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Chapter VIII

The Difficulties of 1922

When the Silver Wave sailed away “with much flag
dipping,” a silence fell upon Wrangel Island that
remained unbroken for two years. Captain Hammer
brought out with him only the briefest letters either to
me or to friends and families. It had been to each of
the four an exciting adventure since they left Seattle,
and especially so between Nome and Wrangel. Apart
from personal greetings, my only report was a letter
from Crawford, which I quote in full:

, 5:30 P. M.

Off Wrangel Island.

“Dear Mr. Stefansson:

“Commencing this letter 1/2 mi. offshore. Left Nome Sept. 9th.
Called East Cape, Siberia, to purchase skin boat. Sighted island
noon yesterday. Resembles in outline and color country round
Lewiston, Idaho. Large flat spaces near coast but seems to be
mostly hilly. Snow on highest of hills looks like this year’s. Have
as yet seen not a single ice cake.

6:00 P. M.

“Stopped—don’t think this is Rodger’s Harbour. Maurer is un-
certain. Started unloading. Have been very quiet about our busi-
ness here, since it appears the Russians think they own the island
and their Siberian Patrol is liable to pay us an unwelcome visit.
Finished unloading 11 P. M., came aboard for meal and wrote till
midnight. Up again 2:45 breakfast, then ashore and raised flag
and issued proclamation of which I enclose two copies. Next year
bring a phonograph and records as we had no time to get one.
Mr. Anderson has copies of grocery and hardware bill, so you can


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