Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Negro Explorer at the North Pole
Author: Henson, Matthew A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Negro Explorer at the North Pole" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



A NEGRO EXPLORER AT THE NORTH POLE

[Illustration: MATTHEW A. HENSON]



A NEGRO EXPLORER AT THE NORTH POLE

BY

MATTHEW A. HENSON

          WITH A FOREWORD BY
          ROBERT E. PEARY
          REAR ADMIRAL, U. S. N., RETIRED

          AND AN INTRODUCTION BY
          BOOKER T. WASHINGTON

_WITH ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGRAPHS_

          NEW YORK
          FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY
          PUBLISHERS



         _Copyright, 1912, by_
         FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY

         _All rights reserved, including that of translation
         into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian_

         _February, 1912_



FOREWORD


Friends of Arctic exploration and discovery, with whom I have come in
contact, and many whom I know only by letter, have been greatly
interested in the fact of a colored man being an effective member of a
serious Arctic expedition, and going north, not once, but numerous times
during a period of over twenty years, in a way that showed that he not
only could and did endure all the stress of Arctic conditions and work,
but that he evidently found pleasure in the work.

The example and experience of Matthew Henson, who has been a member of
each and of all my Arctic expeditions, since '91 (my trip in 1886 was
taken before I knew Henson) is only another one of the multiplying
illustrations of the fact that race, or color, or bringing-up, or
environment, count nothing against a determined heart, if it is backed
and aided by intelligence.

Henson proved his fitness by long and thorough apprenticeship, and his
participation in the final victory which planted the Stars and Stripes
at the North Pole, and won for this country the international prize of
nearly four centuries, is a distinct credit and feather in the cap of
his race.

As I wired Charles W. Anderson, collector of internal revenue, and
chairman of the dinner which was given to Henson in New York, in
October, 1909, on the occasion of the presentation to him of a gold
watch and chain by his admirers:

"I congratulate you and your race upon Matthew Henson. He has driven
home to the world your great adaptability and the fiber of which you are
made. He has added to the moral stature of every intelligent man among
you. His is the hard-earned reward of tried loyalty, persistence, and
endurance. He should be an everlasting example to your young men that
these qualities will win whatever object they are directed at. He
deserves every attention you can show him. I regret that it is
impossible for me to be present at your dinner. My compliments to your
assembled guests."

It would be superfluous to enlarge on Henson in this introduction. His
work in the north has already spoken for itself and for him. His book
will speak for itself and him.

Yet two of the interesting points which present themselves in connection
with his work may be noted.

Henson, son of the tropics, has proven through years, his ability to
stand tropical, temperate, and the fiercest stress of frigid, climate
and exposure, while on the other hand, it is well known that the
inhabitants of the highest north, tough and hardy as they are to the
rigors of their own climate, succumb very quickly to the vagaries of
even a temperate climate. The question presents itself at once: "Is it a
difference in physical fiber, or in brain and will power, or is the
difference in the climatic conditions themselves?"

Again it is an interesting fact that in the final conquest of the "prize
of the centuries," not alone individuals, but _races_ were represented.
On that bitter brilliant day in April, 1909, when the Stars and Stripes
floated at the North Pole, Caucasian, Ethiopian, and Mongolian stood
side by side at the apex of the earth, in the harmonious companionship
resulting from hard work, exposure, danger, and a common object.

                                                          R. E. PEARY.

_Washington, Dec., 1911._



TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                             PAGE

  FOREWORD                                                      v

  INTRODUCTION                                                 xv

  CHAPTER I
  THE EARLY YEARS: SCHOOLBOY, CABIN-BOY, SEAMAN, AND
    LIEUTENANT PEARY'S BODY-SERVANT--FIRST TRIPS TO THE ARCTIC  1

  CHAPTER II
  OFF FOR THE POLE--HOW THE OTHER EXPLORERS LOOKED--THE
    LAMB-LIKE  ESQUIMOS--ARRIVAL AT ETAH                       15

  CHAPTER III
  FINDING OF RUDOLPH FRANKE--WHITNEY LANDED--TRADING AND
    COALING--FIGHTING THE ICE-PACKS                            26

  CHAPTER IV
  PREPARING FOR WINTER AT CAPE SHERIDAN--THE ARCTIC LIBRARY    35

  CHAPTER V
  MAKING PEARY SLEDGES--HUNTING IN THE ARCTIC NIGHT--THE
    EXCITABLE DOGS AND THEIR HABITS                            40

  CHAPTER VI
  THE PEARY PLAN--A RAIN OF ROCKS--MY FRIENDS, THE ESQUIMOS    46

  CHAPTER VII
  SLEDGING TO CAPE COLUMBIA--HOT SOLDERING IN COLD WEATHER     52

  CHAPTER VIII
  IN CAMP AT COLUMBIA--LITERARY IGLOOS--THE MAGNIFICENT
    DESOLATION OF THE ARCTIC                                   62

  CHAPTER IX
  READY FOR THE DASH TO THE POLE--THE COMMANDER'S ARRIVAL      70

  CHAPTER X
  FORWARD! MARCH!                                              75

  CHAPTER XI
  FIGHTING UP THE POLAR SEA--HELD UP BY THE "BIG LEAD"         78

  CHAPTER XII
  PIONEERING THE WAY--BREAKING SLEDGES                         93

  CHAPTER XIII
  THE SUPPORTING-PARTIES BEGIN TO TURN BACK                   103

  CHAPTER XIV
  BARTLETT'S FARTHEST NORTH--HIS QUIET GOOD-BY                116

  CHAPTER XV
  THE POLE!                                                   127

  CHAPTER XVI
  THE FAST TREK BACK TO LAND                                  140

  CHAPTER XVII
  SAFE ON THE ROOSEVELT--POOR MARVIN                          145

  CHAPTER XVIII
  AFTER MUSK-OXEN--THE DOCTOR'S SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION         153

  CHAPTER XIX
  THE ROOSEVELT STARTS FOR HOME--ESQUIMO VILLAGES--NEW DOGS
    AND NEW DOG FIGHTS                                        161

  CHAPTER XX
  TWO NARROW ESCAPES--ARRIVAL AT ETAH--HARRY WHITNEY--DR.
    COOK'S CLAIMS                                             170

  CHAPTER XXI
  ETAH TO NEW YORK--COMING OF MAIL AND REPORTERS--HOME!       180

  APPENDIX I--NOTES ON THE ESQUIMOS                           189

  APPENDIX II--LIST OF SMITH SOUND ESQUIMOS                   196



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

  MATTHEW A. HENSON                                 _Frontispiece_

                                                            FACING
                                                             PAGE

  ROBERT E. PEARY IN HIS NORTH POLE FURS                       76

  THE FOUR NORTH POLE ESQUIMOS                                 77

  CAMP MORRIS K. JESUP AT THE NORTH POLE                      122

  MATTHEW A. HENSON IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SLEDGE JOURNEY TO
    THE POLE AND BACK                                         123

  THE "ROOSEVELT" IN WINTER QUARTERS AT CAPE SHERIDAN         138

  MATTHEW A. HENSON IN HIS NORTH POLE FURS, TAKEN AFTER HIS
    RETURN TO CIVILIZATION                                    139



INTRODUCTION


One of the first questions which Commander Peary was asked when he
returned home from his long, patient, and finally successful struggle to
reach the Pole was how it came about that, beside the four Esquimos,
Matt Henson, a Negro, was the only man to whom was accorded the honor of
accompanying him on the final dash to the goal.

The question was suggested no doubt by the thought that it was but
natural that the positions of greatest responsibility and honor on such
an expedition would as a matter of course fall to the white men of the
party rather than to a Negro. To this question, however, Commander Peary
replied, in substance:

"Matthew A. Henson, my Negro assistant, has been with me in one capacity
or another since my second trip to Nicaragua in 1887. I have taken him
on each and all of my expeditions, except the first, and also without
exception on each of my farthest sledge trips. This position I have
given him primarily because of his adaptability and fitness for the work
and secondly on account of his loyalty. He is a better dog driver and
can handle a sledge better than any man living, except some of the best
Esquimo hunters themselves."

In short, Matthew Henson, next to Commander Peary, held and still holds
the place of honor in the history of the expedition that finally located
the position of the Pole, because he was the best man for the place.
During twenty-three years of faithful service he had made himself
indispensable. From the position of a servant he rose to that of
companion and assistant in one of the most dangerous and difficult tasks
that was ever undertaken by men. In extremity, when both the danger and
the difficulty were greatest, the Commander wanted by his side the man
upon whose skill and loyalty he could put the most absolute dependence
and when that man turned out to be black instead of white, the Commander
was not only willing to accept the service but was at the same time
generous enough to acknowledge it.

There never seems to have been any doubt in Commander Peary's mind about
Henson's part and place in the expedition.

Matt Henson, who was born in Charles County, Maryland, August 8, 1866,
began life as a cabin-boy on an ocean steamship, and before he met
Commander Peary had already made a voyage to China. He was eighteen
years old when he made the acquaintance of Commander Peary which gave
him his chance. During the twenty-three years in which he was the
companion of the explorer he not only had time and opportunity to
perfect himself in his knowledge of the books, but he acquired a good
practical knowledge of everything that was a necessary part of the daily
life in the ice-bound wilderness of polar exploration. He was at times a
blacksmith, a carpenter, and a cook. He was thoroughly acquainted with
the life, customs, and language of the Esquimos. He himself built the
sledges with which the journey to the Pole was successfully completed.
He could not merely drive a dog-team or skin a musk-ox with the skill of
a native, but he was something of a navigator as well. In this way Mr.
Henson made himself not only the most trusted but the most useful
member of the expedition.

I am reminded in this connection that Matthew Henson is not the first
colored man who by his fidelity and devotion has made himself the trusty
companion of the men who have explored and opened up the western
continent. Even in the days when the Negro had little or no opportunity
to show his ability as a leader, he proved himself at least a splendid
follower, and there are few great adventures in which the American white
man has engaged where he has not been accompanied by a colored man.

Nearly all the early Spanish explorers were accompanied by Negroes. It
is said that the first ship built in America was constructed by the
slaves of Vasquez de Ayllon, who attempted to establish a Spanish
settlement where Jamestown, Virginia, was later founded. Balboa had 30
Negroes with him, and they assisted him in constructing the first ship
on the Pacific coast. Three hundred slaves were brought to this country
by Cortez, the conqueror of Mexico, and it is said that the town of
Santiago del Principe was founded by Negro slaves who later rebelled
against their Spanish masters.

Of the story of those earlier Negro explorers we have, aside from the
Negro Estevan or "little Steve," who was the guide and leader in the
search for the fabulous seven cities, almost nothing more than a passing
reference in the accounts which have come down to us. Now, a race which
has come up from slavery; which is just now for the first time learning
to build for itself homes, churches, schools; which is learning for the
first time to start banks, organize insurance companies, erect
manufacturing plants, establish hospitals; a race which is doing all the
fundamental things for the first time; which has, in short, its history
before it instead of behind; such a race in such conditions needs for
its own encouragement, as well as to justify the hopes of its friends,
the records of the members of the race who have been a part of any great
and historic achievement.

For this reason, as well as for others; for the sake of my race as well
as the truth of history; I am proud and glad to welcome this account of
his adventure from a man who has not only honored the race of which he
is a member, but has proven again that courage, fidelity, and ability
are honored and rewarded under a black skin as well as under a white.

                                               BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.

  Principal, Tuskegee Normal
    and Industrial Institute.



A NEGRO EXPLORER AT THE NORTH POLE



CHAPTER I

THE EARLY YEARS: SCHOOLBOY, CABIN-BOY, SEAMAN, AND LIEUTENANT PEARY'S
BODY-SERVANT--FIRST TRIPS TO THE ARCTIC


When the news of the discovery of the North Pole, by Commander Peary,
was first sent to the world, a distinguished citizen of New York City,
well versed in the affairs of the Peary Arctic Club, made the statement,
that he was sure that Matt Henson had been with Commander Peary on the
day of the discovery. There were not many people who knew who Henson
was, or the reason why the gentleman had made the remark, and, when
asked why he was so certain, he explained that, for the best part of the
twenty years of Commander Peary's Arctic work, his faithful and often
only companion was Matthew Alexander Henson.

To-day there is a more general knowledge of Commander Peary, his work
and his success, and a vague understanding of the fact that Commander
Peary's sole companion from the realm of civilization, when he stood at
the North Pole, was Matthew A. Henson, a Colored Man.

To satisfy the demand of perfectly natural curiosity, I have undertaken
to write a brief autobiography, giving particularly an account of my
Arctic work.

I was born in Charles County, Maryland, August 8, 1866. The place of my
birth was on the Potomac River, about forty-four miles below Washington,
D. C. Slavery days were over forever when I was born. Besides, my
parents were both free born before me, and in my mother's veins ran some
white blood. At an early age, my parents were induced to leave the
country and remove to Washington, D. C. My mother died when I was seven
years old. I was taken in charge by my uncle, who sent me to school, the
"N Street School" in Washington, D. C., which I attended for over six
years. After leaving school I went to Baltimore, Md., where I shipped as
cabin-boy, on board a vessel bound for China. After my first voyage I
became an able-bodied seaman, and for four years followed the sea in
that capacity, sailing to China, Japan, Manilla, North Africa, Spain,
France, and through the Black Sea to Southern Russia.

It was while I was in Washington, D. C., in 1888, that I first attracted
the attention of Commander Peary, who at that time was a civil engineer
in the United States Navy, with the rank of lieutenant, and it was with
the instinct of my race that I recognized in him the qualities that made
me willing to engage myself in his service. I accompanied him as his
body-servant to Nicaragua. I was his messenger at the League Island Navy
Yard, and from the beginning of his second expedition to the Arctic
regions, in 1891, I have been a member of every expedition of his, in
the capacity of assistant: a term that covers a multitude of duties,
abilities, and responsibilities.

The narrative that follows is a record of the last and successful
expedition of the Peary Arctic Club, which had as its attainment the
discovery of the North Pole, and is compiled from notes made by me at
different times during the course of the expedition. I did endeavor to
keep a diary or journal of daily events during my last trip, and did not
find it difficult aboard the ship while sailing north, or when in
winter-quarters at Cape Sheridan, but I found it impossible to make
daily entries while in the field, on account of the constant necessity
of concentrating my attention on the real business of the expedition.
Entries were made daily of the records of temperature and the estimates
of distance traveled; and when solar observations were made the results
were always carefully noted. There were opportunities to complete the
brief entries on several occasions while out on the ice, notably the six
days' enforced delay at the "Big Lead," 84° north, the twelve hours
preceding the return of Captain Bartlett at 87° 47' north, and the
thirty-three hours at North Pole, while Commander Peary was determining
to a certainty his position. During the return from the Pole to Cape
Columbia, we were so urged by the knowledge of the supreme necessity of
speed that the thought of recording the events of that part of the
journey did not occur to me so forcibly as to compel me to pay heed to
it, and that story was written aboard the ship while waiting for
favorable conditions to sail toward home lands.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was in June, 1891, that I started on my first trip to the Arctic
regions, as a member of what was known as the "North Greenland
Expedition." Mrs. Peary accompanied her husband, and among the members
of the expedition were Dr. Frederick A. Cook, of Brooklyn, N. Y., Mr.
Langdon Gibson, of Flushing, N. Y., and Mr. Eivind Astrüp, of
Christiania, Norway, who had the honor of being the companion of
Commander Peary in the first crossing of North Greenland--and of having
an Esquimo at Cape York become so fond of him that he named his son for
him! It was on this voyage north that Peary's leg was broken.

Mr. John M. Verhoeff, a stalwart young Kentuckian, was also an
enthusiastic member of the party. When the expedition was ready to sail
home the following summer, he lost his life by falling in a crevasse in
a glacier. His body was never recovered. On the first and the last of
Peary's expeditions, success was marred by tragedy. On the last
expedition, Professor Ross G. Marvin, of Cornell University, lost his
life by being drowned in the Arctic Ocean, on his return from his
farthest north, a farther north than had ever been made by any other
explorers except the members of the last expedition. Both Verhoeff and
Marvin were good friends of mine, and I respect and venerate their
memories.

Naturally the impressions formed on my first visit to the Land of Ice
and Snow were the most lasting, but in the coming years I was to learn
more and more that such a life was no picnic, and to realize what
primitive life meant. I was to live with a people who, the scientists
stated, represented the earliest form of human life, living in what is
known as the Stone Age, and I was to revert to that stage of life by
leaps and bounds, and to emerge from it by the same sudden means. Many
and many a time, for periods covering more than twelve months, I have
been to all intents an Esquimo, with Esquimos for companions, speaking
their language, dressing in the same kind of clothes, living in the same
kind of dens, eating the same food, enjoying their pleasures, and
frequently sharing their griefs. I have come to love these people. I
know every man, woman, and child in their tribe. They are my friends and
they regard me as theirs.

After the first return to civilization, I was to come back to the
savage, ice- and rock-bound country seven times more. It was in June,
1893, that I again sailed north with Commander Peary and his party on
board the _Falcon_, a larger ship than the _Kite_, the one we sailed
north in on the previous expedition, and with a much larger equipment,
including several burros from Colorado, which were intended for ice-cap
work, but which did not make good, making better dog-food instead.
Indeed the dogs made life a burden for the poor brutes from the very
start. Mrs. Peary was again a member of the expedition, as well as
another woman, Mrs. Cross, who acted as Mrs. Peary's maid and nurse. It
was on this trip that I adopted the orphan Esquimo boy, Kudlooktoo, his
mother having died just previous to our arrival at the Red Cliffs.
After this boy was washed and scrubbed by me, his long hair cut short,
and his greasy, dirty clothes of skins and furs burned, a new suit made
of odds and ends collected from different wardrobes on the ship made him
a presentable Young American. I was proud of him, and he of me. He
learned to speak English and slept underneath my bunk.

This expedition was larger in numbers than the previous one, but the
results, owing to the impossible weather conditions, were by no means
successful, and the following season all of the expedition returned to
the United States except Commander Peary, Hugh J. Lee, and myself. When
the expedition returned, there were two who went back who had not come
north with us. Miss Marie Ahnighito Peary, aged about ten months, who
first saw the light of day at Anniversary Lodge on the 12th of the
previous September, was taken by her mother to her kinfolks in the
South. Mrs. Peary also took a young Esquimo girl, well known among us as
"Miss Bill," along with her, and kept her for nearly a year, when she
gladly permitted her to return to Greenland and her own people. Miss
Bill is now grown up, and has been married three times and widowed, not
by death but by desertion. She is known as a "Holy Terror." I do not
know the reason why, but I have my suspicions.

The memory of the winter of 1894 and 1895 and the summer following will
never leave me. The events of the journey to 87° 6' in 1906 and the
discovery of the North Pole in 1909 are indelibly impressed on my mind,
but the recollections of the long race with death across the 450 miles
of the ice-cap of North Greenland in 1895, with Commander Peary and Hugh
Lee, are still the most vivid.

For weeks and weeks, across the seemingly never-ending wastes of the
ice-cap of North Greenland, I marched with Peary and Lee from
Independence Bay and the land beyond back to Anniversary Lodge. We
started on April 1, 1895, with three sledges and thirty-seven dogs, with
the object of determining to a certainty the northeastern terminus of
Greenland. We reached the northern land beyond the ice-cap, but the
condition of the country did not allow much exploration, and after
killing a few musk-oxen we started on June 1 to make our return. We had
one sledge and nine dogs.

We reached Anniversary Lodge on June 25, with one dog.

The Grim Destroyer had been our constant companion, and it was months
before I fully recovered from the effects of that struggle. When I left
for home and God's Country the following September, on board the good
old _Kite_, it was with the strongest resolution to never again! no
more! forever! leave my happy home in warmer lands.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nevertheless, the following summer I was again "Northward Bound," with
Commander Peary, to help him secure, and bring to New York, the three
big meteorites that he and Lee had discovered during the winter of
1894-1895.

The meteorites known as "The Woman" and "The Dog" were secured with
comparative ease, and the work of getting the large seventy-ton meteor,
known as "The Tent," into such a position as to insure our securing it
the following summer, was done, so it was not strange that the following
summer I was again in Greenland, but the meteorite was not brought away
that season.

It is well known that the chief characteristic of Commander Peary is
persistency which, coupled with fortitude, is the secret of his success.
The next summer, 1897, he was again at the island after his prize, and
he got it this time and brought it safely to New York, where it now
reposes in the "American Museum of Natural History." As usual I was a
member of the party, and my back still aches when I think of the hard
work I did to help load that monster aboard the _Hope_.

It was during this voyage that Commander Peary announced his
determination to discover the North Pole, and the following years (from
1898 to 1902) were spent in the Arctic.

In 1900, the American record of Farthest North, held by Lockwood and
Brainard, was equaled and exceeded; their cairn visited and their
records removed. On April 21, 1902, a new American record of 84° 17' was
made by Commander Peary, further progress north being frustrated by a
lack of provisions and by a lane of open water, more than a mile wide.
This lead or lane of open water I have since become more familiarly
acquainted with. We have called it many names, but it is popularly known
as the "Big Lead." Going north, meeting it can be depended upon. It is
situated just a few miles north of the 84th parallel, and is believed to
mark the continental shelf of the land masses in the Northern
Hemisphere.

During the four years from 1898 to 1902, which were continuously spent
in the regions about North Greenland, we had every experience, except
death, that had ever fallen to the lot of the explorers who had preceded
us, and more than once we looked death squarely in the face. Besides, we
had many experiences that earlier explorers did not meet. In January,
1899, Commander Peary froze his feet so badly that all but one of his
toes fell off.

After the return home, in 1902, it was three years before Commander
Peary made another attack on the Pole, but during those years he was not
resting.

He was preparing to launch his final and "sincerely to be hoped"
successful expedition, and in July, 1905, in the newly built ship,
_Roosevelt_, we were again "Poleward-bound." The following September,
the _Roosevelt_ reached Cape Sheridan, latitude 82° 27' north, under her
own steam, a record unequaled by any other vessel, sail or steam.

Early the next year, the negotiation of the Arctic Ocean was commenced,
not as oceans usually are negotiated, but as this ocean must be, by men,
sledges, and dogs. The field party consisted of twenty-six men, twenty
sledges, and one hundred and thirty dogs.

That was an open winter and an early spring, very desirable conditions
in some parts of the world, but very undesirable to us on the northern
coast of Greenland. The ice-pack began disintegrating much too early
that year to suit, but we pushed on, and had it not been for furious
storms enforcing delays and losses of many precious days, the Pole would
have been reached. As it was, Commander Peary and his party got to 87°
6' north, thereby breaking _all records_, and in spite of incredible
hardships, hunger and cold, returned safely with all of the expedition,
and on Christmas Eve the _Roosevelt_, after a most trying voyage,
entered New York harbor, somewhat battered but still seaworthy.

Despite the fact that it was to be his last attempt, Commander Peary no
sooner reached home than he announced his intention to return, this time
to be the last, and this time to win.

However, a year intervened, and it was not until July 6, 1908, with the
God-Speed and good wishes of President Roosevelt, that the good ship
named in his honor set sail again. The narrative of that voyage, and the
story of the discovery of the North Pole, follow.

The ages of the wild, misgiving mystery of the North Pole are over,
to-day, and forever it stands under the folds of Old Glory.



CHAPTER II

OFF FOR THE POLE--HOW THE OTHER EXPLORERS LOOKED--THE LAMB-LIKE
ESQUIMOS--ARRIVAL AT ETAH


July 6, 1908: We're off! For a year and a half I have waited for this
order, and now we have cast off. The shouting and the tumult ceases, the
din of whistles, bells, and throats dies out, and once again the long,
slow surge of the ocean hits the good ship that we have embarked in. It
was at one-thirty P. M. to-day that I saw the last hawse-line cast
adrift, and felt the throb of the engines of our own ship. Chief
Wardwell is on the job, and from now on it is due north.

Oyster Bay, Long Island Sound: We are expecting President Roosevelt. The
ship has been named in his honor and has already made one voyage towards
the North Pole, farther north than any ship has ever made.

July 7: At anchor, the soft wooded hills of Long Island give me a
curious impression. I am waiting for the command to attack the savage
ice- and rock-bound fortress of the North, and here instead we are at
anchor in the neighborhood of sheep grazing in green fields.

Sydney, N. S., July 17, 1908: All of the expedition are aboard and those
going home have gone. Mrs. Peary and the children, Mr. Borup's father,
and Mr. Harry Whitney, and some other guests were the last to leave the
_Roosevelt_, and have given us a last good-by from the tug, which came
alongside to take them off.

Good-by all. Every one is sending back a word to some one he has left
behind, but I have said my good-bys a long time ago, and as I waved my
hand in parting salutation to the little group on the deck of the tug,
my thoughts were with my wife, and I hoped when she next heard of me it
would be with feelings of joy and happiness, and that she would be glad
she had permitted me to leave her for an absence that might never end.

The tenderfeet, as the Commander calls them, are the Doctor, Professor
MacMillan, and young Mr. Borup. The Doctor is a fine-looking, big
fellow, John W. Goodsell, and has a swarthy complexion and straight
hair; on meeting me he told me that he was well acquainted with me by
reputation, and hoped to know me more intimately.

Professor Donald B. MacMillan is a professor in a college in
Massachusetts, near Worcester, and I am going to cultivate his
acquaintance.

Mr. George Borup is the kid, only twenty-one years old but well set up
for his age, always ready to laugh, and has thick, curly hair. I
understand he is a record-breaker in athletics. He will need his
athletic ability on this trip. I am making no judgments or comments on
these fellows now. Wait; I have seen too many enthusiastic starters, and
I am sorry to say some of them did not finish well.

All of the rest of the members of the expedition are the same as were on
the first trip of the _Roosevelt_:--Commander Peary, Captain Bartlett,
Professor Marvin, Chief Engineer Wardwell, Charley Percy the steward,
and myself. The crew has been selected by Captain Bartlett, and are
mostly strangers to me.

Commander Peary is too well known for me to describe him at length;
thick reddish hair turning gray; heavy, bushy eyebrows shading his
"sharpshooter's eyes" of steel gray, and long mustache. His hair grows
rapidly and, when on the march, a thick heavy beard quickly appears. He
is six feet tall, very graceful, and well built, especially about the
chest and shoulders; long arms, and legs slightly bowed. Since losing
his toes, he walks with a peculiar slide-like stride. He has a voice
clear and loud, and words never fail him.

Captain Bartlett is about my height and weight. He has short, curly,
light-brown hair and red cheeks; is slightly round-shouldered, due to
the large shoulder-muscles caused by pulling the oars, and is as quick
in his actions as a cat. His manner and conduct indicate that he has
always been the leader of his crowd from boyhood up, and there is no man
on this ship that he would be afraid to tackle. He is a young man
(thirty-three years old) for a ship captain, but he knows his job.

Professor Marvin is a quiet, earnest person, and has had plenty of
practical experience besides his splendid education. He is rapidly
growing bald; his face is rather thin, and his neck is long. He has
taken great interest in me and, being a teacher, has tried to teach me.
Although I hope to perfect myself in navigation, my knowledge so far
consists only of knot and splice seamanship, and I need to master the
mathematical end.

The Chief Engineer, Mr. Wardwell, is a fine-looking, ruddy-complexioned
giant, with the most honest eyes I have ever looked into. His hair is
thinning and is almost pure white, and I should judge him to be about
forty-five years old. He has the greatest patience, and I have never
seen him lose his temper or get rattled.

Charley Percy is Commander Peary's oldest hand, next to me. He is our
steward, and sees to it that we are properly fed while aboard ship, and
he certainly does see to it with credit to himself.

From Sydney to Hawks Harbor, where we met the _Erik_, has been
uneventful except for the odor of the _Erik_, which is loaded with
whale-meat and can be smelled for miles. We passed St. Paul's Island and
Cape St. George early in the day and through the Straits of Belle Isle
to Hawks Harbor, where there is a whale-factory. From here we leave for
Turnavik.

We have been racing with the _Erik_ all day, and have beaten her to this
place. Captain Bartlett's father owns it, and we loaded a lot of boots
and skins, which the Captain's father had ready for us. From here we
sail to the Esquimo country of North Greenland, without a stop if
possible, as the Commander has no intention of visiting any of the
Danish settlements in South Greenland.

Cape York is our next point, and the ship is sailing free. Aside from
the excitement of the start, and the honor of receiving the personal
visit of the President, and his words of encouragement and cheer, the
trip so far has been uneventful; and I have busied myself in putting my
cabin in order, and making myself useful in overhauling and stowing
provisions in the afterhold.

July 24: Still northward-bound, with the sea rolling and washing over
the ship; and the _Erik_ in the distance seems to be getting her share
of the wash. She is loaded heavily with fresh whale-meat, and is
purposely keeping in leeward of us to spare us the discomfort of the
odor.

July 25 and 26: Busy with my carpenter's kit in the Commander's cabin
and elsewhere. There has been heavy rain and seas, and we have dropped
the _Erik_ completely. The _Roosevelt_ is going fine. We can see the
Greenland coast plainly and to-day, the 29th, we raised and passed Disco
Island. Icebergs on all sides. The light at midnight is almost as bright
as early evening twilight in New York on the Fourth of July and the
ice-blink of the interior ice-cap is quite plain. We have gone through
Baffin's Bay with a rush and raised Duck Island about ten A. M. and
passed and dropped it by two P. M.

I was ashore on Duck Island in 1891, on my first voyage north, and I
remember distinctly the cairn the party built and the money they
deposited in it. I wonder if it is still there? There is little use for
money up here, and the place is seldom visited except by men from the
whalers, when their ships are locked in by ice.

From here it is two hundred miles due north to Cape York.

August 1: Arrived at Cape York Bay and went ashore with the party to
communicate with the Esquimos of whom there were three families. They
remembered us and were dancing up and down the shore, and waving to us
in welcome, and as soon as the bow of the boat had grazed the little
beach, willing hands helped to run her up on shore. These people are
hospitable and helpful, and always willing, sometimes too willing. As an
example, I will tell how, at a settlement farther north, we were going
ashore in one of the whale-boats. Captain Bartlett was forward,
astraddle of the bow with the boat-hook in his hands to fend off the
blocks of ice, and knew perfectly well where he wanted to land, but the
group of excited Esquimos were in his way and though he ordered them
back, they continued running about and getting in his way. In a very
short while the Captain lost patience and commenced to talk loudly and
with excitement; immediately Sipsoo took up his language and parrot-like
started to repeat the Captain's exact words: "Get back there, get
back--how in ---- do you expect me to make a landing?" And thus does the
innocent lamb of the North acquire a civilized tongue.

It is amusing to hear Kudlooktoo in the most charming manner give
Charley a cussing that from any one else would cause Charley to break
his head open.

For the last week I have been busy, with "Matt! The Commander wants
you," "Matt do this," and "Matt do that," and with going ashore and
trading for skins, dogs, lines, and other things; and also
walrus-hunting. I have been up to my neck in work, and have had small
opportunity to keep my diary up to date. We have all put on heavy
clothing; not the regular fur clothes for the winter, but our thickest
civilized clothing, that we would wear in midwinter in the States. In
the middle of the day, if the sun shines, the heat is felt; but if foggy
or cloudy, the heavy clothing is comfortable.

All of the Esquimos want to come aboard and stay aboard. Some we want
and will take along, but there are others we will not have or take along
on a bet, and the pleasant duty of telling them so and putting them
ashore falls to me. It is not a pleasant job to disappoint these people,
but they would be a burden to us and in our way. Besides, we have left
them a plentiful supply of needfuls, and our trading with them has been
fair and generous.

The "Crow's-Nest" has been rigged upon the mainmast, and this morning,
after breakfast, Mr. Whitney, three Esquimos, and myself started in Mr.
Whitney's motor-boat to hunt walrus. The motor gave out very shortly
after the start, and the oars had to be used. We were fortunate in
getting two walrus, which I shot, and then we returned to the ship for
the whale-boat. We left the ship with three more Esquimos in the
whale-boat, and got four more walrus.

Sunday, at Kangerdlooksoah; the land of the reindeer, and the one
pleasant appearing spot on this coast. Mr. Whitney and his six Esquimo
guides have gone hunting for deer, and I have been ashore to trade for
dogs and furs, and have gotten twenty-seven dogs, sealskin-lines for
lashings, a big bearskin, and some foxskins. I try to get furskins from
animals that were killed when in full fur and before they have started
to shed, but some of the skins I have traded in are raw, and will have
to be dried.

I have had the disagreeable job of putting the undesirable ashore, and
it was like handling a lot of sulky school children.

Seegloo, the dog-owner, is invited to bring his pack aboard and is
easily persuaded. He will get a Springfield rifle and loading-outfit and
also a Winchester, if he will sell, and he is more than willing.

And this is the story of day after day from Cape York to Etah Harbor,
which we reached on August 12.



CHAPTER III

FINDING OF RUDOLPH FRANKE--WHITNEY LANDED--TRADING AND COALING--FIGHTING
THE ICE-PACKS


At Etah we take on the final load of coal from the _Erik_ and the other
supplies she has for us, and from now on it will be farewell to all the
world; we will be alone with our company, and our efforts will be
towards the north and our evasive goal.

At Etah, on going ashore, we were met by the most hopelessly dirty,
unkempt, filth-littered human being any of us had ever seen, or could
ever have imagined; a white man with long matted hair and beard, who
could speak very little English and that only between cries,
whimperings, and whines, and whose legs were swollen out of all shape
from the scurvy. He was Rudolph Franke and had been left here the year
before by Dr. F. A. Cook, an old acquaintance of mine, who had been a
member of other expeditions of the Commander's.

Franke was in a bad way, and the burden of his wail was, "Take me away
from this, I have permission, see, here is Dr. Cook's letter," and he
showed a letter from Dr. Cook, authorizing him to leave, if opportunity
offered. Dr. Goodsell looked him over and pronounced him unfit to remain
in the Arctic any longer than it would take a ship to get him out, and
the Commander had him kindly treated, cleaned, medicated, and placed
aboard the _Erik_. The poor fellow's spirits commenced to rise
immediately and there is good chance of his recovery and safe return
home.

We learn that Dr. Cook, with two Esquimo boys, is over on the Grant Land
side, and in probably desperate circumstances, if he is still alive. The
Commander has issued orders in writing to Murphy and Billy Pritchard to
be on the lookout for him and give him all the help he may need, and has
also instructed the Esquimos to keep careful watch for any traces of
him, while on their hunting trips.

There is a cache of Dr. Cook's provisions here, which Franke turned over
to the Commander, and Mr. Whitney has agreed to help Murphy and Billy
to guard it.

Mr. Harry Whitney is one of the party of men who came here on the _Erik_
to hunt in this region, and he has decided to stay here at Etah for the
winter and wait for a ship to take him out next summer. The other two
members of the hunting-party, Mr. Larned and Mr. Norton, returned on the
_Erik_. If Mr. Whitney had asked me my advice, I would not have
suggested that he remain, because, although he has a fine equipment,
there will not be much sport in his experience, and there will be a
great deal of roughness. He will have to become like the Esquimos and
they will be practically his only companions. However, Mr. Whitney has
had a talk with the Commander in the cabin of the _Roosevelt_, and the
Commander has given his consent and best wishes. Mr. Whitney's supplies
have been unloaded and some additions from the _Erik_ made, and there is
no reason to fear for his safety.

August 8, 1908: My forty-second birthday. I have not mentioned it to any
one, and there's only one other besides myself who knows that to-day I
am twice three times seven years of age. Seventeen years ago to-day,
Commander Peary, hobbling about on his crutches with his right leg in a
sling, insisted on giving me a birthday party. I was twenty-five years
old then, and on the threshold of my Arctic experience. Never before in
my life had the anniversary of my birth been celebrated, and to have a
party given in my honor touched me deeply. Mrs. Peary was a member of
the expedition then, and I suppose that it was due to her that the
occasion was made a memorable one for me. Last year, I was aboard the
_Roosevelt_ in the shadow of the "Statue of Liberty" in New York Bay,
and was treated to a pleasant surprise by my wife.

Commander Peary gave me explicit instructions to get Nipsangwah and Myah
ashore as quick as the Creator would let them, but to be sure that their
seven curs were kept aboard; these two huskies having exalted ideas as
to their rights and privileges. Egingwah, or Karko as we knew him, and
Koodlootinah and his family were to come aboard.

Acting under orders, I obeyed, but it was not a pleasant task. I have
known men who needed dogs less to pay a great deal more for one pup
than was paid to Nipsangwah for his pack of seven. The dogs are a
valuable asset to this people and these two men were dependent on their
little teams to a greater extent than on the plates and cups of tin
which they received in exchange for them.

August 8-9, 1908: Have been trading with the natives without any
trouble; they will give anything I want for anything that I have that
they want. "It's a shame to take the money," or, as money is unknown up
here and has no value, I should say that I should be ashamed to take
such an advantage of them, but if I should stop to consider the
freight-rates to this part of the world, no doubt a hatchet or a knife
is worth just what it can be traded in for.

The ship has been rapidly littering up until it is now in a most perfect
state of dirtiness, and in order to get the supplies from the _Erik_,
coal, etc., the movable articles, dogs, Esquimos, etc., will have to be
shifted and yours truly is helping.

The dogs have been landed on a small island in the bay, where they are
safe and cannot run away, and they can have a glorious time, fighting
and getting acquainted with each other. Some of the Esquimos' goods are
ashore, some aboard the _Erik_, and the rest forward on the roof of the
deck-house, while the _Roosevelt_ is getting her coal aboard.

The loading of the meat and coal has been done by the crews of the
ships, assisted and _hampered_ by some of the Esquimos, and I have been
walrus-hunting, and taxidermizing; that is, I have skinned a pair of
walrus so that they can be stuffed and mounted. This job has been very
carefully, and I think successfully, done and the skins have been towed
ashore. The hearts, livers, and kidneys have been brought aboard and the
meat is to be loaded to-morrow. Two boat-loads of bones have been rowed
over to Dog Island for dog-food.

Coaling and stowing of whale-meat aboard the _Roosevelt_ was finished at
noon, August 15, and all day Sunday, August 16, all hands were at the
job transferring to the _Erik_ the boxes of provisions that were to be
left at the cache at Etah. Bos'n Murphy and Billy Pritchard, the
cabin-boy, are to stay as guard until the return of the _Roosevelt_ next
summer. A blinding storm of wind and snow prevented the _Roosevelt_
from starting until about two-thirty P. M., when, with all the dogs
a-howling, the whistle tooting, and the crew and members cheering, we
steamed out of the Harbor into Smith Sound, and a thick fog which
compelled half-speed past Littleton Island and into heavy pack-ice.

Captain Bartlett was navigating the ship and his eagle eye found a lane
of open water from Cape Sabine to Bache Peninsula and open water from
Ellesmere Land half-way across Buchanan Bay, but this lead closed on
him, and the _Roosevelt_ had to stop. Late in the evening, the ice
started to move and grind alongside of the ship, but did no damage
except scaring the Esquimos. Daylight still kept up and we went to sleep
with our boots on!

From Etah to Cape Sheridan, which was to be our last point north in the
ship, consumed twenty-one days of the hardest kind of work imaginable
for a ship; actually fighting for every foot of the way against the
almost impassable ice. For another ship it would have been impassable,
but the _Roosevelt_ was built for this kind of work, and her worth and
ability had been proven on the voyage of 1905. The constant jolting,
bumping, and jarring against the ice-packs, forwards and backwards, the
sudden stops and starts and the frequent storms made work and comfort
aboard ship all but impossible.

Had it been possible to be ashore at some point of vantage, to witness
the struggles of our little ship against her giant adversaries would
have been an impressive sight.

I will not dwell on the trying hours and days of her successful battle,
the six days of watching and waiting for a chance to get out of our
dangerous predicament in Lincoln Bay, the rounding of the different
capes en route, or the horrible jams in Lady Franklin Bay. The good ship
kept at the fight and won by sheer bulldogged tenacity and pluck. Life
aboard her during those twenty-one days was not one sweet song, but we
did not suffer unusually, and a great deal of necessary work was done on
our equipments. The Esquimo women sewed diligently on the fur clothing
we were to wear during the coming winter and I worked on the sledges
that were to be used. Provisions were packed in compact shape and every
one was busy. Two caches of provisions were made ashore in the event of
an overland retreat, and the small boats were fully provisioned as a
precaution against the loss of the ship. We did not dwell on the thought
of losing it, but we took no chances.

Meeting with continual rebuffs, but persistently forging ahead and
gaining deliberately day by day, the _Roosevelt_ pushed steadily
northward through the ice-encumbered waters of Kane Basin, Kennedy and
Robeson Channels, and around the northeast corner of Grant Land to the
shelter of Cape Sheridan, which was reached early in the afternoon of
September 5, 1908.



CHAPTER IV

PREPARING FOR WINTER AT CAPE SHERIDAN--THE ARCTIC LIBRARY


Now that we had reached Cape Sheridan in the ship, every one's spirits
seemed to soar. It was still daylight, with the sun above the horizon,
and although two parties had been landed for hunting, no one seemed to
be in any particular hurry. The weather was cold but calm, and even in
the rush of unloading the ship I often heard the hum of songs, and had
it not been for the fur-jacketed men who were doing the work, it would
not have been difficult for me to imagine myself in a much warmer
climate.

Of course! in accordance with my agreement with some other members of
this expedition I kept my eye on the Commander, and although it was not
usual for him to break forth into song, I frequently heard him humming
a popular air, and I knew that for the present all was well with him.

With the ship lightened, by being unloaded, to a large extent, of all of
the stores, she did not very appreciably rise, but the Commander and the
Captain agreed that she could be safely worked considerably closer to
the shore, inside of the tide-crack possibly; and the _Roosevelt_ was
made fast to the ice-foot of the land, with a very considerable distance
between her and open water. Her head was pointed due north, and affairs
aboard her assumed regulation routine. The stores ashore were
contracted, and work on getting them into shape for building temporary
houses was soon under way. The boxes of provisions themselves formed the
walls, and the roofing was made from makeshifts such as sails,
overturned whale-boats, and rocks; and had the ship got adrift and been
lost, the houses on shore would have proved ample and comfortable for
housing the expedition.

A ship, and a good one like the _Roosevelt_, is the prime necessity in
getting an expedition within striking distance of the Pole, but once
here the ship (and no other boat, but the _Roosevelt_ could get here)
is not indispensable, and accordingly all precautions against her loss
were taken.

It is a fact that Arctic expeditions have lost their ships early in the
season and in spite of the loss have done successful work. The last
Ziegler Polar Expedition of 1903-1905 is an example. In the ship
_America_ they reached Crown Prince Rudolph Island on the European
route, and shortly after landing, in the beginning of the long night,
the _America_ went adrift, and has never been seen since. It is not
difficult to imagine her still drifting in the lonely Arctic Ocean, with
not a soul aboard (a modern phantom ship in a sea of eternal ice). A
more likely idea is that she has been crushed by the ice, and sunk, and
the skeleton of her hulk strewn along the bottom of the sea, full many a
fathom deep.

       *       *       *       *       *

However, the depressing probabilities of the venture we are on are not
permitted to worry us. The _Roosevelt_ is a "Homer" and we confidently
expect to have her take us back to home and loved ones.

In the meantime, I have a steady job carpentering, also interpreting,
barbering, tailoring, dog-training, and chasing Esquimos out of my
quarters. The Esquimos have the run of the ship and get everywhere
except into the Commander's cabin, which they have been taught to regard
as "The Holy of Holies." With the help of a sign which tersely proclaims
"No Admittance," painted on a board and nailed over the door, they are
without much difficulty restrained from going in.

The Commander's stateroom is a _state_ room. He has a piano in there and
a photograph of President Roosevelt; and right next door he has a
private bath-room with a bath-tub in it. The bath-tub is chock-full of
impedimenta of a much solider quality than water, but it is to be
cleared out pretty soon, and every morning the Commander is going to
have his cold-plunge, if there is enough hot water.

There is a general rule that every member of the expedition, including
the sailors, must take a bath at least once a week, and it is wonderful
how contagious bathing is. Even the Esquimos catch it, and frequently
Charley has to interrupt the upward development of some ambitious
native, who has suddenly perceived the need of ablutions, and has
started to scrub himself in the water that is intended for cooking
purposes. If the husky has not gone too far, the water is not wasted,
and our stew is all the more savory.

On board ship there was quite an extensive library, especially on Arctic
and Antarctic topics, but as it was in the Commander's cabin it was not
heavily patronized. In my own cabin I had Dickens' "Bleak House,"
Kipling's "Barrack Room Ballads," and the poems of Thomas Hood; also a
copy of the Holy Bible, which had been given to me by a dear old lady in
Brooklyn, N. Y. I also had Peary's books, "Northward Over the Great
Ice," and his last work "Nearest the Pole." During the long dreary
midnights of the Arctic winter, I spent many a pleasant hour with my
books. I also took along with me a calendar for the years 1908 and 1909,
for in the regions of noonday darkness and midnight daylight, a calendar
is absolutely necessary.

But mostly I had rougher things than reading to do.



CHAPTER V

MAKING PEARY SLEDGES--HUNTING IN THE ARCTIC NIGHT--THE EXCITABLE DOGS
AND THEIR HABITS


I have been busy making sledges, sledges of a different pattern from
those used heretofore, and it is expected that they will answer better
than the Esquimo type of open-work sledge, of the earlier expeditions.
These sledges have been designed by Commander Peary and I have done the
work.

The runners are longer, and are curved upwards at each end, so that they
resemble the profile of a canoe, and are expected to rise over the
inequalities of the ice much better than the old style. Lashed together
with sealskin thongs, about twelve feet long, by two feet wide and seven
inches high, the load can be spread along their entire length instead of
being piled up, and a more even distribution of the weights is made. The
Esquimos, used to their style of sledge, are of the opinion that the
new style will prove too much for one man and an ordinary team to
handle, but we have given both kinds a fair trial and it looks as if the
new type has the old beaten by a good margin.

The hunting is not going along as successfully as is desired. The sun is
sinking lower and lower, and the different hunting parties return with
poor luck, bringing to the ship nothing in some cases, and in others
only a few hares and some fish.

The Commander has told me that it is imperative that fresh meat be
secured, and now that I have done all that it is positively necessary
for me to do here at the ship, I am to take a couple of the Esquimo boys
and try my luck for musk-oxen or reindeer, so to-morrow, early in the
morning, it is off on the hunt.

This from my diary: Eight days out and not a shot, not a sight of game,
nothing. The night is coming quickly, the long months of darkness, of
quiet and cold, that, in spite of my years of experience, I can never
get used to; and up here at Sheridan it comes sooner and lasts longer
than it does down at Etah and Bowdoin Bay. Only a few days' difference,
but it _is_ longer, and I do not welcome it. Not a sound, except the
report of a glacier, broken off by its weight, and causing a new iceberg
to be born. The black darkness of the sky, the stars twinkling above,
and hour after hour going by with no sunlight. Every now and then a moon
when storms do not come, and always the cold, getting colder and colder,
and me out on the hunt for fresh meat. I know it; the same old story, a
man's work and a dog's life, and what does it amount to? What good is to
be done? I am tired, sick, sore, and discouraged.

The main thing was game, but I had a much livelier time with some
members of the Peary Arctic Club's expedition known as "our four-footed
friends"--the dogs.

The dogs are ever interesting. They never bark, and often bite, but
there is no danger from their bites. To get together a team that has not
been tied down the night before is a job. You take a piece of meat,
frozen as stiff as a piece of sheet-iron, in one hand, and the harness
in the other, you single out the cur you are after, make proper
advances, and when he comes sniffling and snuffling and all the time
keeping at a safe distance, you drop the sheet-iron on the snow, the
brute makes a dive, and you make a flop, you grab the nearest thing
grabable--ear, leg, or bunch of hair--and do your best to catch his
throat, after which, everything is easy. Slip the harness over the head,
push the fore-paws through, and there you are, one dog hooked up and
harnessed. After licking the bites and sucking the blood, you tie said
dog to a rock and start for the next one. It is only a question of time
before you have your team. When you have them, leave them alone; they
must now decide who is fit to be the king of the team, and so they
fight, they fight and fight; and once they have decided, the king is
king. A growl from him, or only a look, is enough, all obey, except the
females, and the females have their way, for, true to type, the males
never harm the females, and it is always the females who start the
trouble.

The dogs when not hitched to the sledges were kept together in teams and
tied up, both at the ship and while we were hunting. They were not
allowed to roam at large, for past experience with these customers had
taught us that nothing in the way of food was safe from the attack of
Esquimo dogs. I have seen tin boxes that had been chewed open by dogs in
order to get at the contents, tin cans of condensed milk being gnawed
like a bone, and skin clothing being chewed up like so much gravy. Dog
fights were hourly occurrences, and we lost a great many by the ravages
of the mysterious Arctic disease, piblokto, which affects all dog life
and frequently human life. Indeed, it looked for a time as if we should
lose the whole pack, so rapidly did they die, but constant care and
attention permitted us to save most of them, and the fittest survived.

Next to the Esquimos, the dogs are the most interesting subjects in the
Arctic regions, and I could tell lots of tales to prove their
intelligence and sagacity. These animals, more wolf than dog, have
associated themselves with the human beings of this country as have
their kin in more congenial places of the earth. Wide head, sharp nose,
and pointed ears, thick wiry hair, and, in some of the males, a heavy
mane; thick bushy tail, curved up over the back; deep chest and fore
legs wide apart; a typical Esquimo dog is the picture of alert
attention. They are as intelligent as any dog in civilization, and a
thousand times more useful. They earn their own livings and disdain any
of the comforts of life. Indeed it seems that when life is made pleasant
for them they get sick, lie down and die; and when out on the march,
with no food for days, thin, gaunt skeletons of their former selves,
they will drag at the traces of the sledges and by their uncomplaining
conduct, inspire their human companions to keep on.

Without the Esquimo dog, the story of the North Pole, would remain
untold; for human ingenuity has not yet devised any other means to
overcome the obstacles of cold, storm, and ice that nature has placed in
the way than those that were utilized on this expedition.



CHAPTER VI

THE PEARY PLAN--A RAIN OF ROCKS--MY FRIENDS THE ESQUIMOS


The story of the winter at Cape Sheridan is a story unique in the
experience of Arctic exploration. Usually it is the rule to hibernate as
much as possible during the period of darkness, and the party is
confined closely to headquarters. The Peary plan is different; and
constant activity and travel were insisted on.

There were very few days when all of the members of the expedition were
together, after the ship had reached her destination. Hunting parties
were immediately sent out, for it was on the big game of the country
that the expedition depended for fresh meat. Professor Marvin commenced
his scientific work, and his several stations were all remote from
headquarters; and all winter long, parties were sledging provisions,
equipment, etc., to Cape Columbia, ninety-three miles northwest, in
anticipation of the journey to the Pole. Those who remained at
headquarters did not find life an idle dream. There was something in the
way of work going on all of the time. I was away from the ship on two
hunting trips of about ten days each, and while at headquarters, I
shaped and built over two dozen sledges, besides doing lots of other
work.

Naturally there were frequent storms and intense cold, and in regard to
the storms of the Arctic regions of North Greenland and Grant Land, the
only word I can use to describe them is "terrible," in the fullest
meaning it conveys. The effect of such storms of wind and snow, or rain,
is abject physical terror, due to the realization of perfect
helplessness. I have seen rocks a hundred and a hundred and fifty pounds
in weight picked up by the storm and blown for distances of ninety or a
hundred feet to the edge of a precipice, and there of their own momentum
go hurtling through space to fall in crashing fragments at the base.
Imagine the effect of such a rainfall of death-dealing bowlders on the
feelings of a little group of three or four, who have sought the base
of the cliff for shelter. I have been there and I have seen one of my
Esquimo companions felled by a blow from a rock eighty-four pounds in
weight, which struck him fairly between the shoulder-blades, literally
knocking the life out of him. I have been there, and believe me, I have
been afraid. A hundred-pound box of supplies, taking an aërial joy ride,
during the progress of a storm down at Anniversary Lodge in 1894, struck
Commander Peary a glancing blow which put him out of commission for over
a week. These mighty winds make it possible for the herbivorous animals
of this region to exist. They sweep the snow from vast stretches of
land, exposing the hay and dried dwarf-willows, that the hare,
musk-oxen, and reindeer feed on.

The Esquimo families who came north to Cape Sheridan with us on the
_Roosevelt_ found life much more ideal than down in their native land.
It was a pleasure trip for them, with nothing to worry about, and
everything provided. Some of the families lived aboard ship all through
the winter, and some in the box-house on shore. They were perforce much
cleaner in their personal habits than they were wont to be in their own
home country, but never for an instant does the odor or appearance of an
Esquimo's habitation suggest the rose or geranium. The aroma of an East
Side lunch-room is more like it.

There were thirty-nine Esquimos in the expedition, men, women and
children; for the Esquimo travels heavy and takes his women and children
with him as a matter of course. The women were as useful as the men, and
the small boys did the ship's chores, sledging in fresh water from the
lake, etc. They were mostly in families; but there were several young,
unmarried men, and the unattached, much-married and divorced Miss
"Bill," who domiciled herself aboard the ship and did much good work
with her needle. She was my seamstress and the thick fur clothes worn on
the trip to the Pole were sewn by her. The Esquimos lived as happily as
in their own country and carried on their domestic affairs with almost
the same care-free irregularity as usual. The best-natured people on
earth, with no bad habits of their own, but a ready ability to
assimilate the vices of civilization. Twenty years ago, when I first
met them, not one used tobacco or craved it. To-day every member of the
tribe has had experience with tobacco, craves it, and will give most
everything, except his gun, to get it. Even little toddlers, three and
four years old, will eat tobacco and, strange to say, it has no bad
effect. They get tobacco from the Danish missionaries and from the
sailors on board the whaling, seal, and walrus-ships. Whisky has not yet
gotten in its demoralizing work.

It is my conviction that the life of this little tribe is doomed, and
that extinction is nearly due. It will be caused partly by themselves,
and partly by the misguided endeavors of civilized people. Every year
their number diminishes; in 1894, Hugh J. Lee took the census of the
tribe, and it numbered two hundred and fifty-three; in 1906, Professor
Marvin found them to have dwindled to two hundred and seven. At this
writing I dare say their number is still further reduced, for the latest
news I have had from the Whale Sound region informs me that quite a
number of deaths have occurred, and the birth-rate is not high. It is
sad to think of the fate of my friends who live in what was once a land
of plenty, but which is, through the greed of the commercial hunter,
becoming a land of frigid desolation. The seals are practically gone,
and the walrus are being quickly exterminated. The reindeer and the
musk-oxen are going the same way, for the Esquimos themselves now hunt
inland, when, up to twenty years ago, their hunting was confined to the
coast and the life-giving sea.

They are very human in their attributes, and in spite of the fact that
their diet is practically meat only, their tempers are gentle and mild,
and there is a great deal of affection among them. Except between
husband and wife, they seldom quarrel; and never hold spite or
animosity. Children are a valuable asset, are much loved, never scolded
or punished, and are not spoiled. An Esquimo mother washes her baby the
same way a cat washes her kittens. There are lots of personal habits the
description of which might scatter the reading circle, so I will desist
with the bald statement, that, for them, dirt and filth have no
terrors.



CHAPTER VII

SLEDGING TO CAPE COLUMBIA--HOT SOLDERING IN COLD WEATHER


If you will get out your geography and turn to the map of the Western
Hemisphere you will be able to follow me. Take the seventieth meridian,
west. It is the major meridian of the Western Hemisphere, its northern
land extremity being Cape Columbia, Grant Land; southward it crosses our
own Cape Cod and the island of Santo Domingo, and runs down through the
Andes to Cape Horn, the southern extremity of South America.

The seventieth meridian was our pathway to the Pole, based on the west
longitude of 70°. Both Professor Marvin and Captain Bartlett took their
observations at their respective farthests, and at the Pole, where all
meridians meet, Commander Peary took his elevations of the sun, based on
the local time of the Columbian meridian.

Cape Columbia was discovered over fifty years ago, by the intrepid
Captain Hall, who gave his life to Arctic exploration, and lies buried
on the Greenland coast. From the time of the arrival of the _Roosevelt_
at Cape Sheridan, the previous September, communications with Cape
Columbia were opened up, the trail was made and kept open all through
the winter by constant travel between the ship and the cape. Loads of
supplies, in anticipation of the start for the Pole, were sledged there.

The route to Cape Columbia is through a region of somber magnificence.
Huge beetling cliffs overlook the pathway; dark savage headlands, around
which we had to travel, project out into the ice-covered waters of the
ocean, and vast stretches of wind-swept plains meet the eye in alternate
changes. From Cape Sheridan to Cape Columbia is a distance of
ninety-three miles. In ordinary weather, it took about three and a half
marches, although on the return from the Pole it was covered in two
marches, men and dogs breezing in.

On February 18, 1909, I left the _Roosevelt_ on what might be a
returnless journey. The time to strike had come. Captain Bartlett and
Dr. Goodsell had already started. The Commander gave me strict orders to
the effect that I must get to Porter Bay, pick up the cache of alcohol
left there late in the previous week, solder up the leaks, and take it
to Cape Columbia, there to await his arrival. The cause of the
alcohol-leakage was due to the jolting of the sledges over the rough
ice, puncturing the thin tin of the alcohol-cases.

I wish you could have seen me soldering those tins, under the conditions
of darkness, intense cold, and insufficient furnace arrangement I had to
endure. If there ever was a job for a demon in Hades, that was it. I
vividly recall it. At the same instant I was in imminent danger of
freezing to death and being burned alive; and the mental picture of
those three fur-clad men, huddled around the little oil-stove heating
the soldering-iron, and the hot solder dripping on the tin, is amusing
now; but we were anything but amused then. The following is transcribed
from my diary:

February 18, 1909: Weather clear, temperature 28° at five A. M. We were
ready to leave the ship at seven-thirty A. M., but a blinding gale
delayed our start until nine A. M. Two parties have left for Columbia:
Professor MacMillan, three boys, four sledges, and twenty-four dogs; and
my party of three boys and the same outfit. Each sledge is loaded with
about two hundred and fifty pounds of provisions, consisting of
pemmican, biscuits, tea, and alcohol. The Arctic night still holds sway,
but to-day at noon, far to the south, a thin band of twilight shows,
giving promise of the return of the sun, and every day now will increase
in light. Heavy going to Porter Bay, where we are to spend the night,
and as soon as rested start to work soldering up the thirty-six leaky
alcohol tins left there by George Borup last week. Professor MacMillan
and his party have not shown up yet. They dropped behind at Cape
Richardson and we are keeping a watch for them. Snow still drifting and
the wind howling like old times. Have had our evening meal of
travel-rations; pemmican, biscuits, and tea and condensed milk, which
was eaten with a relish. Two meals a day now, and big work between
meals. No sign of Professor MacMillan and his crew, so we are going to
turn in. The other igloo is waiting for him and the storm keeps up.

February 19, 1909: It was six A. M. when I routed out the boys for
breakfast. I am writing while the tea is brewing. Had a good sleep last
night when I did get to sleep. Snoring, talk about snoring! Sleeping
with Esquimos on either side, who have already fallen asleep, is
impossible. The only way to get asleep is to wake them up, get them good
and wide-awake, inquire solicitously as to their comfort, and before
they can get to sleep fall asleep yourself. After that, their rhythmic
snores will only tend to soothe and rest you.

Worked all day soldering the tins of alcohol, and a very trying job it
was. I converted the oil-stove into an alcohol-burner, and used it to
heat the irons. It took some time for me to gauge properly the height
above the blue flame of the alcohol at which I would get the best
results in heating the irons, but at last we found it. A cradle-shaped
support made from biscuit-can wire was hung over the flame about an inch
above it, and while the boys heated the irons, I squatted on my knees
with a case of alcohol across my lap and got to work. I had watched Mr.
Wardwell aboard the ship solder up the cases and I found that watching a
man work, and doing the same thing yourself, were two different matters.
I tried to work with mittens on; I tried to work with them off. As soon
as my bare fingers would touch the cold metal of the tins, they would
freeze, and if I attempted to use the mittens they would singe and burn,
and it was impossible to hold the solder with my bearskin gloves on. But
keeping everlastingly at it brings success, and with the help of the
boys the work was slowly but surely done.

Early this evening Professor MacMillan and his caravan arrived. He
complimented me on the success of my work and informed me that they
camped at Cape Richardson last night and that the trail had been pretty
well blown over by the storm, but that the sledge-tracks were still to
be seen. Dead tired, but not cold or uncomfortable. The stew is ready
and so am I. Goodnight!

February 20: Wind died down, sky clear, and weather cold as usual. Our
next point is Sail Harbor and after breakfast we set out. The Professor
has asked me the most advisable way; whether to keep to the sea-ice or
go overland, and we have agreed to follow the northern route, overland
across Fielden Peninsula, using Peary's Path. By this route we estimate
a saving of eight miles of going, and we will hit the beach at James
Ross Bay.

Five P. M.: Sail Harbor. Stopped writing to eat breakfast, and then we
loaded up and started. Reached here about an hour ago and from the fresh
tracks in the snow, the Captain's or the Doctor's party have just
recently left. It was evidently Doctor Goodsell and his crew who were
here last; for Captain Bartlett left the _Roosevelt_ on February 15 and
the Doctor did not leave until the 16th. The going has been heavy, due
to loose snow and heavy winds. Also intense cold; the thermometers are
all out of commission, due to bubbles; but a frozen bottle of brandy
proves that we had at least 45° of cold. The igloo I built last December
5 is the one my party are camped in. Professor MacMillan and his party
kept up with us all day, and it was pleasant to have his society.
Writing is difficult, the kettle is boiled, so here ends to-day's
entry.

February 21: Easy wind, clear sky, but awful cold. Going across Clements
Markham Inlet was fine, and we were able to steal a ride on the sledges
most of the way, but we all had our faces frosted, and my short flat
nose, which does not readily succumb to the cold, suffered as much as
did MacMillan's. Even these men of iron, the Esquimos, suffered from the
cold, Ootah freezing the great toe of his right foot. Perforce, he was
compelled to thaw it out in the usual way; that is, taking off his kamik
and placing his freezing foot under my bearskin shirt, the heat of my
body thawing out the frozen member.

Cape Colan was reached about half past nine this morning. There we
reloaded, and I fear overloaded, the sledges, from the cache which has
been placed there. Our loads average about 550 pounds per sledge and we
have left a lot of provisions behind.

We are at Cape Good Point, having been unable to make Cape Columbia, and
have had to build an igloo. With our overloaded sledges this has been a
hard day's work. The dogs pulled, and we pushed, and frequently lifted
the heavily loaded sledges through the deep, soft snow; but we did not
dump any of our loads. Although the boys wanted to, I would not stand
for it. The bad example of seeing some piles of provision-cases which
had been unloaded by the preceding parties was what put the idea in
their heads.

We will make Cape Columbia to-morrow and will have to do no
back-tracking. We are moving forward. I have started for a place, and do
not intend to run back to get a better start.

February 22, 1909: Cape Columbia. We left Cape Good Point at seven A. M.
and reached Cape Columbia at eight P. M. No wind, but weather thick and
hazy, and the same old cold. About two miles from Good Point, we passed
the Doctor's igloo. About a mile beyond this, we passed the "Crystal
Palace" that had been occupied by the Captain. Six miles farther north,
we passed a second igloo, which had been built by the Doctor's party.
How did we know who had built and occupied these igloos? It was easy, as
an Esquimo knows and recognizes another Esquimo's handwork, the same as
you recognize the handwriting of your friends. I noted the neat,
orderly, shipshape condition of the Captain's igloo, and the empty
cocoa-tins scattered around the Doctor's igloo. The Doctor was the only
one who had cocoa as an article of supply.

Following the trail four miles farther north, we passed the Captain's
second igloo. He had unloaded his three sledges here and gone on to Parr
Bay to hunt musk-oxen. We caught up with the Doctor and his party at the
end of the ice-foot and pushed on to Cape Columbia. We found but one
igloo here and I did the "after you my dear Alphonse," and the Doctor
got the igloo. My boys and I have built a good big one in less than an
hour, and we are now snug and warm.



CHAPTER VIII

IN CAMP AT COLUMBIA--LITERARY IGLOOS--THE MAGNIFICENT DESOLATION OF THE
ARCTIC


Our heavy furs had been made by the Esquimo women on board the ship and
had been thoroughly aired and carefully packed on the sledges. We were
to discard our old clothes before leaving the land and endeavor to be in
the cleanest condition possible while contending with the ice, for we
knew that we would get dirty enough without having the discomfort of
vermin added. It is easy to become vermin-infested, and when all forms
of life but man and dog seem to have disappeared, the bedbug still
remains. Each person had taken a good hot bath with plenty of soap and
water before we left the ship, and we had given each other what we
called a "prize-fighter's hair-cut." We ran the clippers from forehead
back, all over the head, and we looked like a precious bunch but we had
hair enough on our heads by the time we came back from our three months'
journey, and we needed a few more baths and new clothes.

When I met Dr. Goodsell at Cape Columbia, about a week after he had left
the ship, he had already raised quite a beard, and, as his hair was
black and heavy, it made quite a change in his appearance. The effect of
the long period of darkness had been to give his complexion a
greenish-yellow tinge. My complexion reminded him of a ginger cake with
too much saleratus in it.

February 23: Heavy snow-fall but practically no wind this morning at
seven o'clock, when Dr. Goodsell left his igloo for Cape Colan to pick
up the load he had left there when he lightened his sledges, also some
loads of pemmican and biscuits that had been cached. We had supper
together and also breakfast this morning, and as we ate we laughed and
talked, and I taught him a few tricks for keeping himself warm.

In spite of the snow, which was still falling, I routed out my boys, and
in the dark we left camp for the western side of the cape, to get the
four sledge-loads of rations that had been taken there the previous
November. Got the loads and pushed south to Cape Aldrich, which is a
point on the promontory of Cape Columbia. From Cape Aldrich the
Commander intends to attack the sea-ice.

After unloading the supplies on the point, we came back to camp at Cape
Columbia. Shortly afterwards Captain Bartlett came into camp from his
musk-ox-hunt around Parr Bay. He had not shot a thing and was very tired
and discouraged, but I think he was glad to see me. He was so hungry
that I gave him all the stew, which he swallowed whole.

MacMillan and his party showed up about an hour after the Captain, and
very shortly after George Borup came driving in, like "Ann Eliza
Johnson, a swingin' down the line." I helped Mr. Borup build his igloo,
for which he was grateful. He is a plucky young fellow and is always
cheerful. He told us that Professor Marvin, according to the schedule,
had left the ship on the 20th, and the Commander on the 21st, so they
must be well on the way.

While waiting in this camp for the Commander and Professor Marvin to
arrive, we had plenty of work; re-adjusting the sledge-loads and also
building snow-houses and banking them with blocks of snow, for the wind
had eroded one end of my igloo and completely razed it to the level of
the ground, and a more solidly constructed igloo was necessary to
withstand the fury of the gale.

We kept a fire going in one igloo and dried our mittens and kamiks.
Though the tumpa, tumpa, plunk of the banjo was not heard, and our
camp-fires were not scenes of revelry and joy, I frequently did the
double-shuffle and an Old Virginia break-down, to keep my blood
circulating.

The hours preceding our advance from Cape Columbia were pleasantly
spent, though we lost no time in literary debates. There were a few
books along.

Out on the ice of the Polar ocean, as far as reading matter went, I
think Dr. Goodsell had a very small set of Shakespeare, and I know that
I had a Holy Bible. The others who went out on the ice may have had
reading matter with them, but they did not read it out loud, and so I
am not in a position to say what their literary tastes were.

Even on shipboard, we had no pigskin library or five-foot shelf of
sleep-producers, but each member had some favorite books in his cabin,
and they helped to form a circulating library.

       *       *       *       *       *

While we waited here, we had time to appreciate the magnificent
desolation about us. Even on the march, with loaded sledges and tugging
dogs to engage attention, unconsciously one finds oneself with wits
wool-gathering and eyes taking in the scene, and suddenly being brought
back to the business of the hour by the fiend-like conduct of his team.

There is an irresistible fascination about the regions of northern-most
Grant Land that is impossible for me to describe. Having no poetry in my
soul, and being somewhat hardened by years of experience in that
inhospitable country, words proper to give you an idea of its unique
beauty do not come to mind. Imagine gorgeous bleakness, beautiful
blankness. It never seems broad, bright day, even in the middle of June,
and the sky has the different effects of the varying hours of morning
and evening twilight from the first to the last peep of day. Early in
February, at noon, a thin band of light appears far to the southward,
heralding the approach of the sun, and daily the twilight lengthens,
until early in March, the sun, a flaming disk of fiery crimson, shows
his distorted image above the horizon. This distorted shape is due to
the mirage caused by the cold, just as heat-waves above the rails on a
railroad-track distort the shape of objects beyond.

The south sides of the lofty peaks have for days reflected the glory of
the coming sun, and it does not require an artist to enjoy the
unexampled splendor of the view. The snows covering the peaks show all
of the colors, variations, and tones of the artist's palette, and more.
Artists have gone with us into the Arctic and I have heard them rave
over the wonderful beauties of the scene, and I have seen them at work
trying to reproduce some of it, with good results but with nothing like
the effect of the original. As Mr. Stokes said, "it is color run riot."

To the northward, all is dark and the brighter stars of the heavens are
still visible, but growing fainter daily with the strengthening of the
sunlight.

When the sun finally gets above the horizon and swings his daily circle,
the color effects grow less and less, but then the sky and cloud-effects
improve and the shadows in the mountains and clefts of the ice show
forth their beauty, cold blues and grays; the bare patches of the land,
rich browns; and the whiteness of the snow is dazzling. At midday, the
optical impression given by one's shadow is of about nine o'clock in the
morning, this due to the altitude of the sun, always giving us long
shadows. Above us the sky is blue and bright, bluer than the sky of the
Mediterranean, and the clouds from the silky cirrus mare's-tails to the
fantastic and heavy cumulus are always objects of beauty. This is the
description of fine weather.

Almost any spot would have been a fine one to get a round of views from;
at Cape Sheridan, our headquarters, we were bounded by a series of land
marks that have become historical; to the north, Cape Hecla, the point
of departure of the 1906 expedition; to the west, Cape Joseph Henry,
and beyond, the twin peaks of Cape Columbia rear their giant summits out
to the ocean.

From Cape Columbia the expedition was now to leave the land and sledge
over the ice-covered ocean four hundred and thirteen miles north--to the
Pole!



CHAPTER IX

READY FOR THE DASH TO THE POLE--THE COMMANDER'S ARRIVAL


The Diary--February 23: Heavy snow-fall and furious winds; accordingly
intense darkness and much discomfort.

There was a heavy gale blowing at seven o'clock in the morning, on
February 22, and the snow was so thick and drifty that we kept close to
our igloos and made no attempt to do more than feed the dogs. My igloo
was completely covered with snow and the one occupied by Dr. Goodsell
was blown away, so that he had to have another one, which I helped to
build.

The wind subsided considerably, leaving a thick haze, but after
breakfast, Professor MacMillan, Mr. Borup, and their parties, left camp
for Cape Colan, to get the supplies they had dumped there, and carry
them to Cape Aldrich. I took one Esquimo, Pooadloonah, and one sledge
from the Captain's party, and with my own three boys, Ooblooyah, Ootah,
and I-forget-his-name, and a howling mob of dogs, we left for the
western side of Cape Columbia, and got the rest of the pemmican and
biscuits. On the way back, we met the Captain, who was out taking
exercise. He had nothing to say; he did not shake hands, but there was
something in his manner to show that he was glad to see us. With the
coming of the daylight a man gets more cheerful, but it was still
twilight when we left Cape Columbia, and melancholy would sometimes
grip, as it often did during the darkness of midwinter.

Captain Bartlett helped us to push the loaded sledges to Cape Aldrich
and nothing was left at Cape Columbia.

When we got back to camp we found Professor Marvin and his party of
three Esquimos there. They had just reached the camp and were at work
building an igloo.

Professor Marvin came over to our igloo and changed his clothes; that
is, in a temperature of at least 45° below zero, by the light of my
lantern he coolly and calmly stripped to the pelt, and proceeded to
cloth himself in the new suit of reindeerskin and polar bearskin
clothing, that had been made for him by the Esquimo woman,
Ahlikahsingwah, aboard the _Roosevelt_. It had taken him and his party
five days to make the trip from Sheridan to Columbia.

February 26: This from my log: "Clear, no wind, temperature 57° below
zero." Listen! I will tell you about it. At seven A. M. we quit trying
to sleep and started the pot a-boiling. A pint of hot tea gave us a
different point of view, and Professor Marvin handed me the thermometer,
which I took outside and got the reading; 57° below; that is cold
enough. I have seen it lower, but after forty below the difference is
not appreciable.

I climbed to the highest pinnacle of the cape and in the gathering
daylight gazed out over the ice-covered ocean to get an idea of its
condition. At my back lay the land of sadness, just below me the little
village of snow-houses, the northern-most city on the earth (Commander
Peary give it the name Crane City), and, stretching wide and far to the
northward, the irresistible influence that beckoned us on; broken ice, a
sinister chaos, through which we would have to work our way. Dark and
heavy clouds along the horizon gave indication of open water, and it was
easy to see that the rough and heavy shore-ice would make no jokes for
us to appreciate.

About an hour or so after the midday meal, a loud outcry from the dogs
made me go outside to see what was up. This was on the afternoon of
February 26. I quickly saw what the dogs were excited about.

With a "Whoop halloo," three Komaticks were racing and tearing down the
gradient of the land to our camp, and all of us were out to see the
finish. Kudlooktoo and Arkeo an even distance apart; and, heads up,
tails up, a full five sledge-lengths ahead, with snowdust spinning free,
the dog-team of the ever victorious Peary in the lead. The caravan came
to a halt with a grandstand finish that it would have done you good to
witness.

The Commander didn't want to stop. He immediately commenced to shout and
issue orders, and, by the time he had calmed down, both Captain Bartlett
and George Borup had loaded up and pushed forward on to the ice of the
Arctic Ocean, bound for the trophy of over four hundred years of
effort. The Peary discipline is the iron hand ungloved. From now on we
must be indifferent to comfort, and like poor little Joe, in "Bleak
House" we must always be moving on.



CHAPTER X

FORWARD! MARCH!


Commander Peary was an officer of the United States Navy, but there
never was the slightest military aspect to any of his expeditions. No
banners flying, no trumpets blaring, and no sharp, incisive commands.
Long ago, crossing the ice-cap of North Greenland, he carried a wand of
bamboo, on one end of which was attached a little silk guidon, with a
star embroidered on it, but even that had been discarded and the only
thing military about this expedition was his peremptory "Forward!
March!" What flags we had were folded and stowed on Commander Peary's
sledge, and broken-out only at the North Pole.

Captain Bartlett and Mr. George Borup were all alert and at attention,
the command of preparation and the command of execution were quickly
given in rapid succession, and they were off.

From the diary.

February 28, 1909: A bright, clear morning. Captain Bartlett and his
crew, Ooqueah, Pooadloonah, and Harrigan; and George Borup and Karko,
Seegloo, and Keshungwah, have set sail and are on their way.

Captain Bartlett made the trail and George Borup was the scout, and a
rare "Old Scout" he was. He kept up the going for three days and then
came back to the land to start again with new loads of supplies.

The party that stayed at Crane City until March 1, consisted of
Commander Peary, MacMillan, Goodsell, Marvin, myself, and fourteen
Esquimos, whom you don't know, and ninety-eight dogs, that you may have
heard about.

The dogs were double-fed and we put a good meal inside ourselves before
turning-in on the night of February 28, 1909. The next morning was to be
our launching, and we went to sleep full of the thought of what was
before us. From now on it was keep on going, and keep on--and we kept
on; sometimes in the face of storms of wind and snow that it is
impossible for you to imagine.

[Illustration: ROBERT E. PEARY IN HIS NORTH POLE FURS]

[Illustration: THE FOUR NORTH POLE ESKIMOS

(From Henson's own Photograph)]

Day does not break in the Arctic regions, it just comes on quietly the
same as down here, but I must say that at daybreak on March 1, 1909, we
were all excitement and attention. A furious wind was blowing, which we
took as a good omen; for, on all of Commander Peary's travelings, a good
big, heavy, storm of blinding snow has been his stirrup-cup and here he
had his last. Systematically we had completed our preparations on the
two days previous, so that, by six A. M. of the 1st of March, we were
ready and standing at the upstanders of our sledges, awaiting the
command "Forward! March!"

Already, difficulties had commenced. Ooblooyah and Slocum (Esquimo name,
Inighito, but, on account of his dilatory habits, known as Slocum) were
incapacitated; Ooblooyah with a swelled knee, and Slocum with a frozen
heel. The cold gets you in most any place, up there.

I and my three boys were ordered to take the lead. We did so, at about
half past six o'clock in the morning. Forward! March! and we were off.



CHAPTER XI

FIGHTING UP THE POLAR SEA--HELD UP BY THE "BIG LEAD"


Following the trail made by Captain Bartlett, we pushed off, every man
at the upstander of his sledge to urge his team by whip and voice. It
was only when we had perfect going over sheets of young ice that we were
able to steal a ride on the sledges.

The trail led us over the glacial fringe for a quarter of a mile, and
the going was fairly easy, but, after leaving the land ice-foot, the
trail plunged into ice so rough that we had to use pickaxes to make a
pathway. It took only about one mile of such going, and my sledge split.

"Number one," said I to myself, and I came to a halt. The gale was still
blowing, but I started to work on the necessary repairs. I have
practically built one sledge out of two broken ones, while out on the
ice and in weather almost as bad as this; and I have almost daily
during the journey had to repair broken sledges, sometimes under fiercer
conditions; and so I will describe this one job and hereafter, when
writing about repairing a sledge, let it go at that.

Cold and windy. Undo the lashings, unload the load, get out the brace
and bit and bore new holes, taking plenty of time, for, in such cold,
there is danger of the steel bit breaking. Then, with ungloved hands,
thread the sealskin thongs through the hole. The fingers freeze. Stop
work, pull the hand through the sleeve, and take your icy fingers to
your heart; that is, put your hand under your armpit, and when you feel
it burning you know it has thawed out. Then start to work again. By this
time the party has advanced beyond you and, as orders are orders, and
you have been ordered to take the lead, you have to start, catch up, and
pass the column before you have reached your station.

Of course, in catching up and overtaking the party, you have the
advantage of the well-marked trail they have made. Once again in the
lead; and my boy, Ootah, had to up and break his sledge, and there was
some more tall talking when the Commander caught up with us and left us
there mending it. A little farther on, and the amiable Kudlooktoo, who
was in my party at the time, busted his sledge. You would have thought
that Kudlooktoo was the last person in Commander Peary's estimation,
when he got through talking to him and telling him what he thought of
him. The sledge was so badly broken it had to be abandoned. The load was
left on the spot where the accident happened, and Kudlooktoo, much
chastened and crestfallen, drove his team of dogs back to the land for a
new sledge.

We did not wait for him, but kept on for about two hours longer, when we
reached the Captain's first igloo, twelve miles out; a small day's
traveling, but we were almost dead-beat, from having battled all day
with the wind, which had blown a full-sized gale. No other but a Peary
party would have attempted to travel in such weather. Our breath was
frozen to our hoods of fur and our cheeks and noses frozen. Spreading
our furs upon the snow, we dropped down and endeavored to sleep, but
sound sleep was impossible. It was a night of Plutonian Purgatory. All
through the night I would wake from the cold and beat my arms or feet to
keep the circulation going, and I would hear one or both of my boys
doing the same. I did not make any entries in the diary that day, and
there was many a day like it after that.

It was cold and dark when we left camp number one on the morning of
March 2, at half past six o'clock. Breakfast had warmed us up a bit, but
the hard pemmican had torn and cut the roofs and sides of our mouths so
that we did not eat a full meal, and we decided that at our next camp we
would boil the pemmican in the tea and have a combination stew. I will
say now that this experiment was tried, but it made such an unwholesome
mess that it was never repeated.

The Captain's and Borup's trail was still evident, in spite of the low
drifts of the snow, but progress was slow. We were still in the heavy
rubble-ice and had to continuously hew our way with pickaxes to make a
path for the sledges. While we were at work making a pathway, the dogs
would curl up and lie down with their noses in their tails, and we
would have to come back and start them, which was always the signal for
a fight or two. We worked through the belt of rubble-ice at last, and
came up with the heavy old floes and rafters of ice-blocks, larger than
very large flag-stones and fully as thick as they were long and wide;
the fissures between them full of the drifted snow. Even with our broad
snow-shoes on, we sank knee-deep, and the dogs were in up to their
breasts, the sledges up to the floors and frequently turning over, so it
was a long time before we had covered seven miles, to be stopped by open
water. I took no chances on this lead, although afterwards I did not
hesitate at more desperate looking leads than this was. Instead of
ferrying across on a block of ice, I left one of my boys to attend the
dogs and sledges, and with Ootah I started to reconnoiter. We found that
there were two leads, and the safest way to cross the first was to go
west to a point where the young ice was strong enough to bear the weight
of the sledges. We got across and had not gone very far before the other
lead, in spite of a detour to the east, effectually blocked us. Starting
back to the sledges, Ootah said he was "_damn feel good_," and in
Esquimo gave me to understand that he was going back to the ship. I
tried to tell him different, as we walked back; and when we reached camp
we found the Commander and his party, who had just come in; and the
Commander gave Ootah to distinctly understand that he was not going back
just yet. Orders were given to camp, and while the igloos were being
built, Marvin and MacMillan took soundings. There had been more daylight
than on the day before, and the gale had subsided considerably, but it
was dark when we turned in to have our evening meal and sleep.

March 3: Right after breakfast, my party immediately started, taking the
trail I had found the day previous. Examining the ice, we went to the
westward, until we came to the almost solid new ice, and we took a
chance. The ice commenced to rafter under us, but we got across safely
with our loads, and started east again, for two miles; when we found
ourselves on an island of ice completely surrounded by the heavy
raftered ice. Here we halted and mended sledges and in the course of an
hour the whole party had caught up. The ice had begun to rafter and the
shattering reports made a noise that was almost ear-splitting, but we
pushed and pulled and managed to get out of the danger-zone, and kept
going northwestward, in the hope of picking up the trail of the Captain
and Borup, which we did after a mile of going. Close examination of the
trail showed us that Borup and his party had retraced their steps and
gone quite a distance west in order to cross the lead. It was on this
march that we were to have met Borup and his party returning, so Marvin
and his boy Kyutah were sent to look them up. The rest of the party kept
on in the newly found trail and came to the igloo and cache that had
been left there by Borup. The Commander went into the igloo, and we made
the dogs fast and built our own igloos, made our tea and went to sleep.

March 4: Heavy snow fall; but Commander Peary routed out all hands, and
by seven o'clock we were following the Captain's trail. Very rough
going, and progress slow up to about nine o'clock, when conditions
changed. We reached heavy, old floes of waving blue ice, the best
traveling on sea ice I had ever encountered in eighteen years'
experience. We went so fast that we more than made up for lost time and
at two o'clock, myself in the lead, we reached the igloo built by
Captain Bartlett. It had been arranged that I should stop for one sleep
at every igloo built by the Captain, and that he should leave a note in
his igloo for my instructions; but, in spite of these previous
arrangements, I felt that with such good traveling it would be just as
wise to keep on going, and so we did, but it was only about half or
three-quarters of an hour later when we were stopped by a lead, beside
which the Captain had camped. With Ootah and Tommy to help, we built an
igloo and crawled inside. Two hours later, the Commander and his party
arrived, and we crawled out and turned the igloo over to him. Tommy,
Ootah, and I then built another igloo, crawled inside, and blocked the
doorway up with a slab of snow, determined not to turn out again until
we had had a good feed and snooze.

From my diary, the first entry since leaving the land; with a couple of
comments added afterward:

March 5: A clear bright morning, 20° below zero; quite comfortable.
Reached here yesterday at two-forty-five P. M., after some of the finest
going I have ever seen. Commander Peary, Captain Bartlett, and Dr.
Goodsell here, and fourteen Esquimos. First view of the sun to-day, for
a few minutes at noon, makes us all cheerful. It was a crimson sphere,
just balanced on the brink of the world. Had the weather been favorable,
we could have seen the sun several days earlier. Every day following he
will get higher and higher, until he finally swings around the sky above
the horizon for the full twenty-four hours.

Early in the morning of the 5th, Peary sent a detachment of three
Esquimos, in charge of MacMillan, back to bring in Borup's cache, left
by him at the point where he turned back to return to the land for more
loads. This detachment was back in camp by four o'clock in the afternoon
of the same day. Nothing left to do but to rearrange the loads and wait
for the lead to close.

The land is still in sight. Professor Marvin has gone back with two boys
and is expected to keep on to the alcohol cache at Cape Columbia, turn
back and meet us here, or, if the ice freezes, to follow us until he
catches up with us. We are husbanding our fuel, and two meals a day is
our programme. We are still south of the Big Lead of 1906, but to all
intents and purposes this is it. I am able to recognize many of the
characteristics of it, and I feel sure it is the same old lead that gave
us many an anxious hour in our upward and downward journey three years
ago.

Fine weather, but we are still south of the 84th parallel and this open
water marks it. 8° below zero and all comfortable. We should be doing
twenty or twenty-five miles a day good traveling, but we are halted by
this open water.

March 7: Professor MacMillan came into camp to-day with the cache he had
picked up. There was quite a hullabaloo among the boys, and a great deal
of argument as to who owned various articles of provender and equipment
that had been brought into camp by MacMillan, and even I was on the
point of jumping into the fracas in order to see fair play, until a wink
from MacMillan told me that it was simply a put-up job of his to
disconcert the Esquimos. Confidentially and on the side he has been
dressing his heel, which in spite of all keeps on freezing, and is in
very bad shape. His kamiks stick to the loose flesh and the skin will
not form. All of the frost has been taken out, but I think skin-grafting
is the only thing that will cure it. He wants to keep on going and asks
me how far we have gone and wants to know if he shall tell Commander
Peary about his injury. I have advised him to make a clean breast of it,
but he feels good for a week or so more, and it is up to him.

We eat, and sleep, and watch the lead, and wonder. Are we to be repulsed
again? Is the unseen, mysterious guardian of this mist-covered region
foiling us? The Commander is taking it with a great deal more patience
than he usually has with obstacles, but in the face of this one he
probably realizes the necessity of a calm, philosophic mood.

Captain Bartlett has been here longer than any of us, and he is
commencing to get nervous. Commander Peary and he have done what is
nautically known as "swinging the ship," for the purpose of correcting
compass errors, and after that there is nothing for them to do but
wait. Captain Bartlett describes it as "Hell on Earth"; the Commander
has nothing to say, and I agree with him. Dr. Goodsell reads from his
little books, studies Esquimo language, writes in his diary and talks to
me and the rest of the party, and waits.

Professor MacMillan, with his eye ever to the south, and an occasional
glance at his frozen heel, cracks a joke and bids us be cheerful. He is
one _man_, and has surely made good. His first trip to this forsaken
region, yet he wakes up from his sleep with a smile on his face and a
question as to how a nice, large, juicy steak would go about now. This
is no place for jokes, yet his jokes are cheering and make us all feel
more light-hearted. He is the "life of the funeral" and by his
cheerfulness has kept our spirits from sinking to a dead level, and when
the Esquimos commenced to get cranky, by his diplomacy he brought them
to think of other subjects than going back to the ship.

He has started to kid us along by instituting a series of competitions
in athletic endeavors, and the Esquimos fall for it like the Innocents
that they are, and that is the object he is after. They have tried all
of their native stunts, wrestling, boxing, thumb-pulling, and
elbow-tests; and each winner has been awarded a prize. Most of the
prizes are back on the ship and include the anchors, rudders, keel, and
spars. Everything else has long since been given away, and these people
have keen memories.

The Big Lead has no attraction for the Esquimos and the waiting for a
chance to cross it has given them much opportunity to complain of cold
feet. It is fierce, listening to their whines and howls. Of all
yellow-livered curs deliver me. We have the best Esquimos in the tribe
with us, and expect them to remain steadfast and loyal, but after they
have had time to realize their position, the precariousness of it begins
to magnify and they start in to whimper, and beg to be allowed to go
back. They remember the other side of this damnable open water and what
it meant to get back in 1906. I do not blame them, but I have had the
Devil's own time in making my boys and some of the others see it the way
the Commander wants us to look at it.

Indeed, two of the older ones, Panikpah and Pooadloonah, became so
fractious that the Commander sent them back, with a written order to
Gushue on the ship, to let them pack up their things and take their
families and dogs back to Esquimo land, which they did. When the
_Roosevelt_ reached Etah the following August, on her return, these two
men were there, fat and healthy, and merrily greeted us. No hard
feelings whatever.

March 10: We could have crossed to-day, but there was a chance of Marvin
and Borup catching up with their loads of alcohol, etc. Whether they
catch up or not, to-morrow, early, we start across, and the indications
are that the going will be heavy, for the ice is piled in rafters of
pressure-ridges.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was exasperating; seven precious days of fine weather lost; and fine
weather is the exception, not the rule, in the Arctic. Here we were
resting in camp, although we were not extremely tired and nowhere near
exhausted. We were ready and anxious to travel on the 5th, next morning
after we reached the "Big Lead," but were perforce compelled to
inaction. And so did we wait for nearly seven days beside that lead,
before conditions were favorable for a crossing.

But early in the morning of March 11th the full party started; through
the heaviest of going imaginable. Neither Borup nor Marvin had caught
up, but we felt that unless something had happened to them, they would
surely catch up in a few more days.



CHAPTER XII

PIONEERING THE WAY--BREAKING SLEDGES


March 11, 1909: Clear, 45°. Off we go! Marvin and Borup have not yet
shown up, but the lead is shut and the orders since yesterday afternoon
have been to stand by for only twelve hours more; and while the tea is
brewing I am using the warmth to write. We could have crossed thirty
hours ago, but Commander Peary would not permit us to take chances; he
wants to keep the party together as long as possible, and expects to
have to send at least eight men back after the next march. MacMillan is
not fit, and there are four or five of the natives who should be sent
away. Three Esquimos apiece are too many, and I think Commander Peary is
about ready to split the different crews of men and dogs. He himself is
in very good shape and, due to his example, Captain Bartlett has again
taken the field. A heavy storm of wind and snow is in progress, but the
motion of the ice remains satisfactory.

This is not a regular camp. We are sheltered north of a huge
paleocrystic floeberg; and the dogs are at rest, with their noses in
their tails. Dr. Goodsell has set his boys to work building an igloo,
which will not be needed, for I see Ooqueah and Egingwah piling up the
loads on their sledges, and Professor MacMillan is very busy with his
own personal sledge. No halt, only a breathing spell and, as I have
predicted, we are on our way again. This is an extremely dangerous zone
to halt or hazard in. The ice is liable to open here at any moment and
let us either sink in the cold, black water or drift on a block of
frozen ice, much too thin to enable us to get on to the heavy ice again.
Three miles wide at least.

The foregoing was written while out on the ice of the Arctic Ocean, just
after crossing the raftered hummocks of the ice of the Big Lead. While
we were waiting for the rest of the expedition to gather in, I slumped
down behind a peak of land or paleocrystic ice, and made the entry in my
diary. We were not tired out; we had had more than six days' rest at
the lead; and when it closed we pushed on across the pressure-ridges on
to the heavy and cumbrous ice of the circumpolar sea. We were sure that
we had passed the main obstruction, and in spite of the failure of
Marvin and Borup to come in with the essentials of fuel-alcohol and
food, Commander Peary insisted on pushing forward.

Prof. Donald B. MacMillan was with the party, but Commander Peary knew,
without his telling him, that he was really no longer fit to travel, and
Dr. Goodsell was not as far north of the land as original plans
intended, so when both MacMillan and Goodsell were told that they must
start back to the ship, I was not surprised.

It was on March 14 that the first supporting-party finally turned back.
It was my impression that Professor MacMillan would command it, but
Commander Peary sent the Doctor back in charge, with the two boys Arco
and Wesharkoupsi. A few hours before the turning back of Dr. Goodsell,
an Esquimo courier from Professor Marvin's detachment had overtaken us,
with the welcome news that both Borup and Marvin, with complete loads,
were immediately in our rear, safe across the lead that had so long
delayed us. I was given instructions to govern my conduct for the
following five marches and I was told to be ready to start right after
breakfast.

Dr. Goodsell came to me, congratulated me and, with the best wishes for
success, bade me good-by. He was loath to go back, but he returned to
the ship with the hearty assurance of every one that he had done good
and effective work, equal to the best efforts of the more experienced
members of the party.

My boys, Ootah, Ahwatingwah, and Koolootingwah, under my command started
north, to pioneer the route for five full marches, and it was with a
firm resolve that I determined to cover a big mileage. We had been
having extreme cold weather, as low as 59° below zero, and on the
morning my party started the thermometers in the camp showed 49° below
zero.

An hour's travel brought us to a small lead, which was avoided by making
a detour, and about four miles beyond this lead we came up to heavy old
floes, on which the snow lay deep and soft. The sledges would sink to
the depth of the cross-bars. Traveling was slow, and the dogs became
demons; at one time, sullen and stubborn; then wildly excited and
savage; and in our handling of them I fear we became fiendlike
ourselves. Frequently we would have to lift them bodily from the pits of
snow, and snow-filled fissures they had fallen into, and I am now sorry
to say that we did not do it gently. The dogs, feeling the additional
strain, refused to make the slightest effort when spoken to or touched
with the whip, and to break them of this stubbornness, and to prevent
further trouble, I took the leader or king dog of one team and, in the
presence of the rest of the pack, I clubbed him severely. The dogs
realized what was required of them, and that I would exact it of them in
spite of what they would do, and they became submissive and pulled
willingly, myself and the Esquimos doing our share at the upstanders.

We got over the heavy floe-ice, to find ourselves confronted with
jagged, rough ice, where we had to pickax our way. In one place we came
to pressure-ridges separated by a deep gulch of very rough and uneven
ice, in crossing which it took two men to manage each sledge, and
another man to help pull them up on to the more even ice. We crossed
several leads, mostly frozen over, and kept on going for over twelve
hours. The mileage was small and, instead of elation, I felt
discouragement. Two of the sledges had split their entire length and had
to be repaired, and the going had been such that we could not cover any
distance. We had a good long rest at the Big Lead for over six days, but
at the end of this, my first day's pioneering, I was as tired out as I
have ever been. It should be understood that while I was pioneering I
was carrying the full-loaded sledges with about 550 pounds, while the
other parties that were in the lead never carried but half of the
regular load, which made our progress much slower.

March 15: Bright, clear, and I am sure as cold as the record-breaking
cold of the day previous. We made an early start, with hopes high; but
the first two hours' traveling was simply a repetition of the going of
the day before. But after that, and to the end of the day's march, the
surface of the ice over which we traveled was most remarkably smooth.
The fallen snow had packed solid into the areas of rough ice and on the
edges of the large floes. The dogs, with tails up and heads out, stamped
off mile after mile in rapid succession, and when we camped I
conservatively made the estimate fifteen miles. It has to be good going
to make such a distance with loaded sledges, but we made it and I was
satisfied.

March 16: We started going over ice conditions similar to the good part
of the day before, but our hopes were soon shattered when the ice
changed completely and, from being stationary, a distinct motion become
observable. The movement of the ice increased, and the rumbling and
roaring, as it raftered, was deafening. A dense fog, the sure indication
of open water, overhung us, and in due time we came to the open lead,
over which small broken floes were scattered, interspersed with thin
young ice. These floes were hardly thick enough to hold a dog safely,
but, there being no other way, we were obliged to cross on them. We set
out with jaws squared by anxiety. A false step by any one would mean the
end. With the utmost care, the sledges were placed on the most solid
floes, and, with Ootah, the most experienced, in the lead, we followed
in single file. Once started, there was no stopping; but push on with
the utmost care and even pressure. You know that we got across, but
there were instants during the crossing when I had my strongest doubts.
After crossing the lead, the ice condition became horrible. Almost at
the same time, three of the sledges broke, one sledge being completely
smashed to pieces. We were forced to camp and start to work making two
whole sledges from the wreckage of the three broken ones.

We had barely completed this work when the Commander, the Captain,
Marvin, Borup, and Esquimos came in. I was glad to see them all again,
especially the smiling face of George Borup, whom I had not seen since
the day he left Cape Columbia.

We learned that MacMillan had been sent back to the ship on the 15th,
that the party had been delayed on the second day's march by a new lead,
which widened so rapidly and to such an extent that it was feared to be
the twin sister of the Big Lead farther back.

March 17: The whole party, with the exception of Professor Marvin and
his detachment, remained in camp. Marvin was sent ahead to plot a route
for the next marches of the column, and the party in camp busied itself
in the general work of repairing sledges and equipment.

The morning of the 18th found the main column ready to start, and start
it did, in spite of the dreary outlook due to the condition of the
weather and of the ice. Thermometer 40° below zero, and the loose ice to
our right and in front distinctly in motion, but fortunately moving to
the northward. A heavy wind of the force of a gale was at our backs, and
for the first three miles our progress was slow. The hummocks of ice in
wild disarrangement, and so difficult to cross that repeatedly the
sledges were overturned; and one sledge was broken so badly that a halt
had to be made to repair it. While repairing the sledge, our midday
lunch of crackers was eaten. The dogs were not fed anything, experience
having taught us that dogs will work better with hope for a reward in
the future than when it is past.

All that day the air was thick with haze and frost and we felt the cold
even more than when the temperature was lower with the air clear. The
wind would find the tiniest opening in our clothing and pierce us with
the force of driving needles. Our hoods froze to our growing beards and
when we halted we had to break away the ice that had been formed by the
congealing of our breaths and from the moisture of perspiration exhaled
by our bodies. When we finally camped and built our igloos, it was not
with any degree of comfort that we lay down to rest. Actually it was
more comfortable to keep on the march, and when we did rest it was
fatigue that compelled.



CHAPTER XIII

THE SUPPORTING-PARTIES BEGIN TO TURN BACK


March 19: We left camp in a haze of bitter cold; the ice conditions
about the same as the previous day; high rafters, huge and jagged; and
we pickaxed the way continuously. By noontime, we found ourselves
alongside of a lead covered by a film of young ice. We forced the dogs
and they took it on the run, the ice undulating beneath them, the same
as it does when little wanton boys play at _tickley benders_, often with
serious results, on the newly formed ice on ponds and brooks down in
civilization. Our _tickley benders_ were not done in the spirit of play,
but on account of urgent necessity, and as it was I nearly suffered a
serious loss of precious possessions.

One of the sledges, driven by Ahwatingwah, broke through the ice and its
load, which consisted of my extra equipment, such as kamiks, mittens,
etc., was thoroughly soaked. Luckily for the boy, he was at the side of
the sledge and escaped a ducking. Foolishly I rushed over, but, quickly
realizing my danger, I slowed down, and with the utmost care he fished
out the sledge, and the dogs, shaking as with palsy, were gently urged
on. Walking wide, like the polar bear, we crept after, and without
further incident reached the opposite side of the lead. My team had
reached there before me and, with human intelligence, the dogs had
dragged the sledge to a place of safety and were sitting on their
haunches, with ears cocked forward, watching us in our precarious
predicament. They seemed to rejoice at our deliverance, and as I went
among them and untangled their traces I could not forbear giving each
one an affectionate pat on the head.

For the next five hours our trail lay over heavy pressure ridges, in
some places sixty feet high. We had to make a trail over the mountains
of ice and then come back for the sledges. A difficult climb began.
Pushing from our very toes, straining every muscle, urging the dogs with
voice and whip, we guided the sledges. On several occasions the dogs
gave it up, standing still in their tracks, and we had to hold the
sledges with the strength of our bones and muscles to prevent them from
sliding backwards. When we had regained our equilibrium the dogs were
again started, and in this way we gained the tops of the
pressure-ridges.

Going down on the opposite side was more nerve-racking. On the descent
of one ridge, in spite of the experienced care of Ootah, the sledge
bounded away from him, and at a declivity of thirty feet was completely
wrecked. The frightened dogs dashed wildly in every direction to escape
the falling sledge, and as quickly as possible we slid down the steep
incline, at the same time guiding the dogs attached to the two remaining
sledges. We rushed over, my two boys and I, to the spot where the poor
dogs stood trembling with fright. We released them from the tangle they
were in, and, with kind words and pats of the hand on their heads,
quieted them. For over an hour we struggled with the broken pieces of
the wreck and finally lashed them together with strips of _oog-sook_
(seal-hide). We said nothing to the Commander when he caught up with
us, but his quick eye took in at a glance the experience we had been
through. The repairs having been completed, we again started. Before us
stretched a heavy, old floe, giving us good going until we reached the
lead, when the order was given to camp. We built our igloos, and boiled
the tea and had what we called supper.

Commander Peary called me over to his igloo and gave me my orders:
first; that I should at once select the best dogs of the three teams, as
the ones disqualified by me would on the following morning be sent back
to the ship, in care of the third supporting party, which was to turn
back. Secondly; that I should rearrange the loads on the remainder of
the sledges, there now being ten in number. It was eight P. M. when I
began work and two the following morning when I had finished.

March 20: During the night, the Commander had a long talk with Borup,
and in the morning my good friend, in command of the third supporting
party, bade us all good-by and took his detachment back to land and
headquarters. There were three Esquimos and seventeen dogs in his
party. A fine and plucky young man, whose cheerful manner and ready
willingness had made him a prime favorite; and he had done his work like
an old campaigner.

At the time of Borup's turning southward, Captain Bartlett, with two
Esquimos, started out to the north to make trail. He was to act as
pioneer. At ten-thirty A. M., I, with two Esquimos, followed; leaving at
the igloos the Commander and Professor Marvin, with four Esquimos. The
system of our marches from now on was that the first party, or pioneers,
which consisted of Captain Bartlett, myself, and our Esquimos, should be
trail-making, while the second party, consisting of Commander Peary and
Marvin, with their Esquimos, should be sleeping; and while the first
party was sleeping, the second should be traveling over the trail
previously made. The sun was above the horizon the whole twenty-four
hours of the day, and accordingly there was no darkness. Either the
first or second party was always traveling, and progress was hourly
made.

March 21: Captain Bartlett got away early, leaving me in camp to await
the arrival of Commander Peary and Marvin, with their party; and it was
eight A. M. when they arrived. Commander Peary instructed me to the
effect that, when I overtook the Captain, I should tell him to make as
much speed as possible.

The going was, for the first hour, over rough, raftered ice. Great care
and caution had to be observed, but after that we reached a stretch of
undulated, level ice, extending easily fifteen miles; and the
exhilarating effect made our spirits rise. The snow-covering was soft,
but with the help of our snow-shoes we paced off the miles, and at noon
we caught up with the Captain and his boys. Together we traveled on, and
at the end of an hour's going we halted for our noon-meal, consisting of
a can of tea and three biscuits per man, the dogs doing the hungry
looking on, as dogs have done and do and will do forever. As we sat and
ate, we joshed each other, and the Esquimo boys joined in the
good-natured raillery.

The meal did not detain us long, and soon we were pushing on again as
quickly as possible over the level ice, fearing that if we delayed the
condition of the ice would change, for changes come suddenly, and
frequently without warning. At nine P. M. we camped, the Captain having
been on the go for fifteen hours, and I for thirteen; and we estimated
that we had a good fourteen miles to our credit.

March 22 was the finest day we had, and it was a day of unusual
clearness and calm; practically no wind and a cloudless sky. The fields
of ice and snow sparkled and glistened and the daylight lasted for the
full twenty-four hours. It was six A. M. when Egingwah, the Commander's
Esquimo courier, reached our camp, with the note of command and
encouragement; and immediately the Captain and I left camp.

Stretching to the northward was a brilliantly illuminated, level, and
slightly drifted snow-plain, our imperial highway, presenting a
spectacle grand and sublime; and we were truly grateful and inwardly
prayed that this condition would last indefinitely. Without incident or
accident, we marched on for fifteen hours, pacing off mile after mile in
our steady northing, and at nine P. M. we halted. It was then we
realized how utterly fatigued and exhausted we were. It took us over an
hour and a half to build our igloos. We had a hard time finding suitable
snow conditions for building them, and the weather was frightfully cold.
The evening meal of pemmican-stew and tea was prepared, the dogs were
fed, and we turned in.

March 23: Our sleep-banked eyes were opened by the excitement caused by
the arrival of Marvin and his division. He reported the same good going
that we had had the day before, and also that he had taken an elevation
of the sun and computed his latitude as 85° 46' north. We turned the
igloos over to Marvin and his Esquimos, who were to await the arrival of
the Commander, and Captain Bartlett and myself got our parties under
way.

Conditions are never similar, no two days are the same; and our going
this day was nothing like the paradise of the day before. At a little
distance from the igloos we encountered high masses of heavily-rubbled,
old ice. The making of a trail through these masses of ice caused us to
use our pickaxes continuously. It was backing and filling all of the
time. First we would reconnoiter, then we would hew our way and make
the trail, then we would go back and, getting in the traces, help the
dogs pull the sledges, which were still heavily loaded. This operation
was repeated practically all the day of March 23, except for the last
hour of traveling, when we zigzagged to the eastward, where the ice
appeared less formidable, consisting of small floes with rubble ice
between and a heavy, old floe beyond. There we camped. The latitude was
85° 46' north.

The course from the land to the Pole was not direct and due north, for
we followed the lines of least resistance, and frequently found
ourselves going due east or west, in order to detour around pressure
ridges, floebergs, and leads.

March 24: Commander Peary reached camp shortly after six A. M., and
after a few brief instructions, we started out. The going not as heavy
as the day previous; but the sky overcast, and a heavy drift on the
surface made it decidedly unpleasant for the dogs. For the first six
hours the going was over rough, jagged ice, covered with deep, soft
snow; for the rest of the day it improved. We encountered comparatively
level ice, with a few hummocks, and in places covered with deep snow. We
camped at eight P. M., beside a very heavy pressure-ridge as long as a
city street and as high as the houses along the street.

March 25: Turned out at four-thirty A. M., to find a steadily falling
snow storm upon us. We breakfasted, and fifteen minutes later we were
once more at work making trail. Our burly neighbor, the pressure-ridge,
in whose lee we had spent the night, did not make an insuperable
obstacle, and in the course of an hour we had made a trail across it,
and returned to the igloo for the sledges. We found that the main column
had reached camp, and after greetings had been given, Commander Peary
called me aside and gave me my orders; to take the trail at once, to
speed it up to the best of my ability and cover as much distance as
possible; for he intended that I should remain at the igloo the
following day to sort out the best dogs and rearrange the loads, as
Marvin was to turn back with the fourth supporting-party. My heart
stopped palpitating, I breathed easier, and my mind was relieved. It was
not my turn yet, I was to continue onward and there only remained one
person between me and the Pole--the Captain. We knew Commander Peary's
general plan: that, at the end of certain periods, certain parties would
turn south to the land and the ship; but we did not know who would
comprise or command those parties and, until I had the Commander's word,
I feared that I would be the next after Borup. At the same time, I did
not see how Marvin could travel much longer, as his feet were very badly
frozen.

Obedient to the Commander's orders, the Captain, I, and our Esquimos,
left camp with loaded sledges and trudged over the newly made trail,
coming to rough ice which stretched for a distance of five miles, and
kept us hard at back-straining, shoulder-wrenching work for several
hours. The rest of the day's march was over level, unbroken, young ice;
and the distance covered was considerable.

March 26: The Commander and party reached the igloo at ten-forty-five A.
M. Captain Bartlett had taken to the trail at six A. M., and was now
miles to the northward, out of sight. I immediately started to work on
the task assigned me by the Commander, assorting the dogs first, so that
the different king dogs could fight it out and adjust themselves to new
conditions while I was rearranging the loads.

At twelve, noon, Professor Marvin took his final sight, and after
figuring it out told me that he made it 86° 38' north.

The work of readjusting the loads kept me busy until seven P. M. While
doing this work I came across my Bible that I had neglected so long, and
that night, before going to sleep, I read the twenty-third Psalm, and
the fifth chapter of St. Matthew.

March 27: I was to take the trail at six A. M., but before starting I
went over to Marvin's igloo to bid him good-by. In his quiet, earnest
manner, he advised me to keep on, and hoped for our success; he
congratulated me and we gave each other the strong, fraternal grip of
our honored fraternity and we confidently expected to see each other
again at the ship. My good, kind friend was never again to see us, or
talk with us. It is sad to write this. He went back to his death,
drowned in the cold, black water of the Big Lead. In unmarked, unmarbled
grave, he sleeps his last, long sleep.



CHAPTER XIV

BARTLETT'S FARTHEST NORTH--HIS QUIET GOOD-BY


Leaving the Commander and Marvin at the igloos, my party took up the
Captain's trail northward. It was expected that Peary would follow in an
hour and that at the same time Marvin would start his return march.
After a few minutes' going, we came to young ice of this season, broken
up and frozen solid, not difficult to negotiate, but requiring constant
pulling; leaving this, we came to an open lead which caused us to make a
detour to the westward for four miles. We crossed on ice so thin that
one of the sledge-runners broke through, and a little beyond one of the
dogs fell in so completely that it was a precarious effort to rescue
him; but we made it and, doglike, he shook the water out of his fur and
a little later, when his fur froze, I gave him a thorough beating; not
for falling in the water, but in order to loosen the ice-particles, so
that he could shake them off. Poor brute, it was no use, and in a short
while he commenced to develop symptoms of the dread piblokto, so in
mercy he was killed. One of the Esquimo boys did the killing.

Dangerous as the crossing was, it was the only place possible, and we
succeeded far better than we had anticipated. Beyond the lead we came to
an old floe and, beyond that, young ice of one season's formation,
similar to that which had been encountered earlier in the day. Before us
lay a heavy, old floe, covered with soft, deep snow in which we sank
continually; but it was only five P. M. when we reached the Captain's
igloo. Anticipating the arrival of the Commander, we built another
igloo, and about an hour and a half later the Commander and his party
came in.

March 28: Exactly 40° below zero when we pushed the sledges up to the
curled-up dogs and started them off over rough ice covered with deep
soft snow. It was like walking in loose granulated sugar. Indeed I might
compare the snow of the Arctic to the granules of sugar, without their
saccharine sweetness, but with freezing cold instead; you can not make
snowballs of it, for it is too thoroughly congealed, and when it is
packed by the wind it is almost as solid as ice. It is from the packed
snow that the blocks used to form the igloo-walls are cut.

At the end of four hours, we came to the igloo where the Captain and his
boys were sleeping the sleep of utter exhaustion. In order not to
interrupt the Captain's rest, we built another igloo and unloaded his
sledge, and distributed the greater part of the load among the sledges
of the party. The Captain, on awakening, told us that the journey we had
completed on that day had been made by him under the most trying
conditions, and that it had taken him fourteen hours to do it. We were
able to make better time because we had his trail to follow, and,
therefore, the necessity of finding the easiest way was avoided. That
was the object of the scout or pioneer party and Captain Bartlett had
done practically all of it up to the time he turned back at 87° 48'
north.

March 29: You have undoubtedly taken into consideration the pangs of
hunger and of cold that you know assailed us, going Poleward; but have
you ever considered that we were thirsty for water to drink or hungry
for fat? To eat snow to quench our thirsts would have been the height of
folly, and as well as being thirsty, we were continuously assailed by
the pangs of a hunger that called for the fat, good, rich, oily, juicy
fat that our systems craved and demanded.

Had we succumbed to the temptations of thirst and eaten the snow, we
would not be able to tell the tale of the conquest of the Pole; for the
result of eating snow is death. True, the dogs licked up enough moisture
to quench their thirsts, but we were not made of such stern stuff as
they. Snow would have reduced our temperatures and we would quickly have
fallen by the way. We had to wait until camp was made and the fire of
alcohol started before we had a chance, and it was with hot tea that we
quenched our thirsts. The hunger for fat was not appeased; a dog or two
was killed, but his carcass went to the Esquimos and the entrails were
fed to the rest of the pack. We ate no dogs on this trip, for various
reasons, mainly, that the eating of dog is only a last resort, and we
had plenty of food, and raw dog is flavorless and very tough. The
killing of a dog is such a horrible matter that I will not describe it,
and it is permitted only when all other exigencies have been exhausted.
An Esquimo does not permit one drop of blood to escape.

The morning of the 29th of March, 1909, a heavy and dense fog of frost
spicules overhung the camp. At four A. M., the Captain left camp to make
as far a northing as possible. I with my Esquimos followed later. On our
way we passed over very rough ice alternating with small floes, young
ice of a few months' duration, and one old floe. We were now beside a
lead of over three hundred feet in width, which we were unable to cross
at that time because the ice was running steadily, though to the
Northward. Following the trail of the Captain, which carried us a little
to the westward of the lead, within one hundred feet of the Captain's
igloo, the order to camp was given, as going forward was impossible. The
whole party was together farther north than had ever been made by any
other human beings, and in perfectly good condition; but the time was
quickly coming when the little party would have to be made smaller and
some part of it sent back. We were too fatigued to argue the question.

We turned in for a rest and sleep, but soon turned out again in
pandemonium incomprehensible; the ice moving in all directions, our
igloos wrecked, and every instant our very lives in danger. With eyes
dazed by sleep, we tried to guide the terror-stricken dogs and push the
sledges to safety, but rapidly we saw the party being separated and the
black water begin to appear amid the roar of the breaking ice floes.

To the westward of our igloo stood the Captain's igloo, on an island of
ice, which revolved, while swiftly drifting to the eastward. On one
occasion the floe happened to strike the main floe. The Captain,
intently watching his opportunity, quickly crossed with his Esquimos. He
had scarcely set foot on the opposite floe when the floe on which he had
been previously isolated swung off, and rapidly disappeared.

Once more the parties were together. Thoroughly exhausted, we turned in
and fell asleep, myself and the Esquimos too dumb for utterance, and
Commander Peary and Bartlett too full of the realization of our escape
to have much to say.

The dogs were in very good condition, taking everything into
consideration.

[Illustration: CAMP MORRIS K. JESUP AT THE NORTH POLE

(From Henson's own Photograph)]

[Illustration: MATTHEW A. HENSON IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SLEDGE JOURNEY TO
THE POLE AND BACK

(Showing the effect of the excessive strain. Compare with frontispiece
and with portrait facing page 139)]

When we woke up it was the morning of another day, March 30, and we
found open water all about us. We could not go on until either the lead
had frozen or until it had raftered shut. Temperature 35° below zero,
and the weather clear and calm with no visible motion of the ice. We
spent the day industriously in camp, mending foot-gear, harness,
clothing, and looking after the dogs and their traces. This was work
enough, especially untangling the traces of the bewildered dogs. The
traces, snarled and entangled, besides being frozen to the consistency
of wire, gave us the hardest work; and, owing to the activity of the
dogs in leaping and bounding over each other, we had the most _unideal_
conditions possible to contend with, and we were handicapped by having
to use mitted instead of ungloved fingers to untangle the snarls of
knots. Unlike Alexander the Great, we dared not cut the "Gordian
Knots," but we did get them untangled.

About five o'clock in the afternoon, the temperature had fallen to 43°
below zero, and at the same time the ice began to move again. Owing to
the attraction of the moon, the mighty flanks of the earth were being
drawn by her invisible force, and were commencing again to crack and be
rent asunder.

We loaded up hurriedly and all three parties left the camp and crossed
over the place where recently had been the open lead, and beyond for
more than five miles, until we reached the heavier and solid ice of the
large floes. Northward our way led, and we kept on in that direction
accordingly, at times crossing young ice so thin that the motion of the
sledges would cause the ice to undulate. Over old floes of the blue,
hummocky kind, on which the snow had fallen and become packed solid, the
rest of this day's journey was completed. We staggered into camp like
drunken men, and built our igloos by force of habit rather than with the
intelligence of human beings.

It was continuously daylight, but such a light as never was on land or
sea.

The next day was April 1, and the Farthest North of Bartlett. I knew at
this time that he was to go back, and that I was to continue, so I had
no misgivings and neither had he. He was ready and anxious to take the
back-trail. His five marches were up and he was glad of it, and he was
told that in the morning he must turn back and knit the trail together,
so that the main column could return over a beaten path.

Before going to sleep, Peary and he (Captain Bartlett) had figured out
the reckoning of the distance, and, to insure the Captain's making at
least 88° north, Peary let him have another go for a short distance
northward, and at noon on the day of his return, the observations showed
that Captain Bartlett had made 87° 47' North Latitude, or practically
88° north. "Why, Peary," he said, "it is just like every day," and so it
was, with this exception, like every day in the Arctic, but with all of
every day's chances and hazards. The lion-like month of March had
passed. Captain Bartlett bade us all farewell. He turned back from the
Farthest North that had ever been reached by any one, to insure the safe
return of him who was to go to a still Farther North, the very top of
the world, the Pole itself.

While waiting for Bartlett to return from his forced march, the main
party had been at work, assorting dogs (by this time without much
trouble, as only one was found utterly unfit to make progress), and
rearranging loads, for the Captain had almost three hundred miles of
sea-ice to negotiate before he would reach _terra firma_, and he had to
have his food-supply arranged so that it would carry him to the land and
back to the ship, and dogs in good enough condition to pull the loads,
as well as enough sledges to bear his equipment. When he did come back
to our camp, before the parting, he was perfectly satisfied, and with
the same old confidence he swept his little party together and at three
P. M., with a cheery "Good-by! Good Luck!" he was off. His Esquimo boys,
attempting in English, too, gave us their "Good-bys." The least
emotional of all of our partings; and this brave man, who had borne the
brunt of all of the hardships, like the true-blue, dead-game,
unconquerable hero that he was, set out to do the work that was left for
him to do; to knit the broken strands of our upward trail together, so
that we who were at his rear could follow in safety.

I have never heard the story of the return of Captain Bartlett in
detail; his Esquimo boys were incapable of telling it, and Captain
Bartlett is altogether too modest.



CHAPTER XV

THE POLE!


Captain Bartlett and his two boys had commenced their return journey,
and the main column, depleted to its final strength, started northward.
We were six: Peary, the commander, the Esquimos, Ootah, Egingwah,
Seegloo and Ooqueah, and myself.

Day and night were the same. My thoughts were on the going and getting
forward, and on nothing else. The wind was from the southeast, and
seemed to push us on, and the sun was at our backs, a ball of livid
fire, rolling his way above the horizon in never-ending day.

The Captain had gone, Commander Peary and I were alone (save for the
four Esquimos), the same as we had been so often in the past years, and
as we looked at each other we realized our position and we knew without
speaking that the time had come for us to demonstrate that we were the
men who, it had been ordained, should unlock the door which held the
mystery of the Arctic. Without an instant's hesitation, the order to
push on was given, and we started off in the trail made by the Captain
to cover the Farthest North he had made and to push on over one hundred
and thirty miles to our final destination.

The Captain had had rough going, but, owing to the fact that his trail
was our track for a short time, and that we came to good going shortly
after leaving his turning point, we made excellent distance without any
trouble, and only stopped when we came to a lead barely frozen over, a
full twenty-five miles beyond. We camped and waited for the strong
southeast wind to force the sides of the lead together. The Esquimos had
eaten a meal of stewed dog, cooked over a fire of wood from a discarded
sledge, and, owing to their wonderful powers of recuperation, were in
good condition; Commander Peary and myself, rested and invigorated by
our thirty hours in the last camp, waiting for the return and departure
of Captain Bartlett, were also in fine fettle, and accordingly the
accomplishment of twenty-five miles of northward progress was not
exceptional. With my proven ability in gauging distances, Commander
Peary was ready to take the reckoning as I made it and he did not resort
to solar observations until we were within a hand's grasp of the Pole.

The memory of those last five marches, from the Farthest North of
Captain Bartlett to the arrival of our party at the Pole, is a memory of
toil, fatigue, and exhaustion, but we were urged on and encouraged by
our relentless commander, who was himself being scourged by the final
lashings of the dominating influence that had controlled his life. From
the land to 87° 48' north, Commander Peary had had the best of the
going, for he had brought up the rear and had utilized the trail made by
the preceding parties, and thus he had kept himself in the best of
condition for the time when he made the spurt that brought him to the
end of the race. From 87° 48' north, he kept in the lead and did his
work in such a way as to convince me that he was still as good a man as
he had ever been. We marched and marched, falling down in our tracks
repeatedly, until it was impossible to go on. We were forced to camp, in
spite of the impatience of the Commander, who found himself unable to
rest, and who only waited long enough for us to relax into sound sleep,
when he would wake us up and start us off again. I do not believe that
he slept for one hour from April 2 until after he had loaded us up and
ordered us to go back over our old trail, and I often think that from
the instant when the order to return was given until the land was again
sighted, he was in a continual daze.

Onward we forced our weary way. Commander Peary took his sights from the
time our chronometer-watches gave, and I, knowing that we had kept on
going in practically a straight line, was sure that we had more than
covered the necessary distance to insure our arrival at the top of the
earth.

It was during the march of the 3d of April that I endured an instant of
hideous horror. We were crossing a lane of moving ice. Commander Peary
was in the lead setting the pace, and a half hour later the four boys
and myself followed in single file. They had all gone before, and I was
standing and pushing at the upstanders of my sledge, when the block of
ice I was using as a support slipped from underneath my feet, and before
I knew it the sledge was out of my grasp, and I was floundering in the
water of the lead. I did the best I could. I tore my hood from off my
head and struggled frantically. My hands were gloved and I could not
take hold of the ice, but before I could give the "Grand Hailing Sigh of
Distress," faithful old Ootah had grabbed me by the nape of the neck,
the same as he would have grabbed a dog, and with one hand he pulled me
out of the water, and with the other hurried the team across.

He had saved my life, but I did not tell him so, for such occurrences
are taken as part of the day's work, and the sledge he safeguarded was
of much more importance, for it held, as part of its load, the
Commander's sextant, the mercury, and the coils of piano-wire that were
the essential portion of the scientific part of the expedition. My
kamiks (boots of sealskin) were stripped off, and the congealed water
was beaten out of my bearskin trousers, and with a dry pair of kamiks,
we hurried on to overtake the column. When we caught up, we found the
boys gathered around the Commander, doing their best to relieve him of
his discomfort, for he had fallen into the water also, and while he was
not complaining, I was sure that his bath had not been any more
voluntary than mine had been.

When we halted on April 6, 1909, and started to build the igloos, the
dogs and sledges having been secured, I noticed Commander Peary at work
unloading his sledge and unpacking several bundles of equipment. He
pulled out from under his _kooletah_ (thick, fur outer-garment) a small
folded package and unfolded it. I recognized his old silk flag, and
realized that this was to be a camp of importance. Our different camps
had been known as Camp Number One, Number Two, etc., but after the
turning back of Captain Bartlett, the camps had been given names such as
Camp Nansen, Camp Cagni, etc., and I asked what the name of this camp
was to be--"Camp Peary"? "This, my boy, is to be Camp Morris K. Jesup,
the last and most northerly camp on the earth." He fastened the flag to
a staff and planted it firmly on the top of his igloo. For a few
minutes it hung limp and lifeless in the dead calm of the haze, and then
a slight breeze, increasing in strength, caused the folds to straighten
out, and soon it was rippling out in sparkling color. The stars and
stripes were "nailed to the Pole."

A thrill of patriotism ran through me and I raised my voice to cheer the
starry emblem of my native land. The Esquimos gathered around and,
taking the time from Commander Peary, three hearty cheers rang out on
the still, frosty air, our dumb dogs looking on in puzzled surprise. As
prospects for getting a sight of the sun were not good, we turned in and
slept, leaving the flag proudly floating above us.

This was a thin silk flag that Commander Peary had carried on all of his
Arctic journeys, and he had always flown it at his last camps. It was as
glorious and as inspiring a banner as any battle-scarred, blood-stained
standard of the world--and this badge of honor and courage was also
blood-stained and battle-scarred, for at several places there were blank
squares marking the spots where pieces had been cut out at each of the
"Farthests" of its brave bearer, and left with the records in the
cairns, as mute but eloquent witnesses of his achievements. At the North
Pole a diagonal strip running from the upper left to the lower right
corner was cut and this precious strip, together with a brief record,
was placed in an empty tin, sealed up and buried in the ice, as a record
for all time.

Commander Peary also had another American flag, sewn on a white ground,
and it was the emblem of the "Daughters of the Revolution Peace
Society"; he also had and flew the emblem of the Navy League, and the
emblems of a couple of college fraternities of which he was a member.

It was about ten or ten-thirty A. M., on the 7th of April, 1909, that
the Commander gave the order to build a snow-shield to protect him from
the flying drift of the surface-snow. I knew that he was about to take
an observation, and while we worked I was nervously apprehensive, for I
felt that the end of our journey had come. When we handed him the pan of
mercury the hour was within a very few minutes of noon. Laying flat on
his stomach, he took the elevation and made the notes on a piece of
tissue-paper at his head. With sun-blinded eyes, he snapped shut the
_vernier_ (a graduated scale that subdivides the smallest divisions on
the sector of the circular scale of the sextant) and with the resolute
squaring of his jaws, I was sure that he was satisfied, and I was
confident that the journey had ended. Feeling that the time had come, I
ungloved my right hand and went forward to congratulate him on the
success of our eighteen years of effort, but a gust of wind blew
something into his eye, or else the burning pain caused by his prolonged
look at the reflection of the limb of the sun forced him to turn aside;
and with both hands covering his eyes, he gave us orders to not let him
sleep for more than four hours, for six hours later he purposed to take
another sight about four miles beyond, and that he wanted at least two
hours to make the trip and get everything in readiness.

I unloaded a sledge, and reloaded it with a couple of skins, the
instruments, and a cooker with enough alcohol and food for one meal for
three, and then I turned in to the igloo where my boys were already
sound asleep. The thermometer registered 29° below zero. I fell into a
dreamless sleep and slept for about a minute, so I thought, when I was
awakened by the clatter and noise made by the return of Peary and his
boys.

The Commander gave the word, "We will plant the stars and stripes--_at
the North Pole!_" and it was done; on the peak of a huge paleocrystic
floeberg the glorious banner was unfurled to the breeze, and as it
snapped and crackled with the wind, I felt a savage joy and exultation.
Another world's accomplishment was done and finished, and as in the
past, from the beginning of history, wherever the world's work was done
by a white man, he had been accompanied by a colored man. From the
building of the pyramids and the journey to the Cross, to the discovery
of the new world and the discovery of the North Pole, the Negro had been
the faithful and constant companion of the Caucasian, and I felt all
that it was possible for me to feel, that it was I, a lowly member of my
race, who had been chosen by fate to represent it, at this, almost the
last of the world's great _work_.

The four Esquimos who stood with Commander Peary at the North Pole, were
the brothers, Ootah and Egingwah, the old campaigner, Seegloo, and the
sturdy, boyish Ooqueah. Four devoted companions, blindly confident in
the leader, they worked only that he might succeed and for the promise
of reward that had been made before they had left the ship, which
promise they were sure would be kept. Together with the faithful dogs,
these men had insured the success of the master. They had all of the
characteristics of the dogs, including the dogs' fidelity. Within their
breasts lingered the same infatuations that Commander Peary seemed to
inspire in all who were with him, and though frequently complaining and
constantly requiring to be urged to do their utmost, they worked
faithfully and willingly. Ootah, of my party, was the oldest, a married
man, of about thirty-four years, and regarded as the best all around
member of the tribe, a great hunter, a kind father, and a good provider.
Owing to his strong character and the fact that he was more easily
managed by me than by any of the others, he had been a member of my
party from the time we left the ship. Without exaggeration, I can say
that we had both saved each other's lives more than once, but it had all
gone in as part of the day's work, and neither of us dwelt on our
obligations to the other.

My other boy, Ooqueah, was a young man of about nineteen or twenty, very
sturdy and stocky of build, and with an open, honest countenance, a
smile that was "child-like and bland," and a character that _was_
child-like and bland. It was alleged that the efforts of young Ooqueah
were spurred on by the shafts of love, and that it was in the hopes of
winning the hand of the demure Miss Anadore, the charming daughter of
Ikwah, the first Esquimo of Commander Peary's acquaintance, that he
worked so valiantly. His efforts were of an ardent character, but it was
not due to the ardor of love, as far as I could see, but to his desire
to please and his anxiety to win the promised rewards that would raise
him to the grade of a millionaire, according to Esquimo standards.

[Illustration: THE ROOSEVELT IN WINTER QUARTERS AT CAPE SHERIDAN]

[Illustration: MATTHEW A. HENSON IN HIS NORTH POLE FURS, TAKEN AFTER HIS
RETURN TO CIVILIZATION]

Commander Peary's boy, Egingwah, was the brother of my boy Ootah, also
married and of good report in his community, and it was he who drove
the Morris K. Jesup sledge.

If there was any sentiment among the Esquimos in regard to the success
of the venture, Ootah and Seegloo by their unswerving loyalty and
fidelity expressed it. They had been members of the "Farthest North
party" in 1906, the party that was almost lost beyond and in the "Big
Lead," and only reached the land again in a state of almost complete
collapse. They were the ones who, on bidding Commander Peary farewell in
1906, when he was returning, a saddened and discouraged man, told him to
be of good cheer and that when he came back again Ootah and Seegloo
would go along, and stay until Commander Peary had succeeded, and they
did. The cowardice of their fellow Esquimos at the "Big Lead" on this
journey did not in the least demoralize them, and when they were
absolutely alone on the trail, with every chance to turn back and return
to comfort, wife, and family, they remained steadfast and true, and ever
northward guided their sledges.



CHAPTER XVI

THE FAST TREK BACK TO LAND


The long trail was finished, the work was done, and there was only left
for us to return and tell the tale of the doing. Reaction had set in,
and it was with quavering voice that Commander Peary gave the order to
break camp. Already the strain of the hard upward-journey was beginning
to tell, and after the first two marches back, he was practically a dead
weight, but do not think that we could have gotten back without him, for
it was due to the fact that he was with us, and that we could depend
upon him to direct and order us, that we were able to keep up the
break-neck pace that enabled us to cover three of our upward marches on
one of our return marches, and we never forgot that he was still the
heart and head of the party.

It was broad daylight and getting brighter, and accordingly I knew
little fear, though I did think of the ghosts of other parties,
flitting in spectral form over the ice-clad wastes, especially of that
small detachment of the Italian expedition of the Duke D'Abruzzi, of
which to this day neither track, trace, nor remembrance has ever been
found. We crossed lead after lead, sometimes like a bare-back rider in
the circus, balancing on cake after cake of ice, but good fortune was
with us all of the way, and it was not until the land of recognizable
character had been lifted that we lost the trail, and with the land in
sight as an incentive, it was no trouble for us to gain the talus of the
shore ice and find the trail again.

When we "hit the beach for fair" it was early in the morning of April
23, 1909, nearly seventeen days since we had left the Pole, but such a
seventeen days of haste, toil, and misery as cannot be comprehended by
the mind. We who experienced it, Commander Peary, the Esquimos, and
myself, look back to it as to a horrid nightmare, and to describe it is
impossible for me.

Commander Peary had taken the North Pole by conquest, in the face of
almost insuperable natural difficulties, by the tremendous
fighting-power of himself. The winning of the North Pole was a fight
with nature; the way to the Pole that had been covered and retraced by
Commander Peary lay across the ever moving and drifting ice of the
Arctic Ocean. For more than a hundred miles from Cape Columbia it was
piled in heavy pressure ridges, ridge after ridge, some more than a
hundred feet in height. In addition, open lanes of water held the
parties back until the leads froze up again, and continually the steady
drift of the ice carried us back on the course we had come, but due to
his deathless ambition to know and to do, he had conquered. He had added
to the sum of Earth's knowledge, and proven that the mind of man is
boundless in its desire.

The long quest for the North Pole is over and the awful space that
separated man from the _Ultima Thule_ has been bridged. There is no more
beyond; from Cape Columbia to Cape Chelyuskin, the route northward to
the Pole, and southward again to the plains of Asia, is an open book and
the geographical mind is at rest.

We found the abandoned igloos of Crane City and realized that Captain
Bartlett had reached the land safely. The damage due to the action of
the storms was not material. We made the necessary repairs, and in a few
minutes tea was boiled and rations eaten, and we turned in for sleep.
For practically all of the two days following, that was what we did:
sleep and eat; men and dogs thoroughly exhausted; and we slept the sleep
of the just, without apprehensions or misgivings. Our toboggan from the
Pole was ended.

       *       *       *       *       *

Different from all other trips, we had not on this one been maddened by
the pangs of hunger, but instead we felt the effects of lack of sleep,
and brain- and body-fatigue. After reaching the land again, I gave a
keen searching look at each member of the party, and I realized the
strain they had been under. Instead of the plump, round countenances I
knew so well, I saw lean, gaunt faces, seamed and wrinkled, the faces of
old men, not those of boys, but in their eyes still shone the spark of
resolute determination.

Commander Peary's face was lined and seamed, his beard was fully an
inch in length, and his mustaches, which had been closely cropped before
he left the ship, had again attained their full flowing length. His
features expressed fatigue, but the heart-breaking look of sadness, that
had clung to him since the failure of the 1906 expedition, had vanished.
From his steel-gray eyes flashed forth the light of glorious victory,
and though he always carried himself proudly, there had come about him
an air of erect assurance that was exhilarating.

When I reached the ship again and gazed into my little mirror, it was
the pinched and wrinkled visage of an old man that peered out at me, but
the eyes still twinkled and life was still entrancing. This wizening of
our features was due to the strain of travel and lack of sleep; we had
enough to eat, and I have only mentioned it to help impress the fact
that the journey to the Pole and back is not to be regarded as a
pleasure outing, and our so-called jaunt was by no means a cake-walk.



CHAPTER XVII

SAFE ON THE ROOSEVELT--POOR MARVIN


If you will remember, the journey from Cape Sheridan to Cape Columbia
was with overloaded sledges in the darkness preceding the dawn of the
Arctic day, mostly over rough going and up-hill, and now the tables were
turned. It was broad day and down-hill with lightened sledges, so that
we practically coasted the last miles from the twin peaks of Columbia to
the low, slanting fore-shore of Sheridan and the _Roosevelt_. After the
forty hours' rest at Cape Columbia, Commander Peary had his sledges
loaded up, and with Egingwah and the best of the remaining dogs, he got
away.

I was told I could remain at the camp for another twelve hours. A large
and substantial cache of supplies had been dropped at Cape Columbia by
various members of the expedition and when the Commander was gone, I
gave the boys full permission to turn in and eat all they wanted, and I
also gave the dogs all they could stuff, and it was not until all of us
had gorged ourselves to repletion that I gave the order to _vamoose_. We
were loaded to capacity, outward and inward, and we saw a bountiful
supply still lying there, but we could not pack another ounce. It was
early in the morning of April 25 when Peary started for the ship; it was
about four or five hours later, about noon, when I gave the word, and
Ootah, Seegloo, Ooqueah, and myself left Crane City, Cape Columbia,
Grant Land, for the last time.

We overtook the Commander at Point Moss, and we traveled with him to
Cape Colan, where we camped. Peary continued on to Sail Harbor, and we
stayed in our comfortable camp and rested. We again caught up with the
Commander at Porter Bay, where we camped for a few hours. The following
morning I rearranged the sledges and left two of them at Porter Bay. It
was my intention to reach the ship on this evening. We made a short stop
at Black Cliff Bay and had lunch, and without further interruption we
traveled on and at about eight-forty-five P. M. we sighted the
_Roosevelt_.

The sighting of the ship was our first view of home, and far away as she
was, our acutely developed senses of smell were regaled with the
appetizing odor of hot coffee, and the pungent aroma of tobacco-smoke,
wafted to us through the clear, germ-free air. The Esquimo boys, usually
excited on the slightest provocation, were surprisingly stolid and
merely remarked, "_Oomiaksoah_" ("The ship") in quiet voices, until I,
unable to control myself, burst forth with a loud "hip! hip! hurrah!"
and with all that was left of my energy hurried my sledge in to the
ship. We had been sighted almost as quickly as we had sighted the ship,
and a party of the ship's crew came running out to meet us, and as we
rushed on we were told about the safe arrival of Commander Peary,
Bartlett, Borup, MacMillan, and Dr. Goodsell. Transported with elation
and overjoyed to find myself once more safe among friends, I had rushed
onward and as I recognized the different faces of the ship's company, I
did not realize that some were missing.

Chief Wardwell was the first man to greet me, he photographed me as I
was closing in on the ship, and with his strong right arm pulled me up
over the side and hugged me to his bosom. "Good boy, Matt," he said;
"too bad about Marvin," and then I knew that all was wrong and that it
was not the time for rejoicing. I asked for Peary and I was told that he
was all right. I saw Captain Bartlett and I knew that he was there; but
where was Borup, where were MacMillan, Marvin, and where was Dr.
Goodsell? Dr. Goodsell was right by my side, holding me up, and I
realized that it was of him I was demanding to know of the others.

Reason had not left me, the bonds of sanity had not snapped, but for the
time I was hysterical, and I only knew that all were well and safe
excepting Marvin, who was drowned. A big mug of coffee was given to me,
I drank a spoonful; a glass of spirits was handed me, I drank it all,
and I was guided to my cabin, my fur clothes were taken off, and for the
first time in sixty-eight days, I allowed myself to relax and I fell
into a sleep.

When I awoke, I had the grandest feast imaginable set before me, and
after eating, I had the most luxurious bath possible, and then some more
to eat, and afterwards, some more sleep; then I shaved myself, combed my
hair, and came out of my cabin and crossed over to the galley, and sat
on a box and watched Charley at work. Then I thought of the dogs and
went outside and found that they had been cared for. I wondered when the
Commander would want to see me. All of the time the sailors and Charley
and the Esquimo folks were keeping up a running fire of conversation,
and I was able to gather from what they said that my dear, good friend,
Professor Marvin, was indeed lost; that Peary had reached the
_Roosevelt_ about seven hours ahead of me; that Captain Bartlett was
suffering with swollen legs and feet; that MacMillan and Borup with
their own and Marvin's boys had gone to Cape Jesup; and that Pooadloonah
and Panikpah had taken their families and returned to Esquimo land.

For days after I reached the _Roosevelt_, I did nothing but rest and
eat. The strain was over and I had all but collapsed, but with constant
eating and sleeping, I was quickly myself again. The pains and
swellings of my limbs did not come as they had on all of the other
returnings, and neither was Peary troubled. Captain Bartlett was the
only one of the expedition that had been out on the sea-ice who felt any
after effects. Every day, a few minutes after rising, he would notice
that his ankle-, knee- and hip-joints were swollen; and while the pain
was not excessive, he was incapacitated for more than ten days, and he
spent the most of his time in his cabin. When he came out of his cabin
and did talk to me, it was only to compare notes and agree that our
experiences proved that there was absolutely no question about our
having discovered the Pole.

       *       *       *       *       *

Captain Bartlett, Dr. Goodsell, Chief Wardwell, Percy--they could talk
as they would; but the one ever-present thought in my mind was of
Marvin, and of his death. I thought of him, and of his kindness to me;
and the picture of his widowed mother, patiently waiting the return of
her son, was before me all of the time. I thought of my own mother, whom
I scarcely remembered, and I sincerely wished that it had been me who
had been taken. When MacMillan and Borup returned, I learned all about
the sad affair, from Kudlooktoo and Harrigan, and I feel that had he
been with civilized companions the sad story of Marvin's death would not
have to be told.

On breaking camp he had gone on, leaving the boys to load up and follow
him. They were going south to the land and the ship, and there was no
need for him to stay with them, and when they came up to where he had
disappeared, they saw the ice newly formed about him, his head and feet
beneath, and nothing showing but the fur clothing of his back and
shoulders. They made no effort to rescue him, and had they succeeded in
getting his body out, there is little chance that they could have kept
him alive, for the temperature was far below zero, and they knew nothing
about restoring life to the drowned. No blame can be laid to his
childish companions.

He died alone, and he passed into the great unknown alone, bravely and
honorably. He is the last of Earth's great martyrs; he is home; his work
is done; he is where he longed to be; the Sailor is Home in the Sea. It
is poor satisfaction to those that he left behind that his grave is the
northern-most grave on the earth; but they realize that the sacrifice
was not made in vain, for it was due to him that those who followed were
able to keep the trail and reach the land again. The foolish boys, in
accordance with Esquimo tradition, had unloaded all of Prof. Marvin's
personal effects on the ice, so that his spirit should not follow them,
and they hurried on back to land and to the ship, where they told their
sad story.



CHAPTER XVIII

AFTER MUSK-OXEN--THE DOCTOR'S SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION


From the time of my arrival at the _Roosevelt_, for nearly three weeks,
my days were spent in complete idleness. I would catch a fleeting
glimpse of Commander Peary, but not once in all of that time did he
speak a word to me. Then he spoke to me in the most ordinary
matter-of-fact way, and ordered me to get to work. Not a word about the
North Pole or anything connected with it; simply, "There is enough wood
left, and I would like to have you make a couple of sledges and mend the
broken ones. I hope you are feeling all right." There was enough wood
left and I made three sledges, as well as repaired those that were
broken.

The Commander was still running things and he remained the commander to
the last minute; nothing escaped him, and when the time came to
slow-down on provisions, he gave the orders, and we had but two spare
meals a day to sustain us. The whole expedition lived on travel rations
from before the time we left Cape Sheridan until we had reached Sidney,
N. S., and like the keen-fanged hounds, we were always ready and fit.

It was late in May when Prof. MacMillan and Mr. Borup, with their
Esquimo companions returned from Cape Jesup, where they had been doing
highly important scientific work, taking soundings out on the sea-ice
north of the cape as high as 84° 15' north, and also at the cape. They
had made a trip that was record-breaking; they had visited the different
cairns made by Lockwood and Brainard and by Commander Peary, and they
had also captured and brought into the ship a musk-ox calf; and they had
most satisfactorily demonstrated their fitness as Arctic explorers,
having followed the Commander's orders implicitly and secured more than
the required number of tidal-readings and soundings.

Prof. MacMillan, with Jack Barnes, a sailor, and Kudlooktoo, left for
Fort Conger early in June, and continued the work of tidal-observations.
They rejoined the _Roosevelt_ just before she left Cape Sheridan. A
little later in the month, Borup went to Clements Markham Inlet to hunt
musk-oxen, and from there he went to Cape Columbia, where he erected the
cairn containing the record of the last and successful expedition of the
"Peary Arctic Club." The cairn was a substantial pile of rocks,
surmounted by a strong oaken guide-post, with arms pointing "North 413
miles to the Pole"; "East, to Cape Morris K. Jesup, 275 miles"; "West to
Cape Thomas H. Hubbard, 225 miles"; while the southern arm pointed
south, but to no particular geographical spot; it was labeled "Cape
Columbia." Underneath the arms of the guide-post, which had been made by
Mate Gushue, was a small, glass-covered, box-like arrangement, in which
was encased the record of Peary's successful journey to the Pole, and
the roster of the expedition, my name included. From the cross-bars,
guys of galvanized wire were stretched and secured to heavy rocks, to
help sustain the monument from the fury of the storms. Borup did good
work, photographed the result, and the picture of the cairn, when
exhibited, proved very satisfactory to the Commander.

Dr. Goodsell with two teams, and the Esquimo men, Keshungwah and
Tawchingwah, left the ship on May 27, to hunt in the Lake Hazen and
Ruggles River regions. They were successful in securing thirteen
musk-oxen in that neighborhood, and in Bellows Valley they shot a number
of the "Peary" caribou, the species "_Rangifer Pearyi_," a distinct
class of reindeer inhabiting that region.

On the return of Dr. Goodsell, he told of his fascinating experiences in
that wonderland. Leaving the _Roosevelt_, he had turned inland at Black
Cliff Bay. Past the glaciers he went with his little party, down the
Bellows Valley to the Ruggles River, an actual stream of clear-running
water, alive with the finest of salmon trout. Adopting the Esquimo
methods, he fished for these speckled beauties with joyful success. Here
he rounded up and shot the herd of musk-oxen, and here he bagged his
caribou. He was in a hunter's paradise and made no haste to return, but
crossed overland to Discovery Harbor and the barn-like structure of Fort
Conger, the headquarters of General Greely's "Lady Franklin Bay
Expedition" of 1882-1883. Professor MacMillan was on his way to Fort
Conger and it was with much surprise, on arriving there, that he found
that Dr. Goodsell had reached it an hour before him. It was an
unexpected meeting and quite a pleasure to the Professor to find the
Doctor there, ready to offer him the hospitality of the fort.

Dr. Goodsell returned to the _Roosevelt_ on June 15, with a load of
geological, zoölogical, and botanical specimens almost as heavy as the
loads of meat and skins he brought in. He was an ardent scientist, and
viewed nearly every situation and object from the view-point of the
scientist. Nothing escaped him; a peculiar form of rock or plant, the
different features of the animal life, all received his close and eager
attention, and he had the faculty of imparting his knowledge to others,
like the born teacher that he was. He evinced an eager interest in the
Esquimos and got along famously with them.

His physical equipment was the finest; a giant in stature and strength,
but withal the gentlest of men having an even, mellow disposition that
never was ruffled. In the field the previous spring he had accompanied
the expedition beyond the "Big Lead" to 84° 29', and with the strength
of his broad shoulders he had pickaxed the way.

On account of his calm, quiet manner I had hesitated to form an opinion
of him at first, but you can rest assured this was a "Tenderfoot" who
made good.

During this time I left the ship on short hunting trips, but I was never
away from the ship for more than ten or twelve hours.

       *       *       *       *       *

On July 1 quite a lead was opened in the channel south from Cape
Sheridan to Cape Rawson. The ice was slowly moving southward, and the
prospects for freeing the _Roosevelt_ and getting her started on her
homeward way were commencing to brighten. The following day a new lead
opened much nearer shore, and on July 3 the Esquimos, who had been out
hunting, returned from Black Cliff Bay, without game, but with the good
news that as far south as Dumb Bell Bay there stretched a lead of open
water. July 4, a new lead opened very close to the _Roosevelt_. The
spring tides, with a strong southerly wind, had set in so very much
earlier, three years before, that on July 4, 1906, the _Roosevelt_ had
been entirely free of ice, with clear, open water for quite a distance
to the south; but this year the ship was still completely packed in the
ice, and furthermore she was listed at the same angle as during the
winter.

On July 5, I was detailed to help Gushue repair the more or less damaged
whale-boats. The heavy and solidly packed snow of the winter had stove
them in. On July 6, the anniversary of our departure from New York a
year before, the greater part of the day was spent in pumping water from
the top of a heavy floeberg into the ship's boilers. This work was not
completed until the morning of the 7th, when the fires were started. Due
to the cold, the process of getting up steam was slow work. The ice had
been breaking up daily, new leads were noticed, and on this day, July 7,
a new lead opened at a distance of fifty yards from the ship, and open
water stretched as far south as the eye could see. All hands were put to
work reloading the supplies that had been placed on shore the fall
previous, for it was easy to see that the time for departure was at
hand.

With the boilers in order, an attempt was made to revolve the shaft, but
the propeller was too securely frozen in the ice to move, and so Captain
Bartlett got out the dynamite and succeeded in freeing the bronze
blades.

From the 10th of July to the 13th, a fierce storm raged, clouds of
freeing spray broke over the ship, incasing her in a coat of icy mail,
and the tempest forced all of the ice out of the lower end of the
channel and beyond as far as the eye could see, but the _Roosevelt_
still remained surrounded by ice.

The morning of the 15th, a smart breeze from the northeast was blowing,
and proved of valuable assistance to us, for it caused the huge blocks
of ice that were surrounding the ship to loosen their hold, and for the
first time since October, 1908, the _Roosevelt_ righted herself to an
even keel.

By this time all of our supplies had been loaded and stored, and from
the crow's-nest a stretch of open water could be seen as far as Cape
Rawson. From there to Cape Union the ice was packed solid.



CHAPTER XIX

THE ROOSEVELT STARTS FOR HOME--ESQUIMO VILLAGES--NEW DOGS AND NEW DOG
FIGHTS


It was two-thirty P. M., July 17, 1909, that the _Roosevelt_ pointed her
bow southward and we left our winter quarters and Cape Sheridan. We were
on our journey home, all hands as happy as when, a year previous, we had
started on our way north, with the added satisfaction of complete
success. The ship had steamed but a short distance, when, owing to the
rapidly drifting ice in the channel, she had to be made fast to a
floeberg. At ten-thirty P. M., the lines were loosed and a new start
made. Without further incident, we reached Black Cape.

In rounding the cape the ship encountered a terrific storm, and it was
with the greatest difficulty that she made any headway. The storm
increased and the _Roosevelt_ had to remain in the channel, surrounded
by the tightly wedged floes, at the mercy of the wind. The gale
continued until the evening of the 20th. The constant surging back and
forth of the channel-pack, with the spring tides and the several huge
masses of ice, which repeatedly crashed against the ship's sides, caused
a delay of twelve days in Robeson Channel opposite Lincoln Bay.
Throughout the width of the entire channel nothing could be seen but
small pools of open water; two seals were seen sporting in one of these
pools, and one of the Esquimos attempted to kill them, but his aim
proved false.

It was not until the 25th that the ship was able to move of her own free
will, small leads having opened in close proximity to her. Ootah shot a
seal in one of the leads, and also harpooned a narwhal, but he did not
succeed in securing either. His brother Egingwah on the following day
shot two seals and harpooned a narwhal, and he secured all three of his
prizes. The Esquimos had a grand feast off the skin of the narwhal,
which they esteem as a great delicacy.

By the 27th the _Roosevelt_ had drifted as far south as Wrangell Bay,
and it was here that Slocum (Inighito) shot and secured a hood-seal,
which weighed over six hundred pounds, and seal-steaks were added to the
bill-of-fare.

The snow storms of the two days ceased on the 28th, and when the weather
cleared sufficiently for us to ascertain our whereabouts, we were much
surprised to find that we had drifted back north, opposite Lincoln Bay.
During the day the wind shifted to the north. Again we drifted
southward, until, just off Cape Beechey, the narrowest part of Robeson
Channel, a lead stretching southward for a distance of five miles was
sighted, and into this open water the ship steamed until the lead
terminated in Kennedy Channel, opposite Lady Franklin Bay, where the
_Roosevelt_ was ice-bound until August 4, drifting with the pack until
we were in a direct line with Cape Tyson and Bellot Isle. Three seals
were captured, one a hood-seal weighing 624 pounds, being eight feet
eleven inches in length; the other two were small ring-seals.

By ten A. M. of the 4th, the ice had slackened so considerably that the
_Roosevelt_, under full steam, set out and rapidly worked her way down
Kennedy Channel. From Crozier Island to Cape D'Urville she steamed
through practically open water, but a dense fog compelled us to make
fast to a large floe when almost opposite Cape Albert. It was not until
one A. M. of the 7th, despite several attempts, that the ship got clear
and steamed south again. Several small leads were noticed and numerous
narwhals were seen, but none were captured.

At three-thirty A. M., when nearing Cape Sabine, we observed that the
barometer had dropped to 29.73. A storm was coming, and every effort was
made to reach Payer Harbor, but before half of the distance had been
covered, the storm broke with terrific violence. The force of the gale
was such that, while swinging the boats inboard, we were drenched and
thoroughly chilled by the sheets of icy spray, which saturated us and
instantly froze. The _Roosevelt_ was blown over to starboard until the
rails were submerged. To save her, she was steered into Buchanan Bay,
under the lee of the cliffs, where she remained until the morning of
August 8.

At an early hour, we steamed down Buchanan Bay, passed Cocked Hat
Island, and a little later, Cape Sabine. At Cape Sabine was located
Camp Clay, the starvation camp of the Lady Franklin Bay expedition of
1881-1883, where the five survivors of the twenty-three members of the
expedition were rescued.

We entered Smith Sound. Instead of sailing on to Etah, Peary ordered the
ship into Whale Sound, in order that walrus-hunting could be done, so
that the Esquimos should have a plentiful supply of meat for the
following winter. Three walrus were captured, when a storm sprang up
with all of the suddenness of storms in this neighborhood, and the ship
crossed over from Cape Alexander to Cape Chalon. Cape Chalon is a
favorite resort of the Esquimos, and is known as Peter-ar-wick, on
account of the walrus that are to be found here during the months of
February and March.

At Nerke, just below Cape Chalon, we found the three Esquimo families of
Ahsayoo, Tungwingwah, and Teddylingwah, and it was from these people we
first learned of Dr. Cook's safe return from Ellesmere Land. In spite of
the fact that the _Roosevelt_ was overloaded with dogs, paraphernalia,
and Esquimos, these three families were taken aboard.

With them were several teams of dogs. The dogs aboard ship were the
survivors of the pack that had been with us all through the campaign,
and a number of litters of puppies that had been whelped since the
spring season. Our dogs were well acquainted with each other and dog
fights were infrequent and of little interest, but the arrival of the
first dog of the new party was the signal for the grandest dog fight I
have ever witnessed. I feel justified in using the language of the fairy
Ariel, in Shakespeare's "Tempest": "Now is Hell empty, and all the
devils are here."

Backward and forward, the foredeck of the ship was a howling, snarling,
biting, yelping, moving mass of fury, and it was a long round of fully
ten or fifteen minutes before the two king dogs of the packs got
together, and then began the battle for supremacy of the pack. It lasted
for some time. It would have been useless to separate them. They would
decide sooner or later, and it was better to have it over, even if one
or both contestants were killed. At length the fight was ended; our old
king dog, Nalegaksoah, the champion of the pack, and the laziest dog in
it, was still the king. After vanquishing his opponent and receiving
humble acknowledgments, King Nalegaksoah went stamping up and down
before the pack and received the homage due him; the new dogs, whining
and fawning and cringingly submissive, bowed down before him.

The chief pleasure of the Esquimo dogs is fighting; two dogs, the best
of friends, will hair-pull and bite each other for no cause whatever,
and strange dogs fight at sight; team-mates fight each other on the
slightest of provocations; and it seems as though sometimes the fights
are held for the purpose of educating the young. When a fight is in
progress, it is the usual sight to see several mother dogs, with their
litters, occupying ring-side seats. I have often wondered what chance a
cat would stand against an Esquimo dog.

The ship kept on, and I had turned in and slept, and on arising had
found that we had reached a place called Igluduhomidy, where a single
family was located. Living with this family was a very old Esquimo,
Merktoshah, the oldest man in the whole tribe, and not a blood-relation
to any member of it. He had crossed over from the west coast of Smith
Sound the same year that Hall's expedition had wintered there, and has
lived there ever since. He had been a champion polar bear and big game
hunter, and though now a very old man, was still vigorous and valiant,
in spite of the loss of one eye.

We stopped at Kookan, the most prosperous of the Esquimo settlements, a
village of five tupiks (skin tents), housing twenty-four people, and
from there we sailed to the ideal community of Karnah. Karnah is the
most delightful spot on the Greenland coast. Situated on a gently
southward sloping knoll are the igloos and tupiks, where I have spent
many pleasant days with my Esquimo friends and learned much of the
folk-lore and history. Lofty mountains, sublime in their grandeur,
overtower and surround this place, and its only exposure is southward
toward the sun. In winter its climate is not severe, as compared with
other portions of this country, and in the perpetual daylight of summer,
life here is ideal. Rivulets of clear, cold water, the beds of which
are grass- and flower-covered, run down the sides of the mountains and,
but for the lack of trees, the landscape is as delightful as anywhere on
earth.



CHAPTER XX

TWO NARROW ESCAPES--ARRIVAL AT ETAH--HARRY WHITNEY--DR. COOK'S CLAIMS


From Karnah the _Roosevelt_ sailed to Itiblu, where hunting-parties
secured thirty-one walrus and one seal. By the 11th of August we had
reached the northern shore of Northumberland Island, where we were
delayed by storm. It was shortly before noon of this day that we barely
escaped another fatal calamity.

Chief Wardwell, while cleaning the rifle of Commander Peary, had the
misfortune to have the piece explode while in his hands. From some
unknown cause a cartridge was discharged, the projectile pierced two
thick partitions of inch-and-a-half pine, and penetrated the cabin
occupied by Professor MacMillan and Mr. Borup. The billet of that bullet
was the shoulder and forearm of Professor MacMillan, who at the time was
sound asleep in his berth. He had been lying with his arm doubled and
his head resting on his hand. A half inch nearer and the bullet would
have entered his brain.

As is always the case with narrow escapes, I, too, had a narrow escape,
for that same bullet entered the partition on its death-dealing mission
at identically the same spot where a few minutes previously _my_ head
had rested. Dr. Goodsell was quickly aroused, he attended Professor
MacMillan, and in a short time he diagnosed the case as a "gun-shot
wound." Finding no bones broken, or veins or arteries open, he soon had
the Professor bandaged and comfortable.

At the time of the accident to Professor MacMillan the ship was riding
at anchor, but with insufficient slack-way, so in the afternoon, when
the excitement had somewhat abated, Captain Bob decided to give the ship
more chain, for a storm was imminent, and he gave the order accordingly.
The boatswain, in his haste to execute the order, and overestimating the
amount of chain in the locker, permitted all of it to run overboard. We
were in a predicament, with the storm upon us, no anchor to hold the
boat, and a savage, rocky shore on which we were in danger of being
wrecked. There was a small five-hundred-pound anchor with a nine-inch
cable of about one hundred and fifty fathoms remaining, which was
repeatedly tried, but the ship was too much for this feather-weight
anchor, and dragged it at will. Commander Peary, with his usual
foresight, had ordered steam as soon as the approach of the storm was
noticed, and now that the steam was up, he ordered that the ship be kept
head-on, and steam up and down the coast until the storm abated. The
storm lasted until the night of August 13, and the best part of the
following day was spent by two boat-crews of twelve men, in grappling
for the lost anchor and chain, and not until they had secured it and
restored it once more to its locker were they permitted to rest. With
the anchor secure, walrus-hunting commenced afresh, and on the ice-floes
between Hakluyt and Northumberland Islands thirty more walrus were
secured.

On August 16, the _Roosevelt_ steamed back to Karnah, and the Esquimo
people who intended living there for the following winter were landed.
A very large supply of meat was landed also; in addition to the meat
quite a number of useful presents, hatchets, knives, needles, some
boards for the making and repairing of sledges, and some wood for
lance-and harpoon-staves, and a box full of soap were landed. This
inventory of presents may seem cheap and paltry to you, but to these
natives such presents as we made were more appreciated than the gift of
many dollars would be by a poverty-stricken family in this country. With
the materials that Commander Peary furnished would be made the weapons
of the chase, the tools of the seamstress, and the implements of the
home-maker. The Esquimos have always known how to utilize every factor
furnished by nature, and what has been given to them by the Commander
has been given with the simple idea of helping them to make their life
easier, and proves again the axiom, "The Lord helps those who help
themselves."

After disembarking the Karnah contingent, the ship steamed to Etah,
arriving there on the afternoon of August 17. As the _Roosevelt_ was
entering the harbor of Etah, all hands were on deck and on the lookout,
for it was here that we were again to come in touch with the world we
had left behind a year before. A large number of Esquimos were running
up and down the shore, but there was no sign of the expected ship.
Quickly a boat was lowered, and I saw to it that I was a member of the
crew of that boat, and when we reached the beach the first person to
greet me was old Panikpah, greasy, smiling, and happy as if I were his
own son. I quickly recognized my old friend Pooadloonah, who greeted me
with a merry laugh, and my misgivings as to the fate of this precious
pair were dispelled. If you will remember, Panikpah and Pooadloonah were
the two Esquimos who found, when on our Poleward journey, just about the
time we had struck the "Big Lead," that there were a couple of
fox-traps, or something like that, that they had forgotten to attend to,
and that it was extremely necessary for them to go back and square up
their accounts. Here they were, fat, smiling, and healthy; and I
apprehend somewhat surprised to see us, but they bluffed it out well.

Murphy and the young man Pritchard were also here. Murphy and Pritchard
were the members of the crew who had been left here to guard the
provisions of the expedition, and to trade with the Esquimos. Another
person also was there to greet us; but who had kept himself alive and
well by his own pluck and clear grit, and who reported on meeting the
Commander of having had a most satisfactory and enjoyable experience. I
refer to Mr. Harry Whitney, the young man from New Haven, Conn., who had
elected at the last hour, the previous autumn, to remain at Etah, to
hunt the big game of the region. When the _Roosevelt_ had sailed north
from Etah, the previous August, he had been left absolutely alone; the
_Erik_ had sailed for home, and there was no way out of this desolate
land for him until the relief ship came north the following year, or the
_Roosevelt_ came south to take him aboard. His outfit and equipment were
sufficient for him and complete, but he had shared it with the natives
until it was exhausted, and after that he had reverted to the life of
the aborigines. When the _Roosevelt_ reached Etah, Mr. Whitney was an
Esquimo; but within one hour, he had a bath, a shave, and a hair-cut,
and was the same mild-mannered gentleman that we had left there in the
fall. He had gratified his ambitions in shooting musk-oxen, but he had
not killed a single polar bear.

At Etah there were two boys, Etookahshoo and Ahpellah, boys about
sixteen or seventeen years old, who had been with Dr. Cook for a year,
or ever since he had crossed the channel to Ellesmere Land and returned
again. These boys are the two he claims accompanied him to the North
Pole. To us, up there at Etah, such a story was so ridiculous and absurd
that we simply laughed at it. We knew Dr. Cook and his abilities; he had
been the surgeon on two of Peary's expeditions and, aside from his
medical ability, we had no faith in him whatever. He was not even good
for a day's work, and the idea of his making such an astounding claim as
having reached the Pole was so ludicrous that, after our laugh, we
dropped the matter altogether.

On account of the world-wide controversy his story has caused, I will
quote from my diary the impressions noted in regard to him:

"August 17, 1909, Etah, North Greenland.

"Mr. Harry Whitney came aboard with the boatswain and the cabin-boy, who
had been left here last fall on our way to Cape Sheridan. Murphy is the
boatswain and Pritchard the boy, both from Newfoundland, and they look
none the worse for wear, in spite of the long time they have spent here.
Mr. Whitney is the gentleman who came up on the _Erik_ last year, and at
the last moment decided to spend the winter with the natives. He had a
long talk with the Commander before we left for the north, and has had
quite a lengthy session with him since. I learn that Dr. Cook came over
from Ellesmere Land with his two boys, Etookahshoo and Ahpellah, and in
a confidential conversation with Mr. Whitney made the statement that he
had reached the North Pole. Professor MacMillan and I have talked to his
two boys and have learned that there is no foundation in fact for such a
statement, and the Captain and others of the expedition have questioned
them, and if they were out on the ice of the Arctic Ocean it was only
for a very short distance, not more than twenty or twenty-five miles.
The boys are positive in this statement, and my own boys, Ootah and
Ooqueah, have talked to them also, and get the same replies. It is a
fact that they had a very hard time and were reduced to low limits, but
they have not been any distance north, and the Commander and the rest of
us are in the humor to regard Mr. Whitney as a person who has been
hoodwinked. We know Dr. Cook very well and also his reputation, and we
know that he was never good for a hard day's work; in fact he was not up
to the average, and he is no hand at all in making the most of his
resources. He probably has spun this yarn to Mr. Whitney and the
boatswain to make himself look big to them.

"The Commander will not permit Mr. Whitney to bring any of the Dr. Cook
effects aboard the _Roosevelt_ and they have been left in a cache on
shore. Koolootingwah is here again, after his trip to North Star Bay
with Dr. Cook, and tells an amusing story of his experience."

It is only from a sense of justice to Commander Peary and those who were
with him that I have mentioned Dr. Cook. The outfitting of the hunting
expedition of Mr. Bradley was well known to us. Captain Bartlett had
directed it and had advised and arranged for the purchase of the
Schooner _John R. Bradley_ to carry the hunting party to the region
where big game of the character Mr. Bradley wished to hunt could be
found. We knew that Dr. Cook was accompanying Mr. Bradley, but we had no
idea that the question of the discovery of the North Pole was to be
involved.

I have reason to be grateful to Dr. Cook for favors received; I lived
with his folks while I was suffering with my eyes, due to snow
blindness, but I feel that all of the debts of gratitude have been
liquidated by my silence in this controversy, and I will have nothing
more to say in regard to him or to his claims.



CHAPTER XXI

ETAH TO NEW YORK--COMING OF MAIL AND REPORTERS--HOME!


At Etah we expected to meet the relief ship. Sixty tons of coal and a
small quantity of provisions had been left there during the previous
summer, to be used by us on our homeward voyage. This coal was loaded on
board and the Esquimos who desired to remain at Etah were landed. Just
at the time we were ready to sail a heavy storm of wind and snow blew
up, and it was not until six P. M. on the 20th that we left the harbor.
Farewells had been said to the Esquimos, all that had been promised them
for faithful services had been given to them, and we commenced the final
stage of our journey home.

From Etah, August 20, the ship sailed along the coast, landing Esquimos
at the different settlements, and on the 23rd of August at two A. M., we
met the Schooner _Jeanie_, of St. John, N. F., commanded by Samuel
Bartlett. The schooner was supplied with provisions and coal for the
relief of the _Roosevelt_, and was executing the plan of the Peary
Arctic Club.

There was mail aboard her and we had our first tidings of home and
friends in a twelve-month. From newspaper clippings I learned that the
British Antarctic Expedition, commanded by Sir Ernest H. Shackleton, had
reached within 111 miles of the South Pole.

The mail contained good news for all but one of us. Mr. Borup, in his
bunk above the Professor's, read his letters, and in the course of his
reading was heard to emit a deep sigh, then to utter an agonizing groan.
Prof. MacMillan, thinking that Borup had received bad news indeed,
endeavored to console him, and at the same time asked what was the bad
news, feeling sure it could be nothing less than the death of Colonel
Borup or some other close relative of his.

"What is the matter, George? Tell me."

"HARVARD BEAT YALE!"

The _Roosevelt_, accompanied by her consort, sailed south to North Star
Bay and while entering the harbor ran ashore. Late in the afternoon,
however, the rising tide floated her. While waiting for the tide, a
party of six, I among the number, went ashore and visited the Danish
Missionary settlement established there, the Esquimos acting as our
interpreters, we being unable to speak Danish and the missionaries being
unable to speak English. It was in North Star Bay that the coal and
provisions from the _Jeanie_ were transferred to the _Roosevelt_.

Aboard the _Jeanie_, there was a young Esquimo man, Mene, who for the
past twelve years had lived in New York City, but, overcome by a strong
desire to live again in his own country, had been sent north by his
friends in the States. He was almost destitute, having positively
nothing in the way of an equipment to enable him to withstand the rigors
of the country, and was no more fitted for the life he was to take up
than any boy of eighteen or twenty would be, for he was but a little boy
when he first left North Greenland. However, Commander Peary ordered
that he be given a plentiful supply of furs to keep him warm, food,
ammunition and loading outfit, traps and guns, but, I believe, he would
have gladly returned with us, for it was a wistful farewell he made, and
an Esquimo's farewell is usually very barren of pathos.

Mr. Whitney transferred his augmented equipment to the _Jeanie_,
intending to remain with her down the Labrador, for her Captain had
agreed to use every effort to help Mr. Whitney secure at least one polar
bear.

Cape York was reached on the morning of August 25, and from the two
Esquimo families, living at the extreme point of the Cape, we obtained
the mail which had been left there by Captain Adams of the Dundee
Whaling Fleet _Morning Star_. Our letters, although they bore no more
recent a date than that of March 23, 1909, were eagerly read.

At Cape York we landed the last of the Esquimos. The decks were now
cleared. The boats were securely lashed in their davits, and nine A. M.,
August 26, in a gale of wind, the _Roosevelt_ put out to sea,
homeward-bound, but not yet out of danger, for the gale increased so
considerably that the _Roosevelt_ was forced to lay to under reefed
foresail, in the lee of the middle pack, until the 29th, when the storm
subsided and the ship got under way again.

On September 4 the Labrador was sighted. Under full steam we passed the
Farmyard, a group of small islands which lie off the coast.

We arrived at Turnavik at seven-thirty P. M. Once again we saw signs of
civilization. The men and women appeared in costumes of the Twentieth
Century instead of the fur garments of the Esquimos. Here we loaded
nineteen tons of coal. Here we feasted on fresh codfish, fresh
vegetables, and other appetizing foods to which our palates had long
been strangers.

You know the rest, for from Turnavik to Indian Harbor was only a few
hours' sailing.

At Indian Harbor was located the wireless telegraph station from where
Commander Peary flashed to the civilized world his laconic message,
"Stars and Stripes nailed to the North Pole."

Within half an hour of our arrival, the British cutter _Fiona_ entered
the harbor and the officers came aboard the _Roosevelt_. Thereafter for
every hour there was continuous excitement and reception of visitors.

On September 13th the steamer _Douglas H. Thomas_, of Sydney, C. B.,
arrived, having on board two representatives of the Associated Press,
accompanied by Mr. Rood, a representative of _Harper's Magazine_.

The next day the cable-boat _Tyrian_ arrived, with seventeen newspaper
reporters, five photographers, and one stenographer. The _Tyrian_
anchored outside the harbor and in five life-boats the party was brought
aboard the _Roosevelt_. As they rowed they cheered, and when they
sighted Commander Peary three ringing cheers and a tiger were given. The
newspaper men requested an interview with the Commander. He granted
their request, at the same time suggesting that they accompany him
ashore to a fish-loft at the end of the pier, where there would be more
room than aboard the ship. Accompanied by the members of the expedition,
the Commander and the reporters left the ship. Arriving at the loft
Commander Peary sat on some fishnets at the rear end of the loft, some
of the reporters sat on barrels and nets, others squatted on the floor.
They formed a semi-circle around him and eagerly listened to the first
telling of his stirring story.

Before leaving Battle Harbor, we received a visit from the great
missionary, Dr. Grenfell, the effect of whose presence was almost like a
benediction.

On the morning of the 18th we left Battle Harbor accompanied by the tug
_Douglas H. Thomas_, amidst the salutes of the many vessels and boats in
the harbor and the cannon on the hill.

Through the Straits of Belle Isle we steamed, with a fair wind and a
choppy sea. In the meantime I was busily engaged in making a strip to
sew upon a large American flag. This was a broad white bar which was to
extend from the upper right to the lower left corner of the flag, with
the words "North Pole" sewed on it.

About six A. M. on the 21st, a large white, steam-yacht was seen
approaching, flying an American flag from her foremast and the English
flag from the mizzenmast. We were close enough to her to distinguish
Mrs. Peary and the children on board. A boat was quickly lowered from
the yacht and the Peary family was soon united aboard the _Roosevelt_.

All kinds of sailing craft now met the _Roosevelt_ and by them she was
escorted into the harbor of Sydney, C. B. Whistles were blown, thousands
of people lined the shores of the harbor, cheering enthusiastically and
waving flags, and as the _Roosevelt_ was moored alongside the pier, a
delegation of school-girls met the Commander, made an address, and
presented him with a magnificent bouquet. The streets were gorgeously
decorated and a holiday had been declared. A ripe, royal welcome was
accorded the _Roosevelt_ and the members of the expedition. Visitors
boarded the ship and looted successfully for souvenirs.

It was at Sydney that the expedition commenced to disband. Commander
Peary and his family returned to the United States via railroad-train.

The _Roosevelt_ left Sydney on September 22 for New York City. A stop
was made at Eagle Island, in Casco Bay, off the coast of Maine, where is
located the summer home of Commander Peary, and here we landed most of
his paraphernalia, some sledges and dogs. From Eagle Island we steamed
direct to Sandy Hook, reaching there at noon on October 2. The next day
the _Roosevelt_ took her place with the replica of those two historic
ships, the _Half Moon_ and the _Clermont_, in the lead of the great
naval parade.

And now my story is ended; it is a tale that is told. "Now is Othello's
occupation gone."

I long to see them all again! the brave, cheery companions of the trail
of the North. I long to see again the lithe figure of my Commander! and
to hear again his clear, ringing voice urging and encouraging me onward,
with his "Well done, my boy." I want to be with the party when they
reach the untrod shores of Crocker Land; I yearn to be with those who
reach the South Pole, the lure of the Arctic is tugging at my heart, to
me the trail is calling!

          "The Old Trail!
           The Trail that is always New!"



APPENDIX I

NOTES ON THE ESQUIMOS


The origin of the Esquimos is not known to a certainty. In color they
are brown, their hair is heavy, straight, coarse, and black. In
appearance they are short, fat, and well-developed; and they bear a
strong resemblance to the Mongolian race.

Among the men of this tribe, quarrels and fights very rarely occur; but
it is a very noticeable fact that while the men of the tribe do not make
war on each other, the man of the family will, at the least provocation
on the part of his better-half, without hesitation apply brute force to
show his authority.

The tribe of these, the North Greenland Esquimos, numbers two hundred
and eighteen.

Great interest was shown by the men when working implements, such as we
used on board ship, were shown them. Eagerly they listened while the
uses of many of these tools were explained to them. The women also
showed great interest in any article that was foreign to them. They have
a special liking for fancy beads of the smaller variety.

The Esquimos show a great capacity for imitation. They have also a
marked sense of humor.

An Esquimo's sense of imitation is so keen that it is only necessary for
him to observe a sledge-maker at work but once, when the same type of
sledge will be reproduced in a very short time. On my last trip north, I
noticed that the shirts worn by the Esquimos were similar in style and
cut to our own. In 1906, the style had been entirely different.

The Esquimos show no desire to acquire the English language. With the
exception of Kudlooktoo and Inighito, none of the tribe could speak
English intelligently. The Esquimos' vocabulary is a complication of
prefixes and suffixes, and many words in his language are very hard to
pronounce.

The _tupiks_ (tents) are made of sealskin, and are used in summer. The
igloos are built of snow, and are used in winter. A few igloos built of
bowlders can be seen. The workmanship of this latter type of igloos is
necessarily crude, for the bowlders are used in the rough state. On
entering the _tuscoonah_ (entrance), a bed-platform of stones five feet
long, and six feet wide, confronts one. On each side of this platform
are seen smaller platforms, each holding a _koodlah_ (fire-pot).

This _koodlah_ is made of a stone so soft that before it comes in
contact with fire it can easily be cut with a knife. The name given by
the Esquimos to it is _okeyoah_. Cooking utensils are first formed in
the desired shape, then heat is applied, as a result of which the stone
quickly hardens. The method of cooking as employed by the Esquimos is to
suspend the _kooleesoo_ (cooking-pot) over the _koodlah_ (fire-pot). The
_koodlah_ is the only means by which light can be secured in an Esquimo
igloo. As fuel, the blubber of the narwhal is used.

The clothing of the male Esquimo consists of a _kooletah_ (deerskin coat
with hood attached), _nanookes_ (foxskin trousers) and _kamiks_
(sealskin boots); that of the female Esquimo, a _kopetah_ (foxskin coat
with hood attached), _nanookes_ (foxskin trousers) and hip length
_kamiks_ (sealskin boots). The shirts of the male and female Esquimo are
made from the skin of the auks, and one hundred and fifty of these
little birds are used in the manufacture of one shirt.

The largest Esquimo family known among the North Greenland tribe,
numbers six; as a rule, an Esquimo family rarely outnumbers three. An
Esquimo family is not stationary. Rarely does a family remain in one
place longer than one season, which is nine months. The principal reason
for this constant moving is the scarcity of game; for after a season of
hunting in one place, game becomes very scarce; and there is no other
alternative but for the family to move on. Transportation is by means of
sledges drawn by a team of dogs. Alcoholic drinks are not known among
this tribe; but, of late, tobacco is extensively used. Previous to 1902,
before the arrival of the Danes, tobacco was an unknown quantity.

The cleanliness of the Esquimos leaves room for much improvement.

With reference to their morals, strictly speaking they are markedly
lax. The wife of an Esquimo is held in no higher esteem than are the
goods and chattels of the household. She may at any time be loaned,
borrowed, sold, or exchanged. They have no marriage ceremony.

The amusements of the Esquimos are few. Tests of strength and endurance
occur between the men of the tribe; and visits are paid to the various
settlements, during the long winter nights; and songs and choruses are
sung, accompanied by a kind of tambourine which is made from the bladder
of a walrus or seal, and stretched across the antlers of a reindeer.

The Esquimos are a very superstitious people. In the event of a fatal
illness, the victim, just before death, is removed to a place outside
the igloo, for should death enter the igloo that dwelling would
instantly be destroyed. If the deceased be a man, he is rolled up in a
sealskin, and strips of rawhide are lashed around the body to keep the
skin intact. He is then carried to his last resting place. A low stone
structure is built around the body to protect it from the foxes. His
sledge, containing all his belongings, is placed close beside this
structure, and his dogs harnessed to his sledge are strangled, and
stretched their full length, with their forepaws extended. In the event
of the deceased being a woman, her cooking utensils are placed beside
her, and should she be the mother of a very young infant, its life is
taken. In the case of a widower, the bereaved Esquimo remains in the
igloo for three days, during which time a new suit of wearing apparel is
made, and worn by him, and all clothing made by the deceased, is, by
him, destroyed. His term of mourning now being ended, the Esquimo,
without more ado, takes unto himself a new wife. Members of the tribe
who have the same name as the deceased have to change that name until
the arrival of a new-born babe, to whom the name is given, whereby the
ban is removed. The Esquimos have no decided form of religion. When
questioned as to where the soul of the good Esquimo will go, they reply
by pointing upward; and by pointing downward, the question is answered
as to the final dwelling-place of the wicked.

The main cause of death amongst the Esquimos is from a disease the
symptoms of which are a cough, nausea, and fever, which disease quickly
causes death.

It is true that the Esquimos are of little value to the commercial
world, due probably to their isolated position; but these same unlearned
and uncivilized people have rendered valuable assistance in the
discovery of the North Pole.



APPENDIX II

LIST OF SMITH SOUND ESQUIMOS

(Males marked by an asterisk)


          Ac-com-o-ding´-wah *
          Ah-ding´-ah-loo
          Ah-dul-ah-ko-tee´-ah *
          Ah-dul-ah-ko-tee´-ah *
          Ah-ga-tah´
          Ah-go´-tah *
          Ah-kah-gee´-ah-how
          A-ka-ting´-wah
          A-ka-ting´-wah
          Ah-li-kah-sing´-wah
          Ah-li-kah-sing´-wah
          Ah-li-kah-sing´-wah
          Ah´-mah
          Ah-mame´-ee
          Ah-mo-ned´-dy
          Ah-mung´-wah
          Ah-nad´-doo
          Ah-nah´-we
          Ah-nah-wing´-wah
          Ahng-een´-yah *
          Ahng-een´-yah
          Ahng´-ing-nah
          Ahng-ma-lok´-to *
          Ahng-nah´-nia
          Ahng-no-ding´-wah
          Ahng-o-do-blah´-o *
          Ahng-o-di-gip´-so
          Ahng´-od-loo *
          Ah-ni-ghi´-to
          Ah-ni-ghi´-to
          Ah-ning´-wah
          Ah-ning´-wah
          Ah-now´-kah *
          Ah-now´-kah *
          Ah´-pel-lah *
          Ah´-pel-lah *
          Ah-pu-ding´-wah *
          Ah-say´-oo *
          Ah´-te-tah
          Ah´-te-tah
          Ah-took-sung´-wah
          Ah-tung´-ee-nah
          Ah-tung´-ee-nah
          Ah-wa-ting´-wah *
          Ah-wa-tok´-suah *
          Ah-wee´-ah
          Ah-wee´-ah
          Ah-wee-ah-good´-loo
          Ah-wee-aung-o´-nah
          Ah-wee´-i-ah *
          Ah-we-ging´-wah *
          Ah-we-shung´-wah *
          Ah-wok-tun´-ee-ah
          Ak-pood-ah-shah´-o *
          Ak-pood-ah-shah´-o *
          Ak-pood´-ee-ark *
          Ak-pood-e-uk´-ee
          A-le´-tah *
          Al´-nay-ah
          Al-nay-du´-ah
          Ar-ke´-o *
          Ar-ke´-o *
          Ar-ke´-o *

          E-gee´-ah *
          E-ging´-wah *
          E-ging´-wah *
          E-lay-ting´-wah
          E-ling´-wah *
          E-meen´-yah *
          E-she-a´-too
          E-shing´-wah
          E-tood´-loo *
          E-took´-ah-shoo *
          E-took´-ah-shoo *
          E-too-shok´-swah
          E´-vah-loo
          E´-vah-loo
          E´-we

          I-ah-ping´-wah *
          I-ah-ping´-wah *
          Ig-lood-ee-ark´-swee *
          Ihr´-lee *
          Ik´-wah *
          Ik-kile-e-oo´-shah
          Il-kah-lin´-ah
          Il-kli-ah´ *
          Il-kli-ah´ *
          In-ad-lee´-ah
          In-ad-lee´-ah
          In´-ah-loo
          In-i-ghi´-to *
          In-i-ghi´-to *
          In-i-ghi´-to *
          In-noo´-i-tah *
          In-noo-tah´
          In-noo-tah´
          In-u-ah-pud´-o *
          In-u-ah´-o
          In-yah-lung´-wah
          I-on´-ah
          I-o-wit´-ty *

          Jacok-su´-nah *

          Kah´-dah *
          Kah-ko-tee´-ah
          Kah-ko-tee´-ah *
          Kah-shad´-doo
          Kah-shoo´-be-doo *
          Kai-o-ang´-wah *
          Kai-o-ang´-wah *
          Kai´-oh *
          Kai-o-look´-to *
          Kai-o´-tah *
          Kai-we-ark´-shah *
          Kai-we-ing´-wah *
          Kai´-we-kah *
          Kai-ung´-wah *
          Kang-nah´ *
          Kes-shoo´ *
          Ke-shung´-wah *
          Klay´-oo
          Klay´-oo
          Klay-ung´-wah
          Klip-e-sok´-swah *
          Kood´-ee-puck
          Kood-loo-tin´-ah *
          Kood-loo-tin´-ah * (or
          Koolatoonah)
          Koo-e-tig´-e-to *
          Koo´-lee
          Kool-oo-ting´-wah *
          Koo-u-pee´
          Koo-u-pee´
          Kud´-ah-shah *
          Kud´-lah *
          Kud´-lah *
          Kud-lun´-ah *
          Kud-look´-too *
          Ky-u-tah *

          Ma-gip´-soo
          Mah-so´-nah *
          Mah-so´-nah *
          Mah-so´-nah *
          Mah-so´-nah *
          Mark-sing´-wah *
          Mee´-tik *
          Mee´-tik *
          Me-gip´-soo
          Mek´-kah
          Me´-ne *
          Merk-to-shah´ *
          Mok´-sah *
          Mok-sang´-wah
          Mok-sang´-wah
          Mon´-nie
          Mon´-nie
          Micky´-shoo
          My´-ah *
          My-o´-tah *

          Nay-dee-ing´-wah
          Nel-lee´-kah
          Nel-lee-ka-tee´-ah
          Net´-too
          Net´-too
          New-e-king´-wah
          New-e-king´-wah
          New-e-king´-wah
          New-hate´-e-lah´-o *
          New-hate´-e-lah´-o *
          New-kah-ping´-wah *
          Nip-sang´-wah *
          Now-o-yat´-loe
          Nup´-sah

          Og´-we *
          Oo-ah-oun´ *
          Oo-bloo´-yah *
          Oo-bloo´-yah *
          Oo´-mah *
          Oo-que´-ah *
          Oo´-tah*
          Oo-tun´-iah
          Oo-we´-ah-oop *
          Oo-we-she-a´-too

          Pan´-ik-pah *
          Pee-ah-wah´-to *
          Poo-ad-loo´-nah*
          Poo-ad-loo´-nah *
          Poo-ad-loo´-nah *
          Poob´-lah *
          Poob´-lah *
          Pood-lung´-wah
          Poo´-too

          Sag´-wah
          Sat´-too *
          Seeg´-loo *
          Seen-o-ung´-wah
          See-o-dee-kah´-to
          Shoo-e-king´-wah
          Sim´-e-ah
          Sin-ah´-ew
          Sip´-soo
          Sow´-nah
          Suk´-kun *
          Sul-ming´-wah *

          Tah´-tah-rah *
          Tah´-wah-nah *
          Taw-ching´-wah *
          Taw-ching´-wah *
          Teddy-ling´-wah *
          Toi-tee´-ah *
          Took-e-ming´-wah
          Too´-koom-ah
          Tu-bing´-wah
          Tung-wing´-wah
          Tung´-we *

          Ung´-ah *

          We´-ark
          We-shark´-oup-si *


Two female babies not named

          Male          122
          Female         96
                       ----
          Total         218


THE END

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

The illustrations have been moved out of the middle of paragraphs so as
to not interrupt the flow of reading.

Obvious punctuation errors have been repaired.

Page xiii, "ESKIMOS" changed to "ESQUIMOS". (NORTH POLE ESQUIMOS)

Page 76, "Equimos" changed to "Esquimos". (fourteen Esquimos)

One instance each of the following was retained:

  fiendlike/fiend-like
  forepaws/fore-paws
  readjusting/re-adjusting





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Negro Explorer at the North Pole" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home