Cape Evans, April 11, 1912: “. . .the Polar Party’s coming. . .

–from Tryggve Gran’s diary, published as “The Norwegian with Scott”–

“11 April.  I’ll never get the events of yesterday out of my mind.  I was standing outside the hut taking temperatures when I heard someone shout, ‘The polar party’s coming.’  I rushed into the hut to the gramophone to get out the national anthem to greet Scott.  I stood and waited long, but no one came.  I went out again, and there stood three men [Atkinson, Keohane, and Demitri], bearded and coated with ice, dirty as sweeps.  I took in all at a glance.

“We have discussed the situation today.  We feel the weight of responsibility that lies on our shoulders, and our thoughts and plans are deeply considered. Scott and his team must have met their deaths, given that they’re still on the Barrier–that we are all agreed upon.  We could rush off southwards to try to find the dead, but an ounce of common sense tells us to stick out the winter in the hut, for spring will soon be here in the south.  If we go now, I fear the remaineder of us on the expedition will perish too.  We have, after all, a certain duty to the nation whose flag we bear.  Scott’s goal was the South Pole and no one doubts his success; indeed we’re certian of it.  But certainty is not proof, and it is our duty to find him and see whether documentary proof can also be found.

“Another factor must be taken into consideration.  In all probability Campbell is still here, north up the coast.  We have a duty to him too.”

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