Every Man In His Way Is A Treasure . . .
There was very little for Scott to report on 18 January 1911. But the handful of paragraphs in the day's journal entry nonetheless say volumes about Scott's humanity. Already, in all of this, a fatal weakness is coming into view. He was determined to spread praise to all the members of the crew. On this day, he singled out Bowers, Simpson and Wright - even Clissold the cook, of whom Scott said: "[he] has started splendidly, has served seal, penguin, and skua; and I can honestly say that I have never met these articles of food in such a pleasing guise..." (Journals, p. 97, Carroll & Graf ). But this fair-mindedness would mean - in the end - that Scott would include one man too many in the final polar party - outstripping the planned rations and depots, and contributing to all the members' deaths. What a shame that Scott's wholly admirable sensitivity would be met with the Antarctic's unforgiving terms. There, it seems, all men are not necessarily a treasure.
Posted by Russell Miller at 9:09 PM