A Radiant Halo

Page twenty-two transcript

[Perhaps] bag or socks have absorbed body moisture. It’s a great stunt washing in ice water and thawing out the toothbrush against your teeth. The only difficulty is that the towel is freezing stiff. Perhaps I must give up this superfluous custom as I did last summer.

The natives are still resisting the use of mittens even tho the snow is creaking with frost under foot. They seem to have hardened their hands as we have our faces. It seems strange, but I have covered my ears only once.

The Aurora. The Aurora returned last night after long absence and in spectacular form. The church, itself filling the sky on its high rock, and the tall house of the Governor were the centers of display. I stood on the hay at the window of the old church and ceased going to bed.

First, a crown of double band

Page twenty-three transcript

surmounted by short diverging rays rested above the town, -- Heaven’s promise of victory some ancient chieftan [sic] would have said. Then, a radiant halo filled the sky behind the Governor’s house suggesting some distant burning city, and radiating plumes darted upward from the neighboring church, setting out its solid body and massive belfry in black against the sky. Finally, loops and festoons of spectral halo filled the nearby sky for a time as if hesitating to create too sudden a finale, while a white flush continued its lingering in the southern heavens.

It was thruout [sic] a symphony in grey. Only once was there a slight grace note of color.

Governor Bistrup says that the weather will now grow warmer That auroras in the [south are harbingers of southern winds.]

Greenland expedition diaries: volume 4, James Edward Church Papers, NC96_13_4_2, p. 32-33.