With the offer of a sack of flour at Kewalik we induced a couple of Esquimaux to accompany us, for I knew we had to cross the mouth of a bay over the ice to reach the mainland and I wanted to take no more chances. Our company, again raised to four, started out about nine, and until the Choris Peninsula was reached the trail still skirted the shore.
We were bound for an igloo forty-five miles from the mission, the only shelter between Kikitaruk on the peninsula and Kewalik on the mainland, and we had been warned that the igloo would be easy to miss if it grew dark as it would be almost indistinguishable from the snow-drifts of the shore.
Kewalik had never seen so many houses before; hitherto almost every cabin he had reached on his journeys had been a resting-place, and he wanted to dive into every house we passed. At Candle and Council both, our stopping-place had been near the entrance to the little town.
At last we won across the ice and brought up at a comfortable road-house at Kewalik, about ten miles from Candle. Here we lay overnight, taking the opportunity of thawing out and drying the frost-crusted bedding, leaving the short run into town for the morning. The diggings on Candle Creek yield to the Koyukuk diggings only as the most northerly gold mining in the world.
Again, as we entered the outskirts of Nome the incident was repeated, and only the hasty driving of the reindeer into a barn prevented the dogs from seizing the deer that time. Jimmy was long deposed from his ineffectual leadership and a little dog named Kewalik the one I obtained at Kikitaruk was at the head of the team.