Page:The cruise of the Corwin.djvu/163

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VILLAGES OF THE DEAD

five times more than he expected, he does not show any excitement or rise of spirits, but only a stoical composure, which seems so Arctic and immovable that I doubt whether he would move a muscle of his face if he were presented with the whole ship's cargo and the ship itself thrown in.

Steamer Corwin, 
St. Lawrence Island, Alaska,
July 3, 1881.  

St. Lawrence Island, the largest in Bering Sea, is situated at a distance of about one hundred and twenty miles off the mouths of the Yukon, and forty-five miles from the nearest point on the coast of Siberia. It is about a hundred miles in length from east to west and fifteen miles in average width; a dreary, cheer less-looking mass of black lava, dotted with volcanoes, covered with snow, without a single tree, and rigidly bound in ocean ice for more than half the year.

Inasmuch as it lies broadsidewise to the way pursued by the great ice-sheet that once filled Bering Sea, it is traversed by numerous valleys and ridges and low gaps, some of which have been worn down nearly to the sea-level. Had the glaciation to which it has been subjected been carried on much longer, then, instead of this one large island, we should have

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