stefansson-wrangel-09-31-008r

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xiii

PREFACE

band or brother has been borne by the relatives. But I
can at least thank especially the families of the two vet-
erans, Lorne Knight and Frederick Maurer, for their tire-
less efforts to lessen the grief of the parents of the younger
men, Allan Crawford and Milton Galle, by sharing with
them the better understanding of arctic life and condi-
tions which they had secured from their explorer sons
when they had been at home in the intervals between
their expeditions. For Knight had been north with me
four years between 1915 and 1919 and Maurer had been
in the Arctic twice, the second time with me when he
was shipwrecked on Wrangel Island itself in 1914.

With a heart too full for words in any case, I have at-
tempted in this book no eulogy of the dead. Their ac-
tions and worthy motives are their best monument.
What their thoughts and deeds were is shown by the
fragments of records we have received from Crawford,
Galle and Maurer and especially by the one preserved
diary, that of Lorne Knight, upon which this book is
mainly based. Through his laconic narrative, so frank
that he evidently never even asked himself whether he
was being frank, there stand out clear the personalities
of four gallant gentlemen who remained staunch com-
rades through two difficult years of isolation. A record
that is complete and matter-of-fact to the bitter end
shows that not once did even one of them shirk a task
or a responsibility. That this is no mere rhetoric the
scholars of the world will eventually have a chance to see
for themselves, for we shall present photostat copies of
Lorne Knight’s diary to one or more leading libraries in
Canada, the United States and England, and copies also
of all the other records. The general frankness of the
diary is such that the reader is unable to doubt that if

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