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The next morning they rambled around Halifax to their hearts' content. They saw its wonderful harbor, walked through the beautiful Public Gardens, inspected as much of the Citadel and the fortifications as they were permitted to, and then walked through St. Paul's Cemetery.
“Well,” said Uncle Jack, as they proceeded on their way, “Halifax is to a very pronounced degree, an English city, the most English on the continent; nor is this strange when you remember that for a long, long time this garrison and naval post of England was manned by British troops."
“Isn't it now?” asked Ben.
“No,” replied Uncle Jack. “The soldiers you see manning the fortifications are Canadians. The last time I was here, however, — some thirty years ago — the soldiers were from Yorkshire in England.
“An interesting thing for you to remember in connection with Halifax,” he continued, “is that after the Shannon had defeated the Chesapeake in
Boston Harbor, she brought her prize here. Do you recall the dying words of Captain Lawrence of the Chesapeake, Ben?”
“Don't give up the ship!”” was the instant reply.
“Captain Lawrence was dead when the ships reached this port,” continued Uncle Jack, “and a most affecting tribute was paid to his memory at the funeral, which was marked with all the pomp and glory of war. His pall was supported by the oldest captains in the British service who were then in Halifax, and the naval officers crowded in to pay the last sad honors to a man who was lately their foe, but now their foe no longer.
“Three months afterward the body of the gallant Lawrence was sent to New York and there, with fitting ceremonies, it was interred in Trinity Cemetery by the municipality.”
“I remember the monument,” said Belle. “We saw it when we were in New York.”
“Now, children,” said Uncle Jack, “it is time we were getting back to the Hotel for luncheon.”
“Now,” said Uncle Jack after they had all finished luncheon, “there are but two trains a day out of Halifax for Quebec, or rather Levis (which is directly opposite Quebec), one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Which shall we take?”
“Which is the better one for us to take?” asked Father.
“The morning train would get us to Levis about half past three in the morning, and I don't know whether the ferry runs at that early hour," was Uncle Jack's reply.
“Then that train is out of the question,” said Father. “The afternoon train is the better of the two anyway. Can we catch it?” looking at his watch as he spoke. “Oh, yes. There's time enough — about two hours.”
“Have you set your watch since you left Boston?” asked Uncle Jack of Father. “No. Why?” asked Father.
“Because if you haven't, your watch is slow. It's one hour behind Halifax time. Atlantic Standard time is in use here and at all points east and south of Campbelltown on the Intercolonial R. R. Boston uses Eastern Standard time.”
“Oh, dear, we shall need the multiplication table again!” interjected Mother.
“It's simple enough,” said Uncle Jack. “Just allow one hour in time for every fifteen degrees in longitude. Let us compare watches."
They did so, and sure enough, Uncle Jack's said two o'clock, while Father's said it was one.
“However,” remarked Uncle Jack, “an hour is plenty of time in which to catch that train. I'll telephone to the station-master to reserve us three sections in the sleeper attached to the 3:10 P. M. train.” And even after reaching the station, there re
plenty of time to get some reading matter and some fruit, before our party boarded the train and were whirled out of the station on their trip to the west.
Our party were the only passengers in the car after leaving Rimouski where, by the way, they had their first glimpse of the majestic St. Lawrence. Until dark, the children amused themselves by
watching the view from the car windows and puzzling over the French names on the stations.
At dinner, that evening on the train, while they were chatting about this, that, and the other thing, Uncle Jack said suddenly: “Did I ever tell you of a visit I once made to this country in the winter?”
“No, Uncle Jack,” said the children.
“Then I must tell you now,” said he. “Some years ago, I made a pilgrimage with my friend Mr. Warker to the city we are going to.”
“Do you mean Quebec, Uncle Jack, or Levis?” asked May.
“Quebec,” replied he. “It was bitterly cold weather and the snow was very deep. We hired a sleigh to take us out to the Falls, and on our way, we found the snow even with the tops of the fences. I remember that, after we got back to the hotel, and after we had begun to thaw out, Mr. Warker recited, with the most severe countenance, and in the most solemn tones, Kipling's famous limerick:”
There was a small boy of Quebec,
When they said, “Are you friz?”
He replied, “Yes, I is —