ROBERT FALCON SCOTT (1868-1913)
Autograph letter signed ('R Scott') to Cecil Henry Meares, n.p. [Cape Evans], n.d. [30 September 1911], in three sections, 'Re your note left with Wilson attached hereto', 'Re sledges', and 'Re your letter of today (Sept 30th)', 3 pages, folio (some worming to lower margin of last folio, affecting signature).
Scott, on his return from the Spring Journey, gives preliminary instructions for the use of the dog teams to assist the Southern Journey. Scott begins with instructions for the progress of the dog party 'If motors succeed', though noting 'We cannot know if motors have succeeded till we get to "One Ton Camp" Hence dogs start as though motors were going to fail ...', adding that notes of further instruction will be left at depots; the second heading concerns '2nd & 3rd Journeys of dogs', to supply return journey rations at One Ton Camp, and to 'try & meet the advance Southern Party on its return somewhere South of "One Ton Camp"'; the third point states that the Discovery Hut at Hut Point is to be 'the base of operations'. 'Re sledges', Scott discusses which are to be used for man haulage on the Barrier and the Beardmore Glacier, and which Meares with his dog-teams will be permitted to use -- 'it will be necessary to have the best possible pick of runners for man haulage on the Glacier One of the runners of the Sledge I have just been using is badly mauled by the Ferrar Glacier', and Meares is to be allocated sledges whose runners have knots. The last section refers to the telephone (which connected the Discovery Hut, where Meares was located, to Cape Evans), Meares's 'wants in the commissariat line', and experiences on the Spring Journey: 'We marched 18½ geographical miles against the wind yesterday and it was a pretty tough job', advising Meares to '"Up tent" when you see the yellow drift line coming over the Barrier'.
Cecil Henry Meares (1877-1937) was the expedition's dog expert, and a somewhat mysterious character, whose apparently aimless wanderings in the Far East in his early years may have been connected to Intelligence work. He was perhaps the member of the expedition most directly critical of Scott's organisation, and this may have exacerbated Scott's ambiguous attitude to dog-teams. At the beginning of the Southern Journey, Meares was ordered to set out last, and caused some irritation to Scott by overtaking the main party ahead of schedule while they were tent-bound during a blizzard.