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small wooden sign or a stone bearing his name in plain letters, so that he may be easily reported in case of dereliction. But it was evident to us that few reports, if any, are ever sent in. Perhaps one of the best descriptions of Swedish roads is that they are "wavy," a condition we found very disagreeable, owing to the bouncing motion given to the tonneau, which was certainly an imposition upon the springs.
As we fared into the Northland there was a noticeable difference in the length of the days. In Sundsvall, which we reached in one day from Gefle, it was still dusk at midnight, although the sun had
precautionary measures of the trip had not really begun there. Knowing that the success of most expeditions depends as much upon careful preparation as upon moral "sand," we had given directions in Stockholm to have an extra supply of shoes and inner tubes shipped northward, and these we eventually picked up at Lulea, which we made in four days from Sundsvall, after many an adventure and mishap. It is difficult to be much of a stoic when a new spring-hanger does not fit and threatens a mechanical collapse; and we confess to a bad quarter of an hour when we caught sight of the pocket edition of the
stalled until, with the aid of some stout timbers and several willing natives, we were able to work the car out of the mire. After that the loss of forty-five minutes by taking the wrong road did not improve our tempers, already sorely tried by the seemingly interminable days of the North. But the climax was not yet. It came when we met a man leading a horse attached to a wagon in which was a cripple seated upon a sofa. The horse shied, and
of his original demand. It was only upon arriving at Umea at half-past ten that night. that we at last felt ourselves in anything like sanctuary, though not, however, without having to bend once more to fate by building our own bridge before we could cross a bad, open space in the road. Otherwise the roads had been from fair to good, and we had managed to cover 180 miles. There was another ferry in store for us Pitsund, and nine o'clock on Friday
morning, July 1, saw us at Lulea, with a watery crossing before us.
Our route now lay far to the east of the Swedish state railway to Gellivare. This line, over which runs the Lapland express, is the northernmost railroad in the world and traverses a monotonous forest-land in order to reach the iron-ore mountains of the district. There is much uninviting swamp and lake country hereabout, and farther to the north the conditions of transport are such that the region is left almost exclusively to the nomad Lapp and the government agent. Few travelers, indeed, have penetrated these inhospitable, untracked wastes.
We now bade farewell to the friendly shore of the Gulf of Bothnia as we set our faces toward Morjarv. From Stockholm had come the new tires and inner tubes, and these had lightened our hearts, because tires and inner tubes and gasolene were the only things which now counted.
After six hours on the road (it was then Friday, July 1), we accomplished about eighty miles, which ran through cultivated land and stretches of wooded country, and at eight o'clock in the evening we drew up at the wooden posting-station of Heden. Only thirty kilometers lay between us and the Arctic Circle! A long line of dark green marked the background of forest; the foreground was occupied by a primitive derrick well, which we welcomed as an old friend. There was no prodigality of comfort in the plain hostelry of this Northland region, but the clean beds and the simple fare were indeed wel
come to us. The good folk of the place were much interested and unquestionably curious about our adventuring.
When the morrow came, we arose wondering what the day would bring forth. We trusted it might be "gas," although we had been told that the only supply-station north of us was Malmberget. However, we started away hopefully at a quarter after eight, undaunted by the cloudy sky. We had been assured that the road was "all right all the way," but after nine miles it ended abruptly at a stream the bridge over which had broken down. There was nothing for us to do but to build another, so we gathered what we could of timber and native help, and in record time our bridge was built, and we fared across. Then came more trouble. There was an evident drop in the road beyond, and several men at work there held up their arms and gesticulated excitedly. We crept on, and found a fraillooking, temporary causeway which had to accommodate all traffic until the erection of a stone bridge was completed. The descent to the causeway was bad enough, but the ascent was through deep sand, with a gradient of twenty degrees. The rear wheels spun round ominously and sank deeper and deeper, but the sturdy workmen, recovered from their astonishment, came to our rescue, and the danger was passed.
In a few minutes we were due to cross the Arctic Circle and leave behind the native and more congenial atmosphere of the temperate zone. We looked out for some
official evidence of the circle. We appreciated that anything would serve-a blazed path, a cairn, or, maybe, a substantial boundary-line of metal, with polar bears rampant in high relief, set up by some enthusiastic arctic club. We began to fear that, without some such index to apprise us, we should cross the line without being aware. We argued that there must be, or at least should be, a fingerpost; for the Arctic Circle is a geographical possession of sufficient romance to make any nation proud to own a share of it and adequately to indicate that share. But there was nothing, and it was our odometer alone which told us when our rolling wheels had carried, us across the romantic line. We were disappointed with Sweden, and took our photographs of the crossing indifferently. We were not half so enthusiastic as we had expected to be. Did not Peary, by the way, take his famous picture of the pole with a sense of the utter commonplaceness of the scene?
Once across, we fell to musing about the beyond. Therein was something worth the while. We had come to the end of civilization-such civilization as, in that frigid region, the railroad alone had brought. But the road must soon endthe most northern road in Europe, perhaps in the whole world. Beyond it lay what? We gazed and wondered.
Two hours later we crossed into Lap land. Here at last was something for which nations have a wholesome respecta boundary-line. It was a well-defined, wide, sharp line cut through the forest, completely cleared of trees and underbrush, and as distinct as a cañon of our own West. Half an hour later we made a hasty, impromptu luncheon of ham and eggs at the Lapp village of Schroeven. We were now nearly a hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, and our destination, Gellivare, was almost in sight. Our road was rough and deserted and much in need of repair. The houses along the way were scarcely less than twenty miles apart, and between. these habitations the single electric wire which ran above us was the sole reminder of civilization.
And so at last we came to Gellivare. The telephone, the modern tocsin of these strange Northern people, had given notice of our coming, and the entire town seemed drawn up outside the hotel as we sprang
from our car almost into the arms of our beaming host. The natives pressed about us as we alighted, and, as a kind of sop to their curiosity, we photographed the car and them. It was amusing to see them posing and "looking pleasant" as they awaited the snap of the shutter. There were bicycles and all other kinds of conveyances gathered about, for some had evidently ridden far to see "the lions of the hour." That night, just as midnight was striking, we took several more pictures, the old Lapp chapel and its graveyard standing out sharply in the light, which was that of our late afternoon.
On the following day we decided to run a few kilometers farther north to the mines of Malmberget, which for many generations has proved a lodestone to those desiring to make a home in this otherwise desolate region. Our route through the town was a veritable via triumphalis, the inhabitants lining the wayside in their Sunday clothes, waving handkerchiefs, aprons, and caps, and giving us many a hearty cheer. It made us curious to know in just what fashion we had been described to these folk of the mining town by the telephone operator at Gellivare. It must have been glowing, to say the least of it.
On arriving at the mines, we met the manager, and were delighted to find in him a sort of English-speaking compatriot. He had been in America more than four years, and, in his view, "nothing was too good for an American." We needed gasolene, and an abundance of it was placed at our disposal. When we mentioned payment, we were met with a prompt, "No, siree!" The only thing that would please our good-natured host was for us to help ourselves. And we accepted it-200 precious liters, be it known-with a gratitude that we did not attempt to conceal. A profusion of gasolene so far north was easily explained. It was used to operate a twenty-five horse-power truck that was in daily service at the mines. It is probably the only car in use beyond the Arctic Circle, and we were told that it was chiefly employed in conveying tools to the workings.
We estimated the population of Malmberget at about seven thousand. The town presented something of an American appearance, with its churches, schools, banks, and stores, and in many instances the origi