stefansson-wrangel-09-25-007-015

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15.

possible for all of us to stay at the main camp, for there is
just enough grub there for three people to last until the seals
and birds come. [ This is the first explicit statement in the diary of the secondary
motive for the Nome journey - in addition to reporting progress
by telegraph. The argument that a journey going having some
of the party go away would relieve the island comisariat,
must have begun to present itself about Christmas, as we can
infer from the entries of that time indirectly ].
I would like to make this trip but I really
do not feel able. This is just a rough outline of our plans;
more later. A fairly fresh bear track seen going east."

January 20, they were "Home again, finding the
three people comfortably living in the 10 x 12 tent. Wonderful
going. Saw the sun today (its first appearance after the mid-
night twilight)."

On January 21, "The woman is busy making clothing.
It has been decided that Crawford, Maurer, and Galle will attempt
in a few days to go to Nome via Siberia. I will remain here as
camp keeper for the reason that I think I would be unwise to
attempt the said trip, because of illness. It is impossible
for two men to make the trip, I think, with only five dogs, but
as grub is short here, it is essential for the party to split.
It is very likely that Stefansson will be expecting news from
us this Spring, for when we left him in Seattle, (in August 1921),
he suggested the trip. The woman and I will have about six hard
bread each per day until the seals and birds arrive. This is
not counting what foxes I hope to catch on the two trap lines
that I intend to take over, or perhaps a bear. We will also have
about five hundred pounds of seal fat and five or six gallons of
bear oil."

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