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MODERN BIOGRAPHIES 



DR. BARNARDO 
AS I KNEW HIM 



t^ 



Constable's 
Modern Biographies 

A series of Monographs, Bio- 
graphical and Critical, of Notable 
Figures in Modern Literature 

JVith Portrait Frontispiece 
Cloth, IS. net 

J. M. SYNGE. By Francis Bickley 
LAFCADIO HEARN. By Edw. Thomas 
W. E. HENLEY. By L. C. Cornford 
PAUL BOURGET. By Ernest Dimnet 
LEO TOLSTOY. By Edward Garnett 

Uniform ivith the abo've 
MAHOMMED. By Meredith Townsend 



DR. BARNARDO 

AS I KNEW HIM 



BY 

ONE OF HIS STAFF 

(A. R. NEUMAN) 
•I 



LONDON : CONSTABLE AND COMPANY LTD. 

BOSTON & NEW YORK : HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 

1914 






'''%^::^i?tij*-t : ■[ 



TO 

F. M. S. 

IN MEMORY OF 
THE EDITORIAL ROOM 



892367 



PREFACE 

This is in no way a formal Life of Dr. Barnardo. 
It is simply an attempt to give some idea of 
what he was to one who shared with many 
others of the Staff, the privilege of working 
with him on terms of happy intimacy. 

That he championed the cause of Needy 
Childhood with passionate devotion, is matter 
of common knowledge ; what he was behind 
the scenes is less widely understood ; and it 
is the object of this little book to introduce 
the man himself, to those who knew him only 
as the public philanthropist. 

A. R. N. 



DR. BARNARDO 
AS I KNEW HIM 



My first acquaintance with him dates back to 
more than a quarter of a century ago, and was 
of quite a fragmentary kind. A friend of 
mine who had been doing hterary work in 
connection with the Homes for some time, 
had, under the pressure of other duties, fallen 
hopelessly behind with her reports of cases, 
and obtained Dr. Barnardo's consent to getting 
a certain amount of outside help. 

" But you'll be sure to get the right kind ! " 
was his characteristic qualification, 

I suppose I came up to the standard, for 
a little later on I received a letter from 
the Doctor, asking if I would come to 
the head office, to discuss a piece of literary 
work which he wished to put into the hands 
of someone, not a member of the ordinary 
staff. 

Stepney Causeway seemed to me, at^hat 
time, about as remote as the North Pole? and 



DR. BARNARDO 

I laugh now to remember my utter dismay at 
the lane-hke thoroughfare I was half afraid 
to go down. Whether it is that one uncon- 
sciously becomes acclimatized to surroundings, 
or whether the Causeway really has improved, 
I can hardly say ; but it certainly does not 
strike me now, as the Abomination of Desola- 
tion it seemed at that first visit. But then, 
the day was about as unfavourable as could 
have been selected for making acquaintance 
with the East End. A dull, leaden sky, an 
atmosphere stagnant and murky, streets run- 
ning with the slosh of newly-melted snow, 
and a population, to my unaccustomed eyes, 
on one dead level of drab misery — it certainly 
was not an alluring picture. 

But, taking my courage in both hands, I 
ventured to pick my way along the narrow, 
broken pavement, and was thankful, indeed, 
to find it only a matter of yards to No. 18. 
Here, in order to get to the waiting-hall, it 
was necessary to pass through a lobby, where 
applicants for admission were dealt with, in 
the initial stage. 

Now I am free to confess that up to this 
time, I had considerably discounted the 
stories of child-rescue with which I was 
slightly familiar. That is, I had been ready 
to echo the remark of a friend, made only the 
day before, " They must be coloured up." 
But mth the first sight of that receiving-place, 
these illusions vanished, and I felt instantly 
that no words could possibly be too strong to 

8 



AS I KNEW HIM 

paint the utter wretchedness of the Children 
of the Streets. 

Outside the lobby were two little fellows, 
their filthy rags tied on with bits of string, 
devouring a plateful of food with a ghastly 
avidity that called for no explanation. Crouch- 
ing on the ground, with the food between them, 
clawing at anything that came first, they 
looked so like a pair of famished wild animals 
that I could not, then, have believed that 
many such Waifs and Strays are actually 
ariiongst the brightest of the boys and, after 
due training, make about the best of youthful 
emigrants. 

In the lobby itself, a wailing baby was being 
hushed by a young mother, literally " skin and 
bone," and hardly able to put one foot before 
the other. It must indeed have meant a 
supreme effort to her, to come half a mile in 
the hope of securing a home for the wizen- 
faced mite, whose beauties were apparent 
only to the maternal eye. 

A group of match-selling lads, described by 
their twelve-year-old leader as " Me and my 
pals," sought shelter from the tender mercies 
of the wintry streets ; two little sisters, one 
lame, and the other with a rag — and such a 
rag ! — ^tied over a " bad eye," had just been 
brought to the " Ever-open Door " by a 
friendly policeman, while some half-dozen 
boys and girls, of all ages and sizes, nodded 
peacefully under the influence of unaccustomed 
warmth. But oh, the dirt and wretchedness 



DR. BARNARDO 

of it all ! And then to think of the welcome 
awaiting each individual child, beyond the 
threshold of the lobby ! 

Possibly because of my absorption in these 
glimpses into an unknown world, my recol- 
lections of this first interview with the man 
who was to become my hero-in-chief are 
distinctly vague. I believe I saw him in a 
room on the ground floor (afterwards my 
own office), and I think I am right in saying 
that on this occasion he did not walk up 
and down, with his arm thrown behind his 
back — an attitude so familiar to those who 
worked with him intimately. But his sharp 
glances, quick movements, and minute in- 
structions, were all in his own clear-cut 
style. 

I had risen to go, when, with one of his 
lightning looks, he took stock of my personality 
and then exclaimed, quite triumphantly : 

" I believe you're a real child-lover ! " 

I admitted the soft impeachment. 

" You came through the lobby, just now ? " 
he demanded eagerly. 

" Yes, I did." 

" And how did what you saw there strike 
you ? " 

" Why, I should never have believed there 
could be anything so horrible if I hadn't seen 
it with my own eyes." 

" Ah," with a sort of half -chuckle, " now, 
perhaps you do believe that my stories are not 
exaggerated ? " 

10 



AS I KNEW HIM 

It was really almost uncanny, and I hesi- 
tated. 

*' No," throwing his head back, with a 
hearty laugh, " I'm not a magician. But you 
see I'm only too well drilled in what people 
who donH know will insist upon thinking — 
and saying." Then, dropping the note of 
amusement, " Why, I can never dare to tell 
the half of my really bad stories. I wouldn't 
like you to hear a tithe of the hateful things 
that come to my ears constantly. Exaggerate^ 
indeed ! " with a gesture of infinite contempt, 
as he struck the table with an emphatic fist, 
" no one could exaggerate, if they tried from 
now till doomsday." 

At this point there came a knock at the door 
and a messenger appeared, bearing a note 
from the matron of the hospital on the other 
side of the Causeway. 

With an "Excuse me," he read through 
the brief message, and instantly all the fire 
died out of his face, leaving on it an expression 
of the most delightful tenderness. 

" One of my little lads is just going Home," 
he said, " and wants me to hold his hand. I 
must go at once." 

And off he hurried, all other interests put 
aside, in loving solicitude for this child of his 
adoption. 

I learnt afterwards that in the early days 
of his work, at a bad operation, or a consulta- 
tion over a critical medical case, or at the 
death-bed of one of his flock, Dr. Barnardo 

11 



DR. BARNARDO 

was sure to be present, ready to suggest, 
soothe, or encourage, with the skill of the 
doctor and the devotion of the father. As 
the work grew, and claims became Legion, 
this part of his labour of love had to be laid 
aside, in all but very special cases, although, 
as he said to me, more than once : 

" It's that I miss most — just the personal 
contact that makes the work live.^^ 

But to return — I was able to carry out the 
instructions given me, and in acknowledging 
the MSS. he made this very unusual comment : 

" I think it is worth more than you are 
asking . . . and if you will let me, as a poor 
man, representing a very poor cause, offer 
you " (half as much again), " I will think that 
you are generous." 

But although this first glimpse into the 
work of the Homes had aroused my deepest 
sympathy, I was not free, at that time, to 
undertake any regular employment on their 
behalf, and it must have been quite two years 
or more before I saw Dr. Barnardo again. 
Then, I happened to be at Euston when a 
party of young emigrants was starting for 
Liverpool, and in turning away from the book- 
stall I came face to face with the Doctor, 
hurrying to give his boys and girls a fatherly 
farewell. Ofi came his hat, and out came his 
hand : 

" But you don't know me ! " I exclaimed. 

" Oh, don't I ? Well, you did some literary 
work for me once, and," with a whimsical 

12 



AS I KNEW HIM 

smile, " I mean you to do more, before I've 
finished." 

I really was quite taken aback, not under- 
standing then, that an almost incredible 
quickness of identification was amongst the 
many peculiar gifts that made him the wonder- 
ful man he was. 



13 



II 

It may be interesting, before going further 
into my personal experiences with Dr. Bar- 
nardo, to give, in brief outHne, some of the 
general facts of his career. Born on July 4th, 
1845, in Dublin, he came of a very mixed 
stock, his father being of Spanish origin and 
his mother representing an old Quaker family 
who had settled down for good in Ireland. 
His school life was none of the happiest, and 
it was probably then that he felt the first 
stirrings of that righteous indignation which, 
in later life, burned hotly within him, when 
brought in contact with neglected or ill- 
treated childhood. 

On leaving school he went for a time into a 
merchant's office, and although he never took 
kindly to mere business routine, the experi- 
ence thus gained was undoubtedly good pre- 
paration for one side of his Ufe-work. Later 
on, during a special religious revival in Dublin, 
there came to him another experience which 
entirely changed his whole attitude of mind. 
Feeling himself to have been " born again," 
he became, as he delighted to avow, " a new 
creature in Christ Jesus." Having definitely 
dedicated himself to the service of God and 

14 



DR. BARNARDO 

Man, he was, at first, greatly attracted by 
the Foreign Mission field, and in 1866 he 
entered at the London Hospital, with a view 
to qualifying for work in China. But, with 
his usual abounding energy, in the midst of 
preparing for the future, he turned vigorously 
to work in the present, being one of the first 
to volunteer for service in the neighbourhood, 
during the cholera outbreak of 1866-1867. 
Then came such activities as preaching in 
the street, visiting in the slums, and teaching 
in a ragged school, of which he soon became 
superintendent ; and in 1867 the East End 
Juvenile Mission was started by him, on a very 
small scale in two cottages in Hope Place, 
Stepney. What he saw and heard all around, 
the horror of the sin and suffering, especially 
in its consequences to the juvenile population, 
brought him before long face to face with the 
question, London or China ? Happily for 
Waifdom the balance dipped in favour of 
work at home. This decision was arrived at 
partly through the receipt of a wholly un- 
expected letter from a then stranger. The 
writer of the letter, having heard of the young 
student's labours amongst the children of 
the East End, offered to place at his disposal 
the sum of £1000 towards any suggested 
scheme of child-rescue, provided the suggester 
(T. J. B.) would consent to remain in London 
for a time. This episode Dr. Barnardo always 
looked upon as one of the turning-points in 
bis life, another being the discovery that in 

15 



DR. BARNARDO 

London were to be found, in no inconsiderable 
numbers, boys of tender years, literally with- 
out home, friends, food, or shelter. The 
story of this discovery, as told in the booklet 
" My First Arab," sounds almost like melo- 
drama, but the awful realities disclosed in 
this first hunt for the homeless, made such deep 
impression on the heart of the seeker, that 
sympathy took the practical form of leaving 
no stone unturned to provide shelter for the 
Children of Need. 

Towards the end of the year 1879 came the 
establishment of the first of the well-known 
Dr. Barnardo Homes, at 18 Stepney Causeway. 
With astonishing rapidity the work caught on ; 
the original Home was enlarged, almost past 
recognition ; workshops for lads were started 
and branch Homes opened ; whilst on more 
general lines, the notorious Edinburgh Castle 
public-house at Limehouse became the pioneer 
of the Coffee Palace, as well as a church for 
the people and a centre of varied mission 
activities. 

So far, rescue work had been confined to 
dealing with boys, but on Dr. Barnardo's 
marriage to Miss Syrie Elmslie, it became 
possible to turn his attention to the even 
greater needs of neglected girls. Mossford 
Lodge, Barkingside, was the first home of 
the young couple, who started housekeeping 
with a family of twelve little girls, rescued 
from conditions which gave them no sort of 
chance of a fair start in life. 

16 



AS I KNEW HIM 

From this modest beginning has developed, 
on the same spot, the Girls' Village Homes, 
with some 1400 inhabitants. A world in itself 
is this Village : 66 cottages, each under the 
care of a motherly Mother ; one of the largest 
Girls' Elementary Schools in the kingdom, 
with an average of 800 scholars ; a church 
seating 1200 ; a hospital of 60 beds (built 
recently, on most up-to-date lines) ; a sana- 
torium for the weak-chested ; a deeply 
interesting section for the feeble-minded ; a 
laundry with some 80 workers and a weekly 
output of over 20,000 garments — such are 
the principal features of a scheme, always 
specially dear to its founder. 

Meanwhile, the boys continued to ask 
admission, in ever-increasing numbers, necessi- 
tating the opening of fresh Homes for the 
reception of applicants of all ages, from the 
little lad at "The Children's Fold," to the 
big youth of the Labour House. But although 
the Homes were, at the commencement, 
chiefly in London, every part of the United 
Kingdom — and beyond it, for the matter of 
that — soon began to contribute its quota of 
needy children. Thus it speedily became need- 
ful to establish Ever-open Doors in the most 
populous cities and towns, where direct 
personal application could be made by, or on 
behalf of, the children of the streets. It 
followed, too, as a matter of course, that 
privation and neglect brought about corre- 
sponding physical deterioration, and almost 

B 17 



DR. BARNARDO 

from the beginning it was essential to provide 
special accommodation for the sick and 
afflicted. Starting with the adaptation of 
unsuitable premises as an Infirmary, Queen 
Victoria's Jubilee year saw the establishment 
of Her Majesty's Hospital, just opposite to 
the Central Offices in Stepney Causeway. 
Its 80 beds are kept in constant use, not to 
speak of quite a considerable out-patients' 
department, representing the various East 
End Homes. But again, it soon became clear 
that special accommodation would have to 
be forthcoming for the chronic invalid, the 
hopeless cripple, and those children with 
defective senses, or actual feebleness of in- 
tellect. Hence the establishment of three 
Homes for Incurables and Cripples at Birk- 
dale, Harrogate, and Tunbridge Wells, not to 
speak of various smaller establishments, north, 
south, east, and west. Another special class, 
the infant, also put in a claim for specific 
accommodation, and for such the gift of 
" Babies' Castle " at Hawkhurst came as a 
welcome accession to the Homes. But experi- 
ence showed that very tiny people flourish 
better in small, than in large, numbers, so 
the Castle became a home for the toddler, 
and for the real babies came the system of 
boarding out, with which Dr. Barnardo was 
fairly enamoured. Indeed, he came to feel so 
strongly the'advantage of letting the children 
join in the ordinary life of the ordinary 
cottage — a good type, of course — or of being 

18 



AS I KNEW HIM 

grouped together in small numbers that, 
excepting with elder lads, and for the 
purposes of special training, the Institutional 
system fell more and more out of his favour. 
And he would certainly have greatly re- 
joiced in the Boys' Village at Woodford 
Bridge, which is rapidly developing under 
the guidance of the present indefatigable 
Director, Mr. William Baker. 

But in spite of increasing accommodation, 
it became clear to the founder of the Homes 
that he must go further afield, in order to 
find adequate scope for his rapidly enlarging 
family. For not only was the congested 
labour market of England to be considered, 
but in the case of a large percentage of cases, 
undesirable relatives or former acquaintances, 
would be a serious handicap to the boy or 
girl when making a first start in life. From 
these considerations came to pass that system 
of careful Emigration to Canada, which Dr. 
Barnardo had good reason to look upon as 
amongst the most successful of his ventures. 
For there is room and to spare for labour in 
the new world, whilst the conditions of family 
life, and the chances of legitimate getting-on, 
proved so much better than those at home, 
that his Canadian work never failed to give 
him fullest satisfaction. 

Several times, in the midst of his multitu- 
dinous cares, the Director managed to visit 
the Dominion, and each time returned full of 
enthusiasm as to what he had seen and heard. 

19 



DR. BARNARDO 

Indeed, the remarkable success of this branch 
of his work, he felt to be more than reward 
sufficient for all the labour it cost him in the 
early days of inception and organization. 

The bulk of all this was in full swing when 
Dr. Barnardo added to his already over- 
heavy burden, the establishment of the 
Young Helpers' League, though the number 
of Homes grew and continued to grow, with 
the steady increase of the " biggest family on 
earth." At the time of his death, this family 
numbered over 7000 in actual residence, the 
total number of rescues exceeding 60,000. 
For the accommodation of the children in 
residence, and for the oversight of those still 
feeling their feet, some 65 Homes were in 
full swing, including the Canada equipment 
of Distributing Homes and Training Farms. 
Some of these Homes — notably the Watts' 
Naval Training School in Norfolk — were 
presented to the Homes, freehold, and ready 
for occupation, but as regards the London 
Institutions — and others — building or rebuild- 
ing became an absolute necessity, and ran 
into figures that might well have daunted a 
less ardent spirit. 

And the income for it all ? £196,286 in the 
last year of Dr. Barnardo's life, as against the 
£214 of the first two years — taken together — 
whilst in the forty years of his headship, total 
receipts exceeded three and a half millions. 
For the whole of this financial burden, " The 
Father of Nobody's Children " (the late Mr. 

go 



AS I KNEW HIM 

Stead's name for him) held himself responsible, 
and though " Prince of Beggars " was one of 
the titles he well deserved, it can hardly be 
wondered at, that a life so strenuous wore 
itself out prematurely. During his Jubilee 
year serious heart mischief declared itself, 
and he was compelled to take a prolonged rest. 
Six years later came a second severe attack, 
and although treatment at Nauheim gave 
relief, repeated visits to the German Spa 
became necessary, and he was never really the 
same man again. Still, he worked on for 
another four years, until in 1906 he went to 
Nauheim, too late for treatment to be even 
attempted. But with his wonderful recupera- 
tive power, he bore the journey home better 
than might have been expected, and on the 
day of his death insisted on dictating some 
specially urgent letters to one of his private 
secretaries. In saying good-bye to her, he 
remarked : 

" I have been ill. I never thought I should 
see my wife and children again. I've been 
through the Valley of the Shadow of Death." 

And the recollection of what he had gone 
through, seemed too vivid for him to treat it 
in his usual cheery way, though he certainly 
appeared to think himself better than he 
really was. 

Two hours later, without pain or distress, 
he calmly " fell on sleep," dying in harness, 
just as he would himself have chosen, had 
the choice been his. 

21 



Ill 

The next phase of my connection with the 
work of the Homes began by the unexpected 
receipt of the following letter : 

" Could you come and see me here ? I 
think I have something on hand in which you 
might be able to render me permanent aid if 
you were so disposed. But I will say nothing 
more until I see you. Perhaps you are already 
hopelessly engaged, too full up, in short, to 
do anything more. Even so, I would like to 
take counsel with you as I think you might 
advise me, even if you were unable to person- 
ally assist me." 

And the letter wound up thus character- 
istically : 

" P.S. — I am afraid this will not reach you 
in time for to-morrow. If it did, I would ask 
you, could you call to-morrow, Tuesday, 
between 2 and 3 o'clock ? " 

The dear man always did love giving short 
notice, but this time, as it happened, I was 
able to go on the ^^Tuesday . I found Stepney 
given over to a fine [pea-soup {fog, necessitat- 
ing the use of every gas burner throughout 

22 



DR. BARNARDO 

the day. It was on this occasion that I was 
introduced to the Doctor's favourite sanctum, 
the large Board Room, with which I was des- 
tined to become so famiUar. All the same, 
I never became so accustomed to it, as quite 
to lose my first impression of our two selves, 
as very small kernels in a very big shell. The 
immense table at which Dr. Barnardo sat — 
until he began his pacings up and down — was 
simply covered from end to end with a perfect 
wilderness of papers, written and printed. 
And although these were constantly sorted 
and arranged by the most orderly of secretaries, 
I soon discovered that by the middle of the 
afternoon, whatever might be the particular 
paper needed, it was likely to be found any- 
where rather than in its allotted place. 

" Oh, I know — my bag," was a favourite 
after-thought, and by the time that capacious 
receptacle had been rummaged through, the 
droll look I loved would come over his face, as 
he whispered mysteriously : 

" No, it's here — in my special drawer ; I 
put it there, I remember, to be sure of having 
it at hand. Now, don't tell Odling, there's a 
good soul ! " 

At this interview with Dr. Barnardo I 
noticed that though alert and vigorous to a 
degree, there were decided indications of 
physical wear and tear. Certainly his deafness 
had greatly increased, and I believe one reason 
why he was desirous of securing my permanent 
services was, that I could generally make him 

23 



DR. BARNARDO 

hear, without the intervention of the ear- 
trumpet, which he never used with ease and 
comfort. 

How well I can picture him that afternoon ! 
His eyes half closed — behind the pince-nez, 
without which I only saw him once — the 
fingers of either hand resting against the tips 
of the other, both being swayed to and fro, 
in a sort of rhythmic movement, as he un- 
folded his latest scheme. 

His way of introducing his subject was 
highly characteristic, and distinctly puzzling 
to the uninitiated. 

" Do you believe in dreams ? " he enquired 
suddenly. 

" Dreams ? " I replied, greatly surprised 
at the unexpected query. " I don't know 
that I ever thought much about them. Cer- 
tainly my own have never been of any particu- 
lar value." 

"Well, do you see any real reason why 
guidance should not come to us in this way — 
say, as an exceptional thing ? " 

" No, I suppose not, though I think I should 
have to be pretty clear of my ground." 

" All right. Now, please, listen carefully 
to what I'm going to tell you about a dream 
of mine. I was sitting in my study one even- 
ing recently, after a hard day here. I had been 
busy for hours, receiving applications for 
admission. No," answering my unspoken 
question, " I can't deal with every case, of 
course, now there are so many, but I do see a 

24 



AS I KNEW HIM 

good number and anything special I always 
deal with myself. On this particular day the 
specials had been very numerous. Two little 
cripples — girls — had to be taken in at once, 
and a small boy, incurably blind. And then 
some of the healthy — or comparatively healthy 
— children had such pitiful stories ; orphans, 
or worse ; penniless and homeless, and 
coming from such awful surroundings. It 
really was a worse experience than usual, and 
that's saying a good deal." 

Here he paused and sighed. 

" But," I ventured to suggest, " do you not 
get accustomed, to some extent at any rate, 
to such things ? " 

" Thank God, no," was the most emphatic 
reply. " If I were once to get case-hardened, 
I should feel it was all up with my work. 
But to come back to the evening I'm telling 
you about. I was just tired out when I got 
home, and as I sat by the fire, thinking over 
the children's woes, I fell asleep and dreamed 
a dream that was every bit as real to me as 
any actual happening. You do know what 
that means, I suppose ? " with a touch of 
anxiety, as to the limitations of my compre- 
hension. 

" Oh, yes, I do understand so much, though 
as I've said before I'm not a good dreamer." 

" A better doer, eh ? " with one of his quizzi- 
caljlooks. " Well, I was walking along the bank 
of a rapid, swollen river when suddenly I 
heard a loud cry for help ; and as I turned in 

25 



DR. BARNARDO 

the direction of the cry, I saw a Httle lad just 
above me, being carried down by the hurrying 
water. I ran along the bank at a fine]^rate — 
one is more agile in dreams — hoping to get well 
in front of him. I succeeded at last, and threw 
myself down on the bank, stretching out my 
arms to catch him — but my arms were not 
long enough. It was a horrid feeling," and 
he gave an involuntary shiver. " I couldn't 
swim, I thought ; there was no rope or piece 
of wood at hand, and there was no time to 
fetch help. Then I suddenly caught sight of 
some children at play in a field a little way off 
and I cried out so frantically to them I wonder 
I didn't wake myself, especially as I saw the 
boy drifting further and further away from 
me. But in the very nick of time I heard a 
child's voice behind me, saying loudly and 
clearly, ' Don't be afraid. We will help you 
to save him ' ; and I felt the children take 
hold of my feet and grip my clothes so tightly 
that I could reach out just — but only just — 
far enough to catch hold of the sinking boy. 
In another minute I had him safely in my arms 
and the children behind pulled us quickly on 
to dry ground. I saw the boy lived and would 
quickly revive, and the delight of the rescue 
did what my cries had not done — woke me 
wide awake, in a perfect tremor of joy. Now, 
do you see what it all means ? " 

" I'm afraid not," I had to confess, " though 
I believe there's a sort of glimmer coming into 
my mind." 

26 



AS I KNEW HIM 

" I'll make the glimmer a bright light in a 
minute. Don't you see ? — I can't do the rescu- 
ing alone. I can find the children, any number 
of them, and admit them and make plans for 
their training and education. But I can't 
provide the needs-be to meet such heavy 
expenses as must be incurred if we are to keep 
to our motto — ' No really Destitute Child 
Ever Refused Admission.' Why, think of 
the food bill alone, for just [one day ! And 
the clothing, and the housing, and the nursing, 
and the teaching, and the setting out in life. 
Don't misunderstand me, though. I know 
Whose are the silver and the gold, and I 
absolutely believe He could meet every need of 
mine, without a single appeal to the public." 

" You mean on the lines of George 
Muller ? " 

" I do ; but deeply as I reverence his faith, 
I have come to the deliberate conclusion that 
one part of the definite work God has given 
me to do, is to try to rouse in others, by every 
legitimate means, the intense, personal interest 
He has put into my heart for the ' lambs ' of 
His flock." 

" And your dream means crying to others 
to help you ? " 

" Ah, but it means a great deal more than 
that. It's the children's help I want. They 
do a good deal already, lots of them — better- 
off children, I mean, of course — but there's 
hardly any limit to what they could do, if 
their help were united and properly organized." 

27 



DR. BARNARDO 

" And they would be gainers, too." 

" That they would ! " he exclaimed joyfully. 
" You're catching my idea, I see." 

And then he proceeded to outline his new plan 
of campaign. Briefly his idea of the " Little " 
— afterwards modified to " Young " — " Help- 
ers' League " (" Y.H.L.," as it quickly came 
to be called), was to band together into groups, 
the many juvenile friends of the Homes, 
scattered all over the world. Such groups of 
workers — to be called Companions — he pro- 
posed should be known as Habitations, with 
smaller groups — Lodges — in affiliation. Local 
Presidents, Secretaries, and Treasurers, would 
of course be needed, and must be chosen with 
discretion by recognized officials — Wardens — 
representing head-quarters, where it would 
also be imperative to organize a strong Council, 
with an experienced secretary and helpers. 
And this rough outline has actually been the 
basis of League work ever since, with only 
such minor modifications as experience has 
suggested from time to time. 

Naturally, I followed the unfolding of the 
scheme — quite a novelty at that time — with 
deepest interest, but I was hardly prepared 
for the downright question : 

"Now what will you be? A little too 
abrupt, am I ? Well, do you like public 
speaking ? " 

" Not at all — excepting to children." 

'' It would be children, or young people, 
you would have to speak to. And," he added, 

28 



AS I KNEW HIM 

with what I irreverently got to call — to myself 
— his " knowing wink," " it's no good telling 
me you're unsociable." 

" Well, no," I admitted, '' I must confess 
to a liking for my species." 

" Very well, then you'll be one of the 
Wardens." 

" I should dearly like it, but ..." 

" Oh, dear, if there's one word in the 
English language I hate, it's that. All the 
same, tell me your special ' but '." 

And to my no little surprise, he listened 
intently to my brief explanation of the posi- 
tion of an only daughter in a home of many 
claims. 

" Yes, I see ; you're quite right," was his 
verdict. " You'd rather work in London. 
What about the general secretaryship ? " 

Again came a difficulty in the shape of 
inability to be away from home, all day and 
every day, till at last I suggested : 

" Don't you think you had better get 
people with more leisure, for the important 
posts ? " 

''No, I don't,'' came with a perfect roar. 
" I told you before, when I want a thing I get 
it. Now, just wait a minute," and shutting 
his eyes for a few moments, he evolved a plan 
by which I should undertake a good deal of 
organizing, a special correspondence depart- 
ment, a really large amount of record-keeping, 
and a full share of literary work, together with 
the oversight of a small clerical staff, 

89 



DR. BARNARDO 

"So you see," he concluded triumphantly, 
" it will be enough if you come here three 
days a week. Though," with his most in- 
gratiating smile, " I dare say you'll give us 
an extra day, now and then, in fcase of 
need ! " 



30 



IV 

The organization of this new branch of work 
involved a vast amount of thought, not to 
speak of correspondence and interviewing, 
but in Httle more than a month the essential 
preliminaries had all been arranged, and I was 
summoned to take possession of an office, 
" only waiting anxiously for you ! " 

On my first day at Stepney I was honoured 
by a morning call from Dr. Barnardo, who, 
after the heartiest of welcomes, explained that 
he had made special arrangements for me to 
dine at the Hospital — " I knew you'd like that, 
with your experience of nursing." 

And then he got on his hobby-horse and rode 
the League at break-neck pace. But although 
so enthusiastic and so given to sanguine fore- 
cast, even his anticipations came far short of 
the actual reality. He would be satisfied, he 
felt, at its commencement, if in ten years' 
time " several thousands " of young people 
had become Companions of the League, 
whereas, at the date of his death, the actual 
membership stood at well over 30,000, repre- 
senting nearly 2000 Habitations and Lodges, 
whilst their contributions to the work of the 
Homes had reached close upon £150,000 in 

31 



DR. BARNARDO 

fourteen years — ^this, too, with a steady 
annual increase, in numbers and figures. 

And if Dr. Barnardo would have been as- 
tonished could he have looked into the future, 
his staff would certainly have been dumb- 
founded. I believe every head of a depart- 
ment in the Stepney offices, looked with more 
or less of suspicion — in some cases amounting 
to fear — on this new venture, and when it 
leaked out that much of the responsibility 
would be in the hands of women, their dismay 
knew no bounds. Hence, though accorded 
a pleasant personal welcome, I very soon 
discovered that my position was distinctly 
peculiar. For one thing, though my room was 
quite large enough to accommodate my two 
clerks, as well as myself, they were both 
located in the outside general offices. Also, 
I don't know which was the more disturbed, 
I, at finding myself with the control of men 
clerks, or they at discovering that their 
" boss " was a woman ! 

Again, all the record-keeping had been started 
without reference to my wishes, and I became 
increasingly conscious that I was hemmed in 
on all sides, and had practically no freedom 
of action. It was an uncomfortable experi- 
ence — ^to put it mildly — and the climax came 
when I received a letter from Dr. Barnardo, 
couched in somewhat vague terms, but un- 
mistakably suggestive of displeasure at the 
rate at which my department was proceeding, 
as compared with the unexpected develop- 

82 



AS I KNEW HIM 

ment of the League. It seemed all the harder 
to me, bee use I had been putting in so many 
of the " extra " days at which the Doctor 
had hinted. I really felt very much like 
backing out at the end of my three months' 
trial — indeed, I should have done it, and so 
missed much happy and memorible exp ri- 
ence, but for a fortunate " accident." 

Amongst the staff was a man of whom I 
had often heard, as specially shrewd and 
clever, but whose department hardly touched 
mine. On this particular morning, however, 
he came down to consult me as to an ambigu- 
ous letter, that was evidently not meant for 
him and might be, he thought, intended for 
me. The matter having been amicably settled, 
his eye fell on Dr. Barnardo's personal letter, 
lying on my table. He pulled a long face at 
its many sheets, and then looking at me a 
little doubtfully, he remarked : 

" I hope the length of that has not upset you? " 

" Not its length," I replied, " though it does 
take a good bit of reading ; but it is this last 
sheet," handing it to him, " that I can't make 
out. Is there more behind, do you think ? " 

He read it through carefully and then replied 
confidently : 

" No, I don't think it means anything, 
excepting that he is worried about the work 
of the League and doesn't see how it is to be 
got through. No," he added, reassuringly, 
" you needn't distress yourself about that. 
Knowing him as I do — and I think there's 



DR. BARNARDO 

nobody who has worked quite so much with 
him, by night as well as by day — I can truly 
say that his way is to hit straight from the 
shoulder, if he has to hit at all." 

" Then you would not advise me to take any 
notice of his hints ? " 

" I should not, if I were you, that is, not 
beyond stating, clearly and briefly, that your 
present staff is inadequate, in view of the 
unlooked-for pressure. But . . ." 

" Yes, don't be afraid to say exactly what 
you think." 

*' Well, it's just this way," he replied, with 
a smile, twin to his Chief's, " I don't really 
know you, you see, but the whole thing hangs 
on whether you know your work. If you do, 
you need not be in the least afraid. You will 
probably be tested all round, especially as our 
first Lady of Responsibility, and then, if he is 
satisfied that you are reliable, I can tell you 
this — ^you will be trusted.^^ 

Better advice was never given, and I 
speedily found the advantage of following it, 
for when I sent up a list of the daily duties of 
my office, with an estimate of the time occu- 
pied in dealing with each class of work, the 
response was an immediate trebling of the 
staff — with this limitation, of course, " Until 
the extreme pressure is relieved." 

My head clerk (the staff was now perma- 
nently increased by the addition of a second 
junior) was a particularly pleasant young man, 
of some experience. 

34 



AS I KNEW HIM 

" Do you like Mr. Brown ? " asked the Doctor 
suddenly, apropos apparently of nothing, " and 
does he do as you want him to ? " 

" Yes," was the hearty response, " I like 
him very much, and I find him all a respon- 
sible clerk should be." 

" I thought you would," he responded ; 
" you see, he had to be a gentleman, as well as 
a good worker." 

I smiled inwardly, remembering the deli- 
cate way in which that young man had tested 
my capabilities before giving loyal allegiance 
to a member of the weaker sex. He, too, was 
one who thoroughly understood and appre- 
ciated our Head, whose sharp ways were apt 
to be disconcerting to the self-conscious. I re- 
member his coming one day into the office with 
quite a radiant look on his usually quiet face. 

" What is the matter ? " I asked. " Have 
you come into a fortune ? " 

'' Almost," he replied, with a smile. " It's 
such a pleasure to be working for a man like 
Dr. Barnardo." 

" Why, what has happened ? " 

" Well, I dare say you have heard about 
those three clerks who took too much on the 
way home on Tuesday, and were locked up. 
It got to Dr. Barnardo's ears, of course, and 
he was upset." 

" Do you mean about its being a discredit 
to the Homes ? " 

" Oh, no, not that — ^they didn't even belong 
to the regular staff — no, he was just distressed 

35 



DR. BARNARDO 

for them. And he sent word all round the 
offices — you were out when the notice came — 
asking that all the young clerks should meet 
him in the Board Room as soon as he got 
here this afternoon. And — well, he talked to 
us, for half an hour, just like a father." 
" Did he want you to take the pledge ? " 
" Not exactly, but after talking about the 
drink in a way that made every one of us 
listen, he said, ' Now, I'm not going to ask 
you to take any pledge, because, if I did, some 
of you might feel you must, and that wouldn't 
be one bit of good. But if you think it over, 
and do it of your own accord, why, you couldn't 
do better, nor please me more.' But," added 
Mr. Brown thoughtfully, " it wasn't only 
what he said, it was that he seemed so anxious 
that each of us should be making the best of 
this life. I've been in other offices and I know 
the difference. Not that I've ever been un- 
kindly treated, but I never felt before that 
it was a personal matter with the Chief how I 
turned out — and now I do ! " He certainly 
showed his appreciation by putting his heart 
into his work, and matters in my department 
went on as comfortably as was consistent with 
the immediate and abnormal growth of the 
League. 

Things were not made easier, however, by 
the fact that it came into being just before 
one of those terrible first outbreaks of in- 
fluenza, not easily forgotten by those who 
went through them. During the previous 



AS I KNEW HIM 

outbreak the inmates of the Homes had 
suffered severely, the Stepney premises having 
to be turned into a temporary hospital, whilst 
the staff escaped almost entirely. The year 
of the League's inception the position was 
reversed, and whilst the children escaped, the 
staff — including Dr. Barnardo and the newly 
appointed Wardens — were stricken down whole- 
sale. This happened, too, early in the year, 
before the ordinary rush of Christmas work 
had been dealt with, and the arrears soon 
became something appalling. 

It was then that I began to see something 
of the Doctor's astonishing power of dealing 
with difficulty. His customary duties and 
responsibilities were practically countless, and 
now he had added, to an already overwhelm- 
ing list, the floating of this new scheme, with 
all its complications and perplexities. 

But, really, he might almost have said of 
difficulties, " The more the merrier," and the 
way he would buckle to at a long list of them 
was a thing to remember. He was, indeed, a 
marvel of quickness, a quality not always 
combined with the power of concentration 
which he possessed in abounding degree. 
And so it was, that the untiring energy and 
resourcefulness of the Chief carried things 
through without any serious catastrophe, and 
by late spring matters had worked out fairly 
straight, and the Young Helpers' League was 
established as a permanent feature of the work 
of the Homes. 

37 



But although the League escaped coming to 
grief, as by a miracle, the dangers and diffi- 
culties of those early days seemed never- 
ending. Preparing and distributing suitable 
literature and printed forms of many kinds ; 
drawing up a code for workers, paid and 
voluntary ; finding agents, able and willing to 
undertake the complicated duties assigned to 
the Wardens ; keeping the central office in touch 
with such a host of scattered workers — these, 
and a hundred such details, were perpetually 
under consideration, and only too often the 
final decision had to rest with the overworked 
Head of it all. 

It was this state of things which brought me 
into such constant contact with Dr. Barnardo, 
and very seldom indeed did he show signs of 
the weariness that must have so often pos- 
sessed him. But it was not long before my 
admiration became tinged with an absorbing 
desire to relieve him as much as possible. 
Quite early, I discovered not only the truth 
of what he had said as to not becoming case- 
hardened, but that his passionate love of 
children made him peculiarly sensitive to all 
interesting items concerning them — pathetic 

38 



DR. BARNARDO 

or otherwise. So, I took to reserving letters 
of the specially interesting order, from, or 
about, little Leaguers, to show him, if ordinary- 
business was extra trying. 

On one occasion I recall, he was so jaded, 
after a long and worrying day's work, in the 
middle of summer, that he fairly snapped 
out answers to my alarming list of queries. 
Then suddenly noticing a couple of letters 
lying by themselves at my left hand, he 
swooped down upon them,^with a decidedly 
irritable : 

" What's this ? " 

Shall I ever forget the change on his ex- 
pressive face as he read ! The first was from 
the heartbroken father of a Young Helper, 
enclosing the contents (about 10s.) of the little 
lad's money-box. 

'* His last wish was that it should be sent 
to Dr. Barnardo's children," read the ex- 
planation. 

" Poor things ! Poor things ! " murmured 
the Doctor. Then, to me, " Did you know 
that I have three little sons in heaven ? " 

I did know, and quite understood how his 
heart had gone out to the stricken parents. 
But it had lifted him above the details of his 
everyday work, and the second letter com- 
pleted the cure. This was also addressed to 
me, as manager of my special department of 
the League, by a very tiny Helper, in childish, 
wobbly capitals, and as far as I can recollect 
ran thus : 

39 



DR. BARNARDO 

" These pennys is my little hen's first eggs 
and they's my birfday pesent to dear Docker 
Dernarder." 

" The dear child ! " he exclaimed delight- 
edly. " You did write her one of your nicest 
letters ? " 

I acknowledged to having done my best, 
and then remarked : 

" You've never lost your love of humour." 

" If I had, I shouldn't be here," was the 
prompt reply. " Why, my friend, if it weren't 
for the comedy in things, the tragedy would 
kill one — it simply couldn't be borne, at 
least not by anyone coming constantly into 
contact with it, as I do. Believe me," he went 
on gravely, " one of the things I bless God for 
daily, is that I've got the Irishman's love of a 
joke." 

And, his equanimity quite restored, he set 
to with a will, getting through my long list 
in almost as short a time as it would have 
taken an ordinary being to listen to its reading. 

He was certainly right about his natural, 
abounding love of fun, and given two workers 
of equal value, his choice would have un- 
doubtedly lain with the one who could the 
better enjoy a joke. 

On the one occasion — years later on — when 
I nearly got into his very bad books, he gave 
way, by private wire, on a point I considered 
of vital importance. The next day he came 
into my room and treated me to a long ex- 
hortation on the pig-headedness (he did not 

40 



AS I KNEW HIM 

use that particular phrase, but meant it) of 
Woman in general and of me in particular ! 

When he had quite finished, I assumed the 
meekest air I could command, and remarked : 

'' Very well. Dr. Barnardo ; I will do my 
best to become an automatic machine, only 
I don't think you will appreciate the penny- 
in-the-slot business." 

Of course, he accepted the challenge, and 
after a brisk play of words, took his departure, 
without the farewell about which he was 
usually so particular. A moment later his 
head appeared round the opened door, as he 
called out in his ordinary, friendly fashion : 

'^You've a saving sense of humour — I'll 
say that for you ! Good-bye, till next time." 

That Dr. Barnardo was a born ruler of men 
(as well as a born doctor, and organizer, and a 
few other things) no one who knew him could 
doubt for a moment, but at the same time he 
greatly preferred those of his subordinates 
who understood, and understanding, had no 
fear of him. He had, for instance, a small boy 
always in attendance at his door, to show 
visitors in and out, and to take messages to 
the various offices. About the appearance of 
these boys-in-buttons he was very particular, 
especially as to clean hands and faces, and I 
have known an unhappy scamper sent back 
two or three times to complete a neglected 
toilet. But woe betide the boy who cringed 
or trembled, at least after the first freshness 
had been allowed for, unless, indeed, there 

41 



DR. BARNARDO 

were some genuine reason for distress. One 
afternoon, when I was being interviewed, a 
new-comer brought a note for the Doctor, in 
a hand that could not steady itself. Im- 
mediately the small fingers were taken into 
the Chief's comfortable grasp. 

" Cold to the bone ! " he exclaimed. " Go 
and tell your matron she must find you an 
overcoat from somewhere." Then to me, as 
the boy departed, " Fancy sending a delicate 
little chap like that to hang about on such a 
cold evening ! " 

One lad there was, undersized and very 
young-looking, who served as " buttons " for 
quite a long time, and who so thoroughly 
understood the Doctor's ways as to smile, 
undisturbed, whilst it was being explained to 
me that I was at liberty to rule him with a 
rod of iron. Indeed, so useful did this par- 
ticular boy become that his apprenticeship 
was put off to the last possible moment, until, 
in fact, the Doctor felt and said : 

" I really mustn't stand in his way. Though," 
he added, " I admit it's a bit of a temptation. 
Some of the boys are " — lowering his voice to 
a confidential whisper — '' such little duffers ! " 

A case where the temptation was the reverse 
came my way about this time. The culprit, 
a clerk of the very careless order, had made a 
great muddle of a piece of work that had 
some connection with my department, and 
I was in the Board Room when he was called 
up to give an account of himself. I tried to 

42 



AS I KNEW HIM 

signal to him to speak up clearly, but instead 
of this, he mumbled some half-articulate 
excuse, the only words of which to reach the 
ears of the Chief were, " didn't understand." 

Instantly he was caught up with an indig- 
nant : 

" ' Didn't understand ' ? Why, that's just 
what I'm blaming you for. I didn't suppose 
you were so wicked as to do us an injury on 
purpose. But it's no excuse to say you didn't 
know. You ought to have known, and not 
have messed up things like this." 

The man still looked — ^though he certainly 
was not — sulky and unrepentant, and I held 
my breath as Dr. Barnardo fairly shouted 
out : 

'* You can go," fearing it might end with, 
" for good and all." 

*' As much as I could do, not to," was the 
Doctor's reply to my unspoken thought — a 
habit of his to which I was getting inured. 
" He really is too provoking. But he shall 
have another chance ; only, perhaps," with 
his whimsical expression, " he'll be safer out 
of my way, for a bit, at any rate." 



48 



VI 

I HAVE already mentioned Dr. Barnardo's 
wonderful memory for faces, which at first 
seemed to me almost eerie. We were crossing 
the Stepney playground one day, when I had 
only been there a few weeks. Turning sud- 
denly to a group of three elder lads, talking 
earnestly near the staircase, he took hold of one 
by the ear, with a rapid string of questions : 

" Who are you ? A new boy, eh ? What's 
your name, and how old are you ? Speak up 
—I'm deaf." 

The boy responded, but with a certain 
hesitancy, and the warning, " Now mind, no 
bad language here," was evidently not un- 
heeded. 

" How could you tell he was a new boy, 
out of three hundred ? " I asked when we 
were out of earshot. 

" Oh, I always know, especially with the 
older ones." 

" And could you hear him swear ? " 

*' Why, no, of course not. You know it is 
only a few people I can hear without my 
trumpet, but I could see he was doing something 
he knew was wrong." 

This, too, when his mind seemed full of the 

44 



DR. BARNARDO 

usual string of perplexities I had been un- 
folding, 

Another time, he was looking through a 
book of photographs in my room, and pointing 
to one, of a curiously deformed child, he 
enquired : 

" Do you know that girl — Mary Smith ? 
It's a peculiar case, from a medical point of 
view," and he proceeded to give me some 
details that certainly were very unusual. 

" But surely, she died at the beginning of 
the week ? " I interjected. 

" Died ! " he almost shrieked. '' Died ! 
No, no ; they would have been certain to let 
me know." 

And I only saved his wiring to Bradford, 
by suggesting that the Mary Smith I had in 
mind was an Ilford child, of whose death he 
really had been notified. 

" Dear me ! " he exclaimed, with a sigh of 
relief. " You did give me a turn — but there, 
I suppose there are a good many Mary Smiths 
knocking about ! " 

On the same occasion he demanded the 
presence of a member of the general staff, 
responsible for the illustration blocks, and 
pointing to a certain photo, he shook his head 
reproachfully. 

" Now, my dear fellow, look at that ! The 
photo was used last March, and it's never 
been marked off." 

"I'll make enquiries at once," was the reply. 
And, in an undertone to me, " I've no doubt 

45 



DR. BARNARDO 

he's right. I would always trust his memory 
against mine." 

Yet another instance of this peculiar gift 
of his came under my notice, when, at a later 
date, I took locum work for a matron at one 
of the Homes for Little Incurables. Hearing 
I had come straight from London, several 
of the children clamoured to know, " When's 
Dr. Barnardo coming to see me ? " 

" See 2/ow," I replied to the chief spokesman, 
" why, he wouldn't know you from any other 
little knickerbocker boy ? " 

" Oh, but he would. Sister. He always says, 
' Where's Tiny Tim ? ' " 

" Yes, it's quite true," chimed in the head 
nurse. " They all love his coming ; even 
Blind Maisie, by the fireplace, who isn't quite 
' all there,' says, ' Sweeties ' if she hears his 
name ; she did so enjoy the peppermint creams 
he brought her. And really," she went on, 
" he seems to know every child by name, and 
the whole history of its illness, and the things 
that have been tried and have, or haven't, 
done any good." 

It so happened that during my three weeks' 
stay at this Home, two of the elder boys 
became suddenly much worse, and passed 
away within a few hours of each other. Know- 
ing that both had formerly been in Her 
Majesty's Hospital I went across, on my return, 
to tell Sister Eva. 

" Oh, yes," she said, " I know all about it. 
Dr. Barnardo sent for me yesterday about 

46 



AS I KNEW HIM 

other things, and just as I was leaving he said, 
' By the way, Dick Grey and Studley were 
your boys. Have you heard they were both 
released last week ? ' Really, he is a wonder," 
she continued, " he seemed to know just as 
much about both as if he had been watching 
them all the time, and you know it is over two 
years since they went North." 

And truly he felt it a joy and reward to come 
into personal touch with any of his adopted 
children. I was present once when he had been 
speaking at the opening ceremony at a Home 
for Cripples, and after the fuss was over and 
the guests enjoying a cup of tea, he beckoned 
to me mysteriously. I, of course, responded, 
and he whispered — ^for all the world like a 
schoolboy in mischief : 

" Come in here, and we'll have some fun," 
leading the way into a small ward on the ground 
floor, which happened to be deserted of grown- 
ups, for the moment. 

He shut the door and then proceeded to 
enjoy himself rapturously and, I'm afraid I 
must admit, rather noisily. One little fair- 
haired boy had fallen too sound asleep to be 
roused by noise, and as he lay, his head on his 
arm, and his curls falling in profusion on the 
pillow, the Doctor broke off, to point him out 
to me, with an enthusiastic : 

" There's a picture ! " 

At this moment the child half awoke and 
flung himself rather too far over the bedside. 
In an instant the Doctor was by him, tenderly 

47 



DR. BARNARDO 

— oh, how tenderly ! — moving the Uttle figure 
into a safer position. And I knew, by the 
expression of his face, that the act was sending 
his thoughts back to the Uttle lad of his own, 
at whose death-bed he had vowed an even 
deeper devotion to the cause of suffering 
childhood. 

As he straightened himself, his eye fell on 
the three-year occupant of the next cot, whose 
under lip showed a decided tendency to quiver. 

" What's the matter ? " he exclaimed 
anxiously. " Oh, she's not got a doll. Never 
mind ; don't cry. You shall have a beauty 
in a minute." 

And running to the door, he shouted vigor- 
ously for " Nurse " to come to the rescue of a 
" poor little doll-less soul " ; waiting, too, at 
the risk of losing his train, to see the joyful 
clasping of tiny arms around a " weal baby." 

Another time, he came into my room late 
one Monday evening. 

" Eh, what brings you here at this time of 
night ? " he exclaimed in surprise. " I would 
have you know, I don't allow my ladies to be 
gadding about at unholy hours." 

" Oh," I replied, " you needn't be afraid, 
I've got a bed close by for to-night. The fact 
is I've been down to Ilford for the week-end, 
and I couldn't tear myself away in time to 
finish up here." 

" And didn't you enjoy the Village ? " 

" That I did — indeed, it almost made me 
want to be working there altogether." 

48 



AS I KNEW HIM 

" No, no, I won't have any of that ! All 
the same, I know what you mean. That's the 
real thing, and up here it's just dry as dust. 
Only do remember," laying a hand on my 
shoulder and all but shaking me, in his earnest- 
ness, " do remember, this is really helping, as 
much as if you were mothering the children 
all day long." 

And here, I cannot refrain from giving the 
testimony of an outsider to this feature in 
Dr. Barnardo's personality. Quite accident- 
ally I came across a former member of a com- 
mittee connected with a provincial Home, and 
giving his first impressions of the Founder, he 
said : 

" I don't mind telling you now, that I was 
dreadfully disappointed in him to begin with. 
I really don't know quite why," with a laugh, 
'' but I believe I'd been ass enough to expect 
a big man to represent such a big cause, and 
by the side of our six foot three chairman he 
really did look rather insignificant. And then 
his voice was husky — he said he had been 
speaking too much on the top of a bad cold — 
and his deafness made him seem awkward, 
and altogether I can only say I felt downright 
upset. But, after the meeting he went through 
the wards, and when I saw him with the 
children, I could have kicked myself. I never 
saw or heard anything quite so beautiful, and 
I can tell you this — I learnt a lesson then 
that I shall never forget to the end of my life." 



49 



VII 

But although always delightful when in per- 
sonal contact with his children, Doctor 
Barnardo was perhaps only to be seen in his 
full glory during the departure-time of a party 
of young emigrants. 

He came into my room one afternoon, 
during my first spring at Stepney, wiping his 
forehead and looking thoroughly exhausted. 
For a wonder he allowed himself to be made 
comfortable in the office arm-chair, and under 
the influence of a cup of tea he speedily 
revived. 

" It's the saying good-bye to so many that 
has taken it out of me," he remarked presently. 

" But you can't have said good-bye to all 
the three hundred odd ! " 

" Well, I've had a farewell meeting in the 
schoolroom and shaken hands all round, but 
the trying thing is the personal good-byes. 
There were over twenty, mostly big lads I 
knew personally, and I've had a good talk 
with each one alone. It's the finest chance one 
can get," he went on thoughtfully, " their 
hearts are softened now as they seldom are 
at any other time, and I feel sure that three, 
at least, have definitely decided this afternoon, 
to live for God and His glory." 

50 



DR. BARNARDO 

His face beamed at the happy thought, for 
the spiritual side of his work always held first 
place in his mind. And the next day, when he 
took final farewell of his flock, at Paddington, 
I fully appreciated the special handshakes to 
this trio, and could almost hear his whispered, 
"Stand fast," "Be strong," "Fight the 
Good Fight " — some of his favourite watch- 
words for young " soldiers of the Cross." 

He was sometimes able to accompany an 
emigrant party to Liverpool, and that train- 
ride he certainly did enjoy to the top of his 
bent. One time, when I was going down on 
business, he had secured a bogie-train for a 
large party of girls, and for fully three hours 
he gave himself up to personal talks, with one 
and another. 

In order to catch this early train, the 
Doctor, coming up from the other side of 
London, had only been able to manage the 
scrappiest of breakfasts, and when he was 
ordering luncheon baskets for us — members 
of the staff — I enquired : 

" And what about yourself ? " 

" Oh, I'm too tired for anything but tea. 
But now mind," shaking a warning finger at 
me, " as a doctor, I strictly forbid you to rely 
upon tea." 

" Precept v. practice?" I suggested. 

" Don't cheek your boss, if you please I 
Ah, here's your basket. Now, do you under- 
stand how to have it in comfort ? " 

I mildly insinuated that I had not been in 

51 



DR. BARNARDO 

the habit of associating comfort with a 
Company's basket. 

*' Just let me show you," and he actually 
proceeded to set out the contents, with the 
skill of the accomplished waiter, and with an 
absorption suggesting that his one object in 
life was to make the best of an alfresco meal, 
under difficulties. 

But then, that was eminently characteristic 
of the man. Whatever he undertook, he put 
his whole energy into it, and for the time, 
nothing else had existence to his conscious- 
ness — hence the fact that on everything he 
did, however small, he impressed his own vivid 
personality. 

And certainly I never knew anyone else half 
so particular as to the personal comforts of his 
staff — women especially. 

** Haven't I given her a nice little home ? " 
he asked me once, referring to the friend 
through whom I had originally come into 
the work. 

" That you have," I replied ; '' if I hadn't 
one of my own, I should be half tempted to 
envy her." 

'' Well, when people do such good work, 
they deserve a good home, and I made up my 
mind a long time ago that she should have it, 
when it could be managed." 

Then, when I returned to Stepney a second 
time, after a long interval, the hospital 
dinner was no longer feasible, but the Doctor 
had given orders that a midday meal was 

52 



AS I KNEW HIM 

to be served in my own office — a very large 

one. 

" And I've told them to treat you well," 

he explained, "so be sure and say, if it isn't 

up to the mark." 

As a rule, the Chief was not at Stepney in 

a morning, but it happened once, that having 

slept in town, he walked into my room about 

twelve o'clock for a " good long talk about 

everything." 

By the way, he apologized, when I first went, 

for not knocking at anyone's door, on the 

score of, " You see, I shouldn't hear you say, 

' Come in,' or 'Keep off ! '" 
On this particular occasion, " everything " 

proved such an exhaustive subject, that time 

went on unheeded, till, happening to glance 

at my clock, he exclaimed in horror : 

" Why, you don't mean to say it's nearly 

two ! " Then, very sharply, " When do they 

bring your lunch ? " 

" About a quarter to one, generally." 
" Then why isn't it here now ? " 
" Why, naturally, because the Head is." 
" Nonsense, nonsense, I can't have that." 
And all down the corridor I heard him 

shouting : 

" Hall, Hall, where are you ? Take up Miss 

Neuman's tray at once — and mind you never 

keep her waiting again." 

Hall was one who thoroughly understood 

his master, and as he put down my tray, he 

remarked, with a smile : 

53 



DR. BARNARDO 

" It's to be brought in another time, what- 
ever happens ! " 

Another day, I had just finished tea when 
Dr. Barnardo walked in. He was ahnost off 
again before I could make him understand 
that I could finish my remaining half-cup in a 
second. He returned, but stood aghast at 
the colour of the fluid. 

" Is that what they give you ? " he de- 
manded sternly. 

" Yes," I replied ; " at last I've made them 
understand that I prefer it as weak as possible." 

^'Oh, well, if you like it so! /," with 
tremendous emphasis, " prefer tea to wash ! " 
Then, meditatively, " What beats me is, why 
you trouble to pass it through the teapot ! " 

My ridiculous taste made a distinct im- 
pression on him, too, and more than once he 
politely enquired whether I had been enjoying 
my " coloured water ! " 

The terrible stuff he drank was certainly a 
great contrast, and really made me shudder, 
especially when he took to having it without 
milk or sugar. But then he was, undoubtedly, 
very merciless to the physical side of his 
nature, and would have been greatly scan- 
dalized with any member of the staff who had 
ventured to take a leaf out of his book. 

Hall, as has been said, understood the 
Chief's little ways, but this is more than could 
be said of many of the staff. I admit frankly 
that he could be decidedly alarming on occa- 
sion, sometimes unconsciously, but not seldom, 

54 



AS I KNEW HIM 

of intent — though it always distressed him if 
the latter method took too great effect. 

'' Who could suppose anyone would be so 
absurd ? " he remarked ruefully one day, 
when he had lashed a ridiculously " sensitive " 
young man to the verge of tears. " Well, 
what do you want to say ? " as he saw me 
hesitate before replying. 

" Only this — if people have the misfortune 
to be born with immense self-esteem and very 
little ground for it, are they to be held re- 
sponsible ? " 

" Perhaps not," reluctantly. Then, bright- 
ening up, " Only I wish they'd give me a 
precious wide berth ! " 

Then his deafness was a very real obstacle 
to his understanding and being understood. 
For not only was his hearing affected, but 
with it had gone, to a large extent, the control 
of his voice, so that he frequently did not 
know whether he was whispering or shouting. 
I have heard from a perfectly reliable source 
that he has been known to move his lips for 
several minutes, without any resulting sound 
— this when he was tired out, after a heavy 
day's work. I cannot say this was my ex- 
perience, though I have often known him 
suddenly drop his voice, apparently without 
rhyme or reason. But what I did come across 
several times was far more distressing. 

At a large public meeting in a provincial 
town, for instance, the platform became in- 
conveniently crowded. During an interval, 

55 



DR. BARNARDO 

Dr. Barnardo beckoned to one of his boys to 
come up to him, and then instead of the in- 
tended whisper came a sudden, alarming shout 
of: 

" Take those chairs away at once — right out 
of the hall ! " 

The effect was so irresistibly comic that the 
audience, after a brief, convulsive clutch at 
gravity, broke into peals of laughter, the 
situation being made all the more acute by 
the Doctor's face of puzzled surprise. 

I|have mentioned that my second room at 
Stepney was a very large one. It was also 
close to the Board Room, and I was frequently 
asked to let his special callers wait their turn 
in my domain. One afternoon, a young girl, 
to be interviewed for a vacant post, was 
sent in to me thus and from the little 
she said I judged that she was feeling very 
nervous at this, her first, attempt at facing 
the world. 

r" Presently I became aware of some commo- 
tion in the corridor outside. Feet paced up 
and down, to the accompaniment of a perfect 
hailstorm of what might well have been taken 
for the bad language " not allowed here." 

I saw the girl give an involuntary shiver, 
and remarked quietly : 

" There's nothing to be afraid of. It's only 
Dr. Barnardo asking for the matches ! He 
hasn't the slightest idea he is making such a 
noise." 

" Oh, thank you," she gasped. '* I felt I 

56 



AS I KNEW HIM 

couldn't go in to see him, if he was to be like 
that." 

Enter Dr. Barnardo, smilingly urbane, and 
blissfully unconscious of the impression he 
had been giving. 

It was on account, too, of this disability, 
that Council meetings were apt to be very 
trying. He insisted at these Y.H.L. functions 
that the Chief Warden should sit on one side 
of him, and I on the other, we being the two 
who could communicate with him with the 
greatest ease, but his eye was on everyone, 
and a chance remark that he could not hear 
was always a source of irritation. On one 
occasion it happened that I was greatly ab- 
sorbed by some notes I could not decipher. 
When I [came out of my absorption, it was 
to hear Dr. Barnardo saying, in a tone I 
understood to be covering pent-up annoy- 
ance : 

" Miss Dash, I can see you speaking, but 
I'm too deaf to-day to hear you, even with 
my trumpet. Will you kindly repeat your 
remark more loudl}'' ? I am sure it is too 
valuable to be lost." 

The unhappy Warden, who really had taken 
the opportunity of his deafness to make some 
irrelevant remarks, was so upset at this un- 
expected request, that all she could say in an 
agonized undertone was : 

" Oh, what did I say ? I can't remember. 
Help me, somebody, please." Then, with the 
courage of desperation, " Would there be time 

57 



DR. BARNARDO 

to consider the question of officers' forms 
before I have to leave ? " 

Needless to say, the query had to be passed 
on by me, a task I found far from eas}^, con- 
sidering that the original remark had been a 
groan over the sudden burst of heat, under 
which all our tempers were being strained ! 

It was not unnatural, too, to find that many 
people — especially those unaccustomed to 
dealing with the deaf — quite misunderstood 
him when they found that he could sometimes 
hear what it was not intended he should. 
As a fact, the rumbling of a heavy train over 
the arches, a few yards from the Board Room, 
whilst it deafened us, made his hearing almost 
acute, whilst he was as ready to take my place 
at the telephone, as I was to give it up. 

Then the particular form of deafness from 
which he suffered was affected to a consider- 
able extent by general health and external 
conditions, so that on a " good " day, and in 
quiet surroundings, he was quite capable of 
taking the uninitiated by surprise. Since I be- 
gan writing these memories, a valued member 
of his staff was telling me of just such an 
experience. The Director was paying her a 
visit at her own home, and sat by the fire, 
resting. There was the usual long list to 
consult him about, but he seemed so tired 

that Mrs. G remarked to her husband, in 

rather an undertone : 

" Had we not better leave these three last 
things and not trouble him about them ? " 

58 



AS I KNEW HIM 

To her dismay, there came from the fire- 
place the quiet response : 

*' I think you had better tell me all about 
everything ! " 

And yet, at another time, they might have 
talked in his presence, to any extent, without 
his noticing, unless, indeed, he caught sight of 
any movement of the lips. For really it was 
by this movement chiefly that he understood 
the few people with whom communication 
was comparatively easy. As soon as he 
turned his head round — to look for a letter, 
say — he had no idea whether or not I was 
continuing to speak, and would start talking, 
quite oblivious of the fact that I was trying 
to have my little say. 

But the graver possibilities of mistake were 
brought home to me during an interview in 
my office, between Dr. Barnardo and the 
representative of a firm of printers, or illus- 
trators, I am not sure which. But, at any rate, 
the visitor was most anxious to secure an 
order for a particular article, as to which the 
Doctor hesitated. Whilst he was studying 
the specimen in his hand, the seller remarked : 

" May I put it down as 10,000 ? " 

" Yes," came from the unconscious Chief, 
" that's not a bad style at all." (I believe he 
was not in the least aware that he had spoken 
aloud.) " Now, what were you saying about 
those smaller things ? " 

I had seen a note made of the supposed 
order, and took the opportunity of the Doctor's 

59 



DR. BARNARDO 

attention being absorbed by the fresh samples, 
to say : 

'' If you are under the impression that Dr. 
Barnardo has given you an order, you are 
mistaken. He did not hear you, and has not 
given you an answer, one way or the other." 

The man looked puzzled, and hardly able 
to believe me ; he held out his book to the 
Doctor, enquiring in a very clear tone of 
voice : 

" This is your order, is it not, sir ? " 

For a moment the Head looked puzzled. 
Then came an avalanche of repudiation : 

" My order ? Certainly not. I never gave 
you an order at all, and if I do have the things, 
it certainly won't be in that particular form." 

The unfortunate representative hastened 
to apologize, and did succeed in getting an 
order, duly ratified, for the second article, the 
first being relegated to the " I'll let you know " 
shelf. 

Hardly was the sinner out of the room when 
Dr. Barnardo broke forth : 

" A queer fellow that ! Did you hear him 
try to run me in for an order ? And yet he 
seemed a decent sort, in other ways." 
*3^And the "decent sort" returned, after he 
judged the coast to be clear, to say : 

" Please excuse me, but I am so much 
obliged to you for putting me right. If you 
had not, that order would have been put in 
hand to-night, and, of course. Dr. Barnardo 
would have been ready to swear that he never 

60 



AS I KNEW HIM 

sanctioned it; and it would have been all up 
with me." 

" But did you not notice how deaf he is ? " 
" No — that's the queer part of it. My elder 
brother has been very deaf since he had 
scarlet fever, as a lad, so I've been used to it 
almost all my life, and yet it never once 
struck me that that was why he kept on 
breaking into what I was saying." 

In this particular case no special harm was 
done, but the whole thing set me wondering 
how often the Doctor nmst have seemed to go 
back upon his word, when there was nobody 
at hand to put matters straight for him. 



61 



VIII 

The Young Helpers' League, growing by leaps 
and bounds, was almost immediately in need 
of a magazine of its own, apart from Night 
and Day, the official organ of the Homes. At 
the time of its inception, my ordinary work 
was quite overwhelming, and it was not till 
about the third quarterly number that the 
Doctor claimed my promised literary help. 
It soon fell to my share to prepare the whole 
of each number, and by the time it entered on 
its second year, the magazine had nearly 
doubled its original size, and had become a 
regular monthly feature of League work — 
though even this great increase hardly sufficed 
to deal with the immense numbers of activi- 
ties, which more than justified the Chief's 
belief in youthful enthusiasm. 

This again brought me into constant con- 
tact with the Head, who, at the commence- 
ment, accepted sole responsibility for making 
the magazine a success. Many of the Wardens 
were extremely good in furnishing interesting 
details, notably Mrs. Evered Poole, the Chief 
Warden, whose reports were really delightful 
reading, and it soon became evident that the 
magazine had taken hold. From that time 

62 



DR. BARNARDO 

Dr. Baruardo contented himself with final 
revision, keeping his eye wide open for mis- 
takes, omissions, or dullness — ^the latter never 
failing to rouse indignant protest. And here 
his wonderful quickness of observation came 
in again. A discrepancy in facts or figures 
could never hope to be overlooked, whilst 
complaints — their name was Legion at first — 
were sure to find their way, post-haste, to my 
overcrowded desk. 

But though mistakes annoyed him intensely, 
I always found him quite willing to listen to 
reasonable explanation — indeed, my experi- 
ence throughout was that though quite cap- 
able of hasty judgment, he was also equally 
capable of frankly acknowledging himself in 
the wrong. Of this frankness I had personal 
experience many times, notably on one 
occasion, when I had been ^ith him only a 
few months. 

Almost from the beginning I had been 
somewhat handicapped by a sort of indefin- 
able opposition on the part of one of the 
principal workers. I could think of no possible 
cause, and there was really nothing tangible 
to " talk over " — the Doctor's panacea for 
all misunderstandings. I did not know him 
then as I did later on, and it was indeed a 
surprise to have him writing thus, at the end 
of one of his long business letters : 

" I am perhaps most of all troubled about 
your relations with N. M. ; and the more so 
as I think / am principally to blame for what- 

63 



DR. BARNARDO 

ever misunderstanding has occurred. For in 
looking over my original letter to her — before 
you had appeared on the scene — I notice that 
I pointed out that we would require a London 
official ; but I . . . foolishly wrote that the 
chief organization of the whole district would 
be on N. M.'s shoulders, that she would be 
Chief, untrammelled in any way, and that 
the London worker would practically be her 
assistant ! 

" Of course, I now see that all this was 
written in complete ignorance of what the 
requirements of the League would be." 

But for this generous explanation I hardly 
think the misunderstanding could have been 
put right ; as it was, with this clue, I was 
able to adopt a line that ensured our working, 
as we did, in the most perfect harmony. 

Another instance I recall, on different lines, 
of the Doctor's willingness to be " set right " 
by a subordinate. On the journey to Liver- 
pool, of which mention has already been made, 
after satisfying himself that my meal had really 
been "comfortable," he settled down for a 
business chat, beginning with his favourite 
formula : 

" Now you're quite wrong about," etc. 

He had his say — a long one — and then 
allowed me my innings. This was followed by 
the usual pause for quiet thought, the verdict 
being : 

" I hadn't thought of it in that light. Very 
well ; it shall be as you wish." 

64 



AS I KNEW HIM 

This change of front was probably in his 
mind when he walked into my room, one after- 
noon in the following week, and proceeded, 
without explanation or introduction^ in this 
fashion : 

" And what do you know about the Deputa- 
tion work at ? " naming an important 

north-country town. 

" I know that splendid work is being done, 
under great difficulties." 

" Oh, it is, is it ? What do you make of 
the fact that members of the local committee 
are always resigning ? " 

" No wonder, considering how the place has 
been torn asunder with factions." 

" Well, you're a fine champion ! " he ex- 
claimed, with one of his quizzical glances. 
" Now go on and tell me all about it." 

Nothing loath, I " went on," showing him 
the other side of the story. 

He listened patiently, and then sat, rubbing 
his ear, in a way I understood to mean vexed 
perplexity. Presently he broke out : 

" And how do you account for my having 
heard such a different version ? I know my 
informant would never willingly deceive me 
or anyone else." 

" No, that he certainly wouldn't," I agreed 
heartily. 

In a moment he was down on me, with a 
quick : 

" What do you mean by ' he ' ? / men- 
tioned no names." 

£ 65 



DR. BARNARDO 

" Indeed, you did not. I'll put it in this 
way. Whoever could have told you the story 
in that form simply shows his — her, if you 
prefer— complete lack of comprehension of 
the present state of affairs in that particular 
town, and also an utter want of sympathy 
with the difficulties of a Deputation under 
those special circumstances." 

'' Oh, indeed. And pray, how do you 
understand it all so clearly ? " 

*' Well, it so happens that I have three sets 
of friends living in the place, and I've been 
pretty well posted up in its tribulations. And 
as to the Deputation ..." Here I came to 
a full stop, and under the Doctor's piercing 
gaze, the colour began to come into my face. 

*' Ah, what's all this, my lady ? " he ex- 
claimed, rubbing his hands in glee. " You've 
all but let the cat out of the bag. Now just 
own up." 

*' Well, it isn't much to own up to. Only 
I wanted really to understand Deputation 
work, and so I've been taking Y.H.L. War- 
den's meetings in my holiday." 

'* You have ? That's a nice way of getting 
a rest. Holidays are not meant for work." 

*' No ? " I remarked innocently. " I did 
think I heard of meetings being arranged for 
on the East Coast." 

'* Now, now — I don't want any of that. 
And for goodness' sake, do remember that 
I'm your warning, not your example. But 
to come back to business. In the case we 

66 



AS I KNEW HIM 

started with, you do really think good work 
is being done, and you have positive grounds 
for your belief ? " 

'' I do, and I have." 

'' All right— I shan't forget." 

And at the time of his death that Deputa- 
tion was still doing invaluable work for the 
Homes. 



67 



IX 

The League celebrated its first birthday by a 
grand bazaar at St James's Hall. For the 
previous fortnight or three weeks the staff 
was driven nearly frantic by the extra work 
of preparation for this function, added to an 
almost incredible number of enrolments of 
Companions, new and old, with a vast amount 
of consequent clerkage — this too, at the time 
of year when the ordinary work of the Homes 
is at its heaviest. 

The Christmas holiday had to be of the 
briefest. On Christmas Eve the male staff 
worked till nearly eleven o'clock, and when 
they did get off it was to find the fog so 
intense that ordinary traffic had been quite 
suspended. Some of them had to creep home, 
in cold and darkness, and the one train that 
did succeed in getting to Stepney station 
crawled away, every inch of standing room 
fully occupied. 

And day after day the fog lasted, even the 
West End being so benighted that no one 
knew when Royalty drove up to the Hall. 
By this time I had become fairly desperate, 
especially as acute family anxiety made it all but 
impossible for me to leave home for any length 

68 



DR. BARNARDO 

of time. But I did manage to get to the Hall 
— the journey taking quite four times as long 
as usual — before the opening hour, and was 
shocked to see Dr. Barnardo going slowly up 
the stairs, pausing between every step, his 
face looking quite pinched, and with a distress- 
ing blue shade round the mouth. (I did not 
know that even then he suffered considerably 
from heart weakness.) When he got to the top 
he paused, gasping for breath ; then, noticing 
my anxiety, he summoned up a smile and a 
whispered '' All right in a minute." 

He was speedily so far " right " as to be 
able to enquire : 

" What are you doing with the work ? " 

" I am seeing to all the important corre- 
spondence myself," I replied. 

" Ah, that's a relief ! But what about the 
rest ? " 

" I really can't say. With such a staff it is 
simply impossible to meet the rush." 

'' How many extras do you want ? " 

" Eight at least." 

And the next day, that number of additions 
had been squeezed into the long-suffering 
general office. 

And, curiously enough, that bazaar was not 
the utter fiasco it promised to be. Dr. Bar- 
nardo pulled himself together, in his own 
mysterious fashion, and kept a smiling face. 
His efforts were backed up by our beaming 
opener, H.R.H. Princess Mary of Teck, who 
sat on the platform, the very picture of happy 

69 



DR. BARNARDO 

good-will. Their lead could hardly but be 
followed, and it was something to hear on all 
sides, " Well, I have enjoyed myself ! " 

But the weather really was in one of its 
very worst moods, and early in the new year 
snow and frost were added to the delights of 
an unlifting fog. The roads became so in- 
tensely slippery that getting about was more 
difficult than I ever remember, before or since, 
and if my presence had not been so essential 
I should have considered the journey to Step- 
ney — fifteen stations, with two changes — an 
impossibility. Then, in the second week in 
January, in returning home, my foot slid from 
under me, and I fell heavily backwards, 
striking my head violently against a project- 
ing brick wall. At the time I had not the least 
idea of real injury, but the next day, when I 
went to the hospital as usual. Sister called out 
at sight of my (most unusually) pale face, and 
insisted on my lying down during the dinner- 
hour. Reviving a little, I managed to get back 
to work, in spite of medical protest. So it 
went on till the Wednesday, when Dr. Bar- 
nardo, who had been away, lecturing, came 
into my room, exclaiming : 

" What's this I hear ? Milne " (the head of 
the hospital staff) "has just been telling me 
you've no business to be here." Then, as he 
took my hand in his, " Is that all you can do 
in the way of a shake ? Try again." 

I obeyed, but with such poor results that 
we looked at each other in dismay. Imme- 

70 



AS I KNEW HIM 

diately all other thoughts were dismissed from 
his mind, and sitting down quietly he made 
me tell him the history of the accident. 

'' You must stop all work at once,'' was his 
decree. 

'' But how can I ? There is so much nobody 
else understands, that if I'm away altogether 
they can't help getting into a muddle." 

" Then they must," was the inexorable 
reply. " Now, mind, there's no ' if ' about it. 
You go straight home and see your own 
doctor, and you are to do whatever he advises." 

There was no going against such downright 
orders, and " he " advising complete and 
immediate rest, I managed to get away, and to 
bed for a fortnight. The charm worked so 
well that I was able to report on very satis- 
factory lines, and during the second week the 
Doctor broached the subject of my increasing 
the number of my weekly attendances at 
Stepney, though it was just like him to 
explain : 

" Please understand there is not intended 
in this one word of criticism ; for I well know 
that you have come . . . when you ought to 
have kept away " (referring to domestic 
anxieties), " and although I have not expressed 
this feeling before, I would not . . . allow 
this to go without saying that I have felt very 
grateful to you." 

And the letter concludes with this aspira- 
tion : 

'' God give us both, wisdom, and all needed 

71 



DR. BARNARDO 

grace for His work ; for, after all, without 
His guidance and direction we shall be but 
foolish children, groping in the dark, crying 
for the light and finding it not." 

Reluctant as I felt to give up my work at 
Dr. Barnardo's I could not see my way to 
putting in more attendances, but I temporized 
by suggesting that the matter might wait 
until we could talk it over together. The 
Doctor was by no means devoted to the word 
" wait," but in this case he agreed to my 
suggestion with a good grace. 

I returned just in time for an important 
Council meeting, as to which I had had a few 
volumes of minute, and not always easily 
understood, instructions. Just as I was 
leaving my office for the Board Room, in flew 
Dr. Barnardo. 

" How are you ? Why," in a tone of joyful 
surprise, *' you're quite well ! " 

" I thought I told you I was." 

" Yes, I know you did, but I could hardly 
believe it. You could hurt my hand now, I 
expect. Dear me ! What a lot of recupera- 
tive power you must have ! " 

But all the same, I caught his medical eye 
wandering towards me from time to time, and 
when the protracted meeting was over, I was 
exhorted to go straight home and rest. It 
certainly was often a great boon to his staff 
that their Head was a medical man and 
always ready to give the physical due attention. 
One winter, I recollect, influenza had been very 

78 



AS I KNEW HIM 

busy, and I was amongst many of the staff 
victims. Unfortunately the heaviest magazine 
of the year had to be tackled before I was 
really fit for such a piece of work ; but it got 
done to time, and I was just giving myself a 
mental stretch, when the Doctor came in, 
with a : 

" Now I want a long business talk with you. 
How are you ? " 

" Oh, much better." 

" Then we'll begin. Sit there, near me ; I 
seem extra deaf to-day." Then, as I took 
the seat indicated, facing the light : 

" Why, you're not a bit right. Your eyes 
should never look like that." 

"Oh," I replied, "I think that's chiefly 
from looking so closely at the magazine 
work." 

" Is the magazine done ? " 

" Yes, and gone to the printer's this after- 
noon." 

" That's right ! You're a brick ! But now, 
what about yourself ? Are you under a 
doctor ? " 

*' Yes, he doesn't consider me off his books 
yet." 

" And what does he say ? " 

" Only that I want a change." 

" Well, and why on earth don't j^ou take 
it ? I'm not going to talk business with 
anyone like you. Now, just go off to-morrow 
and tell Smith when you're coming back." 

" Naturally ! " was '' Smith's " comment, 

73 



DR. BARNARDO 

" I knew you'd be sure to be sent off, as soon 
as he set eyes on you." 

But this same Mr. Smith was quicker at 
giving advice than at taking it. There came 
a time when he saw fit to work at such high 
pressure that I brought all my nurse-authority 
to bear — in vain, of course. 

The next time Dr. Barnardo paid me a visit 
he was in a great state of mind. 

" Dear me ! Dear me ! " pacing up and down 
in caged wild-animal fashion. " This is too 
bad about Smith. Do you know " (sternly, 
and as though I were the cause) " how very ill 
he is ? " 

I expressed regret, which passed unheeded. 

"I believe he's been overworking." (Sorry 
as I felt, I could not refrain from a passing 
thought as to the pot's compliments to the 
kettle.) Then, with positive fierceness, " You 
will all do it, but you shall not in future. Poor 
fellow ! I only hope it isn't really serious. His 
temperature's very high and he's quite de- 
lirious. Now, just listen to me." (As though I 
could do anything else!) "This fashion of 
working too hard and too long has got to be 
dropped. I won't take the responsibility if 
you all will work beyond your strength. He 
ought not to have done it. He isn't really 
strong. I'd rather all his work had come to 
grief than have this happen. And when he 
comes back, do, please do, pull him up if he 
tries it on again." 

And so on, and so on, his real distress 

74 



AS I KNEW HIM 

making him glad to have found a safety-valve. 
But I fancy if there were any passers-by in 
the corridor, at that particular moment, they 
must have put it down as a case of a right- 
down good scolding. 

Equally distressed, though in quieter mood, 
he looked in another day, to ask : 

" Do you know Mrs. D ? " 

" Only by name, but I've heard that she 
and her husband have been devoted workers 
in the Homes, almost from the first." 

" That they have," he responded warmly. 
" And now, poor soul ! I hear she is likely to 

have to go through " (naming a very 

dangerous operation). " I'm getting Dr. Milne 
to take her to a specialist, but it must be a 
dreadful time for them both." Then, as he 
went out, " Be sure you don't forget to pray 
for them." 

Next day, a very bright face told of good 
news, before the words were out : 

" A false alarm ! She's pretty bad, of course, 
but nothing that ordinary treatment oughtn't 
to meet. Anyway, there's no need for an 
operation." 

And another incident comes to my mind, 
illustrating the wideness of his sympathies. 
The young son of a clerical member of the staff 
was found to have injured one of his fingers, 
unconsciously, and without attracting attention 
at the time. When taken for hospital advice 
the examining surgeon suggested an operation 
that would restore power, but would involve 

75 



DR. BARNARDO 

permanent stiffness of both joints. The mat- 
ter was mentioned incidentally to the Chief 
(I think in consequence of the father's asking 
for leave of absence). 

" Bring the child to see me," he exclaimed 
at once. " I don't like the idea of his being 
disfigured for life." 

He was brought, and after a careful ex- 
amination, in my office, Dr. Barnardo ex- 
claimed triumphantly : 

" It seems to me it needn't be done as he 
suggests. Anyway I'll get Cheyne to look at 
it." With the result that a different opera- 
tion, performed at Her Majesty's Hospital, 
restored power, without causing disfigurement. 

A little incident connected with this affair 
is very suggestive of Dr. Barnardo's tender 
ways with children. Whilst examining the 
hand, he knitted his brows and studied the 
case so intently, that the boy — a nervous little 
fellow — brought into such close contact with 
what looked like severity, showed such unmis- 
takable signs of a breakdown, that I involun- 
tarily gave his head a reassuring pat. 

A half-angry exclamation rose to the 
Doctor's lips, then, catching sight of the little 
face, all on the quiver, his own took on its 
sweetest expression, and lifting the child on 
his knee, he exclaimed, in a tone of gentlest 
raillery : 

" Why, you're never afraid of me, the father 
of the very largest family in the whole world ? 
Yes, you may well open your eyes. You ask 

76 



AS I KNEW HIM 

that lady if I haven't got more boys and girls 
to lookjafter than any other man on earth. 
And that means that I wouldn't hurt anyone 
else's little boy, why, not if you were to give 
me all those pennies in your pocket ! " 

The tone perhaps, more than the argument, 
entirely allayed the patient's fears, and nestling 
his head against his doctor's encircling arm, 
he held out a diminutive hand, with the con- 
fidence of the child who feds himself in safe 
keeping. 



77 



X 

I NEED hardly say that the idea of giving up 
Dr. Barnardo's work was a very distressing 
one to me, and yet I felt that he was abso- 
lutely in the right as to its being imperative 
that every department should have a chief, 
always in evidence. 

I had been racking my brains for some 
solution of the problem, and had even got the 
length of a half-promise to try daily attend- 
ance, when the question was settled by the 
renewed illness of my mother. She had never 
really been the same after an attack of in- 
fluenza during my first winter at Stepney, and 
now, in early spring, a second attack, though 
slight in itself, had brought her into a con- 
dition of immediate danger. 

On a certain Thursday I was summoned to 
the Board Room for discussion of an accumu- 
lation of details, and by the end of our talk 
my voice threatened to depart altogether. At 
last, taking up his detested trumpet, the Chief 
enquired testily : 

" What's the matter with you ? Why can't 
you talk as usual ? Have you got a cold ? " 

" Oh, no ; I think it's only that I haven't 
really been in bed since Monday," 

In a second he was all sympathy, but it 

78 



DR. BARNARDO 

struck me that, even for him, enquiries as to 
detail were peculiarly minute — I understood 
later that the symptoms I described reminded 
him of the sword that was beginning to hang 
over his own head. And never till the time I 
left did he fail to ask with real interest as to 
my patient's progress. 

" And what about my own position ? " I 
enquired. 

" Well, all I can say is, that for the present 
you must not leave her, unless the doctor 
orders a nurse {aside) (I can't, for the life of 
me, think why he doesn't !). She has an in- 
valuable maid, you say. Well, you must do 
the best you can with her help. Let me know 
if there's any change." 

" And as to my work ? A good deal I can 
do at home, of course, but there's nobody to 
take my place in the office." 

" Have you told Odling and the others ? " — 
naming some of the heads of departments. 

" No, as a fact I haven't spoken of it to 
anyone." 

" Do, then ; and," proudly, " you'll see the 
sort of staff I've got. Now, don't bother about 
things here. We'll do without you all right, 
for a bit. Cheer up. You know where to 
look for strength. And be sure you get all the 
rest you possibly can." 

As I left the Board Room I ran across the 
general secretary ("Odling") and took the 
Doctor's advice about telling him of my 
position. As quickly as his Chief, he threw 

79 



DR. BARNARDO 

himself into the breach, promising to keep an 
eye upon things in general, and to act as 
referee to Mr. Brown, who was by this time 
quite able to attend to the routine work with- 
out supervision. 

By the end of the following week, things had 
so far improved that I ventured to put in 
an appearance at the office, only to be wired 
for an hour after my arrival. I found that a 
serious turn for the worse had taken place, and 
from that time I never had any hope of 
permanent recovery. My earnest plea to the 
Doctor was to find my successor as soon as 
possible ; but, for the first time, I thought 
him a trifle unkind, in that he took things 
in very leisurely fashion. Then I discovered 
that, not knowing my mother's extraordinary 
vitality, he considered it could only be a 
matter of a very few weeks, and had planned 
in his own mind that, after a thorough rest, I 
should return to take up whole-time duties. 

But it was not to be, and he at length 
inserted such an advertisement for my suc- 
cessor, that, as the general secretary re- 
marked, " No one would have the face to 
answer ! " A good many people thought differ- 
ently, though I must admit that the majority 
repudiated a large percentage of the specified 
qualifications. 

In the meanwhile I was dragging on, going 
to Stepney as often as possible, but frequently 
unable to leave home for days together, and 
then it was that I understood our Chief's 

80 



AS I KNEW HIM 

pride in his workers. Never shall I forget their 
sympathy and its practical expression. Over 
and over again I was begged to go home and 
" leave the letters to me," in spite of the fact 
that the would-be deputy was already more 
than busy on his own account. Mr. Brown 
and his juniors also came out grandly, and 
from neighbouring offices came a succession 
of " good cups of tea." 

And how delighted was the Doctor when I 
dilated on the kindness of his staff ! 

" Ah, I knew you'd say so. They are a 
good lot. Though," with mysterious comi- 
cality, " I don't always tell them so ! " 

I am not altogether sure that it might not 
have been more encouraging to some of them 
if he had let his appreciation be more ap- 
parent. 

I happened to learn incidentally that a 
certain member of the staff was feeling some- 
what depressed over his comphcated, but 
monotonous, duties ; and I know it would 
have helped him greatly if he could have 
heard the Doctor's emphatic : 

" He's a diamond, a real diamond, even if 
some people do think him a rough one. 
Well, what are your evebrows going up 
about ? " 

" Because I can't imagine how anyone can 
say such a thing. I have always found him 
as pleasant and courteous and ready to help 
as any of the others." 

"Good ! Good ! " with his satisfied chuckle, 

F 81 



DR. BARNARDO 

" But as to what people ' say,' I've long 
ago given it up as hopeless." 

Of the circle of those who worked with him 
most closely he often spoke to me, as occasion 
offered, and always gave them full credit for 
their large share in the success of the work. 

About the first Chief Warden, the late Mrs. 
Evered Poole, he wrote a full sheet, in re- 
sponse to some remarks of mine, winding up 
with : 

" I might go to work for years and not 
find such another as she is." 

On one occasion I was admiring the work 
of my editorial colleague when the Doctor 
chimed in : 

" Clever ! I should think he is clever. I'm 
lucky to have such a brain at my beck and 
call ! " . 

Entirely misunderstanding a remark of mine, 
and considering it a reflection on the probity 
of the general secretary, he flung at me an 
indignant : 

" He's true to the backbone. The truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth — 
that's what you'll always get from Odling ! " 

And referring to a man who had just left 
the Board Room, and who had the happy 
knack of reassuring him when his deafness 
put him on tenter-hooks, he remarked : 

" A treasure he is — as reliable as they 
make them, and," with a half -unconscious 
sigh, " so quiet. ^^ 

The last-named attribute was certainly not 



AS I KNEW HIM 

amongst the Doctor's many virtues, and 
greatly as I loved and admired him, I have 
often known what it was to wish him a trifle 
less of a whirlwind. 

During my last summer at Stepney, the 
Director, speaking about the work of the 
valued heads of one of the most important 
of the branch Homes, interrupted himself to 
ask : 

" Do you know their daughter ? " 

" Yes, a little. She strikes me as particu- 
larly promising. I shouldn't at all mind 
having her in my office ! " 

" I dare say you wouldn't, and really I 
should like to let you train her ; but she's 
better at home, and besides," with one of his 
mischievous looks, " I don't know that I 
could spare her ; for," mysteriously, " I'm 
beginning to give her quite confidential work 
of my own." 

" She's rather young for that, isn't she ? " 

'* Surely — as far as anno Domini goes; but 
she's worth half a dozen ordinary people twice 
her age. She's going to be fine, I tell you." 

A forecast that was on its way to being 
amply justified, when the young lady in ques- 
tion took it into her head to forsake the path 
of single blessedness. 

This little proclivity the Doctor admitted 
to be a flaw in the diamond of woman's work, 
to which he had become a devotee. 

" I wouldn't have a male clerk in the place 
if I could help it ! " he exclaimed one day 

83 



DR. BARNARDO 

apropos of the idiotic blunders of a shorthand 
transcriber. 

" Well," I replied, " my girl junior started 
a circular letter this morning about the 
' origins of the press.' " 

" You don't mean it ! But then, she's an 
exceptionally careless little thing, isn't she ? 
As a rule, women are more painstaking and 
naturally more interested in their work than 
men." Then, with a bow, " Present company 
always excepted ! " 

All this meant that the Doctor was very 
sensitive to failure on the part of those of 
whom he thought so much, and I never saw 
him so distressed as at the disappointing be- 
haviour of two or three junior members of the 
staff. Over one at least of these cases he 
spent far more time and trouble than he could 
afford, and apparently without result. In 
this particular instance I — of all people ! — 
was chosen as confidante, and my indignation 
knew no bounds when I heard the object of so 
much kindness throw out hints of a really 
dreadful nature as to the Doctor's character 
and conduct. 

For a long time I was under the impression 
that he was ignorant of these slanders, and 
then, to my utter surprise, I found he knew all 
about them. 

" But surely you do not mean that such 
calumnies should be allowed to run their course, 
unchecked ? " I enquired in amazement. 

" Certainly not, as a rule. Why, you re- 

84 



AS I KNEW HIM 

member that long letter I got you to draft to 
the journal that had been running down the 
League. But in this case I can make more 
allowance, on medical grounds, than you can, 
and I know that the only person to be really 
pitied is the unhappy perpetrator of the 
mischief." 

I ought, perhaps, to say here, that though 
the Doctor did so often make reference to 
various workers, as such, he never, by so 
much as a hint of anything amiss, referred to 
the domestic trials or personal difficulties of 
anyone connected with the Homes. Indeed, 
the only instance I can recollect when he 
recognised my being behind the scenes, was 
in the last-named case, when he counselled : 
" Tell her all, as you say she already knows 
so much." Even so, he never referred to the 
matter, to me, although he was obliged to dis- 
cuss an entire change of plan, caused by cir- 
cumstances of which he was not quite sure 
that I had been told. 

Something I did see, and much more I 
heard, of his phenomenal patience with 
troublesome subjects, whether members of the 
staff, inmates of the Homes, or the " Wards," 
who were, from time to time, thrown upon his 
hands. And if he was satisfied that any par- 
ticular worker was capable, and yet not in 
the right niche, I have known him try repeated 
changes, until the round peg has been firmly 
established in the round hole — when his 
triumph may be imagined. 

85 



DR. BARNARDO 

It certainly was not easy to leave him, and 
his work, and his workers, when once under 
their spell, and nothing, I am sure, but down- 
right compulsion would have induced me 
to do it. On the first occasion when my going 
became imperative, I happened to say to the 
general secretary that I should have to leave — 
indeed, I was on my way to the Board Room, 
to tell the Doctor so — but was met with a 
smile of amusement : 

" Excuse me, but you'll see, you won't. 
I've known many people go up to him with 
that idea, and come down more firmly es- 
tablished here than ever ! " 

And his surprise was proportionately great 
when he found that circumstances had, for 
once, been too much for even the Chief's 
ingenuity. 



86 



XI 

Long before this I had found out the truth 
of my first friend's prophecy — " You will be 
trusted." He did, absolutely, as far as my 
special work v/as concerned, though he never 
failed to put me right on matters of outside 
opinion, a province in which he seemed to 
think I was decidedly inclined to go astray. 

But before he had quite satisfied himself 
as to my trustworthiness, he had his qualms, 
I think. One day, when it had been necessary 
to take me very much into his confidence, in 
saying good-bye at the door of the Board 
Room, he remarked : 

" Now be sure you keep a still tongue in 
your head ! " 

An unusual inflexion in his voice suggested 
more than met the ear, and put me on the 
defensive. 

" Do you think I don't keep a still tongue, 
as a rule ? " I enquired. 

" Well," hesitatingly, " you know you do 
speak of things." 

" No," I replied, " I really do not know any 
such thing. Do you mind telling me just what 
you mean ? " 

We came back to the table and he began : 

87 



DR. BARNARDO 

" Haven't you been telling people that you 
are going to do that new bit of work we've 
been discussing, instead of the one who ought 
to do it ? " 

" Most certainly not. But what I have 
done, of set purpose, was to tell everyone I 
could, that I shall be taking it up, only 
because of the increase of work. And I've 
done this so that it should come as a natural 
thing, and not cast any sort of slur on the new- 
comer." 

He asked several questions in his own 
searching style, and then came to this con- 
clusion : 

" I see your point of view and I quite 
agree. But," apologetically, "it is so all- 
important, in a big work like this, to avoid 
anything like gossip, that when I heard you 
had been * talking ' I quaked. Now, my 
friend," detecting, I suppose, a shadow on my 
face, " don't go and be offended. I don't pre- 
tend to be infallible, but I must speak when 
I think I see things going wTong." 

I had to laugh as I exclaimed : 

" Why, the only thing that troubles me is, 
that you did not speak before." 

" AH right. I'll tell you another time — if 
there is another one." 

" Is that a promise ? " 

" Yes, it is," he answered, shaking hands, 
with one of his most beaming smiles. 

And there is one afternoon that lives in my 
memory as an example of his confidence in 

88 



AS I KNEW HIM 

my statements, even if unwelcome. It 
happened that he was exasperated almost 
beyond bearing, by League troubles — this was 
in the days when the unwieldy ship, The 
Young Helpers' League, was apt to give 
alarming lurches. On this particular occa- 
sion some of the new voluntary officers had, 
to use the Doctor's own expression, been 
" kicking up their heels " over some of the 
latest rules and regulations. Two of the 
Wardens, also newly appointed, seized by a 
not unnatural panic, had written rather help- 
lessly for instructions. Unfortunately, both 
these letters were couched in just the sort of 
terms to rouse the ire of the Chief. 

" Write and tell them," he almost screamed ; 
and then followed a really fierce manifesto of 
high-handedness, 

I accepted instructions, as in duty bound, 
but no doubt my face betrayed me, for he 
broke off suddenly, to enquire in the tone of a 
long-suffering martyr : 

" And what might be the matter with you ? " 

" I'm only afraid this will seem like a direct 
contradiction of the edict you issued last 
week." 

" Well, it isn't then. What is it you think 
I said ? " 

I gave the gist of the last set of " Regula- 
tions," and his comments thereon. 

I really believe that for one moment he 
would have liked to throw me out of the 
window. Instead, he treated me to satirical 



DR. BARNARDO 

comments on the " coeksureness " of some 
people. 

But this was a trifle too much for my rising 
temper. 

" If you will kindly send for my letter- 
book," I remarked icily, " you will find the 
paper, with your signature." 

He gave a quick glance of surprise, then 
with a deprecating pat on the arm : 

" Now, don't go and be as cross as I am." 

A long pause followed, and then, in a very 
different tone : 

" You really are quite sure that was what 
I said ? " 

" Absolutely sure." 

" Very well — so be it. You ought to know 
better than I. Your whole attention is given 
to Y.H.L., and it's only one out of a heap of 
other interests to me." 

I was not surprised to be dismissed with 
extra friendliness, but before I left the room 
he asked what sounded like an utterly irre- 
levant question : 

" Do any of your men at home suffer from 
suppressed gout ? " 

" No," I replied, " not as far as I know." 

" Then be thankful, for them and for your- 
self ! " 

^■. The clue to this curious interlude was given 
me|by the medical man who occupied the 
office next to mine. He had business with me 
the following day — business on which the 
final decision rested with the Director. 

90 



AS I KNEW HIM 

" Then we shall have to wait," was the 
comment of Dr. No. II. 

" Why, is Dr. Barnardo away ? " 

" Yes ; he's had to give in at last, and it 
will certainly be days, if not weeks, before he 
is down again." Then he went on, in a tone of 
deepest sympathy : 

'' What beats me is, how he fights against 
the physical as he does. All this week and 
last he has been suffering from three distinct 
ailments, any one of which would have driven 
me half crazy. And as to his being irritable, 
all I can say is, I " (one of the sweetest- 
tempered of men) '' shouldn't be able to con- 
trol myself one quarter as well as he does." 

That he only did it by his habitual reliance 
on Divine help, there could be no doubt. On 
the occasion, just described, for instance, 
during the long pause mentioned, I saw his 
lips move, and the cloud lift, before he re- 
sumed the conversation, in his ordinary tones. 

And this recalls a memorable afternoon, 
when, with closed eyes and moving lips, he 
silently threw himself upon the Strong for 
strength. It happened at the time of the 
notorious Gossage case, when it seemed as 
though our Chief might be called upon to go 
to " prison and to judgment." 

I was with him when the telegram arrived, 
telling of the final decision. He read it 
through, and his face became very pale. 

" Bad news — almost the worst that could 
be ! " he exclaimed. 

91 



DR. BARNARDO 

Then came the brief interval for silent 
prayer, and as he opened his eyes, he re- 
sponded to my anxiety with a smile I can 
only call " heavenly." 

" Don't be afraid, my friend. If I have to 
go to prison, it will only be because my God 
allows it, and He knows so well how to make 
all things work together for good." Then, after 
a thoughtful pause, " And yet, I hardly think 
it can be His will, just at this time, when my 
children seem to so specially need me. He 
can make a way out, and He will — I think." 

His faith was fully justified, and undoubtedly 
much good did ultimately come out of what, 
at the time, seemed lamentable ill. 



92 



XII 

Before a successor was formally appointed, 
it became evident that my department had 
become too unwieldy for a new-comer to 
manage in its entirety, and I was only too 
willing to fall in with the Doctor's suggestion 
that I should continue to prepare the maga- 
zine, doing the work at home, with only such 
occasional visits to headquarters as might be 
absolutely needful. (A fine opportunity for 
the general secretary to crow over me !) 
This arrangement worked admirably under 
my successor and her successors, and I found 
" needful " visits few and far between. The 
only drawback to this was the drifting away 
from personal intercourse with the Chief — not 
to mention the staff — and when my mother 
was at length released, in the following 
January, I hesitated to trouble Dr. Barnardo 
with my sad tidings. I need not have imagined, 
though, that they would escape his notice, 
and the day before the funeral I received from 
him the following expression of sympathy : — 

" My dear Friend, 

" I only heard yesterday of your great 
loss, and while my heart was full of sympathy 
with you, I could not help adding also, for 

93 



DR. BARNARDO 

your sake. Thank God ! as I know how great 
the strain of mind and body must have been 
to you while watching your beloved mother 
with no hope of her ever becoming better, and 
yet day by day the ceaseless and sorrowful 
burden of seeing one whom you loved suffer as 
she did. I assure you I thank God on your 
behalf and hers. I trust He may console you 
as He alone can do, and that after a season of 
quiet and rest you may recover your physical 
health and strength. Be assured of my sym- 
pathy and of my continued interest in all that 
concerns you ; and do let me hear, if only by a 
single line, how you are. 

" I am, my dear friend, 
" Yours most sincerely and heartily." 

In acknowledging this letter, I referred briefly 
to some of the details that had made the recent 
experience so peculiarly trying, and in a few 
days came a second letter, to this effect : — 

" Again I feel impelled to write and say, 
' Be assured of my sympathy.' Yours has 
indeed been a dark and devious path ; but 
I know by experience that God always brings 
a special blessing to us out of such trial ; and 
I do not doubt that it will be so with you, 
if only it be, ' A heart at leisure from itself — 
To soothe and sympathize.' 

" I hope you will not allow yourself to fancy 
that you are separated in thought and work 
from 

" Yours very faithfully in Christ's service," 

94 



AS I KNEW HIM 

I could only ask myself, " Is there any other 
Head of an immense work, who would write 
two letters of condolence to a former member 
of his staff ? " I can hardly think it. And on 
the side of human interest, I believe he was 
almost, if not quite, unique. 

Some weeks later, I happened to meet one 
of the Stepney workers whom I knew but 
slightly. We were going in the same direction, 
and presently he made some allusion to my 
mourning garb. I told him what had happened 
and he exclaimed immediately : 

" Then you know what Dr. Barnardo is, in 
time of trouble." 

I remembered then that I had heard of 
lengthy illness, involving other troubles in my 
companion's home, and I was quite ready to 
echo his emphatic : 

" There's nobody like him I " 

Late in the summer of the same year I met 
Dr. Barnardo at an important gathering in 
the North, where he was advertised to speak 
both afternoon and evening. After the first 
meeting, he beckoned me into a quiet corner 
and sat down, looking absolutely exhausted. 
Again he took refuge in the tea stimulant, 
daring me to " shake that wise head of yours ! " 

And then he unfolded a delightful little plan 
by which I was to be one of his " right hands," 
undertaking certain definite duties, and being 
ready to give help in other ways, as need 
might arise. 

" It's a responsible post," he concluded, 

96 



DR. BARNARDO 

" and though I can't attempt to pay you at 
the real worth of the work, I will be really 
grateful if you will accept " — naming a salary 
with which I should have been entirely 
content. 

The offer was a tempting one, and I should 
have accepted it on the spot but that my home 
was now without a woman's guiding hand, 
and that, moreover, there was a possibility 
of our moving even further from Stepney, so 
I begged time for consideration. 

" I don't mind how much time you take — 
in moderation — provided you come to me in 
the end. But please remember this, that 
your coming would distinctly relieve me of 
one burden. And," speaking very seriously, 
" I'll tell you, as you understand medical 
matters, I do not like my own symptoms." 

But I don't think even he had any idea how 
near he was to the terrible breakdown, from 
which, in some ways, he never really recovered. 
Yet who that heard him that evening could 
have imagined the shadow on his path ! His 
energy, his delightful store of anecdote, and 
tlie way in which he carried his audience with 
him, I never heard surpassed. He was not 
perhaps a good speaker, in the ordinary sense 
of the word, especially as his voice became 
less and less under his own control, but he 
had the supreme gift of winning, and holding, 
sympathetic interest. Personally, I never 
heard him talk of his boys and girls without 
a quickened desire to help in their rescue, 

96 



AS I KNEW HIM 

One day, after he had addressed a large 
gathering in the garden of one of his Homes 
for Incurables, I touched his elbow as he 
passed out, saying : 

" I want to be a Deputation Secretary." 

" Oh, you do ! " Then, to himself, fancying 
it to be inaudible, " She wants to be a Depu- 
tation. No, no." To me, " No, thank you. 
I can get deputations, but literary helpers 
don't grow on gooseberry bushes ! " 

He had taken it as a sort of joke, hitherto, 
but seeing I was really in earnest, it was just 
like him to alter his tone completely and to 
say, in all seriousness : 

" Now, just be content to help where you're 
most needed, even if it isn't as taking as ' talk- 
ing to children about children.' " 

And off he went, with a look round at 
the door, to see if his sermonette had gone 
home. 

Force of circumstances obliged me to decline 
Dr. Barnardo's tempting offer, and although 
he forbore to press further, I am afraid my 
" perversity " did not raise me in his estima- 
tion. However, I continued to do the maga- 
zine work at home, and for something like 
six years I was able to carry it on without 
once needing to trouble the " Director," as 
he was now called. Then there came a time 
when I was personally freer, and this coincided 
with a stage the magazine had reached which 
demanded an entire readjustment of plan. ■ -^ 
So I found myself once more in the familiar 

G 97 



DR. BARNARDO 

Board Room, and although Dr. Barnardo 
began by announcing : 

" I'm all right, and shall be, if I can only 
keep to doing the work of one man instead of 
three," I found him almost as full of plans 
and suggestions and engagements as ever. 
He was still anxious, I quickly discovered, 
that I should work at headquarters, and 
take over a good many odds and ends of work, 
chiefly literary, in addition to the bulk of sub- 
editing. It took only a few minutes to arrange 
details and I left, actually engaged, barring 
the one stipulation, that I should be able to 
find a bedroom near by, for two nights in the 
week. In a neighbourhood like Stepney this 
is hardly the trifle it sounds, and it meant a 
good bit of hunting round before I unearthed 
a respectable landlady, whose ideas of comfort 
and cleanliness approximated to my own. 

But in announcing to the Director my suc- 
cess, I inadvertently maligned a class for 
which he had great respect, and in the course 
of one of his long letters, I received this 
delicate rap on the knuckles : 

" I am glad you have got lodgings, although 
perhaps not of the nicest. Our poor East 
End is not very rich in good rooms, but I 
lived during five years of my student life in 
little back streets. Of course, young men can 
rough it and don't need the same degree of 
refinement that a lady does, but I found, 
without exception, my several landladies 
most kind and sympathetic, and when, as 

98 



AS I KNEW HIM 

happened twice, I was taken ill in my lodgings, 
once with small-pox, another time with 
diphtheria ... I received such constant care 
and attention from my landladies that I could 
not have been better looked after in my own 
home. As to cleanliness, the fault lies largely 
in the atmosphere. We know in the Homes 
how difficult it is to keep our appointments 
clean, and how the smuts and blacks come 
down and disfigure everything ; but apart 
from that, I am sure the landladies are, as a 
rule, as keen on keeping their little homes 
sweet and nice as they could be at the West 
End of London." 

And certainly my own experience was on 
the same lines, both my landladies proving 
veritable treasures — a fact duly notified to 
Dr. Barnardo, to his great satisfaction. 



99 



XIll 

My second induction to work at Stepney was 
carried through by the Director himself. 

" Don't come till afternoon," were his 
significant instructions, " and come straight 
to the Board Room at 2.0 sharp." 

This, I discovered to be, in order that, with 
a flourish of trumpets, he might introduce me 
to my new quarters. Certainly, the Editorial 
Room was worth making a fuss over. Large, 
lofty, and well-lighted, the walls adorned with 
cupboards and shelves, ample for the accommo- 
dation of the wherewithal for editing three 
magazines, a proper writing-table — which I 
had sadly missed in the old days — and a type- 
writer after my own heart ! 

I might indeed feel I had reached Elysium, 
whilst the hearty greetings of Chief and staff 
made the return a very happy experience. 
And the Director was so pleased with my 
pleasure, and so anxious that I should be 
thoroughly comfortable, that he made a num- 
ber of excuses the first few days to have a 
look round at the new premises. His private 
room adjoined the Editorial Room, and the 
Board Room was only just across the corridor, 
so that it was easier for him to get at me, in 

100 



DR. BARNAlftPQi ' ! ;i 

odd minutes, than when I was in another 
building and on a different floor. 

I appreciated the difference greatly, when 
my second office had to be treated for some 
defect in the heating arrangements, and I was 
relegated to an immense room downstairs for 
two or three weeks. It was so very large — 
originally intended for a library, I believe — 
that the coke stove only did service for a de- 
cidedly limited area, and we all learnt by 
personal experience the meaning of numbed 
fingers and chattering teeth. 

On a keen day in early winter, when I was 
still in this uncomfortable barn, I had been 
having an unusually long string of instructions 
given me by the Director, when his secretary 
felt obliged to warn him that a most important 
appointment would be due in five minutes. 

*' Oh dear, and I haven't half finished with 
you ! Now do be a saint and wait till the good 
man's gone." " Yes," answering his secre- 
tary's suggestion of other interviews to follow, 
" I know there are other things. But," to 
me, " you'll wait half an hour for me, won't 
you ? " 

I could not refuse, but when I got down- 
stairs I found the clerks, thinking I had left, 
had also taken their departure, having been 
half suffocated with the fumes of that wretched 
stove. 

There was nothing for it but to don my 
outdoor things and wait. At the end of each 
half -hour I despatched a messenger up to the 

101 



DR. BARNARDO 

Board Room, who returned with the monoto- 
nous message, " The Director still engaged." 

But when one half-hour had stretched to 
five, I sent up a personal note to the Director, 
headed " The Ice Well," asking whether he 
wished me to wait till I was actually frozen. 

Down came an immediate reply, headed 
" The Stoke Hole." 

" Of course not, and there's no knowing 
when you'll get a chance of thawing up here. 
GO!" 

In the interval between my sojournings at 
Stepney, many changes had taken place in 
the structural arrangements of the Boys' 
Home, the most important being the adapta- 
tion of two or three large schoolrooms into a 
church, under the care of a permanent chap- 
lain. This church was almost opposite the 
Editorial Room, and amongst its many activi- 
ties was a monthly staff prayer-meeting. 
Attendance at this was of course purely 
voluntary, and I thought myself unfortunate 
in that my work happened so frequently to 
be specially pressing on that particular day. 
For here, indeed, our Chief was at his very 
best. Not only was he himself, full of spiritual 
life and vigour, but without apparent effort 
he had the happy knack of bringing out the 
best in all who took part. His reading of 
Scripture I never heard excelled. Often, as 
he read, the words seemed to be clothed with 
fresh meaning, and curiously enough, though 
he had so greatly lost control over his voice, 

102 



AS I KNEW HIM 

in an ordinary way, when it came to the Book 
he so dearly loved, he seemed to have retained 
full power of expression, giving the right 
inflexion, without difficulty or hesitation. At 
least this was so at the time of my return — 
later on I noticed that when tired or suffering, 
he unconsciously dropped his voice occasion- 
ally, not always in the right place. 

Two of the themes by which I remember him 
best were the illimitable power of prayer, and 
the privilege of active service. On one occa- 
sion I recollect he spoke of the many-sided 
aspects of prayer ; as a bringing of our will 
into harmony with God's ; as a reminder of 
our dependence on Him ; as an act of obedi- 
ence ; and as an opportunity for direct 
thanksgiving. 

" All true, my friends ! " he exclaimed, 
" all true, and truer perhaps than we can 
understand. But," and here his face lighted 
up with the joy of knowledge, " oh, so much 
more than this. Have we not, all of us here, 
known the joy of that voiceless answer, that 
is so unspeakably sweet to the children of His 
love ? Explain it to Reason ? Ah, that I 
can't. But do you know, the longer I live, 
the more I find that is not explainable to 
reason — indeed, I sometimes wonder whether 
there is anything worth the knowing, that 
can be made really clear to our limited under- 
standing. All the same, even if there were no 
direct revelation on the subject, I should 
knoiv, from my own experience, that in some 

103 



DR. BARNARDO 

way, utterly beyond my feeble comprehension, 
my prayer does reach the ear and touch the 
heart of my Heavenly Father." 

And as he went on talking I believe every 
one of us felt lifted above the commonplace 
of things temporal to the shrine of close 
communion with things eternal. Certainly,^ 
as we dispersed, we said to one another, 
" What a privilege to work and to pray ! " 

Another time, it happened that there had 
been a great many difficulties amongst the 
children in several of the Homes. In the 
midst of a talk on the familiar exhortation, 
"Feed My lambs," the Director paused and 
then said, with a note of half-apology in his 
voice : 

" Ah, it's all very well for me, you may be 
saying, considering I have only the general 
oversight and the income to care for. But 
you do not need to tell me, you Cottage 
mothers, that it is you who are doing the 
actual work — you who have to put up with 
cross words and wilful ways, and bad tempers 
and disobedience, and apparent lack of success 
after all your efforts. I know ; I understand ; 
I could never half express what I think of all 
your work and patience, and yours will be the 
happy reward in the day of ' Inasmuch.' " 

Simple, indeed, it looks in written words, 
but the large heart behind the words gave 
them such glow and warmth, that I was not 
at all surprised to see more than a few pocket- 
handkerchiefs come into requisition. 

104 



AS I KNEW HIM 

The last time I heard him take a prayer- 
meeting (not his last, but mine) he was full of 
joyful thanksgiving. It was just at the end 
of a financial year, and he was able to report 
an unprecedented income. " Oh, magnify the 
Lord with me," was the burden of his song. 

" Almost all I want ! " he exclaimed, when 
nearing the end of the story. " I only need 
another £5000 " (or some such sum) " and I 
should be perfectly satisfied." 

Fancy our dear Director " satisfied," with 
such wide ground still untouched. An in- 
voluntary smile showed itself on all faces. 

" Why, what is it ? What have I said that's 
funny ? I only want " 

But the idea, thus repeated, was too droll, 
and the smile grew into a ripple of laughter. 
Then, seeing that the Chief was looking really 
mystified, one of his oldest and most trusted 
helpers stepped to his side, and speaking as 
the mouthpiece of all, exclaimed : 

" We love you, and we rejoice with you, 
but we can't, by any stretch of imagination, 
picture you as ' satisfied ' till there is ample 
provision for every single child of need." 

The meeting that followed is a delightful 
memory, and happily none of us suspected 
how soon our Head would be laid aside again 
by one of the serious '' attacks " which, during 
the last few years of his life, seemed to be 
always lying in wait for him. 



106 



XIV 

Three years of happy work in the Editorial 
Room, and then came, for me, a fresh up- 
rooting. My father, who had also become 
liable to " attacks," was taken suddenly and 
alarmingly worse, and the fresh doctor called 
in, told us, unhesitatingly, to prepare for the 
worst. He also feared a very terrible phase 
of suffering, and warned me that I ought not 
to be out of the house for even a few hours. 
It was again an unspeakable comfort to have 
to deal with a Chief whose medical knowledge 
enabled him to grasp the situation at a glance. 
His reply came almost by return of post : 

'' I received, with very great sympathy, 
your letter on the subject of your father's 
ill-health. I am indeed sorry for him and you, 
and trust that in spite of the serious compli- 
cations of which you write, you may yet be 
able to send me a better report of him. In 
the meanwhile you must not leave him, and 
I shall be quite satisfied if you will do what 
you have to do for us, at home." 

Again came a period of watching, pro- 
longed beyond all expectation, and again the 
kindest sympathy and readiest help from the 

106 



DR. BARNARDO 

Director and his staff. The end came when 
Dr. Barnardo was in the thick of one of his 
heaviest spells of work, at a Church Confer- 
ence, when every minute was precious, and 
I timed my letter, telling of our loss, to reach 
him on his return home. But again, as before, 
he heard of it from another source, and sum- 
moning his private secretary he dictated the 
following wire, which was handed to me just 
as we returned from the funeral : 

"Have just heard of your great loss. 
Accept sincere sympathy. God comfort you. 

" Barnardo." 

And two days later came this further ex- 
pression of sympathy : 

"I heard in Bristol yesterday of your 
great loss and find your letter awaiting me 
here on my return. I sent you a very hasty 
telegram from Bristol, but must add a few 
personal words of sympathy. It is indeed a 
blessed thing for us when we can contemplate 
the death of those we love as a fresh proof of 
God's goodness to them, and you . . . may 
well be thankful that the anxious, painful, 
and depressing experience through which he 
was called to pass at the close of his life is at 
an end. . . . And yet I suppose there are no 
relationships in life the loss of which is so 
irretrievable as those of our parents. Happy 
are we when they continue with us right up to 
middle life and we ourselves are able to 

107 



DR. BARNARDO 

minister to the comfort and peace of their 
decUning years. But when the summons 
comes, although we may have expected it, 
and in some ways, even wished for it, the 
blank left in our lives is very great and can 
be filled by no one else. How keenly do I 
recollect, in this connection, the loss of my 
own dear mother, who fell on sleep just a year 
and a half ago, at the ripe old age of eighty- 
three." 

Then came the question of our meeting. 
Such a list of engagements ! And as the only 
possibility of a speedy interview, he actually 
suggested coming up half an hour earlier than 
usual, for the purpose of considering my private 
affairs ! And the wind-up of his letter ran thus : 

" Now I can only afresh offer you the assur- 
ance of my sincere personal sympathy and 
earnest desire for you that you may be kept 
and guided amid the changes which must take 
place in your life, owing to your father's 
death, and in the difficulties with which you 
may have to contend." 

When we met, he was, of course, kindness 
itself, and it was agreed between us that for 
a time, at any rate, no radical alterations need 
be made ; and I am sure it gave him genuine 
pleasure when I let him see that I could never 
feel homeless, whatever happened, so long as 
there remained the Editorial Room and the 
Board Room ! 

108 



AS I KNEW HIM 

Owing to the painful experiences of the 
summer I had not been able to go away for 
a holiday, and work being now in full swing 
it was arranged that I should take what odds 
and ends of time I could, between the issues of 
the magazines. I did this twice, and on the 
second occasion, just as I was returning, a 
long-suffering heart declined to be further 
ignored. I consulted a doctor, who, it turned 
out, had been a practical sympathizer with the 
work of the Homes for several years, and of 
whose reputation Dr. Barnardo happened to 
know. Acting on his advice, I laid the matter 
— in technical terms — before the Director, 
who lost no time in replying thus : 

" Your letter of the 17th reached me yester- 
day morning and had it been possible I would 
have replied by return, but the whole day was 
so full that I could not get a moment's time 
in which to write to you. . . . One thing is 
clear — your health is your most precious 
asset. You must give absolute obedience to 
the orders of your medical man, and I know 
sufficiently well what Mr. Shann's reputation 
is, to be assured that, if he feels it is necessary 
you should take prolonged rest, the matter 
must be serious enough to demand your 
immediate and entire acquiescence with his 
directions. ... I will try to-day to get a 
few words with Smith and see if he cannot 
relieve you of the magazines and of writing 
and of everything else for a while. * . . As to 

109 



DR. BARNARDO 

your giving up your salary, that is all fudge 
and nonsense. When anybody in our Mission 
breaks down through ill-health, we are not 
in the habit of acting shabbily with them, and 
readily grant the necessary leave of absence. 
... I quite feel with Mr. Shann that you 
ought to have a rest of such sort that no 
shadow of responsibility should come across 
your nervous system, to stimulate or burden 
it in any way, and that you ought to be able 
to turn with a fresh mind, simply to a dawdling 
life for a while, in the hope that it may give you 
back the precious gift of health. So now you 
have nothing more to do but to try and get 
well. Send back at Smith's head every letter 
he sends you and every paper and proof " 
(a little package, weighing 2 lbs., had come 
down by the previous post !), " and I will give 
orders that nothing shall go to you till your 
medical attendant says my patient is a 
patient no longer. 

" Wishing you a full return of health, happi- 
ness, quietness of mind, and bright alertness 
of outlook, 

" Believe me to be, 

" Most truly and sincerely yours." 

Long-suffering Mr. Smith followed out the 
instructions of his Chief, in spirit as well as in 
letter, and it was certainly not from him that 
I knew what a burden of anxiety and worry 
he had to bear on my behalf — not to speak 
of the downright hard work, which came, of 

110 



AS I KNEW HIM 

course, at the heaviest time of the Stepney 
year. Had I had any idea how matters really 
stood, I fancy that not even the Director could 
have persuaded me to the " dawdling " life. 
As it was, I found laziness — for a time — less un- 
endurable than I could have thought possible, 
and I soon began to feel the benefit of taking 
good advice. 

All the same, to be ill and alone in lodgings 
at Christmas time, is an experience that leaves 
a good deal to be desired, and I shall never 
forget the pleasure with which I received this 
reminder from the Chief : 

" My dear Friend, 

" I am wondering how you are. How 
have you progressed, and are you taking the 
real rest which your condition demands ? 
I hope so, and I hope you will have a good re- 
port to send me when you write. Meanwhile 
I cannot let the occasion of Christmas pass by 
without writing you a few lines, if only to 
assure you of my appreciation of your . . . 
service, and of my sincere hope that you may 
soon be raised up to continue that work with 
restored powers. 

" Will you accept, as a little token of re- 
membrance, that which I send you under 
another cover ? I hope it may reach you 
safely and may sometimes remind you of all 
the varied interests that centre round Stepney 
Causeway." 

*' That " was a photo of himself — taken for 
111 



DR. BARNARDO 

his friends, and for private circulation only — 
which, in its silver frame, has been my com- 
panion in all subsequent wanderings. It 
represents him in his holiday bowler hat, 
which partly accounts for the fact that 
strangers almost invariably exclaim, " That 
Dr. Barnardo ! Why, I had no idea he was 
such a young man ! " To me, it is the Director 
himself, just ready with an amused retort, 
and I think he knew that he could not have 
chosen any present I should have valued quite 
so much, though I little thought, at the time 
of receiving it, that only once more should I 
look upon the face of its original. 



112 



XV 

For a time I continued to make rapid pro- 
gress and was contemplating a return to work, 
when fresh trouble, involving heavy physical 
strain, brought about a renewal, in aggravated 
form, of the heart trouble, and specialist 
opinion was so strongly in favour of entire 
and lengthened cessation from activity, that 
there seemed nothing for it but permanently 
to sever my connection with the Homes. 

In the meanwhile, editorial matters had not 
been going too smoothly — in particular, cer- 
tain clerical carelessness in a department 
touching mine, was put down to my credit, 
and when I heard that the head was seeing 
the Director — now in the grip of one of his 
attacks — with a view to " discussing matters 
thoroughly," I was not unprepared for the 
following letter : 

" I am glad to send you a little personal 
note of acknowledgment and thanks for your 
kind letter which reached me last week. I am 
happily going on fairly well, and although the 
condition of the heart is not perhaps better, 
and won't be until I get special treatment, 
yet the enforced rest and quiet are doing 

H 113 



DR. BARNARDO 

^ood to the general system. I hope you too 
are making satisfactory progress. I often 
think of you, especially now that I seem to be 
in like case, for you know the old adage, 
' Companions in distress make misery the 
less.' I am not sure that that is so. but I am 
sure that it creates a very real sympathy, one 
with the other. 

" With regard to the Magazine and your 
work on it. I think, dear friend, I must ask 
you to at once cease attempting to do any 
work upon it till you are able to return in full 
swing to the office. ... I am sure you will 
feel this course necessary not only for your 
own sake, but for the sake of the Magazine. 
I do not think you will regard the last issue 
as a very satisfactory production. But of 
course you laboured under the greatest diffi- 
culties, and my wonder is that you were able 
to do what you did. But now please give 
it up right away. . . . Wait until your own 
strength is thoroughly renewed and you feel 
able to come back to us. Then everything 
will gravitate around you once more." 

I imagine that only those who knew his 
high standard of excellence, and how he 
abhorred sending out work that came short 
of it, could appreciate the immense self- 
restraint of such a letter, addressed to, as he 
believed, the author of the mischief. Had 
he been well, and I in my usual health, 
it would have been quite easy to explain the 

114 



AS I KNEW HIM 

misrepresentation — made, doubtless, in all 
good faith, and due only to lack of comprehen- 
sion. As it was, I could but accept his dictum 
and ask to be released, altogether and im- 
mediately. Indeed, by the same post that 
brought the Director's letter, I heard incident- 
ally of a promising successor. I therefore 
felt that the greatest hindrance to leaving 
had been removed, and it was satisfactory to 
find, as time went on, that the promise 
was fully realized, and the work admirably 
maintained. 

So, I wrote as careful and guarded a letter 
as I could compass, flattering myself that there 
was nothing in it to add even the proverbial 
straw to the over-heavy burden. But I was 
not allowing for the Director's abnormal 
quickness of perception, and he promptly 
dictated this volume, surely without parallel 
from a man in his state of physical prostra- 
tion. It ran thus : 

'' Aren't women very funny to deal with ? 
/ don't understand them. In the folly of my 
conceited boyhood when I was about twenty 
years of age, I thought I knew all about them, 
but as I grow older I find I know less than 
nothing. Truly they are ' wonderful human 
bein's,' as I think the late Artemus Ward used 
to say. 

" What have I done ? First, I have given 
you three months', or four, I forget which, 
complete holiday, or rather leave of absence, 

116 



DR. BARNARDO 

owing to your state of health, that you might 
recoup and recover yourself. In answer to your 
own request to resign I pooh-poohed the mat- 
ter, and said, ' No ; give yourself a chance ; 
we will still keep you on the staff, and then 
when the time comes, if you find you cannot 
go on, you will tell me so plainly.' So far so 
good. I am at least only a ' mere man,' and 
being such a stupid, common-sense kind of 
creature, destitute of that finer and more 
subtle thought that distinguishes blessed 
womanhood, I have, or had, no arriere pensce ; 
I spoke out what I thought, and having done 
so believed that was the end of the matter. 
Accordingly, when I heard that all the letters 
were being sent down to you and that you 
were being bothered in your illness by demands 
for copy, and when I saw how difierent the 
Magazine looked when it was done away from 
your careful eye, I said to myself, ' This won't 
do ; let her have her complete rest and change, 
let no more letters or papers go to her, let the 
dear soul, while she is having her rest, have 
it, and I will write and tell her so ' — which 
I did. 

" Now, what follows ? One of those curious, 
enigmatical letters which ' no fellow can under- 
stand.' Of course, very kind and very nice, 
but meaning so much more than appears on 
the surface, and I am not clever enough to 
read between the lines, only I cannot help, 
as I put the letter to my deaf ear, catching 
the note which vibrates of a hurt feeling." 

116 



AS I KNEW HIM 

(I have just looked through the rough note 
I made of my own letter, and cannot imagine 
how in the world he heard it !) 

" If you turn back to my letter, you will 
see that my proposal was strictly of a tempo- 
rary character, only while you were away, until 
you could come back to us. So now please 
forgive me. . . . Just use your common sense, 
if you have any. I don't believe ladies ever do 
have common sense ; they have so many other 
senses that we don't possess that they think 
common sense is not worth having. But I 
say, try and exercise any you do possess and 
write me a nice letter. Perhaps you don't 
know what would be my standard for a nice 
letter : well, I will give you just a few hints. 
It might begin : ' Dear Chief,' and then go 
on, ' I quite agree with you that while I am 
away it is better that I should not meddle 
with the papers from the office and the 
printers and the bother of making up and all 
that. I cheerfully surrender to your hands 
my work until I am able to come back, and 
then I will take it up with delight and show 
you that I am going to make up for lost time. 
... I know right well all my work on the 
Magazine was the spice of my life and kept 
me going. I would get into the dumps hope- 
lessly but for it, and I am looking forward 
keenly to resuming it and other literary tasks 
which you may wish to place upon my 
shoulders. Wild horses would not draw me 
away from the Y.H.L. ! ' 

117 



DR. BARNARDO 

" Now that is what I call a nice letter, 
instead of — pray forgive me — all the rubbish 
about a ' homeless waif ' " (a favourite de- 
scription of himself when house-hunting !). 
" Fancy anyone being a homeless waif who 
comes down to Stepney Causeway and takes 
her tea every afternoon ! Fie upon you. 
Now write me a nice letter at once," 

My reply repudiated the idea of being 
" hurt " by any suggestion of his, and I went 
out of the work, without formal farewell, on 
the understanding that I offered myself for 
re-engagement when health allowed. 



118 



XVI 

A FEW weeks later saw Dr. Barnardo again at 
Nauheim, where he had previously derived 
great benefit from special treatment. Here 
he heard that I, too, had been ordered abroad, 
and he showed the liveliest satisfaction when 
told that I had decided to try a course in 
Germany. Naturally, my choice followed that 
of my Chief, and before I came I was in- 
structed to "Go under Dr. S." (one of the 
two " big guns " of the place). " I am under 
Dr. G.," he went on, " so we can compare 
notes and see if they differ." 

Of course I carried out his wishes, but the 
comparing did not take place till we met in 
England, for by what seemed almost a fatality, 
we never met abroad, in spite of a lively game 
of Box and Cox. But through his secretary 
he had daily reports of my progress. 

" Is she feeling very low ? " he enquired, 
when I had been under treatment about a 
week. 

" I fancy she is," was the reply. 

" Tell her she mustn't mind that. I was 
frightfully depressed the first time, and so 
are most people. She'll probably be worse 
before she's better, but it'll only be a matter 

119 



DR. BARNARDO 

of three or four weeks, and she must just be 
brave and patient." 

If it had not been for this reassurance, 
frequently repeated, I hardly think my cour- 
age would have held out, especially when I 
found that Dr. S. was beginning to look upon 
me as one of his few failures. 

About this time Dr. Barnardo went away 
for a week, only returning — with an atrocious 
cold — for a few final baths, and was just in 
time to be gratified with the report of " a 
turn for the better," on my part. He, too, 
went home better, though the chill he had 
taken on his visit to Frankfort, and his 
imprudence in conducting a meeting at 
Nauheim — almost in defiance of medical 
authority — were anything but helpful factors. 

I returned some weeks later, " a cure — ^for 
the time," and in accordance with previous 
arrangements, I let the Director know when I 
was returning to London and should be ready 
for his promised advice. He replied : 

" I was very pleased to hear of and from 
you, but wish you had given me more par- 
ticulars." (Reserved, out of pity !) '' I 
suppose it must now be five or six weeks since 
you left Nauheim, and if the cure is to do you 
good, it ought by this time to have had that 
result. I hope your own medical man will 
see you as soon as you come to London. . . . 
I would be very interested if you would let me 
see or hear what his report may be. 

" You may be quite sure I will be only too 

120 



AS I KNEW HIM 

pleased to have an interview with you and to 
give you any advice that Hes in my power. 
You are right to rely upon me, and I hope it 
may not be in vain. 

" Thank you very much for your kind 
enquiries about my health. I am now pretty 
vigorous, as much so as I shall ever be, and 
yet I do not think that Nauheim this year 
had anything like as powerful an effect upon 
me as it had upon the occasion of my first 
visit ; but then I say to myself, there is cause 
for that ; first, the heart is three years older, 
and that is something ; second, I had no 
holiday last year at all ; it was a continuous 
strain the whole of 1903, except three or four 
days at Folkestone, and I have no doubt 
that told heavily upon me when the winter 
came." 

If only the dear, good man, would have 
been half as particular with himself as he was 
with his staff, in the matter of holidays ! 

I presented myself at Stepney, in accord- 
ance with his instructions to "be down in 
time to have lunch before I come " ; and his 
arrival was heralded b}'- loud enquiries as to 
whether I was there, very much in the tone of 
a father seeking a long-lost child ! 

" Well, you are a picture of health ! " he 
exclaimed gleefully. Then after a long look 
— into the heart, it seemed, " I'm not so 
sure about you though ! What does Dr. S. 
say ? " 

I told him that a second visit and " laziness " 

ISl 



DR. BARNARDO 

between, were pronounced needful for perma- 
nent cure. 

" Can you manage it — financially ? " he 
asked quickly. 

" With an effort, yes. But I don't want to 
waste all that time, and really I do feel strong 
enough for work." 

" Feeling's nothing. Now, mind you go. 
A second visit within the year, is the thing." 

Here followed a medical disquisition which 
showed how entirely he had made himself 
master of the details of the treatment, and 
of its effects. And then he spoke of himself 
and professed the strongest wish to return to 
Nauheim when I did — the treatment season 
beginning in late spring. 

" Then why not do it ? " 

" Simply because I dare not leave my work 
again so soon. I know I'm taking my life in 
my hands, but I believe it is the right thing — 
unless, indeed, the way should be made so 
clear that I feel sure, later on, that it is my 
bounden duty to go. Now with you it's 
different. You have no home ties at present 
— you are free to do as you like, and remember, 
humanly speaking, your whole future depends 
on your being sensible now." 

In view of such cogent arguments I could 
but consent to being " sensible for once," 
although it meant not being able to offer 
myself for re-engagement for so many months 
— happily, it did not enter my head then, 
that it would involve never again returning 

122 



AS I KNEW HIM 

to my beloved work. But the advice was so 
sound that it did actually lead to my taking 
on a new lease of health and strength. 

He was just leaving the room, after a long 
confabulation, when I remarked : 

" I suppose the little grandson is quite a 
new thing in babies ? " 

" Of course he is — ^the very finest specimen 
ever invented. I've a great mind to show you 
his photo." 

" Why not ? Please, do." 

And off he walked to the Board Room, 
returning with a charming picture of a sturdy 
little fellow, whose attitude — almost o^ his 
mother's knee — certainly did suggest some- 
thing of his grandfather's activity. I thought, 
too, that I could trace a likeness in the ex- 
pression of his face. 

" I don't know," said the Head, though 
evidently pleased with the compliment. " I'm 
going to show you another," fetching the 
companion picture — both habitually occupied 
places of honour on his writing-table. 

This, too, I could genuinely admire, and 
it was with a look of fond affection, as he 
studied the little face for the hundredth time, 
that Dr. Barnardo took his departure, my 
last sight of him, leaving an impression of 
supreme content — just the very memory he 
would have chosen to leave behind him. 

I returned from Nauheim at the end of 
June, but it was not until September that I 

123 



DR. BARNARDO 

was free to offer myself for re-engagement. 
Then it struck me that it might be more 
satisfactory to Dr. Barnardo if I were to get 
the doctor who had treated me at Lowestoft 
to give a written report of my condition. So 
I went down for a few days, and was met by 
the overwhelming tidings of the death of our 
dear Chief. 

It so happened that meetings on behalf of 
the Homes had been arranged in the town, 
for the following week, and when I went into 
one of the Nonconformist churches on the 
Sunday morning, it was to find the well- 
known deputation, the Rev. W. J. Mayers 
(a personal friend of Dr. Barnardo's for 
thirty-five years), in the pulpit. His musical 
boys occupied the front pews. Many, if not 
all, of them knew the Doctor personally, and 
their emotion was evident as, in halting 
tones, the preacher read of the touching fare- 
well between the apostle Paul and his friends, 
who were " sorrowing most of all that they 
should see his face no more." 

To think of our beloved Leader as really 
gone from us, seemed impossible — indeed, 
even at this interval, his presence still lingers 
round the places he seemed to invest with 
something of his own intense personality. 

It is a significant fact, too, that those of 
the staff who knew (and understood) him 
best, loved him most. One of his private 
staff, for instance, declares that, in talking 
with another, " We never can keep off the 

124 



AS I KNEW HIM 

subject. Wherever the conversation begins, 
it invariably veers round to Dr. Barnardo — 
an inexhaustible theme." And, in writing 
these reminiscences, I am greatly struck with 
the more than willingness of my former col- 
leagues to render any help that might tend 
to create a living picture of our Director. 

Thoroughly human, and so not free from 
limitations and shortcomings. Dr. Barnardo 
was yet so intensely in earnest, so untiring 
in his devotion to the great work to which he 
felt himself called of God, so full of deep 
affection, so quick in his sympathies, and a 
man of such absolute, childlike faith, that to 
have known him and to have worked with 
him, is a joyful memory to those who were 
privileged to help him — however humbly — in 
his fight against sin and sorrow and suffering. 



125 



CHRONOLOGICAL SUMMARY 

1845, July 4. Dr. Barnardo born in Dublin. 
1862. Definitely dedicates himself to the service 

of God. 
1866. Enters the London Hospital as a Medical 

Missionary student. 
Meets his " First Arab." 
1868. Starts a Home in two cottages in Hope 

Place, Stepney, in the name of East End 

Juvenile Mission. 
1870. Opens the first of the Barnardo Homes, at 

18 Stepney Causeway. 

1872. Takes over the "Edinburgh Castle" 

public-house. 

1873. Marries Miss Syrie Louise Elmslie. 

Commences work amongst Girls with a 
small Home at Barkingside (nucleus of 
Girls* Village Homes). 

1876. Takes his L.R.C.S. (Ed.) and registers as 

medical practitioner in London. 

1877. Commences Night and Day, the official 

organ of the Homes. 
Appointment of a Committee to deal with 
financial matters, under the presidency 
of the late Earl Cairns. 
1879. Receives gift of Home for Little Boys in 
Jersey, 

126 



DR. BARNARDO 

1881. Opens Youths* Labour House and Young 

Women's Hotel in Burdett Road. 

1882. Despatches first organized party of Boys 

to Canada. 

1883. Sends first party of Girls to Canada. 

1884. Receives gift of house at Hawkhurst, 

afterwards known as Babies* Castle. 
Pays his first visit of inspection to Canada. 
1886. Opens Convalescent Home at Felixstowe. 
Boarding-out adopted as a feature of the 
Homes. 
1889. Opens Her Majesty's Hospital in Stepney 
Causeway. 
Establishes an Industrial Home for elder 
Girls, at Hackney. 

1891. Passing of the Custody of Children Bill, 

commonly called the " Barnardo " Bill. 
Commences to organize the Young Helpers' 
League. 

1892. Opens the first seven " Ever-open Doors '* 

in the provinces. 

1894. Receives the gift of a house at Birkdale as a 

Home for Little Incurables. 

1895. Suffers from his first serious heart attack. 

1898. Enjoys the first systematic celebration of 

his birthday — now known as *' Founder's 
Day." 
Opens a second Home for Incurables, at 
Bradford. 

1899. Incorporation by Act of Parliament of the 

Homes. 

1900. Receives as a gift the former Norfolk 

County School, now known as the Watts* 
Naval Training School. 

127 



DR. BARNARDO 

1901. Has a second severe heart atteick and goes 

to Nauheim twice for treatment. 

1902. Opens a Home for Cripples (incurable) at 

Tunbridge Wells. 

1904. Has another serious attack and returns to 

Nauheim for treatment. 

1905. Has two severe attacks and goes to Nau- 

heim too late for treatment. 
Returns home and passes peacefully away 
on September 19. 



ije« 



INDEX 



Babies' Castle, Hawkurst, 
18 

Baker, Mr. William, 19 

Bamardo, Dr. T. J. (per- 
sonal events) — 
Ancestry and birth, 14 
Dedication to the ser- 
vice of God and Man, 
14 
Commences studies at 
London Hospital, 15 
Marriage, 16 
Illness and death, 21 

Bamardo Homes, opening 
of the first of the, 16 

Boarding out, 18 

Birkdale Home for Incur- 
able Children, 18 

Boys' Village, Woodford 
Bridge, 19 

Canada, emigration to, 19 
— Dr. Barnardo visits, 19 
" Children's Fold," 17 
Crippled and Incurable 
Children, Homes for, 18 

Deafness, Dr. Bamardo's, 

23, 55-61 
Dream, remarkable, 24-30 

East End Juvenile Mis- 
sion, 15 



Edinburgh Castle Coffee 
Palace, 16 

Emigrants, young. Dr. 
Bamardo's personal in- 
terest in, 12, 50, 51 

Emigration to Canada, 19 

Ever-open Doors, 17 

"First Arab," Dr. Bar- 
nardo's, 16 

Gossage Case, 91, 92 
Girls' Village Homes, es- 
tablishment of, 16 
— — — description of, as 
at present, 17 

Hawkurst, Babies' Castle 
at, 18 

Harrogate, Home for In- 
curable Children at, 18 

Hospital, Her Majesty's, in 
Stepney Causeway, es- 
tablishment of, 18 

H.R.H. Princess Mary of 
Teck at the first Young 
Helper's Bazaar, 69 

Humour, Dr. Bamardo's 
love of, 40, 41 

Income of the Homes, Dr. 
Bamardo accepts the 
responsibility for, 27 



129 



DR. BARNARDO 



Income of the Homes, Dr. 
Bamardo's views on, 27 

Labour House, 17 

Letters from Dr. Bar- 
nardo, 12, 22, 63, 64, 
66, 71 72, 93, 94, 98, 
99, 102, 106-8,109,110, 
111, 113, 114, 116-18, 
120-1 

Mayers, Rev. W. J., 124 

Nauheim, Dr. Bamardo 
visits, 21, 119, 120 

Poole, The late Mrs. 

Evered, 62, 82 
Prayer, Dr. Bamardo's 

views on, 103, 104 
Prayer-meetings taken by 

Dr. Bamardo, 102-5 

Staff, the. Dr. Bamardo's 
dealings with, 32-36, 
40-43, 45, 52-55, 63-67, 
70-76, 87-90, 97 



Staff, the, Dr. Bamardo's 
pride in, 79-82 

Sympathy, Dr Bamardo's 
ready, 11, 15, 25, 39, 
47, 48, 73-77, 78-80, 
93, 94, 104, 106, 109, 
110 

" The Father of Nobody's 

Children," 20 
Timbridge Wells Home 

for Cripples, 18 

Watts' Naval Training 
School, gift of the, 20 

Woodford Bridge Boys' 
Village, 17 

Young Helpers' League, 
20, 28, 37, 38, 57 

— Bazaar, first, 68- 

70 

— — — Magazine, 62, 63, 
113, 114 

Yoimg People, Dr. Ber- 
nardo's intense interest 
in, 11, 16, 39,40, 44-49, 
76, 77 



WILLIAM BKEKDON AND SON, LTD., PRINTERS, FLYMOUTH 



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