May 28, 1912: Tom Crean ‘s story

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

“28 May.  One day passes like another.  Thank goodness my time is fully occupied, so that the hours fly by.  Of late the temperature has been rather high, but tonight it is down to -30 C. again.

“Crean told me about the following little episode that happened up on the plateau [on the polar journey].  The tent was full of tobacco smoke, and Crean coughed.  Suddenly Scott stuck his head in through the door and said, ‘You’ve got a nasty cough, Crean.  You must be careful with a cold like that!’  Crean replied, ‘You think I can’t take a hint, Sir!’  Scott laughed, but all the same next day Crean received orders to turn back with Lieutenant Evans and Lashly.  Clearly it must have been difficult for Scott to choose his teams, when there was so little difference between them.  Crean’s ‘cough’ was an excuse for Scott, but Crean understood his Captain and saw through him.”


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