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Scott's Last Expedition

Sunday, June 25th 1911

I find I have made no mention of Cherry-Garrard’s first number of the revived South Polar Times, presented to me on Midwinter Day.

It is a very good little volume, bound by Day in a really charming cover of carved venesta wood and sealskin. The contributors are anonymous, but I have succeeded in guessing the identity of the greater number.

The Editor has taken a statistical paper of my own on the plans for the Southern Journey and a well-written serious article on the Geological History of our region by Taylor. Except for editorial and meteorological notes the rest is conceived in the lighter vein. The verse is mediocre except perhaps for a quaint play of words in an amusing little skit on the sleeping-bag argument; but an article entitled ‘Valhalla’ appears to me to be altogether on a different level. It purports to describe the arrival of some of our party at the gates proverbially guarded by St. Peter; the humour is really delicious and nowhere at all forced. In the jokes of a small community it is rare to recognise one which would appeal to an outsider, but some of the happier witticisms of this article seem to me fit for wider circulation than our journal enjoys at present. Above all there is distinct literary merit in it – a polish which leaves you unable to suggest the betterment of a word anywhere.

I unhesitatingly attribute this effort to Taylor, but Wilson and Garrard make Meares responsible for it. If they are right I shall have to own that my judgment of attributes is very much at fault. I must find out.

A quiet day. Read Church Service as usual; in afternoon walked up the Ramp with Wilson to have a quiet talk before he departs. I wanted to get his ideas as to the scientific work done.

We agreed as to the exceptionally happy organisation of our party.

I took the opportunity to warn Wilson concerning the desirability of complete understanding with Ponting and Taylor with respect to their photographs and records on their return to civilisation.

The weather has been very mysterious of late; on the 23rd and 24th it continuously threatened a blizzard, but now the sky is clearing again with all signs of fine weather.

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