December 7th 1933
Patrick manages to fix the Belle’s radio. At 8am there is a Morse code transmission in German, some numbers and names – Meyer, Rucker, Baumann – are deciphered. Archie recognises the numbers as latitude and longitude, roughly where they are headed.
Soon after the Belle spots the Weddell on the ground a couple of miles from a camp site. They decide to land quietly next to the Weddell. They find the Weddell empty, with tracks heading towards the camp site. While searching the Weddell, which has run out of fuel, George notices his rock getting very hot. George and Patrick quickly work out that a satchel full of black stones is the cause of this and they decide to bury it in the snow.
Patrick stays by the Belle and transfers some fuel to the Weddell and keeps them warm. The others walk to the campsite. Asmund and George hand back out of site with their rifles, while Archie, Cissy and Lucinda go towards the newly erected tent. Cissy wants to find out what state the Germans are in, Halperin’s stories were quite disturbing – would these be men or monsters. Cissy calls out to the tent, and after a few moments Baumann struggles out of the tubelike doorway.
‘You are alive – we thought everyone was dead!’
He seems very happy to see everyone. Baumann invites them into the tent and they talk over what happened. Lucinda examines Rucker, who is badly injured – with a shot in his belly. They convince Baumann and Rucker to come with them back to Lake’s Camp, with as much supplies as they can manage. Baumann agrees and Rucker is too fevered to disagree. The Germans send a transmission that they are headed for Lake’s Camp and to send help.
The pilots quickly ski back to the planes and then bring them up to the camp. Everyone loads and they head back to Lake’s camp just as a storm starts to blow in. It is a dicey takeoff, but Archie and Baumann are very good.
At Lake’s Camp, the planes manage to land and are met by Winslow who tells them of the earthquakes and fires, the caves have collapsed and most of the fuel has been destroyed. There are a few men dead, but now that the Weddell and Belle are here with supplies, they can start flying out to Ross Camp. Archie and Patrick volunteer to take the Belle back over the mountains to retrieve the rest of the expedition, while Baumann starts flying people out to Ross Camp.
Rucker goes into the care of Doctor Schick of the BFE, but does not recover.