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It was a bold project of Hatteras to push his way to the North Pole, and gain for his country the honour and glory of its discovery. Shandon and his gang have carried it off.” “And the pirogue? Bell lay on the ice in an almost inanimate condition.

The three men which were left him were the [Illustration: ] best on board his brig, and while they remained he might venture to hope. Clawbonny undertook to go and fetch the sledge and the dogs. Before the day ends I must come to some resolution, and I need to be alone to think. I never heard him speak so gently before.” “So much the better,” said Clawbonny.

After the cheerful, manly words of the captain, the Doctor felt the best thing to be done was to look their prospects fairly in the face, and know the exact state of things. “Believe me, Johnson, that man can save us yet.” And drawing his hood as closely round his head as possible, the Doctor seized his iron-tipped staff, and set out without further delay. They had simply to dig a hole in the heart of a great block of ice; but it was not easy work, owing to the extreme hardness of the material.

Accordingly, leaving his companions, he stole away alone down to the scene of the explosion. However, this very hardness guaranteed the solidity of the dwelling, and the further their labours advanced the more they became sheltered.

Of the Forward, the brig that had been so carefully built and had become so dear, not a vestige remained. Hatteras alternately paced up and down, and stood motionless, evidently shrinking from any approach to the scene of explosion.

Shapeless blackened fragments, twisted bars of iron, [Illustration: ] cable ends still smouldering, and here and there in the distance spiral wreaths of smoke, met his eye on all sides. In about an hour the Doctor returned, bringing with him Altamont lying on the sledge, wrapped up in the folds of the tent.

His cabin and all his precious treasures were gone, his books, and instruments, and collections reduced to ashes. The poor dogs were so exhausted from starvation that they could scarcely draw it along, and they had begun to gnaw their harness.

As he stood thinking mournfully of his irreparable loss, he was joined by Johnson, who grasped his offered hand in speechless sorrow. It was, indeed, high time for feasts and men to take food and rest.

” “Yes, we have that still, thanks to your idea of taking it with you.” “That isn’t much,” said the Doctor. Let us pity our fellow-sufferers, and not curse them.” For the next few minutes both were silent, and then Johnson asked what had become of the sledge. His faithful dog stood beside him, like his master, apparently insensible to the biting cold, though the temperature was 32 degrees below zero.

That is all that remains of it.” “Then we have nothing but the Halkett-boat? Only the best remain good in the evil day; few can stand trouble. He seemed gazing into space, but his face had recovered its calm, self-possessed expression.

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