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After leaving the coast of Alaska our general drift was
to the northwest. Of course, we did not travel in a direct
line, but zigzagged about until we reached the latitude
of 75 degrees North, then we took a southwesterly course
to the point that is now designated as Shipwreck Camp
on the maps and charts of Arctic exploration.

There is a peculiar weirdness in those shifty stretches
of the ice-pack. Sometimes no sound is heard for hours
or days, and then comes the boom or roar of ice breaking
and grinding by its own great weight. The law of com-
pensation is operative in the Arctic as well as elsewhere,
for though we were deprived of the glories of the day,
we often beheld the wonderful beauties of the far
northern night. Most of the time the sky was clear and
the stars shone brilliantly; the Pole Star was almost
directly overhead, and the great constellations that rise
and set where most people live made a nightly circuit
of our heavens without setting. The displays of the
aurora borealis were remarkable for their beauty and
variety. We often stood upon our drifting world of ice
and admired their shifting colors, forgetful of the dangers
that were constantly threatening to destroy us without

After we had been drifting several weeks, life con-
sisted mainly in devising means to pass the time. The
ship’s dogs lived on the ice, preferring the open to stay-
ing on board. We had built shelters for them, but they
rarely went into them. All about the ship were ringlike
depressions in the snow worn by the dogs lying there
and melted by the warmth of their bodies. Each dog
had his own nest. If one attempted to intrude upon the
rights of another, bickerings were sure to follow; but
this did not occur often, as these husky animals, though

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