All the inhabitants of the settlement were in the streets to meet us when we returned; but we were disappointed not to see among them the faces of Macrae and Arnold. Many bands of Chukchis from the lower Anadyr had arrived at the village, but nothing had been heard of the missing men. Forty-five days had now elapsed since they left their camp on the river, and, unless they had died or been murdered, they ought long since to have arrived. I should have sent a party in search of them, but I had not the slightest clue to the direction in which they had gone, or the intentions of the party that had carried them away; and to look for a band of Wandering Chukchis on those great steppes was as hopeless as to look for a missing vessel in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and far more dangerous. We could only wait, therefore, and hope for the best. We spent the first week after our return in resting, writing up our journals, and preparing a report of our explorations, to be forwarded by special courier to the Major. During this time great numbers of wild, wandering natives - Chukchis, Lamutkis (la-moot'-kees) and a few Koraks - came into the settlement to exchange their furs and walrus teeth for tobacco, and gave us an excellent opportunity of studying their various characteristics and modes of life. The Wandering Chukchis, who visited us in the greatest numbers, were evidently the most powerful tribe in north-eastern Siberia, and impressed us very favourably with their general appearance and behaviour. Except for their dress, they could hardly have been distinguished from North American Indians - many of them being as tall, athletic, and vigorous specimens of savage manhood as I had ever seen. They did not differ in any essential particular from the Wandering Koraks, whose customs, religion, and mode of life I have already described.

The Lamutkis, however, were an entirely different race, and resembled the Chukchis only in their nomadic habits. All the natives in north-eastern Siberia, except the Kamchadals, Chuances, and Yukagirs, who are partially Russianised, may be referred to one or another of three great classes. The first of these, which may be called the North American Indian class, comprises the wandering and settled Chukchis and Koraks, and covers that part of Siberia lying between the 160th meridian of east longitude and Bering Strait. It is the only class which has ever made a successful stand against Russian invasion, and embraces without doubt the bravest, most independent savages in all Siberia. I do not think that this class numbers all together more than six or eight thousand souls, although the estimates of the Russians are much larger.

The second class comprises all the natives in eastern Siberia who are evidently and unmistakably of Mongolian origin, including the Tunguses, the Lamutkis, the Manchus, and the Gilyaks of the Amur River. It covers a greater extent of ground probably than both of the other classes together, its representatives being found as far west as the Yenesei, and as far east as Anadyrsk, in 169 deg. E. long. The only branches of this class that I have ever seen are the Lamutkis and the Tunguses. They are almost exactly alike, both being very slenderly built men, with straight black hair, dark olive complexions, no beards, and more or less oblique eyes. They do not resemble a Chukchi or a Korak any more than a Chinaman resembles a Comanche or a Sioux. Their dress is very peculiar. It consists of a fur hood, tight fur trousers, short deerskin boots, a Masonic apron, made of soft flexible buckskin and elaborately ornamented with beads and pieces of metal, and a singular-looking frock-coat cut in very civilised style out of deerskin, and ornamented with long strings of coloured reindeer hair made into chenille. You can never see one without having the impression that he is dressed in some kind of a regalia or uniform. The men and women resemble each other very much in dress and appearance, and by a stranger cannot be distinguished apart. Like the Chukchis and Koraks, they are reindeer nomads, but differ somewhat from the former in their mode of life. Their tents are smaller and differently constructed and instead of dragging their tent-poles from place to place as the Chukchis do, they leave them standing; when they break camp, and either cut new ones or avail themselves of frames left standing by other bands. Tent-poles in this way serve as landmarks, and a day's, journey is from one collection of frames to another. Few of the Tunguses or Lamutkis own many deer. Two or three hundred are considered to be a large herd, and a man who owns more than that is regarded as a sort of millionaire. Such herds as are found among the Koraks in northern Kamchatka, numbering from five to ten thousand, are never to be seen west of Gizhiga. The Tunguses, however, use their few deer to better advantage and in a greater variety of ways than do the Koraks. The latter seldom ride their deer or train them to carry packs, while the Tunguses do both. The Tunguses are of a mild, amiable disposition, easily governed and easily influenced, and seem to have made their way over so large an extent of country more through the sufferance of other tribes than through any aggressive power or disposition of their own. Their original religion was Shamanism, but they now profess almost universally the Greco-Russian faith and receive Christian names. They acknowledge also their subjection to the authority of the Tsar, and pay a regular annual tribute in furs. Nearly all the Siberian squirrelskins which reach the European market are bought by Russian traders from Wandering Tunguses around the Okhotsk Sea. When I left the settlement of Okhotsk, in the fall of 1867, there were more than seventy thousand squirrelskins there in the hands of one Russian merchant, and this was only a small part of the whole number caught by the Tunguses during that summer. The Lamutkis, who are first cousins to the Tunguses, are fewer in number, but live in precisely the same way. I never met more than three or four bands during two years of almost constant travel in all parts of north-eastern Siberia.

The third great class of natives is the Turkish. It comprises only the Yakuts (yah-koots') who are settled chiefly along the Lena River from its head-waters to the Arctic Ocean. Their origin is unknown, but their language is said to resemble the Turkish or modern Osmanli so closely that a Constantinopolitan of the lower class could converse fairly well with a Yakut from the Lena. I regret that I was not enough interested in comparative philology while in Siberia to compile a vocabulary and grammar of the Yakut language. I had excellent opportunities for doing so, but was not aware at that time of its close resemblance to the Turkish, and looked upon it only as an unintelligible jargon which proved nothing but the active participation of the Yakuts in the construction of the Tower of Babel. The bulk of this tribe is settled immediately around the Asiatic pole of cold, and they can unquestionably endure a lower temperature with less suffering than any other natives in Siberia. They are called by the Russian explorer Wrangell, "iron men," and well do they deserve the appellation. The thermometer at Yakutsk, where several thousands of them are settled, averages during the three winter months thirty-seven degrees below zero; but this intense cold does not seem to occasion them the slightest inconvenience. I have seen them in a temperature of - 40 deg., clad only in a shirt and one sheepskin coat, standing quietly in the street, talking and laughing as if it were a pleasant summer's day and they were enjoying the balmy air! They are the most thrifty, industrious natives in all northern Asia. It is a proverbial saying in Siberia, that if you take a Yakut, strip him naked, and set him down in the middle of a great desolate steppe, and then return to that spot at the expiration of a year, you will find him living in a large, comfortable house, surrounded by barns and haystacks, owning herds of horses and cattle, and enjoying himself like a patriarch. They have all been more or less civilised by Russian intercourse, and have adopted Russian manners and the religion of the Greek Church. Those settled along the Lena cultivate rye and hay, keep herds of Siberian horses and cattle, and live principally upon coarse black-bread, milk, butter, and horse-flesh. They are notorious gluttons. All are very skilful in the use of the "topor" or short Russian axe, and with that instrument alone will go into a primeval forest, cut down trees, hew out timber and planks, and put up a comfortable house, complete even to panelled doors and window-sashes. They are the only natives in all north-eastern Siberia who can do and are willing to do hard continuous work.

These three great classes, viz., American Indian natives, Mongolian natives, and Turko-Yakut natives, comprise all the aboriginal inhabitants of north-eastern Siberia except the Kamchadals, the Chuances, and the Yukagirs. [Footnote: There are a few Eskimo-like natives living in permanent habitations near Bering Strait, but we did not see them.] These last have been so modified by Russian influence, that it is hard to tell to which class they are most nearly allied, and the ethnologist will shortly be relieved from all further consideration of the problem by their inevitable extinction. The Chuances and Yukagirs have already become mere fragments of tribes, and their languages will perish with the present generation.

The natives of whom we saw most at Anadyrsk were, as I have already said, the Chukchis. They frequently called upon us in large parties, and afforded us a great deal of amusement by their naive and childlike comments upon Americans, American instruments, and the curious American things generally which we produced for their inspection. I shall never forget the utter astonishment with which a band of them once looked through my field-glass. I had been trying it one clear cold day out-of-doors, and quite a crowd of Chukchis and Yukagirs had gathered around me to see what I was doing. Observing their curiosity, I gave the glass to one of them and told him to look through it at another native who happened to be standing out on the plain, at a distance of perhaps a hundred yards. The expression of blank, half-incredulous surprise which gradually came over his features as he saw that native brought up, apparently within a few feet, was irresistibly comical. He did not dream for a moment that it was a mere optical illusion; he supposed that the wonderful instrument had actually transported the man physically from a distance of a hundred yards up to the place where he stood, and as he held the glass to his eyes with one hand, he stretched out the other to try to catch hold of him. Finding to his great astonishment that he could not, he removed the glass, and saw the man standing quietly as before, a hundred yards away. The idea then seemed to occur to him that if he could only get this mysterious instrument to his eyes quickly enough, he would surprise the man in the very act of coming up - catch him perhaps about half-way - and find out how it was done. He accordingly raised the glass toward his face very slowly (watching the man meanwhile intently, to see that he took no unfair advantage and did not start too soon) until it was within an inch of his eyes, and then looked through it suddenly. But it was of no use. The man was right beside him again, but how he came there he didn't know. Perhaps he could catch him if he made a sudden dash, and he tried it. This, however, was no more successful than his previous experiments, and the other natives looked at him in perfect amazement, wondering what he was trying to do with all these singular motions. He endeavoured to explain to them in great excitement that the man had been brought up apparently within arm's length, and yet he could not touch him. His comrades of course denied indignantly that the man had moved at all, and they engaged in a furious dispute as to whether this innocent and unconscious man had been anywhere near them or not. The native who maintained the affirmative appealed to me; but, convulsed with laughter, I could make no reply, and he started off at a run, to see the man and find out whether he had been brought up or not, and how it felt to be transported over a hundred yards of space in an instant of time! We who are familiar with these discoveries of science can hardly realise how they appear to a wholly uneducated savage; but if a superior race of beings should come from the planet Mars and show us a mysterious instrument which enabled a man to be in two different places at the same time, we should understand the sensations of a Chukchi in looking through a field-glass.

Soon after this I happened to be encamped one night on a great plain near Anadyrsk, with a party of these same natives; and having received a note from Dodd by a special messenger, I was engaged in reading it by the camp-fire. At several humorous passages I burst into a loud laugh; whereupon the natives nudged one another with their elbows and pointed significantly at me, as much as to say, "Just look at the crazy American! What's the matter with him now?" Finally one of them, an old grey-haired man, asked me what I was laughing at. "Why," said I, "I am laughing at this," and pointed to the piece of paper. The old man thought about it for a moment, compared notes with the others, and they all thought about it; but no one seemed to succeed in getting any light as to the cause of my incomprehensible laughter. In a few moments the old man picked up a half-burned stick which was lying by the fire and said: "Now suppose I should look at this stick for a minute and then laugh; what would you think?" "Why," said I candidly, "I should think you were a fool." "Well," he rejoined with grave satisfaction, "that's just exactly what I think of you!" He seemed to be very much pleased to find that our several opinions of such insane conduct so exactly coincided. Looking at a stick and laughing, and looking at a piece of paper and laughing, seemed to him equally absurd. The languages of the Chukchis and Koraks have never-been reduced to writing; nor, so far as I know, do either of those tribes ever attempt to express ideas by signs or pictures. Written thought is to many of them an impossible conception. It can be imagined, perhaps, with what wonder and baffled curiosity they pore over the illustrated newspapers which are occasionally given to them by the sailors of whaling vessels which visit the coast. Some of the pictures they recognise as representations of things with which they are acquainted; but by far the greater number are as incomprehensible as the hieroglyphics of the Aztecs. I remember that a Korak once brought to me an old tattered fashion-plate from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper containing three or four full-length figures of imaginary ladies, in the widest expansion of crinoline which fashion at that time prescribed. The poor Korak said he had often wondered what those curious objects could be; and now, as I was an American, perhaps I could tell him. He evidently had not the most remote suspicion that they were intended to represent human beings. I told him that those curious objects, as he called them, were American women. He burst out into a "tyee-e-e-e!" of amazement, and asked with a wondering look, "Are all the women in your country as big as that at the bottom?" It was a severe reflection upon our ladies' dress, and I did not venture to tell him that the bigness was artificial, but merely replied sadly that they were. He looked curiously down at my feet and then at the picture, and then again at my feet, as if he were trying to trace some resemblance between the American man and the American woman; but he failed to do it, and wisely concluded that they must be of widely different species.

The pictures from these papers are sometimes put to curious uses. In the hut of a Christianised but ignorant native near Anadyrsk, I once saw an engraved portrait, cut from Harper's Weekly, of Major General Dix, framed, hung up in a corner of the room and worshipped as a Russian saint! A gilded candle was burning before his smoky features, and every night and morning a dozen natives crossed themselves and said their prayers to a major-general in the United States Army! It is the only instance, I believe, on record, where a major-general has been raised to the dignity of a saint without even being dead. St. George of England, we are told, was originally a corrupt army contractor of Cappadocia, but he was not canonised until long after his death, when the memory of his contracts was no more. For Major-General Dix was reserved the peculiar privilege of being at the same time United States Minister in Paris and a saint in Siberia!