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Reading skills - TERRA NOVA

Klausimas #1


     In June 1910 a ship left the river Thames. The name of the ship was 'Terra Nova" which means New Land. This name was well chosen as the captain and his crew wanted to explore the unknown regions near the South Pole and, if possible, to reach the Pole itself. Robert Scott, who was an officer in the Navy, was the leader of the expedition. When the ship reached Australia Scott received the news that Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, was also on his way south and he, too, was anxious to be the first man to reach the South Pole. When they had arrived at the place called Cape Evans, they built a hut and made several short journeys. At last at the end of 1911 the captain and his four companions started for the Pole.
     Right from the start Scotts luck was out. The weather was unusually bad even for those parts. Their tent, food, oil and instruments were carried on a sledge drawn by dogs. The animals, however, died one after another, and for the greater part of the journey the men walking on skis had to pull the sledge themselves. At the back of every man's mind was the question: "Will the Norwegians get there first?" One day the men discovered something black in the distance. Coming nearer, they saw it was a black flag tied to a pole, and footprints were to be seen everywhere. The Norwegians had reached the Pole first! That day Scott wrote in his diary: "It is a terrible disappointment and I am sorry for my companions. Tomorrow we must march on to the Pok and then hurry home".
     It was 950 miles to the ship. It had taken them 76 days to get to the Pole; it would take even more to get back. They pushed on at the best speed they could manage; they knew that their strength was going and food was running short. The conditions were terrible. Their sleeping bags were covered with ice all over. Evans, severely frost-bitten, was the first to lose his strength. When he could no longer walk he tried to crawl on his hands and knees. The only hope for Evans' companions now was to go on and leave him behind but they did not leave him till two hours after his death. Without Evans the party moved a little quicker, but the weather grew worse with snowstorms and terrible cold, and they had not enough fuel to warm their feet. Oates was suffering most from frost-bite and could not pull the sledge; indeed he could hardly walk. He knew that he was slowing the progress of his friends which meant death for them. He slept through the night, hoping that he would not wake, but in the morning he was still alive. He said to his friends, ''I am going outside and may be some time". He never came back.
     They came at last to a stop only eleven miles from the place where they had left a store of food and fuel, but the storm was so violent that they had to stay where they were. It spite of the cold and hunger, Scott and his companions lived four days longer and died there in their tent.
Eight months later a search party found that silent tent. They were lying in their sleeping bags as they had died. The body of Oates was never found, but somewhere about the place where he went away they put up a heap of stones with the words: 'Here died a very gallant Gentleman, Captain L.E.G. Oates, who in March 1912 walked with his death in a storm to try to save his companions"

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