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everything into actyve movement inside, and bring out
warmth from the heart, as it might be. That 's my princi
ple of keeping warm, Captain Gar'ner."

" 1 dare say it may be a pretty good one, Stephen," an
swered Roswell, " and we '11 bear it in mind. As for stoves
we are well enough off, for there is one in the house, and a
good large one it is ; then, there is a stove in each cabin,
and there are the two cambooses. If we had fuel for them
all, I should feel no concern on the score of warmth."

" There 's the wrack, sir. By cutting her up at once,
we should get wood enough, in my judgment, to see it
out."

Roswell made no reply; but he looked intently at the
boat-steerer for half a minute. The idea was new to him ;
and the more he thought on the subject, the greater was
the confidence it gave him in the result. Daggett, he well
knew, would not consent to the mutilation of his schooner,
wreck as it was, so long as the most remote hope existed
of getting her again into the water. The tenacity with
which this man clung to property was like that which is
imputed to the life of the cat ; and it was idle to expect
any concessions from him on a subject like that. Never
theless, necessity is a hard master ; and if the question
were narrowed down to one of burning the materials of a
vessel that was in the water, and in good condition, and
of burning those of one that was out of the water, with
holes cut through her bottom in several places, and other
wise so situated as to render repairs extremely difficult, if
not impossible, even Daggett would be compelled to submit
to circumstances.



THE S E LIONS. 325

It was accordingly suggested to the people of the Vine
yard Lion that they could do no better than to begin at
once to remove everything they could come at, and which
could be transported from the wreck to the house. As
there was little to do on board the vessel afloat, her crew
cheerfully offered to assist in this labour. The days were
shortening sensibly and fast, and no time was to be lost,
the distance being so great as to make two trips a day a
matter of great labour. No sooner was the plan adopted,
therefore, than steps were taken to set about its execution.

It is unnecessary for us to dwell minutely on everything
that occurred during the succeeding week or ten days.
The wind shifted to south-west the very day that the Sea
Lion got back into her little harbour ; and this seemed to
put a sudden check on the pressure of the vast floe. Ne
vertheless, there was tio counter-movement, the ice remain
ing in the Great Bay seemingly as firmly fastened as if it
had originally been made there. Notwithstanding this shift
of the wind to a cold point of the compass, the thermometer
rose, and it thawed freely about the middle of the day, in
all places to which the rays of the sun had access. This
enabled the men to work with more comfort than they
could have done in the excessively severe weather; as it
was found that respiration became difficult when it was so
very cold.

Access was now obtained to the wreck by cutting a re
gular passage to the main hatch through the ice. The
schooner stood nearly upright, sustained by fragments of
the floe ; and there were extensive caverns all around her,
produced by the random manner in which the cakes had
come up out of their proper element like so many living
things. Among these caverns one might have wandered
for miles without once coming out into the open air, though
they were cold and cheerless, and had little to attract the
adventurer after the novelty was abated. In rising from
the water, the schooner had been roughly treated ; but
once sustained by the ice, her transit had been easy and
tolerably safe. Several large cakes lay on or over her,
sustained more by other cakes that rested on the rocks
than by the timbers of the vessel herself. These cakes
formed a sort of roof, and as they did not drip, they served



326 THE SEA LIONS.

to make a shelter against the wind ; for, at the point where
the wreck lay, the south-west gales came howling round
the base of the mountain, piercing the marrow itself in the
bones. At the hut it was very different. There the heights
made a lee that extended all over the cape, and for some
distance to the westward; while the whole power the sun
possessed in that high latitude was cast, very obliquely it
is true, but clearly, and without any other drawback than
its position in the ecliptic, fairly on the terrace, the hut
above, and the rocks around it. On the natural terrace,
indeed, it was still pleasant to walk and work, and even to
sit for a few hours in the middle of the day ; for winter was
not yet come in earnest in that frozen world.

One of RoswelFs first objects was to transport most of
the eatables from the wreck ; for he foresaw the need there
would be for everything of the sort. Neither vessel had
laid in a stock of provisions for a longer period than about
twelve months, of which nearly half were now gone. This
allowance applied to salted meats and bread, which are
usually regarded as the base of a ship's stores. There were
several barrels of flour, a few potatoes, a large quantity of
onions, a few barrels of corn-meal, or ' injin,' as it is usually
termed in American parlance, an entire barrel of pickled
cucumbers, another about half full of cabbage preserved in
the same way, and an entire barrel of molasses. In addi
tion, there was a cask of whiskey, a little wine and brandy
to be used medicinally, sugar, brown, whitey-brown and
browny-white, and a pretty fair allowance of tea and coffee ;
the former being a Hyson-skin, and the latter San Domingo
of no very high quality. Most of these articles were trans
ported from the wreck to the house, in the course of the
few days that succeeded, though Daggett insisted on a cer
tain portion of the supplies being left in his stranded .craft
Not until this was done would Roswell listen to any pro
posal of Daggett's to transfer the skins. Twice during
these few days, indeed, did the Vineyard master come to a
pause in his proceedings, as the weather grew milder, and
gleams of a hope of being able yet to get away that season
crossed his mind. On the last of these occasions of mis
giving, Roswell was compelled to lead his brother master
up on the plain of the island, to an elevation of some three



THE SEA LIONS. 327

hundred feet above the level of the ocean, and more than
half that distance higher than the house, and point out to
him a panorama of field-ice that the eye could not com
mand. Until that vast plain opened, or became riven by
the joint action of the agitated ocean and the warmth of a
sun from which the rays did not glance away from the
frozen surface, like light obliquely received, and as ob
liquely reflected from a mirror, it was useless to think of
releasing even the uninjured vessel ; much less that which
lay riven and crushed on the rocks.

" Were every cake of this ice melted into water, Dag
gett," Rosvvell continued, " it would not float off your
schooner. The best supplied ship-yard in America could
hardly furnish the materials for ways to launch her; and I
never knew of a vessel's being dropped into the water some
twenty feet nearly perpendicular."

" I don't know that," answered Daggett, stoutly. " See
what they 're doing now-a-days, and think nothing of it.
I have seen a whole row of brick houses turned round by
the use of jack-screws ; and one building actually taken
down a hill much higher than the distance you name.
Commodore Rodgers has just hauled a heavy frigate out
of the water, and means to put her back again, when he
has done with her. What has been done once can be done
twice. I do not like giving up 'till I'm forced to it."

" That is plain enough, Captain Daggett," returned Ros-
well, smiling. "That you are game, no one can deny; but
it will all come to nothing. Neither Commodore Rodgers
nor Commodore anybody else could put your craft into the
water again without something to do it with."

" You think it would be asking too much to take your
schooner, and go across to the main next season a'ter timber
to make ways?" put in Daggett, inquiringly. " She stands
up like a church, and nothing would be easier than to lay
down ways under her bottom."

" Or more difficult than to make them of any use, after
you had put them there. No, no, my good sir, you must
think no more of this ; though it may be possible to make
a cover for the cargo, and return and recover it all, by
freighting a craft from Rio, on our way north."

Daggett gave a quick, inquisitive glance at his compa-



328 THE SEA LIONS.

nion, and Roswell's colour mounted to his cheeks; for,
while he really thought the plan just mentioned quite feasi
ble, he was conscious of foreseeing that it might be made
the means of throwing off his troublesome companion, aa
he himself drew near to the West Indies and their keys.

This terminated the discussion for the time. Both of the
masters busied themselves in carrying on the duty which
had now fallen into a regular train. As much of the in
terest of what is to be related will depend on what was
done in these few days, it may be well to be a little more
explicit in stating the particulars.

The reader will understand that the house, of which so
much had already been made by our mariners, was nothing
but a shell. It had a close roof, one that effectually turned
water, and its siding, though rough, was tight and rather
thicker than is usual ; being made of common inch boards,
roughly planed, and originally painted red. There were
four very tolerable windows, and a decent substantial floor
of planed plank. All this had been well put together, rather
more attention than is often bestowed on such structures
having been paid by the carpenter to the cracks and joints
on account of the known sharpness of the climate, even in
the warm months. Still, all this made a mere shell. The
marrow-freezing winds which would soon come had in
deed come might be arrested by such a covering, it is
true ; but the little needle-like particles of the frost would
penetrate such a shelter, as their counterparts of steel
pierce cloth. It was a matter of life and death, therefore,
to devise means to exclude the cold, in order that the vital
heat might be kept in circulation during the tremendous
season that was known to be approaching.

Stimson had much to say on the subject of the arrange
ments taken. He was the oldest man in the two crews,
and the most experienced sealer. It happened that he had
once passed a winter at Orange Harbour, in the immediate
vicinity of Cape Horn. It is true, that is an inhabited
country, if the poor degraded creatures who dwell there
can be termed inhabitants ; and has its trees and vegeta
tion, such as they are. The difference between Orange
Harbour and Sealer's Land, in this respect, must be some
thing like that which all the travelling world knows to exist



THE SEA LIONS. 329

between a winter's residence at the Hospital of the Great
St. Bernard, and a winter's residence at one of the villages
a few leagues lower down the mountain. At Sealer's Land,
if there was literally no vegetation, there was so little as
scarcely to deserve the name. Of fuel there was none, with
the exception of that which had been brought there. Never
theless, the experience of a winter passed at such a place
as Orange Harbour, must count for a great deal. Cape
Horn is in nearly 56, and Sealer's Land we may as well
admit this much is, by no means, 10 to the southward
of that. There must be "a certain general resemblance in
the climates of the two places; and he who had gone
through a winter at one of them, must have had a very
tolerable foretaste of what was to be suffered at the
other. This particular experience, therefore, added to his
general knowledge, as well as to his character, contributed
largely to Stephen's influence in the consultations that took
place between the two masters, at which he was usually
present.

" It 's useless to be playing off, in an affair like this,
Captain Gar'ner," said Stephen, on one occasion. "Away
from this spot all the navies of the 'arth could not now
carry us, until God's sun comes back in his course, to drive
the winter away afore it. I have my misgivin's, gentlemen,
touching this great floe that has got jammed in among these
islands, whether it will ever move ag'in; for I don't think
its coming in here is a common matter."

" In which case, what would become of us, Ste
phen?"

" Why, sir, we should be at God's marcy, then, jist as
we be now ; or would be, was we on the east eend itself.
I won't say that two resolute and strong arms might not cut
a way through for one little craft like ourn, if they had
summer fully afore 'em, and know'd they was a-workin' to
wards a fri'nd instead of towards an inimy. There 's a
great deal in the last ; every man is encouraged when he
thinks he's nearer to the eend of his journey a'ter a hard
day's work, than he was when he set out in the mornin'.
But to undertake sich an expedition at this season, would
be sartain destruction. No, sir ; all we can do, now, is to
lay up for the winter, and that with great care and pru



THE SEA LIONS.

dence. We must turn ourselves into so many ants, and
show their forethought and care."

" What would you recommend as our first step, Stim-
son ?" asked Daggett, who had been an attentive listener.

" I would advise, sir, to begin hardening the men as
soon as I could. We have too much fire in the stove, both
for our stock of wood and for the good of the people. Make
the men sleep under fewer clothes, and don't let any on 'em
hang about the galley fire, as some on 'em love to do, even
now, most desperately. Them 'ere men will be good for
nothin' ten weeks hence, unless they 're taken off the fires,
as a body would take off a pot or a kettle, and are set out
to harden."

" This is a process that may be easier advised than per
formed, perhaps," Roswell quietly observed.

" Don't you believe that, Captain Gar'ner. I 've known
the most shiverin', smoke-dried hands in a large crew,
hardened and brought to an edge, a'ter a little trouble, as
a body would temper an axe with steel. The first thing to
be done is to make 'em scrub one another every mornin'
in cold water. This gives a life to the skin that acts much
the same as a suit of clothes. Yes, gentlemen ; put a fel
low in a tub for a minute or two of a mornin', and you may
do almost anything you please with him all day a'terwards.
One pail of water is as good as a pee-jacket. And above
all things, keep the stoves clear. The cooks should be told
not to drive their fires so hard ; and we can do without the
stove in the sleeping-room a great deal better now than
most on us think. It will help to save much wood, if we
begin at once to caulk and thicken our siding, and make
the house warmer. Was the hut in a good state, we might
do without any other fire than that in the camboose for two
months yet."

Such was the general character of Stephen's counsel,
and very good advice it was. Not only did Roswell adopt
the scrubbing process, which enabled him to throw aside a
great many clothes in the course of a week, but he kept
aloof from the fires, to harden, as Stimson had called it.
That which was thus enforced by example was additionally
enjoined by precept. Several large, hulking, idle fellows,
who greatly loved the fire, were driven away from it by



THE SEA LIONS. 331

shame; and the heat was allowed to diffuse itself more
equally through the building.

Any one who has ever had occasion to be a witness of
the effect of the water-cure process in e.aabling even deli
cate women to resist cold and damp, may form some notion
of the great improvement that was made among our sealers,
by adopting and rigidly adhering to Stimson's cold water
and no-fire system. Those who had shivered at the very
thoughts of ice-water, soon dabbled in it like young ducks;
and there was scarcely an hour in the day when the half-
hogshead, that was used as a bath, had not its tenant. This
tub was placed on the ice of the cove, with a tent over it ;
and a well was made through which the water was drawn.
Of course, the axe was in great request, a new hole being
required each morning, and sometimes two or three times
in the course of the day. The effect of these ablutions was
very soon apparent. The men began to throw aside their
pee-jackets, and worked in their ordinary clothing, which
was warm and suited to a high latitude, with a spirit and
vigour at which they were themselves surprised. The fire
in the camboose sufficed as yet; and, at evening, the pee-
jacket, with the shelter of the building, the crowded rooms,
and the warm meals, for a long time enabled them to get
on without consuming anything in the largest stove. Stim
son's plans for the protection of the hut, moreover, soon
began to tell. The skins, sails, and much of the rigging,
were brought over from the wreck ; by means of the carts,
so long as there was no snow, and by means of sledges
when the snow fell and rendered wheeling difficult. Luckily,
the position of the road along the rocks caused the upper
snow to melt a little at noon-day, while it froze again,
firmer and firmer, each night. The crust soon bore, and
it was found that the sledges furnished even better means
of transportation than the wheels.

There was a little controversy about the use of the skins,
Daggett continuing to regard them as cargo. Necessity
and numbers prevailed in the end, and the whole building
was lined with them, four or five deep, by placing them
inside of beckets made of the smaller rigging. By stuffing
these skins compactly, within ropes so placed as to keep
all snug, a very material defence against the entrance of



332 THE SEA LIONS.

cold was interposed. But this was not all. Inside of the
skins Stimson got up hangings of canvass, using the sails
of the wreck for that purpose. It was not necessary to cut
these sails Daggett would not have suffered it hut they
were suspended, and crammed into openings, and other
wise so arranged as completely to conceal and shelter every
side, as well as the ceilings of both rooms. Portions were
fitted with such address as to fall before the windows, to
which they formed very warm if not very ornamental cur
tains. Stephen, however, induced Roswell to order out
side shutters to be made and hung; maintaining that one
such shutter would soon count as a dozen cords of wood.

Much of the wood, too, was brought over from the wreck ;
and that which had been carelessly abandoned on the rocks
was all collected and piled carefully and conveniently near
the outer door of the hut ; which door, by the way, looked
inward, or towards the rocks in the rear of the building,
where it opened on a sort of yard, that Roswell hoped to
be able to keep clear of ice and snow throughout the win
ter. He might as well have expected to melt the glaciers
of Grindewald by lighting a fire on the meadows at their
base !

Stephen had another project to protect the house, and to
give facilities for moving outside, when the winter should
be at the hardest. In his experience at Orange Harbour,
he had found that great inconvenience was sustained in
consequence of the snow's melting around the building he
inhabited, which came from the warmth of the fire within.
To avoid this, a very serious evil, he had spare sails of
heavy canvass laid across the roof of the warehouse, a
building of no great height, and secured them to the rocks
below by means of anchors, kedges, and various other de
vices; in some instances, by lashings to projections in the
cliffs. Spare spars, leaning from the roof, supported this
tent-like covering, and props beneath sustained the spars.
This arrangement was made on only two sides of the build
ing, one end, and the side which looked to the north ;
materials failing before the whole place was surrounded.
The necessity for admitting light, too, admonished the
sealers of the inexpediency of thus shrouding all their win
dows. The bottom of this tent was only ten feet from the



THE SEA LIONS. 333

side of the house, which gave it greater security than if it
had been more horizontal, while it made a species of
verandah in which exercise could be taken with greater
freedom than in the rooms. Everything was done to
strengthen the building in all its parts that the ingenuity
of seamen could suggest ; and particularly to prevent the
tent-verandah from caving in.

Stephen intimated that their situation possessed one
great advantage, as well as disadvantage. In consequence
of standing on a shelf with a lower terrace so close as to
be within the cast of a shovel, the snow might be thrown
below, and the hut relieved. The melted snow, too, would
be apt to take the same direction, under the law that go
verns the course of all fluids. The disadvantage was in the
barrier of rock behind the hut, which, while it served ad
mirably to break the piercing south winds, would very
naturally tend to make high snow-banks in drifting storms



CHAPTER XXIY.

My foot on the ice-berg has lighted,
When hoarse the wild winds veer about;
My eye when the bark is benighted,
Sees the lamp of the light-house go out.

I 'm the sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird,

Lone looker on despair ;

The sea-bird, sea-bird, sea-bird,

The only witness there."



Two months passed rapidly away in the excitement and
novelty of the situation and pursuits of the men. In that
time, all was done that the season would allow ; the house
being considered as complete, and far from uncomfortable.
The days had rapidly lessened in length, and the nights
increased proportionably, until the sun was visible only for
a few hours at a time, and then merely passing low along
the northern horizon. The cold increased in proportion,



334 THE SEA LIONS.

though the weather varied almost as much in that high
latitude as it does in our own. It had ceased to thaw much,
however ; and the mean of the thermometer was not many
degrees above zero. Notwithstanding this low range of
the mercury, the men found that they were fast getting
acclimated, and that they could endure a much greater
intensity of cold than they had previously supposed possi
ble. As yet, there had been nothing to surprise natives of
New York and New England, there rarely occurring a
winter in which weather quite as cold as any they had yet
experienced in the antarctic sea, does not set in, and last
for some little time. Even while writing this very chapter
of our legend, here in the mountains ofOtsego, one of these
Siberian visits has been paid to our valley. For the last
three days the thermometer has ranged, at sunrise, between
17 and 22 below zero ; though there is every appearance
of a thaw, and we may have the mercury up to 40 above,
in the course of the next twenty-four hours. Men accus
tomed to such transitions, and such extreme cold, are not
easily laid up or intimidated.

A great deal of snow fell about this particular portion
of the year ; more, indeed, than at a later period. This
snow produced the greatest inconvenience ; for it soon be
came so deep as to form high banks around the house, and
to fill all the customary haunts of the men. Still, there
were places that were in a great measure exempt from this
white mantle. The terrace immediately below the hut,
which has so often been mentioned, was one of these bare
spots. It was so placed as to be swept by both the east and
the west winds, which generally cleared it of everything
like snow, as fast as it fell; and this more effectually than
could be done by a thousand brooms. The level of rock
usually travelled in going to or from the wreck, was an
other of these clear places. It was a sort of shelf, too
narrow to admit of the snow's banking, and too much
raked by the winds that commonly accompanied snow, to
suffer the last to lodge to any great depth. Snow there
was, with a hard crust, as has already been mentioned ; but
it was not snow ten or fifteen feet deep, as occurred in many
other places. There were several points, however, where
banks had formed, even on this ledge, through which tha



THE SEA LIONS. 335

men were compelled to cut their way by the use of shovels.;
an occupation that gave them exercise, and contributed to
keep them in health, if it was of no other service. It was
found that the human frame could not endure one-half the
toil, in that low state of the mercury, that it could bear in
one a few degrees higher.

Daggett had not, by any means, abandoned his craft, as
much as he had permitted her to be dismantled. Every



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