Dull. Wilson recorded the fall of Scott and Evans in the crevasse noting that they went in upto their waists. He also describes the worsening condition of Evans as his fingers are ‘suppurating, nose very bad and rotten looking’. Meanwhile Teddy Evans, Crean and Lashly edge closer to base camp but they leave their pemmican behind as they no longer ‘care for it’ and those following may be in need. They also leave a note for Scott but decide not to mention the worsening condition of Teddy Evans.
Scott’s Journal 4th February 1912. They marched on foot in the morning then ski later in the day and with temperatures at -23 they march 18 miles. Scott and Evans fell into a crevasse, this was the second fall for Evans today. The surface is hard and this helped the party increase speed. They can see Mount Darwin and are descending hoping to get off the plateau quickly. The temperature is 20 degrees lower than this spot on the outward journey. The condition of Evans is not improving and Scott notes that he is becoming rather ‘dull and incapable’ Scott concludes, ‘Thank the Lord we have good food at each meal, but we are getting hungrier in spite of it. Bowers is splendid, full of energy and bustle all the time. I hope we are not going to have trouble with ice falls’.
Commentary. Scott now records that the injured men are not getting better and that Evans is not well. The signs have been there for a while but Scott focussed on the effect rather than the cause. Previous comments about losing a finger nail didn’t do justice to the serious reason behind these injuries or even that Scott had accepted the reason and significance of there presence in the team. Evans was in a bad way and the finger nails were a small sign of a big problem. If Scott was aware he had not shared that fully in his journal but today he begins to share the seriousness of the situation. Often leaders will understand the significance of small events, matters which others may dismiss as trivial. Each and every issue, small or large, is a clue and a gift. They inform the leader of potential future performance of failure. The response can often very, small things can be ignored and this can be the right thing to do as long as it is a chosen course rather than due to ignorance or lack of foresight. On the other hand small matters may generate a response which is seen as hugely disproportionate to the moment. The leader must make decisions either way and while no action may not indicate no consideration a significant reaction does not come from a thoughtless over response. No action through ignorance and thoughtless over reaction are not the acts of leaders.