Imatges de pÓgina
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for it was he who usually caught the big ones. There is something individual in the way each fisherman wiggles or does not wiggle his bait, just as we each have a different handwriting. Eggs are different when scrambled by different people. Some people have "hands" with horses and some do not. Joe could offer a worm to a trout and make him like it. Whether he kept the bait still or moved it just enough, we shall never know, but the big trout (I mean the relatively big trout in the little brooks) "fell for his line." Perhaps he learned from the small boy, or perhaps from his experience in raising funds for good causes, that some fish, like some humans, do not take chances without viewing the temptation from all angles before indulging, particularly those that, in their past, have been wounded by easy baits, and in consequence have avoided others long enough to become rich in size and flavor, or in wealth. Few men have done as well as he in landing large fish for good causes. Of our day's catch, my share was usually the largest in number, but the "good ones" were usually his. Even my excess in numbers was not evidence of superior skill, but of more assiduity, for I seldom stopped fishing, while J. L. would do so very frequently, and often for most of the day. A sketch book would appear from his pocket, and rod and reel be set aside; or he would stretch out among the ferns and "loaf," as he always called it. All his intimate friends will recognize his use of this term. He accomplished more while "loafing" than most men do by all their work. In those hours of "loafing" he dreamt, not only his great dreams, but the plans of how to make them concrete. It took many hours of this day dreaming to set in motion, even after conceiving them, a civic league, a city playground, or an improved immigration law. Notwithstanding the long list of such ideas of his that became the spirits of lasting organizations, there must have been many more which were in his brain and yet never came to fruition. It is remarkable that from the many, he had the patience to stay with certain practical ones until they became realities, instead of being sidetracked by fascinating new ones. Often I wondered how this gentle fisherman, lying among the ferns, could have the driving power he possessed over other men and women. Eventually I concluded that he was the most charming

"leaner" ever created. Executive ability is not always an example of energy; in his case it was the reverse. He had an uncanny power of selecting people who would like to do the things he wanted done, and then he would lean on them in the most helpless way. They would love to do whatever it was, for his sake, but he had divined beforehand that they would do the things because they loved to do them. In the matter of fishing he leaned heavily on me. I would remind him of the date when the law would be off; go to City Hall and get his fishing license; look him up a few days before the date to make sure he could find his fishing tackle; appear for him in my car on the appointed day; make sure he put in the car rod, reel, flies, hooks, rubber coat, boots, etc.; plan the lunch and, in fact, act as a professional guide. In turn he would pretend that I knew all about fish, and ask my advice about each part of his tackle; what flies to use on such a day, although he really knew just as much as I did, and would probably return with the biggest trout. All this because he knew that one of my greatest pleasures was to take him fishing, and that I would leave no stone unturned to have my way. He never would have selected me to help him raise money or to influence a politician who could do something for the school committee, but he managed to find other people whose tastes made them serve him willingly, almost lovingly, in even these ways. People who were overburdened with wealth knew that his philanthropic schemes would be practical, sound and well planned, and gladly did their part, enjoying the pleasure it gave him. As with a big trout, he gave them time to consider the bait from all angles, but I don't believe they ever regretted being popped into his basket.

Though an habitual worm fisherman, after reading Sir Edward Grey's fascinating book on dry-fly fishing, J. L. was so intrigued that he had to change all his fishing habits, and learn the new art. Day after day he would try his flies, while I saved our reputation at home with a few trout caught, meanwhile, with worms. His patience was remarkable and he would stay at one pool, if he knew there were trout there, and try one fly after another. Though he never succeeded in mastering the new art, he did, at length, arrive at a point where he could occasionally catch a fish and his joy over these was


a pleasure to witness. He usually took the open parts of the brook while I dangled my worms in the bushy parts. One day in particular stands out in my memory. There is a certain brook some twenty miles from Boston, which is an ideal trout stream, where there is a stretch of a hundred yards ending at a bridge, in which the conditions for fly casting are perfect. The water is from knee to hip in depth, it is from five to ten feet wide; the banks are masses of floating brook lime or water forget-me-nots, which, in late June, are a beautiful blue. Moreover, there are always trout there, although highly educated ones, for the place is well known and daily fished by some, and often by many, anglers. It is just the place for the dryfly artist.

I left J. L. at this stretch of water and went upstream in the bushy part above, telling him that I would meet him at the bridge below. At the end of the afternoon I stopped my car at the bridge, and saw J. L. approaching in midstream, between the banks of forget-me-nots, with only a few inches of rubber boot above the water line. He was radiant. He had taken three "good ones" on his dry flies. "Why!" said he, "it is just what fishing must be like in the Elysian Fields." So, that part of the stream has had its name for us ever since. I wish the whole stream could be preserved forever as a public playground for anglers, before it becomes the prey of civilization. The natural conditions of the terrain through which it flows, from its head in a number of clear springs, through a sphagnum bog, now unused, would make this plan an entirely practical and inexpensive one. At present, these natural conditions are unspoiled, and still at the service of the public. It would be a fitting tribute to J. L. to make a public playground of this natural trout stream. Perhaps some of those who are obliged to give away, and who enjoyed being dependent on his advice as to when and where to give, may now take the same enjoyment in pleasing themselves by doing something which they feel may please him. I wish my memory of him, as he waded happily there in the glory of the forgetme-nots, could be fixed as a statue in a permanent June.

As a rule, our fishing was a matter of a day at a time, but on several occasions I inveigled him into long trips. In 1922, I took a vagabond


trailer trip to Florida, and J. L. joined me at St. Augustine. From there we went across country, fishing in out-of-the-way lakes and streams, carrying a portable boat, and camping along the way, like tramps. He had always enjoyed camping and for years, with his old friends, George Morison, Richards Bradley, Arthur Lyman and Harry Cabot, had made an annual canoe trip down the Connecticut River. I have no doubt that they, too, made all the preparations, and did so gladly.

In Florida we sometimes slept in the trailer and sometimes on the ground. Occasionally, we would fish during the day, eat our supper and then move on until it was dark, and perhaps, if the spirit moved us and the night was fine, after dark, until a suitable camping place appeared. We enjoyed our little adventures, and seldom, as at home, caught many fish. One of our most useful utensils was a long-handled spade such as is used for digging holes. This implement was required, because, as we avoided highways, we were continually getting stuck in either sand or mud and had to dig out. The car was a 1909 Franklin, at that time twelve years old; an open one with a folding top. The little red thing drew a large trailer with a black top the shape of a butcher's wagon. The out-ofdate machine, with the black object following it, presented a very odd appearance and attracted much attention when we passed through towns, which was one of our good reasons for seeking the by-ways. Sometimes there were no real roads at all, merely wagon tracks in the sand. As the whole contraption was of no value, we daily expected to leave it as junk by the wayside, and therefore, boldly went ahead in any kind of tracks and did not worry. One day, in the sandy interior, we remembered as "the day of flood, fire, and disgrace." We traveled through scrub palmetto, and along confused wagon tracks, and occasionally streams without bridges, wondering whether the water would get in our carburetor, as it sometimes in fact, did. Mishaps did not worry J. L. He seemed to enjoy them like a boy, although he was then approaching sixty. He appeared to have no fear of men, beasts, or snakes in the wild places.

On that day, we had hardly started when we came to a gully through which ran a rather deep stream. As wagon tracks showed that the

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ford was passable, we decided to try it, though we dreaded immersion of the carburetor and doubted our engine's ability to climb the opposite bank. We charged down, splashed through the stream and barely, but triumphantly, made the grade and sped on with uncanny power for several hundred yards before we realized that our unusual speed was due to the fact that the trailer was still in midstream. Not long after we had rescued it, we found ourselves almost surrounded by a sort of prairie fire in the scrub palmetto, and found we could not retreat. By pursuing a zig-zag course through burned and smouldering places, occasionally stopping to pick our way on foot and using our faithful shovel to beat out the flames, we slowly advanced. Once as the shovel was about to descend on a flaming bush, I saw, under the bush, a coiled rattlesnake and checked the descent of my implement and instead picked the snake up on the shovel and carried it over to show to J. L. To my astonishment it made no effort to escape, but remained coiled on the shovel with its head raised as if about to strike, but without moving in any way. It was like a stuffed snake in a museum. There was no time for autopsy or biologic study of the specimen, but we always regretted that our shovel was so badly needed as an extinguisher that we had to hurriedly throw the snake away. I don't know now whether it was alive and cataleptic, dead and in rigor mortis, or had been stuffed and thrown away where it could interest live snakes. It remained coiled with head erect even when tossed on the ground! Our best theory was that it had been striking at the flames when it was overwhelmed by the heat, and had stiffened in that attitude. I know it was somewhat charred. Perhaps someone who reads this article may be able to tell me whether this is the usual condition of rattlesnakes which meet death in burning prairies.

We were pretty well tired out when we at last beat our way through the burning area and what with being stuck again and again in the sand, it was well after dark when we came to a human habitation, a small town, which had gone to bed. We stopped on the outskirts and, quite unrecognizable from soot and sand, at once rolled up in our blankets beside the trailer, only to wake in the early morning and find that we had slept in the gutter beside the road, near

the railroad station of a little village. So J. L. did once sleep in the gutter and enjoy it. I think that this was as near disgrace as he ever came, unless is was on an occasion when a game warden found him fishing without a license on Jamaica Pond. He seemed quite alarmed, although he had a license at home. At length, the game warden took our words for this when backed by Mr. whe presides at the wharf, and explained who the culprit was. J. L.'s first reaction was probably a flash of thought which suggested publicity and the effect this would have on each of the many organizations in which he was an important officer. Humor soon replaced alarm.

I doubt if two fishermen ever caught so few fish in proportion to days spent in fishing. Much of our time was consumed in talking about what we were going to do and other things. To hear J. L. discuss something was always entertaining. The discussion might start on some trivial matter such as the habit of stunning angle worms before using them and whether they suffered more than the fish which were caught. It would then drift in some more abstract direction as on habit formation, the state of unconsciousness, or as to whether a baby suffered when it was crying with all its might. Whatever the subject, the talk usually sooner or later led to his expounding Plato's views on something else. At some time in his life, he must have deeply studied philosophy and eventually arrived at the state of equanimity in which he lived. As his surgeon I have seen him bear serenely, not only great physical pain, but real grief--not mere sorrow. I never saw him lose his temper, unless one could consider its equivalent the manifestation of a deep indignation shown at instances of cruelty, stupidity, selfishness or neglect. As a rule he took human nature as he found it, and even managed to derive amusement from the mental foibles of others. On our Florida trip we engaged a cabin motor boat in which to fish on the west coast. The skipper, who was a carpenter and not a real sailor, proved very uncongenial to J. L. who was himself a much better sailor. The man was surly, rude and a very poor cook. Joe always alluded to him as "the misanthrope," and kept us entertained by his carefully whispered comments on what was done or expected to be done by this individual, with whom we were


obliged to live for our trip of ten days. A condition which might have been almost unendurable was turned into a pleasant and memorable one; he saw that it was hopeless to scold such a person, and he would hurt no one's feelings, at any time.

In discussing the cause of "the misanthrope's" chronic grouch, it seemed to my medical mind that it probably had an organic origin in duodenal ulcer, but J. L. held that it was almost certainly due to his lack of opportunity to play during his childhood and, therefore, the poor man should be excused. The community was to blame, not the individual. It must be admitted that, though superficially this theory seemed only one of his frequent conversational whimsies, it really was broader and deeper than the medical one. In fact, his book on "Play" should have its place in our Medical Schools. He has shown the importance of recreation in normal development, and has studied and analyzed play as Darwin did species. I do not feel presumptuous in asking the thoughtful reader to compare "Play in Education" with "The Origin of Species," for he will be more entertained, and nearly as much informed, by the former.

It was often hard to tell whether Joe's whimsical sayings and doings were serious or not; for instance, he liked to be logical, and to practice in small matters what he preached. He had great respect for the law of conservation of energy and had reasoned it out that most people lose energy in heat, instead of conserving it to be used in pleasurable mental or physical effort. Logically, this led him to a habit of frequently adding or subtracting his various garments according to the temperature; not that he could not endure cold when necessary for his pleasure, (he loved skating, and kept at it even in his sixties), but purely because he held it unreasonable to waste heat. As he preferred intellectual pleasures, he seldom took exercise for its own sake, and never over exercised. Consequently, he never became robust and muscular, but remained slim and limber even after he was seventy, and could glide through the woods or a swamp like a snake, or squat, crumbled up like an Indian, beside a pool to fish. His patience often reminded me of that of a heron waiting for his prey to swim within reach. Whether or not as a result of his theory,


he seemed always to have a reserve of energy and after a lethargic day would become an alert and entertaining presiding officer for some important gathering.

My wife had joined us in Tampa, and we gave up our vagabond life with the trailer and averaged up our expenses by living at the good hotels and enjoying Florida as spendthrifts. On the east coast we fished along the reefs in the motor craft of a very different skipper, at whose skill we marvelled, while he managed his boat in the surf, which lashed over the reefs where many kinds of fish really did bite with avidity. This was a new experience to us and we were almost ashamed to bring home each day a load of fish which we could not eat. It was here J. L. caught the largest fish of his life, though not a notable one for a Florida fisherman. We were trolling over the reefs in a rather nasty surf, which tested the skill of our boatman, when a forty pound amberjack took J. L.'s bait. The boat rolled so much that it was almost impossible to stand and play a fish, and, if one held the rail the fish could not be reeled in. Joe fought until he was exhausted but could not get the creature near enough to the boat to be gaffed, in spite of my clinging to the rail with one arm and helping him keep his feet with the other. Thoroughly worn out, he at length turned the rod over to the boatman whose short sea legs could maintain a balance. Even he could barely accomplish the feat, while keeping an eye on his boat as it pounded about amongst the reefs, with a free tiller. My job was to gaff the fish when it ranged alongside. This was not easy, but I succeeded in sinking the gaff in the fish's side, although, since my body was more than half over the gunwale, I could not possibly pull him aboard, even though Joe had a firm hold on the seat of my pants. The situation was made worse by a fit of girlish giggling on the part of all three of us, as well as by the real danger from the reefs, which occasionally showed their ugly barnacled crests almost under the boat. In this attitude we remained until the boatman could again leave the tiller long enough to drag both of us with the flopping monster into the cockpit. On reaching home we hung the amberjack as a trophy on the hotel wharf.

As we were finishing dinner that night one of the waiters came to J. L. saying that there (Continued on page 582)

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