Monday, April 19, 2010
Cape Evans Impressions
OK, I'm going to say it: In selecting the site for our hut, I must confess a sense of having assumed security without sufficient proof in a case where an error of judgment might have had dire consequences. It was not until I found all safe at the Home Station that I realized how anxious I had been concerning it. In a normal season no thought of its having been in danger would have occurred to me, but since the loss of the ponies and the breaking of the Glacier Tongue I could not rid myself of the fear that misfortune was in the air and that some abnormal swell had swept the beach; gloomy thoughts of the havoc that might have been wrought by such an event would arise in spite of the sound reasons which had originally led me to choose the site of the hut as a safe one.
Hackenschmidt the pony died of no known cause -- Nelson performed a post-mortem but could find nothing. Anton considers his death to have been an act of "cussedness."
The interior of this hut seems palatial, the light resplendent, the comfort luxurious. It was very good to eat in a civilized fashion, to enjoy the first bath in three months, and have contact with dry, clean clothing. Such fleeting hours of comfort (for custom soon banished their delight) are the treasured remembrance of every Polar traveler.
Ponting is an artist in love with his work. His photography studio is a marvel.
In the past few days I have been able to watch the development of fresh arrangements and the improvement of old ones. In this way I have been brought to realize what an extensive and intricate but eminently satisfactory organization I have made myself responsible for.