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Title: Chatterbox, 1906
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Chatterbox

FOUNDED BY J. ERSKINE CLARKE, M.A.

Boston: DANA ESTES & COMPANY, 212, Summer Street.



  Copyright, 1878, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1879, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1880, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1881, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1882, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1883, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1884, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1885, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1886, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1887, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1888, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1889, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1890, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1891, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1892, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1893, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1894, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1895, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1896, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1897, by Estes & Lauriat.
  Copyright, 1898, by Dana Estes & Co.
  Copyright, 1899, by Dana Estes & Co.
  Copyright, 1900, by Dana Estes & Co.
  Copyright, 1901, by Dana Estes & Co.
  Copyright, 1902, by Dana Estes & Co.
  Copyright, 1903, by Dana Estes & Co.
  Copyright, 1904, by Dana Estes & Co.
  Copyright, 1905, by Dana Estes & Co.
  Copyright, 1906, by Dana Estes & Co.


PRESSWORK BY COLONIAL PRESS; C. H. SIMONDS & CO. BOSTON, U.S.A.



CONTENTS.

1906.


                                                        Page

  About the Ash                                          250

  About Topiaries                                         99

  A Brave Answer                                          43

  A Brave Lad                                            309

  A Chinese Solomon                                       15

  A Generous Act                                          99

  A Gentle Donkey                                        378,
                                          390, 398, 402, 410

  A Good Comrade                                         159

  A Hasty Judgment                                       375

  A Humorous Punishment                                   70

  A Hundred Years Ago                                     15,
              54, 74, 107, 155, 179, 211, 250, 282, 307, 347

  A Modern Wizard                                        394

  An Artful Jack                                         162

  An Eastern Puzzle                                      355

  Anecdotes,                                               6,
       30, 34, 43, 51, 66, 147, 179, 190, 218, 227, 235, 323,
                           341, 355, 371, 378, 382, 395, 407

  An Intruder                                            269

  A Pincushion Factory                                    91

  Apples or Thistles?                                    267

  A Seasonable Answer                                     11

  A Silent Reproof                                       331

  A Story of the Unforeseen                              190

  'As You Please'                                        277

  A Turkey's Costly Diet                                 302

  Average                                                395

  'A Will of Her Own'                                    279

  A Wonderful Weighing Machine                           203


  Barnacles and Geese                                    238

  'Billikins'                                            239


  Catching Birds under Water                             323

  Caught by a Tree                                       218

  Chinese Physic                                         182

  Clothed in _Chatterbox_                                348

  Conquered by Love                                      214

  Conscience and the China Figures                       178

  Counting                                               238

  Crébillon and the Rat                                  291

  Crocodiles in Central Africa                            75

  Crowded Out                                            403

  Curious Granaries                                      292

  Cutting It Down                                        278


  Elephants attacking a Granary                           46

  Ethel's Golden Offering                                 22

  Eva's Kitten                                           333


  Faithful to Duty.                                       83

  Famous Roses                                           326

  Feathered Friendship                                    53

  Flowers and Colours                                    262

  Flowers of the Night                                   118

  Fred's New World                                        62

  Forgetful Fanny                                         26


  Gas-light Insect-hunting                               395

  Glimpses of Hedgehog Life                              141

  Graham's Last Practical Joke                           162

  Grey-skin's Adventures                                 221


  Hare _versus_ Pheasant                                 214

  Haydn's Drum                                            34

  His Master's Hat                                        15

  How Gordon Kept Shop                                   238

  How the Arabs Bake their Bread                         357

  How to Obtain Food                                     139

  Huge Birds                                             403


  In Harvard Museum                                      350

  Iron-smelting in India                                 285


  Jess                                                   397

  Jock's Collie                                          351


  Long Lived                                              83

  Long Tom's Gratitude                                    13


  Marvels of Man's Making                                  2,
              42, 78, 126, 148, 187, 218, 243, 282, 316, 405

  Mary's Reward                                           77

  May Day                                                175

  Movable Roofs                                          253

  'Mr. Harold'                                           349

  Muriel's First Patient                                 327


  Not Afraid                                             407

  Not Guilty                                             251

  Now                                                    237


  Old Oxford Castle                                      230

  Old Sarum                                              342

  Olive and the Bees                                     109

  One Thing at a Time                                    175


  Peeps into Nature's Nurseries                           11,
     37, 59, 75, 100, 131, 134, 164, 203, 235, 275, 299, 339,
                                                         371

  Ping-Kwe's Downfall                                    303

  Plants with Signs                                      347

  Ploughing in Syria                                     315

  Puzzlers for Wise Heads                                 15,
         51, 75, 115, 147, 179, 214, 254, 286, 323, 371, 395


  Rosie                                                  165

  Round the Camp-fire                                     19,
  26, 34, 66, 82, 98, 130, 154, 194, 205, 226, 258, 338, 354,
                                                         386


  Saved by a Gipsy                                       243

  Sir Ralph Abercromby                                   174

  Sowing and Reaping                                 18, 123

  Spider Runners                                         382

  Stories from Africa                                    30,
    46, 58, 60, 106, 138, 170, 210, 242, 266, 290, 330, 362

  Strange Nesting-places                                 324


  Tabby's Ghost                                          389

  Taking It Literally                                    132

  Teaching Him a Lesson                                  410

  Telegraph Wires in Central Africa                      164

  The Arbalist, or Crossbow                              212

  The Barberry                                           147

  The Brave Countess                                     379

  The Broken Promise                                     365

  The Captain's Pudding                                  258

  The Count and the Dove                                 254

  The Cow-waggon                                         363

  The Dead Watch                                         115

  The Duck-billed Platypus                               181

  The Duke's Ruse                                        299

  The First Tea                                          159

  The Force of Labour                                    390

  The Giant of the Treasure Caves                          6,
             10, 22, 30, 38, 47, 50, 63, 70, 74, 87, 94, 102,
            110, 114, 123, 134, 142, 146, 157, 166, 172, 182,
            186, 198, 202, 214, 222, 230, 234, 246, 254, 262,
            270, 274, 286, 294, 298, 310, 314, 322, 334, 342,
                                     346, 358, 367, 370, 382

  The Groaning Tree of Baddesley                         235

  The Honest Sailor                                      122

  The Hoof-mark on the Wall                              171

  The Kestrel's Eggs                                     196

  The King of Persia                                     396

  The Ladybird and the Caterpillar                       306

  The Last Time                                            3

  The Leopard's Looking-glass                            380

  The Little Old Woman                                   373

  Themistocles and the Greek Generals                    331

  The Misunderstood Poets                                286

  The Moles and the Mountain                              54

  The Multiplication Table                                26

  The Music of the Nations                                21,
         51, 69, 115, 147, 172, 195, 229, 261, 292, 324, 380

  The New Zealand Glow-worm                              334

  The Penguin                                            277

  The Picture-cleaners                                   139

  The Policeman's Joke                                   301

  The Prairie Dog                                         61

  The Ptarmigan and Pine Marten                           66

  The Reward of a Genius                            142, 151

  The Riddle of the Year                                 155

  The Rosemont Grotto and the Petchaburg Caverns         396

  The Self-heal                                          267

  The Sensible Hare                                      374

  The Shadoofs and Draw-wheels of Egypt                   43

  The Sloth                                               93

  The Soldier of Antigonus                               291

  The Story of Rock-salt                                 302

  The Sugar Maple                                        294

  The Symbols of Japan                                   214

  The Timid Mouse                                        348

  The Trials of Leckinski                           306, 319

  The Union Jack                                         348

  The Way to Command                                      62

  The Yak                                                125

  Think This Out                                         222

  'Those Horrid Boys'                                    207

  Too Much for the Whistle                                54

  To the Rescue!                                         261

  True Happiness                                         310


  Umbrella Treason                                        18

  Union is Strength                                      189


  Waits                                                  166

  Well Repaid                                            355

  Where there's a Will there's a Way                     387

  Wild Animals in Captivity                               18



POETRY.


  A Butterfly's Wing                                 207

  A Mermaid's Song                                   182

  A Studious Elf                                     235

  A Tale of Bremen                                   101

  A Thoughtless Daisy                                351

  Cloud Pictures                                     374

  Dream-time                                         310

  Fairy Pictures                                     163

  'Fire!'                                            243

  Fire Pictures                                      258

  For the Little Ones                                159

  Going to Bed                                       126

  Heart's-ease                                       387

  Little Things                                       62

  Little Workers                                     190

  Looking Up and Looking Down                        299

  Lying Awake at Night                               115

  Made Beautiful                                     379

  Mornin'                                            339

  Mr. and Mrs. Brown's Journey in the Family Coach   406

  My Dreams                                          147

  My Garden                                          291

  Night and Day                                      396

  No Harm Meant                                        6

  Perhaps                                            110

  Santa Claus                                        358

  Santa Claus's Postman                              171

  Stop Thief!                                        227

  The Almond and the Raisin                           83

  The Bee                                             54

  The Daisy                                           75

  The Disappointed Hen                                26

  The Disobedient Mouse                              213

  The Fairies' Night                                 363

  The Fairy Queen's Gift                              34

  The Fountain                                       319

  The Glow-worm                                      195

  The Grumbling Rose                                 276

  The Little Blind Linnet                            254

  The Moon-ship                                       70

  The Mysterious Visitor                             139

  The Night before My Birthday                        94

  The Pedlar                                         407

  The Princess has Come                              286

  The Shepherd Moon                                  131

  The Singers Yet To Be                              218

  The Singing Bird                                   402

  The String of Pearls                               384

  The Undecided Travellers                            43

  The Wrong Wind                                      18

  Time Flies                                         257

  Two Little Drops of Rain                           326



ILLUSTRATIONS.


COLOURED PLATES.

  Close on His Heels,             _Frontispiece_

  The Boy Doctor,                   facing p.  64

  A Fight to a Finish,              facing p. 128

  Opportunity Makes the Thief,      facing p. 192

  'Chorus, Please!'                 facing p. 256

  Tent Pegging,                     facing p. 320

                                                                   Page

  A Brave Lad                                                       309

  A _Chatterbox_ Costume                                            348

  A Clay Grain Storehouse                                           293

  A Contest with the Longbow                                        213

  A Cow Waggon Encamped and on the March                            364

  'All went well at first'                                          392

  'A Madi village being removed'                                    253

  An Arab Bakery                                                    357

  'A native lay at the foot of a tree'                              129

  'A terrible sight met their view'                                 289

  'A wren built its nest in the pocket'                             325

  'By waters still in sweet spring-time'                            388

  'Charlie Eccles half lay, half sat upon the ground'                97

  'Colonel Smith emptied the glass'                                 361

  'Concealment was impossible'                                      137

  Crossbow and Arrows used for Sport                                213

  Egyptian 'Sakiveh'                                                 44

  Egyptian 'Shadoof'                                                 44

  'Fast Asleep!'                                                    301

  'Father, is that my present?'                                     377

  'Fire!'                                                           244

  'Give me back my money'                                           356

  Grain Huts                                                        293

  'He finished by backing hard into the small wooden gate'          400

  'He handed John an official paper'                                180

  'He has a winning tongue'                                         408

  'He placed a sovereign on the counter'                            121

  'He placed the "drum" on a chair, and practised diligently'        33

  'He ran out just as he was'                                        84

  'Here is a nice little bit of work for you, my lad'               268

  'He sat silent, waiting for the reply'                            265

  'He seized one of the ladders'                                     85

  'He staggered forward and reached the landing'                    240

  'He swung himself off the ground'                                 329

  'He was chaired all round Covent Garden'                          156

  'He was greeted by a jet of water'                                152

  'His shoulder caught me as he passed'                             153

  'Hold hard there!'                                                197

  'I held a long stick for him to hook on'                           93

  'In his despair he clenched his fist'                               4

  Iron-smelting in India                                            285

  'I say that he is a French spy!'                                  305

  'Is the bird alive or dead?'                                      277

  'I struck furiously at the brute'                                 385

  'I struggled up'                                                  260

  'It became necessary to descend the shaft'                         41

  'It is only the masterful calf                                    269

  'It's Captain Halliard!'                                          393

  'I was received with joy'                                         205

  'I will come with you at once'                                    365

  'Just then a man on horseback appeared'                            25

  'King Louis leaped fully armed into the sea'                       29

  'Let me have a doll to play with'                                 208

  'Lieutenant Fegan led a gallant resistance'                       241

  Loading a Military Crossbow                                       212

  'Mag raised her shrill note of warning'                            53

  'Managed to upset a wooden watch-house'                           108

  'Mother, this chair was full of gold pieces!'                      56

  'Mr. Merry was just leaving the house'                            389

  Muriel's First Patient                                            328

  'My partner being the lamp-post'                                  337

  'No room for Jealousy'                                            404

  'One at a time, they found themselves pinioned'                   105

  'One of the largest pounded upon the wall with his tusks'          45

  Peeps into Nature's Nurseries (Illustrations to),                  12,
                 37, 60, 76, 76, 100, 101, 132, 164, 165, 204, 233, 237,
                                                276, 300, 340, 341, 372

  'Piggy lifted the heavy lid to feed upon the cheese'              141

  'Please, sir, will you--would you buy a pincushion?'               92

  Ploughing in Syria                                                316

  Plymouth Breakwater                                               188

  Prairie Dogs                                                       61

  'Scores of angry bees came buzzing round her'                     109

  'See! A Matabele!'                                                193

  'Set to the hardest and most menial work'                          57

  'She was floating away in the midst of the stream'                280

  'Some one is lost in the snow, and Lassie knows it'               373

  'Soon the two little mischief-makers were busy at
    work on the pictures'                                           140

  'Stalked while I myself stalked the water-buck'                    36

  'Stepping down from the vase and crowding round Hugh's bed'       177

  'Stop thief!'                                                     228

  'The African beauty was greatly taken with Lander'                209

  'The bear would eat and drink in a truly dignified fashion'       249

  The Birmingham Water-works                                       317

  'The carpenter took off his coat'                                 281

  The Cooking Lesson                                                 77

  'The crowd drew him along in triumph'                             308

  'The dog darted after the bat'                                     16

  'The dog gave the horse the turnip'                               160

  'The dog took kindly to her foster-children'                       17

  The Duck-billed Platypus                                          181

  The Egg Poacher                                                    65

  The first Passenger to cross the Brooklyn Bridge                    1

  The first Railway Journey in England                               80

  The Forth Bridge                                                  245

  The Giant of the Treasure Caves (Illustrations to),              8, 9,
                  24, 32, 40, 48, 49, 64, 72, 73, 88, 96, 104, 112, 113,
                  124, 136, 144, 145, 157, 168, 173, 184, 185, 200, 201,
                  216, 224, 232, 233, 248, 256, 264, 272, 273, 288, 296,
                  297, 312, 313, 321, 336, 344, 345, 360, 368, 369, 384

  The Great Eastern                                                 149

  'The great work was soon accomplished'                            120

  'The head of a snake thrust out close to him'                     169

  'The kitten at once began lapping'                                333

  'The lad emptied the pail over his employer'                      133

  'The luckless fugitives were dragged forth'                        89

  The Manchester Ship Canal                                         281

  'The most wily and cunning black pig that ever made his escape'   192

  'The motor came to a standstill'                                  401

  The Music of the Nations (Illustrations to),               21, 52, 69,
                            116, 148, 172, 196, 229, 261, 292, 324, 380

  'Then came the difficult task of bringing down the little lad'     13

  The Nile Dam at Assuan                                            220

  'The pike seized the stoat'                                       161

  'The precious picnic-basket rolling down the turf'                376

  'The promise of a thousand songs'                                 217

  'There, still on the boulder, was Collie, barking'                352

  'The thing exploded in the air'                                   225

  'The third time he collapsed, and was pulled back                 353

  The Union Jack                                                    348

  'The weight of the two birds had the desired effect'              189

  The Words of Command                                              117

  'They began to examine the damaged axle'                          332

  'They were passing a field of ripe corn'                          409

  'They were playing with me as though I were a big mouse'           68

  'This is a present which your uncle has sent you'                 397

  'Three yelping, delighted dogs'                                    28

  'Throw your bad temper overboard'                                 304

  'Tim pressed up the lid with his head'                            412

  Victoria Falls                                                    128

  '"Watch him!" said Douglas'                                       252

  'What a feast I had!'                                             221

  'What did the strange beast mean by gazing at him?'               381

  'What do they want with me?'                                      320

  '"What is the matter?" I asked him'                                81

  'Who's that that dares to serve me so?'                             5

  'Why don't you take off your hat to me?'                          176

  'Why not start, a round of story-telling?'                         20

  Yaks                                                              125

  '"You have found me out," said the captain'                       257



Chatterbox.

[Illustration]



MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.

I.--THE BROOKLYN SUSPENSION BRIDGE.


[Illustration]

When two large cities stand opposite to one another on the banks of a
river, it is not likely they can do very well without a bridge to
connect them. Yet the citizens of New York and Brooklyn were obliged to
manage as best they could for a good many years before they had their
bridge. There were many difficulties in the way. For one thing, the
river is very broad; for another, the tall-masted ships ply up and down
so frequently that it would never do to build anything which would
obstruct their passage; and to overcome these difficulties would mean
the expenditure of a vast sum of money. But the folk who earned their
daily bread in New York and lived in Brooklyn grew thoroughly tired of
spending chilly hours in foggy weather on the river-side piers, waiting
for the ferry-boat to come and take them across, and at last they began
an agitation which resulted in the Brooklyn Bridge.

The engineer who made the first design was Mr. John A. Raebling; but he
did not live to see it carried into effect; for one summer day in 1869,
when selecting the spot at which the great work should be begun, he met
with an accident which caused his death a few days later. His son, Mr.
Washington Raebling, then took the lead. Plans were carefully drawn and
submitted to the Government, who, after much consideration, ordered that
the bridge should be five feet higher and five feet wider. This
apparently slight change added about 172,800_l._ to the cost of
building, for little changes in big things mean more than big changes in
little ones. The original cost was to be 10,800,000 dollars, or about
2,160,000_l._; but in the end it amounted to nearly 3,100,000_l._

Before we talk of the trouble and labour, let us look for a moment at
the great things the engineers have accomplished.

The Brooklyn bridge is five thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine feet
long and eighty-five feet wide. The huge cables that support it stretch
like the strands of a monster spider-web from the tops of two towers,
each two hundred and seventy-six feet high and standing one thousand
five hundred and ninety-five feet apart. The above is the length of the
central span; the two other spans, from the land to the towers, are each
nine hundred and thirty feet long in addition. The roadway, one hundred
and thirty-five feet above the river, is divided into five parts. The
two outside ones are for vehicles, the middle one for foot passengers,
and the remaining two for cable trams. The footway is eight feet higher
than the others, so that an uninterrupted view is gained from it. The
four cables supporting this heavy structure are anchored at both ends in
blocks of masonry weighing sixty thousand tons each; so that there is
little fear of their being dragged from their moorings. The bridge was
opened amid a blaze of fireworks on May 24th, 1883.

On May 7th, 1870, the tower on the riverside at Brooklyn was begun, and
completed just five years later; its companion on the opposite side was
a year behind it. The foundations of these great towers lie in solid
rock seventy-eight feet below the high-tide line on the New York side,
and only a little less on the Brooklyn side.

The towers once completed, the task of laying the cables across from
summit to summit engaged the thoughts of the engineers. This was no
ordinary case of swinging a steel rope across a river, for the gigantic
size and weight of the cables made it impossible to use ordinary means.
First of all it would be necessary to make a communication from tower to
tower. To accomplish this, one end of a coiled steel rope was carried to
the top of the Brooklyn tower and passed over until it dangled into the
river beneath. Here a steamboat dragged it across the river to the foot
of the New York tower, where it was hauled up, and having been passed
over the top, was carried down to the masonry anchorage already
mentioned. Here it was wound round a revolving drum or pulley, and
started back again to Brooklyn in the same manner, thus forming an
endless band along which material could be carried by revolving the
pulley at either end.

Though this rope was three-quarters of an inch in thickness, it was
almost invisible to the people on the river, two hundred and seventy-six
feet below. Yet it was the first 'stitch' in the great web, and
thousands of eyes were turned towards it on August 25th, 1876, when the
very first passenger crossed along it from shore to shore. This
passenger was Mr. Farrington, one of the engineers. He wished to
encourage his men by a good example, for over that terrible gulf it
would soon be necessary for many of them to go. His seat was a small
piece of board such as we use for a swing in a playground, and it was
attached to the wire by four short ropes. The perilous journey took more
than twenty minutes, and the people below watched almost breathlessly as
the slender thread swayed up and down with the weight of the traveller.
To their eyes it appeared at times as if he was soaring through the air
unsupported, so thin was the line by which he hung.

And now the weaving of the cables began, and this was perhaps the most
remarkable undertaking in the construction of the great bridge. To the
endless band by which Mr. Farrington had crossed, there was fixed what
is called a 'carrier.' This was to grip the end of the first wire (as
the eye of the needle takes the thread); bear it across the river over
the tops of the lofty towers; 'stitch' it to the New York shore (or
anchorage) and bring it back again.

And that is what it did. This new wire (only one-eight of an inch
thick--thinner, that is, than the first wire, on which Mr. Farrington
had crossed) was two hundred miles long, and it had to perform the
journey many hundred times before the first 'skein' was complete. Thus
you will see that a single 'skein' stretched from shore to shore,
consisting of nearly three hundred separate threads. These were bound
tightly together at frequent intervals, and when a bunch of nineteen of
them had been made, the first cable was ready for completion. But this
was a matter of great difficulty. You will easily understand that it was
necessary for every wire to do its share in bearing the weight of the
bridge. Therefore, they must all be at an equal strain from tower to
tower. Now you know that on a sunny day a bar of steel is longer than it
is on a cloudy day, for the metal expands with heat. Consequently, when
the sun came out to see what they were doing at Brooklyn, the wires upon
which it shone became longer than those in the shadow behind them. Of
course, in a short distance this would not be noticeable, but it made
such a difference in the work we are describing, that the strength of
the cable would have been greatly lessened had the strands been bound
together in the sunshine, while some of the wires were slack, and some
were tight. Even the wind interfered sadly; but by choosing dull, still
days, when all the wires were subjected to the same temperature, they
were at last successfully bound together.

Notwithstanding the perilous nature of this cable-weaving, it was
attended by only one serious accident, and that was when one of the
'skeins' broke loose from the New York shore, and, leaping like the lash
of a giant whip over the tower top, plunged into the river below. It
narrowly missed the ferry-boats and other craft.

The effect of the temperature on such vast quantities of metal is shown
in many ways. By shortening and lengthening the cables, it heightens and
lowers the bridge, which is consequently slightly higher above the river
in winter than it is in summer. At the tower-tops the cables rest on
huge iron saddles, which are placed upon forty steel rollers, so that
the cables may move more freely in expanding and contracting. Again, the
bridge itself is not made in one piece, but is severed half-way across
and provided with a sliding joint, so that all shall act obediently to
the dictates of the ever-changing weather.

Thus you see there is more in building a bridge than appears to those
who do not remember that a knowledge of nature's laws must guide the
architect's hand when he is drawing his plans, and govern the engineer's
tools when he is carrying those plans into effect.

JOHN LEA.



THE LAST TIME.


'You might do it for me, just this once, Barton,' said Lopes in a tone
of anxiety not often heard from a schoolboy. 'Your father is a rich man,
and you can always get all the money you want from him, and if you will
only lend me this, I will never borrow from you again. Do ask for the
money at once!'

Barton looked much perplexed at this appeal, but he answered firmly: 'I
can't do it, old fellow! I have given my word to my father never to be
mixed up in any betting transaction, and I cannot ask him for money to
go to a bookmaker.'

'Then I'm ruined!' said Lopes, passionately, 'and much you care, though
you and I have been chums together ever since we first entered the
school!' and in his despair he clenched his fist and seemed almost as if
he were going to strike his friend.

Barton put up his arm to shield himself as he said in a low voice, 'Look
out, Lopes; don't shout so! we don't want all the kids to know about
this matter;' for just at this moment a trio of merry lads came round
the corner of the Fives Court, whooping and shouting at the top of their
voices. 'Come to the garden; we shall be quiet there, and can talk over
matters, and see what can be done;' and Barton closed the book he had
been studying and led the way to the nut-walk which was sacred to the
Sixth Form.

Lopes followed gloomily. 'It's no good talking, if you won't help me,'
he said as they reached the quiet path.

'But I want to help you,' said Barton, 'and I think I see a way out of
this scrape.'

'Oh, do you?' said Lopes eagerly. 'If only I could pay off this man and
have done with him, I would never bet again. I see now what a silly fool
I have been. Tell me your plan, Barton.'

'Go and tell Mr. Arundel all about it. I don't believe bookmakers have
any right to tempt boys like us to lay money on horses, and---- '

'Mr. Arundel! one of the masters! He would go and tell the Head straight
off, and I should be expelled,' said Lopes bitterly. 'I thought you had
some better plan than that!'

'Mr. Arundel is a gentleman,' said Barton quietly, 'and what you tell
him in confidence will go no further, you may be sure of that; I believe
he could help you.'

'I wish I could think so,' sighed Lopes. 'I can think of nothing, and
settle to nothing with this debt on my mind.'

'Go to Mr. Arundel,' urged Barton. 'I know you will not regret it.'

'Well, I will,' at last said Lopes. 'I will go at once before my courage
fails me.'

'I will come with you,' said Barton, taking his friend's arm.

'You are a good chap, Barton; you don't desert a fellow when he is
down!' said Lopes gratefully. 'I wish I had taken your advice at first,
and thrown the bookmaker's letter on the fire.'

       *       *       *       *       *

There is no space here to tell of all Mr. Arundel said and did to help
Lopes out of his ugly betting scrape. Though the master did not fail to
show Lopes how wrongly he had acted, he had a real pity for the boy who
had been so tempted by the bookmaker's letter, and he determined to let
that gentleman know what he knew of him.

So a very strong letter was sent off by Mr. Arundel, telling the man
that unless he released the schoolboy from all his so-called debts, he
would have him publicly shown up and prosecuted for dealing with a
minor.

[Illustration: "In his despair he clenched his fist."]

By return of post came the desired release from the bookmaker, and Mr.
Arundel handed it to the boy with a pleasant smile. 'You are free,
Lopes; you will hear no more of this man, I can promise you, and you
must promise me never to bet again.'

'I will--I do, sir! and thank you most deeply,' said Lopes earnestly. If
this had reached my father's ears, it would have broken his heart. Oh,
thank you so very much! You do not know how miserable I have been.'

[Illustration: "'Who's that that dares to serve me so?'"]

Lopes kept his word, and that bet was his last one. He had learnt that
honesty and straightforwardness get rid of any difficulties.



NO HARM MEANT.


  Two puppies with good-natured hearts, but clumsy little toes,
  Were feeling rather sleepy, so they settled for a doze;
  But underneath the very ledge on which they chanced to be,
  A large and stately pussy cat was basking dreamily.

  A short half-hour had hardly passed, when one pup made a stir,
  And stretching out a lazy paw, just touched the tabby's fur;
  'Twas nothing but an accident, yet, oh! the angry wail!
  The flashing in the tabby's eye, the lashing of her tail!

  'Who's that that dares to serve me so?' she cried with arching back.
  'I'll teach you puppies how to make an unprovoked attack!'
  One puppy started to his feet with terror in his eyes,
  The other said, as soon as pluck had overcome surprise:

  'I'm really very sorry, ma'am, but honestly declare
  I hadn't any notion that a pussy cat was there.'
  But just like those who look for wrong in every one they see,
  She left the spot, nor deigned to take the pup's apology.



HOW MANY?


The Spartan King Agis was asked shortly before a battle: 'How many
soldiers can you bring into the field?'

'As many as will suffice to rout the enemy!' was the Spartan's curt
reply.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

By MRS. MULLIKEN.


CHAPTER I.

'You don't think they will come to any harm?' said the young governess.

When Miss Leigh spoke in that plaintive tone, Lady Coke knew that she
was tired out with the noise and wilfulness of her young pupils, and
that a 'row,' as Alan called it, was likely to follow.

'No,' said Lady Coke, smiling; 'they are accustomed to the management of
the boat, and Thomas shall go with them. He knows the coast well, and is
a first-class boatman.'

Her nephew, Colonel De Bohun, laughed. 'He is A.1. at his oar, but very
deficient as a gardener,' he said. 'Your kindness in keeping him, my
dear aunt, is a marvel to us all.'

'His mother is very poor,' returned Lady Coke, with a sigh. 'I wish he
were a better son to her. He is her great trouble, I fear.'

'And yet you are not afraid to trust the children with him,' murmured
Miss Leigh, in surprise.

'He is quite to be trusted on the water!' replied Lady Coke, with some
decision. 'Children must have something to do to carry off their extra
energy, and---- '

'"A boy is the most difficult to manage of all wild beasts!" So, at all
events, an old writer tells us,' said the Colonel, with a smile. 'I am
afraid, Miss Leigh, you find the girls are not much better. You ought to
be glad to get rid of our noisy pack of youngsters for an hour or two.'

'Oh, if you are not afraid,' began Miss Leigh, in an injured tone.

She considered that her anxiety on behalf of her pupils was not being
properly appreciated, and felt hurt. But further conversation was cut
short by the boisterous rush of four children round the corner of the
shubbery.

'Thomas can come!' shouted the eldest boy, who was racing ahead of the
noisy party. 'I just managed to catch him as he was sneaking off up the
Wilderness.'

'What?' exclaimed the Colonel, surprised.

'Sneaking off!' repeated Lady Coke. 'Alan, what a way of speaking! What
do you mean?'

'He ran away as soon as he saw we wanted him,' said Georgie. 'He tried
to hide in the bushes, and I am sure he did not want us to see him.'

'He _was_ sneaking off. We could all tell that,' added Marjorie, a tall,
handsome girl of thirteen. 'But what does it matter? If he can come with
us now, it is no business of ours what he was doing.'

Meanwhile, Estelle, a small, slender child of eleven, who looked much
younger, was clinging to her great-aunt's hand, and murmuring
continually, 'Are we going, Auntie? I do so want to go on the sea!'

'Here is Thomas,' said Colonel De Bohun, as the young gardener came
towards the group, with a sulky expression on his red face.

'I want you to take the children out in the boat, Thomas,' said Lady
Coke. 'I hope you are not particularly busy this afternoon?'

'I am at your service, my lady,' he replied. 'I will get---- '

'I will help you!' cried Alan, eagerly. 'We will have the boat ready in
a jiffy.'

With an awkward touch of his cap, Thomas moved off, his sulky face
revealing the wrath which was surging within. But no one was looking at
him, nor was a second thought given to Alan's laughing assertion that he
had been seen 'sneaking off up the Wilderness.' The wild joy of the
children, and the many cautions as to their behaviour when on the water,
which their elders impressed upon them, together with the preparations
for the trip, made them all forget Thomas's queer manner. They were
destined, however, before long, to remember it for many a day.

Colonel De Bohun made Alan fetch some cushions, that the boat might be
made more comfortable for his cousin and his sister, and Lady Coke,
drawing Marjorie aside, begged her to look well after Estelle, who was
not so used to boating as she and her brothers were, and might endanger
the safety of the young party by some sudden movement. Marjorie was to
remember how easily a boat was upset.

Estelle had never till now lived near the sea-coast. Her life had been
spent in the Highlands of Scotland, at her father's old castle, Lynwood
Keep. Her uncle, Colonel De Bohun, had often begged the Earl of Lynwood
to allow her to spend her holidays with her cousins, but the Earl could
not bear to part with his little girl even for so short a time. Instead,
he gladly welcomed the little cousins to Lynwood Keep, where Estelle was
allowed to do everything she desired for their pleasure and
entertainment.

The great sorrow of his life, the loss of his young wife when Estelle
was five years old, had changed him completely. From being a cheerful,
open-hearted, open-handed man, he had become silent and reserved, seldom
seeing anybody, and keeping aloof even from his brother's children when
they paid their yearly visit to Estelle, and the delights of her
Highland home.

To only one person did he unbend. Estelle had become all in all to him.
He felt he could not do enough for her. He must be both father and
mother to the little motherless child, and to him she must look for
everything. Except when she was at her lessons, he loved to have her
with him, and wherever he went, on visits to his tenants, or walking
over the property, she was always his little shadow, as well known and
beloved as he. In the evenings they would sit together, talking over
their uneventful day, or recalling that memory of wife and mother which
was so sacred and so tender to them both, and which Lord Lynwood desired
should never fade from his little girl's mind.

Such a life was by no means a healthy one for Estelle, as Lord Lynwood's
aunt, Lady Coke, discovered during her visits to Lynwood Keep. She
noticed how sensitive and excitable Estelle was growing. If Lord Lynwood
came down in the morning looking worn and depressed, Estelle would watch
him for a few minutes, and unconsciously put on the same look. Slipping
her hand into his, and gazing up into his face with sympathetic eyes,
she only increased his gloom; Lady Coke saw it, and felt sorry for them
both. Any other child would have been spoilt by the indulgence which
gratified every wish, but Estelle's gentleness and her great desire to
be to her father all that her mother had been, prevented her from being
either selfish or naughty.

She was not a strong child, and the accounts of her health and spirits
which her governess, Mademoiselle Vadevant, gave Lady Coke, did not
satisfy that dear old lady. She did not like to hear that Estelle was
apt to cry on the slightest excuse; that she had no energy, no appetite;
that she was listless in her play, never happy except when with her
father, and soon grew tired with the least exertion. Every breath of
wind appeared to give her a cold, and she slept badly. Lady Coke said
little, but she thought deeply about all she heard and saw.

A few weeks after this visit of Lady Coke's, Lord Lynwood, to his great
surprise, received a letter from a very influential quarter; his past
services to the State were spoken of in the most flattering manner, and
he was urged to accept office again. An appointment to the Court of
Austria was offered to him in terms which made refusal almost
impossible. Lady Coke was delighted when he showed her the letter, and
warmly begged him not to throw away what had been offered to him in such
a kindly spirit. She did not betray her own handiwork in the offer.

'It is the best thing that could have happened!' she exclaimed, smiling
and pleased. 'The very best thing for you and Estelle.'

'Best for the child?' he repeated, blankly.

'Yes, even for Estelle,' replied his aunt, with decision. 'She ought to
have many things which you cannot give her, with all your love; her
mother would have understood. She must live in a warmer, sunnier
climate. She ought to have the companionship of other children; some one
to play with, and some one to work with as well as play.'

'Ah!' said the Earl, feeling as if a trap had been sprung upon him. 'And
where is she to have all this?'

'Let her live with me,' replied Lady Coke, smiling. 'Her cousins are
quite close, and she will be with them every day. I am sure you will
soon see how greatly this plan will benefit the dear child, and will not
grudge what will do her good.'

'I should not mind so much leaving her if she were with you,' admitted
the Earl, after a long pause. 'But are you sure it will not be too much
for you, dear aunt, to have so young a child with you always? Will she
not tire you?'

'You little know how young I am still,' she interrupted with a merry
laugh. 'I love the child, and you could not give me greater pleasure
than by leaving her with me.'

The more the plan was talked over the more pleasant and possible it
became, and when the Earl saw Estelle's delight on hearing that she was
to share in Marjorie's lessons, and have her cousins to play with every
day, he became reconciled to the parting with his little girl.

But when the day came for saying good-bye he almost repented. Estelle
cried and clung to him till Lady Coke and Mademoiselle had great trouble
in getting her away. They hurried her up to her room, where Mademoiselle
gave her brilliant descriptions of how busy her father was going to be,
and how happy she would be in his absence with her cousins. She would
grow up to be a comfort to him, and must do all she could that he might
not be disappointed in her on his return.

Then came the bustle of preparation for her own journey, and the
excitement of her arrival at the Moat House. All three cousins were
there to greet her, and she was welcomed with so many kisses, and such a
chorus of delight, that for the moment everything else was forgotten.
Each of the cousins had his or her favourite pet, or particular spot in
the garden to show her, and Estelle felt herself at home at once.

Lady Coke's plan had worked well. The joy of the children, their perfect
contentment when together, and Estelle's improved health and spirits
were proof enough. The gardens of the two houses, which joined, the
woods, the rocks, the sea, were more than enough to keep them all happy
and occupied; and to Estelle was added the keen pleasure of an only
child to whom everything was new.

(_Continued on page 10._)

[Illustration: "Thomas moved off."]

[Illustration: "Marjorie distinctly saw a man's figure."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 7._)


An afternoon to be spent in rowing along that grand coast, in scrambling
among the rocks, or visiting the numerous caves, was to Estelle the
height of delight. As the boat pushed off from the sandy beach, and
Thomas swung himself into the stern, she gazed about her in silent but
deep enjoyment.

The sea was as smooth as glass. The sun shone clear and hot. The white
sails of distant boats dotted the horizon. Beautiful as was the sea
itself, however, her whole attention was given to the frowning cliffs
which towered up in great headlands and boulders. Hovering about every
ledge, or over the surface of the water, were white-winged gulls, diving
or preening their feathers in the warm sunshine. Masses of jagged rocks
stretched far out from land, making a wide sweep necessary in order to
get round the Point. Steering was Marjorie's special duty, and long
practice had made her very skilful in avoiding dangerous spots, and
tacking against cross-currents. She it was, too, who begged Estelle not
to jump about in the boat, and so imperil the lives of the party by her
delight in the new world about her.

'Ripping, isn't it?' said Alan, joining in Marjorie's laugh at their
little cousin's restlessness.

'Oh, it's lovely!' cried Estelle, eagerly. 'But, look, Alan! What is
that dark patch in the cliff?'

'Oh, _that_ isn't anything!' he returned. 'You will soon see a far
bigger hole in the cliff than that. There are heaps of caves about here;
some quite shallow like that one; others very deep and high and dark,
and some---- '

'Some to which we have never been able to find the way,' interrupted
Marjorie, as Alan hesitated. 'I know there used to be---- '

'Thomas,' said Alan, also interrupting, as he looked over his shoulder
at the man behind him, 'do you know the way from the cliff into the
Smuggler's Bay?'

'What makes you think that, sir?' asked the man, sullenly.

'You were a fisherman once, weren't you? At all events you went out with
the fishing fleet as a boy,' said Marjorie, 'and Aunt Betty says you
know the coast better than anybody.'

'And did you smuggle once?' demanded Georgie, looking up from the
preparation of a bent pin for some attempts at fishing.

Thomas gave a hoarse laugh. 'What I know, I know,' he said,
mysteriously. 'It isn't fit, and my lady would not like it, if I was to
tell you all I know.'

'That means you know a great deal,' exclaimed Alan, triumphantly. 'Now I
am sure of what I only guessed before. There is a way down, and I will
find it out somehow without you telling me a word.'

Thomas's face reddened with anger at his meaning being caught up so
quickly, but before he could reply Marjorie broke in.

'Tell me when to turn in,' she said, as they left the shelter of the
headland, and the cool briny air fanned their cheeks.

The water was rougher, and the little boat danced upon the swell as they
rounded the outlying rocks. Estelle was on the look-out for dangers, but
Marjorie understood her business too well, and they glided along without
even grazing a single jagged point. The gulls, startled from their perch
on the heights by the approach of the boat, rose, flapping and
shrieking. It seemed as if hundreds were circling about the rocks, only
to settle down again as the little skiff drew away from them into the
bay.

Estelle's quick eyes saw the great gap in the cliffs as they came nearer
to the shore. It was forty or fifty feet above the beach, and from it a
small stream of water flowed in a thin shower.

'That is the place Alan spoke of,' said Marjorie, as her cousin pointed
to it. 'There are all sorts of stories about it, but I don't believe
anybody knows much. Some say there used to be a passage to it from our
old ruined summer-house, and smugglers were hauled up, and their
treasure too, and nobody could find out what became of them.'

'It seems a tremendous height,' said Estelle, in a tone of awe.

'It was only used at high tide,' said Alan. 'There were the caves down
below when the water was out. But here we are,' he added, as Thomas ran
the boat up the beach. 'Come along, and I will show you the only cave
worth looking at.'

The children were out of the boat in a moment, Georgie alone remaining
behind the others to 'lend a hand,' as he called it, though hindering
rather than helping Thomas to pull the boat out of reach of the tide.

'I can't think, Alan,' said Marjorie, when they had gone some way up the
beach, 'how you could give yourself away to Thomas so.'

'What do you mean?' asked Alan, flushing, and inclined to be angry.

'About the path, of course. If there is one, and if he really believes
that you intend to hunt for it, he is as likely as not to put all the
hindrances he can in your way.'

'Why should he?'

'I don't know, but there was something in his face that made me think he
had some secret, and a reason for keeping it. Let us make our own
discoveries without---- '

'You will have just about a hour, perhaps a little less, before we must
start back again, Miss,' said the voice of Thomas behind them.

Alan and Marjorie turned quickly. How much had he heard? He had
evidently followed them, and Alan could not believe that it was merely
to give a piece of quite unnecessary information, for they were within
calling distance anywhere in that small bay.

'Are you not going to stay with us all the time?' he exclaimed, in a
tone that showed a little annoyance.

'No, sir,' returned the man, with a wily smile, which somehow increased
Alan's anger. 'I thought I would sit inside the cave a bit. It's hot in
the sun.'

It sounded reasonable enough, and there was nothing to say against his
doing as he wished, but both the elder children somehow distrusted him.

They were at the entrance of the cave by this time, and their attention
was drawn away from the gardener by Estelle's fear of the gloomy shadows
which loomed upon them as they entered. There was not much to see, and
before long they came upon masses of broken rock and stones, up which
Alan insisted on dragging Estelle, while Marjorie helped Georgie. At the
top the cave narrowed into little more than a moderate-sized passage,
but here it was so dark that progress was not easy. Estelle became
frightened, and Georgie begged for a return to daylight. But this did
not suit Alan at all.

'Stop a bit,' he said, striking a match. 'You sit here, you two, while
Marjorie and I light up.'

He brought a piece of magnesium wire out of his pocket, and for a few
moments the dazzling flame lighted up the cave till every corner stood
out clear. Georgie was delighted, and Estelle wished it could always
remain alight. Marjorie laughed at the remark, but the laugh died away
in her throat the next moment; as the second bit of wire was flaming she
distinctly saw a man's figure disappear behind a rock. A sudden terror
seized upon her, making her feel she could not remain a moment longer in
the cave. She had not seen enough to be certain whether it was Thomas or
not, and the uncertainty startled her.

'We've been here long enough, Alan,' she said, hurriedly.

'Do try and give us some light while I get Georgie down the slope. Can
you manage for yourself, Estelle?'

'What's the matter?' whispered Alan, as they reached the entrance to the
cave once more. 'You know I have been round every bit of those rocks at
the end of the cave,' he went on, after hearing all that Marjorie had to
tell him, 'and not an opening did I find. I am sure Father had every
passage closed, and unless Thomas has discovered where they were, and
reopened them, what you saw must have been fancy. What could Thomas want
here? There is no smuggling now.'

Meantime, Estelle and Georgie, glad to get once more into the daylight,
were racing each other over the sands and into the numerous clefts in
the cliffs, with shouts of laughter. Suddenly Estelle stopped, panting.

'It tires me so to run,' she said, with a little laugh of shame at her
weakness. 'Shall we get the spades out of the boat and dig instead?'

Georgie readily agreed, and saying he would fetch them, set off down the
slope. Estelle threw herself down on the soft sand, intending to rest
till Georgie returned. All was very quiet and still in the bay; the
gentle lapping of the waves as the tide rose was the only sound. As she
glanced round her at the gulls and then towards the cave, where Alan and
Marjorie still lingered, she became aware that the tide was coming in,
and that Thomas was nowhere visible. She was always timid, and a real
terror seized her now. With a frightened glance to see how near the boat
was to the water, she sprang up and rushed over to where her cousins
were standing.

'Alan! Marjorie!' she cried. 'See how high the sea is getting! Isn't it
time to go back? Where is Thomas?'

In another minute that question was exciting all the children. They
called to him, they searched the caves as well as it was possible for
them to do, but Thomas was not to be found, nor was there any answer to
their shouts.

(_Continued on page 22._)



A SEASONABLE ANSWER.


A seasonable answer was given by the minister Cyneas to the ambitious
Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, when that great conqueror began to speak of his
designs (B.C. 280).

'Well,' said Cyneas, 'when thou has vanquished the Romans, what wilt
thou then do?'

'I will then,' said Pyrrhus, 'sail over to Sicily.'

'And what wilt thou do when that is won?'

'Then we will subdue Africa.'

'Well, when that is effected, what wilt thou then do?' asked Cyneas.

'Why, then,' said Pyrrhus, 'we will sit down and spend the rest of our
time merrily and contentedly.'

'And what hinders thee,' said Cyneas, 'that without all this labour and
peril thou canst not now do so beforehand?'



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

I.--THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE COMMON FROG.


How is it that people as a rule have such a dislike for frogs? Many
people, even those who live in the country, credit them with the power
of spitting poison, and even those who do not share this belief, regard
them as creatures to be shunned. Perhaps this short outline of the
life-history of these poor creatures, so unjustly 'sent to Coventry,'
may gain for them at least a favourable hearing. Frogs make most
charming pets, and I am never without a few on my study table. From
their lives these facts are taken.

Let us begin from the very beginning--the hatching out of the eggs.
Frogs' eggs and birds' eggs are really not so unlike as they seem at
first sight, for though the frog's eggs have no shell, yet, just as in
the bird's egg, there are two essential parts to be distinguished--the
formative material out of which the young frog grows and the yolk on
which the growing animal feeds. By the untrained eye nothing more can be
seen in the frog's egg than a small black ball enclosed within a clear
jelly-like substance. At the time the egg is laid this outer jelly is
hardly noticeable, but it soon swells up, and thus forms a soft, elastic
covering to the growing frog, effectually protecting it from injury.
This black ball, by the way, answers to the yellow yolk of the hen's
egg: it differs from the yellow yolk in that it is colourless
internally, and black externally. The black outside coat apparently
serves to attract the heat of the sun, and thereby to bring about the
hatching process, which the hen does by the warmth of her own body.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--A to G: Stages in the growth of the Tadpole,
greatly magnified.]

These eggs are furthermore remarkable in that they are laid, not one by
one, as a hen lays, but in thousands, and in water, forming an enormous
speckled mass. Take a portion of such a mass and watch it. Day by day
you will see the black spot gradually assume a distinct shape (fig. 1,
A): a little later a head and tail can be made out.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Mouth of Tadpole, greatly magnified.]

In a few hours more little black buds grow out on each side of the head,
and these soon become branched. They are the future gills. At this time
you will notice slight movements within this glassy cradle; and soon
after this the young frog, or tadpole, as we must call him now, escapes;
that is to say, as soon as he leaves his cradle he becomes a tadpole. At
first he does nothing but hang on to bits of weed, or the broken remains
of the covering of the egg, by a sticky substance formed by a special
pair of suckers placed just behind the mouth, as shown in our
illustration (fig. 2).

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Gill of Tadpole, greatly magnified.]

Soon signs of life become apparent in the shape of a slow curving of the
body from side to side. In a very short time, however, these movements
increase so rapidly that the tail can hardly be seen, and at last, in
one of these violent wriggles he finds himself actually swimming! During
all this time he has swallowed no food, but has lived on the remains of
the egg within him; swallowing, indeed, has been out of the question,
for as yet his mouth is sealed! But now, at last, the little jaws are
unlocked, and he begins to eat ravenously, at first delicate green weed,
and later, flesh, when it is to be had. I give my tadpoles small pieces
of beef, but in the ditches where they swarm, animal matter is to be had
in plenty as a rule.

The mouth at this time is a very different structure from that which is
found in the adult frog: it is fringed by a pair of broad fleshy lips
armed with rows of tiny horny teeth--a curious place for teeth; the
mouth itself is furnished with a pair of teeth--also horny--resembling
the beak of a parrot.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Tadpole, showing breathing-tube, magnified.]

During this time these tiny little creatures bear a really close
resemblance to the young of many fish. In both young fishes and
tadpoles, for some time after leaving the egg, breathing is done by
means of very delicate branching gills, standing out on each side of the
head. One of these branches, highly magnified, is shown in fig. 3; at C
(fig. 1) the gills are shown in their natural position. If you can
manage to place a tadpole at this stage under the microscope, you will
see the blood, in the shape of little oval discs, coursing through the
blood-vessels of these gills. These breathing organs, however, are a
source of danger, for they are easily injured, so that, in the tadpole,
as in the fish, they are soon replaced by gills enclosed within a little
chamber on each side of the head. Breathing now takes place by drawing
water in at the mouth, passing it through the chambers and over the
gills, and expelling it through a small hole which opens in the form of
a short tube on the left side of the neck (shown in fig. 4), if a neck
can be distinguished in an animal where the head passes insensibly into
the body! But yet another change in the breathing apparatus takes place.
During the time that the gills are being changed, a pair of lungs are
being developed, and the first hint that they are growing is given by
the frequent journeys to the top of the water for the purpose of sucking
in air.

(_Concluded on page 37._)

[Illustration: "Then came the difficult task of bringing down the little
lad."]



LONG TOM'S GRATITUDE.


'You are a silly, you are; fancy wasting a brand-new shilling on a
circus kid!'

'Nonsense!' was the elder boy's answer; 'first you nearly get run over
by dragging her away from the horse's hoofs, and then you go and give
her all your pocket-money--I've no patience with you.'

Secretly, Dick Chilcote admired the plucky action, but he was too proud
to say so. But Phil, knowing nothing of this, looked very downcast.

The two lads were standing in the road which overlooked the meadow where
'Bagster's World-renowned Circus' had put up its huge tent, the place
having a fascination for them.

'Those sort of people,' went on Dick, who was a bit too fond of hearing
his own voice, 'have no gratitude.'

'Haven't they, young master?' said a voice in their ears.

It was Tom Venner--otherwise known as 'Long Tom, the Stilt-walker'--who
spoke.

'It strikes me they have, only they never get a chance of being quits.
Look here, youngster'--this to Phil--'it was my little girl you saved,
and one day, if ever I get a chance, I will show you that Long Tom is
not ungrateful.'

Phil grew rosy, and more nervous than ever.

'What's your name, I'd like to know?' went on the man.

'Phil Chilcote,' answered the little lad. 'And what's yours, please?'

'Tom Venner, at your service,' was the reply. 'And now I must be off;
but I shan't forget you.'

Shortly after this, the dinner-hour being near, the two boys wended
their way homewards.

       *       *       *       *       *

The night which followed this incident was exceptionally wild and
stormy, and, for the first time within memory of living man, the whole
of the lower part of the village of Radwell was flooded by the tide. The
wild rush of waters had swept away the sea-wall as though it had been a
mere plaything, and widespread destruction was the result.

It was a terrible night for man and beast, and Tom Venner, as he drove
his caravan along the lonely road towards the adjoining town, found it a
very difficult matter to make headway in the teeth of the warring
elements.

Presently the clouds cleared away from the face of the moon, and then it
was that a strange scene met the man's eyes. All the land to the right
of him was one wide area of waters, upon which boats were making their
way towards a higher level of land. Curiosity prompted him to drive
nearer, and presently the sound of voices showed that one boat-load had
reached dry land in safety. By the time Tom Venner was on the spot, a
second craft had also come in.

'You have got Phil with you, of course,' he heard a man say. It was Mr.
Chilcote who spoke, a strange ring of anxiety in his voice.

'No,' was the startled answer of a lady who was hushing a baby to sleep.
'Oh, Maurice, you don't mean to say you left him behind!'

'What!' ejaculated the man, hoarsely. 'Nurse said that he was with you.
What shall we do?'

Well might Mr. Chilcote's heart fail, for his home was flooded all
round, and in danger of collapsing altogether.

The mother of the little lad gave a cry of bitter distress, a cry which
went to Tom's very heart. 'My Phil! my little Phil!' was all she
moaned.

'Do you mean to say it's little Phil Chilcote in danger?' shouted Tom,
his mind reverting to the only 'Phil' he knew.

'Yes,' was the reply from several voices.

'Then I will save him if mortal man can,' was the plucky response.

'But his window is out of reach, and the stairs are under water by this
time,' said the poor mother, despairingly.

Then a brilliant thought struck Tom, and he told it at once to Mr.
Chilcote. The result was that in a few moments Tom, with his stilts on
either side of him, was being rowed by trusty oarsmen, one of whom was
Mr. Chilcote himself, to the Manor House.

'That's the window, my man,' said Mr. Chilcote, when they reached the
house; 'do you think you can manage it?'

'Aye, aye, sir,' was the reply. 'Don't you fear!'

But it was a more difficult task than even Tom Venner expected. However,
his stilts were soon in working order, and whilst the watchers held
their breath for fear, the man accomplished his task. Smashing a pane of
glass, he roused the little sleeper, who, owing to the terrible mistake
of a well-nigh distraught maid, had been left alone in the Manor House.

A frightened cry came from poor Phil's lips at the sound of the breaking
glass. In a few words, however, the man calmed his fears, and explained
what had happened. In another moment, little Phil was out of bed, and
the window was unfastened by his trembling fingers.

'Have you got a bit of cord handy?' asked Tom Venner of the child.

'Yes; nurse's box-cord is here,' was the reply; 'I use it for my reins.'

'Oh, well, that will do--give it me, quick.'

Tom steadied himself on his stilts as firmly as he could, and then came
the difficult task of bringing down the little lad. How he did it Tom
could scarcely tell you himself, but certain it is that a few minutes
later Phil was safe in his father's arms.

       *       *       *       *       *

'I say, I am awfully sorry I talked all that rot about--about
ingratitude, you know.' So said Dick Chilcote, looking with shamed eyes
into Tom Venner's face.

'All right, young master, don't bother your head about that,' was the
reply; 'it was a little mistake, that is all.'

Dick was too moved to answer, his ready speech having entirely failed
him.

'As for mistakes,' went on Tom, as--the adventure being over--he
prepared to mount his caravan, 'I have made plenty of them, and I shall
be making another if I don't hurry up after the boss. Good-night to you,
my lad.'

'Good-night,' echoed Mr. Chilcote; 'you will be hearing from me, my good
friend, in the course of a day or two.'

And so Tom did--a letter which made him open his eyes to their widest
extent. Not only did the envelope contain a letter of heartfelt thanks,
but a good large cheque.



A CHINESE SOLOMON.


Foo Chow, a Pekin magistrate, once showed great wisdom and ingenuity in
detecting a thief. A man was brought before him charged with stealing a
small but very valuable jewelled table. The prisoner denied the charge.
He said that he was weak and feeble with long illness. For that reason
it was impossible for him to have carried off a piece of furniture.

The judge listened very gravely to his story. After hearing of the poor
man's misfortunes, he professed great sorrow and sympathy for the
sufferer.

'Go home and get cured,' said he kindly; 'and as you are poor, take with
you that bag of cash'--heavy Chinese coins--'as a gift from this court.'

The prisoner bowed, quickly threw the heavy bag over his shoulder, and
departed, while every one wondered. But he had hardly got outside the
door of the court, when he was arrested. The judge remarked that if he
could easily carry off a heavy sack of money, he would have no
difficulty in stealing a light table.

  H. B. S.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

1.--NARRATIVE ARITHMOGRAPH.


5 raised the 6-7-4-3-2-11-13 and looked out. The 1-2-5-8-3-2-5-13 was
about to start. '2-8-5-6-11-9,' 5 cried, '3-4-5-2-8 and 10-12-11-8 lie
before me. 4-2-5-8 13-12-10 lady at my shabby 6-12-2-3 2
13-2-10-5-12-13's eyes follow me. 11-13 this 6-7-4-3 8-9-10-11-13 letter
my instructions are written; armed with 11-10 5 2-1 9 happy 1-2-13.'

  C. J. B.

[_Answer on page 51._]



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1806.

I.--'THE BUTTERFLY'S BALL.'


Just a hundred years ago the well-known poem, 'The Butterfly's Ball and
the Grasshopper's Feast,' was published, and we reproduce it here
because it is not always easy to get a copy of it nowadays, and some of
our readers may never have seen it. The author, William Roscoe, was a
noted historian and critic, and he wrote these verses to amuse his
little son, Robert, who is supposed to be telling how he saw the
wonderful ball. The lines about little Robert, however, were not in the
poem as it was when it first appeared, and other alterations were made
here and there. The poem soon became famous, and a great many imitations
of it were written. It came to the notice, too, of King George and Queen
Caroline, and they had it set to music to amuse the little Princess
Mary.

  Come, take up your hats, and away let us haste
  To the Butterfly's ball and the Grasshopper's feast:
  The trumpeter Gad-fly has summoned the crew,
  And the revels are now only waiting for you.
  So said little Robert, and pacing along,
  His many companions came forth in a throng,
  And on the smooth grass, by the side of a wood,
  Beneath a broad oak, which for ages had stood,
  Saw the children of earth and the tenants of air
  To an evening's amusement together repair.
  And there came the Beetle, so blind and so black,
  Who carried the Emmet, his friend, on his back;
  And there was the Gnat, and the Dragon-fly too,
  And all their relations, green, orange, and blue.
  And then came the Moth, with her plumage of down,
  And the Hornet, in jacket of yellow and brown;
  Who with him the Wasp, his companion, did bring,
  But they promised that evening to lay by their sting.
  Then the shy little Dormouse peeped out of his hole,
  And led to the feast his blind cousin, the Mole;
  And the Snail, with her horns peeping out of her shell,
  Came, fatigued with the distance, the length of an ell.
  A mushroom the table; and on it was spread
  A water-dock leaf, which their table-d'hôte made.
  The viands were various, to each of their taste,
  And the Bee brought the honey to sweeten the feast.
  Then close on his haunches, so solemn and wise,
  The Frog from a corner looked up to the skies;
  And the Sparrow, well pleased such diversions to see,
  Mounted high overhead, and looked down from a tree.
  Then out came the Spider, with finger so fine,
  To show his dexterity on the tight line.
  From one branch to another his cobwebs he slung,
  Then quick as an arrow he darted along.
  But just in the middle, oh, shocking to tell!
  From his rope in an instant poor Harlequin fell.
  Yet he touched not the ground, but with talons outspread,
  Hung suspended in air at the end of a thread.
  Then the Grasshopper came with a jerk and a spring;
  Very long was his leg, though but short was his wing;
  He took but three leaps, and was soon out of sight,
  Then chirped his own praises the rest of the night.
  With steps most majestic the Snail did advance,
  And he promised the gazers a minuet to dance;
  But they all laughed so loud that he drew in his head,
  And went in his own little chamber to bed.
  Then as evening gave way to the shadows of night,
  Their watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with his light:
  So home let us hasten, while yet we can see,
  For no watchman is waiting for you or for me.
  So said little Robert, and pacing along,
  His many companions returned in a throng.



HIS MASTER'S HAT.


Not long ago, a fine collie dog was running happily after an omnibus, on
the top of which his master was seated. Every now and then the man
turned round to encourage the dog, and at last, as he did this, a gust
of wind blew off his hat, which went careering down the road by the side
of the omnibus. Quick as thought, the dog darted after the hat, chased
it and 'rounded it up,' as if it were a stray lamb or sheep, and by the
time his master had descended from the top of the omnibus to get his
lost property, the dog was waiting for him, wagging his tail, with the
hat safely in his mouth.

[Illustration: "The dog darted after the hat."]

[Illustration: "The dog took kindly to her foster-children."]



WILD ANIMALS IN CAPTIVITY.


Notwithstanding all the care which is now bestowed upon wild animals in
our zoological gardens and menageries, nearly all of them suffer a
little in some way or other by confinement. When we think of the great
difference which exists between the surroundings natural to a free wild
animal, and those of even the best zoological gardens, we cannot but be
surprised that so many animals from all parts of the world can be kept
alive and in good condition in a climate so changeable as ours. Every
effort is made by the keepers to copy as far as possible the natural
conditions to which each animal is accustomed.

It was usual, for instance, to deprive all the flesh-eating animals of
one of the greatest travelling menageries of food during one day in each
week. It was found by experience that the animals were healthier when
they suffered periods of fasting like this, than they were when they
were fed regularly every day without a break. The explanation of this
was very simple. These animals, when they were living wild in the
jungles, forests, deserts, or ice-fields, obtained all their food by
hunting. When game was scarce or difficult to catch, they were compelled
to go hungry; and this occurred so often as to be a natural condition to
which they were well accustomed. When, therefore, they were placed in
cages, and were fed as regularly, though not as frequently as human
beings, their health was more or less impaired.

Animals in confinement often undergo slight changes even when no
alteration in their appearance or falling-off in health is noticeable.
Many of them, for instance, rarely have young ones, and even when they
have, the young are seldom as healthy and robust as if born in a wild
state. The keepers have frequently the utmost difficulty in rearing
animals which are born in menageries and zoological gardens. Yet if
these animals were born in their own countries and under natural
conditions, they would grow up healthy and strong, without receiving any
more care than a kitten receives from its mother.

An incident which occurred in the Zoo not long ago affords a striking
illustration of these facts. A wolf had an ordinary family of eight
young ones. The keepers, probably thinking that these were too many for
the captive wolf to bring up alone, divided the family. Four of them
were left with their mother, and four of them were placed in charge of a
collie. The dog took kindly to her foster-children, and reared them
successfully with her own. This was only what the keepers expected. But
when they placed the young ones together again, and compared the
collie's family with the wolf's family, they were surprised to find that
the four which had been nurtured by the collie were stronger and better
animals than their four brothers and sisters. The best explanation of
this result is that the collie was living a healthy natural life, while
the wolf, though to all appearance quite well, was not enjoying the full
vigour which results from a free and active life.

  W. A. ATKINSON.



UMBRELLA TREASON.


Some little time ago, there was what the newspapers described as
'unrest' in the West African colony of Lagos; telegrams were dispatched
between that country and Great Britain, governors and deputy-governors
were interviewed, and it was with difficulty that a native war was
averted. The cause of all this commotion was an umbrella!

Now, in our country, as we all know, an umbrella is looked upon as a
harmless possession--but not so in West Africa. There, amongst most of
the native tribes, the umbrella is regarded as an emblem of royalty, and
its possession is strictly confined to the chief or king of the
tribe.

Therefore the indignation was intense on the part of one of these kings,
when he found an inferior chief setting up an umbrella of his own. The
king at once took a journey to Lagos, to lodge a formal complaint of the
chief's treasonable conduct with the British Governor.

       *       *       *       *       *

An African king's umbrella is a very elaborate affair, and it often
costs large sums of money. Most of the umbrellas for Ashanti and the
Gold Coast are made in London, and are of gigantic size, some of them
when open measuring ten feet across.

The coverings of these umbrellas are of coloured silk--the brighter the
better, with very deep fringes. The largest umbrellas are carried over
the heads of chiefs, by bearers, while other bearers steady the umbrella
by cords attached to the uppermost parts.

One state umbrella had for its apex a silver eagle standing on two
silver cannons, whilst another umbrella had a gold hen on the top, the
hen being surrounded by numerous chickens, to represent the chief and
his tribe.

A cheap umbrella for a small chief can be had for ten pounds, but such
state umbrellas as we have described are not to be had for less than
sixty or even seventy guineas.

X.



THE WRONG WIND.


  A breeze from the South made the rose-bushes quiver,
    And what did the South Wind say?
  'I met with an accident, crossing the river,
    The ice-covered river, to-day.

  ''Twas frozen; and yesterday morning the skaters
    Were there in no end of a crowd,
  While Timothy Tubb in his scarf and his gaiters
    Was looking uncommonly proud.

  'So, early this morning, on reaching the river,
    I looked at its surface and cried:
  If Tim, on that ice, can show skating so clever,
    Now why shouldn't I have a slide?

  'But though I'm so light (oh, the thought makes me shiver),
    Crack! Bang! And from shore unto shore
  The water jumped out; I was half in the river,
    And don't mean to slide any more.

  'Yet--isn't it strange?--in the coldest of winters
    Tim Tubb can go skating with glee;
  While bang! goes the ice, and it cracks into splinters
    'Neath the foot of a South Wind like me.'



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

By HAROLD ERICSON.


I.--A SCRAMBLE WITH A BEAR.

On a splendid night in the cool of the year, three men sat out in the
Veldt in South Africa, talking and laughing over their camp fire. A few
Kaffir drivers and huntsmen were similarly engaged at a second fire at
some little distance. The light of the burning wood revealed fitfully
the shape of the great waggon in the background, and the sound of
munching behind it told of the presence of the team of oxen which had
dragged it northwards from Bulawayo. Later on, when they trekked up into
the lion-zone, the district in which lions and other dangerous beasts
might be expected to visit them by night, if the way were left open for
them, it would be necessary to encircle their camp with a ring of
thorn-bushes or some other obstacles; but at present the party was only
on the way to the hunting grounds, and it was still safe to run the
risks of lions.

The three men were all English, or at least British, and all fairly
young. Their names were Captain the Honourable Edward Vandeleur, Bobby
Oakfield, an Indian civilian on a year's furlough, and Ralph Denison, a
rich young man with nothing to do except to indulge his love of sport,
whether fox-hunting, salmon-fishing, grouse-driving, or, as now,
big-game shooting in any part of the world where large beasts were to be
found.

Vandeleur, commonly known as Teddy, seemed to be the chief speaker this
night; he was, at the moment of our introduction to the party,
explaining a suggestion which he had just made to his friends. This is
what he said:--

'We are likely to have longish watches over our camp fires, and perhaps
we may get a bit tired of conversation night after night, with nothing
much to talk about; now why not start a round of story-telling, each to
spin a yarn in turn, one every evening, unless we should happen to feel
more inclined for a talk, in which case we miss a day. Anybody who can't
think of a tale must pay a fine of a shilling, the winner to take the
total at the end.'

'Yes, but who is the winner?' asked Oakfield, laughing, 'The one who
tells the best yarns?'

'Oh, no! who would be judge? The one who has had to pay the fewest fines
takes the prize,' Denison said with a laugh.

'Good old Teddy!' he cried, 'he has a large collection of yarns all
ready up his sleeve, Bobby, and he wants our shillings! Well, you shall
have them willingly, old chap, if you keep us amused! Start at once--go
on!'

'Why not draw lots for first yarn?' suggested Bobby, and the others fell
in with the suggestion.

So lots were drawn, and it fell to Bobby himself to entertain the
company.

'Start away at once, old chap. I'm tired of talking, and longing for a
nap,' laughed Denison. 'If he makes it too long, Teddy, have we the
right to ask him to finish it "in our next?" He might go on all night.'

'Certainly, any story may be split; if any fellow can entertain us for
two nights on end, why, so much the better!'

'Off you go then, Bobby,' said Denison--"once upon a time"--fire ahead!'

Bobby Oakfield sat silent for a few minutes.

'I believe you are inventing,' said the irrepressible Ralph: 'is that
allowed, Mr. President?'

'_Real_ experiences, as far as possible!' Vandeleur decided.

'Oh, it's real all right,' said Bobby; 'I was wondering whether to tell
you first of a wolf adventure or a little meeting with a bear I once
had--think I'll begin with the bear.'

       *       *       *       *       *

This is the story of my first bear (began Bobby); the first I ever went
out to hunt, I mean, though as a matter of fact he had more right to
call me 'his first man,' than I to dub him 'my first bear,' for I fancy
he was nearer getting me than I him. Which of us was most frightened, I
hardly care to say! He must have been terribly alarmed if he suffered
more than I did!

It was during one of my visits to Russia, and the season was early
autumn. I was staying with a cousin, who was either part or sole
proprietor, I forget which, of a big 'shoot,' some twenty miles out of
town; and one day he received a letter which we both thought rather
funny. It was from the head-keeper of the shooting club, and read
something like this:--

'Most merciful lord' (my cousin was not a lord, but that's a detail; he
would have made a very good one, I dare say), 'if your lordship's heart
contains pity for humble fellow-creatures who are in distress, listen
and be merciful. A bear has appeared here and is eating the uncut corn
of the peasants. We have tried him with the usual methods, but they have
proved useless. Come down and save us, merciful, for the appetite of the
beast is very large; there is room in him for the whole of our harvest,
therefore come quickly.'

'What are the usual methods?' I asked my cousin, and he replied with a
laugh that probably the man meant that the elders of the village had
pronounced a curse against the animal, or perhaps the _guaharka_ of the
district, the 'wise woman,' had woven a spell, for these pagan customs
survive even in Christian Russia.

'I'm afraid I'm too busy to go just at present,' said my cousin; 'I
suppose you could not take on the business for me, could you?'

Well, I had not the slightest objection; indeed, I was delighted with
the prospect.

'What am I to do?' I asked; 'hide myself in the standing corn and ambush
him?'

'Leave it to old Michael, the keeper.' said my cousin. 'I will wire that
you're coming to-morrow, I can telegraph within three miles of the
lodge, and the message will be sent on.'

So my preparations were hurried forward, and I was ready and anxious to
be off early on the following day.

[Illustration: "'Why not start a round of story-telling?'"]

'Be kind to my dogs,' said my cousin; 'there are three of them there,
red setters, beauties--Michael keeps them for me; have them into the
room and pet them a bit, if you don't mind, for they have a dullish time
down there, and I like them to see English folk now and then--it does
them good!'

(_Concluded on page 26._)



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

I.--THE 'KING' AND 'OU' OF THE CHINESE.


[Illustration]

Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, Confucius declared that
'Music gives finish to the character, which has first been established
by its rules of proficiency.' Moreover, he said, 'Wouldst thou know if a
people be well governed, and if its manners be good or bad, examine the
music it practises.'

When we reflect that the speaker was the most famous sage of the
Chinese, to whom temples are built in every town of the vast empire of
China, and to whose memory the Emperor himself offers homage twice a
year at the Imperial College in Pekin, we may understand what weight his
opinions have carried in his own country.

Long before his time, however, music had been studied there as a
science. It was imported by the first invaders of the Celestial Empire,
who hailed from the borders of the Caspian Sea. The Yellow Emperor, or
Huang Ti, who reigned two thousand seven hundred years before the
Christian era, established a fixed base note from which musical
instruments were to be measured, much as in the modern musical system we
take a key-note and found our chords and scales upon it. The connection
between musical and State affairs was so business-like in those days
that the precedence of the various classes was fixed according to the
musical grade: F, the base note of the oldest known scale, represented
the Emperor; G, the Prime Minister; A, the loyal subjects, and so on.

[Illustration: The "Ou" and playing stick.]

Five hundred years later another Emperor, of a practical turn of mind,
ordered that music should follow the sense of the words, and be simple
and free from affectation, and he appointed a censor to see that his
instructions were carried out. The latter, 'Couci' by name, declared
that when he played upon his 'king,' the animals ranged themselves
before him spell-bound by his melody.

[Illustration: The "Tse King."]

We hear elsewhere of another ancient musician of China, whose music was
'so sweet that the very stars drew near to listen.' Later on in the
history of the world we find this idea of the effects of music on
animals and stars entertained both in Greece and India. The attention of
the starry bodies can only be regarded as a beautiful myth, but the
writer of this paper personally tested the animal love of music some
years ago, when surrounded by a formidable herd of wild cattle in the
Rocky Mountains.

The instrument known as 'king,' from which Couci drew such delightful
sounds, is of very ancient date, and is made of a stone called 'yu,'
which is of many colours, and looks like marble, being probably a form
of agate intermixed with iron. The wonderful clearness and purity of the
tone are supposed to result from long exposure to the sun and air.

'Yu' is most valuable when of whey colour; then light blue, dark yellow,
orange, dark red, and pale green follow in order of merit. In all the
colours it is essential that the stones be free from streaks or flaws of
any kind. One of the chief attractions of the 'king' is that it always
retains its pitch, not being influenced by cold, heat, damp, or dryness.

In construction the 'king' consists of sixteen stones hung in two rows
of eight in an ornamental frame. Nowadays these stones are cut in oblong
shape of varying thickness, tuned by slicing narrow shavings off the
back and ends; but in former days they were fashioned like fishes,
animals, or other quaint devices. The art of making 'kings' was lost for
many centuries, but about 32 B.C. a specimen was fished up from the
bottom of a pond which served as a model, and now every temple of
importance has its 'king,' just as every church with us has its organ of
some kind or other.

A smaller instrument of the same kind is also used in religious
ceremonies, the 'the king,' made of one large block of 'yu,' suspended
from an upright. It is played like the real 'king,' by being struck with
a special stick or plectrum, and the tone, though less varied than that
of the larger instrument, is equally deep and full.

Another curious Chinese instrument is the 'ou,' which is made of wood,
and fashioned like a crouching tiger. It is hollow, and along its back
run metal teeth, which are played with a small stick or brush. The 'ou'
stands on a hollow pedestal, also of wood, which serves as a sounding
board and increases the tone.

HELENA HEATH.



ETHEL'S GOLDEN OFFERING.


'Granny,' said Ethel Day, one Sunday, 'there was a lady in our seat at
church that I never saw before. She was not very grandly dressed, but
she must have been as rich--as rich as the king.'

'Why do you think so, Ethel?' asked Granny, smiling at the child's
eagerness.

'Because, when the plate was passed to her--for the collection, you
know--she put in a piece of gold money--real gold, I am sure it was. Oh!
I should like to be rich enough to give as much as that.'

Granny was silent for a minute or two; she seemed to be thinking of
something pleasant. 'I know of a golden offering that my little Ethel
could make, if she were willing,' she said presently.

'Tell me what it is then, Granny: I shall be sure to be willing,' cried
Ethel.

'The money the lady gave,' went on Granny, 'was for the poor sick people
in the hospital. Look out of the window, Ethel, and you will see another
kind of gold--a kind not counted so precious, perhaps, but really quite
as beautiful.'

Ethel looked out: she only saw the flowers in her own garden. Lovely
autumn flowers they were, for Ethel's father was a gardener, and he
often gave his little daughter choice roots, or cuttings, for her plot
of ground. But Ethel was accustomed to the sight of her flowers: dear as
they were to her, and yellow as gold though they might be, Granny surely
did not mean to compare them with the lady's half-sovereign.

That was Granny's meaning, however. 'There is a sick woman in the
village,' she told Ethel, 'who cannot go to the hospital. She is so ill
that, although she may live many years, she can never be cured, and so
they cannot take her in. Because her illness has lasted so long, people
have almost forgotten to be kind to her. I have been thinking, Ethel,
that if you could spare a bunch of your flowers for poor Mary Ansell, it
would be a real golden offering.'

It was Ethel's turn to be quiet now; her flowers were her most cherished
possessions, and to pick a good bunch for Mary Ansell would make her
little garden look bare and shabby. Granny knew that; she knew that
Ethel's flowers would, in their way, be quite as costly a gift as the
lady's golden coin.

But she was not much surprised, on the following morning, to find the
best and brightest of the blossoms gone, and when next she went to see
Mary Ansell, the poor woman still had the flowers in a jug by her
bedside.

'You cannot think how it cheered me up,' said the invalid. 'That dear
little girl, with her bright face, and the posy in her hands, was like a
sunbeam coming in. She did me as much good as a mint of money.'

'Ah!' thought Granny, who knew how much real self-sacrifice must have
been in the gift, 'I felt sure that Ethel too could make a golden
offering.'

C. J. BLAKE.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 11._)


'What will become of us if Thomas has gone away?' asked Estelle. 'Does
the sea cover the beach very quickly? Will there be time for him to come
back, or can we get away without him?'

'No, no,' cried Georgie, clinging to Marjorie; 'we can't go in the boat
without Thomas! We shall all be drowned. Oh, I don't want to be---- '

'Shut up!' exclaimed Alan, impatiently. 'We are not drowned yet, and we
are not going to be. You are frightening Estelle with your noise. It is
all right, Estelle. Don't you be afraid. I can get the boat back all
right with Marjorie's help if Thomas is not here in time. But there is
no danger for an hour yet.'

'All the same, we had better find Thomas,' said Marjorie.

Neither she nor Alan had any serious belief in there being much mystery
about Thomas's movements. They liked to imagine themselves in romantic
positions, and were fond of weaving stories about any little event that
attracted them. But the gardener's sudden disappearance, together with
what Marjorie had seen in the cave, did seem strange.

'There's only one way of finding him,' remarked Alan, after he and
Marjorie had stared at each other in silence for some moments. 'You see,
he is nowhere in the cave. Now, what do you think has become of him?'

'Do you mean he has found a way up the cliff?' she asked, slowly, with
what Alan called 'the pondering look' in her eyes. 'I wonder if he
wanted to go into the woods when you saw him in the Wilderness, and
if--if he has managed to get there now?'

'I never thought of that,' exclaimed Alan.

'If he has,' went on Marjorie, while Estelle and Georgie watched Alan
anxiously, 'what do you mean by "only one way of finding him?"'

'Well,' returned Alan, hesitating as if his mind were not quite made up,
'we know of no path up, so there is nothing for it except to climb the
cliff. I am sure I can do it, and who knows what I may find out?'

This proposal did not meet with favour from anybody. Marjorie declared
it was impossible, and too dangerous to try--the cliff was far too
steep. Alan and she could manage the boat quite well on a calm day. It
would be less of a risk.

Estelle suggested they should go as far into the cave as possible--for
Alan had told her that the end of it was above high-water mark--and
remain there till the tide went down. It would certainly be very horrid,
but it was better than going alone in the boat, or Alan trying to climb
those terrible cliffs.

All her cousins laughed.

'It will be hours and hours before the tide is low again,' said Alan.
'Everybody would think we had come to grief, and there would be a pretty
to-do. Aunt Betty would be wild, fancying you were lost. No, that will
not do. It must be the cliff, and nothing but the cliff.'

Without waiting for further discussion, he went slowly along the beach,
examining the great wall of rock. The other children followed,
frightened into silence by his determined face and the dangers of the
attempt. To Estelle there appeared to be no foothold possible in all
that broad, dark surface; but Alan's keen eyes were not long in
discovering a part which he might attack with some hope of success.

Pulling off his coat and tightening his belt, he took firm hold of the
only projecting piece of rock he could find, and drew himself up to the
first narrow ledge. There he paused to look back triumphantly, but such
a row of anxious faces were staring up at him that he called out,
impatiently, 'Now, do go and play. I am all right, and it is a jolly
good thing to have a place to stand upon. Don't look at me all the time.
You will make me nervous, and there will be an accident.'

But it was impossible for the other children to turn their eyes away as
he crept up and up, hoisting himself by strength of arm in one place,
seeking a foothold in another. Sometimes it appeared as if he were
hanging literally by his fingers, and the lookers-on shuddered in terror
lest he should fall. At other places he seemed to move along with more
ease, and then they feared he would become careless.

It was well for Alan that his head was so steady, and that he did not
attempt to glance down from the height he had already reached. Not for a
moment would he dwell on the dangers of the ascent. Rather, he took a
delight in matching himself against the stern rocks. With all his
courage, however, it sometimes seemed to him as if his difficulties
would never end. Three times he nearly as possible fell. The strength
and fitness he had acquired in athletic sports and gymnasium at school
stood him in good stead now.

Fortunately for him the ascent became far easier as soon as he got above
high-water mark. The face of the precipice grew more and more uneven,
offering greater support to his hands and feet, and by-and-by he was
able to assist himself by the tufts of grass.

'He has reached the bushes!' cried Estelle, at last, with a cry of
relief. 'He will be all right now, won't he?'

'Yes,' replied Marjorie, her voice still tremulous.

'And how's he coming down again?' asked Georgie, his fears by no means
gone. 'And what are we to do if he doesn't come?'

Georgie and Estelle were gazing at Marjorie as if her words and her calm
alone prevented them from breaking down. If she gave way to fear, what
effect might it not have upon them? It was her duty to encourage and
raise the spirits of the younger ones, and put aside her own misgivings.
With an effort she forced herself to speak in cheerful tones.

'It is useless to think about it,' she said, 'and the best thing we can
do is to amuse ourselves till it is time to go. Look, the boat ought to
be pulled up higher. Let us see if we can manage it between us.'

Meantime Alan had reached the coastguard path which ran along the edge
of the cliff. No one being in sight, he determined to take the narrow
track which lay through a wooded hollow. It was part of the Moat House
property, and he desired to see whether he and Marjorie had been correct
in their guess that it was to this wood that Thomas had wished to come
when he was seen in the Wilderness.

Scrambling over the queer stone stile, he descended the rugged pathway,
where the thick brushwood and high trees shut out sky and sunlight. As
he advanced the track became narrower and more mossy, while here and
there the ground was broken by rocks. Now and again high mounds of
earth, mossy and green, rose on either side, and the wood grew denser.
He was uneasy, and half wished he had kept to the edge of the cliff,
where the way was clear, for he seemed to have left the world behind
him. There was something uncanny in the dead silence, and he quite
startled when a rabbit jumped across his path into a hole. But the next
moment, boy-like, he wished he had had the dogs with him that he might
give chase.

(_Continued on page 30._)

[Illustration: "Alan paused to look back."]

[Illustration: "Just then a man on horseback appeared."]



FORGETFUL FANNY


'Now I will tie you to the garden gate, and pretend I have put my horse
in the stable,' Fanny said to her little brother Dick, with whom she had
been playing horses until she was hot and tired.

Her mother had gone to the market town, and would not be home until the
evening, and so Fanny was left in charge of her brother.

Dick thought it was rather interesting to be tied up in a stable, and so
he was quite happy when Fanny said that she wanted to run down the road
to see her friend, Dora Barnes, for a few minutes.

At first Dick pretended to eat oats out of a manger; then he thought he
would lie down and sleep. But that was dull, so he got up and pranced
and kicked with impatience; and presently the time began to drag more
and more slowly, and he wondered when Fanny would come back again.

'These knots are so tight, I cannot undo them, and I am so tired of
playing at being a horse tied up in a stable,' he said sadly to himself.

After a time he gave up trying to pretend, but curled himself up and
fell fast asleep. And still his sister did not come; but somebody else
did.

In the meantime, Fanny had found her friend, and had heard the splendid
news that a circus was just going to pass through the village.

This was enough to drive everything else out of Fanny's head. The two
little girls started off to see the fun, and poor Dick was quite
forgotten.

There were ladies riding in golden cars, and little piebald ponies, and
an elephant, and all kinds of marvellous sights. Fanny and Dora followed
the procession to the field in which the tent was to be put up, and it
was growing late before they thought of setting out for home.

Then there suddenly came into Fanny's mind the remembrance of the little
boy she had left fastened to the gate.

'I forgot all about him,' she said to Dora. 'I do hope he is all right.'

But when they reached the cottage, no Dick was to be seen!

'Perhaps he managed to untie the cords, and is in the house,' Dora
suggested.

They hunted high and low, but no Dick was to be found, and Fanny burst
into tears.

'Oh, Dora,' she cried, 'perhaps the circus people have been here and
stolen him! You know they do steal little boys sometimes, and make them
walk on tight-ropes. And they may be unkind to Dick. Oh! what shall I
do?'

At this moment a man on horseback came down the lane, and there, riding
in front of him, was Dick!

Fanny thought her worst fears were realised. The man must be a circus
rider, and how could she hope to rescue her brother if the man chose to
turn and gallop away!

She rushed to meet them. 'Oh, please, sir, don't carry Dick away!' she
cried. 'He is so little, and he is too fat ever to learn to dance on a
tight-rope!'

'Why, I am bringing him home,' the man said; 'and what have I to do with
tight-ropes?'

Then Fanny recognised the gentleman as a friend of the Squire's, who was
staying with him at the Hall.

'I beg your pardon, sir; I thought the circus people had stolen him,'
she stammered.

'They have stolen a little girl's wits, I think,' said the gentleman,
smiling. 'I found Dick all alone and very forlorn, so I took him for a
ride, and am now bringing him back to see if there is any one here to
take care of him. Are you the sister who was left in charge?'

'I forgot all about him,' Fanny confessed, blushing and hanging her
head, 'and I was so frightened when I came home and did not find him
here.'

'Well, look after your little brother better another time,' the
gentleman said, as he lifted Dick down and rode away.

And forgetful Fanny remembered this lesson, and tried not to be so
thoughtless again. M. H.



THE DISAPPOINTED HEN.


  'Oh' what a terrible mistake!'
    Cried Mrs. Brahma Hen;
  'I'd set my heart on yellow chicks,
    And these are black again!'

  She ran at once to Dr. Goose,
    'What can I do?' cried she.
  'My charge for giving good advice
    Is fifteen worms,' quoth he.

  It was such hot work catching them,
    It nearly made her faint:
  And fifteen worms'-worth of advice
    Was 'Buy some yellow paint!'

A. KATHERINE PARKES.



THE MULTIPLICATION TABLE.


A village schoolmaster in Germany one day did something at which the
parents of one of his pupils foolishly took offence. On the following
morning, the angry mother of the lad entered the schoolroom during
lesson-time, and began to scold and rate the master. He knew what was
coming, and, as she began, called out, in a tone of command, 'Children,
the multiplication table!'

At once the whole school began to repeat the table in chorus. The woman
stormed and raged, while the scholars only shouted the harder, and the
master quietly laughed to himself. Speechless with anger and surprise,
the woman at last went away, and the teacher was left master of the
field of battle.

H. B. S.



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

I.--A SCRAMBLE WITH A BEAR.

(_Concluded from page 20._)


The hunting lodge proved a delightfully comfortable place, and old
Michael was a splendid game-keeper. He seemed disappointed that my
cousin had not come, for apparently he regarded Jack with great
confidence. To me, however, he was very courteous and polite, and I
think he did his best to hide his disappointment.

The bear was a big one, he said; he damaged as much corn as he ate, and
since his inside was 'as large as a barn' (so Michael said), the
unfortunate peasants were in great trouble with regard to their crops.

By this time I had learned enough Russian to keep up a simple
conversation, in which of course grammar had no part whatever; I could
make myself understood if my companion happened to be a person of sense,
and this old Michael was. To my inquiry as to how the bear and I were to
become acquainted, he replied that he had made all arrangements.

'There is flesh placed in an open space in the forest which he crosses
sometimes,' Michael said; 'his tracks pass over it several times. When
it is dusk I shall guide you to the place, and you shall climb a tree
and pass the night in it; at early dawn he will come and eat, and then
you will shoot.'

I liked the plan; it was something quite new--rather a chilly
experience, perhaps, but one must put up with a little inconvenience in
the pursuit of bears 'with insides like barns'! I would dress warmly.

I remembered Jack's request that I would be kind to his three lovely red
setters, Duke, Monarch, and York, and during the rest of the day they
were with me, noon, afternoon, and evening. They vied for my special
favour; they could not make enough of me. 'It is so delightful to see an
English face again,' they told me as plainly as if they could speak 'and
we do like you so!' They ate most of my lunch; they walked out in the
afternoon with me; they fought one another for my attention; they shared
my dinner. We spent a short evening together; I grew dearer to them
every moment, and when I said good-night to them, and they were locked
up in Michael's stable, their howls were so loud that one might have
supposed the greatest possible disaster had overtaken each one of them.
I heard them howling and barking very miserably as I walked away with
Michael into the forest, and for a mile their distressed voices were
audible--really it was very flattering to me, I thought!

Arrived at the spot where Bruin's repast had been laid out, Michael
pointed out to me the tree which he had selected as my ambush. It was
indeed the only convenient one, standing as it did close to the place
where the bear must stop to eat the supper arranged for him. So I
climbed up into the branches, old Michael handing up my warm coat and
rug, and settled myself as comfortably as possible in a place where a
natural couch in the fork of the tree seemed to offer an inviting spot
for slumber, while Michael bade me good-night and went off. I heard his
footsteps for ten minutes as he tramped away into the darkness and
silence of the forest; then these died away, and I was left alone with
my thoughts and with the stillness and ghostliness of the night.

Things get a bit on one's nerves under these circumstances, and I felt
very far from being sleepy. I started when a gust of wind caused some
pine-tree to utter a groan; every rustle of twig upon twig sent the
blood to my pulses--was the bear coming? Nevertheless, I did eventually
fall asleep unawares, and it must have been early morning, about two
o'clock, when I awoke with a start. A sound had roused me--what was it?
I listened: undoubtedly the bear was here and busy over his meal; there
was a gobbling and grunting, and the noise of greedy satisfaction. I was
not nervous now; my sleep had done me good. If only I could see the
brute, to point my rifle at him! I could just distinguish in the
darkness a black mass which might be he, but it would be useless to risk
a shot. So I waited with what patience I could muster, which was very
little, and listened to the gobbling beneath me, and longed for
daylight.

And as I sat and listened a new sound suddenly reached my ears--as I was
a born Briton there were those wretches, Duke and Monarch and York,
still crying for me in Michael's stables, maybe two miles away! How
sounds do travel in the silence of night-time; probably a gust of wind
from that direction had brought me this tale of their devotion to their
new friend! Well, if so, they must be a terrible nuisance to the
village, thought I, if this has been going on all night!

I continued to listen, and the yelping barks of the dogs came with
marvellous distinctness to my ears, indeed, the sound seemed to grow
more distinct. Was the wind rising? the tree-tops against the skyline
seemed to be quiet enough. Surely the brutes--but no! they had been
securely shut up in Michael's stable....

The bear appeared to be listening also; there was gobbling and a pause;
more gobbling and another pause--oh! if he should grow nervous and bolt
before I could get in a shot! A great change came over my feelings
towards those dogs. I had thought them charming animals last night; now,
as I listened to their yelping--it was growing more distinct, not a
doubt of it!--I began to hate them bitterly. They were loose and were
following my track through the forest! The splendid opportunity of
scoring my first bear was trembling in the balance! The sounds came
nearer and nearer. I tried to point my rifle at the dark opaque mass
below me, but it was useless.

Then suddenly came a crisis. The bear had been gobbling less and
listening more--did he mean to bolt? If he moved, I should risk a shot.
Of a sudden there was a moan, a snarl, a shuffle; he had taken fright,
he was off!

Wildly I raised my rifle, I tried to catch a glimpse of him--oh, for a
ray of light! But for the life of me I could not distinguish even his
big body; I could have wept for anger, for in another instant my
opportunity would have gone.

Then came one of the few shocks, really bad ones, from which I have
suffered during a fairly peaceful life; in one instant and without the
slightest warning I became aware that the great brute was climbing my
tree! My tongue was paralysed with horror, I could not even shout; I
endeavoured to point my gun downwards, but the barrel caught against a
bough; I gasped, attempting to shriek. I heard his panting breath close
beneath me; then I felt that his claws had caught the end of my long fur
coat, and all the pent-up horror I felt found vent at last in a shriek
of anguish.

[Illustration: "Three yelping, delighted dogs."]

Apparently this caused Bruin quite as much terror as he had caused me,
for he fell back to the ground like a stone, and since his claws were
attached to my coat, I fell with him. For one horrible moment we rolled
together on the ground--I remember the animal smell of the brute to this
day--and then he was gone! and coming in his place three yelping,
delighted dogs were jumping about on me. I'm afraid I called those
setters names which they must have thought very rude; I kicked at them
and abused them; gradually they realised that I was not quite the nice
fellow they had thought me.

[Illustration: "King Louis leaped fully armed into the sea."]

I learnt later that a furious neighbour of Michael's, annoyed by their
night-long barking, had opened the stable-door and let them out. But the
bear--alas! I never saw him again; he left the place in sore
dudgeon--so that the peasants saved the remains left to put up with
certain rude remarks from my cousin Jack. I believe he thought these
remarks humorous, but I assure you they were not in the least funny.



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

I.--THE STORY OF A CRUSADER.


[Illustration]

A very long time ago a wise man said that there was always something new
to be found in Africa. The Africa he knew was only that fringe of the
dark continent into which the Roman arms had penetrated, but in our
days, as in his, there is a charm about the stories from that mysterious
land of which we have even now so much to learn. There are the
travellers' tales of men who went where no white foot had trodden before
them, fighting tales of men who won honour at the sword's point, and
tales, just as stirring, of those who carried only the message of peace.
The names of Livingstone and Gordon, Mackenzie and Hannington, should be
household words in every English home, and there are others less known
of whom there are stories worth the hearing.

And our first tale is told by an old French baron, aged eighty years or
more, ending his life peacefully on his fair estate in Champagne. No
doubt he liked to look back to the stirring days of his youth, and I
dare say the young folk who gathered round his hospitable hearth knew
the Sire de Joinville for a good story-teller, who could beguile a
winter evening with tales of that luckless Crusade in which he bore his
part, and of his hero and leader, sovereign, saint, and soldier in one,
Louis, the cross-bearing King of France; and, happily for us, before the
stories died with the teller, the young Queen, Jeanne of Navarre,
prevailed upon him to set down his recollections.

Five and fifty years is a long time to look back upon, but doubtless it
seemed but a little while to Jean de Joinville since he gathered his
vassals and kindred to follow King Louis to the East. He remembered the
farewell banquet, when, standing at the head of his own table, perhaps
for the last time, he bade his guests speak if they had any grudge or
quarrel against him, and then courteously withdrew that they might say
their minds more freely. And then, when they had no fault to find, he
rode away at the head of his gallant company, not daring, he tells us,
to turn his eyes lest his courage should fail him at the sight of his
fair home and the thought of his two bonnie boys. It required courage
indeed to set sail in those days, when the travellers knew so little of
the lands whither they went, and our Crusader wondered how any man dared
trust himself to the ocean with unforgiven sin upon his conscience, not
knowing at night where the dawn of day might find him.

But after some delay from contrary winds, and a long wait at Cyprus, the
French army landed in Egypt, where the first attack was to be made; King
Louis leaped, fully armed, from his galley into the sea in his eagerness
to reach the shore. The Saracens fled at first before the invading army,
and the city of Damietta was taken almost without a blow. There the
Queen, who had followed her husband, as our good Queen Eleanor did a few
years later, was left with a sufficient garrison while the army moved
onwards up the Nile.

But now the tide of war began to turn. If the valour and devotion of
their leaders could have given victory to the Crusaders, they must have
carried all before them, but De Joinville himself owned that King Louis
was more of a dauntless soldier than a good general. The Saracens
harassed the troops with their terrible Greek fire, which, De Joinville
says, looked like a fiery flying dragon, and destroyed the wooden
defences, to make which the Crusaders had broken up their boats. The
King's brother, the Comte d'Artois, was killed in a desperate struggle
when fording the Nile. Worst of all, sickness was abroad in the camp,
killing more than the swords of the Saracens. Louis himself was
stricken, but refused to be removed to more comfortable quarters, with
the reply of a true king, 'God helping me, I will suffer with my
people.' He mounted his horse for a last desperate attack, the good
knight Geoffroi de Sergines riding at his bridle-rein, and, as the King
told De Joinville afterwards, cutting down the Saracens who attacked him
as a good servant brushes away the flies that annoy his master.

When the King could no longer keep his saddle, the brave Geoffroi
carried him into a house inhabited by a good burgher-woman from Paris,
and there laid him on the ground with his head on her knee, hardly
expecting that he would live to see another sunrise. And here, dying as
it seemed, Louis was taken by the Saracens, and his soldiers, on the
false report of an order from their leader, laid down their arms.

(_Concluded on page 46._)



CHARLES KINGSLEY'S KINDNESS.


Charles Kingsley was a very kind-hearted, man, and could not bear to see
anything in pain. One Sunday, as he was preaching his sermon in church,
he stopped in the middle of it, stooped down, picked up something, and
went into the vestry. He soon returned and went on with his sermon.
After the service was over, some one asked him why he had stopped in the
middle of his sermon. He answered that he had seen a butterfly lying on
the floor, and he was afraid that he might tread upon it and kill it; so
he picked it up and let it fly out of the vestry window.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 23._)


Alan was just beginning to wonder whether it was not foolish to go on
any further inland into the valley--indeed, whether it was any use to
hunt for Thomas any longer--when he caught the sound of muffled voices
coming from behind a group of trees near which he happened to be
passing. The soft moss had prevented his footsteps being heard, and, as
he drew closer, he caught the gruff tones of Thomas's voice.

What was Thomas doing down there? To whom could he speaking? There must
be something up when two men got away into a lonely wood in order to
talk. His curiosity roused, Alan crept closer still to the trees, but
the undergrowth prevented his seeing any distance. He was sure, however,
that it was Thomas speaking, and he could now distinguish the words, in
spite of the muffled tones.

'I don't seem to see how it is to be done,' muttered the gardener,
sullenly. 'It's not easy, I tell you.'

'What's the matter, man?' came in a voice with a foreign accent, which
Alan did not recognise. 'The thing is possible enough if you choose to
do it, and I'm sure I am making it worth your while. It isn't every day
as you will get such an offer. Come, don't you be a fool, and throw your
chances away.'

'I'm not throwing anything away,' returned Thomas, sulkily. 'But the
risk---- '

'Well, what if it is a bit risky? You are well paid for the job. Do it
quietly, take them unawares, and the risk will be nothing. But if you
are going to be afraid of your own shadow I'm off with my bargain.
That's the long and the short of it.'

A rustle made Alan think the speaker was moving away.

'If you cut up rough you will be the loser a great deal more than I,'
replied Thomas, coolly. 'This job isn't to my taste, and if I do it, it
will be in my own way. I must wait till my chance comes. It shall be
done--that is, if it can be done at all--you may depend on it. I'm not
going to back out. Don't be afraid. The risk is bigger for me than for
you, and I'm not going to be copped--no, not for anybody.'

'Do it in your own way, man. I lay down no laws. All I want is that you
get it somehow. We can do nothing without that. Do you understand? It is
worth hundreds. I have known £500 and £600 given for a new specimen. And
this is the only one of its kind, as yet. Now that you know what we
want, we had better separate. We must not be seen together.'

'I'll be getting back to the boat, then,' returned Thomas, in a more
cheerful voice.

Peering through the bushes, and listening intently, Alan was nearly
caught by the sudden movement of the men towards him. He had just time
to slip behind a great pine when Thomas slouched into view. The sturdy
figure of a Dutchman followed. Alan could not get a glimpse of his face;
he swung away at too rapid a pace, and was lost among the trees.

With lips pressed together, and ears strained, Alan had heard every
word. Now he remained motionless, wondering. What did it mean? What
could the men want which was worth so much money--hundreds of pounds?
Was it hundreds? Could it mean robbery--jewels, plate, money? Thomas,
too! Was it possible that Thomas was about to help, and be paid for
helping? Alan knew that his mother, Mrs. De Bohun, and his great-aunt,
Lady Coke, both possessed very valuable jewels; and his cousin, Sir
Leopold Coke, had left some priceless heirlooms in his mother's care at
the Moat House. Perhaps Thomas had heard somebody speak of these
treasures, and his greed had been excited. He required help in his
enterprise, too; it must be of some difficulty, therefore he had spoken
of it to his friend. Together they had planned how the burglary was to
be carried out, and were only waiting till Thomas obtained all the
information he needed.

Alan thought deeply on the subject, as he slowly followed Thomas.
Supposing he decided to do anything, what should it be? First of all, he
was not sure that robbery was what was intended. It was quite possible
he was on the wrong tack altogether, and if this was the case, how
foolish he would look with no evidence to bring forward except this
strange offer of 'hundreds' to Thomas! How his father would laugh at
him, and even Aunt Betty would smile incredulously! He might be asked
uncomfortable questions, and have to tell about the climb up the face of
the cliff. No harm had come of it, except frightening the girls, but his
father might not regard the feat in that light.

No; on the whole he thought he had better keep his own counsel till
something more definite turned up. He would have his weather-eye open,
especially on Thomas, but otherwise let things take their usual course.
He made up his mind he would not speak of what he had heard even to
Marjorie. She might tell Estelle, and then it would be sure to leak out.
Girls could never hold their tongues, especially when there were two of
them. He had just come to this determination when, to his amazement,
Thomas, on whose broad back his eyes had been steadily fixed,
disappeared. Where? How? Was the whole thing only a dream? Thomas was
certainly in front of him only a moment ago, and now he had suddenly
gone with the rapidity of a flash of lightning.

       *       *       *       *       *

It had required much self-control for Marjorie to put aside her anxiety
so entirely as to calm the fears of the two younger ones, and devote
herself to their amusement. But she was a girl of strong character, and
perhaps nothing so proved it as her quiet and cheerful manner during
that trying time of waiting.

She threw herself into the children's play, made fun of all their
efforts to pull the boat up the beach, helped with the digging of a huge
sand castle, and suggested a rampart of stones to fortify the deep moat
round it. Georgie and Estelle were delighted with the windows and doors,
the gardens with shells for flowers, the drawbridge, and the paved way
through the ramparts. Georgie even proposed to find some sea-anemones to
place among the shells as an additional ornament, and Marjorie was in
the act of explaining that it would be cruel to pull the poor things off
their rocks for such a purpose, when she was cut short by an exclamation
from Estelle.

The little girl was toiling up the beach, her hands, holding up her
overall laden with stones for the castle. It proved a heavy load for
her to carry, and she looked hot and tired. It was purely a labour of
love, for the castle was nearly complete, but the idea of keeping the
sea out of it as long as possible had taken her fancy. About half-way
she was forced to sit down and rest, and as she did so she caught sight
of Thomas calmly smoking under the shadow of a great boulder.

(_Continued on page 38._)

[Illustration: "Alan had heard every word."]

[Illustration: "He placed the 'drum' on a chair, and practised
diligently."]



HAYDN'S DRUM.


'What is to be done? Nothing could be more inconvenient. Easter-time,
and so much new music to be played!'

Master Frank Haydn, Master of the Orchestra at the parish church of
Hamburg, in Southern Germany, all but tore his brown wig in his despair,
at hearing of the death of the man who played the kettle-drum in his
orchestra.

'I know of no one to take his place at such short notice,' he went on,
though there were only his wife and little nephew to hear him.

The nephew, Joseph Haydn by name, had only lately come into the
choir-master's family. He was a child of six years old, but had already
shown such wonderful musical genius, that his parents had decided to
place him with his uncle, where he would have great opportunities for
musical study.

The little fellow now looked up from an old music book, for he could
read music perfectly, and said timidly, 'I think I could manage the
kettle-drum, uncle, if you would just show me a little how it should be
played.'

'You, Joseph?' said the choir-master in surprise, as he looked down at
the serious little face. 'It is not a violin, you know; if it were you
could manage well enough, but you know nothing of kettle-drums.'

'Let me try, Uncle!' pleaded Joseph. Before long he had his wish, and
both were in the big room over the church porch where the practices
always took place.

Joseph's little fingers seemed to hold the drum-sticks as if to the
manner born, and after a short rehearsal of the music to be played on
the festival, the old man felt an immense load lifted off his shoulders.

'Capital! capital!' he exclaimed. 'I shall not miss poor Schmidt now;
your touch is crisper than his!'

Then the door of the room was locked, and uncle and nephew returned
home.

Joseph, however, as Easter drew near, became very anxious, and longed
for an opportunity for further practice on the drum. His fingers might
not be skilful enough: he could be sure of the notes without practice,
but could he handle the sticks properly? He dared not ask his uncle for
leave to go into the choir-room, and he had no drum in the house. What
could he do? Practise he must, or he would never feel sure of himself.

'I will make a drum!' said the little fellow; 'I have an idea.'

There was a round basket in the out-house. It was generally used for
flour, but it happened to be nearly empty now, and Joseph seized on
this, as it was the shape of a drum; over it he stretched a clean
dishcloth, fastening it as tightly as possible with string.

'It makes a beautiful drum!' he said joyfully, as he beat it with two
sticks, and carrying his 'drum' into the parlour, he placed it on a
chair, propped the music up in front of him, and practised the fingering
diligently and noiselessly for an hour or more, till he felt quite sure
of himself.

Alas, for Joseph, however! He had been too absorbed in his drumming to
notice the small quantity of flour which had been left in the basket.
It was shaken out with each beat of the drum-sticks, and now lay thick
on the velvet cover of the chair. Joseph got a whipping for his
thoughtlessness, but that was nothing uncommon for children in the
eighteenth century, and was soon forgotten.

Easter arrived, and the little fellow played his drum so well, that for
many years after he played that instrument in the choir.

'Little Joseph' in after life became a famous musician, and wrote many
oratorios, of which the 'Creation' and the 'Seasons' are the most
famous. He visited England several times, and was often at the Court of
George III. Every one in this country did their best to honour the great
musician. He died in 1809 at Vienna, full of years and honours.



FOR HOME USE ONLY.


A Cambridge Professor once asked one of his friends to lend him a book
which he wished to consult. The messenger returned with the following
answer: 'I never allow my books to be taken out of my study, but if you
like to come there you are welcome to read as long as you please.'

Some days after this, the friend applied to the Professor for the loan
of his bellows. Remembering the refusal he had lately met with, he
replied: 'I never allow my bellows to be taken out of my room, but if
you choose to come there, you are welcome to blow with them as long as
you like.'



THE FAIRY QUEEN'S GIFT.


  The Queen of Fairies passed last night,
    The greenwood dancing through;
  I watched her from my window-pane,
    The round moon saw her too.

  Her light wings fluttered airily,
    A casket she did hold,
  And lo! she scattered strings of pearls,
    And shining beads of gold.

  At break of day I hurried down,
    To gather them with care;
  Yet nought I saw but buttercups
    And daisies lying there.

  So now, I think the buttercups
    And daisies in the green
  Are jewels from the treasure-store
    Of the kind Fairy Queen.



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

By HAROLD ERICSON.

II.--DENISON'S HALL-MARK.


'Now look here, you fellows,' began Denison, whose turn it was to
entertain the company at the camp-fire the next night, 'don't you go
laughing at the story I'm going to tell you, and pretending that you
don't believe it's true, for that would hurt my feelings, and I might
burst into tears, and you wouldn't like to see a strong man weep!'

'Go on,' said Bobby, rudely, 'or perhaps one of us will give the strong
man something to weep for!'

Denison eyed the speaker with contempt, but plunged into his tale at
once. 'See this mark?' he said, turning up his sleeve and showing a scar
upon his forearm, 'and this?' he indicated a mark on his neck; 'Well,
you're going to hear how I came by these. Do you know what a Hall-mark
is? A lion stamped on good metal; that's it, isn't it? Well, these are
Hall-marks: the stamp of a lion; only Stationers' Hall didn't stamp
them: the lion made his own mark on me. I've got more of them on my arms
and legs.'

       *       *       *       *       *

It was like this: I was antelope-shooting with a friend not so very far
from the spot we are now in, though a bit farther north. My friend,
Thomson by name, had been a trifle off colour, and just now was quite on
the sick list, so that we had not moved camp for some time, and I spent
my days in trying to get a specimen of water-buck for my collection of
antelope heads.

One morning, to my joy and excitement, I came upon the spoor of a herd
of them, I was alone and some miles from camp; our cleverest Kaffir
hunter was on the sick list as well as Thomson, so that as a matter of
fact I had been obliged to go alone--a kind of veldt influenza had got
hold of the other two, and neither of them felt worth two penn'orth of
toffee. I came in sight of my little water-buck family when I had
scouted after them for about an hour; they were grazing peacefully in a
plateau half a mile away, quite unsuspicious of my presence and evil
intentions with regard to them. I was scouting against the wind, of
course, and had hopes of getting my shot in--the first I had ever fired
at this particular species. I made for a boulder which lay between
myself and the herd, and creeping most cautiously and slowly (for I was
really keen to succeed), I reached it without alarming the timid
animals, which were now scarcely four hundred yards away. Very carefully
I raised myself from the snake-like attitude in which I had made my
advance, in order to risk a peep over the edge of the rock, for I must
lay my exact plan of campaign, so that I might make sure of another
couple of hundred yards, which distance gained, I was going to fire my
shot.

I had risen from my crouching attitude, and was about half-way to the
upright, when all of a sudden the world seemed to come to an end and
break up into stars and giddy whirlings, accompanied by sharp pains in
the back, flights through space, and terrific thunderous sounds in my
very ears. I was conscious of turning a double or triple somersault, of
alighting face-down on the long grass, of a heavy weight leaning upon my
neck and spine, of pain, stiffness, semi-consciousness, of a continuous
noise as though a motor-car lay and throbbed and whirred on the top of
me. What had happened?'

I lay and wondered for a few minutes. Had there been a volcanic
eruption? Were bits of it lying upon me and pinning me down? Would there
be another upheaval in a moment; more steely-blue stars and another
flight, and then--the end? If so, I wished it would come quickly and not
leave me in suspense, and, oh! if only the horrible whirring noise at
my ear would only stop for a minute. My head ached as though it would
burst. I opened my eyes, but could see nothing but the stalks of yellow
grass in which my face was buried.

Was I sufficiently alive--had I energy enough to move, to raise my
aching head a little way in order to look around a bit? For a few
minutes I could not summon sufficient strength to stir a finger; I felt
paralysed and utterly bereft of the power to set my muscles working.
Gradually, however, I began to feel a little better, the noise at my ear
ceased and let peace in; a delightful calm followed, and with it
consciousness gradually returned.

I raised my head a few inches; instantly something came in violent
contact with the back of my skull, dealing me a stunning blow; at the
same time a crash of thunder reverberated at my ear, and again I lay
still, conscious only of the horrible whirring sound which had begun
again and continued without ceasing. I think I entirely lost
consciousness at this point, and lay, it might have been a few minutes,
it might have been an hour, lost to every sense of fear, of wonder, of
pain.

When I awoke, on regaining consciousness, I still lay upon my face, but
my brain felt more capable of coping with the situation. I lay and
reflected. Something had happened to me: was it a stroke of paralysis? I
moved the muscles of my face: they were all right on both sides. I
turned my head slightly first one way and then the other--no, I was not
paralysed. I tried to raise myself, but found that some heavy weight
upon the small of my back prevented me. That was odd. Could there have
been an earthquake, and had some rock rolled over upon me--a most
unlikely thing, yet what else could it be? I wriggled my back in order
to discover, if I could, the nature of the incubus. Instantly there
recommenced that abominable sound, close to my ear, which had so angered
me before; now that my brain was once more in working order I was able
to listen with understanding. The sound was the growling of some great
beast; the weight upon my back could be nothing else than its paw which
held me down; I was, in a word, at the mercy of a savage animal,
doubtless a lion, for the weight of the paw proved that it could be no
smaller beast. I had been knocked down from behind: stalked while I
myself stalked the water-buck; I was in the position of a mouse which
has been caught by a cat.

My brain remained wonderfully clear, though I expected that my reason
would leave me in that moment of terror. It did not. On the contrary, I
lay there and thought more keenly and quickly, I believe, than I had
ever thought before. How long ago had the brute sprung upon me? Surely
an hour, at least, must have passed since I fell, or was it that time
passes very slowly in these terrible moments? I counted thirty
slowly--well, that was half a minute; nothing happened.

'Why doesn't he eat me?' I wondered. 'There must be a reason for the
delay. Is he waiting for his mate?' He certainly was waiting--while I
lay and thought, another minute or two had passed.

I longed to screw my head round so that I might at least catch a glimpse
of the brute in whose power I lay. I wondered where my rifle was--if
only I could see or reach it! There was a skinning-knife, I knew, in my
belt, and the recollection gave me a moment of joy. A knife is not much
of a weapon with which to engage a lion in battle, especially if one
could not get at it; but where there is a knife there is hope. Something
hard was in my right hand--what was it? Why--what--it was my rifle! It
might as well, of course, be a hundred miles away at the present moment,
for I dared not move a finger to draw it towards me, and my arms were
both stretched at full length in front of me; but still, when the fatal
moment should arrive it _might_ come in useful, and the thought
encouraged and cheered me.

[Illustration: "Stalked while I myself stalked the water-buck."]

Meanwhile, was the beast falling asleep? Oh, if only he would, I
thought! The idea almost stopped my breathing, so fearful was I lest
anything I might do should keep my foe awake! I believe he did doze a
little. The pressure of the great paw upon my back seemed to relax a
trifle. I waited what seemed to me a quarter of an hour; then--my heart
in my mouth--I tried a tiny little wriggle. In a moment the pressure
increased, a roar rent the air, I thought my last moment had arrived and
a prayer came to my lips. I felt my left shoulder or upper arm seized.
'Heaven help me!' I muttered aloud--my head swam--I think I fainted for
a second. When I recovered consciousness I was being dragged through the
long grass.

(_Concluded on page 68._)



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

I.--THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE COMMON FROG

(_Concluded from page 12._)


We come now to the final stages in the life of the tadpole babies. These
are indicated by the appearance of a pair of tiny buds on each side of
the base of the tail; day by day they grow longer and longer, and
finally assume the form of the hind-leg of the adult. But as yet there
are no fore-legs. If, however, the little beast be carefully examined,
the missing limbs will be found tucked away under the throat, and in a
day or so the left arm is thrust through the breathing-hole, to be
followed shortly after by the right, which has to rupture the skin to
gain its freedom. As soon as this takes place, in a wild state the
tadpole comes of age, so to speak, and creeps ashore to assume his new
dignity of frog-hood. For a little while longer, however, he carries the
evidence of his infancy about with him, in the shape of a short, stumpy
tail; but in a very brief space the last remnant of this disappears, and
now, save in size, he cannot be distinguished from his parents.

There is a common belief that at a certain time the tail of the tadpole
falls off. Nature is not so wasteful. This tail, when it has served its
purpose as a swimming organ--that is to say, as soon as the hind legs
have developed enough to take up their duties--is gradually absorbed.

And this fact recalls another. It will be remembered that it was pointed
out that for some time after leaving the egg no food was taken at the
mouth, because there was no mouth, but life was sustained by the reserve
of yolk within the body, the remains of the egg, in short. Similarly, we
have a second period when no food is taken, and this takes place while
the tail is being used up, and the mouth is being transformed. Exactly
how this using-up process is effected cannot be easily explained here;
but it forms what is known as a reserve store of food. In a similar way,
dormice, squirrels, and bears grow very fat before they retire to some
snug hole to sleep out the long winter. The gradual waste of the body
which goes on during the long sleep is made good by slowly using up the
fat which was accumulated during the summer and autumn.

At last, then, the tail of the tadpole disappears, and with this several
new features become apparent. These are the new breathing arrangements,
a new mouth and system of catching food, and shorter intestines.

[Illustration: Common Frog, showing tongue in action.]

About this new breathing. In ourselves this is done by means of our
ribs, which alternately rise, increasing the cavity of the chest and the
capacity of the lungs, and fall, or rather are pulled down, decreasing
the chest cavity, and pressing out the air from the lungs. The frog
pumps in air by that curious movement of the throat which the ignorant
suppose to be a preparation for poison-spitting. When the throat is
depressed the mouth cavity is increased, and air rushes in through the
nostrils and fills the chamber. When the floor of his mouth is raised
again the cavity is reduced, and the air is forced down the windpipe
into the lungs, being unable to escape through the nostrils, because
they are closed by special valves.

The mouth is now toothless, and of great size. The young frog feeds on
living prey, which is generally caught by the tongue. For this purpose,
the tongue in the frog and toad is fixed to the front of the floor of
the mouth, so that the tip of the tongue points _backwards_ towards the
throat! In capturing, say a fly, the frog creeps as near his prey as he
can manage, and then, with a lightning movement, darts the tongue
forward on the unsuspecting victim. The tongue being covered with a
sticky substance, the fly adheres to the trap and is drawn in a
twinkling into the cavern, from which return is impossible. The working
of the tongue may be seen in the illustration.

The shortening of the intestine follows in consequence of the change to
more nutritious diet. In the young tadpole it is long and may be seen
coiled up like a watch-spring through the skin of the abdomen; in the
adult these coils disappear.

Such, then, is the brief outline of the life-history of one of Nature's
water babies. We have traced it from the egg to the grown-up form: and
here we must stop, though all that is of interest does not end here. I
could tell you of the curious way in which the frog changes colour to
suit his surroundings; of how he changes his skin; of his wonderful
vocal powers, and a hundred other things. But meanwhile, try and
discover it for yourselves by keeping a few frogs as pets, starting, as
I did, with the spawn taken from a ditch in spring.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 31._)

CHAPTER II.


Estelle could scarcely believe her eyes at the sight of Thomas. Her cry
made Marjorie and Georgie look round. Thomas there! How was it she had
not seen him before? How was it he had not heard their calls to him? Had
Alan had his dangerous climb for nothing?

With a sudden rush of anger, Marjorie was about to call to Thomas, when
another amazing event stopped her. Alan appeared at the entrance of the
cave, and signalling rapidly to her, put his fingers to his lips.

Puzzled and uncertain what he wanted her to do, she remained sitting
near the sand castle, telling Georgie to be quiet till Alan could
explain. Estelle meanwhile had dropped her stones, and, throwing herself
down by her cousin, wanted to know what Alan was doing.

'He will be here in a second,' said Marjorie, trying not to speak
impatiently in her anxiety, 'but he evidently does not wish us to look
as if we saw him. Let us go on playing as if nothing had happened.'

'But why mayn't we meet Alan?' demanded Georgie, stooping that he might
see under his sister's great hat.

'He doesn't want us to. I think he does not like Thomas to know he has
not been with us all the time. But it is all guessing, really, for I
don't know more than you do,' she added, as she saw both children were
about to ply her with questions.

Meantime, Alan, having caught the spirit of the game over which the
others were interested, took up the largest stones he could find, and
came to join the party. It was more than likely that Thomas would
imagine he had been helping with the castle the whole time.

'Well?' said Marjorie, looking up, and at the same time pointing to
where she desired the stones to be placed.

They all began to help in arranging them while Alan spoke in low tones
of his adventure.

'It is really true, Marjorie, that something is up. I don't understand
it yet, and even if I did this is no place to tell you about what I
heard. Just keep quiet about my climb, all of you. Do you hear,
Georgie?' For his little brother was not good at keeping secrets, and
Alan thought this a serious matter.

'Of course I do. I am not deaf.'

'Well, you are not to say a word to anybody, not even to Mother.'

'How did you get down?' asked Estelle, in a whisper.

'On my feet, having no wings,' he laughed. 'How have you all got on?
This is a splendid castle. Let us fill the moat with water.'

Marjorie looked up in surprise. A look in Alan's eyes made her glance
round, and she saw that Thomas was coming towards them over the sands,
to tell them it was time to be going. She saw, too, that Alan did not
wish to speak of his climb up the cliff in Thomas's presence.

Estelle and Georgie were the only talkative ones on their return to the
boat. Marjorie was fully occupied with the difficulties of steering, and
Alan and Thomas in pulling against the incoming tide. Georgie had
crammed his pockets with shells, and now brought them out to show
Estelle that there were real, live creatures in some of the closed ones.
The idea horrified her, and she tried to get him to throw them into the
sea.

'No, certainly not!' cried Georgie, with a teasing laugh. 'I shall ask
Miss Leigh if we can't have them for tea.'

'To eat?' cried Estelle, shrinking with horror, and springing away from
the dirty-looking black shells.

Her violent jump made the boat give a heavy lurch, and she nearly fell
overboard.

'Hullo!' cried Alan, while Marjorie pulled her back to her seat, begging
her to keep still.

'What's the matter? asked Georgie with a laugh, his eyes dancing with
delight at having startled her. 'Why, they are only mussels. Lots of
people eat them, and periwinkles too. You shall taste them yourself.'

'Oh, Georgie, do throw them into the sea! They are horrid!' she
exclaimed, shuddering. 'I don't like this bay, or the dark cruel rocks,
or the waiting for Thomas, with the tide coming in to drown us if he is
late! And now those dirty shells--alive and horrid--which you want to
eat!'

Georgie laughed with such shouts of merriment that Alan told him to shut
up; he would have the boat over if he kicked about in that manner. But
his laugh was so infectious that Estelle was forced into joining,
especially when, to please her, he threw the shells into the waves as
they landed.

The wood, dignified by the name of the Wilderness, led up to the rear of
the Moat House. It was of great extent, reaching to the coastguard path
on the cliffs, and stretching far across the coast-line. In the midst of
it was the old ruined summer-house, in which the children delighted. It
was not in the least like a summer-house, nor could anybody give a
reason for its name. It was, in fact, all that remained of the ancient
rampart which had once surrounded the Moat House. It was fifteen feet
high, and was probably the last of many such three-cornered towers. Now
the flanking walls had either disappeared altogether, or they had become
little moss-covered mounds of stone. Trees and bushwood hid it from view
on one side; broken steps went up a second, which led more or less
perilously to the top, where a table, some rough wooden seats, and a
rustic chair or two showed that it was used by the children, if not by
their elders. On the third side, where the ivy had grown thick with age,
and stood out from the wall like a tree, was a heavy oak door, clamped
with iron and studded with large nails. In front of this spread a soft
carpet of ground ivy and moss, just now starred with celandines and
morning glories, while the bright, fresh green of the slender birches
drooped over it, and cast trembling shadows.

The door had a special attraction for the children. They would often
stand and gaze at it, making up long stories of what might be found
inside. Each in turn had tried to induce the old gardener, Peet, to open
it, but as yet no persuasions or arguments had had any effect upon him.
He refused to let them have even one peep.

Great was Estelle's surprise, then, when passing it on their return from
the boat, to find it open. She rubbed her eyes, and caught hold of Alan
in her excitement, pointing with her other hand towards the little slit.
There was an instant rush for the ruin. Alan, taking the lead, made the
first attempt to push the door open a little wider, and catch a glimpse
of what lay behind it, but he failed. The interior was too dark, and the
door too heavy to move without help. Determined not to give in, however,
he called the others to his assistance, but to their astonishment, it
took the combined strength of the party to push it wide enough to gain
even a glimpse of what was inside. It was amazingly weighty; but when at
last it did move, it swung back quickly and unexpectedly, nearly
knocking the children over. Struggling to their feet again, they gazed
at each other in awe, delight, and wonder, till Alan, overcoming his
amazement, went forward to inspect their discovery, the others following
close at his heels.

Thomas had been left behind with the boat, and would not be up till they
had had time to examine the inside to their hearts' content. That is
what Alan counted upon, at all events. But he had reckoned without his
host.

'I don't think there is much to see,' said Marjorie scornfully. 'It is
very dark and dirty, and oh, do look at the snails!'

'And the mice!' cried Georgie, pointing to one scurrying off under their
very noses.

'And the bats!' exclaimed Estelle, with a shudder 'do you see them up
there? I wonder if they will come down and fasten in our hair if we go
inside and look about?'

'Why should they?' asked Alan, lighting a match he had found in his
pocket. 'They are asleep now, and won't wake at anything we do. Now come
in, and I will have the lantern lighted in a jiffy. I saw one just close
by.'

'I wonder what Aunt Betty or Father would say----,' began Marjorie, but
Alan cut her short.

'You are not going to stop outside, surely!' he exclaimed, with
surprised indignation. 'We shall never get such a chance again, and
there can be no possible harm in it while I am here to take care of
you.'

'Auntie would not like it,' said Estelle. 'She particularly told me I
wasn't to go in at any time, and I don't think I ought.'

'Aunt Betty trusted us,' added Marjorie, decidedly. 'We can look, but
not go in.'

'What rot!' returned Alan, wilfully, not in the best of humours. He had
succeeded in lighting the lantern, and now began to insist on Estelle
coming with him. 'There is no trust in a locked door,' he said. 'At
least the trust is in the door keeping us out; not in us who can't get
in. This is a chance in a thousand.'

'I wonder if I might?' said Estelle, looking at Marjorie.

It was a great temptation. It did seem such a pity to lose this
opportunity; a chance, as Alan said, which might never occur again:
though the children knew they were doing wrong, curiosity began to
overcome them.

'I don't think it would be right,' answered Marjorie, with decision. 'We
can see all we want from here.'

'I'm sure we can't,' said George, excitedly. 'Look at that dark corner.
We don't know what is in there, but there is something, I'm sure.'

'Well, Marjorie,' said Alan, 'if you don't want to come in, don't. But
you need not spoil sport for all the rest of us. You and I will go in,
Estelle, and Marjorie can keep guard outside.'

'I wish I knew if I might!' cried Estelle, clasping her hands on the top
of her head, and dancing up and down in despair. I really and truly
believe Auntie only meant I was not to go in alone. Don't you think so,
Marjorie?'

'No, I don't,' returned her cousin, quietly.

'What on earth does it matter?' cried Alan, impatiently. 'We are losing
all our time and we shall have Peet or somebody down upon us in a
minute. Come on, Estelle.'

But love for Aunt Betty still acted as a restraint, and though she put
her foot on the threshold, she did not step over.

'I would like to--I would like to,' she exclaimed, torn between her
conscience and her wishes, 'if---- '

She broke off, for Georgie was screaming in terror, 'The door--the door!
Look at the door!'

(_Continued on page 47._)

[Illustration: "Alan made the first attempt to push the door open."]

[Illustration: "It became necessary to descend the shaft."]



MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.

II.--THE SEVERN TUNNEL.


[Illustration]

If you were bound from England to some town in South Wales, it was very
awkward to have to leave your train on the banks of the Severn and make
a voyage of more than two miles in a slow ferry-boat before you could
take another train on the opposite shore. The Severn tides, too, were so
erratic that there was never any knowing when the ferry-boat would be
able to start. But that was what people had to put up with forty years
ago. So the Great Western Railway Company, in 1871, decided to go under
the fickle waters, as they found it so troublesome to go over them. A
study of the bottom of the river made it clear that the tunnel they
intended to make would have to slope downwards considerably from both
ends, running level for a short distance only under the centre of the
stream. This was because the waters, though shallow near either bank,
are extremely deep in the middle, and to avoid this deeper part, the
engineers had to burrow their way to a depth of one hundred and
forty-five feet below high-water level at spring tide. The tunnel itself
is four and a half miles long.

The work was begun in 1873. The slopes towards the river were made as
gradual as possible, and the tunnel started from both ends at once. In
order to find out what the soil and stone were like through which they
would have to force their way, a shaft or pit, fifteen feet wide and two
hundred feet deep, was dug on the western side of the river. From the
bottom of this the boring or 'heading' (as the beginning of a tunnel is
called) was worked east and west through rock and shale. Gunpowder was
exploded in small holes drilled at frequent intervals to shatter this
material; and when we remember that the 'heading' was only about six
feet high and six feet wide we can imagine how uncomfortable this work
must have been. Various kinds of drills have been invented for attacking
stone, but the one most usually employed consists of a hard steel
collar, round the edge of which black diamonds are fixed. There is no
rock that can withstand this drill.

When the human moles, burrowing under the Severn from opposite sides,
had got to within one hundred and thirty yards of each other, the drills
of those in the western part suddenly broke through into the secret
hiding-place of a great spring. The water gushed forth in cascades
faster than the pumps could pump it out, and in twenty-four hours the
'heading' was filled with water. This was in October, 1879, and for two
months all work was stopped. Then Sir John Hawkshaw was appointed chief
engineer. With great difficulty larger pumps were set in action to draw
the water out, and when this had been partly accomplished, it became
necessary for some one to descend the shaft through thirty feet of
water, grope his way for one thousand feet along the tunnel, and close a
certain door which had been left open when the workmen fled in panic
before the deluge. This door, together with two pipes which ran beneath
it, allowed the passage of large quantities of water from under the
river, the checking of which would enable the pumps to cope with the
rest. A diver named Lambert undertook this task. He required twelve
hundred feet of tubing to convey air to his helmet, and as this was more
than one man could drag after him, two other divers were called upon to
assist. One descended to the bottom of the shaft, while another walked
up the 'heading' for five hundred feet, passing Lambert's air-tube along
as the latter continued the terrible journey alone. Stumbling in the
darkness over the scattered tools which the escaping workmen had thrown
down, he arrived at last within a hundred feet of the door--only to find
that he had not the strength to drag the air-hose any farther! Floating
upwards in the water, it rubbed too hard against the ceiling of the
tunnel to be pulled downwards and onwards. Lambert sat down, and, by a
supreme effort, pulled it a few feet more. But the task was beyond his
strength, and, greatly disappointed, he returned to the bottom of the
shaft.

A few days later he tried again. This time no air-hose was used.
Strapped on his back he carried a vessel filled with condensed oxygen
gas, which he could admit to the helmet in small quantities at will.
Groping his way once more along the narrow, water-choked passage, he at
last reached the door. Passing through to the other side he felt for the
open end of one of the pipes, and turned the screws of its valve. Then,
stepping back, he shut the door behind him. All that now remained to be
done was to seal the second pipe. This had what is called a sluice
valve, and Lambert had been instructed to turn the screw which closed it
round and round, until he found he could turn it no farther; when that
was done, he would know that it was shut. It took some time, but it was
accomplished at last, and the triumphant diver returned to the upper
air. He had been absent one hour and eighteen minutes.

Lambert had done well, and all were ready to acknowledge his great
courage; but the water, strange to say, remained abundant, and it was
only after still further increasing the size of the pumps that it was at
last got rid of. Then the secret came out: no one had told Lambert that
the sluice valve had a left-handed screw, and that, therefore, to close
it he would have to turn it in the opposite direction to the usual one.
So all his heroic labour was expended on opening the valve to its
fullest extent, and thwarting the purpose for which he had undertaken
such a perilous duty.

This spring proved to be the greatest enemy the engineers had. But on
one occasion the sea itself made an attack upon them. A tidal wave burst
over the Severn's banks one night, and, rushing in a volume five feet
high, entered the workmen's cottages, and rose above the beds on which
their children were asleep. They were only saved by being lifted on to
tables and shelves. Then the great mass of water rolled on, to fall in a
huge torrent down the tunnel shaft. At the bottom eighty-three men were
at work. They escaped by running up the sloping tunnel and climbing a
wooden stage or platform at the far end. The water rose to within eight
feet of the tunnel-roof. As soon as the mouth of the shaft could be
reached from above, a small boat was lowered, and upon the gloomy
subterranean river a party of rescuers rowed in search of the imprisoned
men. A huge timber, stretched from side to side of the tunnel, soon
barred the boat's progress, and it became necessary to return to the
shaft for a saw to cut it in two. This they dropped overboard before
accomplishing their purpose, and had to wait while another was obtained.
Eventually, however, the men were reached and removed from their
terrible prison.

But through danger and difficulty alike, the Severn Tunnel was pushed on
with, reaching completion in 1886--fourteen years after its
beginning--and was opened for passenger traffic on December 1st, in that
year.

JOHN LEA.



THE UNDECIDED TRAVELLERS.


  'The world is wide,' exclaimed the Goose,
    'I think I'd like to travel.'
  'And so should I,' the Ass replied,
    'I'm tired of loads of gravel.'

  'Where shall we go?' inquired Miss Goose;
    'Myself, I fancy China.
  'Oh, no!' cried Ass; 'in Switzerland
    The mountain peaks are finer.'

  'A fig for landscapes!' hissed his friend,
    'I yearn for fields of paddy;
  About my food I must confess
    I am a trifle "faddy."'

  'They'd make _us_ into food,' cried Ass,
    'They'd fry our bones in batter;
  I will not walk ten thousand miles
    To make a Chinee fatter.'

  And as no plan would suit them both,
    They have not yet departed,
  And I should hear with great surprise
    That they had really started.

A. KATHERINE PARKES.



A BRAVE ANSWER.


There was sharp fighting between the English and French in the Windward
Islands in 1778, when General Meadows conquered St. Lucia, not, however,
without himself being severely wounded at the very beginning of the
engagement.

The General, though wounded, would not leave the field for a moment, and
when the action was over, he visited every wounded officer and man
before he would receive the surgeon's attention himself.

His heart was greatly cheered by an answer given to him by a young
subaltern, Lieutenant Gomm, of the Forty-sixth Regiment, who, in the
heat of action, was wounded in the eye.

'I hope you have not lost your eye, Lieutenant,' said the General.

'I believe I have, sir,' replied Gomm, 'but with the other I shall see
you victorious this day.'

The brave young fellow had his wish, and history tells us that the
French General 'was driven back with shame and with loss.'



A QUIET CONSCIENCE.


The famous Dr. Watts once said, when suffering from a dangerous illness,
'I thank God that I can sleep quietly to-night without being uneasy as
to whether I awake in this world or in the next.'

How many of us can say that our consciences are so untroubled as that?



THE SHADOOFS AND DRAW-WHEELS OF EGYPT.


In the greater part of Egypt rain never falls, and if it were not for
the Nile the country would be little better than a desert. But every
year, at exactly the same time, near the end of June, the river begins
to rise and overflow its banks. For three months it continues to swell
and spread, until it floods nearly the whole of the valley in which it
flows. It then begins to fall as steadily as it has risen, and retires
gradually into its proper channel, leaving the land which it has
overflowed covered with fertile mud, which has been brought down from
the interior of the continent, where the Nile rises. This rich soil and
the annual flooding of the valley by the river have made Egypt one of
the most fertile countries in the world.

The Egyptian farmer knows well the advantages which he reaps from the
overflowing of the Nile, and he cuts many canals to lead the water to
his fields, and builds dams to retain it when the river goes down. But
the overflowing of the river, even when helped by canals and dams, is
not enough for the proper irrigation of the land, and the Egyptian
farmers and field-labourers have to spend much of their time in raising
water from the river, or the canals, and distributing it over the
fields, especially upon the higher ground, which the annual flood does
not reach. Along the banks of the river, especially in Upper Egypt, may
be seen great numbers of machines, which are used for raising water from
the river into reservoirs, from which it is distributed through the
fields.

The commonest of these machines is the _shadoof_. It is a sort of
balance, with a weight at one end and a cord and bucket at the other.
The arm of the balance rests upon a bar of wood, which is supported by
two wooden posts, the whole resembling the horizontal bar of a
gymnasium. The posts are about five feet high and two or three feet
apart, and they are set up on the top of a bank, close to the edge, so
that the end of the arm which bears the bucket may project over the
water. This arm is made out of a slender branch of a tree, and is
fastened to the horizontal bar by loops of cord. Its thicker end is
loaded with a large, round ball of mud, while the other carries a long
cord, or even a slender stick, at the end of which is the bucket, or
bowl, in which the water is raised. This bucket is not made of iron, but
of basketwork, usually covered with leather or cloth. The man who works
the shadoof stands near the water's edge, below the slender arm of the
balance. He pulls down the cord to which the bucket is attached, until
the bucket dips into the water and is filled, while at the same time he
raises the lump of mud at the other end of the balance. When the bucket
is filled, he lifts it up, and empties it into a little tank higher up
in the bank, perhaps at the height of his head. The heavy weight at the
other end of the balance aids him a great deal in lifting the bucket,
even if it does not quite balance it. When the bank is high, and the
water has to be raised some distance, several shadoofs are employed.
They are arranged in stages, or steps, one above the other; the second
from the bottom takes its water from the reservoir, into which it has
been emptied by the first, and the third from the reservoir of the
second, and so on. Drawing water with the aid of the shadoof is said to
be very hard work, especially in so hot a country as Egypt. The shadoof
was used thousands of years ago, just as it is to-day, as we know by the
pictures of it which are still to seen painted upon the walls of some of
the ruins of ancient Egyptian buildings.

[Illustration: Egyptian "Sakiyeh."]

Another machine used for the same purpose is the _sakiyeh_, or
draw-wheel. It consists of a horizontal axle, with a wheel at each end.
One of these wheels overhangs the water of a river, a canal, or a well,
and over it there passes a long, hanging loop of cords, to which a
number of earthen pots are fastened. As the axle and the wheel go round,
the pots on the cords are drawn over the wheel, and made to move in a
circle like the buckets of a dredging-machine. The lower end of the loop
of pots dips in the water, and each pot, as it passes through the water,
is filled. It is then slowly drawn up by the turning wheel, and as it
passes over the wheel, and is tilted over, it empties the water into a
tank, or spout, and passes on downwards, empty, to the river again to
take up a new supply. The wheel at the other end of the axle is
connected with a large horizontal wheel, or 'gin,' to which a pair of
oxen may be yoked. These animals, walking round and round, turn the
large wheel, which, by means of cogs, turns the wheel upon the nearer
end of the axle, and so turns the wheel bearing the pots. The machinery
is very rough, and squeaks and groans in the loudest manner when it is
at work; but it raises a great quantity of water, and is not easily put
out of order.

W. A. ATKINSON.

[Illustration: Egyptian "Shadoof."]

[Illustration: "One of the largest pounded upon the wall with his
tusks."]



ELEPHANTS ATTACKING A GRANARY.

A True Anecdote.


A traveller, who was making a tour in India some years back, tells us
that in his wanderings he arrived at a village on the north border of
the British dominions; near this stood a granary, in which was stored a
large quantity of rice. The people of the place described to him how the
granary had been attacked by a party of elephants which had somehow
found out that this granary was full of rice.

Early in the morning an elephant appeared at the granary, acting
evidently as a scout or spy. When he found that the place was
unprotected, he returned to the herd, which was waiting no great
distance off. Two men happened to be close by, and they watched the herd
approach in almost military order. Getting near the granary, the
elephants stopped to examine it.

Its walls were of solid brickwork; the entry was in the centre of the
terraced roof, which could only be mounted by a ladder. To climb this
was not possible, so they stood to consider. The alarmed spectators
speedily climbed a banyan-tree, hiding themselves among its leafy
branches, thus being out of view while they could watch the doings of
the elephants. These animals surveyed the building all round; its thick
walls were formidable, but the strength and sagacity of the elephants
defied the obstacles. One of the largest of the herd took up a position
at a corner of the granary, and pounded upon the wall with his tusks.
When he began to feel tired, another took turn at the work, then
another, till several of the bricks gave way.

An opening once made was soon enlarged. Space being made for an elephant
to enter, the herd divided into parties of three or four, since only a
few could find room inside. When one party had eaten all they could,
their place was taken by another. One of the elephants stood at a
distance as sentinel. After all had eaten enough, by a shrill noise he
gave the signal to retire, and the herd, flourishing their trunks,
rushed off to the jungle.



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

I.--THE STORY OF A CRUSADER.

(_Concluded from page 30._)


The Sultan demanded the fortresses of Syria as a ransom, but King Louis
replied that they were not his to part with, but belonged to the Emperor
of Germany, who bore the title of King of Jerusalem. The Sultan
threatened him with torture, but only received the calm reply, 'I am
your prisoner; you may do what you will with me.'

He had the grievous pain of seeing his followers slain for refusing to
abjure their faith, and the worse sorrow of knowing that some among them
had yielded; and he readily agreed to pay five hundred thousand pounds
as the ransom for his people, the city of Damietta being the price of
his own freedom. The Sultan exclaimed in amazement, when the answer was
returned, 'Right noble is this Frankish king, who pays such a sum
without bargaining. Go, tell him we will lessen it by one-fifth.'

De Joinville was not with his master when he was taken, having been
detained by contrary winds in the river; but he had adventures enough of
his own.

He had struggled up to the deck of his galley, though grievously sick,
to issue his orders, when the boat was boarded by the Saracens. One
friendly Turk counselled him to leap on board the enemy's galley and
give himself up as a prisoner; and afterwards this Turk saved his life,
when the Saracen daggers were at his throat, by passing him off as the
King's cousin. He even secured for him the scarlet furred cloak which
had been his mother's gift, and under which poor Joinville lay,
shivering with fever, and, as he freely owned, with dread of what was to
come. Every hour the lives of the prisoners hung in the balance. De
Joinville saw one old comrade and follower after another slain and
thrown into the river before his eyes. When a grand old Saracen, with a
body of armed followers, entered the tent in which they were confined,
they thought their executioners had come; but the old man, after
solemnly asking them whether they believed indeed in a God Who had risen
from the dead, bade them be of good cheer, for such a God would surely
not desert the servants who suffered in His cause. So, with their faith
and courage strengthened in so strange a way, the Christian prisoners
waited until the good news came of the King's treaty.

Even then the peril was not over. The Sultan who had concluded the peace
was murdered by his guard, and, in the confusion which followed, the
galley to which the prisoners had been removed was boarded by a wild
band, with drawn swords. The French nobles, thinking the end had come,
fell upon their knees.

But again their lives were spared, and, soon after, De Joinville found
himself reunited to his beloved King, who, with scrupulous care, was
collecting and paying to the last farthing the sum promised as ransom.

So end De Joinville's crusading adventures, as far as Africa is
concerned, though he followed his royal master to Acre before Louis
turned his face sadly homeward. When the King set forth, twenty years
later, on his second luckless crusade, De Joinville refused to leave his
vassals, who, he said, had suffered sorely during his last campaign. He
heard from the lips of others how his master died at Tunis, with his
thoughts turning longingly still to that Jerusalem which his mortal eyes
would never see. But of this De Joinville tells us little, being
unwilling, he says, to vouch for the truth of anything that he did not
himself see and hear. And he certainly saw and heard enough to leave us
a story of fights and escapes as fascinating as any romance, and the
portrait of a king, often mistaken, indeed, but always valiant,
high-minded, and pure, whose words and deeds his old followers lovingly
recorded for the sake of generations yet to come.

MARY H. DEBENHAM.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 39._)


The children had all been so intent on the going in or staying out, that
they had not noticed how the door was slowly but surely closing on them.
No one had touched it, yet it was moving with great force. Marjorie ran
back out of the way with Georgie clinging to her arm. Alan, seizing
Estelle's hand, had barely time to stumble over the threshold when a
heavy bit of wood was hurled over him, just missing his head, and
landing on the threshold he had quitted the moment before. On this the
door banged with a great crash. It had fallen just in time to prevent
the door shutting. The whole building seemed to shake with the shock of
the banging door. Alan turned, to see Thomas, white and staring, behind
him. The expression on his face recalled to the boy's mind the
conversation in the hollow. For the moment, however, anger prevented any
other thoughts.

'It might have killed me!' he exclaimed, angrily. 'What on earth did you
do that for?'

'I meant no harm, sir,' returned Thomas, hurriedly. 'The truth is, sir,
I--I want to get into that place for a bit. I--I have left something
behind. It's most important. The noise may bring Mr. Peet up here,
and--and--I must get in afore he comes. What's there was left by--by
mistake, sir--only a mistake.'

Thomas spoke in a confused, anxious manner, all the time edging nearer
to the door. 'It would have slammed if I hadn't thrown in the bit of
wood,' he continued, as he pushed back the door to its widest extent.

Sure as he felt that Thomas was deceiving him, Alan was puzzled how to
connect the gardener's anxiety to enter the summer-house with the
conversation he had overheard; but that it _had_ some connection he felt
certain. What could the man want in that dark, uninviting hole? Had he
stolen any valuables and hidden them in there? If so, why did he want
information about them when he must know all about where they were to be
found? Yet the stranger had told Thomas to obtain information, without
which their bargain was useless.

His thoughts were interrupted by the gardeners, who now came running up,
headed by Peet. They were amazed to see the four children staring in
wonder at the strength displayed by Thomas as he set the massive door
open.

'What are you doing with that 'ere door?' shouted the angry head
gardener. 'Who opened it? It isn't anybody's business to go nigh it at
all.'

'The door nearly slammed on the young ladies and gentlemen,' replied
Thomas, sullenly, his tone proving to Alan how keen was his
disappointment. 'I just threw the wood in time to stop it.'

'Who opened it?' demanded Peet, sternly, his eyes wandering round the
group of children and gardeners.

No one answering, Alan said they had found the door open on their return
from boating, and had looked in. 'And if we ever get the chance again
we will go right in,' he added, sulkily, walking away with his head in
the air. His disappointment made him forget himself.

'Stop, Master Alan,' returned Peet, whose naturally cross temper was
continually bringing him into collision with the children. 'The Colonel
and my lady have forbidden all you young ladies and gentlemen to go into
the ruin, and you tell me you will get in if you have the chance?'

'Yes, Peet, I do,' replied Alan, haughtily. 'I am not accountable to you
for what I do or don't do. You mind your own affairs, and find out who
left the door open, or else you will be held responsible.'

Alan marched off, leaving Peet speechless with rage.

'I will speak to the Colonel,' he muttered to himself as the children
disappeared in the direction of the house.

No one knew anything about the door, and, in spite of his anger, Peet
was obliged to admit he himself must have left it open, since none of
the under-gardeners could have got possession of the key. As far as he
knew, they had no interest in going in. The ruin was only used by him
for a secret purpose of his own of which he had spoken to no one. On one
occasion alone had he ever allowed any of his underlings into it. That
was on the day he had made Thomas assist him in erecting some woodwork
in preparation for a gift he had received from his brother in India,
which he desired to keep a profound secret from everybody. Inside the
ruin was a recess large enough for his purpose; but it required a good
deal of adapting to make it available, and this he could not manage
without help. Thomas's action in throwing the piece of wood might or
might not be regarded as suspicious, but since he had been out boating
with the children, he could not have had anything to do with opening the
door. He might desire to get in if his curiosity about the woodwork in
the recess had been roused, but was that likely in such a stupid lout as
Thomas?

There really appeared to be no one on whom he could visit his wrath.
Dismissing the under-gardeners curtly, he was forced to return to his
work in a very unenviable frame of mind, suspicious of everybody.

Meantime the children were greatly taken aback by the quarrel between
Alan and Peet. The two were always more or less at daggers drawn, but it
was seldom that the mutual dislike blazed up into open war.

'I will show Peet a thing or two,' cried Alan with a wilful smile. 'He
must learn he can't speak to me like that. He is Aunt Betty's servant,
worse luck. If he had been Father's, I'd have been down on him with a
vengeance.'

'It is a great pity to quarrel with him,' said Marjorie, though she knew
the remark was not a wise one under the circumstances. 'He is an old
man, he's seen heaps of trouble, and he's soured. That is what Aunt
Betty says. I think it would be nicer--- more like what one would call
_noblesse oblige_--if we let him alone.'

'There's Father!' cried Georgie with a shout. 'We can ask him.'

(_Continued on page 50._)

[Illustration: "'It would have slammed if I hadn't thrown in the bit of
wood.'"]

[Illustration: "Alan intended to make the newts run races."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 47._)


Colonel De Bohun, strolling along smoking his cigar, was at once beset
by the whole party. He was good-natured and kind-hearted; the children
were seldom afraid to take him into their councils. His appearance was
always hailed with delight, and confidences and requests of all kinds
were poured into his ears. In the holidays especially he was a willing
victim, and could be counted on to grant all but the most impossible
demands.

'What are you young monkeys plotting now?' he exclaimed as they ran up
to him.

'Oh, Father!' cried Marjorie, laughing, 'you can't say we are not
reasonable. I heard Mademoiselle telling Miss Leigh so. It was one day
when she was out of temper, and we didn't deserve it.'

'Never mind Miss Leigh,' broke in Georgie. 'I hate her name out of the
schoolroom.'

'Sh--sh!' said his father. 'I can't allow that. Miss Leigh is to be
pitied for having you _in_ the schoolroom.'

'Tell us about the ruined summer-house, Dad,' went on Georgie, eagerly.
'The door was open just now, and we all peeped in. Oh, wasn't Peet
angry.'

'Hullo!' remarked the Colonel. 'Whose fault was that?'

'We found it open upon our return from boating,' Marjorie hastened to
say.

'I don't like that. It shows great carelessness on the part of somebody.
I hope none of you went inside?'

'It wasn't for want of the wish to,' replied Alan; 'but the door nearly
banged on the top of us, so we had to scuttle as fast as we could. Peet
was very rude about it. It was not our fault that the door was open, but
we have every right to go in if it is.'

'No right at all,' answered the Colonel, somewhat sternly. 'The place
belongs to the Moat property, and it is Aunt Betty's desire, as well as
mine, that none of you children should go in. The building is very old,
and every year its condition becomes more and more dangerous. There have
been great falls from the roof already. I will not have you there, not
any one of you. You may as well know at once that there is a passage
from it to some spot---- '

'To the hole in the face of the cliff?' asked Alan, eagerly.

'It can hardly go so far, I fancy. But I am uncertain. I know, however,
that a part of it leads to Aunt Betty's cellars.'

'Could we get in through the cellars?' asked Marjorie.

'Aunt Betty may have the door locked, or, perhaps, permanently closed.
About that I do not know either.'

They had by this time reached the bridge over the moat, the waters of
which reflected the peaceful calm of that beautiful August morning.
Before them lay the Moat House, weather-beaten, dark with age, like an
old soldier at rest after many battles. The original building--the one
which had seen the struggles between the followers of the Red and White
Roses--had been small; but succeeding generations of the Coke family had
added to it, as necessity arose, with the result that the house--an
irregular structure of two stories--extended over a good deal of ground,
and represented every style of architecture.



CHAPTER III.


The weather suddenly changed. It had continued fine and hot for several
weeks, and there was no sign of any break in the succession of cloudless
days. The great heat was bound, however, to end in a thunderstorm. The
air became very sultry, and yet there was a sighing among the leaves of
the trees.

'There is plenty of rain coming,' said Colonel De Bohun, as he stood by
Lady Coke's side, and watched the children going in rather languidly to
their tea. 'We want it badly.'

He was right. That night the greatest storm the children had ever heard
startled them out of their beds. Georgie took refuge with Marjorie, and
even Alan came and sat on her bed, a blanket wrapped round the three of
them, because it 'was more comfortable to be all together,' while the
thunder crashed overhead, and the vivid lightning lit up the room, in
spite of the candles which burnt upon the dressing-table.

All the next day the children had to amuse themselves in the house, and,
truth to tell, they were not sorry for one whole day to settle various
little matters which had been neglected during the fine weather. One of
these was the aquarium. This kept them well employed; but when on the
following morning they found the rain still falling, and the heavy,
ragged clouds gave no promise of the sky clearing, Georgie's patience
gave way.

'What can we do to-day?' he asked, dismally, as he traced the course of
the drops on the window-panes with a damp finger. 'I'm tired of this
rain. Why can't it stop now?'

'It won't stop just to please you,' said Alan, who was examining the
quality of the water in his aquarium.

Georgie turned round angrily, but Marjorie came to the rescue hastily.

'The rain is nothing. We can amuse ourselves just as well in the house.
Can't we go over to Aunt Betty's, and play with Estelle, Miss Leigh?'

Georgie gave a bound of delight towards the door, and even Miss Leigh
smiled, and got up quickly.

'A capital idea!' she said, rolling up her work. 'Go and put on your
macintoshes, and we will run over as quickly as we can. We shall not get
wet enough to hurt us.'

Alan, however, was not pleased. He wanted to change the water of his
aquarium, and required Marjorie to help him. They had already put fresh
water into two compartments, but the third was to have some of the rain,
which they were collecting especially for the purpose. The small frogs,
sticklebacks, and mud-lampreys were already enjoying themselves, and
Alan was determined that the tadpoles and newts should be as happy. The
newts were specially disliked by Georgie, and now, to make matters
worse, Alan placed two of them on the floor. He intended to make them
run races, regardless of the effect of their wet bodies on the carpet.

'They don't do any harm,' he asserted, when Miss Leigh objected; 'not a
bit of it. Water never hurts anything.'

'It is very unpleasant to have them on the floor, to say the least,'
returned the governess. 'And you know Georgie does not like them.'

'Then he needn't, the baby,' retorted Alan, with a withering glance at
his brother.

'I don't mind frogs half so much,' explained Georgie, with a look of
disgust at the newts struggling in Alan's grasp.

'What a little silly you are,' said Alan, placing the creatures on the
ground, and a tiny red worm in front of them. 'What's the matter with
you? Are you afraid they will bite?'

'It's those dreadful legs! And the nasty way they eat.'

'Come, we must go,' said Miss Leigh, with some irritation. 'Come along,
Georgie. Marjorie, just see that you and he are well wrapped up, and
have goloshes on. The paths will be like rivers.'

But Alan, who had moved to allow the governess to leave the room,
objected strongly to Marjorie going with her.

'She's got to stay and help me change the water,' he declared.

Miss Leigh had grown impatient, however; and she insisted on Marjorie
accompanying her and Georgie, and swept her out of the schoolroom with
them, leaving Alan to overcome his wrath as best he could.

(_Continued on page 63._)



KINDNESS CURED HIM.


Some time ago a soldier at Winchester Barracks went before his colonel
for punishment. He was the worst man in the regiment, in spite of his
continual imprisonment in the guard-room.

The colonel, who was tired of sentencing the man, said to the sergeant:
'Here he is again. Guard-room, disgrace, solitary confinement--in fact,
everything has been tried; but all to no purpose.'

'There is one thing you have not tried,' said the sergeant, 'and that is
"forgiveness."'

The colonel had never thought of that, and when the soldier was brought
in he asked him what he had to say to the charge.

'Nothing, sir,' was the reply, 'only I am sorry for what I have done!'

Turning a kind and pitiful look on the man, who expected nothing else
than that his punishment would be increased with the repetition of his
offence, the colonel addressed him, saying: 'Well, we have tried
everything with you, and now we are resolved to--forgive you!'

The soldier was struck dumb with amazement, and left the room without a
word. The new plan, however, was too much for him; it broke his hardened
heart, and he became one of the best soldiers in her Majesty's service.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

2.--LIBRARY PUZZLE.


British authors may be classed in various ways: some are philosophers,
like (a secure fastening, and a vowel) and (a breakfast eatable). Some,
again, are poets, like (painful results of a devouring element) and
(expressive sounds, and true value). There are essayists like (hardened
metal, and a vowel) and (young and tender meat); and others, like (a
kind of swallow), who are of less amiable character. These stand side by
side with writers of novels, like (some one north of the Tweed, and an
upright and crosspiece); or of stories, plays, and verses, like (a
precious metal, and a hard worker).

C. J. B.


3.--BURIED CITIES--ENGLISH AND FOREIGN.

1. Go to the King's Court and plead there for deliverance.

2. The verdict was 'Not proven.' I ceased to hope for a conviction.

3. The house is good, and the garden very large.

4. Did the voyage tire you? Not an atom; I landed as fresh as when I
embarked.

5. Hangings of a rich amber lined the apartment.

6. I acknowledge no superior, be he pope, king, or emperor.

7. Remember, gentlemen of the jury, the advanced age of the prisoner.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 75._]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWER TO PUZZLE ON PAGE 15.

1.--_Matriculation._

_I_ raised the _curtain_ and looked out. The _mail-train_ was about to
start. '_Alicia,' I_ cried, _trial_ and _toil_ lie before me. _Rail
not_, lady, at my shabby _coat; a nation's_ eyes follow me. _In_ this
_curt Latin_ letter my instructions are written; armed with _it I am a_
happy _man_.



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

II.--CURIOUS MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF INDIA.


[Illustration]

Most Anglo-Indians, after living many years in India, return to their
native country with the idea that the music of Hindostan consists of the
noisy twanging of stringed instruments, jangling of ankle bells, and
banging of drums. Very few have troubled themselves to consider the
important part played by music in the lives of the various nations
occupying the vast territories between the Himalayas and Cape Comorin.

Foreigners are treated by the natives to noisy performances because they
are thought to be lovers of harsh sounds, possibly owing to the
prominence of brass instruments in our military bands, the only European
music with which they are familiar. Moreover, we must take into account
that the scales and chords, which make the harmonies so pleasant to
Western ears, sound just as discordant to Eastern nations as their
musical combinations do to ourselves.

The Vedas, or sacred books of the Brahmins, give very strict directions
about the music of the various religious festivals. It is ordered to
consist almost always of soft, mild melodies, dying dreamily away,
accompanied by the gentle tinkling of cymbals. The Vedic chant, sung by
the priests, was written some three thousand years ago, and has still a
wonderful effect on the minds of educated Hindus.

[Illustration: The "Bin."]

In very early times the art of music was reduced to an elaborate system,
and the study of it seems to have been general until the first
Mohammedan invasion in the eleventh century. From this time the whole
country was a scene of war between rival princes, and amid fighting and
bloodshed for many centuries the peaceful arts had little chance of
flourishing.

[Illustration: The "Kimmori."]

Aurungzebe, the last great Mogul emperor, put an end to the Court music,
which had probably reached a very low level in his day. It was his
custom to assure his people of his safety by showing himself daily to
them at a certain window, and some musicians, thinking to arouse his
sympathy, brought beneath this window a funeral bier, and set up a
doleful wailing. Distracted by the noise, the emperor appeared and
demanded what it all meant? 'Melody is dead,' was the dejected reply,
'and we are taking it to the graveyard.' 'Very good,' answered the
annoyed ruler; 'make the grave so deep that neither voice nor echo may
ever again be heard.' And so Court ceremonials were deprived of music
for the future.

The 'bin,' or 'vina,' may be regarded as the national instrument of
India. Legend says that it was invented by Nareda, the son of Brahma. In
painting and sculpture Nareda is usually represented as playing on this
instrument. One of the old Pâli books, written about the time of our
Lord's birth, gives a description of the 'vina,' and the carving of the
most ancient instruments differs little from that of those made at the
present time.

The 'bin' is made of wood, and has seven strings, two of steel, the rest
of silver, and these are plucked by the two first fingers of the
performer, who wears little metal shields made for the purpose. It is
tuned by pegs, and has two gourds suspended below, each usually
measuring about fourteen inches across. These, being of irregular shape
and gaily coloured, give a very picturesque look to the instrument.

Another favourite instrument is the 'kimmori.' This also derives its
sounding powers from gourds, of which three are usually slung from the
tube forming the body. It is said by the natives to have been invented
by one of the singers of the 'Brahma Loka,' or heaven of the Brahmins.
The 'kimmori' is made of a pipe of bamboo or blackwood, with frets or
screws, which should be fashioned of the scales of the pangolin, or
scaly ant-eater, though more often they are made of bone or metal. It
has only two strings, one touching the frets, the other carried above
them. The tail-piece is always carved like the breast of a kite, and the
instrument is frequently found sculptured on ancient temples and
shrines, especially in Mysore, in the south of Hindustan.

In the Old Testament, mention is made of a musical instrument called
kimor, which was probably the same as the kimmori, both being of great
antiquity, and most likely of Aryan construction.

HELENA HEATH.

[Illustration: "Mag raised her shrill note of warning."]



FEATHERED FRIENDSHIP.

A True Story.


Mag was seldom at rest: from morning till night she hopped about, in her
smart black-and-white coat--her bright eyes shining, her head a little
on one side, and her chatter constantly to be heard.

Those bright, bead-like eyes of hers saw everything that was to be seen;
but, of all the creatures that met her view, Mag admired the pheasants
most. She thought there never were such fine and noble birds, and she
could not tire of looking at them, and noticing how the rich greens and
blues and browns of their soft plumage shone in the autumn sunshine.

She proved her interest once in a remarkable way. The pheasants--several
of them--were pecking amongst the bracken, and Mag, perched on an oak
bough overhead, was looking round, as was her custom, when her glance
fell upon a fox, lurking treacherously amongst the long grass, evidently
making ready to spring upon the stately birds.

What was to be done? To cry out would be to draw Master Reynard's
attention away from the pheasants to herself; but Mag did not hesitate
for a moment. At the risk of her own life she raised her shrill note of
warning, and the pheasants, roused to the danger, scuttled away, just in
time.

The disappointed fox tried hard to get at the magpie, but her strong
wings stood her in good stead, and she, too, managed to reach a place of
safety.



THE MOLES AND THE MOUNTAIN.


Two moles once dwelt together in a hole at the foot of an enormous
mountain. They had long lived a quiet life, and now wished to make a
noise in the world, so they caused a report to be spread about among the
animals that they intended moving the mountain on a certain day. The
beasts thought it a wonderful thing that two little moles should move a
great mountain, and they never stopped to ask if it was possible or not.

On the day appointed, they came together with one accord to see this
extraordinary feat of strength. Not only animals came, but men too, who
had provided themselves with sacks, bags, and wheelbarrows to carry away
the gold and silver and other precious metals which they fancied were
inside the mountain. After waiting some time, the moles came out, and
said: 'Dear sirs, the sight of so many of you here to-day does our
hearts good. We have lived a very quiet life hitherto, and now desire to
make a name in the world. We will, therefore, perform the wonderful task
of moving the mountain as we promised; but before it can be
accomplished, we shall require you all to bring a large waggon and place
the mountain on the top of it ready for starting. Until you have done
this, we shall not be able to move the mountain.'

Then the moles retired to their hole to watch the effects of their
speech. The animals saw at once that they had been deceived, and they
tried to tear down the place, but could not, for the wily moles lived
too far under the ground to meet with any hurt.

MORAL: Do not be taken in by the vain promises of those who only wish to
make a name for themselves. (From H. BERKELEY SCORE'S _Original
Fables_.)



TOO MUCH FOR THE WHISTLE.


When I was a child about seven years of age, my friends one holiday
filled my pockets with half-pence. I went directly to a shop where toys
were sold for children, and being charmed with the sound of a whistle
that I saw on my way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered
him all my money for it. I then came home, and went whistling over the
house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My
brothers and sisters and cousins, understanding the bargain which I had
made, told me that I had given four times as much for it as it was
worth. This put me in mind of what good things I might have bought with
the rest of the money, and they laughed at me so much for my folly that
I cried with vexation. My reflections on the subject gave me more
chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.

This little event, however, was afterwards of great use to me, the
impression continuing on my mind, so that often, when I was tempted to
buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, 'Do not give too much for
the whistle,' and so I saved my money.

From '_Benjamin Franklin's Life_.'



THE BEE.


  A little Bee, one sunny day,
  Through garden beds sped on its way;
    It went from flower to flower.
  As on its busy way it flew,
  It entered blossoms white and blue,
    And lingered by the bower.

  Each lovely blossom with its cup,
  Something of sweetness yielded up,
    Something of what was good.
  There was no flower that I could see
  But gave up something to the bee--
  Each one did what it could.

  As on through life I go each day,
  And here and there pursue my way,
    Like to that busy bee.
  Oh, may I gather what is good,
  And find for heart and mind sweet food,
    Enriched by all I see!



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1806.

II.--THE OLD ROSEWOOD ARMCHAIR.


On a cold winter's afternoon, in the year 1806, the little crowd that
had been attending a sale of furniture at the chief auctioneer's in
Wolverhampton was slowly melting away, for the few lots still left to be
sold mostly consisted of worn-out saucepans, broken towel-rails, and
some shabby chairs, and such-like worthless articles.

Very poor people, however, cannot be too fastidious, and a few buyers
still remained who were glad to bid for such things, and amongst these
people was a respectable-looking widow, in threadbare mourning, with a
boy of about thirteen years old by her side.

'Lot 213!' said the auctioneer, with a yawn; for the excitement of the
sale was over, and he did not waste professional jokes except on
well-to-do hearers. 'Rosewood armchair, upholstered in best wool damask!
Now, then, what offers?'

His assistant meanwhile had hoisted on to the table the very shabbiest
chair that had ever occupied so prominent a position! No doubt it might
once have been a good piece of furniture, but now the rosewood was so
encrusted with dirt that it required much scrutiny to say what the wood
really was; and, as for the 'best wool damask,' that must have existed
only in the auctioneer's imagination, for the chair looked as if it were
upholstered in a ragged, colourless canvas, with the stuffing sticking
through in numberless places.

Some of the little audience laughed and jeered as the chair was placed
before them, and one man said, derisively, that 'it wasn't worth
breaking up for firewood.'

The little widow's eyes, however, brightened, and she whispered to the
boy, 'That's the chair I told you of. I saw it yesterday. I could clean
it up, and make it comfortable for your grandfather. I can't bear to see
him sitting on that hard chair of his, with his rheumatism and all. But
I'm afraid it will go for more than I have.' And she clutched the
leather bag, with its solitary half-crown, more firmly in her hand.

'It's a big chair,' said the boy; 'but it's all to pieces, mother.'

'I could settle it, if only I get it,' said the widow, anxiously, still
looking at the chair.

'Now! What offers?' repeated the auctioneer, looking impatiently round.
'Come, make a bid! A good rosewood chair, upholstered in damask.'

There was silence. No one seemed to want such a wretched piece of
furniture, except the widow, who longed for it so earnestly that the
power of speech seemed to go from her.

'George,' she gasped, as she pulled her boy's sleeve, 'say you'll give a
shilling. I can't make him hear me.'

'A shilling!' shouted out the boy, and the auctioneer turned in his
direction at once.

'A shilling for a rosewood chair, upholstered in best damask!' he said,
in a voice of scorn. 'And this in the respectable city of
Wolverhampton!'

The spectators laughed, but no one bid any further sum, so the
auctioneer, who wanted to get home to his supper, banged his hammer on
the table, and to her surprise and delight the widow found that the
chair was hers.

With her boy's help she got the chair home, and cheered her invalid
father by telling him 'his old bones should ache no longer. She would
have him in an easy-chair by the following day.'

She was up at daybreak, and immediately after their frugal breakfast she
dragged the chair into the yard, and began ripping up the fusty old
lining.

'Let me do that, mother. I can rip finely,' said George, taking the
knife out of her hand, for there is a certain joy in tearing and cutting
that appeals to a boy.

'Very well,' said his mother, 'then I will get a pail of warm water, and
we will scrub the rosewood, and get all this black dirt off it; and when
that's done I'll begin the upholstering. I'm going to cover it with my
old red cloak. It will be fine and soft for your grandfather, and I
don't wear colours now, so that I can spare the cloak. But, first of
all, I will put Grandfather in the window-seat, so that he can see all
we are doing. It will amuse him; his life is dull enough, poor dear old
man.'

She went indoors, and George continued the ripping, enjoying the clouds
of dust he raised in the process.

The little woman had just settled her father comfortably on the wooden
settle, where he could look out of the window and see all that went on
in the yard, when they were startled by a cry from George.

'Mother! Mother! Oh, come!'

'He has cut himself!' said the poor woman, turning deadly pale, as she
flew out into the yard.

But George was unhurt, though he looked dazed and half stupefied.

'Look here, Mother,' he said, pointing down to the ground, 'this chair
was full of gold pieces. No wonder it was so heavy to drag home!'

'Gold pieces! Oh, no!' she said, shaking her head. 'You must have made a
mistake, my boy.'

'Look at them!' said George, stooping down and picking up a handful of
guineas from the mass of dust and dirt and horsehair that was strewn on
the floor of the yard. 'They're guineas right enough; they came pouring
out like water when I got to the middle of the chair.'

'They _look_ like guineas,' said the poor woman, trembling with anxiety.
'Oh, George, if they should be, and if they are rightfully ours, then
Father could get to Bath and be cured, and you could be apprenticed to a
cabinet-maker, like your poor father before you.'

'They _are_ guineas,' said George, stoutly. 'Let's show them to
Grandfather--he will know; and if they are--and I _know_ they are'--he
repeated, 'some of the money must be spent on you, Mother; I won't have
it all go to apprentice me. If that ever comes off, you must have a new
gown and cloak to sign my articles in,' and George got up from the dirty
ground and gave his mother a hearty hug.

Grandfather gave his verdict: the guineas were real, and had the effigy
of George I. stamped on them, and there were just a hundred of them, all
told.

Of course, the news of the widow's lucky find was soon known, and the
auctioneer claimed the money, but the clergyman of the parish supported
the widow's claim, and though the auctioneer went to law about it, he
lost his case and had to pay the costs.

Later on in the year a happy family party went to a solicitor's office
to sign George's indentures.

Grandfather was there, erect and well, for the Bath waters had done
wonders for him. His widowed daughter hung on his arm in a fine new
dress and cloak, and George, looking very important at the thought of
being apprenticed to the first cabinet-maker in Wolverhampton, had
everything on new from top to toe, and all this was the outcome of the
purchase (for a shilling) of 'the old rosewood armchair.'

S. C.

[Illustration: "'Mother, this chair was full of gold pieces!'"]

[Illustration: "Set to the hardest and most menial work."]



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

II.--The Constant Prince.


[Illustration]

One summer's day, nearly five hundred years ago, a queen lay dying in
the royal city of Lisbon. She was an English princess, daughter of our
own John of Gaunt, bearing the loved name of her grandmother, good Queen
Philippa, and she had been a helpful wife to her husband, King Joao of
Portugal, and a wise and tender mother to the five lads who stood in
bitter sorrow round her death-bed. Even now, as her life ebbed away, she
roused herself to speak to them brave words of cheer and counsel, and,
calling them close to her, gave to each a sword, bidding them, with her
failing breath, to draw the blades only in the cause of truth and right,
and in defence of the widow and the orphan.

A good cause it was in which the young princes went forth but a few
weeks later. They had one and all refused to receive knighthood for some
bloodless achievement at a tournament, and had begged to be allowed to
win their spurs by an expedition against the Moorish pirates, who, from
their strongholds on the African coast, swept the Mediterranean Sea, and
carried off numberless prisoners into cruel bondage. It was in the cause
of many a widow and orphan, whose bread-winner toiled in some Moorish
seaport, or below the decks of a pirate galley, that the Portuguese
princes drew their mother's last gifts on African soil.

So well did they acquit themselves that, after one day of desperate
fighting, the city of Ceuta, one of the most valuable of the pirate
strongholds, fell into the hands of the three elder lads. Enrique, the
third brother, who was not only a gallant fighter, but so skilful a
general that our own Henry V. offered him a command in his army, so
distinguished himself that his father would have knighted him first, had
he not refused to be preferred before his elders.

But, of all the five, there was no more eager Crusader than the
youngest, Fernando, who, though a mere child, had been the first to
suggest the expedition, and who longed beyond everything to follow in
his brothers' footsteps. Eighteen years, however, passed away before
another such expedition could be undertaken, and by that time the eldest
of the five brothers, Duarte (or Edward), the namesake of his
great-uncle, our gallant Black Prince, had succeeded his father as King
of Portugal. From him Enrique and Fernando won permission for another
attack upon the Moors, and set forth, full of the hope of taking Tangier
as they had taken Ceuta. But Fernando's honours were not to be won with
the sword. The Portuguese forces found themselves so far outnumbered
that the brothers, bitterly disappointed, felt it necessary to retreat.
But worse was to come. There was a traitor in the Portuguese camp, who
let the enemy know of the princes' movements, and when the starving,
weary troops reached the coast at daybreak, they found themselves cut
off from their ships.

The Moorish leader, Lyala ben Lyala, agreed to release the army in
exchange for the city of Ceuta, Prince Fernando and some of the noblest
of his followers remaining as hostages, while news of the disaster and
of the terms offered was carried to Lisbon. The royal prisoner and his
companions were treated with all honour and courtesy, and assured that
their captivity could only be a short one, for the Portuguese King would
lose no time in redeeming his gallant brother.

But the Christian prince knew better. The city which had been so
gallantly won from the infidel might not be lightly given back. Some say
that Fernando himself sent a message to the King at Lisbon, forbidding
him to weigh his brother's freedom against the fair prize of their first
deed of arms. At any rate, he showed neither surprise nor dismay when
the answer was returned that the King of Portugal would pay any sum the
Moors could ask for his brother's ransom, but would not part with Ceuta.
It must have been heart-breaking work for the King and his brothers to
agree with the decision of the Council, that the city must be held at
the cost of the freedom of the youngest and best-beloved of their
gallant band, even though they knew that Fernando himself would be the
first to applaud them. Grief and anxiety must have added to the sickness
of which King Duarte died a year later, leaving a child heir and much
trouble and confusion behind him. Enrique left camp and court to live in
seclusion at Algarve, and there gave himself up to the study of naval
science and astronomy. His name is famous yet as 'Prince Henry the
Navigator,' and his renown spread over Europe in his lifetime. But, as
he planned and sent forth exploring expeditions or studied the stars in
his long night watches, the wise prince's heart must have ached many a
time at the thought of the younger brother, paying the penalty of their
failure among the dark-skinned foe.

For the Moors, who had hoped to hoist the crescent once more over their
ancient stronghold, wreaked a bitter vengeance on the man who would not
plead for his own freedom.

Fernando and his companions, sons of the noblest families in Portugal,
were set to the hardest and most menial work, loaded with chains, and
driven to their tasks with blows and threats. But no ill-usage could
break the spirit of the prince, or induce him to send home entreaties
for the only ransom his captors would accept. The lad who had promised
at his dying mother's bedside to fight as become a Christian knight, was
to show a higher courage than he had ever needed on the battle-field.
He, the noblest born and the least robust of the captives, did his hard
tasks with a diligence and patience which won the admiration even of his
tormentors.

When the captives were shut at night into the dark and noisome dungeon
where they slept, he would gather his companions about him and hearten
them with his brave words, calling them brothers and comrades, and only
grieving that he had led them to share his own ill-fortune. Complaints
and murmurs were shamed into silence by his brave patience, and if ever
the self-control of the weary, half-starved captives broke down and they
quarrelled among themselves, the angry words were checked by the
remembrance that nothing would so grieve the prince. And since

  'The courage that bears, and the courage that dares,
  Are really one and the same,'

not one of Queen Philippa's sons proved more worthy of his knighthood
than the youngest of the five.

The bitterest trial came when Fernando's health, always delicate, gave
way altogether under his privations, and he could no longer do the tasks
required of him. Even the comfort of his companions' presence was now
denied him, and in his wretched cell he lay patiently through the
stifling days, counting the hours until the tramp of feet and clank of
chains told of the return of his friends from their long day's toil.

Then, if their warder was lenient, there would be a pause by the
cell-door, and a moment's breathless waiting lest there should be no
answer to their anxious question of how he did, lest the voice, that
would still speak words of comfort and cheer through the darkness,
should be silent for ever.

But, as the prince grew weaker, his courage and patience moved even his
captors to mercy, and his friends were about him when, after seven years
of slavery, the brave spirit passed at length into the true freedom.

Thirty years later the body of Fernando was ransomed, in exchange for a
Moorish prisoner, and laid in his native land; but his true monument is
the city which his long captivity saved for Christendom. The days of
such slavery as his are gone by. The galleys of the Moorish pirates no
longer sweep the inland sea, and we shall have stories to tell by-and-by
of the men who chased them from their strongholds. But Ceuta was won
four hundred years earlier, by the swords which our English princess
bequeathed to her sons, and was held by the seven years' brave patience
of him who so worthily earned the name of 'El Principe Constante,' the
Constant Prince.

MARY H. DEBENHAM.



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

II.--THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE SOLE.


We can never fully understand an animal until we know its life-history,
but we can give some sort of an account, at least, of its development
from birth to death. With some creatures, as with butterflies, moths, or
birds, for example, this is easy enough, but with others this is by no
means true. The life-history of the Sole is a case in point; only by the
slow accumulation of facts has this been put together. But the result
is most interesting, and without more ado we now proceed to relate it.

The cradle of the young sole, like that of its relatives, the plaice,
turbot, and flounder, takes the form of a crystal globe of a jelly-like
material, in the centre of which lies a smaller globe containing the
germ which will grow into the young fish, a little store of food
material, and a small quantity of oil, which seems to keep the whole
afloat at the surface of the sea. This is the egg. It differs from the
eggs of its relatives, in that the oil which it contains is distributed
in the form of tiny drops, instead of being collected in one big drop,
as in the turbot's eggs, for instance. The careful mother lays these
eggs far out at sea and leaves them; if they were deposited near the
land they would drift ashore and be destroyed. And in the illustration
(fig. 1, egg) you will see what this water-baby looks like just before
he quits his cradle.

In less that a month the little sole has grown enough to enter the
world, but he is strangely helpless; a tiny little creature, perfectly
transparent, mouthless and finless, so that he must drift helplessly,
whithersoever the currents carry him. Though mouthless, he is not
hungry, for there remains within him a certain amount of the nourishing
yolk, which was stored up for this purpose, in his crystal cradle. This
little food reserve is the cause of the rounded swelling on the under
surface of the young sole in the illustration (fig. 1, A and B). In this
picture you should note, first of all, the curious shape of the head,
which is, as yet, only roughly modelled. There is no mouth, and the eye,
as yet, is colourless. Along the middle of the back there runs a high
fin, transparent as glass, and this is continued round the tail and
forwards to the swelling caused by the yolk-bag. Over the whole are
scattered a few patches of colour, in the shape of spidery lines and
blotches, as yet only just dense enough to attract attention.

At six days old, as you will see (fig, 1, C), he has grown darker, and
has developed a mouth and a tiny pair of breast-fins; but beautiful he
certainly is not, judged by human standards of beauty. It often happens,
however, that the outward mark of ugliness is but the sign of hidden
peculiarities of unusual interest. Up to this point this baby sole is
very like any other fish-baby; but from now onwards it enters on a most
remarkable career. At six days old he shows all the promise of a
well-grown fish; that is to say, his body is round and tapering, he has
an eye in each side of his head, and both sides of the body are alike in
colour--in other words, he is symmetrical.

The beginning of the change (fig. 1, D) is indicated by a disposition of
the growing fish to lie on one side--the left--and at the same time the
left eye begins to change its position, moving from the side of the head
towards the crown of it! In a short time this point is reached, and
passed, and not until the left eye has approached its fellow of the
right side fairly closely does its progress stop! By this time the habit
of lying on one side has become fixed, and the body has taken the
characteristic shape of the sole. Thus, then, what appear to be the
upper and under surfaces of the sole, are really the right and left
sides, and this can easily be proved by a careful examination of the
body, which, if it be placed on edge will be found to have a back or
dorsal fin, and a pair of breast fins--one on either side, as in
ordinary 'round' fishes.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Egg of Sole, and Stages in its Growth.]

The difference in the colouration of these two sides is a matter to
which we must now refer. As everybody knows, the upper side is
dark-coloured, while the under side is white. Why is this? Why are not
the colours reversed, or why are not both sides coloured? These
questions open up a most fascinating study--the use and meaning of the
colours of animals. And you will find, when you come to look into the
matter, that there is a very close relation between the colour of an
animal and the nature of its surroundings. In the case of the sole, the
brown upper surface, from its resemblance to the mud and sand at the
bottom of the sea, serves to conceal it from the sharp eyes of prowling
fishes on the look-out for a meal. A broad expanse of white would at
once betray it to the enemy. No colour is developed on the under
surface, for it would be a waste of energy to produce colour for a
surface that was kept constantly concealed from view.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Full-grown Sole.]

Although, in our picture, all these fish can be seen quite plainly, in
real life they are quite hard to find. The young, being well-nigh
transparent as glass, are almost invisible as they float in the water;
while later, when these wanderings cease, and they settle down to a
quiet life, the dark colour forms an equally invisible covering.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.

[Illustration: Prairie Dogs.]



THE PRAIRIE DOG.


The little animal which is commonly called the prairie dog is not a dog
at all, but one of the Marmot family, which is to be found in Europe and
Asia, as well as in America. The only reason for calling it a dog is
that, when excited, it utters a cry which is very like the barking of a
puppy.

This little marmot is rather larger than a good-sized rat, and rather
like that animal in general appearance. Its colour is a red-brown,
speckled with grey and black hairs above, but whitish-grey below. The
tip of its tail is tufted with black hair, which is rather long and
bushy.

The prairie dog lives out on the vast, treeless prairies of North
America, where immense numbers of them congregate together, and make
what are called dog-villages, or towns. The marmots burrow in the ground
like rabbits, and sometimes the country is undermined with their burrows
for a space of several miles. Each marmot, as it builds its burrow,
throws out the loosened earth into a little hillock by the mouth of its
burrow, and when it has nothing better to do it sits upon the top of its
mound, and watches what is going on. At the sight of a stranger, or an
enemy, the marmots, sitting on their mounds, begin to bark and chatter,
jerking up their little tails with every effort until they feel that
they are hardly safe any longer; then they drop into their holes, and,
turning round, pop out their heads to watch a little longer. If the
intruder comes too near, however, they withdraw altogether, and seek
safety in the depths of the burrows. But they are very inquisitive, and
if they are not harmed they soon put out their heads again to see what
is taking place. Hunters who have walked through a dog-village, hoping
to get a shot at one of the little householders, have been amused to see
them scamper indoors as they approached, and come out again as soon as
they had passed. All around, within the range of a gun, there was not a
marmot to be seen, but at a safe distance there were hundreds, or even
thousands, on the watch.

The opening of a marmot's burrow is four or five inches in width, and
the passage runs downwards in a sloping direction for several feet. It
then makes a sharp turn, and continues horizontally for some distance
further, till it turns slightly upwards. The marmot's nest is made at
the extreme end of the burrow, and there can be little doubt that the
last upward turn of the burrow is meant to keep the nest dry, when,
after a heavy storm, rain-water flows into the mouth of the passage. The
burrows are generally within a few feet of each other, and as the ground
above them gives way under pressure, they are often a source of great
danger to travellers upon horseback. The horses' feet slip, and there is
great risk of their spraining or breaking a limb. For this reason
parties of travellers often have to go several miles out of their way,
in order to get round a prairie dogs' village.

Prairie dogs live upon grass, and near their burrows the grass is
cropped quite short by their flat, chisel-shaped teeth. In one respect
they are very strong, for it takes a very serious injury to kill them,
and they quickly recover from small ones. They have one or two enemies,
the worst of which is probably the rattlesnake, which often takes up its
residence in their holes. But, notwithstanding their enemies, the
marmots increase in numbers very quickly, and soon over-run a favourable
district. In winter they hibernate like our squirrels, passing several
months underground in a kind of slow and nearly motionless existence.
The sleep enables the animal to live on, after its grass-food is
exhausted in autumn, until the crop grows again in spring.



THE WAY TO COMMAND.


In the year 1852, Gordon got his commission in the Royal Engineers. Two
years later, he volunteered to go out to the Crimea, and came in for his
full share of the terrible sufferings and privations of the ensuing
winter.

One day, it is said, he came upon a corporal and a sapper, engaged in a
hot dispute. The corporal wanted the sapper to stand up exposed on the
ramparts, while he handed him up some baskets from below. Gordon at once
sprang up to the parapet, told the corporal to follow, and planted the
baskets, under the fire of the Russian gunners. Then, turning to the
corporal, he said, 'Never order a man to do anything that you are afraid
to do yourself.'

H. B. S.



LITTLE THINGS.


  The seed set in the garden
    Becomes a lovely flower,
  It opens in the sunlight
    Or twines about the bower;
  It beareth tender blossoms,
    In beauty it is drest,
  And though at last its grace is past,
    How many it hath blest!

  The tiny little acorn
    Becomes an oak at last,
  And children swing upon its boughs
    When many years are past.
  Though now it looks so mighty,
  And branches hath so tall,
   Ah, yet we know, ere it did grow,
  It was an acorn small.

  As flowers grow up from tiny seeds,
    As oaks from acorns spring,
  E'en so from kindly words and deeds
    Grows many a lovely thing.
  They still the angry passions,
    They break the stubborn will,
  And earth so sweet, where these do meet,
    Becomes yet sweeter still.



FRED'S NEW WORLD.


Fred Miller was feeling very dull and rather sorry for himself. He stood
by the garden gate and wished he had a brother or sister to play with,
as other boys and girls had. He even wished that the holidays would come
to an end and that he might go to school again: for in the holidays the
children from school went away into the country or to stay with
friends--all, except Fred; somehow there was never a chance for him to
go.

He was an only child, but his father and mother had many cares, and
could not spare time to amuse their boy, or spend money in pleasing him.
'You must play in the garden and not run about the streets,' Mr. Miller
would say when he went off to his day's work: perhaps he did not quite
know how tired a boy might grow of being in the same little plot of
ground all day and every day.

Fred was thankful when there were errands to be done; it was better to
fetch flour or potatoes from the shop than to play by himself. But the
errands were soon over, leaving him face to face with the old question,
'What shall I do?'

'Fred,' called Mrs. Marshall, one day--she lived in the next house to
Mr. Miller's--'can your mother spare you to go to the library for me?'

Now it happened that Fred had never been to the library, for his own
people did not care for reading, so he was eager to take Mrs. Marshall's
book, and he listened carefully to the instructions that were given him,
and repeated to himself all the way the title of the book he was to try
to get in exchange.

Books had hitherto meant nothing but lessons to Fred, and he was not
more keen upon those than most other boys; but when he saw the rows of
volumes on the library shelves, and was told by the clerk in charge to
go and find the one he wanted, he woke up to the knowledge that they
might mean something more.

He opened one, at random; it was full of pictures. He began to read; it
was about strange places and people: about the dense forests and great
rivers of some far-off land, and the wonderful creatures--birds, beasts
and fishes--to be found there.

The clock struck twelve--it was a good thing for Fred that the sound was
loud enough to startle him--he put back the volume of travels with a
sigh of regret, found, with some trouble, the book Mrs. Marshall wanted,
and ran all the way home to make up for lost time.

Though he would have been too shy to talk about them, his mind was full
of the wonders of which he had been reading. 'I never knew there were
such things; it's like--it's like having a new world to look at! I wish
I could read some more; but perhaps Mrs. Marshall won't ever ask me to
go again,' he thought.

Mrs. Marshall, however, did more than that. 'Why don't you get your
mother to let you have a library ticket, Fred?' she asked, when Fred,
flushed and breathless after his run, presented himself before her.

'Me! Why, I couldn't, Mrs. Marshall; I'm not grown up,' said the little
boy, wistfully.

'Oh, that doesn't matter in the least,' Mrs. Marshall assured him.
'Come now, Fred,' she added, 'I owe you a good turn; I'll do my best to
get you a ticket.'

Mrs. Marshall was as good as her word, and Fred, the proud possessor of
a ticket of his own, was soon a regular visitor to the library. He had
come to the end of his dull days, for, as the poet truly says:

                           'Books, we know,
  Are a substantial world, both pure and good,'

and Fred had found it out.

  C. J. B.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 51._)


The close bond which united the families of the Moat House and Begbie
Hall, and the daily intercourse, had thrown the two governesses much
together. Happily for both, their acquaintance had grown into friendship
and affection. Not only did they meet during the walks taken with their
pupils, but Estelle shared with her cousins in Miss Leigh's lessons in
arithmetic and English subjects, while Marjorie and Georgie, and Miss
Leigh herself, received instruction in French, Italian, music and
drawing from Mademoiselle Vadevant.

When, therefore, Marjorie had proposed to spend the remainder of the
rainy day with Estelle, Miss Leigh hailed the suggestion with pleasure.
She would have Mademoiselle's companionship, while the children amused
themselves in their own way. She splashed through the mud and wet,
laughing and happy, with Georgie dancing along by her side, and hardly
noticed that Marjorie did not join in her mirth. Marjorie was uneasy;
she thought Miss Leigh was unkind not to allow her to wait for Alan.
What was the sense of hurrying her off when Alan wanted her?

It was some time before Alan overcame his pride enough to follow, and
then he plodded rather sulkily through the slush. Passing by the ruined
summer-house he paused to look at it, the vague mystery making it always
an object of interest. He wished Peet had been a more genial man: it
might then have been possible to get him to show the inside of that
gloomy place. But he was very surly, and the secret must be found out in
some other way.

As he stood gazing, a slight stir among the bushes attracted his
attention. Slipping behind a corner of the buttress, he waited, somewhat
sheltered from the dripping rain by the overhanging ivy. He had not long
to stand shivering there. A hurried whisper caught his ear.

'What's that? Did you hear a sound?'

'I thought I did, but it seems quiet now. Come along this way. It's
more---- '

The voices died away, and after some slight rustling all grew still
again. Alan, now beginning to feel that the mystery, whatever it was,
appeared to be deepening, and that he must decide what he meant to do
quickly, was on the point of quitting his shelter, when another sound
arrested his movement. A rough grating, the swing of the heavy door of
the summer-house, and Peet stepped into sight. He stopped to close the
door carefully, and lock it before he walked away.

'Wonders will never cease,' thought Alan, amazed. 'Is that old
curmudgeon in the business, too? He's the last man I should have
imagined would mix himself up with a man like Thomas.'

Having no reason to expect further developments Alan set off at a run,
so as to get out of the rain as speedily as possible. He was pretty wet,
and what he had just seen and heard had made him forget the annoyances
of the morning. His good temper was quite restored, though his thoughts
were busy and perplexed. He almost made up his mind to consult somebody,
and if he did, why not Aunt Betty, who never let out secrets? It was
worth thinking about, even if he did not make up his mind to do it at
once. At the same time he must not let things go too far.

Running down the path, vaulting the little gate leading into the
shrubberies, and dashing down a back way almost dark with the thick
laurel-bushes overhead, he soon reached what was known as the postern
door. Entering a low passage, narrow and dimly lighted from some
invisible opening, he pursued his way along various twists and turns of
the old house, with now and again a few stairs up, till he finally came
upon a crimson-baize door, opening on a long panelled corridor. The
first two or three rooms were unoccupied, the remainder were devoted to
the use of Estelle and her governess. In the schoolroom the whole party
were assembled, the children waiting with more or less impatience for
his arrival.

'You _have_ been a long time!' cried Marjorie, while his cousin jumped
up from the table, to clear away the round game they had been playing.

The governesses having retired to Mademoiselle's study, the children
started off on their usual rainy-day amusement, hide-and-seek. They
never tired of rushing about through the old passages and rooms, and
often came upon strange discoveries. Things hidden away for years and
forgotten, doors which had remained unopened, or perhaps even had been
mistaken for a part of the wainscot for generations. These discoveries
were somewhat awe-inspiring, and the game not unfrequently became what
the children called 'Treasure-hunting.' They generally managed to keep
together on such occasions; it was too uncanny to be alone in those
ghostly apartments.

As a rule Georgie was not allowed to join in these weird expeditions. He
was too young, and his conduct could not be depended upon. He might
choose to be frightened and scream just at the wrong moment, or he would
obstinately refuse to go into dark, shuttered rooms, where the smell of
rats and dust seemed to strike them in the face, so stifling was it.
Hide-and-seek could not be comfortably played with him, either. He could
not run fast enough, nor did he like being left behind, and any sudden
clutch from behind a door nearly terrified him out of his life. So, much
to his disgust, he was forced to remain with the governesses, or go down
to Aunt Betty, if she would let him sit with her. He liked that best, as
she never minded what mess he made, or how untidily his toys were
scattered about. (_Continued on page_ 70.)

[Illustration: "Peet stopped to lock the door."]

[Illustration: THE BOY DOCTOR.]

[Illustration: The Egg Poacher.]



THE PTARMIGAN AND PINE MARTEN.


Every one must have observed how many animals escape notice by the
similarity of their colours to those of the ground upon which they lie,
or of the foliage in which they hide. It is not easy to see rabbits, at
dusk, as they sit quietly nibbling the grass upon their sandy warrens.
It is difficult, at times, to distinguish a toad from a piece of broken
bark or a dead leaf. Moths and butterflies frequently escape pursuit by
hiding among twigs and flowers which resemble them in colour. And it is
almost impossible to see a shrimp upon the sand of the sea-shore, or a
little sandy-coloured fish at the bottom of a sea-side pool. We can
hardly doubt that the colours of these animals serve them as a very
useful protection. They are all naturally helpless creatures, and their
safety depends almost entirely upon their escaping the notice of their
enemies.

The examples just given are familiar to us all. But there are few better
illustrations of this curious fact than that afforded by the Ptarmigan,
a bird which is found in the northern parts of Europe and America,
including the north of Scotland. It is a game bird, nearly related to
the grouse, the partridge, and even to our domestic fowls, and it is
protected, like the other game birds, by Acts of Parliament, which
render those who shoot it, during certain months of the year, liable to
a fine. The ptarmigan frequents wild, mountainous districts, and builds
its nest upon the open hillsides, among the coarse grass and mossy
rocks. The nest is a little cluster of twigs and grass, and in it the
ptarmigan lays ten or a dozen reddish eggs spotted with brown, which are
not easily distinguishable from the twigs and grass among which they
lie. The summer plumage of the bird itself is a brown tortoiseshell, so
similar in colour to the ground upon which it makes its nest that it is
very difficult to see.

In winter-time, however, when the hillsides are covered with snow, the
ptarmigan would be easily discovered, if it retained its summer dress.
But, upon the approach of colder weather, the bird changes its plumage,
and takes on a winter robe of pure white, which makes it just as
difficult to detect amidst the snow, as it was in summer when it nested
among the grass and stones. With the return of warmer weather it resumes
its darker colour. The bird moults, in fact, twice and sometimes thrice
in the year. It is impossible to tell the exact cause of these changes,
but it is quite certain that they help to protect the bird from its
enemies. The change from its winter plumage to its summer one is
sometimes delayed for some little time after the winter snows have
disappeared, and it has been noticed, in Norway and Sweden, that large
numbers of ptarmigan are killed at this time, when their white feathers
make them so conspicuous.

The enemies of the ptarmigan are the larger birds of prey, and animals
of the weasel kind. One of the largest of the latter is the pine marten,
which is still found in remote and uninhabited parts of our country. It
is a fierce and active animal, ever on the look-out for game and eggs.
It is, in fact, a great poacher, and for this reason it has been
practically exterminated by gamekeepers, in all the districts where game
is carefully preserved. In other countries the marten is hunted for its
skin, the fur of which is scarcely less valuable than that of the sable.
It is found in all the northern countries, especially in North America.



ANSON'S COOLNESS.


Commodore Anson, while his ship, the _Centurion_, was engaged in close
combat with a Spanish man-of-war, was told by a sailor that the
_Centurion_ was on fire near the powder magazine.

'Well,' said the Commodore quietly, 'go and help to put it out.'

H. S. B.



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

II.--DENISON'S HALL-MARK.

(_Concluded from page 37._)


My brain recovered its power after a moment or two, and I began to
reflect, though, I own, my reflections were somewhat interfered with by
the rough treatment to which I was being subjected; for the great brute
in whose jaws I lay dragged me without ceremony over stones, roots,
scrub, hard knife-like grass, and other obstacles. I felt my clothes
tear here, there, and everywhere; I was being gradually torn and bumped
into a jelly--still, I reflected, where was I being taken to, and why?
Why not eaten at once?

The latter question was easily answered. The lion had had his dinner
already, or her dinner--it might, of course, be a lioness--I had as yet
had no opportunity of seeing the beast; if so, she might be the mother
of a family of cubs, and if so again, I might be destined for their
dinner, mamma having already dined.

This was a pleasant reflection! I might have to deal with half-a-dozen
lions of various sizes, instead of only one large one. There was very
little doubt that I was doomed, in any case; yet my brain had never
worked more clearly than at this moment, and I employed it as I went
bumping along, in trying to devise some means of escape, poor though the
prospect might be. My gun was still in my hand, and determined that no
amount of rough travelling should cause me to let it go. A moment might
come when I should find an opportunity to turn it somehow in the
direction of the lion, and I should keep my wits about me mainly to that
end.

We had travelled, I suppose, about a quarter of a mile, and I wish I
could convey to you fellows the extreme discomfort of it. Can you
imagine it? One's head flopping and wobbling and knocking up against
whatever happened to be in the way; one's legs following suit; one's
body strained, twisted, scratched, bruised, pounded--really, though I
see you fellows laughing at this very moment, and should like to kick
you for it if I were not too comfortable to move, I would not wish even
such ruffians as you two to suffer such torture.

Suddenly the beast laid me down--tired, perhaps, with dragging eleven
stone over rough country. She stood over me for a minute as though
listening, one paw on my right shoulder, which prevented me from using
my arm, which might otherwise have been employed to advantage during
this interval.

Then suddenly she lifted up her voice--it _was_ a lioness, I now saw,
not a male lion--and set the air vibrating with a series of roars so
loud that they might surely, I thought, be heard at Buluwayo, if not at
Capetown. Never in my life had the drums of my ears been so ill-treated.
For half a minute without a pause she thundered thus.

Well, she ended. The roars became less loud--less frequent--they thinned
down into half-moaning noises something like the end of a donkey's bray,
and lastly they stopped altogether, or rather faded into growling or
purring sounds. Then she released my shoulder and stood a yard or two
from me, gazing into the distance--you know how lions at the Zoo look
when the whisper has gone round that it is feeding-time, and every lion
and tiger begins to stare into the far-away, over the heads of the
spectators.

A few moments passed during which I slowly drew my rifle towards me
until I had it close to my side; and now--following one another--came
two terrible shocks.

The first was the discovery that my rifle was bent at the grip and that
the barrel was damaged in places. It was out of the question to dream of
attempting to fire a bullet through it: there was no clear passage for
the missile: the rifle would burst in my hands if I attempted it.

The second shock was of a different nature. Hearing a scuffle and the
sound of snarlings and whinings, I glanced upwards, and beheld a pretty,
though a very alarming spectacle. Four lion cubs, about the size of
dogs, came frisking and bounding out of the long grass, evidently in
obedience to their mother's summons. At the same moment I became aware
of a more awful presence. A full-grown male lion, a magnificent beast,
was standing watching me, his tail twitching, his nostrils moving, his
legs setting themselves as though for a spring. I had not heard him
arrive, I did not know from what direction he had appeared; I simply
knew that he was there, and I may tell you that the sight of him gave me
a shock, though I had had my fill of terrors already.

I could think of no way out of the horrible position; I was in despair.
In my agony I reverted to instinct, I did what a child would have
done--I yelled for all I was worth. I called upon Thomson, who was a
couple of miles away, at least, and who could not, of course, hear me in
any case; I called upon Thomson for the love of all he held precious to
come and help me.

Instantly the four cubs disappeared in the long grass, The lioness also
bounded away; only the mighty lion remained. He gazed at me and roared,
but did not venture to approach. 'I don't quite like the look of you,'
he seemed to say; 'I believe that's a fire-stick in your hand; I'll see
if I can't frighten you into fits by roaring.'

Then he had his innings at roaring, and I give you my word that if his
wife's lungs were pretty good, his own absolutely left them far behind.
So terrific was the noise that my whole being seemed paralysed, and I
believe I eventually fainted, for, remembering nothing of the events
which led up to it, I awoke to find myself the plaything of four
lion-cubs.

The little rascals were positively--I wish you fellows wouldn't grin,
for I assure you this is a true story!--they were positively playing
with me as though I were a big mouse. If only one had been in the mood
to be amused, their antics would have seemed really funny. The little
beggars would stalk me, crouching and approaching for all the world like
a kitten about to make a pounce upon a cork, or some other plaything;
then they would make a sudden rush, stand on their hind legs for an
instant, touching me hurriedly with their paws, and scamper home to
their mother, or behind some rock or tuft of grass, from which they
would presently emerge to creep towards me once more; and so the whole
play would begin again.

They never once hurt me or scratched me, or did me the slightest injury.
I concluded that the father had already fed the little brutes, and that
I was to be respited for an hour or two, perhaps half a day. This was
satisfactory in a fashion, but just imagine the suspense!

Her majesty the lioness, however, was not pleased, it appears, with the
behaviour of her children. She roared once or twice.

'You are meant to eat it,' she seemed to say, 'you foolish little
things, not play with it. Here, come along and taste, it's good food.
Stick your little teeth into it--look here.'

She approached me and rolled me over once or twice as a cat might play
with a mouse. 'Look for a soft place and then bite,' she continued.
'I'll show you the way.'

'No you don't!' thought I, desperate now and careless of consequences. I
fumbled for my skinning-knife, and made a dig at her majesty, but only
succeeded in scratching her about the shoulder. She gave a roar of
alarm, however, and bounded away into cover. The four cubs disappeared
instantly.

From somewhere in the long grass, where she hid unseen with her cubs,
the lioness now began to growl or moan, complaining, I had no doubt,
that I had bitten her and that it was obviously the duty of her lord and
master to see that such a venomous creature as myself was rendered
harmless before her precious darlings came near it again.

'Go in and finish him off,' she said. 'He might hurt one of them. He has
bitten me.'

Apparently her complaint told. His majesty began to grow restless. He
stood up. He had lain down at full length to watch the children play,
but now he rose up and began to work himself into a rage. His tail
lashed his sides, and his jaws moved incessantly; he showed his teeth
and growled savagely and roared. I knew enough about lions to be aware
that as long as his tail worked from side to side I was safe; once it
began to move vertically up and down, the moment had arrived when he
would charge. I rose to my knees, then to my feet, and watched him. He
gathered his feet as though to spring; he roared; his eyes flashed green
fire; his tail ceased to work laterally; it rose straight up over his
back and fell again. He was moving; he would charge. I screamed, turned
to fly--and fainted.

[Illustration: "They were playing with me as though I were a big
mouse."]

When I recovered, Thomson was kneeling at my side, explaining that he
had heard a lion roaring, and wondered whether I was in trouble. He had
started out in search of me, and presently, uncertain where to look for
me, providentially heard my first scream. He had hastened in the
direction of my call for help, and, as it seemed, arrived just in time.

'Have they gone?' I gasped. 'Where are the lions?'

'How many were there?' he laughed. 'There's one, anyway!'

It was his majesty, dead as a stone. What became of his royal consort
and her cubs I know not; we may meet them one of these days.



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

III.--MORE CURIOUS MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF INDIA.


[Illustration]

The Taus, or Peacock, also called Esrar or Mohur, according to the
language of the tribe which uses it, is met with chiefly in Upper India,
and is a favourite instrument of the Nautch musicians.

It is always made in the form of a peacock, supporting on its back a
long, narrow stringed instrument. The body and neck of the bird is
usually carved and coloured, and is further adorned with natural
plumage, sometimes neck feathers being used, sometimes those of the
tail, and often both. There is a very fine specimen of the Taus in the
British Museum, in the gallery where boats, weapons, and curious
articles of native arts and crafts are exhibited.

The Nautch people are found all over India, and are a striking instance
of the survival of native customs in the East, and although Europeans
see little more of them than an occasional party of singers and dancers,
great numbers of the profession exist.

In native national life the Nautch play a large part, and legend has a
great deal to say about them. In their way these performers have a
strong religious element, and dancers, whether Hindoo or Mohommedan,
never begin their performances without touching forehead and eyes with
the strings of bells hung round their ankles, and saying a short prayer.

[Illustration: The Taus, or Peacock.]

[Illustration: The Pungi or Jinagooi.]

Tying on the bells for the first time is quite a solemn function, as it
implies adopting for ever the career of a Nautch dancer, from which no
withdrawal is possible.

A popular Hindoo story called 'Chandra's Vengeance,' tells of a youth
who, hearing from a long distance the music of the Nautch, is
irresistibly drawn towards it. After twelve days' journey he approaches
the camp of the mysterious people, and there a beautiful girl dances up
to him and throws a garland of flowers around him. At once a spell is
woven, which is completed by a charmed drink, with the result that he
forgets friends, family and country, and enters for ever into the Nautch
community. Another legend tells of a Rajah, who was so enchanted with
the weird music of the wandering people, that he followed it from
country to country, forgetful of wife, child, and kingdom, his whole
interest being taken up in beating the drum at performances. In time his
baby boy grew into manhood, and set himself to seek his father, and
restore him to his throne. After endless journeyings and adventures he
at last found his royal parent, ragged but picturesque, taking part in a
Nautch festival, and after much difficulty persuaded him to return home.
There the wisest physicians exerted their skill to restore his memory of
his former position, and their efforts being successful, he re-ascended
the throne of his ancestors, and reigned many years, his wanderings with
the Nautch people fading from his mind entirely.

[Illustration: The Yotl.]

The same kind of little bells which are hung round the ankles of the
Nautch dancers are used for more practical purposes by Indian
post-runners, who tie them in strings to the end of poles; thus the
bells, being kept in constant motion, announce the coming of the news
carrier. At the same time they serve to scare away wild beasts when the
runner is passing through lonely forests or jungles where danger lurks
in the quivering grasses.

In ancient days the Aztecs and Teztucans of Central America were wont to
hang clusters of similar tiny bells outside temples and towers, which,
as they were swayed by the wind, kept up a musical sound. One of these,
found in Mexico, may be seen in the British Museum; it bears the name of
Yotl. The actual bells, which are nearly round, are very similar to the
Schellen, or horsebells, used in Northern Europe when driving sledges
over the silent snow.

The Pungi or Jinagooi is used by jugglers and snake-charmers all over
India. A bottle-shaped gourd is the chief feature in its construction
and forms the centre and mouthpiece. Two pipes of cane are cut to form
reeds and inserted into the large end of the gourd; one, pierced with
finger-holes, takes the melody; it is accompanied by the other, which
always sounds the key-note, and produces a curious droning sound not
unlike that of the bagpipes.

HELENA HEATH.



A HUMOROUS PUNISHMENT.


In Stow's _History of London_, the following singular extract is
given:--

'Nicholas Wilford, an alderman, having neglected to have his cloak,
which he ought to use in the procession, lined with fur, it is adjudged
by the Court of Aldermen that the Lord Mayor and Aldermen shall all
breakfast with him. This penalty is awarded as a punishment for his
meanness.'



THE MOON-SHIP.


  O ship of the moon, good-bye, good-bye!
    Where, where do you sail away,
  Through miles and miles of stormy sky,
    By cloudland cape and bay?
  O ship of the moon, beware, beware,
  Of many and many a danger there!

  See! white foam breaks along the reef!
    The angry tempests blow;
  The cloud-waves beat the cloudland cliff
    Like gusts of drifting snow.
  O ship of the moon, beware, beware,
  There's many a danger lurking there!

  She's near the rocks! She's sinking now!
    The light is growing dim.
  Wild billows leap her silver prow
    On the horizon's rim.
  And louder still the tempest blows;
    The shadows darker fall;
  Into the cloud-world depths she goes--
    Mast, rudder, sails and all,
  Wrecked in the ocean of the sky:
  Ship of the moon, good-bye! good-bye!



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 63._)


As soon as Georgie was disposed of, the other children set off racing
each other about, up and down the old disused part of the house, the
empty passages echoing to the sound of their fun and laughter.

'Alan,' said Marjorie, when, breathless and somewhat tired, the three
explorers had reached a small turret room into which was shining a ray
of sunshine from a rift in the clouds--'I wonder if you would laugh if I
told you something.'

Estelle had climbed on a chair and was leaning out of the narrow window,
with a longing for the fresh, sweet air outside; Alan was tapping all
the panelling to see if any discoveries were lying in wait for him.

'Why should I laugh?' he returned, in a preoccupied voice.

'Please don't, then. I really and truly saw some men creeping round the
tower!'

'No!' cried Alan, startled into interest at once.

'Yes, I did. You know there is no reason for anybody to go there. It's
never used, and the shrubs are only trimmed once a year, because Auntie
doesn't like people about there often.'

'You didn't see who it was?'

'No; I only saw their backs. They were stooping, as if to hide
themselves.'

'Did they wear dark, long cloaks?' asked Estelle, suddenly, turning
round from the window.

'Yes, with dark caps.'

'Then I have just seen them go under the tower, with a bag and a
basket.'

Alan looked from one to the other in silence. Should he speak? Did he
dare to trust them? It seemed time to act, but what was he to do without
more knowledge than he possessed at present? Was it not possible to gain
it--now, even? The men were below somewhere, doing something. They had
probably taken advantage of the rain, and the consequent absence of the
family and gardeners from the grounds. No one would dream of being out
on such a day, and the prospect from the windows was too uninviting to
fear many watchers. Alan felt sure this was the way the men had
reasoned; and it was clearly his policy to keep them in ignorance of
their nearness to the party of children, and yet to manage somehow to
watch their movements. If only the girls could help him! He thought he
could depend on Marjorie. But Estelle was quite different--nervous and
imaginative. Alan knew this, but he could not ask her to leave him and
Marjorie to track these men; nor could he propose to her to come with
them--the danger of betrayal was too great. Of course, she might keep
quiet; but then, again, she might not.

'I tell you what,' he said at length, looking at the two girls, who were
watching him anxiously, 'you two had better stay here, and I will go
down and have a look round. If I don't come back soon--say in five or
ten minutes--don't wait for me, but go down and amuse yourselves. I
will be back as soon as I can.'

'Let me go with you,' said Marjorie, earnestly. 'Two are better than
one, and you know you can trust me.'

He had expected this, but before he could reply, Estelle broke in with,
'And can't you trust me, too, Alan?'

'The fact is,' he answered, somewhat in doubt how to act, 'I don't know
what we shall see; or what will happen if we are seen. It is most
important we should not betray ourselves; and in order to manage this,
we must keep very, very quiet. Whatever happens, there must be no noise,
not even a whisper. Suppose you were frightened, what would you do,
Estelle? Don't you think you had better go to the schoolroom, and wait
for us? Marjorie can go with you if you like, but, as she says, two are
better than one.'

Tears came into Estelle's eyes, but she said, with a good deal of
resolution in her gentle voice, 'If you wish, I will go to Aunt Betty.
Georgie is with her. I don't want to be in your way. But though I'm not
as brave as Marjorie, I can keep quiet, and I--I think you could trust
me not to scream or make a noise. If I feel inclined to, I will creep
away.'

'All right,' replied Alan. He was fond of his little cousin, and could
not bear to see her distressed. 'Come along, then; only remember this,
there must be no talking, no moving about, and you must do what I tell
you directly without any questions. Will you both promise?'

This little matter settled, the three children set off on their way
clown the narrow spiral staircase, at the bottom of which Alan, who led
the way, stopped in order to assist the girls over some rotten boards.
The whole passage required careful walking, to avoid dangerous holes,
and thin, dry-rotting boards.

The lower they went the darker it grew, and the more cautiously they had
to tread, till at last they came to such a gloomy region that seeing
their footsteps became impossible. Yet they dared not light a match.
They must almost have reached the cellars when Alan felt he had come
against a door, and whispered to the others to stop. Feeling about with
his fingers he encountered a latch, and in another moment the light was
shining in on them through a slit-like groove in the thick walls. The
stairs still went down, down, much to their disappointment, but no
thought of giving up occurred to any of them. They followed each other
noiselessly, Estelle the last of the three, when suddenly, just as they
had reached a sort of circular stone hall, they heard the grating sound
of a door being forced open on rusty hinges. In an instant Alan had
drawn the girls back into the shadow of the winding stairs, where they
could all remain without betraying their presence. Estelle, being the
farthest back, could see nothing, for which she was duly thankful; but
Marjorie and Alan sat as still as mice, their eyes on the opening door.

Two men were seen to enter, and, after closing the door, they proceeded
to light a lantern. They evidently felt quite safe here, for they did
not even lower their voices. A bag of tools was laid on the floor, and
now came the moment of danger. Uncertain which of the doors round the
stone hall was the one they wanted, they began a tour of inspection,
turning the brilliant light of the lantern on each as they came to it.
Alan saw that they must pass the foot of the staircase, and that they
would certainly bring the lantern to bear on it. This would reveal
Marjorie and himself sitting there. With a touch, he drew Marjorie's
attention to the danger, and, in an instant, Estelle was made aware of
the necessity of going higher up in order that the others might slip out
of sight. It was an anxious moment, however, for what if the men took it
into their heads to mount the stairs?

Alan listened with strained ears, but, as far as he could make out, they
were intent on finding some mark which indicated the door they were in
search of. He was comforting himself with this when he saw, by the
sudden light on the wall, that the lantern was turned on the stairs.

'Sure it _is_ down here?' said a gruff voice in a surly tone, 'It's no
use our going on a wild-goose chase. We are below ground here, and it's
not unlikely the door is above-stairs, more on a level with the house.'

'We have not been round them all down here yet,' came the reply in the
voice of Thomas. 'I don't know the door any better than you, but we can
look till we find it.'

'And if it isn't down here, why we will just go up. I suppose there's no
danger of folks coming down the stairs and spying on us?'

'Bless you, it isn't every one has the courage to come here at all. It
is haunted, they say; but I don't believe in that sort of ghosts. Come
along, and let's finish the hall first.'

With that they moved away, and the stairs were again in deep shadow.
Alan indicated to Marjorie that she was to stay where she was. He
himself resumed his old seat lower down, whence he could view all that
took place.

Slowly and cautiously the men continued their investigations, but
apparently with no success. The doors were all precisely alike, all of
solid oak, and heavily studded with great nails. The locks looked as if
they would take hours--perhaps days--to pick, and to attempt to open
them in any other way appeared to be hopeless. After some angry
discussion, it was at length determined to mount the stairs and try to
find the door they wanted. Alan was on his feet at once, ready to dart
out of sight as soon as needful, when suddenly there was a hideous
baying and barking at the door by which the men had entered, and almost
before the children were aware of what had happened, the two men were
flying up the stairs in the hope of avoiding pursuit. The dogs had been
let loose, and were on the track of the invaders.

In a panic Alan fled up the stairs, the two girls before him, only just
so far ahead as to keep out of sight, aided happily by the darkness, for
the lantern had been put out.

How long they could keep ahead had yet to be seen.

(_Continued on page_ 74.)

[Illustration: "The men began a tour of inspection."]

[Illustration: "Marjorie was bending over Estelle."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 71._)

CHAPTER IV.


The three children fled upstairs. The terror which lent wings to their
feet grew into a panic as they flew. Perhaps the one who felt it most
was Estelle. Her imagination pictured all sorts of terrible things. She
was sure that the dogs, in their fury, would not recognise them, and
that they would be torn to pieces. Marjorie, though her heart beat
quickly, kept her senses under control, and even showed coolness enough
to whisper back: 'Give them some place to escape to, Alan; they will
follow us if you don't.'

The wisdom of this advice was soon shown. Acting upon it, Alan flung
open the door of a room he knew to be unfurnished and empty. It did not
delay him a second of time, but it gave him a courage which surprised
himself. Slackening his pace so as just to keep out of sight, he stopped
now and again to take a glance behind him: he was determined to see what
the two men intended to do. Meantime, the door into the cellars had been
forced, men and dogs tumbling over each other as the lock gave way to
the united strength of the party outside. The children could hear the
bay of the hounds as they bounded towards the stairs. The two girls fled
on in breathless haste, but Alan had no fears that the dogs would not
recognise him. Besides, he was intent on the actions of Thomas and his
friend.

The howls of the dogs acted like magic on the two men. They rushed up
the stairs, without a single glance behind. The danger was too pressing
to allow any delay for making plans of escape. The door Alan had thrown
open seemed to them the way to safety; the cheerful light of day, which
shone through the begrimed windows, gave a friendly look to the empty
room. Alan saw them rush in, close the door softly, and the sound of the
faint creak of a rusty bolt assured him the men were safe for a time at
least. He had not much leisure to think what he meant to do next,
however. The hounds were up the staircase in full cry. Barely had he
time to reach a door into a passage, which the girls had left open for
him, when one of the dogs flung himself against it with a howl of rage;
then stopping a moment to sniff about, and probably discovering that it
had missed the scent of the enemy to follow that of a friend, it turned
with a fierce bark, and Alan could hear it rushing down the stairs
again.

Not till then did Alan perceive, as he turned in his excitement to call
to his sister, that she was bending over the figure of Estelle. The
little girl had fallen in a heap half-way down the long passage.

'Hullo!' he cried, startled. 'What's the matter?'

'I can't think,' returned Marjorie, looking round with a white face of
alarm. 'She is so dreadfully still, and she doesn't seem to hear what I
say.'

'Perhaps she's fainted,' said Alan, doubtfully. 'I told you it was
rubbish her coming with us; she can't stand anything.'

'But what are we to do? She may be dead.' Tears were in Marjorie's eyes,
and she trembled like a leaf.

'I'll go and call somebody,' said Alan, surprised at her terror.

Feeling it would be foolish to detain him, Marjorie said no more, but
continued her efforts to wake Estelle. She rubbed her hands, stroked the
hair off her face, and raised her in her arms in order to make her more
comfortable. But, alas! nothing had the least effect on the unconscious
child.

'She ought not to have come with us,' said Marjorie, half aloud, as she
kissed her cousin's forehead tenderly. 'She isn't as tough as we are,
and, oh! I do hope the fright hasn't killed her! Estelle! Estelle dear!
Do wake up. There is no danger now. We are quite safe here; we are
indeed, if only you would believe it.'

But there was no sign of consciousness; not a word she said was heard.

'I wish I had some water,' sighed Marjorie. 'I am sure a little cold
water would make her wake, and refresh her. I know it always woke me
when Alan put the cold sponge on my face, on those horrid winter
mornings when he would go out early into the snow.'

Her cousin's fainting-fit, and the dread of what it might mean, had
driven all recollection of the men and dogs, and their own escape, clean
out of her head. Her only fear was that little, delicate, nervous
Estelle might have been killed by all that had happened. Could she be
dead? She was so terribly limp and still. Oh, if there were only
something she could do! Anything would be better than sitting waiting
for somebody to come. Yet the thought of leaving her cousin never so
much as occurred to her. She bent over her again, and began rubbing the
soft little hands with greater energy, till the sound of hastening
footsteps gladdened her heart.

'A whole lot of them are coming,' Alan called out as he ran up the
passage. 'Father, and Aunt Betty, and Mademoiselle, and the whole lot of
them. Is she any better? I say, is she insensible still?' His face
became alarmed and grave. 'What a fool I was to let her come with us!'

There was no time for lamentations, however. Colonel De Bohun and
Mademoiselle were running towards them, followed by Aunt Betty herself,
looking pale and anxious. There was no lack of helping, loving hands now
to carry the unconscious little girl to where she could receive every
attention. Colonel De Bohun lifted her in his arms, and Aunt Betty,
finding that cold water and strong smelling salts had no effect, desired
that she should be taken to her own room and the doctor sent for.

'Come with me,' said Alan, when he and Marjorie were left alone. 'It's
no use crying. I'm awfully cut up too, but I do believe it isn't
anything more than a faint. Estelle will be all right, you see. It is
hard luck her fainting like that, for we had got out of the scrape jolly
well. Don't you think so?'

'Oh, yes!' returned Marjorie, still feeling rather shaky with the fright
she had had about her cousin. 'If only Estelle had not fainted, it would
have been very exciting and jolly fun.'

'So it was! You come along to the turret, and let's talk this over. I've
a heap to tell you, but'--and he gazed earnestly into her face--'you
will promise you won't say a word till I give you leave?'

Marjorie promised, and the brother and sister betook themselves to the
little turret chamber. There was an ancient oak settle at one end of the
dingy little room, which had a horsehair cushion, rather worn and
threadbare, but still comfortable.

(_Continued on page 87._)



THE DAISY.


  'I am only a poor little Daisy,' it said,
  'Not tall like the Lily, nor like the Rose red;
  'Mid the flowers of the wealthy I never am seen,
  I have only to blossom each day on the green.

  'The Violet has fragrance, the Rose and the Pink;
  The Primrose is sweet by the river's green brink;
  The gold of the Cowslip is bright on the sea--
  All these have a sweetness not granted to me.'

  But into the meadows a child strayed one day,
  She passed by the Lily and Rose on the way;
  Nor gathered the Primrose, the Violet blue,
  But went to the field where the small Daisy grew.

  And all through the hours of that bright sunny day,
  Where the sweet Daisy blossomed she lingered to play;
  And the Daisy was glad when, at even's soft fall,
  She said that its blossom was sweetest of all.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

4.--CHARADE.

My first is very rapid; my second is a beautiful tree; and my whole is
used for cement.

C. J. B.

[_Answer on page_ 115.]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWERS TO PUZZLES ON PAGE 51.

  2.--Locke.          Wordsworth.         Swift.
      Bacon.          Steele.             Scott.
      Burns.          Lamb.               Goldsmith.

  3.--1. Hereford.     3. Denver.        6. Pekin.
      2. Venice.       4. Milan.         7. Bergen.
                       5. Berlin.



CROCODILES IN CENTRAL AFRICA.


Crocodiles are very plentiful on the shores of the vast lakes of Central
Africa, and the English people living in those parts do not seem to mind
them much. One lady wrote home a few weeks ago: 'We went for a swim in
Lake Nyasa yesterday. The water was beautifully blue and warm. We took
three of our native school-girls to drive away the crocodiles.'

One of the crew of the mission steamer, _Chauncy Maples_, lately found
eighty-seven crocodile eggs in a hole on the beach near Likoma; the
mother, after laying them, had covered them all over with sand, and then
had gone away and left the eggs to be hatched by the hot sun. The man
took some of the eggs and soon was able to announce, proudly, that he
had 'sixteen little crocodiles on board, all healthy and snappy!'

On landing at a mission station some days later, five of these little
crocodiles were sent up in a paraffin tin to be inspected by the mission
ladies, who pronounced them to be 'charming little beasts.'



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

III.--THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE COMMON EEL.


We meet people now and then who tell us that, in these scientific days,
all the poetry and mystery of Nature is being destroyed. This is not
only untrue, but stupid. All that science has done is to substitute
truth for legend, and truth is generally more beautiful and wonderful
than fiction. Those who will turn to the great Book of Nature humbly,
and with an open mind, will learn nothing but what is helpful and good
to know.

The story which I am now about to relate is full of strangeness, far
more so than our forebears ever suspected. Thus, in many parts of rural
England even to-day, if you ask old grey-beards where eels come from,
they will tell you that they grow out of the hair dropped from the tails
of horses which come to drink at the horse-pond. After long soaking
these hairs, they say, become endowed with life, and turn to worms known
as 'hair-eels,' because they are so thin. In course of time they grow
into fully developed eels!--and this was solemnly believed, even by
educated people, throughout the length and breadth of the land, until a
few years ago.

The true story is not easy to tell, because it had to be put together
bit by bit. Thus it began in a suspicion of the truth. So long ago as
1864 a guess was made that certain curious, very rare, and extremely
fragile fishes were really young eels, in spite of the fact that they
did not in the least resemble eels such as we know; and so the matter
rested till 1896, when the guess was confirmed. The little creatures of
which we speak are almost transparent, very flat from side to side; they
have ridiculously tiny heads, and no fins, except a fringe running from
the middle of the back, round the tail, and forwards to the middle of
the under surface of the body. They are so transparent that the spine
and blood-vessels can be plainly seen against the light. Their strange
history was discovered by some scientific men in Italy, who found that
sometimes mighty currents boil up from the depths of the Straits of
Messina, bringing with them samples of the strange inhabitants of those
dark waters, and among these were hundreds of our little fish. Many of
these were quite unhurt, and being placed in an aquarium, throve
wonderfully; wonderfully in a double sense, for it was found that as
they grew older so they grew smaller and smaller. But as they shrank in
size, so they became less transparent and more round. At last this
topsy-turvy growth came to an end, and they started growing bigger
again, and lo! as the days sped on, these strange water-babies slowly
revealed themselves: they were young eels! More than this, they proved
to be nothing less than 'elvers'--long esteemed the daintiest of dishes
by those who prize delicate food.

Thus ends Chapter I. of our story. Chapter II. is scarcely less
interesting. The deep sea is the eel's nursery; not deep sea in the
ordinary sense, but so deep that no light penetrates. Here, in the
stillness and darkness that exceeds that of the darkest night, these
little children of Neptune pass their earliest days. By the time they
have reached the elver stage, they have made their way, guided only by
instinct, from the deep sea to the surface, and thence to the mouths of
rivers; these they ascend in millions, and in their endeavour to get
into fresh water, they have to overcome obstacles such as would deter
most boys and girls. They climb vertical walls and flood-gates, and even
leave the water and wriggle their way overland at night amid the dewy
grass till they come to water again. Such migrations have long been
known as 'Eel-fairs,' and fishermen at this time take them by the ton.
In 1886, for example, more than three tons were taken from the
Gloucester district. Now, it takes upwards of fourteen thousand baby
eels to weigh a pound; how many eels are there in three tons? There is a
sum for you! Those that escape grow up to furnish the 'eel-pies' and
stewed eels which some people find so toothsome. In 1885 the annual
consumption of eels was estimated to be at least one thousand six
hundred and fifty tons, with a total value of 130,000_l._

[Illustration: Eels.]

[Illustration: Stages in Growth of young Eel.]

This story would not be complete without Chapter III. This concerns the
eel's parents, and it is not without a note of sadness. After living
several years in the security of the nice warm mud at the bottom of our
quiet streams, they suddenly become seized with the desire to make their
way to the sea--a journey full of danger, and full of mystery, for since
their ascent as tiny elvers, they have lived apart from the great world
of the ocean, and all that it contains. Now they set out, and fishermen,
knowing well the time of this journey, spread nets along the route into
which thousands rush. Other fish prey on them, and as soon as they reach
salt water their enemies increase a hundredfold. Only a remnant reach
their destination, and then, after having laid their eggs, fall into a
deep sleep from which there is no awakening.

[Illustration: Eel Traps.]

Surely this story is more wonderful than all the yarns of former days,
be they ever so old. Truth _is_ stranger than fiction, and much more
beautiful.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.

[Illustration: The Cooking Lesson.]



MARY'S REWARD.


'Mary, we want to ask a favour.'

'And what is that, Miss May?'

'We want to learn how to cook. Mother said perhaps if we were very good,
you would give us a lesson.'

So said little May, the youngest of the Trevor tribe of boys and girls,
who were now at home for the holidays.

'Well, if the mistress is willing, _I_ am,' replied the good-natured
cook. 'Do the young gentlemen want to learn, too?'

The two boys shook their heads. 'No, no,' cried Guy, the elder; 'too
many cooks spoil the broth!'

Mary soon set the girls to work, with the utmost patience and
good-humour, giving her lesson meanwhile. The boys, in spite of the
laughing remarks which they occasionally made, were immensely
interested; as for the girls, they threw themselves into their task
with such a zest that Mary declared, in time, they would all make
first-rate cooks.

'I don't believe any one but _you_, Mary, would have such patience,'
said Ellen, one of the maids, as she passed through the kitchen.

'Oh, Mary will have her reward one day,' laughed Elsie; 'you see if she
doesn't, Ellen.'

But little did Elsie think, as she said these words, of what Mary's
reward would be.

No one looking into the cook's sunny face would dream that she had any
sorrow hidden in her heart; but it was so. Her dearly loved and only
brother had gone away to sea, many years before, and from that day to
this Mary had never heard a word of him. But so unselfish was she, that
she would not allow her trouble to shadow any one else around her.

In the afternoon the girls wended their way to the neat little
cottage-home where dwelt Mrs. Jones and her children. She was the widow
of a sailor, and so poor that but for Mrs. Trevor's kindness she would
often have been in great straits. Her face looked quite bright as she
welcomed her visitors, and showed them into the back room where she had
been sitting at needlework.

'We have brought you some pastry of our own making,' said Elsie, 'and
some other things besides.'

'Then it's very, very kind of you, Miss,' was the grateful reply. 'I am
well off just now, for I have a lodger for a few days, who pays me
wonderfully well. He is a sailor man--a captain, I believe--and he says
he once knew my husband. The children are in with him now,' went on the
woman; 'he has taken a wonderful fancy to them all.'

Then said little May, who did not know what bashfulness was, 'I wish I
might go and see him, too. I should so like to know if he has ever seen
the island where Robinson Crusoe was wrecked.'

A peal of laughter greeted May's remark, but nevertheless her request
was granted.

Five minutes later she was chatting to the 'sailor man' as if she had
known him all her life.

'What do you think we have been doing this morning?' said little May,
after busily talking about a host of other things.

'I'm sure I don't know, little Missie,' replied the man.

'You would never guess, I am sure--we have been making pastry!'

'Pastry! have you, indeed?' said the pleasant-faced man, with a smile;
'well, now, that's a thing I could never make.'

'We couldn't have done it by ourselves; Mary helped us, you see,' said
truthful May.

'And who is Mary, little Missie, if I may ask?'

'Mary is our cook,' replied the child; 'she is _so_ kind and
good-natured. Her real name is Mary Greymore, and---- '

To May's surprise the sailor started to his feet.

'What!' cried he. 'Greymore, did you say?'

'Yes,' said May, looking startled. 'What's the matter, sailor man?'

'Nothing is the matter,' was the reply, given in a voice deep with
feeling; 'only, if what you say is true, I have found the sister I have
been looking for these many months past.'

Mary's joy at seeing her long-lost brother again was almost beyond
words; as for the Trevor family, they were scarcely less excited than
she.

It was found that James Greymore had been such a wanderer that none of
his sister's letters had ever reached him, and, as Mary herself had long
left her native village, the two had been quite out of touch with one
another.

'It is all through that lesson in pastry-making,' said Kitty, 'that Mary
found her brother. May, very likely, but for that, wouldn't have spoken
of Mary at all.'

'Then I was right,' laughed Elsie. 'I said Mary would have her reward,
and so she has, and well she deserves it, too.' M. I. H.



MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.

III--THE FIRST PUBLIC RAILWAY IN ENGLAND.


[Illustration: Stephenson's Portrait.]

In the middle of the eighteenth century, the Duke of Bridgewater, with
the aid of a great engineer named James Brindley, had increased the
prosperity of Manchester and Liverpool by constructing a canal to convey
merchandise cheaply and easily between them. Enterprising people, seeing
the great advantage of the canal, wished to follow this good example,
and increase the means of carrying goods from one place to another, if
not by canals, by better roads than England possessed at the time.

In different parts of the country it had been found that horses could
drag heavier loads if the wheels of the cart were allowed to run on
rails made of wood or iron. The knowledge of this fact led certain men
connected with the coal-mines of Darlington, in Durham, to propose the
building of a tram-line between their town and that of Stockton-on-Tees.
But when Mr. Edward Pease, who was the leader in the enterprise, sought
to collect money to bear the cost, not twenty people in Stockton would
give him their support. The idea of making a metal road over twelve
miles of country seemed only matter for laughter, and Mr. Pease was told
that he ought not to expect sensible people to spend their money on such
a scheme. So Mr. Pease did without the 'sensible people.'

Application for leave to lay the line was made to Parliament, but was
refused, the principal opponent being the Duke of Cleveland, who said
that the proposed line would go too near one of his fox-covers, and
frighten the foxes away. The application, however, was renewed, and was
reluctantly granted at last.

In the meantime a young man had called on Mr. Pease to offer his
services, and the initial at the head of this article shows his
portrait. The young man's name was George Stephenson. He had had some
experience, he said, in the laying of railways, and Mr. Pease was so
impressed with his honest manner that, in the end, he engaged him on the
great undertaking.

George Stephenson was full of suggestions. He pointed out the kind of
rails that ought to be used: cast-iron rails were the cheapest, he said,
but they could not be relied on, as they often snapped when a heavy load
passed over them; and, though he himself was a maker of cast-iron
metals, he recommended that another kind, called 'malleable,' should be
used. Malleable metal is much tougher than ordinary cast, because, after
being poured into the moulds, it is only allowed to cool very slowly,
and is not exposed to the air until quite cold. But as the expense of
using malleable rails only would be very great, Mr. Pease and his
friends decided to use both kinds of rails.

Another of George Stephenson's suggestions was more than even Mr. Pease
could seriously entertain. In a private conversation the young man
strongly urged that locomotives should be used to drag the coal-trucks
instead of horses!

'If you will only come to Killingworth,' said he, 'I will show you an
engine I made and have been driving in the colliery yard for more than
ten years. It is forty times as strong as a horse, and cheaper in the
end.'

Mr. Pease kindly promised that he would accept this invitation some day,
but nothing had been said about locomotives in the Act of Parliament,
and for the time being things must go on as they were.

The first rail was laid on May 23rd, 1822, and the whole twelve miles of
line were ready for traffic, on September 27th, 1825. Three years doing
twelve miles! That does not seem very fast, but we must remember that
there were rivers to be spanned, and hills to be cut through, and
valleys to be crossed by high embankments. And George Stephenson had
progressed very much more than twelve miles in these three years. He had
taken Mr. Pease to Killingworth, and shown him his engine; he had
convinced him it would travel even faster than a horse, and drag a
heavier load behind it; and he had won a promise that the railroad
between Darlington and Stockton should be opened with a locomotive
driven by steam, though he was made to understand that it was only an
experiment, and no one really expected it to succeed.

On September 27th, therefore, in 1825, crowds of people streamed along
the country roads in the direction of Brusselton, nine miles from
Darlington, to see the beginning of this strange experiment. Some were
interested, most were inclined to laugh, and many had come with the
secret hope of seeing this 'ridiculous engine' blown into a thousand
pieces.

At the bottom of a slope the monster stood, puffing and hissing with
impatience to show these unbelieving people how mistaken they were. It
was a strange-looking machine, quite unlike any of the giants that we
know. A large boiler lay full length between four ornamental iron
wheels. Out of the front end of the boiler rose a tall and ugly
stove-pipe, while _over_ the boiler was a confused collection of rods
and levers communicating with the crank of the big wheels. It was called
the 'Locomotion.' George Stephenson stood ready to drive it as soon as
the trucks, which a stationary engine was lowering down the slope by
means of a wire rope, had been attached to it. In the first of these
trucks came the Directors of the Railway Company and their friends,
followed by twenty-one trucks (all open to the sky, like ordinary
goods-trucks), loaded with various passengers, and finally six more
waggons of coal. Such was the first train. A man on horseback, carrying
a flag, having taken up his position in front of the 'Locomotion' to
head the procession, the starting word was given, and with a hiss of
steam, half drowned in the shouting of the crowd, the first railway
journey ever made in England was begun.

The man on horseback probably stepped aside before Stockton was reached,
for, to the astonishment of everybody, George Stephenson's engine
insisted now and then on travelling at the giddy speed of twelve miles
an hour, though it was sufficiently modest to do most of the distance at
a slower rate. Many trains have travelled since at over seventy miles an
hour, and a good many in England do long distances every day at an
average speed of well over fifty miles an hour.

When the train steamed into Stockton the number of passengers had
greatly increased; they had seized hold of passing carriages, and
secured a foothold as best they could.

After that the 'Locomotion' had a distinguished career. Twenty years
later it had the honour of opening the railway from Middlesborough to
Redcar, and to-day it stands in state on a pedestal in the Bank Top
Station at Darlington.

When Parliament gave permission for Mr. Pease's railway, it was ordered
that any one should have the use of it who liked to pay for the
privilege. Consequently there were soon large numbers who were glad to
avail themselves of the opportunity. Carriers fitted suitable wheels to
their carts, and drove their horses up and down it, while stage-coach
owners offered travellers an easy and comfortable journey on the smooth
metals. When we remember that it was only a single line, with side
openings every quarter of a mile, we can easily understand that there
were frequent quarrels when two vehicles met half-way. Sometimes one of
the opponents would be a puffing engine, and if it happened to be
dragging a load of coal, back it had to go until the siding was reached,
that the plodding horse might pass. To us such a state of things is hard
to imagine, but the railway and it possibilities were not thoroughly
understood at first. Even George Stephenson did not think it would be
very suitable for passenger traffic.

At last the confusion was put an end to by the Company taking entire
command of the line, and turning the quarrelsome competitors off it.
Then prosperity came.

The twelve miles of railway laid down by George Stevenson has grown to
over twenty thousand miles, making about two hundred and fifty miles
every year for eighty years. It is pleasant to know that both Mr. Pease
and his engineer lived to see more than their greatest dreams realised.

JOHN LEA.

[Illustration: The first Railway Journey in England.]

[Illustration: "'What is the matter?' I asked him."]



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

By HAROLD ERICSON.

III.--IN THE JAWS OF DEATH.


[Illustration]

'A tiger is my subject to-night,' said Ralph Denison, when his turn came
round again, 'since you said you liked my adventure among the
lion-whelps. I don't know exactly why, but I would always rather deal
with a lion than with a tiger; he seems somehow to appeal to me, as a
fellow-sportsman, more than a tiger does.'

'Hear, hear,' Vandeleur chimed in; 'I quite agree.'

'Though, mind you,' Ralph continued, 'I think the tiger is quite as
plucky, taking him all round.'

'As a rule, yes,' said Vandeleur; 'but I have known lions attack a human
camp at night, and I don't fancy any tiger would do that, so long as
there was a fire burning.'

'Nor a lion either,' laughed Ralph.

'Excuse me, I have known them do it,' said Vandeleur; 'and I will tell
you about it one of these evenings.'

'Get on with your story, Ralph,' growled Bobby; 'arguments are against
the rules.'

Ralph laughed, and proceeded.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was in India at the time (he said), and stationed at Fuzzanpore,
pretty dull and longing for a change or some sort of excitement to
relieve the monotony of my work, when a letter came from a great friend
of mine, Charlie Eccles, who sent me an invitation which made my mouth
water.

'I'm going on a month's leave,' Charlie wrote, 'shooting; the sport will
be mostly snipe and other small game, but there's a chance of tigers.
Now, I know you are a busy man---- '

Bobby laughed rudely when Ralph quoted these words. 'I say, Ralph, your
friend couldn't really have written that,' he said. '_You_ a busy man! I
can't imagine you ever doing any work!'

Ralph looked offended. 'I should like you to be aware,' he observed,
with much majesty, 'that before my uncle left me the income which I now
enjoy, I worked very hard indeed as a tea-planter.'

'Sorry,' laughed Bobby--'my mistake. You don't look like a chap who has
been overworked; does he, Vandeleur?'

Ralph ignored the jest, and continued his quotation. 'I know you are a
busy man,' he repeated, 'but if you could spare the time, and would join
me, we should have a rare old time. Start next Friday, and be at
Malabad, where I shall meet you, on Monday. Bring as many cartridges as
you can lay hands upon, for we shall have plenty of snipe and partridge,
whether we come across big game or no.' Charlie then gave me a list of
the dâk bungalows at which he might be found at certain dates, in case
I should not be able to start upon the day indicated. I meant to start
on the Friday as he had suggested, but some of our native workmen went
wrong--there was a kind of little mutiny--and I was delayed nearly a
week, assisting my partner to arrange matters. When this had been
satisfactorily settled, I collected my sporting traps and started,
making for the bungalow at which Charlie had intended to put up on the
sixth day of his trip.

When I reached my destination, which was a dâk bungalow, or little house
built by the Government for the accommodation of Britishers travelling
by road between towns which are too far apart to be reached within the
day's journey, I found Charlie Eccles was not yet at home. The two
servants left in charge at the bungalow reported that he had gone
tiger-hunting, a 'bad' tiger having been reported in the district, by
which was meant a man-eater--a beast which had killed and eaten a native
postman and others, and which Charlie, on his arrival, had been implored
to destroy.

The native shikaris or hunters were absent with my friend, I therefore
did the best thing possible under the circumstances--I ordered my lunch,
and sat down to enjoy it.

It was very hot, and I think I had fallen asleep over the cup of coffee
which the servant set before me after my meal, when I was awakened by a
sudden uproar from outside, and, starting up, I went out to see what was
happening. Down the road I saw several straggling natives--every one of
them was running, and every one of them was shouting or crying or
blubbering, or what not.

I walked towards them; as yet I had not thought of possible disaster. I
met the first man, apparently a beater, for he carried a kind of native
drum for striking in the jungle when the tiger is to be moved, and set
afoot for the benefit of the sportsman. 'What is the matter?' I asked
him. 'What are you and these other fellows howling for?'

The man salaamed, and assumed an expression of the greatest misery. 'The
sahib!' he exclaimed; 'the poor sahib--the bad tiger. Alas! how terrible
are the misfortunes that happen in the world!'

'Which sahib? is it Sahib Eccles you speak of? What has happened? Stop
blubbering, fool, and tell me plainly!'

'He is eaten, sahib--killed and eaten; here comes the chief shikari with
the sahib's own rifle--let him tell you.'

The shikari came flying down the road; he saw me and stopped, salaaming
very low. 'Benefactor of the people!' he exclaimed. 'Protector of the
poor! there has been a calamity, sahib; though you have come too late, I
thank the gods that you are here--you can at least find and slay the
accursed beast. Oh, miserable man that I am! My good master, Sahib
Eccles! so young and so brave, and to die in the teeth of such a beast!
oh, woe! woe!'

My heart stood still. Did I dream, or were these men really telling me
the dreadful news that poor Charlie had been killed by a tiger?

I could scarcely speak, but I contrived to return to the verandah of the
bungalow and to sink upon a chair. The shikari had followed me to the
house, lamenting aloud.

'Stop!' I said, angrily. 'Now tell me plainly what has happened.'

The man began his tale. It was to have been a battue, he explained.
Natives had come overnight, hearing that a sahib had arrived. They
reported that a bad tiger had lived for a month in the jungle, close to
the village. It had already killed and eaten three persons, besides
destroying many bullocks belonging to the people. 'Unless the sahib
comes to our assistance and kills the beast, we are lost--we and our
children!' they told him. The Sahib Eccles had been delighted to hear of
the tiger; it was just what he most wanted. 'Are there beaters to be
had?' he asked. Fifty beaters were found in the surrounding district,
but the reputation of the tiger was so bad that all the men and women
were very nervous, and the sahib had laughed when told about them, and
had said that he did not think they would be of much use if they were so
frightened before they went into the jungle.

Nevertheless, the Sahib Eccles chose a tree for himself in a place where
he could see well in many directions, and climbed up into the branches,
and the beaters were placed at a distance around the place where the
tiger was supposed to be lying. The beat began; that is, the natives
shouted and banged their drums, and smote the trees with sticks, and
produced horrible sounds from many different kinds of instruments; but,
almost as soon as the noises began, the tiger suddenly uttered a single,
terrible roar, and (said the shikari) nearly all the beaters immediately
left for home. The beat ended, there were no more weird noises, and
silence fell upon the jungle.

'I was with the Sahib Eccles in his tree,' said the shikari; 'and, first
the sahib was very angry indeed, and then he laughed.

'"We shall do no good up here," he said, "for the tiger will not move
unless he is driven." He had killed a bullock in the night, and was lazy
with much food. "Dare you enter the jungle with me, shikari? You heard
where the beast roared--there or thereabouts we know his position. Shall
we make an attempt to move him, you and I?"

'There were one or two beaters close at hand. They had not dared to run
away because they were in full view of the sahib and of me. "These men
shall help us," said the sahib, "if they dare; they shall walk behind us
and shout."

'"We will try, sahib," I replied; "but he is a dangerous beast and very
crafty."

'"I have two rifles," the sahib said, laughing, "and they are also
dangerous beasts."

'So we two climbed down from the tree and spoke to the beaters, who then
followed us into the jungle, keeping well behind us. They must not
shout, we told them, until told to do so, when we came close to the
place where the tiger had roared.

'Then we moved slowly and cautiously into the jungle, looking this way
and that, the sahib walking in front and I a few yards behind; and,
behold, we had scarcely walked for two minutes when suddenly came three
loud noises, almost simultaneously--first a terrible roar from the
tiger, then the report of the sahib's rifle, then a shriek from the
sahib himself and---- '

The shikari placed his hands before his eyes as though to shut out some
horrible picture, and groaned aloud.

(_Concluded on page 98._)



LONG LIVED.


In certain parts of the African desert, where it is too hot for any
plants to grow, the ground is in places thickly covered with white
snails.

In 1858, a naturalist travelling through this region collected some of
the shells from a spot on which it was believed no rain had fallen for
five years. These snails' shells were packed away and left untouched
until the year 1862, when the naturalist, at home once more, unpacked
his shells and placed them in a basin of water to be cleaned. To his
amazement, a quantity of healthy living snails were found on the
following morning crawling all over his study table!

S. C.



THE ALMOND AND THE RAISIN.


  'Twas an Almond and a Raisin
    In a dish all silver bright,
  A Raisin dusky purple,
    And an Almond creamy white.

  Said the Raisin to the Almond,
    'I was once as full of wine
  As a dewdrop is of sunlight,
    And a glossy skin was mine.'

  Said the Almond to the Raisin,
    'And I've a tale to tell--
  I was born inside a flower,
    And I lived within a shell.'

  Said the Raisin to the Almond,
    'We are both from Southern lands,
  And we came once more together,
    Having fallen in English hands.

  'Don't you think we ought to marry?
    I am sure 'twould be as well,
  Though I have lost my juices
    And you have lost your shell.'

  Said the Almond to the Raisin,
    'It is my dearest wish.'

         *       *       *       *       *

  That is why you always find them
    Side by side within the dish.

  F. W. H.



FAITHFUL TO DUTY.


A gatekeeper on one of the German railways kept a goat, and one day,
when his wife was ill, he went himself to milk it. But it would not
allow him to come near it, as it had not been accustomed to any one but
its mistress. At last he determined to put on his wife's clothes, and
this plan succeeded admirably. But he had not time to take off his
disguise before he heard a train approaching. He ran out at once, just
as he was, and opened the gate, but his appearance caused the passengers
to think that he was mad. The case was reported, and an inquiry was
made, but on the truth being known, the gatekeeper was praised for his
faithful discharge of duty.

H. B. S.

[Illustration: "He ran out just as he was."]



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1806.

III.--THE CAPTURE OF BUENOS AYRES.


The long sea voyage was over at last, and the Expedition which had set
sail from England in the previous autumn cast anchor in the bay outside
Buenos Ayres on the 26th of May, 1806.

[Illustration: "He seized one of the ladders."]

This city, the capture of which was the object of the Expedition, lay
very dimly outlined in the western horizon, for the sea was too shallow
to allow the larger vessels to approach within six or seven miles of the
shore, and even when the troops had landed, three miles or more of a
perfectly flat plain would have to be traversed before they could arrive
at the city itself.

'Will the Spaniards fight, do you think?' asked Gerald Anstey, a young
ensign of marines, as he stood on the deck of H.M.S. _Narcissus_, and
strained his eyes towards the direction of Buenos Ayres.

'I expect so,' answered a brother-officer who was by his side. 'But
hallo, Anstey! here is the General's orderly--what is up, I wonder?'

A trim private advanced towards Anstey, and said respectfully: 'The
General wishes to see you in his cabin, sir.'

'The General! To see _me!_' ejaculated Anstey, turning to his friend in
utter amazement. 'What can he want with me?'

'To consult you as to the best manner of landing the troops, perhaps,'
laughed his friend, for Anstey was the youngest ensign in the regiment.
'But you had better make haste and present yourself, for Sir Popham
Horne is not the man to be kept waiting.'

Anstey hurried away. On entering the General's cabin he saluted, and
then waited to receive the orders of his commanding officer.

'Mr. Anstey,' said the General, looking up, 'I have sent for you, as
junior officer, as I wish you, immediately on landing, to proceed to the
Governor of Buenos Ayres and give him these dispatches, proposing to him
the unconditional surrender of the town, as I am anxious to prevent
useless shedding of blood. You will take a corporal and two men with you
as guard, and of course a flag of truce, and I hope you may be
successful in your mission.'

'I will do my best, sir,' said Anstey, quietly. Then the General
returned to his map, and the young man left the cabin.

Meanwhile, the preparations for landing were being rapidly proceeded
with, and some twenty-four hours later men and guns were all safely
landed on the sandy shore, and all eager to march towards the city.
First of all, however, they had to wait for the return of Anstey, and
hear whether his terms had been accepted by the Spanish Governor.
Towards sunset the young ensign came back, and great was the excitement
among the whole force on hearing that the Governor had refused the terms
offered by the British General, and that the march towards Buenos Ayres
was to begin at dawn on the following day.

It seemed as if this march would present no great difficulty either to
men or guns, as the plain to be traversed was an immense flat, green
meadow, which promised an easy road for the cannon. But the 'green
meadow,' which proved so satisfactory at first, became softer and looser
as they got further inland, and finally it ended in a treacherous bog,
which threatened to engulf both men and guns; and to make matters worse,
the enemy, entrenched behind some trees at the little village of
Reduction, a mile or so away, now opened fire on our troops, as they
struggled to get across the morass.

It was soon evident that progress in that direction was an
impossibility, and very reluctantly the General gave the order to
retreat. But it was almost as impossible to retreat as to advance, for
the ground, trodden by the feet of so many men and horses, was now but
pulpy mud, in which the gun-carriages sank to their axles.

A British force, however, is not easily discouraged, and the men of all
ranks worked with almost super-human energy, till at last the whole
army had once more a footing on firm ground.

The General had been invaluable at this crisis; he was here, there, and
everywhere where the difficulties were greatest, and was one of the last
men to leave the morass, having insisted on seeing all the force safely
over. He was then riding alongside the rearguard when his horse
staggered, recovered itself for a moment, and then sank with the General
heavily into the morass.

'All right! all right!' he called out cheerily to an officer who ran to
his assistance; 'I am not hurt in the least.' The next minute, however,
he called out in a very different voice, 'Help! help! I am sinking!'

It was indeed true! He had fallen on to a bad patch of marsh. The morass
seemed now to be rapidly changing into a quicksand, in which the General
and his horse who had gone to his assistance were gradually sinking.

Other men were about to rush in, when they were stopped by the loud
tones of Anstey. 'Stop! stop!' he cried energetically. 'You can do no
good rushing in like that, you will only get engulfed yourselves. I know
these bogs--I have lived in Ireland.'

As he spoke he had seized one of the ladders which were fortunately
carried with the force in case they should be wanted for scaling, and
holding this out across the oozy patch, he let the General support
himself by it for a moment. Then he laid the ladder flat, and crept
along it till he reached the still sinking man: he caught him by the arm
at once, and started to haul him out. Anstey's strength was well known
in the regiment, and perhaps he was the only man who could have dragged
out the General by sheer force of arm, but he did it somehow, and the
cheers of the men simply rent the air as they saw their loved commander
safe once more.

'Thank you, my lad,' said the General simply, as soon as he was on the
ladder; 'you saved me from an ugly death. I shall not forget you.'

Nor did he. Later in the day Buenos Ayres was captured, with but slight
loss to the British. Four thousand Spanish cavalry fled away inland,
leaving the artillery and all the treasures of the city to be the spoil
of the army, and that same evening Anstey was once more summoned before
the General, and told that to him would be entrusted the honour of
conducting to London the precious stones and jewels and the other
treasures found in the city coffers.

On September 20th of the same year a strange procession might have been
seen passing along Pall Mall to the Bank of England. First of all came
eight waggons loaded with gold and precious stones, each waggon being
preceded by a Jack Tar carrying a flag with the word 'Treasure' on it.
Then came the field-pieces and the Spanish colours captured at Buenos
Ayres, and last of all rode Gerald Anstey--the proud guardian of these
valuable trophies.

The jewels, stones, and boxes, containing over a million dollars, were
deposited at the Bank of England, and the colours and field-pieces were
taken to the Tower of London, where those interested in such matters may
still see them.

History, however, compels us to state that the capture of Buenos Ayres
was but a short-lived triumph, as it was wrested from us in the
following year.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 75._)


Having secured the turret door to prevent interruption, Alan drew
Marjorie to the settle, and began the story of his adventure in the
wood: how he had discovered the secret passage from the cliff into the
great cave; how he had lingered that very morning near the old ruined
summer-house, and heard Thomas and the other man talking; and how he had
seen Peet leave the ruin.

'Now it comes to this,' he wound up. 'Thomas is up to some fishy thing
or other, bribed by a greater villain than himself. The question is,
what _is_ he up to? Can you guess?'

'If it was burglary,' said Marjorie, sagely, 'what could they possibly
want in the ruined summer-house? I have never been into it, but I can't
fancy anything of value can be kept there.'

'Yet those two men were hunting just now for the cellar door that led to
it.'

'So they were.'

Marjorie sat silent, thinking the problem out. Alan did not interrupt
her, so great was his faith in his sister. She often hit on the right
clue when they were puzzled over things, and he felt that, even if she
could not do so in the present case, it would be a great comfort to be
able to talk over each new discovery with her, and have her help when he
needed it.

'One thing struck me,' said Marjorie at last. 'When there was that fuss
about the summer-house door being open, do you remember how anxious
Thomas was to get in? Did you see what a cross look he had all the time
Peet was speaking? It was just as if he hated Peet. I wonder if he wants
to do him some injury?'

'Hu-um,' pondered Alan, taking in the new idea slowly; 'no one can like
that surly old Peet, but doing him an injury is another thing. I expect
you have the right end of the thread, but what is it going to lead to?
Has Peet anything valuable in the ruin? And if he has--and it seems as
if he must have--how can I find out what it is, or where it is? I
dislike him, in spite of Aunt Betty calling him a rough diamond; but of
course I wouldn't see him robbed or cheated.'

'I should think not, nor anybody else either. But what do you think we
ought to do? Why not tell Father about it, and ask him to keep the
secret till something turns up? He would find out at once what Peet has
in the summer-house.'

But Alan, always inclined to be rather selfish and wilful, thought this
would spoil the fun of discovering it themselves, and would not listen
to the proposal for an instant.

'We will make a thorough examination of the ruin outside first,' he
began; 'that is, as soon as this weather will let us. The whole place
will be dripping for a day or two, but I don't mind that.'

A sudden outburst of barks and yelps, accompanied by a clamour of
voices, came up from below. Running to the window, they caught sight of
the cause of the shouts and howls. The dogs were being led back to their
kennels, and as they were in a savage mood, the men were persuading or
forcing them on. To the amazement of the brother and sister, Thomas was
with the party, apparently as completely at home as if he had never fled
from the hounds.

'I say!' exclaimed Alan; 'I wonder how he managed that?'

'I know,' said Marjorie; 'he probably told them he was running after the
other man, but could not catch him. You see the other one isn't there. I
expect it was the only way of preventing the servants and dogs going
into the room where they took refuge.'

And this is exactly what had occurred. Alan, much impressed with this
version of the affair, sprang up, declaring he must go down and hear how
it was that the dogs were loose, and had got upon the man's track.

Off he rushed, leaving Marjorie to go downstairs and see how Estelle
was. She found Miss Leigh had been looking for her for a long time, and
was not in the best of tempers in consequence. Estelle was better, but
the doctor desired she should be kept in bed for the remainder of that
day, and not run about much for a day or two. No one could understand
the cause of the fainting fit, and Marjorie was called upon to explain
what they had been doing. They had been playing in the passages, she
said, and were on the tower stairs when the dogs burst in. Estelle was
frightened, and had rushed into the corridor, and when Marjorie and Alan
followed her, she was found lying on the floor. It all sounded very
simple. But Marjorie felt very mean and uneasy about the concealment;
she felt that it was as bad as telling a lie, and only her promise to
Alan, rashly given, kept her from disclosing everything.

'The whole business is most mysterious,' said Colonel De Bohun, in a
tone of annoyance. 'How it came about that there was a strange man--a
tramp, I suppose--wandering so near the house, I cannot imagine. Thomas
saw him, and so did James, most luckily; and Thomas was wise enough to
give chase at once, but the rascal seems to have escaped him. He was a
nimble sort of a fellow, James says, and it seems that the moment the
grooms got wind of it, they let the dogs loose. Lucky none of them were
hurt.'

'So this was the way Thomas managed!' thought Marjorie. 'What a sharp
fellow he is! Oh, if Father only knew!'

'Has the man gone?' asked Lady Coke, anxiously.

'I should think so. We can't find him, at all events. He knows all the
men are on the alert, so I think you are safe, I will remain here if you
are nervous.'

It was considered better that he should remain, Lady Coke being old and
very frail in spite of her activity and energy of character. Miss Leigh
was to take the children home, and explain all that had occurred to Mrs.
De Bohun, who was laid up with a cold.

(_Continued on page 94._)

[Illustration: "Alan began the story of his adventure."]

[Illustration: "The luckless fugitives were dragged forth."]



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

III.--THE STORY OF A CAPTIVE.


'Captive among the Moors.' These words used once to account for many a
sad gap in the families of southern Europe. We, in these days, can
hardly realise the dread in which those pirate vessels were held for
hundreds of years, and we find it difficult to believe that not a
century ago Christian captives were wearing out their lives in suffering
and exile, and the bitterness of hope deferred, in the Moorish
stronghold of Algiers.

And it seemed specially hard when a company of Spanish soldiers, who had
done great things in the sea fight at Lepanto, were attacked on their
homeward journey and carried captive by the very infidels they had so
lately conquered.

Arrived at the port of Algiers, the prisoners were awarded to different
masters, the poorer ones, from whose friends there was little hope of
ransom, being set to the hardest tasks and often cruelly ill-treated,
while those of higher rank had an easier service, unless, indeed, the
captors considered that the report of their sufferings might bring money
to redeem them. The only means of escape from slavery was to embrace the
Mohammedan religion, and the renegades who denied their faith often
became the most cruel persecutors of their countrymen.

There were two brothers among these Spanish soldiers, sons of a poor
though well-born gentleman of Alcara. The younger of these was to make
his name, Miguel de Cervantes, famous throughout the world. He had
distinguished himself in the wars, and had lost the use of his left hand
'for the greater glory of the right,' as he was wont to say in his
joking fashion. But a letter from his great leader, Don John of Austria,
which was found about him, convinced his captors that he was a person of
importance, and his ransom was fixed at a sum which he knew his father
could never pay. After a while, however, his family, by tremendous
efforts, scraped together a sum sufficient for the redemption of one
brother, and Roderigo, the elder, returned to Spain, Miguel remaining to
endure five years' captivity which would have broken any spirit less
gallant than his.

The captives dwelt in cells opening upon an oblong courtyard; they were
all Christians, and they had at least the comfort of their own services
held in one of the little chambers, which was set apart as a church.
'How good it is in this place to say "Our Father which art in Heaven,"'
Cervantes makes a little captive boy say in the drama in which he
afterwards describes his life in Algiers, and we can see there how the
suffering of the children went to the heart of the gallant soldier, who
encouraged many a tempted little one to hold firm to his faith. And now
and then a strange sight would be seen in the prisoners' quarters,
nothing less than a play in rhyme acted by some of the captives, and
stage-managed (as we should call it) by Cervantes, who had invented this
device to turn the thoughts of his companions for a little while from
the miseries of their lot.

But this high-spirited prisoner was not content with merely enlivening
his own and his friends' captivity--day and night that active brain of
his was plotting escape. One attempt to get away by land failed at once,
but with him a failure only meant a fresh start, and he was soon at work
again with those bold enough to join him. A slave named Juan, gardener
to Hassan Pasha, the Viceroy of Algiers, was induced to contrive a
hiding-place in his master's grounds where any of the captives who could
contrive to escape so far might conceal themselves until the arrival of
a friendly boat on the coast. A cave was hollowed out, all unsuspected
by the owner of the garden, large enough to contain fourteen men, and
thither one after another of the Christian slaves contrived to make his
way. From February to September fugitives were hiding there, fed by
stealth by the contrivance of Cervantes, who succeeded in sending
information to some of the vessels visiting the port either with
merchandise or to treat for the ransom of prisoners.

All had been carefully arranged for the escape, the hour was almost
come, when some one proved false: the story leaked out. The prisoners in
Hassan's garden, so near, as they believed, to the end of their long
waiting, were startled by footsteps and voices breaking the stillness of
the warm African night; lights flashed at the mouth of the cave, and
with shouts of triumph and threats of horrible penalties the luckless
fugitives were dragged forth. But one man stood forward in front of the
trembling, despairing group.

'I am the author of the scheme,' cried Cervantes, 'I devised it, I
carried it out; on me be the blame; take me before Hassan.'

So before Hassan the intrepid soldier was dragged, heavily manacled and
with a halter about his neck. He faced the Viceroy, who was a renegade
and a bloodthirsty tyrant, with the same cool, smiling courage with
which in the Gulf of Lepanto he had faced the Turkish guns. Once more he
repeated his statement that the whole scheme was his; his comrades had
but followed his lead, and the penalty was due to him alone.

Why Hassan spared his life it would be hard to say. Scores of men in his
position had died by the most cruel tortures for a less offence, while
he was only threatened, and kept for a while in chains. Possibly Hassan
felt that such a man must surely be ransomed sooner or later, and spared
him in hopes of gain. He is said to have remarked, 'If I could keep hold
of that maimed Spaniard, I should be sure of my slaves, my ships, and my
whole city.'

Nor was he much mistaken, for Cervantes, while the chains were still
upon his limbs, was busy with new plots. One more attempt at escape
failed through treachery, and the indomitable prisoner conceived a yet
more daring project, and contrived to appeal to the King of Spain,
begging for armed help, and promising a revolt of the whole slave
population. The thing might well have been carried out, for there were
something like twenty thousand Christian captives in Algiers, but, alas!
King Philip was too busy quarrelling with his neighbours in Portugal to
win himself the honour of crushing the pirate city which was the scourge
of all Christendom.

And then at last arrived in Algiers Father Juan Gil, a good monk, whose
work it was to collect and carry to Africa the ransom money for some of
the captives, and with him he brought three hundred ducats, scraped
together with sore pains and privations by the mother and sister of
Cervantes, to purchase his freedom. Hassan, however, would have none of
such a paltry sum; even when it was increased to five hundred he
demanded double the amount, and as his viceroyalty in Algiers was just
over, he declared his intention of taking the Spanish slave with him to
Constantinople.

So good Father Juan, feeling that it was now or never, went from one to
another of the merchants trading along the coast, and, begging and
borrowing right and left, made up the required sum. On the very day
fixed for the Viceroy's departure, the good Father bore the ransom in
triumph to Hassan, and Miguel de Cervantes was a free man. He carried
back with him to Spain the love and gratitude of many a fellow-sufferer,
and I think that much of the kindly humour, the hopeful courage and
patience with other people's follies, which has made the author of _Don
Quixote_ the friend of the whole world, must have been learned in the
hard school of his Moorish captivity.

MARY H. DEBENHAM.



A PINCUSHION FACTORY.


May and Ada were thinking. That is how they would have described their
long fit of silence one Saturday afternoon. They were alone in the room
which did duty for dining-room, schoolroom, and everything else; but
they were quite used to being left to themselves. Mother and Jane had
always lots to do, and the little girls were often troubled about this,
and talked of the time when they would be able to help.

'May, I have thought,' cried Ada, suddenly.

'Have you?' said May, slowly. 'I haven't. But you're always quicker than
I am, Ada.'

'Well, I have thought. I am sure Grannie and Grandfather would come and
live with us always if Mother had more money.'

'Oh! I know that part,' cried her sister. 'That's what we started to
think about.'

'Don't be in such a hurry,' said Ada, reprovingly. 'We want to get the
money. Well, you know the dear little pincushions we made for Aunt
Ellen's bazaar, and how she said they were sold directly?'

'Of course I do, but---- '

'Well, let's make lots of them, and go out and sell them. I know we
shall have to make lots and lots, but they won't take long to sell, and
then we shall have plenty of money for Mother. Perhaps she would get
another Jane, too, then she wouldn't have so much to do. Well?' and Ada
stopped, a little breathlessly, and waited for her sister to say
something.

'It sounds quite splendid,' said May; 'but do you think that Mother
would like us to sell for ourselves? The bazaar seems different.'

'But we mustn't tell her,' cried Ada. 'The surprise will be the best
part. Think how pleased she will be! She's always glad when we do
something for her when she doesn't expect it. I am sure it is the very
thing. I was thinking hard for ever such a long time, but nothing else
would do. We are too small to go out and work to get money---- '

'And Mother couldn't spare us,' cried May. 'Besides, you forget our
lessons.'

'And we do not knit very well yet. At least we could never finish a sock
unless Mother helped us, and then she would know. But, May, hadn't you
thought at all?'

'I am afraid I hadn't, and I did try so hard. But that doesn't matter,'
said May, who was accustomed to follow her younger sister's lead. 'Let's
start making directly, Ada. Have we any bits of silk left?'

'Plenty; and I've got some cards cut. We can get one or two done before
tea.' And the two little girls were soon as silent over their work as
they had been over their 'thinking.'

For the next few weeks they were continually to be seen cutting circles
out of old postcards, covering them with silks, and sewing them
together. Mother teased them sometimes about their 'Pincushion Factory,'
but she was glad to see them happy and busy, especially as spring was
coming in 'like a lion,' with day after day of gales and storms, which
made walks impossible. Jane was rather inquisitive about their doings,
and a little hurt at not knowing their secret. She was accustomed to be
told all about their 'thinking,' and to have a share in all the
wonderful plans that Ada invented and May followed; but neither of the
sisters would explain why so many pocket pincushions were wanted all at
once. 'It isn't another bazaar,' said Jane, to herself, 'or Mistress
would have told me. It's just some new fad Miss Ada's got hold of. I
dare say it's all right. They are as good as gold, those two, and the
pincushions can mean no harm.'

'Three dozen exactly,' said Ada, one bright Saturday morning, 'and every
colour that any one could want. We shall make a lot of money! We must
begin selling them to-day, May.'

'Must we?' said May, rather dubiously. Somehow that part of the business
did not quite please her. She had been glad that the stock took so long
to accumulate, and that the business of selling did not begin at once.

'Yes, indeed. We're going to the baker's for Mother this morning. She
said we might, because Jane's too busy. So we will take some out with
us. Aunt Ellen got sixpence each for hers at the bazaar.'

'But can we?' said May. 'Let's ask threepence. They are very small, you
know. How many will your pocket hold, Ada?'

Two little girls left Grove Villa an hour later. They were neatly
dressed in dark blue, with a bright red ribbon round their sailor-hats,
and there was a spot of bright colour on each of the four cheeks,
telling of the excitement in the little minds. Ada was eager to begin,
but May almost hoped that no likely buyers would be met with.

'Shall we ask the baker?' she whispered, as they drew near his shop.

'No, I don't think so,' said Ada, uncertainly. 'I don't quite know, but
I don't believe that a baker wants pocket pincushions. I would rather
ask some one who doesn't know us. Gentlemen are best because they have
waistcoat pockets to slip them into.'

[Illustration: "'Please, sir, will you--would you buy a pincushion?'"]

But there are not many gentlemen to be seen in a London suburb in the
morning on Saturday, or any other week-day, and the sisters had walked
farther down the High Road than they imagined before a likely buyer came
in sight.

[Illustration: "I held a long stick for him to hook on."]

'There's a gentleman,' said May, in a very shaky voice. 'You ask him,
Ada--you.'

'Please, sir, will you--would you buy a pincushion?' stammered Ada. The
pincushion factory was all very well, but the selling part did not seem
so pleasant, now that she had come to the point.

'And what should I want with a pincushion?' said some one far above
their heads, so gruffly that Ada longed to run away, and May, somehow,
found that tears were very near.

'And what may you be doing here alone with your pincushions?' went on
this terrible voice; but it was not so gruff this time. There was
something in it which they thought they had heard before. Looking up,
who should it be but their father's Irish friend, Mr. O'Brien, whom they
were trying to capture for their first customer!

'Oh!' cried Ada, 'it's you!' and the whole story came tumbling out in
such a confused way that Mr. O'Brien had nearly taken them back to Grove
Villa before he quite understood it.

Mother, too, was very much puzzled. 'No, I don't say it was naughty, my
dears, but you had better not have surprises out of doors again,' she
said. 'But what made you think of it at all, Ada?'

'But Grannie and Grandfather could live here if they wanted to, only the
country is better for them,' she explained, when the little girls had
told her the reason of their 'factory.' 'Yes, you do hear me say we
can't afford things, but they are things we don't really need. You
always have all you want, don't you? Don't worry your little heads about
money, then, and promise me one thing--never to go a step farther than I
send you when you go out alone! You might have been lost if Mr. O'Brien
hadn't met you!'

'Indeed we will not, Mother darling!' cried the two in one breath.

'And I think,' said May, soberly, 'we will tell Jane or somebody about
our next surprise, and then we shall know whether it is all right.'

E. S. S.



THE SLOTH.


Waterton, the famous naturalist, has told us concerning his doings with
a sloth when he was going through a forest near the River Essequibo. He
says: 'I saw a large sloth on the ground upon the bank. How he had got
there nobody could tell. My Indian said he had never surprised a sloth
in such a situation before. He could hardly have come there to drink,
for both above and below the place the branches of the trees touched the
water, and afforded him an easy and safe access to it. Be this as it
may, though the trees were not above twenty yards from him, he could not
make his way through the sand in time to escape before we landed. As
soon as we came up to him, he threw himself on his back, and defended
himself with his legs.

'"Come, poor fellow," said I to him, "if thou hast got into a hobble
to-day, thou shalt not suffer for it. I will take no advantage of thee
in misfortune. The forest is large enough both for thee and me to rove
in. Go thy way alive and enjoy thyself in the wilds; it is probable thou
wilt never have another interview with man, so fare thee well!"

'After this I took up a long stick which was lying there, held it for
him to hook on, and then conveyed him to a high and stately tree. He
ascended with wonderful rapidity, and in about a minute he was almost at
the top. He now went off in a side direction, and caught hold of the
branch of a neighbouring tree; next he went towards the heart of the
forest. I stood looking on, amazed at his singular mode of progress. I
was going to add that I never saw a sloth take to his heels in such
earnest, but the expression will not do, for the sloth has no heels.'

The Indians of Guiana declare that the sloth travels chiefly when the
wind blows. During calm weather the animal is still, but if a breeze
rises, the branches of the trees generally become interwoven, and he can
pursue his journey safely from branch to branch. Should a wind blow, as
it often does, after ten o'clock in the morning till sunset, a sloth
will manage a good distance without resting.

Seldom, unless perhaps by accident, is a sloth seen upon the ground.
There its movements do seem laborious and painful. Its home is amongst
trees, and its favourite position not on, but under, the branches. Off
the trees it obtains the various insects which are its food, and escapes
the danger of being seized by most beasts of prey. When the sloth is at
rest under a branch, it has been noticed to make a sort of purring
sound, expressing pleasure, though at times one is heard uttering a
plaintive shriek, possibly telling of discontent.

The head of the sloth is small and round. It is well clothed with shaggy
hair, and the fore-legs are long and strong. While quite young, the
little sloth is carried about by its mother.



THE NIGHT BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY.


  The longest night--so people say--
  Follows the short December day;
  And if by hours you count the night,
  Then surely what they say is right.

  But years, and years, and years ago,
  When I was very young, you know,
  The longest night, I'm bound to say,
  Followed the shortest month's last day.

  _That_ night I always lay awake,
  And longed to see the morning break,
  And sunshine through the window burst,
  For I was born on March the First.

  I heard the big clock--stiff and stark--
  Sedately ticking in the dark,
  And when I murmured: 'Hurry, _do_!'
  It made reply by chiming 'Two.'

  And on from hour to hour it seemed
  I dozed, I waked, I thought and dreamed
  Of pleasures mine--an endless sum--
  If March the First would ever come.

  And yet the morning's earliest peep
  Would always find me fast asleep:
  So fast asleep that at my door
  They called and called me o'er and o'er.

  So, since that time I've learned, my dear,
  The longest night in all the year
  Is that on which we lie awake,
  Impatient for the dawn to break.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 87._)

CHAPTER V.


'Where's Estelle?' cried Alan, bursting into the schoolroom at the Moat
House a few days later. 'I'm so sorry, Mademoiselle, for startling you
like that, but I thought Estelle was sure to be here.'

'She has gone to the Bridge House,' answered Mademoiselle, with an
indulgent smile.

She was quite prepared for any amount of interruption and noise during
the holidays, since Alan always brought a lively, breezy air with him,
in his delight at being home again, and free from school work.

'Estelle is taking some grapes and roses to Dick Peet,' continued
Mademoiselle. 'He seemed very weak and poorly when we passed yesterday,
and she has so wanted to do something for him. He's a sad wreck, poor
fellow!'

'Poor chap! It's hard lines on him. I will cut down and catch Estelle
before she leaves the Bridge House.'

He was off, and Mademoiselle heard his fleet steps in the corridor a
moment. Then she saw him going at full speed down the drive, so brimming
over with health and spirits, so keen in the enjoyment of life and
activity, with a future before him so rose-coloured and fortunate, that
she could not but contrast him with that poor broken specimen of
humanity, Richard Peet, the gardener's son. A contrast to him, indeed,
were the children as they stood together in the little garden at the
Bridge House. Dick, seated in his armchair, was looking at them in his
peaceful, half-sleepy way. A handsome fellow he must have been in the
days of health and prosperity. Even now, though he was paralysed in
brain as well as in limbs, there was a wonderful expression of goodness
and patience in his worn face.

'Are you well to-day?' asked little Georgie, putting his hand on the
invalid's knee, and looking up into his face with his blue eyes full of
childish sympathy.

Dick smiled. Getting better every day,' replied he, in the indistinct
accents of the partially paralysed.

Estelle was arranging her flowers on the little table at his side, and
Marjorie had gone to speak to Mrs. Peet.

The house was close to the old drawbridge, and its garden sloped down to
the waters of the moat. Shining like silver in the bright sunshine, the
waterlilies were resting on their broad leaves, and two swans were
sailing in stately beauty. The summer sun had banished all signs of the
thunderstorm, and Dick's chair had been placed near the elms overhanging
the water. It was a pretty, well-kept garden, and a very old-world
house, with a deep porch, overgrown with honeysuckle and clematis--a
home not to be despised by any one. The rooms were of good size and well
furnished, and everything had been done which could make Dick happy and
comfortable in his misfortune.

'Better!' said Mrs. Peet, who came down the lawn with Marjorie, and had
heard Dick's reply to Georgie's question, 'It's not the sort of getting
better that _we_ understand. He is a bit weaker, if anything. Perhaps
'tis the heat tries him. My poor Dick!' she went on, putting her apron
to her eyes, 'he will never be better in this world, that's what I says,
though it does make his father angry.'

'Is he angry?' said Estelle. 'Why?

'He thinks it is hard on us, is poor Dick's illness. It _is_ hard! But
it seems to me we have much to be thankful for, specially in my lady's
goodness to us in our affliction.'

'I think it's worse for Dick than for any one else,' declared Alan, who
had joined the group; he could not imagine a more terrible life than the
one of utter helplessness to which Dick was condemned.

'So it is,' returned Mrs. Peet, with a heavy sigh, as she gazed at her
son with tears in her eyes, 'and he is so patient! Why, you never so
much as hear a grumble, nor a fret! Now, what do you think his great
wish is--what he is always wanting, miss?'

'If it is anything we can do---- ' began Marjorie.

'That it isn't, miss, nor nobody else. He wants some news of the man
what done him the mischief. Dick's that soft. And--and, well, he is an
angel. His father don't understand it, but Dick has really forgiven that
man. He's downright anxious to hear how that rascal's been getting on.'

'Why should he care about that?' said Alan, who knew very little of
Dick's story.

'He's afraid that the man thinks he's killed him, and that perhaps he's
made wickeder than he was before,' answered Mrs. Peet, shaking her head.
'He said he'd die satisfied if he could hear that the fellow had
repented.'

'Perhaps he will some day,' said Estelle, looking with pity at Dick's
face.

''Tisn't likely, Miss. We shall never be likely to meet Dick's enemy;
don't you believe it! But it pleases him to think he will, so I don't
gainsay him.'

'I shall hope he will,' returned Estelle, as her cousins made a move to
go back to the gardens.

The children were to have tea on the lawn with Lady Coke, and they could
see preparations even now being made for it. They did not often have
such a treat: Lady Coke, sweet and loving as she always was to her
great-nephews and nieces, was too old and delicate to indulge in their
companionship for very long at a time. The children were on their
quietest behaviour with her, but the little voices tired her
unconsciously, and she would not spare herself while they were with her.

Lord Lynwood, Estelle's father, and Colonel De Bohun were brothers and
nephews to Lady Coke, while Mrs. De Bohun was the niece of Sir Horace
Coke, Lady Coke's husband, who had died many years ago. This close
relationship on both sides, and the nearness of the two properties, made
the two households almost like one. Colonel and Mrs. De Bohun were
deeply attached to their aunt, and glad to take counsel with her in the
bringing up of their children. Lady Coke, in her turn, was very
dependent upon them for companionship, her own sons being away on
foreign service.

A merry party the children made. The laughter and chatter were as free
and happy as Aunt Betty loved to hear it. The adventure in the tower
appeared to interest them more than anything else, and very wild were
the guesses as to what the man could have wanted. But when Aunt Betty
ventured to express some admiration for Thomas' bravery, to her
astonishment she was met by silence on the part of the two greatest
talkers, Alan and Marjorie. The latter almost at once turned the subject
by asking how Aunt Betty supposed the man managed to escape. Aunt Betty
had no ideas to suggest. Alan frowned at Marjorie, but she went on quite
serenely.

'Do you know, Auntie, what the summer-house contains? Peet keeps the
place locked up as if he had something of value there. I wish you would
let us go and see. Father says it is dangerous because of the falling of
stones from the roof, but if it is safe for Peet, and the stones don't
crash down on his head, why should they on ours?'

'I think it would be a good lesson if they did knock him over for once,'
said Alan, grimly.

'I know he is trying at times,' said Lady Coke, in her soft, gentle
voice, 'but he is a sterling old man all the same, and it is a pity you
cannot let him alone.'

'He won't let us alone, Aunt Betty,' said Alan, 'and he is cheeky too. I
suppose we do worry him a bit,' he added, as recollections came to him
of the havoc made with the tidy paths, or the injury to shrubs when
hunting for lost balls after games of tennis.

'We went to see Dick just now,' said Estelle, 'and oh, Auntie, what a
dreadful thing it seems that he should have become like that! Mrs. Peet
told us a little about him, and how good he is.'

'Perhaps,' answered Lady Coke, 'you would all feel more kindly towards
Peet if I were to tell you how sadly he has suffered. Almost as much as
his son, only in another way.'

(_Continued on page 102._)

[Illustration: "'Are you well to-day?' asked Georgie."]

[Illustration: "Charlie Eccles half lay, half sat upon the ground."]



ROUND THE CAMP FIRE.

III.--IN THE JAWS OF DEATH.

(_Concluded from page 83._)


'I waited a moment (continued Denison) in order to give the shikari time
to recover himself. I can tell you that I was not feeling at that moment
much more cheerful than the poor fellow himself, who had evidently
witnessed some terrible calamity to my poor friend, Charlie Eccles. I
waited on tenterhooks; then I could bear the suspense no longer.'

'Did the tiger then spring upon the Sahib and kill him?' I faltered.
'Where is the Sahib's body?'

'Alas!' said the shikari, 'who can tell! Listen, Protector of the Poor.
The Sahib Eccles shrieked, for the great yellow beast--may he lead a
life of pain!--sprang upon him, as you say. The Sahib's bullet had
struck but not killed him. He bore the Sahib to the earth, and lay for a
moment upon him, the Sahib crying out once and twice again. With the
Sahib's second gun I fired into the body of the beast, but whether I hit
him or not I cannot say, for all was confusion and dust and terror, and
also there was the fear lest the bullet should strike the Sahib. Then,
in a moment, the tiger had disappeared, and the Sahib also. There was
none to see, for these other men, the beaters, had quickly taken flight
at the sound of the roar of the tiger, and, as for me, I must confess
that, for a moment, after shooting at the beast, I turned my back upon
the animal, fearing lest he should now fall upon me. When I looked
again--it was but a few seconds later--both tiger and Sahib had, as I
say, disappeared; therefore I made no doubt that the savage brute seized
the Sahib Eccles and carried him into the jungle. Alas! there is no
doubt that he is dead. This is an evil tiger, an eater of men. There is
no hope that the poor Sahib is still alive.'

I listened to the shikari's narrative in speechless horror. It was
difficult to realise that he had spoken of Charlie Eccles, my old school
friend; that this tale he had just told me was of Charlie's death; and
that his death had happened within an hour or so, and might have been
prevented if I had arrived but a single day, or even half a day,
earlier.

'Shikari, this is a dreadful tale you have told me,' I groaned. 'If you
have told me the truth, and not lied in order to hide your own
cowardice, the Sahib Eccles is probably dead. This, however, must be
ascertained immediately, and his body must be found and brought in. You
will guide me at once to the spot, and we shall follow upon the tiger's
tracks.'

'Into the jungle, Sahib!' exclaimed the shikari. 'Upon the track of a
wounded tiger! Then we are lost men, both of us.'

'At any rate, if you are a coward, and dare not help me to seek your
master, you shall at least show me where he was seized, and I will go
alone.'

The shikari, though evidently a nervous man, was no coward. He pulled
himself together.

'I will go with the Sahib,' he said. 'It shall not be spoken of me that
there was a thing of which I was afraid. The Sahib will allow me to
carry this second rifle of the Sahib Eccles?'

'Of course. You have answered well, shikari; it shall be said that you
are a brave man. Take the rifle and come, for this is a matter that
cannot wait.'

So we set out for the place where poor Eccles had lost his life, some
two or three miles from the bungalow, and my heart was heavy as lead as
I tramped along with the shikari at my side, recalling many scenes in
which old Charlie had been my companion at school and at Oxford and in
after-life. I scarcely thought of the extreme danger of the enterprise
upon which the shikari and I were now engaged, my mind being otherwise
occupied; but when we came near the place, and the native, looking
frightened and positively trembling as he spoke, whispered that here,
within twenty-five yards, was the spot where the tiger had sprung upon
the Sahib, I suddenly realised that we were about to meet a crisis in
our lives.

'Have your rifle ready,' I whispered back, 'and look all ways at once.
If you see the tiger, fire at the same instant.'

We reached the spot where the scuffle had taken place. The grass was
trampled and broken, and there were marks of a struggle. A yard or two
further on lay Charlie's helmet, with puggaree attached, and a scrap of
his clothing fluttered in the midst of a thorny bush, through which, I
suppose, he had been dragged. The jungle became denser at this point
with every step forward, and we advanced inch by inch, very slowly, very
cautiously, feeling that we carried our lives in our hands, for a
wounded tiger lying hid in the cover, with so much energy left in him as
this beast presumably still possessed, since he had carried Charlie's
body away with him, is one of the most dangerous things that a man can
face. I need not tell you fellows that, however, both of you being
experienced hunters. Probably, being wounded, the tiger would not travel
far. Of course, there was only the shikari's word for it that he _was_
wounded; but, in any case, being burdened with the body of a
twelve-stone man, he would not go further than he need. So we crept
slowly forward.

It, was a gruesome experience. To tell the truth, I was almost more
afraid that I should suddenly come upon the body of poor Eccles lying
across our pathway, than of hearing the terrible roar of the wounded
tiger and seeing him crouch to spring upon us. Expecting him, as I did,
at every second, it would be hard if I could not get in my shot before
he could get in his spring.

The track was easily followed. A great beast cannot drag another large
creature through grass and plants of all kinds without leaving behind
pretty evident signs of his passing. We had gone forward--creeping
almost as noiselessly as snakes--some quarter of a mile, scarcely more,
when suddenly the most astonishing thing happened that ever I
experienced.

Not fifty yards from the place in which we then stood, as it happened,
listening for any sound which might reveal the whereabouts of the tiger,
a shot suddenly rang out, instantly followed by a kind of sound, half
roar, half moan; then came the noise of a scuffle, the crashing of
twigs, a few gasping coughs--then silence.

'Shikari,' I cried aloud, scarcely knowing in my excitement what I said,
'it is the Sahib! Come!' I dashed forward. 'Charlie--Charlie Eccles!' I
yelled, 'is it you? I am Ralph!'

A feeble cheer replied to my shout. The next moment a remarkable
spectacle opened itself out before us.

Charlie Eccles half lay, half sat upon the ground--pale, tattered, but
smiling; a few feet away lay upon its side the body of an enormous
tiger. I sprang forward. 'Don't touch me, old chap,' said Charlie, 'I
feel as if I was broken all over!'--then he fainted.

Well, except a couple of broken ribs and some nasty gashes and
scratches, there was nothing seriously the matter, and with the help of
a litter and half-a-dozen natives summoned by the shikari, we got him
home to the bungalow without further damage. There he told me his story.
The tiger had been wounded, but not seriously, by his first shot. The
shikari fired and missed. Then the beast had seized him by the shoulder,
which was lacerated, and had dragged him to this place. Charlie had
clung to his rifle, and upon reaching the spot where we had found him,
the tiger laid him down and rested. Fortunately the pain of his wound
had rendered the brute disinclined to eat. He stood over him for nearly
half an hour, listening, licking his wound, and growling. Charlie lay
still as death, for he knew that if he moved a finger he would be slain
that instant. After half an hour the brute left him and lay a few yards
away, but in such a position that Charlie could not fire a fatal shot;
he therefore waited in hopes that he would change his attitude. The
tiger lay and attended to his wound for a full hour or more, and Eccles
waited patiently.

At last--just before we arrived--the tiger shifted, presenting his side
and shoulder, and Charlie, pointing his rifle with the utmost care, for
he knew his life depended upon the shot, pulled trigger.

'I think,' Ralph concluded, 'that evening in the Dâk Bungalow was about
the happiest I ever spent. The doctor had been summoned from the camp at
Bandapore and had pronounced Charlie Eccles to be progressing
excellently. You may imagine how happy I must have felt after my fears.
You may imagine, also, what a hero Charlie was among the natives after
his exploit. Of course my friend the shikari, in telling them the story,
made out that the chief honours were his, but he was good enough to
admit that the Sahib behaved also like a brave man, and probably his
hearers, knowing each other's little ways, distributed the honours
pretty fairly.'



ABOUT TOPIARIES.


What is a topiary? If you have never been in one, you may have seen one
represented by some artist who draws scenes that show us gardens or
shrubberies of bygone days. Perhaps you may at least have been in some
old-fashioned garden, which had one or more trees of odd shapes, into
which they had been cut and trained years ago. When a number of such
trees are growing together, the place is called a topiary, and lately
people who can afford the money have been contriving topiaries in some
parts of their grounds. Gardeners who understand how to make trees
resemble the human figure, or different animals, or other objects, can
usually get plenty of employment.

We read about sculptured hedges as far back as the times of the Tudors;
it was chiefly the yew hedge that people cut and shaped into odd
figures. But it was not till the Dutch gardeners came over in the reign
of William III., that it became the practice to give curious shapes to
trees and shrubs scattered over gardens, or brought together into a
topiary. Various trees were used, but chiefly yew and box.

The Dutch were fond of making figures out of trees, and so were the
Italians. At Savona, a traveller tells us that he saw a group
representing the flight of Joseph into Egypt, formed of variegated
holly, box, myrtle, laurel, and cypress. The poet Pope alluded to the
Duke who owned the splendid estate of Canons, as a nobleman who had

  'Trees cut to statues, statues thick as trees,'

and he remarks that he was shown, in greenery, Adam, Eve, and the
serpent, but the figures were damaged somewhat. All such figures need
attention to keep them in order. There are many about England that are
of good age, and may last some years yet; though, of course, these trees
may be injured by wind or heavy rain. Shrubs and trees are formed into
curious shapes by the help of wires, and much trimming or twisting of
the shoots is needed at first. A young tree, therefore, representing a
peacock, or some other bird, will cost four or five pounds, and
specimens that are larger may be worth many times that amount. Figures
of men, horses, bears, dogs, and various animals, including dragons, are
to be seen, as well as letters of the alphabet, triangles, or other
inanimate objects, some trees being cleverly made to look like jugs,
bottles, and bowls. Occasionally, a singular change has been made in a
tree; thus, what was a boy with a rake, by a little alteration becomes a
soldier carrying a rifle.

When taking a country stroll, we may sometimes come upon a specimen of a
tree-sculptor's art in a wayside cottage garden, perhaps two hundred
years old. One of the finest topiaries in England is in the grounds of
Levens Hall, Westmoreland, and the Earl of Harrington has a notable one
at Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire.



A GENEROUS ACT.


The sons of a great landowner were permitted by their father to
associate with the poor boys in the neighbourhood. One day, when they
had to return home to dinner, a lad who was playing with them said he
would wait till they returned.

'There is no dinner for me at home,' said the poor boy.

'Come with us, then,' said the others.

The boy refused, and when they asked him if he had any money to buy a
dinner, he answered 'No.'

When the boys got home the eldest of them said to his father, 'Father,
what was the price of the silver buckles you gave me yesterday?'

'Five shillings,' was the reply.

'Then please give me the money, and I will give you the buckles again.'

This was done accordingly, and the father, inquiring privately, found
that the money was given to the lad who had no dinner.



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

IV.--THE LIFE HISTORY OF THE CRAB.


The more we study the living creatures around us the more wonderful they
become; and in many ways this is especially true of what we may call the
little people of the lower world. Most of us regard the crab as a
creature good to eat, or, in the case of some of the smaller kinds, as
something to be hunted for in rock-pools at the seaside; but only a very
few appear to know anything of the crab in its infancy.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Young Crab: first stage.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Young Crab: second stage.]

What we may call the childhood of the crab makes a really curious story.
Boys and girls, until they are quite grown up, are, as a rule at any
rate, carefully nursed and shielded from the hardships of life; but with
the young crab it is otherwise. From the moment of its birth it is
called upon to enter life's battle alone; of brothers and sisters,
mother and father and home, it knows nothing. And such a tiny little
mite it is, too, needing a microscope to see it. Stranger still, at this
early period of life it is not the least bit like a crab; for a crab, as
most of us know it, is a creature with a shell broader than it is long,
and long legs, and a pair of pincers which can give a most painful nip
to unguarded fingers. As a youngster, however, he presents a very
different appearance, as may be seen in fig. 1. That is what he looks
like just after leaving the egg--a creature with a huge eye, a big round
body, and a long, slender tail--a sort of compromise between a crab and
a lobster, but without the familiar legs and pincers.

A little later he assumes a form which is certainly fantastic, for from
the top of the shell (as you will see in fig. 2) there grows out a long,
curved spine, while the legs have taken a shape suggesting jointed
paint-brushes. Later still the eyes grow out from the head and are
supported on short stalks, the legs and pincers appear, and lastly the
long tail curls up, till at last it grows into a curious three-cornered
shield and is carried tucked away under the body. As soon as this takes
place he becomes at once the crab with which we are familiar, and
changes no more except in size.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Last stage of Crab's Infancy: back view.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Side view of Fig. 3.]

The strange flap hinged to the hinder edge of the body of the adult
crab, and held close to its under surface, really answers to the long
body of the lobster. To make this clear, look at the series of figures 3
to 6: fig. 3 shows the back view of the last stage of the crab's
infancy, and fig. 4 a side view of the same, where you will note that
the tail is already beginning to curl up. In fig. 5 you have the under
side of the full-grown crab with all that remains of the hinder part of
the body and the tail in the position in which it is carried during
life, and in fig. 6 the upper side with the tail showing as if it were
unfolded. If you compare figs. 5 and 6 with fig. 7 (a lobster), you can
see that the hinder part of the body of the crab, with the tail
unfolded, really does answer to that portion of the body of the lobster
which lies behind the last pair of legs.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--Full-grown Crab, under side, showing tail curled
up.]

But there are some relatives of the crab which come into the world still
earlier, and these in the early stages have a still more un-crab-like
shape which is known as the _nauplius_ stage of growth.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--Full-grown Crab, upper side, with tail
unfolded.]

The crab, on leaving the egg, enters the world not in the form of a
Nauplius, but as a 'Zoea,' as it is called; this is shown in figs. 1 and
2. By the time the stage shown in figs. 3 and 4 is reached, he has
attained the dignity of what is known among scientific men as the
_megalopa_ stage. What a nauplius looks like you will see in fig. 8.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--Lobster.]

This curious order of things is true, however, only of salt-water
members of the crab-tribe. With certain near relatives of the crabs and
lobsters which have taken up their residence in fresh water, a different
order of things prevails, for here we find some trace of maternal care.
Thus, in the fresh-water crayfish the young not only leave the egg in a
much more advanced stage, but they are carefully carried about by the
mother, until they have learned to shift for themselves, which they do
in a very few days. During this time they cling to the swimming legs of
the parent by means of their pincers. When all is quiet they drop off
one by one, and crawl about to gather experience and food. But at the
least sign of danger the mother appears to give some note of warning,
and in a moment they have scuttled back, and fastened hold of her
skirts, so to speak; then, if need be, she hurries off to a place of
safety. At this time these little crayfish are very tiny indeed; but to
get an idea of what they look like, and how they hold on, look at fig.
9, which gives a picture of the swimming foot of a mother crayfish, and
two of her youngsters hanging on to it.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.--Nauplius.]

[Illustration: Fig. 9.--Swimming Foot of Crayfish, with the young ones
attached.]

It would seem that this great care is necessary, because in the
swift-running streams where these creatures generally live, their young,
if uncared for during their early days, would be swept away by the tide
and carried out to sea, where they would speedily die.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.



A TALE OF BREMEN.


  Bremen was a growing city, but its ruler, hard and proud,
  Insolent in power and riches, all his humble subjects cowed,
  Till one day a bold man pleaded to the Count on bended knee:
  'Sire, for just a little season set my toiling brethren free!
  Let them leave awhile their labour, let them roam the country fair,
  Quit the close and crowded city for a breath of purer air;
  Or, perchance, their faithful service you will graciously repay,
  And a piece of ground assign them from your gardens vast and gay?'

  Frowned the Count, and answered, mocking: 'Not a little do you ask!
  Well! your prayer shall find a champion, and I'll set him just one task:
  He shall march from dawn to sunset, pacing my fair gardens round;
  All his footsteps can encircle shall be then the people's ground.'

  Morning came, the folk assembled, full of hopefulness and glee,
  But their eager eyes no other than the Count himself can see.
  Stay! there standeth one beside him, Hans the cripple, small and weak!
  'This is he,' the Count cries, scoffing, 'who shall give you what
    you seek.
  Fly! Hans, fly! Around my pleasaunce speed as quickly as you may!'
  And the cripple, smiling bravely, starts forthwith upon his way.

  All that day, from morn to even, Hans the cripple did his best,
  Walking on without cessation, pausing not for food or rest.
  Miracle both Count and people deemed the prowess he displayed,
  And the tyrant scowled in anger as he saw the progress made.
  Faint and weary, for his brethren Hans toiled on till eventide,
  Then, amid the people's cheering, knelt, and breathed a prayer, and died.

  Feudal days are gone for ever, but in Bremen's ancient town
  Tell they still of Hans the hero, who for them his life laid down.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 95._)


The children were all eager to hear the story, and a sad one it was.
They had become accustomed to see Dick half asleep in his armchair in
the garden, or before the fire at the Bridge House. They knew him to be
almost helpless, for it was only with assistance he could move, even on
his crutches. They had thought very little about his condition, however,
except for that feeling of pity which even a child experiences in the
presence of suffering. Mrs. Peet's words had roused their interest in
her son, and Lady Coke saw an opportunity for deepening the impression
she had made. It would be good in many ways for these young people to
hear that sad story. It had its lessons, and these she trusted would
sink into their young minds; they might make it more possible to feel
patient and to show more consideration for Peet, whose irritable temper,
she was forced to admit, was very trying to their high spirits.

Dick, the only child of Peet and his wife, had been a fine handsome lad,
with an unusual amount of brains, and with, what is still better, a
wonderful capacity for really hard work. He had won all the prizes that
he could possibly compete for in the little school at Lynwood, as well
as most of the honours in the cricket and football field, for he was
quite as good at games as at books. Peet was at that time, and had been
ever since his youth, a gardener on the Earl of Lynwood's
estate--Lynwood Keep, in Scotland. He had risen through steady work to
be head gardener and bailiff. On finding himself possessed of sufficient
means to take a wife and settle down, he had married an old love of his,
a Cornish girl from the village of Newlyn, and had carried her off to
the home he had so proudly prepared for her. A very happy couple they
had been, and the birth of Dick had added a still greater happiness to
their already bright life. Peet's temper had not then become what the
sore trials and disappointments of his later life had made it. He was
contented and prosperous, and the clouds which afterwards darkened his
existence had not so much as sent the tiniest little messenger before
them to tell of their coming.

As Dick grew older, and showed of what true, strong metal he was made,
his parents' pride in him became greater than they could quite conceal.
A certain amount of envy and ill-will was the natural result. Dick
himself was not in the least conceited. None knew so well as he how hard
it was to restrain a naturally hasty temper, to give up the games he
loved for the work he did not, to labour as thoroughly at the subjects
he disliked or took no interest in as at those he liked. But he had grit
enough to determine he would not thus lose the battle of life in the
beginning of it, and step by step the habit of overcoming difficulties
prevailed.

He rose steadily and surely over the heads of his school-fellows,
gaining prize after prize, until there was nothing more to win either in
places or rewards.

Having by this time laid by enough to enable him to retire from work,
Peet allowed himself to be persuaded by his brother-in-law to take a
small cottage at Newlyn. This brother-in-law, captain of a merchant
vessel, offered at the same time to give his clever nephew a berth on
board his own ship, a barque trading between England and Australia. It
would be a good opening for the lad, and offered him a fair prospect of
advancement in life, should he choose to stick to the sea afterwards as
a profession. If not, no harm would be done. On the contrary, Dick would
have passed through some experiences which could not fail to be useful
to him, whatever line he might prefer to follow later on.

Much to Lord Lynwood's regret, therefore, Peet resolved to take the
advice thus offered him, and, resigning his post at Lynwood, took his
family to Newlyn. Delighted as Dick was at the bright future opening
before him, he was as sad at parting with his old friends and companions
as they were at losing the most brilliant scholar and athlete the school
had ever known. His warm-hearted, unaffected manner had made him a
general favourite, in spite of the fact that his ability had not failed
to arouse envy and dislike in some.

Dick took to the sea like a duck to water. He set himself to learn his
work and become 'handy' with a zeal that soon made him a smart sailor.
He managed, also, in spite of all he had to do, to carry on his own
education by reading whenever he could. There were other apprentices
besides himself on board, and he was treated with exactly the same
discipline as they, no favouritism being shown or desired. He preferred
to share like the others, and there was nothing in his behaviour, or in
the treatment he received, which could have led any stranger to suppose
he was the skipper's nephew. Nevertheless, his talents soon became
evident. He was always the one to whom a difficult job could be safely
trusted; and this came out more clearly when he went up for his second
mate's certificate, which he gained with so much ease as to raise some
jealousy among his fellow-apprentices. This was increased when it became
known that Dick had been offered a berth as fourth officer in a
well-known line of steamers.

His usual success followed him in his new career. Hard work, an even
temper, and the well-kept resolution to educate himself by steady
reading were good preparations for his next examination for a first
mate's certificate, for which he went up at the earliest possible
opportunity. But, alas! the cloud had already risen in the hitherto
sunny skies of his life. He passed the examination with his usual
success. The certificate was duly signed, and, happy that he could carry
it down to his parents, he looked out the train to Penzance. Finding
that he had an hour or so to spare, he went to an inn to snatch a meal
before he started off on his long journey.

He had partaken of many a meal in that same inn. It was close to the
Board of Trade offices, and he had met many another merchant sailor in
the same dingy rooms, and had discussed the prospects of the service
with them gladly. As he entered it on that day, happy and cheerful, with
his future looking brilliant and rosy before him, he little imagined how
near was the end of all his hopes. Such a small thing had turned the
tide! Only that fatal decision to go to the inn to which he had been so
often before, and pass the time till his train started! Others were
taking their lunch there, but the number was smaller than usual; perhaps
it was yet early for the rush. Dick sat at a side-table, reading over
his certificate as he ate his modest meal.

So far all is clear. After this the account became so confused and
contradictory that the actual truth was never known. After a good deal
of sifting, the following facts were accepted as the best version of
what must have taken place. According to the landlord's tale, most of
the guests had left, Dick and another sailor being either the sole
remaining men in the room, or nearly so. They were lunching at the same
table, and were apparently good friends. He did not remember that there
were any others. He and the waiters happened to be in the pantry for a
few minutes; he was sure it was not longer, when they were startled by
the sound of a fall, followed by the loud bang of the outer door. On
rushing in to find out the cause of the disturbance, they found Dick
lying insensible on the floor, with a severe wound on the back of the
head, evidently inflicted by the heavy knobbed stick discovered near
him. There was no clue as to what had given rise to the quarrel. The
wounded man's certificate being on his plate, and open, as if it had
just been read, it was imagined that a sudden fit of rage and jealousy
must have led his companion to the terrible deed.

The police and the doctor were at once sent for. A thorough search was
made for the culprit, but, as no one specially remembered him, he made
good his escape. From that day no trace of him was ever discovered, and
the whole affair gradually dropped out of recollection.

Meantime, Dick was taken to the nearest hospital, where for a long time
his life was despaired of. Having found the address of his parents, the
hospital authorities telegraphed for them, and they were allowed to be
with him as much as possible. As may be imagined, grief and terror
filled their hearts when the telegram reached them. There was no time to
dwell on their sorrow, for Dick's condition took up all their thoughts.
The report of the doctors filled them with even deeper grief and
anxiety. They declared it would have been better for the poor fellow if
he had been killed outright. The blow had been so severe that the brain
and spine were both injured. Even if he lived for years, he would never
again walk; in all probability, he would never again understand or speak
properly.

Dick did get better, however, and, as soon as he was fit, was taken down
to Newlyn. Every care and attention were given him with the hope of
proving that the doctors were mistaken. But, alas! in vain. It was a
long, expensive illness. The little home, so full of comfort and
happiness, the pride of Peet's heart--full, as it was too, of Dick's
strange and beautiful things, relics of his voyages--all had to go: sold
to meet the bills of the doctors, and to buy things which were needed
for the invalid. Brought to a very low ebb by this terrible affliction,
and not knowing where all the money was to come from to pay the demands
made upon him--too proud to ask help from even his own brother--Peet
resolved to go back to work again. He applied to his old master, Lord
Lynwood; there being no vacancies at Lynwood, however, the Earl wrote to
his aunt, Lady Coke, whose head gardener had died but a short time
before, and who, he knew, was looking out for a capable man to replace
him.

Such a berth as he found at the Moat House Peet might have searched the
world in vain to discover. Lady Coke's sympathy was at once roused on
hearing of his sorrows, and from her he accepted kindnesses which would
have been an offence from anybody else.

(_Continued on page 110._)

[Illustration: "Dick lying insensible upon the floor."]

[Illustration: "One at a time, they found themselves pinioned."]



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

IV.--A GREAT SEA CAPTAIN.


[Illustration]

Once more our tale begins in the city of Lisbon, but now it is on a
summer day in the year 1497, when the banks of the Tagus were thronged
with those who had come to give God-speed to the gallant captain Vasco
da Gama, sailing to-morrow for 'the Indies.'

This was the age of great sailors and discoverers. Ten years before,
Bartolomeo Diaz had rounded the southern point of Africa. 'The Stormy
Cape' he called it; the 'Cape of Good Hope,' as his rejoicing countrymen
would have it, when he came home with the news. A few years later,
Columbus, sailing westward, set up the flag of Spain upon the shores of
a new world. And now Manoel, the young King of Portugal, was all on fire
to finish what Diaz had begun, and to earn for his country the glory of
finding the way round the Cape to India, the mysterious land of which
such wonderful tales were told. He could have found no fitter man for
the work than the captain who knelt to-day in the little church above
the river to pray for success in his perilous undertaking. Absolutely
fearless, quick-witted, and prompt in action, delighting in danger and
adventure, and indomitable in perseverance, Vasco da Gama was a brave
leader of men, and he had himself chosen two companions after his own
heart, who were to command the other two ships--his brother, Paolo da
Gama, and his friend, Nicolo Coello. On his knees the captain received
from King Manoel the cross-marked flag on which he swore fidelity to his
sovereign, and then, followed by the cheers and good wishes of all
Lisbon, the good ships set sail.

Near the Canary Isles they met with such heavy weather that, for a week,
Vasco's ship, the _San Raphael_, was parted from the other two, and his
friends had nearly given him up for lost. The ship reappeared, however,
battered but safe, and the expedition waited for awhile to repair in the
Bay of St. Helena.

It was November when they sailed southward again, and now the Cape of
Storms began to prove worthy of its name. Such terrible tempests fell
upon the three ships, as they struggled along, with much ado to keep
within sight of each other, that the hearts of the crew failed them
altogether. The question began to be asked among them whether the report
of Diaz had after all been well founded, whether the sea passage really
existed, or whether the land which bounded the eastern horizon did not
go on for ever and ever until the very world's end. But when the crew of
the _San Raphael_ begged their captain to abandon the hopeless attempt,
his reply was that of the captain in the song--

  '"Now I've come so far,
  I'm not going back," says he.'

By word and example he encouraged the whole crew, now laughing at their
fears, now turning their thoughts to the triumphant return with glory
for their country, himself sharing the hardest work, and, doubtless,
making it quite clear that any man who failed him at the pinch would
find scant mercy at his hands. And, at last, the wind dropped. The land
was no longer on the eastward, the Cape of Storms had been doubled, and
from the decks of the three vessels went up the sounds of praise and
thanksgiving that the 'passage perilous' was accomplished.

But the crew of the _San Raphael_ needed yet another lesson to make them
into such a band as their captain needed for his great adventure.
According to the strange custom of that age, Vasco had on board several
convicts, who had been released from prison, where they lay under
sentence of death, that he might employ them upon any service of danger
for which he was unwilling to risk his better men. A band of criminals
who had broken their country's laws and were not likely to be troubled
with scruples, must have been a rather dangerous element among a
somewhat disaffected crew; and, as the ship sailed northward and again
met with rough weather, the convicts on board the _San Raphael_, seeing
their opportunity, began to plot treason against the captain. One after
another of the crew was won over to a plan which promised a speedy end
to the weary, dangerous voyage, and the ringleaders found means to
communicate with their friends on board the other two ships, so that all
was arranged for a general mutiny.

But there was one member of the expedition, perhaps the smallest and
least important person on board, to whom it was given to save the whole
undertaking from destruction. One of the conspirators on board the ship
_San Miguel_, had a little brother, who had been kindly treated by the
captain, Nicolo Coello, and loved him with a boy's hero-worship of a
brave man who had been good to him. Perhaps the conspirators thought the
lad too insignificant to be dangerous; at any rate, he knew the details
of the plot and told the captain of what was planned.

Coello's one thought was how to save his friend and leader. It was too
rough for him to board the _San Raphael_; the warning must be shouted
above the noise of winds and waves, and yet it must be for Da Gama's ear
alone. His only hope was in his friend's quickness of wit, and in the
perfect understanding between them. So, from the deck of his own vessel,
he shouted to the _San Raphael_ that his men were all for abandoning the
expedition, and that he was constrained to agree with them and to pray
the captain to give the word for returning. How the brave Coello must
have hated to give, even in stratagem, such craven counsel, and how
carefully he must have chosen words that might carry the double meaning
to his friend.

Coello need not have feared: Da Gama knew his brave colleague too well
to imagine that he was really thinking of retreat. Possibly he already
suspected something amiss; at any rate, he knew which of his men he
could trust, and, with their aid, he discovered the names of the
ringleaders. Then, calling the crew together on deck, he announced to
them that, acting upon the advice of his friend, the captain of the _San
Miguel_, he had decided to give up the expedition and return to
Portugal.

'But,' he continued, 'that I may not appear as a traitor before the
King, I will myself draw up an account of what we have undergone, and
those of most repute among you shall sign it, that all may see that you
hold with me in my judgment.'

The mariners agreed readily, and Da Gama, having prepared his statement,
sent for the chief men among the crew to his cabin to sign it, managing
to include among them the most dangerous of the conspirators. All
unsuspecting, down they went, leaving their companions to wonder what
had made the captain change his mind. Then came a summons from below,
more signatures were wanted, and down to the cabin went another band of
picked men.

As they crossed the threshold, one at a time, they found themselves
pinioned, and, staring round them in dismay, saw their fellow-mutineers
in irons, guarded by the loyal members of the crew. At Da Gama's order
all were marshalled on deck, and stood, sullen and powerless, before the
captain.

'Where are your instruments?' he asked sternly of the pilot, who was
among the prisoners.

Then, as the man pointed to them with his chained hands, he flung them
into the sea.

'You will use them no more,' he said; 'henceforth I will myself be pilot
to my own ship. If God sees us worthy He will guide us to our
destination, but be sure that I will never return alive to Portugal with
my purpose unfulfilled.'

That day's work made Vasco da Gama master once for all of the men who
sailed with him. He spared the lives of the conspirators after a
captivity long enough to teach them an enduring lesson, so winning their
allegiance by mercy as well as severity.

And we may like to remember that a famous colony of our own was first
sighted by Europeans on the Christmas Day of that year, 1497, and was
given its Christmas name, Natal (the 'birthday' place) by the great
Portuguese captain who, in those southern waters,

  'Did win a gallant name,
  And ruled the stormy sea.'

MARY H. DEBENHAM.



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1806.

IV.--A GOOD CONSTABLE.


A hundred years ago the streets of London were very insufficiently
guarded. Of police, as we now understand the word, there were none, but
at night the public buildings and principal thoroughfares were handed
over to the care of aged and decrepit men, called 'Charlies,' who, being
too old to work by day, were supposed to be able to take charge of the
streets by night!

These 'Charlies' were furnished with staves and lanterns, which were
often violently wrenched from them, for it was then a fashionable
amusement of wild young men of the upper classes to 'go on the
_ran-dan_,' as it was called--that is, to run up and down the
ill-lighted streets, knocking down first one old Charlie and then
another, and carrying off the staff and lantern as trophies. A young
fellow who managed to upset a wooden watch-house, with a poor old man
inside, was very proud of himself indeed, though, maybe, the old
'Charlie' was meanwhile being almost suffocated to death with the
watch-house on the top of him.

Besides 'guarding' the streets, these old watchmen had to announce each
hour as it struck, and to give the news of the weather; thus: '_Past one
o'clock and a windy morning!_' Once, when many Londoners were expecting
an earthquake, which had been prophesied for that day, some jesters,
returning from a noisy tavern-meeting, frightened the householders by
calling out, as they passed along the streets, 'Past twelve o'clock, and
a fine earthquake!'

It is needless to say that robbery and ill-doings of all kinds were of
nightly occurrence, and no decent person was in the streets of the City
after dusk except by necessity, for neither life nor property was safe
from the ruffians who then roamed about.

So things went on until the time came when Mr. John Sewell, a
bookseller, was appointed Constable for the Ward of Cornhill. He was a
very energetic man, who had long been ashamed of the state of the City
streets, and he determined, now that he was in office, to try and
introduce some reforms. The first thing he decided upon was to serve as
constable in person, instead of providing substitutes, which had been
always done by former Head Constables.

His friends were shocked at the idea of a respectable bookseller acting
as a common constable, but Mr. Sewell was not to be moved from his
purpose, assuring them 'that the office of Constable was of too much
importance to be executed by every one.'

He first of all put a stop altogether to the wooden watch-houses which
were wheeled out every night, and placed against the Bank and other
public buildings, and, instead, converted the back room of his shop into
a guard-room. Here he and many of his friends would keep watch, when his
turn for service came round, which was every fourth night, and they
would go the rounds of his ward, seeing that every man was in his proper
place. Mr. Sewell so arranged his men that every house in his ward was
passed by one of them four times in the hour, and he would constantly
pay surprise visits to be sure that all were attentive to their duties.

The public executions were his next care, for hangings were in that day,
alas! of weekly occurrence. Instead of the ribald scenes and unseemly
jokes which accompanied the progress of the unfortunate wretches to
Tyburn, Mr. Sewell insisted that a solemn decency should now mark these
processions. He had his watchmen dressed in long cloaks, with crape on
their hats, which he provided at his own expense; and then, as they
marched slowly, two and two, he himself led the procession from Newgate
Prison to Holborn Bars, where his authority ended.

[Illustration: "Managed to upset a wooden watch-house."]

It is also interesting, in these days of naval volunteers, to find that
Mr. Sewell started a 'Proposal for a Marine Voluntary Association for
Manning the Ancient and Natural Defences of Old England.'

Altogether, this old Cornhill bookseller was a wonderful man, and might
have lived in this day instead of a hundred years ago.

[Illustration: "Scores of angry bees came buzzing round her."]



OLIVE AND THE BEES.


'I mean to make a study of bees!' said Olive, in an important manner, as
she looked up from a big book on natural history which she had been
reading for the last ten minutes. 'Listen to this, Charlie,' she went
on, addressing her elder brother, who was arranging his fishing tackle;
'it says here, "To such as have leisure, and are desirous of amusement,
we know of no study which promises a greater degree of satisfaction." I
have plenty of leisure these holidays, and I mean to be like Hüber, and
study bees, and find out wonderful things about them. He was blind, you
know, and as I am not blind, I ought to find out a lot more than he
did!' Olive finished up, complacently.

Charlie, however, far from being impressed with this speech, only burst
out laughing. 'You _are_ conceited!' he exclaimed; 'to think that you,
at twelve years of age, are going to beat Hüber, who spent a life-time
in studying bees! However, there is no doubt you _will_ learn something
from them, and by the time you have been well stung you will be able to
describe some of their habits,' and he laughed again.

'I shall not be stung,' said Olive calmly; 'bees are wonderfully
intelligent little creatures'--here she was again quoting from the big
book--'and they will understand that I have no wish to hurt them, but am
only studying their ways.'

'And one of their ways is to sting inquisitive folk,' said Charlie. 'Let
me advise you to have Mary's blue-bag handy--the thing she uses on
washing-days, you know. Nothing like it for the sting of an angry bee!'
and picking up his fishing-rod, Charlie walked away to the river.

It was the first summer that Olive had spent in the country, and all its
sights and scenes were new to her. So now, rejoicing in the freedom of
being able to roam about without her hat or jacket, she ran lightly out
of the low French window of the sitting-room, and down the path towards
a large clump of lemon-coloured foxgloves.

'The bees were in and out of these foxgloves yesterday,' she said, as
she stooped over the bed. 'Ah, yes! here is one--buried quite deep in
the flower. I must have that bee,' and taking out her handkerchief, she
threw it over the flower, and caught the bee in its folds, carrying it
in triumph towards the hives, which stood on a shelf under a sunny wall
by the high garden gate.

'Now then, dear bee,' said Olive, loosing the bee with all the calmness
of ignorance, 'here is your hive; let me see you go in with your load of
honey.'

Bees, however, are not creatures to be trifled with, and this one did
not mean to go to its hive with its honey-bags only half full. Instead,
it turned fiercely on Olive and stung her sharply on the hand.

'Oh! oh! it hurts!' she screamed, and hurrying away, she accidentally
upset the straw cover of a hive. Instantly, scores of angry bees came
buzzing round her, and Olive ran as she had never run before. But she
did not escape without several severe stings, and she was all but
fainting with pain and terror when she at last reached the kitchen door
and slammed it behind her.

Fortunately, Mary was there, and at once applied the blue-bag, which
eased the pain of the stings greatly.

'I only wanted to study the bees,' sobbed Olive, 'and I never meant to
offend them, and make them sting me.'

'You had better study obedience, Miss, and leave the bees alone,' said
Mary curtly. 'I told you only yesterday to keep away from the hives. If
you want to study bees, get the old bee-master to tell you how to set
about it.'

Some weeks later, Olive had an opportunity of watching the bee-master
when he removed the honey from the hives. He did not get stung, though
the bees were all round him, and Olive could not help admiring the
fearless way he went to work.

Charlie was right. Olive did learn something from the bees, and one of
her lessons was humility. She did not again think she knew all about a
subject after reading of the wonderful discoveries of men who had given
a life-time to it.



PERHAPS.


  Before the dustman comes to me
    As in my bed I lie,
  All sorts of curious things I see
    Up in my nursery high.

  I see the little curly flames
    Jump upwards from the fire;
  I think they must be playing games,
    They never seem to tire.

  And now and then one leaps so high
    That all the ceiling glows:
  Quite suddenly it seems to die--
    I wonder where it goes.

  Sometimes out in the street I hear
    The tinkle of a bell,
  It's first far off, and then quite near;
    It's passing, I can tell;

  And then I see a narrow line
    Of light quite slowly crawl
  Across the ceiling, till its shine
    Stops as it meets the wall.

  I wonder how it comes, and why,
    And where it was before,
  And where it's gone to now, when I
    Can't see it any more.

  Perhaps I'll meet them in my dream,
    Those curly flames so odd,
  And see the little narrow gleam
    Light up the Land of Nod.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 103._)

CHAPTER VI.


'Have they ever found the man who injured Dick?' asked Alan, as Lady
Coke's story came to an end.

'No,' replied Lady Coke sadly, 'never. Not a trace of him ever came to
light. Shall I tell you why--or perhaps one of the chief reasons
why--the search was discontinued? It is the grandest part of poor Dick's
story,' continued Aunt Betty, putting down her knitting and looking
earnestly at the children's interested faces. 'Dick alone knew who did
the cruel deed. During the delirium of illness his nurses were keenly
attentive to every word he uttered, hoping he would mention the name of
his assailant. But no! All through the dangerous fever, and all through
the suffering, he never gave the smallest hint as to who the man was, or
what the quarrel (if there had been one) was about. On recovering his
senses he made his father and mother understand, in the halting speech
which was all he could manage, that he wished to keep the name of the
man a secret; that, should he have mentioned it during his fever, he
begged they would respect his desire, and not permit the name to escape
them. 'Give him a chance,' he said. He always feared that the knowledge
of what he had done might some day drive the man to desperation, and
make him become more wicked through horror at his own action.'

'Don't his father and mother know even now who did it?' asked Georgie,
with wide-open eyes of wonder.

'No, as Dick never told them, they will not press him to do so against
his will.'

'I could have understood it,' said Alan, 'if the man had fought him
fairly, face to face. But to set on him unawares! That's what the
scoundrel seems to have done!'

'Yet Dick forgives him!' replied his aunt, gently.

'I don't think,' said Marjorie, 'that Dick is quite right all the same.
It is fair enough that Dick should forgive injuries to himself if he
chooses, but it is hardly just to his father and mother not to have that
man punished as he ought to be.'

'I can't see how it would help Peet even if the man were caught' said
Estelle, thoughtfully. 'If he is a sailor, he would not have enough
money to pay any of Dick's doctor's bills. I thought sailors were so
poor, Aunty?'

'They generally are, dear, and most probably this man was. We know
nothing about him, however, nor what it was that led to the terrible
thing he did. Let us hope, as Dick does, that the unhappy fellow has
repented.'

'Then he would have to come back to say so,' said Alan.

'I don't know that. First, he may think he has killed Dick, and be
afraid to show himself. Or he may not be able to find Dick now that Peet
has left Cornwall, without betraying why he was inquiring for him. A
deeply repentant man would give himself up to justice, certainly; that
is, one would think so. But we know absolutely nothing to help us in our
judgment of him, and can but hope and pray for him as Dick does.'

Lady Coke was silent for some moments, then, with a smile, she said:
'Now we have talked enough. Go and have your play, my dears.'

'I like what you said, Aunt Betty,' said Alan, as they all got up, and
prepared to set off on their games; 'and I, for one, mean to try to
follow Dick's example, and be as good as he is.'

       *       *       *       *       *

The story of Dick's misfortune had greatly excited the sympathy of the
children. Alan and the two girls allowed Peet's caustic remarks to pass
without reply. They even tried to avoid annoying him by a too free use
of the lawns and shrubberies. Georgie, whose youthful fancy had soared
to greater heights of pity and sympathy, had at once glorified Peet into
a hero, and, to the wonder of the gardener, would stand staring at him
with respectful admiration. One day, unfortunately, his feelings
carried him so far as to make him offer to help his former enemy in some
work in the hothouses, over which Peet appeared to be very busy.

'There's no way for you to help me,' was the gardener's surly answer,
'except by taking yourself off, Master Georgie. Children ought not to be
about when there's serious work going on.'

Peet's hero-stage passed away on the spot. Georgie was deeply hurt, and
came to the decision that Aunt Betty had been taken in. Peet was not at
all the person she thought him. He was nothing but a very disagreeable,
rude old man, and he wished that his aunt would 'send him away.'

Nevertheless, Peet _had_ improved. It was not all imagination on the
part of the children. Lady Coke had sent for him after her talk with the
young people, and the result of the interview was good for all parties.
Peet's chief reason for soreness, as regarded the three children from
Begbie Hall, was that they made as much use of the grounds of the Moat
House as they did of the gardens of Begbie Hall. Estelle's arrival
appeared to him to make the state of things worse, since she was the
excuse for the whole party to tear about _his_ neatly kept lawns, and
climb _his_ trees, instead of confining themselves to those of Begbie
Hall, and worrying their own gardeners. He had not dared to express as
much as this to Lady Coke, but she was too quick not to discover the
true cause of his discontent, though she only alluded to it by saying
she desired all the children should play together, whether in her
grounds or elsewhere. Kind as she was, Peet understood that he had a
mistress who must be obeyed. He was devotedly attached to her, and
grateful for her goodness to him and his. This, perhaps, more than
anything, made him exercise self-control. He was more than ever careful
in hiding the key of the ruin, and would not allow even the other
gardeners to enter it on any excuse whatever.

Another reason for the calm which prevailed was, perhaps, that Marjorie
and Alan were fully occupied in trying to discover why Thomas was making
so much effort to get into the ruined summer-house. It seemed a
delightful thing to be mixed up in a mystery, and each hoped to have a
share in solving it. Such a puzzle made constant private talks
necessary, in order to think out a clue. Estelle took an almost painful
interest in their conjectures, but shrank from all part in their
wanderings round the ruin, or down to the cliff walk. Alan had shown
Marjorie where the secret entrance to the cave was, and called it the
Smugglers' Hole, for want of a better name. Together they had penetrated
to the foot of the slippery, broken steps. Each had carried a bicycle
lamp to make their footsteps clear, and great was the rejoicing when
they finally arrived at the sandy beach of the bay.

But the young, active spirits were too restless to remain long there,
where nothing was to be gained by lingering. The cave itself was more
full of interest than the beach, and they devoted the remainder of the
afternoon to hunting about among the crevices and chasms, and peeping
into gaps and fissures till they almost forgot the time.

(_Continued on page 114._)

[Illustration: "'Children ought not to be about when there's serious
work going on.'"]

[Illustration: "The daylight was streaming through a great opening."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 111._)


When at last Alan and Marjorie had turned their steps homeward from the
cave, and had climbed the greater number of the rough steps, they came
quite unexpectedly upon a most important discovery--one which, without
their lamps, would have entirely escaped their attention.

They had reached a sort of landing, when Alan, looking keenly at the
rocks, suddenly perceived a narrow opening, almost entirely concealed
behind a projecting spur of limestone. Calling to Marjorie, who was in
advance of him, and already some way up the last flight of steps, he
held his lamp high, and examined the gap till she joined him.

'There is something more than a mere attempt at a cave here,' he said.
'We _must_ see what it is.'

'It's very late,' hesitated Marjorie, doubtfully. 'If we are asked where
we have been, what shall we say? All our secrets will come out, and then
good-bye to all fun.'

'Oh, this won't take us long,' returned Alan, who did not intend to give
up investigations just as he appeared to be on the verge of scoring the
greatest success of the day.

As it turned out, it was fortunate indeed that the quest was not given
up, for something happened only a few days later which made their
discoveries of the utmost importance.

The narrow cleft led them, after some winding, into a comparatively wide
passage, into which the daylight was streaming through a great opening
to the right. In some excitement they ran to look out, and found, to
their delight, that they were standing at the hole in the cliff which
they had seen from the beach in Smugglers' Bay. Sure enough, there was
the stream of water flowing at their side which made the thin cascade.

'I do believe we are in the passage which leads to the ruined
summer-house!' cried Marjorie, breathlessly.

Alan was for trying it at once, but here Marjorie's counsels did
prevail. She pointed out how low the sun was, and that probably they
were very late for the schoolroom tea already.

'Right you are,' said Alan, looking longingly up and down the passage
and walls, which stretched away into deep but--to him--alluring gloom.
'We will come again to-morrow. We must slip away directly after
breakfast; and mind we don't let anybody see or follow us. It will be a
feather in our caps if we can get into the ruined summer-house without
troubling old Peet for the key.'

'But,' said Marjorie, after a long pause, during which she was thinking
deeply, 'what if Thomas knows of this way in?'

'He can't,' returned Alan, 'or he would have been before, and got all he
wanted.'

'Then,' replied Marjorie, after another pause for thought, 'you may be
sure there is some reason: something that prevents his going up the
passage, and will prevent our going too. Thomas is sure to be up to all
dodges.'

This idea was so distasteful to Alan that he required a good deal of
persuasion before he gave up his determination to explore further.
Marjorie did persuade him, nevertheless, but next morning he could not
refrain from reproaches for having yielded to her. It turned out that
Colonel De Bohun had some business to do in the neighbouring town of
Matherton, and told Alan at breakfast that he was to go and see if
Estelle would like a ride. He intended to take the three elder children
with him.

'What a nuisance!' exclaimed Alan, as he and Marjorie stood a moment on
the doorstep before he started off on his father's mission. 'Why should
father have ordered the horses just to-day? We can't make an excuse
either, for we are all supposed to be keen on riding. If only the horses
could go dead lame for an hour or two!'

Marjorie sympathised, but there was no help for it. More provoking
still, there appeared to be things for the children to do for the next
two or three days. A large garden party for young people, given by Mrs.
De Bohun, took up most of one day, the children being required to help
in the preparations for the entertainment of their guests. A picnic with
friends, to a distant ruin by the sea, fully filled another day, and it
was not till these and a tennis party for children at Lord Gallway's
were over, that a free afternoon left the brother and sister at liberty
to carry out their plans.

They had intended to set off immediately after breakfast, but an
exciting rumour had come that a strange vessel was to be seen hanging
about in rather a suspicious way. The coastguard had been on the
look-out, but the result of his investigations being as yet unknown, the
Colonel asked the children if they would like to accompany him to the
cliffs. The proposal was hailed with delight. The whole morning passed
only too quickly in talking to the coastguard on duty, peeping through
his telescope, and staring at the vessel. The sailor gave it as his
opinion that it was a French boat, though something in the rig made him
not quite positive. It cruised about in a queer manner, 'just as if she
was on the watch for something,' as the man said. However, towards
mid-day she drew out into the offing, and they saw her sails slowly
disappearing below the horizon.

The excitement of this incident only died down in the children's minds
when, after lunch, they started off for the Wilderness. Alan and
Marjorie had other ideas concerning the ship, and were determined to
watch for its return. There would be plenty of time for that after their
search in the cave was over. Meantime it was certain that neither
Estelle nor Georgie must be allowed to accompany them. Happily for all
parties, Estelle had promised to read a new fairy story to Georgie, and
had settled to go to the top of the ruined summer-house for the purpose.

The air was fresher there, and the shade of the trees seemed cooler than
anywhere else on that hot August day. Estelle sat lazily comfortable on
some rugs, her back against the coping, while Georgie stretched himself
at full length on the iron seat close to her. Here Alan and Marjorie
left them, feeling sure that Georgie would be asleep in the twinkling
of an eye. They begged him, nevertheless, to keep that eye, as long as
it _was_ open, on Bootles, the fox-terrier. Georgie gave a lazy assent,
without troubling himself to keep either eye on the dog. Estelle was
quite as capable of attending to such matters as he. Accordingly, she it
was who drew the dog to lie down near her, keeping a hand on his collar
till Alan and Marjorie were out of sight. Alas! they little knew what
would be the result of her care.

(_Continued on page 123._)



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

5.--ARITHMOREM.

Substitute Roman figures for the Arabic numerals, and transpose the
letters. The initials will give a woman's name.


  1.-- 300. A T S R A U A.
  2.-- 560. R E A N E A.
  3.-- 100. B E G R R N O A O.
  4.--  50. Y 0 E N.
  5.--1050. R T A I E.
  6.-- 500. A N I I.
  7.--1500. N N Y R O A.
  8.--2000. E T E.


  1.  An early British prince.
  2.  A very great king.
  3.  An inventor in the middle ages.
  4.  A small town in Buckinghamshire.
  5.  An English bishop who suffered martyrdom.
  6.   An extensive region of Southern Asia.
  7.  An ancient province of France.
  8.  A small insect

C. J. B.

[_Answer on page 147._]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWER TO PUZZLE ON PAGE 75.

4.--Quick-lime.



THE DEAD WATCH.


In the eighteenth century, when watches were less common in country
districts than they are now, a Highland soldier gained one as part of
his share in some plunder after a great battle. The watch was going well
and ticking merrily when he received it; but naturally, at the end of a
day or so it ran down and stopped, because he knew nothing of how to
wind it.

The man had never seen a watch before, much less possessed one, and he
was greatly alarmed at this sudden silence. But he determined to do as
well as he could with the treasure that had fallen to his share, and so
offered it to a comrade in exchange for some really far less valuable
article of jewellery. His friend, not being so ignorant, was curious to
know why he parted with it so cheaply.

'Why,' said the other, with a proud look, as though he had got the
better of the bargain, 'why do I want to get rid of it? Because it died
last night!'



LYING AWAKE AT NIGHT.


  'Good morning Mr. Sun!' Jack said,
    As by the blind he stood;
  'All night I lay awake in bed
    And thought you'd gone for good.
  The white moon kept me company
    From ten o'clock till two:
  Then in the darkest hour of night,
  Behind the hill she slipped from sight
    To go and look for you.

  'I thought and thought of lots of things
    As in my bed I lay;
  The whole long list of English kings
    From Alfred till to-day.
  I thought of bats and bicycles,
    Of stilts, and tops that hum,
  Then turning to the window-pane,
  I thought of _you_, and sighed again:
    "Whenever _will_ he come!"

  'The house was still as still could be,
    But on the stair-case near,
  The big clock seemed to talk to me
    In whispers hard to hear.
  "He's coming! Tick! He's coming soon!"
    I thought I heard it say:
  "Look, look toward the window-blind,--
  Tick-tock, tick-tock--and you shall find
    The darkness growing grey."

  'But as it spoke, a gurgle low
    Towards me seemed to float,
  As though the poor old clock, you know,
    Had something in its throat.
  And then it chuckled: "All is right,"
    And loudly chimed with glee:
  "Oh, what's the time? Oh, tell me, _do_!"
  I cried, and counted one and two,
    And then I counted three.

  'But after that I fell asleep,--
    At least, I think I did,--
  For soon the sun began to peep
    Beneath a sleepy lid.
  Then bright and brighter grew the ray,
    And o'er my bedroom cast
  A glow that chased the gloom away
  From every corner where it lay,
    And morn had come at last.'



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

IV.--THE JURUPARIS OF SOUTH AMERICA, THE MEXICAN WHISTLE, AND THE
CHINESE HINEN.


Of all the so-called musical instruments of the world, that known as the
Juruparis, used by the Indians of the Rio Negro, seems to involve most
misery to humanity in general. To women and girls the very sight of it
means death in some form or other, usually by poison, and boys are
strictly forbidden to see it until grown to manhood, and then only after
a most severe preliminary course of fasting.

The Juruparis is kept concealed in the bed of some stream far away in
the gloomy forest, and wherever that river may wander, or however
brightly its waters may sparkle in the sunny glades, no mortal who
values his life may cool his parching lips with its freshness, or bathe
his aching limbs in its clear depths. Only for solemn festivals is the
Juruparis brought out by night and blown outside the place of meeting,
and it is restored to its forest home immediately afterwards.

The word Juruparis means 'demon,' and it is supposed that its mysteries
date back to some pre-historic Indian tradition, as various tribes
inhabiting the vast forests round the Amazon district practise weird
ceremonies in honour of the demons.

[Illustration: The Juruparis in casing.]

In form the Juruparis is a slender tube from four to five feet long,
made from strips of palm wood. Close to the mouth is an oblong hole, and
when the instrument is to be used a piece of curved Uaruma or Arrowroot
wood is inserted into the opening, which is then nearly closed with wet
clay.

When not in use, the Juruparis is wrapped in a great-coat made of strips
of the tough bark of the Jebaru-tree, which are wound round and round
the sacred instrument and held in place by a rough framework of wood. In
the museum at Kew Gardens a Juruparis in its outer casing may be seen.
In ancient days the Indians of the American continent seem to have been
more clever at making musical instruments than of recent years.

The Aztecs held pipes and flutes in great respect, and they were played
at all religious ceremonies. At the great yearly festival of
Tezcatlepoca, who was always represented as a handsome youth, a young
man was sacrificed to the god, and a chief condition of the selection
was that the selected person should be a really fine flute-player,
presumably so that he might amuse Tezcatlepoca in another world. As the
victim ascended the high mound on which the sacrificial altar stood,
facing the rising sun, it was his duty to break a flute on every step.

[Illustration: Mexican Whistle.]

The whistle shown in the illustration is made of burnt clay and painted.
Instruments were shaped like all kinds of grotesque animals, birds,
fish, and so on. Some have finger-holes, enabling the pitch to be
altered and give different tones, others have a little ball of clay set
loosely in a hollow place, so that when the air is set in motion a
shrill whistling sound is emitted.

Whistling with the mouth, by the way, is strongly disapproved by the
Arabs, who call it 'El Sifr,' and say that Satan must have touched any
one before he can whistle, and that it takes forty days to purify the
mouth which has so defiled itself. The Burmese were, up to a very late
date, ignorant of the art, and expressed great astonishment when an
American whistled an air, exclaiming that 'he made music with his
mouth.' The natives of Tonga Islands, in Polynesia, consider whistling
most disrespectful to their gods, and even in European countries it is
objected to at certain times. In Northern Germany peasants say that
whistling in the evening makes the angels weep, and in Iceland the
feeling is so strong that even swinging a stick or whip, which may make
the air whistle, is supposed to have an evil effect.

[Illustration: The Hinen.]

The curious little instruments called by the Chinese 'Hinen' are of very
ancient construction. They are made of baked clay with five
finger-holes, three in front and two behind. They are wind instruments
blown by the mouth and tuned in what is called the Pentatonic scale,
which sounds much as the scale of C Major would if F and B were omitted.

HELENA HEATH.

[Illustration: "FALL IN"]

[Illustration: "THE MARCH PAST"]

[Illustration: "HALT!"]

[Illustration: "ATTENTION"!!!]

[Illustration: "STAND AT EASE"]

[Illustration: "THE MESS BUGLE"]



FLOWERS OF THE NIGHT.


People often speak of flowers going to sleep at night, and it is
perfectly true that many of them do close up their petals when it is
dark. Some, indeed, sleep very early--our British wild plant, the goat's
beard, is also called 'Jack go to bed at noon,' because the tops close
about mid-day. We have other plants, such as the daisy and the
dandelion, which shut their flowers early in the evening. But numerous
are the blossoms that are open all night, both wild and garden kinds,
affording food to night-flying insects. Then, again, we have flowers
which are usually closed by daylight, but open after sunset, and which
we should call 'flowers of the night.' Most of these are garden species,
though there are a few wild ones. Often we are drawn to them by a
fragrance which is wafted upon the evening air.

Perhaps the best known of all, a flower which seems to be at home even
in a city garden, is the evening primrose, an American plant, which does
not belong to the family of the true primroses. But the flowers have a
primrose tint, and they are slightly fragrant, opening usually about six
or seven in the evening, though an occasional bud may expand during the
day. The flower has little hooks upon what is called the calyx, and when
the petals open they burst the hooks with a snapping noise. One of the
garden varieties has snow-white flowers. Another name for the plant is
'evening star.'

The most splendid of all the flowers of darkness is the cereus, the
blossoms of which begin to open at seven or eight o'clock in the
evening, and are fully out when midnight comes. Before daylight arrives
the flowers have generally decayed, so rapid is their progress. So huge
are these that they quite surpass the largest blooms found on the
sun-flower, being nearly three feet in circumference. The outer portion
is dark brown; the inner shades range from yellow to a pure white. When
a dozen or so happen to expand at the same time the effect is startling.
They also give out a fine scent.

One of these plants of the night caused such wonder when it arrived in
England, that folks called it the 'marvel of Peru.' It is not at all
uncommon now amongst the choice garden plants of other lands. The
flowers are of several colours and open when the sun has set; the most
conspicuous kind has long, dull, white flowers, which have a scent like
the orange blossom or the heliotrope. One kind, however, opens earlier
in the afternoon, and so that is known as the 'four-o'clock flower.'
They are plants fond of warmth, but they do well out of doors during a
hot summer.

One of the jessamines is named the night-flower, because it opens
towards evening; and that grand species of lily called the Victoria
Regina comes amongst the flowers that prefer night to-day.

We have in Britain a family of wild plants named the 'catch-flies.' They
do not catch flies or other insects by their flowers, as some plants
can, but they take them by the stems, which are sticky, and insects
coming against these are entangled. The Latin name of Silena arose from
an old legend that it belonged first to a young man whom the goddess
Minerva employed to catch flies for her owls. She found him one day
idling about, and in her anger turned him into a plant which should be
always catching flies. Yorkshire has a night-flowering plant of this
kind, with pale flowers and a forked stem. Then there is the white or
evening campion of our hedgerows, which opens generally in the twilight,
sending forth a perfume. Another, rather rarer, is the 'dame's rocket,'
also a night flower. Yet another well-known evening flower in gardens is
the tobacco plant, which has a white flower and a very strong, sweet
scent.



SOWING AND REAPING.


The day had really been very sultry, and it was not to be wondered at
that Miss Allan had not explained the lesson quite so clearly as she
generally did. The children, too, had been troubled by the heat, and let
their attention wander, so that a few of them went home with very vague
ideas about spring-time and harvest, sowing and reaping, planting and
watering. Ella and Willie Hope especially had their heads full of ideas
which would have greatly surprised any farmer had he heard them.

'Dead things become alive in the earth,' said Ella.

'Little things grow big underground,' declared Willie.

One thing turns into many if we bury it,' continued Ella.

They walked on in silence for some time, then Ella's face began to
shine. 'Just think, Willie,' exclaimed she, eagerly, 'if I bury my doll,
it may turn into a real baby.'

'Yes,' assented the boy, 'and if I bury my box of tin soldiers, before
long I shall have a regiment of strong men to fight the Russians with.'

'And--who knows?--if Mother were to give us her purse, we might make a
whole tree of sovereigns grow! How happy Mother would be if she could
have money without Father tiring himself so much to gain it!'

A moment's pause to enjoy the thought of such happiness, and then Willie
remarked, a little doubtfully, 'Ella, don't you think that if it were so
easy to make live soldiers and trees of gold grow up, people would have
thought of it before now? I don't understand why nobody has ever tried.'

Ella wrinkled her brow, and looked very serious indeed. The remark was
not to be slighted, and yet she felt quite sure that no real objection
could be made to the conclusion at which they had arrived. Indeed, her
brow soon cleared again, and, turning to her brother with a triumphant
air, she exclaimed, 'Now I know! Of course, if we have ideas that other
people never think of, it means we are _geniuses_! Most people never
think of the plainest things till some genius has done so, and then it
all seems so easy. I remember what Miss Allan said when she told us the
story of Christopher Columbus. Any one could have taken a ship and
sailed away to Africa---- '

'America,' murmured Willie, timidly.

'Well, America, then; it's all the same,' went on Ella, with an
impatient shrug of her shoulder. 'But nobody did. There were no
geniuses except Columbus, and he thought, "People are stupid not to go
to America, but I will show them the way." What did he go for, Willie?
Do you remember?'

'Cousin Jack said he went to find the egg conjurors play with, but I
think he was joking.'

'Well, anyhow, he was a genius, and that's why we read about him in our
school-books. Wouldn't it be fun, Willie, if children were to read about
us at school?'

Willie looked doubtful. 'I don't think they'd like us,' he answered.
'People in school-books are often not nice.'

'Well, it doesn't matter much,' said Ella.

Then the children went home in silence with all their wonderful plans
dancing wildly in their brains. What grand things they would do, what a
marvellous garden they would have, and how every one would try to
discover their secret! They were rather old for such fancies; but they
had not begun lessons very early in their lives, owing to both being in
rather weak health.

Unhappily there was no one at home to whom they could tell their plans.
Mother was away, Father was too busy to listen to all the stories of his
children, and their elder sister, Mary, had laughed at them too often to
be taken into their confidence. But, after, all, they concluded it was
better so. Their secret would remain a real, real secret, and so, at the
right moment, all the world, even the world of home, would be struck
with surprise!

That night nothing could be done; they had too many lessons to learn,
too many toys to put away, too many tiresome questions about school to
answer. Besides, there were so many important things to think about
before beginning the great work. In what ground, for example, would it
be best to plant the soldiers, and was not the season too far advanced?
It would be such a pity if any stupid mistake should spoil their
beautiful plan, for then nobody would believe they were geniuses.

'I tell you what,' said Ella next morning, 'we must begin with only one
thing. Let us try your soldiers first. If they grow well, then I will
plant my doll. If she turns into another doll, then we will tell Mother,
and she will give us her money to sow. How many soldiers have you,
Willie?'

'Only one boxful,' answered Willie, sadly. 'Perhaps we had better sow
our pennies first, and then, when the tree of sovereigns comes up, we
can buy whole regiments of soldiers.'

But Ella shook her head. 'No,' said she, seriously. 'You forget that the
Japanese are losing a lot of men at the front. Father said so this
morning, and they must not be kept waiting for two harvests. You have
sixpence, I have twopence; with that let us buy all the soldiers we can,
and plant them at once; then they may reach Port--Port Alfred--in time.'

'Port _Arthur_, Father said.' murmured Willie, timidly, feeling,
however, that Ella was decidedly a genius. Yet he had still an objection
to make. 'The soldiers should be Japanese,' said he. 'When I asked
Father why our soldiers did not help the Japanese, he answered that we
were at peace with the Russians, and the army dared not go without the
permission of the Government. So, even if the soldiers grew, they would
have to stay in England. Perhaps it would be better to send the boxes
there to the Japanese. They could put the soldiers into the ground and
use them as soon as they come up.'

'No, stupid!' exclaimed Ella, rudely. 'You'd give our secret away if you
did that. Besides, if you planted a turnip in a cabbage-field, that does
not make it a cabbage. The men would be English just the same. Instead,
we can buy a box of Japs and paint those you have, so that no one will
ever think they are English soldiers. Mind you plant them with all their
arms, so that they may grow up all ready for the war.'

'And, Ella, what do you think?' asked Willie, a little hesitatingly;
'should I plant one of my ships too, so that they may sail away at
once?'

'Do!' replied Ella, enthusiastically. And Willie felt his spirits
return.

That evening, in the twilight, the roses were awakened from their dreams
by the sound of children's voices, and by strange movements at their
roots. If ever roses were indignant, I am sure these were so then. What!
Their sweet, fragrant, dewy earth invaded by rough soldiers! The soil
around their roots violently scraped away to make room for Willie's
ship! What did the fair flowers know of war and the Far East? How could
they guess that Ella was a genius? The Wind, it is true, told them many
things he saw in his wanderings, but he did not care to talk about
violence and bloodshed to things so sweet.

But the children did not hear the roses' sighs, and did not try to
explain. Had they done so, perhaps they would have heard some murmured
words, 'Sow seeds of peace! sow seeds of peace!' The moon saw the
children and smiled, thinking perhaps that they ought to have been born
in her land. Anyhow, the great work was soon accomplished, and the
children stole back to their room full of hope and excitement.

A sudden thought made Ella tremble as she ran along the passage, 'Oh,
Willie!' she exclaimed, catching him by the arm, 'if the soldiers come
up little by little, they will be seen by everybody, and if they spring
up all at once, they will frighten every one. Fancy the garden full of
armed men, and nobody knowing where they come from!'

'They are sure to grow up, all at once,' replied Willie, after a
moment's reflection. 'Just like mushrooms, you know. They are men toys,
not baby toys, so they must spring up men. But they _will_ frighten
everybody; what shall we do, Ella?'

Poor Ella! Even her busy brain was puzzled for a moment. But, of course,
being a genius, she found a solution even to that difficulty, and Willie
was obliged to admire her more than ever.

'Let's write a letter to the General,' suggested she a little while
before they went to bed, 'and ask him to go away quietly, without
frightening any one. If we bury the letter beside the soldiers, as soon
as they become alive they will find it, and read it. We can ask him to
come secretly into our room and salute us before he goes.'

(_Concluded on page 122._)

[Illustration: "The great work was soon accomplished."]

[Illustration: "He placed a sovereign on the counter."]



THE HONEST SAILOR.


Many years ago, a young sailor entered a shop in Glasgow, to make a
purchase. As he was about to leave, he placed a letter upon a counter
near the window, and was sticking a postage stamp upon it, when he
clumsily knocked his elbow against the window and broke one of its
panes. The poor fellow was much confused when he saw the damage which he
had done. He had no money to pay for a new pane, as he had spent his few
last coppers in preparing this letter for his mother. He apologised to
the shopkeeper as best he could, and promised to pay for the broken
square when he returned from his next voyage. The shopkeeper accepted
his promise, though he may very well have doubted whether he would ever
see the sailor again.

Months and years passed by, and the shopkeeper forgot all about the
sailor and the broken square of glass. One day, however, a seaman came
into the shop, and looking the shopkeeper full in the face said, 'Do you
know me?'

The shopkeeper replied that he did not.

'Well, I am the lad who broke that square,' said the seaman, pointing to
the window. 'I have been to China and the Indies since then, but I have
not forgotten my debt. Here is the money.'

He placed a sovereign on the counter, and having received the change
which was due to him, went out of the shop with the light heart and
cheerful face of a man who has got rid of a heavy 'obligation.'



SOWING AND REAPING.

(_Concluded from page 119._)


Willie was startled by the roll of drums, and a sharp call of 'To arms!'
He sat up hastily in his bed, and returned the salute of the Japanese
General standing at the foot of his bed. 'Sire,' said the gallant
soldier bravely, 'the moment has come. Our country expects that every
man this day will do his duty. We depart with your permission, and when
we have taken the Czar prisoner, we shall bring him to you in chains.'

Another roll of drums and the room was filled with soldiers, all of whom
greeted Willie with profound respect. They waved their swords in the
air, and with a loud 'Hurrah!' which sounded very English indeed, they
whirled rapidly out of the room, leaving the little boy quite dazed.

The roll of drums and the blowing of trumpets continued, and Willie
thought he heard the sound of cannon, but he was quite unable to leave
his bed, something seeming to hold him there. So, with those warlike
sounds in his ears, he fell asleep again, and only woke up when Ella
rushed into his room all flushed and excited, holding in her hand a tin
soldier, like those they had buried the night before. 'Oh. Willie!' she
exclaimed, 'wasn't it dreadful? However did those horrid Russians find
their way here? I'm quite sure we didn't bury any of them in the garden.
What a dreadful battle! And how strange that only you and I should know
anything about it! But the Japanese won! This morning I found this
soldier on the ground, but he is quite a toy again, and has not a single
wound. I'm afraid he's a coward!'

'I don't understand, Ella,' said Willie, quite dumbfounded. 'I didn't
see any battle. The General came to salute me before leaving for
Japan--for where the war is, I mean--but the troops left quite quietly.
Oh, no! I remember now, I did hear the sound of cannon, but somehow I
fell asleep. Anyhow, I am sure--quite sure--that I saw no battle. Tell
me about it, do!'

Ella looked at him indignantly. 'I hate boys who don't tell the truth,'
exclaimed she indignantly. 'As if you hadn't fought yourself last night!
Why, you killed a Russian as easily as if he had been a fly!'

'Where is he?' asked Willie, half convinced. 'I really don't remember,
but I'd like to see him.' Then, hesitatingly, 'Is he really dead, Ella?'

'I know nothing about him,' answered she, quite snappishly. 'The Japs
are very ungrateful and have gone away without a word, and there is not
a sign of them, either in the house or in the garden.'

'We told them to go away quietly,' said Willie; 'perhaps they will
telegraph from Port Arthur. Do tell me about the battle.'

'Nonsense!' replied she, pettishly. 'You saw the battle as well as I
did. Be quick and come into the garden, and you'll see that the soldiers
are no longer under the bushes.'

It was quite true. The earth bore signs of having been moved, and
neither soldiers nor ship were to be seen.

'Then it is quite true,' murmured Willie, awe-struck, 'and the army has
gone to the Japanese. But I really can't remember about the battle.
Ella, how do you think the Russian soldiers came here?'

'That's why I'm so cross,' confessed Ella. 'Of course, there must have
been another genius at school, who likes the Russians, and who wanted
them to win. So he, too, buried a box of soldiers, and when they became
alive, they met ours. Anyhow, ours won. Isn't it funny that there's no
sign of the battle?'

'Shall we try again with your doll?' asked Willie.

'No,' replied Ella, decidedly. 'If some one else has had the same idea I
don't care to have anything more to do with it.'

Some days later, while the children were at breakfast, their father read
of a great Japanese victory. The two young ones looked up proudly, then
triumphantly told their strange story to their father. He listened with
a quiet smile, and gently remarked, 'Did you give any of your soldiers
to Tim Jones, or a ship like the one you buried?'

'No, never,' they replied, surprised at the question.

'Well,' continued he, 'I saw him playing with some very like them,
to-day; and I have been told he was seen on the garden wall the very
night Ella dreamt of the battle.'

Poor Willie! Poor Ella! They were quite astonished to hear such an
explanation of the mystery, and rather sad. But their father, talking to
them kindly and wisely, comforted them, and explained that nothing made
by the hands of man can grow in the earth, but only things produced by
Providence in the earth itself, from living seeds fallen from living
plants. He led them into the garden and showed them the plants and the
roots, and explained how from the living seeds spring up the living
plants. He showed them, too, the dead trunks and dry branches, and
explained how from them nothing could ever spring any more.

'Well, I'm glad I didn't kill the Russian,' confessed Willie. 'And it
did seem all too easy as we had thought of it. I suppose the battle and
all that was only a dream.'

'But I believed we were geniuses,' owned Ella, with a little blush; and
then Father laughed. Oh, how he laughed!



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 115._)

CHAPTER VII.


Georgie listened to Estelle's reading till the low murmur, blending with
the drowsy hum of the insects, the occasional twitter of a bird, and the
warm fragrance of the pines, lulled him to sleep. Estelle read on till
the story was finished; then sat gazing up into the green foliage above
her. She was thinking that she was not unlike the girl in the story; her
father was away, her mother was dead, and though she lived among those
who loved her, would any such terrible things befall her as had happened
to the heroine of the tale? Her thoughts wandered to the father in that
far-off land, and the mother who had died when she was too young to
remember her, but whose sweet face and sweeter memory would always be
sacred to the little girl she had left behind her. She could almost hear
herself say, as once in the days long, long ago--

'Do you like the name of Estelle, father? It sounds very French, but it
was mother's.'

'It is the sweetest name on earth to me, my darling. Be what your mother
was, as sweet, as loving, as unselfish, and you will be worthy of her
name.'

Had there really been a voice speaking to her? Estelle sat up,
listening. Her heart beat, though she smiled that the fancy should have
come. Her father was so far away. She longed to be with him again; but
she had plenty to do to learn all he desired, before he came back, and
after that the happy days at Lynwood could begin again. Suddenly, the
grating of the door into the ruin startled her. Bootles sat up and
snuffed the air, moved uneasily, and got up to stretch himself. Then he
lazily stalked away to the steps, flopping down them as if too weary to
walk properly. At the bottom, however, he suddenly roused himself. A cat
was creeping stealthily across the open glade. Estelle saw it too, and
sprang up in her nervous dislike to seeing creatures hunted. But Bootles
had at once given chase. He could be heard yelping as he bounded after
the animal, till both disappeared in the deep undergrowth. For a time
the sound of the pursuit grew more and more distant, then it came
doubling back, and Estelle, with dismay, saw the cat rush across the
glade, and into the summer-house. In another moment Bootles had
followed. Terrified lest the dog should be shut in, and heedless of her
own danger, she ran down the steps and into the forbidden room, in the
vain hope of catching the dog, and rescuing him before the door closed.

No one was near to see what happened. In her fear she ran on without
looking where she was going. Round and round, dodging from this corner
to that, flew the cat, the dog after it; presently they both plunged
into the black cavernous place Georgie had seen. Feeling her way with
both hands, Estelle ran after them, calling to Bootles. The light behind
was growing fainter, the way before her was shrouded in the darkness of
night. Frightened at last, she stopped, and at that moment there was a
crash which shook the whole building. With a terror, which made her cold
and sick, she realised that the terrible door had shut. She was
imprisoned, and no one knew it!

       *       *       *       *       *

Meantime, Alan and Marjorie had set off with the intention of going
straight to the Smuggler's Hole, and on into the cave passage. But,
passing through the wilderness, close to the rear of the rampart, which
here jutted out to some distance beyond the ruined summer-house, they
both fancied they heard sounds in the brushwood. It turned out to be
only a stray cat, but it had the effect of diverting them from their
purpose for a time, since the animal seemed scared. Alan decided it was
running away from something, and as a bird also flew past at the moment,
he determined to make investigations.

Followed by Marjorie, he clambered down into a sort of dry ditch, the
remains of the old moat. Though overgrown with ivy and brambles, it
would be easier walking than forcing his way through the dense
underwood, and they would make far less noise. Without even a whispered
word, the brother and sister crept cautiously along, coming at length to
an open, but small glen. Up to this point they had had no difficulty;
but here the ditch was closed by a stout hedge, made still stronger by
faggots and barbed wire. This was unexpected, for there appeared to be
no reason for such a protection, and Alan and Marjorie sat on the bank
to consider what that hedge was intended to conceal. The mossy glen was
behind them, and all around was the deep silence of the woods. In front
towered the grey, crumbling walls of the ancient rampart. Their low
voices scarcely broke the stillness; they were afraid of something, they
knew not what. A stir was in the air, and yet they could not be said to
hear anything distinctly. It was more a feeling than a sound.

'You stay here,' whispered Alan at last, rising as he spoke. 'I will
just go and have a look round. If I can, I will let you know what is
behind that hedge, but if anything turns up, and I am not back
immediately, you will be safe here. No, don't come with me. It would
make too much noise.'

[Illustration: "Round and round flew the cat, the dog after it."]

With that he crawled away, leaving Marjorie to wait and listen
anxiously. For a long time, or so it seemed to her, she could only hear
the faint movement made by Alan as he parted the bushes, and crept
away. Even that soon died away, and the same deep silence settled on
everything. It was very hot; the air was so still that it seemed hotter
in the ditch than in the open, but she dared not stir. Alan must be able
to find her, if he required her. She sat and listened with ears strained
to catch every sound. How long she had waited she did not know, when a
sound of snapping twigs and running feet came from the near
neighbourhood of the hedge. Springing to her feet, she caught a glimpse
of two men forcing their way with all their strength through the
entanglement of sturdy brushwood and trees, which surrounded that
portion of the ruin. One of these men was a stranger; the other, to her
amazement, was Thomas.

She did not know what to do. Should she follow, or was it better to wait
till Alan shouted to her? Time went on. The sounds died away in the
distance, and all was quiet again. Alan had not called, and there were
no signs of where he was.

(_Continued on page 134._)



THE YAK.


[Illustration: Yaks.]

The Yak, or grunting Ox, as it is sometimes called from the peculiar
grunt which it makes, is a native of the high table-lands of the
interior of Asia, to the north of India--'the roof of the world,' as the
country is often called. It is a large animal of the ox kind, with a
massive head and front, and it is covered entirely with long hair which
reaches almost down to its hoofs. It has large, wide-spreading horns,
ending in sharp points, and its shoulders are high and almost humped.
Its long tail, unlike the tail of the ox, the buffalo, and the bison, is
covered with long, silky hair, reaching to the ground. When the animal
is killed, this tail is often mounted in an ivory or metal handle, and
used by Indian princes as a fly-whisk. The yak's colour is usually black
or a very dark brown, but sometimes it is white, and the hair on its
shoulders hangs thick and long, like the mane of a lion.

In Thibet the yak is, perhaps, the most useful animal to be found in the
country. It is hardy and strong, and thrives upon the short grass
growing in the sheltered valleys of the lofty Himalaya and Kuen Luen
mountains, at a height where the air is too cold and the ground too
rugged and bare for most animals, especially domesticated ones. Though
horses and sheep are domesticated by the Thibetans, the yak in many
respects replaces them both, besides serving the uses of oxen or cows in
other places. Large herds of yaks are driven from place to place by the
wandering Thibetans, who pitch their black tents where there is
pasturage for their flocks. These people live very largely upon the milk
of their yaks, and upon the butter which they make from it. They have a
great liking for tea, which comes from China in the form of blocks or
bricks, which they break up as they require them. When the tea is
boiling in the kettle, they put in large quantities of milk and butter,
and even salt, and though the mixture is one which would be very
disagreeable to a European, it is enjoyed by the Thibetans, and is no
doubt made much more nourishing by the addition of the nutritious milk
and butter. The flesh of the yak is considered to be excellent food, and
is eaten by those Thibetans who can afford to do so. But a small
wandering tribe cannot often kill a yak or a sheep for food, because
they cannot eat the whole of the flesh while it is fresh, and thus a
portion is wasted.

The long hair of the yak, like the wool of goats and sheep, is suitable
for spinning into thread and weaving into cloth. The Thibetans spin
large quantities of yak's wool, and some of it they weave, but much of
the weaving is done by the Chinese, who sell the cloth back to the
Thibetans. Of this cloth the Thibetans make not only their clothes, but
also the large tents under which so many of them live. As the wool is
not washed, bleached, or prepared in any way before it is spun and
woven, the cloth retains the natural greasiness of the wool, which
renders it quite water-proof, and thus makes it an excellent material
for tents. Even the ropes which sustain the tents are made of yak's
wool. The skin, too, of the yak, when prepared in the native way, makes
a very good soft leather.

The yak is also used as a beast of burden. In Ladakh it is harnessed to
carts, and made to draw ploughs, but in other places it is usually
loaded with packs. In Thibet a clumsy wooden pack-saddle is laid upon
the yak's back, and the packs are fastened upon each side of it. Though
at times restless, the yak is very sure-footed and plodding, and does a
fair amount of work considering the nature of the country. An English
traveller, who once drove a pair of loaded yaks in Thibet, noticed that
they showed a great reluctance to go any way but their own. By-and-by he
found that they were selecting the way, which, although it was
considered to be a high road, was only marked here and there by a few
footprints. So long as he allowed the yaks to go their own way, they
went on willingly, and the traveller soon discovered that it was best to
leave them alone and simply follow them. Once or twice when he had lost
the track, the yaks led him back to it.

Not only are yaks used for draught and for carrying loads, but they are
also ridden, a special saddle being then used. Along the roads between
Pekin and Lhassa, a yak will carry its rider twenty miles a day, it is
said, or it will carry a load ten miles. Much quicker journeys may be
made, however, by taking fresh yaks at certain posts or stages. In this
way the traveller already referred to was able to ride one hundred and
seventy-five miles in five days, the two longest days' journeys being
forty-five and forty-two miles respectively.



GOING TO BED.


  As up the stairs to bed I go,
    A tiger chases me;
  He's somewhere in the dark, I know,
    Although I cannot see.

  From step to step I quickly jump,
    But oh, how slow I seem!
  And I can feel my heart go 'Thump!
    It nearly makes me scream.

  The tiger can go faster, much,
    He gains at every stride;
  He's sure to get me in his clutch--
    He's almost at my side!

  I dare not give a look behind,
    I fear his savage glare;
  His cruel teeth I hear him grind,
    A-tingle goes my hair!

  At last I reach the landing wide--
    I'm at the nursery door;
  I shut it tight, and, safe inside,
    I pant upon the floor.

  But Mother often laughs at me
    For getting such a scare;
  And, somehow, when she goes to see,
    The tiger's never there!



MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.

IV.--THE BRIDGE AT VICTORIA FALLS.


[Illustration]

If a railway train could travel over a rainbow, it would hardly have
been necessary to build a bridge over the Zambesi River at the Victoria
Falls, for during seven months of the year a rainbow can always be seen
there; but about the end of August the fairy architects take it down,
and do not come to build it again until the beginning of February. The
rainbow is made by the sunlight shining on the dancing drops of spray
that leap from the waterfall while the river is in flood. But when,
after the end of August, the flood subsides, the spray subsides too, and
the lovely rainbow fades from sight until the rainy season has returned.

This mighty river collects its waters over a space of a million square
miles, but on its way to the sea is met by many difficulties. The
greatest of these occurs near Kazungula, on the borders of Rhodesia, and
is known by the natives as the 'place of the sounding smoke.' David
Livingstone, who, fifty years ago, was the first white man to see it,
called it the Victoria Falls, and has told the world how he crept to the
edge of the awful abyss and peered over in the vain effort to see the
bottom through that roaring, blinding cloud of 'sounding smoke.' Long,
long ages ago a terrible earthquake occurred at this spot, and from
shore to shore of the Zambesi (which is here more than a mile wide) a
huge crack, one hundred yards across, suddenly opened. Into this the
river disappears with a mighty thunder, as though to lose itself in the
centre of the earth. Four hundred feet down the bottom of the chasm is
reached, and, beating themselves against the opposite wall, the waters
struggle to find an outlet, throwing up in their fury white clouds of
spray, which rise to a height of one thousand two hundred feet, and can
be seen for a distance of ten miles.

Near the eastern end of the mile-long crack, there is an opening in the
form of a narrow gorge one hundred yards wide, twisting and twining in
the most erratic manner for more than twenty miles to the southward. And
through this, imprisoned by rocky cliffs four hundred feet high, the
boiling Zambesi struggles on its way to the sea. On the lip of the
cataract, as though carried to the edge by the flowing waters, hang
green wooded isles, glittering with the ever-falling spray and waving
light fronds of fern and palm, in the cool airs that are constantly
being driven by the falls from the depths below them. It is a spot of
great beauty, and it is no wonder that many people expressed regret when
they learned that the railway was fast approaching, and would leap
across the gorge through which the waters escape. But after all, in a
scene of such magnitude, we may hope that the railway will show no more
than a scratch in the wide sea-sands.

The spot chosen for the bridge is some four hundred yards below the
falls, and, owing to the sudden bends in the channel, the merest glimpse
only can be caught of the falling water.

Sir Charles Metcalf, engineer of the Rhodesian Railway Company, having
surveyed the place, made a design for the bridge, and a firm of
engineers in Darlington, England, undertook to build it. In the
meantime, the railway at Buluwayo, three hundred miles away, had been
continued to the edge of the gorge in readiness to convey the material.

It was decided that the bridge should be in the form of an arch made of
steel girders, the central span being five hundred feet. The work was
begun in October, 1904. First a pair of 'shear legs' was erected on the
southern side opposite the place where the railway from Buluwayo ended.
This is a mechanical contrivance of the nature of a crane, capable of
being raised and lowered, and is formed of two or more poles standing
some yards apart at their feet, but joined together at their heads, to
support a revolving pulley. To save the loss of time and great
inconvenience of crossing the river above the falls, it became necessary
to find some means of spanning this narrow gorge before beginning to
build the bridge. This was accomplished by firing a sky-rocket from the
northern cliff-top with a length of light string attached. To the end of
the string a slightly stouter cord was tied; then a strong rope, and
finally a wire cable two inches thick. Thus, that which could not be
done all at once, was done by degrees. The wire cable, being passed over
the pulley on the shear legs, was fastened on the other side of the
gorge to the top of a steel tower, thirty-six feet high.

From this thin aerial railway hung the 'cage' in which the workmen would
cross and recross, and do a great deal of the bridge-building work,
being raised and lowered to the required position by the shear legs.
Some feet above the two-inch rope ran an electric wire with a motor
engine which propelled the car backwards and forwards. Thus we may
almost say that the first conveyance across the Zambesi was an electric
tram. And the passengers (particularly on the first journey) were not
pleased with the trip. They shrank with pardonable terror when they
found themselves suspended over that awful gulf by a slender cord that
swayed against the sky. But use soon changed all this.

The bridge was begun from both sides at once. In the rocky sides of the
cliffs excavations were made to receive the four upright columns from
which the arch would spring. On beds of concrete poured into these
excavations was bolted an iron plate upon which the foot of the 'post'
would hinge, so as to allow movement when the iron girders expanded or
contracted with the change of temperature. The 'posts' are one hundred
and five feet tall, and the arch which springs from their feet rises to
a height of ninety feet at the centre. As the two ends grew towards each
other across the abyss, it was found that the weight would require
support before the girders met in the middle. To build a scaffolding
would of course have been impossible; so the following means were
adopted. Into the rocky ground on both sides of the river, two holes
were bored, each thirty feet deep and thirty feet apart, their bottom
ends being connected by another boring. A strong wire rope was then
threaded down one hole and up through the other, to be carried over the
cliff-top and passed under the bridge-end as it hung in mid-air. As the
weight increased the ropes were added to, while, as a further
precaution, the ground between the two holes was loaded with five
thousand tons of railway irons. The wire ropes successfully played their
parts until April 1st, 1905, but when the central girder was ready to
take its place, it was found to be an inch and a quarter too long. It
had expanded in the heat; but after a night's cooling it contracted to
the right size, and was successfully inserted.

One of the principal difficulties in the erection of this bridge has
been the trouble of getting the material to the spot. From Darlington to
the Victoria Falls is eight thousand miles of ocean, bush, and desert,
and sometimes long delay was caused by the railway being washed away by
floods. But once there was interruption from another cause. Many of the
English workmen were unable to stop on account of the climate, and they
were constantly drenched by the spray, until in many cases natives had
to be employed in their stead. These natives were housed in a little
settlement of nicely built huts, lighted by electricity. One day,
however, the electric wires caused a fire which destroyed the entire
'town' with astonishing rapidity.

The bridge was opened in August, 1905, on the occasion of the visit of
the British Association. The roadway over it is thirty feet wide,
affording room for a double set of rails, and the panting trains have
already begun to cross its web-like span, gliding into sight from the
cliff-top on one side, only to disappear the next moment on the other in
a green wilderness of ferns and tropic flowers.

[Illustration: "A native lay at the foot of a tree."]



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

By HAROLD ERICSON.

IV.--A FIGHT WITH A RHINOCEROS.


It was now Vandeleur's turn to tell his camp-fire story, and he looked
so long and so dreamily into the embers before he began that Denison
laughed and said, 'Don't go to sleep, old chap, before you begin!'

Vandeleur laughed also, good-naturedly.

       *       *       *       *       *

I'm not a bit sleepy (he said) but when I think of Umkopo, one of the
best and most faithful friends I ever possessed, it makes me thoughtful.
Umkopo, as the name suggests, had something to do with the Zulus or
Matabeles. His was an extraordinary career, and I may have more to tell
you about him in another yarn; but for the present I will merely tell
you this, that, though he looked scarcely more like a 'nigger' than any
of us three, yet, as a matter of fact, I never for some time really
doubted that he was a young Matabele, simply because it never occurred
to me to doubt it under the circumstances. He was a boy of about
seventeen when I first met him--a straight, well-made chap of about
Bobby's size and weight, black-haired and dark-skinned, but not so dark
as the ordinary run of Mashonaland natives, about as dark, let us say,
as you and I are at the end of a shooting trip somewhere in the
equatorial regions.

Well, I was off some years ago upon a rhinoceros-hunting trip and at the
moment in actual pursuit of a huge beast of greyish tint, a rare colour;
this was an animal who had given me the slip many times, and I was most
anxious to secure him. I was encamped somewhere within the district
which he had chosen as his home, but for a week or two I had not been
able to hit upon his tracks.

Now this was during the time of the first Matabele war, and I was, as a
matter of fact, within the war-zone. I joined in the fighting a month or
two later, finding that men were wanted on the British side, but at this
time I was only hunting.

One day, prowling about the jungle with a Kaffir to carry my cartridges
and a spare rifle, I suddenly came upon an unexpected sight.

A young man, apparently a native, lay by a pool of water at the foot of
a tree, breathing, as it seemed to me, his last breath. He moaned a
little when he saw us approaching, and made a feeble effort to rise and
reach the club which lay at his side.

Finding that he was not going to be attacked, he gave up the effort, and
lay breathing heavily.

'He is ill,' said I to the Kaffir; 'ask him whether he is in pain, and
what ails him.'

The Kaffir knew something of the Bantu-Matabele dialect, and spoke to
the man, who replied in gasps.

'He say,' the Kaffir reported, 'want food; drank bad water, poisoned by
Matabeles; better now, but want eat.'

This was a need which was easily supplied. I had plenty of food with me,
biscuits and tinned tongue, which I had brought for my lunch. I gave him
this, and something to drink. He ate and drank greedily, which nearly
choked him. He looked gratefully at me, and I placed him in a sitting
posture with his back to a tree, and gave him a couple of prunes, which
were evidently a novelty to him, and afforded him great delight.

The Kaffir, who rejoiced in the name of Billy, conversed with the young
fellow from time to time, and suddenly Billy burst out laughing; a piece
of rude behaviour which greatly shocked him the next moment, for he
placed his hand over his mouth and looked very ashamed of himself.

'What is it, Billy?' I asked him.

'He say his people call him "White Witch,"' said Billy. 'He say, "I
t'ink I white man like your master."'

Billy again burst out laughing, and again stifled the laugh in shocked
surprise at his own rudeness.

I gazed at the sick youth with new curiosity and interest. I examined
his features: there was nothing of the low-caste negro type about him,
that was clear; but then it often happens that a Zulu or a Matabele is
born with features which resemble those of a higher type of humanity.

'Ask him why they call him "White Witch,"' said I.

After a long talk with our new friend, Billy apparently gave up the
attempt to solve this mystery.

'No understand,' he told me; 'he talk nonsense--much nonsense; not tell
any truth.'

'What's his name?' I next asked.

'Umkopo,' said Billy. 'Dat not white man name--dat Matabele name.'

Billy looked so disgusted, and was clearly so displeased that a nigger
should put forward a claim to white man's blood, that I decided to worry
the sick man no more at present with questions--at least, he should
answer only one more.

'How came he here? ask him,' said I.

'He been see Lobengula at Bulawayo,' said Billy. 'Lobengula chase him
away into the jungle because he say bad words.'

'What kind of bad words?' I asked, in some surprise.

'Bad words: he say Lobengula not fight white people; white people eat
him up.'

Umkopo, then, thought I, was like one of the prophets, who prophesied
evil things which were unwelcome to the king.

'Lobengula chase him into jungle; much men run after him. Umkopo hide,
drink bad water, nearly die, then no food.'

It was clear that the poor lad could not be left where he was in his
present weak state; he must return with us to camp, which was two or
three miles away at the edge of this jungle.

But Umkopo, though he did his best to rise to his feet, and walk with us
when invited to do so, proved far too weak. He almost fell in attempting
to stand up, and was obliged to cling to the tree-trunk in order to
prevent himself from sudden collapse.

'We shall have to carry him, Billy,' said I. 'Collect poles and
branches, and we will make a litter for the poor chap.'

Billy was evidently gravely displeased to be asked to do so much for a
mere Matabele: he collected materials with his nose in air. 'Who going
to carry nigger?' he asked.

And when I replied that, naturally--there being no one else--he and I
would do so, I thought Billy would have a fit.

Nevertheless, the Kaffir was obliged to swallow his feelings, for, when
I had finished the litter, I took up Umkopo in my arms--I am fairly
strong, as you know--and laid him in it, and bade the disgusted Billy
catch hold of one end while I took the other.

As for Umkopo himself, he looked very gratefully in my face, but he did
not seem in the least overpowered by the fact that a white man was
condescending to act as bearer to him. This circumstance seemed to weigh
much more heavily upon Billy than upon him; but then Billy was
influenced by the feeling of disgust that he, should be called upon to
take so much trouble for the sake of a mere native.

We got Umkopo back to camp in safety, Billy making a great show of
weariness; and here I had a comfortable couch made for the invalid
within the _zareeba_. He lay at his ease for a day or two, living upon
antelope flesh and the best of everything, and even drinking, at my
special request, several doses of a tonic which I had brought with me,
in case of sickness. The faces he made over it were something too weird
to describe.

Under this treatment Umkopo soon picked up strength, and we became great
friends, he and I. I endeavoured to teach him a few English words, and
one day--to my great astonishment and interest--he rattled off a
sentence which I had not taught him, but which was certainly a species
of English. It sounded like this: 'Whenima gooboy nannagiv mejam on
Sundays.'

It was an obvious attempt to say, 'When I'm a good boy, Nanna gives me
jam on Sundays'--a sentence which not only told a tale of its own, but
also gave a fellow a pretty wide field 'to think in.'

After this discovery, I began to take a very great and special interest
in Umkopo, and taught him all the English I could. He was with me for a
fortnight, and grew much attached to me. He was, of course, a bit of a
savage, but there was something very attractive about him, and I grew
both fond of and interested in him. This interest and fondness for a
nigger greatly offended Billy, my chief Kaffir. None of my Kaffirs liked
Umkopo, for all were jealous of him, I suppose; but Billy was
particularly bitter against him, and once or twice I was obliged to
reprimand him severely.

This uncomfortable state of affairs ended in a kind of tragedy, and I
will just tell you of this and of its upshot before passing on to the
rhinoceros adventure, which is the real part of this yarn.

(_Concluded on page 154._)



THE SHEPHERD MOON.


  I love to wait till the red sun hides,
  When from the dusk the Shepherd Moon glides;
  And by twos and threes around him peep
  His flock of little white starry sheep.

  All night they ramble so far and high,
  Their pasture wide is the dark blue sky;
  Then the Shepherd Moon goes on his way,
  And leads them back to the folds of Day.



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

V.--THE LIFE-HISTORY OF THE FRESH-WATER MUSSEL.


Most readers of _Chatterbox_ must have seen the fresh-water mussel in
its native element. Let those who have not, search in the shallow water
of the nearest river or brook till they are successful. When the stream
is clear you may often see them lying on the bottom; in deeper water,
you may catch them if you go out armed with a big, long-handled rake;
plunge this into the water, drag it along the bottom, and carefully haul
up the entangled mud and weed. Sooner or later your search should be
rewarded. I have caught hundreds this way. Some of them were not more
than an inch and a half long, and when placed in a glass jar were so
transparent, that I could watch the beating of the heart through the
shell. Indeed, I have two such little beauties before me, on my study
table, as I write. One has partly buried himself in the mud, the other
is lying on the surface. But, when full-grown, this transparency passes
away, and they attain a perfectly huge size--six inches long at any
rate!

Once upon a time, no doubt, the ancestors of these creatures lived in
the sea; then they migrated to the rivers, creeping farther and farther
up into fresh water, till at last their descendants have got so used to
this element that they can live only in fresh water. Now, when animals
gradually change their mode of life in this way, they at the same time
undergo a great many structural and constitutional changes--some slight,
some profound--and among these the most important are changes in the
provision for the young. There is, as you know, a constant migration
going on among the more active animals between the sea and the river,
which is entirely on account of the needs of the young. Thus, salmon
leave the sea yearly and undertake perilous journeys up the rivers,
solely that they may lay their eggs there: while eels, on the other
hand, as we have seen, are impelled by instinct to pursue exactly the
opposite course, and to brave all dangers, that they may provide a
nursery for their young in the deepest depths of the ocean.

Let us apply this to the fresh-water mussels. The ancestors of these
very helpless creatures lived, I have remarked, in the sea; and we may
be pretty certain that their eggs are hatched out into what we call
larvae, or imperfectly developed animals, precisely similar to the
young, or larvae, of the marine mussel of our seas. Now, this larva has
the form of a tiny little creature covered with 'swimming' hairs. By the
constant waving motions of these hairs, the little body is driven
through the water, till at last, reaching a favourable spot, or tired
out, they settle down at the bottom of the sea and turn into mussels,
This free-and-easy life is all very well for the salt-water mussels,
with the great wide sea to roam in; but such freedom in rivers would by
no means be safe, because, though mussels swim, they are, by reason of
their small size, quite unable to force their way against strong
currents. Thus, on the outgoing tide, they would be swept off to sea,
and would die even before this was reached--as soon, indeed, as the
water became really salt. So, to prevent such a disaster, the
fresh-water mussel carefully nurses her young between her gills, till
they are old enough to help themselves. You will be surprised when I
tell you the strange device they have come to adopt, so soon as they are
cast adrift, whereby they may complete their days of infancy. Shielded
throughout the winter months, they are turned adrift on the first warm
day of Spring, a troop of very lively youngsters indeed. Each is encased
in a very wonderful shell (S in the figure in the top left-hand corner
of the illustration), quite unlike that of their parents, being
triangular in shape, and armed with a pair of pointed teeth (T). By
means of powerful muscles this shell is made to open and shut with great
rapidity, and thus the body of the little creature is quickly driven
through the water in a series of spasmodic jumps. Then comes a period of
rest, obtained by using the long thread or 'byssus' (B) as a float, this
thread being thrown out along the surface of the water. Then the hunt
for a host begins again. On and on they go, till one after
another--'curiouser and curiouser!'--seizes hold of a fish by means of
its hooks. Having caught hold tight, each clings like grim death, and as
a result of the irritation set up in the poor fish's skin, swelling
follows and soon grows up all round the young mussel, and makes him a
prisoner. But this is just what he wants. Snugly tucked away in his
living cradle he slowly assumes his adult shape, and at last bursts his
prison and falls to the bottom!

[Illustration: Fresh-water Mussels.]

There is yet another reason for this very strange and somewhat cruel
procedure. The love of self, among the lower animals, is so strong that
parents always drive away their young so soon as they become capable of
feeding, and fending for themselves; because, if they did not adopt
stern measures of this sort, famine and disease would be the result,
owing to overcrowding. On the whole, this banishment is not so hard as
it looks, the young having no sentiment for the place of their birth,
and being probably more capable of migrating than the parents. But the
method adopted by the fresh-water mussel is wasteful and dangerous;
wasteful, because thousands and thousands of young ones necessarily die
every year, through failing to catch their fish; and dangerous, because
those who succeed are liable to contract the habit of being a parasite,
and this, as always, leads to degradation and ruin. Finally, whenever
young animals have to depend on other creatures to provide them with a
lodging during some part of their growth, many more thousands have to be
hatched than is the case where the young are dependent on themselves
entirely, for it must always happen that the necessary hosts are hard to
catch, and the young die in countless thousands, being unable to succeed
in their search.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.



TAKING IT LITERALLY.


All orders to native servants in India must be very carefully and
exactly given, for a black servant takes care to obey to the very
letter. An Englishman once took with him a native lad as a servant when
going on a boating journey. There were no such chances of washing on
board the boat as one enjoys at home in a house. Accordingly, a bucket
was dipped into the river, and it served as a washing-basin. One day the
boy was told to bring some water, and in doing so happened to spill a
good deal over his master's feet.

[Illustration: "The lad emptied the pail over his employer."]

'You clumsy fellow!' cried his master, angrily, 'why don't you throw it
all over me?'--of course not using the words in their literal sense.

'Yes, sahib!' said the lad, and, to his master's astonishment, he took
up the pail, and emptied it over his employer!

S.



'PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.'


The articles in _Chatterbox_ under this heading have aroused great
interest, and doubtless many readers would like to know more about these
fascinating subjects than there is room for in the columns of
_Chatterbox_. Mr. Pycraft, the author of these articles, is a well-know
authority on Natural History, and is constantly engaged in research at
the wonderful Natural History Museum at South Kensington, a place which
many _Chatterbox_ readers probably know well; and he has very generously
undertaken to give any further information, or answer questions, if
readers of _Chatterbox_ like to write to him personally about the
matter. Letters should be addressed to--

  W. P. PYCRAFT, Esq.,
  c/o The Editor of _Chatterbox_,
  3 Paternoster Buildings, E.C.

Readers of _Chatterbox_ will probably be glad of this chance of
obtaining information direct from a first-rate authority.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 125._)


It so happened that Alan _had_ seen and heard everything. On leaving
Marjorie, he had succeeded in getting round the hedge, only to find that
it extended to another part of the rampart, and was strongly fortified
with barbed wire the whole way. It enclosed a portion of ground
completely cleared of trees and brushwood, thus enabling the sun to
shine upon the old walls unhindered by foliage. The grey, crumbling
stones seemed to spread its heat, and the grass at their base seemed
withered and brown. Alan's curiosity was aroused, and he determined to
climb the nearest tree. It was the only way to discover what the plot of
ground contained, and whether there were any reasons for all the care
which appeared to have been taken to give it the full benefit of the hot
summer sunshine.

Having selected a young oak which he considered might suit his purpose,
Alan began to climb. He had made but little way when the sound of some
body moving softly within the enclosure arrested his attention. He
paused, clinging to the trunk and listening anxiously. Presently the
movement ceased, and he wondered whether he had been heard. He could not
remain where he was, however. That would mean certain discovery. He must
either drop to the ground and get away, or stick to his original purpose
and trust to the foliage to conceal him. Deciding on the latter plan,
he crept slowly up till he reached the first branch strong enough to
support his weight. Here a bitter disappointment awaited him. His labour
had been in vain. Not a glimpse of the fenced-in ground would the dense
summer foliage allow him. He was afraid to change his position lest he
should be heard, and could only lie prone upon the bough, listening.

He had not long to wait.

A low murmur; a stir, as if some one was attempting to get through the
hedge. 'Can't do it,' came a whisper. 'Give me a leg up, and I will
manage it that way. Got the rope with you?'

Alan strained his ears for the answer, but none came. The men--there
were evidently two--were moving as quietly as possible, assisting each
other, and the result of their efforts soon became visible. Thomas's
head appeared above the hedge, his hand caught hold of a branch, and the
next moment he was close to Alan's tree. A minute later and his
companion joined him. Lucky indeed it was for Alan that the leaves
screened him so effectually, and that he was so securely placed that no
movement was required to maintain his position. The faintest rustle
would have betrayed him.

Thomas was holding a box in his hands, which he carried with the
greatest care. No time was wasted in talking. Their sole anxiety seemed
to be to get through the brushwood as quickly and noiselessly as
possible. Alan watched them as they sped along in the direction of the
Smuggler's Hole, in the woody hollow. He had no doubt whatever as to
their destination, and only waited till they were beyond earshot to jump
down and follow them. In his excitement, he forgot that Marjorie was
waiting for him.

Something had been stolen, and he alone could trace the thieves. It
mattered not whether it were jewels, or silver, or the merest trifle. He
meant to recover it: quietly, if he could; if not, then he must fight
for it. It must be of value, however. Had not Thomas received a handsome
offer for purloining it?

With beating heart, and quick but stealthy step, he followed the two
men, love of adventure spurring him on and blinding him to the real
dangers of the pursuit. He was pleased, too, that his enjoyment was not
wholly selfish: he would be of real service to some person--he would not
care even if it were to Peet himself. It was quite possible it was Peet.
He made such a fuss about the ruined summer-house, and was so rigid
about keeping the door shut, that no doubt he did have something he
valued there. It would be fun if Alan were to recover Peet's lost
property for him.

As Alan sped along, he tried to make up some plan for securing the box
and escaping with it. He knew neither man would hesitate to sacrifice
him in their efforts to get it back, and they were not likely to stick
at a trifle if he gave them trouble. He was quite alone; a boy against
two men. Still, the thought of giving up the pursuit never occurred to
him.

'It must be mind _versus_ matter,' he thought, as he chuckled at the
idea of outwitting Thomas.

It was not difficult to creep after the men down the rocky steps of the
Smuggler's Hole, though they appeared dark after the brilliant sunshine.
He was thankful, however, that he had been over the ground before with
Marjorie, and had a pretty correct notion of the whereabouts of the
dangerous places.

By the time he had reached the cave, the men were sitting on the rocks
at the highest part, the tide being still too high for them to go very
far down the cave. It was well for Alan that he had their light to guide
him, for he could not venture on one for himself. Indeed, he had to keep
on the darkest side, close to the wall, for fear of being seen. The men,
he was glad to perceive, had so little suspicion that they were being
watched that they never even turned their heads or lowered their voices.
The box had been placed upon a flat rock just behind them for safety. To
get near it was now Alan's aim.

The faint sound of the receding tide and the voices of the two men alone
broke the stillness. The slightest noise would be heard therefore, the
rolling of a pebble, a slip on the green, slimy seaweed. As he gradually
crept nearer with the utmost caution, Alan listened to the talk of the
men.

'I'm not sure this was the best way to come,' said the one Alan took to
be a foreigner. 'We shall be hindered by the tide. How much longer shall
we have to sit here?'

'About a hour, or perhaps a hour and a half,' returned Thomas. 'And when
we are on the beach, what do you mean to do? We can't get away without a
boat, anyhow.'

'I have made my arrangements. Jean Marie Fargis is up in these parts. He
has fished now and again in English waters, and run before the wind at
the first sign of danger. I knew the cut of his rig the other day when
he was cruising round about.'

'Fishing?' said Thomas, incredulously.

'Well, he calls it so, and really I don't know myself what he is after.
He will get into trouble one of these days with the coastguard people, I
tell him. But that's nothing to us. I saw him, and went out to him, and
he's to take us off if he can.'

'And supposing he can't?'

'Then we must get to Tyre-cum-Widcombe somehow, and slip down to the
nearest port. If you had been a little quicker in your part of the
business, we should have got off more easily, for he was waiting for us
a bit higher up the coast, where there were fewer eyes to see.'

'I couldn't get the key,' returned Thomas in an aggrieved tone. 'It took
me some time before I could find out where it was. I had to watch Peet
close, and at last, thinks I, I'll climb the oak in the garden of his
house, and see if I could catch him putting it away. I could see right
into his windows, and it wasn't long before I saw all I wanted to, and
had the key safe.'

'But, man, there's the passage you told me about. It's close by, isn't
it?'

'I tried that way once,' said Thomas, with an unmirthful laugh. 'I'm not
going to try it again in a hurry, not I. Why, I couldn't 'a been
half-way down--no, nor yet a quarter--when a big stone came right down
on me shoulder and knocks me flat. Mother did wonder why I couldn't move
my arm without pain for quite a long time. I crawled back the way I had
come. Master Peet was always saying the roof wasn't safe, but I didn't
believe him. But I have had enough of it now. I preferred finding the
key, even if it was slower.'

There was a pause. The faint ripple of the tide was followed by the hiss
of the water as it surged round the rocks and fell back. Not daring to
move in the silence, Alan stood still.

'The game's worth the candle, I suppose?' said Thomas, presently.

'I should just think so!' returned his companion, his voice growing
hard. 'I have not had time or light to examine the box, but I trusted
you to see that it contained all we wanted. Of course, if it does
not---- '

'I put in all I could see,' began Thomas, sullenly.

'Then we have a great prize--the only specimen known, and we shall see
our money back for that. As to the rest, why--until I can examine things
for myself, I can't tell you anything. I should like to get off before
the loss is discovered, and--well, how safe are we here? I should not
wish to be caught like a rat in a trap while we are waiting for the tide
to go down.'

'We're as safe here as anywhere,' returned Thomas, in the same sullen
tone. 'Now, tell me,' he continued, with some irritation in his voice,
'have you got to pay that boat and the crew out of our profits in this
business?'

His companion gave a low chuckle of amusement.

'There is not much that Jean Marie Fargis will not do for me, my
friend.'

'That's the skipper, I suppose?'

'It is. He got into an ugly scrape not many years ago, and people have
not forgotten it. I pulled him out of it, and started him in another
walk of life. He is not like to forget, even if I would let him. So he's
useful, you see.'

'I see. All the same, I expect this business will cost a pretty penny if
Fargis is afraid of you.'

'You will get your pay, never fear.'

'But if the coastguard sees him fishing in British waters?'

'Then his orders are--cut and run. He can meet us at Havre or
Cherbourg.'

'That's where he come from, is it?'

'No, it isn't. They are some of his places of call in his fishing trade.
He lives at Tout-Petit--quite a small place, further south. Go there,
man, if ever you find it wise to disappear, and mention my name to
Fargis. He will see you are all right till you can look round.
By-the-by, I hear the Earl's daughter that lives here is an heiress. Is
that so? Hullo! what's that?'

Both men sprang up at the noise, and crept cautiously forward to listen.
It had sounded like a stifled cry, and a splash, but so faint that in
the stillness which followed they thought themselves mistaken. Their
movement give Alan his chance.

(_Continued on page 142._)

[Illustration: "'Give me a leg up.'"]

[Illustration: "Concealment was impossible."]



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

V.--THE STORY OF A RETRIBUTION.


We have had two stories of cruel captivity among the Moors of North
Africa, and back in the fifteenth--even in the sixteenth--century, such
things seem easy to believe. The hard thing to realise is that, not a
hundred years ago, in days which our own grandparents might almost
remember, Christian captives were still toiling under the whips of their
Moorish taskmasters in the port of Algiers, with the prospect of torture
and death before them if they tried to escape and failed. But the cup of
Moorish cruelty and evil-doing was very nearly full, the day of
retribution was drawing near, and to England fell the honour of striking
the first blow.

It was in the spring of the year 1816, when the great cloud which had
overhung all Europe had been dispersed by the battle of Waterloo, that
the English Admiral, Lord Exmouth, appeared before the port of Algiers,
and, in the name of his nation, sent in a demand for the abolition of
Christian slavery and the cession of the Ionian Islands. The Turks have
always been skilful in putting off the day of submission, and the reply
was that the Dey must communicate with his lord, the Sultan of Turkey,
before he could make a definite answer. Those unpleasant visitors, the
English gunboats, were thus got rid of for three months; but,
unfortunately for him, the Dey had not learnt wisdom from the warning.
On the Ascension Day following, the crews of a Neapolitan fishing fleet
landed at Bona, on the north coast of Africa, to join in the festival
service. The pirates of Algiers swooped down upon the defenceless
fishermen, and massacred numbers of them on the spot without any
provocation. Then, as if to show that the act was one of open defiance,
they trampled on and insulted the British flag, and imprisoned the
English Vice-Consul.

The news set England aflame, the story of the Bona massacres was told
from mouth to mouth, the sufferings of the Christian captives were
described in burning words in the House of Commons, and soon the news
reached the proud Citadel of the Sea that Lord Exmouth was once more
upon his way.

It must have been anxious work for the European consuls in Algiers,
knowing that the tyrant, driven to bay, was likely enough to vent his
wrath upon those in his power. The English Consul was a married man,
with children too to consider, and he determined, if possible, to get
his wife and little ones out of the evil place before harm befell them.
An English vessel, the _Prometheus_, was in the harbour, and, though the
Dey had forbidden the Consul and his family to leave the city, the
Captain of the _Prometheus_ had a scheme for conveying them safely on
board. He himself landed on the pretext of conferring with the Dey, and,
when he returned to his ship, the Consul's wife and little daughter,
disguised as sailors, left the city under his charge. But there was
another member of the family who was less easily disposed of, namely,
the baby, a very unlikely passenger for a man-of-war's boat, and
certain to be detected by the Moorish guard, who watched the crew
re-embark.

With many misgivings and in grievous anxiety, the Consul's wife had been
induced to leave the little one behind her, the Captain assuring her
that he would be on shore again on the following day, and that he had
concocted a plan for bringing the baby back with him.

So the boat of the _Prometheus_ put in again on the morrow, watched,
doubtless, with eager eyes by the anxious mother and daughter on board
the vessel. The little one was drugged into a heavy sleep, and laid at
the bottom of a big basket, with vegetables skilfully piled above him.
One of the British sailors took the precious burden, and the Consul
strolled in front of it towards the harbour. There was nothing
remarkable in the sailors wishing for a few fresh vegetables to vary the
ship's fare, or in the English Consul seeing his countrymen to their
boat. But the Moorish guard had grown suspicious, as men are likely to
do who know that their lives will certainly pay for any lack of
vigilance. And so the sharp eyes that watched the English tars preparing
to embark noticed some rather unusual movements amongst the cabbages
that were being carried so carefully; and when a dismal howl arose from
under the green stuff and a little arm disturbed the vegetables,
concealment was impossible. The basket and its contents were seized by
the guard and carried before the Dey, and the Consul and the sailors
from the _Prometheus_ were arrested and imprisoned.

It was terrible news, indeed, which reached the poor mother, waiting on
board for her husband and child. Life in Algiers must have taught her,
only too well, the lengths to which Moorish cruelty could go, and the
tyrant who had defied the English nation was not likely to be deterred
by fear of consequences from avenging himself on his prisoner. The very
approach of the English ships might mean the sword or the bow-string, or
a yet more horrible death by torture. Some comfort the poor lady
received next day, when her baby was sent her, alive and well. Even the
cruelty of the Dey of Algiers had stopped short of hurting the child;
but the Consul, heavily ironed, was in the tyrant's dungeon, awaiting,
with many another luckless captive, the sentence from which the English
Admiral might be too late to save them. And, meanwhile, Lord Exmouth,
who had been joined at Gibralter by a Dutch squadron, arrived before the
Citadel of the sea, and sent in his demand for immediate release of all
Christian prisoners. The Admiral had made his arrangements with the
utmost care, and, when the time allowed for answer passed without any
reply, he boldly sent his flag-ship, the _Queen Charlotte_, straight for
the strong fort at the end of the pier which guarded the harbour. As the
troops flocked to the walls to watch the advance of the fleet, the
Admiral himself shouted and signed to them to retire under cover, while
he anchored right before the enemy's guns. The fort fired first; then a
broadside from the _Queen Charlotte_ crashed with terrible effect into
its walls.

Lord Exmouth had come there with the intention of doing his work
thoroughly: and very thoroughly he did it, for eight long hours of that
hot August day. When darkness fell, the famous forts, built by the
hands of thousands of luckless captives, were a mass of ruins. The
arsenal, the storehouses, and the fleet in the harbour had been utterly
destroyed. With the dawn, a boat, bearing the flag of truce, carried the
Admiral's terms to the beaten city. Every captive was to be immediately
surrendered, Christian slavery to be abolished, all ransoms paid during
the past year to be restored, and the Consul and sailors delivered
unhurt, and with due compensation. Three guns were to be fired in token
that all demands had been conceded, otherwise the bombardment would
re-commence.

Three hours passed, slow hours indeed to those waiting at the harbour's
mouth. Then across the water came the boom of three guns, the knell of
the old reign of tyranny and cruelty, the message of joy and release to
many an anxious heart. The prison doors were opened; the English Consul
and his fellow-prisoners, half expecting to be led to execution, found
themselves restored to those they loved. Hundreds of Christian slaves,
many of them too dazed and bewildered by the sudden change to realise
their freedom, thronged the rescuing ships, gazing back upon the
shattered fortifications which their hands had helped to build. And
fervent indeed must have been the thanksgivings which, by Lord Exmouth's
order, went up from the decks of the English ships, for the success of
the 'conflict between his Majesty's fleet, and the enemies of mankind.'

MARY H. DEBENHAM.



THE MYSTERIOUS VISITOR.


  Who's that slamming the garden door?
    I have heard it three times three!
  And though to the window I run to look,
    He's hiding away from me.
  The tree-tops laugh in the windy sky,
  And the maker-of-mischief, hovering nigh,
    Is hiding away from me.

  Who's that rattling the window-pane?
    I have heard it three times three!
  Yet every time I glance that way
    There's nothing at all to see.
  But the leaf of a rose bush blown about,
  While the culprit true, with a noisy shout,
    Is hiding away from me.

  Who's that whistling and calling loud
    Over my chimney high?
  'Tis the maker-of-mischief I cannot see
    Abroad in the blue, blue sky.
  Hark! he is shaking the window-pane!
  Now he is up in the clouds again,
    Sweeping the blue, blue sky.

  Oh, slam as you will my garden door,
    And whistle your blithest lay;
  I love your company, though unseen,
    Dear maker-of-mischief gay.
  I love to see your clouds go by,
  And the tree-tops waving against the sky,
    Oh, wind of the wild March day!



HOW TO OBTAIN FOOD.


When Napoleon the First was a student at the Military College of
Brienne, the examiners asked him the following question:--

'Supposing you were in a besieged town, on the verge of starvation, how
would you obtain food?'

'From the enemy!' was the prompt answer of the future Emperor.



THE PICTURE-CLEANERS.


'Oh, dear! I do wish Mother and Father were back again. It is horrid to
be without them,' exclaimed Sydney.

'Just horrid!' echoed Ella.

'They will be so pleased with you when they _do_ come,' observed Millie,
their elder sister, sarcastically.

'Oh!' said Syd, cheerfully, 'they know we can't be like dolls in a
shop-window. And we have really been good these days, haven't we, Ella?'

'Rather!' agreed she, emphatically.

'You were pulling each other's hair half an hour ago,' went on Millie,
and, longing to finish her story in peace, she rose, frowning, and left
the room, saying, 'The nicest game to play at would be that of being
quiet, good children, instead of troublesome little monkeys. I wonder
you never try it.'

The two, left alone, looked at each other, and burst into a merry laugh.
'What a funny game!' exclaimed Sydney. 'Shall we try it?'

'I don't know how to,' answered Ella gravely.

It did present some difficulty, almost as much, indeed, as being really
good, and the children silently reflected for some moments.

'We must sit perfectly still with folded hands, looking as stiff as
pokers,' said Syd at last.

'But sometimes good children _can_ do nice things,' observed Ella,
gravely.

'I wonder what?' said Syd, doubtfully.

'Well!--Well! sometimes, for instance, they give pleasant surprises.'

'Ella, you're a brick!' exclaimed her brother admiringly. 'That's a
splendid idea! Now let's think what surprise we can prepare for Father
and Mother when they arrive this evening.'

'Let's tidy the nursery,' proposed Ella.

'Too great a surprise,' Millie would have observed, had she been there
to hear. 'Too stupid,' exclaimed Sydney instead. 'Anybody can do that.'

'Let's learn a bit of poetry to recite when they come.'

'What nonsense!'

'Let's pretend to be other people's children, and when Father and Mother
are sorry, let's tell them it's not true.' This was a great stretch of
imagination for Ella, but Syd shook his head. 'They would never believe
it,' said he. Then there was silence for a moment, and light came.

'I've got it! I've got it!' shouted Syd, starting up excitedly. 'Let's
brighten up those old pictures in the gallery for them. We have time to
paint at least two of them before dark. Dingy old things! One of them is
older than our great-great-great-grandmother, and she's never been
touched, I believe. It's a shame to neglect old people like that. Hurry
up, Ella. Get out the paints; the oil ones.'

[Illustration: "Soon the two little mischief-makers were busy at work on
the pictures."]

The girl eagerly obeyed, and soon the two little mischief-makers were
busy at work on the old family pictures. They could not understand the
value or the beauty of the mellow browns and dark colours of the
portraits, and they only acted with the intention of giving their
parents a pleasant surprise. But they forgot that it is possible to do
much harm through heedlessness and ignorant haste as well as wilfully.

[Illustration: "Piggy lifted the heavy lid to feed upon the cheese,"]

But how happy they were! 'The old lady, now she's got some pink in her
checks, and wears such a lovely sky-blue gown, is almost as nice as
mother when she's going to a party,' said Ella, admiringly, 'but I am
not pleased with the gentleman yet. Can't we make him smarter, Syd?'

'Let's cut a button-hole in the picture, and stick a nice carnation in
his coat. Be quick, Ella.'

       *       *       *       *       *

There could be no doubt about the surprise. Never were parents more
taken aback than Ella's and Syd's, when they saw the wonderful
transformation made in their ancestors. Mother gasped some inarticulate
words, but Father simply remained speechless and aghast, for several of
the valuable old pictures were badly damaged, and the children's
heedless behaviour meant a serious loss to him.

'Surprises are not pleasant things at all,' sobbed Ella, shortly
afterwards, in bed.

'That beastly game!' growled Syd, hiding his face in the pillow, ashamed
of the tears he could not restrain. 'I knew nothing nice could come of
it. It's just like Millie to let us get into a scrape.'

Perhaps he was unjust, but Millie was not particularly happy either. It
was tiresome to have to look after wild children, and much more amusing
to read; but now the story-book was locked away, and Mother did not seem
to think that Millie had even _played_ at being good. So that this
'pleasant surprise' had only one good result, and that was not the one
which was expected. All three children learnt that it was much better to
_be_ good than simply to _play_ at it.



GLIMPSES OF HEDGEHOG LIFE.


A boy who was on a visit to the country once said to me, 'I do so want
to find a hedgehog; please tell me where to look for one.' All I could
reply was, 'It is not very easy to find a hedgehog. The likeliest place
to pop upon one is near some hedgerow; you know he is called _hedge_hog,
or hedgepig. But he much prefers darkness to light, and takes excursions
after sunset.'

It may be remarked that hedgehogs must be somewhere in the daytime; this
is true, but the difficulty is to discover their hiding-place, which is
usually a hole or a thick clump of herbage. A search in the dark with a
lantern has been tried, and has been successful, but not often; still,
those who know how, manage to secure these animals, for they are to be
bought in the London streets. People buy them to keep indoors, as
killers of blackbeetles, or perhaps they are turned out to destroy
garden insects. Somebody who has had them in his garden remarks that it
is no easy task to find them, even though you know every corner, for
they have such artful ways.

There are some people who think hedgehogs may do harm amongst garden
plants, turning up roots occasionally in their hunts after insects,
perhaps even nibbling young shoots; and this is quite possible. Piggy is
of a greedy nature, certainly, and if he has the range of a kitchen
swarming with blackbeetles, he will feed on them until he makes himself
ill. Odd, too, are the noises he produces when he is 'on the warpath.'
The sounds come partly from himself, but also partly from things he
clatters against during his wanderings. One night, a gentleman who had
a hedgehog heard a very peculiar noise in his kitchen; he went to see
what it was, and found that the animal had stormed a cheese-dish. It had
lifted the heavy lid to feast upon the cheese inside, making the cover
rattle on the edge of the dish. We should not, perhaps, fancy a hedgehog
capable of gymnastic feats, but it is an animal with rather a liking for
a wall-climb, and has been known to mount one that was nine feet high,
aided by creepers on the wall. Another has been noticed to climb an
ordinary wall, laying hold of little projections. Upon a search for a
missing hedgehog, he was found at the bottom of the stairs, having made
a nest under the stair-carpet. Another time, the same hedgehog travelled
up to a bedroom, and kept still all day; some one went to bed early, but
woke suddenly on hearing a noise, and, jumping out of bed, stepped on
the animal's back. In a home, Piggy usually becomes amiable, and will
shut up his spines to be stroked.



THE REWARD OF A GENIUS.


Dismay and indignation were expressed most obviously on the faces of the
group of boys wending their way homewards.

'I'd like to know what "Simmy" expects us to do?' said Crowther,
moodily. (Had he heard the remark, Dr. Simpson-Martyn--irreverently
nicknamed 'Simmy'--would probably have 'expected' two hundred lines the
next morning, for disrespect.)

'Learn crochet and fancy work,' suggested Harvey, helpfully.

'Form an "anti-games" league,' said another.

'Or promote a debating society where your humour and intelligence might
be displayed,' added Howard.

'If you chaps would use that brilliance in trying to find a way out of
this hole, we might arrive at something definite,' said Crowther,
returning to his grievance. '"Substitute some athletic pursuit involving
less danger to the general public: something more conducive to the
preserving of law and order,"' he quoted, bitterly, with a clever
imitation of the fussy little Doctor's pompous manner. 'Fancy giving up
hare-and-hounds for some "pursuit" like croquet, or ping-pong,' and
Crowther's scowl deepened.

'It was jolly hard that we should be throwing down the scent just as old
Simmy's trap drove along. I wonder he isn't ashamed to own an animal,
supposed to be a horse, that is frightened at the sight of a few
fragments of paper.'

'I suppose he would have no objection to our continuing the pursuit of
our favourite pastime, providing no "element of danger," such as paper,
was introduced?'

Britt, the common corruption of Leslie's nickname of 'Encyclopædia
Britannica,' spoke with the drawl that usually meant the origination of
some new scheme.

'What's the idea?' asked Harvey, coming briefly to the point.

'It is only in the region of the town that Doctor Simpson-Martyn has
forbidden us to scatter the dangerous element, is it not?' Britt asked,
very calmly, ignoring his questioner. Then he ducked just in time to
avoid a well-aimed book.

'Oh, dry up, Britt, and come to the point,' exclaimed the irritated
Harvey, but Crowthar nodded in answer to Britt's remark.

'Well, why not make a chalk mark, or something of that kind, on the
pavement or walls, as long as we are in the town, and use the paper when
we are out of bounds? Of course, it won't be so exciting, and not half
such sport, but it is better than nothing, seems to me.'

The group considered thoughtfully.

'It seems a pretty tame idea,' said Harvey, without enthusiasm.

Britt was not in the least disturbed by this cold reception. 'Suggest a
better one,' he rejoined, promptly; but Harvey's ideas did not seem to
be numerous.

Crowther's brow had cleared. He had great faith in Britt's schemes: they
were almost always successful.

'Can any one suggest anything better?' he asked, but the challenge was
unanswered.

'Then we will try your dodge, Britt,' said Crowther, decisively, and
before parting, the boys laid all their plans accordingly.

The following day was fixed for the run, and promptly at two o'clock the
hare and hounds assembled. A good deal of chaff was directed by those
who had come to see the start at the bulky lump of chalk that formed
part of the scent, but Britt's good-humour was endless. His confidence
in the use of the chalk was fully justified, for the chase proved one of
the season's most exciting outings, having a spice of originality in
addition to its pleasure, and Britt's ingenuity was rewarded by a good
hearty cheer from the hounds who had followed him so closely.

(_Concluded on page 151._)



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 135._)


Without allowing himself to hesitate a second, Alan sprang, as he hoped,
noiselessly forward, seized the box, which was far lighter than he had
imagined it would be, and ran towards the steps to the Smuggler's Hole.
Unfortunately for him, the loose stones rattled and scattered under his
flying feet, and the men were after him. For a time he managed to keep
well ahead, though he could feel he was not increasing the distance
between himself and his pursuers. He had excellent training, a natural
fleetness of foot, and a light wiry build in his favour; but the enemy
had longer legs, and a perfect acquaintance with the cave and steps. It
was too dark for recognition, and neither of the men was likely to be
very scrupulous should they succeed in catching him.

Up the steps dashed Alan, his breath coming in gasps, and the real
difficulties of his enterprise dawning on him for the first time. It had
been begun in a spirit of amusement, but it bid fair to end in
something very different. But Alan would not drop the precious box. It
was a matter of honour now to save it at all costs. What it contained he
could not imagine, and he had no time for thinking. He could already
hear the panting of the man who had followed closest on his tracks; he
was even struck by one of the flying pebbles sent whirling away by his
heavy feet. He himself was getting spent. The steps were surely steeper
than they had ever been before. He had thought nothing of them the other
day, when he and Marjorie were here exploring! Could it have been only
the other day? It seemed ages ago. Now he was trying vainly to struggle
up to level ground, to the friendly shelter of the Wilderness, and home.

He had come to the turn, and in his relief that the greater part of the
steps had been scaled, he sprang forward with renewed hope. The
momentary carelessness cost him dear. He stumbled and fell. The box was
shot out of his hand by a blow from a projecting angle, and as he spun
along the rocky ground, he suddenly felt himself falling, falling, till
he came a heavy thud on a soft, sandy floor.

He lay still for a while to collect his senses. Then the keen sting of
disappointment prevented him from realising his position. The box was
gone! All his labour had been thrown away! Whatever it contained was at
the mercy of the men. They had no one to prevent their carrying it off
beyond hope of saving. Oh, what a fool he had been! And he had been
priding himself on keeping ahead of them!

He could not get over his anger.

He was not badly hurt, however, and it was time to see where his folly
had landed him. The prospect was not cheering. He was lying in a 'round
hole,' as he called it afterwards, with a sandy bottom, while all around
him the mighty rocks towered to immense heights. A strip of sky was just
visible, and a star or two glimmered in the blue. He knew that stars
could be seen sometimes, even in daylight, from great depths, but the
remembrance of this was by no means comforting. Was he, then, at the
bottom of a deep, narrow shaft? If so, how was he to get out again? Not
a soul, except perhaps Thomas, knew of its existence, and Thomas was not
in the least likely to betray his knowledge. In all probability, too,
the men had fled with his box, and would be heard of no more, since they
were now aware that their doings were known to at least one person.

For some moments Alan felt appalled as he glanced again at the height of
his prison walls. The full force of his position came over him.

'Marjorie will give the alarm,' he thought, dismally, 'but they will
never know where to look for me. If I'm to get out, it must be by my own
efforts.'

He felt very unequal to the task of climbing those grim precipices,
frowning so blackly down on him; but the daylight would soon be on the
wane, and no time could be lost in vain regrets. Rousing himself, he got
up, but found he had not escaped without some severe bruises, which
would prove serious drawbacks to an awkward climb. It was miraculous
that he had not met with worse injuries from so great a fall; only the
soft sand and the smoothness of the walls had saved him. But this same
smoothness was the chief hindrance to his escape. There was not a
loophole of any sort or kind by which he could raise himself--not a twig
or ledge to give him a hold. With increasing anxiety he scanned the
walls still more closely, but, even though his eyes had become
accustomed to the gloom, it was too dark to make out a single projecting
edge, or the minutest crevice which could raise his hopes of escape. In
despair, and with a sickening sense of dread, he sank down again on the
sand. If Thomas had wished to put him out of the way, he could not have
done so more completely, thought the boy, with bitterness.



CHAPTER VIII.


As time went on and Alan did not return, Marjorie stood up to listen,
wondering what she ought to do. Should she wait, or go at once in search
of him? Before she had made up her mind, however, her hesitation was
brought to an end by a violent bang--a sound she knew only too well.
Springing up the bank, she made her way as rapidly as the brushwood
allowed to the ruin, remembering with dismay that Estelle and Georgie
had been on the roof. When she got there, no one was to be seen. Georgie
had gone away, very deeply hurt that Estelle should have left him in his
sleep, from which he had been startled by the crash of the closing door.
It was some time before Marjorie found him--safe, though
resentful--sitting on a heap of swept-up leaves in the carriage-drive,
talking to one of the gardeners.

She was in too great a hurry to listen to her little brother's
complaints, and only stopped a moment to ask where Estelle was.

'Gone home, I suppose,' returned Georgie, not in the most gentle of
voices. 'Didn't I tell you she was nowhere to be seen when I woke up?'

'If it was anybody else but Estelle, I should be afraid of her being
shut into the ruin, as the door must have been open; but she never
disobeys. So it's all right, and I must rush after Alan.'

Off she went at the top of her speed. She could get to the Smugglers'
Hole more quickly if she ran round by the path to the cliffs. Without
reasoning over it, she understood instinctively that the men would go
there, and Alan after them. With the fleetness of a lapwing, she flew
along the path through the Wilderness, and reached the cliff as the
first flush of sunset was beginning to crimson the western sky. Like a
ghostly ship, the vessel they had seen that morning glided across the
red rippling path of light, the tapering masts dark against the evening
glow, while above it white gulls were winging in circles. So beautiful
was the scene that she paused, and, as she gazed, she saw a tiny boat
leave the ship's side and draw towards the shore. For the moment Alan
was forgotten. Watching the little dinghy, her mind became full of the
idea suggested by her brother. Was Thomas really going to carry his
stolen goods beyond seas?

(_Continued on page 146._)

[Illustration: "Alan seized the box, and ran."]

[Illustration: "She let the dog lead her into the blackness."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 143._)


With the thought that Thomas might put to sea, a multitude of questions
came to Marjorie's mind. How had he managed to let the ship's crew know?
Was its presence there due to Thomas at all? Who was the man with him?
Was he a man who could have a ship when he wanted it, or was he a member
of the crew? Alan said that he talked English perfectly, but with a
slightly foreign accent. Perhaps the man was a Frenchman. The coastguard
had considered the ship was French, with a rig altered since she was
built. That would account for its coming to the help of Thomas, and no
doubt the dinghy was to fetch the two men. She wondered if it was her
duty to tell the coastguard all that she and Alan suspected. 'Perhaps he
would only laugh at me,' she thought.

If the coastguard had been in sight she might yet have done so, but
there appeared to be no one on the cliffs except herself. The pathway
along the edge was quite deserted, and it was a mile or more to the
signal station. Moreover, she had no hat; it had been taken off for
coolness and left in the ditch, forgotten in her fright at the closing
door.

The temptation to watch the little boat was too great to be resisted. If
Thomas and his friend should return in it to the ship, what a grand
piece of news to tell Alan! There was just a chance he might see it for
himself, and she would only get a pinch for stale news; but she hoped
otherwise.

Meantime the dinghy drew nearer, and to her practised eye it became
evident that the men did not know the coast, for they rowed first one
way and then another without finding the entrance to the Bay; they
seemed afraid of submerged rocks, which might be quite covered even at
the half-tide. They crept in, nevertheless, and Marjorie, for a time,
lost sight of them. She crawled closer to the edge of the cliff, but she
knew her position to be dangerous if she attempted to get over the light
railing which had been put up on account of the crumbling condition of
the edge. Further to the right the rail ceased, and the ground became a
steep slope to the sea, but trees and low shrubs prevented so good a
view as she had at present. There was nothing for it, therefore, but to
wait.

Comforting herself with assurances that Alan was far better able to take
care of himself than she was, she climbed to the top of the railing, and
sat watching the strange ship. Suddenly she noticed that every stitch of
canvas was being run up, and a moment later signal flags flew out at the
masthead. In great excitement, she glanced down at the surging water
below her, and sure enough the little boat was shooting into view, and
rowing rapidly away towards the ship. In her efforts to discover what it
all meant she almost forgot to look for Thomas in the boat, but when she
remembered to count the men, she was disappointed to find exactly the
same number that there had been at first.

Greatly puzzled, she gazed at the retreating dinghy. What had been its
business, and why had the signal flown out so suddenly? Marjorie hated
to be puzzled over things. 'There can be but one explanation,' she
thought, 'and that is, Thomas has been too late to catch the boat, and
they could not wait for him. It serves him right.' She hoped he would
now be caught red-handed. The sun had sunk low in the horizon by the
time the dinghy reached the vessel, and nothing could be more beautiful
than the slowly sailing ship moving across the great ball of fire. It
looked like a fairy craft as it sank out of sight.

Marjorie sprang to her feet. 'How late it is!' she thought, with dismay.
'I wonder where Alan is? He will be in a jolly rage when he finds I'm
nowhere to be found; and all for nothing too!'

She ran lightly down the hollow, the wood looking dark and gloomy in the
fading light. Fearing she might miss the way into the Smuggler's Hole,
she walked more cautiously as the shadows deepened; it was fortunate she
did. She had hardly gone ten yards before she heard voices so near that
there was barely time to sink down behind the bushes before Thomas and
his friend passed along the path towards the cliff.

'Well, what do you make of it?' she heard Thomas say in a sullen tone.
'If it was a bargain, why didn't the fellow stop?'

'That's what Fargis has to answer to me for,' returned his companion,
angrily. 'Cutting away like that for no reason at all that I can see,
and leaving us---- '

The voices died away, and Marjorie smiled to think how nearly she had
guessed right. They _had_ missed the boat. Now she would really have
some news for Alan. She resumed her way, though the silence was not
encouraging. She ought to meet Alan if he was still on the track of the
men. What could he be doing if he was not? It took some careful peering
into dark places to discover the entrance to the Smuggler's Hole, and
even then the blackness of the steps made her hesitate. Could she get
down without a ray of light? Not lacking in courage, however, she
ventured to feel her way to the bottom of the first flight. There the
dangers of the descent began, and she dared not proceed.

Deep silence reigned. As she stood listening, she did not know for what,
she suddenly heard a faint patter of paws, and the next moment, with a
whining yelp, a dog jumped up to her and careered round her feet. A
touch showed her it was Bootles--Bootles, distressed and eager; now
whining, now pulling at her dress, as if he wanted something very badly.
Her thoughts flew at once to Alan. Perhaps those horrid men had injured
him. In haste she tied a handkerchief to the dog's collar, and let him
lead her into the blackness till he halted, sniffing and barking, having
attained the object of his desires.

'Alan! Alan!' she called, in terror of what she might hear, yet resolved
to find out why the dog was so restless.

The rocks seemed to send back echoes of her voice, and aroused fears
lest Thomas might hear and return. Nevertheless she stood still and
listened intently; even the dog kept quiet. Was there an answer? She
could not quite make out. She must call again, though it required a
great effort to do so. There was no mistake this time.

'M-a-r-j-o-r-i-e-e-e!'

Muffled, scarcely audible as it was, the voice was no echo. It appeared
to come from the ground, but the dog's pulls and barks confused her. She
was afraid to advance, and little imagined how near she was already to
the unprotected edge of the rocky shaft down which Alan had fallen. She
had seen it during their explorations, but had quite forgotten its
existence. Nevertheless, she stooped to listen, and the dog crouched at
her side.

(_Continued on page 157._)



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

6.--GEOGRAPHICAL LETTER.


Dear (a town in South Australia),--This morning, being up betimes, and
having had an early (town in the West of England) and breakfast, I take
the opportunity of writing to you. Yesterday, my uncle (a city of
Michigan, U.S.) and his daughter (a city of Italy) came to see us. Two
slight accidents marred their visit: to begin with, my cousin fell upon
the (an Ayrshire village), and afterwards, while we were out driving, a
(town in Staffordshire) caused the horse to slip. We were then obliged
to walk, but the way was rough, and presently a stream barred all
progress. However, we discovered an (town near Coalbrookdale) which
enabled us to go (town in Cheshire). After eating an (river of South
Africa) and a (decayed seaport in Kent) apiece, we felt refreshed, and
went on until we came to a tall (parish in East London). Here we sat
(county in Ireland), and uncle amused us by (town in Berkshire). The
rest I will tell you later; till then believe me,--Your affectionate
friend, (An Australian colony) (a market town in Herefordshire).

C. J. B.

[_Answer on page 179._]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWER TO PUZZLE ON PAGE 115.

5.--_Caroline_.

  1.   C aractacus.
  2.   A lexander.
  3.   R oger Bacon.
  4.   O lney.
  5.   L atimer.
  6.   I ndia.
  7.   N ormandy.
  8.   E mmet.



THE BARBERRY.


The Barberry is an ornamental shrub, on account of its graceful yellow
blossoms and its bright scarlet berries. The fruit is often prescribed
by village doctors for the jaundice, but from its sourness it is seldom
eaten uncooked. It makes excellent jelly, and is much used in the
manufacture of sugar-plums. The roots and bark yield a yellow dye.
Cattle and sheep eat the leaves, and the flowers are attractive to
insects.

The barberry formerly grew wild, in great quantities, in our English
hedgerows, but it has been extirpated from a belief that it injures the
growth of corn. It is said that the leaves are frequently infested by a
tiny fungus, similar to one which attacks wheat: this is easily
dispersed by the wind, and propagatad amongst the corn, causing it much
injury.

The barberry seems to be widely distributed: it is found in America, and
in most European countries, especially on the shores of the Danube.



MY DREAMS.


  My dreams are just like little birds
    Which in a cage I keep,
  To set them free when bed-time comes,
    And I fall fast asleep.

  Oh! they are such a pretty sight!
    The tiny ones are red,
  And in their blue and golden clouds
    They flutter round my bed.

  They tell me of those wonder things
    Which I have never seen;
  And to and fro they swiftly dart
    As bright as moonlight sheen.

  They sing to me so sweet and low,
    These dreams I fain would keep--
  Then softly crooning, fly away,
    When I awake from sleep.



ADVICE TO GOSSIPERS.


It will be quite time enough to talk about the faults and failings of
absent friends when we have assured ourselves that we have none of our
own of which to speak.



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

V.--THE SHO OF JAPAN AND THE KOU OF CHINA.


National character comes out in a curious way in the music of the
people, and the whistling of the children as they pass along the streets
of China and Japan shows a marked difference between the races. The
proud, shy Chinese wants nothing to satisfy his ears but the weird
melodies of his own land, whilst to the cosmopolitan Japanese the songs
of the world are welcome, and the newest jingle of Paris or London or
New York mingles with the airs of Italian or German Opera. Japanese ears
are curiously true in catching up airs, and they can imitate with great
fidelity.

The national music of Japan finds a place in its mythology, and its
origin is ascribed to the Goddess of the Sun, Amaterasu by name. She,
thinking herself affronted by her fellow divinities, betook herself to a
cavern in the mountains, and declined to come out. Finding the world
gloomy without her warmth and radiance, the gods tried every possible
form of inducement to make her emerge; but without success, until some
original genius hit upon the happy idea of musical sounds, which so
enchanted the angry goddess that indignation gave place to curiosity,
and she came out to listen, when gods and men once more revelled in her
brightness.

Learned Japanese have recently declared Hindostan to have been the
cradle of their national music, whereas it was formerly supposed to have
been brought from China; certainly both instruments and the music
played on them are much alike in these two countries.

In both countries blind men take a large share in performances. They
form unions, much after the fashion of our Trades Unions and Benefit
Clubs, and have officers to look after the general interests as well as
to see that each member receives a fair amount of support. The chief is
a very important person, and has great power over his inferiors. Every
member of the Guild is bound to work at some trade beside music, and to
turn over all his earnings to the Treasurer.

Like music itself, this Japanese method of providing for the blind has a
mythological origin. Teki, a favourite prince, was killed in battle, it
is said, whilst fighting Joritomo, the Japanese god of war. His general
was taken prisoner at the same time, and his captor treated him so well
and kindly that, unwilling to seem ungrateful, and yet unable to endure
the sight of the hand which had killed his beloved master, he put out
his own eyes, and presented them to Joritomo, who, delighted with such
courage and affection, set him at liberty. We, having heard and read
both of the magnificent bravery of the Japanese soldiers in the late war
as well as of their noble and humane treatment of their prisoners, may
see in this story a proof that these virtues are hereditary and
instinctive in the race. Returning to his own province the blind general
sought for new worlds to conquer. He turned musician, and gathered a
large following of persons similarly afflicted, finally forming them
into a Society of Blind Musicians, and giving it the name of 'Teki,' his
dead master.

[Illustration: The Sho.]

The instrument called Sho is blown with the mouth, and corresponds to
the Chinese Cheng or Mouth Organ. The pipes are made of wood, with reed
mouthpieces, and the notes are made by stopping the holes with the
fingers. In some ways the construction is like that of a harmonium, but
it is much more troublesome to play, and the performer, having to use
his own breath to make the sounds, cannot sing at the same time. Unlike
a harmonium also, it is difficult to keep in tune, and Miss Bird, a
well-known traveller, tells of a concert at which the performer was
obliged to be continually warming his instrument at a brazier of coals
placed near. Some years ago a Japanese Commission was appointed to
consider which of the national instruments were most suitable for use
in schools; it rejected the Sho because its manufacture was troublesome
and its tuning even worse.

[Illustration: The Kou.]

Kou is the Chinese word for drum, of which many kinds are used in China,
Japan, and Burmah. Eastern drums differ from those of Europe in having
their heads nailed on, not kept movable as ours are for tuning purposes.
The body is usually made of sandalwood, cedar, or mulberry wood, or else
of baked clay. They are used for many purposes: on State occasions, to
tell the hour during the night, to scare away evil spirits as well as to
invite visits from good spirits, and to play the 'Amens' at the end of
verses in the Confucian services. Tiny drums are also carried by pedlars
when hawking their wares. Etiquette insists that on any occasion when
the Emperor is present all drums must be muffled by being rolled in
folds of cloth.

HELENA HEATH.



MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.

V.--THE _GREAT EASTERN_.


[Illustration]

Hard tasks bravely done, are never wholly done in vain; but sometimes
they have been carried out too soon. This was the case in the building
of the _Great Eastern_ steamship. Fifty years ago there was no place in
the shipping world large enough to accommodate her properly, and Mr.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who spent hard years of toil planning her
construction, was nearly half a century ahead of his fellow-men. Time
has proved that his ideas were correct.

The monster ship was first thought of by him about the year 1852, for it
was then that he laid his schemes before the Eastern Steam Navigation
Company, and explained to them why large ships would be more profitable
than small.

'When sending a vessel from London to Calcutta,' said he, 'she will go
much more cheaply if she does not have to stop on the way to take in
coal. Now, I propose to build ships capable of carrying enough coal to
take them round the world; or at any rate to Calcutta and back.'

[Illustration: The Great Eastern]

He also made it clear that there is not so much risk with a large ship
as with a small, for damage which would be enough to sink the latter
would have but little effect upon the former. Mr. Brunel had already
proved his skill in designing iron ships, for even at the time of which
we are speaking, the _Great Western_ was steaming between England and
America, and the _Great Britain_ had been upon the rocks on the Irish
coast, suffering little damage by the collision.

His plan was to build the hull with a double skin, leaving a space of
some feet between them, so that if the outside one was burst through,
the water failed to get past the inner coat.

The Directors of the Company agreed with his views, and in December,
1853, work upon the _Great Eastern_ was begun.

At Millwall, in the Isle of Dogs, in the shipyard of Messrs. Scott
Russell & Co., the foundations were laid, and in a very little time,
people passing up and down the river Thames were attracted by the first
signs of the building of the 'big ship.' Up from the river's edge, for a
distance of 330 feet, ran the two sloping 'ways' or slides, and across
these were laid the cradles in which the huge baby was to lie. Each of
the 'ways' was 120 feet broad, and they were separated by a distance of
some 200 feet. Owing to the size of the proposed ship, it was found
impossible to build her, as is usually done, with her stern toward the
water. Mr. Brunel feared that it would not be safe to launch her in such
a position; he decided therefore to plan the erection parallel with the
stream, so that he might lower her gently into the water sideways.

Nothing that had been done before in the way of ship-building could be
taken as a guide, for the increase in size made difficulties that no one
had yet had to encounter. Little did those who only 'looked on' realise
the thought and trouble which this new enterprise meant. Again and again
the engineer had to alter his measurements, as fresh considerations
arose. Among other things he was obliged to take into account the depth
of the water at low tide in the river Hooghly, at Calcutta; for if the
_Great Eastern_ was built so as to sink too low in the water when fully
loaded, she would never be able to enter the port of the capital of
India at all.

But at last all the measurements were decided upon. The ship would be
693 feet long, 83 feet broad, and 58 feet from keel to upper deck;
weighing altogether 13,000 tons. With room in its iron shell for 5000
people, the _Great Eastern_ would be a floating town, containing more
inhabitants than many flourishing communities in England. The frame, or
skeleton, consisted of 'bulkheads,' or huge webs of iron stretching for
400 feet lengthwise of the ship, and crossed by similar bulkheads from
side to side, placed at intervals of about 20 feet. These formed a
strong framework on which to fasten the walls of the ship. There were no
openings between the compartments formed by the bulkheads, except on a
level with the first deck; so that if water did, by any misfortune,
burst through from the bottom, it would not flood the whole ship.

The hull was completed at the end of the summer of 1857, and was ready
for receiving the engines for driving the screw and the two enormous
paddlewheels. The latter were between 50 and 60 feet in diameter. Then
came the preparations for the launching; and little had the engineer
guessed that in the short space of 240 feet, which separated his ship
from the main stream of the Thames, would lie the greatest difficulties
of all. The 'ways' sloped at a gradient of one foot in twelve, and had
iron surfaces. The day before the launch was to take place, these were
well greased. Chains were stretched from the stern and the bow to barges
in the river while hydraulic jacks, for pushing the huge body from the
land side, were anchored firmly to the ground. A careful estimate of how
much strength would be required had been made, and additional
precautions were taken to prevent the ship sliding too swiftly when once
set in motion.

All arrangements being then considered complete, it was decided to
attempt the launch on the 3rd of November. On that day, against Mr.
Brunel's wishes, vast crowds of sightseers pushed their way into the
yard, and even intruded themselves between him and his workmen, so that
the signals he wished to make could not be seen. However, at about noon,
the _Great Eastern_ began to move on its journey to the river. It
slipped a short distance and then stopped. The men on the barges, seeing
the monster sliding towards them, deserted their posts in terror. Had
they known that nearly three months were to elapse before the ship would
be induced to reach the water, they would hardly have given way to such
panic.

The unruly crowd went home disappointed on that November day, and Mr.
Brunel's troubles were increased by the receipt of large numbers of
letters advising him what to do. They mainly came from people who were
quite ignorant of mechanical laws. The engineer knew that strength must
prevail at last, but though he used all he could obtain at the moment,
the ship only moved an inch or two at a time. At last, at the time of
his greatest perplexity, Robert Stephenson visited him at Millwall, and
gave kindly encouragement as well as aid. He provided greater power than
Mr. Brunel had yet been able to obtain, and on January 31st, 1858, the
huge vessel imperceptibly slipped the last few inches into the Thames.

But it seems sad to have to say that the _Great Eastern_ was nearly as
much trouble on the water as she had been on the land. Her designer
never lived to see her face the storm and wave. Anxiety had undermined
his health, and he died on September 15th, 1859, as she steered into
Weymouth on her first trial journey.

The world was not ready for such big ships, and though she made several
voyages to New York (where she was greeted with the flutter of flags and
the welcome of cannon), the _Great Eastern_ did not earn her wages.

After a curious existence of thirty years, during which period she
changed her masters many times, doing good service, in 1865, by laying
the Atlantic cable, she was sold to be broken up as little more than old
iron.

Our steamships now are built even larger than Mr. Brunel's vessel,
though in a slightly different way. But we have better means of
constructing them, and docks large enough for their accommodation.

One of the largest ships yet launched was built for the Cunard Company a
short time ago. It is 760 feet long, and 87 feet broad, and is nearly
thirty times heavier than the _Britannia_--the Company's first ship to
cross the Atlantic sixty-five years ago. Her saloons and dining-halls
are fit apartments for a palace, and are built in a hull measuring sixty
feet from keel to upper deck. Still larger vessels are in course of
construction.

The poor _Great Eastern_--the leviathan of other days--has been
eclipsed; but whatever admiration we may feel for the new, it must not
be allowed to diminish the honour that is due to the old.



THE REWARD OF A GENIUS.

(_Concluded from page 142._)


Britt ran home that evening full of excitement and satisfaction. His cap
was thrown carelessly on one side as the lad rushed into the
sitting-room, and he looked disappointed at finding a maid preparing the
supper-table as the only occupant.

'Where's Mother? Hasn't she come home yet, Mary?' he asked.

'Yes, Master Rupert, your mother got back this afternoon, but she was no
sooner in than Miss Aleyn sent for her to go in there, and she hasn't
come back yet. She sent a note for you, though; it's on the
mantel-shelf, there.'

Britt took the envelope. 'It's jolly rough on a fellow to have his
mother taken away when he hasn't seen her for a week,' he grumbled, as
he opened it.

'My dear boy,' the letter ran, 'I am so sorry not to be with you this
evening. Unfortunately Miss Aleyn has got one of her particularly
fidgety nervous attacks, and I don't like to leave her. She found a
cross chalked on the gate-post this afternoon, and imagines it is a
burglar's mark! She won't listen to reason, and absolutely refuses to
come home with me, so the house is now being barricaded in preparation
for the attack Miss Aleyn confidently expects.'

Rupert read the letter through twice before its meaning dawned on him.
Miss Aleyn, an elderly and very eccentric maiden lady, was their near
neighbour, and a friend of his mother's. Her hobby was curio-collecting,
and she lived in perpetual dread of having her treasures stolen. In
fact, judging by the energy and ingenuity she displayed in hunting for
them, one might well imagine the old lady was desirous of making a
collection of burglars, although so far no success had attended her
efforts. She was an ardent admirer of Sherlock Holmes; to her, as to the
famous detective, every unfamiliar sign or unusual incident meant a clue
to some crime or burglary. Remembering this trait of Miss Aleyn's, Britt
suddenly realised how full of meaning must have appeared the hasty
scrawl he had left on Miss Aleyn s gate-post for the hounds' guidance
that afternoon. He startled the maid-servant by a peal of laughter that
echoed through the small house.

'I'll be back directly,' he exclaimed abruptly, as soon as he could
speak, seizing his cap, and rushing from the house. The prospect of
explaining matters for Miss Aleyn's benefit was no pleasant one. The old
lady had a small opinion of boys, and never hesitated to speak her mind,
as Britt had already been made aware, but he was anxious to have his
mother home once more and eager to tell her of the afternoon's pleasure.
Arriving at the picturesque detached cottage which was his destination,
Britt noticed that the place appeared totally deserted. His vigorous
hammering at both front and kitchen doors was without effect, and Britt
began to wonder whether Mrs. Leslie had persuaded terror-stricken Miss
Aleyn to accompany her home. As a final resource he lifted the flap of
the letterbox and stooped down to it, meaning to shout through; but he
met with an unwelcome surprise. He was greeted by a jet of water from a
well-directed squirt aimed through the opening. He gave himself a
disgusted shake, and ruefully tried to stop the trickling down his neck
with a handkerchief; then cautiously advancing once more, and placing
his lips to the keyhole, he shouted: 'It's me, Mother!--let me in!'

The sentence, brief and ungrammatical, served its purpose. Mrs. Leslie's
voice could be heard inside: 'It's only Rupert, Miss Aleyn. May he come
in for a moment?'

Indistinct murmurs answered the question, and Britt added a further
appeal: 'I've got something important to tell Miss Aleyn.'

This was more to the point, and Rupert, with secret amusement and
enjoyment, heard sounds as of heavy furniture being removed and bolts
and bars drawn back. A small space was made in the doorway and the boy
slipped through. For a moment he paused, bewildered. In the hall was
such a collection of furniture that there was but a few clear yards'
space. A sideboard, several chairs, a music-stool, and two fenders had
evidently been piled up to barricade the door. A frightened maid held
the garden squirt, a pail of water by her side, and in the background
stood Miss Aleyn, poker in hand, with a grim expression that boded ill
for any intruder. Mrs. Leslie regarded her son with some alarm.

Fervently wishing himself in any region away from this one, Britt
blurted out abruptly the reason of his errand. It took Miss Aleyn some
time to understand his meaning, but when she did, Britt bitterly
regretted his wonderful invention. The old lady's tongue was caustic,
and her language eloquent, and this occasion was not one to be lost. For
a truly bad quarter of an hour she instilled into poor Britt a sense of
his folly and faults, and finally demanded his services in replacing the
disordered furniture.

For reasons best known to himself, this unexpected development of his
scheme was never revealed by Britt to the other boys. He did not
encourage a repetition of the game, nor show any pleasure in its
success. As a rule, when new ideas are sought after by Dr.
Simpson-Martyn's pupils, Britt now follows Brer Rabbit's excellent
example: he lies low and says nothing.

[Illustration: "He was greeted by a jet of water."]

[Illustration: "His shoulder caught me as he passed."]



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

IV.--A FIGHT WITH A RHINOCEROS.

(_Concluded from page 131._)


The tragedy (continued Vandeleur) took place _after_ the rhinoceros
adventure, but shall be told before it.

After a fortnight Umkopo was quite himself again, and began to go about
with me on my hunting expeditions into the veldt. At the end of a month
something happened which suddenly ended our relations for the time
being. One day, as I sat at dinner, I heard shoutings outside the camp,
and the sounds of quarrelling among the native attendants. Presently a
man was brought into the zareeba, apparently unconscious; four men
carried him, and a fifth--Umkopo--followed the procession, looking dark
and forbidding; evidently in the worst of humours.

The wounded man was Billy, and the other four Kaffirs brought his
unconscious form and laid him close to me, every man speaking at the
same time, endeavouring to explain what had happened.

It seemed that Billy had somehow offended Umkopo, who had straightway
fallen upon him with his knob-kerri.

I dismissed the Kaffirs, bidding them attend to Billy, and beckoned
Umkopo up to me. He and I had learned to understand one another
wonderfully well during the month of our acquaintance. I showed him that
I was gravely displeased with him, and this evidently was more than he
could bear. Doubtless his uncivilised, untutored mind could not
understand why I should be vexed because he had avenged an insult. At
any rate poor Umkopo was sadly distressed. He left me looking miserable.
He would eat no dinner. Presently, after moping in a corner of the
zareeba for a quarter of an hour or so, he went out into the veldt. I
watched him walk off into the jungle.

Well, he never returned, and when I next saw him it was at an important
moment, which shall be the text of my next yarn. Meanwhile, let me begin
and finish my rhinoceros adventure, in which--some three weeks after his
arrival--Umkopo played a very notable and important part.

We had begun to despair of that 'rhino.' We had hunted in every
direction within a radius of fifteen miles or more of the camp, and
though we had once or twice come across his spoor in wet places--which
proved that he still haunted the neighbourhood--we could never hit upon
the beast. Either he was very shy, or we were very unfortunate.

But one day we three were out after antelope, for the larder required
replenishing. The Kaffir Billy carried my second rifle and a large bag
of cartridges. Umkopo, who had proved himself a splendid hunter, and who
could follow the track of a herd of antelope like a jackal, had taken
upon himself the leadership of the party. He walked in front, I was at
his shoulder, and Billy walked behind.

Suddenly, while crossing a patch of thin jungle, Umkopo stopped and
half-turning towards me, placed his finger on his lip. 'What is it?' I
whispered; 'have you sighted the herd?' Umkopo pointed to a sandy spot
at his feet. I could discern a track of sorts, but the footmark of the
animal was much blurred in the soft sand; I could see that it was not
antelope-spoor, and that was all. Umkopo made a mysterious sign over his
forehead. For a moment I wondered what in the world he meant; then it
occurred to me that he wished to represent a horn.

'Rhinoceros?' I whispered, using the Kaffir word.

Umkopo gravely nodded his head, and moved forward upon the track. For a
few yards he followed it, but the jungle here was very dry and difficult
for tracking; he soon lost the spoor.

'We must separate,' said I; 'I will go to the right, Umkopo to the
left.' Umkopo nodded, and we separated, Billy following me.

Scarcely had we started, one to right, the other to left, when with
bewildering suddenness a huge creature charged straight at me from out
of a dense clump of brushwood, so suddenly and unexpectedly that my
heart seemed to leap into my mouth, and for a moment I felt unable to
move from the spot to which I seemed rooted. This was not the case with
the Kaffir Billy, who instantly vanished (taking, of course, my spare
rifle with him) 'into thin air.'

I recovered my presence of mind just in time to leap aside at the
critical instant; that is, I avoided the huge lowered head armed with
its great, business-like horn.

But though I avoided instant destruction by moving out of the direct
line of his headlong rush, his shoulder caught me as he passed and sent
me head over heels, stiff and bruised and knocked half senseless.

The rifle flew from my hands, and for the moment I could not see it. I
crept, however, with wonderful swiftness behind a small scrub-bush, and
lay an instant with half-closed eyes, trying to recover my full senses,
but sufficiently conscious to be aware that I must make no sound if I
valued my life.

The rhinoceros had charged on meanwhile, his impetus carrying him thirty
yards beyond the spot where he brushed against me in passing. I could
see that he had now turned and stood listening and watching, his two
wicked little eyes moving this way and that.

Would he see me?

I could now make out the barrel of my rifle lying in a patch of thin
grass. The sun had caught the polished steel and caused it to glint
brightly. As for me, I dared not breathe, much less move out of my cover
in order to secure my weapon.

So matters remained for a full minute; the rhino standing listening, the
rifle lying inaccessible to me, though but five yards away; Umkopo
invisible, doubtless hiding somewhere like myself; the Kaffir, as usual
in moments of danger, goodness only knew where, and my spare rifle with
him.

Suddenly, to my horror, I saw Umkopo deliberately step out from behind a
prickly pear, in full view of the rhino, which, of course, instantly
charged him.

Umkopo vanished, and our friend the rhino galloped at steam-engine pace
right through the bush, behind which he seemed to disappear. This, I
felt, was intended by Umkopo as an opportunity for me to recover my
rifle, and I stepped quickly out from my hiding-place and leaped
towards it; I seized it, and looked round.

By all that was horrible, the great beast had heard me, and with
marvellous rapidity had wheeled and was already almost upon me! Well, I
have never done anything so quickly in all my life as at that moment. I
simply flung myself, in a kind of flying leap, back into my thorn-bush,
cleared it, and lay down on the other side.

In a quarter of a second the rhino had passed like a flash of
substantial lightning through the bush and beyond, galloping almost over
me as I lay, and almost kicking me with his hind leg. I twisted myself
round to the other side of the bush while his impetus carried him
forward, and by the time I was able to peer out at him, he was already
twenty-five yards away, and facing once more in my direction.

I pointed my rifle very carefully, and was about to pull trigger, when
the rascal saw me, and instantly he was again in motion. I fired, but
without proper aim, and though my bullet struck him in the chest it did
not stop him.

He was now scarcely fifteen yards from me, and I almost gave myself up
for lost. I was about to pull trigger a second time, when suddenly there
darted between me and the charging brute a human form--Umkopo.

The rhino swerved from his course to follow him, and just missed him as
he turned, Umkopo dodging like a hare; and, turning again, the beast was
in a moment in full pursuit.

Umkopo swerved and dodged, but the rhino, bulky, ponderous,
awkward-looking beast as he was, followed his movements with great
rapidity, gaining upon him, instead of losing ground at each swerve and
turn.

Umkopo's intention was plain: in the first place to deflect the beast's
charge when I was in danger, and, that accomplished, to lead him past my
ambush in order that I might have the opportunity of a flank shot.

The whole thing occupied but sixty seconds or less. They passed my
thorn-bush, Umkopo leading by five yards, and I fired twice at the
brute's shoulder as he hurtled by. At the same instant Umkopo tripped
and fell. The rhino fell also, apparently right over him, but in an
instant Umkopo rose from beneath him, unhurt. The rhino was dead.

Never was a thing better managed; never was a clearer case of the
risking of the life of a man to save another's.

'Umkopo, you're a brick,' said I heartily, 'you saved my life, lad, and
I'm grateful!' I gave him my hand, and Umkopo took it laughing, though
he did not seem to know what to do with it or to understand what I had
said.

Soon after this, Umkopo left the camp in anger, as I have told you, and
I did not see him again for a year or two. One of these evenings I will
tell you about our next meeting, which was at a critical moment of my
life.

       *       *       *       *       *

Carlyle says, 'Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure
there is one rascal less in the world.'



THE RIDDLE OF THE YEAR.


A certain father has twice six sons; these sons have thirty daughters
a-piece, partly coloured, having one cheek white and the other black,
who never see each other's face, nor live above twenty-four hours.

This riddle, which is a very easy one to guess, is said to be by
Cleobulus, one of the seven wise men of Greece, who lived about five
hundred and seventy years before the birth of Christ.



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1806.

V.--A PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION.

  'Now greeting, hooting, and abuse
  To each man's party prove of use,
  And mud and stones and waving hats
  And broken heads and long-dead cats
  Are offerings made to help the cause
  Of Order, Government, and Laws.'

  _The Election Day._


People living under the quiet rule of the present-day election laws can
have but little idea of the bribery and turmoil and licence of every
sort that always accompanied a parliamentary election a hundred years
ago.

To begin with, every possible stratagem was resorted to to prevent the
electors from coming to the poll; those electors, for instance, who had
to travel by sea to record their votes, not infrequently found
themselves landed--by a heavily-bribed captain--at some port in Norway
or Holland, or anywhere, so long as it was far enough off to prevent the
elector from making his way back in time for the election.

Those were the days of heavy drinking, many men of all ranks looking
upon drunkenness as no disgrace, and it was no uncommon event for a body
of electors to be 'treated' to such an extent that they were not in a
state to know what happened to them, and they would then be locked up
and kept out of the way in a cellar or out-house till the voting-time
was past.

But even when people got safely to the hustings (as the polling-place
was called), the rioting and horse-play of every sort that was allowed
on these occasions was very great, and often resulted in serious
injuries and even loss of life.

A notable scene of this sort took place in 1806, when Charles James Fox
was elected member for Westminster.

After the High Bailiff had declared Fox duly elected, a chair was
brought in which the new member was to be carried by his enthusiastic
supporters. This chair, of course previously prepared, was covered with
crimson damask, with a great deal of gilding, and a laurel wreath over
the member's head. On this uncomfortable but splendid seat, Mr. Fox was
chaired all round Covent Garden, amidst the cheers of his friends.

Then began the usual practice of pulling down the hustings--the crowd
throwing themselves upon the platform and demolishing it from the
foundations.

With so many inexperienced and excited workmen an accident was only to
be expected, and it came. Very soon the roof of the hustings fell with
a tremendous crash, and though a good number of people managed to spring
aside just in time to save themselves, others were not so fortunate.
Above twenty people were buried amongst the beams and scaffolding, and
it was some hours before all were extricated.

[Illustration: "He was chaired all round Covent Garden."]

There were however no fatal cases, though some broken limbs and cut
faces bore witness to the rough scenes of an election in 1806.

[Illustration: "Marjorie almost ran into Miss Leigh."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES

(_Continued from page 147._)


'Get help,' Marjorie heard in faint accents. It was Alan's voice which
recalled the shaft to her mind, and sent a thrill of terror through her.
With scarcely power to reply, she had to pull herself together before
she could summon up resolution to move. The bottom of the steps was not
far off; she had only to turn round to mount them again, and once in the
open air she was safe. How she stumbled up she never knew; but as soon
as the evening air blew in her face she felt as if a load had been
lifted from her heart. Ordering Bootles to keep guard, she flew up the
path to the cliff, reproaching herself for her long delay there that
afternoon. It would take some time to reach home, and then she must find
her father, and get men and a rope. She did not know if Alan were hurt;
but, in any case, his position was terrible. How had he got there? Was
this also the work of Thomas? Tears were streaming from her eyes as she
reached the cliff, and ran along the path to the entrance of the
Wilderness. The sun had set, but the sky was still glowing, tinting with
its warm colours the long, level clouds. The foreign vessel had
disappeared, and as she flew along the cliff-path, she glanced hastily
towards the spot where she had last seen it. Suddenly the heavy boom of
a gun rent the air. Frightened at the sound, she paused a moment, and
saw the white smoke curling slowly away into the evening haze, as the
dark hull of a gunboat came into sight rounding the rocky promontory.

There was no time, however, to think what it all meant. It was wrong to
have delayed even for an instant. Alan must be rescued before he went
mad with the horrors of that shaft--that dreadful darkness! Through the
Wilderness she ran at the top of her speed, and she was flying across
the lawn when she almost ran into Miss Leigh by a sudden encounter round
the shrubbery walk.

'Where have you been?' cried the governess, angry and excited at the
absence of her pupil from the schoolroom tea, and still more at her
reckless manner of running. 'You might have hurt me very seriously,
Marjorie. How dare you----

But Marjorie, with a wave of her hand, had gone. There was no time for
reproaches; they could very well keep for a more convenient season.
Colonel De Bohun was in his dressing-room, preparing for dinner, when
she rushed in without even a preliminary knock, and poured out her story
with an urgent plea for haste. He quickly resumed his coat, and Marjorie
had the satisfaction of seeing him take the work of rescue in hand at
once. A couple of grooms were soon following them across the lawn,
Marjorie leading, and as they went Miss Leigh wondered what new mischief
the children had been up to.

The rescue party had not gone far before they met Estelle's nurse
looking anxious and 'flustered.' No one could reply to her question
concerning the little girl, but Colonel De Bohun sent her on to Miss
Leigh. It was possible the child might have remained in the schoolroom,
and had tea with Georgie. Marjorie knew better. The Colonel wondered at
her sober face and her silence. He had no suspicion how wrong things
were.

The Smuggler's Hole and the steps to the caves were a revelation to him.
He looked grave when he found the entrance had been discovered. Both
entrances had been carefully blocked up for many years, and he hoped the
secret of their existence had been forgotten. He had not explored that
part of Sir Leopold Coke's property since he was a young man, and he was
not pleased to find that his children had shown more inquisitive
interest in these dangerous places. There was no time for asking how
they made their discoveries. Their energies must be devoted to the
rescue of Alan. Alan, they found, when they let a rope down, weak and
shaken as he was, could yet tie the rope round his waist, and steady
himself as he was drawn up the shaft. He got better as soon as he began
to walk, but the Colonel thought it best to put off all questions till
the morning.

Bootles, after Alan's rescue, left the passage most unwillingly. His
behaviour was inexplicable. He kept running backwards and forwards in
the strangest manner. Marjorie wondered what was the matter with him,
and the Colonel impatiently called him to heel.

'One would imagine something was wrong,' he exclaimed, annoyed by the
dog's whines.

Marjorie related what had happened in the cave.

Scarcely had she spoken when James, Lady Coke's butler, stepped out of
the shrubbery path--

'My lady has sent me for Lady Estelle, sir,' he said.



CHAPTER IX.


The shadows of evening were deepening into night before any alarm about
Estelle had been felt at the Moat House. The weather being fine and
clear, it was scarcely dark even at eight o'clock. The moon, now just
past the full, almost turned night into day. Lady Coke had felt no
uneasiness, therefore, when seven o'clock came. She imagined Estelle had
been invited to spend the evening at Begbie Hall. Hitherto, however,
whenever the cousins wanted her to remain, a message had been sent, in
order to spare Aunt Betty any anxiety. But no such message had been
received, and the clock having struck eight, then nine, without the
little girl appearing, she grew anxious. Mademoiselle Vadevant was also
becoming fidgety, though she strove to hide it.

'It is time for Estelle to be in bed,' remarked Lady Coke, at last. 'I
am surprised that Mrs. De Bohun has kept her so late. Has Nurse gone for
her?'

'Oui, madame; more than an hour ago.'

'Nine o'clock is very late for young children to be up. Will you kindly
ring the bell? I will send James to bring her back without further
delay.'

Mademoiselle offered to go herself, but Lady Coke insisted on
dispatching James. He was her factotum, in whom she had greater faith
than in any member of her household. His calm manner, which nobody had
ever seen ruffled, suited her and she felt quite safe when a matter was
in his hands. If Estelle needed any protection--which was not likely in
their own grounds--he would be the right person to send. Having given
her orders, Lady Coke felt more comfortable, each moment expecting to
hear Estelle's merry voice. She sat listening unconsciously. Time,
however, slipped on without bringing either James or Nurse. When,
finally, ten o'clock struck, she stood up, pale but determined.

'Mademoiselle,' she said, her voice as low as ever, though her anxiety
could be detected in its quiver, 'will you please send me my maid, with
my garden-hat and cloak? I am going to Begbie Hall myself. You will
kindly accompany me. Something must be strangely wrong.'

At that moment the sound of a man's step on the gravel under the windows
made her pause, listening eagerly for the child's light tread. The steps
came up the verandah, and Colonel De Bohun appeared in the open
casement. Without a moment's delay he went up to his aunt, putting an
arm tenderly round her. One glance at his pale face was sufficient.

'Godfrey, what is it?'

She was trembling, so that without support she could not have stood.

'Sit down, dear Aunt, and let me tell you,' he said, with more calmness
than he felt.

He greatly dreaded the effect of his communication. Though she was
always cheerful, active, and upright, he could not forget that she was
old, and that any shock might be disastrous to her.

'Tell me,' she said, looking up into his face.

'We all imagined Estelle to be with you till her nurse came to fetch
her. I was out when she came. The fact is, we had rather a fright about
Alan. He had fallen down a hole in the rocks, and we were obliged to go
to his rescue. He was got out with some difficulty, and on our way home
we came across James, who told us of your anxiety about Estelle. Neither
Marjorie nor Alan had seen her since they had left her reading to
Georgie on the roof of the ruin. Marjorie, who had heard the door bang,
found no one there when she reached the place, and the door was closed.
Fearing something wrong, I sent James off at once for Peet, in order to
see if the poor child had been accidentally locked into the forbidden
room.'

'Yes?' whispered Lady Coke.

She looked so weak and shaken that the Colonel made her sit down in her
armchair before he would go on with the story.

(_Continued on page 166._)



THE FIRST TEA.


Some people used to find fault with Dr. Johnson because, they said, he
was greedy in eating and drinking. He would often take twelve or
fourteen cups of tea at a meal. This seems a good deal, but we must
remember that in his time teacups were small, and the fashion was to
hand them round only half-filled. There is a story that one lady, when
the Doctor was taking tea in her parlour, rudely refused to pour him out
any more after he had had about a dozen cups, and he, quite as rudely,
retorted that her tea was really not worth drinking.

This China drink, as it was called at first, did not for some time
become the popular beverage it is now, mainly owing to its high price.
It seems that at first tea was taken without milk. An old book of 1657
states that the English were encouraged to take tea, because it was
recommended by doctors in France, Italy, and other countries of Europe,
so that evidently other nations had tea-drinkers before England. In
September 1660, Samuel Pepys notes that he had his first cup of tea, or
'dish,' as it was called. Many people called the plant 'tay,' in the
eighteenth century, and that name is heard occasionally even now. The
early price varied from four sovereigns, to twice the sum, for a single
pound; afterwards the price was lowered, and the quantity brought over
increased. At the end of the reign of Charles II. only five thousand
pounds were imported annually; by 1700, the number had become twenty-one
thousand, and in 1721, over a million pounds.



FOR THE LITTLE ONES.


  The rich men have their gardens,
     With blossoms rare and sweet,
  Where lilies bloom, and roses
     And honeysuckles meet;
  And flowers that are the choicest
     Within their grounds are seen,
  I only have the blossoms
     That grow upon the green.
  But I think God made the daisies,
     That are so fair to see,
  Just for the little children--
     The little ones like me.

  The nobles have their paintings
     That hang upon the walls,
  Of wealthy lords and ladies,
     And vales and waterfalls,
  And soldiers out at battle,
     And sailors on the deep;
  I only look on fields and lanes.
     And flowers that wake and sleep,
  But I think God made the fields and hills,
     And the bright blue sky I see
  As pictures for the children--
     The little ones like me.



A GOOD COMRADE.

Founded on Fact.


The owner of a vegetable-garden one day noticed that a basket which had
just been filled with new turnips became suddenly emptier. He questioned
the gardener, who likewise could not understand the matter, and
proposed, as a certain means of discovering the thief, that they should
hide themselves behind a hedge which was near. This was done. After some
minutes they saw the house-dog go straight to the basket, take a turnip
in his mouth, and then make his way to the stable. Dogs do not eat raw
turnips; our watchers therefore followed the thief, and discovered that
the horse, his stable mate, was also concerned in the affair.

Wagging his tail, the dog gave the horse the turnip, and the horse, of
course, did not require much pressing. The gardener angrily seized his
knobbed stick in order to chastise the dog, but his master held him
back. The turnips went on disappearing in exactly the same way, and the
scene repeated itself until the supply was exhausted.

The dog had long made this horse his favourite, while he seemed to
consider a second horse which was in the same stable not worthy of a
glance, much less a turnip.

[Illustration: "The dog gave the horse the turnip."]

[Illustration: "The pike seized the wretched stoat."]



AN ARTFUL JACK.

Some True Anecdotes.


Along the river Wey, which flows through Hampshire and Surrey, there is
much wild scenery still, though some parts have been altered of late
years. Many small streamlets, bogs and marshes, ponds and pools, are
delightful to the lover of Nature, no less than to the sportsman. Boys
with nets chase big dragon-flies, fat-bodied moths, and swift
butterflies, and men with guns watch for birds, large or small, which
are numerous. The young birds are also in danger from foxes, who leave
the woodland to hunt by the waterside.

The fish draw many anglers to the river, for the pools and streams have
plenty of fish, not only the small and common kinds, but the trout,
which is eagerly followed to its haunts. Besides trout, the ferocious
pike or jack is not uncommon, good specimens being taken by various
baits, for a jack is not particular what it eats. When cooked, it is a
fish generally liked, though it seldom comes into the shops for sale. It
is rather a handsome fish, being marked with green and bright yellow.

A clever jack will do much to obtain a choice morsel. Roaming along the
banks of the Wey, a man came upon what had once been a good house, in
front of which stood a row of fine yews. It was fast going to ruin, and,
indeed, only a few rooms were occupied. While he was examining it, the
occupier, who knew him slightly, asked him to come in and have some
mead, made from his own honey. After talking a little while, the host
began to tell him his troubles about his young ducks. They went out for
water excursions, as young ducks must, but his wife did not let them
stop out late, because of the foxes; but on the way home, some of them
had lately disappeared mysteriously. He offered to show the spot, and
took his visitor there. The little ducks crossed a broad piece of open
water to get upon a sloping board just as they reached the place; down
into the stream they went, sometimes two at once. The visitor asked his
guide whether he had seen any jack. He said that there were plenty, and
that he had caught several; but there was one big fellow he had noticed
which would not take the bait offered.

'That is the offender!' cried the man; 'he swims up the stream, picks up
a fish here and there till the tiny little ducklings, which are a
delicacy to him, are on the water. If there is one the right size to
suit him, he has it; if not, he goes back to other food. Afterwards he
returns to deep water, but is here again in the evening when the ducks
come home.'

What was to be done was the next question. How could this artful jack be
caught, if he was too dainty to take ordinary bait? Then they thought of
a capital plan. They got a long, straight pole, and fastened to it a
strong bit of pike-line. A dead wood-mouse was obtained and secured to
the line, and at the proper time gently floated over the place where the
ducklings had vanished. The plan answered capitally. Mr. Jack came,
seized the mouse, and was hauled out of the water, and no more ducklings
were lost.

Another instance of a jack's greed was told in one of the newspapers. A
shepherd was passing an ornamental lake one day, when his dog started a
stoat, which ran out from some bushes near the water. The stoat, being
pursued, at last actually jumped into the lake, and swam away. The
shepherd was still watching it, as it swam bravely on, when suddenly the
nose of a large pike shot out of the water close by, and the fish was
seen making straight for the animal. In a few moments it had seized the
wretched stoat, and though the latter struggled hard for its life, all
was in vain. The jack forced the animal beneath the water, and neither
were seen again.



GRAHAM'S LAST PRACTICAL JOKE.


Graham was a very good sort of chap, and everybody liked him except when
he was playing practical jokes. It is all very well to score off another
fellow occasionally, but when it comes to making him howl in school, and
get sent up for a private interview with the Doctor, it is going a bit
too far.

Three times in one week the master of the Lower Fourth had had to send
some one up, and each time it was Graham's fault. The third time the
Doctor himself happened to be in the room, and I noticed that, though he
actually caned _me_, it was Graham that he looked at most.

Some of us say that the Doctor has eyes in the back of his head, because
he sees so many things that he is not expected to see, and I was sure
that day that he had an eye on Graham.

After the third caning, we had a committee meeting in my study, and
decided that something must be done. Wilson wanted to drop Graham into
the pond, and Rupertson suggested that two chaps should hold him down
while the three who had been caned through his jokes gave him a good
thrashing; but Shepherd, the smallest boy in the Fourth, hit on the best
idea, and that was to pay him back in his own coin.

Shepherd had heard him planning with another boy in his dormitory to
dress up as a ghost that very night, and come into ours, and scare us
into fits, and we determined that the most scared chap should be Graham
himself.

We had all been in bed about a quarter of an hour when there was a
rustling sound at the door, and in glided a figure that might have made
us creep if we had not been prepared for it. It had a great head, with
glaring, fiery eyes, which made one feel a little uncomfortable, even
though we knew it was only a turnip. Its body did not show, but only
great shining bones, which Graham had painted on his pyjamas with
phosphorus, just as Shepherd had told us he meant to do.

We kept dead silence till he got to the middle of the room, and then
Shepherd gave the most horrible groan I ever heard. He imitated a real
one splendidly; it finished with a kind of choke.

That was our signal, and we all sprang up and crowded round his bed.

'You have done it now!' cried Rupertson in a terrified voice.

'He's not bad!' gasped the 'ghost.'

'Yes, he is,' replied Rupertson. 'See how white he looks!'

'Who is it?' groaned Graham.

'Sergeant,' said Rupertson.

'No, it is Wilson,' said another voice.

'No, it is not, it is Cranbourne,' said a third; but all the time we
never allowed Graham to get anywhere near the bed, so as to look close.

'He can't be hurt,' repeated Graham. He had thrown down the turnip, and
though we could not see his face, we guessed from his voice that he was
as badly scared as we had meant him to be.

'Perhaps he could be brought round by artificial respiration,' suggested
Shepherd. 'One of you fellows fetch up Smith quickly. He understands
that sort of thing.'

Graham did not wait for the suggestion to be made twice. He ran, and, as
we heard afterwards, he burst into the study where Smith, the Captain of
the House, and, it so happened, the Doctor himself, were having a talk.

'He is dying!' screamed Graham. 'Come quickly and try and save him.'

'Who is dying?' cried the Doctor in amazement.

'Wilson, or Sergeant, or Cranbourne,' gasped Graham.

So they both followed Graham upstairs as fast as they could go--only to
find our dormitory perfectly still and quiet, and every one in it
apparently fast asleep.

'Wilson! Sergeant! Cranbourne! where are you?' called out the Doctor.

'Here, sir,' answered each boy sleepily, sitting up in bed as if
suddenly awakened.

'Is anything the matter with you?' inquired the Doctor.

'Nothing, sir,' they each replied in a surprised voice.

'What is the meaning of this, Graham?' asked the Doctor, sternly.

'I--I don't know sir!' stammered Graham.

'You bring us up here,' continued the Doctor, 'by declaring that three
of your schoolfellows are dying, and I find them all perfectly well and
sound asleep.'

Graham said nothing, but wriggled wretchedly from one leg to another,
hoping that the Doctor would not notice the painted stripes on his
pyjamas or the turnip-head, which was peeping out from under one of the
beds.

'Perhaps you will also explain what brings you into this dormitory at
all?'

But Graham did not attempt any further explanations, and the Doctor went
on: 'I have known for some time, Graham, that you were a little too fond
of playing practical jokes, but if you are going to try them on the
masters, you will soon find that you are carrying things too far. Smith,
is there a cane handy you could lend me?'

We all felt rather sorry for Graham during the next few minutes. It is
not pleasant to interview the Doctor when he is feeling very angry. Not
that I think he really suspected Graham of playing a practical joke on
him, for he must have seen how thoroughly scared he was when he burst
into the study. But the fact was that he had been looking out for an
opportunity of teaching Graham a lesson for some time, and when it came,
he made use of it without asking too many questions.

Anyhow, that was the last practical joke Graham ever played.



FAIRY PICTURES.


  Day dawns cold: upon the pane
  Artists are at work again,

  Tracing ferns and fragile leaves,
  Birds that nest beneath the eaves,

  Tiny scenes of Fairy-land,
  Just to help us understand

  All about the fairy men,
  Who in summer haunt our glen.

  Every morn's a picture-book,
  If you will but rise and look!



TELEGRAPH WIRES IN CENTRAL AFRICA.


The animal kingdom in British East Africa looks upon the two thousand
one hundred and ninety miles of telegraph wire, strung throughout that
region, as a novelty to be made use of. A number of creatures are trying
to adapt the wires to their own special purposes, and so the routine of
the telegraph business is more or less crowded with incidents of an
unusual character. The monkeys are simply incorrigible. Many of them
have been shot and thousands frightened; but they cannot get over the
idea that the wires are put there for them to swing upon. They have
ceased to pay much attention to the locomotive, and even the shrieks of
the whistle are not permitted to interfere much with their athletic
performances in mid-air.

Three wires are strung on the same line of poles for five hundred and
eighty-four miles between the Indian Ocean and Victoria Nyanza, where
the monkeys give very complicated performances. In one place they have
even succeeded in twisting the wires together.

The giraffe is also a source of annoyance. He sometimes applies
sufficient force to the bracket on which the wire is fastened to twist
it round, causing it to foul other wires. The hippopotamus is also a
nuisance, because he uses the poles for rubbing-posts and sometimes
knocks them over.

These creatures, however, do not steal the wire. When the copper wire
was stretched north-east from Victoria Nyanza, through the Usoga
country, the natives cut out considerable lengths of it, and at one time
about forty miles of wire were carried away and never recovered. Passing
caravans also found that they could help themselves along the way by
cutting the wire and using it in the barter trade. The temptation was
great and not always resisted, for wire would buy anything the natives
had to sell. But after a great deal of energy this wire-stealing has
been stamped out, and it is to be hoped it may be a thing of the past.



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

VI.--THE CHILDHOOD OF THE STARFISH AND THE SEA-URCHIN.


There are probably not many of my readers who cannot tell a starfish or
a sea-urchin at sight, that is to say, a grown-up starfish or urchin;
but to distinguish between them, or even to recognise them at all, in
the days of their infancy is a very different matter. Indeed, only those
who devote their lives to the study of these creatures are able to do
this, and the facts which their labours have brought to light are
curious indeed, though so complex that it would be impossible to
describe them here in full detail.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Young Starfish.]

An outline, however, of what we may call the story of the starfish can
be told readily enough, and without in any way losing aught either of
its importance or its interest.

Briefly, among the starfish people--and including also the sea-urchins
and sea-cucumbers, the curious brittle-stars and feather-stars--parental
care is the exception, and not the rule. Having cast their eggs adrift
upon the sea, the mothers of the families leave the rest to nature. Let
us follow the history of one of these eggs. No sooner is it adrift than
it begins a very remarkable career. Starting at first as a tiny ball, it
divides next into two precisely similar balls, and since these divide
again and again in like manner, we have in a few hours a mass of little
balls, intimately connected with one another, and resembling a mulberry
in appearance, enclosing a hollow space. (Fig. 1.)

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Young Starfish, second stage.]

This stage reached, the end of the first chapter in the life of the
starfish is closed. He has grown so far, it should be noticed, without
eating; but for further progress food is necessary. Now, this food
cannot be taken in without a mouth and some sort of stomach. These are
formed by the simple device of tucking in one side of the ball, just as
one might push in one side of an indiarubber ball; the rim of the hollow
thus formed becomes the mouth, and the hollow into which it leads is the
stomach, while within the space lying between the outer wall and that
portion of the wall which is pushed in--which corresponds to the inside
of the indiarubber ball--the body that is to be begins to be formed. To
grasp this thoroughly, first of all take such a rubber ball as I have
described, and push in one side. Compare it with the illustration (fig.
2).

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Young Starfish, third stage.]

Soon after the formation of the mouth, our growing starfish develops his
first organs of locomotion. Now, these are neither arms nor legs, but
take the form of short hair-like growths, endowed with the power of
rapid waving motion, whereby the body is propelled through the water.
These are to be seen in the picture of one of these little creatures,
shown for clearness sake as if cut in half. (Fig. 3.)

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Nearly full-grown Starfish.]

A little later our young starfish has assumed a new shape. Here there is
a large mouth and stomach, while the swimming hairs have all been cast
off except a few arranged in the form of two bands; and, later still,
the creature takes the extraordinary form shown in fig. 4. Swimming by
the motion of waving hairs is now a thing of the past; instead, long
arms have been developed, which perform this work much more effectually,
and these arms are supported by a hard, chalky skeleton. Soon another
little pushing in of the body takes place, and, lo, out of this grows
the body of the starfish that is to be! (as is the middle of fig. 4). In
about forty-five days from the beginning of this eventful history, the
feet and body appear sticking out of the body, whose growth we have been
watching; and, in a very short time after, this chalky skeleton is
destroyed, and the rest of this infantile body cast away, leaving the
fully formed starfish with an entirely new skeleton! Thus, then, wonder
of wonders, this curious creature possesses during its lifetime _two
distinct skeletons_!

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--Young Sea-urchin.]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.-Young Rosy Feather-star.]

The sea-urchin and sea-cucumber undergo similar changes. (See fig. 5.)
So also does the beautiful rosy feather-star, but with certain
modifications too interesting to be passed over. In what we call its
larval body, or its period of childhood, the body takes the form of a
cylinder, as you see in the picture, with a little tuft of swimming
hairs at the bottom, and bands of the same round the body (fig. 6.)
Within this body, as in the starfish, a new body is gradually formed.
Then, as you see in the picture, the inside of the egg-shaped body takes
the form of a long stalk of stony plate, surmounted by a number of
square plates pierced with holes, and these last only are destined to
survive in the body of the adult. Soon after this stage is reached, the
swimming body comes to rest, because the stalked body which it contains
has reached its full development, and takes over the threads of life.
As a consequence, the barrel-shaped swimming body, now useless, is
thrown off, much as a caterpillar throws off its skin, leaving the newly
fashioned body, shaped like a filbert-nut, but rounder, fixed by its
stalk to the ground. In a very little while, however, it puts forth a
number of beautiful moving arms. It is now a sea-lily! And now follows
another change. Breaking away from the traditions of its tribe--the
sea-lilies--it cuts itself off from the stalk, and grows in its place a
number of short finger-like processes, and lo! from a sea-lily it
becomes the rosy feather-star! (What this looks like you can see in fig.
7.) Once more it is able to swim, and this is done by waving movements
of the long arms. When desirous of rest, it drops to the bottom of the
sea, and clutches hold of some bit of rock or branch of seaweed by means
of the bunch of 'fingers' below the body, which we have just described.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--Rosy Feather-star.]



ROSIE.


The Lees were a clever family; all their friends said so. Tom was good
at games, and had carried off several prizes at the school sports; Percy
was a first-class reciter; Emma sang, and played the piano; whilst Alice
drew very well, and had a larger collection of picture post-cards than
any other girl she knew.

Rosie, however, the youngest, was not in any way remarkable: 'Indeed,
you would hardly think her one of us--she is so unlike the rest,' Alice
would say, with a slighting glance at the little sister who never did
anything particular; only worked and helped, and was at everybody's beck
and call.

Rosie was used to being made of small account, and did not mind it much.
When a rich aunt of the Lees announced her intention of coming to pay
them a visit, and then perhaps choosing one of the young people to be
her companion during a long stay in London, it did not for a moment
occur to the little girl that she could be the favoured one. She
listened without jealousy to the chorus of brothers and sisters,
planning what they should do in the event of being chosen.

'I would go to a cricket match at Lord's,' said Tom. 'And I,' said Emma,
'to some of the best concerts.' Alice had fixed her heart on seeing the
picture galleries, and Percy was resolved to hear some great speakers.
Each of them thought it very likely that he, or she, would be Aunt
Mary's choice.

Aunt Mary, when she came, kept her own counsel. She was kind to all her
nephews and nieces, but did not single out one more than another. It was
not until the last day of her stay arrived that she said to their
mother, 'If you will let me have Rosie for a companion, my dear, I shall
be only too glad to take her to town, and give her a really pleasant
time.'

Rosie's surprise, and her disappointment for the sake of her brothers
and sisters, silenced the rest: when they could speak, it was to ask
each other what their aunt could possibly see in her. If they had
overheard a talk between Mrs. Lee and Aunt Mary, later in the day, they
might have understood.

'Your other young people are charming,' said Aunt Mary, 'so bright and
clever; but they are a little--just a little--too apt to be wrapped up
in themselves and their own pursuits. If Rosie goes with me, I shall
have some one who will think of me too, for the child does not seem to
know what selfishness is.'



WAITS.


Some old customs die out very slowly, and even in the neighbourhood of
go-ahead London there are many districts where the waits still go round
a few days before Christmas. But the waits do not treat you with music
for love--they come for payment afterwards.

Why were these Christmas serenaders called waits? About that matter, we
find that opinions differ. One old author says that the waits we have
now, represent the musical watchmen, who were well known in many towns
during the Middle Ages. They sounded a watch at night, after the
inhabitants of the town had gone to bed, and then some of them marched
about the streets to prevent disturbances and robberies--in fact, acted
rather like our modern policemen. 'Wait' it is supposed means 'watch,'
and they had to be in attendance upon judges or magistrates; at the
courts of many of the kings, too, there were the waits who attended upon
royalty, and who had to perform on their instruments, if music was
wanted, by day or night. Another idea was, that the waits who are
connected with Christmas season are meant to be a sort of rude
imitation of the angelic host, who sang in the fields at Bethlehem at
the birth of Christ. This would seem to men in the Middle Ages a very
natural way of illustrating the sacred story.

The old Romans are also said to have had a kind of waits, who were
called Spondaulæ; it was their business to attend upon the priests in
the temples of Jupiter. They sang a poem, accompanied by some wind
instrument, while incense was being burnt, or a sacrifice offered.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 159._)


'Directly Peet appeared with the key,' continued Colonel De Bohun, 'we
made a thorough search, and I do not think there was a nook or corner we
did not examine, even to a considerable distance down the passage. There
was, however, no trace of Estelle. We found in the inner room that the
window had been broken, and a rope was still hanging from it. That
window is not more than three feet from the floor of the room; but, as
you know, the drop from it into the moat must be at least twenty feet.
Whether the child managed to scramble out by means of the rope, or
whether she was carried out, I don't know. Peet insists that Thomas has
had a hand in the matter. A very valuable orchid, which he had been
cultivating in that inner room, has disappeared, and Peet feels sure
that Thomas has stolen it.'

Colonel De Bohun began to tell Lady Coke of the attempts made by Thomas
and another man to enter the ruined summer-house, as witnessed by Alan
and Marjorie, and of Alan's adventure in the cave, but she had become so
faint that he was alarmed. Mademoiselle ran off to fetch a glass of
water, while he did his best to soothe her. She begged, however, for
further details.

Very unwillingly, he went on to tell her how they had dug for a couple
of hours in the effort to penetrate the mass of stones and earth which
the bang of the door had shaken down from the roof. It was extremely
dangerous work, and he had not dared to urge the men to go on with it,
after their efforts revealed no trace of the child. They had also
entered the passage from its cliff end, under the guidance of Alan, but
had not been able to proceed far, the fall of the roof making it almost
as perilous as from the summer-house end.

'There is one strange thing about this unfortunate business,' he
continued, 'which we cannot explain. The dog, Bootles, that had been
with Estelle, was found in the wood, just at the entrance to the
passage. He appeared to be in great distress, and anxious that we should
follow him to the beach.'

'And did you go there?'

'Yes, but we found nothing to help us in our search. He ran about,
snuffing and moaning, and it was only with some trouble we got him to
come away with us.'

'Search till you find the child, Godfrey,' urged Lady Coke, taking the
water which Mademoiselle had now brought to her. 'I shall know no peace
till she is restored to me. My little girl! Confided to me at her dead
mother's wish! How have I fulfilled my trust?'

Her distress exhausted her so much that Colonel De Bohun was rejoiced to
see his wife enter the room, saying she intended to remain the night
with her aunt. The Colonel almost carried his aunt upstairs, promising
that the search should not be given up as long as the faintest hope of
tracing the child remained.

Thomas, for whom a hunt was at once started, had disappeared, and with
him the stranger. No one had seen them; but gradually a rumour got about
that a boat was missing from among the many on the beach of
Tyre-cum-Widcombe, and it was whispered that no one knew the coast
better than the young gardener.

Thomas was just such a person as Lady Coke had described to the children
when she told them the story of Dick. Little bluntings of conscience had
begun his downward career--temptation not at once resisted--then the
gradual yielding as the bribe became more dazzling. And this was how it
happened.

The Moat House was celebrated for its orchid-houses. In no part of his
work did Peet take so deep an interest as in the care of these beautiful
and curious plants. But keen as was his pride and delight in them, it
was fully shared by his mistress, Lady Coke. She visited the hothouses
constantly, frequently bringing her guests to enjoy the sight of the
flowers in full blossom.

Peet had a brother in India, who belonged to the Woods and Forests
Department, and now and again he had received roots and seeds from him
of some more than commonly beautiful plants found in the wilds of the
jungle. Sometimes the attempt to grow these had proved a failure; but
some had richly rewarded the effort. The pleasure taken in the
cultivation of the flowers, and the value of many of them, was pretty
well known to all the under-gardeners, Thomas among them.

It appeared that Peet had lately received a small parcel from India,
which had been packed with even more care than usual. Being busy he had
not had time to examine it till his work was done, when, as he smoked
dreamily in his armchair, he suddenly remembered the little bundle he
had put away in his room. Mrs. Peet was with Dick, who always went to
bed early, and the old gardener was glad to seize the opportunity to
examine his treasure alone. On removing the outer covering, and opening
the box, he discovered a bulb carefully wrapped in cotton fibre, and
under it was a closely written sheet of paper. It was a note from his
brother, relating how he had come across the most curious plant of the
orchid tribe he had ever yet seen. It was not a profuse grower, and he
had only succeeded in finding one or two specimens, in the crevices of
rocks at the entrance to a cavern. This cavern was half-way up a
mountain, and in a cooler climate than most of the plants he had sent
previously. After giving certain particulars as to soil and habits, he
added: 'Its value should be great, as I believe it to be a new
variety--a cave orchid--an unknown species as far as I know.'

Peet examined the bulb, and sat pondering with the letter in his hand.
He was feeling drowsy after his day's work in the heat of August, and it
was in a half-dream that he pictured to himself the scene his brother
described. In the same dreamy way he regretted that no cave answering to
the conditions was available in which he could experiment with the new
plant. Still pondering, he must have fallen asleep, for the next thing
he heard was the voice of his wife, saying, as she laughingly shook him
by the shoulder, 'Why, Father, whatever is the matter?'

He looked up sleepily.

'You're calling out about that there ruined summer-house, and the inside
room, and a plant, as if the whole thing was to be shouted from the
house-tops. A secret, too, for you cry, "Now, don't you be telling my
lady. It's quite a new thing." What does it all mean, anyhow?'

Peet growled, but roused himself, confessing he had been dreaming. No
more was said, but the dream had started ideas at which he smiled even
to himself, and carried out, half ashamed of his queer fancies. He would
keep the plant a secret; it should be cultivated in the inner room of
the ruin, the broad south window of which would provide all the warmth
necessary. He would also carry out his dream by making the orchid a gift
to Lady Coke. Had she not been an angel of goodness to him and his? What
more beautiful an offering could he make in return for all she had done?
Poor Peet! it was his way of proving his gratitude.

The very care with which he guarded his secret had roused the curiosity
of Thomas, and he had spoken of it contemptuously to a friend, a
gardener on a neighbouring estate. It so happened that at that very
moment the man had with him a Dutchman, who had come on business to
England, and had run down to pay a visit to his friend. When Thomas
turned to go, this man offered to accompany him a little way. He soon
found out all that Thomas could tell him about the new plant, which
certainly was not much. Thomas was encouraged, however, to discover all
he could, and promises of a rich reward were held out if the plant
proved to be as rare as Thomas imagined. The man, being a dealer in
bulbs, was fully aware of the probable value of such a discovery, and
took pains to enlarge on the huge prices paid for new specimens. Thomas,
as a boy, had read _The Orchid Hunters_, and was not wholly ignorant of
the vast sums spent in sending men out to various parts of the world,
especially India and South America, to seek for new treasures in these
beautiful plants. He listened, therefore, with eagerness, but at the
same time assured himself he did not intend to steal the plant. He would
only discover all he could, especially where it was to be found, which
the Dutchman told him was the most important point.

It had indeed been 'here a little, there a little;' so little that
Thomas had considered it was not worth thinking about. A bit of
information that was all. Yet it had led to the theft of what he knew to
be of great value, and to the loss of his kind mistress's little ward.
It might well be said, 'How great a matter a little fire kindleth!'

(_Continued on page 172._)

[Illustration: "Peet looked up sleepily."]

[Illustration: "The head of a snake thrust out close to him."]



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

VI.--A TRAVELLER'S TALE.


[Illustration]

The bombardment of Algiers not only broke the power of the pirate
nation, but gave to England a prestige which extended far beyond the
dominions of the Dey; and three Britons who, a few years after Lord
Exmouth's campaign, started from Tripoli on an expedition into the wilds
of West Africa, found the fame of their countrymen stand them in good
stead. Two out of the three, Major Denham and Lieutenant Clapperton,
R.N., had won their laurels already in the great war with France, and,
being but little over thirty, were by no means disposed to settle down
quietly on half-pay. These two, and their companion, Dr. Audney, had
felt that strange summons which comes to one man and another in every
age and nation, the call into the unknown, into the mysterious places
where none of their race have ever trod. And if they did not expect to
meet men with heads growing below their shoulders, such as the mediæval
travellers looked for, yet the heart of Africa might hold marvels almost
as strange. Seventeen years before, Mungo Park, the great Scottish
explorer, who set forth for the last time to follow the course of the
river Niger, had passed away into the silence of the unknown land. It
was hoped that this new expedition might succeed in recovering his
papers and journal.

The party started from Tripoli early in December. Their journey at first
was quite a triumphal progress; the English dress and speech were
honoured everywhere, and the strangers treated with the reverence due to
the representatives of the great unknown king whose sailors had
conquered Algiers. Many were the questions asked about the mighty
monarch, and we may be sure that the magnificence of the mysterious
'Sultan George' (King George III. of England) lost nothing in the
description his subjects gave of him. There were delays, however, owing
to the bad faith of the Sultan of Tripoli, and it was not till February
that the expedition reached the city of Kouka, the capital of Bornu.
Strange indeed is the description of this wealthy city, where the Sultan
sat to receive his visitors behind the bars of a golden cage, and where
corpulence was looked upon as so necessary a part of a fine figure that
the young dandies of the calvary regiments padded themselves out to the
proper size, if they had the misfortune to be naturally thin.

The travellers had plenty of time to study the peculiarities of the
place, being detained there some time, first from want of camels for the
journey, and then by Dr. Audney's serious illness. Major Denham, growing
weary of inaction, and hearing that the Sultan of Kouka was planning an
attack upon a neighbouring tribe, begged leave to accompany the
expedition. The Sultan, who was very much impressed by the importance of
the English visitors, and by the idea of the pains and penalties that
might follow if any harm came to them, refused for some time to let him
go, and it was not until the last moment before the departure of the
expedition that the Major wrung from him permission to be of the party.
In fact, it _was_ rather a doubtful proceeding for a member of a
peaceful mission, and Major Denham freely owns in his journal that the
attack was unjustifiable and did not deserve to succeed. However,
neither he nor any of his personal attendants took part in the fighting,
and the opportunity of seeing the country and the native methods of
warfare, together with the chance of an adventure, were too attractive
to be missed; and certainly, so far as excitement was concerned, the
daring Englishman got enough and to spare before he rejoined his friends
at Kouka.

The attacking party found the enemy stronger than they had expected, and
their advance on the position they hoped to storm was met by storms of
poisonous arrows, which scattered their cavalry in hopeless disorder.
Major Denham found himself obliged to turn his horse's head with the
rest, and fly before the foe, who followed with yells of vengeance, and
fresh flights of the deadly arrows.

Denham's horse was wounded and fell with him, then, maddened by fright
and pain, struggled up, unseating his rider, and dashed away into the
bush, leaving the Major surrounded by the enemy. He received two
spear-wounds, mercifully not poisoned, was instantly stripped of most of
his clothes by his captors, and gave himself up for lost. But the novel
garments so delighted the natives that they left the late wearer while
they wrangled over the spoils.

Denham, wounded as he was, determined on a dash for safety, slipped into
the bushes, and ran as fast as he could, the thorns of the tropical
plants tearing his defenceless feet as he went. A river, flowing between
high banks, barred his way, and he had seized a bough to swing himself
down when a new peril appeared--the head of a snake, one of the most
deadly of African serpents, thrust out close to him from among the dense
foliage! Either the horror-stricken fugitive lost his hold, or his
involuntary recoil broke the bough to which he clung; at any rate he
fell headlong into the stream below him. The shock of the cold plunge
brought back his failing senses, and he struck out boldly for the
opposite bank, reaching it in safety, though almost at the end of his
powers. He had distanced his pursuers for the time being, but his
position, as he dragged himself ashore, was terrible enough to have
daunted even his brave spirit. He was alone in the enemy's country,
wounded, without food or weapons, and night coming on--the night of
tropical Africa, when the reign of wild-beast life begins. His first
thought was to find some tree, into which he could climb and put himself
out of reach of prowling leopards; then the remembrance of his late
narrow escape recalled the fact that there were dangers in the branches
as horrible as any on the ground; and while he hesitated, it seemed as
if the question were to be decided for him, for suddenly upon his ears
came the gallop of horse's hoofs, and an armed band bore down upon him.

For a moment Major Denham thought all was over, for he was past further
flight and had no weapon. Then, as one of the new-comers dashed up to
him, he recognised, with relief and thanks, the negro servant of the
Sultan's chief officer. They were his friends, flying in disorder
indeed, but mounted and armed, and able, in some sort, to protect their
guest. There was no time to be lost. The Englishman, draped in classical
fashion in an exceedingly dirty blanket, was helped on to the
bare-backed horse ridden by the negro, and the flight continued with all
possible speed. It was a terrible journey, with constantly diminishing
numbers, for men and horses, wounded by poisoned arrows, dropped and
died on the way.

Denham learned later on that a consultation was held over him, while he
lay sleeping from sheer exhaustion during a short halt, in which some of
the party urged that it was folly to hamper the flight by the burden of
a man who would probably die. One man, however, spoke up stoutly for the
unconscious foreigner, vowing that one who had been preserved through so
much must be fated to be saved. To him Major Denham owed it that, after
infinite danger, pain and fatigue, he arrived, with the remnants of the
army, at Kouka, and lived to set foot again, two years later, on English
shores, there to delight the stay-at-homes with such a traveller's tale
as has rarely been equalled, even from the mysterious land of the 'ever
new.'



SANTA CLAUS'S POSTMAN.


  'Twas Santa Claus's Postman!
    I heard him singing low
  Among the trees beyond the hill,
  And through the valley dark and still,
    Where frozen rushes grow.
  And cosy 'neath my counterpane
    I listened as he sang,
  While miles, and miles, and miles away
  I heard him cross the marshes grey,
  Till close to where I snugly lay,
    His changing carol sang.
  I heard him slam the garden gate
    As o'er the lawn he crossed,
  Till, half in fright, I raised my head
  To hear how through the grove he sped;
  Then far away, and farther still,
  By vale and wood and moor and hill,
    His noisy song was lost.
  Upon the pillow, soft and white,
    I nestled down once more,
  To think about this Postman, who
  Goes singing all the dark world through,
  And beats a noisy, wild tattoo
    On every winter door.
  And when again with joy I saw
    The frosty sunshine glow,
  I quickly drew the blind aside,
  And through the frosty window spied
  The letters he had scattered wide
    In drifts of dazzling snow.
  The leafless trees stood mute and still
    By snowy field and lawn;
  Each twig was graced with whiteness new,
  And everything that met the view
  Showed how the Storm, the Postman true.
     Had done his work and--gone.



THE HOOF-MARK ON THE WALL.

A German Legend.


If you visit the Castle of Nuremberg, in South Germany, you are certain
to be shown a mark, said to be that of a horse's hoof, on the top of the
outer wall; and the following story will be told to you, to account for
its presence.

Some four hundred years ago there was constant war between the Count of
Gailingen and the citizens of Nuremberg, and, after numerous encounters,
the Count had at last the misfortune to fall into the hands of his
enemies, and was at once imprisoned in one of the gloomy dungeons of
Nuremberg Castle.

This was bad enough, but worse was to follow, for, on the meeting of the
magistrates, the young Count was sentenced to be beheaded, and the
sentence was to be carried out on the following day.

First of all, however, according to an old Nuremberg custom, the
condemned man was allowed to have a last request granted--whatever that
request might be.

'Let me.' said the Count, 'once more mount my faithful charger, and ride
him round the courtyard of the castle.'

No sooner said than done! The beautiful black steed, that had so often
carried his master to victory, was saddled, and horse and master met
once more under the open sky.

The Count patted the horse's arched neck, and leapt into the saddle; the
horse began to prance and kick up his heels, as he had been taught to
do. This made such a dust that the attendants were glad to shelter
themselves in the guard-room.

'Let the Count enjoy himself; it is his last chance,' said his jailers.
'Our walls are too high for escape, and we can take things easily.'

So they troubled themselves but little over either horse or rider, and
the Count felt that now or never was his chance.

The walls were very high, and beyond them was a wide ditch, so that his
jailers were right in thinking escape impossible. Yet 'impossible' is an
unknown word to some men, and the Count was one of these.

He bent down caressingly over his horse's mane, and whispered some words
in his ear. Whether the good beast really understood or not cannot be
said, but the next minute there was a rapid gallop across the courtyard.
The Count dug his spurs deeply into the sides of his steed, and the
latter, with a supreme effort, bounded up, and reached the wide brim of
the castle wall. An instant's pause, and he had leaped the wide ditch,
and in a few seconds more both horse and rider were out of reach of all
pursuers.

This story _must_ be true, say the Nuremberg people, for there stands
the print of the horseshoe on the wall to this day!



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

VI.--THE SOUNG, OR BOAT-SHAPED HARP OF THE BURMESE, AND ARPA OR DRUM OF
OCEANA.


[Illustration]

All the world over, tradition tells of harp-shaped instruments, usually
played by mysterious harpists in the cool depths of river or ocean. In
Scandinavian lore, Odin, under the name of Nikarr, was wont to play on a
harp in his home beneath the sea, and from time to time allowed one or
more of his spirits to rise through the waters and teach mortals the
strains of another world.

[Illustration: The Burmese Soung.]

According to Finnish mythology, a god invented the five-stringed harp
called 'Kantele,' which was for many centuries the national instrument
of Finland. His materials were simple--the bones of a pike, with teeth
of the same for tuning pegs, and hair from the tail of a spirited horse
for strings. Alas! that harp fell into the sea and was swept away, and
so the inventive god set to work to make another, this time of birchwood
with pegs of oak, strung with the silky hair of a very young girl. This
completed, he sat down to play, with magical results. Wild beasts became
tame, birds flocked from the air, fishes from the sea, to hear the
wonderful sounds; brooks paused on their way and winds held their breath
to listen. Women began to cry, then men followed their example, and at
last the god himself wept, and his tears fell into the sea, changing on
their way to beautiful pearls.

According to Greek mythology, Hermes made a lyre, which is a kind of
harp, out of the shell of a tortoise, and on a vase in the Museum at
Munich is a figure of Polyhymnia playing a harp with thirteen strings,
of the form which was used in Assyria.

[Illustration: The Arpa.]

The harp (the Soung) shown in the illustration is a favourite Burmese
instrument, and is chiefly used to accompany the voice: it is always
played by young men. It also has thirteen strings, made of silk, and is
tuned by the strings being pushed up or down on the handle. It would
sound strange to our ears, as the Burmese scale is differently
constructed from ours. Every learner of music knows, or ought to know,
that our scale has the semi-tones between the third and fourth, and the
seventh and eighth notes, which gives a smooth progression satisfactory
to our ears; but the Burmese scale places the semi-tones between the
second and third and the fifth and sixth, which is quite different and
to us has not nearly such a pleasant effect. The Soung is held with the
handle resting on the left arm of the performer, who touches the strings
with his right hand.

The Arpa or drum of Oceana is made of wood, and imitates the head and
jaws of a crocodile, with a handle for carrying purposes. The head is
covered with snake-skin, which sometimes gives it an unpleasantly real
appearance. It is used by the natives of New Guinea, especially by those
dwelling around the Gulf of Papua.

HELENA HEATH.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 167._)


The mysterious loss of their cousin Estelle plunged the three children
into the deepest grief. Alan's sole consolation was that he was allowed
to be of the search-party as soon as he was well enough. Marjorie had
not this consolation. Georgie had some dim idea of creeping away all by
himself to search all their haunts on the common, or in the woods round
St. Cecilia's Well; but a timely remembrance of how stern his father
could be prevented him. Finally, the thought of Aunt Betty, and how
sorry she would be if he disobeyed orders and went wandering all about
the country alone, made him give up the desire. But it seemed very hard
to be obliged do so.

[Illustration: "It seemed as if the whole roof must be coming down."]

Marjorie was overwhelmed with grief, and shut herself up in her room
that she might be alone, since she could not talk to her mother. Lady
Coke being seriously ill, Mrs. De Bohun was unable to leave her for
more than a few minutes now and then. It was a terrible time for them
all, especially as day after day passed and no clue came to guide the
searchers. Colonel De Bohun was constantly stirring up the police, or
riding about the country, with Alan at his side, trying to gather some
information. Nor were he and Alan alone in the search. The whole
neighbourhood, rich and poor alike, were on the alert, in doing all in
their power to help, though their efforts were fruitless. On hearing all
that Alan had to tell, many believed that Estelle must have been crushed
under the falling stones; or else, should she have succeeded in getting
through the passage, she must have fallen into the sea, and have been
swept away by the tide.

Colonel De Bohun consequently consulted the sailors at the coastguard
station. The officer, who was a personal friend, said that the tide had
been quite deep enough at the hour mentioned to have swept the little
girl away, and the currents were very strong in and around the bay. The
evening had been memorable to him, for a French fishing vessel had been
daring enough to ply its nets in English waters--that is, within the
three-mile limit--and he had sent the news to one of the revenue
gunboats. The stranger had, however, been so cleverly handled that it
had got away in time, and no chase had been made.

Meantime the Earl of Lynwood had to be informed. No one was surprised
when a telegram was received telling them that he had started for home,
and would be with them as quickly as train and boat could bring him.
This news depressed the children even more. It seemed to them that all
hope of finding Estelle must have been given up before so serious a step
as sending for their uncle had to be taken. But this their father
denied. He comforted them with hopes that their uncle might think of
fresh measures which might be more successful in discovering some trace
of their cousin.

Lord Lynwood's arrival certainly caused the search to be renewed with
vigour; but, alas! as time went on, hope dwindled, and there was
scarcely a person who believed the little girl to be alive. Lord Lynwood
was almost the only person who refused to give up the search. It was
quite possible, he said, that she had been carried off by Thomas or his
companion, in spite of Alan's not seeing her with them.

Clinging to the idea, the Earl sent for detectives and put the matter
into their hands. They had means for carrying out their researches at
home and abroad, which must, he considered, lead to obtaining some
information sooner or later.

Meanwhile, the Earl lingered on at the Moat House as long as his leave
of absence allowed, hoping to see his aunt become a little stronger, and
to give her what comfort he could by his presence. Her patient trust in
Him Who could bring good out of evil was a great consolation to the
saddened father in the sorrow that had fallen upon him.



CHAPTER X.


While all her relations were mourning for her; while Aunt Betty was
lying at death's door, stricken down by anxiety and sorrow; while Lord
Lynwood scarcely dared look on the faces of his brother's children
because they reminded him of his own lost darling--where was Estelle?

It was now more than a month since she had been missing, and no news had
been received.

Without one moment's thought for her own safety, without any remembrance
of Lady Coke's desires--nay, positive orders--she had plunged into the
ruined summer-house after Bootles. Darting down the dark passage, in
eager chase of the cat, the dog was deaf to her cries to him to come
back. Hardly knowing what she was doing, she followed him. The passage
grew darker and darker, and she could not even see the faint light from
the open door. A fall over a heap of stones first made her realise she
had better return, since no one knew where the passage led. She did not
like to leave the dog, but, nevertheless, she hesitated a moment to call
again to him before retracing her steps. She was surprised and horrified
to find that her shout had the effect of bringing down some loose stones
and earth on her head. It frightened her sufficiently to make her set
off in earnest towards the door.

'I shall tell Georgie I have been down the passage, and that it is
dreadful, and not at all interesting,' she thought, as she felt her way
with a hand on the wall.

A glimmer of light, as she turned the corner, comforted her, and she
stopped a moment to call gently to the dog, afraid to raise her voice
too high for fear of the falling roof. Scarcely had she paused, however,
when a great crash came, followed by a long mingled sound of many stones
and much earth falling. It seemed as if the whole roof must be coming
down. A shower of damp soil descended upon her head, and one clod larger
than the rest knocked her over. Happily she was more stunned and
frightened than hurt. The glimmer of light had disappeared, and she
began to realise that the door must have shut. Terrible as her position
was, the full horror of it did not dawn upon her at first.

Shaking herself free from the clinging mould, she got up, very much
inclined to cry, till a wet nose thrust into her hand startled her.
Bootles was not happy; his whines and the trembling way he pressed close
to her added to her alarm.

Taking him into her arms she hugged him, while he tried to lick her
face. He was some comfort after all, and his presence gave her courage.

'Oh, if I had only remembered what Auntie said, and not come here,' she
sobbed, hiding her face on the dog's back. 'We must try, but I don't
believe we shall ever get out of this dreadful place! Oh, I do wish I
could tell Auntie I am sorry! I did not stop to think that it was wrong
to follow you, poor Bootles.'

The thought that she was shut into the ruin was very terrifying, and
after a little effort to move, which resulted in a fall over a mound,
she sank upon the damp ground, sobbing in despair. Bootles, as if he
understood, struggled free and whined. It was too dark for her to see
his efforts to show her a way out of the mass of fallen rubbish.

(_Continued on page 182._)



SIR RALPH ABERCROMBY.


In the battle of Alexandria, Sir Ralph Abercromby was mortally wounded.
He was carried on board a man-of-war in a litter, and a soldier's
blanket was put under his head as a cushion, so that he might lie more
easily. The ready-made pillow was a great comfort to him, and he asked
what it was.

'A soldier's blanket, sir,' was the answer.

'Whose blanket?' he asked, raising himself on his elbow.

'Only one of the men's.'

'Which of the men does it belong to?' he asked again.

'To Duncan Roy of the 42nd.'

'Then see that Duncan Roy gets his blanket this very night.'



MAY DAY.


A long time ago a great many strange things used to happen on May Day.
It used to be the jolliest day in the year; boys and girls used to be
very happy looking forward to it, and as the day drew near, very busy in
getting ready for the festival that took place.

I expect you have all heard of the May Queen. The prettiest little girl
in the village was chosen 'Queen' by her companions. She was crowned
with flowers, and sat on a throne in an arbour, while all the other
children used to treat her just as if she were a real queen. In the
evening they used to have a Maypole dance, while the little queen sat
and watched them.

Another May custom was the Maypole. Other countries besides England have
them. If you went to France, Holland, or Austria, you would see them
there even now--much prettier than the English ones. The French ones are
sometimes painted, and they have garlands round the top arranged on
hoops, from which hang little golden balls. In Holland the Maypoles are
quite different: they have a big flower-pot on top with a tree inside
it; round the tree flags are arranged. The pole itself is painted blue
and white. But the funniest Maypole of all is found in Austria. There is
a flag at the top, and then a big bunch of green leaves and flowers,
then more flags, and after that figures of little men and women and
animals in wood nailed on to the pole so as to look as if they were
climbing up it. Sometimes there is a stag nailed on, with a pack of dogs
after it, all in wood.

In England, on the morning of May Day, the boys and girls used to get up
very early and go into the fields, where they picked flowers and green
branches from the trees and hedges. These they brought back to the
village, and made into wreaths to trim the Maypole. When the pole was
quite ready, the biggest boys fixed it in the ground. There were long
garlands hanging from it, and each boy and girl took one and danced
round. The dance was called the Maypole dance, and it had proper steps
of its own, just like any other dance.

Those of you who live in London may have seen a funny-looking man
walking about on May Day wrapped up in a bush, with flags and paper
flowers on him, and making a noise with drums. If you ask who he is, you
will be told that he is a chimney-sweep, called 'Jack-in-the-Green.' All
chimney-sweeps used to keep May Day, and some do so still, and there is
a story told to explain the custom.

A long time ago, little boys used to be sent up the chimneys to clean
them. It was very dangerous, and they were often killed at their task.
Of course, it was not easy to get little boys to be chimney-sweeps, and
so wicked men used to steal little children from their homes for the
purpose.

There once lived in London a very rich man, who had one little son, whom
he loved very much. One day the child was missing, and nobody could find
him, though a search was made everywhere, until at last his parents gave
up all hope of ever seeing him again. Two years afterwards it happened
that while the chimneys of the house were being swept, one of the
servants went into the lady's room and found a little boy, all black
with soot, lying on the clean white bed; he was fast asleep. She left
him there and told her mistress. The lady came and looked at the boy,
and, in spite of the soot and the dirty clothes, she recognised her
little son, whom she had lost so long ago. A man had stolen him and made
him become a little sweep; the boy was so young that the sweep fancied
that after two years he would quite have forgotten his father and mother
and home, and that it was quite safe to send him to the house when he
was all black with soot.

So the little boy was sent down the chimney, for in those days they were
cleaned from the top. When he got into the room, which was his mother's
bedroom, he looked about and seemed to remember it. Then he knew that he
was very cold and tired and hungry, and he went and lay down on the bed
and fell fast asleep, till his mother woke him.

That is said to be the reason why the chimney-sweeps kept May Day--in
remembrance of the boy who was stolen. But Jacks-in-the-Green are not
often seen now, and that horrible way of sweeping the chimneys has
disappeared.

If you do not see Jack-in-the-Green on May Day, you are sure to see the
cart-horses all decked out in braid and ribbon of different colours; and
if you live in London, you ought to go and see the procession of carts,
which look very grand indeed, being decorated even more than the horses.



ONE THING AT A TIME.


A great landowner was remarkable for the pompousness of his manner. He
was one day riding leisurely through a small village, when he happened
to meet a rough-looking farmer's lad, who was pulling a calf along with
both hands, by means of a rope attached to its neck. When the boy saw
him approaching, he stood still, and, opening both eyes and mouth,
stared him full in his face.

'Do you know me, boy?' asked the great man.

'Yes sir,' answered the boy.

'Then what is my name?' he asked.

'Why, you are Lord X----,' was the reply.

'Then why don't you take off your hat to me?' said Lord X----,
pompously.

The rustic, still tugging at the rope, replied, 'So I. will, sir, if you
will hold the calf!'

[Illustration: "'Why don't you take off your hat to me?'"]

[Illustration: "Stepping down from the vase and crowding round Hugh's
bed."]



CONSCIENCE AND THE CHINA FIGURES.


[Illustration]

Only that morning, Mother had said she was proud of her boy, and Hugh
had felt he deserved her praise. He was very rarely naughty, and he
loved to see his mother's face light up with joy, when she heard how
pleased his teacher was with him. But, somehow, since the morning, all
had changed. Mother had gone to town, and Hugh was wandering about the
garden, looking miserable. 'I didn't mean to break it,' he kept
muttering. 'Mother was so fond of that vase, with all those pretty china
figures round it. It was stupid of that tall one to break its head in
the fall. It is simply because it doesn't feel anything. If it could
feel as I do, it would have taken more care--- spiteful thing!'

Hugh was not really so silly as you may imagine from this speech, and I
am sure he felt half inclined to laugh at himself even then; but you
see, he knew that he did not deserve his mother's praise any longer. Not
that she ever gave too much importance to the fact of his having broken
something, though she disliked carelessness and reproved him for it; and
she certainly would be vexed at his having damaged the dainty porcelain
vase. But you see there was something more. Hugh was not allowed to go
into the library without special permission, and during mother's absence
he _had_ gone, just to look at a book of butterflies which Father had
shown him one day. In pulling the book down, he had let another book
fall on to the precious vase. Now the headless china shepherd was turned
round so as to be on the shady side of the vase, and the head was in
Hugh's pocket. And oh! how heavy it seemed, and what horrid lumps Hugh
felt in his throat, and what a queer feeling at his heart! His
conscience, you see, was very tender, and though he had been naughty, he
was not really a naughty boy.

Well! a strange thing happened then. Father came home and went straight
to the library. A few minutes later Hugh heard his father calling,
'Hugh! Hugh! Are you there? Please come here!'

Hugh went at once, pale and trembling, as he knew punishment inflicted
by Father would probably be severe. 'My boy,' said Mr. Grey, as he
opened the door, 'creep under that bookcase and see whether you can find
the head of that china figure I have broken. I knocked against the vase,
not knowing that its place had been changed. I did not hear the head
fall, but it must have rolled away. If we find it at once, we will mend
the figure, for Mother will be sorry to see it damaged. Now, don't look
so dazed, boy. Hurry up and find the head.'

What an opportunity for Hugh to own up! But he did not take it.

Instead of undeceiving Father, 'Mother's brave boy,' of whom she was so
proud, crawled under the bookcase, and in a moment the china head was in
his father's hand. 'That's right,' said Mr. Grey, gladly. 'It's not
broken badly. I will mend it nicely, and then ask Mother if she can see
the place where it has been mended.'

Still Hugh said never a word.

       *       *       *       *       *

At last, Hugh had fallen asleep. But his conscience was not asleep.
Always wakeful, it was without doubt she who called into her service the
figures on the vase, giving them, for the moment, life. There they were,
stepping down from the vase and crowding round Hugh's bed, not with
their usual smiles, but with frowns and threatening gestures.

'Shall I remain a headless trunk?' asked the damaged youth, indignantly;
and Hugh was so terrified he did not even find it strange that the
figure should talk without a tongue, and that though his father had
mended it, it still had no head. 'He keeps mine in his pocket. Cut off
his and give it me.'

'Why not?' asked the other figures, growing bigger and bigger as they
drew nearer Hugh.

'Or turn him into a china shepherd and put him into my place,' continued
the figure.

'Why not?' asked again the other figures. But one, a girl crowned with
flowers, who on the vase had looked so sweet, began to pout, and
exclaimed, 'No, please, I don't want a little coward near me. A boy who
wants his mother's smiles and praise and love without deserving them at
all! No, indeed.'

Hugh, who, just before, had been horrified at the idea of being turned
into a china figure, was now distressed at not being thought fit even
for that!

'Of course,' continued the girl, sarcastically, 'it was his father who
knocked the head off. Of course, nobody will ever suspect that it was
Hugh. Why should he tell? Why should he be punished? He is his mother's
dear, brave, good boy. But don't let him come near us, though he is so
fine outside.'

'Mother's dear, good, brave, darling boy!' giggled all the figures.
'Mother's loyal, courageous son!' And Hugh's shame knew no bounds.

'Don't, _please_,' he begged, humbly, in vain trying to restrain a sob.
'I don't mind being punished now. I will tell Mother I am not good.
Please--please go away!'

'Yes! yes! we will go away,' answered they, still giggling. 'Why should
we trouble about you? What does it matter, after all, if you grow up a
careless, disobedient, untruthful boy? It's really not worth while
troubling to punish you.'

'Of course,' went on the girl. 'Find your head, shepherd lad, and let's
go.'

'Listen!' said one of the stately dames. 'Let's give a bit of good
advice to his mother. Let us ask her to allow the boy to do as he likes.
Why should she think so much of correcting his faults? He doesn't care
to let her see him as he really is.'

'A capital idea!' exclaimed all the others.

'It's not!' exclaimed Hugh, jumping up in his bed. 'You shan't go! You
shan't go! And my mother won't listen to you. I will throw my pillow at
you and break you all, if you say that again. My mother _shall_ punish
me when I'm naughty.'

He _did_ throw his pillow, and the figures vanished. In an instant he
was wide awake, and wondering where the figures had gone: and then he
knew that it was all a dream, and that his Conscience had been using the
figures for her purpose. They had done her work well. The boy slipped
quietly into Mother's room, and I think you can guess what happened
there. _I_ know that Mother is still proud of her little boy, because
she still sees him just as he is.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

7.--ANAGRAMS (_Eatables_).

  1.  I am a corn.
  2.  Area, Vic
  3.  Esau, Turk, R.A.
  4.  Blew, rash, Tib.
  5.  Cool car, cheat me.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 214._]

       *       *       *       *       *

6.--KEY TO GEOGRAPHICAL LETTER ON PAGE 147.

Dear _Adelaide_,--This morning, being up betimes, and having had an
early _Bath_ and breakfast, I take the opportunity of writing to you.
Yesterday, my Uncle _Adrian_ and his daughter _Florence_ came to see us.
Two slight accidents marred their visit: to begin with, my cousin fell
upon the _Stair_, and afterwards, while we were out driving, a _Stone_
caused the horse to slip. We were then obliged to walk, but the way was
rough, and presently a stream barred all progress. However, we
discovered an _Iron bridge_, which enabled us to go _Over_. After eating
an _Orange_ and a _Sandwich_ apiece, we felt refreshed, and went on
until we came to a tall _Poplar_. Here we sat _Down_, and uncle amused
us by _Reading_. The rest I will tell you later; till then believe
me,--Your affectionate friend, _Victoria Ross_.



THROWING AWAY A FORTUNE.


A fisherman, rowing along the Bay of Fundy shore, in Nova Scotia,
noticed what he took to be a very large lump of tallow floating on the
water. He picked it up, took it home, and presented it to his wife. She
was busily engaged in a local industry, the making of soft soap, and
used the 'tallow' for it. The find, however, failed to behave as tallow
should, and the fisherman was reproached by his wife for interfering and
spoiling the soap. In a fit of disgust he threw the remainder of the
supposed tallow away.

He talked the matter over at the country store, and it was suggested
that his tallow was possibly the very valuable substance known as
ambergris. The man went home in haste, and managed to collect six
pounds, all that remained of the large quantity he brought home! The
local chemist identified it as ambergris, and showed the astonished
fisherman the price list, where it was quoted at thirty dollars an
ounce. His dismay can be imagined when he learned that, through his
ignorance, he had literally thrown away a fortune.

Ambergris is a secretion formed in the intestines of the sperm whale. It
is of a dull grey colour, and resembles tallow, excepting in the odour,
which is sweet and strong.

ROSS FRAME.



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1806.

VI.--JOHN COLTON'S DILEMMA.


[Illustration]

Cape Colony in 1806 was a very different country from the Cape Colony
about which, of late years, we have heard so much. It was then a quiet,
sleepy place under Dutch rule, having been given up to Holland by the
British, after the Peace of Amiens, in 1801. There were a few farms,
sparsely scattered over the country, and farmed in a most slovenly
manner by the Boers, or rather by their Hottentot slaves, for a true
Boer then thought work of any sort beneath him.

One of these farms, however, bore a great contrast to the rest; it was
about seventy miles from Capetown, and was known as the 'Garden Farm,'
from the rare fact of its possessing a well-stocked garden and a large
orchard of peach and apricot trees, all fenced in with a stout wooden
railing to keep off the pigs and cattle that were allowed to root and
rummage around the other homesteads at their own sweet will. The owner
of this farm was an Englishman, named John Colton: but he was a
naturalised burgher and married to a Dutch wife, so that every
one--perhaps even Colton himself--had long forgotten that he had not
been born and bred in his adopted country.

The year 1806 was, however, to change all this. Great Britain was at war
with France, and as the Cape was then the great highway to India, it was
felt that Capetown must be secured at all costs, for it was too
important a place to be allowed to fall into the hands of Buonaparte.

So a British force of some five thousand men, under Sir David Baird, was
at once sent out, and on a sultry January day was marching from
Leopard's Bay, over scrub and veldt, towards Capetown.

All this, however, was undreamt of by honest John Colton as he sat with
his wife on the verandah of his house, watching the antics of a puppy
that was playing with the children in front of them.

Suddenly the man's quick ears caught the sound of horses' hoofs in the
distance. He strained his eyes across the veldt, and, after a minute or
two, could make out a man riding at utmost speed.

'There's something amiss somewhere,' he told his wife; 'maybe some one
is injured, and he is coming here for help.' For accidents from wild
beasts were common in those days, and John had a certain fame as a
binder-up of broken limbs.

Now the rider had come up to the farm, but though he drew up, he did not
dismount. 'You are to be in Capetown market-place, with horse and gun,
by sunset on Thursday,' he said as he handed John an official blue
paper. 'The British have landed, and General Janssens is summoning all
the burghers. There will be a big fight, but we shall drive the
red-coats into the sea.'

[Illustration: "He handed John an official paper."]

The man could not stop for a meal, though he was glad of the refreshment
which Mrs. Colton handed to him in the saddle; and then he rode away as
quickly as he had come, leaving Colton almost dazed by the news.

'The British have landed!' he repeated, looking at his blue paper, 'and
I am to go to Capetown to fight them!'

'Oh, Jan!' said his wife, 'don't let those red-coats shoot you!'

John did not answer. He took down his gun from the wall and looked
gloomily down the barrel; then he threw it on the table, and, looking at
his wife, said sternly, 'I cannot fight against my own countrymen, and I
do not wish to fight against yours.'

'But you are a burgher, Jan,' said his wife, timidly, 'and all the
burghers are summoned.'

I shall go,' said John, shortly. 'I shall give myself up, but I cannot
fight against my own people.'

'Don't go, Jan,' urged his wife. 'Hide yourself in the mountains, they
will never find you there--and I will manage the farm till things are
quiet again, and you can come back.'

'That would be acting as a coward, and I am no coward,' said the man. 'I
must go to Capetown, but what may be done to me there I cannot say. It
is a puzzling piece of business! I never thought to see the British here
again.'

'They will put you in prison for life--or perhaps shoot you,' sobbed his
wife. 'Jan! Jan! for love of me stay away!'

But John shook his head, and went on with his preparations for the long
seventy-mile ride to the town. It was a great struggle, for he loved his
home, and knew that very likely he might never see it again; but he felt
he was doing right, and John was not a man to go against his conscience.

It was, however, a melancholy ride, and John felt more down-hearted than
ever before in his life as he entered the market square of Capetown.
Here all was in confusion, burghers were galloping hither and thither,
and every one seemed too busy and excited to notice Colton as he rode
wearily towards the Field Cornet's quarters to give himself up.

At last one man called out as he passed, 'A bad business this, friend! I
little thought to see the red-coats in Capetown in my lifetime.'

'What has happened?' asked Colton, eagerly dismounting from his horse.

'Our burghers have had a battle with the British, but the red-coats
outnumbered them, and General Janssens has retired to Lawry's Pass.
Folks say he will have to make terms at once, or the guns will open on
the town. Anyway, all fighting is at an end for the moment.'

John Colton said nothing, though in his heart he was almost singing for
joy at this unexpected ending of his difficulties. In a few hours it was
known that Capetown had surrendered to the British, and on January 8th,
1806, the 'red-coats' marched in, and John cantered back to his farm,
where he lived hereafter in peace under the British flag.



[Illustration: The Duck-billed Platypus.]

THE DUCK-BILLED PLATYPUS.


So far as we know at present, the platypus duck-mole, or water-mole, is
the strangest of all animals. Its home is in Australia, but, owing to
the progress of civilisation, it appears likely to die out before long,
for many of its haunts have been disturbed by the advancing white man.

When the first specimens reached England, dried, the creature puzzled
the naturalists, who were almost inclined to think it was not genuine.
The animal is about twenty inches long, covered with thick soft fur,
which is brown on the back, and white below. The curious muzzle is
lengthened and flattened, much resembling the beak of a duck; its edges
are hard, and at the back part of the mouth are four teeth. But it
cannot grasp anything very firmly with the bill, which shows that its
food must be of a soft nature. The feet of the platypus are five-toed
and webbed, being, like the rest of the body, suited for an aquatic
life. Another singular fact is that the animal has a spur on each hind
leg. This spur is connected with a gland, which resembles those of
serpents, and may contain poison. Certainly it appears as if this spur
is a sort of weapon, though the animal is of peaceful habits.

Before sleeping, the platypus curls round to keep itself warm, and
brings the flattened tail over the back. It is very particular about the
fur, which is kept smooth and clean by means of the beak, and is also
brushed with the feet. Much of the animal's time is passed in diving and
swimming, the food being mostly water insects, or such as are to be
found on the banks of streams. The platypus is an excellent digger, and
forms deep burrows or tunnels, the opening being hidden by the herbage
of the bank. At the bottom there is generally a nest, carefully lined by
the animal with grass and leaves. There the young ones are brought up by
the parents.

J. R. S. C.



A MERMAID'S SONG.


        Waly woe, waly woe,
  My song is of a mermaid, O!
     A tearful little mermaid, who
     Dwells deep below the ocean blue,
  Sighing many a sad heigho,
     And singing songs of 'waly.'

        Waly woe, waly woe,
  She was not always weeping, 0!
     Until she sadly fell in love
     With one who sailed the seas above
  While she was sporting down below.
     Not singing songs of 'waly.'

        Waly woe, waly woe,
  He was a handsome Prince, and O!
     She watched him when the stars were seen
     A-twinkling blue and gold and green,
  And other pretty colours--so
     Began her songs of 'waly.'

        Waly woe, waly woe,
  Lack-a-day, a-deary O!
     For blighted love. But 'tis a fault
     To make the sea so very salt
  With bitter tears that still do flow
     While she is singing 'waly.'

  REED MOORHOUSE.



CHINESE PHYSIC.


The Chinese are a clever people, very clever indeed, and in some things
they must be acknowledged to show more wisdom than the nations of the
West; but they are decidedly peculiar in their way of treating the sick.
Progress is not the rule with the Chinese, and, while medical art or
skill is quite different now in England from what it was, the Chinese
have made hardly any improvement. Matters come rather hard on the
Chinese doctors, for we are told that sometimes they are punished if a
patient dies, or when he does not seem to be getting better. This
certainly is unfair to a doctor, for he cannot cure everything. With
accidents, of course, much may depend upon how the doctor acts, and it
is generally agreed that the Chinese are bad surgeons, so that in an
emergency it would be better to trust to nature than be treated by a
Chinese doctor, if other help was not to be had. We cannot wonder,
therefore, that some of them refuse to visit sick people, if it is
likely there will be danger in the case. Chinese books tell us that
their system of medicine is exceedingly old, in fact, nearly as old as
the monarchy, and it is attributed to a husbandman, whose name was
Shin-nung. He studied what plants were the best food for the body, and
what would cure it when 'out of sorts.' By him, or by some one soon
after him, a list was prepared of the different complaints, and the
proper medicine for each, with the dose to be given, so that any one can
start upon being a doctor if he follows the instruction given. But
should he try giving medicine on a plan of his own, he is likely to get
into trouble.

The fees are mostly small, and the large cities have what we call
dispensaries, where the poor are treated free. Still, there are a great
many doctors in China; some are settled in one place, but hosts of them
travel about, offering to the people quack physic. Boluses or large
pills are favourite medicines, so big that sometimes persons are nearly
choked in swallowing them. Much of the liquid medicine given is thick,
and most nauseous to take; but usually the Chinese drink their potions
without any sign of disgust. There are, however, various aromatics and
perfumes prescribed, which the patients do not have to swallow; they
have only to sniff them, or inhale their vapour. Dried and powdered
bones of many animals are taken as physic; thus, the bones of a tiger
are believed to give strength and courage. An elephant's tusk will
furnish medicine for several complaints. Of the vegetables used, none is
more highly esteemed than the ginseng root.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 174._)


At length, worn out and with a violent headache, Estelle tried to
collect her senses. Something must be done. No one could help her. If
she was ever to get out of this terrible passage, it must be by her own
exertions. There must be a way--yes surely! The hole in the cliff
suddenly occurred to her and almost at the same instant she thought of
the two men in the cellar. Her spirits revived as she remembered that
there was an entrance to the ruin through her aunt's cellars. Once
there, she could bang on the door till she was heard.

Springing up with renewed hope, she proceeded to grope her way in what
she fancied might be the proper direction. She had lost her bearings,
she feared, when she was knocked down, but it would not be difficult to
find them again. The fallen mass was, as far as she could recollect,
behind her, and she had only to go ahead to make her way to the cellar.
If only she could be sure she was in the right passage! Alas! a few
steps brought her up against a barrier, which no efforts at feeling or
climbing seemed able to pass. A wall of earth met her everywhere.

A great terror seized her. Had the crash completely blocked the passage
on all sides? Was she a prisoner without hope of escape? Trembling so
that she could scarcely walk, she called the dog to her, and, holding
him by the collar, began to feel all round the walls of her prison.
Bootles, not approving of this plan, pulled vigorously in an opposite
direction, and, obeying his lead, she was relieved to find herself able
to get along fairly well, without many falls over stones or mounds. The
first horror of her position passed away.

Releasing the dog, she struggled bravely on, imagining every moment she
would come up against some door.

'We shall get there soon,' she cried cheerfully to Bootles, who was
trotting at her side, uttering an occasional whine.

He gave a bark on being addressed, and sprang up to her, but it appeared
to her he was uneasy. Had she made a mistake? It was no great distance
to the cellars; but she had been toiling along for an immense time, and
was getting very tired after her numerous falls and bruises. The terror
she had felt at first began to creep over her again, but she would not
let herself give way to it. Struggling blindly on in the total darkness,
she was suddenly startled by the sound of running water. Very soon she
was floundering in a stream which bubbled round her feet, while all
about her was a sound of faint trickling. Moreover, she had not gone on
many steps before another fall sent her headlong into a pool, from which
she scrambled to her feet soaking wet. With a terrified cry, she sought
in vain for the friendly wall, but could not find it. Chilled to the
bone, shivering, and hopelessly bewildered, she dared not move another
step for fear of unknown consequences. Every breath was now a sob, as
wearied, aching all over, terrified, she stood still, afraid to stir.

'Bootles! Bootles!' she cried, stooping to feel if he were anywhere
near.

Instead of a caress, or even a whine, she heard his feet pattering about
for some seconds, as if he were sniffing out their position. A moment
later, a thud showed he had either jumped or fallen down somewhere.
Fearing he had deserted her, and that she was now absolutely alone, her
self-control gave way. She began to scream with all her might. He did
not return, nor was there any answer to her cries. Instead, the air
seemed full of loud shouts, which gradually died away as she ceased to
scream. Listening to them, her excited state made her imagine they were
the mocking chorus of invisible creatures, who were flocking round her.
Oh, if she could only move! If she could dare to run away!

'Bootles! Bootles!' she cried, her voice broken by sobs; 'where are you?
Oh, do come back!'

' ... come back!' echoed the voices.

' ... come back!' repeated the fainter chorus behind.

It was plainly of no use to call. The dog had vanished. The voices only
mocked her. She was very tired, too, and her throat ached so that her
voice was hoarse and almost gone. She felt she must either move on or
sit down; standing any longer was impossible. Her knees were trembling,
but she felt her steps carefully as she moved forward a few paces, with
the hope of coming upon a piece of dry ground. Suddenly she found
herself turning round a corner; before her lay a passage which sloped
steeply down to a faint light, sparkling far below her. Half wild with
hope and terror, she ran still further, the rocks opening out as she
went.

Into her dazzled eyes came the great crimson blaze of the setting sun,
making a fiery path on the waters. She was going at full speed down the
sharp incline, terror lending wings to her feet. Before she realised her
danger, she was at the opening in the cliff, and, unable to stop
herself, had fallen into the sea. A faint scream, a splash, and the
waves closed over her.

The tide, still high, covered the lower rocks: the strong current
carried her over them out to sea within a very few minutes, though,
alas! not without serious injury from jagged points against which she
was whirled in her passage.

Cruising about, waiting for some sign of the two men whom they had
orders to bring off, the French sailors were not far from the bay. Among
them was the smartest of their crew, an Englishman, whose keen sight
very little ever escaped. Just as the signal for their return was flown,
his attention was caught by something being swept past the boat by the
strong current. In spite of much opposition he insisted on looking more
closely at the object, and seized it with a boat-hook just as it was
again sinking out of sight. To the amazement of the crew, the bundle
proved to be a little girl, whom Jack took into his strong arms, and
would have carried ashore had he been allowed his own way. But this was
a point beyond even his power to enforce. For one thing they were sure
the child was dead, the little face looked so wan. Secondly, if they
were caught by the English gunboat it would mean heavy fines, and the
men had no notion of throwing away good money in that manner.

Jack had, therefore, to do the best he could for his little waif, and
take her back with him to the ship. He did not know who she was, nor
whence she came, and as she needed immediate attention, it was perhaps
as well he did so.

(_Continued on page 186._)

[Illustration: "He seized the object just as it was again sinking."]

[Illustration: "A strange face was bending over her."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 183._)

CHAPTER XI.


'Asleep still? Is there any hope, Mother?'

'Sh! The doctor thinks she will wake about four o'clock, and I am on the
watch to give nourishment as soon as she can take it.'

'I asked the doctor what he thought, and he says, if the poor little
thing comes to herself and speaks collectedly, why, there's every hope
of her getting on fair and bright. But it all depends on that.'

'I am that anxious I don't know what to expect, and I don't care to look
one way or the other. But we must not be talking so close to her, or she
will be waking before her time. You stir up the fire, Jack, and just see
that the soup isn't too warm for her to drink, and I will watch here
quiet a bit. It will be hard to lose her after such long weeks of
nursing.'

Jack went away to do as he was bid, in the silent manner of one
experienced in sick nursing; as well as in many another work to which
the 'handy man' is so often called during a life spent at sea. Mrs.
Wright, seating herself on a chair close to the little bed, took up her
work, and soon nothing was heard in the room but the click of the rapid
knitting-needles.

Jack, having put the soup where it would keep just warm, slipped out of
the room, letting the curtain at its entrance fall behind him. The sun
was touching the white bedclothes with a lingering ray. Passing softly
away, it left the room in shade which felt pleasant after the hot day.

The sick child moved. Just a faint motion of the head, a trembling of
the eyelids, and a sigh. Mrs. Wright stopped her work to look. Estelle
stirred again, slightly.

How long she had slept she did not know. She felt warm and comfortable,
but not in the least inclined to get up. It seemed to be morning, too,
for the light appeared quite bright. How weak she was! It was an effort
to open her eyes. Not even to save her life could she have raised
herself. Somebody came to her and put something in her mouth with a
spoon, but she was too tired to see who it was; so, without trying to
think, she dropped asleep once more.

When she awoke again she felt stronger, and, hearing a movement, opened
her eyes. A strange face was bending over her; a sweet face, though old,
wrinkled, and weather-beaten. Estelle stared at it in amazement. A poor
woman, evidently, but clean and tidy in her coarse blue serge dress and
white apron. A black lace cap almost concealed her grey hair, and in her
hands was a great bundle of knitting. Seeing the child was awake she
hastily put this down, and brought some broth from a little saucepan
over the fire.

'Now, my dearie, you just swallow this,' she said, 'and we shall have
you about in no time.'

So gently and cheerily did she speak that Estelle smiled, and made an
effort to lift her head to take the soup, which smelt most delicious.

'We have not come to that yet, my dear,' said the old woman, smiling.
'But it will come! it will come! You will be running about as blithe
and strong as ever, please God, in a week or two. But there's no hurry.
Lie still and rest now. You'll get up all the better for it.'

Putting her arm round the child, she held the cup to her lips with the
skill born of long practice in nursing.

'What! every drop?' she cried, as she arranged Estelle comfortably on
her pillows. 'That's something like, and better than you have done for a
very long time. Do you know that? If you go on as well as this, we shall
have you up in no time.'

'Where am I?' whispered the child; then wondered at the faint, far-away
sound of her own voice.

'With those who will care for you till you are well again,' returned the
old woman, smiling encouragingly, and smoothing the closely cropped head
tenderly.

All Estelle's lovely curly locks had been cut off. Her thin face looked
thinner than ever.

'Have I been ill?'

'Indeed you have. But you're getting better every day. Now, you must not
talk any more. Try to sleep.'

When Estelle next awoke it seemed to be night. A candle, shaded by an
open book, was burning in one corner of a low room, a fire of logs
smouldered on the hearthstone, and in the light they gave she could see
the woman asleep in an old-fashioned armchair, which had head-rests on
each side of its upright back. She looked very tired, Estelle thought.
There were deep shadows on her face, and the flickering firelight gave
it a very sad expression. Estelle wondered why she did not go to bed
instead of sitting up in a chair, wrapped in a blanket. Her eyes
wandered from the woman, round the room. She could not imagine where she
was. Never in her life had she seen such a room. It was very low, the
black ceiling making it appear even lower than it actually was. The
window was merely a square hole, without curtain or blind. The furniture
was scanty--indeed, she could see nothing but a cupboard and a table
with a basin and jug on it. The walls were black and grey, like rock,
and a thick curtain hung over what might be the door.

Staring at this curtain in puzzled astonishment, Estelle saw it move and
sway. A man entered the room with the noiseless tread of a sailor. He
was so very tall, with shoulders so broad, that he seemed to till the
little room; his head almost touched the ceiling. A neatly trimmed
sailor's beard of dark hair gave him a fierce aspect, but he did not
appear to be really fierce, for he bent very tenderly over the sleeping
woman without rousing her. Estelle watched him with great curiosity.
What did he want there? To her dismay, he soon turned round, and,
approaching the bed, looked down at her. Seeing she was awake, he put
his finger to his lips for silence; then slipping away in the same
noiseless fashion, he quickly brought her some warm milk, which he gave
her most deftly.

'Poor Mother's quite worn out,' he whispered. 'We will let her have her
sleep out. Do you want anything more? Shall I move you?'

Estelle smiled, but shook her head. She thought he would leave the room
when he found there was no more to be done, but he lay down at full
length before the fire, after putting on an extra log or two. Once more
silence reigned, and Estelle fell asleep.

But though she was able to rouse herself a little now and then, she lay
for the greater part of the day in a dreamy state, often dropping
asleep, and having to be coaxed to take the necessary nourishment. Very
white and frail she looked, as if it would not take much of a puff to
blow her away. Nevertheless, each day brought an increase of appetite
and strength, and each day she grew fonder of her careful, tender nurse,
as well as of Mrs. Wright's giant son. As Estelle grew stronger, she
began to notice how the two loved each other with no ordinary love. 'Her
Jack' was everything to his mother; yet Estelle, listening in the
dreamy, half-conscious way produced by extreme weakness, was sure she
heard a sigh sometimes when Mrs. Wright was speaking of him. Jack's
manner, too, often made Estelle think he had hurt his mother in some
way, and was trying his best to make up to her for it by love and
devotion.

(_Continued on page 198._)



MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.

VI.-PLYMOUTH BREAKWATER.


[Illustration]

Through Mr. John Rennie, the builder of London Bridge, was the chief
designer and engineer of the Plymouth Breakwater, the waves of the
English Channel gave him great assistance; and unlike other workmen,
they asked for no pay. We shall see presently how they worked. In 1806,
the Lords of the Admiralty made up their minds, for good and all, that
something _must_ be done to make the splendid harbour of Plymouth Sound
a safer place of refuge in case of storm. Mr. John Rennie and another
engineer, named Whidbey, were asked to go to Plymouth and look at the
Sound, and then say what they thought should be done.

The authorities took five years to make up their minds. But Rennie
persistently called attention to the map of Plymouth Sound.

'If you build a long stone pier out from either shore so as to break the
force of the waves,' said he, 'you will interfere with the free flow of
the currents from the river-mouths, and cause them to drop the sand and
soil, which they are ever carrying out to sea, until the harbour-mouth
is choked by them. The harbour has been formed into its present shape by
the free actions of current and tide, and if these be altered by
artificial means, the shape and safety will be destroyed.' Then he went
on to explain that the proper thing to do was to build a wall in the
Sound itself, without letting it touch the land at either end. The
tides, thus only slightly confined between the shores and wall-ends
(but allowed to run in their old accustomed channels), would keep their
channels free. The Lords of the Admiralty thought it all over, and on
the 22nd June, 1811, issued an order for the work to begin.

Then no more time was lost. Down to Plymouth went the engineer and his
staff again. They searched for a quarry to dig the stone from, and found
it at Oreston, in the north-east corner of the Sound. In March, 1812,
crowbar and gunpowder began to be busy there. Meanwhile, on the water of
the Sound, two and a half miles south of Plymouth Town, a number of
buoys were moored in two parallel lines, extending over a distance of
one thousand two hundred yards, east and west. They marked the place
where the great barrier was to be built, and their anchors partly lay on
a reef of dangerous, submerged rocks, and partly in deep water. By the
time they were safely fixed, the first shiploads of stone were ready.
But ten of the ships were not like other ships. All along the deck and
all down the middle of the lower part of the vessel, ran lines of rails,
and on these were small trucks each carrying one large stone. The stones
varied in weight from half a ton to ten tons and more. They were
rough-hewn from the quarry, for as Rennie was going to let the sea build
the wall, it was better that the stones should be irregular in shape.
Each ship, being loaded, sailed to the line of the buoys, and, safely
moored to one of them, proceeded to unload. This was done by wheeling
the trucks, one after another, to an opening in the stern, where the
truck was tilted on one end and the huge stone toppled into the water.
The process of unloading took each ship about three-quarters of an hour.
There were forty-five other ships, each capable of carrying some fifty
tons of small stones and rubble. These latter cargoes were shot into the
water in much the manner that ordinary ballast is unloaded.

The first large stone, marking the beginning of Plymouth Breakwater,
went gurgling to the bottom of the Sound on August 12th, 1812, amid the
flutter of flags and the booming of cannon. It was the Prince Regent's
birthday, and Lord Keith, commander of the Channel Fleet, came to
witness the beginning of the great task. The stone fell on a spot called
the Shovel Rock, near the centre of the lines of buoys, and was very
soon covered by rubble from the next ship. Then the procession was kept
up with such diligence that by the end of the following March, the top
of the pile peeped above the water at low tide--forty-three thousand
seven hundred and eighty-nine tons had been dropped! Bit by bit this
point of new land grew longer and longer, until it became possible for
workmen to disembark upon it, and when a storm broke in March, 1814, a
number of ships were glad to seek its shelter, among them being the
famous warship, _Queen Charlotte_. So satisfactory was the protection it
even then afforded, that the engineers decided to raise it higher than
was originally intended, not stopping until two feet above high water
was reached; thus rendering the water between it and Plymouth calm
enough for small vessels.

[Illustration: Plymouth Breakwater.]

When making his survey, Rennie had come to the conclusion that the slope
of his great bank of stones, where it faced the open sea, should be at
an angle of five feet to one. That is, in climbing from the bed of the
sea, it should rise one foot in every length of five. But others did not
agree with him, and the slope was made three feet to one, until the
waves themselves took up the argument, and proved that John Rennie was
right. In 1817, they broke over the bank in such a storm that large
quantities of stone on the seaward side were swept over the top, and
littered down the opposite side. When the gale was over, examination
proved that the sea-slope was five to one. Yet for seven years more this
curious dispute was kept up, and not until 1824, when Rennie had been
dead for three years, did the sea at last have its way, and convince
those in authority that it (and Rennie) knew what the proper slope
should be. On November 23rd, 1824, so fierce was the storm that it
hurled several thousands of tons of ponderous stones from one side of
the Breakwater to the other. That was the final word, and the Breakwater
stands to-day as the sea ordered it.

[Illustration: "The weight of the two birds had the desired effect."]

When this huge pile of loose stones and rubble more than a mile long,
rising from a broad base at the bottom of the sea, had been formed into
a close mass by the action of the waves, a coating of masonry was laid
over them. At either end, east and west, the great wall bends slightly
for a short distance northward, and is finished in a circular platform
of solid masonry. At the west end stands a handsome lighthouse; at the
east, a beacon, and between these and the shore are the two entrances to
the harbour--one a quarter of a mile wide, and the other three-quarters.
The width of the wall at the top is forty-five feet, but at the bottom
it is three hundred and sixty feet, and weighs nearly four million tons.
Surely it would be a boisterous sea that would carry this away. Its
total cost was about one million five hundred thousand pounds, and it
was finished in 1848.

Before the lighthouse was built, it became necessary to warn vessels of
the position of the new sea-wall, and for more than twenty years a
lightship burned a signal there. This was the state of affairs when that
terrible storm of 1824 swept up the Sound, and among the wrecks it
caused was one of an unusual character. A small vessel, laden with cork,
was nearing the mouth of the Sound, when she was suddenly struck by a
violent gust of wind and turned completely over. The captain, a boy, and
two passengers were the only ones below at the time, and these, finding
the water rushing in, sought refuge in the ship's coal-hole, which,
owing to the reversed position of the hull, was now above them instead
of below. In total darkness, and lapped by the encroaching water, they
floated thus for six hours. In the early morning they struck against the
west point of the Breakwater, heeled over it and drifted toward the
lightship. Those on board the latter, little thinking that the wreck had
life on it, pushed the hull away with poles, and, caught by the tide, it
soon drifted from sight. Three hours later it appeared again. The return
tide had washed it back, and a little later a larger wave than usual
carried it on to the rough stones of the unfinished Breakwater, where it
held fast. The water receded, and the four unhappy voyagers crept out on
to the rocks, to be rescued half an hour later by a pilot boat. Such was
one of the unexpected services rendered by the Breakwater at Plymouth;
but its expected benefits, worthily accomplished, have been too numerous
to record.

JOHN LEA



UNION IS STRENGTH.

A True Anecdote.


A water-hen, seeing a pheasant feed out of one of those mechanical boxes
which open when the bird stands on the rail in front of the box, went
and stood in the same place, as soon as the pheasant quitted it. Finding
that its weight was not sufficient to raise the lid of the box, it kept
jumping upon the rail to try to open it. It could net succeed in lifting
the lid sufficiently high, and so the clever bird went away, and
returned with another bird of its own species. The weight of the two had
the desired effect, and they both enjoyed the reward of their sagacity.



LITTLE WORKERS.


  I saw a little flake of snow
     Fall down towards the land;
  'Twas such a tender little thing,
     It rested on my hand.
  But after, when I went abroad,
     And looked on field and hill,
  The snow had covered everything,
     And all the land was still.

  I saw a little daisy-bud
     Peep upwards through the green;
  It was a tiny little flower,
     And yet it promised spring.
  And when the summer days had come,
     The little blossoms fair
  Had made a carpet red and white
     That covered everywhere.

  A child--it is a little thing,
     How weak its hands! how small!
  What tiny footsteps it doth take,
     How soon 'twill slip and fall!
  Yet all the wonders of the world.
     The towers and castles fair,
  Were thought and planned and built by men,
     Who once small children were.



A NEGLECTED SALUTE.


An anecdote is told of one of the sons of the German Emperor which shows
that the faults of youth are common to all ranks, and that princes, no
less than ordinary boys, require to be trained in the way they should
go.

This little prince was a great favourite, and his winning ways made him
very popular. It was always his delight to receive the military salute
when he passed through the palace gates, and for this reason he looked
forward to his daily walk with his tutor.

But in the nursery he was inclined to be unruly, and there was at one
time great trouble in making him take his morning bath. One day, to his
surprise, when he rebelled he was allowed to go without it, and he
thought he had certainly gained the upper hand.

Later in the morning, when he passed the sentinel, the usual salute was
not given. He stormed and raged, but no notice was taken. At luncheon,
the little prince, with tears of wrath, complained of the insult which
had been offered him, fully expecting the immediate punishment of the
sentinel.

But the Emperor only shook his head. 'What else could you expect' he
said. 'Surely you did not imagine that the guard would salute a dirty
boy?'

After this there was no more trouble about the morning tubs.



A STORY OF THE UNFORESEEN.


'It's no good, Baker, the thing we must decide is whether Billy or
Pottles will give us the most lines; for we shall get them from one or
the other, and that's certain.'

'Bosh! there's another two days yet before we must have the books back,
and, at any rate, I know where Billy has put them.'

'What's the good of that? We are not allowed in the school buildings
except in work-hours, and then, if his study is not locked, it's because
Billy himself is inside it. If you could get him out without locking the
door, in the lunch-hour, there would be some use in all your ideas.'

'If I could make him put his head out of the window, that would do quite
as well,' said Baker, meditatively. 'The books are on the cupboard just
inside the door.'

Paynton laughed. 'It would take an awful uproar in the quad to wake
Billy, and if we are creating an uproar, how are we to fetch the books
out? It is all your fault. Whatever made you say Billy's window was the
window of our class-room?'

'Well, I thought it was.'

'You shouldn't think, you should be sure. If only we'd thrown in
anything but the algebra books it would have been all right; but Pottles
promised to teach us a lesson next time we came to class without them,
and you know what that means.'

'Shut up, Paynton--I've got an idea.'

'I hope it's a better one than throwing books in at wrong windows,' said
his friend, and the two boys went along together still arguing busily.

Baker and Paynton were the despair of Mr. Potter, the master of the
Lower Fourth, rudely called Pottles behind his back; and even Mr.
Wilson, the somewhat absent-minded Head Master, nicknamed Billy by his
irreverent scholars, was beginning to wonder whether it would not be
better to suggest to the parents to try whether sending them to a fresh
school would have any effect on them. It was useless to cane them, it
was useless to give them 'lines.' They took their punishment as the
natural part of a day's work that was otherwise devoted to 'scoring off'
the masters and avoiding the pursuit of knowledge. On this occasion Mr.
Wilson had by no means forgotten that he had ordered the two boys to
come to his study to claim the books that they had thrown in there by
mistake, but he was rather glad that they did not arrive at once, as he
wanted to think of some fresh means of impressing them.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following morning when the upper school began its lunch interval,
the lower was being drilled in the 'quad,' round three sides of which
ran the school buildings. On the fourth was an iron railing with the
big school-gates in the middle, and at one of the windows appeared Baker
and Paynton as soon as the bell rang. At the next window Mr. Wilson's
back was visible as he wrote at his study table.

'Right, left; right, left!' drilled the sergeant, and the small boys
marked time steadily. But his instructions were suddenly cut short, for
something charged through the gates behind him and stretched the
unfortunate man flat on his back. By the time he had raised himself
again to a sitting posture and had begun to wonder what could have
happened, he found that the orderly lines had disappeared, and that the
whole of the lower school, headed by a rough-looking farm-boy with a
piece of broken rope in his hand, was engaged in chasing the most wily
and cunning black pig that ever made his escape. He dodged and doubled
turned and twisted, charged down the small boys and avoided the large
ones, till the whole 'quad' resounded with cries of 'Catch on to his
tail!' 'Don't let him pass you!' 'There he goes!' and the windows began
to fill with interested spectators. At last Mr. Wilson himself threw
open his own window to see what was happening.

A few minutes later Baker and Paynton sauntered into the 'quad' and
joined in the chase, which was ended, eventually by the pig being driven
into a corner, so as to allow the farm-boy to refasten the rope.

By that time Mr. Wilson had also descended, and was inquiring sternly
into the meaning of the pig's presence in his school-yard.

'Well, it's this way,' drawled the boy stolidly, 'it's no use trying to
keep this pig shut up, and a pig that isn't shut up puts on no fat, so
Farmer Jones says to me on Monday, "Bill, that pig's no good; take him
into market on Thursday and see what you can get for him," and just as
he was passing your gate he broke his rope and in he bolted.'

'Well, another time see that he breaks his rope somewhere else,' said
the Head Master.

'He won't have another chance of breaking ropes with me,' said the boy
as he touched his hat and turned away. Then he caught sight of Baker on
the outskirts of the crowd.

'Oh, there you be, Master Baker,' he said with a grin;' if so be as you
could give me that sixpence now it would save me another walk into
town.'

'Why does Master Baker owe you sixpence?' inquired Mr. Wilson with
interest.

'Oh! he lives next door to Jones's, he does, and he says to me yesterday
when we was talking together, "Bill, if you do a job for me, I'll give
you sixpence," and I've done it and I want my money.'

'The job in question being to drive that pig into the school-yard?' said
the Head Master sharply.

'I said I'd say nothing about it and I won't,' answered the boy
stolidly.

Mr. Wilson eyed Baker with an air of meditation that took in everything
from the guilty expression on his face to the algebra book under his
arm.

'Give the boy his money, Baker,' he said, 'and I should like to see you
and Paynton in the study after afternoon school.'

'You won't catch me following any more of your precious plans,' said
Paynton, as, having paid the sixpence, the two boys hurried back to
their class-room.

       *       *       *       *       *

When they entered the Head Master's study in the afternoon, a surprise
awaited them. Tea, accompanied by the most delicious cakes, was prepared
on the corner table, and Mr. Wilson talked to them and pressed the good
things upon them as if there were no such thing as a cane in the
cupboard behind the door. Under these strange new circumstances, their
awkwardness wore off, and they were soon talking to their Head Master in
a manner that surprised themselves.

It was not until tea was over that Mr. Wilson mentioned either the pig
or the algebra books, and then he did it in such a friendly way that he
astonished them more than ever.

'Well, now, about the pig this morning,' he began, 'suppose you arranged
the whole business in order to make me look out of the window, and give
you an opportunity of regaining the algebra books which you thought I
had forgotten?'

'Yes, sir,' said Baker, feebly.

'And I expect it was something to do with you two boys that the school
fire-brigade was summoned out by a false alarm last week, and that no
one could go into your class-room without the most frightful attacks of
coughing, one day in the week before.'

Baker nodded, but said nothing. He was wondering why he had ever
considered the Head Master absent-minded. Even Mr. Potter had not
connected him with either of these two exciting events.

'Well, these things all show a very high power of organization. You
evidently possess the abilities which, well trained and properly
disciplined, would be capable of manoeuvring an army, or at any rate, of
carrying their owners to a high rank in the Service.'

The boys stared in astonishment. They had never worried themselves as to
the particular nature of their abilities, but the idea of leading armies
appealed to them.

'I see that both your names are down for Sandhurst,' went on Mr. Wilson;
'but unless you can get through the classes much faster than you have
done as yet, there is not the smallest chance of your being ready for
the examination. With really hard work, you might still get into the
Army Class at the proper time, and I must leave it to you to decide
whether you consider it worth while to do so or not. You can think it
over, boys. Good-bye for the present,' and Baker and Paynton found that
the dreaded interview with the Head Master was over, and that he had
given them a great deal to think about.

The result of their meditations may be summed up in the remark Paynton
made to Baker as they went into school next morning.

'I almost wish Billy had caned us,' he said in a regretful voice. 'It
will be all right to end up as celebrated generals, but it will be jolly
slow in school if we're not going to have any more larks.'

[Illustration: "The most wily and cunning black pig that ever made his
escape."]

[Illustration: OPPORTUNITY MAKES THE THIEF.]

[Illustration: "'See! A Matabele!'"]



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

By HAROLD ERICSON.

V.--SAVED FROM THE MATABELES


'Look here, Teddy,' said Rolf Denison, addressing Vandeleur, whose turn
had come round again for a yarn, 'You promised to tell us more about
young what's-his-name, the Matabele boy who was half English, or
something of the sort, and said he was a White Witch; you left him
disappearing into the jungle, offended, and promised you would tell us
about him reappearing "at a critical moment." I want to hear about that
critical moment.'

'So do I,' Bobby chimed in; 'I was rather interested in that chap--what
was his name--Um something---- '

'Umkopo,' Vandeleur laughed. 'All right, here goes, then, for my yarn; I
fancy you'd be still more interested in Umkopo if you knew as much about
him as I do; I didn't know _then_, mind you, when all this happened, nor
did Umkopo himself; maybe I will make that into a yarn too, one day.'

       *       *       *       *       *

Well, it was just at the beginning of the first Matabele war that I
first came across Umkopo, and it was not until the middle of the second
war--the rising in Mashonaland--that we met again. I was out hunting
again when the new troubles broke out, and finding myself not far from
Bulawayo when the rumour of war reached me, I made all haste to reach
the town before I should be cut off by one of the large bands or _impis_
of natives at that time prowling about in search of defenceless
foreigners in outlying farms.

I was about thirty miles from Bulawayo, when a couple of Kaffirs, flying
south, came across us and gave us news. The Mashona boys were 'up'
everywhere, full of fight and full of mischief; already many farms had
been attacked, and though the alarm had been sent east and west, and
south and north, yet there were many of the new settlers in great
danger, and--so far as human probability went--all or most of those who
were not safely in Bulawayo would be cut off and murdered, and their
homes pillaged and burned.

'You are as good as dead already,' they cheerfully informed us, 'unless
you can somehow get safely into the town, and that is very unlikely
indeed, because the Matabele are all round it, preventing people leaving
or arriving.'

Of course this was said in Kaffir English, and certainly our informants
looked frightened enough to warrant the truth of their news.

'Aren't they doing anything at Bulawayo to help the outlying farms?' I
asked. 'Surely the towns people are not leaving them all to be murdered
in cold blood?'

'They expect to be attacked themselves--the town is going to be
besieged,' said the frightened Kaffirs; 'they are fortifying themselves
and forming an army, but they are sure to be killed, every one of them.'

This sounded cheerful, indeed. Of course, so far as Bulawayo and its
population were concerned the news was only partially true. Bulawayo, as
probably you will remember, behaved most excellently; it not only
defended its own women and children from attack, but contrived to send
out parties of rescue to many of those known to be exposed to danger in
outlying parts of the country, saving numbers of British men, women and
children, who would have otherwise perished.

The Kaffirs continued their flight southward, and I found myself
suddenly called upon to make a very important decision.

Twenty miles away, northward and eastward, lay the farm of a man who had
offered me hospitality quite lately. This was Gadsby, a man of some
thirty-five years, married and with three small children. His partner,
Thomson, lived with him. In all probability these two men, Mrs. Gadsby,
and the three little ones--dear little people, two girls of six and
five, and a boy of about seven--were all, at this moment, in deadly
danger. Surely the least I could do would be to hasten to their
assistance; what with my two rifles, a few Kaffirs to keep watch and so
forth, and my humble self to help with the shooting I might be of the
greatest service--possibly even turn the scale against their enemies.

If I were to decide to take this course instead of making for Bulawayo,
I should, of course, run the risk of encountering an _impi_ of natives
on the warpath, and I should then have my work cut out to come safely
through the danger. But, on the other hand, the journey to Bulawayo was
beset with equal risks, and Bulawayo was farther from this spot than the
farm.

Naturally, there was in reality only one course open to a
self-respecting man, and I decided at once that I would go to the
Gadsbys.

I thought it right, however, to explain the matter to my Kaffirs; for it
was clear to me that the news had greatly alarmed them, and some of them
might prefer to go southward out of the danger-zone.

Three of the five decided to take this course; two--much to their
credit--decided to stand by me; one was the driver of my ox-waggon; the
other my chief hunter, a man who called himself Dicky Brown, a far
better fellow than the Kaffir Billy who figured in the rhinoceros
adventure, and who did not then greatly distinguish himself.

So we three set our faces towards Gadsby's farm, and we had not
travelled five miles before trouble began.

We had stopped at the bank of a small river in order to search for a
ford, when, sitting on a rock, awaiting the return of the Kaffir I had
sent to prospect around, I heard a peculiar sound: a kind of rhythmical
tramp as of many feet working together, walking quickly or trotting,
accompanied by curious noises as of grunting, groaning, coughing, and so
on.

'Matabeles--an _impi_!' said the Kaffir Dicky, his dusky skin looking an
unwholesome ash-colour with terror.

Probably they had struck our trail and were in pursuit; it was a bad
business at the best!

Well, there was not much time for preparation--five or ten minutes,
perhaps, which we spent in fortifying ourselves as far as possible. That
is, we placed the waggon along the river-bank in order to protect
ourselves against an attack in the rear. We got the oxen tethered
behind the waggon, and so we awaited developments.

The impi was now in full view, the whole five hundred or so of warriors
trotting over the ground in step, going at a business-like
pace--something like seven or eight miles an hour, the usual speed of a
Matabele 'regiment' on the warpath.

Two hundred yards or so from us they pulled up, and one or two _indunas_
or officers came forward. The Kaffirs were able to converse with the
men, at any rate to understand their demands, and it appeared that I was
summoned to give up my oxen, my stock of provisions, and my rifles and
ammunition. When I should have done so to their satisfaction, I should
be permitted to proceed to Bulawayo.

'To get my throat cut long before I got near the town!' said I. 'Tell
them if they want my property they had better come and take it.'

This reply evidently did not please our friends, who returned to their
main force looking wicked, and muttering I don't know what threats. Then
I saw the entire _impi_ spread itself out in a kind of semi-circle as
though in preparation for attack; but instead of attacking us at once,
as I expected, the men all sat down and ate the provisions they had
brought with them. Doubtless it was their dinner-time and they saw no
reason why they should not refresh themselves. _We_ were caught all
right--they had us in their power and they knew it. It was the delay
that saved our lives, of course; for if they had 'rushed' us then and
there, nothing in the world would have saved us from destruction.

We employed our time in attempting to strengthen our defences; that is,
we brought stones from the river and built up a kind of little wall
underneath the waggon so that at least no one should attack us from
below; as for ourselves we got into the waggon, and I was busy teaching
Dicky how to load my Winchester quickly, when the second Kaffir uttered
an exclamation:--

'See--see!' he cried. 'See, master, a Matabele coming over the water!'

I looked up. Sure enough a 'nigger' was swimming the river, which was
deep just at this place and about thirty yards in width.

I was about to raise my rifle to shoot the fellow, for at first sight it
appeared to be an attack in the rear; but something about the man caused
me to look closer; I seemed to know the face, which, though dark, was
not quite so dusky as the usual complexion of the Mashona fellows,
neither was the type of face that of the Matabeles.

I set down my rifle and waited until he should land. It had occurred to
me that this might be Umkopo. A moment or two later he climbed
ashore--it was Umkopo, sure enough.

'Umkopo!' I hailed him--'it is you!' I saw the youth stand and gaze at
me. He was taller now than two years ago, and he wore--in spite of his
soaking condition at this moment--an air of much dignity. He had on a
Norfolk coat and trousers of obviously English make, though they were
none that I had given him. Moreover, when he spoke to me in English,
though he was by no means proficient in our language, yet he certainly
spoke it much better than when I last saw him.

'Come up here and speak to me,' I said. 'Why are you there?'

Urnkopo laughed. He pointed in a dignified way towards the Matabele
_impi_ in the distance. 'I am here,' he said, 'because these fools are
here. If I was not here you would die.'

(_Continued on page 205._)



THE GLOW-WORM.


  It lights its little lamp each night
    Upon the leaf or ground,
  And sheds abroad its tiny light,
    Till day again comes round.
  Though it is but a tiny spark,
    It makes the darkness seem less dark.

  So gentle deeds of kindness done,
    By little hands like mine,
  And kind words spoken one by one
    Like to the glow-worm shine;
  They shed abroad a tender light,
    And make earth's brightness seem more bright.



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

VII.--IRISH, SCOTTISH, AND WELSH HARPS.


From very early times the inhabitants of our islands were skilled in the
use of the harp. In Ireland the harp was called Clarsach, and in Wales,
Telyn; in both countries it was the national instrument. Perhaps the
oldest Irish harp known is that said to have been used by King Brian
Boru. The story goes that his son left his native country for Rome,
taking with him his father's harp and crown. These he presented to the
Pope, hoping to induce him to grant his forgiveness for a murder he had
committed. Whether he won forgiveness we do not know; but it is certain
that a very old Irish harp remained at the Vatican until the reign of
our Henry VIII., when the Pope sent it to England. Finally, after
passing through various hands, it attained its rest in the library of
Trinity College, Dublin. The instrument is about three feet high, and
broad and strongly made, which no doubt accounts for its long existence.

One of the oldest and most beautiful of Scotch harps is known as Queen
Mary's harp. The carving is still very fine; in former times it was also
adorned with the portrait of the Queen of Scots, and with the arms of
Scotland set in gold with jewels; but during the rebellion of 1745 the
latter ornaments vanished. The harp is only thirty-one inches high by
eighteen inches wide, and was played resting on the left knee of the
performer, leaning against the left shoulder; the upper strings were
played by the left hand. These harps were strung with brass or steel
wire, and plucked with the finger-nails, which were kept long on
purpose. Queen Mary took her harp for a tour in the Highlands, and while
there gave it to a lady who, by marriage, passed it over to its present
owners, the Stewarts of Galguse.

No amount of repression and misery during the ceaseless rebellions
against their English masters seems to have affected the Welsh love for
their national instrument. In the year 1568, Queen Elizabeth herself
brought her mind to bear upon the matter, and ordered a congress of
bards to be held at Caerwys. Here the really good players received
degrees and rewards, whilst the indifferent performers were invited to
seek some other honest profession; failing this they were liable to be
apprehended and punished as rogues and vagabonds. From this meeting the
Eistedfodd seems to have arisen, though after awhile Welsh music
suffered an eclipse, only reappearing in force during the nineteenth
century. The chief prize for many years of the musical contests was a
model of a harp in silver, about six inches high, and beautifully
executed.

[Illustration: Harp of Brian Boru.]

[Illustration: Silver Prize Harp.]

[Illustration: Harp of Mary Queen of Scots.]

England also had its harpists, and we all remember that King Alfred
visited the camp of Guthram and delighted him with his music. Chaucer, in
his Prologue to the 'Canterbury Tales,' speaks of one who played a sort
of harp so well that when he sang,

  'His eyes twinkled in his head aright,
  As do the stars upon a frosty night.'

HELENA HEATH.



THE KESTREL'S EGGS.


[Illustration]

Ralph Norton was home on leave from the _Britannia_, and it was not easy
to find a sufficient outlet for his energies in the quiet neighbourhood
where he lived. So when his sister Marjorie told him that she wanted a
kestrel's egg for her collection, he explored a wood not far away, and
discovered a nest which would give him a good piece of climbing.

'Don't take more than one--or two, at the most,' Marjorie said. 'I can't
bear to make the birds miserable, but I don't think they can mind
losing one egg out of a whole batch.'

[Illustration: "'Hold hard there!'"]

It was a lovely spring morning and Ralph stood at the foot of the tall
fir and looked up at the nest, which was built on a branch quite near
the top.

'It is a stiff climb,' he thought, 'and it's a good thing I am not
heavy, or that branch would never bear me.'

But he was not a _Britannia_ cadet for nothing, and the harder the climb
the better fun he would think it, so up he scrambled.

A few minutes later a game-keeper came along, and stopped when he got
near the fir-tree.

'I will just put a charge of shot into that hawk's nest,' he said to
himself. 'Hawks do too much damage. I may catch the bird sitting there,
and at any rate I can smash the eggs.'

He raised his gun to take aim when a piercing yell seemed to come from
the sky. He lowered it hastily, and it was fortunate the shock did not
make him discharge it.

'Hold hard there!' came a shrill voice from the direction of the nest.
'If you don't look out, you will bring down a bigger bird than you
reckon for.'

The kestrel at this moment flew swiftly away, and the keeper was so
perturbed he missed his opportunity of bringing her down.

'Oh, it's you, is it, Master Ralph?' he shouted. 'I declare I never can
tell what prank you will be up to next. You do frighten a man most out
of his wits.'

'And what about me?' Ralph retorted. 'I have had about as much of a
scare as I want. It was hard-enough work getting up, without seeing the
ugly muzzle of a gun pointed at me. And a jolly good thing I did see it,
or you might have been had up for manslaughter.'

'Well, I like that!' muttered the game-keeper. 'I wonder who is about
his proper business--that daring young scamp, or a harmless man like
myself?'

But he knew from experience he did not often get the better of Ralph in
a war of words.

'As you are up there, sir,' he called, 'you might take all the eggs, and
then I need not waste my shot.'

'Right you are!' was the answer; but Ralph found there were seven, and
he thought of Marjorie's injunctions.

'I will leave a couple,' he decided, and even then he hardly saw how he
could get the others safely down. Two could be carried in his mouth in
the orthodox fashion, and the other three must take their chance in his
pocket; not much of a chance though, considering the scramble before
him.

However, he was soon on the ground beside the keeper, displaying his
treasures.

'A good set too,' he said, 'from rusty red to one almost white. But you
did give me a turn with that old gun.'

'I'm sure, sir, I am thankful enough I didn't fire it off, but I should
have been doing no more than my duty, and that's more than you can say,
seeing that this wood is strictly preserved.'

Ralph laughed, and they sauntered off together, and the kestrel sailed
back to her despoiled nest. If only she had known it, she had reason to
be grateful to Ralph, for if he had not been in the act of robbing the
nest, she might have been shot herself, and at any rate her eggs would
have been destroyed. As it was she had in time two little downy
fledglings to console her, and this fact was a comfort to
Marjorie, though perhaps Ralph thought more of the fun of the little
adventure than of the bird's feelings.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 187._)


Having seen Mrs. Wright and her son about her from the earliest moment
of consciousness, and after the first feeling of strangeness in her
surroundings had worn off, Estelle took everything quite naturally, as
if she had never known any other life. With the experience of the
child's terrible illness to frighten her, Mrs. Wright dared not perplex
her mind with questions, or attempt to rouse her memory. Till she had
strength to think and realise under what altered conditions she was
living, the child had better be treated with simple love and care. Being
naturally healthy, Estelle soon began to gain in strength steadily. The
headaches from which she suffered gradually grew less distressing, and
as soon as she was able to sit up, she was carried in Jack's strong arms
into another room, and laid upon a great soft couch.

Estelle looked about her with a growing wonder and delight. She was in
the queerest and quaintest room she had ever seen. It appeared to be a
little of everything: a sitting-room and a kitchen and a cave. There was
a big fireplace, in which huge logs of wood were burning on the floor,
partly supported by iron dogs; the floor of the room was of sand, with a
rug here and there. The ceiling and walls were of rock, the light being
admitted through an opening at a great height above the ground. Very
large, high, airy, and beautifully clean, it was yet very marvellous. A
long dresser covered with plates and jugs stood against the end wall; an
old-fashioned oak settle occupied one side of the fireplace, and the
couch on which she lay the other side, thus forming a sort of cosy
encampment in the great cave. A big round table stood in the centre,
decorated with a bowl of wild flowers, in honour of Estelle, arranged by
Jack's deft fingers. A number of books, some work, and a few photographs
were scattered about on this table, for no meals were ever served on it.
Another and smaller table close to the settle was used for this purpose,
in front of the wall on which all the brass and copper pans were hanging
in shining rows.

Curious and wonderful relics of a seafaring life were visible
everywhere: from Japanese cabinets to nautilus shells; from flying fish
to the sargasso weed in bottle; from the wedding dress of a Solomon
Islander to the exquisite models of the ships he had sailed in, executed
by Jack's skilful fingers. He had also rigged up shelves, or made
cupboards into which to put his curiosities; and every addition of his
handiwork increased the air of quaint comfort in the room.

Estelle was never tired of asking questions about all she saw, and Jack
never showed any weariness in answering them, and showing her his
treasures. He would tell her long stories of his sea-life, and describe
many a curious scene and object he had seen in the wild islands he had
visited. But in all his tales Jack never said a word that Lady Coke
would not have liked; and there always seemed some good in every person
he had met, even the roughest and toughest. Estelle delighted in his
stories. They served to beguile many an hour of weakness and weariness.
When, however, even these did not please her, Jack would carry her round
the room, and point out various little things she had not noticed. He
would tell her how he had found them, or he would take down one of his
ships, and show her how to rig them, while he taught her the names of
the spars and ropes. As she grew stronger, Estelle would read aloud to
Jack and his mother, while the latter knitted her jerseys and
sea-stockings for sale, and Jack made or mended sails and fishing-nets,
or carved little trifles for Estelle with the view of teaching her. She
was an apt pupil, enjoying these lessons and showing much ambition to
out-rival her master. Thus her strange life and surroundings occupied
her thoughts fully, and very seldom did she appear confused by any
chance word recalling a forgotten memory. Mrs. Wright, watching her
carefully, would not as yet risk any suggestions. The child appeared to
be quite happy and contented, and evidently loved the friends who had
shown her so much kindness. That was enough for the present.

'Such pretty ways as she has!' said the good woman one day. The little
girl having fallen asleep on her couch, she covered her carefully with a
rug. 'One would think she had known us all her life, she's that fond of
us.'

'I shall be sorry enough when she goes,' returned Jack, in a hushed
voice. 'So will you be. You haven't been nursing her for so long, and
loving and caring for her as none knows better how to do, without
feeling as if she was a bit like a child of your own. Oh, I know you,
Mother! She's a little lady and no mistake; but come what may, neither
you nor I will ever look upon her quite as we do on other people, nor
she on us--I'll be bound. That's Jack Wright's opinion, right or wrong,'
he wound up, laughing noiselessly.

Mrs. Wright smiled. It was evident she agreed with him, having just as
soft a spot in her heart for the little waif as he had.

'I'm sorry in one way,' went on Jack, sitting down on the settle and
lighting his pipe; 'sorry we can't find the little Missie's friends. But
somehow I can't be properly sorry either. It is funny how one has a
double sort of feeling about it. I'd be really anxious about her if she
was taken away from us before she was well, and I'd miss her pretty eyes
and her "Thank you, Jack!"'

Mrs. Wright was bending over the fire, cooking their mid-day meal of
Scotch broth, and apple dumplings, while keeping a watchful eye upon a
dainty dish of fish for the child. She smiled at her son, but a little
sigh escaped her also as she shook her head.

'I won't be saying that you did not take trouble enough to find her
people,' she remarked. 'I should love to keep her here, but it makes me
all the more grieved for her friends. It's hard on them to lose a dear
little girl like that. I suppose your skipper had such a fright with
that gunboat that he will not be likely to take another trip to English
shores?'

'We only got off by the skin of our teeth as it was,' replied Jack, with
a grin at the recollection. 'After all, the Frenchman owed his escape to
an Englishman being at the helm. He looked pretty grim about it. He has
no taste for fines, but it's a jolly sight worse when they have to be
paid into British pockets. He never had quite such a narrow shave as
this one, and I fancy he will not be in a hurry to cruise in that
direction again.'

'What will you do, then?'

'Wait. There's nothing else for it. I have no money, and I don't know
where the child came from, nor how far she floated. I don't know the
coast, nor anybody living about there. The child will be able to help us
by-and-by.'

'What were you saying about me, Jack?' asked Estelle, waking up just in
time to hear the last few words.

'"Ask no questions and you'll hear--" You know how that proverb ends,
Missie,' laughed Jack, getting up to place a chair for her at the table.
'Here's dinner ready, and Mother only waiting for you.'

Mrs. Wright was indeed in the act of carrying the steaming dishes as
Estelle went to her seat. She was so much stronger that she could manage
to sit through a meal, supported by cushions and the arms of her chair.
Jack told her he had a great treat in store for her, provided she ate a
good dinner. Watching her face as he spoke, with its varying colour and
delicate outline, Mrs. Wright felt anxious.

'I fear whether it isn't a risk, Jack?' she said.

'Not a bit, Mother. It's a lovely day--calm as a mill-pond, and will do
you good as well as the little lady.'

'For half an hour only, then,' said Mrs. Wright, still doubtful of the
wisdom of Jack's proposal.

'What is it? Oh, do tell me!' cried Estelle, flushing and paling with
eagerness.

'Perhaps, if you eat a good dinner, I will take you out,' returned Jack,
smiling. 'Now, if you want to hear any more, you will finish that
plateful of fish.'

'Am I going out for a walk? Oh, how lovely! You will come too, dear
Goody?' Estelle had learnt to call Mrs. Wright by this pet name.

'Well, you see, we have all to wait till that plate of yours is clear,'
answered the old woman, laughing.

Estelle laughed also, and set to work. Her appetite had scarcely begun
to be keen as yet, and Jack and his mother agreed that a little fresh
air and sunshine might be good for her, if it could be managed without
fatigue. Estelle was persuaded to eat all that was expected of her, and
promised to lie still upon the couch till Mrs. Wright had cleared the
table. Then, while Jack went out to make his preparations, his mother
put on her bonnet, and collected some cushions and rugs.

(_Continued on page 202._)

[Illustration: "Jack told her he had a great treat in store for her."]

[Illustration: "Jack sprang out with Estelle in his arms."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 199._)


It was not very long before Jack returned to tell them all was ready,
and to laugh at Estelle's eager face and sparkling eyes.

'I don't want you to tell me what it is,' she cried. 'It will be a real
surprise. I love surprises!'

Jack called her a 'contrairy' young lady, who wanted to know every thing
one moment and nothing the next. Mrs. Wright, in a wonderful black
bonnet, appeared at that instant, her arms full of warm things. Estelle
sprang to her feet in delight, scarcely able to stand still a second to
have her hat put on, and the big cloak wrapped round her slender little
figure.

'Gently, gently, dear,' said Mrs. Wright, as the child bounded towards
the door the moment she was released.

Jack laughed. 'That will never do,' he said; 'you must walk before you
can run, Missie.'

As long as she went out, she did not care about the manner of her going,
and willingly allowed Jack to lift her in his strong arms. Mrs. Wright
opened the door at the end of the kitchen, and Estelle found herself on
a terrace, where some high shrubs hid the view beyond, and a few flowers
had been planted wherever there was soil enough for them. A steep path
led down the cliff till they came to a wider place, whence there were
two routes--one which Jack pursued, narrow and rough; the other, broader
and paved here and there with cobble stones, in order to keep the earth
from being washed down the hill.

'That's the way to Tout-Petit, our little fishing village,' said Jack.
'You may walk miles before you will see anything half so pretty. But oh,
the dirt!'

'Everything is thrown out into the middle of the street,' added Mrs.
Wright, making a face as if the remembrance of certain sights was not
pleasant. 'It takes a good heavy rain to wash them places clean. Oh!' as
a stone rolled under her feet. 'I do believe, Jack, this path gets worse
and worse.'

'I wish I could carry _you_, dear Goody!' said Estelle, smiling at her
over Jack's shoulder, and brimming over with a happiness which made her
long to impart some of it to others.

'Or that I could carry you both at once,' laughed Jack. 'Mother is an
independent body, Missie, and many's the time I'm obliged to take the
law into my own hands, when it's a matter of helping her for her good.
She does not like to be done good to against her will.'

'And Jack takes after his mother if that's her character,' retorted Mrs.
Wright, laughing.

'Then you would not wish him to be different,' said Estelle, with a look
of affection at Mrs. Wright.

'Yes, she would!' exclaimed Jack. 'I've got some ugly faults, and she'd
rather see me without them: wouldn't you, Mother?'

'Have you faults?' asked Estelle, in such an incredulous tone that both
her listeners laughed.

'He's getting the better of them by degrees,' answered Mrs. Wright,
suddenly becoming grave, as if some thought troubled her.

They had now reached the end of the path, and, turning round by a group
of pine-trees which grew at the foot of the hill, came out upon the
sandy beach. Oh, what a sight for the enchanted eyes of the little girl
who had been a close prisoner for so long!

The sun was shining in a sky flecked with soft, fleecy clouds. Before
them was the rippling, dancing sea. Far in the hazy distance the grey
smoke of a passing steamer could be seen, while white-winged boats or
brown-sailed fishing smacks dotted the wide bay. Estelle's eyes were
full of tears as she uttered exclamations of delight and surprise.

'How lovely! How lovely! Are we going to sit on the beach?'

'Better than that, Missie,' replied Jack, marching down the pebbly slope
with long, easy strides. 'Don't you see the skiff down there on the
sands? It's a trip in her you will have, where you will get fresh air,
with nothing to tire you.'

'Dear Jack! How delicious! Are you not very happy, Goody?'

'I am if you are, dearie. But if you go and get excited, you will have
to come back. It will never do to have you ill again.'

Declaring she was not excited, only happy, Estelle clung to Jack as to a
tower of strength against any return. He laughed.

'Obey orders, little Missie,' he said; 'be happy, but keep quiet.
There's no call to tire yourself.'

'Why, you silly Jack, you are carrying me! How can I get tired?'

The boat had been drawn up on the beach, and Jack now put Estelle into
it, making her a comfortable nest among the cushions and rugs, and
erecting the umbrella over her head. Then, assisting Mrs. Wright to a
seat near her, he ran the boat into the water, springing in as it slid
off. With a 'long, long pull and a strong, strong pull' he rowed them
out of the shadow of the rocks into the open sea. There he ran up the
sail, while Estelle lay quite still in an ecstasy of pleasure. It was
one of those golden moments which are seldom forgotten in a lifetime,
when mere living and breathing are a delight; when the tongue is silent,
because the eyes and thoughts are full of the beauty of the light, and
the colour of trees, sea, rocks, and sky! With anxiety Mrs. Wright
watched her little charge, as, speechless with delight in the sunlight
and sweet air, she lay drinking in health with every breath. But Mrs.
Wright was no longer young, and believed in moderation in all things,
especially first things. She insisted that the sail should be a short
one. Jack, therefore, put back at the end of the allotted time, in spite
of Estelle's imploring eyes. She gazed at him as he lowered the sail,
and took up his oars, till he almost fancied there were tears in her
eyes.

'I did so want to go on!' she sighed. 'It may rain another day, and it
is so long since I have seen the sun.'

Mrs. Wright shook her head, however, as one who is deaf to appeal.

'No more to-day, dear,' she said. 'If it is fine to-morrow you shall go
again--that is, if you are none the worse for what you have done
to-day.'

Jack, who could not bear to see his 'little Missie' distressed, assured
her it _would_ be fine to-morrow, and probably for some time longer.
April would soon be upon them, and the time for the singing of birds
begin. _That_ meant fine weather.

'He ought to know,' added Mrs. Wright; 'it is a sailor's business to
understand the sky.'

The words appeared to rouse some train of thought. After gazing
earnestly at Jack's smiling face, Estelle knitted her brows, as if
puzzled, saying, with some hesitation, 'A sailor? Yes, I know a
sailor--now, where did I see him? He had something about him. Oh, what
was it? You must remember, Goody. Will you tell me?'

'I have known a good many sailors, dear, in my time, being the wife and
mother of sailors; and this one,' putting an affectionate hand on Jack's
knee, 'is the biggest of them all.'

But Estelle was not diverted from puzzling over where she had seen the
sailor she wanted to remember, whose name and circumstances she was
conscious had something especial about them.

'I can't recollect!' she exclaimed, putting her hand to her head.
'Somebody said something, and we were sorry--what could it have been?'

'Don't try to remember, dear. It does not matter. As likely as not it
was only a story somebody told you,' urged Mrs. Wright, alarmed at the
flush and distress this first effort to recall anything in the past had
produced.

'Here we are!' cried Jack, cheerfully pulling round into the bay, and
running the little boat as high as possible up the shelving beach.

The tide coming in fast had already covered the sands, and was roaring
on the pebbles. Holding the painter of the boat in one hand, Jack sprang
out with Estelle in his arms, and, after putting her down on the dry
shingle, proceeded to haul the little craft sufficiently high out of the
water to enable his mother to land.

'Sit still, Missie,' he called to Estelle, 'and I will carry you up in a
jiffy.'

(_Continued on page 214._)



A WONDERFUL WEIGHING MACHINE.


The Bank of England has in use a machine so delicately adjusted that it
can give the accurate weight of a speck of dust, whilst the same machine
will also weigh metal up to four hundred pounds. A postage stamp placed
on this scale will swing an indicator on a semi-circle a space of six
inches.



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

VII.--SOME CURIOUS NURSERIES.


You will find--many of you have found already--that the longer you
pursue the study of Natural History the more fascinating it seems to
become. Now, a part of this fascination is certainly to be traced to the
fact that the unsuspected is always happening; and this, too, happens
even to those who have studied nature's ways long enough to know that
what we call the 'rules of nature' are always subject to exceptions.
That is to say, we know that it would be wrong to suppose that, after we
have traced out the life-history of any particular creature, we have the
key to the life-history of _all_ its near relatives.

For example, you will remember that not long ago we described the
complicated history of the starfish, sea-urchins, and sea-cucumbers.
Strange and different as were the changes which these creatures passed
through when young, we agreed that they were all cast by their parents
adrift into the great world while yet so tiny as to require a microscope
to see them; and each mother sent forth her young in this defenceless
state by the thousand, so that, as a natural consequence, perhaps not
more than a dozen of each family survived. But there is one species of
sea-urchin which appears to assume some sort of responsibility and
tender care for her young ones. This is the Hemiaster sea-urchin. She
lays but a few eggs, and these she jealously guards in a number of
pouches on her back. Here they hatch, and in due time become young
sea-urchins (fig. 2). One of the starfish, again, carries its young on
its back under a wonderful tent stretched across the tips of specially
constructed spines; and, in order that water may constantly reach her
family, the roof of this tent is pierced with holes! Even the unsightly
sea-cucumber, or sea-slug, is not to be outdone. In what are known as
the 'plated' sea-slugs--so called from the overlapping stony plate borne
on the back--the young are housed in a nursery on the back of the
mother, the plate referred to serving as a roof (see fig. 1). In another
of the sea-slugs the young cling to the skin of the mother until they
are big enough to shift for themselves.

In all these cases, you will notice, the extraordinary forms taken by
their unprotected relatives during early life are dispensed with. The
reason of this is clear after a moment's reflection. The peculiar shapes
which we described earlier are so many special devices designed to aid
the young in gaining a living until their full-grown shape has been
developed. But when these are specially sheltered in nurseries, they
have nothing to do but grow, for their food is brought to them.

The higher we search in the scale of animal life, the more numerous and
striking become the instances of the love and care shown by parents for
their children. Among the fishes and the frogs and toads, for example,
there are such wonderful instances of this that we must deal with each
of these groups separately.

When we come to birds and mammals, we find it hard indeed to select
instances, because, with but few exceptions, these creatures are most
exemplary parents. Let us take, by way of example, one or two cases
among the mammals.

The ponderous hippopotamus carries her young one on her back when
swimming, to save it from the jaws of the hungry crocodile. Some of the
opossum family are remarkable for devotion to their young: one species,
for example, though considerably smaller than a cat, cheerfully carries
her large family about on her back, though each of them is as large as a
full-grown rat! They maintain themselves in perfect safety, while the
mother climbs about the trees, by twisting their long tails around
hers, which is purposely turned forward over her back after the fashion
shown in our illustration (fig. 4). Bats, again, undertake what almost
seem impossible burdens, for the mother, though she has to obtain all
her food when on the wing, refuses to leave her young one, as would seem
but natural, in some place of safety, but carries it with her wherever
she goes. The little mite clings tightly to the soft fur of the under
side of the body (fig. 5). In some cases as many as four baby bats are
carried in this way at a time!

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Sea-slug, with young.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Sea-urchin, with young.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Australian Bear, with young one.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Opossum, with young.]

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--Bat, resting, with young.]

The curious Koala, or native 'bear' of Australia, carries her young on
her back (fig. 3), and apparently without serious inconvenience, though
she has to make her way about the topmost boughs of the giant gum-trees.
Finally, we must refer to the kangaroo, which carries its young in a
special pouch, too well known to need description here. The point to
which we would direct attention is the burden which all these animals
are willing to bear for the sake of their young ones.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.

[Illustration: "I was received with joy."]



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

V.--SAVED FROM THE MATABELES.

(_Continued from page_ 195.)


I looked at Umkopo in astonishment. What did he mean by that, die? Did
he think that by his presence with us we should gain so much in strength
that we should now beat off the enemy?

Umkopo laughed again. 'You shall see,' he said'; I am the White Witch;
that which I say will be obeyed.'

manner of Umkopo, though his words sounded no better than conceited
nonsense.

'Do you mean to go among them?' I asked; 'I warn you, Umkopo, it is a
dangerous thing to do. They may kill you.'

'Kill me--these children?' he said, with scorn; 'you shall see.'

He strode straight away, with these words, towards the Matabele hosts.

'Stop, Umkopo,' I cried after him; 'you are unarmed--take a rifle, at
least, or a pistol.'

'Give me a pistol,' said he, stopping a moment to think; 'a lion may
show his teeth when a hyena yelps, that is no shame.'

I gave him a loaded revolver. 'What do you mean to do or say?' I asked.

'I will say "go away," and they will go,' he laughed; 'I will say "dare
not threaten those who are of my race--I am the White Witch."'

'But if they refuse to obey?' I asked.

Umkopo gave me a glance brimful of haughty contempt. 'You speak
foolishness,' he said. With which he strode away towards the Matabele
fellows.

Well, I watched him with some interest and anxiety, as you will readily
believe. The Kaffirs, too, watched him in fear and trembling.

'I have heard of the White Witch,' Dicky muttered. 'The Matabeles are
like his children, so men say.'

Umkopo went among the indunas who squatted in front of the regiment and
sat down with them. We could see that there was excitement among the
black warriors when he was seen and recognised. We could even catch
occasional exclamations, when loudly uttered. These mostly consisted of
the one word, Umkopo. Men seemed to be going from group to group
conveying the news that the White Witch had appeared.

The indunas and their visitor rose to their feet, presently, having, I
suppose, concluded their arguments, but one man seemed still to be
engaged in heated conversation with Umkopo. Suddenly a shot rang out,
and the man fell.

With one accord the Matabele hosts sprang to their feet; they gazed for
a moment at Umkopo, who seemed to give some order in raised tones, his
arms outstretched. Almost instantly the entire regiment turned their
faces and began to depart. First they walked, then ambled, then
gradually they formed into lines and trotted in their former rhythmical
fashion. In five minutes all were out of sight, Umkopo alone being left
upon the field of battle--he and the dead induna.

Umkopo returned slowly towards my waggon; his dignity--'_side_' would be
a more exact description--was indescribable; at any other moment it
would have been actually amusing, but at this crisis I had no room for
any feeling excepting one of deep gratitude, mingled with amazement. The
lad had certainly saved us from immediate destruction--how in the world
had he done it?

I met him and we shook hands. 'Umkopo, you are a wonderful fellow,' I
said, most sincerely; 'how did you do it?--what did you say?--what is
the meaning of it?'

'The meaning?' he repeated. 'The meaning is that I am Umkopo; let him
disobey me who dares. There are few of the Matabeles who dare. One there
was; I knew him before, the induna Gongula: he was jealous of Umkopo; he
dared not once, not twice, only to speak in my face--see where he lies;
the rest have gone; they will not return.'

'But why do they obey--what is your power over them?' I asked, in
genuine surprise; 'I do not understand.'

'Bah!' he said, 'what matters? You are alive and not dead; that is
better than to understand. I am the White Witch--it is enough!'

'No, it is not enough,' said I. 'You have saved our lives, Umkopo; you
have saved mine a second time to-day; how shall I repay you?'

'Bah! we are friends, that is enough. Where do you go? To your death,
that is certain, unless I know in time.'

'I go to Gadsby's farm--a day's journey north and west,' said I. 'Is the
country clear between?'

'It is clear to-day. I know Gadsby's farm. It will be attacked
presently, like others. If he has not yet gone when you get up there,
tell him not to go until Umkopo comes. I cannot be everywhere. Where I
am, they dare not touch the men of my race.'

'Have you now discovered for certain that you are English?' I asked.

'Since we met I have learned many things,' he said. Then, before I knew
that he meant to leave us, he was in the river and half-way across.

Before long he disappeared in the jungle, which grew almost to the
water's edge on the far side of the river.

We lost no further time, but found a shallow place, crossed the river,
and trekked onward towards Gadsby's as quickly as possible. We reached
the farm before dusk.

Here we found that the Gadsbys had had warning of the danger, and had
conveyed the news to farms to right and left of their own. Within the
house were assembled Gadsby and his family, his partner, two young
bachelors, Morrison by name, from an adjacent property, twelve miles
away, and a second family of children, with their parents, from a farm
still further away from Bulawayo. They had thrown themselves into
Gadsby's large house for mutual protection.

I was received with joy. My rifles and ammunition would be of the
greatest service, for Gadsby and his brave companions fully intended to
defend the house, and even had hopes of doing so successfully, until
relief should arrive from Bulawayo, which, they were sanguine, would
come in good time.

This being the case, an extra man, well armed and a pretty fair shot
(spare my blushes) was a distinct acquisition.

I found every man in the place busily engaged, some in cutting down and
removing everything within two hundred yards of the house which could
serve the Matabeles for cover. Others were busy boarding up the windows,
and some Kaffirs were saturating the lower portion of the house with a
hose, in order that any attempt to set fire to it might be frustrated.

(_Concluded on page 226._)



A BUTTERFLY'S WING.


  O brother, do tell me,' a little ant said,
  'What was it went flying just over my head?
  'Twas caught in the sunbeam that pierces the yew;
  Its colours were crimson, black, orange and blue.
  It looked like a flag that the fairies might fly
  If leading an army from here to the sky.
  And out of the shadow it came from the lane
  To flit through the light into shadow again.
  O brother! dear brother! what could it have been?
  Such colours, such beauty, I seldom have seen.
  Look! there in the distance it flutters once more,
  Now right and now left by the summer-house door.'
  And like one bewitched he set off at a bound,
  Though jungles of grasses grew thickly around.

  'Heed not,' cried the other, 'so simple a thing;
  'Tis nothing on earth but a butterfly's wing.
  They flit through the garden all hours of the day,
  They turn to each bud in a purposeless way,
  And many a time have they halted to see
  What fun could be made of my neighbours and me.
  But who cares for them?   On their way let them go.
  When the summer has passed they have nothing to show,
  While one of our efforts more profit will bring
  Than ten thousand strokes of a butterfly's wing.
  Come! back to our work.'
                           And without more ado
  He dug 'neath the soil where an artichoke grew.

  The little ant followed, and though I must say
  He worked in a rather preoccupied way,
  He owned that to duty 'twas better to cling
  Than follow the flight of a butterfly's wing.



'THOSE HORRID BOYS.'


[Illustration]

Dora and Nellie were on a visit to their grandfather, and, as Nellie
said, they might be having a lovely time if it were not for 'those
horrid boys.'

'I wish Grandfather would not ask us all at the same time,' sighed
Nellie. 'It quite spoils our fun.'

But Grandfather thought it was a good thing for the cousins to meet,
though Tom and Frank were a few years older than Dora and Nellie. The
two little girls would have thoroughly enjoyed their yearly visit to
Grandfather's, if it had not been for Tom and Frank's unmerciful
teasing. They could never play a peaceful game together without the
dread of being discovered; but this particular afternoon they had taken
their dolls to a new hiding-place, an old loft full of hay.

'Anyway, the boys won't dare to tease us much after what Grandfather
said this morning,' Dora remarked.

'No, they would be miserable if they couldn't go to the circus, said
Nellie. 'I'm very glad Grandfather heard them. Now he knows what they
are like, and Tom will have to be more careful.'

'Doesn't Arabella look lovely? said Dora, who had just dressed her best
doll in new clothes.

'Make haste, Nellie, we shall have to go and get ready ourselves very
soon.'

Just at that moment the boys' voices were heard in the stable below, and
the children stared at each other, dismayed.

'Come on, Frank, let's climb the ladder--I've never been up here
before,' and Dora scarcely had time to bury Arabella under a handful of
hay before Tom's head appeared.

'Hullo! here are the girls with their silly dolls. Let me have a doll to
play with,' and he caught hold of one roughly.

'You had better leave them alone, Tom, if you don't want to get into any
more rows,' Frank said, and the little girls begged them to go away.

'This is a jolly place! Come on, Frank, I will bury you in the hay,' and
Tom snatched up an armful.

But there was something in the hay he had picked up. Dora gave a loud
cry as she saw her beautiful Arabella flung into the air and through the
trapdoor opening into the stable below. In her haste to get down and
pick up her poor doll, she herself slipped and fell on the hard floor.
By the time Nellie and the boys had scrambled down, she was weeping
bitterly, not over her own hurts, but over Arabella's smashed face, and
she took no notice of Tom when he declared again and again how sorry he
was. Of course it had been an accident, but Dora felt too angry and too
miserable to forgive him at once.

'Now then, what's all this fuss about? Have you broken that doll, boys?'

It was Grandfather's voice, and he looked very angry as he took in the
scene.

No one answered. 'Well, of course,' Grandfather said, 'you boys cannot
go to the circus this afternoon, after this. Don't cry over your doll
any more, Dora, but run and get ready, and I will buy you a new one.'

But Dora had stopped crying already, and had caught sight of Frank's
disappointed face. Now was her moment of revenge; should she take it?
She had to decide quickly.

'Please, Grandfather,' she said,'it was an accident. Tom did not mean to
do it, and I have quite forgiven him.'

'Oh, in that case, perhaps he _may_ go to the circus,' said Grandfather,
relenting; he was much too kind-hearted to wish to leave any one at
home.

So they all went to the circus, and had a splendid time. The girls
forgot their broken dolls, but Tom did not forget Dora's generosity, and
he made up his mind to give up teasing them. Indeed, from that day they
were all good friends, and Dora and Nellie agreed, when they went home,
that their cousins were very nice boys, after all.

[Illustration: "'Let me have a doll to play with.'"]

[Illustration: "The African beauty was greatly taken with Lauder."]



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

VII.--THE BEAUTY OF WOW-WOW.


We have mentioned the two companions who accompanied Major Denham to
Kouka, and were left there while he made his campaign with the Sultan's
army. But Lieutenant, afterwards Captain, Hugh Clapperton is far too
delightful and interesting a person to be dismissed with so little
notice. Before he joined Major Denham he had managed to get into his
thirty-four years adventures enough to fill a volume, and after
returning with the Major to England and contributing his part to the
story of the expedition, we find him starting again, six months later,
with Captain Pearce and Dr. Morrison as his companions, from Badagry, on
the Bight of Benin, on the West Coast of Africa. But the deadly climate
soon diminished the little party. It was only three weeks before
Clapperton had to read the burial service over the graves of his two
comrades, and found himself left to carry on their work, with his young
servant, Richard Lauder, as his only companion.

But Clapperton was not the man to turn back from any task to which he
had set his hand, and in Lauder he had a colleague ready to follow him
through thick and thin. The two were as unlike in appearance as they
could well be: Clapperton was six feet high and broad in proportion, a
strong, genial, simple-hearted sailor, with a love of fun which must
have helped him through many a dark day; and Lauder was small and slim,
less robust, and probably less light-hearted than his master, but with a
passion for change and adventure which had drawn him from his Cornish
home, against the advice of friends and kindred, to volunteer for the
expedition. And in Captain Clapperton he found a hero to match with any
of those whose stories had delighted his boyhood. It is from him that we
have the history of their journey together, and every page is full of
loving admiration for the master whose courage no danger or suffering
could daunt, and who was yet full of thought and consideration for his
companion, carrying him on his back across the rivers when he was too
weak to ford them on foot, and writing continually to cheer him when
obliged to leave him behind to rest and recover. There are records of
hair-breadth escapes, of suffering and homesickness and parting, as in
most stories of African travel, but this tale has to do with laughter
instead of tears.

The travellers halted for some time at a place called Wow-Wow, where the
King, Mohammed, was friendly to them. There lived there a certain widow
named Lyuma, or 'Honey,' very rich, and, according to Wow-Wow taste very
handsome, though her portly figure, her hair dyed blue, and hands
stained red and yellow, and the crimson teeth which gave the finishing
touch, might not have been admired in England.

This great lady soon made friendly overtures to the two Englishmen,
calling every day at the hut they occupied, arrayed in gorgeous garments
of striped silk, and glistening with beads and ornaments. Great was the
amusement of the jovial Captain when he discovered that the African
beauty was greatly taken with Lauder, and most unmercifully did he chaff
them both as he sat, puffing at his pipe, at the hut door, much to the
confusion of the shy young Cornishman and the delight of the lady,
Lyuma, who took all his remarks seriously. Poor Lauder at last got so
alarmed that he called upon her, and solemnly informed her that he could
not make up his mind to an African wife.

The beautiful Lyuma, however, was not at all disconcerted, but at once
turned her attentions from Richard to his master, whom she tried to
dazzle by the magnificence of her jewels and the number of her slaves.
The Captain, fairly punished for his teasing, decided to pay a short
visit to the neighbouring King of Boussa, whom he wished to conciliate,
and left Lauder at Wow-Wow in charge of his luggage. But no sooner did
Lyuma hear of his departure than she set off in pursuit, splendidly
arrayed in red, with scarlet morocco leather boots, and attended by a
body of slaves, who cheered the way by discordant music. She looked in
before starting to bid good-bye to Lauder, who may well have laughed at
this turning of the tables upon his master.

But the affair soon took a more serious turn, for King Mohammed,
summoning Lauder to his presence, sternly informed him that his master
and the lady Lyuma were plotting rebellion, and that he himself and the
Captain's luggage would be detained at the King's pleasure. Richard
found remonstrances and explanations of no avail; and, feeling that
Clapperton must be warned of the King's suspicions, he managed to escape
from his guards and hastened with all speed to Boussa. Here he was met
by the news that the Captain had already started on his return journey
by another route, still followed by the admiring Lyuma. The King and
Queen of Boussa received Lauder with the greatest kindness; indeed, the
Queen was so much touched by his pleasant manners and weak look (for he
had but just recovered from fever), that she asked anxiously whether his
mother were living, and sighed when he answered 'No,' because he had no
one to watch and wait for him in far-away England. And when the weary
young Englishman, in spite of desperate efforts to be polite, dropped
asleep in the royal presence, the sovereigns, with courtesy which would
have done honour to a more civilised Court, quietly withdrew, sending
him a message that he must stay long with them and rest well.

But Lauder was anxious to rejoin his master, and, hurrying back to
Wow-Wow, reached it just as Clapperton, who had outdistanced his fair
pursuer, arrived there himself. The gallant Captain, hearing of his loss
of favour, took the bull by the horns and went at once to the King. He
quite disarmed that angry monarch by his frank greeting and assurances
that he had not seen such a handsome face since his departure as that of
the sovereign of Wow-Wow; but Mohammed, to make all sure, refused to
allow the Captain to proceed on his travels until Lyuma was safely under
supervision. So that the lady, when she arrived, found herself obliged
to submit to the royal authority and stay quietly at home, while the
Captain and Lauder, by no means sorry to escape, bade farewell to
Mohammed, and left the poor beauty to find a husband among the gentlemen
of Wow-Wow.

We might end the story there, with a laugh over poor Lyuma's
disappointment, for the rest of the tale that Lauder has to tell is sad.

For weeks the two explorers were delayed by tribal wars, and the long
inaction in the deadly climate broke down even Clapperton's hopeful
spirit. When they sat together in the evenings at the door of their hut,
and Lauder sang the old Scottish songs that had been familiar to his
master as a child, the foreboding seems to have fallen upon the Captain
that he would never tread his native hills again. He fell ill of the
sickness that had claimed so many victims, and gave his papers and
instructions, with business-like calmness, to his 'dear boy,' as he
called the young servant, who tended him with the devotion of a son. The
man who had before bidden Lauder never to forget his prayers knew where
to turn for help when his own splendid strength and energy could avail
him no more. But sorely desolate Richard Lauder must have felt, when he
laid the British flag over the body of him who had been master and
comrade in one, and, with broken voice, read the Burial Service, with
its words of faith and hope, over the lonely grave.

He himself returned safely to England, and has left us the portrait of
the man he served, the portrait of a brave, kindly Christian gentleman,
one of the most gallant of the army of pioneers who have heard the
'everlasting whisper' which calls men into unknown lands.



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1806.

VII.--CHARLES JAMES FOX.


[Illustration]

On the 10th of September, 1806, died Charles James Fox, a man of such
talents that perhaps his age did not produce his equal. He was born in
1749, and was the second son of Lord Holland, who spoilt his child by
letting him have his own way in everything. At nine years of age,
Charles was in the habit of reading his father's dispatches, Lord
Holland being then a Secretary of State; and one day Charles crumpled up
the dispatch, saying calmly, 'Too feeble!' and threw the paper into the
fire. Lord Holland, far from rebuking him, merely re-wrote the dispatch.

Perhaps no child ever received so bad an education from his father as
did Charles James Fox. The result was that Charles grew up into a most
confirmed gamester, losing immense sums at cards and on the turf.

He was always extreme in all he undertook. As a young man at college,
he walked fifty-six miles in one day for a wager, and, when in Ireland,
swam twice round the Devil's Punch-bowl, at Killarney. In dress, too, he
was always noticeable--at first as a great dandy and a member of the
famous 'Maccaroni' clique, who wore red-heeled shoes, carried muffs, and
seemed only to live to make themselves talked about; and later on--in
the days when he sympathised with the Republican movement in France--Fox
affected great simplicity in dress, and at last became such a sloven
that he did not even wear clean shirts.

But these were but the foibles of genius, for, notwithstanding all his
fast life and many vices, Fox was hardly surpassed as a scholar, an
orator, and a linguist; and, as a politician, Pitt himself--a life-long
rival--frankly admitted that 'Fox was a magician, who laid a spell upon
his hearers as long as the words issued from his lips.'

Once, in 1793, Burke was passionately addressing the House of Commons on
the necessity of placing foreigners, who were then flocking into our
country from France, under strict police supervision. It was the time of
the French Revolution, and Fox, though regretting the crimes then
committed, was yet in favour of the Republican Government for that
country, as offering greater freedom, and was very firm against
declaring war with France.

Burke, however, went on to declare that these foreigners would soon
infect Great Britain with their revolutionary ideas, and (hoping to
produce a startling effect) he finally drew a dagger from his bosom, and
flung it on the floor of the House, saying: 'That is what you are to
expect from an alliance with France!'

For a moment the House was startled, but Fox, with a readiness that
never failed him, turned towards his opponent with a mocking smile, and,
pointing to the dagger, said jestingly: 'The Honourable Member has given
us the knife; will he kindly favour us with the fork?'

The House burst into peals of laughter, and the incident, which Burke
meant to be so solemn, ended in making him a laughing-stock.

Perhaps the last years of Fox were his best years; he settled down and
married, living very happily with his wife, and taking great delight in
gardening.

On the death of Pitt, Fox was chosen a member of the 'Ministry of all
the Talents,' but he did not survive his great rival by many months. He
was a dying man when he made his last supreme effort to address the
House on the suppression of the Slave Trade.

'If,' said the dying statesman, 'if this Bill becomes law, and I had
done that, and that only, I could retire from public life with comfort,
feeling I had done my duty.' He was never again able to leave his room,
but his friends did not realise that his end was so near.

One nobleman called on him, and said he was making up a party for
Christmas, and hoped he might have the honour of including Fox amongst
his guests. 'It will be a new scene, sir, and I think you will approve,'
he said, persuasively.

'I shall indeed be in a new scene by Christmas,' said Fox, quietly, and
then he went on, 'My lord, what do you think of the immortality of the
soul?'

The nobleman hardly knew what answer to make, and Fox continued, calmly:
'I shall know by next Christmas.'

A few days later he was dead, and, after a most imposing funeral, his
body was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey, but eighteen inches from the
spot where, but a few months before, had been laid the body of his great
rival, Pitt.



THE ARBALIST, OR CROSSBOW.


[Illustration]

Amongst the weapons used in early English times, there was hardly one so
deadly and effectual as the crossbow. It is not familiar to us now,
being different from the ordinary bow and arrow, which we still see
sometimes. It gets its name because it has the appearance of a cross,
and is a very interesting old weapon, for with its trigger and spring it
led to the invention of the musket.

[Illustration: Loading a Military Crossbow.]

The Normans used the crossbow, and had also a sort of machine, not
unlike it, that threw out showers of arrows, or even stones.

[Illustration: Crossbow and Arrows used for Sport.]

Another name for the crossbow was 'arbalist,' and its arrows were called
quarils, or bolts. These were made of various sorts of wood; about a
dozen trees were used for the purpose, but ash-wood was thought to be
the best. Generally the arrows had a tip of iron, shaped like a pyramid,
pointed, though for shooting at birds the top was sometimes blunt, so
that a bird might be struck down without being badly wounded. One old
writer says that a great difference between the long-bow and the
crossbow was, that success did not depend upon who pulled the lock--a
child might do this as well as a man--but with the long-bow strength was
everything. In fact, during the Tudor times, the kings specially
encouraged the archers to practise shooting with the long-bow, and
people were even forbidden to keep crossbows. The crossbow, however,
when it had reached perfection, carried much further than the ordinary
long-bow.

The crossbow is said to have been invented in Italy, but it seems that
the Saxons had this bow, though it was not used much until long after,
when the Normans came over. According to an old tradition, it was by a
bolt from a crossbow that King Harold received a fatal wound at the
Battle of Hastings, For some reason or other crossbows were condemned
by a Council in 1139, and Christians were forbidden to use them, but
during the wars with the Saracens they were again made serviceable, by
command of King Richard I. Strange to say, Richard himself was killed,
we are told, by a bolt shot from the ramparts of the Castle of Chaluz,
which he was besieging.

[Illustration: A Contest with the Longbow.]

The pay of a crossbowman in the reign of Edward II. was sixpence a day,
probably equal to three or four shillings of our money. There are old
houses in England where crossbows are still to be seen; one among them
is said to have been Robin Hood's. During England's wars with France the
bow was an important weapon. At the famous Battle of Cressy the English
had about three thousand archers, mostly armed with long-bows; the
French had arbalists, or crossbows, and, on the whole, they were less
successful, as, again, at Agincourt. During the reign of Elizabeth,
however, the crossbow was once more popular, owing to an improved kind
being invented in Holland. It then became the chief weapon of the
Artillery Company of London, which still exists.



THE DISOBEDIENT MOUSE.


  'O Mother,' cried a little mouse,
    Hurrying down the cellar stairs,
  'As I was coming through the house
    I met the kitten unawares.

  'And as I passed she called to me:
    "Come back! come back! I've much to tell.
  And most delighted I shall be
    If your mamma would come as well."

  'So mother, let us hurry, _do_!
    To keep her waiting would be rude:
  And asking _me_, as well as you,
    I think was very kind and good.'

  But mother mouse with terror cried--
    Her eyes were round, her cheeks were pale,
  And leaping to her baby's side
    She held him by the paw and tail.

  'No, no!' said she; 'you must not go!
    You should not trust a kitten's word.
  Her claws are sharp: she is our foe--
    The direful foe of mouse and bird.'

  But when an hour had passed away,
    The baby mouse said soft and low:
  'I wonder what she had to say?
    I'll just creep out and ask her now.'

  And heedless of his mother's call,
    In self-opinion sadly vain,
  He met the kitten in the hall--
    And never more came back again.



CONQUERED BY LOVE.


A soldier in the American army was the terror of his company. He was
disobedient, quarrelsome, and vicious. As a result he was often
punished, but there was no reformation. In due time a captain from
another regiment was placed in command of that company, and was informed
of the bad character of this soldier. Very soon the man broke out, was
arrested, and brought before the captain. He looked at him for a moment,
and, speaking to the sergeant, said, 'Let him go to his quarters.'

'Shall I keep him under guard?' inquired the sergeant.

'Oh, no,' said the captain, quietly.

That evening the captain called his sergeant, and said: 'Go down to
Blank's quarters and tell him to come up to my tent; I wish to see him.'

'Shall I bring him up under guard?' asked the sergeant.

'No,' said the captain. 'Just tell him to come.'

In due time the soldier stood inside the captain's tent, cap in hand.

'Take a seat,' said the captain.

The soldier obeyed, but all the time looked defiance. The captain
inquired of his home and his relations, and then said: 'I have heard all
about you, and thought I would like to see you privately, and talk with
you. You have been punished often--most times, no doubt, justly, but
perhaps sometimes unjustly. But I see in you the making of a first-class
soldier--just the kind of a man that I would like to have a whole
company of. Now, if you will obey orders, and behave as a soldier
should, and as I know you can, I promise on my honour as a soldier that
I will be your friend, and stand by you. I do not want you to destroy
yourself.'

With that the soldier's chin began to quiver, and the tears trickled
down his cheeks, and he said: 'Captain, you are the first man to speak a
kind word to me in two years, and for your sake I will do it.'

'Give me your hand on that, my brave fellow,' said the captain. 'I will
trust you.'

And from that day on there was not a better soldier in the army.



THE SYMBOLS OF JAPAN.


The Imperial House of Japan owns three symbols which are carried before
the Emperor on all state occasions. These symbols are the Mirror, the
Crystal, and the Sword, and each has its own significance. The mirror
signifies 'know thyself;' 'be pure and shine,' is the message of the
crystal; whilst the sword is a reminder to 'be sharp.'



HARE VERSUS PHEASANT.


Two friends while driving past a field of young grain observed a number
of pheasants together, a couple of the male birds being engaged in a
fight. A little way off they also saw a fine hare, which seemed to be an
interested spectator of the battle.

The hare, to the astonishment of the spectators, began to hop towards
the pheasants, and when a few yards off, charged them full with fore
feet and head. One of the cocks sneaked off, but the other tackled the
hare, and for a few seconds fought gamely, flying up and striking at the
hare's head with beak and spur, the hare in return butting with his
head. The fur, however, proved too much for the feather, and in the long
run the pheasant had to retreat in an exhausted condition.

That the cock pheasants should have a sparring match is nothing unusual,
but that the hare should interfere in the quarrel is not easily to be
explained. Can any readers of _Chatterbox_ who live in the country
explain this strange scene?



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

8.--GEOGRAPHICAL ARITHMOREM.


_British Isles._

  1.--50, tears, e, 100. A Warwickshire market town.
  2.--100, war, 1000, 50, bee, 50. A South London parliamentary borough.
  3.--500, run, in, fee, 1000, 50. A city of Fife.
  4.--100, no, 500, tears. A town in Yorkshire.
  5.--500, u, yes, r, 50. A town in Gloucestershire, near the
    Cotswold Hills.
  6.--1000, 500, 50, 500, 10, I see. A county in England.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 254._]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWER TO PUZZLE ON PAGE 179.

  7.--1. Macaroni.
      2. Caviare.
      3. Sauerkraut.
      4. Welsh rabbit.
      5. Chocolate cream.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 203._)


Looking back before passing through the gap in the scrub, Jack saw his
mother was toiling very slowly up the shingle, as if the rolling stones
and steep incline were a little too much for her rheumatic limbs. It
gave him a pang to think how much better she had managed this same
ascent before the severe nursing of the past three months.

'I must get back and help her,' he said to Estelle. 'The climb is a bit
stiff for her now; so you won't mind if I just run up and put you down
in the kitchen as quickly as possible?'

Estelle begged to be allowed to walk up, but of this he would not hear.
His long legs soon brought them to the cave-door, where, unwinding the
child from the folds of the rugs, he threw the cushions down, telling
her to lie on the couch and rest. Then he ran off to his mother's
assistance. More tired than she could have thought possible after her
taste of fresh air, Estelle waited anxiously for Mrs. Wright and Jack,
fearing some accident; but before long she heard their voices. Presently
Jack appeared with his mother in his arms.

'I never thought he could do it. I am so heavy now,' said Mrs. Wright,
half laughing, half crying, 'But he wouldn't take "no." It might not be
a word in the dictionary for aught he cared. Was there ever the likes of
him?' she added, looking up proudly into the strong face of her son.
'And he does not seem a bit puffed or blowed by the weight of me, does
he, dearie?'

Jack, however, had disappeared to attend to his boat. Estelle thought
she had never seen any one so strong in all her life, or so good or so
nice. Mrs. Wright said but little more, however, and as usual ended her
praises with a sigh.

'Why do you do that?' asked Estelle, wondering how she _could_ sigh
after Jack's kindness had pleased her so much.

'What did I do, dearie?' demanded Mrs. Wright, sitting down on the
settle, and removing her huge black bonnet to fan herself with it.

'You always sigh when you speak of poor Jack! He is so good and kind. Is
he going to die?' she asked, distressed.

'Heaven forbid!' cried Mrs. Wright, aghast. 'Why, what are you thinking
of, child? My Jack die!'

'Why are you always so sad about him if he is not going to die?'

Mrs. Wright was unusually moved. Instead of answering, she hastily
collected all the walking things, and carried them off to her room. Much
astonished, as well as conscious that she had asked an unwise question,
which must have sounded like prying, Estelle, in distress, ran into the
bedroom.

Mrs. Wright was on her knees at the bedside, sobbing as she murmured her
prayers for her 'dear boy.'

Horrified and startled, Estelle slipped away again without disturbing
her, taking refuge among the cushions of the couch. Here she cried
hysterically till she suddenly found herself lifted bodily up in Jack's
powerful arms.

'Worn out, little Missie?' he asked, softly. 'It was too long for a
first trip.'

'No, it is not that, you dear, kind Jack!' she sobbed. 'But I have made
Mrs. Wright angry with me, and I didn't mean to--indeed, I didn't.'

'Angry!' returned Jack, surprised. 'Mother has not been angry for years,
that I know of. I can't just believe that, Missie. Let's come and see
what it's all about.'

'Oh, no!' cried Estelle, shocked at the idea. 'She is crying, and saying
her prayers, and they are all for you.'

Jack's face flushed suddenly into a deep red.

'Oh!' he said in a peculiar tone. Estelle thought it sounded as if he
were too sorry for words. He did not again offer to take her to his
mother.

'I am sorry. I did not know I should hurt her, or I would never have
asked her---- ' cried Estelle, looking up in surprise and dismay at the
change in his face.

Putting her down, Jack arranged her couch more comfortably. She had
tossed all the cushions into a heap in her agitation, and while
replacing them he said quietly: 'You have made a mistake, Missie. Mother
is not angry with you. She is sorry for me; I have not been what I
ought, after all her love and good training. I will go to her now, and
she will soon be all right. Poor Mother!' he ended, with a sigh like his
mother's.

Before he had time, however, to get to the bedroom, Mrs. Wright
appeared, and returned his look of anxiety by stretching up to give him
a kiss. Estelle was glad to see how loving was the meeting. Neither said
a word on the subject of their trouble. The understanding between them
was too complete. Mrs. Wright put her arms round Estelle, and kissing
her affectionately, said, 'Forgive me, dearie; I am tired and a little
upset. It is so long since I have been out, and walked up that steep
path, that it seems to have knocked me over. We will just have a cup of
tea, and that will make us all bright and cheerful again.'

Estelle began to speak, but her old friend would not allow her to finish
her sentence. The subject was over, and she bustled about preparing the
meal, and chatting about the sea and the French sea-folk. Jack had left
the room, and did not appear again till Estelle was in bed. Then she
heard him say, as he wished his mother good-night, 'The past is past,
and can't be undone. The future is in our hands, and it won't be my
fault if I don't do my best to redeem it. Perhaps some day atonement may
be possible.'

Being half asleep Estelle did not catch the reply. Tired out with the
afternoon's expedition and the excitement following it, she slept more
soundly than she had done since her illness. Morning found her more
lively and vigorous than usual, and with a better colour in her face.
The cloud her unfortunate question had occasioned appeared to have
cleared off. Perhaps Jack was more quiet, as if some of his joyousness
had gone; but no one but sensitive Estelle would have noticed anything
amiss. Mrs. Wright was as cheerful as ever, as kind and careful towards
her little girl, and even more tenderly loving to Jack.

The day was bright and clear, the weather spring-like, as Jack had
promised. Taking advantage of it was the best medicine and tonic that
Estelle could have. The trips in the boat became longer, and very soon
there was even a talk of a walk in the village, which Estelle much
wished to see.

This desire was greatly increased when one afternoon, on returning from
their boating, she found 'la mère Bricolin,' as she was called, sitting
with Mrs. Wright. Madame Bricolin was housekeeper to M. le Curé, and
held herself a little above the fisher-folk, rarely stopping to gossip
with them. But Mrs. Wright was different--as different as Jack was from
the men with whom he went out to ply the nets.

'What do you say, dearie?' cried Mrs Wright, as Estelle entered the
room. 'Here's Mère Bricolin telling me the great fair is to come off
next week.'

(_Continued on page 222._)

[Illustration: "She found 'la mère Bricolin' sitting with Mrs.
Wright."]

[Illustration: "The promise of a thousand songs."]



THE SINGERS YET TO BE.


  Oh, touch them not, the loving toil
    Of wild birds fair; he surely wrongs
  Both Heaven and earth who seeks to spoil
    The promise of a thousand songs.

  Think! in these fragile caskets lie
    The unborn singers who will give
  Day-long their sweetest harmony
    From dawn until the quiet eve--

  The choristers, whose morning praise
    Is one glad psalm of hope and joy,
  Long, long before their heads upraise
    Each sleeping, dreamy girl and boy.

  Grey larks, how often I have heard
    You singing in the golden noon,
  Until my heart within me stirred
    To thank you for your music's boon.

  Yet sweeter still than all the rest,
    The last clear hymn at eventide,
  When, dropping to each well-hid nest,
    You gaze to where the sun has died.

  Faced to the splendid purple West,
    You pour full-throated forth a lay,
  Giving to God and man your best,
    As come the shadows soft and grey.

  So touch it not, this present home
    Of future singers: pass along--
  They'll soon, from out the sky's great dome,
    Repay your gentleness with song.



CAUGHT BY A TREE.


A natural history student was one afternoon, during a prolonged drought,
hunting for ferns in a dense wood. Towards evening, it grew suddenly
dark, and a few drops of rain gave warning that a storm was coming. At
that moment, the student's eye fell upon a big, hollow tree-trunk on the
ground.

Striking a match, the man peered within, and saw, as he thought, a
convenient place of shelter. With feet foremost and arms pressed closely
to his side, he wormed himself into the log.

Presently the rain came down in torrents, and the student congratulated
himself on having found so snug a shelter.

Fatigued with his long tramp, he fell asleep. How long he slept he did
not know, but by-and-by he was awakened by a sharp pain in his head, and
a feeling of cramp in his whole body. The rain was still falling, the
darkness was intense. The bodily discomfort was, of course, due to the
man's cramped position; the pain in his head was caused by a continual
drip of water from above on to his forehead.

He drew his head back out of the way of the drops, and, in spite of his
uncomfortable position, actually fell asleep again! But the next time he
awoke, the pain in his head was intolerable. It seemed impossible to get
out of reach of those maddening drops, and 'wherever they fell,' says
the student, 'they seemed like a sharp iron boring into the skull.'

But the worst was yet to come. When the poor fellow tried to crawl out
of the log, he was unable to do so! The opening by which he had so
foolishly entered had been only just large enough to admit his body, and
the wood, shrunken by the long drought, had in the rain swelled to such
an extent that he was now caught, as he says, 'like a rat in a trap.'

Throughout the night the wretched victim shrieked, struggled, pushed,
kicked, and wriggled in vain. He could not raise his hands to tear at
the wood.

Happily, he was discovered the next morning through the good services of
a sagacious dog, which led a search-party to the spot.

Even then, however, his sufferings were not at an end. Before he could
get out of his prison, it was found necessary to cut away a part of the
log with an axe.



A PAGE FROM AN AUTOGRAPH BOOK.


Count Ensenberg, who was formerly the Hessian Ambassador in Paris, was a
collector of autographs, and there was one page of his autograph book of
which he was specially proud.

This page contained the writing of three celebrated men--Guizot, Thiers,
and Bismarck. Guizot had written: 'During a long life I have learned to
forgive much and forget nothing.' Thiers, for many years Guizot's most
bitter political opponent, wrote under this: 'A little forgetfullness is
a great help to reconciliation.' Some years later Bismarck closed the
page with the words: 'For my part, I have seen it best to forget much,
and to let others forgive me.'



MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.

VII.--THE NILE DAM AT ASSUAN.


[Illustration]

The waters of the River Nile have been put into harness and made
manageable for the benefit of Egypt. The mighty stream, swelling to a
flood and overflowing once a year, was wont to bring fertility, in its
own way, to the fields on either bank. But too soon these refreshing
waters sank away, and too soon the short harvest was followed by a
period of drought. It was a case of having more than enough water at one
season and not enough at another, and it was plain to see that if the
supply could only be regulated, the bare, parched plains of Egypt would
have abundant crops more than once a year.

The best way to accomplish this would be to get control of the flood
waters, and to keep some of them back in a huge reservoir, until the
rain-regions, from which they came, began to stop supplies, and the
river sank to its usual size. Then the gates of the reservoir could be
opened, and the pent-up flood be allowed to gush forth again to refresh
the thirsty fields.

In 1898 the performance of this task was undertaken by the engineering
firm of John Aird & Co.,[1] at a cost of two million pounds, and in May
of that year the scene of operations was chosen, four miles south of the
town of Assuan. Here it was proposed to erect a dam, or barrier, right
across the Nile. It would stand on the crest of a cataract and would be
one mile and a quarter long. But as the river at flood-time carries down
large quantities of rich deposit which is extremely beneficial to the
soil on which it settles, it would never do to erect any obstruction to
check this in its flow. Therefore this Nile dam must be a barrier
capable of letting the river pass until its treasure was safely
delivered in Egypt. _Then_ the waters must be checked and the great
reservoir filled. This could only be done by means of a number of
sliding doors in the dam, which could be opened and closed at will.

[Footnote 1: To whom we are indebted for permission to reproduce the
illustrations of the Dam.]

The first examination of the cataract seemed to show that it flowed over
sound, hard rock, and no difficulty was expected in finding a good, firm
foundation. But when, to keep the water back while the work was in
progress, sand-banks and temporary dams were built across the four
channels through which the river flows to the cataract in the spring, it
was found that the granite of the river-bed was 'rotten,' and in many
places it was necessary to dig down thirty feet, before solid rock could
be found. This was a sad surprise, for it seemed impossible to start
building at such a depth, and carry the masonry to a sufficient height
before the Nile in flood would come roaring down to Assuan. It was a
race with time; and if the engineers failed to win, their temporary dams
would be washed away, and would have to be built again next year before
the great barrier could be gone on with. Already the Nile had more than
once laughed at these temporary banks of sand and stone, and had broken
through them and leapt upon its course as though jeering at human power.
So persistent had been its attacks that the engineers almost despaired
of finding anything heavy enough to hold its own in the opening which
the water had made. At last two large railway waggons were filled with
stones in wire cages, securely tied into the waggons with steel ropes.
These, weighing altogether fifty tons, were pushed along a pair of rails
on the top of the 'sudd' (or thick growth of weeds and flotsam) till
they fell with a tremendous splash into the opening. Then the Nile was
beaten. It could not move such a weight, and the masons worked on in
peace--three hundred and fifty-three of them, night and day.
Fortunately, too, the builders were encouraged by telegraphic reports
received from stations farther up the river to the effect that the
waters showed no signs of rising. The flood, in fact, proved unusually
late that year, and by the time it came, the dam at Assuan was raised
sufficiently high to be independent of the temporary 'sudds.' For three
months work was suspended while the water roared through and over the
stonework, but at the end of that time work progressed more rapidly than
ever.

So cleverly had matters been arranged that no delay was caused by having
to wait for materials. The granite was quarried in the neighbourhood,
but was no more prompt in arriving at the scene of action than the coal
and cement that came all the way from England. During the time of
construction no less than twenty-eight thousand tons of coal were burned
in the engine fires; and seventy-five thousand tons of cement were mixed
to bind the granite blocks together, or to be formed into smooth slabs
for facing the sluice-ways. In the long wall thus erected, which is
seventy feet high in places (the bed of the river being so uneven) there
are one hundred and eighty gateways or sluices, each nearly seven feet
wide and twenty-three feet deep--except a few which are just half that
depth. These openings are arranged on different levels, the bottom row
being sixty feet below the surface of the water when the reservoir is
full. They are all contained in a length of four thousand six hundred
feet, the rest (one thousand eight hundred feet) of the dam being solid
masonry. The sluice-ways are closed by iron gates which work vertically
in grooves of steel, and can be raised or lowered from the top of the
dam--a roadway sixteen feet wide. That these huge iron curtains may be
lifted more easily, one hundred and thirty of them are fitted with
rollers, and whatever the pressure of water, they rise and fall with
great smoothness.

Five years were allowed for the accomplishment of this great task, but
by diligence and promptness, John Aird & Co. were ready to pack up their
tools and come away a whole year sooner than was expected. His Royal
Highness the Duke of Connaught went to Assuan, in December, 1902, and
declared the great dam fit to begin its important duties.

[Illustration: The Nile Dam at Assuan.]

And this is how those duties are performed. Early in July each year,
every sluice is opened to its widest, the iron doors being lifted as
high as they will go. The Nile at that time is seen to be rapidly
rising, and nothing must obstruct its passage. For five whole months it
is allowed to rush in growing volume on its course. By that time, the
rich deposit, of which we have spoken, has all passed through the
sluices, and the time has arrived for checking the clearer and less
turbulent water by which it is followed. The first gates are lowered
early in December, being of course those in the lowest part of the dam.
These are followed by fifty more on a higher level; and so on until all
the sluices are carefully closed, with the exception of some which are
left open for surplus water to pass through. The reservoir is not full
until the end of February, and thus takes three months to collect its
waters. But so vast is its extent, that the stoppage is said to affect
the river one hundred and forty miles farther south. The water thus held
back is not allowed to escape until May, when it is most wanted in the
fields below the dam; and it is, of course, all gone by the beginning of
July, when the sluices are gaping wide again to let the new floods pass.
It need hardly be said that the order just described varies a great
deal according to the moods of the river. The dam must be regulated to
those changing moods, or the benefits it gives could not be relied upon.
Thus from the fickle stream a constant blessing is drawn, and year after
year, with the shifting seasons, those stately gates will rise and fall;
the river channel will always have its water, so long as the gates last,
and there will be corn in Egypt.

[Illustration: "What a feast I had!"]



GREY-SKIN'S ADVENTURES.


But for an undue affection on my part for fruit of all kinds, you would
probably never have heard my story; for I might possibly have been free,
and the happiest lives, they say, are those which have no history.

What happy times we had in that far-away land over the seas--the
gambols and the pranks we played! I was always fond of freedom, in fact
I loved it beyond anything, and it was this that first led me into
misfortune.

I disobeyed my good old mother, by going beyond the bounds appointed,
and through this I was brought into captivity. An elephant-hunter caught
me, almost before I knew where I was, and then, good-bye to freedom!

I was shipped on board a huge vessel. What a voyage it was to be sure! I
trumpeted for hours in misery. Once I felt certain I was going to the
bottom, but my fears were unfounded, for we reached England in perfect
safety, none the worse for our stormy experiences. Shortly after
landing, I was dispatched to my new home.

I should not have minded so much if I had been sent to the Zoo, for I
hear some of the elephants there have fine times and are treated like
royalty. But I was bought by a circus company. Fancy, taking _me_ to a
common thing like a circus! At first I moped; who would not, under such
trying circumstances? By degrees, however, I got used to my
surroundings, and learned to do all sorts of clever things. I was young
and teachable, so they said. I could stand on a tub, sit at a table and
dine, ring the bell for the waiter to come and clear away, after which I
would eat my dessert with the air of a gentleman.

In fact, I was 'The Children's Delight,' 'The Elephant Extraordinary,'
and 'The Marvel of the World.' That is what they said on the
circus-bills! I used to feel proud, at times, of all the praise which
was bestowed upon me, and gave myself airs. You see, it is not everybody
who is 'The Marvel of the World.'

However, praise alone did not satisfy me for very long. Freedom was what
I wanted, and one day, to my delight, freedom was what I managed to get.

And didn't I enjoy myself!

Never mind how I accomplished it; let me say simply that I eluded my
keeper and got into a sort of forest (I suppose it was a country wood),
and there I stayed all night, laughing in my trunk to think what a panic
the circus company would be in. If only I could have made my way to some
seaport town, and have been shipped off home again, I would gladly have
endured the roughest voyage to be once more in my own dear native land.

Towards morning I got weary of my loneliness, and hungry too, I must
admit. Feeling a bit more courageous than when I first escaped, I
decided to take a walk, and I found my way into an adjoining town. Here
it was, alas! that I came to grief.

I met a baker's boy on the road with a basket of rolls. I gobbled up
every one, and so partly satisfied my hunger.

The boy was dreadfully scared. Had I not been so busy with my breakfast,
I should have been quite anxious about him. For a few seconds he stood
open-mouthed with fear; then he flew like the wind. What for, I did not
know, for I had no intention of doing him any harm. All I wanted was his
rolls.

Of course, after having appeased my hunger, I ought to have made my way
back to the woods again. I realise this now.

But I saw, not far off, a greengrocer's shop, and the things there
displayed were enough to tempt any one's appetite, I simply could not
resist them. I broke the window, and upset the fruit over the pavement.
What a feast I had to be sure! The people in the shop were afraid to
interrupt me, so I had it all to myself. Two basketsful I demolished,
and was prepared to attack a third, when suddenly, to my horror, I was
caught.

My keeper, with two or three other men, who were helping in the search,
happened to see me in the middle of my feast, and then--well, here I am,
again in captivity.

I said I liked fruit. Yes, but that is a thing of the past, now.

I have pretty well settled down again to my life as 'The Children's
Delight,' and 'The Elephant Extraordinary,' although at times I still
yearn for the freedom of the forest. But this one lesson I have
learnt--that if you cannot get the things you want, the wisest plan is
to make the very best of the things you have.



THINK THIS OUT


An Arabian proverb, which contains a lot of meaning very closely packed,
runs as follows: 'Who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is
foolish; shun him. Who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is
humble; teach him. Who knows, but knows not that he knows, is asleep;
wake him. Who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise: follow him.'



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 215._)

CHAPTER XII.


La Mère Bricolin had a thin, brown, deeply lined face, but she herself
was stout, and did credit to M. le Curé's table. Her coarse blue serge
dress, white apron, and snowy, close-fitting cap, gave her a well-to-do
appearance. Indeed, as housekeeper to M. le Curé, she was far better off
than in the days when her husband earned a scanty livelihood as a
fisherman in one of the smaller smacks of the cod-fishing fleet. Like so
many other widows of the little village, she had lost him in one of the
great storms off the coast of Iceland, and had to go out to service in
order to support herself and her only son. The boy had grown up to
follow his father's trade, and she lived in constant dread of hearing
bad news of him. She was always one among the first to hasten to the
cliff where all the women assembled to catch the first glimpse of the
returning boats. Then there would be the rush to the tiny harbour, each
woman's heart aching with anxiety to see if her dear ones had returned
to her safe and sound. So Mère Bricolin's mind was never at peace,
though she was not dependent now on another's earnings, and had no
intention of being a drag on her son.

Her sunken black eyes had much humour and kindliness, despite the
anxiety and shrewdness which was so apparent in them. She loved a
gossip, too, with such a neighbour as Mrs. Wright; and as they both had
similar anxieties when the boats were delayed by stress of weather, or
when a flag was noticed at half-mast, it was no wonder that Mère
Bricolin did not appear to mind the steep ascent to Mrs. Wright's
dwelling. There was another reason for her activity. Was it not she who
suggested that Mrs. Wright should live in that very place? She had not
intended that the cave should be their permanent abode, and it was not
her fault that Jack and his mother continued to live there; but she had
suggested it on their arrival, and was flattered that they preferred it
to any other place in the village.

Mère Bricolin gazed in amazement at Estelle. She had been disappointed,
not to say a little hurt, in her secret heart when Mrs. Wright refused
to allow her to help in the nursing of the little waif, nor even to see
her, on the ground that the doctor had forbidden any visitors to the
sick-room. By no word had Mrs. Wright let out her suspicions as to the
rank of the little girl. Mère Bricolin expected, therefore, to see a
child much like the other children in the village. Every one in
Tout-Petit knew the story of the rescue. Every woman admired the tall,
handsome English sailor, whose determination and good nursing had saved
the little stranger's life at sea; but they would never have said so.
Was he not a foreigner? Was there not some cause, hidden, but certain as
the nose on the face, that a clever seaman like him must have something
in the background which kept him from a far better position than that of
a common sailor?

But Jack and his mother lived such simple lives, and Jack was such a
first-class 'hand,' that any prejudices which might have cropped up died
a natural death, and he never lacked employment.

'Look at our two old gossips!' he laughed, as he saw Mère Bricolin
comfortably seated on the broad settle near the fire. He often wondered
how they found so much to talk about, these two old dames.

Mère Bricolin's surprise as Estelle took off her wraps brought another
smile to his face. He felt proud of his little flotsam from the sea when
the Frenchwoman said, 'And this, M. le Marin, is the little Mademoiselle
you picked up! The sea has its pearls, my friend.'

Estelle was touched. To her own surprise, as well as that of her
friends, she understood and answered in French as well as any little
Parisian. How she learnt it she was still unable to say, but she had not
spoken French with her former nurses and governess from Paris in vain.
It was a relief to all parties that she was not shut out from the
conversation. The chief pleasure to good Mrs. Wright was, however, that
the purity of the accent and diction proved she was of gentle training,
at all events. She smiled and nodded approvingly.

'Will you tell me about the fair?' said the little girl, seating herself
on the settle by Mère Bricolin's side.

The old dame nodded, her black eyes twinkling. Estelle's blue ones grew
rounder and rounder as she heard of the wonders of the
sword-swallowers, the celebrated fleas which could drive a coach, of
elephants that fired guns, of the great circus of horses; and--dearest
of all to the peasant heart--the dancing at the Fontaine des Eaux;
dancing which was to begin on the eve of the _fête_, and to be continued
on the night itself till break of day.

'And will you dance, Mademoiselle?' asked Mère Bricolin, smiling. 'There
will be plenty of people ready---- '

'Never!' exclaimed Jack, shortly. The very idea annoyed him.

'I hope to see it _all_,' said Estelle, eagerly. 'But I'm not strong
enough to dance. I would rather look on.'

'You are right, Mademoiselle. You would not care to dance either. Our
lads are good, but they are rough. But it is a pretty sight even to me,
who am old, and must be ready to leave this world whenever it shall
please Heaven. But M. le Curé says it is not wrong, M. Jack. All these
things are for our ease and pleasure, and the next day we work again.'

'I dare say you are right, Madame,' returned Jack. 'There's no doubt
that people enjoy themselves. My mother and I intend our little guest to
do the same.'

'Have you taken her to see the Treasure Caves?'

'Not yet.'

'They call M. le Marin the Giant of the Treasure Caves because he
discovered them,' smiled Mère Bricolin, rising to go.

Mrs. Wright pressed tea upon her, but she said she must be back before
M. le Curé came home from visiting the sick. He, too, was old, and never
remembered to eat when he was tired, unless she reminded him. Jack
accompanied her down the slope, while Estelle hindered rather than
helped Mrs. Wright to lay the tea. She was wild with delight at the
prospect of seeing a real _fête_. Then, suddenly remembering some such
event in a dim, uncertain way, she paused painfully, saying, 'Have I
ever seen one before, Goody? Where am I? In France? Have I been here
before? How is it I can speak French?'

'It doesn't matter whether you have been here before or not,' returned
Mrs. Wright, glancing uneasily at the flushed face. 'One fair mayn't be
like another, and all you have got to do is to enjoy it. It will not be
Jack's fault or mine if you don't.'

The sailor's return made a diversion, and as they took their places at
the table, he proposed, if little Missie were not too tired, to take her
to see the caves. Child-like, Estelle was only too delighted. Tired! She
had only been in the boat, and had been carried up the steep path on her
return. No, she was not a bit tired.

Mrs. Wright was glad she should go. It was still early in the afternoon,
and some hours of daylight remained. She thought the little expedition
would amuse the child, and occupy her mind. Jack would see that she was
none the worse for it. He was going out all night trawling, and might be
busy for some days to come. It would be a pity not to let Estelle have
this little pleasure while he was there to look after her.

(_Continued on page 230._)

[Illustration: "'Will you tell me about the fair?'"]

[Illustration: "The thing exploded in the air."]



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

V.--SAVED FROM THE MATABELES.

(_Concluded from page 206._)


Those Matabele fellows (said Vandeleur, continuing his yarn on the
following evening) did not allow the grass to grow under their feet.
That very evening as we all sat at supper, the children having gone to
bed, an assegai suddenly flew just over Mrs. Gadsby's head, and struck
quivering in the wall behind her.

Now we had only left a square foot or so of window unboarded, for
purposes of light, so that some fellow must have come very close to the
house before throwing his weapon. Yet a trustworthy Kaffir had been put
upon sentry-go outside to report any sound of approaching Matabeles.
Evidently the man cannot have heard this native approach; we supposed he
must have been at the other side of the house, but we afterwards
discovered that the poor fellow lay killed with another assegai through
him.

At sight of the spear quivering in the wooden wall, Gadsby's face went
suddenly white, either with anger, or with the shock of his wife's
narrow escape.

'They have come already--every man to his place at once--out with the
lamp, Morrison. Thompson, run up and light the flare on top of the
house: ladies into their rooms, please!'

Away went men and women to their places, the light was put out, a
shutter was placed over the unboarded portion of the window, and for a
few minutes there was silence within and without.

I went upstairs to my pre-arranged station, and stood at my loop-hole.
My rifle and cartridges were all placed ready to my hand. The night was
very dark, and it was impossible to see more than a yard or two in front
of one's nose. But Gadsby had manufactured a fine oil bath, full of bits
of floating wick, and when Thomson set this alight on the roof, a
brilliant glare was shed around the house to the distance of fully fifty
yards.

The movement surprised a score or so of Matabeles, who had approached
very softly in the darkness--a kind of advance-guard, I suppose, sent to
reconnoitre and report to the main body. For the moment the sudden light
revealed their presence; they started to run like hares, hoping to reach
the safety of the darkness before our 'fire-sticks' should speak. I am
afraid very few of that advance-guard lived to reach the _impi_ which
was awaiting the information they were sent forward to gather and bring
back; for a volley from half-a-dozen loop-holes made havoc of the
runners, and doubtless those few who escaped had a terrible tale to tell
of the destruction that awaited the unwary attackers of our hornets'
nest.

This first surprise gained us several hours of respite. I suppose the
enemy had not expected that we should be so well equipped for
resistance. They had hoped to effect a surprise; to catch us
unsuspecting and unprepared; to destroy us at discretion, and then loot
and eat and drink and burn and demolish.

Gadsby was delighted with our success, 'I only wish they would come
again,' he said, 'while the flare lasts; it may just hold out till dawn.
Unfortunately there's no more oil for to-morrow night!'

'Then we must drive them away by daylight!' said Morrison, who was a
sanguine youth, and as brave as a lion.

'Ah! if only they attack by daylight!' laughed Gadsby, 'but I doubt
whether they will be such fools, now they have learnt that we can sting,
and mean to sting!'

The flare-light did not last until daylight, however; it grew fainter
and fainter, and at length burnt out between two and three o'clock.

This was a great disaster, as we were soon to find out, for it was but a
few minutes after the last flicker had died away, and left the night
looking all the blacker after the bright light to which our eyes had
become accustomed, when we all distinctly heard the approaching of many
feet. Apparently the _impi_ was about to attack us in force.

Each man was at his position in a moment; Gadsby came round inspecting.

'I don't like this much, Vandeleur,' he said to me. 'How on earth are we
going to stop their rushes in the dark? We can only shoot on the
chance.'

'I fancy they will try and burn the house,' I replied. 'You will have to
be ready with those dynamite cartridges, and drop one or two among them
if they come too close.'

The cartridges referred to were used by Gadsby and his partner for
blasting rocks upon the estate; there were signs of gold here and there
on the land, and they were in the habit of making frequent
investigations, believing that there was a fortune for them on the farm
if only they could hit upon it.

'Yes,' replied Gadsby, 'I have them already. I think we had better not
fire at them until they are within a few yards of the house; we may then
catch a glimpse of them, and a volley may turn them.'

'They are the wrong colour for seeing in the dark,' I said, with a
laugh.

There suddenly arose a fearful yell of hundreds of voices, seemingly
quite close to the house, and Gadsby rushed quickly away to his station.

I looked out of my loop-hole, but it was still too dark to see anything
further than ten yards or so from my eyes. I could hear the Matabeles
running towards us, shouting and yelling furiously; the sound did not
appear to be more than a very few yards away. Suddenly a black mass
seemed to loom almost before my eyes. At the same moment, I suppose, the
other defenders caught sight of the approaching natives, for as I pulled
my own trigger, I heard the crack of several other rifles from different
parts of the house, and with it the cry of frightened children awakened
thus rudely from their slumbers.

It was an exciting moment. The yells redoubled at the sound of our fire,
but seemed to die down a moment later, and the black mass came no
closer. We could not see the result of our shooting, but we continued to
pour into the scarcely visible masses of the enemy a fire which must
surely have had deadly effect.

Suddenly the dark mass, which we had dimly seen, vanished. I heard a
shout from Gadsby upstairs: 'We have beaten them off--good boys all!' he
cried. 'But let no man leave his post--they may be back in a minute.'

They were back in a minute or two, but did not stay long within sight.
Again we peppered them, and forced them back into the darkness which lay
beyond our vision.

And a third time the plucky fellows charged, only to be stopped once
more--half-a-dozen repeating rifles, fired as quickly as the trigger can
be pulled, are capable of great things in an emergency. After this third
attempt the Matabeles did not appear for half-an-hour. Had they finally
retired? It seemed to be almost too good to be true!

Gadsby came round. 'Don't leave your station, Vandeleur,' he said. 'We
have done wonders, but we must not be too confident or run any risks. We
must watch the night out and see broad daylight in before we can
consider ourselves at all safe.'

As though to belie any idea of safety, a voice suddenly came from
Thomson upstairs: 'Gadsby,' he shouted, 'come up! I think I see a group
of fellows coming along.'

Upstairs ran Gadsby like a streak of lightning. No one, however, could
see anything, and it was decided that Thomson must have been mistaken.

But suddenly there was a tremendous scare. Morrison, at the back of the
house, gave a shout and fired his rifle twice. At the same moment a
glare of light shot up into the air. A Matabele fellow had crept right
up to the house in the darkness and was endeavouring to set fire to the
place with a bundle of dry grass. He was so close under the house that
Morrison, from his loophole, could not get at him.

'Bring a dynamite cartridge,' shouted Morrison.

Gadsby brought a cartridge and lighted the fuse; then he dropped it out
of the window, which he opened for a second in order to do so. It fell,
presumably, close to the Matabele, who was busy over his fire; he would
find it difficult, we know, to get the house to burn, for it had been
well soaked with water. We ran more risk from the cartridge than from
his efforts, for in exploding it might easily damage the wooden wall of
the house. Then a startling and unexpected thing happened. I can only
suppose that the Matabele fellow had seen dynamite cartridges in use at
some mine in the district, and was acquainted with their properties, for
the rascal suddenly seized our bomb and threw it up at the window. He
was just in time, for the thing exploded in the air a few inches from
the side of the house, making a large hole.

With wonderful speed and activity two Matabeles swarmed up to the
breach, their assegais in their mouths, and their savage faces appeared
almost as quickly as it was realised that a hole had been made. They
were quickly shot, and the hole was instantly boarded over, but the
incident was alarming, because it showed that the enemy were capable of
effecting surprises upon us which might prove dangerous as time went on.

No more attacks were made before morning, and we were all at breakfast,
well pleased with ourselves for having got through the night in safety,
when some one came and told me that a 'funny-looking chap was asking for
me outside.'

He was Umkopo, of course. Of course, too, his errand was striking and
unusual.

'Tell Mr. Gadsby,' said he,'that the Matabeles are poisoning his water
supply--with my eyes I saw it. You must leave the farm and go to
Bulawayo--the farmhouse will be looted and burned, but you shall reach
Bulawayo in safety; I say it.'

Well, Umkopo was first laughed at; then his story was partly believed;
lastly he was fully believed, and the plan suggested by him was adopted,
which was to march to Bulawayo, armed and ready, under his protection.

And under his protection the whole party actually walked and rode past
the entire _impi._ within one hundred yards of the grim, scowling
fellows, and not an assegai was thrown, not a word uttered.

What was more, we all reached Bulawayo in perfect safety, passing
through throngs of the enemy under Umkopo's guardianship: through
thousands of terrible fellows who would have cut us to pieces, without
doubt, but for the haughty announcement by the White Witch, that we were
'his friends!'

I shall have more to tell you about Umkopo one day, if you like to hear
it, Vandeleur ended. 'Meanwhile, good-night all, for if you are half as
sleepy as I am, you must be glad that I have done for to-day.'



THERE ALL THE TIME.


It is told of Dr. Thorold that he was once asked to give away the prizes
at a school belonging to the London School Board.

In the course of his opening address, he gravely asked the children,
'Which was the largest island in the world, before Australia was
discovered?'

When the youngsters gave it up, he told them, in the same grave way,
which made them laugh all the more, 'Why, Australia, of course; it was
there all the time!'



STOP THIEF!

[Illustration: "Stop thief!"]


  But yesterday he came, a small
    And lively pup--his cheerful face
  So innocent, that one and all
    Believed him best of all his race.

  He crept beneath a chair--'to sleep,'
    I thought; 'poor tired little love,'
  Quoth I, and quickly stooped to peep--
    And caught him chewing up my glove!

  Since then he's worried all our mats,
    Upset the milk and smashed a cup;
  He's chased for miles one neighbour's cats,
    And nearly killed another's pup.

  Three stockings and a pair of mits
    He dragged through all the muddy street;
  Besides a muff that lies in bits--
    Except the parts I saw him eat.

  And now the butcher has been down
    To say our puppy is a thief,
  Who visited his shop in town,
    And ran off with a joint of beef.

  Yet here he sits and wags his tail,
    With goodness written on his face--
  A little dog that could not fail
    To be the best of all his race.



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

VIII.--BAGPIPES OF MANY COUNTRIES.


[Illustration]

I wonder if it has ever occurred to any of the readers of _Chatterbox_
that the bagpipes of the Highland glen, and the mighty organ which peals
through a Cathedral aisle, are one and the same instrument? When they
are reduced to their simplest elements of wind-chest, pipes and reeds,
there is practically no difference between the two.

The Bagpipe in its varying forms may be described as a portable organ,
whether blown by the mouth of the performer or by a pair of bellows. The
instrument is very ancient.

A curious old gem has been preserved, bearing the device of Apollo
carrying a lyre in his arms and a bagpipe slung across his back, which
takes that instrument right back to the days of ancient Greece.

Powerful bagpipes are used amongst the mountain tribes of Hindustan, and
travellers meet with them both in China and Persia. The ancient Romans
patronised this instrument largely, and the Emperor Nero was a skilled
performer.

A celebrated Italian story-teller of the thirteenth century mentions
that in his time the bagpipe was quite a fashionable instrument. Chaucer
and Spenser both allude to it, and the former says, in _Henry IV._, that
Falstaff was 'as melancholy as a lover's lute, or drone of a bagpipe.'

[Illustration: Old Ornamental Bagpipe.]

It is usually supposed that the bagpipe was brought from the East by the
Crusaders; it was reckoned as a court instrument in the time of Edward
the Second. In France, it was popular in polite society, up to the end
of the thirteenth century, when it was gradually banished to the lower
classes, and chiefly played by blind beggars. Two curious old pictures
exist of that date, representing bagpipe-players, one on stilts, the
other playing for a girl who is dancing on his shoulders.

In the seventeenth century, Louis the Fourteenth of France, casting
about for new amusements for his favourites, rescued the bagpipe, or, as
the French called it, the 'cornemeuse,' from its low surroundings, and
introduced it into his Arcadian festivities. We may picture a dignified
Marquis and Marquise, as Watteau has painted them, in the fantastic garb
of shepherds and shepherdesses, frolicking to the music of the bagpipes,
in the forest glades of Versailles or Fontainebleau.

The great bagpipe of the Highlands is inspiriting in war, and was first
used in battle in the early part of the fifteenth century. Up to that
date, warriors depended for inspiration on the war-songs of the Bards,
but doubtless the piercing tones of the bagpipes carried further, and
were more thrilling.

One of the amusements of a Scotch tour nowadays is to watch the pipers
playing and dancing on the quays where the steamers touch. Their gay
tartan attire and quaint instruments, with their gaudy bags and fringes,
make a bright note of colour, and, judging by the money collected,
bagpiping must be a fairly profitable employment.

[Illustration: Old Irish Bagpipe.]

The Irish bagpipe is a much more complete instrument than the Scotch,
although it is steadily dying out. In the latter, only one of the pipes
has notes. This one is termed the 'Chanter,' the other pipes (known as
'Drones') having only one fixed sound, and causing the curious droning
sound which accompanies the melody, whether lament or merry dance,
played on the 'chanter.' In the Irish form, the drone-pipes also have
notes, ensuring much more variety; indeed, this instrument is capable,
in good hands, of great sweetness and delicacy of tone. It is blown by
bellows instead of the mouth, which probably prevents jerkiness and
makes the sound steadier.

A peculiar bagpipe is used in Sardinia, called the 'Lanedda,' in which
the unfortunate player is obliged to make use of three mouthpieces at
the same time. It is not surprising to hear that the performance is
exhausting, and that the players often die early deaths.

The 'Musette' was a softer form of bagpipes, and many of the great
musicians have included in their 'Suites,' or collections of dances,
special music for the instrument bearing this name. Such music had a
lulling, dreamy tone, and greatly depended for effect on a clever use of
the drone-pipes. Musettes were often of most elaborate construction, the
covers of the windbags being of plush or velvet, richly embroidered in
needlework, whilst the pipes and mouthpieces are inlaid with ivory,
ebony, and silver.

HELENA HEATH.



OLD OXFORD CASTLE.


Old books describe clearly where Oxford Castle stood. It was close to
St. George's Church, and not far from a water-mill; the stream that
turned this mill flowed past the town, supplying water to the big moat
which surrounded the castle, and which was crossed by a strong bridge.
The most ancient form of the crest or coat-of-arms of Oxford shows a
castle, a winding stream, and a bridge. There is a curious drawing of
the castle, made by Ralph Agas, in 1538, during the reign of Henry
VIII., though some people think he has put the round tower, or keep, in
the wrong place. This keep is the last part of Oxford Castle to be left
standing; the rest has gone.

It is difficult to find out when Oxford Castle was first built. It is
certain that it dates from the time of the Saxons. There is a tradition
that King Offa built the original castle, which would mean some date in
the eighth century, and the great King Alfred was probably often at
Oxford, staying at the castle. In the collections of Saxon coins, round
in Oxford, there are some coins of his time. Then the son of Canute was
crowned at Oxford, and lived for a while at the castle, but he reigned
only four years. About 1791, the remains of old walls were found,
immensely thick, with some remarkable wells. These walls were thought to
be Saxon. Thus we pass on till the Normans conquered England, when there
is proof that this castle was rebuilt by one Robert d'Oiley. The
Conqueror divided the possessions of the Saxons freely among those who
came over with him, and this man had Oxford Castle given to him. He
rebuilt it in 1071, keeping, perhaps, some of the old fabric. In the
year 1141, the Empress Maud, who had escaped from Devizes on a funeral
bier, covered up as if dead, reached Oxford, and there she was again
besieged. It seemed likely the castle would be taken, and she would be
seized by her enemies, but we are told that she managed to escape again.
Accompanied by three knights, she got out of Oxford to a place of
safety.

At some date in the reign of Henry III., Oxford Castle had its walls
strengthened, and the round tower was rebuilt. It was then, probably,
that the towers were made along the embattled walls, and especially one
of those peculiar towers called a barbican, contrived so as to give an
outlook on approaching foes. These barbicans had a device by which hot
water or stones could be flung down upon any enemy who succeeded in
passing the bridge. King Charles I. was often a visitor to Oxford
Castle, and after the wars between Parliament and King were over, some
other changes were made in the defences of the castle. After the
Revolution, it was allowed to decay gradually.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 223._)


As soon as tea was over, they started for the Treasure Caves, Estelle
dancing along in front of the tall sailor, eager for the mysteries she
was about to see in those gloomy-looking caves she had so often passed
on her way to the boat. But Jack told her those she had seen were mere
shallow affairs, not worth looking at. The Treasure Caves were at some
little distance beyond the cliff which jutted out into the sea, but they
could reach them at low water through an archway made by the waves in
the rocks.

The cliffs near their home were not too steep to be covered by short
grass, dotted with sea-pinks and stocks, with a shrub, here and there,
of sea-holly. A solitary pine-tree now and again, and the little cluster
at the end of the path, proved that this part of the bay was far above
high-water mark. But the headland reached a greater height, and rose
from the sea. Estelle found, on passing through the archway, that the
coast-line beyond swept round in a grand curve, and the yellow sands
stretched for miles.

The village was on the other side of the little bay. Where she now stood
there was no sign of any habitation. The high, steep cliffs of the
headland sloped gradually away in the distance, till the country could
be seen green and fertile in the sunshine.

The opening to the caves lay in a narrow ravine. A great pool of water
stretched from wall to wall, but Jack took Estelle in his arms, and made
his way to the cave on upstanding bits of rock. Estelle thought it very
dangerous, but it was very charming.

They found themselves in a vast vaulted place, from the roof of which
there was a continual dripping sound. Dark as the rock was, bright
patches of colour shone out here and there, almost like splashes of
gaudy paint. Lighting a bit of candle he had in his pocket, Jack showed
Estelle that they were not little dried cherries and green olives, as
one might suppose, but sea-anemones.

Sea-anemones? Where had she heard of them before? Somebody wanted her to
have some? But who?

'Come this way, Missie,' said Jack, interrupting her confused thoughts.
'Take care how you tread. It's slippery, I can tell you.'

Indeed it was, and very careful steering was necessary. The little girl
clung nervously to her companion's hand, as they made their way through
wet sand, over rocks covered with green seaweed and slime, and gravel
lying under a thin stream of water. Jack appeared to be quite
indifferent to all these inconveniences. Careful to lift Estelle over
the worst places, he was utterly regardless of his own dripping
condition.

At the further end they entered a smaller cave, quite dry, except for a
little rivulet gurgling through it. So clean and white was the sand, so
sweet and fresh the air from the great hole in the roof, whence the
light came streaming in, that Estelle danced about in the merry fashion
of her days at the Moat House. Jack watched her, smiling, and when she
sat down quite tired, he dropped on the sand beside her, and told her of
the great storms that drove the mighty waves into these caverns, and of
the strange things they carried in with them--how ships were wrecked on
the cruel rocks, and how he had once sheltered ten or twelve persons in
this very cave, and others in the Hospice de la Providence, till the
storm went down.

'Are these caves called----?' asked Estelle.

'The Treasure Caves. They are almost forgotten now, because the sea is
so rough in these parts that folk seldom venture here. The tide, too,
comes up quickly, and might cut them off, particularly if they don't
know their way about. At full tide you could not see the entrance to
that outer cave--the one we came into first--for it is below water.'

Estelle looked up in an alarmed manner, but he told her he was well
acquainted with rocks and tides and currents, and would not be the one
to run her into any risks.

'But, Jack,' said Estelle, gazing wonderingly at him, 'don't these great
dark rocks and caves make you feel frightened and lonely sometimes, and
perhaps unhappy too?'

'Why should they, Missie? I am used to the sea, and so is Mother. I
don't think we could bear to be out of the sound of it.'

'Are you sorry you are not at sea now? Is it that which makes you look
so unhappy sometimes?'

'It is, and it isn't; if you can understand what I mean.'

'No, I can't. You have such a dear mother, and such a nice home; why do
you want to leave them?'

'I don't want to leave them, even if I could,' said Jack, sadly. 'But
there are other things one can't tell little ladies about.'

Such a look of pain and sorrow crossed his face as he spoke, that
Estelle instinctively turned away her eyes. She began taking up handfuls
of sand to let it run through her fingers.

'Jack,' she remarked, presently, 'I think yours must be a very sad
secret, for do you remember how I heard dear Goody crying as she was
kneeling? She said, "Jack, my poor boy! Lord, have mercy upon him!"
Then, sometimes at night, when she thinks I am asleep, she sighs _so_
heavily, especially when she is saying her prayers.'

On hearing this, Jack suddenly threw himself at full length on the sand,
burying his face on his arms. Much startled, Estelle gazed at him in
wonder and sympathy. What had upset him so greatly? Why did Goody sigh
over him? It was a bewildering puzzle to her, who knew Jack to be the
kindest fellow in the world. She could not bear to see him so grieved.
It was her fault. Why had she said a word which could hurt him?

'Oh, Jack!' she cried, putting her hand on his shoulder, her voice full
of self-reproach, 'I ought not to have told you. I am so sorry! Do
forgive me, dear, kind Jack. I wish I could do something for you,
Jack--I do wish I could. But for Goody's nursing and care and all your
kindness, I should have died.'

'So you would, Missie,' he said, sitting up and drawing the back of his
hand across his eyes. He sat for some moments in silence, his eyes on
the sands, then rising to his feet, he murmured:' After all, it is a
life for a life.'

'What did you say?' asked Estelle, mystified.

He made no answer. He could not tell her that if one person had already
lost his life through his means he had saved another's life, which, but
for him, must have perished. He was not at all clear himself on the
merits of the case; neither was it one to discuss with a child.

'Come and see the last of these caves,' he said, rousing himself. 'It is
called the Mermaid's Cave, perhaps because it is the prettiest of them
all. It has an echo you may like to hear.'

A very narrow passage connected the Cave of the Silver Sand with the
Mermaid's Cave, and a pool of water filled it which reached to Jack's
knees. Before entering it, Jack lighted a candle-end he had brought in
his pocket, and put it into Estelle's hand.

'Hold it up high as we go along,' he said. 'I shall have to carry you;
the water is too deep for you to wade through, but the cave is worth
seeing as we step into it.'

And so it was. Estelle uttered a cry of delight as its beauties broke
upon her. The roof was white with stalactites of the strangest and
weirdest shapes, which reflected the light of the candle from their wet
surfaces. A stream of water was flowing silently down one side of the
sandy floor and into the pool they had crossed, which Jack told her was
called the 'Rift.'

'I'll show you one of the wonders of this cave,' he said, as he drew her
to one side. 'Now listen.'

In a clear, rich voice he sang a few notes, and in a moment a burst of
harmony broke out, full and grand as the organ in a cathedral. The sweet
tones echoed among the stalactites, lingering as if loth to die.

Estelle gasped. She had never heard anything like it. 'Again, again!'
she whispered.

Once more the sailor's rich voice rang through the silent caves, and
once more the echoes took up the chord in a flood of melody which,
surged over their heads as the little girl and the sailor stood
motionless, listening till the last tones trembled into silence. Even
then they did not speak for some moments.

'I could listen to it for ever,' said Estelle, drawing a deep breath.

'We must not stay for any more now,' replied Jack. 'The tide will soon
be on the turn, so we must move to the tune of homeward bound. _We_ may
be late--the tide will _not_ be.'

'Will you sing to me some day?' begged the little girl, as she was
carried through the Rift into the Cave of the Silver Sand. 'You have
such a good voice.'

'That's as may be, Missie. I haven't much heart for singing now, though
I used to be a grand one at it before---- '

He stopped, and they went on in silence.

'Dear Jack,' said Estelle, earnestly, as they came out of the gorge on
to the beach, 'when I am quite big and old, you will let me help you to
be happy again, won't you? Perhaps I shall be able to put all your
unhappiness away then, and Goody's too.

Jack shook his head with a sigh.

'There are some things which can never be done away with,' he said,
sadly. 'We cannot undo them, and their consequences will last as long as
we live. Happy for us if they don't drag us down for ever. But thank you
all the same, little Missie, for it's your kind heart that makes you
wish it.'

(_Continued on page 234._)

[Illustration: "Jack took Estelle in his arms and made his way to the
cave."]

[Illustration: "'Don't go--don't go!'"]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 231._)

CHAPTER XIII.


'Goody,' said Estelle, as they sat round the blazing logs, 'why did
Madame Bricolin call Jack the Giant of the Hospice de la Providence? I
don't think it half so nice a name as the Giant of the Treasure Caves.
There is something romantic, like a fairy story, in a treasure cave.
Don't you think so, Jack?'

The sailor was standing up to separate the nets he was about to mend.
They lay in a tangled heap at his feet, and it looked to Estelle as if
he would never have room enough to spread them out, large as the kitchen
was. Yet he must do so if he wanted to find the torn places. No such
difficulty presented itself to Jack's mind, however. He laughed as he
drew himself up to his full height of six feet seven inches.

'I haven't read many fairy stories, Missie,' he said; 'but treasure
caves, such as ours, don't figure in them, I fancy. Our treasure is
mostly smugglers' stuff. Some day I will take you to see them, and some
of them will astonish you.'

'Oh, yes. Do take me. I love caves. I know of some---- ' She stopped,
hesitating. 'I am sure I do--but where? Did we go to some once?'

'Only those we went to to-day.'

'And they are the treasure caves?'

'Yes; but the real thing is below, where you have not yet grown strong
enough to go.'

Little did he guess under what circumstances he would show her that
mysterious cave, the entrance to which was his secret.

'But,' went on Estelle, 'you have not told me why Madame Bricolin calls
you a giant---- '

'I suppose,' answered his mother, with a glance of pride at her tall
son, 'anybody would call him a big man. Even in England he would not be
thought _small_.' Mrs. Wright laughed. 'And in France, where the men are
mostly short--no height at all, to speak of--why, he is a mighty man! So
Mère Bricolin calls him a giant.'

'He _is_ a giant,' said Estelle, looking at Jack, admiringly. 'But why
of the Hospice de la Providence?'

'Because we live in the Hospice, dearie. It does seem more natural to
call a man by the house he lives in.'

'Was this ever a hospital?' exclaimed Estelle, in surprise. She did not
like the idea at all.

'It was some years ago,' said Jack, his foot in the twine, his needle
ready to begin work. 'You wouldn't think it, would you? It is a vast
deal more cosy and comfortable now than it ever was then.'

'How sick people were ever got up here I can't imagine,' observed Mrs.
Wright, knitting vigorously. 'I know I'm never too ready to trudge up
and down that steep path, and I'm a deal better than many of them poor
folk were.'

'A bit lazy, eh, Mother?' replied Jack, smiling. 'We were glad enough of
this shelter when we first came.'

'So we were, my son,' said Mrs. Wright, heartily; 'and I for one am not
grumbling over what should be a blessing. You and I am very happy here,
and it's solid, which some of the houses in Tout-Petit are not. We can't
have our roof blown off,' she added with a laugh.

'There wasn't a decent house to be had then, nor is there-now,' went on
Jack. 'The empty ones were all tumbling to pieces, and in such a state
of dirt that when the landlord offered this to Mother we jumped at it.
It is damp, year in year out. We always have fires burning in the rooms
we use. But what of that? It is cheerful, and we must have some
draw-back wherever we are. But, Missie, this is only a very, very small
part of the old Hospice, just the driest corner. The caves and passages
run the whole length of our terrace, and all the shrubs and flowers you
see were planted to cheer up the sick people.'

'Yes,' said Mrs. Wright, 'they used to sit on this terrace, as well as
take their exercise here. You have seen how sunny and bright it is. But
it is very different in the rooms they lived in. They are very gloomy,
damp, and get no sun at all. They have no windows, and only a glimmer of
light comes through the door.'

'And that was all the air they got, too,' added Jack. 'You shall come
and see them one day, if you like, Missie. It isn't cheerful, but it is
interesting. For more than twenty years these places have never been
used at all, so we had no difficulty in getting the landlord to let us
make changes. It just suited us, and we were allowed to do as we liked.
So, you see, we have windows and doors; we have a fireplace in each of
the rooms we inhabit, and shafts to the top of the cliff, which act as
chimneys. So we are pretty comfortable, on the whole.'

'But,' said Estelle, drawing nearer to Mrs. Wright, 'isn't it dreadful
to have those long, gloomy places so near you? Did any of those poor
sick people die, and are they buried here, too?'

'They are not buried here,' replied Mrs. Wright. 'Why should they be?
There's the churchyard in the village. But the new hospital is in a far
healthier place than this, and better for everybody.'

This conversation made a deeper impression upon Estelle than even the
Treasure Caves had done. She was very silent, and all Jack's efforts to
rouse her met with but little success.

'You are going out to fish to-night?' she asked, her eyes wide open with
a nameless terror.

They had risen from the supper-table. Mrs. Wright washed up and put away
the china, and Jack had gone to prepare for the night's work. His
appearance in his oilskins seem to put the finishing touch to the
child's misery. He was going away all night. She and Goody would be
quite alone--quite alone, with all those dreadful rooms where the sick
and dying had lived; those gloomy, chill, sunless abodes for the
suffering. Her mind, sensitive and imaginative, shrank with horror from
the picture presented to her by her active brain.

'Don't go!--don't go!' she cried, clinging to the sailor's arm, as he
stooped to gather his nets and other necessaries together.

He looked at her in astonishment. She was trembling from head to foot,
while she clasped and unclasped her hands on his arm.

'My dearie, my dearie, what is it?' cried Goody, as surprised as was her
son. She was frightened at the excitement the little girl displayed.
'Nothing shall hurt you, dearie. Jack is going only for one night. He
will be back in the morning.'

'No, no, he must not go!' almost screamed Estelle, beside herself with
despair because he did not at once yield to her entreaties. 'He can't
leave us all alone.'

'She will be ill again,' sighed Mrs. Wright, her kind old face puckered
with anxiety. 'What has terrified her so?'

'Missie,' said Jack, firmly, 'nothing can be done while you go on like
that. Be quiet, or you will be ill. Don't you hear what the mother says?
She will be with you all night, and what more do you want?'

He unloosed her fingers from his arm, and, holding her hands, told her
she must be calm before they could listen to a word she said. He would
not even let his mother caress her, fearing the child would be still
more unnerved by any display of tenderness at this juncture. Mrs.
Wright, however, hurried off to fetch some cordial in which she had firm
belief, and which she felt sure would restore Estelle after her fright.

(_Continued on page 246._)



A STUDIOUS ELF.


  In Fairy-land, long years ago,
    There lived a tiny Elf,
  Who studied hard from morn till eve,
    Just to amuse himself.

  His copy-books he never soiled--
    I know it for a fact--
  Nor was he ever known, to do
    A single naughty act.

  And if there came to him a chance
    Of fishing in the pool,
  He'd shake his head and say, 'No, thanks;
    I'd rather be in school.'

  The 'tuck-shop' he could freely pass,
    With ne'er a backward look,
  Because his little eyes were glued
    Upon his lesson-book.

  But if my tale seems strange to you,
    I'd have you understand
  An Elf like this is seldom found,
    Except in Fairy-land.



THE GROANING TREE OF BADDESLEY.


Gilpin, who wrote a pleasant book on forest scenery, especially about
the New Forest, tells his readers the curious story of the groaning tree
at Baddesley, one of the small villages. Under the influence of the
wind, trees often creak, or crack, and they may sometimes whistle, but
'groaning' is very unusual, and hence the surprise this tree caused
many years ago. Very likely, if there was such a tree anywhere now, the
railway would run excursion trains for people to visit it. Even at that
time many persons came from long distances to hear this natural marvel.

The tree was discovered by a cottager, whose wife was ill in bed. She
was much frightened by a peculiar moaning sound that seemed to come from
some one in dreadful pain; and she asked her husband what it was. He
told her that he thought the noise arose from the stags in the forest,
but the neighbours also heard it, and found that it came from an
elm-tree, young and apparently vigorous, at the end of the cottage
garden. The villagers were greatly alarmed. Several naturalists came to
see the tree, but they could not explain the noise. News of this strange
tree spread, and many people travelled a long way to hear it. Some
members of the Royal Family, who were staying on the coast not far off,
paid it a visit. A little book was actually written about the groaning
tree.

Some people said the noise came from the twisting of the roots, and
others that there was water or air in the wood of the tree which could
not get free. The noise seemed to come from the roots, and people
fancied it groaned least when the weather was wet, and made most noise
in dry weather. This went on for nearly two years, until at last a
meddlesome gentleman took an opportunity to bore a hole in the trunk.
The result was that the elm ceased to groan. It was then decided to take
the tree up by the roots and examine it; but nothing has ever been
discovered to account for the noise.



TIME MORE PRECIOUS THAN MONEY.


Thirteen men once agreed to meet at a fixed place and at a certain hour.
At the appointed hour they all appeared except one. He was five minutes
late. When he arrived, one of the others said, 'You have caused us to
lose an hour.'

Looking at his watch, the man who was late said: 'No, only five
minutes.'

The other replied: 'There are twelve of us waiting on you, and twelve
times five minutes make sixty minutes. So we have lost an hour.'



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

VIII.--THE STORY OF THE JELLY-FISH.


Nature is full of surprises, and the greatest of these almost always
arise out of the most commonplace looking objects. No more striking
instance of this can be found than that furnished by the story of the
Jelly-fish. Most, if not all, of my readers have met with this creature,
either in the shape of a lifeless lump of clear jelly lying on the sand
by the sea-shore, or gracefully swimming in the summer sea, a thing of
beauty indeed, yet not to be treated too familiarly. If it could but
speak, what a strange tale it would have to tell! But Nature has imposed
silence on most of her children, which is after all a good thing for us,
for this very silence makes us anxious to discover for ourselves the
wondrous lessons which she has to teach, whereby we learn that these
humbler creatures, like ourselves, find the world a stern reality, to be
faced bravely: and the sooner we realise this the better and more useful
lives we ourselves shall lead.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Some "Animal-Trees."

Pennaria Coraline. Lobster-horn Coraline. Eight-footed Jelly-fish.
Podded Coraline.]

But to our story. You must allow me to tell this in my own way, which I
shall do by asking you to go to the nearest pond, get a bottle full of
water and weeds, and stand it in the light for an hour or so. Then look
carefully on the side of the bottle next the light for some tiny little
creatures about half an inch long, with slender stalked bodies, attached
by one end to the glass, and provided at the other by long, very
delicate, slowly-moving arms: you must seek, in short, for a creature
such as that shown in the picture as if seen under the microscope,
sticking to a piece of weed (fig. 2). At the top end of the stalk is the
mouth, and if you watch carefully you may be fortunate enough to see the
long arms catch a water-flea, and carry it towards the mouth. This
creature is known as the hydra. In some cases you will see two or even
three of these creatures all attached to the same stalk, and if you
watch every day, you will at last find that sooner or later this
partnership is dissolved, so that the branched hydra has split up into a
number of separate individuals--just as many as there were branches.

Now, the fresh-water hydra has some very near relatives which live in
the sea, and these fashion their lives on very different lines. In the
first place, they, like the hydra, start as single individuals, but
sooner or later develop little buds which grow out into arm-bearing
creatures exactly like themselves; but these, instead of breaking off as
in the hydra, remain fixed and themselves produce branches, which again
branch, and so on, until, as you will readily see, in a very short time
a colony of animals is produced which bears a remarkable resemblance to
a little tree! Such for example as you will see in fig. 4, growing
upside down!

[Illustration: HYDRA Fig. 2.]

You will have noticed that the fresh-water hydra had a wonderfully
elastic body, so that when frightened, as by a tap on the bottle, it
suddenly pulls itself down into a mere speck of jelly (fig. 2). This
feat its sea-dwelling cousins cannot perform, since, frail as they are,
some support became necessary when they took to the tree-like habit of
growth, and this support is found by encasing the whole body and its
branches in an outer coat of a horny, transparent character, with a hole
at the top of each branch expanded to form a cup to guard the long arms.
So then, when alarmed, all they can do is to draw down the arms into the
cup. In the illustration (fig. 5) you will see a branch of one of these
colonies as it appears when highly magnified. Some of the animals you
will note are fully expanded, while others have partly withdrawn
themselves into their cups, which are here very small, though in some
species they are quite large. A little closer study of this magnified
portion of a branch will show you, here and there, little bud-like
bodies like unopened flower buds, attached by a short stalk. One of
these you will notice is more developed, and resembles a tree
('jelly-fish,' in fig. 5). If you could only watch it in the living
colony you would find that one fine day it broke off from its stalk, and
sailed away--jelly-fish, such as you see in fig. 3.

[Illustration: JELLY-FISH AFTER LEAVING THE COLONY Fig. 3.]

Probably all of you have found the empty shells of these wonderful
animal-trees dozens and dozens of times on the beach, and many of you
will find them in your collections of sea-weeds brought home as
treasures to remind you of the summer holidays. The so-called sea-fir is
all that is left of such a colony: the little tree-like tufts which you
doubtless found attached to rocks and stones represent other forms. Of
course, some of your sea-weeds are really what they appear to be--that
is to say, they are true plants; but those of which I speak now, though
they have a superficial resemblance to plants, are really animals. In
fig. 1 you will see some of the commoner forms of these strange animals
as they appear in life.

These colonies furnish us with an interesting illustration of the
division of labour, for, as you see, they are formed of two very
distinct kinds of individuals. The most numerous of these, those with
the long arms, have to capture and digest the food for the whole
community, including the little buds and bell-like individuals, for they
are mouthless. Their life of work begins, however, after they blossom
into jelly-fish, and they have a very important duty to perform. With
the great wide sea for a playground, they wander for a time at will,
warmed by the glorious sun, feeding on the delicious meats to be found
at the surface, for which their humble sisters at home must stretch
their arms in vain. And so they wander, far from the place which gave
them birth, growing bigger and stronger, finally fulfilling the task
which they were sent out to perform--the production of eggs from which
new colonies are to be started. These eggs grow into a little
slipper-shaped creature which swims by means of the rapid waving motion
of hair-like elastic rods which cover the whole body. At last, tired
out, it settles down, grows into an animal resembling its cousins of the
fresh water, and then starts branching out to form a colony like that
from which it started.

[Illustration: HYDRA COLONY. Fig. 4.]

[Illustration: BRANCH OF HYDRA COLONY HIGHLY MAGNIFIED Fig. 5.]

This device of fixed and stay-at-home workers and wandering egg-layers
is of the greatest use to the species, as a little reflection will show.
If the eggs dropped to the ground and hatched all around the parent
colony the neighbourhood would soon become like some human
cities--overcrowded, and overcrowding means starvation and disease; but
by sending off individuals specially charged with the founding of new
colonies on new territory, all these troubles are avoided.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.



NOW.


'Now' is the syllable ticking from the clock of Time. 'Now' is the
watchword of the wise. 'Now' is on the banner of the prudent. Whenever
anything presents itself to us in the shape of work, whether mental or
bodily, we should do it with all our might, remembering that 'now' is
the only time for us. It is a sorry way to get through the world by
putting off till to-morrow, saying, 'Then' I will do it. 'Now' is ours;
'Then' we may never have.



HOW GORDON KEPT SHOP.


When General Gordon first went to the Soudan, he found that the native
chiefs knew nothing about money or its use. All the European traders who
had visited the country up to that time had paid the chiefs with a
handful of beads, or a few pieces of calico, for any work which they had
done, and the chiefs prized the beads and calico far more than copper or
silver coins.

Now, General Gordon was not quite satisfied to do merely as other people
had done. He thought it was time these grown-up children learned to buy
and sell with the help of money. But, as the people themselves wanted
none of his money, he was puzzled how to teach them the use of it.

At length he hit upon a rather clever plan. He made a number of little
piles or lots of beads, wire, and other things which they valued, and
which they usually received as the pay for their labours. But, when pay
day arrived, he gave to each man a small coin, equal to an English penny
in value. When each man had received his pay, General Gordon, playing at
keeping shop, offered to exchange one of his piles of beads or wire for
each coin. The men soon saw what was wanted, and thus learned the use of
money. Then Gordon put before them other things of greater value, and
told them how many coins he would take for each. When the men saw what
things were to be bought by saving up a few coins, they refused to buy
any more beads. 'No,' they said, 'we will keep the money till we get
more, and can buy more expensive things.'



BARNACLES AND GEESE.


Probably the readers of _Chatterbox_, when they have been along the
sea-shore as the tide was running out, have noticed a spar, or some
other fragment of wood, which the waves threw up, dotted over with a
number of odd-looking shells. This cluster was most likely made up of
barnacles, of some sort or other--in fact, a family party.

Some people think barnacles resemble crabs more than they do fishes;
they go through changes, and while young possess no shells. After they
have grown to be of some size, they leave the parent barnacles, and swim
off, to start colonies elsewhere. The larva has twelve legs or arms,
large compound eyes, and suckers enabling it to cling firmly. When of
full growth, the barnacle's grip is so strong that it is very difficult
to pull it from its hold. Some of the South American barnacles are
sought after as a delicacy, having the flavour of a nice crab. One kind
of barnacle is shaped rather like an acorn.

The soft part of the common species of barnacle, which occurs along our
coast, rather resembles a small bird, and hence arose a curious fancy or
fable, some centuries ago. It was believed by many persons whose common
sense might have taught them better, that the barnacle was transformed
into a bird by a sort of miracle, and the particulars were recorded
exactly. People said they had seen it themselves, and others declared
they had touched little birds which were found inside shells. Some
described larger ones, but, whether large or small, they called them all
barnacle geese, probably because they were plump, and tempting to eat,
if they could be caught at the proper time.

One of the strangest things in this old story about shells producing
geese was, that several writers described the shells as growing upon the
branches of live trees near water. This would be convenient for the
newly hatched geese, because when they were hatched, they could drop
into the water beneath, and swim about. A picture exists, drawn by an
old artist, showing the birds hanging by their beaks, just ready to
fall, the wings small and not opened out. Of course, barnacles and
similar creatures are not found on trees away from the ocean.

Gerard, who wrote a famous book on plants, called the _Herbal_, was a
good observer, and yet he believed in the barnacle geese. People living
on the coast of Lancashire told him all about them. Upon old and decayed
timbers, so he writes, are found shells like mussels, but whitish and
sharp-pointed; the inside of them is soft, like silk lace, but by
degrees this takes the form of a bird, which when grown is larger than a
duck, and smaller than a goose. 'Those who have seen such birds,' he
adds, 'tell me they are black and white, spotted as magpies are, with a
black bill and legs.' According to others, the barnacle geese could both
run and fly. Whatever were the birds they saw, or fancied they saw, it
is certain they were not hatched in the way described.



COUNTING.


Do you remember learning to count? I dare say not. But I am pretty sure
you learnt to count on your fingers, or perhaps you were given bright
counters or shells to use instead.

Savages learn to count in just the same ways; most of them use their
fingers, and so they learn to count by tens as we do, and some of them
give their numbers very funny names. The Indians on the Orinoco call
five 'one hand' and ten 'two hands.' But they use their feet as well and
call fifteen 'whole foot,' 'sixteen,' 'one to the other foot,' and
twenty 'one man.' This plan becomes very complicated with higher
figures, for twenty-one is 'one to the hand of the next man.'

The African savages count in much the same way. The Zulu for six, is
'tatisitupa,' which means 'taking the thumb,' that is, the man who is
counting has used the five fingers of one hand, and is beginning to use
the second hand, starting at the thumb.

Some races use the joints of the finger instead of the fingers
themselves, and they are very badly off, for they can only count up to
three.

Some Australian tribes count thus--one, two, two-one, two-two, and can
go no further. Other races have only three words, 'one,' 'two,' 'a great
many.'

But savages sometimes use other things for counting than fingers or
joints. Our own word 'calculate' means 'working with pebbles.' One
African tribe calls forty 'ogodze,' which means 'string,' because they
use cowrie-shells strung together by forties for counting. Their name
for hundred is 'yha,' which means 'heap'--that is, a heap of cowries.



'BILLIKINS.'


Billikins' father was a soldier, and Billikins' father had to go to war.

Billikins wondered why Mother looked so worn and sad, and why Daddy
hugged and kissed him very much, one night, as he was going to bed; and
why Father's face felt wet. The next morning, when he came to breakfast,
no Father was there--only Mother, with tear-swollen eyes, who tried to
smile at Billikins, and could not. He felt in his tender little heart
that something was wrong, and so he just climbed on Mother's lap, and
put both his arms round her neck. Mother pressed him tightly to her
heart.

'Oh, little Billikins!' she said. 'Father's little Billikins!'

'Where's Father?' asked Billikins.

Mother began to cry bitterly. 'Father has gone away for a long, long
time,' she said, as soon as she could speak.

'Has he gone to the war?' asked Billikins, in an awed voice.

'Yes, dear, to the war. It is very wrong of me to be so silly. I'm a
soldier's wife, and I ought not to grudge my husband to his country. And
remember, Billikins, _you_ are a soldier's son--always remember that.
You must never run away from a danger; you must face it. A soldier's son
must be a brave man.'

'I shall not forget, Mother,' said Billikins.

Mother set him gently on the ground, dried her eyes, and began to bustle
about.

'And a soldier's wife must be brave, too,' she said to herself.

For many, many weeks after that Billikins and his mother were very
anxious, though Billikins tried his best to be cheerful, and not let
Mother see that he felt sad. News came to them--sometimes, good news,
and then Mother brightened.

At last, one happy day, they heard that the war was over.

'Father will be home soon,' said Billikins, joyfully.

'Yes, dear, thank Heaven, very soon now,' said Mother, and kissed him
fervently.

As the time passed Mother grew more and more cheerful. The ship that was
bringing Father home would soon be due.

'Billikins, do you think you can stay here alone, dear, while I go out
and do a bit of shopping?' Mother asked one evening, and Billikins
answered, 'Yes, Mother; I will be good while you are gone.'

Mother put on her bonnet and cape, took a basket, and sallied forth.
Left alone, Billikins sat at the window, and gazed out at the busy
street. There was a great deal of noise going on overhead. The Jones
children, who lived in the 'flat' above, were always rather noisy.
Billikins had seen Mrs. Jones go out with a basket some time ago, so he
knew that they were all alone. Suddenly there was a great crash, a sound
of breaking glass, and then wild screams of distress, which seemed to
come from upstairs.

Billikins rushed out.

Two Jones children were flying wildly downstairs, while a third followed
more slowly, crying and sobbing.

'What _is_ the matter?' asked Billikins.

'Oh, oh, we have upset the lamp!' sobbed little Lizzie Jones. 'The rooms
is on fire, it's all ablaze! What shall I do? What shall I do? I am so
frightened!'

'Where's the baby?' gasped Billikins. He knew there was a Jones baby--a
new and tiny one.

'Oh, I don't know! I don't know!' sobbed Lizzie. 'In the cradle, I
think.'

Billikins simply tore upstairs. A great puff of smoke came out on the
landing from the Jones's door, and nearly choked him. For an instant he
hesitated; then he seemed to hear his mother's voice----

'Remember, Billikins, you are a soldier's son; you must never run away
from danger, always face it.'

He rushed across the room, half-blinded by smoke, feeling the flames
scorch him, he reached the cradle. The baby was in it. Already the
flames were beginning to lick the sides. With a strong effort he lifted
the baby, feeling the flames scorch his arms as he did so. Oh, the heat
and the smoke that were stifling him! Would he _ever_ reach the door? He
staggered, and nearly fell.

'A soldier's son, a soldier's son,' seemed to ring in his ears. He
staggered forward and reached the landing, to be caught in the arms of a
splendid man in a brass helmet. And then all grew dark, and he knew no
more.

When he woke he was lying on a strange bed, in a strange place; his head
was bandaged all over the top, and his arms were all bandaged, too. He
felt very weak.

'Where--am--I?' he said, feebly, and some one, in a white cap and a
large white apron, came to the bedside and bent over him.
'Where--is--Mother?' said Billikins. 'And--who--are--you?'

'Mother will be here soon, and I am Nurse Katherine,' said a sweet
voice, and a soft, cool hand was laid on Billikins' forehead.

He smiled gratefully, and then from sheer exhaustion he fell asleep.

When he woke again Mother was sitting by the bed, talking to Nurse
Katherine.

'Yes, going on nicely,' he heard Nurse say. And--and--_who_ was that
sitting by the other side of the bed? A tall, bearded figure----

'Father!' cried Billikins, joyfully.

'My brave, brave boy!' said Father, and his voice was not quite steady.
'My own son! To think how nearly I lost him!'

Then remembrance came to Billikins. 'The baby?' he managed to say.

'The baby is safe, darling,' said Mother, from her side of the bed.
'Thanks to my brave little Billikins, who risked his life to go and
fetch it.'

Billikins smiled feebly.

'I--was not--brave,' he said; 'I--only remembered--what you told me,
that--I was--a--soldier's son.'

And he was so tired that he only wondered faintly why Father made a
funny sound in his throat, as if he were choking, and why Nurse
Katherine wiped her eyes.

[Illustration: "He staggered forward and reached the landing."]

[Illustration: "Lieutenant Fogan led a gallant resistance."]



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

VIII.--SOME MEN WHO WON THE BLESSING.


[Illustration]

I leave the work with you,' said Livingstone in the Senate House at
Cambridge, after speaking in burning words of the needs of Africa. He
went back himself to the land from which he returned only to his grave
in Westminster Abbey, and around the slab in the nave which bears his
name, we read his words to those who should take up the work he left
them: 'May Heaven's rich blessing come down on every one, American,
English, Turk, who will help to heal this open sore of the world.'

The 'open sore' was the traffic carried on in those days, without let or
hindrance, in the great slave-market of Zanzibar. The crowds of men,
women, and children who were paraded up and down, examined, and
bargained for, and then taken across to the clove plantations in Pemba,
or kept as domestic slaves in Zanzibar, were brought from the interior
by the Arabs, the great slave-dealers of East Africa. Sometimes a native
village had been attacked and set on fire, some of the inhabitants shot
down among their blazing huts, and the rest carried off. Sometimes the
Arabs would settle for some time in a neighbourhood for
elephant-hunting, and, when they had secured as much ivory as they
required, would stir up a quarrel between two villages and offer their
powerful aid to one side or the other, on condition of receiving all the
prisoners in payment. Then came the horrible journey to the coast. The
luckless slaves were yoked in gangs, often with their necks fastened
into forked sticks. The sick or feeble, unable to keep up with the rest,
were either killed or left to the mercy of wild beasts. Babies, whose
mothers were hindered by their weight, were flung aside upon the
terrible track. Those who reached the coast alive were packed in the
hold of a slave-dhow, and, after enduring untold miseries upon the
voyage, were sold in the market of Zanzibar. No wonder that the sight of
such things as these roused the loving heart of Livingstone to a white
heat of indignation, and sent him home to infect his countrymen with his
own anger.

For some time the conscience of Christian Europe had been awakening to
the duty of putting an end to these horrors, and, as in the case of the
pirates of Algiers, it was England who first played the part of
policeman. Early in 1873, Sir Bartle Frere was sent to Zanzibar to
confer with the Sultan, Seyid Barghash, on the suppression of the
slave-trade, and, a few months later, he was followed by six English
men-of-war, reinforced by two French and one American ship. The effect
of these nine good arguments for reform was that, on June 6th, 1873, a
treaty was signed, by which the slave-traffic was abolished and the
Zanzibar market closed for ever.

For years after that, however, the Arab dealers managed from time to
time to evade the law, and to ship their cargo of miserable human
beings, kidnapped from their homes on the mainland, from Zanzibar and
Pemba. Therefore, there was plenty of work for the officers and men of
H.M.S. _London_, appointed to watch the coast for slavers, and with
authority to search suspected vessels. Many were the exciting chases and
triumphant rescues made by the English sailors; many, too, the
disappointments when the dhow proved to be empty, the slaves having been
hastily smuggled on shore and hidden among the undergrowth till the
search was over. As a rule the Arabs, though expert in tricks and
shifts, did not offer armed resistance, but now and again they showed
fight, and the rescue of their captives cost the life of more than one
brave Englishman.

In 1881 the gallant Captain Brownrigg was killed in a struggle with an
Arab slaver, owing chiefly to his own punctilious respect for the French
flag under which the dhow was sailing. Not wishing to begin hostilities,
he came alongside the Arab without arming his men, who were powerless to
make any resistance when boarded by the enemy. The Captain, who wore his
sword, kept up a gallant fight single-handed, even killing one man with
his telescope before he fell at last bleeding from twenty wounds.

Six years later a pinnace from H.M.S. _Turquoise_, with Lieutenant Fegan
in command, was watching the creeks and bays running up into the coast
of Pemba Island. At daybreak one May morning, a dhow was seen making for
an opening known as Fungal Gap, and the dinghy, or small boat, with
three men, was sent to hail her. The dhow replied by a volley, and, as
Lieutenant Fegan turned his nine-pounder gun upon her, she left the
small boat and bore down upon the pinnace. The Arab crew numbered twenty
desperate men armed with swords and rifles; the Englishmen were ten, of
whom three were in the dinghy, but Lieutenant Fegan, shouting to his
lads to stand firm, led a gallant resistance to the fierce, dark-faced
men who sprang upon the deck as the two boats crashed together. Two men
he shot down, and ran another through with his cutlass before he
received a severe wound, disabling his sword-arm. Only the timely help
of a sailor, who cut down his opponent, saved him from being killed
outright. The dhow, finding the pinnace a tougher vessel than she had
anticipated, tried to escape, but the English, though four of their
number were wounded, at once gave chase, and were presently reinforced
by the men in the dinghy.

Some of the Pemba Arabs, hearing the shots, came down to the shore and
fired upon the pinnace, but the gallant vessel held on to her prize
until the dhow foundered at last in shallow water and capsized, the crew
jumping into the sea and trying to save themselves by swimming. Their
well-wishers on the shore were soon dispersed by the English fire, and
those of the crew who were not utterly disabled by their wounds, turned
to the task of rescuing the living cargo of the dhow. The wretched
slaves, crowded together in the hold and terrified by the firing, saw
the kindly faces of the English sailors looking down upon them, and
learnt by degrees that they were safe and among friends.

It was ten days before a doctor could be had to attend to the wounded;
one man died, but the gallant fight had won freedom for fifty-two
slaves, and in many cases not only freedom, but teaching and training
such as they would never have had but for their short, bitter experience
of captivity and the rescue that had ended it. The Universities' Mission
was the direct result of Livingstone's appeal to the Universities of
Oxford and Cambridge; it offered to take charge of slave children
released in Zanzibar, and in the girls' school at Mbweni, the Boys' Home
at Kilmani, and the College for elder lads at Kiungani, a new generation
was growing up of children saved from degradation and misery for a
happy, useful Christian life.

And the most striking sign of the change that has been worked, is the
scene which now meets the eye of the visitor to Zanzibar when he seeks
the site of the old slave-market. The ground was bought by a member of
the Universities' Mission, and upon the spot once given over to
injustice and cruelty arose the stately Cathedral of Zanzibar: a church
full of memories, where Bishop Steere was master-builder, watching over
the mixing of the mortar and the laying of the stones, studying
brick-making in England that he might put it into practice in East
Africa. It was he who suggested the material for the roof--pounded
coral, of which the island of Zanzibar actually consists, mixed with
Portland cement and forming a solid arch across the church.

'It is supported by charms until the opening day,' said the Arabs; 'then
it will fall and crush the Christians.' But the roof of Zanzibar
Cathedral stands sure and firm after twenty-six years, and on the
opening day, Christmas 1879, the hymns, 'Hark, the herald angels sing,'
and 'While shepherds watched their flocks by night,' were sung in the
native tongue on the spot where men had bought and sold their brethren,
and as the 'up-and-down music' of chiming bells greets the traveller
from the Cathedral tower, it will bring to his mind many a brave name
among clergy, teachers, sailors and statesmen who took their part in
'healing the open sore of the world.'

MARY H. DEBENHAM.



SAVED BY A GIPSY.


The late Archduke Joseph of Austria was fond of telling a story of how
he bad been saved from disaster by a gipsy soldier.

It happened during the war with Prussia, in 1866, when the camp was
pitched near a Bohemian village. A little before dawn the Duke was
awakened by the sentry's challenge, 'Halt! who goes there?' and directly
afterwards an adjutant came in to say that a gipsy was outside, and
insisting on speaking to him in private.

The gipsy was a soldier, and on his being admitted, the Archduke asked
him what he had to say.

'The enemy is stealing on us, and wishes to surprise us,' was the man's
answer.

'But the outposts have seen nothing suspicious,' said the Archduke.

'No, your Highness,' said the gipsy, 'because the enemy is still far
off; but he will soon be here, and then we are undone.'

'Well! but how do you know this?'

'Will your Highness step to the window?' said the soldier respectfully.
'Do you see the number of birds flying out of the woods to the south?'

'I see them--but what then?' said the Duke.

'What then?' repeated the gipsy, looking full at the Archduke; 'do not
birds sleep at night as well as men? They would not be on the wing if
there was peace in the forest. The enemy is certainly coming through the
woods, and that is what has scared the birds.'

So the Archduke gave orders to strengthen the outposts and to rouse the
camp, and when the foe arrived, they found--not a sleeping camp, as they
had expected, but an enemy well prepared to give them a warm welcome.

The camp had been saved by the intelligence of the gipsy soldier.



'FIRE!'


  Calm and still the waves are lapping,
    Silvered by the moon's pale light,
  As the noble ship glides onward
    In the silence of the night;
  While the exile, home returning,
    Dreaming of his heart's desire,
  Starts from slumber, rudely wakened
    By the dreadful cry of 'Fire!'

  In the smoke and din and turmoil,
    There the captain takes his stand;
  'First the women and the children,'
    Clearly rings his stern command.
  Boats are manned, and strong arms rowing,
    Bring them safely to the shore,
  Where kind hands are stretched to greet them,
    Safe from danger, home once more!



MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.

VIII--THE FORTH BRIDGE.


[Illustration]

The mouth of the Forth has very nearly bitten Scotland in two, and
anybody who wishes to travel from Edinburgh to Dunfermline would have to
go a long way round if they objected to crossing the river. Formerly a
great many people _did_ object to this, because they knew that, although
the voyage was only about a short mile, the great billows from the North
Sea would meet them before it was over, and give them a very unpleasant
time. So everybody who had anything to do with the Forth was willing
that it should be spanned by a reliable bridge, and plans for carrying
this into effect were frequently proposed. Indeed, arrangements were
almost completed in 1879 for building a huge suspension bridge from
shore to shore. The drawings were made, the estimates prepared, and the
spades and trowels even beginning to work on the foundations, when, one
sad December night, a terrible gale arose. All through the hours of
darkness it roared and shrieked across the British Isles, working havoc
upon sea and land, but, when morning came at last, few were prepared for
the appalling catastrophe it had caused. Sweeping up the Firth of Tay,
it had torn away a portion of the great railway bridge that crossed the
inlet, and hurled it into the water. A train was passing over at the
time, and plunged into the abyss with all its passengers. The terrible
event shook public confidence, and we might almost say that the gale of
that December night caught all the drawings and papers connected with
the proposed suspension bridge over the Forth, and swept them from
public favour.

[Illustration: "Fire!"]

Immediately afterwards, Sir John Fowler and Mr. Benjamin Baker (both
celebrated engineers) came forward with an alternative plan of which no
one could doubt the strength. It may perhaps be described as an
arch-suspension bridge, because the design includes the strength of both
styles; but engineers themselves call it a cantilever bridge.

[Illustration: Building the Bridge. The Forth Bridge at the Present Day.
Train crossing the Bridge.]

Work was begun in earnest in June, 1883, and the first passenger train
crossed from shore to shore in March, 1890. At the place chosen for its
erection, the river is one mile and one hundred and fifty yards wide.
Nearly in the middle of the stream there is a rocky island called
Inchgarvie, and on this the great striding giant would have to plant one
of its ponderous feet. But Inchgarvie was private property, and
trespassers were likely to be prosecuted. So the stepping-stone for the
giant to place its foot upon could not be laid there until the island
had been bought and paid for. This being done, a huge caisson, similar
to those which we have seen sunk under the piers of Brooklyn Bridge, was
floated out to the island, and there lowered on to the rock under
water, and firmly bedded. It was followed by three others, forming, as
it were, the four corners of an oblong, which is two hundred and seventy
feet long and one hundred and twenty wide. Eight more caissons were
built, four for each side of the river, and these were sunk on to beds
of firm clay, some of them being as much as seventy feet below the
surface of the water. On each caisson a stone pier was built to take the
iron columns of the main structure, and thus we see the bridge was to
cross the mile-wide river in three strides. Starting from the southern
shore at Queensferry, the first group of four stepping-stones lie six
hundred and eighty feet away. Then comes a leap of one thousand seven
hundred feet to the four on the island of Inchgarvie, followed by a
similar bound to the four near the northern bank, and then a half-stride
again of six hundred and eighty feet to land.

The three sets of caissons once being in their places, and the stone
piers built on top of them, people at last began to see the beginning of
the Forth Bridge. From each of the four piers in each group there slowly
rose a huge steel tubular column, twelve feet in diameter, each pair
leaning inwards, so that though at their bottoms they stood one hundred
and twenty feet away from the pair on the opposite side (that being the
width of the base of the bridge), the head of both pairs were only
separated by a distance of thirty-three feet. This was done to afford
greater resistance to the wind. Each group of four columns forms what
are called the towers, and rises to a height of three hundred and thirty
feet. They are firmly braced together by tie-girders and cross tubes
nearly as large as themselves. They were erected section by section,
rivets and hammers being used instead of trowel and mortar. Scarcely
were their summits united when, from their feet, there began to spring
on either side the great tubes forming the lower part of the arch. In
the cantilever construction, the bridge grows right and left from its
piers at the same moment, because balance must be maintained. As the
lower arched tubes just mentioned stretched further over the water,
sloping girders started downward from the tower top to meet them, and
they were soon connected by lighter cross-ties. Tubes were used for the
arch because they are best suited to bear the _compression_ strain
caused by a train passing over the bridge. The girder form was chosen to
stretch downward from the tower top because it is better able to bear
the tension or _pulling_ strain. They together form what is called a
cantilever; if you lay the letter V on its side, the open end will
represent roughly the place where the arch and girders start from the
tower. Thus we see how the two strengths of suspension--cable and arch
are combined in the Forth Bridge.

When the sets of cantilevers from the grouped piers had grown out toward
one another till they were separated by only three hundred and fifty
feet, the gap was spanned by a connecting girder, the joints between it
and the cantilever being sufficiently loose to allow of the expansion
and contraction of the great bridge with the changes of temperature.

The two 'skeleton towers' on the north and south sides of the river are
not so wide as the one on Inchgarvie, because their shoreward
cantilevers are supported on strong stone buttresses, whereas the
Inchgarvie cantilevers are both stretched out to the connecting girders
only. The broader base helps to prevent the bridge see-sawing when a
heavy train goes over it, and it is further assisted by the landward
ends of the other two cantilevers being heavily loaded. This prevents
them 'tipping up' when the train has crossed the first tower on its way
across the river.

It is easy to understand that such a mighty work was not accomplished
without great danger, and it is surely a wonder that the knowledge of
this danger did not make the workmen careful. Yet frequent accidents
occurred entirely through their indifference to peril.

On one occasion a company of riveters were working on a platform which
was being slowly raised to the summit of one of those lofty towers.
Suddenly the winch at the top, by which they were being hoisted, refused
to act, and instead of looking down to ascertain the cause, the men
continued to force the handle of the winch round till the toothed wheel
broke. Down went the platform with its gang of workers, crashing from
girder to girder, and striking other men headlong into the air, to be
killed or wounded among the network of girders far below. This terrible
accident caused the death of three people. A constant source of mishap
was the thoughtless dropping of tools from great heights, and no appeals
would induce the men to lay their implements down instead of throwing
them from them as soon as done with. The authorities themselves did all
they could to preserve the health of their men. Warm clothing was
supplied to them, and even warm food and shelter were to be found on the
summits of those windy towers, and out on the ends of the cantilevers
over the icy river. Portable stoves in small kitchens were built in the
most precarious positions, and a man could dine there as comfortably on
a stormy day as in his own home.

Those who are fond of figures will be interested to learn that this
enormous structure weighs fifty-one thousand tons, and is held together
by nearly seven million rivets. It cost three million pounds, almost
enough, one would think, to cast the stepping stones on which it rests
in solid gold.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 235._)


On her return, Mrs. Wright found Estelle calmer; still very shaky, and
with tears but half dried, but ready to listen to reason. Jack was
assuring her there was nothing to be afraid of: that nothing could or
would happen to her in his absence. The cavern passages and chambers
were absolutely empty, and securely shut up by doors and iron gates. It
was foolish to be so frightened about mere fancies.

Mrs. Wright gave her some of the cordial, and said she had better come
to bed. She would soon forget her terrors in a sound, healthy sleep, and
in the morning Goody would take her down to watch the boats come in,
and Jack along with them. She should see all the beautiful fish they
brought, and choose what she liked for their supper.

Estelle made no reply. She stood leaning against Goody, but her eyes
were fixed with the same terror on Jack, as when he gathered up his
things, and prepared to start.

'You are really going?' she began, her voice quivering, and the tears
welling up again.

'Hush, my dear,' said Mrs. Wright, holding her tight in her motherly
arms. 'I'll take right good care of you.'

'That she will,' said Jack, heartily.

Embracing his mother, and with a touch of his hand on Estelle's head, he
smiled down into her tearful eyes, and was gone.

Great indeed was the blank he left behind him! Knowing from sad
experience the perils of the toilers of the sea, Mrs. Wright never saw
her son depart without anxiety and dread; and to-night, as if to make
matters worse, the rain was coming down heavily, and the sighing of the
wind was not promising. But it did no good to stop and think, and there
was plenty to do.

'Come, dear,' she said, choking down the lump in her throat, 'it won't
do to sit down and mope. That's not the way to bear our sorrows. You
must think your fears are nothing to matter, with me here to defend you.
Come along to bed now. That's the first thing to think about.'

Estelle obeyed, only begging Goody not to leave her.

Nevertheless, the evening's excitement left its trace. Estelle tossed
about some time before she could get any sleep, and when at last she
fell into a feverish doze, her dreams were distressing. She was back
again in the long passage of the ruined summer-house. Behind her was the
closed door, all around her fell the earth and stones from the roof,
while the continual drip of water filled her ears. She was quite
alone--every one had forgotten her--no, no! she heard footsteps running.
The bay of mastiffs came near; they were on the track of two men, of
Thomas (though she could not remember his name); and she was in front,
her feet too heavy to run, the way too long and dark for any hope of
escape. She heard the ripple of the sea; and then she was in a boat, and
saw herself falling, falling--the cruel water swallowing her up.

She sat up with a stifled scream.

Mrs. Wright, who was sound asleep, woke with a start, and hastening to
her, made her lie down, soothing her, and assuring her it was only a
nightmare.

Again Estelle sank into a sleep. She was in a large library, the room
was surrounded by book-shelves, the backs of the books glistened in the
ruddy firelight. All around spoke of luxury and comfort. She was sitting
on the hearthrug, her head against the knee of--whom? A gentleman was
stroking her hair, and she heard him say, 'It is the sweetest name on
earth to me, my darling.' What name? She was sure he pronounced it, but
no sound seemed to come from his lips. Weeping, she entreated, oh, if
she could only hear that name! It was her own. She felt sure of that,
but she could not tell what it was. She looked up to ask again, but the
gentleman was gone. There was a sweet old lady sitting in an armchair,
surrounded by four children. They had been having tea on the lawn.
Before them was a wide stretch of green grass ending at the lily-pond;
yellow and white blossoms dotted the calm water, and swans were pluming
their wings in the summer sun. The lady was telling the children a
story--something sad, something that contained a great lesson, and
Estelle tried with all her might to hear what that story was. It seemed
quite natural that she should be there; the old lady and the children
appeared to be connected with her in some close way. She tried to touch
the lady to ask her name, but she could not.

A sense of misery overcame her. She appealed in vain to be heard, but
the old lady went on with her story, and the four children listened very
gravely and sadly. Throwing herself back upon the grass, she sobbed till
a voice said, 'Come, come, Missie, don't take on like that.' The lady,
the children, the garden had gone, and she was in a strange place,
surrounded by dirty people, men, women, and children, and still more
dirty stalls of toys and sweets. Jack held her hand, and pointed out a
big flaring painting on the front of a marquee, but as she looked a face
peeped out from between the canvas curtains, and, terrified, she clung
to Jack's hand, for it was the face of the man after whom the mastiffs
had been running. He grinned recognition at her, he nodded, and, coming
out of the marquee, advanced towards her.

Trembling with terror, Estelle awoke. Daylight was struggling through
the window, Mrs. Wright was beginning to move about, and Estelle herself
was safe and sound in her own little bed.

'Your bath will be ready in a couple of minutes, dear.'

Estelle made no answer. Hastening to her, Mrs. Wright was much disturbed
to see the condition she was in. There was no getting up that day. The
horrors of her dreams had exhausted her, and she lay white and wan,
scarcely opening her eyes. She was able neither to talk nor to eat, only
wanting to lie still, and see her dear Goody close to her.

Coming home at noon, Jack was horrified to hear the news.

'We forget how young she is, and talk too much of these caves and such
things,' he said.

Towards evening, however, Estelle became better. The sense of safety,
now that Jack had returned, was comforting. She would not think of that
long row of empty chambers in the cliff which had once been full of the
sick and dying.

A good sleep that night restored her. She was able not only to get up as
usual, but accepted Jack's offer to take her with him when he went to do
the marketing for his mother. The change of scene, he thought, would do
her good; so would the walk in the fresh air and sunshine. Accompanying
them the whole length of the terrace, Mrs. Wright stood smiling and
nodding as they looked up at her at every turn of the path, till the
trees hid her from their sight.

(_Continued on page 254._)

[Illustration: On the Way to the Market.]

[Illustration: "The bear would eat and drink in a truly dignified
fashion."]



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO

True Tales of the Year 1806.

VIII.--THE CLOWN'S PET BEAR.


The chief attraction of the Royal Circus, London, in the year 1806, was
the clever performances of a young black bear belonging to one of the
clowns--Mr. Bradbury. This bear was so tame that it had travelled from
Liverpool to London with its master on the top of the coach, and had
made great friends with its fellow-travellers.

After the bear had gone through its performances at the circus, its
master used to reward it by taking the docile beast to a coffee-house,
and here it would sit amongst the company with a tall hat on its head,
and eat and drink in a truly dignified fashion.

This bear was never muzzled, for it was so gentle that the children of
the neighbourhood would fearlessly romp and play with it, and it was so
devoted to its master that it would follow him about like a dog.

There came a day, however, when Mr. Bradbury was suddenly summoned to
Manchester, and during his absence he left the bear in charge of a man
who promised to take good care of it. This promise he did not keep. The
poor animal was shamefully neglected, and kept so short of food that
hunger drove it at last to desperation, and one night, breaking loose
from its chain, it made its way into a yard and killed a dog.

The piteous howls of the dog aroused the neighbourhood and brought
several people to the spot. The first was one of the carpenters of the
circus; the bear instantly pounced on him, but the man, with a sudden
wrench, shook himself free,--leaving his coat behind him, however. The
bear next attacked a goat, and then, seeing a boy of about thirteen
amongst the crowd (for boys a hundred years ago were always foremost in
a crowd, as they are to-day) the infuriated animal pursued him, overtook
him, and fastened upon him from behind, with its two paws on his
shoulders; and before a spectator with a gun managed to shoot the bear,
the poor lad was almost scalped.

He was at once taken off to the hospital, and, in time, recovered from
his injuries; but when Mr. Bradbury returned from Manchester, all that
was left of his pet was the shaggy skin and a large supply of pots of
bear's grease in a neighbouring hairdresser's window.



ABOUT THE ASH.


Some of our well-known trees have a long and curious history belonging
to them: the Oak, Elder, and Willow are good examples, but perhaps the
Ash excels all others in its remarkable history. It is a tree often
found growing on a ridge or hill by itself, and therefore exposed to
storms, which it withstands wonderfully. Though in former days it was
held to be a sacred or lucky tree, people believed that it attracted the
lightning--no doubt a solitary ash has been sometimes struck. The wood
is valuable for its toughness; it seldom splinters, and will bear a
greater weight than the wood of most other trees. In the olden time, the
Romans made from it spears and ploughs, and the Greeks also used it for
several purposes. Hop-poles are chiefly manufactured from ash saplings
in England; tables and pails of ash are also fairly common.

In some years much harm is done to ash-trees by a caterpillar which
bores into the wood; when full-grown, the insect turns into a handsomely
spotted moth, which is called the Leopard, from its markings. To Eastern
folk the ash was a notable tree, because of a legend that it was the
first tree under which Adam, the father of mankind, sat. Our northern
ancestors also thought much of this tree, because it would thrive in
exposed places, where few others could make progress. An old woodcut
shows women working along the fields, while their babies or young
children were hanging in baskets upon the branches of an ash. The reason
for this was that the tree had the fame of keeping off snakes, and also
of protecting persons from witches. About the thorpes and granges of the
old Anglo-Saxons the ash was common, the tree being sacred and a
favourite. Even now we see many a group of knotted ash-trees on
Hampshire hills and Devonshire moors.

About some parts of the West of England they burn ash foggots at
Christmas, to keep in memory, it is said, a cold winter when King Alfred
and his soldiers were marching through the country and had to warm
themselves by fires of ash-wood.

Some people used to wear the flowers of the ash, commonly called 'kegs,'
in their hats or coats, owing to a belief that they kept away diseases,
and a medicine was prepared from them by the old herbalists. Evelyn, who
lived in the seventeenth century, says that some people pickled them for
salad. Search used to be made upon the twigs for a double leaf, for if
one was discovered it was supposed to bring good luck to the finder.
Sometimes, when a child had a painful illness, people split a pollard
ash down the middle, the two parts were held back, the child was passed
through the opening, and then the tree was tied up again. Ash-trees that
have been cut in this way to get a cure are still to be seen here and
there about the country. There are also noticeable shrew-trees, as they
are called, in which a hole had been cut to receive a shrew mouse, owing
to an old notion that, by being hidden there, this little animal cured
the sick cows.

  'If the oak is out before the ash,
  'Twill be a summer of wet and splash;
  But if the ash is before the oak,
  'Twill be a summer of fire and smoke.'

The summer of 1903, for instance, was certainly one of 'wet and splash,'
with little of the heat implied by the 'fire and smoke;' but was the oak
first, then, to put forth new leaves? It is said that the two trees
leafed at nearly the same time, both being backward owing to the cold
spring. But there is another version of the rhyme which gives the last
three words as 'souse and soak.'

       *       *       *       *       *

Reading is the cheapest of all amusements, and the most lasting.



NOT GUILTY.


'Douglas, I want you.'

Douglas jumped up obediently from the kitchen floor, where he was
bathing a wound in his terrier's side. He followed his father into the
study, and Bully the terrier followed at his heels.

A red-faced man stood in the door, and Douglas guessed what was wrong.

'That's him,' almost shouted the visitor. Bully crept closer to Douglas'
side, and bared two teeth, for it was to him the farmer alluded.

'It wasn't,' said Douglas, and his face grew as red as if it were he who
was accused of some crime. 'He has been with me all the time. He has not
touched anything of yours.'

'He knows, you see, mister,' said the man slily, 'knows all about it
before a word's said. If that was my boy---- '

Douglas' father interrupted. 'A moment, please,' he said. 'Listen to me,
Douglas. Mr. Wilkins says that your dog and you, too, were in his yard a
few days ago. Is that so?'

'Yes, Father,' said Douglas, 'the cowboy threw mud at me, and I went
over to thrash him.'

'Trespassing,' said the farmer, 'and the lad rolled him in the mud for
his pains.'

'He is bigger than I, a lot,' said Douglas; 'I didn't see him properly
till after I had hit him once.'

'Well, my lad has seen him in the yard once before--the dog I mean, not
you, boy; and I have missed three chickens this week, and that's the dog
which took them. It ought to be shot.'

Douglas' hand tightened on his friend's collar, and his face whitened.
'It's not true,' he said. 'Bully is an awfully good dog. He never
touches anything; he wouldn't even touch my rabbits if they were loose.'

So far as looks went, Bully came short of this good reputation. His face
was villainous-looking, and a wound on one side, and sundry scratches on
his nose did not add to his beauty.

'I have paid for those chickens, Douglas,' said his father, when the
angry farmer had gone away. 'I don't suppose it was Bully, but as he is
so much at large, we must take Mr. Wilkins's word for it. In future he
must be kept under control.'

Several weeks passed without any further complaint. Bully spent all his
time, when Douglas was at school, on his chain by the back-door, an
injustice which the boy resented as bitterly as the dog.

After an interval of this restraint the discipline was gradually
relaxed, and Bully at times was allowed his usual freedom.

Douglas was scarcely surprised when the farmer appeared at their house
again, this time with his enemy the cowboy.

'Here sir,' Farmer Wilkins hailed the boy, 'that dog of yours has made
away with four as nice pullets as ever I saw.'

'I don't believe it,' said Douglas, bluntly.

'Well, here is my boy. Saw the dog in the yard, didn't you, boy?'

'Yes, I did, said the boy. 'I saw it with my own eyes, slinking away in
the dusk.'

'Are you sure?' asked Douglas's father.

'Quite sure, sir,' answered the boy.

'I have never caught him telling lies,' said the man. 'I would take his
word before your boy's.'

The upshot of it was that the chickens were again paid for, and Bully
the favourite--Bully, who was almost one of the family--was condemned to
go. Douglas polished his coat-sleeve with some salt tears in private,
and Bully poked him all over with his damp cool nose, as if he guessed
that something was wrong.

Towards evening, Douglas went out, taking Bully with him. He thought he
would see for himself if Bully would try to take the chickens, and with
this idea, went up the garden to a place overlooking the farm hen-roost.
The chickens were chirping and snuggling on their perches, and he felt
sure that Bully was innocent, for he did not even prick an ear at the
sound.

As he stood there, somebody came quietly up the yard.

'The boy, to shut up for the evening,' thought Douglas, for he knew that
at this time the farmer was generally out with the milk. But when they
came nearer he saw that there were two people, the cowboy and a man with
a bag.

Douglas tightened his hold on the dog's collar to cut short a growl, and
listened with all his ears, as the lad went into the shed, and some
squawking and fluttering went on.

'I daren't take more than one,' he said; 'and it is the last time. I
have been putting it on the dog over yonder, and they are getting rid of
it now.'

The man looked annoyed. 'Make it half a dozen, if it's the last time,'
he said. 'I can't give you more than sixpence for that one. It's not
worth coming up here for.'

Douglas loosened Bully's collar.

'Watch him,' he said, and Bully needed no second telling, managing to
keep the tail of his eye on the frightened cowboy as well as on the
stranger with the bag.

'You wicked boy,' said Douglas. 'It was you that stole the chickens. I
heard everything you said.'

'I will never do it again,' cried the boy, blubbering. 'Don't tell
Master, young gentleman, it won't happen again.'

'No, that it won't,' put in a new voice, as Farmer Wilkins arrived
unexpectedly on the scene. 'I will take good care of that. Call your dog
off, if you please, Master Douglas; I don't much like the looks of him.'

Douglas secured Bully, and the farmer seized the dishonest cowboy by
the collar. The stranger was quick to take advantage of the moment, and
before anybody could say 'knife,' he had slipped behind the barn, and
away over the fields.

'Let him go,' said the farmer, who was too fat to want to run. 'He has
had a fright. As for you.' turning to the cowboy, 'I have an account to
settle with you, before I send you off. I am much obliged to you, young
sir,' he said, turning to Douglas, 'and very sorry for the trouble you
have been caused.'

'Well, look here,' said Douglas, 'will you do something to oblige me?'

'Why, yes,' said the farmer.

[Illustration: "'Watch him!' said Douglas."]

'I wish you would let him off pretty easily. You won't send him away,
will you?'

'I just will,' said the man, hotly; 'and give him up to the police too.'

'Oh, please, don't do that,' Douglas, pleaded, 'to oblige me. Give him
one more chance.'

Farmer Wilkins scratched his head.

'It's perfectly ridiculous,' he said; 'but there, seeing that you have
got a say in the matter, so to speak, I don't know but what--'

And the cowboy gave Douglas such a grateful look that he could not help
feeling that there was still some hope of his turning out all right in
the end.

[Illustration: "A Madi village being removed."]

'You see,' Douglas afterwards explained to his father, 'I felt so
awfully glad when I found that I should not have to send Bully away,
that I didn't want to pay the boy out in the least. And I think it
would do him more good to be forgiven than if he was sent to prison,
don't you.' And Father thought it would.



MOVABLE ROOFS.


[Illustration]

The roof is by far the most important part of the houses or huts of
savages. It is the part upon which most labour is spent, and it is the
part which is taken most care of when the whole house is finished. Many
huts are, in fact, little more than a roof borne up by a few posts. A
native house in Samoa is simply a great dome-shaped roof resting upon a
ring of posts which are only about four feet high, and supported by
three central posts which are as much as twenty-five feet high. When
seen from a distance the house looks like an enormous mushroom just
rising from the ground.

The making of the roof is the great task in building one of these
houses, and the Samoans think so much of their roofs that in times of
war they have been known to take them off their posts, and carry them
away to some place which was safe from attack. The roofs are very large,
but they are so constructed that they can be taken down in three or four
pieces, and each of these may be placed upon a raft made of canoes, and
carried away by sea.

Although it would perhaps be difficult to find movable roofs so large as
these in other countries, there are many houses in Africa which are
constructed in a similar way, and are little more than roofs resting
upon a few posts, from which they can be easily removed. Dr. Livingstone
saw a great many of them in the heart of Africa, and the villagers, with
whom he and his men stayed for the night, frequently took off the roofs
of their huts, and lent them to the travellers. As soon as the natives
learned where Livingstone had decided to encamp, they lifted off the
roofs of some of their huts and brought them to him. Livingstone's men
propped up the roofs with a number of small posts, and the houses were
made. The roofs kept off the rain, and in that warm country no other
shelter was needed. On one occasion it rained so heavily that the water
flowed in along the ground, and flooded the travellers' beds. To prevent
such an accident occurring again, Livingstone made his men in future dig
a trench round the hut, and throw the earth inwards to raise the ground
under the roof. By this means the rain-water was caught in the trench,
and the beds lay high and dry upon the raised floor of the hut. When the
travellers moved onward to another village, they left the roofs just as
they were, and the villagers put them back in their proper places at
their leisure. The roofs were always lent by the natives without any
expectation of receiving payment for their use, though I have no doubt
that the noble-minded missionary never forgot to reward them.

When Speke, a traveller who discovered one of the sources of the Nile,
was returning homeward, and passing through the country of the Madi,
near the head of the Albert Nyanza, he saw similar huts to those which I
have just described. In one of his books there is an amusing picture of
a Madi village removing. The greatest burden is a conical roof, which
four men are carrying on their heads. Other men and women are carrying a
few sticks or baskets, but the all-important thing is the roof. These
roofs are easily lifted from their posts, and Speke once saw a number of
Turkish traders take off the roofs of a village without permission, and
carry them off to make a camp for themselves.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

9.--WORD CHANGES.


  1.--A committee of management,
      Curtail--and find a wild animal.
      Behead and curtail--a kind of pole.
      Transpose--wide, extensive, liberal.

  2.--The end of being.
      Behead and curtail--to do that without which we cannot be.
      Transpose--thoroughly disliked.

  3.--A borderland--measured movement.
      Behead--a curved stone structure.
      Behead and curtail--a part of a circle.
      Transpose--an irresistible power to please.

C. J. B.


10.--MESOSTICH.

The central letters read downwards will give the name of a fragrant
flower.

  1.  A fair woman, who was the cause of much warfare.
  2.  A wrong and illegal act.
  3.  A celebrated physician.
  4.  A continuous line of cars.
  5.  A philosopher and essayist.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 286._]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWERS TO PUZZLE ON PAGE 214.

  8.--1. Alcester.
      2. Camberwell.
      3. Dunfermline.
      4. Doncaster.
      5. Dursley.
      6. Middlesex.



THE COUNT AND THE DOVE.


Count Zinzendorf was a great German noble who did a great deal of good
in the world. One day, when he was a boy, he was playing with his hoop
near the banks of a deep river, and he spied a dove struggling in the
water. By some means the poor bird had fallen into the river, and was
unable to escape.

The little Count quickly rolled down a washing-tub, which had been left
near the water's edge, jumped into it, and, though generally very timid
on the water, by the help of a stick he managed to steer himself to the
place where the dove lay. With the bird in his hand, he guided the tub
back, and got safely to land. Then he set the bird free.

'Were you not afraid?' asked his mother, when she heard of it.

'Yes, I was,' he answered, 'but I could not bear that the dove should
die. You know, Mother, its little ones might have been watching for it
to come home!'



THE LITTLE BLIND LINNET.


  I have a linnet small and brown,
     And I to it am kind,
  Because it must be sad at heart,
     For it is quite, quite blind.

  Oh! only think what it must be
     Never to see the flowers,
  And never see the sky and trees,
     In golden summer hours.

  But still my linnet sweetly sings
     A rippling, happy song,
  As though its tiny heart o'erflowed
     With joy the whole day long.

  And so, whenever I am cross,
     And tears fall like the rain,
  Oh! when I hear my linnet sing,
     It makes me good again!



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 247._)


A very pretty little fishing village is Tout-Petit. The deep blue sea,
the green hills, and the tiny red-roofed, white-walled hamlet straggling
down to the port made it very quaint. A rivulet, spanned by a cranky
bridge, swept round the base of the hill to the left, and down the
centre of the village street, till it found its way into the sea at the
harbour. There were shady paths close to the shore, little knots of
silver poplar and birch, winding walks among the rocks and on the smooth
sands. The port was full of brown sails and tall masts; the air redolent
of tar and sea-weed. When the fishing boats spread their canvas and
glided out one by one into the open sea, the scene was enchanting. At
the top of the hill was the Grande Place, where stood the ancient
church, the market-place, the municipal buildings, and the houses of the
better class.

It was at the top of the hill, where there was a great stone cross, that
the women and children collected to watch for the returning boats. It
was to this old cross that the homeward-bound mariner first turned his
eyes. He knew that his dear ones were standing there waiting, longing
for him.

Estelle was charmed with the village, and with the many kindly greetings
she received from the peasant folk. All seemed glad to see her, the
market-women even pressing an apple or a few plums on her. They, on
their side, were delighted with her graceful manner and her excellent
French. They seemed to know all about her.

Madame Bricolin, busy over the important business of buying a chicken,
vegetables, and fruit for M. le Curé's table, found time to draw her
master's attention to the child. The old man was coming down the hill,
but he stopped to look at the fair-haired, slender English child, whose
high-bred, dainty little air, caused him to ponder. Who and what was
she? He smiled when Mère Bricolin brought her to him, and put out his
hand to greet her.

Estelle thought he had the kindest of faces, and accepted with joy his
invitation to let Jack bring her one day to see him. At that moment the
doctor, hastening across the Grande Place, caught sight of her.

'What!' he exclaimed, striking an attitude of surprise, as his face
beamed in merriment on her; 'you here, my little patient! Come to life
again all right, eh?'

'Have you tried to find out who your little friend is?' asked the Curé,
turning to Jack while Estelle laughed with her old friend.

'She cannot remember the name, sir, yet,' replied Jack, 'so I don't know
how to set about it. I have not the means to search without some clue.
Anyhow, I thought we would wait till she is stronger. She's hardly up to
a journey yet.'

'Journey!' cried the genial doctor, overhearing the last remark, 'who's
going to take a journey? Not this little lady? No, no: not yet. We
cannot lose our _petite dame_' (little lady) 'yet.'

'It can't be me,' said Estelle, her face clouding. 'I have nowhere to
go.' Then the remembrance of her dreams returning to her mind, she
added, 'At least, I can't think what my name is---- '

'All in good time--all in good time,' exclaimed the doctor hastily.
'Why, M. Jack and his mother are here to take care of you---- '

'And kind friends round you also, _petite dame_,' added the Curé, with
his pleasant smile.

It seemed to soothe Estelle, and she went on with Jack, smiling too.



CHAPTER XIV.


The excitement in Tout-Petit increased as the day of the _fête_ drew
near. The arrival of huge vans, decorated with gaudy colours and glaring
pictures, was received by a crowd of all sorts and conditions of the
peasant folk. This great fair was an annual business, and was held in
April each year.

It was held in the great meadows beyond the village, where there was no
limit to the space which it might occupy if its promoters chose to
stretch it out--space for booths innumerable; space for the great
circus, with its big tent for animals as well as men, women and
children; space for the huge varieties of shows, and space enough and to
spare--one would think--for the motley crowd to wander about in.
Neighbours from all the country round visited the _fête_. The richer
women, of all classes, secured lodgings. The poorer, who could not
afford this luxury, procured rooms among friends. Others camped out all
night with their husbands and sons, returning to their homes only when
the very last van and show had disappeared.

All Tout-Petit collected to watch the putting up of the booths, the
erection of the tents and marquees, and the getting into line of the
menagerie. This part of the _fête_ Mrs. Wright and Jack had wished to
avoid. Jack would not have allowed Estelle to be exposed to the rough
sights which were to be seen on such occasions. He was annoyed that the
subject had been mentioned before her. He considered it wiser, however,
to make no objection, as the idea had caught her fancy, and he and his
mother would be there to protect her. Nevertheless, as the day drew
near, he disliked the thought of the crowd more and more. The child
might catch any sort of complaint, or meet with unhealthy adventures, or
see cruel sights. But even these did not altogether account for the
dislike he felt to taking her to the _fête_. After doing his best to get
rid of his own fears, he resolved to consult his mother. She, after all,
was a better judge than he. Since his great trouble he had shunned any
large concourse of people. Rarely had he gone to any village festivity,
though he had lived at Tout-Petit for many years. Mrs. Wright never
cared for them either. Estelle's presence had brightened her up,
however, and her opinion now appeared to have altered. She spoke of all
there would be to see as if she quite looked forward to a bit of
pleasure. The desire to please Estelle was of course the reason for this
sudden change of mind. It was with some hesitation, therefore, that,
Estelle having gone to bed, Jack broached the subject a few evenings
before the _fête_.

'What can happen to the child?' asked Mrs. Wright, surprised. 'We will
take care not to lose sight of her. There's plenty of room for stirring,
and it won't be difficult to steer clear of the crowd. You are a tower
of strength, Jack,' she added, with a proud look at him. 'With you as
our guardian, we have no one to fear.'

Jack gave an uneasy laugh. 'I can't account for the misgiving I have,'
he said, sighing.

'The child would be bitterly disappointed if we made difficulties now,'
continued his mother, wondering what had suddenly made her son fanciful.
He could not be afraid of meeting any of his own countrymen, could he?
That was not likely. What did he fear then? Concluding that he was out
of sorts, she did not encourage his talking more about the subject. She
meant to go, she meant the child to enjoy herself for once in a way, and
there was nothing in Jack's objections which could reasonably interfere
with their intentions.

(_Continued on page 262._)

[Illustration: "'What! You here, my little patient!'"]

[Illustration: 'CHORUS, PLEASE!']

[Illustration: "'You have found me out!' said the captain."]



THE CAPTAIN'S PUDDING.


The following story is told of an American captain and his mate.
Whenever a plum-pudding was made, most of the plums, by the captain's
orders, were put into one end of it, and that end was placed next the
captain, who was rather a greedy and selfish man. The captain, after
helping himself, passed it to the mate, who never found many plums in
his portion.

After this trick had been played for some time, the mate coaxed the
steward beforehand, and got him to place the plumless end next the
captain. But the captain no sooner saw the pudding than he discovered
that he had the wrong end of it.

Picking up the dish, he turned it about in his hands, as if examining
the china.

'This dish,' he said, in a casual manner, 'cost me three shillings in
Liverpool.' With these words he put down the dish, with the 'plummy' end
of the pudding turned towards himself.

'Really,' said the mate, in his turn lifting the dish, 'I should not
have thought it worth more than a shilling.'

Then, with apparent carelessness, he put down the pudding, with the
plums towards himself.

The two men looked at one another. The captain laughed. The mate
laughed.

'You have found me out!' said the captain. 'Well, we will cut the
pudding lengthwise, and in future the plums shall be fairly
distributed.'



FIRE PICTURES.


  Watch the pictures in the fire;
  How they gleam and come and go,
  Making trees and birds and cows,
  And red houses in a row.

  Did the fairies put them there
  When the coal was underground,
  So that we, at eventide,
  All their hidden treasures found?



ROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.

By HAROLD ERICSON.

VI.--HOW WE LEARNT SKI-RUNNING.


'I don't know whether any of you fellows have tried snowshoeing,' began
Bobby on the following evening, when it was his turn to spin a yarn,
'_ski_-running, as they call it in Norway?'

'Yes,' said Ralph, 'I have. Why?'

'Well, I was thinking of telling you how I and another fellow, Billy
Onslow, took it up one winter when I was in Russia. We--at least, I--had
read about the competitions at Holmen Kollen, near Christiania, when the
Norsemen have their annual fling for the great "ski-hop." Reading of
this had caused me to have a great ambition to be able to shoot hills
and precipices upon snowshoes as the Norse fellows do, and I persuaded
Billy to be ambitious also, and to practise the things with me near St.
Petersburg, where they use the same kind of snowshoes or _ski_'
(pronounced _shee_).

       *       *       *       *       *

My cousin Tom, being an expert snowshoe-runner, accompanied us to the
country place where we should find slopes of every grade of difficulty,
in order to show and explain how the thing was done.

'You may fall about a bit,' he said, 'at first, but you will soon learn
to glide down a moderately steep hill-side safely enough. You won't be
qualified to compete at Christiania this year though, Bobby, for it's an
art that requires much practice before perfection is attained. One
cannot do anything well that is worth doing,' added Tom, 'without a lot
of trouble; that is a lesson one is constantly learning through life!'

Well, we found this true enough, for the _ski_-running gave us a lot of
trouble, as Tom had hinted.

The shoes are peculiar-looking things. They are about six or seven feet
in length, some four inches in width, and are made of thin, strong,
seasoned wood, half an inch thick, running to a point in front, the
'toes' turning up, of course, for otherwise they would catch in the
snow. One stands in the middle, inserting the foot in a strap, which
closes round the instep. Then one slides along the surface of the snow
in the best way one can--which, at first, is a very awkward way indeed.

We drove down to a shooting-lodge, near Lavrik, and then, having
lunched, we called for snowshoes and strapped ourselves into them.

'Now then,' said experienced Tom, 'we will just walk off towards the
gully, where there are some nice easy slopes for you to begin upon.'

With these words Tom glided away upon his shoes; it looked the easiest
and most delightful thing in the world. Tom moved forward like a bird
upon the wing, slid a dozen yards away, turned, and came back to us.

'Lovely, isn't it?' he said. 'Come along, just skate forward; keep the
front part of the _ski_ well apart, or the points will cross, and you
will come to a sudden stop.'

Billy made a few awkward slides forward; one of his shoes went
south-east and the other south-west; one of his feet left the earth as
though it would soar heavenwards. Billy sat down with some violence.

'Here, I say, that won't do,' he observed.

'What made the things behave like that?' I said.

'Keep the ends apart'--Tom laughed--'but not so far as that; point them
both the same way, but keep them six inches or so from one another.'

Billy got up and tried again. The points of his shoes now rushed towards
one another like old friends who meet after long parting. Billy's
progress was instantly checked, and he sprawled forward on his face in
the most ignominious fashion.

Billy scrambled up awkwardly, for one of his _ski would_ stand on the
other and keep it down. He fell three times before he finally stood
erect.

'You said it was so easy,' he said, reproachfully. 'Stop laughing,
Bobby,' he added, 'and try yourself.'

I did so, profiting by Billy's experience, and slid carefully forward.
Ten yards I covered in safety, then a small birch-tree suddenly rose up
before me. I knew no way of giving it the go-by. I tried to guide myself
to one side of it, and, lo! one snowshoe went to the right of the tree,
the other to the left, and I found myself jammed against the trunk.

'I say, help!' I cried. 'Cut down the tree, or take me out of the
snowshoes. I can't move!'

Tom shrieked with laughter; so did Billy, who ought to have known
better.

'Try to back away from the tree,' Tom suggested.

I endeavoured to do so. This time the heel ends of the shoes crossed,
and I sat down very suddenly, while Tom and Billy laughed even more
rudely than before. I began to realise that the art of _ski_-running was
not a perfectly easy one even upon the level. What would it be, I
wondered, when we reached the hill-side?

Though the gentle slopes chosen by Tom for our first lesson were distant
but a short mile from the lodge, I think we took at least three-quarters
of an hour to reach the place. The pointed ends of our
snowshoes--Billy's and mine--went exactly where they pleased. They
behaved like ill-natured animated things, and did us all the harm they
could. This was not much, of course, except to make us appear very
ridiculous; but Billy and I soon got tired of laughing at one another,
so that it did not matter after a while. But when we reached the
hill-side, and made our first efforts to 'shoot' the slope, the real fun
began.

Bill took the first attempt. Tom had shown us how it was to be done. He
had poised himself upon the top of the hill like a bird about to take
wing. He had allowed his _ski_ to tip over the edge, and in an instant
he was in full flight, going at nearly thirty miles an hour over the
slippery, even surface of the snow, bending slightly forward, keeping
his two shoes straight as arrows, and heading, true as a bullet, for the
point which he had fixed upon.

'How easy it looks,' said Billy, 'and how delicious it must feel to go
through the air like that, eh?'

I answered nothing, for I felt that what mattered most to me at present
was whether the snow was nice and soft for the somersaults which I felt
sure I was about to perform. No question for me, as yet, of a delightful
thirty mile an hour excursion through air. I was going beneath the snow,
and knew it.

However, Billy led off. Tom came back, and placed him carefully, saw
that his snowshoes were straight at starting, gave him his final
instructions. 'Don't bear too much forward, or you will over-balance. If
you feel yourself going, sit down; that will save you a header under the
snow; but you needn't be afraid of hurting yourself in any case, the
snow is very soft.'

For a few moments I really thought Billy was about to pass through the
ordeal with success. He glided down the first twenty yards of the hill
in a manner which recalled the impression of 'easiness' which Tom's
skill had aroused. Then something happened which inclined our poor
William to direct his right snowshoe towards his left one. Instantly the
left one, like an angry dog, resented the liberty, and turned upon its
companion. They crossed; then disaster overtook William Onslow. For an
instant he suggested a catherine-wheel at the Crystal Palace fireworks;
he went three or four times head over heels, his snowshoes looking like
the arms of a windmill as he went round. Then he stopped, and it seemed
as though a sort of explosion had taken place. There was no sound, but
the snow was cast up on all sides to a great height, and Billy
disappeared. All that could be seen of our unfortunate William was the
point of a snowshoe sticking out of his snow-grave, slowly waggling to
and fro as though to remind us that Billy might still be found alive
somewhere down below if any one thought it worth while to look for him.

Until I glanced at Tom's face, I felt anxious about Billy. Could he
breathe down there? I wondered; and in how many pieces should we find
the poor chap when we dug him up? But Tom was bent double with heartless
mirth, and I concluded that probably he knew best about such disasters.

'Will he be all right?' I gasped.

'Rather,' Tom replied. 'He will struggle up in a minute.'

Billy did struggle up. There was a kind of upheaval in the white
hill-side, and from the midst of the eruption appeared our William,
gasping, angry, blinking, spluttering--snow in his mouth, in his
nostrils, in his eyes. Snow filled his ears, his pockets, his boots; had
crept between his neck and his collar; his hair was white with it, and
in the midst of this mass of snowflakes blazed two angry eyes, which
shot murderous glances at us because we laughed. Billy said nothing--he
could not until he had got rid of the snow which filled his mouth. When
he spoke at last he only gasped, 'All right, Bobby; your turn now. You
will think it awfully funny when you have been buried alive in wet
snow!'

'I'm sorry,' I said; 'but you did look so frightfully funny coming out
of the hill-side in a kind of volcanic eruption.'

'Oh, don't mention it!' said angry William. 'I see Tom's amused too; I
suppose he was never a beginner! Perhaps he will catch his foot in a
root one of these times, and may I be there to see!'

We soothed him as best we could, but he informed me that the only
consoling thing I could do would be to take my turn, while he watched.
There was nothing for it. I braced myself up for the enterprise, took my
position at the edge of the slope, adjusted the toes of my _ski_, and
started.

Was I a bird in air? Oh, the delight of it, this rapid passing through
crisp air! and how well I was doing it, ten--twenty--fifty yards in
safety! Why, it was quite easy. How disappointed dear old Billy would
be! Then, suddenly, a check, a whirl through the air, a sense of chill
and suffocation, blindness, deafness. What had happened?--Where was
I?--What was this hard thing in my mouth? Why was I standing on my head?
Where on earth were my arms and legs?

I found all these useful members presently; I also discovered that I was
chewing the end of one of my snowshoes. I seemed to spend a century in
making these discoveries, but I believe it was in reality a short
half-minute. Then I struggled up into the light of day. I spluttered the
snow out of my mouth and looked around. One of my _ski_ had finished the
hill-shoot 'on its own,' and lay on the level far below. Close by stood
Billy Onslow, behaving in a manner which provoked in me a momentary
feeling of hatred for him. He was loudly roaring with laughter, doubling
and undoubling himself in exaggerated mirth. I felt that the situation
was not in the least funny, and that Billy was simply--and in very bad
taste--taking his revenge.

[Illustration: "I struggled up."]

And that was how we began to learn ski-running.



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

IX.--INSTRUMENTS OF PALESTINE.


[Illustration]

In the Great Synagogue of Aldgate, in London, a very fine specimen of
the Shophar or Ram's Horn is blown on New Year's Day, and on the Day of
Atonement.

This particular kind of trumpet is interesting because it is the only
known instrument used uninterruptedly from the earliest times to the
present day.

The Shophar is first mentioned in the Old Testament, when the Lord
descended upon Mount Sinai; it is frequently alluded to throughout the
Bible, and takes a prominent place in the Vision of St. John, or Book of
Revelation.

We must all remember, too, the description in Joshua of the downfall of
Jericho, at which the mighty blast from the rams' horns, with the great
shout of the Israelites, shook the walls to the ground and gave the
stronghold to the conquerors.

Shophar is the Hebrew name for what is usually translated 'ram's horns.'
It simply consists of a ram's horn flattened by the force of intense
heat, and blown through a very small opening or mouthpiece.

[Illustration: The Shophar or Ram's Horn.]

Shells have in many nations been used in similar fashion, and to-day the
ceremonies of the Buddhist religion are accompanied by the sound of
these primitive trumpets.

In ancient and modern times, whether in civilised or barbarous nations,
great events, such as the accession of monarchs or proclamations of war
and peace, have been announced by the sound of the trumpet. The
accession of the despotic rulers of Egypt many thousand years ago, and
of King Edward the Seventh in our own time, was proclaimed in much the
same fashion by herald and trumpeters. The original use of trumpets
probably had its origin in Egypt, and the frequent intercourse of that
country with Greece probably accounts for its introduction there. The
Greeks are said to have used it first in the Trojan war, when it took
the place of the rough conch shells, which had in their turn replaced
the ancient battle signal of the flaming torch. One of the coveted
prizes of the Olympic games was awarded for the best trumpet solo, and
we hear of one fortunate person, Herodotus of Megara, who gained this
honour more than ten times. It must have taken real genius to have
roused melody from the primitive trumpets of early days, and even with
all the facilities afforded by the scientific knowledge of the present
time, the trumpet requires great skill and careful playing to make it a
really musical instrument. It is usually made of brass, and occasionally
of silver, which is supposed to give a softer tone.

[Illustration: The Rehab.]

The Rehab is the violin of Palestine, and in appearance almost suggests
to European eyes a dustpan and brush. The frame is of wood, covered,
like a tambourine, with parchment, and placed across a handle from which
hangs a single string of thick, black horsehair, very coarse in texture.
It is played with a bow, also of horsehair, and is held much after the
fashion of a violin, being chiefly used to accompany songs and the
romances in which Eastern people delight. Playing is almost always done
by professionals, for, although music is much appreciated, it is thought
unreasonable to take trouble oneself when some one can take it for you.

At a Palestine Exhibition lately, amongst curiosities of great interest,
the writer was given for exhibition a specimen of the Rattle used by the
Jews at the Feast of Purim, held in memory of the deliverance of the
Jewish nation by Queen Esther from the plot of Haman. The Rattle was
made of tin; it was of the usual rattle form for twirling round and
round, and its use was to scare away evil spirits from the Feast.

HELENA HEATH.



TO THE RESCUE!

A True Story.


Chirp! chirp! chirp! Twit! twit! twit! Such a noise of chirping in the
ivy at the back of the house! Just like a crowd of children after a
school concert; but it was a much more serious affair than a concert.

We could not at first see anything to cause the disturbance, although we
could not help knowing that it was a sparrow in some sort of peril or
distress. At last one of us discovered that a poor little bird had
entangled itself in some stout string which dangled from the ivy, and it
was swinging at the end of this in a very dangerous manner. None of us
could think what to do, because it was too high up for our only ladder
to reach, and too far away to get at from any one of the windows.

While we were all standing looking at it we heard another chirp, as much
as to say 'Hang on, dear, and I will soon set you free,' and then we saw
another sparrow fly into the ivy and try and stretch itself far enough
to peck at the string. But, alas! the brave little ball of brown
feathers could not reach so far. The captive was perfectly quiet, and
seemed to understand that some help was coming to him; and when the
second sparrow found he could not reach it, he began to talk--shall we
say?--to the other. They seemed to consult, as two doctors do over a
patient, what was best to be done. All this time the captive sparrow was
hanging by one foot with his head downwards, except when he fluttered
about and tugged at the string. After they had talked for some seconds
the helper flew away, and we were very disappointed: but he had not been
gone long before he appeared again with another sparrow--a much bigger
one!

The first sparrow seemed to do just what the last comer told him to. It
was just as if he said, 'Now, my dear boy, you stand very firmly on my
back, and I will fix myself on a twig of ivy as near as I can to our
friend; mind you stretch as far as you possibly can, and if you cannot
reach him then, you may stand on my head. Jerk the string with your beak
and perhaps that will set him free.'

Number one sparrow did exactly as he was told, and nearly over-balanced
himself; he only just saved himself by spreading his wings and starting
to fly, and he could not reach the string. After another talk amongst
the three of them (the poor prisoner only chirped very softly now), the
two helpers flew away again in different directions, making as much
noise as they could; and then in a very short time a whole crowd of them
came. We counted fifteen of them; they talked and talked as they sat
together in the ivy, until at last, as if at a given signal, they all
flew out together. They fluttered, flew round and round, and pecked at
the string and gave it jerks all at once, till it shook and trembled
more and more.

They did this three times, each time returning to and starting from the
ivy, in perfect order, as if they had been drilled to it. At last they
were successful; they shook the prisoner free! Then they adjourned to
the branches of a tree, near where we were standing, and the poor mite
seemed to be telling them how he got into such a sad plight. It was a
beautiful lesson in kindness to us all, as well as a wonderful example
of the instinct which the Creator has given these little birds, so that
not one of them 'shall fall to the ground.'



FLOWERS AND COLOURS.


Some one has said that our English language is not rich in words
describing colours; occasionally we have to join two words, as when we
speak of something being bluish-green or reddish-brown. It is different
in China, where the people have a large number of words for colours,
belonging to their singular language. Many of the names of these colours
have been taken from flowers. In Britain we find that colours and
flowers are sometimes linked together; a plant has had its name from a
colour, or that of a colour has come from a plant. This has rather an
odd result now and then, because flowers may alter their colours; there
are white bluebells and white violets, and gardeners can raise crimson
primroses. Again, people who stroll in the lanes or fields have seen
such a curious object as a white blackbird, though it is rare.

The violet has given its name to a shade of blue--really blue with a
purple tinge. Some violets look decidedly red. The dog violet is usually
of a lighter blue than the sweet-smelling species. It does not seem to
have been called 'dog violet' because it had any connection with dogs;
the word 'dog' was an expression of contempt, and forms part of the name
of other English plants that were not admired. Some violets have been
raised of so deep a blue as to appear nearly black. The blue wild
hyacinth has given name to a colour, not very unlike the violet tint; it
is sometimes called the bluebell, but pink ones may be found in woods,
and garden hyacinths are of various colours. Other bluebells belong to
the Campanula family.

In the olden time, one of the London street cries was, 'Fine lily-white
onions!' the lily being commonly spoken of as a white flower. Yet we
have several kinds of lily that are not white: 'Lent lilies' are yellow,
and the showy tiger lily is red and black. Yellow is a common colour
among the crocuses and plants akin to them; saffron, taken from one of
these, has been used as a dye for ages. But of course our gardens show
blue and white crocuses, with other hues. It is curious that Homer
speaks of the dawn being 'saffron-robed.' We may notice ourselves that
sometimes, at sunrise or sunset, the sky is first deep yellow, and then
red.

Our gardens exhibit irises of many colours: blue, white, and brown kinds
are well known, but it is thought the plant took its name from Iris, the
Greek name for the messenger of the gods, and from the rainbow, because
the Greeks knew a plant of this kind which had three or more colours in
its flower. There is very little doubt that the Latin name of 'rosa,'
given to the queen of flowers, means red, that colour being familiar
before white and yellow roses had been grown. The carnation was so
called because one kind was like flesh colour, a tint of red; but many
carnations are much darker. Wild and garden pinks we all have seen, but
the commonest 'pink' nowadays is white. Again, we have lilacs that are
white, and not of lilac colour. Lavender is a colour taking its name
from the flowers of the fragrant herb; we might describe it as a sort of
blue-brown. Mauve is a colour approaching the hue of the marsh-mallow.
Cerise, a French name for a colour, is really the same as our cherry.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 255._)


Jack dropped the subject of the outing, and did not again refer to it
till the evening before the _fête_. Estelle had been very eager to see
the dancing at the Fontaine des Eaux, which was to begin at six o'clock
that evening. Mrs. Wright had consented, and both were ready to start by
five. It was quite half an hour's walk, but the way being on level
ground when once the village was reached, Mrs. Wright was equal to the
exertion.

Estelle, dressed in well-made (Mrs. Wright was an excellent dressmaker)
but quite plain, dark blue serge, was putting on a neat white sailor
hat, when Jack took advantage of her absence to say,

'Don't you think she would be satisfied with this evening's amusement,
Mother? Must we take her to the _fête_ to-morrow?'

'At it again, Jack? Why, what should hinder our taking her? I can't
think what has come to you that you make so many objections.'

Estelle came dancing into the room, in the wildest of spirits, and Jack
felt as if he were cruel to wish to disappoint her. Putting aside his
feelings, he determined that, as she was to go, she should enjoy
herself.

Estelle had been to the Fontaine des Eaux several times in her walks
with Jack. It was a favourite spot of hers. The way lay through the
village, across the rickety old bridge, and up the narrow valley to the
left, following the course of the river. The green hills on each side
had all the bright freshness of early spring, but the real beauty of the
walk was the Fontaine des Eaux itself. Here the valley broadened out
into a wild and lovely glen; the hills were wooded to their base; the
river, roaring and dashing over its rocky bed, followed the sweep of the
hills to the left, leaving a wide, grassy expanse on the right which
stretched to the foot of the hills, where it was broken up by a tangle
of rocks, wild flowers, and brushwood.

Here there were seats for the spectators of the dance. A rough sort of
shed had been run up, and boarded for those who feared night dews, or
early morning chills. Near the Fontaine, a little bubbling spring of
clear water fringed with delicate ferns and 'morning glory,' was a
refreshment booth, which appeared to be driving a thriving trade when
the little party of English arrived.

Everybody was in gala dress; everybody beamed with joy. The white caps
and beautifully embroidered bodices of the women--though their dresses
were all either black or dark blue--lent a brightness to the crowd; a
bright touch was added by the gay shawls of the elder dames, and the
broad slouch hats and flapping white collars of the men, got up in their
best.

It was a calm evening, with a silvery crescent moon, and very warm for
the time of year. Though it was scarcely dark yet, the Chinese lanterns
were lighted, lanterns of every shape and size and colour. The people
appeared to have gone mad on the subject. Not only did lanterns hang
from the trees, outline the sheds, and shine from the tops of poles
along the banks of the river, but some of the men carried them on their
hats, or hanging from their thick walking-sticks.

Mrs. Wright was warmly greeted by her numerous friends. Many a smile was
turned on her and on Jack, who had a bow and a smile for them all as he
made way for his mother and Estelle. The little girl found it very
bewildering and delightful after her long quiet days in the Hospice de
la Providence. She thought she had never seen such kind people. They
came to ask how she was, and commented on her looks with the politest of
compliments. Until now she had not known what a stir her arrival, and
the mystery which still surrounded her, had caused in the village. Shy
though she felt, her gracious manner, and gentle way of receiving all
the notice she attracted, charmed the simple people.

Jack found seats in the front row of the great shed. He chose them on
the side which was nearer the exit by which they could slip away if his
mother were tired. Here Estelle watched the animated scene, her chair
close to Goody's, too fascinated to talk.

The circus troupe had brought a fairly good band with them, and to its
music the gay, happy throng were dancing. Estelle was greatly
entertained by the vigour shown. Still more delighted was she when M.
Fargis (the captain of the boat which had picked her up) insisted on
Jack dancing with his daughter, to which the sailor consented. He did
not wish to appear surly or stand-offish. The manly grace with which he
bore off the young lady charmed Estelle, and she scarcely heard the
skipper's question: 'The young lady does not dance?'

Before Mrs. Wright could answer, M. Matou, the Préfet, was bowing in
front of her, his hat pressed with both hands on his chest. His son, he
said--a boy of fifteen whom Estelle knew well by sight--desired to be
presented to the little English lady, to pray her to give him the
pleasure of the dance. M. le Préfet was quite one of the _élite_ of
Tout-Petit society, and Mrs. Wright was fully conscious of the honour
paid to Estelle by this invitation. The boy had often seen her during
her walks with Jack, or when she accompanied Goody to market.

He had watched her from the moment she had appeared on the scene that
evening. His father, noticing his abstraction, rallied him on not
joining his companions, and making merry with the rest in the most
inviting waltz that was ever played. M. le Préfet, on learning his son's
wishes, at once offered to assist him in the accomplishment of his
desire. Alas for Julien Matou's hopes! Mrs. Wright answered him as well
as M. Fargis in the same breath:

'Mademoiselle cannot dance to-night. She is far from strong enough for
such exertion. She has only come to look on, and will be returning home
soon.'

M. le Préfet and his son were a little inclined to resent the refusal,
but Mrs. Wright thanked them for the honour they had done her little
girl, and Estelle smiled so prettily that they were disarmed. Drawing up
a chair in front of them, M. Matou sat down to talk to Mrs. Wright,
while Julien leant against the side of the shed, and, looking down at
Estelle, ventured on some shy remark.

Little did they think, as the elders chatted and laughed, and the
younger were gradually thawed into an animated talk, that a pair of eyes
were riveted on the little girl--at first in amazement, then in settled
purpose. Jack's strange instinct had not been altogether at fault. It is
not on record what the owner of those eyes would have felt impelled to
do if M. le Préfet and his son had not taken up their position close to
the little English girl.

(_Continued on page 270._)

[Illustration: "M. Matou was bowing in front of her."]

[Illustration: "He sat silent, waiting for the reply."]



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

IX.--THE MAN WHO NEVER MADE A SACRIFICE.


[Illustration]

Although the travellers' tales from Africa are so numerous and so
interesting that the difficulty is not to find them, but to choose among
them, there is one traveller who stands out head and shoulders above all
the rest. And though his name be 'familiar in our mouths as household
words,' we cannot speak of the heroes of Africa and leave it out. Yet,
strange to say, though there is no life-story more enthralling than that
of David Livingstone, it is less easy to find thrilling adventures in
his account of his own travels than in the journals of most explorers.
For the man whose heroism has helped so many was never a hero in his own
estimation. It is of his work, his beautiful surroundings, the poor
people he sought to help, the crying evils of the slave-trade that he
writes. He really meant what he said so simply in the Senate House at
Cambridge, 'I never made a _sacrifice_.' To be permitted to do such work
for his Master was, to him, reward enough. If it meant sickness,
suffering, separation from those he loved, and death at last alone in
the wilderness, these were just the incidents of no sacrifice, nothing
to boast of or to magnify him in the eyes of his fellow-men. Yet, even
from his own matter-of-fact account, we can see how, again and again,
his cool courage saved his own life and the lives of the men who
followed him.

During his great journey to the West Coast, Livingstone found himself in
the village of the Chiboque tribe, where the chief sent to him a demand
for tribute, in the form of a man, an ox, a gun, or some cloth or
powder. All the fighting strength of the village surrounded the
travellers--grim-looking warriors, whose naturally plain cast of
countenance was not improved by the prevailing fashion of filing their
teeth to a point. Livingstone overheard the sinister remark, 'They have
only five guns,' as if the Chiboque chief were quite prepared to measure
forces with the strangers. The Englishman knew his own followers to be
loyal, and by no means disinclined for a fight, and they would, he
believed, be a match for their assailants, but he was most anxious to
avoid bloodshed, and not to risk his character as a messenger of peace.

Accordingly, he sat down coolly on his camp-stool, his gun across his
knees, and graciously invited the very unpleasant-looking party to be
seated also. The Chiboque, accordingly, squatted on the ground, thus
giving Livingstone's men, who remained standing, spears in hand, the
chance of first blow, if it were impossible to avoid a fight.
Fortunately, they were all well under control, and stood watching for a
signal from their master, who quietly addressed the chief, bidding him
state what he wanted.

A man, an ox, or a gun would do equally well, the Chiboque returned, but
tribute he must have, as he always did from strangers.

The first-named was quite impossible, replied Livingstone, calmly; he
and his followers would rather die than give one of their number to be a
slave. Neither could they part with one of their guns; but he would give
a shirt as a present to the chief, who had no right to demand any
tribute at all from him. The chief was pleased to accept the shirt, but
wanted something more, and Livingstone followed it up with a bunch of
beads and a handkerchief. But seeing that each fresh treasure encouraged
the enemy's desire to plunder the party, he resolved upon a bold stroke.
It was clear, he said, that the Chiboques had no wish to be his friends.
He and his men would fight if they were obliged, but the Chiboques, not
they, should begin the attack and bear the guilt of it. Let them strike
the first blow. Having delivered his challenge, he sat perfectly silent,
waiting for the reply.

Should it come in the form of an attack, he knew that the first stroke
would be directed at the white man, and he admits that the moments of
suspense were, as he puts it, 'rather trying;' but he was 'careful not
to appear flurried,' as he sat with his life in his hand, the centre of
the wild group.

But the bold proposal succeeded. Perhaps the Chiboque measured the
strength of the resolute party, and came to the conclusion that 'good
words are better than bad strokes;' perhaps they felt the presence of a
superior power in the quiet, watchful-eyed white man. When at last the
chief spoke, it was to renew his demand for an ox. He would give in
return any present that the stranger liked to name, and they could be
friends. Livingstone, seeing approval in the eyes of his men, agreed,
asking for some food, of which he and his party were short, and which
the chief readily promised to supply. He and his warriors withdrew with
their prize; and, later in the evening, a messenger arrived with the
return present, a very little meal, and a few pounds of Livingstone's
own ox, which had been converted into beef in the meantime!

How the cheery-hearted traveller, whose sense of humour helped him
through so much, and whose laugh, Stanley tells us, was 'a laugh of the
whole man, from head to heel,' must have chuckled over the generous gift
of a bit of tough beast which he had brought so many miles along with
him!

But though no stouter-hearted traveller ever pushed his way into the
dark continent, we think less, after all, of Livingstone's heroic
courage than of the burning love for all mankind which sent him into the
waste places of the earth, to carry the truth to those in darkness. We
think of the little orphan girl who hid behind his waggon that she might
travel under his protection to seek her friends: of how he fed her, hid
her from her pursuers, and vowed that, if fifty men came after her, they
should not get her. And there is another story which we shall seek for
in vain in his own account of his life in Africa, but which has been
recorded by one who loved and honoured him.

The incident happened during those happiest days of Livingstone's
African life, when, with his true-hearted wife beside him and children
growing up around him, he lived in the house he had built for himself at
Kolobeng. A very busy, simple life it was, with plenty of occupation to
fill the days: teaching, gardening, building, doctoring, making careful
observations of the plants and animals, and winning the love and
confidence of the native people. One evening, news came to the little
settlement of a furious attack made by a rhinoceros upon the driver of a
waggon. The unfortunate man had been horribly gored; he was lying in the
forest, eight or ten miles away; would the doctor come to him?

The request seemed almost beyond reason, for the night--the terrible
night of Africa--was falling, and those words, 'when all the beasts of
the forest do move,' have a very real meaning in that land. Ten miles'
ride through the dense undergrowth, which might hide every conceivable
enemy, would scare the stoutest heart. But a fellow-creature was
suffering in those horrible shades, and Livingstone was not the man to
weigh the value of the poor native's life against his own. Promptly he
went on his way at the call of duty, but, alas! only to find the man
dead, and his companions gone, and so to ride back again by the same
'passage perilous.'

Seven years after, Livingstone's worn-out body had been laid in its
honoured grave in Westminster Abbey, where his countrymen crowded to do
him honour, and the African, who had watched so faithfully over his
remains, nearly threw himself into his loved master's grave. A man who
was also to lay down his life for Africa, met a native of the Rovuma
country wearing a part of an English coat. It had been given him, he
said, by one who treated black men 'as if they were brothers,' and who
knew his way to the hearts of men; and of all the honours paid to the
name of Livingstone, none surely would have pleased him better than that
memory, lingering among the dark brethren whose cause he had made his
own.

MARY H. DEBENHAM.



TIME FLIES.


  Tick! tick! tick! the seconds go,
    Flying, oh, so fast,
  And almost before I know
    Quite an hour is past:
  Hour by hour goes quickly on,
  Till another day is gone.

  Day by day is going fast,
    Morning grows to night,
  Till they make a year at last
    Vanished out of sight.
  Days, weeks, months, all sped away--
  Yet they wait just day by day.

  As the days and minutes go,
    Speeding one by one,
  So my childhood, youth, I know
    Will ere long be done:
  Books and toys all put away,
  Done with lessons, done with play.

  Be it mine to use with care
    Time that will not stay,
  Doing always here or there
    Something good each day:
  For as streams to ocean flow,
   Youth is speeding fast, I know.



THE SELF-HEAL.


The Self-heal has had a very wide repute for its good-qualities. It
belongs to the family of plants known as _Labiates_, which includes
mint, sage, thyme, and other aromatic plants; these flowers mostly have
a curious lip, and grow in a spike. The self-heal is not a tall plant,
though it flourishes more in the rich soil of a garden than on that of
the field-bank or the hedgerow. One curious thing about the plant is,
that the flowers do not open all together, but a few at a time, so that
it never looks in full bloom. These flowers are bright blue, with a
touch of crimson at the edges, the leaves being round and smooth. It is
the habit of the plant to throw out trailing shoots, so that when it
spreads over corn-fields, it causes much trouble to the labourers who
have to pull it up.

The name may seem a little singular. It does not mean the plant heals
itself, but that it contains the power to cure or heal without having to
be mixed up into a compound, with other articles added to help the
effect. Self-heal was used both inwardly and outwardly; a decoction made
from the plant was swallowed as a remedy, and it was applied to wounds
and sores. Even now, in Cheshire, Yorkshire, and some other parts of
England, the plant is said to heal wounds, and relieve sore throats,
though it is seldom called by the old name. Cheshire folk know it as
Carpenter; it is not clear why the name of Sickle-flower is also given
to it, unless it be that reapers use the plant for a wound made by a
sickle; a very similar name is Hook-heal. Some people in the West of
England call the plant the Fly-flower, though it has no particular
likeness to a flower, nor does it draw flies or insects more than other
plants. Yet another name is Irish; about Belfast it is known as 'Pinch
and Heal.' The Dutch and Germans seem formerly to have called it Brunell
or Prunel, which is nearly the same as the botanical name, _prunella_;
both Dutch and Germans, as well as the French, in old books, rank it
amongst the sovereign remedies for complaints.



APPLES OR THISTLES?


Every year, at Eynsford, in Kent, an 'Arbor Day' is kept, when a number
of trees are planted in different parts of that pretty village.

'Arbor,' of course, is the Latin word for 'tree.' There are not many
places in England which have an annual 'Tree Day.' It is an American
institution. An American settler in Nebraska, feeling sorry to see so
few trees there, suggested that on a certain day of each year the
children should devote themselves to tree-planting. This idea was acted
upon, and the youngsters of Nebraska doubtless enjoyed the fun. The
scheme succeeded so well that it was taken up by other States, and
introduced later on into Australia, and others of our Colonies.

[Illustration: "'Here is a nice little bit of work for you, my lad.'"]

The pleasant custom of 'Arbor Day' was begun in Eynsford in 1897, and
was initiated by Mr. C. D. Till, a local landowner. In that year the
farmers and cottagers planted many apple-trees, and the children set a
row of trees on a bank in front of their school.

The reliefs of Ladysmith, Kimberley, and Mafeking were commemorated by
the planting of special trees in the village street, and in 1902 thirty
trees were planted in memory of Queen Victoria.

[Illustration: "'It is only the masterful calf.'"]

But on the first 'Arbor Day' which was kept in Eynsford, it was
discovered that the planting of commemorative trees was by no means a
new thing in the place. Sixty years before that day, in 1837, a
cottager, named Howard, had planted an apple-tree in honour of the
Queen's accession. In 1897, this tree yielded thirteen bushels of
apples. The old man, upon being presented with a testimonial, made a
little speech. 'If I hadn't planted that there tree,' he said, 'I should
not have had all this here fruit.'

The story recalls another. A Scotch farmer's son amused himself one year
during the summer vacation by sitting on a gate and blowing thistledown
about. The natural consequence was a fine crop of thistles. When, the
following summer, Master Thomas came home for the holidays, his father
took him to the field. 'Here is a nice little bit of work for you, my
lad,' said the farmer. 'Just pull up all these thistles for me.'

As Thomas bent over his wearisome and prickly task, he said ruefully to
himself, 'If I had not scattered that thistledown, I should not have had
to do this!'

We are always sowing and planting something in our lives. What shall it
be? Apples, or thistles?'

E. DYKE.



AN INTRUDER.


The Leslies had taken a house on Dartmoor for the summer holidays, and
when they arrived and found it was a small farm their delight knew no
bounds.

Cook was very glad that they would be able to have plenty of milk,
cream, and butter, eggs and poultry, for there were no shops in that
desolate region, and she could not provide breakfasts and dinners out of
nothing.

Janet, the eldest girl, clapped her hands when she saw the chickens
running about the field in front of the house, the sheep and cows a
little farther off, and beyond, on the moors, the dearest little black
ponies, with shaggy coats and long manes and tails. From the window she
saw a girl crossing the field towards a gate where two big lambs were
bleating their loudest and trying to wriggle through the bars. She
rushed downstairs and across the field and found that Kate, the farmer's
daughter, was carrying the tame lambs their supper.

'Why do you feed them and not the others?' Janet asked?

'The other lambs have their own mothers to feed them,' Kate told her;
'but these two are orphans, so we have to bring them up by hand.'

'Oh, what dears they are!' Janet cried, as they began to jump and
frolic about her and about Kate, in eager expectation of their supper.

Then Kate filled a bottle with warm milk and tied the finger of a kid
glove over it, through which the lambs sucked eagerly in turn, each
trying to get a bigger share than his brother, and needing some quite
severe pats to keep them in order. A little corn was given them as a
second course, and, when nothing more was to be had, they gambolled away
and joined the games of the wilder members of the flock.

'Now I must call the calves,' Kate said. 'Will you carry the bottle,
because I shall want both my hands free?'

Janet could not quite understand this until, after a call by Kate, six
calves came galloping up from a distant part of the field. She held out
her fingers, and the nearest calves took them in their mouths, and so
she ran towards the farmyard, a calf clinging to each hand and the
others following close behind. Here she had two pails of milk, and with
one hand in each let the calves find her fingers and so lap up the milk.

'What greedy things!' Janet cried. 'How they shove and push! You are
clever to let each get his proper share.'

'They are just like children, and want some training and scolding to
make them behave properly,' Kate said. 'That big one is a most masterful
creature, and sometimes he upsets the pail and nearly upsets me too.'

The next morning Janet had proof of this. She was in the kitchen,
watching Cook make some pastry, when in through the door a great
creature bounded, knocking over one chair, and thrusting his head into a
large bowl of milk which was standing on another. The milk poured over
in a white flood on the floor. Cook screamed, and brandished her
rolling-pin.

'It's a great, fierce bull!' she cried. 'Oh, Miss Janet, run for your
life while I chase him out of the kitchen!'

'Nonsense, Cook,' Janet said, catching hold of the frightened woman's
arm; 'it is only the masterful calf, and I think it is very clever of
him to find his own breakfast!'



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 263._)


The watcher at the _fête_ had made no plans. His ideas did not develop
quickly, but one thing was certain: here was a chance ready to his hand.
Only an old woman, evidently rheumatic, was with Estelle. If she had no
other protector, his course was easy. Yes, it was well that the Prefect
and his son were there. It prevented the man from being in too great a
hurry. He must mature his plans. To further the process, he crept up
under shadow of the trees, to the side of the shed near to which the
party were seated. Jack's selection of places enabled him to get close
enough to hear every word that was said. Bitter was his disappointment.
It had been the joy of Julien to find that the conversation could be
conducted in French, of which language the watcher possessed but a
slight smattering. He had picked up enough, however, to learn that
Estelle would be at the _fête_ the next day; but at what hour, or with
whom, he could not understand. The probabilities were in favour of the
old lady being the child's sole protector; the boy, even if he did
accompany them, need not count. He could be made short work of.

Julien was by no means the only suitor who pressed for the honour of
dancing with Estelle. No less a person than the village doctor himself
came to beg her to tread a measure with him in the quadrille which was
just forming. They might make up a select little party of their own.
Mrs. Wright, smiling, but firm, said the little girl was not equal to
the exertion, and begged the doctor not to undo all the good he had done
during the many months of illness and delicacy by urging her to
over-exert herself now. So the good man, putting his annoyance in his
pocket, joined the group, much to the anger of Julien. Julien did not
care for the doctor's jokes, and disliked his engaging Estelle's
attention, and plaguing her with compliments. As he had promised himself
the pleasure of meeting Estelle next day at the _fête_, he was not sorry
that Jack's return broke up the party.

Estelle could scarcely sleep that night from excitement. It had been a
delightful evening, and there was all the pleasure of the next day to
look forward to. She had not seen the shadow so close to her at the
shed; neither had Jack. The shadow kept dark in dark places. It was
quite possible that the man had not seen Jack. The coming of the doctor
had caused a little stir, and fear of detection had made the shadow draw
back, out of sight of the little group. When he stood forward again to
watch Mrs. Wright and the little girl move away, it was impossible to
distinguish in the crowd who belonged to whom.



CHAPTER XV.


The next morning was not brighter and clearer than Estelle's face as she
flew about, helping Goody to make everything ready for their early
dinner, specially early that day, as they were to set off for the _fête_
as soon as it was over.

'Julien Matou is going to show me the celebrated elephant, called
"Napoléon,"' announced the little girl, as they were about to start.
Mrs. Wright was casting a careful eye round the room, to see that all
was as it ought to be before she left.

Jack looked up sharply. 'There must be no wandering away from me or
Mother, Missy,' he said, almost sternly. 'Julien Matou is but a boy, and
cannot look properly after you.'

'He says he can,' replied Estelle, dancing along in front of Jack and
Goody, as they descended the steep path to the village. 'He says there
is so much to see, and when you are tired, he will take me. But I would
rather go with you.'

'You see, Jack,' said his mother, as the little girl ran too far in
advance to hear, 'your fears about the child last night did not come to
anything. I don't know why we should be so very particular to-day.
Every one in Tout-Petit knows her, and she is not at all likely to come
to harm among them.'

'Right enough,' returned Jack, quietly; 'that is, as far as our own
people go. But you forget, Mother, this _fête_ brings strangers and
loafers who may be most undesirable. I am glad, and--I must confess
it--very much relieved to find that yesterday evening passed off without
any mishap. I looked in your direction several times, and was glad to
think you had the doctor, M. le Préfet, and Fargis close to you.'

Mrs. Wright laughed. 'I can't help it,' she said; 'it sounds as if we
were threatened with some terrible accident; what these French call "_un
coup de main_," and as if only having our friends with us prevented it.'

Jack made no answer.

'You're not angry, are you, my son? I don't want you to worry yourself
and us by fancies. That's all. Let the child enjoy herself.'

Jack merely said, 'All right, Mother; I understand.' He was walking very
straight and still; his head in the air, his shoulders squared. Mrs.
Wright looked up at the set face so high above her, and was sorry she
had spoken. Jack smiled as she put a caressing hand on to his arm,
though the look in his eyes did not satisfy her. He called Estelle back
to him as soon as they came upon any stragglers from the _fête_, and
took her hand in a way that neither his mother nor the child ventured to
resist.

Estelle was too much interested to think anything about it; indeed, she
preferred the security of his presence.

As they approached the _fête_, the noise of the revellers grew louder,
and soon they came upon the bonfires, where joints of meat, fowls, and
geese were being roasted on spits. The children and young men were
offering assistance, or dashing about amidst a din of voices. A little
further on, a booth, with hot fried potatoes cut in slices, had a crowd
round it.

They were by this time near the great streets of booths, up and down
which the majority of the people strolled; some buying articles long
wished for, but unobtainable at any other time; some eagerly visiting
every show in succession; other shooting at targets for prizes--clay
pipes and piles of thin hardbake in the shape of a cornucopia, five to
each successful shot, or bags of nuts.

Julien Matou met them at the shooting range, which was at the first
booth. He wanted Estelle to walk with him, that he might show her all
the sights that interested him. Jack, however, would not let go of her
hand, and the four had to walk more or less abreast when the pressure of
the passers-by permitted. He did not object to plunging into all the fun
of the fair in a moderate way. There were the mountebanks, and the
dancers, and the driving team of fleas and the little dogs that acted a
play.

Finally, to Estelle's delight, they reached the circus. Here Jack
secured good seats, and for the next hour she and Julien were enchanted
with the riding, the driving, the clown; and lastly the performance of
the great elephant which shot the gun--a mortar which produced an
explosion quite startling for its size. This wound up the entertainment,
though Estelle would have liked it to continue indefinitely. She felt
quite depressed as she followed the rest of the crowd leaving the
marquee, and heard the men proclaiming that the next performance began
at eight o'clock.

She had been charmed with everything. As they forced their way through
the noisy crew, and Jack saw that the streets of booths were full of an
increasing number of persons more or less excited, he proposed to take
the other way back. Passing between two booths, they came out at the
back of the rows, where it was comparatively quiet. It gave them greater
space to move, but it was not pleasant walking. Every now and then they
came across piles of dingy straw, or a bundle of old rags, or odds and
ends of soiled draperies, which had become almost too worn out to use,
or wooden cases which had seen many journeys, and were overflowing with
shavings and paper. This was indeed a contrast to the life and
brightness on the other side.

Here was a man who had sold them some chocolates in the most smiling,
obsequious manner; now he sat huddled up on a wooden case, eating
something out of a grimy, but gaudy cotton handkerchief. At his feet
were two thin, miserable-looking children, both dressed as acrobats. Out
of the grimy handkerchief he handed them some indescribable mess, which
they seized eagerly, and ate hurriedly. A little further on, a woman,
wrapped in a big shawl, was scolding a small girl; she was one of the
children soon to appear in the fairy scene of the play, which was being
acted in the marquee they were passing. The child looked forlorn enough
as she stood sobbing and shivering in her airy muslin dress, her arms
and neck bare, and her feet shod with the thinnest of white shoes. 'They
have stolen my bright franc,' she sobbed. The woman gave her an angry
shake, and it went to Estelle's heart to see how the thin, meagre little
body shrank together after it. A tiny boy in a bright yellow and red
costume, with yellow cap and bells, watched the scene; he had a puckered
little face, down which the tears were washing off the paint. His little
soul was full of anger against the persecutor of his sister, but he was
too tiny to defend her. All he could do was to choke down his wrath like
a man, and comfort her when they should be alone again.

The scene was too much for Jack. He could not go by and let the helpless
suffer. Dropping Estelle's hand for a moment, he went up to the woman,
holding out some coins in his hand.

'How much has the child lost?' he asked sternly.

'It is a new franc that a good lady gave her. She should have brought it
to me!' screamed the woman. Then catching sight of the glitter of silver
in the sailor's hand, she cried in altered tones, 'but, Monsieur, you
see she is but a child, and though I must not let her lose things---- '

'I didn't lose it--it was stolen,' sobbed the child.

'Well, here's your franc,' said Jack, interrupting some exclamation
which the woman was about to make. 'Now let the child alone.'

He was slipping some coins into the hands of the children also, when a
cry from Estelle made him turn hastily.

(_Continued on page 274._)

[Illustration: "'How much has the child lost?' he asked."]

[Illustration: "'Come along with me,' whispered Thomas."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 271._)


Interested in the miserable children, Estelle had moved a little away
from the rest of the party. She wanted to speak to the brave little boy,
and to give him some bonbons for himself and his sister. The little bag
was in her hand, when she saw a dingy curtain on her left pushed aside.
A face looked out at her. In a moment her dream came back: there were
the curtains, wrinkled and dingy. Between them peered the face of the
man after whom the mastiffs had rushed--the face of Thomas! He grinned
in recognition of her; he nodded, and, thrusting open the curtains, came
out into full view. Estelle's eyes opened wide with terror. There was
something in the man's expression which appalled her. Greed; an
eagerness he could not conceal; a cunning smile which was made more
terrible by a stealthy movement towards her. For a moment Estelle was
paralysed. Jack's back was turned; his attention taken up by the scene
he had witnessed. Julien Matou stood with his hands in his pockets,
watching it too. Mrs. Wright had gone on; she wished Jack had not
brought them this way, but, since he had, there was nothing for it but
to hurry out of it as quickly as possible. For the time Estelle was
alone. Thomas was nearer to her than any of her friends, and she was
incapable of even crying out for help.

'You here, my little lady?' whispered Thomas, stretching out his hand.
'Come along with me. I will save you.'

Though she shrank back, she yet managed to summon up courage enough to
push his hand away.

Thomas had no time to lose. Estelle must be seized, and he had hopes
that those behind him would back him up. Fargis would not dare to
refuse, he argued. Had he not come to this outlandish place on purpose
to get employment from him? The skipper had proved to be very unwilling,
and they had come to no terms. Now, however, there were golden reasons
for gaining his consent to anything. Once in possession of Estelle, he
could make his own bargain with Lord Lynwood. How high his hopes had
been when he and the Dutchman had carried off the orchid! The Frenchman
had failed them, but they had managed to get it by boat to the nearest
port, and, unsuspected by the police authorities, had reached Holland
safely with the unique plant. He had been 'done' over that business, had
received but half what he expected. Was it his fault that the paper did
not mention where the plant was discovered? The orchid itself was of
immense value, and the sum paid to Thomas, for his share in its capture,
was by no means a despicable one. Like most ill-gotten gains, however,
it had not remained long in his pocket. Driven by necessity, unable to
return to his own country, and not knowing where else to turn, he
determined to go to Tout-Petit, and seek assistance from Fargis, as his
ally had once advised.

He had no money left to pay his way there, but accidentally hearing
that a caravan, consisting of a circus, mountebanks, and the usual
paraphernalia of a fair, was about to start for Tout-Petit, and that a
strong man was wanted in the circus troupe, he offered his services, and
was accepted.

But times had changed since the Dutchman, Thomas's former
fellow-conspirator, had known Fargis. The past had been effectually
buried, Fargis hoped; the last spark of it was the help his smack was
intended to give in the conveying away of the orchid. Thomas's many
delays in securing the plant had frustrated this plan, but Fargis had
done his best. He considered all indebtedness wiped out henceforward. He
received Thomas ungraciously, therefore, and beyond a vague promise that
he would speak to some other skippers, Thomas had no satisfaction from
his visit. Gloomy, and not a little resentful--for he had come far on
what he considered his friend's misrepresentation--he wandered aimlessly
towards the Fontaine des Eaux. Too busy all day to get away, it was only
when the afternoon was far advanced that he managed to go down to see
Fargis. The dancing had, therefore, begun before he reached the valley.
Strolling up towards the booths, he watched the dancers with a sort of
inward anger because people could be so happy when he was so wretched.
All at once he caught sight of the group in the shed. His first
indifferent glance changed into a look of astonishment. He had not heard
of the loss of Estelle, never having dared to write home to his
broken-hearted mother. He stood staring, puzzled to behold Lord
Lynwood's daughter among all these peasants.

How did she get there? Who were her companions? Why had she been sent
from home? His brain worked over the riddle as he lingered under the
shadow of the trees and gazed at the well-known face of the child. He
found it a hard nut to crack. Suddenly his Dutch friend's question in
the cave, just before their rush to save the box with the orchid,
recurred to his memory: 'Is not the Earl's daughter an heiress?'

She has been stolen, then! For a moment Thomas was 'struck all of a
heap,' as he would have expressed it. He was blinded by the flash that
seemed to reveal to him what had happened.

Creeping up closer, he listened to what the group of strangers around
the little girl were talking about. To formulate any plans on the spur
of the moment, even to take in what this amazing discovery might mean to
him in his fallen fortunes, was beyond the power of Thomas's slowly
working brain. He must have time to think. He must find out how the land
lay. And meanwhile, it would not be wasting precious time if he set
himself to find out who were Estelle's protectors; where they lived;
what facilities their abode offered for approaching the child; and how
he could bring the brilliant but hazy notions now throbbing through his
head into something more than mere dreams. His only clear ideas at
present were, that the Lady Estelle de Bohun was certainly a great
heiress; that the Earl would pay any price, probably, to get her back;
and that he, Thomas, must be the important medium through whom this good
fortune must be brought about. Thomas, too, would be sure that
well-lined pockets did not fail him this time. He had had his lesson in
sharpness.

Beyond this point he had not had time to go. Nothing turned up next day
to help him, till the early stragglers appeared at the fair in the
morning. He was on the alert. He looked and found faces he had seen on
the previous night. He managed to get up a talk with one and another,
during which it was easy to learn a good deal on the subject of the
little waif. Before he saw Estelle again, he found that she lived in the
Caves of the Hospice de la Providence; he discovered that Jack was a
fisherman, and was often away in the boats, sometimes for several nights
together. At such times no one remained on guard except the old
woman--by which term he meant Mrs. Wright. He also found out that
Estelle had not been stolen. He heard the story of her loss of memory
concerning certain vital points, and of the doctor's prophecy that some
little thing would, without doubt, reveal the missing link, and restore
her powers of recollection. This he was rather sorry to hear. It would
have been better if she had remained ignorant till he had made his own
terms with her father. However, she was but a child, and could be
suppressed. He could see to that.

He saw clearly that the most difficult obstacle to the whole of his
somewhat indefinite scheme would be M. le Géant (Mr. Giant), as the
villagers smilingly called Jack. The giant was not a giant to no
purpose. He would show fight. There was absolutely no doubt about that.
He must, therefore, be away whenever it suited Thomas to act. But--and
Thomas thought a great deal over that _but_--would it be possible to
come to some sort of terms with Jack? They might share and share alike.
Thomas was quite willing to do that, provided the sum agreed upon was
large enough. If he refused, and if Estelle were unable to give an
account of herself--that is, if the little something did not occur which
should assist her memory--Thomas considered his course clear. Neither
her name nor her belongings would be revealed. Jack could not take any
steps towards restoring her to her family if he did not know where her
home was. Thomas preferred to manage the whole business single-handed.
The orchid had been a lesson to him against trusting any one with his
secrets. He had come off second-best. Another time it might go even
worse with him. No, he would be his own master in this matter.

Careful as his watch was on the crowds surging through the long street
of booths that day, he had missed Jack and his party. The tears of the
dancing girl, and the loud voice of the woman, he scarcely noticed till
they ceased suddenly. The silence aroused his curiosity as the noise had
not done. Peeping through the curtains, he saw to his delight and
amazement that the child he so longed to seize was standing close by,
alone and unprotected.

The golden egg lay ready to his hand. He would be a fool not to take it.
His eye wandered for one doubtful second to the broad back of the
stalwart sailor. Could he manage it before that giant turned round? It
was worth trying. Oh, if he could only get hold of her without her
screaming! Possession was nine points of the law!

(_Continued on page 286._)



PEEPS INTO NATURE'S NURSERIES.

IX.--SOME FROG NURSERIES.


We do not generally expect such apparently dull and stupid creatures as
fish and frogs to have any very deep parental feelings, yet we shall see
presently that, among the fishes, some are most exemplary parents. And
so it is, also, among the much-despised frogs and toads, and some of
their near relatives. Indeed, I should have to write a very long chapter
if I were to set myself to relate at length every case that is known of
this kind. It must suffice to take a few of the more striking instances.
But, before I begin, let me ask you to try and recall some of the main
facts with regard to the care for the young displayed by the common
frog. This animal, you will remember, formed the subject of the first
article in this series, wherein it was pointed out that the eggs were
laid in huge masses and left to hatch. Beyond seeking out a suitable
place for the eggs, no further trouble is taken by the frog, and it is
on this account that so many hundreds have to be laid. There must be
enough to be eaten by prowling ducks, and enough to hatch into tadpoles,
of which, again, there must be enough to be eaten by hungry animals of
all sorts, and enough to grow safely into frogs.

This waste of life is, however, avoided when the parents take charge of
their eggs, and, in consequence, there is no need to provide so many.

Let us begin with an example or two of nest-building frogs. One of the
simplest of these nests is that of a South American frog known as the
Ferreiro, or 'Smith,' from the remarkable call which it makes during the
spring--a call resembling the sounds made on a smith's anvil. Its nest
is made by the little mother of the family alone, who, from the bottom
of some shallow pool, scoops out a little basin, using the displaced mud
to form a wall or rampart, some four inches high, round the pit, and
employing her hands to smooth the inside of the wall, much as a mason
uses a trowel. After the nest is ready, she lays therein a few eggs, and
then retires with her mate to some secluded spot to watch over her
treasures!

Another little group of South American frogs--the 'Phyllomedusa'
frogs--lay their eggs to the number of about a hundred, in 'pockets'
formed by bringing the edges of a leaf together. Into this 'pocket' the
eggs are dropped by the mother; the jelly-like coat with which the eggs
are covered serves to hold the pocket together.

Some frogs build 'foam' nests. Thus, a little frog that lives in the
West Indies glues her eggs on to a broad leaf, and covers them in a mass
of foam. Similarly, the 'banana-frog' of Malacca lays its eggs in a
leaf, and surrounds them with a mass of yellow froth (which afterwards
becomes steel-grey) as large as a cricket-ball. Herein the eggs develop,
until at last the tadpoles emerge and drop into the water below, as in
the case of the other frogs who attach their eggs to leaves. A Japanese
frog, closely related to the species just described, lays its eggs in a
hole in the ground, and then covers them with a mass of froth and
air-bubbles formed by working up a sticky slime with its feet until this
mass, too, is as large as a cricket-ball!

But many frogs carry their eggs about them. The South American Goeldi's
frog carries its eggs on its back, the skin of which on each side is
raised up to form a wall holding the eggs in position. A near relative
of this species--the pouched frog--has carried this device further, so
that the walls meet each other above the eggs, and form a most wonderful
pouch. Until lately, it seemed impossible to account for the presence of
the eggs in such a strange place, but it is now known that they are
placed there by the frog-mother's mate.

[Illustration: Surinam Toad, with its young ones in "pockets" on its
back.]

In another case--that of a kind of toad which is common on some parts of
the Continent--the father of the family winds the eggs in 'chains'
around his hind legs, and sits with them, during the heat of the day, in
some shady place, emerging with the shade of evening to bathe his
growing brood in dew.

[Illustration: Pouched Frog: the eggs are carried in a chamber on the
back.]

A little frog met with in the Seychelles carries its little ones about
on its back, much as a duck will carry its ducklings. But the curious
Surinam toad of South America has improved on this arrangement, and
lodges each little one in a little pocket in the skin of her back!

[Illustration: The Seychelles Frog, which carries its tadpoles on its
back.]

Lastly, and strangest of all, we have a species--again a native of South
America--in which the father carries first the eggs, and then the young
tadpoles, in a pouch in his throat! This pouch, in the early part of the
year, serves as a voice-organ, or, rather, as a musical organ, for when
filled with air it is capable of making a sound which has been likened
to that of a little bell. Later, he places the eggs therein, and, as
these grow, the pouch increases in size, finally extending down each
side of the body, beneath the skin, as far as the hind legs.

[Illustration: The Obstetric Frog, which carries its eggs twisted round
the hind legs.]

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.



THE GRUMBLING ROSE.

[Illustration: "'Is the bird alive or dead?'"]


  'It is all very well,' said the Rosebud,
    That close against my window lattice leans,
  'But April is as false as he is fickle,
    And there's never any knowing what he means.
  He loitered just before me with a whisper
    Of mischief much too cunning to detect;
  But when I peeped with wonder at the garden,
    It wasn't what he led me to expect;
          For the rain fell fast
          On a rude and chilly blast,
     And it wasn't what he led me to expect.'

  'It is all very well,' said the Rosebud,
    As April softly sighed a fond adieu;
  'But after all, I'm sorry you must leave me,
    For May's a month I dread much more than you.
  She prates of all the wonders of the summer;
    She promises--but only to betray,
  And those who tell the truth about the spring-time
    Are never complimentary to May;
      And e'en a baby Rose
      Can be pardoned, I suppose,
    For feeling some anxiety in May.'

  And thus through all the months of happy summer
    This foolish Rose no cause for pleasure found,
  And when the winds of autumn swept the garden,
    They scattered all her petals on the ground.
  Oh, let me urge this on you--to remember
    That no one should enlarge upon a wrong,
  For those who spend their time in idle grumbling
    Will find there's not a moment for a song,
      And sadly they'll recall,
      When the autumn shadows fall,
  The summer that was worthy of a song.



'AS YOU PLEASE.'


In the ancient times there lived a wonderfully wise man, of whom it was
said that he could answer correctly any question put to him. There was
one, however, who thought himself clever enough to outwit the sage. This
man took a poor, captive bird, and clasped it so closely in his hand
that only the head and tail were visible.

'Tell me,' said he to the renowned guesser of riddles, 'is the bird
which I hold in my hand alive or dead?'

If the answer were 'Dead,' thought this artful plotter, he would just
open his hand, and let the bird fly; if the answer were 'Alive,' he
would with one little squeeze crush the poor bird to death.

But the wise man proved himself equal to the occasion, and replied, 'It
is _as you please._'

Each one of you holds within his or her grasp the fair bird of life.
Which is it to be? A blessing or a bane? It is 'as _you_ please.'



THE PENGUIN.


There are several kinds of penguins, and several different names have
been given to the same kinds, so that the number of names is rather
bewildering. We hear of the Great Penguin, the Grey Penguin, the Cape
Penguin, the Jackass Penguin, and several others; but, as they are all
very similar in most respects, we will not trouble much about the kinds,
but learn what we can of the habits and peculiarities of penguins
generally.

These birds live mostly in the cold countries, especially islands, near
the South Pole. They are aquatic birds, spending much of their time in
the water, and living upon the fish which they chase and catch in the
sea. For this reason they congregate upon the rocky shores, where they
may be seen standing in thousands, like regiments of soldiers. Their
webbed feet are placed very far back, close to the stumpy tail, and so
the long body has to stand very straight up in order to balance itself.
This gives them a very odd, man-like appearance. Their wings are small
and narrow, and look more like flappers, or stunted arms, than wings.
They are not covered with feathers, but with stumps, which look more
like bristles or scales, and the wings appear to be set on to the body
almost the wrong way about. They are not of the smallest use for flying,
and the penguin never attempts to do that; but when it takes to the
water, the wings are seen to be admirably formed and placed for
swimming.

The penguin is lighter than the water, yet it swims with its body below
the surface, never at any time having more than its head out. It is
enabled to do this by the peculiar shape of its wings, which will carry
it down and forwards, as the wings of air-birds carry them upwards and
forwards. So well fitted for swimming are these curious wings that the
penguin is more than a match for most fishes in their own element. When
chasing its prey, it comes to the surface with a spring, and dives again
so quickly that it is almost impossible to distinguish it from a fish
leaping in the air. How confident it feels upon the sea may be imagined
when we learn that Sir James Ross once saw two penguins swimming calmly
along a thousand miles from the nearest land.

The penguin is an enormous eater. It has a very long stomach, which
reaches to the lower part of the body, and is capable, in the case of a
large bird, of holding more than two pounds of fish. The largest kind of
penguin may be from three to four feet tall, and will weigh about eighty
pounds. This is only about half the weight of a well-developed man, so
that you may judge the capacity of the penguin's stomach by doubling it
and comparing it with a man's. The bird, like many other birds, appears
to swallow pieces of stone to help it to grind down its food, for Sir
John Ross found ten pounds of granite and other kinds of stone in the
stomach of a penguin which he caught--no light weight for such a bird to
carry about.

On land the penguin uses its wings as fore-legs, and crawls or runs on
four feet, as it were, so quickly that, on a grassy cliff, it might be
mistaken for some kind of quadruped. Living in regions which are rarely
visited by man, these birds have not yet learned to dread him, but often
stand still until they are knocked down with a stick. They are very
courageous. A naturalist tells us how he attempted to stop one as it was
going down to the sea. He intercepted it, but the bird fought him and
drove him backwards step by step. Every step the bird gained it kept,
standing up erect and fearless before the naturalist, and continually
rolling its head from side to side. Nothing short of heavy blows, he
tells us, would have stopped it.

The penguin lays one egg, of a whitish colour, about twice as large as a
goose's egg. It is said that the female bird hatches its egg by keeping
it close between its legs, and that if it be disturbed at this time, it
will carry its egg away with it. While the female bird is hatching its
egg, the male goes to the sea to catch fish for them both; and, when the
young one is hatched, both parents go to sea and bring it food. They do
this so well and so unselfishly that the young bird grows quite fat, and
is scarcely able to walk, while the old birds themselves become thin.
The young bird takes its food in a very curious way. When its mother has
just returned from the sea, she stands up over her little one, and makes
a great noise something between the quacking of a duck and the braying
of an ass. After that has gone on for a minute or so, she puts down her
head and opens her mouth, and the young one thrusts its beak in and
takes out its food.

Living in such cold countries, and spending so much time in the cold
water, the penguin needs to be well protected from the cold. And so it
is. Its short feathers are closely packed, and form a water-proof coat.
Under the skin there is a thick layer of fat, which helps to keep out
the cold; and, as we have already seen, the penguin eats enormous
quantities of food, much of which is no doubt used up in keeping the
bird warm. Some people tell us that the penguin's flesh is not
disagreeable to eat, while others say that it is far too oily to be
pleasant. In Newfoundland it used to be burnt upon the fires in place of
wood. The flesh is, indeed, so oily that in some places a lamp is said
to be made by sticking one end of a piece of moss into the body of a
dead penguin and lighting the other. The penguin's body serves as an
oil-vessel, and the moss as a wick.

W. A. ATKINSON.



CUTTING IT DOWN.


Those who follow their friends' advice in everything soon find that they
have to obey a good many different masters. A man was once setting up in
business as a hatter, and he consulted all his acquaintances as to what
he should set up as a sign outside his shop. He proposed 'John Thomson,
hatter, makes and sells hats for ready money,' with the sign of a hat.
But the first friend he asked suggested that the word 'hatter' was not
wanted, because the rest of the sentence showed that Thomson was a
hatter. So 'hatter' was struck out.

The next remarked that 'for ready money' was unnecessary; few people
desired credit for articles such as hats, and, in any case, the hatter
would know best whether credit could be given. Another omission was
therefore made.

The third friend declared that nobody cared to know who _made_ the hats,
so long as they could be bought. Accordingly, the sentence was cut down
to 'John Thomson sells hats,' with the sign.

But the last friend who was consulted objected to the words 'sells
hats.' 'The sign of the hat,' he said, 'will show your business; and
nobody expects you to give the hats away.'

Thus, by following the advice of all his friends, the hatter cut down
his announcement simply to 'John Thomson,' with the sign of a hat.



'A WILL OF HER OWN.'


Rosa was a Swedish girl. She had so often heard people say, 'Rosa has a
will of her own,' that she began to think it rather a fine thing, and
when people think it is rather a fine thing to be naughty, trouble is
sure to follow.

One beautiful summer day Rosa's mother said to her: 'Put on your Sunday
frock, Rosa, and take these eggs to your grandmother. You may stay to
tea, and play a little; but you must be back by seven o'clock.'

This pleased Rosa, for she was not often sent alone to her
grandmother's, although she lived quite near. Soon she was ready. She
looked very smart in her scarlet petticoat, bright apron, and white
blouse, and started off proudly with her little basket of eggs.

Her grandmother was a beautiful old lady with gold spectacles and
enormous white cap. She thanked Rosa for the eggs, gave her delicious
tea with strawberries, cream, and cakes, and then said, 'You can play in
the garden until the bell rings. Only do not go near the river.'

'Thank you,' said Rosa, meekly, and walked away.

When she had shut, the door, she gave her head a little toss and her
shoulders a little shake, and said: 'I only said "Thank you," not "Yes,
thank you," for I mean to go near the river. There is nowhere else to
play. Mother always lets me go by the river, so why should Grandmother
forbid it?'

Now, the stream where Rosa generally played was only a tributary, and
was not nearly so deep and wide as the main river where she now was.
Rosa stood on the bank watching the great pine-trunks, which, in Sweden,
are always floating down by the rivers to the sea. The woodmen cut the
trees down, mark them, and let them float where they will, and the
owners claim the logs when they reach the Baltic. Rosa and her brother
Rolf used to jump on these trees sometimes when they struck near the
shore, float down the stream a little way, and then jump off again. It
was always a dangerous game for children to play, but much more
dangerous on the large river than on the little tributary.

After a few minutes Rosa saw three large trunks, firmly bound together,
coming close up to her.

'What a lovely boat!' she cried. 'Oh, but I have on my best clothes!'

Rosa loved her clothes--but she loved floating on the river more; with a
skip and a little jump, there she was, perched like a bird on the
tree-trunks, floating away in the middle of the stream, with her scarlet
petticoat held out for a sail.

'Oh! how lovely,' she said to herself. 'I am going ever so much faster
than in our stream, and how far away the banks seem. I am like a big
steamer in the middle of the sea itself.'

For some time Rosa thoroughly enjoyed it. Then she became a little bit
afraid, though she was too proud to admit it, even to herself. There was
nothing on either side of the river, but deep pine forests that she did
not know. There was no sound but the rush of the river; and she wished
her little boat would go near the bank. Perhaps it would catch on that
bit of rock sticking out. No, the river gave it a wicked tug and swept
it round the point with a triumphant gurgle. Could Rosa catch an
overhanging tree? She tried to, but the effort nearly jerked her into
the water, and left nothing but a few crumpled leaves in her hand.

The thought of falling into that dark, cold water thoroughly frightened
her, and she now quite forgot even to pretend to enjoy herself. She
firmly stood on the logs, shutting her eyes tight, so as to try to
forget her fears.

Then a distant roar suddenly made Rosa scream with terror. 'The
waterfall! oh, the waterfall!'

Her father had told her of the great waterfall somewhere on the river.
She must be getting nearer and nearer to it every second. She looked
desperately to the banks; they seemed ever so far away, and the current
was swifter than ever, and looked dreadfully hungry and cruel.

'It will go quicker and quicker,' she thought, 'and the noise will be
louder and louder and louder, and there will be the edge, and then---- '

But Rosa never got any further; there was a jerk and a jar; the logs ran
into something with a bump and Rosa felt herself thrown off them on to
some hard, firm surface. She lay quite still for some time, for the
noise of the waterfall thundered in her ears, and she felt she must hold
on for dear life.

When at last she looked up, to her surprise she found herself on a tiny
beach, lying half in the water. She jumped to her feet, meaning to run
home as fast as she could; but she found that was impossible, for she
was on a little island just a few yards from the edge of the waterfall.

At first she could not think of anything but how glad she was to be on
dry land; but that feeling did not last long. She was soaking wet, and
very hungry; the weather had changed too--it was raining a little, and
the wind sighed through the great forest trees, making them creak and
groan.

All that Rosa could do was to make a poor little supper of a few wild
strawberries and beech-nuts, which grew on her island, rest against a
tree, and try to sleep. She woke early the next morning (for Swedish
summer nights are very short), and after eating some more strawberries
and beech-nuts, ran about in the sunshine to try to get warm.

Suddenly she spied a pair of little black eyes looking at her through
the leaves. It was a squirrel, very surprised to see a little girl in a
scarlet frock running about his island. He began to chatter to her, and
Rosa felt happier now she had a companion. She was so taken up with
watching him running up and down the trees, hunting for breakfast, that
she jumped when she suddenly heard a cry of 'Rosa, Rosa!' being shouted
behind her. It was her father on the mainland. She was so pleased to see
him that she nearly cried for joy. She could not get to him, however,
and it was some time before a boat could breast the current and rescue
her from her island.

Rosa was so pleased to be at home that she almost forgot how naughty she
had been, until her mother told her what a terribly anxious night she
and her father had had, and that they had not been to bed at all. That
made Rosa more sorry than her own unpleasant experiences had done; and
one result of her adventure was that she gave up thinking what a fine
thing it was to have a 'will of her own.'

[Illustration: "She was floating away in the midst of the stream."]

[Illustration: "The carpenter took off his coat."]



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1806.

IX.--A TALE OF A TUB.


[Illustration]

It was a fine June afternoon in the year 1806, and two boys, aged twelve
and thirteen, were strolling idly along the muddy shore of the Thames by
Millbank. There was no Embankment there then, nor indeed for many years
later, and so many strange things, thrown out from incoming ships, were
cast up by the tide on this side of the river, that it was the favourite
resort of the boys of the neighbourhood, especially as there was a
rumour that pearls had been found in several places on the muddy
foreshore.

This, however, must certainly have been romance on the boys' part,
though it was firmly believed in by most of the younger lads--our two
friends, Tom and Roger, being among the number--and they were to-day
walking with their eyes fixed on the mud, in hopes of finding treasure,
till Roger raising his head, exclaimed hastily--

'I say, Tom, look there!'

'Where?' inquired Tom, gazing across the river.

'No, not there!' said Roger, pulling his brother's sleeve to make him
turn round. 'Over there!' and he pointed down the river where a little
crowd was assembled by the side of the water.

'Let's go and have a look!' declared Tom. Away scudded Tom and Roger,
eager to miss nothing of what might be happening. The sight that had
drawn the crowd together was a fool-hardy young carpenter, who, for a
wager, had undertaken to row himself in a washing-tub from Millbank to
London Bridge.

'Will he do it, Tom?' asked Roger anxiously, as he looked at the sturdy
young carpenter, who was just about to step into the big tub which a
friend was holding steady for him.

'He may,' cautiously answered Tom. 'The river is smooth enough to-day,
but I should not care to be in his boat when he gets in the whirl of the
bridges; that tub will spin round like a tee-to-tum.'

The carpenter now took off his coat, and throwing it to his friend said
jokingly, 'It's yours, if I don't come back to claim it.'

'You will come back, right enough,' said his friend, as he handed him a
pair of sculls. Then with a cheer from the crowd--in which Tom and Roger
heartily joined--the tub was started on its adventurous voyage.

There was intense stillness on the part of the crowd as the tub went
rolling uneasily along, but in a minute the tension was relaxed, as
across the water came the notes of 'There was a jolly miller,' sung with
calm unconcern by the voyager in his strange craft.

'He will do it!' said Roger excitedly. 'It's not the first time he's
sailed in a tub, I feel sure, and if he keeps his head at the bridges he
will do it.'

'Let us hurry to London Bridge; we shall hear if he has got safe, even
if we are not in time to see him land,' said Tom.

'All right,' answered Roger, and off ran the two. They knew all the
short cuts through the City, and by dint of hard running they actually
arrived on the scene before the final act.

'There he is! there he is!' shouted Tom, 'and he is still singing. What
a plucky fellow he must be.'

There in the middle of the water was the tub, sure enough; but the worst
part of the journey had still to be done, for the tide swept very
swiftly under the narrow arches of London Bridge, and the tub spun round
and round till it seemed at one time that it would never make the land.

'It will be swamped!' cried impulsive Tom.

'No! no!' answered Roger, 'he's got it into quieter water already.
There! he's bringing it on shore, and close by us! Let's give him a
cheer, Tom.'

And with hearty goodwill the two boys set up a cheer, and then ran down
into the water to help drag up the tub, and to congratulate the hero of
this strange feat of 1806.



MARVELS OF MAN'S MAKING.

IX.--THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL.[2]


[Illustration]

The merchants of Manchester were not satisfied with the means they had
for receiving goods from abroad and dispatching their own in return.
They wanted to be nearer to the sea; but as Manchester was much too
large a place to be carried to the coast, it seemed more reasonable to
carry the sea to Manchester, and so turn the town into an inland port.
They had thought and thought about it for a very long time, without
being able to hit upon any satisfactory plan, when, in 1882, a Mr.
Daniel Adamson invited some friends to his house in the suburbs of
Manchester, and made a proposal and a suggestion which led to the
accomplishment of the great design. Mr. Adamson was a gentleman of great
energy and courage, and though cities might stand in the way, he would
bring the sea to Manchester when once he had made up his mind to do so.
It was almost safe to say that he would have cut the canal with his own
hands rather than fail in his determination. It is such men as he who
make England prosperous.

[Footnote 2: The illustrations are based upon photographs kindly
supplied by Mr. Banks, of Manchester.]

Permission having at last been gained from Parliament, a number of steam
dredgers arrived in the mouth of the Mersey, and work was begun. The
distance from the starting-point to Manchester is thirty-five and a half
miles, and over most of these the river itself was followed.

At Eastham, on the south side of the river, foundations were laid for
three locks side by side, and these form the entrance of the water-road
to Manchester. One or two points with regard to them must be mentioned.
In the first place they are not locks in the ordinary sense, as the
water that flows through them is tidal water; but they serve to keep
that tide in the canal at one uniform level. As they are within reach of
boisterous sea-water, there is an additional protecting gate in front of
each, while between them and the shore there are three large sluices to
regulate the passage of unusually heavy tides.

On passing through the Eastham lock, vessels bound for Manchester find
themselves in a channel about one hundred and seventy-two feet wide and
twenty-six feet deep, separated from the broader Mersey by a long
embankment thirty feet wide at the top, and following the curves of the
river for nine miles. But in that nine miles there are several sights to
see, for Eastham is not left very far behind when, on the right, the
river Weaver is reached. This is a broad river flowing into the Mersey,
and its ancient rights could not be taken away, though it was absolutely
necessary to control them. Consequently, all across its wide mouth a
number of sluice-gates, sliding up and down on rollers, had to be
erected. These are worked by hydraulic power, and are raised at suitable
times, according to the condition of the tide, when the water, flowing
from the Weaver across the canal, finds its way into the Mersey through
long openings in the top of the embankment of which we have spoken.

Streams less important than the Weaver are treated in a less dignified
way. Thus, a little farther on we come upon two small rivers which are
carried under the canal in huge cast-iron pipes. At the busy town of
Runcorn we reach the first railway bridge, and the canal is narrowed to
ninety-two feet, flowing in a graceful curve between concrete walls. The
railway bridge, as it stands to-day, was built by the Canal Company, for
the old one was too low for ships to pass beneath. It is now
seventy-five feet above the surface of the water, and all other fixed
bridges that cross the canal must be equally high.

Ten long straight miles beyond Runcorn a vessel comes to a halt in front
of the first lock on the canal proper. It is at a place called
Latchford. We are twenty-one miles from Eastham, and at the end of the
tidal course. Fourteen and a half more miles to Manchester--and in that
distance we have sixty feet and six inches to climb! As we move slowly
into the lock the hydraulic machinery is set in motion; the gate behind
us is closed, and the one in front slowly opens. In rushes the foaming
water, lifting our vessel as it rises in the lock, and in a few more
minutes we are steaming on our way--sixteen feet above the level of the
waters just left behind. We have mounted the first step in the watery
stairway leading to Manchester's front door.

Some seven miles further on another lock is reached, and passing
through this we shortly come in sight of what is, perhaps, the most
interesting engineering feat performed in this great enterprise. It is
the Barton swing bridge, and was constructed to carry the Bridgewater
Canal across the one upon which we are travelling in imagination. About
the year 1756 the young Duke of Bridgewater employed an engineering
genius named James Brindley to make a canal from his coal-mines near
Manchester to the town of Runcorn. With astounding skill, James Brindley
carried out the work, finding his greatest difficulty at the point of
which we are speaking. The river Irwell flowed directly across the
course of his canal and at a considerably lower level. Friends advised
him to lead his canal down to the river by a large number of small
locks, and lift it again on the other side by similar means. 'That is
the usual thing to do,' they said.

But Brindley preferred the _best_ way to the usual way, and boldly
carried his canal over the river on a stone bridge or aqueduct. It was
the first time such a thing had been done in England, and it served its
purpose for nearly one hundred and fifty years. Then the Manchester Ship
Canal comes along the Irwell, and the stone aqueduct must be turned into
a swing bridge, or how is any ship to pass?

'Very well,' said the owners of the Bridgewater Canal, 'but you must not
let much of our water be lost, for we have little to spare.'

And this is how Mr. Leader Williams, the engineer, got over the
difficulty. He built an island in the middle of the Ship Canal for the
iron bridge to turn upon, leaving the two ends free. The bridge itself
he made in the form of a long tank, nineteen feet wide and seven feet
deep, the two ends being hinged so that they would open and close like
doors. Strengthening iron girders, rising to a height of some twenty
feet, form the sides of the bridge, while cross-girders close in the
top. The two ends of the canal proper where it reaches the entrance to
the bridge, are also provided with watertight doors. When the bridge is
in position there is a narrow gap between its two ends and the canal.
This is filled up and made watertight by a ponderous wedge, weighing
twelve tons and shaped like a U, its sides and lower part thus
corresponding in outline with those of the tank and canal. The wedge is
further padded on each side with indiarubber which, when squeezed into
place, effectually prevents any leakage. As soon as a ship is signalled
on the Manchester canal, the doors at each end of the tank-bridge are
closed, together with those at the ends of the canal. Then the U wedge
is lifted from between them, and the bridge (weighing, with the water it
contains, sixteen hundred tons) is swung round on its island pivot till
the channels are open on either side. The ship passes by and the bridge
is swung back to its original position. The towing-path (for all craft
on the Duke of Bridgewater's canal are drawn by horses) is carried
across the bridge on an iron shelf, nine feet above the water.

Beyond Barton the Salford docks are reached, and after passing one more
lock, we sail triumphantly into the magnificent docks of Manchester to
which this thread of silver leads.

[Illustration: Barton Swing Bridge and Aqueduct. A huge Crane at Work.]

[Illustration: The Barton Aqueduct. Coming through the Aqueduct.]

When first the canal was opened Manchester seemed to be taken by
surprise, and hardly knew how to perform the part of a seaport; but that
is all changed now. The docks are growing fast, and only in 1905 their
Majesties the King and Queen opened a new dock two thousand seven
hundred feet long, two hundred and fifty feet wide, making an area of
fifteen and a half acres, and capable of accommodating ten of the
largest steamships entering the canal.

Thus this great city, at a cost of fifteen million pounds, opened its
gateway to the ocean, and receives at its doors rich freights of
merchandise from all quarters of the earth, though it stands thirty-five
miles away from the sound of the sea.



[Illustration: Iron-smelting in India.]

IRON-SMELTING IN INDIA.


In many parts of India iron is made in a very simple way, which has
probably been followed for centuries without much change. The
iron-worker builds a little furnace of clay, in the form of a tower
which is narrower at the top than at the bottom. This tower is only four
or five feet high, so that it is after all no bigger than the towers and
castles which children build in the sand; but its builder makes good use
of it, small though it is. The top of it is open, and at the bottom
there are one or two openings in the side, through which the iron-maker
can blow the air of a pair of bellows. These bellows are goat-skin bags,
which have been made by sewing up whole skins. A hollow bamboo is fitted
into the end of each bag, in order to form the pipes of the bellows and
there is also another opening in each bag which may be closed very
quickly by the man who blows the bellows. He works the bellows by
pressing upon the goat-skin bags with his feet, so as to drive out the
air through the pipe which is fixed in the end of each bag. He works two
bags at one time, pressing first upon one and then upon the other. While
he is pressing one bag, he raises the other, which is empty, and allows
it to fill again through the hole which has been left in it for that
purpose. In this way he contrives to have one bag filling with air,
while he is squeezing the air out of the other.

The smelter, before he can make iron, must have iron ore and fuel, as
well as furnace and bellows. The ore he has already dug from the ground
and arranged in a little heap near his furnace. It is usually a rather
dark-coloured stone, or a soft, red earth. The fuel is charcoal, which
the smelter makes by burning wood in a heap more or less covered with
earth, in such a way that the wood chars rather than burns away.

A very hot fire is needed to change the stony or earthy iron-ore into
iron, or rather to burn out the iron which lies in the ore, and the clay
furnace and the bellows are employed for the purpose of maintaining this
hot fire. The smelter lights the fire inside the bottom of his furnace,
and the tower acts as a sort of chimney. The pipes of the goat-skin
bellows are joined on to clay pipes which pass into the bottom of the
furnace, and lead the draught of air from the bags into the fire. The
bellows-pipes themselves cannot be put into the furnace, because they
would take fire.

When the smelter has got his fire well aglow, he places upon it a layer
of charcoal, and above that a thin layer of iron-ore. On the top of
these he puts another layer of charcoal and another of ore, and thus he
goes on loading his furnace until he thinks that he has filled it
sufficiently full. Then he works away at his bellows for three or four
hours.

At the end of this time the charcoal and much of the ore are burned
away, and there is not much left but glowing embers in the bottom of the
furnace. The smelter breaks a hole through the furnace, and, poking with
his tongs into the ashes, draws out a little red-hot ball of iron,
scarcely as large as a cricket ball, which has been formed from the ore,
partly by the heat of the fire, and partly by the help of the red-hot
charcoal which has acted chemically upon the ore. This little ball of
iron is well hammered, in order to knock out any ashes which may have
lodged in it, and it is then ready to be worked up into an implement, or
to be made into steel for a sword-blade or some other weapon.



THE PRINCESS HAS COME.


  The white snow has gone from the vale and the mountain;
  The ice from the river has melted away;
        The hills far and near
        Are less winterly drear,
  And the buds of the hawthorn are peeping for May.
  I hear a light footstep abroad in my garden;
   Oh, stay, does the wind through the shrubbery blow?
        There's warmth in the breeze,
        And a song in the trees,
   And the Princess of Springtime is coming, I know.

  The crocus has lighted its lamp in the forest,
   Though it shelters its flame with a close-drawn green hood;
        The primrose peeps out,
        With a shiver of doubt,
   And wonders if winter has left us for good.
  But hark, from afar comes the sound of a bugle!
   Or is it the bee where the rose-bushes grow?
        He loiters so long,
        With such joy in his song,
   That the Princess of Springtime is coming, I know.

  The blackbird has climbed to the top of the cedar,
   And there in the sunshine he whistles a strain.
        'She's coming! She's here!'
        Are his messages clear,
   As squadrons of swallows sweep by in the lane.

  Now the woodlands rejoice with the green-tinted hedges;
   The young wheat peeps up and the blue sky looks down.
        Then out and away!
        Our respects we must pay,
   When the Princess of Springtime is wearing her crown.



THE MISUNDERSTOOD POETS.


The village wiseacres of Cumberland, to whom the habits of the poet
Wordsworth and his eccentric friend Coleridge were a mystery, had
decided that they must be terrible scoundrels. One sage had seen
Wordsworth looking fixedly at the moon; another had overheard him
muttering in some strange language. Some thought him a conjuror; some a
smuggler, from his perpetually haunting the sea-beach; while others were
sure that he was a desperate French conspirator.

One day, while on a walking excursion, Coleridge met a woman, who, not
knowing who he was, abused him to himself in unmeasured terms for some
time. 'I listened,' wrote the poet to a friend, 'very particularly,
appearing to approve all she said, exclaiming "Dear me!" two or three
times; and, in fine, so completely won her heart by my civilities, that
I had not courage enough to undeceive her.'

This hostility seems very ludicrous now; but at the time its effect was
such, that the person who had the letting of Allfoxenden House refused
point-blank to re-let it to Wordsworth.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

II.--AGRICULTURAL ACROSTIC.


  My first is very quiet,
  My second was very noisy,
  My third is very watery,
  My fourth is often very fierce,
  My fifth is very musical,
  My sixth is done to newspapers.

  Every week my finals and initials are held in many large towns.

W. S.

[_Answers on page_ 323.]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWERS TO PUZZLES ON PAGE 254.

  9.--1. Board.
      2. Death.
      3. March.

10.--_Lilac_.

  1.  H e _L_ e n.
  2.  C r _I_ m e.
  3.  G a _L_ e n.
  4.  T r _A_ i n.
  5.  B a _C_ o n.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 275._)


Thomas advanced towards Estelle cautiously, an artful smile on his face.
Before the little girl was aware of his presence, he was close to her.

'Hush!' he muttered, fearing she would cry out; 'you come along with me,
and I will take you home, my lady. It is not true friends that keep you
here. I know my lady is dying to see you.'

He caught her suddenly in his arms, and bore her back into the tent. The
curtains dropped heavily behind him, just as Estelle, the spell of her
terror broken, uttered the cry Jack had heard.

Jack turned at the sound; so did Julien; so did Mrs. Wright. But Estelle
was nowhere to be seen. No further sound betrayed her whereabouts.

But Jack was not a man to be easily disconcerted. Mrs. Wright and Julien
stood still in consternation, but Jack made up his mind at once. He was
naturally impetuous and hasty in thought and action. Only the sore
troubles through which he had passed, and the knowledge that he had
brought so much unhappiness on his mother as well as on himself by his
quick temper, had had power to make him as calm and gentle as he had
shown himself to Estelle. It was as if a fire smouldered within him
always, but was held in restraint by a strong will.

Now, however, calmness was cast to the winds. The child was in danger.
She had no helper but himself. Till her parents were found she was _his_
child--his by right of being her protector, her preserver. On him she
depended for everything; on him and his mother. Who had dared to touch
her? His face flushed, then turned white. His keen eye searched every
corner. There was one place only in which the child could have been
concealed--the tent. She had been standing near it when he turned to
give the coppers to the children.

Without an instant's hesitation he sprang forward, the curtains were
thrust aside, and he was among the tawdry, excited crowd of play-actors.
They had been resting between the performances. Suddenly they were
startled by one of their number rushing through the tent with a child in
his arms, whose cries he was stifling with a large cloak. None
understood what the noise was about, nor had any of the men and women
seen the face of the little girl; therefore none were interested, and
none stirred themselves to ask what had happened. Only one spoke--she
whose cloak had been snatched up to enfold the child. She called out a
rough remonstrance, but Thomas answered her hurriedly, as he tried to
wind the garment closely about Estelle, with small regard as to whether
she could breathe or not.

'The child has been kidnapped,' he said, quickly. 'I know her parents,
and I must---- '

He got no further. Jack was upon him. The sudden appearance of the tall
sailor in hot pursuit caused a sensation among the people standing
about. The men pressed forward to see what would happen, and were
knocked over by the giant. A storm of resentment arose as they struggled
to their feet, and threatening fists were shaken at Jack. None, however,
ventured to attack the broad-shouldered, sinewy sailor, whose gigantic
height and powerful arms inspired awe. At sight of him Thomas caught up
the little girl, the cloak still trailing on the ground and hampering
his movements, and tried to escape through another opening in the
curtains of the tent. He did not require a second look at Jack's enraged
face and blazing eyes to understand that in him Estelle had a mighty
defender, who was not likely to let her kidnapper off easily. It seemed
barely a moment before violent hands were laid on Thomas's collar, the
child torn out of his hands, and himself hurled back among the angry
crowd behind him. A murmur of increasing wrath went up, but Jack paid no
heed to it. Getting rid of the cloak, and taking Estelle in his arms,
he strode out of the tent to where he had left his mother and Julien.
Estelle had fainted, and he was anxious to get her home as quickly as
possible. Her white, unconscious face alarmed him.



CHAPTER XVI.


Mrs. Wright and Julien were still where Jack had left them. Both had
been too frightened to move, and now the sight of him, as he hurried
towards them with Estelle's insensible form in his arms, alarmed them.

'Not dead!' cried Mrs. Wright, with a catch in her throat.

'No, thank Heaven! M. Julien, will you run for the doctor, and send him
down to the Hospice at once? Mother, I will get on ahead, and perhaps M.
Julien will come with you as soon as he has spoken to the doctor.'

Julien agreed gladly. He could not have borne to leave them at such a
time, and he felt some relief that he was able to do something to help.

'The doctor is in one of the shows, but I will soon find him,' he said.
'If you will walk on, Madame, I will catch you up in no time.'

Jack was already almost out of sight, watched by a curious crowd. The
incident had made some stir, and various versions of it were circulated
among the throng. To his dismay, Thomas found that his action might have
very serious consequences. His word would go for nothing against Jack's.
The sailor was too well known, and too highly respected, for Thomas to
hope that even a man like Fargis would say a word against him. All the
blame would naturally fall upon Thomas, and his explanations would not
be believed. Things looked blacker still when he discovered that the
police were making inquiries about him.

In dismay he crept out of sight, and remained in hiding till the caravan
began to prepare for departure. Then, after receiving his wages, he
disappeared. When Jack, in the afternoon of the following day, made
inquiries as to his whereabouts, no one could tell anything. The man had
not gone with the caravan, that was the sole piece of information Jack
was able to gather.

Meantime, Estelle's unconsciousness lasted long enough to alarm even the
doctor. He and Goody were doing all in their power, while Jack and
Julien stood close by the sofa with anxious faces, but ready to do
anything which might be possible for them. Oh, how often in that time of
suspense did Goody wish that she had heeded Jack's misgivings, and
refrained from going to the Fête des Loges! It had proved anything but a
joyous festival to them. She doubted whether they had seen the end of
the bad business. Who knew where the man might be who had seized
Estelle, or whether he might not again make efforts to carry her off?
Would the child be safe anywhere in the absence of Jack? Would she, a
weak elderly woman, be a match for such a man while left in sole charge
of the child? Could she ever see Jack go off to sea without fearing what
might happen while he was away, and beyond reach of recall? Such
thoughts tortured her mind as she leant over the little girl, and obeyed
the doctor's directions.

(_Continued on page 234._)

[Illustration: "Jack was upon him."]

[Illustration: "A terrible sight met their view."]



STORIES FROM AFRICA.

X.--THE LAST TIME.


[Illustration]

Early in the September of 1905, a short announcement appeared in the
daily papers under the heading of 'German East Africa,' 'Masasi has been
destroyed.' There had been for some time past disquieting news of
rebellion among the native tribes, and grievous reports of the murder of
white men working in the district. To ninety-nine people out of a
hundred, Masasi was only another outlandish name of an unknown station.
But the hundredth person read the meagre intelligence with a thrill of
dismay, asking himself the question, 'Does history repeat itself, or
have we gone back three and twenty years?'

Nearly thirty years ago, a party of those released slaves, of whom we
spoke in a former story,[3] were brought from Zanzibar and settled at
Masasi, some four hundred miles southward, and a hundred and twenty
miles from the German port of Lindi. The place is situated upon a high
plateau above the river Rovuma, on fertile ground, easy to cultivate,
and with grand mountain peaks towering above it. Here the little
community grew and nourished, people from the neighbouring country came
to be taught, and for six years all went well. Then came a threatening
of trouble. Far away, near the shores of Lake Nyasa, dwelt a tribe known
as the Magwangwara--Zulus, who, says the story, were once defeated in
warfare, and settled there rather than return home to meet death at the
hands of their own countrymen. Tidings of the coming of the Europeans
had reached this fierce race, to whom war was the business of life, and
they had announced their intention of measuring their strength against
the white men. They were marching eastward, and had shaken their spears
towards Masasi.

[Footnote 3: See page 243.]

Mr. Maples, one of the two Englishmen in charge of the station, started
at once, with five of his own men, to meet the invaders, and try to
persuade them to peace. On the afternoon of their second day's journey,
they discovered, to their dismay, that they had missed the enemy, for
they came upon the camping-ground of a large army, and could see their
tracks, marking the _détour_ by which they had escaped meeting the
little embassy. There was nothing for it but to return as quickly as
possible, in the hope of catching them up before they reached Masasi.
All that night they hurried along, making what speed they could in the
darkness; but when, soon after dawn, they reached the outskirts of their
own territory, some four miles from Masasi, a terrible sight met their
view--columns of smoke were rising from the place where their dwellings
had stood. Clearly the village had been attacked, their friends were
dead or captive, and nothing remained but to learn their fate, and in
all probability to share it.

Kneeling, in sight of their burning homes, the little party commended
themselves to God's keeping, and were starting forward again, when
shouts were heard close to them, and they found themselves in the midst
of an armed body of the Magwangwara. Only Mr. Maples' presence of mind,
and the perfect obedience of his followers, saved them from instant
death. At his word of command the little band laid down their guns, and,
though thrown to the ground and threatened by the assegais of their
enemies, made no attempt at resistance, while Mr. Maples, trusting to
the well-known awe of the natives for a white man, remained perfectly
calm, fixing his eyes upon the assailants, and explaining by gestures
that he and his party intended no violence. After a few moments'
consultation, the Magwangwara bade them go into Masasi, but Mr. Maples,
realising that this would probably mean death, or at any rate slavery,
for his followers, without the hope of saving their friends, decided to
strike eastward to Newala, a village some fifty miles away. The chief
there was friendly to the white men, and, if any one had escaped from
Masasi, it was to Newala that they would probably go.

So, once out of sight of the war party, they started upon a terrible
journey through the thick bush, avoiding the beaten track, and every
moment expecting a fresh attack by one of the scattered bands of the
enemy. The heat was overpowering, the party had no food with them, and,
to add to their troubles, Mr. Maples sprained his leg so badly as to
make progress after sunset impossible. By morning, however, he was able
to go forward, and there was another painful day's journey, still
without food, save for a little sour fruit and cassava root, though
water was mercifully plentiful. As they drew nearer to Newala, a
terrible question began to weigh upon them all--what would they find?
Was it possible that Matola, the friendly chief, would be there to
receive them? Was it not more than likely that the village would be
deserted, the inhabitants escaped to the bush, and neither food nor
shelter awaiting the worn-out fugitives? Haunted by these fears they lay
down for another night of hunger and uncertainty, eleven miles from
Newala, and then, on Sunday morning, pressed on once more. Their hearts
sank at finding the huts on the outskirts of the village deserted. Then
came a joyful sight, a native carrying fowls, the universal food in
Central Africa. He was hailed, and the eager question asked, 'Is Matola
here?'

'Yes,' was the ready answer, 'he waited for you. He felt sure some of
you would come, since Masasi has been destroyed.'

A good reply, this, to the accusation that the Central African tribes
are incapable of gratitude or devotion. Matola was a heathen chief, used
all his life to the sudden flights from a stronger foe which are the
custom in this land of raids; but the lives of the white men, who came
to Africa without hope or gain for love of their dark brothers, had
taught him something of a higher law than that of self-preservation. The
best he had was at the service of his exhausted guests, and, with a
tact and consideration not always found even among Europeans, he
insisted on hearing and sifting all the reports brought in by fugitives
before they reached the ears of Mr. Maples, whose sprain kept him for
some days unable to move.

After all, only seven of the Masasi people had been killed in the first
mad onslaught of the Magwangwara. The rest were saved by strict
obedience to the order to make no resistance. For twelve days the
terrible visitors remained in their camp near the village, while Mr.
Maples' colleague, Mr. Porter, exhausted all his bales of cloth, the
current coin between Europeans and Africans, in ransoming those of his
people who had been seized and carried as slaves to the camp. When at
last the war party retreated, they carried with them twenty-nine of the
Masasi people. Mr. Porter, having replenished his store of cloth, set
off after them, and actually remained a month among the Magwangwara,
bargaining for the freedom of the prisoners. Some of the poor creatures
were already dead, some had escaped, or had passed to other owners, but
Mr. Porter succeeded in ransoming the rest. He must have gone with his
life in his hand, since the Magwangwara believed the heart of a white
man to be an invaluable charm, and had announced their intention of
securing one when starting on their raid. But the quiet tact of the
Englishman conquered the savages, and Mr. Porter returned in safety with
his ransomed people, bearing the blunted spear of the Magwangwara in
token of peace.

Such is the story of the first destruction of Masasi twenty-three years
ago. Of the two Englishmen who stood so stoutly by their people through
those anxious days, one sleeps in his grave by Lake Nyasa, drowned in
the waters of which he wrote with such enthusiastic love. The other, Mr.
Porter, was one of the little group of fugitives, who, on a Sunday night
in August, 1905, turned their backs, with sore hearts, upon the
district, for the agitation was against white men only, and, without
them, the natives would be safe from attack.



CRÉBILLON AND THE RAT.


Claude De Crébillon, son of the well-known French poet of that name, and
himself a man of letters of some merit, had been sent to the prison of
St. Vincent on account of his writings. The first night he spent there
he had scarcely fallen asleep when he was roused by feeling something
warm and rough in his bed. He took the thing for a kitten, drove it
away, and went on sleeping. In the morning he was sorry to have
frightened the poor animal, for he was fond of cats, and in the solitude
any companion would have been agreeable. He sought in all corners, but
could not find anything alive. At noon, he was just beginning to eat his
frugal meal, when he perceived an animal sitting on his hind legs and
looking steadfastly at him; he thought at first that it was a very small
monkey, and rose to have a nearer view of it, for the room was none of
the lightest. He held a bit of meat in his hand, and the creature came
to meet him; but what was his surprise when he saw that he had to deal
with a remarkably large and well-fed rat! Now, rats were detested by
him; he could not even bear the sight of them. He would almost have
preferred to see a rattlesnake in his room, and he uttered a cry of
horror on making the discovery.

The visitor disappeared immediately, but in his place came the jailor,
who had been attracted by the exclamation. He laughed at the prisoner,
and told him that his predecessor in the cell had tamed the rat when it
was young, and that the two fellow-lodgers had become so intimate as to
eat continually together. 'I was so interested,' he continued, 'that
when the man obtained his liberty, I tried to win the affections of the
animal, and you shall see how far I have succeeded.' With these words he
seized something on the table and called out, 'Raton! Raton! Come here,
my little friend.' Immediately Raton's head was protruded, and as soon
as he saw his well-known benefactor, he did not hesitate for a moment to
jump upon his hand and to eat what had been offered to him. From this
moment Raton was restored to all his former rights and privileges; and
Crébillon related afterwards to his friends, that he had tried to obtain
the creature from the jailor, and that the latter's refusal had actually
cost him tears at his release from prison.



THE SOLDIER OF ANTIGONUS.


A soldier of Antigonus was once ill with a terrible disease, the pain of
which robbed him of all joy in life. He had ever been foremost in the
fray and the bravest of the brave, for he strove by reckless daring to
dull his pain, thinking that he had nothing to fear and nothing to lose.

Antigonus admired this ardour shown in his service, and at last sent for
a doctor, whose skill found means to cure the man. But as soon as he was
healed, the warrior lived at his ease, and no longer took the lead in
the battle, for he desired to live, he said, now that life was no longer
a burden, but a joy.

The noblest work is often done by the weakest hands--by those whose
courage is redoubled by pain and misfortune.



MY GARDEN.


  I have a little Garden
    Where many flowers are seen;
  Bright lilies bend beside the walks
    And daisies in the green.
  There pansies grow and tulips,
    And many a lovely flower;
  They blossom in my Garden,
    And give me joy each hour.

  I have another Garden
    That I must tend with care,
  And fill with lovely growing things,
    Lest weeds should gather there.
  May sweetness, kindness, mercy,
    And joy be in each part;
  To grace this other Garden,
    The Garden of my heart.



THE MUSIC OF THE NATIONS.

X.--THE MARIMBAS OF ZULULAND, GUATEMALA, AND COSTA RICA.


[Illustration]

The Zulus, or more correctly the Amazulus, take the front rank amongst
the native tribes of the African continent. Their code of laws, military
arrangements, and orderly settlements resemble those of civilised
nations at many points.

Their dances are a national feature, and a great company of young
warriors performing a solemn war dance is a most impressive sight. One
of their chief instruments is the 'Marimba' or 'Tyanbilo,' a form of
harmonium. The keys are bars of wood called Intyari, of graduated size.
These are suspended by strings from a light wooden frame, either resting
on the ground, or hung round the neck of the player. Between every two
keys is a wooden bar crossing the centre bar to which the keys are
attached. On each key two shells of the fruit known as the Strychnos
McKenzie, or Kaffir Orange, are placed as resonators, one large and one
small. The use of resonators is to increase and deepen the sound. The
Marimba is played with drum-sticks of rubber, and the tone is good and
powerful.

[Illustration: Zulu Marimba.]

Another form of Marimba is popular amongst the natives of Guatemala, in
Central America. Its construction is much that of a rough table, the top
being formed of twenty-eight wooden bars or keys, from each of which
hangs a hollow piece of wood, varying in size; these take the place of
the resonating shells of the Zulu Marimba. The instrument is usually
about six and a half feet long, by two and a half wide, and the keys are
struck by hammers topped with rubber. Three performers often play
together with great skill. This form of Marimba is also met with amongst
the natives of Costa Rica.

African instruments are as a rule very noisy, their chief use being to
alarm the enemy in war-times. An amusing story is told of Sir Samuel
Baker, the explorer. When quartered for a time near the native town of
Masinda, where dwelt the King of the Unyori, he was startled one
evening, when the air was perfectly still, by the deep tone of a Nogara
or native drum. This, ceasing as suddenly as it had begun, was followed
by a terrific burst of sound, thousands of human voices yelling like
maniacs and endless horns playing their loudest, besides the clashing of
everything that could be persuaded to make a noise. Calling for his
dragoman, or guide, Sir Samuel inquired what all this meant, and was
gravely informed that it was all for his benefit, that he might be
thoroughly frightened and quit the neighbourhood. The leader forthwith
sent an order to the bandmaster of his regiment to assemble his men and
make them play their very loudest, after which the clamour from the town
speedily came to an end.

[Illustration: Guatemalan Marimba.]

A tribe called the Niam Niam make a drum like a wooden horse, which is
beaten on all sides at once, and certainly fulfils the condition of
noise. Many tribes use a rattle, or 'Sanje,' which has the merit of
simplicity, being merely a gourd filled with pebbles. The negroes of the
Soudan play cymbals made of two thin plates of iron, after the plan of
saucepan-lids, with handles of leather, whilst the Ashantees have a love
for the clanging of brass pots, either banged together or struck with
sticks; and some of the Congo tribes use a rude kind of bagpipes.

It must be remembered that the natives have not only human beings and
wild beasts to scare, but believe in and dread a vast army of evil
spirits, who they think must be kept at a distance and prevented by
terrifying noises from exercising their powers.



CURIOUS GRANARIES.


[Illustration]

When the English farmer has cut his ripe corn, he gathers in the
sheaves, and piles them up into neat corn-stacks. After a time he sends
for a thrashing machine, with the help of which he is able quickly to
separate the corn from the straw. The grain is placed in sacks, and
these are put away in a dry barn, until the farmer can sell them to some
miller or maltster, who will take the grain away, and make it into
flour, horse-corn, or malt. The farmer must take care, however, that his
corn does not get wet, for if it does it will turn mouldly and spoil;
and he must also see that the rats and mice do not reach it, for if they
do he is sure to lose some of his precious harvest.

If the English farmer, who has strong-walled and well-roofed barns, must
take watchful care of his corn, the poor savage, who knows no better
dwelling than a wooden or mud hut, can scarcely take sufficient care to
save his little harvest from destruction almost as soon as it is reaped.
He has far more enemies than the English farmer. In a wild, tropical
country, rats, mice, and similar grain-eating animals are much more
numerous, ants and weevils are terribly destructive, and enemies of the
human kind frequently plunder the grain-stores. The tropical rain is
heavy and often almost incessant, and the warm nights help on the growth
of mildew, when once it has begun. In the tropical parts of Africa it is
almost impossible to keep the grain from the harvest for more than a few
months, and the natives save nothing from harvest to harvest, but eat it
all up, rather than let it be consumed by the ants or spoiled by the
rains. And thus, when the harvest fails, they are quickly reduced to
starvation.

[Illustration: A Clay Grain Storehouse.]

It is interesting to see what clever attempts many savages make to save
their little stores of corn from their enemies. The Kaffirs dig deep
holes in their cattle enclosures, and plaster them very carefully with
clay, which sets hard, and forms a good protection against insects. They
leave an opening level with the ground, and when they have filled the
hole with corn, this opening is covered over, and plastered up like the
sides, and thus the grain is secured, as if it were in a sealed jar.

[Illustration: Grain Huts.]

Some tribes of North American Indians used to store their corn, and even
their dried meat and pemmican, in similar underground holes, which the
French backwoodsmen called _caches_. The holes were shaped liked a jug
six or seven feet deep with a narrow mouth at the top, and this mouth
was sealed up when the cache was filled. The corn and meat were packed
round the side with prairie-grass, and, when the cache was properly
sealed, they were quite safe from the effects of the weather.

It is a very common practice in hot countries to raise the corn-stores
high above the ground, out of the way of mice and, to some extent,
insects. In many parts of Africa the corn of the harvests is placed in
closed baskets or wicker-work frames, and hung from the branches of
trees. In some of the hilly districts of India we may see little
grain-huts, the shape of bee-hives, which are raised upon posts. The
natives of the Madi country, near the head of the Albert Nyanza, in
Central Africa, make similar granaries of plastered wicker-work, which
are supported upon four posts and have a thatched roof. The same people
have also another kind of wicker-work granary, which looks like a huge
cigar stuck point-downwards upon the top of a post four feet high. In
reality the post is about twenty feet long, and extends through the
whole length of the cigar-shaped body. About four feet from the ground a
number of long reeds are bound upon the pole, so that they stand out
somewhat like the spokes of a wheel. The ends of these reeds are bent
upwards towards the pole, as if they were the ribs of a half-closed
umbrella turned upside down, and wicker-work is woven in and out of them
so as to form a basket. This is filled with corn, and by means of other
reeds and wands the basket is extended upwards to within a few feet of
the top of the post. When the whole of the basket thus formed is loaded
with grain, a little roof or cap of reeds is made round the top of the
pole, like the cover of an open umbrella held upright, and this roof is
brought down until it meets the basket below, to which it is joined. In
this manner the grain is enclosed in a cigar-shaped basket, which is
raised a few feet from the ground.

The Nubians make little cylindrical grain-vessels of clay, which they
seal up, and place upon the top of tall stones. Many of the tribes of
Southern Africa build up clay store-vessels of various shapes, which
they raise from the ground by means of posts. One tribe, the Golos,
fashions its clay grain-holder in the shape of a drinking-cup. This is
poised upon a central post, and kept in its place by means of wooden
props. A pointed roof, which may be lifted off like a lid, is placed
over it, in order to keep out the rain or any intruder from above.



THE SUGAR MAPLE.


The Sugar Maple belongs to the same family of trees as our common maple
and sycamore. It grows in Canada and the northern parts of the United
States. Most of the maples contain a large amount of juice, which flows
freely when the stem of the tree is cut. In the Sugar Maple this juice
is very abundant, and so sweet that the Indians and settlers obtain
large quantities of sugar from it.

In the month of March, when the sap begins to ascend in the tree, the
sugar-makers build temporary sheds in or near the woods. They first tap
the trees by boring a hole, from one to two inches deep, into the stem
of each maple. A short tube is inserted into the hole, and the sap of
the tree flows through it, and is caught in a pail or trough placed at
the foot of the tree. The amount of sap which each tree yields varies
considerably, but the average is from two to three gallons each day. It
is said that some trees have yielded the enormous amount of twenty
gallons in one day, while sometimes, on the other hand, the quantity is
not more than a pint. The trees, which grow in small clumps, and thus
obtain more light and air, are more profitable as sugar-producers than
those which grow in forests. The maple-sap continues to flow from the
tree for about six weeks.

From time to time the Indians, or settlers, collect the contents of the
various vessels placed against the trees, and empty the juice into large
kettles, which hold from fifteen to twenty gallons each. One man can
usually attend to two or three hundred trees in this way, if they are
not too far apart. The juice in the kettles is boiled over fires until
the sugar begins to form into solid crystals. Sometimes milk, or white
of eggs, is added to the juice, in order to separate the impurities,
which rise to the surface, and are skimmed off with a ladle. The whole
operation is very simple and rough, when compared with the great care
which is given to the manufacture of sugar from the sugar-cane; the
sugar obtained from the maple, though not so pure, is the same in kind
as cane-sugar. The juice from the maple must be boiled within about
twenty-four hours after it has flowed from the tree. If kept longer than
this it begins to ferment, and quickly spoils. A good maple will yield
sufficient sap to make about four pounds of sugar every year.



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 287._)


The colour was coming again into Estelle's white face, and presently
there was a flutter of the eyelids. Then she opened her eyes, and gave a
bewildered glance at the friends collected round her. She closed them
for a moment, as if weary, but only to open them again and smile as she
looked up at the anxious faces.

'Come, this is disgraceful,' said the doctor; 'I did not expect to have
you on my hands again so soon.'

Estelle smiled; then, recollection returning, she glanced round with
terror in her eyes.

'Jack! Oh, where's Jack?'

He came and knelt at her side, and took her hand protectingly in his own
strong fingers.

'I'm here, Missy,' he said, in a voice that brought to her a sense of
security and peace. 'You are all right now, and quite safe.'

'You see, Jack,' continued the little girl, in a pleading tone, 'I did
have something to be afraid of when you were away. You won't be angry if
I can't bear you to go away again, will you?'

'What had you to be afraid of?' asked the doctor, his keen eyes watching
her changing face.

'I did not know then,' replied Estelle, putting her free hand on her
chest; 'but I felt _here_ that there was something I could not
understand, and I did not want Jack to go.'

'What sort of a feeling?' asked the doctor again.

'That something would happen. And you see I was right. Something _did_
happen, and it was only Jack who could have saved me from Thomas.'

'Thomas?' repeated the doctor, in the same quiet tone, while Jack and
his mother only kept silent and motionless with difficulty. Their
excitement was great, for they were on the verge of discovering who
their little foundling was, and sadness had at least as large a share of
their hearts as joy. Did it not mean that they would lose her sunny
presence with them?

'Yes,' Estelle was saying, as she gazed up in surprise at her
questioner, 'Thomas, Aunt Betty's under-gardener. He tried to---- '

Like a flash the truth had broken upon her. She remembered!

With eyes wide open, she stared in awe and amazement at the earnest
faces around her. Mrs. Wright's eyes were brimming over. Julien's were
full of sorrow and trouble. For him, it meant losing her altogether.
Jack only held his little girl's hand more closely, giving no other
sign.

'So it has come at last, Missy,' he said, softly.

'Oh, Jack!' cried Estelle, her face flushing and paling in alarming
alternations, 'I know now! I am Estelle de Bohun, and I live with my
great-aunt, Lady Coke, at the Moat House, because my father, Lord
Lynwood is abroad. Oh, Jack! Oh, Goody!'

And she burst into tears.

Long did Jack and his mother sit up that night, discussing with their
good friend the doctor what it was their duty to do. Julien had gone
home, and was keeping his father and mother up later than usual, while
he related to them the events of the evening. M. le Préfet, as head of
the police in Tout-Petit, ordered that a search should be begun at once
for Lady Coke's late gardener. It was not merely for the sake of
punishing him as he deserved, but that some information might be
gathered from him which could help to restore the little lady to her
family. Julien and his father grew quite excited at the prospect of the
search, in which the boy wished earnestly to share. It was all he could
do to help the little girl to whom he had grown so strangely attached.
Perhaps, in the bottom of his heart, he hoped he might lay claim to some
gratitude for such service as it was in his power to give in the search,
and that he might yet see his little friend again in consequence. He had
never before desired to go to England; it had always been 'perfidious
Albion' to him till he met Estelle, but now his views had changed. He
longed to see her in her own home, to feel that when she left France it
would not mean final separation. He reflected on the chance of his
desires being granted somewhat sadly as he mounted the stairs to go to
bed; the prospect seemed too remote.

Jack's visit to the house of Fargis, to make inquiries about Thomas, was
the result of the consultation he had had with the doctor. Estelle's
memory seemed to have returned, and she had been able to answer all the
questions put to her, except those regarding the locality of the Moat
House. She had driven into Matherton with Lady Coke only once or twice,
and as it had become the custom in the family to call it 'the town,'
Estelle was not sufficiently familiar with the neighbourhood to have
remembered the name. Jack knew the coast, however, and believed he could
find out all about the families living in that part. Should he go alone
first, and return for the child when he had full information? But
Estelle's horror of being left without the security of his presence made
the doctor forbid that course. Should he appeal to the British Consul at
Nantes?

'Why don't you ask Thomas?' put in Estelle, who had just come into the
room as they were talking. 'He knows, for he has been all his life at
the Moat House. His mother has a cottage on the property.'

'Listen,' said the doctor, at last; 'the child is not strong, as this
fainting fit has proved to us. The expense of a long journey is more
than we can meet all at once. So wait a little. By the middle of the
month, or a little later, these winds will have blown themselves out.
Then you can charter Fargis' smack, and cruise round the coast till you
find where this Moat House is. It will be far less costly a way of
setting to work than going to England by the regular route, with inns
and trains into the bargain when you get there, and no certainty as to
where to go.'

If Thomas could not be found, this was certainly the best course to
pursue. Nevertheless, Jack did his best to trace the ex-gardener, aided
by M. le Préfet and his police. Julien would have been one of the
keenest of the searchers, but he was wanted at the Hospice de la
Providence. Both Mrs. Wright and Jack thought it was good for Estelle to
have a companion in her wanderings on the sea-shore. Their minds were
more at rest while Julien was with her, for he was a lad of coolness and
resource, and he was alive to the risk of Thomas turning up when least
expected.

Julien was only too delighted at the trust placed in him, and meant to
fulfil it like a man. Mrs. Wright and Jack--and most of all,
Estelle--should see that their confidence in him was not misplaced. He
thought long and earnestly over what he should do if Thomas did show
himself suddenly on one of their walks. Could he defend Estelle? What
was his strength compared to that of the ex-gardener? Still, if he was
not caught in a cave, he thought defence was just possible. He decided,
however, it was safer not to wander too far from the Hospice de la
Providence.

One evening, about a week after the _fête_, Jack announced that he was
going out trawling that night. It was no longer possible to put off his
work. Mrs. Wright and Estelle looked up at him with eves full of fear;
but, remembering the scene that had taken place when last he had gone,
neither of them said a word. Estelle drooped her head, and tears would
come in spite of her efforts to keep them back. Her heart sank when Jack
appeared in his oilskins, and it was with quivering lips and flushed
face that she said good-bye. He smiled encouragingly while he gave his
mother directions about securing the outer door as soon as he was gone.

'I have made everything fast inside,' he said, 'and I do not think you
need have any fears. I shall be back as early as possible. Now,
good-bye, and keep together. Go to sleep, Missy, and be down on the
beach when the boats come in.'

'I will go with Julien up to the cliff,' said Estelle, holding Jack's
hand very tight in her efforts to keep down her terror at his going.
'All the women will be there to watch for the boats, and I will wave my
handkerchief for you.'

'No,' replied Jack, decidedly, 'I won't have you go so far from Mother
in my absence. It will be better for you both to remain here. Julien
will come and keep you company all day; but I don't expect to be away as
long as that.'

Mrs. Wright followed him to the outer door, fastened it securely, and
returning, locked and barricaded the inner one. She did not fear attack,
but she knew it would give Estelle a greater feeling of safety. Though
her eyes wandered now and again round the vast kitchen, Estelle bore up
bravely. There certainly appeared to be more dark corners than even Mrs.
Wright had ever noticed before. 'But,' murmured the cheery old woman,
determined not to be fanciful, 'what did the corners matter, however
dark they might be, if they were empty?'

(_Continued on page 298._)

[Illustration: "'Good-bye, and keep together!'"]

[Illustration: "She waited in breathless silence, a pistol ready in her
hand."]



THE GIANT OF THE TREASURE CAVES.

(_Continued from page 295._)


Jack was gone. Suddenly Mrs. Wright's heart misgave her. The bookcase!
Had Jack thought of that? Her eyes rested upon it for a second,
fascinated. She dare not let them linger there for fear Estelle should
perceive her doubts. She felt restless, uneasy. She wished she had not
reminded Jack about it, and yet she did not now venture to go and see if
he had taken any precautions.

'What do you say, dearie, to our going to bed early to-night?' she
asked, when the child's chatter about the Moat House and Begbie Hall
came to a natural pause. 'It will be more comfortable in our own room,
and you can talk to me just the same till you fall asleep.'

Estelle, who had been sitting with her head against Goody's knee, as
being a safer place than anywhere else in that great, dark kitchen,
sprang up with joy at the proposal. The bedroom was so much smaller and
nicer, and had no ugly corners.

It did not take long to fold up Mrs. Wright's knitting, and put it into
the huge bag in which it was kept for convenience, nor to chase the
balls of wool and wind them up. Mrs. Wright, meantime, lighted the
candles, her eyes on the bookcase.

Her heart suddenly stood still. The bookcase, which ran on large
casters, covered the entrance to one of the long passages in the Hospice
de la Providence. It was heavy and difficult to move, and yet--was it
possible that it _was_ moving? She paused, match in hand, and gazed with
terrified eyes. The next moment the recollection of the necessity of
keeping the child in ignorance of her danger made her brace up her
nerves, and, throwing the match away calmly, she spoke in her usual
tones.

'Are you ready now, dearie? Come along. You carry my knitting-bag, and
I'll bring the candles and put the lamp out.'

Her movements were, perhaps, a trifle quicker than usual, and her voice
might have had a little quiver in it, but Estelle was too much excited,
and too anxious to get within the shelter of the bedroom, to notice
anything amiss. She whirled up the bag, threw it over her shoulder, as
she had seen the men do with their nets, and danced off. Following her
quickly, Mrs. Wright shut and barricaded the door. More than that. With
Estelle's assistance, she drew the chest of drawers across it. The
window was too high for danger to threaten from that quarter. With a
sigh of relief she sat down, after a glance into one of the drawers.
Jack's pistols were there, safe enough, in case they should be wanted.
She would load them as soon as the child was asleep. She left the two
candles alight.

'Are you not going to bed, too?' asked Estelle, as she opened her sleepy
eyes a few minutes later.

'Not just yet, dearie. It is early for me. But you get to sleep as fast
as you can.'

She remained perfectly still, holding the little girl's hand. In the
deep silence her hearing became acute, but for some time she could not
detect the faintest movement. Hope had begun to spring up. Perhaps,
after all, the bookcase had proved too heavy. Dared she venture to go to
bed? Drawing her hand gently from Estelle's relaxed hold, she rose
softly--then stopped. The dreaded sound! The door-handle was turned
gently!

With noiseless step, Mrs. Wright went to the chest, of drawers, took out
the pistols, and loaded them. If the man at the door had been listening,
he might have heard the faint click as she cocked the triggers.

Silence profound reigned for some seconds, and the loud beating of her
heart made her fear she had missed some sounds. Then came a slight
grating, and the next instant there was a wrench, and the door sprang
backwards. But for the two very long bolts, strengthened by the chest of
drawers, it must have been broken open. The noise made the sleeping
child stir, but happily did not wake her. It was evident that the
intruder, fi