Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
and to keep him drunk until that amount of money had been spent.
And it used to be the same among the cowboys and lumbermen in the West of America and Canada. They used to come in after a spell of work on the prairie or in the backwoods and “paint the town red,” as they called it.
Those days are now over. Men are not now such fools; they work hard, but they keep their money when they have made it, and set themselves up in happy homes and start themselves in prosperous lines of business.
There are, of course, a few wasters who still indulge in making beasts of themselves – for that is what it is.
I can sympathise with a man getting drunk in some of our slums in Britain, where he prefers the brightness and warmth of a gin-palace to the squalid misery of the dirty den he has to inhabit. But the man in a sunny country where there is plenty of work and good pay is no better than a beast to go and throw it all away in drunken orgies.
A young fellow generally takes to drink much as he does to smoking – and that is because he is a coward.
He thinks it looks fine and manlike among other boys to show off how he can hang about a bar and smoke and drink and spit and swear. In doing these he thinks he is no end of a fine fellow – when really he is a silly ass.
You can never trust a man who drinks, because in nine cases out of ten he is a coward and won’t stick to you in a tight place, and with his brain fuddled and his strength weakened by it he is of no use for any kind of work or position of trust.
A bar-loafer is about as great a rotter as you can find anywhere. A Shipwreck
No sooner had we passed out between “The Heads” from Sydney Harbour on our voyage to New Zealand than our gallant ship began to “tuck her nose into it” as we faced a big sea and a strong wind against us.
This remained our amusement for the next three days, our ship heaving and shoving into the waves and being washed with spray from stem to stern.
At length, on the fifth day out, we sighted and passed a group of steep, rocky islands called the “Three Kings,” a nasty, dangerous place with reefs and outlying rocks all round it. Here, among others, was wrecked the steamship Elingamite a few years ago.
A number of the people on board had never been brought up as Scouts and were in no way prepared for a shipwreck; a panic seized them when, in a dense fog, the vessel suddenly crashed on to a rock and began to sink. Many lost their heads and jumped overboard, while others made a rush for the boats and scrambled in in such numbers as to swamp them while they were being launched. Most of these people were drowned.
Those who kept their wits about them and acted coolly under the captain’s directions were saved. They got out the ship’s rafts and three boats, and putting the women and children into these they got safely ashore on to the rocks. And here they stayed for three days while one of the boats made its way over to the mainland of New Zealand to get help.
In the meantime, the poor creatures on the rocks suffered terrible privations from cold and hunger. A little rain water was found in some hollows in the rocks, and there were a few apples which floated up from the ship as she sank; but there was no regular food and no dry clothes for them.