He was a hunter, a Siberian Yupik who lived in the village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island in the western half of the Bering Sea. An American, living 30 miles from Russia. A First Nation hunter, dying from the white man's disease, tuberculosis.
Many of the other villagers had also caught the disease. Most had died, leaving only a few healthy people in Savoonga.
Nathan Noongkook, hardly able to breathe, had reconciled himself to a wheezing death.