“Here we are,” said Jackie Tar.
“Here?” asked Kernel Cob. “Where?”
“The North Pole,” said Jackie Tar.
“I don’t see any pole,” said Kernel Cob, and Jackie Tar laughed till the tears ran down his cheeks and fell off in little icicles. “You didn’t suppose there really was a pole, did you?”
“Of course,” said Kernel Cob.
“I thought everyone knew that there wasn’t a real pole here,” answered Jackie.
“Then what do you call it a pole for?” asked Kernel Cob.
“I don’t know,” said Jackie Tar, “only I know there isn’t a pole. It’s just called that.”
“I don’t believe you’ve found it at all,” said Kernel Cob.
“Oh yes,” said Jackie Tar, “of that you may be sure for my compass tells me that this is the top of the world.”
“Well,” said Kernel Cob, “that’s the silliest thing I ever heard, for I thought we would see a great pole sticking high in the air.”
And they got off their sled and walked about.
“Why did you want to come here?” asked Speed.
“You see,” explained Kernel Cob, “we are looking for Jackie and Peggs’ motheranfather, and once when we were in India a Hoodoo ...”
“A Hindoo you mean,” corrected Jackie Tar.
“A Hindoo,” said Kernel Cob, “showed us on a crystal ball a picture of them in the snow, digging for gold. So we thought if we got to the North Pole we would find them.”
“Nobody comes to the North Pole to dig gold,” said Speed.
“Why not?” asked Sweetclover.
“Because there isn’t any gold here,” said the dog.
“There isn’t?” asked Sweetclover.
“No,” answered Speed.
“This is a funny world,” said Kernel Cob, “the North Pole isn’t a pole at all, and after we get here there isn’t any gold mine. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I wasn’t alive.”
“The nearest gold mine that I ever heard of in these parts,” said Speed, “is in the Yukon.”
“Where’s that?” asked Kernel Cob.
“In Alaska,” answered Speed.
“Is that far?” asked Sweetclover.
“Yes, it’s a great distance from here, but if you like I’ll take you there.”
“You’re very kind,” said Sweetclover.
“It’s a pleasure to do for people who are so good,” said Speed.
So after Kernel Cob dug their names in the ice with his sword, they got on their sled and Speed started off again.
“How do you know how to go to Yukon?” asked Sweetclover.
“Oh, I’ve been over the ice lots and lots of times,” said he.
And they travelled all day.
“I never saw such a long day,” said Kernel Cob, “the sun doesn’t seem to go down, but only round and round.”
“That’s because we are so high on the earth,” said Speed. “Some nights are six months long.”
But nothing could induce Kernel Cob to believe this,
“For,” said he,
“I won’t believe anything more about the world as long as I live.”