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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, 1920-09-15
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, 1920-09-15" ***

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VOL. 159.

September 15th, 1920.


Prohibition meetings in Scotland, says an official, have been attended
by fifty thousand people. We should not have thought there were so
many aliens in Scotland.

       * * *

At an Oldbury wedding the other day a brick was thrown at the
bridegroom. There is no excuse for this sort of thing with confetti so

       * * *

One of the Pacific Islands, we read, is so small that the House of
Commons could not be planted on it. A great pity.

       * * *

"Do hotel chefs use cookery-books?" asks a home journal. Our own
opinion is that quite a large proportion of them cook by ear.

       * * *

Fourteen thousand artificial teeth recently stolen from premises in
East London have not been recovered. While not attempting to indicate
the guilty party, we cannot refrain from pointing out that several
Labour leaders have recently been showing a good many more teeth than
they were thought entitled to possess.

       * * *

At the Trades Union Congress a protest was made against the
Unemployment Insurance Act. This must not be confused with the miners'
threat to strike. That is merely a method of ensuring unemployment.

       * * *

The arrangement by which a hundred-and-fifty amateur brass bands are
to play at the Crystal Palace on September 25th looks like an attempt
to distract us from the miners' strike fixed for that day.

       * * *

A Ramsgate man charged with shooting a cat denied that he fired at it.
The animal is said to have dashed at the bullet and impaled himself
upon it.

       * * *

It has been agreed, says a news item, that milk shall be tenpence a
quart this winter. Not by us.

       * * *

The War Office announces that Arabs in Southern Mesopotamia have
captured a British armoured train. It should be pointed out to these
Arab rebels that it is such behaviour as this that discourages the
tourist spirit.

       * * *

Upon reading that another lady had failed in her attempt to swim the
Channel a Scotsman inquires whether the Cross-Channel steamer rates
have been increased, like everything else.

       * * *

We are informed that at a football match recently played in the
Rhondda Valley the referee won.

       * * *

General OBREGON, says an unofficial message, has been elected
President of Mexico. The startling report that he has decided to
reverse the safe policy of his predecessors and recognise the United
States requires corroboration.

       * * *

Everybody should economise after a great war, says an American film
producer. We always do our best after every great war.

       * * *

According to an official report only fifty policemen were bitten by
dogs in London last week. The falling off is said to be due to the
fact that it has been rather a good year for young and tender postmen.

       * * *

Some highly-strung persons, says a medical writer, are even afraid of
inanimate objects. This accounts for many nervous people being afraid
of venturing too near a plumber.

       * * *

"I only want the potatoes in the allotment and not the earth," said a
complainant at Deptford. It is evident that, if this man is a trade
unionist, he is a raw amateur.

       * * *

Doctors at Vicenza have threatened to strike. This means that people
in that neighbourhood will have to die without medical assistance.

       * * *

"Chief Hailstorm," of the Texas Rangers, has arrived in London. His
brother, Chief Rainstorm, has, of course, been with us most of the

       * * *

Girls, declares a well-known City caterer, are acquiring bigger
appetites. We somehow suspected that the demand for a return of the
wasp waist had influential interests behind it.

       * * *

The wife of a miner in Warwickshire has recently presented her husband
with three baby boys. We understand that Mr. SMILLIE is sorry to have
missed three extra strike-votes which he would have obtained had the
boys been born a little earlier.

       * * *

An extraordinary story reaches us from North London. It appears that
during the building of a house a brick slipped unnoticed from a
hod and fell into its correct position, with the result that the
accountant employed by the bricklayers could not balance his books at
the end of the day.

       * * *

"As science measures time," declares an eminent geologist, "the Garden
of Eden was a thing of yesterday." All we can say is, "Where was
Councillor CLARK yesterday?"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Special Correspondent._ "WHEN THEY RELEASED ME THEY


       *       *       *       *       *


    _Evening Paper._

So _that_ accounts for the weather.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Whatever other defects may be alleged against the scarlet
    uniform, it certainly makes for two things--discipline and
    smartness--and these two are very important factors in

    _"Civil and Military Gazette," Lahore._

Especially the former.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "During the night, she [Mrs. Hamilton, the Channel swimmer] said,
    'I occasionally took hot drinks and ate cold roast chicken, the
    small bones of which I kept chewing, as it seemed to assist

    A strict vegetarian, Mrs. Hamilton will sometimes swim five miles
    before dinner, and skips for a few minutes every day."

    _Scotch Paper._

She should skip the chicken if she wants us to be excited about her
strict vegetarianism.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Ere your native country figured as the home of winter sport,
  Paradise of spies and agents, and for kings a last resort;
  Ere the hospitable chamois lent his haunts to Bolsh and Hun
  Or the queue of rash toboggans took the curve of Cresta Run;

  Long before a locomotive climbed the Rigi, cog by cog,
  Fame had mentioned your forefathers--such a noble breed of dog,
  How they tracked the lonely traveller with their nimble, sleuthy snouts,
  Till beneath a billowy snowdrift they remarked his whereabouts.

  How they dug him out of cold-store like a Canterbury sheep,
  Took their tongues and kindly licked him where his nose
          had gone to sleep,
  Called attention to the cognac which they wore in little kegs
  And remobilised the stagnant circulation in his legs.

  How they lifted up their voices, baying like an iron bell,
  Till the monks of good St. Bernard heard the same and ran like hell--
  Ran and bore him to their hospice, where they put him into bed
  And applied a holy posset stiff enough to wake the dead.

  Heir to this superb tradition, born to such a pride of race,
  From the doggy _flair_ that tells you what a lineage you can trace
  You will draw, I trust, a solace for the strange and alien scene
  Where you undergo purgation in a stuffy quarantine.

  Further, if a homesick feeling sets you itching in the scalp
  With a wave of poignant longing for the odour of an Alp,
  Let this thought (a thing of splendour) help to keep your pecker up--
  You have had a high promotion; you are now a Premier's pup!

  You shall guard his sacred portals, you shall eat from off his plate,
  Mix with private secretaries, move behind the veil of State,
  And at Ministerial councils, as a special form of treat,
  You shall sniff at WINSTON'S trousers, you shall fondle CURZON'S feet.

  You may even serve your master as an expert, one who knows
  All the rules regarding salvage in the Great St. Bernard snows,
  Do him good by utilising your hereditary gift
  To retrieve his Coalition from a constant state of drift.


       *       *       *       *       *


We--Great-aunts Emily and Louisa--had in our innocence been telling a
few old fairy stories at bedtime to those three precocities whom our
hosts call their children.

We knew that they talked Latin and Greek in their sleep and were too
much for their parents in argument, but we thought that at least, at
the story hour----

We were stopped by Drusilla. "I don't think much of the moral of that
one," she remarked. "It would seem to illustrate the Evil Consequences
of Benevolence!"

"But she came alive again," said Evadne, the youngest, in extenuation.

"And the wolf was killed," we ventured in defence of our old story.

"Still," persisted Drusilla, "you couldn't call it encouraging."

"Then in the other case," went on Claude thoughtfully, "considering
that she had been left in sole charge of the house and had no business
to go out and leave it to the mercy of burglars, what moral are we to
draw from the fact that she married a Prince and lived happily ever

"Most of them have that sort of moral," said Drusilla. "And they
are every one of them devoid of humour, except of the most obvious
kind--no subtlety."

"When _I_ was your age," said poor Louisa gently, "I used to laugh
very heartily over the adventures of _Tom Thumb_."

Claude seemed touched. "There are some capital situations in certain
of them," he conceded, "which might be quite effectively treated."

"How?" we asked weakly.

It was Drusilla, the most alarming of the children, who finally
undertook to sketch us out an example.

After a short meditation, "Something like this," she said. "The
situation, of course, you have met with before, but as remodelled you
might call it--


    A certain King and Queen had one daughter, to whose christening
    they invited a large company, forgetting as usual a particularly
    important and bad-tempered Fairy, who signified her annoyance in
    the usual manner.

    The attendants of the little Princess (having read their
    story-books) were preparing dolefully enough to fall asleep for a
    hundred years, when the Fairy, with a contemptuous sniff, remarked
    that the spell would not take effect for some time yet.

    They breathed again and had almost forgotten the affair by the
    time the Princess had grown up. But the Fairy had so arranged it
    that the spell fell upon the Princess at the time when she was
    engaged in making her choice of a husband from among the suitors
    who had arrived at her father's Court.

    The Princess was now bewitched in this way--that good men appeared
    bad, ugly men handsome, and _vice versâ_. The Fairy had hoped that
    she would thus make a mess of her matrimonial affairs and live
    unhappily ever after.

    But she had reckoned without the disposition of the Princess, a
    kind good girl with an overpowering sense of duty. When pressed
    to choose, she replied firmly, "I will have no other than Prince

    To her his ugliness seemed pathetic and his character evidently
    needed reformation so urgently that she longed to be at the job.
    No one wondered at her choice, for he was, of course, the most
    handsome and excellent of men.

    Ultimately the Fairy broke her spell in a fit of exasperation, but
    without any gratifying result. The Princess seemed happier than
    ever and would sometimes say to a slightly puzzled friend:--

    "Hasn't Felix improved _wonderfully_ since I married him?"

         *       *       *       *       *

    "From 1910 to 1916 he was Viceroy in India, governing the
    Dependency through very critical years and enjoying general
    esteem, as was made clear in 1912, when an attempt was made to
    assassinate him at Delhi."--"_Daily Mail" on Lord Hardinge_.

It sounds like a _succès d'estime_.

         *       *       *       *       *



         *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Tramp_. "IN THIS BIT O' NOOSPAPER IT SAYS:

_Second Tramp_. "I AIN'T NOTICED IT."]

         *       *       *       *       *


It seems to me that we all take a great deal of interest in the miners
when they strike, but not nearly enough when they hew. And yet
this business of hacking large lumps of fuel out of a hole, since
civilisation really depends on it, ought to be represented to us from
day to day as the beautiful and thrilling thing that it really is. Yet
if we put aside for a moment Mr. SMILLIE'S present demands, we find
the main topics of discussion in the daily Press as I write are
roughly these:--

    (1) The prospects of League Football and the Cup Ties.

    (2) Ireland.

    (3) The prevalence of deafness amongst blue-eyed cats.

    (4) Mesopotamia.

    (5) The Fall of Man.

    (6) The sale of _The Daily Mail_, whose circulation during
the coming winter is for some reason or other supposed to be almost
as important to the children of England as their own.

Of all these topics the first is, of course, by far the most
absorbing, and almost everyone has remarked how the love of sport, for
which Britons are famous, is growing more passionate than ever. It is
not only cricket and football, of course; only the other day there was
a shilling sweepstake on the St. Leger in our office and, from what
I hear of the form of Westmorland in the County Croquet Championship
during the past season--but I have no time to discuss these things

The point is that, whilst this excitement over games grows greater
and greater, the country is suffering, say the economists, from
under-production and the inflation of the wage-bill. This means that
everyone is trying to do less work and get more money for it, a very
natural ambition which nobody can blame the miners from sharing. I
suppose that if they all stopped mining and we had to depend for
warmth on wrapping ourselves up in moleskins, the molliers, or
whatever they are called, would strike for a two-shillings rise as

The worst of it is that under-production, say the economists again
(there is no keeping anything from these smart lads), sends prices up.
Obviously then there is only one thing to do: we must take advantage
of the prevailing passion and make mining (and other industries too
for that matter) a form of sport. The daily papers should find very
little difficulty in doing this.


would do very well for the headings of a preliminary article; and
the claim of the Lanarkshire collier would, I am sure, be instantly
challenged. After a few letters we might have a suggestion, say from
Wales, that no team of eleven miners could hew so hard and so much
as a Welsh one. And from that it would be only a short step to the
formation of district league competitions and an international
championship. Or the old-time system under which cricketers were
matched for a stake by sporting patrons might be revived, and we
should have headlines in the evening Press after this fashion:--


and all the glades of Sherwood and the banks where the wild Tyne flows
would be glad.

It will be objected, of course, that the hewing of coal is not a
spectacular affair. You cannot pack sixty thousand spectators into a
mine to watch a hewing match, and even if you could the lighting is
bad; but that is just where the skill of the reporters would come in.
After all, we do not most of us see the races on which we bet, nor
the Golf Championship, nor even BECKETT and WELLS. But there would be
articles on the correct swing whilst hewing, and the proper stance,
and how far the toes should be turned in; the chances of every team
would be discussed; the current odds would be quoted, and, whoever
won, the consumer would score, whilst the strongest hewers would
become popular heroes and be photographed on the back-page standing
beside their hews.

I admit that the South of England and London in particular would have
very little share in these competitions, and we should depend for
local interest mainly upon the promising young colts from the Kentish
nurseries. But we could find out from our dealers where our coals
came from and follow from afar the fortunes of our adopted teams; and
Cabinet Ministers, at any rate, could distribute their patronage and
their presence with tact over the various areas involved.


is another headline which seems to suggest itself, and I should
strongly urge the PRIME MINISTER, who has returned, I hear, with a St.
Bernard from the Alps, to lose no time in selecting a more appropriate


is the kind of thing I mean, and very hard also to say six times
quickly without making a mistake.

Obviously the result of all this would be that not only would the
miners be justified in asking for more money, but that the country
would be able to afford it; and similar competitive leagues, to
supersede trade unions, would soon be formed by other trades. One
seems to hear faintly the loud plaudits of the onlookers as two crack
teams of West-end road-menders step smartly into the arena....


       *       *       *       *       *

=Our Bolshevik Colonies.=

    "Married Shepherd, used hilly country and all farm and station
    work, desires Situation; wife would cook one or two men."

"_The Press," Christchurch, N.Z._

    "Miss ----, a soubrette, whose songs lean towards the voluptuous,
    sank 'Somebody's Baby.' Her encore number, 'You'd be Surprised,'
    was even more so."

"_The Dominion," Wellington, N.Z._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Woodland Sprite (from Stepney, to eminent botanist)._

       *       *       *       *       *


    [According to a report which recently appeared in a daily paper,
    cradles for infants are becoming a thing of the past.]

  Snug retreat for mother's treasure,
    Shall I pine as I repeat
  Rumour's strange report, which says you're
    Virtually obsolete?
  Shall these lips a doleful lyric
    Proffer at your ghostly bier,
  Or compose a panegyric
    Moistened with a minstrel's tear?

  Me the theme leaves too unshaken,
    Though "some" father more or less;
  Better 'twere if undertaken
    By my wife (a poetess);
  And, if I be asked, Why vainly
    Occupy, then, so much space?
  My concern, I'll say, is mainly
    With the woman in the case.

  For, when she and you shall sever
    (Though 'tis early yet to crow),
  Your departure may for ever
    Lay her proudest triumph low;
  Yes, while men (I'm much afraid) 'll
    Round her fingers still be twirled,
  If her hand can't rock a cradle
    It may cease to boss the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Commercial Candour.=

    "Irate Householders, why be swindled in a clumsy manner? Fetch
    your second-hand clothing to me and be done in the most approved
    style."--_Daily Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *


    Fresh literary fame seems to be pending for the Maurice Hewlett
    family circle.

    Mr. Robin Richards, the son-in-law of the famous novelist, is
    about to appeal to fiction readers with his first novel."--_Daily

No more of the old-fashioned DARWIN and GALTON nonsense about fathers
and children.

       *       *       *       *       *


Here and there in the drab routine of modern existence it is still
possible to catch an occasional glimpse of romance and courageous
living, and in the volume which lies before us as we write we are
given a generous measure of peril and adventure in faery seas forlorn.
_From Whitebait to Kipper: The Story of Seven Lives_, is the vivid
record of a family of herrings, set down (posthumously, it would seem)
with refreshing simplicity by Walter Herring, the youngest and perhaps
the most brilliant of the family. The story begins with the early
childhood of Walter, John, Isabel, Margaret, Rupert, Stéphanie and
little Foch, the last of whom was so named because he was born on the
anniversary of the Armistice. (As a matter of fact they were all born
on the same day, but for some reason which is not explained only one
of them was called Foch.)

You, reader, are one of those ignorant people who do so much discredit
to our Public Schools. You fondly think that the whitebait is a
special kind of fish, that there are father whitebaits and mother
whitebaits and baby whitebaits. You are wrong. There are only baby
whitebaits. At least there are baby herrings and baby pilchards, and
these are called whitebait because they are eaten by the mackerel and
because they look white when they are swimming upside down.

Anyhow Walter and John and Isabel and Margaret and Rupert and
Stéphanie and little Foch began life as whitebait. They used to charge
about the Cornish seas with whole platefuls of other whitebait,
millions of them, and wherever they went they were pursued by
thousands of mackerel, who wanted to eat them. One day John felt that
the moment was very near when he would be eaten by a mackerel, and he
was quite right. Isabel felt the same thing, but she was wrong.
She jumped out of the water and was eaten by a sea-gull. When the
fishermen saw Isabel leaping into the air they came out and caught
the mackerel in a net. They also caught Margaret with a lot of other
whitebait; and she was eaten by a barrister at "Claridge's."

There were now four of the family who had not been eaten by anyone. It
is extraordinary when you come to think of it that any herring ever
contrives to reach maturity at all. What with the mackerel and the
seagulls and the barristers, everybody seems to be against it.
However, Walter, Rupert and Foch succeeded. Stéphanie just missed.
Walter and Rupert and Foch had jolly soft roes, a fact which is
recorded in a cynical little poem by the precocious Foch, believed
to be the only literary work of a whitebait now extant. We have only
space here to quote the opening couplet:--

  The herrings with the nice soft rows
  Are gentlemen; the rest are does.

The survivors of the family had now to choose a career. From the
beginning it seems to have been recognised that Stéphanie at least
would have to be content with a humbler sphere than her more gifted
brothers. She had a hard roe and was rather looked down upon. But she
was an independent little thing and her pride revolted at a life of
subjection at home; so while still a girl she went off on her own and
got mixed up with some pilchards who were just being caught in a net.
Stéphanie was caught too and became a sardine. She was carefully oiled
and put in a tin, and she was eaten at a picnic near Hampton Court.
But there is every reason to suppose that she was eaten happy, since
in those less exacting circles nobody seemed to mind about her hard
roe, which had been a perpetual bugbear to her in the herring world.

Meanwhile the remaining three had decided on a career. They were
determined to be fresh herrings. This is of course the highest
ambition of all herrings, though sadly few succeed in attaining it.
One herring in his time plays many parts (SHAKESPEARE); he can seldom
say with confidence what exactly he will be to-morrow; but he can
be fairly certain that it won't be a fresh herring. Of our three
survivors Rupert alone was to win the coveted distinction. He grew
to be a fine boy and was eaten at Hammersmith, where his plump but
delicate roe gave the greatest satisfaction. It was not eaten in the
ordinary humdrum way, but was thickly spread on a piece of buttered
toast, generously peppered, and _devoured_. And when his "wish" was
placed on the kitchen-range, swelled rapidly and burst with a loud
report, his cup of happiness was full.

Little Foch, alas, failed to fulfil his youthful promise and became a
common bloater. Worse than that, he was bloated too thoroughly and was
almost impossible to eat. Even his lovely roe, the pride of his heart,
became so salt that the Rector of Chitlings finally rejected it with
ignominy, though not before he had consumed so much of it that he had
to drink the whole of his sermon-water before he began to preach.

But it was Walter, Walter the chronicler, Walter the clever, the
daring, the ambitious, leader in every escapade, adviser in every
difficulty, who was to suffer the crowning humiliation. Walter became
a kipper. If there is one thing that a herring cannot stand it is to
be separated from his roe. Walter's roe was ruthlessly torn from him
and served up separate on toast, with nothing to show that it was
the glorious roe of Walter. It was eaten at the Criterion by a
stockbroker, and it might have been anybody's roe. Meanwhile the
mutilated frame, the empty shell of Walter, was squashed flat in a
wooden box with a mass of others and sold at an auction by the pound.
It broke his heart.


       *       *       *       *       *



  Country gossips, nodding slow
  When the fire is burning low,
  Or chatting round about the well
  On the green at Ashlins Dell,
  With many a timid backward glance
  And fingers crossed and eyes askance,
  Still tell about the Midmas Day
  When Marget Malherb went away.

  "After Midmas Day shall break,
  Maidens, neither brew nor bake;
  See your house be sanded clean;
  Wear no stitch of fairy green;
  Go barefoot; wear nor hose nor shoon
  From rise of sun to rise of moon;
  For the Good People watch and wait
  Waiting early, watching late,
  For foolish maids who treat with scorn
  The mystic rites of Midmas Morn."

  Marget Malherb tossed her head,
  "I fear no fairies' charms," she said--
  For she'd new slippers she would wear
  To show her lad the pretty pair,
  Soft green leather, buckled red--
  "I fear no fairies' charms," she said.
  She drew them on and laughed in scorn,
  And out she danced on Midmas Morn.

  Nevermore was Marget seen;
  But when her lover sought the green
  A Fairy Ring was all he found--
  A Fairy Ring on the weeping ground;
  And by the hedge a flower grew,
  Long and slender, filled with dew,
  Green and pointed, ribboned red;
  And still you'll find them as I've said.
  And Marget comes, so gossips say,
  To wear her shoes on Midmas Day.

       *       *       *       *       *

=The Gladiatorial Spirit.=

    "Crossbie would have done better to have shot himself, but he gave
    the ball to his partner."--_Provincial Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Daily Paper_.

We always thought it was water that they used.

       *       *       *       *       *



       * * *

[Illustration: GOOD NEWS FOR WOMEN!

"Every woman may be beautiful"

Leonina Robinson



       * * *

[Illustration: DOCTORS DESPAIRED--






       * * *



       * * *







       * * *


       * * *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Bored Spectator_. "'ERE, NOT SO MUCH OF THE

       *       *       *       *       *


It is without doubt the most expensive hotel on the front, and the
palatial dining-room in which we have just lunched is furnished and
decorated in that sumptuously luxurious style to which only wealth,
untrammelled by art, is able to attain. Personally I cannot afford to
take my meals at such places, and I know that the same holds good of
my fellow-guest, Charteris. Charteris was the best scholar of our
year at Oriel, and since his demobilisation he and his wife have been
living in two rooms, except during the periods when their son joins
them for his holidays from Winchester. But our host is still possessed
of an obstinate wealth which even the War has done little to diminish,
and, as he himself puts it, is really grateful to those of his old
friends who will help him in public to support the ignominy.

At the moment, having finished lunch, we have betaken ourselves to
wicker-chairs in the porch, and Charteris and our host being deep in a
golf discussion I venture once more to turn a covert attention to the
exceedingly splendid couple who have just followed us out from the
dining-room. I noticed them first on my arrival, when they were just
getting out of their Rolls-Royce, and the admiration which I then
conceived for them was even further enhanced during lunch by a near
view of the lady's diamonds and of the Cinquevalli-like dexterity
shown by her husband in balancing a full load of peas on the concave
side of a fork. At present the man, somewhat flushed with champagne,
is smoking an enormous cigar with a red-and-gold band round it, while
the lady, her diamonds flashing in the sunshine, leans back in her
chair and regards with supercilious eyes the holiday crowds that
throng the pavement below.

Following her glance my attention is suddenly arrested by the strange
behaviour of two passers-by, who have stopped in the middle of the
pavement and, after exchanging some excited comments, are staring
fixedly towards us. From their appearance they would seem to be a
typical husband and wife of the working-class on holiday, and it
occurs to me that, given the clothes and the diamonds, they might well
be occupying the wicker-chairs of the couple opposite. Evidently the
sight of somebody or something in the hotel porch has excited
them greatly, for they continue to stare up at us with a hostile
concentration that renders them quite unconscious of the frantic
efforts of the small child who accompanies them to tug them towards
the beach. After a moment they exchange a few more quick words, and
the man leaves his companion and makes his way towards us. Ascending
the hotel steps with an air of great determination he comes to a halt
before the couple opposite.

"'Ere, I've bin lookin' for you," he begins accusingly.

The Rolls-Royce owner takes the cigar from his mouth and gazes in
astonishment at the accusing apparition before him.

"A hour ago," pursues the newcomer relentlessly, "you was driving
along the front here in the whackin' great car. It ain't no good
denyin' it, 'cos I took the number."

"What d'ye mean--denying it?" exclaims Rolls-Royce. "Who's denying

"It ain't no good tryin' to deny it," retorts the other. "An' it ain't
no good denyin' wot you did neether, 'cos I've got my missus 'ere to
prove it."

"What I did?" echoes the astonished man. "What did I do?"

"Ran over my child's b'loon," states the accuser, fixing him with a
pitiless eye. For the moment the object of this serious charge is too
taken aback to be capable of speech.

"'Ran over my child's b'loon,'" repeats the other inexorably.
"Leastways your chauffer did. An' when we 'ollered out to yer to stop
you just rushed on like a runaway railway-train."

Rolls-Royce, conscious of the curious gaze of the entire company,
pulls himself together and regards his accuser unfavourably.

"First I've 'eard of it," he growls. "Where was the balloon anyway? In
the road, I s'pose?"

"Yes, it _was_ in the road," retorts the other defiantly, "where
it's got every right to be. Road's there for the convenience of
b'loon-fliers just as much as for motor-cars. More."

"Look 'ere, that's enough of it," says the car-owner harshly. "If
the balloon got run over it's yer own fault for letting it go in the

"That's a nice way to talk," suddenly comes in shrill tones from the
woman below, who has edged her way to the foot of the steps. "We don't
go buyin' balloons for you to run over in yer cars. We're respectable
people, we are, an' we work for our livin'."

"Drivin' about in a car like an express train, runnin' over other
people's b'loons," corroborates her husband bitterly. "Wot country
d'yer think yer in? Prussia?"

By this time a small crowd has gathered on the pavement and is gazing
up at the protagonists with ghoulish interest. The lady in the
diamonds, a prey to mingled indignation and alarm, has leant towards
her spouse and is whispering to him urgently, but he shakes her off
with an impatient movement.

"Not on yer life," he snaps. "They won't get a cent out o' me."

"Ho, won't we!" exclaims his accuser hotly. "We'll soon see about
that. We're English people, we are--we don't allow people to go about
destroyin' our b'loons."

"No wonder they're so rich," cries the woman at the bottom of
the steps in satirical tones. "That's the way to get rich, that
is--destroyin' other people's prop'ty an' then refusin' to pay for it.
Anybody could get rich that way."

Reflections on the feasibility of this novel financial scheme are cut
short by the appearance at the top of the steps of the hotel porter,
who touches the originator of the disturbance on the shoulder.

"Come on, you're not allowed up 'ere, you know," he observes.

"Ho, ain't I?" retorts the man defiantly. "Is this Buckingham Pallis?"

"You can't come up 'ere unless you've got business in the 'otel,"
states the porter unmoved.

"So I 'ave got bisness 'ere," declares the other. "Bisness c'nected
with my son's b'loon."

"An' we don't leave 'ere till it's settled, neither," cries the lady
on the pavement. "'Alf-a-crown that balloon cost, an' we don't budge
from 'ere till we get it."

This is altogether too much for the owner of the Rolls-Royce.

"'Alf-a-crown?" he explodes and turns indignantly to the company.
"'Alf-a-crown for a child's balloon, and _then_ they go on strike."

Derisive cheers and counter-cheers go up from the crowd below as the
incensed balloon-owner bursts forth into an impassioned defence of his
inalienable right as a free-born Briton to strike or to buy half-crown
balloons as the spirit moves him. Simultaneously the lady in the
diamonds rises and, producing a coin from her gold bag, holds it with
a superb gesture at arm's length beneath his nose. For a moment or two
he pays no attention to her, then takes the coin impatiently with the
air of one brushing aside an irritating interruption and continues his

"Come on," puts in the porter; "you've got yer 'alf-crown. S'pose you
move on."

"Got me 'alf-crown, 'ave I'?" he retorts. "Wot about my rights as a
man? Does 'alf-a-crown buy them?"

No one venturing to solve this social problem he turns slowly and,
glaring over his shoulder at Rolls-Royce, descends the steps.

"I'm an Englishman, I am," he concludes from the pavement. "No one
can't close my mouth with 'alf-crowns."

For a brief space he stands scowling up at the porch as though
challenging all and sundry to perform this feat, then, taking his wife
by the arm, moves off with her and the still insistent child towards
the beach. The crowd on the pavement, regretfully convinced that the
entertainment is at an end, disperses slowly. Rolls-Royce, seemingly
unconscious of the interest of Charteris and our host, who are looking
at him covertly as at some zoological specimen, relights his cigar and
sits glowering across the road, and silence falls upon the scene--a
silence broken at last by the lady in the diamonds, who has resumed
her languid pose in the wicker-chair.

"'Orrible people!" she observes, addressing the occupants of the porch
generally. "Nice state o' things when you can't even be safe from 'em
in yer own 'otel. You don't seem to be able to get away from these
low-class people hanywhere--you don't reely!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Energetic Motor-Cyclist._ "WHY THE DEUCE DON'T YOU SIT

       *       *       *       *       *

40-1920 A.D.

  CALIGULA the man (quite mad, of course)
  Conferred the consulship upon his horse.

  Caligula the colt (a trifle saner)
  Makes kings of jockey, purchaser and trainer.

  Sanity counts; I raise my cup of massic
  Not to the earlier but the later "classic."

       *       *       *       *       *

=Journalistic Modesty.=

    "I was his [Irving's] guest regularly at all Lyceum first nights for
    a whole quarter of a century.... He delighted in the company of
    third-rate people."

_C.K.S. in "The Sphere."_

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Master._ "TCHA! THIS BACON TASTES SIMPLY BEASTLY."


       *       *       *       *       *


The heightened stature of women was a favourite topic in
anthropometric circles long before the War. It seems, however, that
they are not going to rest content with their present standard of
altitude, but are invoking the resources of Art to render it even more
conspicuous. We do not speak rashly or without book. _The Evening
News_ announced on September 8th that "Women are to be taller this
autumn." Nature may be in the Fall, but women are on the rise. The
mode by which this effect of elongation--so dear to Art--is to be
attained is described in detail by the Paris correspondent of our
contemporary as follows:--

"A fluffy and very high head-dress will be worn this autumn. The
effect is obtained by the aid of pads, and adds some inches to a
woman's stature.... Another type of coiffure is being adopted by some
hairdressers, who leave the hair flat and smooth round the face, and
only make a sort of bird's-nest of the ends, which stand well up so as
to lengthen the profile in an upward direction."

Nothing, however, is said about the relation of fashion to the
physique of the sterner sex. To correct this omission Mr. Punch
has interviewed a number of West-End tailors, hatters, hosiers and
bootmakers. The results of this inquiry may be briefly summarised.

Heads are to be larger this autumn, and to keep pace with the
extraordinary development of brain amongst our insurgent youth, as
evidenced by the correspondence in _The Morning Post_, it has been
found necessary to make a radical change in the stock sizes of hats.
But, where there has been no cranial distension, provision will be
made to remedy the defect by the insertion of a cork sheath, by the
aid of which a head of undersized circumference will be able to wear
a No. 8 hat. Again, to meet the needs of customers in whom the
temperature of the cranial region is habitually high, a hat has been
devised with a vacuum lining for the insertion of cold water. The
"Beverley" nickel-plated refrigerating helmet, as it is called, has
already found a large sale amongst Balliol undergraduates.

As a result of the revival of the "Apes _v._ Angels" controversy, in
which Canon BARNES has taken so prominent a part, and Mr. BOTTOMLEY
has declared himself as a whole-hearted supporter of DARWIN (_vide_
his article in _The Sunday Pictorial_), hands will be supple and
boneless this autumn, as in fashionable portraits. This reversion to
the prehensile type of hand, so noticeable in the chimpanzee, has its
drawbacks, and the rigidity necessary for certain manual functions,
such as winding up a motor or opening a champagne bottle, will be
furnished by gloves of a stiffer and stronger fabric, ranging from
simulation leatherette to chain-mail.

Owing to the continued over-crowding of trains, tubes and motor-buses,
elbows will be more prominent and aggressive than ever, and tailors
are building a type of coat calculated to relieve the strain on this
useful joint by a system of progressive padding, soft inside but
resembling a nutmeg-grater at the point of contact with the enemy.

It only remains to be added that in consequence of the publication of
the Jewish Protocol and other documents pointing to revolutionary and
anarchical Semitic activities, noses will be worn straighter and _à la
Grecque_, and for similar reasons feet will be shorter and with more
uplift in the instep.

       *       *       *       *       *

=A Hot Spell.=

From a story for boys:--

"The heat was so intense that we were perspiring from every paw."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SNOWED UNDER.


[Before leaving Switzerland Mr. LLOYD GEORGE purchased a St. Bernard

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Futurist to Brother Brush (after along country walk in
search of a subject)._ "THIS IS RATHER JOLLY. WHAT A RELIEF IT IS TO

       *       *       *       *       *


  "Old woman, old woman, old woman," said I,
    "'Tis a mighty queer place to be building a home
    In the teeth of the gales and the wash of the foam,
  With nothing in view but the sea and the sky;
  It cannot be cheerful or healthy or dry.
    Why don't you go inland and rent a snug house,
    With fowls in the garden and blossoming boughs,
  Old woman, old woman, old woman?" said I.

    "A garden have I at my hand
      Beneath the green swell,
    With pathways of glimmering sand
      And borders of shell.
    There twinkle the star-fish and there
      Red jellies unfold;
    The weed-banners ripple and flare
      All purple and gold.
    And have I no poultry? Oh, come
      When the Equinox lulls;
    The air is a-flash and a-hum
      With the tumult of gulls;
    They whirl in a shimmering cloud
      Sun-bright on the breeze;
    They perch on my chimneys and crowd
      To nest at my knees,
  And set their dun chickens to rock on the motherly
      Lap of the seas."

  "Old woman, old woman, old woman," said I,
    "It sounds very well, but it cannot be right;
    This must be a desolate spot of a night,
  With nothing to hear but the guillemot's cry,
  The sob of the surf and the wind soughing by.
    Go inland and get you a cat for your knee
    And gather your gossips for scandal and tea,
  Old woman, old woman, old woman," said I.

    "No amber-eyed tabby may laze
      And purr at my feet,
    But here in the blue summer days
      The seal-people meet.
    They bask on my ledges and romp
      In the swirl of the tides,
    Old bulls in their whiskers and pomp
      And sleek little brides.
    Yet others come visiting me
      Than grey seal or bird;
    Men come in the night from the sea
      And utter no word.
    Wet weed clings to bosom and hair;
      Their faces are drawn;
    They crouch by the embers and stare
      And go with the dawn
  To sleep in my garden, the swell flowing over them
      Like a green lawn."


       *       *       *       *       *

=Labour Leaders on the Links.=

Under a photograph in a London evening paper runs the following

    "Mr. John Hodge and another official of the Iron and Steel
    Founders Union enjoy a game of golf after the Trade Union Congress
    at Portsmouth adjourns for the day. Our picture shows Mr. John
    Hodge Putting."

Some idea of the forceful and unconventional methods of our Labour
leaders may be gathered from the attitude of Mr. JOHN HODGE, whose
club is raised well over his shoulder.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Prisoner._ "SORR, I OBJECT TO MR. CLANCY SERVIN' ON

_Mr. Clancy._ "BEDAD, AN' FOR WHY, MICHAEL? I'M _FOR_ YEZ!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


"I shall wait," said Peter, "till they send me the final notice."

"Being his wife," said Hilda to me, "I am in a position to know that
he will not. In another week he will pay, saying that the thought of
income-tax has affected his nerves and that he can bear it no longer.
He wobbles like this for six weeks twice a year, and meanwhile his
family starves."

"Under our system of taxation," Peter retorted, "the innocent must

"It falls alike on the just and the unjust," I interposed. "How else
would you have it?"

"Naturally I would have it fall on the unjust alone," he replied.

"Why not on the just alone?" I asked, suddenly aware of the birth of
an idea.

"Of course you want exemption."

"You miss my point. You grant that taxation is necessary?"

"For the sake of argument," said Peter, "I grant that, with

"Since then there must be taxes, why not have taxes that it would be a
pleasure to pay? The current taxes are not a pleasure to pay."

"I grant that," said Peter, "without reservations."

"Now there is only one sort of tax that I can imagine anybody paying
gladly, and that would be a tax on his virtues."

"Still hankering after your own exemption," growled Peter.

"Leave me out of account. Take, by preference, yourself. You have
virtues and are proud of them."

Hilda intervened, as I had anticipated. "The pride is admitted," said
she, "but as for the assessment value of the virtues----"

"Never mind that. You are proud of your virtues"--I turned to Peter
again--"yet you are sometimes troubled, like the rest of us, by a fear
that you may not really possess them after all. But the assessment
of your virtues by the Board of Inland Revenue would prove their
existence to yourself and to all the world."

"Except his wife," said Hilda.

"Her evidence would not be accepted. If you had paid taxation for the
possession of a virtue, the receipt would be a guarantee that you did
possess that particular virtue, and it would consequently be a source
of profound moral satisfaction to you. You would pay with pleasure.
Besides, it is a poor kind of virtue that will not abide a test. The
tax would be a test. Suppose that five pounds was levied upon you for
honesty. If you refused to pay how could you ever again claim to
be honest? You would be marked as not valuing your honesty at five
pounds. No, you would pay and pay readily."

My words were addressed to Peter, but Hilda seemed the more
interested. "It sounds well, but how would you raise the money?" she

"That would depend on the virtue," I replied. "The sobriety tax, for
example, would be levied on anyone who had not for some years been
convicted of drunkenness."

"But how about the virtues that you don't get fined for not
having--truthfulness, unselfishness, kindheartedness and all those?"

"I admit that would be difficult. Can you suggest anything?" I asked

"No," he answered. "I'm not encouraging your rotten idea anyhow."

"Could the revenue officials feel people's bumps?" inquired Hilda

"I'm afraid," I said, "people wouldn't stand it. Fancy Peter----"

"I've got it," said Hilda. "The revenue officials would attribute a
virtue to the taxpayer, and if he wanted to escape taxation they would
require him to prove to them that he lacked the virtue in question."

"They would like doing that," muttered Peter.

"You have found the solution," I said to Hilda. "If you impute to a
person a virtue he does not possess he probably denies that he has it,
but he is really flattered and his denial is not sincere. He would be
willing to pay on it; he would rather pay than not."

At this point Peter grew tired of refraining from comment. "I don't
want you to suppose," he said, "that I am taking any interest in your
fatuous scheme, but doesn't it occur to you that under your system it
would be simply ruinous to have any virtues at all, and that the only
people who would flourish would be those who had no virtues and were
not ashamed of it?"

"For one thing," I replied confidently, "the taxes would be graduated
in the ordinary way in accordance with means. The slightest flicker of
a conscience in Park Lane would be more heavily mulcted than the most
blameless life in Bermondsey. But the main point is that under my
system taxation would become the measure of a man's moral worth, and
people who did not pay taxes would be simply out of it. All the
plums would go the highly-taxed men. Their tax receipts would be
certificates of character, and the more they earned the more the
Treasury would be able to get out of them. So far from dodging
taxation, people would scramble to pay it."

"But how," asked Hilda, "would you make the tax receipt a trustworthy
testimonial? Your rich man with one virtue would have a better receipt
than your poor one with ten."

"The virtues taxed would be shown on the receipt," I replied.
"Besides, poor and virtuous men would, as I have suggested, get an
abatement on their virtue taxes, and the amount of the abatement would
be shown on the receipt. So it could easily be seen what proportion a
man was paying on his wealth and what on his virtues."

"Look here," said Peter, aroused at last, "do you convey that the
tobacco duty would be paid by people who didn't smoke?"

"It would amount to that," I answered, "assuming that abstention from
tobacco were counted a virtue."

"There may be something in it after all," said Peter.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fisherman._ "THERE ARE PLENTY OF FISH, BUT YOU'VE GOT

_American Friend._ "SAY, YOU MAKE ME REAL HOMESICK."]

       *       *       *       *       *



    The chameleon changes his colour;
      He can look like a tree or a wall;
  He is timid and shy and he hates to be seen,
  So he simply sits down in the grass and goes green,
      And pretends he is nothing at all.

    I wish I could change my complexion
      To purple or orange or red;
  I wish I could look like the arm of a chair
  So nobody ever would know I was there
      When they wanted to put me to bed.

    I wish I could be a chameleon
      And look like a lily or rose;
  I'd lie on the apples and peaches and pears,
  But not on Aunt Margaret's yellowy chairs--
      I should have to be careful of those.

    The chameleon's life is confusing;
      He is used to adventure and pain;
  But if ever he sat on Aunt Maggie's cretonne
  And found what a curious colour he'd gone,
      I don't think he'd do it again.


       *       *       *       *       *


Before the last ball of 1920 is bowled and the last wicket in a
first-class match falls (as will most probably happen at the Oval this
very afternoon, September 15th), I should like to let the Gods of
the Game know how I propose to spend the following winter in their
interests, so that when the season of 1921 is with us the happiness of
the cricket spectator may be even greater than it has been in the one
now expiring.

I am going to devote the time to invention. With every grain of
intellect and ingenuity that I can scrape together I am going to
devise a means of humanising the tea interval.

Once upon a time I was so rash as to ridicule this interruption. I
drew attention to the fact that the ancient heroes of the game had
been able to dispense with it. ALFRED MYNN needed no Asiatic stimulant
between lunch and the close of play. Even such whole-hearted moderns as
HORNBY and SHREWSBURY and GRACE managed to do well without the support
of Hyson or Bohea. For more than a century cricket and tea were
strangers and cricket did not suffer. And so on. But the attacks were
futile: the tea interval became an institution; and nothing now, one
realises, can ever occur to separate the gallant fellows from their
cups and saucers.

That being accepted, the problem is how to make the interval at once
less harmful to the match and more tolerable to the lover of cricket;
and it is on this problem that I have been working and intend to work
through the arid football months. What has to be done is (_a_) to get
the interval abbreviated; and (_b_) to keep the players on the field.
It is the length of it and the empty pitch that are so depressing
to the spectator, and it is the return to the pavilion that is so
detrimental to the rhythm of the game. Neither of the batsmen ever
wants the interruption, and I have often noticed a reluctance in
certain members of the fielding side. As for the watchers, they never
fail to groan.

Still, as I have said, it is now recognised that the craving for tea
is as much a part of the present-day game as the six-ball over, and
the time has passed for censuring it. But something can be done to
regulate it; and I have based my efforts towards a solution on the
argument that, if a cricketer is not called in from the game to read
his telegram, but (as we have all seen so often) the telegram is
taken out to him, surely the precious fluid that he so passionately
desiderates can be taken out to him too. At present, therefore, all
my thoughts are turned upon the construction of some kind of wheeled
waggon, such as is in use at a well-known restaurant in the Strand, on
which fifteen cups (two for the umpires) and an urn and sugar and milk
can be conveyed, with the concomitant bread-and-butter, or shrimps or
meringues, or whatever is eaten with the tea, on a lower shelf. This
could be pushed on to the ground at 4.15 and pushed back again at
4.20 without any serious injury to the match. That is my idea at the
moment; but I am a poor mechanic and should be glad if some properly
qualified person--someone with a HEATH ROBINSON mind--would take the
work over.


       *       *       *       *       *


How I came to be able to understand the language of trees is a secret.
But I do understand it. It is my peculiar privilege to overhear all
kinds of whispered conversation--green speech in green shades--as I
take my rest underneath the boughs on a country walk. Some day I shall
set down fully the result of these leaves-droppings, but at the moment
I want to tell only of what I heard some blackberry bushes saying last

"From what I hear," said the first bush, "the cost of everything's
going up by leaps and bounds."

"How is that?" asked one of its neighbours.

"It's due, I understand," the first bush replied, "partly to scarcity
of labour and partly to profiteering."

"I don't see why we shouldn't participate," said another bush. "Here
we are, covered with fruit, and it's all just as free as ever it was.
That's absurd, after a big war. The duty of a war is to make things
dearer and remove freedom."

"Of course," said the others.

"'Your blackberries will cost you more'--that should be our motto,"
said the first bush. "We must be up to date."

       *       *       *       *       *

A few days later, after one of our infrequent post-bellum gleams of
sunshine, I met the Lady of the White House and all her nice children
returning from a day's blackberrying. They showed me their
baskets with a proper pride, and I was suitably enthusiastic and

"But do look at our poor hands and arms and our torn frocks!" said the
lady. "We've picked blackberries here year after year, but we've never
been so badly scratched before. It's extraordinary. I can't account
for it."

I could, though.

       *       *       *       *       *


  A man came by at night with moons to sell;
    "Moons old and new," he cried;
  I hurried when I heard him call for me;
  He set his basket on the wall for me
    That I might see inside
  And watch the little moons curl up and hide.

  Each one he touched rang softly like a bell;
    He pointed out to me
  Great harvest moons with russet light in them,
  Pale moons to gleam where snows grow white in them,
    Red moons for victory,
  And steadfast moons for men in ships at sea.

  The man who came with many moons to sell
    Opened his basket wide;
  Showed me the filmy crescent moons in it,
  And the piled discs (like silver spoons) in it
    That push and pull the tide,
  And small sweet honey-moons to give a bride.

  "This moon," he said, "you will remember well;
    Its price is wealth untold;"
  Took a camp-moon he vowed he stole for me
  And softly wrapped to keep it whole for me.
    I heaped his feet with gold;
  He changed, and said the moon might not be sold.

  Then I was angry that with moons to sell
    He thought he had the right
  To keep that one. Those who were lent to us
  Had written the brief notes they sent to us
    When it shone out at night.
  I caught it to my heart and held it tight.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Twenty Students Require clean, respectable Board-Residence; would
    not object to Share Bed."--_Provincial Paper._

They should have lived in the days of Og, the King of Basan; his
bedstead _was_ a bedstead.

       *       *       *       *       *


    During the past few weeks several parties of Afghan merchants and
    traders have settled up their affairs and come into India. In
    order to avoid being questioned by British poets in the
    Khyber, they have entered this country by way of the Sissobi
    pass."--_Indian Paper._

Some of our poets are notoriously curious, and we are hardly surprised
to learn that the Afghans could not "abide their question."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A COCK-AND-BULL STORY.]

       *       *       *       *       *


"The jolly part about an island where there are no towns and no
railways," said Willoughby, "is that you have thrills of excitement as
to where you will sleep next night or eat your next meal. Now when we
land at Lochrie Bay to-morrow it will be nearly lunch-time; but shall
we get lunch?"

"I can answer that," replied MacFadden, whose grandfather was a
Scotsman, and who was once in Edinburgh for a week; "the map shows
it is only five miles to Waterfoot, and there's sure to be an hotel
there. Those little Scots inns are all right."

"Yes," chimed in Sylvia, "and very likely there'll be nothing to eat
when we get there. I am thinking of you three men, of course," she
added hastily; "we girls don't want much."

"As for me," said Willoughby, looking at Sylvia, whom he has adored
dumbly for years, "very little satisfies me. I'm like the fellow who
said, 'a crust of bread, a bottle of wine and you.' You know the chap,

"Isn't it wonderful how he remembers his OMAR?" remarked Mac

"I don't know much poetry," said Willoughby, whose tastes are sporting
rather than literary, "but I always liked that bit."

"But lunch," I interposed, "is the pressing question. There's sure to
be an hotel at Waterfoot, as you say. Send a telegram there, asking
for lunch for six. If there's no hotel, no reply and no lunch. If
there is we get our reply and our lunch. Willoughby can wire, because
he learned all about telegraphs in the army."

Within two hours came the reply. I opened it.

"Will supply luncheon for six, 1.15 to-day."

"Can you remember what your wire said, Willoughby?" I asked mildly.

"Rather. 'Can you provide luncheon for six at 1.15.--Willoughby.'"

"Exactly. Can't you see, you silly ass, how you've muffed it? Read
this." Willoughby read, while Sylvia and Molly looked over and

"Hang it all! I suppose I ought to have said to-morrow," he sighed.
"Here, Thompson, you and Hilda, as the married couple of the party,
ought to deal with these beastly emergencies."

"Not I," I replied. "You've got us in the muddle, now get us out. Wire
and say it's for to-morrow."

"And then," said my practical wife, "we shall get to-day's hot lunch
cold to-morrow, and a rapacious Scotch-woman will charge us for it
twice over."

"I wish you would say 'Scots,' not 'Scotch,'" complained MacFadden.

"Sorry, Kiltie," rejoined Hilda; "and perhaps one of you two will deal
with the Scots woman."

"Leave her to me and none of you interfere," answered MacFadden.
"Willoughby is no good at a job that needs tact. He's not half as
lovable as I am either. Is he, Molly? We'll send the wire at once.
Come on."

Next day the steamer dropped us into the ferry-boat off Lochrie Bay,
and our bicycles, more frightened than hurt, but much shaken, were
hurled in after us. After five miles on a primitive road we arrived at
the hotel very late.

MacFadden, assuring us that if we only kept quiet he would see us
through in spite of any Scots innkeeper, led the way.

The landlady, a dour woman, appeared.

"Good morning, Madam," began Mac politely.

"Will you be Mr. Willoughby?" she replied.

"No," said Mac truthfully, assuming a puzzled expression.

"Weel, then," resumed the lady, addressing Sylvia, who happened to be
close behind, "will you be Mrs. Willoughby?"

Molly sniggered; Sylvia reddened and answered hastily, "No, I won't!"
at which Willoughby sighed audibly.

"What I wanted to ask you was whether perhaps you could be so kind
as to give us a bit of bread and cheese or something," said Mac
ingratiatingly. "Of course one doesn't expect a proper lunch in these
places without ordering it beforehand."

"And those that order beforehand dinna come," she replied with some
asperity. "A pairty of six ordered for yesterday then they telegraphs
to say they mean to-day, and now they're no here and the time lang
gone by. I thocht ye were the pairty at first."

"What a shame!" murmured MacFadden sympathetically.

"Ay, if they had turned up they should hae had their lunch, and paid
for it too," said the good lady grimly. "Twa days they should hae paid
for. But if ye like ye can eat their lunch for them; it's cauld but

So we ate heartily, paid reasonably and went away on good terms with
ourselves and the lady.

Walking up the steep hill from the hotel I was just behind Willoughby
and Sylvia. He was pushing the two bicycles and explaining something

"Awfully sorry about that silly woman, Sylvia," he said, "but it's
only their rotten way of talking English. You see, when she says,
'_Will_ you be Mrs. Willoughby?' she really means, '_Are_ you?' It's
not the same as when an Englishman says it. If I said, 'Will you be
Mrs. Willoughby?' that would be different; it would mean--"

"Yes," interrupted Sylvia rather breathlessly, "that, Tommy dear,
would be plain English, to which I could give a plain answer. I should

We had reached the brow of the hill. I mounted my bicycle and hurried

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mistress._ "YOU SEEM TO HAVE BEEN IN A GOOD MANY


       *       *       *       *       *

    "1,000 EGGS IN ONE WHISKER."

    _Daily Paper._

A much worse case than that of LEAR'S old man with a beard, who said
it was just as he feared.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "For all we know, Helen of Troy's best friends might have said,
    'Helen has style and knows how to make the most of her good
    points; but, honest, now, do you think she should have got the

    _Evening Paper._

Certainly not. That's why Paris gave it to Aphrodite.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Ancient (with morbid fear of growing deaf,
breaking long silence)._ "THERE--IT'S COME AT LAST! YOU'VE BEEN

_Second Ancient._ "BAIN'T BIN TALKIN'--BIN CHEWIN'."]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerks._)

Really I think that _Rhoda Drake_ (MURRAY) must be the most
preposterously startling story that I have read for this age. It makes
you feel as if you had had a squib exploded under your chair at a
temperance meeting. After beginning placidly about persons who live in
South Kensington (and are so dull that the author has to fill up
with minute descriptions of their drawing-rooms), somewhere towards
three-quarters through its decorous course it plunges you head over
ears into such tearing melodrama as is comparable only to Episode 42
of "The Adventures of the Blinking Eye" at a provincial cinema. I
am left asking myself in bewilderment whether Mr. C.H. DUDLEY
WARD, D.S.O., M.C., can have been serious in the affair. As I say,
practically all the early characters are of little or no account,
including _Rhoda_ herself. Indeed, nobody looks like mattering at all,
and the whole tale has, to be frank, taken on a somewhat soporific
aspect, when lo! there enters a lady with a Russian name, no back to
her gown and green face-powder. If I said of this paragon that she
made the story bounce I should still do less than justice to her
amazing personality. Really, she was a herald of revolution, whose
remarkable method was to invite anyone important and obstructive to
her house and make them discontented. It was the work of half-an-hour.
Whether the process was hypnotic, or whether she actually put pepper
in the ice-pudding, I could not clearly make out. But the dreadful
fact remained that, let your patriotism be ever so firm, you had but
to accept one of green-powder's little dinners and next morning you
were as like as not to hurl a stone into 10, Downing Street. As for
the end--! But no, I will stop short of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Frankly, what pleased me most about _Affinities_ (HODDER AND
STOUGHTON) was its attractive get-up; pleasant, cherry-pie-coloured
boards, swathed in a very daintily-drawn pictorial wrapper, the whole,
as cataloguers say, forming an ideal birthday present for a young
lady, especially one at all apt to discover, however harmlessly, the
affinities that give these five tales their title. As for the stories
themselves, really all that need be said is to congratulate Mrs. MARY
ROBERTS RINEHART on the ingenuity with which she can tell what seems
an obvious intrigue yet keep a surprise in reserve. I suppose it is
because they come to us from America that certain of the episodes turn
upon incidents in the Suffrage struggle, tale-fodder that our own
militant novelists have long happily discarded. Of the others I think
I myself would award the palm to one called "The Family Friend," a
genially cynical little comedy of encouraged courtship, of which the
end seems to be visible from the beginning, but isn't. Altogether,
what I might call a Canute; in other words a book for the deck-chair,
not too absorbing to endanger your shoes, however close you read it to
the advancing wave.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think I should best describe the characteristic quality of
_Four Blind Mice_ (LANE) as geniality. The scene of it is
Burmah--astonishing, when you consider the host of novels about the
rest of India, that so few should employ this equally picturesque
setting--and it is quickly apparent that what Mr. C.C. LOWIS doesn't
know at first hand about Rangoon is not likely to be missed. The
tale itself is a good-humoured little comedy of European and native
intrigue, showing how one section of the populace strove as usual to
ease the white man's burden by flirtation and gossip, and the other
to get the best for themselves by unlimited roguery and chicane. The
whole thing culminates in a trial scene which is at once a delightful
entertainment and (I should suppose) a shrewdly observed study of the
course of Anglo-Burmese justice. I think I would have chosen that Mr.
LOWIS should base his fun on something a little less grim than the
murder and mutilation of a European, or at least Eurasian, lady, even
though the very slight part in the action played by _Mrs. Rodrigues_,
when alive, could hardly be called sympathetic. Still we were all so
good-humoured over her taking-off that for a long time I cherished
a rather dream-like faith in her reappearance to prove that this
attitude had been justified. Not that Mr. LOWIS has not every right to
retort that he is writing comedy rather than farce; certainly he has
made his four blind mice to run in highly diverting fashion, very
entertaining to those of us who see how they run; and as they at
least save their tails triumphantly it would perhaps be ungenerous to
complain about one that doesn't.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Damsel._ "OH, PROFESSOR, CAN YOU PROVIDE ME WITH A


       *       *       *       *       *

_The Story of the Fourth Army in the Battles of the Hundred Days_
(HODDER AND STOUGHTON) is printed on pages the size of a copy
of _Punch_, and with its accompanying case of maps it costs
eighteen-pence to go through the post. It boasts a hundred full-page
photographs, also sketches, charts, maps, panoramas and diagrams _ad
lib._, a foreword by General Lord RAWLINSON and ten appendices; so
really it seems that the much-abused word "sumptuous" may for once
be fairly applied. The author, Major-General Sir A. MONTGOMERY, who
himself helped to "stage" the battles he writes about, has built up a
record which is in some sense unique, for I think it is possible from
this book to trace precisely where any unit of the Fourth Army was
placed, and what doing, at any given hour during the whole of the
victory march from Amiens to the Belgian frontier. Apart from anything
else it is pleasant to have a book that deals only with the days of
victory; but it must be admitted that, to gain a completeness of
detail so entirely satisfactory to those most nearly concerned, the
writer has had to sacrifice something of human interest, for many of
his pages are little more than a bare chronicle of names and places.
Undoubtedly his book should be read with great deliberation,
constant reference to the maps and a lively recollection of personal
experiences on the spot; but the civilian reader may still be content
to skim the text and save himself for the photographs. These, mostly
taken from the air and of exquisite technical quality, form an amazing
series, in themselves worth the heavy price. And who minds heavy
prices when the proceeds are pledged to the service of wounded

       *       *       *       *       *

"Rather an anti-climax," I thought when I opened _The Happy Foreigner_
(HEINEMANN) and found that it purported to tell the experiences of an
English _chauffeuse_ in France after the Armistice; but I know now
that, in any place where ENID BAGNOLD happened to be, there would not
be any anti-climax about. In a style so daring and vivid that it
could only have been born, I suppose, of fast driving, the authoress
describes a romantic affair with a young French officer; but her real
theme is the suffering of France bowed down under the intolerable
burden of so many strangers, both enemies and friends. The rich and
well-fed Americans who will not trouble to understand, the grotesque
Chinamen and Annamites, the starving Russians liberated from the
Germans, flash by, with the ruins of villages, the tangle of wire and
litter of derelict guns; and even the romance, intensely felt though
it is, must be fleeting, like the rest of the nightmare, because the
Frenchman's eyes are set on the future and the rebuilding of his
fortunes. This book is not "about the War," but all the same it is one
of the best books about the War that I have read.

       *       *       *       *       *

_From a Common Room Window_ (OWEN) will be a slight refreshment
to those who are weary of realistic studies of schoolmasters and
schoolboys. "ORBILIUS," during what I take to have been a long career
as a teacher, has not allowed his sense of humour to wither within
him. In a note to his slender volume of sketches he says, "School-life
is largely a comedy. When a schoolmaster ceases to recognise this it
is time for him to 'bundle and go.'" He has been in the main a keen
and sympathetic observer, and though his remarks upon headmasters are
a little severe--personally I should hate to be called "a meticulous
pedagogue"--I do not think that a little criticism of these potentates
will do them the smallest harm. In "The Castigator" "ORBILIUS" gives a
laughable sketch. The inventor of a flogging machine is soundly beaten
by his own instrument, and he would be a sombre man indeed who could
read it without a desire to witness such a chastening performance.
By no means the least merit of this book is that it contains no new
theories about education.

       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, 1920-09-15" ***

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