The great white way; a record of an unusual voyage of discovery, and some romantic love affairs amid strange surroundings
The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.
“The South Pole for us all!”—Frontispiece, Page 58.
Great White Way
A Record of an Unusual Voyage of Discovery, and some
Romantic Love Affairs amid Strange Surroundings.
The Whole Recounted by one Nicholas Chase,
Promoter of the Expedition, whose
Reports have been Arranged
for Publication by
|I.||Answer to an Old Summons||5|
|II.||I Renew an Old Dream||7|
|III.||Even Seeking to Realize It||11|
|IV.||Turning to the Sea, at Last, for Solace||15|
|V.||I Overhaul the Steam Yacht, Billowcrest||20|
|VI.||Where All Things Become Possible||49|
|VII.||I Learn the Way of the Sea, and Enter More Fully Into My Heritage||59|
|VIII.||The Halcyon Way to the South||70|
|IX.||Admonition and Counsel||76|
|X.||Captain Biffer is Assisted by the Pampeiro||86|
|XI.||In Gloomy Seas||95|
|XII.||Where Captain Biffer Revises Some Opinions||99|
|XIII.||In the “Fighting-Top”||106|
|XIV.||An Excursion and an Experiment||115|
|XV.||As Reported by My Note-Book||121|
|XVI.||Following the Pacemaker||134|
|XVII.||Investigation and Discovery||146|
|XVIII.||A “Borning” and a Mystery||150|
|XIX.||A Long Farewell||154|
|XX.||The Long Dark||174|
|XXI.||An Arrival and a Departure||183|
|XXII.||On the Air-Line, South||190|
|4XXIII.||The Cloudcrest Makes a Landing||199|
|XXIV.||The Great White Way||209|
|XXV.||Where the Way Ends||215|
|XXVI.||The Welcome to the Unknown||223|
|XXVII.||The Prince of the Purple Fields||228|
|XXVIII.||A Harbor of Forgotten Dreams||235|
|XXIX.||A Land of the Heart’s Desire||243|
|XXX.||The Lady of the Lilies||249|
|XXXI.||The Pole at Last||253|
|XXXII.||An Offering to the Sun||264|
|XXXIII.||The Touch of Life||269|
|XXXIV.||The Pardon of Love||279|
|XXXV.||Down the River of Coming Dark||290|
|XXXVI.||The “Passage of the Dead”||293|
|XXXVII.||The Rising Tide||301|
|XXXVIII.||Storm and Stress||305|
|XXXIX.||Where Dreams Become Real||315|
|XL.||Claiming the Reward||322|
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
|“The South Pole for us all!” (page 58)||Frontispiece|
|“Then, somebody was clinging to me”||Page 93|
|“From our high vantage we could command a vast circle of sunless, melancholy cold”||Page 117|
|“Cut her, Nick, cut her! I can’t stick on any longer!”||Page 202|
|The Palace of the Prince|
|“A harbor for vanished argosies and forgotten dreams”||Page 242|
|The Pardon of Love|
|“There fell upon them a long golden bar of the returning sunlight”||Page 288|
THE GREAT WHITE WAY.
Nicholas Chase, a young man with a dream of discovery,and an inherited love of the sea.
Chauncey Gale, a merry millionaire, with a willingnessto back his judgment.
Edith Gale, his daughter, a girl with accomplishmentsand ideas.
Zar, colored maid and former nurse of Edith Gale. Awoman with no “fool notions” about the South Pole.
Ferratoni, an Italian electrician with wireless communication,and subtle psychic theories.
Captain Joseph Biffer, Master of the Billowcrest. Anold salt, with little respect for wild expeditions.
Terence Larkins, First Officer of the Billowcrest, witha disregard of facts.
Mr. Emory, Second Officer of the Billowcrest.
William Sturritt, Steward of the Billowcrest, and inventorof condensed food tablets.
Frenchy, a bosun who stirs up trouble.
Prince of the Purple Fields, a gentle despot of thePort of Dreams.
Princess of the Lilied Hills, His Serene Sister, whosedomain is the deepest South.
Three maidens of the Land of Dreams and Lotus.
A shipwrecked sailor, whose rescue is important to allconcerned.
Cabin boy, stewardess, and crew of the Billowcrest.
Courtiers, populace, etc., of the Land of the Sloping Sun.
ANSWER TO AN OLD SUMMONS.
For more than ten generations my maternal ancestorshave been farers of the sea, and I was bornwithin call of high tide. At the distance of a thousandmiles inland it still called me, and often inchildhood I woke at night from dreams of a blueharbor with white sails.
It is not strange, therefore, that I should returnto the coast. When, at the age of thirty, I foundmyself happily rid of a commercial venture—conductedfor ten years half-heartedly and with insignificantresults—it was only natural that I shouldset my face seaward. My custom, of which therewas never any great amount, and my goodwill, ofwhich there was ever an abundance, I had disposedof to one who was likely to reverse these conditions—hismethods in the matter of trade beingrather less eccentric than my own. He had beenable to pay me in cash the modest sum agreed upon,6and this amount I now hoped to increase throughsome marine investment or adventure—somethingthat would bring me at once into active sea life—thoughI do not now see what this could have been,and I confess that my ideas at the time were somewhatvague.
I RENEW AN OLD DREAM.
Perhaps first of all I wished to visit the SouthPole—not an unreasonable ambition it would seemfor one backed by ten generations of sea captainsand ocean faring—but one that I found not altogethereasy to gratify. For one thing, there wasno Antarctic expedition forming at the time; andthen, my notions in the matter were not popular.
From boyhood it had been my dream that aboutthe earth’s southern axis, shut in by a precipitouswall of ice, there lay a great undiscovered world.Not a bleak desolation of storm-swept peaks andglaciers, but a