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´╗┐Title: Young Knights of the Empire : Their Code, and Further Scout Yarns
Author: Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, Baron, 1857-1941
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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In offering this collection of yarns, I do not suggest that these are
anything more than further illustrations of the steps already schemed
in _Scouting for Boys_ for self-education in character and good

But illustrations by themselves are of comparatively little value
unless the theories and ideas conveyed by them are also put into
actual and habitual practice.

It is in this that the boy needs your encouragement.

                                 ROBERT BADEN-POWELL



Perhaps you wonder what is a Young Knight of the Empire.

Well, you know what a knight is--or rather, used to be in the old
days--a gallant fellow who was always ready to defend weaker people
when they were being bullied; he was brave and honourable, and ready
to risk his life in doing his duty according to the code or law of

Well, nowadays there are thousands of boys all over the British Empire
carrying out the same idea, and making themselves into fine, reliable
men, ready to take the place of those who have gone away to fight and
who have fallen at the Front. These are the Boy Scouts. Their code is
the Scout Law--that is, a set of ten rules which they carry out in
their daily life.

I will explain these Laws, and will give you some other yarns of camp
life and adventure such as the Scouts go in for.



_If a Scout says "On my honour it is so," that means it is so, just
as if he had taken a most solemn oath._

_Similarly if a Scout officer says to a Scout, "I trust you on your
honour to do this," the Scout is bound to carry out the order to the
very best of his ability, and to let nothing interfere with his doing

_If a Scout were to break his honour by telling_ a lie, or_ by
not carrying out an order exactly when trusted on his honour to do so,
he may be directed to hand over his Scout badge and never wear it
again. He may also be directed to cease to be a Scout._

People of a civilised country, just like boys in a school, are bound
to conduct themselves in a proper manner, because of the law which
causes them to be punished if they misbehave. There is a code of laws
drawn up for this purpose.

But there is another kind of law which binds people just as much as
their written laws, though this one is neither written nor published.

This unwritten law is Honour.

A boy who has clambered over the school wall to go out of bounds and
smoke secretly has committed an offence against the published law of
the school. If next day the master asks in school, "Who has broken out
of bounds?" the boy is not bound by the law to confess that he did; he
can remain silent and thus escape punishment; but he is a
poor-spirited creature if he does so, and has no sense of honour. If
he is honourable he will manfully and honestly tell the master that he
broke out and will stand whatever punishment comes of it. By so doing
he will have proved to the master and to the other boys that he is
manly and not afraid to tell the truth, and is to be relied upon
because he puts his honour before all.

So the first training that the Boy Scout gets is to understand that
Honour is his own private law which is guided by his conscience, and
that once he is a Scout he must be guided in all his doings by his
sense of Honour.


Law 2. A SCOUT IS LOYAL to the King, and to his officers, and to his
parents, his Country, his employers, and to those under his orders. He
must stick to them through thick and thin against anyone who is their
enemy or who even talks badly of them.

There was a Scoutmaster in the East End of London who when the war
broke out felt it his duty to give up the splendid work he was doing
amongst the poor boys of the East End in order to take up service for
his Country.

Scoutmaster Lukis--for that is his name--felt bound, by his sense of
loyalty to his King and his Country, to give up the life he was then
living and face the dangers of soldiering on active service.

But the example which he set in loyalty was promptly followed by some
eighty young fellows who were his Scouts or Old Scouts.

Their loyalty to him made them wish to follow their leader wherever
his duty led him. So they became soldiers like himself and all went
together to the Front.

A day came when the trenches which they were holding were heavily
shelled. The danger was great and the losses were heavy, and finally a
piece of shrapnel struck Captain Lukis in the leg and shattered his
thigh. Two of his East London Boy Scout's sprang to his assistance and
tended him with devoted care. They waited for a lull in the firing and
finally between them they carried him, although exposed to a deadly
fire, to a place of safety. While so doing one of them was hit and
severely wounded.

But the spirit of the lads was splendid. They cared nothing for their
own safety so that they got their beloved Scoutmaster out of danger.
That was loyalty.

Loyalty means faithfulness. Your dog is faithful to you and sticks to
you even though you may beat him. He overlooks your faults and your
unkindness and remains loyal to you.

Loyalty begins at home.

Some boys are always thinking that their parents are wrong or unfair
to them. If you think that your parents have any faults, don't look at
those faults. Be loyal to your parents; remember only that it is
thanks to them that you are alive and able to be a Scout.

Obey your parents, believe in them, and respect them; if you can at
any time help them, do so. By doing these things you are being loyal
to them. By being loyal to them you are carrying out that commandment
of the Bible which says: "Honour thy father and thy mother." Be loyal,
also, in the same way-by obeying and thinking no evil and by backing
them up-to your Patrol-leader, your Scoutmaster, and your
schoolmaster. If you are a working boy carry out the same idea towards
your foreman, your manager, and your employer.

On taking up your work, you have agreed to do a certain amount for a
certain wage, and it is loyalty on your part then to stick to that
agreement and to give good work in return for your pay.

If, on the other hand, you are a well-to-do boy and come to have a
servant or a man working under you as you grow older, you should
equally be loyal to him. Remember that in taking him on you expect a
certain amount of work from him for the money you give him; if you
find that he gives you more work than you agreed for, you will be
acting loyally to him if you then increase his wage: but never go back
on your agreement, and do not try to make more money out of him than
you meant to do when first making the contract. So, too, if you are a
Patrol or other leader, and if those under you get into trouble
through carrying out your ideas, be loyal to them; own up that it was
through your fault that they did wrong.

Whatever line of life you may be in, be loyal to God, to your King,
and to your Country.

       *       *       *       *       *


All Boy Scouts know of Sir Ernest Shackleton, a brother peace-scout of
the Empire--and a first-class one, too.

On one of his voyages of exploration to the South Pole he was very
nearly successful in getting to that point, he was within ninety-seven
miles of it, in fact, when his food supplies gave out, and he and
those with him were in great danger of starving, and had, most
unwillingly, to turn back to regain their ship.

They had left the ship when they had got her as far south as was
possible through the ice; they then went on foot over land and sea,
all hard frozen and covered with snow, and they took their food with
them, and stored depots, or what Scouts would call "caches," to use on
their return journey. For weeks they struggled along over difficult

One day in January, although they had cut down their rations and ate
as little as possible (so little indeed that they were getting weak),
they found that they were coming to the end of their food, and they
must either turn back or go on and die, in which case the record of
their work would have been lost. So they planted a flagstaff with the
Union Jack on it, and left a box containing a notice that they had
annexed the land for Great Britain and King Edward VII.

They took a long look with their field-glasses in the direction of the
South Pole to see if any mountains were to be seen, but there were
none. And then they started on their desperate tramp to the ship.

They made a number of interesting and useful discoveries. They came
upon mountains and glaciers of ice, and mineral rocks of coal and

And they found tiny insects which are able to live in the ice, and
when they boiled them, they did not kill them!

They found that the penguins, the great wingless birds which sit up
and look just like people, enjoyed listening to a gramophone, which
they set going for their benefit.

But their journey back was a very anxious and trying experience for

In order to guide them they had planted flags here and there along
their path, but storms came and blew them down, and it was, therefore,
most difficult to find their way from one food depot to another. They
did it largely by spooring their old tracks.

This is how Sir Ernest Shackleton describes their doings on one
particular day:

"We were thirty miles from our depot. Although we could see it in the
distance, it was practically unattainable, for soft snow covered
treacherous crevasses, and as we stumbled along in our search for food
we seemed to get no nearer to our longed-for goal. The situation was

"Two of our party, utterly worn out and exhausted, fell in harness,
but with the greatest pluck again pushed on as soon as they had
temporarily recovered. It was with a feeling of devout thankfulness
that we crossed the last crevasse and secured some food. Beyond a
little tea we had had nothing for thirty-four hours, and previously to
that our last meal consisted merely of one pannikin of half-cooked
pony maize-not much foundation for work under such conditions, and
with an extremely low temperature. Under these conditions we marched
sixteen miles in twenty-two hours.

"On another occasion during that same journey we were all struck down
with dysentery, and this at a distance of ninety miles from our depot.
Though the weather was fine, we were all too weak to move, but here,
as on other occasions, Providence came to our rescue, and strong
southerly blizzards helped us along.

"From December 4th, 1908, to February 23rd, 1909, we lived in a state
of constant anxiety, intensified by more acute knowledge gained from
narrow escapes and close contact with death. Over and over again there
were times when no mortal leadership could have availed us.

"It was during these periods that we learnt that some Power beyond our
own guided our footsteps. If we acknowledged this--as we did--down
among the ice, it is only fitting that we should remember it now when
the same Power has brought us safely home through all these troubles
and dangers. No one who has seen and experienced what we have done
there can take credit to himself for our escape from what appeared to
be overwhelming difficulties."

Sir Ernest Shackleton also praises the conduct of his officers and men
as helping largely to their success. He says:

"We were all the best of comrades. Every man denied himself, and was
eager to do his level best."

True Scouts, all of them.

       *       *       *       *       *



The month of October is full of glorious national memories for Scouts.

On October 21st, 1805, was fought the battle of Trafalgar, when the
British Fleet, under Admiral Lord Nelson, attacked and defeated the
combined forces of French and Spanish men-of-war.

It looked almost hopeless for a small fleet to attack so large a one;
but Nelson made that grand signal which called on every man _that
day to do his duty,_ and every man, like a true Scout, did his
duty, even though in many a case it cost him his life.

Nelson himself showed the example, for he drove his ship in between
two of the enemy's ships and fought them, one against two. He never
attempted to take cover, but exposed himself to danger as much as
anyone, and was killed at the moment of victory. The sailors of to-day
still wear a black silk neckerchief round their necks as a sign of
mourning for the great admiral.

       *       *       *       *       *


Then on October 25th, 1854, in the Crimea, in South Russia, took place
two grand charges by the British cavalry-against the Russian cavalry.

One of these, the charge of the Light Brigade, every boy knows about,
but somehow the charge of the Heavy Brigade is not so much talked
about, although it was equally fine in its way.

I have been lucky, because I have served in two cavalry regiments, and
both of them were in these charges one, the 13th Hussars, was in the
Light Brigade, and the other, the 5th Dragoon Guards, was in the Heavy

I don't mean that I was in the charges, too-no; I wasn't born then!
But I am very proud to belong to two regiments that were there.

Hussar regiments are called light cavalry, because they used to have
small, light-weight men who could ride far and fast to scout the
enemy. Dragoons were heavy troopers on big, strong horses, who by
their weight and long swords could deliver an overwhelming charge upon
an enemy.

A Brigade consists of three regiments. Two Brigades make up a
Division. So the Cavalry Division in the Crimea was made up of a Light
Brigade and a Heavy Brigade.

On October 25th the Light Cavalry Brigade got the order to charge the
Russian artillery, which was supported by the infantry and cavalry.

It was a hopeless task. The order had really been given by mistake.
But that did not matter to men who were accustomed to obey. They
charged, and, though it cost them a great number of gallant lives,
they carried out their duty with such bravery and dash as to command
the highest praise even from their enemies, and they won for British
soldiers the name of being ready to sacrifice their lives to carry out
their orders, even though the job looked hopeless. That is why Scouts
to-day have as their motto the single word,


to remind them that if they get an order which it is a bore or even a
danger to perform, their duty is to do as their brave fathers did at
Balaclava, and carry it out cheerily and well.

Now I will tell you about the charge of the Heavy Brigade,

       *       *       *       *       *


You have often heard the British Army talked of as "the thin red
line." Well, it got that title at Balaclava. Four hundred men of the
93rd Highlanders and a battalion of Turks were posted to guard the
road leading to the harbour of Balaclava, when the Russians, some
twenty thousand strong, proceeded to attack them. The Turks didn't
like the look of things, so they turned tail and bolted but the brave
Sir Cohn Campbell, who was in command of the Highlanders, said to

"My lads, remember there is no retreat from here. You must die where
you stand."

And the gallant fellows meant to do it if they had to die--but they
were not the sort to say die before they were dead They formed a
line--a "thin red line," as it was afterwards described--on a small
rising ground, and received the first charge of the Russian cavalry
with so well-aimed and deadly a fire, at close range, that it put the
others off charging for a while.

The British Commander-in-Chief, seeing their danger, sent a message to
the Heavy Brigade of cavalry, who were camped in the neighbourhood, to
go to their assistance.

The "Heavies" were already parading just outside their camp, when
suddenly there appeared over the rising ground, within half a mile of
them, the head of a big force of Russian cavalry quietly advancing
towards them. Rather a startling apparition when the squadrons were
all moving out of camp to form up on parade.

But the General--General Scarlett--did not lose his head or hesitate
for a moment.

The enemy were on the left flank of the squadrons as they were moving
out. He ordered them to wheel into line to the left, and, without the
usual first orders to "Trot" and then to "Gallop," he directed his
trumpeter to sound "Charge!" and he at once turned his horse towards
the enemy, and started, with his staff officer and orderly, at a
gallop to lead the attack.


The Brigade saw what was wanted. They did not wait to form into one
line--that operation would have taken time--but each squadron wheeled
up, and, closing in towards its neighbour, galloped forward to back up
the General in the charge.

The Scots Greys, in red tunics and bearskins, mounted on their grey
horses, were in the front line with some of the Irish Inniskilling
Dragoons, and close behind them came the 5th Dragoon Guards and the
1st Royal Dragoons, with their red tunics and shining helmets.

There were not more than three hundred of them altogether, while the
Russian column amounted to some twelve thousand. 'It looked as if the
British must be smashed up by such overwhelming odds.

[Illustration: This sketch map stows the positions of the British and
Russian Forces in the charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava.]

But the General knew that he must do his best to save "the thin red
line" from being overridden, and the men knew that they had got the
order to "charge," and it was their business to carry out the order,
and not to look at the danger in doing it. So they charged.

The Russians were not less astonished than the British had been;
instead of surprising the British, they were themselves surprised.

For a minute or two they hesitated. No officer gave any command, no
one knew quite what to do, and in another minute the bolt burst upon

General Scarlett and his staff came--bang, _smash_!--right
through their front ranks, followed immediately by the crashing weight
of the Greys and the wildly cheering Inniskillings.

The shock of this charge rolled the foremost ranks of the Russians
down underfoot as it ploughed its way into the centre of the column,
and gave a sort of backward surge to the whole mass-for the Russian
force was simply a big, square mass of men and horses.

Our charge, being made by a very small body, only broke into the
central part of the Russian front, so the two flanks of their line
wheeled forward like two arms to enfold it. But just as they were in
the act of doing so they were caught by our second line of Royal
Dragoons, 5th Dragoon Guards and Inniskillings; and were rolled up and
ridden over in an awful confusion.

These heavy blows seemed to send the great Russian mass staggering
backwards, when at this critical moment two more squadrons of Heavies,
belonging to the 4th Dragoon Guards, suddenly plunged into the right
flank of the Russian column, and completed its break-up.

It reeled again, and in a few minutes more was gradually melting and
spreading over the hills behind in hurried flight from the
battlefield. And the thin red line was saved.

The whole fight had lasted only eight minutes, the British loss was
fifty killed and wounded, while the Russians lost about four hundred.

This battle, like Trafalgar and like many other British victories,
showed that, with good, plucky leaders, backed up by men _who can be
trusted to obey their orders,_ we could attack overwhelming forces
against us and come out victorious every time.

Without discipline it could never have been done.

       *       *       *       *       *


Sir Christopher Myngs was one of the tough sea-dogs of the British
Navy in the old days.

He was killed in action at sea in 1666. He had been wounded by a
bullet in the throat, but he held the wound together with his fingers
and went on fighting till a second shot struck him, and he shortly
afterwards died of his wounds. He was a splendid leader, brave and
strict, and beloved by his men.

His body was brought ashore to be buried in London, and at the funeral
a party of sailors came up to the carriage in which Sir W. Coventry
sat, and the leader of them, with tears in his eyes, asked him to beg
of the King to give them an old ship which they might use as a
fire-ship, and with which they might sail into the middle of the
enemy's fleet and set fire to it.

They would, of course, all lose their lives in doing this, but they
did not mind so long as they could avenge the death of their beloved

It was a fine spirit of loyalty to their chief which led these simple
seamen to do this, and their loyalty--not the spirit of revenge--is an
example to all to be loyal to their chief in whatever line they may
be. Don't look out for faults in him; note his good points, and stick
to him through thick and thin, for the good of what you and he are
doing together whether it is defending your Country or running a big



_And he is to do his duty before anything else, even though he gives
up his own pleasure or comfort or safety to do it. When in difficulty
to know which of two things to do, he must ask himself, "Which is my
duty?" that is, "Which is best for other people?"--and do that one._

_He must Be Prepared at any time to save life or to help injured

_And must try his best to do a good turn to somebody every day._

       *       *       *       *       *


Once when driving in my car I passed a man on a sunny, dusty road, and
I thought after I had passed him whether I might not have offered to
give him a lift. Then I thought probably he would be only going a
short distance to some house a little farther along the road.

As I sped farther and farther upon my way, I saw no house and no
turning, and therefore I argued that the poor man would have to be
walking all this dusty way when I might have given him a lift.

But while I sat all this time thinking, my car was rushing me miles
away from the spot. Eventually I made up my mind that I ought to go
back and do my good turn to the man. But I had gone so far that when I
got back again to where I expected to find him, he was not to be seen.
He had evidently taken some short cut across the fields, and I never
saw him again.

But the memory of it lingered in my mind for a long time, and ever
since that, when driving along, I have been quick to make up my mind
and use the opportunity when it has presented itself, of giving a lift
to any weary wayfarer.

I don't want to make out myself as being so very good for doing this
kind of good turn, for that is easy enough with a motor-car; but what
I do want to point out is that you should never let your chance go by,
else you may regret it, as it might not occur again. Your motto should
be--"Do it now."

       *       *       *       *       *


Always remember that in going through this world we only pass this way
once, and if we miss our chance it never comes again.

I believe that our first business in life is to be happy. This world
with all its beauties and its sunshine of happiness was meant for us
to enjoy. When clouds come over with grief or pain, they are only the
contrasts to show us what true happiness is and to make us appreciate
it when it comes.

The shortest and most certain way to happiness is to make other people
happy. Even if we cannot make them happy, we can at least be helpful
to them. But so often we forget to do this, or, as I did in the
motor-car, leave it till too late, and let the chance slip by.

In order to be continually happy, the thing is to be continually doing
good turns. To get a habit you must at first carry out a great deal of
practice, and that is why it is part of the Scout Law to do a good
turn every day.

At first it may come a little difficult to remember each day that you
have this duty to do, and you may have some trouble in finding a job
that will be helpful to other people but if you stick to it, and force
yourself to do it day by day, it very soon grows into a habit with
you, and you then find how many little things you can do which all
count as good turns although small in themselves.

I could tell you endless yarns of the different kinds of "good turns"
which the Boy Scouts have done, but one of the most pleasing that I
have heard lately was when a Scout carefully placed a piece of orange
peel on the pavement, and when asked why he had done this, said:

"I am doing a good turn to some other Scout by giving him the
opportunity of doing his good turn by removing that orange peel so
that people will not slip on it!"

       *       *       *       *       *


A poor fellow was lying pretty badly hurt when I came upon him one
afternoon. His left leg was broken, and an artery in his right arm was
cut through, while he was evidently badly burnt about the chest.

How it all happened I didn't stop to inquire--I merely looked at the
steps which had already been taken to doctor him. His arm was bound up
with a handkerchief "tourniquet," twisted tight with a stick, to stop
the blood squirting from the artery; his leg was bound between two
straight bits of wood; and his tummy was covered with a mixture of
wool, oil, and flour, which suggested that with a little more roasting
the patient would have made a good pie!

I need scarcely add there was not much the matter with him except that
he belonged to a patrol of Boy Scouts who were practising "first aid."

In the same troop another patrol were cooking a very savoury Irish
stew, mixing dough on a haversack (which, I think, is quite as good as
my way of doing it inside my coat!), and baking bread in an oven made
out of an old biscuit tin, and roasting "twists" made on stakes
planted near the fire. (For "Tenderfoots," anxious for details as to
how these things are done, I recommend a study of the chapter on camp
cooking in _Scouting for Boys_.)

The point about this cooking was that the food was being really well
cooked, and fit for anyone to eat with enjoyment.

In the same troop signallers were at work sending and receiving
messages. And also one of their horsemen was there to act as mounted
dispatch rider, with a smart pony which he was able to saddle and look
after as well as to ride. Nearly every Scout in this troop was a First
Class Scout, of an average age of thirteen.

Two hundred yards from their little camp was another troop of younger
Scouts, of about eleven years of age. All were busy cooking their teas
at numerous little camp fires at the time when I saw them, and made a
most picturesque scene.

Then a third troop had its camp in a different spot, where three
patrols of boys of about fifteen years of age were collected. Fine,
strapping, long-limbed types of Britons. It was a pleasure to see them
going "Scout pace" across the grass, and a still greater pleasure when
I found that they were as good Scouts as they looked. Nearly all were
First Class Scouts. I was invited to hand out to them the Efficiency
Badges they had been winning.

These included quite a number of First Class, Cyclists', Firemen's,
Musicians', Electricians', Cooks', etc.

I had just said a few words to the troop of my pleasure at seeing them
so smart and so efficient, when the alarm was given that the school
buildings were on fire. A few brief words of command were given by the
Scoutmaster, and each patrol streaked off in a different direction at
a great pace. We hurried to the scene of the outbreak, and had just
time to see (in our mind's eye only) dense clouds of smoke with
tongues of flame and showers of sparks bursting from the doomed
building, while the windows were alive with terrified women and
screaming children--that is what we were picturing--when out came a
knot of Scouts running the fire-hose into position, and joining it up
from one part of the building, while from another there came a second
patrol trundling along the great giraffe-like fire-escape. Within four
minutes of the alarm the leading fireman was up on the ladder
directing the nozzle of the hose-pipe with a strong jet of water on
the windows of the (supposed) burning chamber.

It was all very smartly, quickly, and quietly carried out, and the
patrols thoroughly deserved the Firemen's Badges which they had won.

Denstone College, where I saw all this, is one of the great schools
which have taken up scouting as a sport and training for their boys;
and the results, according to the masters who act as Scoutmasters, are
most satisfactory.

       *       *       *       *       *


Recently, all in the one day, I came across three cases of Scouts
doing their duty.

One lady told me that when travelling in a crowded train she and her
daughter were put into a carriage which was already crammed full of

She did not like it a bit at first, but she soon found the difference
between "Scouts" and "boys." These were "Scouts," and they at once
helped the ladies and their baggage into the carriage, and then made
plenty of room for them by sitting on each other's knees, and kept
order and behaved so nicely that she fell in love with all of them,
and talked with them and found them "quite charming and gentlemanly."

Another lady told me that some Scouts had asked leave to camp in her
grounds, and as she has allowed boys to do this for some years past,
she did not like to refuse them: at the same time she was not very
glad to have them, because she had found it expensive and troublesome
every year to have to get the camping-ground cleaned up and set right
after they had gone.

The day after the Scouts had finished their camp, she sent as usual
some men to work on the camp-ground, when to her astonishment, they
came back and said there was no work to be done there, the ground was
all clean, rubbish and ashes removed, and turf replaced. And then she
remembered that these were "Scouts," not ordinary boys, who had been
camping there--and she will be glad to see them there again whenever
they like to come!

The weather this morning was beautifully hot and fine, but in the
afternoon it suddenly changed to cold, windy, and steady rain. Numbers
of ladies and children had gone out for a day on the beach or in the
country. In one case a woman and her two children had to come back
part of the way in an open boat, and then in a steam-launch, in their
summer clothes, without umbrellas or waterproofs.

A Scout who was there seemed to have foreseen bad weather, as he had
two waterproof coats, and he gave up one and offered it to cover the

"Well!" you would say, "that is easy enough, and he kept himself dry
and snug in the other."

No, he didn't, he put that on the woman, and went and did the best he
could for himself on the lee side of the deck; he put a smile on and
pretended that a cold trickle down the back is a good thing for the
complexion; and that is what any other Scout would have done in the

       *       *       *       *       *


On different occasions I have had the pleasure of issuing Silver
Medals to Scouts for gallantry in saving life or assisting the police.

Scoutmaster Crowther, of the Huddersfield Boy Scouts, went to the
assistance of a police constable who was being violently assaulted by
some roughs in a slum. Although he was knocked about himself in doing
so, Crowther managed to help the officer, and, by blowing his whistle,
to get more police on to the scene. The principal offenders were
arrested, and ultimately got six months' imprisonment from the
magistrate, who at the same time highly complimented Mr. Crowther on
his plucky action.

Scout P. L. G. Brown, of the 7th (All Saints) Southampton Troop, did
much the same thing. He saw a police constable struggling with four
violent roughs, and, although there was a hostile crowd round them,
Brown remembered his duty and dashed in to help the officer. Although
he got a kick on the knee, he was able to get hold of the policeman's
whistle and to blow it, and in this way brought more police upon the
scene, so that the four men were arrested and punished.

Brown himself went away without giving his name or making any fuss
about what he had done, but he was discovered and later on received
the Silver Medal.

Then, when I was reviewing the Gateshead Scouts, I heard of the case
of two Boy Scouts being rewarded by the magistrate for their gallantry
in assisting the police.

The Scouts of Newton Abbot were at hand when a motor-car dashed into a
cart, smashing it up and injuring the two occupants. The Scouts
detained the car; and although the motorists endeavoured to drive off,
they put their staves between the spokes of the wheels and hung on and
prevented the car getting away until the police came up and took

It was splendid how these Scouts showed such pluck and readiness in
helping the King's officers. They got knocked about in doing so, but
what are a few bruises? They wore off in a few days; but the thing
that won't wear off is the satisfaction that each one of those Scouts
will feel for the rest of his life--namely, that he did his duty.

       *       *       *       *       *


Dr. Wilfred Grenfell is an ideal type of peace Scout, and during his
labours as a missionary in Labrador he has had many adventures.

On one occasion he had to visit a sick man at a place two days'
journey from where he lived, and he started off with his sledge and
team of dogs, to cross a frozen arm of the sea, which would save him a
long journey round by land. But it was in the month of April, when the
sea ice was beginning to get treacherous and to break up.

The distance across the ice was about seven miles, with an island
about half-way.

He reached the island all right, and was pushing on from there to the
opposite mainland, when he found that the ice was becoming rotten and
soft--what is called "sish"--that is, pounded ice formed from big
slabs which have been ground together by the action of the sea.

As he found himself sinking in this, together with his sledge, he
slipped off his heavy oilskins and coat, and quickly got out his knife
and cut the traces of his dog-team, winding the leader's trace round
his wrist.

In this way he was himself pulled along by the dogs plunging through
the slush. The leading dog got on to a solid ice-floe, and Grenfell
was gladly hauling himself up to him by the trace, when the dog
slipped all his harness off, and his master was left, sinking among
the other dogs in the "sish."

Then he luckily caught the trace of another, and pulled himself along
that till he managed to get on to the block of ice, on to which he
helped the rest of the dogs.

But it was quite a small block, which would soon break up, so he saw
that the only chance was to struggle on through the "porridge-ice"
till he could reach a bigger floe, which could serve as a raft for

He did not, as some people might have done, give up all hope; he
wasn't going to say die till he was dead.

So he took off his gauntlets and moccasins and packed them on to the
dogs' backs, then he secured their harness so that it could not slip
off, and tied the traces round his wrists so that the team would drag
him through; then he tried to start.

But the dogs did not like facing the danger, and he had to push them
off the block; even then they only struggled to get back, till a
particularly favourite dog understanding him when he threw a bit of
ice on to another "pan" or block? started, and so led the others to
get to it.

In this way, dragging their master after them, the dogs struggled from
pan to pan, till at last they reached one larger than the rest, about
ten feet by twelve in size.

It was not real solid ice, but a block of powdered ice, which might
fall to bits at any time. Still, it was the best they could get, and
with the rising wind and current it soon floated with them on to more
open water, and began to drift away from the shore and down the coast.
So they had no choice but to make the best of a very poor substitute
for a raft.

The cold was intense, and poor Grenfell, like a clever Scout, at once
thought out a plan for making himself a coat. His moccasins were long,
soft boots made of sealskin reaching to the thigh, so he slit these up
with his knife, and, by means of a bit of line, he made them into a
kind of cape to put on his back.

Hours passed, and they kept drifting out from the coast, and night was

Then he saw that he must have more clothing, and also that he and the
dogs must have some food the only thing to do was to sacrifice one of
his beloved team. So he made a noose with one of the traces, and
slipped it over a dog's neck, and tied it to his own foot; then,
holding its head down in this way, he threw the dog on its back, and
stabbed it to the heart.

Two more were killed in the same way. Then he skinned them and
stitched their hides together with thin strips of leather, and thus
made himself a coat, with the fur inside.

All the clothes he had had on till then were some old football things
he had come across that morning in his house. A pair of football
shorts and stockings of the Richmond Football Club (red, yellow, and
black), and a flannel shirt and sweater, so he was practically in Boy
Scout's kit rather than what you would expect a missionary-doctor to
be wearing.

But then, you see, he was quite as much a Scout as he was a doctor or
missionary; and we understand from this story how, like a Scout, he
was able to turn his hand to anything and invent for himself the
different means for saving his life although he was all alone with his
dogs on a small lump of rotten ice floating past the coast of

There was one little point in which, perhaps, a Boy Scout could have
helped him had he been there. As darkness came on, he thought he would
light up a flare, which would catch the attention of anyone on shore,
so he frayed out a piece of rope and smeared it with the fat of the
dead dogs, and was about to light it when he found that his matches
had got wet, and in that damp air he could not get them dry.

I wonder whether he thought of the Scout's dodge of drying them in his
hair for a minute or two?

[Illustration: Dr. Grenfell as he appeared on the ice-floe, with a
cloak of dog-skins, and puttees made of flannel taken from a dog's
traces. He used his shirt for a flag, and made a flagstaff of frozen
dogs' legs.]

In order to keep warm he used one of the dead dogs as a seat, with the
other dogs hugged close round him for warmth. His feet being in thin
moccasins, which easily got wet through, were freezing with cold till
he thought of an idea for keeping them warm.

He had seen the Laplanders put a lot of grass into their boots before
pulling them on, and then filling up the legs with as much more grass
as they could cram in.

There was not much grass growing on his ice-floe, so Grenfell had to
invent something to use in place of it; he cut from the dogs' traces
some flannel with which they were lined to prevent chafing, and with
this he stuffed the moccasins, and so made them warmer, and then bound
the remainder round his knees as puttees.

In this way he got sufficient warmth to enable him to sleep. Towards
morning he awoke with the idea that he must make something in the way
of a flag to attract the notice of people on shore, and to show them
that there was someone in distress on the ice.

The question was, how to make a flagstaff? I wonder whether a Boy
Scout could have seen a way?

Grenfell took the frozen legs of the three dead dogs, and bound them
together with strips of raw hide, and thus manufactured a staff, on to
which he then tied his shirt to act as a flag. It worked very well
till the sun rose, and then the legs began to melt a little, and the
flagstaff became a very wobbly one; and, as the Doctor describes it,
"almost tied itself into knots."

Like a true Scout, Grenfell never despaired; he kept thinking out
different ways by which he might survive the danger.

He thought of setting light to some unravelled rope by using a piece
of ice to act as a burning glass. In this way he hoped to attract the
attention of the people on shore by a smoke signal; but, while he was
busy preparing it, he saw the distant sparkle of what looked like an
oar from a boat, presently he saw it again, and soon he could see the
boat itself.

His flag had been seen by the fishermen, and they pushed out in their
boat through the frozen ice till they got him and his faithful dogs
all safely aboard.

One man had seen him the night before just as it was getting dark, and
had spread the news down the coast, so that all the time, though he
did not know it, anxious eyes were watching him.

The only difficulty was to get a boat through the mass of broken
ice-floes and drifting ice, which covered the heaving surface of the
sea between him and the shore, but pluck and strong arms did it.

In the end his rescuers brought him safely ashore, where every man,
woman and child in the settlement was on the beach to welcome him with
cheers and--many of them--with tears of joy.

Doctor Grenfell says that during the whole of this terrible experience
he did not once feel fear. He felt that he would probably lie down and
sleep his last sleep on that ice-floe; the thought did not disturb him
very much.

At the same time, he did feel something of that regret which comes to
all people when dying, and that was the remembrance of how much time
he had wasted (even he!) when he had life and opportunities for doing
good for other people, and how he had let his opportunities slide by
without doing so much as he might have done.

So keep on doing good turns every minute whenever you can get a chance
of doing them, and then when you are face to face with death, you will
be able to say:

"Well, I did my best to do my duty. I did not waste much time on other

       *       *       *       *       *


It is not always in the field of action that Scouts can show their
heroism; sometimes it is at home or in their private life, where their
deeds are not so much seen. Here is a case:

Patrol Leader Leonard Sanderson, of the 1st Jesmond Troop, met with a
bad lift accident, and smashed his thigh. But even when in awful pain,
and in the shock of the sudden accident, he made light of it for fear
of worrying his parents. Then he was for many weeks in hospital, and
had to undergo several operations, but he was always cheerful and

Many presents of fruit came to him, but, like a true Scout he shared
them with the other patients. He made toys for the sick children, and
helped the nurses to roll bandages. He never forgot his duty as a
Scout, and proved himself a good example for others to follow.

       *       *       *       *       *


"The boy who stopped the runaway horse would never have done it if he
had not been a Scout. He was formerly a first-class young scamp and
always in some mischief."

That is what the report says of him.

But that is what happens when a lad becomes a Scout; he is no longer a
fool-boy, who goes about yelling aimlessly and making himself a
nuisance to everybody. Instead of that he smartens into a manly
fellow, ready at any moment to give a helping hand to anybody who
wants it, and without taking any reward for it, and without thinking
how poor or rich, how old or young the person may be.

I was talking once to a well-known nobleman, who told me that he broke
his leg not long ago, and when it was getting right his doctor advised
him to go and walk a little every day with two sticks to support him.

He accordingly went to Hampstead Heath, and was waddling along quite
comfortably, an inch at a time, when a patrol of Scouts came up, and
the Leader saluted and said:

"May we help you, sir? We could make a stretcher out of our coats and
staves, and carry you."

The Duke said that when he looked at the boys and thought of them
trying to carry him--for he is not a small man--he nearly laughed
aloud; but as it was he thanked them very much and told them how he
was walking purposely to get his leg into working order.

This kind intention, however, has given the Scouts a warm place in his

       *       *       *       *       *


When I am walking along a road or path, I generally do a little
tracking every day, because it is only by constant practice that a
fellow can learn tracking or can keep his eye in when he has learnt
it. It is quite easy and simple to do, only Scouts often do not think
of doing it.

Here, for instance, is what I did one morning. There is nothing
wonderful in it, but Scouts will understand all the better that such
practice should be an everyday matter, and not merely attempted on
some great occasion. It is bound to be a failure then if it has not
been regularly gone in for before.

My practice was on an ordinary country road, dry and hard, with a
slight layer of dust in most places, up and down hill; between high
hedges; no wind (wind, you know, soon flattens out tracks in dust and
makes them look much older than they really are).

At about eight o'clock in the morning, as I passed from one field to
another, I crossed the main road at the point where it reached the top
of a hill.

I read some news on the ground, and this is what it said

"_Mrs. Sharp is ill this morning; and Johnny Milne has been to the
railway station to fetch some newspapers._"

This was how I got at it.

There were only two fresh tracks. One was of a boy walking and the
other of a bicycle.

The boy's footmarks showed a nailed boot, not big enough for a man,
walking along the road which led to the school and to the railway
station. It was Saturday, a whole holiday, so he could not be going to
school; he would therefore be going to the station.

Why to the station? Because at 7.33 the train came with the
newspapers, and there were his tracks going back again, (_They
occasionally overtrod the outgoing footprints._)

One boy in the village, Johnny Milne, was employed by the shop to
fetch the papers from the train.

So if the train were punctual he would have passed this spot on his
way back about twenty minutes later; that was at seven minutes to

[Illustration: "Mrs. Sharp is ill, and Johnny Milne has brought the
newspapers from the station."]

Now, the bicycle track showed that the machine was ridden up the hill
(_the track zig-zagged along the road, whereas if it had been
running downhill it would have gone pretty straight_), the rider
getting very tired (more _zig-zag_) near the top. There the
bicycle had stopped (_sharp turn and slither of the wheels in the
sand_), and the rider had got off to rest. It was a woman (_small
foot, no nail marks, small, sharp heel_).

She had stood a short time (_footmarks on top of each other_),
and had then remounted and ridden on. She had passed this spot between
7.15 and ten minutes to eight. (_The bicycle tracks had passed over
Johnny Milne's outgoing track of 7:15, but his returning footmarks of
ten minutes to eight overtrod the cycle tracks, so they had been made
since it passed._)

What lady would be cycling along this road at that hour of the
morning? (_A rather stout lady, too, judging from the breadth of her
foot and the fact that she had to rest on arriving at the top of the

The road led to a cottage where lived Mrs. Sharp, who was not very

The lady must surely be Mrs. Clarke, the matronly district nurse on
her bicycle going to see Mrs. Sharp and she was still there (_as
there were no return wheel marks_).

That is how a Scout can read news from the ground, and, though this
morning's news was not important, it is always worth while to practise
reading, because some day you will probably want to pick up some
important information, and it is only everyday practice that will
enable you to do it.


Law 4. A SCOUT IS A FRIEND TO ALL and a Brother to every other Scout,
no matter to what social class the other belongs.

_If a Scout meets another Scout, even though a stranger to him, he
must speak to him and help him in any way that he can, either to carry
out the duty he is then doing, or by giving him food, or, so far as
possible, anything that he may be in want of.

A Scout must never be a snob.

A snob is one who looks down upon another because he's poorer, or who
is poor and resents another because he is rich. A Scout accepts the
other man as he finds him and makes the best of him--

"Kim," the boy scout, was called by the Indians "Little friend of all
the world," and that is the name which every Scout should earn for

The Arabs of the desert are some of the finest Scouts in the world,
not only because they are brave and manly fellows who can shift for
themselves, but also because they are gentlemen at heart, kind to
strangers, and men of honour.

When you come to an Arab encampment, he does not ask whether you are
rich or lowly born. Once you are within the neighbourhood of his tent,
he expects you to be his guest, and while you are with him he will do
everything that he can to protect you from your enemies.

These kindly people, who always live in tents, have a habit of using
very long tent ropes for the support of their tents, and these stretch
out some distance on to the plain around their encampment.

This is done in order that any stranger passing near will find himself
within the Arab's tent ropes--which means that he must come and be his
guest. He expects you to stay with him for about five days, during
which time he feeds you, houses you, and protects you, and he expects
no kind of payment when you depart.

One of his first acts when you come into his camp is to offer you
water. This is partly in order that you may refresh yourself, but it
is also a secret sign meaning that he will not betray you.

It is considered bad form to decline hospitality offered in this way,
and even if you are in a hurry you must suppress your own desire to
get forward in order to be courteous to the man who wishes to be your

The Arabs have a saying, "None but the base and ungrateful refuse
generosity"; but this does not mean that he will take a reward for
being kind to you. To offer a tip is to insult him, and I hope that
Boy Scouts will take it in the same light.

If you pitch your tent near that of an Arab, and become good friends
with him, he will alter his tent-pegs so that they come within the
line of your own and the tent ropes cross each other.

This again is a secret sign which means that he and those who live in
his tent are for ever friends of you and any who are living with you.

Arabs are honourable fellows, and may be trusted to stick to such

One point in which an Arab shows himself more of a gentleman than,
say, the Germans in South-west Africa, is that he will never poison
wells, even though he knows his enemy may use them.

True comradeship does not take any account of what the other fellow's
position in life may be.

I remember that when I took a troop of Boy Scouts to Canada, they all
worked in pairs during the whole of the trip, and one of these pairs
consisted of two boys who were respectively the son of an Earl and the
son of a sergeant in an infantry regiment. Yet, although they had been
brought up on totally different lines, they were boys, they were
Scouts, they were not snobs, and they were the best of pals.

And we see very much the same thing at the Front to-day, where, in the
ranks of every battalion, are to be found men of every class and

  "Cook's son, duke's son, son of a belted earl!"

And so, too, between officers and men there is a splendid feeling of
comradeship, each working for the other so far as he possibly can. And
that is a result that the Germans cannot possibly arrive at, for the
one reason that they are not gentlemen.

I hope to see this spirit kept up and strengthened by the Scouts, and
especially that rule which makes a Scout a friend to every other
Scout, no matter what his class, creed, or country may be. I am
certain that if this rule is carried out in full it will be a very
great help after the war towards bringing real peace between the
different nations, since the Boy Scouts in each will be true friends
and comrades to those in the others.

       *       *       *       *       *


A Scout ought to know a little about most injuries and diseases, and
to be able to treat them. In uncivilised countries the natives all
look on a white man as a born doctor, and they bring you cases of
every kind to deal with.

When I was in Kashmir, a lad was brought to me who had just fallen
down a steep bank. He was in great pain, and his friends and relatives
were already considering him as good as dead. On examination, I found
no bones broken, but his right shoulder out of joint at the socket. So
I told them to lay him flat on his back, and I began to take off my
right shoe, or rather the grass sandal that I was wearing.

Some of the bystanders, seeing me do this, said: "Oh! he is going to
pray," and immediately began unfastening my other sandal for me.

You see, these people take off their shoes when they go into church or
to pray, just as we take off our hats. But I wasn't going to pray, and
only took my right sandal off.

Then I sat down alongside the patient, facing towards his head, my
right leg against his right side, so that my heel came into the armpit
of the injured shoulder, I got one of his friends to sit on the other
side of him to hold him down; then catching tight hold of his wrist
with both hands, I gave a long, steady, strong pull at his arm, using
my heel as a lever, till the shoulder suddenly clicked into its place
again. Such a nice feeling to me, just as if I had hooked a salmon!

Then he fainted.

His mother howled? and said I had made a nice mess of the job, and had
killed him. But I grinned and put on my sandal, and told her that was
all part of the show, and that I would now bring him to life quite
sound and well, which I proceeded to do by sprinkling a little water
over his face. He gradually came to his senses, and then found that
his arm was practically all right.

His own astonishment and theirs was very great, and within half an
hour my tent was full of fruit and chickens and eggs as

But during the next three days all the sick, the maimed, and the blind
were brought in from the country round for me to cure. You never saw
such a lot. Men, women, and children with every conceivable ailment,
including bad eyes, which I treated by bathing with warm weak tea. One
poor chap had had half his face bitten off by a bear, losing his eye
and the whole of his cheek, so that all his teeth were showing in a
horrible grin--the more horrible because the wound had never been
properly dressed.

Then one enormously fat man asked me to do something for him. Now,
what would you have done in such a case? I only had some lead lotion,
some disinfectant, and a few mustard poultice leaves. So I gave him
one of these mustard leaves, and told him if that wouldn't cure him I
didn't know what would, and in saying that I was speaking the exact
truth. I told him to wet it and put it on his "chest" when he went to

Next day he came with tears of gratitude and said I had done more for
him in one night than all the doctors had done for him in years. He
felt that he was already growing thinner.

I moved my camp twenty miles off that day, as I thought it better to
get away while I had such a good reputation, and, besides, they were
beginning to bring in patients from all over the district, and I had
nothing to cure them with.

But that is the kind of thing you may expect when you are travelling,
and you should learn while you can how to deal with the usual
ailments, so that you can be of some help to the poor creatures when
you come across them.

       *       *       *       *       *


All the nations of the world have customs of their own, which bear a
curious resemblance to each other. For instance, when a Zulu has to
undertake the dangerous job of crawling up to a lion, he likes to
dress himself in his war-paint before beginning.

That same sort of idea is to be found in other parts of the world.
Even in our own country, not one hundred years ago, our sailors,
before going into action with an enemy, always liked to wash and shave
themselves, tie their pigtails nattily, and put on their best
neckerchiefs. And even now in Canada the Cree Indians, when they are
hunting a bear, put on their best clothes and decorate themselves
before tackling the danger.

[Illustration: THE "SWASTIKA."]

So you see we are all alike in some ways in different parts of the
world. If you sneeze in Scotland people say: "God bless you." If you
sneeze in Masailand (British East-Africa) a native will say: "Good
health to you!"

There are hundreds of these little customs which are used by people in
different corners of the earth who have never had anything to do with
each other.

But perhaps the most wonderful of all is the sign of the "Swastika,"
which we Scouts use as our "Badge of Brotherhood."

Nobody knows the exact history of where it came from, or what it
means; but it is found in almost every part of the world, and is very,
very old.

Rudyard Kipling believes it was made by a man in ancient days, who put
two twigs crossed on the ground and trod them down into the mud so as
to leave a mark to act as a guide to others, like a Scout's

But another story is this:

Where the Atlantic Ocean now is, people in old days believed that
there was a great land called Atlantis, which has since sunk under the

This land was watered by four great rivers, which ran across the whole
in different directions--north, south, east, and west. This cross is
meant for the four rivers, and is the crest of the Continent of

But whatever the meaning of it was, the Swastika Cross is found in all
parts of the world as an ancient mark.

Thus, in Norway it appears on the sword-scabbard of the ancient
Norsemen as a sign to bring good luck; also in Iceland, Germany, and
France on old pottery.

In the south it is found in West Africa, in Greece, and Egypt.

In the west it is found in America, in Arizona, and Mexico, and South

And in the east in India, Tibet, Japan, China, and Persia.

Thus, it stands for Europe, Asia, Africa, and America--all the world;
and it is, in each of them, considered to be a sign of friendliness
and good wishes.

That is how we come to use it in the Scouts, whose business is to do
good turns and to help other people wherever we may be.

When, therefore, we want to show particular goodwill to anyone,
especially those who have done us a good turn, we give to them a
"Swastika," or "Badge of Brotherhood," to wear. This makes them
members of the brotherhood of Scouts, although they are not actual
Scouts themselves; and when they show their badge to a Scout he will
do all he can to help them in whatever part of the world they may be.

       *       *       *       *       *


I expect most Scouts have found, like I have done, that wherever you
go in the streets, or in a strange town, or far out in the country,
you come across a boy wearing a buttonhole badge. As you get nearer
you see that it is the well-known three-pointed badge of the Scouts.

You make the salute sign, shake hands with left hands, and there you
are, in company with a friend and brother, who a minute before was a
total stranger to you.

       *       *       *       *       *


Our World-roving Commissioner--for we have one who travels about to
all countries now--was once in Chile, which, as you know, is a long,
narrow strip of country in South America, three thousand miles long,
and not one hundred miles wide, packed in between the Andes Mountains
and the Pacific Ocean.

The Boy Scouts of Chile are among the best in the world. They have
done a lot of tramping-camps and other expeditions. Finally, their
Government arranged a cruise for them on board a man-of-war, and they
lived for over a week on the ship, about two hundred of them, learning
swimming, boating, navigation, engine-room work; in fact, all the
duties of Sea Scouts.

These boys all had to pay their messing and other expenses, so it was
only the richer ones that were able to go; but since then they have
arranged to go another cruise, and each of the richer ones is going to
take a poorer Scout with him as his guest, and will pay his expenses
for him.

That's what I like to see, and it tells me more than any other reports
that the Chilian Scouts have got the right spirit in them.

A lad from Brixham, in Devonshire, went out to take up some work in
Chile. He was a Boy Scout, and continued while away to wear his
buttonhole badge. One day, when he was out in the back parts of that
out-of-the-way country, a Chilian boy came up to him, gave the Scout
salute, and pointing to his badge, said:

"You Boy Scout? Me Scout too!" and he took him home to tea, and looked
after him, and thus they became good friends.

So you see the use of being a Scout and of wearing your badge.

Even in everyday life at home it is also a good thing to do, because
you may often have a chance of doing a good turn to a stranger Boy
Scout if he could only recognise that you were a scout.

I suppose there is not a day passes without my coming across a Scout,
in plain clothes, wearing his buttonhole badge and so I am able to
spot him and to have a chat with him. Whereas, if he had not had his
badge on, I should probably never have noticed him.

Also, it is a sign to outsiders. People have got to know now how
useful the Scouts are, and they are often anxious to get hold of one
to help them in some difficulty. Well, if they see a boy coming along
with the badge on, they know that he is a Scout, though not in
uniform, and they are able to ask him to do them the good turn.

So wear your buttonhole badge for the sake of other people.



_A Scout should be polite to all--but especially to women and
children, old people and invalids, cripples, etc. And he must not take
any reward for being helpful or courteous._

Courteousness is much the same sort of thing as Chivalry, which is
closely allied to Honour. Both were practised in the old days by the
Knight's, who went about risking their lives in order to defend and
help the weaker people, women and children, against bullies and

Why did they do this?

It did not bring them money, for it would be a disgrace to a Knight to
accept any reward for doing a good turn. It only brought them danger
of wounds or death. It was an adventure. They were good sportsmen and
manly fellows. Their conscience told them that it was right for the
strong and plucky man to protect those who were weaker than himself.
They were not obliged to do it by the law of the land, but there was a
stronger law which appealed to them--and that was their own sense of
Honour which led them to be chivalrous men.

Honour was the _spirit_ that moved them;

Chivalry was the putting into practice what their Honour bade them do.

The ordinary boy has no chivalry--at least, he has got it all right
under the surface, only he is in the silly-ass stage, and he forgets
it. If he sees a poor hunchback or a cripple he will often laugh or
stare at him. He forgets that the other is an unfortunate, and has had
the bad luck to be born that way.

A healthy boy on seeing a deformed person ought to thank God that he
is himself sound in body and able to enjoy life, and he should do what
he can to make things pleasant for his less fortunate brother.

That, is what a Scout would do, because he is chivalrous.

       *       *       *       *       *


A.D. 506.

Sir, you that desire to receive the Order of Knighthood, swear, before
God, and by this Holy Book, that you shall not fight against the King,
who now bestoweth the Order of Knighthood upon you; you shall also
swear with all your force and power to maintain and defend all ladies,
gentlewomen, widows, orphans, and distressed women; and you shall shun
no adventure of your person in any way or war wherein you shall happen
to be.

Fourteen hundred years ago the old Knights of Britain used to be sworn
to do their duty in these words.

Their oath was much the same as the promise which the "young Knights"
of the present time make when they become Boy Scouts, for they promise
to serve God and the King, and to help others, especially women and
children, and not to think of their own trouble or risk so long as
they do a good turn to others needing help.

The Knights, being mounted men, were called the "Chivalry," the old
word for "Cavalry"--from the Latin "_cavallus_" and the French
"_cheval_," meaning a horse.

Then any noble act done by the Knights was said to be "Chivahous" or

So the word "chivalry" now means doing things which the Knights of old

It is chivalry to do one's duty to God and the King, to help women and
children, and all people in distress; and to be plucky and brave in
carrying out one's duty.

That is why Boy Scouts are frequently being described in the papers as
"chivalrous." I hope they will go on and continue to deserve the

One great step in "Courteousness" is to be grateful when anybody does
you a "good turn," and to tell them you are grateful by saying "Thank
you." It is a little thing to do, but it is a great thing to the
person who has done the kindness to feel that it was not thrown away.

       *       *       *       *       *


A bus drove by under my window. It was crowded with people, inside and
out. On the outside every seat was filled, so much so that one woman
had to stand. I saw men look round at her, one apparently annoyed
because she accidentally jostled his newspaper, but none offered to
give her his seat.

They were most of them well-to-do men, such as go by the name of
gentlemen so far as their dress and appearance went but when it came
to the true test of a gentleman, that is, the feeling of chivalry and
politeness to women, the only gentleman among them was a working boy,
a lad of about fifteen, in dirty clothes, with dirty hands and face.

When he saw a woman standing he at once left his seat and beckoned her
into it. I hope that some of his so-called betters had the good sense
to feel ashamed at being taught manners by a working boy. Perhaps he
was a Scout. At any rate, he acted as a Scout would in the same

       *       *       *       *       *


Many people are inclined to think that the word "gentleman" means a
man who was born rich, and that a boy brought up at expensive schools
and colleges must therefore be a gentleman when he has grown up. But
this does not always follow.

A fellow who is lucky enough to have been brought up in that way has
certainly better chances of being a gentleman than many a poor boy
has; but at the same time a poor boy can be just as good a gentleman
as a rich one.

A gentleman is what the word says; he is a man, but a gentle man, not
a rough, bullying, coarse customer, but a fellow who, though big and
strong, can be kind and chivalrous and helpful to other people.

As good a sample as any of a "gentleman" is the London policeman. He
is at all times courteous and helpful to others, even to the extent of
being ready to risk his life at any moment to save people in cases of
accidents, or to protect them against rough handling, and he treats
rich and poor, old and young, with equal attention and patience, and
good humour.

       *       *       *       *       *


Several years ago I spent, some time with Arabs in North Africa, in
Tunisia and Algeria, and I found them first-rate fellows, They were
very fond of any kind of adventurous sport, and were hospitable and

Numbers of them used to come out with their dogs to help me to find
game, and after a long day's beating in the thorn bush and high grass,
when we finished hunting, they used to shake hands and go off home,
quite happy if I had had a good day, and not expecting or seeking for
a tip or a reward as is so generally the case, I am sorry to say, in
England. Men here seem to think that they ought to be paid for every
blessed thing they do.

The Arab chiefs, too, were kindly hosts, they gave me the best of
food, generally a sort of Irish stew of chickens and rice, and made me
comfortable in their own tents at night under their blankets.

They are very clean people, very brave, very courteous and very
honourable. So they are true Scouts of the Desert. They have a number
of little camp customs which Scouts ought to know--and many of them
are like those practised by scouts.

Arabs are always very strict in saluting each other.

The custom of saluting came, as you know, from the old times, when
everybody carried weapons, and the act of raising the right hand on
meeting another man was meant to show that you had not got a weapon in
that hand, and were therefore a friend.

It is exactly the same to this day with the Zulus and other South
African tribes, who carry clubs and assegais; on meeting each other
they pass their weapons into the left hand, and raise their right to
show that it is empty, and that therefore they don't mean to fight

So it is, too, with the Arabs.

If a horseman meets a man on foot, the horseman salutes first, because
he is in the more powerful position, and it is only fair that the man
on foot should therefore have his weapon ready till he knows that the
mounted man is friendly.

In the same way, if a man is sitting down and another walks up to him,
the man who is walking is in the better position for attacking, so he
salutes first to show that he is friendly.

It is very bad form to pitch your tent close to the water supply of
the camp, because it looks as if you were taking possession of the
spring, and that anyone else wanting to use it would have to get your
permission or be liable to be attacked by you when getting his water.
So an Arab always pitches his tent at some little distance away from
the spring or well, in order to show that it is free to all.

When an Arab comes to a strange camp he rides up to the largest tent
and dismounts., and walks straight to the fire around which the
inhabitants are sitting. He then says in a loud voice:

"Peace be with you."

All those sitting round the fire get up and reply:

"And with you, peace."



_He should save them, so far as possible, from pain, and should not
kill any animal unnecessarily, even if it is only a fly, for it is one
of God's creatures. Killing an animal for food, or an animal which is
harmful, is allowable.

It is a curious thing that animals and children both seem to recognise
a good man when they meet him, and are at once friendly with him; and
I have always found that the bravest men are in their turn kind to

You must have noticed how our soldiers at the Front and our sailors in
the Fleet all seem to have their pet animals and mascots, and when I
was in France I noticed on many occasions our men playing with the
little French children among their ruined homes close up to the firing

They were all the best of friends: although they knew scarcely a word
of each other's language.

In the same way as a Knight or a Boy Scout is chivalrous to weaker
folk, so he is chivalrous also to animals.

Animals are weaker folk than ourselves in the matter of mind and
understanding, but they can be very affectionate and faithful where
they have learnt that the human being, though strong _enough to_
hurt, them, is kind and gentle. They are quick to show that they
appreciate such kindness. You know how your own dog half-curls himself
round Wagging his tail and grinning with pleasure when he sees you;
and also how your horse nuzzles you all over to find the sugar that he
knows you are going to give him.

So give animals all the kindness you can, and make their lives happy.

Many boys are inclined to be cruel simply because they don't
think--they are not yet manly enough--they are, as I said before, in
the silly-ass stage.

But a Scout who is manly and chivalrous towards people will at all
times be the same towards animals. It is wonderful what pleasure you
can get out of it in return, whether you train your dog to obey your
slightest sign, or whether you tame a robin to be your friend.

The other day I came across a proprietor of a garage who showed
himself to be a good and kindly man because he had supplied the Scout
troop of the town with a loft to use as a club-room. But he proved to
me that he was a good man by taking me into his sitting-room and
showing me his tame canary, which did every kind of trick at his
command, and sang to him, answered his whistle, and came at his call
and kissed him.

Apart from the interest of training an animal in confinement, there is
all the fun and adventure to be got out of stalking and watching
animals and birds in the wild and learning their ways and customs. The
more you do this, and the more you understand about how they are made
and how they do their various works, the better you will understand
the wonders of Nature and of the Creator.

       *       *       *       *       *


A man who studies birds is called an ornithologist. Mark Twain, the
amusing yet kind-hearted American writer, says:

"There are fellows who write books about birds and love them so much
that they'll go hungry and tired to find a new kind of bird--and kill

"They are called 'ornithologers.'

"I could have been an 'ornithologer' myself, because I always loved
birds and creatures. And I started out to learn how to be one. I saw a
bird sitting on a dead limb of a high tree, singing away with his head
tilted back and his mouth open--and, before I thought, I fired my gun
at him; his song stopped all suddenly, and he fell from the branch,
limp like a rag, and I ran and picked him up--and he was dead. His
body was warm in my hand, and his head rolled about this way and that,
like as if his neck was broke, and there was a white skin over his
eyes, and one drop of red blood sparkled on the side of his
head-and-laws! I couldn't see nothing for the tears."

"I haven't ever murdered no creature since then that warn't doing me
no harm--and I ain't agoing to neither."

A good Scout is generally a good "ornithologer," as Mark Twain calls
him. That is to say, he likes stalking birds and watching all that
they do. He discovers, by watching them, where and how they build
their nests.

He does not, like the ordinary boy, want to go and rob them of their
eggs, but he likes to watch how they hatch out their young and teach
them to feed themselves and to fly. He gets to know every species of
bird by its call and by its way of flying; and he knows which birds
remain all the year round and which only come at certain seasons; and
what kind of food they like best, and how they change their plumage,
what sort of nests they build, where they build them, and what the
eggs are like.

A good many birds are almost dying out in Great Britain, because so
many boys bag all their eggs when they find their nests.

Birds'-nesting is very like big-game shooting--you look out in places
that, as a hunter, you know are likely haunts of the birds you want;
you watch the birds fly in and out and you find the nest. But you do
not then go and destroy the nest and take all the eggs. If you are
actually a collector, take one egg and leave the rest, and, above all,
don't pull the nest about, otherwise the parent birds will desert it,
and all those eggs, which might have developed into jolly young birds
will be wasted.

Far better than taking the eggs is to take a photograph, or to make a
sketch of the hen sitting on her nest, or to make a collection of
pictures of the different kinds of nests built by the different kinds
of birds.

Aberdeen, in Scotland, is supposed to be specially well off for
skylarks for the following reason:

A few years ago there came a very severe gale and snow-storm late in
March, and all the high ground inland was so buried under snow and ice
that the birds were all driven to the Lower land near the coast. The
fields by the seashore were covered with them.

Numbers of people went out to catch them with birdlime, nets, snares,
and guns. Large numbers were taken alive to be 'sent to market' in
London and other towns.

One gentleman found a man selling a big cage full of them. They were
crowded up to a fearful extent, and all fluttering with terror at
their imprisonment, struggling over each other in their frantic desire
to escape. He felt so sorry for them that he bought the whole lot, and
took them to his warehouse, where he was able to give them plenty of
room and food and water.

Then he offered to buy all the larks that were being captured for the
market at market prices. In this way he received over a thousand; and
these he put in a big room, where they had comparative freedom and
plenty of food. It is said that the noise of their singing in the
morning was almost deafening, and crowds of birds used to gather over
the house to hear them.

At last the bad weather passed off, the sun shone out again, and the
fields became green and bright, and then the kind man who had housed
the birds opened the windows of the room and all the birds flew out in
a happy crowd, chirping and singing as they mounted into the bright,
warm air, or fluttered off to the adjoining fields and woods. And
there they built their nests and hatched out their young, so that
to-day the song of the lark is to be heard everywhere round Aberdeen.

       *       *       *       *       *


One January I went "bird's-nesting" with a party of Scout-masters. It
seems an odd time of year to do that; but we really went to see how
they manage to persuade birds to come and make their nests in the Bird
Sanctuary, near Brentford, just outside London.

We went into the big wood there, and soon found ourselves in the
presence of birds, for everywhere one could hear the piping, trilling,
and whistling of unseen warblers, and every now and then one of them
would flit across our path.

Then, on the side of almost every tree, we noticed a small box,
entirely closed up except for a small hole in the front. These were
the "nesting-boxes," and every spring the birds come and make their
nests in these boxes, and bring up their families. The consequence is
that the place is now alive with singing birds.

The son of Mr. Mark Webb, the manager of the Sanctuary, is in his
teens, but he knows everything about the birds that come there and
their ways, and he also knows all the different kinds of plants and
trees that grow in the wood. He is a very complete stalker-Scout, and
evidently gets a lot of fun and satisfaction out of watching the birds
and their doings.

Well, almost any Scout can do the same, and my advice to you is to
make a nesting-box or two as soon as you can, and put them up on
trees. Then, at the proper time, you may have the satisfaction of
seeing some rare kind of bird coming to your box and raising a family

The box should be eight to ten inches high, by six wide and deep, and
the top preferably sloping to run any rain off.

[Illustration: A NESTING-BOX FOR BIRDS.]

The door is a small round or pear-shaped hole near the top of the box,
so that there is plenty of room for the nest below it.

A little ledge for the birds, and especially the young ones, to rest
upon, is a good thing to have on the front of the box. If possible,
paint your box roughly with dabs of green and brown to make it
match the tree stem and leaves, and put on it the name of your
patrol and troop if you like.

Then fix it to a tree trunk about six feet above the ground, where it
is safe from rats or snakes, and on the side of the tree farthest from
the path, if there be one near, so that the birds will not be frightened
 by passers-by. If it is on the sunny side, so much the better.

Birds will build in almost anything which offers them safety
and shelter; an old kettle, for instance, or an old tin pot is a
favourite site for a nest. If you scatter a few crumbs or grains
of corn about your box every day at first, the birds will
become accustomed to it, and will soon adopt it as their home.

Any Scout who has not a tree of his own to hang his box on can
probably get leave to put it up, if he asks nicely, in some
neighbour's wood or garden, or in a park, and can then visit it from
time to time to see how it is getting on.

Most nesting-boxes have their roof, or front, on hinges, or made so
that it can slide off; but it does not do to examine the nest when
once it is made, or the old birds will desert it.

       *       *       *       *       *


The movements of birds as they change their quarters still puzzle the

It is marvellous how they seem to like travelling, and no one can
understand why they take certain paths through the air when they are
doing it.

For instance, the black pool warbler, in America, spends its summer in
Alaska, and goes down to South America for the winter. It takes the
straightest course it can from Alaska to Brazil, flying over land and
sea--and a wide sea, too, is the Gulf of Mexico. But the cliff
swallow, which also spends the winter in Brazil and the summer in
North Canada, takes quite a different route, and goes an extra 2000
miles in order to avoid going over the sea, and follows the land all
round by Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and so
through the United States.

The distances which birds cover when "migrating" are enormous. Some
American plovers are known to travel for 8000 miles, one part of the
journey being 2500 miles without resting as they pass over the sea.

The arctic tern goes even farther, it nests near the North Pole, and
then makes its way down to near the South Pole, a journey of 11,000

Perhaps you wonder how we know that the birds travel these long
distances. Well, a good many naturalists and stalkers catch birds when
young or tired and mark them by putting a small ring round their leg
with a number on it. Then other naturalists keep a look out in other
parts of the world, and when they kill or find a bird with such a
number on it they report it.

Aberdeen University marked a large number of birds in this way--with a
tiny aluminium ring round the bird's leg, with the words "Aberdeen
University" and a number on it.

A wild duck which they had marked in Scotland was caught in a net the
same year in Holland.

Of five lapwings marked in Aberdeenshire, four were shot in Ireland
the same year, and one in Portugal, 1250 miles away. A song-thrush was
also shot in Portugal, which had been marked in Scotland the same

A young guillemot was taken from its nest in Aberdeenshire and marked,
and less than five months afterwards it was shot in Sweden.

So, you see, it is interesting to watch in this way what the birds do
in the travelling line.

Scouts can help in keeping a look out, and if ever they capture or
hear of a bird marked with a ring, they should report it to Professor
A. Thomson, The University, Aberdeen. They should state the number on
the ring, the kind of bird, where found, and the date on which it was

       *       *       *       *       *


The boar is certainly the bravest of all animals: he is the real "King
of the Jungle," and the other animals all know it. If you watch a
drinking-pool in the jungle at night, you will see the animals that
come to it all creeping down nervously, looking out in every direction
for hidden enemies. But when the boar comes he simply swaggers down,
with his great head and shiny tusks swinging from side to side; he
cares for nobody, but everybody cares for him; even a tiger drinking
at the pool will give a snarl and sneak quickly out of sight.

I have often lain out on moonlight nights to watch the animals,
especially wild boars, in the jungle, and it is just as good fun as
merely going after them to kill them.

And I have caught and kept a young wild boar and a young panther, and
found them most amusing and interesting little beggars. The boar used
to live in my garden, and he never became really tame, though I got
him as a baby.

He would come to me when I called him--but very warily; he would never
come to a stranger, and a native he would "go for," and try to cut him
with his little tusks.

He used to practise the use of his tusks while turning at full speed
round an old tree stump in the garden, and he would gallop at this and
round it in a figure of eight continuously for over five minutes at a
time, and then fling himself down on his side, panting with his

My panther was also a beautiful and delightfully playful beast, and
used to go about with me like a dog; but he was very uncertain in his
dealings with strangers.

I think one gets to know more about animals and to understand them
better by keeping them as pets first, and then going and watching them
in their wild, natural life.

But before going to study big game in the jungles, everybody must
study all animals, wild and tame, at home. It would be a very good
thing if every Scout kept some kind of animal, such as a pony or a
dog, birds or rabbits, or even live butterflies.

Every Boy Scout ought to know all about the tame animals which he sees
every day. You ought to know all about grooming feeding, and watering
a horse, about putting him into harness or taking him out of harness,
and putting him in the stable, and know when he is going lame and
should not therefore be worked.

       *       *       *       *       *


A lady was walking on the Sussex Downs with her old father, who was an
invalid. Suddenly, she saw below her a number of sheep penned in, as
they often are, for the night. Two large dogs had got among them, and
the bodies of two dead sheep told of the mischief already done, while
the other frightened sheep were huddled together, waiting for their
turn to be attacked.

The lady did not know what to do; she did not like to leave her
invalid father alone while she went down, and it was far too steep a
descent for the latter to attempt.

Just then, round the corner came five Scouts, quite small, the eldest
being only thirteen years old. They soon took in the situation and
advanced to the fray. When the dogs saw them, they left the sheep and
rushed, barking, at them, and the Scouts fled. But only for a minute!

A council of war was held, and again they advanced, poles in hand, and
this time succeeded in driving off the dogs. The last the lady saw was
the plucky little patrol kneeling, with their coats off, round a poor
sheep on the ground. After that, she left, feeling the sheep was in
good hands.

In a few moments the sheep revived, its temples were laved with water,
some of which it also drank and enjoyed. Still, it was beyond standing
alone, and what was to be done next?

A stretcher was made with the poles and coats, and then came the
difficulty of getting the heavy body on to the stretcher. At last this
difficulty was overcome, and the procession started over the rough
field to the farm, two miles off.

At last the farm was reached, and the Scouts, after helping the farmer
render further, and perhaps more useful, first-aid, started on their
journey homeward.

This is an absolutely true story. What would have happened twenty
years ago had five town boys seen those dogs at work destroying sheep?

They might perhaps have run away, possibly to seek help, but I am none
too sure that they would not have looked on and rather enjoyed it,
merely thinking what a good story they would have to tell their
comrades on their return home.

Scouting has not only taught boys what to do in an emergency, but it
has taught, and is teaching, our small boys the meaning of love and
kindness to other human beings and also to animals.

       *       *       *       *       *


The following is what Lord Nelson wrote about a bull fight which he
went to see in Spain:

"The amphitheatre will hold 16,000 people, and some 12,000 were
present. Ten bulls were selected, and one brought out at a time. Three
cavaliers on horseback and foot men with flags were the combatants. We
had what is called a fine 'feast,' for five horses were killed and two
men very much hurt; had they been killed it would have been quite

"We felt for the bulls and the horses, and I own it would not have
displeased me to have seen some of the dons (Spaniards) tossed by the
enraged animals.

"How women can even sit out, much less applaud, such sights is
astonishing. It even turned us sick, and we could hardly go through
it; the dead, mangled horses and the bulls covered with blood were too
much. We have seen one bull feast, and agree that nothing shall ever
tempt us to see another-"

This is what Nelson, the hero of many a grimly fought battle, has
written, and it shows how even a man accustomed to the sight of blood
and death can be horrified and disgusted at it when it is done as a
form of sport and at the cost of pain to dumb animals.

Scouts should always remember this in dealing with animals, and have
the same feeling which that prince of sea scouts, Nelson, had.

       *       *       *       *       *


I met a young Patrol-leader going along in a hurry, evidently on duty.
So I asked him where he was off to, and he replied that he was going
to call his patrol together--there are only three in it at
present--and to get three more Tenderfoots to join it at once, as they
had serious work on hand.

I then found out from his father that the serious work was this: The
patrol had come across a lot of boys torturing some frogs by blowing
them out with straws. The Scouts were not strong enough to stop them,
but they went to the police constable, and asked if they might take
the law into their own hands and "go for" these boys.

The policeman consented, and now they were going to raise their patrol
to full strength in order to tackle the torturers, and put a stop to
the cruelty to the frogs.

I heard afterwards that they were successful.


Law 7. A SCOUT OBEYS ORDERS of his parents, Patrol-leader, or
Scoutmaster without question.

Even _if he gets an order which he does not like, a Scout must
do_ AS _soldiers_ AND SAILORS DO, _or_ AS _he would do
if he got it _FROM _his_ CAPTAIN _in a football match--he
must carry it out all the same, because it is his duty; after he has
done it he can come and state any reasons against it: but he must
carry out the order at once. That is discipline_.

       *       *       *       *       *


Suppose you were playing outside forward in a football match, and you
were on the ball with a good opening for a run before you, when you
suddenly heard your captain shout "Centre!" What would you do? Go on
with the ball, or pass it to a centre player?

You would, of course, obey the captain's order and pass it.


Because you know that if every fellow played the game for his own fun
and glory, his side would never win--the team would be all over the

To prevent this, each player has got his certain allotted place in the
field, and the captain, who is best placed for seeing how the game is
going on, is able to give directions that will help his side to win.

Of course, the success depends on every player doing his best to carry
out his captain's orders efficiently and well.

It is not only in football or hockey that this system brings success,
but in every game of life.

We see it just now on a very big scale at the Front--in the great game
of war--where men obey their captains' orders not only when it is
inconvenient to them to do so, but often when it means danger and
death to them. But in doing it they well know that, though they are
sacrificing themselves, they are helping their side to win; and that
is the right, spirit in which to play the game of life.

Therefore, even in small things, get yourself into the habit, of
obeying orders whether or not you like doing it.

If you can thus make a practice of it in small everyday matters like
obeying your parents at home, or your Patrol-leader when scouting,
obedience will come quite natural to you in the bigger duties of life,
and you will then be looked upon by both your comrades and your
officers as a really valuable man--one who can be trusted to play in
his place and to play the game in obedience to the rules and to his
captain, not for his own glorification but in order that his side may

       *       *       *       *       *


When Gibraltar was being besieged a hundred and thirty years ago by
the French and Spaniards on land and sea, the British Troops holding
the place stuck it out valiantly for three long years, and were in the
end relieved by the Fleet from home. But though there were many who
wanted to give in and were dead sick of the whole thing, General
Elliott, the commander of the garrison, showed such dogged
determination, and insisted on such strict discipline, that he held
the garrison together.

His measures for defence were so successful that every man realised
that the real road to safety and success was strict obedience to his
orders. In fact, it was a case where obedience won the day. And they
loved and admired the old general, too, for his pluck, his humanity,
and his sense of humour.

On one occasion a man ventured to disobey an order that was given to
him, and when he was brought before the commander the General said
that if a man could disobey an order at such a critical time he could
not be in his right mind, he must be mad. Therefore he ordered that
the usual treatment accorded to a lunatic should be applied to the
offender. His head was to be shaved, he was to be blistered and bled,
and kept in a padded cell on a light diet of bread and water--and also
be prayed for in church.

Well, the General was quite right. If a man cannot obey orders when
there is danger to all he must be mad. But it is difficult for a man
to be obedient at such a time if he has never learnt to be obedient in
ordinary times, and that is why discipline is so strongly kept up in
both the Army and Navy in peace time.

A man is taught to obey even the smallest order most carefully and
without hesitation, until it becomes such a habit with him that when
an order is given him, a big or dangerous one, he carries it out, at
once without any question. And, when everybody can be trusted to obey
orders, it is an easy thing for the commander to manoeuvre his troops
and conduct the battle with some chance of success.

You remember the story which I told you in _Scouting for Boys_
about the ship _Birkenhead_, on board of which discipline and
obedience were so splendidly shown by the soldiers.

The ship was carrying about 630 soldiers, with their families, and 130
seamen. Near the Cape of Good Hope one night she ran on to some rocks,
and began to break up. The soldiers were at once paraded on deck
half-dressed as they were, just out of their hammocks.

Some were told off to get out the boats and to put the women and
children into them, and others were told off to get the horses up out
of the hold, and to lower them overboard into the sea, in order that
they might have a chance of swimming ashore.

When this had all been done, it was found that there were not enough
boats to take everybody, and so the men were ordered to remain in
their ranks on the deck, while the women and children, with a few men
to row them, moved off from the sinking ship.

The boats had not gone far when the ship broke into half and began to
go down. The captain shouted to the men to jump overboard and save
themselves, but the Colonel, Colonel Seaton, interrupting the captain
ordered the men to stand where they were, and to keep their ranks, for
he saw that if they swam to the boats and tried to get in they would
probably sink them too.

So the men kept their ranks, and as the ship rolled over and sank,
they gave a cheer and went down with her.

Out of the whole 760 on board only 192 were saved, but even these
would probably have been lost had it not been for the discipline and
self-sacrifice of the others in obeying the order to keep their ranks
and not to try to get into the boats.

So you see the value of discipline in a difficult crisis or moment of

The great Duke of Wellington, who was Commander-in-Chief of the
British Army, when describing this heroic act on the _Birkenhead_,
praised very highly the discipline of the men--he did not praise their
bravery. It was brave of them, but he considered that all Britons are
naturally brave--he expected bravery of them. But discipline is another
thing; it has to be learnt.

In battle or in a big danger a brave man may be very useful, but if he
does pretty much as he pleases he is not half so valuable as the man
who, besides being brave, has also learnt, to obey every order at

Watch firemen at work. They are all brave enough; they would all like
to be at the top of the ladder fighting the flames, but their
discipline makes them work at their different jobs, each playing in
his place, obeying orders, and doing his share in order that the fire
may be put out, not that he should win special glory or excitement for

Even in the streets there is discipline. The policeman regulates the
traffic so that all vehicles moving in one direction keep to one side
of the road, and thus allow the traffic in the opposite direction to
keep moving along the other side. But if one 'bus-driver did not feel
inclined to obey orders, but dashed about in his own way, not caring
to which side of the road he went so long as he went ahead, there
would be accidents and delay in no time, and the whole traffic would
be upset. If you are in business with a large number of others, it is
useful for the good of the whole that you obey the orders which you
receive from those who are in authority over you. If the seniors can
be sure that their assistants will carry out their orders, they can
carry on the business properly. Discipline is necessary everywhere,
but the thing is to learn while you are young to carry it out in small
things, so that you would be able to do so when it comes to your turn
to do it in a great difficulty or danger. In order to do this you have
to be able to command yourself in the first place.

The soldier does not go into a battle because he likes it. It is a
dangerous place, and he feels inclined to run away; but he commands
himself, and says "I must go whether I like it or not, because it is
my duty."

When he gets his orders from his officers to attack the enemy, he
would probably be more anxious still to go in the opposite direction,
but he commands himself and says: "I must obey the orders of my

And the officers obey the orders of the general, and so the whole
force moves everywhere to the attack simply from a spirit of
discipline, each man making himself do his proper share, so that
although he may lose his life, yet his side may win the battle.

So it will be with you every day. You will have your duty to do, when
often you would much rather do your pleasure, or play some games; but
you have to command yourself and order yourself to do your duty in the
first place, and amuse yourself afterwards.

When you succeed in doing this, and in always obeying the orders of
your officer readily and cheerily, in small things as well as in great
things, you will soon find that it becomes a habit with you and not a
trouble, so that when the time comes for you to carry out some
difficult and dangerous order you will be able to do it at once,
without any hesitation and with complete success for the good of your
side--that is, for the good of your business, your employer, or of
your Country, without thinking of the difficulty or danger to

With a Scout, your "_Duty_" is to do a good turn to somebody
every day. Your "_Discipline_" makes you command yourself to
carry this out, even though it may be irksome or dangerous, and though
nobody is there to see you do it. You do it because it is your duty
and you are trusted, on your honour, to do it.

      *       *       *       *       *


I once had a brave scout in my force in the South African War. He was
a brave man and an active scout, but he was not good at obeying
orders, and in the end this cost him his life and did harm to our

We had news of a force of the enemy which did not know of our presence
in that part of the country. So we hid ourselves, meaning to surprise
and capture them when they came along.

The orders were that not a sound was to be made and not a man
_was_ to show himself, and these orders were faithfully carried
out--except by this one scout. He thought he knew better than others,
and he slipped away unseen to go and look out for the enemy's

Presently he spied a hostile scout and fired at him; the enemy's scout
returned his fire, and after a short duel both of them fell mortally

But the noise of their shooting gave the alarm to the enemy's force;
more came upon the spot, and, finding a British scout there, they
naturally guessed that there must be more in the neighbourhood, so
they took all precautions, sent out scouts in all directions, and
then, coming on our tracks, at last discovered our hiding-place, and
gave warning to their own side, who were then able to make their

If my scout had only learnt, when a boy, how to obey orders, it might
have made a great difference that day to him, to us--and to the enemy.

       *       *       *       *       *


Here is a text which will help Scouts to discipline themselves:


That was the advice given by a "self-made merchant to his son." He
meant, don't exercise your jaws by talking if you have nothing
important to say don't talk for the mere sake of talking; and, above
all, don't argue when you get an order.

Boys, you know, are rather fond of asking endless silly questions.
Before speaking you should think first whether what you are going to
say is really necessary or not, and then don't waste words or other
people's attention if it is not. If you _must_ keep your jaw
wagging, our American friend says "chew gum."

       *       *       *       *       *


In the expedition to Ashanti, on the Gold Coast, West Africa, when we
captured the King, Prempeh, he was carrying in his mouth a kind of nut
which looked like big, fat cigar. We found that he did this to prevent
himself talking too much.

If he felt inclined to make some meaningless remark, or in the heat of
an argument to let out a hasty opinion, he could not do so without
first having to take this impediment out of his mouth, and that gave
him time to think twice about what he was going to say.

I often think it would be a good thing if every nasty-tempered fellow
had to carry such a nut in his mouth, so that when he wanted suddenly
to let out a volley of abuse it would give him time to think and stop

       *       *       *       *       *


I heard of a lady who, when riding on Wimbledon Common, came across a
party of Boy Scouts. She discovered their whereabouts by the immense
amount of jabbering that was going on; so, being the wife of an
officer, and knowing a good deal about scouting, she rode up to the
Scouts, and told them just what I should have told them, that unless
you practise keeping quiet at all times, you will forget to do so on
some important occasion, and so will give yourselves away.

Scouts should always talk low and quietly, and also should always move
quietly and lightly.

Remember on a still day or in the night a heavy, thumping footfall can
be heard a long way off, even in open country, and very much more so
in a street or in a house. So practise always treading lightly and
silently, and you will soon gain the Scouts' habit of moving unheard.

I have heard from an officer at the Front, who regrets that two old
Scouts whom he had with him have been killed or wounded. He found that
ordinary soldiers would not move quietly at night, and so were useless
to him. He has now got an ex-burglar as the next best thing to an
ex-Boy Scout!



_When he gets an order, he should obey it cheerily and readily, not
in a slow_, hang-dog _sort of way.

Scouts never grouse at hardships nor whine at each other, nor_
swear _when put out, but go on whistling and smiling. When you just
miss a train, or someone treads on your favourite corn--not that
Scouts should have such things as corns--or in any annoying
circumstances, you should force yourself to smile at once, and then
whistle a tune, and you will be all right.

The punishment for swearing or using bad language is for each offence,
a_ mug of _cold water to be poured down the offender's _sleeve
by the other Scouts. It was the punishment invented by the old British
scout, Captain John Smith, three hundred years ago_.

When I was encamped with my troop of Scouts at Humshaugh,
Northumberland, a gentleman living in the neighbourhood invited us to
come and visit the castle in which he lived. It was a beautiful old
tower left much in the state in which it was when it formed one of the
Border defences against Scotland. On the top was the fighting platform
from which the archers fired their bolts and arrows, and the gunners
fired their culverins. On the storey below were the rooms in which the
family lived, and below these again were the guardrooms of the
men-at-arms. On the ground-floor was the cattle stable into which the
herds were driven for security when the enemy were around. The
portcullis which closed the gateway was still in existence, hauled up
and down by means of ropes over pulleys of which the levers were
worked on the floor above.

In later and more peaceful times, that is in the reign of James I, a
house was built on to the tower to give more room to the inhabitants.

In the hall of this house was a noble fireplace above which there was
an elaborate overmantel of carved oak illustrating the seven Christian
virtues. There were little statues representing Fortitude,
Benevolence, Faith, etc., etc., all the qualities which a good
Christian should possess and carry into practice. But I felt, after
looking at them all, that there was still one virtue missing, and I
suggested to the boys that you might carry out all these seven good
qualities of a Christian without doing it to the best effect. You
might carry it out as an order to be kind, to be helpful, to be
chivalrous, and so on, but if you only did it because it was an order,
and therefore did it grumpily, half its value was lost.

The important point is that when you know what is the right thing to
do, you should jump to it and do it cheerily with a smile. Therefore I
thought that we Scouts might add one more to these seven Christian
virtues--namely Cheerfulness.

Then there is another good reason for being cheerful.

Have you ever noticed as you walk along the street how very few people
look really happy? They are going along often with downcast eyes, and
nearly always with dejected, serious countenances; if one comes along
who looks at you smilingly it is a great relief, and makes you feel a
bit happier yourself. And _there_ is a reason why a Scout should
go about with a smile on, because it makes other people happy. You may
not always feel cheerful yourself, but you should not show this, as it
will make other people feel glum, too. If you make yourself look
cheerful, you will gradually find that you are becoming brighter.

If you are troubled or anxious, or in pain, force yourself to smile.
It will be difficult at first; still, force yourself to do it, and you
will find to your surprise that your trouble is not so great as you
thought it was.

I have known men in action getting very anxious when great danger
overshadowed them. But if one began to laugh and to talk cheerily, or
to whistle, the cloud passed by and everybody bucked up and was ready
to face the situation.

That is what makes our men so formidable in the war just now. In spite
of heavy losses, in spite of overwhelming attacks against them, they
have always kept up their spirits and therefore their pluck. It has
often been the secret of their being able to hold their own, and it
will be the secret of their coming out victorious in the end.

Remember this--and I have found it come true in hundreds of different
kinds of cases:

"A difficulty ceases to be a difficulty directly you smile at it and
tackle it."

       *       *       *       *       *


During one of my visits to Birmingham, I saw a Rally of the local
Scouts. One thing that struck me about them, besides their good work,
was their cheerfulness. The outside of their programme had printed
upon it portraits of eight of their smartest Scouts, and each one of
these has a big grin on.

Well, that is what I like to see; fellows who can work, and work
cheerily. It is just what our men are doing at the Front.

I saw a letter the other day from an officer describing how the men
lived a miserable existence crouching in the trenches, always wet and
cold and muddy, being shot at and shelled all the time, but they
welcomed the shells as if they were friends, giving them the nicknames
of Jack Johnsons, Black Marias, Woolly Bears, etc. He says of the men:

"If I were asked what struck me most, I would say that it was the
marvellous cheerfulness of the men living in such awful circumstances.
Every one to a man seemed happy. They are always ready for a joke, and
they see fun in everything."

And that is why we shall succeed in this war, because our men see the
bright side of it, and take things cheerfully and hopefully, even in
the worst circumstances. It is also the way to succeed in peace time
when doing work or suffering hardships or disappointments.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE DOG.]

One bit of advice I gave to the Birmingham Scouts was that, if ever
you run a race with a dog, keep your eye on the dog, and don't look
about at other things. I myself was an example of "how not to do it,"
for I had had a race with my dog--I was running in shorts--and he saw
me looking round and promptly ran between my legs and threw me over.
So I had to go to Birmingham on two sticks with a bandaged knee.

But what is true of a dog race is true of any other competition in
life. When you start out to do a thing, keep your attention fixed on
what you are doing, and do not let it wander off to other things,
otherwise you may come a cropper.

It is a bit of a handicap to go about inspecting Scouts with one leg
out of action, but still I was only carrying out the example of other

There was Rob. Miller, a Scout at Whitby, who, when he lost a leg
through a German shell, was quite cheery, and wrote to me that he felt
it an honour to be the first Scout wounded whilst on duty, and that he
meant to go on scouting notwithstanding the loss of a leg.

Another Scout who lost his eye through a Toby Tenderfoot fooling with
a gun wrote to say that he could go scouting just as well with one eye
as with two. That is the spirit of the scouts.

In addition to these, I had a fine example in a namesake of mine,
Major H. G. Powell, out at the Front. He had left the Army some ten
years ago, but when the war broke out he went back to his old
regiment. In advancing to an attack he sprained his ankle badly.
However, he got a stick and a chair from a neighbouring cottage, and
continued to hobble along at the head of his men, sitting down
whenever there was a halt and directing their operations from the
chair. He went on doing this until he himself was hit and badly
wounded, and he was able to be carried safely back still sitting in
his chair.

[Illustration: A CHEERY OLD SCOUT.]

       *       *       *       *       *


I suppose none of you Scouts who read this are cheerful, happy
fellows! [I don't think!] But if you should happen to want to live to
be 100 years old, here is the way to do it--written by one who has
done it:

"_Be cheery, and work hard!_"

That is what Mrs. Rebecca Clark, of High Road, Wood Green, said a few
days before she died, and she was 110 years old, so she ought to know.

I think that most Scouts are doing exactly what she recommends--so in
A.D. 2010 there will be 200,000 old fellows of over 100 years of age,
skipping about in bare knees and worn-out hats, singing: "Boys, Be

       *       *       *       *       *


Mrs. Scoresby Routledge, a well-known lady explorer, wrote to me once
to say that while travelling in the Pacific she came across Scouts in
all sorts of unexpected places.

After giving them a good character, she added that the only bad thing
about Scouts was that they whistled.

She pointed out that a great many people already suffer from the
noises in the streets of our towns, especially people who are ill and
weak. Even small, harmless noises "get on their nerves," and keep them
from resting. And whistling is one of these dreaded noises.

I hope Scouts, in going about the streets, will think of this, and
tone down their whistling, as a good turn to people who may possibly
be disturbed by it.

At the same time, I need not remind you that it is good to whistle and
smile in a difficulty, when otherwise you might break out into curses,
or into a cry of pain or of panic, or take to your fists (or your
heels), according to what might be happening to you.

I have known fellows whistle in very bad times in action, and their
whistling has not only kept them calm themselves, but has also made
those around them feel calm and cheery, too.

       *       *       *       *       *


At Timgad in Algeria there are some interesting ruins, among them
being those of the theatre and the baths.

The theatre is a huge open-air one of horse-shoe shape with stone
seats rising like steps above each other, and with a row of private
boxes at the top.

The stage is a handsome one built of stone with fine marble pillars,
and a back wall--for the Romans did not make use of painted scenery as
we do--and behind the stage are the dressing-rooms for the actors.

The theatre itself was big enough to seat 3400 spectators, which is
more than most theatres in London could do, and as Timgad was merely a
country town of no very great size it shows that the Romans were as
fond of theatrical plays as the English are of cinematograph shows

They were equally fond of bathing, and in this one town alone there
were twelve public baths. They were what we call Turkish baths, that
is, there were bathrooms of several grades of heat to be gone
through--one tepid, the next warm, the next one very hot, and then
cooler and cold, and the Romans were fond of taking these baths every

This is too much of a good thing, as it is apt to weaken a man. The
Romans, as you know, were in the end driven out of their Empire,
because they allowed themselves to become weak in mind and in body by
too much laziness in theatre-going and continual hot baths.

One inhabitant had inscribed on a stone in Timgad what he thought to
be the best form of happiness. He wrote:

"_To hunt, to bathe, and to laugh--that's the way to live_."

And there is a good deal in what he says, for in hunting you have to
use much woodcraft and hard exercise, and keeping clean and being
cheery is all part of the Scout's life.

But he has forgotten to mention one very important thing towards
making your life a happy one, and I expect that any Scout could tell
me at once what that point is--couldn't you?

He has left out the happiness which you get from doing a good turn. If
he had slightly altered his sentence, and had put it this way:

"_To scout, to bathe, to do a good turn, and to smile--that is the
way to live and be happy_," he would have said the truth, and he
would have exactly described what every Boy Scout does.

       *       *       *       *       *


This is one of the Scout mottoes.

Every Scout knows that when you examine footmarks on the ground, you
should generally do so facing the sun, have them between you and the
light, and you will see them all the better.

But that is not the meaning of this text; it has a second and bigger

It means that when there is any sunshine or brightness possible, look
out for it when you are in trouble or misfortune, and make the most of

If you feel inclined to grumble at your lot because you have damaged
your leg and can't play in a game of football, think of other poor
cripples who never can play at all.

However down on your luck you may be, remember there is a bright
lining to every cloud. There is some brightness somewhere, if only you
look out for it and don't turn your back on it.

When things are looking their worst, and everybody is depressed, make
up your mind that you, at any rate, will be hopeful.

Try to see where there is hope.

Remember St. Paul said that God was the "God of Hope." Hope gives you
pluck and comfort at a bad time, and your hopefulness will comfort
others round you and nerve them to stick it out.

       *       *       *       *       *


Lord Roberts died the best death that could have been hoped for him.
He died in the field, within the sound of the guns, doing his duty for
his Country even at the age eighty-two.

It was very many years ago that I first got to know him. It was at
Simla, in India. I had just joined the Army, and was enjoying myself
in all the glory of my new uniform at a ball. I had gone to the
refreshment-room to get something for my partner, but I could not make
the native waiter understand what I wanted, as I had not at that time
learnt any Hindustani.

A very small but very polite officer alongside me kindly explained to
the servant what I wanted. Then he said to me that if I wanted to
enjoy India I ought to learn the language as soon as possible. I
should get much more fun out of the country if I could talk to the
natives. And he asked me my name and where I was staying.

After thanking him, I thought no more about the matter till next day,
when there arrived at my house a native teacher of Languages, who said
that Sir Frederick Roberts had sent him to give me some lessons!

Thus, like everybody else, I began my acquaintance with him by
heartily liking him. He had gone out of his way to do a kindness to a
young officer of whom he knew nothing. But that was just like him--it
was his way.

I need not tell you about his early career in the Army. Probably every
Scout knows how, in the Mutiny in India in 1858, Lieutenant Roberts
won the Victoria Cross. He had charged with the cavalry, and had
followed the flying mutineers, when he saw one of them attacking a
loyal native cavalryman.

Roberts at once dashed to his rescue and cut down the Sepoy. As he did
so, he saw two more Sepoys making off with a regimental flag; so he
pushed on after them, although single-handed and alone. He seized the
Standard and cut down the man who held it. The other man aimed his
rifle at him, close against him, and pulled the trigger but the gun
failed to go off, and the man turned and fled for his life.

In 1880 Lord Roberts made his famous march in Afghanistan, from Kabul
to relieve Kandahar, which was besieged by the Afghans. He took ten
thousand men and marched the 320 miles in twenty-two days, which was a
splendid performance in that difficult, mountainous desert. He arrived
in time to relieve Kandahar and to inflict a very heavy defeat on the
Afghans. For his splendid victory here he received the title of Lord
Roberts "of Kandahar."

In 1900 he was Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in the Boer
war in South Africa. Here again he displayed his self-sacrifice and

His winning of the Victoria Cross had showed that, though a very small
man--he was very nearly rejected from the Army because he was so
small--he had great pluck. And he also had a great heart.

His pluck and self-control were perhaps better proved by his bracing
himself up to send men to their death in battle when he loved them and
would gladly have saved them if duty and the good of the Country were
not at stake. And it was in South Africa that he met with the sorrow
of his life, when his only son was killed in trying to save the guns
at the battle of Colenso.

For his gallantry on this occasion young Roberts was awarded the
Victoria Cross, although he was dead. It is seldom that the Victoria
Cross has been won by both father and son.

In South Africa Lord Roberts again did me a kind act by riding out
many miles to meet me on my coming into Pretoria after the siege of

On his return to England after that war, Lord Roberts became
Commander-in-Chief of the British Army.

When the Boy Scout movement began, he took the greatest interest in
it, because he was always fond, of boys and knew how useful to the
Country they might be if only they were trained to it.

So he came on the Council of the Scouts' Headquarters, and he reviewed
the Scouts at a big Empire Day parade in Hyde Park.

When I went to stay with him, he talked of little else but the Scouts;
and the Scouts at Ascot, who were raised and organised by his
daughter, Lady Aileen Roberts, miss their great friend.

The Ascot Scouts formed part of the Guard of Honour which escorted his
body through that place on its way to burial in London. At St. Paul's
Cathedral I was glad to see also a Guard of Honour of Scouts, who had
come to pay their last respects to our national hero.

Lord Roberts was a splendid example for any boy to follow, because he
rose from small beginnings to the highest position in the Army and,
what is more, to the highest position in the admiration and affection
of all his fellow-subjects of the King, whether they were white or
coloured. And he did it all by his own merit, though he was not
extraordinarily brilliant or clever as a lad.

How did he manage it?

I think it was largely because he was a true Scout in every sense of
the word. The things which brought him success were:

His pluck in facing every kind of difficulty or danger with cheery

His eagerness to work hard and to do his duty regardless of whether it
was what he liked or wanted to do. His honesty and straightforwardness,
which made everybody trust and believe in him.

His humility, by which he put himself on equal terms with everybody;
he had no kind of "swank" or pride, in spite of his brilliant

His kind-heartedness and thoughtfulness for others, especially those
at the bottom of the ladder. And that was one of the secrets of his
success--those working under his orders worked like slaves for him
because they loved him.

His simple faith in God, which led him true and straight through every

Well, when you come to look into it, you will see that by doing these
things in his daily life Lord Roberts was exactly carrying out the
Scout Law. It is what you as a Scout are already aiming to do.

So, now that you have his great example before you, all you have to do
is to go ahead and stick to it, with all the greater determination
that you will make yourself, like Lord Roberts, a cheery, brave fellow
and a valuable man for your Country.



_It is expected that a Scout will save every penny he can, and put
it in the bank, so that he may have money to keep himself when out of
work, and thus not make himself a burden to others; or that he may
have money to give away to others when they need it_.

There are many Boy Scouts to-day who will in a few years' time become
very rich men although they have not much to begin with. That is a
certainty, because a good many are determined to make their fortunes,
and if a lad begins by being thrifty he generally succeeds in the end.

A fellow who begins making money as a boy will go on making it as a
man. Some fellows, of course, want to do it by easy means, and that as
a rule does not pay.

Some fellows see a fortune in betting on a horse race or football
match; you may win a few shillings now and then but you are absolutely
certain to lose half the time, and it is a fool's way of trying to
make money, because the bookies who make a living by it trust to there
being a sufficient number of fools to keep on betting and supplying
them with money.

Such money is not earned, it is only gained by chance and therefore is
not worth having--to a fellow with manly ideas.

Any number of poor boys have become rich men, but it was because they
meant to from the first. They WORKED for it and put by every penny
that they earned in the bank to begin with.

Lots of boys are already at work doing this, and I hope that very many
of the Boy Scouts are also at it. Two good rules are given for making
your fortune. The first is "_Spend_ less _than you earn_."
The second is "_Pay ready money, and don't run into debt_."

Many of you probably have heard of the Nasmyth steam hammer which is
used in all the great iron works?

Well, Nasmyth, as a boy, worked in his father's workshop, and used to
spend a great deal of his spare time in a neighbouring iron foundry,
and he took to using tools and making all sorts of models of engines,
etc., just as you Boy Scouts who are working up for your Engineer's
Badge might do.

He made one model steam-engine so large that a man bought it for the
purpose of driving a machine tool in his factory, and so he began to
make money by selling his own home-made engines. And finally he went
to work at a big engineering shop because he felt that he was one of a
large family and that his father could not afford to keep them all and
he was resolved to make his own living.

He could not afford to have his food cooked for him on the small pay
that he got as a boy at the works, but he manufactured his own
cooking-stove and found that with its help he was able to live on ten
shillings a week.

He worked so well in the shop that the manager raised his wages to
fifteen shillings a week. But as he had found that he could live on
ten shillings, he put by the extra five shillings each week in the
bank, and all the time he kept making tools for himself in his spare
hours, and eventually started himself in business on his own account
with his own money and his own tools, and finally invented his
celebrated steam hammer.

By the time he was forty-eight, he had made a big income and quite a
fortune. Many men would not have been content with this, but would
have gone on until they became millionaires. But Nasmyth did not, he
was content to retire from hard work with sufficient money to buy a
happy home, where he went in for making telescopes and studying
astronomy and also in doing good turns to people not so well off as

And he gave some good advice to young fellows wanting to make a
success of their lives in the following words:

"If I were to try to compress into one sentence the whole of the
experience I have had, and offer it to a young man as a certain means
of bringing success in whatever position he holds, it would be
this:'_Duty first, pleasure second_,'"

"I am certain from what I have seen that what so many call 'bad luck'
comes in nine cases out of ten from putting that maxim the other way
round and satisfying your pleasure first and attending to work and
duty afterwards."

One poor man, a farm labourer, made himself rich by writing poetry.
His name was Stephen Duck, the thresher poet. But unfortunately
numbers of other working men, seeing his good fortune, also thought it
would be an easier way of making money to write poetry rather than by
doing hard work, and Horace Walpole, when writing of Duck, said.,
"that he succeeded as a poet, but he also succeeded in ruining at
least twenty good workmen."

There are very few young men who have not at one time or another in
their lives thought themselves splendid poets. I hope this will be a
warning to them, and that they will take to hard work as a means of
making their way in the world.

       *       *       *       *       *


Lord Strathcona began life as a poor boy in Scotland and he ended up
by being one of the richest men in Britain, and, not only the richest
in money, but in having also the admiration and affection of a vast
number of his fellow-countrymen.

When he was eighteen, as plain Donald Smith, he went out to Canada and
joined the Hudson Bay Trading Company there. This Company used to buy
fur skins from the trappers and Indians, and their trading stations
were built in far-off, out-of-the-way places in order to be near to
the hunting-grounds of these people.

Also, as you never could trust the Red Indians, they were all
fortified posts, ready for defence against attack.

Young Smith was sent up to a place called Mingan, right away up in the
north-east of Canada, in Labrador, a cold, bleak, dreary country.

After he had been there some time, his eyes began to give him great
trouble, and he feared he was going blind. There was no doctor nor
anyone else to consult, so he started off to make his way down to
Montreal to see a doctor. He took with him as guides two half-breed

For weeks he toiled through the awful wilderness, among snow and
blizzard, but at length he reached Montreal.

Do you think they made a hero of him?

Not a bit of it. His employers rounded on him for quitting his post
without leave, and told him to go back at once.

At first he felt--like many of us would have done--so angry that he
was on the point of throwing up the whole thing and leaving the
service of the Hudson Bay Company.

But on second thoughts he felt that, after all, the managers were
right. They had put him there to have charge of valuable stores and
important work, and that it was his duty to stick there, and not to
come in to civilised parts for his own sake.

So he accepted the wigging, and started back on the long, dreary
journey to his gloomy post in Labrador.

He had luckily been able to see a doctor, and had got his eyes put

It was an awful journey: so bad that the two guides gave way under
their hardships and died. But again Donald Smith _stuck to it_,
and struggled on, and in the end he just managed to get to his post,
worn out and exhausted.

But that sticking to it was exactly what was the secret of his

For thirteen _years_ he stuck to his job in that awful country
and then his employers saw that he was so strong on doing his duty
that they promoted him to higher and more important work, till in the
end he became Chief Factor or Head Manager of the Company.

Then came the idea of making the Canadian Pacific Railway right across

People said it was a mad scheme; that it could never pay to make a
railway into that vast wilderness which in those days had not been
properly explored.

But Donald Smith looked far ahead, and saw the time when Britain would
be overcrowded with people, and corn-growing, cattle-raising land
would be needed for colonists.

So he put his savings into the railway and worked hard to make it a

Everything seemed to go against it. But he _stuck to it_, and
fought against all difficulties, until in the end he _came_ out
successful. And to-day the Canadian Pacific is one of the greatest
railways in the world, and has opened up Canada to be a great country,
peopled by thousands of British colonists.

And so he made his fortune, and later on, in return for his splendid
work for the Empire, he was made Lord Strathcona.

Most men leave off work when they are between sixty and seventy, but
Lord Strathcona did not. He still continued to _stick to it_ for
twenty or thirty years longer than most men. Only a few days before
his death he was at work in his office (and he died at the age of

And in his office every day he _stuck to it_, for he went there
about eleven in the morning, but seldom left before seven--often he
was there till nine.

When all the neighbouring offices in Victoria Street had turned off
their lights and closed their doors for the night, Lord Strathcona's
window was to be seen still brilliantly lit up, so much so that the
policemen and others about there called it "The Lighthouse."

Now, why should a man go on working overtime like that? He was not
making money; he had enough of that and to spare. It was simply
because he considered it was his duty, and he _stuck to it_.

Besides his adventures in Canada, and besides his power of sticking to
his duty, Lord Strathcona was also a good scout, because he was kind
and helpful to others.

       *       *       *       *       *


For the South African War he paid the expenses of raising a regiment
to fight for the King--and a fine regiment it was, too--of mounted
men, which was called after him "Strathcona's Horse."

Also the Boy Scouts owe him a debt of gratitude, because in the early
days of the movement, when we were struggling to get along, he gave
500 Pounds to me to help to start our brotherhood.

So Boy Scouts owe much to Lord Strathcona for that, and for setting a
real living example of how a man should _stick to it_ in doing
his duty, and in being kind and helpful to others.

From these stories of poor boys who have made successes of their lives
and become rich men I do not want you to think that I look upon money
as the aim of your life. You should only wish to gain sufficient money
to put you in a position where you can live happily into old age if
necessary, and bring up a family without calling on other people to
support you.

And I would tell you just one more story of a poor man who yet made a
fortune other than that which money produced.

This man was John Pounds, and he kept a little cobbler's shop in
Portsmouth, where he worked hard and well, so that people began to
bring their boots to him for repair in preference to any other
cobbler, because they knew that he did honest work and they got a
better return for their money.

Soon he began to gather in much more cash than was necessary for his
modest wants. But he did not buy a big house and set himself up in
comfort. He did a better thing than that.

When he was at his work, idle boys used to come and hang around his
shop watching him busily employed, and while he stitched and cobbled
he chatted with the boys and took an interest in them.

Boys are good fellows, and when they found somebody thought about
them, although they were dirty, ragged urchins, they took an interest
in him, until gradually they came at their own desire to hear him
talk, and began to imitate him in doing steady work. Then he made use
of his savings in a way that was better than feeding himself on good
things, for he fed these boys who badly wanted a good meal.

As time went on, he started a sort of club or school for his ragged
friends, and in the end had a sort of Scout troop of boys who learnt
handicrafts under him and became strong with their good feeding,
became good workmen under his instruction, and saved up money under
his example.

Thus he was able to send out into the world a number of good, strong,
prosperous workmen who would otherwise have drifted into being

And from his little effort in Portsmouth sprang up similar ragged
schools and boys' clubs in different parts of the Kingdom.

So he did as much by his thrift as many have done by saving their

       *       *       *       *       *


"How can I ever succeed in becoming great and rich? It is impossible.
I am only a poor boy!"

That is what a lad said to me. I was able to restore him to greater
hopefulness by saying:

"Nothing is impossible if you make up your mind to do it. Many a great
man who is alive to-day began as a poor boy like yourself, with no
help besides his own wits and pluck."

Then I told him about Sir William Arrol. At nine years of age he went
to work as a "piecer" in a cotton factory. A few years later he became
apprenticed to a blacksmith. He worked hard and well, and was very
steady, so that at the age of twenty-three he found himself foreman in
Messrs. Laidlaw's boiler works in Glasgow. Like a Scout, he was
thrifty, and in five years of this employment he saved up 85 Pounds of his
wages, and with this sum he started a business of his own.

At first he made boilers and girders, and then, as his business grew
bigger, he took up bridge-building.

Steadily he worked at this, being at all times anxious to show good
solid work, without any scamping.

To start with he had met with disappointments and failures, but he
would not give in to then; when things looked their worst he kept a
smiling face and _stuck to it_.

And in the end he came out successful, as every man does who is
patient and sticks it out. He got a name for steady, persevering work,
and for giving full value for any money paid to him.

For these reasons he obtained good contracts for building bridges, and
soon enlarged his business into a very big one.

Among others, the great Tay bridge and the bridge over the Forth in
Scotland are his work.

He died a rich and highly respected man, but in the height of his
power he never forgot that he began as a poor boy, and he always did
what he could to help other poor boys to win their way to success.

He used, however, to say that success depended mainly on the boy
himself. If a boy were determined to get on, and knew a handicraft or
two, he would probably succeed, but if he merely dabbled in one thing
and then another, and wasted his time in amusements, and could not
stick it out when luck seemed against, him, that boy would be a
failure, and would probably go on being a failure all his life.

       *       *       *       *       *


So you see if, as a Scout, you pick up and really practise what
Scouting teaches you, it gives you every chance of being a success in
life, since it teaches you to be active and enduring, to be
trustworthy, to be obedient to your duty, to be thrifty, and to learn

In fact, it teaches you to Be Prepared to make a successful career for
yourself if you stick to it.

The knights in the old days were ordered by their code of rules to be
thrifty, that is, to save money as much as possible in order to keep
themselves and not to be a burden to others, and that they might have
more to give away in charity.

If they were poor, they were not to beg for money, but had to make it
by their own work.

Thus, Thrift is part of manliness because it means hard work and
self-denial, and boys are never too young to work for pay, which they
should put in the Post Office Savings Bank or some other Government



_Decent Scouts look down upon silly youths who talk dirt, and they
do not let themselves give way to temptation, either to talk it or to
do anything dirty. A Scout is pure, and clean-minded, and manly._

When boys are getting big, they generally want to show off and to
impress other boys with their "manliness"--or at least what they think
is manliness.

It generally begins with smoking. They think it fine to smoke, so they
suck and puff at cigarettes, partly because these are cheap, and
partly because a pipe would make them sick.

The reason why half of them do it is because they are arrant cowards,
and are afraid of being laughed at by the other boys if they don't do
it. They think themselves tremendous heroes, while in reality they are
little asses. Then they like to use swear words because they think
this makes them appear tremendously ferocious and big. Also they think
it the height of manliness to tell smutty stories and to talk dirt.

But these things don't say much for the boy who does them. He
generally curls up and hides them directly a man is present. He only
produces them for swanking in the presence of other boys, This shows
that he is not really very proud of his accomplishments, and the boy
who has a sense of honour in him knows at once that such things are
against his conscience-law and he will have nothing to do with them.

This often puts him in a difficult position when among boys who are
showing off, as they will be ready to jeer at him; but if he has
honour and pluck--in a word, if he is a true Scout--he will brave it
out and, as a result, he will come out the only real man of the party.

The probability will be that though they do not show it at the moment,
some of the others will see that he is right and that they are wrong,
and will pluck up courage themselves and follow his example in being
clean and straight.

If, by his conduct, a Scout can in this way save one fellow, he will
at any rate have done something in the world.

You may think there is no harm in a little joking of a risky kind, or
in the occasional secret smoking of a cigarette, although you allow it
may be silly; but if you look into it, and especially when you have,
later on, seen results such as I have seen that come of it, you will
at once understand there is great harm--great danger in it. It is the
beginning; and the beginning of anything is very often the important

If you talk or listen to what is wrong, you get to think about what is
wrong and very soon you get to doing what is wrong.

By doing things which you would not care to do before your father or
mother, you are becoming a bit of a sneak. You do these things
secretly, you are not straight.

A fellow who is not straight at starting is pretty sure to go on being
crooked for the rest of his career. He knows all the time in his
inmost heart that he is a sneak, and he can therefore never take a
pride in himself and others are bound to find it out sooner or later,
so he never gets a real friend nor a good employer.

Then these things are likely to do him bodily harm.

Smoking is poison to a growing lad. It may not do you much harm if you
take to it when you are grown up; but while you are still forming your
muscles as a lad it is almost certain to do damage to your heart, your
wind, your digestion, and very likely your eyesight and teeth.

I take it that most boys want to be good healthy runners and able to
play at all the games, and I am certain that every Scout wants to Be
Prepared to be a good healthy man for his Country.

Well, you can't do it if you begin by smoking as a boy.

Drinking begins, like everything else, in a small way; but it very
soon grows on a fellow unless he is on the look out to stop it. More
than half the crime in Great Britain is due to drink, and so is most
of the poverty, and three-quarters of the insanity. And it is much the
same with thoughts about women; they soon grow into wrong action, and
if these are kept up they grow into habits which lead in an awful
number of cases to misery, disease, and madness.

Brace up!

Be a man! Keep off these dangers.

If fellows around you are swanking in dirt, leave them and go

Don't let yourself BEGIN loafing about, taking drinks, talking smut,
or doing what you know is wrong; give yourself bettor things to
do--games, handicrafts, good turns, work, and you will grow up a
clean, straight, and happy fellow, and, what is more--a _man_.

       *       *       *       *       *


Not long ago there was a lot of argument about certain music-halls in
London. Many people were disgusted at the low and dirty talk or hints
made by some of the performers. Most of these rotten ideas of
half-dressed women, dancing about trying to look pretty, come from
abroad, and do not really please the ordinary British man.

Harry Lauder is delightfully funny, but he is funny without being
dirty, and so is Chevalier, the coster singer. Dan Leno made you
laugh, but he was never dirty--and that was why he and these other
singers have been so popular.

I saw a performance not long ago, where a half-dressed woman came and
danced about on the stage, but, though she was tremendously advertised
as the great attraction of the place, she got very little applause.
Soon after her there came a bright-looking girl in ordinary clothes,
who merely sang an English ballad, but she was cheered and applauded
till she had to come on again and sing a second, and even a third

I believe that the proper, manly Britisher likes a good clean show on
the stage; he likes to have a good hearty laugh, or to hear good
music, but I believe it is only a very few (and those nearly all
slackers and wasters) who care to go and see the nasty, half-indecent
shows which come sometimes from other countries.

       *       *       *       *       *


In the old days when being made Knights, members of the Order of the
Bath used to go and take a bath as part of the ceremony. I was very
glad to see in Hull during a visit there that at the Boys' Club every
boy on coming into the club has a bath.

In the first room he comes into on entering the club he takes off all
his clothes and puts them in a rack made for the purpose. Then he goes
into a big warm plunge bath, from which he goes into a drying-room,
and beyond this is a dressing-room, where he gets a club shirt and
pair of shorts to wear for the evening, till it is time to get into
his own clothes to go home again.


This daily bath is an excellent thing for keeping a fellow healthy and
strong--and the most important part of it is the rubbing with the

Well, it is often difficult for a Scout to get a bath. Sometimes in
his home there are no means for doing it, and often out on the veldt
or desert there is very little water, but if he has a towel,
especially a damp one, he can always give himself a good rub down with
it--he should scrub himself well all over! and that is what I should
like every Scout to do every morning when he gets up. It will not only
keep him clean, but will make him grow far more healthy and happy and
strong, because it cleans the skin and wakes up the blood so that it
rushes through his veins and brings him health.

So get yourself a towel, every Scout; and carry out your rubbing every
day when you get up.

In the same way see that you clean your teeth regularly night and
morning--not because it will help you to pass the time away, but
because it will prevent your teeth from getting rotten, thus saving
you from toothache.

       *       *       *       *       *


"Gentlemen _do_ not spit; men _must_ not spit" is a notice
which may be seen in an American city; also there is a similar one
which says: "If you _expect to rate_ as a gentleman, don't

On the steamships to South America the English passengers were often
disgusted by the amount of spitting about the decks done by some of
the foreigners on board.

One of the captains thought of a good idea; he ordered a sailor,
carrying a mop, to follow each of these foreigners where-ever he went;
whenever the foreigner spat, the sailor used the mop, and in a short
time _all_ the foreigners learnt that if they behaved like other
gentlemen and did not spit, they were spared having an attendant with
a mop, so they soon gave up the dirty habit.

When I was in charge of a public building in Malta, which was guarded
at night by Maltese watchmen, I soon found that I need not be always
going round to see that they were alert, because their habit of
constantly spitting showed me next morning whether they had been awake
and where they had stood or walked during the night.

One day I found the pavement of one man's beat quite clean and dry, so
I had him up and accused him of having been absent without leave. He
did not know how I found it out, so confessed that he had been away to
see a friend, thinking there was no harm in it, since the place was
all locked up and secure.

Englishmen are fortunately not so dirty in their habits as to be
always spitting, but, still; there is a little of it going on in our
streets; and even a little is a bad thing.

It is not only a habit that is nasty to other people, but it is
dangerous as well, for the following reason;

So many men are suffering from consumption or disease of the lungs
even without knowing it. When they spit they throw out a number of
tiny "germs," which, although too small to be seen, get into the air
and are very easily breathed in again by other passers-by; and these
germs contain the seeds of the disease, which are thus sown in healthy
people, and make them "consumptives" also.

Unhappily people are rather fond of spitting in railway carriages. A
man doing this was fined ten shillings and two guineas costs not long

His excuse was that he had a bad cough.

Any Scout could have told him, apart from the dirty, disgusting part
of the habit, how very dangerous to other passengers it is for a
person with a bad cough to indulge in this habit.

Little living seeds of disease are in this way let loose to get into
other people's throats and lungs, and possibly to bring them illness
and death.

       *       *       *       *       *


Sixty thousand people die every year of consumption in Great Britain.

One death in every eight is from consumption.

Two hundred and fifty thousand people, or one in every two hundred,
have the disease in them.

Consumption is caught through carelessness or ignorance, by breathing
the germs, or in drinking them in milk.

The following are a few simple rules which, if followed, should help
to prevent you from getting it:

   1. Live much in the open air.
   2. Sleep with the window open.
   3. Breathe through the nose.
   4. If you drink milk, be sure that it is pure.
   5. Keep your blood healthy with exercise, good and plain food.
   6. Keep your home clean and well ventilated.
   7. Never neglect a cold.

Here are some pictures showing how people get the germs of consumption
into them unless they are very careful.

A large number of cows have the germs or seeds of consumption in them,
and they give out these germs in their milk. So milk ought to be
"sterilised," that is to say, it should be made so hot that the germs
are killed before it is drunk.


Then a large number of people have the consumption germs in them,
although they may not yet be ill with it. They will get ill sooner or
later, and they give out germs whenever they cough or spit.


A man spits and the germs rise. They try a boy who breathes through
the nose, but get thrown out again. Then they try another boy who
breathes through his open mouth, and so they get into his lungs.]

These germs get blown about in the air with the dust, and get into
other people's mouths, and so into their lungs--that is, if the other
people go about with their mouths partly open. If they breathe through
their nose only, as I hope all Scouts do, there is less chance of the
germs getting into the lungs, as they get caught in the sticky liquid
in the nostrils, and get driven out again when you blow your nose.

It is the same with other diseases besides consumption.

The Missioner Scout can safely go about among people who are ill with
colds, measles, and other sicknesses, if he breathes only through his
nose. All illnesses that are "catching" are spread by germs flying
from one person to another.

The consumptive germs get into you and go for your lungs, which are
big sponges inside you, through which your blood gets the air, which
is necessary to keep it healthy. Consumption germs "consume" your

The nasty little germ of disease thrives in dirt, and dark and muggy
_air_, and so he grips even the healthiest people in rooms that
are dark and dirty, and where the windows are not kept open.

Fresh air, sunlight, and cleanliness kill the germs.

Now that you know what consumption is, you will be doing a good turn
to get other people to understand it.

I _want_ every _Scout who reads this to show the pictures to at
least five other people, AND EXPLAIN them. He may thus save lives._



After a delightful little voyage in one of the smart Wilson Line
steamers, I arrived one morning early in Christiania, the capital of

The town is an ordinary Continental town, but stands on the shores of
an arm of the sea which is so shut in by wooded hills for some twenty
miles that it is more like an inland lake than a gulf of the ocean.

What a place for Sea Scouts!

One of the first Norwegian boys to attract my attention was a Boy
Scout--so like an English Scout that he may have been one for all I
know, but I was not able to speak to him, I was catching a train, and
he was going off in a hurry in another direction, evidently in
trouble, as he was whistling and smiling! And it is difficult to tell
a Norwegian boy from an English boy by his appearance, for they are
very much alike.

And so are the girls and young women very like their British sisters.
But then, as we all came of the same blood in bygone times, it is not
altogether surprising.

Then their Royal Family is related to ours, for Queen Maud, the wife
of King Haakon, is sister of our own King.

So Norwegians have much in common with the English, and since my visit
Scouts of the two countries have become good friends and camped with
each other.

There could be no better country than this for camping out. As you
come through it in the train, you keep passing among wooded hills and
then alongside rivers and lakes; a great deal of wild country with
occasional cultivated parts where there are neat little wooden
farmsteads and villages.

The houses are painted bright colours, and are roofed with tiles or
shingles, that is, wooden slates, as in Canada. In fact, with its
forests, lakes, and rivers, and their floating timber, and the
sawmills, the country generally is not unlike Canada.

As wood is so abundant here, farm Scouts will be interested to see
from the picture how they make their fences in place of hedges or
ordinary post-and-rails. It is a kind of fence that you can make
easily with almost any kind of slats or with brushwood or branches.

[Illustration: A NORWEGIAN FENCE.]

A way which the Norwegian woodmen have of piling their small timber in
the woods in order to dry it is one which might also be useful to
Scouts when making a bivouac-hut, where there are plenty of saplings.
You pile them as shown in the picture, all with their butts or thick
ends together to windward, and thin ends splayed outwards.

When you have got this frame together you can cover it with a
waterproof sheet, or straw mat, or brushwood, to keep out the weather,
and light your fire opposite the opening.

In my camp I had one friend, George.


We found a good site on the bank of a rushing roaring river between
high hills covered with forest. We were thirty-five miles from the
nearest railway station, and about four miles from a farm, where we
got our butter and our milk. The river supplied our fish, and we shot
our own game.

We carried just enough kit to make a load for a pack-pony--a bundle of
about 50lb. weight on each side of him. There were no roads, and a
pack-pony is the only means of carrying heavy luggage, such as tents,

We each had our bivouac tent, bedding, change of clothes, cooking
pots, and fishing rods, etc.

Of course, we did our own cooking, woodcutting, and cleaning up. And
cleaning up is a very important part of camp work.

Our camp was small and never likely to be seen by anybody besides
ourselves, but it was always kept very neat and tidy, and we could
shift camp at any moment, and leave scarcely a sign that we had been
there. That is how Scouts should always have their camp--everything in
its place, so that you can find anything you want at a moment's notice
in the event of a sudden turn out in the dark, or for shutting up for
a sudden rain squall.

All scraps of food should be burnt or buried, and not thrown about
round the camp. On service these scraps would be good "sign" to an
enemy's scouts as to who had occupied the camp, and how long ago, and
how well off they were for provisions, and so on.

Another reason against letting your camp ground get dirty is that it
quickly becomes the camping place also of thousands of flies. If you
have flies in camp it is a sign that the camp is not kept clean.

       *       *       *       *       *


I have made a sketch of my tent, which, as you will see, is a kind of
hammock with a roof to it, slung between two trees. This form of tent
keeps you dry in wet weather or on swampy ground; you never have to
lie on the ground, you can get snakes and other nice visitors crawling
into your bed. The cot is long enough to hold your kit as well as

It is kept stretched out by two side poles and a ridge pole. These can
be cut in the wood where you camp, and the cot itself, with bedding
and kit inside, can be rolled up in the waterproof, and this forms a
neat roll for half of the pack-pony's load.

The cot is springy and most comfortable to sleep in.

When you are ill or wounded it makes a very good stretcher, the side
poles forming the carrying handles. In the same way, when you are dead
it makes an excellent coffin, as the sides and ends fold in, and can
be laced over the body. I have not tried it myself in that way.

Another advantage which I have twice found the cot-tent to have was,
when a tornado visited camp, and all the tents were blown down into
the mud, my little cot was swaying quietly in the wind--it cannot blow

In the drawing you see also, besides my bedroom (in the cot), my
dressing-room, my drawing-room, and my bathroom--in fact, my whole

The dressing-room was where my fishing waders are hanging up to dry,
together with my shaving-glass, hat, and holdalls.

Over the cot are hanging my overcoat and moccasins and towel. My
drawing-room was the rug on which I sit, my writing-case lying there
ready for use.

[Illustration: MY CAMP RESIDENCE IN NORWAY. My cot-tent will be seen
in the centre of the picture.]

My bath was down below, through the trees, in the river!

My whole house was carpeted with a beautiful soft springy moss, so dry
that a match dropped on to it would soon set the whole forest in a

So we had to be very careful about our camp fire.

       *       *       *       *       *


We made our kitchen near the river, where this dry moss did not grow.

A camp fire for cooking is not a bonfire. A tenderfoot never remembers
this; but an old campaigner can be recognised by the smallness of his
fire; he does not waste fuel. In the woods there may be plenty of
timber, but he is not going to waste time, energy, and axes in cutting
down piles of firewood when he can make a few handfuls do equally
well; and if he is out on the plains where firewood is almost unknown,
he has to do with a few roots of grass, or bits of cow-dung, etc.

Then a big roaring fire, though it looks very cheery, sends off
sparks, and in dry camping weather these are very dangerous, whether
in the woods, or on the heather, or among the grass.

[Illustration: MY CAMP KITCHEN.]

We began our fire by, first of all, collecting a heap of firewood,
chiefly dead branches from trees; then by laying a few shreds of
birch-bark between two good flat stones of equal height (about six
inches), and on these we laid a few bits and splinters of dry wood
taken from the inside of a dead tree, and on that just two or three
small dry sticks, and then set it alight. As it burnt we gradually
added more small sticks till it was a good strong little fire, then we
added more and more sticks, the object being to get the space between
the stones gradually full of glowing red-hot bits of wood to give heat
to the cooking pots, which we then stood on the two stones so as to
bridge over the fire.

The great art is to begin with a very _small_ fire and a
_very_ dry one. You can then add to its size as you please later
on, and when it is going strong you can add damper wood if dry wood is
scarce. Birch-bark cannot be found everywhere, but it is the best of
lighting tinder when you have it.

The channel between the stones is much better if laid so as to face
the breeze. The fire can then be kept going at the mouth of it, and
the heat will blow through; a bigger kind of log can be put in from
the other end to catch fire and add to the heat in the channel.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways of making fires, which you
can read about in _Scouting for Boys_, but this is the particular
kind of cooking fire that we used in my Norwegian camp.

At night, when we had cooked our supper and the night was getting
chilly, of course, we put on big logs laid across each other, and so
got a big, star-shaped fire to make a blaze to warm us,

But we kept a good watch on any sparks to see that they didn't touch
the moss or heather, and when we turned in, we trod out the fire and
poured water over the whole of the ashes, so as to prevent any chance
of embers blowing out into flame again during the night and setting
light to the grass.

Scouts cannot be too careful in this matter, especially in England,
where landowners are very good at lending their ground to troops for
camping, but are naturally very nervous all the time lest by some
carelessness a grass fire may get started, and thousands of pounds'
worth of timber or property get burnt.

Early in the morning we were to leave our rest-house near the railway
in order to drive (and partly to walk) to the place where we were
going to make our headquarters. This was forty-nine kilometres
distant. How many miles is that?

As kilometres are generally used abroad for telling distances, a Scout
ought to know how to compare the two and here is a simple way of doing
it: Multiply your number of kilometres by five and divide the result
by eight, and you will have the number of miles. Thus:

We want to know how many miles our forty-nine kilometres are.

     30 5/8 or about 30 1/2 miles.

As I have said, we were to leave early, but we found that the
Norwegian idea of early is not so very early as with us in England.
They thought eight o'clock breakfast very early, and the cart, which
was supposed to start at nine, did not get away till 10:30.

It was a little ramshackle sort of dogcart with a very high seat,
which just gave standing room for us among our baggage, while the boy
in charge of the pony hung on as best he could behind.

The pony was fine and strong and fat, but awfully sedate; in fact, it
was only after a lot of persuasion that we got him to move at a trot,
and then it was a marvellously slow trot.

However, I found that if one showed him the spare end of the rope
reins, and offered to strike him with it, he mended his pace
considerably. He kept his eye on me all the time--

The Norwegians seem to be very kind to their animals. They don't use
whips or blinkers or bearing-reins on their horses and before we had
gone very far the boy in charge considered it time to unharness and
feed his horse for a few minutes. We walked on while he did so, and as
it wasn't for an hour and a half that he overtook us again, we guessed
he had given the horse a very fine feed indeed.


We didn't do ourselves badly, either, because all along the road,
which ran through beautiful woods along the hillside, we found lots of
excellent raspberries growing wild.

We changed ponies half-way: but when we had got nearly to our
journey's end, the boy said he must stop and feed the horse. We said:
"No; it is only four or five miles more, and the pony will be home."
But the boy began to cry at our cruelty, so we had to stop and let the
horse graze. It was very pleasing to see that they are so kind to
their animals.

I have said that I was not one day in Norway before I saw a Boy Scout.
Well, I was not two days in the country before I saw a Girl Guide.
Correctly dressed in the same kits those in England, with her patrol
ribbons on, she was taking lunch at the rest-house where we stopped
for ours. Unfortunately, she could not talk English, so we could not
have a chat, as I should have liked.

It is a grand thing for Scouts who care to travel that Boy Scouts are
now to be found in most foreign countries, because you have only to
make the secret sign a few times in any town, and you will get an
answer, and find a brother Scout ready to help you.

In Norway, especially, they seem likely to be very useful to British
Scouts, because they are very like British boys, except that they have
much more practice in woodcraft.

A large proportion of them live in wildish country, among the forests
and lakes, and so they know how to look after themselves; they are
nice, cheery fellows. They are very clean, and they speak the truth.
Well, that means a great deal, because you can trust a fellow who
speaks the truth, and, what is more, you can trust him to behave well
in danger or trouble.

I find that men who tell lies in peace time are not among the bravest
in war; and telling a lie is, after all, a bit of cowardice--the
fellow who tells it is afraid to speak the truth, or he hopes to get
something in return for what he says, if he can only get the other
fellow to see the question as he wants him to.

Well, that's a sneaking way of doing it. A manly fellow will speak
out, and always say exactly what he wants or what is the real state of
the case; he will be believed and will generally get his way. In any
case, show me a liar, and I can show you a "funk-stick."

       *       *       *       *       *


You may be interested in a picture of our camp on the Allalaer River
in Norway. The shelter was rigged up with a waterproof sheet and a few
poles cut in the forest.

Inside this shelter you see our store-cupboard; in other words, a box
turned on end, with a bit of the lid made into a shelf. In this we
stored our bread, coffee, sugar, and such things.

Then down on the left of the sketch is a small log bridge over a
stream. Under this bridge we kept our milk, butter, and fish; it made
an excellent ice-cold larder.

Next we come to the chopping block, an old log on which we chopped
firewood into the right size. If you chop wood on the ground you will
very soon blunt your axe, so always use a chopping-block.

And when you have finished chopping, leave your axe sticking in the
block; this preserves its edge from getting rusty or knocked by
stones, etc. It also preserves your toes from getting cut by stumbling
over an axe in the dark.


Next we come to the important part of the camp--the fire. You see we
made the fire between two big flat stones. These were useful for
standing the frying-pan on, and cooking billies, etc. The fire is made
at the windward end of the channel, between the stones, so that the
heat blows into the channel, while the fire forms a pile of red-hot
embers outside, at which toast can be made.

Notice our automatic toast-makers, made of a forked stick and a small
supporting fork.

[Illustration: MY TOASTING-FORK.]

Then over the fire we had a crossbar of green wood (if you use old
wood it will catch fire and drop your pot into the fire just as the
stew is ready); it was supported on two stout, firmly-driven forked
stakes, not the wobbly, rickety things which tenderfoots like to put

On the crossbar our kettle was hung by a pot-hook--just a hooked stick
with a good notch cut in it to take the handle of the kettle.

Also on the crossbar in the sketch you see our tongs. These are most
useful things for a camp-fire for lifting hot embers into the spot
where you want them for giving extra heat.


The tongs are made from a green stick of hazel, or alder, or birch.
The stick should be about 2 1/2 to 3 feet long. At the middle you cut
away a good bit of the wood from one side for about 4 inches. Then cut
a number of small notches across the grain of the wood to make it
still more bendable at the centre. Here's the side view of the centre
part of your stick.


Then flatten the inner sides of your stick towards both ends, so that
they get a better hold on things; bend the two ends together and there
you have your tongs:

Next to the tongs, in the sketch, you see a small branch of dwarf fir.
This makes a hearth-brush, which is very useful for keeping the fire
neat and clean.

The ordinary-looking stick leaning against the crossbar is an ordinary
sort of stick, but a very useful one. He is the poker and pot-lifter.
He should be a stout green stick not easily burnt. Poplar is a
difficult wood to burn, but then many old hands won't use it, because
it is said to bring bad luck on the camp-fire where it is used; but
that is an old wife's story, and I always use it when I get the

If the soup gets upset, I look on it as my fault, not the fault of the
poplar poker. In fact, whatever wood the poker is made of, one always
seems to get a kind of affection for him. He is only an ordinary ugly,
old half-burnt stick, but he is jolly useful and helpful.

On this side of the fire you see the pile of wood that has been
collected for fuel. It is generally the right thing when in camp for
each camper, when coming in, whether from bathing, or fishing, or
anywhere else, to bring with him some contribution to the wood-pile.

Different kinds of wood are needed for it.

First you want "punk" and "kindling"--that is, strips of birch-bark
(which are better than paper for starting a fire), dry fibre from the
inside of old dead trees, dry lichen or moss, anything that will start
a fire. And also small, dry splinters, chips, and twigs to give the
flame for lighting the bigger wood.

Secondly, you want lots of sticks, about 1/2 to 1 inch in thickness,
for making your cooking-fire of hot embers, or you can get bigger
logs, from which you can afterwards knock off, with our friend the
poker, red-hot embers for the cooking.

Remember, you don't want a great blazing fire for cooking, but one
that is all made of red-hot lumps.

For warming you up and giving a cheerful appearance to the camp at
night you can have any amount of big, dry branches and logs--the drier
the better for a good blaze.

Beyond the fire, in the sketch, you see our dining-table and seat.
This is a plank set across a hole in the ground, and the table is
another plank beyond it. That is one way of making a dining-table.

Another way to make seats and tables in camp, especially in a country
like this, where the forest is full of fallen timber, is to go and
look out for a suitable pine tree with branches so placed that by a
little lopping with an axe you can make a trestle like this:

[Illustration: HOME-MADE SEAT.]

Two such trestles can be made to support a few split saplings, or a
number of stout straight rods, which can then be nailed, spiked, or
lashed down with cross-battens to form a table; and more such trestles
can form the seats.

On the right of the sketch you see three forked uprights. These formed
our rack for holding fishing-rods and landing-nets.

The little tufts hanging on this rack are bunches of heather.

Did you ever hear the yarn of the Boy Scout who, at his school
examination in natural history, was asked, "What is heather?" He
replied, "Well, sir, it is what we clean the cooking-pots with in

He was quite right, though perhaps the examiner did not think so.

A few bunches of heather are most useful as dishcloths for cleaning
dishes and pots. The reason why they are hanging on the rod rack is
that they are handy for use in the scullery, which is that part of the
river close by the rack.

In using a river you always have certain spots told off to the
different uses. First and highest up-stream you get your drinking
water. Next is your handwashing place (not bathing place) and scullery
for washing plates and cooking-pots.

Below that is the refuse place, where you throw away scraps off the
plates and from cooking-pots, and gut your fish. This should be where
the stream will carry away the scraps and not slack water, where they
will collect.

Of course, this throwing of refuse into the river only does in a wild
country or where the river is big. In most English camps, all refuse
should be buried in a pit or burnt.

I think that describes the whole of our camp.

Oh, no, there is still one article--and one of great importance
Alongside the tent you see our camp besom or broom. It is made of a
few birch twigs bound together. (The long thin roots of the fir-tree
make very good cord.) This we used for sweeping the camp-ground every
morning when we tidied up.

When we left our camp, the last thing we did after everything was
packed ready for moving was to go round and tidy up the whole ground,
and burn all the scraps, chips, and twigs that were left on the
ground. So when we left it would have been difficult for a stranger to
say that anybody had been camped there except for the place where the
fire had been. But we left the cross-bars, pot-hooks, and wood-pile
there, so that anyone coming after us would find them ready for his

[Illustration: A FISH CARRIER]

But I expect they will all have rotted away before any one else comes
that way to camp, for it is in an out-of-the-way corner where very few
travellers come.

Another hook I might, mention is one used for carrying your fish when
you have caught them. It is merely a twig cut from the nearest bush.

       *       *       *       *       *


I had heard of a wonderful gorge in the mountains to the west of us,
through which no man had ever passed, and George wanted to go "reeper"
shooting on the mountain slopes in that direction. (A "reeper" is a
Norwegian grouse.) So one fine morning found us starting in a boat to
row down the great lake, which would bring us to the foot of the

This lake is about eight miles long, and one mile wide. Steep,
forest-clad hillsides run down to the lake on both sides, and there
are not half a dozen farms in sight of it, so we felt that we were
getting into wilder parts as soon as we had started on our voyage.

The boats here are only made for one pair of sculls to be used at a
time, so it came heavy on each of us in turn to have to row our
well-loaded ship with its cargo of two men, two dogs (Bruce and
Gordon), and all our luggage, guns, and ammunition.

[Illustration: "I Rigged up my oilskin coat as a sail, with George to
act as mast and rigging."]

Luckily for me, before it came to my turn to row, a good breeze sprang
up from behind us, so in a very short time I had rigged up my oilskin
coat as a sail, with George to act as mast and rigging, and I took an
oar to steer with.

In a very short time we found ourselves running along at double the
pace that we could have got by rowing.

On these lakes, though there are plenty of boats, you never see one
fitted with mast and sails for sailing. It is too dangerous; sudden
squalls come down from the hills and catch the sails the wrong way or
too violently, and so capsize the boat before the crew can do anything
to save her.

Even on ordinary water, no one but a tenderfoot would sail a small
boat with the "sheets" made fast; the men sailing the boat hold these
in their hands ready to ease them up at any moment should a squall
strike them. But the danger is much greater on a lake among mountains.

So you see a Scout needs to know something about sea scouting if he
wants to get about successfully in a country where he has to make use
of boats or canoes.

By using an oar as a rudder--which is also understood by Sea
Scouts--we found we could sail to some extent across the wind as well
as before it, and so we were able to get round headlands which came in
our way without having to lower sail and take to rowing.

Another thing to look out for on these mountain lakes is that a bit of
wind very quickly makes quite fair-sized waves, which, with a heavily
loaded boat, may lop in over the side, if your helmsman is not very
careful, and swamp the boat. So it is foolishness for any Scout to go
on this sort of expedition unless he can swim.

In fact, every Scout ought to be able to swim; he is no use till he
can, and he will always find it useful to know something of sea

The oars of Norwegian boats are worked not in rowlocks, or crutches,
or between thole pins, as at home, but on a single thole pin, to which
they are attached by a "strop" or loop.

This is a useful dodge to know of in case one of your thole pins
breaks, as sometimes happens.

[Illustration: How the oars in Norwegian boats are worked.]

In Norway, the strop is made of a stick of birchwood (hazel does
equally well), which is first twisted and twisted round to such an
extent that it is as flexible and as strong as a length of rope, and
is tied by twisting its ends round itself, as shown in _Scouting for

A Scout should be able at any time to twist a stick into rope, but to
do it successfully he must know which kind of wood to pick out for it.
That is one reason for knowing the different kinds of trees by sight.

While we sailed along we trailed a line astern of us with some
tempting-looking flies on it in the hope that we might get a trout for

Suddenly, just when we were in the middle of a busy time over a squall
of wind, there came a tug, tug, and a pull at our line. All was at
once excitement.

"Down mast and sail!" "Reel in the line!" "Hold the boat with the
oars!" "Don't let him break away!"

Steadily he is hauled, kicking and rolling over in the water, and at
last he is safely lifted into the boat--a fine, silvery, speckled

"What a dinner he will make!"

"How would you like him, grilled, fried, or boiled?"

Alas! we thought a good deal about what sort of dinner he would make.
And he did make a dinner, too--but not for us!

We presently heard Bruce crunching and munching something. He had not
waited for the fish to be fried, or grilled, or boiled. He just ate
him as he was. We only had bread and butter and coffee for dinner that
day--without any trout. We didn't even mention trout during the meal.
We didn't seem to want any, or we pretended we didn't.

Still, we had a very jolly dinner at a beautiful spot where we landed
on the shore of the lake. Then after a further bit of sailing and
rowing we reached the end of the lake.

Here we hauled up our boat high and dry, leaving all her gear in her,
for nobody steals things in Norway. We "humped our packs" on to our
backs, and, with rod and gun in hand and the dogs trotting alongside,
we started up the hills through the forest, bogs, and rocks, to get to
the farm three miles away, where we were to spend the night at the
foot of the mountains.

       *       *       *       *       *


That means the name of the farm where we stopped, and we made it our
headquarters for several days.

"Saeter" means "summer farm." The Norwegian farmers are mostly dairy
and cattle farmers, and in the summer they take their herds up on to
the high ground for the grazing, and bring them back into the lower
and warmer valleys in winter.

Our farmer at Jasjvold was named Slackman; and he was a slack man to
look at--very wild and unkempt, with a tousled head of hair, and a
rough beard; clothed in a blue jumper, and breeches and rough
stockings, and carrying a big knife in his belt, he looked as if he
could and would willingly slit your throat while you were asleep; but
on Sundays he was a very different character.

[Illustration: THE JASJVOLD SAETER.]

Even away up here in the mountains, far away from any neighbours, he
did not forget to keep the Sabbath, and he appeared very clean and
smart, neatly dressed, with white collar and tie, hair and beard
trimmed, and altogether so different that at first glance I did not
recognise him on Sunday morning.

But, in spite of his wild week-day appearance, he was a most cheery,
kind-hearted man, always anxious to do good turns for us, and to help
us in every way. In the evenings he would come and sit with us, eager
to teach us Norwegian, and equally anxious himself to learn English.
So we got along splendidly together.

The saeter is a group of farm buildings; each one is a separate
single-storied log house. There is the farmer's house, the house for
guests (in which we lived), the men's house, the dairy, the bakehouse,
and the "staboor," which is a kind of hayloft, stable, and manure shed
all in one. Being built on the side of a hill, it has three storeys on
one side, and only one or two on the uphill side.

The hay is put into the top storey, and can be dropped down through a
trapdoor into the stable, which is on the second floor. Then the
stable is cleaned out through trapdoors, which let all the dirt fall
into the lower storey, from which it can be carted away to manure the

A curious thing about most of the Norwegian farms is that there are no
muddy cart tracks to be seen, the grass is green right up to the
doors. Then there are no chickens about the place, as a rule; nor are
there beehives, nor any garden. The carts are very small and low,
sometimes on wheels, sometimes on runners, as sledges. The harness is
very light, and yet strong; the driver walks behind the cart and
drives the horse with a long pair of rope reins.


Our house in the saeter was, like all the others, a single-storied log
house, with a roof of planks covered with birchbark, over which is
spread a thick layer of earth, which soon becomes grass-grown, so that
it looks as if the roof were made of turf.

There were three or four rooms in the house, nice, clean rooms, with
comfortable beds, and a great big open fire hearth in the corner, in
which you light up your log fire whenever you like to have it--and we
liked it pretty nearly always, for at this height, nearly 4000 feet,
close to snow-clad mountains, the evenings and early mornings were
very cold.

On our door was a big lock, and a lock in this country is not boxed up
inside iron casing but is left open to view, so that you can see how
it works, and get your fingers pinched in it if you like to be

The farmer's wife, a kind, cheery, clean, motherly woman, was always
cooking up good things for us, and feeding us to such an extent that
if we had stopped there much longer we should have grown too fat to
carry out our expedition.

She didn't understand a word of English, but she used to stop her work
every now and then to come and hear us having our Norwegian lessons,
and she used simply to howl with laughing at our attempts to pronounce
the words the right way.

The food she used to give us is much the same as you get everywhere in
Norway. For breakfast, which is generally about nine or ten o'clock
(we persuaded her to give it to us much earlier), you have a cup of
coffee and two or three glasses of milk, home-made bread, and a kind
of thin oatmeal cake, butter, and goats'-milk cheese.

[Illustration: THE LOCK ON OUR DOOR.]

Dinner is usually about three in the afternoon, but we never had any,
as we were out all day, and took bread and coffee with us. Supper, at
nine o'clock, was much the same as breakfast, with the addition of
trout, or soup, and stewed fruit and cream, again with milk to drink.

There was one girl, who waited on us and did all the work of the
house. I never saw any servant do half as much as she did, and yet she
was always neat and clean and smiling.

She chopped our firewood, made our beds, greased our boots, waited at
table, scrubbed the floors, tables, and chairs every day. You never
saw a place so clean, If I were sitting at a table writing when she
was on the scrub, I was politely requested to lift my feet up while
she did the floor beneath them!

Then there was a boy at the saeter, who, though he could not speak a
word of English, was a very nice English-looking lad.

He was in charge of the pony and cart, and his two ponies were the
cheekiest, tamest things I have seen. They would follow you about like
dogs, and seemed to understand what you said to them. That was all due
to kind treatment by their young master.

This boy used to be sent off on long journeys over very rough country
in charge of the cart. Then sometimes he would milk the cows and
goats. Whenever he had any spare time he would take down his great
18-foot rod, and go fishing for trout, and generally he brought back
some good ones, too. Then he was a handy carpenter, and understood
mending a boat and sharpening tools on a grindstone. All these are
things which a Scout should be able to do, but I wonder how many of
them an ordinary boy in England can do.

Then, sharpening your tools is a very useful thing to practise for
putting an edge on to your axe or knife.

There is a saying among Sikh soldiers in India, when speaking of any
bad act, that it is "as disgraceful as having a blunt sword." A Sikh
always keeps his as sharp as a razor. It is a disgrace to him if it is

So, too, a woodman would never be seen with a blunt axe or knife in
camp. He would never get through his work if he had them. Yet I often
see Boy Scouts go into camp with axes so blunt that they will cut
nothing, and their knives very little better. You don't know the
pleasure of handling an axe till you have used a really sharp one.

And then every Scout ought to know how to sharpen his own axe on a
grindstone. You must wet the stone first, and then get someone to turn
it, running the wheel away from you, while you lay the blade with its
back towards you, and its edge in the same direction as the wheel is
moving, and pass it gently on to the stone, doing each side of the
blade in turn a little at a time until the whole blade becomes bright,
especially at the cutting edge.

       *       *       *       *       *


You remember that George and I went to Jasjvold Saeter in order to get
some "reeper," and also to explore the gorge of which we had heard.

As you get higher up above the level of the sea, the nature of the
country and of the plants changes. In the lower level you get trees
and bushes and flowers very much like those in England, but as you
rise higher nothing but fir trees, pines, and birch trees seem to
grow. Then as you get up a bit the fir trees come to an end, and you
find only small birch trees, after which there are no trees.

You come out on the open moorland where there is heather, like that in
Scotland, and other small shrubs, one of which would interest boys
because it grows a very nice little fruit called "blue-berries." Above
the heather, that is, at a height of over 4000 feet, you get what is
called moss. This is really a kind of lichen like you see growing on
trees at home, a pale, yellowish-white, spongy kind of plant, which
seems to thrive on barren, rocky mountain sides, and forms feed for
the reindeer which run wild in these parts.

Well, George and I used to go out from the Saeter directly after
breakfast each day, carrying our ruksacks on our backs, and one of us
a gun and the other a fishing rod in his hand. And the dogs went with
us. In our ruksacks we carried a kettle, some bread, butter, and
coffee, and a change of shoes and stockings, for what with wading
through streams and stepping into bogs we were pretty wet about the
feet before the day was ended.

On the first day we went and discovered the head of the gorge, high up
on the mountain side, and each day after that we explored a new bit of
it till we had followed it down to where it opened on to the valley at
its foot.

The gorge was a deep cleft in the mountain-side of dark, frowning
cliffs, with a bright, clear mountain stream running along among the
rocks and stones at its bottom.

       *       *       *       *       *


The farmer had told us there were no fish in this stream, and nobody
ever fished there. However, I thought I might as well use my rod,
having brought it all the way there, so, pretending to myself that
there was a fish in a swirling little pool behind a great rock, I
crept and crawled to a spot from which I could, unseen by the fish,
throw my fly so that it could float quietly in the current and be
carried round the corner.

The first attempt from my crouching position was not a good one; the
line did not go out far enough, and merely got into a backwater and
drifted in close to me so I shortened it up by pulling in a handful or
two, and then shot it out again over the water.

This time it fell well out, the thin gut cast falling lightly as a
cobweb on the surface, and then sliding off with the current close
round the edge of the rock; and just as it went out of sight there was
a sudden tug and a steady hold on it! A rock 1 No. The next moment
there was a rush and a strain, the rod bending over and showing that a
really nice fish was on.

[Illustration: OUR DAILY EXCURSION.]

I won't tell you all the joy that followed in playing the fish till he
was exhausted, and then leading him to a smooth shallow, where, having
no landing-net, I could draw him steadily and quickly from the water
and up the shelving rock without breaking the delicate line. But I got
him! And after him we got many more, enough for all our meals. It was
a delightful trout stream, and I could only wish that every Scout in
the world were there to enjoy it, too.

One particular run of water pleased me particularly. The stream rushed
through an opening between some rocks, and then gradually opened over
a gravelly bed in a long, rippling current. The "tail of the run," as
they call it, is the place to expect fish, so I fished quickly over
the rapid part of the run, and went more gingerly when I got nearer to
the "tail," making my fly visit every inch of the water, and I was
quickly rewarded.

A sudden ting like an electric shock on my rod, and a heavy rushing
and jerking hither and thither, till gradually the fish exhausted
himself, and I was able to hold him and gradually tow him up on the
shelving beach. Out of that one pool we got no fewer than fourteen
trout that day! Of course, we only kept those we wanted for food, and
slid the others back into the water, alarmed, but not hurt.

       *       *       *       *       *


After a few miles the gorge got deeper and deeper and more and more
narrow, until it ran between high cliffs which could not be climbed,
and the stream became a torrent running between the high rocks, so
that progress was impossible along the bottom.

We were, therefore, obliged to keep up on the mountainside above the
cliffs and make our way along in the same direction as the gorge,
occasionally looking down into it to see its wonderful scenery.

On steep parts of the mountain we had to clamber along as best we
could, and sometimes it was jumpy work, where, if you kicked aside a
loose stone, you could see it go bounding away down into the gloomy
gorge below. At other times we were walking on beautifully soft moss,
into which our feet sank for several inches; in fact, after a time,
with a good load on our backs we began to wish it was not quite so
soft! But it made our going very quiet and silent, and we kept a sharp
look-out for game.

At one time George was leading the way when we came to a slight rise
in front. Like a good scout, he never came to a rise without checking
his pace and peeping very carefully over it before going on. This he
did more from habit than from any expectation of seeing anything the
other side, but it is a most valuable habit, and one which every good
scout has. On this occasion it proved its value.

George dropped flat on the ground, and, taking the warning from him,
I, too, "squatted" at once, and made the dogs lie down. I did not know
whether we had an elk or rabbit in front of us, but presently George
crept back to me and reported that there were some duck on a pool a
short distance ahead.

He, being the gun-bearer, then started to stalk these duck by going a
long way round, keeping behind hillocks and rocks until he could get
near enough to be within shot of them. It took him a long time.

[Illustration: "George dropped flat on the ground, and, taking the
warning from Him, I, too, squatted at once, and made the dogs lie

He had a good look at the ground first from our hiding-place, and he
noted any peculiar rocks or bushes which would serve as guides to him
while he was carrying out his stalk, and off he went, creeping and
crawling from one landmark to the next, until at last he wriggled up
to the bush which he had guessed would bring him within shot of the

When he got there, he peeped through the stems of the bush, and found
that it was not so close as he had hoped--it was scarcely within
gunshot; but the duck had already some suspicion that all was not
well. They are the cleverest birds alive; they had all stopped
feeding, were looking anxiously about, and were beginning to swim

George saw that his only chance was to risk a long shot if we were
going to have any dinner that day, so, pushing his gun through the
bush, he fired at the nearest duck, and, immediately jumping to his
feet, he fired again at another, which by this time was on the
wing--and he killed both.

Of course the dogs and I both hurried down to him in great jubilation.
There were two good fat ducks floating on the little lake. But how
were we to get them? Neither of the dogs was a water dog, and the lake
was really a wet bog, in which a man could neither swim nor wade.

Luckily, there was a breeze blowing, so we went round to the lee side
and sat down to wait for the birds to drift to us. Slowly they came
nearer and nearer, but it was very slow work. It became slower and
slower as the breeze dropped and at last died away when they were not
twenty yards away.

[Illustration: "FISHING" FOR DUCK.]

Then George--again as a good scout would--invented a plan. He took my
rod and began to fly-fish for the ducks! That is, he threw the line
over a duck, and then gently drew it in so that the hook caught in the
bird's feathers. In this way he "caught" both of them in turn and
dragged them ashore.

From the open high ground we gradually descended to lower heights.
First we came among scattered birch trees, and below these we entered
pine and fir woods, and through them we came steadily down to the
level of the valley in which lay the great lake.

Just before getting to the valley we dipped once more into our gorge
where it finally left the mountains, and it was a grand sight. The
cliffs rose sheer up a hundred feet on either side, even overhanging
in some places, and the opening between the cliffs was quite narrow,
where the stream in a dense body of water rushed its way through in a
roaring cascade. It was a magnificent scene.

Just below the cascade the gorge opened out, and the stream spread
itself over a shallow, stony bed, in many courses, till it joined the
main river in the valley.

George and I clambered down the last cliff, and close to the cascade I
made the fire while he went and caught a couple of trout for lunch (we
were going to keep those duck for supper at the saeter), and we were
very glad of the lunch and a rest.

Then we turned for home by a new road, walking round the foot of the
mountain over whose back we had come. But we turned for home in
another sense, for that was the turning point of my trip in Norway; I
had to go back home to England from there.

On our way back we passed great swamps where there were duck, but we
had had enough of them to last us for the present.

In one part of the swamp we came upon the spoor of elk. The elk, you
know, is a great big stag--the same as a moose in Canada; a very lanky
animal, as big as a horse, with a very blobby nose, and heavy,
flat-spread antlers.

It was, of course, very good to learn that there really were elk in
the neighbourhood, but it only made me the more unhappy at having to
leave the country. George, who had no Boy Scouts demanding his
presence, was going to stay on there, so everything that made me more
sad made him all the happier--the unfeeling brute!

Still, I can't complain. I think in the few weeks that I was in Norway
I had had as good a time as anyone could possibly have. There is no
better fun on earth than living in the open and catching and cooking
your own grub, in doing mutual good turns with a good comrade in camp,
and in recognising God's handiwork in the mountains and forests around

       *       *       *       *       *


George and I would have gone pretty hungry in our camp and on our
tramps while in Norway had we not both been able to catch fish, for
there was little else in the woods to eat besides blue-berries (we
were now too high up for the wild raspberries which are so good in the

Every Scout must know how to fish, otherwise he would feel so silly if
he died of starvation alongside a stream full of trout. And
fishing--like shooting, or cooking, or swimming, or anything else--is
not a thing that you can do straight off without having practised it
beforehand; so my advice to Tenderfoots is to take every chance of
learning how to fish, so that they may be able to do it when they may
be in need of fish for food.

Sea fishing, as you know, is generally done with a long line from a
boat, with a good lump of lead on the end of the line, and a number of
hooks every foot or so up it, baited with strips of fish with the
silvery skin left on them.

Then in rivers and lakes you fish with rod and line, with a float to
hold the bait at the right distance above the bottom. The hook is on a
yard or so of gut line, which is invisible to the fish; this is
weighted with split shot or small bits of lead, and the bait is
usually a worm, or a grub, or a little bit of bread paste. This kind
of fishing is called bottom fishing.

By the way, here is a good dodge for catching worms which every Scout
ought to know.

Mix a little mustard powder in a can of water, and then sprinkle the
water over a grass plot, and very _soon you_ will see worms
coming up out of the ground in a tremendous hurry.

It would be rather a fine conjuring trick to play when people are not
up to it--to take an ordinary watering-pot and apparently pour
ordinary water on the grass, and then play a mouth-organ or whistle a
tune to call up the worms. Someone else will be sure to try it, too,
and if you have taken care to empty your can of mustard and water they
will put in plain water and will get no result in the shape of worms.

       *       *       *       *       *


Then there is a third kind of fishing, and that is fly-fishing. It is
the most difficult, but at the same time the most useful, because it
is the only way that will do in the rapid rivers and streams with
which you meet in the wilds; and also it can be used on lakes and
slower rivers, and it is much the best fun.

All the boys in Norway catch their fish by fly-fishing. You have to
have a whippy rod with a long line to it, and a long piece of gut
(called the "cast") on it, with from one to three hooks made to look
like flies on it, these are fixed at about two feet apart.

By using the rod as a spring you can throw the line a long distance to
any point you wish, so that the flies will float past the nose of a
fish and tempt him to rush out and swallow one.

The throwing of the fly--casting it is called--is at first the
difficulty for a beginner, but it comes all right with a little
practice. You can learn to do it perfectly well without going to a
river and without having any hooks on your line to begin with.

Take a rod, and a line as long as a rod and a half, and try throwing
it in a field or road or anywhere--till you can get the line to go out
perfectly straight to its full extent on to the ground at the spot you
wish. The great points to remember which are the key to success arc
these: All the work is done by the tip of the rod, not the butt. Bring
your rod back with a little jerk at the end to throw the line back
behind you, but don't let the rod itself go back much beyond the
upright position.


Before throwing the line forward again, give a pause so that it has
time to straighten itself behind you--and that pause is the secret of
the whole thing. It must not be too short, or your line will still be
curled up when you shoot it forward and will not go out the distance
you want, and if the pause is too long it will fall and catch on the
ground behind you, and also will lose its spring. That is where
practice is so necessary, so that you know exactly how long to pause.

Then an important point to remember is that the jerking of the rod,
whether forward or backward, is done from the wrist and only slightly
from the elbow, and not at all from the shoulder. A beginner would do
well to tie his elbow by a loose strap to his waist, so as to remind
him not to wave his whole arm as most beginners do.

All this sounds a good deal to think of, but if you go and practise it
you very soon get into the way of it, and fly-fishing is the best
sport that I know.

There are two kinds of fly-fishing, "wet" and "dry." Wet fly means
that you let your flies sink into the water and you then draw them
along under the surface. A dry fly is made in such a way that it
floats on the top of the water as many natural flies do, and the fish,
seeing it floating there, rises at it. This is the best sport of all
fishing, but is also the most difficult to do well.

Of course, it is difficult for some boys to buy rods and fishing
tackle, but a Scout ought to be able to make his own as most of these
Norwegian boys do.


Cut a straight, whippy rod of about ten feet, put on a line of strong,
thin twine, and a cast of horsehair out of a pony's tail if you cannot
get gut, A hook is difficult to manufacture for yourself, though it
can be done with a bit of wire and a file; but most Scouts going on an
expedition take a few hooks with them as part of their outfit.

When I was out with George, I had to make myself a rod, as we only had
one rod between us and I got tired of waiting for my turn with it; but
we were high up in the mountains where the woods were thin, so I only
got a poor choice of sticks from which to make one.

However, I cut down a likely looking birch sapling and trimmed him
down, and he did pretty well; but he was not very springy, so it
required more brute force on my part than skilful turning of the wrist
to get my line out, But I caught a lot of fish with him all the same.

       *       *       *       *       *


One day I broke the delicate top joint of my fly-fishing rod by
catching the fly in a bush during the back throw.

Well, it's no use giving up fishing because your rod is broken; the
thing to do is to set to work and mend it. It is an accident which
often happens, especially to a beginner, and every Scout ought to know
how to mend his rod.

My rod had snapped off a few inches from the tip, so I took the ring
off the broken tip, and, after trimming the broken end of the rod with
my knife, I put the ring on to this and thus made my rod workable; but
it was just a few inches shorter than it had been before.

This is the way to bind your ring on to the new tip--at least, it's
the way I did it, and it served quite well for the rest of my trip.

Having no beeswax, I took some "gum" from the bark of a fir tree and
rubbed a thin coating on the rod and on the black silk thread I had
with me; then, putting the ring on to the end of the rod, I bound it
there with a very careful and tight wrapping of the silk. This I had
previously wound on to a stick so as to get a good hold on it for
pulling each turn tight.

To fasten the end of the silk, proceed as follows:


After winding from A steadily up towards the point B (about an inch),
when you have still about half a dozen turns to do, make a big loop of
your silk C, and lay the loose end of it, B D, on the unbound bit of
rod, and go on binding over it until you have reached the point B with
your thread as in the sketch. You then pull D and the loop C gradually
closes in till there is nothing left of it. Then you cut off the loose
end D close to the rod.

Put a coating of gum or varnish over the whole to make it fast and
watertight, and then you have your rod as strong and as sound as ever.

       *       *       *       *       *


In order to be able to fix your hook on to your line and to join up
the different bits of line, you want to know how to tie your knots;
but in addition to those which you have learnt as a Scout there are
several more which come in useful for a fisherman.

I will only give you one or two here, but there are many others. These
are drawn half tied, just before pulling tight.

Here is the overhand loop:

[Illustration: KNOT]

To join a line to a loop do it this way:

[Illustration: KNOT]

Much the same kind of knot is used to tie a hook to a line:

[Illustration: KNOT]

To join two lengths of line together, even when of different
thickness, follow out this method:

[Illustration: KNOT]

       *       *       *       *       *


The Scout Law says that you should not kill God's creatures without
good reason. It is allowable when you need them for food. In the case
of fishing you often catch them when practising, but you need not kill
every fish you catch; you can take them carefully off the hook and put
them back into the water.

The hook as a rule catches them in the lip, which with them is not the
tender flesh that it is with us, but merely a lot of bones held
together by gristle, so they do not suffer pain as we should--and this
is shown by the way the same fish will come on again after having been
already caught.

When you want to keep a fish that you have caught, you should kill him
at once and put him out of his misery, and this you can do either by
hitting him on the head with a stick, or by driving your knife into
his brain, or by putting your finger down his throat and then bending
his head backwards and breaking his neck.

       *       *       *       *       *


Then when you have killed your fish you will want to cook him.

First of all you must clean him--that is, take his insides out. The
stomach and guts of the fish are carried rather far forward in his
chest, so with your knife you cut across the narrow bit of skin which
joins his chest to his chin, and with the point of the knife
underneath the skin slit the skin of his chest and belly open as far
as the fin near his tail. Then cut through the gut in his throat and
the whole of his insides will be let loose to fall out.

But before doing this, if you have slit the belly neatly it is
interesting to look at the wonderful insides which he carries--the
heart, and lungs, and liver, and intestines, all beautifully arranged
and kept in their place and protected by the delicate ribs. It is a
wonderful piece of God's work, and when you come to find that each
trout that you catch is made exactly in the same way, and just the
same as a trout that you may catch in New Zealand on the opposite side
of the world, you begin to understand what a wonderful Creator there
must be Who makes us all, and gives this wonderful kind of machinery
inside the body, which keeps life going for us.

       *       *       *       *       *


There are many ways of cooking your fish. The usual way is to fry him
in a hot frying-pan. A slit should be cut in each side of the fish, as
otherwise the heat is likely to burst his skin. A little salt and a
pinch of mustard put in with the butter in the pan will add to his

But the simplest way, for you don't generally carry frying-pans with
you when you go fishing, is to cut a long stick that bends at an angle
of forty-five degrees. Cut one arm to about one-third the length of
the other. Trim the short arm with your knife till it is fine and
pointed; pass this through the fish's mouth and then through the flesh
near his tail, and toast him by the fire, back downwards, with a small
lump of butter and a pinch of salt and mustard powder in his inside.
You will find him very good eating! A clean, flat stone makes a good

       *       *       *       *       *


There, now I've told you how to catch and kill and cook your fish, I
hope that you will soon be able to do it, and I wish you the old
salutation which every fisherman wishes to another when they start out
to fish, "A tight line to you," meaning that I hope you will get a big
one on.



When my holiday in Norway came to an end, I was very sorry to pack up
and come away. Even when I drove the last thirty miles in a cart to
the railway I carried my rod in my hand, and when I saw a good-looking
pool or run in a river--we were generally near a river--I stopped the
cart for a few minutes and tried for a trout, and, what was more, I
occasionally caught one!


At last I got back to Christiania and to proper clothes and clean
hands--and I didn't like it a bit.

However, I was comforted by being told that the Boy Scouts wanted me
to Inspect them, and I did so.

There was a parade of nearly eight hundred of them; fine, strapping,
big lads they were, too, just like a lot of British boys, and dressed
the same as us, and very lively and active.

[Illustration: THE NORWEGIAN FLAG. As you will see, it is something
like the Union Jack.]

I had to present Colours to some of their troops, and their national
flag is in some ways a little like our Union Jack. And I told them
that they were as like British boys as their flag was like ours, and
that their forefathers, the Norsemen, were mixed up with our
forefathers in the old days, and I hoped that we would all be mixed
together, in a friendly way, in these days--as brother Scouts.

       *       *       *       *       *


In England we are apt to look upon Norway and Sweden as almost one
nation, but they are not so in reality. The Norwegians in the old, old
days formed one nation with the Danes, but the Swedes have always been
a separate nation which has never been under the rule of any other
people. And they are very proud of this. So when I got amongst the
Swedes, I found a totally different people, but they were equally kind
and friendly to me, and they had an equally British-looking lot of Boy

A large number of these had collected the day before I was to review
them in Stockholm, and were camped there. So I went and saw them
overnight in camp, and found them round their camp-fires, cooking
their suppers, as jolly as sandboys. If they could do nothing else,
they could, at any rates cook their food very well.

But they could do other things, too, as they proved next day at the

This took place on a big open sports ground.

The Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden were there to see them (the
Crown Princess is the daughter of H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, our
President). Their Royal Highnesses are tremendously interested in the
Scouts, and watched all that they did most keenly.


I heard many reports of the good work done by Swedish Scouts. Here is

A poorly-paid working man in Gothenburg found himself in great
difficulties recently through his wife and two children being suddenly
taken ill with diphtheria and removed to the hospital. He himself had
to go to his work at the factory all day, but he had one of the
children left on his hands, as well as the home to look after.

He got the wife of one of his neighbours to do this for one day; the
next he came back home during the dinner-hour to see how things were
going on, and he found his home all cleaned and tidied up, and a
strange boy sitting on the floor playing with his child, while another
was still finishing the cleaning-up work.

When he asked who they were, they explained that they were Boy Scouts,
and, having heard that he was wanting help in his home, they had come
to give it.

You can imagine how grateful he was, especially as the Scouts kept on
at the work for over two weeks until the mother had got well and
returned to take charge.

One of those boys was the son of a rich man, while the other, his
comrade, was quite a poor lad.

       *       *       *       *       *


In Denmark the Boy Scouts are strong in numbers and keen and good at
their work. Those of Copenhagen gave a Rally in my honour, and twenty
troops paraded and gave very good shows of scout work, each troop
doing its own in turn. They seemed very good, especially in their

There were two very smart troops of Girl Guides also present at the
parade, who cooked, too.

[Illustration: AVENUE OF CROSSED STAVES. Formed by Boy Scouts and Girl
Guides at Copenhagen. I drove through it in a motor-car.]

The consequence was that when I began tasting some of their good
dishes, I had to go and taste all, so that when the time came for the
official dinner I had to attend in the evening I was already so
"crowded" that I could not eat any of it!

When I drove away from the parade-ground after it was over, the Scouts
and the Girl Guides made an avenue, crossing their staves overhead,
through which I drove in my motor-car.

In Copenhagen, the Town Hall is the great "thing" to see. It is quite
modern, only lately built, and is a magnificent building. One of the
features about it is the lifts, which keep running slowly up and down.
They have no attendants in them. You simply have to jump in or out
fairly quickly. I saw one stout old lady come and look at the lift.
She did not seem to like trying to jump in, but there seemed no way
for getting it to stop for a minute; she looked helplessly around;
then she had another look at it. The more she looked the less she
liked it, and finally she gave up the idea of visiting the upper
floors of the building, and went sorrowfully away.

[Illustration: The lift in the Town Hall at Copenhagen is a continuous
moving one--you have to jump in or out of it pretty smartly. Old Lady:
"Shall I venture?"]

The Scouts in Copenhagen have been trained in first aid work by a
First Aid Corps which exists in that city.

The Danish First Aid Corps is very much like our Fire Brigade. At the
first aid station are motor-cars fitted up with things needed for
almost every kind of accident, and they are ready to turn out at any
moment that their services may be required. Their office is on the
telephone with every police station, and when they get a call to an
accident, the motor, with all appliances, leaves the station within
thirty seconds of the alarm.

When I was there the alarm came that a man had been run over by a
tramcar in Market Street. In a few moments a motor lorry ran out of
the station equipped with lifting jacks and levers to raise the
tramcar, while a second followed it immediately with stretcher and
first aid appliances for the injured man.

In the station were kept all the things necessary for dealing with
railway accidents, for rescuing people overcome with gas, for saving
people in the water, and for pumping air into them when apparently
drowned; there were derricks for raising fallen horses, and fire
escapes of every kind. In fact, it was fitted up and manned by thirty
men, all trained and prepared to deal with every kind of accident that
could well happen.

Well, that's just what I should like to see done by Boy Scouts in our
country towns and villages. They might make their club-room a first
aid station, with as many appliances they could get together in the
shape of bicycles, hand-carts, ladders, jumping-sheets, stretchers,
bandages, spare harness, and with every Scout trained to deal with
every kind of accident, or to form fence while others rendered first
aid, and so on.

There might be some way of sending round or sounding the "alarm" when
an accident was reported, to bring together in a few minutes the
patrol whose turn it was for duty.

In this way Scouts would do most valuable work.

       *       *       *       *       *


Then I went to Holland, where I saw plenty more Scouts, both at
Amsterdam, Amersfoort, and The Hague; and fine, smart, clean-looking
fellows they were, too.

[Illustration: Most of the Amsterdam Boy Scouts carry lassoes with
which they are very handy.]

One thing which they did especially well was throwing the lasso. They
all carried light cord-lassoes on them. These came in useful for
hundreds of things, like making bridges, rope-ladders, rescuing people
from burning houses, and so on. But the Scouts also used them for
lassoing each other, and many of them were awfully good at it.

The Dutch Scouts also had an excellent stretcher, which I think would
be very useful for some of our ambulance patrols. With its help, one
Scout alone could take an injured man to hospital. In the first place,
it was flat on the ground, without any feet to it, so the Scout could
roll or drag his patient on to it.


Then it had two pairs of canvas flaps, which could lace across the
patient's chest and loins, with sort of pockets for his feet, so that
after the patient had been fastened on to it he could, if necessary,
be stood upright. This is sometimes useful in a narrow place like a
tunnel or a mine or a passage. Then, with a short chain and hook to
each corner, the stretcher was slung underneath a pair of wheels (a
Scout's hand-cart would do equally well), and the Scout was able to
wheel his patient away.

       *       *       *       *       *


Before my visit to Belgium the Scouts there did grand work in helping
the soldiers who had been sent to put out some forest fires. For
several days the Scouts were camped with the soldiers.

They supplied a line of signalling posts, by which communication was
kept up with the nearest telegraph offices.

They rendered first aid to a good number of soldiers who got slight
injuries from burning or other accidents in fighting the flames. And
also the Scouts did good work in keeping the soldiers supplied with
water when it was most difficult to get.

When the campaign with the bush fires was over, the military
commanding officer published his very sincere thanks and praise for
the good work done by the Scouts.

The Belgian Scouts made a very good kind of hut for themselves. In the
sketch below you see the framework of one hut, as well as the hut
completed by being covered with turf sods, and a wickerwork door.

[Illustration: BELGIAN BOY SCOUTS' HUT. On the right is shown the

During the war, the Belgian Scouts have amply sustained the reputation
won for the Belgians by the men in the fighting line. Indeed, many of
the Scouts themselves, though boys, joined in the fighting. One boy,
Leysen, alone, was decorated by King Albert for having captured no
fewer than eleven spies, and for having accounted for one of the enemy
with his own hand.

Two Belgian Scouts were captured by the Germans while observing their
lines and executed; while a large number have been employed in the
hospitals as orderlies, in addition to doing good work conveying
rations to troops in outlying trenches.

On the occasion of one of my visits to the Front, I saw a smart troop
of Belgian Scouts. It was a cyclist troop and the boys had offered
their services at the outbreak of war for orderly duty to the military
authorities at Antwerp. They continued their work in the retreat from
that place to Dunkirk and to North France, afterwards being employed
on regular pay by their Army Headquarters as orderlies.

I had the pleasure, too, of meeting the Chief Scout of Belgium, Dr. de
Page, the director of a splendid hospital for Belgian soldiers given
by the people of Great Britain. His three sons are Scouts, two of them
serving in the Army, and the youngest doing his bit in the workshop
attached to the hospital--where they make their own instruments, such
as scalpels, scissors, etc.

Finally, I had an interview with King Albert of Belgium. He told me
that "he considered the Movement one of the best steps of modern times
for the education of the boy. His own son is an enthusiastic Scout,
and the Belgian boys who had taken it up were quite changed for the
better, and had done valuable service in the war. The war had been a
high test for it, but had proved that our training gave the very best
foundation for making good soldiers--by developing the right spirit
and intelligence as well as physical strength and activity."

At the opening of the "Mercers' Arms" (the Hut for the use of our
troops which is manned by Scoutmasters) a Guard of Honour was formed
by a Calais Troop of French Boy Scouts under Scoutmaster Laut. These
boys have been doing helpful service in the military hospitals. It was
very pleasing indeed to see our international comradeship thus

       *       *       *       *       *


One January morning my wife and I sailed from Southampton for Algeria,
on the north coast of Africa.

As we came into the Bay of Biscay, after leaving the English Channel,
our ship got into a big swell, the seas rolling us heavily, and
occasionally rushing over our bows in frothing green and clouds of

After about twenty-four hours of rough weather we sighted Cape
Finisterre--the first headland on the coast of Portugal, and not far
from that we passed Corunna, where, during the Peninsular War in 1810,
the British force under Sir John Moore successfully got away from a
superior force of French, though losing their gallant commander in
doing so.

The next important town on the coast is Vigo, and it was in Vigo Bay
that Drake "singed the Spanish King's beard" by capturing and burning
his fleet.

Also later, during the war of the Spanish Succession in 1702, an
Anglo-Dutch fleet under Admirals Rooke and Stanhope attacked the
Spanish "silver fleet" in Vigo Harbour, captured much treasure, and
sank many vessels.

Past the Torres Vedras. where Wellington successfully held off
Napoleon's army till his own was fit to take the field.

And near that is Oporto, where the port wine comes from, and which is
well known to Britons as being the place where the Duke of Wellington
defeated the French troops under Marshal Ney in the Peninsular War by
crossing the River Douro unexpectedly--the French thinking it quite
impassable by British troops,

We got into calmer water near the mouth, of the River Tagus, and here
we saw the palace of our national guest, the young ex-King of
Portugal, standing high up on a mountain peak above Cintra.

       *       *       *       *       *


Continuing our voyage, we passed Trafalgar Bay and Gibraltar, where we
reviewed some Scouts.

On arrival at Algiers, the chief seaport and capital of Algeria, the
first thing that struck us was the strange mixture of people we met in
the streets.

There were Arabs, in their flowing white garments, brushing shoulders
with smartly dressed French officers and ladies, and picturesque
native soldiers and Turks and Italian peasants all busy at their
different pursuits.

Algiers is now a modern French town, though formerly it was the
headquarters of the Algerian pirates. The native quarter of the city
is still a network of narrow streets and alleys, made quite dark by
the houses that almost meet overhead.

Above the town stands the old fortress, called the Casbah. This was
the stronghold of the Turkish Corsairs and it was here that they kept
the prisoners which they captured from various vessels at sea.

Those of the captives who were Christians they treated with unusual
severity, and a large number of British sailors suffered torture at
their hands.

We saw here a massive doorway with chains hanging festooned upon the
upper part. This was called "the Gate of Pardon," because here the
prisoner was given a chance of release.

He was made to run between two lines of soldiers armed with swords,
all of whom cut at him as he ran by, and if he were able at the end of
the course to spring up and catch hold of the chain he was allowed to
go free. If he failed he had to run the gauntlet back again, and very
few survived it.


Another reminder of the Christian prisoners is to be seen in the chief
mosque of the city. This was designed and built by these captives
under the orders of their heathen masters. They naturally constructed
it like one of our churches in the form of a cross. This was
afterwards recognised by the Moors, and the church was used, but the
builders were put to death for their temerity.

We can admire the bravery of these men, who, in spite of the danger of
being killed for it, did their best to maintain their religion to the

       *       *       *       *       *


A day's journey by train from Algiers, through country closely
cultivated with vines and crops by the French colonists, and then
through a mountainous district inhabited by the Kabyle tribes, brought
us into Constantine.

This is a wonderful city perched on a high rock, and surrounded on
three sides by a narrow gorge some 400 feet deep. It has been a
fortress since ancient times; and holds the record for being besieged,
having stood no fewer than eighty investments in its time.

On the last occasion it was held by the Arabs against the French,
whose first attempt to take the place was defeated by the natives
after a desperate fight. It looks practically impossible to capture
the place, but for two years the French did not give up hope,
continuing their efforts until in the end they were successful.

Like the Scouts they were not put off by very big difficulties, but
pluckily stuck to it, and gained their end.

We visited here the French cavalry regiment, the 3rd Chasseurs
d'Afrique. This regiment distinguished itself in the Crimea by
supporting the charge of the British Light Brigade at Balaclava.

It dashed bravely into the batteries of Russian artillery, who were
firing into the flanks of our force, and captured a number of their
guns, and thus enabled the survivors of the charge to make their way
back from the field.

The records of this exploit are still preserved in the regimental
museum, or _salle d'Honneur_, as are also the trophies and
memorials of other fine deeds performed by the regiment on active

Among these was an interesting letter written by an officer after he
had been mortally wounded by a shot which shattered his jaw. It was
his last message to the men of his squadron urging them to do their
duty before all else, and saying he was proud to die in the cause of
his Country.

       *       *       *       *       *


This portion of the Globe was once an important part of the Roman

As every Scout knows this great nation penetrated as far north as the
borders of Scotland, and ruled over England for nearly 400 years. They
also held Germany, France, and Spain, and the larger portion of North

In the course of our travels in Algeria, we came across remains of the
Roman occupation, the finest of these being the ruins of the city of

These have been dug out of the sand, and preserved, so that it is now
possible to walk through the paved streets and visit what were once
the market place, theatre, bathing establishments, temples, public
libraries, and private houses of people who lived there over 1800
years ago.

The usual Roman house consisted of a front hall leading into a central
open-air courtyard, which was surrounded by a colonnade, and had a
fountain or tank full of fish in the centre. Then leading out of this
were the owner's study, sitting-room, bedrooms, dining-room, and a
series of three bathrooms, one warm, the second hot, and the third

The floors of the rooms were made of cement, upon which ornamental
mosaic was inlaid, that is, a pattern made out of very small stones of
different colours.

       *       *       *       *       *


On arrival at Timgad my wife and I found the weekly Arab market in
full swing.


It is not in the least like an English market with its tidy pens of
sheep and cattle and orderly arrangement of stalls, for this is a
dense crowd of white-robed Arabs, in the midst of which camels and
donkeys for sale stand about amongst tents full of clothes and corn
and seed, and strips of hide for making shoes.

And here and there in the dust are dark men cooking and selling
unappetising bits of meat and making black coffee, which is their only

Towards evening the fair breaks up. Those who have bought corn load up
great sacks of it upon their camels' backs.

The camel, as you know, squats down on the ground whilst its master
loads it, and during the process looks round and gives out
heartrending groans as if complaining at the excessive weight being
put upon its back, but when the load is adjusted, the animal gets up
and walks away quite contentedly.

The camel can travel long distances for days together without drinking
fresh water, because his throat is fitted by Nature with bladders,
which he fills with water before starting. When he feels thirsty, he
ejects one of these out of his throat, and then drinks the water from

Others of the Arabs who have been attending the fair mount their mules
or donkeys--often two of them on one mule--carrying their purchases
with them, in some cases even carrying live sheep across their
saddles. Many of them crowd into coaches to go home. These are
rickety-looking boxes on wheels with roofs to them, drawn by six
horses, which travel three abreast.

When they were all comfortably settled in one of these coaches ready
for their journey, my wife stepped forward with her kodak to
photograph them. In a moment they were tumbling out of their places,
hurrying to get out of the range of the "Evil Eye"--for that is what
they think the camera must be; they fear it may bring sickness or bad
luck upon them.

       *       *       *       *       *


While we were at Timgad a gaily coloured little band of mounted men
came trailing across the plain, and finally made their halt close to
us. They were a troop of "Spahis," or native cavalry of the French
army in Algeria.

The men dress in Arab costume, with the white turban on their heads, a
short red jacket, and baggy blue Turkish breeches with boots of red
morocco leather. They also wear a huge red cloak in cold weather.


They are mounted on small grey Arab horses, and sit in a very
high-peaked saddle, and the horses all wear blinkers. Altogether they
make very picturesque soldiers, and at the same time are good riders
and brave fighters.

       *       *       *       *       *


Prom Biskra on the Sahara we started' on a walking tour among the
mountains of the desert.

We got a couple of tents, bedding, camp furniture, and food, and two
mules to carry it all. We also got two Arabs to guide us and be
generally useful. Their names were Rahmoun and Ibrahim.

Our preparations did not take us long, and we were soon camped out on
the desert, far from other human habitations, in the glorious sunshine
of North Africa.

At night, although the air was keen and cold, we had our beds put
outside the tent in the open, and we slept under the stars.

The drawback to camping was the difficulty in getting fresh water and
firewood. We generally carried bottles of fresh water with us, as even
when we were able to find a trickle of water in a river-bed, it was
frequently brackish or half salt.

[Illustration: "We were soon camped out on the desert, far from other
human habitations, in the glorious sunshine of North Africa."]

Then there were no trees or bushes with which to light our fire, so we
had to collect the smallest sticks and straws to act as "punk" and
loaded up any parched plants that we could find, and these, together
with twigs and branches of little thorn tufts, enabled us to make a
fire. It was not a big one, but then a Scout does not need a bonfire
to cook his food.

       *       *       *       *       *


We left the railway to face the open stony desert and arid rocky
mountains with the greatest keenness, in the bright sun and clear air
of Southern Algeria.

The last bit of civilisation that we saw was a French. colonist's
farm, fortified with a strong loopholed tower, in which the farmer and
his family could take refuge and stand a siege if the Arabs should
rise in rebellion.

These fortified farms are to be seen in many parts of Algeria, and are
a sign, of the farmers _Being Prepared_ for what is _possible_,
though it may not be _probable_.

If our own people in South Africa had prepared their homesteads for
defence in the same way against the Kaffirs, the Zulus, the Basutos,
and the Matabele tribes, they would have saved themselves in very many
cases from death at the hands of these savage warriors when they rose
at different times in rebellion against the white men.

Any Boy Scout who goes later on to farm in an Oversea Dominion where
there are fighting natives will do well to remember this, and to make
one of his farm buildings defensible, so that it cannot be attacked or
burnt by the enemy, and where he and his family can stand a siege of
some weeks, having food, water, and ammunition always ready inside it.

This is _Being Prepared_, and not leaving things to chance.

       *       *       *       *       *


Our way next led us through a mighty gorge between the mountains.
There were high, rocky cliffs on either side, and a stream running
among the stones at the bottom of it.

This ravine we clambered through for five or six miles, passing on the
way an Arab village of flat-roofed mud huts perched on the side of the
cliffs like swallows' nests.

And not far from them were holes and caves in the cliffs in which some
of the Arab tribes lived. Many of them were so difficult to get at
that the inhabitants got to them by means of ropes lowered down over
the edge of the cliff.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Romans in the old days had marched, fought, and colonised all over
Algeria, and their doings have been recorded by their history writers.

One of these, Herodotus, has described how in one part of Algeria
there were many wonders, such as springs of water in which the water
came out boiling, donkeys which had horns like rams' horns on their
heads, and lastly that there was a great mountain made of solid salt.

Of course, he got a good deal laughed at, and was entirely disbelieved
by the Romans who stayed at home, but all the same his yarns were not
far off the truth.

We ourselves were camped near one of the numerous hot springs in
Algeria, Hammam Mousketine, it was called; clouds of steam used to
rise from it always.

Also, we met many English sportsmen tramping and camping among the
mountains in search of the "moufflon," a kind of mountain wild sheep,
which, at a short distance, looks very like a donkey with big ram's
horns on its head.

In the course of our tramp we paid a visit to the Salt Mountain, and
found that Herodotus had told nothing more than the truth.

The mountain is about 900 feet high, and about three miles long, and
consists of a jumble of crags and fissures, chiefly of yellow
sandstone, in which are imbedded great blocks and sheets of salt.

The natives for miles round come with picks and mattocks, and cut as
much of it as their donkeys can carry to market.

       *       *       *       *       *


Our next march took us across endless dry water-courses with steep
sides, which had to be clambered up and down under a hot sun.

There was no regular road, because every downfall of rain alters the
course of the ravines. So we had to make the best of our way in the
general direction of the place we were making for.

It is wonderful how easily you lose your direction when you get into a
mass of ravines unless you notice carefully your bearings beforehand,
and either make for some good landmark, such as a distant mountain
peak, or else keep your direction by noticing the position of the sun.

In doing this, you must, of course, allow for the sun also changing
his position in the sky as the hours pass by.

We used the sun to some extent this day, but after a time a cold
breeze sprang up, and clouds began to gather, so that in a very little
while the sky was overcast and the sun was no longer any guide.

Then came on a cold, cold wind, which got more bitter as we struggled
against it.

But, cold as it was, I did not find that Scouts' kit was so cool as
people try to make out; the wind certainly whistled about my knees,
but I did not feel so very cold then.

We searched for some sort of sheltered place to pitch our tent, and
found plenty of such in the dry bed of the river under the cliffs,
which formed its banks, but we dared not use it, as rain clouds were
banking up, and if heavy rain were to come the dry river bed would in
a very short time be a raging torrent.

So we struggled on, and at last found a ledge among some rocks above
the river bed, which just afforded room for our tent, and here we
pitched it.

And only just in time, for before we had got it well up the rain began
to come down, and continued to rattle on our canvas roof for the rest
of the night.

But the storm had come with so little warning, and the wind had come
before the rain, so we comforted ourselves with the Scouts' weather

   "Long foretold, long last;
   Short notice, soon past."


   "When the wind's before the rain,
   Soon you may make sail again;
   When the rain's before the wind,
   Then your sheets and halyards mind."

Sure enough, next morning the sky cleared, and a beautiful sunny day
enabled us to carry out our next march in comfort.

       *       *       *       *       *


Our next camp was a delightful one--in place of the open, dry, stormy
desert, we found ourselves in groves of young palm trees on the river
bank, with plenty of fresh water and plenty of firewood. So we were in
luxury, and stayed two days in this spot to enjoy it to the full.

We had the additional fun here of catching fish in the river with a
hook and line attached to a stick cut from an oleander bush. We found
some worms in the irrigated garden, and thus we were able to fish and
to catch a good number of barbel.

These made a great addition to our larder.

A very useful tip to know in Africa is that when all other wood is
wet, dead palm branches will always light and burn well. They are most
useful as torches in camp, and are nicknamed "Arabs' Candles."

       *       *       *       *       *


We left our camp ground, with its palm trees down by the river, and
with our tent and belongings packed on to two mules, and our two Arabs
as guides, trekked across a wide, stony plain under a blazing hot sun.

Not a particle of shade the whole way, nor a drop of water; every
footstep had to be picked among the loose, jagged stones, and our way
was continually barred by deep, dry water-courses, which had to be
carefully clambered into and scrambled out of.

It was a very trying day's march, but yet we enjoyed it.

The views of the mountains around us were splendid.

[Illustration: EL KANTARA]

We were marching parallel with the wonderful range which stands like a
turreted wall between Algeria and the Sahara. It is so regular in its
outline that it looks almost as if built by the hands of giants, and
in the centre is a narrow, broken gap, El Kantara, through which run
the road, the river, and the railway.


We passed on our way close under a solitary peak which stands out from
the rest of the neighbouring mountains exactly in the likeness of a
great red ruined castle, called by the Arabs "The Tooth."

Then we got into a deep ravine with red sandy cliffs on either side,
and marching up its rocky bed we finally got in among the mountains,
and there made our camp.

After getting our tent pitched, and while the men were finding
firewood, my wife and I started a bit of engineering work in order to
obtain a water supply.

We cleared out the little trickle of water which we found in the river
bed, and digging a hollow in the sandy bed, we planted in it our india
rubber bath, and diverted the trickle so that it ran into this, and so
gave us a standing supply of clear water for our camp.

It was quite a triumph of engineering, though we got pretty wet and
muddy in carrying it out.

Then we went exploring among the hills, following up our gorge. We
soon found that it became a narrow fissure between the mountains, so
narrow that the overhanging rocks often nearly touched each other high
above our heads. It was a most weird place--exactly the sort of spot
where one might expect a dragon to dwell.

       *       *       *       *       *


A thing that strikes one about the Arabs is their politeness and
readiness to do good turns.

Every Arab we met as we tramped across the plains greeted us with
"good morning" in Arabic or French, and, though it must be a strange
sight to them to see a white lady walking, and a man in shorts and
shirt-sleeves (for I always wear the Scout kit for camping), they
never showed undue curiosity, and never thought of jeering at us as I
fear would be the case in many places in England.

[Illustration: AN ARAB TENT. The goatskin slung on a tripod is full of
water for the use of the family.]

If they saw our mules in trouble, or found us pitching our camp, they
were always ready to lend a hand without any idea of getting a reward
or a tip for doing so.

They have a good deal of the Scout in them, and many tribes of them do
not know what it is to live in a house-they are "nomads," that is,
they are wanderers, and live always in tents, moving with their flocks
and families from place to place where the grass gives the best
pasture for their sheep and goats.

Their tents are large, low, widespread awnings of black or brown
goats'-hair cloth, supported on numerous short poles.

The tent ropes stretch in various directions, and round the whole they
put up a hedge or "zareeba" of thorn bushes to keep out the jackals,
and to keep in their goats during the night.

In front of the tent hangs a goatskin slung on a tripod, and full of
water for the use of the family.

Many Arabs are well behaved and hospitable to strangers. But all are
not so polite: there are some tribes who are pretty cunning thieves.
Our two Arabs always patrolled round our camp at night with loaded
rifle and revolver to drive off any would-be robbers, and our mules
were shackled up at night with "handcuffs" on their fetlocks, and
these were locked to prevent them being stolen.

       *       *       *       *       *


The first thing one notices about the hot springs of Hammam Mousketine
which I mentioned above, is clouds of steam coming up out of the
bushes at different points. Here you will find water bubbling up out
of the ground and through a small mound of hard white or yellow crust.

The water is boiling hot, and the crust is formed from salts and
chemicals contained in the water drying on the surface.

There are about a dozen of these springs and a large number of cones
or mounds which have been springs, and which have choked themselves up
or run dry.

Half a dozen of these cones, of about ten feet high, stand together in
a group, and the Arabs have a curious story about them, which I will
tell you in the next paragraph. Also close by is a great waterfall
about a hundred yards wide by fifty feet high, but all turned to stone
by the same process.

       *       *       *       *       *


A rich Arab named Ali Cassam had a beautiful sister named Ourida.

Ali thought her the best woman in the world, and although she was his
sister he determined to marry her.

Such a marriage is considered just as unholy by the Mohammedans as it
is with us, and so everybody was against it. But Ali was great and
powerful, and he thought that by making a magnificent show of it he
would get over the feelings of those who said it was wrong.

[Illustration: The wedding party were all there in their places, but
all were turned into stone.]

So a splendid feast was arranged, and the ceremony began on a very big

The priest Abdallah undertook to carry out the religious part of it,
and had just taken the first step in the marriage service of placing
the bridegroom's hand on the bride's head when there was a tremendous
flash of lightning, fire rushed out of the earth, the day was suddenly
turned into night, and boiling water spouted up in all directions.

When the sun came out again the wedding party were all there in their
places, but all were turned into stone, and the boiling water still
bubbles up out of the earth round about them.

Personally I could not recognise exactly the actors in this drama; it
needed a lot of imagination to believe that one mound represented Ali
and another Ourida, while Abdallah was recognisable by his turban!

This was all that I saw of them.

       *       *       *       *       *


Owing to the absence of roads in the country the Arabs do not use
carts. All the carrying is done by camels, mules, or donkeys. The
donkeys are the commonest, being the cheapest; and very patient,
hard-working little servants they are.

On one of our tramps we came across an Arab standing very forlornly by
his donkey, which had fallen down. There was the little beast lying on
its side with its huge load of halfa grass partly across it, and the
owner quite at a loss to know what to do. This "halfa" or "esparto"
grass is collected by the Arabs on the mountain side, and brought down
and sold to merchants to go and make paper in England. It weighs very
heavy, which we soon found when we went to the assistance of the Arab,
and lifted the load off the donkey. The little animal seemed in no
hurry to rise from his comfortable position on the ground, and the
Arab was proceeding with a big stick to hint to him that it was time
to get up, when my wife intervened, and showed the Arab that this was
no way to treat the good little beast.

[Illustration: 1. IN DISTRESS.]

Having induced him at last to rise, the load of grass was up-ended,
the donkey put broadside on to it, and the burden was quickly hoisted
on to its back again.

[Illustration: 2. ALL HANDS TO THE RESCUE.]

So we had been able to do a little good turn to the man, though the
donkey did not probably appreciate it quite so much at first, but he
did in the end, for as soon as his load was securely on his back the
man started to whack him on along his road.

But again my wife put in a remonstrance, and the Arab, grasping her
meaning, refrained from using his stick, and coming back to us he gave
us each a hearty handshake, as if to show his gratitude for our help
and his determination to treat his four-footed friend with greater
kindness in the future.


       *       *       *       *       *


We were awfully sorry to finish our tramping camp. It was over much
too soon, but in the short time that we were at it we picked up lots
of health and enjoyment, and also a good many useful camp hints.


One of these--like so many great discoveries--was found by accident.

My wife, like a good Scout, kept everything very clean in camp, and
our joke was that whenever there was a moment to spare she would set
to work to scrub the saucepan. That seemed to be her favourite job,
using a handful of sand and a twist of coarse grass, and the result
was a bright, clean saucepan in which to cook our food.

A good deal of sickness comes in camps when dirty saucepans are used.

When she was not cleaning the saucepan her other spare minutes were
spent in cleaning up the camp ground, and burning all scraps.

One morning when doing this she made the great discovery. It was
this--how to make toast without a good fire. She had wrapped some
unused slices of bread in some waste paper, and put the whole lot
among the ashes of our palm-leaf fire in order to burn them.

The paper gradually charred and burnt itself away, and left the bread
behind it nicely roasted into crisp brown toast!

       *       *       *       *       *


Another tip which we learnt in camp was how to find truffles. These
are a kind of root akin to a mushroom, which grow entirely
underground. They are very nice to eat, and command a good price in
the market.

In France the people find them with pigs; the pigs are able to scent
them, and proceed to root them up with their snouts, when the man
steps in and collars the truffle.

The Arabs showed us how to find them on the desert, where they are
quite plentiful.

We had to examine the ground pretty carefully as we went along, and
where we saw a few little cracks in the surface leading out from one
centre where the earth bulged up a little--there we dug down two or
three inches and found the truffle.

       *       *       *       *       *


At one railway station in Algeria we found a motor-car waiting to take
us to our destination. The driver, unlike so many motor-car drivers,
set to work to carry our luggage himself, and worked for us most
willingly and well. He spoke English perfectly, with a South African

We soon found that he came from the Transvaal, and had learnt his
energetic helpfulness and courtesy through having been a Boy Scout in

       *       *       *       *       *


The story of the "Arab Marriage" reminds me of another legend about
rocks, but this one was a Red Indian story about a rock in British
Columbia, Canada.

The Arab story showed that the Arabs respect decent behaviour, and
this one, on the opposite side of the world, shows that the Red
Indians also give honour to manliness and purity.



Just at the entrance to the harbour of Vancouver stands a solitary
pinnacle of rock, straight and upright. It is called the Siwash Rock.

A young chief had made himself renowned for his wonderful courage in
war and for his sense of duty to his tribe and to his religion, and
for his courtesy to women.

He had married a wife, and when she was about to give birth to a child
they did as laid down in the laws of the tribe, that is, they both
bathed in the sea to be so clean that no wild animal should be able to
scent them. This would ensure their child being clean in thought and

The woman returned to their tent, but the young chief went on swimming
to make sure that he should be clean and pure for the birth of his

While he swam a canoe came along with four giants in it. These shouted
to him to get out of their way, but he only laughed back at them that
he was swimming on important business.

But they shouted to him that he must cease swimming in the channel, as
they were messengers of the great God, and that if he did not they
would turn him into a fish, or a tree, or a stone.


But he only replied that he must be clean for the birth of his child,
and therefore he meant to go on swimming, no matter what the risk was
to him.

This quite nonplussed the giants.

They could not run him down, because if their canoe were to touch a
human being their power over men would be lost.

Just then, when they were pausing, wondering what to do, they heard
the cry of a baby come from the woods on the shore.

Then one of the giants stood up and chanted to the swimmer a message
from the great God that, because he had bravely held out against all
their threats in order that his child should be the son of a clean
father, he should never die, but should remain for ever as a reminder
to other warriors to do their duty, and to obey the law of the tribe.
And his wife and child, too, should be for ever near him.

So the moment he touched the shore he became the great upright rock,
now called the Siwash Rock. And a short distance from him, in the
woods, are two more rocks, a big one and a little one beside it--his
wife and child.

They are monuments to the Indian belief that those who do their duty
in spite of any difficulty or danger are the best men and the greatest

       *       *       *       *       *


The Souks.

Perhaps you do not know what a "souk" is?

Imagine yourself in a long, narrow tunnel lit with skylights here and
there, with small open shops along either side. That is what one of
the "souks" or bazaars in Tunis is like.

There are miles of them, and they are generally crowded from end to
end with the white-cloaked Arabs and shrouded figures of women with
black masks over their faces, all busy shopping, buying or selling.

Each trade has a souk to itself. Thus, in one souk you will find
nothing but shoemakers' shops one after another, in the next will be
all coppersmiths, in another the cloth merchants, and so on.

There still stand the "Bardo" or Palace of the "Bey" or King of Tunis,
and the "kasbah" or castle in which the Tunisian pirates of old days
used to imprison the Christians whom they captured at sea; and there
is still the old slave market where they used to sell them.

Many an English sailor has been lost for ever to his home and friends
in that dismal place.

But on one occasion the prisoners got the better of their captors. As
many as ten thousand of them had been collected, and they made a plan
to escape, and, rising against their captors, they overwhelmed them by
force of numbers and got away.

"Home, Sweet Home,"

An interesting spot in the city is the old Christian cemetery, in
which lies buried the man who wrote the well-known song, "Home, Sweet
Home." Most people think that it is an English song, but the composer
was in reality an American--a clerk in the Consulate--named John
Howard Payne.

       *       *       *       *       *


Close to Tunis is the site of Carthage, the capital of the great
country of that name in North Africa.

There is very little to be seen of it to-day, for the city was
destroyed by its enemies, and the stones were taken to build the
present town of Tunis.

It was founded nearly 900 years before the time of Christ, and was for
hundreds of years a powerful and prosperous country till 146 years
before Christ, when it was conquered by the Romans, and the city was
given over to the flames.

The city was at that time twelve miles round, and was defended by huge
walls sixty feet high and thirty-three feet thick with rooms inside
them. In the lower storey were stables for horses and elephants (of
which there were 300), and the upper storey served as barracks for
over 20,000 soldiers, who formed the garrison for defence of the city.

But very few of these soldiers were Carthaginians. The Carthaginian
young men did not care about soldiering: they preferred to loaf about
and do nothing but watch public games, and foreigners or poor men were
hired to do the soldiering for the country.

The country was large and rich, and had many colonies oversea and
plenty of ships.

It looked as though no enemy could ever arise to come and attack her.
But what seemed so unlikely actually happened in the end.

The Romans had no great fleet to speak of, but they had a fine army,
and they meant business. They put their soldiers into crowded
transports, and sailed across the short distance of ocean that lay
between the two countries--not much farther than Hamburg in Germany is
from Hull in Yorkshire.

Thus the country which, like Germany, had a fine, well-trained army,
landed a force in Carthaginia, the country which, like Britain, had a
great fleet and great colonies, but only a small army, and it smashed
up the Carthaginians through their not Being Prepared for it.

Boar Hunting.

From Tunis one sees to the southward a mountain called Zaghouan.
Though forty miles away it was from here that the Carthaginians got
their water supply, and they conveyed it by a small canal, which they
built all the way to Carthage.

[Illustration: You can imagine the fun of having a lot of wildly
excited Arabs firing from the opposite side of the circle straight in
your direction, with the animal in between you.]

That canal still serves to bring the water into Tunis, though it is
now a good deal over two thousand years old!

I went to Zaghouan once to hunt wild boars. We got on that occasion a
hyena. It was an exciting time when our Arab beaters, working in a big
circle, gradually closed in on him from all sides.

It was exciting because every beater carried a gun, and every man
meant having a shot at that hyena.

You can imagine the fun of having a lot of wildly excited Arabs firing
from the opposite side of the circle straight in your direction at the
animal in between you!

Fortunately on this occasion the first few shots killed him, and there
were no other deaths to record.

The Arabs themselves see no special danger in it, because, they say,
the guns are all pointing downwards at the animal, and if the bullet
misses him it will only bury itself in the ground.

That is all very well, but it might as likely as not hit a stone and
glance up again and catch one in the eye or elsewhere that might be

Personally, I did not hold with that kind of shooting, but the Arabs
seemed to enjoy it so much and were so cheery and jolly over it that
I, too, had to smile and look as if I liked it.

There is plenty of game near Tunis, and this day we saw two dead wild
boars being brought in.

       *       *       *       *       *


In the old days, as I told you, Carthage was the London of that time,
being a city of 700,000 inhabitants, and the capital of a great
empire, which had overseas colonies in Spain, Corsica, and Sicily.

For a very long time it was at war with the Romans, who were the great
military nation then, and at first the Carthaginians got the better of
their adversaries.

One great help to them was their corps of elephants. These elephants
had scythes fixed on to their tusks, so that when they charged they
not only cut down the serried ranks of their enemies, but they also
trampled them underfoot.

In their great fight outside Carthage, the army belonging to the
Carthaginians under a Greek officer, Xanthippus, carried the day with
a grand charge of elephants, and thus defeated and routed the Romans
under Regulus.

Of the 20,000 men who formed the Roman force only 2000 escaped.
Regulus and a number of his best officers were captured and held as
prisoners of war for several years.

       *       *       *       *       *


As time went on, the Carthaginians tried to make peace, and they sent
their prisoner, Regulus, over to Rome to persuade the Roman Government
to come to terms. They made him promise on his word of honour that if
he failed to bring about peace he would return again to Carthage, and
become a prisoner once more.

When he got to Rome, instead of urging them to make peace, he told his
countrymen to go on with the war.

The Roman Government were inclined to do this, but at the same time
they saw that if they did, Regulus would probably be put to death by
the Carthaginians for not having procured peace, so they did not know
what to do.

Regulus, seeing their difficulty, told them that he was an old man and
his life did not matter, and he pretended that he had already taken
slow poison. So the Romans resolved to continue the war, and Regulus
went back to Carthage, according to his promise, and gave himself up
to the Carthaginians.

[Illustration: AN ARAB BOY AND HIS "MOKE."]

You might think that they would have admired him for his courage and
sense of honour, but the Carthaginians, as I told you, were a cowardly
lot; they hired soldiers to do their fighting for them, and, like all
cowards, they were cruel, too; so instead of respecting this plucky
old Roman, they punished him by shutting him into a box lined with
sharp spikes, so that he could get no rest nor sleep.

Then they cut off his eyelids, and took him out of his dark cell into
the blazing sunlight, so that he was blinded, and finally they killed
him by crucifying him.

Supposing that we were invaded by an enemy who had a strong army, and
we had nothing but paid soldiers to defend ourselves with because our
men were too cowardly or too unpatriotic to learn how to defend their
homes. If such an enemy were to defeat our weak army, and then order
us to destroy every house in London, how should we like it?

Should not we feel, like the Carthaginians, enraged with our
Government who had not made the country strong, and also enraged with
ourselves because we had not trained ourselves to defend our homes
before it was too late?

The Carthaginians in despair sent more messengers to the Roman general
at their gates, begging for thirty days' grace in which to make their
arrangements, but the conquerors sent these men back with the order
that the destruction of the city was to begin at once.

Then a change came over the Carthaginians. From a mob of despairing,
panic-stricken wretches they organised themselves into a defence
force. They barred the city gates, and started to make weapons to
replace those which they had surrendered to their enemies.

Night and day they worked--men, women, and children. They manufactured
daily 100 shields, 300 swords, 500 spears, and 1000 balls for their
catapults, and the women cut off their hair and plaited it into ropes
for the catapults.

       *       *       *       *       *



The catapult which the Carthaginians used was not the little implement
that a boy uses nowadays; it was a big kind of windlass, by which a
number of ropes were twisted up tightly till they acted as a spring to a
strong wooden arm at the end of which was a leather cup. This held a
stone about the size of a man's head.

When the spring was let go, this arm was flung violently forward, and
the stone was thereby hurled into the air, and flew with great force
for 400 or 500 yards.

The catapults served the purpose of artillery in those days when
gunpowder had not been invented.

The Carthaginians, when a favourable wind blew, sent a lot of fire
boats filled with faggots and tar to drift among the Roman fleet and
burn their ships.

They also got together the wrecks of their own ships which had been
smashed up by the enemy, and from them they built up others and
sallied out of port in order to astonish the Romans.

But they did not make any bold attacks, consequently the Romans only
sat tight and got reinforcements over, and in the end they attacked
and forced their way into the city. There the fighting in the streets
was very close and bitter.

For six days it went on, but the stern discipline and valour of the
Romans gradually told, and very soon the whole city was in their
hands. Fifty thousand inhabitants were allowed to escape, and the city
was given over to the flames.

One lot of defenders the Romans refused to spare. Some 900 of them
took refuge, and made a last stand, in the Temple of AEsculapius, and
among them was the wife of Hasdrubal, the commander of the
Carthaginians, and her two sons.

Hasdrubal himself saved his skin by surrendering to Scipio, the Roman
commander, but his wife stood up on the temple, which was now on fire,
and reviled him as a coward. Then she killed her two boys, and threw
herself into the fire rather than give in to the Latin enemy.

       *       *       *       *       *


A Home of Scouting.

Malta was a home of Scouting, since the Knights of St. John, who
settled there after the Crusades, were typical Scouts.

They knew how to Be Prepared

I remember reading the diary of a traveller who visited Malta in their
time--some three hundred years ago. He said that one morning a pirate
ship was sighted off the island. The Grand Master at once ordered one
of the fighting ships to get ready, and called upon the knights to man
it. Any who desired to go were to parade in front of the Castile
Palace (now the Mess house of the Royal Artillery). Some fifty or
sixty would be sufficient, but instead of this over three hundred
turned up on parade with their retainers and men-at-arms ready to
start then and there.

In the Armoury can be seen among many others the suit of armour worn
by the Grand Master Wignacourt.

One cannot but admire the beautiful fitting of the different folds of
armour, made so that the arms and legs could be bent and yet
thoroughly protected against wounds; also the whole is beautifully
engraved with ornamental designs. Among these a quick-sighted Scout
will at once notice the fleur-de-lys, or Scout's badge, on the breast.

       *       *       *       *       *


The badge also occurs on another badge of the knights, that is, on the
Maltese Cross, which all of them wore. This cross was eight-pointed in
shape, and was originally derived from the skull and crossbones; it
came from the crossbones, and served to remind the knights that it was
their duty to fight to the death and never to give in.

[Illustration: A notice on the walls of the fortifications of Malta,
where caper-plants grow plentifully, says: "No one is allowed to cut
capers here except the Commanding Royal Engineer." This is how I
picture him.]

Their motto might well have been that which the Boy Scouts use to-day:
_Never say die till you are dead_--struggle on against any
difficulty or danger, don't give in to it, and you will probably come
out successful in the end.

       *       *       *       *       *


Most of the Oversea Scouts wear, in addition to the Scout's badge of
the fleur-de-lys, the badge belonging to their country. For instance,
the Canadian Scouts wear the maple leaf, and the New Zealanders wear a
leaf of the tree fern.

If the Maltese Scouts want a badge of their own they could not do
better than adopt the Maltese Cross of the knights, and then stick to,
and act up to the meaning of it.

       *       *       *       *       *


When Napoleon was trying to conquer the whole of Europe a hundred
years ago, he proceeded to take Malta.

But the Maltese people rose, and held the rest of the island against
him, and sent and asked the British under Lord Nelson to come to their

This was promptly done, and the British Fleet laid siege to the French
in Valetta, so that no supplies of food could be brought to the
French, and some British troops were landed to help the Maltese.

Thus the French were defeated, and the Maltese handed themselves and
their island over to become a colony of the British Empire.

One celebrated officer who largely helped to defeat the French in
Malta was Admiral Troubridge.

Someone was condoling with Nelson once on his losing his right arm in
action. The gallant seaman replied cheerily:

"My good sir, I have got three right arms. Here is one (raising his
left arm), and there are my other two (pointing to Capt. Ball and
Capt. Troubridge)."

At the time of the British investment of the French in Malta, the
Maltese themselves were suffering from famine, and their state was so
deplorable, and the British authorities so slow to help them, that
Commodore Troubridge could bear it no longer, and to ease their
sufferings he caused some grain ships at Messina to be seized and
brought to Malta and their contents to be given out to feed the
starving people.

Commodore Troubridge began life as a ship's boy at fifteen, and rose
from seaman to be an officer through his steady attention to his duty,
so in all ways he was a good example for a Scout to follow.

Malta remains to-day a British colony, small in size--not much bigger
than the Isle of Wight--but having a numerous population of people
speaking their own language, and at the same time loyal to King George
and the British Empire.

Malta is chiefly valuable as having a harbour, dockyard, and coal
stores for our Mediterranean Fleet, and is therefore strongly
fortified and garrisoned by British troops, both infantry and

The Maltese themselves supply some companies of Fortress Artillery and
two battalions of Infantry Militia.

       *       *       *       *       *


Now, also, they have their Boy Scouts, whom I saw during my visit.

For Sea Scouts it is an ideal place, with its fine harbours, and its
coasts with their numerous creeks and landing places.

The warm climate also induces much to bathing, and the Maltese are
naturally good swimmers and handy men in boats. Their boats are very
graceful in shape; they are called "daisas," which is spelt "dghaisa,"
but I never could see the use of the letters "gh" in the word; it
sounds all right without them.

[Illustration: A MALTESE "DGHAISA."]

       *       *       *       *       *


Long ago I was quartered in Malta for three years, and I greatly
enjoyed my life there, especially the boating and the bathing.

After the South African War the people of Malta very kindly sent me a
beautiful present, and, I suppose on account of my known love of
boating, it took the form of a silver model of a sailing dghaisa. It
was so accurately and carefully made that not only did it include oars
and boat-hooks, etc., but even the thole-pins and the scoop for
bailing out water.

I was, of course, delighted to see the place again after twenty years'
absence, and to see so many of my old friends. Nothing seemed very
much changed in all that time, except that the Boy Scouts had come
into existence there as in every other important part of the British

       *       *       *       *       *


Any boy who has read Marryat's _Midshipman Easy_ will remember
how that cheeky young Naval officer and a friend of his went for a
spree in an Italian sailing boat from Malta to Sicily, which is eighty
miles away, and how their spree turned into a pretty desperate

The boys were attacked by their boat's crew during the night, and they
only saved themselves by using their pistols on the Italian
desperadoes. They eventually landed on the Sicilian coast not far from

Anyone who has read Count Erbach's diary of his visit to Malta in the
time of the Knights of St. John will remember his exciting experiences
when, on leaving the island, for Sicily, the vessel in which he sailed
had got within sight of Syracuse when a rakish-looking craft, which
proved to be an Algerian pirate, ran out from under the land, and
chased and captured his ship, and carried him off a prisoner to Tunis.

Going farther back, every boy who has read his Greek and Roman history
knows how Syracuse was in ancient days one of the great war harbours
of the Mediterranean.

It was the arsenal where fleets fitted out, and the depot where they
brought back their booties of valuables and slaves after their
victorious raids.

You may imagine, then, that it was interesting to us to steam into the
beautiful bay on a calm, sunny morning, past the old fort which guards
the entrance, and into the back of the island on which the town now

All was looking sweet and peaceful where for hundreds of years had
been the scene of strife and adventure. The Cathedral and Circus.

The walls of the cathedral are supported by immense columns, which,
500 years before Christ was born, formed the walls of the Temple of

Many are the signs of the Greek and Roman occupation of the place.

We visited the great open-air circus where gladiators used to fight
each other to the death, and where slaves were given to lions to
devour before the eager eyes of ten thousand spectators. The seats are
still there, and the dungeons of the slaves, and the dens of the wild

       *       *       *       *       *


In the neighbourhood are the great quarries in which the slaves not
only worked, but also lived. They were made to cut the walls so that
they inclined inwards, and therefore could not be climbed.

The only entrance to the quarries was by ladder, so there was no
escape for a man once he got in there.

There are huge caves cut in the walls of the quarries in which the
slaves lived, and one of these caves has been cut into a narrow cleft
exactly on the principle of the inside of your ear. So that anyone
sitting at the top of the cleft can hear every word that is being
spoken or even whispered in the cave below.

It is said that Dionysius, the ruler of Syracuse, had this made so
that he could sit in the cleft (where there is a little chamber with
private door) unknown to the people in the cave, and there he could
overhear all that the prisoners talked about and plotted among

The whole cave is called "The Ear of Dionysius."

I remember a similar kind of "ear" in a natural cave in Matabeleland.
It was here that one of the native sorcerers used to hide himself, and
when he whispered through a crack in the rocks it could be heard all
over the cave.

The people believed that it was the voice of a god speaking to them,
so they used to come and pray to him for advice, and the old villain
told them that they must rise up and murder all the white people, and
their chief, Lobengula, who had long been dead, would come to life and
lead them against their enemies once more.

He had nearly persuaded them to come out on the war-path, when
Burnham, the American scout, made his way into the secret part of the
cave and shot the supposed god while he was preaching murder.

       *       *       *       *       *


A curious thing that strikes you in Sicily is the kind of cart and
harness used by the country people.


The cart is a light, two-wheeled affair of an ordinary kind, but every
inch of it inside and out as far as the ends of the shafts and down
the spokes of the wheels, is painted in gaudy colours, for the most
part yellow, blue, red, and green.

Pictures of incidents in Bible history, of the war against the Turks
in Tripoli, of ballet dancers, etc., are to be seen on most of these
carts, while on others ornamental patterns only are painted.

Then the harness of the horse is of a very gaudy kind when new, but
being largely made up of cheap gold braid and coloured cloth, it soon
fades and looks tawdry.

       *       *       *       *       *


In place of a bit there is a steel noseband on the horse's bridle by
which he is driven and guided, and instead of the ordinary pad on the
horse's back, a great ornamental brass affair is used.

Years ago I bought one of these pads and brought it home as a
curiosity. A friend met me as I was bringing it along, and said:

"Hullo! what on earth is this? Surely it must be some sort of musical
instrument. Look here! I am getting up a concert; you _must_
bring your instrument and play it there. Will you?"

Of course, I always like to oblige a friend, and I did not like to
disappoint this one, so I meekly promised.

I chose a beautiful piece of high-class music, and got the orchestra
to practise it over as accompaniment to my instrument, the "sellura."
I tuned it by winding the brass flags which adorn it.

I fingered the knobs up and down the front of it as if they were the
notes; the big projections on either side I pulled as if to alter the

And the music? Well, I got that out of a comb and paper affixed to the
back, and into which I sang.

But, mixed up with the other instruments, it sounded all right, and I
got lots of applause and lots of questions afterwards as to where you
could buy these wonderful organs, and how long did it take one to
learn to play them, and so on!

       *       *       *       *       *


Six hundred feet up on a mountain spur overhanging the sea stands the
little town of Taormina.

Long ago it was chosen as a beauty spot by the Romans and Greeks, and
here they had their villas and baths and theatre.

The theatre stands to this day, in ruins, it is true, but sufficiently
whole to show what an ancient theatre was like.

One can sit in the upper circle and look down upon the "pit" and
"orchestra," and the marble pillars and wall which formed the back of
the stage in those days in place of scenery.

But an earthquake has thrown down the greater part of the back wall,
and has thereby opened up a beautiful view of the coast of blue water
and white sand far below, and of the purple slopes and snowy crest of
Mount Etna above--a scene such as no scene painter could have


Among the quaint and ancient buildings of the town stand the old
monastery and church of San Domenico. The monastery is now the chief
hotel, and with the splendid view from its windows and its pretty
gardens makes a charming place to stay at in this most charming spot.

       *       *       *       *       *


Naples is a city lying around a great bay on the Italian coast, and
behind it, about ten miles distant, rises the double-peaked mountain,
Vesuvius. Vesuvius is, as you know, a volcano and a thin cloud of
smoke is always coming out of it.

When I visited Naples a few years ago, the mountain was shaped like

[Illustration: ]

Now it is like this

[Illustration: ]

It lost its peak in one night, and I was there the night that it

I was sleeping peacefully in my hotel, when I was awakened in the
middle of the night by heavy bangings, and it at once occurred to me
that the artillery were firing guns in the street below my window.

I thought: "Hullo, here's a revolution or something going on," and I
rushed out on to my balcony.

The street below was empty, but in other streets I could hear people
calling to each other and crying out.

Then came more of the awful banging, like claps of thunder, all round.
Then there was suddenly a great blaze of red light up in the sky, and
I realised that Vesuvius was breaking out.

It was just like a fountain of fire squirting up, with volumes of
smoke and steam above it all lit up with the glow, and round it
jagged, white lightning kept blazing and darting about.

Soon the flames were dimmed, the whole outbreak became a dull glare,
even the houses round us grew indistinct, and what seemed to be a
regular London fog set in.

But it was not a fog; it was a cloud of light dust--the ashes from the
volcano, which had begun to fall over Naples.

When daylight came you could no longer see the mountain, although you
could hear it rumbling like thunder.

You could scarcely see across the street, so thick was the ash fog.
The fine dust got into one's eyes and nose, and everything, indoors
and out, was covered with a thick coating of grit.

At the foot of Vesuvius a great stream of red-hot lava mud slid down
the mountain side, straight across fields and roads, and over farms
and villages, slowly but steadily pushing its way, the country people
fleeing before it with such of their property as they were able to
bundle on to carts or carry away with them.

       *       *       *       *       *


But on the whole the people were not so frightened after the first
outbreak as one might have expected.

Yet they had every reason to be, because near the mountain stand the
ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was overwhelmed, not
by lava, but by just such a fall of ashes from a great eruption of
Vesuvius about thirty years after the death of Christ.

The ashes had fallen lightly at first, but so thickly that in a very
short space of time the whole city was buried under tons of it, and
the people were crushed or suffocated in their homes.

You will find the whole story of it in the novel called _The Last
Days of Pompeii_, but if you ever go to Pompeii the ruins which
have been dug out tell their own story better than any book can do.

You walk through silent streets of beautifully decorated houses, of
shops, theatres, and baths; the pavement is scored with the wheelmarks
of the chariots, and in some of the houses the skeletons of the
inhabitants are still to be seen.

       *       *       *       *       *


To-day the whole country around the foot of the mountain is thickly
populated, and towns and villages stand on the slopes of Vesuvius as
if there were no danger of his ever breaking out again.

And Naples itself is a great, flourishing city with big factories, and
a busy seaport where ships of every nation congregate.

And last, but not least, it has its Boy Scouts.

They are Italian boys, but they dress and work just the same as their
British brothers. They have done a lot of camping out, and are all
very good at cooking their grub. And also they do a bit of sea
scouting in the splendid harbour and bay of Naples.



Our ship of twelve thousand tons, R.M.S. _Orsova_, was more like
a floating hotel than a sea-going vessel, and the passengers living in
bright, comfortable cabins with a fine dining saloon and first-rate
food, could hardly imagine the work that was going on in other parts
of the ship to insure their travelling with such ease and speed and

A tour round the ship, such as we made one day, is full of interest
and wonder. The second-class passengers are housed and fed just as
well as those in the first-class, and there is accommodation for 230
of them.

In the third-class, again, they are wonderfully comfortable in cabins
for two or for four people each, with nice dining and sitting-saloons,
and a roomy, roofed-in deck where they can enjoy the fresh air in all
weathers. There is room for 800 of these, and the cost of the journey
from England to Australia is only 17 Pounds, which means board and lodging
of the best description for six weeks while doing the journey out.

The crew, of course, live forward, and, including seamen, stokers,
engineers, stewards, etc., they number about 300 men. On the
navigating staff of officers, quartermasters, and look-out men depends
much of our safety at sea.

Then down in the depths of the ship are the engineers and stokers, who
make the ship go. Our chief engineer, like all chief engineers, is a
Scotsman, and he loves and takes a pride in his engines, and is glad
to show them.

In Rudyard Kipling's song of the chief engineer, he describes him as
looking upon his engines as almost the work of God, in their wonderful
power and intricate working.

       *       *       *       *       *


And it is indeed an impressive sight to stand below these great
monsters of steel and watch them faithfully and untiringly pounding at
their work, all in order, and exactly in agreement with each other,
taking no notice of night or day, of storm or calm, but slinging along
at all times, doing their duty with an energetic goodwill which makes
them seem almost human--almost like gigantic Boy Scouts!

The great steel shaft which the four pistons keep driving round is
nearly 100 yards in length, and carries the big bronze screw propeller
at its end, which thrusts the ship along. There are two of these, one
on each side of the ship, which is therefore called a twin-screw

There are four cylinders to each shaft, and the same lot of steam is
used, passing from one cylinder to the other, beginning with the small
high-pressure cylinder, which it enters at its highest strength,
something like 250 lb. to the square inch, and ending with the big
low-pressure cylinder, where the pressure is only about 5 lb.

Then there are numbers of other engines. One for condensing the salt
water from the sea and making it into fresh water for the boilers.
This is done by boiling up the salt water so that the watery part of
it becomes steam, while the salty part remains behind as salt; the
steam, when cooled, becomes fresh water, and is then fit to be used in
the boilers to make steam.

       *       *       *       *       *


Then we go into the stokehold among the mighty boilers. Here are
powerful, grimy men at work getting coal out of the coal bunkers, and
shovelling it into the furnaces.

It sounds easy to shovel coal on to a fire, but it takes a lot of
practice to get the knack of stoking a fire properly, and a lot of
strength and skill to throw great shovelfuls quickly and well into the
right part of the furnace.

The stokers work in gangs for four hours at a time, under "leading
stokers," whose duty it is to see that the proper pressure of steam is
kept up in the boilers by the heat of the fires.

Anyone who has travelled on an ocean-going steamer will know the sound
which comes up from the interior of the ship every twenty minutes or
so, which sounds like a rataplan being hammered by someone for his own

This is in reality the signal which is given by striking iron with a
shovel, and can be heard by the men all over the stokehold, telling
them to stoke up their various fires.

Besides the main engines there are pumping engines for supplying water
to the boilers and to the various parts of the ship. Then there are
ice-making machines for keeping the food-storage rooms cold, and
electric dynamos for supplying electric light all over the vessel, and
for use in the laundry.

       *       *       *       *       *


This is an interesting department. Here all the bed sheets, towels,
tablecloths of the ship, and the linen of passengers are washed,
dried, and ironed by machinery.

The linen is put into a circular "drum" full of soapy water and
whirled round and round till well washed.

It is then partly dried by being put into another metal tub, which is
whirled round by electricity at such a pace that the water flies out
of the clothes. These are then put into a kind of mangle between hot
steel rollers, which squeeze out any water that remains, and at the
same time so heats the things that they come out quite dry and ironed
into the airing-room, where they receive a final drying in hot air.

The ironing of small articles like shirts and blouses is done by a few
laundrymaids using flat-irons heated by electricity.

       *       *       *       *       *


While on board we celebrated our birthday--that is, my wife's birthday
and my own (for by a curious chance we were both born on the same day,
though not in the same year!)--and at tea-time a beautiful birthday
cake appeared upon the scene, beautifully sugared and decorated with
our names and appropriate inscriptions, just as if it had been made

I do not know how the knowledge of the birthday got about, but I do
know that the cake was a most excellent one, and the kind thought of
the baker in making it was greatly appreciated by both of us.

       *       *       *       *       *


After seeing the stokehold, the engines, and the laundry, we visited
the kitchens. The feeding of the passengers is an important point, for
on board are no fewer than 200 first-class, 230 second-class, 800
third-class passengers, and over 300 officers and crew--more than 1500
people altogether.

The voyage to Australia takes nearly six weeks, so you can imagine
that a pretty large amount of food has to be carried on board to take
the ship out and home again.

Tons of fresh meat and vegetables, butter, and eggs are stored in
ice-cold cellars. Each day a supply is brought up and put into iced
larders for that day's issue.

Here are some of the amounts taken in the ship for one voyage: 5 tons
bacon, 50,000 eggs, 6 1/2 tons butter, 45,000 oranges, 9000 lb. jam.

In the great kitchen are a dozen cooks at work preparing the meals for
all classes--the cooking is exactly the same for all. Also the quality
of food is the same, except that the first-class get more variety and
choice of different dishes. In the bakery is made the daily supply of
bread for the whole ship, and also baked puddings, cakes, and

       *       *       *       *       *


There were lots of interesting machines used in the kitchen to save
time and labour.

For instance, there was a machine for peeling potatoes; a round metal
tub in which the potatoes were rushed round and round until their
skins were rubbed off, and they were ready for the cooking-pot.

There were egg-boiling machines, which, working by clockwork, kept the
eggs in boiling water for whatever time was desired, and then took
them out without any attention on the part of the cook.

There was a bread-slicing machine and a plate-washing machine, the
dirty plates being placed in iron racks and lowered into a tank where
boiling water is dashed on to them from both sides, so that they clean
themselves in no time. There was also a machine for kneading the dough
for making bread.

In fact, the whole place was a marvel of work and organisation all
compressed into a very small space, and yet done most successfully and

       *       *       *       *       *


Here is one day's bill of fare for the third-class passengers, which
shows that they do not fare badly. I had some of it myself, and it was


Porridge with Milk
Yarmouth Bloaters
Hashed Meat
Cold Corned Pork
Marmalade Tea


Mulligatawny Soup
Roast Mutton
Mashed Pumpkin
Suet Pudding with Syrup
Children--Milk Pudding Bread


Lancashire Hot-Pot
Cold Meat Salad
Pickles Bread
Butter Jam
Marmalade Currant Cake


Biscuits and Cheese
Gruel for Infants if required
Cocoa or Coffee with Biscuits at 6.30 a.m.

       *       *       *       *       *


Of two of the cooks with whom I talked, one had been twenty-three
years in the service of the Orient Company and the other twenty-six
years: and nearly all the ship's company had been in this ship four
years, though their engagement only lasts for one voyage. So it looks
as though the Orient were a satisfactory line to serve with.

One of the cooks had been a soldier in the Wiltshire Regiment, and had
served in the Zulu War of 1879. He had been in the siege and defence
of Etshowe.

This place was surrounded by the Zulus, and another British force
tried to get into signalling communication with it by means of the
heliograph, which at that time was quite a new invention.

I reminded my cook friend of this, and he told me this little yarn
about it. He said:

"I was walking out on the ridge there close to the camp with a
corporal in my company when we noticed a light flickering on a hill in
the distance. He had been through a course of signalling, and said it
looked as if somebody were trying to flash a signal to us, so we got a
bit of looking-glass and flashed it in their direction.

"Suddenly he said to me:

"'Write down what I tell you.'

"I got out a piece of paper and a pencil, and he spelt out a message
which was meant for Colonel Pearson, our commanding officer. It was to
say that if we sent a signaller on to the church steeple in Etshowe
they could signal direct to him.

"I took the message to the colonel, and soon after a sailor managed to
get up somehow or other, and we very quickly had messages going and


In the days of Queen Elizabeth, nearly four hundred years ago, the
sailors of Spain, of England, of Holland, and of Portugal were all
making themselves famous for their daring voyages in small sailing
ships across unknown oceans, by which they kept discovering new lands
for their country in distant corners of the world.

There was one small cabin-boy on a coasting brig in the English
Channel who used to long to become one of these discoverers but when
he looked at the practical side of the question it seemed hopeless for
a poor little chap like him ever to hope to rise in the world beyond
his present hard life in a wretched little coaster, living on bad food
and getting, as a rule, more kicks than halfpence--but it shows you
how the poorest boy can get on if he only puts his back to it.

       *       *       *       *       *


Young Drake--for that was his name--did get on in spite of his
difficulties; he worked hard at his duty until he became a captain of
two small ships, one of seventy, the other of thirty tons, and with
these he sailed to fight the Spaniards, who were at that time our
enemies, away across the ocean in Central America.

He not only fought them, but was successful in taking some of their
ships and a great deal of valuable booty from their towns.

On his return home he was promoted to command a large expedition of
five ships, the biggest of which, however, was only 100 tons, and the
smallest was 15 tons--no bigger than a fishing smack.

With these he sailed down the West Coast of Africa, then across to
Brazil and down the South American coast till he rounded the end of it
through the dangerous and difficult Straits of Magellan into the
Pacific. He coasted up the western side of America as far as
California, and then struck across the ocean to India, and thence
_via_ the Cape of Good Hope to England; this voyage took him
nearly three years to complete.

His good ship, the _Golden Hind_, though much battered and
wounded with war and weather, was received with great honour at
Deptford. The Queen herself went on board, and while there she showed
such pleasure at Drake's good work that she knighted him, using his
own well-worn sword to make him Sir Francis Drake.

Soon after this King Philip of Spain began to prepare an enormous
fleet, and though he told Queen Elizabeth that it was not intended to
be used against England, Sir Francis Drake, who was now in command of
a small fleet of British ships, maintained that it could be for no
other purpose.

[Illustration: DRAKE'S SHIP, THE "GOLDEN HIND."]

And a secret letter was shortly afterwards intercepted which proved
that his suspicions were right.

Drake went off with his fleet and sailed up and down the Spanish coast
destroying their ships and stores wherever he could find them, and
thus he hindered their preparations for war. In this way he sank or
burnt some 12,000 tons of shipping, which meant a great many ships in
those days.

He merely described it in his report as, "singeing the Spanish King's

At the end of 1588, the great Spanish fleet--the Armada--was ready,
and sailed against England. But there were a fine lot of British
admirals and men awaiting it, for besides Lord Charles Howard of
Effingham, the Lord High Admiral, there were Frobisher, and Davis,
Walter Raleigh, and Francis Drake.

It is true they had only 67 ships with which to oppose the 130 of the
Spaniards, but they sallied out and tackled them at once before the
Spaniards were really ready for them, and drove them into Dunkirk.
Here the Spaniards felt secure and would not come out till one night
the English sent fire ships in among them which forced them to put to
sea. Then ensued a tremendous sea fight, in which Drake, in the
_Revenge_, took the lead.

The battle lasted all day, with guns roaring and ships foundering or

At length the Spaniards drew off northward to the German Ocean, the
only line of escape open to them. Round the north of Scotland and
Ireland they went, damaged by shot and beset by a gale, so that in the
end, out of the magnificent fleet of 130 sail which had set out for
the conquest of England, only 53 got back, with only about 9000 out of
the original 30,000 men.

       *       *       *       *       *


Two hundred years after Drake came Nelson. He was the son of a
clergyman in Norfolk, a poor, sickly little fellow, and was for a time
in the merchant service.

His first step to greatness was when the ship which he was in captured
an enemy's ship, and the first lieutenant was ordered to take a boat
and some men and go aboard the prize. But owing to the heavy sea which
was running the officer gave up the attempt as too dangerous,
whereupon Nelson, like a good Scout, stepped forward and offered to

He succeeded, and thence was marked as a good officer.

Every boy knows how, after a splendid career of fighting for Britain,
he finally won the great sea battle of Trafalgar against the French
and Spanish fleets, and fell mortally wounded in the hour of victory.

But his work, and that of other great sea-captains who served with
him, completed the supremacy of the British Navy begun by Drake and
the sea-dogs of his time.

The navies of our enemies were entirely swept from off the seas, and
their merchant ships could only carry on their trade so long as their
countries remained at peace with Britain.

And that supremacy has remained with us till to-day.

In consequence of this we have been enabled to put a stop to the awful
slave trade which used to go on on the coasts of Africa; to discover
new lands for our Empire, and to bring civilisation to savages in the
farthest corners of the world. And the enterprise of our merchant
ships has made our trade successful all over the globe, and so
increased the prosperity of our people both at home and in our Oversea

The sailor has a grand life of it. Continually visiting strange and
interesting lands, with a good ship manoeuvring through distant
oceans, with plenty of contests with tides and winds. A free, open,
and healthy life, which breeds cheery handiness and pluck such as make
a sailor so deservedly loved by all. And all the time he is doing
grand work for his country.

       *       *       *       *       *


We are hearing a great deal of the heroes of everyday life, but there
are perhaps no greater heroes, no truer scouts than sailors of the
kind that man our lifeboats all round the coasts of Great Britain.
They have to Be Prepared to turn out at any minute, when the dangerous
storm is at its worst, to face danger in order to save others.

Because they do it so often and so quietly we have come to look upon
it almost as an everyday affair to be expected, but it is none the
less splendid of them or worthy of our admiration. A large number of
Boy Scouts have, by taking up "sea scouting" and by learning boat
management and seamanship, been able to take their place in the
service of their Country as seamen on our battleships, and in the
merchant service, and as lifeboatmen upon our coasts.

       *       *       *       *       *


During the summer months Scouts in many parts of the country practise
sea scouting as well as camping on shore. This involves living on
board ship and learning all the duties of sailors--going on watch,
going aloft, managing boats, saving life at sea, and swimming and
saving life from drowning--with plenty of interesting games and

       *       *       *       *       *


One game which can be played either by night or day is that of

A patrol of smugglers endeavour to land from the seaward in a boat to
conceal their goods, which consist of nothing more valuable than "a
brick to each man," in a place called the "Smugglers' Cave," and then
to get away in their boat again.

Other Scouts arc distributed as "preventive men" to watch the coast
for a considerable distance with sentries. So soon as one of these
preventive men sees a smuggler land he gives the alarm, and collects
the rest to attack them; but the attack cannot be successful unless
there are at least as many preventive men on the spot as smugglers,
and if the smugglers succeed in depositing their goods in the
Smugglers' Cave and then getting away again before they are attacked
by an equal number of preventive men, they win the game.

       *       *       *       *       *


Another exciting game which tests the Scoutcraft of a patrol is that
where they approach the shore in a boat and look out for marks which
have been told to them, and, on finding these, they land, find a map
hidden away, which gives further clues by means of landmarks, compass
directions, tidemarks, and so on, to where the hidden treasure is to
be found. Only a certain time will be allowed for finding it.

This game can be made a competition for one patrol against another,
each patrol taking it in turn to carry out the same task. Naturally,
each patrol would be very careful to wipe out all footmarks and

Then there can be whale hunts, as given in the book _Scouting for
Boys_, and also "Shipwreck," when everybody on board ship will take
their places and carry out orders for getting the women and children
safely away, followed by the men of the ship.

"Castaways on a Desert Island" may also be practised, when they have
to get ashore on rafts and otherwise, and rig up such shelters as they
can out of the materials available, and light their fires and cook
their food, and so on.

The pursuit of slavers' dhows by pinnaces from men-of-war can be
practised, and "cutting-out" expeditions by boats full of armed Scouts
taking a hostile ship or place in the night.

"Salvage" may also be practised by boats going out in parties, where
they are to save some derelict ship in distress, and to tow her into

       *       *       *       *       *


Water sports can also be indulged in, such as polo, jousting, pillow
fighting, greasy pole, hurdle races, into the lifebuoy race, and other
exciting incidents. But to take part in these practices and games it
is necessary that a Scout should be able to swim, and I hope that
every Scout will take the earliest opportunity of doing so.

And not only should he learn swimming without delay, but also study
the means he ought to take for saving a drowning man and for reviving
him when he has got him ashore. No Scout is too young for this.

I saw a case in the paper recently which is a fine example to other
boys, where Frederick Delvin, eleven years of age, rescued another boy
from drowning in the Surrey Canal, near the Old Kent Road bridge.

A small boy named George Spear was fishing in the canal when he fell
into the water, and was on the point of drowning when Delvin, who had
learned to swim last summer, jumped into the water and brought him
safely ashore, and thus saved his life.

Well, now, any Scout could do that, if he knew how and had the pluck,
and I should hope that every Scout has that at least.

       *       *       *       *       *


A serious disaster was narrowly averted at Dover in connection with a
treat given to six hundred schoolgirls on the battleship

The children were being taken out to the battleship in boats in a
rather heavy sea. A steam pinnace, towing two whaleboats, each
containing about eighty girls, was rounding the Prince of Wales Pier,
when the Government tug _Adder_ unexpectedly came round from the
opposite side of the pier, bearing right down on them.

There was great excitement, as a disaster seemed certain; but the
Naval men in charge quickly cut the second boat adrift, and the tug
passed between the two crowded boatloads. The boat drifted towards the
Admiralty Pier until it was picked up and got safely in tow again.

That is the kind of "presence of mind" which every Scout should have.

       *       *       *       *       *


In "sea scouting," it will, of course, be necessary to know a lot of
small as well as big things about our ships which the ordinary fellow
does not know. Here is one. A man-of-war on duty always flies a
pennant at her masthead--that is, a very long, very thin flag, which
makes the mast look like a whip with a lash on the end of it. Here is
the story of it.

In the old days, 250 years ago, Britain and Holland were both powerful
nations at sea and rivals in commerce, but as we had command of the
British Channel we made all foreign ships salute our men-of-war when
passing them.

One day, May 19th, 1652, a Dutch fleet of forty-five ships; under
their great admiral Van Tromp, came sailing up the Channel, and passed
a British Fleet of twenty-three ships under Admiral Blake. Seeing how
strong he was, the Dutch admiral declined to salute us. So our
flagship fired a shot across his bows, as a signal to remind him of
his duty; but Van Tromp promptly replied with a broadside into the
stern of Admiral Blake's ship.

"That's very rude of him to break my windows," remarked Blake, and
promptly ordered his small Fleet to attack the Dutch, although it was
twice as strong.

The battle began at four o'clock in the afternoon, and went on hammer
and tongs till after dark. The firing then lulled, and the British
Fleet, having been badly mauled, spent the whole night repairing

By dawn, although tired, they were all ready for a further go at the
enemy, but as daylight came on they found there was no enemy to go
for; he had cleared away in the night to less dangerous quarters. But
only for a time, in order to get more ships, and a few days later he
reappeared with something like eighty vessels.

This and a contrary wind proved too much for Blake's small Fleet, and
though he made an obstinate fight of it, he was at last compelled to
take refuge in the Thames, pursued by the Dutchmen.

Then it was that Van Tromp hoisted a broom at his masthead, as a sign
that he had swept the British from off the seas. But he was a little
bit "previous," as they say in America. The people in Britain rose to
the occasion, and, instead of being down-hearted, they at once started
to build a stronger Fleet, and trained men and boys--like sea
scouts--to man it.

So soon as the ships were fitted out Blake put to sea with a Fleet of
sixty, and went to look for the Dutchmen, and he soon found them.

Van Tromp, with seventy men-of-war, was coming up the Channel,
guarding a large fleet of richly-laden merchant ships making for

The British, of course, went for this convoy, and it was a pretty
tough fight, the Dutch merchantmen crowding on all sail to escape to
Holland, while their men-of-war kept behind them, fighting stubbornly
to hold off the pursuing British. It was a running fight, which was
kept up for three days and nights, and at the end the British came
home triumphant, having captured or sunk seventeen of the enemy's
men-of-war and thirty of his merchant ships.

Van Tromp had to take down his broom.

       *       *       *       *       *


It was in June, 1653, that the two fleets finally came together for
the deciding bout. Both countries had seen that a big naval fight must
come sooner or later, and both had gone on building ships as hard as
they could to meet the danger.

When each fleet was about ninety ships strong, they met at sea.
Unfortunately Admiral Blake had been laid up in England with an old
wound, while the Dutch fleet was under three of their best admirals,
tough and plucky old sea-dogs all of them--Van Tromp, De Witt, and
Ruyter. For a whole day the two fleets were engaged, both sides
hammering away stubbornly and well, but by nightfall neither had
gained much.

Next day they went at it again, and if anything the advantage was
beginning to rest with the Dutch, when suddenly, in the afternoon, a
fresh ship came banging its way through the rear of the Dutch fleet.

It was Blake!

His return seemed to put new life into the British. They went at it
again with all their might. They boarded Van Tromp's ship; he blew her
up and escaped to another; but in the end, with his fleet shattered
and broken, he had to make his retreat under cover of night as best he

The British thus remained masters of the Channel, with eleven good
Dutch men-of-war as prizes and eight more of them sent to the bottom.

Then it was said that Blake's pennant was the whip that had driven
outsiders from off the seas.

       *       *       *       *       *


Whenever a British submarine goes down there is a tale of gallantry to
relieve the sorrow of it.

"C 11," on her way to join the Fleet display in the Thames, was run
down by a steamer which came suddenly upon her in the night.

A submarine, as you know, is a long, tube-like boat, shaped like a
hollow cigar, with one trap-door on the top leading to a small
look-out tower. She runs along with this tower above water until she
gets near to an enemy's ship; then the trapdoor is closed, and she
sinks herself down below water, and runs under the ship and fires a
torpedo into her in passing.

I was on board a submarine not long ago, and when I was down in her
dark, narrow inside, surrounded with a tangle of pipes and engines of
every kind, I could quite picture to myself what the inside of the
whale's belly must have looked like to Jonah. Also I could picture the
hopeless feeling of dismay which must come over a crew of thirteen men
boxed up in this small vessel if an accident occurred to her.

       *       *       *       *       *


The crew of "C 11" were all below, asleep, when the crash came; and
the boat rolled sideways, and then sank down under water almost
immediately. On the turret were Sub.-Lieut. Watkins and Able-Seaman
Stripes, who were navigating the vessel.

Lieut. Brodie, the commander, was below at the time; but at the
collision he at once realised the danger, and first shook up some of
the sleeping men, and then sprang up the hatchway to see what was
wrong. Few were able to follow him before the vessel sank heavily

The next minute the survivors found themselves in the water swimming
for their lives.

Sub.-Lieut. Watkins, being fully clothed and in his big sea-boots, had
great difficulty in keeping afloat, and was in immediate danger of
drowning, when Lieut. Brodie came to his assistance and held him up
until, fortunately, their plight was seen from neighbouring vessels,
and they were picked up just in time--both being completely exhausted.
But Lieut. Brodie never let go of his comrade in order to get a better
chance of saving himself. He had the true spirit of a Scout in him in
Being Prepared to give up his own life in the attempt to save another.

If ever you find yourself in a position of difficulty or danger, keep
your head, think what is your duty, and do it: remember how it was
done in the case of "C 11." When sudden death and darkness were all
around, the officer kept cool and full of courage.

       *       *       *       *       *


A terrific gale sprang up one winter in the Orkney Islands, away to
the north of Scotland. Three fishing smacks were out in it, and ran
for shelter into a narrow channel between two of the islands.

Two of the smacks rode out the weather safely, but the third got
carried on to a small rocky islet and was wrecked, though her crew
managed to get ashore on to the rocks.

Then it was that five brave fishermen on the island of Pharay, seeing
their plight, put off in a rough, home-made boat to try to rescue
them; but the wind and sea were so high, and a snowstorm was driving
against them to such an extent, that they could not get along, and
were beaten back, after two toughly fought attempts.

But they would not be defeated, and at last, by sheer pluck and
determination, these hardy fellows got their boat across the channel
at the third attempt, and dragged the shipwrecked men one by one
through the water into their boat; and eventually, after going through
the greatest danger of being swamped, they got them all safely ashore
on Pharay.

This was a true example of Scouts Being Prepared to risk their lives
to save fellow creatures.

These five heroes arrived at Balmoral while I was there, as the guest
of King Edward, by whom they were received. He had the story of their
heroism read over, and he then congratulated them on their bravery,
and himself hung the medal for saving life at sea on the breast of
each and shook hands with him. That was his official reward to them,
but privately also he gave each man a personal friendly reminder in
the shape of a good pipe and some tobacco, which he chose himself for

       *       *       *       *       *


The lads of the training ship _Mercury_ were manning one of the
boats to go ashore. There was a heavy wind blowing--it was still
dark--when one of the boys, named Newitt, fell into the water and was
swept away by the tide.

Two of his messmates at once dived in to his rescue. One of these,
Yateman, was quickly picked up by the ship's boat in mistake for the
drowning lad. But the other boy, Driver, a Patrol Leader belonging to
the 8th Southampton (_Mercury_) Troop, succeeded in getting hold
of Newitt and swam towards the pier with him.

But Driver was hampered with the suit of oilskins which he was
wearing, and in battling with tide and wind, he himself was nearly
drowned, although he was a good swimmer.

A boat which put out from the pier got to him just in time to save
him, and he was pulled on board in an unconscious condition, from
which he did not recover for nearly two hours. The poor fellow,
Newitt, had slipped from his grasp and was drowned.

Still, Driver had done all that he possibly could. He had not thought
of the danger to himself, but on the first alarm had, with the true
spirit of the Scout, at once sprung to the assistance of his comrade
in distress, and for this he was awarded the Bronze Cross, the Scouts'
highest award for gallantry.

       *       *       *       *       *


I began my Scouting first of all as a Sea Scout, before I ever went
into the Army and before I ever saw the backwoods in Canada or India.
And I am very glad that I did, for as a Sea Scout, I learnt how to
swim, and I should have cut a poor figure as a soldier, or as a
hunter, or as a Scout, if I had not been able to do that.

But besides swimming, there are so many things that one learns while a
Sea Scout which come in useful afterwards, whatever line of life you
may take up.

For instance, I learnt how to tie knots, and unless a fellow can do
that he is a duffer; I learnt how to handle and manage a boat by
myself, how to right her when upset, and how to get in and out of her
when bathing.

I learnt how to steer and manage a large sailing boat, taking my watch
alone at night; how to read the stars and charts; and how to take the
responsibility for navigating and not running her on to the rocks.

As a Sea Scout you get mighty hungry, so in order to feed yourself
when on the water you have to be able to catch fish and to clean them,
and to cook them for yourself. All this means that you have to be what
a sailor is generally known as, a "handyman."

Then the life is so jolly, free, and breezy; there is lots of hard
work at times, and difficulties and dangers to overcome, but also lots
of enjoyable sunny cruising into strange places with good comrades
around you.

Fellows boxed up in a ship together naturally become the best of
friends and comrades if they are naturally good chaps with good
tempers; if they are not--well--then I would rather not be in that
ship, thank you!

Sailors are always manly fellows, and know how to give and take, and
they manage to keep their tempers when small things go wrong.

       *       *       *       *       *


Two of our greatest generals to-day began their careers as sailors.

Field-Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood won his Victoria Cross as a midshipman
in the Royal Navy while serving in the Crimea. Field-Marshal Viscount
French, late Commander-in-Chief of our Forces in France and Flanders,
was a sailor before he joined the Army, and so was Sir Hamilton
Goold-Adams, who commanded the Town Guard so well in Mafeking.

I have always found that a Boy Scout who has been a Sea Scout as well
as a Backwoods Scout makes much the best all-round Scout in the end.
So I can well advise Scouts to have a taste of both.

A patrol or troop can easily take up Sea Scouting for one season if
they like, just as a change. But, of course, it means that each one of
them must learn swimming first, if he is not already a swimmer, and
must know his knots really well, for actual use, and not merely for
passing test examinations.

It is well worth the trouble, for Sea Scouting, with its adventures
and its games, is full of enjoyment and fun.

       *       *       *       *       *


When I was last in Canada I had to do a lot of my travelling by canoe,
because the forests there are almost impassable with their thick
undergrowth and boggy soil.

There are lakes and streams everywhere, so it is comparatively easy to
go by water. But there are plenty of adventures to be met with by the
way, in the shape of snags and rocks and rapids, and out on the lakes
gales spring up, with a heavy sea, in a very short time. So a fellow
has to know how to manage a boat and how to face risks if he is going
to get on at all, and it is just as well that he should be able to
swim, as otherwise he is not likely to arrive at the end of his trip
in the way he had intended!

[Illustration: A SEA SCOUT] Well, Jim and Ben and I were paddling in
our birch bark canoe across a good-sized lake where there were a lot
of small islands, when suddenly we scrunched on to a submerged rock,
which brought us to a full stop and bulged in the bottom of our
vessel, so that the water began to run in and flood the floor.

So the canoe was quickly turned, and away we paddled as hard as we
could for the nearest island, and just reached it in time to scramble
ashore before our boat began to sink.

We quickly pulled her up on the rocks, got our baggage out, and rolled
her over, so that the water could run out and we could get at the hole
to repair it. This was done in quite a neat way.

Ben and I scraped away with our knives some of the "gum" or natural
pitch with which the seams of the canoe were caulked. Jim meantime had
made a little fire with driftwood. Then Ben took a bit of rag, which
he had used as a bandage for a wounded hand, and stretched it over the
hole in the boat, and fixed it there with little bits of "gum," which
he melted down with a red-hot stick taken from the fire.

In this way he made a watertight patch over the leak in a very few
minutes, and we soon had the canoe afloat again. We loaded her up, and
within ten minutes of the disaster we were on our way again as happily
as ever, but we kept a sharper look-out than we had done before for
snags and rocks just below the surface of the water.

       *       *       *       *       *


Thanks to so large a number of Scouts having taken up the training as
Sea Scouts we were able to supply about 1400 useful and efficient
fellows to act as Coastguards directly the war broke out. This enabled
a large number of the regular Coastguards to be sent to man the Fleet.

Since then, the Admiralty have been so satisfied with the good work
done by the Sea Scouts, who have been guarding our coasts from the
extreme north of Scotland down to the Land's End in Cornwall, that
they have asked for more of them, and we now have about 2000 employed
on this duty and as signallers on board mine-sweepers, coaling and
supply ships.

The Sea Scouts have won for themselves a very good name by Being
Prepared before war broke out.


Any fellow who means to be a backwoodsman, whether it is for pleasure
or for work, should first of all get some practice at it at home.

For eight years of my life I hardly ever slept in a house and I
thoroughly enjoyed it. But to enjoy it you must know how to make
yourself comfortable in camp.

       *       *       *       *       *


The first thing to consider is what kind of substitute for a house you
are going to have to protect you from bad weather. This depends a good
deal on what kind of country you are in. In a forest you can, of
course, get plenty of timber out of which to build huts, but it is not
much use being able to build a log-hut and then to find yourself in
the open desert of the Sahara.

The best all-round kind of camp-house is, of course, a tent. I had
what is called a "Cabul" tent--a small square erection, seven feet
long by seven feet wide, which can be opened or closed at either end,
and has a double roof. I lived in this through the winter in
Afghanistan, through snow and blizzard, in the greatest comfort. At
one end I built a brick fireplace and chimney; and I built a low wall,
two feet high, round the outside; this kept out all draughts and
prevented snow from melting into the tent. And I lived there as cosily
and comfortably as in a house.

In that same tent I afterwards lived in the blazing heat of the plains
of India. Instead of the fireplace at the end to keep it hot, I had a
great mat of Khuskhu's fibre stretched on a frame and kept always wet
to keep it cool; the hot wind blowing through this was at once cooled,
and kept the tent delightfully cold and fresh inside, and the double
roof  prevented the sun from baking it. And I had a punkah, or
swinging fan, slung from the ridge-pole, and worked by a native from

It was a sturdy little tent, too, and no gale could ever manage to
blow it down. So you see it did equally well for every kind of climate
and weather.

Another form of tent which I used in Mafeking and South Africa, and
still use for sleeping out in, in England, is one which you would
hardly call a tent. It is really a slungcot, with a movable canvas
roof to it. It is called the "Ashanti Hammock."

[Illustration: A BIVOUAC SHELTER.]

It packs up quite small, and is put up in a few minutes. Requires no
pegs. Keeps you off the wet ground. And when the gale comes and all
the tents in camp blow down, you lie there swinging gently in the
breeze, the envy of all the rest. It also forms an excellent stretcher
if you are ill and have to be carried; and if you die it also makes a
very satisfactory coffin, being laced over you as you lie in it. Very
complete, isn't it?

[Illustration: THE ASHANTI HAMMOCK.]

There are tents of every sort and kind to be got, from a single-man
tent up to a hospital tent for thirty beds. And there are also many
kinds of camps there is a "standing" camp, where you remain in the
same spot for weeks at a time, or a "tramping" camp, where you move on
every day to a new place, and "boating" camp, where also you move but
can carry your tent in your boat. But it is rather necessary to know
which kind of camp you are making before you can tell which kind of
tent you need.

As I have said in _Scouting for Boys_: "For a standing camp
'bell' tents are useful, or huts can be made. Bell tents can be hired
in almost any town for a few shillings per week, or you can buy a
second-hand one in good condition for about 2 Pounds.

"You could probably let it out on hire to other patrols when not using
it yourself, and so get back your money on it. A bell tent, just holds
a patrol nicely.

"Scouts' 'patrol' tents also do very well for camp, but you need a
second set of staves or poles for rigging them if you want to leave
the camp standing while you are out scouting.

"You can make your own tents during the winter months--and this,
perhaps; is the best way of all, as it comes cheapest in the end. And
if, while you are about it, you make one or two extra ones, you may be
able to sell them at a good profit."

A "lean-to" tent is used by many backwoodsmen. It can be made with the
Scouts' patrol tent on the same principle as the lean-to shelter
described in _Scouting for Boys_.

If pitched with its back to the wind, with a good fire in front, it
can be made a most luxurious bedroom on cold night. The roof catches
all the warmth and glow of the fire, and you lie there warm in your
blankets, yet breathing the fresh air of the forest or veldt and
gazing at the stars. There is nothing better on earth.

       *       *       *       *       *


We will begin with the simplest and cheapest. Here is a one-man
"tramp" tent, which is used by a certain class of gipsy in Scotland.

[Illustration: CONSTRUCTION OF TRAMP-TENT.] You want six hazel sticks,
all exactly alike, about 3 ft. 6 in. long, just sufficiently pliant to
bend over near the top, but not so thin as to be wobbly.

Each should be sharpened at the butt, and marked with a nick ten
inches from the point to show how far to drive it into the ground. The
points should be slightly charred in the fire to harden them.

Then you want a sheet of light canvas, or waterproofed linen, to form
your tent, six feet square, with eyelets or loops along the sides.


Plant your sticks firmly in the ground, in two rows, two feet apart
from each other. Bend the tops inwards to form an archway. Over these
arches spread your canvas to form a kind of tunnel tent, and peg down
the loops to the ground.

       *       *       *       *       *


This is, perhaps, an equally simple tent. The roof, or "fly," can be 6
ft. by 6 ft. Two poles, 3 ft. 6 in., should be planted firmly-at least
six inches in the ground.

A stout ridge-rope should be stretched tightly between them, and tied
at the top of each, and then securely fixed to a tent peg well driven
into the ground in front of each end of the tent.

[Illustration: "BIVOUAC" TENT.]

The edges of the "fly" all round should have large metal eyelets, by
which the sides of the tent can be pegged to the ground, and flaps can
be laced on at the ends to give protection against wind and rain, etc.

Instead of using pegs at the sides, it is equally good to lace the
edge along a stout log, or to a rope stretched tight, or a pole, and
well anchored in the ground.

Then you have the "patrol" tent of canvas, as described in _Scouting
for Boys_, which is carried in pieces, which lace together, and,
with the staves of the patrol as supports, form the tent for six or
eight boys. These are very easy to make in a couple of evenings.

       *       *       *       *       *


The "Cabul" tent, mentioned previously, was the kind that we used in
the war in Afghanistan.

Cabul is the chief town of that country.

These tents are equally comfortable in snow and rain, or in the baking
heat of the plains of India.

[Illustration: CABUL TENT COMPLETE] It has an extra roof to keep out
the sun or heavy rain. A tent like this, with two roofs, is called a
"double-fly" tent. It is, of course, heavier and more expensive than a
"single-fly," but it is also more comfortable.

       *       *       *       *       *


The horizontal "ridge-pole," 5 ft. 9 in. long, has an iron eyelet at
each end The outer fly rests on this. The loops of the inner fly also
hang from it to hold up the inner roof.

[Illustration: INNER "FLY" OF "CABUL" TENT]

[Illustration: OUTER "FLY" OF "CABUL" TENT]

[Illustration: CABUL TENT-POLES.]

The upright poles are six feet high; each of these is fitted with an
iron cap and spike at the top to fit the eyelets of the ridge-pole.
Each is also fitted with a circular wooden disc at one foot from the
top; this supports the inner fly, the upper part of each pole having
been passed through the hole at either end of the inner fly-roof.

       *       *       *       *       *


Before starting to make your tent, you should, in the first place,
have a good look at ready-made tents, and see exactly how they are
made-especially at the edges.


You should always make a model of the tent you propose to construct,
first with paper, to scale, so as to get the proper dimensions, and
then with linen, with string and poles complete, to see how to cut it
out in the right sizes. Afterwards, you can proceed to make the real,

This, again, is best done by cutting it out in newspapers pasted
together and spread out on the floor. These paper cuttings then serve
as "patterns," on which you can cut your canvas without wasting any of

       *       *       *       *       *


The kind of stuff to use for tent making depends a good deal on how
much you can afford for material, and what work you want the tent for.

Thus, if you want a very light tent for carrying on your back or
bicycle, and have plenty of money, a silk tent at 4s. a yard is very
nice; but probably you would like one of cheaper material, and fairly
light and strong.

Lawn, made of Egyptian cotton, calico sheeting, or brown calico makes
a very satisfactory tent at an outlay of 10s. or so for the whole
thing complete.

       *       *       *       *       *


After having purchased your stuff, and cut it out according to the
paper pattern, pin it, or tack it, all together, and see how it fits.

Then stitch the seams together, using cotton, not thick thread.

[Illustration: STEEP SIDES TOO WIDE.]

Seams should be double-stitched-that is, the edges of the two pieces
of canvas should overlap, and each be stitched to the other piece. At
all points where a strain is likely to come on the canvas-namely, at
the corners and at places where eyelets for ropes have to come, it is
best to have a strengthening patch of canvas sewn over the other

Then wide, stout tape should be sewn along the edge of the canvas
wherever there is to be any strain on it, such as eyelet holes for
ropes, or hooks and eyes, or strings for closing the ends of the tent,

Often in woods you can find two trees standing, say, eight feet apart.
If you have a six-foot tent, you can use these for tent poles by tying
("lashing" is the word used by sailors and Scouts) each end of the
ridge of the tent to a tree.

This can be more easily done if your ridge is strengthened with a tape
sewn inside it, and made into a loop at each end. It is always as well
to make these loops on your tents, as they come in useful in other

A strip of canvas is often stitched on to the foot of the tent, as
shown in the picture, either to hold it down with pegs or stones, or
to be turned inwards underneath your ground sheet to prevent draughts
coming in under the wall.

A tent should not be made wider than its height, because the roof will
not be steep enough to run the rain off quickly, and so will let it
through more easily.

       *       *       *       *       *


The poles should not be made of any weak wood liable to split or
break, but of tough elm, hickory, ash, or bamboo.

For small tents of about five feet high they need be only one to
one-and-a-half inches thick.

For heavy tents of over ten feet long and over six feet high, they
have to be at least two inches thick. Bamboos are generally tougher
than wood, so need not be quite so stout.

       *       *       *       *       *


Tent pegs may be easily made of wood, but should be of a tough kind
that does not split easily. They are generally made in the shape shown
below, about ten inches long.

You can also get them of iron, but these, though they do not break, do
not hold quite so well in the ground, and are heavy to carry.
Aluminium ones are lighter, expensive, and inclined to bend.

Then you can use stones or logs instead of pegs, and what I like best
of all is half a dozen canvas bags filled with earth or stones and
buried in the ground as anchors. These can be used equally well in
sandy, muddy, or stony ground, where ordinary pegs would never hold.

These bags are easily made during your winter evenings, and can be
used for carrying your kit from camp to camp. They also make useful
buckets and washing basins. They should be made of stout duck or

The top edge of this canvas should be folded over and stitched in
order to give strength.

The handles are made of half-inch rope, passed through brass eyelets,
let into the canvas below the stitching? the ends of the rope being
knotted inside.

In cutting out you must allow an extra inch for turning in at the
edges and joining to the other pieces.

Supposing that you have not the time or means for getting tents and
that you are going into camp where there are plenty of trees, and you
have got the right to use them, then some of the following tips may be
of use to you.

[Illustration: CORRECT TENT PEGS.]
[Illustration: A HANDY BAG.]

A bivouac shelter, as described in _Scouting for Boys_, is the
simplest and best form of hut, and is easily made in an hour. Two
upright stakes are driven firmly into the ground, with a ridge pole
placed in position along the tops. Against this a number of poles
should be made to lean from the windward aide, with cross-bars to
support the branches, reeds, sods, or twigs, or whatever is to form
your roofing material.

For a single man this shelter can be made quite small, _i.e._,
about 3 ft. high in front, and 3 ft. wide and 6 ft. long.

       *       *       *       *       *


You build your fire about 4 ft. in front of this, and lie in it
alongside your fire.

If the "shack" is for more than one man, you build it 5 ft. or 6 ft.
high in front, and 5 ft. deep, so that several fellows can lie
alongside each other, feet to the fire.

When you start to thatch your framework, begin at the bottom and lay
your roofing material on in layers, one above the other in the way
that slates are put on a roof. In this way you may make it watertight.

       *       *       *       *       *


For thatching you can use thick spruce branches, or grass, reeds,
sods, slabs of wood or bark (called "shingles"), or small twigs of
heather closely woven in.

It is generally advisable to lay a few branches and stout poles over
the thatch when finished in order to keep it on if a gale springs up.

[Illustration: FRAMEWORK.]

If you want to build a complete hut, you can make a lean-to from each
side on the same ridge-pole; but the single lean-to, with its fire in
front of it, is quite good enough for most people.

Another way to build a shelter hut is to lean a ridge-pole or backbone
from the ground into the fork of a small tree about 5 ft. above the
ground, the butt of the pole being about 4 ft. to windward of the
tree. Then put up a few side poles leaning against this, and roof over
in the same way as for a lean-to. Build your fire just in front of
this, and you will have a very safe and cosy little house.

[Illustration: THATCHING.]

In country where there are no trees to make poles with, like parts of
South Africa, where there is only a lot of small thorn bush and long
grass, you can make "scherms," or loose thorn bushes piled in a heap
and made into a small horse-shoe, arched over, back to wind, and
covered or roughly thatched with grass.

These, with a fire in front, make very good shelter against cold wind
or against sun, and, if covered with a canvas waggon-sail or
tarpaulin, make a good enough protection against rain and against very
hot sun. A "scherm" can be made with heather or gorse--only look out
for its catching fire!

[Illustration: A SHELTER HUT.]

Remember that to make a tent or hut cool in hot sun put on more
roof--put blankets over the top of your tent, and bank up the sides
near the ground. But if you want to make your tent or hut warm, take
care to thicken the walls at the foot to prevent draughts coming in
along the floor.

Also never forget that your floor is on raised ground, not in a hollow
that will become a pool in wet weather.

       *       *       *       *       *


Having made your tent or hut, you will find it a good comfort in a
standing camp to have a table.

This you can well make in winter evenings before the camping season,
and while you are at it making one for yourself; you may just as well
make two or three more to sell to other people, and so add money to
your camping fund.

The table should be separate from its legs, so that it can be packed
easily in the cart.

If stakes can be got at camp, you would drive four of these into the
ground with a "maul" (big mallet), making them exactly the same
height, and lay your table top on these.

To make your table top, bits of board or old packing cases can be
planed smooth, and trimmed, and screwed together by cross-battens
underneath to form a tabletop of the size required; 34 in. by 40 in.
is a useful and portable size.

[Illustration: TABLE WHEN FINISHED.]

A pair of folding trestle legs can then be made for the table. These
are two frames, one just narrow enough to go inside the other, but
both of the same length.

A CAMP STOOL can be made in much the same way, with a strip of canvas
or carpet or several strings of webbing nailed across, from the top of
one trestle to the other, the trestles, of course, being quite small.

[Illustration: UNDER SIDE OF TABLE TOP.]

CANDLESTICKS, Forks, Tongs, and other small articles of camp furniture
are shown in _Scouting for Boys_, and can easily be made in the
winter evenings. If neatly done they also command a good sale at

CAMP BEDS are also described in _Scouting for Boys_, and straw
mats for making these may very well be woven in winter evenings, and,
with plenty of time for making them, can be really well made. When
finished, they can be rolled up and packed away until required for

The fellow who owns one of these in camp can enjoy life under canvas
about four times as much as the fellow who tries to make himself
comfortable on a hard, stony bit of ground. I think you never find out
how full of corners you are till you try sleeping on a hard bit of

Of course? every Scout knows that the worst corner in him is his
hip-bone, and if you have got to sleep on hard ground the secret of
comfort is to scoop out a little hole, about the size of a tea-cup,
where your hip-bone will rest. It makes all the difference to your
comfort at night.

Your night's rest is an important thing a fellow who does not get a
good sleep at night soon knocks up, and cannot get through a day's
work like the one who sleeps in comfort.

[Illustration: TRESTLE LEGS.]

So my advice is, make a good thick straw-mattress for yourself during
the winter ready for camp.

Another good way of giving yourself a comfortable bed is to make a big
bag of canvas or stout linen; 6 ft. long and 3 ft. wide.

This will do to roll up your kit in for travelling; and when you are
in camp you can stuff it with straw, or leaves, or bracken, etc., and
use it as a nice soft mattress.

A PILLOW is also a useful thing for giving you comfort in camp. For
this you only want a strong pillow-case (which also you can make for
yourself in the winter). This will serve as your clothes-bag by day
and your pillow by night, your clothes, if neatly rolled and packed in
it, serving as the stuffing.

I have often used my boots as a pillow, rolled up in a coat so that
they don't slip apart, and for a long time I used a Zulu pillow, which
is a little wooden stand on which you rest your neck; it sounds
uncomfortable, but it is not so--when you're used to it!

A Scout has to Be Prepared to turn out at any moment in the night. He
ought, therefore, to have his important clothes laid handy, so that he
can get into them at once in the dark.

[Illustration: A ZULU PILLOW.]

On service, of course, a Scout sleeps with shoes on, so that he can
turn out at any moment.

I remember on one occasion some of my men gave up obeying this rule,
and thought it more comfortable to take their boots off.

So one night I had the alarm given that the enemy were near, and
ordered the men to double out at once to a spot a short distance
outside the camp.

The ground was covered with prickly grass and camel-thorn. How those
fellows hopped and skipped to get to the place. But they took care not
to go to bed barefooted again.

       *       *       *       *       *


In places where you can get the use of a wood for your camp, it saves
the cost of a tent if you can make yourself a hut.

The important point in making a hut is to thatch it so closely and
well with heather, straw, or twigs of fir, etc., that it is

The double lean-to, already described, makes the simplest form of
hut--and if you like to make it more roomy, you can dig out the floor
a couple of feet. But this is always a messy proceeding, and
unhealthy, as upturned earth is very liable to give fever.

In addition to the articles of camp equipment which are mentioned in
_Scouting for Boys_ as being easily made by the Scout himself,
there are several others which can be made during the long winter
evenings, and these will be of great use to you when you go into camp
in the summer, or they can be sold to other fellows wanting such

The following is taken, from Mr. H. Kephart's _Book of Camping:_

       *       *       *       *       *


"Get a cow's horn from a friendly butcher, a little over a foot long.
Measure with a stick how far up it is hollow. Then, saw off the tip
just below where it becomes solid, except a strip of the solid part,
which should be left attached to the hollow part, about an inch wide
and five inches long, quarter of an inch thick; this strip will form
the handle of the cup."

[Illustration: A HORN DRINKING CUP]

       *       *       *       *       *


Of course a backwoodsman has to be pretty useful with his axe; and to
become a good axeman a fellow must know, firstly, how the thing ought
to be done, and, secondly, he must then have lots of practice in doing
it before he can be considered any good.

Bad workmen complain of their tools, but before starting to work be
sure that your tool is a good one.

Your axe should be a "felling" axe, of which the head will weigh
nearly three pounds. See that the handle or "helve" is perfectly
straight and true in line with the head and the edge. To do this look
along the helve with the edge of the head turned upwards. If the edge
is not true to the bevel, your cuts will go all astray.

Then see that your axe is sharp--really sharp, not merely with a good
edge on it. A slightly blunt axe is no more good for cutting down a
tree than a very blunt knife is for cutting a pencil. You should know
how to sharpen it on a grindstone, learn this now, while you are in
civilisation, where grindstones can be found and there are men to show

When out in camp in India, for "pig sticking" (that is hunting wild
boar with spears) we found how very necessary it was to keep our
spears as sharp as a razor, and every time we killed a boar we would
sharpen up our spear-heads again ready for the next fight.

We could not carry grindstones about with us, but we carried a small
fine file, with which we were able to touch up the edge; and that is
what many an old backwoodsman does for his axe, he carries a small
file with him.

There is a saying with these men that "you may lend your last dollar
to a friend, but never lend him your axe--unless you know that he is a
good axeman and will not blunt it."

The tenderfoot will go banging about with an axe, chopping at roots
and branches on the ground, and blunting the axe at every stroke on
earth and stones; and when his arms tire, if he has not meanwhile
chopped his own foot, he will throw the axe down, leaving it lying all
anyhow on the ground, probably where it will catch and cut the toe of
someone moving about after dark.

When you want to leave your axe, strike straight down with it into a
tree stump, and leave it sticking there till required again,

       *       *       *       *       *


In using an axe, the tenderfoot generally tries to cover his bad aim
by the extra strength of his blows. If an old hand is looking on he is
smiling to himself and thinking how blown and what a backache he got
himself the first time that he did it.

Don't try to put force into the blow; merely be careful about aiming
it so that it falls exactly where you want it, the swing and weight of
the axe itself do the rest.

A good axeman uses his axe equally well left-handed or right. It is
all a matter of practice, and most valuable.

       *       *       *       *       *


The way to cut down a tree is to cut first a big chunk out of the side
to which you want the tree to fall, and then to cut into the opposite
side to fell it.

Begin your Notch 1, or the "kerf," as it is called, by chopping two
marks, the upper one, A, at a distance above the other, B, equal to
half the thickness of the tree.

[Illustration: THE KERF.]

Then cut alternately, first a horizontal cut at B, then a sideways,
downward cut at A, and jerk out the chunk between the two; go on doing
this till you get to the centre of the tree. The reason for making A
and B so far apart is that if you begin with too narrow a kerf your
axe gets wedged in the cut more easily.

       *       *       *       *       *


When you have cut your kerf half through the tree, you then fell the
tree by cutting in on the opposite side, only about three inches above
the level of B,

       *       *       *       *       *


Before starting to fell your tree, first clear away all small branches
and bushes which might interfere with the swing of your axe, and
therefore spoil your aim.

Also clear away any brambles or undergrowth that might trip you at the
critical moment.

Cut out chunks when you are at it, not a lot of little chips, which
are signs to anyone coming there later that a tenderfoot has been at
work. It is all a matter of aiming your stroke well.

Aim your kerf so that the tree will fall clear of other trees, and not
get hung up in their branches.

[Illustration: THE TREE READY TO FALL]

Then, when your tree falls, look out for the butt. This often jumps
back from the stump; never stand directly behind it; many a tenderfoot
has been killed that way. When the stem cracks and the tree begins to
topple over, move forward in the direction of the fall, and, at the
same time outwards, away from the butt.

       *       *       *       *       *


As a backwoodsman you must, of course, be able to cook your own
food--you can't lug your mother about with you to do it!

But you cannot cook food straight off without ever having learnt how;
and so I advise every Scout to set to work and learn this during the
winter months, before the camping season comes on.

You can do a good deal by helping in the kitchen, and seeing how the
food is got ready. Also get a baker to show you how to mix dough and
to bake bread.

But it is no use merely to be _shown_ how it should be done; the
thing is to do it yourself. You will make a few mistakes at first.
Your dough will come out like custard, and your porridge will be
burnt, and milk smoked, but after one or two trials you will soon find
yourself able to cook quite well.

The first thing that is necessary for cooking, even if it is only to
boil a billy of tea, is to have a fire, and tenderfoot makes a pretty
hash of lighting a fire until he knows how.


Begin in _a_ small way by putting first some dry "kindling" or
small splinters and shavings, dry grass, or a _little_ paper,
anything that will easily take fire, and over that stack a lot of
small dry sticks, standing on end and leaning together, or leaning
against a log on the _windward_ side of it.

Remember, dry _sticks_ are very different from _sticks_ when
it comes to lighting a fire.

Dry sticks are seldom found on the ground, they are generally best got
from a tree. Find a tree with a dead branch or two, break these off,
and you will have dry sticks. For "kindling," a number of sticks
partly split or splintered with your knife are useful.

Do you know what "punk" is?

Well, "punk," or "tinder," is what _a_ good many backwoodsmen
carry about with them for lighting their fires.

It can be a small bit of cotton waste soaked in petrol or spirits, or
very dry, baked fungus, or bark fibre, or anything that will catch
fire from the slightest spark.

Then, if you have no matches, you can strike a spark with a flint and
steel (the back of your knife on a stone will do it), and so set light
to your punk.

Or you can do it with a magnifying glass if there is a good sun
shining, by making the sunlight pass through the glass on to a small
amount of punk, and in a few seconds it will set it smouldering; and
you must then gently blow it up into a glow, and finally into a flame,
with which you can light the "kindling."

Indians and savages, who have neither matches nor burning-glasses, get
fire by rubbing wood together.

The easiest way is by putting a slat of dry wood on the ground and
boring a hole through it with a stick of dry wood, twirling the stick
by means of a bow string.

The friction of the two woods causes the kind of sawdust which comes
from the hole to get red-hot, and if a little punk is then placed on
it and blown into, it brings a flame.

So soon as you have got your small kindling fire alight, add bigger
dry sticks, upright and leaning together, until you can get a really
strong fire going, when logs can be added.

But for a cooking fire, use plenty of sticks at first, as they make
the hot ashes and embers which are most necessary for cooking.

       *       *       *       *       *


If you make your own sleeping bag out of canvas or sacking, remember
two points: first, to have its flaps about a yard longer than
yourself, so that you can get well into it in case of rain, and
secondly: that to keep warm and dry you want more thickness underneath
than above you.


The best way is to have a double sheet under you, or, in other words,
make your sleeping bag a double one; you can then fill the lower part
with straw, and sleep yourself in the upper compartment.

The object of having long flaps is seen in the illustration. The lower
one can be rolled with your spare clothes inside it to form your
pillow, while the upper one can be supported by a crossbar to form a
little roof over your head. In a sleeping bag of this kind, if
waterproof, you can sleep out without a tent at all.

       *       *       *       *       *


A very simple and comfortable form of camp bed-and one which you can
easily rig up and use in your home, or at an inn, if a bedstead is not
available-is this: Make a "hasty stretcher" with two staves and a
sack, and lay the ends of the staves on a couple of logs, stones, or

[Illustration: READY FOR USE.]

Keep the staves apart by crossbars, and you have a most comfortable
bed. But don't forget to put plenty of blankets, and some thick paper,
if you are short of blankets underneath you.

This bed is the best possible one to use when you have to camp on damp

       *       *       *       *       *


In camp you can generally tell a tenderfoot from an old scout from the
way in which he sits down.

[Illustration: THE WRONG WAY.]

A tenderfoot sits right down on the ground, but the old hand, knowing
that this is very likely to give you chill and bring on fever,
rheumatism, or other ailments, either squats on his heel, or on both
heels--which comes all the more easy if you put a stone under each
heel as a support, or if you have your back against a tree.

[Illustration: THE RIGHT WAY.]

When an old scout sits on the ground, he always takes care either to
sit on his hat, or on a bundle of dry heather, or something that will
keep him off the actual ground.

[Illustration: HOW AN OLD HAND SITS DOWN.]

Two ex-Boy Scouts, now officers in the Army, sent me a contribution to
our funds lately, as a thanks offering for all the campaigning dodges
which they had learnt as Scouts and which had been most helpful to
them on active service.

So practise all you can of these tips which I have given: you never
know when they may not come in useful to you.



The native boys of the Zulu and Swazi tribes learn to be Scouts before
they are allowed to be considered men, and they do it in this way:

When a boy is about fifteen or sixteen, he is taken by the men of his
village, stripped of all clothes, and painted white from head to foot,
and he is given a shield and one assegai or small spear, and he is
turned out of the village and told that he will be killed if anyone
catches him while he is still painted white.

So the boy has to go off into the jungle and mountains and hide
himself from other men until the white paint wears off, and this
generally takes about a month; so that all this time he has to look
after himself and stalk game with his one assegai, and kill it and cut
it up; he has to light his fire by means of rubbing sticks together in
order to cook his meat; he has to make the skin of the animal into a
covering for himself; and he has to know what kinds of wild roots,
berries, and leaves are good for food as vegetables.

If he is not able to do these things he dies of starvation, or is
killed by wild animals.

If he succeeds in keeping himself alive, and is able to find his way
back to his village, he returns when the white paint has worn off, and
is then received with great rejoicings by his friends and relatives,
and is allowed to become a soldier of the tribe, since he has shown
that he is able to look after himself.

       *       *       *       *       *


General Dodge, of the American Army, describes how he once had to
pursue a party of Red Indians who had been murdering some people.

The murderers had nearly a week's start, and had gone away on
horseback. Rut General Dodge got a splendid tracking-scout named
Espinosa to help him. The Indians were all riding unshod horses except
one, and after Espinosa had been tracking them for many miles he
suddenly got off his horse and pulled four horseshoes out of a hidden
crevice in the rocks. The Indian had evidently pulled them off so that
they should not leave a track.

For six days they pursued the band, and for a great part of the time
there was no sign visible to an ordinary eye, and after going for 150
miles they eventually overtook and captured the whole party. But it
was all entirely due to Espinosa's good tracking.

On another occasion some American troops were following up a number of
Indians, who had been raiding and murdering whites, and they had some
other Red Indian scouts to assist them in tracking.

In order to make a successful attack, they marched by night, and the
trackers found the way in the darkness by feeling the tracks of the
enemy with their hands, and they went at a fairly good pace for many
miles, merely touching the track with their fingers; but suddenly they
halted and reported that the track they had been following had been
crossed by a fresh track, and on the commanding officer going up, he
found the Indians still holding the track with their hands, so that
there should be no mistake.

A light was brought, and it was found that the new track was that of a
bear which had walked across the trail of the enemy! So the march
continued without further incident, and the enemy were surprised, and
caught in the early hours of the morning.

I myself led a column through an intricate part of the Matopo
Mountains in Rhodesia by night to attack the enemy's stronghold, which
I had reconnoitred the previous day. I found the way by feeling my own
tracks, sometimes with my hands and sometimes through the soles of my
shoes, which had worn very thin; and I never had any difficulty in
finding the line.

Tracking, or following up tracks, is called by different names in
different countries. Thus, in South Africa you would talk only of
"spooring," that is, following up the "spoor"; in India it would be
following the "pugs," or "pugging"; in America it is "trailing."

       *       *       *       *       *


In India I have seen a certain tribe of gipsies who eat jackals. Now,
a jackal is one of the most suspicious animals that lives, and is very
difficult to catch in a trap, but these gipsies catch them by calling
them in this way: Several men with dogs hide themselves in the grass
and bushes round a small field. In the middle of this open place one
gipsy imitates the call of the jackals calling to each other; he gets
louder and louder till they seem to come together; then they begin to
growl and finally tackle each other with violent snapping, snarling,
and yelling, and at the same time he shakes a bundle of dried leaves,
which sounds like the animals dashing about among grass and reeds.

Then he flings himself down on the ground, and throws up dust in the
air, so that he is completely hidden in it, still growling and

If any jackal is within sound of this, he comes tearing out of the
jungle, and dashes into the dust to join in the fight. When he finds a
man there, he comes out again in a hurry, but meantime the dogs have
been loosed from all sides, and they quickly catch him and kill him.

Mr. William Long, in his very interesting book called _Beasts of the
Field_, describes how he once called a moose. The moose is a very
huge kind of stag, with an ugly, bulging kind of nose. He lives in the
forests of North America and Canada, and is very hard to get near; and
is pretty dangerous when he is angry.

Mr. Long was in a canoe fishing when he heard a moose bull calling in
the forest--so just for fun he went ashore and cut a strip of bark off
a birch tree and rolled it up so as to make a kind of megaphone, With
this he proceeded to imitate the roaring grunt of the bull moose. The
effect was tremendous; the old moose came tearing down, and even came
into the water and tried to get at him--and it was only by hard
paddling that in the end he got away.


Well, good-bye, my reader. I hope you will have got half the enjoyment
out of reading these yarns that I have had in spinning them to you.

Will you try to remember some of the ideas which they bring to your
mind-most especially those ten "Scout Laws" with which I began the

I repeat them as a reminder for you. Learn them by heart-each one to a


 1. A Scout's Honour is to be Trusted.
 2. A Scout is Loyal.
 3. A Scout is Useful to Others.
 4. A Scout is a Friend to all.
 5. A Scout is Courteous.
 6. A Scout is a Friend to Animals
 7. A Scout Obeys Orders.
 8. A Scout Smiles and Whistles when in Trouble.
 9. A Scout is Thrifty.
 10. A Scout is Clean in Thought, Word, and Deed.

Will you try to remember these and carry them out in your daily life?
By doing so you will be a true Young Knight of the Empire.



Algeria, A trip to--
  Algiers, Interesting things in
  Arab market, An
  Arab politeness
  Arab's Candles
  Camping among the mountains of the Desert
  Carthage-Ancient and Modern
  Cold winds
  Constantine, Celebrated French regiment at
  Good turn to a donkey, A
  Historical memories of the place
  History of Ancient Roman occupation
  Hot springs of Hammam Mousketine, The
  Mountain of salt in, A
  Mountain range between Algeria and the Sahara
  Spahis, The
  Tunis and its "souks"
Axe, Take care of your


Belgian Boy Scouts


Camp bed, To make a
Camping season tips
  Ancient exhortation to
  British Army's example at the Front
  "Don't stand with your back to the sun"
  Earl Roberts, example of
  Under difficulties
  Whistling good, but not if it causes annoyance
Chilian Boy Scouts
  Consumption, Wage war against by
  Drinking against the law of
  In thought, word, and deed
  Manliness demands
  Smoking as a boy offends
  Spitting offends the law of


Danish Boy Scouts
Dutch Boy Scouts


  Arab hospitality
  Buttonhole badge worn by all Scouts a token of
  Chilian Scouts help British visitors
  Shown to all
  "Swastika" an emblem know in all lands
  Treating natives for minor ill


  Examples of the sense of
  Your word is your bond
Horn drinking cups


Kindness to animals--
  Bird migration
  Bird-nesting, humanely
  Good and brave men show
  Instances of
  Lord Nelson on a bull-fight
  Nesting-box for birds, To make a
  Studying wild beasts


  Balaclava Charge an instance of
  Conquests achieved through loyalty to leaders
  Instance of, at the Front
  To King and Country
  To parents and friends


  Home of Scouts, The
  Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in. The.
  Maltese placed themselves under Great Britain's Protectorate
  Maltese Cross and its meaning, The
  Maltese Boy Scouts


  Scouts in
  Vesuvius overshadows
Neapolitan Boy Scouts
Norway, Camping in--
  Automatic toasting-fork, An
  Bivouac hut, Easily-made
  Boat voyage, A
  Camp bedroom, A
  Camp fire and kitchen
  Cleaning and cooking your fish
  Fishermen's knots
  Norwegian fences
  Norwegians are kind to animals
  Picturesque experiences
  Repairing a rod
  Rowing boats
Norwegian Boy Scouts


  British discipline, Examples of
  Silence as discipline
  To parents and Scoutmasters
Orient Line Steamship, Our life on an


  Ancient Knights' Oath of Chivalry, The
  Courtesy to ail, especially the old and ailing
  Scouts of the Desert show courtesy
  True gentleman, The test of a
Pompeii, History of Ancient


Roberts, K.G., V.C., Field-Marshal Earl,
  Lessons from the life of


Sea Scouting--
  Brave Boy Sea Scout, A
  Chief Scout tells when it helped him
  Drake, Career of Sir Francis
  Dutch and English Admirals of 250 years ago
  Fishermen heroes
  Generals who were sailors
  Nelson, Career of Lord
  Sailor heroes
  Seamanship, Games to teach,
  Use of, in war,
  Usefulness of, at all times,
  Carts in,
  History of,
  Whispering caves in,
Sitting, The art of,
Strathcona, Lord, Lessons from the life of,
Swedish Boy Scouts,


Tents, How to build--
  Ashanti shelter, The,
  Bivouac shelter, A,
  Bivouac tent, A,
  Cabul tent,
  Camp furniture for,
  Making of, and materials to use,
  One-man tramp tent, The,
  Shelter hut, A,
   Tramp tent, The,
  Examples of men who became great through,
  John Pound's example of,
  Manliness of,
Two rules for earning a fortune,

Training and tracking--
  Red Indians track by touch,
Tree-felling, The art of,


  Badges to be won by,
  Good turns,
  Helpfulness to others,
  Helping the police,
  Instances of,
  Peace Scout in Labrador, A,
  Tracking exercise,

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