There followed days and days of the cruel whip that hisses like the wind over ice, and his companions all bit him because he did not know his work, and the harness chafed him, and he was dot allowed to sleep with Kotuko any more, but had to take the coldest place in the passage.
Then he felt himself a person of consequence, and on smooth, black ice, with a bold heart and a quick elbow, he smoked along over the levels as fast as a pack in full cry.
"Certainly," said I, carried away by the Captain's reasoning; "if the surface of the sea is solidified by the ice, the lower depths are free by the Providential law which has placed the maximum of density of the waters of the ocean one degree higher than freezing-point; and, if I am not mistaken, the portion of this iceberg which is above the water is as one to four to that which is below."
If these ice mountains are not more than 300 feet above the surface, they are not more than 900 beneath.
The Carrion Caves consist of a series of twenty-seven connecting chambers, and present the appearance of having been eroded by running water in some far-gone age when a mighty river found its way to the south through this single breach in the barrier of rock and ice that hems the country of the pole.
Beyond the last cave we emerged into a desolate country of snow and ice, but found a well-marked trail leading north.
Soon after this he inquired if I thought that the breaking up of the ice
had destroyed the other sledge.
The fine powdery snow was driven past us in the clouds, penetrating the interstices of our clothes, and the pieces of ice which flew from the blows of Peter's ax were whisked into the air, and then dashed over the precipice.
"The whole of the ridge was exceedingly narrow, and the fall on each side desperately steep, but the ice in some of these intervals between the masses of rock assumed the form of a mere sharp edge, almost like a knife; these places, though not more than three or four short paces in length, looked uncommonly awkward; but, like the sword leading true believers to the gates of Paradise, they must needs be passed before we could attain to the summit of our ambition.
And Keesh continued to make off over the ice to a safe distance.
"For he did claw at himself, and leap about over the ice like a playful puppy, save from the way he growled and squealed it was plain it was not play but pain.
He flew down, and without even changing the position of his hands, skated away over the ice.
On the last step he stumbled, but barely touching the ice with his hand, with a violent effort recovered himself, and skated off, laughing.
Daylight, between mouthfuls, fed chunks of ice
into the tin pot, where it thawed into water.
4000 feet in height, in the latitude of Cumberland, with every valley filled with streams of ice
descending to the sea-coast.