stefansson-wrangel-09-24-002-006

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former expeditions, who believe as firmly as I do that one
good hunter can provide food for ten dependants so long as
his ammunition holds out - and they have plenty of
ammunition. However, two of the men are new and two
years is a long time to be alone on an island that has never
had human dwellers since the world began. In their own
minds they my men are patriots engaged in a public service which
farsighted men should appreciate now and which the whole
world will appreciate eventually. They will therefore be
unable to understand why they should be neglected. From
June until September 1922 they probably climbed the highest
hills every day watching with their field glasses for the
ship that did not come. The ice was there to show them that
it could not come and so I consider that they faced cheer-
fully the winter of 1922-23, because the responsibility of
their isolation lay with Providence.

But it is on the average only one year in twenty that
enough ice is driven in between Wrangell and Siberia to bar
a ship that wants to approach. The ocean is therefore
probably open now, and again they are climbing the hills
watching for a sail. If none comes they will be face to
face with their third Arctic winter - the longest period of
isolation of men without a ship in the history of Polar
exploration. The only adventure comparable is that of Sir
John Franklin, whose men had two well-found ships which they

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