stefansson-wrangel-09-31-014v

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xxiv

INTRODUCTION

the wilds of the Arctic regions and in civilization, in the
United States, in Canada and in London, and especially
with the political influences on the explorers and with the
journeys of the individuals, but the inspiration for the
book, the foundation of it, and the pivot around which
it revolves is the group of four young men and an Eskimo
woman
isolated on an arctic island. Allan R. Crawford,
whose record shows up so well through Lorne’s diary, was
Commander. E. Lorne Knight was officially Second-in-
Command, but his ideas gained through four previous
years of stern arctic experiences on Stefansson’s last ex-
pedition, controlled the party. Frederick W. Maurer
was also a veteran who had spent two summers and a
winter as an arctic whaler with Stephen Cottle, one of
the most famous of New England whaling captains, and
then two other arctic summers and a winter with Stefans-
son
—an invaluable preparation, especially as six months
of it had been on Wrangel Island itself. And well did he
make use of that experience and of excellent natural
qualifications, as Lorne’s diary shows and as this book
shows since it follows the diary. Milton Galle seemed to
us promising when he visited his friend, our son Lorne, at
our home while the expedition was being planned, and
the record in Lorne’s diary and Crawford’s letter show
that he measured up to every expectation. Ada Black-
jack
went along as a seamstress, for in the Arctic no
white men’s clothes are half as good as those the Eskimos
make. After the death of our son, whom she did her best
to nurse safely through his last illness, she visited his
mother and me at our home. I shall not attempt to ex-
press here my warm feelings for her, because Mr. Ste--1
fansson has incorporated into the main body of this book
what I think of her, of the charges against her published-

1 In the present edition this material
has been placed in the appendix.

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