Such as his state required. At this reproof,
With the same ghastly mildness in his look,
He said, “My trust is in the God of Heaven,
And in the eye of him who passes me!”
The cottage door was speedily unbarred,
And now the soldier touched his hat once more
With his lean hand, and in a faltering voice,
Whose tone bespake reviving interests
Till then unfelt, he thanked me; I returned
The farewell blessing of the patient man,
And so we parted. Back I cast a look,
And lingered near the door a little space,
Then sought with quiet heart my distant home.
[Footnote 3: In the press of Appleton & Co.]
* * * * *
A TALE OF THE FROZEN SEA.
* * * * *
VI.—THE IVORY MINE.
The end of so perilous and novel a journey, which must necessarily, under the most favorable circumstances, have produced more honor than profit, was attained; and yet the success of the adventure was doubtful. The season was still too cold for any search for fossil ivory, and the first serious duty was the erection of a winter residence. Fortunately there was an ample supply of logs of wood, some half-rotten, some green, lying under the snow on the shores of the bay into which the river poured, and which had been deposited there by the currents and waves. A regular pile, too, was found, which had been laid up by some of the provident natives of New Siberia, who, like the Esquimaux, live in the snow. Under this was a large supply of frozen fish, which was taken without ceremony, the party being near starvation. Of course Sakalar and Ivan intended replacing the hoard, if possible, in the short summer.
Wood was made the groundwork of the winter hut which was to be erected, but snow and ice formed by far the larger portion of the building materials. So hard and compact did the whole mass become when finished, and lined with bear-skins and other furs, that a huge lamp sufficed for warmth during the day and night, and the cooking was done in a small shed by the side. The dogs were now set to shift for themselves as to cover, and were soon buried in the snow. They were placed on short allowance, now they had no work to do, for no one yet knew what were the resources of this wild place.
As soon as the more immediate duties connected with a camp had been completed, the whole party occupied themselves with preparing traps for foxes, and in other hunting details. A hole was broken in the ice in the bay, and this the Kolimsk men watched with assiduity for seals. One or two rewarded their efforts, but no fish were taken. Sakalar and Ivan, after a day or two of repose, started with some carefully-selected dogs in search of game, and soon found that the great white bear took up his quarters even in that northern latitude. They succeeded in killing several, which the dogs dragged home.