Étoffe du pays: Lower St. Lawrence Sketches.

This alleged children’s book is undated but probably describes events and publication of the mid-1920s. A couple of jems are worth recording from this delightful book:

p. 48: There are many cottages at Cap a 1’Aigle and some that are historically interesting, particularly one called the "Alert," whose interior is finished with panelling and doors of that gallant old vessel, which was one of the boats that went on the Expedition organised by Sir George Nares and the Royal Geographical Society in 1875 to search for the North Pole. She was commanded by Admiral Markham and accompanied by the "Discovery," and together they penetrated farther north than any previous explorers. An interesting relic (which is still preserved by relatives of the late Admiral) is a thermometer which records that it was carried to Lat. 83, 20 min. 26 sees. North, where the temperature was 109° below freezing! The frame of this instrument is made of the batten of the sledge "Marco Polo" which carried these intrepid-voyagers over the ice when they were obliged to abandon their boat. The "Alert" was a seventeen-gun sloop, and before leaving England she was overlaid with a seven-inch covering of teak and lined throughout with felt. She had a crew of sixty men with nine boats, and it is interesting to read, in a detailed account in a “Strand Magazine” of nearly twenty years ago, that “the Commander’s pet dog, Nellie, accompanied the expedition and had her own embroidered blanket.”

“Pinch” had a joke when the expedition returned: "Why didn’t Admiral Markham find the North Pole? Because the Discovery was not on the Alert."

p. 76: Mr. George M. Wrong in his interesting book “A Canadian Manor and its Seigneurs” gives a detailed account of the titles exacted by the Church from these poor people. A twenty-sixth part of the produce of their grain fields. This surely cannot be much in a district where one sees so few, and such thin harvests of barley and oats, buckwheat and timothy. Potatoes seem their only crop with acres and acres of hay. In return for the payment of this title, proud parents have the right to present their twenty-sixth child for complete adoption by the Church. A privilege which, I hear, has actually been taken advantage of!