whether it were favorable to sending off the sled party. When w e were within a mile or two we descried through our glasses a group of native who were signaling us to land, by waving a flag. After approaching the edge of the pack, which here is at present very compact and rough, a mass of jumbled blocks and pinnacles tilted at every angel, the boat was lowered and the Captain and I landed on the edge of the ice at a low point between two huge piles of blocks and began to scramble across over the jagged quarry as best we could to see whether it were possible to get the sleds and skin boat and provisions over. After making a little laborious headway a hundred yards or so we began to despair of reaching t he bluff from this point and climbed to the top [of] one of the largest hummocks to seek a smother way, and while looking over the pack we caught sight of a group of natives a quarter of a mile or so farther west coming towards the ship. Then we returned to our boat and went to meet them. After shaking hands with the most imposing of the group of eight, we directed our interpreter to tell them our object and to enquire whether they knew anything about the missing ships. They said no. This being the point where the Vigilance was said to have drifted to in the pack we thus learned at once that the whole story so vividly detailed at so many points to the southward was a fabrication gotten up to suit the questions of last year, and was without the slightest foundation. We then after giving them a little tobacco [Drawing, 6 – “St. Lawrence Island E. side showing trends, etc.”]
Original journal dimensions: 11 x 18.5 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist