Wild as second in command took over the expedition after Shackleton’s death in South Georgia in 1921.
p. 7: Lieut.-Commander R. T. Gould, of the Hydrographic Department, provided us with books and reports of previous explorers concerning the little-known parts of our route, and his information, gleaned from all sources and collected together for our use, proved of the greatest value.
p. 18, from Shackleton’s diary, Sept. 24, 1921: “Providence is with us even now.”
p. 33: Before leaving England the Boss had ordered a brass plate to be made, on which was inscribed two verses of Kipling’s immortal “If?” and had it placed in front of the bridge. Hussey, after a heavy day’s coaling in bad weather, was inspired to a version specially applicable to the Quest which reads as follows:
If you can stand the Quest and all her antics,
If you can go without a drink for weeks,
If you can smile a smile and say, "How topping!"
When someone splashes paint across your "breeks "
If you can work like Wild and then, like "Wuzzles,"
Spend a convivial night with some "old bean,"
And then come down and meet the Boss at breakfast
And never breathe a word of where you’ve been;
If you can keep your feet when all about you
Are turning somersaults upon the deck,
And then go up aloft when no one told you,
And not fall down and break your blooming neck;
If you can fill the port and starboard bunkers
With fourteen tons of coal and call it fun,
Yours is the ship and everything that’s on it,
Coz you’re a marvel, not a man, old son. . . .
p. 78: ashore in South Georgia at Gritviken Wild had access to the Norwegian Record of Ships from which he ascertained the age of the boiler aboard the ship.
p. 93: Naisbitt asked me if he might start a ship’s magazine, to which I assented.
p. 97: On the first day of February the maiden number of Expedition Topics appeared under the editorship of Naisbitt. It was got up simply, consisting of a number of sheets of typewritten matter, chiefly on the humorous side, and containing a sly hit at most of the company. There were also some clever drawings. Like everything else that created an interest it was of value just then when the daily life in those cold grey stormy seas was necessarily very monotonous.
p. 97, Feb 2: A bookcase in my cabin had battens three inches wide placed along the shelves, but they proved useless to keep in place the books, which hurled themselves to the floor, where they were much damaged by the seas which found their way in and swished up and down with every roll.
The book is a fairly straight forward, sometimes charming and sometimes evasive (e.g. re personnel difficulties), account of the voyage. Most interesting is the account of its visit to Tristan da Cunha, a settlement which had not seen a ship in 18 months before their arrival.