p. 1585 N
FROM TOILERS OF THE DEEP, 1897, p. 52.
EXTRACTS FROM LETTER BY DR. GRENFELL.
SS. “Sir Donald,” Cartwright,
November 2, 1896.
I had now decided to remain at Rigoulette over Sunday, and to then return to Indian Harbour with a further load of spruce poles to enable the poor residents who we decided to give relief work on the road to have wood to commence working with. I had forgotten to mention that Dr. Willway had been empowered by Mr. Bond, the Colonial Secretary (of Newfoundland) to confer with Mr. James Wilson, of the Hudson Bay Company, as to what way could best be adopted to relieve the starving residents this winter. Mr. Wilson was empowered to prevent starvation, and in every possible case to insist on some public work being done by recipients of Government pauper relief. Mr. Wilson, who spent a few days this summer at Indian Harbour, decided that the way would be to build the road I have above referred to, and also one at the Mission station at Lester's Point, where the Rev. F. Hollett has been working for the past three years.
* * * *
It was with much deep gratitude to those who put in our power, and also to the Government of Newfoundland, who have, in view of the present emergency, put some flour and molasses on the coast for those who must otherwise starve, that Dr. Willway and I arranged a little winter work for a number of these families. Each place we call at now we find some families “borrowing a pan of flour,” already, and with no other foodstuff of any kind in the house, except perhaps a few dry caplin, or, if they happen to have powder and shot, a few sea birds. While some here and there have enough for themselves, and traps and powder to hunt for more with, it is almost invariably the case that those who have nothing to eat have no means of getting any. A number returned with us to the ship at night, and we were able to help them with a few small things they absolutely needed.