Page:Omniana.djvu/200

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182
OMNIANA.

To day the Esquimaux began to eat an old filthy and worn-out skin, which had served them for a mattrass.

On the fifteenth the weather continued extremely boisterous, and the Esquimaux appeared every now and then to sink under disappointment. But they possess one good quality, namely, a power of going to sleep when they please, and, if need be, they will sleep for days and nights together.

In the evening the sky became clear, and their hope revived. Mark and Joel went out to reconnoitre and brought word that the ice had acquired a considerable degree of solidity, and might soon be fit for use. The poor dogs had meanwhile fasted for near four days, but now in the prospect of a speedy release, the missionaries allowed to each a few morsels of food. The temperature of the air having been rather mild, it occasioned a new source of distress, for by the warm exhalations of the inhabitants, the roof of the snow-house got to be in