Forty Years for Labrador.

A revised and mostly rewritten version of his earlier A Labrador Doctor,the autobiography of a medical missionary in Labrador.

p. 168-69: Many years ago we were running South from our long northern trip before a fine leading wind. Suddenly we noticed a small boat with an improvised flag standing right out across our bows. Thinking that at least it was some serious surgical case, we ordered ‘Down sail and heave her to,’ annoying though we felt it have the delay. A solitary white-haired old man climbed with difficulty over our rail. ‘Good-day. What’s the trouble. We’re in a hurry.’ The old man most courteously doffed his cap and stood holding it in his hands. ‘I wanted to ask you, Doctor,’ he said slowly, ‘if you had any books you could lend me. We can’t get anything to read here.’ A feeling of humiliation almost immediately replaced the angry reply which had sprung to my lips. Which is really charity, skillfully to remove his injured leg if he had had one, or to afford him the pleasure and profit of a good book?

‘Haven’t you got any books?’

‘Yes, Sir, I’ve got two, but I’ve read them through and through long ago.’

‘What are they?’

‘One is the “Works” of Josephus,’ he answered, ‘and the other is Plutarch’s “Lives,”’

He was soon bounding away over the seas in his little craft, the happy possessor of one of our moving libraries.

The Carnegie libraries have emphasized a fact that is to education and the colleges what social work is to medicine and the hospitals. Our faculties, like our jaws, atrophy if we do not use them to bite with. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Carnegie and others, we now have about seventy-five of these library boxes, containing a selection of some fifty books each. The hospital steamer each summer moves these peripatetic libraries one more stage along the Coast. The co-operation of teachers and librarians who come and give us splendid voluntary service more than doubles the usefulness of the libraries as it does that of the workers themselves in their special spheres. The world’s workers have everything to gain by cooperation, whatever their field, and whether it is a question of nationalism or internationalism. When men pull together, efficiency increases in geometrical progression.