By Joyce Barkhouse
"Twelve months in anywhere, my pal, is kind of a weary whereas And turns out extra like a century whilst lived on Sable Isle ..."
So wrote Thomas Raddall on the age of eighteen, no longer dreaming that decades later Sable Island -- that "hell in the world" -- would supply a romantic historical past for certainly one of his maximum novels, The Nymph and the Lamp.
Traumatized via the horror of the good Halifax Explosion of 1917, in a number of months by way of the loss of life of his father in conflict out of the country, Tom was once compelled to depart institution on the age of fourteen.
This short account of his existence tells of his early adventures and of the way he grew to become one in every of Canada's most famous storytellers.
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Additional resources for A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall
He sat down to a breakfast of hot oatmeal porridge with his mother and his little sister, Winifred. The baby, Hilda, was in her high chair and his older sister, Nellie, was upstairs in bed with a bad cold. Tom’s father was somewhere in Europe on the battlefront fighting in the World War which, it was said, would end all wars. The family could not know that in Halifax Harbour, a short distance away, two ships were rapidly approaching each other on a deadly collision course. The incoming French freighter Mont Blanc was a floating munitions magazine packed below decks with picric acid and TNT, the most powerful explosives then known.
Sharp was supposed to take over Tom’s watch at midnight but he never did. Tom regularly had to go in and awaken him. The man would mutter an irritable “Okay! Okay! “but still he would not get up. Tom had to work overtime and he became more and more angry. One stormy night in January things came to a climax. Tom yanked Sharp out of his blankets onto the frosty floor, gave him a hard kick in the behind, and then went back to make the required quarter-hour log entry. Furious, Sharp ran into the watch room, grabbed Tom around the throat and started a fight which almost upset the small iron stove, full of red hot coals.
Furious, Sharp ran into the watch room, grabbed Tom around the throat and started a fight which almost upset the small iron stove, full of red hot coals. Tom gasped, “We can’t fight here! ” He went to bed but he couldn’t get to sleep. He’d been in fights before, on the waterfronts of Halifax and Sydney, but he was afraid of Sharp. Next morning, after a silent breakfast, the man and boy went out as if for a walk along the frozen brown beach, but as soon as they were out of sight of the radio shack, they squared off.
A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall by Joyce Barkhouse