Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/64

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The Centaurians

continually worried him with suggestions, Saxe. favored the Nansen route, though his own had been mapped out years ago when the Propellier was in its infancy. "Following a northerly flowing current was all right for Nansen, and the Fram," he argued, "but the famous Polar Basin, free of ice, has still to be located—Nansen failed."

He had great admiration for Dr. Kane, considering him the bravest and most scientific of explorers.

"His dash for the Pole was not successful, because with all his tremendous knowledge he neglected the fact that the unknown, frozen north must be traversed by steel and steam, as is the civilized portion of the globe; and," he continued, "we have progressed immensely since 1850," then saluted deeply to our vigorous applause.

"Boys," he cried, waving his cap, "I swear we shall succeed."

Even Norris, though shaking his head, joined us in cheering.

Meanwhile we steamed steadily north, up through Davis Strait, viewing the great island of Greenland, bleak, cold, sterile, arctic. We anchored in the calm, deep blue waters of Baffins Bay, a half mile from the icy, snowy coast, and our luggage packed in small boats was towed to land. The captain and crew rendered us every assistance. These men had become wonderfully kind to us, believing firmly we were going to our death. Under their experienced hands tents for our accommodation reared as by magic, and we began the work of