December 23, 1911: Amundsen’s on his way home

from his account, “South to the Pole”–

“Christmas Eve was rapidly approaching.   For us it could not be particularly festive, but we should try to make as much of it as circumstances would permit.  We ought, therefore, to reach our depot that evening, so as to keep Christmas with a dish of porridge.

“The night before Christmas Eve we slaughtered Svartflekken.  There was no mourning on this occasion Svartflekken was one of Hassel’s dogs, and had alwas been a reprobate.  I find the following in my diary, written the same evening: ‘Slaughtered Svartflekken this evening.  He would not do any more, although there was not much wrong with his looks.  Bad character.  If a man, he would have ended in penal servitude.’  He was comparatively fat, and was consumed with evident satisfaction.”

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