Re: Baden-Powell, Hunter of Snipe!
Bob Ellis (rhellis@SERVTECH.COM)
Mon, 22 Sep 1997 21:20:07 -0400
Thanks for the detailed correction, I stand corrected! I am not real
familiar with B-Ps complete military career and was not aware that he was a
spy, per se. I was atttempting to respond to what I thought was an
implication that he goofed off and called it snipe hunting. My
understanding of B-P's character is that he would not do such a thing. And,
I see now that I misinterpreted the statement. My apologies.
At 11:14 AM 9/21/97 -0400, you wrote:
>Bob Ellis writes:
>> B-P was a fanatic hunter. Why do you think that his excursions
>> for snipe hunting were any more of a subterfuge that his
>> favorite, pig sticking (which he wrote a book on)?
>Baden-Powell's biographer and friend William Hillcourt makes a
>distinction between snipe hunting and 'snipe hunting', the later
>being a cover for B-P's spying activities. Hillcourt specifically
>indicates that 'snipe hunting' was a subterfuge when he links it
>with B-P's 'butterfly hunting,'
>"When 'snipe shooting' was inappropriate as an excuse, B-P
>adopted some other subterfuge--'butterfly hunting', for instance.
>It was as an avowed entomologist that he went to Dalmatia to
>investigate the surroundings of Cattaro, the capital....
>"Whenever he ran into an Austro-Hungarian military guard or
>officer, he put on a good show of actual butterfly hunting, Then
>'with my sketch-book in hand, I would ask innocently whether
>he had seen such-and-such a butterfly in the neighbourhood, as
>I was anxious to catch one. Ninety-nine out of a hundred did not
>know one butterfly from another--any more than I did--so one was
>on fairly safe ground in that way, and they thoroughly sympathized
>with the mad Englishman who was hunting insects.'
>"The officers looked admiringly at Baden-Powell's colourful sketches
>of Red Admirals and Painted Ladies and other Lepidptera but failed
>to scrutinize the sketches closely enough to notice that the
>delicately drawn veins of the butterfly wings were exact delineations
>of their own fort and that the spots on the wings denoted the number
>and calibre and positions of their guns."
>Pages 97-98, *Baden Powell: The Two Lives of a Hero*, William
>Hillcourt, 1992, http://1.800.scouter.com/promos/bp-book.html
>> Please, Baden-Powell may have had some faults but lying to
>> avoid his responsibilities was not one of them.
>True enough, but lying to fulfill his responsibilities was part of his
>job as intelligence officer for the Mediterranean area. I believe
>he wrote a chapter on the topic of lying in his book *My Adventures
>as a Spy*, which also features a chapter on the above 'butterfly hunt'.
>Yours in Scouting,
>ASM, Troop 252
>"I used to be a Beaver, and a good old Beaver too."
>Attachment Converted: C:\PROGRA~1\NETSCAPE\EUDOR212\ReBaden-
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City