The Vagrant Viking"" recalls an episode from 1911 when five stranded whalers were rescued and after a hazardous trip from Thule to Thom Island were returned to their ship. As ""Pita"" and the Eskimos go to take the men of the Scotch Horticula off Saunders Island, care for them in Thule and start their voyage across Melville Bay's ice fields, stories are swapped back and forth. There's the tragedy of the white man's lust for gold; the grim history of two murders in the Peary expedition; the individual lives of the five whalers -- Pablo who believed in a miracle; Olsen who had been accused of murdering a relative; the Norwegian Semundsen and the American Simon -- all in counterpoint to their dangers when their boat is lost, when they use icebergs and a dead polar bear as a ferry, when they are caught by storms. The tension of the race against time, the emotional strain of men unused to ice and hunger are contrasted by the good humor and manners of the Eskimos and the victory of picking up the ship as they had hoped. Pushing the drama of it all to its highest notch, ""Pita"" yarns in true he-man fashion for the audience his previous book has tagged.