The Bishop Who Ate His Boots: The Full Story - Bishop Stringer - The Bishop who ate his Boots

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The journey had lasted 51 days and each man had lost 50 pounds. The two emaciated travellers were unrecognizable. Finally one of the campers, hearing Stringer's voice said: "I think it must be the Bishop."

Without delay Andrew Cloh took them to his house and they soon had a meal of roasted fish and rabbit. When the travellers had temporarily eased their hunger, two good dog teams were harnessed and they were quickly on their way to Fort McPherson, about 20 miles downstream. Relieved and overjoyed Stringer wrote -

"I think I never enjoyed a ride of any kind so much. For weeks we had been accustomed to the dull facing of difficulties, generally with all the odds against us. Now to sit comfortably in a cariole, with good dogs before and a strong driver behind, to glide smoothly and swiftly over a good trail seemed perfect happiness."

This journey was undoubtedly the most harrowing experience in the Bishop's life. It was some time before he could speak publicly about it. Ironically in 1911 when he was delivering a graphic description of the journey to a crowded audience in the Odd Fellow's Hall in Dawson City, four Royal North West Mounted Police known as The Lost Patrol, lay dead in the snow in the same locality where he and Johnson had been lost two years before. Stringer was visibly shaken by the news. He later wrote in his diary -

"It is a sad day with many unwritten and unspoken chapters. No one will ever know the full story of the struggle…Felt sad and depressed all day. Tried to read letters but found it difficult to do anything."

Old Log Church Museum 2002
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