October 15, 2010

Saturday, 15 October 1910


"I have had a long letter from Norway about Amundsen," Markham wrote to Scott Keltie. "He got the loan of the 'Fram' from the Government and all the subscriptions, for the North Polar drift. He pretended to be going out to Madeira in the 'Fram' to see how she behaved, then coming back to raise more money, and to join the 'Fram' at San Francisco. But he had quietly got a wintering hut made and on board and on board 100 dogs from Greenland, and a supply of tents and sledges. His secret design must have been nearly a year old."

"They believe that his mention of Punta Arenas and Buenos Ayres [sic] is merely a blind, and that he is going to McMurdo Sound to try and cut out Scott...."

"Shackleton's rush and failure was a very dirty trick, more especially as he owed everything to Scott and would never have been heard of if Scott had not befriended him. Amundsen's is a very dirty trick, but not so bad as he owes nothing to Scott. I have sent full details of Amundsen's underhand conduct to Scott, hoping it may reach him before he sails.... I always thought Master Shackles was a cad, but I confess I was taken by Amundsen and was under the impression that he was a straight forward and very able sailor. I am afraid Nansen and Johansen were in it but I hope not. If I was Scott I would not let them land, but he is always too good natured." [1]


[1] Sir Clements Markham, letter to Scott Keltie, 15 October, 1910, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.382.

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