Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, January 31, 1916: “On the trek again, having placed the Padre on the rear sledge. . .”

—from Ernest Joyce’s account “The South Polar Trail”—

“January 31, Monday. Up at the usual hour, still blizzarding. Richy released the dogs from down under. Skipper came over to my tent and asked if we would travel by night. I replied ‘No,’ and explained ‘we must carry out the routine we have set; if once we side-track it is not easy to step into line again.’

“He is worrying over the condition of the Padre [They picked up Spencer-Smith on January 29]. The dogs must be studied, and I feel it is my duty to nurse them in every sense of the word. He saw the trend of my suggestion. I told him he should have realized the state of the Padre’s health, travelling with him for so long a period.

“During a lull, prepared breakfast at 10. On the trek again, having placed the Padre on the rear sledge, covered him with a snow cloth, to keep the drift out of his bag. The atmosphere mild, the drift enveloping all objects, the melting snow making all we possess wet through and miserable. Camped at 5. Distance 8 miles. Turned in saturated. Spirits bright.”

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