National Geographic : 1923 Jul
THROUGH THE BACK DOORS OF FRANCE Photograph by Topical Press Agency A CARTLOAD OF BRITTANY CHILDREN litely, quite as much as he has been scru tinizing that unknown word, cano?, and I judge that he takes me for some eccen tric millionaire with a steam yacht. "The tonnage of your boat-it is con siderable ?" I lead him to the waterside, and he glimpses the Nageoma. After a pro longed stare, he goes off; then returns with a couple of enormous life-preservers, which he gravely hands to us before opening the lock. But, thanks to the good-natured eclu siers, who would always moderate the water's inrush by opening the sluices gradually, our unpleasant experience at Le Chatelier was never repeated. In fact, locking through-and especially in "descending" locks, where the water sinks to the level of the stream ahead-becomes even an absorbing, picture-book experi ence. Down you go, gradually losing sight of the world, as the lock walls rise towering about you. The ponderous gates ahead of you, closed like some big, black book cover, set you to wondering what lies behind them. Then slowly they open-the book covers part-and some new and charming picture, a Corot or perhaps a Cazin, is disclosed.