David Blackwood

Great Lost Party with Beast Spirit, 1964

20 x 24.5 in


plate 18, The Art of David Blackwood
by William Gough
McGraw Hill Ryerson Ltd. 1988
Pages 120-121
Wake of the Great Sealers, Prints and drawings
by David Blackwood, text by Farley Mowat
Little, Brown and Company 1973

Morning came and the wind veered west, very strong and freezing cold. About midmorning, in the midst of a heavy squall, we heard a voice yell out: “HARD A STARBOARD!”-and there was the Beothic pretty near alongside our pan. Her lookouts had smelled the burning fat-‘tis a terrible strong stink-and she’d steamed up on it until they saw our fire.
I tell you, we had a good time when we got aboard. Skipper Billy gave all hands a big drink of whiskey. I never minded being out that night-we was comfortable enough. But Sid White told me afterwards he never thought any of us would come through. It seems just before he come to me on the small ice, he and some other fellows were a bit apart when out of the drift there was the loom of something.
“Looked to I like a big kind of beast with long, sharp horns,” Sid told me. “The snow gusted up in a minute, and it was gone when the squall cleared. A fearful bad sign, according to the old folk, for they says if you sees one of them ice spirits it foretells the death of a good many poor fellows.”
- from Wake of the Great Sealers, text by Farley Mowat