November 28, 2010

Monday, 28 November 1910


Arriving in Port Chalmers, Scott "found all well, excepting [Teddy] Evans -- he much excited with very vague & wild grievances ... the cause of all this not difficult to guess -- smoothed him down." [1]

Scott was probably referring to his reinstatement of Edgar Evans, whom Lt. Evans had wanted dismissed for being drunk at Lyttelton, but there seems to have been more to it than that, a clash of personalities between Kathleen Scott and Lt. Evans’ wife Hilda.

Ponting wrote, very diplomatically, "It was as interesting as it was delightful to note that our leader's wife spent many days checking packages as they were unloaded and then re-stowed." [2] Bowers, in letters home, was more forthcoming. "Captain Scott has left everything to me in the most extraordinary manner," he began cheerfully, and a few days later, "Mrs Wilson has not been about much owing to the strained relations between Mrs Scott & Mrs Evans. I don't know who to blame but somehow don't like Mrs S. I don't trust her -- though I have always been prepared to give her her due. Nobody likes her in the expedition & the painful silence when she arrives is the only jarring note in the whole thing. There is no secret that she runs us all now & what she says is done -- through the Owner. Now nobody likes a schemer & yet she is undoubtedly one. Her brother Lt. Bruce is a nice chap in himself but again one does not like to trust to family. We all feel that the sooner we are away the better. She will go home to her small son & will sow no more discord. I am sorry for her as she has tried hard to be one of us & always does anything she can for any of us. She actually brought our initials & came down & sewed them on our winter clothes for us. Very nice of her, was it not -- I wish I could like her but I am suspicious." [3]


Land was sighted, and determined to be Bligh's Cap, a few miles north of Kerguelen Island. Amundsen was tempted to call in at Kerguelen, but in the event heavy weather prevented them from stopping.


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 28 November, 1910, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.390.
[2] Herbert Ponting, source unknown, quoted by Diana Preston in A First Rate Tragedy (Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1998, c1997), p.129.
[3] H.R. Bowers, letters, 24 and 28 November, 1910, quoted by David Crane in Scott of the Antarctic (New York : Knopf, c2005), p.389.

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