Meanwhile we had need of patience. Our camp, which was in latitude 63 deg. 51 min. north and 90 deg. 26 min. 15 sec. west of Greenwich, had been named by Lieutenant Schwatka after the president of the American Geographical Society. The tents that had been provided for the expedition proving quite inadequate for our wants, Captain Barry got Armow (the Wolf), one of the most influential natives, to let us have his tent, one that had been made by the crew of the brig 'A. Houghton', memorable to us as the vessel on which Captain Barry received his spoon. The Iwillie tribe moved up their tupics to the land nearest Depot Island, so as to be near us; but finding they were a considerable distance from any fresh water, moved again to the spot where our stores were landed. We had bidden adieu to the officers and crew of the 'Eothen', and had been rowed ashore by the Inuits. The solitude of our first day on land was enlivened by the visit of a ponderous young Natchilli, named Joe (or Natchilli Joe, to distinguish him from Esquimau Joe). He promised to accompany us in the spring. He was a fine-looking young man, with a big head, and a shock of raven-black hair, as massive-looking as a lion, and with none of the bloodthirsty look which I had been led to expect in the Natchilli features. He had been living with the Iwillie tribe for about two years, and they all liked him very much. We felt that it would tend to assure our favorable reception by his tribe to have one or two of their own people with our party.

Ten days after we landed all went to the hunting-grounds but Armow and his party, who were to go in a boat, but it was so stormy that they did not get off. When the others broke camp and started over the hills it was a novel and interesting spectacle. Each one had his load, the women, in addition to their other burdens, having to carry their children upon their backs. Behind them came their dogs, staggering under loads that almost hid them from view and getting into all kinds of trouble among the rocks. They were accompanied by "Jerry," a native for whom Esquimau Joe had a great liking. He took all his family except his son Koumania, who had been given to me as a body-servant. Koumania was an unusually bright, manly little fellow, and, though so young, had already killed a reindeer. We were all much interested in him, and his parents were much pleased that he had found favor with the Kodlunars. His father was one of Captain Hall's party in his King William Land journey, and was also to accompany us. He seemed like a good, honest, faithful fellow, and had the reputation of being a first-class hunter. Koumania came running to me, before his father's departure, with his face covered with smiles and soapsuds, and I found that Frank had given him some soap and told him I would like him better if he would wash. Poor fellow! he had done the best he could, and had at any rate shown a willing spirit.

It was not until Wednesday that the boat party could get away. Most of the time it rained and blew a perfect gale. We were then alone in the camp, with the exception of a tupic, which contained one old man, two old women, and three children. There were plenty of dogs, though, and we had concerted music every night. I spent some time in making over some civilized clothes for my boy. I had to take them in everywhere except around the waist. There he was as big as I am, though I weigh nearly two hundred pounds.

I returned from a hunting and exploring excursion Saturday night, August 31, and had come to the conclusion by that time, after satisfactory experience, that tuk-too hunting is not a pastime. It is good, solid work from beginning to end, with no rest for the weary. If any readers have meditated such a task as a divertisement, I would beg to dissuade them from the undertaking, for they know not what they do. Before attempting to follow tuk-too hunters over these hills and valleys, I would advise a severe course of training. We started on the morning of the 25th, in the midst of a strong gale, which had been blowing all night from the north-west, and was bitter cold. It rained, snowed, and hailed all at the same time, and the pelting hard stones cut our faces nearly all the morning. The party consisted of "Sam," another of Joe's friends, his two younger brothers, Koumania, and myself. I took a blanket and some little provisions, in case I should be out over night. We walked along, without stopping, a distance of about eight miles across the hardest country to travel over I had ever seen, and when we halted to rest I was indeed tired. The rocks and hills were hard enough to walk over, but the worst of all were the moss-covered meadows. Your foot would sink at every step, and it was as much like walking in loose, wet sand as anything with which I could compare it. I wore native boots, or kummings, as they are called, for I knew it would be impossible to get along with anything else; but the sharp edges and points of the stones could be felt through them almost as if one were barefooted. Do not think that the mossy meadows were a relief after the rocks. On the contrary, they were but a delusion and a snare, for beneath the velvet cushion was concealed the sharp and jagged rock that cut the foot all the same, and proved a more deadly, because a hidden foe. Though tired when I sat down to rest, I was more so when I got up to walk again; but, ashamed of my weakness, I kept on, gritting my teeth and determined to do or die.

It was getting late, and still we saw no deer - in fact, I was losing my interest in deer very rapidly, and only hoped I might soon see a tupic. After we had walked about fifteen miles, "Sam" pointed out a mountain that did not seem so very far off, and said, "Io wunga tupic sellow" (My tent is there). This was refreshing, and I plodded along still more determinedly. I would have given anything to have been back in my own tent, but that was out of the question. It was farther to go back than to go ahead, and though every bone in my body ached I plodded along, frequently stopping to rest. I thought we had passed the mountain that "Sam" had pointed out, and finally I ventured to ask him where the tupic was. His answer was invariably, "Con-i-tuk-vo-loo" (A little way), and I began to weary of the monotony of the answer, as probably he did of the question, until at last, in a valley farther off than I had originally thought the mountain, I saw the tupic. The approach was by a circuitous route, the wind still blowing so strongly against us that each took his turn in leading, the others crouching behind the slight shelter thus afforded. And this was a pleasure trip! When we finally did reach the tent, I received the kindly welcome of old "Molasses" and his wife, and dropped down on some deer-skins, completely used up. The hunters were naturally hungry after their long walk, and from a pile of fresh meat on the side of the tent "Sam" seized a large piece, half cooked, and taking a vigorous bite, cut off the mouthful with his disengaged hand and passed the rest to the one standing nearest him, who helped himself in the same way, and thus it kept circulating until it was all gone.

I awoke early the next morning, and went outside the tent and feebly attempted to walk; but it was a most excruciating effort. My hip-joints, that ached like a toothache the night before, now seemed to be made of old rusty iron, and grated and shrieked when I tried to move, as if they rebelled against it. I felt as if there was nothing left for me to do but to walk the soreness off; therefore I kept moving, though I was conscious that my step lacked its wonted firmness and grace. After bathing in the lake that spread out in the valley in front of the tupic, I returned to find the hunters ready for the day's sport. I took up my rifle and started off with the hunters. Presently the pain left my hips, or, more properly speaking, my feet got so sore from the constant walking over sharp rocks that my mind was diverted in that direction solely. While resting on the top of a high bluff overlooking the lakes, I heard a faint "halloo," which seemed to come on the wind from an immense distance. I called "Sam's" attention to it, and he immediately dropped behind a rock, out of the wind, until it was repeated several times, when saying, "Inuit ky-ete" (Somebody says come), he started off down the steep mountain side in the direction of the voice, and the boys and I followed him. We walked nearly three-quarters of an hour before we finally saw the object of our search, and then he appeared perched on a rock against the clear blue sky, but still too far off to be recognized even by my hawk-eyed guides. At last we were near enough to see that it was "Alex Taylor," one of the Inuits from our camp, who had left with the others for the hunting-grounds. He had with him his wife and two children, one a babe in the hood, and two bags packed with tupic and poles. He had a heavy back-load of skins, and his wife another big bundle. They seemed both surprised and pleased to see me. "Alex" told me that he had seen no deer that day, but had previously shot nine, and that there were "ama-suet" (plenty) farther on. He regaled us with some raw meat, and honored me with a nice raw deer tongue, which I ate with great relish after he had skinned it and eaten the skin.

After luncheon and a pipe, we gathered up the bundles and trudged along until nearly sundown, when we arrived at a tupic under a cliff and between two large lakes. Two young married women and an old palsied crone came out to meet us. "Alex Taylor" told me that I was to stay there all night. The next morning, after walking about nine or ten miles without seeing anything in the way of game except some deer tracks, we ascended a high bluff that had been on our right since leaving camp, when, to my infinite delight, I saw a large river, which "Alex," tracing the course with his finger, indicated as emptying into a large bay near our camp, opposite Depot Island. Its course was nearly straight for about three miles below and seven miles north of where we stood; then, as my guide indicated with a wave of his hand, flowed to the east and again to the south. It extended much farther to the west and north, and from what I have since learned from the natives, rises between the head of the Invich and Wager rivers, and is about ninety-five miles in length. To the south and west of where we stood it passed over a broad stony portage, and beyond that swelled out, as do most of the rivers in this country, into a series of broad lakes filled with islands.

This discovery appeared to me of inestimable value, as indicating an entirely new and feasible route to King William Land, and, since my return to camp, Esquimau Joe, who had been away with the hunters for about three weeks, was here for a few hours, and told me that his hunting-camp was on the east bank of this same river, and the inquiry he has already made of the Inuits in his party confirmed my judgment of the feasibility of this route. I named the river after Mr. Thomas B. Connery, of New York.

We resumed our walk, turning back along the bank of the river, which on the east side is high and almost perpendicular. We reached the portage, about three miles to the south, and crossed over to the west side, which is a low, rolling country, covered with moss, which at a distance looked like sun-burned grass. The portage was nearly a quarter of a mile wide, but by the exercise of some agility, where the current ran most swiftly through the large rocks, we got over without wetting our feet, and about a mile from the river bank stopped to rest on a rocky eminence. "Alex" pointed vaguely in the direction of some hills about two or three miles away, and said he thought there were some deer over there; but as I had been walking three days now without seeing a deer, and was desperately tired, I told him to go on if he wanted to, and take my rifle, and I would wait till he came back. He trotted along, and I sat under the lee of a rock, taking advantage of the opportunity to write up my journal and trace the course of the river. In the meantime the sun sank lower and lower, but no signs of "Alex Taylor." About three hours after he left me he reappeared, with his hat in his hand and a heavy bundle over his shoulder, trotting along so nimbly that I envied him. He had shot two deer, a "cooney" and an "isaacer" - that is, a doe and a buck - and he had their warm, bloody skins on his back. He said that there were plenty of deer over there, and to-morrow we would move the camp up to that spot. So we put the skins and some tenderloin in a cairn, and covered it up with heavy stones, and after eating some of the raw tenderloin we started for home. It was long after dark when we reached there, and I was glad to find Sam's tupic already up, with his old father and young mother, and my blankets and a little package of salt, which I had missed very much while eating so much raw meat.

The next day we broke camp at an early hour, and moved bag, and baggage, to the place where "Alex Taylor" had shot the deer the preceding afternoon. Notwithstanding my sore feet and tired limbs, I took a load on my shoulders out of sheer shame, for without that I would have been the only one, old or young, biped or quadruped, without something, so I made a martyr of myself. Just after leaving the spot where "Alex" and I had cached the skins yesterday afternoon, "Sam" dropped his burden from his shoulders, grasped his rifle, and, with the single word "tuk-too," started over the country on a run. Three others joined him, and the rest of us kept on until we reached the lake, where our new camp was to be located. The tents were soon put up, and the boys started off to carry in the two carcasses that "Alex" had shot and buried under stones. Presently the hunters who went off with "Sam" came back, saying they had seen nothing, and later "Sam" came in with the skin of a big buck which he had shot. He is quite young, but one of the best and most indefatigable hunters in the tribe.

I went out in the morning with "Sam" and "Roxy" to find some deer. After some wanderings, in which "Sam" got separated from us, and after several unsuccessful shots at the game, "Roxy" and I returned, I being too weary and footsore to find much interest in the sport, especially as it began to rain and was bitter cold. In fact, the first new ice I have seen this summer was around the shores of the lake that morning, and I had to break it when I went down to bathe. On our way home we passed, on the top of a high, barren hill, a cairn, which "Roxy" at once said had been built by the Kinnepatoos, a tribe which formerly occupied these lands, and the boys soon threw aside the stones to find the dried-up skeleton of a deer killed many years ago. "Sam" did not get back until dark, but he brought with him the skin of an isaacer that he had killed since he left us.

That night I proposed to "Sam" to bring me down to our tent at the salt water, and though I could see that he did not relish leaving the good hunting-grounds just as he had reached them, he consented, and finally seemed delighted when I promised him an old pair of pantaloons for his trouble. "Alex Taylor" also came to the tupic and said he would accompany us, and this made the prospect more cheerful, as I knew it would be at least two days' hard travelling. During the night we were visited by a severe thunder-storm, which frightened my tent-mates because unused to it, and they lighted an ikomer to take the sharp edge off the lightning; but I slept on peacefully while "Old Molasses" held a stick so that the shadow kept the light of the lamp from my eyes. It stopped raining toward morning, but it was still chilly and damp when we started, shortly after daylight, on our long journey.

"Sam" and "Alex" again got separated from us in pursuit of deer, and I became so chilly that we gave up waiting for them to rejoin us, and moved on. At last we could see Picciulok, as the natives call Depot Island, but it was at a considerable distance, and it was getting late. The sun was then below the horizon, and we hastened along to get sight of some familiar ground; but, alas! at every hill-top Picciulok seemed as far, if not farther off, and finally we could not see it all, it was so dark. My guides knew they were lost, and wanted to lie down until morning, but I kept them up, for I could see the stars and could keep the right course; but the walking was terrible. My feet were now so sensitive that I could feel every sharp stone through the soles of my kummings, and the stony portages between the lakes and over the little indentations of the coast seemed to increase in number all the time. It was so dark that I could not see where to step, and my feet would slip down and wedge in the angle between the sharp stones, or the point of a rock would come right in the hollow of my foot, until I stumbled and floundered and almost screamed with pain. And yet no familiar landmarks. I began to despair, or rather to doubt my physical ability to proceed, when the sharp-eyed Netchuk called my attention to the light from a tupic at a considerable distance, and a little to our right. This was indeed refreshing, so we kept on as well as we could, though we often fell, and I staggering with a strained cord in one foot and the skin worn off the sole of the other. But there were the lights ahead, and we kept right straight for them, though no matter how far we walked they seemed just the same distance off. It was certainly discouraging, and I could not help thinking of the will-o'-the-wisp, and wondering if the phenomenon was ever seen in the Arctic. I could not remember any instance in my reading, and determined to reach that light or perish in the effort. At last it did seem nearer. We could make out the shapes of the tents, and finally we could hear dogs barking and snarling, and before long we were there. We found the lights in the tupics that were occupied by the old folks left behind at Camp Daly by the hunters, and found "Alex Taylor," "Sam," and the boy had just got in; so, after learning that "Alex" had killed two deer with my gun, "Sam" and Koumania and I went up to our own tent, which was dark.

These were our diversions. Our business was to inquire into the truth of Captain Barry's story. Pursuing our investigation through the next three months, we learned that there had never been other than three families of Natchillis living with the Iwillik Esquimaux. One of those, the native who had died in the preceding winter, was an aged paralytic called "Monkey," whose tongue was so affected that even his own people could scarcely understand him. The second was Natchilli Joe, known to his own people as Ekeeseek, who was a child in his mother's hood at the time when he lived on King William Land, and only knew the story of the Franklin expedition from hearsay. The third, Nu-tar-ge-ark, a man of about forty-five or fifty years of age, gave us valuable information. His father, many years ago, opened a cairn on the northern shore of Washington Bay, in King William Land, and took from it a tin box containing a piece of paper with some writing on it. Not far from this same spot were the ruins of a cairn which had been built by white men and torn down by Inuits. The cairn had been built upon a large flat stone, which had the appearance of having been dragged to its present location from a stony point near by. The cairn itself was found to be empty, but it was generally believed by the Inuits that there was something buried beneath this stone. It was very heavy, and as they had only been there in parties of two or three at a time, they had never been able to overturn the stone, though they had repeatedly tried. Nutargeark also said he had brought a spoon with him from King William Land, which corresponded in description with the one Barry took to the United States. He said it was given to him by some of his tribe, and that it had come from one of the boat places, or where skeletons had been found on King William Land or Adelaide Peninsula, he could not remember exactly where. He had not given the spoon to Captain Barry, but to the wife of Sinuksook, an Iwillik Esquimau, who afterward gave it to a Captain Potter. We saw Sinuksook's wife a little later, and she distinctly remembered having given the spoon to Captain Potter. It was necessary, therefore, to find this officer.

During the first week in January, 1879, we learned that he was wintering at Marble Island, being now second in command on the whaler 'Abbie Bradford'. So Henry Klutschak and I made our way to Marble Island, with the first sled that had crossed from the main-land, being eight days on the road from Depot Island. We had reason to believe that Captain Barry and the 'Eothen' would also be at our destination, and that we could there replenish our stores. The trip was uneventful, except that when four days out I ran out of food through sharing my hard bread and pork with the natives, of whom there were twelve on my sled. They had plenty of tepee walrus meat, which was good food for them, but which I could not at that time eat. So for four days I had not a mouthful to eat, though I walked and ran nearly the whole distance travelled. I did not experience much inconvenience from weakness until the last day, which was that on which we came across the ice from Little Rabbit Island. When nearly half-way over, and moving rapidly over the new ice, the sled on which I was seated broke through, and all its occupants were precipitated into the water. The front part of the sled still hung by the ice, which bent beneath its weight. When I was struggling to get out the ice kept breaking off in huge cakes, and my clothing getting heavier and heavier all the time, I began to think that I would not be able to save myself; but at last I succeeded in rolling out upon the hard ice, and turning around to see if my help was needed in rescuing the women and children, found them already safely landed on the floe. The thermometer ranging thirty-eight degrees below zero, we were not long standing in the wind before our clothes were frozen stiff, so that it was almost impossible to bend a limb.

We succeeded in getting the sled out again, and started once more for Marble Island. I went ahead to pick out a route for the sled, and again the treacherous ice gave way under me, and I sank below the surface. It was with great difficulty that I regained the firm ice, and by this time my clothing was so heavy and stiff that I had to take off my outside tocklings, or trousers, in order to walk at all. It was now about ten o'clock in the morning, and in half an hour we reached about two miles distant from the island, but only to find an impassable channel of open water from a quarter to half a mile wide. We could see some one walking upon the shore of the island, but could hold no conversation with him. The natives who were with me said that when the tide turned perhaps the channel might close, and they proposed to wait; but in the meantime I was afraid I might freeze to death unless I kept moving. In the course of a few hours, during which I found out that I could not get back to Rabbit Island before dark, I became so faint for the want of food that I had to get some tepee walrus from the natives, and I ate it with a keen appetite. It did not taste as badly as I anticipated, so I ate a quantity, including some pieces of hide, about three quarters of an inch thick, which was cut into small pieces and looked like cheese. After eating several pieces I thought I would bite off the outside rind, which, on closer examination, I noticed to be the short stiff hair of the animal which I had been eating. Presently I began to feel warm all over my body, despite my frozen clothing - a condition attributable partly to the peculiar qualities of frozen food, and partly perhaps to the rasping in my interior, produced by the stiff walrus hair that I had eaten. It was now nearly dark, but we could see that the ice-floes were coming together, and crunching up a pudge of soft ice between them. At last the men started out over this pudge, stepping quickly from one piece of moving ice to another, until at last we reached firm footing again, though only by the exercise of considerable agility and looking sharply to where you went. It was a great relief to be again upon the shore; but we were still a considerable distance from the ships, and the Inuits proposed to lie down on the snow until daylight, as they could not see and did not know the route. I was afraid to stop moving, and proposed to keep walking in the direction of the harbor. All who came ashore, therefore, started with us; but the road at last became so difficult that I felt it necessary to rest quite often, wearied as I already was by previous hardships.

The route chosen by our guide was to follow the shore ice around until the harbor was reached. This was a very circuitous and dangerous road, as in the darkness one would frequently pitch headlong over a steep precipice upon the snow beneath. My trousers were so stiff that I could not bend my knee or lift my foot high enough to clear ordinary impediments, and I fell very often. It was fortunate for me that I never fell upon the shore ice beneath the cliff, for in many places it was very deep, and I could not see where I trod. When I commenced falling I never knew where I would alight, though I usually brought up in some friendly snow-drift. At last all the Inuits grew so impatient to reach the ships that they left Henry and me to find our way as best we could, and pushed on as rapidly as their better vision and greater familiarity with the country would permit. In half an hour from the time they left us they had reached the harbor; but with their accustomed indifference to the comfort of others they failed to say that two "kodlunars" (white men) were still out upon the island - one of them too weak and frozen to keep up with them. As soon as the officers learned the fact from them, Captain Barry despatched "Domino," one of the natives with his ship, to find us and bring us to the vessel. We saw a lantern which he carried, and, coming down from the cliff upon the smooth ice, were overjoyed to find ourselves in the harbor and but a few hundred yards from the ships. We shouted at the top of our voices, and "Domino" ran at once to us. I never was so glad to see any one in my life, for I felt that the terrible ordeal through which I had passed was at an end. We were soon in the warm cabin of the 'Eothen', where my frozen garments were removed and warm, dry "kodlunar" clothing substituted. Were it not for the previous training we had undergone in igloo life, I could not have survived the hardships of that day. As it was, I felt very little inconvenience, except from a severe cold, which always follows a change such as moving from an igloo into the heated air on shipboard. My appetite was enormous, and it seemed as if I could not eat enough of the generous fare of our hosts. I soon regained my usual robust health, and gained flesh at the rate of a pound a day for three weeks.

In the harbor, besides the 'Eothen', and the 'Abbie Bradford', the latter commanded by Captain Fisher, we found the 'Abbott Lawrence', Captain Mozier, and the 'Isabella', Captain Garvin, all except the 'Eothen' being from New Bedford. The ships were all comfortably housed with boards, and so banked up with snow that ordinary coal fires made them uncomfortably warm. It was painful to see, however, that scurvy had broken out in the fleet, and each vessel has had an average of half a dozen cases during our stay with them. They had more than the usual amount of fresh meat at this season, and it was difficult to account for the unusually large percentage of scurvy, unless Captain Fisher's theory were the correct one. He attributed it to the unusual severity of the fall and early winter-season, which, he said, was unprecedented in his experience of over fourteen years in these waters. The ships were driven into winter quarters nearly a month previous to the usual time by a succession of gales and heavy weather, which occasioned the loss of one vessel of the fleet - the brig 'A. J. Ross' of New Bedford, Captain Sinclair, which went ashore near Cape Kendall, on the eastern coast of Rowe's Welcome during the latter part of August. Though scurvy had been so prevalent it had not been so severe as usual, and as yet the graveyard on "Deadmen's Island," on the outer harbor, had received no accession from the crews. The successful treatment of the disease seems to be to compel the patient to eat abundantly of raw walrus or seal meat, and to take moderate exercise, at first under shelter and then in the open air.

The officers of the vessels treated us with the most unbounded generosity, and readily placed at our disposal whatever they could spare that we required. The wreck of the 'A. J. Ross' had thrown the care of another crew upon them, and yet they could find plenty to add to the comfort of those who have another season in this climate and a long and severe journey before them. Captain Sinclair, though himself so great a sufferer by the loss of a vessel in which nearly his whole means were invested, had been a large contributor toward the search party. They expected to be frozen in here till about the 1st of June, when they could saw a channel through the ice to the clear water beyond Deadmen's Island. Marble Island has been the winter quarters of whaling vessels for many years, though not altogether a safe harbor. In the winter of 1872 two vessels were wrecked here, the 'Ansel Gibbs' and the 'Oray Taft'. The hulk of the latter still lay upon the shore of the inner harbor, but the 'Ansel Gibbs' broke up outside and had long since gone to pieces. The graves of a number of their crews are in the graveyard by the sea. Upon the bald face of a rock near the outside harbor is a list of names written in red paint nearly a century ago; but whether a visitor's list or a gigantic tombstone to record those who perished here long ago by shipwreck is unknown. Upon the north-east end of the island, partly hidden by moss, is a quantity of soft coal, which was probably left here by one of the early Arctic explorers.

The loss of so many vessels in these waters is chiefly attributable to the imperfections in the admiralty charts. The coast line is altogether wrong, and Marble Island is laid down several degrees west of its actual position. Lieutenant Schwatka and Henry Klutschak made careful surveys from Cape Fullerton to the island, and made a chart which has already proved useful to the whalers.

But our more immediate business was with Captain Potter. I asked him if he remembered Captain Barry's getting a Franklin spoon while with him on the 'Glacier', and he said he had never heard anything about it until he read in the newspapers that Barry had sent one to Sir John Franklin's niece, Miss Craycroft, which surprised him very much. He further said that he (Potter) had received three spoons at that time, one of which mysteriously disappeared shortly afterward. The published description of Barry's spoon corresponded exactly with the one he had lost, even to its being broken off near the bowl and mended with copper, as was the one he had received from Sinuksook's wife. Captain Potter further said, that to one who had lived with the Esquimaux, and acquired the pigeon English they use in communicating with the whalers in Hudson's Bay, and contrasted it with the language they use in conversation with each other, the assertion of Captain Barry, that he overheard them talking about books and understood them, was supremely ridiculous. There is probably no white man in the Arctic, or who ever visited it, that would understand them under such circumstances unless it be one or two in Cumberland, who have lived with them for fifteen or twenty years.

In this crucible of fact the famous spoon melted. So far as Captain Barry and his clews were concerned, we had come on a fool's errand.