While these things had been gathered in, the flow of blood had been abated by the use of a tourniquet. There was scarcely enough ether to be of use, but with the assistance of two men Dr. Grenfell applied it and operated.
One of the assistants fainted, but the other stuck faithfully to his post, and with a cool head and steady hand did Dr. Grenfell’s bidding. The operation was performed successfully, and the young soldier’s life was saved through Dr. Grenfell’s skillful treatment. Today this fisherman has but one leg, but he is well and happy and a useful man in the world.
Fate takes a hand in our lives sometimes, and plays strange pranks with us. In New York a group of gentlemen were impatiently awaiting the arrival of Dr. Grenfell, while he, in an isolated cottage on the rugged coast of Northern Newfoundland was saving a fisherman’s life, and in the importance and joy of this service had perhaps for the time quite forgotten the gentlemen and the meeting and even New York.
Perhaps Providence had a hand in it all. If the water lanes had not closed, and the motor boat had not been damaged, and Dr. Grenfell and William Taylor had not been sent adrift on the ice, and no obstacles had stood in the way of Dr. Grenfell’s journey to New York, and the Strathcona had not been frozen into the ice pack, in all probability this brave young soldier and fisherman would have died. There is no doubt that he believes God set the stage to send Dr. Grenfell on that ninety-mile hike.
REINDEER AND OTHER THINGS
Hunting in a northern wilderness is never to be depended upon. Sometimes game is plentiful, and sometimes it is scarcely to be had at all. This is the case both with fur bearing animals and food game. So it is in Labrador. When I have been in that country I have depended upon my gun to get my living, just as the Indians do. One year I all but starved to death, because caribou and other game was scarce. Other years I have lived in plenty, with a caribou to shoot whenever I needed meat.
In Labrador the Eskimos and liveyeres rely upon the seals to supply them with the greater part of their dog feed, supplemented by fish, cod heads and nearly any offal. The Eskimos eat seal meat, too, with a fine relish, both cooked and raw, and when the seals are not too old their meat, properly cooked, is very good eating indeed for anybody.
The Indians rely on the caribou, or wild reindeer, to furnish their chief food supply, and to a large extent the caribou is also the chief meat animal of the liveyeres.
Sometimes caribou are plentiful enough on certain sections of the coast north of Hamilton Inlet. I remember that in January, 1903, an immense herd came out to the coast north of Hamilton Inlet, They passed in thousands in front of a liveyere’s cabin, and standing in his door the liveyere shot with his rifle more than one hundred of them, only stopping his slaughter when his last cartridge was used. From up and down the coast for a hundred miles Eskimos and liveyeres came with dogs and komatik to haul the carcasses to their homes, for the liveyere who killed the animals gave to those who had killed none all that he could not use himself, and none was wasted.