Saturday, November 28, 2009

29 November, 1910

Good Lord, what day.

Last night we all put on quite a show at the grand dance in extraordinary outfits. There was quite a hullabaloo among the women. It's astonishing the lengths to which they will go to in order not to get along. Kathleen and Hilda Evans got into a shouting match at the hotel that threatened to undo all of our good work with the citizens of Dunedin. I have no idea what got under her skin so. We men stood aside and let them have at it in the hopes it would finally clear the air, but women don't fight like men do, and when it was clear that they were going to do violence to one another, We stepped in and broke them up. Kathleen was so upset she left the ball early.

This morning we enjoyed a rather subdued picnic, then walked together down to the ship. The wives all joined us on board as we finally slipped from the dock at 2:30 amid much cheer and noise, all the boats fully dressed to bid us adieu. A local holiday was declared in our honor. They left us at the Heads before we entered the open sea to return to shore. Kathleen was a rock, taking photographs, and insisting on not saying goodbye. Hilda Evans was white as a sheet and looked like she was going to faint clear away.

The only real sour note in the whole affair was the reporter who wanted to know what I thought of Amundsen's prospects. "No, I don't think I would care to say anything on the subject," I told him. Really, what do they expect me to say?

Well, we're really on our way.
She didn't say goodbye.

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