Thursday, February 25, 2010

25 February, 1911

Had a fine easy march today. Should reach corner camp tomorrow.

About 3 AM last night spotted Oates, Bowers, and the ponies way off in the distance like a mirage. Today came across their tracks and it looks like they only have four ponies. I wonder what has befallen the rest?

Our own pony, James Pigg, limits the length of our marches; the men could go on much further dragging their sledges, but he can't.

With any luck this good weather will hold and we will be able to all get back safe and well. Surely the gods will not throw poor weather and Amundsen in my path? Can any one man have such a large measure of Providence's bounty against him?

There is little else for me think of on the march except for how to proceed. Shall we take up the challenge and abandon our Scientific Programme for the sake of the Pole? What shall our backers say? Do we try to accomplish both, as planned? We are a large contingent, and well stocked with scientists who only came this far for their work. Yet Amundsen has with him only a small party of experienced skiers whose only goal is to beat us to the Pole. How shall history remember us? Either way, the prospect before us is now a very different one, and I shall be looked upon for leadership in this matter. We are Englishmen, after all.

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