Status: Indexed

- 52 -

exceptionally good - in one case owls and in the other boiled skin. Both
these comments were written when abundant supplies of other things were as yet
on hand.

January 19th: "Broke camp at 9:45 A.M. . . . . and camped
about two miles east of last winter's trapping camp. Crawford froze the big
toe on his right foot rather badly to-day and is suffering considerable pain.
Wet socks, I think. Careless. All d y we faced a light breeze and very cold.
Various frost bites. My scurvy pains were very pronounced to-day and part of
the time it was painful walking. The only thing fresh that we have that I can
use as an antiscorbutic is sour seal oil, and I have eaten all that I could
hold every day for some time but no signs of relief yet. Both of my heels have
deep cracks in them, which makes walking painful. Of all the trips I have
ever participated in, long or short, this one is the worst for hard luck,
or is it incompetence?"

We can now answer Knight's last question in the negative.
Apart from such criticism easy after the event as questioning why they started
out at all when they were afraid of facing the rough ice because the sled was
too fragile - apart from such criticism, easy only after the event, it is
difficult to see how anyone would have been likely beforehand to do more than
perhaps disagree as people always do on matters of policy. Incompetence is
far too harsh a word, and in any case not the one needed to describe the serious
mistake Knight was making in thinking that sour seal oil was an antiscorbutic.
I am unable to guess where he got that idea, for in my treatment of Knight
himself when he had scurvy and when the cure was almost magical in its rapidity,
we used only fresh meat. In our many discussions afterwards, I do not remember
it ever having been suggested that seal oil fermented in the Eskimo method and
palatable to us who are used to it, is of antiscorbutic value.

January 20th: "Home again. Broke camp at 8 A.M. and

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