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HOW NINNIS AND MERTZ DIED.

LEADER'S LONELY JOURNEY

BESULTS OF THE EXPEDITION.

(Per Press Association —Copyright.)

LONDON, February .27. Dr. Mawson's personal narrative, as ;published in the "Daily Mail," runs :

"December 14 was a beautiful day. Ninnis, Mertz, and myself were in the highest spirits. Owing to our arrival on' an unbroken plateau, our troubles seemed to be at an end. Mertz Avas acting as trail-breaker, and was a quarter of a mile ahead. Myself, with the first dog. team, came next, then Ninnis with the ■ sledge carrying the most vital necessities. This plan was adopted in order that the first .sledge would suffer if a crevasse were unex- < p'ectedly found.' . >'■■'■-„

How Ninnis Died.

, v . "On coming to a crevasse, of which lirJmd already negotiated scores with ray' team, I called out ' Crevasse.' Tnis^p^t.^innis on his .guard. "Looking back soon after crossing one crevasse, nothing .met my eye except an expanse df snow and ice. Then the possibility of Ninnis having fallen into a -crevasse dawned upon me. Hastening back we came to a yawning abyss, and' when our eyes became' accustomed to .the dark blue light, we j heard a dog moaning, and saw, it lying •on a ledge 170 feet below. There was no trace of Ninnis, .and we called for hours without receiving an answer. " Meantime the dog ceased moaning, and ,an eerie stillness shrouded the depths.

v The Return.

" The remaining sledge contained only one man's food for one and a half weeks,- and none for the sis dogs. Wo improvised a tent from a tent cover, by utilising a pair of ski and a Iheodolite. " Nine hours after the accident '.we read the burial service over' the crevasse where Ninnis disappeared, and started on the return journey. , "The dogs gave out early owing to want of nutriment. We were 100 miles from the hut on New Year's Day. Dense snow was falling daily. Mertz had become very weak,, but continued very cheerful, and I could not have wished for a better .companion. On January 6 Mertz was .unable to walk. I dragged the sledge with much toil t only two and a half miles with the help of a sail.

Death of Mertz.

"IVJertz .died 'at midnight' on the 7th. • My own condition" afforded little .hope, but I decided to ,push on. I did not need a- reminder that in the following month snow would be experienced daily. Several times I fell into -crevasses to the length of the sledge pole, and was scarcely able to crawl .out. My skin and nails came off .owing to the intense cold. The discovery of a food cache finally enabled me to reach the hut."

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19140228.2.22.1

Bibliographic details

HOW NINNIS AND MERTZ DIED., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8806, 28 February 1914

Word Count
447

HOW NINNIS AND MERTZ DIED. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8806, 28 February 1914

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