SOLVING the PROBLEM of the ARCTIC

PART III.---Drifting to Banks Island on the Ice

VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON June 1 1919

SOLVING the PROBLEM of the ARCTIC

PART III.---Drifting to Banks Island on the Ice

VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON June 1 1919

SOLVING the PROBLEM of the ARCTIC

PART III.---Drifting to Banks Island on the Ice

VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON

AT the end of April, 1911, our party of three men and six dogs found themselves in what some might consider a precarious situation. We had come from Alaska, across more than five hundred miles of moving seaice, and were about forty miles from the northwest corner of Banks Island when the wind, which up to then had been prevailingly northwesterly, suddenly changed to the east. We at once began to drift away from the land of our . destination, and water lanes of unknown width Opp.pori between us and it.

For eleven days the wind varied between northeast, east, and southeast, and we drifted steadily to the westward, altogether ninety miles as shewn by our sextant. Ample and intimate association with the ice has since then given us a feeling of at-home-ness and confidence, but at that time we were undeniably anxious to get ashore. The anxiety was in part founded on the good reason that we had exploratory and scientific work to do in other quarters and could ill

afford to spend a year just then on the ice, for life is short and a year of time is as valuable to us in the north as it is to you in the south. But there was also an uncomfortable doubt in our minds as to whether it was really safe to spend a winter on the ice without other resources than those which our rifles could provide. I had always argued that it would be safe, but there is a certain nervous tension involved when you come to stake life itself on a theory.

Because we were dubious as to the future, we lost no opportunity the first day of our backward drift to kill whatever seals came within reach. We got several that day and had more than half a ton of food laid up by evening. There were three of us, and in order to miss no opportunity of getting food we arranged to stand eight-hour watches, each man to kill whatever game he could during his watch. We had all been up during the day and I took the night watch.

A New Method of Travel

BY midnight the lead to the east of us was already covered with two or three inches of young ice and the seals had ceased coming up near us and could now be seen only at a distance in the thinner patches of ice far out in the lead. I was watching them, nevertheless, though they were too far away to be killed, when all of a sudden half a mile away I saw the head and shoulders of a bear come up through the fragile ice.

He rested a moment, and my glasses showed me he was breathing deeply. After a few gcod breaths he disappeared and for two or three minutes there was no sign of him, and then, a hundred yards or so nearer, the ice was broken and his head and shoulders again appeared. Evidently, seeing

the ice was not strong enough for him to walk on, he was navigating submarine-fashion, swimming a hundred yards or so under the ice and coming up when necessary to breathe. I had never heard, either from Eskimos or from books, of this method of locomotion, and knowing that Storkersen and Ole would be interested, I called them, and together we watched the bear as he approached our camp. When he came to the solid ice he scrambled up on it with perfect unconcern, though he saw us moving about. Evidently he took us and the barking dogs for foxes, and immediately on landing he proceeded at a leisurely walk toward us, showing neither hostility nor curiosity, but mere unconcern. Needless to say, we killed him.

During the next few days other bears came in such rapid succession that it was not necessary for us to kill any more seals. It was not that we preferred bear meat to seal, but rather the contrary. Both are good eating as far as taste is concerned, but bear meat is stringy, and the fibres of it get between your teeth and make your gums sore, which is not true of any other wild meat known to me. For that reason bears are the least welcome diet, but in this case we had only a limited amount of ammunition, and as seals average only one hundred and fifty pounds in weight, while bears average eight hundred pounds, and some run to double that weight, it was evidently more economical to use our cartridges on bears.

But inside of a week we had several tons of meat and it was evident that should the wind change, eventually enabling us to get ashore in Banks Island, it was mere waste of ammunition to kill any more game, for we should have to leave it all behind. On the other hand, should the westward drift continue, and the summer and winter have to be spent on the ice, evidently there was no scarcity of food and we

should be able to kill whatever meat we wanted at any time. Of course it would have been necessary, had we wintered on the ice, to kill eight or ten tons of meatandblubberbefore the darkness set in, to furnish food and fuel until the daylight of spring should again enable us to begin hunting. But we soon concluded that the killing of a winter supply could safely be put off until August or September, even were it ultimately necessary. We therefore began to scare the bears away. This in general was not difficult to do, although one big male bear, that neither noise nor strange antics would frighten, had to be killed. It wasn’t that he really had any intention of attacking us, but he simply insisted on walking into camp, a procedure which held possibilities of awkward complications.

Adrift Ninety Miles From Shore

INURING the two weeksand ninety miles of OUP westward drift, summer came upon ns in the form of thaw-water on top of the ice, sea-gulls in the water lanes around us, land birds migrating to the north, and white wrhales puffing and blowing. They frequently kept us awake at night, not by the actual noise they made, but because the dogs kept barking at the strange sounds. These whales moved by us in hundreds each day; some days undoubtedly in thousands. We did not try to kill any of them, both because we had plenty of fat and because we knew that at this season white whales sink readily, and in the absence of harpoons and floats are very difficult to save after being killed. As we saw these magnificent schools of great animals traveling by, in many cases only a few yards away, we planned that, on any future expedition we would carry a small harpoon gun, but later we have come to the conclusion thatthis would scarcely be worth while. For, although whales could easily enough be secured if one had such a gun, still we have by now come fo place such implicit reliance on seals that, so long as we have tne propergear for securing them, we don’t think it worth while

to take pains about any other kind of food.

We were not fated te spend the summer om the ice, for in two weeks the wind changed to~ westerly and the icecake on which we were camped-a heavy piece of ice many years old~ and about five or eight. square miles in areacommenced trav&mg to ward Bank3 Island. As. the wind drove it east w a r d, we gradually caught up to similar cakes that were driftingin advance of us, and eventually b e g a n to squeeze and crush them and our own cake in a way to indicate that. fifty miles or so to lee ward Banks Island' was obstructing our farther eastward drift. When we resumed our travel' we found, of course, a great deal of open water here and there in the form of irregular open-ings between the various cakes, but we were commonly able to find places where the corners of the cakes touched, although occasionally we had to convert our sled into a boat for ferrying purposes. Shallower and shallower soundings confirmed the evidence of our sex-

tant, and on June 22nd, the black cliffs of Norway Island finally came in sight.

Land at Last

'T'HE going at this time was exceedingly bad, for there w’ere wTater puddles on top of the ice where we waded knee-deep through slush and damp snow which was no longer hard enough to support our sleds, and W’e had to drag them through drifts, like snow plow's on a mountain railway. After we saw land it took us three days of the hardest work to cover the intervening twelve miles, and it was the evening of June 25th that we landed.

Norway Island is shown on the charts as about s;x miles long, with its greatest diameter north and south. It is, as a matter of fact, about three miles long, with its main axis running east and west. On the south coast cf it we found enough driftw'ood to make a camp-fire for two or three meals, and on the beach w’e saw caribou tracks, though we soon discovered that there w'ere no caribou on the island just then. With our glasses we could see half a dozen hares, white and conspicuous on the green slopes of the land, and geese and ducks w’ere numerous in the ponds. But this was all small game and I have for many years made it a rule never to kill any animal smaller than a wolf. Really wolves also are too small, though they weigh over a hundred pounds, but w'e make an exception in their case because we have a grudge against them for competing with us in the killing of caribou, as their food in winter is probably 90 per cent, caribou meat. It is also true that in the summer when the caribou are skinny and for that reason poor eating, the wolves are fat because they are then feasting on an abundance of eggs and lemings, and their meat is, therefore, much preferable to that of the caribou. In order to economize on ammunition we accordingly paid no attention to the hares, geese, and ducks.

An Uninhabited Land

V\/rHILE the men made their first camp ashore and slept the first night on a camping-ground that they knew would neither drift to seaward nor break up under them, I went to the top of the island and with my invaluable binoculars studied what I took to be the mainland of Banks Island to the east. There are two chief elevations on Norway Island. From the western one of these, looking across about two miles of the island and three miles of sea-icç, I saw, two or three miles inland on what I took for the mainland of Banks Island, several white spots which I had to watch for more than half an hour before becoming certain that they were not a part of the stable scenery. They were, as I suspected, caribou lying down, and eventually one of them got up and moved, with reference to the others, enough to show that the white spots were really living animals. Had they been a little nearer than I estimated they might really have been hares. With confidence in my correct judgment of distance, I immediately concluded, however, that they were caribou and decided to make hay while the sun shone and my companions slept. It took me less than two and a half hours to get within half a mile of the animals, but they were on exceptionally level ground and hard to approach. Had they been traveling in any definite

direction, I could have made a large circle around them and lain in wait for them as they advanced, but they were in a patch of good feed and not inclined to move. It may be supposed that in an uninhabited land such as Banks Island caribou would be easy to approach, but

I have found it makes 1 ttle difference whether

caribou are in inhabited or uninhabited lands, for the:r fear of wolves is ever present, and if they see or hear anything suspicious they immediately flee, apparently thinking that it is a wolf. It took me accordingly about five hours to make an approach, for I did not want to commence our long residence on Banks Island with a futile hunt. Eventually I killed and skinned all of them and arrived back home on Norway Island after the men had had their good night’s rest and were just through breakfast. It had been a small breakfast, for on the three preceding days, we had not stepped to kill seals; but the caribou tongues I brought home made a good meal for all of us, after which we moved across to the deer-kill and camped there that night.

A New Island Discovered

WE now began some geographic exploration in a small way, for this coast had been only roughly charted by McClure as he sailed by it in the Investigator many miles off shore, more than half a century earlier. Our first discovery was that the land we were on, which McClure had taken for a part of the mainland, was really an island about seven miles in diameter and about four or five times the area of Norway Island. Eventually, many months afterward, when the Mary Sachs had joined us, we named this island after her captain, Peter Bernard.

Long before our arrival in Banks Island summer had commenced. The rolling hills were beautifully green, reminding one of western Dakota or eastern Montana. The rivers had been pouring thaw-waters into the sea for more than a month and their comparative warmth had melted the ice in the vicinity of land, so that it was only on promontories that a landing could be made without the use of the boat. There was just enough driftwood on the beach so that the killing of seals for fuel was no longer necessary, and we discontinued it, for the hunting of caribou on the grassy hill slopes is both easier and pleasanter than crawling like a snake over the slushy ice surface toward a dozing seal. At first we needed a little seal blubber to eat with the caribou meat, for caribou are thin in the early spring. Until the middle of July we killed no more than we needed for food from day to day, but in the latter part of July and throughout August we killed as many as we could comfortably take care of, for the length of the hair made the skins suitable for clothing and the meat had become fat enough to be good eating. The bulls at this season are much fatter and better eating than the cows, and the older they are the more desirable for food. For economy in ammunition, and also because of the excellence of their meat, we killed mainly old males, and by the first part of September we had accumulated the dried meat of forty bulls and about half a ton of back fat.

BEFORE I~aving Alaska we had given iTgti-iwtii~yi'~ fhnt ih~.

instructions that the North Star, which I had purchased just before from her owner, Capt. Matt Andreasen, should be sent to Norway Island as soon as the ice conditions allowed. I had said that in the event of nondiscovery of land north of Alaska, our party would

probably land neat Norway Island and spend the summon there, drying caribou meat for dog and man food for the coming year, and accumulating skins for w’inter clothing. Our intention was to board the North Star at Noi way Island and to proceed with her north, if possible, to Prince Patrick Island, to spend there the coming winter. It was in anticipation of her arrival, as one possibility, that we were accumulating these large stores of meat. The other possibility was that she might be pieventeci by ice conditions from coming, in which event we should need the meat and some of the fat as food to take us through the dark period of winter, when hunting is difficult. The rest of the fat we needed for candle-light.

In some northern islands it is necessary to depend on animal fat also for fuel, but in Banks Island there is a small amount of driftwood, enough so that fifteen or twenty miles of coast will provide fuel for a small camp foi one winter, if economically used. There is also here another variety of fuel, the Andromeda Terragona, which we call “heather”—an oily plant that grows in small bunches a few inches high. When once the fire is started, heather will burn well, even if soaking wet, ^f n strong w ind is available to fan the flame. In traveling over Banks Island we seldom went ten miles w ithout finding a patch of it, and when we had occasion to remain for a week or two in one place we were generally able to camp beside a good heather patch. It takes ten to fifteen minutes to gather enough fuel for cooking a meal. It burns much better after a day or so of sun drying, so that at our permanent camps we used to devote half a day at a time to gathering and drying heather. W hen it was once dry, caribou skins protected cur stores of it from the rain.

On a previous expedition I had spent four summers as a nomadic caribou-hunter, so that the present experience was no longer novel, though I still found it pleasant. What chiefly detracts on the mainland from one’s enjoyment of this kind of life is the pest of mosquitoes in the early summer and the sandflies toward fall. In Banks Island there were a few sandflies and mosquitoes, but they were far less virulent than on the north coast of Canada or Alaska, and it was only for about a week in midsummer that they were really bad.

Bernard Island is at the mouth of a river which in midsummer is only about knee-deep, although it is a quarter of a mile wide. It was a surprisingly large river for an island less than two hundred miles in diameter, as Banks Island is, and we occupied part of our time mapping it and its branches, and lived for several weeks on its north bank, about ten miles inland. Back of our camp was a high hill from the top of which, with our glass, we kept a sharp lookout for the moving bands of caribou.

Watching for the Relief Ship

DUT a considerable part of the time we spent in watching the sea ice and wondering when it would break and move away from the coast, giving the North Star a chance to come up and find us. It was not till the first third of August was over that the ice finally moved to sea before an easterly wind. This was really as early as could be expected, but as no one had previously had the opportunity to study summer conditions on the west coast of Banks Island, we had for two or

three weeks been in continual anticipation of a possible break-up of the ice. Even when it did go, it left a fringe of grounded cakes in the vicinity of land, especially a belt of ice between Norway and Bernard Islands. No ship could, therefore, at this point have followed the beach, but would have had to keep some miles to seaward.

For this reason there was in our minds an element of uncertainty, since it was not inconceivable, although unlikely, that Mr.

whom we ex pected to be in command of the Star, might feel s~ certain about our having landed on Prince Patrick Island instead of Norway Esland, that he might for get his directions and not land on Norway Island to look for us. The day of landing we had built a moderately conspicuous beacon on one of the hills of Norway Island and left there a record, giving the date of the landing and our intention to go into the interior of Banks Island hunting. But fogs are frequent in summer

and such a beacon, though visible at a long distance on a clear day, might easily be passed by in thick weather.

The latter part of August caribou on Banks Island had become fatter than we had ever seen them on the mainland. It was indeed a great temptation to kill as many as we could, for all three of us considered fat caribou meat the greatest of delicacies, and we knew that unless we killed a sufficient number during the summer we should before spring, if no ship came, be reduced to the eating of the leaner winter-killed animals. But after the 20th of August we ceased killing for storage, for the sea had now' been open for ten days, and worry over the non-arrival of the ship began to overshadow the Swiss-Family-Robinson hunting and providing spirit that had dominated us till then. Our conversation from day to day now concerned the possible reasons for the non-appearance of the ship. The season ought to have been a little earlier on the north coast of Alaska than it was with us, and the North Star should have left there in July and ought to have been at the southend of Banks Island when the ice cleared away in August. Within forty-eight hours after she should have been at Norway Island. By the last of August the ten days of open water had become twenty and it became thereby reasonably certain that, for one reason or another, our ship was not coming at all.

Searching For the North Star

T seemed just possible that the North Star might -* have been wrecked somewhere near the south end of Banks Island. We decided, therefore, to go to look for her. As a preliminary to that journey of search, we excavated a huge pit among some rocks, cached there our stores of meat, tallow, and hides, and started south along the coast, with the six dogs carrying our baggage on their backs. As we proceeded south the absence of ice made it continually more and more evident that some circumstances other than local conditions of navigation were keeping the North Star away.

Driftwood increased a little as we advanced toward Cape Kellett, and the land became more level and a little more fertile, although there are very few' parts of Banks Island that are not densely covered with grass. But caribou became scarcer as we traveled south, and several years of experience have now shown us that the north end of the island is better supplied with animal life than the south end, whether in winter or summer. In the northern half of Banks Island it has seldom befallen us any year that we have traveled to pass two whole days without seeing caribou, but on our way from the north

end to Cape Kellett in a distance of one hundred miles we saw caribou only once in ten days. That was enough, however, for we had started with a week’s supply of dried meat.

The season was now too late for geese, but it was interesting to see that in the vicinity of the small lakes in the southern part of the island the ground was as white with the moulted feathers of the geese as if a light snow-storm had just passed. We learned later that these are, in the main or entirely, the male white geese, who spend the summer here by the million.

Cape Kellett is a hook-shaped sandspit. projecting west into the ocean about eight miles from the southwest corner of Banks Island. There is behind it a sort of a harbor, although not a good one. Good harbors for ships of light draft are found every fewT miles from there northward along the west coast. But neither behind the cape nor elsewhere had we seen a ship. We were naturally a bit downhearted when, on the evening of September 10th, we camped at the foot of the Kellett sandspit. It was not that we were in any fear for our lives, for we were still able to do one of two things— spend the whole winter in Banks Island and continue our explorations the following year, or cross to the North American mainland sometimes during the winter, either directly from Banks Island south across the ice sixty miles to Cape Parry, or else in the more roundabout way over Prince of Wales Straits to Victoria Island and thence to the mainland. But although we could have spent the winter in Banks Island and continued our explorations the following year, we should not have done so, for my companions were both homesick. That evening when I asked them if they were willing to continue the work of exploration with just the resources we had, they both answered that, while they did not see any danger in the enterprise, they were too anxious to get back to the mainland, where Storkersen had his family and where Andreasen had ambitions of a fortune in the fur trade, into which he would embark with the capital he had made as wages on the expedition. We had already made a good journey and had done safely a thing most people considered impossible, and that seemed enough to them, and neither of them had any sympathy with my desire to continue the work just Lh, n.

Our Discovery of Footprints 'THE morning of September 11th we felt certain that A no ship was in Banks Island, but to make assurance doubly sure we decided to go eight or ten miles beyond the cape. In this we had in mind not so much the possibility of finding a ship of our own, as a promise made by Hullin S. Mott, who had, when we last saw the Polar Bear on the north coast of Alaska, promised me that he would land on or near Cape Kellett during the following summer and leave there a small cache for me in case he had reason to think that no ships of my expedition had reached Banks Island. With this cache in mind, and remembering also that the Polar Bear had on board a party of Harvard men who had often talked to me about their desire to hunt muskoxen in Banks Island, I kept my eyes on the ground even more than ordinarily, in the hope of seeing footprints or other traces. And sure enough, after a walk of three or four miles, I found a footprint in a muddy spot, but to my surprise it was not only remarkably fresh, but showed a type of boot worn by many men of our expedition and not commonly by others. During the next three or four miles I came upon footprints in half a dozen places, and it was not therefore entirely unexpected when six miles beyond the cape the masts of a schooner appeared from behind a hill.

She was a mile away, and I could not see her body, so I feared she might be at

anchor near the beach and might leave at any time. There are deep ravines along the coast, several of which I had to cross before getting near the ship, and as I took these at a run for fear the ship might set sail at any moment, I was out of breath when, three or four hundred yards away, I came in sight of a camp on shore and realized that the ship was not in the water, but had been hauled high and dry on the land. Further, I recognized the ship. It was not the North Star, which I had ordered to come to Norway Island, but the Mary Sachs, which, on account cf her twin propellers, was the least suited of our three ships for ice navigation and which I had instructed to carry freight for Doctor Andersen’s party as an auxiliary to the Alaska to Coronation Gulf, a route on which ice of a difficult character is not nearly so likely to be met as near Banks Island. I had instructed her commander, Captain Pete Bernard, to come to Banks Island if he could, but only after having landed one cargo of goods near Coronation Gulf. I could not understand why the Sachs was there so soon, for in the ordinary course of things she could have arrived in Banks Island after her Coronation Gulf trip only at the end of the season, and the signs were abundant that she had in fact been at this point for a week or two.

They Thought We Were Dead

I WALKED quietly down the hill, gradually regaining my breath, and the men who were at work building a sod heuse gave me an occasional glance but without much interest, for, as I learned later, two members of their party were hunting inland and they took me to be one of them returning. I was within ten yards when Jim Crawford, engineer on the Sachs, recognized me and in his surprise dropped whatever it was he was

holding. In a fraction of a second he had to readjust all his ideas, for it seemed that he, with everybody else in our expedition, had long ago decided that we were dead. It was not easy to say whether Captain Bernard or Thomsen or the Eskimo section of the party was the most surprised, but it was clear a quarter of an hour later when the steward of the Sachs, William Baur, came back from a . duc k-h u n t just

around the point, that he was easily the most surprised of all. The steward had been in the Arctic for twenty years with various whaling captains and had, during the last three or four months, been explaining from his bountiful knowledge of Arctic conditions, to every one willing to listen, just why we must have died long ago and why it was impossible that anything should ever be heard from us again. When he walked into the tent where Captain Bernard and I were drinking coffee, he dropped on the floor the duck he was bringing in, and I saw physiological justifications for the figure of speech that a man’s eyes “stick out of his head.”

I learned within the first hour or two the reasons for the non-appearance of the North Star and the presence of the Sachs. Mr. Wilkins, according to my instructions, had set sail early from the Alaska coast with the North Star, and had arrived at Herschel Island some days ahead of either the Mary Sachs or the Alaska, but unfortunately had not yet set sail when they arrived. Opinion at Herschel Island seems to have been so definite on the point of our being lost that no one saw any reason why any ship should come to Banks Island to carry out instructions I had given looking forward to the continuation for several years of exploratory work of the expedition. A thing which I had never considered was unmistakably uppermost in every one’s mind, and that was that if, contrary to all reason, my party should be alive and in Banks Island, we should be in need of rescue, or at least in need of supplies on which to live through the winter.

Why My Plans Had Been Changed

T HAD bought the North, Star for the specific purpose of following the Wést cogst of Banks Island northward through the ribbon of open water that totninonly forms in the early summer between the land-fast ice and the land. She was adapted to this work by her extraordinarily light draft of four feet two inches, and her success a year later in this particular sort of navigation demonstrated in Banks Island what she had often before shown on the mainland coast of America—that, although she was small, she had particular qualifications for reaching places wnich other ships found it difficult to attain. But the work I had planned for her was exploratory work, whereas no one had thought of anything but the possible assistance we might need in Banks Island. So the North Star was taken to Coronation Gulf and the Mary Sachs diverted from her Coronation Gulf voyage, because she could carry a cargo twice as large as the Star, and with this she was sent to Kellett. Wilkins, who had previously intended to take the North Star exactly where I had told him to, was now transferred from the command of the Star to that of the Sachs. He brought her to Kellett by way of Cape Bathurst, but on the way one of her propellers, which struck out at awkward angles from the sides of the Sachs, had struck a cake of ice, breaking the shaft.

The Sachs accordingly arrived at Kellett in a crippled condition the last week of August. She found some ice pressing down on the cape, and rounding it was difficult. Although Wilkins did not seem to have had any serious expectation of finding us in Banks Island, he would undoubtedly have reached Keliett had he had the North Star, or any other ship the propellor of which was 'located amidship. But going into the ice with only one of twin propellers working, and that one located in such a way as to be almost sure to strike any cake of ice that came near, and furthermore, seeing that the Sachs was otherwise not in very good condition, he quite pi-operly decided to spend the winter at Cape Kellett. The plan was that, after building a comfortable base and killing enough caribou for a winter’s supply of meat, they would pass the dark period at Kellett and make a journey northward along the Banks Island coast after the sun came back.

“looking for traces” of our {>arty.

/'"VN arrival at Kellett I at once considered the possibility of relaunching the Sachs to proceed northward, for the ice that had intimidated Wilkins two weeks earlier was now completely gone and the sea was as open as the Atlantic off Sandy Hook. But the Sachs was high on the land and could not be launched without beams on which to slide her into the water, and wre had none available. Even with the beams it would have taken a week

or ten days to get her launched and started, and it was already near the middle of September, which in some years is the end of the season of navigation, while other years navigation is possible into October. It was soon seen to be inevitable that the winter must be spent at Kellett, and we began to adjust ourselves to that unfortunate situation.

On our way south along the west coast of Banks Island we had built beacons here and there on prominent hills, thinking that some foggy night the North Star might pass us. These beacons inclosed records contain-

ing news for the North Star, but the most southerly beacon, built just before reaching Kellett, containing no record, because we had then despaired of any ship coming. I had merely scribbled a hasty note for my companions, who were a few miles behind me, telling them to camp half a mile to the southwest of the beacon. When they passed the beacon they had read my note and had left it there. The following morning Wilkins, who was hunting caribou several miles inland, saw this beacon with his field-glasses, and realizing that it had not been there the day before, he hurried over. From the brief reference to making camp half a mile away he reconstructed correctly the situation, for he was familiar with my hunting and traveling methods. He knew that when-

ever we travel I have the men and sleds, or pack-dogs, as the case may be, follow far enough behind me so that I have ample time to approach and kill any necessary game. He recognized

that our party was still intact, or that at least

two of us were alive, so when he arrived at

Kellett the night of the 13th he was not surprised to find every one safe and well.

There was nothing to do now but continue the preparations for wintering which Wilkins had already energetically begun. After a few days of rest I sent Storkersen, with his family who had come with the Sachs, and Crawford and Andreasen with a boat, north along the coast to establish an advance camp as falto the north as possible. They were able to go north only about thirty miles when the increasing cold of approaching autumn froze them in. Wilkins and I. meantime, with the Eskimo Martkusiak went about thirty miles northeast into the interior to establish the hunting camp which was to supply both men and dogs with fresh meat for the winter.

Mr. Stefansson’s narrative will be continued in the next number.

JULIA ARTHUR was one of the stars of stagedom who responded most loyally to the need for providing entertainment for the soldiers. During the spring and summer of 1918 she toured the cantonments in the United States giving readings and taking part in the programmes that were arranged for the doughboys. She found these soldiers in the making quick to respond to any war selection that had the real spirit of the trenches and so, when a friend of hers, another Canadian, Miss Agnes C. Laut, wrote her suggesting that she use the poems by Robert W. Service that were appearing in MACLEAN’S, she decided to try them. They made an instantaneous and tremendous hit. Miss Arthur gave “The Blood-Red Fouragerre” from one end of the United States to the other, and her audiences literally raised the roof on every occasion. Thanks to the use that Miss Arthur made of it, this stirring Service poem did a great deal to fire the enthusiasm of the American recruit, and perhaps had its share in stimulating the heroism of Chateau-Thierry and the Argönne. Nothing that Miss Arthur had in her repertoire

created such unbounded applause as the vigorous poetry that Mr. Service was giving out at the time through MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE. “The Blood-Red Fouragerreby the way, was published in April MACLEAN’S, 1918

And so it is particularly pleasing to be able to present a recent picture of Miss Arthur on the cover oj this issue which sees the start of a new series of Service poems; for the two names are to-day associated in the minds of many score thousand American soldiers. It was not necessary, however, to have any special reason for selecting Julia Arthur to appear on the cover of MACLEAN’S. She is unquestionably one of the best known of Canadians.