Northward: Peary’s 1908-09 Expedition

Lemming specimens

One week since I reached the Roosevelt + I have not felt like taking up pen or pencil since. The weather since my return until today has been, as for the many days previous, clear, calm, + for the place + season warm.  
    On my way back I had planned to have the Captain go out + make a line of 10 or 5 mile soundings from Columbia to Camp No. 8 to bring out the cross sections of the continental shelf + the deep channel along it, + he got his equipment ready, + I had 2 "Peary" sledges built for him, then changed my mind, + decided not to send him. He is not any too fit, numerous boils, + his feet + ankles swollen. Besides this I have much writing to do in the next 2 months + I want nothing to worry about, as I certainly should about him if we got a gale during his absence.
    There has been a new arrival in the Eskimo colony since I left. Ooblooyah's wife having given birth to a girl.
    As for myself, this return has been a little different from any previous one. For 24 hours after my return I felt as fit as ever, ready to start out again somewhere if necessary; then the reaction came, the inevitable result of complete change of diet, + atmosphere, + the substitution of complete inaction, physical + mental, for incessant effort. I had no energy pr ambition for anything, could scarcely stop sleeping long enough to eat, or eating long enough to sleep. And the latter too, not because of hunger or short rations during the trip, for this had not happened, but because none of the ships food seemed to have the satisfying effect of pemmican, + I could not seem to hold enough to feel content. I knew better than to gorge myself, + compromised on eating little at a time but often.
    This time however there was no swelling of feet or ankles. Today I am beginning to feel like myself, the last traces of the toothache are vanishing + I am making my plans for a good deal of writing in the coming 2 months. Have had a false top put on my desk to bring it up level, + a level platform made for my chair so that I can use the desk.
    The heeling of the R- to port has slowly increased during my absence, as during the winter, + is now something over 10°.
    I have issued Dr. Allen's traps to the children + some of the younger Eskimo women, + as a result the lemming specimens are coming in rapidly.
    Have fitted out my northern Eskimos with rifles, shot guns, cartidges, shells, reloading tools, hatchets, knives galore, small telescopes, etc. + they have been like so many children.       

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