« PrejšnjaNaprej »
of Alaska, all of them, as we were informed, being arms of a wonderful inland lake of ice, back in the heart of the Alaska mountains.
We arrived at Controller Bay in the evening and caught a glimpse of the new Government railroad and dock which are being built at Katalla, tapping the beds of anthracite coal in that locality.
THE BISHOP'S JOKE
At Cordova, I had the pleasure of meeting Bishop Rowe, the head of the Episcopal Church in Alaska, who is a splendid up-standing sort of a man, highly esteemed by the men with whom he works and respected by all classes. They tell a story of the Bishop, who is an experienced "musher," that one winter day as he was going along the trail to the interior, he met 'sour-dough" going in the opposite direction and inquired of him the character of the trail over which his chance acquaintance had passed. "That trail," the "sour-dough" responded, not recognizing the Bishop, "is certainly the- I ever came over in my life. By the way," he added, "how is the trail that you just came over?"
"Well, to tell you the truth, brother," answered the Bishop, "it's just about the same sort of a trail.”
Leaving Seward we arrived in Anchorage harbor at noon, where we anchored and since there is no dock to which large boats can tie, we were carried ashore by the launch provided for that purpose, followed by our baggage on a lighter.
Anchorage is a town of about 5,000 population, situated on the line of the railroad that the United States Government is building from Seward to Fairbanks and is managed by the Alaska Engineering Commission which has charge of the building of the road. Its harbor is open to navigation during the summer months only, through Cook Inlet, but when it freezes over during the winter, all supplies must be shipped by dog team across the Kenai Peninsula from Seward. The decision of the Government to discontinue the construction of the railroad between Anchorage and Fairbanks may affect the prosperity of the town, although it appears certain that the road will be completed between Seward to Anchorage and from Anchorage to the coal fields in that vicinity. These Chickaloon and Matanuska coal fields produce an excellent quality of semibituminous coal suitable for naval use, and an
abundant supply of immature coal or lignite suitable for domestic use. There are also some copper and gold mines in that vicinity in a state of development. In the country north of Anchorage, agriculture and dairying are being successfully engaged in, while hog and chicken raising are likewise being developed.
The fertile though shallow soil, together with the long days of summer and the abundant rainfall seem to mature an excellent quality of vegetables and berries, as well as satisfactory crops of hay and grain. Flowers reach a size and beauty superior to the finest hothouse products in the States. Through the courtesy of the Engineering Commission I was able to go to the end of the railroad, sixty miles north of Anchorage, and from there by horseback and wagon fourteen miles to the next construction camp, preaching, as the opportunity presented itself, the gospel of the Red Cross and finding an intelligent and ready response when I urged their assistance for the Chapter to be established at Anchorage.
AN ALASKAN FAIR
An Agricultural and Industrial Fair had been arranged to be held in Anchorage from the third to the fifth of September and, in addition to organizing a Chapter there, I remained to address a public meeting held the first night of the Fair. An attractive float was prepared for the parade, which opened the festivities on that day. on that day. It represented the "Angel of Mercy" with hands outstretched over the soldier, sailor and Red Cross nurse. Five army tents adorned with the insignia and campaign slogans of the Red Cross were placed at the principal corners of the town, with the announced intention, apparently fulfilled later, of receiving several thousand new memberships.
While in Anchorage, I received a cable from Headquarters, requesting me, if possible, to be in Seattle by the 20th.
On the trip from Anchorage to Seward, we traveled by speeder, which is similar to a handcar except that it is operated by motor power, down to the camp of Potter Creek located at Turnagain Arm. Turnagain Arm. It was about half past five when we arrived there and although it had been explained to me that in this body of water the tidal variation is second highest in the world-being second only to the Bay of Fundy-the fact had not especially impressed itself upon my mind. The engineer showed
the boat and I was beginning to wonder how we would be able to float it, when my companion started running down toward it. I could see no especial reason for his haste, but being unwilling to show less enthusiasm than he evinced, I likewise started at a very respectable pace toward the water's edge. The explanation of his precipitateness was there when we arrived. The tide had displayed a greater speed than we had and the water was nearly to our knees when we clambered aboard. We had barely gained our balance on deck before the boat was afloat.
This Turnagain Arm is as ominous as its name suggests, and is one of the roughest bodies of water in the world when the tide
Cut off from the rest of the world by snow and ice for many months of the year, the woman residents of Alaska spend the long winter days knitting or rolling bandages for the Red Cross, with a zeal that is surpassed by few, if any, members of the Society
days to launch a boat so that he could cross to the other side, but without avail.
They built a roaring fire so we were able to dry our clothes, which had been wet by our involuntary immersion, and we spent a most interesting evening listening to tales of the early gold rush, from one who had experienced the ordeal of that struggle for sudden riches. The next morning the engineer assured me that we would leave on the speeder for the next camp. The country was particularly attractive because of the freshness after a recent rain and following the line of the road there was no suggestion of civilization save for the rails of steel and the accompanying telephone poles, it lent an alluring charm to
the entire scene. The road led over many glacier streams which rushed downward to the Arm, where wild ducks paddled comfortably, audibly commenting on affairs in general as we went by. Past the magnificent glaciers were the jagged snow-topped mountains in the background, their lower slopes and valleys covered with heavy undergrowth and bushes.
We passed the Kenai River and lake where we could look across and see the virgin carribou and moose country of the world.
COMPETING WITH THE "MOVIES"
I organized the Chapter at Seward with splendid interest evinced on all sides. A public meeting was held at which some short addresses were made and the Executive Committee selected, the meeting being held in a motion picture theatre, following a film of melodramatic atrocity which should be forbidden by legislative enactment. Saying nothing of elopements and scandal, there were two murders and so much bloodshed that my humble attempt to depict the horrors of the European war, did not meet with the response it had in other places, and was considered tame in comparison with the cinema horrors preceding. The Chapter, however, appeared, in spite of this handicap, to be in a good condition and announced itself ready to undertake all all branches of the work.
A TRUE PIONEER
At Seward, we were seated around a roaring fire in the little hotel one evening with the rain pouring down outside, and the proprietor, who was somewhat expansive in the genial warmth, told us some of his experiences when, together with his wife, he had operated a roadhouse on the Kenai Peninsula in the earlier days. It will be understood that a road-house in Alaska occupies no mean position, since it is the precursor of civilization in these remote parts of the territory, where a more pretentious hostelry would never be found. Among the incidents he recounted, I got one of the best first-aid stories that I heard in that part of the country.
It appears that his wife was generally known in that vicinity as "The Doctor." This title was given her from an occurrence one winter when she was left alone in the road-house and a man was brought to her door with a seriously dislocated shoulder. Eighteen hours previously, one of the splendid "malamutes" in his
dog team had fallen over the cliff and in trying to effect a rescue, the man had slipped, fallen and dislocated his shoulder. After a night and half a day of misery, he was brought to the road-house door, with no doctor within a radius of many miles, nor anyone skilled in medicine. "The Doctor" had, however, seen a "picture book" as she called it, in a camp five miles from there and her attention had been drawn to a picture of just such an injury, with the accompanying directions of how to remedy it. So she sent the only man who was in camp assisting her across the unbroken trail to this camp and when he returned a few hours later he had with him this precious volume.
"The Doctor's" first attempt, after reading the instructions, resulted only in a scream of agony from her patient, which they declare could have been heard clear to the Yukon. The second attempt was more successful, the shoulder slipped back into place and after a few days' care, the man was again able to take the trail.
This little book, which had so happily wandered into that remote territory, appeared to be nothing more or less than the First Aid instruction book from which thousands of Red Cross members are now learning the essentials for the conservation of their lives and health.
The S. S. Northwestern was scheduled to arrive Friday evening and it finally arrived at halfpast seven Saturday morning. That night the glacier stream, which flows through the town, broke through its ice retaining wall and destroyed property to the value of $150,000. Part of the residence section was washed away and only by the most tireless efforts in building temporary dams and dynamiting the obstructions along the course of the stream, were they able to save the business district from complete demolition.
The wife of one of the farmers was compelled to emulate her arboreally inclined ancestors and spent a night in the branches of a tall tree to keep from being washed away. Two trappers were carried away on a log, into the icy waters of Resurrection Bay where they cruised aimlessly about until the fog lifted and they were rescued by some friends.
At the conclusion of the trip, I had a most enjoyable conference with Gov. J. F. A. Strong, and the organizations and work seemed to meet with his hearty approval.
Soixante Trois, the First American Newspaper Published in the Trenches by Section 63 of the American Red Cross Ambulance Section-An Odd Combination of Gaiety and Deep Pathos
GEORGE BUCHANAN FIFE
PARIS, AUGUST, 1917 Sa temperamental index of the men who are fighting for the Allies' cause in Europe, there is nothing more eloquent than the "trench paper." This is the generic name for the publications which the men themselves write, edit and issue directly at the front for the information and general amusement of their fellow creatures and to recall, if possible, the sadly strayed gaiety of nations. A publication in many ways similar to those brought out in the trenches, and with the announced distinction of being
Mirth and cheerfulness are as common
"The First American Newspaper Printed at the Front" is now being issued every Sunday by Section 63 of the American Red Cross Ambulance service. The title of this weekly production is Soixante Trois, done in large and decorative lettering beneath the Red Cross emblem, and the American Eagle which is majestically winging its way toward the crossed flags of the United States and France in the upper right
In common with its sister-publications, Soixante Trois is an ambitious effort, "pulled" on a duplicating machine and owing to its popularity and the inability always to get enough paper-stock, rarely in quantity sufficient to go around.
men and prompt recognition of their achievements. Then, too, there is all the news of the immediate vicinity-which may mean as much as two hundred square yards of Mother Earth-the dissemination of advice and the elucidation, in simple language, of officially couched orders from the chef de section. Latest reports of activities in the dugouts and mess room are given with characteristic comment and the customary woes of the editor are by no means omitted. Gossip, "social notes" and bantering occupy much space in its pages and here the staff has its innings, and lays about itself as if it were at a Donnybrook Fair. The "grouch" is held up to general view invariably with good result, the joker is paid in his own coin and the fellow upon whom every one imposes is stiffened to just rebellion.
Soixante Trois is an ambitious youngster, embellished with' drawings of commendable skill and illuminated with exceptional verse. Its columns range through the emotions from gravity to gaiety. There are editorials of appeal to the fortitude and courage of the
As the men of this section, as well as of all the others in the service, have been drawn from practically all the professions, it is not remarkable that there should be capable writers among them. But it is scarcely too much to say that few magazines in America have published anything upon the war which, in its way, is better than the following verses; "L'Ambulancier," by Burr C. Cook:
It's a sorry job, on a sorry road,
With the brancards shaking their gory load, And the agonized cry of the poor blessé― Doucement, Doucement, s'il vous plaît.
A man's last hope, and love and fear, Are swinging there in his stretcher gear, But no matter the danger, night or day, He must Aller doucement-s'il vous plaît.
American Newspaper Printed Ar The
When peace has come and the guns are stilled,
ol. 1 No.6.
ARMEES, FRANCE SEPT. 2,1917. Prix 259
He has done his work, and done it well,
A glance through the file of Soixante Trois, encloses such remarkable metropolitanism as the issue of a pictorial supplement. It was a full page devoted to the display of the section's emblem, an American spread-eagle standing upon a shield on one half of which was blazoned the Red Cross and on the other the tri-color of France, the device being executed in inks of three colors. This same issue contained an advertising section given up mainly to an exploitation of the ambulance men's laundryman and the absolute necessity of patronizing him or someone else. The heading of the advertisements was a lifelike picture of clothes-mentionable and unmentionable hung on a line.
So many and so great are the risks that the Red Cross ambulanciers take in their work of transporting the wounded, that it is little to be wondered at that they skim lightlyperhaps to avoid thinking-over the casualties among their sections. In any other publication than Soixante Trois what follows would be considered scant and casual notice of a thrilling incident and its attendant bravery:
A. R. C. MEN WOUNDED
Price McQuillan and Wayne Vetterlein, both of XXII, were seriously wounded at an advance post on August 5. They were loading their machine, assisted by five brancardiers when a shell burst near them. Only one brancardier escaped. Of the others, one was killed and three wounded. Bean and Moorehead went courageously to their assistance, through a thick curtain of gas. . It was found necessary to amputate one of McQuillan's legs and two fingers of his right hand. Vetterlein received seven serious wounds. Both men have shown a fine courage which makes us proud of them and of America.
They have both been decorated with the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille Militaire.
Fatalism is the strongest characteristic of the men who have done such heroic work in the American Red Cross ambulance service and it finds full expression in this little essay.
THE SOLDIER'S GODDESS
I have watched them pass-the dust-covered, canvas-hooded, big gray camions-close behind each other, countless numbers of them in line, noisily rumbling up the long white road to the front. Each packed with silent, war-clad men; men with the calm, fixed look of grim understanding on their bronzed faces, and a strange, bright light in their eyes; trailing up the white road under cover of the star-lit night, or through ancient villages, peaceful fields, sleeping, sombre forests-on, on, toward the gleaming battle grounds.
And happening, for an instant, to catch the eye of one of these silent, war clad men, I have tried to divine his thoughts, to picture the golden hopes of his former life, to guess at the part he played in the big world before all things changed and he became one in these miles of camion-trains. And wondering, I have endeavored to comprehend the meaning of the uncomplaining, unquestioning, unhesitating light in his eyes. No doubt, I thought,