The worst thing one can do here


“Temperature zero. Foggy and generally uninviting.”

“I did an awful thing last night as nightwatchman — the worst thing one can do here. I let Sir Ernest’s fire go out about 3am! Not for want of coal but through an excess of it. It always is a horrid little fire and I suppose it just got blocked up, or else the wind changed and stopped the draught. My efforts to relay and relight it woke ‘The Boss’, who was no more complimentary about it than any other less distinguished people when they are similarly disturbed — rather less so in fact.”

“After three-quarters of an hour of carbonaceous but fruitless effort, Sir Ernest could stand it no longer, got up himself and lighted it literally in a twinkling, dismissing me with no little acerbity, and he has not failed to remind me about it today in spite of the gift of two onions as a peace-offering. He is particularly fond of them.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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