National Geographic : 1930 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE r F ?' :* Photograph by Amos Burg LITTLE MABEL SUBSTITUTES A FISH FOR A DOLL Native children are well-behaved and generously share their meager possessions with one another. A stick of gum, after it is chewed awhile by the owner, will be passed on to friends for further exercise in other mouths. All the time that the author and his companion were on the Yukon they did not hear a quarrel of any kind. The children tussled, but never used their fists. Seeing the Yukon through the eyes of tenderfeet, we had a wholesome respect for old-timers like this one. He made us feel like a small boy with his first air gun. There was a charm of shyness and na tive simplicity in his half-breed children, dressed in their bibbed overalls. The sixty odd dogs staked along the bank, which we regarded as savage Malemutes, the chil dren handled like toy poodles, as we took their pictures. Their summer home con sisted of one cabin, with bunks slung along the walls to fit the length of each child. Next day we stopped at Woodchopper Creek, famous for the number of mastodons unearthed in mining days. In warming ourselves at the road house after a morn ing of chilling fog, the conversation was mo nopolized by a trapper from Charley River, who had made a study of the mosquito. He recalled, or pretended to, an article in some past NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC MAGAZINE which had stated that only the female bites. He said he knew bet ter. Spoke and I were drawn to his views. but thought he should include the mosquito children. Late in the evening we stopped at a high bluff on the right, where two men were digging into a slide, searching for a phan tom mine. The origi nal discoverer had forgotten its location. but had floated down the river searching for it every summer for 20 years, until he died of old age. These were the only opera tions we saw actually on the river. Caribou were crossing the river all next day, as we neared the Yukon Flats. A summer hailstorm spattered our faces as we paddled into Circle, accompanied by a grinning Indian wedged in the bottom of a canoe so small that he seemed to be bulging over its sides. We pitched our tent on the bank, watched with interest by some Indian girls, who immediately began to pepper it with mud. Circle was founded in the early nine ties, when gold was discovered on Masto don Creek. Soon it boasted that it was 112 ~i: s~*;.