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Then suddenly we clutched each other's hands in the darkness. He was worse than I was. We were almost afraid to breathe. The baby slept on. He might not have been so composed, if he had known he had two fraidy-cats to take care of him.

But he grew and thrived and every day absorbed us more. Talk about the influence parents have on children! It is nothing to the way children change their parents! My heart was always tender towards children, and I would do anything for their pleasure and comfort.

I was brought up in the tradition that a mother who neglected her baby was the lowest form of sinner. One woman in our neighborhood was branded for life when it became known that she had made no preparation at all for the child who was coming. She said she did not think it would live. She might better have robbed the collection plate or killed a policeman on duty.

But a new responsibility came to me after Jack was born, as I thought about him and his future. All children now were my children. I remembered the story in Uncle Tom's Cabin about the colored woman who was ordered by her cruel mistress to wean her own baby so she could nurse the white child, and how, when her own baby cried, she was compelled to leave it in the cabin, where its cries could not be heard in the house.

It had shocked me when I read it years before. Now it filled me with rage. I wanted to do something about it. Women must be made to feel their responsibility. All this protective love, this instinctive mother love, must be organized some way, and made effective. There was enough of it in the world to do away with all the evils which war upon childhood, undernourishment, slum conditions, child labor, drunkenness. Women could abolish these if they wanted to.

I determined to join the W. It was the most progressive organization at that time, and I determined that I would stir the deep waters of complacency. It could be done in one generation. These flashes of the crusading spirit often assailed me. I wanted to raise a family who would be like the Booths, and scatter the darkness of humanity, and light the candles of freedom in the dark places of the world.

But a good hard streak of Scotch caution told me my first job was to raise a family, and give them sound bodies and sound minds and cheerful memories, not rolling the sins of the world on them at too early an age. Let them have all the fun in life that I could give them. I knew what a heritage a happy childhood can be. I had had one. I believe my devotion to the Dickens' stories saved me from a fatal error. I remembered that awful woman, Mrs. Jellyby, who was intent on saving the population of Ballyaboolaga, while her own children had to shift for themselves.

In the course of time Florence was born, one cold January morning. We had moved out of the four rooms over the drug store to accommodate our increasing family, and rented a house opposite the Orange Hall. We put in two Klondike heaters downstairs and made grated openings in the floors to let some heat come into the bedrooms, and there, as the rising sun was struggling to pierce the thick frost on an eastern window, Florence Letitia McClung lifted up her voice and wept.

Outside it was fifty-two degrees below zero. But the Klondike heaters were gorged with wood, and diligently tended by one Alice Foster, a fine looking girl from a farm, who knew all about stoves and their ways.

I have no recollection of any discomfort, but I do remember how that child gave tongue. Jack, one year and eight months old, a good walker but not yet talking, stood still and listened, with a great wonder in his eyes. The house, which was a poor old shell, carried every sound. Then he ran to his clothes box where his own modest wardrobe was kept, and began to pitch out his belongings like a badger digging a hole. When Alice brought up the news, I was sure Jack, generous and provident, was offering his all on the altar of brotherly love, but Alice thought he was preparing to leave.

For six weeks the thermometer stayed around forty degrees below zero, and the old house cracked with frost. But the good provider I had married fulfilled his promise to feed me and keep me warm, me and my offspring, many or few, and after all these years I must say the obligations have been faithfully met. In less than another two years Paul joined our family; one snowy November morning at an early hour, Dr.

MacCharles and Mrs. Law again seeing me safely through. With three children now, I remembered the old rhyme which I had often heard, relative to this matter of family increase:. Jack, being the eldest, assumed responsibility early.

He did his best to shepherd his sister when she was able to run about. He got into a fight one day with Alec Macnab, who lived across the street, and who had said Florence's face was dirty. When I went out to quiet the disturbance, and heard the cause, I ventured the opinion that Alec had not misstated the case.

Miss McClung's face was all he needed as evidence to prove his statement. Jack gave me a look of exasperation and said: "But that's none of his business". I talked to him afterwards and he explained: "I could tell her her face is dirty, or you could tell her, and that would be all right. We would be telling her so she would wash her face. But Alec flung it at her to make little of her. Another day he was scolding a boy who had kicked our dog, and the boy said in his own defence: "You stepped on Jim's tail one day and hurt him just as bad as I did.

You kicked him on purpose. A dog knows the difference. I did not hurt his feelings, and you did. With three children under four years old, I did not spend much time studying world happenings, but I did read poetry to them, believing they would get the rhythm of it, even if they did not understand it. I loved to hear them repeating snatches of it before they went to sleep. They loved Eugene Field's:. Another prime favorite was the story about the little boy who was so fond of sugar and ate so much of it that he melted and ran away at last.

The tragedy of his latter end did not depress them at all. I am convinced it is just as easy to bring up three children as one. They bring each other up, really. No one could be busier than I was, when I had only Jack.

He was on my mind both night and day. Now that I had three to think of, it was really easier, and in all this I had the assistance of Alice Foster, who deserves to have a whole book written about her alone. I had her for twelve years and depended on her as I did on my own right arm.

Alice was so patient with children and so wise in handling them I always knew she would marry a widower with a family of small children. Character is destiny. And I could see Alice heading into some dead woman's place and filling it nobly. Some man probably a minister, recovering from his loss and just beginning to take notice, would be sure to see her as the answer to his prayers.

Eight small children was the allotment I gave her! Alice trained for a deaconess and went to the Gower Street Church in St. John's, Newfoundland, and there she met a Methodist minister. You said eight, but you were always a bit free-handed". I knew the answer to that one too, but I did not say it. I sent a letter of sincere congratulations to Sidney, and told him his judgment was excellent, and I record with pride that Alice named her first boy "Paul" and her first girl "Florence", so it would seem that she, too, had pleasant memories of the years we spent together.

These are magic words which often changed the monotony of our lives into the lilting rhythm of waltz-time. Manitou had the name of being a good show town, which means we all rallied to the call when the word went forth that some concert party, dance, or magician was coming. Our population being then, as now, about nine hundred, we, the footloose and show-minded, could fill the hall, so I think we got every attraction that, in the early nineties, ever took to the road.

And how we enjoyed them! I can recapture the feeling of rapture as we walked to the hall, carrying our coats on a fine spring or summer evening. The fine weather did not mean the end of the concert season for us. Far from it. No doubt the entertainers preferred warm weather and we were never too busy to come. The hall may have been a drab little place, with nothing but a raised platform and coal oil footlights, but when the blinds were drawn and all the lamps lighted and the audience assembled, no opera house that I have ever been in gave out a greater feeling of high expectancy.

We dressed in our best for these great occasions. We wore no hats. Brides wore their wedding dresses. Gordon Bradley, our best local singer, always wore a red flower in her black hair. There were opera wraps which closely resembled piano drapes but no remarks were made. We were too happy to be catty. The opening hour was eight o'clock, and if the artists "obliged" with encores, the performance lasted well into the night. Then there were refreshments for the performers, and the committee, and bouquets of garden flowers.

Manitou was a good show town, and we were proud of our good name. Let no one think that our entertainment was all made for us. We had concerts of our own; school concerts and flag drills and Indian club swinging; plays and cantatas by young peoples' societies; Christmas concerts with Santa Claus coming down from the loft on a rope, to the loud acclaim and gasping surprise of the believers.

I still have a pang when I think of the night Bert Crane forgot to take his gloves up with him, and the rope burned his hands, but he distributed the presents and made pleasant remarks to the "Sixes and Under," who never knew their kind benefactor had suffered an injury. One of the real events was the visit of the poetess, E. Pauline Johnson, who for two nights filled the Methodist Church with an admiring audience.

Pauline was at the zenith of her power and beauty at that time having recently returned from her triumphal tour of England. The night was bitterly cold, but the Church was overflowing. Pauline's advertising had shown only the Indian girl in her beaded chamois costume and feather headdress, so when a beautiful young woman in white satin evening dress came out of the vestry door and walked to the platform, there was a gasp of surprise from the audience.

Pauline smiled at us reassuringly, knowing what was in our minds. She told us about her recent visit to England, and her encounters with some of the well-intentioned but clumsy efforts to smooth over the fact of her Indian blood. She blandly asked her interrogator if it was true that she was of pure white blood, at which the countess snorted in indignation.

Languorous, picture-making poetry, not much meaning in it, but it was surely pure music on her lips. In the second part of the program the grand lady was gone and a lithe Indian girl took her place, telling us stories of her people, and their battle for existence. I remember especially the story of Onesimo, who made love to a white man, and then stabbed him to free her Indian lover.

I think Pauline must have been an actress of great power, for I can still recall the great moment in this story. So real was the cold duplicity of the heroine, that the mother of the young man who had agreed to drive Pauline to her next engagement, frantically appealed to him to have nothing to do with this treacherous woman, and Pauline, like the good trouper she was, added that story to her repertoire.

On the day following her recital, my sister-in-law and I called on her at the hotel, but that calm, simple sentence tells nothing of our state of mind. She was the first great personage we had met, and we knew it was a time for white gloves and polished shoes. However, at her first word, we felt at home with her and for an hour we sat entranced in the best parlor of the Cassin house, with its old-gold plush chairs under us, and the enlarged photographs and deer heads looking down on us, oblivious of everything but this charming, friendly woman.

She told us of her first efforts to sell her poems, and how proud she was when she first saw her verse in print. We tried to remember our manners; we knew a call must not drag on into a visit. Then we asked her if she would come for dinner with us the next day, which was Sunday. She would and did, and no one ever had a more gracious guest. She told us about the old Mohawk church, where she worshipped when she was at home.

It was the first church in Ontario and in it was the Bible which Queen Anne had given to the congregation in The afternoon went by on silken wings. Cold winds blew down Front Street in Manitou; we were still living in the four rooms above the drug store, and the shutters creaked in the blast, but we were living in another world, touching the hem of our own romantic past.

Unfortunately for me, I never saw Pauline again, though in her last illness, which lasted for two years, it was my great privilege to write to her and receive letters from her in reply. She died in Vancouver on March 7th, , and was buried on her birthday, March 10th, from Christ church.

From her friend, Jean Stevenson, I heard about her funeral, and the honors paid her. Representatives were present from every organization in the City. Lady Tupper led the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, and on the casket, in purple drape, showing the royal blood of the deceased, was a pall worked by the Pauline Johnson Chapter of the I. The Capilano tribe, whose legends Pauline has immortalized, was officially represented by Chief Matthias, in full regalia, who followed directly behind the bier, while drawn up along Georgia Street a long line of silent Red men "stood immobile all through the service and until the funeral cortege had passed on the way to the cemetery.

Fortunately, Mrs. Stevenson has preserved many of her letters, which reveal her strength and sweetness of character and her profound wisdom. Never once did Pauline falter in her loyalty and devotion to her own people, even when she stood on London Bridge, and looked at the glories of the greatest city in the world, she saw it through the eyes of her people. She compares what she sees and hears in St.

Paul's with the rites and ceremonies of her own people. Instead of the altar lights, flared the camp fires on the Onondega "long house," and the resinous scent of the burning pine drifted across the fetid London air. None so regal, so august, as he.

His garb of fringed buckskin and ermine was no more grotesque than the vestments worn by the white preachers in high places. I wonder what will be the place assigned to her in Canadian literature in the future. Will her melodious verse survive? She left only three slim volumes of poems, but I do not believe we have any poem that sings more sweetly than her "Paddle Song.

This poem, I am glad to note, is still in one of the School Readers, which augurs well for its immortality. As I was writing these words, I interrupted the writing to listen to a school broadcast, and was delighted to hear a soft-voiced teacher telling her class the legend of the young chief, who went forth into the woods to expiate the sin of having begotten twin sons.

She gave Pauline the credit of having received the legend from old Chief Capilano, and preserving it in beautiful words. The children loved the story and the teacher promised to tell them another legend the next day. I could easily believe that in some bright meadow in the Elysian fields, gay with Indian paint-brush and shooting star, Pauline and her people were happily listening, glad to know that their wisdom and their love of truth was still revered and cherished upon earth.

Its timbers will always be sacred to me for it was there that my daughter Florence and I joined the Dickens' Fellowship. And it was not a simple initiation of paying a fee and signing a card and receiving the right hand of fellowship. We were initiated as the Indians conduct their ceremonials, by a test of hardihood, but I must begin at the beginning. Across the road from our house stood a little weather-beaten dwelling whose occupants came and went frequently. It seemed to harbour a strange contagion of impermanency, though it was an honest enough little house with its L-shaped walls and lean-to kitchen.

At the time of which I write its tenants were a Mr. Vander and their three children. The father was a meek little man with a Byronic face, who spoke beautiful English and read from the classics. The mother went out working by the day, a tired draggled woman, who accepted her lot in life without complaint.

The family consisted of three handsome children, the eldest girl had a gift for music and art, which won for her an honorable place in the local school. She had her father's gift for language and one day defined her family in these words:. I like them equally well, according to my mood and my needs. We couldn't very well get on without them. I think I like father a little bit better than mother, for I'm often sorry for mother and being sorry for people does not make for loving.

There was a scarcity of teachers in the Manitou District at this time, and when I discovered that Mr. Vander had once taught in a boys' school, I thought we might be able to get a temporary certificate for him and get him installed in one of the country schools. I knew he could teach well if he wanted to.

His wife was more enthusiastic than he when I went over and made the suggestion. When I mentioned the usual salary of fifty dollars a month, I could see that he was not impressed. Vander began. Frankly I believe in leaving well enough alone. I do not really enjoy working in other people's houses.

We got the school and permission came from the Department and Mr. Vander was duly called for by one of the trustees and was taken out, the ten miles to his school. Vander's term of employment was exactly two weeks. The youngest girl came over to tell me. Her tone was one of complete detachment; she was the perfect reporter who gave the facts, uncolored by her own opinions.

My reasons were entirely psychological, and you, being a Canadian, may find them difficult to understand. The people in that district are too utterly ignorant. I could never hope to reach them. I know the people out there, and they are good decent, hard-working people. I'm sure they were kind to you and willing to give you the best they had. Vander," I went on, "you should try to grow up and assume some responsibility. You left that school because you wanted to come back to that easy chair where food and lodging are provided by your wife's efforts.

Have you no pride? I have pride of ancestry, nationality and tradition. I am proud of my heritage of English literature and if you and my wife will refrain from interrupting me I will take you into my confidence. I have a plan to help my fellow men, an infinitely better plan than this teaching scheme, one into which I can put my whole heart. He was off on his magic carpet, leaving the cares of the world behind him, and strangely enough he was able to make us listen.

His plan was, in brief, to give readings from Dickens' "Christmas Carol" two days before Christmas. He would make his own tickets and send the children out to sell them:. That cold December night came down in the best Manitoba tradition, a windy night, with stars hanging low in a sky of cold steel. A cold night never held any of us in if we wanted to go out so the McClung family was represented by three members—Jack, Florence and myself.

The head of the house had a curling game at the rink and pleaded his case by saying that he must have exercise. Jack would have gladly gone with his father, but I coaxed him to come with us with the argument that the literary arts must be encouraged, and everyone should hear the Christmas Carol at least once a year. The hall was a draughty place, heated by one stove in the middle of the room. A straggling audience occupied the zone around the stove and a fair pile of firewood promised a continuance of heat.

The newspaper said in its account of the gathering that "the intelligence of the audience made up for the smallness of its numbers. Promptly at eight o'clock the Interpreter, Mr. Frederick T. Vander, in evening dress, came out from the back room with a copy of the "Christmas Carol" in his hand. He was in good voice and looked like a perfect Bob Cratchet. He even had the white scarf inside his coat with its fluttering white ends. I resolutely put aside the opinion I had of him as a husband and father and settled down to enjoy the performance.

Let the wind blow, let the tin roof crackle and buckle, we were listening to an immortal tale. The little man knew how to present his story. He played all parts with equal facility; he was Scrooge, tight-fisted and wizened, harsh of voice and hard of heart; he was the timid little clerk trying to warm himself at the candle.

He was the fog that came pouring into every chink, "making the houses across the street into mere phantoms. So intent were we on the story that no one noticed that the fire was burning low and it was not until the knocker on the door changed to Marley's face that someone on the outer fringe of the audience came forward and mended the fire noisily. The Interpreter glared at the interruption but resumed the story. The caretaker of the hall, Mr. Miller, roused to his duty by this alien hand laid on his stove, reasserted his authority by piling in more wood and more wood, and soon the crackling of the stove joined the rumbling of the tin roof.

The audience stretched their chilly hands to the warmth and went adventuring on the high seas where grizzled men raised their voices in praise of Christmas. It was not until the Second Spirit entered that we began to feel sudden draughts across the floor as certain members of the audience drifted out. Each time the door opened a blast from the Arctic Circle smote us. Then, by sign language, we urged Mr. Miller to greater efforts.

About ten o'clock when Scrooge and the Spirit of Christmas Present went through the streets and saw "The brightness of the roaring fires in kitchens where preparations for the Christmas dinner were going on and tantalizing smells of turkey and sage came through the doors as happy children ran out to meet their cousins arriving"—it was then I missed my first born who had noiselessly departed, but Florence stayed on. She was drawn as far into her coat as she could get and had gathered her feet under her for warmth.

We lost another detachment when the Cratchets sat down to the goose, and the young Cratchets crammed spoons into their mouths lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped. By the time the last Spirit had taken Scrooge to see his grisly ending, the wind had risen to new heights, and not only the tin roof, but the timbers of the hall creaked and groaned, and made strange and threatening noises. The audience were all around the stove now and the Speaker was with us too.

He had put on his overcoat and mittens. We looked in vain for Mr. Miller, but it appeared that he had gone, and evidently had taken the last of the firewood with him, so there we were at the end of our resources, but not the end of the story.

We saw it out; we stayed until the end, which came about eleven; and in spite of the cold and the burned out fire, the crackling roof and the bitter wind that found out every crack in the old Orange Hall, in spite of everything, we felt the thrill of the awakened soul of Ebenezer Scrooge, as the magic of Christmas ran in our veins, setting at naught the discomfort of the hour.

Since then, many many times we have heard the story told in the golden voices of John and Lionel Barrymore, heard it in warm rooms brightened by wood fires, with plates of apples waiting for us, and the fragrance of coffee on the air. But it was on that cold night in the old Orange Hall in Manitou that Florence and I, numb to the knees, really entered into the magic circle of the Dickens' Fellowship, and we felt ever since that we have the right to gather with the faithful wherever they are.

Collier's "History of England", studied by public school children in my day, was a fairly dull recital of wars, conspiracies and the misdeeds of kings, but there were paragraphs—all too few—which bore the byline "Social Life of the People. They were emerald islands in a dull grey sea. In these meagre records we learned that the early Britons dyed their skins with a purple herb called woad. We were not told why they did it, but it seemed a good idea, like painting Easter eggs.

They made clothes of the skins of animals. They put greased paper in their windows before they had glass, and there were some really exciting paragraphs which had to do with blood bonds and "shield maidens" who hurled the javelins, and brave hunters who took their swords in their teeth and went into the sea to do battle with the walrus and sea lion. Not much was said about the women, but we were pretty sure that they were left to do all the uninteresting work.

The men hunted, fished and fought, doing a little cattle rustling as opportunity offered, while the women tanned the skins, made the clothes, and mucked around on the earthen floors, raising the family in their spare time. Later they learned to weave and spin. The Spear and the Spindle division runs back into the grey shades of the ancient days.

Now I wonder if in one hundred years the people will be interested in the social life of the people of my generation. When people are living on food put up in pellets which can be carried in their vest pockets, and travelling through the air and communicating with each other at will with distance annihilated, it may be that they will like to read of a time when the pace of life was slower and the struggle for existence a day to day matter, involving real effort and considerable ingenuity.

Far be it from me to wish that the hands of the clock should ever turn backward, but one cannot help wondering in what direction the human soul will develop, when it is free from the burdening cares which make up the battle for existence. Perhaps we have emphasized the importance of work too much, but we knew no other way of living, so we have made a virtue of it. We speak of basic industries and we know that what happens on the farms, in the mines and in the lumber woods, happens to the race.

There is not a public man today that does not pay his tribute of praise to the worker. The "little people" we call them now, "who carry the load. On the farms before electricity and labor-saving devices lightened their loads, women's work obsessed them. Their hours were endless, their duties imperative. Many broke under the strain and died, and their places were filled without undue delay. Some man's sister or sister-in-law came from Ontario to take the dead woman's place.

Country cemeteries bear grim witness to the high mortality rate in young women. I wrote a story about one of these in I remember the date because we had just come to Edmonton and I had an attack of quinsey, which laid me up for a week. This gave me time to catch up on my reading. In a country paper I read of the death of a farmer's wife, aged thirty-three, who left "six small children to mourn her loss.

I did not believe that it was the will of God that had taken away this young mother and decided I should write something about it and because I wanted the story to be told many times, I wrote it in verse, knowing that the beat of words, even ordinary words, carries far, like music across water. I have no illusions about my skill as a writer of poetry, but the story I wrote about Jane Brown certainly went far and wide, and was recited at many Women's Institutes, socials and other gatherings, and was copied in hundreds of newspapers.

It is nearly thirty years since I wrote about Jane, but even in the last year I have had several requests for copies. The worst feature of life on the farm for women in that period was the lack of household help. Water was carried in and carried out. The women had access to no laundries, no bakeries, and I knew homes where there was not even a sewing machine.

I remember very well the first ready-made dress I saw. A daring woman, Mrs. Bill Johnston, sent to Montreal for it and sent the money, fifteen dollars, mind you, and the neighbours cheerfully prophesied that she would never see the money again or the dress either. But the dress came and even the doubters had to admit it was a good-looking dress, and could be made to fit by "boning the body".

The owner, declared that she had enough bones of her own, and she was going to wear it just as it was. She liked a soft-fitting dress. The first evidence of co-operation among the farmers that I remember was the inauguration of "beef-rings," and I regret that I am not able to record its origin. It may have been sponsored by the Department of Agriculture. The head of the beef-ring had a chart, showing how the meat could be divided.

One animal was killed each week, and the farmers shared the meat. The people who got a sirloin roast one week would get stewing beef off the neck the next week, and the whole scheme worked without a hitch. But the coming of the automobile changed all our habits. The farmer with a car drove into town for his meat, and his groceries, too, so the little store languished, not able to meet the competition which the city stores offered. Other changes came too. The young people, having tasted the delights of driving into town with dinner at a hotel and a dance at the Masonic Hall, began to rebel at the "twenty-five hour day" on the farm, and dream of nice clean jobs in town.

The trek from the farm began, with devastating effects on agriculture. But the stores in town, and particularly the banks, benefitted by the advent of good, smart, industrious country boys. Looking back at it all now, I am convinced that the gloomy home atmosphere drove out more young people than their distaste for the long hours and the endless chores. Many a farmer, finding his years of labor sitting heavily on him, sank into a bog of surliness.

They felt their long years of heavy work had given them the right to be disagreeable. They seemed to resent youth with its gayety and love of fun. The colts in the pastures, kicking up their heels, kittens playing over a wood-pile; children shouting over a game of "pom-pom-pullaway" in the school yard brought no smiles to these sour faces. Who was to blame? The settlement of a new country takes a heavy toll, and one generation is bound to suffer.

Education did not keep pace with the settlement, and children—especially the boys who were big enough to work—did not attend school even when the school came. Perhaps they went for a few months in the winter, but they were shy and backward, ashamed of their ignorance and the teachers were not always wise or tactful. These big lads did not like school, naturally. No one likes to appear at a disadvantage. When they grew older they knew they had been cheated out of something. This frustration took different forms in different people.

In some it blossomed into a wholesome concern for the education of their own children. Others, not so fortunate, sank into a morass of resentment against society in general. They were the sour-faced ones whose boys left home as soon as they could. In the first school in which I taught, one of the men of the district tried to keep his boys from going to the lake to skate, which surely was an innocent and inexpensive form of entertainment.

He was afraid they might start to go into the little town, and there be tempted to spend money. I remember his words of complaint to me when I pleaded for the boys. I met these big boys many places, and my heart was heavy for them, and heavier still when I learned later how the Finnish people had solved that problem with their Continuation Schools.

We could have had something of this nature if we had valued education as highly as the Finns value it, but in a new country everyone is in a hurry to get ahead. Education, they believed, could wait, but in all human history nothing waits. The stream runs fast. We cannot help the past, but we need not repeat its mistakes! The winds of the world began to blow as the nineteenth century came to an end, and they even found their way into our placid existence. I do not think our newspapers carried much world news, or if they did we were not interested, so the South African war came on us unexpectedly.

There always had been trouble with the Zulus, an indefinite term to us, signifying black men with earrings who carried spears. Hadn't we read and recited a poem about a surprise attack on our gallant men as they slept their honest sleep on a mountain side in Africa? The South African war assumed a very serious aspect when our young men were recruited, and went.

To us there seemed to be no good reason for fighting the Boers, who had worked their own land and minded their own business, people much like ourselves who had battled with flood and storms, stone bruises and chilblains. We certainly could not feel any enmity to a man who looked like Dr. Morley Punshon. We wondered what the war really was about. Was it the gold of Johannesberg and the diamond mines of Kimberley that had kindled all this flame of conquest?

And in this uneasy suspicion we were not alone, for the news trickled through that one of the younger British statesmen, Mr. Lloyd George, a Welsh Baptist, had stoutly defended the Boers and been mobbed in Birmingham when he tried to speak. I had been reading Prescott's History of Mexico, and I could not keep from wondering if we were not carrying on the same sort of conquest that Cortez carried on in the sixteenth century, when life was more barbarous.

He was set at his task with the full blessing of the Church, steeped in the belief that the end justifies the means and that good can come from evil. The wholesale slaughter of the Aztecs was easily condoned when their gold and precious jewels went back to Spain to enrich the Mother Church. At our Epworth League meetings we debated these questions freely. Meanwhile in Canada the tide of patriotism rose. Everyone was singing a new song called "The Soldiers of the Queen", which fanned the flame of Imperialism, and Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" made the soaring climax of many an address.

It gave the whole business of war the high purpose of a Crusade and threw a glamor around the fighting man. We were not fighting for anything so cheap and corruptible as gold. We were paying our debt to the underprivileged, though perhaps ungrateful people of the world.

There were other verses enlarging the theme of the white man's duty to "the lesser breeds without the Law," as he phrased it in his great Recessional, written in Looking back at it now I remember how much we depended on Kipling. His words had a ring of Old Testament authority. We would have been happier about the war in South Africa if we had known that ten years after the end of hostilities Great Britain would hand back the country to the South Africans, and that the Union of South Africa would become one of our great allies.

Some glimpse of this settlement came to us in another one of Kipling's poems called "Kitchener's School," in which he tells something of the British plan of colonization. It is addressed to the people of the Sudan:. This poem is probably one of Kipling's greatest contributions to the work of Empire building, for it touches the vital spot which marks the difference between the colonization done by Britain and that of some other countries that are much in our minds today.

But I must get back to my story and remember I am not writing a tract on colonization, but a story of plain people. January 22nd, , was a dull cold day in Manitou, Manitoba, with icy flakes of snow riding in on the wind that came out of the north west.

A sullen sky threatened that the night would come down early. Horses hitched to sleighs stamped impatiently as the cold settled down on them, and the women in the stores waiting for the men to complete their business saw the short afternoon dulling into night, and anxiously wished to be on their homeward way. Thomas Atkinson, the C. Atkinson had been listening to the talking wires all day and knew that trouble was brewing.

Four days before he had heard that all was not well at Osborne House. But there were no magic air channels then to carry the news to the men on the roads or the women in the farm houses, and so the blow fell in country places with tragic suddenness. Atkinson swung around in his swivel chair and despatched a messenger to the Fire Hall, the School, and the Presbyterian Church. Then he walked out into the small waiting room and lifted his hand for silence and announced—"The Queen is dead.

In ten minutes the bells began to ring, hurriedly, noisily, their rusty notes jarring each other in their discordant passage, Andy Martin pulling the rope at the fire hall, John Logan at the school. But when the news reached the Presbyterian Church, August Henneberg with true Presbyterian forethought, knew what to do. August knew that tidings of sorrow were not expressed with a loud jangling of bells.

So from the Church steeple came a measured tolling, solemn and dignified, and soon the other bells steadied and grew calm. The streets filled with people, the roads leading into Manitou were dotted with sleighs. Chores or no chores, the people came in to see if it were really true.

When Blake Hewitt, late of Iowa, came in he went at once to the Farmers' Store, dropping his horse's halter shanks to make them believe they were tied. Robinson, the proprietor, who had removed his brown paper cuffs, stood inside the door talking to a group of customers. Hewitt asked. Robinson's voice was solemn and deep. Hewitt repeated, "so that's why the bells were ringing. I thought something was wrong.

Hewitt's listeners might not have noticed the words or seen anything objectionable in them, but unfortunately for Mr. Hewitt there was in the Farmers' Store at that moment, Mrs. John Farnicombe, whose mother had been one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting. Farnicombe still had the bonnet given by Her Majesty to her mother.

In telling of the incident Mrs. Farnicombe said her blood seemed to turn to water as she heard what he said; her head swam; her knees grew weak. She could not believe her ears. He thought something was wrong, and the terrible man was gone before she rallied. Gone like Judas, Mrs. Farnicombe said—gone into the night! Oh how she wished she had withered him with a look. He thought something was wrong, indeed! Farnicombe, torn with indignation, told the story to groups of people in the store and on the street, and at last made her way to see her friend Mrs.

Bamford who lived in a little white house near the Presbyterian Manse. Bamford was everybody's friend, a sweet faced old lady with white hair and brown eyes. It was believed that she belonged to one of the titled families of England and had been disinherited because she had eloped with her father's coachman. But as she and her husband had never become confidential with the neighbors on this point, the matter was not definitely known.

If she ever regretted her choice and longed for the marble halls she had left, she gave no sign, but continued to live happily and serenely. From her we heard many beautiful stories of the Royal Family; their kindness and courtesy, their consideration for other people. When the news of the Queen's death was borne out across the fields in the rusty note of the bells, it fell upon our hearts with a stab of personal bereavement.

She was more than a ruler to us. She was a legend, a tradition—the embodiment of maternal affection, goodness and piety. My mother had seen her once when she came to Dundee, and "had been almost near enough to touch her mantle". As a child I firmly believed that the Queen, in her generosity, had given us the twenty-fourth of May for a holiday at considerable inconvenience to herself, and that we must ever keep it in grateful remembrance.

On that dark January day when the bells were tolling for her I felt that I should do what I could to pass on my love for her to my children. Jack was the only one big enough to understand so I took him out with me. I wanted him to remember the solemn notes of the bells, the sad faces of the people, and he still remembers it—tho' he was not yet four years old. On our way home we went in to see Mrs.

I told him the Queen had been as sweet and kind and lovely, with the same shiny white hair and beautiful hands. Farnicombe came in while we were there, hot with raging anger because of a dreadful man who had made light of the death of the Queen. She related the conversation dramatically. Bamford," she cried tearfully, "'I thought there was something wrong' were his very words, as if the death of our Queen were not the greatest calamity we could suffer.

A wretched, ignorant foreigner, my dear, without hope or God in the world; with no reverence, no sanctities, and he would dare to speak of her thus, lying cold in death. Bamford said soothingly, "my daughter will serve us a cup of tea and we will all feel better. Do not be so sure that Mr. Hewitt meant any disrespect. The Queen would be the first one to defend him. She once defended a boy who pointed a pistol at her, and the demented man who struck her on the head and crushed a lovely bonnet.

When they were ordered to be flogged, it was the Queen herself who saved them. She won respect by being worthy of it, my dear, not by demanding it. Before we left Mrs. Bamford had an explanation to cover Mr. Hewitt's words. Hewitt," she said to her friend, "without meaning to do so. You were under the strain of deep emotion and read into his words a meaning of your own.

Are you sure he didn't say—'I thought there was something wrong' meaning 'I knew there was something wrong'. That, my dear Mrs. Farnicombe, would make his words entirely innocent, and that is what I prefer to believe. That is what Her Majesty would wish us to believe, and I think it would be wise to say no more about it. The first time I felt the stirrings of ambition to be a public speaker was at a W. Convention in Manitou in This was a great event for our little town—seventy-five delegates from all parts of the Province, with morning, afternoon, and evening meetings was an undertaking to challenge all our resources.

I do not remember how it happened that the Convention came to Manitou. I had not been a delegate up to that time, but I had been a member of the organization, and I was simply thrilled when I was asked to give the address of welcome on behalf of the local unit. I began my preparations at once. I got a new dress, navy blue and white striped voile trimmed with narrow white Valenciennes lace; a white leghorn hat with red velvet flowers. I was determined to be as easy as possible on the eye. Years afterward I heard Carrie Chapman Catt say when she was not sure of her speech she always got a new dress, but if she knew she had a good speech, any dress would do.

In spite of the new dress I had some anxious moments when I contemplated the task of welcoming the delegates. What could I say that hadn't been said many times before? I had a clear idea of some of the things I would not say. I would not run into statistics like some temperance speakers I had heard, nor would I tell them how many loaves of bread a man could buy if he never drank beer.

I knew vaguely why people drank. It answered something in their blood, some craving for excitement and change. Hadn't I turned round and round myself to enjoy a moment of dizziness, a blotting out of the old familiar landscape? I knew it was foolish, bad, and dangerous, and yet it had a charm.

I knew the lives of these country people, with their disappointments, long hours, and grey monotony; and I felt that we must give them something rather than take something away. We must be like the pack rats who never steal but merely make an exchange. Prohibition is a hard sounding word, worthless as a rallying cry, hard as a locked door or going to bed without your supper. It could never fire the heather, and yet the heather must be fired.

People had to have something which would take them out of themselves, the Church has given many a real vision of God and His plan for the world. But even the Church often presents a dour face, with its locked door and musty smells. I often thought of the Salvation Army when they came to Brandon in , with their color, warmth and band music. How they drew the lonely country boys into their barracks and set them singing the Gospel hymns. They knew the drawing power of coffee and sandwiches and the beat of a drum, the compelling power of rhythm, and light and warmth and friendliness.

They knew how to fight the powers of evil, and we, the temperance women, would have to make our cause attractive. We must fight fire with fire. I never doubted for a moment that this could be done, for I knew we had all the arguments. No one could deny that women and children were the sufferers from the liquor traffic; any fun that came from drinking belonged to men exclusively, and the men themselves would be the first to admit that.

I saw in my easily stirred imagination, that life for both men and women could be made much more attractive with recreation grounds, games, handicrafts, orchestras, folk dances, better houses, better farms; new hopes for a new world. I was well away on the wings of fancy as I drafted out a speech of welcome for the delegates. I was not the only person who prepared for the coming of the seventy-five.

The two paper hangers were busy for a month preceding the event, papering and painting spare rooms. House cleaning went on apace, curtain stretchers were borrowed and lent and lay on green lawns. The air throbbed with the beating of carpets, and the dressmakers never had the pins out of their mouths. Manitou was going to show them how a convention should be managed. Even ladies must eat, so the Manitou hostesses prepared. They filled crocks with lemon biscuits for they had a reputation for keeping well.

In the drug store we knew that lemon biscuits were being produced for the real heart of a lemon biscuit comes from the five cents worth of oil of lemon and the five cents worth of citrate of ammonia— these provide the rising and the flavor, otherwise it is just a plain beaten biscuit. August Henneberg belonged the credit of bringing in the recipe from somewhere in the States, or maybe she made it up, for Mrs.

Henneberg was a lady of original ideas; and I know she was the first to think of splitting the squares and putting in wild strawberry jam. The Convention met in June, just after the school term, the leafiest, greenest time of the year—with field crops rippling in the sun and wild roses in bloom on the roadsides. The opening meal was served at one o'clock. The trains passed at Manitou at noon and the reception committee, with white bows on their watch chains, lined the sidewalk and delegates were shown to their billets.

Then everyone went to the old Orange Hall where the banquet was served. The Hall was scrubbed into a state of cleanliness not known before and the long tables were a sight to remember. Everything had been prepared in advance and the only hot dish was the scalloped potatoes.

In that abundant time there was cold chicken, sliced or jellied; pink sugar cured hams stuck with cloves; and moulds of head cheese on beds of lettuce garnished with hard boiled eggs; lemon pies whipped up in mounds of white meringue and stippled with orange and brown—from the two minutes in a hot oven; ice cream in freezers; and cakes which make a mock of us now in this strictly rationed time. Will I ever forget those dishes of creamed potatoes—made with real cream and served with ripe cucumber pickles clear as amber and sweet as honey?

Why do I write of these things on this day of , when I should be telling a sober and serious story of my country's past, revealing if I can, the mind of my people? No doubt this hearty fare had something to do with the success of the address of welcome which followed the banquet. It is easy to talk to people who have come together for a three-day holiday.

It is quite likely that there is no person else who remembers that speech, but I remember it. I remember the effect it had on me. For the first tune I knew I had the power of speech. I saw faces brighten, eyes glisten, and felt the atmosphere crackle with a new power.

I saw what could be done with words, for I had the vision of a new world as I talked. I was like the traveller who sees through the mist the towers of the great city. It was not ideas I was giving them exactly, but rather ferments—something which I hoped would work like yeast in their minds. That was a long time ago as we reckon time, but it does not seem long. I still remember that my head was lighter than my heart when it was all over, for I knew that I was committed to a long fight and a hard one.

Still the vision has never faded. There is a land of pure delight ahead of us, a land of richer fruitage and brighter sunshine, even though the way may be long and hard and dangerous. That Better Country has fired man's imagination since time began. War had no place in our thoughts then. We were too civilized for war we thought. We believed the enemies we had to fight were ignorance, greed, intolerance and boredom.

It is easy to see why we concentrated on the liquor traffic. It was corporeal and always present; it walked our streets; it threw its challenge in our faces! We were worried then about Jennie Gills who was one of our members. Jennie was "expecting" again, and her husband had celebrated the last occasion by getting roaring drunk and coming home with the avowed intention of killing Jennie and the new baby.

There were other homes too, across whose portal the shadow of the trade had fallen. In a little town the currents run deeply and we knew each others sins and sorrows. We knew about the men who cashed their wheat tickets and spent most of it over the bar, forgetting to bring home the children's shoes. Elsewhere I have written the story of the woman and her little girl who were disappointed in their trip to Ontario.

Oh no, there was nothing fanciful about the evils of intemperance with its waste of money as well as its moral hazards. It was ever before us.

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Please try your request again later. Previous page. Kindle Edition. Audible Audiobook. Next page. Books By William Poundstone. The No. You are shrunk to the height of a penny and thrown in a blender. The blades start moving in sixty seconds. What do you do? Reveals the new extreme interview questions in the postcrash, hypercompetitive job-market and uncovers the extraordinary lengths to which the best companies will go to find the right staff. Bestselling author William Poundstone guides readers through the surprising solutions to over a hundred of the most challenging conundrums used in interviews, as well as covering the importance of creative thinking, what your Facebook page says about you, and what really goes on inside the Googleplex.

How will you fare? We are hard-wired to believe that the world is more predictable than it is. Since then representativeness has been used by auditors to catch people fiddling their tax returns and by hedge fund managers to reap billions from the emotions of small investors. Now Poundstone for the first time makes these techniques fun, easy, and profitable for everyone, in the everyday situations that matter.

Other Formats: Paperback. How do you predict something that has never happened before? There's a useful calculation being employed by Wall Street, Silicon Valley and maths professors all over the world, and it predicts that the human species will become extinct in years. Unfortunately, there is disagreement over how to apply the formula, and some argue that we might only have twenty years left. Originally devised by British clergyman Thomas Bayes, the theorem languished in obscurity for two hundred years before being resurrected as the lynchpin of the digital economy.

With brief detours into archaeology, philology, and overdue library books, William Poundstone explains how we can use it to predict pretty much anything. What is the chance that there are multiple universes? How long will Hamilton run? Will the US stock market continue to perform as well this century as it has for the last hundred years?

And are we really all doomed? It reveals more than 70 outrageously perplexing riddles and puzzles and supplies both answers and general strategy for creative problem-solving. The world's largest ebook library. New post "Top Moderators, new languages available, moderation section for users and Android app update. We are always looking for an opportunity to connect new payment methods for our users from different parts of the world. If you are professionally involved in payment processing or have the information about high-risk merchant, contact us via support bookmail.

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