Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/248

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close with some suggestions to the Government as to what should be done during the coming season. While much, no doubt, will be learned from the observations taken during this winter as to the formation and breaking up of the ice and generally in regard to its movements, and also of the other phenomena affecting navigation, it would be manifestly impossible to state definitively from one year's observations what the average period of the navigability of the strait might be. In order to do this, the stations should be maintained for a second or even a third year.

The question, therefore, as to whether the navigable season of the strait is sufficiently long to permit of an extensive commerce growing up and being profitably maintained, remains still an open one, and must do so for perhaps a year or two more. Yet, in view of what has been already ascertained, it certainly seems as if the probabilities were all in favor of the Hudson Bay route being found practicable, and pressed into the world's service at no very distant day.

The era of sailing-vessels is rapidly passing away. The freight-carriers between the continents will ere long be exclusively steamships, and to steamships properly adapted for the work the passage of Hudson Strait has been clearly shown to be perfectly feasible and free from danger. The matter has resolved itself down to this single point: For how many months may a steamship navigate those waters? And even if the answer, deduced from the observations taken at the stations now established, be that these months are too few to make the route pay, Lieutenant Gordon's expedition will not have been undertaken in vain, for it has thrown a flood of light upon a region hitherto comparatively unknown, and has opened Canadian eyes to the fact that here, right in the heart of their own territory, they possess sources of wealth, both in the seas and on the land, requiring nothing but a little enterprise and capital to yield the most satisfactory returns. In the bay and adjacent waters the whale, porpoise, walrus, narwhal, seal, salmon, trout, and cod are ready at the summons of hook and harpoon to make substantial contribution to the national wealth. Upon the shore and throughout the islands minerals without number and forests without limit await the lumberman and the miner.



SHEIK KEMAL EDIN DEMIRI, who died about a. d. 1405, and was the author of a voluminous treatise on the life of animals, relates the following story as a fact: "The inhabitants of a town called Olila, on the shore of the Red Sea, were in olden times meta-