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one of the families engaged. When she found that the
others had broken their bargain she also wanted to with-
draw, but was prevailed upon to go by the assurance
that the Silver Wave would call in at some Eskimo settle-
ment between Nome and Wrangel to hire families in
which Asia could then take her place. The party made
a last effort to get the people previously hired to stick to
their bargain or to engage others, but no one could be
found who was willing to go. The season was already
later than the best sailing time and they were afraid to
delay. They appear also to have felt certain that they
would be able to engage some families of Siberian Eski-
mos at East Cape when they went in there to buy the
skin boat. With that program they sailed September 9th, 1921.

The voyage from Nome to East Cape resembled a
voyage in a similar boat from Scotland to Norway. There
was no ice in sight. The weather also proved favorable.

At East Cape the party met their first misfortune and
made the most serious error of the whole expedition. The
misfortune was that no Eskimos could be engaged. The
error of judgment was that when the natives demanded
about double the usual price for an umiak the party
decided that they ought to refuse to be robbed and that
they could get along all right if Captain Hammer would
sell them instead the ship’s dory.

Much has been made of this incident since by nearly
every critic of the expedition, and far too much, it seems
to me. It is true that a departure was being made from
the plan which the members and I had formulated
together and in which they believed as thoroughly as I.
But, if properly understood, the interpretation is not
straight out one of bad judgment, but rather of excessive

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