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29 March 1912

We shall stick it out
to the end, but we
are getting weaker of
course and the end
cannot be far.

It seems a pity but
I do not think I can
write more.
      R. Scott.

Last entry.
For God's sake look
after our People.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 30th, 2012 10:03 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting this, I've heard the words a lot but never seen the original.
Mar. 31st, 2012 11:29 am (UTC)
On 12th November 1912 the search party found the bodies of Scott, Bowers and Wilson. Cherry Apsley-Garrard wrote in his diary:
November 12. Nearly mid-day. 11–12 miles south of One Ton [Depot]. We have found them—to say it has been a ghastly day cannot express it—it is too bad for words. The tent was there, about half-a-mile to the west of our course, and close to a drifted-up cairn of last year. It was covered with snow and looked just like a cairn, only an extra gathering of snow showing where the ventilator was, and so we found the door. [...]

That scene can never leave my memory. We with the dogs had seen Wright turn away from the course by himself and the mule party swerve right-handed ahead of us. He had seen what he thought was a cairn, and then something looking black by its side. A vague kind of wonder gradually gave way to a real alarm. We came up to them all halted. Wright came across to us. ‘It is the tent.’ I do not know how he knew. Just a waste of snow: to our right the remains of one of last year’s cairns, a mere mound: and then three feet of bamboo sticking quite alone out of the snow: and then another mound, of snow, perhaps a trifle more pointed. We walked up to it. I do not think we quite realized—not for very long—but some one reached up to a projection of snow, and brushed it away. The green flap of the ventilator of the tent appeared, and we knew that the door was below.

Two of us entered, through the funnel of the outer tent, and through the bamboos on which was stretched the lining of the inner tent. There was some snow—not much—between the two linings. But inside we could see nothing—the snow had drifted out the light. There was nothing to do but to dig the tent out. Soon we could see the outlines. There were three men here.

Bowers and Wilson were sleeping in their bags. Scott had thrown back the flaps of his bag at the end. His left hand was stretched over Wilson, his lifelong friend. Beneath the head of his bag, between the bag and the floor-cloth, was the green wallet in which he carried his diary. The brown books of diary were inside: and on the floor-cloth were some letters.

Everything was tidy. The tent had been pitched as well as ever, with the door facing down the sastrugi, the bamboos with a good spread, the tent itself taut and shipshape. There was no snow inside the inner lining. There were some loose pannikins from the cooker, the ordinary tent gear, the personal belongings and a few more letters and records—personal and scientific. Near Scott was a lamp formed from a tin and some lamp wick off a finnesko. It had been used to burn the little methylated spirit which remained. I think that Scott had used it to help him to write up to the end. I feel sure that he had died last—and once I had thought that he would not go so far as some of the others. We never realized how strong that man was, mentally and physically, until now.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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