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and lighter than any other known variety of fur in use. The Russians know how to appreciate its heat-retaining qualities, and even the Esquimaux prize it at its true value ; but with us almost any other fur is sought for with greater zest, perhaps the attraction being rather in the finer texture and more attractive appearance of various skins in use. Professor Nordenskiold expects to meet with land in the north. This land, if found, will be a source of danger in the opinion of some of his party, as a gale off the land, should it happen, will cause the trouble they almost anticipate. We heard further particulars respecting the mode of compassing their object, which to us appeared of the greatest possible interest. Thus, the food rations consisted of three pounds weight per day for each man, and their reindeer will be added to this supply, as we have stated. Necessaries, clothing, and other baggage would weigh_4050 lbs. It is calculated that each man can drag 425 lbs. over the ice ; and we heard of bread, coffee, lime juice, concentrated rum, a cooking apparatus, supplied with petroleum, besides guns, ammunition, axes, spades, saw for cutting ice, and for building snow huts, blanket sleeping bags, India rubber mattresses, and the dog-skin coverlid. ,
We thought of the wonderful exploits of the dogs we had often heard and read about, and we spoke of
the Russian and Esquimaux sledge journeys performed by these sagacious friends of man; and we spoke to the Professor of 600 miles' journey out and the 600 miles home again before he could accomplish the intended journey ; we spoke of the Esquimaux driving six dogs thirty miles a-day with a party of eight in a sledge, and of a smaller number doing their sixty miles ; we talked of the story of a Cossack, Alexander Markoff, who was sent from Yaktush to explore the frozen ocean in the summer of the year 1714, by order of the Russian Government, but the sea was so crowded with ice he was unable to make any progress. In this. dilemma he formed the design of travelling in sledges during the winter or spring of the year over the ice, which then might fairly be expected to be firm and compact. Accordingly he formed a party for the purpose, preparing several of the country sledges, drawn by dogs, and, accompanied by eight persons, he set out on the 16th of March from the mouth of the Lena, lat. 70° 30', long. 138°. He proceeded for seven days northward as fast as his dogs could draw, which, under favourable circumstances, is eighty or a hundred versts each day (a verst is about 3500 English feet), therefore the average is ninety versts per day, equal to sixty-two miles, amounting to 434 miles in seven days. Markoff continued his journey until
DOGS NOT APPROVED OF.
his progress was impeded about lat. 78° by the ice being elevated into prodigious mountains. This formation was most probably caused by the proximity of land. Here his journey was arrested, and his provisions falling short, his difficulties were greatly increased. However, some of his dogs having died from want, they became food for those remaining. On the 3rd of April following he arrived at the point from whence he had set out, after an absence of twenty-four days.
It was to no purpose we mentioned these facts to Professor Nordenskiold ; he was prejudiced evidently against the use of dogs; and our other arguments respecting the wonderful inventions of modern days, which place us in a far better condition of economising space in a way utterly unknown some few years ago, were to him of no account. The clumsy appliances with which Markoff was forced to be content, weighed more than double, and offered less than half the necessaries, not to mention comforts, we could pack away for such a journey at the present day.
At this time our consultations were frequent and earnest as to the course we should adopt. The allabsorbing question was, whether we should linger for some days longer on the coast, exploring the many bays and fiords, in quest of such sport as should