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at least 60 days for the advance, in case that many are needed to attain our goal.  An equal number would remain for the return, counting only upon our known resources, as the last of the dogs, can if necessary, be converted into food for the men.  It is an axiom that the return in sledge journeying is made more rapidly than the advance, because of the diminution of the loads to be carried.
We shall have the advantage of discovering, on our outward trip, just how far the land extends, so that on the return we shall have definite knowledge of its whereabouts and characteristics.  We shall also have the advantage of elasticity, in that dogs may be converted into food slowly or rapidly, according as the state of the ice and the probable length of our journey may indicate.
Our course from Cape Fligely will be a little east of north, as there is some slight westerly drift in the sea here, as discovered by the Fram's voyage.  This drift, as observed by the Fram and also by Nansen after leaving the ship, is very slow, amounting to no more than half mile per day net.  There are greater temporary movements of the ice, due to winds, but these do not cut any figure.
There is no evidence of any considerable southerly drift.  Nansen, just before turning back at 86, thought he was drifting south.  A few days later, while on his return, he thought he was drifting south.  He may have drifted in both directions to some little extent, but the movement, if any, was probably due to wind and not to steady current.  It appears Nansen had overestimated his days' marches by dead reckoning, and employed the theory of the adverse drift both coming and going in order to harmonize his reckoning with his observations.
If there is any considerable southerly drift in this part of the ocean it occurs, most probably in summer, when we shall (in case of delay beyond our program) be on our return, and when the drift will help us on our way.
The Franz Josef Land route to the Pole has been commended as the best by such eminent Arctic authorities as Gen. Greely, Commander Melville, Prof. Helprin, Clements R. Markham, President of the Royal Geographical Society, his cousin, Capt. Markham, who made the farthest north for the British flag and many others.  It is true that some of these endorsements of the Franz Josef Land route were given before the Fram had demonstrated that the northern termination of the archipelago is to be found below the 85th parallel, but his disclosure does not materially change the facts.  Accompanied as it has been by Dr. Nansen's proof that the surface of the frozen sea is a practicable road for sledging, the case is fully as strong if not stronger than before.
The following table gives the proposed weights, etc., of the sledge journey, divided into periods of ten days.  The ration of food per man is two pounds daily, which experience has to be sufficient.  The dog ration is about 1 pound per day at the outset, but this will be gradually reduced.  Dr. Nansen fed his dogs an average of 9 to 10 ounces per day.  When it becomes necessary to slaughter dogs for food, of course the weakest and poorest workers are taken first.  The carcass of one dog will afford rations for 30 to 40 survivors:
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