stefansson-wrangel-09-28-052

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151

for we had been compelled reluctantly to admit that from their point of view they
had been justified in looking upon Mr. Noice as our agent and upon his
story as having, therefore, been purchased from us.

When we got the documents we tried first to ascertain
to what extent they had been mutilated. With the loose papers this was
impossible, for there was no page numbering. But Lorne Knight's diary
proved to be in two notebooks that had been originally published made with
numbered pages. We found that from Volume I there were missing pp. 9-14,
19-22, 27-40, 45-46, inclusive. From Volume II were missing pp. 33-42,
inclusive. There had also been torn out a portion of one page and here
and there paragraphs had been carefully erased and then the place of the
erasure heavily blackened with a soft lead pencil so that these gaps
were undecipherable. These were the pages and gaps in which Mr. Noice
had alleged was contained the disgraceful information about Lorne Knight
himself and the other men, according to one version of Mr. Noice's story;
while according to his other version they were the pages that contained
information by which I would be enabled to shift the blame of the
Wrangell tragedy from myself to the four men.

We now took up with our attorneys the advisability of
getting search warrants or starting criminal or civil action against Mr.
Noice to get the missing pages. The father of Lorne Knight, Mr. J. I.
Knight
of McMinnville, Oregon, was especially insistent that drastic
action should be taken, for he had been greatly hurt and angered by the
actions of Mr. Noice. The families of Fred Maurer and Milton Galle also
put certain pressure upon us. We decided, however, to wait for the arri-
val in New York of Mr. Carl Lomen from Nome. He had been for some time
a personal friend of Mr. Noice and had helped him in the outfitting of
the Donaldson and also when the Donaldson returned from Wrangell Island,
and we thought the best chance of recovering the missing pages was to
give Mr. Noice time to realize the seriousness of the offense which he

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