Jimmy had already lost consciousness and Bobby was so overcome by the shock that he could scarcely speak, and Skipper Ed, lifting Jimmy into his arms, ran with him to the igloo, calling to Bobby as he did so:
“Come! Run! Run, or you’ll freeze!”
Bobby tried to run—tried very hard—but he fell. The water in an instant formed a coat of mail upon his body. He rose, but his legs refused to respond, and again he fell, and when Skipper Ed, who came running back when he had dragged Jimmy into the igloo, reached him he found Bobby on his hands and knees and nearly helpless.
“Come!” he shouted into Bobby’s ear, at the same time passing his arm around Bobby’s body and lifting him to his feet. “Come, lad! Don’t give up!” he encouraged, half dragging the boy forward and pushing him into the igloo.
“Undress, Bobby! Get into your sleeping bag!” he commanded.
“Jimmy—Jimmy—” said Bobby, in a voice which he hardly recognized as his own.
“I’ll take care of Jimmy,” broke in Skipper Ed. “Get into your sleeping bag! Quick!”
And Bobby in a dazed manner obeyed.
Fortunately the stone lamp was burning. Skipper Ed closed the door of the igloo with a block of snow, and working rapidly he stripped the frozen clothing from Jimmy, wrapped him in a caribou skin, turned him upon his face, and resorted to artificial respiration to restore him to consciousness.
Jimmy responded quickly to the treatment, for he was suffering rather from shock than from the amount of water that had entered his lungs, and in a little while Skipper Ed was gratified to observe that he was breathing naturally and making an effort to speak.
“Where’s—Bobby?” he asked faintly.
“Bobby’s safe,” said Skipper Ed with a strange choking in his voice. “Bobby pulled you out, Partner. My brave partner!”
Without delay Skipper Ed now tucked Jimmy into his sleeping bag, and wrapping an additional caribou skin around each of the boys, set himself at once to brewing some hot strong tea, which he forced them to drink, and until they had drunk it and were thoroughly warmed he commanded them to do no talking, though in spite of the injunction Bobby asked:
“Is Jimmy all right?”
“He’s all right,” reassured Skipper Ed, “as snug as can be, in his bag. Now don’t say another word until I give you permission. Go to sleep.”
“Where’s my netsek? Did you find it? And my mittens? I’ll need ’em again,” persisted the practically disposed Bobby, who was already thinking of the future.
“You young rascal! Go to sleep, I say, and don’t let me hear another word,” insisted Skipper Ed. “I’ll go find ’em. Keep quiet now and go to sleep.”
Skipper Ed found the netsek and mittens, as he had promised he would. The tide had driven the piece of ice upon which Bobby had left them back again to the main ice. Then he fed the dogs, and when he returned to the igloo both lads were sleeping soundly.