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A curious coincident is in the fact that Captain Kellett, who was
the first European to see Wrangel Island, was then in command
of one of the ships of the Franklin search, sent out mainly
through the efforts of Lady Franklin. So the history of these two
women touched for a brief instant; two women who lived so many
years apart—who were so unlike—and so alike in will and

Ada’s situation at once suggests Robinson Crusoe—but Crusoe
had his man Friday. Ada toward the end had no one. After three
of the men had left the island to go over the ice to Alaska by
way of Siberia, her one companion was a sick man who died
months later. Then she was alone on an island in the Arctic Sea
—an island comparable in size to Jamaica. The nearest land was
Siberia, a hundred miles away, across the ice floes.

What she did to keep herself and her companion in food, the
things she learned to do in order to live, seems to me a story of
simple courage and fortitude that is almost without parallel in
modern times.

Contrary to popular opinion, Ada is in no way a Lady Robinson
Crusoe. In looks and in tragedy she is more like a Madam Butter-
fly. A pathetic figure, watching eagerly day by day for a ship on
the horizon. Not a ship bearing her lover, as did Puccini’s heroine,
but a ship to take her back to Nome and her little boy.

One can imagine the change in her; from a state of bewildered
helplessness to the steel-like strength that later characterized her.
When she had almost given up hope, when her desire to live (when
it was so much easier to die) was at a low ebb, she came to the
conclusion that she must get back to Bennett. She made up her
mind to live—and to use her own words “I said to myself I must
stay alive—I will live—I will not let Bennett have stepmother.”

From then on she had no thought excepting the business of living
and the care of the sick man Lorne Knight. She hunted and
trapped; she learned to shoot. She, whose experience with a gun
was limited to shooting at a target with a twenty-two rifle, was
forced to depend upon her use of a rifle and shotgun to keep
herself alive.

These things she managed to do because the instinct to survive is
the deepest and strongest instinct in the human mind. Add to this

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