stefansson-wrangel-09-25-006-004

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- 4 -

September 19. Everybody busy. Galle making a tool
chest, Maurer putting supplies in shape, Crawford getting out meteorologial
instruments and myself repairing sledge and dog harness." "Everybody busy"
followed by such details as these is a typical entry in Knight's diary and
we shall not repeat them. All hands seem to have worked amiably and ener-
getically in getting things ready for winter.

"September 20. All hands busy digging out the side of
a cut bank for space to pitch our winter quarters. We can use one side of the
bank for a side of the house and the roof will be sod. The two ends will be
built of snow blocks. We will pitch the 10 x 12 and the 8 x 10 tents end to
end (inside the house) and will use the small tent for a kitchen and the large
tent for living quarters. . . . . There is no snow or ice and the prospect
for seals looks rather gloomy until the ice does come. There are a few seals
about but they stay a long distance from shore, the surf is so heavy and the
dory so hard to pull out that it is not advisable to go after them." This
entry goes on to explain Knight's belief (undoubtedly correct) that seals
shot in open water at this time of year would probably sink before they could
be recovered.

Like many other entries in Knight's diary, this description
of the proposed winter quarters is lucid and complete to those who know the
style of dwelling he had in mind, but meaningless to others. Evidently Knight
and Maurer in planning this house were drawing on their experience in northern
Alaska. In writing his newspaper story from this diary, Noice implied his
surprise that so unsuitable a dwelling should have been employed, giving this
as one of the instances of what he considered mismanagement. That Noice makes
this criticism in perfectly good faith is evident not only from what he says
but also from a knowledge of the geographic limitations of his experience upon
which he bases the criticism. Noice had been a member of my expedition for two

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