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[172] in its vise-like clasp. It grated against the frail timbers that now only stood between us and death, as if envious that its realms had been invaded, and wanting to reach with its cold grasp the intruder. Lips unused to prayer, now sent up a supplication. Added to all, as if to mock our miseries, a group of walruses climbed clumsily out of the sea, and began disporting themselves so near that we could almost touch them. Gradually, as hope began to sink, the sun slowly came upon the scene. Though low in the north, it brought hope and warmth. The long, cold northern day that knows no sunset was upon us with its low, mocking noon. The sails began to lose their rigged bend, the ice loosened, and we forged ahead. Then, lowering our propeller in the wake thus made, we pushed sternwise out of the terrible ice floe.

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