Status: Needs Review



still be able to travel. The woman is spending her time
knitting and I am reading.”

January 31st: “Still blowing hard. Had to go outside
this A. M. and rustle a little wood. Blowing and drifting
as hard as I have ever seen it. Cold, clear overhead.”
Perhaps it is our almost certain knowledge of the
tragedy which must have taken place during this gale
that makes us feel inclined to marvel at Knight’s
optimism when he says on the second day of the storm
that, “at least it will be a side wind for them and though
inconvenient they will still be able to travel.” There is
[at least] one sort of comfort in that sentence, however it shows Knight almost thought Crawford's party was in good physical condition. There
never was any foundation for the newspaper assumption
that the men were weak with hunger when they started,
but there is a diary statement January 12th that Crawford had frozen his feet. But that entry is the only contradictory one we have noted in Knight’s whole diary.
For he says in one and the same sentence that Crawford froze his feet badly, and that the frost bites are
nothing serious. The “nothing serious” alternative receives strengthening from the just quoted entry of
January 30th. The frost bites cannot have been very
serious bad, since Knight now assumes that Crawford would
be traveling in a howling gale. Even with danger threat-
ening, as with Scott when he saw death approaching
in the Antarctic, men do not usually travel in a howling raging,
blizzard, even with a side wind, unless they are in fit con-
dition. To write so, Knight at least must have supposed
them fit. At the very least we can therefore conclude
that, even while this gale was howling, Knight was com-
fortable in his mind about the success of the party in
reaching Siberia and Nome. Both from his diary and

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