Then the Albert was made ready for her second voyage to Labrador. The Mission Board appointed two young physicians to accompany Doctor Grenfell, Doctor Arthur O. Bobardt and Doctor Eliott Curwen, and two trained nurses, Miss Cecilia Williams and Miss Ada Cawardine, that there might be a doctor and a nurse for the hospital at Battle Harbor and a doctor and a nurse for the hospital at Indian Harbor. The launch Princess May was swung aboard the big Allan liner Corean and shipped to St. John’s, and on June second Doctor Grenfell and his staff sailed from Queenstown on the Albert.
Grenfell was as fond of sports as ever he was in his boyhood and college days, and now, when the weather permitted, he played cricket with any on board who would play with him. The deck of so small a vessel as the Albert offers small space for a game of this sort, and one after another the cricket balls were lost overboard until but one remained. Then, one day, in the midst of a game in mid-ocean, that last ball unceremoniously followed the others into the sea.
Grenfell ran to the rail. He could see the ball rise on a wave astern.
“Tack back and pick me up!” he yelled to the helmsman, and to the astonishment and consternation of everyone, over the rail he dived in pursuit of the ball.
Grenfell could swim like a fish. He learned that in the River Dee and the estuary, when he was a boy, and he always kept himself in athletic training. But he had never before jumped into the middle of so large a swimming pool as the Atlantic ocean, with the nearest land a thousand miles away!
The steersman lost his head. He put over the helm, but failed to cut Grenfell off, and the Doctor presently found himself a long way from the ship struggling for life in the icy cold waters of the North Atlantic.
IN THE BREAKERS
The young adventurer did not lose his head, and he did not waste his strength in desperate efforts to overtake the vessel. He calmly laid-to, kept his head above water, and waited for the helmsman to bring the ship around again.
A man less inured to hardships, or less physically fit, would have surrendered to the icy waters or to fatigue. Grenfell was as fit as ever a man could be.
In school and college he had made a record in athletic sports, and since leaving the university he had not permitted himself to get out of training. An athlete cannot keep in condition who indulges in cigarettes or liquor or otherwise dissipates, and Grenfell had lived clean and straight.
It was this that saved his life now. He knew he was fit and he had confidence in himself, and was unafraid. While he appreciated his peril, he never lost his nerve, and when finally he was rescued and found himself on deck he was little the worse for his experience, and with a change of dry clothing was ready to resume the interrupted game of cricket with the rescued ball.