I also saw an RCMP special constable there. The RCMP came from Coppermine, doing their patrol, and they said a plane was arriving. I went down to see the “G” Division superintendent. His name was Henry Larsen. He was the most famous man in the North at that time.
He crossed the Arctic on the St. Roch?
Yes. He crossed the Northwest Passage. I remember my father used to see him when he’d go to the ship. He came in a plane, a Norseman, together with Alex Stevenson who was the Arctic administrator with the Hudson’s Bay Company and had been to the war, and he came back to the Arctic. He spoke Inuktitut pretty well, both of them did. There was also a pilot and his mechanic. I looked, and the plane was empty. I said, “Gee! I’d better try to get out of here!” I talked to them, and I gave them a sad story. I said, “I had tough luck this winter and didn’t get too many foxes. I’m handicapped, and I want to go back to the Delta.” They were going to Aklavik. Henry said, “Come on!” I had half an hour, no, an hour to sell everything I had. I sold my four dogs, my toboggan, rifle and my muskrat parka. That’s all I had anyway, and I took off! I got about thirty foxes out of that deal, which was good. They had a lot of foxes anyway. They wanted to buy my toboggan and my rifle. I really missed my dogs, but I had to go! I just had my sleeping bag and my foxes with me. When we took off from Holman, it was foggy. When we got out there, the pilot saw three polar bears around a seal hole. He circled and got close enough to take a picture of it.
I was looking out the window when all of a sudden we started circling around again. I heard something about some construction going on. I didn’t know what it was! I looked down and there was Cape Parry! We landed on the sea ice. There was a long airstrip with cats going back and forth.2 I saw three planes there on the ice. That same fall when I had passed there, there was nothing! So I asked, “What’s going on? Is it an invasion or what? What is it all about?” I met one of my dear cousins working there, Edward Ruben, who lived in Paulatuk. They called it Pin One. That was the official designation. We stayed there overnight, and the next day they asked me, “Do you want to go to Aklavik?” I also met my old school superintendent from the Anglican school. He had also been a wildlife officer, and he was now the liaison officer for the DEW line employees.3 Mr. Boxer was his name, Albert Boxer. He right away asked me how the trapping was. I talked to my cousin Edward Ruben; he’s still alive, he must be in his eighties now, and he said that they were building this DEW line all across Alaska, Canada and Greenland. This just happened to be Pin One. The other sector was Bar sector, and there were planes coming in and going out all the time. People were busy with cats and trucks. The place was buzzing!