Page:To Alaska for Gold.djvu/166

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something I can't understand," observed Randy. "Imagine getting lost in those mountains over yonder! It makes a fellow shiver to think of it!"

"Men have been lost out here," replied Dr. Barwaithe, gravely, "and lost so thoroughly they have never been heard of again. If a man gets lost in the mountains, and he is of a nervous temperament, the chances are that after a week or a month of it he will lose his mind and go crazy."

"I guess that is what would happen to me," answered Randy. "Oh, what's that stung me? A mosquito, I declare! Who would expect to find one of those pests at this season of the year?"

"You'll get mosquitoes enough presently," replied Foster Portney. "Don't you remember the mosquito netting I brought along? During the short summer here the insects are apt to worry the life out of a person."

"I suppose they thrive in this moss that I see around," said Earl. "What did you say it was called, Uncle Foster? tundra?"

"Yes, tundra, Earl. The moss is thicker than this up in the north and covers everything. If it wasn't for the moss, I think the ground might thaw out more in the summer, but as it is, the moss prevents the sun from striking in, and the ground is as hard as in midwinter six or eight feet below the surface."

"The moss doesn't seem to have any effect on the