Status: Indexed

- 9 -

Maurer were with us also. There never were happier boys than the two
veterans. They were so exuberantly happy that it was difficult to realize
they were twenty-eight and not eighteen. Knight told stories by the hour of
his three adventurous arctic years. What Maurer said was equally enthusiastic
and even more to the point, for he had actually been on Wrangell Island for
six months and was in a position to tell the rest of us about the climate,
the vegetation and the abundance of sea and land game. Crawford was soon
infected with their enthusiasm. The contagion spread also to Milton Galle,
a Texas boy of twenty, who had been for some time acting as my secretary.
On the recommendation of the other three and at his own request, I decided
to make him the fourth member of the party.

Crawford was to be in command because the central idea
was that the enterprise must be British. But the relation of Crawford and
Knight was to be somewhat that of the ship's captain to a pilot when the ship
is entering a harbor and when, on the theory that the pilot knows best, the
captain for the time being suspends his authority. This was not as good an
arrangement from the viewpoint of efficiency and safety as if we could have
put either Knight or Maurer in command. Still, the personality of Crawford
seemed to be such as to make the plan tenable. The events of the next two
years showed that in this we made no mistake. Through his character and
ability Crawford proved a real commander even while following out the ideas
of his more experienced companions. In a diary kept by Knight for two years
there does not appear a single criticism of Crawford or any comment to the
effect that anything was done that did not thoroughly meet the approval of
both Knight and Maurer. A search through the manuscript records of famous
expeditions would show that such uniformly friendly co-operation through two
years of isolation is almost unique in polar history.

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