CHAPTER II. DEPOT LAYING TO ONE TON CAMP

  And the deed of high endeavour 
    Was no more to the favoured few. 
  But brain and heart were the measure 
    Of what every man might do. 
   - RENNELL RODD.

While the landing was being carried out, the building party had worked so rapidly that, if necessity had arisen, the hut could have been inhabited by the 12th; at the same time another small party had been engaged in making a cave in the ice which was to serve as a larder, and this strenuous work continued until the cave was large enough to hold all the mutton, and a considerable quantity of seal and penguin. Close to this larder Simpson and Wright were busy in excavating for the differential magnetic hut.

In every way indeed such good progress had been made that Scott could begin to think about the depôt journey. The arrangements of this he discussed with Bowers, to whose grasp of the situation he gives the highest praise. 'He enters into one's idea's at once, and evidently thoroughly understands the principles of the game.'

Of these arrangements Wilson wrote in his journal: 'He (Scott) wants me to be a driver with himself, Meares, and Teddie Evans, and this is what I would have chosen had I had a free choice of all. The dogs run in two teams and each team wants two men. It means a lot of running as they are being driven now, but it is the fastest and most interesting work of all, and we go ahead of the whole caravan with lighter loads and at a faster rate.... About this time next year may I be there or thereabouts! With so many young bloods in the heyday of youth and strength beyond my own I feel there will be a most difficult task in making choice towards the end and a most keen competition - and a universal lack of selfishness and self-seeking, with a complete absence of any jealous feeling in any single one of any of the comparatively large number who at present stand a chance of being on the last piece next summer.... I have never been thrown in with a more unselfish lot of men - each one doing his utmost fair and square in the most cheery manner possible.'

Sunday, January 15, was observed as a 'day of rest,' and at 10 A.M. the men and officers streamed over from the ship, and Scott read Divine Service on the beach. Then he had a necessary but unpalatable task to perform, because some of the ponies had not fulfilled expectations, and Campbell had to be told that the two allotted to him must be exchanged for a pair of inferior animals. At this time the party to be led by Campbell was known as the Eastern Party, but, owing to the impossibility of landing on King Edward's Land, they were eventually taken to the north part of Victoria Land, and thus came to be known as the Northern Party. Scott's reluctance to make the alteration in ponies is evident, but in writing of it he says: 'He (Campbell) took it like the gentleman he is, thoroughly appreciating the reason.'

On that same afternoon Scott and Meares took a sledge and nine dogs, some provisions, a cooker and sleeping-bags, and started to Hut Point; but, on their arrival at the old Discovery hut, a most unpleasant surprise awaited them, for to their chagrin they found that some of Shackleton's party, who had used the hut for shelter, had left it in an uninhabitable state.

'There was something too depressing in finding the old hut in such a desolate condition.... To camp outside and feel that all the old comfort and cheer had departed, was dreadfully heartrending. I went to bed thoroughly depressed. It seems a fundamental expression of civilized human sentiment that men who come to such places as this should leave what comfort they can to welcome those who follow, and finding that such a simple duty had been neglected by our immediate predecessors oppressed me horribly.'

After a bad night they went up the hills, and there Scott found much less snow than he had ever seen. The ski run was completely cut through in two places, the Gap and Observation Hill were almost bare, on the side of Arrival Heights was a great bare slope, and on the top of Crater Heights was an immense bare tableland. The paint was so fresh and the inscription so legible on the cross put up to the memory of Vince that it looked as if it had just been erected, and although the old flagstaff was down it could with very little trouble have been put up again. Late in the afternoon of Monday Scott and Meares returned to Cape Evans, and on the following day the party took up their abode in the hut.

'The word "hut,"' Scott wrote, 'is misleading. Our residence is really a house of considerable size, in every respect the finest that has ever been erected in the Polar regions. The walls and roof have double thickness of boarding and seaweed insulation on both sides of the frames. The roof with all its coverings weighs six tons. The outer shell is wonderfully solid therefore and the result is extraordinary comfort and warmth inside, whilst the total weight is comparatively small. It amply repays the time and attention given to its planning.

'On the south side Bowers has built a long annex, to contain spare clothing and ready provisions, on the north there is a solid stable to hold our fifteen ponies in the winter. At present these animals are picketed on long lines laid on a patch of snow close by, above them, on a patch of black sand and rock, the dogs extend in other long lines. Behind them again is a most convenient slab of hard ice in which we have dug two caverns. The first is a larder now fully stocked with seals, penguins, mutton, and beef. The other is devoted to science in the shape of differential magnetic instruments which will keep a constant photographic record of magnetic changes. Outside these caverns is another little hut for absolute magnetic observations, and above them on a small hill, the dominant miniature peak of the immediate neighborhood, stand the meteorological instruments and a flagstaff carrying the Union Jack.

'If you can picture our house nestling below this small hill on a long stretch of black sand, with many tons of provision cases ranged in neat blocks in front of it and the sea lapping the ice-foot below, you will have some idea of our immediate vicinity. As for our wider surroundings it would be difficult to describe their beauty in sufficiently glowing terms. Cape Evans is one of the many spurs of Erebus and the one that stands closest under the mountain, so that always towering above us we have the grand snowy peak with its smoking summit. North and south of us are deep bays, beyond which great glaciers come rippling over the lower slopes to thrust high blue-walled snouts into the sea. The sea is blue before us, dotted with shining bergs or ice floes, whilst far over the Sound, yet so bold and magnificent as to appear near, stand the beautiful Western Mountains with their numerous lofty peaks, their deep glacial valley and clear-cut scarps, a vision of mountain scenery that can have few rivals.

'Ponting is the most delighted of men; he declares this is the most beautiful spot he has ever seen, and spends all day and most of the night in what he calls "gathering it in" with camera and cinematograph.

'I have told you of the surroundings of our house but nothing of its internal arrangements. They are in keeping with the dignity of the mansion.

'The officers (16) have two-thirds of the interior, the men (9) the remaining third; the dividing line is fixed by a wall of cases containing things which suffer from being frozen.

'In the officers' quarters there is an immense dark room, and next it on one side a space devoted to the physicist and his instruments, and on the other a space devoted to charts, chronometers and instruments generally.

'I have a tiny half cabin of my own, next this Wilson and Evans have their beds. On the other side is a space set apart for five beds, which are occupied by Meares, Oates, Atkinson, Garrard and Bowers. Taylor, Debenham and Gran have another proportional space opposite. Nelson and Day have a little cabin of their own with a bench. Lastly Simpson and Wright occupy beds bordering the space set apart for their instruments and work. In the center is a 12-foot table with plenty of room for passing behind its chairs....

'To sum up, the arrangements are such that everyone is completely comfortable and conveniently placed for his work - in fact we could not be better housed. Of course a good many of us will have a small enough chance of enjoying the comforts of our home. We shall be away sledding late this year and off again early next season, but even for us it will be pleasant to feel that such comfort awaits our return.'

So in less than a fortnight after the arrival in McMurdo Sound they had absolutely settled down, and were anxious to start upon their depôt journey as soon as the ponies had recovered thoroughly from the effects of the voyage. These autumn journeys, however, required much thought and preparation, mainly because the prospect of the parties being cut off from their winter quarters necessitated a great deal of food being taken both for men and animals. Sledding gear and wintering boots were served out to the selected travelers, sledges were prepared by P.O. Evans and Crean, and most of the stores were tested and found to be most excellent in quality. 'Our clothing is as good as good. In fact first and last, running through the whole extent of our outfit, I can say with pride that there is not a single arrangement which I would have had altered.... Everything looks hopeful for the depôt journey if only we can get our stores and ponies past the Glacier Tongue.'

Thus Scott wrote on the 20th, but the following day brought a serious suspense with it; for during the afternoon came a report that the Terra Nova was ashore, and Scott, hastening to the Cape, saw at once that she was firmly fixed and in a very uncomfortable position.

Visions of the ship being unable to return to New Zealand arose in his mind 'with sickening pertinacity,' and it was characteristic of him that at the moment when there was every prospect of a complete disarrangement of well-laid plans, he found his one consolation in determining that, whatever happened, nothing should interfere with the southern work.

The only possible remedy seemed to be an extensive lightening of the ship with boats, as the tide had evidently been high when she struck. Scott, with two or three companions, watched anxiously from the shore while the men on board shifted cargo aft, but no ray of hope came until the ship was seen to be turning very slowly, and then they saw the men running from side to side and knew that an attempt was being made to roll her off. At first the rolling produced a more rapid turning movement, and then she seemed again to hang though only for a short time. Meanwhile the engines had been going astern and presently a slight movement became apparent, but those who were watching the ship did not know that she was getting clear until they heard the cheers on board. Then she gathered stern way and was clear.

'The relief was enormous. The wind dropped as she came off, and she is now securely moored off the northern ice-edge, where I hope the greater number of her people are finding rest. For here and now I must record the splendid manner in which these men are working. I find it difficult to express my admiration for the manner in which the ship is handled and worked under these very trying circumstances... Pennell has been over to tell me about it to-night; I think I like him more every day.'

On that same day Meares and Oates went to the Glacier Tongue and satisfied themselves that the ice was good; and with the 25th fixed for the date of departure it was not too much to hope that the ice would remain for three or four more days. The ponies for Campbell's party were put on board on the 22nd, but when Scott got up at 5 A.M. on the following morning he saw, to his astonishment, that the ice was going out of the bay in a solid mass. Then everything was rushed on at top speed, and a wonderful day's work resulted. All the forage, food, sledges and equipment were got off to the ship at once, the dogs followed; in short everything to do with the depôt party was hurriedly put on board except the ponies, which were to cross the Cape and try to get over the Southern Road on the morning of the 24th.

The Southern Road was the one feasible line of communication between the new station at Cape Evans and the Discovery hut, for the rugged mountains and crevassed ice-slopes of Ross Island prevented a passage by land. The Road provided level going below the cliffs of the ice-foot except where disturbed by the descending glacier; and there it was necessary to cross the body of the glacier itself. It consisted of the more enduring ice in the bays and the sea-ice along the coast, which only stayed fast for the season. Thus it was most important to get safely over the dangerous part of this Road before the seasonal going-out of the sea-ice. To wait until after the ice went out and the ship could sail to Hut Point would have meant both uncertainty and delay. Scott knew well enough that the Road might not hold for many more hours, and it actually broke up on the very day after the party had passed.

Early on Tuesday, January 24, a boat from the ship fetched Scott and the Western Party; and at the same time the ponies were led out of the camp, Wilson and Meares going ahead of them to test the track. No sooner was Scott on board than he was taken to inspect Lillie's catch of sea animals. 'It was wonderful, quantities of sponges, isopods, pentapods, large shrimps, corals, &c. &c.; but the pièce de résistance was the capture of several bucketsful of cephalodiscus of which only seven pieces had been previously caught. Lillie is immensely pleased, feeling that it alone repays the whole enterprise.' In the forenoon the ship skirted the Island, and with a telescope those on board could watch the string of ponies steadily progressing over the sea-ice past the Razor Back Islands; and, as soon as they were seen to be well advanced, the ship steamed on to the Glacier Tongue, and made fast in the narrow angle made by the sea-ice with the glacier.

Then, while Campbell investigated a broad crack in the sea ice on the Southern Road, Scott went to meet the ponies, which, without much difficulty, were got on to the Tongue, across the glacier, and then were picketed on the sea-ice close to the ship. But when Campbell returned with the news that the big crack was 30 feet across, it was evident that they must get past it on the glacier, and Scott asked him to peg out a road clear of cracks.

Soon afterwards Oates reported that the ponies were ready to start again, and they were led along; Campbell's road, their loads having already been taken on the floe. At first all went well, but when the animals got down on the floe level and Oates led across an old snowed-up crack, the third pony made a jump at the edge and sank to its stomach in the middle. Gradually it sank deeper and deeper until only its head and forelegs showed above the slush. With some trouble ropes were attached to these, and the poor animal, looking very weak and miserable, was eventually pulled out.

After this experience the other five ponies were led farther round to the west and were got safely out on the floe; a small feed was given to them, and then they were started off with their loads.

The dogs in the meantime were causing some excitement for, starting on hard ice with a light load, they obviously preferred speed to security. Happily, however, no accident happened, and Scott, writing from Glacier Tongue on January 24, was able to say: 'All have arrived safely, and this evening we start our sledges south. I expect we shall have to make three relays to get all our stores on to the Barrier some fifteen miles away. The ship is to land a geologising party on the west side of the Sound, and then to proceed to King Edward's Land to put the Eastern party on short.'

The geologising party consisted of Griffith Taylor, Debenham, Wright, and P.O. Evans, and for reasons already mentioned the Eastern party were eventually known as the Northern party.

On the night of the 24th Scott camped six miles from the glacier and two miles from Hut Point, he and Wilson having driven one team of dogs, while Meares and E. Evans drove the other. But on the following day Scott drove his team to the ship, and when the men had been summoned aft he thanked them for their splendid work.

'They have behaved like bricks and a finer lot of fellows never sailed in a ship.... It was a little sad to say farewell to all these good fellows and Campbell and his men. I do most heartily trust that all will be successful in their ventures, for indeed their unselfishness and their generous high spirit deserves reward. God bless them.'

       * * * * *

How completely Scott's hopes were realized in the case of Campbell's party is now well known. Nothing more miraculous than the story of their adventures has ever been told. The party consisted of Campbell, Levick, Priestley, Abbott, Browning, and Dickason, and the courage shown by the leader and his companions in facing endless difficulties and privations has met with the unstinted admiration that it most thoroughly deserved.

       * * * * *

For the depôt laying journey Scott's party consisted of 12 men (Wilson, Bowers, Oates, Atkinson, Cherry-Garrard, E. Evans, Gran, Meares, Forde, Keohane, Crean, and himself), 8 ponies and 26 dogs. Of the dogs he felt at this time more than a little doubtful, but the ponies were in his opinion bound to be a success. 'They work with such extraordinary steadiness, stepping out briskly and cheerfully, following in each other's tracks. The great drawback is the ease with which they sink in soft snow: they go through in lots of places where the men scarcely make an impression - they struggle pluckily when they sink, but it is trying to watch them.'

In three days he hoped that all the loads would be transported to complete safety, and on Friday, the 27th, only one load remained to be brought from Hut Point. The strenuous labor of this day tired out the dogs, but the ponies worked splendidly. On the next day, however, both Keohane's and Bowers' ponies showed signs of breaking down, and Oates began to take a gloomy view of the situation. In compensation for these misfortunes the dogs, as they got into better condition, began to do excellent work. During Sunday they ran two loads for over a mile past the stores on the Barrier to the spot chosen for 'Safety Camp,' the big home depôt. 'I don't think that any part of the Barrier is likely to go, but it's just as well to be prepared for everything, and our camp must deserve its distinctive title of "Safety."'

By this time the control of the second dog team had been definitely handed over to Wilson, and in his journal he gives an admirable account of his experiences. 'The seals have been giving a lot of trouble, that is just to Meares and myself with our dogs.... Occasionally when one pictures oneself quite away from trouble of that kind, an old seal will pop his head up at a blowhole a few yards ahead of the team, and they are all on top of him before one can say "knife"! Then one has to rush in with the whip - and everyone of the team of eleven jumps over the harness of the dog next to him, and the harnesses become a muddle that takes much patience to unravel, not to mention care lest the whole team should get away with the sledge and its load, and leave one behind.... I never did get left the whole of this depôt journey, but I was often very near it, and several times had only time to seize a strap or a part of the sledge, and be dragged along helter-skelter over everything that came in the way, till the team got sick of galloping and one could struggle to one's feet again. One gets very wary and wide-awake when one has to manage a team of eleven dogs and a sledge load by oneself, but it was a most interesting experience, and I had a delightful leader, "Stareek" by name - Russian for "Old Man," and he was the most wise old man.... Dog driving like this in the orthodox manner is a very different thing from the beastly dog driving we perpetrated in the Discovery days.... I got to love all my team and they got to know me well.... Stareek is quite a ridiculous "old man" and quite the nicest, quietest, cleverest old dog I have ever come across. He looks in face as if he knew all the wickedness of all the world and all its cares, and as if he were bored to death by them.'

When Safety Camp was reached there was no need for haste until they started upon their journey. 'It is only when we start that we must travel fast.' Work, however, on the Monday was more strenuous than successful, for the ponies sank very deep and had great difficulty in bringing up their loads. During the afternoon Scott disclosed his plan of campaign, which was to go forward with five weeks' food for men and animals, then to depôt a fortnight's supply after twelve or thirteen days and return to Safety Camp. The loads for ponies under this arrangement worked out at a little over 600 lbs., and for the dog teams at 700 lbs., both apart from sledges. Whether the ponies could manage these loads depended on the surface, and there was a great possibility that the dogs would have to be lightened, but under the circumstances it was the best plan they could hope to carry out.

On Tuesday when everything was ready for the start the one pair of snow-shoes was tried on 'Weary Willy' with magical effect. In places where he had floundered woefully without the shoes he strolled round as if he was walking on hard ground. Immediately after this experiment Scott decided that an attempt must be made to get more snow-shoes, and within half an hour Meares and Wilson had started, on the chance that the ice had not yet gone out, to the station twenty miles away. But on the next day they returned with the news that there was no possibility of reaching Cape Evans, and an additional stroke of bad fortune fell when Atkinson's foot, which had been troublesome for some time, was examined and found to be so bad that he had to be left behind with Crean as a companion.

Writing on Wednesday, February 1, from 'Safety Camp, Great Barrier,' Scott said: 'I told you that we should be cut off from our winter station, and that I had to get a good weight of stores on to the Barrier to provide for that contingency. We are safely here with all requisite stores, though it has taken nearly a week. But we find the surface very soft and the ponies flounder in it. I sent a dog team back yesterday to try and get snow-shoes for ponies, but they found the ice broken south of Cape Evans and returned this morning. Everyone is doing splendidly and gaining the right sort of experience for next year. Every mile we advance this year is a help for next.'

At last the start was made on Thursday, February 2, but when, after marching five miles, Scott asked for their one pair of snow-shoes, he found that they had been left behind, and Gran - whose expertness on ski was most useful - immediately volunteered to go back and get them. While he was away the party rested, for at Scott's suggestion they had decided to take to night marching. And so at 12.30 A.M. they started off once more on a surface that was bad at first but gradually improved, until just before camping time Bowers, who was leading, suddenly plunged into soft snow. Several of the others, following close behind him, shared the same fate, and soon three ponies were plunging and struggling in a drift, and had to be unharnessed and led round from patch to patch until firmer ground was reached.

Then came another triumph for the snow-shoes, which were put on Bowers' pony, with the result that after a few minutes he settled down, was harnessed to his load, and brought in not only that but also another over places into which he had previously been plunging. Again Scott expressed his regret that such a great help to their work had been left behind at the station, and it was all the more trying for him to see the ponies half engulfed in the snow, and panting and heaving from the strain, when the remedies for his state of affairs were so near and yet so impossible to reach.

During the next march ten miles were covered, and the ponies, on a better surface, easily dragged their loads, but signs of bad weather began to appear in the morning, and by 4 P.M. on Saturday a blizzard arrived and held up the party in Corner Camp for three days. 'No fun to be out of the tent - but there are no shirkers with us. Oates has been out regularly to feed the ponies; Meares and Wilson to attend to the dogs; the rest of us as occasion required.'

The ponies looked fairly comfortable during the blizzard, but when it ceased and another march was made on Tuesday night, the effects of the storm were too clearly seen. All of them finished the march listlessly, and two or three were visibly thinner.

But by far the worst sufferer was Forde's 'Blucher' whose load was reduced to 200 lbs., and finally Forde pulled this in and led his pony. Extra food was given in the hope that they would soon improve again; but at all costs most of them had got to be kept alive, and Scott began to fear that very possibly the journey would have to be curtailed.

During the next two marches, however, the ponies seemed to be stronger. 'Surface very good and animals did splendidly,' Scott wrote on Friday, February 10, and then gave in his diary for the day an account of their nightly routine. 'We turn out of our sleeping-bags about 9 P.M. Somewhere about 11.30 I shout to the Soldier [Footnote: Oates.] "How are things?" There is a response suggesting readiness, and soon after figures are busy amongst sledges and ponies. It is chilling work for the fingers and not too warm for the feet. The rugs come off the animals, the harness is put on, tents and camp equipment are loaded on the sledges, nosebags filled for the next halt; one by one the animals are taken off the picketing rope and yoked to the sledge. Oates watches his animal warily, reluctant to keep such a nervous creature standing in the traces. If one is prompt one feels impatient and fretful whilst watching one's more tardy fellows. Wilson and Meares hang about ready to help with odds and ends.

'Still we wait: the picketing lines must be gathered up, a few pony putties need adjustment, a party has been slow striking their tent. With numbed fingers on our horse's bridle and the animal striving to turn its head from the wind one feels resentful. At last all is ready. One says "All right, Bowers, go ahead," and Birdie leads his big animal forward, starting, as he continues, at a steady pace. The horses have got cold and at the word they are off, the Soldier's and one or two others with a rush. Finnesko give poor foothold on the slippery sastrugi, [Footnote: Irregularities formed by the wind on a snow-plain.] and for a minute or two drivers have some difficulty in maintaining the pace on their feet. Movement is warming, and in ten minutes the column has settled itself to steady marching.

'The pace is still brisk, the light bad, and at intervals one or another of us suddenly steps on a slippery patch and falls prone. These are the only real incidents of the march - for the rest it passes with a steady tramp and slight variation of formation. The weaker ponies drop a bit but not far, so that they are soon up in line again when the first halt is made. We have come to a single halt in each half march. Last night it was too cold to stop long and a very few minutes found us on the go again.

'As the end of the half march approaches I get out my whistle. Then at a shrill blast Bowers wheels slightly to the left, his tent mates lead still farther out to get the distance for the picket lines; Oates and I stop behind Bowers and Evans, the two other sledges of our squad behind the two other of Bowers'. So we are drawn up in camp formation. The picket lines are run across at right angles to the line of advance and secured to the two sledges at each end. It a few minutes ponies are on the lines covered, tents up again and cookers going.

'Meanwhile the dog drivers, after a long cold wait at the old camp, have packed the last sledge and come trotting along our tracks. They try to time their arrival in the new camp immediately after our own, and generally succeed well. The mid-march halt runs into an hour to an hour and a half, and at the end we pack up and tramp forth again. We generally make our final camp about 8 o'clock, and within an hour and a half most of us are in our sleeping-bags.... At the long halt we do our best for our animals by building snow walls and improving their rugs, &c.

A softer surface on the 11th made the work much more difficult, and even the dogs, who had been pulling consistently well, showed signs of exhaustion before the march was over. Early on Sunday morning they were near the 79th parallel, and exact bearings had to be taken, since this camp, called Bluff Camp, was expected to play an important part in the future. By this time three of the ponies, Blossom, James Pigg, and Blucher, were so weak that Scott decided to send E. Evans, Forde and Keohane back with them.

Progress on the next march was interrupted by a short blizzard, and Scott, not by any means for the first time, was struck by Bowers' imperviousness to cold. 'Bowers,' he wrote, 'is wonderful. Throughout the night he has worn no head-gear but a common green felt hat kept on with a chin-stay and affording no cover whatever for the ears. His face and ears remain bright red. The rest of us were glad to have thick Balaclavas and wind helmets. I have never seen anyone so unaffected by the cold. To-night he remained outside a full hour after the rest of us had got into the tent. He was simply pottering about the camp doing small jobs to the sledges, &c. Cherry-Garrard is remarkable because of his eyes. He can only see through glasses and has to wrestle with all sorts of inconveniences in consequence. Yet one could never guess it - for he manages somehow to do more than his share of the work.'

Another disappointing day followed, on which the surface was so bad that the ponies frequently sank lower than their hocks, and the soft patches of snow left by the blizzard lay in sandy heaps and made great friction for the runners. Still, however, they struggled on; but Gran with Weary Willy could not go the pace, and when they were three-quarters of a mile behind the others the dog teams (which always left the camp after the others) overtook them. Then the dogs got out of hand and attacked Weary Willy, who put up a sterling fight but was bitten rather badly before Meares and Gran could drive off the dogs. Afterwards it was discovered that Weary Willy's load was much heavier than that of the other ponies, and an attempt to continue the march had quickly to be abandoned owing to his weak condition. As some compensation for his misfortunes he was given a hot feed, a large snow wall, and some extra sacking, and on the following day he showed appreciation of these favors by a marked improvement. Bowers' pony, however, refused work for the first time, and Oates was more despondent than ever; 'But,' Scott says, 'I've come to see that this is a characteristic of him. In spite of it he pays every attention to the weaker horses.'

No doubt remained on the Thursday that both Weary Willy and Bowers' pony could stand very little more, and so it was decided to turn back on the following day. During the last march out the temperature fell to - 21° with a brisk south-west breeze, and frost-bites were frequent. Bowers with his ears still uncovered suffered severely, but while Scott and Cherry-Garrard nursed them back he seemed to feel nothing but surprise and disgust at the mere fact of possessing such unruly organs. 'It seems as though some of our party will find spring journeys pretty trying. Oates' nose is always on the point of being frost-bitten; Meares has a refractory toe which gives him much trouble - this is the worse prospect for summit work. I have been wondering how I shall stick the summit again, this cold spell gives ideas. I think I shall be all right, but one must be prepared for a pretty good doing.'

The depôt was built during the next day, February 17, Lat. 79° 29' S, and considerably over a ton of stuff was landed.

Stores left in depôt:

   lbs. 
   245 7 weeks' full provision bags for 1 unit 
    12 2 days' provision bags for 1 unit 
     8 8 weeks' tea 
    31 6 weeks' extra butter 
   176 lbs. biscuit (7 weeks' full biscuit) 
    85 8-1/2 gallons oil (12 weeks' oil for 1 unit) 
   850 5 sacks of oats 
   424 4 bales of fodder 
   250 Tank of dog biscuit 
   100 2 cases of biscuit 
   - - 
  2181

         1 skein white line 
         1 set breast harness 
         2 12 ft. sledges 
         2 pair ski, 1 pair ski sticks 
         1 Minimum Thermometer 
         1 tin Rowntree cocoa 
         1 tin matches

Sorry as Scott was not to reach 80°, he was satisfied that they had 'a good leg up' for next year, and could at least feed the ponies thoroughly up to this point. In addition to a flagstaff and black flag, One Ton Camp was marked with piled biscuit boxes to act as reflectors, and tea-tins were tied on the top of the sledges, which were planted upright in the snow. The depôt cairn was more than six feet above the surface, and so the party had the satisfaction of knowing that it could scarcely fail to show up for many miles.