IT was in June, 1899, when Rudyard Kipling, after the loss of his daughter and his own almost fatal illness from pneumonia in America, sailed for his English home on the White Star liner, Teutonic. The party consisted of Kipling, his wife, his father J. Lockwood Kipling, Mr. and Mrs. Frank N. Doubleday, and Bok. It was only at the last moment that Bok decided to join the party, and the steamer having its full complement of passengers, he could only secure one of the officers large rooms on the upper deck. Owing to the sensitive condition of Kiplings lungs, it was not wise for him to be out on deck except in the most favorable weather. The atmosphere of the smoking-room was forbidding, and as the rooms of the rest of the party were below deck, it was decided to make Boks convenient room the headquarters of the party. Here they assembled for the best part of each day; the talk ranged over literary and publishing matters of mutual interest, and Kipling promptly labelled the room The Hatchery,from the plans and schemes that were hatched during these discussions.
It was decided on the first day out that the party, too active-minded to remain inert for any length of time, should publish a daily newspaper to be written on large sheets of paper and to be read each evening to the group.