world at once beautiful and terrible, a world which took the imagination by the throat and overwhelmed it.
The most wonderful thing about Valcartier Camp in those September days was itself. How had it arisen, in such perfection, in so short a time? Only six weeks since war had been declared. On August 4th, Belgium's martyrdom had well begun. Then Valcartier was an empty and lovely valley. On August 21st, it was a completed camp, ready for a cityful of soldiers. How was the miracle wrought? Two days before the final decision for Peace or War was made in London, the Canadian Minister of Militia and Defence, the Honourable Sam Hughes, visited Valcartier. A portion of the land had been already secured for militia purposes. More was needed, and it was immediately acquired by expropriation. Lieut.-Col. William Price, of Quebec, was given authority to supervise the preparation of the camp. Associated with him were Lieut.-Col. McCarthy, Lieut.-Col. McBain, Lieut.-Col. "Bob" Low, Major Deroche, and other officers of minor rank. Col. Price, a business man accustomed to the largest undertakings, was in association with an untiring band of enthusiasts. Miles of road had to be built. Sandy knolls were cut down, and hollows were filled, the crooked was, made straight and the rough places plain. A waterworks system was planned and erected. There was a pumping plant. Two great steel tanks were elevated on stilts fifty feet above the highest point of the camp ground. Miles upon miles of water pipes were laid. Every hundred feet at the rear of the infantry lines there was not only a convenient supply of pure, sterilized running water, but a sprinkler attachment for shower baths. Wooden troughs were provided where the men could wash their clothes. Wooden fences were built around each bath station. Tent-lines were laid out. Tent pegs by the cord were provided. Plank sidewalks suddenly appeared as if by magic—sidewalks miles long. An infinity of modern latrines appeared, all clean, and