Status: Indexed

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a present-day man or woman who can shoot ducks with a rifle, there is
scarcely more danger in a bear than there is in a duck. Once Unless cornered a
bear will always flee when wounded. Furthermore, one who is not frightened
and who has the skill to hit a duck can place a bullet where one shot is
fatal. But Ada not only did not hunt for bears but she fled when she saw
them. It is probable that but for this defect of training she could have
saved Knight’s life, for we know partly from Knight’s own experience when I
treated him for a severe case of scurvy in 1917, that meat will produce a rapid

All this is on the assumption that Knight died of scurvy.
But this is not quite clear. He himself mentions in the diary frequently
that the symptoms are different from the ones he had before. It seems as
likely that the disease was nephritis, in which case a polar bear more or
less might not have made such a difference.

When the Donaldson arrived at Wrangell Island
August 20th, Ada Blackjack had mastered her environment so far that it seems
likely she could have lived there another year, although the isolation would
have been a dreadful experience. Almost certainly she would eventually
have killed one of the polar bears instead of fleeing from it, and one such
victory would have led to the killing of several - enough to see her through.
For the summer of 1923 seems to have been as good for bears as the period
just after the landing in 1921. That would have been a wonderful story
but, while I believe in its probable success, I am more grateful than any
person unconcerned could be that she did not have to try it.

Ada Blackjack's experiences after Lorne Knight became ill
are a story in themselves too long to be told here. Neither can we go into
the plans that were made and which are being carried out to continue the
effectiveness of the imagination and public-spirited work for which our four

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