View topic - UNFLINCHING P. G. DOWNES' ANNOTATED COPY

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PostPosted: January 7th, 2020, 1:21 pm 
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Alan
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Maybe the word barely should be inserted before survived in the above statement.


A quote from Jim Cooley on pg 314 of Walley's book is appropriate here "Jack Hornby could go Further on a diet of snow, air and scenery, than a Lizzie can go on 20 gallons of gas."

I will research and marinate on some of your other thoughts. My insomniac nights thank you.

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I also don't recall very many, if any, people who were willing to spend a second winter depending on Hornby.


Hornby was a " hard traveler".


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PostPosted: January 7th, 2020, 2:37 pm 
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I'd play along more but I don't have internet at home (where my books are) so I can only respond when I have a free moment at work and have to go off memory, which isn't always accurate.

I do remember a quote from Walley's book about Hornby's winter with Bullock. Something to the effect of "Bullock has the distinction of being the only person to spend a winter in Hornby's care and live to tell about it."

I thought the quote was funny but a little unfair. There might have been hardships but I don't recall anyone (other that Christian and Adlard) who died when traveling with Hornby. The quote made it sound like he left behind a trail of bodies.

Alan


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PostPosted: January 7th, 2020, 2:41 pm 
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The other day I was looking at some maps of northern Ontario and was surprised to find three lakes, close together, with the names: Critchell, Bullock, and Hornby.

It's got me scratching my head how they got those names. Did Bullock spend time in that area? I'm not aware that Hornby did.

Alan


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2020, 6:33 am 
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James Critchell-Bullock -one person


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2020, 9:16 am 
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david demello wrote:
James Critchell-Bullock -one person


Well that would be a heck of a mouthful for a lake name. And lord knows there are enough lakes in Northern Ontario so I guess they thought it would be easier to split the name up. I didn't look to see if there was as James lake nearby.

Alan


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2020, 4:16 pm 
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Alan said: ""Bullock has the distinction of being the only person to spend a winter in Hornby's care and live to tell about it."

Father Rouviere spent the winter with Hornby Pg. 66 Whalley's book. Spent many a day playing bridge, chess, talking at Douglas' more commodiously appointed abode. Hornby's arrangements were not enthusiastically described by Douglas. Hornby's chess playing was described as brilliant.


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2020, 4:50 pm 
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david demello wrote:
Father Rouviere spent the winter with Hornby Pg. 66 Whalley's book. Spent many a day playing bridge, chess, talking at Douglas' more commodiously appointed abode.


Rouviere did cross my mind but I don't know if you'd call what he did traveling under Hornby's care. I believe they had separate cabins and while they traveled together at times they weren't necessarily linked (if I remember correctly). Hornby certainly was a help to him though.

And Rouvier didn't make it out alive, though that certainly wasn't Hornby's fault. If Whalley was including him in the previous quote then he certainly shouldn't have.

Quote:
Hornby's chess playing was described as brilliant.


I'm currently reading Lands Forlorn and the quote I remember from last night's reading was something along the lines of: "Rouvier's chess game was even worse than Hornby's"

Alan


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2020, 9:57 pm 
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Alan: "Rouviere did cross my mind but I don't know if you'd call what he did traveling under Hornby's care. I believe they had separate cabins and while they traveled together at times they weren't necessarily linked (if I remember correctly). Hornby certainly was a help to him though."

Rouviere was holed up in Hornby's cabin for 5 months about 6 miles from the Douglas brothers.

Alan: "And Rouvier didn't make it out alive, though that certainly wasn't Hornby's fault"
Alan said: "Bullock has the distinction of being the only person to spend a winter in Hornby's care and live to tell about it."" Hornby brought home the boocon.

clarifying quote pg 66 Walley "By the middle of November all were settled in in their winter houses near the ruins of Fort Confidence: Hornby and Rouviere in the Melvill-Hornby house near the ruins of Fort Confidence, the Douglas party in a new house built by Lion on Hodgson's Point, about six miles away."


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PostPosted: January 10th, 2020, 6:29 am 
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Actually, Alan Gage, I am of the opinion the John Hornby did nothing wrong. The right to choose presumes the the possibility of error and the responsibility of the error belongs to the individual, informed or otherwise. We are condemned to freedom.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.” Jean-Paul Sartre.

The "meaning" that each gave to each of their lives is well described in "Unflinching" It is interesting that Downes never annotated the body of Edgar Christian diary, save a small correction on page 53, in which the word "murderous" should have be "numerous" and was considered a "copying" error.


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PostPosted: January 10th, 2020, 11:22 am 
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Quote:
I am of the opinion the John Hornby did nothing wrong. The right to choose presumes the the possibility of error and the responsibility of the error belongs to the individual, informed or otherwise. We are condemned to freedom.


For the most part I agree. He certainly can't be criticized in his interactions with Adlard and Christian or in his conduct over the winter.

I do however feel his decision to winter where he did was selfish and that for personal reasons he might have been blind to the dangers. He was wrestling with personal demons of his own and did not seem to be in a good place. He didn't have inner peace and seemed to hope he'd find alone on the barrens over the winter. And maybe he did.

The fault I find with Hornby is simply clouded judgement. Yes, Christian and Adlard were big boys who could make their own decisions and certainly sitting at home in perfect safety and comfort is not necessarily a good way to live your life. But they were Hornby's responsibility and when you're in that position it's their best interests you need to look after, not your own.

It should have been clear to him early on they were in serious trouble. They arrived late in the season without a large food supply of their own and failed to secure caribou for the winter. They should have pulled out while they still had a chance and wintered at Fort Reliance. It certainly wouldn't have been a large disappointment to Adlard and Christian, to whom anything that winter would have been a new experience; but to Hornby I imagine it would have been quite a defeat. Is that why they stayed on?

Since Hornby left no record of his thoughts we don't know the reasoning for staying rather than fleeing. Maybe there were good reasons why it would have been impossible to pull out in the early winter.

Alan


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PostPosted: January 10th, 2020, 3:14 pm 
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Alan Gage: "I do however feel his decision to winter where he did was selfish and that for personal reasons he might have been blind to the dangers. He was wrestling with personal demons of his own and did not seem to be in a good place. He didn't have inner peace and seemed to hope he'd find alone on the barrens over the winter. And maybe he did."

Sorry Alan equivocating does not make a strong argument. And it does not not nullify individual "condemned to be free"Perfect knowledge and perfect judgement is not a requisite for "condemned to be free". It is with imperfect knowledge and "clouded judgement" that we act.


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PostPosted: February 16th, 2020, 11:38 am 
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Pg 112 of Malcom Waldron's "Snow Man": "There came back to him (BullocK) Hornby's words that night they planned the Barren Lands trip together. 'Not many men know how to starve properly, but I think you can be taught,' Hornby had said, 'The greatest temptation is to go to sleep.'

If Downes had analyzed the text of the diary, that Horny quote may not have been explicitly stated, but it would have been understood. In that, one could argue that P.G. Downes' missed the meaning of "Unflinching"


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PostPosted: March 1st, 2020, 12:09 pm 
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I see Hornby is still good for a thread or two. Why not! Some of us may ask themselves how much Hornby, Bullock, Downes or Douglas… is in us?

Since I was dealing lately with material Bullock left behind I may be able to comment on a few things mentioned in this thread.

Ingstad and the Land of Feast and Famine: My guess is that Bullock was the culprit disclosing this unique title:
For those who have wondered how the famous book title The Land of Feast and Famine (attributed to John Hornby) may found its way into Helge Ingstad's famous book, it might be interesting to learn from a letter Bullock sent to Stefansson on January 31, 1933 that: “He [Knopf] then goes on to say that you [Stefansson] found the title Hunters of the North confusing with your [Stefansson’s] Hunters of the Great North. He [Knopf] writes, ‘We had a devil of a time thinking of a title. Have you any bright ideas?’ So I forthwith mailed off a dozen or fifteen.”

Cave location for Hornby and Bullock: Very likely the eastern end of the esker:
Eventually a site was chosen at a distance of several miles in a north-easterly direction from the first house. Camp Number 2, therefore, was established in another “sprucery” on the crest of a hill overlooking a stretch of Casba River.

Lake names in Ontario: I doubt that this has to do with Critchell Bullock. Hornby may be. To my knowledge Bullock’s name got only on the map in the form of Critchell-Bullock Arm:
In 1939, officials named an area of Smart Lake (NWT) "Critchell Bullock Arm" (63°26'13.6" N 106°59'51.2" W). A passage Hornby and Bullock traversed on their way to Chesterfield Inlet.

Source: https://www.amazon.com/dp/107137897X/re ... 86&sr=8-1/

Carsten

PS: Hornby’s diaries (from around 1920/21) do exist (in England). But Hornby wasn't a good author. Most of the time he was describing his luck (or better lack of it) on his quest to stay alive. But – he came up with that stellar title. No doubt and he deserves credit for that.

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PostPosted: March 2nd, 2020, 5:57 pm 
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Thanks for the interesting information.

As for the lake names in Ontario it could be coincidence, and maybe we'll never know, but having three lakes, nearly side by side, named Bullock, Critchell, and Hornby seems quite a coincidence. Perhaps a mutual acquaintance of them gave the names or just someone who was interested in their story? Doesn't seem that either of them had a history in that area.

Critchell Lake is at 52°21'45.7"N 93°48'23.7"W

Hornby Lake is a larger lake a few miles east and Bullock Lake is just NW of Hornby.

May I ask what you were doing with Bullock's material?

Alan


Last edited by Alan Gage on March 3rd, 2020, 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 3rd, 2020, 3:06 am 
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Alan,
I agree; all the names next to each other - that's not a coincidence anymore. Interesting, to say the least. May be someone in the naming department paying a tribute to them.

Bullock’s legacy? I happened to “run” into it and decided to publish a book around it:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/107137897X/re ... 86&sr=8-1/
Carsten

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