Patience Camp. This diary covers period from Patience Camp to rescue at Elephant Island.
p. 3, dog named Shakespeare killed.
p. 6 Jan 19th: Time passes tediously, Eat, read and play cars, and drift with the floe under the guidance of capricious winds and tides.
p. 7 20th Jan: Played cribbage during morning, and P.[oker] Patience during afternoon, interspersed with reading of the encyclop. Brit. And Golden Treasury Verse.
p. 12-13 27th Jan: I’m now reading Kipling’s Eothan, which alleviates a hungry appetite by providing a literary feast.
p. 14-15 Jan 30: Came to the end of Eothian. I would rather carry this excellent book than six times its weight in rations. Kinglake’s magnificent description of the desert, resembles Byron’s Ocean—an apostrophe written—not to be excelled. It transported me from the illimitable ice to the interminable desert sands, to the sphinx, to the great pyramids, and [dwelt? Or drew] me transiently by the umbrageous olives of far Damascus and the knarled cedars of Lebanon. Alas! the book is finished and round me remains the ever unchangeable ice, the same leaden sky, the same existing patience—the same white line that girdles the boundary of vision and acts like a bar to our frigid captivity.
p. 15: Crean and Macklin go to Ocean Camp: “They brought back practically all remaining stores… but best of all a good supply of books and the remaining Encyclopaedias.”
p. 15: Reading Young’s Travels in France.
p. 16: Read Printing from Encyclopaedia and Youngs travels in France.
p. 21: Sunday, 6th Febr: Spent remainder of day reading “Youngs travels in France”, which I find very interesting though a trifle slogey
p. 23 9th Feb: Finished Arthur Young’s travels in France, which I enjoyed immensely. Now reading That Sea Captain by Bailey. No news—waiting.
p. 24 11th Feb: Finished the “Sea Captain” but not impressed therewith.
p. 27 12th Feb: Reading, What I saw in Russia by Hon. Maurice Baring.
p. 28 14th Feb.: Finished “What I saw in Russia” by Hon. M. Baring, a charming, unbiased and pictorial description independent of interesting merit.
p. 30 15th Feb.: Reading “The making of the Earth” by J. W. Gregory.
p. 36 20th Feb.: To bags at 6.15 p.m. to read and listen to the lonely crow like croak of the Penguins and ruminate on home and dear ones. [Since the light was declining no more reading is mentioned until March 7th.]
p. 49 7th Mar.: Reading P.I.P. by Ian Hamilton. Spent day computing provision list. Another use for seal. Find blubber has magic solvent properties on the dirt accumulated on our playing cards.
8th March: Finished reading P.I.P. which I heartily enjoyed.
p. 53 14th March: Have just read Vandover and the Brute by Norris.
15th March: Spend afternoon in bag—dozing and reading—endeavouring to eliminate time—our most arduous labour.
p. 60 Mar 25: Finish Monsieur D. Rochforte which I heartily enjoyed
p. 74 4th April, scene at dinner: At rare intervals there are poetic outpourings; and though we have to hear snatches from Tennyson, Service, Keats and Browning, I cannot fail but recount an amusing incident, which indicates forcibly the psychology of our minds.
Sir Ernest reciting Browning’s ‘Rabbi Ben Ezra’ comes to the well-known lines:
All the Worlds course thumb
And finger fail to plumb
is interrupted by a muffled voice from the snuggery of a sleeping bag, with the feeling interjection of ‘Couldn’t we do with Plum duffs now!’
p. 75-75 4th April: Long section on tent topics: “But by far the most popular of tent topics are talks on ‘Other Lands and unknown places.’ ”
p. 89, landing at Elephant Island.
p. 92 April 17: I thought of these lines of Service’s:
A land of savage grandeur
That measures each man at his worth.
[But there are few mentions of reading after Hurley reaches Elephant Island.]
p. 164 5th July: Reading Kane.
p. 173 19th July: Chat with Wild about Old England and fill in time reading encyclopaedia Brit.
p. 174 21st July: All remain in bags discussing and reading.
p. 177 21? July: This is a glimpse of the interior which is kitchen, bedroom, sitting room, library etc etc and our present home.
p. 185 1st Aug: I have been reading Nordenskjöld all day, and so similar to our own position is his narrative that I actually felt it was our party that was being rescued by the ‘Uraquaz.’
p. 22, 21st August: Read Henry V.
p. 207: Wednesday, 30th August, 1916 Day of Wonders
p. 210, 31st August aboard Yelcho: Good old Boss! The war news and multitudinous magazines and cablegrams furnish us with a profusion of data that will acquaint us with all the world’s doings to which we have been strangers.