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How enthusiastically and quietly the preparations were
made is well brought out by a letter which Knight wrote me June 18, 1921,
from his home in McMinnville, Oregon, where he says: "I never wanted to do
anything in my life as bad as I want to get away from here . . . . . There has
been a great deal of speculation at our house on where I am going, but we are
still in the dark. Dad is excited stiff."
Another letter from Knight says: "Of course you must
realize that I am very anxious to go north under your direction and am
waiting eagerly . . . . Last night Maurer lectured in Amity and I brought
him home in a car. We were together all day and he continually talked about
the North. I think (if possible) he wants to get back up there as bad as I
do. No doubt he has told you all this . . . . He continually talks Wrangell
In order to camouflage our real plans, we hinted commer-
cial development when it was necessary to talk at all. On July 2nd Knight
wrote again from McMinnville: "All the papers on the Coast have printed
articles concerning your commercial enterprise. The Portland Telegram
perpetrated an awful poor pun when they said, 'Stefansson's northern enter-
prise should cut some ice.' I hope I have a chance to show them what kind of
ice we will cut."
On August 16th the party were assembling in Seattle and
Knight wrote me: "Maurer arrived this A.M., all grins. He seems to be happy.
We all are, for that matter, and aching to get started."
The four boys made the nine-day voyage from Seattle,
Washington, to Nome, Alaska, by passenger steamer. On September 4th, Knight
wrote from Nome: "We are having a nice, easy time at your expense but I
would rather be far out on the 'bounding sea' bound for the place that we
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