The Story of Grenfell of the Labrador eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about The Story of Grenfell of the Labrador.

Grenfell and his brother, with one of their friends, spent the long holidays when college was closed cruising along the coast in an old fishing smack which they rented.  In the course of his cruising, the thought came to him that it was hardly fair to the boys in the slums to run away from them and enjoy himself in the open while they sweltered in the streets, and he began at once to plan a camp for the boys.

This was long before the days of Boy Scouts and their camps.  It was before the days of any boys’ camps in England.  It was an original idea with him that a summer camp would be a fine experience for his boys.  At his own expense he established such a camp on the Welsh coast, and during every summer until he finished his studies in the University he took his boys out of the city and gave them a fine outing during a part of the summer holiday period.  It was just at this time that the first boys’ camp in America was founded by Chief Dudley as an experiment, now the famous Camp Dudley on Lake Champlain.  We may therefore consider Grenfell as one of the pioneers in making popular the boys’ camp idea, and every boy that has a good time in a summer camp should thank him.

But a time comes when all things must end, good as well as bad, and the time came when Grenfell received his degree and graduated a full-fledged doctor, and a good one, too, we may be sure.  Now he was to face the world, and earn his own bread and butter.  Pleasant holidays, and boys’ camps were behind him.  The big work of life, which every boy loves to tackle, was before him.

Then it was that Dr. Frederick Treves, later Sir Frederick, a famous surgeon under whom he had studied, made a suggestion that was to shape young Dr. Grenfell’s destiny and make his name known wherever the English tongue is spoken.

II

THE NORTH SEA FLEETS

The North Sea, big as it is, has no great depth.  Geologists say that not long ago, as geologists calculate time, its bottom was dry land and connected the British Isles with the continent of Europe.  Then it began to sink until the water swept in and covered it, and it is still sinking.  The deepest point in the North Sea is not more than thirty fathoms, or one hundred eighty feet.  There are areas where it is not over five fathoms deep, and the larger part of it is less than twenty fathoms.

Fish are attracted to the North Sea because it is shallow.  Its bottom forms an extensive fishing “bank,” we might say, though it is not, properly speaking, a bank at all, and here is found some of the finest fishing in the world.

From time immemorial fishing fleets have gone to the North Sea, and the North Sea fisheries is one of the important industries of Great Britain.  Men are born to it and live their lives on the small fishing craft, and their sons follow them for generation after generation.  It is a hazardous calling, and the men of the fleets are brave and hardy fellows.

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The Story of Grenfell of the Labrador from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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