On the day the Berengaria sailed for England, Buchman wrote to Mrs Ford, 'You may be surprised to hear that I am taking Bill Pickle to England with me tonight. Bill says the last boat he was on was a ferry boat from Philadelphia to Camden, and before that his biggest boat had been a dog raft on a mill pond!'3

On his first journey by air, from London to Geneva for a luncheon for League of Nations delegates, Bill Pickle gave one look at the small plane and asked to see the pilot. 'You're going to fly in that contraption?' asked Bill.

'Yes,' replied the veteran pilot.

'If you don't mind,' said Bill, 'I'd feel much easier if we could kneel down and pray before we start.'

The pilot got down on his knees beside the plane, while Bill entrusted their safety to his 'Heavenly Parent' as he, an illegitimate son who never knew his father, always addressed God.

Henry Ford had in the meantime run across Harvey Firestone's son in the course of business, had noticed the change in him and kept him talking in his office for two hours. During this period he invited Bill Pickle, returned from Europe, to meet some of his hard-drinking executives. Bill was asked how he prayed. 'Well,' he said, blowing out his moustaches, 'the first thing is to get down on your knees, as in crap-shooting.' Laughter drowned the rest of the instruction. In Geneva likewise, his directness made a stronger impression than many more polished utterances. Buchman used to say, 'He's genuine. So you can introduce him anywhere.'

In Europe Buchman had now gathered what the Princeton affair had scattered in America - the mobile force of convinced people for which he had worked ever since returning from China. After his preliminary reconnaissance in Canada, he returned there with thirty-two people in October 1932. On the voyage the ship's barber, while shaving Buchman, asked in rather thick tones what his work was. 'My work', Buchman replied with spirit, 'is to help a bull-necked barber, who has been out on the binge the night before, find out how he can get cleaned up and put on the right road.'

Buchman's initial team, which was commissioned by the Bishop of Liverpool, was drawn from Britain, Holland, Germany, South Africa and the United States. It being October, with the University term in full swing, only six from Oxford were in the first party, including Reginald Holme of motor-club fame who had just got a First in theology, and Marie Clarkson, the 'dog girl'. Dr and Mrs Ebenezer Macmillan had come from South Africa, Frau Moni von Cramon from Germany, Vice-Admiral Sydney Drury-Lowe from London, and Jimmie Watt, a former Communist, from Scotland. As the Duchess of Bedford steamed into Quebec harbour, Ruth Bennett 4 remembers Buchman urging the British to forget they were British and remember only that they were Christians. 'Live on a basis of appreciation, not comparison,' he said, and then threw out the thought, 'Each of you may be leading a team of two hundred before this trip is over.'