Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
entertained the governor and bishop at dinner-that officer departed with 110,000 ducats in his pocket.”
The Panama Canal
The great canal which is now being made through the isthmus of Panama to connect the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean begins on the Atlantic side at a place called Colon, and opens into the Pacific near Panama.
This map shows you the course of the grand canal which is being constructed across the Isthmus of Panama from Colon on the Atlantic to Panama on the Pacific.
It is in the Republic of Panama, but is entirely managed by the United States Government.
It was started by a French company under De Lesseps, the engineer – who made the Suez Canal. But the Suez Canal was a very different business from this. It was merely clearing out sand from a natural depression in flat, level ground till the water Rowed in from the sea at both ends. But here in Panama it is another pair of shoes.
There is a great river flowing through the centre of the Isthmus. An isthmus, you know, means a long neck of land joining two greater lands together. This Isthmus of Panama joins North and South America together.
The Isthmus otherwise is covered with hills and forest and swamps, an almost impossible country to get through, and very hot. De Lesseps was not frightened at these difficulties. Like a stout- hearted Scout he attacked the difficulty with a smile on his face.
He brought out thousands of men and good machinery. He made accurate maps and plans; and he started work and he fought his way, inch by inch, against all the difficulties, but in the end he was defeated.
After several years at it, he had to confess himself beaten, and was forced to give up his splendid idea. And why? Because he had found that the rough country was not his worst enemy-fever and dysentery were the enemies he had not reckoned on, and that he was not able to conquer. Out of his 12,000 to 15,000 workmen, over 3000 died in the course of a year, and many more were ill and invalided. So the canal was abandoned.
Scouting Methods Employed Then the Americans came along and took it in hand.
Their first step was to attack the disease. They employed some good doctors to go ahead as scouts to risk their own lives in finding out what the enemy was like, where he lurked, and how he was to be defeated-that is, in finding out what the diseases were, and how they were to be stopped. By pluck and patience and careful observation the doctors gradually found it all out.