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- The Voyages of Captain Scott - 1/60 -






Chapter I. The 'Discovery'. II. Southward Ho! III. In Search of Winter Quarters. IV. The Polar Winter. V. The Start of the Southern Journey. VI. The Return. VII. A Second Winter. VIII. The Western Journey. IX. The Return from the West. X. Release.


Chapter Preface to 'Scott's Last Expedition'. Biographical Note. British Antarctic Expedition, 1910. I. Through Stormy Seas. II. Depôt Laying to One Ton Camp. III. Perils. IV. A Happy Family. V. Winter. VI. Good-bye to Cape Evans. VII. The Southern Journey Begins. VIII. On the Beardmore Glacier. IX. The South Pole. X. On the Homeward Journey. XI. The Last March. Search Party Discovers the Tent. In Memoriam. Farewell Letters. Message to the Public. Index.



Portrait of Captain Robert F. Scott From a photograph by J. Russell & Son, Southsea.


From Water-Color Drawings by Dr. Edward A. Wilson.

Sledding. Mount Erebus. Lunar Corona. 'Birdie' Bowers reading the thermometer on the ramp.


Panorama at Cape Evans. Berg in South Bay.


Robert F. Scott at the age of thirteen as a naval cadet. The 'Discovery'. Looking up the gateway from Pony Depôt. Pinnacled ice at mouth of Ferrar Glacier. Pressure ridges north side of Discovery Bluff. The 'Terra Nova' leaving the Antarctic. Pony Camp on the barrier. Snowed-up tent after three days' blizzard. Pitching the double tent on the summit. Adélie Penguin on nest. Emperor Penguins on sea-ice. Dog party starting from Hut Point. Dog lines. Looking up the gateway from Pony Depôt. Looking south from Lower Glacier Depôt, Man hauling camp, 87th parallel. The party at the South Pole. 'The Last Rest'.

Facsimile of the last words of Captain Scott's Journal.

Track chart of main southern journey.



On the night of my original meeting with Scott he was but lately home from his first adventure into the Antarctic and my chief recollection of the occasion is that having found the entrancing man I was unable to leave him. In vain he escorted me through the streets of London to my home, for when he had said good-night I then escorted him to his, and so it went on I know not for how long through the small hours. Our talk was largely a comparison of the life of action (which he pooh-poohed) with the loathsome life of those who sit at home (which I scorned); but I also remember that he assured me he was of Scots extraction. As the subject never seems to have been resumed between us, I afterwards wondered whether I had drawn this from him with a promise that, if his reply was satisfactory, I would let him go to bed. However, the family traditions (they are nothing more) do bring him from across the border. According to them his great-great-grandfather was the Scott of Brownhead whose estates were sequestered after the '45. His dwelling was razed to the ground and he fled with his wife, to whom after some grim privations a son was born in a fisherman's hut on September 14, 1745. This son eventually settled in Devon, where he prospered, for it was in the beautiful house of Oatlands that he died. He had four sons, all in the Royal Navy, of whom the eldest had as youngest child John Edward Scott, father of the Captain Scott who was born at Oatlands on June 6, 1868. About the same date, or perhaps a little earlier, it was decided that the boy should go into the Navy like so many of his for-bears.

I have been asked to write a few pages about those early days of Scott at Oatlands, so that the boys who read this book may have some slight acquaintance with the boy who became Captain Scott; and they may be relieved to learn (as it holds out some chance for themselves) that the man who did so many heroic things does not make his first appearance as a hero. He enters history aged six, blue-eyed, long-haired, inexpressibly slight and in velveteen, being held out at arm's length by a servant and dripping horribly, like a half-drowned kitten. This is the earliest recollection of him of a sister, who was too young to join in a children's party on that fatal day. But Con, as he was always called, had intimated to her that from a window she would be able to see him taking a noble lead in the festivities in the garden, and she looked; and that is what she saw. He had been showing his guests how superbly he could jump the leat, and had fallen into it.

Leat is a Devonshire term for a running stream, and a branch of the leat ran through the Oatlands garden while there was another branch, more venturesome, at the bottom of the fields. These were the waters first ploughed by Scott, and he invented many ways of being in them accidentally, it being forbidden to enter them of intent. Thus he taught his sisters and brother a new version of the oldest probably of all pastimes, the game of 'Touch.' You had to touch 'across the leat,' and, with a little good fortune, one of you went in. Once you were wet, it did not so much matter though you got wetter.

An easy way of getting to the leat at the foot of the fields was to walk there, but by the time he was eight Scott scorned the easy ways. He invented parents who sternly forbade all approach to this dangerous waterway; he turned them into enemies of his country and of himself (he was now an admiral), and led parties of gallant tars to the stream by ways hitherto unthought of. At foot of the avenue was an oak tree which hung over the road, and thus by dropping from this tree you got into open country. The tree was (at this time) of an enormous size, with sufficient room to conceal a navy, and the navy consisted mainly of the sisters and the young brother. All had to be ready at any moment to leap from the tree and join issue with the enemy on the leat. In the fields there was also a mighty ocean, called by dull grown-ups 'the pond,' and here Scott's battleship lay moored. It seems for some time to have been an English vessel, but by and by he was impelled, as all boys are, to blow something up, and he could think of nothing more splendid for his purpose than the battleship. Thus did it become promptly a ship of the enemy doing serious damage to the trade of those parts, and the valiant Con took to walking about with lips pursed, brows frowning as he cogitated how to remove the Terror of Devon. You may picture the sisters and brother trotting by his side and looking anxiously, into his set face. At last he decided to blow the accursed thing up with gunpowder. His crew cheered, and then waited to be sent to the local shop for a pennyworth of gunpowder. But Con made his own gunpowder, none of the faithful were ever told how, and on a great day the train was laid. Con applied the match and ordered all to stand back. A deafening explosion was expected, but a mere puff of flame was all that came; the Terror of Devon, which to the unimaginative was only a painted plank, still rode the waters. With many boys this would be the end of the story, but not with Con. He again retired to the making of gunpowder, and did not desist from his endeavors until he had blown that plank sky-high.

His first knife is a great event in the life of a boy: it is probably the first memory of many of them, and they are nearly always given it on condition that they keep it shut. So it was with Con, and a few minutes after he had sworn that he would not open it he was begging for permission to use it on a tempting sapling. 'Very well,' his father said grimly, 'but remember, if

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