Q: What did you all do during the week? What kept you busy?
NV: We were, the dog drivers were busy preparing for the next year. At least
Goodale, Crockett and I were for the next season for we had been appointed to
the geological team, the geological survey team. And we had equipment and food
and ourselves to get ready for that trip and we were busy every single day.
Q: What was the effect on months of confinement on all the men at Little
America? Did people grate on each other?
NV: Of course but Byrd was clever about that. He would spot something like
that quickly and in one case a man became very homesick for his wife and for
his home and nobody seemed to know what to do about it. I'll tell you his
conduct was as follows. He didn't want to get up to eat. He'd stay in bed and
get probably one meal a day and as soon as he got up he eat and as soon as
finished he'd eat and go back to bed. He read a little but it was always
isolated and always in bed. Well Byrd took that situation under control and
called him aside and said, I have something very secretive. Who can I get in
camp to help me with a secret that I've got to have a job done and nobody
should know what's going on. Who can I choose in camp and he was talking to
the very man he wanted, and the fella said well, so and so and so and so. And
Byrd said, as I talked to you maybe you could do that job. Would you take it
on for me? The fellow was enthusiastic and the job was to dig a tunnel to hide
something to be brought back at the time we left the ice. And so the tunnel
was being built by this man day in and day out he'd start and work on this
tunnel underground and it worked. He worked hard. He got back on his feet.
He got up in the morning and had three meals a day and worked and that's how
Byrd got him to do it.