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1923

1.

THE ADVENTURE OF WRANGELL ISLAND.

To most of us such a phrase as "The Age of Romance"
calls up pictures of Marco Polo trudging overland to
Cathay, Columbus at the prow of a Spanish galleon, Raleigh
spreading his mantle before a queen and sailing away to
Roanoke. Some extend the romantic period down to the
late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with Cook making
a road for us to Australia, Vancouver giving us a grip on
the Pacific coast of North America and such farsighted
adventurers as those who barely succeeded in giving us
New Zealand and failed with Hawaii and New Guinea.

To many the light of romance flickered out when, with
the cornerstone of empire laid, Rhodes died in South
Africa. But if we do not see romance in the events of today it is for
lack of perspective.

The adventure of holding Wrangell Island for the
British Empire until the world realises the future im-
portsnce of the Arctic, has been as romantic as any. This
undertaking fired the enthusiasm of my men perhaps more than
it did mine, for my own battle-front was rather in the
realm of the imagination. I had long realised that before
I could hope to interest the public even in Wrangell
Island I must get it, however reluctantly, to give up its
traditional inheritance of misconceptions about the very

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