Now they were indeed in grave peril. They must needs maintain sufficient headway to keep the vessel under her helm. Black rocks capped with foam rose on every side, they did not know the depth of the water, and the fog was so thick they could scarce see two boat lengths from her bow.
AN ADVENTUROUS VOYAGE
The finest school of courage in the world is the open. The Sands of Dee, the estuary and the hills of Wales made a fine school of this sort for Grenfell.
The out-of-doors clears the brain, and there a man learns to think straight and to the point. When he is on intimate terms with the woods and mountains, and can laugh at howling gales and the wind beating in his face, and can take care of himself and be happy without the effeminating comforts of steam heat and luxurious beds, a man will prove himself no coward when he comes some day face to face with grave danger. He has been trained in a school of courage. He has learned to depend upon himself.
Fine, active games of competition like baseball, football, basketball and boxing, give nerve, self-confidence and poise. Through them the hand learns instinctively, and without a moment’s hesitation, to do the thing the brain tells it to do.
Down on The Labrador they say that Grenfell has always been “lucky” in getting out of tight places and bad corners. But we all know, ’way down in our hearts, that there is no such thing as “luck.” “God helps them that help themselves.” That’s the secret of Grenfell’s getting out of such tight corners as this one that he had now run into in the fog. He was trained in the school of courage. He helped himself, and he knew how. He was unafraid.
So it was now as always afterward. Grim danger was threatening the Princess May on every side. Each moment Grenfell and his companions expected to feel the shock of collision and hear the fatal crunching and splintering of the vessel’s timbers upon the rocks. All of Grenfell’s experiences on the Sands of Dee and in the hills of Wales and out on the estuary came to his rescue. He did not lose his head for a moment. That would have been fatal. He had acquired courage and resourcefulness in that out-of-door school he had attended when a boy. The situation called for all the grit and good judgment he and his crew possessed.
Under just enough steam to give the vessel steerageway, they wound in and out between protruding rocks and miniature islands amidst the white foam of breakers that pounded upon the rocks all around them. At length they were headed about. Then cautiously they threaded their way into the open sea and safety.
This was to be but an incident in the years of labor that lay before Grenfell on The Labrador. He was to have no end of exciting experiences, some of them so thrilling that this one was, in comparison, to fade into insignificance. Labrador is a land of adventures. The man who casts his lot in that bleak country cannot escape them. Adventure lurks in every cove and harbor, on every turn of the trail, ready to spring out upon you and try your mettle, and learn the sort of stuff you are made of.