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Baroness Orczy, author of Scarlet Pimpernel, cruises the Great Lakes - Circa 1922-1930
November, 2005

We both loved our trip over the Great Lakes on board the C.P.R. steamer Assiniboia, such a fine boat, such comfortable sleeping accommodation, and such excellent food as ever was. There were two hundred and fifty passengers and it was among these that I became acquainted with one lady who was a teacher in a girls' school in Toronto, who had never read or had even as much as heard of The Scarlet Pimpernel. This, I am sure, sounds a fearfully conceited remark to make; but, as a matter of fact, I never had met anyone to whom the words 'Scarlet Pimpernel' just meant nothing at all. I found the experience most refreshing.

How beautiful those Great Lakes are! The Captain was--as C.P.R. officials invariably were towards us--most kind; he invited us to go up on the bridge when we passed through the locks and where at Ste. Marie we could see the Rapids and the wonderful iron bridge which on a pivot carries the heavy C.P.R. trains to the U.S.A. side.

We had rather an alarming night of it when steaming through Lake Superior where we lost sight of land on either side; the ship's sirens started off at 2 a.m. with their monotonous and portentous calls. We were in a thick white fog which did not lift till past six o'clock in the morning. When on arrival at Port Arthur we bade good-bye to our Captain and thanked him for all his kindness and consideration, we felt bound to confess that we had been rather alarmed at the density of the fog which was so much thicker than any we had experienced when steaming on the Atlantic or in the Channel between Gibraltar and Southampton; we expressed our gratitude to him for having brought us safely to shore. He said with a grave shake of the head: "You are not more thankful than I am, I assure you. These fogs on Superior are sometimes the very d . . ."

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