Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/36

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night. As we walked around the bark in an unsuccessful effort to keep warm we saw beyond the glittering spars the glow of a great arc. This, for a time, hung steadily between the masts and then suddenly, as if the fetters which had held it together had burst, the entire southern heavens were swept by aimless bands of fleeting luminous patches.

After a violent storm which lasted for three days the sky cleared again on the evening of the 19th; the wind then came in puffs with doleful wails like the moans of a dying soul. This we knew indicated that the tempest was nearly spent. At five o'clock I wrote in my log:

"5 P. M.—The storm has at last abated. It has left us so suddenly that the calm is as unexpected as it is appreciated. The barometer is steady and the temperature is falling fast. It is already 9°C., and is still falling. The scene now before us is full of new delights. The ice is spread out again, bright, soft and tinted with delicate colors. Every time the thick air and the gloomy storm clouds are brushed away, the pack, white and sparkling, has a new story to tell. It brings to us moods like a cheerful page in a sad story. Under the influence of this spell everybody is singing, whistling and humming familiar tunes; all are planning new work and nursing big ambitions. In the cabin the music-boxes are grinding out favorite music, which rings over the pack with a new joy. In the forecastle the men are dancing and playing the accordeon with telling effect. From some invisible point of the pack there comes a weird response to every discord of the music. It is the 'gha-a-ah, gha-a-aha' of the penguins. We have had a peep at the sun, and this has brought about an intoxication akin to alcoholic stimulation, and well it might, for the brief period of its visibility has been a dream of charms. The great twilight zone of purple, fringed with violet and orange and rose is rising over the east. The zenith is pale blue, studded with a few scarlet and lavender clouds, and the sun, a great ball of old gold, is sinking under the pearly rose-tinged line of the endless expanse of ice."

"8 P. M.—The ice shows signs of strong pressure from the north. Along the crevasses, running easterly and westerly, there are great lines of hummocks from four to eight feet in height. The colors of the pack are now far from the despairing monotone of yesterday. The yellow sea algæ have already fixed themselves in the new ice and make it appear ocherous. The twilight on clear nights is extended by the latent luminosity of the snow. The blueness of the pack in this twilight, separated by the ebony lanes of open water and decorated by the algæ-strewn yellow and green lines in the hummocks, makes the scenes curiously attractive. Added to this we have the bergs, tall, sharp and imposing, standing out against the soft blue of the sky and the hard blue of the pack as if cut from huge masses of alabaster. The