An in­ter­view with Cap­tain Bob Bartlett


A forth­right, down­right, will­ing-to-be-happy set are th­ese Eskimo women. Do they quar­rel some­times with their husbands?

“ Some­times,” says Cap­tain Bartlett, “some­times they do. They would not be hu­man wives if they did not. But again, they set­tle the thing — they don’t nurse a grudge for­ever. For in­stance, if the hus­band feels that his wife has botched up his fur pants when she plied her nee­dle, he doesn’t grouch. He pokes her force­fully in the ribs, to show her he means busi­ness, and isn’t suited with her sewing.

“Of if, per­chance, he is still an­grier, he lays her across his knees and gives her a mean­ing­ful spank­ing.

“She ac­cepts it, like a gen­uine per­son, and does bet­ter on the pants the next time she takes up her nee­dle again.

“Again, if she feels her hus­band has not brought home all the bear meat the fam­ily needs, she pokes him in the ribs with force, to show him she also means busi­ness. That poke brings him to his feet. He sees that Mother is up in arms.”

So, with un­der­stand­ing, does this Bos­ton sea­farin’ man tell of some of the peo­ple he has met when he has gone ex­plor­ing.

He never mar­ried, he says, be­cause a woman can break a man’s heart so — at least if she is a sailor’s wife or sweet­heart.

So says Cap­tain Bob. Then he speaks of that faith or per­haps we might call it that en­deav­our by which he lives.

“To see what there is, over the rim of the world. I’m happy any­where. I’m sure I’d be happy in the very hot place they told us about in Sun­day School. Per­haps be­cause I’m sure I would meet some fine fel­lows, my friends, who have gone there be­fore me. But for one thing, I’d be the hap­pi­est man in the world.

“That’s enough money to build a small, stout ice ship. Then to drift off Alaska through the po­lar pack and come out be­tween Spitzberg and Green­land. It would take two or three years. The drift is more or less con­jec­tural. But the re­sults would be mar­vel­lous for sci­ence. We’d find out th­ese things, im­per­a­tive to know, now that di­ri­gi­bles will soon go into that re­gion, mak­ing ex­act sci­en­tific knowl­edge nec­es­sary for safety and the proper han­dling of the air­ship.

“Here’s what this trip I covet would dis­close:

“Ques­tions as to the mag­netic points; the dip of the nee­dle; cur­rents, the di­rect­ness with which

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