March 26, 2012

Tuesday, 26 March 1912


Atkinson and Keohane left from Hut Point on a last-ditch effort to reach Scott and the Polar party. Neither of them had driven dogs before, and Atkinson felt that it would be cruel to take the dogs out again so soon after their journey with Cherry and Dimitri, so he and Keohane went on foot.

They knew that Scott's original plan had the Polar party returning around 27th March, and although they tried in this light not to worry, the strain was beginning to tell. The dogs would sing out, and the men would be sure a party was approaching. "Last night we had turned in about two hours," Cherry wrote, "when five or six knocks were hit on the little window over our heads. Atkinson shouted 'Hullo!' and cried, 'Cherry, they're in.' Keohane said, 'Who's cook?' Some one lit a candle and left it in the far corner of the hut to give them light, and we all rushed out. But there was no one there. It was the nearest approach to ghost work that I have ever heard, and it must have been a dog which sleeps in that window. He must have shaken himself, hitting the window with his tail. Atkinson thought he heard footsteps!" [1]


[1] Apsley Cherry-Garrard, diary [26? March, 1912], quoted in his The Worst Journey in the World, ch.XIII.

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