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THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTION i 

THE VOYAGE OF THE 'DISCOVERY* 

CHAPTER 

I. THE 'DISCOVERY* 15 

II. SOUTHWARD Ho! 3* 

III. IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 52 

IV. THE POLAR WINTER 74 

V. THE START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY ... 95 

VI. THE RETURN 120 

VII. A SECOND WINTER 137 

VIII. THE WESTERN JOURNEY 151 

IX. THE RETURN FROM THE WEST 167 

X. RELEASE 178 

THE LAST EXPEDITION 

PREFACE TO * SCOTT'S LAST EXPEDITION* . . . 203 

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 206 

BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION, 1910 .... 208 



vi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. THROUGH STORMY SEAS 211 

II. DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP . . , .231 

III. PERILS 254 

IV. A HAPPY FAMILY 269 

V. WINTER 294 

VI. GOOD-BYE TO CAPE EVANS . . . j . . .311 

VII. THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 328 

VIII. ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 354 

IX. THE SPUTH POLE 373 

X. ON THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY 385 

XL THE LAST MARCH 401 

SEARCH PARTY DISCOVERS THE TENT .... 418 

IN MEMORIAM ......... 419 

FAREWELL LETTERS 421 

MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC 430 

INDEX 433 



INTRODUCTION 

BY 

SIR J. M. BARRIE, BART. 

ON the night of my original meeting with Scott he was 
but lately home from his first adventure into the Ant- 
arctic and my chief recollection of the occasion is that 
having found the entrancing man I was unable to leave 
him. In vain he escorted me through the streets of 
London to my home, for when he had said good-night 
I then escorted him to his, and so it went on I know 
not for how long through the small hours. Our talk 
was largely a comparison of the life of action (which 
he pooh-poohed) with the loathly life of those who sit 
at home (which I scorned) ; but I also remember 
that he assured me he was of Scots extraction. As 
the subject never seems to have been resumed between 
us, I afterwards wondered whether I had drawn this 
from him with a promise that, if his reply was satis- 
factory, I would let him go to bed. However, the 
family traditions (they are nothing more) do bring him 
from across the border. According to them his great- 
great-grandfather was the Scott of Brownhead whose 
estates were sequestered after the '45. His dwelling 
was razed to the ground and he fled with his wife, 
to whom after some grim privations a son was born 
in a fisherman's hut on September 14, 1745. This 
son eventually settled in Devon, where he prospered, 



2 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

for it was in the beautiful house of Oatlands that he 
died. He had four sons, all in the Royal Navy, of 
whom the eldest had as youngest child John Edward 
Scott, father of the Captain Scott who was born at 
Oatlands on June 6, 1868. About the same date, 
or perhaps a little earlier, it was decided that the boy 
should go into the Navy like so many of his for-bears. 

I have been asked to write a few pages about those 
early days of Scott at Oatlands, so that the boys who 
read this book may have some slight acquaintance 
with the boy who became Captain Scott; and they 
may be relieved to learn (as it holds out some chance 
for themselves) that the man who did so many heroic 
things does not make his first appearance as a hero. 
He enters history aged six, blue-eyed, long-haired, in- 
expressibly slight and in velveteen, being held out at 
arm's length by a servant and dripping horribly, like a 
half-drowned kitten. This is the earliest recollection 
of him of a sister, who was too young to join in a chil- 
dren's party on that fatal day. But Con, as he was al- 
ways called, had intimated to her that from a window 
she would be able to see him taking a noble lead in the 
festivities in the garden, and she looked; and that is 
what she saw. He had been showing his guests how 
superbly he could jump the leat, and had fallen into it* 

Leat is a Devonshire term for a running stream, 
and a branch of the leat ran through the Oatlands 
garden while there was another branch, more venture- 
some, at the bottom of the fields. These were the 
waters first ploughed by Scott, and he invented many 
ways of being in them accidentally, it being forbidden 



INTRODUCTION 3 

to enter them of intent. Thus he taught his sisters 
and brother a new version of the oldest probably of 
all pastimes, the game of ' Touch. 3 You had to touch 
' across the leat/ and, with a little good fortune, one 
of you went in. Once you were wet, it did not so 
much matter though you got wetter. 

An easy way of getting to the leat at the foot of the 
fields was to walk there, but by the time he was eight 
Scott scorned the easy ways. He invented parents 
who sternly forbade all approach to this dangerous 
waterway; he turned them into enemies of his country 
and of himself (he was now an admiral), and led par- 
ties of gallant tars to the stream by ways hitherto un~ 
thought of. At foot of the avenue was an oak tree 
which hung over the road, and thus by dropping from 
this tree you got into open country. The tree was 
(at this time) of an enormous size, with sufficient room 
to conceal a navy, and the navy consisted mainly of 
the sisters and the young brother. All had to be 
ready at any moment to leap from the tree and join 
issue with the enemy on the leat. In the fields there 
was also a mighty ocean, called by dull grown-ups ' the 
pond/ and here Scott's battleship lay moored. It 
seems for some time to have been an English vessel, 
but by and by he was impelled, as all boys are, to 
blow something up, and he could think of nothing more 
splendid for his purpose than the battleship. Thus 
did it become promptly a ship of the enemy doing 
serious damage to the trade of those parts, and the 
valiant Con took to walking about with lips pursed, 
brows frowning as he cogitated how to remove the 



4 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Terror of Devon. You may picture the sisters and 
brother trotting by his side and looking anxiously 
into his set face. At last he decided to blow the 
accursed thing up with gunpowder. His crew cheered, 
and then waited to be sent to the local shop for a 
pennyworth of gunpowder. But Con made his own 
gunpowder, none of the faithful were ever told how, 
and on a great day the train was laid. Con applied 
the match and ordered all to stand back. A deafening 
explosion was expected, but a mere puff of flame was 
all that came; the Terror of Devon, which to the 
unimaginative was only a painted plank, still rode the 
waters. With many boys this would be the end of 
the story, but not with Con. He again retired to 
the making of gunpowder, and did not desist from his 
endeavours until he had blown that plank sky-high, 

His first knife is a great event in the life of a boy; 
it is probably the first memory of many of them, 
and they are nearly always given it on condition that 
they keep it shut. So it was with Con, and a few 
minutes after he had sworn that he would not open 
it he was begging for permission to use it on a tempting 
sapling, * Very well/ his father said grimly > * but 
remember, if you hurt yourself, don't expect any 
sympathy from me/ The knife was opened, and to 
cut himself rather badly proved as easy is falling 
into the leat. The father, however, had not noticed, 
and the boy put his bleeding hand into his pocket 
and walked on unconcernedly. He really con- 
skJerably damaged; and thin is a good story of ct child 
of seven who all his life iiiffcrec! from 



INTRODUCTION 5 

the sight of blood; even in the Discovery days, to get 
accustomed to * seeing red/ he had to force himself to 
watch Dr. Wilson skinning his specimens. 

When he was about eight Con passed out of the 
hands of a governess, and became a school-boy, first 
at a day school in Stoke Damerel and later at Stub- 
bington House, Fareham. He rode grandly between 
Oatlands and Stoke Damerel on his pony, Beppo, 
which bucked in vain when he was on it, but had an 
ingratiating way of depositing other riders on the road. 
From what one knows of him later this is a character- 
istic story. One clay he dismounted to look over a 
gate at a view which impressed him (not very boyish 
this), and when he recovered from a brown study 
there was 110 Beppo to be seen. He walked the seven 
miles home, but what was characteristic was that he 
called at police-stations on the way to give practical 
details of his loss and a description of the pony. Few 
children would have thought of this, but Scott was 
naturally a strange mixture of the dreamy and the 
practical, and never more practical than immediately 
after he had been dreamy. He forgot place and time 
altogether when thus abstracted. I remember the 
first time he dined with me, when a number of well- 
known men had come to meet him, he arrived some 
two hours late* He had dressed to come out, then 
fallen Into one of his reveries, forgotten all about the 
engagement, dined by himself and gone early to bed. 
Just as he was falling asleep he remembered where he 
should be* arose hastily and joined u$ as speedily as 
It was equally characteristic of him to say 



6 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

of the other guests that it was pleasant to a sailor 
to meet so many interesting people. When I said 
that to them the sailor was by far the most interesting 
person in the room he shouted with mirth. It always 
amused Scott to find that anyone thought him a per- 
son of importance. 

I suppose everyone takes for granted that in his 
childhood, as later when he made his great marches, 
Scott was muscular and strongly built. This was so 
far from being the case that there were many anxious 
consultations over him, and the local doctor said he 
could not become a sailor as he could never hope 
to obtain the necessary number of inches round the 
chest. He was delicate and inclined to be pigeon- 
breasted. Judging from the portrait of him here 
printed, in his first uniform as a naval caclet, all this 
had gone by the time he was thirteen, but unfor- 
tunately there are no letters of this period extant; 
and thus little can be said of his years on the Rritannia 
where ' you never felt hot in yottr bunk because you 
could always twist, and sleep with your feet out at a 
port hole/ He became a caclet captain, a post none 
can reach who i not thought well of by the other 
boys as well as by their instructors, but none of them 
foresaw that he was likely to become anybody In 
particular. I le was still * Old Mooney/ as his father 
had clubbed him, owing to his dreamy mind; If was 
an effort to him to work hard, he cast a wistful eye* 
on * slackers/ he was not a j^ood loser, he was untidy 
to the point of slovenliness and he* had a fierce temper. 
All this f think has been provttd to tw uj> to the 



INTRODUCTION 7 

hilt, and as I am very sure that the boy of fifteen or 
so cannot be very different from the man he grows 
into, it leaves me puzzled. The Scott I knew, or 
thought I knew, was physically as hard as nails and 
flung himself into work or play with a vehemence I 
cannot remember ever to have seen equalled. I have 
fished with him, played cricket and football with him 
and other games, those of his own invention being of 
a particularly arduous kind, for they always had a 
moment when the other players were privileged to 
fling* a hard ball at your undefended head. ( Slack- 
ness ' was the last quality you would think of when 
you saw him bearing down on you with that ball, 
and it was the last he asked of you if you were bearing 
down on him. He was equally strenuous of work; 
indeed I have no clearer recollection of him than his 
way of running from play to work or work to play, 
so that there should be the least possible time between. 
It is the * time between * that is the * slackens ' king- 
dom, and Scott lived less in it than anyone I can recall. 
Again, I found him the best of losers, with a shout of 
delight for every good stroke by an opponent: what 
is called an ideal sportsman. He was very neat and 
correct in his dress, quite a model for the youth who 
come after him, but that we take as a matter of course; 
it is * good form * in the Navy. His temper 1 should 
have said was bullet-proof. I have never seen him 
begin to loae It for a second of time, and I have seen 
him In circumstances where the loss of it would have 

excusable* 
However, ' the boy makes the man/ and Scott was 



8 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

none of those things I saw in him but something better. 
The faults of his youth must have lived on in him as in 
all of us, but he got to know they were there and he 
took an iron grip of them and never let go his hold. 
It was this self-control more than anything else that 
made the man of him of whom we have all become 
so proud. I get many proofs of this in correspondence 
dealing with his manhood days which are not strictly 
within the sphere of this introductory note. The horror 
of "slackness was turned into a very passion for keeping 
himself * fit.* Thus we find him at one time taking 
charge of a dog, a 'Big Dane/ so that he could race 
it all the way between work and home, a distance of 
three miles. Even when he was getting the Discovery 
ready and doing daily the work of several men, he 
might have been seen running through the streets of 
London from Savile Row or the Admiralty to his 
home, not because there was no time for other methods 
of progression, but because he must he fit, fit, fit. No 
more 'Old Mooncy ' for him; he kept an eye for 
ever on that gentleman, and became doggedly the 
most practical of men* And practical In the cheeriest 
of ways* In 1894 a disastrous change came over the 
fortunes of the family* the father's money being lost* 
and then Scott was practical indeed. A letter he wrote 
at this time to his mother* tenderly taking everything 
and everybody on hh shoulders, must lie one of the 
best letters ever written by a son, and 1 hope* It may be 
some day published. His mother was the great person 
of his early life, more to him even than his brother 



INTRODUCTION 9 

or his father, whom circumstances had deprived of the 
glory of following the sailor's profession and whose 
ambitions were all bound up in this son, determined 
that Con should do the big things he had not done 
himself. For the rest of his life Con became the 
head of the family, devoting his time and his means 
to them, not in an it-must-be-done manner, but with 
joy and even gaiety. He never seems to have shown 
a gayer front than when the troubles fell, and at a 
farm to which they retired for a time he became 
famous as a provider of concerts. Not only must 
there be no * Old Mooney ' in him, but it must be 
driven out of everyone. His concerts, in which he 
took a leading part, became celebrated in the district, 
deputations called to beg for another, and once in 
these words, * Wull *ee gie we a concert over our way 
when the comic young gentleman be here along? ' 

Some servants having had to go at this period, Scott 
conceived the idea that he must even help domestically 
in the house, and took his own bedroom under his 
charge with results that were satisfactory to the 
casual eye, though not to the eyes of his sisters* It 
was about this time that he slew the demon of un- 
tidiness so far as his own dress was concerned and 
doggedly became a model for still younger officers. 
Not that his dress was fine. While there were others 
to help he would not spend his small means on himself, 
and he would arrive home in frayed garments that 
he had grown out of and in very tarnished lace. But 
as a pin, In the days when he returned from 



io THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

his first voyage in the Antarctic and all England was 
talking of him, one of his most novel adventures was 
at last to go to a first-class tailor and be provided with 
a first-class suit. He was as elated by the possession 
of this as a child When going about the country 
lecturing In those days he travelled third class, though 
he was sometimes met at the station by mayors and 
corporations and red carpets. 

The hot tempers of his youth must still have lain 
hidden, but by now the control was complete* Even 
in the naval cadet days of which unfortunately there 
is so little to tell, his old friends who remember the 
tempers remember also the sunny smile that dis- 
sipated them. When I knew him the sunny smile 
was there frequently, and was indeed his greatest 
personal adornment, but the tempers never reached 
the surface, He had become master of his fate and 
captain of his soul 

In 1886 Scott became a middy on the Boadicca* 
and later on various ships, one of them the J?c>wn of 
which Admiral Fisher was at that time commander. 
The Admiral has a recollection of a little black pig 
having been found under his bunk one night, lie 
cannot swear that Scott was the leading culprit, but 
Scott was certainly one of several who had to finish the 
night on deck as a punishment* In 1888 Scott paswcd 
his examinations for sublieutenant, with four firt 
class honours and one second* and m left his boyhood 
behind 1 cannot refrain however from adding a* ?4 
conclusion to these a letter from Sir Courtatild 



INTRODUCTION n 

Thomson that gives a very attractive glimpse of him 
in this same year : 

* In the late winter a quarter of a century ago I 
had to find my way from San Francisco to Alaska. 
The railway was snowed up and the only transport 
available at the moment was an ill-found tramp 
steamer. My fellow passengers were mostly Cali- 
fornians hurrying off to a new mining camp and, 
with the crew, looked a very unpleasant lot of ruffians. 
Three singularly unprepossessing Frisco toughs joined 
me in my cabin, which was none too large for a single 
person. I was then told that yet another had some- 
how to be wedged in. While I was wondering if he 
could be a more ill-favoured or dirtier specimen of 
humanity than the others the last comer suddenly 
appeared the jolliest and breeziest English naval 
Second Lieutenant. It was Con Scott. I had never 
seen him before, but we at once became friends and 
remained so till the end. He was going up to join 
his ship which, I think, was the Amphion, at 
Esquimault, B. C. 

*A$ soon as we got outside the Golden Gates we 
ran into a full gale which lasted all the way to Victoria, 
B, C. The ship was so overcrowded that a large num- 
ber of women and children were allowed to sleep on the 
floor of the only saloon there was on condition that 
they got up early, so that the rest of the passengers 
could come in for breakfast and the other meals* 

* 1 need scarcely say that owing to the heavy 
weather hardly a woman was able to get up* and the 



12 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

saloon was soon in an indescribable condition. Practi- 
cally no attempt was made to serve meals and the 
few so-called stewards were themselves mostly out of 
action from drink or sea-sickness. 

' Nearly all the male passengers who were able to 
be about spent their time drinking and quarrelling. 
The deck cargo and some of our top hamper were 
washed away and the cabins got their share of the 
waves that were washing the deck. 

* Then it was I first knew that Con Scott was no 
ordinary human being. Though at that time still 
only a boy he practically took command of the pas- 
sengers and was at once accepted by them as their 
Boss during the rest of the trip. With a small body 
of volunteers he led an attack on the saloon dressed 
the mothers, washed the children, fed the babies, 
swabbed clown the floors and nursed the sick, and 
performed every imaginable service for all hands. On 
deck he settled the quarrels and established order 
either by his personality, or, if necessary, by his fists. 
Practically by day and night he worked for the com- 
mon good, never sparing himself, and with his infec- 
tious smile gradually made us all feel the whole thing 
was jolly good fun, 

1 1 daresay there are still some of the passengers 
like myself who, after a quarter of a century, have 
imprinted on their minds the vision of this fair-haired 
English sailor boy with the laughing blue eyes who 
at that early age knew how to sacrifice himself for 
the welfare and happiness of others/ 



THE VOYAGE OF THE 'DISCOV 



CHAPTER I 
THE DISCOVERY 

Do ye, by star-eyed Science led, explore 
Each lonely ocean, each untrodden shore. 

IN June, 1899, Robert Falcon Scott was spending his 
short leave in London, and happened to meet Sir 
Clements Markham in the Buckingham Palace Road. 
On that afternoon he heard for the first time of a 
prospective Antarctic expedition, and on the following 
clay he called upon Sir Clements and volunteered to 
command it. Of this eventful visit Sir Clements 
wrote: 'On June 5, 1899, there was a remarkable 
coincidence, Scott was then torpedo lieutenant of 
the Majestic, I was just sitting down to write to my 
old friend Captain Egerton * about him, when he was 
announced. He came to volunteer to command the 
expedition. I believed him to be the best man for 
so great a trust, either in the navy or out of it. Captain 
Egerton^s reply and Scott's testimonials and certifi- 
cates most fully confirmed a foregone conclusion/ 
The tale, however, of the friendship between Sir 

* Now Admiral Sir George Egerton, KGB, 
15 



16 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Clements and Scott began in 1887, when the former 
was the guest of his cousin, the Commodore of the 
Training Squadron, and made the acquaintance of 
every midshipman in the four ships that comprised 
it During the years that followed, it is enough to 
say that Scott more than justified the hopes of those 
who had marked him down as a midshipman of ex- 
ceptional promise. Through those years Sir Clements 
had been both friendly and observant, until by a 
happy stroke of fortune the time came when he was as 
anxious for this Antarctic expedition to be led by Scott 
as Scott was to lead it. So when, on June 30, 1900, 
Scott was promoted to the rank of Commander, 
and shortly afterwards was free to undertake the work 
that was waiting for him, one great anxiety was re- 
moved from the shoulders of the man who had not 
only proposed the expedition, but had also resolved 
that nothing should prevent it from going. 

(treat difficulties and troubles had, however, to 
be encountered before the Discovery could .start upon 
her voyage. First and foremost was the question of 
money, but owing to indefatigable efforts the financial 
horizon grew clearer in the early months of 1899, 
later on in the same year Mr. Half our expressed hit* 
sympathy with the objects of the undertaking, and 
it was entirely due to him that the Government 
eventually agreed to contribute 45*000, provided 
that a similar sum could be raised by private sub- 
scriptions. 

In March, 1900, the keel of the new that the 



THE DISCOVERY 17 

special Ship Committee had decided to build for the 
expedition, was laid in the yard of the Dundee Ship- 
building Company. A definite beginning, at any rate, 
had been made; but very soon after Scott had taken 
up his duties he found that unless he could obtain 
some control over the various committees and sub- 
committees of the expedition, the only day to fix 
for the sailing of the ship was Doomsday. A visit 
to Norway, where he received many practical sugges- 
tions from Dr. Nansen, was followed by a journey to 
Berlin, and there he discovered that the German ex- 
pedition, which was to sail from Europe at the same 
time as his own, was already in an advanced state 
of preparation. Considerably alarmed, he hurried 
back to England and found, as he had expected, that 
all the arrangements, which were in full swing in Ger- 
many, were almost at a standstill in England. The 
construction of the ship was the only work that was 
progressing, and even in this there were many interrup- 
tions from the want of some one to give immediate 
decisions on points of detail. 

A remedy for this state of chaos had to be 
discovered, and on November 4, 1900, the Joint 
Committee of the Royal Society and the Royal 
Geographical Society passed a resolution, which left 
Scott practically with a free hand to push on the work 
In every department, tinder a given estimate of ex- 
penditure in each. To safeguard the interests of the 
two Societies the resolution provided that this expend* 
should be supervised by a Finance Committee, 



i8 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

and to this Committee unqualified gratitude was 
due. Difficulties were still to crop up, and as there 
were many scientific interests to be served, differences 
of opinion on points of detail naturally arose, but as 
far as the Finance Committee was concerned, it is mere 
justice to record that no sooner was it formed than its 
members began to work ungrudgingly to promote the 
success of the undertaking. 

In the meantime Scott's first task was to collect, 
as far as possible, the various members of the expedi- 
tion. Before he had left the Majestic he had written, 
* I cannot gather what is the intention as regards the 
crew; is it hoped to be able to embody them from the 
R.N. ? I sincerely trust so/ In fact he had set 
his heart on obtaining a naval crew, partly because 
he thought that their sense of discipline would be 
invaluable, but also because he doubted his ability to 
deal with any other class of men, 

The Admiralty, however, was reluctant to grant 
a concession that Scott considered so necessary, and 
this reluctance arose not from any coldness towards 
the enterprise, but from questions of principle and 
precedent. At first the Admiralty assistance in this 
respect was limited to two officers, Scott himself and 
Royds, then the 1 limit was extended to include Skclton 
the engineer, a carpenter and a boatswain, and thus 
at least a small naval nucleus was obtained. But It 
was not until the spring of r<xn that the Admiralty, 
thanks to Sir Anthony [tanking ami Sir Archibald 
Douglas* gave in altogether, and a& the selection of 



THE DISCOVERY; 19 

the most fitting volunteers had not yet been made, 
the chosen men did not join until the expedition was 
almost on the point of sailing. 

For many reasons Scott was obliged to make his 
own headquarters in London, and the room that had 
been placed at his disposal in Burlington House soon 
became a museum of curiosities. Sledges, ski, fur 
clothing and boots were crowded into every corner, 
while tables and shelves were littered with corre- 
spondence and samples of tinned foods. And in the 
midst of this medley he worked steadily on, sometimes 
elated by the hope that all was going well, sometimes 
depressed by the thought that the expedition could 
not possibly be ready to start at the required 
date. 

During these busy months of preparation he had 
the satisfaction of knowing that the first lieutenant, 
the chief engineer and the carpenter were in Dundee, 
and able to look into the numerous small difficulties 
that arose in connection with the building of the ship. 
Other important posts in the expedition had also been 
filled up, and 1 expeditionary work was being carried 
on in many places. Some men were working on their 
especial subjects in the British Museum, others were 
preparing themselves at the Physical Laboratory at 
Kew, and others, again, were travelling in various 
directions both at home and abroad. Of all these 
affairs the central office was obliged to take notice, and 
so for its occupants idle moments were few and very 
far between, Nansen said once that the hardest work 



20 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

of a Polar voyage came in its preparation, and during 
the years 1900-1, Scott found ample cause to agree 
with him. But in spite of conflicting interests, which 
at times threatened to wreck the well-being of the 
expedition, work, having been properly organised, 
went steadily forward; until on March 21, 1901, the 
new vessel was launched at Dundee and named the 
Discovery by Lady Markham. 

In the choice of a name it was generally agreed 
that the best plan was to revive some time-honoured 
title, and that few names were more distinguished 
than ' Discovery/ She was the sixth of that name, 
and inherited a long record of honourable ami for- 
tunate service. 

The Discovery had been nothing more than a 
skeleton when it was decided that she should be 
loaded with her freight in London; consequently, 
after she had undergone her trials, she was brought 
round from Dundee, and on June 3, 1901, was berthed 
in the Fast India Docks, There, during the follow- 
ing weeks, all the stores were gathered together, and 
there the vessel, which was destined to be the home 
of the expedition for more than three years, wa 
laden* 

Speaking at the Geographical Congress at Berlin 
in 1899, Nansen strongly recommended a of 

the Pram type with fuller lines for South Polar work, 
but the special Ship Committee, appointed to consider 
the question of a for this expedition* had very 

sound reasons for not following his advice* Nansen** 



THE DISCOVERY 21 

celebrated Fram was built for the specific object of 
remaining safely in the North Polar pack, in spite of 
the terrible pressures which were to be expected in 
such a vast extent of ice. This object was achieved 
in the simplest manner by inclining the sides of the 
vessel until her shape resembled a saucer, and lateral 
pressure merely tended to raise her above the surface. 
Simple as this design was, it fulfilled so well the re- 
quirements of the situation that its conception was 
without doubt a stroke of genius. What, however, has 
been generally forgotten is that the safety of the Fram 
was secured at the expense of her sea-worthiness and 
powers of ice-penetration. 

Since the Fram was built there have been two dis- 
tinct types of Polar vessels, the one founded on the 
idea of passive security in the ice, the other the old 
English whaler type designed to sail the high seas 
and push her way through the looser ice-packs. And 
a brief consideration of southern conditions will show 
which of these types is more serviceable for Antarctic 
exploration, because it is obvious that the exploring 
ship must first of all be prepared to navigate the 
most stormy seas in the world, and then be ready to 
force her way through the ice-floes to the mysteries 
beyond. 

By the general consent of those who witnessed her 
perf ormances, the old Discovery (the fifth of her name) 
of 1875 was the best ship that had ever been employed 
on Arctic service, and the Ship Committee eventually 
decided that the new vessel should be built on more 



22 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

or less the same lines. The new Discovery had the 
honour to be the first vessel ever built for scientific 
exploration, and the decision to adopt well-tried 
English lines for her was more than justified by her 
excellent qualities. 

The greatest strength lay in her bows, and when 
ice-floes had to be rammed the knowledge that the 
keel at the fore-end of the ship gradually grew thicker, 
until it rose in the enormous mass of solid wood which 
constituted the stem, was most comforting. No 
single tree could provide the wood for such a stem, 
but the several trees used were cunningly scarfed 
to provide the equivalent of a solid block. In further 
preparation for the battle with ice-floes, the stem 
itself and the bow for three or four feet on cither side 
were protected with numerous steel plates, so that 
when the ship returned to civilisation not a scratch 
remained to show the hard knocks received by 
the bow. 

The shape of the stem was also a very import ant 
consideration, In the outline drawing of the Discovery 
will be seen liow largely the stein overhangs and this 
was carried to a greater extent than in any former 
Polar vessel The object with which this WM fitted 
was often fulfilled during the voyage* Many a time 
on charging a large ice-floe the stem of the ship glided 
upwards until the bows were raised two or three feet* 
then the weight of the ship acting downwards would 
crack the flew beneath, the bow would drop, and gradu- 
ally the ship would forge ahead to tiutHlt* against the 



THE DISCOVERY 23 

next obstruction. Nothing but a wooden structure 
has the elasticity and strength to thrust its way with- 
out injury through the thick Polar ice. 

In Dundee the building of the Discovery aroused 
the keenest interest, and the peculiar shape of her 
overhanging stern, an entirely new feature in this 
class of vessel, gave rise to the strongest criticism. 
All sorts of misfortunes were predicted, but events 
proved that this overhanging rounded form of stern 
was infinitely superior for ice-work to the old form 
of stern, because it gave better protection to the 
rudder, rudder post and screw, and was more satis- 
factory in heavy seas. 

Both in the building and in the subsequent work 
of the Discovery the deck-house, marked on the draw- 
ing * Magnetic Observatory/ was an important place. 
For the best of reasons it was important that the mag- 
netic observations taken on the expedition should be as 
accurate as possible, and it will be readily understood 
that magnetic observations cannot be taken in a place 
closely surrounded by iron. The ardour of the mag- 
netic experts on the Ship Committee had led them at 
first to ask that there should be neither iron nor steel 
in the vessel, but after it had been pointed out that 
this could scarcely be, a compromise was arrived 
at and it was agreed that no magnetic materials 
should be employed within thirty feet of the obser- 
vatory* This decision caused immense trouble and 
expense^ but in the end it was justified, for the magnetic 
observations taken on board throughout the voyage 




i 



o 



c 
as 



m 

>4 

e 





e- 






THE DISCOVERY 25 

required very little correction. And if the demands 
of the magnetic experts were a little exacting, some 
amusement was also derived from them. At one time 
those who lived within the circle were threatened 
with the necessity of shaving with brass razors; and 
when the ship was on her way home from New Zealand 
a parrot fell into dire disgrace, not because it was too 
talkative, but because it had been hanging on the 
mess-deck during a whole set of observations, and the 
wires of its cage were made of iron. 

The Discovery was, in Scott's opinion, the finest 
vessel ever built for exploring purposes, and he was 
as enthusiastic about his officers and men as he was 
about the ship herself. 

The senior of the ten officers who messed with 
Scott In the small wardroom of the Discovery was 
Lieutenant A, B. Armitage, R.N.R. He brought 
with him not only an excellent practical seamanship 
training in sailing ships, but also valuable Polar 
experience; for the P. and CX Company, in which he 
held a position, had in 1894 granted him leave of 
absence to join the Jackson- Harmsworth Expedition to 
Franz- Josef Land. 

Reginald Koettlitz, the senior doctor, had also 
seen Arctic service in the Jackson-Harmsworth Ex- 
pedition. As his medical duties were expected to 
be light, he combined them with those of official 
botanist. 

The task of Thomas V. Hodgson, biologist, was 
to collect by hook or crook all the strange beasts 



26 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

that inhabit the Polar seas, and no greater enthusiast 
for his work could have been chosen. 

Charles W. R. Royds was the first lieutenant, and 
had all to do with the work of the men and the internal 
economy of the ship in the way that is customary 
with a first lieutenant of a man-of-war. Throughout 
the voyage he acted as meteorologist, and in face 
of great difficulties he secured the most valuable 
records. 

Michael Barne, the second naval lieutenant, had 
served with Scott in the Majestic. * 1 had thought 
him/ Scott wrote after the expedition had returned, 
' as he proved to be, especially fitted for a voyage 
where there were many elements of clangers and 
difficulty/ 

The original idea in appointing two doctors to the 
Discovery was that one of them should be available for 
a detached landing-party. This idea was practically 
abandoned, but the expedition had reason to lie 
thankful that it ever existed, for the second doctor 
appointee! was Edward A- Wilson. In view of the 
glorious friendship which arose between them, and 
which in the end was destined to make history, it is 
of inestimable value to be able to quote what is 
believed to be Scott's first written opinion of Wilson, 
In a letter headed ' At sea, Sept. 27,* he saicl s ' 1 
now come to the man who will clo great things Home 
day Wilson, He has quite the keenest intellect on 
board and a marvellous capacity for work. You 
know lib artistic talent, but would tie surprised at 



THE DISCOVERY 27 

the speed at which he paints, and the indefatigable 
manner in which he is always at it. He has fallen 
at once into ship-life, helps with any job that may 
be in hand ... in fact is an excellent fellow all 
round/ 

Wilson, in addition to his medical duties, was also 
vertebrate zoologist and artist to the expedition. In 
the first capacity he dealt scientifically with the birds 
and seals, and in the second he produced a very large 
number of excellent pictures and sketches of the wild 
scenes among which he was living. 

One of Scott's earliest acts on behalf of the ex- 
pedition was to apply for the services of Reginald 
W, Skelton as chief engineer. At the time Skelton 
was senior engineer of the Majestic, and his appoint- 
ment to the Discovery was most fortunate in every 
way. From first to last there was no serious diffi- 
culty with the machinery or with anything connected 
with it 

The geologist, Hartley T. Ferrar, only joined the 
expedition a short time before the Discovery sailed, 
and the physicist, Louis Bernacchi, did not join until 
the ship reached New Zealand* 

In addition there were two officers who did not 
serve throughout the whole term, Owing to ill-health 
Ernest H, Shackleton was obliged to return from the 
Antarctic In 1903, and his place was taken by George 
K A. Mulock, who was a sub-lieutenant in the Navy 
when he joined. 

Apart from Koettlitz, who was forty, and Hodgson, 



28 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

who was thirty-seven, the average age of the remaining 
members of the wardroom mess was just over twenty- 
four years, and at that time Scott had little doubt 
as to the value of youth for Polar service. Very 
naturally, however, this opinion was less pronounced 
as the years went by, and on August 6, 1911, he 
wrote during his last expedition: 'We (Wilson and 
I) both conclude that it is the younger people who 
have the worst time . . . Wilson (39) says he never 
felt cold less than he does now; I suppose that 
between 30 and 40 is the best all-round age. Bowers 
is a wonder of course. He is 29. When past the 
forties ' it is encouraging to remember that Peary 
was 52 ! J 

The fact that these officers lived in complete 
harmony for three years was proof enough that they 
were well and wisely chosen, and Scott was equally 
happy in his selection of warrant officers, petty officers 
and men, who brought with them the sense of naval 
discipline that is very necessary for such conditions 
as exist in Polar service. The Discovery, it must 
be remembered, was not in Government employment, 
and so had no more stringent regulations to enforce 
discipline than those contained in the Merchant 
Shipping Act, But everyone on board lived exactly 
as though the ship wan under the Naval Discipline 
Act; and as the men must have known that thin 
state of affairs was a fiction, they deserved as much 
credit as the officers if not more, for continuing 
rigorously to observe it* 



THE DISCOVERY 29 

Something remains to be said about the Discovery's 
prospective course, and of the instructions given to 
Captain Scott. 

For purposes of reference Sir Clements Markham 
had suggested that the Antarctic area should be divided 
into four quadrants, to be named respectively the 
Victoria, the Ross, the Weddell, and the Enderby, and 
when he also proposed that the Ross quadrant should 
be the one chosen for this expedition, his proposal 
was received with such unanimous approval that 
long before the Discovery was built her prospective 
course had been finally decided. In fact every branch 
of science saw a greater chance of success in the Ross 
quadrant than in any other region. Concerning 
instructions on such a voyage as the Discovery's it may 
be thought that, when once the direction is settled, 
the fewer there are the better. Provided, however, 
that they leave the greatest possible freedom to the 
commander, they may be very useful in giving him a 
general view of the situation, and in stating the order 
in which the various objects are held. If scientific 
interests clash, it is clearly to the commander's 
advantage to know in what light these interests are 
regarded by those responsible for the enterprise. 
Of such a nature were the instructions Scott received 
before sailing for the South, 

During the time of preparation many busy men gave 
most valuable assistance to the expedition; but 
even with all this kindly aid it is doubtful if the 
would ever have started had it not been 



30 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

that among these helpers was one who, from the first, 
had given his whole and undivided attention to the 
work in hand. After all is said and done Sir Clem- 
ents Markham conceived the idea of this Antarctic 
Expedition, and it was his masterful personality which 
swept aside all obstacles and obstructions. 



CHAPTER II 

SOUTHWARD HO! 

They saw the cables loosened, they saw the gangways cleared, 
They heard the women weeping, they heard the men who cheered. 
Far off far off the tumult faded and died away, 
And all alone the sea wind came singing up the Bay. NEWBOLT, 

ON July 31, 1901, the Discovery left the London Docks, 
and slowly wended her way clown the Thames; and at 
Cowes, on August 5, she was honoured by a visit from 
King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. This visit 
must be ever memorable for the interest their Majesties 
showed in the minutest details of equipment; but at 
the same time it was natural for the members of the ex- 
pedition to be obsessed by the fear that they might 
start with a flourish of trumpets and return with failure. 
The grim possibilities of the voyage were also not to be 
forgotten a voyage to the Antarctic, the very map of 
which had remained practically unaltered from 1843-93, 
With no previous Polar experience to help him, 
Scott was following on the track of great Polar ex- 
plorers, notably of James Cook and James Ross, of 
whom it has been well said that the one defined the 
Antarctic region and the other discovered it. Can 
it be wondered therefore that his great anxieties were 

31 



32 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

to be off and doing, to justify the existence of the ex- 
pedition at the earliest possible moment, and to obey 
the Instructions which had been given him? 

Before the Discovery had crossed the Bay of Biscay 
it was evident that she did not possess a turn of speed 
under any conditions, and that there must be none 
but absolutely necessary delays on the voyage, if she 
was to arrive in the Antarctic in time to take full 
advantage of the southern summer of 1901-2 for the 
first exploration in the ice. This proved a serious 
drawback, as it had been confidently expected that 
there would be ample time to make trial of various 
devices for sounding and dredging in the deep sea, 
while still in a temperate climate. The fact that no 
trials could be made on the outward voyage was 
severely felt when the Antarctic was reached. 

On October 2 the Discovery arrived within 150 miles 
of the Cape, and on the 5th was moored off the naval 
station at Simon's Hay. The main object of staying* 
at the Cape was to obtain comparisons with the mag- 
netic instruments, but Scott wrote; * It is much In 
be deplored that no permanent Magnetic Station now 
exists at the Cape* The fact increased the number 
and difficulty of ottr own observations, and it wan 
quite impossible to spare the time for such repetitions 
and verifications as, under the circumstance*, could 
alone have placed them beyond dispute/ Artnitage 
and Barnc, however, worked like Trojans In taking 
observations, and received so much valuable astffot- 
Aincc that * they were able to accomplish a maximum 



SOUTHWARD HO! 33 

amount of work in the limited time at their disposal' 
In every way, indeed, the kindliest sympathy was 
shown at the Cape. 

The magnetic work was completed on October 12, 
and two days later the Discovery once more put out 
to sea; and as time went on those on board became 
more and more satisfied with her seaworthy qualities. 
Towards the end of October there was a succession 
of heavy following gales, but she rose like a cork to 
the mountainous seas that followed in her wake, 
and, considering her size, she was wonderfully free of 
water on the upper deck. With a heavy following sea, 
however, she was, owing to her buoyancy, extremely 
lively, and rolls of more than 40 were often recorded. 
The peculiar shape of the stern, to which reference 
has been made, was now well tested. It gave addi- 
tional buoyancy to the after-end, causing the ship to 
rise more quickly to the seas, but the same lifting 
effect was also directed to throwing the ship off her 
course, and consequently she was difficult to steer. 
The helmsmen gradually became more expert, but on 
one occasion when Scott and some other officers were 
on the bridge the ship swerved round, and was imme- 
diately swept by a monstrous sea which made a clean 
breach over her. Instinctively those on the bridge 
clutched the rails, and for several moments they were 
completely submerged while the spray dashed as high 
as the upper topsails* 

On November 12 the Discowry was in lat 51 S 
long* 131 E and had arrived in such an extremely 



34 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

interesting magnetic area that they steered to the 
south to explore it. This new course took them far 
out of the track of ships and towards the regions 
of ice, and they had scarcely arrived in those lonely 
waters when Scott was aroused from sleep by a loud 
knocking and a voice shouting, * Ship's afire, sir.' 
Without waiting to give any details of this alarming 
news the informant fled, and when Scott appeared 
hastily on the scenes he found that the deck was 
very dark and obstructed by numerous half-clad 
people, all of whom were as ignorant as he was. Mak- 
ing his way forward he discovered that the fire had 
been under the forecastle, and had been easily ex- 
tinguished when the hose was brought to bear on it. 
In these days steel ships and electric light tend in lessen 
the fear of fire, but in a wooden vessel the possible 
consequences are too serious not to make the danger 
very real and alarming. 'Henceforth the risk of fire 
was constantly in Scott's thoughts, but thus was the 
first and last occasion on which an alarm was rained 
in the Discovery, 

On November 15 the 60th parallel was passed, 
and during the following morning small pieces of 
sea-ice, worn into fantastic shape by the action oC tlu* 
waves, appeared and were greeted with much excite- 
ment and enthusiast!!. As the afternoon advanced 
signs of a heavier pack were seen ahead, and soon 
the loose floes were all about the ship, and she was 
pushing her way amongst them and receiving her 
i&ptism of 5cc\ 



SOUTHWARD HO! 35 

This was Scott's first experience of pack-ice, and 
he has recorded how deeply he was impressed by the 
novelty of his surroundings. * The wind had died 
away; what light remained was reflected in a ghostly 
glimmer from the white surface of the pack; now 
and again a white snow petrel flitted through the 
gloom, the grinding of the floes against the ship's 
side was mingled with the more subdued hush of their 
rise and fall on the long swell, and for the first time 
we felt something of the solemnity of these great 
Southern solitudes/ 

The Discovery was now within 200 miles of Adelie 
Land, and with steam could easily have pushed on 
towards it But delays had already been excessive, 
and they could not be added to if New Zealand was 
to be reached betimes. Reluctantly the ship's head 
was again turned towards the North, and soon passed 
into looser ice. 

One great feature of the tempestuous seas of 
these southern oceans is the quantity and variety 
of their bird life, Not only are these roaming, tire- 
less birds to be seen in the distance, but in the majority 
of cases they are attracted by a ship and for hours 
gather close about her. The greater number are 
of the petrel tribe, and vary in size from the greater 
albatrosses, with their huge spread of wing and un- 
wavering flight, to the small Wilson stormy petrel, 
which flits under the foaming crests of the waves. 
For centuries these birds have been the friends of 
sailors, and as Wilson was able to distinguish and 



36 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

name the various visitors to the Discovery, the interest 
of the voyage was very greatly increased 

' At ii A.M. on the 22nd/ Scott wrote in his official 
report of the Proceedings of the expedition, * we 
sighted Macquarie Island, exactly at the time and 
in the direction expected, a satisfactory fact after so 
long an absence from land. As the island promised 
so much of interest to our naturalists I thought a 
delay of the few hours necessary for landing would 
be amply justified, ... A landing was effected 
without much difficulty, and two penguin rookeries 
which had been observed from the ship were explored 
with much interest. One proved to be inhabited by the 
beautifully marked King penguin, while the other con- 
tained a smaller gold-crested broad-billed species, . . 
At 8 P.M. the party returned to the ship, and shortly 
after we weighed anchor and proceeded Including 
those collected in the ice, we had no fewer than 50 
birds of various sorts to be skinned, and during the next 
few days several officers and men were busily engaged 
in this work under the superintendence of Dr, Wilson. 
The opportunity was taken of serving out the flesh 
of the penguins for food, 1 had anticipated consider- 
able prejudice on the part of the men to this form of 
diet which it will so often be essential to enforce* 
and was agreeably surprised to find that they were by 
no means averse to it, Many pronounced it excellent, 
and all seemed to appreciate the necessity of cultivating 
a taste for it, I found no prejudice more difficult to 
conquer than my own* 1 



SOUTHWARD HO! 37 

Perhaps the most excited member of the party over 
this visit to Macquarie Island was Scott's Aberdeen 
terrier * Scamp/ who was most comically divided 
between a desire to run away from the penguins, 
and a feeling that in such strange company it behooved 
him to be very courageous. This, however, was 
Scamp's first and last experience of penguins, for it 
was felt that he would be unable to live in the Ant- 
arctic, and so a comfortable home was found for him 
in New Zealand. 

Late on November 29 the Discovery arrived off 
Lyttelton Heads, and on the following day she was 
berthed alongside a jetty in the harbour. For both 
the private and the public kindness which was shown 
to the expedition in New Zealand, no expressions of 
gratitude can be too warm. On every possible occa- 
sion, and in every possible way, efficient and kindly 
assistance was given, and this was all the more valuable 
because a lot of work had to be done before the ship 
could sail from Lyttelton. The rigging had to be 
thoroughly overhauled and refitted; the magneticians 
had to undertake the comparison of their delicate 
instruments, and as this was the last occasion on which 
it could be done special attention was necessary; and 
a large quantity of stores had to be shipped, because 
some of those in the Discovery had been damaged by 
the leaky state of the ship. This leak had never been 
dangerous, but all the same it had entailed many 
weary hours of pumping, and had caused much waste 
of time and of provisions* Among the many skilled 



38 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

workmen, whose united labour had produced the solid 
structure of the Discovery's hull, had been one who had 
shirked his task, and although the ship was docked 
and most determined and persistent efforts were made 
to find the leak, it succeeded in avoiding detection. 

As the month of December advanced the scene on 
the ship was a very busy one, but at last the day for 
sailing from Lyttelton arrived, though not for the 
filial departure from civilisation, because a short visit 
was to be paid to Port Chalmers in the south to com- 
plete the stock of coal On Saturday, December 21, 
the ship lay alongside the wharf ready for sea and very 
deeply laden* * One could reflect that it would have 
been impossible to have got more into her, and that all 
we had got seemed necessary for the voyage* for the 
rest we could only trust that Providence would vouch- 
safe to us fine weather and an easy passage to the south,* 

New Zealand, to the last, was bent on showing 
its enthusiasm for the expedition. Two men-of-war 
steamed slowly out ahead of the /)isctwery> while 
no fewer than five steamers, crowded with passengers, 
and with hands playing and whistles hooting* also 
accompanied her, until the open sea was reached 
and the /Jwowry slowly steamed out between the* 
war-ships that seemed to stand as sentinel* to the hay, 
And then, before the cheers of thtm&uuta of friends 
were* hardly out of the ears of those on hoard, a trag* 
ecly happened Among the* ship"* company who twl 
crowded into the to wave their farewell* 

was one young named Charles Bonnet, who. 



SOUTHWARD HO! 39 

more venturesome than the rest, had climbed above 
the crow's-nest to the top of the main-mast. There, 
seated on the truck, he had remained cheering, until 
in a moment of madness he raised himself into a 
standing position, and almost directly afterwards he 
fell and was instantaneously killed. On the Monday 
the ship arrived at Port Chalmers, and Bonner was 
buried with naval honours. 

By noon on the following day the Discovery was 
clear of the harbour bar, and was soon bowling along 
under steam and sail towards the south. The last 
view of civilisation, the last sight of fields and flowers 
had come and gone on Christmas Eve, 1901, and 
Christmas Day found the ship in the open expanse of 
the Southern Ocean, though after such a recent parting 
from so many kind friends no one felt inclined for 
the customary festivities. 

In good sea trim the Discovery had little to fear 
from the worst gales, but at this time she was so 
heavily laden that had she encountered heavy seas 
the consequences must have been very unpleasant. 
Inevitably much of her large deck cargo must have 
been lost; the masses of wood on the superstructure 
would have been In great danger, while all the sheep 
and possibly many of the dogs would have been 
drowned, Fine weather, however, continued, and 
on January 3 Scott and his companions crossed the 
Antarctic Circle, little thinking how long a time would 
elapse before they would recross it. At length they 
had entered the Antarctic regions; before them lay 



40 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the scene of their work, and all the trials of preparation, 
and the anxiety of delays, were forgotten in the fact 
that they had reached their goal in time to make use 
of the best part of the short open season in these ice- 
bound regions. 

Soon the pack was on all sides of them, but as yet 
so loose that there were many large pools of open 
water. And then for several days the ship had really 
to fight her way, and Scott gave high praise to the way 
she behaved : * The " Discovery " is a perfect gem in 
the pack. Her size and weight behind such a stem 
seem to give quite the best combination possible for 
such a purpose. We have certainly tried her thor- 
oughly, for the pack which we have come through 
couldn't have been looked at by Ross even with a gale 
of wind behind him/ 

Necessarily progress became slow, but life abounds 
in the pack, and the birds that came to visit the ship 
were a source of perpetual interest. The plcasantest 
and most constant of these visitors was the stttall 
snow petrel, with its dainty snow-white plumage 
relieved only by black beak and feet, and black* beady 
eye. These little birds abound in the packice, but 
the blue-grey southern fulmar and the Antarctic petrel 
were also to be seen, and that unwholesome scavenger, 
the giant petrel, frequently lumbered by; while the 
skua gull, tnont pugnacious of bullies, occasionally 
flapped past, on his way to make some less formidable 
bird disgorge his hard-earned dinner, 

The squeak of the penguin constantly heart!, at 



SOUTHWARD HO! 41 

first afar and often long before the birds were seen. 
Curiosity drew them to the ship, and as she forced her 
way onward these little visitors would again and 
again leap into the water, and journey from floe to 
floe in their eagerness to discover what this strange 
apparition could be. Some of the sailors became very 
expert in imitating their calls, and could not only at- 
tract them from a long distance, but would visibly add 
to their astonishment when they approached. These 
were busy days for the penguins. 

In all parts of the pack seals are plentiful and 
spend long hours asleep on the floes. The commonest 
kind is the crab-eater or white seal, but the Ross seal 
is not rare, and there and there is found the sea-leopard, 
ranging wide and preying on the penguins and even on 
the young of its less powerful brethren. It is curious 
to observe that both seals and penguins regard them- 
selves as safe when out of the water. In the sea they 
are running risks all the time, and in that element 
Nature has made them swift to prey or to avoid being 
preyed upon. But once on ice or land they have 
known no enemy, and cannot therefore conceive one. 
The seal merely raises its head when anyone approaches, 
and then with but little fear; whereas it is often difficult 
to drive the penguin into the water, for he is firmly 
convinced that the sea is the sole source of danger. 
Several seals were killed for food, and from the first 
seakneat was found palatable, if' not altogether the 
form of diet to recommend to an epicure* The great 
drawback to the seal is that there is no fat except blub- 



42 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

ber, and blubber has a very strong taste and most pene- 
trating smell. At this time blubber was an abomina- 
tion to every one both in taste and smell, and if the 
smallest scrap happened to have been cooked with the 
meat, dinner was a wasted meal. Later on, however, 
this smell lost most of its terrors, while seal-steaks and 
seal-liver and kidneys were treated almost as luxuries. 

On the morning of January 8 a strong water sky 
could be seen, and soon afterwards the officer of 
the watch hailed from aloft the glad tidings of an 
open sea to the south. Presently the ship entered a 
belt where the ice lay in comparatively small pieces, 
and after pushing her way through this for over a 
mile, she reached the hard line where the ice abruptly 
ended, and to the south nothing but a clear sky could 
be seen. At 10,30 P.M. on the same evening the joy 
of being again in the open sea was intensified by a 
shout of *Lancl in sight/ and all who were not 00 
deck quickly gathered there to take their first look 
at the Antarctic Continent. The sun, near the south- 
ern horizon, still shone in a cloudless sky, and far 
away to the south-west the blue outline of the high 
mountain peaks of Victoria Land could be seen. The 
course was now directed for Robertson Bay, and after 
some difficulty, owing* to the reappearance of loose 
streams of pack-ice, the ship was eventually steered 
into the open water within the bay* 

Robertson Bay is formed by the long peninsula of 
Cape Adare, within which, standing but slightly 
above the level of the sea* Is a curious triangular 



SOUTHWARD HO! 43 

spit, probably the morainic remains of the vaster 
ice conditions of former ages. It was on this spit 
that the expedition sent forth by Sir George Newnes 
and commanded by Borchgrevink spent their winter 
in 1896, the first party to winter on the shores of 
the Antarctic Continent. Here Scott decided to land 
for a short time, and very soon Armitage, Bernacchi 
and Barne were at work among the thousands of pen- 
guins that abounded, while the naturalists wandered 
further afield in search of specimens. In the centre 
of Cape Adare beach the hut used by the members 
of Borchgrevink's party was still found to be standing 
in very good condition, though at the best of times 
deserted dwellings are far from cheerful to contem- 
plate* Bernacchi had been a member of this small 
party of eight, and on the spot he recalled the past, 
and told of the unhappy death of Hanson one of his 
comrades. 

Later on Bernacchi and some others landed again to 
visit Hanson's grave, and to see that all was well with 
it- They took a tin cylinder containing the latest 
report of the voyage with them, and were told to place 
it in some conspicuous part of the hut. In the follow- 
ing year this cylinder was found by the Morning* and 
so the first information was given that the Discovery 
had succeeded in reaching these southern regions, 

On January 10, when the weather was still calm 
and bright, the ship again stood out to sea, and was 
steered close around Cape Adare in the hope of finding 
* The relief ship. 



44 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

a clear channel near at hand. Very soon, however, 
the tidal stream began to make from the south, and 
the whole aspect of the streams of heavy pack-ice 
rapidly changed. Almost immediately the pack was 
about the ship, and she was being rapidly borne along 
with it. Across the entrance to the bay was a chain 
of grounded icebergs, and it was in this direction 
that she was being carried. For the first time they 
faced the dangers of the pack, and realised its mighty 
powers. Little or nothing could be done, for the 
floes around them were heavier than anything they 
had yet encountered. Twist and turn as they would 
no appreciable advance could be made, and in front: 
of one colossal floe the ship was brought to a stand- 
still for nearly half an hour. But they still battled 
on; Armitage remained aloft, working the ship with 
admirable patience; the engine-room, as usual, an- 
swered nobly to the call for more steam, and the Dis- 
covery exerted all her powers in the struggle; but, in 
spite of these efforts, progress was so slow that it 
looked almost certain that she would be carried clown 
among the bergs. * It was one of those hours/ Scott 
says, * which impress themselves for ever on the mem- 
ory* Above us the sun shone in a cloudless sky f its 
rays were reflected from a myriad points of the glisten- 
ing pack; behind us lay the lofty snow~clac! mountains, 
the brown sunkised cliffs of the Cape, and the placid 
glassy waters of the bay; the air about u wan almottt 
breathlessly still; crisp, clear and sun-lit, it wanted 
an atmosphere in which all Nature should rejoice; 



SOUTHWARD HO! 45 

the silence was broken only by the deep panting of 
our engines and the slow, measured hush of the grind- 
ing floes; yet, beneath all, ran this mighty, relentless 
tide, bearing us on to possible destruction. It seemed 
desperately unreal that danger could exist in the midst 
of so fair a scene, and as one paced to and fro on the 
few feet of throbbing plank that constituted our 
bridge, it was difficult to persuade oneself that we were 
so completely impotent.' 

With the exception of Scott himself only those 
who were actually on watch were on deck during this 
precarious time, for the hour was early, and the ma- 
jority were asleep in their bunks below, happily 
oblivious of the possible dangers before them. And 
the fact, that they were not aroused is a proof that a 
fuss was rarely made in the Discovery, if it could by 
any conceivable means be avoided. 

At last, however, release came from this grave 
danger, and it came so gradually that it was difficult 
to say when it happened. Little by little the tidal 
stream slackened, the close-locked floes fell slightly 
apart, and under her full head of steam the ship began 
to forge ahead towards the open sea and safety. * For 
me/ Scott acids, * the lesson had been a sharp and, I 
have no doubt, a salutary one; we were here to fight 
the elements with their icy weapons, and once and for 
all this taught me not to undervalue the enemy/ 
During 1 the forenoon the ship was within seven or 
eight miles of the high bold coast-line to the south of 
Cape Adare, but later she had to be turned outwards 



46 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

so that the heavy stream of pack-ice drifting along the 
land could be avoided. By the morning of the nth 
she was well clear of the land, but the various paks 
and headlands which Sir James Ross had named 
could be distinctly seen, and gave every one plenty to 
talk and think about. Progress, however, was slow, 
owing to a brisk S. E. wind and the fact that only one 
boiler was being used. 

Of all economies practised on board the most 
important was that of coal, but Scott was not at all 
sure that this decision to use only one boiler was 
really economical Certainly coal was saved but time 
was also wasted, and against an adverse wind the 
Discovery could only make fifty-five miles on the i ilh, 
and on the I2th she scarcely made any headway at 
all, for the wind had increased and a heavy swell was 
coming up from the south. 

To gain shelter Scott decided to turn m towards 
the high cliffs of Coulman Island, the land of which 
looked illusively near as they approached it. So 
strong was this deception that the engines were caused 
when the ship was still nearly two miles away from 
the cliffs. Later on, in their winter quarters and 
during their sledge journeys, they got to know how 
easy it was to be deluded as regards distance, and what 
very false appearances distant objects could assume, 
This matter is of interest, because it shows that Polar 
explorers must be exceedingly cautious in believing 
the evidence of their own eyes* ami it also explain* 
the errors which the Discovery expedition found la 



SOUTHWARD HO! 47 

have been made by former explorers, and which they 
knew must have been made in all good faith. 

During the night of the I3th the ship lay under 
the shelter of Coulman Island, but by the morning the 
wind had increased to such a furious gale, and the 
squalls swept down over the cliffs with such terrific 
violence, that in spite of every effort to keep her in 
her station she began to lose ground. In the afternoon 
the wind force was ninety miles an hour, and as they 
continued to lose ground they got into a more choppy 
sea, which sent the spray over them in showers, to 
freeze as it fell 

Again the situation was far from pleasant; to 
avoid one berg they were forced to go about, and in 
doing so they ran foul of another. As they came down 
on it the bowsprit just swept clear of its pinnacled 
sides, and they took the shock broad on their bows. 
It sent the ship reeling round, but luckily on the right 
tack to avoid further complications. The following 
night was dismal enough; again and again small 
bergs appeared through the blinding spray and drift, 
and only with great difficulty could the unmanageable 
ship be brought to clear them. Even gales, however, 
must have an end, and towards morning the wind 
moderated, and once more they were able to steam up 
close to the island And there, between two tongues 
of Ice off Cape Wad worth, they landed on the steep 
rocks and erected a staff bearing a tin cylinder with a 
further record of the voyage. By the time this had 
been done the wind had fallen completely! and in 



48 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the evening the ship entered a long inlet between 
Cape Jones and the barrier-ice, and later turned out 
of this into a smaller inlet in the barrier-ice itself. 
She was now in a very well-sheltered spot, and night, 
as often happened in the Antarctic regions, was turned 
into clay so that several seals could be killed, * It 
seemed a terrible desecration/ Scott says, ' to come 
to this quiet spot only to murder its innocent inhabi- 
tants, and stain the white snow with blood/ But there 
was the best of all excuses, namely necessity, for this 
massacre, because there was no guarantee that seals 
would be found near the spot in which the ship win- 
tered, and undoubtedly the wisest plan was to make 
sure of necessary food. 

While the seal carcases and some ice for the boilers 
were being obtained, Scott turned in to get sonic rest 
before putting out to sea again, and on returning 
to the deck at 7*30 he was tolcl that the work was 
completed, but that some five hours before Wilson, 
Ferrar, Cross and Weller had got adrift of a floe, and 
that no one had thought of picking them up. Although 
the sun had been shining brightly all night, the tem- 
perature had been down to iB f and afar off Scott could 
see four disconsolate figures tramping about, and try* 
ing to keep themselves warm on a detached flexs not 
more than fifteen yards across, 

When at length the wanderers scrambled over the 
side it was very evident that they had a grievance, 
and not until they hail been wanned by hot cocoa 
could they talk with of their experiences. They 



SOUTHWARD HO! 49 

had been obliged to keep constantly on the move, 
and when they thought of smoking to relieve the 
monotony they found that they had pipes and to- 
bacco, but no matches. While, however, they were dis- 
mally bemoaning this unfortunate state of affairs 
Wilson, who did not smoke, came to the rescue and 
succeeded in producing fire with a small pocket mag- 
nifying glass a performance which testified not only 
to Wilson's resource, but also to the power of the sun 
in these latitudes. 

On the 1 7th the ship hacl to stand out farther and 
farther from the land to clear the pack, and when on 
the 1 8th she arrived in the entrance to Wood Bay 
it was also found to be heavily packed, Away to the 
N. and N.W. the sharp peaks of Monteagle and Mur- 
chison, among bewildering clusters of lesser summits, 
coulcl be seen; across the bay rose the magnificent 
bare cliff of Cape Sibbald, while to the S.W. the eye 
lingered pleasantly upon the uniform outline of Mount 
Melbourne. This fine mountain rears an almost per- 
fect volcanic cone to a height of 9,000 feet, and with 
no competing height to take from its grandeur, it 
constitutes the most magnificent landmark oti the 
coast. Cape Washington, a bold, sharp headland, 
projects from the foot of the mountain on its eastern 
side, and finding such heavy pack in Wood Bay, Scott 
decided to turn to the south to pass around this cape* 

From this point the voyage promised to be increas- 
ingly Interesting, since the coast to the south of Cape 
Washington was practically unknown* Pack-ice was 



50 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

still a formidable obstacle, but on the aoth the Dis- 
covery pushed her way into an inlet where she met ice 
which had been formed inside and but recently broken 
up. The ice was perfectly smooth, and as it showed 
absolutely no sign of pressure there was no doubting 
that this inlet would make a secure wintering harbour. 
Already a latitude had been reached in which it was 
most desirable to find safe winter quarters for the ship. 
In England many people had thought that Wood 
Bay would be the most southerly spot where security 
was likely to be found, but Scott had seen enough 
of the coast-line to the south of that place to realise 
the impossibility of travelling* along it in sledges, 
and to convince him that if any advance to the south 
was to be made, a harbour in some higher latitude 
must be found. 

This inlet was afterwards named Granite Harbour, 
and so snug and secure a spot wan it to winter in that 
Scott expressed his thankfulness that he did not yield 
to its allurements, * Surrounded as we should have 
been by steep and lofty hills, we could have obtained 
only the most local records of climatic conditions, 
and our meteorological observations would have Insen 
comparatively valueless; but the greatest drawback 
would have* been that we should be completely cut off 
from travelling over the sea-ice beyond the mouth of 
our harbour , . , It H when one rattembcfjH how 
naturally a decision to return to this place might have 
been made, that one sees hmv easily the results of the 
expedition might have tu?en missed/ 



SOUTHWARD HO! 51 

It was, however, consoling at the time to know 
that, in default of a better place, a safe spot had been 
found for wintering, so with Granite Harbour in re- 
serve the ship again took up her battle with the ice; 
and on the 2ist she was in the middle of McMurdo 
Sound, and creeping very slowly through the pack-ice, 
which appeared from the crow's-nest to extend in- 
definitely ahead. They were now within a few miles 
of the spot where they ultimately took up their winter 
quarters, but nearly three weeks were to pass before 
they returned there. f At 8 P.M. on the 2ist/ Scott 
says, ' we thought we knew as much of this region as 
our heavy expenditure of coal in the pack-ice would 
justify us in finding out, and as before us lay the great 
unsolved problem of the barrier and of what lay 
beyond it, we turned our course with the cry of 
Eastward ho ! ' 



CHAPTER III 

IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 

Beholde T see the haven near at hand 

To which 1 mean my \vearie course to bend; 
Vcrc the main sheet and bear up to the land 
To which afore is fairly to be ken'd 

Faerie Quefnt. 



IN their journey from Cape Washington to the south 
something 1 had already been done to justify the des- 
patch of the expedition, A coast-Hue which hitherto 
had been seen only at a great distance, and reported 
so indefinitely that doubts were left with regard to 
its continuity, had been resolved into a concrete 
chain of mountains; and the positions and forms of 
individual heights, with the curious ice formations 
and the general line of the coast, had been observed. 
In short the map of the Antarctic had already received 
valuable additions, and whatever was to happen in 
the future that, at any rate, was all to the good. 

At 8 P.M on the aand the ship arrived off the bare 
land to the westward of Cape Crosier, where it was 
proposed to erect a post and leave a cylinder con- 
taining an account of their doings, so that fht* chain 
of records might be completed. After a landing had 

* 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 53 

been made with some difficulty, a spot was chosen 
in the centre of the penguin rookery on a small cliff 
overlooking the sea, and here the post was set up 
and anchored with numerous boulders. In spite of 
every effort to mark the place, at a few hundred 
yards it was almost impossible to distinguish it; but 
although this small post on the side of a vast mountain 
looked a hopeless clue, it eventually brought the 
Morning into McMurdo Sound. 

While Bernacchi and Barne set up their magnetic 
instruments and began the chilly task of taking 
observations, the others set off in twos and threes 
to climb the hillside. Scott", Roycls and Wilson 
scrambled on until at last they reached the summit of 
the highest of the adjacent volcanic cones, and were 
rewarded by a first view of the Great Ice Barrier. 1 

* Perhaps/ Scott says, * of all the problems which 
lay before us in the south we were most keenly in- 
terested in solving the mysteries of this great ice- 
mass, , . . For sixty years it had been discussed and 
rediscussed, and many a theory had been built on 
the slender foundation of fact which alone the meagre 
information concerning it could afford. Now for 
the first time this extraordinary ice-formation was 
seen from above. . * It was an impressive sight and 
the very vastness of what lay at our feet seemed to 
add to our sense of its mystery.' 

Early on the 23rd they started to steam along the 

* The immense sheet of Ice, over 400 miles wide and of still 

greater length* 



54 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

ice- face of the barrier; and in order that nothing 
should be missed it was arranged that the ship should 
continue to skirt close to the ice-cliff, that the officers 
of the watch should repeatedly observe and record its 
height, and that three times in the twenty- four hours 
the ship should be stopped and a sounding taken. In 
this manner a comparatively accurate survey of the 
northern limit of the barrier was made. 

On steaming along the barrier it was found that 
although they were far more eager to gain new in- 
formation than to prove that old information was in- 
correct, a very strong case soon began to arise against 
the Parry Mountains, which Ross had described us 
* probably higher than we have yet seen " ; and later 
on it was known with absolute certainty that these 
mountains did not exist. This error on the part of 
such a trustworthy and cautious observer, Scott 
ascribes to the fact that Ross, having exaggerated 
the height of the harrier, was led to suppose that 
anything seen over it at a, distance must be of great 
altitude* * But,* he adds* * whatever the cause, the 
facts show again how deceptive appearances may be 
and how easily errors may arise* In fact, ,%s I have 
said before, one cannot always afford to trust the 
evidence of one's own eyes/ Though the ship was 
steaming along this ice- wall for several clays, the* pin* 
sage was not in the least monotonous, iieeatw* now 
variations were continually showing thetnselvi% awl 
all of them had to be carefully observed and rmifclfil 
This work continued for several days until* on January 
29* they arrived at a particularly Interesting plans tct 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 55 

the southward and eastward of the extreme position 
reached by Ross in 1842. From that position he had 
reported a strong appearance of land to the southeast, 
and consequently all eyes were directed over the icy 
cliffs in that direction. But although the afternoon was 
bright and clear, nothing from below or from aloft 
could be seen, and the only conclusion to be made was 
that the report was based on yet another optical illusion. 

But in spite of the disappointment at being unable 
to report that Ross's ' appearance of land 9 rested on 
solid foundations, there was on the afternoon of the 
29th an indescribable sense of impending change. * We 
all felt that the plot was thickening, and we could not 
fail to be inspirited by the fact that we had not so far 
encountered the heavy pack-ice which Ross reported in 
this region, and that consequently we were now sailing 
in an open sea into an unknown world/ 

The course lay well to the northward of east, and 
the change came at 8 P.M. when suddenly the ice-cliff 
turned to the east, and becoming more and more ir- 
regular continued in that direction for about five miles, 
when again it turned sharply to the north* Into 
the deep bay thus formed they ran, and as the ice 
was approached they saw at once that it was unlike 
anything yet seen. The ice-foot descended to various 
heights of ten or twenty feet above the water, and 
behind it the snow surface rose in long undulating 
slopes to rounded ridges, the heights of which could 
only be guessed- Whatever doubt remained in their 
minds that this was snow-covered land, a sounding of 
100 fathoms quickly removed it 



56 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

But what a land! On the swelling mounds of snow 
above them there was not one break, not a feature to 
give definition to the hazy outline. No scene could 
have been more perfectly devised to produce optical 
illusions. And then* while there was so much to ob- 
serve, a thick fog descended, and blotted out all hope 
of seeing what lay beyond the ice-foot. During the 
afternoon of January 30 the fog was less < lease, but 
still no sign of bare land could be seen, and it was not 
until the bell had sounded for the evening meal that 
two or three little black patches, which at first were 
mistaken for detached cloud, appeared. f We gazed 
idly enough at them till someone remarked that he did 
not believe they were clouds; then all glasses were 
kvelled; assertions and contradictions were numerous, 
until the small black patches gradually assumed more 
and more definite shape, and all agreed that at last we 
were looking at real live rock, the actual .substance of 
our newly discovered land, ... It is curious to re- 
flect now on the steps which led us to the discovery of 
King Kd ward's Land, and the chain of evidence which 
came to us before the actual land itself was seen: at 
first there had been the shallow soundings, and tin* 
sight of gently rising Know-slopes, of which, in the 
nature of things, one is obliged to retain a doubt; then 
the steeper broken slopes of snow, giving a contrast 
to convey a surer evidence to tin* eye; anct finally* 
the indubitable land itself, but even then *ur rounded 
with such mystery as to leave us far from 
satisfaction with our discovery/ 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 57 

The temptation to push farther and farther to the 
east was almost irresistible, but with the young ice 
forming rapidly around them, Scott, on February i, 
decided to return, and on their way back along the 
barrier they experienced much lower temperatures than 
on the outward journey. During the return journey 
they landed on the barrier, and on February 4 prepara- 
tions for a balloon ascent were made. * The honour/ 
Scott says, * of being the first aeronaut to make an 
ascent in the Antarctic Regions, perhaps somewhat 
selfishly, I chose for myself, and I may further confess 
that in so doing I was contemplating the first ascent I 
had made in any region, and as I swayed about in 
what appeared a very inadequate basket and gazed 
down on the rapidly diminishing figures below, I felt 
some doubt as to whether I had been wise in my choice/ 

If, however, this ascent was not altogether enjoyed 
by the aeronaut, it, at any rate, gave him considerable 
information about the barrier surface towards the 
south; and, to his surprise, he discovered that instead 
of the continuous level plain that he had expected, it 
continued in a series of long undulations running 
approximately east and west, or parallel to the barrier 
surface. Later on, however, when the sledge-party 
taken out by Armitage returned, they reported that 
these undulations were not gradual as had been 
supposed from the balloon, but that the crest of each 
wave was flattened into a long plateau, from which 
the descent into the succeeding valley was compara- 
tively sharp. On the evening of the 4th they put out 



5 8 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

to sea again, and on the 8th they were once more in 
McMurdo Sound, with high hopes that they would 
soon find a sheltered nook in which the Discovery 
could winter safely, and from which the sledge-parties 
could set forth upon the task of exploring the vast new 
world around them. 

Without any delay they set out to examine their 
immediate surroundings, and found a little bay which 
promised so well for the winter that Scott's determina- 
tion to remain in this region was at once strengthened. 
The situation, however, was surrounded with difficul- 
ties, for although the ice had broken far afield it re- 
fused to move out of the small bay on which they had 
looked with such eager eyes; consequently they were 
forced to cling to the outskirts of the bay with their 
ice-anchors, in depths that were too great to allow 
the large anchors to be dropped to the bottom, The 
weather also was troublesome, for after the ship had 
lain quietly during several hours a sudden squall xvotild 
fling her back on her securing ropes, and, uprooting 
the ice-anchors, would ultimately send her adrift. 

In spite, however, of the difficulty of keeping the 
ship an position* steady progress was made with the 
work on shore, and this consisted mainly in erecting 
the "various huts which had been bn night in pieces* 
The original intention had been that the Discovery 
should not winter in the Antarctic, but should kncl a 
small party and turn northward before the 
closed, and for this party a large hist had teen carried 
south, But even when it had been decided to keep the 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 59 

ship as a home, it was obvious that a shelter on shore 
must be made before exploring parties could be safely 
sent away; since until the ship was frozen in a heavy 
gale might have driven her off her station for several 
days, if not altogether. In seeking winter quarters so 
early in February, Scott had been firmly convinced 
that the season was closing in, ' With no experience to 
guide us, our opinion could only be based on the very 
severe and unseasonable conditions which we had met 
with to the east. But now to our astonishment we could 
see no sign of a speedy freezing of the bay; the sum- 
mer seemed to have taken a new lease, and for several 
weeks the fast sea-ice continued to break silently and 
to pass quietly away to the north in large floes/ 

In addition to the erection of the main hut, two 
small huts which had been brought for the magnetic 
instruments had to be put together. The parts of 
these were, of course, numbered, but the wood was so 
baclly warped that Dailcy, the carpenter, had to use 
a lot of persuasion before the joints would fit 

On February 14 Scott wrote in his diary: * We have 
landed all the dogs, and their kennels are ranged over 
the hillside below the huts. . . , It is surprising what 
a number of things have to be clone, and what an 
unconscionable time it takes to do them. The hut- 
building is slow work, and much of our time has been 
taken in securing the ship* . , . Names have been 
given to the various landmarks in our vicinity. The 
end of our peninsula is to be called ** Cape Armitage," 
after our excellent navigator. The sharp hill above it 



60 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

is to be "Observation Hill." . . - Next comes the 
" Gap/' through which we can cross the peninsula at a 
comparatively low level. North of the " Gap " are 
" Crater Heights/' and the higher volcanic peak beyond 
is to be " Crater Hill "; it is 1,050 feet in height Our 
protecting promontory is to be " Hut Point/' with 
"Arrival Bay "on the north and" Winter Quarter Bay" 
on the south; above " Arrival Bay " are the " Arrival 
Heights/' which continue with breaks for about three 
miles to a long snow-slope, beyond which rises the most 
conspicuous landmark on our peninsula, a high, prc- 
cipitous-siclecl rock with a flat top, which has been 
dubbed "Castle Rock"; it is 1,350 feet in height. 

* In spite of the persistent wind, away up the bay 
it is possible to get some shelter, and here we take our 
ski exercise, . * . Skelton is by far the best of the 
officers, though possibly some of the men run hint 
close/ 

On the 19th the first small reconnoitring sledge 
party went out, and on their return three days later 
they were so excited by their experiences that some 
time passed before they could answer the questions put 
to them* Although the temperature had not been 
severe they had nearly got into serious trouble by 
continuing their inarch in a .snowstorm* and when 
they clicl stop to camp they were HO exhausted that 
frost-bites were innumerable. Tin* tent fine! been 
difficult to get up, and all sort* of trouble with the 
novel cooking apparatus had followed. * It w Mtnutge 
now/ Scott wrote three years* later* * to look back on 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 61 

these first essays at sledging, and to see how terribly 
hampered we were by want of experience/ 

By February 26 the main hut was practically 
finished, and as a quantity of provisions and oil, 
with fifteen tons of coal, had been landed, the ship 
could be left without anxiety, and arrangements 
for the trip, which Scott hoped to lead himself, were 
pushed forward. The object of this journey was to 
try and reach the record at Cape Crozier over the 
barrier, and to leave a fresh communication there 
with details of the winter quarters. On the following 
day, however, Scott damaged his right knee while 
skiing, and had to give up all idea of going to Cape 
Crozier, * I already foresaw how much there was to 
be learnt if we were to do good sledging work in the 
spring, and to miss such an opportunity of gaining 
experience was terribly trying; however, there was 
nothing to be done but to nurse my wounded linib 
and to determine that never again would I be so rash 
as to run hard snow-slopes on ski/ 

By March 4 the preparation of the sledge party 
was completed. The party consisted of four officers, 
Royds, Koettlitz, Skelton and Barne, and eight men, 
and was divided into two teams, each pulling a single 
sleclge and each assisted by four dogs. But again the 
want of experience was badly felt, and in every respect 
the lack of system was apparent. Though each 
requirement might have been remembered, all were 
packed in a confused mass! and, to use a sailors ex- 
pression, * everything 1 was on top and nothing handy/ 



62 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Once more Scott comments upon this lack of ex- 
perience : e On looking back I am only astonished that 
we bought that experience so cheaply, for clearly there 
were the elements of catastrophe as well as of dis- 
comfort in the disorganised condition in which our 
first sledge parties left the ship/ 

The days following the departure of the sledge 
party were exceptionally fine, but on Tuesday, 
March n, those on board the ship woke to find the 
wind blowing from the east; and in the afternoon the 
wind increased, and the air was filled with thick driv- 
ing snow. This Tuesday was destined to be one of the 
blackest days spent by the expedition in the Antarctic, 
but no suspicion that anything untoward had hap- 
pened to the sledge party arose until, at 8.30 P.M., there 
was a report that four men were walking towards the 
ship. Then the sense of trouble was immediate, and 
the first disjointed sentences of the newcomers were 
enough to prove that disasters had occurred. The 
men, as they emerged from their thick clothing, were 
seen to be Wild, Weller, Heald and Plumley, but until 
Scott had called Wild, who was the most composed of 
the party, aside, he could not get any idea of what had 
actually happened, and even Wild was too exhausted 
and excited to give anything but a meagre account. 

Scott, however, did manage to discover that a party 
of nine, in charge of Barne, had been sent back, and 
early in the day had reached the crest of the hills 
somewhere by Castle Rock. In addition. Wild tolcl 
him, to the four who had returned, the party had 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 63 

consisted of Barne, Quartley, Evans, Hare and Vince. 
They had thought that they were quite close to the 
ship, and when the blizzard began they had left their 
tents and walked towards her supposed position. Then 
they found themselves on a steep slope and tried to 
keep close together, but it was impossible to see any- 
thing. Suddenly Hare had disappeared, and a few 
minutes after Evans went. Barne and Quartley had 
left them to try to find out what had become of Evans, 
and neither of them had come back, though they 
waited. Afterwards they had gone on, and had 
suddenly found themselves at the edge of a precipice 
with the sea below ; Vince had shot past over the edge. 
Wild feared all the others must be lost; he was sure 
Vince had gone. Could he guide a search party to the 
scene of the accident? He thought he could at any 
rate he would like to try. 

The information was little enough but it was some- 
thing on which to act, and though the first disastrous 
news had not been brought until 8.30 P,M the relieving 
party had left the ship before 9 P.M. Owing to his 
knee Scott could not accompany the party, and 
Armitage took charge of it. 

Subsequently the actual story of the original sledge 
party was known, and the steps that led to the disaster 
cottlcl be traced. On their outward journey they had 
soon come to very soft snow, and after three days of 
excessive labour Royds had decided that the only 
chance of making progress was to use snow-shoes; 
but unfortunately there were only three pairs of ski 



64 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

with the party, and Royds resolved to push on to Cape 
Crozier with Koettlitz and Skelton, and to send the 
remainder back in charge of Barne. 

The separation took place on the Qth, and on the 
nth the returning party, having found an easier route 
than on their way out, were abreast of Castle Rock. 
Scarcely, however, had they gained the top of the ridge 
about half a mile south-west of Castle Rock, when a 
blizzard came on and the tents were hastily pitched. 

'We afterwards weathered many a gale/ Scott 
says, ' in our staunch little tents, whilst their canvas 
sides flapped thunderously hour after hour. . . . But 
to this party the experience was new; they expected 
each gust that swept down on them would bear the 
tents bodily away, and meanwhile the chill air crept 
through their leather boots and ill-considered cloth- 
ing, and continually some frost-bitten limb had to be 
nursed back to life/ 

At ordinary times hot tea or cocoa would have 
revived their spirits, but now the cooking apparatus 
was out of order, and taking everything into considera- 
tion it was small wonder that they resolved to make for 
the ship, which they believed to be only a mile or so 
distant 

' Before leaving/ Barne wrote in his report, * I im- 
pressed on the men, as strongly as I could, the import- 
ance of keeping together, as it was impossible to dis- 
tinguish any object at a greater distance than ten 
yards on account of the drifting snow/ But after 
they had struggled a very short distance, Hare, who 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 65 

had been at the rear of the party, was reported to 
be missing, and soon afterwards Evans * stepped back 
on a patch of bare smooth ice, fell, and shot out of 
sight immediately.' 

Then Barne, having cautioned his men to remain 
where they were, sat down and deliberately started to 
slide in Evans's track. In a moment the slope grew 
steeper, and he was going at such a pace that all power 
to check himself had gone. In the mad rush he had 
time to wonder vaguely what would come next, and 
then his flight was arrested, and he stood up to find 
Evans within a few feet of him. They had scarcely 
exchanged greetings when the figure of Quartley came 
hurtling down upon them from the gloom, for he had 
started on the same track, and had been swept down 
in the same breathless and alarming manner. To 
return by the way they had come down was impossible, 
and so they decided to descend, but within four paces 
of the spot at which they had been brought to rest, 
they found that the slope ended suddenly in a steep 
precipice, beyond which nothing but clouds of snow 
could be seen. For some time after this they sat hud- 
dled together, forlornly hoping that the blinding drift 
would cease, but at last they felt that whatever hap- 
pened they must keep on the move, and groping their 
way to the right they realised that the sea was at their 
feet, and that they had been saved from it by a patch 
of snow almost on the cornice of the cliff. Presently 
a short break in the storm enabled them to see Castle 
Rock above their heads, and slowly making their way 



66 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

up the incline, they sought the shelter of a huge 
boulder; and there, crouched together, they remained 
for several hours. 

Meanwhile the party had remained in obedience 
to orders at the head of the slope, and had shouted 
again and again in the lulls of the whirling storm. 
But after waiting for a long time they felt that some- 
thing was amiss, and that it was hopeless to remain 
where they were. 'As usual on such occasions/ 
Scott says, ' the leading spirit came to the fore, and 
the five who now remained submitted themselves to 
the guidance of Wild, and followed him in single file 
as he again struck out in the direction in which they 
supposed the ship to lie.' In this manner they de- 
scended for about 500 yards, until Wild suddenly saw 
the precipice beneath his feet, and far below, through 
the wreathing snow, the sea. He sprang back with a 
cry of warning, but in an instant Vince had flashed 
past and disappeared. 

Then, horror-stricken and dazecl, they vaguely 
realised that at all costs they must ascend the slope 
down which they had just come. All of them spoke 
afterwards of that ascent with horror, and wondered 
how it had ever been made. They could only hold 
themselves by the soles of their boots, and to slip 
to their knees meant inevitably to slide backwards 
towards the certain fate below. Literally their livevS 
depended on each foothold. Wild alone had a few 
light nails in his boots, and to his great credit he used 
this advantage to give a helping hand in turn to each 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 67 

of his companions. When, after desperate exertions, 
they did reach the top of the slope their troubles were 
not finished, for they were still ignorant of the posi- 
tion of the ship. Wild, however, again took the lead, 
and it was largely due to him that the party eventually 
saw the ship looming through the whirl of snow. ' It 
is little wonder that after such an experience they 
should have been, as I have mentioned, both excited 
and tired/ 

The hours following the departure of Armitage 
and his search party on this fatal night were unforget- 
table. Scott, hatefully conscious of his inability to 
help on account of his injured leg, admits that he 
could not think of any further means to render assist- 
ance, but he says, as was always my experience in 
the Discovery, my companions were never wanting 
in resource/ Soon the shrill screams of the siren were 
echoing among the hills, and in ten minutes after the 
suggestion had been made, a whaler was swinging 
alongside ready to search the cliffs on the chance of 
finding Vince. 

But for Scott and those who had to wait inactively 
on board there was nothing to do but stand and peer 
through the driving snow, and fully three hours passed 
before there was a hail from without, and Ferrar 
appeared leading three of the lost Barne, Evans 
and Qttartley. An hour later the main search party 
returned, having done all that men could do in such 
weather, A more complete search was impossible, 
but it had to be admitted that the chance of seeing 



68 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Hare or Vince again was very small. Sadly it had 
to be realised that two men were almost certainly lost, 
but there was also no disguising the fact that a far 
greater tragedy might have happened. Indeed, it 
seemed miraculous that any of the party were alive 
to tell the tale, and had not Barne, Evans and Quartley 
heard the faint shrieks of the siren, and in response 
to its welcome sound made one more effort to save 
themselves, the sledge party would in all probability 
not have found them. All three of them were badly 
frost-bitten, and one of Barne's hands was in such a 
serious condition that for many days it was thought 
that his fingers would have to be amputated. 

The end of this story, however, is not yet told, for 
on March 13 Scott wrote in his diary: ( A very ex- 
traordinary thing has happened. At 10 A.M. a figure 
was seen descending the hillside. At first we thought 
it must be some one who had been for an early walk; 
but it was very soon seen that the figure was walking 
weakly, and, immediately after, the men who were 
working in the hut were seen streaming out towards it, 
In a minute or two we recognised the figure as that of 
young Hare, and in less than five he was on board, 
. . . We soon discovered that though exhausted, weak, 
and hungry, he was in full possession of his faculties 
and quite free from frost-bites. He went placidly off 
to sleep whilst objecting to the inadequacy of a milk 
diet/ 

Later on Hare, who like Vince had been wearing 
fur boots, explained that he had left his companions 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 69 

to return to the sledges and get some leather boots, 
and had imagined that the others understood what 
he intended to do. Soon after he had started back 
he was wandering backwards and forwards, and knew 
that he was walking aimlessly to and fro. The last 
thing he remembered was making for a patch of rock 
where he hoped to find shelter, and there he must have 
lain in the snow for thirty-six hours, though he re- 
quired a lot of persuasion before he could be convinced 
of this. When he awoke he found himself covered 
with snow, but on raising himself he recognised Crater 
Hill and other landmarks, and realised exactly where 
the ship lay. Then he started towards her, but until 
his intense stiffness wore off he was obliged to travel 
upon his hands and knees. 

But though Hare was safe, Vince was undoubtedly 
gone. ' Finally and sadly we had to resign ourselves 
to the loss of our shipmate, and the thought was 
grievous to all. ... Life was a bright thing to him, 
and it is something to think that death must have 
come quickly in the grip of that icy sea/ 

This fatal mishap naturally caused increased anxiety 
about the three men who had gone on, and anxiety 
was not diminished when, on the ipth, Skelton was 
seen coming down the hill alone. The others, how- 
ever, were close behind him, and all three of them 
were soon safely on board. 

On the i$th Royds had been compelled to abandon 
the attempt to reach the record at Cape Crozier, but 
he did not turn back until it was evident that a better 



70 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

equipped party with more favourable weather would 
easily get to it. On comparing notes with his party, 
Scott recognised what a difference there might be in 
the weather conditions of places within easy reach 
of the ship, and not only in temperature but also in 
the force and direction of the wind. It had not 
occurred to anyone that within such a short distance 
of the ship any large difference of temperature was 
probable, and as the summer was barely over, Royds, 
Koettlitz and Skelton had only taken a light wolf- 
skin fur suit for night-wear. This, however, had" 
proved totally inadequate when the thermometer fell 
to 42, and on the night of the i6th uncontrollaWe 
paroxysms of shivering had prevented them from get- 
ting any sleep. The value of proper clothing and the 
wisdom of being prepared for the unexpected rigours 
of such a fickle climate, were two of the lessons learnt 
from the experiences of the Cape Crozier party. 

As the days of March went by Scott began really 
to wonder whether the sea ever intended to freeze 
over satisfactorily, and at such an advanced date there 
were many drawbacks in this unexpected state of 
affairs. Until the ship was frozen in, the security 
of their position was very doubtful; economy of 
coal had long since necessitated the extinction of fires 
in the boilers, and if a heavy gale drove the ship from 
her shelter, steam could only be raised with difficulty 
and after the lapse of many hours. There was, too, 
the possibility that the ship, if once driven off, would 
not be able to return, and so it was obviously unsafe 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 71 

to send a large party away from her, because if she 
went adrift most of them would be needed. 

Another annoying circumstance was that until they 
had a solid sheet of ice around them they could neither 
set up the meteorological screen, nor, in short, carry 
out any of the routine scientific work which was such 
an important object of the expedition. 

At this time Scott was eager to make one more 
sledging effort before the winter set in. The ostensible 
reason was to lay out a depot of provisions to the south 
in preparation for the spring, but a more serious 
purpose was to give himself and those who had not 
been away already a practical insight into the difficult- 
ties of sledge travelling. But as this party would have 
to include the majority of those on board, he was 
forced to wait until the ship was firmly fixed, and it 
may be said that the Discovery was as reluctant to 
freeze-in as she was difficult to get out when once the 
process had been completed. 

On March 28, however, Scott was able to write in 
his diary : ' The sea is at last frozen over, and if this 
weather lasts the ice should become firm enough 
to withstand future gales. We have completed the 
packing of our sledges, though I cannot say I am 
pleased with their appearance; the packing is not 
neat enough, and we haven't got anything like a 
system/ 

Three days later a party of twelve, divided into two 
teams, each with a string of sledges and nine dogs, 
made a start. Their loads were arranged on the theory 



72 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

of 200 Ibs. to each man, and 100 Ibs. to each dog, but 
they very quickly discovered that the dogs were not 
going to have anything to do with such a theory as 
this. The best of them would only pull about 50 Ibs., 
and some of the others had practically to be pulled. 

Later on Scott learned that it was a bad plan to 
combine men and dogs on a sledge, because the dogs 
have their own pace and manner of pulling, and neither 
of these is adapted to the unequal movement caused by 
the swing of marching men. And on this occasion 
another reason for the inefficiency of the dogs was that 
they were losing their coats, and had but little pro- 
tection against the bitterly cold wind. ' As a matter 
of fact, our poor dogs suffered a great deal from their 
poorly clothed condition during the next week or two, 
and we could do little to help them; but Nature 
seemed to realise the mistake, and came quickly to the 
rescue: the new coats grew surprisingly fast, and be- 
fore the winter had really settled down on us all the 
animals were again enveloped in their normally thick 
woolly covering. 

The refusal of the dogs to work on this trip meant 
that the men had to do far more than their share, and 
from the first they had no chance of carrying out their 
intentions. Each hour, however, was an invaluable 
experience, and when a return was made to the ship 
Scott was left with much food for thought. ' In one 
way or another each journey had been a failure; we 
had little or nothing to show for our labours. The 
errors were patent; food, clothing, everything* was 



IN SEARCH OF WINTER QUARTERS 73 

wrong, the whole system was bad. It was clear that 
there would have to be a thorough reorganisation be- 
fore the spring, and it was well to think that before 
us lay a long winter in which this might be effected/ 
But in a sense even these failures were successful, 
for every one resolved to profit by the mistakes that 
had been made and the experience that had been 
gained, and the successful sledge journeys subsequently 
made in the spring were largely due to the failures of 
the autumn. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE POLAR WINTER 

The cold ice slept below, 
Above the cold sky shone, 

And all around 

With a chilling" sound 
From caves of ice and fields of snow 
The breath of night like death did flow 

Beneath the sinking moon. SHELLEY. 

THE sun was due to depart before the end of April, 
and so no time could be wasted if the outside work, 
which had been delayed by the tardy formation of 
the ice-sheet, was to be completed before the daylight 
vanished. 

One of the most urgent operations was to get up 
the meteorological screen, which had been made under 
the superintendence of Royds. The whole of this 
rather elaborate erection was placed about 100 yards 
astern of the ship, and consequently in a direction 
which, with the prevalent south-easterly winds, would 
be to windward of her. To obtain a complete record 
of meteorological observations was one of the most im- 
portant scientific objects of the expedition, and it was 
decided that the instruments should be read and 
recorded every two hours. Consequently in calm or 

74 



THE POLAR WINTER 75 

storm some member of the community had to be on the 
alert, and every other hour to make the rounds of the 
various instruments. On a fine night this was no great 
hardship, but in stormy weather the task was not 
coveted by anyone. On such occasions it was necessary 
to be prepared to resist the wind and snowdrift, and the 
round itself was often full of exasperating annoyances. 
In fact the trials and tribulations of the meteorological 
observers were numerous, and it was arranged that 
throughout the winter each officer should take it in turn 
to make the night observations from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. 
Wilson nobly offered always to take the 8 A.M. obser- 
vation, but the lion's share of the work fell on Royds 
himself, since besides taking his share of the night 
work he also, throughout the first winter and a great 
part of the second, took all the observations between 
10 A.M. and 10 P.M. 

The magnetic huts and all that appertained to them 
were Bernacchi's special business, and many times 
daily he was to be seen journeying to and fro in attend- 
ance upon his precious charge. The general reader 
may well ask why so much trouble should be taken to 
ascertain small differences in the earth's magnetism, 
and he can scarcely be answered in a few words. 
Broadly speaking, however, the earth is a magnet, and 
its magnetism is constantly changing. But why it is a 
magnet, or indeed what magnetism may be, is un- 
known, and obviously the most hopeful way of finding 
an explanation of a phenomenon is to study it. For 
many reasons the Discovery's winter station in the 



76 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Antarctic was an especially suitable place in which to 
record the phenomenon of magnetism. 

Besides establishing the routine of scientific work, 
many preparations had to be made for the comfort and 
well-being of the ship during the winter, and long be- 
fore the sun had disappeared the little company had 
settled down to a regular round of daily life. 

Later in the year Scott wrote in his diary : ' The 
day's routine for the officers gives four clear hours 
before tea and three after; during these hours all with- 
out exception are busily employed except for the hour 
or more devoted to exercise. ... It would be difficult 
to say who is the most diligent, but perhaps the palm 
would be given to Wilson, who is always at work; 
every rough sketch made since we started is reproduced 
in an enlarged and detailed form, until we now possess 
a splendid pictorial representation of the whole coast- 
line of Victoria Land. ... At home many no doubt 
will remember the horrible depression of spirit that has 
sometimes been pictured as a pendant to the long 
Polar night. We cannot even claim to be martyrs in 
this respect; with plenty of work the days pass placidly 
and cheerfully/ 

Nearly seven months before Scott wrote in this 
cheerful spirit of the winter, he had expressed himself 
warmly about those who were to spend it with him. 
* I have/ he said in a letter despatched from Port 
Chalmers on the voyage out, * the greatest admiration 
for the officers and men, and feel that their allegiance 
to me is a thing assured. Our little society in the 



THE POLAR WINTER 77 

wardroom is governed by a spirit of good fellowship 
and patience which is all that the heart of man could 
desire; I am everlastingly glad to be one of the com- 
pany and not forced to mess apart. . . . The absence 
of friction and the fine comradeship displayed through- 
out is beyond even my best expectation/ 

This spirit of good-fellowship and give-and-take 
was a remarkable feature of life during the time spent 
in the Discovery, and the only man Scott had a word 
to say against was the cook. * We shipped him at the 
last moment in New Zealand, when our trained cook 
became too big for his boots, and the exchange was 
greatly for the worse; I am afraid he is a thorough 
knave, but what is even worse, he is dirty an unfor- 
givable crime in a cook/ 

Under such circumstances it is obvious that tempers 
might have been overstrained, and apart from the sins 
of the cook the weather was unexpectedly troublesome. 
Almost without exception the North Polar winter has 
been recorded as a period of quiescence, but in the 
Antarctic the wind blew with monotonous persistency, 
and calm days were very few and far between. Never- 
theless Scott had little reason to change his original 
opinion about his companions, all of whom were pre- 
pared to put up with some unavoidable discomforts, 
and to make the best of a long job. 

During the winter a very regular weekly routine 
was kept up, each day having its special food and its 
special tasks. The week's work ended on Friday, and 
Saturday was devoted to ' clean ship/ the officers doing 



78 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

their share of the scrubbing. In the forenoon the 
living-spaces were thoroughly cleaned, holes and cor- 
ners were searched, and while the tub and scrubber 
held sway the deck became a ' snipe marsh/ At this 
time the holds also were cleared up, the bilges pumped 
out, the upper deck was 'squared up/ and a fresh 
layer of clean snow was sprinkled over that which had 
been soiled by the traffic of the week. Then a free 
afternoon for all hands followed, and after dinner in 
the wardroom the toast was the time-honoured one of 
* Sweethearts and Wives/ 

On Sunday a different garment was put on, not 
necessarily a newer or a cleaner one, the essential point 
being that it should be different from that which had 
been worn during the week. By 9.30 the decks had 
been cleared up, the tables and shelves tidied, and the 
first lieutenant reported 'All ready for rounds/ A 
humble imitation of the usual man-of-war walk-round 
Sunday inspection followed, and Scott had the greatest 
faith in this system of routine, not only because it had 
a most excellent effect on the general discipline and 
cleanliness of the ship, but also because it gave an 
opportunity to raise and discuss each new arrangement 
that was made to increase the comfort of all on board* 

After this inspection of both ship and men, the 
mess-deck was prepared for church; harmonium, 
reading-desk and chairs were all placed according 
to routine, and the bell was tolled* Scott read the 
service, Koettlitz the lessons, and Royds played the 
harmonium, 



THE POLAR WINTER 79 

Service over, all stood off for the day and looked 
forward to the feast of mutton which was limited to 
Sunday. 'By using it thus sparingly the handsome 
gift of the New Zealand farmers should last us till the 
early spring. But it is little use to think of the sad 
day when it will fail; for the present I must confess 
that we always take an extra walk to make quite sure 
of our appetites on Sunday/ 

On June 23 the festival of mid-winter was cele- 
brated, and the mess-deck was decorated with designs 
in coloured papers and festooned with chains and ropes 
of the same materials. Among the messes there was 
a great contest to have the best decorations, and some 
astonishing results were achieved with little more than 
brightly coloured papers, a pair of scissors and a pot 
of paste. On each table stood a grotesque figure or 
fanciful erection of ice, which was cunningly lighted 
up by candles from within and sent out shafts of 
sparkling light. * If/ Scott wrote in his diary, ' the 
light-hearted scenes of to-day can end the first period 
of our captivity, what room for doubt is there that we 
shall triumphantly weather the whole term with the 
same general happiness and contentment ? ' 

During the winter months the South Polar Times, 
edited by Shackleton, appeared regularly, and was read 
with interest and amusement by every one. At first it 
had been decided that each number should contain, 
besides the editorial, a summary of the events and 
meteorological conditions of the past month, some 
scientifically instructive articles dealing with the work 



8o THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

and surroundings, and others written in a lighter vein; 
but, as the scheme developed, it was found that such 
features as caricatures and acrostics could be added. 
One of the pleasantest points in connection with the 
Times was that the men contributed as well as the 
officers; in fact some of the best, and quite the most 
amusing, articles were written by the occupants of the 
mess-deck. But beyond all else the journal owed its 
excellence to Wilson, who produced drawings that 
deserved and ultimately obtained a far wider appre- 
ciation than could be given to them in the Antarctic. 
So great was the desire to contribute to the first num- 
ber of the 5\ P. T. that the editor's box was crammed 
with manuscripts by the time the date for sending in 
contributions had arrived. From these there was no 
difficulty in making a selection, but as there was also 
some danger of hurting the feelings of those whose 
contributions had been rejected, a supplementary 
journal named The Blizzard was produced. This 
publication, however, had but a brief career, for in 
spite of some good caricatures and a very humorous 
frontispiece by Barne, it was so inferior to the S. P. T. 
that even its contributors realised that their mission 
in life did not lie in the paths of literary composition, 
The Blizmrd, in short, served its purpose, and then 
ceased to exist. 

In considering the arrangements to make the ship 
comfortable during the dark months, the question of 
artificial light was as difficult as it was important, 
Paraffin had from the first been suggested as the most 



THE POLAR WINTER 81 

suitable illuminant, its main disadvantage being that 
it is not a desirable oil to carry in quantities in a ship. 
' Our luckiest find/ Scott says, ' was perhaps the right 
sort of lamp in which to burn this oil. Fortunately an 
old Arctic explorer, Captain Egerton, presented me 
with a patent lamp in which the draught is produced by 
a fan worked by clockwork mechanism, and no chimney 
is needed. One can imagine the great mortality there 
would be in chimneys if we were obliged to employ 
them, so that when, on trial, this lamp was found to 
give an excellent light, others of the same sort were 
purchased, and we now use them exclusively in all 
parts of the ship with extremely satisfactory results/ 

There was, however, a still brighter illuminant 
within their reach in the shape of acetylene, but not 
until it became certain that they would have to spend 
a second winter in the Antarctic, did their thoughts 
fly to the calcium carbide which had been provided 
for the hut, and which they had not previously thought 
of using. ' In this manner the darkness of our second 
winter was relieved by a light of such brilliancy that 
all could pursue their occupations by the single burner 
placed in each compartment. I lay great stress on 
this, because I am confident that this is in every way 
the best illuminant that can be taken for a Polar winter, 
and no future expedition should fail to supply them- 
selves with it/ 

As has already been said, the meteorological obser- 
vations had to be read and recorded every two hours, 
and on July 21 Scott gave in his diary a full and 



82 THE VOYAGES DF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

graphic account of the way he occupied himself during 
his c night on/ * Each of us has his own way of pass*- 
ing the long, silent hours. My own custom is to devote 
.some of it to laundry-work, and I must confess I make 
a very poor fist of it. However, with a bath full of 
hot water, I commence pretty regularly after the ten 
o'clock observation, and labour away until my back 
aches. There is little difficulty with the handkerchiefs, 
socks and such-like articles, but when it conies to 
thick woollen vests and pyjamas, I feel ready to own 
my incapacity; one always seems to be soaping and 
rubbing at the same place, and one is forced to wonder 
at the area of stuff which it takes to cover a com- 
paratively small body. My work is never finished 
by midnight, but I generally pretend that it is, and 
after taking the observations for that hour, return to 
wring everything out. I am astonished to find that 
even this is no light task; as one wrings out one end 
the water seems to fly to the other; then I haag some 
heavy garment on a hook and wring until I can wring 
no more; but even so, after it has been hung for a few 
minutes on the wardroom clothes-line, it will begin 
to drip merrily on the floor, and I have to tackle it 
afresh. I shall always have a high respect for launclry- 
work in future, but I do not think it can often have to 
cope with such thick garments as we wear. 

' Washing over, one can devote oneself to pleasanter 
occupations. The night-watchman is always allowed 
a box of sardines, which are scarce enough to be a great 
luxury, and is provided with tea or cocoa and a spirit- 



THE POLAR WINTER 83 

lamp. Every one has his own ideas as to how sardines 
should be prepared . . . and I scarcely like to record 
that there is a small company of gourmets, who ac- 
tually wake one another up in order that the night- 
watchman may present his fellow epicures with a small 
finger of buttered toast, on which are poised two sar- 
dines " done to a turn." The awakened sleeper de- 
vours the dainty morsel, grunts his satisfaction, and 
goes placidly off into dreamland again. 

* I find that after my labours at the wash-tub and 
the pleasing supper that follows, I can safely stretch 
myself out in a chair without fear of being overcome 
by sleep, and so, with the ever-soothing pipe and one's 
latest demand on the library book-shelves, one settles 
down in great peace and contentment whilst keeping 
an eye on the flying hours, ready to sally forth into 
the outer darkness at the appointed time. 

* The pleasure or pain of that periodic journey is of 
course entirely dependent on the weather. On a fine 
night it may be quite a pleasure, but when, as is more 
common, the wind is sweeping past the ship, the 
observer is often subjected to exasperating difficulties, 
and to conditions when his conscience must be at 
variance with his inclination, 

4 Sometimes the lantern will go out at the screen, 
and he is forced to return on board to light it; some- 
times it will refuse to shine on the thin threads of 
mercury of the thermometer until it is obvious that his 
proximity has affected the reading, ancl he is forced to 
stand off until it has again fallen to the air tempera- 



84 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

ture. . . . These and many other difficulties in taking 
observations which may be in themselves valueless 
are met in the right spirit. I think we all appreciate 
that they are part of a greater whole whose value must 
stand or fall by attention to detail/ 

At the end of July a most unpleasant fact had to 
be faced in a mishap to the boats. Early in the winter 
they had been hoisted out to give more room for the 
awning, and had been placed in a line about a hundred 
yards from the ice-foot on the sea-ice. The earliest 
gale drifted them up nearly gunwale high, and thus for 
the next two months they remained in sight. But then 
another gale brought more snow, and was so especially 
generous with it in the neighbourhood of the boats, 
that they were afterwards found to be buried three or 
four feet beneath the surface. With no feelings of 
anxiety, but rather to provide occupation, Scott ordered 
the snow on the top of them to be removed, and not 
until the first boat had been reached was the true state 
of affairs revealed. She was found lying in a mass of 
slushy ice with which she was nearly filled, and though 
for a moment there was a wild hope that she could be 
pulled up, this soon vanished; for the air temperature 
promptly converted the slush into hardened ice, and 
so she was stuck fast. 

Nothing more could be done at that time to recover 
the boats, because as fast as the sodden ice could be dug 
out, more sea-water would have come in and frozen. 
But to try and prevent bad going to worse before the 
summer brought hope with it, parties were engaged 



THE POLAR WINTER 85 

day after day in digging away at the snow covering, 
and in the course of months many tons must have been 
removed. The danger was that fresh gales bringing 
more snow might have sunk the boats so far below the 
surface that they could never be recovered, and after 
each gale the diggers were naturally despondent, as to 
all appearances they had to begin all over again. The 
prospect, however, of having to leave the Antarctic 
without a single boat in the ship, and also the feeling 
that so much labour must tell in the end, spurred on 
the diggers to renewed vigour, but it was not until 
December that the boats were finally liberated. 

Early in August another gale with blinding drift 
was responsible for an experience to Bernacchi and 
Skelton that once again emphasised the bewildering 
effect of a blizzard. They were in the smaller compart- 
ment of the main hut completing a set of pendulum 
observations, while Royds was in the larger compart- 
ment the hut was used for many and various purposes 
rehearsing his nigger minstrel troupe. "Either be- 
cause nigger minstrelsy and scientific work did not go 
hand in hand, or because their work was finished, Ber- 
nacchi and Skelton, soon after the rehearsal began, left 
the hut to return to the ship. Fully an hour and a half 
afterwards Royds and his troupe, numbering more 
than a dozen, started back, and found that the gale had 
increased and that the whirling snow prevented them 
from seeing anything. Being, however, in such num- 
bers, they were able to join hands and sweep along 
until tBey caught the guide-rope leading to the gang- 



86 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

way; and then as they travelled along it they heard 
feeble shouts, and again extending their line suddenly 
fell upon Bernacchi and Skelton, who, having entirely 
lost their bearings, had been reduced to shouting on 
the chance of being heard and rescued. 

The hut was scarcely 200 yards from the ship, and 
the latter was not only a comparatively big object but 
was surrounded by guide-ropes and other means of 
direction, which if encountered would have informed 
the wanderers of their position. Additionally Ber- 
nacchi and Skelton could be trusted to take the most 
practical course in any difficulty, and so it seems the 
more incredible that they could actually have been lost 
for two hours. Both of them were severely frost- 
bitten about the face and legs, but bitter as their experi- 
ence was it served as yet another warning to those who 
were to go sledging in the spring that no risks could 
be taken in such a capricious climate. Had not Royds 
been rehearsing his troupe on this occasion the results 
to Bernacchi and Skelton must have been more dis- 
astrous than they were; consequently the idea of using 
the large hut as a place of entertainment was fortunate 
in more ways than one. 

During the first week of May a concert had been 
given in the hut, but this was more or less in the nature 
of an experiment; for Royds, who took infinite pains 
over these entertainments, had arranged a long pro- 
gramme with the object of bringing to light any possible 
talent. The result of this was that even the uncritical 
had to confess that most of the performers would have 



THE POLAR WINTER 87 

been less out of place among the audience. So much 
dramatic ability, however, was shown that Barne was 
entrusted with the work of producing a play, which, 
after many rehearsals conducted with due secrecy, was 
produced on June 25. 

This play was entitled * The Ticket of Leave/ ' a 
screaming comedy in one act/ and was produced with 
unqualified success. ' I for one/ Scott says, ' have to 
acknowledge that I have rarely been so gorgeously 
entertained.' 

Later on Royds began to organise his nigger min- 
strel troupe, and when the doors of the Royal Terror 
Theatre opened at 7.30 on August 6, the temperature 
outside them was 40, while inside it was well 
below zero. Under these conditions it is small wonder 
that the audience was glad when the curtain went up. 

' There is no doubt/ Scott says in reference to 
this performance, ' that sailors dearly love to make up; 
on this occasion they had taken an infinity of trouble 
to prepare themselves. ..." Bones " and " Skins " 
had even gone so far as to provide themselves with 
movable top-knots which could be worked at effective 
moments by pulling a string below. . . To-night 
the choruses and plantation-songs led by Royds were 
really well sung, and they repay him for the very great 
pains he has taken in the rehearsals/ 

So with entertainments to beguile the time, and 
with blizzards to endure, and with preparations to 
make for sledging, the days passed by until on August 
21 the sun was once more due to return. But on that 



88 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

day a few hours of calm in the morning were succeeded 
by whirling snow-squalls from the south, and each lull 
was followed by a wild burst of wind. Scott was glad 
enough to have every one on board in such weather, 
and at noon when he had hoped to be far over the hills 
only vast sheets of gleaming snow could be seen. The 
following day, however, was an ideal one for the first 
view of the long-absent sun, and Scott went to the top 
of Crater Hill to watch and welcome. * Over all the 
magnificent view the sunlight spreads with gorgeous 
effect after its long absence; a soft pink envelops 
the western ranges, a brilliant red gold covers the 
northern sky; to the north also each crystal of snow 
sparkles with reflected light. The sky shows every 
gradation of light and shade; little flakes of golden 
sunlit cloud float against the pale blue heaven, and 
seem to hover in the middle heights, whilst far above 
them a feathery white cirrus shades to grey on its 
unlit sides/ 

But when the men were told that the sun could 
be seen from Hut Point, to Scott's astonishment 
they displayed little or no enthusiasm. Every one 
seemed glad to think that it had been punctual in 
keeping its appointment, but after all they had 
seen the sun a good many times before, and in the 
next few months they would in all probability see it 
a good many times again, and there was no sense in 
getting excited about it. Some of them did set off 
at a run for the point, while others, since it seemed the 
right thing to do, followed at a walk, but a good 



THE POLAR WINTER 89 

number remained on board and had their dinner. 
On August 25 the Feast of the Sun was duly cele- 
brated, and the days that followed were fuller than 
ever with preparations for the spring journeys. The 
only sewing-machine clattered away all day long, and 
the whole company plied their needles as if they were 
being sweated by iron-handed taskmasters. The long 
winter was at an end, and every one, in the best of 
spirits, was looking forward eagerly to the spring 
sledge journeys, and making garments in which to bid 
defiance to the wind and the weather. As regards the 
actual sledge equipment which was taken to the south, 
Scott had depended on the experience of others, and 
especially on that of Artnitage, but owing to a variety 
of reasons the difficulty of providing an efficient 
sledging outfit had been immense. 

In England twenty-five years had passed since any 
important sledging expedition had been accomplished, 
and during that time not a single sledge, and very 
few portions of a sledge equipment, had been made 
in the country. The popular accounts of former 
expeditions were not written to supply the minute 
details required, and no memory could be expected 
to retain these details after such a lapse of time. In 
fact the art of sledge-making was lost in England, 
but fortunately the genius of Nansen had transferred 
it to Norway. In the autumn of 1900 Scott had 
visited Christiania, and there received much advice 
and assistance from Nansen himself. It was not, 
however, until Armitage agreed to serve as second in 



9 o THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

command of the expedition that Scott had any- 
one on whom he could rely to provide the sledging 
outfit. 

In making these preparations for long journeys 
in the south, there was no previous experience to go 
upon except that which had been gained in the north; 
indeed it was necessary to assume that southern con- 
ditions would be more or less similar to those of the 
north, and in so far as they proved different the 
sledging outfit ran the risk of failure. Experience 
taught Scott that in many respects the sledging con- 
ditions of the south were different from those of the 
north, and so it is only fair to consider the sledge 
journeys taken by the Discovery expedition as pioneer 
efforts. These differences are both climatic and geo- 
graphical. For instance, the conditions in the south 
are more severe than those in the north, both in the 
lowness of the temperatures and in the distressing 
frequency of blizzards and strong winds. And the 
geographical difference between the work of the 
northern and the southern sledge-traveller is as great 
as the climatic, if not greater, for the main part of 
northern travelling has been and will be done on sea- 
ice, while the larger part of southern travelling has 
been and will be done over land surfaces, or what in 
this respect are their equivalents. 

So impressed was Scott by the impossibility of 
dragging a sledge over the surfaces of the Great 
Barrier to the South at the rate maintained by the old 
English travellers on the northern sea-ice, that he be- 
gan seriously to think that the British race of explorer! 



THE POLAR WINTER 91 

must have deteriorated rapidly and completely in 
stamina. But later on, in carrying out exploration 
to the west, he had to travel over the sea-ice of the 
strait, and then he discovered that given the surface 
there was nothing wrong with the pace at which his 
sledge parties could travel. Probably, however, the 
distances recorded by the northern travellers will 
never be exceeded in the south, for the Antarctic 
explorer has to meet severer climatic conditions, and 
while pulling his sledge over heavier surfaces he is 
not likely to meet with fewer obstacles in his path. 
To make marching records is not, of course, the main 
purpose of sledge-travellers, but all the same, where 
conditions are equal, speed and the distance travelled 
are a direct test of the efficiency of sledging prepara- 
tions, and of the spirit of those who undertake this 
arduous service. 

The main differences between the sledges used by 
the Discovery expedition and those used by other 
explorers were a decrease in breadth and an increase 
in runner surface. Measured across from the centre 
of one runner to the centre of the other Scott's sledges 
were all, with one exception, i foot 5 inches. The' 
runners themselves were 3^4 inches across, so that 
the sledge track from side to side measured about 
i foot 8$4 inches. The lengths varied from 12 feet 
to 7 feet, but the n-foot sledges proved to be by far 
the most convenient a length of 12 feet seeming to 
pass just beyond the limit of handiness. 

Taking then n feet as about the best length for 
this type of sledge, it will be seen that it differed 



92 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

considerably from the old Arctic type, which was 10 
feet long and 3 feet broad. The weight of such an 
n -foot sledge was anything between 40 and 47 Ibs.,, 
and this was none too light when the full strength of 
the structure was required. Generally speaking, the 
full load that could be put upon them was about 600 
Ibs. The most important part of the sledge is the run- 
ner, in which the grain must be perfectly straight and 
even, or it will splinter very easily; but it surprised 
Scott to find what a lot of wear a good wood runner 
would stand, provided that it was only taken over 
snow. * Some of our 9-foot sledges must/ he says, 
* have travelled 1,000 miles, and there was still plenty 
of wear left in the runners/ 

In point of numbers the Discovery's crew was far 
behind the old Northern expeditions; and it was this 
fact that made Scott decide, in arranging a sledge 
equipment where men and not dogs would do most 
of the haulage, to divide his parties into the smallest 
workable units. The old Northern plan had allowed 
for parties of at least eight, who, having a common 
tent and cooking arrangements, could not be sub- 
divided. Scott's plan was not necessarily to limit the 
number of men in his parties, but to divide them into 
units of three, which should be self-contained, so that 
whenever it was advisable a unit could be detached 
from the main party* Under such a system it is 
obvious that each unit must have its own tent, 
sleeping-bag, cooker, and so on; and therein lay a 
disadvantage, as economy of material and weight cat* 



THE POLAR WINTER 93 

be better carried out with a large unit than with 
a small one. 

The weights of a party naturally divide themselves 
under two headings: the permanent, which will not 
diminish throughout the trip, and the consumable, in- 
cluding food, oil, &c. The following is a list of the per- 
manent weights carried on Scott's journey to the west, 
and it will give some idea of the variety of articles, 
exclusive of provisions. The party numbered six. 

Ibs. 
2 Sledges with fittings complete . . .130 

Trace 5 

2 Cookers, pannikins and spoons ... 30 

2 Primus lamps, filled 10 

2 Tents complete ...... 60 

2 Spades 9 

2 Sleeping-bags with night-gear . . .100 
Sleeping jackets, crampons, spare finnesko x . 50 
Medical bag 6 

3 Ice-axes 8 

Bamboos and marks 11*5 

Instruments and camera 50 

Alpine rope 9 

Repair and tool bags, sounding-line, tape, 

sledge brakes 15 

Ski boots for party 15 

Ski for party 60 



Total 568^5 

1 Reindeer- fur boots. 



94 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Roughly speaking, a man can drag from 200 to 
240 Ibs., but his load was rarely above 200 Ibs. This 
for six men gave a total carrying capacity of 1,200 
Ibs. and hence about 630 Ibs. could be devoted to 
provisions. 

Again, speaking very roughly, this amount is about 
six weeks' food for a party of six, but as such a short 
period is often not long enough to satisfy sledge- 
travellers, they are compelled to organise means by 
which their journey can be prolonged. This can be 
done in two ways; they may either go out earlier in the 
season and lay a depot at a considerable distance 
towards their goal, or they may arrange to receive 
assistance from a supporting party, which accompanies 
them for a certain distance on the road and helps their 
advance party to drag a heavier load than they can 
accomplish alone. 

Both of these plans were adopted by Scott on the 
more important journeys, and his parties were able 
to be absent from the ship for long periods and to 
travel long distances. 



CHAPTER V 

THE START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 

Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit 
To its full height. . . . 

. . . Shew us here 

That you are worth your breeding, which I doubt not. 
For there is none so mean or base 
That have not noble lustre in your eyes. 
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, 
Straining upon the start. 

SHAKESPEARE, 

DURING the later months of the dark season all 
thoughts had been turned to the prospects of the spring 
journeys, and many times the advantages and disad- 
vantages of dogs for sledging were discussed. This 
question of the sacrifice of animal life was one on which 
Scott felt strongly from the time he became an explorer 
to the end of his life. Argue with himself as he might, 
the idea was always repugnant to his nature. 

' To say/ he wrote after his first expedition, 
* that dogs do not greatly increase the radius of action 
is absurd; to pretend that they can be worked to this 
end without pain, suffering, and death, is equally 
futile. The question is whether the latter can be jus- 
tified by the gain, and I think that logically it may be; 

95 



96 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

but the introduction of such sordid necessity must 
and does rob sledge-travelling of much of its glory. 
In my mind no journey ever made with dogs can 
approach the height of that fine conception which 
is realised when a party of men go forth to face hard- 
ships, dangers, and difficulties with their own unaided 
efforts, and by days and weeks of hard physical labour 
succeed in solving some problem of the great unknown. 
Surely in this case the conquest is more nobly and 
splendidly won.' 

When the spring campaign opened in 1902 the 
original team of dogs had been sadly diminished. Of 
the nineteen that remained for the southern journey, 
all but ene and he was killed at an earlier period 
left their bones on the great southern plains. This 
briefly is the history of the dogs, but the circumstances 
under which they met their deaths will be mentioned 
later on. 

Before Scott started on the southern journey he 
decided to make a short trip to the north with the dogs 
and a party of six officers and men, his main purposes 
being to test the various forms of harness, and to 
find out whether the dogs pulled best in large or small 
teams, During part of this journey, which only lasted 
from September 2 to 5, the four sledges were taken 
independently with four dogs harnessed to each, and it 
was discovered that if the first team got away all 
right, the others were often keen to play the game of 
' follow my leader/ Sometimes, indeed, there was a 
positive spirit of rivalry, and on one occasion two 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 97 

competing teams got closer and closer to each other, 
with the natural result that when they were near 
enough to see what was happening, they decided that 
the easiest way to settle the matter was by a free fight 
So they turned inwards with one accord and met 
with a mighty shock. In a moment there was a 
writhing mass of fur and teeth, and an almost hope- 
less confusion of dog traces. But even in this short 
trip some experience had been gained; for results 
showed how unwise it was to divide the dogs into 
small parties, and also there was no mistaking which 
were the strong and which the weak dogs, and, what 
was of more importance, which the willing and which 
the lazy ones. 

On September 10, Royds and Koettlitz started 
off to the south-west with Evans, Quartley, Lashly 
and Wild. And of this party Scott wrote : ' They 
looked very workmanlike, and one could see at a 
glance the vast improvement that has been made since 
last year. The sledges were uniformly packed. . . . 
One shudders now to think of the slovenly manner in 
which we conducted things last autumn; at any rate 
here is a first result of the care and attention of the 
winter/ 

Armitage and Ferrar with four men left for the west 
oti the following day, but owing to the necessity of 
making fresh harness for the dogs and to an exasperat- 
ing blizzard, Scott was not $ble to start on his south- 
ern reconnaissance journey until September 17, 

On the morning of that day he and his two com- 



98 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

panions, Barne and Shackleton, with thirteen dogs 
divided into two teams, left the ship in bright sun- 
shine; but by 1.15 P.M., when they camped for lunch, 
the wind was blowing from the east and the ther- 
mometer was down to 43. 

The sledges carried a fortnight's food for all con- 
cerned, together with a quantity of stores to form a 
depot, the whole giving a load of about 90 Ibs. per 
dog; but this journey was destined to be only a short 
and bitter experience. 

The reason was that on the night of the I7th the 
travellers were so exhausted that they did not heap 
enough snow on the skirting of the tent, and when 
Scott woke up on the following morning he found him- 
self in the open. ' At first, as I lifted the flap of my 
sleeping-bag, I could not think what had happened, 
I gazed forth on a white sheet of drifting snow, with 
no sign of the tent or my companions. For a -moment 
I wondered what in the world it could mean, but 
the lashing of the snow in my face very quickly awoke 
me to full consciousness, and I sat up to find that in 
some extraordinary way I had rolled out of the tent/ 

At the time a violent gale was raging, and through 
the blinding snow Scott could only just see the 
tent, though it was flapping across the foot of his 
bag; but when he had wriggled back to the tent 
the snow was whirling as freely inside as without, 
and the tent itself was straining so madly at what 
remained of its securing, that something had to be done 
at once to prevent it from blowing away altogether, 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 99 

So with freezing fingers they gripped the skirting 
and gradually pulled it inwards, and half sitting upon 
it, half grasping it, they 9 ' tried to hold it against the 
wild blasts of the storm, while they discussed the 
situation. Discussion, however, was useless. An 
attempt to secure the tent properly in such weather 
was impossible, while they felt that if once they loosed 
their grip, the tent would hasten to leave them at once 
and for ever. Every now and then they were forced to 
get a fresh hold, and lever themselves once more over 
the skirt. And as they remained hour after hour 
grimly hanging on and warning each other of frost- 
bitten features, their sleeping-bags became fuller and 
fuller of snow, until they were lying in masses of chilly 
slush. Not until 6p.M. had they by ceaseless exer- 
tions so far become masters of the situation, that 
there was no further need for the tent to be held with 
anything except the weight of their sleeping-bags. 
Then an inspection of hands showed a number of frost- 
bites, but Barne, whose fingers had not recovered from 
the previous year, had suffered the most. ' To have 
hung on to the tent through all those hours must have 
been positive agony to him, yet he never uttered a 
word of complaint/ 

By 10 P.M. the worst of the storm had passed, and 
after a few hours 1 sleep and a hot meal, they soon 
decided that to push on after this most miserable ex- 
perience was very unwise, since by returning to the 
ship they would only lose one day's march and every- 
thing could be dried for a fresh start 



ioo THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Apart from ' Brownie/ who spent his time inside 
the tent, the rest of the dogs never uttered a sound 
during the storm, and were found quite happily sleep- 
ing in their nests of snow. On the journey back the 
thermometer recorded 53, and the effect of such 
a temperature upon wet clothing may be imagined. 
' I shall remember the condition of my trousers for 
a long while; they might have been cut out of sheet 
iron. It was some time before I could walk with any 
sort of ease, and even when we reached the ship I was 
conscious of carrying an armour plate behind me. . . . 
It will certainly be a very long time before I go to sleep 
again in a tent which is not properly secured/ 

On September 24 Scott was ready to start again, 
but Barne's fingers had suffered so severely that his 
place was taken by the boatswain, Feather, who had 
taken a keen interest in every detail of sledging. 
Owing to the dogs refusing to do what was expected of 
them, and to gales, slow progress was made, but the 
wind had dropped by the morning of September 29, 
and Scott was so anxious to push on that he took no 
notice of ^ fresh bank of cloud coming up from the 
south, with more wind and drift. Taking the lead 
himself, he gave orders to the two teams to follow 
rigidly in his wake, whatever turns and twists he might 
make. Notwithstanding the bad light he could see the 
bridged crevasses, where they ran across the bare ice 
surface, by slight differences in shade, and though he 
could not see them where they dived into the valleys, he 
found that the bridges were strong enough to bear. In 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 101 

his desire to use the snowy patches as far as possible, 
the course he took was very irregular, and the dogs in- 
variably tried to cut corners. In this manner they pro- 
ceeded for some time, until Scott suddenly heard a 
shout, and looking back saw to his horror that Feather 
had vanished. The dog team and sledges were there 
all right, but their leader was lost to sight. Hurrying 
back he found that the trace had disappeared down a 
formidable crevasse, but to his great relief Feather was 
at the end of the trace, and was soon hauled up. One 
strand of Feather's harness was cut clean through where 
it fell across the ice-edge, and although, being a man of 
few words, he was more inclined to swear at * Nigger ' 
for trying to cut a corner than to marvel at his own 
escape, there is no doubt that he had a very close call. 

After this accident the dog teams were joined, and 
reluctant to give up they advanced again; but very 
soon the last of the four sledges disappeared, and was 
found hanging vertically up and down in an ugly-look- 
ing chasm. To the credit of the packing not a single 
thing had come off, in spite of the jerk with which it had 
fallen. It was, however, too heavy to haul up as It was, 
but, after some consultation, the indefatigable Feather 
proposed that he should be let down and undertake 
the very cold job of unpacking it. So he was slung with 
one end of the Alpine rope, while the other was used 
for hauling up the various packages; and at last the 
load was got up, and the lightened sledge soon followed. 

After this incident they thought it prudent to treat 
these numerous crevasses with more respect, and on 



102 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

proceeding they roped themselves together; but al- 
though no more mishaps occurred, Scott afterwards 
was more inclined to attribute this to good luck than 
to good judgment. ' Looking back on this day, I cannot 
but think our procedure was extremely rash. I have 
not the least doubt now that this region was a very 
dangerous one, and the fact that we essayed to cross 
it in this light-hearted fashion can only be ascribed to 
our ignorance. With us, I am afraid, there were not a 
few occasions when one might have applied the proverb 
that " Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." ' 

The depot, leaving six weeks' provision for three 
men and 150 Ibs. of dog-food, was made on the morn- 
ing of October i, and besides marking it with a large 
black flag, Scott was also careful to take angles with a 
prismatic compass to all the points he could see. Then 
they started home, and the dogs knowing at once what 
was meant no longer required any driving. On the 
homeward march the travellers went for all they were 
worth, and in spite of perpetual fog covered eighty-five 
statute miles in less than three clays. 

On returning to the ship Scott admits that he found 
it a most delightful place. The sense of having done 
what he wanted to do had something to do with this 
feeling of satisfaction, but it was the actual physical 
comfort after days of privation that chiefly affected 
him. The joy of possessing the sledging appetite was 
sheer delight, and for many clays after the travellers 
returned from their sletlgmg~trip$ f they retained a hun- 
ger which it seemed impossible to satisfy* 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 103 

In short Scott, on the night of his return, was very 
pleased with himself and the world in general, but 
before he went to bed all his sense of comfort and peace 
had gone. For he had discovered what Armitage, 
wishing to give him some hours of unmixed enjoy- 
ment, had not meant to mention until the following 
morning, and this was that there had been an out- 
break of scurvy the disease that has played a par- 
ticularly important, and often a tragic, part in the 
adventures of Polar travellers, and the seriousness of 
which every one who has read the history of Polar 
explorations cannot fail to realise. 

This outbreak had occurred during Armitage's 
journey, and when he, after much anxiety, had got his 
men back to the ship, Wilson's medical examination 
proved that Ferrar, Heald and Cross were all attacked, 
while the remainder of the party were not above 
suspicion. 

Very soon, however, symptoms of the disease be- 
gan to abate, but the danger lurking around them 
was continually in Scott's thoughts, and he was deter- 
mined not to give the dreaded enemy another chance 
to break out. 

Everything possible was done to make the ship and 
everything in her sweet and clean, and after a large 
seal-killing party, sent out at Wilson's suggestion, 
had returned, the order was given that no tinned meat 
of any description should be issued. By October 20 
this grave disease had to all intents and purposes 
passed away, but although evidence showed that it was 



104 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

caused by tinned meats which were to all appearances 
of the best quality, and by apparently fresh mutton 
taken in small quantities, there was no positive proof 
that these were the causes of the trouble. 

This attack of scurvy came as a great surprise to 
every one, for when the long winter was over and all of 
them were in good health and high spirits, they had 
naturally congratulated themselves on the effective- 
ness of their precautions. The awakening from this 
pleasant frame of mind was rude, and though the dis- 
ease vanished with astonishing rapidity, it was -quite 
apart from the benefit lost to medical science very 
annoying not to be able to say definitely from what the 
evil had sprung. 

But although the seriousness of this outbreak was 
not underrated, and every precaution was taken to 
prevent its recurrence, preparations for the various 
journeys were pushed on with no less vigour and 
enthusiasm. The game to play was that there was 
nothing really to be alarmed about, and every one 
played it with the greatest success. 

Scott's journey to the south had indicated that the 
main party would have to travel directly over the snow- 
plain at a long distance from, and perhaps out of sight 
of, land; and as in all probability no further depots 
could be established, it was desirable that this party 
should be supported as far as possible on their route. 
To meet these requirements it was decided that Barne, 
with a party of twelve men, should accompany the clog- 
team, until the weights were reduced to an amount 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 105 

which the dogs could drag without assistance. Then 
Barne was to return to the ship, and after a short rest 
start again with six men, to follow the coast-line west 
of the Bluff, As soon as this was in train, Armitage 
was to have at his disposal all the men and material 
left in the ship for his attack on the western region. 

On Friday, October 24, Royds, who had left the 
ship three weeks before with Skelton, Lashly, Evans, 
Quartley and Wild, returned with the good news that 
he had been able to communicate with the ' Record ' 
post at Cape Crozier. If a relief ship was going to be 
sent out, Scott now had the satisfaction of knowing 
that she had a good prospect of being guided to the 
winter quarters of the expedition. It was also a great 
source of satisfaction to find that although Royds 
and his party had left almost immediately after the 
outbreak of scurvy, they had all returned safe and with 
no symptom of the disease. 

From the I3th to the i8th this party had been kept 
in their tents by a most persistent blizzard, and be- 
fore the blizzard ceased they were practically buried 
in the heart of a snowdrift; in fact one tent had 
literally to be dug out before its occupants could be 
got into the open, while the sledges and everything left 
outside were completely buried. As the snow grad- 
ually accumulated round the tents it became heavier 
and heavier on every fold of canvas, and reduced 
the interior space to such an extent that those inside 
were obliged to He with their knees bent double. 
Royds, whose reports wen* invariably very brief and to 



io6 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the point, dismissed the tale of these five days in half 
a page, but no great effort of imagination is needed 
to grasp the horrible discomforts every one must have 
endured. And yet when this party recounted their 
adventures on board the ship, the hardships were 
scarcely mentioned, and all that the men seemed to 
remember were the amusing incidents that had 
happened. 

On this journey a colony of Emperor penguins was 
discovered, and among them were several which were 
nursing chicks. ' I will only testify/ Scott says, ' to 
the joy which greeted this discovery on board the ship. 
We had felt that this penguin was the truest type of 
our region. All other birds fled north when the 
severity of winter descended upon us: the Emperor 
alone was prepared to face the extremest rigours of 
our climate; and we gathered no small satisfaction 
from being the first to throw light on the habits of a 
creature, which so far surpasses in hardihood all others 
of the feathered tribe/ 

Before the end of October everything was prepared 
for the southern journey; every eventuality seemed 
to be provided for, and as it was expected that the dogs 
would travel faster than the men Barne and his party 
started off on October 30, while the dog team left 
a few days later. ' The supporting party started this 
morning, amidst a scene of much enthusiasm; all 
hands had a day off, and employed it in helping to 
drag the sledges for several miles . . . Barneys banner 
floated on the first, the next bore a Union Jack, and 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 107 

another carried a flag with a large device stating tf No 
dogs needs apply " ; the reference was obvious. It was 
an inspiriting sight to see nearly the whole of our 
small company step out on the march with ringing 
cheers, and to think that all work of this kind promised 
to be done as heartily.' 

And then the day that Scott had been so eagerly 
looking forward to arrived, and at ten o'clock on the 
morning of November 2, he, Shackleton and Wilson, 
amidst the wild cheers of their comrades, started on 
the southern journey. * Every soul was gathered on 
the floe to bid us farewell, and many were prepared 
to accompany us for the first few miles/ The dogs, as 
if knowing that a great effort was expected of them, 
had never been in such form, and in spite of the 
heavy load and the fact that at first two men had to 
sit on the sledges to check them, it was as much as 
the rest of the party could do to keep up. By noon 
the volunteers had all tailed off, and the three trav- 
ellers were alone with the dogs, and still breathlessly 
trying to keep pace with them. Soon afterwards 
they caught sight of a dark spot ahead and later on 
made this out to be the supporting party, who, when 
they were overtaken on the same evening, reported that 
they had been kept in their tents by bad weather. Hav- 
ing relieved them of some of their loads, Scott 
camped, while they pushed on to get the advantage of 
a night march. 

During the next few days the two parties con- 
stantly passed and re-passed each other, since it was 



io8 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

impossible for Scott to push on ahead of Barne's party, 
and the latter's progress was very slow, as they could 
get no hold with their fur boots, and they found their 
ski leather boots dreadfully cold for their feet. To add 
to the slowness of the journey the weather was very 
unfavourable, and the greater parts of the 8th and gth 
were entirely wasted by a blizzard. On the loth 
Depot A, that had previously been laid, was reached 
and Scott wrote : * Already it seems to me that the dogs 
feel the monotony of a long march over the snow more 
than we do; they seem easily to get dispirited, and that 
it is not due to fatigue is shown when they catch a 
glimpse of anything novel. . . . To-day, for instance, 
they required some driving until they caught sight of 
the depot flag, when they gave tongue loudly and 
dashed off as though they barely felt the load behind 
them/ 

The names of the dogs were: 

Nigger Birdie Wolf 

Jim Nell Vic 

Spud Blanco Bismarck 

Snatcher Grannie Kid 

Fitzclarence Lewis Boss 

Stripes Gus Brownie 
Joe 

Each of them had his peculiar characteristics, and 
what the southern party did not already know concern- 
ing their individualities, they had ample opportunities 
of finding out in the course of the next few weeks. 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 109 

Nigger was the leader of the team; a place he chose 
naturally for himself, and if he was put into any other 
position he behaved so unpleasantly to his neighbours, 
and so generally upset things, that he was quickly 
shifted. A more perfect sledge-dog could scarcely 
be imagined. He seemed to know the meaning of every 
move, and in camp would be still as a graven image 
until he saw the snow being shovelled from the skirting 
of the tent, when he would spring up and pace to and 
fro at his picket, and give a low throaty bark of wel- 
come if anyone approached him. A few minutes later, 
when the leading man came to uproot his picket, he 
would watch every movement, and a slow wagging of 
the tail quite obviously showed his approval : then, as 
the word came to start, he would push affectionately 
against the leader, as much as to say, * Now come 
along!' and brace his powerful chest to the harness. 
At the evening halt after a long day he would drop 
straight in his tracks and remain perfectly still, with his 
magnificent black head resting on his paws. Other 
dogs might clamour for food, but Nigger knew per- 
fectly well that the tent had first to be put up. After- 
wards, however, when the dog- food was approached 
his deep bell-like note could always be distinguished 
amid the howling chorus, and if disturbance was to be 
avoided it was well to attend to him first of all. 

Of the other dogs Lewis was noisily affectionate and 
hopelessly clumsy; Jim could pull splendidly when he 
chose, but he was up to all the tricks of the trade and 
was extraordinarily cunning at pretending to pull; 



i io THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Spud was generally considered to be daft; Birdie 
evidently had been treated badly in his youth and 
remained distrustful and suspicious to the end; Kid 
was the most indefatigable worker in the team; Wolfs 
character possessed no redeeming point of any kind, 
while Brownie though a little too genteel for very hard 
work was charming as a pet, and it may also be said 
of him that he never lost an opportunity of using his 
pleasant appearance and delightful ways to lighten his 
afflictions. The load for this dog team after Depot A 
had been passed was 1,850 Ibs., which, considering that 
some of the dogs were of little use, was heavy. But it 
must not be forgotten that the men also expected to 
pull, and that each night the weight would be reduced 
by thirty or forty pounds. By the I3th the travellers 
were nearly up to the 79th parallel, and therefore 
farther south than anyone had yet been. ' The an- 
nouncement of the fact caused great jubilation, and I 
am extremely glad that there are no fewer than fifteen 
of us to enjoy this privilege of having broken the 
record.' A photograph of the record-breakers was 
taken, and then half of the supporting party started to 
return, and the other half stepped out once more on 
a due south line, with the dogs following. 

By the I5th, however, when the rest of the support- 
ing party turned back, Scott had begun to be anxious 
about the dogs. ' The day's work has cast a shadow 
on our high aspirations, and already it is evident that 
if we are to achieve much it will be only by extreme 
toil, for the dogs have not pulled well to-day. * . . 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY in 

We have decided that if things have not improved in 
the morning we will take on half a load at a time; 
after a few days of this sort of thing the loads will be 
sufficiently lightened for us to continue in the old way 
again/ 

On the following day an attempt to start with the 
heavy loads promptly and completely failed, and the 
only thing to do was to divide the load into two por- 
tions and take half on at a time. This meant, of course, 
that each mile had to be travelled three times, but there 
was no alternative to this tedious form of advance. 
Even, however, with the half -loads the dogs seemed 
to have lost all their spirit, and at the end of the march 
on the 1 8th they were practically ' done.' Only five 
geographical miles 1 were gained on that day, but to 
do it they had to cover fifteen. 

On the night of the iQth matters had gone from 
bad to worse, and it had to be acknowledged that the 
fish diet the dogs were eating permanently disagreed 
with them. Originally Scott had intended to take 
ordinary dog-biscuits for the animals, but in an un- 
lucky moment he was persuaded by an expert in dog- 
driving to take fish. The fish taken was the Norwegian 
stock-fish, such as is split, dried and exported from 
that country in great quantities for human food. But 
one important point was overlooked, namely the prob- 
ability of the fish being affected on passing through the 
tropics. The lesson, Scott said, was obvious, that in 
future travellers in the south should safeguard their 

1 7 geographical miles = a little more than 8 statute miles. 



H2 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

dogs as carefully as they do their men, for in this case 
it was the dogs that called the halts ; and so the party 
had to spend hours in their tent which might have 
been devoted to marching. 

Day after day relay work continued, the only relief 
from the monotony of their toil being that land was 
sighted on the 2ist, and as the prospects of reaching a 
high latitude were steadily disappearing, it was decided 
to alter their course to S.S.W. and edge towards it. 
Then the surface over which they were travelling 
showed signs of improvement, but the travellers 
themselves were beginning to suffer from blistered 
noses and cracked lips, and their eyes were also trou- 
bling them. Appetites, however, were increasing by 
leaps and bounds. ' The only thing to be looked to on 
our long marches is the prospect of the next meal/ 

On November 24 a new routine was started which 
made a little variation in the dull toil of relay work. 
After pushing on the first half-load one of the three 
stopped with it, and got up the tent and prepared the 
meal while the other two brought up the second half- 
load. And then on the following day came one of 
those rewards which was all the sweeter because it 
had been gained by ceaseless and very monotonous 
toil. 

' Before starting to-day I took a meridian altitude/ 
Scott wrote, ' and to my delight found the latitude to 
be 80 i'. All our charts of the Antarctic region show 
a plain white circle beyond the eightieth parallel . . . 
It has always been our ambition to get inside that white 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 113 

space, and now we are there the space can no longer 
be a blank; this compensates for a lot of trouble/ 

A blizzard followed upon this success, but the dogs 
were so exhausted that a day's rest had been thought 
of even if the weather had not compelled it. Wilson, 
to his great discomfort, was always able to foretell 
these storms, for when they were coming on he 
invariably suffered from rheumatism; so, however 
reluctant, he could not help being a very effective 
barometer. 

After the storm had passed an attempt was made 
on the morning of the 27th to start with the full load, 
but it took next to no time to discover that the dogs 
had not benefited by their rest, and there was nothing 
to do except to go on with the old routine of relay work. 
As the days passed with no signs of improvement in 
the dogs, it became more and more necessary to reach 
the land in hopes of making a depot; so the course 
was laid to the westward of S.W., which brought the 
high black headland, for which they were making, on 
their port bow, ' I imagine it to be about fifty miles 
off, but hope it is not so much; nine hours' work 
today has only given us a bare four miles.' 

Then for some days the only change in the toil of 
relay work and the sickening task of driving tired dogs 
on and on was that they marched by night, and rested 
by day. The breakfast hour was between 4 and 
5 P.M.J the start at 6 P.M., and they came to camp 
somewhere between three and four in the morning. 
Thus they rested while the sun was at its greatest 



H4 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

height; but although there were certainly advantages 
in this, Scott could not get rid of a curious feeling 
that something was amiss with such a topsy-turvy 
method of procedure. 

By December 3 they were close enough to the land 
to make out some of its details. On their right was a 
magnificent range of mountains, which by rough cal- 
culations Scott made out to be at least fifty miles away. 
By far the nearest point of land was an isolated snow- 
cape, an immense, and almost dome-shaped, snow- 
covered mass. At first no rock at all could be seen 
on it, but as they got nearer a few patches began to 
appear. For one of these patches they decided to 
make so that they might establish a depot, but at the 
rate at which they were travelling there was little hope 
of reaching it for several days. 

By this time the appetites of the party were so 
ravenous that when the pernmican bag was slung 
alongside a tin of paraffin, and both smelt and tasted 
of oil, they did not really mind. But what saddened 
them more than this taste of paraffin was the discovery, 
on December 5, that their oil was going too fast. A 
gallon was to have lasted twelve days, but on investi- 
gation it was found on an average to have lasted only 
ten, which meant that in the future each gallon would 
have to last a fortnight. ' This is a distinct blow, as 
we shall have to sacrifice our hot luncheon meal and 
to economise greatly at both the others. We started 
the new routine to-night, and for lunch ate some frozen 
seal-meat and our allowance of sugar and biscuit/ 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 115 

It was perhaps fortunate that their discovery about 
the oil was not delayed any longer, but nevertheless 
it came at a time when the outlook was dreary and 
dispiriting enough without additional discomforts. 
On the 6th Spud gnawed through his trace, and 
when Scott went outside before breakfast, one glance 
at the dog's balloon-like appearance was enough to 
show how he had spent his hours of freedom. He 
had, in fact, eaten quite a week's allowance of the 
precious seal-meat, and though rather somnolent after 
his gorge, he did not seem to be suffering any par- 
ticular discomfort from the enormous increase of his 
waist. On the next day there was a blizzard, duly 
predicted by Wilson's twinges of rheumatism, and on 
the 8th Scott reluctantly records that the dogs were 
steadily going downhill. * The lightening of the load 
is more than counter-balanced by the weakening of the 
animals, and I can see no time in which we can hope 
to get the sledges along without pulling ourselves/ 

By the loth they were within ten or twelve miles of 
the coast, but so exhausted that they felt no certainty 
of reaching it; and even supposing they did get there 
and make a depot, they doubted very much if they 
would be in any condition to go on. One dog, 
Snatcher, was already dead, and some of the others 
had only been got to move with the second load by the 
ignominious device of carrying food in front of them. 
To see the dogs suffering was agony to those who had 
to drive and coax them on, and though Scott refers 
often in these days to the hunger that was nipping him p 



n6 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

no one can read his diary without seeing how infinitely 
more he was concerned over the suffering of the dogs 
than about his own troubles. * It is terrible/ he says, 
* to see them/ 

At last, on December 14, they arrived, when they 
were almost spent, at a place where dog- food could 
be left. In their march they had only managed to 
do two miles after the most strenuous exertions, for 
the snow became softer as they approached the land, 
and the sledge-runners sank from three to four inches. 
On any particularly soft patch they could do little more 
than mark time, and even to advance a yard was an 
achievement. 

No wonder that Scott, after they had left three 
weeks' provisions and a quantity of dog- food in 
Depot B and had resumed their march, sounded a 
note of thankfulness : ' As I write I scarcely know 
how to describe the blessed relief it is to be free from 
our relay work. For one-and-thirty awful days we 
have been at it, and whilst I doubt if our human 
endurance could have stood it much more, I am quite 
sure the dogs could not. It seems now like a night- 
mare, which grew more terrible towards its end.' 
The sense of relief was, however, not destined to last, 
for on December 21 the dogs were in such a hopeless 
condition that they might at any moment have com- 
pletely collapsed. This was a fact that had to be 
faced, and the question 'whether under such circum- 
stances it was wise to push on had to be asked and 
answered. The unanimous answer was that the risk 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 117 

of going on should be taken, but on that same night 
Wilson, in view of future plans, reported to Scott that 
his medical examinations revealed that Shackleton 
had decidedly angry-looking gums, and that for some 
time they had been slowly but surely getting worse. 
It was decided not to tell Shackleton of these symp- 
toms of scurvy, and as the bacon they were using 
seemed likely to be the cause of them, it was discarded 
and an increased allowance of seal given in its place. 
This was a loss in weight which was serious, for 
already they were reduced almost to starvation 
rations of about a pound and a half a day. 

Supper was the best meal, for then they had a 
hoosh which ran from between three-quarters to a 
whole pannikin apiece, but even this they could not 
afford to make thick. While it was being heated 
in the central cooker, cocoa was made in the outer, 
but the lamp was turned out directly the hoosh boiled, 
and by that time the chill was barely off the contents 
of the outer cooker. Of course the cocoa was not 
properly dissolved, but they were long past criticising 
the quality of their food, All they wanted was some- 
thing to ' fill up/ but needless to say they never got 
it. Half an hour after supper was over they were as 
hungry as ever. 

When they had started from the ship, there had 
been a vague idea that they could go as they pleased 
with the food, but experience showed that this would 
not do, and that there must be a rigid system of shares. 
Consequently they used to take it in turn to divide 



ii8 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

things into three equal portions, and as the man who 
made the division felt called upon to take the smallest 
share, the game of ' shut-eye * was invented to stop 
all arguments and remonstrances. The shares were 
divided as equally as possible by someone, then one 
of the other two turned his head away and the divider 
pointed to a portion and said, ' Whose is this ? ' He 
of the averted head named the owner, and thus this 
simple but useful game was played. 

Wilson's examination of Shackleton on December 
24 was not encouraging, but they had reached a much 
harder surface and under those conditions Scott and 
Wilson agreed that it was not yet time to say * Turn/ 
Besides, Christmas Day was in front of them, and 
for a week they had all agreed that it would be a 
crime to go to bed hungry on that night. In fact 
they meant it to be a wonderful day, and everything 
conspired to make it so. 

The sun shone gloriously from a clear sky, and not 
a breath of wind disturbed the calmness of the morn- 
ing, but entrancing as the scene was they did not stay 
to contemplate it, because for once they were going 
to have a really substantial breakfast, and this was 
an irresistible counter-attraction. 

And afterwards, when they felt more internally 
comfortable than they had for weeks, the surface 
continued to be so much better that the sledges could 
be pulled without any help from the dogs. On that 
day they had the satisfaction of covering nearly eleven 
miles, the longest march they had made for a long 



START OF THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY 119 

time. So when camp was pitched they were thoroughly 
pleased with the day, and ready to finish it off with a 
stipper to be remembered. A double * whack ' of 
everything was poured into the cooking-pot, and in 
the hoosh that followed a spoon would stand without 
any support, and the cocoa was also brought to boiling- 
point. 

' I am writing/ Scott says, ' over my second pipe. 
The sun is still circling our small tent in a cloudless 
sky, the air is warm and quiet. All is pleasant with- 
out, and within we have a sense of comfort we have 
not known for many a day; we shall sleep well to- 
night no dreams, no tightening of the belt. 

f We have been chattering away gaily, and not once 
has the conversation turned to food. We have been 
wondering what Christmas is like in England . . . 
and how our friends picture us. They will guess that 
we are away on our sledge journey, and will perhaps 
think of us on plains of snow; but few, I think, will 
imagine the truth, that for us this has been the reddest 
of all red-letter days/ 



CHAPTER VI 

THE RETURN 

How many weary steps 
Of many weary miles you have o'ergone, 
Are numbered to the travel of one mile. 

SHAKESPEARE. 

SOME days passed before the pleasing effects of 
Christmas Day wore off, for it had been a delightful 
break in an otherwise uninterrupted spell of semi-star- 
vation, and the memories lingered long after hunger 
had again gripped the three travellers. By this time 
they knew that they had cut themselves too short in 
the matter of food, but the only possible alteration 
that could now be made in their arrangements was to 
curtail their journey, and rather than do that they 
were ready cheerfully to face the distress of having 
an enormous appetite, and very little with which to 
appease it. 

Thinking over the homeward marches after he had 
returned to the ship, Scott expresses his emphatic 
opinion that the increasing weariness showed that 
they were expending their energies at a greater rate 
than they could renew them, and that the additional 

120 



THE RETURN 121 

weight, caused by carrying a proper allowance of food, 
would have been amply repaid by the preservation of 
their full strength and vigour. 

Apart, however, from the actual pangs of hunger, 
there was another disadvantage from this lack of food, 
for try as they would it was impossible not to think 
and talk incessantly of eating. Before they went to 
sleep it was almost certain that one of them would give 
a detailed description of what he considered an ideal 
feast, while on the march they found themselves 
counting how many footsteps went to the minute, and 
how many, therefore, had to be paced before another 
rrteal. 

But if, during these days of hunger, thoughts of 
what they could eat if only the chance was given to 
them kept constantly cropping up, there were also very 
real compensations for both their mental and physical 
weariness. Day by day, as they journeyed on, they 
knew that they were penetrating farther and farther 
into the unknown. Each footstep was a gain, and 
made the result of their labours more assured. And as 
they studied the slowly revolving sledge-meter or 
looked for the calculated results of their observations, 
it is not surprising that above all the desires for food 
was an irresistible eagerness to go on and on, and to 
extend the line which they were now drawing on the 
white space of the Antarctic chart. 

Day by day, too, the magnificent panorama of the 
western land was passing before their eyes. * Rarely 
a march passed without the disclosure of some new 



122 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

feature, something on which the eye of man had never 
rested; we should have been poor souls indeed had 
we not been elated at the privilege of being the first 
to gaze on these splendid scenes/ 

From the point of view of further exploration their 
position on December 26 was not very hopeful. On 
their right lay a high undulating snow-cap and the 
steep irregular coast-line, to the south lay a cape be- 
yond which they could not hope to pass, and to all 
appearances these conditions were likely to remain to 
the end of their journey. But on that night they had 
christened a distant and lofty peak ' Mount Long- 
staff/ in honour of the man whose generosity had 
alone made the expedition possible, and although they 
thought that this was the most southerly land to which 
they would be able to give a name, they were in no 
mood to turn back because the outlook was unpromis- 
ing. Arguing on the principle that it was impossible 
to tell what may turn up, they all decided to push on; 
and their decision was wise, for had they returned at 
that point one of the most important features of the 
whole coast-line would have been missed. 

On the 26th and 27th Wilson had a very bad attack 
of snow-blindness, which caused him the most intense 
agony. Some clays before Scott had remarked in his 
diary upon Wilson's extraordinary industry : ' When 
it is fine and clear, at the end of our fatiguing days 
he will spend two or three hours seated in the door 
of the tent sketching each detail of the splendid 
mountainous coast-scene to the west. His sketches 



THE RETURN 123 

are most astonishingly accurate; I have tested his 
proportions by actual angular measurements and found 
them correct. . . . But these long hours in the glare 
are very bad for the eyes; we have all suffered a good 
deal from snow-blindness of late, though we generally 
march with goggles, but Wilson gets the worst bouts, 
and I fear it is mainly due to his sketching.' 

The attack, however, after Christmas was very 
much worse than anything that had gone before, and 
all day long during the 27th Wilson was pulling along- 
side the sledges with his eyes completely covered. 
To march blindfold with an empty stomach must 
touch the bottom of miserable monotony, but Wilson 
had not the smallest intention of giving in. With 
Scott walking opposite to him and telling him of 
the changes that were happening around them he 
plodded steadily on, and during the afternoon of the 
27th it happened that a most glorious mountainous 
scene gradually revealed itself. With some excite- 
ment Scott noticed that new mountain ridges were 
appearing as high as anything they had seen to the 
north, and his excitement increased when these ridges 
grew higher and higher. Then, instead of a downward 
turn in the distant outline came a steep upward line, 
and as they pressed on apace to see what would happen 
next, Scott did his best to keep Wilson posted up in 
the latest details. The end came in a gloriously sharp 
double peak crowned with a few flecks of cirrus cloud, 
and all they could think of in carnp that night was this 
splendid twin-peaked mountain, which even in such 



124 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

a lofty country looked like a giant among pigmies. 

* At last we have found something which is fitting to 
bear the name of him whom we must always the most 
delight to honour, and " Mount Markham " it shall be 
called in memory of the father of the expedition/ 

Wilson, in spite of his recent experiences, did not 
mean to miss this, and however much his eyes had to 
suffer the scene had to be sketched. Fortunately a 
glorious evening provided a perfect view of their sur- 
roundings, for very soon they knew that the limit of 
their journey would be reached, and that they would 
have but few more opportunities to increase their 
stock of information. 

After a day that had brought with it both fine 
weather and most interesting discoveries, they settled 
down in their sleeping-bags, full of hope that the 
morrow would be equally kind. But instead of the 
proposed advance the whole day had to be spent in the 
tent while a strong southerly blizzard raged without, 
and when they got up on the following morning they 
found themselves enveloped in a thick fog. 

Reluctantly the decision was made that this camp 
must be their last, and consequently their southerly 
limit had been reached. Observations gave it as be- 
tween 82:16 S. and 82-17 S., and though this record 
may have compared poorly with what Scott had hoped 
for when leaving the ship, it was far more favourable 
than he anticipated when the dogs had begun to fail 

* Whilst/ he says, ' one cannot help a deep sense of 
disappointment in reflecting on the " might have been '* 



THE RETURN 125 

had our team remained in good health, one cannot but 
remember that even as it is we have made a greater 
advance towards a pole of the earth than has ever yet 
been achieved by a sledge party/ 

With less than a fortnight's provision to take them 
back to Depot B, they turned their faces homewards 
on the last day of the year, and it was significant 
of the terrible condition of the surviving dogs that, 
the turn did not cause the smallest excitement. 
Many of them were already dead, killed to keep 
the others alive, but those which remained seemed 
to guess how poor a chance they had of getting back 
to the ship. Again and again Scott refers to the 
suffering of the dogs on the homeward march, and how 
intensely he felt for them is proved beyond all manner 
of doubt. ' January 3. This afternoon, shortly after 
starting, " Gus " fell, quite played out, and just before 
our halt, to our greater grief, " Kid " caved in. One 
could almost weep over this last case; he has pulled 
like a Trojan throughout, and his stout little heart bore 
him up till his legs failed beneath him.' Only seven of 
the team now remained, and of them Jim seemed to be 
the strongest, but Nigger, though weak, was still 
capable of surprising efforts. But at the end of a week 
on the return journey, all of the remaining dogs were 
asked to do nothing except walk by the sledges. 

For several hours on January 7 the men pulled 
steadily and covered ten good miles. But the distance 
they succeeded in travelling was as nothing compared 
with the relief they felt at no longer having to drive 



126 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

a worn-out team. In the future no more cheering and 
dragging in front would be needed, no more tangled 
traces would have to be put straight, and above all 
there would be no more whip. So far steady though 
rather slow progress had been made, but January 8 
brought an unpleasant surprise. Try as they would 
the sledge could scarcely be made to move, and after 
three hours of the hardest work only a mile and a 
quarter had been gained. Sadly they were compelled 
to admit that the surface had so completely changed 
that the only thing to do was to remain in camp until 
it improved. But whether it would improve was an 
anxious matter, for they had less than a week's pro- 
visions and were at least fifty miles from Depot B. 

The next day, however, saw an improvement in the 
surface, and a fairly good march was done. By this 
time only four dogs were left, Nigger, Jim, Birdie 
and Lewis, and poor Nigger was so lost out of harness 
that he sometimes got close to the traces and marched 
along as if he was still doing his share of the pulling. 
But this more or less ordinary day was followed on the 
loth by a march in a blizzard that exhausted Scott 
and Wilson, and had even a more serious effect upon 
Shackleton. With the wind behind them they had 
gained many miles, but the march had tired them out, 
because instead of the steady pulling to which they 
were accustomed they had been compelled sometimes 
to run, and sometimes to pull forwards, backwards, 
sideways, and always with their senses keenly alert 
and their muscles strung up for instant action. 



THE RETURN 127 

On that night Scott in no very cheerful frame of 
mind wrote : * We cannot now be far from our depot, 
but then we do not exactly know where we are; there 
is not many days' food left, and if this thick weather 
continues we shall probably not be able to find it.' 
And after two more days of bad surface and thick 
weather he wrote again : ' There is no doubt we are 
approaching a very critical time. The depot is a very 
small spot on a very big ocean of snow; with luck one 
might see it at a mile and a half or two miles, and 
fortune may direct our course within this radius of it; 
but, on the other hand, it is impossible not to contem- 
plate the ease with which such a small spot can be 
missed. . . . The annoying thing is that one good 
clear sight of the land would solve all our difficulties/ 

At noon on January 13 the outlook was more hope- 
less than ever. Three hours' incessant labour had 
gained only three-quarters of a mile, and consequently 
they had to halt though their food-bag was a mere 
trifle to lift, and they could have finished all that 
remained in it at one sitting and still have been hungry. 
But later on Scott caught a glimpse of the sun in the 
tent, and tumbled hastily out of his sleeping-bag in 
the hope of obtaining a meridional altitude; and after 
getting the very best result he could under the very 
difficult conditions prevailing, he casually lowered the 
telescope and swept it round the horizon. Suddenly 
a speck seemed to flash by, and a vehement hope as 
suddenly arose. Then he brought the telescope slowly 
back, and there it was again, and accompanied this 



128 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

time by two smaller specks on either side of it. 
Without a shadow of doubt it was the depot, 
which meant the means of life to them. ' I sprang 
up and shouted, " Boys, there's the depot/' We 
are not a demonstrative party, but I think we ex- 
cused ourselves for the wild cheer that greeted this 
announcement/ 

In five minutes everything was packed on the 
sledges, but though the work was as heavy as before 
the workers were in a very different mood to tackle it. 
To reach those distant specks as quickly as possible 
was their one desire and all minor troubles were 
forgotten as they marched, for before them was the 
knowledge, that they were going to have the fat hoosh 
which would once more give them an internal sense of 
comfort. In two hours they were at the depot, and 
there they found everything as they had left it. 

On that same morning they had stripped off the 
German silver from the runners of one of their sledges, 
and now fortified by the fat hoosh of their dreams they 
completed the comparison between the two sledges, 
which respectively had metal and wood runners. 
Having equalised the weights as much as possible they 
towed the sledges round singly, and found that two of 
them could scarcely move the metalled sledge as fast 
as one could drag the other. 

Of course they decided to strip the second sledge, 
and with only about 130 miles to cover to their next 
depot, a full three weeks' provisions, and the prospect 
of better travelling on wood runners, they went to bed 



THE RETURN 129 

feeling that a heavy load of anxiety had been lifted. 
The chief cause of worry left was the question of 
health, and the result of a thorough medical examina- 
tion on the morning of the I4th did nothing to remove 
this. Shackleton was found to be very far indeed 
from well, but although Scott and Wilson both showed 
symptoms of scurvy they still felt that, as far as they 
were concerned, there was no danger of a breakdown. 

On that day they made a fairly good march, but 
at the end of it Wilson had to warn Scott that Shackle- 
ton's condition was really alarming. Commenting on 
this Scott wrote : ' It's a bad case, but we must make 
the best of it and trust to its not getting worse; now 
that human life is at stake, all other objects must be 
sacrificed. ... It went to my heart to give the order, 
but it had to be done, and the dogs are to be killed in 
the morning. 

* One of the difficulties we foresee with Shackleton, 
with his restless, energetic spirit, is to keep him idle 
in camp, so to-night I have talked seriously to him. 
He is not to do any camping work, but to allow every- 
thing to be done for him. . . . Every effort must be 
devoted to keeping him on his legs, and we must trust 
to luck to bring him through/ 

With the morning of the I5th came the last scene 
in the tragic story of the dogs, and poor Nigger and 
Jim, the only survivors of that team of nineteen, were 
taken a short distance from the camp and killed. ' I 
think we could all have wept. , . , Through our most 
troublous time we always looked forward to getting 



130 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

some of our animals home. At first it was to have 
been nine, then seven, then five, and at the last we 
thought that surely we should be able to bring back 
these two/ 

During the part of the return journey which was 
now beginning, they had promised themselves an 
easier time, but instead of that it resolved itself into 
days of grim struggle to save a sick companion. The 
weather also added to their troubles, because it was so 
overcast that steering was extremely difficult. For 
nearly ten consecutive days this gloomy weather con- 
tinued to harass them, but on the 2Oth it cleared as 
they were on their march, and on the following day 
with a brisk southerly breeze and their sail set they 
travelled along at a fine rate. The state of Shackle- 
ton's health was still a source of acutest anxiety, but 
each march brought safety nearer and nearer, and on 
the 23rd Scott was able to write in a much more hope- 
ful spirit. Next day a glimpse of the Bluff to the north 
was seen, but this encouraging sight was accompanied 
by a new form of surface which made the pulling very 
wearisome. An inch or so beneath the soft snow sur- 
face was a thin crust, almost, but not quite, sufficient 
to bear their weight. The work of breaking such a 
surface as this would, Scott says, have finished Shackle- 
ton in no time, but luckily he was able to go on ski and 
avoid the jars. ' In spite of our present disbelief 
in ski, one is bound to confess that if we get back 
safely Shackleton will owe much to the pair he is 
now using.' 



THE RETURN 

But in spite of bad surfaces and increasingly heavy 
work, Scott and Wilson were determined to leave as 
little as possible to chance, and to get their invalid 
along as quickly as his condition would allow. Directly 
breakfast was over Shackleton started off and got well 
ahead, while Scott and Wilson packed up camp; and 
after lunch the same procedure was adopted. By this 
means he was able to take things easily, and though 
eager to do his share of the work he was wise enough 
to see that every precaution taken was absolutely 
necessary. 

Encouragements in this stern struggle were few 
and far between, but when the smoke of Erebus was 
seen on the 25th, it cheered them to think that they had 
seen something that was actually beyond the ship. 
Probably it was more than a hundred miles away, but 
they had become so accustomed to seeing things 
at a distance that they were not in the least astonished 
by this. 

January 26, too, had its consolations, for while 
plodding on as usual the travellers suddenly saw a 
white line ahead, and soon afterwards discovered that 
it was a sledge track. There was no doubt that the 
track was Barriers on his way back from his survey 
work to the west, but it was wonderful what that 
track told them. They could see that there had been 
six men with two sledges, and that all of the former 
had been going strong and well on ski. From the 
state of the track this party had evidently passed about 
four days before on the homeward route, and from 



132 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the zig-zagging of the course it was agreed that the 
weather must have been thick at the time. Every 
imprint in the soft snow added some small fact, and 
the whole made an excellent detective study. But the 
main point was that they knew for certain that Barne 
and his party were safe, and this after their own ex- 
periences was a great relief. 

Another day and a half of labour brought them to 
the depot, and the land of plenty. ' Directly/ Scott 
wrote on the 28th, ' our tent was up we started our 
search among the snow-heaps with childish glee. One 
after another our treasures were brought forth: oil 
enough for the most lavish expenditure, biscuit that 
might have lasted us for a month, and, finally, a large 
brown provision-bag which we knew would contain 
more than food alone. We have just opened this pro- 
vision-bag and feasted our eyes on the contents. 
There are two tins of sardines, a large tin of marma- 
lade, soup squares, pea soup, and many other delights 
that already make our mouths water. For each one of 
us there is some special trifle which the forethought 
of our kind people has provided, mine being an extra 
packet of tobacco; and last, but not least, there are 
a whole heap of folded letters and notes billets-doux 
indeed. I wonder if a mail was ever more acceptable/ 

The news, too, was good; Royds, after desperate 
labour, had succeeded in rescuing the boats; Blissett 
had discovered an Emperor penguin's egg, and his 
messmates expected him to be knighted. But the 
meal itself, though 'pure joy' at first, was not an 



THE RETURN 133 

unqualified success, for after being accustomed to 
starvation or semi-starvation rations, they were in no 
condition either to resist or to digest any unstinted 
meal, and both Scott and Wilson suffered acutely. 

On the next morning they awoke to find a heavy 
blizzard, and the first thought of pushing on at all 
hazards was abandoned when Shackleton was found to 
be extremely ill. Everything now depended upon the 
weather, for should the blizzard continue Scott doubted 
if Shackleton would even be well enough to be carried 
on the sledge. ' It is a great disappointment; last 
night we thought ourselves out of the wood with all 
our troubles behind us, and to-night matters seem 
worse than ever. Luckily Wilson and I are pretty fit, 
and we have lots of food/ By great luck the weather 
cleared on the morning of the 3Oth, and as Shackleton 
after a very bad night revived a little it was felt that 
the only chance was to go on. ' At last he was got 
away, and we watched him almost tottering along with 
frequent painful halts. Re-sorting our provisions, in 
half an hour we had packed our camp, set our sail, 
and started with the sledges. It was not long before 
we caught our invalid, who was so exhausted that we 
thought it wiser he should sit on the sledges, where 
for the remainder of the forenoon, with the help of our 
sail, we carried him/ 

In Wilson's opinion Shackleton's relapse was mainly 
due to the blizzard, but fortune favoured them during 
the last stages of the struggle homewards, and the 
glorious weather had a wonderful effect upon the 



I 3 4 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

sick man. By the night of February 2 they were 
within ten or twelve miles of their goal, and saw a 
prospect of a successful end to their troubles. During 
the afternoon they had passed round the corner of 
White Island, and as they did so the old familiar out- 
line of the friendly peninsula suddenly opened up be- 
fore them. On every side were suggestions of home, 
and their joy at seeing the well-known landmarks 
was increased by the fact that they were as nearly 
' spent as three persons can well be/ 

Shackleton, it is true, had lately shown an improve- 
ment, but his companions placed but little confidence 
in that, for they knew how near he had been, and still 
was, to a total collapse. And both Scott and Wilson 
knew also that their scurvy had again been advancing 
rapidly, but they scarcely dared to admit either to 
themselves or each other how ' done ' they were. For 
many a day Wilson had suffered from lameness, and 
each morning had vainly tried to disguise his limp, but 
from his set face Scott knew well enough how much 
he suffered before the first stiffness wore off, ( As for 
myself, for some time I have hurried through the task 
of changing my foot-gear in an attempt to forget 
that my ankles are considerably swollen. One and 
all we want rest and peace, and, all being well, tor- 
morrow, thank Heaven, we shall get them/ 

These are the final words written in Scott's sledge- 
diary during this remarkable journey, for on the next 
morning they packed up their camp for the last time 
and set their faces towards Observation Hill. Brilliant 



THE RETURN 135 

weather still continued, and after plodding on for some 
hours two specks appeared, which at first were thought 
to be penguins, but presently were seen to be men 
hurrying towards them. Early in the morning they 
had been reported by watchers on the hills, and Skelton 
and Bernacchi had hastened out to meet them. 

Then the tent was put up, and while cocoa was made 
they listened to a ceaseless stream of news, for not only 
had all the other travellers returned safe and sound 
with many a tale to tell, but the relief ship, the 
Morning, had also arrived and brought a whole year's 
news. 

So during their last lunch and during the easy 
march that followed, they gradually heard of the 
events in the civilised world from December, 1901, to 
December, 1902, and these kept their thoughts busy 
until they rounded the cape and once more saw their 
beloved ship. 

Though still held fast in her icy prison the Dis- 
covery looked trim and neat, and to mark the especial 
nature of the occasion a brave display of bunting 
floated gently in the breeze, while as they approached, 
the side and the rigging were thronged with their 
cheering comrades. 

With every want forestalled, and every trouble 
lifted from their shoulders by companions vying with 
one another to attend to them, no welcome could have 
been more delightful, and yet at the time it appeared 
unreal to their dull senses. ' It seemed too good to 
be true that all our anxieties had so completely ended, 



136 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

and that rest for brain and limb was ours at last/ 
For ninety-three days they had plodded over a vast 
snow-field and slept beneath the fluttering canvas of 
a tent; during that time they had covered 960 statute 
miles; and if the great results hoped for in the be- 
ginning had not been completely achieved, they knew 
at any rate that they had striven and endured to the 
limit of their powers. 



CHAPTER VII 

A SECOND WINTER 

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, 

So is good news from a far country. 

PROVERBS. 

IN a very short time Scott discovered that the 
sledging resources of the ship had been used to 
their fullest extent during his absence, and that 
parties had been going and coming and ever adding 
to the collection of knowledge. 

On November 2 Royds had gone again to Cape 
Crozier to see how the Emperor penguins were faring, 
and in the meantime such rapid progress had been 
made in the preparations for the western party that 
November 9, being King Edward's birthday, was pro- 
claimed a general holiday and given up to the eagerly 
anticipated athletic sports. 

Of all the events perhaps the keenest interest was 
shown in the toboggan race, for which the men entered 
in pairs. Each couple had to provide their own tobog- 
gan, subject to the rule that no sledge, or part of a 
sledge, and no ski should be used. The start was high 
up the hillside, and as the time for it approached the 

137 



138 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

queerest lot of toboggans gradually collected. The 
greater number were roughly made from old boxes 
and cask staves, but something of a sensation was 
caused when the canny Scottish carpenter's mate 
arrived with a far more pretentious article, though 
built from the same material. In secret he had de- 
voted himself to making what was really a very pass- 
able sledge, and when he and his companion secured 
themselves to this dark horse, the result of the race 
was considered a foregone conclusion. But soon after 
the start it was seen that this couple had laboured in 
vain; for although they shot ahead at first, their 
speed was so great that they could not control their 
machine. In a moment they were rolling head-over- 
heels in clouds of snow, and while the hare was thus 
amusing itself a tortoise slid past and won the race. 

By the end of November everything was ready for 
the western journey, and a formidable party set out 
on the 2pth to cross McMurdo Sound and attack the 
mainland. In Armitage's own party were Skelton and 
ten men, while the supports consisted of Koettlite, 
Ferrar, Dellbridge and six men. Excellent pioneer 
work was done by Armitage and his party during their 
seven weeks' journey. Without a doubt a practicable 
road to the interior was discovered and traversed, and 
the barrier of mountains that had seemed so formi- 
dable an obstruction from the ship was conquered. It 
was equally certain that the party could claim to be 
the first to set foot on the interior of Victoria Land, 
but they had been forced to turn back at an extremely 



A SECOND WINTER 139 

interesting point, and in consequence were unable to 
supply very definite information with regard to the ice- 
cap. They had, however, fulfilled their main object, 
and in doing so had disclosed problems that caused 
the deepest interest to be focussed upon the direction 
in which they had travelled. 

Perhaps the most promising circumstance of all was 
that among the rock specimens brought back were 
fragments of quartz-grits. These, with other obser- 
vations, showed the strong probability of the existence 
of sedimentary deposits which might be reached and 
examined, and which alone could serve to reveal the 
geological history of this great southern continent. 
At all hazards Scott determined that the geologist of 
the expedition must be given a chance to explore this 
most interesting region. 

The extensive preparations for the western journey 
had practically stripped the ship of sledge equipment, 
and those who went out on shorter journeys were 
obliged to make the best of the little that remained. 
This did not, however, baulk their energies, and by 
resorting to all kinds of shifts and devices they made 
many useful expeditions. 

While these efforts at exploration were being carried 
out the ship was left in the charge of Royds, who 
employed every one on board in the most important 
task of freeing the boats. Drastic measures had 
to be taken before they could be released from 
their beds of ice, and with sawing and blasting 
going on in the unseen depths, it was not possible 



140 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

that the task could be accomplished without doing 
considerable damage. When at length all of them 
had been brought to the surface their condition was 
exceedingly dilapidated; indeed only two of them were 
in a condition to float; but although it was evident 
that the carpenter would be busy for many weeks 
before they would be seaworthy, their reappearance was 
a tremendous relief. 

Long before his departure to the south, Scott had 
given instructions that the Discovery should be pre- 
pared for sea by the end of January. Consequently, 
after the boats had been freed, there was still plenty 
of employment for everybody, since ' preparations 
for sea J under such circumstances meant a most 
prodigious amount of labour. Tons and tons of snow 
had to be dug out from the deck with pick-axes and 
shovelled over the side; aloft, sails and ropes had to 
be looked to, the running-gear to be re-rove, and every- 
thing got ready for handling the ship under sail; many 
things that had been displaced or landed near the 
shore-station had to be brought on board and secured 
in position; thirty tons of ice had to be fetched, 
melted, and run into the boilers; below, steam-pipes 
had 'to be rejointed, glands re-packed, engines turned 
by hand, and steam raised to see that all was in work- 
ing order. 

Not doubting that the ice would soon break up and 
release the ship, this work was carried on so vigorously 
that when the southern travellers returned all was 
ready for them to put to sea again. 



A SECOND WINTER 141 

But eleven days before Scott and his com- 
panions struggled back to safety the great event of 
the season had happened in the arrival of the 
Morning. How the funds were raised by means of 
which this ship was sent is a tale in itself; briefly, 
however, it was due to the untiring zeal and singleness 
of purpose shown by Sir Clements Markham that the 
Morning, commanded by Lieutenant William Colbeck, 
R.N.R., was able to leave the London Docks on 
July 9, 1902. 

Long before the Discovery had left New Zealand 
the idea of a relief ship had been discussed, and al- 
though Scott saw great difficulties in the way, he also 
felt quite confident that if the thing was to be done 
Sir Clements was the man to do it. Obviously then 
it was desirable to leave as much information as 
possible on the track, and the relief ship was to try 
and pick up clues at the places where Scott had said 
that he would attempt to leave them. These 
places were Cape Adare, Possession Islands, Coul- 
man Island, Wood Bay, Franklin Island and Cape 
Crozier. 

On January 8 a landing was effected at Cape Adare, 
and there Colbeck heard of the Discovery's safe arrival 
in the south. The Possession Islands were drawn 
blank, because Scott had not been able to land there, 
and south of this the whole coast was so thickly 
packed that the Morning could not approach either 
Coulman Is.land or Wood Bay. 

Franklin Island was visited on January 14, but 



142 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

without result; and owing to the quantities of pack- 
ice it was not until four days later that a landing was 
made at Cape Crozier. Colbeck himself joined the 
landing party, and after spending several hours in 
fruitless search, he was just giving up the hunt and 
beginning despondently to wonder what he had better 
do next, when suddenly a small post was seen on the 
horizon. A rush was made for it, and in a few 
minutes Colbeck knew that he had only to steer into 
the mysterious depths of McMurdo Sound to find the 
Discovery, and practically to accomplish the work 
he had set out to do. 

On board the Discovery the idea had steadily grown 
that a relief ship would come. For no very clear 
reason the men had begun to look upon it as a certainty, 
and during the latter part of January it was not un- 
common for wild rumours to be spread that smoke 
had been seen to the north. Such reports, therefore, 
were generally received without much excitement, but 
when a messenger ran down the hill on the night of 
the 23rd to say that there was actually a ship in sight 
the enthusiasm was intense. Only the most imper- 
turbable of those on board could sleep much during that 
night, and early on the 24th a large party set out over 
the floe. The Morning was lying some ten miles north 
of the Discovery, but it was far easier to see her than 
to reach her. At last, however, the party, after various 
little adventures, stood safely on deck and received 
the warmest of welcomes. 

During the last week of January the weather was 



A SECOND WINTER 143 

in its most glorious mood, and with some of the 
treacherous thin ice breaking away the Morning was 
able to get a mile nearer. Parties constantly passed to 
and fro between the two ships, and every one with 
unshaken confidence that the Discovery would soon 
be free gave themselves up to the delight of fresh 
companionship, and the joy of good news from the 
home country. To this scene of festivity and cheeri- 
ness Scott, Wilson and Shackleton returned on 
February 3, and though the last to open their letters 
they had the satisfaction of knowing that the Morning 
had brought nothing but good news. 

By a curious coincidence Colbeck chose the night 
of the Southern party's return to make his first visit 
to the Discovery, and soon after Scott had come out of 
his delicious bath and was revelling in the delight of 
clean clothes, he had the pleasure of welcoming him on 
board. ' In those last weary marches over the barrier/ 
Scott says, ' I had little expected that the first feast 
in our home quarters would be taken with strange faces 
gathered round our festive table, but so it was, and 
I can well remember the look of astonishment that 
dawned on those faces when we gradually displayed 
our power of absorbing food/ 

But however difficult the appetites of the party 
were to appease, for a fortnight after they had reached 
the ship their condition was very wretched. Shackle- 
ton at once went to bed, and although he soon tried to 
be out and about again, the least exertion caused a 
return of his breathlessness, and he still suffered from 



144 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the violent fits of coughing that had troubled him so 
much on the journey. With Wilson, who at one time 
had shown the least signs of scurvy, the disease had 
increased so rapidly at the end that on his return he 
wisely decided to go to bed, where he remained quietly 
for ten days. * Wilson/ Scott wrote on February 16, 
* is a very fine fellow, his pluck and go were everything 
on our southern journey; one felt he wouldn't give in 
till he dropped/ And this collapse when he got back 
to the ship was in itself a proof of the determination 
which must have upheld him during the last marches. 
Scott, though the least affected of the three, was 
also by no means fit and well. Both his legs were 
swollen and his gums were very uncomfortable, but in 
addition to these troubles he was attacked by an over- 
whelming feeling of both physical and mental weari- 
ness. ' Many days passed/ he says, * before I could 
rouse myself from this slothful humour, and it was 
many weeks before I had returned to a normally vigor- 
ous condition. It was probably this exceptionally re- 
laxed state of health that made me so slow to realise 
that the ice conditions were very different from what 
they had been in the previous season. . . . The pros- 
pect of the ice about us remaining fast throughout the 
season never once entered my head/ His diary, how- 
ever, for the month shows how he gradually awakened 
to the true state of affairs, and on February 13 he de- 
cided to begin the transport of stores from the Morn- 
ing to the Discovery, so that the former ship ' should 
run no risk of being detained/ And on the i8th when 



A SECOND WINTER 145 

he paid his first visit to the Morning, and found the. 
journey ' an awful grind/ he had begun to wonder 
whether the floe was ever going to break up. 

A week later he was clearly alive to the situation, 
1 The Morning must go in less than a week, and it 
seems now impossible that we shall be free by that 
time, though I still hope the break-up may come after 
she has departed.' Some time previously he had de- 
cided that if they had to remain the ship's company 
should be reduced, and on the 24th he had a talk with 
the men and told them that he wished nobody to stop 
on board who was not willing. On the following day 
a list was sent round for the names of those who 
wanted to go, and the result was curiously satisfactory 
for Scott had determined that eight men should go, 
and not only were there eight names on the list, but 
they were also precisely those which Scott would have 
put there had he made the selection. Shackleton also 
had to be told that he must go, as in his state of health 
Scott did not think that any further hardships ought 
to be risked; but in his place Scott 'requisitioned 
Mulock who by an extraordinary chance is just the 
very man we wanted. We have now an immense 
amount of details for charts . . . and Mulock is ex- 
cellent at this work and as keen as possible. It is 
rather amusing, as he is the only person who is ob- 
viously longing for the ice to stop in, though of course 
he doesn't say so. The other sporting characters are 
still giving ten to one that it will go out, but I am 
bound to confess that I am not sanguine/ 



I 4 6 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

The letter from which the last extract is taken 
was begun on February 16, and before the end of the 
month all hope of the Discovery being able to leave 
with the Morning had been abandoned. On March 2 
nearly the whole of the Discovery's company were 
entertained on board the Morning, and on the following 
day the relief ship slowly backed away from the ice- 
edge, and in a few minutes she was turning to the 
north, with every rope and spar outlined against the 
black northern sky. Cheer after cheer was raised as 
she gathered way, and long after she had passed out of 
earshot the little band stood gazing at her receding 
hull, and wondering when they too would be able to 
take the northern track. 

In the Morning went a letter from Scott which 
shows that although in a sense disappointed by the 
prospect of having to remain for another winter, both 
he and his companions were not by any means dis- 
mayed. * It is poor luck/ he wrote, ' as I was dead 
keen on getting a look round C North before making 
for home. However we all take it philosophically, and 
are perfectly happy and contented on board, and shall 
have lots to do in winter, spring and summer. We will 
have a jolly good try to free the ship next year, though 
I fear manual labour doesn't go far with such terribly 
heavy ice as we have here; but this year we were of 
course unprepared, and when we realised the situation 
it was too late to begin anything like extensive opera- 
tions. I can rely on every single man that remains in 
the ship and I gave them all the option of leaving . , . 



A SECOND WINTER 147 

the ship's company is now practically naval-officers and 
men it is rather queer when one looks back to the 
original gift of two officers/ 

Referring to the Southern journey he says, "We 
cut our food and fuel too fine. ... I never knew be- 
fore what it was to be hungry; at times we were fam- 
ished and had to tighten our belts nightly before going 
to sleep. The others dreamt of food snatched away at 
the last moment, but this didn't bother me so much/ 

But characteristically the greater part of this long 
letter refers not to his own doings, but to the admi- 
rable qualities of those who were with him. Wilson, 
Royds, Skelton, Hodgson, Barne and Bernacchi are all 
referred to in terms of the warmest praise, and for the 
manner in which Colbeck managed the relief expedition 
the greatest admiration is expressed. But in some way 
or other Scott discovered good points in all the officers 
he mentioned, and if they were not satisfactory in 
every way his object seemed to be rather to excuse 
than to blame them. He was, however, unaffectedly 
glad to see the last of the cook, for the latter had shown 
himself far more capable at talking than at cooking, 
and had related so many of his wonderful adventures 
that one of the sailors reckoned that the sum total of 
these thrilling experiences must have extended over a 
period of five hundred and ninety years which, as 
the sailor said, was a fair age even for a cook. 

By March 14 even the most optimistic of the com- 
pany were compelled to admit the certainty of a 
second winter, and orders were given to prepare the 



148 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

ship for it. Compared with the previous year the 
weather had been a great deal worse, for there had 
been more wind and much lower temperatures, and 
under such conditions it was hopeless to go on expect- 
ing the ice to break up. But it was not to be won- 
dered at that they found themselves wondering what 
their imprisonment meant. Was it the present sum- 
mer or the last that was the exception? For them 
this was the gravest question, since on the answer to it 
their chance of getting away next year, or at all, 
depended. 

While, however, the situation as regards the future 
was not altogether without anxiety, they sturdily 
determined to make the best of the present. To 
ward off any chance of scurvy, it was determined to 
keep rigidly to a fresh-meat routine throughout the 
winter, and consequently a great number of seals and 
skuas had to be killed. At first the skua had been 
regarded as unfit for human food, but Skelton on a 
sledging trip had caught one in a noose and promptly 
put it into the pot. And the result was so satisfactory 
that the skua at once began to figure prominently on 
the menu. They had, however, to deplore the absence 
of penguins from their winter diet, because none had 
been seen near the ship for a long time. 

On Wednesday, April 24, the sun departed, but 
Scott remarks upon this rather dismal fact with the 
greatest cheerfulness : * It would be agreeable to know 
what is going to happen next year, but otherwise we 
have no wants. Our routine goes like clock-work; 



A SECOND WINTER 149 

we eat, sleep, work and play at regular hours, and 
are never in lack of employment. Hockey, I fear, 
must soon cease for lack of light, but it has been a 
great diversion, although not unattended with risks, for 
yesterday I captured a black eye from a ball furiously 
driven by Royds.' 

Of the months that followed little need be said, 
except that Scott's anticipations were fully realised. 
In fact the winter passed by without a hitch, and their 
second mid-winter day found them even more cheerful 
than their first. Hodgson continued to work away 
with his fish-traps, tow-nets and dredging; Mulock, 
who had been trained as a surveyor and had great 
natural abilities for the work, was most useful, first 
in collecting and re-marking all the observations, and 
later on in constructing temporary charts; while Barne 
generally vanished after breakfast and spent many a 
day at his distant sounding holes. 

Throughout the season the routine of scientific 
observations was carried out in the same manner as in 
the previous year, while many new details were added; 
and so engaged was every one in serviceable work 
that when the second long Polar night ended, Scott 
was able to write : * I do not think there is a soul on 
board the Discovery who would say that it has been 
a hardship. ... All thoughts are turned towards the 
work that lies before us, and it would be difficult to be 
blind to the possible extent of its usefulness. Each 
day has brought it more home to us how little we 
know and how much there is to be learned, and we 



150 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

realise fully that this second year's work may more 
than double the value of our observations. Life in 
these regions has lost any terror it ever possessed for 
us, for we know that, come what may, we can live, 
and live well, for any reasonable number of years 
to come.' 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE WESTERN JOURNEY 

Path of advance! but it leads 

A long* steep journey through sunk 

Gorges, o'er mountains in snow. M. ARNOLD. 

DURING the second winter much time and attention 
had to be given to the sledge equipment, for there was 
scarcely an article in it that did not need to be 
thoroughly overhauled and refitted. But in spite of 
all their efforts, the outfit for the coming season was 
bound to be a tattered and makeshift affair. Skins 
of an inferior quality had to be used for sleeping- 
bags; the tents were blackened with use, threadbare 
in texture, and patched in many places; the cooking 
apparatus was considerably the worse for wear; the 
wind clothes were almost worn out, while for all the 
small bags, which were required for provisions, they 
were obliged to fall back on any sheets and table- 
cloths that could be found. This state of things, how- 
ever, was very far from daunting their spirits, and long 
before the winter was over the plan of campaign for 
the next season had been drawn up. 

In making the programme Scott knew that extended 

15* 



152 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

journeys could only be made by properly supported 
parties, and it was easy to see that his small company 
would not be able to make more than two supported 
journeys, though it might be just possible to make a 
third more or less lengthy journey without support. 
The next thing to decide was in what direction these 
parties should go, and in this connection the greatest 
interest undoubtedly lay in the west. To explore the 
Ferrar Glacier from a geological point of view and find 
out the nature of the interior ice-cap must, Scott de- 
termined, be attempted at all costs, and this journey 
to the west he decided to lead himself. 

In the south it was evident that without dogs no 
party could hope to get beyond the point already 
reached. But Scott's journey had been made a long 
way from land, and consequently had left many 
problems unsolved, chief among which were the ex- 
traordinary straits that had appeared to run through 
the mountain ranges without rising in level. It was 
therefore with the main object of exploring one of 
them that the second supported party, under the leader- 
ship of Barne and Mulock, was to set out. 

The credit in arranging the direction in which the 
unsupported party should go belongs to Bernacchi, 
who was the first to ask Scott what proof they had 
that the barrier surface continued on a level to the 
eastward; and when Scott began to consider this 
question, he discovered that there was no definite 
proof, and decided that the only way to get it was to 
go and see. 



THE WESTERN JOURNEY 153 

Besides the longer journeys, the programme in- 
cluded a number of shorter ones for specific purposes, 
and the most important of these were the periodic 
visits to the Emperor penguin rookery, as it was hoped 
that Wilson would be able to observe these birds from 
the beginning of their breeding season. 

Finally, one important factor was to dominate all 
the sledging arrangements, for although the Discovery 
was mainly at the mercy of natural causes, Scott made 
up his mind that everything man could do to free her 
from the ice should be done. As soon as they could 
hope to make any impression upon the great ice-sheet 
around them, the whole force of the company was to 
set to work at the task of extrication, and so all sledg- 
ing journeys were to start in time to assure their re- 
turn to the ship by the middle of December. 

On September 9 Scott got away with his own party 
of Skelton, Dailey, Evans, Lashly and Handsley, their 
object being to find a new road to the Ferrar Glacier, 
and on it to place a depot ready for a greater effort 
over the ice-cap. The Ferrar Glacier descends grad- 
ually to the inlet, which had been named New Har- 
bour, but Armitage had reported most adversely on 
this inlet as a route for sledges, and in conducting his 
own party had led it across the high foot-hills. As yet 
Scott had not been to thi^ region, but in the nature of 
things he could not help thinking that some practical 
route must exist up the New Harbour inlet, and that if 
it could be found the journey to the west would be 
much easier. And the result of this little journey 



154 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

was really important, for whereas Armitage, at the 
foot of the Ferrar Glacier, had seen the disturbance 
on the south side, and had concluded that it must 
extend right across, Scott's party fortunately pushed 
over this disturbance and found much easier conditions 
beyond it. 

The fact thus discovered, and which was amply 
supported by further observations, was that invariably 
in the Antarctic regions where glaciers run more or less 
east and west, the south side will be found to be much 
broken up and decayed, while the north side will be 
comparatively smooth and even. The reason of this, 
of course, is simple enough, for the sun achieves its 
highest altitude in the north, and consequently its 
warmest and most direct rays fall on the south side 
of a valley. Here, therefore, the greater part of the 
summer melting takes place, and a wild chaos of ice 
disturbance is caused. 

Scott's party, by taking a different route, laid a 
depot at a spot which Armitage had taken three weeks 
to reach, and was back again at the ship in less than 
a fortnight. 

' We were/ Scott says, ' inclined to be exceedingly 
self-satisfied; we had accomplished our object with 
unexpected ease, we had done a record march, and we 
had endured record temperatures at least, we thought 
so, and thought also how pleasant it would be to tell 
these things in front of a nice bright fire. As we ap- 
proached the ship, however, Hodgson came out to greet 
us, and his first question was, "What temperatures 



THE WESTERN JOURNEY 155 

have you had ? " We replied by complacently quoting 
our array of minus fifties, but he quickly cut us short 
by remarking that we were not in it/ 

In fact during those few days there had been a 
very cold snap throughout the region. Barne's party 
on the barrier, where they had been laying a depot, 
had the coldest time, and after their thermometer 
had fallen lower and lower its spirit-column broke 
at 67 7. Royds and his party also had to endure 
62, but in other respects they were in luck. For 
on arriving at Cape Crozier they found that the Em- 
peror penguins had already hatched out their young, 
and Wilson was delighted to get the opportunity of 
studying the chicks at such a tender age. Commenting 
upon this and another journey to Cape Crozier, Wilson 
wrote : ' The Emperor penguin stands nearly four feet 
high, and weighs upward of eighty to ninety pounds. 
... I think the chickens hate their parents, and 
when one watches the proceedings in a rookery it 
strikes one as not surprising. In the first place there 
is about one chick to ten or twelve adults, and each 
adult has an overpowering desire to " sit " on some- 
thing. Both males and females want to nurse, and 
the result is that when a chicken finds himself alone 
there is a rush on the part of a dozen unemployed to 
seize him. Naturally he runs away, and dodges here 
and there till a six-stone Emperor falls on him, and 
then begins a regular football scrimmage, in which 
each tries to hustle the other off, and the end is too 
often disastrous to the chick. ... I think it is not 



156 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

an exaggeration to say that of the 77 per cent, that 
die no less than half are killed by kindness/ 

From Cape Crozier Cross resolved to try to bring 
two chickens back to the ship, and by giving up his 
sleeping jacket to keep them warm and tending them 
with the utmost care, he succeeded in his attempt. 
But eventually they died from unnatural feeding, 
and Wilson says : ' Had we even succeeded in bringing 
them to the age when they put on their feathers, I 
fear that the journey home through the tropics would 
have proved too much for them, as we had no means 
cf making a cool place for them on the ship/ 

September 21 brought with it a grievous disap- 
pointment, as on that day the nautical almanac 
announced that nine-tenths of the sun would be 
obscured. For this event Bernacchi had made the 
most careful preparations, and every one was placed 
under his orders during the day. Telescopes and the 
spectroscopic camera were trained in the right direc- 
tion, magnetic instruments were set to run at quick 
speed, and observers were told off to watch everything 
on which the absence of sun could possibly have the 
smallest effect. Everything, in short, was ready 
except the sun itself which obstinately refused to come 
out. ' There may/ Scott says, * have been an eclipse 
of the sun on September 21, 1903, as the almanac said, 
but we should none of us have liked to swear to the 
fact/ 

The next three weeks or so were spent in prepara- 
tions for the long journeys, and on October 12 Scott 



THE WESTERN JOURNEY 157 

left the ship with a party of twelve, and four n-foot 
sledges. First came his own party, which included 
Skelton, Feather, Evans, Lashly and Handsley; 
secondly there was a small party for the geologist, 
Ferrar, who was accompanied by Kennar and Weller; 
and thirdly there were the supports, consisting of 
Dailey, Williamson and Plumley. 

Scott guessed rightly that in many respects this was 
going to te the hardest task he had yet undertaken, but 
he knew also that experience would be a thing to be 
reckoned upon, and that it would take a good deal to 
stop the determined men whom he had chosen. At 
the start their loads were a little over 200 Ibs. per man, 
but most of the party were by this time in thoroughly 
good condition, and by hard marching they covered the 
forty-five miles to New Harbour and reached the 
snow-cape early on the I4th. 

This snow-cape in future was to be known as Butter 
Point, for here on their return journey they could 
hope to obtain fresh seal-meat, and in preparation 
for this great event a tin of butter was carried and 
left at the point for each party. 

At first all went well with the travellers, and it was 
not until the evening of the I7th, when they were 
camped amid indescribably beautiful scenery, that 
the first cloud of trouble arose. Then Dailey the 
carpenter reported that the German silver had split 
under the runners of two sledges, and this was a most 
serious blow; for although the wood runners were 
capable of running on snow without protection, on 



158 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

hard, sharp ice, especially if the sledge was heavily 
laden, they would be knocked to pieces in a very short 
time. It was, therefore, absolutely necessary to 
protect the runners on this journey, but unfortunately 
the German silver protection had already stood a 
season's work, and had worn thin without giving any 
outward sign. 

From start to finish of the Ferrar Glacier about 
ninety miles of hard ice were to be expected, and the 
problem that immediately arose was how to get the 
sledges over this without damage. 

By lunch-time on the i8th they had achieved a 
height of over 6,000 feet, and by that time the sledges 
were in such a parlous state that Scott had all of them 
unpacked and the runners turned up for inspection. 
Horrid revelations followed; one sledge remained 
sound, and Scott promptly decided that there was one 
course and only one to take, and that was to return 
to the ship as fast as they could. Had two sledges 
been available the advance party might have struggled 
on, but with one they could do nothing; so they left 
the sound sledge with everything else except the 
half-week's provisions necessary to take them back, 
and on the following days they ' came as near flying 
as is possible with a sledge party/ On the morning 
of the igth they had eighty-seven miles to cover, 
and by 8.30 P.M. on the 2ist they had reached the 
ship. 

During this march Scott had determined to test 
his own party to the utmost, but seeing no necessity 



THE WESTERN JOURNEY 159 

for the supports to be dragged into this effort he told 
them to take their own time. The supporting party, 
however, did not mean to be left behind if they could 
help it, and later on the night of the 2ist they also 
reached the ship. In the hard struggle of the last 
hours some of the members of the supporting party, 
though determined not to give in, had been comically 
astounded by the pace which was set, and Kennar, 
presumably referring to Scott, kept on repeating, 
' If he can do it, I don't see why I can't: my legs are 
as long as his/ 

Five days after their flying return they were off 
again, and although the material for repairing sledges 
was very scanty, one sound n-foot sledge had been 
made and also a 7-foot one for Ferrar's glacier 
work. Trouble, however, almost at once began with 
the runners, and on the 2pth Ferrar's sledge gave out 
and caused a long delay. But in spite of being held 
up by wind for two days, they reached their depot on 
November i, and thought at first that every thing- 
was safe. On examination, however, they discovered 
that a violent gale had forced open the lid of the 
instrument box, and that several things were missing, 
among which Scott found to his dismay was the 
* Hints to Travellers. 7 

' The gravity of this blow/ he wrote in his diary 
on November I, 'can scarcely be exaggerated; but 
whilst I realised the blow I felt that nothing would 
induce me to return to the ship a second time; I 
thought it fair, however, to put the case to the others, 



160 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

and I am, as I expected, fortified by their willing con- 
sent to take the risks of pushing on/ 

In travelling to the west, Scott expected to be as 
indeed he was out of sight of landmarks for some 
weeks. In such a case as this the sledge-traveller 
is in precisely the same position as a ship or a boat 
at sea : he can only obtain a knowledge of his where- 
abouts by observation of the sun or stars, and with 
the help of these observations he finds his latitude 
and longitude, but to do this a certain amount of 
data is required. ' Hints to Travellers ' supplies these 
necessary data, and it was on this book that Scott 
had been relying to help him to work out his sights 
and fix accurately the position of his party. Unless 
he went back to the ship to make good his loss, he 
was obliged to take the risk of marching into the 
unknown without knowing exactly where he was or 
how he was to get back. 'If/ he says, 'the loss of 
our " Hints to Travellers " did not lead us into serious 
trouble it caused me many a bad half-hour/ 

Having, however, decided to push on, they wasted 
no time about it, and although the sledge-runners 
continued to need constant attention they arrived at 
the base of the upper glacier reach on the 2nd, and 
on the following day gained a height of 7,000 feet. 

So far nothing exceptionally eventful had occurred, 
but November 4 was destined to begin a time that 
Scott described afterwards as 'the most miserable 
week I have ever spent/ In the morning of the 4th 
there was bright sunshine with a cold, increasing wind, 



THE WESTERN JOURNEY 161 

but later on the sun disappeared and the weather 
became very threatening. Still, however, they battled 
on and were half-way up the bare, icy slope they were 
climbing, when the air became thick with driving 
snow and the full force of the gale burst upon them. 
Pushing on at almost a run they succeeded in reaching 
the top, and hurriedly started to search for a patch 
of snow on which to camp, but nothing could be found 
except bare, blue ice. By this time the position was 
becoming serious, all of them were frost-bitten in the 
face, and although the runners of the sledges were 
split again so badly that they could barely pull them 
over the surface, they did not dare to leave the sledges 
in the thick drift. 

At last a white patch was seen and a rush was made 
for it, but the snow discovered was so ancient and 
wind-swept that it was almost as hard as the ice itself. 
Nevertheless they knew it was this or nothing, and 
Scott seized a shovel for his own tent-party, and dug 
for all he was worth without making the least im- 
pression. At this moment Feather, the boatswain, 
luckily came to help him, and being more expert with 
the shovel managed to chip out a few small blocks. 
Then they tried to get up a tent, but again and again 
it and the poles were blown flat, and at least an hour 
passed before the tents were erected. * Nothing/ 
Scott wrote, * but experience saved us from disaster 
to-day, for I feel pretty confident that we could not 
have stood another hour in the open/ 

Little, however, did they expect when shelter 



162 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

was gained that a week would pass before they could 
resume their march. From November 4-11 the gale 
raged unceasingly, and meanwhile not a vision of the 
outer world came to them, for they were enveloped 
continuously in a thick fog of driving snow. 

In Scott's tent there was one book, Darwin's 6 Cruise 
of the Beagle/ and first one and then another would 
read this aloud, until frozen fingers prevented the 
pages from being turned over. Only one piece of 
work were they able to perform, and this on the first 
day when, thinking the storm would soon blow over, 
they hauled the sledges beneath one of the tents and 
stripped the German silver ready for the onward march. 

By the fifth day of their imprisonment sleep began 
to desert them, and Scott, realising that the long 
inactivity was telling on the health of the party, 
determined that whatever the conditions might be 
he would try to start on the following morning. 

This attempt, however, resulted in complete failure. 
In ten minutes both of Scott's hands were "gone/ 
Skelton had three toes and the heel of one foot badly 
frost-bitten, and Feather lost all feeling in both feet. 
* Things are looking serious/ Scott wrote after this 
unsuccessful effort to be up and doing, ' I fear the long 
spell of bad weather is telling on us. The cheerfulness 
of the party is slowly waning; I heard the usual song 
from Lashly this morning, but it was very short-lived 
and dolorous. . . . Something must be done to-mor- 
row, but what it will be, to-morrow only can show/ 

Fortunately the next morning brought a lull in the 



THE WESTERN JOURNEY 163 

storm, and though the air was still as thick as a hedge 
it was possible at last to break away from * Desolation 
Camp/ Then Scott's party separated from Ferrar's, 
the former making for the ice-fall and eventually 
and miraculously reaching the top without accident. 
On starting they could not >see half-a-dozen yards 
ahead, and at once went as nearly as possible into an 
enormous chasm; and when they began to ascend they 
crossed numerous crevasses without waiting to see if 
the bridges would bear. f I really believe that we were 
in a state when we none of us really cared much what 
happened; our sole thought was to get away from 
that miserable spot/ 

But during the succeeding days fortune was with 
them, and by the night of the I3th the fight was won 
and the summit reached. With five weeks' provisions 
in hand, and the prospect of covering many miles 
before a return to the glacier would be necessary, they 
were, as they camped at the elevation of 8,900 feet, 
a very different party from the one which had strug- 
gled out of * Desolation Camp ' on the morning of 
the nth. 

But they had scarcely gained the summit of the ice- 
cap and started the journey to the west before troubles 
again began to gather round them. The long stay in 
* Desolation Camp ' had covered their sleeping-bags 
and night-jackets with ice, and with falling tempera- 
tures this ice had so little chance to evaporate that 
camping" arrangements were acutely uncomfortable; 
and as each night the thermometer fell a little lower, 



164 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the chance of relief from this state of things could 
scarcely be said to exist. The wind, too, was a con- 
stant worry, for though it was not very strong, when 
combined with the low temperature and rarefied air 
its effect was blighting. 

'I do not think/ Scott wrote, "that it would be 
possible to conceive a more cheerless prospect than that 
which faced us at this time, when on this lofty, desolate 
plateau we turned our backs upon the last mountain 
peak that could remind us of habitable lands. Yet 
before us lay the unknown. What fascination 
lies in that word! Could anyone wonder that we 
determined to push on, be the outlook ever so 
comfortless ? ' 

So they plodded forward with all their strength, 
but in spite of every effort their progress gradually 
became slower. By the I7th the sledges had been 
divided, Scott, Feather, and Evans leading with one, 
while Skelton, Handsley, and Lashly followed with the 
other. But Scott found very soon that the second 
sledge had great difficulty in keeping up, and that 
although he himself felt thoroughly strong and well, 
some of his companions were beginning to fail. As 
was natural with such men not one of them would own 
that he was exhausted, and in consequence it was only 
by paying the keenest attention that he could detect 
those who from sheer incapacity were relaxing their 
strain on the traces. And his position was not pleasant 
even when he knew, for to tell any of these brave 
people that they must turn back was a most unenviable 



THE WESTERN JOURNEY 165 

task. Thus it came about that all six of them marched 
on, though Scott was sure that better progress would 
have been made had the party been divided. 

Something like a climax was reached on the 2Oth, 
when Handsley more or less broke down. Not for 
a moment, however, did he mean to give up, and when 
he was relieved of some part of his work he begged 
Scott not again to make an example of him. In 
Handsley's opinion his breakdown was a disgrace, 
and no arguments" would make him change it. Small 
wonder then that Scott wrote in his diary: 'What 
children these men are, and yet what splendid 
children! The boatswain has been suffering agonies 
from his back; he has been pulling just behind me, 
and in some sympathy that comes through the 
traces I have got to know all about him, yet he has 
never uttered a word of complaint, and when he 
knows my eye is on him he straightens up and 
pretends he is just as fit as ever. What is one to 
do with such people ? * 

What Scott did was to try for another day to go 
on as before, but on November 22 he had to tell Skel- 
ton, Feather, and Handsley that they must turn back, 
^and though * they could not disguise their disappoint- 
ment, they all seemed to understand that it had to be. 1 

From the date on which Scott reluctantly came to 
this decision, three weeks of the hardest physical toil 
followed for him and his companions, Evans and 
Lashly. Nevertheless Scott looked back upon this 
strenuous time with unmixed satisfaction, and paid a 



166 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

high tribute of praise to his companions for their part 
in the successful work that was done. 

' With these two men behind me/ he says, ' our 
sledge seemed to be a living thing, and the days of 
slow progress were numbered. . . . Troubles and dis- 
comforts were many, and we could only guess at the 
progress we made, but we knew that by sticking to 
our task we should have our reward when our observa- 
tions came to be worked out on board the ship/ 

Regularly each night the temperature fell to 40 
or below, while during the marching hours it rarely 
rose much above 25, and with this low temperature 
there was a constant wind. In fact the wind was 
the plague of their lives and cut them to pieces. So 
cracked were their faces that laughing hurt horribly, 
and the first half-hour of the morning march, before 
they were warmed up to the work, was dreadful, as 
then all their sore places got .frost-bitten. In short 
the last week of their outward march was a searching 
test of endurance, but they had resolved to march 
on until November 30, and in spite of the miserable 
conditions there was no turning back before the month 
had ended. 

Scott, however, was most undisguisedly glad when 
November 30 had come and gone. ' We have finished 
our last outward march, thank heaven! Nothing 
has kept us going during the past week but the deter- 
mination to carry out our original intention of going* on 
to the end of the month, and so here we have pitched 
our last camp/ 



CHAPTER IX 
THE RETURN FROM THE WEST 

Ceaseless frost round the vast solitude 
Bound its broad zone of stillness. SHELLEY. 

' WE are all,' Scott wrote in his diary, very proud 
of our march out I don't know where we are, but I 
know we must be a long way to the west from my 
rough noon observation of the compass variation/ 
But not for anything in the world did he want again 
to see the interior of Victoria Land. Writing two 
years after this great march he says : ' For me the 
long month which we spent on the Victoria Land 
summit remains as some vivid but evil dream. I have 
a memory of continuous strain on mind and body, 
lightened only by the unfailing courage and cheerful- 
ness of my companions/ 

From first to last the month of November had 
been a struggle to penetrate into this barren, deserted, 
wind-swept, piercingly cold, and fearfully monotonous 
region, and although on turning homewards the 
travellers were relieved by having the wind at their 
backs, the time of trial was by no means over. Only by 
utilising all their powers of marching could they hope 

167 



168 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

to retreat In safety from their position, and December 
opened with such overcast weather that valuable 
time had to be spent in the tent. During the next 
few days, however, good marches were made, until 
on December 9 everything changed abruptly for the 
worse. 

On the afternoon of the Qth the surface became so 
abominably bad, that by pulling desperately they 
could not get the sledge along at more than a mile 
an hour. Oil was growing short, and in view of the 
future Scott had to propose that marching hours 
should be increased by one hour, that they should use 
half allowance of oil, and that if they did not sight 
landmarks within a couple of days their rations should 
be reduced. 'When I came to the cold lunch and 
fried breakfast poor Evans' face fell; he evidently 
doesn't much believe in the virtue of food, unless it 
is in the form of a hoosh and has some chance of 
sticking to one's ribs.' 

Land was sighted on the xoth, I ith, and I2th, but the 
weather was as overcast as ever, and Scott was still in 
dreadful uncertainty of their whereabouts, because he 
was unable to recognise a single point. Ten hours' 
pulling per day was beginning to tell upon them, and 
although apart from the increasing pangs of hunger 
there was no sign of sickness, Scott remarks, on the 
1 2th, that they were becoming 'gaunt shadows/ 

During the morning of the I3th Evans' nose, 
which had been more or less frost-bitten for some 
weeks, had an especially bad attack. His attitude 



THE RETURN FROM THE WEST 169 

to this unruly member was one of comic forbearance, 
as though, while it scarcely belonged to him, he was 
more or less responsible for it and so had to make 
excuses. On this occasion when told that it had 
* gone/ he remarked in a resigned tone, ' My poor old 
nose again; well, there, it's chronic!' By the time 
it had been brought round a storm was blowing, and 
though they continued to march, the drift was so 
thick that at any moment they might have walked 
over the edge of a precipice a fitting prelude to what, 
by general consent, was admitted to be the most 
adventurous day in their lives. 

Prospects, when they started to march on the next 
morning, were at first a little brighter, but soon a 
bitterly cold wind was blowing and high ice hum- 
mocks began to appear ahead of them. In this 
predicament Scott realised that it was both rash to 
go forward, as the air was becoming thick with snow- 
drift, and equally rash to stop, for if they had to spend 
another long spell in a blizzard camp, starvation would 
soon be staring them in the face. So he asked Evans 
and Lashly if they were ready to take the risk of going 
on, and promptly discovered that they were. Then 
they marched straight for the ice disturbance, and 
as the surface became smoother and the slope steeper 
their sledge began to overrun them. At this point 
Scott put Evans and Lashly behind to hold the sledge 
back, while he continued in front to guide its course, 
and what happened afterwards is described most 
graphically in the diary of the I5th. 



i;o THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

' Suddenly Lashly slipped, and in an instant he 
was sliding downward on his back; directly the strain 
came on Evans, he too was thrown off his feet. It all 
happened in a moment, and before I had time to look 
the sledge and the two men hurtled past me; I braced 
myself to stop them, but might as well have attempted 
to hold an express train. With the first jerk I was 
whipped off my legs, and we all three lay sprawling on 
our backs and flying downward with an ever-increasing 
velocity. For some reason the first thought that flashed 
into my mind was that someone would break a limb 
if he attempted to stop our mad career, and I shouted 
something to this effect, but might as well have saved 
my breath. Then there came a sort of vague wonder 
as to what would happen next, and in the midst of 
that I was conscious that we had ceased to slide 
smoothly and were now bounding over a rougher in- 
cline, sometimes leaving it for several yards at a time; 
my thought flew to broken limbs again, for I felt we 
could not stand much of such bumping. 

'At length we gave a huge leap into the air, and 
yet we travelled with such velocity that I had not time 
to think before we came down with tremendous force 
on a gradual incline of rough, hard, wind-swept snow. 
Its irregularities brought us to rest in a moment or 
two, and I staggered to my feet in a dazed fashion, 
wondering what had happened. 

" Then to my joy I saw the others also struggling 
to their legs, and in another moment I could thank 
heaven that no limbs were broken. But we had by 



THE RETURN FROM THE WEST 171 

no means escaped scathless; our legs now show 
one black bruise from knee to thigh, and Lashly 
was unfortunate enough to land once on his back, 
which is bruised and very painful. ... I, as the 
lightest, escaped the easiest, yet before the two men 
crawled painfully to their feet their first question was 
to ask if I had been hurt. 

' As soon as I could pull myself together I looked 
round, and now to my astonishment I saw that we 
were well on towards the entrance of our own glacier; 
ahead and on either side of us appeared well-remem- 
bered landmarks, whilst behind, in the rough broken 
ice-wall over which we had fallen, I now recognised 
at once the most elevated ice cascade of our valley. . . . 

l l cannot but think that this sudden revelation of 
our position was very wonderful. Half an hour before 
we had been lost; I could not have told whether we 
were making for our own glacier or any other, or 
whether we were ten or fifty miles from our depot; 
it was more than a month since we had seen any known 
landmark. Now in this extraordinary manner the 
curtain had been raised . . , and down the valley we 
could see the high cliffs of the Depot Nunatak where 
peace and plenty awaited us/ 

The sledge had not capsized until they all rolled 
over at the end, but the jolting had scattered their 
belongings and broken open the biscuit box, with the 
result that they had no provisions left, except the 
few scraps they could pick up and the meagre contents 
of their food bag. As quickly as stiffening limbs would 



172 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

allow they collected their scattered articles, repacked 
the sledge and marched on towards the depot. Before 
them lay a long plateau, at the edge of which Scott 
knew that they would find a second cascade, and 
beneath it the region of Desolation Camp and a more 
gradual icy surface down to the depot. 

Fortune favoured them in descending the second 
cascade, and quite unsuspicious of any further danger 
they joined up their harness to their usual positions 
in front of the sledge. This brought Scott in the 
middle and a little in advance, with Lashly on his right 
and Evans on his left. Presently the sledge began to 
skid, and Scott told Lashly to pull wide to steady it. 
Scarcely had this order been obeyed when Scott and 
Evans stepped on nothing and disappeared, while 
Lashly miraculously saved himself from following and 
sprang back with his whole weight on the trace. The 
sledge flashed by him and jumped the crevasse down 
which Scott and Evans had gone, one side of the sledge 
being cracked by the jerk but the other side mercifully 
holding. ' Personally/ Scott says, ' I remember abso- 
lutely nothing until I found myself dangling at the end 
of my trace with blue walls on either side and a very 
horrid looking gulf below; large ice-crystals dis- 
lodged by our movements continued to shower down 
on our heads. As a first step I took off my goggles; 
I then discovered that Evans was hanging just 
above me. I asked him if he was all right, and 
received a reassuring reply in his calm, matter-of-fact 
tones/ 



THE RETURN FROM THE WEST 173 

Then Scott began to grope about on every side with 
his cramponed feet, but not until his struggles set him 
swinging did his leg suddenly strike a projection. 
At a glance he saw that by raising himself he could 
get a foothold on this, and after a short struggle he 
stood upon a thin shaft of ice, which was wedged 
providentially between the walls of the chasm, and 
could look about him. To the right or left, above or 
below, there was not the vestige of another such sup- 
port, nothing, in fact, but the smooth walls of ice. 
The projection seemed to have got there by a miracle, 
but miracle or not the thing to do was to help Evans, 
and when the latter had slipped his harness well up 
beneath his arms Scott found that he could pilot his 
feet to the bridge. 

' All this had occupied some time, and it was only 
now that I realised what had happened above us, for 
there, some twelve feet over our heads, was the outline 
of the broken sledge. I saw at once what a frail 
support remained, and shouted to Lashly to ask what 
he could do, and then I knew the value of such a level- 
headed companion; for whilst he held on grimly to 
the sledge and us with one hand, his other was busily 
employed in withdrawing our ski. At length he 
succeeded in sliding two of these beneath the 
broken sledge, and so making our support more 
secure/ 

But clever as this device was it still left them with- 
out Lashly's active assistance, because directly he 
relaxed his hold the sledge began to slip. The only 



174 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

possible course, therefore, was for Scott and Evans to 
climb out unaided, and, after a word with Evans 
Scott decided to try first; though he confessed after- 
wards that he never expected to reach the top. Not 
for a long time had he swarmed a rope, and to do so in 
thick clothing, heavy crampons, and with frost-bitten 
fingers seemed to him impossible. Of the struggle that 
followed he remembered little except that he got a 
rest when he could plant his foot in the belt of his own 
harness, and again when his feet held on the rings of 
the belt. ' Then came a mighty effort, till I reached 
the stirrup formed by the rope span of the sledge, 
and then, mustering all the strength that remained, 
I reached the sledge itself and flung myself on to the 
snow beyond. Lashly said, " Thank God!" and it 
was perhaps then that I realised that his position had 
been the worst of all/ 

But having arrived at the top he was completely 
out of action for several minutes, for his hands were 
white to the wrists, and not until their circulation 
came back could he get to work. With two on top 
and only one below the position, however, was very 
different, and presently Evans, badly frost-bitten, was 
landed on the surface. For a minute or two they 
could only stand and look at one another. Then 
Evans said, ' Well, I'm blowed/ which was the first 
sign of surprise he had shown. 

By six o'clock on that same evening they reached 
their depot, and passed from abject discomfort to rest 
and peace. Bruised, sore and tired as they were,, 



THE RETURN FROM THE WEST 175 

Lashly sang merrily as he stirred the pot, while Scott 
and Evans sat on the sledge, shifted their foot-gear, 
spread out their clothes to dry, and talked cheerily 
about the happenings of the day. 

From this time onward their camp-life was wholly 
pleasant, except to Lashly who had an attack of snow- 
blindness. Apart from that they were in the best of 
condition for the hard marching in front of them, and 
when on the night of the 2Oth they reached their second 
depot and could look out towards the sea, they did not 
care how far round they might have to walk if only 
that stubborn sheet of ice had broken away. But 
it was too evident that their homeward track might 
be as straight as they chose, as only in the far distance 
was open water to be seen, and with sorrow they 
realised that there must still be many miles of ice 
between it and the Discovery. 

Late on Christmas Eve they were once more on 
board the ship after an absence of fifty-nine days, 
during which they had travelled 725 miles. Taking 
the eighty-one days of absence which had constituted 
the whole sledging season, Scott, Evans and Lashly 
had covered 1,098 miles, and, not including minor 
undulations, had climbed heights which totalled to 
19,000 feet. On getting back to the Discovery Scott 
found only Koettlitz, Handsley and Quartley on board, 
because all the rest of the company had gone to the 
north to saw through the ice; and during the few days 
of rest that he allowed himself before going to the 
sawing-camp, he was able to read the reports of the 



176 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

officers who had led the other journeys, and to 
see what excellent work had been done during 
his absence. 

Ferrar's survey and Skelton's photographic work 
had added materially to the value of the western 
journey; the party led by Barne and Mulock to the 
south had met with ill-fortune from the start, but 
throughout the journey Mulock used the theodolite 
indefatigably, with the results that this stretch of 
coast-line was more accurately plotted than any other 
part of Victoria Land, and that the positions and 
height of over two hundred mountain peaks were fixed. 
Barne also obtained a very good indication of the 
movement of the Great Barrier ice-sheet. During 
Royds' journey, on which the party went on very short 
food allowance, Bernacchi took a most interesting 
series of magnetic observations. And although to 
Bernacchi himself belongs the greatest credit, some 
reflected glory, at any rate, fell upon his companions, 
because they had to stay shivering outside the tent 
while he was at work inside it. 

Wilson had not only been busy with the penguins 
at Cape Crozier, but had also made a complete ex- 
amination of the enormous and interesting pressure 
ridges which form the junction of the Great Barrier 
ice-mass with the land, and subsequently had spent 
much time in studying the windless area to the south 
of Ross Island. Also, with Armitage and Heald, 
he had made an excellent little journey, on which 
Armitage obtained some very good photographs, 



THE RETURN FROM THE WEST 177 

sufficient in themselves to prove the receding glacial 
conditions of the whole continent. 

In short during Scott's absence his companions 
had been working strenuously to increase the supply 
of information; so when the second sledging-season 
ended, they could with reason congratulate themselves 
that the main part of their work was done. 



CHAPTER X 

RELEASE 

And Thor 

Set his shoulder hard against the stern 
To push the ship through ... 
. . . and the water gurgled in 
And the ship floated on the waves and rock'd. 

M. ARNOLD. 

AFTER a few days on board Scott became restless to 
see what was going on in the sawing-camp, and on the 
morning of the 3ist he started off with Evans, Lashly 
and Handsley to march the ten and a half miles to the 
north. When the instructions for this attempt to free 
the Discovery were drawn up, there had been, of 
course, no telling how broad the ice-sheet would be 
when operations began, and Scott had been obliged to 
assume that it would be nearly the same as in the 
previous year, when the open water had extended to the 
Dellbridge Islets about eleven miles from the ship. 
There he directed that the camp should be made, and 
Armitage, on whom in Scott's absence the command 
had devolved, made all preparations in accordance 
with the instructions he had received. 

At the outset, however, a difficulty awaited him, 



RELEASE 179 

as in the middle of December the open water, instead 
of being tip to the islets, ended at least ten miles farther 
to the north. Under the circumstances he considered 
it dangerous to take the camp out to the ice-edge, 
and so the sawing work had been begun in the middle 
of the ice-sheet instead of at its edge. 

Thirty people were in the camp when Scott arrived, 
and though at first the work had been painful both 
to arms and backs they were all in splendid condition 
and spirits. Fortunately this was a land of plenty, 
penguins and seals abounded, and every one agreed 
that, apart from the labour, they were having a most 
enjoyable time, though no one imagined that the work 
would be useful. 

In two days Scott was as convinced as anyone that 
the work must be in vain, and ordered the sawing to 
stop. ' I have been much struck/ he wrote, ' by the 
way in which every one has cheerfully carried on this 
hopeless work until the order came to halt. There 
could have been no officer or man among them who- 
did not see from the first how utterly useless it was, 
and yet there has been no faltering or complaint, simply 
because all have felt that, as the sailor expresses it, 
" Them's the orders/' ' 

With twenty miles of ice between the Discovery 
and freedom, the possibility of yet another winter had 
to be considered, so although most of the company 
returned to the ship, Lashly, Evans, Handsley and 
Clarke were left behind to make sure of an adequate 
stock of penguins. And then Scott being unable 



i8o THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

to do any good by remaining In the ship started off 
to the north with Wilson, the former being anxious 
to watch the ice-edge and see what chance there was 
of a break-up, while Wilson wanted to study the life 
of that region. This journey was to be * a real picnic/ 
with no hard marching and plenty to eat; and, pursuing 
their leisurely way, on January 4 they were within 
half a mile of the open water when Wilson suddenly 
said, * There they are.' Then Scott looked round, 
and on the rocks of Cape Royds saw a red smudge 
dotted with thousands of little black and white figures. 
Without doubt they had stumbled upon a penguin 
rookery, but interesting as it was to have made the 
discovery, it was at the same time exasperating to think 
of the feast of eggs they had missed in the last two 
years* During the rest of the day they watched the 
penguins and the skua gulls which were nesting around 
them; and before supper they took soap and towels 
down toa rill of thaw-water that ran within a few yards 
of their tent, and washed in the warm sunlight. * Then/ 
Scott says, ' we had a dish of fried penguin's liver with 
seal kidneys; eaten straight out of the frying-pan, this 
was simply delicious. I have come to the conclusion 
that life in the Antarctic Regions can be very pleasant/ 
Still in the proper picnic spirit they dawdled over 
their breakfast on the following day, and were lazily 
discussing plans when Scott, looking through the open 
door of the tent to the clear sea beyond, suddenly 
caught sight of a ship. In a moment haste and bustle 
reigned supreme, and while they were searching for 



RELEASE 181 

boots and other things necessary for the march, Wilson 
said, ' Why, there's another/ and without any doubt 
two vessels were framed in the doorway. It had at 
once been taken for granted that the first ship was 
the Morning, but what in the name of fortune was 
the meaning of the other neither Scott nor Wilson 
could imagine. The easiest and quickest way to find 
out was to go straight on board, for the ships were 
making for the ice-edge some five miles to the west- 
ward, but if they had followed this simple plan their 
companions on the Discovery would have known noth- 
ing about it, and would have been compelled to wait 
for their mails. So they started southward to find the 
penguin hunters, and then to send them to establish 
communications with the ship. For a long time no 
sight of the men could be seen, but after travelling 
about six miles Scott and Wilson saw the tent, though 
without any signs of life about it; indeed they were 
within a hundred yards before in answer to their shouts 
four very satisfied figures emerged, still munching the 
remains of a meal * Of course/ Scott says, * I thought 
they had not seen the ships, but they had, only, as they 
explained, they didn't see there was any cause for them 
to do anything in the matter. I said, " But, good 
heavens, you want your mails, don't you ? " " Oh, yes, 
sir/' they replied, " but we thought that would be all 
right/' In other words, they as good as said that life 
was so extremely easy and pleasant .that there was no 
possible object in worrying over such a trifle as the 
arrival of a relief expedition/ When, however, they 



182 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

had got their orders they were of? at once, and Scott 
and Wilson went back to the ships and soon found out 
from Colbeck why the Terra Nova had accompanied 
the Morning, and how strangely the aspect of affairs 
had altered. Writing in his diary on that night Scott 
says, ' 1 can only record that in spite of the good home 
news, and in spite of the pleasure of seeing old friends 
again, I was happier last night than I am to-night/ 

Briefly the reasons for the sending of the two ships 
instead of one were these. Scott's report taken by the 
Morning had left the strong impression that the relief 
ship must again be sent to the south in 1903. The 
* Morning ' fund, however, was inadequate to meet 
the requirements of another year, and there was not 
time enough to appeal to the public and to explain 
the full necessities of the case. In these circumstances 
there was nothing for the Societies to do but to appeal 
to the Government, and eventually the latter agreed 
to undertake the whole conduct of the relief expedition, 
provided that the Morning, as she stood, was delivered 
over to them. The Government naturally placed the 
management of affairs in the hands of the Admiralty, 
and once having taken the responsibility it was felt 
that two ships must be sent, in order that there should 
be no risk of the pledge being unfulfilled. 

The Terra Nova, one of the finest of the whaling 
ships, was bought, and a whaling crew, under the 
command of Captain Harry MacKay, was engaged 
to navigate her. Towards the end of November 
1903 she lay off Hpbart Town in Tasmania, and in 



RELEASE 183 

December she was joined by the Morning, Captain 
Colbeck being directed to take charge of this joint 
venture until both ships could come under Scott's 
command. 

Thus it happened that, much to every one's sur- 
prise, two ships arrived off the edge of the fast ice on 
January^ 1904. It was not, however, the arrival of the 
Terra Nova, whose captain from the first was anxious 
to help in every way, but quite another matter that 
made Scott so sad and naturally sad at this time. 

In England the majority of those competent to 
judge the situation had formed the opinion that the 
Discovery was stuck fast in the ice for all time* 
Whether the Admiralty held this opinion or not is of 
no consequence, because in any case it was their duty 
to see that the expense of another relief expedition 
should be avoided. Consequently there was no other 
course open to them except to tell Scott to abandon 
the Discovery, if she could not be freed in time to 
accompany the relief ships to the north. But necessary 
as this order was, it placed Scott and his companions 
in a very cruel position. Under the most ordinary 
conditions a sailor would go through much rather 
than abandon his ship, but the ties which bound Scott 
and his company to the Discovery were very far 
beyond the ordinary; indeed they involved a depth of 
sentiment not in the least surprising when their 
associations with her are remembered. 

In spite of their long detention in the ice, the 
thought of leaving her had never entered their heads. 



184 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Some time she would be free again, and even if they 
had to spend a third winter in her they had deter- 
mined to go through with it, and make themselves as 
comfortable as possible. 

It was from this passably contented frame of mind 
that they were rudely awakened. Now they were 
obliged to face the fact that unless a twenty-mile plain 
of ice broke up within six weeks, they must bid a long 
farewell to their beloved ship and return to their homes 
as castaways. So with the arrival of the relief ships 
there fell the first and last cloud of gloom which was 
ever allowed on board the Discovery. And as day 
followed day with no improvement in the ice condi- 
tions, the gloom deepened until anyone might easily 
have imagined that an Antarctic expedition was a most 
dismal affair. 

On January 10 Scott wrote : * Reached the ship this 
morning, and this afternoon assembled all hands on 
the mess-deck, where I told them exactly how matters 
stood. There was a stony silence. I have not heard a 
laugh in the ship since I returned.' 

For some time a flagstaff had been erected on Tent 
Islet, ten miles to the north, and a system of signals 
had been arranged to notify any changes in the ice, 
but day after day the only signal was ' No change in 
the ice conditions.' 

On the 1 5th to relieve the weariness of waiting 
for something that did not happen, Scott arranged 
that their collections and instruments should be trans- 
ported to the relief ships. Whatever the future held it* 



RELEASE 185 

store he saw no reason why this should not be done, 
and to have anything at all to do during this trying 
time was a blessing; though he had by no means 
given up hope that the Discovery would be freed. 

After a long spell at Cape Royds camp, Wilson 
returned to the ship on the night of the 2ist with 
news that was all the more welcome at such an 
anxious time. Strolling over the beach one day to 
inspect what he thought was a prodigiously large seal 
he saw that it was quite different from any of the 
ordinary seals, and went back to the camp for his gun. 
Two of the Morning officers were in camp with him, 
and all three of them proceeded to stalk this strange 
new beast. Their great fear was that they might 
only succeed in wounding it and that it might escape 
into the sea; so in spite of the temperature of the water 
they waded round it before they attacked. These 
tactics were successful, but their quarry when des- 
patched was far too heavy for them to move, or for 
Wilson to examine where it lay. On the following 
day, however, Colbeck came over in the Morning, and 
with the aid of boats and ropes the carcase was landed 
on his decks. Then Wilson came to the conclusion 
that the animal was a sea-elephant commonly found at 
Macquarie Island, but never before seen within the 
Antarctic circle. 

No change in the ice occurred until the i8th when 
some large pieces broke away, and by the 23rd Scott 
reckoned that the relief ships were four or five miles 
nearer than they had been a fortnight before. But, 



i86 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

if the conditions were to be as they had been two 
years before, thirteen or fourteen miles of ice must go 
out in fifteen days, a far more rapid rate than it had 
been going during the previous fortnight. On the 28th, 
however, the first sign of real promise occurred, for the 
whole ice-sheet began to sway very slightly under 
the action of a long swell, its edge against the land 
rising and falling as much as 18 inches. * We are all 
very restless, constantly dashing up the hill to the look- 
out station or wandering from place to place to observe 
the effects of the swell. But it is long since we enjoyed 
such a cheerful experience as we get on watching the 
loose pieces of ice jostling one another at Hut Point. 7 

Days of hope and anxiety followed, until the I4th 
of February arrived and brought the best of news with 
it. During the day nothing unusual happened, and 
it was not until Scott was at dinner that the excite- 
ment began. Then he heard a shout on deck, and a 
voice sang out down the hatchway, * The ships are 
coming, sir ! * 

' There was no more dinner, and in a moment we 
were racing for Hut Point, where a glorious sight met 
our view. The ice was breaking up right across the 
strait, and with a rapidity which we had not thought 
possible. No sooner was one great floe borne away 
than a dark streak cut its way into the solid sheet that 
remained and carved out another, to feed the broad 
stream of pack which was hurrying away to the 
north-west, 

'I have never witnessed a more impressive sight; 



RELEASE 187 

the sun was low behind us, the surface of the ice-sheet 
in front was intensely white, and in contrast the dis- 
tant sea and its forking leads looked almost black. The 
wind had fallen to a calm, and not a sound disturbed 
the stillness about us. Yet, in the midst of this peace- 
ful silence, was an awful unseen agency rending that 
great ice-sheet as though it had been nought but the 
thinnest paper/ 

But fast as the ice was breaking, it was not fast 
enough for the relief ships. Evidently there was a 
race between them to be the first to pass beyond the 
flagstaff round which the small company of spectators 
had clustered; although the little Morning, with her 
bluff bows and weak engines, could scarcely expect to 
hold her own against such a powerful competitor. By 
half-past ten those on shore could see the splintering 
of the ice as the ships crashed into the floes, and the 
shouts of the men as with wild excitement they cheered 
each fresh success, could be distinctly heard. 

Scarcely half a mile of ice remained and the contest 
became keener and keener. On came the Terra Nova, 
but in spite of all her mighty efforts the persistent 
little Morning, dodging right and left and seizing 
every chance opening, kept doggedly at her side, and 
still seemed to have a chance of winning the race. 

Meanwhile the spectators, in their nondescript 
tattered garments, stood breathlessly watching this 
wonderful scene. 

{ For long intervals we remained almost spell-bound, 
and then a burst of frenzied cheering broke out. It 



i88 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

seemed to us almost too good to be real. By eleven 
o'clock all the thick ice had vanished, and there re- 
mained only the thin area of decayed floe which has 
lately made the approach to the ships so dangerous; 
a few minutes later the Terra Nova forged ahead and 
came crashing into the open, to be followed almost 
immediately by her stout little companion, and soon 
both ships were firmly anchored to all that remains 
of the Discovery's prison, the wedge that still holds 
in our small bay. . . . 

* And so to-night the ships of our small fleet are 
lying almost side by side; a rope from the Terra Nova 
is actually secured to the Discovery. Who could have 
thought it possible? Certainly not we who have 
lived through the trying scenes of the last month.' 

The small wedge of sea-ice that still remained in 
the bay was cracked in many places, and would doubt- 
less have departed of its own accord in a few days; 
but Scott, naturally impatient to get away, decided to 
hasten matters by explosions. Consequently at i A.M. 
on February 16 there was an explosion which shook 
the whole bay, and rudely disturbed not only the ice 
but also the slumbers of those who were not members 
of the explosion party. 

A few hours later another explosive charge was 
borne out, and when all was ready Scott pressed the 
firing key. 'There was a thunderous report which 
shook the ship throughout, and then all was calm 
again. For a brief moment one might have imagined 
that nothing had happened, but then one saw that each 



RELEASE 189 

crack was slowly widening; presently there came the 
gurgle of water as it was sucked into our opening ice- 
bed, and in another minute there was a creaking aft and 
our stern rose with a jump as the keel was freed from 
the ice which had held it down. Then, as the great 
mass of ice on our port hand slowly glided out to sea, 
our good ship swung gently round and lay peacefully 
riding to her anchors with the blue water lapping 
against her sides. . . . Thus it was that the Discovery 
came to her own again the right to ride the high seas/ 
On that day it would have been impossible to 
find a prouder or happier ship's company, but with 
all their feelings of elation they did not imagine 
that everything would run smoothly after such a long 
period of disuse, and they knew also that much hard 
work lay in front of them if they were to carry out 
the remainder of their programme. If the Discovery 
was free before the navigable season closed Scott had 
resolved to spend the remaining time in exploring the 
region to the westward of Cape North, but now after 
two years' imprisonment coal was lacking for such a 
scheme. Directly the relief ships had arrived he had 
asked them for as great a quantity as possible, but 
although the replies had at first been satisfactory, a 
long month's fight with wind and ice had sadly re- 
duced the amount they could afford to give. The only 
thing to do was to get without any delay what could 
be spared, and on the afternoon of the i6th the Terra 
Nova came alongside to hand over her supply. ' The 
afternoon/ Scott says, 'was beautifully calm and 



igo THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

bright, and the weather seemed to smile peacefully on 
the termination of ourlongand successful struggle with 
the ice. . . . We little guessed what lay before us.' 

On the 1 5th a large wooden cross, bearing a simply 
carved inscription to the memory of poor Vince, was 
erected on the summit of Hut Point, and on the 
following day the small company landed together and 
stood bareheaded round this memorial, while Scott 
read some short prayers. 

The water was oily calm and the sky threatening 
as they pulled back to the ship after paying this last 
tribute of homage to their shipmate, but weather of this 
kind had been too common to attract attention. On 
that night Captain MacKay was dining in the Discovery 
for the first time, and a great effort had been made to 
show him how good an Antarctic feast could be. In 
the middle of dinner, however, word came down to 
Scott that the wind had sprung up, and although he 
expected nothing serious he went up to see what was 
happening. Then he saw they were in for a stiff 
blow, and reluctantly had to inform his guests of the 
fact. One glance at the sky satisfied MacKay, who 
was over the rail like a shot, and in a few minutes the 
Terra Nova was steaming for the open and lost in the 
drift. 

Very soon both wind and sea had risen, but although 
Scott did not altogether like the look of things and 
determined to get up steam as soon as possible, he 
did not want to hurry those in the engine-room after 
such a long period of disuse. But early in the morning 



RELEASE 191 

of the 1 7th the situation became really dangerous, 
and the Discovery began to jerk at her cables in the 
most alarming manner. 

"I knew/ he wrote on the night of that eventful 
day, * that in spite of our heavy anchor the holding 
ground was poor, and I watched anxiously to see if 
the ship dragged. 

' It came at last, just as Skelton sent a promise 
of steam in half an hour. The sea was again breaking 
heavily on the ice-foot astern and I walked up and 
down wondering which was coming first, the steam 
or this wave-beaten cliff. It was not a pleasant situa- 
tion, as the distance grew shorter every minute, until 
the spray of the breaking waves fell on our poop, and 
this was soon followed by a tremendous blow as our 
stern struck the ice. We rebounded and struck again, 
and our head was just beginning to fall off and the 
ship to get broadside on (heaven knows what would 
have happened then) when steam was announced/ 

Then the ship just held her own and only just; the 
engines alone would not send her to windward in the 
teeth of the gale. Once around Hut Point, Scott knew 
that they would be safe with open sea before them; 
and the end of the Point was only a quarter of a mile 
out, though off the end there was a shallow patch which 
had to be cleared before safety could be reached. So 
finding that no headway was being made he began to 
edge out towards the Point, and all seemed well until, 
nearly opposite to the Point itself, he saw to his alarm 
that a strong current was sweeping past 



192 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

* Nothing remained but to make a dash for it, and 
I swung the helm over and steered for the open. But 
the moment our bows entered the fast-running stream 
we were swung round like a top, and the instant after 
we crashed head foremost onto the shoal and stopped 
dead with our masts shivering. We were in the worst 
possible position, dead to windward of the bank with 
wind, sea, and current all tending to set us faster 
ashore. 

* We took the shore thus at about n A.M., and the 
hours that followed were truly the most dreadful I have 
ever spent. Each moment the ship came down with 
a sickening thud which shook her from stem to stern, 
and each thud seemed to show more plainly that, strong 
as was her build, she could not long survive such awful 
blows/ 

Hour after hour passed while the ship quivered and 
trembled and crashed again and again into her rocky 
bed. Nothing more could be done for her until the gale 
abated, but seeing the impossibility of doing anything 
at the time, Scott recognised that the next best thing 
was to be prepared to act promptly when the weather 
moderated. Then he discovered once more how 
absolutely he could rely on the support and intelligence 
of his companions. Skelton already had made a list 
of weights by the removal of which the ship could be 
lightened, and when the boatswain was summoned 
to discuss the manner in which the anchors could be 
laid out he also had his scheme cut and dried. 

The first sign of a lull came at 7 P.M., and soon after 



RELEASE 193 

they assembled to the dreariest dinner ever remem- 
bered in the Discovery. But when they were half-way 
through this silent meal Mulock, the officer of the 
watch, suddenly burst in and said, ' The ship's working 
astern, sir/ 

In record time Scott reached the bridge, and found 
that both wind and sea had dropped in the most 
extraordinary manner. But what surprised him even 
more was that the current, which had been running 
strongly to the north, had turned and was running with 
equal speed to the south. Each time that the ship 
lifted on a wave she worked two or three inches astern, 
and though she was still grinding heavily she no longer 
struck the bottom with such terrific force. Scarcely, 
however, had these facts been observed when Skelton 
rushed up to say that the inlets were free again. 

' Every soul was on deck and in a moment they were 
massed together and running from side to side in 
measured time. The telegraphs were put full speed 
astern; soon the engines began to revolve, and the 
water foamed and frothed along the side. For a 
minute or two the ship seemed to hesitate, but then 
there came a steady grating under the bottom, which 
gradually travelled forward, and ceased as the ship, 
rolling heavily, slid gently into deep water, . . . 
Rarely, if ever, can a ship have appeared in such an 
uncomfortable plight as ours to find herself free and 
safe within the space of an hour. ... To be in ten 
feet of water in a ship that draws fourteen feet cannot 
be a pleasant position nor can there be a doubt 



I 9 4 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

that the shocks which the Discovery sustained would 
have very seriously damaged a less stoutly built 
vessel/ 

None too soon were they clear of the shoal, for in a 
very short time the wind was again blowing from the 
south; but as, on the i8th, the wind though still blow- 
ing strong had gone round to the south-east and 
brought smoother water in the Sound, it was decided 
to make for the inlets of the glacier tongue to the 
north, and complete the coaling operations. 

On occasions when haste was necessary there was, 
by mutual consent, no distinction between officers and 
men. And Scott mentions ' as a sight for the gods ' 
the scene of biologists, vertebrate zoologists, lieuten- 
ants, and A.B/s with grimed faces and chafed hands 
working with all their might on the coaling whips. 

The Morning handed over twenty-five tons of coal, 
and this was all the more a generous gift since it 
reduced Colbeck to the narrowest margin, and com- 
pelled him to return directly homeward without 
joining in any attempt at further exploration. * His 
practical common sense told him he could be of little 
use to us, and with his usual loyalty he never hesitated 
to act for the best, at whatever sacrifice to his own 
hopes and wishes/ 

Before they left the glacier in McMurdo Sound it 
was arranged that the three ships should journey up the 
coast together and then separate, the Morning pro- 
ceeding to the north, while the Discovery and the 
Terra Nova turned west. The companies of both relief 



RELEASE 195 

ships, however, expressed a strong desire to be with 
the Discovery when she entered her first civilised port; 
so Scott fixed upon Port Ross, in the Auckland 
Islands, as a spot at which they might meet before the 
final return to New Zealand. 

February 20 saw the Discovery speeding along a 
stretch of coast that had been quite unknown until 
she had two years previously made her way south 
along it, and at that time she had been obliged to 
keep a long distance out on account of the pack-ice. 
But now gaps which had been missed could be filled 
in; and even more than this was done, for Mulock 
remained on deck night and day taking innumerable 
angles to peaks and headlands, while Wilson, equally 
indefatigable, transferred this long panorama of 
mountain scenery to his sketch-book. 

Two days later the pumps refused to act, and the 
whole of the engine-room staff were on duty for 
twenty- four hours on end; and on the 24th the carpen- 
ter called attention to the rudder. On inspection Scott 
saw that the solid oak rudder-head was completely 
shattered, and was held together by little more than 
its weight; as the tiller was moved right or left the 
rudder followed it, but with a lag of many degrees, 
so that the connection between the two was evidently 
insecure. In such a condition it was obvious that they 
could not hope to weather a gale without losing all 
control over the ship, and that no time was to be lost 
in shipping their spare rudder in place of the damaged 
one. So Scott determined to seek shelter in Robertson 



196 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Bay, and by night the damaged rudder had been 
hoisted on deck and the spare one prepared for lower- 
ing into its place. Since the Discovery had left winter 
quarters an almost incredible amount of work had 
been done to bring her into sea trim. Difficulty after 
difficulty had arisen, but the energy of the company 
had never slackened, and by February 25 Scott was 
able to say that everything was once more in order, 
though he was a little doubtful about the steering 
power of their spare rudder. 

At this time it was all the more important that the 
ship should give no further trouble, because according 
to their programme they were about to penetrate a 
new region, and expected to find quite enough to do 
without considering internal difficulties. With high 
hopes that steam power would enable them to pass 
beyond the point reached by Sir James Ross in his 
sailing ships they turned to the west, and at first all 
went well with them. Pack-ice, however, was des- 
tined to be an insuperable obstacle to their advance, 
and on the 26th they decided to turn to the north- 
east and try to find a way around this formidable 
barrier. ' It is grievously disappointing to find the 
pack so far to the east; Ross carried the open water 
almost to Cape North/ And again on March i, Scott 
sounds a note of lamentation : * There can be no doubt 
that since leaving Victoria Land we have been skirting 
a continuous mass of pack, which must cover the whole 
sea south of the Balleny Islands. That it should have 
lain so far to the eastward this year is very annoying; 



RELEASE 197 

however, if we can push on upon this course we ought 
to strike the islands/ 

Early in the morning of the following day land was 
reported, and by noon they were abreast of it; but what 
this island, and others that were dimly to be seen to the 
north, could be, puzzled them considerably, and not 
until some time later was the problem solved. In 1839 
Balleny discovered a group of islands in this region, 
and three years later Ross saw land which he imagined 
was to the southward of Balleny's discoveries, and be- 
lieving it to be divided into three distinct masses named 
it the Russell Islands. Consequently Scott arrived 
expecting to see two groups of islands, and was 
naturally perplexed when only one group was to be 
seen. After, however, studying the accounts of these 
islands and comparing them with what he could 
actually see, he recognised that they had just passed 
Balleny's Sturge Island, which Balleny had seen from 
the north, and so could have had no idea of its 
length in a north-and-south line. Later Ross must 
have seen this same island, and, as Scott saw to be 
quite possible, from a great distance must have thought 
that it was divided into three, and hence made the 
mistake of naming it as a separate group. Fortunately 
Mulock was able to obtain sufficient bearings to fix 
accurately the position of each island. 

Now that the knotty question as to the geography 
df the Balleny Islands was settled, they went on to look 
for the land that Wilkes claimed to have discovered 
in 1840, but not a glimpse nor a vestige of it could they 



198 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

see; and, on March 4, they had to conclude that 
Wilkes Land was once and for all definitely disposed 
of. With this negative, but nevertheless important, 
result, the exploring work ended, and although a lack 
of coal had prevented their cherished plan of rounding 
Cape North, they had at least the satisfaction of clear- 
ing up some geographical misconceptions in a more 
northerly latitude. 

From the 6th to the I4th continuous gales brought 
conditions of greater physical discomfort than had 
ever been experienced on board the Discovery, for she 
was in very light trim and tossed about the moun- 
tainous seas like a cork. It was, therefore, the great- 
est relief to furl their sails off the entrance of Ross 
Harbour on the I5th, and to steam into the calm 
waters of the Bay. 

Neither the Terra Nova nor the Morning had yet 
arrived, and the days of waiting were spent in making 
their ship as smart as possible before the eyes of the 
multitude gazed upon her. Thus, in a few days, the 
Discovery looked as though she had spent her 
adventurous years in some peaceful harbour. 

On March 19 the Terra Nova hove in sight, and 
was followed on the next day by the Morning. Both 
ships had experienced the most terrible weather, and 
every one on board the little Morning declared that she 
had only been saved from disaster by the consummate 
seamanship of Captain Colbeck. 

A few days later the small fleet again set sail, and 
after a most favourable voyage was at daybreak on 



RELEASE 199 

April i off the Heads of Lyttelton Harbour; and before 
noon they were safely berthed alongside the jetty, from 
which they had sailed with such hearty wishes more 
than two years before. 

6 New Zealand/ Scott said, ' welcomed us as its 
own, and showered on us a wealth of hospitality and 
kindness which assuredly we can never forget, however 
difficult we may have found it to express our* thanks. 
In these delightful conditions, with everything that 
could make for perfect rest and comfort, we abode 
for two full months before we set out on our last long 
voyage/ 

June 8, however, found them at sea again, and a 
month or so later they anchored in Port Stanley 
(Falkland Islands), where they replenished their stock 
of coal and took the last series of magnetic observations 
in connection with their Southern Survey. And 
from the Falkland Islands, Scott wrote a letter which 
is yet another testimony of the admiration he felt for 
his companions. ' The praise/ he wrote, ' for what- 
ever success we have had is really due to the ship's 
company as a whole rather than to individuals. That 
is not very clear, perhaps; what I mean is that the 
combination of individual effort for the common good 
has achieved our results, and the absence of any spirit 
of self-seeking. The motto throughout has been 
" share and share alike," and its most practical form 
lies, perhaps, in the fact that throughout our three 
years there has been no distinction between the food 
served to officers and men. 



soo THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

* Under these circumstances I naturally feel that 
I can claim no greater share of achievement than those 
who have stood by me so loyally, and so I regard 
myself merely as the lucky figure-head. 

'But it is good news to hear that the Admiralty 
are sympathetic, for I feel that no effort should be 
spared to gain their recognition of the splendid quali- 
ties displayed by officers and men/ 

Early on the morning of September 9 the homeland 
was sighted, and for those who gazed longingly over 
the bulwarks and waited to welcome and be welcomed, 
there was only one cloud to dim the joy of their return. 
For with the happiness came also the sad thought 
that the end had come to those ties, which had held 
together the small band of the Discovery in the closest 
companionship and most unswerving loyalty. 



THE LAST EXPEDITION 



PREFACE TO ' SCOTT'S LAST EXPEDITION J 
By SIR CLEMENTS R. MARKHAM, K.CB. 

FOURTEEN years ago Robert Falcon Scott was a ris- 
ing naval officer, able, accomplished, popular, highly 
thought of by his superiors, and devoted to his noble 
profession. It was a serious responsibility to induce 
him to take up the work of an explorer; yet no man 
living could be found who was so well fitted to com- 
mand a great Antarctic Expedition. The undertaking 
was new and unprecedented. The object was to ex- 
plore the unknown Antarctic Continent by land. 
Captain Scott entered upon the enterprise with 
enthusiasm tempered by prudence and sound sense. 
All had to be learnt by a thorough study of the history of 
Arctic travelling, combined with experience of different 
conditions in the Antarctic Regions. Scott was the 
initiator and founder of Antarctic sledge-travelling. 

His discoveries were of great importance. The 
survey and soundings along the Barrier cliffs, the 
discovery of King Edward Land, the discovery of Ross 
Island and the other volcanic islets, the examination 
of the Barrier surface, the discovery of the Victoria 
Mountains a range of great height and many hun- 

203 



204 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

dreds of miles in length, which had only before been 
seen from a distance out at sea and above all the dis- 
covery of the great ice cap on which the South Pole is 
situated, by one of the most remarkable Polar jour- 
neys on record. His small but excellent scientific staff 
worked hard and with trained intelligence, their results 
being recorded in twelve large quarto volumes. 

The great discoverer had no intention of losing 
touch with his beloved profession though resolved to 
complete his Antarctic work. The exigencies of the 
naval service called him to the command of battle- 
ships and to confidential work of the Admiralty; 
so that five years elapsed before he could resume his 
Antarctic labours. 

The object of Captain Scott's second expedition 
was mainly scientific, to complete and extend his 
former work in all branches of science. It was his 
ambition that in his ship there should be the most 
completely equipped expedition for scientific purposes 
connected with the Polar regions, both as regards men 
and material, that ever left these shores. In this he 
succeeded. He had on board a fuller complement of 
geologists, one of them especially trained for the study, 
of physiography, biologists, physicists, and surveyors 
than ever before composed the staff of a Polar expedi- 
tion. Thus Captain Scott's objects were strictly 
scientific, including the completion and extension of 
his former discoveries. The results will be explained 
in the second volume of this work. They will be found 
to be extensive and important. Never before, in the 



PREFACE 205 

Polar regions, have meteorological, magnetic and tidal 
observations been taken, in one locality, during five 
years. It was also part of Captain Scott's plan to 
reach the South Pole by a long and most arduous 
journey, but here again his intention was, if possible, 
to achieve scientific results on the way, especially 
hoping to discover fossils which would throw light on 
the former history of the great range of mountains 
which he had made known to science. 

The principal aim of this great man for he rightly 
has his niche among the Polar Dii Majores was the 
advancement of knowledge. From all aspects Scott 
was among the most remarkable men of our time, and 
the vast number of readers of his journal will be 
deeply impressed with the beauty of his character. 
The chief traits which shone forth through his life 
were conspicuous in the hour of death. There are few 
events in history to be compared, for grandeur and 
pathos, with the last closing scene in that silent wilder- 
ness of snow. The great leader, with the bodies of 
his dearest friends beside him, wrote and wrote until 
the pencil dropped from his dying grasp. There was 
no thought of himself, only the earnest desire to give 
comfort and consolation to others in their sorrow. His 
very last lines were written lest he who induced him 
to enter upon Antarctic work should now feel regret 
for what he had done. 

* If I cannot write to Sir Clements, tell him I 
thought much of him, and never regretted his putting 
me in command of the Discovery. 



206 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 



The following appointments were held in the Royal 
Navy by Captain Scott between 1905 and 1910: 



January to July, 1906 . 



Aug. 21, 1906, to Jan. i, 1907 



Jan. 2, 1907, to Aug. 24, 1907 



Aug. 25, 1907, to Jan. 24, 1908 



Jan. 25, 1908, to May 29, 1908 . 
May 30, 1908, to March 23, 1909 



Admiralty (Assistant Di- 
rector of Naval Intel- 
ligence). 

Victorious (Flag Captain 
to Rear-Admiral Eger- 
ton, Rear- Admiral in 
the Atlantic Fleet). 

Albermarle (Flag Captain 
to Rear-Admiral Eger- 
ton, Rear-Admiral in 
the Atlantic Fleet). 

Not actively employed 
afloat between these 
dates. 

Essex ( Captain ) . 

Bulwark (Flag Captain to 
Rear-Admiral Colwille, 
Rear-Admiral the Nore 
Division, Home Fleet). 



Then Naval Assistant to Second Sea Lord of the Admiralty. 
Appointed to H.M.S. President for British Antarctic Expedi- 
tion June I, 1910. 



BEFORE THE LAST VOYAGE 207 



On September 2, 1908, at Hampton Court Palace, 
Captain Scott was married to Kathleen, daughter of 
the late Canon Lloyd Bruce. Peter Markham Scott 
was born on September 14, 1909. 

On September 13, 1909, Captain Scott published 
his plans for the British Antarctic Expedition of the 
following year, and his appeal resulted in 10,000 
being collected as a nucleus fund. Tben the Govern- 
ment made a grant of 20,000, and grants followed 
from the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, 
and South Africa. 

Nine days after the plans were published arrange* 
ments were made to purchase the steamship Terra 
Nova, the largest and strongest of the old Scottish 
whalers. The original date chosen for sailing was 
August I, 1910, but owing to the united efforts of 
those engaged upon the fitting out and stowing of 
the ship, she was able to leave Cardiff on June 15. 
Business, however, prevented Captain Scott from 
leaving England until a later date, and in consequence 
he sailed in the Saxon to South Africa, and there 
awaited the arrival of the Terra Nova. 



208 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 



BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION, 1910 

SHORE PARTIES 

Officers 

Name Rank, &c. 

ROBERT FALCON SCOTT . , Captain, C.V.O., R.N. 

EDWARD R. G. R. EVANS . . Lieutenant, R.N. 

VICTOR L. A. CAMPBELL . . Lieutenant, R.N. (Emergency 

List). 

HENRY R. BOWERS . . . Lieutenant, R.LM. 

LAWRENCE E. G. GATES . . Captain 6th I nnis killing Dra- 
goons. 

G. MURRAY LEVICK . . . Surgeon, R.N. 

EDWARD L. ATKINSON . . Surgeon, R. N., Parasitologist. 

Scientific Staff 

EDWARD ADRIAN WILSON . . B.A., M.B. (Cantab), Chief of 

the Scientific Staff, and Zo- 
ologist. 

GEORGE C SIMPSON . . . D.Sc. f Meteorologist. 

T. GRIFFITH TAYLOR . . . B.A., B.Sc., B.E., Geologist. 

EDWARD W. NELSON . . . Biologist, 

FRANK DEBENHAM . . . B.A., BSc., Geologist. 

CHARLES S. WRIGHT . . B.A., Physicist. 

RAYMOND E. PRIESTLEY . Geologist 

HERBERT G. PONTING . F.R.G.S., Camera Artist. 

CECIL H. MEARES . . In Charge of Dogs. 

BERNARD C. DAY . . Motor Engineer. 

APSLEY CHERRY-GARRARD . BA. t Asst. Zoologist. 

THYGGVE GRAN . . . Sub-Lieutenant, Norwegian N.R. f 

B.A. f Ski Expert 



BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION, 1910 209 



Men 



W. LASHLY, Chief Stoker, 
RJf. 

W. W. ARCHER, Chief Stew- 
ard, late R.N. 

THOMAS CLISSOLD, Cook, late 
R.N. 



PATRICK KEOHANE, Petty Offi- 
cer, jRJV. 

GEORGE P. ABBOTT, Petty Offi- 
cer, R.N. 

FRANK V, BROWNING, Petty 
Officer, 2nd Class, R.N. 



EDGAR EVANS, Petty Officer, HARRY DICKASON, Able Sea- 



R.N. 



man, R.N. 



ROBERT FORDE, Petty Officer, F. J. HOOPER, Steward, late 



R.N. 
THOMAS CREAN, Petty Officer, 

RJf. 
THOMAS S. WILLIAMSON, 

Petty Officer, R.N. 



RJf. 
ANTON OMELCHENKO, 

Groom, 
DEMETRI GEROF, Dog 

Driver, 



SHIP'S PARTY 



Officers, &c. 



HARRY L. L. PENNELL . 
HENRY E. DE P. RENNICK 
WILFRED M. BRUCE . 
FRANCIS R. H. DRAKE . 



DENIS G. LILLIE 



. Lieutenant, R.N. 

. Lieutenant, R*N. 

. Lieutenant, RJf JR. 

. Asst. Paymaster, R.N. (Re- 
tired), Secretary and Meteo- 
rologist in Ship, 

. MA., Biologist in Ship. 



JAMES R. DENNISTOUN, In WILLIAM A. HORTON, Eng. 

Charge of Mules in Ship. Rm. Art, yd Class, jRJV.j 

ALFRED B. CHEETHAM. R.NJR., 2nd Engineer. 

Boatswain. FRANCIS E. C. DAVIES, Lead- 

WILLIAM WILLIAMS, Chief ing Shipwright, R.N. 

Engine-room Artificer, R.N., FREDERICK PARSONS, Petty 

2nd Engineer. Officer, n XT 



THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 



WILLIAM L. HEALD, Late 
P.O., R.N. 

ARTHUR S. BAILEY, Petty 
Officer, 2nd Class, R.N. 

ALBERT BALSON, Leading Sea- 
man, R.N. 

JOSEPH LEESE, Able Seaman, 
R.N. 

JOHN HUGH MATHER, Petty 
Officer, R.NV.R. 

ROBERT OLIPHANT, Able Sea- 
man. 

THOMAS F. McLEOD, Able 
Seaman. 

MORTIMER MCCARTHY, Able 
Seaman. 

WILLIAM KNOWLES, Able Sea- 
man. 



CHARLES WILLIAMS, Able 

man. 

JAMES SKELTON, Able Seaman. 
WILLIAM MCDONALD, Able 

Seaman. 

JAMES PATON, Able Seaman* 
ROBERT BRISSENDEN, Leading 

Stoker, R.N. 
EDWARD A. MCKJENZIE, Lead- 

ing Stoker, R.N. 
WILLIAM BURTON, Leading 

Stoker, R.N. 
BERNARD J. STONE, Leading 

Stoker, R.N. 

ANGUS MCDONALD, Fireman. 
THOMAS McGiLLON, Fireman. 
CHARLES LAMMAS, Fireman. 
W. H. NEALE, Steward. 



CHAPTER I 

THROUGH STORMY SEAS 

The ice was here, the tee was there, 

The ice was all around: 

It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, 

Like noises in a swound. COLERIDGE. 

No sooner was it known that Scott intended to lead 
another Antarctic expedition than he was besieged by 
men anxious to go with him. The selection of a small 
company from some eight thousand volunteers was 
both a difficult and a delicate task, but the fact that the 
applications were so numerous was at once a convinc- 
ing proof of the interest shown in the expedition, and 
a decisive answer to the dismal cry that the spirit 
of romance and adventure no longer exists in the 
British race. 

On June 15, 1910, the Terra Nova left Cardiff upon 
her great mission, and after a successful voyage arrived, 
on October 28, at Lyttelton. There an enormous 
amount of work had to be done before she could be 
ready to leave civilisation, but as usual the kindness 
received in New Zealand was ' beyond words/ 

A month of strenuous labour followed, and then, on 



212 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

November 26, they said farewell to Lyttelton, and 
after calling at Port Chalmers set out on Tuesday, the 
29th, upon the last stage of their voyage. Two days 
later they encountered a stiff wind from the N.W. and 
a confused sea. 

6 The ship a queer and not altogether cheerful sight 
under the circumstances. 

f Below one knows all space is packed as tight as 
human skill can devise and on deck ! Under the fore- 
castle fifteen ponies close side by side, seven one side, 
eight the other, heads together and groom between 
swaying, swaying continually to the plunging, irregular 
motion. 5 

Outside the forecastle and to leeward of the fore 
hatch were four more ponies, and on either side of the 
main hatch were two very large packing-cases contain- 
ing motor sledges, each 16 X 5 X 4. A third sledge 
stood across the break of the poop in the space hitherto 
occupied by the after winch, and all these cases were 
so heavily lashed with heavy chain and rope lashings 
that they were thought to be quite secure. The petrol 
for the sledges was contained in tins and drums pro- 
tected in stout wooden packing-cases, which were 
ranged across the deck immediately in front of the 
poop and abreast the motor sledges. 

Round and about these packing-cases, stretching 
from the galley forward to the wheel aft, coal bags 
containing the deck cargo of coal were stacked; and 
upon the coal sacks, and upon and between the motor 
sledges, and upon the ice-house were the thirty-three 
dogs. Perforce they had to be chained up, and although 



THROUGH STORMY SEAS 213 

they were given as much protection as possible, their 
position was far from pleasant. * The group formed/ 
in Scott's opinion, *a picture of wretched dejection: 
such a life is truly hard for these poor creatures/ 

The wind freshened with great rapidity on Thursday 
evening, and very soon the ship was plunging heavily 
and taking much water over the lee rail. Cases of all 
descriptions began to break loose on the upper deck, 
the principal trouble being caused by the loose coal 
bags, which were lifted bodily by the seas and swung 
against the lashed cases. These bags acted like 
battering rams, no lashings could possibly have with- 
stood them, and so the only remedy was to set to work 
and heave coal sacks overboard and re-lash the cases. 
During this difficult and dangerous task seas contin- 
ually broke over the men, and at such times they had 
to cling for dear life to some fixture to prevent them- 
selves from being washed overboard. No sooner was 
some appearance of order restored than another un- 
usually heavy wave tore away the lashings, and the 
work had to be done all over again. 

As the night wore on the sea and wind continued to 
rise, and the ship to plunge more and more. ' We 
shortened sail to main topsail and staysail, stopped 
engines and hove to, but to little purpose/ 

From Oates and Atkinson, who worked through 
the entire night, reports came that it was impossible 
to keep the ponies on their legs. But worse news was 
to follow, for in the early morning news came from 
the engine-room that the pumps had choked, and that 
the water had risen over the gratings. 



214 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

From that moment, about 4 A.M., the engine-room 
became the centre of interest, but in spite of every 
effort the water still gained. Lashly and Williams, up 
to their necks in rushing water, stuck gamely to the 
work of clearing suctions, and for a time, with donkey 
engine and bilge pump sucking, it looked as if the water 
might be got under. But the hope was short-lived; 
five minutes of pumping invariably led to the same 
result a general choking of the pumps. 

The ship was very deeply-laden and was in con- 
siderable danger of becoming waterlogged, in which 
condition anything might have happened. The hand 
pump produced nothing more than a dribble and its 
suction could not be reached, for as the water crept 
higher it got in contact with the boiler and eventually 
became so hot that no one could work at the suctions. 
A great struggle to conquer these misfortunes followed, 
but Williams had at last to confess that he was beaten 
and must draw fires. 

* What was to be done ? Things for the moment 
appeared very black. The sea seemed higher than 
ever; it came over lee rail and poop, a rush of green 
water; the ship wallowed in it; a great piece of the 
bulwark carried clean away. The bilge pump is 
dependent on the main engine. To use the pump 
it was necessary to go ahead. It was at such times 
that the heaviest seas swept in over the lee rail; over 
and over again the rail, from the forerigging to the 
main, was covered by a solid sheet of curling water 
which swept aft and high on the poop. On one 



THROUGH STORMY SEAS 215 

occasion I was waist deep when standing on the rail 
of the poop.' 

All that could be done for the time being was to 
organise the afterguard to work buckets, and to keep 
the men steadily going on the choked hand-pumps, 
which practically amounted to an 'attempt to bale 
out the ship! For a day and a night the string of 
buckets was passed up a line from the engine-room; 
and while this arduous work was going on the officers 
and men sang chanties, and never for a moment lost 
their good spirits. 

In the meantime an effort was made to get at 
the suction of the pumps; and by 10 P.M. on Friday 
evening a hole in the engine-room bulkhead had been 
completed. Then E. R. Evans, wriggling over the 
coal, found his way to the pump shaft and down it, 
and cleared- the suction of the coal balls (a mixture 
of coal and oil) which were choking it. Soon after- 
wards a good stream of water came from the pump, 
and it was evident that the main difficulty had been 
overcome. Slowly the water began to decrease in the 
engine-room, and by 4 A.M. on Saturday morning the 
bucket-parties were able to stop their labours. 

The losses caused by this gale were serious enough, 
but they might easily have been worse. Besides the 
damage to the bulwarks of the ship, two ponies, one 
dog, ten tons of coal, sixty-five gallons of petrol, and 
a case of biologists' spirit were lost Another dog 
was washed away with such force that his chain broke 
and he disappeared, but the next wave miraculously 



216 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

washed him back on board. In a few hours everyone 
was hopeful again, but anxiety on account of the ponies 
remained. With the ship pitching heavily to a south- 
westerly swell, at least two of these long-suffering 
animals looked sadly in need of a spell of rest, and 
Scott's earnest prayer was that there might be no 
more gales. * December ought to be a fine month in 
the Ross Sea; it always has been, and just now condi- 
tions point to fine weather. Well, we must be prepared 
for anything, but I'm anxious, anxious about these 
animals of ours.' 

Meanwhile Bowers and Campbell had worked 
untiringly to put things straight on deck, and with 
the coal removed from the upper deck and the petrol 
re-stored, the ship was in much better condition to 
fight the gales. 'Another day/ Scott wrote on 
Tuesday, December 6, ' ought to put us beyond the 
reach of westerly gales '; but two days later the ship 
was once more plunging against a stiff breeze and 
moderate sea, and his anxiety about the ponies was 
greater than ever. The dogs, however, had recovered 
wonderfully from the effects of the great gale, their 
greatest discomfort being that they were almost 
constantly wet. 

During Friday, December 9, some very beautiful 
bergs were passed, the heights of which varied from 
sixty to eighty feet. Good progress was made during 
this day, but the ice streams thickened as they ad- 
vanced, and on either side of them fields of pack began 
to appear. Yet 5 , after the rough weather they had 



THROUGH STORMY SEAS 217 

been having, the calm sea was a blessing even if the ice 
had arrived before it was expected. 'One can only 
imagine the relief and comfort afforded to the ponies, 
but the dogs are visibly cheered and the human element 
is full of gaiety. The voyage seems full of promise 
in spite of the imminence of delay/ 

Already Scott was being worried by the pace at 
which the coal was going, and he determined if the 
pack became thick to put out the fires and wait for the 
ice to open. Very carefully all the evidence of former 
voyages had been examined so that the best meridian 
to go south on might be chosen, and the conclusion 
arrived at was that the 178 W. was the best. They 
entered the pack more or less on this meridian, and 
were rewarded by meeting worse conditions than any 
ship had ever experienced worse, indeed, than Scott 
imagined to be possible on any meridian which they 
might have chosen. But as very little was known about 
the movements of the pack the difficulties of making a 
choice may very easily be imagined, and, in spite of 
disappointments, Scott's opinion that the 178 W. was 
the best meridian did not change. 'The situation of 
the main bodies of pack/ he says, f and the closeness 
with which the floes are packed depend almost entirely 
on the prevailing winds. One cannot tell what winds 
have prevailed before one's arrival; therefore one 
cannot know much about the situation or density. 
Within limits the density is changing from day to day 
and even from hour to hour; such changes depend on 
the wind, but it may not necessarily be a local wind, 



218 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

so that at times they seem almost mysterious. One 
sees the floes pressing closely against one another at 
a given time, and an hour or two afterwards a gap of a 
foot or more may be seen between each. When the 
floes are pressed together it is difficult and sometimes 
impossible to force a way through, but when there is 
release of pressure the sum of many little gaps allows 
one to take a zigzag path.* 

During Sunday they lay tight in the pack, and after 
service at 10 A.M. all hands exercised themselves on 
ski over the floes and got some delightful exercise. 
' I have never thought of anything as good as this life. 
The novelty, interest, colour, animal life, and good 
fellowship go to make up an almost ideal picnic just 
at present/ one of the company wrote on that same 
day an abundant proof that if delays came they 
brought their compensations with them. 

With rapid and complete changes of prospect they 
managed to progress on the Monday with much 
bumping and occasional stoppages, but on the following 
day they were again firmly and tightly wedged in the 
pack. To most of them, however, the novelty of the 
experience prevented any sense of impatience, though 
to Scott the strain of waiting and wondering what he 
ought to do as regards the question of coal was bound 
to be heavy. 

This time of waiting was by no means wasted, for 
Gran gave hours of instruction in the use of ski, and 
Meares took out some of the fattest dogs and exercised 
them with a sledge. Observations were also constantly 



THROUGH STORMY SEAS 219 

taken, while Wilson painted some delightful pictures 
and Ponting took a number of beautiful photographs 
of the pack and bergs. But as day followed day and 
hopes of progress were not realised, Scott, anxious to 
be free, decided on Monday, December 19, to push 
west. "Anything to get out of these terribly heavy 
floes. Great patience is the only panacea for our ill 
case. It is bad luck/ 

Over and over again when the end of their troubles 
seemed to be reached, they found that the thick pack 
was once more around them. And what to do under 
the circumstances called for most difficult decisions. If 
the fires were let out it meant a dead loss of two tons of 
coal when the boilers were again heated. But these 
two tons only covered a day under banked fires, so 
that for anything longer than twenty-four hours it 
was a saving to put out the fires. Thus at each stop- 
page Scott was called upon to decide how long it was 
likely to last. 

Christmas Day came with the ice still surrounding 
the ship, but although the scene was s altogether too 
Christmassy/ a most merry evening was spent. For 
five hours the officers sat round the table and sang 
lustily, each one of them having to contribute two 
songs to the entertainment. ' It is rather a surprising 
circumstance/ Scott remarks, * that such an unmusical 
party should be so keen on singing/ 

Christmas, however, came and went without any 
immediate prospect of release, the only bright side of 
this exasperating delay being that everyone was 



220 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

prepared to exert himself to the utmost, quite regard- 
less of the results of his labours. But on Wednesday, 
December 28, the ponies, despite the unremitting care 
and attention that Oates gave to them, were the cause 
of the gravest anxiety. * These animals are now the 
great consideration, balanced as they are against the 
coal expenditure/ 

By this time, although the ice was still all around 
them, many of the floes were quite thin, and even the 
heavier ice appeared to be breakable. So, after a con- 
sultation with Wilson, Scott decided to raise steam, and 
two days later the ship was once more in the open sea. 

From the gth to the 3Oth they had been in the 
pack, and during this time 370 miles had been covered 
in a direct line. Sixty-one tons 1 of coal had been 
used, an average of six miles to the ton, and although 
these were not pleasant figures to contemplate, Scott 
considered that under the exceptional conditions they 
might easily have been worse. For the ship herself 
he had nothing but praise to give. ' No other ship, 
not even the Discovery, would have come through so 
well. ... As a result I have grown strangely attached 
to the Terra Nova. As she bumped the floes with 
mighty shocks, crushing and grinding her way through 
some, twisting and turning to avoid others, she seemed 
like a living thing fighting a great fight. If only she 
had more economical engines she would be suitable in 
all respects/ 

1 When the Terra Nova left Lyttelton she had 460 tons of 
coal on board. 



THROUGH STORMY SEAS 221 

Scientifically as much as was possible had been 
done, but many of the experts had of necessity been 
idle in regard to their o\vn specialties, though none 
of them were really idle; for those who had no special 
work to do were magnificently eager to find any 
kind of work that required to be done. ' Everyone 
strives to help everyone else, and not a word of 
complaint or anger has been heard on board. The 
inner life of our small community is very pleasant 
to think upon, and very wonderful considering the 
extremely small space in which we are confined* The 
attitude of the men is equally worthy of admiration. 
In the forecastle as in the wardroom there is a rush 
to be first when work is to be done, and the same 
desire to sacrifice selfish consideration to the success 
of the expedition. It is very good to be able to 
write in such high praise of one's companions, and I 
feel that the possession of such support ought to 
ensure success. Fortune would be in a hard mood 
indeed if it allowed such a combination of knowl- 
edge, experience, ability, and enthusiasm to achieve 
nothing.' 

Fortune's wheel, however, was not yet prepared 
to turn in their favour, for after a very few hours of 
the open sea a southern blizzard met them. In the 
morning watch of December 31, the wind and sea 
increased and the outlook was very distressing, but 
at 6 A.M. ice was sighted ahead. Under ordinary 
conditions the safe course would have been to go, 
about and stand to the east, but on this occasion 



222 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Scott was prepared to run the risk of trouble if he 
could get the ponies into smoother water. Soon they 
passed a stream of ice over which the sea was break- 
ing heavily, and the danger of being among loose 
floes in such a sea was acutely realised. But presently 
they came to a more compact body of floes, and run- 
ning behind this they were agreeably surprised to 
find themselves in comparatively smooth water. There 
they lay to in a sort of ice bay, and from a dangerous 
position had achieved one that was safe as long as 
their temporary shelter lasted. 

As the day passed their protection, though still sav- 
ing them from the heavy swell, gradually diminished, 
but 1910 did not mean to depart without giving them 
an Old Year's gift and surprise. 'At 10 P.M. to-night 
as the clouds lifted to the west a distant but splendid 
view of the great mountains was obtained. All were 
in sunshine; Sabine and Whewell were most con- 
spicuous the latter from this view is a beautiful sharp 
peak, as remarkable a landmark as Sabine itself. 
Mount Sabine was no miles away when we saw it. 
I believe we could have seen it at a distance of thirty 
or forty miles farther such is the wonderful clearness 
of the atmosphere.' 

The New Year brought better weather with it, 
and such good progress was made that by mid-day 
on Tuesday, January 3, the ship reached the Barrier 
five miles east of Cape Crozier. During the voyage 
they had often discussed the" idea of making their 
winter station at this Cape, and the prospect had 



THROUGH STORMY SEAS 223 

seemed to become increasingly fascinating the more 
they talked of it. 

But a great disappointment awaited them, for 
after one of the whale boats had been lowered and 
Scott, Wilson, Griffith Taylor, Priestley, and E. R. 
Evans had been pulled towards the shore, they 
discovered that the swell made it impossible for them 
to land. 

* No good ! ! Alas ! Cape Crozier with all its attrac- 
tions is denied us.' 

On the top of a floe they could see an old Emperor 
penguin moulting and a young one shedding its down. 
This was an age and stage of development of the 
Emperor chick of which they were ignorant, but 
fortune decreed that this chick should be undisturbed. 
Of this incident Wilson wrote in his Journal: *A 
landing was out of the question. . . . But I assure 
you it was tantalising to me, for there, about 6 feet 
above us on a small dirty piece of the old bay ice 
about ten feet square, one living Emperor penguin 
chick was standing disconsolately stranded, and close 
by stood one faithful old Emperor parent asleep. 
This young Emperor was still in the down, a most 
interesting fact in the bird's life history at which we 
had rightly guessed, but which no one had actually 
observed before. . . . This bird would have been a 
treasure to me, but we could not risk life for it, so it 
had to remain where it was.' 

Sadly and reluctantly they had to give up hopes 
of making their station at Cape Crozier, and this 



224 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

was all the harder to bear because every detail of the 
shore promised well for a wintering party. There 
were comfortable quarters for the hut, ice for water, 
snow for the animals, good slopes for skiing, proximity 
to the Barrier and to the rookeries of two types of 
penguins, good ground for biological work, a fairly 
easy approach to the Southern Road with no chance 
of being cut off, and so forth. * It is a thousand pities 
to have to abandon such a spot.' 

The Discovery's post-office was still standing as 
erect as when it had been planted, and comparisons 
between what was before their eyes and old photo- 
graphs showed that no change at all seemed to have 
occurred anywhere a result that in the case of the 
Barrier caused very great surprise. 

In the meantime all hands were employed in mak- 
ing a running survey, the programme of which was : 
Bruce continually checking speed with hand log. 

f Bowers taking altitudes of objects as they come 

abeam. 
Nelson noting results. 

f Pennell taking verge plate bearings on bow and 
< quarter. 

( Cherry-Garrard noting results. 

( Evans taking verge plate bearings abeam. 

( Atkinson noting results. 

j Campbell taking distances abeam with range finder. 

( Wright noting results. 

j Rerinick sounding with Thomson machine. 

( Drake noting results. 






THROUGH STORMY SEAS 225 

* We plotted the Barrier edge from the point at 
which we met it to the Crozier cliffs; to the eye it 
seems scarcely to have changed since Discovery days, 
and Wilson thinks it meets the cliff in the same place. 5 

Very early on Wednesday morning they rounded 
Cape Bird and came in sight of Mount Discovery and 
the Western Mountains. * It was good to see them 
again, and perhaps after all we are better this side of 
the Island. It gives one a homely feeling to see such 
a familiar scene.' Scott's great wish now was to 
find a place for winter quarters that would not easily 
be cut off from the Barrier, and a cape, which in the 
Discovery days had been called ' the Skuary/ was 
chosen. * It was separated from old Discovery quar- 
ters by two deep bays on either side of the Glacier 
Tongue, and I thought that these bays would remain 
frozen until late in the season, and that when they 
froze over again the Ice would soon become firm/ 

There Scott, Wilson, and E. R. Evans landed, and 
at a glance saw, as they expected, that the place 
was ideal for their wintering station. A spot for the 
hut was chosen on a beach facing north-west and 
well protected behind by numerous small hills; but 
the most favourable circumstance of all in connection 
with this cape, which- was re-christened Cape Evans, 
was the strong chance of communication being 
established at an early date with Cape Armitage. 1 
Not a moment was wasted, and while Scott was 

1 The extreme south point of the Island, 12 miles further, on 
one of whose minor headlands, Hut Point, stood the Discovery 
hut. 



226 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

on shore Campbell took the first steps towards land- 
ing the stores. 

Fortunately the weather was gloriously calm and 
fine, and the landing began under the happiest con- 
ditions. Two of the motors were soon hoisted out, 
and in spite of all the bad weather and the tons of 
sea-water that had washed over them the sledges 
and all the accessories appeared to be in perfect 
condition. Then came the turn of the ponies, and 
although it was difficult to make some of them enter 
the horse box, Oates rose to the occasion and got 
most of them in by persuasion, while the ones which 
refused to be persuaded were simply lifted in by 
the sailors. * Though all are thin and some few 
looked pulled down I was agreeably surprised at the 
evident vitality which they still possessed some were 
even skittish. I cannot express the relief when the 
whole seventeen were safely picketed on the floe/ 

Meares and the dogs were out early on the Wednes- 
day morning, and ran to and fro during most of the 
day with light loads. The chief trouble with the dogs 
was due to the fatuous conduct of the penguins, 
the latter showing a devouring curiosity in the pro- 
ceedings and a total disregard for their own safety, 
with the result that a number of them were killed. 
In spite of innumerable efforts to teach the penguins 
to keep out of reach, they only squawked and ducked, 
as much as to say, ' What's it got to do with you, you 
silly ass? Let us alone/ These incidents naturally 
demoralised the dogs and annoyed Meares, who, 



THROUGH STORMY SEAS 227 

while trying to stop one sledge, fell into the middle 
of the dogs and was carried along until they reached 
the penguins of their desire. 

The motor sledges were running by the afternoon, 
Day managing one and Nelson the other. * It is 
early to call them a success, but they are certainly 
extremely promising.' Before night the site for the 
hut was levelled, and the erecting party was encamped 
on shore in a large tent with a supply of food for eight 
days. Nearly all the timber, &c., for the hut and a 
supply of food for both ponies and dogs had also been 
landed. 

Despite this most strenuous day's labour, all hands 
were up again at 5 A.M. on Thursday, 

* Words cannot express the splendid way in which 
everyone works and gradually the work gets organised. 
I was a little late on the scene this morning, and thereby 
witnessed a most extraordinary scene. Some six or 
seven killer whales, old and young, were skirting the 
fast floe edge ahead of the ship; they seemed excited 
and dived rapidly, almost touching the floe. As we 
watched, they suddenly appeared astern, raising their 
snouts out of water. I had heard weird stories of 
these beasts, but had never associated serious danger 
with them. Close to the water's edge lay the wire stern 
rope of the ship, and our two Esquimaux dogs were 
tethered to this. I did not think of connecting the 
movements of the whales with this fact, and seeing 
them so close I shouted to Ponting, who was standing 
abreast of the ship. He seized his camera and ran 



228 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

towards the floe edge to get a close picture of the 
beasts, which had momentarily disappeared. The next 
moment the whole floe under him and the dogs heaved 
up and split into fragments. One could hear the 
" booming" noise as the whales rose under the ice 
and struck it with their backs. Whale after whale 
rose under the ice, setting it rocking fiercely; luckily 
Ponting kept his feet and was able to fly to security. 
By an extraordinary chance also, the splits had been 
made around and between the dogs, so that neither 
of them fell into the water. Then it was clear that 
the whales shared our astonishment, for one after an- 
other their huge hideous heads shot vertically into 
the air through the cracks which they had made . . , 
There cannot be a doubt that they looked up to see 
what had happened to Ponting and the dogs. . . . 

' Of course, we have known well that killer whales 
continually skirt the edge of the floes and that they 
would undoubtedly snap up anyone who was 
unfortunate enough to fall into the water; but 
the facts that they could display such deliberate 
cunning, that they were able to break ice of such 
thickness (at least 254 feet), and that they could act 
in unison, were a revelation to us. It is clear that 
they are endowed with singular intelligence, and in 
future we shall treat that intelligence with every 
respect' 

On Thursday the motor sledges did good work, 
and hopes that they might prove to be reliable began to 
increase. Infinite trouble had been taken to obtain 



THROUGH STORMY SEAS 229 

the most suitable material for Polar work, and the three 
motor sledge tractors were the outcome of experiments 
made at Lantaret in France and at Lillehammer and 
Fefor in Norway, with sledges built by the Wolseley 
Motor Company from suggestions offered principally 
by B. T\ Hamilton, R. W. Skelton, and Scott himself. 
With his rooted objection to cruelty in any shape or 
form, Scott had an intense, and almost pathetic, desire 
that these sledges should be successful; over and over 
again he expressed his hopes and fears of them. 

With ponies, motor sledges, dogs, and men parties 
working hard, the transportation progressed rapidly 
on the next two days, the only drawback being that 
the ice was beginning to get thin in the cracks and 
on some of the floes. Under these circumstances the 
necessity for wasting no time was evident, and so on 
the Sunday the third motor was got out and placed on 
the ice, and Scott, leaving Campbell to find the best 
crossing for the motor, started for the shore with a 
single man load. 

Soon after the motor had been brought out Campbell 
ordered that it should be towed on to the firm ice, 
because the ice near the ship was breaking up. And 
then, as they were trying to rush the machine over 
the weak place, Williamson suddenly went through; 
and while he was being hauled out the ice under the 
motor was seen to give, and slowly the machine went 
right through and disappeared. The men made 
strenuous efforts to keep hold of the rope, but it cut 
through the ice towards them with an increasing strain, 



230 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

and one after another they were obliged to let go. 
Half a minute later nothing remained but a big hole, 
and one of the two best motors was lying at the bottom 
of 'the sea. 

The ice, too, was hourly becoming more dangerous, 
and it was clear that those who were on shore were 
practically cut off from the ship. So in the evening 
Scott went to the ice-edge farther to the north, and 
found a place where the ship could come and be near 
ice heavy enough for sledging. Then he semaphored 
directions to Pennell, and on the following morning 
the ship worked her way along the ice-edge to the spot 
that had been chosen. 

A good solid road was formed right up to the ship, 
and again the work of transportation went on with the 
greatest energy. In this Bowers proved 'a perfect 
treasure/ there was not a single case he did not know 
nor a single article on which he could not at once place 
his hand, and every case as it came on shore was 
checked by him. 

On Tuesday night, January 10, after six days in 
McMurdo Sound, the landing was almost completed, 
and early in the afternoon of Thursday a message was 
sent from the ship that nothing remained on board 
except mutton, books, pictures, and the pianola. 
* So at last we really are a self-contained party ready 
for all emergencies. We are LANDED eight days after 
our arrival a very good record/ 



CHAPTER II 
DEP6T LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 

And the deed of high endeavour 
Was no more to the favoured few, 

But brain and heart were the measure 
Of what every man might do. 

RENNELL RODD. 

WHILE the landing was being carried out, the buildin s 
party had worked so rapidly that, if necessity had 
arisen, the hut could have been inhabited by the I2th; 
at the same time another small party had been engaged 
in making a cave in the ice which was to serve as 
a larder, and this strenuous work continued until the 
cave was large enough to hold all the mutton, and 
a considerable quantity of seal and penguin. Close 
to this larder Simpson and Wright were busy in exca- 
vating for the differential magnetic hut. 

In every way indeed such good progress had been 
made that Scott could begin to think about the depot 
journey. The arrangements of this he discussed with 
Bowers, to whose grasp of the situation he gives the 
highest praise. ' He enters into one's ideas at once, 
and evidently thoroughly understands the principles 
of the game/ 

Of these arrangements Wilson wrote in his journal: 

231 



232 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

c He (Scott) wants me to be a driver with himself, 
Meares, and Teddie Evans, and this is what I would 
have chosen had I had a free choice of all. The 
dogs run in two teams and each team wants two 
men. It means a lot of running as they are being 
driven now, but it is the fastest and most interesting 
work of all, and we go ahead of the whole caravan 
with lighter loads and at a faster rate. . . . About 
this time next year may I be there or thereabouts! 
With so many young bloods in the heyday of youth 
and strength beyond my own I feel there will be a most 
difficult task in making choice towards the end and a 
most keen competition and a universal lack of selfish- 
ness and self-seeking, with a complete absence of any 
jealous feeling in any single one of any of the com- 
paratively large number who at present stand a chance 
of being on the last piece next summer. ... I have 
never been thrown in with a more unselfish lot of men 
each one doing his utmost fair and square in the most 
cheery manner possible/ 

Sunday, January 15, was observed as a * day of 
rest/ and at 10 A.M. the men and officers streamed 
over from the ship, and Scott read Divine Service on 
the beach. Then he had a necessary but unpalatable 
task to perform, because some of the ponies had not 
fulfilled expectations, and Campbell had to be told that 
the two allotted to him must be exchanged for a pair 
of inferior animals. At this time the party to be led 
by Campbell was known as the Eastern Party, but, 
owing to the impossibility of landing on King Ed- 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 233 

ward's Land, they were eventually taken to the north 
part of Victoria Land, and thus came to be known as 
the Northern Party. Scott's reluctance to make the 
alteration in ponies is evident, but in writing of it he 
says: * He (Campbell) took it like the gentleman he 
is, thoroughly appreciating the reason/ 

On that same afternoon Scott and Meares took a 
sledge and nine dogs, some provisions, a cooker and 
sleeping-bags, and started to Hut Point; but, on their 
arrival at the old Discovery hut, a most unpleasant 
surprise awaited them, for to their chagrin they found 
that some of Shackleton's party, who had used the 
hut for shelter, had left it in an uninhabitable state. 

* There was something too depressing in finding 
the old hut in such a desolate condition. * . . To 
camp outside and feel that all the old comfort and 
cheer had departed, was dreadfully heartrending. I 
went to bed thoroughly depressed. It seems a funda- 
mental expression of civilised human sentiment that 
men who come to such places as this should leave 
what comfort they can to welcome those who follow, 
and finding that such a simple duty had been neg- 
lected by our immediate predecessors oppressed me 
horribly/ 

After a bad night they went up the hills, and 
there Scott found much less snow than he had ever 
seen. The ski run was completely cut through in two 
places, the Gap and Observation Hill were almost bare, 
on the side of Arrival Heights was a great bare slope, 
and on the top of Crater Heights was an immense bare 



234 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

tableland. The paint was so fresh and the inscrip- 
tion so legible on the cross put up to the memory of 
Vince that it looked as if it had just been erected, and 
although the old flagstaff was down it could with very 
little trouble have been put up again. Late in the 
afternoon of Monday Scott and Meares returned to 
Cape Evans, and on the following day the party took 
up their abode in the hut. 

1 The word " hut," ' Scott wrote, * is misleading. 
Our residence is really a house of considerable size, in 
every respect the finest that has ever been erected in 
the Polar regions. The walls and roof have double 
thickness of boarding and seaweed insulation on both 
sides of the frames. The roof with all its coverings 
weighs six tons. The outer shell is wonderfully solid 
therefore and the result is extraordinary comfort and 
warmth inside, whilst the total weight is comparatively 
small. It amply repays the time and attention given 
to its planning. 

' On the south side Bowers has built a long annex, 
to contain spare clothing and ready provisions, on the 
north there is a solid stable to hold our fifteen ponies 
in the winter. At present these animals are picketed 
on long lines laid on a patch of snow close by, above 
them, on a patch of black sand and rock, the dogs ex- 
tend in other long lines. Behind them again is a most 
convenient slab of hard ice in which we have dug two 
caverns. The first is a larder now fully stocked with 
seals, penguins, mutton, and beef. The other is de- 
voted to science in the shape of differential magnetic 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 235 

instruments which will keep a constant photographic 
record of magnetic changes. Outside these caverns is 
another little hut for absolute magnetic observations, 
and above them on a small hill, the dominant miniature 
peak of the immediate neighbourhood, stand the 
meteorological instruments and a flagstaff carrying the 
Union Jack. 

' If you can picture our house nestling below this 
small hill on a long stretch of black sand, with many 
tons of provision cases ranged in neat blocks in front 
of it and the sea lapping the ice-foot below, you will 
have some idea of our immediate vicinity. As for 
our wider surroundings it would be difficult to describe 
their beauty in sufficiently glowing terms. Cape Evans 
is one of the many spurs of Erebus and the one that 
stands closest under the mountain, so that always 
towering above us we have the grand snowy peak 
with its smoking summit. North and south of us 
are deep bays, beyond which great glaciers come rip- 
pling over the lower slopes to thrust high blue-walled 
snouts into the sea. The sea is blue before us, dotted 
with shining bergs or ice floes, whilst far over the 
Sound, yet so bold and magnificent as to appear near, 
stand the beautiful Western Mountains with their 
numerous lofty peaks, their deep glacial valley and 
clear-cut scarps, a vision of mountain scenery that 
can have few rivals. 

'Ponting is the most delighted of men; he 
declares this is the most beautiful spot he has ever 
seen, and spends all day and most of the night 



236 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

in what he calls " gathering it in " with camera and 
cinematograph. 

* 1 have told you of the surroundings of our house, 
but nothing of its internal arrangements. They are 
in keeping with the dignity of the mansion. 

'The officers (16) have two-thirds of the interior, 
the men (9) the remaining third; the dividing line is 
fixed by a wall of cases containing things which suffer 
from being frozen. 

* In the officers' quarters there is an immense dark 
room, and next it on one side a space devoted to the 
physicist and his instruments, and on the other a space 
devoted to charts, chronometers and instruments 
generally. 

* I have a tiny half cabin of my own, next this Wil- 
son and Evans have their beds. On the other side is a 
space set apart for five beds, which are occupied by 
Meares, Oates, Atkinson, Garrard and Bowers. Tay- 
lor, Debenham and Gran have another proportional 
space opposite. Nelson and Day have a little cabin of 
their own with a bench. Lastly Simpson and Wright 
occupy beds bordering the space set apart for their 
instruments and work. In the centre is a 12- foot table 
with plenty of room for passing behind its chairs. . . . 

s To sum up, the arrangements are such that 
everyone is completely comfortable and conveniently 
placed for his work in fact we could not be better 
housed. Of course a good many of us will have a small 
enough chance of enjoying the comforts of our home. 
We shall be away sledging late this year and off again 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 237 

early next season, but even for us It will be pleasant 
to feel that such comfort awaits our return/ 

So in less than a fortnight after the arrival In 
McMurdo Sound they had absolutely settled down, and 
were anxious to start upon their depot journey as soon 
as the ponies had recovered thoroughly from the effects 
of the voyage. These autumn journeys, however, re- 
quired much thought and preparation, mainly because 
the prospect of the parties being cut off from their 
winter quarters necessitated a great deal of food being 
taken both for men and animals. Sledging gear and 
wintering boots were served out to the selected travellers, 
sledges were prepared by P.O. Evans and Crean, and 
most of the stores were tested and found to be most ex- 
cellent in quality. * Our clothing is as good as good. 
In fact first and last, running through the whole extent of 
our outfit, I can say with pride that there is not a single 
arrangement which I would have had altered. . . . 
Everything looks hopeful f6r the depot journey if only 
we can get our stores and ponies past the Glacier Tongue. ' 

Thus Scott wrote on the 2Oth, but the following day 
brought a serious suspense with it; for during the after- 
noon came a report that the Terra Nova was ashore, 
and Scott, hastening to the Cape, saw at once that she 
was firmly fixed and in a very uncomfortable position. 

Visions of the ship being unable to return to New 
Zealand arose in his mind ( with sickening pertinacity/ 
and it was characteristic of him that at the moment 
when there was every prospect of a complete dis- 
arrangement of well-laid plans, he found his one con- 



238 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

solation in determining that, whatever happened, noth- 
ing should interfere with the southern work. 

The only possible remedy seemed to be an extensive 
lightening of the ship with boats, as the tide had 
evidently been high when she struck. Scott, with two 
or three companions, watched anxiously from the shore 
while the men on board shifted cargo aft, but no ray of 
hope came until the ship was seen to be turning very 
slowly, and then they saw the men running from side to 
side and knew that an attempt was being made to roll 
her off. At first the rolling produced a more rapid 
turning movement, and then she seemed again to hang 
though only for a short time. Meanwhile the engines 
had been going astern and presently a slight movement 
became apparent, but those who were watching the 
ship did not know that she was getting clear until they 
heard the cheers on board. Then she gathered stern 
way and was clear. 

' The relief was enormous. The wind dropped as 
she came off, and she is now securely moored off the 
northern ice-edge, where I hope the greater number of 
her people are finding rest. For here and now I must 
record the splendid manner in which these men are 
working. I find it difficult to express my admiration 
for the manner in which the ship is handled and 
worked under these very trying circumstances . . . 
Pennell has been over to tell me about it to-night; I 
think I like him more every day/ 

On that same day Meares and Oates went to the 
Glacier Tongue and satisfied themselves that the ice 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 239 

was good; and with the 25th fixed for the date of 
departure it was not too much to hope that the ice 
would remain for three or four more days. The ponies 
for Campbell's party were put on board on the 22nd, 
but when Scott got up at 5 A.M. on the following 
morning he saw, to his astonishment, that the ice 
was going out of the bay in a solid mass. Then 
everything was rushed on at top speed, and a wonderful 
day's work resulted. All the forage, food, sledges and 
equipment were got off to the ship at once, the dogs 
followed; in short everything to do with the depot 
party was hurriedly put on board except the ponies, 
which were to cross the Cape and try to get over 
the Southern Road on the morning of the 24th. 

The Southern Road was the one feasible line of 
communication between the new station at Cape 
Evans and the Discovery hut, for the rugged mountains 
and crevassed ice-slopes of Ross Island prevented a 
passage by land. The Road provided level going 
below the cliffs of the ice- foot except where disturbed 
by the descending glacier; and there it was necessary 
to cross the body of the glacier itself. It consisted 
of the more enduring ice in the bays and the sea-ice 
along the coast, which only stayed fast for the season. 
Thus it was most important to get safely over the 
dangerous part of this Road before the seasonal going- 
out of the sea-ice. To wait until after the ice went out 
and the ship could sail to Hut Point would have meant 
both uncertainty and delay. Scott knew well enough 
that the Road might not hold for many more hours, 



240 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

and it actually broke up on the very day after the party 
had passed. 

Early on Tuesday, January 24, a boat from the 
ship fetched Scott and the Western Party; and at 
the same time the ponies were led out of the camp, 
Wilson and Meares going ahead of them to test the 
track. No sooner was Scott on board than he was 
taken to inspect Lillie's catch of sea animals. * It 
was wonderful, quantities of sponges, isopods, penta- 
pods, large shrimps, corals, &c. &c.; but the piece de 
resistance was the capture of several bucketsful of 
cephalodiscus of which only seven pieces had been pre^ 
viously caught. Lillie is immensely pleased, feeling 
that it alone repays the whole enterprise.' In the fore- 
noon the ship skirted the Island, and with a telescope 
those on board could watch the string of ponies 
steadily progressing over the sea-ice past the Razor 
Back Islands; and, as soon as they were seen to be well 
advanced, the ship steamed on to the Glacier Tongue, 
and made fast in the narrow angle made by the sea- 
ice with the glacier. 

, Then, while Campbell investigated a broad crack 
in the sea ice on the Southern Road, Scott went to 
meet the ponies, which, without much difficulty, were 
got on to the Tongue, across the glacier, and then 
were picketed on the sea-ice close to the ship. But 
when Campbell returned with the news that the big 
crack was 30 feet across, it was evident that they 
must get past it on the glacier, and Scott asked him to 
peg out a road clear of cracks. 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 241 

Soon afterwards Oates reported that the ponies 
were ready to start again, and they were led along 
Campbell's road, their loads having already been taken 
on the floe. At first all went well, but when the animals 
got down on the floe level and Oates led across an old 
snowed-up crack, the third pony made a jump at the 
edge and sank to its stomach in the middle. Gradu- 
ally it sank deeper and deeper until only its head and 
forelegs showed above the slush. With some trouble 
ropes were attached to these, and the poor animal, 
looking very weak and miserable, was eventually 
pulled out. 

After this experience the other five ponies were led 
farther round to the west and were got safely out on 
the floe; a small feed was given to them, and then 
they were started off with their loads. 

The dogs in the meantime were causing some 
excitement for, starting on hard ice with a light load, 
they obviously preferred speed to security. Happily, 
however, no accident happened, and Scott, writing 
from Glacier Tongue on January 24, was able to say : 
* All have arrived safely, and this evening we start 
our sledges south. I expect we shall have to make 
three relays to get all our stores on to the Barrier 
some fifteen miles away. The ship is to land a geolo- 
gising party on the west side of the Sound, and then 
to proceed to King Edward's Land to put the Eastern 
party on short/ 

The geologising party consisted of Griffith Taylor, 
Debenham, Wright, and P.O. Evans, and for reasons 



242 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

already mentioned the Eastern party were ventually 
known as the Northern party 

On the night of the 24th Scott camped six miles 
from the glacier and two miles from Hut Point, he and 
Wilson having driven one team of dogs, while Meares 
and E. Evans drove the other. But on the following 
day Scott drove his team to the ship, and /when the 
men had been summoned aft he thanked them for 
their splendid work. 

* They have behaved like bricks and a finer lot 
of fellows never sailed in a ship. ... It was a little 
sad to say farewell to all these good fellows and Camp- 
bell and his men. I do most heartily trust that all 
will be successful in their ventures, for indeed their 
unselfishness and their generous high spirit deserves 
reward. God bless them/ 

How completely Scott's hopes were realised in 
the case of Campbell's party is now well known. 
Nothing more miraculous than the story of their 
adventures has ever been told. The party consisted 
of Campbell, Levick, Priestley, Abbott, Browning, and 
Dickason, and the courage shown by the leader and 
his companions in facing endless difficulties and priva- 
tions has met with the unstinted admiration that it 
most thoroughly deserved. 

For the depot laying journey Scott's party con- 
sisted of 12 men (Wilson, Bowers, Gates, Atkinson, 
Cherry-Garrard, E. Evans, Gran, Meares, Forde, 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 243 

Keohane, Crean, and himself), 8 ponies and 26 
dogs. Of the dogs he felt at this time more than a 
little doubtful, but the ponies were in his opinion 
bound to be a success. ' They work with such extraor- 
dinary steadiness, stepping out briskly and cheerfully, 
following in each other's tracks. The great draw- 
back is the ease with which they sink in soft snow; 
they go through in lots of places where the men 
scarcely make an impression they struggle pluckily 
when they sink, but it is trying to watch them.' 

In three days he hoped that all the loads would 
be transported to complete safety, and on Friday, 
the 27th, only one load remained to be brought from 
Hut Point. The strenuous labour of this day tired out 
the dogs, but the ponies worked splendidly. On 
the next day, however, both Keohane's and Bowers' 
ponies showed signs of breaking down, and Gates 
began to take a gloomy view of the situation. In 
compensation for these misfortunes the dogs, as they 
got into better condition, began to do excellent work. 
During Sunday they ran two loads for over a mile 
past the stores on the Barrier to the spot chosen for 
' Safety Camp/ the big home depot. ' I don't think 
that any part of the Barrier is likely to go, but it's 
just as well to be prepared for everything, and our 
camp must deserve its distinctive title of " Safety/' ' 

By this time the control of the second dog team 
had been definitely handed over to Wilson, and in 
his journal he gives an admirable account of his 
experiences. f The seals have been giving a lot of 



244 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

trouble, that is just to Meares and myself with our 
dogs. . . . Occasionally when one pictures oneself quite 
away from trouble of that kind, an old seal will pop 
his head up at a blowhole a few yards ahead of the 
team, and they are all on top of him before one can 
say " knife " ! Then one has to rush in with the whip 
and every one of the team of eleven jumps over the 
harness of the dog next to him, and the harnesses 
become a muddle that takes much patience to unravel, 
not to mention care lest the whole team should get 
away with the sledge and its load, and leave one 
behind. ... I never did get left the whole of this 
depot journey, but I was often very near it, and 
several times had only time to seize a strap or a part 
of the sledge, and be dragged along helter-skelter 
over everything that came in the way, till the team 
got sick of galloping and one could struggle to one's 
feet again. One gets very wary and wide-awake 
when one has to manage a team of eleven dogs and a 
sledge load by oneself, but it was a most interesting 
experience, and I had a delightful leader, " Stareek " 
by name Russian for " Old Man," and he was the 
most wise old man. . . . Dog driving like this in 
the orthodox manner is a very different thing from the 
beastly dog driving we perpetrated in the Discovery 
days. ... I got to love all my team and they got 
to know me well. . . . Stareek is quite a ridiculous 
" old man " and quite the nicest, quietest, cleverest 
old dog I have ever come across. He looks in 
face as if he knew all the wickedness of all the world 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 245 

and all its cares, and as if he were bored to death 
by them/ 

When Safety Camp was reached there was no need 
for haste until they started upon their journey. * It 
is only when we start that we must travel fast' Work, 
however, on the Monday was more strenuous than 
successful, for the ponies sank very deep and had 
great difficulty in bringing up their loads. During 
the afternoon Scott disclosed his plan of campaign, 
which was to go forward with five weeks' food for men 
and animals, then to depot a fortnight's supply after 
twelve or thirteen days and return to Safety Camp. 
The loads for ponies under this arrangement worked 
out at a little over 600 Ibs., and for the dog teams at 
700 Ibs., both apart from sledges. Whether the ponies 
could manage these loads depended on the surface, and 
there was a great possibility that the dogs would 
have to be lightened, but under the circumstances it 
was the best plan they could hope to carry out. 

On Tuesday when everything was ready for the 
start the one pair of snow-shoes was tried on ' Weary 
Willy * with magical effect In places where he had 
floundered woefully without the shoes he strolled 
round as if he was walking on hard ground. Im- 
mediately after this experiment Scott decided that an 
attempt must be made to get more snow-shoes, and 
within half an hour Meares and Wilson had started, 
on the chance that the ice had not yet gone out, to 
the station twenty miles away. But on the next 
day they returned with the news that there was no 



246 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

possibility of reaching Cape Evans, and an additional 
stroke of bad fortune fell when Atkinson's foot, which 
had been troublesome for some time, was examined, 
and found to be so bad that he had to be left behind 
with Crean as a companion. 

Writing on Wednesday, February i, from e Safety 
Camp, Great Barrier/ Scott said : * I told you that 
we should be cut off from our winter station, and 
that I had to get a good weight of stores on to the 
Barrier to provide for that contingency. We are safely 
here with all requisite stores, though it has taken nearly 
a week. But we find the surface very soft and the 
ponies flounder in it, I sent a dog team back yesterday 
to try and get snow-shoes for ponies, but they found 
the ice broken south of Cape Evans and returned this 
morning. Everyone is doing splendidly and gaining 
the right sort of experience for next year. Every mile 
we advance this year is a help for next/ 

At last the start was made on Thursday, February 
2, but when, after marching five miles, Scott asked for 
their one pair of snow-shoes, he found that they had 
been left behind, and Gran whose expertness on 
ski was most useful immediately volunteered to go 
back and get them. While he was away the party 
rested, for at Scott's suggestion they had decided to 
take to night marching. And so at 12.30 A.M. they 
started off once more on a surface that was bad at first 
but gradually improved, until just before camping time 
Bowers, who was leading, suddenly plunged into soft 
snow. Several of the others, following close behind 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 247 

him, shared the same fate, and soon three ponies were 
plunging and struggling in a drift, and had to be 
unharnessed and led round from patch to patch until 
firmer ground was reached. 

Then came another triumph for the snow-shoes 
which were put on Bowers' pony, with the result that 
after a few miniites he settled down, was harnessed 
to his load, and brought in not only that but also 
another over places into which he had previously been 
plunging. Again Scott expressed his regret that such 
a great help to their work had been left behind at the 
station, and it was all the more trying for him to see 
the ponies half engulfed in the snow, and panting 1 
and heaving from the strain, when the remedies for 
this state of affairs were so near and yet so impossible 
to reach. 

During the next march ten miles were covered, and 
the ponies, on a better surface, easily dragged their 
loads, but signs of bad weather began to appear in ths 
morning, and by 4 P.M. on Saturday a blizzard arrived 
and held up the party in Corner Camp for three days. 
' No fun to be out of the tent but there are no 
shirkers with us. Gates has been out regularly to feed 
the ponies; Meares and Wilson to attend to the dogs; 
the rest of us as occasion required/ 

The ponies looked fairly comfortable during the 
blizzard, but when it ceased and another march was 
made on Tuesday night, the effects of the storm were 
too clearly seen. All of them finished the march 
listlessly, and two or three were visibly thinner. 



THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

But by far the worst sufferer was Forde's c Blucher/ 
whose load was reduced to 200 Ibs., and finally Forde 
pulled this in and led his pony. Extra food was given 
in the hope that they would soon improve again; 
but at all costs most of them had got to be kept alive, 
and Scott began to fear that very possibly the journey 
would have to be curtailed. 

During the next two marches, however, the ponies 
seemed to be stronger. ' Surface very good and animals 
did splendidly/ Scott wrote on Friday, February 10, 
and then gave in his diary for the day an account of 
their nightly routine. ' We turn out of our sleeping- 
<bags about 9 P.M. Somewhere about 11.30 I shout to 
the Soldier * " How are things? " There is a response 
suggesting readiness, and soon after figures are busy 
amongst sledges and ponies. It is chilling work for the 
fingers and not too warm for the feet. The rugs come 
off the animals, the harness is put on, tents and camp 
equipment are loaded on the sledges, nosebags filled 
for the next halt; one by one the animals are taken 
off the picketing rope and yoked to the sledge. Gates 
watches his animal warily, reluctant to keep such a 
nervous creature standing in the traces. If one is 
prompt one feels impatient and fretful whilst watching 
one's more tardy fellows. Wilson and Meares hang 
about ready to help with odds and ends. 

* Still we wait : the picketing lines must be gathered 
up, a few pony putties need adjustment, a party has 
been slow striking their tent. With numbed fingers on 

1 Gates. 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 249 

our horse's bridle and the animal striving to turn its 
head from the wind one feels resentful. At last all is 
ready. One says " All right, Bowers, go ahead/' and 
Birdie leads his big animal forward, starting, as he 
continues, at a steady pace. The horses have got 
cold and at the word they are off, the Soldier's and 
one or two others with a rush. Finnesko give poor 
foothold on the slippery sastrugi, 1 and for a minute 
or two drivers have some difficulty in maintaining 
the pace on their feet. Movement is warming, and in 
ten minutes the column has settled itself to steady 
marching. 

' The pace is still brisk, the light bad, and at intervals 
one or another of us suddenly steps on a slippery 
patch and falls prone. These are the only real in- 
cidents of the march for the rest it passes with a 
steady tramp and slight variation of formation. The 
weaker ponies drop a bit but not far, so that they 
are soon up in line again when the first halt is made: 
We have come to a single halt in each half march. 
Last night it was too cold to stop long and a very 
few minutes found us on the go again. 

* As the end of the half march approaches I get 
out my whistle. Then at a shrill blast Bowers wheels 
slightly to the left, his tent mates lead still farther 
out to get the distance for the picket lines; Oates 
and I stop behind Bowers and Evans, the two other 
sledges of our squad behind the two other of Bowers'. 
So we are drawn up in camp formation. The picket 

1 Irregularities formed by the wind on a snow-plain. 



250 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

lines are run across at right angles to the line of aoU 
vance and secured to the two sledges at each end. In 
a few minutes ponies are on the lines covered, tents 
up again and cookers going. 

' Meanwhile the dog drivers, after a long cold wait 
at the old camp, have packed the last sledge and come 
trotting along our tracks. They try to time their 
arrival in the new camp immediately after our own, 
and generally succeed well. The mid-march halt 
runs into an hour to an hour and a half, and at the 
end we pack up and tramp forth again. We generally 
make our final camp about 8 o'clock, and within 
an hour and a half most of us are in our sleeping- 
bags. ... At the long halt we do our best for our 
animals by building snow walls and improving their 
rugs, &c. 

A softer surface on the nth made the work much 
more difficult, and even the dogs, who had been 
pulling consistently well, showed signs of exhaustion 
before the march was over. Early on Sunday morning 
they were near the 79th parallel, and exact bearings 
had to be taken, since this camp, called Bluff Camp, 
was expected to play an important part in the 
future. By this time three of the ponies, Blossom, 
James Pigg, and Blucher, were so weak that Scott 
decided to send E. Evans, Forde and Keohane back 
with them. 

Progress on the next march was interrupted by a 
short blizzard, and Scott, not by any means for the 
first time, was struck by Bowers' imperviousness to 



DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 251 

cold. * Bowers/ he wrote, ' is wonderful. Throughout 
the night he has worn no head-gear but a common 
green felt hat kept on with a chin-stay and affording 
no cover whatever for the ears. His face and ears 
remain bright red. The rest of us were glad to have 
thick Balaclavas and wind helmets. I have never 
seen anyone so unaffected by the cold. To-night he 
remained outside a full hour after the rest of us had 
got into the tent. He was simply pottering about 
the camp doing small jobs to the sledges, &c. Cherry- 
Garrard is remarkable because of his eyes. He can 
only see through glasses and has to wrestle with all 
sorts of inconveniences in consequence. Yet one could 
never guess it for he manages somehow to do more 
than his share of the work/ 

Another disappointing day followed, on which the 
surface was so bad that the ponies frequently sank 
lower than their hocks, and the soft patches of snow 
left by the blizzard lay in sandy heaps and made 
great friction for the runners. Still, however, they 
struggled on; but Gran with Weary Willy could not 
go the pace, and when they were three-quarters of a 
mile behind the others the dog teams (which always 
left the camp after the others) overtook them. Then 
the dogs got out of hand and attacked Weary Willy, 
who put up a sterling fight but was bitten rather badly 
before Meares and Gran could drive off the dogs. 
Afterwards it was discovered that Weary Willy's 
load was much heavier than that of the other ponies, 
and an attempt to continue the march had quickly 



252 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

to be abandoned owing to his weak condition. As 
some compensation for his misfortunes he was given 
a hot feed, a large snow wall, and some extra sacking, 
and on the following day he showed appreciation of 
these favours by a marked improvement. Bowers* 
pony, however, refused work for the first time, and 
Oates was more despondent than ever; ' But/ Scott 
says, * Fve come to see that this is a characteristic 
of him. In spite of it he pays every attention to the 
weaker horses/ 

No doubt remained on the Thursday that both 
Weary Willy and Bowers' pony could stand very 
little more, and so it was decided to turn back on the 
following day. During the last march out the 
temperature fell to 21 with a brisk south-west 
breeze, and frost-bites were frequent. Bowers with 
his ears still uncovered suffered severely, but while 
Scott and Cherry-Garrard nursed them back he seemed 
to feel nothing but surprise and disgust at the mere 
fact of possessing such unruly organs. ( It seems 
as though some of our party will find spring journeys 
pretty trying. Gates' nose is always on the point of 
being frost-bitten; Meares has a refractory toe which 
gives him much trouble this is the worse prospect 
for summit work. I have been wondering how I shall 
stick the summit again, this cold spell gives ideas. 
I think I shall be all right, but one must be prepared 
for a pretty good doing/ 

The depot was built during the next day, 
February 17, Lat. 79 29' S, and considerably over a 
ton of stuff was landed. 




DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP 253 



. . 7 weeks* full provision bags for I unit 

. . 2, days' provision bags for I unit 

. . 8 weeks' tea 

. . 6 weeks' extra butter 

. . Ibs. biscuit (7 weeks' full biscuit) 

. . 8>4 gallons oil ( 12 weeks' oil for I unit) 

. . 5 sacks of oats 

. . 4 bales of fodder 

. . Tank of dog biscuit 

. . 2 cases of biscuit 

2181 

I skein white line 

1 set breast harness 

2 12 ft. sledges 

2 pair ski, i pair ski sticks 
i Minimum Thermometer* 
i tin Rowntree cocoa 
i tin matches 

Sorry as Scott was not to reach 80, he was satisfied 
that they had * a good leg up 5 for next year, and could 
at least feed the ponies thoroughly up to this point. In 
addition to a flagstaff and black flag, One Ton Camp 
was marked with piled biscuit boxes to act as reflectors, 
and tea-tins were tied on the top of the sledges, which 
were planted upright in the snow. The depot cairn 
was more than six feet above the surface, and so the 
party had the satisfaction of knowing that it could 
scarcely fail to show up for many miles. 
1 See page 337. 



CHAPTER III 

PERILS 

. , , Yet I argue not 

Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot 
Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer 
Right onward. 

MILTONT. 

ON the return journey Scott, Wilson, Meares and 
Cherry-Garrard went back at top speed with the dog 
teams, leaving Bowers, Gates and Gran to follow with 
the ponies. For three days excellent marches were 
made, the dogs pulling splendidly, and anxious as Scott 
was to get back to Safety Camp and find out what had 
happened to the other parties and the ponies, he was 
more than satisfied with the daily records. But on 
Tuesday, February 21, a check came in their rapid 
journey, a check, moreover, which might have been a 
most serious disaster. 

The light though good when they started about 
10 P.M. on Monday night quickly became so bad that 
but little of the surface could be seen, and the dogs 
began to show signs of fatigue. About an hour and a 
half after the start they came upon mistily outlined 

254 



PERILS 255 

pressure ridges and were running by the sledges when, 
as the teams were trotting side by side, the middle dogs 
of the teams driven by Scott and Meares began to 
disappear. *We turned/ Cherry-Garrard says, 'and 
saw their dogs disappearing one after another, like 
dogs going down a hole after a rat/ 

In a moment the whole team were sinking; two 
by two they vanished from sight, each pair struggling 
for foothold. Osman, the leader, put forth all his 
strength and most wonderfully kept a foothold. The 
sledge stopped on the brink of the crevasse, and Scott 
and Meares jumped aside. 

In another moment the situation was realised. 
They had actually been travelling along the bridge of a 
crevasse, the sledge had stopped on it, while the dogs 
hung in their harness in the abyss. * Why the sledge 
and ourselves didn't follow the dogs we shall never 
know. I think a fraction of a pound of added weight 
must have taken us down/ Directly the sledge had 
been hauled clear of the bridge and anchored, they 
peered into the depths of the cracks. The dogs, sus- 
pended in all sorts of fantastic positions, were howling 
dismally and almost frantic with terror. Two of 
them had dropped out of their harness and, far below, 
could be seen indistinctly on a snow-bridge. The 
rope at either end of the chain had bitten deep into the 
snow at the side of the crevasse and with the weight 
below could not possibly be moved. 

By this time assistance was forthcoming from 
Wilson and Cherry-Garrard, the latter hurriedly 



256 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

bringing the Alpine rope, the exact position of which 
on the sledge he most fortunately knew. The pros- 
pect, however, of rescuing the team was not by any 
means bright, and for some minutes every attempt 
failed. In spite of their determined efforts they could 
get not an inch on the main trace of the sledge or on 
the leading rope, which with a throttling pressure was 
binding poor Osman to the snow. 

Then, as their thoughts became clearer, they set to 
work on a definite plan of action. The sledge was 
unloaded, and the tent, cooker, and sleeping-bags were 
carried to a safe place; then Scott, seizing the lashing 
off Meares' sleeping-bag, passed the tent-poles across 
the crevasse, and with Meares managed to get a few 
inches on the leading line. This freed Osman, whose 
harness was immediately cut. The next step was to 
secure the leading rope to the main trace and haul 
up together. By this means one dog was rescued 
and unlashed, but the rope already had cut so far 
back at the edge that efforts to get more of it were 
useless. 

'We could now unbend the sledge and do that 
for which we should have aimed from the first, namely, 
run the sledge across the gap and work from it. 9 So 
the sledge was put over the crevasse and pegged down 
on both sides, Wilson holding on to the anchored 
trace while the others worked at the leader end. The 
leading rope, however, was so very small that Scott 
was afraid of its breaking, and Meares was lowered 
down to secure the Alpine rope to the leading end of 



PERILS 257 

the trace; when this had been done the chance o 
rescuing* the dogs at once began to improve. 

Two by two the dogs were hauled up until eleven 
out of the thirteen were again in safety. Then Scott 
began to wonder if the two other dogs could not be 
saved, and the Alpine rope was paid down to see if 
it was long enough to reach the bridge on which they 
were coiled. The rope was 90 feet, and as the amount 
remaining showed that the depth of the bridge was 
about 65 feet, Scott made a bowline and insisted 
upon being lowered down. The bridge turned out to 
be firm, and he quickly got hold of the dogs and saw 
them hauled to the surface. But before he could be 
brought up terrific howls arose above, and he had to 
be left while the rope-tenders hastened to stop a fight 
between the dogs of the two teams. 

'We then hauled Scott up/ Cherry-Garrard says; 
' it was all three of us could do, my fingers a good deal 
frost-bitten in the end. That was all the dogs, Scott 
has just said that at one time he never hoped to get 
back with the thirteen, or even half of them. When he 
was down in the crevasse he wanted to go off exploring; 
but we dissuaded him. . . . He kept on saying, " I 
wonder why this is running the way it is, you expect 
to find them at right angles. 3 ' ' 

For over two hours the work of rescue had con- 
tinued, and after it was finished the party camped and 
had a meal, and congratulated themselves on a mirac- 
ulous escape. Had the sledge gone down Scott and 
Meares must have been badly injured, if not killed out- 



258 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

right, but as things had turned out even the dogs 
showed wonderful signs of recovery after their ter- 
rible experience. 

On the following day Safety Camp was reached, 
but the dogs were as thin as rakes and so ravenously 
hungry that Scott expressed a very strong opinion that 
they were underfed. 'One thing is certain, the dogs 
will never continue to drag heavy loads with men 
sitting on the sledges; we must all learn to run 
with the teams and the Russian custom must be 
dropped.' 

At Safety Camp E. Evans, Forde and Keohane 
were found, but to Scott's great sorrow two of their 
ponies had died on the return journey. Forde had 
spent hour after hour in nursing poor Blucher, and 
although the greatest care had also been given to 
Blossom, both of them were left on the Southern 
Road. The remaining one of the three, James Pigg, 
had managed not only to survive but actually to 
thrive, and, severe as the loss of the two ponies was, 
some small consolation could be gained from the fact 
that they were the oldest of the team, and the two 
which Gates considered to be the least useful. 

After a few hours' sleep Scott, Wilson, Meares, 
Cherry-Garrard and Evans started off to Hut Point, 
and on arrival were astonished to find that, although 
the hut had been cleared and made habitable, no one 
was there. A pencil line on the wall stated that a 
bag containing a mail was inside, but no bag was to be 
found. But presently what turned out to be the true 



PERILS 259 

solution of this curious state of affairs was guessed, 
namely, that Atkinson and Crean had been on their 
way from the hut to Safety Camp as the others 
had come from the camp to the hut, and later on 
Scott saw their sledge track leading round on the 
sea-ice. 

Feeling terribly anxious that some disaster might 
have happened to Atkinson and Crean owing to the 
weakness of the ice round Cape Arrnitage, Scott and 
his party soon started back to Safety Camp, but it 
was not until they were within a couple of hundred 
yards of their destination that they saw three tents 
instead of two, and knew that Atkinson and Crean 
were safe. No sooner, however, had Scott received his 
letters than his feelings of relief were succeeded by 
sheer astonishment. 

* Every incident of the day pales before the start- 
ling contents of the mail bag which Atkinson gave 
me a letter from Campbell setting out his doings and 
the finding of Amundsen established in the Bay 
of Whales. 

' One thing only fixes itself definitely in my mind. 
The proper, as well as the wiser, course for us is to 
proceed exactly as though this had not happened. To 
go forward and do our best for the honour of the 
country without fear or panic. 

' There is no doubt that Amundsen's plan is a very 
serious menace to ours. He has a shorter distance 
to the Pole by 60 miles I never thought he could 
have got so many dogs [116] safely to the ice. His 



260 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

plan for running them seems excellent. But above 
and beyond all he can start his journey early in the 
season an impossible condition with ponies.' 

The ship, to which Scott had said good-by a month 
before, had, after landing the Western Geological Party 
at Butter Point, proceeded along the Barrier, and on 
February 5 had come across Amundsen camped in 
the Bay of Whales. No landing place, however, for 
Campbell's party could be found. ' This/ Campbell 
says, * was a great disappointment to us all, but there 
was nothing for it but to return to McMurdo Sound 
to communicate with the main party, and then try 
to effect a landing in the vicinity of Smith's Inlet or as 
far to the westward as possible on the north coast of 
Victoria Land, and if possible to explore the unknown 
coast west of Cape North. We therefore made the 
best of our way to Cape Evans, and arrived on the 
evening of the 8th. Here I decided to land the two 
ponies, as they would be very little use to us on the 
mountainous coast of Victoria Land, and in view of 
the Norwegian expedition I felt the Southern Party 
would require all the transport available. After land- 
ing the ponies we steamed up to the sea-ice by Glacier 
Tongue, and from there, taking Priestley and Abbott, 
I went with letters to Hut Point, where the depot party 
would call on their way back/ 

Thus Scott came on Wednesday, February 22, to 
receive the news which was bound to occupy his 
thoughts, however resolutely he refused to allow it to 
interfere in any way with his plans. 



PERILS 261 

Thursday was spent preparing sledges to meet 
Bowers, Gates and Gran at Corner Camp, and on the 
following day Scott, Crean and Cherry-Garrard with 
one sledge and tent, E. Evans, Atkinson and Forde with 
second sledge and tent, and Keohane leading James 
Pigif* started their march. At 3 P.M. on Saturday 
Scott turned out and saw a short black line on the 
horizon towards White Island. Presently he made 
certain that it was Bowers and his companions, but 
they were travelling fast and failed to see Scott's camp; 
so when the latter reached Corner Camp he did not 
find Bowers, but was glad to see five pony walls and 
consequently to know that all the animals were still alive. 

Having depoted six full weeks' provisions, Scott, 
Cherry-Garrard and Crean started for home, leaving 
the others to bring James Pigg by easier stages. The 
next day, however, had to be spent in the tent owing 
to a howling blizzard, and not until the Tuesday did 
Scott reach Safety Camp, where he found that the 
ponies were without exception terribly thin, and that 
Weary Willy was especially in a pitiable condition. 

As no advantage was to be gained by staying at 
Safety Camp, arrangements were made immediately 
for a general shift to Hut Point, and about four o'clock 
the two dog teams driven by Wilson and Meares got 
safely away. Then the ponies were got ready to start, 
the plan being for them to follow in the tracks of the 
dogs; the route was over about six miles of sea-ice, 
which, owing to the spread of water holes, caused Scott 
to feel gravely anxious. 



262 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

At the very start, however, Weary Willy fell down, 
and his plight was so critical that Bowers, Cherry- 
Garrard and Crean were sent on with Punch, Cuts, 
Uncle Bill and Nobby to Hut Point, while Scott, 
with Oates and Gran, decided to stay behind and 
attend to the sick pony. But despite all the attempts 
to save him, Weary Willy died during the Tuesday 
night ' It makes a late start necessary for next year' 
Scott wrote in his diary on Wednesday, March i, but 
on the following day he had to add to this, * The 
events of the past 48 hours bid fair to wreck the 
expedition, and the only one comfort is the miraculous 
avoidance of loss of life.' 

Early on the morning following Weary Willy's 
death, Scott, Oates and Gran started out and pulled 
towards the forage depot, which was at a point on 
the Barrier half a mile from the edge, in a S.S.E. 
direction from Hut Point. On their approach the sky 
looked black and lowering, and mirage effects of huge 
broken floes loomed out ahead. At first Scott thought 
that this was one of the strange optical illusions com- 
mon in the Antarctic, but as he drew close to the depot 
all doubt was dispelled. The sea was full of broken 
pieces of Barrier edge, and at once his thoughts flew 
to the ponies and dogs. 

They turned to follow the sea-edge, and suddenly 
discovering a working crack, dashed over it and 
hastened on until they were in line between Safety 
Camp and Castle Rock. Meanwhile Scott's first 
thought was to warn E. Evans' party which was 



PERILS 263 

travelling back from Corner Camp with James Pigg. 

* We set up tent, and Gran went to the depot with 
a note as Gates and I disconsolately thought out the 
situation. I thought to myself that if either party 
had reached safety either on the Barrier or at Hut 
Point they would immediately have sent a warning 
messenger to Safety Camp. By this time the messen- 
ger should have been with us. Some half-hour passed, 
and suddenly with a " Thank God ! " I made certain 
that two specks in the direction of Pram Point were 
human beings.' 

When, however, Scott hastened in their direction 
he discovered them to be Wilson and Meares, who 
were astonished to see him, because they had left 
Safety Camp before the breakdown of Weary Willy 
had upset the original programme. From them 
Scott heard alarming reports that the ponies were 
adrift on the sea-ice. 

The startling incidents that had led to this state 
of affairs began very soon after Bowers, Crean and 
Cherry-Garrard had left Safety Camp with the ponies. 

* I caught Bowers up at the edge of the Barrier, 1 
Cherry-Garrard wrote in his diary, ' the dogs were on 
ahead and we saw them turn and make right round 
Cape Armitage. " Uncle Bill " got done, and I took 
up the dog tracks which we followed over the tide 
crack and well on towards Cape Armitage. 

' The sea-ice was very weak, and we came to fresh 
crack after fresh crack, and at last to a big crack 
with water squelching through for many feet on both 



264 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

sides. We all thought it impossible to proceed and 
turned back. . . . The ponies began to get very done, 
and Bowers decided to get back over the tide crack, 
find a snowy place, and camp. 

1 This had been considered with Scott as a possibility 
and agreed to. Of course according to arrangements 
then Scott would have been with the ponies. 

* We camped about n P.M. and made walls for the 
ponies. Bowers cooked with a primus of which the 
top is lost, and it took a long time. He mistook curry 
powder for cocoa, and we all felt very bad for a short 
time after trying it. Crean swallowed all his. Other- 
wise we had a good meal. 

t While we were eating a sound as though ice 
had fallen outside down the tent made us wonder. 
At 2 A.M. we turned in, Bowers went out, and all 
was quiet At 4.30 A.M. Bowers was wakened by a 
grinding sound, jumped up, and found the situation 
as follows: 

' The whole sea-ice had broken up into small floes, 
from ten to thirty or forty yards across. We were 
on a small floe, I think about twenty yards across, 
two sledges were on the next floe, and " Cuts " had 
disappeared down the opening. Bowers shouted to 
us all and hauled the two sledges on to our floe in 
his socks. We packed anyhow, I don't suppose a 
camp was ever struck quicker. It seemed to me im- 
possible to go on with the ponies and I said so, but 
Bowers decided to try, 

* We decided that to go towards White Island 



PERILS 265 

looked best, and for five hours travelled in the follow- 
ing way: we jumped the ponies over floe to floe as 
the cracks joined. . . . We then man-hauled the 
sledges after them, then according to the size of the 
floe sometimes harnessed the ponies in again, some- 
times man-hauled the sledge to the next crack, waited 
cur chance, sometimes I should think five or ten 
minutes, and repeated the process/ 

At length they worked their way to heavier floes 
lying near the Barrier edge, and at one time thought 
that it was possible to get up; but very soon they 
discovered that there were gaps everywhere off the 
high Barrier face. In this dilemma Crean volunteered 
to try and reach Scott, and after travelling a great 
distance and leaping from floe to floe, he found a thick 
floe from which with the help of his ski stick he could 
climb the Barrier face. c It was a desperate venture, 
but luckily successful/ 

And so while Scott, Gates, Wilson, Meares and 
Gran were discussing the critical situation, a man, 
who proved to be Crean, was seen rapidly making for 
the depot from the west. 

As soon as Scott had considered the latest develop- 
ment of the situation he sent Gran back to Hut Point 
with Wilson and Meares, and started with Gates, 
Crean, and a sledge for the scene of the mishap. A 
halt was made at Safety Camp to get some provisions 
and oil, and then, marching carefully round, they 
approached the ice-edge, and to their joy caught 
sight of Bowers and Cherry-Garrard. With the help 



266 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

of the Alpine rope both the men were dragged to the 
surface, and after camp had been pitched at a safe 
distance from the edge all hands started upon salvage 
work. The ice at this time lay close and quiet against 
the Barrier edge, and some ten hours after Bowers 
and Cherry-Garrard had -been hauled up, the sledges 
and their contents were safely on the Barrier. But 
then, just as the last loads were saved, the ice began 
to drift again, and so, for the time, nothing could be 
done for the ponies except to leave them well-fed 
upon their floes. 

* None of our party had had sleep the previous night 
and all were dog tired. I decided we must rest, 
but turned everyone out at 8.30 yesterday morning 
[after three or four hours]. Before breakfast we dis- 
covered the ponies had drifted away. We had tried 
to anchor their floes with the Alpine rope, but the 
anchors had drawn. It was a sad moment/ 

Presently, however, Bowers, who had taken the 
binoculars, announced that he could see the ponies 
about a mile to the N.W. ' We packed and went on 
at once. We found it easy enough to get down to the 
poor animals and decided to rush them for a last chance 
of life. Then there was an unfortunate mistake: 
I went along the Barrier edge and discovered what 
I thought and what proved to be a practicable way 
to land a pony, but the others meanwhile, a little 
overwrought, tried to leap Punch across a gap. The 
poor beast fell in; eventually we had to kill himit 
was awful. I recalled all hands and pointed out my 



PERILS 267 

road. Bowers and Gates went out on it with a sledge 
and worked their way to the remaining ponies, and 
started back with them on the same track. . . . We 
saved one pony; for a time I thought we should get 
both, but Bowers' poor animal slipped at a jump and 
plunged into the water : we dragged him out on some 
brash ice killer whales all about us in an intense state 
of excitement. The poor animal couldn't rise, and the 
only merciful thing was to kill it. These incidents 
were too terrible. At 5 P.M. (Thursday, March 2), 
we sadly broke our temporary camp and marched back 
to the one I had just pitched. ... So here we are 
ready to start our sad journey to Hut Point. Every- 
thing out of joint with the loss of our ponies, but 
mercifully with all the party alive and well.' 

At the start on the march back the surface was so 
bad that only three miles were covered in four hours, 
and in addition to this physical strain Scott was also 
deeply anxious to know that E, Evans and his party 
were safe; but while they were camping that night on 
Pram Point ridges, Evans' party, all of whom were 
well, came in. Then it was decided that Atkinson 
should go on to Hut Point in the morning to take news 
to Wilson, Meares and Gran, who were looking after 
the dogs, and having a wretched time in trying to make 
two sleeping-bags do the work of three. 

On March 2 Wilson wrote in his journal : ' A very 
bitter wind blowing and it was a cheerless job waiting 
for six hours to get a sleep in the bag. ... As the 
ice had all gone out of the strait we were cut off from 



268 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

any return to Cape Evans until the sea should again 
freeze over, and this was not likely until the end of 
April. We rigged up a small fireplace in the hut and 
found some wood and made a fire for an hour or so at 
each meal, but as there was no coal and not much wood 
we felt we must be economical with the fuel, and so 
also with matches and everything else, in case Bowers 
should lose his sledge loads, which had most of the 
supplies for the whole party to last twelve men for two 
months. . . . There was literally nothing in the hut 
that one could cover oneself with to keep warm, and 
we couldn't run to keeping the fire going. It was very 
cold work. There were heaps of biscuit cases here 
which we had left in Discovery days, and with these we 
built up a small inner hut to live in/ 

On Saturday Scott and some of his party reached 
the hut, and on Sunday he was able to write : c Turned 
in with much relief to have all hands and the animals 
safely housed/ Only two ponies, James Pigg and 
Nobby, remained out of the eight that had started on 
the depot journey, but disastrous as this was to the 
expedition there was reason to be thankful that even 
greater disasters had not happened. 



CHAPTER IV 

A HAPPY FAMILY 

By mutual confidence and mutual aid 

Great deeds are done and great discoveries made. 

ANON. 

WITH the certainty of having to stay in the Discovery 
hut for some time, the party set to work at once to 
make it as comfortable as possible. With packing- 
cases a large L-shaped inner apartment was made, the 
intervals being stopped with felt, and an empty 
kerosene tin and some firebricks were made into an 
excellent little stove which was connected to the old 
stove-pipe. 

As regards food almost an unlimited supply of 
biscuit was available, and during a walk to Pram Point 
on Monday, March 6, Scott and Wilson found that the 
sea-ice in Pram Point Bay had not gone out and was 
crowded with seals, a happy find that guaranteed the 
party as much meat as they wanted. * We really have 
everything necessary for our comfort and only need 
a little more experience to make the best of our re- 
sources. ... It is splendid to see the way in which 
everyone is learning the ropes, and the resource which 

269 



270 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

is being shown. Wilson as usual leads in the making 
of useful suggestions and in generally providing for our 
wants. He is a tower of strength in checking the ill- 
usage of clothes what I have come to regard as the 
greatest danger with Englishmen/ 

On Saturday night a blizzard sprang up and gradu- 
ally increased in force until it reminded Scott and Wil- 
son of the gale which drove the Discovery ashore. The 
blizzard continued until noon on Tuesday, on which 
day the Western Geological Party (Griffith Taylor, 
Wright, Debenham and P.O. Evans) returned to the 
hut after a successful trip. 

Two days later another depot party started to 
Corner Camp, E. Evans, Wright, Crean and Forde 
in one team; Bowers, Oates, Cherry-Garrard and At- 
kinson in the other. ' It was very sporting of Wright 
to join in after only a day's rest. He is evidently a 
splendid puller/ 

During the absence of this party the comforts of 
the hut were constantly being increased, but continu- 
ous bad weather was both depressing to the men and 
very serious for the dogs. Every effort had been 
made to make the dogs comfortable, but the changes 
of wind made it impossible to give them shelter in 
all directions. At least five of them were in a sorry 
plight, and half a dozen others were by no means 
strong, but whether because they were constitutionally 
harder or whether better fitted by nature to protect 
themselves the other ten or a dozen animals were as 
fit as they could be. As it was found to be impossible 
to keep the dogs comfortable in the traces, the majority 



A HAPPY FAMILY 271 

of them were allowed to run loose; for although Scott 
feared that this freedom would mean that there would 
be some fights to the death, he thought it preferable 
to the risk of losing the animals by keeping them on 
the leash. The main difficulty with them was that 
when the ice once got thoroughly into the coats their 
hind legs became half paralysed with cold, but by 
allowing them to run loose it was hoped that they would 
be able to free themselves of this serious trouble. 
' Well, well, fortune is not being very kind to us. This 
month will have sad memories. Still I suppose things 
might be worse; the ponies are well housed and are 
doing exceedingly well. . . / 

The depot party returned to the hut on March 23, 
but though the sea by this time showed symptoms 
of wanting to freeze, there was no real sign that the 
ice would hold for many a long day. Stock therefore 
was taken of their resources, and arrangements were 
made for a much longer stay than had been anticipated. 
A week later the ice, though not thickening rapidly, 
held south of Hut Point, but the stretch from Hut 
Point to Turtle Back Island still refused to freeze even 
in calm weather, and Scott began to think that they 
might not be able to get back to Cape Evans before' 
May. Soon afterwards, however, the sea began to 
freeze over completely, and on Thursday evening, 
April 6, a programme, subject to the continuance of 
good weather, was arranged for a shift to Cape Evans. 
* It feels good,' Cherry-Garrard wrote, ' to have some- 
thing doing in the air/ But the weather prevented 
them from starting on the appointed day, and although 



272 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Scott was most anxious to get back and see that all 
was well at Cape Evans, the comfort achieved in the 
old hut was so great that he confessed himself half- 
sorry to leave it. 

Describing their life at Hut Point he says, 'We 
gather around the fire seated on packing-cases, with 
a hunk of bread and butter and a steaming pannikin 
of tea, and life is well worth living. After lunch we 
are out and about again ; there is little to tempt a long 
stay indoors, and exercise keeps us all the fitter. 

' The failing light and approach of supper drives 
us home again with good appetites about 5 or 6 o'clock, 
and then the cooks rival one another in preparing 
succulent dishes of fried seal liver. . . . Exclamations 
of satisfaction can be heard every night or nearly 
every night; for two nights ago (April 4) Wilson, who 
has proved a genius in the invention of " plats," almost 
ruined his reputation. He proposed to fry the seal 
liver in penguin blubber, suggesting that the latter 
could be freed from all rankness. . . , The " fry " 
proved redolent of penguin, a concentrated essence of 
that peculiar flavour which faintly lingers in the meat 
and should not be emphasised. Three heroes got 
through their pannikins, but the rest of us decided to 
be contented with cocoa and biscuit after tasting the 
first mouthful. 1 

' After supper we have an hour or so of smoking 

f 1 Wilson, referring to this incident in his Journal, showed no 
signs of contrition. ' Fun over a fry I made in my new penguin 
lard. It was quite a success and tasted like very bad sardine oil/ 



A HAPPY FAMILY 273 

and conversation a cheering, pleasant hour in which 
reminiscences are exchanged by a company which has 
very literally had world-wide experience. There is 
scarce a country under the sun which one or another 
of us has not travelled in, so diverse are our origins 
and occupations. 

* An hour or so after supper we tail off one by 
one. . . . Everyone can manage eight or nine hours' 
sleep without a break, and not a few would have little 
difficulty in sleeping the clock round, which goes to 
show that our exceedingly simple life is an exceedingly 
healthy one, though with faces and hands blackened 
with smoke, appearances might not lead an outsider to 
suppose it' 

On Tuesday, April 11, a start could be made for 
Cape Evans, the party consisting of Scott, Bowers, 
P.O.Evans and Taylor in one tent; E. Evans, Gran, 
Crean, Debenham and Wright in another; Wilson 
being left in charge at Hut Point, with Meares, Forde, 
Keohane, Oates, Atkinson and Cherry-Garrard. 

In fine weather they marched past Castle Rock, 
and it soon became evident that they must go well 
along the ridge before descending, and that the 
difficulty would be to get down over the cliffs. Seven 
and a half miles from the start they reached Hutton 
Rocks, a very icy and wind-swept spot, and as the 
wind rose and the light became bad at the critical 
moment they camped for a short time. Half an hour 
later the weather cleared and a possible descent to 
the ice cliffs could be seen, but between Hutton Rock 



274 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

and Erebus all the slope was much cracked aifd 
crevassed. A clear track to the edge of the cliffs was 
chosen, but on arriving there no low place could be 
found (the lowest part being 24 feet sheer drop), and 
as the wind was increasing and the snow beginning to 
drift off the ridge a quick decision had to be made. 

Then Scott went to the edge, and having made 
standing places to work the Alpine rope, Bowers, E. 
Evans and Taylor were lowered Next the sledges 
went down fully packed and then the remainder of 
the party, Scott being the last to go down. It was a 
neat and speedy piece of work, and completed in 
twenty minutes without serious frost-bites. 

The surface of ice covered with salt crystals made 
pulling very heavy to Glacier Tongue, which they 
reached about 5.30 P.M. A stiff incline on a hard 
surface followed, but as the light was failing and cracks 
were innumerable, several of the party fell in with 
considerable risk of damage. The north side, how- 
ever, was well snow-covered, with a good valley 
leading to a low ice cliff in which a broken piece 
provided an easy descent. Under the circumstances 
Scott decided to push on to Cape Evans, but darkness 
suddenly fell upon them, and after very heavy pulling 
for many hours they were so totally unable to see 
anything ahead, that at 10 P.M. they were compelled 
to pitch their camp under little Razor Back Island. 
During the night the wind began to rise, and in the 
morning a roaring blizzard was blowing, and obviously 
the ice on which they had pitched their camp was 



A HAPPY FAMILY 275 

none too safe. For hours they waited vainly for a 
lull, until at 3 P.M. Scott and Bowers went round the 
Island, with the result that they resolved to shift 
their camp to a little platform under the weather side. 
This operation lasted for two very cold hours, but 
splendid shelter was gained, the cliffs rising almost 
sheer from the tents. ' Only now and again a whirling 
wind current eddied down on the tents, which were 
well secured, but the noise of the wind sweeping over 
the rocky ridge above our heads was deafening; we 
could scarcely hear ourselves speak.' Provisions for 
only one more meal were left, but sleep all the same 
was easier to get than on the previous night, because 
they knew that they were no longer in danger of being 
swept out to sea. 

The wind moderated during the night, and early 
in the morning the party in a desperately cold and 
stiff breeze and with frozen clothes were again under 
weigh. The distance, however, was only two miles, 
and after some very hard pulling they arrived off the 
point and found that the sea-ice continued around it. 
* It was a very great relief to see the hut on rounding 
it and to hear that all was well/ 

In choosing the site of the hut Scott had thought 
of the possibility of northerly winds bringing a swell, 
but had argued, first, that no heavy northerly swell 
had ever been recorded in the Sound; secondly, that 
a strong northerly wind was bound to bring pack which 
would damp the swell; thirdly, that the locality was 
well protected by the Barne Glacier; and, lastly, 



276 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

that the beach itself showed no signs of having been 
swept by the sea. When, however, the hut had been 
erected and he found that its foundation was only 
eleven feet above the level of the sea-ice, he could not 
rid himself entirely of misgivings. 

As events turned out the hut was safe and sound 
enough, but not until Scott reached it, on April 13, 
did he realise how anxious he had been. ' In a normal 
season no thoughts of its having been in danger would 
have occurred to me, but since the loss of the ponies 
and the breaking of Glacier Tongue, I could not rid 
myself of the fear that misfortune was in the air and 
that some abnormal swell had swept the beach/ So 
when he and his party turned the small headland and 
saw that the hut was intact, a real fear was mercifully 
removed. Very soon afterwards the travellers were seen 
by two men at work near the stables, and then the nine 
occupants (Simpson, Day, Nelson, Ponting, Lashly, 
Clissold, Hooper, Anton and Demetri) came rapidly to 
meet and welcome them. In a minute the most im- 
portant events of the quiet station life were told, the 
worst news being that one pony, named Hacken- 
schmidt, and one dog had died. For the rest the hut 
arrangements had worked admirably, and the scientific 
routine of observations was in full swing. 

After their primitive life at the Discovery hut 
the interior space of the home at Cape Evans seemed 
palatial, and the comfort luxurious. ' It was very 
good to eat in civilised fashion, to enjoy the first bath 
for three months, and have contact with clean, dry 



A HAPPY FAMILY 277 

clothing-, Such fleeting hours of comfort (for custom 
soon banished their delight) are the treasured re- 
membrance of every Polar traveller. 1 Not for many 
hours or even minutes, however, was Scott in the hut 
before he was taken round to see in detail the trans- 
formation that had taken place in his absence, and in 
which a very proper pride was taken by those who 
had created it. 

First of all a visit was paid to Simpson's Corner, 
where numerous shelves laden with a profusion of self- 
recording instruments, electric batteries and switch- 
boards were to be seen, and the tickings of many 
clocks, the gentle whirr of a motor and occasionally 
the trembling note of an electric bell could be heard. 
* It took me days and even months to realise fully the 
aims of our meteorologist and the scientific accuracy 
with which he was achieving them/ 

From Simpson's Corner Scott was taken on his 
tour of inspection into Ponting's dark room, and found 
that the art of photography had never been so well 
housed within the Polar regions and rarely without 
them. * Such a palatial chamber for the development 
of negatives and prints can only be justified by the 
quality of the work produced in it, and is only justified 
in our case by such an artist as Ponting/ 

From the dark room he went on to the biologists' 
cubicle, shared, to their mutual satisfaction, by Day 
and Nelson. There the prevailing note was neatness, 
and to Day's mechanical skill everyone paid tribute. 
The heating, lighting and ventilating arrangements 



278 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

of the hut had been left entirely in his charge, and had 
been carried out with admirable success. The cook's 
corner was visited next, and Scott was very surprised 
to see the mechanical ingenuity shown by Clissold. 
* Later,' he says, * when I found that Clissold was called 
in to consult on the ailments of Simpson's motor, and 
that he was capable of constructing a dog sledge out 
of packing-cases, I was less surprised, because I knew 
by this time that he had had considerable training 
in mechanical work before he turned his attention to 
pots and pans/ 

The tour ended with an inspection of the shelters 
for the animals, and when Scott saw the stables he could 
not help regretting that some of the stalls would have 
to remain empty, though he appreciated fully the fact 
that there was ample and safe harbourage for the ten 
remaining ponies. With Lashly's help, Anton had 
completed the furnishing of the stables in a way that 
was both neat and effective. 

Only five or six dogs had been left in Demetri's 
charge, and it was at once evident that every care 
had been taken of them; not only had shelters been 
made, but a small * lean to ' had also been built to 
serve as a hospital for any sick animal. The impres- 
sions, in short, that Scott received on his return to 
Cape Evans were almost wholly pleasant, and in happy 
contrast with the fears that had assailed him on the 
homeward route. 

Not for long, however, did he, Bowers and Crean 
stay to enjoy the comforts of Cape Evans, as on 



A HAPPY FAMILY 279 

Monday, April 17, they were off again to Hut Point 
with two lo-foot sledges, a week's provisions of sledg- 
ing food, and butter, oatmeal, &c., for the hut. Scott, 
Lashly, Day and Demetri took the first sledge; 
Bowers, Nelson, Crean and Hooper the second; and 
after a rather adventurous journey, in which ' Lashly 
was splendid at camp work as of old/ they reached Hut 
Point at i P.M. on the following day, and found every- 
one well and in good spirits. The party left at the 
hut were, however, very short of seal-meat, a cause of 
anxiety, because until the sea froze over there was no 
possibility of getting the ponies back to Cape Evans. 
But three seals were reported on the Wednesday and 
promptly killed, and so Scott, satisfied that this stock 
was enough for twelve days, resolved to go back as 
soon as the weather would allow him. 

Leaving Meares in charge of the station with 
Demetri to help with the dogs, Lashly and Koehane 
to look after the ponies, and Nelson, Day and Forde 
to get some idea of the life and experience, the home- 
ward party started on Friday morning. On this 
journey Scott, Wilson, Atkinson and Crean pulled one 
sledge, and Bowers, Gates, Cherry-Garrard and Hooper 
the other. Scott's party were the leaders, and their 
sledge dragged so fearfully that the men with the sec- 
ond sledge had a very easy time in keeping up. Then 
Crean declared that although the loads were equal 
there was a great difference in the sledges. ' Bowers/ 
Scott says, ' politely assented when I voiced this senti- 
ment, but I am sure he and his party thought it the 



280 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

plea of tired men. However, there was nothing like 
proof, and he readily assented to change sledges. The 
difference was really extraordinary; we felt the new 
sledge a featherweight compared with the old, and set 
up a great pace for the home quarters regardless of 
how much we perspired/ 

All of them arrived at Cape Evans with their gar- 
ments soaked through, and as they took off their wind 
clothes showers of ice fell upon the floor. The accumu- 
lation was almost beyond belief and showed the whole 
trouble of sledging in cold weather. Clissold, how- 
ever, was at hand with * just the right meal/ an enor- 
mous dish of rice and figs, and cocoa in a bucket. The 
sledging season was at an end, and Scott admitted that 
in spite of all the losses they had sustained it was 
good to be home again, while Wilson, Oates, Atkinson 
and Cherry-Garrard, who had not seen the hut since it 
had been fitted out, were astonished at its comfort. 

On Sunday, April 23, two days after the return 
from Hut Point, the sun made its last appearance and 
the winter work was begun. Ponies for exercise were 
allotted to Bowers, Cherry-Gerrard, Hooper, Clissold, 
P.O. Evans and Crean, besides Oates and Anton, but 
in making this allotment Scott was obliged to add a 
warning that those who exercised the ponies would not 
necessarily lead them in the spring. 

Wilson at once began busily to paint, and Atkinson 
was equally busy unpacking and setting up his steril- 
isers and incubators. Wright began to wrestle with the 
electrical instruments; Oates started to make bigger 
stalls in the stables ; Cherry-Garrard employed himself 



A HAPPY FAMILY 281 

in building a stone house for taxidermy and with a 
view to getting hints for a shelter at Cape Crdzier dur- 
ing the winter, while Taylor and Debenham took 
advantage of the last of the light to examine the topog- 
raphy of the peninsula. E. Evans surveyed the Cape 
and its neighbourhood, and Simpson and Bowers, in 
addition to their other work, spent hours over balloon 
experiments. In fact everyone was overflowing with 
energy. 

On Friday, April 28, Scott, eager to get the party 
safely back from Hut Point, hoped that the sea had at 
last frozen over for good, but a gale on the following 
day played havoc with the ice; and although the strait 
rapidly froze again, the possibility of every gale clear- 
ing the sea was too great to be pleasant. Obviously, 
however, it was useless to worry over a state of affairs 
that could not be helped, and the arrangements for 
passing the winter steadily progressed. 

At Scott's request Cherry-Garrard undertook the 
editorship of the South Polar Times and the follow- 
ing notice was issued : 

The first number of the South Polar Times will be 
published on Midwinter Day. 

All are asked to send in contributions, signed 
anonymously, and to place these contributions in this 
box as soon as possible. No contributions for this 
number will be accepted after May 31. 

A selection of these will be made for publication. 
It is not intended that the paper shall be too 
scientific. 



282 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Contributions may take the form of prose, poetry 
or drawing. Contributors whose writings will lend 
themselves to illustration are asked to consult with 

the Editor as soon as possible. , ^ . 

r The Editor, 

is. P. r. 

The editor, warned by Scott that the work was 
not easy and required a lot of tact, at once placed 
great hopes in the assistance he would receive from 
Wilson, and how abundantly these hopes were fulfilled 
has been widely recognised not only by students of 
Polar literature, but also by those who admire art 
merely for art's sake. 

On the evening of Tuesday, May 2, Wilson opened 
the series of winter lectures with a paper on ' Antarctic 
Flying Birds/ and in turn Simpson, Taylor, Ponting, 
Debenham and others lectured on their special sub- 
jects. But still the Discovery hut party did not appear, 
although the strait (by May 9) had been frozen over 
for nearly a week; and repeatedly Scott expressed 
a wish that they would return. In the meantime there 
was work and to spare for everyone, and as the days 
went by Scott was also given ample opportunities to 
get a thorough knowledge of his companions. 

' I do not think/ he wrote, there can be any life 
quite so demonstrative of character as that which we 
had on these expeditions. One sees a remarkable 
reassortment of values. Under ordinary conditions 
it is so easy to carry a point with a little bounce; 
self-assertion is a mask which covers many a weakness. 



A HAPPY FAMILY 283 

. , . Here the outward show Is nothing, It is the Jn- 
. ward purpose that counts. So the " gods " dwindle and 
the humble supplant them. Pretence is useless. 

* One sees Wilson busy with pencil and colour box, 
rapidly and steadily adding to his portfolio of charm- 
ing sketches and at intervals filling the gaps in his 
zoological work of Discovery times; withal ready and 
willing to give advice and assistance to others at all 
times; his sound judgment appreciated and therefore a 
constant referee. 

' Simpson, master of his craft . . . doing the work 
of two observers at least , . . So the current meteoro- 
logical and magnetic observations are taken as never 
before on Polar expeditions/ 

' Wright, good-hearted, strong, keen, striving to 
saturate his mind with the ice problems of this wonder- 
ful region . . .* 

And then after referring in terms of praise to the 
industry of E. Evans, the versatile intellect of Taylor, 
and the thoroughness and conscientiousness of Deben- 
ham, Scott goes on to praise unreservedly the man to 
whom the whole expedition owed an immense debt of 
gratitude. 

' To Bowers' practical genius is owed much of the 
smooth working of our station. He has a natural 
method in line with which all arrangements fall, so 
that expenditure is easily and exactly adjusted to 
supply, and I have the inestimable advantage of know- 
ing the length of time which each of our possessions 
will last us and the assurance that there can be no waste. 



284 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Active mind and active body were never more happily 
blended. It is a restless activity admitting no idle 
moments and ever budding into new forms. 

1 So we see the balloon ascending under his guidance 
and anon he is away over the floe tracking the silk 
thread which held it. Such a task completed, he is 
away to exercise his pony, and later out again with the 
dogs, the last typically self-suggested, because for the 
moment there is no one else to care for these animals. 
. . . He is for the open air, seemingly incapable of 
realising any discomfort from it, and yet "his hours 
within doors spent with equal profit. For he is intent 
on tracking the problems of sledging food and clothes 
to their innermost bearings and is becoming an author- 
ity on past records. This will be no small help to me 
and one which others never could have given. 

' Adjacent to the physicists' corner of the hut At- 
kinson is quietly pursuing the subject of parasites. 
Already he is in a new world. The laying out of the 
fish trap was his action and the catches are his field of 
labour. . . . His bench with its array of microscopes, 
etc., is next the dark room in which Ponting spends 
the greater part of his life. I would describe him as 
sustained by artistic enthusiasm. . . . 

' Cherry-Garrard is another of the open-air, self- 
effacing, quiet workers ; his whole heart is in the life, 
with profound eagerness to help everyone. One has 
caught glimpses of him in tight places; sound all 
through and pretty hard also. . . . 

* Gates' whole heart is in the ponies. He is really 



A HAPPY FAMILY 285 

devoted to their care, and I believe will produce them 
in the best possible form for the sledging season. 
Opening out the stores, installing a blubber stove, etc., 
has kept him busy, whilst his satellite, Anton, is ever 
at work in the stables an excellent little man. 

4 P.O. Evans and Crean are repairing sleeping-bags, 
covering felt boots, and generally working on sledging 
kit. In fact there is no one idle, and no one who has 
the least prospect of idleness. 

On May 8 as one of the series of lectures Scott 
gave an outline of his plans for next season, and 
hinted that in his opinion the problem of reaching the 
Pole could best be solved by relying on the ponies 
and man haulage. With this opinion there was gen- 
eral agreement, for as regards glacier and summit 
work everyone seemed to distrust the dogs. At the end 
of the lecture he asked that the problem should be 
thought over and freely discussed, and that any sug- 
gestions should be brought to his notice. * It's going 
to be a tough job; that is better realised the more one 
dives into it.' 

At last, on May 13, Atkinson brought news that 
the dogs were returning, and soon afterwards Meares 
and his team arrived, and reported that the ponies 
were not far behind. For more than three weeks the 
weather at Hut Point had been exceptionally calm and 
fine, and with joy Scott saw that all of the dogs were 
looking remarkably well, and that the two ponies also 
seemed to have improved. ' It is a great comfort 
to have the men and dogs back, and a greater to 



286 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

contemplate all the ten ponies comfortably stabled 
for the winter. Everything seems to depend on these 
animals.' 

With their various occupations, lectures in the even- 
ing, and games of football when it was not unusual 
for the goal-keepers to get their toes frost-bitten 
in the afternoons, the winter passed steadily on its 
way; the only stroke of misfortune being that one 
of the dogs died suddenly and that a post-mortem did 
not reveal any sufficient cause of death. This was the 
third animal that had died without apparent reason at 
winter-quarters, and Scott became more than ever con- 
vinced that to place any confidence in the dog teams 
would be a mistake. 

On Monday, May 22, Scott, Wilson, Bowers, At- 
kinson, P.O. Evans and Clissold went off to Cape 
Royds with a go-cart which consisted of a frame- 
work of steel tubing supported on four bicycle wheels 
and sleeping-bags, a cooker and a small quantity of 
provisions. The night was spent in Shackleton's hut, 
where a good quantity of provisions was found; but 
the most useful articles that the party discovered were 
five hymn-books, for hitherto the Sunday services had 
not been fully choral because seven hymn-books were all 
that could be mustered. 

June 6 was Scott's birthday, a fact which his small 
company did not forget. At lunch an immense 
birthday cake appeared, the top of which had been 
decorated by Clissold with various devices in chocolate 
and crystallised fruit, a flag and photographs of Scott 



A HAPPY FAMILY 287 

A special dinner followed, and to this sumptuous 
meal they sat down with their sledge banners hung 
around them. 'After this luxurious meal everyone 
was very festive and amiably argumentative. As I 
write there is a group in the dark room discussing 
political progress with large discussions, another at 
one corner of the dinner table airing its views on the 
origin of matter and the probability of its ultimate 
discovery, and yet another debating military problems. 
. . . Perhaps these arguments are practically unprofit- 
able, but they give a great deal of pleasure to the 
participants. . . . They are boys, all of them, but 
such excellent good-natured ones; there has been no 
sign of sharpness or anger, no jarring note, in all these 
wordy contests; all end with a laugh. Nelson has 
offered Taylor a pair of socks to teach him some geol- 
ogy ! This lulls me to sleep ! * 

On Monday evening, June 12, E. Evans gave a 
lecture on surveying, and Scott took the opportunity 
to note a few points to which he wanted especial 
attention to be directed. The essential points were: 

1. Every officer who takes part in the Southern 
journey ought to have in his memory the approximate 
variation of the compass at various stages of the jour- 
ney and to know how to apply it to obtain a true course 
from the compass. . . . 

2. He ought to know what the true course is to reach 
one depot from another. 

3. He should be able to take an observation with the 
theodolite. 



288 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

4. He should be able to work out a meridian altitude 
observation. 

5. He could advantageously add to his knowledge 
the ability to work out a longitude observation or an 
ex-meridian altitude. 

6. He should know how to read the sledgemeter. 

7. He should note and remember the error of the 
watch he carries and the rate which is ascertained for 
it from time to time. 

8. He should assist the surveyor by noting the co- 
incidences of objects, the opening out of valleys, the 
observation of new peaks, &c. 

That these hints upon Polar surveying did not fall 
upon deaf ears is proved by a letter Scott wrote home 
some four months later. In it he says ' " Cherry " 
has just come to me with a very anxious face to say 
that I must not count on his navigating powers. For 
the moment I didn't know what he was driving at, 
but then I remembered that some months ago I said 
that it would be a good thing for all the officers going 
South to have some knowledge of navigation so 
that in emergency they would know how to steer a 
sledge home. It appears that " Cherry " thereupon 
commenced a serious and arduous course of abstruse 
navigational problems which he found exceedingly 
tough and now despaired mastering. Of course there 
is not one chance in a hundred that he will ever have 
to consider navigation on our journey and in that one 
chance the problem must be of the simplest nature, 
but it makes it much easier for me to have men who 



A HAPPY FAMILY 289 

take the details of one's work so seriously and 
who strive so simply and honestly to make it suc- 
cessful/ 

In Wilson's diary there is also this significant entry : 
* Working at latitude sights mathematics which I hate 
till bedtime. It will be wiser to know a little naviga- 
tion on the Southern sledge journey/ 

Some time before Scott's suggestions stimulated 
his companions to master subjects which they found 
rather difficult and irksome, a regular daily routine had 
begun. About 7 A.M. Clissold began to prepare break- 
fast, and half an hour later Hooper started to sweep 
the floor and lay the table. Between 8 and 8.30 the 
men were out and about doing odd jobs, Anton going 
off to feed the ponies, Demetri to see to the dogs. Re- 
peatedly Hooper burst upon the slumberers with an- 
nouncements of the time, and presently Wilson and 
Bowers met in a state of nature beside a washing 
basin filled with snow and proceeded to rub glistening 
limbs with this chilly substance. A little later others 
with less hardiness could be seen making the most of a 
meagre allowance of water. A few laggards invariably 
ran the nine o'clock rule very close, and a little pressure 
had to be applied so that they should not delay the 
day's work. 

By 9.20 breakfast was finished, and in ten minutes 
the table was cleared. Then for four hours the men 
were steadily employed on a programme of prepara- 
tion for sledging. About 1.30 a cheerful half -hour was 
spent over the mid-day meal, and afterwards, if the 



290 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

weather permitted, the ponies were exercised, and 
those who were not employed in this way generally 
exercised themselves in some way or other. After this 
the officers went steadily on with their special work 
until 6*30, when dinner was served and finished within 
the hour. Then came reading, writing, games, and 
usually the gramophone, but three nights of the week 
were given up to lectures. At n P.M. the acetylene 
lights were put out, and those who wished to stay 
up had to depend on candle-light. The majority of 
candles, however, were extinguished by midnight, and 
the night watchman alone remained awake to keep his 
vigil by the light of an oil lamp. 

Extra bathing took place either on Saturday after- 
noon or Sunday morning ; chins were shaven, and pos- 
sibly clean clothes put on. ' Such signs, with the regu- 
lar service on Sunday, mark the passage of the weeks. 
It is not a very active life, perhaps, but certainly not 
an idle one. Few of us sleep more than eight hours 
of the twenty- four/ 

On June 19, Day gave a lecture on his motor sledge 
and was very hopeful of success, but Scott again ex- 
pressed his doubts and fears. * I fear he is rather 
more sanguine in temperament than his sledge is reli- 
able in action. I wish I could have more confidence 
in his preparations, as he is certainly a delightful 
companion/ Three days later Midwinter was cele- 
brated with great festivities, and after lunch the 
Editor handed over the first number of the S. P. T. to 
Scott. Everyone at once gathered at the top of 



A HAPPY FAMILY 291 

the table; 'It was like a lot of schoolgirls round a 
teacher ' is the editor's description of the scene, and 
Scott read aloud most of the contents. An article 
called ' Valhalla/ written by Taylor, some verses 
called 'The Sleeping Bag/ and Wilson's illustra- 
tions to t Antarctic Archives * were the popular fa- 
vourites; indeed the editor attributed the success of 
the paper mainly to Wilson, though Day's delightful 
cover of carved venesta wood and sealskin was also 
4 a great help/ As all the contributions were anony- 
mous great fun was provided by attempts to guess 
the various authors, and some of the denials made 
by the contributors were perhaps more modest than 
strictly truthful. 

These festive proceedings, however, were almost 
solemn when compared with the celebrations of the 
evening. In preparation for dinner the ' Union Jacks ' 
and sledge flags were hung about the large table, and 
at seven o'clock everyone sat down to a really good 
dinner. 

Scott spoke first, and drew attention to the nature 
of the celebration as a half-way mark not only in 
the winter but in the plans of the expedition. Fearing 
in his heart of hearts that some of the company did 
not realise how rapidly the weeks were passing, and 
that in consequence work which ought to have been 
in full swing had barely been begun, he went on to 
say that it was time they knew how they stood in 
every respect, and especially thanked the officer in 
charge of the stores and those who looked after the 



292 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

animals, for knowing the exact position as regards 
provision and transport. Then he said that in respect 
to the future chance must play a great part, but that 
experience showed him that no more fitting men could 
have been chosen to support him on the journey to the 
South than those who were to start in that direction 
in the following spring. Finally he thanked all of his 
companions for having put their shoulders to the wheel 
and given him so much confidence. 

Thereupon they drank to the Success of the Ex- 
pedition, and afterwards everyone was called to speak 
in turn. 

e Needless to say, all were entirely modest and brief; 
unexpectedly, all had exceedingly kind things to say 
of me in fact I was obliged to request the omissions 
of compliments at an early stage. Nevertheless 
it was gratifying to have a really genuine recognition 
of my attitude towards the scientific workers of the 
expedition, and I felt very warmly towards all these 
kind, good fellows for expressing it. If good will 
and fellowship count towards success, very surely shall 
we deserve to succeed. It was matter for comment, 
much applauded, that there had not been a single 
disagreement between any two members of our party 
from the beginning. By the end of dinner a very 
cheerful spirit prevailed/ 

The table having been cleared and upended and the 
chairs arranged in rows, Ponting displayed a series of 
slides from his own local negatives, and then, after the 
healths of Campbell's party and of those on board 



A HAPPY FAMILY 293 

the Terra Nova had been drunk, a set of lancers was 
formed. In the midst of this scene of revelry Bowers 
suddenly appeared, followed by satellites bearing an 
enormous Christmas tree, the branches of which bore 
flaming; candles, gaudy crackers, and little presents for 
everyone; the distribution of which caused infinite 
amusement. Thus the high festival of Midwinter was 
celebrated in the most convivial way, but that it was 
so reminiscent of a Christmas spent in England was 
partly, at any rate, due to those kind people who had 
anticipated the celebration by providing presents and 
other tokens of their interest in the expedition. 

* Few/ Scott says, * could take great exception to 
so rare an outburst in a long run of quiet days. After 
all we celebrated the birth of a season, which for weal 
or woe must be numbered amongst the greatest in our 
lives/ 



CHAPTER V 

WINTER 

Come what may 
Time and the hour runs through the darkest day. 

SHAKESPEARE. 

DURING the latter part of June the Cape Crozier Party 
were busy in making preparations for their departure. 
The object of their journey to the Emperor penguin 
rookery in the cold and darkness of an Antarctic win- 
ter was to secure eggs at such a stage as could furnish 
a series of early embryos, by means of which alone the 
particular points of interest in the development of the 
bird could be worked out. As the Emperor is pecul- 
iar in nesting at the coldest season of the year, this 
journey entailed the risk of sledge travelling in mid- 
winter, and the travellers had also to traverse about a 
hundred miles of the Barrier surface, and to cross a 
chaos of crevasses which had previously taken a party 
as much as two hours to cross by daylight. 

Such was the enterprise for which Wilson, Bowers 
and Cherry-Garrard were with the help of others 
making preparations, and apart from the extraordi- 

294 



WINTER 295 

narily adventurous side of this journey, it was most 
interesting because the travellers were to make several 
experiments. Each man was to go on a different 
food scale, eiderdown sleeping-bags were to be carried 
inside the reindeer ones, and a new kind of crampon 
and a double tent were to be tried. ' I came across a 
hint as to the value of a double tent in Sverdrup's book, 
" New Land," ' Scott wrote on June 20, * and P.O. 
Evans has made a lining for one of the tents, it is 
secured on the inner side of the poles and provides 
an air space inside the tent. I think it is going to be 
a great success/ 

By the 26th preparations for the party to start from 
Cape Evans were completed, their heavy load when 
they set out on the following morning being distributed 
\>n two g- foot sledges. ' This winter travel is a new 
and bold venture, but the right men have gone to at- 
tempt it. All good luck go with them ! ' 

While the winter travellers were pursuing their 
strenuous way work went steadily on at Cape Evans, 
with no exciting nor alarming incident until July 4. 
On the morning of that day the wind blew furiously, 
but it moderated a little in the afternoon when Atkin- 
son and Gran, without Scott's knowledge, decided to 
start over the floe for the North and South Bay ther- 
mometers respectively. This happened at 5.30 P.M., 
and Gran had returned by 6.45, but not until later did 
Scott hear that he had only gone two or three hundred 
yards from the land, and that it had taken him nearly 
an hour to find his way back. 



296 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Atkinson's continued absence passed unnoticed un- 
til dinner was nearly finished, but Scott did not feel 
seriously alarmed until the wind sprang up again 
and still the wanderer did not return. At 9.30, P.O. 
Evans, Crean and Keohane, who had been out looking 
for him, returned without any news, and the possibility 
of a serious accident had to be faced. Organised 
search parties were at once despatched, Scott and 
Clissold alone remaining in the hut. And as the 
minutes slipped slowly by Scott's fears naturally 
increased, as Atkinson had started for a point not 
much more than a mile off and had been away more 
than five hours. From that fact only one conclusion 
could be drawn, and there was but small comfort to 
be got from the knowledge that every spot which was 
likely to be the scene of an accident would be thoroughly 
searched. 

Thus ii o'clock came, then 11.30 with its six hours 
of absence; and the strain of waiting became almost 
unbearable. But a quarter of an hour later Scott 
heard voices from the Cape, and presently, to his 
extreme relief, Meares and Debenham appeared with 
Atkinson, who was badly frost-bitten in the hand, and, 
as was to be expected after such an adventure, very 
confused. 

At 2 A.M. Scott wrote in his, diary, c The search 
parties have returned and all is well again, out we must 
have no more of these very unnecessary escapades. 
Yet it is impossible not to realise that this bit of experi- 
ence has done more than all the talking I could have 



WINTER 297 

ever accomplished to bring home to our people the 
dangers of a blizzard.' 

On investigation it was obvious that Atkinson 
had been in great danger. First of all he had hit In- 
accessible Island, and not until he arrived in its lee 
did he discover that his hand was frost-bitten. Having 
waited there for some time he groped his way to the 
western end, and then wandering away in a swirl of 
drift to clear some irregularities at the ice- foot, he 
completely lost the island when he could only have 
been a few yards from it. In this predicament he 
clung to the old idea of walking up wind, and it must 
be considered wholly providential that on this course 
he next struck Tent Island. Round this island he 
walked under the impression that it was Inaccessible 
Island, and at last dug himself a shelter on its lee side. 
When the moon appeared he judged its bearing well, 
and as he travelled homeward was vastly surprised to 
see the real Inaccessible Island appear on his left. 
' There can be no doubt that in a blizzard a man has 
not only to safeguard the circulation in his limbs, but 
must struggle with a sluggishness of brain and an 
absence of reasoning power which is far more likely to 
undo him/ 

About mid-day on Friday, July 7, the worst gale 
that Scott had ever known in Antarctic regions began, 
and went on for a week. The force of the wind, al- 
though exceptional, had been equalled earlier in the 
year, but the extraordinary feature of this gale was 
the long continuance of a very cold temperature. On 



298 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Friday night the thermometer registered 39, and 
throughout Saturday and the greater part of Sunday 
it did not rise above 35. It was Scott's turn for 
duty on Saturday night, and whenever he had to go 
out of doors the impossibility of enduring such condi- 
tions for any length of time was impressed forcibly 
upon him. The fine snow beat in behind his wind 
guard, the gusts took away his breath, and ten paces 
against the wind were enough to cause real danger of a 
frost-bitten face. To clear the anemometer vane he had 
to go to the other end of the hut and climb a ladder; 
and twice while engaged in this task he had literally to 
lean against the wind with head bent and face averted, 
and so stagger crab-like on his course. 

By Tuesday the temperature had risen to +5 or 
+ 7, but the gale still continued and the air was thick 
with snow. The knowledge, however, that the dogs 
were comfortable was a great consolation to Scott, 
and he also found both amusement and pleasure in 
observing the customs of the people in charge of the 
stores. The policy of every storekeeper was to have 
something up his sleeve for a rainy day, and an ex- 
cellent policy Scott thought it. * Tools, metal material 
leather, straps, and dozens of items are administered 
with the same spirit of jealous guardianship by Day, 
Lashly, Gates and Meares, while our main storekeeper 
Bowers even affects to bemoan imaginary shortages. 
Such parsimony is the best guarantee that we are pre- 
pared to face any serious call/ 

For an hour on Wednesday afternoon the wind 



WINTER 299 

moderated, atid the ponies were able to get a short 
walk over the floe, but this was only a temporary lull, 
for the gale was soon blowing as furiously as ever. 
And the following night brought not only a continu- 
ance of the bad weather but also bad news. At mid- 
day one of the best ponies, Bones, suddenly went off his 
feed, and in spite of Dates' and Anton's most careful 
attention he soon became critically ill. Gates gave him 
an opium pill and later on a second, and sacks were 
heated and placed on the suffering animal, but hour 
after hour passed without any improvement. As the 
evening wore on Scott again and again visited the 
stable, only to hear the same tale from Gates and 
Crean, 1 who never left their patient. ' Towards mid- 
night/ Scott says, 1 1 felt very downcast. It is so cer- 
tain that we cannot afford to lose a single pony the 
margin of safety has already been overstepped, we are 
reduced to face the circumstance that we must keep all 
the animals alive or greatly risk failure/ 

Shortly after midnight, however, there were signs 
of an improvement, and two or three hours afterwards 
the pony was out of danger and proceeded to make a 
rapid and complete recovery. So far, since the return 
to Cape Evans, the ponies had given practically no 
cause for anxiety, and in consequence Scott's hopes 
that all would continue to be well with them had 
steadily grown; but this shock shattered his sense of 
security, and although various alterations were made 
in the arrangements of the stables and extra pre- 
1 Bones was the pony which had been allotted to Crean. 



300 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

cautions were taken as regards food, he was never 
again without alarms for the safety of the precious 
ponies. 

Another raging blizzard swept over Cape Evans on 
July 22 and 23, but the spirit of good comradeship 
still survived in spite of the atrocious weather and the 
rather monotonous life. ( There is no longer room for 
doubt that we shall come to our work with a unity 
of purpose and a disposition for mutual support which 
have never been equalled in these paths of activity. 
Such a spirit should tide us over all minor diffi- 
culties/ 

By the end of the month Scott was beginning to 
wonder why the Crozier Party did not return, but on 
Tuesday, August i, they came back looking terribly 
weather-worn and * after enduring for five weeks the 
hardest conditions on record/ Their faces were 
scarred and wrinkled, their eyes dull, and their hands 
whitened and creased with the constant exposure to 
damp and cold. Quite obviously the main part of 
their afflictions arose from sheer lack of sleep, and after 
a night's rest they were very different people both in 
mind and body. 

Writing on August 2, Scott says, * Wilson is very 
thin, but this morning very much his keen, wiry 
self Bowers is quite himself to-day. Cherry-Garrard 
is slightly puffy in the face and still looks worn. It 
is evident that he has suffered most severely but 
Wilson tells me that his spirit never wavered for a 
moment. Bowers has come through best, all things 



WINTER 301 

considered, and I believe that he is the hardest traveller 
that ever undertook a Polar journey, as well as one 
of the most undaunted; more by hint than direct state- 
ment I gather his value to the party, his untiring energy 
and the astonishing physique which enables him to con- 
tinue to work under conditions which are absolutely 
paralysing to others. Never was such a sturdy, active, 
undef eatable little man/ 

Gradually Scott gathered an account of this won- 
derful journey from the three travellers who had made 
it. For more than a week the thermometer fell below 
60, and on one night the minimum showed 71, 
and on the next 77. Although in this fearful cold 
the air was comparatively still, occasional little puffs 
of wind eddied across the snow plain with blighting 
effect. ' No civilised being has ever encountered such 
conditions before with only a tent of thin canvas to 
rely on for shelter/ Records show that Amundsen 
when journeying to the N. magnetic pole met tempera- 
tures of a similar degree, but he was with Esquimaux 
who built him an igloo shelter nightly, he had also a 
good measure of daylight, and finally he turned home- 
ward and regained his ship after five days' absence, 
while this party went outward and were absent for 
five weeks. 

Nearly a fortnight was spent in crossing the coldest 
region, and then rounding C. Mackay they entered 
the wind-swept area. Blizzard followed blizzard, 
but in a light that was little better than complete 
darkness they staggered on. Sometimes they found 



302 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

themselves high on the slopes of Terror on the left of 
the track, sometimes diving on the right amid crevasses 
and confused ice disturbance. Having reached the 
foothills near Cape Crozier they ascended 800 feet, 
packed their belongings over a moraine ridge, and be- 
gan to build a hut Three days were spent in building 
the stone walls and completing the roof with the canvas 
brought for the purpose, and then at last they could 
attend to the main object of their journey. 

The scant twilight at mid-day was so short that a 
start had to be made in the dark, and consequently they 
ran the risk of missing their way in returning without 
light. At their first attempt they failed to reach the 
penguin rookery, but undismayed they started again 
on the following day, and wound their way through 
frightful ice disturbances under the high basalt cliffs. 
In places the rock overhung, and at one spot they had 
to creep through a small channel hollowed in the ice. 
At last the sea-ice was reached, but by that time the 
light was so far spent that everything had to be rushed. 
Instead of the 2,000 or 3,000 nesting birds that had 
been, seen at this rookery in Discovery days, they could 
only count about a hundred. As a reason for this a 
suggestion was made that possibly the date was too 
early, and that if the birds had not permanently 
deserted the rookery only the first arrivals had been 
seen. 

With no delay they killed and skinned three 
penguins to get blubber for their stove, and with six 
eggs, only three of which were saved, made a hasty 



WINTER 303 

dash for their camp, which by good luck they re- 
gained. 

On that same night a blizzard began, and from 
moment to moment increased in fury. Very soon they 
found that the place where they had, with the hope of 
shelter, built their hut, was unfortunately chosen, for 
the wind instead of striking them directly was de- 
flected on to them in furious, whirling gusts. Heavy 
blocks of snow and rock placed on the roof were hurled 
away and the canvas ballooned up, its disappearance 
being merely a question of time. 

Close to the hut they had erected their tent and 
had left several valuable articles inside it ; the tent had 
been well spread and amply secured with snow and 
boulders, but one terrific gust tore it up and whirled it 
away. Inside the hut they waited for the roof to van- 
ish, and wondered, while they vainly tried to make it 
secure, what they could do if it went. After fourteen 
hours it disappeared, as they were trying to pin down 
one corner. Thereupon the smother of snow swept 
over them, and all they could do was to dive immedi- 
ately for their sleeping-bags. Once Bowers put out his 
head and said, * We're all right/ in as ordinary tones 
as he could manage, whereupon Wilson and Cherry- 
Garrard replied, ' Yes, we're all right ' ; then all of 
them were silent for a night and half a day, while 
the wind howled and howled, and the snow entered 
every chink and crevice of their sleeping-bags. 

' This gale/ Scott says, ' was the same (July 23) 
in which we registered our maximum wind force, and 



304 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

it seems probable that it fell on Cape Crozier even more 
violently than on us/ 

The wind fell at noon on the following day, and 
the wretched travellers then crept from their icy nests, 
spread the floorcloth over their heads, and lit their 
primus. For the first time in forty-eight hours they 
tasted food, and having eaten their meal under these 
extraordinary conditions they began to talk of plans 
to build shelters on the homeward route. Every 
night, they decided, they must dig a large pit 
and cover it as best they could with their floor- 
cloth. 

Fortune, however, was now to befriend them, as 
about half a mile from the hut Bowers discovered their 
tent practically uninjured. But on the following day 
when they started homeward another blizzard fell upon 
them, and kept them prisoners for two more days. 

By this time the miserable condition of their effects 
was beyond description. The sleeping-bags could not 
be rolled up, in fact they were so thoroughly frozen 
that attempts to bend them actually broke the skins. 
All socks, finnesko, and mits had long been coated with 
ice, and when placed in breast-pockets or inside vests 
at night they did not even show signs of thawing. 
Indeed it is scarcely possible to realise the horrible 
discomforts of these three forlorn travellers, as they 
plodded back across the Barrier in a temperature con- 
stantly below 60. 

* Wilson/ Scott wrote, ' is disappointed at seeing 
so little of the penguins, but to me and to everyone 



WINTER 305 

who has remained here the result of this effort is the 
appeal it makes to our imagination as one of the most 
gallant stories of Polar history. That men should 
wander forth in the depth of a Polar night to face the 
most dismal cold and the fiercest gales in darkness is 
something new ; that they should have persisted in this 
effort in spite of every adversity for five full weeks is 
heroic. It makes a tale for our generation which I 
hope may not be lost in the telling. 

' Moreover the material results are by no means 
despicable. We shall know now when that extraor- 
dinary bird the Emperor penguin lays its eggs, and 
under what conditions; but even if our information 
remains meagre concerning its embryology, our party 
has shown the nature of the conditions which exist on 
the Great Barrier in winter. Hitherto we have only 
imagined their severity; now we have proof, and a 
positive light is thrown on the local climatology of our 
Strait/ 

Of the indomitable spirit shown by his companions 
on this journey Cherry-Garrard gives wonderful and 
convincing proof in his diary. Bowers, with his capac- 
ity for sleeping under the most distressing conditions, 
was ' absolutely magnificent '; and the story of how he 
arranged a line by which he fastened the cap of the tent 
to himself, so that if it went away a second time it 
should not be unaccompanied, is only one of the many 
tales of his resource and determination. 

In addition to the eggs that the party had brought 
back and the knowledge of the winter conditions on 



306 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the Barrier that they had gained, their journey settled 
several points in connection with future sledging work. 
They had travelled on a very simple food ration in 
different and extreme proportions, for the only pro- 
visions they took were pemmican, butter, biscuit 
and tea. After a short experience they found that 
Wilson, who had arranged for the greatest quantity of 
fat, had too much of it, while Cherry-Garrard, who 
had declared for biscuit, had more than he could eat. 
Then a middle course was struck which gave a pro- 
portion agreeable to all of them, and which at the 
same time suited the total quantities of their various 
articles of food. The only change that was suggested 
was the addition of cocoa for the evening meal, because 
the travellers, thinking that tea robbed them of their 
slender chance of sleep, had contented themselves with 
hot water. ' In this way/ Scott decided, ' we have 
arrived at a simple and suitable ration for the inland 
plateau. 3 

Of the sleeping-bags there was little to be said, for 
although the eiderdown bag might be useful for a short 
spring trip, it became iced up too quickly to be much 
good on a long journey. Bowers never used his eider- 
down bag, 1 and in some miraculous manner he managed 
more than once to turn his reindeer bag. The weights 
of the sleeping-bags before and after the journey give 
some idea of the ice collected. 

1 He insisted upon giving it to Cherry-Gar rard. * It was/ the 
latter says, 'wonderfully self-sacrificing of him, more than I 
can write. I felt a brute to take it, but I was getting useless 
unless I got some sleep, which ray big bag would not allow/ 



WINTER 307 

Starting Final 
Weight Weight 

Wilson, reindeer and eiderdown . 17 Ibs. 40 Ibs. 
Bowers, reindeer only . . 17 " 33 " 
C.-Garrard, reindeer and eiderdown 18 " 45 " 

The double tent was considered a great success, 
and the new crampons were much praised except by 
Bowers, whose fondness for the older form was not 
to be shaken. ' We have discovered/ Scott stated in 
summing up the results of the journey, * a hundred 
details of clothes, rnits, and footwear: there seems no 
solution to the difficulties which attach to these articles 
in extreme cold ; all Wilson can say, speaking broadly, 
is " The gear is excellent, excellent." One continues 
to wonder as to the possibilities of fur clothing as made 
by the Esquimaux, with a sneaking feeling that it may 
outclass our more civilised garb. For us this can only 
be a matter of speculation, as it would have been quite 
impossible to have obtained such articles. With the 
exception of this radically different alternative, I feel 
sure we are as near perfection as experience can direct 
At any rate we can now hold that our system of cloth- 
ing has come through a severer test than any other, fur 
included/ 

With the return of the Cape Crozier Party lectures 
were resumed, and apart from one or two gales the 
weather was so good and the returning light so stimu- 
lating both to man and beast, that the spirits of the 
former rose apace while those of the latter became 
almost riotous when exercised. On August 10, Scott 



308 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

definitely told off the ponies for the Southern journey, 
and the new masters were to take charge on September 
i, so that they could exercise their respective animals 
and get to know them as well as possible. The new 
arrangement was : 

Bowers . Victor 

Wilson . . . . Nobby 

Atkinson . . . Jehu 

Wright .... Chinaman 

Cherry-Garrard . . Michael 

Evans (P.O.) . . . Snatcher 

Crean .... Bones 

Keohane . . . Jimmy Pigg 

Oates .... Christopher 

Scott and Oates . . Snippets. 

On the same day Oates gave his second excellent 
lecture on * Horse Management/ and afterwards the 
problem of snow-shoes was seriously discussed. Be- 
sides the problem of the form of the shoes was also 
the question of the means of attachment, and as to 
both points all sorts of suggestions were made. At that 
time Scott's opinion was that the pony snow-shoes they 
had, which were made on the grating or racquet prin- 
ciple, would probably be the best, the only alternative 
seeming to be to perfect the principle of the lawn mow- 
ing shoe. ' Perhaps/ he adds, ' we shall come to both 
kinds : the first for the quiet animals and the last for 
the more excitable. I ami confident the matter is of first 
importance/ 



WINTER 309 

Ten days later Scott had to admit that the ponies 
were becoming a handful, and for the time being they 
would have been quite unmanageable if they had been 
given any oats. As it was, Christopher, Snippets and 
Victor were suffering from such high spirits that all 
three of them bolted on the 2ist. 

A prolonged gale arrived just as the return of the 
sun was due, and for three days everyone was more 
or less shut up in the hut. Although the temperature 
was not especially low anyone who went outside for 
even the briefest moment had to dress in wind clothes, 
because exposed woollen or cloth materials became so 
instantaneously covered with powdery crystals, that 
when they were brought back into the warmth they 
were soon wringing wet. When, however, there 
was no drift it was quicker and easier to slip on an 
overcoat, and for his own garment of this description 
Scott admits a sentimental attachment. ' I must 
confess/ he says, ' an affection for my veteran uniform 
overcoat, inspired by its persistent utility. I find that 
it is twenty-three years of age and can testify to its 
strenuous existence. It has been spared neither rain, 
wind, nor salt sea spray, tropic heat nor Arctic cold; 
it has outlived many sets of buttons, from their glit- 
tering gilded youth to green old age, and it supports 
its four-stripe shoulder straps as gaily as the single 
lace ring of the early days which proclaimed it the 
possession of a humble sub-lieutenant. Withal it is 
still a very long way from the fate of the " one-horse 
shay." ' 



310 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Not until August 26 did the sun appear, and every- 
one was at once out and about and in the most cheerful 
frame of mind. The shouts and songs of men could 
be heard for miles, and the outlook on life of every 
member of the expedition seemed suddenly to have 
changed. For if there is little that is new to be said 
about the return of the sun in Polar regions, it must 
always be a very real and important event to those 
who have lived without it for so many months, and who 
have almost forgotten the sensation of standing in 
brilliant sunshine. 



CHAPTER VI 

GOOD-BYE TO CAPE EVANS 

So far as I can venture to offer an opinion on such a matter, 
the purpose of our being in existence, the highest object that 
human beings can set before themselves, is not the pursuit of 
any such chimera as the annihilating of the unknown; but it Is 
simply the unwearied endeavour to remove its boundaries a little 
further from our little sphere of action. HUXLEY. 

WITH the return of the sun preparations for the sum- 
mer campaign continued more zealously and indus- 
triously than ever, and what seemed like a real start 
was made when Meares and Demetri went off to Hut 
Point on September I with the dog teams. For such an 
early departure there was no real reason unless Meares 
hoped to train the dogs better when he had got them to 
himself ; but he chose to start, and Scott, after setting 
out the work he had to do, left him to come and go be- 
tween the two huts as he pleased. 

Meanwhile with Bowers' able assistance Scott set to 
work at sledging figures, and although he felt as the 
scheme developed that their organisation would not 
be found wanting, he was also a little troubled by the 
immense amount of detail, and by the fact that every 
arrangement had to be more than usually elastic, so 
that both the complete success and the utter failure of 

311 



3 i2 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the motors could be taken fully into account. ( I think/ 
he says, ' that our plan will carry us through without 
the motors (though in that case nothing else must fail), 
and will take full advantage of such help as the motors 
may give/ 

The spring travelling could not be extensive, because 
of necessity the majority of the company had to stay at 
home and exercise the ponies, which was not likely to 
be a light task when the food of these enterprising 
animals was increased. E. Evans, Gran and Forde, 
however, were to go and re-mark Corner Camp, and 
then Meares with his dogs was to carry as much fodder 
there as possible, while Bowers, Simpson, P.O. Evans 
and Scott were to ' stretch their legs ' across the West- 
ern Mountains. 

During the whole of the week ending on September 
10, Scott was occupied with making detailed plans for 
the Southern journey, every figure being checked by 
Bowers, l who has been an enormous help/ And later 
on, in speaking of the transport department, Scott says, 
' In spite of all the care I have taken to make the details 
of my plan clear by lucid explanation, I find that 
Bowers is the only man on whom I can thoroughly 
rely to carry out the work without mistakes/ The 
result of this week's work and study was that Scott 
came to the conclusion that there would be no difficulty 
in getting to the Glacier if the motors were successful, 
and that even if the motors failed they still ought to 
get there with any ordinary degree of good fortune. 
To work three units of four men from that point on- 



GOOD-BYE TO CAPE EVANS 313 

ward would, he admitted, take a large amount of pro- 
visions, but with the proper division he thought that 
they ought to attain their object. ' I have tried/ he 
said, ' to take every reasonable possibility of misfortune 
into consideration ; . . . I fear to be too sanguine, yet 
taking everything into consideration I feel that our 
chances ought to be good. The animals are in splen- 
did form. Day by day the ponies get fitter as their 
exercise increases. . . . But we cannot spare any 
of the ten, and so there must always be anxiety of 
the disablement of one or more before their work is 
done/ 

Apart from the great help he would obtain if the 
motors were successful, Scott was very eager that they 
should be of some use so that all the time, money and 
thought which had been given to their construction 
should not be entirely wasted. But whatever the out- 
come of these motors, his belief in the possibility 
of motor traction for Polar work remained, though 
while it was in an untried and evolutionary state he 
was too cautious and wise a leader to place any definite 
reliance upon it. 

If, however, Scott was more than a little doubtful 
about the motors, he was absolutely confident about 
the men who were chosen for the Southern advance. 
' All are now experienced sledge travellers, knit to- 
gether with a bond of friendship that has never been 
equalled tinder such circumstances. Thanks to these 
people, and more especially to Bowers and Petty Officer 
Evans, there is not a single detail of our equipment 



314 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

which is not arranged with the utmost care and in 
accordance with the tests of experience.' 

On Saturday, September 9, E. R. Evans, Forde and 
Gran left for Corner Camp, and then for a few days 
Scott was busy finishing up the Southern plans, getting 
Instruction in photography, and preparing for his jour- 
ney to the west On the Southern trip he had deter- 
mined to make a better show of photographic work 
than had yet been accomplished, and with Ponting as 
eager to help others as he was to produce good work 
himself an invaluable instructor was at hand. 

With the main objects of having another look at the 
Ferrar Glacier and of measuring the stakes put out by 
Wright in the previous year, of bringing their sledge 
impressions up to date, and of practising with their 
cameras, Scott and his party started off to the west on 
the 1 5th, without having decided precisely where they 
were going or how long they would stay away. 

Two and a half days were spent in reaching Butter 
Point, and then they proceeded up the Ferrar Glacier 
and reached the Cathedral Rocks on the igth. There 
they found the stakes placed by Wright across the 
glacier, and spent the remainder of that day and the 
whole of the next in plotting accurately their position. 
* Very cold wind down glacier increasing. In spite 
of this Bowers wrestled with theodolite. He is really 
wonderful. I have never seen anyone who could go on 
so long with bare fingers. My own fingers went every 
few moments/ 

After plotting out the figures it turned out that th? 



GOOD-BYE TO CAPE E,VANS 315 

movement varied from 24 to 32 feet, an extremely 
important observation, and the first made on the 
movements of the coastal glaciers. Though a greater 
movement than Scott expected to find, it was small 
enough to show that the idea of comparative stagna- 
tion was correct. On the next day they came down 
the Glacier, and then went slowly up the coast, dipping 
into New Harbour, where they climbed the moraine, 
took angles and collected rock specimens. At Cape 
Bernacchi a quantity of pure quartz was found, and in 
it veins of copper ore an interesting discovery, for it 
was the first find of minerals suggestive of the possi- 
bility of working. 

On the next day they sighted a long, low ice wall, 
and at a distance mistook it for a long glacier tongue 
stretching seaward from the land. But as they ap- 
proached it they saw a dark mark, and it suddenly 
dawned upon them that the tongue was detached from 
the land. Half recognising familiar features they 
turned towards it, and as they got close they saw that 
it was very like their old Erebus Glacier Tongue. Then 
they sighted a flag upon it, and realised that it was the 
piece broken off from the Erebus Tongue. Near the 
outer end they camped, and climbing on to it soon 
found the depot of fodder left by Campbell, and the 
line of stakes planted to guide the ponies in the autumn. 
So there, firmly anchored, was the piece broken from 
the Glacier Tongue in the previous March, a huge 
tract about two miles long which had turned through 
half a circle, so that the old western end was towards 



3i6 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the east. ' Considering the many cracks in the ice mass 
it is most astonishing that it should have remained 
intact throughout its sea voyage. At one time it was 
suggested that the hut should be placed on this Tongue. 
What an adventurous voyage the occupants would 
have had! The Tongue which was 5 miles south of 
Cape Evans is now 40 miles W.N.W. of it/ 

From the Glacier Tongue they still pushed north, 
and on the 24th, just before the fog descended upon 
them, they got a view along the stretch of coast to 
the north. So far the journey had been more pleasant 
than Scott had anticipated, but two days after they 
had turned back a heavy blizzard descended upon 
them, and although an attempt was made to continue 
marching, they were soon compelled to camp. After 
being held up completely on the 27th they started 
again on the following day in a very frost-biting wind. 
From time to time they were obliged to halt so that 
their frozen features could be brought round, Simpson 
suffering more than the rest of the party; and with 
drift coming on again they were weather-bound in 
their tent during the early part of the afternoon. 
At 3 P.M., however, the drift ceased, and they started 
off once more in a wind as biting as ever. Then Scott 
saw an ominous yellow fuzzy appearance on the 
southern ridges of Erebus, and knew that another 
snowstorm was approaching; but hoping that this 
storm would miss them, he kept on until Inaccessible 
Island was suddenly blotted out. Thereupon a rush 
was made for a camp site, but the blizzard swept 



GOOD-BYE TO CAPE EVANS 317 

upon them, and In the driving snow they found it 
utterly impossible to set up their inner tent, and could 
only just manage to set up the outer one. A few 
hours later the weather again cleared, and as they 
were more or less snowed up, they decided to push for 
Cape Evans in spite of the wind. ' We arrived in at 
1.15 A.M., pretty well done. The wind never let up for 
an instant; the temperature remained about 16, 
and the 21 statute miles which we marched in the 
day must be remembered amongst the most strenuous 
in my memory. . . . The objects of our little jour- 
ney were satisfactorily accomplished, but the greatest 
source of pleasure to me is to realise that 1 have such 
men as Bowers and P.O. Evans for the Southern 
journey. I do not think that harder men or better 
sledge travellers ever took the trail Bowers is a little 
wonder. I realise all that he must have done for the 
C. Crozier Party in their far severer experience/ 

Late as the hour was when the travellers appeared 
at Cape Evans, everyone was soon up and telling 
Scott what had happened during his absence. E. 
Evans, Gran and Forde had reached Corner Camp 
and found that it showed up well, and consequently 
all anxiety as to the chance of finding One Ton Camp 
was removed. Forde, however, had got his hand so 
badly frost-bitten that he was bound to be incapaci- 
tated for some time, and this meant that the arrange- 
ments that had already been made for a geological 
party to go to the west would in all probability have to 
be altered. 



3i8 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

All of the ponies were reported to be very well, 
but Scott's joy at this news vanished on October 3 
when Atkinson reported that Jehu was still too weak 
to pull a load. Oates also was having great trouble 
with Christopher, who did not appreciate being 
harnessed and generally bolted at the mere sight of 
a sledge. 'He is going/ Scott, in referring to this 
most intractable pony, wrote, ' to be a trial, but he is a 
good strong pony and should do yeoman service. Day 
is increasingly hopeful about the motors. He is an 
ingenious person and has been turning up new rollers 
out of a baulk of oak supplied by Meares, and with 
Simpson's small motor as a lathe* The motors may 
save the situation.' 

On the 5th Scott made a thorough inspection of 
Jehu and became convinced that he was useless. 
Chinaman and James Pigg were also no towers of 
strength. * But the other seven are in fine form and 
must bear the brunt of the work somehow. If we 
suffer more loss we shall depend on the motor, and 
then! . . . well, one must face the bad as well as the 
good/ 

During the following day, after Christopher had 
given his usual exhibition at the start, Wilson, Oates, 
Cherry-Garrard and Crean went over to Hut Point 
with their ponies; and late on the same afternoon the 
Hut Point telephone bell suddenly rang. The line 
had been laid by Meares some time before, but hitherto 
there had been no communication. Now, however, 
Scott heard a voice and found himself able to hold 



GOOD-BYE TO CAPE EVANS 319 

long conversations with Meares and Oates. ' Not a 
very wonderful fact, perhaps, but it seems wonderful 
in this primitive land to be talking to one's fellow 
beings 15 miles away. Oates told me that the ponies 
had arrived in fine order, Christopher a little done, but 
carrying the heaviest load. If we can keep the tele- 
phone going it will be a great boon, especially to Meares 
later in the season.' 

After service on Sunday morning Scott, continuing 
his course of photography under the excellent instruc- 
tion of Ponting, went out to the Pressure Ridge, and 
thoroughly enjoyed himself. Worries, however, were 
in store, for later in the afternoon, by which time Scott 
had returned to the hut, a telephone message from 
Nelson's igloo brought the news that Clissold had 
fallen from a berg and hurt his back. In three min- 
utes Bowers had organised a sledge party, and for- 
tunately Atkinson was on the spot and able to join 
it. Scott himself at once hurried over the land, and 
found Ponting very distressed and Clissold practically 
insensible. 

It appeared that Clissold had been acting as Pont- 
ing's ' model/ and that they had been climbing about 
the berg to get pictures. Ponting had lent his 
crampons and ice-axe to Clissold, but the latter never- 
theless missed his footing after one of the c poses/ and 
after sliding over a rounded surface of ice for some 
twelve feet, had dropped six feet on to a sharp angle 
in the wall of the berg. Unquestionably Clissold was 
badly hurt, and although neither Wilson nor Atkinson 



320 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

thought that anything very serious had happened, there 
was no doubt that the accident would prevent him 
from taking the place allotted to him In the motor 
sledge party. Thus there were two men on the sick 
list, and after all the trouble that had been taken 
to get things ready for the summer journeys Scott 
naturally felt that these misfortunes were more than 
a little deplorable. On the other hand, all was going 
well with the ponies, though Christopher's dislike 
to sledges seemed rather to increase than to lessen. 
When once he was in the sledge he had always be- 
haved himself until October 13, when he gave a really 
great exhibition of perversity. On this occasion a dog 
frightened him, and having twisted the rope from 
Gates' hands he bolted for all he was worth. When, 
however, he had obtained his freedom, he set about 
most systematically to get rid of his load. At first he 
gave sudden twists and thus dislodged two bales of 
hay, but when he caught sight of some other sledges 
a better idea at once struck him, and he dashed straight 
at them with the evident intention of getting free of 
his load at one fell swoop. Two or three times he 
ran for Bowers and then he turned his attention to 
Keohane, his plan being to charge from a short dis- 
tance with teeth bared and heels flying. By this time 
his antics had brought a small group to the scene, 
and presently Gates, Bowers, Nelson and Atkinson 
managed to clamber on to the sledge. Undaunted, 
however, by this human burden, he tried to treat it as 
he had the bales of hay, and he did manage to 



GOOD-BYE TO CAPE EVANS 321 

dispose of Atkinson with violence ; but the others dug* 
their heels into the snow and succeeded at last in 
tiring him out. ' I am exceedingly glad/ Scott says, 
' there are not other ponies like him. These capers 
promise trouble, but I think a little soft snow on the 
Barrier may effectually cure them/ 

On Tuesday, October 17, the motors were to be 
taken on to the floe, but the attempt was not successful, 
the axle casing (aluminum) splitting soon after the 
trial had begun. Once again Scott expressed his con- 
viction that the motors would be of little assistance, 
though at the same time retaining his opinion that with 
more experience they might have been of the greatest 
service. * The trouble is that if they fail, no one will 
ever believe this.' 

The days at Cape Evans were now rapidly drawing 
to a close. Plans and preparations occupied the at- 
tention of everyone, and Scott's time was almost wholly 
occupied in preparing details and in writing. { Words/ 
he said in a letter dated October, 1912, ' must always 
fail me when I talk of Bill Wilson. I believe he 
really is the finest character I ever met the closer one 
gets to him the more there is to admire. Every 
quality is so solid and dependable ; cannot you imagine 
how that counts down here? Whatever the matter, 
one knows Bill will be sound, shrewdly practical, in- 
tensely loyal, and quite unselfish. Add to this a wider 
knowledge of persons and things than is at first guess- 
able, a quiet vein of humour and really consummate 
tact, and you have some idea of his values- I think 



322 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

he Is the most popular member of the party, and that 
is saying much. 

( Bowers is all and more than I ever expected of 
him. He is a positive treasure, absolutely trustworthy, 
and prodigiously energetic. He is about the hardest 
man amongst us, and that is saying a good deal noth- 
ing seems to hurt his tough little body, and certainly 
no hardship daunts his spirit, I shall have a hundred 
little tales to tell you of his indefatigable zeal, his 
unselfishness, and his inextinguishable good humour. 
He surprises always, for his intelligence is of quite a 
high order and his memory for details most excep- 
tional. You can imagine him, as he is, an indispensable 
assistant to me in every detail concerning the manage- 
ment and organisation of our sledging work and a de- 
lightful companion on the march. 

* One of the greatest successes is Wright. He is 
very hard working, very thorough, and absolutely 
ready for anything. Like Bowers he has taken to 
sledging like a duck to water, and although he hasn't 
had such severe testing, I believe he would stand it 
pretty nearly as well. Nothing ever seems to worry 
him, and I can't imagine he ever complained of any- 
thing in his life. 

'The Soldier is very popular with all a delight- 
fully humorous cheery old pessimist striving with the 
ponies night and day and bringing woeful accounts of 
their small ailments into the hut. 

' Atkinson will go far, I think; he has a positive 
passion for helping others. It is extraordinary what 
pains he will take to do a kind thing unobtrusively. 



GOOD-BYE TO CAPE EVANS 323 

' Cherry-Garrard is clean grit right through; one 
has caught glimpses of him in tight places. 

' Day has the sweetest temper and all sorts of 
other nice characteristics. Moreover he has a very 
remarkable mechanical ability, and I believe is about 
as good a man as could have been selected for his 
job. 

' I don't think I will give such long descriptions 
of the others, though most of them deserve equally 
high praise. Taken all round, they are a perfectly 
excellent lot. 

' The men are equally fine. P.O. Evans looks after 
our sledges and sledge equipment with a care of man- 
agement and a fertility of resource which is truly 
astonishing. On " trek " he is just as sound and hard 
as ever, and has an inexhaustible store of anecdote. 
Crean is perfectly happy, ready to do anything and 
go anywhere, the harder the work, the better. Evans 
and Crean are great friends. Lashly is his old self 
in every respect, hard working to the limit/ quiet, ab- 
stemious and determined. You see altogether I have 
a good set of people with me, and it will go hard if 
we don't achieve something. 

' The study of individual characters is a pleasant 
pastime in such a mixed community of thoroughly 
nice people . . . men of the most diverse upbringing 
and experience are really pals with one another, and 
the subjects which would be delicate ground of dis- 
cussion between acquaintances are just those which are 
most freely used for jest ... I have never seen a 
temper lost in these discussions. So as I sit here I am 



324 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

very satisfied with these things. I think that it would 
have been difficult to better the organisation of the 
party every man has his work and is especially 
adapted for it; there is no gap and no overlap. It 
is all that I desired, and the same might well be said 
of the men selected to do the work. . . . 

' I don't know what to think of Amundsen's 
chances. If he gets to the Pole, it must be before 
we do, as he is bound to travel fast with dogs and 
pretty certain to start early. On this account I de- 
cided at a very early date to act exactly as I should 
have done had he not existed. Any attempt to race 
must have wrecked my plan, besides which it doesn't 
appear the sort of thing one is out for. 

' Possibly you will have heard something before this 
reaches you. Oh! and there are all sorts of possibili- 
ties. In any case you can rely on my not doing or 
saying anything foolish only I'm afraid you must be 
prepared for the chance of finding our venture much 
belittled. 

* After all, it is the work that counts, not the ap- 
plause that follows/ 

The transport of emergency stores to Hut Point 
was delayed by the weather until October 22, but on 
that day the most important stores which were for 
the returning depots and to provision the Discovery 
hut in case the Terra Nova did not arrive were taken 
by Wilson, Bowers and P.O. Evans and their ponies 
to Glacier Tongue. Accidents, however, were still to 
happen, for while Bowers was holding the ponies so 



GOOD-BYE TO CAPE EVANS 325 

that Wilson and Evans could unload them, Victor 
got the hook, which fastened the harness to the trace 
of another pony, into his nose. At that moment a 
lot of drift swept upon them, and immediately all 
three of the ponies stampeded, Snatcher making for 
home and Nobby for the Western Mountains, while 
Victor, with Bowers still hanging on to him, just bolted 
here, there and everywhere. Wilson and P.O. Evans 
at once started after their ponies, and the former by 
means of a biscuit as a bait managed to catch Nobby 
west of Tent Island, but Snatcher arrived, with a 
single trace and dangling sledge, by himself at Cape 
Evans. Half an hour after Wilson had returned 
Bowers brought in Victor, who had a gash in his nose, 
and was very much distressed. ' I don't know/ 
Scott says, c how Bowers managed to hang on to the 
frightened animal; I don't believe anyone else would 
have done so. ... Two lessons arise. First, how- 
ever quiet the animals appear they must not be left 
by their drivers no chance must be taken; secondly, 
the hooks on the hames of the harness must be altered 
in shape. I suppose such incidents as this were to 
be expected, one cannot have ponies very fresh and 
vigorous and expect them to behave like lambs, but I 
shall be glad when we are oft and can know more 
definitely what resources we can count on/ 

In addition to this mishap, a football match had 
been got up two days before, In which Debenham 
hurt his knee. Thus the Western Party was again 
delayed, the only compensation for this accident 



326 THE, VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

being that Forde's hand would have a better chance 
of recovery while Debenham's knee was given time 
to improve. 

On the following day the motors seemed to be 
ready for the start, but various little defects again 
cropped up, and not until the next morning did they 
get away. At first there were frequent stops, but on 
the whole satisfactory progress was made, and as even 
a small measure of success would, in Scott's opin- 
ion, be enough to show their ability to revolutionise 
Polar transport, and so help to prevent the cruelty that 
is a necessary condition of animal transport, he was 
intensely anxious about the result of this trial trip. 
As this subject was one which was of the most supreme 
interest to Scott, it is well to quote the opinion of an 
expert upon these motor sledges. ' It has been said 
that Captain Scott's sledges failed, and without further 
consideration the design has been totally condemned, 
but this is quite unfair to the design; and it must be 
admitted by everyone who has had anything to do 
with the sledges, and has any sort of knowledge of 
mechanical principles, that it was the engine that 
failed, not the transmission gear at all. The engine 
used was a four-cylinder air-cooled one, and most un- 
expectedly in the cold climate of the Antarctic it 
over-heated and broke various parts, beyond possi- 
bility of repair under the severe conditions* The 
reason of the breakdown therefore applies to any and 
every form of motor sledge, and should a satisfactory 
engine be available for one form of sledge, it is equally 



GOOD-BYE TO CAPE EVANS 327 

available for another. It therefore shows a lack 
of fair judgment to condemn the Scott sledge for a 
breakdown, which would have applied equally to 
every form of motor transport which could have been 
designed.' 

Unquestionably the motor sledges did enough to 
make this unique experiment infinitely worth trying, 
and on Friday, October 27, Scott declared that the 
machines had already vindicated themselves. Even 
the seamen, who had been very doubtful about them, 
were profoundly impressed, and P.O. Evans admitted 
that, * if them things can go on like that, I reckon you 
wouldn't want nothing else/ 

As the days passed by, it was obvious that the 
Western Party which consisted of Taylor, Debenham, 
Gran and Forde would have to leave after the 
Southern Party. * It is trying that they should be 
wasting the season in this way. All things considered, 
I shall be glad to get away and put our fortune to the 
test/ Scott wrote on the 28th. And two days later 
he added: c Meares and Pouting are just off to Hut 
Point. Atkinson and Keohane will probably leave in 
an hour or so as arranged, and if the weather holds, 
we shall all get off to-morrow. So here end the entries 
in this diary with the first chapter of our History. The 
future is in the lap of the gods; I can think of nothing 
left undone to deserve success/ 



CHAPTER VII 

THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 

Free men freely work. 
Whoever fears God, fears to sit at ease. 

E. B. BROWNING. 

* As we are just off on our Southern journey, with a 
good chance of missing the ship on our return/ Scott 
wrote before leaving Cape Evans on November i, * I 
send a word of greeting. We are going away with 
high hopes of success and for the moment everything 
smiles, but where risks must be taken the result must 
be dependent on chance to some extent. 

* I am lucky in having with me the right men for 
the work; we have lived most happily together through 
the long winter, and now all are fit, ready, and eager 
to go forward, and, apart from the result, the work 
itself is extraordinarily fascinating.' 

The march to Hut Point was begun in detach- 
ments, Scott leading Snippets and soon finding him- 
self where he wished to be, at the tail of the team. 
After all Jehu had refuted predictions by being al- 
lowed to start, although so little confidence was still 

328 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 329 

placed in him that on the previous day he had been 
sent at his own pace to Hut Point. Chinaman was 
also ' an unknown quantity/ but the chief trouble on 
the opening march was caused by the persistently 
active Christopher, who kicked and bucked the whole 
way. 

On this march, which reminded Scott of a regatta 
or a somewhat disorganised fleet with ships of very 
unequal speed, a good knowledge was obtained of the 
various paces of the ponies, and the plan of advance 
was, after some trouble, arranged. The start was to 
be made from Hut Point in three parties the very 
slow ponies, the medium paced, and the fliers. The 
motors with Day, E. R. Evans, Lashly and Hooper 
(who had taken Clissold's place) were already on the 
way, and the dogs, with Meares and Demetri, were to 
follow the main detachments. 

Night marching was decided upon, and after supper 
good-bye was said to Hut Point, and Atkinson, Wright 
and Keohane led off with Jehu, Chinaman and Jimmy 
Pigg. Two hours later Scott, Wilson and Cherry- 
Garrard left, their ponies marching steadily and well 
together on the sea-ice. At Safety Camp they found 
Atkinson, who reported that Chinaman and Jehu were 
already tired. Soon after Scott's party had camped 
for lunch, Ponting arrived with Demetri and a small 
dog team, and the cinematograph was up in time to 
catch the flying rearguard, which came along in fine 
form with Snatcher, * a wonderful little beast/ leading. 
Christopher had given his customary exhibition when 



330 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

harnessed, and although the Barrier surface had 
sobered him a little it was not thought advisable for 
him to stop, and so the party fled through in the wake 
of the advance guard, and were christened ' the through 
train/ 

' After lunch/ Scott, writing from Camp I on No- 
vember 3, says, * we packed up and marched steadily 
on as before. I don't like these midnight lunches, but 
for man the march that follows is pleasant when, as to- 
day, the wind falls and the sun steadily increases its 
heat. The two parties in front of us camped five miles 
beyond Safety Camp, and we reached their camp some 
half or three-quarters of an hour later. All the ponies 
are tethered in good order, but most of them are tired 
Chinaman and Jehu very tired. ... A petrol tin is 
near the camp and a note stating that the motors passed 
at 9 P.M. 28th, going strong they have from four to 
five days' lead and should surely keep it/ 

On the next march they started in what for some 
time was to be the settled order Atkinson's con- 
tingent at 8 P.M., Scott's at 10, Gates' an hour and 
a quarter later. Just after starting they picked up 
cheerful notices saying that all was well with both the 
motors, and Day wrote, ' Hope to meet in 80 30' Lat/ 
But very soon afterwards a depot of petrol was found; 
and worse was to follow, as some four miles out from 
Camp i they came across a tin bearing the sad an- 
nouncement, * Big end Day's motor No. 2 cylinder 
broken/ Half a mile beyond was the motor, its track- 
ing sledges, &c. ; and notes from E. Evans and Day to 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 331 

tell the tale of the mishap. The only spare big end 
had been used for Lashly's machine, and as it would 
have taken a long time to strip Day's engine so that 
it could run on three cylinders, they had decided to 
abandon it and push on with the other alone. ( So 
the dream of help from the machines is at an end ! The 
track of the remaining motor goes steadily forward, 
but now, of course, I shall expect to see it every hour 
of the march.' 

On the second and third marches the ponies did 
fairly well on a bad surface, but as yet they had only 
light loads to pull; and not until they were tested 
was Scott prepared to express much confidence in 
them. At Camp 3 he found a troubled note from E. 
Evans saying that their maximum speed was about 
7 miles a day. 6 They have taken on nine bags of 
forage, but there are three black dots to the south 
which we can only imagine are the deserted motor 
with its loaded sledges. The men have gone on as a 
supporting party, as directed. It is a disappointment. 
I had hoped better of the machines once they got away 
on the Barrier Surface/ 

From this camp they started in the usual order, 
having arranged that full loads should be carried if 
the black dots proved to be the motors, and very soon 
they found their fears confirmed. Another note from 
E. Evans stated a recurrence of the old trouble. The 
big end of No. i cylinder had cracked, otherwise the 
machine was in good order, ' Evidently/ Scott wrote 
in reference to this misfortune, 'the engines are not 



332 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

fitted for working in this climate, a fact that should 
be certainly capable of correction. One thing is 
proved: the system of propulsion is altogether satis- 
factory. The motor party has proceeded as a man- 
hauling party as arranged/ 

As they came to Camp 4 a blizzard threatened, 
and snow walls were at once built for the ponies. The 
last march, however, was more than a compensation 
for bad weather. Jehu and Chinaman with loads of 
over 450 Ibs. had stepped out well and had finished 
as fit as they had started, while the better ponies had 
made nothing of their loads, Scott's Snippets having 
pulled over 700 Ibs., sledge included. ' We are all much 
cheered by this performance. It shows a hardening 
up of ponies which have been well trained; even Oates 
is pleased ! ' 

The blizzard only just gave them time to get every- 
thing done in the camp before it arrived. The 
ponies, however, in their new rugs and with shelter- 
ing walls as high as themselves could scarcely feel 
the wind, and as this protection was a direct result 
of experience gained in the previous year, Scott was 
glad to feel that some good had been obtained from 
that disastrous journey. But when the snow began to 
fall the ponies as usual suffered, because it was im- 
possible to devise any means of keeping them com- 
fortable in thick and driving snow. ' We men are 
snug and comfortable enough, but it is very evil 
to lie here and know that the weather is steadily 
sapping the strength of the beasts on which so 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 333 

much depends. It requires much philosophy to be 
cheerful on such occasions.' In the midst of the 
drift during the forenoon of the 7th Meares and 
Demetri with the dogs arrived, and camped about a 
quarter of a mile away. In catching the main party 
up so soon Scott considered that Meares had played 
too much for safety, but at the same time it was 
encouraging to know that the dogs would pull the loads 
assigned to them, and that they could face such ter- 
rific winds. 

The threatening weather continued until late on 
Tuesday night, and the question of starting was left 
open for a long time, several of the party thinking it 
unwise to march. At last, however, the decision was 
made to go, and the advance guard got away soon after 
midnight. Then, to Scott's surprise and delight, he dis- 
covered that his fears about the ponies were needless. 
Both Jehu and Chinaman took skittish little runs when 
their rugs were removed, and Chinaman even betrayed 
a not altogether irresistible desire to buck. In fact the 
only pony that gave any trouble was Christopher, and 
this not from any fatigue but from excessive spirit. 
Most of the ponies halted now and again to get a 
mouthful of snow, but Christopher had still to be sent 
through with a non-stop run, for his tricks and devices 
were as innumerable as ever. Oates had to cling like 
grim death to his bridle until the first freshness had 
worn off, and this was a long rather than a light task, 
as even after ten miles he was prepared to misbehave 
himself if he got the smallest chance. 



334 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

A few hundred yards from Camp 5 Bowers picked 
up a bale of forage and loaded it on his sledge, bringing 
the weight to nearly 800 Ibs. Victor, however, went 
on as though nothing had happened, and although the 
surface was for the time wonderfully good, and it 
still remained a question how the ponies would get on 
under harder conditions, Scott admitted that so far 
the outlook was very encouraging. The cairns built 
in the previous year showed up very distinctly and 
were being picked up with the greatest ease, and this 
also was an additional cause for satisfaction because 
with pony walls, camp sites and cairns, the track on 
the homeward march seemed as if it must be easy to 
follow. Writing at Camp 5, Scott says, { Everyone is 
as fit as can be. It was wonderfully warm as we 
camped this morning at n o'clock; the wind has 
dropped completely and the sun shines gloriously. 
Men and ponies revel in such weather. One devoutly 
hopes for a good spell of it as we recede from the windy 
Northern region. The dogs came up soon after we had 
camped, travelling easily/ 

On the next march they remained faithful to their 
programme of advancing a little over ten geographical 
miles nightly. But during the last two miles of this 
stage all of the ponies were together. * It looked like 
a meet of the hounds, and Jehu ran away ! ! ' was 
Cherry-Garrard's account of this scene in his diary. 
But in Scott's opinion it was clearly not advantageous 
to march in one detachment, because the slow advance- 
guard ponies were forced out of their pace by joining 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 335 

with the others, while the fast rearguard had their 
speed reduced. This, however, was a great day for 
Jehu, whose attempt to bolt, though scarcely amounting 
to more than a sprawling canter, was freely acknowl- 
edged to be a creditable performance for a pony who at 
the start had been thought incapable of doing a single 
march. 

The weather now began to change rapidly for the 
worse, and in consequence the pleasure of marching 
as rapidly vanished. In arriving at Camp 7 they had 
to struggle at first against a strong head wind, and 
afterwards in a snowstorm. Wright, who was leading, 
found it so impossible to see where he was going that 
he decided to camp some two miles short of the usual 
ten, but the ponies continued to do well and this was 
a compensation for the curtailed distance. 

A worse surface was in store for them when they 
started from Camp 7, in fact Scott and Wilson de- 
scribed it as one of the worst they had ever seen. The 
snow that had fallen in the day remained soft, and 
added to this they had entered upon an area of soft 
crust between a few scattered hard sastrugi. In pits 
between these the snow lay in sandy heaps, making 
altogether the most difficult conditions for the ponies. 
Nevertheless the stronger ponies continued to pull ex- 
cellently, and even the poor old crocks succeeded in 
covering g l /2 miles. ' Such a surface makes one 
anxious in spite of the rapidity with which changes take 
place. I expected these marches to be a little difficult, 
but not near so bad as to-day's. * . . In spite of the 
surface, the dogs ran up from the camp before last. 



336 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

over 20 miles, in the night. They are working splen- 
didly/ 

The surface was still bad and the weather horrid 
on the following day, but 5 miles out the advance 
party came straight and true upon the last year's 
Bluff depot. Here Scott found a note, from which 
he learned the cheering news that E. Evans and his 
party must be the best part of five days ahead. On 
the other hand, Atkinson had a very gloomy report to 
make of Chinaman, who could, he thought, only last 
a few more miles. Oates, however, much more op- 
timistic than usual, considered that Chinaman would 
last for several days ; and during another horrid march 
to Camp 10 all the ponies did well, Jehu especially dis- 
tinguishing himself. 

4 We shall be/ Scott wrote from this camp on Mon- 
day, November 13, ' in a better position to know how 
we stand when we get to One Ton Camp, now only 
17 or 18 miles, but I am anxious about these beasts 
very anxious, they are not the ponies they ought 
to have been, and if they pull through well, all the 
thanks will be due to Oates. I trust the weather and 
surface conditions will improve; both are rank bad 
at present/ The next stage took them within 7 or 
8 miles of One Ton Camp, and with a slightly im- 
proved surface and some sun the spirits of the party 
revived. But, although the ponies were working splen- 
didly, it was painful work for them to struggle on 
through the snow, and Christopher's antics when har- 
nessed were already a thing of the past a fact which 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 337 

would have been totally unregretted had it not been 
evidence that his strength was also beginning to 
diminish. 

One Ton Camp was found without any difficulty, 
and having pushed on to Camp 12 it was decided to 
give the animals a day's rest there, and afterwards to 
go forward at the rate of 13 geographical miles (15 
statute miles) a day. * Oates thinks the ponies will 
get through, but that they have lost condition quicker 
than he expected. Considering his usually pessimistic 
attitude this must be thought a hopeful view. Person- 
ally I am much more hopeful. I think that a good 
many of the beasts are actually in better form than 
when they started, and that there is no need to be 
alarmed about the remainder, always excepting the 
weak ones which we have always regarded with doubt. 
Well, we must wait and see how things go/ 

Another note from E. Evans was found at One 
Ton Camp, stating that his party had taken on four 
boxes of biscuits, and would wait for the main detach- 
ment at Lat. 80 30'. The minimum thermometer left 
there in the previous year showed 73, which was 
rather less than Scott had expected. 

After the day's rest the loads were re-organised, 
the stronger ponies taking on about 580 Ibs., while 
the others had rather over 400 Ibs. as their burden; 
and refreshed by their holiday all of them marched 
into the next camp without any signs of exhaustion. 
By this time frost-bites were .frequent, both Oates 
and P,O, Evans being victims, while Meares, when told 



338 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

that his nose was ' gone/ remarked that he was tired of 
it and that it would thaw out by and by ! 

Hopes and fears concerning the ponies naturally 
alternated on such a journey, and the latter predomi- 
nated when Scott wrote on November 18 from Camp 
14. e The ponies are not pulling well. The surface 
is, if anything., a little worse than yesterday, but I 
should think about the sort of thing we shall have to 
expect henceforward. . . . It's touch and go whether 
we scrape up to the Glacier; meanwhile we get along 
somehow.' 

During the next two marches, however, the ponies, 
in spite of rather bad surfaces, did wonderfully well, 
and both Jehu and Chinaman began to be regarded 
with real admiration, Jehu being re-christened ' The 
Barrier Wonder ' and Chinaman ' The Thunderbolt/ 
Again Scott began to take a hopeful view of get- 
ting through, unless the surfaces became infinitely 
worse. 

While on the way to Camp 17 Scott's detachment 
found E. Evans and his party in Lat. 80 32', and 
heard that they had been waiting for six days, which 
they had spent in building a tremendous cairn. All 
of them looked very fit, btw^i >^were also very 
hungry an informing fact, as it proved conclusively 
that a ration which was ample for the needs of men 
leading ponies, was nothing like enough for those who 
were doing hard pulling work. Thus the provision 
that Scott had made for summit work received a full 
justification, though even with the rations that were 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 339 

to be taken he had no doubt that hunger would attack 
the party. 

After some discussion it was decided to take Evans' 
motor party on in advance for three days, and then 
that Day and Hooper should return. 

Good, steady progress was made on the next two 
marches, and at Camp 19 they were within 150 
geographical miles of the Glacier. * But it is still 
rather touch and go. If one or more ponies were 
to go rapidly down hill we might be in queer 
street/ 

Then at Camp 20 carne the end of the gallant Jehu. 
s We did the usual march very easily over a fairly 
good surface, the ponies now quite steady and regular. 
Since the junction with the Motor Party the procedure 
has been for the man-hauling people to go forward 
just ahead of the crocks, the other party following 
two or three hours later. To-day we closed less than 
usual, so the crocks must have been going very well. 
However, the fiat had already gone forth, and this 
morning (November 24) after the march poor old Jehu 
was led back on the track and shot. After our doubts 
as to his reaching Hut Point, it is wonderful to think 
that he has actw . c eight marches beyond our last 
year limit, and could have gone more. However, 
towards the end he was pulling very little, and on the 
whole it is merciful to have ended his life. Chinaman 
seems to improve and will certainly last a good many 
days yet. I feel we ought to get through now. Day 
and Hooper leave us to-night/ 



340 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Referring to Jehu in his diary Cherry-Garrard re- 
marked how much Scott felt * this kind of thing/ and 
how cut up Atkinson was at the loss of his pony. 

After Day and Hooper had turned back the party 
was re-arranged and started together. The man- 
haulers, Atkinson, E. Evans and Lashly, went ahead 
with their gear on the lofoot sledge, then came 
Wright with Chinaman and Keohane with James Pigg, 
the rest following close behind them. But although 
the two crocks had not been given their usual start, 
they stuck to their work so gallantly that at the finish 
they were less than a quarter of a mile behind. 

At Camp 22, in Lat 81 35' the Middle Barrier 
Depot was made, and as they did not leave until 3 A.M. 
they were gradually getting back to day-marching. 
The next stage, however, of their journey was strug- 
gled through under the greatest difficulties. At the 
start the surface was bad, and the man-haulers in front 
made such heavy weather of it that they were repeat- 
edly overtaken. This threw the ponies out and pro- 
longed the march so much that six hours were spent 
in reaching the lunch camp. But bad as the first part 
of the march had been, the latter part was even worse. 
The advance party started on ski, but had the great- 
est difficulty in keeping a course; and presently snow 
began to fall heavily with a rise of temperature, and 
the ski became hopelessly clogged. At this time 
the surface was terribly hard for pulling, and the 
man-haulers also found it impossible to steer. The 
march of 13 miles was eventually completed, but under 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 341 

the most harassing circumstances and with very tired 
animals. 

' Our forage supply necessitates that we should plug 
on the 13 (geographical) miles daily under all con- 
ditions, so that we can only hope for better things. 
It is several days since we had a glimpse of land, which 
makes conditions especially gloomy. A tired animal 
makes a tired man, I find, and none of us are very 
bright now after the day's march.' 

No improvement in the weather was in store for 
them on the following day (November 28), for snow- 
storms swept over them, the driving snow not only 
preventing them from seeing anything, but also hitting 
them stingingly in their faces. Chinaman was shot on 
this night, but in struggling on until he was within 90 
miles of the Glacier he had done more than was ever 
expected of him; and with only four bags of forage 
left the end of all the ponies was very near at hand. 

During the march to Camp 25, Lat. 82 21', 'the 
most unexpected and trying summer blizzard yet 
experienced in this region ' ceased, and prospects 
improved in every respect. While they were marching 
the land showed up hazily, and at times looked remark- 
ably close to them. ' Land shows up almost ahead 
now/ Scott wrote on the 29th, c and our pony goal is 
less than 70 miles away. The ponies are tired, but 
I believe all have five days' work left in them, and 
some a great deal more. ... It follows that the dogs 
can be employed, rested and fed well on the homeward 
track. We could really get through now with their 



342 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

help and without much delay, yet every consideration 
makes it desirable to save the men from heavy hauling 
as long as possible. So I devoutly hope the 70 miles 
will come in the present order of things/ 

Snippets and Nobby by this time walked by them- 
selves, but both of them kept a continually cunning 
eye upon their driver, and if he stopped they at once 
followed his example. It was, Scott admitted, a relief 
no longer to have to lead his animal, for fond of 
Snippets as he was, the vagaries of the animal were 
annoying when on the march. Thursday, November 
30, brought most pleasant weather with it, but the 
surface was so bad that all of the ponies, with the ex- 
ception of Nobby, began to show obvious signs of fail- 
ure. A recurrence of * sinking crusts ' (areas which 
gave way with a report) was encountered, and the 
ponies very often sank nearly to their knees. 

At Camp 27 Nobby was the only pony who did not 
show signs of extreme exhaustion, but forage was be- 
ginning to get so scarce that even Nobby had nearly 
reached the end of his life. On this night (December 
i) Christopher was shot, and by no possibility could 
he be much regretted, for he had given nothing but 
trouble at the outset, and as soon as his spirits began 
to fail his strength had also disappeared. ' He has 
been a great disappointment/ Cherry-Garrard wrote, 
* even James Pigg has survived him.' 

A depot, called the Southern Barrier Depot, was 
left at Camp 27, so that no extra weight was added to 
the loads of the other ponies. ' Three more marches 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 343 

ought to carry us through. With the seven crocks 
and the dog teams we must get through, I think. The 
men alone ought not to have heavy loads on the surface, 
which is extremely trying/ 

On the morning of the ist Nobby had been tried 
in snow-shoes, and for about four miles had travelled 
splendidly upon them, but then the shoes racked and 
had to be taken off; nevertheless, in Scott's opinion, 
there was no doubt that snow-shoes were the thing for 
ponies, and that if his ponies had been able to use them 
from the beginning their condition would have been 
very different from what it was. 

From Camp 28, Lat 83, Scott wrote, e Started 
under very bad weather conditions. The stratus 
spreading over from the S.E. last night meant mis- 
chief, and all day we marched in falling snow with a 
horrible light, . . . The ponies were sinking deep in a 
wretched surface. I suggested to Gates that he should 
have a roving commission to watch the animals, but he 
much preferred to lead one, so I handed over Snippets 
very willingly and went on ski myself/ This he found 
such easy work, that he had time to take several 
photographs of the ponies as they plunged through 
the snow. But in the afternoon they found a better 
surface, and Scott, who was leading, had to travel at a 
very steady pace to keep the lead. 

When this march had finished they had reached 
the 83rd parallel, and were c practically safe to get 
through/ But with forage becoming scarcer and 
scarcer poor Bictor to the great sorrow of Bowers, 



344 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

who was very fond of him had to be shot. Six ponies 
remained, and as the dogs were doing splendidly, the 
chances of the party reaching the Glacier were excel- 
lent if only they could see their way to it. Wild 
in his diary of Shackleton's journey remarked on 
December 15 that it was the first day for a month on 
which he could not record splendid weather. With 
Scott's party, however, a fine day had been the excep- 
tion rather than the rule, and the journey had been 
one almost perpetual fight against bad weather and 
bad surfaces. 

The tent parties at this date were made up of 
(i) Scott, Wilson, Oates and Keohane; (2) Bowers, 
P.O. Evans, Cherry-Garrard and Crean; (3) man- 
haulers, E. R. Evans, Atkinson, Wright and Lashly. 

* We have all taken to horse meat and are so well fed 
that hunger isn't thought of.' 

At 2.30 A.M. on Sunday, December 3, Scott, in- 
tending to get away at 5, roused all hands, but their 
bad luck in the way of weather once more delayed the 
start. At first there seemed to be just a chance that 
they might be able to march, but while they were hav- 
ing breakfast a full gale blew up from the south ; 

* the strongest wind I have known here in summer/ In 
a very short time the pony wall was blown down, the 
sledges were buried, and huge drifts had collected. In 
heavy drift everyone turned out to make up the pony 
walls, but the flanking wall was blown down three times 
before the job was completed. About mid-day the 
weather improved and soon afterwards the clouds broke 
and the land appeared; and when they got away at 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 345 

2 P.M., the sun was shining brightly. But this pleasant 
state of affairs was only destined to last for one short 
hour; after that snow again began to fall, and 
marching conditions became supremely horrible. The 
wind increased from the S.E., changed to S.W., where 
for a time it remained, and then suddenly shifted to 
W.N.W., and afterwards to N.N.W., from which di- 
rection it continued to blow with falling and drifting 
snow. But in spite of these rapid and absolutely be- 
wildering changes of conditions they managed to get 
11^2 miles south and to Camp 29 at 7 P.M. The man- 
haulers, however, camped after six miles, for they 
found it impossible to steer a course. ' We (Scott and 
Bowers) steered with compass, the drifting snow 
across our ski, and occasional glimpses of south- 
easterly sastrugi under them, till the sun showed dimly 
for the last hour or so. The whole weather conditions 
seem thoroughly disturbed, and if they continue so 
when we are on the Glacier, we shall be very awk- 
wardly placed. It is really time the luck turned in our 
favour we have had all too little of it. Every mile 
seems to have been hardly won under such conditions. 
The ponies did splendidly and the forage is lasting a 
little better than expected ... we should have no 
difficulty whatever as regards transport if only the 
weather was kind/ On the following day the weather 
was still in a bad mood, for no sooner had they got on 
their gear for the start than a thick blizzard from the 
S.S.E. arrived. Quickly everyone started to build 
fresh walls for the ponies, an uninviting task enough in 
a regular white flowing blizzard, but one which added 



346 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

greatly to the comfort of the animals, who looked 
sleepy and bored, but not at all cold. Just as the walls 
were finished the man-haulers came into camp, having 
been assisted in their course by the tracks that the 
other parties had made. 

Fortunately the wind moderated in the forenoon and 
by 2 P.M. they were off and in six hours had placed 13 
more miles to their credit. During this march the land 
was quite clearly in view, and several uncharted 
glaciers of large dimensions were seen. The mountains 
were rounded in outline, very massive, with excrescent 
peaks, one or two of the peaks on the foothills standing 
bare and almost perpendicular. Ahead of them was 
the ice-rounded, boulder-strewn Mount Hope and the 
gateway to the Glacier. ' We should reach it easily 
enough on to-morrow's march if we can compass 12 
miles. . . . We have only lost 5 or 6 miles on these 
two wretched days, but the disturbed condition of the 
weather makes me anxious with regard to the Glacier, 
where more than anywhere we shall need fine days. 
One has a horrid feeling that this is a real bad season. 
However, sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. We 
are practically through with the first stage o our 
journey. Looking from the last Camp (29) towards 
the S.S.E., where the farthest land can be seen, it 
seemed more than probable that a very high latitude 
could be reached on the Barrier, and if Amundsen 
journeying that way has a stroke of luck, he may well 
find his summit journey reduced to 100 miles or so. 
In any case it is a fascinating direction for next year's 
work, if only fresh transport arrives. 7 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 347 

On this day, December 4, the ponies marched 
splendidly, crossing the deep snow in the undulations 
without any difficulty, and had food been plentiful 
enough there was no doubt that they could have gone 
on for many more miles. As it was ' gallant little 
Michael * had to be sacrificed when the march was 
over. ' He walked away/ Cherry-Garrard wrote, ' and 
rolled on the way down, not having done so when we 
got in. He died quite instantaneously. He was just 
like a naughty child all the way and pulled all out; he 
has been a good friend and has a good record, 83 
22' S. He was a bit done to-day, the blizzard had 
knocked him. 5 

By night the weather looked very uninviting, and 
they woke to find a raging, howling blizzard. Previ- 
ously the winds that had so constantly bothered them 
had lacked that very fine powdery snow which is 
usually an especial feature of a blizzard, but on this 
occasion they got enough and to spare of it Anyone 
who went into the open for a minute or two was covered 
from head to foot, and as the temperature was high the 
snow stuck where it fell. The heads, tails and legs 
of the ponies were covered with ice, and they had to 
stand deep in snow. The sledges were almost covered, 
and there were huge drifts about the tent. It was a 
scene on which no one wanted to look longer than he 
could help, and after they had rebuilt the pony walls 
they retreated sadly and soppingly into their bags. 
Even the small satisfaction of being able to see from 
one tent to another was denied them, and Scott, while 
asking what on earth such weather could mean at this 



348 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

time of year, stated emphatically that no party could 
possibly travel against such a wind. 

* Is there/ he asked, * some widespread atmospheric 
disturbance which will be felt everywhere in this 
region as a bad season, or are we merely the victims of 
exceptional local conditions? If the latter, there is 
food for thought in picturing our small party strug- 
gling against adversity in one place whilst others go 
smilingly forward in sunshine. How great may be the 
element of luck ! No foresight no procedure could 
have prepared us for this state of affairs. Had we 
been ten times as experienced or certain of our aim we 
should not have expected such rebuffs/ 

The snowfall on this day (December 5) was quite 
the greatest that Scott remembered, the drifts about 
the tents being colossal. And to add to their misery 
and misfortune the temperature remained so high that 
the snow melted if it fell on anything except snow, 
with the result that tents, wind clothes, night boots, 
&c., were all wet through ; while water, dripping from 
the tent poles and door, lay on the floor, soaked the 
sleeping-bags, and made the situation inconceivably 
miserable. In the midst of this slough, however, 
Keohane had the spirit to make up a rhyme, which is 
worth quoting mainly, if not solely, because of the 
conditions under which it was produced : 

The snow is all melting and everything's afloat, 
If this goes on much longer we shall have to turn the tent 
upside down and use it as a boat 

The next day Scott described as "miserable, 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 349 

utterly miserable. We have camped in the " Slough 
of Despond" 3 When within twelve miles of the 
Glacier it was indeed the most cruel fortune to be held 
up by such a raging tempest. .'The temperature at noon 
had risen to 33, and everything was more soakingly 
wet than ever, if that was possible. The ponies, too, 
looked utterly desolate, and the snow climbed higher 
and higher about the walls, tents and sledges. At 
night signs of a break came, but hopes of marching 
again were dashed on the following morning, when 
the storm continued and the situation became most 
serious; after this day only one small feed remained 
for the ponies, so that they had either to march or to 
sacrifice all the animals. That, however, was not the 
most serious part, for with the help of the dogs they 
could without doubt have got on. But what troubled 
Scott most intensely was that they had on this morning 
(December 7) started on their summit rations, or, 
in other words, the food calculated to take them on 
from the Glacier depot had been begun. 

In the meantime the storm showed no signs of 
abatement, and its character was as unpleasant as 
ever. I can find no sign of an end, and all of us agree 
that it is utterly impossible to move. Resignation to 
this misfortune is the only attitude, but not an easy one 
to adopt. It seems undeserved where plans were well 
laid, and so nearly crowned with a first success. . . . 
The margin for bad weather was ample according to 
ll experience, and this stormy December our finest 
month is a thing that the most cautious organiser 



350 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

might not have been prepared to encounter. . . . There 
cannot be good cheer in the camp In such weather, but 
it is ready to break out again. In the brief spell of 
hope last night one heard laughter.' 

Hour after hour passed with little or no improve- 
ment, and as every hour of inactivity was a real 
menace to the success of their plans, no one can wonder 
that they chafed over this most exasperating delay. 
Under ordinary circumstances it would have been 
melancholy enough to watch the mottled, wet, green 
walls of their tents and to hear the everlasting patter 
of the falling snow and the ceaseless rattle of the flut- 
tering canvas, but when the prospect of failure of their 
cherished plan was added to the acute discomforts of 
the situation, it is scarcely possible to imagine how 
totally miserable they must have been both in body and 
mind. Nevertheless in the midst of these distressing 
conditions Scott managed to write, * But yet, after all, 
one can go on striving, endeavouring to find a stimula- 
tion in the difficulties that arise/ 

Friday morning, however, did not bring any cause 
for hope. The snow was still falling heavily, and 
they found themselves lying in pools of water that 
squelched whenever they moved. Under such cir- 
cumstances it was a relief to get outside, shift the 
tents and dig out the sledges. All of the tents had 
been reduced to the smallest space by the gradual 
pressure of snow, the old sites being deep pits with 
hollowed, icy, wet centres. The re-setting of them 
at least made things more comfortable, and as the 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 351 

wind dropped about mid-day and a few hours later 
the sky showed signs of breaking, hope once more 
revived ; but soon afterwards snow was falling again, 
and the position was rapidly becoming absolutely 
desperate. 

To test the surface the man-haulers tried to pull 
a load during the afternoon, and although it proved 
a tough job they managed to do it by pulling in ski. 
On foot the men sank to their knees, and an attempt 
to see what Nobby could do under such circumstances 
was anything but encouraging. 

Writing in the evening Scott said, * Wilson thinks 
the ponies finished, but Oates thinks they will get 
another march in spite of the surface, if it comes 
to-morrow. If It should not, we must kill the ponies 
to-morrow and get on as best we can with the men on 
ski and the dogs. But one wonders what the dogs can 
do on such a surface. I much fear they also will prove 
inadequate. Oh! for fine weather, if only to the 
Glacier/ 

By ii P.M. the wind had gone to the north, and 
the sky at last began really to break. The temperature 
also helped matters by falling to +'26, and in con- 
sequence the water nuisance began to abate; and at 
the prospect of action on the following morning cheer- 
ful sounds were once more heard in the camp. * The 
poor ponies look wistfully for the food of which 
so very little remains, yet they are not hungry, as 
recent savings have resulted from food left in their 
nose-bags. They look wonderfully fit, all things 



352 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

considered. Everything looks more hopeful to-night , 
but nothing can recall four lost days.' During the night 
Scott turned out two or three times to find the weather 
slowly improving, and at 8 o'clock on December 9 
they started upon a most terrible march to Camp 31. 

The tremendous snowfall had made the surface 
intolerably soft, and the half-fed animals sank deeper 
and deeper. None of them could be led for more 
than a few minutes, but if they were allowed to follow 
the poor beasts did fairly well. Soon, however, it 
began to seem as if no real headway could be made, 
and so the man-haulers were pressed into the service 
to try and improve matters. 

Bowers and Cherry-Garrard went ahead with one 
xo-foot sledge and made a track thus most painfully 
a mile or so was gained. Then when it seemed as if 
the limit had been reached P.O. Evans saved the 
situation by putting the last pair of snow-shoes upon 
Snatcher, who at once began to go on without much 
pressure, and was followed by the other ponies. 

No halt was made for lunch, but after three or 
four laborious miles they found themselves engulfed 
in pressures which added to the difficulties of their 
march. Still, however, they struggled on, and by 
8 P.M. they were within a mile of the slope ascending 
to the gap, which Shackleton called the Gateway. 
This gateway was a neck or saddle of drifted snow 
lying in a gap of the mountain rampart which flanked 
the last curve of the Glacier, and Scott had hoped to 
be through it at a much earlier date, as indeed he 



THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY BEGINS 353 

would have been had not the prolonged storm delayed 
him. 

By this time the ponies, one and all, were quite 
exhausted. ' They came on painfully slowly a few 
hundred yards at a time, ... I was hauling ahead, 
a ridiculously light load, and yet finding the pulling 
heavy enough. We camped, and the ponies have been 
shot Poor beasts! they have done wonderfully well 
considering the terrible circumstances under which 
they worked/ 

On December 8 Wilson wrote in his journal, I 
have kept Nobby all my biscuits to-night as he has 
to try to do a march to-morrow, and then happily he 
will be shot and all of them, as their food is quite 
done.' And on the following day he added : * Nobby 
had all my biscuits last night and this morning, and 
by the time we camped I was just ravenously hungry. 
. . . Thank God the horses are now all done with and 
we begin the heavy work ourselves/ 

This Camp 31 received the name of Shambles Camp, 
and although the ponies had not, owing to the storm, 
reached the distance Scott had expected, yet he, and 
all who had taken part in that distressing march, were 
relieved to know that the sufferings of their plucky 
animals had at last come to an end. 



CHAPTER VIII 
ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 

In thrilling region of thick ribbed ice 

To be imprisoned in the viewless winds 

And blown with restless violence round about. 

SHAKESPEARE. 

ON the death of the ponies at Camp 31 the party 
was reorganised, and for some days advanced in the 
following order : 

Sledge i. Scott, Wilson, Gates and P.O. Evans. 
Sledge 2. E. Evans, Atkinson, Wright and Lashly. 
Sledge 3. Bowers, Cherry-Garrard, Crean and 

Keohane; with Meares and Demetri continuing 

to drive the dogs. 

When leaving this Camp Scott was very doubtful 
whether the loads could be pulled over such an appal- 
ling surface, and that success attended their efforts 
was due mainly to the ski. The start was delayed by 
the readjustments that had to be made, but when they 
got away at noon, and with a one, two, three together ' 
Scott's party began to pull their sledge, they were 
most agreeably surprised to find it running fairly easily 

354 



ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 355 

behind them. The first mile was gained in about half 
an hour, but then they began to rise, and soon after- 
wards with the slope becoming steeper and the surface 
getting worse they had "to take off their ski. After 
this the pulling was extraordinarily exhausting, for 
they sank above their finnesko, and in some places 
nearly up to their knees. 

The runners of the sledges became coated with a 
thin film of ice from which it was impossible to free 
them, and the sledges themselves sank in soft spots 
to the cross-bars. At 5 P.M. they reached the top of 
the slope, and after tea started on the down grade. 
On this they had to pull almost as vigorously as on 
the upward slope, but they could just manage to get 
along on ski. 

' Evans and his party, however, were unable to keep 
up the pace set by the leaders, and when they camped 
at 9.15 Scott heard some news that thoroughly alarmed 
him. s It appears/ he wrote, ( that Atkinson says that 
Wright is getting played out, and Lashly is not so fit 
as he was owing to the heavy pulling since the blizzard. 
I have not felt satisfied about this party. The finish 
of the march to-day showed clearly that something was 
wrong. . . . True, the surface was awful and grow- 
ing worse every moment. It is a very serious business 
if the men are going to crack tip. As for myself, I 
never felt fitter and my party can easily hold its own. 
P.O. Evans, of course, is a tower of strength, but 
Oates and Wilson are doing splendidly also.' 

Round the spot where Camp 32 had been pitched 



356 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the snow was appallingly deep and soft. ' Every step 
here one sinks to the knees, and the uneven surface 
is obviously insufficient to support the sledges.' A 
wind, however, had sprung up, and though under 
ordinary circumstances it would have been far from 
welcome, on this occasion it was a blessing because 
it hardened the snow; and a good surface was all the 
more necessary because, after half another march, 
Meares and Demetri were to return with the dogs, and 
in consequence 200 Ibs. would have to be added to each 
sledge-load. 

Before starting from Camp 32 they built a depot 
(the Lower Glacier depot), made it very conspicuous, 
and left a good deal of gear there. Then at the very 
beginning of their march they got into big pressure, and 
must have passed over several crevasses. After four 
hours, however, they were clear of the pressure, and 
then they said good-bye to Meares and Demetri, who 
took back a note from Scott to say that ' Things are 
not so rosy as they might be, but we keep our spirits up 
and say the luck must turn. This is only to tell you 
that I find I can keep up with the rest as well as of old/ 

The start after lunch was anxious work, for the 
question whether they could pull their loads had to 
be answered. Scott's party went away first, and, 
to their joy, found that they could make fairly good 
headway. Every now and again the sledge sank in 
a soft patch which brought them up, and then they 
got sideways to the sledge and hauled it out. * We 
learned/ Scott wrote on December n, at Camp 33, 



ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 357 

* to treat such occasions with patience. . . . The great 
thing is to keep the sledge moving, and for an hour 
or more there were dozens of critical moments when 
it all but stopped, and not a few when it brought up 
altogether. The latter were very trying and tiring. 
But suddenly the surface grew more uniform and we 
more accustomed to the game, for after a long stop to 
let the other parties come up, I started at 6 and ran 
on till 7, pulling easily without a halt at the rate 
of about 2 miles an hour. I was very jubilant ; all diffi- 
culties seemed to be vanishing; but unfortunately our 
history was not repeated with the other parties. 
Bowers came up half an hour after us. They also 
had done well at the last, and I'm pretty sure they 
will get on all right. Keohane is the only weak spot, 
and he only, I think, because temporarily blind. But 
Evans' party didn't get up till 10. They started quite 
well, but got into difficulties, did just the wrong thing 
by straining again and again, and so, tiring them- 
selves, went from bad to worse. Their ski shoes, too, 
are out of trim.' 

During the morning of the I2th they steered for 
the Commonwealth Range until they reached about the 
middle of the glacier and then the course was altered 
for the * Cloudmaker/ and afterwards still further to 
the west. In consequence they got a much better view 
of the southern side of the main glacier than Shackle- 
ton's party had obtained, and a number of peaks not 
noticed previously were observed. On the first stage of 
this march Scott's party was bogged time after time, 



358 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

and do what they could their sledge dragged like a 
huge lump of lead. Evans' team had been sent off in 
advance and kept well ahead until lunch-time. Then, 
when Scott admits being ' pretty well cooked,' the 
secret of their trouble was disclosed in a thin film 
with some hard knots of ice on the runners of the 
sledge; these impediments having been removed they 
went ahead without a hitch, and in a mile or two re- 
sumed their leading position. As they advanced it 
became more and more evident that, with the whole of 
the lower valley filled with snow from the storm, they 
would have been bogged had they been without ski. 
* On foot one sinks to the knees, and if pulling on a 
sledge to half-way between knee and thigh/ 

Scott's hope was that they would get better con- 
ditions as they rose, but on the next march the surface 
became worse instead of better, the sledges simply 
plunging into the soft places and stopping dead. So 
slow in fact was the progress they made, that on his 
sledge Scott decided at lunch to try the lofoot run- 
ners under the cross-bars, for the sledge was sinking 
so deeply that the cross-pieces were on the surface 
and acting as brakes. Three hours were spent in 
securing the runners, and then Scott's party started 
and promptly saw what difficulties the other teams 
were having. 

In spite of the most desperate efforts to get along, 
Bowers and his men were so constantly bogged that 
Scott soon passed them. But the toil was awful, be- 
cause the snow with the sun shining and a high tern- 



ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 359 

perature had become very wet and sticky, and again 
and again the sledge got one runner on harder snow 
than the other, canted on its side, and refused to move. 
At the top of the rise Evans' party was reduced to re- 
lay work, and shortly afterwards Bowers was com- 
pelled to adopt the same plan. ' We/ Scott says, ' got 
our whole load through till 7 P.M., camping time, but 
only with repeated halts and labour which was alto- 
gether too strenuous. The other parties certainly can- 
not get a full load along on the surface, and I much 
doubt if we could continue to do so, but we must try 
again to-morrow. I suppose we have advanced a bare 
four miles to-day and the aspect of things is very little 
changed. Our height is now about 1,500 feet/ 

On the following morning Evans' party got off first 
from Camp 35, and after stiff hauling for an hour or 
so found the work much easier than on the previous 
day. Bowers' contingent followed without getting 
along so well, and so Scott, whose party were having 
no difficulty with their load, exchanged sledges with 
them, and a satisfactory morning's march was followed 
by still better work in the afternoon, eleven or twelve 
miles being gained. ' I think the soft snow trouble 
is at an end, and I could wish nothing better than a 
continuance of the present surface. Towards the end 
of the march we were pulling our load with the greatest 
ease. It is splendid to be getting along and to find 
some adequate return for the work we are putting into 
the business/ 

At Camp 37, on Friday, December 15, they had 



360 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

reached a height of about 2,500 feet, after a march on 
which the surface steadily improved and the snow 
covering over the blue ice became thinner and thinner. 
During the afternoon they found that at last they 
could start their sledges by giving one good heave, 
and so, for the first time, they were at liberty to stop 
when they liked without the fear of horrible jerks 
before they could again set the sledge going. Patches 
of ice and hard neve were beginning to show through 
in places, and had not the day's work been interrupted 
by a snowstorm at 5 P.M. their march would have been 
a really good one, but, as it was, eleven more miles 
had to be put to their credit. The weather looked, how- 
ever, very threatening as they turned in for the night, 
and Scott expressed a fervent hope that they were not 
going to be afflicted by snowstorms as they approached 
the worst part of the glacier. 

As was to be expected after the storm they found 
the surface difficult when the march was resumed, 
but by sticking to their work for over ten hours f the 
limit of time to be squeezed into one day j they 
covered eleven miles, and altered greatly the aspect 
of the glacier. Beginning the march as usual on ski, 
they had to take them off in the afternoon because 
they struck such a peculiarly difficult surface that the 
sledges were constantly being brought up. Then on 
foot they made better progress, though no advance 
could be made without the most strenuous labour. The 
brittle crust would hold for a pace or two, and then 
let them down with a bump, while now and again a leg 
went down a crack in the hard ice underneath. So 



ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 361 

far, since arriving among the disturbances, which in- 
creased rapidly towards the end of the march, they had 
not encountered any very alarming crevasses, though 
a large quantity of small ones could be seen. 

At the end of the march to Camp 39, Scott was 
able to write, ' For once we can say " Sufficient for 
the day is the good thereof." Our luck may be on the 
turn I think we deserve it. In spite of the hard 
work everyone is very fit and very cheerful, feeling 
well fed and eager for more toil. Eyes are much better 
except poor Wilson's; he has caught a very bad attack. 
Remembering his trouble on our last Southern jour- 
ney, I fear he is in for a very bad time. . . . I'm In- 
clined to think that the summit trouble will be mostly 
due to the chill falling on sunburned skins. Even now 
one feels the cold strike directly one stops. We get 
fearfully thirsty and chip up ice on the march, as well 
as drinking a great deal of water on halting. Our 
fuel only just does it, but that is all we want, and we 
have a bit in hand for the summit. . . . We have worn 
our crampons all day (December 17) and are delighted 
with them. P.O. Evans, the inventor of both cram- 
pons and ski shoes, is greatly pleased, and certainly we 
owe him much/ 

On the ipth, although snow fell on and off during 
the whole day and crevasses were frequent, a splendid 
march of 14 miles was accomplished. The sledges 
ran fairly well if only the haulers could keep their 
feet, but on the rippled ice which they were crossing 
it was impossible to get anything like a firm foothold. 
Still, however, they stuck most splendidly to their 



362 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

task, and on the following day even a better march was 
made to Camp 41. 

Starting on a good surface they soon came to a 
number of criss-cross cracks, into two of which Scott 
fell and badly bruised his knee and thigh. Then they 
reached an admirably smooth ice surface over which 
they travelled at an excellent pace, A long hour was 
spent over the halt for lunch, during which angles, 
photographs and sketches were taken, and continuing 
to make progress in the second part of the day's march 
they finished up with a gain of 17 miles. ' It has not 
been a strain except perhaps for me with my wounds 
received early in the day. The wind has kept us cool 
on the march, which has in consequence been very much 
pleasanter. . . . Days like this put heart in one/ 

On Wednesday, December 20, however, the good 
marches of the previous two days were put entirely 
into the shade by one of nearly 23 miles, during which 
they rose 800 feet. Pulling the sledges in crampons 
was not at all difficult on the hard snow and on hard 
ice with patches of snow. At night they camped in 
Lat. 84 59' 6", and then Scott had to perform a task 
that he most cordially disliked. ' I have just told 
off the people to return to-morrow night: Atkinson, 
Wright, Cherry-Garrard and Keohane. All are dis- 
appointed poor Wright rather bitterly, I fear. I 
dreaded this necessity of choosing nothing coulcl be 
more heartrending. I calculated our programme to 
start from 85 10' with twelve units of food 1 and 

1 A unit of food means a week's supplies for four men. 



ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 363 

eight men. We ought to be in this position to-morrow 
night, less one day's food. After all our harassing 
trouble one cannot but be satisfied with such a prospect/ 

The next stage of the journey, though accom- 
plished without accident, was too exciting to be alto- 
gether pleasant, for crevasses were frequent and falls 
not at all uncommon. And at mid-day, while they 
were in the worst of places, a fog rolled up and kept 
them in their tents for nearly three hours. 

During this enforced delay, Scott wrote a letter 
which was taken back by the returning party. 

' December 21, 1911, Lat. 85 S. We are struggling 
on, considering all things, against odds. The weather 
is a constant anxiety, otherwise arrangements are 
working exactly as planned. 

* For your ear also I am exceedingly fit and can 
go with the best of them. 

* It is a pity the luck doesn't come our way, because 
every detail of equipment is right . . . but all will be 
well if we can get through to the Pole. 

' I write this sitting in our tent waiting for the fog 
to clear, an exasperating position as we are in the 
worst crevassed region. Teddy Evans and Atkinson 
were down to the length of their harness this morning, 
and we have all been half-way down. As first man 
I get first chance, and it's decidedly exciting not 
knowing which step will give way. Still all this is 
interesting enough if one could only go on. 

' Since writing the above I made a dash for it ; 
got out of the valley out of the fog and away from 



364 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

crevasses. So here we are practically on the summit 
and up to date in the provision line. We ought to 
get through/ 

After the fog had cleared off they soon got out 
of the worst crevasses, and on to a snow slope that 
led past Mount Darwin. The pull up the slope was 
long and stiff, but by holding on until 7.30 P.M. they 
got off a good march and found a satisfactory place 
for their depot. Fortunately the weather was both 
calm and bright, and all the various sorting arrange- 
ments that had to be made before the returning party 
left them were carried out under most favourable con- 
ditions. ' For me/ Scott says, * it is an immense relief 
to have the indefatigable little Bowers to see to all de- 
tail arrangements of this sort/ and on the following 
day he added, ' we said an affecting farewell to the 
returning party, who have taken things very well, dear 
good fellows as they are.' 

Then the reorganised parties (Scott, Wilson, Oates 
and P.O. Evans; Bowers, E. R. Evans, Crean and 
Lashly) started off with their heavy loads, and any 
fears they had about their ability to pull them were 
soon removed. 

' It was a sad job saying good-bye/ Cherry-Garrard 
wrote in his diary, * and I know some eyes were a bit 
dim. It was thick and snowing when we started after 
making the depot, and the last we saw of them as 
we swung the sledge north, was a black dot just dis- 
appearing over the next ridge, and a big white pressure 
wave ahead of them/ 



ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 365 

Then the returning party set off on their homeward 
march, and arrived at Cape Evans on January 28, 
1912, after being away for three months. 

Repairs to the sledgemeter delayed the advancing 
party for some time during their first march under 
the new conditions, but they managed to cover twelve 
miles, and, with the loads becoming lighter every day, 
Scott hoped to march longer hours and to make the 
requisite progress. Steering, however, south-west on 
the next morning they soon found themselves among 
such bad crevasses and pressure, that they were com- 
pelled to haul out to the north, and then to the west. 
One comfort was that all the time they were rising. 
s It is rather trying having to march so far to the west, 
but if we keep rising we must come to the end of the 
disturbance some time/ During the second part of this 
march great changes of fortune awaited them. At 
first they started west up a slope, and on the top an- 
other pressure appeared on the left, but less lofty and 
more snow-covered than that which had troubled them 
in the morning. There was temptation to try this, 
but Scott resisted it and turned west up yet another 
slope, on the top of which they reached a most extraor- 
dinary surface. Narrow crevasses, that were quite 
invisible, ran in all directions. All of these crevasses 
were covered with a thin crust of hardened neve which 
had not a sign of a crack in it One after another, 
and sometimes two at a time, they all fell in; and 
though they were getting fairly accustomed to unex- 
pected falls through being unable to mark the run of 



366 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the surface appearances of cracks, or where such cracks 
were covered with soft snow, they had never expected 
to find a hardened crust formed over a crack, and such 
a surface was as puzzling as it was dangerous and 
troublesome. 

For about ten minutes or so, while they were near 
these narrow crevasses, they came on to snow which 
had a hard crust and loose crystals below it, and each 
step was like breaking through a glass-house. And 
then, quite suddenly, the hard surface gave place to 
regular sastrugi, and their horizon levelled in every 
direction. At 6 P.M., when they reached Camp 45 
(height about 7,750 feet), 17 miles stood to their 
credit and Scott was feeling e very cheerful about 
everything/ ' My determination/ he said, ' to keep 
mounting irrespective of course is fully justified, and 
I shall be indeed surprised if we have any further 
difficulties with crevasses or steep slopes. To me for 
the first time our goal seems really in sight/ 

On the following day (Christmas Eve) they did not 
find a single crevasse, but high pressure ridges were 
still to be seen, and Scott confessed that he should 
be glad to lose sight of such disturbances. Christmas 
Day, however, brought more trouble from crevasses 
c very hard, smooth neve between high ridges at the 
edge of crevasses, and therefore very difficult to get 
foothold to pull the sledges/ To remedy matters 
they got out their ski sticks, but this did not prevent 
several of them from going half-down; while Lashiy, 
disappearing completely, had to be pulled out by 



ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 367 

means of the Alpine rope. * Lashly says the crevasse 
was 50 feet deep and 8 feet across, in form U, showing 
that the word " unfathomable " can rarely be applied. 
Lashly is 44 to-day and as hard as nails. His fall has 
not even disturbed his equanimity. 5 

When, however, they had reached the top of the 
crevasse ridge a better surface was found, and their 
Christmas lunch at which they had such luxuries as 
chocolate and raisins was all the more enjoyable 
because 8 miles or so had already been gained. 

In the middle of the afternoon they got a fine view 
of the land, but more trouble was caused by crevasses, 
until towards the end of their march they got free 
of them and on to a slight decline down which they 
progressed at a swinging pace. Then they camped and 
prepared for their great Christmas meal. ' I must/ 
Scott says, l write a word of our supper last night. 
We had four courses. The first, pemmican, full whack, 
with slices of horse meat flavoured with onion and 
curry powder, and thickened with biscuit; then an 
arrowroot, cocoa and biscuit hoosh sweetened; then a 
plum-pudding; then cocoa with raisins, and finally a 
dessert of caramels and ginger. After the feast it 
was difficult to move. Wilson and I couldn't finish 
our share of plum-pudding. We have all slept splen- 
didly and feel thoroughly warm such is the effect of 
full feeding/ 

The advance, possibly owing to the ' tightener * on 
Christmas night, was a little slow on the following 
morning, but nevertheless 15 miles were covered 



368 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

in the day and the 86th parallel was reached. Cre- 
vasses still appeared, and though they avoided them on 
this march, they were not so lucky during the next 
stage to Camp 49. 

In fact Wednesday, December 27, was unfortunate 
owing to several reasons. To begin with, Bowers 
broke the only hypsometer thermometer, and so they 
were left with nothing to check their two aneroids. 
Then during the first part of the march they got among 
sastrugi which jerked the sledges about, and so tired 
out the second team that they had great difficulty 
in keeping up. And, finally, they found more cre- 
vasses and disturbances during the afternoon. For an 
hour the work was as painful as it could be, because 
they tumbled into the crevasses and got the most 
painful jerks. ' Steering the party/ Scott wrote at 
Camp 49, ' is no light task. One cannot allow one's 
thoughts to wander as others do, and when, as this 
afternoon, one gets amongst disturbances, I find it 
very worrying and tiring. I do trust we shall have 
no more of them. We have not lost sight of the sun 
since we came on the summit; we should get an ex- 
traordinary record of sunshine. It is monotonous 
work this; the sledgemeter and theodolite govern the 
situation.' 

During the next morning the second sledge made 
such ' heavy weather * that Scott changed places with 
E, R. Evans. That, however, did not improve matters 
much, for Scott soon found that the second team had 



ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 369 

not the same swing as his own team, so he changed 
Lashly for P.O. Evans, and then they seemed to get 
on better. At lunch-time they discussed the difficulties 
that the second party was having, and several reasons 
for them were put forward. One was that the team 
was stale, another that all the trouble was due to bad 
stepping and want of swing, and yet another was that 
the first's party's sledge pulled much more easily than 
the second party's. 

On the chance that this last suggestion was correct, 
Scott and his original team took the second party's 
sledge in the afternoon, and soon found that it was a 
terrible drag to get it along in soft snow, whereas 
the second party found no difficulty in pulling the 
sledge that had been given to them. ' So the sledge 
is the cause of the trouble, and taking it out, I found 
that all is due to want of care. The runners ran 
excellently, but the structure has been distorted by 
bad strapping, bad loading, &c. The party are not 
done, and I have told them plainly that they must 
wrestle with the trouble and get it right for them- 
selves.' 

Friday evening found them at Camp 51, and at a 
height of about 9,000 feet. But they had encountered 
a very bad surface, on which the strain of pulling 
was terrific. The hardest work occurred on two rises, 
because the loose snow had been blown over the rises 
and had rested on the north-facing slopes, and these 
heaps were responsible for the worst of their troubles. 
However, there was one satisfactory result of the 



370 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

march, for now that the second party had seen to 
the loading of their sledge they had ceased to lag. 

But the next stage was so exhausting that Scott's 
fears for the conditions of the second party again 
arose. Writing from Camp 52, on December 30, he 
says : ' To-morrow Fm going to march half a day, 
make a depot and build the xo-foot sledges. The 
second party is certainly tiring; it remains to be seen 
how they will manage with the smaller sledge and 
lighter load. The surface is certainly much worse 
than it was 50 miles back. (T. io.) We have 
caught up Shackleton's dates. Everything would be 
cheerful if I could persuade myself that the second 
party were quite fit to go forward.' 

Camp was pitched after the morning's march on 
December 31, and the process of building up the 10- 
foot sledges was at once begun by P.O. Evans and 
Crean. * It is a very remarkable piece of work. Cer- 
tainly P.O. Evans is the most invaluable asset to our 
party. To build a sledge under these conditions is a 
fact for special record/ 

Half a day was lost while the sledges were made, 
but this they hoped to make up for by advancing at 
much greater speed. A depot, called * Three Degree 
Depot/ consisting of a week's provision for both units, 
was made at this camp, and on New Year's morning, 
with lighter loads, Evans' party led the advance on 
foot, while Scott's team followed on ski. With a stick 
of chocolate to celebrate the New Year, and with 
only 170 miles between them and the Pole, prospects 



ON THE BEARDMORE GLACIER 371 

seemed to be getting brighter on New Year's night, 
and on the next evening at Camp 55 Scott decided that 
E. R. Evans, Lashly and Crean should go back after 
one more march. 

Writing from Camp 56 he says, t They are disap- 
pointed, but take it well. Bowers is to come into our 
tent, and we proceed as a five-man unit to-morrow. 
We have 5% units of food practically over a month's 
allowance for five people it ought to see us through. 
. . . Very anxious to see how we shall manage to- 
morrow; if we can march well with the full load we 
shall be practically safe, I take it.' 

By the returning party Scott sent back a letter, 
dated January 3, in which he wrote, ' Lat. 87 32".' A 
last note from a hopeful position. I think it's going to 
be all right. We have a fine party going forward and 
arrangements are all going well.' 

On the next morning the returning men followed a 
little way until Scott was certain that his team could 
get along, and then farewells were said. In referring 
to this parting with E. Evans, Crean and Lashly, 
Scott wrote, ' I was glad to find their sledge is a mere 
nothing to them, and thus, no doubt, they will make 
a quick journey back/ and under average conditions 
they should easily have fulfilled anticipations. But a 
blizzard held them up for three days before they 
reached the head of the glacier, and by the time they 
reached the foot of it E. Evans had developed symp- 
toms of scurvy. At One Ton Camp he was unable to 
stand without the support of his ski sticks, and al- 



372 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

though, with the help of his companions, he struggled 
on for 53 more miles in four days, he could go no far- 
ther. Rejecting his suggestion that he should be left 
alone while they pressed on for help, Crean and Lashly 
pulled him on the sledge with a devotion matching 
that of their captain years before, when he and Wilson 
had brought Shackleton, ill and helpless, safely to the 
Discovery. 

After four days of this pulling they reached Corner 
Camp, and then there was such a heavy snowfall that 
the sledge could not travel. In this crisis Crean set out 
to tramp alone to Hut Point, 34 miles away, while 
Lashly stayed to nurse E. Evans, and most certainly 
was the means of keeping him alive until help came. 
After a remarkable march of 18 hours Crean reached 
Hut Point, and as soon as possible Atkinson and 
Demetri started off with both dog teams to relieve 
Evans and Lashly. Some delay was caused by per- 
sistent bad weather, but on February 22 Evans was 
got back to the Discovery hut, where he was unremit- 
tingly tended by Atkinson; and subsequently he was 
sent by sledge to the Terra Nova. So ended the tale 
of the last supporting party, though, as a sequel, it is 
good to record that in reward for their gallant conduct 
both Lashly and Crean received the Albert Medal 



CHAPTER IX 

THE SOUTH POLE 

The Silence was deep with a breath like sleep 

As o'ar sledge runners slid on the snow, 
And the fate-full fall of our fur-clad feet 

Struck mute like a silent blow 
On a questioning ' Hush ? ' as the settling crust 

Shrank shivering over the floe. 
And the sledge In its track sent a whisper back 

Which was lost in a white fog-bow. 

And this was the thought that the Silence wrought, 

As it scorched and froze us through, 
For the secrets hidden are all forbidden 

Till God means man to know. 
We might be the men God meant should know 

The heart of the Barrier snow, 
In the heat of the sun, and the glow, 

And the glare from the glistening floe, 
As it scorched and froze us through and through 

With the bite of the drifting snow. 

(These verses, called 'The Barrier Silence/ were written by 
Wilson for the South Polar Times* Characteristically, he sent 
them in typewritten, lest the editor should recognize his hand 
and judge them on personal rather than literary grounds. Many 
of their readers confess that they felt in these lines Wilson's 
own premonition of the event. The version given is the final 
form, as it appeared in the South Polar Times.) 

THE ages of the five men when they continued the 
journey to the Pole were: Scott 43, Wilson 39, P*O. 
Evans 37, Gates 32, Bowers 28. 

373 



374 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

After the departure of the last supporting party 
Scott was naturally anxious to get off a good day's 
march, and he was not disappointed. At first the 
sledge on which, thanks to P.O. Evans, everything was 
most neatly stowed away, went easily. But during 
the afternoon they had to do some heavy pulling on a 
surface covered with loose sandy snow. Nevertheless 
they covered some 15 miles before they camped, and so 
smoothly did everything seem to be going that Scott 
began to wonder what was in store for them. ' One 
can scarcely believe that obstacles will not present 
themselves to make our task more difficult. Perhaps 
the surface will be the element to trouble us/ 

And on the following day his supposition began to 
prove correct, for a light wind from the N.N.W. 
brought detached cloud and a constant fall of ice 
crystals, and in consequence the surface was as bad as 
it could be. The sastrugi seemed to increase as they 
advanced, and late in the afternoon they encountered 
a very rough surface with evidences of hard southerly 
wind. Luckily the sledge showed no signs of capsizing, 
but the strain of trying to keep up a rate of a little 
over a mile and a quarter an hour was very great. 
However, they were cheered by the thought, when they 
reached Camp 58 (height 10,320 feet), that they were 
very close to the 88th parallel, and a little more than 
1 20 miles from the Pole. 

Another dreadful surface was their fate during the 
next march on Saturday, January 6. The sastrugi 
Increased in height as they advanced, and presently 



THE SOUTH POLE 375 

they found themselves in the midst of a sea of fish- 
hook waves, well remembered from their Northern ex- 
perience. And, to add to their trouble, each sastrugus 
was covered with a beard of sharp branching crystals. 
They took off their ski and pulled on foot, but both 
morning and afternoon the work of getting the sledge 
along was tremendous. Writing at Camp 59, Latitude 
88 7', Scott said, ' We think of leaving our ski here, 
mainly because of risk of breakage. Over the sastrugi 
it is all up and down hill, and the covering of ice crys- 
tals prevents the sledge from gliding even on the down- 
grade. The sastrugi, I fear, have come to stay, and 
we must be prepared for heavy marching, but in two 
days I hope to lighten loads with a depot. We are 
south of Shackleton's last camp, so, I suppose, have 
made the most aoutherly camp/ 

During the next day, January 7, they had good 
cause to think that the vicissitudes of their work were 
bewildering. On account of the sastrugi the ski were 
left at Camp 59, but they had only marched a mile 
from it when the sastrugi disappeared. ' I kept debat- 
ing the ski question and at this point stopped, and 
after discussion we went back and fetched the ski; 
it cost us i l /2 hours nearly. Marching again, I found 
to my horror we could scarcely move the sledge on ski ; 
the first hour was awful owing to the wretched coat- 
ing of loose sanely snow/ Consequently this march 
was the shortest they had made on the summit, and 
there was no doubt that if things remained for long 
as they were, it would be impossible to keep up the 



376 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

strain of such strenuous pulling. Luckily, however, 
loads were to be lightened on the following day by a 
weight of about 100 Ibs., and there was also hope of 
a better surface if only the crystal deposit would either 
harden up or disappear. Their food, too, was proving 
ample. ' What luck to have hit on such an excellent 
ration. We really are an excellently found party/ 
Indeed, apart from the strain of pulling, Scott's only 
anxiety on Sunday, January 7, was that Evans had a 
nasty cut on his hand. 

They woke the next morning to find their first 
summit blizzard; but Scott was not in the least per- 
turbed by this delay, because he thought that the rest 
would give Evans' hand a better chance of recovery, 
and he also felt that a day in their comfortable bags 
within their double-walled tent would do none of them 
any harm. But, both on account of lost time and food 
and the slow accumulation of ice, he did not want more 
than one day's delay. 

e It is quite impossible/ he wrote during this time 
of waiting, 'to speak too highly of my companions. 
Each fulfils his office to the party; Wilson, first as 
doctor, ever on the lookout to alleviate the small pains 
and troubles incidental to the work; now as cook, 
quick, careful and dexterous, ever thinking of some 
fresh expedient to help the camp life; tough as steel 
on the traces, never wavering from start to finish. 

' Evans, a giant worker with a really remarkable 
head-piece. It is only now I realise how much has been 
due to him. Our ski shoes and crampons have been 



THE SOUTH POLE 377 

absolutely indispensable, and if the original ideas were 
not his, the details of manufacture and design and the 
good workmanship are his alone. He is responsible for 
every sledge, every sledge fitting, tents, sleeping-bags, 
harness, and when one cannot recall a single expres- 
sion of dissatisfaction with any one of these items, it 
shows what an invaluable assistant he has been. Now, 
besides superintending the putting up of the tent, he 
thinks out and arranges the packing of the sledge; it 
is extraordinary how neatly and handily everything 
is stowed, and how much study has been given to 
preserving the suppleness and good running qualities 
of the machine. On the Barrier, before the ponies 
were killed, he was ever roaming round, correcting 
faults of stowage. 

* Little Bowers remains a marvel he is thoroughly 
enjoying himself. I leave all the provision arrange- 
ment in his hands, and at all times he knows exactly 
how we stand, or how each returning party should 
fare. It has been a complicated business to redistribute 
stores at various stages of reorganisation, but not one 
single mistake has been made. In addition to the 
stores, he keeps the most thorough and conscientious 
meteorological record, and to this he now adds the duty 
of observer and photographer. Nothing comes amiss 
to him, and no work is too hard. It is a difficulty to 
get him into the tent; he seems quite oblivious of 
the cold, and he lies coiled in his bag writing and 
working out sights long after the others are asleep. 

' Of these three it is a matter for thought and 



378 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

congratulation that each Is specially suited for his 
own work, but would not be capable of doing that of 
the others as well as it is done. Each is invaluable. 
Oates had his invaluable period with the ponies; now 
he is a foot slogger and goes hard the whole time, does 
his share of camp work, and stands the hardships as 
well as any of us. I would not like to be without him 
either. So our five people are perhaps as happily 
selected as it is possible to imagine.' 

Not until after lunch on the 9th were they able 
to break camp, the light being extremely bad when 
they marched, but the surface good. So that they 
might keep up the average length of their daily marches 
Scott wanted to leave a depot, but as the blizzard 
tended to drift up their tracks, he was not altogether 
confident that to leave stores on such a great plain was 
a wise proceeding. However, after a terribly hard 
march on the following morning, they decided to leave 
a depot at the lunch camp, and there they built a cairn 
and left one week's food with as many articles of 
clothing as they could possibly spare. 

Then they went forward with eighteen days 7 food 
on a surface that was ' beyond words/ for it was 
covered with sandy snow, and, when the sun shone, 
even to move the sledge forward at the slowest pace 
was distressingly difficult. On that night from 
Camp 62, Scott wrote, 'Only 85 miles (geog.) from 
the Pole, but it's going to be a stiff pull both ways 
apparently; still we do make progress, which is some- 
thing. ... It is very difficult to imagine what is 



THE SOUTH POLE 379 

happening to the weather. , . . The clouds don't seem 
to come from anywhere, form and disperse without 
visible reason. . . . The meteorological conditions 
seem to point to an area of variable light winds, and 
that plot will thicken as we advance/ 

From the very beginning of the march on Janu- 
ary 1 1 the pulling was heavy, but when the sun came 
out the surface became as bad as bad could be. All 
the time the sledge rasped and creaked, and the work 
of moving it onward was agonising. At lunch-time 
they had managed to cover six miles but at fearful 
cost to themselves, and although when they camped 
for the night they were only about 74 miles from the 
Pole, Scott asked himself whether they could possibly 
keep up such a strain for seven more days. ' It takes 
it out of us like anything. None of us ever had such 
hard work before. . . , Our chance still holds good if 
we can put the work in, but it's a terribly trying time/ 

For a few minutes during the next afternoon they 
experienced the almost forgotten delight of having the 
sledge following easily. The experience was very 
short but it was also very sweet, for Scott had begun 
to fear that their powers of pulling were rapidly 
weakening, and those few minutes showed him that 
they only wanted a good surface to get on as merrily 
as of old. At night they were within 63 miles of the 
Pole, and just longing for a better surface to help them 
on their way. 

But whatever the condition of the surface, Bowers 
continued to do his work with characteristic thorough- 



380 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

ness and imperturbability; and after this appalling 
march he insisted, in spite of Scott's protest, on taking 
sights after they had camped an all the more remark- 
able display of energy as he, being the only one of the 
party who pulled on foot, had spent an even more 
strenuous day than the others, who had been ' com- 
paratively restful on ski/ 

Again, on the next march, they had to pull with 
all their might to cover some 1 1 miles. * It is 
wearisome work this tugging and straining to advance 
a light sledge. Still, we get along. I did manage 
to get my thoughts off the work for a time to-day, 
which is very restful. We should be in a poor way 
without our ski, though Bowers manages to struggle 
through the soft snow without tiring his short legs/ 
Sunday night, January 14, found them at Camp 66 
and less than 40 miles from the Pole. Steering was 
the great difficulty on this march, because a light south- 
erly wind with very low drift often prevented Scott 
from seeing anything, and Bowers, in Scott's shadow, 
gave directions. By this time the feet of the whole 
party were beginning, mainly owing to the bad condi- 
tion of their finnesko, to suffer from the cold, ' Oates 
seems to be feeling the cold and fatigue more than the 
rest of us, but we are all very fit. It is a critical time, 
but we ought to pull through. . . Oh! for a few 
fine days ! So close it seems and only the weather to 
baulk us/ 

Another terrible surface awaited them on the 
morrow, and they were all * pretty well done ' when 



THE SOUTH POLE 381 

they camped for lunch. There they decided to leave 
their last depot, but although their reduced load was 
now very light, Scott feared that the friction would 
not be greatly reduced. A pleasant surprise, however, 
was in store for him, as after lunch the sledge ran 
very lightly, and a capital march was made. ' It 
is wonderful,' he wrote on that night (January 15), 
* to think that two long marches would land us at the 
Pole. We left our depot to-day with nine days' pro- 
visions, so that it ought to be a certain thing 
now, and the only appalling possibility the sight of 
the Norwegian flag forestalling ours. Little Bowers 
continues his indefatigable efforts to get good sights, 
and it is wonderful how he works them up in his 
sleeping-bag in our congested tent. Only 27 miles 
from the Pole. We ought to do it now.' 

The next morning's march took them 7^2 miles 
nearer and their noon sight showed them in Lat 89 
42' S. ; and feeling that the following day would see 
them at the Pole they started off after lunch in the best 
of spirits. Then, after advancing for an hour or so, 
Bowers' sharp eyes detected what he thought was a 
cairn, but although he was uneasy about it he argued 
that it must be a sastrugus. 

' Half an hour later he detected a black speck 
ahead. Soon we knew that this could not be a natural 
snow feature. We marched on, found that it was a 
black flag tied to a sledge bearer ; near by the remains 
of a camp; sledge tracks and ski tracks going and 
coming and the clear trace of dogs' paws many dogs. 



382 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

This told us the whole story. The Norwegians have 
forestalled us and are first at the Pole. It is a terrible 
disappointment, and I am very sorry for my loyal 
companions. Many thoughts come and much discus- 
sion have we had. To-morrow we must march on to 
the Pole and then hasten home with all the speed we 
can compass. All the day-dreams must go; it will be 
a wearisome return. Certainly also the Norwegians 
found an easy way up/ 

Very little sleep came to any of the party after 
the shock of this discovery, and when they started 
<at 7.30 on the next morning (January 17) head winds 
with a temperature of 22 added to their depression 
of spirit. For some way they followed the Norwegian 
tracks, and in about three miles they passed two 
cairns. Then, as the tracks became increasingly 
drifted up and were obviously leading them too far 
to the west, they decided to make straight for the 
Pole according to their calculations. During the 
march they covered about 14 miles, and at night 
Scott wrote in his journal, * The Pole. Yes, but 
under very different circumstances from those ex- 
pected/ 

That announcement tells its own story, and it 
would be impertinent to guess at the feelings of those 
intrepid travellers when they found themselves fore- 
stalled. Nevertheless they had achieved the purpose 
they had set themselves, and the fact that they could 
not claim the reward of priority makes not one jot of 
difference in estimating the honours that belong to them. 



THE SOUTH POLE 383 

( Well/ Scott continued, ' it is something to have 
got here, and the wind may be our friend to-morrow. 
. . . Now for the run home and a desperate struggle. 
I wonder if we can do it.' 

On the following morning after summing up all their 
observations, they came to the conclusion that they 
were one mile beyond the Pole and three miles to the 
right of it, in which direction, more or less, Bowers 
could see a tent or cairn. A march of two miles from 
their camp took them to the tent, in which they found 
a record of five Norwegians having been there : 

* Roald Amundsen 
Olav Olavson Bjaaland 
Hilmer Hanssen 
Sverre H. Hassel 
Oscar Wisting. 

1 6 Dec. 1911. 

6 The tent is fine a small compact affair supported 
by a single bamboo. A note from Amundsen, which 
I keep, asks me to forward a letter to King Haakon ! * 

In the tent a medley of articles had been left : three 
half bags of reindeer containing a miscellaneous as- 
sortment of mits and sleeping-socks, very various in 
description, a sextant, a Norwegian artificial horizon 
and a hypsometer without boiling-point thermometers, 
a sextant and hypsometer of English make. * Left a 
note to say I had visited the tent with companions. 
Bowers photographing and Wilson sketching. Since 
lunch we have marched 6*2 miles S.S.E. by compass 
(i.e. northwards). Sights at lunch gave us y 2 to $4 



384 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

of a mile from the Pole, so we call it the Pole Camp. 
(Temp. Lunch 21.) We built a cairn, put up our 
poor slighted Union Jack, and photographed ourselves 
mighty cold work all of it less than y% a mile south 
we saw stuck up an old underrunner of a sledge. This 
we commandeered as a yard for a floorcloth sail. I 
imagine it was intended to mark the exact spot of the 
Pole as near as the Norwegians could fix it. (Height 
9,500.) A note attached talked of the tent as being 
2 miles from the Pole. Wilson keeps the note. There 
is no doubt that our predecessors have made thoroughly 
sure of their mark and fully carried out their pro- 
gramme. I think the Pole is about 9,500 feet in 
height; this is remarkable, considering that in Lat 88 
we were about 10,500. 

* We carried the Union Jack about % of a mile 
north with us and left it on a piece of stick as near 
as we could fix it. I fancy the Norwegians arrived 
at the Pole on the i5th Dec. and left on the i/th, 
ahead of a date quoted by me in London as ideal, viz. 
Dec. 22. ... Well, we have turned our back now on 
the goal of our ambition and must face our 800 miles 
of solid dragging and good-bye to most of the day- 
dreams ! ' 



CHAPTER X 

ON THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY 

It matters not how strait the gate, 

How charged with punishments the scroll; 

I am the master of my fate, 

I am the Captain of my soul. HENLEY. 

DURING the afternoon of Thursday, January 18, they 
left the Pole 7 miles behind them, and early in the 
march on the following morning picked up their out- 
ward tracks and a Norwegian cairn. These tracks 
they followed until they carne to the black flag that had 
been the first means of telling them of the Norwegians* 
success. * We have picked this flag up, using the staff 
for our sail, and are now camped about ij^ miles 
further back on our tracks. So that is the last of the 
Norwegians for the present.' 

In spite of a surface that was absolutely spoilt by 
crystals they marched i8j^ miles on the Friday, and 
also easily found the cairns that they had built ; but until 
they reached Three Degree Depot which was still 150 
miles away, anxiety, Scott said, could not be laid to 
rest. 

On the next day they reached their Southern 

385 



386 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Depot and picked up four days' food. With the wind 
behind them and with full sail they went along at a 
splendid rate in the afternoon, until they were pulled up 
by a surface on which drifting snow was lying in heaps ; 
and then, with the snow clinging to the ski, pulling 
became terribly distressing. ' I shall be very glad 
when Bowers gets his ski/ Scott wrote at R. 3,* f I'm 
afraid he must find these long marches very trying with 
short legs, but he is an undefeated little sportsman. I 
think Gates is feeling the cold and fatigue more than 
most of us. It is blowing pretty hard to-night, but 
with a good march we have earned one good hoosh and 
are very comfortable in the tent. It is everything 
now to keep up a good marching pace; I trust we 
shall be able to do so and catch the ship. Total inarch, 
18*4 miles.' 

A stiff blizzard with thick snow awaited them on 
the Sunday morning, but the weather cleared after 
mid-day, and they struggled on for a few very weary 
hours. At night they had 6 days' food in hand and 
45 miles between them and their next depot, where 
they had left 7 days' food to take them on the 90 
miles to the Three Degree Depot. ' Once there we 
ought to be safe, but we ought to have a day or two 
in hand on arrival and may have difficulty with follow- 
ing the tracks. However, if we can get a rating sight 
for our watches to-morrow we should be independent 
of the tracks at a pinch/ 

January 22 brought an added worry in the fact 

1 A number preceded by R. marks the camps on the return 
journey. 



ON THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY 387 

that the ski boots were beginning to show signs of 
wear, but this was nothing compared with the anxiety 
Scott began to feel about Evans on the following day. 
c There is no doubt that Evans is a good deal run down 
his fingers are badly blistered and his nose is rather 
seriously congested with frequent frost-bites. He 
is very much annoyed with himself, which is not a 
good sign. I think Wilson, Bowers and I are as fit 
as possible under the circumstances. Oates gets cold 
feet. . . . We are only about 13 miles from our 
<c Degree and half " Depot and should get there to- 
morrow. The weather seems to be breaking up. 
Pray God we have something of a track to follow 
to the Three Degree Depot once we pick that up we 
ought to be right/ 

Another blizzard attacked them at mid-day on the 
morrow, and so, though only seven miles from their 
depot, they were obliged to camp, for it was im- 
possible to see the tracks. With the prospect of bad 
weather and scant food on the tremendous summit 
journey in front of them, and with Oates and Evans 
suffering badly from frost-bites, Scott had to admit 
that the situation was going from bad to worse. But 
on the next afternoon they managed to reach the Half 
Degree Depot, and left with 9^/2 days* provision to 
carry them the next 89 miles. 

During Friday, January 26, they found their old 
tracks completely wiped out, but knowing that there 
were two cairns at four-mile intervals they were not 
anxious until they picked up the first far on their 



3 88 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

right, and afterwards Bowers caught a glimpse of the 
second which was far on their left. ' There is not a 
sign of our tracks between these cairns, but the last, 
marking our night camp of the 6th, No. 59, is in the 
belt of hard sastrugi, and I was comforted to see signs 
of the track reappearing as we camped. I hope to 
goodness we can follow it to-morrow/ 

Throughout the early part of the next day's march, 
however, these hopes were not realised. Scott and 
Wilson pulling in front on ski, the others being on 
foot, found it very difficult to follow the track, which 
constantly disappeared altogether and at the best could 
only just be seen. 

On the outward journey, owing to the heavy 
mounds, they had been compelled to take a very zig- 
zag course, and in consequence the difficulty of finding 
signs of it was greatly increased. But by hook or 
crook they succeeded in sticking to the old track, and 
during the last part of the march they discovered, to 
their joy and relief, that it was much easier to follow. 
Through this march they were helped on their way 
by a southerly breeze, and as the air was at last dry 
again their tents and equipment began to lose the icy 
state caused by the recent blizzards. On the other 
hand, they were beginning to feel that more food, espe- 
cially at lunch, was becoming more and more necessary, 
and their sleeping-bags, although they managed to sleep 
well enough in them, were slowly but steadily getting 
wetter. 

On Sunday night, at R. 11, they were only 43 miles 



ON THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY 389 

from their depot with six days' food in hand, after 
doing a good march of 16 miles. ' If this goes on 
and the weather holds we shall get our depot without 
trouble. I shall indeed be glad to get it on the sledge. 
We are getting more hungry, there is no doubt. The 
lunch meal is beginning to seem inadequate. We are 
pretty thin, especially Evans, but none of us are feel- 
ing worked out. I doubt if we could drag heavy loads, 
but we can keep going with our light one. We talk 
of food a good deal more, and shall be glad to open 
out on it.' 

With the wind helping greatly and with no difficulty 
in finding the tracks, two splendid marches followed ; 
but on the Tuesday their position had its serious as 
well as its bright side, for Wilson strained a tendon 
in his leg. ' It has/ Scott wrote, ' given pain all day 
and is swollen to-night. Of course, he is full of pluck 
over it, but I don't like the idea of such an accident 
here. To add to the trouble Evans has dislodged two 
finger-nails to-night; his hands are really bad, and to 
my surprise he shows signs of losing heart over it. 
He hasn't been cheerful since the accident. . . . We 
can get along with bad fingers, but it [will be] a 
mighty serious thing if Wilson's leg doesn't improve/ 

Before lunch on Wednesday, January 31, they 
picked up the Three Degree Depot, and were able 
slightly to increase their rations, though not until 
they reached the pony food depot could they look for 
a real feed/ After lunch (January 31) the surface, 
owing to sandy crystals, was very bad, and with Wilson 



390 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

walking by the sledge to rest his leg as much as possible, 
pulling was even more toilsome work than usual. 
During the afternoon they picked up Bowers' ski, which 
he had left on December 31. ' The last thing we have 
to find on the summit, thank Heaven ! Now we have 
only to go north and so shall welcome strong winds/ 

Pulling on throughout the next day they reached 
a lunch cairn, which had been made when they were 
only a week out from the Upper Glacier Depot, With 
eight days' food in hand Scott hoped that they would 
easily reach it, for their increased food allowance was 
having a good effect upon all of them, and Wilson's 
leg was better. On the other hand, Evans was still a 
cause for considerable anxiety. 

All went very well during their march to R. 16 
on February 2 until Scott, trying to keep the track 
and his feet at the same time on a very slippery sur- 
face, came ' an awful purler ' on his shoulder. ' It is 
horribly sore to-night and another sick person added 
to our tent three out of five injured, and the most 
troublesome surfaces to come. We shall be lucky if 
we get through without serious injury. . . . The extra 
food is certainly helping us, but we are getting pretty 
hungry. . . . It is time we were off the summit 
Pray God another four days will see us pretty well 
clear of it Our bags are getting very wet and we 
ought to have more sleep.' 

On leaving their sixteenth camp they were within 
80 miles or so of the Upper Glacier Depot under Mount 
Darwin, and after exasperating delays in searching for 



ON THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY 391 

tracks and cairns, they resolved to waste no more time, 
but to push due north just as fast as they could. Evans' 
fingers were still very bad, and there was little hope 
that he would be able for some time to help properly 
with the work, and on the following day an accident 
that entailed the most serious consequences happened. 

'Just before lunch/ Scott wrote at R. 18, 'unex- 
pectedly fell into crevasses, Evans and I together a 
second fall for Evans, 1 and I camped. After lunch saw 
disturbance ahead. . . We went on ski over hard 
shiny descending surface. Did very well, especially 
towards end of march, covering in all 18.1. . . . The 
party is not improving in condition, especially Evans, 
who is becoming rather dull and incapable. Thank 
the Lord we have good food at each meal, but we get 
hungrier in spite of it. Bowers is splendid, full of 
energy and bustle all the time/ 

On Monday morning a capital advance of over 10 
miles was made, but in the afternoon difficulties again 
arose to harass them. Huge pressures and great street 
crevasses partly open barred their way, and so they 
had to steer more and more to the west on a very 
erratic course. Camping-time found them still in a 
very disturbed region, and although they were within 
25 to 30 miles of their depot there seemed to be no way 
through the disturbances that continued to block their 
path. On turning out to continue their march they 
went straight for Mount Darwin, but almost at once 

1 Wilson afterwards expressed an opinion that Evans injured 
his brain by one of these falls. 



392 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

found themselves among huge open chasms. To avoid 
these they turned northwards between two of them, 
with the result that they got into chaotic disturbance. 
Consequently they were compelled to retrace their steps 
for a mile or so, and then striking to the west they 
got among a confused sea of sastrugi, in the midst of 
which they camped for lunch. A little better fortune 
attended them in the afternoon, and at their twentieth 
camp Scott estimated that they were anything from 10 
to 15 miles off ihe Upper Glacier Depot. f Food is low 
and weather uncertain/ he wrote, e so that many hours 
of the day were anxious; but this evening (February 
6), though we are not so far advanced as I expected, 
the outlook is much more promising. Evans is the 
chief anxiety now ; his cuts and wounds suppurate, his 
nose looks very bad, and altogether he shows consider- 
able signs of being played out Things may mend for 
him on the Glacier, and his wounds get some respite 
under warmer conditions. I am indeed glad to think 
we shall so soon have done with plateau conditions. It 
took us 27 days to reach the Pole and 21 days back 
in all 48 days nearly 7 weeks in low temperature with 
almost incessant wind/ 

February 7, which was to see the end of their 
summit journey, opened with a very tiresome march 
down slopes and over terraces covered with hard 
sastrugi. However, they made fairly good progress 
during the day, and between six and seven o'clock 
their depot was sighted and soon afterwards they 
were camped close to it. ' Well/ Scott wrote at R, 21, 



ON THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY 393 

* we have come through our 7 weeks' ice camp jour- 
ney and most of us are fit, but I think another week 
might have had a very bad effect on P.O. Evans, who 
is going steadily downhill/ 

On the next morning they started late owing to 
various re-arrangements having to be made, and then 
steered for Mt. Darwin to get specimens. As Wilson 
was still unable to use his ski, Bowers went on and got 
several specimens of much the same type a close- 
grained granite rock which weathers red; and as soon 
as Bowers had rejoined the party they skidded down- 
hill fairly fast, Scott and Bowers (the leaders) being 
on ski, Wilson and Oates on foot alongside the sledge, 
while Evans was detached. 

By lunch-time they were well down towards Mt. 
Buckley, and decided to steer for the moraine under 
the mountain. Having crossed some very irregular 
steep slopes with big crevasses, they slid down towards 
the rocks, and then they saw that the moraine was so 
interesting that, after an advance of some miles 
had brought escape from the wind, the decision 
was made to camp and spend the rest of the day in 
geologising. 

' It has been extremely interesting. We found our- 
selves under perpendicular cliffs of Beacon sandstone, 
weathering rapidly and carrying veritable coal seams. 
From the last Wilson, with his sharp eyes, has picked 
several plant impressions, the last a piece of coal 
with beautifully traced leaves in layers, also some 
excellently preserved impressions of thick stems, show- 



394 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

ing cellular structure. In one place we saw the 
cast of small waves in the sand. To-night Bill has 
got a specimen of limestone with archeo-cyathus the 
trouble is one cannot imagine where the stone comes 
from; it is evidently rare, as few specimens occur in 
the moraine. There is a good deal of pure white 
quartz. Altogether we have had a most interesting 
afternoon, and the relief of being out of the wind and 
in a warmer temperature is inexpressible. I hope and 
trust we shall all buck up again now that the conditions 
are more favourable. . . . A lot could be written on 
the delight of setting foot on rock after 14 weeks of 
snow and ice, and nearly 7 out of sight of aught else. 
It is like going ashore after a sea voyage.' 

On the following morning they kept along the edge 
of the moraine to the end of Mt Buckley, and again 
stopping to geologise, Wilson had a great find of vege- 
table impression in a piece of limestone. The time 
spent in collecting these geological specimens from the 
Beardmore Glacier, and the labour endured in dragging 
the additional 35 Ibs. to their last camp, were doubtless 
a heavy price to pay; but great as the cost was they 
were more than willing to pay it. The fossils con- 
tained in these specimens, often so inconspicuous that 
it is a wonder they were discovered by the collectors^ 
proved to be the most valuable obtained by the ex- 
pedition, and promise to solve completely the ques- 
tions of the age and past history of this portion of 
the Antarctic continent. At night, after a difficult day 
among bad ice pressures, Scott almost apologises for 



ON THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY 395 

being too tired to write any geological notes, and as 
the sledgemeter had been unshipped he could not tell 
the distance they had traversed. 'Very warm on 
march and we are all pretty tired. . . . Our food 
satisfies now, but we must march to keep on the full 
ration, and we want rest, yet we shall pull through all 
right, D.V. We are by no means worn out/ 

On the night of Friday, February 10, they got some 
of the sleep that was so urgently needed, and in con- 
sequence there was a great change for the better in 
the appearance of everyone. Their progress, however, 
was delayed during the next afternoon by driving 
snow, which made steering impossible and compelled 
them to camp. ' We have two full days' food left/ 
Scott wrote on the same evening, * and though our 
position is uncertain, we are certainly within two out- 
ward marches from the middle glacier depot. How- 
ever, if the weather doesn't clear by to-morrow, we 
must either march blindly on or reduce food/ 

The conditions on Sunday morning were utterly 
wretched for the surface was bad and the light hor- 
rible, but they marched on until, with the light getting 
worse and worse, they suddenly found themselves in 
pressure. Then, unfortunately, they decided to steer 
east, and after struggling on for several hours found 
themselves in a regular trap. Having for a short time 
in the earlier part of the day got on to a good sur- 
face, they thought that all was going well and did 
not reduce their lunch rations. But half an hour after 
lunch they suddenly got into a terrible ice mess. 



396 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

For three hours they plunged forward on ski, first 
thinking that they were too much to the right, and 
then too much to the left; meanwhile the disturbance 
got worse and worse, and there were moments when 
Scott nearly despaired of finding a way out of the 
awful turmoil in which they found themselves. At 
length, arguing that there must be a way out on the 
left, they plunged in that direction, only to find that 
the surface was more icy and crevassed. 

e We could not manage our ski and pulled on foot, 
falling into crevasses every minute most luckily no 
bad accident. At length we saw a smoother slope 
towards the land, pushed for it, but knew it was a 
woefully long way from us. The turmoil changed in 
character, irregular crevassed surface giving way to 
huge chasms, closely packed and most difficult to cross. 
It was very heavy work, but we had grown desperate. 
We won through at 10 P.M., and I write after 12 hours 
on the march. I think we are on or about the right 
track now, but we are still a good number of miles 
from the depot, so we reduced rations to-night. We 
had three pemmican meals left and decided to make 
them into four. To-morrow's lunch must serve for 
two if we clo not make big progress. It was a test of 
our endurance on the march and our fitness with small 
supper. We have come through well/ 

On leaving R. 25, early on Monday morning, every- 
thing went well in the forenoon and a good march 
was made over a fair surface. Two hours before 
lunch they were cheered by the sight of their night 



ON THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY 397 

camp of December 18 (the day after they had made 
their depot), for this showed them that they were still 
on the right track. In the afternoon, refreshed by tea, 
they started off confidently expecting to reach their 
depot, but by a most unfortunate chance they kept too 
far to the left and arrived in a maze of crevasses and 
fissures. Afterwards their course became very erratic, 
and finally, at 9 P.M., they landed in the worst place 
of all 

' After discussion we decided to camp, and here we 
are, after a very short supper and one meal only re- 
maining in the food bag; the depot doubtful in locality. 
We must get there to-morrow. Meanwhile we are 
cheerful with an effort/ 

On that night, at Camp R. 26, Scott says that they 
all slept well in spite of grave anxieties, his own being 
increased by his visits outside the tent, when he saw 
the sky closing over and snow beginning to fall. 
At their ordinary hour for getting up the weather was 
so thick that they had to remain in their sleeping- 
bags; but presently the weather cleared enough for 
Scott dimly to see the land of the Cloudmaker. 
Then they got up and after breakfasting off some tea 
and one biscuit, so that they might leave their scanty 
remaining meal for even greater emergencies, they 
started to march through an awful turmoil of 
broken ice. In about an hour, however, they hit 
upon an old moraine track where the surface was 
much smoother, though the fog that was still 
hanging over everything added to their difficulties. 



398 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Presently Evans raised their hopes with a shout of 
depot ahead, but it proved to be nothing but a shadow 
on the ice, and then Wilson suddenly saw the actual 
depot flag. ' It was an immense relief, and we were 
soon in possession of our 3^2 days 7 food. The relief to 
all is inexpressible; needless to say, we camped and 
had a meal/ 

Marching on in the afternoon Scott kept more to 
the left, and closed the mountain until they came to 
the stone moraines, where Wilson detached himself 
and made a collection, while the others advanced 
with the sledge. Writing that night (Tuesday, 
February 13) at 'Camp R. 27, beside Cloudmaker J 
Scott says, ' We camped late, abreast the lower end 
of the mountain, and had nearly our usual satis- 
fying supper. Yesterday was the worst experience 
of the trip and gave a horrid feeling of insecurity. 
Now we are right, but we must march. In future 
food must be worked so that we do not run so short 
if the weather fails us. We mustn't get into a hole 
like this again. . . . Bowers has had a very bad 
attack of snow-blindness, and Wilson another al- 
most as bad. Evans has no power to assist with 
camping work/ 

A good march followed to Camp R. 28, and with 
nearly three days' food they were about 30 miles away 
from the Lower Glacier Depot. On the other hand, 
Scott was becoming most gravely concerned about 
the condition of the party, and especially about 
Evans, who seemed to be going from bad to worse. 



ON THE HOMEWARD JOURNEY 399 

And on the next evening, after a heavy march he 
wrote, ' We don't know our distance from the depot, 
but imagine about 20 miles. We are pulling for food 
and not very strong evidently. . . . We have reduced 
food, also sleep; feeling rather done. Trust i l / 2 days 
or 2 at most will see us at depot/ 

Friday's march brought them within 10 or 12 miles 
of their depot, and with food enough to last them 
until the next night; but anxiety about Evans was 
growing more and more intense. * Evans has nearly 
broken down in brain, we think. He is absolutely 
changed from his normal self-reliant self. This 
morning and this afternoon he stopped the march on 
some trivial excuse. . . . Memory should hold the 
events of a very troublesome march with more troubles 
ahead. Perhaps all will be well if we can get to our 
depot to-morrow fairly early, but it is anxious work 
with the sick man/ 

On the following morning (Saturday, February 17) 
Evans looked a little better after a good sleep, and 
declared, as he always did, that he was quite well; 
but half an hour after he had started in his place on 
the traces, he worked his ski shoes adrift and had to 
leave the sledge. At the time the surface was awful, 
the soft snow, which had recently fallen, clogging the 
ski and runners at every step, the sledge groaning, 
the sky overcast, and the land hazy. They stopped 
for about an hour, and then Evans came up again, 
but very slowly. Half an hour later he dropped out 
again on the same plea, and asked Bowers to lend 



400 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

him a piece of string. Scott cautioned him to come 
on as quickly as he could, and he gave what seemed to 
be a cheerful answer. Then the others were compelled 
to push on, until abreast the Monument Rock they 
halted and, seeing Evans a long way behind, decided to 
camp for lunch. 

At first there was no alarm, but when they looked 
out after lunch and saw him still afar off they were 
thoroughly frightened, and all four of them started 
back on ski. Scott was the first to meet the poor 
man, who was on his knees with hands uncovered 
and frost-bitten and a wild look in his eyes. When 
asked what was the matter, he replied slowly that he 
didn't know, but thought that he must have fainted. 

They managed to get him on his feet, but after 
two or three steps he sank down again and showed 
every sign of complete collapse. Then Scott, Wilson 
and Bowers hastened back for the sledge, while Oates 
remained with him. 

f When we returned he was practically unconscious, 
and when we got him into the tent quite comatose. 
He died quietly at 12.30 A.M.' 



CHAPTER XI 

THE LAST MARCH 

Men like a man who has shown himself a pleasant companion 
through a week's walking tour. They worship the man who, 
over thousands of miles, for hundreds of days, through renewed 
difficulties and efforts, has brought them without friction, ar- 
rogance or dishonour to the victory proposed, or to the higher 
glory of unshaken defeat. R. KIPLING. 

AFTER this terrible experience the rest of the party 
marched on later in the night, and arrived at their 
depot; there they allowed themselves five hours' sleep 
and then marched to Shambles Camp, which they 
reached at 3 P.M. on Sunday, February 18. Plenty 
of horse meat awaited them, with the prospect of 
plenty to come if they could only keep up good marches. 
' New life seems to come with greater food al- 
most immediately, but I am anxious about the Barrier 
surfaces/ 

A late start was made from Shambles Carnp, because 
much work had to be done in shifting sledges 1 and 
fitting up the new one with a mast, &c., and in packing 

* Sledges were left at the chief depots to replace damaged one.s, 

401 



402 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

horse meat and personal effects. Soon after noon, 
however, they got away, and found the surface every 
bit as bad as they expected. Moreover Scott's fears 
that there would not be much change during the 
next few days were most thoroughly justified. On 
the Monday afternoon they had to pull over a really 
terrible surface that resembled desert sand. And 
the same conditions awaited them on the following 
day, when, after four hours' plodding in the morning, 
they reached Desolation Camp. At this camp they 
had hoped to find more pony meat, but disappointment 
awaited them. ( Total mileage for day 7,* Scott 
wrote at R. 34, 6 the ski tracks pretty plain and easily 
followed this afternoon. . . . Terribly slow progress, 
but we hope for better things as we clear the land. 
. . . Pray God we get better travelling as we are not 
so fit as we were, and the season is advancing 
apace/ 

Again, on Wednesday, February 21, the surface 
was terrible, and once more Scott expressed a devout 
hope that as they drew away from the land the con- 
ditions might get better; and that this improvement 
should come and come soon was all the more necessary 
because they were approaching a critical part ol t*uoir 
journey, in which there were long distances between 
the cairns. f If we can tide that over we get on the 
regular cairn route, and with luck should stick to it; 
but everything depends on the weather. We never 
won a march of 8$4 miles with greater difficulty, but 
we can't go on like this/ 



THE LAST MARCH 403 

Very fresh wind from the S.E., with strong surface 
drift, so completely wiped out the faint track they 
were trying to follow during the next stage of their 
struggle homewards, that lunch-time came without a 
sight of the cairn they had hoped to pass. Later in 
the day Bowers, feeling sure that they were too far 
to the west, steered out, with the result that another 
pony camp was passed by unseen. ' There is little 
doubt we are in for a rotten critical time going home, 
and the lateness of the season may make it really 
serious. . . . Looking at the map to-night there is no 
doubt we are too far to the east. With clear weather 
we ought to be able to correct the mistake, but will the 
weather clear ? It's a gloomy position, more especially 
as one sees the same difficulty recurring even when we 
have corrected this error. The wind is dying down 
to-night and the sky clearing in the south, which 
is hopeful. Meanwhile it is satisfactory to note that 
such untoward events fail to damp the spirit of the 
party/ 

The hopes of better weather were realised during 
the following day, when they started off in sunshine 
and with very little wind. Difficulties as to their 
u'Mrse remained, but luckily Bowers took a round of 
angles, and with the help of the chart they came to the 
conclusion that they must be inside rather than 
outside the tracks. The data, however, were so 
meagre that none of them were happy about taking 
the great responsibility of marching out. Then, just 
as they had decided to lunch, Bowers' wonderfully 



404 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

sharp eyes detected an old double lunch cairn, and 
the theodolite telescope confirmed it. Camp R. 37 
found them within 2]^ miles of their depot, ' We 
cannot see it, but, given fine weather, we cannot miss 
it. We are, therefore, extraordinarily relieved. , . , 
Things are again looking up, as we are on the regular 
line of cairns, with no gaps right home, I hope/ In 
the forenoon of Saturday, February 24, the depot was 
reached, and there they found the store in order except 
for a shortage of oil, ' Shall have to be very saving 
with fuel.' 

[Indeed from this time onward the party were in- 
creasingly in want of more oil than they found at the 
depots. Owing partly to the severe conditions, but 
still more to the delays caused by their sick comrades, 
they reached the full limit of time allowed for between 
the depots. The cold was unexpected, and at the same 
time the actual amount of oil found at the depots 
was less than Scott anticipated. 

The return journey on the summit was made at 
good speed, for the party accomplished in 21 days what 
had taken them 27 days on the outward journey. 
But the last part of it, from Three Degree to Upper 
Glacier Depot, took nearly eight marches as against 
ten, and here can be seen the first slight slackening 
as P.O. Evans and Gates began to feel the cold. 
From the Upper Glacier to the Lower Glacier Depot 
there was little gain on the outward journey, partly 
owing to the conditions but more to Evans' gradual 
collapse. And from that time onward the marches 



THE LAST MARCH 405 

of the weary but heroic travellers became shorter and 
shorter. 

As regards the cause of the shortage of oil, the 
tins at the depots had been exposed to extreme con- 
ditions of heat and cold. The oil in the warmth of 
the sun for the tins were regularly set in an accessible 
place on the top of the cairns tended to become 
vapour and to escape through the stoppers without 
damage to the tins. This process was much hastened 
owing to the leather washers about the stoppers hav- 
ing perished in the great cold. 

The tins awaiting the Southern party at the depots 
had, of course, been opened, so that the supporting 
parties on their way back could take their due amount. 
But however carefully the tins were re-stoppered, they 
were still liable to the unexpected evaporation and 
leakage, and hence, without the smallest doubt, arose 
the shortage which was such a desperate blow to Scott 
and his party,] 

Apart from the storage of fuel everything was 
found in order at the depot, and with ten full days' 
provisions from the night of the 24th they had less 
than 70 miles between them and the Mid-Barrier 
depot. At lunch-time Scott wrote in a more hopeful 
tone, It is an immense relief to have picked up this 
depot, and, for the time, anxieties are thrust aside/ 
but at night, after pulling on a dreadful surface and 
only gaining four miles, he added, * It really will be a 
bad business if we are to have this plodding all through. 
I don't know what to think, but the rapid closing 



406 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

of the season is ominous. . . . It is a race between 
the season and hard conditions and our fitness and 
good food/ 

Their prospects, however, became a little brighter 
during the following day, when the whole march 
yielded 11.4 miles, 'The first double figures of steady 
dragging for a long time/ But what they wanted and 
what would not come was a wind to help them on their 
way. Nevertheless, although the assistance they so 
sorely needed was still lacking, they gained another 
11^2 miles on their next march, and were within 43 
miles of their next depot. Writing from ' R. 40. 
Temp. 21 ' on Monday night, February 26, Scott 
said, ' Wonderfully fine weather but cold, very cold. 
Nothing dries and we get our feet cold too often. 
We want more food yet, and especially more fat. 
Fuel is woefully short. We can scarcely hope to get 
a better surface at this season, but I wish we could 
have some help from the wind, though it might shake 
us up badly if the temp, didn't rise/ 

Tuesday brought them within 31 miles of their 
depot, but hunger was attacking them fiercely, and 
they could talk of little else except food and of when 
and where they might possibly meet the dogs, * It 
is a critical position. We may find ourselves in safety 
at next depot, but there is a horrid element of doubt/ 

On the next day Scott decided to increase the ra- 
tions, and at R. 42, which they reached after a march of 
ii^ miles in a blightingly cold wind, they had a 
* splendid pony hoosh/ The temperatures, however, 



THE LAST MARCH 407 

which varied at this time between 30 and 42, 
were chilling them through and through, and to get 
their foot-gear on in the mornings was both a painful 
and a long task. * Frightfully cold starting/ Scott 
wrote at lunch-time on Thursday, February 29, ( luck- 
ily Bowers and Oates in their last new finnesko ; keep- 
ing my old ones for the present. . . . Next camp is 
our depot and it is exactly 13 miles. It ought not to 
take more than i^> days ; we pray for another fine one. 
The oil will just about spin out in that event, and 
we arrive a clear day's food in hand/ 

On reaching the Middle Barrier Depot, however, 
blow followed blow in such quick succession that hope 
of pulling through began to sink in spite of all their 
cheerfulness and courage. First they found such a 
shortage of oil that with the most rigid economy it 
could scarcely carry them on to their next depot, 71 
miles away. Then Oates disclosed the fact that his 
feet, evidently frost-bitten by the recent low temper- 
atures, were very bad indeed. And lastly the wind, 
which at first they had greeted with some joy, brought 
dark overcast weather. During the Friday night the 
temperature fell to below 40, and on the next 
morning an hour and a half was spent before they 
could get on their foot-gear. Then on an appalling sur- 
face they lost both cairns and tracks, and at lunch 
Scott had to admit that they were ' in a very queer 
street since there is no doubt we cannot do the extra 
marches and feel the cold horribly/ 

Afterwards they managed to pick up the track 



408 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

again, and with a march of nearly 10 miles for the 
day prospects brightened a little; but on the next 
morning they had to labour upon a surface that was 
coated with a thin layer of woolly crystals, which 
were too firmly fixed to be removed by the wind and 
caused impossible friction to the runners of the sledge. 
' God help us/ Scott wrote at mid-day, * we can't keep 
up this pulling, that is certain. Amongst ourselves 
we are unendingly cheerful, but what each man feels 
in his heart I can only guess. Putting on foot-gear 
in the morning is getting slower and slower, there- 
fore every day more dangerous. 3 

No relief whatever to the critical situation came on 
Monday, March 4, and there was in fact little left to 
hope for except a strong drying wind, which at that 
time of the year was not likely to come. At mid-day 
they were about 42 miles from the next depot and had 
a week's food; but in spite of the utmost economy 
their oil could only last three or four days, and to pull 
as they were doing and be short of food at the same 
time was an absolute impossibility. For the time 
being the temperature had risen to 20, but Scott 
was sure that this small improvement was only tem- 
porary and feared that Gates, at any rate, was in no 
state to weather more severe cold than they were en- 
during. And hanging over all the other misfortunes 
was the constant fear that if they did get to the next 
depot they might find the same shortage of oil. * I 
don't know what I should do if Wilson and Bowers 
weren't so determinedly cheerful over things/ 



THE LAST MARCH 409 

And it must in all truth have been as difficult as 
it was heroic to be cheerful, for weary and worn as 
they were their food needed such careful husbanding, 
that their supper on this night (March 4) consisted 
of nothing but a cup of cocoa and pemmican solid 
with the chill off. ( We pretend to prefer the pem- 
mican this way/ Scott says, and if any proof was 
needed of their indomitable resolution it is contained 
in that short sentence. The result, however, was 
telling rapidly upon all of them, and more especially 
upon Gates, whose feet were in a terrible condition 
when they started to march on the morning of the 5th. 
Lunch-time saw them within 27 miles of their next 
supply of food and fuel, but by this time poor Gates 
was almost done. 

* It is pathetic enough because we can do nothing 
for him ; more hot food might do a little, but only a 
little, I fear. We none of us expected these terribly 
low temperatures, and of the rest of us Wilson is 
feeling them most ; mainly, I fear, from his self-sacri- 
ficing devotion in doctoring Gates' feet. We cannot 
help each other, each has enough to do to take care of 
himself. We get cold on the march when the trudging 
is heavy, and the wind pierces our worn garments* 
The others, all of 'them, are unendingly cheerful when 
in the tent. We mean to see the game through with 
a proper spirit, but it's tough work to be pulling harder 
than we ever pulled in our lives for long hours, and 
to feel that the progress is so slow. One can only say 
" God help us ! " and plod on our weary way, cold and 



410 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

very miserable, though outwardly cheerful. We talk 
of all sorts of subjects in the tent, not much of food 
now, since we decided to take the risk of running a 
full ration. We simply couldn't go hungry at this time/ 

On the morning of the 6th Gates was no longer able 
to pull, and the miles gained, when they camped for 
lunch after desperate work, were only three and a 
half, and the total distance for the day was short of 
seven miles. For Gates, indeed, the crisis was near at 
hand. * He makes no complaint, but his spirits only 
come up in spurts now, and he grows more silent in 
the tent. ... If we were all fit I should have hopes 
of getting through, but the poor Soldier has become 
a terrible hindrance, though he does his utmost and 
suffers much I fear/ And at mid-day on the 7th, 
Scott added, 'A little worse I fear. One of Oates' 
feet very bad this morning; he is wonderfully brave. 
We still talk of what we will do together at home.' 

At this time they were 16 miles from their depot, 
and if they found the looked- for amount of fuel and 
food there, and if the surface helped them, Scott 
hoped that they might get on to the Mt. Hooper Depot, 
72 miles farther, but not to One Ton Camp. * We hope 
against hope that the dogs have been to Mt. Hooper; 
then we might pull through, . . . We are only kept 
going by good food. No wind this morning till a chill 
northerly air came ahead. Sun bright and cairns 
showing up well. I should like to keep the track to 
the end/ 

Another fearful struggle took them by lunch-time 



THE LAST MARCH 4" 

on the 8th to within 8y 2 miles of their next goal, but 
the time spent over foot-gear in the mornings was get- 
ting longer and longer. ' Have to wait in night foot- 
gear for nearly an hour before I start changing, and 
then am generally first to be ready. Wilson's feet giv- 
ing trouble now, but this mainly because he gives so 
much help to others. . . . The great question is, What 
shall we find at the depot? If the dogs have visited 
it we may get along a good distance, but if there is 
another short allowance of fuel, God help us indeed. 
We are in a very bad way, I fear, in any case/ 

On the following day they managed to struggle on 
to Mount Hooper Depot. ' Cold comfort. Shortage 
on our allowance all round. I don't know that anyone 
is to blame. The dogs which would have been our 
salvation have evidently failed/ 

[For the last six days Cherry-Garrard and Demetri 
had been waiting with the dogs at One Ton Camp. 
Scott had dated his probable return to Hut Point 
anywhere between mid-March and early April, and 
calculating from the speed of the other return parties 
Atkinson expected him to reach One Ton Camp be- 
tween March 3 and 10. There Cherry-Garrard met 
four days of blizzard, with the result that when the 
weather cleared he had little more than enough dog 
food to take the teams home. Under these circum- 
stances only two possible courses were open to him, 
either to push south for one more march and back with 
imminent risk of missing Scott on the way, or to stay 
two days at the Camp where Scott was bound to come, 



412 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

if he came at all. Wisely he took the latter course and 
stayed at One Ton Camp until the utmost limit of time,] 

With the depot reached and no relief to the situation 
gained, Scott was forced to admit that things were 
going * steadily downhill/ but for the time being 
Oates' condition was by far the most absorbing trouble. 
c Gates' foot worse/ he wrote on the loth. ' He has 
rare pluck and must know that he can never get 
through. He asked Wilson if he had a chance this 
morning, and of course Bill had to say he didn't know. 
In point of fact he has none. Apart from him, if he 
went under now, I doubt whether we could get through. 
With great care we might have a dog's chance, but no 
more. . . . Poor chap! it is too pathetic to watch 
him; one cannot but try to cheer him up/ 

On this same day a blizzard met them after they 
had marched for half an hour, and Scott seeing that 
not one of them could face such weather, pitched camp 
and stayed there until the following morning. Then 
they struggled on again with the sky so overcast that 
they could see nothing and consequently lost the tracks, 
At the most they gained little more than six miles 
during the day, and this they knew was as much as they 
could hope to do if they got no help from wind or 
surfaces. ' We have 7 days' food and should be about 
55 miles from One Ton Camp to-night, 6 X 7 == 42, 
leaving us 13 miles short of our distance, even if things 
get no worse/ 

Oates too was, Scott felt, getting very near the 
end. ' What we or he will do, God only knows. We 



THE LAST MARCH 413 

discussed the matter after breakfast; he is a brave 
fine fellow and understands the situation, but he 
practically asked for advice. Nothing could be said 
but to urge him to march as long as he could. One 
satisfactory result to the discussion: I practically or- 
dered Wilson to hand over the means of ending our 
troubles to us, so that any of us may know how to 
do so. Wilson had no choice between doing so and 
our ransacking the medicine case/ 

Thus Scott wrote on the nth, and the next days 
brought more and more misfortunes with them. A 
strong northerly wind stopped them altogether on the 
1 3th, and although on the following morning they 
started with a favourable breeze, it soon shifted and 
blew through their wind-clothes and their mits. 
* Poor Wilson horribly cold, could not get off ski for 
some time. Bowers and I practically made camp, and 
when we got into the tent at last we were all deadly 
cold. . . , We must go on, but now the making of 
every camp must be more difficult and dangerous. It 
must be near the end, but a pretty merciful end. . . . 
I shudder to think what it will be like to-morrow.' 

Up to this time, incredible as it seems, Scott had 
only once spared himself the agony of writing in his 
journal, so nothing could be more pathetic and signifi- 
cant than the fact that at last he was unable any longer 
to keep a daily record of this magnificent journey. 

' Friday, March 16 or Saturday 17. Lost track 
of dates, but think the last correct/ his next entry 
begins, but then under the most unendurable condi- 



414 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

tions he went on to pay a last and imperishable 
tribute to his dead companion. 

' Tragedy all along the line. At lunch, the day 
before yesterday, poor Titus Gates said he couldn't 
go on; he proposed we should leave him in his sleep- 
ing-bag. That we could not do, and we induced him 
to come on, on the afternoon march. In spite of its 
awful nature for him he straggled on and we made 
a few miles. At night he was worse and we knew 
the end had come. 

' Should this be found I want these facts recorded. 
Gates' last thoughts were of his Mother, but im- 
mediately before he took pride in thinking that his 
regiment would be pleased with the bold way in 
which he met his death. We can testify to his bravery. 
He has borne intense suffering for weeks without 
complaint, and to the very last was able and willing 
to discuss outside subjects. He did not would not 
give up hope till the very end. He was a brave soul. 
This was the end. He slept through the night before 
last, hoping not to wake ; but he woke in the morning 
yesterday. It was blowing a blizzard. He said, " I am 
just going outside and may be some time." He went 
out into the blizzard and we have not seen him since. 

f l take this opportunity of saying that we have 
stuck to our sick companions to the last. In case 
of Edgar Evans, when absolutely out of food and 
he lay insensible, the safety of the remainder seemed 
to demand his abandonment, but Providence merci- 
fully removed him at this critical moment. He died 



THE LAST MARCH 415 

a natural death, and we did not leave him till two 
hours after his death. 

* We knew that poor Gates was walking to his 
death, but though we tried to dissuade him, we knew 
it was the act of a brave man and an English gentle- 
man. We all hope to meet the end with a similar 
spirit, and assuredly the end is not far. 

* I can only write at lunch and then only occasion- 
ally. The cold is intense, 40 at mid-day. My 
companions are unendingly cheerful, but we are all 
on the verge of serious frost-bites, and though we con- 
stantly talk of fetching through I don't think any one 
of us believes it in his heart. 

1 We are cold on the march now, and at all times 
except meals. Yesterday we had to lay up for a bliz- 
zard and to-day we move dreadfully slowly. We 
are at No. 14 pony camp, only two pony marches from 
One Ton Depot. We leave here our theodolite, a 
camera, and Gates' sleeping-bags. Diaries, etc., and 
geological specimens carried at Wilson's special re- 
quest, will be found with us or on our sledge.' 

At mid-day on the next day, March 18, they had 
struggled to within 21 miles of One Ton Depot, but 
wind and drift came on and they had to stop their 
march, s No human being could face it, and we are 
worn out nearly. 

' My right foot has gone, nearly all the toes two 
days ago I was the proud possessor of best feet. These 
are the steps of my downfall. Like an ass I mixed 
a spoonful of curry powder with my melted petnmican 



416 THE VQiYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

it gave me violent indigestion. I lay awake and 
in pain all night ; woke and felt done on the march ; 
foot went and I didn't know it. A very small measure 
of neglect and have a foot which is not pleasant to 
contemplate. 

c Bowers takes first place in condition, but there 
is not much to choose after all The others are still 
confident of getting through or pretend to be I 
don't know ! We have the last half fill of oil in our 
primus and a very small quantity of spirit this alone 
between us and thirst.' 

On that night camp was made with the greatest 
difficulty, but after a supper of cold pemmican and 
biscuit and half a pannikin of cocoa, they were, con- 
trary to their expectations, warm enough to get some 
sleep. 

Then came the closing stages of this glorious strug- 
gle against persistent misfortune. 

'March 19. Lunch. To-day we started in the 
usual dragging manner. Sledge dreadfully heavy. 
We are 1^/2 miles from the depot and ought to get 
there in three days. What progress! We have two 
days' food but barely a day's fuel. All our feet are 
getting bad Wilson's best, my right foot worst, left 
all right. There is no chance to nurse one's feet till 
we can get hot food into us. Amputation is the least 
I can hope for now, but will the trouble spread? 
That is the serious question. The weather doesn't 
give us a chance ; the wind from N. to N. W. and 
40 temp, to-day.' 



THE LAST MARCH 417 

During the afternoon they drew 4^2 miles nearer 
to the One Ton Depot, and there they made their 
last camp. Throughout Tuesday a severe blizzard 
held them prisoners, and on the 2ist Scott wrote: 
'To-day forlorn hope, Wilson and Bowers going to 
depot for fuel.' 

But the blizzard continued without intermission. 
' 22 and 23, Blizzard bad as ever Wilson and Bowers 
unable to start to-morrow last chance no fuel and 
only one or two of food left must be near the end. 
Have decided it shall be natural we shall march for 
the depot with or without our effects and die in our 
tracks/ 

'March 29. Since the 2ist we have had a con- 
tinuous gale from W.S.W, and S.W. We had fuel 
to make two cups of tea apiece, and bare food for 
two days on the 20th. Every day we have been 
ready to start for our depot u miles away, but out- 
side the cloor of the tent it remains a scene of whirling 
drift. I do not think we can hope for any better 
things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we 
are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be 
far. 

1 It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write 
more. 

'R. SCOTT. 

' Last entry 

For God's sake look after our people/ 



418 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 



After Cherry-Garrard and Demetri had returned 
to Hut Point on March 16 without having seen any 
signs of the Polar party, Atkinson and Keohane made 
one more desperate effort to find them. When, how- 
ever, this had been unsuccessful there was nothing 
more to be done until the winter was over. 

During this long and anxious time the leadership 
of the party devolved upon Atkinson, who under the 
most trying circumstances showed qualities that are 
beyond all praise. At the earliest possible moment 
(October 30) a large party started south. * On the 
night of the nth and morning of the I2th/ Atkinson 
says, ' after we had marched n miles due south of 
One Ton, we found the tent. It was an object par- 
tially snowed up and looking like a cairn. Before it 
were the ski sticks and in front of them a bamboo 
which probably was the mast of the sledge. . . 

' Inside the tent were the bodies of Captain Scott, 
Doctor Wilson, and Lieutenant Bowers. They had 
pitched their tent well, and it had withstood all the 
blizzards of an exceptionally hard winter/ 

Wilson and Bowers were found in the attitude of 
sleep, their sleeping-bags closed over their heads as 
they would naturally close them. 

Scott died later. He had thrown back the flaps of 
his sleeping-bag and opened his coat. The little wallet 



IN MEMORIAM 419 

containing the three notebooks was under his shoulders 
and his arm flung across Wilson. 

Among 1 their belongings were the 35 Ibs. of most 
important geological specimens which had been col- 
lected on the moraines of the Beardmore Glacier. 
At Wilson's request they had clung on to these to the 
very end, though disaster stared them in the face. 

' When everything had been gathered up, we cov- 
ered them with the outer tent and read the Burial 
Service. From this time until well into the next 
day we started to build a mighty cairn above them/ 

Upon the cairn a rough cross, made from two 
skis, was placed, and on either side were up-ended 
two sledges, fixed firmly in the snow. Between the 
eastern sledge and the cairn a bamboo was placed, 
containing a metal cylinder, and in this the following 
record was left : 

' November 12, 1912, Lat 79 degrees, 50 mins. 
South. This cross and cairn are erected over the 
bodies of Captain Scott, C.V.O., R.N., Doctor E. A. 
Wilson, M.B, B.C., Cantab., and Lieutenant H. R. 
Bowers, Royal Indian Marine a slight token to per- 
petuate their successful and gallant attempt to reach 
the Pole. This they did on January 17, 1912, after 
the Norwegian Expedition had already done so. In- 
clement weather with lack of fuel was the cause of 
their death. Also to commemorate their two gallant 
comrades, Captain L. E. G. Gates of the Inniskilling 
Dragoons, who walked to his death in a blizzard to 



420 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

save his comrades about eighteen miles south of this 
position; also o Seaman Edgar Evans, who died at 
the foot of the Beardmore Glacier. 

' " The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away; 
blessed be the name of the Lord." ' 



FAREWELL LETTERS 421 

With the diaries in the tent were found the follow- 
ing letters: 

To Mrs. E. A. Wilson 

MY DEAR MRS. WILSON, 

If this letter reaches you Bill and I will have 
gone out together. We are very near it now and I 
should like you to know how splendid he was at the 
end everlastingly cheerful and ready to sacrifice him- 
self for others, never a word of blame to me for lead- 
ing him into this mess. He is not suffering, luckily, 
at least only minor discomforts. 

His eyes have a comfortable blue look of hope and 
his mind is peaceful with the satisfaction of his faith 
in regarding himself as part of the great scheme of 
the Almighty. I can clo no more to comfort you than 
to tell you that he died as he lived, a brave, true man 
the best of comrades and staunchest of friends. 

My whole heart goes out to you in pity. 

Yours, 

R. SCOTT. 

To Mrs. Bowers 

MY DEAR MRS. BOWERS, 

I am afraid this will reach you after one of 
the heaviest blows of your life. 

1 write when we are very near the end of our 
journey, and I am finishing it in company with two gal- 
lant, noble gentlemen. One of these is your son. He 



422 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

had come be one of my closest and soundest friends, 
and I appreciate his wonderful upright nature, his 
ability and energy. As the troubles have thickened 
his dauntless spirit ever shone brighter and he has 
remained cheerful, hopeful, and indomitable to the end. 

The ways of Providence are inscrutable, but there 
must be some reason why such a young, vigorous and 
promising* life is taken. 

My whole heart goes out in pity for you. 

Yours, 

R. SCOTT. 

To the end he has talked of you and his sisters. 
One sees what a happy home he must have had and 
perhaps it is well to look back on nothing but hap- 
piness. 

He remains unselfish, self-reliant and splendidly 
hopeful to the end, believing in God's mercy to you. 

To Sir /. M. Barrie 

MY DEAR BARRIE, 

We are pegging out in a very comfortless 
spot Hoping this letter may be found and sent to you, 
I write a word of farewell . . . More practically I 
want you to help my widow and my boy your god- 
son. We are showing that Englishmen can still die 
with a bold spirit, fighting it out to the end. It will 
be known that we have accomplished our object in 
reaching the Pole, and that we have done everything 



FAREWELL LETTERS 423 

possible, even to sacrificing ourselves in order to save 
sick companions. I think this makes an example for 
Englishmen of the future, and that the country ought 
to help those who are left behind to mourn us. I 
leave my poor girl and your godson, Wilson leaves 
a widow, and Edgar Evans also a widow in humble 
circumstances. Do what you can to get their claims 
recognised. Goodbye. I am not at all afraid of the 
end, but sad to miss many a humble pleasure which 
I had planned for the future on our long marches. 
I may not have proved a great explorer, but we have 
done the greatest march ever made and come very 
near to great success. Goodbye, my dear friend. 

Yours ever, 

R. SCOTT. 

We are in a desperate state, feet frozen, etc. No 
fuel and a long way from food, but it would do your 
heart good to be in our tent, to hear our songs and 
the cheery conversation as to what we will do when 
we get to Hut Point, 

Later. We are very near the end, but have not and 
will not lose our good cheer. We have four days of 
storm in our tent and nowhere's food or fuel. We clicl 
intend to finish ourselves when things proved like 
this, but we have decided to die naturally in the track. 

As a dying man, tny clear friend, be good to my wife 
and child. Give the boy a chance in life if the State 
won't do it. He ought to have good stuff in him. . . 
I never met a man in my life whom I admired and 



424 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

loved more than you, but I never could show you how 
much your friendship meant to me, for you had much 
to give and I nothing. 

To the Right Hon. Sir Edgar Speyer, Bart. 

Dated March 16, 1912. Lat. 79.5. 

MY DEAR SIR EDGAR, 

I hope this may reach you. I fear we must 
go and that it leaves the Expedition in a bad muddle. 
But we have been to the Pole and we shall die like 
gentlemen. I regret only for the women we leave be- 
hind. 

I thank you a thousand times for your help and 
support and your generous kindness. If this diary is 
found it will show how we stuck by dying companions 
and fought the thing out well to the end. I think this 
will show that the spirit of pluck and the power to en- 
dure has not passed out of our race. . . . 

Wilson, the best fellow that ever stepped, has sacri- 
fied himself again and again to the sick men of the 
party. . . . 

I write to many friends hoping the letters will reach 
them some time after we are found next year. 

We very nearly came through, and it's a pity to have 
missed it, but lately I have felt that we have overshot 
our mark. No one is to blame and I hope no attempt 
will be made to suggest that we have lacked support. 

Goodbye to you and your dear kind wife. 
Yours ever sincerely, 

R, SCOTT* 



FAREWELL LETTERS 425 

To Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Charles Bridgeman, 
K.C.V.O., K.C.B. 

MY DEAR SIR FRANCIS, 

I fear we have slipped up; a close shave; I 
am writing a few letters which I hope will be delivered 
some day. I want to thank yon for the friendship 
you gave me of late years, and to tell you how extraor- 
dinarily pleasant I found it to serve under you. I 
want to tell you that I was not too old for this job. It 
was the younger men that went under first. . . . After 
all we are setting a good example to our countrymen, 
if not by getting into a tight place, by facing it like 
men when we were there. We could have come 
through had we neglected the sick. 

Good-bye, and good-bye to dear Lady Bridgeman. 

Yours ever, 

R. SCOTT. 

Excuse writing it is 40, and has been for nigh 
a month. 

To Vice-Admiral Sir George le Clerc Egerton, K.C.B. 

MY DEAR SIR GEORGE^ 

I fear we have shot our bolt but we have 
been to Pole and done the longest journey on record. 

I hope these letters may find their destination some 
day. 

Subsidiary reasons for our failure to return are due 
to the sickness of different members of the party, but 



426 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

the real thing that has stopped us is the awful weather 
and unexpected cold towards the end of the journey. 

This traverse of the Barrier has been quite three 
times as severe as any experience we had on the 
summit. 

There is no accounting for it, but the result has 
thrown out my calculations, and here we are little 
more than 100 miles from the base and petering out. 

Good-bye. Please see my widow is looked after as 
far as Admiralty is concerned. 

R. SCOTT, 

My kindest regards to Lady Egerton. I can never 
forget all your kindness. 



To Mr. /. /. Kinsey Christchurch* 

March 24th, 1912. 

MY DEAR KINSEY, 

I'm afraid we are pretty well done four 
days of blizzard just as we were getting to the last 
depot. My thoughts have been with you often. You 
have been a brick. You will pull the Expedition 
through, I'm sure. 

My thoughts are for my wife and boy. Will you 
do what you can for them if the country won't. 

I want the boy to have a good chance in the world, 
but you know the circumstances well enough. 

If I knew the wife and boy were in safe keeping 
I should have little to regret in leaving the world, for 
I feel that the country need not be ashamed of us * 



FAREWELL LETTERS 427 

our journey has been the biggest on record, and noth- 
ing but the most exceptional hard luck at the end would 
have caused us to fail to return. We have been to the 
S. pole as we set out. God bless you and dear Mrs. 
Kinsey. It is good to remember you and your kind- 
ness. 

Your friend, 

R. SCOTT. 

Letters to his Mother, his Wife, his Brother-in- 
law (Sir William Ellison Macartney), Admiral Sir 
Lewis Beaumont, and Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Smith 
were also found, from which come the following ex- 
tracts : 

The Great God has called me and I feel it will add 
a fearful blow to the heavy ones that have .fallen on 
you in life. But take comfort in that I die at peace 
with the world and myself not afraid. 

Indeed it has been most singularly unfortunate, for 
the risks I have taken never seemed excessive. 

... I want to tell you that we have missed getting 
through by a narrow margin which was justifiably 
within the risk of such a journey. . . . After all, we 
have given our lives for our country we have actually 
made the longest journey on record, and we have been 
the first Englishmen at the South Pole. 

You must understand that it is too cold to write 
much. 

, . * It's a pity the luck doesn't come our way, be- 
cause every detail of equipment is right. 



428 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

I shall not have suffered any pain, but leave the 
world fresh from harness and full of good health and 
vigour. This is decided already when provisions 
come to an end we simply stop unless we are within 
easy distance of another depot. Therefore you must 
not imagine a great tragedy. We are very anxious 
of course, and have been for weeks, but our splendid 
physical condition and our appetites compensate for 
all discomfort. 

Since writing the above we got to within n miles 
of our depot, with one hot meal and two days' cold 
food. We should have got through but have been 
held for four days by a frightful storm. I think the 
best chance has gone. We have decided not to kill 
ourselves, but to fight to the last for that depot, but 
in the fighting there is a painless end. So don't 
worry. The inevitable must be faced. You urged 
me to be leader of this party, and I know you felt 
it would be dangerous. 

Make the boy interested in natural history if you 
can; it is better than games; they encourage it at 
some schools. I know you will keep him in the open 
air. 

Above all, he must guard and you must guard him 
against indolence. Make him a strenuous man. I had 
to force myself into being strenuous as you know 
had always an inclination to be idle. 

There is a piece of the Union Jack I put up at the 
South Pole in my private kit bag, together with 
Amundsen's black flag and other trifles. Send a small 



FAREWELL LETTERS 429 

piece of the Union Jack to the King and a small piece 
to Queen Alexandra. 

What lots and lots I could tell you of this journey. 
How much better has it been than lounging in too 
great comfort at home. What tales you would have 
for the boy. But what a price to pay. 

Tell Sir Clements I thought much of him and never 
regretted his putting me in command of the Discovery. 



430 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 



MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC 

THE causes of the disaster are not due to faulty or- 
ganisation, but to misfortune In all risks which had to 
be undertaken. 

1. The loss of pony transport in March 1911 
obliged me to start later than I had intended, and 
obliged the limits of stuff transported to be narrowed. 

2. The weather throughout the outward journey, 
and especially the long gale in 83 S., stopped us. 

3. The soft snow in lower reaches of glacier again 
reduced pace. 

We fought these untoward events with a will and 
conquered, but it cut into our provision reserve. 

Every detail of our food supplies, clothing and de- 
pots made on the interior ice-sheet and over that long 
stretch of 700 miles to the Pole and back, worked 
out to perfection. The advance party would have 
returned to the glacier in fine form and with surplus 
of food, but for the astonishing failure of the man 
whom we had least expected to fail. Edgar Evans 
was thought the strongest man of the party. 

The Beardmore Glacier is not difficult in fine 
weather, but on our return we did not get a single 
completely fine day ; this with a sick companion enorm- 
ously increased our anxieties. 

As T have said elsewhere we got Into frightfully 
rough :e and Edgar Evans received a concussion of 



MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC 431 

the brain he died a natural death, but left us a 
shaken party with the season unduly advanced. 

But all the facts above enumerated were as nothing 
to the surprise which awaited us on the Barrier. I 
maintain that our arrangements for returning were 
quite adequate, and that no one in the world would 
have expected the temperatures and surfaces which 
we encountered at this time of the year. On the sum- 
mit in lat. 85, 86 we had 20, 30. On the Bar- 
rier in lat. 82, 10,000 feet lower, we had 30 in 
the day, 47 at night pretty regularly, with continu- 
ous head wind during our day marches. It is clear 
that these circumstances come on very suddenly, and 
our wreck is certainly due to this sudden advent of 
severe weather, which does not seem to have any satis- 
factory cause. I do not think human beings ever 
came through such a month as we have come through, 
and we should have got through in .spite of the 
weather but for the sickening of a second companion, 
Captain Gates, and a shortage of fuel in our depots 
for which I cannot account, and finally, but for the 
storm which has fallen on us within n miles of the 
depot at which we hoped to secure our final supplies. 
Surely misfortune could scarcely have exceeded this 
last blow. We arrived within 11 miles of our old 
One Ton Camp with fuel for one last meal and food 
for two days. For four days we have been unable 
to leave the tent the gale howling about us. We 
are weak, writing is difficult, but for my own sake 
I do not regret this journey, which has shewn that 



432 THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN SCOTT 

Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another, 
and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in 
the past. We took risks, we knew we took them; 
things have come out against us, and therefore we 
have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will 
of Providence, determined still to do our best to the 
last. But if we have been willing to give our lives 
to this enterprise, which is for the honour of our 
country, I appeal to our countrymen to see that those 
who depend on us are properly cared for. 

Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of 
the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my com- 
panions which would have stirred the heart of every 
Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies 
must tell the tale, but surely, surely, a great rich 
country like ours will see that those who are dependent 
on us are properly provided for. 

R, SCOTT. 



BBIXIBB ANTABCTIC 
EXPEDITION \ 

1910-13. 

TRACK CHART QF 
MAIN SOUTHERN JOURNEY 




INDEX 



ABBOTT, George P., P.O., 209, 

242, 260 
Adelie Land, 35 
Admiralty, the, 8, 18, 182-3, 

200, 206 
Alaska, n 

Albemarle, H.M.S., 206 
Albert Medal, the, 372 
Alexandra, Queen, 31, 429 
Alpine Rope, 256-7, 266, 274, 

367 

Amphion, H.M.S., n 
Amundsen, Roald, 259-60, 301, 

324, 346, 383, 428 
Anton, Groom, 209, 276, 278, 

280, 285, 289, 299 
Archer, W. W. chief steward, 

209 
Armitage, Lieut. A. B., 25, 32, 

43, 57, 63, 89, 97, 103, 105, 

138, 153-4, 176, 178 
Arnold, M., quoted, 151, 178 
Arrival Bay, 60 

Heights, 60, 234 
Athletic sports, 137-8 
Atkinson, Edward L., surgeon, 

R.N., parasitologist, 208, 

213, 224, 236, 243, 246, 259, 

201, 207, 27O, 273, 279-8O, 

284, 285-6, 295 seq., 308, 
319, 320-1, 327, 3^9, 330, 
336, 340, 344, 354-5, 3^2-3, 
372, 411, 410-19 

Auckland Islands, 195 

Australia, Government of, 207 



BALACLAVA helmets, 251 
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J,, 16 
Balleny, Capt. John, 197 

Islands, 196-7 

Balloons, ascents of, 57, 281 
Barne, Lieut. Michael, 26, 32, 

43, 53, 6 1 seq., 80, 87, 

98-9, loo, 104, 106, 108, 

131-2, 147, 149, 152, 155, 

176 

Glacier, 275 
Barrie, Sir J. M., letter to, 

422-4 
Barrier, Great Ice, 53 seq,, 90, 

170, 203, 222, 224-5, 241, 

243, 246, 260 seq., 294, 304, 

305, 321, 377 
Bay of Whales, 259-60 
Beaumont, Admiral Sir Lewis, 
^ 427 
Beppo, pony, 5 
Berlin, 17, 20 
Bernacchi, Louis C, physicist, 

27, 43, S3, 75, 85-6, 135, 

147, 152, 156, 176 
Birdie, dog, 108-9, 126 
Birthday, celebrations of, 286-7 
Biscay, Bay of, 32 
Bismarck, dog, 108 
Bjaaland, Olav Olavson, 383 
Blanco, dog, 108 
Blissett, A. H>, 132 
Blwmrd, Th# f 80 
Blossom, pony, 250 
Blucher, pony, 248, 250, 358 



433 



434 



INDEX 



Bluff, The, 130 
Camp, 250, 336 

Boats, mishap to, 84 $5, I39 
140 

Bones, pony, 299, 308 

Bonner, Charles, 38-9 

Borchgrevink, 43 

Boss, dog, 108 

Bowers, Lieut. H. R., 28, 208, 
216, 224, 230-1, 234, 236, 
243, 247, 249, 250-4, 261- 
7, 270, 273, 275, 278-81, 
283-4, 286, 289, 293-5, 
299, 300-8, 311-14, 317, 319, 
320, 322, 324-5, 334, 343-5, 
352, 354, 357-8, 359, 3^4, 
368, 371, 373 seq. 

Bowers, Mrs., letter to, 421-2 

Bridgeman, Admiral, Sir F. C, 
letter to, 425 

Britannia, The, 6 

British Museum, the, 19 

Brownie, dog, 100, 108-9 

Browning, E. B., quoted, 328 

Browning, Frank V., P.O., 209, 
242 

Bruce, Canon Lloyd, 207 

Bruce, Kathleen, 207 

Bruce, Lieut Wilfred M., 209, 
224 

Buckingham Palace Road, 15 

Bulwark, H.M.S., 206 

Burlington House, 19 

Butter Point, 157, 260, 314 

CAMPBELL, Lieut. Victor L. A., 
208, 216, 224, 226, 229, 232, 
233, 238, 240-1, 242, 259- 
60, 292, 315 
Cape Adare, 42, 43, 45, 141 

Armitage, 59, 225, 259, 263 

Bernacchi, 315 

Bird, 225 

Crozier, 52, 61, 64, 69, 70, 
105, 137, 141-2, 155-6, 176, 

222-3, 28l 

Crozier Party, 294, 300-7, 317 

Evans, 225, 234-5, 239, 240, 

260, 268, 271-3, 280, 300, 

316-17, 321, 325, 328, 365 



Cape Jones, 48 
Mackay, 301 
North, 146, 189, 196, 198, 

260 

of Good Hope, 32-3 
Royds, 180, 185, 286 
Sibbald, 49 
Wadworth, 47 
Washington, 49, 52 

Cardiff, 207, 211 

Castle Rock, 60, 62, 64, 65, 262, 
273 

Cheetham, Alfred B., boat- 
swain, 209 

Cherry- Garrard, Apsley, assist- 
ant zoologist, 224, 236, 243, 
251-2, 254-5, 257-8, 261-6, 
270-1, 273, 279-81, 284, 
288, 294, 300-7, 308, 318, 
323, 329, 334, 340, 342, 344, 
347, 352, 354, 362, 364, 411- 
12, 418 

Chinaman, pony, 308, 318, 329- 
30, 332-3, 336, 338-9, 340- 
41 

Christiania, 89 

Christopher, pony, 308-9, 318- 
19, 320, 329, 333, 336, 342 

Clarke, Charles, ship's cook, 
179 

Clissold, Thomas, cook, 209, 
276, 278, 280, 286, 289, 
29^, 319, 329 

Coal, 46, 189, 194, 216, 218-19, 
220 

Colbeck, Captain William, 
141-2, 143, 147, 182-3, 185, 
I94 198 

Coleridge, quoted, 211 

Colville, Rear-Admiral, 206 

Commonwealth Range, 357 

Cook, Capt. James, 31 

Corner Camp, 247, 261, 263, 
270, 312, 314, 317, 372 

Coulman Islands, 46, 47, 141 

Crater Heights, 60, 234 
Hill, 60, 69, 88 

Crean, Thomas, P.O., 209, 237, 
243, 246, 259, 261, 262-$ 
270, 273, 278-80, 285, 296, 



INDEX 



435 



299, 308, 318, 321, 323, 344, 

354, 364, 370-2 
Cross, Jacob, P.O., 48, 103, 

155-6 

* Cruise of the Beagle,' 162 
Cuts, pony, 262, 264 



DAILEY, F. E., carpenter, 59, 

153, 157 

Darwin, Charles, 162 

Day, Bernard C, motor en- 
gineer, 208, 227, 236, 276- 
7, 279, 290-1, 299, 318, 321, 
323, 329, 33Q-I, 339, 340 

Debenham, Frank, geologist, 
208, 236, 242, 270, 273,281- 
2, 283, 296, 325-6, 327 

Dellbridge, James H., 2nd en- 
gineer, 138 
Islets, 178 

Demetri, dog driver, 209, 276, 
278-9, 289, 311, 329, 333, 
354, 356, 372, 411, 418 

Dennistoun, James R., 209 

Depot Nunalak, 171 

Desolation Camp, Discovery 

Expedition, 163, 172 
Last Expedition, 402 

Dickason, Harry, A.B., 209, 242 

Discovery, the fifth, 21 

Dog food, 109 

Dogs, 59, 71-2, 95-7, 107 seq. t 
212-13, 2l8, 220, 228, 239, 

241, 243 seq, t 270, 278, 285- 
6, 311, 329, 333 seq. t 411 
Douglas,^ Sir Archibald, |8 

Drake, Francis R. H., assistant 

paymaster, 209, 224 
Dundee, 19, 20, 23 
Shipbuilding Company, 17 



EAST India Docks, 20 
Edward VII, King, 3; 
Egerton, Admiral Sir George, 

K.GB., 15, 8x, 206, 425-6 

(letter to) 

Enderby Quadrant, 29 
Entertainments, 85, 86, 87 



Erebus Tongue, 315 

Esquimault, B.C., n 

Esquimaux, 301, 307 

Evans, Lieut. E. R. G. R., 208, 
215, 223-5, 232, 236, 242-3, 
250, 258, 262, 311, 314, 317, 
330-1, 337-40, 344, 354-5, 
357-9, 361, 363, 364, 368, 
370-2. 

Evans, P.O., 63, 65, 67-8, 97, 
105, 153, 157, 164, 165 seg., 
178-9, 209, 237, 242, 270, 
273, 280, 285-6, 296, 308, 
311-12, 317, 323-4, 326-7, 
329, 337, 344, 352, 354-5, 
364, 369 



FALKLAND Islands, 199 
Feather, Thomas A., boatswain, 

loo-i, 157, 161, 162, 164-5 
Fefer, 229 
Ferrar, Hartley T., 27, 48, 67, 

97, 103, 138, 157, 159, 163, 

176 
Glacier, 152-3, 154, 158-9, 

314 

Finance Committee, 17-18 
Fire, alarm of, 32 
Fisher, Admiral Sir John, 10 
Fitzclarence, dog, 108 
Football, 286, 325 
Forcle, Robert, P.O., 209, 243, 

248, 250, 258, 261, 270, 

273, 279, 312, 314, 317, 

326-7 

Pram, the, 20, 21 
Franklin Island, 141 
Franz- Josef Land, 25 



GAP, the, 60, 234 
Gateway, the, 352 
Geological specimens, 393-4, 

398, 419 ^ _ 

Gerof, Deraetri, See Demetn 
Glacier, the Bcardtnore, 312, 

338-9, 341, 345, 340, 349, 

352, 354 scq. f 392, 394 

419-20 



43 



INDEX 



Glacier Depot, 349, 352 
Tongue, 225, 237, 239-41, 
260, 274 276, 315-16, 324, 
344 

Gran Tryggve, ski expert, 208, 
218, 236, 243, 246, 251, 254, 
261-2, 263, 265, 267, 273, 
295-6, 312, 314, 317, 327 

Granite Harbour, 50, 51 

Grannie, dog, 108 

Gus, dog, 108, 125 



HAAKON, King, 383 
Hackenschmidt, pony, 276 
Hall-Degree Depot, 387 
Hamilton, B. T., 229 
Hampton Court Palace, 207 
Handsley, Jesse, A.B., 153, 157, 

164-5, 175, 178-9 
Hanson, 43 
Hanssen, Hilmer, 383 
Hare, 63, 65, 68-9 
Hassel, Sverre H., 383 
Heald, William L., A.B., 62, 

IO3, 176, 2IO 

Henley, W. E., quoted, 385 
' Hints to Travellers/ 159-60 
Hobart Town, 182 
Hockey, 149 
Hodgson, Thomas V., 25, 27, 

147, 149, 154 
Hooper, F. J., steward, 209, 

276, 279, 280, 289, 339-40 
Hoskins, Sir Anthony, 18 
Hut, the Discovery, 59, 85-86, 

87, 233, 239, 269 s*q. f 372 
at Cape Evans, 227, 231, 

234 s*q-> 275 W 
Point, 60, 88, 186, 190-1, 
233, 240, 242-3, 258, 260-3, 
265, 267, 271, 279, 285, 
311, 318, 324 327-9, 372, 
411, 418 

Hutton Rocks, 273 

Huxley, quoted, 311 



ICEBERGS, 44 



JACKSON-HARMSWORTH Expedi- 
tion, 25 
Jehu, pony, 308, 318, 328-9, 

. 330, 332-6, 338-9, 340 
Jim, dog, 108-9, 125-6, 129 
Joe, dog, 108 



KENNAR, Thomas, P.O., 157, 
159 

Keohane, Patrick, P.O., 209, 
243, 250, 258, 261, 273, 
279, 296, 308, 320, 327, 329, 
340, 344, 348, 354, 357, 362, 
418 

Kid, dog, 108-9, I2 5 

King Edward's Island, 56, 203, 
233, 242 

Kmsey, J. J., letter to, 426-7 

Kipling, Rudyard, quoted, 401 

Koettlitz, Reginald, surgeon 
and botanist, 25, 27, 61 
seq., 78, 97, 138, 175 



LANTARET, 229 

Lashly, William, leading stoker, 
97, 105, 153, 157, 162, 164, 
105 seq., 178, 179, 209, 
214, 276, 278-9, 299, 323, 
331, 340, 344, 354-5, 364, 
366-7, 369, 371-2 

Lectures, 282, 287, 290, 307-8 

Levick, G, Murray, surgeon, 
R.N., 208, 242 

Lewis, dog, 108-9, 126 

Lillehammer, 229 

Lillie, Denis G., biologist, 209, 
240 

London Docks, 31, 141 

Lower Glacier Depot, 356, 398, 
404 

Lyttelton, 37-8, 211-12 
Heads, 37, 199 



MACARTNEY, Sir William Elli- 
son, 427 
Mackay, Captain Harry, 182, 



INDEX 



437 



Macquarie Island, 36, 37, 185 
Magnetic huts, 75 
Observatory, 23 
Magnetism, 75 

Majestic, H.M.S., 15, 18, 26, 27 
Markham, Sir Clements, 15, 16, 

29, 30, 141, 203 seq. ) pref- 
ace), 429 

Markham, Lady, 20 

McMurdo Sound, 51, 58, 138, 
142, 194, 230, 237, 260 

Meares, Cecil H., in charge of 
dogs, 208, 218, 226, 232-4, 
236, 239, 240, 242-4, 246-8, 
251-2, 254-8, 261, 263, 265, 
267, 273, 279, 285, 299, 
311-12, 318-19, 327, 329, 
333, 337, 354 356 

Merchant Shipping Act, 28 

Meridians, 217 

Message to the public, 430-2 

Meteorological observations, 74, 

75, 83," 84 
screens, 71, 74 

Michael, pony, 308, 347 

Middle Barrier Depot, 340, 405, 
407 

Midwinter celebrations, 2903 

Milton, quoted, 254 

Monument Rock, 400 

Morning, the, 43, 53, 135, 141-6, 
181 seq., 194, 198 

Motor sledges, 212, 226-30, 290, 
312-13, 318, 321, 326-7, 329- 

30, 332 

Mount Buckley, 393-4 
Cloudmaker, 357-98 
Darwin, 364, 390, 39*, 393 
Discovery, 225 
Erebus, 131, 235, 274 3*6 
Hooper Depot, 410, 411 
Hope, 346 
Lon&staff, 122 
Markham, 124 
Melbourne, 49 
Monteagle, 49 
Murchison, 49 
Sabine, 222 
Terror, 303 



Mount Whewell, 222 
Mulock, Lieut. George F. A., 
27, 145, 149, 152, 176, 193, 

195, 197 

NAN SEN, Dr., 17, 19, 20, 89 
Naval Discipline Act, 28 
Nell, dog, 101, 108-9, 125-6, 129 
Nelson, Edward W., biologist, 

208, 224, 227, 236, 276-7, 

279, 287, 319-20 
Newbolt, Henry, quoted, 31 
New Harbour, 153, 157, 315 
Newnes, Sir George, 43 
New Zealand, 23, 37, 38, 199, 211 
New Zealand, Government of, 

207 
Nigger, dog, 101, 108-9, 125-6, 

129 
Nobby, pony, 262, 268, 308, 325, 

342-3, 351, 353 
Northern Party 233, 242-3 
Norway, 17, 89 
Norwegians, the, 384-5 

GATES, Capt. Lawrence, E.G., 
208, 213, 220, 226, 236, 
239-40, 241, 243, 24B-9, 
252, 254, 261-2, 263, 265, 
267, 270, 273, 279-80, 
284-5, 299, 308, 318-20, 
321, 333, 336"7, 343-4, 35*, 
354-5, 364, 373 seq. 

Outlands, 2, 5 

Observatory Hill, 60, 134, 234 

Oil, shortage of, 404-5, 408, 
411, 416 

4 Old Mooney/ 6, 8, 9 

Omelchenko, Anton. See Anton 

One Ton Camp, 253, 317, 326-7, 
371, 410-11, 412, 415, 417 

Osman, dog, 255-6 

P. AND O. Company, 25 
Pack-ice, 35 se<2 44, 49, 5* 

196, 216-17, 218 
Parry Mountains, 54 
Peary, Lieutenant, 28 



438 



INDEX 



Penguins, 36, 40, 148, 180, 226 
Emperor, 106, 137, 153, ISS, 

223, 294, 302, 305 
King, 36 

Pennell, Lieut. H. L. L., 209, 

224, 230, 238 
Petrels, 35 

Antarctic, 40 
Giant, 40 

Southern Fulmar, 40 
White Snow, 40 
Wilson stormy, 35 
Pigg, James, pony, 250, 258, 
261, 263, 268, 308, 318, 329, 
340, 342 

Plumley, Frank, stoker, 62, 157 
Pole, the South, 382 seq. 

Camp, 384 

Ponies, the, 212-15, 220, 226, 
239, 241, 243 seq., 263-7, 
285-6, 312, 318, 332 seq. 
Pontmg, Herbert G., camera 
artist, 208, 219, 227-8, 236, 
276-7, 282, 284, 292, 314, 

319, 327, 329 
Port Chalmers, 38, 39, 76, 212 

Ross, 195 

Stanley, 199 
Possession Islands, 141 
Pram Point, 263, 269 

Bay, 269 

Ridges, 267 
President, H.M.S., 206 
Pressure Ridges, 319 
Priestley, Raymond E., geolo- 
gist, 208, 223, 242, 260 
Provei'bs, quoted, 137 
Punch, pony, 262, 266 

QUARTLEY, Arthur L., leading 
stoker, 63, 65, 67-8, 105, 175 

RAZOR Back Islands, 240, 274 
Rennick, Lieut. Henry E. de 

P., 209, 224 
Roberston Bay, 42, 195 
Rodd, Sir Rennell, quoted, 231 
Ross, Sir James, 31, 40, 46, 54- 

& 196-7 



Ross Harbour, 198 
Island, 176, 203, 239 
Quadrant, 29 
Sea, 216 

Rover, H.M.S., 10 
Royal Geographical Society, 17 
Royal Society, 17 
Royds, Lieut. Charles W. R. s 
18, 26, 53, 61 seq., 74-5, 78, 
85-7, 97, 105, 132, 137, 139, 
147, 149, 155, 176 
Russell Islands, 197 

SAFETY CAMP, 243-4, 245-6, 
254, 258-9, 261-2, 263, 265, 
329-30 

San Francisco, n 

S a wing-camp, 175, 178-9 

Saxon, S.S., 207 

Scamp, dog, 37 

Scott, John Edward, I 

Scott, Lady, extracts from let- 
ters Jo, 427, 428, 429, et 
passim 

Scott, Mrs., extract from letter 
to, 427 

Scott of Brownhead, i 

Scott, Peter Markham, 207 

Scurvy, 103-4, 1*7, 129, 134, 
144, 148, 371 

Sea leopard, 41 
elephant 185 

Seals, 41, 48, 269, 279 
crab-eater, 41 
Ross, 41 

Shackleton, Sir Ernest H, 27, 
79, 98, 107 seq., 143, 145, 
233, 344, 352, 357, 37O, 37^, 
375 

Shackleton's hut, 286 

Shakespeare, quoted , 95, 120, 
294, 354 

Shambles Camp, 353, 401 

Shelley, quoted, 74, 167 

Ship Committee, 17, 20, 23 

Simon's Bay, 32, 33 

Simpson, George C, Meteorol- 
ogist, 208, 231, 236, 277, 
281-2, 283, 312, 316 



INDEX 



439 



Skelton, Lieut. Reginald W., 
1 8, 27, 60 seq., 85-6, 105, 
135, 138, 147-8, 153, 162, 
164-5, 176, 191-3, 229 

Ski, 19, 60, 61, 130, 173, 246, 
340, 354-5, 358, 360, 370, 
375, 386, 388, 390 

Ski-shoes, 361 

Skua gulls, 40, 148, Tgo 

Skuary, the, 225 

Sledge equipment, 89, 151, 312 

Sledges, 91, 92, 279 280, 370 

Sleeping-bags, 304, 306, 307,. 
* 388 

Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Reginald, 
427 

Smith's Inlet, 260 

Snatcher, dog, 108, 115 
pony, 308, 325, 329, 352 

Snippets, pony, 308-9, 328, 332, 

^ 341, 343 r 

Snow-shoes, for ponies, 245, 

247, 308, 352 
South Africa, Government of, 

207 
Southern Barrier Depot, 342 

Road, the, 239-40 
South Polar Times, Discovery 

Expedition, 79-80 
Last Expedition, 281, 290-1, 

373 

Spenser, quoted, 52 
Speyer, Sir Edgar, letter to, 

424 

Spud, dog, 108-9, H5 
Stareck, dog, 244-5 
Stoke Damercl, 5 
Stripes, dog, 108 
Stubbington House, Fareham, 5 
Sturge Island, 197 
Sun, eclipse of, 156 
Sverdrup's * New Land/ 295 



TAYLOR, T. Griffith, geologist, 
208, 223, 236, 242, 270, 
273-4 281-2, 283, 287, 291, 
327 

Telephone, the, 318-19 

Tent, double, 295 



Tent, Island, 297, 325 

Islet, 184 

Terra Nova, Discovery Expe- 
dition, 182-3, 187 seq. f 194, 
198 
Last Expedition, 207, 211, 

220, 237, 292, 324, 372 

Thermometer, minimum, 253, 

337 

Thomson, Sir Courtauld, n 
Three Degree Depot, 370, 385- 

6, 387, 389, 404 
Transport, 312, 345 
Turtle Back Island, 271 



UNCLE BILL, pony, 262-3 
Uniform overcoat, 309 
Union Jack, the, 235, 291, 384, 

428-9 
Upper Glacier Depot, 390, 392, 

404 



Vic, dog, . 108 

Victor, pony, 308-9, 325, 334, 

343 

Victoria, B.C., n 

Land, 42, 76, 138, 167, 176, 
196, 203, 233, 260 

Quadrant, 29 
Victorious, H.M.S., 206 
Vince, A. B,, 63, 66-9, 190, 234 



WEARY Willy, pony, 245, 251, 

261-3 

Wcddcll Quadrant, 29 
Weller, William J., A.B,, 48, 62, 

157 
Western Geological Party (i), 

242, 260, 270 
(2) 317, 325, 327 
Western Mountains, 312, 325 
Whales, killer, 227-8 
White Island, 134, 261, 264 
Wild, Frank, 62-3, 66, 67, 97, 

105, 344 

Wilkes, Commodore, 197 
, 198 



440 



INDEX 



Williams, William, engineer, 
209, 214 

Williamson, Thomas S., P.O., 
157, 209, 229 

Wilson, Dr, E. A., chief, the 
scientific staff (Last Ex- 
pedition), zoologist, S, 26- 
8, 35-6, 48-9, 53 75~6, 80, 
103, 107 seq. f 143-4, *47, 
153, 155-6, 176, 180-1, 
185, 195, 208, 219-20, 223, 
225, 231, 236, 240, 242-4, 
246-8, 254-6, 258, 261, 263, 
265, 267, 269-70, 272-3, 
279-80, 282-3, 286, 289, 



294 300-7, 308, 318-19, 
321-2, 324-S, 329, 335, 
344, 351, 353-5, 361, 364, 
372 seq. 

Wilson, Mrs., letter to, 421 

Winter Quarter Bay, 60 

Wisting, Oscar, 383 

Wolf, dog, 108-9 

Wolseley Motor Company, 229 

Wood Bay, 49, 50, 141 

Wright, Charles S , physicist, 
208, 224, 231, 236, 242, 
270, 280, 283, 308, 314, 321, 
329, 335, 340, 344, 354-5* 
362 




114904