Yet the Eskimos, many of them ridden with tuberculosis and all of them hungry, are a happy lot. As we were packing, a group of them came to the tent carrying sealskins rough-tanned with urine. We had several boxes of pilot biscuits, two five-pound tins of tea and some candy and cigarettes. After considerable haggling, the Eskimos offered four sealskins. Three of them were soft and shiny but the fourth one—on the bottom of the pile—was stained and torn. Dipstick, looking stern, said: "No good for white man." The Eskimos dissolved in laughter. Another good skin was quickly produced. The Eskimos were still giggling as we took off.
The rest of the trip back to Yellow-knife was uneventful. We did run into fog and gale winds as we approached Cambridge Bay. Visibility was zero and there was a 625-foot radio tower somewhere below. But old Not to Worry casually headed out to sea, gradually losing altitude, until he could see the water before making the final approach.
Sadly, sportsmen planning a char fishing expedition in the future will not be able to fly with Dipstick, for he has left the Arctic to conquer new worlds with Air Canada. But don't put him completely out of mind. You may be flying across Canada one day when the plane hits an air pocket and sickeningly dips. As you settle back uneasily in the seat, you will hear Dipstick. His voice will come booming through the intercom: "Just a bit of turbulence, folks, but not to worry. Olson is here."