Sunday, March 20, 2011

20 March, 1912

Yesterday afternoon we did another 4 miles which has brought us to this spot, 11 miles from One Ton Depot. Here we have sat all day while a blizzard has raged outside. The sun does not come up over the horizon now, with ever decreasing periods of daylight. It is very dim in the tent.

I have been taking the opportunity of our being held up to write letters. Here's one I wrote to our Expedition Treasurer, The Right Honorable Sir Edgar Speyer on March 16.

My Dear Sir Edgar,

I hope this may reach you. I fear we must go and that it leaves the Expedition in a bad muddle. But we have been to the Pole and we shall die like gentlemen. I regret only for the women we leave behind.

I thank you a thousand times for your help and support and your generous kindness. If this diary is found it will show how we stuck by our dying companions and fought the thing out well to the end. I think this will show that the Spirit of pluck and the power to endure has not passed out of our race....

Wilson, the best fellow that ever stepped, has sacrificed himself again and again to the sick men of the party....

I write to many friends hoping the letters will reach them some time after we are found next year.

We very nearly came through, and it's a pity to have missed it, but lately I have felt that we have overshot our mark. No one is to blame and I hope no attempt will be made to suggest that we have lacked support.

Goodbye to you and your dear kind wife.

Yours ever sincerely,

R. Scott. 

And here's one to another Expedition supporter, Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Charles Bridgeman, KCVO, KCB:

My Dear Sir Francis,

I fear we have shipped up; a close shave; I am writing a few letters which I hope will be delivered some day. I want to thank you for the friendship you gave me of late years, and to tell you how extraordinarily pleasant I found it to serve under you. I want to tell you that I was not too old for this job. It was the younger men that went under first....After all we are setting a good example to our countrymen, if not by getting into a tight place, by facing it like men when we were there. We could not have come through had we neglected the sick.

Goodbye, and goodbye to dear Lady Bridgeman.

Yours ever,
R. Scott.

Excuse writing—it is -40, and has been for nigh a month.

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