Track of Destiny
THE STORY: Having failed to borrow money in London for the building of a railroad from Montreal to the Pacific coast, Premier Sir John A. Macdonald persuades a group of Canadian business men to finance the road.
In Yale, B.C., to which point the railroad has been constructed from the West Coast, a gambler named Bulldog Kelly stages a card duel with another Kelly, better known as The Rake. The latter is accused of cheating, but manages to evade proof by eating a card in a sandivich.
Mary Moody, nurse at the Yale hospital, is assisted each day by a notorious local woman named Molly Kelly. When Big John, a handsome ne'er-do-well, is injured in a fracas, Mary arouses his latent spirit by telling him he’s yellow, but it is Molly who pays his fine and offers him money to get away from Yale and undertake a real man's work.
Hell’s Bells Rogers, the location engineer, finds a pass through the Selkirks through which the new railroad may proceed, and reports in Montreal to the board—William Van Horne, George Stephen and Donald Smith.
Jim Hill, the Canadian-born builder of railroads in the United States, enters. He wants the board to build only as far east as Winnipeg, at which point he proposes to take over their traffic and route it through the United States to the Eastern seaboard. The board members insist that the route must be Canadian throughout, and Hill threatens that he will wreck the project.
ON A CHILLY evening in the early winter of ’82, Macdonald stood at an open fire. The room, large and partly walled with books, had a comfortable air; big windows overlooked the Ottawa River, giving a panoramic view of the not far distant Laurentian mountains now white with their first sprinkling of snow. There was a long central table, no desk, and two doors, one opening to the gardens, the other to the house, of which this very livable study with its atmosphere of intimacy formed a wing. No telephone sounded its imperative summons where the Premier of Canada did much of his work free from interruption.
He rubbed his long, flexible hands, and turned to a man sitting on the other side of the hearth.
“Who is coming tonight, J.H.?”
“Tupper anyway, not Schreiber, who I think is in Montreal. You said it would not be official.”
“Yes, it is often the easiest way to clear the air.”
Pope nodded confirmingly. Of all Macdonald’s confidants, he stood perhaps the nearest and knew him best, so in understanding anticipation of what lay in his chief’s mind he sat in silence, studying the familiar face.
“How are matters going with our all-red line, John Henry?”
“Smoothly, I think. I saw Schreiber yesterday, just back from the West, and he seems quite happy. They’ve laid a lot of track this summer.”
“So I understand. But, y’know. I can never think of the Canadian Pacific without falling foul of the Grand Trunk. What persuades those people they can sit in a board room in London and run a Canadian railway? W’hy must they brand my Government as robbers? Why can’t they see there’s room for two roads?”
“They’ll learn that before long, Sir John.”
“They may, but they won’t admit it. I’m all for British institutions, but not this long range British management.” “Takes one back to 73, doesn’t it?” murmured Pope. “It does, and to Donald Smith. I can see him now, the old Covenanter, undertaking to purge the Conservative party. I don’t believe I’ve ever really hated any living man,
but what I felt for him that day was worse than hate. He gave me a stab in the back on moral grounds—think of that, moral grounds.”
Pope, nodding, recalled the drama of ’73. Macdonald in office and the great gamble of the all-red line decided upon by himself and Charles Tupper, a 3,000-mile steel band to consolidate British North America under one flag, withholding British Columbia and its 12,000 inhabitants from the outstretched arms of the United States. He recalled the negotiations concerning a charter to Hugh Allan, of Montreal, who already owned a fleet of steamers plying to Liverpool; the empty exchequer of the Conservative party; the bleeding and rebleeding of Allan to replenish party funds till finally he protested that his veins were being tapped too freely; the exposure by nefarious means of what was going on ; the pouncing on this by the Opposition led by Alexander Mackenzie and Edward Blake; the castigation of the Conservatives in the House; Macdonald’s appeal to Donald Smith, Member for Selkirk in Manitoba and his supporter, as being the one man with weight enough to swing the balance; Smith’s appearance in the House; the polished tones; the considered speech seemingly in favor of the Government and Macdonald’s cohorts smiling with satisfaction, till at the very end came the unexpected stab whereat the Government benches gaped in horrified amazement while the grey beard of Donald wagged its disapproval in a fashion that forced Macdonald’s resignation and sent the Conservative party into the wilderness of opposition for five long years.
IT WAS NOW an old story, not a pretty one, a bit of history known as the Pacific Scandal. It undermined friendships, and dug a gulf between two Scots who were at the time the strongest men in the country.
“Hehad me on the grill that time,’’admitted Macdonald reflectively. “I protested to heaven against his existence, yet in the back of my head I had to admire the way he did it.” “I wonder how he feels about it now? He’s up to the neck in that new line of ours.”
“H’m, that would be hard to say. I question whether he feels anything very much, and certainly he wouldn’t waste time questioning the past, particularly his own past. Too shrewd a politician for that, J.H.”
“You two will get together again, sir, I’m sure of it.” Macdonald, gay survivor of a hundred political duels, nodded, smiled and turned his thoughts to the all-red line.
“Talking about Donald,” he ruminated, taking visible pleasure in the analysis of his own thoughts, “he’s mighty useful just where he is, and he knows it. He’s clever, and I know no one just like him. I can’t imagine a tear of compassion losing itself in those whiskers, and if he has any real feelings they are pride and ambition. Also if he’s made up his mind, one might as well argue with a chip of granite. After all, J.H., it’s the Scots who made this country.”
“Thanks,” said Pope satirically, “and no others had a hand in it?”
Macdonald laughed at him.
“I thought that would reach you.”
Tupper came in, his clothing a sartorial triumph with suavely-cut frock coat, white vest, snowy linen and glossy black tie.
“Charles,” said Macdonald gaily, “you look like one of Solomon’s wives. Where do you get your clothes?”
Tupper smiled gravely.
“In London, Sir John.”
“Well, Ottawa is good enough for me, but of course I haven’t got your figure. We’ve just been talking about Donald A.—or rather 1 have; John Henry didn’t get a chance.”
“You’ve a large subject, and nothing to worry about there. I’ve every reason to believe he’d like to get back into the fold. But he won’t say so. That matter will take care of itself in due course.”
“I agree with you.” Macdonald regarded his chief supporter with affectionate interest. He banked on Tupper, who
was a sort of comforting rock of dependence, a man of courage, with forceful ideas and no sharp angles, and as Minister of Railways carried much of the burden of his own creation. “Anything new from Montreal, Charles?” “Not much, but Í fancy they don’t relish what’s ahead of them on the north shore of Lake Superior. You’ll remember what Macintyre said that day in London. A month or so ago, George Stephen hinted at a line from Callander to the Soo, then round to Winnipeg by way of St. Paul, but I don’t think he was altogether in earnest.”
“I hope not, for his own sake. Let us look at that map.” Tupper unrolled a long blueprint that lay on the table, weighting down its corners with books—a duplicate of the print in the Montreal board room. It showed the “terra incognita” north of Lake Superior like the base of an inverted triangle with its two sides converging southward to a point in the United States. To avoid that forbidding base—it was said to be of solid granite —one would go a long way round and through foreign territory.
MACDONALD shook his head.
“Charles, you agree that we can’t have it, and won’t. I fancy I know where the idea started.”
“Naturally—the Yankee member of the board—but that road, every foot of it, stays in Canada no matter what the cost. I suppose you told Stephen?”
“I did, and very plainly.”
“How did he take it?”
“Not in any way surprised. I fancy he was glad to have the thing straight from us.”
“Didn’t mention Hill, did he?”
“Not a word.”
“It’s curious, y’know, how things come round,” said Macdonald, taking his stand again on the hearthrug. “There’s Tyler over in England. Remember?”
“Yes, very distinctly,” nodded Tupper. “You suggested that, since he was head of the first railway in this country, he might reasonably build to the Pacific, and you promised to back him up. And he said—yes, I remember clearly—that he would consider it if we’d agree to what Hill wants today. It’s the same old game, Sir John; and Hill, like Tyler, thinks we’re too blind to see that he’s trying to feed his own lines at our expense.”
“Charles, do we look bigger fools than we are, or vice versa?”
“I’ll leave that to Edward Blake to answer. He’s now proclaiming that when our road is built it won’t pay for axle grease.”
“Van Horne is already hauling grain from Brandon to Winnipeg,” said Pope, “and next year will take it down the lakes in his own ships. He intends to store it in elevators through the winter instead of sending it round through St. Paul. Jim Hill won’t like that.”
“Good ! And Hugh Allan will get some of his own back by carting it to Liverpool. But it’s summer traffic, not all the year round, which is what we’re aiming at. How do you feel on that point?”
“We’ve got a long way to go yet. The Grand Trunk is doing its best in Ixmdon to wreck the whole project, and the Hudson’s Bay Company is backing them up, though Donald A. is on the other side here. The Hudson’s Bay governors think we’ll stimulate opposition and spoil their fur trade.”
"Pro pelle adem,” grinned the Premier. “Donald skinned me not long ago, and hung my hide out to dry for five long years. Gentlemen, I felt chilly. Charles, what does all this suggest to you?”
“A good many things.”
“Yes, but first, isn’t Jim Hill in the wrong place on that board after all? It’s a weak point and I’m not sure that we shouldn’t raise it; perhaps I was too easy-going in London. Also he’s got a lot of Canadian Pacific stock.”
“Which, as it happens, is not in his own name,” said Tupper. “But would a man like that cut his own throat?”
“It might pay him to lose a little blood if he could pick up more elsewhere. What’s he doing now?”
“No one knows that but Jim Hill.”
“Then why not suggest that he leave the board? We’re quite justified.”
“I think not, Charles. People call me Old Tomorrow—• you know the Blackfoot word for that—Ape-naquis— because I believe in the rectifying quality of time. Well, I always have and will. It’s a common mistake not to give time a chance to function in its normal course. Hill, admittedly, is not now in the right place for us, but time will rectify that.”
“Van Horne tells me it’s quite possible the steel will reach the Rockies next year,” said Pope suddenly.
“I hope so.”
“Also I gather that Hill isn’t over happy about that Selkirk pass—he lent Rogers to Van Horne, and Rogers solved the biggest riddle in the West—so as it stands there’s no room for a rival road between us and the boundary.”
MACDONALD, noting as he so often did the calm resolution in Tupper’s face, felt strengthened. “Charles,” he said, “if we’re right in this matter, andón my soul I believe we are, the rest will take care of itself. As to Donald Smith, my feelings are admittedly mixed, but, thank God, I’m not vindictive. Agreed that Hill may try to force the Company into bankruptcy. Well, that means the Conservative party crashes, too, and Canada slips back some twenty years. Now against that, I put Donald and George Stephen. If there’s one thing they’d loathe, it’s any association of bankruptcy; Donald would sooner be skinned alive, and the Bank of Montreal shareholders would certainly skin him. You may argue there’s too much American money in the road, but up to a point short of control—and we can take care of that—I say the more the better. That money goes into Canadian soil and stays there. When the United States broke away from Elngland, all the money they had was English; now it’s American, and that will be repeated here. We’re four million living next to forty million, and we’ve got to take their money.” He broke off smiling. “Why doesn’t someone else say something?”
Tupper made a little gesture and shook his head, wondering how it might be possible to reconcile his chief and Donald Smith. Without doubt these two strong men were constantly
aware of each other, and it could not be otherwise. Smith claimed to have purged the Conservative party in 73. but in this year of ’82 Macdonald had hit back and brought about his defeat in Selkirk, his old constituency.
“Y’know,” broke in the chief again, “I back Donald against Hill any day. He sold us the Northwest and a peck of trouble for £300,000 and heaven knows how much good land, and I respect him for that. I’m told that when he was running a trading post in Labrador—as far away as old George Simpson could send him—he grew melons under glass; think of that, Charles, melons!—and I don’t know of another man who would have thought of a melon in that
wilderness, let alone grow one. Some of my supporters are too sensitive to welcome him back to the fold just now, but he’ll come, he’ll come. His ambition is to sit once more on my right hand, Charles; and you know what a Scot will swallow to realize an ambition. I’ve done some swallowing myself.”
“Of course, he was never very friendly with Blake,” ruminated Tupper.
“Ah, the high-principled but virulent Edward, my political hair-shirt,” smiled the Premier. “No, they’re temperamentally different.”
“He’s dead against us, for all time.”
“No, not for all time; he’ll come round when the last spike is driven. But today he makes the mistake of being vindictive, which doesn’t strengthen a man with his own followers.”
“He would have liked to be in Mackenzie’s place during those five years we were in the wilderness,” put in Tupper.
“Well, he couldn’t have done worse and is leading the beloved Opposition now. But recently the premiership has been a Scot’s monopoly out here, and when he saw that the House was going to confirm that Dover Street bargain of ours, didn’t he trot out a little Toronto syndicate of his own with not a railwayman in it, and offer to build the road for less money? Why didn’t that occur to him in the first place? No, no; Ontario reclines in the arms of the Grand Trunk, while our road is a Montreal-Ottawa job.”
“Mackenzie did the best he could,” said Pope thoughtfully, “but wasn’t sure of his own party, so started one bit of road here, another there, perhaps a few hundred miles in all, with their tails in the air, and I never really understood
where he expected to finish up. Now Van Home has to
string those bits together. As for Blake, he was really meant for the bar. not politics.”
Macdonald nodded, his smile deepening the lines that sloped toward the corners of his wide mouth.
“Charles.” he asked abruptly, ‘‘how would you like to be High Commissioner where your clothes came from?”
“It suggests itself to me. Alexander Galt is getting restless -—I learned that months ago—but just then a change was inadvisable. Now, all things considered, I think you’re the man for us. We need more of a lighter than Galt to stand
up to those Lombard Street buccaneers. Think it over.”
This coming out of the blue had a silencing effect, and Tupper gave no answer. It was surprising, quite unexpected, but in some ways not unwelcome. Privately he regarded himself as Macdonald’s natural successor in the leadership of the Conservative party, a position there was none seriously to dispute, but how long would one have to wait? Macdonald looked exceedingly well, and any thought of retirement was obviously far from his mind. Also it stood without doubt that should the opposition of the Grand Trunk persist to the point of cutting off financial support from Lombard Street, the all-red line would shortly be in perilous case.
"V^ACDONALD’S mind had apparently moved on d-Y-L elsewhere, and he also was silent. In active public life he had made but the one grave mistake, did not now contemplate any more, and his brain, always agile, perceived the criss-cross of human currents that would pass unnoticed by most men. These he loved to untangle, to divert them toward desirable channels and use them to his purpose; he loved to grip the spokes of the wheel in his canny fingers, and was a great Britisher.
Presently he began to speak with undisguised feeling.
“I count on you two more than any others to strengthen me. With me you know what is at stake, and we must use all men and all agencies, for this road won’t be built by saints and archangels. At one time, as you both remember, I thought the Government might build it, but the political dangers were too great. We have critics and enemies enough as it is. The Company of Gentlemen Adventurers whose wings are being clipped; Jim Hill with his Yankee
schemes; Tyler hitting us below the belt in London; Donald on the fence—though I fancy he feels the spikes and won’t stay there long, and by the way, Charles, I stipulate that the next time he runs for parliament it will be as my personal supporter; our Irish-Canadian opponent in Toronto. Cartwright, who frowned on Federation and would make a first-rate American citizen; Alex Mackenzie, a good fellow, hard worker and straight man, but never had the grip of a Premier and prefers canals to railways; and—and another I’ve just thought of, J. H. Do you know who it is?”
“There are so many,” murmured Pope. “Do you refer to a classical and literary personage?”
“In austere seclusion under the elms of The Grange. Goldwin Smith is bitter, gentlemen, bitter as acid, and pining for annexation by the United States—as though Canada wasn’t good enough for any man who’s lit to live in it; a disappointed man whose brain has turned in to eat away his own judgment. He writes good English, but doesn’t understand Canada. Not long ago he told me that the tide of Imperialism is ebbing fast, and the political bond with Great Britain must be severed. All these we’ve got against us.
“Well,” he went on, “that against us—that group of little Canucks, jealous, fearful, digging pits, dismal prophets of doom and disaster—and on the other side that dream of ours, Charles, about two steel bands between two oceans. We’ve got Stephen, one of the best, an optimist if ever there was one; the bank is in it up to the neck. Van I lome, who from all I hear is several men rolled into one. There’s Donald, and I’m counting a lot on Donald in spite of our personal coolness. Shaughnessy, who strikes me as the right man in the right place, though I’ve only seen him once. These men are with us, and it isn’t so much a railway we’re dealing with as the spirit of a young nation. It’s make or break; we can’t draw back, and we won’t !”
Outside in the gardens of Earnscliffe, two chilled drivers who had been stamping in new-fallen snow roused themselves from torpor. Came sound of sleighbells, and horses feet in muffled thuds, then a dying jingle, silence. Macdonald stood for a moment deep in thought, stared at the great map, examined it with a curious expression, till, drawing the heavy curtain at the westerly window, he looked down at the Ottawa River. It flowed at his feet, its far edge already ringed with a skin of thin ice; beyond it a great whiteness of cleared land dotted with barns and steep-roofed French farmhouses. Behind this a blue-black belt Kang like shadow under the frosty stars, a belt of woodland, and farther still the whitened crowns of the Laurentians.
It was a vast view, perhaps forbidding to unaccustomed eyes, something without dimensions, suggesting oceans of land, continents of land on the other side. The river came from the North and West through dark forests of spruce and pine, hemlock and cedar, gathering volume, swollen by tributary cataracts, hurling itself over hissing rapids, till here, a stream broad and placid, it slid majestically past the capital city of Canada to its marriage with the greater St. Lawrence at Montreal. Macdonald surveyed it, deep
in thought. From the West and North it came, and there would be determined the gigantic issue to which he had brought the young country that trusted him so greatly. He had given hostages to fortune.
“Not easy,” he murmured, “not easy.”
ON A PRAIRIE rise above a bend in the Bow River, three mounted Indians, dressed in tanned skins with feathers in their hair, bridles loose on their horses’ necks, stared eastward. The wind stirred the feathers and horses’ tails, but the bronze faces were as though cast in metal and they did not speak. Behind them, a white line of jagged peaks marked the tumbled range of the Rockies.
Far to the east something broke the level skyline so familiar to those dark unwinking eyes—a blur, tiny specks that moved and seemed to approach. For days they had been watching thus from Jumping Buffalo Hill, since there had come runners with news from the rising sun that white men, many white men, were journeying this way, tearing up the ground as they came, laying an iron trail over which marched the thing that ate stones, breathed fire, and spread terror in fur and feather across the plains. It was said also that this thing was headed for their own land; the land that had been set apart for those who once owned the whole of this grassy wilderness and were now confined to a corner of the foothills past which the Bow River took its course from its birthplace in the mountains to the west.
As they watched, there came, borne on the wind, a sound unlike any that had reached those wild ears before; whereat one of them raised his hand and they tore headlong across the prairie, plunging through sudden coulees, striding over long grassy rollers as a ship surmounts the ocean swells, till in the space of an hour they came to the riverbank, where a semicircle of conical teepees were ranged on sloping ground at a little elevation above the swift running stream. In front ot the largest they slid to earth, and, entering, squatted at the feet of an elderly man who, robed as a chief, sat smoking a soapstone pipe whose stem was the wingbone of the blue crane.
Crowfoot, of the Black feet Indians, was then a man between sixty and seventy whose seamed face reflected the wisdom and experience of the wilderness. He was sage and commanding. In many a sanguinary battle with Crees, Piegans and Assiniboines, his valor and leadership were proved ; while of recent years, musing by the fire and smoking his pipe, he had visions of the coming of the white man and the approaching change in the story of his people. There was no fear in him, but not a little uncertainty. The old wild freedom was at an end, their world was shifting, another kind of world made itself felt; and in the evening of his life, still a pagan, still a sun worshipper, he greatly desired that the end should come without beholding further bloodshed.
Now, looking into the angry eyes of the scouts, he heard the confirmation of his fears.
"This thing,” they said, "is about to cross our land. On the earth trail already prepared, the iron horse will make its thunder among our teepees, and the place that was promised us will be ours no longer. Does the white man own everything under the skies?”
CROWFOOT was troubled. The triangular teepee door had been folded back, and outside, seated on the grass, he could see a dozen other fighting men listening intently for what answer he would make. He knew their temper in this business. Over crooked knees lay their blankets and underneath rested the short guns that used to spit death among the buffalo. But the buffalo that once trampled the plains had long since vanished, and now the hunters sat month after month in the sun, longing for wild days that never would dawn again.
"There will for us be no more hunting,” went on the scouts, “and this thing that runs on its iron road will frighten all the game that remains. There are many other places it can go, but the white man who has always taken everything and given little, now desires what we have left.”
They ceased, waiting for his word, and a murmur ran through the crouching group at his teepee door.
Crowfoot made a gesture for silence. His manner conveyed dignity and power; he was an aristocrat; his ancient lineage expressed itself in the dark fire of his eye, the strong lines of his face, the proud carriage of his aquiline head. Furthermore, he was secretly assured that the coming of this thing was written in the stars—so said the Medicine Man the week previously when Poundmaker, his own adopted son, had ridden across from the East with the same news. It was strange about those white men. They had come first—perhaps only two or three at the very first; so his father’s father had told him—and gone on, and just when the prairie nomads thought that was the last of them, others had apj^eared, fearing no one, and again others, all prying about though seemingly doing nothing, making a writing in books when night came, not interested in trade or fur but asking many questions about the country through interpreters, pulling a thin steel chain through the grass, and sometimes looking straight at the sun through a tube with glass in it. This would be at mid-day when the sun shone hot and scorched the eyeballs like fire. It was great magic; and in his sad old heart he knew that the strangers, of whom there seemed no end, were too wise and tricky and strong to be defeated.
“It is a matter for much thought”, said he. “Tomorrow I will speak.”
The group melted away, sullenly submissive for the moment, but all that day the hunters in twos and threes lassoed their ponies and rode off under the hot August sun, halting at some prairie ridge to listen and stare fixedly at the strange thing now but two miles away. It stood high in the air like two dead trees, tall, gaunt, and moved as they stared.
THE TRACKLAYERS who day after day all that summer had been nailing their double ribbon of steel to the flowerstrewn prairie were infused with the ardor of their toil. Now they were something more than men, more than human units who worked for a day’s pay; and when the sun went down night after night they wiped the salt sweat from their eyes and gazed back at twin converging strips swimming into the east horizon—those hundreds of tons of steel rails that would carry a thundering burden in days to come.
In a sort of frenzy they had labored, following the narrow earthen embankment of rich and crumbling soil, while at their very heels clanked a train of flat cars pushed by the first locomotive that ever traversed this empty and undulating ocean of grass. On the first of them, the pioneer of all flats, stood a tall gaunt triangular contrivance, a combination of winch, derrick and windlass, with drums and double cables and steel grips that clawed at the rails loaded on successive flats, seized them, dragged them forward, lifted them clear, laid them on the waiting ties, where insistent men centred and spaced them. Immediately there commenced the clanking music of spiking hammers driven by thews and backs and springing muscles of these invaders of the West. The spikes, plunging deep, gripped, held. Another thirty feet of Canada’s metal girdle was in place, and as the last hammer stroke went home, on the instant came a grunt, a cough from the pusher engine, an eruption of smoke, an invisible driver leaning on a greasy elbow crooked his oily fingers over the throttle and the train moved forward another ten yards over the road it had laid but a moment before. This contrivance, clanking back at night to the nearest depot siding to replenish its load, carried in its own belly that on which it travelled, spewing it out under advancing wheels, invincible, animated by Promethean force, inspired by the unfaltering spirit of man, still further banishing with every yard of rail the emptiness of the untrodden West. Now in the triumphal march there rose sharply against the setting sun a fairylike confusion of snowy peaks; but always on the horizon flitted the tiny figures of Sioux, Blackfeet, Piegans and Crees, watching with long-distance, hostile eyes this invasion of their ancient heritage.
Now came the morning when the track would invade Black foot ground, and as the
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misery, lads brought along their own whistles and tooted them at inopportune moments. To overcome this frost and cussedness, “Wag” purchased a small handbell and began ringing the chimes to the rowdy players. At first the crowds smiled, and occasionally a country lad smuggled in a cowbell and confused the teams. But eventually the bell replaced the whistle in amateur hockey.
Fred Waghorne also “invented” the hockey face-off. Originally the puck was carefully placed on the ice between the centremen’s sticks, but those eager opponents were so keen to secure possession of it that they poked and slashed before the referee could step out of the play. The result was that “Wag’s” shins were constantly painted in painful shades of black and blue.
One night Almonte played Renfrew, and the centre players were such reckless choppers that the referee, instead of tenderly placing the puck between the two sticks, retreated to a safe distance and tossed the rubber toward the players. The plan was so successful that the official sold the idea to the Ontario Hockey Association; so the rules of facing-off were changed, and the first play in hockey still bears the Waghorne imprint.
Lacrosse, too, has benefitted from his thinking. At one time a game ceased when one team had scored three goals. Sometimes the battles raged till sunset; at other times the three goals were scored so quickly that
the spectators were departing when belated arrivals were just entering the grounds.
To overcome this time uncertainty, the Canadian Lacrosse Association insisted that a game should consist of two halves of forty-five minutes each, with ten-minute intermission. Mr. Waghorne, doing his sport chore, noticed that, while the first half was well contested, the second half was so slow that the fans clamored for action which the leg-weary athletes could not give.
Mr. Waghorne then proposed that the game be divided into four periods of twenty minutes each, with ten minutes rest at halftime and five minutes intermission between the other quarters. Again the suggestion of the referee proved practical, the rules were altered, and lacrosse throughout the world is now played in “Wag” time.
But this unusual man has done even more than submit desirable ideas; he has been one of the most energetic sport organizers in Canada’s play history. For eleven consecutive years Mr. Waghorne was president of a hockey league that grew from four teams to the biggest outdoor hockey league in the w'orld. In one summer he toured Ontario and organized forty-five lacrosse teams.
Today, in his sixty-seventh year, Fred C. Waghorne isn’t living in the past. He is planning to continue his refereeing, and to start another campaign to bring Young Canadians back to their national pastime.