By Richard J. Diubaldo
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Years later, in 1912, while on his return south from his second arctic expedition, an older (age thirty-two) and wiser Stefansson confided to his diary that he still had failed to find happiness and truth from his work. That May evening, Stefansson sat down and summed up his hapless plight: One reason for keeping one's emotions out of his journal is that anyone with imagination can guess what they are. They need only set before them a dreamer thrown among the hardest realities of our earth, one who longs for sympathy placed among people not unsympathetic but as incapable of seeing the things that he sees as we are of seeing ultra violet light.
9 Accordingly, upon the advice of Putnam, Stefansson insisted that he should go overland to Herschel Island, the American whaling station west of the Mackenzie delta, to conduct certain other projects and commitments of his own. Besides, Stefansson claimed that he did not relish the uncertainty of a sea voyage to the area in question, an attitude that Mikkelsen and Leffingwell were bound to resent. But it was made plain to them that Stefansson's employment was conditional on this, and time was running out.
Stefansson's arctic initiation was over. He now set out to organize another expedition that would be fully his own—to claim his "gold mine" on Victoria Land and to make a name for himself. The fall and winter of 1907 was a period of incubation while plans for his expedition were being crystallized. It was also a time for establishing valuable personal contacts amongst prospective backers and influential individuals in scientific organizations in New York City. Stefansson's ideas were clarified by his articles in Harper's and particularly by such scientific articles as "The Suitability of Eskimo Methods of Winter Travel in Scientific Exploration," published in the Bulletin of the 33 34 CHAPTER THREE American Geographical Society in February 1908.