The dogs were hungry and we were hungry and we might have had a really hard time of it, were it not for the fact that we stumbled on a caribou carcass which the Indians had left there as white-fox bait. The viscera had not been removed and the meat stank horribly, but it was something to eat, none the less.
December 20, 1926
The Land of Feast and Famine - Winter
"Suppose we take a whack at the Barrens now," says Dale, as we sit there enjoying the evening. I agree that the time has arrived for us to find our way into that country we have from the very beginning planned to explore. It is unwise for us to set out into the unknown, when we have so thoroughly arranged for our security here beside Moose Lake. We realize that full well. But those wide barren plains are calling and beckoning to us, and we are filled with a keen unrest. . . .
The journey lasted well over a month, and when we returned, we were rich in experience, but in little else. We had seen the Barren Lands and learned what their malevolence could be like.
Bad luck was with us from the very start. Blizzards set in and our hunting went awry. Along the way we met a party of Indians who reported that they had a camp up near the northwest end of Artillery Lake. We decided to make this our first objective; there we could always get a little food for the dogs, whilst we hunted and stored up meat to last us for some time to come. I have no clear recollection of that last day crossing Artillery Lake, as we pressed on hoping to reach the camp of the Indians. The hlizzard beat directly in our faces, and the dogs could hardly see. We kept on going, far into the night. At length we came to a bay. This must be the place, we thought. During the rest of that night and all the next day we saw no sign of human life. So we shared the last of our grub with the dogs and started on our way back home.
The dogs were hungry and we were hungry and we might have had a really hard time of it, were it not for the fact that we stumbled on a caribou carcass which the Indians had left there as white-fox bait. The viscera had not been removed and the meat stank horribly, but it was something to eat, none the less. We cut off as much of the meat as we thought we would need and, as payment for this, we hung on the antlers of the dead beast a little pail containing the last of our sugar. It swayed back and forth in the wind and indeed it looked forlorn! A year later I met the Indian who had found the pail of sugar and, when I brought the matter up, he beamed all over and cried: "Nezon, nezon, nezon!" meaning that he had been highly pleased over the exchange.