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snow-blindness, and one was condemned as altogether unfit for travel. To crown their discomfitures, they found that the bears had got hold of their pemmican casks, and thus destroyed their chances of recruiting their supply of provisions at the several caches. Dr. Kane himself was seized with violent illness; his limbs became rigid, and certain tetanoid symptoms made their appearance. In this condition he was unable to make more than nine miles a day. He was strapped upon a sledge, and the march continued; but he was soon so much reduced as to find the moderate temperature of 50 below zero intolerable. His left foot was frozen up to the ankle-joint, and the same night it became evident that the difficulty in his limbs was caused by dropsical effusion. The next day he grew delirious, and fainted whenever he was taken from the tent to the sledge. Every man in the party was so far gone as to make the continuance of the journey impossible. Scarcely able to travel, they bore the commander back to the brig, which they reached by forced marches on the fourteenth. Dr. Kane was entirely prostrated for about a week. The first business after his convalescence was to arrange new parties for exploration. They returned in safety, with ample experience of the perils of Arctic discovery.
Passing over the remainder of the summer (1854), we find the little party prepared to encounter the terrors of a second winter in that dreary region. The brig was fast in the ice, and every effort for her liberation had proved unsuccessful. At this crisis Dr. Kane called all hands together, and explained to them the reasons which had decided him not to forsake the brig. He left it to the choice of each man, however to attempt an escape to open water or to stand by the fortunes of the expedition. Eight of the seventeen survivors of the party resolved to remain with their commander; the others were fitted out with every appliance that could be furnished, and departed on their almost desperate enterprise. They carried with them every assurance of a brother's welcome should they be driven back; but it was not until after many weary months of trial and hardship that they were seen again.
The arrangement of the winter-quarters now occupied the whole attention of the little band. Dr. Kane determined to adhere to the routine of observances which had made up the sum of their daily life. No acoustomed form was to be surrendered. The importance of systematic employment was fully appreciated. The distribution and details of duty, the religious exercises, the ceremonials of the table, the fires, the lights, the watch, even the labors of the observatory, and the notation of the tides and the sky, it was decided should go on as they had before. In the material arrangements, many useful hints were borrowed from the Esquimaux. Tha brig was thoroughly lined and padded with moss and turf. A pile of barrels on the ice contained their supply of water-soaked beef and pork. Flour, beans, and dried apples, formed a quadrangular blockhouse. The boats and spare cordage were placed along an avenue opening abeam of the brig. There was but a small store of vegetables. The pickled cabbage, dried apples and peaches had lost much of their anti-scorbutic virtue by constant use. The spices were all gone. Nothing remained but a few small bottles of horseradish to season the standing fare of bread, beef, and pork. A kind of root beer was brewed by the doctor from the branches of the crawling willow, of which a stock had been laid in some weeks before. The gun procured them an occasional supply of fresh meat. Bear's flesh was a favorite dish, but the liver of that animal proved poisonous. A less noxious article of diet was the rat. A perfect warren of this tribe was on board the brig. They had become impudent and fierce with their increase of numbers. Nothing could be saved from their voracity. Furs, woolens, shoes, specimens of natural history were gnawed into and destroyed. They harbored among the men's bedding in the forcastle, and at last became intolerable nuisances. Dr. Kane took his revenge by decimating them for his private table. His companions did not share his taste, and he thus had the frequent advantage of a fresh-meat soup. To this inviting fare he ascribes his comparative freedom from scurvy.
The want of fuel before the close of winter compelled them to rely upon their lamps for heat. Pork-fat, boiled to lessen its salt, was the substitute for oil; and by the use of metallic reverberators, a single wick was sufficient to keep liquid ten ounces of lard with a surrounding temperature of 300 below zero.
Raw meat was now voted the most agreeable diet. A slice of blubber or a chunk of frozen walrus beef was taken with infinite relish. The liver of a walrus, eaten with little slices of fat, was a dainty morse.. The flesh and blubber of that animal is stated to be “the very best fuel a man can swallow." But of these savory viands, the party were now dėstitute. The sick began to suffer for want of meat. They were reduced to three days' allowance of frozen flesh, at the rate of four ounces a day for each man.
In this emergency, Dr. Kane determined on a trip over the ice to a settlement of Esquimaux huts at the distance of about a hundred miles. He was accompanied by Hans Christern, a native Esquimaux, and five dogs. During the journey, a frightful storm came on. Before it had fairly commenced, the party succeeded in reaching an old hut, which had been abandoned by the Esquimaux. Taking in the dogs, with the blubberlamp, food, and bedding, which formed part of the burden of the sledge, they closed up the entrance with blocks of snow.
They were scarcely housed before the storm broke out in all its fury. Completely cut off from the outer world, they nere passed many miserable hours. They could keep no note of time. The only indication of the state of the weather was the whirring of the drift against the roof of the kennel. The time was divided between sleeping and preparing coffee, which they drank with a relish. When warned by their instincts of the sapse of twelve hours, they treated themselves to a meal, dividing impartial bits out of the hind leg of a fox to give zest to their biscuits spread with frozen tallow. It was two days before they were released from their nartow prison, reckoning the time by the increased altitude of the moon. Upon attempting to resume their journey, they found it impossible to work through the piles of drifted snow. Sledge, dogs, and drivers were buried in the attempt. The two travelers harnassed themselves to the sledge, and "lifted, levered, twisted, and pulled," but all in vain. They were compelled to give it up, and returned to the wretched hut. Taking the back track, they reached the brig the next morning, and for several days were incapable of the slightest exertion. On the last day of January (1855), Dr. Kane writes in his journal :
“Our sick are worse, for our traps yield nothing, and we are still without, fresh food. The absence of raw fox meat for a single day shows itself in our scurvy. Hemorrhages are becoming common. My crew-I have no crew any longer--the tenants of my bunks cannot bear mo to leave them a single watch. Yet I cannot make Petersen try the new path which I discovered and found practicable. Well, the wretched month is over. It is something to be living, able to write. No one has yet made the dark voyage, and January the thirty-first is upon us.''
One week afterward we find the following entry. What a world of miscry does it reveal !
“Still no supplies. Three of us have been out all day without getting a shot. Hans thinks he saw a couple of reindeer at a distance, and his eyes rarely deceive him. He will try for them to-morrow. I have fitted out for him a tent'and a sleeping bag on the second table-land, and the thermometer is now so little below zero that he will be able to keep the field for a steady hunt. Our sick are sinking for the want of fresh food. It is the only specific. I dislike to use the unphilosophical term, but in our case it is the true one. In large quantities it dissipates the disease; in ordinary rations it prevents its occurrence; in small doses it checks it while sustaining the patient. We have learned its value too well to waste it ; every part of every animal has its use. The skin makes the basis of a soup, and the claws can be boiled to a jelly. Lungs, larynx, stomach, and entrails, all are available. I have not permitted myself to taste more than an occasional entrail of our last half-dozen rabbits. Not that I am free from symptoms of the universal pest. I am conscious of a stiffness in the tendons, and a shortness of breath, and a weariness of the bones, that should naturally attend the eruption which covers my body. But I have none of the more fearful signs. I can walk with energy after I get warmed up. I have no bleeding of the gums, and, better than all, thank God, I am without that horrible despondency which the disease nourishes and feeds on.
I sleep sound and dream pleasantly-generally about successes in the hunt, or a double ration of reindeer or ptarmigan.”
On Sunday, the 25th of February, a glimpse was obtained of the returning sun.
• To-day, blessed be the great Author of light! I have once more looked upon the sun. I was standing on deck, thinking over our prospects, when a familiar berg, which had long been hid in shadow, flashed out in sun-birth. I knew this berg right well; it stood between Charlotte Wood Fiord and Little Willie's Monument. One year and one day ago, I traveled toward it from Fern Rock to catch the sunshine. Then I had to climb the hills beyond to get the luxury of basking in its brightness; but now, though the sun was but a single degree above the true horizon, it was so much elevated by refraction that the sheen stretched across the trough of the fiord like a flaming tongue. I could not or would not resist the influence. It was a Sunday act of worship. I started off at an even run, and caught him as he rolled słowly along the horizon, and before he sank. I was again the first of my party to rejoice and meditate in sunshine. It is the third sun I have seen rise for a moment above the long night of an Arctic winter."
In the beginning of March every man on board was tainted with scurvy, and often not more than three were able to make exertion in behalf of the rest. On the 4th of the month the last remnant of fresh meat was doled out, and the invalids began to sink rapidly. Their lives were only saved by the success of a forlorn-hope excursion of Hans to the remote Esquimaux hunting station, Etah, seventy-five miles away, whither he went in search of walrus.
On one occasion the adventurers killed a bear that had come with its cub, pressed by extreme hunger, close to the brig. It is painful to read the details of the struggle, from the wonderful attachment shown by the mother to its cub, and by the latter to its parent, to whom it always clung, even in death. But the men's lives were valuable, and it was thought excusable to kill two bears when the gulls were seen gobbling up young eider-ducks, in the face of their distracted mothers, by mouthfuls.
Having no fuel, they were now reduced to the Esquimaux system of relying on lamps for heat; beds and bedding hence became black with soot, and their faces were begrimed with fatty carbon. The journal is now little more than a chronicle of privations and sufferings, interspersed with extraordinary efforts to keep up communications with the Esquimaux. It is, without comparison, the most painfully interesting record of experience in wintering in the far north that has ever yet been published. In the midst of their troubles two of the men tried to desert, but one only--Godfrey--succeeded. He returned, strange to say, on the 2d of April, with food, in a sledge, but would not himself quit the Esquimaux. Under a misapprehension that he had robbed Hans, one of the hunters, of his sledge and dogs, his life was near being sacrificed by the commander from whom he had deserted.
The abandonment of the brig was now resolved on. Before spring could be welcomed, preparations had been going on for some time for a sledge and boat escape from their long imprisonment. The employment thus given to the men exerted a wholesome influence on their moral tone, and assisted their convalescence. They had three boats, and they all required to be strengthened. There was clothing, bedding, and provision-bags to make. The sledges had to be prepared. The 17th of May was appointed for the start. The farewell to the ship was most impressive. Prayers were read, and then a chapter of the Bible. The flags were then hoisted and hauled down again, and she was left alone, fozen in the ice. Godfrey had, by this time, it is to be observed, rejoined the ship, so that the party consisted altogether of seventeen, of whom four were unable to move.
The collections of natural history the party were reluctantly compelled to leave behind, and part of the apparatus for observations, as well as the library of the commander, and the books furnished by the government and Mr. Grinnell for the use of the vessel. Nothing was retained but the documents of the expedition.
At Etah, the Esquimaux settlements were found "out on the bare rocks," enjoying the plenty which spring had brought.
Up to the 23d the progress of Dr. Kane's party was little more than a mile a day. The housed boats luckily afforded tolerably good sleepingberths at night. On the 5th of June, Ohlsen injured himself so, in an attempt to rescue a sledge from falling into a tide-hole, that he died three days afterward,
“Stir. passing slowly on, day after day~I am reluctant," writes Dr. Kane, "to borrow from my journal the details of anxiety and embarrassment with which it abounds throughout this period--we came at last to the unmistakable neighborhood of open water.” This was off Pekintlek, the largest of the Littleton Island group.
On Tuesday, the 19th of June, after a long farewell given to their longtried friends, the Esquimaux of Etah, who had brought them frequent supplies of birds, and aided them in carrying their provisions and stores, they put to sea, and, the very first day's navigation, one of the boats swamped. They spent the first night in an inlet in the ice, and on the 22d reached Northumberland Island in a snow-storm. Here they got fresh provisions. They crossed Murchison Channel on the 23d, and encamped for the night on the land-floe at the base of Cape Parry--a hard day's travel, partly by tracking over ice, partly through tortuous and zig-zag leads. So it was for many successive days. One day favorable, with open leads of water; another slow and wearisome, through alternate ice and water. Then the floe would break up and carry them resistlessly against the rocks. Three long days they passed in a cavern of rock and ice, in which, however, they found plenty of birds' eggs.
On the 11th they had doubled Cape Dudley Digges, and plants, and birds, and birds' eggs became more common. They spent a week to regain strength at so productive a spot, which they designated as “Providence Halt.” At the Crimson Cliffs they again got a plentiful supply of birds. On the 21st of July, they reached Cape York, and made immediate preparations for crossing Melville Bay, which was accomplished with great labor and suffering. Once more they were nearly starving, when a great seal came providentially to their succor.
This was while they were in the open bay, and in boats so frail that they could only be kept afloat by constant bailing. It was at this crisis of their fortunes that they discovered a large seal floating on a piece of ice, and apparently asleep. Trembling with anxiety, they prepared to move down upon him, Petersen standing ready with a large English rifle.
As they neared the animal the excitement of the men became intense, and he reared his head when they were almost within rifle shot; "and to this day," says Dr. Kane, “I can remember the hạrd, careworn, almost despairing expression of their faces, as they saw him move : their lives depended upon his capture. I depressed my hand nervously as a signal for Petersen to fire. I saw that the poor fellow was paralyzed by his anxiety, trying vainly to obtain a rest for his gun against the cutwater of the boat. The seal rose on his fore flippers, gazed at us for a moment with frightened curiosity, and coiled himself for a plunge. At that instant, simultaneously with the crack of our rifle, he relaxed his long length on the ice, and, at the very brink of the water, his head fell helplessly to one side. I would have ordered another shot, but no discipline could have controlled the men. With a wild yell, they urged both boats upon the floes ; a crowd of hands seized the seal and bore him up to safer ice. The men seemed half-crazy ; I had not realized how much we were reduced by absolute famine. They ran over the floe, crying and laughing and brandishing their knives. It was not