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In the Kingdom of Ice

In the Kingdom of Ice

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Published by wamu885
Excerpted from IN THE KINGDOM OF ICE: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides. Copyright © 2014 by Hampton Sides. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpted from IN THE KINGDOM OF ICE: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides. Copyright © 2014 by Hampton Sides. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Published by: wamu885 on Aug 13, 2014
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08/15/2014

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In the Kingdom of Ice
 
P
rologue: Baptism by Ice
O
n a misty morning in late April 1873, the
Tigress,
 a steam barkentine out of Conception Bay, Newfoundland, was pushing through the loose floes and bergs off the coast of Labrador, heading for the seasonal seal- hunting grounds. Late in the morning, the
Tigress 
 encountered something strange: A lone Inuit in a kayak  was hailing the ship, waving his arms and screaming at the top of his lungs. The native man was clearly in some kind of trouble. He had ventured much farther out into the perilous open waters of the North  Atlantic than any Eskimo ordinarily would. When the
Tigress 
 pulled closer to him, he yelled, in accented English, “American steamer!  American steamer!The crew of the
Tigress 
 leaned over the railings and tried to decipher what the Inuit was talking about. Just then, the fog parted enough to reveal, in the middle distance, a jagged floe piece, on which more than a dozen men and women, plus several children, appeared to be trapped. Seeing the ship, the marooned party erupted in cheers and fired guns into the air.The
Tigress 
’s captain, Isaac Bartlett, ordered rescue boats put in the water. When the stranded people— nineteen in all—  were brought aboard, it was immediately apparent that they had suffered a horrific ordeal. Emaciated, filthy, and frostbitten, they had haunted looks in their eyes. Their lips and teeth were greasy from a just- finished break-fast of seal intestine.

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