March 16, 2012

Saturday, 16 March 1912


Scott, realising by now that there was little hope for them, began to write letters, one of the earliest to Sir Edgar Speyer, the expedition's treasurer.

"Dated March 16, 1912. Lat. 79.5°.

"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 behind.

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 power to endure has not passed out of our race …

"Wilson, the best fellow that ever stepped, has sacrificed 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.

"Good-bye to you and your dear kind wife.

                Yours ever sincerely,
                        R. Scott."

Cherry and Dimitri arrived back at Hut Point. Atkinson and Keohane were waiting for them, but until the sea froze, they were unable to get back to Cape Evans.


[1] R.F. Scott, letter to Sir Edgar Speyer, 16 March, 1912, quoted in Scott's Last Expedition, v.1.

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