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Full text of "The Antarctic book : winter quarters 1907-1909"

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University of California • Berkeley 

Gift of 
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THE ANTARCTIC BOOK 

WINTER QUARTERS 

1907-1909 



Of this book only 300 copies have 

been printed for sale. The type 

is distributed, and it m)iU not be 

reprinted 



THE ANTARCTIC BOOK 

WINTER QUARTERS 
1907 1909 




LONDON 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN 

MCMIX 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

EREBUS: A POEM BY E, H. SHACKLETON 21 

AURORA AUSTRALIS: 

A POEM BY E. H. SHACKLETON 25 

BATHYBIA, OR WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN AT 

THE SOUTH POLE, BY D. MAWSON 29 

SIGNATURE OF EVERY MEMBER OF THE SHORE 
PARTY 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

THE SOUTHERN PARTY: 

E. H. SHACKLETON facing page 12 

JAMESON BOYD ADAMS 14 

DR, ERIC MARSHALL 16 

FRANK WILD 18 

MOUNT EREBUS IN ERUPTION 20 

THE CRATER OF MOUNT EREBUS 22 

SOUTHWARD BOUND 30 

ERNEST JOYCE * 38 

GIANT TOADSTOOLS 44 

EXPLOSION OF A TOADSTOOL 48 



THE SOUTHERN PARTY 



E. H. SHACKLETON 



p. , — — ^^^^..^^^..-..^..^^JJ^ 



/ 




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E«H^^ s?-'/ 



n 

JAMESON BOYD ADAMS 



iJAnLSON 











^iWi£H^' 



m 

DR. ERIC MARSHALL 



IV 
FRANK WILD 



EREBUS 

BY E. H. SHACKLETON 




EREBUS 

|EEPER of the Southern Gateway, 

grim, rugged, gloomy and grand; 

Warden of these wastes uncharted, 

as the years sweep on, you stand. 

At your head the swinging smoke-cloud ; at 

your feet the grinding floes ; 

Racked and seared by the inner fires, gripped 

close by the outer snows. 

Proud, unconquered and unyielding, whilst the 

untold ^eons passed, 

Inviolate through the ages, your ramparts 

spurning the blast, 

Till men impelled by a strong desire, broke 

through your icy bars ; 

Fierce was the fight to gain that height where 

your stern peak dares the stars. 

21 



You called your vassals to aid you, and the 

leaping blizzard rose, 
Driving in furious eddies, blinding, stifling, 

cruel snows. 
The grasp of the numbing frost clutched hard 

at their hands and faces. 
And the weird gloom made darker still dim** 

seen perilous places. 



22 



AURORA AUSTRALIS 

BY E. H. SHACKLETON 




AURORA AUSTRALIS 

I HEY, weary, wayworn, and sleep" 
less, through the long withering 

night. 
Grimly clung to your iron sides 
till with laggard Dawn came the 

light : 
Both heart and brain upheld them, till the 

long-drawn strain was o'er, 
Victors then on your crown they stood and 

gazed at the Western Shore ; 
The distant glory of that land in broad splen^ 

dour lay unrolled. 
With icefield, cape, and mountain height, flame 

rose in a sea of gold. 
Oh ! Herald of returning Suns to the waiting 

lands below; 
Beacon to their home^ seeking feet, far across 

the Southern snow ; 
In the Northland, in the years to be, pale 

Winter's first white sign 
Will turn again their thoughts to thee, and the 

glamour that is thine* 



25 



K 



BATHYBIA 

BY D. MAWSON 




■ ■H 




BATHYBIA 

FAINT stirring seemed to be going 
on about, which gradually made 
itself felt on my yet somnolent 
senses. Risings-time was evidently 
drawing nigh. The uncertainty 
shortly came to an end when, in harsh tones, 
the familiar call sounded : ** Lash up and stow, 
lash up and stow; 8.30, and time all hands 
were up/' This announcement, coming as it 
did from a pair of lungs boasting of an early 
training in St. Paul's Cathedral, and matured 
in the Navy, was calculated to wake effectually 
the profoundest slumberer, but did not prevent 
me turning over for a final doze. ^ It hardly 
seemed any time, however, before we were 
exerting our best efforts dragging the sledges 
onwards towards the Southern goal. The 
drudgery of the journey over the great 
**sastrugi" ruffled plateau of Victoria Land 
had now become felt by all. Everlastingly our 
eyes wandered over the horizon in search of new 
objects, but as yet nothing greeted our gaze 
more than had been the bane of our march these 
last two hundred and fifty miles, since leaving 
Mount Lister behind. ^Why we had ever 
come to choose our present route to the South — 

29 



S»S»W". over the Victoria Land Plateau — 
seemed impossible of explanation* It was 
generally believed, however, that the strength 
of the meteorological element had prevailed in 
this decision, as it was decidedly a chance to 
get abundance of high-level data. Some of the 
more outspoken, irritated by the monotony 
of the journey, now expressed themselves in no 
measured terms regarding the alteration of the 
original plans. More especially had discontent 
arisen because of the fact that this had entailed 
the substitution of man-power to the extent of 
the combined strength of the expedition in place 
of the ponies. ^ To-day the march proved 
more interesting, as scarcely had we got pro^ 
perly under way before the Commander drew 
our attention to a peculiar appearance in the 
sky, somewhat to the west of our course. It 
was like nothing he had had experience of in 
this latitude during his previous exploration 
with Captain Scott along the Great Ice Barrier, 
Resembling open water, it suggested possi^ 
bilities we had never till now entertained. As 
the day wore on, the more real did this pheno- 
menon appear, so that every one was fired 
with a new enthusiasm. The new sledges no 
longer seemed to offer any resistance, so that we 
pressed onwards at a brisk pace for two days. 
30 



The S.W. middle current wind, so preva^ 
lent to the north, had now cut out, and the 
warmer south^seeking anti-trade came down to 
the plateau level, helping us onward. Some 
miles ahead a fog'banfc hanging low upon the 
land obscured the horizon. ^ On the morning 
of the third day we felt a crisis was close at hand, 
as the sky in front contrasted strongly with the 
uniform ice^blink we were now leaving behind. 
The temperatures perceptibly rose as we came 
up to the fog^bank. The tiny particles of ice 
floating in the air and producing the fog were 
now so much more abundant that it was im^ 
possible for us to see more than about a hun*- 
dred yards ahead. The increased temperature 
was due, evidently, to liberation of latent heat 
set free by separation of the fog particles. 
^ Camp had been pitched and the *^ hoosh '' 
served, when the hungry Scotchman was in^ 
terrupted in his occupation of devouring any 
remaining tit^bits by a shout from without. 
Inquiring heads appeared from the tents, and 
amongst the turmoil that ensued could be 
heard cries of ''The Bottomless Pit T' 
** Gehenna I " A moment later our astonished 
gaze was greedily devouring the situation. The 
mist had temporarily rolled back, revealing a 
steep slope commencing shortly in front of us. 

31 



The gradient increased rapidly until lost to 
sight in the mist, a couple of thousand feet 
below. We appeared to be standing on the 
ruin of a huge volcano of unprecedented pro" 
portions. The wall on which we stood extended 
far to the north and south. Even as we 
watched the cloud-'bank rolled yet further back, 
and a more extended view unfolded to our rapt 
gaze. The steep gradient, already noted, ended 
below in a yet steeper slope, almost walHike, 
whilst dimly, in the depths below, snow" 
less undulating plains were visible. What a 
mighty wall guarded the secrets of the abyss ! 
What grandeur beyond anything to be ex^ 
pected I Our very souls were elevated and 
burned with a desire to penetrate the depths 
before us : yet how impossible this seemed I 
How could mortal man scale such a wall as 
barred our progress ? ^ Whilst our thoughts ran 
thus, a better view being obtained to the south, 
we descried a steeply dipping slope leading 
from the plateau down to the depths below. 
This was developed in the form of a semi^cone 
against the face of the wall, and appeared to be 
of volcanic origin. This volcanic slope was 
certainly quite scaleable, and we unanimously 
decided to attempt a descent by it. Many 
hours afterwards camp was pitched on the 
32 



plateau hard by the cone, and all were oblivious 
of the sounds of revelry occasioned by the 
snorers. ^The following day the fog again 
enveloped the landscape, and the time was spent 
making the necessary preparations for the con- 
tinuance of our journey with packs in place of 
sledges. The depth of the abyss before us was 
very great, but difficuU at the time for us to 
judge. Afterwards it proved to be about 30,000 
feett or some 22,000 below sea-level. When 
at last the mist rose and we were able to pro- 
ceed, advance proved rapid for the first 12,000 
feet, as we could glissade for long stretches at 
a time; at this level, the temperature having 
steadily risen during the descent, the ice-cap 
began to dwindle and a lobed front was met 
extending amongst great accumulations of 
morainic material stacked in the form of ter- 
races along the mountain-side. Thaw-water, 
developed in pools investing the erratic boulders 
distributed over the ice, trickled away to unite 
and form crystal-clear streams, soon lost 
in crevasses, whither they plunged to swell 
the muddy waters of sub - glacial channels. 
Camp was pitched at this stage, and we in- 
dulged in the usual " hoosh." The air felt quite 
warm and moist, so much so that instead of 
immediately after crawling into our sleeping- 

c 33 



bags, some time was spent in surveying the 
new scene before us. At intervals spouting 
streams leapt from the glacier faces, and, plough^ 
ing deep furrows in the morainic terraces at our 
feet, continued their downward courses as 
mountain torrents, till, almost lost in the dis^ 
tance below, they appeared as silver streaks 
threading their way by winding courses across 
the undulating plains of Bathybia, as we had 
unanimously designated this region. Loud 
booming sounds proceeded upwards periodically 
from the depths below, occasioned by the pre^ 
cipitation of small avalanches breaking away 
from the ice^-cap above. Our biologist was 
busy examining lichens which coloured the 
boulders bright hues. There was abundant 
evidence of low forms of plant and animal life, 
though curiously restricted in range. ^ Affairs 
had assumed such an interesting pitch that we 
lost no time in getting under way the follow^ 
ing day. Novelties appeared on every hand, 
until we were in a condition to accept unmoved 
any new discoveries, however radical. When 
at last the steep slopes had been negotiated and 
the undulating plains reached, a much fuller 
insight into the conditions prevailing in Bathy^ 
bia had been gleaned. The summer temperature 
averaged about 70° F., and was evenly toned 
34 



by abundance of water vapour and carbon 
dioxide in the atmosphere. The air was dis- 
tinctly oppressive on account of its density and 
moisture, but even this passed unheeded in the 
general excitement* The plant life had rapidly 
increased in abundance as lower altitudes were 
reached. These were chiefly algae and fungi, 
though representatives of the mosses, liverworts, 
and ferns were not wanting. On the plains a 
dominant red colour pervaded the vegetation, 
owing to prolific growth of red alg^. The 
existence of red-coloured plants was of course 
to be expected, existing as they did in sunlight 
from which a large proportion of the blue end 
of the spectrum had been eliminated, in its 
passage through so great a thickness of atmo- 
sphere. Finally the vegetation had already be- 
come very rank, and the odours distinctive of 
some species were not at all pleasant. ^ How- 
ever much the plant life interested us, it did 
not claim our attention so much as less pre- 
tentious examples of the animal kingdom. 
Small crawling, spider-like beasts had been 
noted close below the glacier zone ; since then 
larger forms had made their appearance, some 
of which looked distinctly formidable. The 
biologist had an encounter with one of these 
large-bodied, short-legged animals, and was 

35 



generally regarded as lucky in securing the 
specimen without harm to himself. It measured 
a foot in length, and was armed with vicious^ 
looking mandibles. Though not identical with 
anything we had ever seen before, it much 
resembled a magnificent tick, and was pro^ 
nounced as belonging to the mite family. The 
existence of these great ticks constituted a 
distinct element of danger, and precautions 
were taken to guard against possible injury 
from that quarter. With this object in view 
we were careful always in future to keep our 
ice-axes within reach. ^ Our first camp on the 
plains was never to be forgotten. Most of the 
time intended for sleep was spent in ridding 
ourselves of an almost microscopic species of 
mite, which infested our campings ground and 
invaded our persons. We learnt that a camp 
in comfort could be expected here only after 
taking the precaution previously to burn off the 
vegetation from the site. In this way obnoxious 
creatures were removed. Already our pro^ 
gress was much impeded by the luxuriance of 
the vegetation, and as this state of affairs did 
not show signs of improving, we decided 
to attempt navigation on a river which lay 
about three leagues to the north, and appeared 
to be the main drainage line of this portion of 
36 



Bathybia. f| Some time elapsed before this new 
method of procedure could be put to the test^ 
Raft-'building: was not without its troubles, 
as we were unacquainted with the materials 
available, and consequently their floating quali" 
ties had to be determined* At length a struct 
ture was completed which rode lightly on the 
water, and was regarded by the seafarers 
amongst us as distinctly promising* In its 
construction we employed the dead trunks 
of huge fungi of a variety capable of resist^ 
ing waterlog* Large sheets of fungus several 
inches in thickness, found growing over the 
ground in moist localities, furnished an excels 
lent decking ; whilst a spyrogyra^Iike alga was 
found to answer splendidly as a cord for bind^ 
ing the structure. ^ Whilst these preparations 
were in progress several incidents of special 
interest occurred* One of these came near 
proving fatal to one who had gained much in 
favour by rendering signal service as a moun^ 
taineer during our descent. Provisions had 
become alarmingly scarce, and a section of the 
company decided that members of the scientific 
staff were much more likely to excel as connoiS" 
seurs in the matter of food^stuffs than prove 
experts in shipbuilding. As the labour of 
examining the natural products at hand did 

37 



not present an arduous aspect, the scientist 
above referred to came manfully forward and 
offered his services in this domain. Instruct 
tions were issued to the effect that explorations 
should not be conducted far from camp, and the 
route proposed to be taken should be clearly 
defined before setting out. The investigator 
had been absent on his quest for over two 
hours, and the commander, becoming anxious, 
set out in search of the wanderer. The search 
party had gone hardly a couple* of hundred 
yards into the jungle when they stumbled 
upon the prone body of the missing man. A 
giant tick was investigating the carcase, and 
apparently Just about to commence operations 
on its prize. The obnoxious creature was 
forthwith despatched, and the body of the 
martyr reverently taken back to camp. He 
still breathed heavily, but no wounds could be 
found on the body. A dread feeling seized us, 
for, though living things had no terror for us, 
yet the intangible found us weak. For long 
the doctor diligently attended, in the uncertainty 
of the stroke, administering small doses of 
alcohol from our limited medical store. At 
last, after twelve hours, success crowned his 
efforts and the patient regained consciousness. 
Even now his senses seemed to have lapsed, 
38 




m 



and in his delirious ramblings, amongst inarticu" 
late expressions, could be heard, ** Yon's the 
recht stuff, mon, aye it isT" Later on he 
seemed to come to himself again, as he weakly 
asked for tea. Indeed so frequent became his 
cravings for this beverage that one of us was 
told off specially to keep up the supply. It was 
not till the evening of the second day that the 
matter was cleared up. All but the night-watch 
had retired, when the supposed invalid suddenly 
stepped briskly from his bed, and made towards 
the food^bags with a determination boding ill 
for our now inconsiderable stores. On this 
occasion the night-watchman proved the value 
of the institution by quickly alarming the 
sleepers and averting what might have proved 
a serious catastrophe. Explanations ensued, 
and we discovered that the miraculously^healed 
patient had merely had the good fortune, as he 
described it, to discover a succuknt alga giving 
abundance of intoxicating fluid. No further 
explanation was required, as his subsequent 
behaviour was obvious to every one. ^ Whilst 
this drama was being enacted more valuable 
discoveries were made by others. The 
senior geologist, in company with a body" 
guard, had studiously applied his tasting facul^ 
ties over a wide range of vegetable products, 

39 



narrowly averting serious consequences. As 
a result of his investigations, three varieties 
were finally selected as good for human sus^ 
tenance. One of these was a mushroom^type 
of fungus, the others sweet^tasting algas. 
Some of the alg^e contained abundance of 
oil and made perfect kindling. With this 
material spluttering torches could be made 
on a moment's notice. We now had abundance 
of carbohydrate food, but did not feel disposed 
to try the culinary qualities of the monster ticks. 
^ That day an unusual disturbance took 
place in the atmospheric conditions, so that, 
instead of the general calmness which usually 
existed in this region, we experienced a succes" 
sion of cold blasts descending the valley walls. 
This change reminded us again of the condi^ 
tions under which we existed here in Bathybia : 
a land where the sun shone red in the morning, 
pink at noon, and red in the evening. Our 
eyes accommodated themselves surprisingly 
rapidly to these new circumstances; possibly 
owing to previous exercise in the dull pink 
illumination of modern drawings-rooms. In the 
jungle the light was exceedingly dim and 
our exploits had to be conducted with great 
caution. Although, since the recent disco^ 
veries, the food^supply presented no immediate 
40 



difficulties, we were loth to remain a winter in 
these regions, for, though in summer the con^ 
ditions were bearable, there was no guarantee 
of their remaining so during the long night of 
the winter months* As soon, therefore, as the 
raft was completed, we launched out on our 
down^stream voyage, intending to make the 
most of our time collecting facts concerning 
this wonderful land. Oars of a kind had been 
fashioned, but were mostly serviceable in 
poling the craft off weed^banks, the current 
being quite sufficent to take us along at 
about two miles per hour, t^ Many were the 
suggestions offered for cooking our new food, 
but finally the amateurs gave over in favour 
of the chef, who had the power of making 
tasteless dishes appetising by attaching names. 
The concoctions usually served up in Bathybia 
were purees, which, being translated, simply 
meant fresh^gathered this or that, immersed in 
pure river^water, and brought to a temperature 
of 212° F. for an hour or more. ^ Naturally 
more attention was now bestowed upon the 
denizens of the river, and indeed their abun^ 
dance and variety surprised us. Minute organs 
isms belonging to the Rotifers and Tardigrada 
abounded, whilst larger species occasionally 
came into view. We spent many an hour 

f 41 



peering into the waters in search of new finds^ 
and were abundantly rewarded by queer sights* 
For several days our progress continued thus 
without serious event* The jungle, however, 
became alarmingly denser, so that it was now 
almost arched overhead and presented a gloomy 
outlook. Unaccountable noises and glimpses 
of strange forms came to us through the weak 
light, but unfortunately nearer acquaintance 
had so far been avoided. Matters did not 
improve, so that we were soon hastening 
along beneath a complete covering of dense 
matted vegetation so effective in blotting out 
the daylight that, but for the fact that here 
was the home of phosphorescent fungi, we 
should have been in utter darkness. This 
greenish" white luminescent forest seemed weird 
in the extreme after the red light to which we 
had been so much accustomed. ^ Presently 
our meditations were disturbed by a volley of 
strong expletives of a nautical character coming 
from the starboard bow. We were just in 
time to rescue our comrade from the clutch 
of a dangerous^looking spider-'like monster, 
several feet in length, that had attempted to 
board us. Invasions of these monster water-' 
bears, as well as unavoidable affrays with 
giant species of rotifers, were all too common 
42 



during this extraordinary voyage. However, 
in accordance with the adage which states 
that necessity is the mother of invention, 
we soon discovered that these beasts without 
exception retreated in the face of fire, to 
which they were entirely unaccustomed. A 
supply of torches was kept in readiness as 
weapons in the event of need. By the aid of 
these, also, a better knowledge of the conditions 
around us was obtained. The river was now to 
all intents and purposes a subterranean stream 
cutting through the accumulated remains of 
dead sunlight" seeking plants, which still lived 
only far above, within range of the daylight, at 
the upper surface of this dense mass of dead 
and living vegetation. This lower zone through 
which we now passed was not altogether com^ 
posed of dead material, but supported abun^ 
dance of saprophytic types, chiefy fungi and 
bacteria. No human being could exist long 
under these trying conditions, so that it was 
with joy that, after two days, streaks of day^ 
light began to penetrate the tangled mass above. 
In a comparatively short time clear sky stood 
above us, and the walls of rank vegetation on 
either bank slowly dwindled as we proceeded. 
With the return of daylight our spirits rose. 
During the same day we witnessed a fight 

43 



between a water^bear and a rotifer, both of 
giant size. Each of these was several feet in 
length and must have been immensely power" 
ftiL The water^bear seized on the rotifer from 
behind, and had commenced sucking the life^ 
fluid of his victim, when, with surprising 
alacrity, the captive swung round his free end 
and seized his adversary in a bunch of ten- 
tacles. A furious combat ensued, in which the 
water^bear, though much mauled, proved victor. 
We judged, from the actio'n of the rotifer, that 
something of the nature of an anaesthetic had 
been injected by his enemy. Definite proof of 
this was shortly forthcoming in an unexpected 
manner. One of us, who had been in the 
habit of daily treating himself to a wash, 
whether he required it or not, when we floated 
out into daylight again, hastened to make up 
for lost time, whilst dangling his legs over the 
stern and, at the same time, conducting an 
animated conversation on the relative merits of 
deer^stalking in the Highlands and in more 
populous centres. Somebody had just made an 
unusually fitting sally when, above the ripple 
of applause, there sounded a wild yell followed 
by an apprehensive exclamation, '^He's got 
my other toe T' Quick was the word and 
sharp was the action that followed, else we 
44 ^ 



would never have saved the bather from the 
malicious grasp ol a giant water^bear* The 
beast had already punctured the toe referred to, 
but was driven off before serious damage was 
done. It had had time, however, to inject an 
anaesthetic, as our comrade passed into a coma^ 
tose state after about one minute, and did not 
revive for over half an hour. ^ So accustomed 
had we now become to our new surroundings 
that we passed a few days not unpleasantly, 
drifting down the stream. The vegetation, 
though luxuriant of its kind, grew much less 
dense, and we came at length to more or less 
open country. There plant life was represented 
by mushroom^like fungi arranged in clumps 
over the plain. Our artist was in specially 
good spirits, and, on our mooring alongside the 
bank, took the opportunity to scramble on to 
the top of a clump of giant toadstools hard by, 
intending to size up the sketching possibilities 
of the neighbourhood. A sharp report shortly 
afterwards attracted our attention in time to 
see him executing evolutions in mid^air about 
fifteen feet above the summit of the toadstools 
and some thirty feet from the ground. It 
happened that this particular toadstool was 
matured and required to burst it only the slight 
irritation supplied by our comrade in mounting. 

45 



Fortunately the bed was soft to fall back upon, 
else a serious accident must have resulted. Our 
ingenious engineer was much struck with 
this demonstration, and conducted a series of 
experiments among members of the genus fungi 
represented in the neighbourhood. As a resuh 
he brought to camp some time afterwards a 
huge flat specimen which, he averred, would 
make a fine mattress. In kindness of heart the 
specimen was given to his companion of the 
afternoon's adventure. Judging by the remarks 
made by the recipient during his sleep, he must 
have passed an unusually pleasant night. In^ 
deed the mattress appeared to be still exerting 
a magic influence close on to the breakfast hour, 
when several attempts failed to rouse the slum^ 
berer. Then up came the ingenious engineer, 
who, with a prick of an ice-axe in the proper 
place, fired the mattress, and shot its burden 
from the depths of sleep into broad daylight via 
the tent roof. ^ From this point on the river 
water became increasingly more brackish, so 
that we were much exercised in our minds 
regarding the future source of our water-supply. 
After traversing several shallow lakes, the 
matter became critical, and we decided to moor 
up to the bank. The neighbouring country was 
almost desert compared with the jungle left 
46 



behind. The saline soil supported only stunted 
vegetation, except for occasional clumps of 
mushroom^Iifce fungi standing on local eleva^ 
tions of the ground. We were some distance 
from camp, making a reconnaissance, when a 
heavy rain-storm commenced. Perfect shelter 
was obtained beneath the umbrella of the fungi. 
As time went on, however, and the downpour 
did not abate, we grew anxious for the safety 
of our commissariat. Shortly afterwards we 
might have been seen marching back to camp 
each sheltered under one of these novel umbrellas. 
The adjacent country already showed signs of 
flooding. It was therefore deemed best to pack 
our gear and remove it to one of the elevations. 
The waters continued to rise even after the rain 
ceased, so that our position was again threat" 
ened. We were now thoroughly alarmed, and 
hastily transferred all our possessions to a 
flotilla of queer crafts, consisting of fifteen large 
mushroom^ shaped fungi set in the floating posi' 
tion, and lashed together with Alpine rope. 
Hardly had these preparations been completed 
than the lapping waters swept us off in the 
strong current. We were eventually carried into 
a great salt lake. ^ As the only fresh water 
available for drinking purposes consisted of that 
which chanced to have been caught in the bilges 

47 



of our crafts, great relief was felt when a steady 
wind set in, driving us gently before it. Two 
days later we were fortunate enough to reach 
the further shore, and, entering the debouchure 
of a large stream, succeeded in travelling some 
distance up it with a still favourable wind. 
Finally, on account of the opposing current, we 
had to abandon the water and march on land. 
^ One morning, just as most of us were rising, 
a scampering noise was heard without, accom^ 
panied by encouraging shouts of '* Hi yah I hi 
yah I Stick it, boy 1 '' Presently one of our eques' 
trians, who had risen early to take his accus^ 
tomed morning walk, came riding up, mounted 
on a new species of a monstrous mite. He 
pulled rein with a *^ How's this for a specimen, 

Mr. Biologist!'' ''Go to 1" was the 

answer, which meant that the scientist was 
not having any. This portion of our journey 
proved very wearying, as our daily marches 
were extended as long as possible. The direct 
tion in which we had been travelling, being 
across the main topographic features of Bathy" 
bia, was calculated to yield a maximum of 
information in a minimum of time. Time, 
however, was now becoming a serious matter, 
though new information never failed. Since 
leaving the great salt basin of the central regions 
48 . 



our track had consistently risen. The total 
amount of this elevation now amounted to close 
on 6000 feet. The Jungle was fast becoming 
too dense to penetrate. Therefore, as a final 
coup before retracing our steps, we decided 
to ascend a high volcanic cone lying close by 
our course. From its summit, some 17,000 feet 
above, much information might be gained. 
A summer snow-'cap descended for about 4000 
feet, whilst a perpetual wreath of smoke curled 
towards the sky from the summit. It was 
noon three days later that we made our camp 
just below the snow^line. The afternoon was 
spent by most of us in a visit to the summit. 
Hydrocarbons were escaping from fissures in 
the ground near the summit, whilst continuous 
flames played about the crater where the greater 
heat kept the escaping gases ignited. The rocks 
were very basic and heavy. Metallic iron 
occurred in many of the outcrops, and copper 
fibres were observed in not a few. However 
interesting these observations were, they did 
not prevent us drinking in the distant pano^ 
rama. Far behind were the great salt sea and 
saline borderlands. Ahead was a sea of jungle 
spread over gradually rising plains. Beyond, 
where frigid altitudes were reached, a great 
snowy plateau carried the picture beyond the 

g 49 



horizon^ The whole party was overcome wjith 
the immense wild grandeur of the scene, and 
when it was time for return we retraced our 
steps down the snowy slopes in silence. From 
this reverie we were suddenly awakened by a 
shout from the foremost, who had come upon 
the body of a huge animal, about four feet in 
length, partly buried in the ice. The biologist 
examined the beast, and reported it to have 
affinities between the water^bears and the 
mites, but distinct from anything so far noted 
in Bathybia. We got to work with our ice^ 
axes and soon had him out. - The body being 
more or less cylindrical, we found no trouble 
rolling our prize to the camp near by. In the 
first instance our intention for so doing was 
merely to astonish our comrades. However, 
the biologist, seeing the specimen still intact, 
asked that it might be spared till further in^ 
vestigated. It was the peculiarity of our biolo^ 
gist to save his specimens for examination 
during the early morning hours. ^ After 
supper, it being the eve of our return 
journey, a general discussion regarding the 
natural history and physical data so far ex^ 
perienced in Bathybia was instituted. Sum^ 
marising the various points brought forward 
as bearing on a scientific elucidation of the 
50 



phenomena, the following are worthy of note. 
Bathybia was a great depression some hun^ 
dreds of miles across, bounded on the east by 
a great fault face, but with more gently rising 
boundaries in other directions. In fact it might 
be likened to a portion, for example, of the 
basis of the Pacific Ocean from which the water 
had been removed. It seemed to us almost 
certain that the earth's folding and faulting, 
giving place to this configuration, must have 
taken place at a period corresponding to a 
maximum phase of a great ice age, when the 
Antarctic regions supported an ice^cap of 
stupendous thickness. The ice must then have 
played the role of rock when the great earth 
movement referred to occurred. At a later 
date, as the ice age passed away, ablation, 
removing the ice strata, exposed the deep basin 
of Bathybia. The lower portions of this basin, 
situated below so great a thickness of atmo^ 
sphere, was blanketed from the great cold of the 
upper regions. To this end, also, the humidity 
and increased abundance of carbon dioxide in 
the atmosphere aided. Although in succeeding 
times the highlands above were deeply buried 
under snowfields, this deep plateau^locked basin 
could keep its floor for the most part unencum^ 
bered with water. The atmospheric circulation, 

51 



being distinct from that of the outer earth, 
presented special features. What was most to 
be remarked with respect to the atmosphere 
was that it contained a minimum of dust par^ 
tides ; so that, though the air was saturated 
with moisture, condensation seldom took place, 
except along the borderlands, where fogs were 
very prevalent. The great rain-storm, pro^ 
ducing the flood we had experienced, was 
probably due to an unusual disturbance 
of an ant i- cyclonic nature, whereby dust^ 
mote^loaded air of the anti-trade belt above 
had descended, causing sudden condensation. 
The waters, continually draining into a 
central basin and there evaporating, led to the 
production of a residual salt sea. ^ A know^ 
ledge of the strata underlying the basin would 
have been of the greatest value, but of course 
exposures were not available. However, a 
great accumulation of coal^producing matter 
was presented in the jungle zone. Extinct 
volcanic activity had been noted along the fault 
scarp, and specially interesting was the active 
volcano on which we now stood. The great 
basicity of the lava, and the fact that it con*- 
tained metallic elements, and probably also 
exhalation of hydrocarbons, showed it to be 
typical of the deeper earth crust. The abun^ 
52 



dance of plant and animal life, and especially 
the curious restrictions governing their range, 
seemed, at first acquaintance, inexplicable* 
The biologist now drew attention to the fact 
that all the species represented were but curi^ 
ously developed forms of types already known 
to the scientific world* They had suffered but 
little variation, though many had increased enor^ 
mously in size. Furthermore, it was known 
that such species could at one stage or another 
in their life ^history be transferred for great dis- 
tances by wind agency. Also many, even in 
adult state, after remaining frozen for long 
periods, maintained the power of reaniniation 
when thawed out. ^ In the light of this inform 
mation, it seemed most reasonable to suppose 
that the invasion of plant and animal life had 
come from warmer climes through the agency 
of the anti'trade winds. ^ It was just about 
2 a.m., when a select few were in the act of 
brewing their tenth cup of tea since supper, 
that a movement in one of the sleeping-bags 
attracted attention. An arm and then a head 
appeared, followed quickly by the rest of the 
body. Silently the figure slipped on his boots, 
and a moment later passed out of the tent 
with the intention of inspecting his specimen. 
^ Almost immediately a wild commotion rent 

53 



the air, and as we burst from the tent a terri^ 
fying spectacle met our gaze. The beast we 
had left frozen a few hours ago had thawed 
out and come to life, as is the wont of the 
water^bears when subjected once again to con^ 
genial conditions. In this case, however, the 
term of hibernation had been extended to cen^ 
turies, so that no doubt in the interval this 
savage species had become practically extinct. 
Our comrade was frantically struggling with 
his specimen, and into the m^l^e we threw 
ourselves. The din grew louder, and slowly 
but surely out of the confusion rose a voice, 
which smote clearer upon me : ** Rise and 
shine, you sleepers — 8.45, and time for tables 
down V ^ There in the passage was the 
horrid figure of the night-watchman replacing 
our washing-up bowl, which had just served 
him as a breakfast ^gong. As I sleepily drew 
on my clothes, regretful at sacrificing Bathybia 
for Cape Royds, I meditated how much can 
happen in Dreamland during a short quarter- 
hour. 



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