Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
Captain Foster, the commander of the ship, and the officers took the greatest interest in teaching the boys all they could.
The Scouts, for their part, showed themselves to be a particularly smart, efficient, and nice lot of fellows. Each of them kept a diary of the trip. I myself read them with much interest, and I propose to give a few extracts from them which may amuse others.
“ . . . At sea. We only get breakfast, lunch and dinner. I miss my afternoon tea a good bit. (Poor fellow!) It is rather trying to be out of sight of land for so long (second day out), but I am getting used to it.
“ . . . At sea. Bad. “Nuff sed I”
“ . . . We were in the Marconi office, and the operators were showing us the working of the system, when one of them noticed that I had a Signaller’s Badge, and told me to run through the alphabet. So I put my fingers on the lever and started.
“One of the onlookers wondered if the signal had been received by anyone, so he put the receiver to his ear, and got an abrupt message from Belle Isle, some hundreds of miles away – a message which meant “Shut up!”
On August 4th, the ship steamed up the great St. Lawrence River to Quebec, sighting the Montmorency Waterfall as she passed. Quebec is a fine old French-Canadian city, with its citadel standing on a bluff overlooking the St. Lawrence.
Here the Scouts disembarked, and took the train to cross the great continent of Canada. “ . . . In Quebec fine buildings of stone rub shoulders with one-storey log-cabins.
“ . . . When we got alongside the landing-stage at Quebec we did good turns by carrying people’s parcels ashore for them.
“ . . . The train is much bigger than an English train, with an enormous locomotive with a cow- catcher in front and a big bell, which keeps ringing as it goes through a town or station.
“ . . . The engine, when it whistles, does not shriek like ours do, but gives a sort of growl like a playful mastiff. . . . On the trains there are no guards, ‘but conductors’; and no ‘engine-drivers’ or ‘stokers,’ but the ‘engineer’ and his lieutenant.’ There is a negro “porter” to each carriage.
“ . . . The rails are not laid any too straight, and the carriages bound about.
“ . . . The telegraph insulators, instead of being china, as at home, are glass-green, blue, and sometimes red.
“ . . . Along the railway were quantities of flowers, chiefly a certain red flower, a sort of ‘willow weed,’ I think. All the hills and woods were covered with it, and it looked most awfully pretty among the green trees.
“ . . . We were much amused by our negro porter. He had been to college, and looks like a highly educated gentleman. Wears gold spectacles, too. He gave us one of his college yells:
Mary had a little lamb, lamb, lamb! Ra, Ra, Ra! Who are you? The Scouts! Scouts!! Scouts!!!”
“ . . . Whenever the train stopped we all got out and discovered sonic blueberries; but I don’t exactly care for them. At Mattanoa we all jumped out and stodged on raspberries, and were only