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port side of the ship. The lead opened fifty feet from
the vessel, was probably a half mile in length and four
feet in width, and was in the old floe on which we kept
dogs and on which we had previously stored provisions
removed from the ship. When I tell you that where the
lead opened the ice was solid and fifteen feet in thickness,
you may have some idea of the terrific strain that caused
it to part.

Our first care was to bring the dogs to safety. We did
not mind about the coal and provisions, as we still had
plenty on board. The dogs would not cross the lead of
their own accord, so we had to leap across to them, take
them by their chains, then recross the lead and drag the
dogs after us. These northern dogs do not take kindly
to the water; they will sleep on the snow and ice for
months, but they have an instinct that teaches them the
water is to be avoided. We knew that if we lost our dogs
we would be helpless in case the ship was crushed and

In a few days this lead partially closed, leaving us in
the same situation as before. By this time we had started
on our southwesterly drift and were moving in the direc-
tion of Wrangel Island. We noticed, also, that whereas
it had been a silent drift before, we now frequently heard
the booming noises caused by the strain of the ice that
told us leads were forming.

We were nearing the arctic midnight. Nothing further
occurring to renew our fears, we settled back into the
old routine of living and waiting.

We celebrated Christmas Day, 1913, on board the
Karluk. It was the last Christmas on earth for many
of our company. We held athletic sports and contests,
such as running, jumping, sack races, three-legged races,

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