Sunday, December 28, 2008


"Before I was aware of it, Tookoolito had the 'tea-kettle' over the friendly fire-lamp, and the water boiling. She asked me if I drank tea. Imagine my surprise at this, the question coming from an Esquimaux in an Esquimaux tent! I replied, 'I do; but you have not tea here, have you?' Drawing her hand from a little tin box, she displayed it full of fine-flavoured black tea, saying, 'Do you like your tea strong?' Thinking to spare her the use of much of this precious article away up here, far from the land of civilization, I replied,'I'll take it weak, if you please.' A cup of hot tea was soon before me - capital tea, and capitally made. Taking from my pocket a sea-biscuit which I had brought from the vessel for my dinner, I shared it with my hostess. Seeing she had but one cup, I induced her to share with me it's contents. There, amid the snows of the north, under an Esquimaux's hospitable tent, in company with an Esquimaux, for the first time I shared with them in that soothing, cheering, invigorating emblem of civilization - T-E-A-!"
Being a narrative of an expedition in search of John Franklin, 1860-1862
by Charles Francis Hall

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