The more leisure we obtained to consider the state of theFury, the more apparent became the absolute, however unfortunate,necessity of heaving her down. Four pumps were required to be atwork without intermission to keep her free, and this in perfectlysmooth water, showing that she was, in fact, so materiallyinjured as to be very far from seaworthy. One third of herworking men were constantly employed, as before remarked, in thislaborious operation, and some of their hands had become so sorefrom the constant friction of the ropes, that they could hardlyhandle them any longer without the use of mittens, assisted bythe unlaying of the ropes to make them soft. As, therefore, not amoment could be lost, we took advantage of a small lane of water,deep enough for boats, which kept open within the grounded massesalong the shore, to convey to the Hecla some of the Fury's dryprovisions, and to land a quantity of heavy iron work, and otherstores not perishable; for the moment this measure was determinedon, I was anxious, almost at any risk, to commence the lighteningof the ship as far as our present insecurity and our distancefrom the shore would permit.
In the weapons used for killing their game there isconsiderable variety, according to the animal of which they arein pursuit. The most simple of these is the =o=on~ak,which they use only for killing the small seal. It consists of alight staff of wood, four feet in length, having at one end thepoint of a narwhal's horn, from ten to eighteen inches long,firmly secured by rivets and wooldings; at the other end is asmaller and less effective point of the same kind. To preventlosing the ivory part in case of the wood breaking, a stout thongruns along the whole length of the wood, each end passing througha hole in the ivory, and the bight secured in several places tothe staff. In this weapon, as far as it has yet been described,there is little art or ingenuity displayed; but a considerabledegree of both in an appendage called si=atk~o, consistingof a piece of bone three inches long, and having a point of ironat one end, and at the other end a small hole or socket toreceive the point of the oonak. Through the middle of thisinstrument is secured the =allek, or line of thong, ofwhich every man has, when sealing, a couple of coils, each fromfour to six fathoms long, hanging at his back.
The sledges belonging to these Esquimaux were in general largeand heavily constructed, being more adapted to the carriage ofconsiderable burdens than to very quick travelling. They variedin size, being from six feet and a half to nine feet in length,and from eighteen inches to two feet in breadth. Some of those atIgloolik were of larger dimensions, one being eleven feet inlength, and weighing two hundred and sixty-eight pounds, and twoor three others above two hundred pounds. The runners aresometimes made of the right and left jaw-bones of a whale; butmore commonly of several pieces of wood or bone scarfed andlashed together, the interstices being filled, to make all smoothand firm, with moss stuffed in tight, and then cemented bythrowing water to freeze upon it. The lower part of the runner isshod with a plate of harder bone, coated with fresh-water ice tomake it run smoothly, and to avoid wear and tear, both whichpurposes are thus completely answered. This coating is performedwith a mixture of snow and fresh water about half an inch thick,rubbed over it till it is quite smooth and hard upon the surface,and this is usually done a few minutes before setting out on ajourney. When the ice is only in part worn off, it is renewed bytaking some water into the mouth, and spirting it over the formercoating. We noticed a sledge which was extremely curious, onaccount of one of the runners and a part of the other beingconstructed without the assistance of wood, iron, or bone of anykind. For this purpose, a number of sealskins being rolled up anddisposed into the requisite shape, an outer coat of the same kindwas sewed tightly round them; this formed the upper half of therunner, the lower part of which consisted entirely of mossmoulded while wet into the proper form, and being left to freeze,adhering firmly together and to the skins. The usual shoeing ofsmooth ice beneath completed the runner, which, for more than sixmonths out of twelve, in this climate, was nearly as hard as anywood; and for winter use, no way inferior to those constructed ofmore durable materials. The cross-pieces which form the bottom ofthe sledges are made of bone, wood, or anything they can muster.Over these is generally laid a sealskin as a flooring, and in thesummer time a pair of deer's horns are attached to the sledge asa back, which in the winter are removed, to enable them, whenstopping, to turn the sledge up, so as to prevent the dogsrunning away with it. The whole is secured by lashings of thong,giving it a degree of strength combined with flexibility whichperhaps no other mode of fastening could effect. 2b1af7f3a8