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A Labrador Doctor - The Autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
by Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
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Mr. W.R. Stirling, our Chicago director, who had personally visited the hospitals, insisted that a water supply must at all costs be secured both for hospital and orphanage. This was not only to avert the reproach of typhoid epidemics, two of which had previously occurred, but also to better our protection for so many helpless lives in old dry wooden buildings, and to economize the great expense of hauling water by dogs every winter, when our little surface reservoir was frozen to the bottom. This water supply has only just been finished; and now we cannot understand how we ever existed without it. But it is an unromantic object to which to give money, and the total cost, even doing the work ourselves, amounted to just upon ten thousand dollars. According to the Government engineer's advice we had a stream to dam and a mile and a quarter of piping to lay six feet underground to prevent the water freezing. It is only in very few places that we boast six feet of soil at all on the rock that forms the frame of Mother Earth here. Hence there was much blasting to do. But the task was accomplished, and by our own boys, and has successfully weathered our bitter winter. The last lap was run by an intensely interesting experiment. The assistant at Emmanuel Church in Boston brought down a number of volunteer Boy Scouts to give their services on the commonplace task of digging the remainder of the trench necessary to complete the water supply. When they first arrived, our Northern outside man, after looking at their clothes of the Boston cut, remarked, "Hm. You'd better give that crowd some softer job than digging." But they did the work, and a whole lot more besides. For their grit and jollity, and above all their readiness to tackle and see through such side tasks as unloading and stowing away some three hundred tons of coal were real "missionary" lessons.

The ever-growing demand for doctors as the war dragged on made it harder and harder to man our far-off stations. The draft in America was the last straw, doctors having already been forbidden to leave England or Canada. Dr. Charles Curtis had taken over Dr. Little's work at St. Anthony, and stood nobly by, getting special permission to do so. Dr. West, who had succeeded our colleague, Dr. Mather Hare, at Harrington, when his wife's breakdown had obliged him to leave us, had already given us a year over his scheduled time, for he had accepted work in India at the hands of those who had specially trained him for that purpose.

We had been having considerable trouble in the accommodation of the heavy batches of patients that came by the mail boat. They were left on the wharf when she steamed away, and only the floors of our treatment and waiting-rooms were available for their reception. For all could not possibly go into the wards, where children, and often very sick patients, were being cared for. The people around always stretched their hospitality to the limit, but this was a very undesirable method of housing sick persons temporarily. Owing to the generosity of a lady in New Bedford and other friends, we were enabled to meet the problem by the erection of a rest house, with first and second class accommodation. This was built in the spring of 1917, and has been a Godsend to many besides patients. It makes people free to come to St. Anthony and stay and benefit by whatever it has to offer, without the feeling that they have no place to which they can go. Moreover, this hostel has been entirely self-supporting from the day that it opened, and every one who goes and comes has a good word for the rest house. It is run by one of our Labrador orphan boys, whose education was finished in America, and "Johnnie," as every one calls him, is already a feature in the life of the place.

Among the advances of the year 1918 must also be noted that more subscribers and subscriptions from local friends have been received than ever before. Our X-ray department has been added to. We have been able also to improve the roads, a thing greatly to be desired.

Look where we will, we have nothing but gratitude that in the last year of a long and exhausting war, here in this far-away section of the world, the keynote has been one of progress.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE FUTURE OF THE MISSION

What is the future of this Mission? I have once or twice been an unwilling listener to a discussion on this point. It has usually been in the smoking-room of a local mail steamer. The subtle humour of W.W. Jacobs has shown us that pessimism is an attribute of the village "pub" also. The alcoholic is always a prophet of doom; and the wish is often father to the thought.

In our medical work in the wilds we have become a repository of some old instruments discarded on the death of their owners or cast aside by the advancing tide of knowledge. Seeing the ingenuity, time, and expense lavished on many of them, they would make a truly pathetic museum. Personally I prefer the habits of India to those of Egypt concerning the departed. If the Pharaoh of the Persecution could see his mummy being shown to tourists as a cheap side show, I am sure that he would vote for cremation if he had the choice over again.

It sounds flippant in one who has devoted his life to this work to say, "Really I don't care what its future may be." I am content to leave the future with God. No true sportsman wants to linger on, a wretched handicap to the cause for which he once stood, like a fake hero with his peg leg and a black patch over one eye. The Christian choice is that of Achilles. Nature also teaches us that the paths of progress are marked by the discarded relics of what once were her corner-stones. The original Moses had the spirit of Christ when he said, "If Thou wilt, forgive their sin—and if not, I pray Thee, blot me out of Thy book." The heroic Paul was willing to be eliminated for the Kingdom of God. It seems to me that that attitude is the only credential which any Christian mission can give for its existence. If I felt that my work had accomplished all it could, I would "lay it down with a will."

As in India and China the missionaries of the various societies are uniting to build up a native, national Church which would wish to assume the responsibility of caring for its own problems, so when the Government of this country is willing and able to take over the maintenance of the medical work, this Mission would have justified its existence by its elimination. All lines along which the Mission works should one day become self-eliminating. Until that time arrives I am satisfied that the Mission has great opportunities before it. I am an optimist, and feel certain that God will provide the means to continue as long as the need exists.

Some believe that the future of this population depends solely on the attention paid to the development of the resources of the coast. Not only are its raw products more needed than ever, but even supposing that unscientific handling of them has depleted the supply, still there is ample to maintain a larger population than at present. This can only be when science and capital are introduced here, combined with an educated manhood fired by the spirit of cooperation.

In large parts of China a famine to wipe out surplus population is apparently a periodical necessity. An orphanage in India for similar reasons does not seem to be as rationally economic as one for the Labrador children. I never see a cliff face from which an avalanche has removed the supersoil and herbage without thinking in pity of the crowded sections of China, where tearing up even the roots of trees for fuel has permitted so much arable land to be denuded by rains that the food supply gets smaller while the population grows larger.

The future of all medical work depends on whether people want it and can arrange to get it paid for. If all the world become Christian Scientists, scientific—which we believe to be also Christian—healing will everywhere die a natural death—and possibly the people also. But history suggests that the healing art is one of considerable vitality. My own belief is that in the apparently approaching socialistic age, medicine will be communized and provided by the State free to all. If education for the mind is, why not education for the body?

Certain subtle and very vital psychic influences are probably the best stock in trade of the "Doctor of the old school." These qualities appear at present less likely to be "had for hire" in a Government official. The Chinese may yet return the missionary compliment by teaching us to adopt their method of paying the doctor only when and as long as the patient is cured.

Out of the taxes, the major part of which is paid by the people of the outport districts in this Colony, the Government provides free medical aid in the Capital, presumably because those who have the spending of the money mostly reside there. The Mission provides it in the farthest off and poorest part of the country, Labrador and North Newfoundland, because there is no chance whatever at present for the poor people to obtain it otherwise. Our pro rata share of the taxes, if judged by the paltry Government grant toward the work, would not provide anything worth having. The people here pay far better in proportion to their ability for hospital privileges than they do in Boston or London; the Government pays a little, and the rest comes from the loving gifts of those who desire nothing better, when they know of real need, than to make sacrifices to meet it.

One feels that the Chinese and Japanese and all nations will be able some day to pay for their own doctors, whether they do it on individualistic or communistic principles. In the present state of the world I believe the missionary enterprise to be entirely desirable, or I would not be where I am. But being a Christian with a little faith, I hope that it may not be so forever. If anything will stimulate to better methods, it is example, not precept, and perhaps the best work of this and all missions will be their reflex influences on Governments through the governed.

To carry on the bare essentials of this work an endowment of at least a million dollars is necessary. Toward this a hundred and sixty thousand dollars is all that has been contributed, and in addition we can count annually upon a small Government grant. Even if this million dollars were given, it would still leave several thousand dollars to be raised by voluntary subscription each year, a healthy thing for the life of any charitable work. On the other hand, the certainty of being able to meet the main bills is an economy in nerve energy, in time and in money.

Among our patients brought in one season to St. Anthony Hospital was the mother of ten children on whom an emergency operation for appendicitis had to be done—the first time in her life that a doctor had ever tended her. She came from a very poor home, for besides her large family her husband had been all his life handicapped by a serious deformity of one leg caused by a fall. She reminded me of how some years before a traveller had left her the rug from his dog sledge, as, without any bedclothes, she was again about to give birth to a child; how she had actually been unable at times to turn over in bed, because her personal clothing had frozen solid to the wall of the one-roomed hut in which she lived.

In April, 1906, in northern Newfoundland I found a young mother near St. Anthony. She was twenty-six years old, suffering from acute rheumatic fever, lying in a fireless loft, on a rickety bedstead with no bedclothes. She had only one shoddy black dress to her name, and no underwear to keep her warm in bed in a house like that. The floor was littered with debris, including a number of hard buns which she could not now eat, but which some charitable neighbour had sent her. She had a wizened baby of seven months, which every now and then she was trying to feed by raising herself on one elbow and forcing bread and water pap, moistened with the merest suspicion of condensed milk, down its throat. None of her four previous children had lived so long. She had been under my care three years before for sailor's scurvy. Her present illness lasted only a week, and in spite of all that we could do, she died.

The desire of the people to be mutually helpful is undoubted, whether it is to each other or to some "outsider" like ourselves. I question if in the so-called centres of civilization the following incident can be surpassed as evidencing this aspect of their character.

In a little Labrador village called Deep Water Creek I was called in one day to see a patient: an old Englishman, who was reported to have had "a bad place this twelvemonth." As I was taken into the tiny cottage, a bright-faced, black-bearded man greeted me. Three children were playing on the hearth with a younger man, evidently their father. "No, Doctor, they aren't ours," replied my host, in answer to my question. "But us took Sam as our own when he was born, and his mother lay dead. These be his little ones. You remember Kate, his wife, what died in hospital."

After the cup of hot tea so thoughtfully provided, I said, "Skipper John, let's get out and see the old Englishman."

"No need, Doctor. He's upstairs in bed."

Upstairs was the triangular space between the roof and the ceiling of the ground floor. At each end was a tiny window, and the whole area, windows included, had been divided longitudinally by a single thickness of hand-sawn lumber. Both windows were open, a cool breeze was blowing through, and a bright paper pasted on the wall gave a cheerful impression. One corner was shut off by a screen of cheap cheesecloth. Sitting bolt upright on a low bench, and leaning against the partition, was a very aged woman, staring fixedly ahead out of blind eyes, and ceaselessly monotoning what was meant for a hymn. No head was visible among the rude collection of bedclothes.

"Uncle Solomon, it's the Doctor," I called. The mass of clothes moved, and a trembling old hand came out to meet mine.

"No pain, Uncle Solomon, I hope?"

"No pain, Doctor, thank the good Lord, and Skipper John. He took us in when the old lady and I were starving."

The terrible cancer had so extended its ravages that the reason for the veiled corner was obvious, and also for the effective ventilation.

"He suffers a lot, Doctor, though he won't own it," now chimed in the old woman.

When the interview was over, I was left standing in a brown study till I heard Skipper John's voice calling me. As I descended the ladder he said: "We're so grateful you comed, Doctor. The poor old creatures won't last long. But thanks aren't dollars. I haven't a cent in the world now. The old people have taken what little we had put by. But if I gets a skin t' winter, I'll try and pay you for your visit anyhow."

"Skipper John, what relation are those people to you?"

"Well, no relation 'zactly."

"Do they pay nothing at all?"

"Them has nothing," he replied.

"What made you take them in?"

"They was homeless, and the old lady was already blind."

"How long have they been with you?"

"Just twelve months come Saturday."

I found myself standing in speechless admiration in the presence of this man. I thought then, and I still think, that I had received one of my largest fees.

Ours is primarily a medical mission, and nothing that may have been stated in this book with reference to other branches of the work is meant in any way to detract from what to us as doctors is the basic reason for our being here, though we mean ours to be prophylactic as well as remedial medicine.

St. Anthony having so indisputably become the headquarters of the hospital stations, there can be but one answer to the question of the advisability of its closing its doors summer or winter in the days to come. For not only is our largest hospital located there—its scope due in great measure to the reputation gained for it by Dr. Little's splendid services, and continued by Dr. Curtis—but also the Children's Home, our school, machine shop, the headquarters of various industrial enterprises, and lastly a large storehouse to be used in future as a distributing centre for the supplies of the general Mission. Moreover, the population of the environs of St. Anthony, owing to their numbers and the fact that they can profit by the employment given by the Mission, should be able increasingly to assist in the maintenance of this hospital, though a large number of its clinic is drawn from distant parts. These patients come not only from Labrador, the Straits of Belle Isle, and southern Newfoundland, but we have had under our care Syrians, Russians, Scandinavians, Frenchmen, and naturally Americans and Canadians, seamen from schooners engaged in the Labrador fishery.

Harrington Hospital, located on the Canadian Labrador, must for many years to come depend on outside support. I am Lloyd Georgian enough to feel that taxation should presuppose the obligation to look after the bodies of the taxed. The Quebec Government gives neither vote, representation, adequate mail service, nor any public health grant for the long section of the coast which it claims to govern, that lies west of the Point des Eskimo. It is to my mind a severe stricture on their qualifications as legislators. That hospital should, we believe, be adequately subsidized and kept open summer and winter. At present we have to thank the Labrador Medical Mission, which is the Canadian branch of the International Grenfell Association, for their generous and continued support of this station.

Battle Harbour and Indian Harbour Hospitals can never be anything but summer stations, owing to their geographical positions on islands in frozen seas, on which islands there is practically no population during the winter months. But gifts and grants sufficient to maintain a doctor at Northwest River Cottage Hospital, and one if possible in Lewis Bay, winter supplements to these summer hospitals, are to my thinking more than justifiable.

As to the future of our hospital stations at Pilley's Islands, Spotted Islands, and Forteau, that will depend upon the changing demands of local conditions. That the need of medical assistance exists is unquestionable, as is evidenced from the many appeals which I receive to start hospitals or supply doctors in districts at present utterly incapable of obtaining such help.



One still indispensable requisite in our scattered field of work is a hospital steamer. In fact, not a few of us think that the Strathcona is the keystone of the Mission. She reaches those who need our help most and at times when they cannot afford to leave home and seek it. Her functions are innumerable. She is our eyepiece to keep us cognizant of our opportunities. She both treats and carries the sick and feeds the hospitals. She enables us to distribute our charity efficiently. The invaluable gifts of clothing which the Labrador Needlework Guild and other friends send us could never be used at all as love would wish, unless the Strathcona were available to enlarge the area reached. In spite of all this, those who would quibble over trifles claim that she is the only craft on record that rolls at dry-dock! Her functions are certainly varied, but perhaps the oddest which I have ever been asked to perform was an incident which I have often told. One day, after a long stream of patients had been treated, a young man with a great air of secrecy said that he wanted to see me very privately.

"I wants to get married, Doctor," he confided when we were alone.

"Well, that's something in which I can't help you. Won't any of the girls round here have you?"

"Oh! it isn't that. There's a girl down North I fancies, but I'm shipped to a man here for the summer, and can't get away. Wouldn't you just propose to her for me, and bring her along as you comes South?"

The library would touch a very limited field if it were not for the hospital ship. She carries half a hundred travelling libraries each year. She finds out the derelict children and brings them home. She is often a court of law, trying to dispense justice and help right against might. She has enabled us to serve not only men, but their ships as well; and many a helping hand she has been able to lend to men in distress when hearts were anxious and hopes growing faint. In a thousand little ways she is just as important a factor in preaching the message of love. To-day she is actually loaned for her final trip, before going into winter quarters, to a number of heads of families, who are thus enabled to bring out fuel for their winter fires from the long bay just south of the hospital.

Her plates are getting thin. They were never anything but three-eighths-inch steel, and we took a thousand pounds of rust out of her after cabin alone this spring. She leaks a little—and no iron ship should. It will cost two thousand dollars to put her into repair again for future use. Money is short now, but when asked about the future of the Mission I feel that whatever else will be needed for many years to come, the hospital ship at least cannot possibly be dispensed with.

The child is potential energy, the father of the future man, and the future state; and the children of this country are integral, determining factors in the future of this Mission. The children who are turned out to order by institutions seem sadly deficient, both in ability to cope with life and in the humanities. The "home" system, as at Quarrier's in Scotland, is a striking contrast, and personally I shall vote for the management of orphanages on home lines every time. This is not a concession to Dickens, whose pictures of Bumble I hope and believe apply only to the dark ages in which Dickens lived; but historically they are not yet far enough removed for me to advocate Government orphanages, though our Government schools are an advance on Dotheboys Hall.

The human body is the result of physical causes; breeding tells as surely as it does in dogs or cows, and the probability of defects in the offspring of poverty and of lust is necessarily greater than in well-bred, well-fed, well-environed children. The proportion of mentally and morally deficient children that come to us absolutely demonstrates this fact; and the love needed to see such children through to the end is more comprehensive than the mere sentiment of having a child in the home, and infinitely more than the desire to have the help which he can bring.

The Government allows us fifty-two dollars a year toward the expense of a child whose father is dead; nothing if the mother is dead, or if the father is alive but had better be dead. It would be wiser if each case could be judged on its merits by competent officials. But we believe it is a blessing to a community to have the opportunity of finding the balance.

Tested by its output and the returns to the country, our orphanage has amply justified itself. One new life resultant from the outlay of a few dollars would class the investment as gilt-edged if graded merely in cash. The community which sows a neglected childhood reaps a whirlwind in defective manhood.

In view of these facts—to leave out of consideration my earnest personal desire—there can never be any question in my mind as to the imperative necessity of the Mission's continuance of the work for derelict children. This conclusion seems to me safeguarded by the fact that all nations are placing increasing emphasis on "the child in the midst of them."

When Solomon chose wisdom as the gift which he most desired, the Bible tells us that it was pleasing to God. St. Paul holds out the hope that one day we shall know as we are known. But there is a vast difference between knowledge and being wise. In fact, from the New Testament itself we are led to believe that the devils knew far more than even the Disciples.

The school is an essential part of the orphanage. Seeing that the village children needed education just as much as those for whom we were more directly responsible, and realizing the value to both of the cooperation, and that the denominational system which still persists in the country is a factor for division and not for unity, it became obviously desirable for us to provide such a bond. Friends made the building possible. The generosity of a lady in Chicago in practically endowing it has, we feel, secured its future. We have now a proper building, three teachers, a graded school, modern appliances for teaching, and vastly superior results. In these days when the expenditure of every penny seems a widow's mite, one welcomes the encouragement of facts such as these to enable one to "carry on."

Modern pedagogy has brought to the attention of even the man in the street the realization that education consists not merely in its accepted scholastic aspect, but also that training of the eye and hand which in turn fosters the larger development of the mind. In the latter sense our people are far from uneducated. Taking this aptitude of theirs as a starting-point, some twelve years ago we began our industrial department, first by giving out skin work in the North, and later started other branches under Miss Jessie Luther, who subsequently gave many years of service to the coast.

The cooperative movement is the same question seen from another angle, and is almost contemporaneous with our earliest hospitals.

It is not unnatural that man, realizing that he is himself like "the grass that to-morrow is cast into the oven," should worry over the permanency of the things on which he has spent himself. Though Christ especially warns us against this anxiety, religious people have been the greatest sinners in laying more emphasis upon to-morrow than to-day. The element which makes most for longevity is always interesting, even if longevity is often a mistake. Almost every old parish church in England maintains some skeleton of bygone efforts which once met real needs and were tokens of real love.

The future is a long way off—that future when Christ's Kingdom comes on earth in the consecrated hearts and wills of all mankind, when all the superimposed efforts will be unnecessary. But love builds for a future, however remote; and at present we see no other way than to work for it, and know of no better means than to insure the permanency of the hospitals, orphanage, school, and the industrial and cooperative enterprises, thus to hasten, however little, the coming of Christ in Labrador.



CHAPTER XXVII

MY RELIGIOUS LIFE

No one can write his real religious life with pen or pencil. It is written only in actions, and its seal is our character, not our orthodoxy. Whether we, our neighbour, or God is the judge, absolutely the only value of our "religious" life to ourselves or to any one is what it fits us for and enables us to do. Creeds, when expressed only in words, clothes, or abnormal lives, are daily growing less acceptable as passports to Paradise. What my particular intellect can accept cannot commend me to God. His "well done" is only spoken to the man who "wills to do His will."

We map the world out into black and white patches for "heathen" and "Christian"—as if those who made the charts believed that one section possessed a monopoly of God's sonship. Europe was marked white, which is to-day comment enough on this division. A black friend of mine used often to remind me that in his country the Devil was white.

My own religious experiences divide my life into three periods. As a boy at school, and as a young man at hospital, the truth or untruth of Christianity as taught by the churches did not interest me enough to devote a thought to it. It was neither a disturbing nor a vital influence in my life. My mother was my ideal of goodness. I have never known her speak an angry or unkind word. Sitting here looking back on over fifty years of life, I cannot pick out one thing to criticize in my mother.

What did interest me was athletics. Like most English boys I almost worshipped physical accomplishments. I had the supremest contempt for clothes except those designed for action or comfort. Since no saint apparently ever wore trousers, or appeared to care about football knickers, I never supposed that they could be the same flesh as myself. It was always a barrier between me and the parsons and religious persons generally that they affected clothing which dubbed my ideals "worldly." It was even a barrier between myself and the Christ that I could not think of Him in flannels or a gymnasium suit. At that time I should have considered such an idea blasphemous—whatever that meant. As soon as religious services ceased to be compulsory for me, I only attended them as a concession to others. The prime object of the prayers and lessons did not appear to be that they might be understood. So far as I could see, common sense and plain natural feelings were at a discount. A long heritage of an eager, restless spirit left me uninterested in "homilies," and aided by the "dim religious light," I was enabled to sleep through both long prayers and sermons. Justice forces me to add that the two endless hours of "prep" lessons after tea had very much the same effect upon me.

At the request of my mother I once went to take a class at the Sunday School. These were for the "poor only" in England in those days. Little effort was expended on making them attractive. I recall nothing but disgust at the dirty urchins with whom I had to associate for half an hour. An incident which happened on the death of one of the boys at my father's school interested me temporarily in religion. The boy's father happened to be a dissenter, and our vicar refused to allow the gates of the parish churchyard to be opened to enable the funeral cortege to enter. My chum had only a legal right to be buried in the yard. The coffin had therefore to be lifted over the wall and as the church was locked, father conducted the service in the open air. His words at the grave-side gave a touch of reality to religion, and still more so did his walking down the aisle out of church the following Sunday when the vicar referred to the destructive influence of anything that lent colour to dissent. Later when father threw up the school for the far more onerous and less remunerative task of chaplain at the London Hospital, even I realized that religion meant something. Indeed, it was that tax on his sensitive, nervous brain that brought his life to its early close. No man ever had a more generous and soft-hearted father. He never refused us any reasonable request, and very few unreasonable ones, and allowed us an amount of self-determination enjoyed by few. How deeply and how often have I regretted that I did not understand him better. His brilliant scholarship, and the friends that it brought around him, his ability literally to speak Greek and Latin as he could German and French, his exceptionally developed mental as compared with his physical gifts, were undoubtedly the reasons that a very ordinary English boy could not appreciate him.

At fourteen years of age, at Marlborough School, I was asked if I wished to be confirmed. Every boy of that age was. It permitted one to remain when "the kids went out after first service." It added dignity, like a football cap or a mustache. All I remember about it was bitterly resenting having to "swat up" the Catechism out of school hours. I counted, however, on the examiner being easy, and he was. I am an absolute believer in boys making a definite decision to follow the Christ; and that in the hands of a really keen Christian man the rite of confirmation is very valuable. The call which gets home to a boy's heart is the call to do things. If only a boy can be led to see that the following of Christ demands a real knighthood, and that true chivalry is Christ's service, he will want all the rites and ceremonies that either proclaim his allegiance or promise him help and strength to live up to it.

What I now believe that D.L. Moody did for me was just to show that under all the shams and externals of religion was a vital call in the world for things that I could do. This marks the beginning of the second period of my religious development. He helped me to see myself as God sees the "unprofitable servant," and to be ashamed. He started me working for all I was worth, and made religion real fun—a new field brimming with opportunities. With me the pendulum swung very far. The evangelical to my mind had a monopoly of infallible truth. A Roman Catholic I regarded as a relic of mediaevalism; while almost a rigour went down my spine when a man told me that he was a "Unitarian Christian." Hyphenation was loyalty compared to that. I mention this only because it shows how I can now understand intolerance and dogmatism in others. Yes, I must have been "very impossible," for then I honestly thought that I knew it all.

About this time I began to be interested in reading my Bible, and I learned to appreciate my father's expositions of it. At prayers he always translated into the vernacular from the original of either the Old or the New Testament. To me he seemed to know every sense of every Greek word in any setting. Ever since I have been satisfied to use an English version, knowing that I cannot improve on the words chosen by the various learned translators.

Because I owed so much to evangelical teachers, it worried me for a long while that I could not bring myself to argue with my boys about their intellectual attitude to Christ. My Sunday class contained several Jews whom I loved. I respected them more because they made no verbal professions. I have seen Turkish religionists dancing and whirling in Asia Minor at their prayers. I have seen much emotional Christianity, and I fully realize the value of approaching men on their emotional side. A demonstrative preacher impresses large crowds of people at once. But all the same, I have learned from many disillusionments to be afraid of overdoing emotionalism in religion. Summing up the evidence of men's Christlikeness by their characters, as I look back down my long list of loved and honoured helpers and friends, I am certainly safe in saying that I at least should judge that no section of Christ's Church has any monopoly of Christ's spirit; and that I should like infinitely less to be examined on my own dogmatic theology than I should thirty-five years ago. Combined with this goes the fact that though I know the days of my stay on earth are greatly reduced, I seem to be less rather than more anxious about "the morrow." For though time has rounded off the corners of my conceit, experience of God's dealing with such an unworthy midget as myself has so strengthened the foundations on which faith stood, that Christ now means more to me as a living Presence than when I laid more emphasis on the dogmas concerning Him.

This chapter would not be complete without an endeavour to face the task of trying to answer the questions so often asked: "What is your position now? Do you still believe as you did when you first decided to serve Christ?" I am still a communicant member "in good standing" of the Episcopal Church. One hopes that one's religious ideas grow like the rest of one's life. It is fools who are said to rush in where angels fear to tread. The most powerful Christian churches in the world, the Greek and the Roman, recognizing the great dangers threatening, have countered by stereotyping the answer for all time, assuming all responsibility, and permitting no individual freedom in the matter. The numbers of their adherents testify to how vast a proportion of mankind the course appeals. And yet we are sons of God—and at our best value freedom in every department of our being—spirit as well as mind and body. George Adam Smith says: "The great causes of God and humanity are not defeated by the hot assaults of the Devil, but by the slow, crushing, glacier-like mass of thousands and thousands of indifferent nobodies. God's causes are never destroyed by being blown up, but by being sat upon. It is not the violent and anarchical whom we have to fear in the war for human progress, but the slow, the staid, the respectable; and the danger of these lies in their real skepticism. Though it would abhor articulately confessing that God does nothing, it virtually means so by refusing to share manifest opportunities for serving Him."

Feeble and devious as my own footsteps have been since my decision to follow Jesus Christ, I believe more than ever that this is the only real adventure of life. No step in life do I even compare with that one in permanent satisfaction. I deeply regret that I did not take it sooner. I do not feel that it mattered much whether I chose medicine for an occupation, or law, or education, or commerce, or any other way to justify my existence by working for a living as every honest man should. But if there is one thing about which I never have any question, it is that the decision and endeavour to follow the Christ does for men what nothing else on earth can. Without stultifying our reason, it develops all that makes men godlike. Christ claimed that it was the only way to find out truth.

To me, enforced asceticism, vows of celibacy, denunciation of pleasures innocent in themselves, intellectual monopoly of interpretation of things past or present, written or unwritten, are travesties of common sense, which is to me the Voice within. Not being a philosopher, I do not classify it, but I listen to it, because I believe it to be the Voice of God. That is the first point which I have no fear in putting on record.

The extraordinary revelations of some Power outside ourselves leading and guiding and helping and chastening are, I am certain, really the ordinary experiences of every man who is willing to accept the fact that we are sons of God. Only a child, however, who submits to his father can expect to enjoy or understand his dealings. If we look into our everyday life we cannot fail to see that God not only allows but seeks our cooperation in the establishment of His Kingdom. So the second fundamental by which I stand is the certainty of a possible real and close relationship between man and God. Not one qualm assails my intellect or my intuition when I say that I know absolutely that God is my Father. To live "as seeing Him who is invisible" is my one ideal which embraces all the lesser ideals of my life.

It has been my lot in life to have to stand by many death-beds, and to be called in to dying men and women almost as a routine in my profession. Yet I am increasingly convinced that their spirits never die at all. I am sure that there is no real death. Death is no argument against, but rather for, life. Eternal life is the complement of all my unsatisfied ideals; and experience teaches me that the belief in it is a greater incentive to be useful and good than any other I know.

I have read "Raymond" with great interest. I am neither capable nor willing to criticize those who, with the deductive ability of such men as Sir Oliver Lodge, are brave enough and unselfish enough to devote their talents to pioneering in a field that certainly needs and merits more scientific investigation, seeing that it has possibilities of such great moment to mankind.

The experiences on which rest one's own convictions of continuing life are of an entirely different nature. Even though the first and personal reason may seem foolish, it is because I desire it so much. This is a natural passion, common to all human beings. Experience convinces me that such longings are purposeful and do not go unsatisfied.

No, we do not know everything yet; and perhaps the critic is a shallower fool than he judges to be the patient delvers into the unknown beyond. The evidence on which our deductions have been based through the ages may suddenly be proven fallible after all. It may be that there is no such thing as matter. Chemists and physicists now admit that is possible. The spiritual may be far more real than the material, in spite of the cocksure conceit of the current science of 1918. Immortality may be the complement of mortality, as water becomes steam, and steam becomes power, and power becomes heat, and heat becomes light. The conclusion that life beyond is the conservation of energy of life here may be as scientific as that great natural law for material things. I see knowledge become service, service become joy. I see fear prohibit glands from secreting, hope bring back colour to the face and tone to the blood. I see something not material make Jekyl into Hyde; and thank God, make Hyde over into Jekyl again, when birch rods and iron bars have no effect whatever. I have seen love do physical things which the mere intellectual convictions cannot—make hearts beat and eyes sparkle, that would not respond even to digitalis and strychnine. I claim that the boy is justified in saying that his kite exists in the heaven, even though it is out of sight and the string leads round the corner, on no other presumption than that he feels it tugging. I prefer to stand with Moses in his belief in the Promised Land, and that we can reach it, than to believe that the Celestial City is a mirage.

This attempted analysis of my religious life has revealed to me two great changes in my position toward its intellectual or dogmatic demands, and both of them are reflections of the ever rightly changing attitude of the defenders of our Christian faith. "Tempora mutantur et nos mutamus in illis." Christians should not fret because they cannot escape adapting themselves to the environment of 1918—which is no longer that of 918, or 18. The one and only hope for any force, Christianity no less than others, is its ability to adapt itself to all time.

I still study my Bible in the morning and scribble on the margin the lessons which I get out of the portion. I can only do it by using a new copy each time I finish, because it brings new thoughts according to the peculiar experiences, tasks, needs, and environments of the day. I change I know. It does not—and yet it does—for we see the old truths in new lights. That to me is the glory of the Scriptures. Somehow it suits itself always to my developing needs. Christ did not teach as did other teachers. He taught for all time. We find out that our attitude to everything changes, to the things that give us pleasure and to those that give us pain. It is but a sign of healthy evolution (in this chapter, I suppose I should call it "grace") that the great churches have ceased to condemn their leaders who are unsound on points which once spelt fagot and stake. To-day predestination no longer involves the same reaction, even if dropped into a conference of selected "Wee Frees." The American section of the Episcopal Church has omitted to insist on our publicly and periodically declaring that we must have a correct view of three Incomprehensibles, or be damned, as is still the case in our Church of England.

I am writing of my religion. The churches are now teaching that religion is action, not diction. There was a time when I could work with only one section of the Church of God. Thank God, it was a very brief period, but I weep for it just the same. Now I can not only work with any section, but worship with them also. If there is error in their intellectual attitudes, it is to God they stand, not to me. Doubtless there is just as much error in mine. To me, he is the best Christian who "judges not." To claim a monopoly of Christian religion for any church, looked at from the point of view of following Jesus Christ, is ridiculous. So I find that I have changed, changed in the importance which I place on what others think and upon what I myself think.

Unless a Christian is a witness in his life, his opinions do not matter two pins to God or man. Of course, to-day we should not burn Savonarola, any more than we should actually crucify that brave old fisherman, Peter, or ridicule a Gordon or a Livingstone, or assassinate a Lincoln or a Phillips Brooks, even with our tongues, though they differed from us in their view of what the Christian religion really needs. Oh, of course we shouldn't!

Perhaps my change spells more and not less faith in the Saviour of the world. As I love the facts of life more, I care less for fusty commentators. As I see more of Christ's living with us all the days, I care less for arguments about His death. I have no more doubt that He lives in His world to-day than that I do. Why should I blame myself because more and more my mind emphasizes the fact that it is because He lives, and only so far as He lives in me, that I shall live also?



THE END



INDEX

Agriculture, in Labrador, unsuccessful, 217, 290.

Alaska, reindeer experiment in, 291, 294-295.

Albert, the, hospital ship of Dr. Grenfell, 125, 188, 189.

Among the Deep-Sea Fishers, magazine, 280.

Andrews, Dr. Joseph, eye-specialist, 357.

Archibald, Sir William, chairman of the Royal National Mission to Deep-Sea Fishermen, 362.

Armstrong, Dr. Seymour, his work at St. Anthony, 367.

Arnold, Thomas, of Rugby, 14.

Athletics, Grenfell's fondness of, 21, 32, 44, 50, 51, 53, 81, 424.

Bailey, Florence, nurse, 326.

Barnett, Samuel, of Mile End, head of Toynbee House, 83.

Barter system, the evils of, 131, 132, 133-138, 215-217.

Bartlett, Captain, father of "Captain Bob," 136.

Battle Harbour, Newfoundland, site of hospital, 126, 162, 165, 169, 193.

Beattie, Arthur, 192.

Beetz, Mr., 239.

Begbie, Harold, Twice-Born Men, 101.

Bell, Dr. Alexander Graham, 338.

Belle Isle, the Straits of, Labrador, 126, 127, 140, 250.

Besant, Mrs. Annie, associated with Charles Bradlaugh, 81, 82.

Blandford, Captain Samuel, 159, 172.

Bobardt, Dr. Arthur, 126, 159-162.

Booth, Walter, of New York, 370, 371.

Bowditch, William, 275.

Boys' Brigade, the, 101, 353.

Bradlaugh, Charles, religious radical, 81-82.

Cabot, John, 120.

Carpenter, Rev. C.C., 241, 242.

Carrel, Dr. Alexis, in France, 397.

Cartier, Jacques, 158.

Cartwright, George, 158.

Catholic Cadet Corps, the, 159, 353.

Cattle-raising in Labrador unsuccessful, 290.

Cawardine, Miss, nurse, 126.

Charity, prophylactic, more important than remedial, 235.

Cheever, Colonel David, 389.

Chester, England, birthplace of Grenfell, 1, 2.

Chidley, Cape, Labrador, 164, 207, 208.

Children's Home, the, 244-253.

Church Lads Brigade, the, 159, 353.

Clark, Sir Andrew, doctor, 65.

Cluett, George B., of Troy, N.Y., 347, 348.

Cook, Captain, 128, 340, 341.

Cooperative system, the, 215-225.

Corner, the, magazine, 242.

Crookhaven, seat of a dispensary and social centre, 107.

Crowe, Harry, lumber operator, 370.

Curtis, Dr. Charles, 408.

Curtis, Lieutenant Roger, quoted, 158.

Curwen, Dr. Elliott, 126.

Curzon-Howe, Lady, 191.

Curzon-Howe, Lord, 191.

Cutter, Marion, librarian, 266.

Daly, Professor Reginald, head of Department of Geology at Harvard University, quoted, 157, 158.

Dampier, William, 191.

Davis Inlet, Labrador, 154, 155.

Dawson, Sir Betrand, 388.

Dee, the River, 2, 4.

Delano, Eugene, head of Brown Brothers, bankers, 358.

Denominationalism, evils of, 264, 269, 353.

Dogs, Labrador, ferocity of, 198, 289, 290.

Domino Run, Labrador, natural harbour, 120.

Drake, Sir Francis, 191.

Duke of Connaught, Governor-General of Canada, 382.

Durand, Mrs. Charles, aunt of Mrs. Grenfell, 336.

Education in Labrador: schools denominational, 254, 269; Grenfell's school, 257-264; moving libraries, 266; founding of undenominational boarding school, 268.

Edward VII, King, Grenfell's private audience with, 284, 285.

Edwards, Antiguan lecturer of the Christian Evidence Society, 82, 84, 85.

Emily Beaver Chamberlain Memorial Hospital, 404.

English, Robert, of Yale College, 277, 278.

Eskimos, the, Grenfell's work with, 129-136; original natives of Labrador, 140, 141; Valentine, king of, 155; suffering of, 155.

Evans, John, worker at St. Anthony, 405.

Fallon, Dr. Louis, 405.

Faroe Islands, the, 184.

Fenwick, Harry, 69.

"Fisher Lads' Letter-Writing Association," 97.

Fishermen's Institute, 183.

Ford, George, factor of Hudson Bay Company, 141, 155, 242, 277, 327.

Fox Farm, at St. Anthony, 238-240.

George V, King, 352, 353.

Gladstone, W.E., 106.

Gosling, Mrs. W.E., 370.

Gould, Albert, volunteer helper of Grenfell, 318, 321.

Great Cop, the, 4.

Greenshields, Julia, editor of Among the Deep-Sea Fishers, 280.

Grenfell, Algernon, brother of W.T.G., 7, 8, 9, 10.

Grenfell, Algernon Sydney, father of W.T.G., 8, 9, 11, 12.

Grenfell, Cecil, brother of W.T.G., 7.

Grenfell, Kinloch Pascoe, son of W.T.G., 342.

Grenfell, Maurice, brother of W.T.G., 7.

Grenfell, Pascoe, of Bank of England, 161.

Grenfell, Rosamond Loveday, daughter of W.T.G., 342.

Grenfell, Wilfred Thomason, birth, 1; ancestry, 1, 2; early days, 2-14; school life, 15-36; study of natural objects, 34-36; choice of medical profession, 37-39; college life, 41-44; interest in athletics, 44; religious awakening, 44-46; Sunday-school class and slum work, 46-53; summer cruises, 53-57; camping with boys, 57-63; germination of democratic tendencies, 63; interne in London Hospital, 64-87; father's death, 73; humanitarian ideals, 78, 79; hatred of liquor traffic, 79; association with religious radicals in East London, 81-86; cosmopolitan life, 85; member of College of Physicians and Royal College of Surgeons of England, 87; first work in fisheries of North Sea, 88-98; his religion intensely social, 99-101; medical officer in boys' summer-camps, 102, 103; development of work in North Sea and off Irish coast, 104-114; preparation and departure for America, 113-118; first summer in Labrador, 119-125; success in Labrador, 125; return to England, 126; second voyage to Labrador, 126; founding of cottage hospitals, 126; visits to Moravian Brethren and work among Eskimos, 128-138; lecturing and soliciting in southern Newfoundland and Canada, 159-162; cruising north, 163-170; experience with seal fishery, 173-182; trip to Iceland, 183-187; holiday with Treves on Scilly Islands, 187, 188; third voyage to Newfoundland, 192, 193; requested to establish a winter station at St. Anthony, 194; winter at St. Anthony, 197-214; institution of cooperative system, 218-225; institution of saw-mill in North Newfoundland, 226-238; fox farm at St. Anthony, 238, 239; founding of The Children's Home, 244; founding of common school, 257-265; moving libraries, 266; arrangement of two-cent postal rate, 281, 282; awarded honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine of Oxford, 282; received honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in America, 283; received Companionship in the Order of St. Michael and St. George, 284; reindeer experiment, 288-303; propaganda lecturing in England, 331, 332; courtship, 333-337; enlargement of St. Anthony Hospital, 338, 339; marriage and family, 342, 343; assumption of cooperative store debt, 344-347; founding of Institute at St. John's, 349-353; lecture tour in U.S. and England, 357-361; lecture tour again, 371-374; holiday in Asia Minor, 376-382; winter at base hospital in France (1915), 384-402; attacked by a St. John's newspaper, 403; growth and development of Mission, 404-410; religious life, 424-434.

Grenfell, Wilfred Thomason, Jr., 342.

Grenfell Association of America, the, 280.

Grenfell Town, 161.

Grieve, Dr. John, 404.

Haldane, Lord, 256.

Halifax, visited by Grenfell, 159.

Hare, Dr. Mather, work at Harrington, 275-276, 409.

Harrington Hospital, Canadian Labrador, 418.

Hause, Mr., of Pratt Institute, volunteer student helper, 325.

Hearn longliners and trawlers, 183.

Heligoland, visited by Grenfell, 90.

Henley, or Chateau, Labrador, 168.

Henson, Dr. Hensley, Bishop of Hereford, 83, 84.

Home, the Children's, 244-253.

Hopedale, Labrador, 128, 131.

Horsley, Sir Victor, doctor, 72.

Hot-heads, launches used in open sea, 275-279.

Hudson Bay Company, the, 133, 216, 276, 376.

Huxley, Professor, his criticism of English public school teaching, 40.

Hyeres, France, 24.

Iceland, 183-187.

Illiteracy, in Newfoundland and Labrador, 255.

Indian Harbour, site of one of Grenfell's hospitals, 126.

Indian Tickle, Labrador, site of a church built by Labrador Mission, 165.

Ingram, Rt. Rev. A.F. Winnington, Bishop of London, 83, 84.

International Grenfell Association the, formation of, 358-359.

Ireland, Archbishop, 268.

Irish Poor-Relief Board, 109.

Irving, Sir Henry, 80.

Jackson, Rev. Dr. Sheldon, Presbyterian missionary in Alaska, 290.

Job, the Honourable W.C., 403.

Job, Mrs. W.C., 370.

Jones, Rev. Dr. Edgar, 268.

Jones, Sir Robert, orthopedic surgeon. 359, 360, 385, 388.

Jones, Mr. Walter, manager of Institute at St. John's, 367.

Julia Sheriden, the, Mission steamer, 193, 196.

Kean, Captain, of the S.S. Wolf, 180, 181.

Keese, Ruth (Mrs. John Mason Little, Jr.), 405.

Kingsley, Charles, 2, 103, 187, 256.

Komatik, description of a, 202, 203.

Labrador, the Country and the People, 139.

Labrador, inhabitants of, 139, 140; climate of, 140, 141; fishing industry, 141, 142; poverty of people, 142, 148-153; superstition of people, 142-145; natural characteristics of, 156-158.

Lake Forest, on Lake Michigan, Mrs. Grenfell's home, 336.

Lapps, 292-294.

Leacock, Stephen, his essay, How to Become a Doctor, 144, 145.

Leslie, Olive, kindergartner, 260.

Lewis Bay, Labrador, winter hospital station at, 404.

Lighthouses, at Battle Harbour, 273; at White Point, 274; at Indian Harbour, 274.

Liquor traffic, the, Grenfell's hatred of, 79; his suppression of, at St. Anthony, 209-214; at St. John's, 353-356.

Lister, Sir Joseph, 70.

Little, Dr. John Mason, 338, 404, 406, 417.

Lloyd, Dr., Prime Minister of Newfoundland, 382.

Lodge, Sir Oliver, 430, 431.

London Hospital and University, Grenfell's father chaplain of, 37; Grenfell's alma mater, 39.

Loti, Pierre, 186.

Luther, Jessie, 422.

MacAusland, Dr. W.R., of Boston, 381.

MacClanahan, Anna Elizabeth Caldwell (Mrs. W.T. Grenfell), 336.

MacClanahan, Colonel, father-in-law of Grenfell, 336.

MacGregor, Sir William, Governor of Newfoundland, 291, 320-323.

Mackenzie, Sir Stephen, 66.

Marlborough School, 15-24, 27, 30-33.

Marquis of Ripon, Minister to the Colonies, 286.

Mason, A.E.W., novelist, 187.

Matheson, Paul, volunteer helper of Grenfell, 318.

McCook, Colonel Anson G., 281, 282.

McGrath, Sir Patrick, 382.

Methodist guards, the, 159, 353.

Meyer, Hon. George von L., Postmaster-General, 281, 282.

Mill, the, on the "French Shore," Newfoundland, 326-238.

Mission to Deep-Sea Fishermen, 90.

Montreal, visited by Grenfell, 160, 161.

Moody, Dwight L., evangelist, 45, 427.

Moravian Brethren, the, their work with the Eskimos, 128, 129, 130, 132, 140, 156, 207.

Moravian Mission, 129-132.

Muir, Ethel Gordon, teacher, 267.

Murchison Prize, awarded Grenfell by the Royal Geographical Society, in 1911, 323.

Nain, Labrador, 130, 132.

Nakvak, Labrador, 141; remains of Tunits there, 155.

Napatuliarasok Island, Labrador, noted for its Labradorite, 156.

Nasson Institute, 264.

Needlework Guild of America, the, 251, 419.

Newfoundland, independent colony of England, 139; Labrador owned by, 139; difference between North and South Newfoundland, 250.

Nielsen, Adolph, Superintendent of Fisheries off Labrador, 117.

O'Brien, Sir Terence, governor at St. John's, 117, 171.

Paddon, Dr. and Mrs., 404, 405.

Parkhurst, Dr. Charles H., of New York, 280.

Peary, Admiral, return of from North Pole, 339-342.

Pomiuk, Prince, Eskimo, 241-243.

Pratt Institute, 256, 258, 264.

Presbyterian Highland Brigade, the, 353.

Prince Edward Island, 240.

Princess May, the midget steam launch, 127, 128.

Public School Camps, 101.

R.A.M.C., efficiency of in France, 398-400.

Raymond, Sir Oliver Lodge, 430, 431.

Red Bay, Labrador, 218.

Red Bay Cooperative Store, 219.

Reed, William Howell, of Boston, 292.

Reikyavik, capital of Iceland, 184.

Reindeer experiment, the, 290-303.

Ripon, Marquis of, 159.

Rivington, Sir Walter, surgeon, 70.

Roddick, Sir Thomas, 162.

Roosevelt, the, Peary's ship, 340, 341.

Rowland, John, of Yale College, 277, 278.

St. Anthony, Newfoundland, 141; poverty of people, 194, 195; Grenfell's first winter in, 197-214; Grenfell's fight against liquor traffic, 209-214; headquarters of hospital stations, 417.

St. John's, burning of, 115, 116; seat of Newfoundland government, 139.

Sands of Dee, the, 1-7.

Sayre, Francis B., secretary of Grenfell, 250, 338, 339, 341, 342, 374, 375.

Scilly Islands, 187.

Seal Fishery, the, 172-182.

Seyde Fjord, Iceland, visited by Grenfell, 186, 187.

Sheard, Mr., 404.

Sir Donald, the, mission steamer, 161, 190, 191, 208.

Skiff, Captain, 183.

Sloggett, Sir Arthur, general, 385, 398, 399.

Smith, George Adam, quoted, 429.

Southborough, Lord (Mr. Francis Hopwood), 113.

Spalding, Katie, of The Children's Home, 251, 253.

Spencer, Martyn, 290, 370.

Stewart, Dr. and Mrs. Norman, 405.

Stirling, W.R., 333, 337, 348, 407.

Storr, Eleanor, of The Children's Home, 250, 253.

Strathcona, Lord (Donald Smith), patron of Labrador Mission, 160, 161; donor of the Strathcona, 191, 376.

Studd, J.E. and C.T., 45.

Sutton, Dr., London Hospital, 69.

Terschelling, visited by Grenfell, 90.

Tickle, the Grenfell, 209.

Tigris, the S.S., of the Polaris expedition, 178.

Tilt Cove, Newfoundland, 192, 193.

Toilers of the Deep, The, magazine, 280.

Tralee, on Kerry coast, seat of a dispensary, 107.

Treves, Sir Frederick, lecturer in anatomy and surgery in London Hospital and University, 43, 67-69, 88, 187, 254, 285, 388; The Cradle of the Deep, 187.

Trevize, skipper, 114.

Truck Acts, 96.

Ungava Bay, Labrador, 164, 208.

Van Dyke, Dr. Henry, 362.

Vestmann Islands, Iceland, visited by Grenfell, 184.

Victoria, Queen, 104

Victoria Park, London, 81-82.

Wakefield, Dr. Arthur, of England, 368, 369.

Wall Street Journal, quoted, 294, 295.

Watson, the Honourable Robert, 403.

Wellington, Duke of, 187.

West, Dr., 275, 409.

White, Emma E., secretary of Labrador Mission in Boston, 279, 324.

White Bay, Labrador, 148.

Whitechapel Road, site of London Hospital, 40.

Whitney, Harry, 340.

Williams, Miss, nurse, 126.

Williams, George, 364, 365.

Williams, Sir Ralph, governor of Newfoundland, 350-352.

Willway, Dr., colleague of Grenfell, 169.

Wilson, Jessie, daughter of President Wilson, 374, 375.

Wiltsie, Dr., his work in Labrador, 363, 364.

Wolf, the S.S., wreck of, 180, 181.

Yarmouth, institute for fishermen ashore, and dispensary vessel, 105.

Y.M.C.A. in St. John's, 353; in France, 389, 390.



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