By Joyce Barkhouse
"Twelve months in anyplace, my buddy, is kind of a weary whereas And turns out extra like a century while lived on Sable Isle ..."
So wrote Thomas Raddall on the age of eighteen, no longer dreaming that a long time later Sable Island -- that "hell on the earth" -- would offer a romantic history for certainly one of his maximum novels, The Nymph and the Lamp.
Traumatized by way of the horror of the good Halifax Explosion of 1917, in a number of months through the dying of his father in conflict in a foreign country, Tom used to be pressured to depart institution on the age of fourteen.
This short account of his lifestyles tells of his early adventures and of ways he grew to become one in all Canada's most famous storytellers.
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Extra resources for A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall
His heart sank, however, as he watched their big, old walnut piano with swinging brass candle-brackets on each side of the music rack, being crated and boxed. He hated the piano and he hated his father for forcing him to take lessons. Music was one of his father’s great pleasures. He loved to sing and put on amateur entertainments. Tom was musical, too, but his fingers weren’t long enough and his square hands weren’t the right shape to make a really good pianist. He was glad to leave behind forever his piano teacher, “a cruel old ape-faced man with side-whiskers,” who beat time with a silver-tipped baton which he also used to whack Tom’s fingers every time he made a mistake.
Soon Sharp’s right eye was swollen shut and he was bleeding from his mouth and nose. Then Tom landed a mighty blow which struck Sharp’s left eye socket just above the eye. It cut right through the eyelid which then drooped over the eye in a stream of blood. Tom was horrified. He helped the blinded man stumble back to the station, where he and the other operator applied first aid. The wound should have been stitched, for when it healed, the lid had a permanent droop. ” The brawl became part of Sable Island legend.
Now Nellie had to agree that she would take a short course in shorthand and typing and become a stenographer. As for Tom, he had always hated school. In spite of his sister’s tears and his mother’s despair, he couldn’t hide his joy. He had never been a real wage-earner. The summer before he had laboured on a farm as a Soldier of the Soil to “Help Win the War” but he had received no pay and very poor board. As for his paper route, he had been trying for over a year to save enough money to buy a second-hand bicycle.
A Name for Himself. A Biography of Thomas Head Raddall by Joyce Barkhouse