Page images

reached it after an unbroken march of twenty-one hours. The little tent was nearly covered. I was not among the first to come up; but when I reached the tent-curtain, the men were standing in silent file on each side of it. They intimated their wish that I should go in alone.

13. As I crawled in, and, coming upon the darkness, heard before me the burst of welcome from the poor fellows stretched on their backs, and then for the first time the cheer outside, my weakness and my gratitude together almost overcame me. "They had expected me; they were sure I would come!"

Questions. — 1. Who came into the cahln? 2. Where had they left their companions? 3-5. What did Dr. Kane do? 7, 8. What is said of Ohlsen? 6, 9. What was the degree of temperature? 10. What effect did the snow have upon their lips? 11 How did they find the camp of their comrades? 12, 13. What further occurred?

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Errors. — Pi'ty for party; blank'it for blank'et; fros^-bit-ten for frost'-hit-ten; vig'rous for vig'or-ous; aj-tic'e-late for ar-tic'u-late ; in-co-hcr'unt for in-co-hur'cut.

THE RESCUE PARTY. — Concluded.

1. We were now fifteen in number; the thermometer Whs seventy-five degrees below the freezing point, and our solo accommodation a tent barely able to contain eight persons. More than half our party were obliged to keep from freezing by walking outside while the others slept.

2. We could not halt long. Each of us took a turn of two hours' sleep, and then prepared for our homeward marelv. We took nothing with us but the tent, furs to protect the re* cued party, and food for a journey of fifty hours.

3. Every thing else was abandoned. Two large buffalobags, each made of four skins, were doubled up so as to form a sort of sack, lined on each side, closed at the bottom, but opened at the top. This was laid on the sledge; the tent, smoothly folded, serving as a floor.

4. The sick, with their limbs sewed up carefully in reindeer-skins, were placed upon the bed of buffalo-robes, in a half-reclining posture. Other skins and blanket-bags were thrown above them; and the whole litter was lashed together, so as to allow but a single opening opposite the mouth, for breathing.

5. This necessary work cost us a great deal of time and effort; but it was essential to the lives of the sufferers. It took us no le|g than four hours to strip and refresh them, and then to embale them in the manner I have described.

6. Few of us escaped without frost-bitten fingers. The i thermometer was fifty-five degrees below zero, and a slight

wind added to the severity of the cold. The work, however, was at last completed; and all hands stood round; and, after repeating a short prayer, we set out on our retreat.

7. A great part of our track lay among a succession of hummocks, some of them extending in long lines fifteen or twenty feet high, and so uniformly steep that we had to turn around them by a considerable deviation from our direct course.

8. Notwithstanding our caution in rejecting every superfluous burden, the weight, including bags and tent, was eleven hundred pounds; and yet our march for the first six hours was very cheering. We made, by vigorous pulls and lifts, nearly a mile an hour, and reached the new floes* before we were absolutely weary.

9. I now began to feel certain of reaching our half-way station of the day before, where we had left our tent. But we were still nine miles from it, when, almost without premoni

* Floes, detached portions of large fields of floating ice. •
EE *

tion, we all became aware of ah a/arming failure of our energies.

10. Bonsall and Morton, two of our stoutest men, came to me begging permission to sleep. "They were not cold; the wind did not enter them now; a little sleep was all they wanted." Presently Hans was found nearly stiff under-a drift; and Thomas, bolt upright, had his eyes closed, and could hardly articulate.

11. At last, John Blake threw himself on the snow, and refused to rise. They did not complain of feeling cold; but it was in vain that I wrestled, boxed, ran, argued, jeered, or reprimanded; an immediate halt could not be avoided.

12. We pitched our tent with much difficulty, — our hands were too powerless to strike a fire; so we were obliged to do without water or food.' Even the spirits had frozen at the men's feet, under all the coverings. We put Bonsall, Ohlsen, Thomas, and Hans with the other sick men well inside the tent, and crowded in as many others as we could.

13. Then, leaving the party in charge of Mr. McGary, with orders to come on after four hours' rest, I pushed ahead with William Godfrey, who volunteered to be my companion. My aim was to reach the half-way tent, and thaw some ice and pemmican before the others arrived.

14. The floe was of level ice, and the walking, excellent. I can not tell how long it took us to make the nine miles; for we were in a strange sort of stupor, and had little apprehension of time. It was probably about four hours.

15. We kept ourselves awake by imposing on each other a continued articulation of words, which must have been very incoherent. I recall these hours as among the most wretched of my life. We were not, either of us, in our %ight senses, and retained but a very confused recollection of what preceded our arrival at the tent.

16. The most-we recollect is, that we had great difficulty in raising the tent. We crawled into our reindeer sleepingbags, without speaking, and, for the next three hours, slept in a dreamy, but intense slumber. When I awoke, my long beard was a mass of ice, frozen fast to the buffalo-skin; and Godfrey had to cut me out with his jack-knife.

17. We were able to melt some snow, and get some »oup cooked before the rest of our party arrived. It took them but five hours to walk the nine miles. They were doing well, and, considering the circumstances,, were in wonderful spirits.

18. The day was providentially calm, with a clear sun. All enjoyed the refreshment we had prepared. The crippled were repacked in their robes; and we sped briskly toward the hummock-ridges, which lay between us and the Pinnacly Berg.

19. It required desperate efforts to work our way over these hummocks,—literally desperate; for our strength failed us anew, and we began to lose our self-control. We could abstain no longer from eating snow; and our mouths swelled; and some of us became speechless.

20. Happily the day was warmed by a clear sunshine; and the thermometer rose to four degrees below zero in the shade, otherwise we must have frozen. Our halts multiplied; and we fell half-sleeping on the snow. I could not prevent it. Strange to say, it refreshed us!

21. I ventured upon the experiment myself, making Riley wake me at the «nd of three minutes; and I felt so much benefited by it, that I timed the men in the same way. They fell asleep instantly, but were forced to wakefulness when their three minutes were out.

22. By eight in the evening, we emerged from the floes; and the sight of the Pinnacly Berg revived us. We now took a longer rest, and finally reached the brig early in the afternoon, we believe without a halt. I say we believe; and here, perhaps, is the m»st decided proof of our sufferings; for we were quite delirious, and had ceased to entertain a sane apprehension *of the circumstances about us.

23. This rescue party had been out seventy-two hours, and had traveled between eighty and ninety miles, most of the way dragging a heavy sledge. The mean temperature of the whole time, including the warmest hours of three days, was forty-one degrees below zero. We had no water except at our two halts, and were at no time able to intermit vigorous exercise without freezing.

Questions. — 1. What was their number? 1-4. What preparations did they make before starting back? 6. What was the degree of cold? 7, 8. What is said of their track and march? 9-1L What now happened to them? 12. What did they do? 13. In whose charge was the party left? 13 - 16. Give an account of Dr. Kane and Godfrey, on their way to the half-way tent. 17 - 20. Of the whole party while at the tent. 21. What experiment was ventured upon? 22. What was their condition when they reached Pinnacly Berg? 23. What further is said of the party ? — What rule it illustrated in the nineteenth paragraph? In the twenty-second paragraph?

f -*'


1. TwrllGHt, the light after sunset. 1. Hail'ing, calling from a distance.

1. Lull'jd, calmed, quieted. 2. Mat'in. pertaining to the morning.

1. Pair'y, imaginary, fanciful. 2. Flushed, tinged with red.

1. Re-gret', grief, sorrow. 3. Vig'ils, night-watches.

Errors. — Nameltss for name'less; dn'gzl for fin'gel; baton for bom; light'ninft for light'nings; near'ist for nearest.

TWILIGHT. — Haixecb.

1. There is an evening twilight of the heart,

When its wild passion-waves are lulled to rest,
And the eye sees life's fairy scenes depart,

As fades the day-beam in the rosy west.
'T is with a nameless feeling of regret

We gaze upon them as they melt away,
And fondly would we bid them linger yet,

But Hope is round us with her angel lay,
Hailing afar some happier moonlight hour; —
Dear are her whispers still, though lost their early power.

2. In youth, the cheek was crimsoned witti her glow;

Her smile was loveliest then; her matin song
Was heaven's own music; and the note of woe
Was all unheard, her sunny bowers among.

« PreviousContinue »