stefansson-wrangel-09-25-006-006

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- 6 -

only a theoretical objection, for during the middle of winter the sun
is either below the horizon or else peeps above it at noon for only a few
hours. When the sun is up the occupants of the house are probably out of
doors anyway, doing work which begins in the morning before sunrise and ends
in the evening long after sunset.

There is a theory based on a priori reasoning that the
absence of sunlight is depressing to the human spirit. We have discussed
this elsewhere* and have produced ample evidence to show that the effects are
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*(Footnote) "The Friendly Arctic," pp-22-24, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1921.
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only those of suggestion - you are depressed perhaps but only if you have been
expecting to be depressed and are thus the victim of auto-suggestion. In any
case there is certainly no evidence in Knight's diary for the following winter
that the party were depressed by either their dwelling place or any other
circumstance. Ada Blackjack, who was used to this sort of house, liked it and
says that it was very comfortable.

In the letters written immediately after landing and sent
back with the Silver Wave, there are several references to the abundance of
polar bear tracks on the beaches, and other signs of game. But it was almost
a week after landing before they saw the first bear, as recorded by Knight's
entry for September 21: "Just after breakfast Galle went up on the bluff and
saw a bear about two miles inland. Maurer and I took after him and shot him
about two miles west of camp. He was a full grown male with a rather good
skin which we carefully saved. The carcass was cut up and cached and will be
hauled home when the weather permits (when enough snow has fallen to permit
sledging). Enough was carried home by us to feed the dogs in the meantime.
Occasional flurries of snow from the west with a strong breeze. No sign of
ice as yet.

"September 22: This afternoon I hitched up the dogs to

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