A youthful tale, claimed to be true, edited and published by Grinnell’s mother, intended merely for “the folks at home.”
p. 3: It will give the reader, be he man or boy, a hint as to how a young fellow may spend his time in the long Arctic winter, or in the whole year, even though he be a disappointed gold-hunter.
p. 18: This will prove my last entry on the Kotzebue, but the winter’s record will not be dull, I am thinking, by the time we thaw out in the spring of 1899. C. C. and the doctor, whose proclivities are well known to be of a semi-religious type, have a whole library of good books, such as “Helpful Thoughts,” “The Greatest Thing in the World,” Bible commentaries, and so on, with which we may enliven the winter evening that knows no cock-crowing. However, we shall have games and lighter reading.
p. 37: I have just finished reading “Hugh Wynne.” The doctor brought home some numbers of “Appleton’s Science Monthly " from the Hanson Camp, also some back numbers of “Harper’s,” and I am reading articles in them.
The doctor, Brownie, Uncle Jimmy and I had a hot argument to-day on capital punishment, also one on “how a young student should begin to specialize in any branch of study.” I always take the side opposite the majority, so I can have more opportunity for argument. We have good and instructive times in this employment. Wednesday evening next is the first of a series of literary entertainments to be held weekly. Solsbury will lecture on “The Practical Value of Art.”
p. 42: I am studying hard. I am at work on my physiology, and also committing to memory a “Glossary of Scientific Terms.” The boys ridicule me for reading the dictionary so much, saying that the subject is changed too often to make it profitable reading. I am also teaching German to Rivers and Brownie. They are a very willing class. Other times I am studying bacteriology with the doctor. We are a literary and scientific crowd. Our latest argument last night was “How to Dispose of the City Slums.” The doctor reads portions of Josiah Strong’s “New Era" to us and then we discuss it. The Literary Society of the Kowak met Wednesday evening with a good attendance. “The Practical Value of Art" was thoroughly expounded by Solsbury of the Hanson Camp, though he required two hours to do it and some of the art-less ones grew sleepy.
p. 50: In this igloo—about twelve feet in diameter—fifteen people live almost all the time, only going outside when they must for wood and water. No books to read, no politics to discuss, no school to get ready for, and no visiting to do. Once in this residence, we were allotted a space next to the oldest man of the igloo. We were content with our small lot, for we were tired and hungry.
p. 55: I have been reading “A Scientific Demonstration of the Future Life,” by Hudson. It interested me very much, and the doctor and I got into many a warm argument over it. It is a strange fact that we never argue upon subjects we agree upon. I always stick to my sharp point and he to his. Our discussions are usually on some biological topic, and the rest of the men do not know what we are talking about.
p. 60, on Christmas presents from home: It contained every thing that could give pleasure to a boy from two years old to twenty-one—from tooters and jumping-jacks to warm woolen hoods and handkerchiefs and books….
The books are all new to our library, which has been pretty thoroughly digested by this time. I brought the three novels out and they were immediately pounced upon. The doctor is reading “A Tennessee Judge,” Miller “A Kentucky Colonel,” and Mrs. Samms “Oliver Twist.” I shall get at them in course of time.
I have read very little of late aside from my physiology.