stefansson-wrangel-09-31-012r

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Status: Indexed

xxi

INTRODUCTION

the north coast of Alaska, where they took up their
home on a floating field, or floe, of ice, living there and
drifting with the winds from March until November.
During the time of their stay on the ice floe, they had
six weeks’ provisions lashed on their sled for travel, but
this was not touched and they lived entirely from the
food furnished by seals and polar bears which they killed,
returning to the north coast of Alaska the day the armis-
tice was signed. This shows Lorne's physical qualities
and the kind of schooling he had been through before he
went to Wrangel Island.

During all of these experiences, his faith in Mr. Stef-
ansson
was 100 per cent, and continued so throughout
all the time he was home; and it was based on this faith
that the statement has been made that they staked their
lives on each other, and that, “if Mr. Stefansson should
say that he would meet Lorne on the moon at a fixed
date, if it were possible, Lorne would be there, because
he would know that ''Stef'' would be there too.”

It was this faith that caused him to stake his life on
an enterprise backed by Mr. Stefansson.

It seems that the situation on Wrangel Island devel-
oped unusual qualities in Allan Crawford, because Lorne
says, in his diary, that he will “put Crawford against any
one he ever knew, old or young, except Stefansson.” That
is the highest tribute he could pay his companion.

In saying this, he had no idea of discounting the quali-
ties of Maurer and Galle, his other two companions.
I have his diary in its original form, written by himself
(all except the pages which have been torn out, and para-
graphs erased by Noice under the circumstances which
Mr. Stefansson explains in the appendix to this book), and in it all there
is not a single word of complaint or criticism of the men

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