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Greely Expedition: Day 71

Day 71: Thursday, September 15th, 1881

Foggy with a light North East wind. At 10am, Dr. Pavy with Pvt. Whistler and 1 Eskimo with a dog team started for the Archers Fjord via the Bellows Valley. At the same time a pack of wolves 18 in number (some say 15, some say 18) was seen on the ice about ½ mile from the station. They fled before the approach of the sledge party.

Cross is at work on a new sledge, following out the ideas of Lt. Lockwood in its construction. It will be a loss of time and material. The disadvantages it will have will be many while the only good in comparison with the English sledge, will be its extreme lightness. The foundation of the sledge is to be two pieces of timber, 6 or 7 feet in length and about 4 inches broad by 1 inch in thickness. These pieces will form the bottom of the runners, and will be bent to their shape by first steaming the wood and then drawing the ends up and fastening them in position by passing an iron bolt from end to end. From these rods, there will be braces and counterbraces of iron rod to the sledge runner at several intermediate points between the ends. The top will also be of iron rods, braces to keep the runners at the required distance apart. The runners made in this manner can never be of any value since they will have but a small bearing. They are very much similar to a huge bow, the iron rod connecting the ends forming the string. I hope I may be wrong and that some miracle will make it a success. But it is not possible, and I think it will be more of a rocker than like a sledge.

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