|3 Malemute Kid: like that of Montana Kid in 'At the Rainbow's
End', Malemute Kid's name reflects a practice occasionally
encountered in the early American West of attaching the
cognomen 'Kid' to a young man's place of origin, such as the
state of Montana, or to some object with which he was associated: in the present instance the malemute, a breed of
Epworth: the Epworth League, a Methodist religious society.
|4 Hi-yu skookum!: 'skookum' means 'great' or 'strong' in the
Chinook trade jargon in common use at that time among Indians and whites of eastern Alaska and the Yukon Territory.|
Fort Yukon ... Arctic City: outposts in north-central and northeastern Alaska.
|5 gee-pole: the long pole with which a dog-sled is guided. 'Gee' is the command to go right, in contrast to 'Haw', the command for left.|
|9 Nuklukyeto: Indian village on the Yukon River in central Alaska.|
bench claim: prospector's claim located on land above a river or stream. Gold is extracted from the alluvial deposits exposed by soil erosion and the disintegration of rock through weathering.
|11 the hoary game of natural selection: Charles Darwin's principle of natural selection, as set forth in The Origin of Species ( 1858), had been widely promoted as an explanation of the theory of biological evolution. Darwin, along with his English proponent Herbert Spencer, was especially in vogue among those European and American writers influenced by the literary 'naturalism' of the French novelist Émile Zola, whose writings stressed the insignificance of the human will in the face of the powerful forces of heredity and environment.|
|13 che-cha-quas: Chinook term for tenderfeet, usually in contrast
to sourdoughs, Northland veterans who baked their bread without baking powder.|
washed the sure-thing bars of the Stuart River for a double grubstake: placer miners, in contrast to those who mined gold out of hard rock, found it in the alluvial deposits along river-banks and in mid-river sandbars. By washing the sand and gravel in