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Vibha Vasanth at Mar 22, 2023 03:13 PM



tragic death, as we have shown previously, had been at
once the ending of the romantic three-hundred-year
period, during which men had visualized the Arctic as a
way to the Indies, and the beginning of the seventy-five-
year period which has pictured the Arctic as an icy
desolation and a hopeless barrier across the short route
to the East.

September 1st brought unbelievable news from Wran-
gel Island. The Donaldson had returned to Nome
and reported that Crawford, Galle and Maurer had died
on the ice between Wrangel and Siberia and that Knight
had died on the island, leaving the Eskimo woman as the
only survivor.

When a company of soldiers is mowed down in a heroic
charge, the public thinks first whether the stronghold was
captured. They forget the cost in the glamor of suc-
cess or emphasize it in the bitterness of defeat. But with
mothers and fathers and friends the shock of grief and
sense of personal loss are felt even before the news is
clearly understood. It seemed to me at first as if I had
lost at one blow four dear friends and a cherished cause.
But in a little I came to see that even so terrible a tragedy
could not lose us more than one of our two objectives.
[The men who were dead had been fighting for two
things, their faith in the coming development of arctic
lands and their hope that the English-speaking countries
might become leaders in that development and chief
gainers by it. This tragedy, if temporarily misunder-
stood by our people, as I feared it might be, would tend
to check the interest of our countries and hamper their
enterprise. But it might, and probably would, have an
opposite effect upon Russia and perhaps Japan. The