Frank Norris was a late 19th century American novelist writing in the naturalist genre. His most famous works include McTeague (1899), The Octopus: A California Story (1901), and The Pit (1903). His works show socialistic tendencies and were influenced by Darwin and Huxley. His work often includes depictions of suffering caused by corrupt and greedy turn-of-the-century corporate monopolies. This story begins in the frozen north. "At four o'clock in the morning everybody in the tent was still asleep, exhausted by the terrible march of the previous day. The hummocky ice and pressure-ridges that Bennett had foreseen had at last been met with, and, though camp had been broken at six o'clock and though men and dogs had hauled and tugged and wrestled with the heavy sledges until five o'clock in the afternoon, only a mile and a half had been covered. But though the progress was slow, it was yet progress. It was not the harrowing, heart-breaking immobility of those long months aboard the Freja. Every yard to the southward, though won at the expense of a battle with the ice, brought them nearer to Wrangel Island and ultimate safety."
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