stefansson-wrangel-09-31-031v

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28 THE ADVENTURE OF WRANGEL ISLAND

written manuscript by Jack Hadley now in the archives
of the Department of the Naval Service at Ottawa.

Jack Hadley was in himself no less pleasantly unusual
than his career was romantic. Of English parentage on
both sides, he was born in Canterbury, and he told his
various escapades as a choir boy in the Cathedral with
greater relish than any of the other stories of his adven-
turous life. He had a love for music and a voice beyond
the ordinary. Apart from the Cathedral choir he had
no training, but he had listened to operas in big cities
and to native songs in every corner of the earth, and
whatever he heard he could reproduce, modified by his
peculiar temperament and talents. He could play a
variety of wind and string instruments and carried an
assortment of them with him wherever he went.

And he went nearly everywhere. Besides sailing every
sea, he had been a tramp in Australia and, I think, in
Africa. He had run away from ships in tropical islands
both of the East and West Indies. He had been an
officer in the navy of Chile and had “fought” as lieutenant
on a Chinese ship in the Chinese-Japanese War. When
the United States sent its first revenue cutter to Herschel
Island, in the Arctic, just west of the Mackenzie River,
in 1889 to determine whether that central rendezvous of
the new whalemen’s paradise was American or Canadian
territory, Hadley was a minor officer on the ship. The
island turned out to be well east of what had previously
been agreed upon as the international boundary. The
Government of the United States, therefore, lacked the
power to regulate the rather turbulent whaler-Eskimo
metropolis, and Hadley sailed west beyond Point Barrow.

The Arctic pleased Hadley beyond every country. The
next twenty-five years he made occasional forays to San Francisco

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