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katherine peter Jalgiitsik, Tł’yahdik Hàa Chalkyitsik and Tł’yahdik Later in March ,1 David returned,2 but Steven said he was sick. ‘‘You leave with David,’’ he told me. So then I harnessed up those poor dogs, put the three children in the sled, and followed him by dog team. I mean to say that David’s dogs were really good! Every now and then he waited for me on the way up. Finally near Jalgiitsik I think he got exasperated and he was gone. The moon was shining [on the snow] and gave the luster of daylight all around. The wind was blowing when I finally came to a lake that looked like a back channel to a river. I looked up ahead and saw that the trail divided and I had no idea which trail to take. I stopped the dogs and took a good look at the trail and, of course, I took the trail with the freshest dog tracks. It was very windy and I didn’t know where I was going. I was never here before. In spite of that I kept going. Paul, who was seven months old, became tired and began to cry. Hannah was three years old. Bessie was five years and two months old. Finally when I was totally exhausted I came upon an empty erected tent. Perhaps it is a man out trapping, I thought. I was so exhausted that I thought, ‘‘Enough already! I’m going to spend the night here.’’ I went in and there was a little wood to start a fire inside. I lit the fire and put snow on the stove in a bucket, and I told Bessie to stay there with her younger brother and sister. The sun rose just as I was about to look for wood. I had no snowshoes, so I waded around in the snow looking for firewood. The wood was a long way off! All the while I worried about the children. I gathered wood anyway and chopped it up. I fed the dogs and finally came in. I fed the children and they fell asleep right away as they had been running and playing in the warm tent. I sat by the hot stove and drank hot tea. ‘‘I wonder what I’ll do tomorrow,’’ I thought. Just then those poor dogs let out a few barks. I stuck my head out of the tent flaps and, as it were, someone was coming up the trail I had used  Gwich’in by dog team. I had hot water on the stove. I thought, it’s the man who was out on his trap line. The team came there and he tied up the dogs; he certainly didn’t expect me. He came in and turned out to be Ervin John Sr. He swore and said to me, ‘‘What are you doing here?’’ ‘‘I’m lost,’’ I told him. ‘‘Where is your husband?’’ he asked. ‘‘He’s sick at Fort Yukon and I left him there,’’ I replied. ‘‘I was going with David Francis, but my dogs couldn’t go fast, and I don’t know where he is,’’ I said to him. ‘‘Jalgiitsik is just a little ways to the north,’’ he told me. ‘‘Come there with me,’’ he said, but I said no. ‘‘The children wore themselves out and will sleep well,’’ I told him. He had a little trail food and, saying that it was for the children, he gave it to me. After he left, not much time passed before my dogs barked again. And now what was happening? It was David come back to get me, as it were. He said to me, ‘‘It’s not that far off; come back with me anyway.’’ I was loathe to do it, but even so I dressed the children and put them in his toboggan. The dog team whisked me along after him in an empty toboggan. Now in the light of the moon those dogs were going so fast that every time we came upon a curve on the trail it was all I could do not to be flung off! We arrived up there, and I don’t recall whose house I went into. We camped there at Jalgiitsik to rest the dogs. There were many in Jalgiitsik who did not expect that I could do these things. Then the first thing in the morning, with him [David] in the lead, we...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780803202368
MARC Record
OCLC
607194129
Pages
394
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-10
Language
English
Open Access
No
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