November 14, 1912: The search party finds the last signs of Captain Oates

–from Apsley Cherry-Garrard’s account The Worst Journey in the World

“November 14.  Early morning.  It has been a miserable march.  We had to wait some time after hoosh to let the mules get ahead.  Then we went on in a cold raw fog and some head wind, with constant frost-bites. The surface has been very bad all day for the thirteen miles:  if we had been walking in arrowroot it would have been much like this was.  At lunch the temperature was -14.7 F.

“Then on when it was drifting with the wind in our faces and in a bad light.  What we took to be the mule party ahead proved to be the old pony walls 26 miles from One Ton.  There was here a bit of sacking on the cairn, and Oates’ bag.  Inside the bag was the theodolite, and his finnesko and socks.  One of the finnesko was slit down the front as far as the leather beckets, evidently to bet his bad foot into it.  This was fifteen miles from the last camp, and I suppose they had brought on his bag for three or four miles in case they might find him still alive.  Half-a-mile from our last camp there was a very large and quite unmistakable undulation, one-quarter to one-third of a mile from crest to crest. . . .We have seen no sign of Oates’ body. “

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