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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 THE 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.
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 which 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,
not infrequently much more than comfortably furnished, and with pictures and even musical instruments for the cultivation of the gentler senses.
Recently the Russian government has objected to the sale for transportation to Alaska of any more of the Siberian reindeer. This is not the blow at the new industry which it might seem to be at first thought. Alaska can be completely stocked from the increase of the present herds within its borders. The yearly natural increase of the herds is about 40 per cent and by the year 1910 there
should be nearly 70,000 reindeer in Alaska.
The future of the Alaskan natives seems to be provided against want by the forethought of the missionary who, in the face of ridicule, had the courage of his convictions so strongly developed that he kept everlastingly at his work until the end was crowned with success. It seems probable that the Eskimo because of the reindeer will be saved from the fate of other aboriginal people whose land has been invaded and industries interrupted by the all-conquering Caucasians.
PPORTUNITY 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 mesquiteland as marvelous in its productiveness as in its extent. This newly opened empire. is the latest of the great hidden domains
AT SANTA GERTRUDIS RANCH.
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