"The man's a war hero, he won the VC in the Boer War!" said Duddingston, "he's a kind of totem, isn't he, a symbol of what it means to be British?" asked Campbeltown; "you're right," replied Bernie, "a linchpin, absolutely essential to the morale of the expedition, do you suppose that when the others realised what he had done, instead of freeing them from the strain of carrying him further, it only symbolised the failure of the expedition – they hadn't achieved their goal – and that sense of futility was what decided their own fate?" and Duddingston fixed Bernie with a stern look: "you cannae hold him responsible for the others' deaths, no way!" and Bernie expostulated: "no, no, I didn't mean that, Captain Oates is an exceptional man, with great courage and immense moral purpose, in fact, the last man anyone could attempt to chantage! there is no shame attached to him in any way, shape or form; all I meant was, well, the Law of Unintended Consequences, you must know it, surely?" but the Loch brothers shook their heads, so Bernie explained: "okay, you do something, for the right reasons; as a result of what you do, something happens, not what you intended, maybe even as well as what you intended, but it still happens; if it has a bad outcome, are you responsible? after all, it needn't have happened at all, but it did; is that your fault?" and the brothers looked at each other and after a pause, Campbeltown said: "that's a glass of malt each, Bernie, which is a direct result of your asking us a totally pointless question, and that's the Law of Unintended Consequences!"