Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Lure of the Labrador Wild: The classic story of Leonidas Hubbard by Dillon Wallace, excerpt: late January 1904

The following excerpt is from Dillon Wallace's classic story of the fateful canoe trip which Wallace, Leonidas Hubbard and George Elson made into the interior of Labrador in 1903 (The Lure of the Labrador Wild originally published in 1905 by Fleming H. Revell, New York) . In 2005 Rattling Books released an unabridged audiobook edition of The Lure of the Labrador Wild narrated by Jody Richardson.

During January and February the cold was terrific. The spirit thermometer at the camp was scaled down to 64 degrees below zero, and on several days the spirit disappeared below the scale mark before 8 o'clock in the evening. For a week the temperature never, even at midday, rose above 40 below. The old natives of the bay said there never had been such a winter before. Not a man in the camp escaped without a frozen nose and the cheeks and chins of all of them were black from being nipped by the frost. Bently declared that he froze his nose in bed, and Mrs. Bently bore witness to the truth of the statement. But Bently's nose was frosted on an average of once a day.

Nearly all of this time I lay at the lumber camp worrying about Hubbard's body. One day late in January, when I had been hoping that the body had been safely brought out , Mackenzie and George arrived from Northwest River with the news that the storms had been so continuous it had not been deemed wise to attempt the journey inland. I wished to be removed at once to the post, thinking that my presence there might hasten matters, but Dr. Hardy said there would be no use of having two dead men, and I was forced to be content with promises that the expedition would get under way as soon as possible.