THE SOUTH POLE
I RUSHED on to the platform. Yes! the open sea, with but a few scattered pieces of ice and moving icebergs; -- a long stretch of sea; a world of birds in the air, and myriads of fishes under those waters, which varied from intense blue to olive green, according to the bottom. The thermometer marked three degrees centigrade above zero. It was comparatively spring, shut up as we were behind this iceberg, whose lengthened mass was dimly seen on our northern horizon.
"Are we at the pole?" I asked the Captain, with a beating heart.
"I do not know," he replied. "At noon I will take our bearings."
"But will the sun show himself through this fog?" said I, looking at the leaden sky.
"However little it shows, it will be enough," replied the Captain.
About ten miles south, a solitary island rose to a height of one hundred and four yards. We made for it, but carefully, for the sea might be strewn with banks. One hour afterwards we had reached it, two hours later we had made the round of it. It measured four or five miles in circumference. A narrow canal separated it from a considerable stretch of land, perhaps a