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Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans by  Edward Eggleston


 

 

DOCTOR KANE GETS OUT OF THE FROZEN SEA

[138] AFTER they got the seal, Doctor Kane and his men traveled on. Sometimes they were on the ice. Sometimes they were in the boats. The men were so weak, that they could hardly row the boats. They were so hungry, that they could not sleep well at night.

One day they were rowing, when they heard a sound. It came to them across the water. It did not sound like the cry of sea birds. It sounded like people's voices.

"Listen!" Doctor Kane said to Petersen.

Petersen spoke the same language as the people of Greenland. He listened. The sound came again. Petersen was so glad, that he could hardly speak. He told Kane in a half whisper, that it was the voice of some one speaking his own language. It was some Greenland men in a boat.

The next day they got to a Greenland town. Then they got into a little ship going to England. They knew that they could get home from England. But the ship stopped at another Green-land town. While they were there, a steamer was seen. It came nearer. They could see the stars and [139] stripes flying from her mast. It was an American steamer sent to find Doctor Kane.

Doctor Kane and his men were full of joy. They pushed their little boat into the water once more. This little boat was called the "Faith." It had carried Kane and his men hundreds of miles in icy seas.

Once more the men took their oars, and rowed. This time they rowed with all their might. They held up the little flag that they had carried farther north than anybody had ever been before. They rowed straight to the steamer.

In the bow of the boat was a little man with a tattered red shirt. He could see that the captain of the boat was looking at him through a spy-glass.

The captain shouted to the little man, "Is that Doctor Kane?"

The little man in the red shirt shouted back, "Yes!"

Doctor Kane and his men had been gone more than two years. People had begun to think that they had all died. This steamer had been sent to find out what had become of them. When the men on the steamer heard that this little man in the red shirt was Doctor Kane himself, they sent up cheer after cheer.

[140] In a few minutes more, Doctor Kane and his men were on the steamer. They were now safe among friends. They were sailing away toward their homes.


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