermometer averaged twenty-five degrees 

While shut up in the darkness, relieved only by 
the light from the sparkling stars and the glowing 
moon, the daily routine of the ship's duties were 
strictly performed. Each had his assigned work. 
The monotonous meals came at the stated hour, 
and the bell noted the changing watches. The 
morning and evening prayers, and the religious 
observance of the Sabbath, were pleasant and 
profitable prompters to serious thought. These 


became more and more needed as the inactive sea 
son progressed. The continued darkness without, 
made dense often by heavy clouds, wore upon 
the spirits of the men ; besides, their light within 
became less cheerful by the failure of the supply 
of oil. The lamps refused to burn poor lard, and 
muddy corks and wads of cotton floating as tapers 
in saucers filled with it gave but a lurid light and 
emitted an offensive smoke and odor. It would 
be strange, indeed, if in this ice-imprisoned com 
pany there were no homesick ones, however brave 
ly the feeling might be suppressed. Hans, the 
Esquimo, at one time packed his clothes and 
shouldered his rifle to bid the brig's company 
good-bye. A desperate, lone journey homeward 
he would have had of it ! It was whispered that 
in addition to his drawings to his mother there 
was at Fiskernes a lady-love. He, however, was 
persuaded to stay on shipboard, and Dr. Kane 
gave him for his sickness a dose of salts and pro 
motion. They worked well, and he seems to have 
been very contented afterward. 

The usual resort was had to dramatic perform 
ances, fancy balls, and the publication of a paper 
called the " Ice-blink." A favorite sport was the 
" fox-chase," in which each sailor in turn led off 
as fox in a run round the upper deck, followed by 
the rest in chase. Dr. Kane offered a Guernsey 
shirt as a prize to the man who held out the long 
est in the chase. William Godfrey sustained the 
chase for fourteen minutes, and wore off the shirt. 

November twenty-seventh the commander sent 

Lost and Rescued. 33 

out a volunteer party under Bonsall to see if the 
Esquimo had returned to the huts which had 
been seen in the fall. The darkness at noon 
day was too great for reading, and the cold was 
terrible. The party returned after one night's 
encamping, the sledge having broken, and the 
tent and luggage being left behind. A few days 
after Morton started alone to recover the lost ar 
ticles. In two days and a half he returned bring 
ing every thing. He tramped in that time, with the 
cold forty degrees below zero, sixty-two miles, 
making only three halts. The darkness during 
the time was such that a hummock of ice fifty 
paces ahead could hardly be seen. 

The effect of the darkness on the dogs was very 
marked, but so long as there was any sledging for 
them to do their spirits kept up. One of the 
Newfoundlands, named Grim, was a character. He 
was noted for a profound appreciation of his din 
ner, of which he never had enough, for a disrelish 
for work, and a remarkable knowledge of the arts 
of hypocrisy. His cunning fawning, and the be 
seeching wink of his eye, procured for him warm 
quarters in the deck-house, and a bed on the cap 
tain's fur coat, while his fellows had to be content 
with their kennel. Though Grim thus proved his 
knowledge of the best place at the dog-.table, and 
the best bits it afforded, as well as the best place 
to sleep, he never could understand a call to the 
sledge-harness. He always happened at such 
times to be out of the way. Once, when the dog- 
team was about to start, he was found hid in a 


barrel, and was bid join the party. But Grim was 
equal to the occasion. He went limping across 
the deck, as much as to say, Would you have a 
poor lame dog go? The joke was so cute that he 
was allowed to remain at home, and after that he 
became suddenly lame as soon as a movement to 
ward the sledges was made. Grim thus attained 
the usual success of shallow-brained, flattering 
hypocrisy many favors and universal contempt. 
His end, too, was very befitting his life. His mas 
ter, thinking he was becoming too fat in his lazy 
dignity, commanded him to join a sledge party. 
Grown presumptuous by indulgence, he refused, 
and showed his teeth, besides pleading lameness. 
But the order was peremptory this time, and a 
rope was put round his body and attached to the 
sledge, and he was made to trot after his faithful 
fellows. At the first halt he contrived to break 
the rope, and, carrying a few feet of it dragging 
after him, started in the darkness for the ship. 
Not having come home when the party returned, 
search was made for him with lanterns, as it was 
thought the rope might have caught and detained 
him in the hummock. His tracks were found not 
far from the vessel, and then they led away to the 
shore. Old Grim was never seen again. 

Grim could be spared, but the explorers were 
much alarmed soon after his death by a strange 
disease among the whole pack. They were at 
times frenzied, and then became stupid. They 
were taken below, nursed, tended, and doctored 
with anxiety and care, for on them much de- 

Lost and Rescued. 35 

pended. But all died except six. Their death 
threw a cloud over the prospect of further success 
ful exploration. 

But a still darker event threatened the explor 
ers. Every man was more or less touched with 
the scurvy, except two, and some were prostrate. 
It was with great joy, therefore, that, on the twenty- 
first of January, 1854, they saw the orange-colored 
tints of the sun faintly tracing the top of the dis 
tant hills. Daylight and game would be impor 
tant medicines for the sick. A month later and 
Dr. Kane made a long walk, and a hard scramble 
up a projecting crag of a headland of the bay, and 
bathed in his welcome rays. It was about a week 
later before he was seen from the deck of the 

A very busy company now was that on board 
the brig, making preparations for spring work. 
The carpenter was making and mending sledges ; 
the tinker making and mending cooking appa 
ratus for the journeys; many busy hands were at 
work on the furs and blankets for a complete 
renewed outfit for wearing and sleeping. But 
though March had come, the average cold was 
greater than at any time before. Still a sledge 
party was in readiness to start by the middle of 
the month, to carry provisions for a new deposit 
beyond those made in the fall. The party con 
sisted of eight men. A new sledge had' been 
made, smaller than the " Faith," and adapted to the 
reduced dog-team. To this the load was lashed, 

a light boat being placed on top. The men har- 


nessed in but could hardly start it. The boat was 
then removed and two hundred pounds of the 
load, and thus relieved away they went, cheered 
by the hearty " God bless you ! " of their ship 
mates. Dr. Kane had added to their provisions 
by the way, as an expression of good-will, the 
whole of his brother's " great wedding cake." 

But as they started their ever watchful com 
mander thought he saw more good-will than 
ability to draw the load, and a suspicion, too, im 
pressed him that the new sledge was not all right. 
So he followed, and found them in camp only five 
miles away. He said nothing about any new or 
ders for the morning, laughed at the rueful faces 
of some of them, and heard Petersen's defense of 
his new sledge as the best which could be made. 
He saw them all tucked away in their buffaloes, 
and returned to the brig. We have before re 
ferred to a sledge called the " Faith." It was built 
by Dr. Kane's order, after an English pattern, ex 
cept that the runners were made lower and wider. 
It had been thought too large for the present 
party. The doctor now called up all his remaining 
men. The " Faith " was put on deck, her runners 
polished, lashings, a canvas covering, and track- 
lines were adjusted to her. By one o'clock that 
night the discarded two hundred pounds of pro 
visions and the boat were lashed on, and away 
the men went for their sleeping comrades. They 
were still sound asleep when the " Faith " arrived. 
The load of the new boat was quietly placed upon 
it, all put in traveling order, and it was started off 

Lost and Rescued. 37 

on an experimental trip with five men. The suc 
cess was perfect. The sleepers were then awak 
ened, and all were delighted at the easier draught 
of the heavier load. Dr. Kane and his party re 
turned to the vessel with the discarded sledge. 

Ten days slipped away, and no tidings from the 
depot party. The work of clearing up the ship, 
and putting the finishing touch to the preparation 
for the distant northern excursion, which was to 
crown the efforts of the expedition, and unlock, it 
was hoped, at last, some of the secrets of the 
North Pole, progressed daily. At midnight of 
the eleventh day a sudden tramp was heard on 
deck, and immediately Sontag, Ohlsen, and Peter- 
sen entered the cabin. Their sudden coming was 
not so startling as their woe-begone, bewildered 
looks. It was with difficulty that they made their 
sad tale known. Brooks, Baker, Wilson, and Schu 
bert were all lying on the ice, disabled, with Irish 
Tom Hickey, who alone was able to minister to 
their wants. The escaped party had come, at the 
peril of their own lives, to get aid. They had 
evidently come a long distance, but how far, and 
where they had left the suffering ones, they could 
not tell, nor were they in a condition to be ques 

While the urgent necessities of the new comers 
were being attended to, Dr. Kane and others were 
getting ready the "Little Willie," with a buffalo 
cover, a small tent, and a package of prepared 
meat called pemmican. Ohlsen seemed to have 
his senses more than the others, though he was 


sinking with exhaustion, having been fifty hours 
without rest. Dr. Kane feeling that he must have 
a guide or fail to find the lost ones, Ohlsen was 
put in a fur bag, his legs wrapped up in dog-skins 
and eider down, and then he was strapped on the 

Off dashed the rescue party, nine men besides 
their commander, carrying only the clothes on 
their backs. The cold was seventy-eight degrees 
below the freezing point. 

Guided by icebergs of colossal size, they hurried 
across the bay, and traveled sixteen hours with 
some certainty that they were on the right track. 
They then began to lose their way. Ohlsen, ut 
terly exhausted, had fallen asleep, and when 
awakened was plainly bewildered. He could tell 
nothing about the way, nor the position of the lost 
ones. He had before said that it was drifting 
heavily round them when they were left. The 
situation of the rescue party was becoming critical, 
and the chance of helping the lost seemed small 
indeed ; they might be anywhere within forty 

Thus situated Dr. Kane moved on ahead, and 
clambered up some ice-piles and found himself 
upon a long, level floe. Thinking the provision 
party might have been attracted by this as a place 
to camp, he determined to examine it carefully. 
He gave orders to liberate Ohlsen, now just able to 
walk, from his fur bag, and to pitch the tent ; then 
leaving tent, sledge, and every thing behind, ex 
cept a small allowance of food taken by each man, 

Lost and Rescued. 39 

he commanded the men to proceed across the floe 
at a good distance from each other. All obeyed 
cheerfully and promptly, and moved off at a 
lively step to keep from freezing; yet somehow, 
either from a sense of loneliness, or involuntarily, 
there was a constant tendency of the men to hud 
dle together. Exhaustion and cold told fearfully 
upon them ; the stoutest were seized with trem 
bling fits and short breath, and Dr. Kane fell 
twice fainting on the snow. They had now been 
eighteen hours out without food or rest, and the 
darkness of their situation seemed to have no ray 
of light, when Hans shouted that he thought he 
saw a sledge track. Hardly daring to believe that 
their senses did not deceive them, they traced it 
until footsteps were apparent ; following these 
with religious care they came after awhile in sight 
of a small American flag fluttering from a hum 
mock. Lower down they espied a little Masonic 
banner hanging from a tent pole barely above the 
drift. It was the camp of the lost ones ! It was 
found after an unfaltering march of twenty-one 
hours. The little tent was nearly covered by the 

Dr. Kane was the last to come up, and when he 
reached the tent his men were standing in solemn 
silence upon each sme of it. With great kindness 
and delicacy of feeling they intimated their wish 
that he should be the first to go in. 

He lifted the canvas and crawled in, and in the 
darkness felt for the poor fellows, who were 
stretched upon their backs. A burst of welcome 


within was answered by a joyful shout without. 
" We expected you," said one, embracing the 
doctor ; " we knew you would come ! " For the 
moment all perils, hunger, and exhaustion were 
forgotten amid the congratulations and gratitude. 

The company now numbered fifteen, the cold 
was intense, but one half the number had to keep 
stirring outside while the rest crowded into the 
little tent to sleep. Each took a turn of two hours, 
and then preparations were made to start home 

They took the tent, furs for the rescued party, 
and food for fifty hours, and abandoned every 
thing else. The tent was folded and laid on the 
sledge, a bed was then made of eight buffalo skins, 
the sick, having their limbs carefully sewed up in 
reindeer skins, were then put in a reclining posi 
tion on the bed, and other furs and blanket bags 
thrown around them. The whole was lashed to 
gether, allowing only a breathing place opposite 
the mouth. This embalming of the sufferers, and 
getting them a good meal, cost four hours of ex 
posure in a cold that had become fifty-five degrees 
minus. Most of the rescuers had their fingers 
nipped by the frost. . 

When all was ready the t^ole company united 
in a short prayer. 

Now commenced the fearful journey. The 
sledge and its load weighed elev-en hundred 
pounds. The hummocks were many ; some of 
them were high, and long deviations round them 
must be made ; some which they climbed over, 

Lost and Rescued. 41 

lifting the sledge after them, were crossed by nar 
row chasms filled with light snow fearful traps 
into which if one fell his death was almost certain. 
Across these the sledge was drawn, some of them 
being too wide for it to bridge them, so it had to 
be sustained by the rope, and steadily too, for the 
sick could not bear to be lashed so tight as not to 
be liable to roll off, and the load was top-heavy. 

In spite of these obstacles all went bravely for six 
hours. The abandoned tent was nine miles ahead, 
the sledge on which life depended bravely bore 
every strain, the new floe was gained, and the 
traveling improved, so that good hope was enter 
tained that the tent, its covert and rest, would be 
gained. Just then a strange feeling came over 
nearly the whole party. Some begged the privi 
lege of sleeping. They were not cold, they said ; 
they did not mind the wind now ; all they wanted 
was a little sleep. Others dropped on the snow 
and refused to get up. One stood bolt upright, 
and, with closed eyes, could not be made to speak. 
The commander boxed, jeered, argued, and repri 
manded his men to no purpose. A halt was made 
and the tent pitched. No fire could be obtained, 
for nobody's fingers were limber enough to strike 
fire, so no food or water could be had. 

Leaving the company in charge of M'Gary, 
with orders to come on after four hours' rest, Dr. 
Kane and Godfrey went forward to the tent to get 
ready a fire and cooked food. They reached the 
tent in a strange sort of stupor. They remem 
bered nothing only that a bear trotted leisurely 


ahead of them, stopping once to tear a jumper to 
pieces which one of the men had dropped the day 
before, and pausing to toss the tent contemptuously 
aside. They set it up with difficulty, crept into 
their fur bags, and slept intensely for three hours. 
They then arose, succeeded in lighting the cook 
ing lamp, and had a steaming soup ready when 
the rest arrived. 

Refreshed with food and rest, the feeble re-ad 
justed, they commenced the home stretch. Once 
the old sleepiness came over them, and they in 
turn slept three minutes by the watch and were 
benefited. They all reached the brig at one 
o'clock P. M. All were more or less delirious 
when they arrived, and could remember nothing 
of what had happened on the way, with slight ex 
ception. The rescue party had been out seventy- 
two hours ; of this time only eight hours were 
spent in halting. They had traveled about eighty- 
five miles, most of the distance dragging their 

Dr. Hayes took the sick in hand. Two lost one 
or more toes ; and two, Jefferson Baker, a boyhood 
playfellow of Dr. Kane, and Pierre Schubert, the 
French cook, died. 

More. Heroic Excursions. 43 



ON the seventh of April, a week after the 
return of the party just noted, our explorers 
were startled by shouts from the shore. Dark fig 
ures were seen standing along the edges of the 
land ice, or running to and fro in wild excitement. 
It was not difficult to make them out as a company 
of Esquimo. Dr. Kane, seeing by their wild ges 
ticulations that they were unarmed, walked out 
and beckoned to a brawny savage, who seemed to 
be a leader, to approach. He understood the sign, 
and came forward without fear. He was full a 
head taller than the doctor, and his limbs seemed 
to have the strength of those of the bear. He 
was dressed with a fox skin, hooded jumper, 
white bear-skin trousers, and bear-skin boots tipped 
with the claws. Though he had evidently never 
before seen a white man, he manifested no fear. 
His followers soon crowded around and began to 
use great freedom, showing an inclination to rush 
on board the ship. This they were made to un 
derstand they must not do. Petersen came out 
and acted as interpreter, and matters went on 
more smoothly. The leader, whose name was 
Metek, was taken on board, while the rest remained 
on the ice. They brought up from behind the 


floes fifty-six dogs and their sledges, and, thrusting 
a spear into the ice, picketed them about the vessel. 

While Dr. Kane and Metek were having their 
interview in the cabin, word was sent out that 
others might come on board. Nine or ten mounted 
the ladder with boisterous shouts, though ignorant 
of how Metek had fared. They went every-where, 
handled every thing, talked and laughed inces 
santly, and stole whatever they could. Finally all 
hands had to be mustered, and restraint laid upon 
the Esquimo to keep them within due bounds. 
This they took good naturedly; ran out and in the 
vessel, ate, and finally sat down like tired children, 
their heads drooping upon their breasts, and slept, 
snoring the while most famously. 

In the morning, before they departed, the com 
mander assembled them on deck for an official 
interview. He enlarged upon his wonderful qual 
ities as a chief, and the great benefits to his visit 
ors of his friendship. He then entered into a 
treaty with them, the terms of which were very few 
and simple, that it might be understood, and the 
benefits mutual, that it might be kept. He then 
showed his beneficence by buying all their spare 
walrus meat and four dogs, enriching them in com 
pensation with a few needles, beads, and treasures 
of old cask staves. The Esquimo were jubilant. 
They voted, in their way, Dr. Kane a great cap 
tain, promised vociferously to return in a few days 
with plenty of walrus meat, and loan their dogs 
and sledges for the great northern journey, all of 
which they never remembered to do. 

More Heroic Excursions. 45 

When ^fie visitors had gone, it was ascertained 
that an ax* a saw, and some knives, had gone 
with them. Besides, the store-house on Butler 
Island had been entered, and a careful survey of 
the vicinity revealed the fact that a train of sledges 
were slyly waiting behind some distant hummocks 
for a freight of its treasures. 

All this had a hard look for friendly relations 
with the Esquimo; but our explorers felt that con 
ciliation, with quiet firmness, was their best poli 
cy. The savages could do their sledge excursions 
much harm, and, if they would, could greatly aid 

The next day there came to the vessel five na 
tives two old men, a middle aged man, and two 
awkward boys. They were treated with marked 
kindness, some presents were given them, but they 
were told that no Esquimo would in future be ad 
mitted to the brig until every stolen article was 
restored. They were overjoyed at the gifts, and 
departed, lifting up their hands in hoi)'' horror on 
the mention of theft ; yet in passing round Butler 
Island they bore away a coal barrel. M'Gary was 
watching them, and he hastened their departure 
by a charge of fine shot. Notwithstanding all this, 
one of the old men, known afterward as Shung-hu, 
made a circuit round the hummocks, and came 
upon an India-rubber boat which had been left 
upon the floe, and cut it in pieces and carried off 
the wood of the frame-work. 

Soon after this a sprightly youth, good-looking, 
with a fine dog team, drove up to the vessel in 


open day. When asked his name, he replied 
promptly, " Myouk I am." He spoibifjeely of his 
place of residence and people, but when asked 
about the stolen articles he affected great igno 
rance. Dr. Kane ordered him to be confiried in 
the hold. He took this very hard, at first refusing" 
food. He soon after began to sing in a dolorous 
strain, then to talk and cry, and then to sing again. 
The hearts of his captors were made quite tender 
toward him, and when in the morning it was found 
that the prisoner had lifted the hatches and fled, 
taking his dogs with him, even the commander 
secretly rejoiced. 

April twenty-fifth, M'Gary and five men started 
with the sledge "Faith, "on another exploring excur 
sion. They took a small stock only of provisions, 
depending on the supply depots which had been 
made in the fall. The plan this time was, to fol 
low the eastern coast line a while, which run north 
and west, cross over Smith Sound to the American 
side, where it was hoped smooth ice would be 
found ; and once on such a highway, they antici 
pated that the Polar Sea would greet their delighted 
vision, and may be speak to them of the fate of the 
lost Franklin. 

Two days after M'Gary's party left, Dr. Kane 
and Godfrey followed with the dog sledge loaded 
with additional comforts for the journey, the men 
trotting by its side. Only three dogs remained of 
the original supplies, which, harnessed with the 
four purchased of the Esquimo, made a tolerable 

More Heroic Excursions. 47 

Ten men, four in health and six invalids, were 
left to kd%>i^e vessel. Orders were left by the 
commander to treat the Esquimo, should they 
come again, with fairness and conciliation, but if 
necessity demanded to use fire arms, but to waste 
no powder or shot. The credit of the gun must 
be sustained as the bearer of certain death to the 
white man's enemies. 

Dr. Kane and his companions overtook the ad 
vanced party in two days. They pushed forward 
together with tolerable success for four days more, 
when they all became involved in deep snow-drifts. 
The dogs floundered about nearly suffocated, and 
unable to draw the sledge. The men were com 
pelled to take the load on their backs, and kick a 
path for the dogs to follow. In the midst of these 
toils the scurvy appeared among the men, and 
some of the strongest were ready to yield the con 
flict altogether. The next day, May fourth, Dr. 
Kane, while taking an observation for latitude 
fainted, and was obliged to ride on the sledge. 
Still the party pushed on ; but they soon met with 
an obstacle no heroism could overcome. They 
were without food for further journeying ! The 
bears had destroyed their carefully deposited stores. 
They had removed stones which had required the 
full strength of three men to lift. They had broken 
the iron meat casks into small pieces. An alcohol 
cask, which had cost Dr. Kane a special journey in 
the late fall to deposit, was so completely crushed 
that a whole stave could not be found. 

On the fifth of May Dr. Kane became delirious, 


and was lashed to the sledge, while his brave, 
though nearly fainting, men took the buck track. 
They arrived at the brig in nine days, and their 
commander was borne to his berth, where he lay 
for many days, between life and death, with the 
scurvy and typhoid fever. Thus closed another 
effort to unlock the secrets of the extreme polar 

Hans made himself exceedingly useful at this 
time. He was promoted to the post of hunter, and 
excused from all other duties ; he was besides 
promised presents to his lady-love on reaching his 
home at Fiskernaes. He brought in two deer, the 
first taken, on the day of this special appoint 
ment. The little snow-birds had come, of which 
he shot many. The seal, too, were abundant, and 
some of them were added to the fresh provisions. 
These wonderfully improved those touched by the 

One day Hans was sent to hunt toward the Es- 
quimo huts, that he might get information con 
cerning the nearness to the brig of clear water. 
He did not come back that night, and Dr. Hays 
and Mr. Ohlsen were sent with the dog-sledge to 
hunt him up. They found him lying on the ice 
about five miles from the vessel, rolled up in his 
furs and sound asleep. At his side lay a large 
seal, shot, as usual, in the head. He had dragged 
this seal seven hours, and, getting weary, had made 
his simple camp and was resting sweetly. 

May twentieth, Dr. Hays and Godfrey started 
with the dog team, to make another attempt to 

More Heroic Excursions. 49 

cross Smith Strait and reach, along the American 
side, the ifnknown north. The doctor was a fresh 
man, not having been with any previous party. 
The dogs were rested, well fed, and full of wolfish 
energy. The second day he fortunately struck 
into a track free from heavy ice, and made fifty 
miles ! But this success was after the arctic fash 
ion, made to give bitterness to immediate fail 
ure. On the third day they encountered hum 
mocks, piled in long ridges across their path ; some 
of them were twenty feet high. Over some of 
these they climbed, dragging after them both 
sledge and dogs. Long diversions were made at 
other times, and their path became in this way so 
very tortuous that in making ninety miles advance 
northward they traveled two hundred and seventy 
miles ! 

Snow-blindness seized Dr. Hays in the midst of 
these toils. But, nothing daunted, after short halts, 
in which his sight improved, he pushed on. But 
Godfrey soon broke down, though one of the hard 
iest of explorers. Their dogs, too, began to droop ; 
the provisions were running low, and so the home 
ward track was taken. Before they reached the 
vessel they were obliged to lighten their load by 
throwing away fifty pounds weight of furs, the 
heaviest of which had been used as sleeping bags. 

This excursion resulted in valuable additions to 
the extreme northern coast-line survey. 

On the afternoon of June fourth, M'Gary, with 
four men, started on a last desperate effort to push 
the survey, on the Greenland side, a hundred miles 


farther, by which Dr. Kane thought the limits of 
the ice in that direction might be reached. Mor 
ton, one of the company, was to keep himself as 
fresh as possible, so that when the rest came to a 
final halt he might be able to push on farther. 
Hans was kept at the vessel until the tenth, four 
days later, when he started light with the dog- 
sledge to join them. His part was to accompany 
Morton on the final run. 

The hunter of the vessel being gone, Dr. Kane, 
who was now much better, took his rifle to try his 
skill at seal hunting. This animal is not easily 
taken by unpracticed game seekers. He lies near 
the hole which he keeps open in the ice, and at 
the slightest noise plunges out of sight. Seeing 
one lying lazily in the sun, the doctor lay down 
and drew himself along softly behind the little 
knobs of ice. It was a cold, tedious process, but 
finally getting within a long rifle shot, the seal 
rolled sluggishly to one side, raised his head, and 
strained his neck, as if seeing something in an op 
posite direction. Just then the doctor saw with 
surprise a rival hunter. A large bear lay, like him 
self, on his belly, creeping stealthily toward the 
game. Here was a critical position. If he shot 
the seal, the bear would probably have no scruples 
about taking it off his hands, and, perhaps, by way 
of showing that might makes right, take him before 
his rifle could be reloaded. While the doctor was 
debating the matter the seal made another move 
ment which stirred his hunter blood, and he pulled 
the trigger. The cap only exploded. The seal, 

More Heroic Excursions. 51 

alarmed, descended into the deep with a flounder 
ing splash ; and the bear, with a few vigorous leaps, 
stood, a disappointed hunter, looking after him 
from the edge of the hole. Bruin and Dr. Kane 
were now face to face. By all the rules of game- 
taking the bear should have eaten the man ; he 
was the stronger party, the gun was for the mo 
ment useless, he was hungry, and had lost his din 
ner probably by the intrusive coming of the stran 
ger, and, as to running, there was no danger of his 
escape in that way. But the bear magnanimously 
turned and ran away. Not to be outdone in court 
esy, Dr. Kane turned and ran with all his might 
in the opposite direction. 

On the twenty-sixth, M'Gary, Bonsall, Hickey, 
and Riley returned. The snow had almost made 
them blind ; otherwise they were well. They had 
been gone about three weeks, had made valuable 
surveys, and fully satisfied the expectations of their 
commander. Hans caught up with them after two 
weeks of heroic travel alone with his dogs and 
sledge. He and Morton had, in accordance with 
the programme, pressed on farther northward. 

The returned party had their adventure with a 
bear to tell. They had all lain down to sleep in 
their tent after a wearisome day of travel. The 
midnight hour had passed when Bonsall felt some 
thing scratching at the snow near his head, and, 
starting up, ascertained that a huge bear was mak 
ing careful observations around the outside of the 
tent. He had, in looking round, already observed, 
no doubt, the important fact that the guns, and 


every thing like a defensive weapon, were left on 
the sledge some distance off, though perhaps the 
importance to him of this fact he did not appreci 
ate. There was consternation, of course, in the 
camp, and a council of war was called. It had 
hardly convened before bruin, as a party con 
cerned, thrust his head into the tent door. A 
volley of lucifer matches was fired at him, and a pa 
per torch was thrust into his face. Without mind 
ing these discourteous acts, the bear deliberately 
sat down and commenced eating a seal which had 
been shot the day before and happened to be in 
his way. By the laws of arctic hospitality this 
should have been considered fair by the tent's 
company, for strangers are expected to come and 
go as they please, and eat what they find, not even 
saying, "By your leave." But the stranger did not 
conform to the usage of the country. Tom Hick- 
ey cut a hole in the back of the tent, seized a boat- 
hook r which made one of its supporters, and at 
tacked the enemy in the rear. He turned on his as 
sailant and received a well-aimed blow on his nose, 
by which he was persuaded to retire beydnd the 
sledge and there to pause and consider what to do 
next. While the bear was thus in council with him 
self, Hickey sprang forward, seized a rifle from the 
sledge, almost under the nose of the enemy, and 
fell back upon his companions. Bonsall took the 
deadly weapon and sent a ball through and through 
the bear, and the disturber of the rest of our ex 
plorers afforded them many bountiful repasts. 

The Open Sea. 53 



MORTON and Hans returned to the brig on 
the tenth of July, after having been on 
their separate exploration three weeks and a half. 
Their story is full of thrilling incidents and im 
portant results. 

The first day they made twenty-eight miles, and 
were greatly encouraged. The next day the arctic 
enemies of exploration appeared on the field, skir 
mishing with deep snow through which dogs and 
men had to wade. Next came a compact host of 
icebergs. They were not the surface-worn, dingy- 
looking specimens of Baffin Bay, but fresh pro 
ductions from the grand glacier near which they 
lay. Their color was bluish white, and their out 
lines clearly and beautifully defined. Some were 
square, often a quarter of a mile each side. 
Others were not less than a mile long, and narrow. 
Now and then one of colossal size lifted its head 
far above its fellows, like a grand observatory. 
Between these giant bergs were crowded smaller 
ones of every imaginable size and form. 

Through these our explorers had to pick their 
way. Beginning one night at eight, they dashed 
along through a narrow lane, turning this way and 
that, for seven hours. Then they came against 


the face of a solid ice-cliff, closing the path alto 
gether. Back they urged their weary dogs, and 
their own weary selves, looking for an opening by 
which they might turn north, but none appeared 
until they reached the camp from which they had 
started. Resting awhile, they commenced anew. 

Sometimes they climbed over an ice hillock, 
making a ladder of their sledge. Morton would 
climb up first, and then draw up the dogs, around 
whose bodies Hans tied a rope ; then the load was 
passed up ; lastly Hans mounted, and drew up the 

Having broken through the bergy detachment 
of their arctic foes and reached smoother ice, 
other opposing columns met them. Dense mists, 
giving evidence of open water, chilled and bewil 
dered them ; but the welcome birds, giving other 
proof of the nearness of the Polar Sea, cheered 
them on. 

The next attack was in the form of insecure 
ice. The dogs were dashing on in their wild 
flight when it began to yield beneath them. The 
dogs trembled with fear and lay down, as is their 
habit in such cases. Hans, by a skillful mingling 
of force and coaxing, succeeding in getting the 
party out of the danger. 

At one time a long, wide channel presented its 
protest to their farther progress. To this they 
were obliged so far to yield as to go ten miles out 
of their way to reach its northern side. 

Their right of way was also challenged by seams 
in the ice often four feet deep, filled with water, 

The Open Sea. 55 

and too wide for their best jumping ability. These 
they filled up by attacking the nearest hummocks 
with their axes and tumbling the fragments into 
it until a bridge was made. This work often 
caused hours of delay. 

The signs of open water became more and more 
apparent. The birds were so plenty j;hat Hans 
brought down two at one shot. Soon they struck 
the icy e$g|%of a channel. Along this they 
coasted on the land side. It brought them to a 
cape around which the channel run close to a 
craggy point. Here they deposited a part of their 
provisions to lighten the sledge. Morton went 
ahead to learn the condition of the land-ice round 
the point. He found it narrow and decaying, so 
that he feared there would be none on their re 
turn ; yet, forward ! was the word. The dogs were 
unloosed and driven forward alone ; then Hans 
and Morton tilted the sledge edgewise and drew it 
along, while far below the gurgling waters were 
rushing southward with a freight of crushed ice. 

The cape passed, they opened into a bay of 
clear water extending far and wide. Along its 
ehore was a wide, smooth ice-belt. Over this the 
dogs scampered with their sledge and men with 
wonderful fleetness, making sixty miles the first 
day ! The land grew more and more sloping to 
the bay as they advanced until it opened from the 
sea into a plain between two elevated rocky ranges. 
Into -this they entered, steering north, until they 
struck the entrance of a bay; but the rugged ice 
across their path forbid farther sledge-travel in 


that direction. So they picketed, securely, as they 
thought, the dogs, took each a back load of pro 
visions, and went forward. Their trusty rifles 
were in hand, and their boat-hook and a few sci 
entific instruments were carefully secured to their 
persons. Thus equipped, they had tramped about 
nine miles from the last camp when an exciting 
scene occurred. It was a bear fight, shaded this 
time with the tender and tragic. A mother-bear 
and her child came in sight. They were a loving 
couple, and had plainly been engaged in a frolic 
together. Their tracks were scattered profusely 
about, like those of school children at recess in a 
recent snow. There were also long furrows down 
the sloping side of an ice-hill, upon and around 
which the footprints were seen. Morton declared 
that they had been coasting down this slope on 
their haunches, and this opinion was supported by 
the fact that Dr. Kane did, at another time, see 
bears thus coasting ! 

Five of the dogs had broken away from their 
cords and had overtaken their masters. So they 
were on hand for the fight. 

Mother and child fled with nimble feet, and the 
dogs followed in hot pursuit. The bear, being 
overtaken by her enemies, began a most skillful 
and heroic skirmishing. The cub could not keep 
up with its mother, so she turned back, put her 
head under its haunches and threw it some dis 
tance ahead, intimating to it to run, while she faced 
the dogs. But the little simpleton always stopped 
just where it alighted, and waited for mamma to 

The Open Sea. 57 

give it another throw ! To vary the mode of 
operation, she occasionally seized it by the nape 
of the neck and flung it out of harms way, and 
then snapped at the dogs with an earnestness that 
meant business. Sometimes the mother would 
run a little ahead and then turn, as if to coax the 
little one to run to her, watching at the same time 
the enemy. 

For a while the bear contrived to make good 
speed ; but the little one became tired and she 
came to a halt. The men came up with their 
rifles and the fight became unequal, yet the moth 
er's courage was unabated. She sat upon her 
haunches and took the cub between her hind 
legs, and fought the dogs with her paws. " Nev 
er," says Morton, " was animal more distressed ; 
her roaring could have been heard a mile ! She 
would stretch her neck and snap at the nearest 
dog with her shining teeth, whirling her paws like 
the arms of a windmill." Missing her intended 
victim, she sent after him a terrific growl of baffled 

When the men came up the little one was so 
far rested as to nimbly turn with its mother and 
so keep front of her belly. The dogs, in heartless 
mockery of her situation, continued a lively frisk 
ing on every side of her, torturing her at a safe 
distance for themselves. 

Such was the position of the contending parties 
when Hans threw himself upon the ice, rested 
upon his elbows, took deliberate aim, and sent 
a ball through the heroic mother's head. She 


dropped, rolled over, relieved at once of her 
agony and her life. 

The cub sprung upon the dead body of its moth 
er and for the first time showed fight. The dogs, 
thinking the conflict ended, rushed upon the pros 
trate foe, tearing away mouthfuls of hair. But 
they were glad to retreat with whole skins to their 
own backs. It growled hoarsely, and fought with 
genuine fury. 

The dogs were called off, and Hans sent a ball 
through its head ; yet it contrived to rise after fall 
ing, and climbed again upon its mother's body. 
It was mercifully dispatched by another ball. 

The men took the skin of the mother and the 
little one for their share of the spoils, and the dogs 
gorged themselves on the greater carcass. 

After this incident the journey of our explorers 
soon ended. Hans gave out, and was ordered to 
turn leisurely aside and examine the bend of the 
bay into which they had entered. Morton contin 
ued on toward the termination of a cape which 
rose abruptly two thousand feet. He tried to get 
round it, but the ice-foot was gone. He climbed 
up its sides until he reached a position four hun 
dred and forty feet, commanding a horizon of forty 
'miles. The view was grand. The sea seemed al 
most boundless, and dashed in noisy surges below, 
while the birds curveted and screamed above. 
Making a flag-staff of his walking-stick, he threw 
to the wind a Grinnell flag. It had made the far 
southern voyage with Commodore Wilkes, and had 
come on a second arctic voyage. It now floated 

The Open Sea. 59 

over the most northern known land of the 

Feasting his eyes with the scenery for an hour 
and a half, Morton struck his flag and rejoined 
Hans. The run home had its perils and narrow 
escapes, but was made without accident, and with 
some additional surveys. 




IT was now well into July. The last proposed 
survey was made, and all hands were on ship 
board. But the arctic fetters still bound the " Ad 
vance," with no signs of loosening. The garb of 
midwinter was yet covering land and sea, and in 
every breeze there was a dismal whisper to the ex 
plorers of another winter in the ice. The thought 
was appalling to both officers and men. They 
had neither health, food, nor fuel for such an ex 
perience. To abandon the vessel and try to es 
cape with the boats and sledges was impossible in 
the prostrate condition of the men. 

Having carefully studied the situation Dr. Kane 
resolved to try to reach Beechy Island, and thus 
communicate with the British exploring expedition, 
or by good luck with some whaler, and so secure 
relief. This island we have often visited in our 
voyages with the "Arctic Heroes." It is, it will 
be recollected, at the mouth of Wellington Chan 

When this plan was announced to the officers it 
was approved cordially. Both officers and men 
were ready to volunteer to accompany him ; he 
chose five only M'Gary, Morton, Riley, Hickey, 
and Hans. Their boat was the old " Forlorn 

An Important Movement. 6 1 

Hope." The outfit was the best possible, though 
poor enough. The " Hope " was mounted on the 
sledge " Faith ; " the provisions were put on a 
"St. John's sledge." The "Faith" started off 
ahead ; the smaller sledge, to which Dr. Kane and 
two of the men attached themselves, followed. 

It took five days of incessant toil, with many 
head flows, to reach the water' and launch the 
" Hope," though the distance from the brig was 
only twenty miles. 

The boat behaved well, and they reached Lit 
tleton Island, where they were rejoiced to see nu 
merous ducks. Watching their course as they flew 
away, the explorers were led to several islets, 
whose rocky ledges were covered with their nests, 
and around which they hovered in clouds. The 
young birds were taking their first lesson in flying, 
or were still nestling under their mothers' wings. 
In a few hours over two hundred birds were taken, 
the gun bringing down several at one shot, and 
others were knocked over with stones. But the 
men were not the only enemies of the ducks. 
Near by was a settlement of a large, voracious spe 
cies of gull. They swooped down, seized, gob 
bled up, and bore away to their nests the young 
eiders, without seeming to doubt that they were 
doing a fair and, to themselves, a pleasant busi 
ness. The gulls would seize the little eiders with 
their great yellow bills, throw their heads up, and 
then their victims would disappear down their 
throats, and in a few moments after they would 
be ejected into their nests and go down the throats 


of their young. The ducks fought the gulls brave 
ly in the interests of their brood, but the victory 
was with the stronger. 

Our voyagers pitied, of course, the bereaved 
eider mothers, despised the cormorant gulls, but 
gladly increased their stock of needed provisions 
with both. They filled four large india rubber 
bags with these sea-fowl after cleaning and rudely 
boning them. 

Leaving this profitable camping place, the boat 
was soon in the open sea-way. One day's pleas 
ant sailing was quite as much in that way as expe 
rience taught them to expect. A violent storm 
arose, the waves ran high, and their clumsy boat, 
trembling under the strain, was in danger of sink 
ing at any moment. The safety of the whole 
company depended entirely upon the skill and 
nerve of M'Gary. For twenty-two successive 
hours he held in his strong grasp the steering oar 
and kept the head of the boat to the sea. A break 
of the oar or a slip from his hand and all was 
lost! They finally grappled an old floe in a 
slightly sheltered place, and rode out the storm. 

For twelve days heroic exertions were made to 
get the boat through the pack which now beset 
them, with the view of working south and west. Lit 
tle progress was made and the men, wet, weary, and 
worn, began to fail. In view of this state of things 
the commander directed his course to Northum 
berland Island, near which they were coasting. 
Here they found three recently occupied, but now 
forsaken, Esquimo huts. The foxes were abun- 

An Important Movement. 63 

dant, and their young ones greeted the strangers 
with vociferous barking. They found here, too, 
what was more valuable the scurvy grass. Rest, 
fresh fowl, and cochlearia greatly refreshed the 
whole party. Seeing the utter impossibility of go 
ing south, they made the best of their way back to 
the brig. It was a sad and joyful meeting with 
their old comrades. Their return safely was joy 
ful, but the return spoke of another winter. 

By great exertions the brig was loosened from 
her icy cradle and warped to a position more fa 
vorable for an escape should the open water reach 
the vicinity. On the seventeenth of August, in 
stead of a glad breaking up of the old ice, came 
the formation of new ice, thick enough to bear a 
man. The question of an escape of the brig 
seemed settled. The allowance of wood was fixed 
to six pounds a meal ; this gave them coffee 
twice a day and soup, once. Darkness was ahead, 
and if the fuel utterly failed it would be doubly 
cheerless. The Sabbath rest and devotions be 
came more solemn. The prayer, " Lord, accept 
our gratitude and bless our undertakings," was 
changed to, " Lord, accept our gratitude and re 
store us to our homes." 

Affairs looked so dark that Dr. Kane deemed it 
wise to leave a record of the expedition on some 
conspicuous spot. A position was selected on a 
high cliff which commanded an extensive view 
over the icy waste. On its broad, rocky face the 
words, " 'Advance,' A. D. 1853-54," were painted 
in large letters which could be read afar off, A 


pyramid of heavy stones was built above it and 
marked with a cross. Beneath it they reverently 
buried the bodies of their deceased companions. 
Near this a hole was worked into the rock, and a 
paper, inclosed in a glass vessel sealed with lead, 
was deposited. On this paper was written the 
names of the officers and crew, the results in gen 
eral thus far of the expedition, and their present 
condition. They proposed to add to the deposit 
a paper -containing the date of their departure, 
should they ever get away, and showing their plans 
of escape. 

Now, more earnestly than ever, the winter and 
what to do was looked in the face. Some thought 
that an escape to South Greenland was still possi 
ble, and even the best thing to do. The question 
of detaching a part of the company to make the 
experiment was debated, but the commander ar 
rived at a settled conviction that such an enter 
prise was impracticable. 

In the mean time the ice and tides were close 
ly examined for a considerable distance, for the 
slightest evidence of a coming liberation of the 
poor ice-bound craft. 

As early as August twenty-fourth all hopes of 
such a liberation seemed to have faded from 
every mind. The whole company, officers and 
crew, were assembled in council. The command 
er gave the members his reasons in full for deem 
ing it wise to stand by the vessel. He then gave 
his permission for any part of the company who 
chose to do so to depart on their own responsibil- 

An Important Movement. 65 

ity. He required of such to renounce in writing 
all claims upon the captain and those who re 
mained. The roll was then called, and nine out 
of the seventeen decided to make the hazardous 
experiment. At the head of this party was Dr. 
Hayes and Petersen. Besides the hope of a suc 
cessful escape, they were influenced in the course 
they were taking by the thought that the quarters 
in the brig were so straitened that the health and 
comfort of those remaining would be increased, 
and the causes of disease and death diminished by 
their departure ; and still further, if the withdraw 
ing party perished, an equal number was likely to 
die if all remained. 

The decision having been made, Dr. Kane gave 
them a liberal portion of the resources of the 
brig, a good-bye blessing, with written assurances 
of a brother's welcome should they return. They 
left August twenty-eight. 

Those who remained with Dr. Kane were Brooks, 
M'Gary, Wilson, Goodfellow, Morton, Ohlsen, 
Hickey, and Hans. The situation of these was 
increasedly dreary on the departure of half of 
their companions. They felt the necessity of im 
mediate systematic action to drive away despond 
ing thoughts, as well as to make the best possible 
preparation for the coming struggle with darkness, 
cold, poverty, and disease. The discipline of the 
vessel, with all its formality of duties, was strictly 
maintained. The ceremonies of the table, the 
religious services, the regular watching, in which 
every man took his turn unless prevented by sick- 


ness, the scientific observations of the sky, the 
weather and the tides, the detailed care of the fire 
and the lights, all went on as if there was no bur 
dens of mind to embarrass them. 

In view of the small stock of fuel, they com 
menced turning the brig into something like an Es- 
quimo igloe or hut. A space in the cabin measur 
ing twenty feet by eighteen was set off as a room 
for all hands. Every one then went to work, and, 
according to his measure of strength, gathered 
moss. With this an inner wall was made for the 
cabin, reaching from the floor to the ceiling. The 
floor itself was calked with plaster of Paris and 
common paste, then two inches of Manilla oakum 
was thrown over it, and upon this a canvas carpet 
was spread. From this room an avenue three feet 
high, and two and a half feet wide, was made. It 
was twelve feet long, and descended four feet, 
opening into the hold. It was moss-lined, and 
closed with a door at each end. It answered to 
the tossut of the Esquimo hut, or the sort of tunnel 
through which they creep into their one room. 
All ingress and egress of our explorers were 
through this avenue on their hands and knees. 
From the dark hold they groped their way to the 
main hatchway, up which, by a stairway of boxes, 
they ascended into the open air. 

The quarter-deck also was well padded with 
turf and moss. When this was done, no frost king 
but the one presiding over the polar regions could 
have entered. Even he had to drop his crown of 
icicles at the outer door of the avenue. 

An Important Movement. 67 

The next step was to secure, so far as possible, a 
supply of fuel for the coming darkness. A small 
quantity of coal yet remained for an emergency. 
They began now, September tenth, to strip off 
some of the extra planking outside of the deck, 
and to pile it up for stove use. 

Having thus put the brig itself into winter trim, 
they went diligently to work to arrange its imme 
diate vicinity on the floe. Their beef-house came 
first, which was simply a carefully stowed pile of 
barrels containing their water-soaked beef and 
pork. Next was a kind of block-house, made 
of the barrels of flour, beans, and dried apples. 
From a flag-staff on one corner of this fluttered a 
red and white ensign, which gave way on Sundays 
to a Grinnell flag. From the block-house opened 
a traveled way, which they called New London 
Avenue. On this were the boats. Around all this 
was a rope barrier, which said to the outside world, 
Thus far only shalt thou come ! Outside of this 
was a magnificent hut made of barrel frames and 
snow, for the special use of Esquimo visitors. It 
was in great danger of a tearing down for its 
coveted wood. 




THE stock of fresh provisions was now alarm 
ingly low. To secure a fresh supply, Dr. 
Kane and Hans started with the dog team on a 
seal hunt. The doctor was armed with his Ken 
tucky rifle, and Hans with a harpoon and attached 
line. They carried a light Esquimo boat to secure 
the prey if shot. They expected to find seal after 
a ten miles' run, but the ice was solid until they 
had traveled another hour. Now they entered 
upon an icy plain smooth as a house floor. On 
the dogs galloped, in fine spirits, seeming to antici 
pate the shout which soon came from Hans 
" Pusey, puseymut!" seal, seal! Just ahead 
were crowds of seals playing in the water. But 
the joy of the hunters was instantly turned into a 
chill of horror. The ice was bending under the 
weight of the sledge, and rolling in wavy swells 
before it, as if made of leather. To pause was 
certain death to dogs and men. The solid floe 
was a mile ahead. Hans shouted fiercely to his 
dogs, and added the merciless crack of his whip 
to give speed to his team ; but the poor creatures 
were already terror-stricken, and rushed forward 
like a steam-car. A profound silence followed, as 
painful as the hush of the wind before the de- 

Treaty Making. 69 

structive tornado. Nothing more could be done ; 
the faithful dogs were doing their utmost to 
save themselves and their masters. They passed 
through a scattered group of seals, which, breast- 
high out of water, mocked them with their cu 
rious, complacent gaze. The rolling, crackling 
ice increased its din, and, when within fifty paces 
of the solid floe the frightened dogs became dis 
mayed, and they paused ! In went the left runner 
and the leading dog, then followed the entire left- 
hand runner. In the next instant Dr. Kane, the 
sledge and dogs, were mixed up in the snow and 
water. Hans had stepped off upon ice which had 
not yet given way, and was uttering in his broken 
English, piteous moans, while he in vain reached 
forward to help his master. He was ordered to 
lay down, spread out his hands and feet, and draw 
himself to the floe by striking his knife into the 
ice. The doctor cut the leader's harness and let 
him scramble out, for he was crying touchingly, 
and drowning his master by his caresses. Relieved 
of the dog he tried the sledge, but it sunk under 
him ; he then paddled round the hole endeavor 
ing to mount the ice, but it gave way at every 
effort, thus enlarging the sphere of operation most 
uncomfortably, and exhausting his strength. Hans 
in the mean time had reached solid footing, and 
was on his knees praying incoherently in English 
and Esquimo, and at every crushing-in of the ice 
which plunged his master afresh into the sea ex 
claimed, " God ! " When the fatal crisis was just 
at hand, deliverance came by a seeming accident. 


How often does- God deliver by such seeming acci 
dents ! One of the dogs still remained attached 
to the sledge, and in struggling to clear himself 
drew one of the runners broadside against the 
edge of the circle. It was the drowning man's 
last chance. He threw himself on his back so as 
to lessen his weight, and placed the nape of his 
neck on the rim of the ice opposite to but not far 
from the sledge. He then drew his legs up slowly 
and placed the ball of his moccasin foot against 
the runner, pressing cautiously and steadily, list 
ening the while to the sound of the half-yielding 
ice against which the other runner rested, as to 
a note which proclaimed his sentence of life or 
death. The ice, holding the sledge, only faintly 
yielded, while he felt his wet fur jumper sliding 
up the surface ; now his shoulders are on ; now 
his whole body steadily ascends ; he is safe. 

Hans rubbed his master with frantic earnestness 
until the flesh glowed again. The dogs were all 
saved, but the sledge, Esquimo boat, tent, guns, 
and snow-shoes were all left frozen in to await a 
return trip. A run of twelve miles brought them, 
worn and weary, but full of gratitude, to the brig. 
The fire was kindled, one of the few remaining 
birds cooked, a warm welcome given, so that the 
peril was forgotten except in the occasion it gave 
for increased love to the Deliverer. 

We have had no occasion to notice the Esqui 
mo since the escape from prison of young Myouk. 
Soon after Dr. Hayes's party left, three natives came. 
They had evidently noted the departure of half 

Treaty Making. 71 

of the number of the strangers, and came to learn 
the condition of those left behind. It was Dr. 
Kane's policy to conciliate them, while carrying 
toward them a steady, and when needed, as it was 
often, a restraining hand. 

These visitors were quartered in a tent in the 
hold. A copper lamp, a cooking-basin, and a full 
supply of fat for fuel, was given them. They ate, 
slept, awoke, ate and slept again. Dr. Kane left 
them eating at two o'clock in the. morning when 
he retired to the cabin to sleep. They seemed 
soon after to be sleeping so soundly that the watch 
set over them also slept. In the morning there 
were no Esquimo on board. They had stolen the 
lamp, boiler, and cooking-pot used at their feast ; 
to these they added the best dog the only one 
not too weary from the late excursion to travel. 
Besides, finding some buffalo robes and an india- 
rubber cloth accidentally left on the floe, they took 
them along also. 

This would not do. The savages must be 
taught to fear as well as to respect and love the 
white men. Morton and Riley, two of the best 
walkers, were sent in hot pursuit. Reaching the 
hut at Anoatok, they found young Myouk with 
the wives of two absent occupants, the latter mak 
ing themselves delightfully comfortable, having 
tailored already the stolen robes into garments 
worn on their backs. By searching, the cooking 
utensils, and other articles stolen from the brig 
but not missed, were found. 

The white officers of the law acted promptly, 


as became their dignity. They stripped the women 
of these stolen goods and tied them. They were 
then loaded with all the articles stolen, to which 
was added as much walrus meat of their own as 
would pay their jail fees. The three were then 
marched peremptorily back to the brig; though 
it was thirty miles they did not complain, neither 
did their police guardians in walking the twice 
thirty. It was scarcely twenty-four hours after 
these thieves had left the brig with their booty 
before they were prisoners in the hold. " A dread 
ful white man " was placed over them as keeper, 
who never spoke to them except in words of terri 
fying reproof, and whose scowl exhibited a studied 
variety of threatening and satanic expressions. 
The women were deprived of the comfort of even 
Myouk's company. He was dispatched to Metek, 
" head-man of Etah and others," " with the mes 
sage of a melo-dramatic tyrant," to negotiate for 
their ransom. For five long days the women sighed 
and cried, and sung in solitary confinement, though 
their appetites continued excellent. At last the 
great Metek and another Esquimo notable arrived, 
drawing quite a sledge load of returned stolen 
goods. Now commenced the treaty making. There 
were u big talks," and a display on the part of Dr. 
Kane of the splendors and resources of his capital, 
its arts and sciences, not forgetting the "fire- 
death," whose terrific power so amazed the Etah 
dignitaries. On the part of the Esquimo there 
were many adjournments of the diplomatic con 
ferences to eat and sleep. This was well for the 

Treaty Making. 73 

explorers no doubt, as plenty of sleep and a good 
dinner are very pacific, it is well known, in their 
influence even on savages. In the final result 
the Esquimo agreed : Not to steal, to bring fresh 
meat, to sell or lend dogs, to attend the white men 
when desired, and to show them where to find the 
game. On the part of Kablunah (the white men) 
Dr. Kane promised : Not to visit the Inuit (Esqui 
mo) with death or sorcery ; to shoot for them on 
the hunt ; to welcome them on board the ship ; 
to give them presents of needles, pins, two kinds 
of knives, a hoop, three bits of hard wood, some 
kinds of fat, an awl, and some sewing-thread ; to 
trade with them of these, and all other things they 
might want, for walrus and seal meat of the first 

Dr. Kane sent Hans and Morton to Etah, on 
the return of Metek, as his representatives, and this 
treaty was there ratified in a full assembly of its 

This treaty was really of much importance to 
the famishing, ice-bound, scurvy-smitten strangers. 
It was faithfully kept on the part of the natives, but 
it was believed that the example of the white man's 
prodigious power given by Morton and Riley, in 
the tramp of sixty miles in twenty-four hours, had 
quite as much to do with its faithful observance 
as any regard to their promise. They might not 
understand the binding nature of promises how 
ever solemnly made, but they could comprehend 
the meaning of strong arms and swift feet. 

Having made peace with the Etahites, Dr. Kane 



sent M'Gary and Morton to the hut at Anoatok 
on a like errand. They found there of men, My- 
ouk, Ootuniah, and Awatok Seal Bladder who 
were at first shy. The rogue, Myouk, suspected 
their visit might mean to him another arrest. See 
ing it : df not, all went merry as a marriage-bell. 
The treaty was ratified by acclamation. 

Arctic Hunting. 75 



EARLY in October the Esquimo disappeared 
from the range of travel from the brig. 
Hans and Hickey were sent to the hunting grounds, 
and they returned with the unwelcome news, no 
walrus, no Esquimo. Where could they have 
gone? Were they hovering on the track of the es 
caping party under Dr. Hayes ? and where were 
these ? Would the natives return from atrip south, 
and bring any news of the battle they were fight 
ing with the ice and cold ? 

While such queries may have been indulged by 
the brig party, they had serious thoughts concern 
ing their own condition. Their fresh provisions 
were nearly exhausted. Without walrus or bear 
meat, their old enemy, scurvy, would come down 
upon them like an armed man. There was now 
plainly another occasion for one of those acci 
dental occurrences, through which the eye of a 
devout Christian sees God's kind hand. In the. 
midst of these painful thoughts the shout by Hans 
was heard ringing through the brig : " Nannook ! 
nannook ! " 

" A bear ! a bear ! " chimed in Morton. 

The men seized their guns and ran on deck. 
The dogs were already in battle array with the 


bear, which was attended by a five-months-old 
cub. Not a gun was in readiness on the instant, 
and while they were being loaded the canines 
were having rough sport with bruin. Tudla, a 
champion fighter, had been seized twice by the 
nape of his neck, and made to travel several yards 
without touching the ground. Jenny, a favorite 
in the sledge, had made a grand somerset by a 
slight jerk of the head of the bear, and had 
alighted senseless. Old Whitey, brave but not 
bear-wise, had rushed headlong into the combat, 
and was yelping his utter dissatisfaction with the 
result while stretched helpless upon the snow. 
Nannook considered the field of battle already 
won, and proceeded, as victors have always done, 
to a very cool investigation of the spoils. "She 
first turned over a beef barrel, and began to nose 
out the choice bits for herself and child. But 
there was a party interested in this operation whom 
she had not consulted. Their first protest was in 
the form of a pistol ball in the side of her cub. 
This, to say the least, was rather a harsh beginning. 
The next hint was a rifle ball in the side of the 
mother, which she resented by taking her child 
between her hind legs and retreating behind the 
beef-house. Here, with her strong forearms, she 
pulled down three solid rows of beef barrels which 
made one wall of the house. She then mounted 
the rubbish, seized a half barrel of herring with 
her teeth, and with it beat a retreat. Turning her 
back on the enemy was not safe, for she immedi 
ately received, at half pistol range, six buck shots 

Arctic Hunting. 77 

She fell, but was instantly on her feet again, trot 
ting off with her cub under her nose. She would 
have escaped after all but for two of the dogs. 
These belonged to the immediate region, and had 
been trained for the bear hunt. They embar 
rassed her speed but did not attack her. One 
would run along ahead of her, so near as to pro 
voke the bear to attempt to catch him, and then 
he would give her a useless chase to the right or 
left, the other one, at the right moment, making a 
diversion by a njp in her rear. So coolly and sys 
tematically was this done that poor Nannook was 
hindered and exhausted without being able to 
hurt her tormentors in the least. 

This game of the dogs brought again Dr. Kane 
and Hans on the field of conflict. They found 
the bear still holding out in the running fight, and 
making good speed away from the brig. Two rifle 
balls brought her to a stand-still. She faced 
about, took her little one between her fore legs, 
and growled defiance. It took six more balls to 
lay her lifeless on the blood-stained snow ! 

This method of conquering the foe was no doubt, 
from the bear point of view, mean and cowardly ; 
instead of the hand-to-paw fight, recognized as the 
Arctic lawful way of fighting, it was sending fire- 
death at a safe distance for the attacking party. 
With her own chosen weapons two powerful arms, 
and a set of almost resistless teeth the bear was 
the stronger party. But then it was the old game 
of brains against brute force, with the almost sure 
result. As to the cruelty, the bear had no reason 


to complain. She came to the brig seeking, if 
haply she might find, a man, or men, to appease 
her craving hunger and feed her child. The men 
sought and obtained her life that they might stay 
the progress of their bitter enemy, the scurvy, and 
save their own lives ! 

When the mother fell, her child sprung upon 
her body and made a fierce defense. After much 
trouble, and, we should think, some danger from 
her paws and teeth, both of which she used as if 
trained for the fight, she was caught with a line 
looped into a running knot between her jaws and 
the back of her head, somewhat as farmers catch 
hogs for the slaughter. She was marched off to 
the brig and chained outside, causing a great up 
roar among the dogs. 

The mother-bear's carcass weighed when cleaned 
three hundred pounds ; before dressing, the body 
weighed six hundred and fifty. The little one 
weighed on her feet one hundred and fourteen 
pounds. They both proved most savory meat, 
and were eaten with gratitude, as the special gifts 
of the great Giver. 

This bear capture was soon followed by one no 
less exciting and truly Arctic in its character. It 
was the hunt and capture of a walrus, the lion of 
the sea, as the bear is the tiger of the ice. The 
story is as follows : 

About the middle of October Morton and Hans 
were sent again to try to find the Esquimo. 
They reached on the fourth day a little village be 
yond Anoatok, seventy miles from the brig. Here 

Arctic Hunting. 79 

they found four huts, two occupied and two for 
saken. In one was Myouk, his parents and his 
brother and sister ; in the other was Awahtok, 
Ootuniah, their wives, and three young children. 
The strangers were made to feel at home. Their 
moccasins were dried, their feet rubbed, two lamps 
set ablaze to cook them a supper, and a walrus skin 
spread on the raised floor for them to stretch and 
rest their weary limbs. The lamps and the addi 
tion to the huts' company sent the thermometer 
up to ninety degrees above zero, while outside it 
was thirty below. The natives endured this de 
gree of heat finely, as the men and children wore 
only the apparel nature gave them, and the women 
made only a slight, but becoming, addition to it. 
The strangers after devouring six small sea-birds 
a piece enjoyed a night of profuse perspiration 
and sound sleep. 

. In the morning Morton perceived that Myouk 
and his father were preparing for a walrus hunt, 
and he cordially invited himself and Hans to go 
with them. The two strangers accepted the in 
vitation thus given, and the party of four were 
soon off. 

A large size walrus is eighteen feet long, with a 
tusk thirty inches. His whole development is 
elephantine, and his look grim and ferocious. 

The Esquimo of this party carried three sledges ; 
one they hid under the snow and ice on the way, 
and the other two were carried to the hunting 
ground at the open water, about ten miles from 
the huts. They had nine dogs to these two 


sledges, and by turns one man rode while the oth 
er walked. 

As they neared the new ice, and saw by the 
murky fog that the open water was near, the Es- 
quimo removed their hoods and listened. After a 
while Myouk's countenance showed that the wished- 
for sound had entered his ear, though Morton, as 
attentively listening, could hear nothing. Soon 
they were startled by the bellowing of a walrus 
bull ; the noise, round and full, was something be 
tween the mooing of a cow and the deep baying 
of a mastiff, varied by an oft-repeated quick bark. 
The performer was evidently pleased with his own 
music, for it continued without cessation while 
our hunters crept forward stealthily in single file. 
When within half a mile of some discolored 
spots showing very thin ice surrounded by that 
which was thicker, they scattered, and each man 
crawled toward a separate pool, Morton on his 
hands and knees following Myouk. Soon the 
walruses were in sight. They were five in number, 
at times rising altogether out of the deep, break 
ing the ice and giving an explosive puff which 
might have been heard, through the thin, clear at 
mosphere, a mile away. Two grim-looking males 
were noticeable as the leaders of the group. 

Now came the fight between Myouk, the crafty, 
expert hunter, and a strong, maddened, persistent 
walrus. Morton was the interested looker-on, fol 
lowing the hunter like a shadow, ready, if it had 
been wanted, to put in his contribution to the 
fight in the form of a rifle-ball. When the 

Walruses A Family Party. 

Arctic Hunting. 83 

walrus's head is above water, and peering curiously 
around, the hunter is flat and still. As the head 
begins to disappear in the deep he is up and stir 
ring, and ready to dart toward the game. From 
his hiding-place behind a projecting ice knoll the 
hunter seems not only to know when his victim 
will return, but where he will rise. In this way, 
hiding and darting forward, Myouk, with Morton 
at his heels, approaches the pool near the edge 
of which the walruses are at play. Now the stolid 
face of Myouk glows with animation ; he lies still, 
biding his time, a coil of walrus hide many yards 
in length lying at his side. He quickly slips one 
end of the line into an iron barb, holding the other, 
the looped end, in his hand, and fixes the barb to 
a locket on the end of a shaft made of a unicorn's 
horn. Now the water is in motion, and only 
twelve feet from him the walrus rises, puffing with 
pent up respiration, and looks grimly and compla 
cently around. What need he fear, the mighty 
monarch of the Arctic sea ! Myouk coolly, slowly 
rises, throws back his right arm, while his left arm 
lies close to his side. The walrus looks round 
again and shakes his dripping head. Up goes the 
hunter's left arm. His victim rises breast-high to 
give one curious look before he plunges, and the 
swift, barbed shaft is buried in his vitals ! In an 
instant the walrus is down, down in the deep, while 
Myouk is making his best speed from the battle 
field, holding firmly the looped end of his har-. 
poon-line, at the same time paying out the coil as 
he runs. He has snatched up and carries in one 


hand a small stick of bone rudely pointed with 
iron ; he stops, drives it into the ice and fastens 
his line to it, pressing it to the ice with his 

Now commence the frantic struggles of the 
wounded walrus. Myouk keeps his station, now 
letting out his line, and then drawing it in. His 
victim, rising out of the water, endeavors to throw 
himself upon the ice, as if to rush at his tormenter. 
The ice breaks under his great weight, and he 
"roars fearfully with rage. For a moment all is 
quiet. The hunter knows what it means, and he 
is on the alert. Crash goes the ice, and up come 
two walrusses only a few yards from where he 
stands ; they aimed at the very spot but will do 
better next time. But when the game comes up 
where he last saw the hunter he has pulled up his 
stake and run off, line in hand, and fixed it as 
before, but in a new direction. This play goes 
on until the wounded beast becomes exhausted, 
and is approached and pierced with the lance by 

Four hours this fight went on, the walrus re 
ceiving seventy lance thrusts, dangling all the 
while at the end of the line with the cruel har 
poon fixed in his body. When dying at last, 
hooked by his tusk to the margin of the ice, his 
female, which had faithfully followed all his bloody 
fortune, still swam at his side ; she retired only 
when her spouse was dead, and she herself was 
pricked by the lance. 

Morton says the last three hours wore the 

Arctic Hunting. 85 


aspect of a doubtful battle. He witnessed it with 
breathless interest. 

The game was, by a sort of " double purchase," 
a clever contrivance of the Esquimo, drawn upon 
the ice and cut up at leisure. Its weight was esti 
mated at seven hundred pounds. 

The intestines and the larger part of the car 
cass, were buried in the crevices of an iceberg a 
splendid ice-house ! Two sledges were loaded 
with the remainder, and the hunters started toward 
home. As they came near the village the women 
came out to meet them ; the shout of welcome 
brought all hands with their knives. Each one 
having his portion assigned, according to a well 
understood Esquimo rule, the evening was giv 
en up to eating. In groups of two or three 
around a forty pound joint, squatting crook-legged, 
knife i-n hand, they cut, ate, and slept, and cut and 
ate again. Hans, in his description of the feast 
to Dr. Kane, says: "Why, Cappen Ken, sir, even 
the children ate all night You know the little 
two-year-old that Aroin carried in her hood the 
one that bit you when you tickled it? " 


" Well, Cappen Ken, sir, that baby cut for her 
self, sir, with a knife made out of an iron hoop, 
and so heavy it could hardly lift it, cut and ate, 
sir, and ate and cut, as long as I looked at it." 

Morton and Hans returned to the brig with two 
hundred pounds of walrus meat and two foxes, to 
make glad the hearts of their comrades. 

Besides these Arctic monsters of the sea, and 


shaggy prowlers of the land and ice, there was 
another sort of game, requiring a different kind 
of hunting, found nearer home. 

We have related the experiment, a year before 
this, of the explorers with the rats. They had 
failed to smoke them out by a villainous com 
pound, and, as the experience came near burning 
up the vessel, it was not repeated. They bred 
like locusts in spite of the darkness, cold, and 
short rations, and went every-vvhere under the 
stove, into the steward's drawers, into the cush 
ions, about the beds, among the furs, woolens, and 
specimens of natural history. They took up their 
abode among the bedding of the men in the fore 
castle, and in such other places as seemed to them 
cosy and comfortable. When their rights as ten 
ants were disputed they fought for them with 
boldness and skill. 

At one time a mother rat had chosen a bear 
skin mitten as a homestead for herself and family 
of little ones. Dr. Kane thrust his hand into it 
not knowing that it was occupied, and received a 
sharp bite. Of course his hand left the premises 
in rather quick time, and before he could suck the 
blood from his finger the family had disappeared, 
taking their home with them. 

Rhina, a brave bear-dog, which had come out 
of encounters with his shaggy majesty with special 
honors, was sent down into the citadel of the rats. 
She lay down with composure and slept for a 
while. But the vermin gnawed the horny skin 
of her paws, nipped her on this side, and bit her 

Arctic Hunting. 87 

on that, and dodged into their hiding-places. 
They were so many, and so nimble, that poor 
Rhina yelled in vexation and pain. She was taken 
on deck to her kennel, a cowed and vanquished 

Hans, true to his hunter's propensity, amused 
himself during the dreary hours of his turn on the 
night watch, by shooting them with his bow and 
arrow. Dr. Kane had these carefully dressed and 
made into a soup, of which he educated himself 
to eat, to the advantage of his health. No other 
one of the vessel's company cared to share his 

Hans had one competitor in this " small deer " 
hunting, as the sailors called it. Dr. Kane had 
caught a young fox alive, and domesticated it in 
the cabin. These " deer " were not quick enough 
to escape his nimble feet and sharp teeth. But 
unfortunately he would kill only when and what 
he wanted to eat. 

December came in gloomily. Nearly every man 
was down with the scurvy. The necessary work 
to be done dragged heavily. The courage of the 
little company was severely taxed but not broken. 
But where were the escaping party under Dr. 
Hayes? Were they yet dragging painfully over 
their perilous way ? were they safe at Upernavik ? 
or had they perished ? 

While such queries might have occupied the 
thoughts of the dwellers in the " Advance." on 
the seventh of the month Petersen and Bonsall 
of that party returned ; five days later Dr. Hayes 


arrived, with the remainder of his company. 
Their adventures had been marvelous, and their 
escape wonderful. It will be a pleasant fancy for 
us to consider ourselves as sitting down in the 
cabin of the u Advance," and listening to their 
story from the lips of one of their party. 

The Escaping Party. 89 



HAVING, as has been seen, provided for all 
the contingencies of our journey as well as 
circumstances permitted, we moved slowly down 
the ice-foot away from the brig. The companions 
we were leaving waved us a silent adieu. A strong 
resolution gave firmness to our step, but our way 
was too dark and perilous for lightness of heart. 
At ten miles distance we should reach a cape near 
which we expected to find open water, where we 
could exchange the heavy work of dragging the 
sledges for the pleasanter sailing in the boat. 
This we reached early the second day. But here 
we experienced our first keen disappointment. 
As far as the eye could reach was only ice. Be 
fore us, a thousand miles away, was Upernavik, at 
which we aimed, the first refuge of a civilized char 
acter in that direction. As we gazed at this in 
tervening frozen wilderness it did indeed seem afar 
off. Yet every man stood firm through fourteen 
hours of toil before we encamped, facing a strong 
wind and occasional gusts of snow. After this the 
shelter of our tent, and a supper of cold pork and 
bread with hot coffee, made us almost forget the 
wind, which began to roar like a tempest. ' 
We looked out in the morning, after a good night's 


rest, hoping to see the broken floe fleeing before 
the gale, giving us our coveted open sea. But no 
change had taken place. We had no resort but to 
weary sledging. We carried forward our freight 
in small parcels, a mile on our journey, finally 
bringing up the boat. 

We took from under a cliff of the cape the boat 
" Forlorn Hope," which Dr. Kane had deposited 
there. It was damaged by the falling of a stone up 
on it from a considerable height. Petersen's skill 
ful mending made it only a tolerable affair. Thus 
wearied and baffled in our efforts at progress, we 
returned early to our tent, and slept soundly until 
three o'clock in the morning, when we were 
aroused by shouting without. It came from three 
Esquimo, a boy eighteen years old, and two wom 
en. The boy we had before seen, but the women 
were strangers. They were filthy and ragged in 
fact scarcely clothed at all. The matted hair of the 
women was tied with a piece of leather on the top 
of the head ; the boy's hair was cut square across 
his eyebrows. One of the women carried a baby 
about six months old. It was thrust naked, feet 
foremost, into the hood of her jumper, and hung 
from the back of her neck. It peered innocently 
out of its hiding-place, like a little chicken from 
the brooding wing of its mother. 

They shivered with cold, and asked for fire and 
food, which we readily gave them, and they were 
soon off down the coast in good spirits. 

These visitors were only well started when Hans 
rushed into our camp, excited and panting for 

The Escaping Party. 91 

breath. He was too full of wrath to command his 
poor English, and he rattled away to Petersen in 
his own language. When he had recovered some 
what his breath, we caught snatches of his excla 
mations as he turned to us with, " Smit Soun Es- 
quimo no koot ! no koot ! all same dog ! Steal me 
bag ! steal Nalegak buffalo." 

The fact finally came out that our visitors had 
been to the brig and stolen, among other things, a 
wolf-skin bag and a small buffalo skin belonging 
to Hans, presents from Dr. Kane. Hans took a 
lunch, a cup of coffee, and continued his run after 
the thieves. 

The ice had now given way a little, and small 
leads opened near us. Loading the boat, we tried 
what could be done at navigation. But the water 
in the lead soon froze over and became too thick 
for boating, while yet it was too thin for sledging ; 
so after trying various expedients we again un 
loaded the boats and took to the land-ice. But 
this was too sloping for the sledges, so we took 
our cargo in small parcels on our backs, carrying 
them forward a mile and a half, and finally bring 
ing the sledges and ]?oat. Bonsall had, on one of 
these trips, taken a keg of molasses on the back of 
his neck, grasping the two ends with his hands. 
This was an awkward position in which to com 
mand his footing along a sideling, icy path. His 
foot slipped, the keg shot over his head, and 
glided down into the sea. Coffee without molasses 
was not pleasant to think of, and then it was two 
hours after our day's work was done before we 


could find even water. Our supper was not eaten 
and we ready to go to bed until ten. We slept the 
better, however, from hearing, just as we were re 
tiring, that Bonsall and Godfrey had recovered 
the keg of molasses from four feet of water. 

The next morning we resolved to try the floe 
again. It was plain we could make no satisfac 
tory progress on the land-ice, so we loaded first 
the small sledge and run it safely down the slippery 
slope. Then the large sledge, " Faith," was packed 
with our more valuable articles. Cautiously it was 
started, men in the rear holding it back by ropes. 
But the foothold of the men beting insecure, they 
slipped, lost their control both of themselves and 
the sledge, and away it dashed. The ice as it 
reached the floe was thin ; first one runner broke 
through, now both have gone down ; over goes the 
freight, and the whole is plunged into the water ! 
Fortunately every thing floated. A part of our 
clothes were in rubber bags and was kept dry ; 
all else was thoroughly wet. -No great damage 
was done except in one case. Petersen had a bed 
of eider-down, in which he w r as wont snugly to 
stow himself at night. When moving it was com 
pressed into a ball no larger than his head. It 
was a nice thing, costing forty Danish dollars. It 
was, of course, spoiled. So rueful was his face 
that, though we really pitied him, we could not re 
press a little merriment as he held up his dripping 
treasure. Seeing a smile on Dr. Hayes's face, he 
hastily rolled it up into a wad, and, in the bitter 
ness of his vexation, hurled it among the rocks, 

The Escaping Party. 93 

muttering something in Danish, of which we could 
detect only the words " doctor " and " Satan." 

Our situation seemed gloomy enough. The 
men's courage was giving way, and one took a 
final leave and returned to the " Advance." Yet 
we pressed forward ; we were not long in readjust 
ing the load of the " Faith," and met with no fur 
ther accident during the day ; but our fourteen 
hours toil left us six more hours of ice-travel be 
fore we could reach what seemed to be a long 
stretch of clear sea. 

Hans returned from his pursuit, having over 
taken the thieves, but did not find about them the 
stolen goods. He proposed to remain and help 
us, but we could go no farther that night. We 
encamped, and obtained much needed rest and 

We were awakened at midnight to a new and 
unexpected discouragement. M'Gary and Good- 
fellow arrived from the " Advance " bringing a 
peremptory order from Dr. Kane to bring back 
the " Faith." We could not understand this. We 
had been promised its use until we reached the 
open sea. We had only one other, which was very 
poor and utterly insufficient for our pifrpose. We 
were sure it was not needed at the brig ; what 
could the order mean? But there it was in black 
and white, so we delivered it up, and the messen 
gers returned with it on the instant. 

This journey of Goodfellow and M'Gary was a 
wonderful exhibition of endurance. They had 
worked, hard all day ; having eaten supper, they 


were dispatched with the message. They were 
back to the brig to breakfast, having traveled in 
all to and fro thirty miles without food or rest. 

Our sledging, almost insufferable before, was 
more difficult now. Petersen exhausted his skill 
in improving our poor sledge with little success. 
We made about six miles during the day, gained 
the land at the head of Force Bay, and pitched 
our tent. We had shipped and unshipped our 
cargo, and had experienced the usual variety of 
boating and sledging. Several of us had broken 
through the ice and been thoroughly wet. Old 
rheumatic and scurvy complaints renewed their 
attacks upon the men. 

While the supper was cooking, three of the offi 
cers climbed a bluff and looked out upon the icy sea. 
To our joy they reported the open water only six 
miles away. With a good sledge we could reach 
it in one day's pull. With our shaky affair it 
would take three. Indeed, it seemed a hopeless 
task to make at all six miles with it. Such was 
the situation when our supper was eaten and we 
had lain down to sleep. Its solace had scarcely 
come to our relief when Morton's welcome voice 
startled us. He had come to bring back the 
"Faith." How timely ! And then he brought also 
a satisfactory explanation of its being taken away. 
Dr. Kane had been informed that a dissension 
existed among us, and that the sledge was not in 
the hands of the officers. The next morning the 
good sledge "Faith" was loaded, and the men, 
now in good spirits, made fine speed toward the 

The Escaping Party. 95 

open sea. Morton pushed on after the thieves. 
Late in the afternoon he returned with them. He 
had overtaken them where they had halted to turn 
their goods into clothing. They had thrown aside 
their rags, and were strutting proudly in the new 
garments they had made of the stolen skins. 
Morton soon left, with his prisoners, to return to 
the "Advance." 

We did not reach the open water until mid 
night. Every thing was now put on board the 
boat, and we sailed about two miles and drew up 
against Esquimo Point, pitched our tent on a 
grounded ice-raft, and obtained brief rest. 

In the morning, Riley, who had been sent to us 
for that purpose, returned to the " Advance " with 
the " Faith." We packed away eight men and 
their baggage in the " Forlorn Hope." It was an- 
ordinary New London whale-boat rigged with a 
mainsail, foresail, and a jib. Her cargo and pas 
sengers on this occasion brought her gunwale 
within four inches of the water. But for five 
miles we made fine progress. Then suddenly the 
ice closed in upon us, compelling us to draw the 
" Hope " up upon a solid ice-raft, where we en 
camped for the night. Near was a stranded berg 
from which we obtained a good supply of birds, 
of which we ate eight for supper. 

In the morning, while our breakfast was cook 
ing, the ice scattered and a path for us through 
the sea was again opened, and we bore away joy 
ously for the capes of " Refuge Harbor." With 
varying fortune, we passed under the walls of 


Cape Heatherton, and sighted the low lands of 
Life-boat Bay. There, as has been stated, in 
August, 1853, Dr. Kane left a Francis metallic life 
boat. Could we reach this bay and possess our 
selves of this life -boat, a great step would have 
been taken, we thought, toward success. For 
awhile all went well ; then came the shout from 
the officer on the lookout, " Ice ahead ! " We 
run down upon it before a spanking breeze, and 
got into the bend of a great horseshoe, while seek 
ing an open way through the floe. We could turn 
neither to the right nor left, and we were too deep 
in the water to attempt to lay-to. The waves 
rolled higher and higher, and the breeze was in 
creasing to a tempest. Our cargo, piled above the 
sides of the boat, left no room to handle the oars, 
if they had been of any use. There was no resort 
but to let her drive against the floe. John sat in 
the stern, steering-oar in hand ; Petersen stood on 
the lookout to give him steering orders ; Bonsall 
and Stephenson stood by the sails ; the rest of us, 
with boat-hooks and poles, stood ready to " fend 
off." The sails were so drawn up as to take the 
wind out of them. Petersen directed the boat's 
head toward that part of the ice which seemed 
weakest, and on we bounded. " * See any opening, 
Petersen ! ' * No sir.' An anxious five minutes 
followed. ' I see what looks like a lead. We 
must try for it.' 'Give the word, Petersen.' On 
flew the boat. ' Let her fall off a little off ! Ease 
off the sheet so steady ! A little more off so ! 
Steady there steady as she goes.'" 

The Escaping Party. 97 

Petersen, cool and skillful, was running us 
through a narrow lead which brought us into a 
small opening of clear water. We were beginning 
to think that we should get through the pack 
when he shouted, " I see no opening ! Tight 
every -where ! Let go the sheet ! Fend off." 

Thump went the boat against the floe ! But the 
poles and boat-hooks, in strong, steady hands, 
broke the force of the collision. Out sprang every 
man upon the ice. 

No serious damage was done to our craft. Our 
first thought was that we were in a safe, ice-bound 
harbor. But no ! See, the floe is on the move ! 
We unshipped the cargo in haste, and drew up the 
" Hope " out of the way of the nips. The stores 
were next removed farther from the water's edge, 
the spray beginning to sprinkle them. The whole 
pack was instantly in wild confusion, ice smiting 
ice, filling the air with dismal sounds. But it was 
a moment for action^ not of moping fear. Our 
ice-raft suddenly separated, the crack running be 
tween the cargo and the " Hope ! " This would 
not do ! A boat without a cargo, or a cargo with 
out a boat, were neither the condition of things 
we desired; but as the ice bearing the boat shot 
into the surging water, it was evident no human 
power could hinder it. Yet divine power, could 
and did prevent it just that Hand always so ready 
to help us in our time of need, and seeming now 
almost visible. The boat's raft, after whirling in 
the eddying waters, swung round, and struck one 
corner of ours. In a minute of time the " Hope " 


was run off, and boat, cargo, and men were once 
more together. 

Soon the commotion brought down a heavy 
floe against that on which we had taken refuge, 
and no open water was within a hundred yards 
of us 

A Green Spot. 99 



WE seemed now to be in a safe resting-place. 
Dr. Hayes and Mr. Bonsall, accompanied 
by John and Godfrey, took the advantage of this 
security to go in search of the life -boat, which 
they judged was not more than two miles away. 

After a walk over the floe of one hour they 
found it. It had not been disturbed, and the arti 
cles deposited under it were in good order. There 
were, besides the oars and sails, two barrels of 
bread, a barrel of pork, and one of beef; thirty 
pounds of rice, thirty pounds of sugar, a saucepan, 
an empty keg, a gallon can of alcohol, a bale of 
blankets, an ice anchor, an ice chisel, a gun, a 
hatchet, a few small poles, and some pieces of wood. 
They took of these a barrel of bread, the saucepan 
filled with sugar, a small quantity of rice, the 
gun, the hatchet, and the boat's equipments. They 
were to carry this cargo, and drag the life-boat, 
back to the camp, unless a fortunate lead should 
enable them to take to the boat. 

They ascended a hill, before starting, to get a 
view of the present state of the fickle ice. All 
was fast in the direct line through which they 
came. But, a mile away, washing a piece of the 
shore of Littleton Island, was open water. They 


concluded to push forward in that direction, and 
wait the coming of their companions in the 
" Hope." 

They reached this open water in six hours 
a slow march of one mile but it must be remem 
bered that they had to carry their cargo, piece by 
piece, then go back and draw along the boat, thus 
going over the distance many times. Besides, 
they had to climb the hummocks with their load, 
and lower it down the other side and tumble 
about generally over the rough way. 

The island thus reached was three fourths of a 
mile in diameter. They landed in a tumultuous 
sea, which only a life-boat could survive. There 
was no good hiding-place from the storm, which 
was increasing. They were completely wet by the 
spray, and ready to faint with cold and hunger. 
In a crevice of the rock a fire was kindled, the 
saucepan half filled with sea water, and an eider 
duck John had knocked over with his oar was put 
into it to stew. To this was added four biscuit 
from the bread barrel. The hot meal thus cooked 
refreshed them, but it was their only refreshment. 
Bonsall and Godfrey crept under the sail taken 
from the boat, and, from sheer exhaustion, fell 
asleep. John and Dr. Hayes sought warmth in a 
run about the island. Dr. Hayes wandered to a 
rocky point, which commanded a view of the chan 
nel between the island and the " Hope." He watched 
every object, expecting to see her and her crew 
adrift. He had not watched long before a dark 
object was seen upon a whirling ice-raft. After a 

A Green Spot. 101 

close and careful second look, he saw that it was 
John. He called but received no answer. John's 
raft now touched the floe and away he went, jump 
ing the fearful cracks, and disappearing in the 
darkness. What could inspire so reckless an ad 
venture ? Had he seen the " Hope " in peril, and 
was this a manly effort to save her and his com 
rades ? He was going in the direction in which he 
had left them. 

Bonsall and Godfrey were soon frozen out of 
their comfortless tent, and joined Dr. Hayes on 
the rocky point. They took places of observation 
a short distance apart, and watched with intense 
anxiety both for the " Hope " and John. The 
morning came, the sea grew less wild, and the 
wind subsided, but nothing was seen of the 

Leaving Dr. Hayes and his party thus watching 
on the island, we will glance at the experience of 
those of us who were left in the camp. 

Soon after they left, the wind and the waves 
played free and wild. The spray wet our clothes, 
buffaloes, and blankets, as it flew past us in dense 
clouds. Our bread-bag, wrapped in an india rub 
ber cloth, was kept dry. We pitched our tent in 
the safest place possible, but were driven out by 
the increasing deluge of spray. We tried to cook 
our supper, but the water put out the lamp. So we 
obtained for thirty hours neither rest nor a warm 
meal. Dry, hard bread without water, was our 
only food. Finally the floe broke up, and, hastily 
packing, ourselves and stores into the " Hope," we 


went scudding through the leads, earnestly desir 
ing but scarcely daring to hope that we should fall 
in with Dr. Hayes and his party. As we ap 
proached Littleton Island the lead closed, and the 
pack for a moment shut us in. As we waited and 
watched, we saw a dark object moving over the 
floe in the misty distance. Had we been on the 
lookout for a bear, we might have sent a bullet 
after it at a venture. But a moment only inter 
vened before John, nimbly jumping the drifting 
ice-cakes, sprung into the boat ! He brought the 
welcome news of the whereabouts of our compan 
ions with the life-boat, and his needed help in our 
peril. Soon a change of tide brought open water, 
through which, with all sails set, we bore down on 
the island. About eight o'clock we saw Dr. Hayes 
watching for our coming from his bleak, rocky 

So rough was the sea that we could not land, but 
rowed round Cape Ohlsen, the nearest main-land, 
where we found a snug harbor with a low beach. 
The life-boat and her crew followed. The cargoes 
were taken from the boats, and they were hauled 
up. From a little stream of melted snow which 
trickled down the hill-side our kettles were filled. 
The camp was set ablaze, some young eiders and 
a burgomaster, shot just before we landed, were 
soon cooked, a steaming pot of coffee served up, 
and we talked over our adventures as we satisfied 
our craving hunger. John was questioned con 
cerning his wild adventure. He had not seen the 
" Hope," nor did he know where she was. But he 

A Green Spot. 103 

was concerned about her, and " wanted to hunt 
her up." 

After dinner we set ourselves at work, preparing 
the boats for a renewed voyage, which we had 
some reason to hope would be one of fewer inter 
ruptions. The " Hope " was repatched and calked 
by Petersen. A mast and sail was put into the 
life-boat, which we named the " Ironsides." The 
heavier part of the freight was put on board the 
" Hope," of which Petersen took command, with 
Sontag, George Stephenson, and George Whipple 
as companions and helpers. Dr. Hayes command 
ed in the " Ironsides," with whom was Bonsall, 
John, Blake, and William Godfrey. 

Having spread our sails to a favoring breeze, we 
gave three cheers and bore away for Cape Alex 
ander, about fourteen miles distant. As we sped 
onward the scene was delightful. On our left was 
Hartstene Bay, with its dark, precipitous shore 
line, and white glacier fields in the background. 
The outlines of Cape Alexander grew clearer over 
our bows, and cheered us onward. But a dark, 
threatening cloud crept up the northern sky, send 
ing after us an increasing breeze, and tipping the 
waves with caps of snowy whiteness. The storm- 
king came on in frequent squalls, giving earnest of 
his wrath. We could not turn back, nor did such 
a course at all accord with our wishes ; nor could 
we run toward the shore on the left, where only 
frowning rocks awaited us. We could only scud 
before the tempest toward Cape Alexander, come 
what would. The wind roared louder and the 


waves rolled higher, yet on we flew. We came 
within half a mile of the cape unharmed. Now 
the current, as it swept swiftly round the cape, pro 
duced a "chopping sea." The "Hope," being 
made for a heavy sea, rounded the point in good 
style. The " Ironsides " was shorter, stood more 
out of the water, and was, therefore, less manage 
able. John, who was intrusted with the steering- 
oar, in minding the business of Bonsall and God 
frey instead of his own, let it fly out of the water, 
and so permitted the boat to come round broad 
side' to the current. Of course the sea broke over 
us at its pleasure, filling every part which could 
be filled and sinking us deep in the water. But 
for its metallic structure and air-tight apartment 
we should have sunk ; as it was we held fast to 
the sides and mast to prevent being washed over 
board, and thus we drifted ingloriously round the 

Here we found our consort, ready to come to 
our assistance ; but as the water was smooth under 
sheltering land, we bailed out our boat, took in our 
sails, unshipped the mast, and rowed for a small 
rock called Sutherland's Island, hoping to find a 
harbor. But we found none, nor was it safe to 
land anywhere upon the island. There was noth 
ing to do but to pull back again in the face of the 
wind. The men were weary and disheartened ; 
the sun had set and it was growing dark; our 
clothes were frozen and unyielding as a coat of 
mail; cutting sleet pelted our faces, and we were 
often compelled to lose for a moment part of what 

A Green Spot. 105 

we had with such toil gained. But the sheltering 
main-land of the cape was at last gained, and we 
coasted slowly along for some distance looking for 
a haven. We finally came to a low rocky point, 
behind which lay a snug little harbor. "A harbor ! 
here we are boys; a harbor! " shouted the lookout. 
The men responded with a faint cheer they were 
too much exhausted for "a rouser." 

The boats were unladen and drawn upon the 
land. Every thing in the " Ironsides " was wet, 
but the stores of the " Hope " were in perfect or 
der. We pitched our tent, cooked our supper, 
and lay down to sleep. The sea roared angrily as 
its waves broke upon the rocky coast, and the 
wind howled as it came rushing down the hill-side ; 
but they did but lull us to rest as we slept away 
our weariness arid disappointment. 

Two days we were detained in this place. Once 
a little fox peered at us from the edge of the cliff, 
which set our men upon a fruitless hunt for either 
his curious little self or some of his kindred. We 
greatly desired a fox stew, but fox cunning was 
too much for us. 

We started for Northumberland Island on the 
eighth of September. To reach it we must pass 
through a wide expanse of sea which was now 
clear ; not a berg greeted our vision, no fragments 
of drifting ice-packs met our sight. The wind 
was nearly " after us," and the boats glided through 
the waves as gloriously as if carrying a picnic 
party in our own home waters. The spirits of the 
men run over with glee. "Isn't this glorious?" 


cried Whipple as the boats came near enough to 
gether to exchange salutations ; " we have it watch 
and watch about." 

"And so have we," replied Godfrey. 

"We're shipping a galley and mean to have 
some supper," shouted Stephenson. 

" And we have got ours already ! " exclaimed 
John. " Look at this ! " he added, flourishing in 
the air a pot of steaming coffee. 

But these joys were emphatically of the arctic 
kind, which are in themselves prophecies of ill. 
Bergs were soon seen lifting their unwelcome 
heads in the distance, and sending through the 
intervening waters their tidings of evil. Next 
came long, narrow lines of ice ; then these were 
united together by a thin, recent formation. We 
were now compelled to dodge about to find open 
lanes. Coming to a full stop, the officers climbed 
an iceberg to get a view of the situation. The 
pack was every-where, though in no direction was 
it without narrow runs of open water. Then and 
there they were compelled, after careful consulta 
tion, to decide a question deeply concerning our 
enterprise. It was this : Should we take the outer 
passage, or the one lying along shore. The first 
would afford a better chance of open water, but if 
this failed us, as it was even likely to do at this late 
season, we must certainly perish. . The second gave 
us a smaller chance of boating, but some chance 
to live if it failed. But we were on a desperate 
enterprise, and were inclined to desperate meas 
ures. But Petersen, who had twenty years' experi- 

A Green Spot. 107 

ence in these waters, counseled the inner route, 
and by his counsel the officers felt bound to abide. 

While this consultation was going on the sea 
became calm, and the boats could be urged only 
by the oars. It was night before we found a shel 
tered, sloping land behind a projecting rock. The 
boats were anchored in the usual way by taking 
out their loads and lifting them upon the land. 

The tents were pitched upon a terrace a few 
yards above the boats. This terrace, we were sur 
prised to find, was covered with a green sod, full 
of thrifty vegetation. The sloping hill-side above 
had the same greenness. A little seeking brought 
to our wondering sight; an abundant supply of 
sorrel and " cochlearia" anti-scurvy plants which 
our men much needed. Some of the men soon 
.filled their caps with them. A fox had been shot 
and was already in the cook's steaming pot, to 
which a good supply of the green plants was added. 
Such a supper as we had ! Nothing like it had 
been tasted since we left home ! Our scurvy 
plague spots disappeared before its wonderful 
healing power. The men became as hilarious as 
boys when school is out. They reveled and rolled 
upon the green arctic carpet like young calves in 
a newly found clover field. They smoked their 
pipes, "spun yarns," and laughed cheerily, as if 
their lives had not just now been in peril, and as 
if no imminent dangers lay at their door. Our 
camp had indeed been pitched by the all-guiding 
Hand in a goodly place. The men declared on re 
tiring that they felt the healing cochlearia in their 


very bones, and it is certain that we all felt the 
glow of our changed condition throughout our 
whole being. 

The next day two of us climbed the highest 
land of the island for a glance at our situation. 
We found it as depressing as our paradise of green 
ness had been encouraging. We could see south 
ward the closed ice-pack for twenty miles, and 
faint indications of the same condition of the sea 
could be discerned for twenty more miles. 

We returned, and a council was called in which 
all, men and officers, were called upon freely to 
discuss, and finally to decide by vote, the ques 
tion, Shall we go forward or attempt to return 
to the "Advance." All the facts so far as known 
were fairly brought out. Upernavik was six 
hundred miles in a straight line ; the brig was 
four hundred. Dangers, if not death, were every 
where, yet none desponded. Whipple, or " Long 
George," as his messmates called him, made a he 
roic speech which expressed the feelings of all. 
He exclaimed: " The ice can't remain long; I'll 
bet it will open to-morrow. The winter is a long 
way off yet. If we have such luck as we have had 
since leaving Cape Alexander, we shall be in 
Upernavik in two weeks. You say it is not more 
than six hundred miles there in a straight line. 
We have food for that time and fuel for a week. 
Before that's gone we'll shoot a seal." 

We voted with one voice " Upernavik or noth 
ing." The decision was made. 

Netlik. 109 



WE were unwillingly detained on the island 
several days more. During the detention 
we were visited by an Esquimo, who came most 
unexpectedly upon us. His name was Amalatok. 
He had been at the ship last winter, and had seen 
Dr. Kane in his August trip. His dress was strik 
ingly arctic a bird-skin coat, feathers turned in ; 
bear-skin pants, hair outward ; seal-skin boots ; 
and dog-skin stockings. He carried in his hand 
two sea birds, a bladder filled with oil, some half- 
putrid walrus flesh, and a seal thong. He sat 
down on a rock and talked with animation. While 
thus engaged he twisted the neck from one of the 
birds, inserted the fore-finger of his right hand 
under the skin of its neck, drew it down its back, 
and thus instantly skinned it. Then running his 
long thumb nail along the breastbone, he produced 
two fine fat lumps of flesh, which he offered in turn 
to each of our company. These were politely de 
clined, to his great disgust, and he bolted them 
down himself, sending after them a hearty draught 
of oil from the bladder. The other bird, the re 
maining oil, and the coil of seal-hide we purchased 
of him for three needles. 

Soon after Amalatok's wife came up with a boy 


her nephew. The woman was old, and exceed 
ingly ugly looking ; the boy was fine looking, wide 
awake, and thievish we watched him narrowly. 
In the evening the Esquimo left for their home 
on the easternly side of the island. 

In the afternoon of the fourteenth of Septem 
ber we left the island, and set our course toward 
Cape Parry. The sky had been clear, the air soft 
and balmy, and the open sea invited us onward. 
But a cold mist soon settled down upon us, suc 
ceeded by a curtain of snow, shutting out all land 
marks, and leaving us in great doubt as to our 
course. The compass refused to do its office, the 
needle remaining where it was placed. We struck 
into an ice-field and became perfectly bewildered. 
As we groped about we struck an old floating 
ice-island, about twelve feet square. On this we 
crawled and pitched our tent. The cook contrived, 
with much perseverance and delay, to light the 
lamp, melt some snow, and make a pot of coffee. 
This warmed and encouraged us. But as the 
snow fell faster and faster, we could not unwrap 
our bedding without getting it wet ; so we huddled 
together under the tent to keep each other warm. 
None slept, and the night wore slowly away as our 
ice-island floated we knew not whither. There 
was great occasion for despondency, but the men 
were wonderfully cheerful. Godfrey sung negro 
melodies with a gusto ; Petersen told the stories 
of his boyhood life in Copenhagen and Iceland ; 
John gave items of a " runner's " life in San Fran 
cisco ; Whipple related the horrors of the fore- 

Netlik. 1 1 1 

castle of a Liverpool packet ; and Bonsall " brought 
down the house " by striking up, 

" Who wouldn't sell his farm and go to sea?" 

During this merriment a piece of our raft broke 
off, and came near plunging two of the men into 
the sea. 

The morning dawned and showed the dim out 
lines of some large object near us, whether ice 
berg or land we could not tell. Before we could 
well make it out we were near a sandy beach cov 
ered with bowlders. We tumbled into the boats 
and were soon ashgre. As we landed, Petersen's 
gun brought down two large sea-fowl. We were 
in a little time high on the land, our tent pitched, 
and all but John, the cook, lay down in the dry, 
warm buifalo-skins and slept away our weariness. 
John in the meantime contended through six long 
hours with the wind, which put out his lamp, the 
snow, which wet his tinder when he attempted to 
relight it, and the cold, which froze the water in 
the kettle during the delay, as well as chilled his 
fingers and face, and cooked us at last a supper 
of sea- fowl and fox. As we ate with appetites 
sharpened by a fast of twenty-four hours, we heard 
the storm, which raged fearfully, with thankful 
ness for our timely covert. God, and not our wis 
dom, had brought us hither. 

When the morning broke we learned that we 
had drifted far up Whale Sound, and were camped 
on Herbert Island. After a little delay we entered 
our boats, rowed for several hours through " the 

12 NOK I II I'd I VM\ MiKS. 

.hi .h " the had < nal. .1 m n lln- '.Imi, , ami 
lli. -n |pr< ftding "in eanvas, we sailed Im tin- main 

i md We struck the coast twenty miles above 

< ' ape Tarry. 

\\'e had .. at < r I \ him- In jdam e at nil! Ml Mat i. m 

b.i fore W( he ird the " i ini. ' i ini. ' i ini. ' " oi~ Ks- 

i pi iinn vi IK (;. 1 1 was I he hailiii!', < i y ol a m m and 

n boy who - um- i iinnin" i.> MI. ihore. \\'ini.- iv 

I. i tefl I all. fd wil Ii I In- man, tin- 1 >\ K ampei , . 1 . iff 

The man was K a h 1 1 1 1 1 1 a h , "the \ n ; . I . n I , n i 

priest "I hi , 1 1 ibe. lie had I >rrn, a . \vd I br i erol- 

i. , i, d. M tin ihip m iin- \\ Intel 1 i'- stid <he. vil- 

>iil\ a |hOI I dilt ii" '' "p 'he bay, win ae 

ilenty >f biubi>< i and me !, \\in< h we might 

it we would allow him to enter our " oomiak 

and pilot in thin ' 

While we WeW talking with Kalnlnnah, Ihr boy 
had .pie ii I til.- in u . nl nil i vial fhiniii'h tin- vil 
( m i ame a nl men, \vnim-n, ami ellil- 

dii-n. rushing Along !>.- ihore^ md throwing then 

aim. abiiiit, ami ihOUting n" iiil\, \\illi Imwlm;; 
dn- . ai tin ii hi-els. 'I'he "Kabhinah" and 
"()nmial. " \\lnli- men and -.hip had 00011 ""' 
they \\ en- h.i|tpy. 

\\ . I. ml, nn l.n.iid I. alntnnah limn a ro< 1; v 
pni nl , 1 1. Im e I In- i i n\\ d mild i eai h il , ami pir.hed 

nil ami rowed up the btj < >m p > nengei w 

d< Ir-hl e.|, ha \ im; ne\ ei before voyaged m thil 

I I StOOd up "I I'"' ami < .dh -d In hi; 

i a i \ i n i r , i . 1 1 1 n I i \ i m n who i a n . 1 1 > i e a . I < > I US QlOnfl 

iin- ihore, ' ., Itiming, " See me ! ! 

\\ e landed in :i little < \ a-, at (he 


we pit. hod oni lent I'he sail. MS drew up the 
boat over tho gentle slope, shouting. " 1 leave oh ! " 
At tin-, the natives biokeont ifttO UtprOArioUl ' 

ter. Nothing oi ail the strange ihouttand 

; ht io then notioo so pleased them. They 
took hold ol the ropes , of the boats, and 

d iwa| . " i-c-u! 1-e n i . 

thv nearest approach they could make to the 

ml ot the wluto la, es. 

\ short distam o horn the boaeh. on tho slope, 
lood the ,Ttf///W#/ ~tWO Ston,- hnts twenty vaids 

.ip.ut l'he\ \veie surrounded b\ ro< ks and bo\\ 1 
iloi -. looking in, -u- liko tho Imkim; plaoos of \\ild 

. than thi ol men 

The enteitamineni given us b\ oin no\\ friends 
was most eordial V YOU m* woman to the 

valley N ith a troop ol bov. and ; .-i '. , at hoi 
,uid tilh-d ,MII kettles \\ilh watei Kalntnnah''. 
\\ 1 1 , 1 M , M i : \ 1 1 1 u . o a I a n d a : . , M < ,1 1 \ p i e i ' e 

ot li\ ei I'he hoil at oui , an\ as 

\M, k hunp, uttorevl and slo\\ Iv burnevl, ami 

tho > : Ughtei ran otl and brought then lamp 

ot dnod moss .ind seal tat. 

We gave them tome ot ,MH siippov. as they CX- 

iv, led oi oourse that we \\onid rhej made \\ M 

faoos at tho ootVee, and onl\ sipped a little; bm 

1\ a 1 n I n n \ 1 1 With i n o i > ~ > ; ' . _ : \ \ : \ pe I' se VCl'cd and 

dianlv freelv ol u \\ o passod round some hard 

IM ., ml. wlni h th.-\ did not regard as lood until 
tlu'v ->a\\ !!< oat thorn l'h,-\ thon nibblrd a\\ \. 
laM^Jnn:'. and nibbbn;-. .nvhilr until thru 
seemed to bo sote I'he) dun thrust them into 


their boots, the general receptacles of curious 

After supper the white men lighted their pipes. 
This to the natives was the crowning wonder. 
They stared at the strangers, and then looked 
knowingly at each other. The solemn faces of 
the smokers, the devout look which they gave at 
the ascending smoke from their mouths as it curled 
upward, impressed the Esquimo that this was a 
religious ceremony. They, too, preserved a be 
coming gravity. But the ludicrous scene was too 
much for our men, and their faces relaxed into 
smiles. This was a signal for a general explosion. 
The Esquimo burst into loud laughter, springing 
to their feet and clapping their hands. The relig 
ious meeting was over. 

The " Angekok," who seemed desirous to show 
his people that he could do any thing which the 
strangers could, desired to be allowed to smoke. 
We gave him a pipe, and directed him to draw in 
his breath with all his might. He did so, and was 
fully satisfied to lay the pipe down. His awful 
grimaces brought down upon him shouts and 
laughter from his people. 

The mimic puffs, and the poorly executed echoes 
of the sailors' " Heave-oh," went merrily round 
the village. 

Having established good feeling between our 
selves and the Esquimo, we entered upon nego 
tiations for such articles of food as they could 
spare. But they in fact had only a small supply. 
They wanted, of course, our needles, knives, wood, 

Netlik. 115 

and iron, and were profuse in their promises of 
what they would do, but their game was in the 

It was midnight before the Esquimo retired 
and we lay down to sleep. Dr. Hayes and Stephen- 
son remained on guard, for our very plausible 
friends were not to be trusted where any thing 
could be stolen. The stars twinkled in the clear 
atmosphere while yet the twilight hung upon the 
mountain, and all nature was hushed to an oppress 
ive silence, save when it was broken by the sud 
den outburst of laughter from the Esquimo, or the 
cawing of a solitary raven. 

Leaving Stephenson on guard, Dr. Hayes walked 
toward the huts. Kalutunah hearing his foot 
steps came out to meet him, expressing his wel 
come by grinning in his face and patting his back. 
The huts were square in front and sloped back into 
the hill. They were entered by a long passage 
way tossut of twelve feet, at the end of which 
was an ascent into the hut through an opening in 
the floor near the front. Into this the chief led 
the way, creeping on all fours, with a lighted torch 
of moss saturated with fat. Snarling dogs and 
half-grown puppies were sleeping in this narrow 
way, who naturally resented in their own amiable 
way this midnight disturbance. Arriving at the 
upright shaft, the chief crowded himself aside to 
let .his visitor pass in. A glare of light, suffocating 
odors, and a motley sight, greeted the doctor. 
Crowded into the den, on a raised stone bench 
around three sides, were human beings of both 


sexes, and of all ages. They huddled together still 
closer to make room for the stranger, whom they 
greeted with an uproarious laugh. In one of the 
front corners, on a raised- stone bench, was a 
mother-dog with a family of puppies. In the other 
corner was a joint of meat. The whole interior 
was about ten feet in diameter, and five and a half 
high. The walls were made of stone and the 
bones of animals, and chinked with moss. They 
were not arched, but drawn in from the foundation, 
and capped above with slabs of slate-stone. 

The doctor's visit was one of curiosity, but the 
curiosity of the Esquimo in reference to him was 
more intense and must first be gratified. They 
hung upon his arms and legs and shoulders ; they 
patted him on the back, and stroked his long 
beard, which to these beardless people was a 
wonder. The woolen clothes puzzled them, and 
their profoundest thought was at fault in deciding 
the question of the kind of animal from whose 
body the material was taken. They had no con 
ception of clothing not made of skins. 

The boys' hands soon found their way into the 
doctor's pockets, and they drew out a pipe, which 
passed with much merriment from hand to hand, 
and mouth to mouth. 

Kalutunah drew the doctor's knife from its 
sheath, pressed it fondly to his heart, and then 
with a mischievous side glance stuck it into his 
own boot. The doctor shook his head, and it was 
returned with a laugh to its place. A dozen times 
he took it out, hugged it, and returned it to its 

Netlik. 117 

place, saying beseechingly, " Me ! me ! give me ! " 
He did want it so much ! The visitor's pistol was 
handled with great caution and seriousness. They 
had been given a hint of its power at the sea-shore, 
wheje Bonsall had brought a large sea-fowl down 
into their midst by a shot from his gun. 

While this examination of the doctor was going on 
he examined more closely the objects about him. 
There was a window, or opening, above the en 
trance, over which dried intestines, sewed togeth 
er, were stretched to let in light. The wall was 
covered with seal and fox skins stretched to 

There were in the hut three families and one or 
two visitors, in all eighteen or twenty persons. 
The female head of each family was attending in 
different parts of the hut, to her family cooking. 
They had each a stone, scooped out like a clam 
shell, in which was put a piece of moss soaked in 
blubber. This was both lamp and stove, and was 
kept burning by feeding with fat. Over this a 
stone pot was hung from the ceiling, in which the 
food was kept simmering. These, and the animal 
heat of the inmates, made the hut intensely warm. 
Seeing the white man panting for breath, some 
boys and girls laid hold of his clothes to strip him, 
after their own fashion. This act of Esquimo 
courtesy he declined. They then urged him to 
eat, and he answered, " Koyenuck" I thank you 
at which they all laughed. Though he had dreaded 
this invitation, he did not think it good policy to 
declare it. A young girl brought him the con- 


tents of one of the stone pots in a skin dish, first 
tasting it herself to see if it was too hot. 

All eyes were upon the visitor. Not to take 
their proffered pottage would be a great affront. 
To him the dose seemed insufferable, though of 
necessity to be taken. Shutting his eyes, and 
holding his nose, he bolted it down. He was aft 
erward informed that it was one of the delicacies 
of their table, made by boiling together blood, oil, 
and seal intestines ! 

After thus partaking of their hospitality, the doc 
tor left the Esquimo quarters, escorted by " the 
Angekok " and his daughter. 

We were astir at dawn, preparing to leave this 
little village known as Netlik. We had obtained a 
valuable addition to our slender store of blubber, 
and a few pairs of fur boots and mittens, for which 
we amply paid them. 

Knowing that the Esquimo had never heard of 
the commandment, " Thou shalt not covet," and 
that they did not understand well the law of 
" mine " and " thine," we watched them closely as 
our stores were being passed into the boat. When 
we were ready to push off it was ascertained that 
the hatchet was missing. Petersen openly charged 
them, as they stood upon the shore, with the theft. 
They all threw up their hands with expressions of 
injured innocence. " My people never steal ! " ex 
claimed the affronted chief. 

One fellow was so loud in his protestations of 
innocence that Petersen suspected him. The 
Dane approached him with a flash of anger in his 

Netlik. 1 19 

eye, which told its own story. The Esquimo 
stepped back, stooped, picked up the hatchet, on 
which he had been standing, and gave it to Peter- 
sen with one hand, and with the other presented 
him a pair of mittens as a peace-offering. 

We pushed off, and they stood shouting upon 
the beach until their voices died away in the dis 
tance as we pulled across the bay. 




WE now made for Cape Parry with all speed, 
though this was slow speed. The young 
ice which covered the bay was too old for us, or, 
at any rate, it was too strong for easy progress. It 
was sunset when we reached the cape. Beyond 
this there had been open water seen by us for many 
days past, from the elevated points of observation 
which we had sought. From this point, therefore, 
we expected free sailing southward, and rapid 
progress toward safety and our homes. But here 
we were at last at Cape Parry against a pack which 
extended far southward. In our desperation we 
tried to force the boats through. The " Ironsides " 
was badly battered, and the " Hope " made sadly 
leaky by the operation, and no progress was made. 
We then pushed slowly down the shore through a 
lead, and having gone about seven -miles, darkness 
and the ice brought us to a stand, and we drew up 
for the night. 

In the morning we observed a lead going south 
from the shore at a point twelve miles distant. 
For six days, bringing us to the twenty-seventh of 
September, we fought hard to reach the lead, but 
failed. We could now neither retreat nor go for 
ward . Ice and snow were every-where. The sun 

The Hut. 121 

was running low in the heavens, seeming to rise 
only to set ; and soon the night, which was to have 
no sunrise morning until February, would be upon 
us. Our food was sufficient for not more than two 
weeks, and our fuel of blubber for the lamp only 
was but enough for eight or ten days. Our con 
dition seemed almost without hope, but it had en 
tered into our calculations as a possible contingen 
cy, and we girded ourselves for the struggle for 
life, trusting in the Great Deliverer.-^g^s...^ 

We were about sixteen miles below Cape Parry, 
and about midway between Whale Sound and 
Wolstenholme Sound. We pitched our tent thirty 
yards from the sea on a rocky upland. After se 
curing in a safe place the boats and equipments, 
we began to look about us for a place to build a 
hut. It was, indeed, a dreary, death-threatening 
region. Time was too pressing for us to think of 
building an Esquimo hut, if, indeed, our strength 
and skill was sufficient. 

While we were looking round and debating what 
to build and where, one of our party found a crev 
ice in a rock. This crevice ran parallel^with the 
coast, and was opposite to, and near, the landing. 
It was eight feet in width, and level on the bottom. 
The rock on the east side was six feet high, its face 
smooth and perpendicular, except breaks in two 
places, making at each a shelf. On the other 
the ocean side the wall was scarcely four feet 
high, round and sloping ; but a cleft through it 
made an opening to the crevice from the west. 

We at once determined to make our hut here, 


as the natural walls would save much work in its 
construction. The only material to be thought of 
was rocks. These we had to find beneath the 
snow, and then loosen them from the grasp of the 
frost. For this we fortunately had an ice-chisel 
a bar of iron an inch in diameter and four feet 
long, bent at one end for a handle, and tempered 
and sharpened at the other. With this Bonsall 
loosened the rocks, and others bore them on their 
shoulders to the crevice. When a goodly pile 
was made we began to construct the walls. In 
stead of mortar we had sand to fill in between the 
stones. This was as hard to obtain as the stones 
themselves, as it had to be first picked to pieces 
with the ice-chisel, then scooped up with our tin 
dinner plates into cast-off bread-bags, and thus 
borne to the builders. 

This work was done by four of us only, the 
other four being engaged in hunting, to keep away 
threatened starvation. In two days our walls were 
up. They run across the crevice, that is, east and 
west, were fourteen feet apart, four feet high, and 
three thick. The natural walls being eight feet 
apart, our hut was thus in measurement fourteen 
feet by eight. The entrance was through the 
cleft, from the ocean side. We laid across the top 
of this door-way the rudder of the " Hope," and 
erected on it the " gable." One of the boat's 
masts was used for a ridgepole, and the oars for 
rafters. Over these we laid the boats' sails, 
drew them tightly, and secured them with heavy 
stones. Being sadly deficient in lumber, Petersen 

The Hut. 123 

constructed a door of light frame-work and cov 
ered it with canvas ; he hung it on an angle, so 
that when opened it shut of its own weight. A 
place was left for a window over the door-way, 
across which we drew a piece of old muslin well 
greased with blubber, and through which the som 
ber light streamed when there was any outside. 

We then endeavored to thatch the roof and 
" batten " the cracks every-where with moss. But 
to obtain this article we had to scour the country 
far and near, dig through the deep snow, having 
tin dinner plates for shovels, wrench it from the 
grip of the frost with our ice-chisel, put it in our 
bread-bags and " back it " home. 

In four days, in spite of all obstacles, our hut 
assumed a homelike appearance at least home 
like compared with our present quarters. We 
said : " To-morrow we shall move into it and be 
comparatively comfortable. "But that day brought 
the advance force of a terrific storm of wind and 
snow. It caught some of us three miles from the 
tent. We huddled together in our thin hemp can 
vas tent and slept as best we could. Two of our 
company crawled out in the morning to prepare 
our scanty meal. They found the hut half full of 
snow, which had sifted through the crevices. But 
they brought to the tent's company a hot break 
fast after some hours' toil ; we ate and our spirits 

We tried all possible expedients to pass away 
the time, but the hours moved slowly. The storm 
continued to howl and roar about us with unceas- 


ing fury for four days. Our little stock of food 
was diminishing, our hut was unfinished, and win 
ter was upon us in earnest. Our situation was 
one of almost unmitigated misery. 

On Friday, October sixth, the storm subsided, 
and nature put on a smiling face. We renewed 
our work on the hut, clearing it of snow with our 
dinner-plate shovels, and then, under greater diffi 
culties than ever, because the snow was deeper and 
our strength less, we finished it. The internal ar 
rangements were as follows : an aisle or floor, three 
feet wide, extended from the door across the hut. 
On the right, as one entered, was a raised platform 
of stone and sand about eighteen inches high. 
On this we spread our skins and blankets. Here 
five of us were to sleep. On the back corner of the 
other side was a similar platform, or " breck " as 
the Esquimo would call it; here three men were 
to sleep. In the left-hand corner, near the door, 
Petersen had extemporized a stove out of some 
tin sheathing torn from the " Hope," with a funnel 
of the same material running out of the roof. This 
sort of fire-place stove held two lamps, a sauce 
pan, and kettle. On a post which supported the 
roof hung a small lamp. 

Into this hut we moved October ninth. Com 
pared with the tent it was comfortable. It was 
evening when we were settled. At sundown Pe 
tersen came in with eight sea-fowl, so we celebrated 
the occasion with a stew of fresh game, cooked in 
our stove with the staves of our blubber kegs, and 
we added to our meal a pot of hot coffee. 

The Hut. 12 5 

The supper done, we talked by the dim light of 
our moss taper. A storm, which was heralded 
during the day, was raging without in full force, 
burying us in a huge snow-bank. We discussed 
calmly our duties and trials, and we all lay down 
prayerfully to sleep. 

What shall we do now ? was the question of the 
morning. Indeed, it was the continual question. 
John reported our stores thus : " There's three 
quarters of a small barrel of bread, a capful of 
meat biscuit, half as much rice and flour, a double 
handful of lard and that's all." Our vigilant 
hunting thus far had resulted in seventeen small 
birds ; that was all. Some of us had tried to eat 
the " stone moss," a miserable lichen which clung 
tenaciously to the stones beneath the snow. But 
it did little more than stop for awhile the gnawings 
of hunger, often inducing serious illness ; yet this 
seemed our only resort. 

The storm still raged. We were all reclining 
upon the brecks except John, who was trying to 
cook by a fire which filled our hut with smoke, 
when we were startled by a strange sound. " What 
is it ? " we asked. We could not get out, so we list 
ened at the window. "It was the wind," we said, 
for we could hear nothing more. In a half hour 
it was repeated clearer and louder. We opened 
the door "by drawing the snow into the house, 
and made a little opening through the drift 
so we could see daylight. " It was the barking 
of a fox," says one. "No," said another, "it was 
the growling of a bear." Whipple, who was 


half asleep, muttered, " It was just nothing at 

While these remarks were being made the Es- 
quimo shout was clearly recognized. Petersen 
put his mouth to the aperture in the snow and 
shouted, "Huk ! huk ! huk ! " After much shout 
ing, two bewildered Esquimo entered our hut. 
They were from Netlik, the village we had last 
left, and one was Kalutunah. Their fur dress 
had a thick covering of snow, and, hardy though 
they were, they looked weary almost to faintness. 
They each held in one hand a dog-whip, and in 
the other a piece of meat and blubber. They 
threw down the food, thrust their whip-stocks un 
der the rafters, hung their wet outer furs upon 
them, and at once made themselves at home. The 
chief hung around Dr. Hayes, saying fondly, 
" Doctee ! doctee ! " 

John put out his smoking fire, at the Angekok's 
request, and used his blubber in cooking a good 
joint of the bear meat. We all had a good meal 
at our guests' expense. Necessity was more than 
courtesy with hungry men. 

While the cooking and eating were going on, we 
listened to the marvelous story of the Esquimo. 
They left Netlik, forty miles north, the morning of 
the previous day on a hunting excursion with two 
dog-sledges. The storm overtook them far out 
upon the ice in search of bear, and they sheltered 
themselves in a snow hut for the night. Fearing 
the ice might break up they turned to the land, 
which they happened to strike near our boats and 

The Hut. 127 

tent. Knowing we must be near, they picketed 
their dogs under a sheltering rock and commenced 
tramping and shouting. 

The supper eaten, the story told, and the curi 
osity of our visitors satisfied in closely observing 
every thing, we made for them the best bed pos 
sible, tucked them in, and they were soon snoring 

In the morning we tunneled a hole from our 
door through the snow. Kalutunah and Dr. 
Hayes went to the sea-shore. The dogs were 
howling piteously, having been exposed to all the 
fury of the storm during the night without the lib 
erty of stirring beyond their tethers. Besides, they 
had been forty-eight hours without food, having 
come from hom.e in that time through a widely 
deviating track. Every thing about them was 
carefully secured which could be eaten, and they 
were loosened. 

Dr. Hayes turned toward the hut, and having 
reached the snow-tunnel he was about to stoop 
down to crawl through it, when he observed the 
whole pack of thirteen snapping, savage brutes 
at his heels. Had he been on his knees they 
would have made at once a meal of him. They 
stood at bay for a moment, but seeing he had no 
means of attack, one of them commenced the as 
sault by springing upon him. Dr. Hayes caught 
him on his arm, and kicked him down the hill. 
This caused a momentary pause. No help was 
near, and to run was sure death. It was a fearful 
moment, and his blood chilled at the prospect of 


dying by the jaws of wolfish dogs, whose fierce 
and flashing eyes assured him that hunger had 
given them a terrible earnestness. His eye im 
proved the moment's respite in sweeping the circle 
of the enemy for the means of escape, and he 
caught a glimpse of a dog-whip about ten feet off. 
Instantly he sprang as only a man thus situated 
could spring, and clearing the back of the largest 
of the dogs, seized the whip. He was now mas 
ter of the situation. Never amiable, and terribly 
savage when prompted by hunger, yet the Esqui- 
mo dog is always a coward. Dr. Hayes's vigorous 
blows, laid on at right and left with much effect 
and more sound and fury, sent the pack yelping 

In our discussions of the question of subsist 
ence, we had about decided that we must draw 
our supplies from the Esquimo or perish. Our 
hunting was a failure, and our supply of food was 
about exhausted. So when Kalutunah came back 
we proposed to him through Petersen to pur 
chase blubber and bear meat with our treasures 
of needles, knives, etc., so valuable in the eyes of 
the natives. He looked at our sunken cheeks and 
desolate home with a knowing twinkle of his eye, 
and a crafty expression on his besotted face. This 
was followed by the questions, *' How much shoot 
with mighty guns ? how much food you bring from 
ship ? " These questions, and the speaking eye and 
tell-tale face, were windows through which we 
saw into the workings of his dark heathen mind. 
They meant, as we understood them, " If you are 

The Pint. 129 

going to starve we had better let you. We shall 
then get your nice things without paying for 

But Petersen understood and outmanaged the 
crafty chief. 

" How we going to live? " he boldly exclaimed, 
facing the questioner. " Live ! Shoot bear when 
we get hungry, sleep when we get tired ; Esqui- 
mo will bring us bear, we shall give them pres 
ents, and sleep all the time. White man easily get 
plenty to eat. Always plenty to eat, plenty sleep." 

The glory of life from the Esquimo point of 
view is plenty to eat. and nothing to do. They 
held those who had attained to this high estate in 
profound respect. The starving could scarcely be 
brought within the range of their consideration. 
Hence the policy adopted by Petersen, and it had 
its desired effect. Kalutunah and his companion 
tarried another night, and departed promising to 
return with such food as the hunt afforded, and 
exchange it for our valuables. 

Two weeks days of misery passed before 
their return. We set fox-traps, constructed much 
after the style of the rabbit-traps of the boys at 
home, tramping for this purpose over the coast 
line for ten miles. One little prisoner only re 
warded our pains, while the saucy villains showed 
themselves boldly by day, barking at us from the 
top of a rock, dodging across our path at the right 
and left, and even following us within sight of the 
hut. But all this was done at a safe distance from 
our guns. 


Petersen went far out to sea on the ice, but 
neither bear nor seal rewarded his toil. We had 
burned up our lard keg for our semi-daily fire to 
cook our scanty meals, and now, with a sorrow that 
went to our hearts, began to break up the " Hope." 
We knew this step argued badly for the future, but 
what could we do ? Besides, it was poor, water- 
soaked fuel, and would last but a little while. We 
saved the straightest and best pieces for trade with 
the Esquimo. 

Our scanty meals, badly helped by the stone 
moss, told upon our health. Stephenson gasped 
for breath with a heart trouble.; Godfrey fainted, 
and was happily saved a serious fall by being 
caught in John's arms. 

Esquimo Treachery. 131 



THE kind Providence which had interfered 
for us in so many cases came with timely 
help. October twenty-sixth, Kalutunah and his 
companion returned. They had been south to 
Cape York, nearly a hundred miles, calling on 
their way at the village called Akbat, thirty miles 
off. They had killed three bears, the most of 
which they had upon their sledges. They sold 
us, reluctantly, enough for a few days. We ate of 
the refreshing meat like starving men, as we real 
ly were. Our sunken eyes and hollow cheeks 
seemed to leave us at a single meal. The faint re 
vived, and our despondency departed. Our past 
sufferings were for the moment at least forgotten, 
and we looked hopefully upon the future. 

The next day the Esquimo called and left a lit 
tle more meat and blubber. We caught two small 
foxes, one of them in a trap, and the other was 
arrested by a shot from Dr. Hayes's gun. The 
audacious little fellow run over the roof of our 
hut and awoke the doctor, who, without dressing, 
seized his double-barreled gun, and bolted into 
the cold without. It was dark, and he fired at 
random. The first shot missed, but the second 
wounded him, and he went limping down the hill. 


The doctor gave chase and returned with the 
game, but came near paying dear for his prize, 
barely escaping without frozen feet. 

On Sunday, the twenty-ninth, in the midst of 
pensive allusions, and more pensive thoughts, con 
cerning home, in which even Petersen's weather- 
beaten face betrayed a tear, an Esquimo boy came 
in from Akbat. His bearing was manly, his coun 
tenance fresh and agreeable, if not handsome, and 
Jiis dress, of the usual material, was new. He 
drove a fine team with decided spirit. He was 
evidently somebody's pet, and we thought we saw 
a mother's partial stamp upon him. He was on 
his way to Netlik, and our curious inquiries brought 
from him the blushing acknowledgment that he 
was going " a courting!" He was nothing loath 
to talk of his sweetheart, and he bore her a bundle 
of bird-skins to make her an under garment as 
love-token. We gave him a pocket-knife and a 
piece of wood, to which we added two needles 
for his lady-love. He was full of joy at this good 
fortune, but when Sontag added a string of beads 
for her his cup run over. He had on his sledge 
two small pieces of blubber, a pound of bear's 
meat, a bit of bear's skin. These he laid at 
our feet, and dashed off toward Netlik in fine 

When he was gone we renewed our ever-return 
ing, perplexing, never-settled question, What shall 
we do ? We could agree on no plans of escape, 
for all seemed impossible of execution. Yet we 
did agree in the expediency of opening a commu- 

Esquimo Treachery, 133 

nication with the brig. But how to do it was the 

Our dependence upon the Esquimo growing 
more humiliatingly absolute every day, pained us. 
We feared their treachery, of which we already 
saw some signs. u What shall we do ? " was ever 

While thus perplexed, Kalutunah made his ap 
pearance. With him were a young hunter, and a 
woman with a six months' old baby. The little 
one was wrapped in fox-skin, and thrust into its 
mother's hood, which hung on her neck behind. 
It peered out of its hiding-place with a contented 
and curious expression of face. Its mother had 
come forty miles, sometimes walking over the 
hummocky way, with the thermometer thirty-eight 
degrees below zero, with a liability of encounter 
ing terrific storms, and all to see the white men 
and their igloe. Mother and child arrived in good 

We conversed with the chief about our plan of 
going to Upernavik on sledges, and proposed to 
buy teams of his people, or hire them to drive us 
there. He received the proposal with a decided 
dissent, amounting almost to resentment. His 
people, he said, would not sell dogs at any price ; 
they had only enough to preserve their own lives. 

This we knew to be false. We offered a great 
price, but he scorned the bribe, and talked with 
an expression of horror about our plan of passing 
with sledges over the Frozen Sea, as he called 
Melville Bay. 
- 9 


While we were urging the sale by him of dogs 
and sledges he looked quizzically at our emaci 
ated forms and sunken cheeks, and turning to 
the woman with a significant twinkle in his eye, 
he sucked in his cheeks. She returned the 
knowing glance, and sucked in her cheeks. This 
meant : We shall get all the white men's coveted 
things without paying when we find them starved 
and dead. This was a comforting view of the 
case for them. 

We dropped the plan of going south, and pro 
posed to the chief to carry some of our party to 
the ship. This he readily assented to, and said 
at least four sledges should go with Petersen, if to 
each driver should be given a knife and piece of 
wood. We closed the bargain gladly, and Peter- 
sen was to start in the morning. 

Guests and entertainers now sought rest. We 
gave the mother and child our bed in the corner. 
This was to us a self-denying act of courtesy, 
compelled by policy. We had usually given a 
good distance between us and such lodgers on 
account of certain specimens of natural history 
which swarmed upon their bodies, which, though 
starving, we did not desire. But to put her in a 
meaner place would be a serious affront, for which 
we might be obliged to pay dearly. 

About midnight voices were heard outside, and 
soon our young lover, the boy-hunter, entered, ac 
companied by a widow who was neither young 
nor beautiful. The hut was in instant confusion. 
There was but little more sleep for the night, which 

Esquimo Treachery. 135 

was peculiarly hard on Petersen, who was to start 
in the morning on his long journey. 

We had no food with which to treat our guests, 
which they saw, and so supped upon the provis 
ions which they brought. The widow ate raw 
young birds, of which she brought a supply saved 
over from the summer. The Angekok had de 
cided that her husband's spirit had taken tempo 
rary residence in a walrus, so she was forbidden 
that animal. She chewed choice bits of her bird 
and offered them to us. We tried politely to de 
cline the kindness, but our refusal plainly offended 

The widow's husband had been carried out to 
sea on an ice-raft on the sudden breaking up of 
the floe, and had never been heard from. When 
ever his name was mentioned she burst into tears. 
Petersen told us that, according to Esquimo cus 
tom in such cases, we were expected to join in the 

At the first attempt our success was very in 
different. On the next occasion we equaled in 
sincerity and naturalness the expressed sorrow of 
the heirs of a rich miser over his mortal remains. 
Even the tears we managed so well that the wid 
ow, charitably forgetting our former affront, offered 
us more chewed meat. 

In the morning Petersen was off, Godfrey ac 
companying him at his own option. 

The same evening John and Sontag went south 
with the widow and young hunter. Thus four of 
us only were left in the hut, and of these, one, 


Stephenson, was seriously sick. His death at any 
time would not have been a surprise to us. The 
hut was colder than ever, and our food nearly 
gone. A few books, among which was a little 
Bible, the gift of a friend, were a great source of 

In a few days John and Sontag returned. They 
had fared well during their absence. They were 
accompanied by two Esquimo, who brought us 
food for a few days, for which they demanded an 
exorbitant price. They, like people claiming a 
higher civilization, took advantage of our neces 
sity. When they were about to depart on a bear 
hunt, Dr. Hayes proposed that two of us accom 
pany them with our guns, but they declined. We 
went with them to the beach, saw them start, 
watched them as they swiftly glided over the ice, 
and, dodging skillfully around the hummocks, 
faded into a black speck in the distance. 

The day was spent as one of rest by four of our 
number, while two of us visited the traps, return 
ing as usual with nothing. The evening came. 
A cup of good coffee revived us. The tempera 
ture of our den came up to the freezing point. 
We were in the midst of this feast of hot coffee 
and increased warmth, when we heard a footfall. 
We hailed in Esquimo, but no answer. Soon the 
outer door of our passage way opened, a man 
entered and fell prostrate with a deep moan. It 
was Petersen. He crept slowly in as we opened 
the door, staggered across the hut, and fell ex 
hausted on the breck. 

Esquimo Treachery. 137 

Godfrey soon followed, even more exhausted. 
They both called piteously for " water ! water ! " 

They were in no condition to explain what had 
happened. We stripped them of their frozen gar 
ments, rubbed their stiffened limbs, and rolled 
them in warm blankets. We gave them of our 
hot coffee, and the warmth of the hut and dry 
clothes revived them, but the sudden and great 
change was followed by a brief cloud over their 
minds. They fell into a disturbed sleep, and their 
sudden starts, groans, and mutterings, told of some 
terrible distress. 

Petersen, while sipping his coffee, had told us 
that the Esquimo had thrown off their disguise 
and had attempted to murder them ; that he and 
Godfrey had walked all the way from Netlik with 
the Esquimo in hot pursuit. We must watch, he 
said, for if off our guard they might overwhelm us 
with numbers. 

This much it was necessary for us to know ; the 
details of their terrible experience he was in no 
mood to give. 

We immediately set a watch outside, who was 
relieved every hour; he was armed with Bonsall's 
rifle. Our other guns we fired off and carefully 
reloaded, hanging them upon their pegs for in 
stant use. 

Petersen and Godfrey awoke once, ate, and lay 
down to their agitated sleep. No others slept, or 
even made the attempt. The creak of the boots 
of the sentinel as he tramped his beat near the 
hut, on a little plain cleared of snow by the wind, 


was the only sound which broke the solemn si 
lence. The enemy would not dare attack us ex 
cept unawares, knowing, as they did, that there 
were eight of us, armed with guns. At midnight 
noises were heard about the rocks of the coast. 
They were watching, but seeing the sentinel, and 
finding it a chilling business to wait for our cessa 
tion of vigilance, they sneaked away. In the 
morning one of our men visited the rocky coverts 
and found their fresh tracks. 

We received at the earliest opportunity the de 
tails of Petersen's story. They left us on the 
third of November, and were gone four days. 
They arrived in Netlik in nine hours, and were 
lodged one in each of the two igloes. Their wel 
come had a seeming heartiness. They had a full 
supply set before them of tender young bear-steak 
and choice puppy stew. Many strangers were 
present, and they continued to come until the 
huts were crowded. 

The next day the hunters all started early on 
the chase, to get, as Kalutunah said, a good sup 
ply for their excursion to the ship, as well as a 
store for their families. This looked reasonable, 
but when night came the chief and a majority of 
the men returned not, nor did they appear the 
next day. The moon had just passed its full, no 
time could be spared for trifling, and Petersen 
grew uneasy. This feeling was increased by the 
strangers which continued to come, the running 
to and fro of the women, the side glances, and the 
covert laugh among the crowd. 

Esquimo Treachery. 139 

Kalutunah returned on the evening of the third 
day of our men at the hut. Several sledges ac 
companied him, and one of them was driven by a 
brawny savage by the name of Sipsu. He had 
shown his ugly face once at our hut. He was 
above the usual height, broad-chested and strong 
limbed. He had a few bristly hairs upon his chin 
and upper lip, and dark, heavy eyebrows over 
shadowed his well set, evil-looking eyes. He was 
every inch a savage. While the crowd laughed, 
joked, and fluttered curiously about the strangers, 
Sipsu was digniried, sullen, or full of dismal 
stories. He had, he said, killed two men of his 
tribe. They were poor hunters, so he stole upon 
them from behind a hummock, and harpooned 
them in the back. 

Whatever shrewdness Sipsu possessed, he did 
not have wit enough to hide his true character 
from his intended victims. 

About twelve sledges were now collected, and 
Petersen supposed they would start early in the 
morning for the "Advance"," so he ventured to try 
to hurry them a few hours by suggesting midnight 
for the departure. To this suggestion they replied 
that they would not go at all, and that they never 
intended to go. The crowd in the hut greeted 
this announcement with uproarious laughter. 

Petersen maintained a bold bearing. He rose 
and went to the other hut and put Godfrey upon 
the watch, telling him^ what had happened. He 
then returned and demanded good faith from the 
chiefs. They only muttered that they could not 


go north ; they could not pass that " blowing 
place " Cape Alexander. He then asked them 
to sell him a dog-team ; he would pay them well. 
They evaded this question, and Sipsu said to 
Kalutunah, in a side whisper, " We can get his 
things in a cheaper way." 

Now commenced the game of wait and watch 
between the two parties ; the chiefs waited and 
watched to kill Petersen, and he waited and 
watched not to be killed. He had his gun outside, 
because the moisture of the hut condensing on the 
lock might prevent it from going off. He had told 
the crowd that if they touched it it might kill 
them, and this fear was its safety. Those inside 
thought he had a pistol concealed under his gar 
ments. They had seen such articles, and witnessed 
their deadly power. Their purpose now was to 
get possession of this weapon, and Sipsu was the 
man to do it. 

Petersen, cool as he was prompt and skillful, had 
not betrayed his suspicions of them; so he threw 
himself upon the breck and feigned himself asleep, 
to draw out their plans. 

The strategy worked well. The gossiping 
tongues of men, women, and children loosened 
when they thought him asleep, and they revealed 
all their secrets. Petersen and Godfrey were to 
be killed on the spot, and our hut was to be sur 
prised before Sontag and John returned from the 
south. Sipsu the while moved softly toward Pe 
tersen to search for the pistol. Just at this moment 
Godfrey came to the window and hallooed to 

Esquimo Treachery. 141 

learn if his chief was alive. Petersen rose from 
his sham sleep and went out. A crowd were at 
the door and about the gun, but they dared not 
touch it. The intended victims kept a bold front, 
and coolly proposed a hunt. This the natives de 
clined, and they declared they would go alone. 

It was late in the night when our beset and 
worried men started. They were watched sullen 
ly until they were two miles away, and then the 
sledges were harnessed for the pursuit. Fifty 
yelping dogs mingled their cries with those of the 
men, and made a fiendish din in the ears of the 
flying fugitives. What could they do if the dogs 
were let loose upon them, having only a single 
rifle ! One thing they intended should be sure ; 
Sipsu or Kalutunah should die in the attack. 

When the pursuers seemed at the very heels of 
our men, that one gun made cowards of the Esqui 
mo chiefs. They seemed to understand their dan 
ger. The whole pack of dogs and men turned 
seaward, and disappeared among the hummocks. 
. They meant a covert attack. 

Keeping the shore and avoiding the hiding- 
places, Petersen and Godfrey pressed on. The 
night was calm and clear, but the cold was over 
fifty degrees below zero. When half way, at Cape 
Parry, they well-nigh fainted and fell. But en 
couraging each. other, they still hurried onward, 
and made the fifty miles (it was forty in a straight 
line) in twenty-four hours. The reader under 
stands why they arrived in such distress and ex 




DURING the two days following the return 
of Petersen and Godfrey we spent our work 
ing hours in building a wall about our hut. It 
was made of frozen snow, sawed in blocks by our 
small saw. This wall served a double purpose, 
that of breaking the wind from our hut, 'and as a 
defense against the Esquimo. It gave our abode 
the appearance of a fort, and we called it Fort 
Desolation. John muttered : Better call it Fort 
Starvation ! This was in fact no unfitting desig 
nation. Our food was nearly gone. Those who 
alone could keep us from starving were seeking 
our lives. A feeble, flickering light made the 
darkness of our hut visible. Darkness, and damp 
ness, and destitution were within, and without 
were fears. We could not be blamed, perhaps, if 
the death which threatened us seemed more de 
sirable than life. Yet we could not forget Him 
who had so often snatched us from the jaws of our 
enemies cold, hunger, and savages and we 
trusted him to again deliver us. And this he did, 
for the next day Kalutunah and another hunter 
appeared. They did not come as enemies, but 
as angel messengers of mercy from the All-Mer 
ciful ! 

Lights and Shadows. 143 

The chief was at first shy, nor could he so far 
lay aside the cowardice of conscious guilt as to lay 
down for a moment his harpoon, at other times 
left at the hut door. He brought, to conciliate us, 
a goodly piece of walrus meat. After spending an 
hour with us he dashed out upon the ice on a 
moonlight hunt for bears. 

Petersen spent the day in making knives for the 
Esquimo, in anticipation of restored friendship. 
With an old file he filed down some pieces of an 
iron hoop, punching rivet holes with the file, and 
whittling a handle from a fragment of the " Hope." 
Though the knife, when done, was not like one of 
" Rogers's best," it was no mean article for an Es 
quimo blubber and bear meat knife. 

The next day four sledges and six Esquimo 
made us a call. One of them was our old friend 
the widow, with her bundle of birds under her 

They were all shy at first, showing a knowledge 
at least of the wrong intended us, but we soon 
made them feel at home. It was indeed for our 
interest to do so. They bartered gladly walrus, 
seal, bear, and bird meat, a hundred pounds in all. 
It made a goodly pile, enough for four days, but, 
alas ! the duty of hospitality, which we could not 
wisely decline, compelled us to treat our guests 
with it, and they ate one third! In three hours 
they were off toward Netlik. 

The next day an Esquimo man came from 
Northumberland Island ; we had not seen him be 
fore, and he did not appear to have been in the 


council of the plotters against us. He sold us wal 
rus meat, blubber, and fifty little sea fowl. 

Our health absolutely demanding a more gener 
ous diet, we ate three full meals, such as we had 
not had since leaving the ship. Our new friend's 
name was Kingiktok which is, by interpretation, 
a rock. Mr. Rock was a man of few words, and 
of very civil behavior. We fancied him, and 
courted his favor by a few presents for himself and 
wife. They were gifts well bestowed, for he at 
once opened his mouth in valuable and startling 
communications. He said that he and his brother 
Amalatok were the only two men in the tribe who 
were friendly to us. Amalatok was the man we met 
on Northumberland Island, who will be remem 
bered as skinning a bird so adroitly, and offering 
us lumps of fat scraped from its breast-bone with 
his thumb nail. 

Mr. Rock's talk run thus : He and this brother 
were in deadly hostility to Sipsu. The reason of 
this hostility was very curious. The brother's wife, 
whom we thought decidedly hag-like in her looks, 
was accounted a witch. Why she was so regarded 
was not stated. Now the law of custom with this 
people is that witches may be put to death by 
any one who will do it by stealth. She may be 
pounced upon from behind a hummock and a har 
poon or any deadly weapon may deal the fatal 
blow in the back, but a face to face execution was 
not allowed. It was understood that Sipsu as 
sumed the office of executioner, and was watching 
the favoring circumstances. On the other hand 

Lights and Shadows. 145 

the husband, and his brother, Mr. Rock, watched 
with courage and vigilance in behalf of the ac 
cused, while she lacked neither in her own watch 
ing. Thus the family had no fraternal relations 
with the villagers, though visits were exchanged 
between them. 

Concerning the conspiracy, Mr. Rock thus testi 
fied : Sipsu had for a long time counseled the 
tribe not to visit nor sell food to the white men, 
holding that they could not kill the bear, walrus, 
and seal, and would soon starve,, and so all the 
coveted things would fall into Esquimo hands. 
Kalutunah, on the other hand, held* -that their 
" booms " guns could secure them any game, 
and that our poverty of food was owing to a dis 
like of work. 

There had arisen, too, a jealousy about the 
presents we gave. Sipsu's let-alone policy caused 
his wife to complain that she only of the women 
was without even a needle. This drove him to a 
reluctant visit to us in which he got but little, so 
the matter was not bettered. 

Besides this, the condition of apparent starva 
tion, in which the visitors found us from time to 
time, finally gave popularity to Sipsu's position, 
and Kalutunah yielded to the older and stronger 

When Petersen and Godfrey arrived at Netlik, 
Kalutunah went fifty miles to inform Sipsu at his 
home of the good occasion offered to kill them. 
Sipsu was to lead the attack, and Kalutunah fol 
low. The arrangement was as we have stated, 


but failed on account of Sipsu's fear of the " au- 
leit " pistol. Having failed, his chagrin and 
anger led to the hot pursuit, in which he intended 
to set the dogs upon our men. But this failed 
when he saw how near he mast himself venture to 
the " boom." 

This story agreed so well with what Petersen 
and Godfrey saw and suspected that we fully be 
lieved it. 

Mr. Rock left us in the morning, and that even 
ing eleven natives, one of whom was Kalutunah,, 
called upon us on their way from Akbat to Netlik. 
The Angekok was full of talk and smiles. He 
gave us a quarter of a young bear, for which we 
gave him one of Petersen's hoop-iron knives. He 
was not pleased with it, for he had learned before 
the difference between iron and steel. He at 
tempted to cut a piece of frozen liver with it and 
it bent. He then bent it in the form of a U, and 
threw it spitefully away, grunting, " No good." We 
satisfied him with a piece of wood to patch his 

Among our guests were two widows having each 
a child. One of the little ones was stripped to 
the skin, and turned loose to root at liberty. It 
was three years old, and plainly the dirt upon its 
greasy skin had been accumulating just that length 
of time. 

One of the hunters was attended by his wife 
and two children a girl four, and boy seven years 

The fat fires of the several families were soon 

Lights and Shadows. 147 

in full blaze, which, added to the heat of nineteen 
persons, warmed our hut as it was never warmed 
before. The heat set the ceiling and walls drip 
ping with the melted frost-work, and every thing 
was wet or made damp. Besides, the air became 
insufferable with bad odors. It was now Fort 

But the frozen meat at which we had been nib 
bling was soon thrown aside for hot coffee, steam 
ing stew, and thawed blubber. Strips of blubber 
varying from three inches to a foot in length and 
an inch thick circulate about the hut. Strips of 
bear and walrus also go round. These strips are 
seized with the fingers, the head is thrown back, 
and the mouth is opened, one end is thrust in a 
convenient distance, the teeth are closed, it is cut 
off at the lips, and the piece is swallowed quickly, 
with the least possible chewing, that dispatch may 
be made, and the process repeated. The seven- 
year-old boy stood against a post, astride a big 
chunk of walrus, naked to the waste, as all the 
guests were. He was sucking down in good style 
a strip of blubber, his face and hands besmeared 
with blood and fat, which ran in a purple stream 
off his chin, and from thence streamed over the 
shining skin below. Our disconsolate widow 
supped apart, as usual, on her supply of sea-fowls. 
Four, each about the size of a half-grown domestic 
hen, was all she appeared to be able to eat ! 

We all ate, and had enough. Then followed 
freedom of talk such as is wont to follow satisfied 
appetites, and jokes and songs went round. God- 


frey amused the women and children with negro 
melodies, accompanied by a fancied banjo. Dr. 
Hayes and Kalutunah try to teach each other their 
languages. Bonsall looks on and helps. The 
chief is given " yes " and " no," and taught what 
Esquimo word they stand for. He tries to pro 
nounce them, says " ee's " and " noe," and inquir 
ingly says, " tyma ? " (right ?) Dr. Hayes nods, 
" tyma " with an encouraging smile, at which the 
chief laughs at the " doctees " badly pronounced 

They try to count, and the Angekok says "une " 
for one, strains hard at " too " for two, and fails 
utterly at the " th " in three. 

The " doctee " tries the Esquimo one, gets pat 
ted on the back with " tyma ! tyma ! " accompanied 
with merry laughs. The chief tries again, gets 
prompted by punches in the ribs, and significant 
commendation in twitches of his left ear. 

Having reached ten, the Esquimo numerals are 
exhausted. Sontag, with the help of Petersen, 
questions one of the hunters about his people's 
astronomy. The result in part is as follows, and 
is very curious. 

The heavenly bodies are the spirits of deceased 
Esquimo, or of some of the lower animals. The 
sun and moon are brother and sister. The stars 
we call " the dipper " are reindeer. The stars of 
" Orion's belt " are hunters who have lost their 
way. The " Pleiades " are a pack of dogs in pur 
suit of a bear. The aurora borealis is caused by 
the spirits at play with one another. 

Lights and Skadoivs. 149 

It has other teachings on the science of the 
heavens equally wise. But they are close observ 
ers of the movements of the stars. We went out 
at midnight to look after the dogs, and Peter- 
sen asked Kalutunah when they intended to go. 
He pointed to a star standing over Saunders 
Island, in the south. Passing his finger slowly 
around to the west he pointed at another star, say 
ing, " When that star gets where the other is we 
will start." 

Our guests at last lay down to sleep, but we could 
not lie down near them nor allow them our blank 
ets ; so we watched out the night. 




THE visitors left in the morning. We were 
now all well except Stephenson. Though 
we had just eaten and were refreshed, in a few 
days we might be starving, so we renewed our 
planning. To open a communication with the 
"Advance " seemed a necessity. Petersen volun 
teered to make another effort if he could have one 
companion. Bonssll promptly answered, " I will 
be that companion," at which we all rejoiced, as 
he was the fittest man for the journey next to the 

A dog-team and a sledge were an acquisition now 
most needed for the proposed enterprise. In a 
few days an old man came in whom we had never 
seen, belonging far up Whale Sound ; then came a 
hunter from Akbat with his family. Of these men 
after much bartering we purchased four dogs. 
Petersen commenced at once the manufacture of 
a sledge out of the wood left of the " Hope." All 
of his excellent skill was needed to make a serv 
iceable article with his poor tools and materials^. 

On the twentieth of November the sledge was 
nearly finished, and a breakfast on our last piece 
of meat assured us that what was done for our 
rescue must be done soon. But God's hand was, 

Drugged Esquimo. 151 

as usual, opened to supply us ; in the evening a fox 
was found in our trap. Stephenson, who had been 
cheered by our tea, received the last cup. 

We were reduced to stone-moss, boiled in blub 
ber, and coffee, and a short allowance of these, 
when two hunters left us three birds, on which we 

We were now out of food. The Esquimo had, 
most of them, gone north, owing to the failure of 
game at the south ; soon all would be gone. Fur 
ther discussion led us to the conclusion that we 
must all return to the " Advance," and start soon 
unless we chose to die where we were. So we 
commenced preparations for the desperate enter 

To carry out this plan it was absolutely neces 
sary to have two more dogs, for which we must 
trust to our Esquimo visitors. A sledge drawn 
by six dogs could convey our small outfit and poor 
invalid Stephenson. We purposed to direct our 
course straight for Northumberland Island, which 
we hoped to reach by lodging one night in a snow- 
hut. For each person there must be a pair of 
blankets. Our clothing was wholly insufficient 
for such a journey, so we set at work to improve 
it the best we could. Our buffalo robes had been 
spread upon the stone breck for beds. They were 
of course frozen down; in some places solid ice of 
several inches' thickness had accumulated, into 
which they were imbedded. When disengaged, 
as they had to be with much care and great labor, 
the under side was covered with closely adhering 


pebble-stones. The robes were hung up to dry 
before we could work upon them. We now slept 
on a double blanket spread on the stones and peb 
bles a sleeping which refreshed us as little as our 
moss food. 

We now, under the instructions of Petersen, cut 
up the buffalo robes and sewed them into gar 
ments to wear on our journey. We refreshed our 
selves with frequent sips of coffee, of which, fortu 
nately, we had a. plenty, and made out one meal at 
night on walrus hide boiled or fried in oil, as we 
fancied. It was very tough eating. 

At the close of the second day's tailoring four 
hunters came in from Akbat, with five women and 
seven children. We stowed them all away for the 
night, and gladly did so for the opportunity of 
purchasing forty-eight small birds, a small quanti 
ty of dried seal meat, and some dried seal intes 
tines imperfectly cleansed; but better, if possible, 
was the purchase of two dogs. Our team of six 
was complete. The hand of the great Provider 
was plainly manifested. 

The visitors were soon gone, but the four hunt 
ers came back the next day. They were bent on 
mischief. They stole, or tried to steal, whatever 
they saw, and seemed glad to annoy us. Unfor 
tunately for us, close upon their heels came an 
other party, from the south also, and equally bent 
on mischief. Among them was an old evil-eyed 
woman. Whatever she saw she coveted, and all 
that she could she stole. Going to her sledge as 
the party was about to start, we found a mixed 

Drugged Esquimo. 153 

collection of our articles, some of which could 
have been of no use to her. But we had missed 
two drinking cups which we could not find. We 
charged her with the theft, but she protested inno 
cence. We threatened to search her sledge, and 
she straightway produced them, and, to conciliate 
us, threw down three sea-fowl. We were gladly 
thus conciliated. 

The whole party became so troublesome that we 
were compelled to drive them away. The hunters 
lingered about, intending, we feared, to steal our 
dogs, two of which were purchased of them. We 
set a watch until they seemed to have left the 
vicinity, but no sooner was the sentinel's back 
turned than one of them and one of the dogs 
were seen scampering off together. Bonsall seized 
his rifle, and a sudden turn round a rock by the 
thief saved him from the salutation of an ounce 
of lead. 

On the twenty-ninth of November we were 
ready for a start. Our outfit was meager enough. 
It consisted of eight blankets, a field lamp and 
kettle, two tin drinking cups, coffee for ten days, 
eight pounds of blubber, and two days' meat. 
This last consisted of sea-fowls boiled, boned, 
and cut into small pieces. They were frozen 
into a solid lump. We hoped to be at North 
umberland Island in two days, and get fresh 

The sled was taken out through the roof of the 
hut, loaded, and the load well secured, and poor 
Stephenson carried out and placed on top of it. 


The dogs were then harnessed, and we moved 

The thermometer was forty-four degrees below 
zero when we left the hut, but it was calm, and 
the moon shone with a splendid light. We were 
weary and ready to faint at the end of one hour, 
how then could we endure days of travel ! The 
sledge was a poor one, the runners, the best our 
material afforded, were rough, and the dogs could 
not drag the sledge without two of us pushed, 
which we did in turn. We had thus gone about 
eight miles when Stephenson said he would walk. 
This we refused to let him do, knowing his ex 
treme weakness. But soon after he slid off the 
sledge. Dr. Hayes assisted him to rise, and sup 
ported his attempt to walk. He had thus gone 
about a mile when he fell and fainted. 

Near us was an iceberg in whose side was a 
recess something like a grotto. Into this we bore 
our companion, and added to the shelter by piling 
up blocks of snow. The lamp was lighted to pre 
pare him hot coffee. For some time he remained 
insensible, and when he came to himself he begged 
us to leave him and save ourselves. He could 
never, he said, reach the " Advance," and he 
might as well die then as at a later hour. 

Go without Stephenson we would not. Go with 
him seemed impossible. In fact we were all too 
weary to take another step, so we concluded to 
camp. But this, after unloading our sledge and 
making some effort, we could not do. We had no 
strength to make a hut, and we were already bit- 

Drugged Esquimo. 155 

ten by the frost; so we resolved to repack the 
sledge and return to the hut. 

All arrived at the hut that day, but ho\v and 
exactly at what time we did not know, only that 
some were an hour behind others, and that several 
finished the journey by. creeping on their hands 
and knees. We had just enough consciousness 
left to bring in our blankets and spread them on 
those we left on the breck, and to close up the 
hole in the roof. We then lay down and slept 
through uncounted hours. 

When we awoke it was nearly noon. Though 
hungry, cold, and weak, we were not badly frost 
bitten. The first desirable thing was a fire. The 
tinder-box with its fixings could not be found. 
The one having it in charge remembered it was 
used at the berg> and this we all knew, and that 
was all any one knew about it. Without this we 
could have no fire. Never before in all our exi 
gencies was such a feeling of despair expressed 
on our countenances. In this plight one in at 
tempting to walk across the tent struck something 
with his foot. We all knew the tinder-box by its 
rattle. Our lamp was soon lighted, coffee ivas 
made, and half of our meat warmed. The other 
half was given to Petersen and Bonsall, who 
started immediately to go, as we had once before 
planned, to the brig, while the rest remained in 
the hut. 

Dr. Hayes and Sontag accompanied them to 
the shore. The last words of the noble Petersen 
: If we ever reach the ship we will come 


back to you, or perish in the attempt, so sure as 
there is a God in heaven." 

Four days passed, after our companions left 
us, of accumulating misery. The hut was colder 
than ever, and we were in utter darkness the most 
of the time Our food was now scraps of old 
hide, so hard that the dogs had refused it. 

In this our condition of absolute starvation, 
three hunters, with each a dog-team, came to us 
from Netlik, one of whom was Kalutunah. They 
entered our hut with only two small pieces of 
meat in their hands, enough for a scanty meal for 
themselves. We appropriated one piece to our 
selves without ceremony. The visitors frowned 
and protested, but this was not a moment with us 
for words. We soon satisfied, or seemed to satisfy. 
them by presents, and both pieces were soon 

Dr. Hayes renewed his proposal for the Netlik 
people to carry us to the "Advance." Kalutunah 
refused curtly. Would they let teams to us for 
that purpose? No! The spirit of the refusal 
was, We wont help you. We know you must 
starve, and we desire you to do so that we may 
possess your goods. It was evident they under 
stood our desperate condition perfectly. 

These convictions of their purposes and feel 
ings were confirmed when one of our number 
found buried in the snow, near their sledges, 
several large pieces of bear and walrus meat. 
This they were evidently determined we should 
not taste. 

Drugged Esquimo. 157 

Kalutunah did not pretend that destitution or 
short supplies at Netlik made a journey to the 
brig inconvenient, but, as if to taunt us, said that 
a bear, a walrus, and three seals had been taken 
the day before. 

The case then, as we saw it, stood thus : Six 
civilized men must die because three savages, 
who had plenty, choose to let them, that they 
might be benefited by their death. We at once 
and unanimously decided that it should not be so, 
and that the Esquimo should not thus leave us. 

Not willing to do them unnecessary harm, Dr. 
Hayes proposed to give them a dose of opium ; 
then to take the dogs and sledge and push for 
ward to Northumberland Island, leaving them to 
come along at their leisure when they awoke. We 
could, we thought, push forward fast enough to be 
out of the reach of any alarm that might reach 

To this proposal all agreed. To carry it into 
execution we became specially sociable, and free 
with our presents. To crown the freeness of our 
hospitality we set before them the stew just pre 
pared, into which Dr. Hayes had turned slyly when 
it was over the fire a small vial of laudanum. To 
prevent any one getting an over dose it had been 
turned out into three vessels, an equal portion for 
each. It was, of course, very bitter. 

They at first swallowed itvery greedily, but 
tasting the bitter ingredient only ate half of it. 

The next few moments were those of intense 
anxiety. Would it stupefy them ? Soon, however, 


their eyes looked heavy, and their heads drooped. 
They begged to lie down, and we tucked them up 
this time in our blankets. 

We were in our traveling suits ready for a start, 
dog-whips at hand. As a last act Godfrey reached 
up to a shelf for a cup, and down came its entire 
contents with a startling noise. Dr. Hayes put 
out the light with his mitten, and cuddled down 
instantly by the side of Kalutunah. The chief 
awoke, as was feared, grunted, and asked what was 
the matter. The " doctee " patted him and whis 
pered, "Singikok," (sleep.) He laughed, mut 
tered something, and was soon snoring. 

Fearing from this incident that we could not 
trust the soundness nor length of time of their 
sleep, we carried off their boots, coats, and mit 
tens, that they might be detained in the tent until 
relief came. Stephenson was, most fortunately, 
better than he had been for some time, being able 
to carry a gun and walk. All the firearms being 
secured, Dr. Hayes stood at one side of the door 
outside with a double-barrelled shot-gun, and 
Stephenson on the other with a rifle. The pur 
pose was if they awoke to compel them, at the 
mouth of the guns, to drive us north. 

Sontag and the others brought up the most of 
the meat which was buried in the snow, and put it 
in the passage way. This would, last five or six 
days, and keep tht prisoners from starving until 
help came. The dogs being harnessed, we mount 
ed the sledges and once more turned our backs 
on Fort Desolation. 

Drugged Esquimo. 159 

The dogs objected decidedly to this whole pro 
ceeding; they especially disliked their new mas 
ters, and were determined on mischief. John and 
Godfrey were given by their team a ride a mile 
straight off the coast instead of along-side of it, as 
they desired to go. Dr. Hayes was worse used 
by his. They drew in different directions, went 
pell-mell, first this way, then that, at one time car 
rying him back nearly to the hut. Finally they 
became subdued apparently, and sped swiftly in 
the way they were guided. The other sledges had 
in the mean time dropped into the desired course. 
All seemed to be going well, when, just as the 
doctor's dogs had shot by the other teams, they 
suddenly turned round, some to the right and 
others to the left, turning the sledge over back 
ward, and rolling the men into a snow-drift. The 
doctor grasped firmly the " up-stander " of the 
sledge, and was dragged several yards before he 
recovered his feet. As the dogs at this moment 
were plunging through a ridge of hummocks, the 
point of the runner caught a block of ice. The 
traces of all the dogs excepting two snapped, 
and away went the freed dogs to their imprisoned 
masters. They yelped a taunting defiance as they 
disappeared in the distance. 

The doctor and Mr. Stephenson, taking each a 
dog, went to the N other teams, and we were again 
on the fly, leaving the third sledge jammed in the 
hummock. We reached in safety the southern 
point of Cape Parry, found a sheltering cave, and 




WE tarried in our camp full two hours. We 
obtained a pot of hot coffee and rest. The 
whips had been used so freely that they required 
repairing, for without their efficient help there 
could be no progress. 

All being in readiness, we were about starting 
when three Esquimo came in sight. They were 
those we had left asleep in our hut ! Dr. Hayes 
and Mr. Sontag seized their guns, and rushed 
down the ice-foot to meet them. They stood 
firm until our men, coming within a few yards, 
leveled their guns at them. They instantly turned 
round and threw their arms wildly about, exclaim 
ing in a frantic voice, " Na-mik ! na-mik ! na-mik ! " 
don't shoot! don't shoot! don't shoot! 

Dr. Hayes lowered his rifle and beckoned them 
to come on. This they did cautiously, and with 
loud protestations of friendship. By this time 
Whipple had come up. Each of our men seized 
a prisoner, and marched him into the camp. 
Reaching the mouth of the cave, the doctor turned 
Kalutunah round toward his sledge, pointed to it 
with his gun, and then turning north, gave him to 
understand, mostly by signs, that if he took the 
whip which lay at his feet, and drove us to the 

Back Again. 161 

" Ooraeaksoak " (ship) he should have his dogs, 
sledge, coat, boots, and mittens ; but if they did 
not do so that he and his companions would be 
shot then and there ; and to give emphasis to 
his words, he pushed him away and leveled his 

The chief went sideling off, crying, " Na-mik, 
na-mik ! " at the same time imitated the motion 
of a dog driving with his right hand, and pointed 
north with the other. His declaration was, " Don't 
shoot ! I'll drive you to the ship ! " 

Dr. Hayes seeing he was understood, told Kalu- 
tunah that the dogs and sledges were the white 
men's until the promise was fulfilled, to which he 
answered, " tyma " all right, approaching with 
smiles and the old familiarity, as though some great 
favor had been done him. He could respect pluck 
and strength if nothing else. 

The prisoners had been awakened by our es 
caped dogs, which, on arriving at the hut, run over 
the roof and howled a startling alarm. Their mas 
ters starting up, found means of lighting a lamp, and 
being refreshed by sleep and the food we left, en 
tered at once on the pursuit. Coming to the aban 
doned sledge, they harnessed the dogs and made 
good time on our trail, bringing away with them as 
many of our treasures as they could well carry. 

They were rare looking Esquimo just at this 
moment. They had cut holes in the middle of 
our blankets and thrust their heads through. One 
had found a pair of cast-off boots and put them 
on ; the others had bundled their feet up in pieces 


of blanket. Neither of them had suffered much 
from cold. 

We expressed our confidence in their promises 
by restoring their clothes. They jumped into 
them, happy as Yankee children on the Fourth of 
July. They were as obedient, too, as recently 
whipped spaniels. They touched neither dogs, 
sledge, nor whip until they were bidden. " On 
ward to Netlik ! " we shouted as we mounted our 
sledges and dashed away. Our distant approach 
was greeted by the howling of a pack of dogs, 
which snuffed our coming in the breeze. As we 
drew nearer, men, women, and children ran out 
to meet us. As soon as we halted fifty curious 
and wondering savages crowded around us, press 
ing the questions why we were brought by their 
friends, and why we came at all. But our bearing 
was that of those who came because they pleased 
to come without condescending to give reasons 
why. We told Kalutunah that three of us would 
go to each of the two huts, and stop long enough 
to eat and sleep, and then we would continue our 
journey. A renewed leveling at him of our guns, 
and pointing northward, brought out the prompt 
" tyma," giving the gaping bystanders a hint of the 
nature of our arguments for the services of their 

When we had entered the huts, the crowd rushed 
in too, making quite too many for comfort or safety. 
We told our hosts to order out all but the regular 
occupants of the huts, as many strangers had come 
in who were lodging in the adjoining snow-huts. 

Back Again. 163 

They did not understand our right to give such a 
command until a hint about our " booms " con 
vinced them. Ours was the right of self-preserva 
tion by superior strength. 

We had traveled fifteen successive hours, mak 
ing in the time fifty miles. So weary were we that 
even these Esquimo dens, affording as they did re^ 
freshment and rest without danger of freezing, 
were delightful places of entertainment. The 
women kindly removed our mittens, boots, and 
stockings, and hung them up to dry. They then 
brought us frozen meat, which intense hunger 
compelled us to try to eat, but the air of the hut 
was one hundred and twenty degrees warmer than 
that without, and we fell asleep with the food 
between our teeth. Having taken a short nap we 
were aroused by the mistress of the house, who 
had prepared a plentiful meal of steaming bear- 
steak. We ate and slept alternately until the stars 
informed us that we ' had rested twenty-seven 
hours. We intimated to Kalutunah that we would 
be going, and in a few moments he had every 
thing in readiness. 

Our next halting place was Northumberland Isl 
and, a distance, as we traveled, of thirty miles, 
which we made in six hours. Here we found two 
huts belonging to our old friends, Amalatok and 
his brother, " Mr. Rock." We divided ourselves 
into companies of threes as before, and made our 
selves at home in the two households. Mr. Rock, 
aided by his wife, and the witch-wife of his broth 
er, was kindly attentive. Our fare was varied 


by abundant supplies of sea-birds, which in their 
season swarm here. We tarried until our physical 
strength was sensibly increased. We learned that 
Petersen and Bonsall had been at this hospitable 
halting-place, eaten and rested, and pushed north 
ward under the guidance of Amalatok. 

Our next run was to Herbert Island, and, pass 
ing round its northwestern coast, we struck across 
to the mainland, and halted near Cape Robertson, 
at the village of Karsooit. We were on the north 
ern shore of the mouth of Whale Sound. We had 
made a run of fifty miles, halting to eat our frozen 
food only once. We had walked much of the 
way to prevent being frozen, and to lighten the 
load of the dogs over a rough way. 

The village consisted of two huts half a mile 
apart. One of them belonged to Sipsu, our old 
enemy. He received us gruffly, and because 
he felt that he must. His only kindness was a 
fear of our booms. The huts were crowded, there 
being here, as at Netlik, many stranger visitors from 
the south. We were almost suffocated on entering, 
passing as we did from a temperature of fifty de 
grees below zero to one seventy-five above. Our 
entertainers immediately laid hold of our clothes 
and began to strip us. They were much surprised 
at our persistence in retaining a certain part of 
them. We feasted on seal flesh, slept, were re 
freshed and encouraged. 

Our stay was short, and our next run was to a 
double hut, a distance of thirty miles, which we 
made in five hours. We had been joined at Kar- 

Back Again. 165 

sooit by an old hunter named Ootinah. We were 
on four sledges, the dogs were in good condition, 
the ice smooth, the drivers full of merriment and 
shouts of " Ka ! ka ! " by which their teams were 
stimulated onward. 

Our next run was to be one of sixty miles, in 
cluding the rounding of Cape Alexander, and end 
ing at Etah. It was to be a terrific adventure we 
well knew. At the mention of it our drivers 
shrugged their shoulders. The natives dread the 
storms of this cape, with their blinding snows, as the 
wandering Arabs of the desert do a tempest-cloud 
of sand. 

The first twenty miles was made comfortably. 
But we were yet many miles from the rocky for 
tress guarding the Arctic Sea, when we were saluted 
with a stunning squall. It cut us terribly, though 
it was but an eddy, for the wind was at our backs ; 
it was only a rough hint of what we might expect 
when the giant of the cape sent his blast squarely 
in our faces. The night came on, lighted only by 
the twinkling stars. The ice was smooth, and the 
wind at our backs drove our sledges upon the 
heels of the dogs, who ran howling at the top of 
their speed to keep out of their way. The cliffs, a 
thousand feet above us, threw their frowning shad 
ows across our path, pouring upon the plain clouds 
of snow sand, and shouting in the roaring wind 
their defiance at our approach. Yet we sped 
swiftly on, until a dark line was seen ahead with 
wreaths of " frost-smoke " curling over it, " Emerk ! 
emerk ! " shouted the Esquimo. " Water ! water ! " 


echoed our men. Our teams " reined up " within 
a few yards of a recently opened crack, now twenty 
feet across and rapidly widening. We were quite 
near Cape Alexander, but between it and us was 
ice, across which numerous cracks had opened. 
Against the cape was open water, whose sullen 
surges fell dismally upon our ears. It was plain 
that we could not go forward upon the floe ; to 
mount the almost perpendicular wall to the land 
above was impossible ; to turn back and thus face 
the storm would be certain death. Our case 
seemed desperate. Even the hardy Esquimo 
shrunk at the situation and proposed the return 
trail, against which to us, at least, ruinous course 
they couki not be persuaded until the pistol argu 
ment was used. 

In our peering through the darkness for some 
way of escape we caught a glimpse of the narrow 
ice-foot, hanging over the water at the bottom of 
the cliff. Along this we determined to attempt a 

We ascended this ice-foot by a ladder made of 
the sledges. Then we ran along the smooth sur 
face and soon passed the open water below ; but 
we had advanced a short distance only before a 
glacier barred our progress and turned us to the 
floe again. A short run on this brought us to 
another yawning crack with its impassable water. 
We ran along its margin with torturing anxiety, 
looking for an ice bridge. Finding a place where 
a point of ice spanne : d the chasm, within about 
four feet, Dr. Hayes made a desperate leap to gain 

Back Again. 167 

the other side. Lighting upon this point, it proved 
to be merely a loose, small ice-raft which settled 
beneath his feet. Endeavoring to balance himself 
upon it to gain the solid floe beyond he fell back 
ward, and would have gone completely under the 
water ; but Stephenson, standing on the spot from 
which the doctor jumped, caught him under the 
arms and drew him out. As it was he had sunk 
deep into the cold stream, filling his boots and 
wetting his pants. 

In the mean time a better crossing was found, 
and Dr. Hayes followed the last of the party to 
the other side. 

We returned to the ice-foot and found a level 
and sufficiently wide drive-way, and made good 
progress, soon reaching and running along that 
part of the icy road which overlooked the open 
water below. We met with no interruption until 
we came to the extreme rocky projection of the 
cape. Here the ice-foot was sloping, and for sev 
eral feet was only fifteen inches wide ! Twenty 
feet directly below was the- icy cold, dark water, 
sending up its dismal roar as it waited to receive 
any whose foot might slip in attempting the peril 
ous passage. The wind howled fearfully as it 
swept over the cliff and along the ice-foot in our 
rear, pelting us incessantly with its snow sand. 

"Halt!" was passed along the line, and the 
whole party, men and dogs, crouched under the 
overhanging rocks, seeming for the moment like 
beings doomed to die a miserable death in a horrid 


There was no time for indecision, and the pause 
was but for a moment. Dr. Hayes, taking off his 
mittens, and clinging with his bare hands to the crev 
ices of the rock, was the first to make the desperate 
experiment. His shout announcing his safe land 
ing on the broad belt beyond the dangerous place, 
welling up as it did from a heart overflowing with 
emotions of joy and gratitude, sent a thrill of glad 
ness along the shivering and shrinking line, of 
which even our poor dogs seemed to partake. 

The teams, each driven by its master, were next 
brought up, as near as safety permitted, to the nar 
row, slippery pathway. The dogs were then 
seized by their collars, and one by one dragged 
across safely. Next the sledges were brought for 
ward. Turning them upon one runner, they were 
pushed along until the dogs could make them feel 
the traces ; then a fierce shout from their drivers 
caused a sudden and vigorous spring of the ani 
mals, which whirled the sledges beyond the danger 
of sliding off the precipice. Cautiously, one by 
one, then came the remaining members of the par 
ty, all holding their breath in painful suspense, and 
each, we trust, in silent prayer, until all were safe 
over. The Divine arm and eye had been with us ! 
We could not have gone back, nor have turned to 
the right or left. A few inches less of width in* 
the ice-foot, or slightly more slope, and we had all 
perished ! 

Except some frost bites on our fingers, every 
man was all right. We had traveled five miles on 
the ice shelf above the foaming sea. We now had 

Back Again. 169 

a smooth, safe ice-foot, which conducted us soon to 
the solid ice-field of Etah Bay. Across this, fif 
teen miles, we scampered with joyous speed, and 
arrived at the village of our old Esquimo friends, 
a worn and weary, but thankful party. 

Good news met us at the hut. Petersen and 
Bonsall had, we were told, preceded us, and ar 
rived safely at the ship. 

But our trials were not ended. There was a 
sledge journ-ey of ninety-one miles yet awaiting us. 
Dr. Hayes's frosted feet gave him intense pain and 
he could not sleep. There was danger, if the heat 
of the hut thawed them, that he would lose them 
altogether. So, after only four hours' rest, he 
whispered his intention of a speedy departure to 
ward the "Advance," to Sontag, who was to take 
charge of the party ; he then crept stealthily out 
of the hut, accompanied by Ootinah, the faithful 
Esquimo from Karsooit. Sontag was not to men 
tion his departure to his comrades until they were 
rested and refreshed. 

He had hardly started before the rest of our 
company were at his heels. They did not wish 
their leader to endure the perils of the journey 
without them ; besides, they too had reason for a 
desire to be speedily at the brig. 

The wind was high, the floe full of hummocks, 
the cold intense, and altogether the journey was 
not unlike in its dangers that already endured. 
Whipple, ere they had reached the end, began to 
whisper that he was not cold, and finally fell from 
the rear sledge, benumbed and senseless, and was 


not missed until he was a hundred yards behind. 
He was lifted again to the sledge, but others gave 
signs of the approach of the same insensibility. 

But the track becoming smoother, the drivers 
cracked their whips and shouted fiercely, goading 
onward their teams to their utmost speed in the 
fearful race for life. Now old familiar landmarks 
are passed ; the hull of the dismantled ship opens 
in the distance, and its outlines grow clearer 
until we shout with feeble voices, but in glad 
ness of heart, " Back again ! " During the last 
forty hours we had been in almost continual ex 
posure, with the thermometer eighty degrees be 
low zero, in which time we had traveled a hun 
dred and fifty miles. During the run of ninety- 
one miles from Etah to the "Advance" we en 
camped once only, but failing to light our lamp, 
or to secure any protection from the cold, we im 
mediately decamped and finished our run of forty- 
one miles. 

Scares. 171 



WHEN the Esquimo arrived with Bonsall 
and Petersen, Dr. Kane resolved at once 
to send them back with supplies for the remain 
ing portion of Dr. Hayes's company, supposed to 
be, if living, at the miserable old hut. Petersen 
and Bonsall were utterly unable to accompany 
them. Of the scanty ship's store he caused to be 
cleaned and boiled a hundred pounds of pork ; 
small packages of meat-biscuit, bread-dust, and 
tea were carefully sewed up, all weighing three 
hundred and fifty pounds; and the whole was 
intrusted to the returning convoy, who gave em 
phatic assurances that these treasures, more pre 
cious than gold to those for whom they were in 
tended, should be promptly and honestly deliv 
ered. But this promise, we have seen, they did 
not keep, and, probably, did not intend to keep ; 
they ate or wasted the whole. This untrustworthy 
trait of the Esquimo character goes far to show 
that nothing but Dr. Hayes's " boom " could have 
assured their help in his desperate necessities. 

When Dr. Hayes arrived it was midnight. Dr. 
Kane met him at the gangway and gave him a 
brother's welcome. All were taken at once into 
the cabin. Ohlsen was the first to recognize 


Hayes as he entered, and, kissing him, he threw 
his arms around him and tossed him into the warm 
bed he had just left. The fire was set ablaze, 
coffee and meat-biscuit soup were prepared, and, 
with wheat bread and molasses, were set before 
them. In the mean time their Esquimo apparel 
was removed and hung up to dry. They ate and 
slept ; but many weary days passed, under skillful 
treatment by Dr. Kane, and kind care by all, be 
fore they fully recovered from the strain of their 
terrible exposures and fearful journey. 

When the returned comrades were duly cared 
for, Dr. Kane turned his attention to the concilia 
tion of the Esquimo who had accompanied them 
back. They, of course, had their complaints to 
make, and, may be, meditated revenge, though 
they were, as usual, full of smiles. It was the 
white chief's policy to impress them with his great 
power and stern justice. He assembled both par 
ties, the Hayes men and their Esquimo, in con 
ference on deck. Both were questioned as if it 
were a doubt who had been the offenders. This 
done, he graciously declared to the savage mem 
bers of the council his approval of their conduct, 
which he made emphatic, in the Esquimo way, by 
pulling their hair all around. 

The great Nalekok having thus expressed his 
good will, showed it still further by introducing 
his guests, now to be considered friends, into the 
mysterious igloe below where they had not before 
been permitted to enter. Their joy was that of 
indulged children during a holiday. They were 

Scares. 1 73 

seated in state on a red blanket. Four pork-fat 
lamps burned brilliantly ; ostentatiously paraded 
were old worsted damask curtains, hunting knives, 
rifles, chronometers, and beer-barrels, which, as 
they glowed in the light, astonished the natives. 
With a princely air, which, no doubt, seemed to 
the recipients almost divine, he dealt out to each 
five needles, a file, and a stick of wood. To the 
two head men, Kalutunah and Shunghu, knives 
and other extras were given. A roaring fire was 
then made and a feast cooked. This eaten, buffa 
loes were spread about the stove, and the guests 
slept. They awoke to eat, and ate to sleep again. 
When they were ready to go, the white chief ex 
plained that the sledges, dogs, and some furs, 
which his men had taken, had been taken to save 
life, and were not to be considered as stolen 
goods, and he then and there restored them. 
They laughed, voted him in their way a good fel 
low, and, in fine spirits, dashed away, shouting to 
their wolfish dogs. They had taken special care, 
however, to add to the treasures so generously 
given, a few stolen knives and forks. 

As the whole company are now crowded into 
the little cabin, and the darkness is without, so 
that the days pass without much incident, except 
that all are crowded with heavy burdens upon mind 
and body, we will listen to a few of the yet untold 
stories of the earlier winter. 

At one time Dr. Kane attempted a walrus hunt. 
Morton, Hans, Ootuniah, Myouk, and "a dark 
stranger," Awahtok, accompanied him. He took 


a light sledge drawn by seven dogs, intending to 
reach the farthest point of Force Bay by day 
light. But as the persistency of the Esquimo had 
overladen the sledge, they moved slowly, and were 
overtaken by the night on the floe in the midst of 
the bay. The snow began to drift before an in 
creasing storm. While driving rapidly, they lost 
the track they had been following; they could see 
no landmarks, and in their confusion, turned their 
faces to the floating ice of the sound. 

The Esquimo, usually at home on the floe, 
whether by night or by day, were quite bewildered. 
The dogs became alarmed, and spread their panic 
to the whole party. They could not camp, the 
wind blew so fiercely, so they were compelled to 
push rapidly forward, they knew not whither. 
Checking, after a while, their speed, Dr. Kane 
gave each a tent-pole to feel their way more cau 
tiously, for a murmur had reached his ear more 
alarming than the roar of the wind. Suddenly 
the noise of waves startled him. " Turn the 
"dogs ! " he shouted, while at the same moment a 
wreath of frost smoke, cold and wet, swept over 
the whole party, and the sea opened to them with 
its white line of foam, about one fourth of a mile 
ahead. The floe was breaking up by the force of 
the storm. The broken ice might be in any direc 
tion. They could now guess where they were, 
and they turned their faces toward an island up 
the bay. But the line of the sea, with its foaming 
waves, followed them so rapidly that they began to 
feel the ice bending under their feet as they ran 

Scares. 175 

at the sides of the sledge. The hummocks before 
them began to close up, and they run by them at 
a fearful risk as they hurried cautiously forward, 
stumbling over the crushed fragments between 
them and the shore. It was too dark to see the 
island for which they were steering, but the black 
outline of a lofty cape was dimly seen along the 
horizon, and served as a landmark. As they ap 
proached the shore edge of the floe they found it 
broken up, and its fragments surging against the 
base of the ice-foot to which they desired to 
climb. Being now under the shadow of the land, 
it was densely dark. Dr. Kane went ahead, grop 
ing for a bridge of ice, having a rope tied round 
his waist, the other end of which was held by 
Ootuniah, who followed, at whose heels came the 
rest of the party. The doctor finally succeeded 
in clambering upon the ice-foot, and the rest one 
after another followed with the dogs. 

The joy of their escape broke out into exulta 
tion when they ascertained that the land was 
Anoatok, only a short distance from the familiar 
Esquimo huts. God had guided them with his 
all-seeing eye to where they would find needed 
refreshment ! In less* than an hour they were 
feasting on a smoking stew of walrus meat. 

Having eaten their stew and drank their coffee 
they slept slept eleven hours! Well they might 
" after an unbroken ice-walk of forty-eight miles, 
and twenty haltless hours ! " The Esquimo sung 
themselves to sleep with a monotonous song, in 
compliment to the white chief, the refrain of which 


was, " Nalegak ! nalegak ! nalegak ! soak ! " Cap 
tain ! captain ! great captain ! " 

Without further special incident the party re 
turned to the brig. 

At one time an alarm was brought to Dr. Kane 
that a wolf was prowling among the meat barrels 
on the floe. Believing that a wolf would be more 
profitably added to their store of meat than to 
have him take any thing from it, he seized a rifle 
and ran out. Yes, there he is, a wolf from the tip 
of his nose to the end of bis tail ! Bang goes the 
rifle, whiz goes the ball, making the hair fly from 
the back of one of the sledge-dogs! He was 
not hurt much, but he came near paying with his 
life for the crime of running away from Morton's 

The fox-traps made occasion for many long 
walks, great expectations of game, and grievous 
disappointment. Dr. Kane and Hans were at one 
time examining them about two miles from the 
brig. They were, unfortunately, unarmed. The 
doctor thought he heard the bellow of a walrus. 
They listened. No, not a walrus, but a bear! 
Hark, hear him roar ! They sprung to the ice 
foot, about ten feet above the floe. Another roar, 
round and full ! He is drawing nearer ! He has 
a fine voice, and, no doubt, is large, and fat, and 
savory ! But then a bear must be killed before 
he is eaten, and that is just where the difficulty 
lies. It don't do for two men to run, for that is 
an invited pursuit, and bears are good runners. 
" Hans ! " exclaimed Dr. Kane, " run for the brig,. 

Scares. 177 

and I will play decoy ! " Hans is a good runner, 
and this time he did "his level best." 

Dr. Kane remains on the ice-foot alone. It is 
too dark to see many yards off, and the silence is 
oppressive, for the bear says nothing, and so Kane 
makes no reply. He queries whether, after all, 
there is any bear. How easy it is for the imagi 
nation to be excited amid these shadowy hum 
mocks, and this dreary waste through which the 
wind roars so dismally ! He gets down from his 
comparatively safe elevation upon the floe, puts 
his hand over his eyes, and peers into the darkness. 
No bear after all ! But what's that rounded, shad 
owy thing? Stained ice? Yes, stained ice ! But 
the stained ice speaks with a voice which wakes 
the Arctic echoes, and charges on our explorer. 
It is a hungry bear! Dr. Kane's legs are scurvy- 
smitten affairs, but this time they credit the fleet- 
ness of those of the deer. He drops a mitten, and 
his pursuer stops to smell of it, to examine it care 
fully, and to show his disgust at such game, by 
tearing it to pieces. These bears are famous for 
losing the bird by stopping to pick up his feathers. 
The man stops not, but drops another mitten as 
he flies. Before these articles are duly examined 
he has reached the brig. Dr. Kane has escaped, 
and the bear has lost his supper. 

It is now bruin's turn to run, for fresh hunters 
and loaded rifles are after him. He does run, and 
escapes ! 

But if there were fears without the brig, there 
were fightings with a fearful enemy within. The 


crowded condition of the cabin, after the Hayes 
party returned, made it necessary for the pork-fat 
lamps to be set up outside the avenue, in a room 
parted off in the hold for their use. A watch was 
set over them, but he deserted his post, the fat 
flamed over and set the room ablaze. Eight of 
the men lay in their berths at the time helplessly 
disabled. The fire was only a few feet from the 
tinder-like moss which communicated with the 
cabin. The men able to work seized buckets, 
and formed a line to the well in the ice always 
kept open. In the mean time Dr. Kane rushed 
into the flames with some fur robes which lay at 
hand, and checked it for the moment. The water 
then came, and the first bucket full thrown caused 
a smoke and steam which prostrated him. For 
tunately, in falling he struck the feet of the fore 
most bucket-man. He was taken to the deck, his 
beard, forelock, and eyebrows singed away, and 
sad burns upon his forehead and palms. Nearly 
all received burns and frost-bites, but in a half 
hour the fire was extinguished. The danger was 
horrid, and the escape wonderful ! Neither wild 
beasts nor the flames hurt whom God protects ! 

Seeking the Esquimo. 1/9 



DECEMBER twenty-fifth came, and our ice 
bound, darkness-enshrouded, sick, or, in a 
measure, health-broken explorers tried to make 
it a merry Christmas. They all sat down to din 
ner together. "There was more love than with 
the stalled ox of former times, but of herbs 
none." They tried, at least, to forget their dis 
comforts in the blessings they still retained, and 
to look hopefully on the long distance, and the 
many conflicts between them and their home and 

Immediately after Christmas a series of attempts 
were commenced to open a communication with 
the Esquimo at Etah, ninety-one miles away. 
The supply of fresh meat was exhausted. The 
traps yielded nothing, and Hans's hunting could 
not go on successfully in the dark. The scurvy- 
smitten men were failing for the want of it, and so 
every thing must be periled to make the journey. 
The first thing to be done was to put the dogs, if 
possible, into traveling order. They were now 
few in number, for fifty had died, and the surviv 
ors had been kept on short rations. Their dead 
companions, which had been preserved in a frozen 
state, were boiled and fed to them for fresh food. 


Dog did eat dog, and relished and grew stronger 
on the diet. 

Dr. Kane and Petersen made the first attempt, 
starting on the twenty-ninth of December. They 
had scarcely reached the forsaken huts of Anoatok, 
" the wind loved-spot," so often used as a rest 
ing place, when the dogs failed. A storm, with a 
bitter, pelting snow-drift, confined them awhile. 
An incident occurred here one of the many 
which happened to the explorers which shows 
plainly the unseen, but ever present, eye and 
hand which attended them. 

They were just losing themselves in sleep when 
Petersen shouted : " Captain Kane, the lamp's 
out ! " His commander heard him with a thrill 
of horror ! The storm was increasing, the cold 
piercing, and the darkness intense. The tinder 
had become moist and was frozen solid. The 
guns were outside, to keep them from the moisture 
of the hut. The only hope of heat was in relight 
ing the lamp. A lighted lamp and heat they must 
have. Petersen tried to obtain fire from a pocket- 
pistol, but his only tinder was moss, and after re 
peated attempts he gave it up. Dr. Kane then 
tried. He says : 

" By good luck I found a bit of tolerably dry 
paper in my jumper; and, becoming apprehensive 
that Petersen would waste our few percussion 
caps with his ineffectual snappings, I took the pis 
tol myself. It was so intensely dark that I had to 
grope for it, and in doing so touched his hand. 
At that instant the pistol became distinctly visible. 

Seeking the. Esquimo. 181 

A pale, bluish light, slightly tremulous but not 
broken, covered the metallic parts of it, the bar 
rel, lock, and trigger. The stock too was clearly 
discernible, as if by the reflected light, and, to 
the amazement of both of us, the thumb and two 
fingers with which Petersen was holding it, the 
creases, wrinkles, and circuit of the nails, clearly 
denned upon the skin. The phosphorescence was 
not unlike the ineffectual fire of the glowworm. 
As I took the pistol my hand became illuminated 
also, and so did the powder- rubbed paper when I 
raised it against the muzzle. 

" The paper did not ignite at the first trial, but 
the light from it continuing, I was able to charge 
the pistol without difficulty, rolled up my paper 
into a cone, filled it with moss sprinkled over with 
powder, and held it in my hand while I fired. 
This time I succeeded in producing flame, and we 
saw no more of the phosphorescence," 

When the storm subsided they made further 
experiment to reach Etah. But dogs and men 
found the wading impossible, and they returned 
to the brig, the dogs going ahead and the men 
walking after them. They made the forty-four 
miles of their circuitous route in sixteen hours ! 

Thus closed the year 1854. 

The three following weeks were mainly occu 
pied by Dr. Kane in a careful preparation for an 
other attempt to reach Etah, this time with Hans. 
Old Yellow, one of the five dogs on which success 
in a measure depended, stalked about the deck 
with "his back up," as much as to say, "I must 


have more to eat if I am going." Jenny, a mother 
dog, had quite a family of little ones. Yellow 
being very hungry, and not seeing the use of such 
young folks, gobbled one of them down before his 
master could say, " Don't you." Dr. Kane taking 
the hint, and thinking that the puppies would not 
be dogs soon enough for his use, shared with 
Yellow the rest of the litter. So both grew 
stronger for the journey. 

The new year, 1855, came in with a vail of 
darkness over the prospects of our explorers. 
The sick list was large, and threatened to include 
the whole party. A fox was caught occasionally, 
and beyond this stinted supply there was no fresh 
meat. On Tuesday, January twenty-third, the 
commander and Hans, with the dog-team, turned 
their faces toward the Esquimo. All went well 
for a while, until hope rose of accomplishing the 
journey, getting savory walrus, and cheering their 
sinking comrades. Suddenly, Big Yellow, in spite 
of nice puppy soup, gave out, and went into con 
vulsions. Toodla, the next best animal, failed 
soon after. The moon went down, and the dark 
night was upon the beset but not confounded 
heroes. Groping for the ice-foot, they trudged 
fourteen wretched hours, and reached the old 
igloe at Anoatok. The inevitable storm arose, 
with its burden of snow driven by a strange, 
moistening southeast wind, burying the hut deep 
and warm. The temperature rose seventy de 
grees ! An oppressive sensation attacked Dr. 
Kane and Hans, and alarming symptoms were de- 

Seeking the Esquimo. 183 

veloped. Water ran down from the roof, the 
doctor's sleeping bag of furs was saturated, and 
his luxurious eider down, God's wonderful cold 
defier, was "a wet swab." 

After two days in this comfortless hut, the storm 
having subsided, they once again pushed toward 
Etah ! Their sick, failing comrades were the spur 
to this desperate effort. But it was in vain, for 
the deep, moist snow, the hummocks and the wind, 
defied even desperate courage. They returned to 
the hut and spent another wretched night. 

In the morning, in spite of short provisions, ex 
haustion, continued snowing, they climbed the 
ice-foot, and for four haltless hours faced toward 
the Esquimo ! But in vain. Dr. Kane says : " My 
poor Esquimo, Hans, adventurous and buoyant 
as he was, began to cry like a child. Sick, worn 
out, strength gone, dogs fast and floundering, I am 
not ashamed to admit that, as I thought of the 
sick men on board, my own equanimity was at 

Dr. Kane scrambled up a familiar hill that was 
near and reconnoitered. He was delighted to see, 
winding among the hummocks, a level way ! He 
called Hans to see it. With fresh dogs and fresh 
supplies, they could certainly reach Etah. So, 
after another night at the hut; they returned to 
the brig, comforting the sick with the assurance 
that success would come on the next trial. 

The month closed with only five effective men, 
including the commander, and of these some were 
about as much sick as well. Dr. Kane could not 


be spared from his patients, so, February third, 
Petersen and Hans tried another Etah adventure. 
In three days they returned, with a sorrowful tale 
from poor Petersen of heroic efforts ending in ex 
haustion and defeat. 

But God always sent many rays of light through 
the densest darkness besetting our explorers to 
cheer them and inspire hope. The yellow tints 
of coming sunlight were at noonday faintly painted 
on the horizon. The rabbits prophesied the 
spring by appearing abroad, and two were shot. 
They yielded a pint of raw blood, which the sick 
est drank as a grateful cordial. Their flesh was 
also eaten raw, and with great thankfulness. 

Following these moments of comfort came a 
dismal and anxious night. Thick clouds over 
spread the sky, a heavy mist rendered the dark 
ness appalling, followed by a drifting snow and a 
fearful storm. The wind howled and shrieked 
through the rigging of the helpless, battered brig, 
as if in mockery of her condition and the suffer 
ings of her inmates. Goodfellow had gone inland 
with his gun during the brief day, and had not 
returned. Roman candles and bluelights were 
burned to guide him homeward. Altogether it 
was a night to excite the superstitious fears of the 
sailors, and they proved to be not beyond the 
reach of such fears. Tom Hickey, the cook, hav 
ing been on deck while the gale was in its full 
strength, to peer into the darkness for him, ran 
below declaring that he had seen Goodfellow mov 
ing cautiously along the land-ice and jump down 

Seeking the Esquimo. 185 

on the floe. He hurried up his supper to give the 
tired messmate a warm welcome, but no one came. 
Dr. Kane went out with a lantern, looked carefully 
around for some hundreds of yards, but found no 
fresh footsteps. Tom seriously insisted that he 
had seen Goodfellow's apparition ! 

Such was the state of things when one of the 
sailors went on deck. There was hanging in the 
rigging an old seal-skin bag containing the rem 
nant of the ship's furs. Its ghostly appearance in 
ordinary darkness had been the occasion of much 
jesting. Now, to the excited imagination of the 
sailor, it pounded the mast like the gloved fist of 
a giant boxer, glowed with a ghastly light, and 
muttered to him an unearthly story. He did not 
stop to converse with it, but hastened below with 
the expression of his fears. His messmates laughed 
and jeered at his tale, but their merriment was but 
the whistling to inspire their own courage. 

The morning came and so did Goodfellow, none 
the worse for his night's experience. The storm 
subsided, Hans killed three rabbits, they all tasted 
a little and felt better, and the seal-skin bag was 
never known from that time to utter a word. 
Fears may endure for a night but joy cometh in 
the morning ! Dr. Kane devoutly remarks : " See 
how often relief has come at the moment of ex 
tremity ; see, still more, how the back has been 
strengthened to its increasing burden, and the 
heart cheered by some unconscious influence of 
an unseen POWER." 




HANS had been for some time promising the 
hungry company a deer. He had seen their 
tracks, and he was watching for them with a good 
rifle, a keen eye, and a steady hand. He came in 
on the evening of February twenty-second with the 
good news that he had lodged a ball in one at a 
long range, and that he went hobbling away. He 
was sure he should find him dead in the morning. 
The morning came and the game was found, hav 
ing staggered, bleeding, only two miles. He was 
a noble fellow, measuring in length six feet and 
two inches, and five feet in girth. He weighed 
about one hundred and eighty pounds when 
dressed. The enfeebled men with difficulty drew 
him on board. His presence caused a thrill of 
joy, and his luscious flesh sent its invigoration 
through their emaciated frames. 

The following Sunday, as Dr. Kane was stand 
ing on deck thinking of their situation, he lifted 
up his eyes toward a familiar berg, for many 
months shrouded in darkness, and saw it sparkling 
in the sunlight. The King of Day was not yet 
above the intervening hills, but he had sent his 
sheen to proclaim his coming. Glad as a boy whom 
the full mid-winter moon invites to a coasting 

Deserters. 187 

frolic, he started on a run, climbed the elevations, 
and bathed in his refreshing rays. 

During the month of February, Petersen, Hans, 
and Godfrey had been sent out on the track of 
the Esquimo, but they returned and declared that 
Etah could not be reached. Their commander 
said, " Nay, it can ! " 

By the sixth of March the brig was again with 
out fresh meat. The sick were once more suffer 
ing for it, and the well growing feeble. Hans, the 
resort in such emergencies, was given a light 
sledge, the two surviving dogs, and to him was 
committed the forlorn hope. His departure called 
forth from his commander a " God bless you ! " 
and prayers followed him. 

His story is simple and touching. He lodged 
the first night in the "wind-loved," forsaken, des 
olate, yet friendly hut of Anoatok. - He slept as 
well as he could in a temperature fifty-three de 
grees below zero. The next night he slept in a 
friendly hut at Etah. The oft-tried feat was ac 
complished. But he found the Etahites lean and 
hungry. Hollow cheeks and sunken eyes spoke 
of famine. The skin of a young sea-unicorn, their 
last game, was all of food which remained to the 
settlement. They had even eaten their light and 
fire blubber, and were seated in darkness, gloom 
ily waiting for the sun and the hunt. They had 
eaten, too, all but four of their ample supply of 

They hailed the coming of Hans with a shout. 
He proposed to join them in a hunt, but they 


shook their heads. They had lost a harpoon and 
line in the attempt to take a walrus the day before. 
The ice was yet thick, and the huge monster in 
his struggles had broken the line over its sharp 
edge. Hans showed them his " boom," and bid 
ding them come on, started for the hunting-grounds. 
Metek Mr. Eider Duck speared a fair-sized 
walrus, and Hans gave him five conical balls in 
quick succession from a Marston rifle, and he sur 
rendered at discretion. 

The return of the hunters caused great joy in 
the city of Etah, whose two huts poured out their 
inhabitants to greet their coming, and aid in ren 
dering due honors to the game itself. As usual 
they laughed, feasted, and slept, to awake, laugh, 
eat, and sleep again. Hans and his boom were 
great in their eyes, but the Kablunah, whose rep 
resentative he was, rose before their vision as 
the glorious sun which scatters the long winter 

Hans obtained a hunter's share, and his appear 
ance on the deck of the " Advance," heralded by 
the yelping of the dogs, sent a thrill of joy through 
every heart. As Dr. Kane grasped his hand on 
the deck, and began to listen to his story, he ex 
claimed : " Speak louder, Hans, that they may hear 
in the bunks ! " The bunks did hear, and feel 
too, as the good news came home to their hunger- 
wa:ted bodies in refreshing food. 

As the commander had requested, Hans brought 
Myouk with him to assist in hunting. The smart 
young hunter was delighted to be with the white 

Deserters. 1 89 

men, though his itching fingers would secrete cups, 
spoons, and other valuables, which were made to 
come back to their proper places by sundry cuffs 
and kicks, which, though perhaps not altogether 
pleasant of themselves, caused him to cuddle down 
in his buffalo at his master's feet like a whipped 
spaniel, and their relations grew daily more en 

Hans and Myouk made soon after an unsuc 
cessful hunt. This made the fresh meat question 
come up again with its emphatic importance. The 
fuel question, too, was becoming more and more a 
cause of concern. The manilla cable had been 
chopped up and burned, and such portions of the 
brig as could be spared, and not destroy her sea 
going value, had gone in the same way. Now the 
nine feet of solid ice in which she was imbedded 
seemed to say that she would never float again, so 
she might as well yield her planks to the fire. 
But to see her thus used went to the hearts of her 
gallant men. 

On the nineteenth of March Hans was dis 
patched to the Esquimo, well supplied with the 
first quality of cord for their harpoons, and such 
other prompters to, and helps in, the walrus hunt 
as occurred to his commander. He would bless 
thereby and please these starving people, hoping 
that the blessing would return in the form of fresh 
walrus to him and his suffering men. 

During the absence of Hans there were unusual 
and painful developments at the brig. William 
Godfrey and John Blake had given Dr. Kane much 


trouble from the first. They were now evidently 
bent on mischief, and made constant watchfulness 
over them a necessity. Just as Hans left they 
feigned sickness, and were suspected of desiring 
rest and recruited strength for desertion. Their 
plan was believed to be to waylay Hans and get 
his sledge and dogs. Dr. Kane contrived so 
shrewdly to keep one of them at work under his 
eye, and the other in some other place, that they 
did not perceive his suspicions of them. One 
night Bill was heard to say that some time during 
the following day he should leave, and this was re 
ported to the commander by a faithful listener. 
He was, of course watched, and at six o'clock 
was called to prepare breakfast. This he com 
menced doing uneasily, stealing whispers with 
John. Finally he seemed at his ease, and cooked 
and served the breakfast. Dr. Kane believed he 
meant to slip out the first opportunity, meet John 
on deck, and desert ; he therefore armed himself, 
threw on his furs, made Bonsall and Morton ac 
quainted with his plans, and crept out of the dark 
avenue and hid near its entrance. After an hour 
of cold waiting John crept out, grunting and limp 
ing, for he had been feigning lameness, looked 
quickly round, and seeing no one, mounted nim 
bly the stairs to the deck. Ten minutes later 
Godfrey came out, booted and fur-clad for a 
journey. As he emerged from the tossut his com 
mander confronted him, pistol in hand. He was 
ordered back to the cabin, while Morton com 
pelled John's return, and Bonsall guarded the door 

Deserters. 191 

preventing any one passing out. In a few mo 
ments John came creeping into the cabin, aw 
ful lame and terribly exhausted in his effort to 
breathe a little fresh air on deck. He looked 
amazed as by the glare of the light he saw the sit 

The commander then explained to the company 
the offenses of the culprits, giving from the log 
book the details of their plotting. He had pre 
pared himself for the occasion, and Bill, the prin 
cipal, was punished on the spot. He confessed his 
guiltiness, promised good behavior, and in view of 
the few men able to work, his hand-cuffs were re 
moved and he was sent about his customary busi 
ness. In an hour after he deserted. Dr. Kane 
was at the moment away hunting, and his escape 
was not noticed until he was beyond the reach of 
a rifle ball. 

The next two weeks were weary, anxious weeks, 
though the ever-watchful Hand tendered in good 
time occasion for hope. Six sea-fowl and three 
hares were shot by Petersen, and gave indispen 
sable refreshment to the sick. 

On the second of April, just before noon, a man 
was seen, with a dog-sledge, lurking behind the 
hummocks near the brig. Dr. Kane went out 
armed to meet him. It proved to be Godfrey the 
deserter, who, seeing his old comrades, left the 
sledge and run. Leaving Bonsall with his rifle to 
make sure of the sledge, the doctor gave chase, 
and the fugitive, seeing but one following, stopped 
and turned around. He said he had made up his 


mind to spend the rest of his life with Kalutunah 
and the Esquimo, and that no persuasion nor force 
should prevent him. A loaded pistol presented at 
his head did, though, persuade him to return to the 
brig. When he reached the gangway he refused 
to budge another step. Petersen was away hunt 
ing, Bonsall and Dr. Kane were so weak that they 
could barely stand, and all the other men, thirteen, 
were prostrated with the scurvy, so that they could 
not compel him by physical force. As the doctor 
was desirous not to hurt him, he left him under the 
guardianship of Bonsall's weapons while he went 
below for irons. Just as he returned to the deck 
Godfrey turned and fled. Bonsall presented his 
pistol, which exploded the cap only. Kane seized 
a rifle, but being affected by the cold, it went off 
in the act of cocking. A second gun, fired in haste 
at a long range, missed its mark. So the rebel 
made good his retreat. 

He had come back with Hans' sledge and dogs, 
and reported him sick at Etah from over exhaus 
tion. But there was one consolation in the affair 
the sledge was loaded with walrus-meat. The 
feast that followed revived the drooping men 
wonderfully. They ate, were thankful, and looked 
hopefully on the future. 

Godfrey was suspected of having come back to 
get John. The desertion of two well men when 
so many were sick would imperil the lives of all. 
The commander felt that the safety of the whole 
required the faithfulness of each man, he therefore 
explained the situation to the men and declared 

Deserters. 1 93 

his determination to punish desertion, or the at 
tempt to desert, by the "sternest penalty." 

Hans became now the subject of anxiety. Some 
unfair dealing toward him on the part of Godfrey 
was feared. It was thought but just that he should 
be sought, and, if in trouble, relieved. But who 
should go? Dr. Kane finally resolved to go after 
him himself. Besides, the question of more walrus 
was again pressing. 

April tenth the doctor was off. The first eleven 
hours the dogs carried him sixty-four miles, a most 
remarkable speed for their short rations. 

While thus speeding along, far out on the floe, 
he spied a black speck in-shore away to the south. 
Was it some cheat of refraction. He paused, took 
his gun, and sighted the object, a device of old 
Arctic travelers to baffle refraction. It is an animal 
yes, a man ! Away went the dogs, ten miles an 
hour, while the rider cheated them with the shout, 
" Nannook ! nannook ! " a bear ! a bear ! In a 
few moments Hans and the doctor were in grate 
ful, earnest talk. He had really been sick. He 
had been down five days, and, as he expressed it, 
still felt " a little weak." He took his command 
er's place on the sledge and both went to the 
friendly hut at Anoatok, where hot tea and rest 
prepared both for the return to the brig. 




HANS had his story of adventure while at 
Etah. But the most important item in his 
estimation, and that which might prove far reach 
ing in its results, was the fact that a young daugh 
ter of Sunghu appointed herself his nurse during 
his sickness, bestowing upon him care, sympathy, 
and bewitching smiles. She had evidently done 
what Godfrey, tried in vain to do she had en 
trapped him, at the expense, too, of a young Es- 
quimo lady at Upernavik. 

Hans had been successful in the hunt, and, be 
sides what he had sent by Godfrey, had deposited 
some walrus at Littleton Island. He was at once 
sent after this, and intrusted at the same time with 
an important commission. Dr. Kane had been for 
some time meditating another trip toward the po 
lar sea. To do this he desired more dogs. The 
Esquimo had been reducing their stock to keep 
away starvation, but Kalutunah had retained four. 
These, and such others as he could find, Hans was 
authorized to buy or hire, at almost any price. 
This northern trip made, the next move might 
be toward the abandonment of the "Advance." 
She could never float, it was plain, for now, late 
in April, the open water was eighty miles south. 

Closing Incidents of the Imprisonment. 195 

While Hans was gone, the sick, yet numbering 
two thirds of the whole, and in a measure all of the 
other third, except the commander, were without 
fresh food, as they had been for several days. Yet 
the sunshine and the occasional supplies had put 
them all on the improving list. They could sit up, 
sew or' job a little, making themselves useful, and 
keeping up good spirits. But, hark ! what sound 
is that breaking on the still, clear air. It comes 
nearer. Bim, bim, bim, sounds upon the deck. It 
is Hans, whose coming is ever like the coming of 
the morning. A rabbit-stew and walrus liver fol 
low his arrival, and over such royal dainties good 
cheer pervades the family circle. 

Hans brought Metek with him, and Metek's 
young nephew, Paulik, a boy of fourteen. Metek 
and Hans spoke sadly of the condition of the Es- 
quimo settlements. We have seen that the escap 
ing party found those of the south flying north 
ward from starvation. The report now was that 
they had huddled together at Northumberland 
Island until that yielded to the famine, and now 
they had come farther north. It was a sad sight 
to see men, women, and children fleeing over the 
icy desert before their relentless foe. Yet, says 
Hans, they sung as they went, careless of present 
want, and thoughtless of the morrow. Many had 
died, and thus year by year these few, scattered, 
improvident people decline, giving earnest that in 
a few years all will be gone. 

Though light-hearted, death did bring its sor 
rows to these benighted heathen. Kalutunah lost 


a sister; her body was sewed up in skins, not in a 
sitting posture but extended, and her husband, 
unattended, carried it out to burial, and, with his 
own hand, placed upon it stone after stone, mak 
ing at once a grave and a monument. A blubber 
lamp was burning outside the hut while he was 
gone, and when he returned his friends were 
waiting to listen to his rehearsal of the praises 
of the dead, and to hear the expressions of his 
sorrow, while they showed their grief by dismal 

If sorrow did not keep the deceased in the 
memory of the living, imposed self-denials did. 
The Angekok, or medicine man, as our Indians 
would call him, determines the penance of the 
mourner, who is sometimes forbidden to eat the 
meat of a certain bird or beast, under the idea 
that the spirit of the departed has entered into it ; 
at another time the mourner must not draw on his 
hood, but go with uncovered head ; or he may be 
forbidden to go on the bear or walrus hunt. The 
length of time of these penances may be a few 
months or a year. The reader will recollect the 
widow with her birds, who appeared so often in 
the narrative of the escaping party. 

Though thus mourning for the dead, these Es- 
quimo do not hold life as a very sacred trust. The 
drones and the useless are sometimes harpooned 
in the back merely to get rid of them. Infants 
are put out of the way when they greatly annoy 
their parents. Hans, on one of his returns from 
Etah, had a story to tell illustrative of this. Awah- 

Closing Incidents of the Imprisonment. 197 

tok, a young man of twenty-two, had a pretty wife 
pretty as Esquimo beauty goes sister of Kalu- 
tunah, arid about eighteen years old. Dr. Kane 
had regarded this couple with some interest, and 
the husband "stuck to him as a plaster." Their 
first-born was a fine little girl. Well, Hans re 
ported with becoming disgust and indignation that 
they had buried it alive under a pile of stones ! 
When Dr. Kane next visited Etah he inquired of 
his friends Awahtok and his wife after the health 
of the baby, affecting not to have heard about its 
hard fate. They pointed with both hands earth 
ward, but did not even shed the cheap, customary 
tear. The only reason reported for this murder 
was, that certain of its habits, common to all in 
fants, were disagreeable to them ! 

Such is the mildest heathenism without Chris 
tianity. These and other similar gross sins were 
common among the South Greenland Esquimo, 
but have disappeared before the teachings of the 
Moravian missionaries. 

Hans returned with the walrus he had deposited 
at Littleton Island, but he had made no progress 
in getting dogs, so Dr. Kane resolved to go to 
Etah for that purpose himself. Besides, having 
learned that Godfrey was playing a high game 
there and defying capture, and also fearing his in 
fluence over the friendly relations of the Esquimo, 
he resolved to bring him back to the brig. Metek 
was just starting for Etah, so he invited himself 
to return with him, while Paulik, his nephew, re 
mained with Hans. This arrangement effected, 


Dr. Kane was soon approaching Etah, perfectly 
disguised in the hood and jumper of Paulik, whose 
place on the sledge he occupied. The whole city 
ran out to meet their chief, among whom was the 
deserter, who shouted, and then threw up his arms 
with the most savage of them. He did not per 
ceive his commander until a certain well under 
stood summons entered his ear, and a significant 
pistol barrel gleamed in the sunlight near his eyes. 
He' surrendered to this " boom " argument without 
discussion, and trotting or walking, he kept his 
assigned place ahead of the sledge through the 
eighty and more miles to the brig, halting only at 
Anoatok. We hear nothing of further attempt at 

A little later Dr. Kane made another visit to 
Etah. The hunt had become successful, and the 
famine was broken ; all was activity and good 
cheer. The women were preparing the green 
hides for domestic use. Great piles of walrus 
tushes were preserved for various useful purposes; 
some of these the children had selected as bats, 
and were-- engaged in merry sport. Their game 
was to knock a ball made of walrus bone up the 
slanting side of a hummock, and then, in turn, hit 
it as it rolled down, and so keep it from reaching 
the floe. They shouted and laughed as the game 
went on, much as our boys do over their sports. 

'Dr. Kane observed on this trip a way of taking 
walrus which has not, we think, been noted before. 
The monster at this early season sometimes finds 
the ice open near a berg only. He comes on the 

Closing Incidents of the Imprisonment. 199 

ice to sun himself; finds the change from the cold 
sea very agreeable, stays too long, the water freezes 
solid, and he cannot return. As he is unable to 
break the ice from above, he either waits for the 
current about the berg to open the ice again, or 
works himself clumsily to some already open place. 
In this helpless state the dogs scent him afar off, 
and the hunters, following their lead, make him an 
easy prey. 

Hans came in on the twenty-fourth of April, 
accompanied by Kalutunah, Shanghee, and Tat- 
terat, each of the Esquimo having sledges, and 
sixteen dogs in all. Hans had been sent to Cape 
Alexander, where Kalutunah was sojourning, to 
invite him to the brig in order to secure his aid in 
the proposed northern trip. He was fed well, 
and propitiated by a present of a knife and nee 
dles. He said, " Thank you," and added, " I love 
you well," which might uncharitably be taken to 
mean, " I love your presents well." The result 
of the presents, feasting, and flattery was a start 
north by the three Esquimo, with Dr. Kane and 
Hans, all the dog teams accompanying. The old 
route across- Kennedy Channel to the west side, 
and so north-poleward, was attempted. First came 
a very fair progress ; then came the hummocks, 
over which, by the aid of their dogs, they clam 
bered until thirty miles from the brig had been 
made. Then Shanghee burrowed into a snow 
bank and slept, the cold being thirty degrees 
below zero ; the rest camped in the snow and 
lunched. Just as a fair start was again made, the 


party neared a huge male bear in the act of lunch 
ing on seal. In vain the doctor attempted to 
control either dogs or drivers. " Nannook ! nan- 
nook!" shouted the Esquimo as they clung to 
their sledges, and the dogs flew over the ice in 
wild and reckless pursuit. After an exciting chase 
the bear was brought to a halt and to a fight, which 
the rifles and spears soon terminated against bruin. 
A feast by dogs and men, and a night's halt on 
the ice followed, to Dr. Kane, at least, both vexa 
tious and comfortless. 

The next day he, would press on to the north. 
But bear tracks were every-where, and the savage 
chiefs preferred hunting to exploring; besides, 
they had, they said, their families to support, and 
there was no use trying to cross the channel so 
high up. The English of it was, we are " going 
in " for the bears, and. you may help yourself. A 
day more was spent in a wild hunt among the 
bergs, and the party returned to the brig. 

A little later still another attempt was made to 
unlock further the secrets of 'the extreme icy 
north, this time by only Kane and Morton with a 
six-dog sledge, the explorers walking. This, the 
last effort of the kind, ended in the usual way, ex 
cepting some additions to the surveys. 

Homeward Bound. 20 1 



THE final escape from the brig must now be 
commenced. From the early fall its neces 
sity had been thought of, and preparations for it 
commenced. Since the sick had begun to im 
prove, the work in reference to it had been going 
on with system. Coverlets of eider down, beds, 
or furs which could be used as such, boots, mocca 
sins, a full supply to meet emergencies, were pre 
pared. Provision bags were made and filled with 
powder, ship-bread, pork-fat, and tallow melted 
down, and cooked concentrated bean soup. The 
flour and meat biscuit were put in double bags. 
Two boats had been made from the ship's beams 
twenty-six feet long, seven feet across, and three 
feet deep. Incredible toil by weak and sick men 
had been expended upon these boats. A neat 
"housing" of light canvas was raised over each 
of them. One other boat, the "Red Eric," was 
in readiness. There was no assurance that either 
of these boats would long float, yet all was done 
which the circumstances allowed to make them 

The three boats were mounted on sledges. 
The necessary outfit, so far as they could bear, 
was to be stowed away in them. 


Every thing being in readiness, a vast amount 
of thinking having been employed by the com 
mander in reference to all contingencies, a peremp 
tory order of march was issued for the seventeenth 
of May. The men were given twenty-four hours 
to get ready eight pounds of such personal effects 
as they chose. From the date of starting the 
strictest discipline and subordination was to be 
observed, which came hard upon the long-in 
dulged, improving sick ones. The perfectness of 
the preparations had a good effect, yet there were 
many moody doubters. Some insisted that the 
commander only meant to go further south, hold 
ing the brig to fall back upon ; some thought he 
would get the sick nearer the hunting grounds ; 
others believed that his purpose was to secure some 
point of look-out for the English explorers, or 
whaling vessels. 

When the memorable day of departure came, 
the boats were in the cradle on the sledges, and 
the men, with straps over their shoulders and drag- 
ropes from these to the sledges, started for the 
ice-foot along which they were to travel They 
had not yet received their loads, so they glided 
off easily, exciting a smile on some rueful counte 

In twenty-four hours the boats were laden, on 
the elevated drive-way, covered with their canvas 
roof, and, with a jaunty flag flying, were ready for 
a final leave the next day. The exhausted men, 
for nearly all of them were yet invalids, returned 
to the vessel, ate the best supper the supplies 

Homeward Bound. 203 

afforded, " turned in," prepared for their first 
effort at dragging the boat-laden sledges. 

But one sledge could be moved at once, with all 
hands attached ; the first day they made two miles 
only with this one. For several days they made 
short distances and returned early to a hearty 
supper and warm beds in their old quarters, so 
that they marched back to the drag-ropes in the 
morning refreshed. The weather was, by the 
kind, overruling Hand, " superb." 

The final leave-taking was somewhat ceremoni 
ous. All the men were assembled in the dis 
mantled room which had been so long both a 
prison and providential home. It was Sunday ; 
all listened to a chapter of the Bible, and prayers. 
Then, all silently standing, the commander read, a 
prepared report of what had been done, and. the 
reasons for the step about to be taken. He then 
addressed the company, honestly conceding the 
obstacles in the way of escape, but assuring them 
that energy and subordination would secure suc 
cess. He reminded them of the solemn claims 
upon them of the sick and wounded ; called to 
their minds the wonderful deliverance granted 
them thus far by the infinite Power, and exhorted 
them still confidently to commit all to the same 

The response to this appeal was most cheering 
to Dr. Kane. The following engagement was 
drawn up by one of the officers and signed by 
every man : 

"The undersigned, being convinced of the in> 


possibility of the liberation of the brig, and equally 
convinced of the impossibility of remaining in the 
ice a third winter, do fervently concur with the 
commander in his attempt to reach the south by 
means of boats. 

" Knowing the- trials and hardships which are 
before us, and feeling the necessity of union, har 
mony, and discipline, we have determined to abide 
faithfully, by the expedition and our sick com 
rades, and to do all that we can, as true men, to 
advance the objects in view." 

The party now went on deck, hoisted a flag and 
hauled it down again, and then marched once or 
twice around the vessel. The figure head the 
fair Augusta "the little blue girl with pink 
cheeks," was taken by the men and added to their 
load. She had been nipped and battered by the 
ice, and a common suffering made her dear to 
them. When Dr. Kane remonstrated against the 
additional burden, they said : " She is, at any 
rate, wood, and if we cannot carry her far we can 
"burn her." 

The final departure was too serious for cheers, 
and when the moment came they all hurried off to 
the boats and the dragrropes. 

Four men were sick, and had to be carried; 
and Dr. Kane was with the dog-team the common 
carrier and courier, as we shall see, so that there 
were but twelve men to the boats; these were 
organized into two companies, six each, for the 
two sledges; M'Gary having command of the 
" Faith," and Morton command of the " Hope." 

Homeward Bound. 205 

Each party was separate in matters of baggage, 
sleeping, cooking, and eating ; both were concen 
trated, in turns, upon each sledge under the com 
mand of Brooks. Both morning and evening of 
each day all gathered round, with uncovered 
heads, to listen to prayers. Every one had his 
assigned place at the track-line ; each served in 
tuin as cook, except the captains. 

From an early day of the preparations, Dr. Kane 
had been at work refitting and furnishing the 
broken-down, forsaken hut at Anoatok. For this 
purpose many trips were made to it with the dog- 
team ; it was made tight as possible ; the filth care 
fully removed ; cushions and blankets were spread 
upon the raised floor at the sides and a stove set 
up ; blankets were hung up against the walls, 
and the whole made to look as cheerful as possi 
ble. While the sledges were approaching this place 
by short stages, Dr. Kane, with his team, brought 
to the hut the four sick men ; they were Goodfel- 
low, Wilson, Whipple, and Stephenson. Dr. Hayes, 
yet limping on his frozen foot, bravely adhered to 
the sledges. When the sick entered the hut none 
could wait upon the others, except Stephenson, 
who could barely light the lamp, to melt the snow 
and heat the water. But Dr. Kane made them 
frequent visits, supplying their wants, and report 
ing the daily progress toward them of their whole 
company. They grew better, and were able to 
creep out into the sunshine. Besides carrying the 
sick to Anoatok, Dr. Kane had, with his dogs, con 
veyed there and stocked near the hut most of the 


provisions for their march and voyage; eight hun 
dred pounds out of fifteen were now there, and he 
^proposed to convey the rest. This was done to 
relieve the overladen sledges. 

The red boat " Red Eric " joined the party 
on the floe a few days after the start, increasing 
their burden, but assuring them of increased com 
fort and safety when they reached the open water. 

One incident of this period will illustrate its 
hardships and the Christian courage with which 
they were met. 

It was soon after the last sick man was borne to 
the hut that Dr. Kane, having, in one of his dog- 
team trips, camped on the floe, came upon the 
boat party early in the morning. They were at 
prayers at the moment, and, as they passed to the 
drag-ropes, he was pained at the evidence of in 
creased scurvy and depression. Brooks's legs were 
sadly swollen, and Hayes ready to faint w r ith ex 
haustion. They must have more generous meals, 
thought the noble-hearted commander. Taking 
Morton, he hastened back to the brig. As they 
entered a raven flew croaking away ; he had al 
ready made his home there. Lighting the fires in 
the old cook-room, they melted pork, cooked a 
large batch of light bread without salt, saleratus, or 
shortening, gathered together some eatable, though 
damaged, dried apples and beans, and, the dogs 
having fed, hastened back to the men on the floe. 
Distributing a good supper to their comrades as 
they passed, and taking Godfrey along with them, 
they hastened to the hut. The poor fellows con- 

Homeward Bound. 207 

fined in it were rejoiced to see them. They had 
eaten all their supplies, their lamp had gone out, 
the snow had piled up at the door so that they 
could not close it, and the arctic wind and cold 
were making free in their never-too-warm abode. , 
The poor fellows were cold, sick, and hungry. The 
coming of their commander was as the coming of 
an angel messenger of good tidings. He closed 
their door, made a fire of tarred rope, dried their 
clothes and bedding, cooked them a porridge of 
pea-soup and meat-biscuit, and set their lamp- 
wick ablaze with dripping pork fat. Then, after 
all had joined in prayer of thankfulness, a well rel 
ished meal was eaten. This was followed by a 
cheerful chat, and a long, refreshing forgetfulness in 
their sleeping-bags of all privations. When they 
awoke the gale had grown more tempestuous, with 
increasing snow. But they went on burning rope 
and fat until every icicle had disappeared, and 
every frost mark had faded out. 

On their arrival at the hut the night before, Dr. 
Kane, seeing the condition of things, sent Godfrey 
forward to Etah for fresh supplies of game. After 
a time he returned with Metek, and the two 
sledges well laden with meat. A part of this was 
hurried off to the toilers at the drag-ropes. 

Having blessed by his coming these weary 
voyagers, Dr. Kane, with Morton, Metek, and his 
sledge, went once more to the brig. They baked a 
hundred and fifty pounds of bread and sent it by 
Metek to Mr. Brooks, and the faithful messenger, 
having delivered it, returned immediately for an- 


other load. While he was gone, a hundred pounds 
of flour pudding was made, and two bagfuls of 
pork- fat tried out. This done, the three lay down 
upon the curled hair of the old' mattresses, they 
having been ripped open and their contents drawn 
out to make the most comfortable bed the place 
afforded. They slept as soundly " as vagrants on 
a haystack." 

The next day they set their faces toward the 
sledge company and Anoatok, both sledges having 
heavy loads, which included the last of the fifteen 
hundred pounds of provisions. 

Dr. Kane had made one of his last trips to the 
brig : he would return for provisions only ; but all 
his specimens of Natural History, collected with 
much toil, his books, and many of his well-tested 
instruments, he was compelled to leave. His six 
dogs had carried him, during the fortnight since 
the company left the brig, between seven and eight 
hundred miles, averaging about fifty-seven miles a 
day. But for their services the sick could scarcely 
have -been saved, and the rest would have suffered 
more intensely. 

Leaving, as usual, a part of the food with Mr. 
Brooks's party, they hastened on to replenish the 
stores and cheer the hearts of the lonely dwellers 
in the hut. 

Narrow Escapes. 209 



HAVING brought forward the provisions to 
Anoatok, Dr. Kane, with the help of Metek 
and his dogs, began to remove them still farther 
south, making one deposit near Cape Hatherton, 
and the other yet farther, near Littleton Island. 
But an immediate journey to Etah for walrus had 
become necessary. The hard-working men were 
improving on this greasy food, and they wanted it 
in abundance. Dr. Kane found the Etahites fat 
and full. He left his weary, well-worn dogs to re 
cruit on their abundance, and returned with their 
only team, which was well fed and fresh. They 
made the trade without any grumbling. 

When he came back the Brooks party were 
within three miles of Anoatok. They were getting 
along bravely and eating voraciously, and the old 
cry, " more provisions !" saluted the commander. 
Leaving the dogs to aid in transferring the stores to 
the southern stations, Dr. Kane and Irish Tom 
Hickey started afoot to the brig to do another 
baking. It was a sixteen hours' tramp. But ere 
they slept they converted nearly a barrel of flour, 
the last of the stock, into the staff of life. An old 
pickled-cabbage cask was used as a kneading 
trough, and sundry volumes of the " Penny Cyclo- 


pedia of Useful Knowledge " were burned during 
the achievement. Tom declared the work done 
to be worthy of his own country's bakers, and he 
had been one "of them same," so he deemed that 
praise enough. When the doctor lamented that 
the flour so used was the last of the stock, Tom 
exclaimed : " All the better, sir, since we'll have 
no more bread to make." 

Godfrey came to the brig on the third day, with 
the dogs, to carry back the baking. But a howling 
storm delayed them all on board. It was Sunday, 
and the last time that Dr. Kane expected to be in 
the cabin with any of his men. He took down a 
Bible from one of the berths and went through 
the long-used religious service. The dreary place 
was less dreary, and their burdened hearts were 
no doubt made lighter by thus drawing near to 

The commander and Tom left the next day 
with the sledge load, leaving Godfrey to come on 
after farther rest. But scarcely had the sledge 
party delivered their load of bread, and begun the 
sound sleep which follows hard work, when God 
frey came in out of breath with the hot haste of 
his journey. He reluctantly confessed the occa 
sion of his sudden departure from the brig. He 
had lain down on the contents of the mattresses 
to sleep. Suddenly Wilson's guitar, left with other 
mementoes of two winters' imprisonment, sent 
forth music soft and sad. Bill was sure he heard 
aright, for he was awake and in his right mind. 
He fled on the instant, and scarcely looked behind 

Narrow Escapes. 211 

until he reached his companions. He had never 
heard of the musical genius of Eolus, and it was 
not strange that the old forsaken, mutilated, ghostly, 
looking brig should excite the imagination of the 
lonely lodger. 

The invalids of the huts were now doing well. 
Their housekeeping assumed a home-like appear 
ance after the fashion of Arctic homes and they 
welcomed the doctor with a dish of tea, a lump 
of walrus flesh, and a warm place. The Brooks 
party were not afar off. 

A storm which out-stormed all they had yet seen 
or felt of storms came down upon our explorers 
at this time. 

When the storm had blown past, Morton was 
dispatched to Etah with the dogs, accompanied 
by two Etahites who had been storm-bound with 
the boat-parties. His mission was to demand aid 
of these allies on the ground of sacred treaty stip 
ulations, and well-recognized Esquimo laws of 
mutual help. Dr. Kane took his place with the 
men on the floe. Sledging was now not only made 
by the storm and advancing season more labori 
ous, but very dangerous ; around the bergs black 
water appeared, and over many places there were 
to be seen pools of water. The boats were un 
laden, and their cargoes carried in parcels by 
sledges, yet serious accidents occurred. At one 
time a runner of the sledge carrying the " Hope " 
broke in, and the boat came near being lost ; as it 
was, six men were plunged into the water. Sick 
and well men worked for dear life, and affairs were 


growing more than cloudy when the helping hand 
of the great Helper was seen as it had been so 
often. Morton returned from Etah, having been 
entirely successful in his appeal to the natives for 
aid. They came with every sound dog they pos 
sessed, and with sledges loaded with walrus. The 
dogs alone were equal to ten strong men added to 
the expedition. Dr. Kane took one of the teams, 
and with Metek made his last trip to the brig, and 
on his return commenced bringing down the inva 
lids of the hut to the boats. As he came near the 
floe-party he found Ohlsen sitting on a lump of ice 
alone, some distance in their rear. He had pre 
vented the " Hope's " sledge from breaking through 
the ice by taking for a moment its whole weight on 
a bar which he had slipped under it. He was a 
strong man, and the act was heroic, but he was 
evidently seriously injured. He was pale, but 
thought his only difficulty was " a little cramp in 
the small of his back," and that he should be bet 
ter soon. Dr. Kane gave him Stephenson's seat 
on the sledge, carried him to the boat, and gave 
him its most comfortable place, and muffled him 
up in the best buffalo robes. Dr. Hayes gave him 
tender and constant attention all that night, but 
he declined rapidly. 

Having stowed the sick away in the boats, the 
morning prayers being offered, the men on the 
sixth of June started anew at the drag-ropes. 
Two hours' drawing sufficed to show all hands 
their insufficiency for the task. Just, then a spank 
ing breeze started up. They hoisted the sails of 

Narrow Escapes. 213 

the boats, and the wind increased to a gale and 
blew directly after them. Away the sledges sped 
toward the provision depot near Littleton Island. 
Ridges in the ice which would have delayed them 
at the drag-ropes for hours, but gave them the rise 
and fall as they glided over them of a ship on the 
waves. God, who " holds the wind in his fist," 
had unloosed it for their benefit. The foot-sore, 
weary men, who a few moments ago felt that an 
almost impossible task was theirs, were now jubi 
lant, and broke out into song the first sailor's 
chorus song they had sung for a year. They came 
to a halt at five o'clock P. M., having made under 
sail the distance of five drag-rope days. 

While here they were joined by old Nessark, 
and by Sipsu, the surly chief who appears so con 
spicuously in the narrative of Dr. Hayes's escap 
ing party. They came with their fresh dog-teams, 
and offered their services to the explorers. Nes 
sark was sent after the last of the sick men at the 

The following five or six days were those of 
peril and discouragement. At one time a sledge 
had broken in, carrying with it several of the 
men, bringing affairs to a gloomy crisis. But 
the men scrambled out, and, to still further lift 
the burdens from the party, five sturdy Esquimo 
appeared, with two almost equally strong women. 
They laid hold of the drag- ropes with a will, and 
worked the rest of the day without demanding 
any reward. So there was always help in their 
time of need. 


Nessark came in good time with Wilson and 
Whipple, the last of the sick ; the old hut was now 
deserted, and all were with the boats except one. 
Hans had been missing for nearly two months. 
Early in April he came to his commander with a 
long face and a very plausible story ; he had, he 
said, no boots ; he wanted to go to one of the Es- 
quimo settlements a little south to get a stock of 
walrus-hides. He did not want the dogs ; he 
would walk, and be back in good time. But the 
hitherto faithful and trusted Hans had not returned. 
When inquiry was made of the people of Etah 
they said he certainly called there, and engaged 
of one of the women a pair of boots, and then 
pushed on to Peteravik, where Shanghee and his 
pretty daughter lived. The last information they 
had of him they gave with a shrug of the shoul 
ders and a merry twinkle of the eye. He had 
been seen by one of their people once since he 
left Etah ; he was then upon a native sledge, 
Shanghee's daughter at his side, bound south of 
Peteravik. He had forsaken the explorers for a 
wife ! 

The party were one day feeling their way along 
cautiously, pioneers going ahead and trying the 
soundness of the ice by thumping with boat 
hooks and narwhal, horns. Suddenly a shout of 
distress was heard. The " Red Eric " had broken 
in ! She contained the document box of the ex 
pedition, the loss of which would make their 
whole work profitless to the world even should 
the party be saved. She had on board too many 

Narrow Escapes. 21$ 

provision bags. But, after great exposure and 
labor, all was saved in good condition, and the 
boat hauled upon the ice. Several of the men 
had narrow escapes. Stephenson was caught as 
he sunk by the sledge runner, and Morton was 
drawn out by the hair of his head as he was dis 
appearing under the ice. A grateful shout went 
up from all hands that nothing serious resulted 
from the accident. 




THE company made slow and tiresome prog 
ress by Littleton Island, and were carrying 
their entire load forward in parcels to the main 
land at the northern opening of Etah Bay, when 
the sad news was whispered to Dr. Kane, who was 
with the advanced party, that Ohlsen was dead. 
A gloom spread over the whole company. The 
fact was carefully concealed from the Esquimo, 
who were sent to Etah under the pretext of bring 
ing back a supply of birds, the entire dog force 
being given them to hasten their departure. 

The funeral service, though attended by sincere 
grief, was necessarily brief. The body was sewed 
up in Ohlsen's own blankets, the burial service 
read, the prayer offered, and it was borne by his 
comrades in solemn procession to a little gorge on 
the shore, and deposited in a trench made with 
extreme difficulty. A sheet of lead, on which his 
name and age was cut, was laid upon his breast ; a 
monument of stones was erected over it, to pre 
serve it from the beasts of prey, and to mark the 
spot. They named the land which overshadowed 
the spot Cape Ohlsen. 

Having given two quiet hours, after the funeral 
service, to the solemn occasion, the work at the 

Esquimo Kindness. 217 

drag-ropes was continued. The Esquimo re 
turned in full force, and with abundant provis 
ions. They took their turn at the drag-ropes with 
a shout ; they carried the sick on their sledges, 
and relieved the whole expedition from care con 
cerning their supplies. They brought in one week 
eight dozen sea-fowl little auks caught in their 
hand-nets, and fed men and dogs. All ate, hun 
ger was fully satisfied, care for the time departed, 
the men broke out into their old forecastle songs, 
and the sledges went merrily forward with laugh 
and jest. 

Passing round Cape Alexander, down Etah 
Bay, a short distance toward the settlement, the 
expedition encamped. The long-sought, coveted 
open water was only three miles away ; its roar 
saluted their ears, and its scent cheered their 
hearts. The difficult and delicate work of prepar 
ing the boats for the sea-voyage now commenced. 
In the mean time the people of Etah, men, 
women, and children, came and encamped in their 
midst, leaving only three persons two old women 
and a blind old man in the settlement. They 
slept in the " Red Eric," and fed on the stew 
cooked for them in the big camp-kettle. Each 
one had a keepsake of a file, a knife, a saw, or 
some such article of great value. The children 
had each that great medicine for Esquimo sick 
ness, a piece of soap, for which they merrily 
shouted, " Thank you, thank you, big chief." There 
was joy in the Esquimo camp which knew but 
one sorrow that of the speedy departure of the 


strangers. At the mention of this one woman 
stepped behind a tent screen and wept, wiping 
her teary face with a bird-skin. 

Dr. Kane rode to Etah to bid the aged invalids 
good-bye. Then came the last distribution of 
presents. Every one had something, but the great 
gift of amputating knives went to the chief, 
Metek, and the patriarch, Nessark. The dogs 
were given to the community at large, excepting 
Toodla-mik and Whitey ; these veterans of many 
well-fought battle-fields were reserved to share 
the homeward fortunes of their owners. Toodla 
was no common dog, but earned for himself a 
place in dog history. As we are to meet the dogs 
no more in our narrative, we will give Toodla's 
portrait to be set up with our pen sketches. He 
was purchased at Upernavik, and so he received 
the advantages of, at least, a partially civilized 
education. His head was more compact, his nose 
less pointed than most dogs of his kind, and his 
eye denoted affection and self-reliance, and his 
carriage was bold and defiant. Toodla, at the 
commencement of the cruise, appointed himself 
general-in-chief of all the dogs. Now it often 
happens, with dogs as well as with men, that to as 
sume superiority is much easier than to maintain it. 
But Toodla's generalship was never successfully 
disputed. The position, however, cost him many 
a hard-fought battle, for the new comers naturally 
desired to test his title to rule. These he soundly 
whipped on their introduction to the pack. He 
even often left the brig's side, head erect, tail 

Esquimo Kindness. 219 

gracefully curled over his back, and moved toward 
a stranger dog with a proud, defiant air, as much 
as to say, " I am master here, sir ! " If this was 
doubted, he vindicated his boasting on the spot. 
Such tyranny excited rebellions of course, and 
strong combinations were formed against him ; 
but dogs which had been trounced individually 
make weak organizations, and the coalitions gave 
way before Toodla's prowess. It is but fair, how 
ever, to say that he had strong allies upon whom 
he fell back in great emergencies the sailors. 
Toodla died in Philadelphia, and still lives that 
is, his stuffed skin still exists in the museum of 
the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. 
His reputation is of the same sort as that of many 
of the heroes of history, and worth as much to the 

Dr. Kane having distributed the presents and 
disposed of the dogs, there was nothing now but 
the farewell address to render the parting cere 
mony complete. Dr. Kane called the natives 
about him and *poke to them through Petersen as 
interpreter. He talked to them as those from 
whom kindness had been received, and to whom a 
return was to be made. He told them about the 
tribes of their countrymen farther south whom 
he knew, and from whom they were separated by 
the glaciers and the sea; he spoke of the longer 
daylight, the less cold, the more abundant game, 
the drift-wood, the fishing-nets, and kayaks of 
these relatives. He tried to explain to them that 
under bold and cautious guidance they might, 


in the course of a season or two, reach this happier 

During this talk they 'crowded closer and closer 
to the speaker, and listened with breathless atten 
tion, to his remarks, often looking at each other 

Having thus parted with the natives, our explor 
ing party hauled their boats to the margin of the 
ice. The " Red Eric " was launched, and three 
cheers were given for " Henry Grinnell and Home 
ward Bound." But the storm king said, " Not 
yet ! " He sounded an alarm in their ears, and 
they drew the " Eric " from the water and retreated 
on the floe, which broke up in their rear with great 
rapidity. Back, back, they tramped, wearily and 
painfully, all that night, until the next day they 
found a sheltering berg near the land, where they 
made a halt. Here they rested until the wind had 
spent its wrath, and the sea had settled into a pla 
cid quiet. Their voyaging on the floe with drag- 
ropes and sledges was ended. 

Melville Bay. 221 



ON the nineteenth of June the boats were 
launched into the sea, now calm, the " Faith " 
leading under Kane, and the " Eric " under Bon- 
sail, and the " Hope " under Brooks following. 
The sea birds screamed a welcome to the squad 
ron, and flew about them as if to inquire why they 
came back in three vessels instead of one, as when 
they sailed northward two years before. But there 
was no leisure for converse with birds. They had 
just passed Hakluyt Island, when the " Eric " sunk. 
Her crew, Bonsall, Riley, and Godfrey, struggled 
to the other boats, and the " Faith " took the sunk 
en craft in tow. Soon after Brooks shouted that 
the " Hope " was leaking badly, and threatening 
to sink. Fortunately the floe was not far off, and 
into one of its creek-like openings they run the 
boats, fastened them to the ice, and the weary men 
lay down in their bunks without drawing the boats 
from the water and slept. 

The next day they drew their leaking crafts 
ashore, and calked them for another sea adventure. 
For several days they struggled with varying for 
tunes until they brought up, weary, disheartened, 
and worn down by work and an insufficient diet 
of bread-dust, and fastened to an old floe near the 


land. Scarcely were they anchored when a vast 
ice raft caught upon a tongue of the solid floe 
about a mile to the seaward of them, and began to 
swing round upon it as a pivot, and to close in upon 
our explorers. This was a new game of the ice- 
enemy. Nearer and nearer came the revolving 
icy platform, seeming to gather force with every 
whirl. At first the commotion that was made 
started the floe, to which they were fastened, on a 
run toward the shore as if to escape the danger. 
But it soon brought up against the rocks and was 
overtaken by its pursuer. In an instant the collis 
ion came. The men sprang, by force of discipline, 
to the boats and the stores, to bear them back to 
a place of safety, but wild and far-spread ruin was 
around them. The whole platform where they 
stood crumbled and crushed under the pressure, 
and was tossed about and piled up as if the ice-de 
mon was in a frenzy of passion. Escape for the 
boats seemed for the moment impossible, and none 
expected it ; and none could tell when they were 
let down into the water, nor hardly how, yet they 
found themselves whirling in the midst of the 
broken hummocks, now raised up and then shaken 
as if every joint in the helpless, trembling boats 
was to be dislocated. The noise would have 
drowned the uproar of contending armies as ice 
was hurled against ice, and, as it felt the awful 
pressure, it groaned harsh and terrific thunder. 
The men, though utterly powerless, grasped their 
boat-hooks as the boats were borne away in the tu 
multuous .mass of broken ice and hurried on to- 

Melville Bay. 223 

ward the shore. Slowly the tumult began to sub 
side, and the fragments to clear away, until the al 
most bewildered men found themselves in a stretch 
of water making into the land, wide enough to en 
able them to row. They came against the wall of 
the ice-foot, and, grappling it, waited for the rising 
tide to lift them to its top. While here the storm 
was fearful, banging the boats against the ice-wall, 
and surging the waves into them, thus keeping the 
imperiled men at work for dear life in bailing out 
the water. They were at last lifted by the tide to 
the ice-foot, upon which they pulled their boats, 
all uniting on each boat. They had landed on 
the cliff at the mouth of a gorge in the rock ; in 
to this they dragged the boats, keeping them 
square on their keels. A sudden turn in the cave 
placed a wall between them and the storm, which 
was now raging furiously. While they were draw 
ing in the last boat, a flock of eider ducks glad 
dened their hearts as they flew swiftly past. God 
had not only guided them to a sheltered haven, but 
had assured them of abundant food on the morrow. 
They were in the breeding home of the sea-fowl. 
Thus comforted they lay down to sleep, though 
wet and hungry. They named their providential 
harbor the " Weary Man's Rest," and remained in 
it three days, eating until hunger was appeased, and 
gathering eggs at the rate of twelve hundred a day, 
and laughing at the storms which roared without. 
On the fourth of July, after as much of a patri 
otic celebration as their circumstances allowed, 
they again launched into the sea. 


For some days they moved slowly south, but it 
was only by picking their way through the leads, 
for they found the sea nearly closed. As they ap 
proached Cape Dudley Digges their way was en 
tirely closed. They pushed into an opening that 
led to the bottom of its precipitous cliff. Here 
they found a rocky shelf, overshadowed by the tow 
ering rocks, just large enough and in the right posi 
tion at high tide to make a platform on which they 
could land their boats. Here they waited a whole 
week for the ice toward Cape York to give way. 
The sea-fowl were abundant and of a choice kind. 
The scurvy-killing cochlearia was at hand, which 
they ate with their eggs. It was indeed a "provi 
dential halt," for the fact was constantly forced 
upon them that they had come here, as they had to 
" Weary Man's Rest," by no skill or knowledge of 
their own. 

It was the eighteenth of July before the condi 
tion of the ice was such as to make the renewal of 
their voyage possible. Two hundred and fifty 
choice fowl had been skinned, cut open, and 
dried on the rocks, besides a store of those thrown 
aboard as they were caught. 

They now sailed along the coast, passing the 
" Crimson Cliffs " of Sir John Ross. The birds 
were abundant, their halting-places on the shore 
were clothed with green, and the fresh-water 
streams at which they filled their vessels were 
pouring down from the glaciers. They built great 
blazing fires of dry turf which cost nothing but 
the gathering. After a day's hard rowing the 

Melville Bay. 225 

sportsmen brought in fresh fowl, and, gathered 
about their camp-fire, all ate, and then stretched 
themselves on the moss carpet and slept. They 
enjoyed thankfully this Arctic Eden all the more 
as they all knew that perils and privations were 
just before them. 

They wisely provided during these favored days 
a large stock of provisions, amounting to six hun 
dred and forty pounds, besides their dried birds. 
Turf fuel, too, was taken on board for the fires. 

They reached Cape York on the twenty-first of 
July. From this place they were to try the dan 
gers of Melville Bay, across which in their frail 
boats they must sail. It had smiled upon their 
northward voyage ; would it favor their escape 
now? It certainly did not hold out to them flat 
tering promises. The inshore ice was solid yet, 
and terribly hummocky. The open sea was far to 
the west, but along the margin of the floe were 
leads, and fortunately there was one beginning 
where they had halted. The boats were hauled 
up, examined, and as much as possible repaired. 
The " Red Eric " was stripped, her cargo taken 
out, and her hull held in reserve for fuel. A bea 
con was erected from which a red flannel skirt was 
thrown as a pennant to the wind to attract atten 
tion. Under this beacon records were left which 
told in brief the story of the expedition. This 
done, and the blessing of God implored, the 
voyagers entered the narrow opening in the ice. 

For a while all went well, but one evening Dr. 
Kane was hastily called on deck. The huge ice- 


bergs had bewildered the helmsman in the leading 
boat, and he had missed the channel, and had 
turned directly toward the shore until the boat 
was stopped by the solid floe. The lead through 
which they had come had closed in their rear, and 
they were completely entangled in the ice ! 

Without telling the men what had happened, 
the commander, under the pretense of drying the 
clothes, ordered the boats drawn up, and a camp 
was made on the ice. 

In the morning Kane and M'Gary climbed a 
berg some three hundred feet high. They were 
appalled by their situation; the water was far away, 
and huge bergs and ugly hummocks intervened. 
M'Gary, an old whaleman, familiar from early man 
hood with the hardships of Arctic voyaging, wept 
at the sight. 

There was but one way out of this entangle 
ment; the sledges must be taken from the sides 
of the boats, where they had been hung for such 
emergencies, the boats placed on them, and the 
old drag-rope practice must be tried until the ex 
pedition reached the edge of the floe. One sledge, 
that which bore the " Red Eric," had been used 
for fuel ; so the " Red Eric " itself was knocked to 
pieces, and stowed away for the same use. About 
three days were consumed in thus toiling before 
they reached the lead which they had left, launched 
once more into waters, and sailed away before a 
fine breeze. 

Thus far the boats had kept along the outer 
edge of the floe, following the openings through 

Melville Bay. 227 

the ice. But as this was slow work, though much 
safer, they now ventured a while in the open sea 
farther west ; but they were driven back to the 
floe by heavy fogs, and on trying to get the boats 
into a lead, one of those incidents occurred so 
often noticed, in which God's hand was clearly 
seen. All hands were drawing up the " Hope," 
and she had just reached a resting-place on the 
floe, when the " Faith," their best boat, with all 
their stores on board, went adrift. The sight pro 
duced an almost panic sensation among the men. 
The " Hope " could not possibly be launched in 
time to overtake her, for she was drifting rapidly. 
But before they could collect their thoughts to 
devise the means of her rescue, a cake of ice 
swung round, touched the floe where they stood, 
reaching at the same time nearly to the "Faith, ' 
thus bridging over the chasm. Instantly Kane 
and M'Gary sprung upon it, and from it into the 
escaping boat. She was saved. 




MATTERS were getting into a serious con 
dition. The delays had been so many that 
the stock of birds had been eaten, and the men 
had been for several days on short allowance, 
which showed itself in their failing strength. They 
were far out to sea, midway of the Melville Bay 
navigation, and the boats were receiving a rough 
handling, and required continual bailing to keep 
them from sinking. 

It was just at this crisis that the ever timely aid 
came. A large seal was seen floating upon a small 
patch of ice, seeming to be asleep. A signal was 
given for the " Hope " to fall astern, while the 
" Faith " approached noiselessly upon him, with 
stockings drawn over the oars. Petersen lay in 
the bow with a large English rifle, and as they 
drew near, the men were so excited that they 
could scarcely row ; the safety of the whole com 
pany seemed staked upon the capture of that seal. 
When within three hundred yards, the oars were 
taken in, and the boat moved silently on by a 
scull-oar at the stern. The seal was not asleep, 
for when just beyond the reach of the ball he 
raised his head. The thin, care-worn, almost de 
spairing faces of the men showed their deep concern 

Saved. 229 

as he appeared about to make his escape. Dr. 
Kane gave the signal to fire; but poor Petersen, 
almost paralyzed by anxiety, was trying nervously 
to get a rest for his gun on the edge of the bow. 
The seal rose on his fore-flipper, looked curiously 
around, and coiled himself up for a plunge. The 
rifle cracked at the instant, and the seal at the 
same moment drooped his head one side, and 
stretched his full length on the ice at the brink 
of his hole. With a frantic yell the men urged 
the boats to the floe, seized the seal, and bore him 
to a safer place. They brandished their knives, 
cut long strips of the seal, and went dancing about 
the floe, eating and sucking their bloody fingers 
in wild delight. The seal was large and fat, but 
not an ounce of him was wasted. A fire was built 
that night on the floe, and the joyous feast went 
on until hunger was appeased ; they had driven 
away its gnawings, and, happily, it returned no 

On the first of August they had passed the ter 
rible bay, and sighted land on its southern side. 
Familiar landmarks of the whalers came in sight. 
They passed the Duck Islands and Cape Shack- 
elton, and coasted along by the hills, seeking a 
cove in which to land. One was soon found, the 
boats drawn up, a little time spent in thanksgiving 
and congratulations, and then they lay down on the 
dry land and slept. 

They continued to coast near the shore, dodg 
ing about among the islands, a'nd dropping into the 
bays, and landing for rest at night. It was at one 


of these sleeping-halts on the rocks that Petersen 
saw one of the natives, whom he recognized as an 
old acquaintance ; he was in his kayak seeking 
eider-down among the rocks. Petersen hailed 
him, but the man played shy. "Paul Zacharias," 
shouted Petersen, " don't you know me? I am 
Carl Petersen ! " 

'"No," replied the man; "his wife says he's 

The native stared at the weather-beaten, long- 
bearded man for a moment as he loomed up 
through the fog, and then turned the bow of his 
boat, and paddled away as if a phantom was pur 
suing him. 

Two days after this the explorers were rowing 
leisurely along in a fog, which had just began to 
lift and dimly reveal the objects on shore. At 
this moment a familiar sound came to them over 
the water. It was the " huk " of the Esquimo, for 
which they had often taken the bark of a fox 
or the startling screech of the gulls; but this 
" huk ! huk ! " died away in the home-thrilling 
" halloo ! " 

" Listen, Petersen ! what is it ? " 
Petersen listened quietly for a moment, and 
then, trembling with emotion, said, in an under 
tone, " Dannemarkers ! " 

Then the whole company stood up and peered 
into the distant nooks, in breathless silence to 
catch the sound again. The sound came again, 
and all was a moment silent. It was the first 
Christian voice they had heard beyond their own 

Saved. 231 

party for two years. But they saw nothing. Was 
it not a cheat after all of their nervous, excited 
feelings ? The men sat down again and bent to 
their oars, and their boats swept in for the cape 
from which the sound proceeded. They scanned 
narrowly every nook and green spot where the 
strangers might be found. A full half hour passed 
in this exciting search. At last the single mast of 
a small shallop was seen. Petersen, who had kept 
himself during the search very still and sober, 
burst into a fit of crying, relieved by broken ex 
clamations of English and Danish, gulping down 
his words at intervals, and wringing his hands all 
the while. " 'Tis the Upernavik oil-boat ! " " The 
Mariane has come ! and Carlie Mossyn " 

Petersen had hit the facts. The annual ship, 
Mariane, had arrived at Proven, and Carlie Mos 
syn had come up to get the year's supply of blub 
ber from Kinqatok. 

Here our explorers listened while Carlie, in an 
swer to their questions, gave them a hint of what 
had been going on in the civilized world during 
their long absence. The Crimean war had been 
begun and was in bloody progress, but " Sebasto- 
pol wasn't taken ! " " Where and what is Sebasto- 
pol?" they queried. "But what of America?" 
Carlie didn't know much about that country, for 
no whale ships were on the coast, but said " a 
steamer and a bark passed up a fortnight ago seek 
ing your party." 

" What of Sir John Franklin ? " they next in 
quired. Carlie said the priest had a German 


newspaper which said traces of his boats and dead 
had been found ! Yes, found a thousand miles 
away from the region where our explorers had 
been looking for them ! 

One more row into the fog and one more halt 
ing on the rocks. They all washed clean in the 
fresh water of the basins, and brushed up their 
ragged furs and woolens. The next morning they 
neared the settlement of Upernavik, of which 
Petersen had been foreman, and they heard the 
yelling of the dogs as its snowy hill-top showed 
itself through the mist, and the tolling of the 
workmen's bells calling them to their daily labor 
came as sweet music to their ears. They rowed 
into the big harbor, landed by an old Brewhouse, 
and hauled their boats up for the last time. A 
crowd of merry children came round them with 
cheerful faces and curious eyes. In the crowd 
were the wife and children of Petersen. Our ex 
plorers were safe ; their perils were over ! 

Having lived in the open air for eighty-four 
days, they felt a sense of suffocation within the 
walls of a house. But divided among many kind, 
hospitable homes, they drank their coffee and 
listened to hymns of welcome sung by many 

The people of Upernavik fitted up a loft for the 
reception of the wayfarers, and showed them great 
kindness. They remained until the sixth of Sep 
tember, and then embarked on the Danish vessel 
" Mariane," whose captain was to leave them at 
the nearest English port on his way to Denmark. 

Saved. 233 

The boat " Faith " was taken on board, as a relic 
of their perilous adventure ; the document box 
containing their precious records, and the furs on 
their backs these were all that were saved of the 
heroic brig "Advance." 

The " Mariane " made a short stay at Godhavn. 
The searching company under Captain Hartstene 
had left there for the icy north on the twenty- 
first of July, since which nothing was known of 

The " Mariane " was on the eve of leaving with 
our explorers when the lookout shouted from the 
hill-top that a steamer was in the distance. It 
drew near with a bark in tow, both flying the stars 
and stripes. The " Faith " was lowered for the 
last time, and, with Brooks at the helm, Dr. Kane 
went out to meet them. As they came alongside 
Captain Hartstene hailed : " Is that Dr. Kane ? " 
" Yes ! " Instantly the men sprung into the rig 
ging and gave cheers of welcome ; and the whole 
country, on the arrival of the long-lost explorers, 
repeated the glad shout of welcome ; and the 
Christian world echoed, " Welcome ! " 




DR. KANE'S party came home, as we have 
seen, in the fall of 1855. Dr. Hayes, with 
whom we have become acquainted as one of that 
number, began immediately to present the desir 
ableness of further exploration in the same direc 
tion to the scientific men of the country, and to 
the public generally. His object was to sail to 
the west side of Smith's Sound, instead of the 
east, as in the last voyage, and to gather addi 
tional facts concerning* the currents, the aurora, 
the glaciers, the directions and intensity of " the 
magnetic force," and so to aid in settling many 
interesting scientific questions. He aimed also, 
of course, to further peer into the mysteries of 
the open Polar Sea. 

These efforts resulted in the fitting out for this 
purpose, in the summer of 1860, the schooner 
" United States," and the appointment of Dr. Hayes 
as commander. She left Boston July sixth, manned 
by fourteen persons all told. The vessel was 
small, but made for arctic warfare, and as she 
turned her prow North Poleward, she bore a defi 
ant spirit, and, like all inexperienced warriors, 
reckoned the victory already hers. But if the 
vessel was " green " her commander was not. He 

Off Again. 235 

was well able to help her in the coming battle with 
icebergs and floes. 

Among her men were only two besides the doc 
tor who had seen arctic service, one of whom was 
Professor August Sontag, who had been of Kane's 
party, and had also been of the number who ac 
companied Dr. Hayes in the attempt to escape. 
Of the rest of the crew were two young men 
nearly of an age, about eighteen, who are repre 
sented as joining the expedition because they 
would, and in love of adventure. Their names 
were George F. Knorr, commander's clerk, and 
Collins C. Starr. Both pressed their desire to go 
upon Dr. Hayes, and Starr told him that he would 
go in any capacity. The commander told him he 
might go in the forecastle with the common sail 
ors, and the next day, to the surprise .of the doc 
tor, he found him on board, manfully at work with 
the roughest of the men, having doffed his silk 
hat, fine broadcloth, and shining boots of the ele 
gant young man of the day before. The com 
mander was so pleased with his spirit that he pro 
moted him on the spot, sending him off to be 
sailing-master's mate. 

In a little less than four weeks of prosperous 
sailing, the "United States" was at the Danish 
port of Proven, Greenland. It was the intention 
of the commander to get a supply here of the 
indispensable dog-teams, but disease had raged 
among them, and none could be bought. The ves 
sel was delayed, in order that the chief trader, Mr. 
Hansen, who was daily expected from Upernavik, 


might be consulted in the matter. When he ar 
rived he gave a gloomy account of the dog -mar 
ket, but kindly gave the expedition his own teams. 
The couriers which had been sent out to scour the 
country for others, returned with four old dogs and 
a less number of good ones. 

On the evening of the twelfth of August the ex 
plorers arrived at Upernavik. The Danish brig 
" Thialfe " lay at anchor in the harbor, about to 
sail for Copenhagen with a cargo of skins and oil, 
so the first letters to the dear ones at home were 
hastily written to send by her. They bore sad 
news to at least one family circle. Mr. Gibson 
Caruther retired to his berth well on the evening 
of their arrival, and in the morning was found 
dead. He had escaped the perils of the first Grin- 
nell Expedition under Capt. De Haven to die 
thus suddenly ere those of his second voyage 
had begun. He was beloved, able, and intelli 
gent, and his death was a great loss to the enter 
prise. His companions laid him away in the 
mission burial-ground, the missionary, Mr. Anton, 

Before leaving Upernavik, Dr. Hayes secured the 
services of an Esquimo interpreter, one Peter Jen 
sen, who brought on board with him one of the best 
dog-teams of the country ; and soon after he came, 
two more Esquimo hunters and dog-drivers were 
enlisted ; and a still better addition to the expedi 
tion were two Danish sailors, one of whom is our 
old friend whom we left here some five years ago 
rejoicing in re-union with wife and children Carl 

Off Again. ,237 

Christian Petersen. Petersen enlisted as carpen 
ter as well as sailor. 

With these six persons added to her company, 
making it twenty in all, the " United States " left 
Upernavik to enter upon the earnest work of the 
expedition. The settlement had scarcely faded in 
the distance, when the ice-bergs were seen marshal 
ing their forces to give the little voyager battle. 
A long line of them was formed just across her 
course, some more than two hundred feet high and 
a mile long. They were numberless, and at a dis 
tance seemed to make a solid, jagged ice-wall. 
When the schooner was fairly in among them, the 
sunlight was shut out as it is from the traveler in 
a dense forest. She felt the wind in a "cat's- 
paw " now and then, and so the helm lost its con 
trol of her, and she went banging against first one 
berg and then another. The bergs themselves 
minded not the little breeze which was blowing, 
but swept majestically along by the under current. 
The navigators were kept on the alert to keep the 
vessel from fatal collision with its huge, cold, de 
fiant enemies, as the surface current drove it help 
lessly onward. Sometimes, as they approached 
one, the boats were lowered, and the vessel was 
towed away from danger ; at another crisis, as it 
neared one berg, an anchor was planted in an 
other in an opposite direction, and she was warped 
into a place of security. Occasionally they tied 
up to a berg and waited for a chance for prog 

While thus beset with dangers, there were occa- 


sions of some pleasant excitement. The birds were 
abundant and of many varieties, affording sport for 
the hunters and fresh food for the table ; the seals 
sported in the clear water, and were shot for the 
larder of the dogs ; and Dr. Hayes and Professor 
Sontag found employment with their scientific in 

Such had been the state of things for four days, 
when one morning the vessel was borne toward a 
large berg, of a kind the sailors called " touch-me- 
nots." It was an old voyager, whose jagged sides, 
high towers, deep valleys and swelling hills, showed 
that time, the sun, and the tides, had laid their hands 
upon it. Such bergs are about as good neighbors 
as an avalanche on a mountain side, just ready for 
a run into the valley below. Warps and tow-boats, 
instantly and vigorously used, failed to stop the 
schooner's headway. She touched the berg, and 
down dropped fragments of it larger than the ves 
sel, followed by a shower of smaller pieces ; but 
they went clear of the vessel. Now the berg be 
gan to revolve, turning toward the explorers, and 
as its towering sides settled slowly over them, frag 
ments poured upon the deck a fearful hail-storm. 
There was no safety for the men except in the 
forecastle, and there appeared to be no escape for 
the schooner. But just in time an immense sec 
tion of the base of the berg, which seemed to be 
far below the water line, broke off, and rose to the 
surface with a sudden rush, which threw the sea 
into violent commotion. The balance of the berg 
was changed ; it paused, and then began, slowly at 

Off Again. 239 

first but with increasing rapidity, to turn in the op 
posite direction. If this was intended as a retreat 
of the bergy foe, it defended well its rear. At its 
base, from which the piece had just been broken, 
was an icy projection toward the vessel ; as the 
berg revolved, this tongue came up and struck the 
keel. It seemed intent upon tossing the vessel 
into the air, or rolling her over and leaving her bot 
tom side up upon the sea. The men seized their 
poles and pushed vigorously to launch the vessel 
from the perilous position, but in vain. Just in 
time again the unseen Hand interfered for their 
deliverance. Deafening reports, like a park of ar 
tillery, saluted their ears, and a misty smoke arose 
above the berg. Its opposite side was breaking up, 
and launching its towering peaks into the sea. The 
berg paused again and began to roll back, and 
thus for the moment released the vessel. The 
boat had in the meantime fastened an anchor in 
a grounded berg, and the welcome shout came, 
" Haul in ! " Steadily and with a will the men 
drew upon the rope, and the vessel moved slowly 
from the scene of danger, not, however, before the 
returning top of the berg had launched upon her 
deck a shower of ice-fragments, in fearful assurance 
that its whole side would soon follow and bury 
them as the shepherd's hut is buried by a moun 
tain slide. A few moments later and the side 
came down with a tremendous crash, sending its 
spray. over the escaped vessel, and tossing it as 
the drift-wood is tossed in the eddies beneath a 


All that day the roar of the icy cannon was con 
tinued, as if a naval battle was in progress for the 
empire of the north, and berg after berg went 
down, strewing the sea with their shattered frag 
ments, while misty clouds floated over the field of 

Colliding Floes. 241 



AFTER this ice encounter the expedition put 
into a little port called Tessuissak, to com 
plete their outfit of dogs. An impatient tarry of 
two days enabled them to count, on the deck of 
the little vessel, thirty first-class, howling dogs, 
whose amiable tempers found expression in biting 
each other, and making both day and night hide 
ous with their noise. 

This port was left on the twenty-third of Au 
gust, and, much to the joy of all, the dreaded 
Melville Bay was clear of the ice-pack ; the ice 
bergs, however, kept their watch over its storm- 
tossed waters. Through these waters driven before 
a fierce wind, and buried often in. a fog so dense 
that the length of the vessel could not be seen, the 
" United States " sped. Its anxious commander 
was on deck night and day, not knowing the mo 
ment when an icy wall, as fatal to the vessel as 
one of granite, might arrest its course and send it 
instantly to the bottom of the sea. Once they 
passed so near a berg just crossing their track 
that the fore-yard grazed its side, and the spray 
from its surf-beaten wall was thrown upon the 
deck. A berg at one time hove in sight with an 
arch through it large enough for a passage-way for 


the schooner. The explorers declined, however, 
the novel adventure. The passage of Melville 
Bay was made, with sails only, in fifty-five hours. 
The pack which had invariably troubled explorers 
seemed to have been enjoying a summer vacation, 
and the bergs were off duty. The expedition 
had reached the North Water and lay off Cape 

The ocean current which sweeps past this cape, 
and opens the way to the other side of Baffin Bay, 
is wonderful. It is the great Polar current which 
comes rushing down through Spitzbergen Sea, along 
the eastern coast of Greenland, laden with ice, and 
taking the waters of its rivers with their freight of 
drift-wood as it passes. Leaving most of the wood 
along its shore, a welcome gift to the people, it 
sweeps around Cape Farewell, courses near the 
western shore in its run north until it has passed 
Melville Bay. When it has crossed over to the 
American shore near Jones Strait, it joins the cur 
rent from the Arctic Sea, turns south, and makes 
the long journey until it reaches our own coast, 
dropping its ice freight as it goes, and sending 
its cooling air through the heat-oppressed atmos 
phere of our summer. 

As our explorers approached the shore of Cape 
York they looked carefully for the natives. Soon 
a company of Esquimo were seen making their 
wild gesticulations to attract attention. A boat 
was lowered,' and Dr. Hayes and Professor Sontag 
went ashore, and as they approached the landing- 
place one of the Esquimo called them by name. 

Colliding Floes. 243 

It was our old friend Hans, of the Kane voyage, 
who, the reader will recollect, left his white friends 
for an Esquimo wife. The group consisted, be 
sides Hans, of his wife and baby, his wife's moth 
er, an old woman having marked talking ability, 
and her son, a bright-eyed boy of twelve years. 
Hans had found his self-imposed banishment among 
the savages of this extreme north rather tedious. 
He had removed his family to this lookout for the 
whale ships, and had watched and waited. It 
was the dreariest of places, and his hut, pitched 
on a bleak spot the better to command a view of 
the sea, was the most miserable of abodes. It 
had plainly cost him dear to break his faith with 
his confiding commander and the friends of his 
early Christian home. 

Dr. Hayes asked Hans if he would go with the 
expedition. He answered promptly, "Yes." 

" Would you take your wife and baby ? " 


" Would you go without them ? " 


He was taken on board with his wife and baby. 
The mother and her boy cried to go, but the 
schooner was already overcrowded. 

Leaving Cape York, the vessel spread her sails 
before a "ten-knot " breeze, and dodging the ice 
bergs with something of a reckless daring, seemed 
bent on reaching the Polar Sea before winter set 
in. At one time what appeared to be two ice 
bergs a short distance apart lay in the course of 
the vessel. The helmsman was ordered to steer 


between them, for to go round involved quite a 
circuit. On dashed the brave little craft for the 
narrow passage. When she was almost abreast of 
them the officer on the lookout shuddered to see 
that the seeming bergs were but one, and that the 
connecting ice appeared to be only a few feet below 
the surface. It was too late to stop the headway of 
the vessel, or to turn her to the right or left. She 
rushed onward, but the water of the opening 
proved to be deeper than it appeared, and her 
keel but touched once or twice, just to show how 
narrow was the escape. 

Hans was delighted with his return to ship life. 
His wife seemed pleased and half bewildered 
by the strange surroundings. The baby crowed, 
laughed, and cried, and ate and slept like other 

The sailors put the new comers -through a soap- 
and-water ordeal, to which was added the use of 
scissors and combs. Esquimo do not bathe, nor 
practice the arts of the barber, and consequently 
they keep numerous boarders on their persons. 
When this necessary cleansing and cropping was 
done, they donned red shirts and other luxuries 
of civilization. With the new dresses they were 
delighted, and they were never tired of strutting 
about in them. But the soap and water was not 
so agreeable. At first it was taken as a rough 
joke, but the wife soon began to cry. She in 
quired of her husband if it was a religious cere 
mony of the white men. 

The vessel made good time until she came 

Colliding Floes. 245 

within three miles of Cape Alexander. It was 
now August twenty-eighth, and so it was time 
these Arctic regions should begin to show their 
peculiar temper. A storm came down upon them, 
pouring the vials of its wrath upon the shivering 
vessel for about three days. During a lull in the 
storm the schooner was hauled under the shelter 
of the highlands of Cape Alexander and anchored. 
She rocked and plunged fearfully. At one time 
when these gymnastics were going on, the old 
Swedish cook came to the commander in the cabin 
with refreshments, but he was hardly able to keep 
his "sea legs." He remarks as he comes in, *' I 
falls down once, but de commander sees I keeps 
de coffee. It's good an' hot, and very strong, and 
go right down into de boots." 

" Bad night on deck, cook," remarks the captain. 

"O, it's awful, sar! I never see it blow so hard 
in all my life, an' I's followed de sea morn'n forty 
years. An' den it's so cold ! My galley is full of 
ice, and de water, it freeze on my stove." 

" Here, cook, is a guernsey for you. It will 
keep you warm." 

" Tank you, sar ! " says the cook, starting off 
with his prize. But encouraged by the kind bear 
ing of his captain, he stops and asks, " Would the 
commander be so kind as to tell me where we is ? 
De gentlemen fool me." 

" Certainly, cook. The land over there is Green 
land ; the big cape is Cape Alexander; beyond 
that is Smith's Sound, and we are only about eight 
hundred miles from the North Pole." 


" De Nort Pole ! vere's dat ? " 

The commander explains as well as he can. 

" Tank you, sar. Vat for we come to fish ? " 

" No, not to fish, cook; for science." 

" O, dat it ! Dey tell me we come to fish. Tank 
you, sar." 

The old cook pulls his greasy cap over his bald 
head and thinks. " Science ! " " De Nort Pole ! " 
He dont get the meaning of these through his 
cap, and he " tumbles up " the companion-ladder, 
and goes to the galley to enjoy his guernsey. 

Dr. Hayes and Knorr went ashore and climbed 
to the top of the cliffs, twelve hundred feet. The 
wind was fearfully breezy, and Knorr's cap left 
and went sailing like a feather out to sea. The 
view was full of arctic grandeur, but not flattering 
to the storm-bound navigators. Ice was evidently 
king a little farther north. 

Soon after the explorer's return to the vessel 
the storm gathered fresh power, and the anchors 
began to drag. Soon one hawser parted, and 
away went the schooner, with fearful velocity, and 
brought up against a berg. The crash was appall 
ing, and the stern boat flew into splinters. The 
spars were either bent or carried away ; and, as 
they attempted to hoist the mainsail, it went to 
pieces. The crippled craft was with difficulty 
worked back into the projecting covert of Cape 
Alexander. Her decks were covered with ice, 
and the dogs were perishing with wet and cold, 
three having died. 

Having repaired damages as well as they could, 

Colliding Floes. 247 

they again pushed into the pack of Smith's Sound, 
which lay between them and open water, visible 
far to the north. Entering a lead under full sail, 
they made good progress for awhile ; but suddenly 
a solid floe shot across the channel, and the vessel, 
with full head-way, struck it like a battering ram. 
The cut-water flew into splinters, and the iron 
sheathing- of the bows was torn off as if it had 
been paper. 

Pushing off from the floe, and passing through 
a narrow lead, they emerged into an area of open 
water. But the floe was on the alert. This began 
to close up, and, taking a hint of foul play, the 
explorers steered toward the shore. But the ice 
battalions moved with celerity, piled up across the 
vessel's bow, and closed in on every side. In an 
hour they held her as in a vice, while the reserve 
force was called up to crush her to atoms. The 
foe was jubilant, for the power at his command 
was kindred to that of the earthquake. An ice 
field of millions of tons, moved by combined wind 
and current, rushed upon the solid ice-field which 
rested against the immovable rocks of the shore. 
Between these was the schooner less than an 
egg-shell between colliding, heavily laden freight 
trains. As the pressure came steadily, in well 
assured strength, she groaned and shrieked like a 
thing of conscious pain, writhing and twisting as 
if striving to escape her pitiless adversary. Her 
deck timbers bowed, and the seams of the deck- 
planks opened, while her sides seemed ready to 


Thus far the closing forces were permitted to 
strike severely on the side of the helpless vessel, 
to show that they could crush her as rotten fruit 
is crushed in a strong man's hand. Then He, 
without whose permission no force in nature 
moves, and at whose word they are instantly 
stayed, directed the floe under the strongly tim 
bered " bilge " of the hull, and, with a jerk which 
sent the men reeling about the deck, lifted the 
vessel out of the water. The floes now fought 
their battle out beneath her, as if they disdained, 
like the lion with the mouse in his paw, to crush 
so small a thing. Great ridges were piled up 
about her, and one underneath lifted her high into 
the air. Eight hours she remained in this situa 
tion, while the lives of all on board seemed sus 
pended on the slenderest thread. 

Then came the yielding and breaking up of the 
floes. Once, at the commencing of the giving 
way, an ice prop of the bows suddenly yielded, 
let the forward end of the vessel down while the 
stern was high in the air. But finally the battered 
craft settled squarely into the water. 

She was leaking badly, and the pumps were 
kept moving with vigor. The rudder was split, 
and two of its bolts broken ; the stern-post 
started, and fragments of the cut-water and keel 
were floating away. But, strange to say, no essen 
tial injury was done. She was slowly navigated 
into Hartstene or Etah Bay, where we have been 
so often, anchored safely, and repairs immediately 

The Winter Home. 249 



ONE more effort, after the repairs were fin 
ished, was made to push through the ice 
floe of Smith's Sound. This resulting in failure, 
it was plainly impossible to get farther north. 
The vessel was brought into Etah Bay again, a 
harbor found eight miles north-east of Cape Alex 
ander, and eighty by the coast from the harbor of 
the " Advance," though only twenty in a straight 
line, and preparations were at once begun for win 
ter. Peter, the Esquimo dog-driver, and Hans 
were appointed a hunting party. Sontag, the 
astronomer, with three assistants, was mainly en 
gaged in scientific observations and experiments. 
There was work for all the rest. Some were en 
gaged in unloading the cargo and lifting it by a 
derrick to a terrace on the shore, far above the 
highest tide, where a storehouse was made for it. 
The hold of the schooner was cleared, scrubbed, 
and white-washed, a stove set up, and made a 
home for the sailors. The sails and yards were 
" sent down," the upper deck roofed in, making a 
house eight feet high at the ridge, and six and a 
half at the sides. 

The crew moved into their new quarters on the 
first of October. The event was celebrated by a 


holiday dinner. There was joy on shipboard; 
thankful for escapes granted by the great Pro 
tector, trustful for the future, and, greatly encour 
aged by present blessings, none were unhappy. 
The hunters were very successful, bringing in 
every day game of the best kind, and in great 
abundance. A dozen reindeer were suspended 
'from the shrouds, and clusters of rabbits and 
foxes were hung in the rigging; besides these, 
deposits of reindeer were made in various direc 
tions. The hard-working men ate heartily of the 
relishing fresh food, and laughed to scorn the 
scurvy. They called the place of their winter 
quarters Port Foulke. 

When the floe became frozen, the sledges were 
put in readiness for the dog-teams. The dogs 
having been well fed, were in fine condition. 

Blocks of ice were used to make a wall about 
the vessel, from the floe to the deck, between 
which and her sides the snow was crowded, mak 
ing a solid defense against the cold. 

On the fifteenth of October the sun bade them 
farewell for four months, and they anticipated the 
coming darkness under circumstances certainly 
much better than had been often granted to arctic 

As there was yet a long twilight, dog-trips were 
very exhilarating. Dr. Hayes once rode behind 
his dogs twelve measured miles in an hour and 
one minute, without a moment's halt. Sontag and 
the captain raced their teams, the captain beat 
ing, as was becoming, by four minutes. 

The Winter Home. 251 

The dogs were made to know their masters a 
knowledge quite necessary for the good of all. 
Jensen observed that one of his team was getting 
rebellious. "You see dat beast," he said. "I 
takes a piece out of his ear." The long lash un 
rolls, the sinewy snapper on its tip touches the tip 
of the dog's ear, and takes out a piece as neatly as 
a sharp knife would have done. 

The same day Jensen's skill at dog driving was 
put to a severe test. A fox crossed their path. 
Up went their tails, curling over their backs, their 
short ears pricked forward, and away they went in 
full chase. In such a case woe be to the driver 
who cannot take a piece of flesh out of any dog in 
the team at each snap of his merciless whip. Jen 
sen was usually master of such a situation, but it 
so happened that a strong wind blew directly in 
the face of the team and carried the lash back be 
fore it reached its victim. Missing its terrible 
bite, the dogs became for a while unmanageable 
and raced after the fox at full speed. To make 
matters worse, treacherous ice lay just ahead. 
The dogs were already on the heels of the fox, and 
about to make a meal of him, when Jensen regained 
full control of his whip. It stung severely, now 
this one and then that. Their tails dropped, their 
ears drooped, and they paused and obeyed their 
master. But they were greatly provoked at the 
loss of the game, and at the harsh subjection, and, 
with characteristic amiability, they commenced to 
snap at and bite each other. Jensen jumped from 
the sledge and laid the whip-stock on them, knock- 


ing them to the right and left, until, it is presumed, 
made very loving by the process, they went about 
their assigned business. 

Parties 'of the explorers were out nearly every 
day, hunting, or pursuing the scientific inquiries. 

Knorr, the secretary of the commander, was 
off with Hans. He had his adventure to talk about 
on his return. He wounded in the valley a rein 
deer, which hobbled on three legs up a steep 
hill. 'The young hunter followed, and, getting 
within easy range, brought it down by a well-aimed 
shot. The deer being in a line with Knorr, came 
sliding down the hill, and, knocking against him, 
both went tumbling down together. Fortunate 
ly he carried no broken bones, but only bruises 
to the vessel as mementoes of his deer hunt. 

Sontag, on the same day, had his perilous inci 
dent. He had climbed to the top of a glacier by 
cutting steps in the ice. Across the ice was a 
crack, bridged over with thin ice, but entirely con 
cealed by it. Stepping on this he broke through 
and fell into the chasm ; fortunately it was a nar 
row one, and the barometer which he carried, 
crossing the creek, broke the fall and probably 
saved his life. On what a slender thread hangs 
this mortal existence ! 

During this sledging season Dr. Hayes visited 
the homes of our old acquaintance at Etah, which 
was only four miles from the schooner; but they 
were deserted. Near the huts was a splendid 
buck, busily engaged in pawing up and eating the 
moss from under the snow. He seemed so unsus- 

The Winter Home. 253 

pecting, and withal so honestly engaged, that the 
doctor, though he had crept on the leeward side, 
within easy range, was reluctant to fire. Twice 
he aimed, and twice dropped his gun from its lev 
el. Bringing it to sight the third time he fired, and 
the ball went crashing through the noble animal. 
We hear nothing of compunction in eating him on 
the part of any on shipboard, and probably the 
pitying reader would have had none. 

Our old friend Hans does not appear so favor 
ably in the present narrative as he did in that of 
Dr. Kane. His five years of chosen exile among 
his purely heathen countrymen does not seem to 
have left many traces of his Christian education. 
Some allowance, however, must be made for a dif 
ference of estimate of his character by his former 
and present commander. In Dr. Hayes's judg 
ment, " he is a type of the worst phase of the Es- 
quimo character." 

Hans's domestic relations are represented as 
not of the most happy kind. His wife's name is 
Merkut, but is known to the sailors as " Mrs. 
Hans." She passes for a u beauty," as Esquimo 
beauty goes ; has a flush of red on rather a fair 
cheek when, exceptionally, she uses soap and 
water enough for it to be seen through the usual 
coating of dirt. Their baby, ten months' old, bears 
the pleasant name of Pingasuk " Pretty One." 
Hans has a household of his own. He pitched a 
tent, when the schooner went into winter-quarters, 
under the roof of the upper deck. The Esquimo 
Marcus and Jacob make a part of his family. 


Here, wrapped in their furs, where they choose 
to be, they huddle together, warm " as fleas in 
a rug," though the temperature is seldom higher 
than about the freezing point. Little " Pretty 
One " creeps out of the tent about the deck, hav 
ing for covering only the ten months' accumula 
tion of grease and dirt, not unfrequently accompa 
nied by its mother, who on such occasion is guilt 
less of "costly array," or much of any whatever. 
Hans's gentlemen lodgers were taken on board 
as dog-drivers, but they seemed to have been of 
no possible use except to give occasion for the 
mirthful jokes of the sailors. 

Peter, chief dog manager, a converted Esquimo, 
brother to Jacob, gave his commander excellent 
satisfaction and stood high in his esteem. He was 
skillful, industrious, and trustworthy. Between him 
and Hans an intense jealousy existed. Hans had, 
under Dr. Kane, no rival in his sphere. Peter was 
now, at least, a peer, and so the glory of his exal 
tation from Esquimo hut-life was greatly eclipsed. 
His master even preferred Peter before him ; but 
Prof. Sontag clung, with a little of the Dr. Kane 
partiality, to the favorite of the former voyage. 

Hans had no reason, however, to complain of the 
consideration shown him by his chief. At one 
time he gave him, to quiet his jealousy, a new suit 
of clothes, with the very reddest of flannel shirts. 
In these he appeared at the Sunday inspection 
and religious service, quite as elated at his per 
sonal adornment, though probably not more so, as 
the " fine gents " of our home Sabbath assemblies. 

Glaciers. 255 



THE glacier is one of the wonderful things 
of the northern regions. We will visit one 
with Dr. Hayes, and, on .our return to the vessel, 
listen to some curious and interesting facts con 
cerning it. Although there was no sunshine at the 
time of the first glacier excursion, the twilight was 
long and clear ; it was October twenty-first. The 
run was made to the foot of the glacier from the 
vessel, with the dogs, in forty minutes. It ap 
peared here as a great ice-wall, one hundred feet 
high and a mile broad. The glacier in descend 
ing the valley extended in breadth not quite to 
the slope of the hills, so it left between them and 
each of its sides a gorge. It is very curious that 
the ice should not lean against the hills as it 
slips along and thus fill up all the valley as water 

Our party first stopped and examined the front 
face of the glacier. It was nearly perpendicular, 
but bulging out a little in the middle. It was 
worn in places by the summer streams which run 
over it, and marred in other parts by the fall of 
great fragments into the valley below. While our 
visitors were gazing at it a crystal block came 
down as an angry hint for them to stand from 


under. Wisely heeding the warning, they turned up 
one of the gorges between the glacier side and the 
hill. Here was rough traveling, and, we should 
think, dangerous too. There were strewed along 
in their path ice fragments from the glacier on 
one side, and rocks and earth which had slid 
down the hill on the other. If the glacier was as 
evil disposed as its children, the icebergs, it might 
let loose some of its projecting crags on their heads. 

Finding a favorable place, they began to cut 
steps in the side of the glacier in order to mount 
to its surface. Having reached the top they cau 
tiously walked to the center of the icy stream, 
drove two stakes on a line in it, and then two half 
way between these and the sides of the glacier. 
Then they measured the distance of these stakes 
from each other, and sighted from their tops fixed 
objects on the hills. They purposed to come in the 
spring and examine the distance apart of the stakes, 
and sight from them the fixed objects, so as to de 
termine how fast the frozen river was moving down 
the valley. Having set the stakes they scampered 
back to the vessel. 

After a little rest another journey to the glacier 
was made, this time without the dogs, the sledges, 
having a light outfit, being drawn by the men. 
These were young Knorr, the sailor M'Donald, 
Mr. Heywood, a landsman from the west an am 
ateur explorer the Dane, Petersen, and the Es- 
quimo, Peter. When they arrived at the gorge, 
the way was so rough that they were compelled to 
carry the sledge loads in parcels on their backs. 

Glaciers. 257 

It was rough work, and they sought an early camp ; 
but with the frowning ice-cliffs on one side and hill- 
crags on the other, both evil-minded in the use of 
their icy and rocky missiles, and with also the un 
even bed of rocks beneath them, no wonder they 
did not sleep. They were soon astir, pushed far 
ther up the gorge, and finding a favorable place, 
began to cut steps up the glacier. The first one 
who attempted to mount reached some distance, . 
then slipped, and in sliding down carried with 
him his companions who were following, and 
the whole company were promiscuously tumbled 
into the gorge. The one going ahead had better 
luck the next trial, carrying a rope by which the 
sledge was drawn up, and all mounted in safety. 

They now started off up this ice-river toward 
the great sea of ice from whence it flowed. The 
surface was at first rough, and of course slightly 
descending toward its' front edge. Dr. Hayes 
walked in advance of the sledge party, carrying a 
pole over his head grasped by both hands, being 
fearful of the treacherous cracky hidden by their 
ice. Soon down he went into one, but the pole 
reached across the chasm and he scrambled out. 
The depth of the chasm remains a mystery to this 
day. The ice grew smoother as they proceeded, 
and they made about five miles, pitched their can 
vas tents, cooked with their lamp a good supper, 
made coffee, ate and drank like weary men, crept 
into their fur sleeping bags, and slept soundly 
though the thermometer was about fifteen degrees 
below zero. The next day they traveled thirty 


miles, and came upon an even plain where the 
surface of the ice-sea was covered with many feet 
of snow, the crust of which broke through at every 
step. This made very hard traveling, yet the fol 
lowing day they tramped twenty-five miles more. 
Now came the ever-at-hand Arctic storm. They 
camped, but lower and lower fell the temperature, 
and fiercer and fiercer blew the wind. They could 
not sleep, so they decided to turn their faces home 
ward. The frost nipped their fingers, and assailed 
their faces as they hastily packed up and started. 
They were five thousand feet above the level of 
the sea, and seventy miles from the coast, and 
were standing in the midst- of a vast icy desert. 
There was neither mountain nor hill in sight. As 
in mid-ocean the sailor beholds the sea bounded 
only by the sky, so here they beheld only ice, which 
stretched away to the horizon on every side truly 
a sea of ice. Clouds of snow whirled along its 
surface, at times rising and disappearing in the 
cold air, or drifted across the face of the setting 
moon beautiful clouds of fleecy whiteness to the 
eye, but " burning " the flesh as .they pelted the 
retreating explorers, like the fiery sand-clouds of 
the Great Sahara. They scud before the wind, 
which they dared not for a moment face, nor 
halted until they had traveled forty miles and 
descended two thousand feet. They then pitched 
their tents, the cold and wind having lessened 
though yet severe. They arrived at the ship the 
next evening, not seriously the worse for their dar 
ing " sea-voyage " on foot. 

Glaciers. 259 

Having been refreshed by food and rest, no 
doubt our explorers discussed the great glacier 
problem, and pleasantly chased away many an 
hour in talk about what they had seen and what 
they had read on this interesting subject. We 
think their conversation included some of the fol 
lowing facts : 

The ice upon which they had been voyaging is 
a part of a great ocean of ice covering the cen 
tral line of Greenland from Cape Farewell on the 
south to the farthest known northern boundary, 
a distance of at least twelve hundred miles. In 
stead of being formed of drops of water like more 
southern oceans, it is made up of crystallized dew- 
drops and snow-flakes, which have been falling for 
ages, and which in these cold regions have no 
summer long enough, nor of sufficient heat, to con 
vert them into water again. 

But if the crystal dews and snows continue to 
fall for ages, and never melt, what prevents them 
from piling up to the sky, and sinking the very 
continent ? The all-wise Director of the universe 
has made a very curious arrangement to prevent 
such a result. This ice-ocean runs off into the 
sea in great ice-rivers which find their way to the 
shore on both sides of the continent, just as the 
water does which falls from the clouds on the top 
of the Andes of South. America. There we see 
the mighty Amazon, one of its rivers, almost an 
ocean of itself, as it sweeps along its banks be 
tween mountains, and through immense forests. 
Greenland has its Amazons in vastness and grand- 


eur, as well as its smaller rivers and little streams. 
It has also its lakes and sublime Niagaras, its falls 
and cascades. But they are ice instead of water; 
that is all the difference between this Arctic cir 
culation and that of warmer regions. 

But of course this ice is not like that which 
many of the readers see every winter. It is a half- 
solid, pasty kind of substance. It holds together, 
yet slides along from the higher land where it ac 
cumulates, filling up the valleys, breaking through 
the openings in the mountain and hilly ridges, and 
pouring over the precipices; slowly, silently, but 
with mighty force, ever pressing onward until it 
reaches the sea. 

These ice rivers move very slowly. It will be 
remembered that Dr. Hayes drove some stakes 
down in the one he visited in October. In the 
following July he visited the glacier again, and 
compared the relation of these to the landmarks 
he had noted. He thus found that this ice-river 
moved over one hundred feet a year. It had 
come down the valley ten miles. Two more 
miles would bring it to the sea. Some glacier 
streams which they visited were yet many miles 
from the shore, one as far away as sixty miles. 
The Great Glacier of Humboldt, farther north, 
was several times visited by Dr. Kane and parties 
of his explorers. Its face is a solid, glassy wall 
three hundred feet above the water-level, and 
extending from Cape Agassiz, a measured dis 
tance north, of sixty miles, and then disappear 
ing in the unknown polar regions. Surely this 

Glaciers. 261 

must be the mouth of the Amazon of glacier 

But the history of these rivers does not end 
when they reach the sea. When their broad and 
high glassy front touches the water it does not 
melt away nor fall to pieces, but goes down to the 
bottom, and if it be a shallow bay or arm of the 
sea, pushes the water back and fills up the whole 
space, it may be for many miles. When it reaches 
water so deep that more than seven eighths of its 
front is below the surface, it begins to feel an up 
ward pressure, just as a piece of wood when forced 
below its natural water-line will spring back. So 
after a while this upward pressure breaks off the 
massive front, perhaps miles in extent, and many 
hundred feet in height. As this is launched into 
the sea its thunder crash is heard for miles, and 
the water boils like a caldron, while the disengaged 
.mass rolls and plunges until, finding its equilib 
rium, it sails away a majestic ICEBERG. Here 
after the snow will at times cover it with a mantle 
of pure whiteness ; the fierce storms will beat upon 
its defiant brow ; the beams of the rising and set 
ting sun will display their sparkling glories on 
its craggy top, or, falling upon the misty cloud 
which envelopes it, will encircle it with all the 
varying hues of the rainbow. As it voyages in 
stately dignity southward, anchored, it may be, at 
times for months, it will pass in sullen silence the 
drear, long, dark Arctic night, and emerge into 
the brief summer to be enlivened as the home 
of innumerable sea-fowl, who will rear their young 


upon its cold breast. Ultimately it will go back 
to the drops of water from which it came, to make 
a part of the great ocean, and possibly to sail 
away in clouds over the frozen regions, and to 
drop again upon its glassy plain in sparkling 

A Strange Dream and its Fulfillment. 263 



THE winter was fully settled down upon Port 
Foulke, but the dwellers in the schooner 
" United States " knew nothing of the anxieties 
and suffering from cold and hunger which most of 
the arctic voyagers have known. There was one 
foe, however, which they, in common with all who 
had gone before them, had to fight ; namely, de 
pression of mind produced by the weeks of inac 
tivity and darkness. We have seen how many 
means were used by earlier as well as later explor 
ers to meet and vanquish this foe. Dr. Hayes 
availed himself of the hints given by his prede 
cessors, and had some devices peculiarly his own. 
To the " school of navigation," dramatic perform 
ances, and the publishing of a weekly " news 
paper," was added the pleasant stimulus of a cele 
bration of the birthday of every man on board. 
Such occasions were attended by special dinners, 
the passing of complimentary notes of invitations 
to the intended guests, which included all, and by 
fun-making, at which all laughed as a matter of 

On Sunday all assembled in their clean and 
best suits. Brief religious service was performed 
in the presence of all, and the day was spent in 


reading or conversation, save the performance of 
the necessary routine work. 

During the favoring light of the moon some 
excursions were attempted. One was made by 
Professor Sontag, accompanied by Hans and Jen 
sen with two dog sledges. The object was to 
reach the harbor where Dr. Kane's "Advance" 
had been left, and ascertain if possible her fate. 
He started early in November, but returned in a 
few days, baffled by the hummocks and wide 
intervening, treacherous ice-cracks. The party 
had an encounter with and captured a bear and 
her cub. The mother fought with maternal fury 
for her child, tossed the dogs one after another 
until some of the stoutest and bravest retired 
bleeding and yelping from the field, and at times 
charged upon and scattered the whole pack, while 
the cub itself behaved bravely in its own defense. 
When the men came up they threw in, of course, 
the fatal odds of rifle balls. Once Hans, his gun 
having failed to go off, seized an Esquimo lance 
and ran at the beast. Accepting the challenge of a 
hand-to-hand fight, she made at him with such 
spirit that he dropped the lance and ran, and 
nothing saved the cub from supping on Esquimo 
meat but two well-directed balls, which whizzed at 
the right moment from the guns of Sontag and 
Jensen. The bears made a splendid resistance to 
the unprovoked attack upon them in the peace 
able pursuit of an honest calling, that of getting 
a living, but were conquered and eaten. 

Among the sad events of the winter was a fatal 

A Strange Dream and its Fulfillment. 265 

disease among the dogs. They all died but nine 
by the middle of December. This was alarming, 
for upon them depended mainly the spring excur 
sions North Poleward. Such being the situation, 
Sontag took at this time the surviving dogs, and, 
on a sledge with Hans as a driver, started south 
in pursuit of Esquimo. If they could be brought 
with their dogs into the vicinity of the ship and 
fed, there would be a fair chance of having dog- 
sledges when they were wanted. The nearest 
known Esquimo family was at Northumberland 
Island, a hundred miles off, and others were at 
the south side of Whale Sound, fifty miles farther 
perhaps all had gone to the most distant point. 
They departed in fine spirits, and well equipped. 
Hans cracked his whip, and the dogs, well fed 
and eager for a run, caused the sledge to glide 
over the ice with the velocity of a locomotive. 
Their companions sent after them a "hip! hip, 
hurrah!" and a "tiger." The moon shed her. 
e serene light on their path, and all seemed to prom 
ise a speedy and successful return. 

The second night after their departure the 
solicitous commander had a strange, disquieting 
dream. He says in the journal of the following 
morning : " I stood with Sontag far out upon the 
frozen sea, when suddenly a crash was heard 
through the darkness, and in an instant a crack 
opened in the ice between us. It came so sud 
denly and widened so rapidly that he could not 
spring over it to where I stood, and he sailed away 
on the dark waters of a troubled sea. I last saw 


him standing firmly upon the crystal raft, his erect 
form cutting sharply against a streak of light 
which lay upon the distant horizon." 

Christmas came and was duly regarded. Stores 
of nice things, the gifts of friends far away, were 
brought out from secret corners where they had 
been hid. The tables were loaded with that 
which satisfied the appetite and gratified the eye, 
while the rooms of officers and men blazed with 
cheerful lights. Outside a feeble aurora seemed 
to be trying to exhibit an inspiring illumination, 
which contrasted strongly* with its cloudy back 

January, 1861, came, and half its days passed, 
yet no tidings came from Sontag. The twilight 
had returned, and already the coming sun was 
heralded along the golden horizon. The com 
mander was becoming uneasy concerning the 
missing ones, and began to devise ways of know 
ing what had become of them. Mr. Dodge was 
sent to follow their tracks, which he did as far as 
Cape Alexander, where he lost them and returned. 
A party was instantly put in readiness for farther 
search, and was about to start on the morning of 
January twenty-seventh, when a violent storm 
arose, detaining it two days. As it was on the 
instant of starting again, two Esquimo suddenly 
appeared at the vessel's side. One of them was 
Ootiniah, who appears so creditably in the narrative 
of Dr. Hayes's boat voyage. They were bearers 
of sad news. Professor Sontag was dead. Hans 
was on his way to the vessel with his wife, father 

A Strange Dream and its Fulfillment. 267 

and mother, and their son, a lad who was left be 
hind with mother when Hans was first taken on 
board of the schooner. Some of the dogs had 
died, and the family were necessarily moving 

Two days later Hans came in with the boy 
only, having left the dogs and the old people near 
Cape Alexander and come on for help. He was 
very cold and much exhausted, and both were 
sent below for food, warmth, and rest, before be 
ing questioned concerning the disastrous journey. 
The large sledge, drawn by fresh men, was sent for 
those left behind. The old people were found 
coiled up in an excavation made in a snow bank, 
and the dogs huddled together near them, neither 
dogs nor Esquimo being able to stir, and so all 
were bundled in a heap on the sledge and drawn 
to the schooner. The hardy savages soon re 
vived under the influence of good quarters and 
good eating, but the dogs, five in number, the 
remnant of the strong force of thirty- six, lay on 
the deck unable to stir, and not disposed to eat. 

Hans's story was this : 

They made a good run the first day, passing 
Cape Alexander, and camped in a snow hut on 
Sunderland Island. The next day they reached 
an Esquimo settlement, but found its huts for 
saken. Resting and eating here, they started for 
Northumberland Island, and having traveled about 
five miles, Sontag, becoming chilled, sprang from 
the sledge and ran ahead of the dogs for warmth 
by exercise. Hans having occasion to halt the 


team to disentangle a trace fell some distance be 
hind. He was urging forward his team to over 
take his master when he saw him sinking. He 
had come upon thin ice covering a recently open 
crack, and had broken through. Hans hastened 
up and helped him from the water. A light wind 
was blowing, which disposed Sontag not to attempt 
to change his wet clothes the fatal error. They 
hastened back to the hut in which they had spent 
the night. At first the professor ran, but after a 
while jumped on the sledge, and when he reached 
the hut he was stiff and speechless. Hans lifted 
him into the hut, drew off his wet clothes, and 
placed him into his sleeping bag. Having tightly 
closed the hut, he set the lamp ablaze, and ad 
ministered to him a portion of brandy from a 
flask found on the sledge. But the cold had done 
its fatal work ; he remained speechless and uncon 
scious for nearly twenty-four hours, and died. 

Hans closed up the hut to prevent beasts of 
prey from disturbing the body, continued south, 
and on the second night came upon a village where 
he was rejoiced to find several native families, who 
were living in the midst of abundance. Here 
Hans rested until two Esquimo boys, whom he 
hired with the Sontag presents, could go to Cape 
York after his wife's parents and their son. They 
over-drove or starved four of the dogs, which were 
left by the way. 

The natives whom he found were ready on the 
moment of his arrival to return to the vessel with 
him, and Ootiniah and his companion were the 

A Strange Dream and its Fulfillment. 269 

first to show their good-will by starting with Hans 
on his return. 

A few weeks later the body of Sontag was brought 
to the vessel, a neat coffin was made for it, and 
the whole ship's company followed it, mourning, 
to its last resting-place. The burial service was 
read, and it was carefully secured from molesta 
tion. At a later period a mound was raised over it, 
and a chiseled stone slab, with his name and age, 
marked the head. 

August Sontag was only twenty-eight years of 
age when thus suddenly cut off. His loss to the 
expedition was very great. 

Hans's parents and brother were added to his 
own family on deck, and proved to be much more 
efficient helpers in domestic affairs than Mrs. 
Hans. The boy was washed and scrubbed and 
combed by the sailors, with whom he became a 
great favorite, filling much the place on board as a 
pet monkey, and proved to be full as annoying to 
the old cook, who, in his extreme vexation at his 
mischievous tricks, threatened to " kill him a 
le-e-t-le" The old folks getting tired of the close 
quarters on board, built after a while a snow hut 
on the floe, and set up housekeeping for them 





u r n*HE glorious sun " reappeared February 
JL eighteenth, tarrying only a moment, but 
giving a sure prophecy of a coming to stay. Scarce 
ly less welcome was the appearance soon after of 
Kalutunah, Tattarat, and Myouk, all old acquaint 
ance whom the reader will not fail to recognize. 
Kalutunah was Angekok and Nalegak priest and 
chief. His gruff old rival, who advised the starva 
tion policy toward the escaping party in the miser 
able old hut, had been harpooned in the back and 
buried alive under a heap of stones. These com 
ers brought the much-desired dogs, and they were 
followed by other old friends from Northumber 
land Island with additional dog-teams. These 
natives were treated with consideration they were 
made content with abundant food and flattered 
with presents, all of which told favorably upon the 
success of the enterprise of the generous donors. 

In the middle of March the northward excur 
sions commenced. The first consisted of a party 
of three, Dr. Hayes and Kalutunah driving a team 
of six dogs, and Jensen with a sledge of nine. It 
was to be a trial trip, and the experiment began 
rather roughly. A few miles only had been made 
when Jensen, whose team was ahead, broke through 

The Crowning Sledge Journey. 271 

the ice, and dogs and man went floundering to 
gether into a cold bath. The other team, fortu 
nately, was just at hand, so they were drawn out, 
and all returned to the vessel for a fresh and warm 
start. The next trial they were gone four days, 
and traversed the Greenland shore to Cape Ag- 
assiz and to the commencement of the Great 
Glacier. The cold at one time was sixty-eight and 
a half degrees below zero. Yet the sun's rays 
through even such an atmosphere blistered the 
skin ! The grains of snow became like gravel, and 
the sledge runners grated over it as if running on the 
summer sand of our own sea-shore. Kalutunah had 
an ingenious remedy for this. He dissolved snow 
in his mouth, and pouring the water into his hand 
coated the runners with it. It instantly freezing, 
made something like a glass plating for them. 

Kalutunah was greatly puzzled in attempting to 
understand why this journey was made. But his 
perplexity took the form of disgust when the fresh 
tracks were seen of a bear and cub, and the white 
chief forbade the chase. He argued in the inter 
est of Dr. Hayes, who might thereby have a new 
fur coat, pointed to the hungry dogs, and finally 
pleaded for his own family, who were longing for 
bear meat. But all in vain. The circumstances had 
changed since, in the same spot nearly, he had 
urged the dogs after a bear in spite of Dr. Kane, 
and thus defeated the purpose of his long trip. 

On their return they turned into Van Rensselaer 
Harbor, the place made so famous by Dr. Kane's 
expedition. Every thing there was changed. In- 


stead of smooth ice, over which Dr. Kane's party 
came and went so often, there were hummocks 
piled up every-where in the wildest confusion. 
Where the " Advance " was left when her men took 
a last look at her was an ice-pile towering as high 
as were her mast-heads. Old localities were un- 
discernible from the snow and icy aggressions. 
A small piece of a deck-plank picked up near 
Butler Island was all that could be found of the 
" Advance." The Esquimo told nearly as many 
diverse stories of her history after the white men 
left her as there were persons to testify, and some 
individuals, apparently to increase the chance of 
saying some item of truth, told many different 
stories. According to these witnesses she drifted 
out to sea and sunk, (the most probable statement,) 
she was knocked to pieces so far as possible and 
carried off by the Esquimo, and she was accident 
ally set on fire and burned. The graves of Baker 
and Pierre remained undisturbed, but the beacon 
built over them was broken down and scattered. 

The result of this experimental trip was the de 
cision of the commander not to attempt to reach 
the Open Polar Sea by the Greenland shore, but 
to cross Smith Sound at Cairn Point, a few miles 
north of the schooner. To this point provisions 
were immediately carried on the sledges for the 
summer journey beyond. 

On the third of April the grand effort to reach 
the North Pole commenced. The party consisted 
of twelve persons, who were early at their assigned 
positions alongside of the schooner. Jensen was 

The Crowning' Sledge Journey. 273 

at the head of the line of march, on the sledge 
" Hope," to which were harnessed eight dogs; 
Knorr came next, " the whip " of the " Persever 
ance," with six dogs. Then came a metallic life 
boat with which the Polar Sea was to be navigated, 
mounted on a sledge and drawn by men each with 
shoulder strap and trace. Flags fluttered from 
boat and sledges, all was enthusiasm, and at the 
word "march " the dogs dashed away, the men 
bent bravely to their earnest work, the "swivel" 
on deck thundered its good-bye, and the party were 
soon far away. 

The very first day's exposure nearly proved 
fatal to several of the party. One settled himself 
down in the snow muttering, "I'm freezing," and 
would have proved in a half hour his declaration 
had not two more hardy men taken him in charge. 
The spirits of the men ran low, and they were 
two hours in building a snow-hut in which to hide 
from the pitiless wind. A rest at Cairn Point and 
increased experience gave them more energy, and 
the next snow-hut was made in less than one hour. 
They proved the snow-shovel a fine heat generator. 
On the fifth night out they were overtaken by a 
storm, and were detained two days in their hut. 
This was a pit in the snow eighteen feet long, eight 
wide, and four deep. Across its top were placed 
the boat-oars ; across these the sledge was laid ; 
over the sledge was thrown the boat's sails ; and 
over the sails snow was shoveled. They crawled 
into this hut through a hole which they filled up 
after them with a block of snow. Over the floor 


' a leveled snow floor they spread an India-rub 
ber cloth ; on this was laid a carpet of buffalo- 
skins, and over this another of equal size. Be 
tween these they crept to sleep, the outside man 
of the row having no little difficulty in preventing 
his companions from "pulling the clothes off." 
The wind without blew its mightiest blow, and 
piled the snow up over the poor dogs, which were 
huddled together for mutual warmth, and were 
kept restless in poking their noses above the drift. 
The cooks were obliged to call to their help the 
commander in order to keep the lamp from being 
puffed out, and two hours were consumed in get 
ting a steaming pot of coffee. But after a while 
the bread and coffee, and dried meat and potato 
hash, were abundantly and regularly served, and 
the men contrived to pass in talk and song and 
sleep the hours of the really dreary imprisonment. 
Before the storm had fully subsided, the party 
went on the back track to bring up to this point a 
part of the provisions they had been obliged to 
deposit. This done, they put their faces to the 
opposite, or American side of the sound. But the 
difficulties were truly fearful. The ice, like great 
bowlders, was scattered over the entire surface, 
now piled in ridges ten, twenty, and even a hun 
dred feet high, and then scattered over a level 
area with only a narrow and ever-twisting way 
between them. Over these ridges the sledges 
had to be lifted, the load often taken off and car 
ried up in small parcels, and the sledges and boat 
drawn up and let down again. Frequently in the 

The Crowning Sledge Journey. 2/5 

midst of this toil a man would fall into a chasm 
up to his waist ; another would go out of sight in 
one. These terrible traps were so covered with a 
crust of snow that they could not be discerned. 
The boat was, of course, capsized often, and much 
battered. When a ridge had been scaled, and the 
party had picked their way for a time through the 
winding path among the ice-bowlders, they would 
come to a sudden impassable barrier, and be 
obliged to retrace their steps. A whole day of 
gigantic exertion, and of many miles of zigzag 
travel, would sometimes advance them only a rifle 
shot in a straight line. 

Of course it was simply impossible to carry the 
boat, and it was abandoned. They were yet only 
about thirty miles from Cairn Point, but had trav 
eled perhaps five times that distance. 

For several days after this the heroic explorers 
struggled on. A fresh snow with a half-frozen 
crust was added to their other obstacles. Hum 
mocks and ridges and pitfalls grew worse and 
worse. The sledges broke, the limbs of the men 
were bruised and sprained, their strength exhausted, 
and at last their spirits failed. They had toiled 
twenty-five days, advanced half way across the 
sound, and brought along about eight hundred 
pounds of food. 

On the twenty-eighth of April the main party 
were sent homeward. Dr. Hayes, Knorr, M 'Don 
ald, and Jensen, pushed on toward the American 
shore. Their way was, as one of the party re 
marked, like a trip through New York over the 


tops of the houses. They progressed a mile and a 
half, and traveled at least twelve, carrying their pro 
visions over the ground by repeating the journey 
many times. Such was the daily experience, va 
ried by many exciting incidents. Jensen sprained 
a leg which had been once broken ; the dogs were 
savage as the wildest wolves with hunger, though 
having a fair amount of food ; once Knorr in feed 
ing them stumbled and fell into the midst of the 
pack, and would have doubtless been devoured as 
a generous morsel of food tossed to them, had not 
M 'Donald pounced upon them at the moment with 
lusty blows from a whip-stock. All four of the 
explorers held out bravely in this fearful strain on 
mind and body, even young Knorr never shrink 
ing from the hardest work, nor the longest con 
tinued exertions. 

On the eleventh of May the party encamped 
under the shadow of Cape Hawkes, on Grinnell 
Land, off the American coast. The distance from 
Cairn Point, in a straight line northwest, was eighty 
miles. They had been traveling thirty-one days, 
and made a twisting and clambering route of five 
hundred miles. 

The travel up the coast had the usual variety 
of dangers, hair-breadth escapes, and exhausting 
toil. A little flag-staff, planted by Dr. Hayes dur 
ing the Kane expedition, was found bravely look 
ing out upon the drear field it was set to designate, 
but the flag it bore had been blown away. Re 
mains of Esquimo settlements long deserted were 
found. A raven coaked a welcome to the strangers, 

The Crowning Sledge Journey. 277 

or it may be a warning, and followed them sev 
eral days. 

On the fourth day up the coast Jensen, the 
hardiest of the vessel's company, utterly failed. 
He had strained his back as well as leg, and 
groaned with pain. What could be done ? The 
party could not proceed with a sick man, nor 
would they for a moment think of leaving him 
alone. So the following course was adopted by 
the commander: M'Donald was left in the snow- 
hut with Jensen, with five days' food and five dogs, 
with orders to remain five days, and then, if Hayes 
and Knorr, who were to continue on, had not re 
turned, to make his best way with Jensen back 
to the vessel. 

The journey of Dr. Hayes and Knorr was con 
tinued two full days. On the morning of the third 
day they had proceeded but a few miles when they 
came to a stand. They had on their left the ab 
rupt, rocky, ice-covered clifts of the shore ; on 
their right were high ridges of ice, through which 
the waters of an open sea broke here and there 
into bays and inlets which washed the shore. 
Farther progress north by land or ice was impos 
sible. They climbed a cliff which towered eight 
hundred feet above the sea, whose dark waters 
were lost in the distance toward the north-east. 
North, standing against the sky, was a noble head 
land, the most northern known land, and only 
about four hundred and fifty miles from the North 
Pole. The spot on which our explorers stood was 
about one degree farther north than that occupied 


by Morton, of Kane's Expedition, yet on the shore 
of the same open water. Now, if they only had 
the boat they were obliged to leave among the 
hummocks in Smith Sound, with the provisions 
and men they had hoped to bring to this point, how 
soon would they solve the mystery locked up from 
the beginning, and in the keeping of his Frosty 
Majesty of the Pole itself! But, alas! there were 
neither boat nor provisions, and the movement of 
the treacherous floes warned the daring strangers 
that the bridge of ice over which they had come 
to this side might soon be torn away, and make a 
return impossible. They built a monument of 
stones, raised on it a flag of triumph, deposited 
beneath it a record of their visit placed in a bottle, 
and turned their faces homeward. 

Last Incidents of the Expedition. 279 



DR. HAYES and Knorr were buffeted by a 
fierce storm soon after starting. They were 
over fifty miles from M 'Donald and Jensen, only 
ten of which were traversed before they were 
obliged to encamp. But. the storm howled, and 
tossed the snow-clouds about them, making it im 
possible to build a snow hut. After a brief halt, 
and feeding the dogs with the last morsel of food 
which remained, they pushed on. The snow was 
deep, often nearly burying the dogs as they plunged 
along ; the hummocks and rocks over which they 
climbed lay across their path, and the wind blew 
with unabated fury ; yet they halted not until the 
remaining forty or more miles were accomplished, 
and they tumbled into the hut of their compan 
ions. The dogs rolled themselves together on the 
snow the moment they were left, utterly ex 
hausted. The weary men slept a long, sound 
sleep. When they awoke a steaming pot of coffee 
and an abundant breakfast awaited them. They 
had fasted thirty-four hours, and traveled in the 
last twenty-two over forty miles, which the hum- 
* mocks and deep snow made equal to double that 
distance of smooth sledging. The last few miles 
were made in a state of partial bewilderment, so 


their final safety was another of their many marked 
deliverances. The remaining run to the vessel 
had its daily perils and escapes. As they were 
approaching the American shore they stepped 
across a crack on the ice. They had traveled but a 
short distance when they perceived that there was 
an impassable channel between them and the land 
ice. They ran back to recross the crack, and 
that had become twenty yards wide. They were, 
in fact, on an ice-raft, and were sweeping help 
lessly out to sea! They had hardly collected 
their thoughts after this terrifying surprise before 
one of the shore corners of their raft struck a 
small grounded iceberg, and on this, as on a pivot, 
the outer edge swung toward the shore, struck its 
margin, allowed them to scamper off, and then 
immediately swung again into the open water, and 
shot out to sea. 

The poor dogs, being insufficiently fed, and 
necessarily overworked, now began to fail. Jen 
sen's lameness compelling him to ride, increased 
their burden. One died just before the party left 
the hummocks, and two soon after. A fourth hav 
ing failed, the commander, thinking to shorten his 
misery, shot him. The ball only wounding him, 
he set up a terrible cry, at which his companions 
flew at him, tore him in pieces, and, almost before 
his last howl had died away in the dreary waste, 
they had eaten the flesh from his bones. 

They arrived at the schooner safely after two 
months' absence, during which they had traveled 
thirteen hundred miles. 

. Last Incidents of the Expedition. 281 

The commander was cheered to learn that the 
party who returned under M'Cormick had reached 
Port Foulke in safety. The whole ship's com 
pany were in good health. The vessel was imme 
diately thoroughly examined and put in sailing 
order. As the summer came on, the birds, the 
green mosses, hardy little flowers, several species 
of moths and spiders, and even a yellow winged 
butterfly, appeared to greet its coming. The open 
water was daily coining nearer the schooner. 
While awaiting the loosening of its icy fetters, a 
boat's crew had an exciting walrus hunt. Dr. 
Hayes had been on a hill-top which overlooked 
the bay, when the hoarse bellowing of distant wal 
rus saluted his ears. Drifting ice-rafts were com 
ing down the sound, on which great numbers of 
these monsters could be seen. He hurried to the 
vessel, and called for volunteers. Soon a whale- 
boat was manned, and the men, armed with three 
rifles and a harpoon and line, dragged it to the 
open water, launched it, and rowed into the midst 
of the drift-ice. The first cake of ice which 
they approached contained a freight of twenty- 
four walruses, pretty well covering it. The lubber 
ly, ugly looking sea-hogs appeared as content as 
their very distant relatives of our sties, while they 
huddled together and twisted for the sunniest spot, 
and bellowed in one another's ears. Our hunters 
were all eager for the fight as they approached 
with muffled oars, but on coming near to the floe, 
it was apparent that the hunt was not to be all 
fun, nor the fighting on one side only. The hides 


of the monsters looked like an iron plating, and 
were, in fact, an inch thick, smooth, hairless, and 
tough, suggesting a good defensive ability ; while 
their great tusks, projecting from a jaw of elephan 
tine strength, hinted unpleasantly to the invaders 
that their antagonists were prepared for assault as 
well as defense. Very likely if one could have 
seen at that moment the countenances of our 
boat's crew, they would have shown more of a 
wish to be in the vessel's cabin than they would 
have cared to confess with their lips. But there 
was no flinching. There were two male walruses 
in the herd huge, fierce-looking fellows, which 
roused up a moment to scan the strangers, and 
then, giving each other a punch in the face with 
their tusks, stretched out again upon the ice to 

In this walrus party there were, besides the two 
fathers, mothers with children of various ages, 
from the " little ones " of four hundred pounds, 
to the "young folks." Of course they were a lov 
ing, happy group. The boat came within a few 
times its length of the ice-raft. Miller, an old 
whaleman, was in the bow of the boat with a har 
poon. Hayes, Knorr, and Jensen stood in the 
stern with their rifles leveled each at his selected 
victim, while the oarsmen bent forward to their oars. 
At the word the rifles cracked, and the oarsmen at 
the same moment shot the boat into the midst of 
the startled walrus. Jensen hit one of the males 
in the neck, not probably doing him much harm ; 
Hayes's ball struck the other bull in the head, at 

Last Incidents of the Expedition. 283 

which he roared lustily. Knorr killed a baby wal 
rus dead, but he disappeared from the raft with 
the rest, probably pushed off by his mamma. 
When the old fellow which was wounded by the 
commander rolled into the water, Miller planted 
his harpoon in him with unerring skill, and the 
line attached spun out over the gunwale with 
fearful velocity. There were a few moments of 
suspense, and then up came the herd, a few yards 
from the boat, the wounded bull with the har 
poon among them. They uttered one wild, united 
shriek, and answering shrieks from thousands of 
startled walruses, on the walrus laden ice-rafts for 
miles around, filled the air. It was an agonized 
cry for help, and the answering cry was, " we 
come ! " There was a simultaneous splash from 
the ice-rafts, and the hosts, as if by the bugle call, 
came rushing on, heads erect, and uttering the 
defiant " huk, huk, huk ! " They came directly at 
the boat, surrounding it, and blackening the waters 
with their numbers. The wounded bull, attached 
still to Miller's line, led the attack. The hunters 
had aroused foemen worthy of their steel, and 
they must now fight or die. It seemed to be the 
purpose of the walruses to get their tusks over the 
side of the boat, and so easily tear it to pieces or 
sink it, and then, having its audacious crew in the 
water, make short work of them. As they came on, 
Miller, in the bow, pricked them in the face with 
his lance, the rowers pushed them back with their 
oars, while Hayes, Jensen, and Knorr sent, as fast 
as they could load and fire, rifle-balls crashing 


through their heads. At one time a huge leader 
had come within a few feet of the boat. Hayes 
and Jensen had just fired, and were loading, but 
Knorr was just in time to salute him with a ball. 
The men were becoming weary, while the walrus 
assaulting column was constantly supplied with 
fresh troops. The situation was now critical, 
when, as if to crush his enemy and end the con 
flict in victory on his side, a walrus Goliath, with 
tusks three feet long, led on a solid column of un 
dismayed warriors. Two guns had just been fired, 
as before. His terrible weapons were fearfully 
near the gunwale, when Knorr's gun came to the 
rescue ; its muzzle was so near his open mouth 
that the ball killed him instantly, and he sunk like 
lead. This sent consternation through the walrus 
ranks. They all dov.e at once, and when they 
came up they were a considerable distance off, 
their tails to their foes, and retreating with a wild 
shriek. The battle was ended, and the saucy ex 
plorers were victors. The sea in places was red 
with blood. The harpooned bull and one other 
were carried as trophies to the vessel. 

On the twelfth of July the schooner floated, 
after an ice imprisonment of ten months. The 
Esquimo seeing that the white friends were about 
to leave them, gathered on the shore in sorrowful 
interest. They had been the receivers of gifts 
great in their estimation, and they had rendered 
the strangers no small favors, especially in the use 
of their dogs, without which no excursions of im 
portance could have been made. Kalutunah actu- 

Last Incidents of the Expedition. 285 

ally wept on parting with Dr. Hayes. He had 
enjoyed under his patronage the Esquimo para 
dise "plenty to eat, plenty sleep, no work, no 
hunt." He spoke feelingly of the fading away of 
his people. " Come back," he said, " and save us ; 
come soon or we shall be all gone." 

He had reason to express these fears concerning 
his people. Since Dr. Kane left thirty-four had 
died, and there had been in the same time only 
nineteen births. There seemed to be in all the 
settlements, from Cape York to Etah> only a 
hundred ! 

The explorers bid adieu to Port Foulke on the 
fourteenth, and sailed away to the west side of Smith 
Sound, and reached a point about ten miles south 
of Cape Isabella. The hope was entertained by 
the commander that he might work his way with 
the vessel north through the now loosening ice 
over which he had just been traveling with sledges, 
get through even Kennedy Channel, to the open 
sea on the shore of which he had so lately stood, 
and then sail away to the North Pole. What a 
stimulating thought ! But he found the schooner 
ice-battered, and, weakened by the " nips " she had 
experienced, was unequal to the required fight 
with the defiant pack which every-where filled 
the sound. So the explorers turned homeward. 
They arrived at Upernavik on the twelfth of Au 
gust after many exciting incidents but no accident. 
Here they learned the startling news of the com 
mencement of the great Rebellion. During their 
absence President Lincoln had been inaugurated, 


the black cloud of war had settled heavily over the 
whole country, and the bloody battle of Bull Run 
had been fought. They were now to return home 
and transfer their interest in fighting ice-packs, 
bergs, and Polar bears, to the conflicts of civil 


Something New. 287 



WHILE the civilized world were awaiting 
with deep interest the results of the search 
for Sir John Franklin, and while learned geogra 
phers and practical navigators to the regions of 
cold were devising new methods of search for him, 
a young engraver was working out a problem in 
reference to this great enterprise peculiarly his 
own. Without special educational advantages, 
without the resources of wealth or influential 
friends, but with the inspiration of one feeling, " a 
divine call " to the undertaking, he matured his 
plans and began to publish them abroad. He 
seems to have at once imparted his own enthusi 
asm to others. The mayor of his own city, Cin 
cinnati, the governor and senator of his own State, 
Ohio, the latter the eminent Salmon P. Chase, late 
Chief-Justice of the United States, became his 
patrons. Coming east, many of the great and 
wise men of our large cities gave him an attentive 
hearing, and not a few encouraged his project. 
The princely merchant, Henry Grinnell, who had 
already done so much in the Franklin search, took 
him at once into kindly sympathy. 

From New York he went to New London. From 
the old whalemen, at least from individuals of 


them of marked character and large experience 
in Arctic navigation, he obtained encouraging 

His.^plan of search which thus so readily corn- 
mendeo itself was this : He would go into the re 
gion where it was now known that Franklin and 
some of his men had died ; he would live with the 
Esquimo, learn their language, adopt their habits 
of life, and thus learn all that they knew of the 
history of the ill-fated expedition. He assumed 
that many of its men might yet be alive, and if 
they were, the natives would know it, know where 
they were, and could guide him to them. 

To prepare himself for this work he became 
conversant with Arctic literature, learning all that 
the books on the subject taught ; he applied him 
self closely to the study of the practical science 
bearing on his enterprise, learning the use of its 
instruments. He sought interviews and corre 
spondence with returned explorers and whalemen. 
In fact, his heart was in the work with a down 
right enthusiasm. 

The marked features of his plan seemed to be 
two it was inexpensive and new. As to the man 
ning of his expedition, he proposed to go alone ; as 
to vessels, he asked none. He only asked to be con 
veyed to the proposed Esquimo country, and to 
be left with its natives. We might name a third 
attractive feature of this plan, one which always 
inspires interest it was bold, bordering on the 
audacious ! 

We need hardly say to our readers that the 

Something New. 289 

name of this new candidate for Arctic perils and 
honors was Charles Francis Hall a name now 
greatly honored and lamented.* 

Mr. Hall was born in Rochester, New Hamp 
shire, in 1821, where he worked a while at the 
blacksmith's trade, but left both the trade and his 
native place in early life for the Queen City of the 
West. The result of Mr. Hall's enthusiastic ap 
peals was an offer by the firm of Williams & Ha 
ven, whale-ship owners of New London, to convey 
him and his outfit in their bark " George Henry " 
to his point of operations, and if ever desired, to 
give him the same free passage home in any of 
their ships. The " George Henry " was going, of 
course, after whales, and proposed thus to convey 
him as an obliging incident of the trip. 

This proposal was made in the early spring of 
1860. On the twenty-ninth of May he sailed. 
His outfit was simple, and had the appearance of 
a private, romantic excursion. It consisted of a 
good sized, staunch whaleboat built for his special 
use, a sledge, a few scientific instruments, a rifle, 
six double-barreled shot-guns, a Colt's revolver, 
and the ammunition supposed to be necessary for 
a long separation from the source of supply. A 
start was given him in a small store of provisions ; 
beyond that he was to supply himself. A tolerable 
supply of trinkets were added as a basis of trade 
with the natives. What funds this miniature ex 
ploring expedition required was given largely by 
Mr. Grinnell. 

* Sec Frontispiece. 


The " George Henry " was accompanied by 
a tender, a small schooner named the " Rescue," 
having already an Arctic fame. The officers and 
crew of both vessels numbered twenty-nine, under 
command of Captain S. O. Buddington. 

We have spoken of Mr. Hall as the only man 
of his exhibition ; he had after all one companion. 
The previous year Captain Buddington had brought 
home an Esquimo by the name of Kudlago, who 
was now returning to his fatherland and to his 
wife and children. Upon him Mr. Hall largely 
depended as an interpreter, a friend, and guide, in 
his work. 

The run of the " George Henry " to the Green 
land coast was made with but one marked inci 
dent. That was to Mr. Hall a very sad one, 
giving him the fir?t emphatic lesson in the uncer 
tainty of his most carefully devised schemes. It 
was the death and burial at sea of Kudlago. He 
had left New London in good health, taken 
cold in the fogs of Newfoundland, and declined 
rapidly. He prayed fervently to be permitted to 
see his wife and children only that, and he would 
die content. He inquired daily while confined to 
his berth if any ice was in sight. His last words 
were, " Teiko seko? teiko scko? " Do you see ice ? 
do you see ice ? The Greenland shore was just 
in sight when he departed, and his home and 
family were three hundred miles away. 

The " George Henry " and her tender, the " Res 
cue," sailed north, along the Greenland coast, as 
far as Holsteinberg, where. Mr. Hall purchased six 

Something New. 291 

Esquimo dogs. The vessel then stood southwest 
across Davis Strait and made, August eighth, a 
snug harbor, which Mr. Hall called Grinnell Bay, 
a little north of what is known as Frobisher Strait. 
Here Mr. Hall was to land and commence his Es 
quimo life, alone and far away from a Christian 
home, while the vessel went about its business 
capturing whales. His feelings on the voyage are 
indicated by the following extract from his diary : 

" A good run with a fair breeze yesterday. Ap 
proaching the north axis of the earth ! Aye, near- 
ing the goal of my fondest wishes. Every thing 
relating to the arctic zone is deeply interesting to 
me. I love the snows, the ices, the icebergs, the 
fauna and the flora of the North. I love the cir-. 
cling sun, the long day, the arctic night, when the 
soul can commune with God in silent and reverential 
awe ! I am on a mission of love. I feel to be in 
the performance of a duty I owe to mankind, my 
self, and God! Thus feeling I am strong at heart, 
full of faith, ready to do or die in the cause I have 
espoused." How he felt when actually engaged in 
his " mission of love," we shall see. 

We musf not, however, think of Mr. a re 
gion comparable to that which included the winter- 
quarters of Kane and Hayes in the expeditions we 
have just described. They were at least twelve de 
grees farther north, Mr. Hall being south of the 
arctic circle, so that his winter nights were shorter 
and milder. His present field of operation was on 
a coast visited by the whale-ships, and whage they 
at times wintered. Besides, natives had ^ren for 


many years in contact with white men, and were in 
some respect more agreeable companions. He will 
therefore, as we follow him, lead us into new scenes 
of peculiar interest, and show us novel features in 
the character of the Esquimo. 

The whale-ship " Black Eagle," Captain Allen, lay 
in Grinnell Bay on the arrival of our voyagers, and 
the captain soon appeared on the deck of the 
" George Henry," with several Esquimo. One of 
these natives, named Ugarng, especially attracted 
Mr. Hall's attention. He was intelligent, possess 
ing strong lines of character, and a marked physical 
development. He had spent a year on a visit to 
the United States. Speaking of New York, he said 
with a sailor's emphasis : " No good ! too much 
horse ! too much house ! too much white peo 
ple ! Women ? Ah ! women great many good ! " 
Ugarng will become a familiar acquaintance. 

Mr. Hall had giving special attention on the 
voyage across Davis Strait to his dogs, and they 
were now to become a chief dependence. He fed 
them on capelin, or dried fish. One day he called 
them all around him, each in his assigned place, 
to receive in turn his fish. Now there was one 
young, shrewd dog, Barbekark, who had not 
heard, or had never cared to heed the proverb that 
" honesty is the best policy." He said to himself, 
" If I can get two of the fish while the other dogs 
get but one, it will be a nice thing to do ; " so, tak 
ing his place near the head of the row, he was 
served with his capelin. Then, slipping out, he 
crowded between the dogs farther down, and with 

Something New. 293 

a very innocent look awaited his turn. His master 
thought this so sharp in young Barbekark that he 
pretended not to see the trick, and dealed him a fish 
as if he had received none. On going the round 
again his master found him near the head of the ro\v 
and then at the foot, so the rogue obtained Benja 
min's portion. Seeing his success, he winked his 
knowing eye as much as to say, "Ain't I the smartest 
dog in the pack! " But Barbekark had entered on 
a rough road with many turns, as all rogues do. 
After going round several times, during which the 
trick was a success, Mr. Hall skipped the trickster 
altogether. It mattered not what place he crowded 
into, there was no more fish for him. The upshot 
was that he received many less than did his com 
panions. Never did a dog look more ashamed. 
From that time he kept his place when fish were 

Mr. Hall, making the vessel his home, made fre 
quent visits ashore, and received many Esquimo 
visitors on board, and was thus becoming ac 
quainted with the people. An early visitor was 
Kokerjabin, wife of Kudlago, accompanied by her 
son. She had learned in her tent that her anxious 
ly awaited husband had been left in the deep sea. 
She entered the cabin and looked at her husband's 
white friends, and at the chest which contained 
his personal goods, with deep emotion ; but when 
Captain Buddington opened the chest, the tears 
flowed freely ; and when she, in taking out things, 
came to those Kudlago had obtained in the States 
for herself and her little girl, she sat down, buried 


her face in her hands, and wept with deep grief. 
She soon after went ashore with her son to weep 

Another very marked character was Paulooyer, 
or, as the white men called him, Blind George. 
He was now about forty years of age and had been 
blind nearly ten years, from the effects of a severe 
sickness. To this blindness was added domestic 
sorrow. His wife Nikujar was very kind to him for 
five years after his loss of sight, sharing their con 
sequent poverty. But Ugarng, who had already 
several wives, offered her a place in his tent as his 
" household wife " the place of honor in Esqui- 
mo esteem. The offer was tempting, for Ugarng 
was "a mighty hunter," and rich at all times in 
blubber, in furs and skin tents and snow huts. 
So she left poor George, taking with her their little 
daughter, called Kookooyer. This child became a 
pet with Ugarng, as she was with her blind father. 

A Fearful Storm. 295 



WHILE the " George Henry " lay at Grinnell 
Bay, Mr. Hall talked much with the mas 
ters of the whale-ships and with the most intelli 
gent of the natives concerning his proposed jour 
ney to King William's Land. This was a far-away 
region, where the remains of the Franklin expedi 
tion had been found. He proposed to secure the 
company of one or more Esquimo and make an 
attempt to reach it with a dog-sledge, and to take 
up his abode with its natives in search of informa 
tion of the lost ones. But both his white and Es 
quimo advisers agreed that it was too late in the 
season to begin such a journey. Mr. Hall would 
then take the whale-boat built for him, man it with 
natives, and make the attempt by water. But this 
was deemed impracticable until spring. So he de 
cided to make his home on board the vessel so 
long as she remained on the coast, and pursue his 
study of the Esquimo language and his survey of 
the region of country, with this home as a base of 

On his return from one of his inland excursion's 
with Kudlago's son, whom the whites called cap 
tain, he saw his widow, apart from all the people, 
weeping for her great bereavement. Her son ran 


to her and tried to comfort her, but she would not 
be comforted. When Mr. Hall approached she 
pointed to the spot where their tent was pitched 
when Kudlago left for the United States. She 
also showed him the bones of a whale which he 
had assisted in capturing. 

Soon after this the widow visited the vessel 
with her daughter, Kimmiloo, who had been the 
idol of her father. She looked sad on the mention 
of her father's name, but, child-like, her eyes 
gleamed with joy on seeing the fine things his 
chest contained for her. Captain B.'s wife had 
sent her a pretty red dress, necktie, mittens, belt, 
and other like valuables of little white girls. But 
Mr. Hall suggested that Kimmiloo's introduction 
to the dress of civilization should be preceded by 
soap and water. The process of arriving at the 
little girl through layers of dirt was very slow. 
When this was done, her kind friend Hall took a 
very coarse comb, and commenced combing her 
hair. This had never been done before, and of 
course the comb " pulled " in spite of the care of 
the operator, but Kimmiloo bore it bravely. Her 
locks were filled with moss, greasy bits of seal, 
and disgusting reindeer hairs, besides other things 
both active and numerous. A full hour was spent 
on the hair, but when the comb went through it 
easily, then the little girl run her fingers into it 
and braided quickly a tag on each side of her 
head ; she then drew these through brass rings 
whicli Mr. Hall had given her. Her Esquimo fur 
trowsers and coat were thrown off, and the now 

A Fearful Storm. 297 

clean and really beautiful girl put on the red 
dress. Her happiness would have been complete 
had her father been there to share her joy. 

Mr.' Hall's kindly nature led him to study the 
natives in these incidents, and to record them in 
his journals. Ugarng was one time in the cabin 
when Mr. Hall had put a few small balls of mer 
cury on a sheet of white paper. It was a new 
article to the Esquimo, and he tried to pick it up 
with his thumb and ringer, but it escaped his 
grasp. His efforts would scatter it over the sheet 
in small globules, and then as he lifted the cor 
ners of the paper it would run together, and 
Ugarng would commence catching it with new 
vigor. He continued his efforts for a full half hour. 
Amused at first, but finally losing his temper, he 
gave it up, exclaiming petulantly that there was an 
evil spirit in it. 

Blind George became a constant visitor. At 
one time Mr. Hall gave him a much worn coat, 
showing one of the several holes in it. George 
immediately took a needle, and, bringing his 
tongue to the aid of his hands, threaded it, and 
mended all of the rents very neatly. At another 
time Mr. Hall put into George's hand a piece of 
steel with a magnet attached. The way the steel 
flew from his hand to the magnet amazed him. 
At first he seemed to think it was not really so ; 
but when he clearly felt the steel leap from his 
fingers, he threw both steel and magnet violently 
upon the floor. But feeling he was not- hurt, and 
that some little girls laughed at him, he tried it 


again more deliberately, and was better satisfied. 
Mr. Hall next gave him a paper of needles, desir 
ing him to bring the magnet near them. He did 
so, and when the needles flew from his hand by 
the attraction he sprung to his feet as if an 
electric current had touched him, and the needles 
were scattered in every direction over the floor. 
He declared that' Mr. Hall was an " Angekok." 

On the fourteenth of August another whaling 
vessel belonging to the owners of the " George 
Henry " arrived at Grinnell Bay. Her name was the 
11 Georgiana," Captain Tyson ; so there were now 
four vessels near each other the " Rescue " and 
"Black Eagle," besides those just named. There 
were social, merry tim^es. But Captain Budding- 
ton, having built a hut here that some of his men 
might remain to fish, took his vessels farther south, 
for winter-quarters, into a bay separated from 
Frobisher Bay on the south by only a narrow strip 
of land. This Mr. Hall named Field Bay. Here, 
snugly hid in an inlet of its upper waters, the ves 
sels proposed to winter. The Esquimo were not 
long in finding the new anchorage of the whites, 
and in a few days a fleet of kayaks containing 
seven families appeared. Among them was Kud- 
lago's oldest daughter, now married to a native 
the sailors called Johnny Bull. She had hot heard 
of her father's death, and stepped on deck elated 
at the thought of meeting him. "Where is my 
father?" she inquired of Ugarng's wife. When 
she was tenderly told the sad story of his death 
she wept freely. 

A Fearful Storm. 299 

Mr. Hall was at once busy visiting the " tupics," 
summer tents made of skins, pitched by the na 
tives near the shore. He also rowed to the islands 
in various directions, generally accompanied by 
one or more Esquimo. On one of these visits to 
an island with a boy he had a narrow escape. 
After several hours' ramble they returned to the 
landing, where they had left their boat fastened to 
a rock. The tide had risen and the boat was danc 
ing on the waves out of reach. Here was a " fix ! " 
They were far away from the vessel, the night, 
cold and dark, was coming on, and they were 
without shelter. But necessity sharpens one's 
wits. After some delay and perplexity, Mr. Hall 
hit upon this plan : He took the seal-skin strings 
from his boots, and the strings by which various 
scientific instruments were attached to his person, 
tied them together, and thus made quite a long 
and strong line. To this he tied a moderate sized 
stone. Holding one end of the line in his hand, 
he tossed the stone into the boat and gently drew 
it to him, jumped into it, and was soon at the ves 
sel. If Mr. Hall had not been a green boatman 
he would not have fastened his boat below high- 
water mark when the tide was coming in ! He 
probably did not again. 

One day the crew of the " Henry " captured a 
whale in the bay, and the Esquimo joined with 
others in towing the monster to the ship. In one 
of the boats was an Esquimo woman with a babe ; 
she laid her child in the bow of the boat and 
pulled an oar with the strongest of the white men. 


Before they reached the vessel the wind blew a 
gale, the sea ran high, and at times the spray shot 
into the air and came down in plentiful showers 
into the boat. The mother cast anxious glances 
at her child, and, as if it was for its life, rowed with 
giant strength. At last the prize was safely moored 
to, the "Henry," and the natives were rewarded 
with generous strips of its black skin, which they 
ate voraciously, raw and warm from the animal. 
They carried portions of it to their tupics on shore 
for future use. This skin is about three fourths 
of an inch thick, and, in even Mr. Hall's estima 
tion, is " good eating " when raw, " but better 
soused in vinegar." 

Soon after this, Captain Tyson brought the 
" Georgiana " round into Field Bay, and the crews 
of the two vessels were often together when a 
whale made its appearance, a circumstance some 
times the occasion of strife when he is captured. 
One day Smith, an officer of the " Henry," fastened 
a harpoon in a whale, and was devising means to 
secure his prey. Captain Tyson, who was near in 
his boat, killed the monster with his lances, and 
without a word, left Smith to enjoy the pleasure of 
taking it to his vessel. The generous act was ap 
preciated on board the " Henry." 

On the twenty-sixth of December a terrible 
storm commenced, causing the boats which were 
cruising for whales to scud home. The three ves 
sels the " Henry," " Rescue," and " Georgiana " 
were anchored near each other, and near an island 
toward which the wind was blowing. It was about 

A Fearful Storm. 301 

noon when the storm began, and as the day de 
clined the wind increased, bringing on its wings a 
cloud of snow. When the night came on it was in 
tensely dark, and the waves rose higher and higher 
as, driven by the tempest, they rolled swiftly by and 
dashed upon the rocky shore. The vessels la 
bored heavily in the billows and strained at their 
anchors, now dipping their bows deep in the water, 
then rising upon the top of a crested wave, and 
leaping again into the trough of the sea, as if im 
patient of restraint and eager to rush upon the 
rocks to their own destruction. The roar of the 
sea and the howling of the winds through the 
shrouds were appalling to all on board, while they 
awaited with breathless interest the integrity of 
the anchors, on which their lives depended. 

As the night wore on the watch on deck, peer 
ing through the darkness, saw the dim outlines of 
the " Rescue " steadily and slowly moving toward 
the shore. " She drags her anchors ! " were the 
fearful words which passed in whispers through the 
" George Henry." But all breathed easier to hear 
the repoit from the watch soon after that she had 
come to a pause nearly abreast of the " Henry." 

About midnight the storm put forth all the fury 
of its power, and the small anchor of the " Geor- 
giana " gave way, and the others went plowing 
along their ocean beds, and, as the vessel neared 
the island, her destruction and the loss of all on 
board seemed certain. The endangered craft 
\vorried round a point of rocks, pounding against 
them as she went, and reached smoother and safer 


waters, where her anchors remained firm. The 
ghostly-looking forms of her men were soon after 
seen on the island, to which they had escaped ! 
In the mean time the men on the " Henry " were 
in constant fear that their vessel would be dashed 
upon rocks. 

Just as the morning was breaking the " Rescue " 
broke away and went broadside upon the island. 
With a crash the breakers hurled her against the 
rocks, and seemed to bury her in their white foam. 
She was at once a hopeless wreck, but her crew 
still clung bravely to her. When the morning 
light had fully come, at the first lull in the storm, 
while yet the waves rolled with unabated fury, a 
whaleboat was lowered into the sea from the stern 
of the " Henry " with a strong line attached, and 
mate Rogers and a seaman stepped into it. Cau 
tiously and skillfully it was guided to the stern of 
the "Rescue." Into it her men were taken, and 
drawn safely to the " Henry." All were saved ! A 
shout of joy mingled with the tumult of the ele 
ments ! 

The " Henry " safely outrode the storm. The 
" Georgiana " was not seriously injured, and her 
men returned to her and sailed away for other 
winter-quarters. The " Rescue " was a complete 
wreck, and, what was a stunning blow to the en 
terprise of Mr. Hall, his expedition boat, in which, 
with an Esquimo crew, he had hoped to reach the 
far-away land of his lone sojourn and search for 
the Franklin men, was totally wrecked too ! What 
now should he do ? That was to him the question 

A Fearful Storm. 303 

of questions. One thing he resolved not to do 
he would not abandon his mission. Captain Bud- 
dington thought at first that he might spare him 
one of the ship's boats in which to reach King 
William's Land ; but, on careful inquiry, he found 
that the only one he could part with was rotten 
and untrustworthy. So waiting and watching be 
came his present duty. 




MR. HALL had an eye for the beautiful in 
nature. The aurora deeply impressed him, 
inspiring feelings of awe and reverence. It will be 
noticed that explorers in the low latitude of Fro- 
bisher Bay are treated to displays of the aurora on 
a scale of magnificence and beauty never seen 
in the high latitudes of the' winter-quarters of 
Dr. Kane and Hayes. Night after night through 
the months of October, November, and December 
Mr. Hall's sensitive nature was in raptures at 
the wonderful sights. The heavens were aglow. 
The forms of brightness, and colors of every hue, 
changed with the rapidity of fleecy clouds driven be 
fore the wind. Before the mind had comprehended 
the grandeur of one scene, it had changed into an 
other of seeming greater beauty of form, color, and 
brightness. Thousands of such changes occurred 
while he gazed. No wonder he exclaims : " Who 
but God could conceive such infinite scenes of 
glory ! Who but God execute them, painting the 
heavens in such gorgeous display ! " 

Again he exclaims : " It seemeth to me as if 
the very doors of heaven have opened to-night, so 
mighty and beauteous and marvelous were the waves 
of golden light which swept across the azure 

The Aurora. 305 

deep, breaking forth anon into floods of wondrous 
glory. God made his wonderful works to be re 

Mr. Hall had been on deck several times, wit 
nessing the enrapturing display, and had returned 
into the cabin to go to bed, when the captain 
shouted down the companion-way : " Come above, 
Hall, at once ! The world is on fire ! " Mr. Hall 
hastened on deck. He says : " There was no sun, 
no moon, yet the heavens were flooded with light. 
Even ordinary print could be read on deck. Yes, 
flooded with rivers of light ! and such light ! light 
all but inconceivable ! The golden hues predom 
inated ; but in ra'pid succession prismatic colors 
leaped forth. 

" We looked, we saw, and we trembled ; for even 
as we gazed the whole belt of aurora began to be 
alive with flashes. Then each pile or bank of 
light became myriads ; some now dropping down 
the great pathway or belt, others springing up, 
others leaping with lightning flash from one side, 
while more as quickly passed into the vacated 
space ; some, twisting themselves into folds, en 
twining with others like enormous serpents, and 
all these movements as quick as the eye could fol 
low. It seemed as though there was a struggle 
with these heavenly lights to reach and occupy 
the dome above our heads. Then the whole arch 
above became crowded. Down, down it came ! 
nearer and nearer it approached us ! Sheets of 
golden flames, coruscating while leaping from the 
auroral belt, seemed as if met in their course by 


some mighty agency that turned them into the col 
ors of the rainbow. 

" While the auroral fires seemed to be descend 
ing upon us, one of our number exclaimed, 
' Hark ! hark ! ' Such a display, as if a warfare 
were going on among the beauteous lights, seemed 
impossible without noise. But all was silent." 

After the watchers, amazed at what they saw, 
retired to the cabin, they very naturally com 
menced a lively conversation on what they had wit 
nessed. Captain Buddington declared that, though 
he had spent most of his time for eleven years in 
the northern regions, he had never witnessed so 
grand and beautiful a scene. And he added in an 
earnest tone " To tell you the truth, friend Hall, 
I do not care to see the like again ! " 

In November Mr. Hall became acquainted with 
two remarkable Esquimo whom we shall often 
meet. Their names were Ebierbing and his wife 
Tookoolito, but were known among the white 
people as Joe and Hannah. They had been taken 
to England in 1853, and lionized there for two 
years. They had visited the great and good of 
that land at their homes, and had aptly learned 
many of the refinements of civilization. Queen 
Victoria had honored them with an audience, and 
they had dined with Prince Albert. Joe declared 
that the queen was " pretty yes, quite pretty ; " and 
the prince was "good very good." They made 
their visit on shipboard in a full-blown English 
dress, but when Mr. Hall returned their visit in 
their tuple on shore they were in the Esquimo cos- 

The Aurora. 307 

tume. Yet Tookoolito busied herself with her 
knitting during his call. She said, as they con 
versed : " I feel very sorry to say that many of 
the whaling people are bad, making the Innuits bad 
too ; they swear very much, and make our people 
swear. I wish they would not do so. Americans 
swear a great deal more and worse than the En 
glish. I wish no one would swear. It is a very 
bad practice I believe." 

Tookoolito's spirit and example had done much 
to improve her people, especially the women ; 
these, many of them, had adopted her habit of 
dressing her hair, and of cleanliness of person and 
abode. In her and her husband, whom we shall 
meet often, we shall see the Esquimo as modified 
by a partial Christian civilization. 

Mr. Hall made frequent visits to the Esquimo 
village on shore, mingling with the people, con 
forming to their habits, and studying their char 
acter. Their summer, skin-covered huts tupics 
had now given way to the igloos, the snow-house, 
essentially like those we have before seen. We 
will accompany Mr. Hall in a visit made in Octo 
ber. He found on creeping into a hut a friend 
whom he knew as a pilot and boatman ; his name 
was Koojesse. He was sitting in the midst of a 
group of women drinking with a gusto hot seal 
blood. Our white visitor joined them, and pro 
nounced the dish excellent. On going out he 
was met by blind George. " Mitter Hall ! Mitter 
Hall ! " shouted the blind man on hearing Mr. 
Hall's voice. There was a pensive earnestness in 


the call which arrested his attention. " Ugarng 
come to-day!" continued George. "He come 
to-day. My little Kookooyer way go ! She here 
now. Speak-um, Ugarng ! My little pickaninny 
way go ! Speak-um." 

The facts were these : Ugarng, who, as we have 
stated, had married George's wife, and taken with 
the mother his little daughter, was at the village 
attended by the latter. George, who was very 
fond of the child, desired her company for a while. 
Mr. Hall did of course " speak-um." Ugarng and 
the darling Kookooyer were soon seen in happy in 
timacy with her father. 

Mr. Hall's attention was attracted by an excited 
crowd, who were listening to the harangue of a 
young man. He was evidently master of the sit 
uation, for at one moment his audience clenched 
their fists and raved like madmen, and then, un 
der another touch of his power, they were calm 
and thoughtful, or melted to tears. He was an 
Angekok, and was going through a series of ankoot- 
ings, or incantations. His bowlings and gesticu 
lations were not unlike those of the heathen priests 
of the East, and of the medicine men of our In 
dians. On seeing Mr. Hall the Angekok left his 
snow-platform, from which he had been speaking, 
and ran to him with the blandest smiles and hon 
ied words. He put his arm in his and invited 
him into his tent, or place of worship, as it might 
be called ; others ran ahead, and it was well filled 
with worshipers. Koojesse, who was passing at 
the time with water for the ship, on a wave of the 

The Aurora. 309 

Angekok's hand set his pail down and followed. 
All faithful Esquimo in this region obey the Ange- 
kok. If he sees one smoking, and signifies that 
he wishes the pipe, the smoker deposits it in the 
Angekok's pocket. 

When in the tent the Angekok placed Koojesse 
on one side, and Mr. Hall facing him on the other 
side. Now commenced the service. The Ange 
kok began a rapid clapping of his hands, lifting 
them at times above his head, then passing them 
round in every direction, and thrusting them into 
the faces of the people, muttering the while wild, 
incoherent expressions. The clapping of his 
hands was intermitted by a violent clapping of the 
chest on which he sat, first on the top, then on the 
sides and end. At times he would cease, and sit 
statue-like for some moments, during which the 
silence of death pervaded the audience. Then 
the clapping and gesticulations broke forth with 
increased violence. Now arid then he paused, and 
stared into the farthest recess of the tent with the 
fiery eyes and the hideous countenance of a de 
mon. At the right time, to heighten the effect, the 
wizard, by a quick sign or sharp word, ordered 
Koojesse to fix his eyes on this point of the tent, 
then on that, intimating in mysterious undertones 
that in such places Kudlago's spirit shook the skin, 
covering ! Koojesse, though one of the most mus 
cular and intelligent of the natives, obeyed with 
trembling promptness, while the profuse swe?t 
stood in drops upon his nose, (Esquimo perspire 
freely only on the nose,) and his countenance 


beamed with intense excitement. The climax 
was at hand. The Angekok's words began to be 
plain enough for Mr. Hall's ears. Kudlago's spirit 
was troubled. Would the white man please give 
it rest ? One of his double-barreled guns would 
do it ! White man ! white man ! give Kudlago's 
spirit rest ! Give the double-barreled gun ! 

The cunning wizard ! But Mr. Hall, who, though 
brimful of laugh, had been a sober-looking listener, 
was not to be caught with this chaff, except in his 
own interest. He whispers to Koojesse, " Would 
the Angekok be a good man to go with me in the 
spring to King William's Land? " 
"Yes," was the reply. 

Then Mr. Hall turned to the Angekok and said 
aloud, " If you go with me next spring on my ex 
plorations you shall have one of my best guns." 

Thinking the gift was to be given immediately, 
his crafty reverence shouted, thanked Mr. Hall, 
threw his arms about his neck, and danced with 
an air of triumph about the tent, seeming to say 
as he looked upon his amazed followers, " I have 
charmed a kablunah " white man. 

Mr. Hall tried to set him right about the terms 
of the gift that it was to be when he had served 
him in the spring. But he would understand it as 
he would have it. His joy found a fullness of ex 
pression when, pointing to his two wives, he said 
to Mr. Hall, "One shall be yours; take your 
choice." He was disgusted when the white man 
told him that he had a wife, and that kabluna 
wanted but one wife. 

The Dying Esquimo. 311 



/CHRISTMAS and New Year's (1861) were 
\*^s not forgotten as holidays by the sojourners 
in the regions of cold and ice. Mr. Hall gave 
his friend Tookoolito a Bible as a memento of 
December twenty-fifth. She was much pleased, 
and at once spelled out on the title-page, Holy 

Mr. Hall having heard that an Esquimo named 
Nukerton was seriously sick, invited Tookoolito 
to visit her with him. Sitting down with the sick 
one, with Tookoolito as an interpreter, Mr. Hall 
spoke to her of Jesus and the resurrection, while 
many of her friends stood listening with intense 
interest. Tookoolito bent over her sick friend 
weeping, and continued the talk about God, Christ, 
and heaven, after Mr. Hall had ceased. 

Mr. Hall visited the sick one daily, administer 
ing to her bodily and spiritual wants. Going to 
see her on the fourth of January, he found that 
a new snow-hut had been built for the dying one, 
and her female friends had carried her into it, 
opening, to pass her in, a hole on the back side. 
It was at once her dying chamber and her tomb. 
For this purpose it was built in conformity to the 
Esquimo usage. He found Nukerton in her new 


quarters of stainless snow, on a bed of snow cov 
ered with skins, happy at the change though she 
knew that she had been brought there to die, and 
to die alone, as was the custom of her people. Mr. 
Hall proposed to carry her to die on board the 
ship. But even Tookoolito objected to this. It 
was better she should die alone ; such was the 
custom of their fathers. Mr. Hall remained to 
watch atone with the dying one, but, on his leav 
ing her igloo to do an errand at a neighboring 
tent, her friends sealed up its entrance. He threw 
back the blocks of snow piled against it and crept 
in. Nukerton was not dead ; she breathed feebly ; 
the lamp burned dimly, and the cold was intense ; 
the solemn stillness of the midnight hour had 
come ; sound of footsteps were heard, and a rus 
tling at the entrance. Busy hands were fastening 
it up, not knowing, perhaps, that Mr. Hall was 
within. "Stop! stop!" he shouted, arid all was 
silent as the grave. " Come in ! " he again said. 
Koodloo, Nukerton's cousin, and a woman came 
in. They remained a few moments and left. Mr. 
Hall was alone again, and remained until the spirit 
of the dying woman departed. He gently closed 
her eyes, laid out the body as if for Christian 
burial, closed up the igloo, and departed. 

Mr. Hall knew cases, later in his stay with this 
people, in which the dying were for some time 
alone before the vital spark was extinguished. 
The only attendance that the sick have is the howl 
ing and mummery of the Angekoks, who are some 
times women. They give no medicine. 

The Dying Esquimo. 313 

Mr. Hall made several sledge excursions with 
his Innuit friends. One to Cornelius Grinnell 
Bay was full of thrilling incidents, of storms, of 
perils by the breaking up suddenly of the ice on 
which he had encamped, and one showing the 
wolfish rapacity of Esquimo dogs. He also had 
a bear chase and capture. But these, though full 
of exciting interest, are similar to those of other 
explorers, already related. The Esquimo them 
selves, with all their knowledge of the ice and 
storms, have many desperate adventures. A party 
of them was once busily engaged in spearing wal 
rus, when the floe broke up and they went out to 
sea, and remained three months on their ice-raft! 
The walrus were plenty, and they had a good time 
of it, and returned safely. 

We have given our readers an incident relat 
ing to Mr. Hall's dog, Barbekark a not very 
creditable incident, it will be remembered, so far 
as that dog's discernment of moral right is con 
cerned. But then we must remember that heathen 
dogs are not supposed to know much in that re 
spect. Barbe, as we will call him for shortness, 
appears again in our story in a way which shows 
that he was very knowing about some matters at 

One day, at nine in the morning, a party of the 
ship's company, attended by the native Koojesse, 
started for an excursion into Frobisher Bay. When 
well out of sight of the vessel a blinding storm 
arose, making farther progress both difficult and 
dangerous. Koojesse counseled an immediate 


construction of a snow-hut, and a halt until the 
storm subsided, which was the right thing to do. 
But the white leader ordered a return march. 
The dogs, as they generally will with a fierce wind 
blowing in their face, floundered about in reckless 
insubordination. Their leader, a strong animal, 
finally assumed his leadership, and dragged them 
for a while toward some islands just appearing in 
sight. But Barbe set back in his harness, pricked 
up his ears, and took a deliberate survey of the 
situation. To be sure he could see only a few rods 
in any direction, but his mind was made up. He 
turned his head away from the islands, and drew 
with such vigor and decision that all, both men 
and dogs, yielded to his guidance. Through the 
drifts, and in the face of bewildering clouds of 
snow which darkened their path, he brought the 
party straight to the ship ! A few hours more of 
exposure and all would have perished. 

Young Barbe was a brave hunter as well as 
skillful guide. On a bright morning in March, 
the lookout on the deck of the " Henry " shouted 
down the gangway that a herd of deer were in 
sight. Immediately the excitement of men and 
dogs was at fever-heat. The dogs, however, did 
not get the news until Koojesse had crept out, and 
from behind an island had fired upon the deer. 
His ball brought down no game, but the report of 
the gun called out Barbe with the whole pack of 
wolfish dogs at his heels, in full pursuit of the fly 
ing, frightened deer. The fugitives made tortuous 
tracks, darting behind the islands, now this way, 

The Dying Esquimo. 315 

and then off in another direction. But Barbe 
struck across their windings along the straight line 
toward the point at which they were aiming, while 
the rest of the dogs followed their tracks, and so 
fell behind. Koojesse returned to the vessel, the 
hope which just now was indulged of a venison 
dinner was given up, and the affair was nearly for 
gotten, except that some anxiety was felt lest the 
dogs should come to harm in their long and reck 
less pursuit. 

About noon Barbe came on board having his 
mouth and body besmeared with blood. He ran 
to this one, and then to that, looking beseechingly 
into their faces, and then running to the gangway 
stairs, where he stopped and looked back, as much 
as to say, " An't you coming ? Do come, I'll show 
you something worth seeing ! " His strange move 
ments were reported to Mr. Hall in the cabin, 
but being busy writing he took no notice of it. 
One of the men having occasion to go toward the 
shore Barbe followed him, but finding that he did 
not go in the right direction he whined his disap 
pointment, and started out upon the floe, and then 
turned and said as plainly as a dog could speak, 
" Come on ; this is the way ! " 

A party from the ship determined now to fol 
low. Barbe led them a mile northward, then, leav 
ing them to follow his foot-prints in the snow, he 
scampered off two miles in a western direction. 
This brought the men to an island, under the 
shelter of which they found the dogs. Barbe was 
sitting at the head of a slaughtered deer, and his 


companions squatting round as watchful sentinels. 
The deer's throat had been cut with Barbe's teeth, 
the jugular vein being severed as with a knife. The 
roots of the tongue, with bits of the windpipe, had 
been eaten, the blood sipped up, but nothing more. 
Several crows were pecking away at the carcass 
unforbidden by Barbe, who petted crows as his 

Barbe wagged his tail and shook his head as the 
men came up, and said in expressive dog-language, 
" See here, now ! didn't I tell you so ! " 

The disturbed and blood-stained snow around 
showed that the deer had fought bravely. One of 
his legs was somewhat broken in the bloody con 
flict, which incident might have determined Barbe's 

The men skinned the deer, and bore the skin 
and dissected parts to the vessel. 

Cunning Hunters. 317 



OUR sketch of Mr. Hall's Esquimo life brings 
us to the early summer of 1861. He had 
made many excursions in and about Frobisher 
and Field Bays which we have not noted. Their 
results were mainly valuable for the relics obtained 
of the visits here of the famous old explorer Fro 
bisher, nearly three hundred years ago. There 
were, too, he ascertained, traditions among the 
natives of these visits, as well as that of Parry, 
nearly fifty years before, which so well accorded 
with. the known facts as to show the reliability of 
such traditions. 

An incident occurred during one of these ex 
cursions which illustrates the deceitful effect of 
refraction in the northern atmosphere. He landed 
on a headland in Frobisher Bay, and secured an 
enchanting view of land and sea. Points of his 
toric interest Were under his eye, and nature was 
clothed with a wild Arctic beauty. But an ob 
ject of still more thrilling interest comes in view. 
A steamer ! Yes, there is her hull and smoke- 
pipe, all very unmistakable ! See, she tacks, now 
.this way, then that, working her way no doubt to 
ward the land on which he stands. 

Mr. Hall ran to the camp, and told the good 


news to Koojesse and Ebierbing, his companions. 
His mind was fairly bewitched with visions of 
news from civilization, from his country, and per 
haps letters from his dear ones of the family circle. 
Each shouldered his loaded gun, and walked 
round to the point on the shore toward which the 
steamer was coming. They would make a loud 
report with their guns, and compel those on board 
to notice them. When they reached the spot 
there was no steamer. The Esquimo looked with 
blank amazement, and turned inquiringly toward 
Mr. Hall. Had she sailed away ? No, that was 
impossible. It was only that rock yonder, half 
buried in snow! There, it does e^$n now look 
like a steamer! Wait a while. No, it- no more 
looks like a steamer than it looks like a cow ! It 
is a cruel " sell ! " 

It will be recollected that the " George Henry " 
had made her winter-quarters in a little nook in 
Field Bay called Rescue Harbor. From his 
home in her cabin Mr. Hall was going forth on his 
explorations. But the whalers had made a " whal 
ing depot " on a cape of Frobisher Bay, which 
commanded a view of its waters and of the waters 
of Davis Strait. Here they watched for whales, or 
made excursions after them. To this depot Mr. 
Hall made an excursion with Koojesse about the 
middle of June. On their way over the ice, Koo 
jesse gave illustrations of two Esquimo methods of 
taking seal that were very peculiar. The dogs 
scented the seal and broke into a furious run, mak 
ing the sledge " spin " over the ice. Soon Koo- 

Cunning Hunters, 319 

jesse perceived him lying with his head near his 
hole. On the instant the dogs and their driver set 
up a vociferous, startling yell. The seal lifted up his 
head, frightened almost out of his wits, so that the 
dogs were within a few rods of him before he so 
far recovered his senses as to plunge into his hole 
and escape. 

Koojesse said that only young seals are so 
caught. In this case fright had nearly cost the 
poor seal his life. 

At another time Koojesse saw a seal sunning 
himself, and lying, as is their habit, near his hole. 
The hunter stopped the sledge, took his gun, and, 
keeping back the dogs, lay down and drew him 
self along upon his breast, making at the same 
time a peculiar, plaintive sound, varied in intona 
tion. To this "seal talk," as the Esquimo term it, 
the animal listens, and is charmed into a pleasant 
persuasion that some loving friend is near. He 
looks, listens, and then lays his head languidly upon 
the ice. So the wily hunter approaches within 
easy range, the rifle cracks, and the fatal ball goes 
through the vitals of the confiding seal. Thus 
seals, like men, sometimes die of alarm, and are 
sometimes taken in the flatterer's snare. 

Mr. Hall found the whale depot a busy place. 
Numerous tents of the white men and Esquimo 
were grouped together, in the midst of which, on 
a substantial flag-staff, the stars and stripes were 
waving. The Esquimo and dogs proclaimed their 
welcome in their peculiar way, and the officers 
and crew made the visitor feel at home. 


The question soon discussed concerned a boat 
for Mr. Hall's journey to King William's Land. 
Captain Buddington said seriously that the ques 
tion had been much on his mind, and had been 
anxiously considered, and his painful conclusion 
was that he had no whale-boat adequate for the 
undertaking. The boat made on purpose for that 
service, which had been lost when the " Rescue " 
was wrecked, was the only one brought into those 
waters which could convey him safely. To go in 
any other would be to throw away his life. So 
Mr. Hall said heroically : " I will make the best of 
my stay here, in explorations and study of the Es- 
quimo traits and language. Do you return to the 
States, get another suitable boat, and, God will 
ing, I will yet go to King William's Land." 

Touching incidents of Innuit life were constant 
ly passing before Mr. Hall. Here is one. There 
was a young man, Etu, about twenty-five years of 
age, whom our old acquaintance, Ugarng, had 
taken into his favor. Etu had the misfortune to 
be born spotted all over his body, precisely like 
the snow-white and black spotting of the skin of 
one species of seal. His heathen parents seemed 
on this account to have loathed their child, for, 
after enduring his presence a few years in the 
family, the father carried him to an unfrequented 
barren island to die. But God, who cared for the 
child Ishmael and the little Moses, watched over 
Etu. He caught the sea-birds which flocked to the 
land with his hands an extraordinary exploit. The 
summer thus passed and winter came, and the 

Cunning Hunters. 321 

boy yet lived. It so happened shall we not the 
rather say, God so ordered that a kayak of na 
tives rowed that way. They were surprised when 
they saw a boy alone on a drear island, and the 
child was frightened at their presence. But when 
they made friendly signs he rushed into their 

The boy returned to his people, but being 
shunned and slighted he became discouraged and 
indolent. Such was his situation when Ugarng 
took him into his family. One day Mr. Hall entered 
the tent of Ebierbing and found there a girl thir 
teen years of age, Ookoodlear, weeping as though 
her heart would break. She also was of Ugarng's 
family, but had been staying with the kind Tooko- 
lito, wife of Ebierbing. Her trouble was that 
Ugarng was coming to take her away and make 
her the wife of Etu ! Marry a seal-spotted man ! 
the thought was awful ! Then, she was so young ! 

Ebierbing took with him a friend, and called 
upon Etu and told him the dislike felt toward him 
of the girl. Poor Etu ! Then Tookoolito agreed 
with Ugarng to take charge of Ookoodlear, so the 
marriage was prevented. 

Marriage contracts among the Esquimo are made 
by the parents or other friends, often in the child 
hood of the parties. Those immediately con 
cerned seldom have any thing to do or say in the 
matter. Among the Esquimo of Whale Sound the 
proposed bridegroom was sometimes required to 
be able to carry off to his igloo, in spite of herself, 
his intended bride. The resistance in such cases 


on the part of the woman is supposed to depend 
upon circumstances. 

There is no marriage ceremony. In these Esqui- 
mo communities the two great events, marriage and 
death, transpire without special note. Among the 
natives of the region we are now visiting the new 
born child generally first sees the light alone with 
its mother, and in an igloo built expressly for her. 
Late in July the ice broke up and liberated the 
" George Henry " from her icy prison. The sail 
ors returned on board, and she sailed away on a 
whaling cruise. Mr. Hall was left alone with his 
Innuit friends. He had planned a voyage of ex 
ploration in his whale-boat with a crew of them, 
to be absent about two months. On his return, if 
he found the whalers in those regions he would 
go to the States in one of them ; if not, he would 
remain in Esquimo life until their return. 

Ebierbing and Tookoolito were of course to be 
of his party. But Ebierbing was taken seriously 
sick and so was prevented from accompanying him, 
much to his regret. His crew, as finally selected, 
were Koojesse and wife, Charley (his Esquimo 
name is too long to write) and his wife, Koodloo, 
and a widow, Suzhi, remarkable for her great size 
and strength, weighing two hundred, 

The party were off the ninth of August. They 
passed through Lupton Channel, a narrow run of 
water connecting Field Bay with Frobisher Bay. 
A white whale preceded them, leisurely keeping 
the lead, as if conscious that there were no har 
poons in the boat ; perhaps he assumed his safety 

Cunning Hunters. 323 

from the presence of the women. The sea-fowl 
were abundant. The Esquimo, to save ammuni 
tion, adopted one of their own amusing yet cruel 
ways of capturing them. They rowed softly and 
swiftly to a cluster of them in the water. Just as 
the birds were about to fly the whole crew set up 
a most terrific yell, at the same time stamping and 
throwing their arms about with wild gesticulations. 
Down go the frightened birds, diving, instead of 
flying, to escape the enemy. The crew now seize 
their oars, and the steerer guides the boat by the 
disturbed surface of the water to the spot where 
they come up. The moment they show their 
heads the uproar is renewed. Down go the birds 
again without taking breath. This course, though 
exciting sport to the hunters, is soon death 
to the poor birds, which, exhausted and finally 
drowned, are picked from the surface of the water. 
One of the ducks taken in this way was a mother 
with a fledgeling. As the parent gasped in its 
dying agony, the child would put its little bill in 
her mouth for food, and then nestle down under 
her for protection. 

The explorers having entered Frobisher Bay, 
sailed west along its northern shore. They camped 
at night on the land, and made slow progress by 
day. The Esquimo were in no hurry, while Mr. 
Hall would make good time to the extreme west 
of the bay and survey that line of coast, as the 
waters had hitherto been deemed a strait. But 
his free and easy companions were more disposed 
to have a good time than to add to geographical 


knowledge. At one time Koojesse, taking up 
Mr. Hall's glass, saw a bear some miles away on an 
island. Fresh duck was plenty on board, and a 
chase after " ninoo " at the expense of time was 
unnecessary. But it would be fun ; that settled 
the matter. Away sped the rickety old whale-boat, 
impelled by strong hands. Bruin soon snuffed the 
strangers, stood and looked, then comprehending 
the danger, turned and ran over to the other side 
of the island. Soon the boat was in sight of him, 
and he plunged into the water. The Esquimo 
now adopted a part of the game they had played 
so successfully on the ducks. They occasionally 
made a sudden and deafening uproar. Ninoo 
would stop and turn round to see what was the 
matter, and so time was gained by his pursuers. 
But he made good speed for the main land, and 
after a while began so far to comprehend the situ 
ation that no noise arrested his course. On he 
went for dear life. The balls soon reached him and 
dyed his coat in crimson, yet he halted not un 
til one struck his head. This enraged him ; he 
deemed the play decidedly foul. He turned, 
showed his teeth, and this brought the boat to a 
stand-still. The hunters did not care for a hand- 
to-paw fight. The rifle settled the unequal con 
flict, and ninoo's body was towed ashore. 

The bladder of the bear was inflated, and with 
some other charms, put on a staff to be elevated on 
the top of the tupic when the party encamped, and 
in the bow of the boat when sailing. This insured 
good luck according to Esquimo notions. 

Cunning Hunters. 325 

The explorers were, while in camp at one time, 
in want of oil for their lamp. Koodloo found 
some strips of sea-blubber and carried it to Suzhi, 
who was " in tuktoo " that is, in bed. She sat 
up, rested upon her elbows, put a dish before her, 
took the blubber, bit off pieces, chewed it and 
sucked the oil out, and then spirted it out into the 
dish. In this way she " milled " oil enough to fill 
two large lamps. This done she lay down again 
and slept, with unwashen hands and face. There 
were no white sheets to be soiled. 




THE explorers found occasionally during their 
voyage encampments of natives. In these 
many incidents occurred illustrating Esquimo hab 
its. At one place the women were busily employed 
on seal- skins, making women's boots. One of 
them was diligently sewing while her big boy stood 
at her breast nursing ! 

Before reaching the head of the bay Mr. Hall's 
party was joined by a boat load of Esquimo, and 
several women canoes. A beautiful river emptied 
into the bay here which abounded w T ith salmon, 
which proved most excellent eating. Vegetation 
was abundant. The women brought Mr. Hall a 
good supply of berries, resembling, in size and 
color, blueberries. They were deemed a great 
luxury. Wolves barked and howled about the 
camp. The aurora danced and raced across the 
heavens in strange grandeur. The deer roamed 
about the rocky coast undisturbed except by the 
occasional visits of the Innuits. 

Mr. Hall, having pretty thoroughly explored 
the head of the bay, purposed to return on the 
side opposite that on which he came. Here were 
hills covered with snow. It had no attractions for 
his Esquimo companions, and they muttered th'eir 

Round Frobisher Bay. 327 

discontent at the route. Ascending one of these 
hills, Mr. Hall planted on it, with much enthusi 
asm, a flag-staff from which floated the stripes and 
stars. On returning to the encampment he found 
his tent occupied by several Esquimo busily 
engaged in various items of work. One of the 
women having done him a favor he gave her some 
beads, asking her at the same time what she had 
done with those he had given her on a former oc 
casion. She said she had given them to the Ange- 
kok for his services in her sickness. Mr. Hall 
went to a tin box and took out a copy of the Bible 
and held it up before the woman, saying, " This 
talks to me of heaven ! " Instantly, as though a 
light from heaven had flashed upon them all, both 
men and women left their work, and springing to 
their feet looked at Mr. Hall. At first they seemed 
terrified ; then a smile of joy came over their 
faces, and they said, " Tell us what it talks of 

As well as he was able, with but a slight knowl 
edge of their language, he unfolded to them the 
great truths of Revelation. When he paused one 
of his hearers pointed downward, inquiring if it 
talked of the grave, or perhaps meaning the place 
of the wicked. When he answered "Yes," they 
looked at each other with solemnity and surprise. 

But an incident which occurred soon after 
showed that these Esquimo did not feel the pres 
ence of eternal things. A white whale had been 
seen and chased by the men and women. He 
escaped, and the men returned in bad humor. 


As one of the women was helping to unload the 
boat her husband threw a seal-hook at her with 
great force. She parried the blow, and it caught 
in her jacket. She calmly removed it, and con 
tinued at her work as if nothing had happened. 

Esquimo men are generally the mildest, if not 
the most affectionate, of savages in their rela 
tion of husbands ; yet in their fits of passion they 
throw any thing that is at hand at their wives, a 
hatchet, stone, knife, or spear, as they would at a 

At one time the Esquimo men all left Mr. Hall's 
boat on a hunt. He continued his voyage with 
the three women rowers. The boat was pleasantly 
gliding along, when in passing an island it fell into 
a current which rushed over a bed of slightly cov 
ered rocks with the rapidity of a mill-race, seething 
and whirling in its course. The women, though 
frightened, rowed with great vigor, Suzhi showing 
herself more than an ordinary man in the emer 
gency. For some time the struggle was fearful 
and uncertain. To go with the current was cer 
tain death; to gel out of it seemed impossible. 
At last slowly, steadily, they gained on the rushing 
current, and then the boat shot into a little cove 
in tranquil waters. They landed and rested six 

Mr. Hall had now, September twelfth, been out 
thirty-five days, and he determined to return to 
Rescue Harbor, hoping to find that the " George 
Henry " had returned from her whaling trip. This 
pleased the Esquimo, but they did not like his 

Round Frabisher Bay. 329 

south-side route. Koojesse would, in spite of Mr. 
Hall, steer the boat toward the opposite side, and 
the rowers enjoyed the joke. At one time our 
explorer wished to stop and make further exami 
nation of a certain locality, but Koojesse was head 
ing the boat northward. His captain urged him 
to stop, and he replied with savage sharpness, 
"You stop; I go!" Even the women rowers 
when alone with Mr. Hall set up an independent 
authority at one time, and it was only after con 
siderable urging that they yielded to the white 
man. Once when Koojesse was acting contrary 
to orders, Mr. Hall turned upon him with tones 
of authority and a show of determination. He 
yielded, and five minutes afterward the whole 
Esquimo crew were as jovial as if nothing had 
occurred. Yet it was not quite certain that this 
was a safe course. The life of the lone white man 
was in their hands. 

During this voyage Mr. Hall was treated with 
out stint to the delights of one Esquimo practice. 
We have spoken of the wild songs of their incanta 
tions, rising often into a dismal howl. One of the 
crew, a woman, had a gift in this way, and when 
she ankooted the rest accompanied, or came in on 
the chorus. In this way they often made the 
night of their encampment hideous. One day the 
boat was gliding smoothly along under the steady 
strokes of the rowers. The unemployed were 
nestling down in their furs, dreamily musing, while 
the dreary expanse of sky and sea was profoundly 
still, save the distant screech of the sea-fowl, and 


the occasional bark of the seal. Suddenly the 
female enchanter commenced her mystical song. 
Her voice was shrill as a night-bird's, and varied by 
sharp and sudden cracks, like fourth-of-July fire 
crackers. The Esquimo crew came in on the 
chorus, and the rowers put forth at the same time a 
frantic energy, their eyes glaring and countenances 
fearfully distorted. The whole scene was intensely 
demoniac. The enchanters seemed intoxicated 
with their bowlings, and continued them through 
the night and most of the two following days. 

Only one incident more of a noticeable character 
occurred on this excursion. When one of their 
nightly encampments had just commenced a gold 
fever seized the Esquirno, and shook the little com 
munity as if they had been white folks. A huge 
lump of gold had been found ! It was precisely the 
article for which the sovereign of England and her 
savans had sent here, three hundred years before, 
the sturdy Frobisher, with a fleet of empty ships. 
It was emphatically fool's gold. 

Friday, September twenty-seventh, 1861, the ex 
plorers arrived at Rescue Harbor. The " George 
Henry " was already there. Her energetic officers 
and crew had toiled through all the season and 
taken nothing ! The explorer and the ship's com 
mander, after a warm supper, sat in the cabin talk 
ing over the incidents of their experience while 
separated until a late hour of the night. The 
whole community were jubilant at their return, 
as fears were indulged that the crazy craft had 
sunk with all its occupants. 

Round Frobisher Bay. 331 

Mr. Hall was not long in finding the tupic of 
his friends, Ebierbing and wife. When the wife of 
Tookoolito saw him she buried her face in her 
hands and burst into tears so great was her joy. 
While chatting with them, Mr. Hall heard the 
plaintive sound of an infant voice. Turning back 
the folds of Tookoolito's fur wrapper a little 
boy was seen only twenty-four days old, an only 

October twentieth came, and the whalers had 
secured three whales an encouraging success 
after a long failure. But her captain had not in 
tended to stay another winter. His time was out, 
and so, nearly, were his provisions. Bat while 
Rescue Harbor was yet clear of ice, and he was 
getting ready to return, purposing to take with 
him the still enthusiastic explorer, the heavy 
" pack/' was outside of the harbor in Davis Strait. 
It had come, an untimely, unwelcome voyager from 
the north. While the anxious whalemen were 
looking for a " lead " to open and permit them to 
sail homeward the Frosty King of the north 
waved his icy scepter, and Davis Strait was as un- 
navigable as the solid land. Another winter was 
spent in Rescue Harbor, and it was not until early 
in August, 1862, that the vessel was set free and 
spread her sails for home. This year, too, was dil 
igently improved by Mr. Hall in explorations and 
the further study of the Esquimo language and 
character. He confidently expected to return, 
after a short stay in the United States, and carry 
out his proposed plan of explorations in King Will- 


iam's Land. He took home with him Ebierbing 
and Tookoolito, with their infant boy, Tuk-e-lik- 
e-ta. The dog Barbekark made one of the return 
ing party. 

They arrived in New London September thir 
teenth, 1862, after an absence of two years and 
three and a half months. 

The "Polaris" 333 



WE have seen that Mr. Hall's enthusiasm for 
arctic research was unabated when he re 
turned from his first adventure. In 1864 he was 
off again. He sailed from New London in the 
whaler " Monticello," accompanied by his Esquimo 
friends, Ebierbing and Tookoolito. The " Monti- 
cello " entered Hudson Bay, landed the daring ex 
plorers on its northern shores, and left them to their 
fortunes. From thence they made the long, dreary 
journey to King William's Land, where the relics 
of Franklin's party had been found, some of whom 
Hail hoped to find alive. For five years he lived 
an Esquimo life, experiencing many thrilling ad 
ventures, and escaping many imminent dangers. 
At one time he saved his own life only by shoot 
ing an assailant who was leading against him a 
party who had conspired to murder him. The re 
sult of his long sojourn in this region of cold was a 
store of knowledge of the Esquimo habits and 
language, but nothing important relating to the 
fate of the Franklin expedition. Many sad con 
firmations were indeed found of the fact before 
generally accepted, that they had all miserably 

On his return, Mr. Hall, nothing daunted by 


hardships and failures, commenced writing and 
lecturing on the theory of an open Polar Sea. As 
he had done before, so now he succeeded in im 
pressing not only the popular mind but scientific 
men and statesmen with the plausibility of his 
theory and the practicability of his plans. An 
other North Pole expedition was proposed ; Con 
gress appropriated to it fifty thousand dollars, and 
Mr. Hall was appointed its commander. A craft of 
about four hundred tons, being larger than either 
of its predecessors on the same errand, was selected, 
and named the " Polaris." She was a screw-pro 
peller, and rigged as a fore-topsail schooner. Her 
sides were covered with a six-inch white oak plank 
ing, nearly doubling their strength. Her bows 
were nearly solid white oak, made sharp, and 
sheathed with iron. One of her boilers was fitted 
for the use of whale or seal oil, by which steam 
could be raised if the coal was exhausted. She 
was supplied with five extraordinary boats. One 
of these must have been the last Yankee invention 
in the boat line. It is represented as having a 
capacity to carry twenty-five men, yet weighing 
only two hundred and fifty pounds; when not in 
use it could be folded up and packed snugly away. 
The " Polaris " was, of course, amply equipped 
and ably manned, and great and useful results 
were expected from her. President Grant is said 
to have entered with interest into this enterprise 
of Captain Hall, and the nation said, " God bless 
him and his perilous undertaking ! " though many 
doubted the wisdom of any more Arctic expedi- 

The " Polaris r 335 

tions. A few days before his departure Mr. Hall 
received from the hand of his friend, Henry Grin- 
nell, a flag of historic note. It had fluttered in 
the wind near the South Pole with Lieutenant 
Wilkes, in 1838; had been borne by De Haven 
far northward ; it had gone beyond De Haven's 
highest in the Kane voyage, and was planted still 
farther North Poleward by Hayes. " I believe," 
exclaimed Captain Hall, on receiving it, "that this 
flag, in the spring of 1872, will float over a new 
world, in which the North Pole star is its crown 
ing jewel." 

The "Polaris" left New York June 29, 1871, 
tarried for a few days at New London, and was 
last heard from as she was ready to steam north 
ward, the last of August, from Tussuissak, the 
most northern of the Greenland outposts. At 
this place Captain Hall met our old acquaintance, 
Jensen, of the Hayes expedition. He was flour 
ishing as "governor" of a few humble huts occu 
pied by a few humbler people, and he put on 
consequential airs in the presence of his white 
brother. He would not be a dog-driver again to 
an Arctic exploration not he ! Hall says he had 
"a face of brass in charging for his dogs." But 
the full complement of sixty was made up here, 
and his stock of furs was increased. 

As our voyagers are now about to enter upon 
the terribly earnest conflicts of North Pole ex 
plorers, and as their complement of men and 
women are complete, we will further introduce 
them to our readers. 


The commander, Hall, they know ; he is well- 
proportioned, muscular, of medium height, quiet, 
but completely enthusiastic in his chosen line of 
duty, believing thoroughly in himself and his en 
terprise, yet believing well too easily of others, 
especially of the rough men of his command, some 
of whom have grown up under the harsh discipline 
of the whale-ship or the naval service. The next 
in command is the sailing-master, Captain S. O. 
Buddington of our last narrative. Captain Tyson, 
commissioned as assistant navigator to the expe 
dition, has been introduced to the reader at Fro- 
bisher Bay, while in command there of a whale- 
ship. We shall have occasion to become very inti 
mate with him. Here is our old acquaintance, 
William Morton, whom we knew so favorably by 
his heroic deeds in the Dr. Kane expedition ; he 
is second mate now. 

Of course, Captain Hall's old friends of his first 
and second Arctic experience, Ebierbing and 
Tookoolito, his wife, are here. They are now 
known as Joe and Hannah, and although it does 
some violence to our taste to drop their Esquimo 
names, we will conform to the usage about us, and 
know them in this narrative by these English 
names. They are accompanied by an adopted 
daughter from among their people, about ten years 
old, whom they call Puney. 

And here, too, is our old friend Hans, taken on 
board at Upernavik. Having been with Kane and 
Hayes, nothing daunted by the perils of their 
voyages, he is here to see, if possible, with Hall, 

Captain Buddington. 

The ^Polaris." 339 

the North Pole, though no doubt thinking much 
more of his twenty-five dollars a month as hunter 
and dog-driver than of the desired discoveries. 
His wife and their three children are with him, for, 
like a good husband and father, he would not be 
separated from his family. The children are Au- 
gustina, a girl about thirteen years, heavy built, 
and most as large as her mother ; Tobias, a boy 
of perhaps eight, and a little girl, Succi, of four 
years. Think of such a group daring the known 
and unknown perils of Arctic ice and cold ! 

With the rest of the ship's company we shall 
form acquaintance as our narrative progresses. 

On the twenty-fourth of August the " Polaris " 
left Tussuissak, and fairly began her Arctic fight 
in the ice, current, and wind encounters of Mel 
ville Bay. But on she steamed, passing in a few 
days through the Bay into the North Water, into 
Smith Sound, passing Hayes's winter-quarters, yet 
steaming on by Dr. Kane's winter-quarters, not 
even pausing to salute our old friends Kalutunah 
and Myouk, sailing up the west side of Kennedy 
Channel, the scene of Dr. Hayes's conflicts and 
heroic achievements, the " Polaris " finally brings 
up in the ice barriers of north latitude 82 16'. 
The highest points of previous voyages in this 
direction are far south. That new world of which 
the North Pole star is "the crowning jewel," is 
less than six hundred miles farther. If that open 
sea located in this latitude by. confident explorers 
was only a fact, how easily and how soon would 
the brave " Polaris " be there ! But the ice-floe, 


strong and defiant, and the southern current, were 
facts, and the open sea nowhere visible. The 
"Polaris " was taken in hand by the ice and cur 
rent in the historic, Arctic fashion, and set back 
about fifty miles. The Ice King had said, " Thus 
far and no farther," and pointed with his frosty 
fingers southward. 

The " Polaris " early in September was glad to 
steam in under the land, anchor to an ice-berg, 
and make her winter-quarters. Captain Hall 
called the harbor " Thank-God Harbor," and the 
friendly anchorage "Providence Berg." He had 
a right here now, for a little farther north, at a 
place he called " Repulse Harbor," he went ashore, 
threw the stripes and stars to the breeze, and took 
possession of the land " in the name of God and 
the President of the United States." We shall 
not expect to hear that a territorial representative 
from this land enters the next Congress. If this 
part of our national domain has a representative 
in the life- time of our distinguished acquaintance, 
Kalutunah, we nominate him for the position, as 
one of the nearest known inhabitants. 

Now commenced in earnest preparations for an 
Arctic winter. We have seen how this is done, 
and Hall and some, at least, of his officers knew 
how to do it. The hunters were abroad at once, 
and an early prize was a musk-ox weighing three 
hundred pounds. His meat was tender and good, 
having no musky odor. This was but the begin 
ning of the good gunning afforded by this far 
northern region. Two seals were soon after shot. 

The u P olaris r 341 

The country was found to abound in these, and in 
geese, ducks, rabbits, wolves, foxes, partridges, and 
bears. The scurvy was not likely to venture near 
our explorers. 

A pleasant incident occurred on shipboard 
about this time which the reader will better ap 
preciate as our story progresses. It was Septem 
ber twenty-fourth. The Sabbath religious service 
of the preceding day had been conducted by Chap 
lain Bryant in his usual happy manner. At its 
close Commander Hall made some kind, earnest 
remarks to the men by which their rough natures 
were made tender, and they sent a letter from the 
forecastle to the cabin expressing to him their 
thanks. To this he replied in the following 
note : 

" SIRS : The reception of your letter of thanks to 
me of this date I acknowledge with a heart that 
deeply feels and fully appreciates the kindly feel 
ing that has prompted you to this act. I need not 
assure you that your commander has, and ever will 
have, a lively interest in your welfare. You have 
left your homes, friends, and country ; indeed, you 
have bid farewell for a time to the whole civil 
ized world, for the purpose of aiding me in dis 
covering the mysterious, hidden parts of the earth. 
I therefore must and shall care for you as a pru 
dent father cares for his faithful children." 

October tenth, after careful preparation, Captain 
Hall started northward on an experiment in the 


way of sledging. He purposed more extended 
sledge journeys in the spring, until the Pole itself 
should be reached. He took two sledges, drawn 
by seven dogs each. Captain Hall and Joe accom 
panied one, and Mr. Chester, the mate, and Hans, 
the other. Their experience on this trip was sim 
ply of the Arctic kind, of which we have seen so 
much. Deep snows, treacherous ice, which was in 
a state of change by the action of winds and cur 
rents, intense cold, and vexed and vicious dogs, 
all put in their appearance. But Captain Hall 
says, " These drawbacks are nothing new to an 
Arctic traveler. We laugh at them, and plod on 
determined to execute the service faithfully to the 
end." The sledge expedition was gone two weeks, 
and traveled north fifty miles. They discovered 
a lake and a river. They came to the southern 
cape of a bay which they had seen from the " Po 
laris " in her drift from above. They named the 
bay Newman Bay, and attached Senator Sumner's 
name to the cape. From the top of an ice-berg 
they surveyed the bay, and believed it extended 
inland thirty miles. Crossing the mouth of the 
bay they clambered up its high northern cape, 
which they called Brevoort. Here they looked 
westward over the waters up which a good dis 
tance past this point the " Polaris " had sailed, and 
which they had named Robeson Strait. They 
peered longingly into the misty distance, and 
fondly hoped to penetrate it with sledge or steamer 
in the spring. Joe, the architect of the journey, 
built here their sixth snow-hut. It was warmer than 

The "Polaris" 343 

at Thank-God Harbor, and birds, musk-oxen, 
foxes, and rabbits, were seen, and bear and wolf 
tracks were in the vicinity. Captain Hall was 
joyous at the future prospect. He wrote a dis 
patch from this high latitude in which he says, 
"We have all been well up to this time." A copy 
of it was placed in a copper cylinder and buried 
under a pile of stones. The party turned their 
faces homeward; Captain Hall's Arctic explora 
tions were ended. 




ABOUT noon of October twenty-fourth Cap 
tain Hall and his party were seen in the dis 
tance approaching the ship. Captain Tyson, the 
assistant navigator, went out to meet them. Not 
even a dog had been lost, and Captain Hall was 
jubilant over his trip and the future of the expe 
dition. While he was absent the work of bank 
ing up the " Polaris " with snow as an increased 
defense against the cold, the building of a house 
on shore for the stores, and their removal to it 
from the ship, had gone forward nearly to comple 
tion. He looked at the work, greeted all cheer 
fully, and entered the cabin. He obtained water, 
and washed and put on clean underclothes. The 
steward, Mr. Herron, asked him what he would 
have to eat, expressing at the same time a wish to 
get him "something nice." He thanked him, but 
said he wanted only a cup of coffee, and com 
plained of the heat of the cabin. He drank a 
part of the cup of coffee and set it aside. Soon 
after he complained of sickness at the stomach, 
aud threw himself into his berth. Chester, the 
mate, and Morton, second mate, watched with him 
all night, during which he was at times delirious. 
It was thought he was partially paralyzed. The 

Disaster. 347 

surgeon, Dr. Bessel, was in constant attendance, 
but after temporary improvement he became wildly 
delirious, imagining some one had poisoned him, 
and accused first one, then another. He thought 
he saw blue gas coming from the mouths of per 
sons about him. He refused clean stockings at 
the hand of Chester, thinking they were poisoned, 
and he made others taste the food tendered him 
before taking it himself, even that from sealed cans 
opened in his cabin. During the night of Novem 
ber seventh he was clear in his mind, and as Sur 
geon Bessel was putting him to bed and tucking 
him in, he said in "his own kind tone, " Doctor, you 
have been very kind to me, and I am obliged to 
you." Early in the morning of November eighth 
he died, and with his death the American North 
Polar Expedition was ended. 

The grave of their beloved commander was dug 
by the men under Captain Tyson, inland, south 
east, about a half mile from the " Polaris." The 
frozen ground yielded reluctantly to the picks, and 
the grave was of necessity very shallow. 

On the eleventh a mournful procession moved 
from the " Polaris " to the place of burial. Though 
not quite noon it was Arctic night. A weird, 
'electric light filled the air, through which the stars 
shone brilliantly. Captain Tyson walked ahead 
with a lantern, followed by Commander Budding- 
ton and his officers, and then by the scientific 
corps, which included the chaplain, Mr. Bryan; 
the men followed, drawing the coffin on a sled, 
one of their number bearing another lantern. The 


fitting pall thrown over the coffin was the Ameri 
can flag. Following the sled were the Esquimo 
last in the procession but not the least in the depth 
and genuineness of their sorrow. At the grave, 
Tyson held the light for the chaplain to read the 
burial service. As the solemn, yet comforting 
words were uttered, " I am the resurrection and 
the life, saith the Lord," all were subdued to tears. 
Only from the spirit of the Gospel, breathing its 
tender influence through these words, was there 
any cheerful inspiration. The day was cold and 
dismal, and the wind howled mournfully. Inland 
over a narrow snow-covered plain, and in the 
shadowy distance, were huge masses of slate-rock, 
the ghostly looking sentinels of the barren land 
beyond. Seaward was the extended ice of Polaris 
Bay, and the intervening shore strown with great 
ice-blocks in wild confusion. About five hundred 
paces away was the little hut called an observa 
tory, and from its flag-staff drooped at half-mast 
the stars and stripes. 

Far away were his loved family and friends, 
whose prayers had followed him during his adven 
tures in the icy north, who even now hoped for his 
complete success and safe return ; and far away 
the Christian burial place where it would have been 
to them mournfully pleasant to have laid him. But 
he who had declared that he loved the Arctic re 
gions, and to whose ears there was music in its wail 
ing winds, and to whose eyes there was beauty in its 
rugged, icy barrenness, had found his earthly rest 
ing-place where nature was clothed in its wildest 

Disaster. 349 

Arctic features. A board was erected over his 
grave in which was cut : 

C. F. HALL, 

Late Commander of the North Polar Expedition. 

Died November 8, 1871, 

Aged fifty years." 

When the funeral procession had returned to 
the ship, all moved about in the performance of 
their duty in gloomy silence. It is sad to record 
that the great affliction caused by the death of 
Hall was rendered more intense by the moral con 
dition of the surviving party. Two hideous spec 
ters had early in the expedition made their ap 
pearance on board the " Polaris." They were the 
spirits of Rum and Discord ! Commander Hall 
had forbidden the admission of liquor on ship 
board, but it had come with the medicines whether 
of them or not. It was put under the key of the 
locker, but it broke out no, we will not do injus 
tice even to this foulest of demons : an officer, 
selected to guard the safety and comfort of the 
ship's company, broke open the locker and let it 
out. This brought upon him a reprimand from 
Captain Hall, and later a letter of stricture upon 
his conduct. The doctor's alcohol could not be 
safely kept for professional purposes, which raised 
" altercations " on board. So Rum and Discord, 
always so closely allied, went stalking through the 


ship, with their horrid train. Insubordination, of 
course, was from the first in attendance. Hall had, 
it would seem, in part persuaded into submission 
this ghastly specter. Where, on shipboard, the 
lives of all depend upon submission to one will, 
rebellion becomes, in effect, murder. We have 
seen that Dr. Kane argued down this bloody in 
truder by a pistol in a steady hand leveled at the 
head of the chief rebel ; and that Dr. Hayes saved 
his boat party by the same persuasive influence 
over Kalutunah. But Hall was not reared in the 
navy, and was cast in a gentle mold. 

On the Sunday following the burial of Hall 
it was announced that from that time the Sunday 
service would be omitted. " Each one can pray 
for himself just as well," it was remarked. The 
faithful chaplain, however, seems to have held re 
ligious service afterward for such as pleased to 
attend. Hall had taken great pleasure in it, and 
it had, we think, attended every Arctic expedition 
through which we have carried the reader. 

After such a purpose to dismiss public worship 
from the vessel we are not surprised to learn 
that "the men made night hideous by their carous- 
ings." Nature without had ceased to distinguish 
night from, day, and our explorers did not follow 
the example of their predecessors in this region, 
and make day and night below decks by requiring 
the light to be put out at a stated hour. So the 
noise and card-playing had all hours for their own. 
Under these circumstances, as if to make the 
" Polaris " forecastle the counterpart of one of 

Disaster. 351 

our city " hells," pistols were put into the hands 
of the men. Discord was now armed, and Alco 
hol was at the chief place of command. 

The Christmas came, but no religious service 
with it. New- Year's day brought nothing special. 
The winter dragged along but not the wind, which 
roared in tempests, and rushed over the floe in 
currents traveling fifty-three miles an hour. It 
played wild and free with the little bark which had 
intruded upon its domains, breaking up the ice 
around it, and straining at its moorings attached 
to the friendly berg. 

Spring came at last. Hunting became lively 
and successful. His majesty, the bear, became 
meat for the hunters after a plucky fight, in which 
two dogs had their zeal for bear combat fairly sub 
dued. Musk-oxen stood in stupid groups to be 
shot. White foxes would not be hit at any rate. 
Birds, trusting to their spread wings, were brought 
low, plucked and eaten. Seals coming out of their 
holes, and stretching themselves on the ice to en 
joy dreamily a little sunshine, to which they inno 
cently thought they had a right as natives of the 
country, were- suddenly startled by the crack of 
the rifles of Hans and Joe, and often under such 
circumstances died instantly of lead. It seemed 
hardly fair. In fact we are confident that the ani 
mals about Polaris Bay contracted a prejudice 
against the strangers, except the white foxes, who 
could not see what hurt these hunters did at least 
to foxes and they were of a mind that it was 
decided fun to be hunted bv them. 


The Esquimo have been in this high latitude in 
the not distant past, as a piece of one of their 
sledges was found. 

Soon after Hall's death the chief officers had 
mutually pledged in writing that, " It is our hon 
est intention to honor our flag, and to hoist it 
upon the most northern point of the earth." 
During the spring and summer some journeys 
northward were made, but were not extended be 
yond regions already visited. The eye which 
would have even now looked with hope and faith 
to the region of the star which is the " crowning 
jewel " of the central north, was dim in death. 
Captain Buddington, now in chief command, had 
faith and hope in the homeward voyage only. 

On the twelfth of August, 1872, the "Polaris " 
was ready, with steam up, for the return trip. On 
that very day there was added to the family of 
Hans a son. All agreed to name him Charlie 
Polaris, thus prettily suggesting the name of the 
late commander and of the ship. Little Charlie 
was evidently disgusted with his native country, 
for he immediately turned his back upon it, the 
ship steaming away that afternoon. The " Polaris " 
had made a tolerably straight course up, but now 
made a zig-zag one back. On she went, steaming, 
drifting, banging against broken floes, through the 
waters over which we have voyaged with Kane 
and Hayes, until they came into the familiar re 
gions of Hayes's winter-quarters. On the after 
noon of the fifteenth of October the wind blew a 
terrific gale from the north-west. The floe, in 

Disaster. 355 

an angry mood, nipped the ship terribly. She 
groaned and shrieked, in pain but not in terror, 
for with her white oak coat of mail she still de 
fied her icy foe, now rising out of his grasp, and 
then falling back and breaking for herself an 
easier position. The hawsers were attached to 
the floe, and the men stood waiting for the result 
of the combat on which their lives depended. At 
this moment the engineer rushed to the deck with 
the startling announcement that the ** Polaris "had 
sprung a leak, and that the water was gaining on 
the pumps. " The captain threw up his arms, and 
yelled the order to throw every thing on the ice." 
No examination into the condition of the leak 
seems to have been made. A panic followed, and 
overboard went every thing in reckless confusion, 
many valuable articles falling near the vessel, and, 
of course, were drawn under by her restless throes 
and lost. Overboard went boats, provisions, am 
munition, men, women, and children, nobody knew 
what nor who. It was night an intensely dark, 
snowy, tempestuous night. 

It was in this state of things, when the ship's 
stores and people were divided between the floe 
and her deck, that the anchors planted in the floe 
tore away, and the mooring lines snapped like 
pack-thread, and away went the " Polaris " in the 
darkness, striking against huge ice-cakes, and drift 
ing none knew where. " Does God care for spar 
rows ? " and will he not surely care for these im 
periled explorers, both those in the drifting 
steamer, and those on the floe whom he alone can 


save, unhoused in an Arctic night on which no sun 
will rise for many weeks, exposed to the caprice 
of winds, currents, and the ever untrustworthy 
ice-raft on which they are cast? 

We will leave the floe party awhile in His care, 
and follow the fortunes of the brave little vessel 
and her men. 

The Last of the ^ Polaris r 357 



THOSE left on board of the " Polaris " were 
oppressed with fears both for themselves and 
those on the floe. The leak in the ship was seri 
ous, and the water was gaining in the hold, and 
threatened to reach and put out the fires, and thus 
render the engine useless. Besides, the deck 
pumps were frozen up, and only two lower ones 
could be used. But "just before it was too late," 
hot water was procured from the boiler and poured 
in buckets-full into the deck-pumps, and they were 
thawed out. The men then worked at the pumps 
with an energy inspired by imminent danger of 
death. They had already been desperately at 
work for six unbroken hours, and ere long the 
fight for life was on the verge of failure. Just then 
came to the fainting men the shout " steam's up," 
and tireless steam came to the rescue of weary 

As the dim light of the morning of October 
sixteenth dawned on the anxious watchers, they 
saw that they had been forced by the violent wind 
out of Baffin Bay into Smith Sound. 

Not until now, since the hour of separation, had 
they counted their divided company. The assist 
ant navigator, the meteorologist, all the Esquimo, 


and six seamen were missing ; part of the dogs 
had also gone with the floe party. Fourteen men 
remained, including the commander and the mate, 
the surgeon, and the chaplain. 

Men were sent to the mast-head to look for the 
missing ones, but the most careful gaze with the 
best glass failed to discern them. Hope of their 
safety was inspired by the fact that they had all 
the boats, even to the little scow ; yet it was not 
certainly known that the boats had not been sunk 
or drifted off in the darkness, and thus lost to 
them. So all was tantalizing uncertainty. 

An examination revealed the encouraging fact 
that a good supply of fuel and provisions remained 
on board. A breeze sprung up at noon by whose 
aid the " Polaris " was run eastward, through a 
fortunate lead, as near to the land as possible. 
Here lines were carried out on the floe and made 
fast to the hummocks, all the anchors having been 
lost. She lay near the shore, and grounded at low 
water. An examination showed that the vessel 
was so battered and leaky, that surprise was ex 
cited that she had not gone down before reaching 
the shore. It was decided at once that she could 
not be made to float longer. The steam-pumps 
were stopped, the water filled her hold, and de 
cided her fate. 

The sheltered place into which the " Polaris " 
had by Divine guidance entered was Life-Boat 
Cove, only a little north of Etah Bay, every mile 
of which we have surveyed in former visits. The 
famous city of Etah with its two huts was not far 

The Last of the "Polaris" 359 

away, but out of it and its vicinity had come timely 
blessings to other winter-bound explorers. 

Our party at once commenced to carry ashore 
the provisions, clothing, ammunition, and all such 
articles from the vessel as might make them com 
fortable. The spars, sails, and some of the heavy 
wood-work of the cabin, were used in erecting a 
house. When done their building was quite com 
modious, being twenty-two feet by fourteen. The 
sails aided in making the roof, which proved to be 
water-tight, and the snow thrown up against the sides 
made it warm. Within, it was one room for all, 
and for-all purposes. " Bunks " were made against 
the sides for each of the fourteen men. A stove 
with cooking utensils was brought from the ship 
and set up; lamps were suspended about the 
room, and a table with other convenience from 
the cabin were put in order. 

But before this was done a party of Esquimo with 
five sledges made their appearance. They stopped 
at a distance, and signified their friendly purpose 
by their customary wild gesticulations and antics. 
The white men at first took them for the floe party, 
and raised three rousing cheers of welcome. We 
doubt not, though it is not stated, that they were 
led on by our special friend, Kalutunah. The 
surly Sipsu, it will be remembered, had received 
what he had sought to give to another, a harpoon 
planted in the back, and was dead. So there was 
left none to rival Kalutunah. Myouk, the boy 
that was, in Kane's day, was reported as an old 
man now. Esquimo grow old rapidly. The whole 


party went to work with a will, having pleasant 
visions before them of a new stock of needles, 
knives, and other white-man treasures. They 
clambered oyer the hummocky floe, bringing loads 
of coal from the ship, and with their sleds brought 
fresh-water ice for the melting apparatus. Sev 
eral families finally came, built their huts near the 
vessel, and spent the winter. The ship-wrecked 
whites had nearly worn out their fur suits, and 
their supply had been greatly reduced by the 
losses on the floe. So the Esquimo replenished 
their stock, and their women repaired the worn 
ones. Thus God makes' the humblest and the 
weakest able at times to render essential help to 
the strong, and none need be useless. 

The winter wore off. There was no starvation, 
nor even short rations. The coal burned cheer 
fully in the stove until February, and then fuel 
torn from the " Polaris " supplied its place. The 
friendly natives brought fresh walrus meat, and 
scurvy was kept away. For all their valuable 
services the Esquimo felt well repaid in the cov 
eted treasures which were given them. 

The time during the sunless days was passed 
in reading, writing, amusements, and discussions, 
according to the taste and inclination of each. Of 
course there were some daily domestic duties to 
be done. The scientific men pursued their in 
quiries so far as circumstances allowed. 

The dismal story which has so often pained our 
ears concerning the Esquimo was true of them 
generally during the winter they were suffering 

The Last of the "Polaris" 361 

with cold and hunger, and three, one of whom was 
Myouk, died. The explorers returned the Esqui 
mo kindness by sharing with them, in a measure, 
their own stock of provisions. 

The spring came, and with it successful hunting. 
One deer was shot, and some hares caught. Ches 
ter, the mate, who seems to have been the Yan 
kee of the party, planned, and assisted the car 
penter in building two boats. The material was 
wrenched from the "Polaris." They were each 
twenty-five feet long and five feet wide, square 
fore and aft, capable of carrying, equally divided 
between them, the fourteen men, two months' pro 
visions, and other indispensable articles. When 
these were done they made a smaller boat, and 
presented it to the Esquimo ; it would aid them 
in getting eggs and young birds about the shore. 

Clear water did not reach Life-Boat Cove until 
the last of May. On its appearance in the imme 
diate vicinity the waiting explorers put every 
thing in readiness for their departure. The boats 
were laden, and each man assigned his place. 
Bags were made of the canvas sails in which to 
carry the provisions. What remained of the " Po 
laris " was given to the Esquimo chief we guess 
to our friend Kalutunah as an acknowledgment 
of favors received. On the third of June, in fine 
spirits and good health, the explorers launched 
their boats and sailed southward. At first the 
boats leaked badly, but they sailed and rowed 
easily, and proved very serviceable. It was con 
tinuous day, and the weather favorable. Seals 


could be had for the pains of hunting them, and 
the sea-fowl were so plenty that ten were at times 
brought down at a shot. On the downward trip 
old localities were touched, such as Etah, Hakluyt 
Island, and Northumberland Island. The average 
amount of Arctic storms were encountered, the 
drift ice behaved in its usual manner, though not 
as badly as it has been known to do. The little 
crafts had their hair-bradth escapes, and were 
battered not a little. Every night, when the toils 
of the day were over, the boats were drawn upon 
the floe, every thing taken out, and the only hot 
meal of the day was prepared. Each boat carried 
pieces of rope from the " Polaris," and a can of 
oil. With these a fire was made in the bottom of 
an iron pot. Over this fire they made their steam 
ing pots of tea. 

The party halted a while at Fitz Clarence Rock 
in Booth Bay, about sixteen miles south of Cape 
Parry, and within sight of the high, bleak plain on 
which Dr. Hayes's boat-party spent their fearful 
winter. On the tenth day of their voyaging they 
had reached Cape York. In comparison to Dr. 
Kane's trip over the same waters, theirs was as a 
summer holiday excursion. But Melville Bay was 
now before them with its defiant bergs, hummocks, 
currents, stormy winds, and blinding snows a 
horrid crew ! No wonder that the fear prevailed 
among them that if not rescued they could never 
reach any settlement. Chester, however, said, 
"We can, and will." But the rescuers were not 
afar off. For another ten days they were made to 

The Last of the "Polaris" 363 

feel that their battle for life was to be a hard- 
fought one. On the twenty-third they saw, away 
in the distance, what appeared to be a whaler. 
Could it be ! They dared scarcely trust their eyes, 
for the object was ten miles away. Yes, it was a 
steamer, and beset, too, so she could not get away. 
New courage was inspired, and they toiled on. 
But for this timely spur to their zeal they would 
have lost heart, for one of the boats in being lifted 
over the hummocks was badly stove, and their 
provisions were giving out, though they had cal 
culated that they had two months' supply. Soon 
after they saw the steamer they were seen by the 
watch from the mast-head. They were taken for 
Esquimo, but a sharp lookout was kept upon their 
movement, which soon showed them to be white 
men. Signals of recognition were immediately 
given, and eighteen picked men were sent to their 
relief. Seeing this, Captain Buddington sent for 
ward two men, and the rescuers soon met and re 
turned with them. With even this addition to 
their strength, it took six hours to drag the boats 
the twelve miles which intervened between them 
and the whaler. They were received with a kind- 
hearted welcome by the noble Scotchman, Cap 
tain Allen, of the " Ravenscraig," of Dundee. 
Their toils were over, and their safety insured. 
We will return to those on the floe. 




ONE of the anchors of the " Polaris," in start 
ing on the night of the separation, tore off a 
large piece of the floe with three men upon it. 
As the " Polaris " swept past them they cried out 
in agony, " What shall we do ? " Captain Bud- 
dington shouted back, " We can do nothing for 
you. You have boats and provisions ; you must 
shift for yourselves." This was the last word from 
the " Polaris." 

Seeing the sad plight of these men, Captain 
Tyson, who from the first had been upon the floe, 
took " the donkey," a little scow which had been 
tossed upon the ice, and attempted to rescue them. 
But the donkey almost at once sunk, and he 
jumped back upon the floe and launched one of 
the boats. Some of the other men started in the 
other boat at the same time, and the three men 
were soon united to the rest of the floe party. 

One of the last things Tyson drew out of the 
way of the vessel as its heel was grinding against 
the parting floe were some musk-ox skins. They 
lay across a widening crack, and in a moment 
more would have been sunk in the deep, or crushed 
between colliding hummocks. Rolled up in 
one of them, and cozily nestling together, were 

The Fearful Situation. 365 

two of Hans's children ! Does not God care for 
children ! 

Our darkness and storm-beset party did not dare 
to move about much, for they could not tell the 
size of the ice on which they stood, nor at what 
moment they might step off into the surging waters. 
So they rolled themselves up in the musk-ox skins 
and slept ! Captain Tyson alone did not lie down, 
but walked cautiously about during the night. 
The morning came, and with it a revelation of 
their surroundings. Hugh bergs were in sight 
which had in the storm and darkness charged 
upon the floe, and caused the breaking up of the 
preceding night. It had been a genuine Arctic 
assault. Their own raft was nearly round, and 
about four miles in circumference, and immovably 
locked between several grounded bergs. It was 
snow-covered, and full of hillocks and intervening 
ponds of water which the brief summer sun had 
melted from their sides. Those who had laid 
down were covered with snow, and looked like 
little mounds. When the party roused, the first 
thing they thought of was the ship. But she was 
nowhere to be seen. A lead opened to the shore 
inviting their escape to the land. Captain Tyson 
ordered the men to get the boats in immediate 
readiness, reminding them of the uncertainty of 
the continued opening of the water, and of the 
absolute necessity of instant escape from the floe 
in order to regain the ship and save their lives. 
But the men were in no hurry, and obedience to 
orders had long been out of their line. They 


were hungry and tired, and were determined to eat 
first; and they didn't want a cold meal, and so 
they made tea and chocolate, and cooked canned 
meat. This done they must change their wet 
clothes for dry ones. 

In the mean time the drifting ice was in a hurry 
and had shut up in part the lead. But Tyson was 
determined to try to reach the shore though the 
difficulties had so greatly increased during the 
delay. The boats were laden and launched, but 
when they were about half way to the shore the 
lead closed, and they returned to the floe and 
hauled up the boats. Just then the " Polaris " 
was seen under both steam and sail. She was 
eight or ten miles away, but signals were set to 
attract her attention, and she was watched with a 
glass with intense interest until she disappeared 
behind an island. Soon after, Captain Tyson sent 
two men to a distant part of the floe to a house 
made of poles, which he had erected for the stores 
soon after they began to be thrown from the ves 
sel. In going for these poles the steamer was again 
seen, apparently fast in the ice behind the island. 
She could not then come to the floe party, being 
beset and without boats, and so Tyson ordered the 
men to get the boats ready for another attempt to 
reach the land, and thus in time connect with the 
vessel. He lightened the boats of all articles not 
absolutely necessary, that they might be drawn to 
the water safely and with speed. He then went 
ahead to find the nearest and best route for em 
barking. The grounded bergs in the mean while. 

The Fearful Situation. 367 

relaxed their grasp upon the explorers' ice-raft, 
and they began to drift southward. With mali 
cious intent, on came a terrific snow-storm at the 
same time. Tyson hurried back to hasten up the 
men. They were in no hurry, but, with grumbling 
and trifling, finally made ready ?s they pretended, 
one boat crowded with every thing both needful 
and worthless. When at last it was dragged to- 
the water's edge, it was ascertained that the larger 
part of the oars and the rudder had been left at 
the camp far in the rear. In this crippled condi 
tion the boat was launched. But not only oars 
and rudder, but will on the part of the men was 
wanting. So the boat was drawn upon the floe, 
and left with all its valuables near the water. The 
night was approaching, the storm was high, and 
the men were weary, so no attempt was made to 
return it to the old camp. All went back to the 
middle of the floe. Tyson, Mr. Meyers, one of 
the scientific corps, and the Esquimo, made a can 
vas shelter, using the poles as a frame, and the 
others camped near them. Captain Tyson, after 
eating a cold supper, rolled himself in a musk-ox 
skin, and lay down for the first sleep he had sought 
for forty-eight hours. His condition seemed to be 
a specially hard one. While, on the night of the 
great disaster, he was striving to save the general 
stores, the saving of which proved the salvation 
of the company, others were looking after their 
personal property, so they had their full supply of 
furs and fire-arms, while his were left in the ship. 
He, however, slept soundly until the morning, 


when he was startled by a shriek from the Esqui- 
mo. The floe had played them an Arctic trick; 
it had broken and set the whole party adrift on an 
ice-raft not more than one hundred and fifty yards 
square. What remained of their old floe of four 
miles' circumference contained the house made of 
poles, in which remained six bags of bread, and 
the loaded boat, in which were the greater part of 
their valuables. Here was a fearful state of things ! 
Yet one boat remained with which they might have 
gone after the other one, but the men seemed in 
fatuated and refused to go. Away the little raft 
sailed, crumbling as it went, assuring its passengers 
that they must all stow away in their one boat or 
soon be dropped in the sea. For four days they 
thus drifted, during which the Esquimo shot sev 
eral seals. On the twenty-first Joe was using the 
spy-glass, and suddenly shouted for joy. He had 
spied the lost boat lodged on a part of the old floe 
which had swung against the little raft of our party. 
He and Captain Tyson, with a dog-team, instantly 
started for it, and after a hard pull returned with 
boat and cargo. Soon after, their old floe, in an 
accommodating mood, thrust itself against the 
one they were on, the boats were passed over, 
and every thing was again together boats and 

Let us now look around upon our party more 
critically. The whole number was twenty, includ 
ing the ten weeks' old Charlie Polaris, who, of 
course, was somebody. As we have stated, all the 
Esquimo were of this party. Both the cook and 

The Fearful Situation. 369 

steward were here. Much the larger number of 
the dogs belonging to the expedition were on the 
floe, but no sledges. Fortunately, in addition to 
the two boats, one of the kayaks had been saved. 
It might, in the skillful hands of a Joe, meet some 

As there was only faint hope now of again see 
ing the " Polaris," and as their ice-boat seemed to 
sail farther and farther from the shore, they began 
to make the best winter-quarters their circum 
stances allowed. Under the direction of Joe, as 
architect and builder, several snow houses were 
put up. One was occupied by Captain Tyson and 
Mr. Myers ; one by Joe and family ; a larger one 
by the men; and one was used for the provisions, 
and one for a cook house. All these were united 
by an arched passage way. Hans and family lo 
cated their house apart from the others, but near. 

The huts erected, their next pressing need was 
sledges. The men, with great difficulty, dragged 
some lumber from the old store-house, and a 
passable one was made. 

Though the quantity of provisions was quite large, 
yet with nineteen persons to consume it, (not to 
reckon little Charlie's mouth, who looked else 
where for his supply.) and with possibly no addi 
tion for six months, it was alarmingly small. Be 
sides, in their unprincipled greed, some of the 
party broke into the store-room and took more 
than a fair allowance. So the party agreed upon 
two meals a day, and a weighed allowance at each 


It was now the last of October. The sun had 
ceased to show his pleasant face, and the long 
night was setting in. To add to their discomfort, 
the question of light and fuel assumed a serious 
aspect. The men, either from want of skill or 
patience, or both, did not succeed well in using 
seal fat for these purposes, in the Esquimo fash 
ion; so they began, with a reckless disregard to 
their future safety, to break up and burn one of 
the boats. 

Hans, with a true Esquimo instinct, when the 
short allowance pinched him, began to kill and 
eat the dogs. He might be excused, however. 
Four children, with their faces growing haggard, 
looked to him for food. 

Thus situated, our floe party drifted far away 
from the land drifting on and on, whether they 
slept or woke drifting they knew not to what 

The Wonderful Drift. 371 



EARLY in November Captain Tyson saw 
through his glass, about twelve miles off to 
the southeast, the Gary Islands, so they were in 
the " North water " of Baffin Bay, and south-west 
from Cape Parry, where we have been so many 
times. From this cape, or a little south of it, it 
would not be a great sledge trip to where they last 
saw the " Polaris," and where they had reason to 
think she now was. So our party made one more 
effort to reach the shore. The boats being in 
readiness the night before, they started early in 
the morning. Of course their day was now only 
a noon twilight, and the morning was most mid 
day. But the floe was not in a favoring mood. 
The hummocks were as hard in their usage of the 
boats and men as usual. The deceitful cracks in 
the ice at one time put the lives of the dogs and 
men in great peril ; and, as if these obstacles were 
not enough, a storm brought up its forces against 
them. They had dragged the boats half way to 
the shore when they retreated "before superior 

Their huts being of perishable material, were 
reconstructed. A little later the men built a large 
snow hut as "a reserve." All were weak through 


insufficient food. Mr. Meyers was nearly pros 
trate, and went to live with the men ; Captain 
Tyson, whose scanty clothing, added to care and 
short rations, caused him to suffer much, took up 
his quarters with Joe and Hannah, and their little 
Puney. Not the least of the trial in the Esquimo 
huts were the piteous cries of the children for 
food. Joe and Hans were out with their guns 
every day during the three hours' twilight, hunting 
seals. The first one captured was shot by Joe, 
November sixth. Nearly two weeks passed before 
any further success attended the hunters; then 
several were shot, and Captain Tyson, who was 
ready to perish, had one full meal a rneal of un 
cooked seal meat, skin, hair, and all, washed down 
with seal blood. Some others had not been so 
long without a full meal, as the bread continued 
to be stolen. 

The home Thanksgiving Day came. A little 
extra amount of the canned meat was allowed 
each one, and all had a taste of mock-turtle soup 
and canned green corn, kept for this occasion, to 
which was added a few pieces of dried apple. 
How far it all fell short of the home feast may be 
judged by the fact that Captain Tyson, to satisfy 
the fierce hunger which remained after dinner, 
finished " with eating strips of frozen seals' en 
trails,, and lastly seal skin, hair and all." 

The hunters had seen tracks of bears, so they 
were on the lookout for them while they hunted 
seal. One day Joe and Hans went out as usual 
with their guns. They lost sight of each other 

The Wonderful Drift. 373 

and of the camp. Joe returned quite late, expect 
ing to find Hans already in his hut. When he 
learned that he had not returned, he, as well as 
others, felt concerned about him. Accompanied 
by one of the men, he went in search of him. As 
the two, guns in hand, were stumbling over the 
hummocks, they saw in the very dim twilight, as 
they thought, a bear. Their guns were instantly 
leveled and brought to the sight, and their mouths 
almost tasted a bear-meat supper. " Hold on 
there! That's not a bear! what is it?" "Why, 
it's Hans ! " Well, he did look in the darkness 
like a bear, as in his shaggy coat he clambered, 
on all-fours, over the ice-hills. 

December came in with its continuous night. 
Seals could not be successfully hunted in the dark 
ness, and where seals could not be seen bears 
would not make their (pearance. The rations be 
came smaller than ever, and ghastly, horrid starva 
tion seemed encamped among our drifting, forlorn 
party. Under these circumstances a specter even 
worse than starvation appeared to Joe. To him, 
at least, it was a terrifying reality. It was the 
demon form of Cannibalism ! He had looked 
into the eyes of the men in the big hut, and they 
spoke to him of an intention to save themselves 
by first killing and eating Hans and family, and 
then taking him and his. He and Hannah were 
greatly terrified, and he handed his pistol to Cap 
tain Tyson, which he was not willing to part 
with before. He was assured that t the least 
child should not be touched for so horrid a pur- 


pose without such a defense as the pistol could 

Christmas came. The last ham had been kept 1 
for this occasion, and it was divided among all, 
with a few other dainties, in addition to the usual 

The shore occasionally appeared in the far away 
distance. They were drifting through Baffin Bay 
toward the western side, so that their craft evidently 
did not intend to land them at any of the familiar 
ports of Greenland. It seemed to have an ambi 
tion to drop them nearer home. 

As the year was going out, and Joe's family were 
gnawing away at some dried seal skin, submitted, 
to be sure, to a process Hannah called cooking, a 
shout \vas heard from him. " Kayak ! kayak ! " he 
cried. He had shot a seal, and it was floating 
away. Fortunately the kayak was at hand, and the 
game was bagged. As usual, it was divided among 
all. The eyes were given to Charlie Polaris, and 
they were nice in his eyes, and mouth, too. 

New Years came, and Captain Tyson dined on 
two feet of frozen seal entrails, and a little seal 
fat. There was now nothing to burn except what 
little seal blubber they could spare for that pur 
pose. One boat had been burned, their only sled 
had gone the same way, and the reckless, desper 
ate men could hardly be restrained from burning 
the only one now remaining, and thus cut off all 
good hope of final escape. To be sure, their 
provocation to this act was very great ; the tem 
perature was thirty-six below zero ! In their strait, 

The Wonderful Drift. 375 

the desperate expedient was entertained of trying 
to get to land. The emaciated men would have to 
drag the loaded boat over the hummocky ice with 
out a sledge. The women and children must be 
added to the load or abandoned. It would be a 
struggle for life against odds more fearful than 
that which now oppressed them. But what should 
they do ! God knew ! Hark ! what shout is that ! 
" Kayak ! kayak ! " The kayak was at hand, but it 
had to be carried a mile. Yet it paid, for a seal 
shot by Joe was secured just in time to keep the 
men from utter desperation. To this item of com 
fort another was added a few days later. The sun 
reappeared January nineteenth, after an absence 
of eighty-three days, and remained shining upon 
them two hours. He brought hope to fainting 
hearts. Through January there was a seal taken at 
long intervals, but one always came just before it 
was too late ! The men continued to grumble and 
deceive themselves with the idea of soon getting 
to Disco, "where rum and tobacco were plenty." 
How sad that man can sink below the brute, which, 
however hungry, never cries out for " rum and 
tobacco ! " 

Leaving for a moment the white men, let us 
look into the Esquimo huts and see how the terri 
ble condition of things affects them. The men 
are almost always out hunting, but just now, as we 
step into Joe's snow dwelling, he is at home. The 
only light or fire is that which comes from the 
scanty supply of seal oil. Captain Tyson is trying 
to write with a pencil in his journal, but he ap- 


pears cold in his scanty covering of furs, and looks 
weak and hungry. Joe and Hannah are striving 
to pass away the weary hours by playing checkers 
on an old piece of canvas which the captain has 
marked into squares with his pencil. They are 
using buttons for men, and seem quite interested 
in the game. Little Puney is sitting by, wrapped in 
a musk-ox skin, uttering at intervals a low, plaint 
ive cry for food. It is the most cheerful home 
" on board " the floe, but surely it is cheerless 

We shall not wish to tarry long in the hut of 
Hans, for besides the unavoidable misery of the 
place, Mr. and Mrs. Hans are noted for the board 
ers they keep about their persons. Under the 
most favorable circumstances they regard bathing 
as one of the barbarous customs of civilization. 
The reader will recollect that the first experience 
Mrs. Hans had of a personal cleansing was on 
board Dr. Hayes's vessel, and she then thought it 
a joke imposed by the white people's religion, too 
grievous to be borne. On another exploring ves 
sel she and her husband were cruelly required to 
put off their long-worn garments, wash and put 
on clean ones, and put the old "in a strong 
pickle," for an obvious reason. It is not certainly 
known that they were ever washed at any other 

Mrs. Hans's hut is not in the most tidy order, 
but the circumstances must be taken into the ac 
count,' and also the fact of the sad neglect of her 
early domestic education. We have just drifted 

The Wonderful Drift. 377 

from her native land or, rather, ice where she 
was married, in Dr. Kane's time, it being a run 
away match, at least on the part of the hus 

Well, here they are, father, mother, and four 
children, on a voyage unparalleled in the history of 
navigation. Mr. and Mrs. Hans do not play any 
household games; they do not know what to do at 
home, except to eat, and feed the children, and 
make and mend skin clothing. We know full well 
to what sad disadvantage the eating is subjected 
at the time of our call, and we are authorized to 
say, to the credit of Mrs. Hans, that as to the 
making and mending, she has been of real service 
to the men on this voyage. 

The children of Hans cannot fail to attract our 
attention and sympathy. Augustina, the first-born, 
usually fat and rugged if not ruddy, is thin and 
pale now, and sits chewing a bit of dried seal 
skin, or something of the sort, and trying to get 
from it a drop of nourishment ; her brother, Tobias, 
has thrown his head into her lap as she sits on the 
ground. The poor little fellow has been sick, 
unable to eat even the small allowance of meat 
given him, and has lived, one hardly knows how, 
on a little dry bread. Succi, the four-year-old 
girl, pquats on the ground that is, the canvas- 
covered ice floor hugging her fur skin about her, 
and in a low, moaning tone repeats, " I is so hun 
gry ! " Her mother is trying to pick from the 
lamp, for the children, a few bits of " tried-out " 
scraps of blubber. Little Charlie's head is just 


discernible in the fur hood which hangs from the 
mother's neck at her back. If he gets enough to 
eat, which we fear is not the case, he is sweetly 
ignorant of the perils of this, his first trip, in the 
voyage of life. We shall not want to stay longer 
in this sad place. 

February was a dreadful month on board the 
floe. The huts were buried under the snow. It 
was with difficulty that Joe and Hans, almost the 
entire dependence of the party, could go abroad 
for game, and when they did they secured a few 
seals only, very small, and now and then a dovekie 
a wee bit of a. pensive sea-bird. Norwhal, the sea 
unicorn, were shot in several instances, but they 
sunk in every case and were lost. Hunger and 
fear seemed to possess the men in the large tent, 
and Joe and Hannah began to be again terrified 
by the thought that these hunger-mad men would 
kill and eat them. 

Now, will not God appear to help those in so 
helpless a condition ? Yes, his hand has ever 
been wonderfully apparent in all Arctic perils. On 
the second of March, just when the dark cloud of 
these drifting sufferers was never darker, it parted, 
and a flood of light burst upon their camp. Joe 
shot an oogjook, belonging to the largest species of 
seal. He was secured and dragged by all hands 
to the huts. He measured nine feet, weighed 
about seven hundred pounds, and contained, by 
estimation, thirty gallons of oil. There was a 
shout of seal in the camp ! The warm blood was 
relished like new milk, and drank freelv. All eat 

The Wonderful Drift. 379 

and slept, and woke to eat again, and hunger de 
parted for the time from the miserable huts it had 
so long haunted. Joe and Hannah dismissed their 
horrid visions of cannibalism. God was the helper 
of these hungry ones, and they were helped. 




OUR voyagers needed all the strength and 
courage which the timely capture of the 
great seal had given them. They had drifted into 
a warmer sea, and windy March was well upon 
them. Their floe began to herald its fast ap 
proaching dissolution. The weary and anxious 
drifters were startled by day, and awakened sud 
denly by night, by a rumbling, mingled with 
fearful grindings and crashes underneath them. 
Heavy ice-cakes, over-rode by the heavier floe, 
ground along its under surface, and when finding 
an opening of thin ice, rushed with a thundering 
sound to the upper surface. The din was at times 
so great that it seemed to combine all alarming 
sounds : - 

" Through all its scale the horrid discord ran ; 
Now mocked the beast now took the groan of man." 

On the eleventh a storm commenced. Whole 
fleets of icebergs, having broken away from the icy 
bands in which the floe had held them, hovered 
round to charge upon the helpless campers. The 
vast area of ice on which they had been riding 
for so many months was lifted in places by mighty 
seas beneath, causing it to crack with a succession 

The Wonderful Escape. 381 

of loud reports and dismal sounds, some of which 
seemed to be directly under them. The wind 
drove before it a dense cloud of snow, so that one 
could scarcely see a yard. Night came with a 
darkness that could be felt. The icy foundation 
of their camp might separate at any momert, and 
tumble their huts about their ears, or plunge them 
in the sea. They gathered their few treasures to 
gether, and stood ready to fly but where? Death 
seemed to guard every avenue of escape. Sud 
denly, soon after the night set in, the disruption 
came. Their floe was shattered, with a fearful up 
roar, into hundreds of pieces, and they went surg 
ing off among the fragments on a piece less than 
a hundred yards square. They were within twenty 
yards of its edge, but God had kindly forbid the 
separation to run through their camp and sever 
them from their boat or from each other. 

After raging sixty hours the storm abated, and 
their little ice-ship drifted rapidly in the pack. A 
goodly number of seals were shot, and they began 
to breathe more freely. After a short time another 
oogjook was captured, so food was plenty. 

March wore away, seals were plenty, and readily 
taken ; and though the bergs ground together and 
made fierce onsets into the pack, our ice-ship held 
gallantly on her way. One night the inmates of 
Joe's hut were about retiring, when a noise was 
heard outside. " What is it, Joe ? is the ice break 
ing up ? " Joe does not stop to answer, but rushes 
out. But in ten seconds he comes back in a greater 
hurry, pale and breathless. " There's a bear close 


to my kayak," he exclaims in an excited tone. Now 
the situation was this : The kayak was within ten 
paces of the entrance to the hut, and the loaded 
guns, which can never be kept in an Esquimo hut 
on account of the moisture, were in and leaning 
against the kayak. If the bear should take a no 
tion to put his nose at the hut door, and, liking 
the odor, knock down the snow wall with his 
strong paw, and commence a supper on one of its 
inmates, what was to hinder him ? But bears, like 
many young people, often fail to improve their 
golden opportunities. He found some seal fat and 
skins in the kayak, and these he pulled out, and 
walked off with them a rod or two to enjoy the 
feast. Joe crept out of the hut, and ran to alarm 
the men. Captain Tyson followed, slipped softly 
up to the kayak and seized his gun, but in taking 
it he knocked down another one and alarmed the 
bear, who looked up and growled his objections to 
having his supper disturbed. Tyson leveled his 
rifle, snapped it, but it missed fire. He tried a 
second and third time, and it did not go but he 
did, for his bearship was taking the offensive. 
Content to see his enemy flee, the bear returned 
to his supper. How many foolish bears have we 
seen on our explorations lose their lives by an un 
timely eating ; but some men, more foolish, lose 
more than life BY DRINKING. The captain returned 
to the field with a new charge in his gun. This 
time it sent a ball through the bear ; the ball enter 
ing the left shoulder and passing through the heart, 
came out at the other side. He staggered, but 

The Wonderful Escape. 383 

before he fell Joe had sent another ball into his 
vitals. He dropped dead instantly. This affair 
occurred when it was too dark to see many yards, 
and was much pleasanter in its results than in its 

The seal hunting was successful, and with bear 
meat and blubber, a full store, there was no hun 
ger unappeased ; but the wind blew a gale, and 
the sailless, rudderless, oarless little ice-ship, now 
banging against a berg, and now in danger of be 
ing run down by one, all the while growing alarm 
ingly smaller, finally shot out into the open sea 
away from the floe. This would not do. So, feel 
ing that they might soon be dropped into the sea, 
they loaded the boat with such things as was 
strictly necessary, and all hands getting aboard, 
sailed away. A part of their ammunition, their 
fresh meat, a full month's supply, and many other 
desirable things, were abandoned. The boat, only 
intended to carry eight persons, was so overloaded 
with its twenty, including children, that it was in 
danger of being swamped at any moment. The 
frightened children cried, and the men looked so 
ber. They sailed about twenty miles west, and 
landed on the first tolerably safe piece of ice which 
they met. Hans and family nestled down in the 
boat, and the rest, spreading on the floe what skins 
they had, set up a tent, and all, after eating a dry 
supper of bread and pemmican, lay down to rest. 
Thus, boating by day, and camping on the ice at 
night for several days, they drew up on the fourth 
of April upon a solid looking floe. Snow-huts 


were built, seals were taken, and hope revived. 
But what is hope, resting on Arctic promises ? 
The gale was abroad again, the sea boisterous, and 
their floe was thrown into a panic. Fearful noises 
were heard beneath and around them, and their 
icy foundations quaked with fear. Joe's snow-hut 
was shaken down. He built it again, and then lot 
and house fell off into the sea and disappeared. 
Thus warned, the camp was pushed farther back 
from the water. But they did not know where the 
crack and separation would next come. Thus 
they lived in anxious watchings through weary 
days, the gale unabated. Finally, one night, the 
feared separation came. All hands except Mr. 
Meyers were in the tent ; near them, so near a man 
could scarcely walk between, was the boat, con 
taining Meyers and the kayak ; but with mischiev- 
oustintent, the crack run so as to send the boat 
drifting among the breaking and over-lapping ice. 
Mr. Meyers could not manage it, of course, under 
such circumstances, and the kayak was of no use 
to any but an Esquimo, so he set it afloat, hoping 
it would drift to the floe-party. Here was a fear 
ful situation ! The floe-party, as well as Mr. Meyers, 
was sure to perish miserably if the boat was not 
returned. There was only a dim light, and objects 
at a short distance looked hazy. It was a time for 
instant and desperate action. Joe and Hans took 
their paddles and ice-spears and started for the 
boat, jumping from one piece of floating, slippery 
ice to another. They were watched in breathless 
suspense until they seemed, in the shadowy distance, 

The Wonderful Escape. 385 

to have reached the boat, and then all was shut 
out in the darkness. 

The morning came, and the floe party were glad 
to see that the boat had three men in it. It was a 
half mile off, and the kayak was as far away in an 
other direction. It was soon clear that the boat 
could not be brought back without a stronger 
force. Tyson led the way, and finally all but two 
of the men made the desperate passage of the 
floating ice to the imperiled craft. It was with 
difficulty that, with their combined force, the boat 
was returned to the floe. The kayak was also 

For a brief time there was quiet all around. 
The aurora gleamed, and displayed its wonderful 
beauty of form and motion; while the majestic 
icebergs, in every varied shape, reflected its spark 
ling light. The grandeur of se'a and sky seemed 
a mockery to the danger-beset voyagers. The 
elements might be grand, but they had combined 
to destroy them, for a new form of peril now ap 
peared. The sea came ^aboard of their icy craft. 
They were sitting one evening under their frail 
tent, the boat near, when a wave swept over theirV 
floe, carrying away tent, clothing, provisions 
every thing except what was on their persons or 
in the boat. The women and children had been 
put on board in fear of such an occurrence, and 
the men had just time to save themselves by 
clinging to the gunwale. The boat itself was 
borne into the middle of the floe. When the wave 
subsided the boat was dragged back, lest another 


push by a succeeding one might launch it into the 
sea from the other side. It was well they did this, 
for another wave bore it to the opposite edge and 
partly slipped it into the water. This game of 
surging the boat from one side to the other of the 
floe, was kept up from nine o'clock in the evening 
to seven in the morning. All this time the men 
were in the water, fighting the desperate battle for 
its safety, and the preservation of their own lives ; 
the conflict being made more terrible by the 
fact that every wave bore with it ice-blocks from 
a foot square to those measuring many yards, 
having sharp edges and jagged corners, with which 
it battered their legs until they were black and 
blue. It was the severest test of their courage 
and endurance yet experienced. But God was 
their helper. Not one perished, and when the de 
feated sea was by his voice commanded to retire, 
and the day appeared, they were not seriously 
harmed. But they were cold and wet, without a 
change of clothes and utterly provisionless. 

It is not surprising that after their rough hand 
ling on the floe they should seek a larger and 
safer one. This they did, launching their crowded 
boat into the turbulent sea, and, working carefully 
along, succeeded in landing safely on one stronger 
looking; nothing worse happening than the tum 
bling overboard of the cook, who was quickly 
rescued. Here, cold, half-drowned, hungry, and 
weary to faintness, they tried to dry and warm 
themselves in the feeble rays of the sun, and wait 
for their food at the hand of the great Provider 

The Wonderful Escape. 387 

in the use of such means as were yet left to them. 
They had preserved their guns and a small supply 
of powder and shot. Snow and rain came on, and 
continued until noon of the next day, April twen 
ty-second. Their hunger was fearful. Mr. Mey 
ers had been slightly frost-bitten when drifting 
away alone in the boat, his health seemed broken, 
and he was actually starving. 

In the afternoon of this day Joe went as usual 
with his gun. He had caught nothing on this 
floe, and now there were no signs of seals, though 
it was his fourth time out that day. What should 
they do ? God had their relief all arranged. Joe 
saw what he did not expect to see, and what was 
seldom seen so far south a bear ! He ran back 
to the boat, called Hans with his trusty rifle, and 
the two lay down behind the hummocks. All 
were ordered to lie down, keep perfectly quiet, 
and feign themselves seals, the Esquimo helping 
out the deception by imitating the seal bark. 
Bruin came on cautiously. He, too, was hungry. 
What are those black objects, and what is that 
noise, he seemed to say ? They don't look quite 
like seals ! The noise is not/ky/ like the seal cry ! 
But hunger is a weighty reason with men and 
bears, on the side of what they desire to believe, 
so the bear came on. When fairly within an easy 
range both rifles cracked, and he fell dead. The 
whole party arose with a shout. Polar was 
dragged to the boat and skinned. His warm blood 
slaked their raging thirst. His meat, tender and 
good, satisfied their gnawing hunger, They were 


saved from a terrible death ! Seals were secured 
soon after, and hope again revived. 

It was not long before their ice-craft crumbled 
away, so they were obliged to repeat the experi 
ment, always full of danger, of launching into the 
sea and making for a larger and safer one. April 
twenty-eighth they were beset by a fleet of bergs, 
which were crashing against each other with a 
thundering noise, and occasionally turning a threat 
ening look toward the frail craft of our drifters. 
So angrily at last did one come down upon them 
that they abandoned their floe and rowed away. 
Surely there is no peace for them by night or day. 
on the floe or afloat in their boat. They dare not 
lie down a moment without keeping one half of 
their number on the watch. But what is that in 
the distance ? A steamer ! A thrill of joy goes 
through the boat's company. Every possible sig 
nal is given, but she does not see them, and an 
other night is spent on the floe. The next morn 
ing every eye was straining to see a whaler. Soon 
one appears. They shout, raise their signals, and 
fire every gun at once. But she passes out of 
sight. April thirtieth, as the night was setting in 
foggy and dark, the shout from the watch of 
"steamer" brought all to their feet. She was 
right upon them in the fog before she was seen. 
Hans was soon alongside of her in his kayak, tell 
ing their story as best he could. In a few mo 
ments the whaler was alongside of their piece of 
ice. Captain Tyson removed his old well-worn 
cap, called upon his men, and three cheers were 

The Wonderful Escape. 389 

given, ending with a " tiger " such as the poor fel 
lows had not had a heart to give for many long 
mo-nths. The cheers were returned by a hundred 
men from the rigging and deck of the vessel. It was 
the sealer " Tigress," Captain Bartlett, of Concep 
tion Bay, Newfoundland. They soon had the planks 
of a good ship beneath them instead of a treach 
erous floe ; curious but kind friends beset them, 
instead of threatening bergs ; and every comfort 
succeeded to utter destitution. They had been 
on the floe six months, and floated more than six 
teen hundred miles. 

They were speedily conveyed, by the way of 
Conception Bay and St. Johns, to their own homes, 
the telegraph having flashed throughout the length 
and breadth of the land their coming, and the 
nation rejoiced. But there were tears mingled 
with the joy, that one, the noble, the true, the 
Christian commander of the expedition, Charles 
Francis Hall, lay in his icy grave in the far north. 

As speedily as possible the " Tigress " was pur 
chased and fitted out by the United States Govern 
ment in search of the "Polaris" party. Captain 
Tyson and Joe were among her men. She reached 
Life-boat Cove about two months after Captain 
Buddington and his men had left. They learned 
that, much to the grief of the natives, the 
" Polaris " had floated off and sunk. The Bud 
dington party arrived home in the fall, by the way 
of England. 

As we may not meet our Esquimo friends again, 
with whom we have made so many voyages, the 


reader will want to know the last news from them. 
Hans and his family returned to Greenland in the 
"Tigress." Joe has bought a piece of land and 
a house near New London, Connecticut, and in 
tends, with his family, to remain there, getting a 
living by fishing. 

Thus ended the last American North Pole Ex 
pedition. The last from other Governments have 
not been more successful. Yet, while we write, 
England and Austria are reported as getting ready 
further North Polar expeditions to start in the 
spring of 1875. It must be allowed that the icy 
sceptered guardian of the North has made a good 
fight against the invaders into his dominions. But 
the nations of the earth are determined to send 
men to sit on his throne, though they find it a bar 
ren and worthless, as well as a cold domain. 



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