Frances Doane Twombly.

The romance of labor; scenes from good novels depicting joy in work online

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Will C. Wood





MACMILLAN & CO., Limited





Scenes from Good Novels depicting
Joy in Work








All rights reserved

Copyright, 1916,

Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1916.

P eprinted November. 1922.

Reprinted July. 19'^






One of us is a woman perforce set aside, and
looking with eyes of sympathetic envy at the joyous
laborers of the world. The other has seen some-
what of many industries and in recent years has
had the great pleasure of living close to many
books. To both of us it has seemed that many
well-intentioned books, laboriously setting forth
outlines of world industries, do not give, espe-
cially to young readers, adequate impressions of
those industries. Young people are to-day more
earnestly than ever before seeking for light to
guide them to the places in the workshops of the
world for which they are best fitted. Surely some
of that light can be found in descriptions of those
workshops written by writers of insight and imagi-
nation, like our novelists. Hence this book. We
have tried to gather from writings of our novelists
pages which give, not the mere skeletons of the
occupations of men but their very souls. In the
hands of these novelists many occupations seem
as definitely to live as do the men who follow them,
and even to have souls, which, like the souls of the
men themselves, are touched with romance.



The compilers and publishers of this book are
grateful to the authors and publishers who have
generously allowed the use of excerpts from their
publications, and especially for the cordiality with
which the permissions were given. The genuine-
ness of our desire to do a service to young people
by bringing these wholesome and inspiring accounts
of human joy in labor together has met cordial
response. One says, " I appreciate your wanting
to so use my work"; another, "The scheme ap-
peals to me greatly, and I am delighted to be
included in it." Such appreciation of our purpose
gives double pleasure.

To these for the content of our book.

For its spirit we give thanks to Louise Connolly,
who incited, encouraged, and rewarded our efforts
with the same unselfish wisdom that has inspired
the thousands of younger workers who have been
touched by her spirit.




Agriculture . 277-287

Hemp growing.
Fishing 61-83

Salmon canning. Whaling.
Engineering 1-59

Diving. Lighthouse building. Irrigating.
Manufacture 85-167

Glass making. Pottery making. Cigar making.
Cattle slaughtering.

Herding . 169-210

Cattle driving. Cattle branding. Sheep shearing.
Forestry 211-235

Log driving.
Mining 237-255

Placer mining.
Science 257-276

Moth collecting.



The Diver 1

From Caleb West, by F. Hopkinson Smith. Published
by Houghton Mifflin Co.

Building the Lighthouse 15

From Caleb West, by F. Hopkinson Smith. Published
by Houghton Mifflin Co.

Reclaiming the Desert 43

From The Winning of Barbara Worth, by Harold Bell
Wright. Copyright 1911. Published by Book Supply Co.

The Salmon 61

From The Silver Horde, by Rex Beach. Published by
Harper Brothers.

The Whale 71

From The Cruise of the Cachalot, by F. M. Bullen.
Published by D. Appleton Co.

Glass-Blowers 85

From Marietta, by F. Marion Crawford. Published
by Macmillan Co.

Pottery 125

From Brunei's Tower, by Eden Phillpotts. Published
by Macmillan Co.




Cigar-Making 147

From V. V.'s Eyes, by Henry Sydnor Harrison. Pub-
lished by Houghton Mifflin Co.

The Stock- Yards 157

From The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair. Published by
Doubleday, Page & Co.

Thk Cattle Drive 169

From Arizona Nights, by Stewart Edward White.
Published by Doubleday, Page & Co.

Cattle Branding 187

From Arizona Nights, by Stewart Edward White.
Published by Doubleday, Page & Co.

Sheep-Shearing 199

From Ramona, by Helen Hunt Jackson. Published
by Little, Brown & Co.

Logging 211

From The Riverman, by Stewart Edward White. Pub-
lished by McClure Co.

Gold 237

From Gold, by Stewart Edward White. Published
by Doubleday, Page & Co.

The King of the Poets. Moth Collecting . . . 257
From The Girl of the Limberlost, by Gene Stratton-
Porter. Published by Doubleday, Page & Co.

Hemp 277

From The Reign of Law, by James Lane Allen. Pub-
lished by Macmillan Co.



From Caleb West, Master Diver



Some one has recently invented an apparatus in
which men go to the bottom of the ocean to take
photographs of the world under the sea. But
Caleb West, the Master Diver, went down in his
own diver's suit to sit in the waving sea-kelp as he
helped lay the foundations of the Race Rock light-
house. He went down also, to crawl through a
train of cars that had fallen through a bridge.
Francis Hopkinson Smith has written all about it
in his story.

To "Hop" Smith, also, life was not a task but
an adventure, and he went forth to meet it with
a gallantry that welcomed toil and danger because
they were the price of achievement.

For young people and adults.


" We'll put Caleb West in charge of the divin',"
said Captain Joe ; " ain't no better man'n Caleb in er
out a dress. Them enrockments is might' ugly things
to set under water, an' I won't trust nobody but
Caleb to do it. Bill Lacey, he looks like a skylarkin'
chap, but I kin take that out o' him. He kin climb
like a cat, an' we want a man like that to shin the
derricks. He's tended divers, too, an' he'll do to
look after Caleb's life-line an' hose when I can't."

Bill Lacey leaned over the sloop's rail, scanned
every bolt in her plates, glanced up at the standing
rigging, tried it with his hand as if it were a tight
rope, and with a satisfied air said, "Them plates
is all right, — it's her b'iler that's a-worryin' me.
What do you say, Caleb?" turning to Caleb West,
a broad-shouldered, grizzled man in a sou'wester,
who was mending a leak in a diving-dress, the odor
of the burning cement in a pan beside him min-
gling with the savory smell of frying pork coming
up from the galley.

"Wall, I ain't said, Billy," replied Caleb in a
cheery voice, stroking his bushy gray beard. " Them
as don't know better keep shet."



There was a loud laugh at the young rigger's
expense. Lacey's face hardened under the thrust,
while Caleb still smiled, a quaint expression over-
spreading his features, — one that often came when
something pleased him, and which, by its sweet-
ness, showed how little venom lay behind his re-

" Don't you like the sloop, Caleb?" said Sanford,
who had been listening. " Don't you think she'll
do her work?" he continued, moving a rebellious
leg of the rubber dress to sit the closer.

"Well, of course, sir, I ain't knowed 'er long
'nough to swear by yit. She's fittin' for loadin' 'em
on land, maybe, but she may have some trouble
gittin' rid of 'em at the Ledge," and the master
diver bent over the pan, stirring the boiling cement
with his sheath-knife, the rubber suit sprawled
out over his knees, the awkward, stiff, empty legs
and arms of the dress flopping about as he patched
its many leaks. Then he added with a quaint smile,
"But if Cap'n Joe says she's all right, ye can pin
to her."

Sanford moved a little closer to Caleb, holding
the pan of cement for him, and watching him at
work. He had known him for years as a fearless
diver of marvellous pluck and endurance ; one ca-
pable of working seven consecutive hours under
water. When an English bark had run on top of


Big Spindle Reef and backed off into one hundred
and ten feet. of water, the captain and six of the
crew were saved, but the captain's wife, helpless
in the cabin, had been drowned. Caleb had gone
below, cleared away the broken deck that pinned
her down, and had brought her up in his arms.
His helmet was spattered inside with the blood
that trickled from his ears, owing to the enormous
pressure of the sea. This had been not a twelve-
month since.

The constant facing of dangers had made of the
diver a quiet, reticent man. There was, too, a
gentleness and restful patience about him that
always appealed to Sanford, and next to Captain
Joe he was the one man of the working force whom
he trusted most.

Caleb was not an old man, if the possession of
vigor and energy meant anything. His cheeks
had the rosy hue of perfect health, and his step was
lighter and more agile than that of many men half
his years. Only his beard was gray. Yet he was
called by his shipmates old, for in the hard working
world in which he lived none but the earlier years
of a man's life counted as youth.

His cabin, a small, two-story affair, bought with the
money he had saved during his fifteen years on the
Lightship, lay a short distance up the shore above that
of Captain Joe, and in plain sight of the Screamer,


"Come, men!" called Captain Joe in a com-
manding voice. "Pull yourselves together. . . .
Bill Lacey, lower away that hook and git them
chains ready. . . . Fire up, Cap'n Brandt, and
give 'er every pound o' steam she'll carry. . . .
Here, — one or two of ye, run this 'ere line ashore.
Drop that divin'-suit, Caleb ; this ain't no time to
patch things."

These orders were volleyed at the men as he
stepped from the wharf to the sloop, each man
springing to his place with alacrity seldom seen
among men of other crews.

The sloop now moved slowly out of the harbor
toward the Ledge. When the open harbor was
reached, the men overhauled the boom-tackle, get-
ting ready for the real work of the day. Bill Lacey
and Caleb West lifted the air-pump from its case,
and oiled the plunger. Caleb was to dive that day
himself, — work like this required an experienced
hand, — and find a bed for these first three stones
as they were lowered under water. Lacey was to
tend the life-line. Soon the Ledge itself loomed
up. The concrete men were evidently busy, for
the white steam from the mixers rose straight into
the still air.

The tug continued on her course for half a mile,
steered closer, the sloop following, and gained the
eddy of the Ledge out of the racing tide. Four men


from a platform now sprang into a whaleboat and
pulled out to meet the sloop, carrying one end of
a heavy hawser which was being paid out by the
men on the Ledge. The hawser was made fast to
the sloop's cleats and hauled tight. Out-board
hawsers were run by the crew of the whaleboat to
the floating anchor-buoys, to keep the sloop off
the stone-pile when the enrockment blocks were
being swung clear of her sides.

Caleb and Lacey began at once to overhaul the
diving-gear. The air-pump was set close to the
sloop's rail ; and a short ladder was lashed to her
side, to enable the diver to reach the water easily.
The air-hose and life-lines were then uncoiled.

Caleb threw off his coat and trousers, that he
might move the more freely in his diving-dress,
and with Lonny Bowles's assistance twisted himself
into his rubber-suit, — body, arms, and legs being
made of one piece of air-tight and water-tight rubber

By the time the sloop had been securely moored,
and the boom-tackle made ready to lift the stone,
Caleb stood on the ladder completely equipped,
except for his copper helmet, the last thing done to
a diver before he sinks under water. Captain Joe
always adjusted Caleb's himself. On Caleb's breast
and between his shoulders hung two lead plates
weighing twenty-five pounds each, and on his feet


were two iron-shod shoes of equal weight. These
were needed as ballast, to overbalance the buoy-
ancy of his inflated dress, and enable him to sink or
rise at his pleasure. Firmly tied to his wrist was a
stout cord, — his life-line, — and attached to the
back of the copper helmet was a long rubber hose,
through which a constant stream of fresh air was
to be pumped inside his helmet and suit.

In addition to these necessary appointments there
was hung over one shoulder a canvas haversack,
containing a small cord, a chisel, a water-compass,
and a sheath-knife. The sheath-knife is the last
desperate resource of the diver when his air-hose
becomes tangled or clogged, his signals are misunder-
stood, and he must either cut his hose in the effort
to free himself and reach the surface, or suffocate
where he is.

Captain Joe adjusted the copper helmet, and
stood with Caleb's glass face-plate in his hand, thus
leaving his helmet open for a final order in his ear,
before he lowered him overboard. The cogs of the
Screamer's drum began turning, followed by the
same creaking and snapping of manilla and straining
boom that had been heard when she was loaded.

With the starting of the hoisting-engine the
steam began to hiss through the safety-valve, and
the bow-lines of the sloop straightened out like
strands of steel. Then there came a slight, stag-


gering movement as she adjusted herself to the shift-
ing weight. Without a sound, the stone rose from
the deck, cleared the rail, and hung over the sea.

"Lower away/' said Captain Joe in the same
tone he would have used in asking for butter, as he
turned the screw on Caleb's face-plate, shutting
out the fresh air, and giving the diver only pumped
air to breathe.

The stone sank slowly into the sea, the dust and
dirt of its long outdoor storage discoloring the clear

"Hold her," continued Captain Joe, his hand
still on Caleb's face-plate, as he stood erect on the
ladder. " Stand by, Billy. Go on with that pump,
men, — give him plenty of air."

Two men began turning the handles of the pump.
Caleb's dress filled out like a balloon ; Lacey took
his place near the small ladder, the other end of
Caleb's life-line having been made fast to his wrist,
and the diver sank slowly from sight, his hammer in
his hand, the air-bubbles from his exhaust valve
marking his downward course.

As Caleb sank, he hugged his arms close to his
body, pressed his knees together, forcing the sur-
plus air from his dress, and dropped rapidly toward
the bottom. The thick lead soles of his shoes kept
his feet down and his head up, and the breast-
plates steadied him.


At the depth of twenty feet he touched the tops
of the sea-kelp growing on the rocks below, — he
could feel the long tongues of leaves scraping his
legs. Then, as he sank deeper, his shoes struck an
outlying boulder. Caleb pushed himself off, floated
around it, measured it with his arms, and settled
to the gravel. He was now between the outlying
boulder and the Ledge. Here he raised himself
erect on his feet and looked about ; the gravel be-
neath him was white and spangled with starfish ;
little crabs lay motionless, or scuttled away at his
crunching tread ; the sides of the isolated boulder
were smooth and clean, the top being covered with
waving kelp. In the dim, greenish light this boul-
der looked like a weird head, — a kind of submarine
Medusa, with her hair streaming upward. The
jagged rock-pile next it, its top also covered with
kelp, resembled a hill of purple and brown corn
swaying in the ceaseless current.

Caleb thrust his hand into his haversack, grasped
his long knife, slashed at the kelp of the rock pile
to see the bottom stones the clearer, and sent a
quick signal of "All right — lower away!" through
the life-line, to Lacey, who stood on the sloop's
deck above him.

Almost instantly a huge square green shadow
edged with a brilliant iridescent light sank down
towards him, growing larger and larger in its descent.


Caleb peered upward through his face-plate, fol-
lowed the course of the stone, and jerked a second
signal to Lacey's wrist. This signal was repeated
in words by Lacey to Captain Brandt, who held
the throttle, and the shadowy stone was stopped
within three feet of the gravel bottom. Here it
swayed slowly, half turned, and touched the

Caleb watched the stone carefully until it was
perfectly still, crept along, swimming with one
hand, and measured carefully with his eye the
distance between the boulder and the Ledge. Then
he sent a quick signal of "Lower — all gone," up
to Lacey's wrist. The great stone dropped a chain's
link; slid halfway the boulder, scraping the kelp
in its course ; careened, and hung over the gravel
with one end tilted on a point of the rocky ledge.
As it hung suspended, its lower end buried itself
in the gravel near the boulder, while the upper lay
aslant up the slope of the rock-covered ledge.

Caleb again swam carefully around the stone,
opened his arms, and inflating his dress rose five
or six feet through the green water, floated over the
huge stone, and grasping with his bare hand the
lowering chain by which the stone hung, tested its
strain. The chain was as rigid as a bar of steel.
This showed that the stone was not fully grounded,
and therefore dangerous, being likely to slide off


at any moment. The diver now sent a telegram
of short and long jerks aloft, asking for a crowbar;
hooked his legs around the lowering chain and
pressed his copper helmet to the chain to listen to
Captain Joe's answer. A series of dull thuds,
long and short, struck by a hammer above — a
means of communication often possible when the
depth of water is not great — told him that the
crowbar he had asked for would be sent down at
once. While he waited motionless, a blackfish
pressed his nose to the glass of his face-plate, and
scurried off to tell his fellows living in the kelp how
strange a thing he had seen that day.

A quick jerk from Lacey, and the point of the
crowbar dangled over Caleb's head. In an instant,
to prevent his losing it in the kelp, he had lashed
another and smaller cord about his middle, and
with the bar firmly in his hand laid himself flat
on the stone. The diver now examined carefully
the points of contact between the boulder and the
hanging stone, inserted one end of the bar under
its edge, sent a warning signal above, braced both
feet against the lowering chain, threw his whole
strength on the bar, and gave a quick, sharp pull.
The next instant the chain tightened ; the bar,
released from the strain, bounded from his hand ;
there was a headlong surge of the huge shadowy
mass through the waving kelp, and the great block


slipped into its place, stirring up the bottom silt
in a great cloud of water-dust.

The first stone of the system of enrockment had
been bedded !

Caleb clung with both hands to the lowering
chain, waited until the water cleared, knocked out
the Lewis pin that held the S-hook, thus freeing the
chain, and signalled "All clear — hoist." Then he
hauled the crowbar towards him by the cord, sig-
nalled for the next stone, moved away from the
reach of falling bodies, and sank into a bed of sea-
kelp as comfortably as if it had been a sofa-cushion.

These breathing spells rest the lungs of a diver
and lighten his work. Being at rest he can manage
his dress the better, inflating it so that he is able to
get his air with greater ease and regularity. The
relief is sometimes so soothing that in the long
waits the droning of the air-valve will lull the diver
into a sleep, from which he is suddenly awakened
by a quick jerk on his wrist. Many divers, while
waiting for the movements of those above, play
with the fish, watch the crabs, or rake over the
gravel in search of the thousand and one things that
are lost overboard and that everybody hopes to
find on the bottom of the sea.

Caleb was too expert a diver to allow himself
to go to sleep. He sat quietly awaiting his call.
Once a lobster moved slowly up and nipped his red


fingers with its claw, thinking them some tidbit
previously unknown. At another time two tom-
cods came sailing past, side by side, flapped their
tails on his helmet, and scampered off. But Caleb,
sitting comfortably on his sofa-cushion of seaweed
thirty feet under water, paid little heed to outside

Taken from Caleb West, Master Diver, by Francis Hop-
kinson Smith, published by Houghton Mifflin Company.




From Caleb West, Master Diver



" Captain Joe" is a Yankee skipper, tough, sturdy,
tender-eyed, and fearless. He is really Captain
Tom Scott, he who helped Hopkinson Smith build
the Race Rock Lighthouse in Long Island Sound.
Mr. Smith tells how the work was done in his story,
Caleb West, Master Diver.

Though Francis Hopkinson Smith was of Southern
parentage, his early struggles were in New Jersey
and New York, where he began life in the shops
with his dinner pail like other workmen. Among
other things he built a railroad in Long Island;
the sea-wall protecting Governor's Island ; the
foundation and pedestal of the Statue of Liberty,
New York Harbor ; and also the Race Rock Light-
house. As an essayist, novelist, and painter, he
has written and illustrated many beautiful stories.
For young people and adults.


At the sun's first gleam, Henry Sanford had
waked with a joyous start. Young, alert, full of
health and courage as he was, the touch of its rays
never came too early for him. The sunshine fell
across a drawing-table covered with the plans of
the lighthouse he was then building, illumined a
desk piled high with correspondence, and patterned
a wall upon which were hung photographs and
sketches of the various structures which had marked
the progress of his engineering career.

But it was toward a telegram lying open on hie
desk that Sanford turned. He took it in his hand
and read it with the quiet satisfaction of one who
knows by heart every line he studies. It was
headed Keyport, and ran as follows : —

&ajfr& CC / VL i ri& Qstoo-fo a / i , bvv-&c-l cmd t,& cv &o-vk,&v. ZttvlL

foi&ft/i f8M.

Dear old Captain Joe, he's found her at last,"
he said to himself, and laughed aloud.
c 17


For months Captain Joe had been in search of
a sloop of peculiar construction, — one of so light
a draught that she could work in a rolling surf,
and yet so stanch that she could sustain the strain
of a derrick-boom rigged to her mast. Without
such a sloop the building of the lighthouse Sanford
was then constructing for the government on Shark
Ledge, lying eight miles from Keyport, and breasting
a tide running six miles an hour, could not go on.
With such a sloop its early completion was assured.

The specifications for this lighthouse provided
that the island which formed its base — an artifi-
cial one made by dumping rough stones over the
sunken rock known as Shark's Ledge — should be
protected not only from sea action, but from the
thrust of floating ice. This Sanford was to accom-
plish by paving its under-water slopes with huge
granite blocks, to form an enrockment, — each
block to be bedded by a diver.

The engineer-in-chief of the Lighthouse Board
had expressed grave doubts, questioning whether
a stone weighing twelve tons could be swung over-
board, as suggested by Sanford, from the deck of
a vessel and lowered to a diver while the boat was
moored in a six mile current. Sanford's working
plans had finally been approved, however. He
had lacked only a sloop to carry them out. This
sloop Captain Joe had now found.


At the first sound of his heavy step in the hall
outside, Sanford sprang from his desk, and threw
the door wide open to welcome the big, burly fel-
low, — comrade and friend for years, as well as
foreman and assistant engineer on his force.

"Are you sure she'll handle the stones?" were
the first words he addressed to' the captain, —
there were no formalities between these men, —

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Online LibraryFrances Doane TwomblyThe romance of labor; scenes from good novels depicting joy in work → online text (page 1 of 14)