stefansson-wrangel-09-31-008v

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xiv

PREFACE

there had been troubles or recriminations they would
have been set down. That there were none to record is
nearly, if not quite, unique in polar exploration. Many
expeditions have concealed their bickerings; few have
had none to conceal.

I always had great confidence that the Wrangel Island
Expedition could trust the verdict of anyone who knew
every action and motive. With that constantly before
me I have tried in writing this book not only to be frank,
but also to give the reader a chance to look deeper if he
wants to and convince himself that we really have been
frank. Within the limits set by my capacity and by the
hurry and worry of composing a book before a certain
date while at the same time fighting for the possession of
some of the documents on which the story had to be based
(as explained farther on in this book)—within these lim-
its I had already done my best to tell the reader the whole
truth, when I got, strangely late, an idea that should
have been in my mind at the very first.

One man now living knows more than any other about
the planning of the Wrangel Island Expedition and the
relation to it of its four members—John I. Knight, the
father of Lorne Knight. Not only had he heard his son
talk for year after year about the varied experiences of
his first four seasons in the Arctic and about his hopes
and plans of further arctic work, but he knew also Fred
Maurer
and Milton Galle, who had visited his home at
McMinnville, Oregon, as guests of his son. Although
Maurer had been there for fewer days than Galle had
been weeks, I knew that both Mr. and Mrs. Knight had
formed a personal affection for them both. They knew
Allan Crawford only through a day’s visit and through
their son’s enthusiastic report, but even so the relation

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