Mr. Pike, the colorful and beloved barber of my childhood, loved to regale us on Saturday afternoons with stories about his time with the Commandos in World War II. One point he always stressed was that the Commandos didn't leave their own, wounded, dying, or dead, behind.
"We couldn't very well abandon one of our chaps, and leave him for the Jerries or Eyeties, now could we," he paused as he adressed the seated line of children, waved his scissors for emphasis, and continued, "Not really British, now is it?"
We would agree with him emphatically, "No, Mr. Pike, it isn't!"
"That's right! Nothing British about it all, simply isn't right, it is," and Mr. Pike would go back to cutting hair and telling us more of his hair raising war stories.
I hope Mr. Pike isn't around to hear about the one left behind to die on Everest, it would have shocked and upset him, going against all his deeply held notions of decency and loyalty. I am saddened that Sir Edmund lived long enough for this: Hillary Blasts Climbers Who Left Dying Man: "Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary said Wednesday he was shocked that dozens of climbers left a British mountaineer to die during their own attempts on the world's tallest peak."