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sign of peace. The Eskimos returned the sign, jumping in the air and shouting. We came forward, and they invited us into their igloo. We knew that it was no use to ask them questions, for Eskimos will only tell you what they want you to know, and if press them they turn sulky. We told them that we had not come to trade with them, we had n't anything to trade anyway, that we had n't come to tell them about the world above the skies, but that we had been sent by the Great White Chief, who ruled in the South, where men were as thick as mosquitoes in summer, to tell them about his Law, and the ways of white men. It was n't easy to explain 'law,' but fortunately they were satisfied with this explanation of our presence, and we used it whenever we went to a new village.

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We got no news of the priests from them, but they told us that there were white men farther west, and that two days ahead of us there was a white man following the coast. What they said surprised us greatly, and I could only suppose that he was a member of Stefanssen's Canadian Arctic Expedition the surveying the coast. That night they gave us an igloo to sleep in. They slept on a raised platform of snow covered with soft caribou skins. It is not the sort of occasion a fellow bothers with pyjamas, we had none anyway, but it was a change from our tent, and was very comfortable. To our surprise the old man and his wife turned in with us seal-blubber smell and all.


The next day we left them, and, traveling fast, overtook the white man, who proved to be a surveyor of the C. A. E., as we had anticipated. With him was Corporal Bruce of the R. C. M. P., Herschel, who had been sent into Coronation Gulf by ship with

the C. A. E. the previous summer to endeavor to connect with Bear Lake patrol. Bruce now joined me. They had absolutely no news of the missing priests, but they told us where the Canadian Arctic Expedition's base was established. This was important, as we could get more stores there; by this time our supply was running low, though there were still plenty of caribou and seal. We were now a long way inside the Arctic Circle, fifteen hundred miles from the nearest railway, and six hundred miles from the nearest Hudson's Bay Company's post.

Two nights later we fell in with some more Eskimos, who invited us to enter their igloo. We crawled in by the alleyway and stood up inside. In the corner the wife was busy trimming the blubber lamp. Our host and his brother the woman's husbandcame in, and we all sat down. Jack was a good lad and knew what to say. (You know, you can't treat an Eskimo as a servant. He won't be driven: you've got to treat him as an equal. You say, 'Oh now, what about doing so and so to-day? If you'll do that, I'll come and give you a hand,' and then everything is all right.) Well, Jack was a good fellow he had been brought up by Bishop Stringer. I'm not sure that he had actually been brought up by him, but he had lived at his mission, and Bishop Stringer had brought to him the message of salvation. I sat and let Jack talk. After a few sentences, he turned to me and said, 'I think we are going to get something at last.' He then told them that we were looking for two white men who had come to Coronation Gulf to tell the Eskimos about the world above the skies. He explained that they had beards, and wore long black coats with many buttons down the front, their cassocks, you understand, with silver crosses round

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their necks; one was big and tall, like Jack's friend, and one was smaller, about the same height as the brother.

There was dead silence as Jack was speaking; the two men sat with their faces in their hands, and first one and then the other burst into tears. I sat up, for I realized that at last we were going to hear something. Quite by chance we had stumbled on the news we were looking for. I was itching to ask questions, for I had had these priests on my mind now for a year; I'd dreamed about them, and they had been continually in my thoughts. But I leaned back prepared to sit pretty, and told Jack to go on and ask them about it all over again.

It may have been ten minutes or half an hour-I don't know; but at last Jack turned to me excitedly. 'I've found out everything. The priests have been murdered, and they know one of the men who did it and are prepared to guide us to the village where the murderer lives.' Without delay we hitched in our teams again and struck north across the ice of the Arctic Sea. After we had been going some time we ran into a fog. It was so thick I could n't have seen you sitting next to me here, and for thirtysix hours we were completely lost. Then the fog lifted and we pushed on, and at length saw a village ahead of us. All the Eskimos came out to meet us, the men standing together on one side, the women on the other. I told Jack to go forward and give the sign of peace. Our rifles were strapped on our sleds, so that they could not be seen, and we advanced with our empty hands above our heads. We were unarmed, except that we had our revolvers in our snow-shirt pockets but of course they did n't show.

The Eskimos gave us the peace sign, and swarmed round our sleds. They had never seen our equipment before,

and were very interested in our dogs, which we had got in the South, and which were bigger than theirs. I asked Jack if he had heard of the murderer. He said, 'No, but I think his wife is here.' So I told Constable Wright to stay with the sleds and keep the Eskimos engaged while we went forward to have a look round. At the end of the village we found the man we wanted, sitting on the ground. He looked 'scared stiff,' but asked what we wanted. We told him we did n't want any trouble, but he must come along with us for murdering two white men. He said he was n't coming. He was sitting on a skin rug. We told him to get up. He refused. So we lifted him up, and found under the rug a rifle of one of the priests and a big knife. We removed his hardware, and let him sit down again. By this time the rest of the Eskimos had left the sleds and had followed us into the village. They were now thronging all round us, and did n't want us to take the man away. Things looked very difficult, but Jack rose splendidly to the occasion, and made them keep silence while he told them the whole story again. I finally told them that I did n't want any trouble, and at length an old man, who had n't taken any part in the discussion so far, said, "The white man does n't talk with two tongues. He is right. The man has killed the two priests, and he must go away with this white man to answer for it.' That settled it, and we got away with him.

It was a week before we could get it out of his head that we were going to murder him, but when he was reassured that his life was in no immediate danger he and other Eskimo witnesses told us that the two priests had come up late in the fall and had been kindly received by the Eskimos. They explained to us how the priests had put their hands together (in prayer), and

how sometimes they put small pieces of bread into their mouths. They also taught some of the Eskimos to use their rifles to shoot caribou. As it was late in the year, and food was scarce, the priests had told them that they would go South for the winter, and perhaps come again next year. After they had gone, the murderer, who badly wanted a rifle, said he was going after them, and invited one of the other men to go with him. He was jealous of the priests' ability to kill caribou at a distance, while they had to hunt them in the old laborious way.

The two of them set out, and in twenty-four hours came up with the priests. They joined them on the pretense of helping them with their loads. The tall priest was with the sled driving the team; the other was in front breaking the trail. The murderer said he drew his knife and stabbed the big priest in the back without killing him. The other priest heard the scuffle and turned back, running toward them. The murderer picked a rifle off the sled and fired. He told us afterward that he missed with the first shot, but fired again. The priest fell wounded, and turned to escape, crawling away on his hands and knees. The murderer, snatching up a hatchet, went after him, shouting over his shoulder to his accomplice to deal with the wounded priest behind him. He himself went forward and finished off with two or three strokes of the hatchet the one he had shot. They then cut out the livers of the dead men and ate them, because, they said, if you ate a dead man's liver he would n't get up again and hit you.

Having got our man, I decided to make for Stefanssen's base, where we found a cockney cook. He was alone, except for an old native woman who was helping him. By this time Corporal Bruce was suffering from

snow blindness; so I left him in charge of the prisoner, and set off eastward again. We had found another interpreter who knew the accomplice by sight. He told me that the man we wanted always went for the spring to a certain place in Coronation Gulf. I realized that if we were to catch him we had n't any time to lose. We therefore made forced marches to the spot, where we arrived and camped.

The spring comes in very quickly there. It's a matter of twenty-four hours. The small rivers break up; out comes the sun; all day long the birds come flying north; and the earth breaks chains. As we were sitting there, the water was already overflowing the ice, when Jack said he saw sleds coming toward us away out on the floe. He watched them for some time, through glasses, but he could n't recognize the driver. By this time he had turned away, and had reached an island four or five miles to the north of us. On the island we found a village, and all the Eskimos came down to see us, except one man who remained behind. They were all smiling, but he looked glum; and the other interpreter told us that he was the man we were looking for.

As before, we told him that we had come for him for murdering the white man, and that he must come along with us. He put his hands to his head and said, 'Yes, we killed them, and I've had it here in my head ever since. Are you going to kill us now?' We said, 'No, but you must come with us. 'Let my wife sew my shoes,' he said, 'and I will come along with you.' The wife was making a noise, not wanting him to go. But we said he must. Then she wanted to come too. To have to take two men along was bad enough

I could n't do with a woman as well; so I pacified her with a kettle and some needles. This quite satisfied her;

and I heard afterward that she went to the mainland and got another husband at once. So she was all right.

Well, now we had got both our prisoners; and my instructions were to deliver them to the nearest police post. This was on Herschel Island; so I returned to the C. A. Expedition base, where their ship was to wait for the return of Stefanssen's party. This was now about the end of May, 1916; we sailed for Herschel about July 12 with our prisoners, and after a fortunate trip through the moving ice reached Herschel early in August. I sent out my reports with the Canadian Arctic Expedition via the Bering Sea and Vancouver, for when I reached Herschel I heard from the police that orders were awaiting me at Fort Norman to take command of that district. This meant another winter in the North.

As for the two prisoners, instructions were received via Dawson, Yukon, in

February 1917 that the police patrol from there was to bring them down to Edmonton the following summer for trial. The two Eskimos were tried for murder. They pleaded 'Guilty.' The prosecution was in the hands of the Department of Justice, and the defense in those of the Department for Indian Affairs. They were defended by the best counsel, found guilty, and condemned to death, but the sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life- to be served in the North. Two and a half years later they were pardoned, taken North to Coronation Gulf again, and set free to return to their own people. One of them is now an interpreter to the police up there, and both have done good missionary work for law and order.

Of the two priests nothing was ever found but the lower jaw of one of them. The wolves and wolverines must have finished the rest.




IN the hushed, curtained room I stood alone
And read my rimes out to the microphone.

Yet scarce could I believe that every word
I breathed, perhaps a thousand listeners heard.

Rather I felt like some poor ghost behind

Death's down-dropped curtain, shut out from his kind,

Desperate to make yet-living loved ones hear

Some fond last message that would make all clear.



PADANG, with its white, empty, glaring streets, lay far behind us, half hidden on the low coast of the Indian Ocean. Our Dutch train had left the low shorecountry, with its tossing foliage of slender palms and giant, broadbranched, brooding trees, where white waterfowl make their homes. The port and its sunny sailboats had long since disappeared. Ricksha coolies, lumbering oxcarts topped by round, high-arched covers of leafy branches, and Chinese food-peddlers advertising their mysterious dishes by beating high-pitched gongs and shouting 'Makkam! Makkam!' had likewise faded from the picture. Departed, too, was the stifling heat of the land breeze and the heavy fragrance of the acacias behind the hotel verandah.

I sank back in indolent relaxation. The distant sea grew dusky. A refreshing coolness was wafted through the car. Jungle odors enwrapped us. Sluggish rivers, which flow inland at high tide, gleamed faintly in the shadow of the overhanging foliage. We were traveling toward tropical night, toward the lonely resthouse the Malays call Pasangrahan, to which we had been recommended. Just at sundown we reached the table-land of Padang Panjang. The chatter of the monkeys sank to a lower key or ceased entirely. We caught glimpses of native huts between the palms and thorn bushes cabins under high, pointed roofs thatched with bamboo and palm leaves,


1 From Neue Freie Presse (Vienna NationalistLiberal daily), January 16

with painted walls and prettily decorated windows and verandahs. Now and then a smaller, new cabin stood close to an older one the home of the second generation.

When we reached Pasangrahan the sun was vanishing in a silvery mountain mist. Two Malays helped our Chinese cook prepare supper. They had already hung our mosquito nets, cleaned the oil lamps, set out a flask of Oude Bols, and brought fresh water. We sat by the open door and smoked cigarettes. The lofty cliffs of a distant mountain range were vaguely limned against the evening sky. Behind our huts tall, slender palms stood silhouetted against the darkening heavens. The landscape had an indescribably delicate charm and softness, like an exquisite Japanese aquarelle. Every line was sure, yet as light and dainty as a breath.

Almost before the last shaft of departing sunlight was extinguished in the sky, blackness settled upon the country. It was as if mountains and forests and fields were suddenly submerged by onrushing darkness from some burst reservoir of night. It was the hour when, in the lowlands we had left, crocodiles-long, black, and watchful watchful slowly emerge from dark, motionless rivers and, throughout the restless, never-silent jungle night, lie on the banks like drift logs, or creep by short stages inland, cautiously inspecting their surroundings and opening their jaws angrily at every trivial alarm. It is cool at Pasangrahan, on the high plateau. Our oil lamps are

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