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when, almost without premonition, we all became aware of an alarming failure of our energies.
8. 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
9. Bonsall and Morton, two of our stoutest men, came to me, begging permission to sleep: "They were not cold; the wind did not enter them now: a little sleep was all they wanted!" Presently Hans was found nearly stiff under a drift; and Thomas, bolt upright, had his eyes closed, and could hardly articulate.
10. 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.
11. We pitched our tent 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 we 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.
Explain the expressions: "fifteen souls" (1); "the embellish ment of romance "" (8), "jeered or reprimanded" (10).
Eight hours to work, to soothing slumber seven,
1. ǎp' pre hěnʼsion; n. idea. 2. jump' ĕr; n. a fur underjacket.
9. e mẽr' ġen çỡ; n. any event which calls for an immediate remedy.
10. de lìr' Qus; a. wandering in mind.
13. strå biş' můs; n. squinting.
13. ăm’pu tả tion ; n. the cut ting off.
Lost on the Floes. Part III.
1. 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 cannot tell how long it took us to make the nine miles; for we were in a strange sort of stupor, and had little apprehension of time. It was probably about four hours.
2. We kept ourselves awake by imposing on each other a continued articulation of words. I recall 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 th tent. We both of us, however, remember a bear that walked leisurely before us and tore up, as 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.
3. 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 drunken with cold that we strode on steadily, and, for aught I know, without quickening our pace. 4. 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.
5. 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.
6. We were able to melt water and get some soup cooked before the rest of our party arrived; it took them but five hours to walk the nine miles. They were doing well, and, considering the circumstances, were in wonderful spirits. The day was windless, with a clear sun. All enjoyed the refreshment we had got ready; the crippled were repacked in their robes; and we sped briskly toward the hummock-ridges which lay between us and the "Pinnacly Berg."
7. The hummocks we had now to meet came properly under the designation of squeezed ice. It required desperate efforts to work our way over the surface floes,literally desperate, for our strength failed us anew, and we began to lose our self-control. We could not abstain any longer from eating snow; our mouths swelled, and some of us became speechless. Happily the day was warmed by a clear sunshine, and the thermometer rose to - 4 degrees in the shade; otherwise we must have frozen.
8. Our halts multiplied, and we fell half-sleeping on the snow. I could not prevent it. Strange to say, it refreshed us. I ventured upon the experiment myself, mak
ing Riley wake me at the end of three minutes; and I felt so much benefited by it that I timed the men in the same way. They sat on the runners of the sledge, fell asleep instantly, and were forced to wakefulness when their three minutes were out.
9. By eight in the evening we emerged from the floes. The sight of the "Pinnacly Berg" revived us. Brandy, an invaluable resource in emergency, had already been served out in tablespoonful doses. We now took a longer rest, and a last but stouter dram, and reached the brig at 1 P.M., we believe without a halt.
10. I say we believe; and here perhaps is the most decided proof of our sufferings; we were quite delirious, and had ceased to entertain a sane apprehension of the circumstances about us. We moved on like men in a dream. Our foot-marks, seen afterward, showed that we had steered a bee-line for the brig. It must have been by a sort of instinct, for it left no impress on the memory.
11. Bonsall was sent staggering ahead, and reached the brig God knows how, for he had fallen repeatedly at the track lines; but he delivered with accuracy the messages I had sent by him to Dr. Hayes. I thought myself the soundest of all, and can recall the muttering delirium of my comrades when we got back into the cabin of our brig. Yet I have been told since of some speeches and some orders too of mine, which I should have remembered for their absurdity if my mind had retained its balance.
12. Petersen and Whipple came out to meet us about two miles from the brig. They brought my dog team, with the restoratives I had sent for by Bonsall. I do not remember their coming. Dr. Hayes entered with judicious energy upon the treatment our condition called for, administering morphine freely, after the usual frictions.
13. He reported none of our brain-symptoms as seri.. ous, referring them properly to the class of those indications of exhausted power which yield to generous diet and rest. Mr. Ohlsen suffered some time from strabismus and blindness; two others underwent amputation of parts of the foot, without unpleasant consequences; and two died in spite of all our efforts.
14. This rescue party had been out for seventy-two hours. We had halted in all eight hours, half of our num ber sleeping at a time. We traveled between eighty and ninety miles, most of the way dragging a heavy sledge. The mean temperature of the whole time, including the warmest hours of three days, was at -41 degrees. We had no water except at our two halts, and were at no time able to intermit vigorous exercise without freezing.
ELISHA KENT KANE.
Elisha Kent Kane, M.D., was born in Philadelphia, February 3, 1820. He entered the University of Virginia, afterward studied medicine, and entered the navy as a surgeon. He visited many parts of the world and served in the Mexican War. In 1850 he began his career of Arctic discovery. In 1853 he commanded a second Arctic expedition, in which he gained important results. his return home he was honored in many ways for his discoveries. His health failing, he went to Havana, where he died February 16, 1857, leaving a name distinguished as an explorer, an author, and a naturalist.
Isaac Israel Hayes (11), who was surgeon of Dr. Kane's Arctic expedition, was born in 1832 and died December 27, 1881. In 1860 he again visited the Arctic regions in command of an expedition, and in 1869 explored the southern coasts of Greenland. He was the author of several books recounting his adventures and discoveries in the frozen North.
Explain the expressions: "had little appreciation of time" (1)·
unceremonious treatment" (3);
our halts multiplied" (8); we
had steered a bee-line" (10).