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alcohol to render it less liable to freeze; having
seen, too, that the purser, thoughtful man, had
not forgotten to order in some sound-looking
casks of pale sherry, and some cases that had
an agreeable champagney French look, and
these sights having strengthened the hope that
the brave men who were to take these ships on
their perilous duty would have their hearts
warmed by a glass of generous wine when they
drank to absent friends next Christmas Day
we had time to glance over what may be called
the miscellaneous stores for the voyage. These
made a picture, indeed. Everything of every
possible kind seemed to be there, and to have
been multiplied by two. Thus there were two
screw propellers, and two rudders, and two
funnels. And then there were certainly twice
two dozen ice-saws (with teeth an inch long
and handles eight feet wide), and ice-hatchets
enough apparently to slay any number of
Polar bears who might feel inclined to call
upon this 'Pioneer' during his visit to their
neighbourhood. Between decks the place
looked like a mingled establishment made up
of a rope-walk, a sailmaker's, a currier's, a
brushmaker's, a dreadnought clothier's, a
cooper's, and a very extensive oil and colour
warehouse. There were certainly goods
enough pertaining to all these various trades
to set up one man of each with an abundant
stock in any street in Bermondsey he might
select. Over head, there was a ceiling of oars
and spare spars, and handspikes, and
capstan-bars; at the sides, rows of blocks, and
lanthorns, and cans, and paint-brushes; and
under-foot, bars of iron cased with neatly-
sewed leather. This last peculiarity, indeed,
was observable in many parts of the ship.
Wherever there was any iron it was neatly
cased over with leather, to secure those who
might have to handle it in the Polar seas from
the well-known consequences of touching
naked iron in those latitudes,—for cold iron
there, like red-hot iron elsewhere, damages
the fingers of those rash enough to touch it.

This abundance to overflow of stores
extended itself even to the commander's cabin,
for every inch of space was important. That
spot, however, showed no confusion or cramming,
though he had near him two of the most
dangerous commodities in his ship,—underneath
his sanctum was a store of ardent spirits,
and astern of it a small magazine of

The engines of the 'Pioneer' are 60-horse
power, and as she now is she will not run very
fast without her sails, but with wind and
steam she will make eleven knots an hour.
The two steamersthe 'Pioneer' and the
'Intrepid'are to go as tenders to the sailing
ships, and to tow them in the still waters at
the Pole, for there when there is no wind
there are no waves.

We left the 'Pioneer' to look over her
companion ships. The 'Intrepid' was being
arranged on the same system; the others, the
'Assistance' and the 'Resolute,' were afloat
at the dock side, and, being sailing ships, had
of course none of their space filled by engines,
and, therefore, seemed rather more roomy.
Yet, having seen one Arctic ship, we had
seen the whole. We heard of gutta-percha
sledges to be used on the ice, and of small
pilot balloons to be inflated and sent over the
frozen regions of the Pole, and which, as
they float in the air, are to drop printed
slipswords of hope and news of succour
in anticipation that some of these paper
messages may reach the frozen-in, lost, mariners,
Sir John Franklin and his crew. We heard,
also, that the sailing ships would each have a
crew of about sixty-five men, and the steamers
each about twenty-five, including others. But
every one was so busy on board these sailing
ships, and their work was so holy in its intent,
that we were unwilling to disturb either
officer or man with many questions; and so
made our way again London-wards.

The last thing we noticed on board these
Arctic ships was an inscription that glittered
in the sunshine of that April afternoon, for
the words were carved in letters of brass on
the steersman's wheel that is to guide the
vessels on their perilous way. And our last
feeling was that the hope contained in the
words would be realised. The words so





ONE evening, as the two sisters were
hastening along the road through the woods
on their way homewards, a young farmer
drove up in his spring-cart, cast a look at
them, stopped, and said: 'Young women, if
you are going my way, I shall be glad of
your company. You are quite welcome to

The sisters looked at each other. 'Dunna
be afreed,' said the young farmer; 'my name's
James Cheshire. I'm well known in these
parts; you may trust yersens wi' me, if it's

To James's surprise, Nancy said, 'No, sir,
we are not afraid; we are much obliged to

The young farmer helped them up into the
cart, and away they drove.

'I'm afraid we shall crowd you,' said Jane.

'Not a bit of it,' replied the young farmer
'There's room for three bigger nor us on this
seat, and I'm no ways tedious.'

The sisters saw nothing odd in his use of
the word 'tedious,' as strangers would have
done; they knew it merely meant 'not at all
particular.' They were soon in active talk.
As he had told them who he was, he asked
them in their turn if they worked at the