Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, February 1916: ‘The —– book was no good.’

–from Frank Worsley’s account “Endurance”—

“At this period the monotony became terrible. Fortunately before ‘Endurance’ sank I retrieved three packs of cards. One of these was Shackleton’s own, but this did not prevent me from presenting it to him with lordly generosity, for which he thanked me very much. Another I gave to the men, and the third I kept for my own tent. These cards proved a godsend. I once worked it out that they were worth two pounds a card to us.

“When we did not play, or were not mending our clothes, we usually spent the evening in interminable arguments, mostly about nothing in particular. The following incident indicates the frame of mind of some of the sailors, who go so excited one night about a discussion on currency (of all things!) that the matter was looked up in one of the few volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica that we had saved, since they contained information that was valuable to us.

“When both sides were proved to be wrong, they united in declaring that ‘The —– book was no good.’”

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