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CLUE: Captain Torvey's Journal

 

1 February, 1834. Saturday. Harding reports the camp is in order and the crew exhausted. Today as every day, before I rise I tell Caroline that the flames were necessary, if she had seen what I have seen, the empty villages and the bodies left to rot. But now Perdita is entirely on her own.

Noon: magnetic pole bearing 89' 32" east of true. Steady.

2 February, 1834. Sunday. Harding reports the camp is in order and the crew fatigued but healthy. We rigged for church today and the hymns rang in my ears for hours afterward.

3 February, 1834. Monday. Harding reports the camp is in order and the crew fatigued but healthy. I have extended my observations of the Magnetic Pole to once every four waking hours. Once warmed by the stove, the bath compass allows me to plot even very small movements of the Pole. The data collected to date makes a persuasive case that the Arabian legend is true, and that the Pole is a massive magnetized meteorite caught in the ice.

4 February, 1834. Tuesday. Harding reports the camp is in order and the crew fatigued but healthy. The Pole is quiet today.

6 February, 1834. Thursday. Harding reports the camp is in order and the crew fatigued but healthy. I noticed the quicksilver bath for the compass at a dangerous low point. Someone is clearly siphoning off the liquid, undoubtedly just to spite me, and I urged Harding to do his duty and maintain discipline.

7 February, 1834. Friday. Harding reports the camp is in order and the crew fatigued but healthy. The Pole has begun to move! Every hour I plot its motion a little farther south. This will be of great interest to the Colonel whose name I have forgotten.

8 February, 1834. Saturday. Harding reports the camp is in order and the crew fatigued but healthy. The Colonel's name is Sabine.

9 February, 1834. Sunday. Harding reports the camp is in order and the crew fatigued but healthy. Once again the thief has been at the bath compass though I left it near the stove in sight of all. It took almost a full bottle to replenish the bath. I assembled the company and made it clear that if it happened again, harsh discipline would be the result.

10 February, 1834. Sunday. Harding reports the camp is in order. The health of the company is unknown, for Jakkelson had been relieved of duty. At my urging we rigged for church and afterwards I read from the Articles of War.

11 February, 1834. Monday. Harding reports the camp is in order. The Colonel's name is Sabine who will be full impressed with the measurements I have made. The Magnetic Pole is now nearing Hudson Bay and veering east again.

12 February, 1834. All my work is for naught, as some saboteur has altered my measurements. I do the calculations and they are different every time. I have no choice but to rip them up and start again

13 February, 1834. I am confused, because Perdita came to me and it was my recollection she had died in the fire. She told me something about the white cross but when we rigged for chursh she gone again

14 February 1534. The Master has told me Harding has deserted but not remember

15 February 1434. I cannot do even the simplest sum

16 February 16. The tent being disorderly it was cleaned and five dead men put on report

16 February Caroline

An Access Excellence Science Mystery sponsored by Genentech, Inc.
Copyright © 1997 Genentech, Inc.; all rights reserved.

 

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