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headed one or two points to the east of the north course I wanted to
travel, so as to counteract the westward drift. Where with Leffingwell
and Mikkelsen we had succeeded in making the trip easily and again with
Stefansson in 1914 we arrived at Banks Island safely, the trip we were
now attempting from Alaska to Prince Patrick Island greatly exceeded any
of the previous trips we had undertaken as to distance to be traveled;
so much so that, wehn I found that we were stuck at the wide lead in a
strong easterly gale during which we were drifting rapidly west, I com-
menced to think that the chances of our ever being able to reach our
destination and make the intended round trip that spring were almost nil.
I consequently commenced to cast about for other things to do instead.


I wanted to follow the Commander’s plan and drift for one year with
the ice, and so determined to make a strong bid for the support of my
men to do that work. I explained to them all the previously written
facts and why we possibly would not be able to make the trip we had agreed
to make ^ (to Prince Patrick Island) and that the drifting was the most valuable thing that we could
do for the expedition under the circumstances; I explained that all the
other work we could possibly do that year would be of small account compared
with the scientific value of a year’s drift. Following this talk I called
for volunteers to drift with me for one year in the Arctic Ocean, offering
the wages the Commander had set for that work.

I am glad to say that when things were put up to them and it meant
failure or success, the following five of my men came to the front:
Second Officer August Masik, Seaman Adelbert Gumaer, Seaman E. Lorne
, Seaman Martin Kilian, and the boy, Fred Volki. The remaining
members of my party refused point blank. But five men were more than I
needed, as I intended to have only five men in the advance party including
myself. So I sent the boy Volki home with the returning support party.

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