Everywhere there was a mute cry for help. The people were in need of doctors and hospitals. They were in need of hospital ships to cruise the coast and visit the sick of the harbors. They were in need of clothing that they were unable to purchase for themselves. They were in great need of some one to devise a way that would help them to free themselves from the ancient truck system that kept them forever hopelessly in debt to the traders.
The case of the man in the little mud hut at Domino Run, however, first suggested to Grenfell the need of these things and the thought that he might do something to bring them about. As a result of this visit, he made, during his northward cruise, a most thorough investigation of the requirements of the coast.
It was early October, and snow covered the ground, when the Albert, sailing south, again entered Domino Run and anchored in the harbor. Grenfell was put ashore and walked up the trail to the hut. The man had long since died and been laid to rest. The wife and children were still there. They had no provisions for the winter, and Grenfell, we may be sure, did all in his power to help them and make them more comfortable.
His plans had crystalized. He had determined upon the course he should take. He would go back to England and exert himself to the utmost to raise funds to build hospitals and to provide additional doctors and nurses for The Labrador. He would return to Labrador himself and give his life and strength and the best that was in him for the rest of his days in an attempt to make these people happier. Grenfell the athlete, the football player, the naturalist, and, above all, the doctor, was ready to answer the human call and to sacrifice his own comfort and ease and worldly possessions to the needs of these people. The man that will freely give his life to relieve the suffering of others represents the highest type of manhood. It is divine. It was characteristic of Grenfell.
And so it came about that the ragged man in the rickety boat who led Doctor Grenfell to the dying man in the mud hut was the indirect means of bringing hospitals and stores and many fine things to The Labrador that the coast had never known before. The ragged man in going for the doctor was simply doing a kindly act, a good turn for a needy neighbor. What magnificent results may come from one little act of kindness! This one laid the foundation for a work whose fame has encircled the world.
When Grenfell set out to do a thing he did it. He never in all his life said, “I will if I can.” His motto has always been, “I can if I will.” He had determined to plant hospitals on the Labrador coast and to send doctors and nurses there to help the people. When he determined to do a thing there was an end of it. It would be done. A great many people plan to do things, but when they find it is hard to carry out their plans, they give them up. They forget that anything that is worth having is hard to get. If diamonds were as easy to find as pebbles they would be worth no more than pebbles.