The Worst Journey in the World eBook

Apsley Cherry-Garrard
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 876 pages of information about The Worst Journey in the World.

I have referred to the crusts on the Barrier, where the snow lies in layers with an air-space, perhaps a quarter of an inch, or more, between them.  These will subside as you pass over them, giving the inexperienced polar traveller some nasty moments until he learns that they are not crevasses.  But the dogs thought they were rabbits, and pounced, time after time.  There was a little dog called Mukaka, who got dragged under the sledge in one of the mad penguin rushes the dog-teams made when we were landing stores from the Terra Nova:  his back was hurt and afterwards he died.  “He is paired with a fat, lazy and very greedy black dog, Noogis by name, and in every march this sprightly little Mukaka will once or twice notice that Noogis is not pulling and will jump over the trace, bite Noogis like a snap, and be back again in his own place before the fat dog knows what has happened."[289]

Then there was Stareek (which is the Russian for old man, starouka being old woman).  “He is quite a ridiculous ‘old man,’ and quite the nicest, quietest, cleverest old dog I have ever come across.  He looks in face as though he knew all the wickedness of all the world and all its cares, and as if he were bored to death by them."[290] He was the leader of Wilson’s team on the Depot Journey, but decided that he was not going out again.  Thereafter when he thought there was no one looking he walked naturally; but if he saw you looking at him he immediately had a frost-bitten paw, limped painfully over the snow, and looked so pitiful that only brutes like us could think of putting him to pull a sledge.  We tried but he refused to work, and his final victory was complete.

One more story:  Dimitri is telling us how a “funny old Stareek” at Sydney came and objected to his treatment of the dogs (which were more than half wolves and would eat you without provocation).  “He says to me, ’You not whip’—­I say, ‘What ho!’ He go and fetch Mr. Meares—­he try put me in choky.  Then he go to Anton—­give Anton cigarette and match—­he say—­’How old that horse?’ pointing to Hackenschmidt—­Anton say, very young—­he not believe—­he go try see Hackenschmidt’s teeth—­and old Starouka too—­and Hackenschmidt he draw back and he rush forward and bite old Stareek twice, and he fall backwards over case—­and ole woman pick him up.  He very white beard which went so—­I not see him again.”

FOOTNOTES: 

   [286] My own diary.

   [287] My own diary.

   [288] My own diary.

   [289] Wilson’s Journal, Scott’s Last Expedition, vol. i. p. 616.

   [290] Ibid.

CHAPTER XVI

THE SEARCH JOURNEY

From my own diary

Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas,
Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please. 
SPENSER, The Faerie Queen.

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The Worst Journey in the World from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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