February 20, 2012

Tuesday, 20 February 1912


Scott headed this entry "Monday", although it was in fact Tuesday, and from here on the days of the week were one behind -- a mistake that was silently corrected in the published edition of his diary. "Same terrible surface," he wrote, "four hours' hard plodding in morning brought us to our Desolation Camp, where we had the four-day blizzard." They had done seven miles. "Terribly slow progress, but we hope for better things as we clear the land." [1]

Out near Corner Camp, Lashly waited with Lt. Evans, passing the time by talking about the progress of the Polar party and the condition of the ice at Hut Point, but mostly of what they were going to eat when they got home. "I think we have got everything that is good down on our list," Lashly noted. "Of course New Zealand have got to be answerable for a good deal: plenty of apples we are going to have and some nice home-made cake, not too rich, as we think we can eat more." When they heard dogs, he was out of the tent in a second, to see Atkinson and Dimitri. "It seems to me we are in a new world, a weight is off my mind and I can once more see a bright spot in the sky for us all, the gloom is now removed. The bliz is bad outside, and Doctor and Dimitri is gone and turned in, so will [I] once more, but sleep is out of the question." [2]


[1] R.F. Scott, diary, 20 February, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1. See also Roland Huntford's Race for the South Pole : the expedition diaries of Scott and Amundsen (London : Continuum, c2010), p.281.
[2] William Lashly, diary, 20 February, 1912, quoted by Apsley Cherry-Garrard in The Worst Journey in the World, ch.XII.

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