In the absence of ice, the most available refreshment we know of is to read Dr. Kane
's lectures on the Arctic Expedition
With the aid of a strong imagination, it is possible in reading such an account as this to keep cool.
states that the cold came upon the voyagers gradually, but in the second week of September it showed its power.
The water casks froze, and it became necessary to quarry out the ice and melt it before it could be used.
By-and-by the waters of the sea congealed around them, and they were glued up in fixed ice. Moisture began to be everything being froze perfectly dry. All their eatables froze into a mass of laughable solidification.
Sugar was soon cut with a saw, butter with a chisel, beef with an axe and crowbar!
The chill — the sensation of ‘"cold"’ which at home is a temporary change of state — was here unknown — cold, of a highly wrought intensity, the one unvarying condition.
When the mercury froze, alcohol is thermometers fell below fifty degrees, or eighty odd below the freezing point, regular inspections took place during and after the walks of the men. A white spot on the nose, lip or cheek was a signal for a most uncharitable rubbing with snow, and many a time poor Jach, when pining for a warm stove, has been obliged to take instead a course of medical friction, with compulsory exercise.
On one occasion a poor fellow, recovering from an attack of inflammation of the lungs, was asked by his Doctor
how a certain frost-bitten ear came on.--‘"Why,"’ said he, producing a carefully folded scrap of an old newspaper, ‘"I don't want to trouble you, Doctor
; it dropped off last week; here it is!"’ But the peculiar feature of the Arctic
winter, which it is difficult to conceive was the most distressing one of all to the voyagers, was the duration of its long night, when for eighty days the sun was not visible.
Reading like this is cool comfort under this August sun.