National Geographic : 1899 Dec
492 THE WELLMAN POLAR EXPEDITION ing at the apex of the roof we built another shell around the whole, walled it up with blocks of snow and stretched a third roof over it in the shape of an old discarded mainsail from the Wind ward which we had picked up at Cape Flora. When the winter came on in earnest the snow drifted over the house, fairly bury ing it, as well as the store-shed which we had built at one side of Russian timber. The little windows were buried under walls of snow six or eight feet in thickness, and about this house there were in the Arctic darkness just two signs that it was actually used as a human habitation-the little stovepipe at the apex of the roof, pouring forth its cherry sparks, and a small, black hole at the entrance to the shed, through which we crawled in making ingress or egress. We built an observatory of snow-blocks, too, for protecting the meteorological and magnetic instruments from the fury of storms, and within this enclosure (it had no roof) Mr Baldwin, the meteorologist from the U. S. Weather Bureau, and Mr Harlan, the physicist, carried on a series of observations throughout the dark season. Mr Baldwin secured continuous thermograph, barograph, and anemometer records during our entire sojourn in the Arctics, and also made a most painstaking study of the aurora borealis,comparing the manifestations here with a similar study which he had made in Greenland some years before. His observations and conclusions in this important field of scientific inquiry, when elaborated and published, as I understand they are to be by the government, will, in my opinion, form a valu able contribution to the literature of that topic. Mr Harlan also studied the aurora. particularly from the point of view of its effect upon the magnetic needle, and his report thereon, as well as his general study of the physical conditions of Franz Josef Land, I intend to publish in proper form and place as soon as possible. Dr Edward Hofma, medical officer and naturalist of the expedition, has a most interesting report concerning the fauna and flora of that region. Within our hut we passed a very comfortable winter. It is true that at times the thermometer, hanging upon the wall 10 feet from the diminutive stove, had hard work keeping its head above the zero mark, and where we sat upon our packing boxes, each in his own " corner," hoar-frost was constantly hanging upon the wall; but all this was reckoned as nothing; nor did we suffer from the effects of the long night. If there was any melancholia its victim managed to keep his sufferings pretty well concealed.