February 19, 2012

Monday, 19 February 1912


"We have struggled out 4.6 miles in a short day over a really terrible surface," wrote Scott, "it has been like pulling over desert sand, not the least glide in the world. If this goes on we shall have a bad time.... It is perhaps premature to be anxious about covering distance. In all other respects things are improving. We have our sleeping-bags spread on the sledge and they are drying, but, above all, we have our full measure of food again. To-night we had a sort of stew fry of pemmican and horseflesh, and voted it the best hoosh we had ever had on a sledge journey. The absence of poor Evans is a help to the commissariat, but if he had been here in a fit state we might have got along faster. I wonder what is in store for us, with some little alarm at the lateness of the season." [1]

Waiting with Lt. Evans, Lashly wrote, "It was very thick this morning, but cleared as the day advanced, but we could not see Hut Point. I wonder if poor old Tom reached alright. We have very little food now except biscuit, but oil is better. We have got 1/2 gallon and if relief dont come for some time we shall be able to have hot water when all other things are gone. I have thought out a plan for the future, in case of no relief coming, but of course we took all things into consideration in case of failure, but we must hope for the best. Of course I know it is no use thinking of Mr. Evans being able to move any further as he cant stand at all, the only thing is, we may have missed the dogs, if so there is still a chance of someone being at Hut Point. I am cold now and cannot write more to-night. We lose the sun at midnight now. If all had went well we should have been home by now." [2]

Crean staggered into the Discovery hut alone, to report that Lt. Evans was out near Corner Camp, seriously ill with scurvy and being looked after by Lashly. "[The Doctor] gave me a tot first," Crean recalled, "and then a feed of porridge -- but I couldn't keep it down: thats the first time in my life that ever it happened, and it was the brandy that did it." [3] Atkinson then set out with Dimitri and the dogs to bring them in.

Scott's message to Lt. Evans for the dogs to meet him between 82 and 83 deg. was forgotten.


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 19 February, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.
[2] William Lashly, diary, 19 February, 1912, quoted by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.XII.
[3] Tom Crean, quoted by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.12.

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