The Andrée Expedition to the North Pole
From the journal of Nils Strinberg. A letter to his fiancée, describing the launch of the balloon:
It was grand when at last it was determined that we should start. Andrée asked us: ‘Well, shall we try it or not?’ Frænkel at first answered evasively, but then said we should. I answered ‘I think we ought to try it.’ Andrée was serious and said nothing.
Now my thoughts turn to you and to my parents and friends at home. How would the journey succeed? And how fast my thoughts came!
‘Cut away everywhere!’ comes Andrée’s voice. Three knives cut the three lines and the balloon rises amid the cheers of those below. A peculiar sensation, wonderful, indescribable! We still hear the hurrahs at a distance. And then: silent and still.
At seven o’clock mists begin. Andrée goes to his berth to rest. A black bird circles a moment in the distance then disappears in the fog. The sun has gone. Good night!”