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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/462

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446
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

"digs" used the word "magnicious" for magnificent. This is a choice example of word transformation. Very probably the child was led by the feeling for the dignity of this termination in other "grand" words, as "ambitious." Possibly, too, he might have heard the form "magnesia" and been influenced by a reminiscence of this sound-complex. The talk of "Jeames," with which Mr. Punch makes us acquainted, is full of just such delightful missings of the mark in trying to reproduce big words.

 

A DAY'S HUNTING AMONG THE ESKIMOS.[1]
By FRIDTJOF NANSEN.

KAIAK hunting has many dangers.

Though his father may have perished at sea, and very likely his brother and his friend as well, the Eskimo nevertheless goes quietly about his daily work, in storm no less than in calm. If the weather is too terrible, he may be chary of putting to sea; experience has taught him that in such weather many perish; but when once he is out he goes ahead as though it were all the most indifferent thing in the world.

Let us follow the Eskimo on a day's hunting.

Several hours before dawn he stands upon the outlook rock over the village, and scans the sea to ascertain whether the weather is going to be favorable. Having assured himself on this point, he comes slowly down to his house and gets out his kaiak jacket. His breakfast in the good old days consisted of a drink of water; now that European effeminacy has reached him too, it is generally one or two cups of strong coffee. He eats nothing in the morning; he declares that it makes him uneasy in the kaiak, and that he has more endurance without it. Nor does he take any food with him—only a quid of tobacco.

When the kaiak is carried down to the beach and the hunting weapons are ranged in their places, he slips into the kaiak hole, makes fast his jacket over the ring, and puts out to sea. From other houses in the village his neighbors are also putting forth at the same time. It is the bladder-nose that they are after to-day, and the hunting ground is on some banks nine miles out to the open sea.

It is calm, the smooth sea heaves in a long swell toward the rocky islets that fringe the shore, a light haze still lies over the


  1. Both the illustrations and the text of this article are reprinted from Eskimo Life, by Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, with the kind permission of the publishers, Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co.