March 29, 2014

Noting Loss

The Writer's Almanac reports that today is the anniversary of the last entry in Robert Falcon Scott's diary. Writer's Almanac also passes on Scott's record of his disappointment at learning that Roald Amundsen had beat him to the South Pole. He wrote

The Norwegians have forestalled us and are first at the Pole. It is a terrible disappointment and I am very sorry for my loyal companions ... To-morrow we must march on the Pole, and then hasten home with all the speed we can compass. All the day-dreams must go; it will be a wearisome return.

That seems a gracious and beautiful statement. I should read the rest of Scott's record to see how he bore the rest of his journey.