Page images
PDF

moss which they dug out from under the snow.

Another practical demonstration of the value of reindeer was given when a relief expedition in charge of Lieutenant D. H. Jarvis of the Revenue Cutter Service was sent overland to carry food to ice-bound whalers at Point Barrow. The journey was made successfully and Lieutenant Jarvis and Second Lieutenant E. P. Bertholf and Surgeon S. J. Call, who accompanied the commanding officer, were given gold medals and the thanks of Congress for their rescue work.

When the relief expedition reached Cape Prince of Wales a herd of 300 reindeer was secured and a white man named W. T. Lopp and a native Alaskan, Charlie Antisarlook, a graduate of one of the government reindeer herding apprentice schools, volunteered to accompany the rescuers to Point Barrow and to drive the reindeer. The distance was 800 miles and it was the intention to use the deer at the end of the journey to supply the 300 whalers with food. The hardships of this trip through a bar

In Thk Reindeer Country.

ren, unpeopled country with the temperature from 20 degrees to 50 degrees below zero and with blizzards raging much of the time can hardly be fully known even by using the imagination.

Mr. Georgeson says thai the undertaking was a complete success. He adds: "That the deer could be d'iven through such a country in large numbers, find their own food, arrive safely at their des

tination, and there drop a large number of healthy fawns, is evidence of the value of the reindeer to people who live in the Arctics."

The animals have been used for several winters to carry mail to the little villages along the coast of Bering Sea, and, recently, interior wilderness routes have been covered successfully by the mail carriers driving their hardy reindeer teams. Epitomizing results a government official says: "It has been proved to the satisfaction of every fair-minded person who has taken the trouble to post himself on the subject that reindeer are an unqualified success, both as a means of transportation and as a source of supplies for most of the necessities of life in the Alaskan country."

The natives who control herds have shown that they have learned the lesson of economizing their possessions. They kill only the male deer for food and for clothing, taking care to keep enough of the males for propagating purposes. The natives sell their surplus meat to the miners and receive good prices for it. The money whjch comes in exchange they expend for things which to the white men are necessaries, but to the Eskimo are luxuries. Since the introduction of the deer into Alaska the native hut has changed its character. It is now a house,

[graphic]
[graphic]
[merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors]

Old Friends and New

As, one by one, years slip away,

New hands clasp mine, new forms I see,

Worthy as olden friends, yet they
Seem never quite as such to me;

For still my heart turns ever back,

Along an oft retrodden track,
To the sweet friends of memory.

But while my fancies youthward range,
Clasping the old, the tried, the true,

My work keeps pace with time and change
My hope stands centered in the new;

And this I know, as I fare on,

That year by year my life has won
To higher faith and clearer view.

Eugene C. Dolson

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic]

IPPORTUNITY is the one wizard whose touch can invest the most arid and desolate land with the atmosphere of romance, the throb of keen and intense personal interest. To-day thousands of boys and young men have their ears to the ground listening for the call of opportunity. They are all eager for the real battle of life to begin, and anxiously ask themselves if the fates will to-day deal them as splendid chances for quick and substantial success as those which were open to their fathers.

Are the opportunities which go with a "new country" still open?

The writer recently returned from a hunting trip through an empire which has just begun to experience the transforma

tion from a raw and undeveloped condition to that of a settled, civilized community ; and as he saw group after group of young men armed with levers and chains and other instruments of the surveyor and the civil engineer, he recalled a question he had heard raised in a discussion: Has not the West become so settled that the opportunities for the civil engineer and the man doing pioneer construction work are rapidly becoming circumscribed? It is an interesting question.

From the platform of a car, standing upon the tracks of a railroad little more than a year old, the writer overlooked, literally, millions of acres of raw land, covered with a virgin growth of mesquite— land as marvelous in its productiveness as in its extent. This newly opened empire is the latest of the great hidden domains

of "new country" to be opened to the tiller of the soil, to the builder of railroads, of cities, of irrigation and industrial plants—to the makers of civilization. What this means to the men who produce the real wealth of this country—the nation's builders and producers—is not easy to estimate, but it can be suggested in a few words.

This whole region is commonly known as the Gulf Coast country; and the story of how it was lost to the eyes of the great commercial world, and how it has suddenly loomed up as one of the biggest things now on the business horizon, is a typical American tale as romantic and picturesque as the history of the great goldfields or the narrative of the pioneer settlement of Kansas or any other staid and ' similarly prosperous Western State.

Brownsville, Texas, near the mouth of the Rio Grande, is the focal point of this remarkable region, both historically and industrially. But the stretch of country covered by this term extends several hundred miles northward along the coast. • Kingsville is to-day the northern metropolis of this region, and Sam Fordyce the western. What is now taking place can be understood only by reference to what took place when all this region was a bone of contention between the United States and Mexico, just after Texas had been received into the Union. Our Government contended that the Rio Grande was the northern boundary line of Mexico, while the Mexican authorities declared that their territory extended 150 miles farther north, to the Nueces River. The United States took measures to enforce its contention, and sent thousands of troops, under General Taylor, to back up its claim. These troops were landed at Corpus Christi, but their objective point was the northern bank of the Rio Grande, directly opposite the Mexican city of Matamoros, which was then the commercial gateway to all northern Mexico. General Taylor's cavalry could make its own way southward; but to trans

[graphic]
[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »