1 As he said this he led the way across the ice; I followed.
2 We crossed the ice, therefore, and ascended the opposite rock.
3 For some time I sat upon the rock that overlooks the sea of ice.
4 The field of ice is almost a league in width, but I spent nearly two hours in crossing it.
5 Once, however, the lieutenant asked why he had come so far upon the ice in so strange a vehicle.
6 Soon after this he inquired if I thought that the breaking up of the ice had destroyed the other sledge.
7 About two hours after this occurrence we heard the ground sea, and before night the ice broke and freed our ship.
8 Shut in, however, by ice, it was impossible to follow his track, which we had observed with the greatest attention.
9 The sea, or rather the vast river of ice, wound among its dependent mountains, whose aerial summits hung over its recesses.
10 It was, in fact, a sledge, like that we had seen before, which had drifted towards us in the night on a large fragment of ice.
11 We watched the rapid progress of the traveller with our telescopes until he was lost among the distant inequalities of the ice.
12 I have wandered here many days; the caves of ice, which I only do not fear, are a dwelling to me, and the only one which man does not grudge.
13 He bounded over the crevices in the ice, among which I had walked with caution; his stature, also, as he approached, seemed to exceed that of man.
14 We, however, lay to until the morning, fearing to encounter in the dark those large loose masses which float about after the breaking up of the ice.
15 About two o'clock the mist cleared away, and we beheld, stretched out in every direction, vast and irregular plains of ice, which seemed to have no end.
16 I replied that I could not answer with any degree of certainty, for the ice had not broken until near midnight, and the traveller might have arrived at a place of safety before that time; but of this I could not judge.
17 I am, however, in good spirits: my men are bold and apparently firm of purpose, nor do the floating sheets of ice that continually pass us, indicating the dangers of the region towards which we are advancing, appear to dismay them.
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