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This necessary work cost us a great deal of time and effort; but it was essential to the lives of the sufferers. It took us no less than four hours to strip and refresh them, and then to embale them in the manner I have described. Few of us escaped without frost-bitten fingers; the thermometer was 55 degrees below zero, and a slight wind added to the severity of the cold.

was completed at last, however; all hands stood round; and, after repeating a short prayer, we set out on our retreat. It was fortunate indeed that we were not inexperienced in sledging over the ice. A great part of our track lay among a succession of hummocks; some of them extending in long lines, fifteen and twenty feet high, and so uniformly steep that we had to turn them by a considerable deviation from our direct course; others that we forced our way through, far above our heads in height, lying in parallel ridges, with the space between too narrow for the sledge to be lowered into it safely, and yet not wide enough for the runners to cross without the aid of ropes to stay them.

These spaces too were generally choked with light snow, hiding the openings between the ice fragments. They were fearful traps to disengage a limb from, for every man knew that a fracture or a sprain even would cost him his life. Besides all this, the sledge was top-heavy with its load: the maimed men could not bear to be lashed down tight enough to secure them against falling off. Notwithstanding our caution in rejecting every superfluous burden, the weight, including bags and tent, was eleven hundred pounds.

And yet our march for the first six hours was

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very cheering. We made, by vigorous pulls and lifts, nearly a mile an hour, and reached the new floes before we were absolutely weary. Our sledge sustained the trial admirably. Ohlsen, restored by hope, walked steadily at the leading belt of the sledge lines; and I began to feel certain of reaching our half-way station of the day before, where we had left our tent. But we were still nine miles from it, when, almost without premonition, we all became aware of an alarming failure of our energies.

Notes. - Little Willie was tho namo given by Dr. Kane's party to a sledge.

The expression – 46 degrees, means forty-six degrees below zero. Freezing-point is indicated as 32 degrees above zero; 32 degrees added to 46 degrees equals 78 degrees below freezing-point.

Cache (kăsh), a place where provisions are placed for preservation or concealment, usually a hole in the ground.

Esquimau (ěs'ke mo) is the singular form of the noun; Esquimaux (ěs'ke moş), the plural.

Language.-Some adverbs are formed from adjectives by tho addition of the ending ly; as, firmly, steadily, hopefully. The ending ly indicates manner, and the adverbs so formed are called udverbs of manner.

81.-LOST ON THE FLOES,

PART

II.

rèp'ri mănd'ed, found fault

with, e měr' ġen çy, a crisis ; a sud

den occasion, ar tye'ū lāte, speak. vòl un tēcred', offered. em běl'lish ment, ornament.

stra biş' mus, an affection of

one or both eyes 80 that they can not be directed toward the same

object. ăm’pu taotion, cutting off. de lìr' i půs, deprived of reason. môrphine, an extract of opium,

I was of course familiar with the benumbed and almost lethargic sensation of extreme cold; but I had treated the sleepy comfort of freezing as something like the embellishment of romance. I had evidence now to the contrary.

Bonsall and Morton, two of our stoutest men, came to me, begging permission to sleep: “They were not cold; the wind did not penetrate them now: a little sleep was all they wanted !” Presently Hans was found nearly stiff in a hollow; and Thomas, bolt upright, had his eyes closed, and could hardly articulate.

At last John Blake threw himself on the snow, and refused to rise. They did not complain of feeling cold; but it was in vain that I wrestled, boxed, ran, argued, jeered, or reprimanded ; an immediate halt could not be avoided.

We pitched our tentN with much difficulty. Our hands were too powerless to strike a fire; we were obliged to do without water or food. Even the spirits (whisky) had frozen at the men's feet, under all the coverings. We put Bonsall, Ohlsen, Thomas, and Hans, with the other sick men, well inside the tent, and crowded in as many others as could.

Then leaving the party with Mr. McGary, with orders to come on after four hours' rest, I pushed ahead with William Godfrey, who volunteered to be my companion. My aim was to reach the half-way tent, and thaw some ice and pemmican before the others arrived. The floe was of level ice, and the walking excellent. I can not tell how long it took us to make the nine miles; for we were in a strange sort of stupor, and had little appreciation of time. It was probably about four hours.

We kept ourselves awake by imposing on each other a continued articulation of words. I recall

we as

these hours as among the most wretched I have ever gone through; we were neither of us in our right senses, and retained a very confused recollection of what preceded our arrival at the tent. We both of us however remember a bear, that walked leisurely before us and tore up, he went, a jumper that Mr. McGary had carelessly thrown off the day before. He tore it into shreds and rolled it into a ball, but never offered to interfere with our progress. I remember this, and with it a confused sentiment that our tent and buffalo robes might probably share the same fate.

Godfrey had a better eye than myself; and, looking some miles ahead, he could see that our tent was undergoing the same unceremonious treatment. I thought I saw it too, but we were so overcome with cold that we strode on steadily, and, for aught I know, without quickening our pace.

Probably our approach saved the contents of the tent; for when we reached it the tent was uninjured, though the bear had overturned it, tossing the buffalo robes and pemmican into the snow; we missed only a couple of blanket bags. What we recollect, however, and perhaps all we recollect, is, that we had great difficulty in raising it.

We crawled into our reindeer sleeping-bags, without speaking, and for the next three hours slept on in a dreamy but intense slumber. When I awoke, my long beard was a mass of ice, frozen fast to the buffalo-skin; Godfrey had to cut me out with his jackknife. Four days after our escape, I found my woolen comfortable with a goodly share of my beard still adhering to it.

We were able to melt water and get some soup

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