stefansson-wrangel-09-25-006-001

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Status: Indexed

FOURTH WRANGELL ISLAND ARTICLE

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Except for a few fragments of loose papers, the diary
of Lorne Knight is the only document we were able to recover from which to
piece out the story of the first two years of the second Wrangell Island
occupation. The diary entries themselves are fragmentary and it is necessary
to read a good deal between the lines if we are to form a continuous and
vivid picture. Fortunately that task is easier for me than it would be for
most. I had known Knight for three years in the North and also as a travel-
ing companion during several months when I was lecturing in the United States
on the work of the expedition of which he had been a member, and when he had
assisted not only by operating the stereopticon but also occasionally by
giving brief sppeches when I was otherwise occupied or by talking to news-
paper men and others who wanted to know about our northern work when I was
either too tired or busy to talk to them. Such intimate intercourse had,
naturally, familiarized me with his ideas and with how his mind worked.
Eleven years in the arctic regions have made me familiar with the conditions
there and the methods that should be used in dealing with them.

The whole party evidently landed in high spirits. To
Crawford and Galle it was a wonderful new adventure with a haze of romance
over the land and over the coming winter. To Knight it was a homecoming to
the Arctic which, as he was never tired of explaining to his city friends,
was the only place of which he never got tired and where he localized all
his plans and dreams for the future. To Maurer it was even more of a home-
coming, for on this very island he had spent six strenuous months. Those
had been tragic and difficult months, but those who think that such experiences
as Maurer then went through would deter him from going back, know little of

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