2005 American American Best Best Essay Series Tm

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To Henry, his father often seemed like a Biblical force: commanding, revered, looming but absent.

A relative recalled, “Henry barely saw his dad, and when he did it was, like, shaking his hand.

A few weeks earlier, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who was the patron of the expedition, had broadcast a message for Worsley that said, “You’re doing a cracking job.

Everyone back here is keeping up with what you’re up to, and very proud of everything you’re achieving.” Worsley’s journey captivated people around the world, including legions of schoolchildren who were following his progress.

On the ice, though, he resembled a beast, hauling and sleeping, hauling and sleeping, as if he were keeping time to some primal rhythm.

He had grown accustomed to the obliterating conditions, overcoming miseries that would’ve broken just about anyone else.And so it remained all day and has showed no sliver of change this evening.Navigation under such circumstances is always a challenge. I reckon I lost about three miles’ distance today from snaking around, head permanently bowed to read the compass, just my shuffling skis to look at for nine hours.It wasn’t like a hug or like love or anything like that.” Richard Worsley was often posted overseas, and when Henry was seven he was sent to a boarding school for boys, in Kent.Henry, who was slight, with unnervingly steady blue eyes, found solace in sports, excelling at cricket, rugby, skiing, and hockey.Kids tended to follow him around, but he preferred to wander alone across the school grounds—forests and meadows that spanned seven hundred and fifty acres.He hunted for birds’ nests, marking their locations on a map.Some are actuated simply by a love of adventure, some have the keen thirst for scientific knowledge, and others again are drawn away from the trodden paths by the ‘lure of little voices,’ the mysterious fascination of the unknown.” The book was illustrated with photographs from the expedition, and Worsley stared at them in wonder.There was the hut, crammed with a stove and canned goods and a phonograph, where Shackleton and his men had wintered on Ross Island, off the coast of Antarctica.In his diary, he wrote, “Am worried about my fingers—one tip of little finger already gone and all others very sore.” One of his front teeth had broken off, and the wind whistled through the gap. Yet he was never one to give up, and adhered to the S. S.’s unofficial motto, “Always a little further”—a line from James Elroy Flecker’s 1913 poem “The Golden Journey to Samarkand.” The motto was painted on the front of Worsley’s sled, and he murmured it to himself like a mantra: “Always a little further . He was so close to what he liked to call a “rendezvous with history.” Yet how much farther could he press on before the cold consumed him?He had lost some forty pounds, and he became fixated on his favorite foods, listing them for his broadcast listeners: “Fish pie, brown bread, double cream, steaks and chips, more chips, smoked salmon, baked potato, eggs, rice pudding, Dairy Milk chocolate, tomatoes, bananas, apples, anchovies, Shredded Wheat, Weetabix, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, toast, pasta, pizza and pizza. He had studied with devotion the decision-making of Shackleton, whose ability to escape mortal danger was legendary, and who had famously saved the life of his entire crew when an expedition went awry.

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