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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, December 15, 1920
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, Volume 159, December 15, 1920" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

VOL. 159, DECEMBER 15, 1920***


PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 159.

DECEMBER 15, 1920.



CHARIVARIA.


Apparently the official decision not to issue Christmas excursion
tickets for journeys of less than one hundred miles will inflict some
inconvenience on the public. Several correspondents point out that
they will be obliged to travel further than they had intended.

       * * *

A newspaper correspondent describes CHARLIE CHAPLIN as being an
amusing companion in private life. We always suspect a popular
comedian of having his lighter moments.

       * * *

"For twenty years," says a contemporary, "Superintendent Spencer of
Scotland Yard has been watching the King." We hasten to add that
during all that time HIS MAJESTY has never done anything to excite
suspicion.

       * * *

This year's Oxford and Cambridge Rugby match is said to have been the
most exciting in the memory of the oldest undergraduate.

       * * *

According to _The Daily Express_ twenty-five thousand Government
officials are on strike in Austria. People are asking why we can't
have this sort of thing in England.

       * * *

Official kissing at Presidential functions is now discontinued in
France and visitors must shake hands in future. These curtailed
amenities are still an improvement on the Mexican custom of exchanging
revolver shots.

       * * *

"Hats," says _The Times_' fashion correspondent, "are worn well on the
head." We have always regarded this as the best place to wear a hat
on.

       * * *

White spats are to be fashionable this winter, we read. In muddy
weather, however, the colour-scheme may be varied. Only the other day
we saw one gentleman wearing a beautiful pair of Dalmatians.

       * * *

So many singers want to run before they can walk, says Mr. BEN DAVIES.
With some singers whom we have heard, the ability to dodge as well as
run would be an advantage.

       * * *

Loud cheers were given, says a Bolshevist wireless message, when LENIN
left Petrograd for Moscow. We can well believe it.

       * * *

The Bolshevists now forbid men to walk through the streets with their
hands in their pockets. Hands in other peoples' pockets every time is
their motto.

       * * *

A palpitating writer in a Sunday paper asks if the summit of English
life is being made a true Olympus or a rooting-ground for the swine
of EPICURUS. Judging by the present exorbitant price of a nice tender
loin of pork, with crisp crackling, we should say the former.

       * * *

A West Norwood man who described himself as a poet told the magistrate
that he had twice been knocked down by a motor-cyclist. Our opinion is
that he should have given up poetry when he was knocked down the first
time.

       * * *

Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL cannot be in two places at once, says _The
Bristol Evening News_. All the same it is a dangerous thing to put him
on his mettle like that.

       * * *

Many people remain oblivious of the approach of Christmas until the
appearance of mistletoe at Covent Garden. We don't wait for that; we
go by the appearance in _The Daily Mail_ of a letter announcing the
discovery of primroses in Thanet.

       * * *

Measures to arrest the subsidence of the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral
have again become imperative. The cause assigned is the depressing
effect of the DEAN.

       * * *

Of several hats caught up in a recent whirlwind it was observed that
the one with the largest circulation was a "Sandringham."

       * * *

A judge has decided that it is _ultra vires_ for a municipal body to
run a public laundry. Apparently this is to remain a monopoly of the
Royal Courts of Justice.

       * * *

"The telephone," we are told, "was cradled in a dead man's ear." As
far as we can ascertain the other end of ours is still there.

       * * *

Seventy is suggested by the London County Council as the age limit at
which coroners should retire. Complete justice cannot be done as long
as there is anything in the shape of identity of interest between the
coroner and the corpse.

       * * *

"The natural position of the eyeballs in sleep," says a correspondent
of _The Daily Mail_, "is turned upwards." The practice of leaving
them standing in a tumbler of water all night should be particularly
avoided by light sleepers.

       * * *

We are asked to deny the rumour that the POET LAUREATE is entitled to
draw the unemployment donation.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE POKER-PLAYER'S SECRET MAKE-UP OUTFIT.

_Disguises your elation when you hold a fat hand_.

Only five-and-sixpence post free in plain wrapper.

Will pay for itself many times over.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Theatre-Fashions in Malta.

    "The House was full to its utmost capacity, the elegant
    night dresses and toilettes of the ladies presenting a fine
    aspect."--_Malta Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Ye Olde ---- Hotel. Hot and Cold Sheets." _Daily Paper_.

Produced, we assume, by a water-bottle (h. and c.).

       *       *       *       *       *

    "THE DRY CHAMPAIGN IN SCOTLAND.
     POLLING IN EDINBURGH."

    _Provincial Paper_.

Judging by the results, the Scots seem still to prefer the local
vintage.

       *       *       *       *       *

  There was a young high-brow of Sutton
  Who lived on hot air and cold mutton;
    He knew not of GROCK,
    But he idolized BROCK
  (I don't mean the sculptor, but CLUTTON).

       *       *       *       *       *


TO THE LION OF LUCERNE.

  TINO, before you went away
    To crouch behind a sheltering Alp,
  How strong the limelight used to play
    About your bald, but kingly, scalp!
  And now, emerging from the shelf
    (A site where Kings are seldom happy),
  You must be pleased to find yourself
    Once more resilient on the _tapis_.

  Over your past (Out, damnéd spots!)
    With lavish bucketfuls you paint
  The whitewash on to clean its blots
    And camouflage the Teuton taint;
  From WILLIAM and the family tie
    Protesting your unbridled freedom,
  "I know you not, old man," you cry,
    "Fall to your prayers--you badly need 'em!"

  For Athens, to your great content,
    Calls you to be her guiding star
  (Only a paltry one per cent
    Wanted to leave you where you are);
  And you've agreed to take it on,
    Jumped at the prospect Fate discloses,
  And thought, "With VENEZELOS gone,
    Life will be one long bed of roses."

  But mark the oversight you made,
    Forgetting, while you waxed so fat,
  That England, whom you once betrayed,
    Might have a word to say to that;
  Might, if for love of your fair eyes
    Greece should decide again to wobble,
  Conceivably withdraw supplies
    And cut her off with half an obol.

  Roar loud, O Lion of Lucerne!
    But lo, upon Britannia's shore
  Another Lion takes his turn
    And gives a rather louder roar;
  Meaning, "It doesn't suit my views
    To subsidise two sorts of beano,
  And Greece will therefore have to choose
    Between her tummy and her TINO."

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

ABOUT GOLF.

Golf is obviously the worst game in the world. I doubt indeed whether
it is a game at all.

It is played with a ball, about which, though I could say much, I will
say little. I will not decide whether it should have a heart of oak
or a heart of gold, whether it should go through a 1·6-inch ring or
a plate-glass window, whether it should sink like the German Navy or
float like the British. Enough, if not too much, has been said about
the standard ball.

Golf is also played with a number of striking implements more
intricate in shape than those used in any other form of recreation
except dentistry. Let so much be agreed.

Now, quite plainly, the essential idea underlying all games played
with a ball, whether a club, stick, mallet, bat or cue be added or no,
is that some interference should take place with the enemy's action,
some thwarting of his purpose or intent. In Rugby football, to take a
case, where no mallet is used, it is permissible to seize an opponent
by the whiskers and sling him over your right shoulder, afterwards
stamping a few times on his head or his stomach. This thwarts him
badly. The same principle applies, though in a milder form, to the
game of cricket, where you attempt to beat the adversary's bat with
your ball, or, if you have the bat, to steer the ball between your
adversaries, or at least to make them jolly well wish that you would.

Even with the baser and less heroic ball games, like croquet and
billiards, where more than one ball is used at a time, action inimical
to the interests of the opponent's ball is permitted and encouraged.
Indeed in the good old days of yore, when croquet was not so strictly
scientific, a shrewd sudden stroke--the ankle shot, we called it, for,
after all, the fellow was probably not wearing boots--well, I daresay
you remember it; and I have once succeeded in paralysing the enemy's
cue arm with the red; but this needs a lot of luck as well as
strength, and is not a stroke to be practised by the beginner,
especially on public tables.

We come then again to golf, and see at once that, with the miserable
and cowardly exception of laying the stymie, there is no stroke in
this game that fulfils the proper conditions which should govern
athletic contests involving the use of spherical objects with or
without instruments of percussion.

And yet we read column after column about fierce encounters and
desperate struggles between old antagonists, when as a matter of fact
there is no struggle, no encounter at all. Against no other ball game
but golf, unless perhaps it be roulette, can this accusation be laid.
Ask a man what happened last Saturday. "I went out," he says, rather
as if he was the British Expeditionary Force, "in 41; but I came
home"--he smiles triumphantly; you see the hospital ship, the cheering
crowds--"in 39." Whether he beat the other fellow or not he hardly
remembers, because there was in fact no particular reason why the
other fellow should have been there.

Golf matches ought to be arranged, and for my part I shall arrange
them in future, as follows:--

_He._ Can you play on Saturday at Crump?

_I._ No, I'm not playing this week.

_He._ Next week then?

_I._ Yes, at Blimp.

_He._ I can't come to Blimp.

_I._ Well, let's play all the same. Your score this week at Crump
against mine next week at Blimp, and we'll have five bob on it.

I'm not quite sure what his retort is, but you take my point. It
is manifestly absurd to drag the psychological element into this
cold-blooded mathematical pursuit. After all that England has done and
come through in the last few years, is a man in baggy knickerbockers,
with tufts on the ends of his garters, going to be daunted and foiled
just because a man in slightly baggier knickerbockers and with
slightly larger tufts on his garters has hit a small white pellet a
little further than he has? Hardly, I think.

That is why, when I read long letters in the principal daily papers
about the expense of this so-called game, and calculations as to
whether it can be played for less than twenty-five shillings a time,
I am merely amused. In my opinion, if the relatives of members of
golf-clubs cannot afford to support them, these institutions should
either be closed or the inmates should be provided with some better
game, like basketball. That is what I feel about golf.

All the same, if Enderby really thinks and believes that, because in
a nasty cross-wind I happened to be slicing badly and didn't know
the course and lost a ball at the twelfth, and he holed twice out of
bunkers and certainly baulked me by sniffing on the fifteenth tee,
and laid a stymie, mark you, of all places at the seventeenth, that
I can't beat him three times out of five in normal conditions and not
with that appalling caddy ---- well, I suppose one must do one's best
to relieve a fellow-creature of his hallucinations, mustn't one?

EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE BOBLET.

BRITANNIA (_counting her change_). "WHAT'S THIS?"

OUR MR. CHAMBERLAIN. "THAT, MADAM, IS THE NEW SHILLING. IT HAS MORE
ALLOY THAN THE OLD, BUT THE SAME PURCHASING POWER."

BRITANNIA. "PURCHASING WEAKNESS, YOU MEAN."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Host_ (_by way of keeping his guest's mind off the
state of the course_). "ASTONISHING HOW QUICKLY PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN
THE WAR."

_Guest_. "WHAT--WITH THIS MUD, AND YOU AT THE SLOPE?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR HEAVY-WAITS.

Our Boxing Correspondent sends us the following gloomy forecast.
We have pointed out to him that Mr. COCHRAN has recently made a
definite contract for a meeting between DEMPSEY and CARPENTIER. Our
Correspondent replies that this does not affect his attitude, and
urges us to publish his predictions of further delay. We do so under
protest.

_Paris, December 22nd, 1920._--M. DESCHAMPS (CARPENTIER'S Manager)
denies all knowledge of any agreement with Mr. COCHRAN.

_New York, December 24th, 1920._--Mr. C. B. COCHRAN says that
DESCHAMPS must be dotty. He (C. B.) is returning by the _Mauretania_
to-morrow.

_London, April 17th, 1923._--As Mr. COCHRAN and M. DESCHAMPS have
not yet come to an agreement the fight for the World's Heavy-Weight
Championship is indefinitely postponed. JOE BECKETT meets Bombardier
WELLS to-night at the Circle.

_London, April 18th, 1923._--Since the days of JIM CORBETT no more
polished exponent of the fistic art has graced the ring than our
Bombardier Billy. Thunders of applause greeted his appearance in the
"mystic square" last night. He flashed round his ponderous opponent,
mesmerising him with the purity of his style, the accuracy of his
hitting, the brilliance of his foot-work. He held the vast audience
spell-bound. BECKETT won on a knock-out in the second round.

_London, August 11th, 1924._--Mr. LOVAT FRASER in a powerful article
(written _entirely_ in italics) in _The Daily Mail_ points out
the fearful tension the peace of Europe is undergoing through the
continued differences between Messrs. COCHRAN and DESCHAMPS, and
demands to know what the PREMIER is doing about it.

_London, August 24th, 1924._--Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, acting under Mr.
LOVAT FRASER'S orders, has gone to Lympne (kindly lent by Sir PHILIP
SASSOON), where he will be joined by Mr. COCHRAN, M. DESCHAMPS and M.
MILLERAND.

_London, September 30th, 1924._--The whole civilised world will
rejoice to hear that the differences between Mr. C. B. COCHRAN and M.
DESCHAMPS have at last been amicably settled. The great fight for the
world's heavy-weight championship is fixed to take place at Olympia on
November 17th. DEMPSEY is to receive £100,000, CARPENTIER £75,000.

_London, October 4th, 1924._--It appears that Olympia was already
booked for November for _The Daily Mail's_ Ideal Pyjama Exhibition,
and Mr. C. B. COCHRAN has to-day issued a _communiqué_ to the Press
Association to the effect that the contest will be held definitely
in Sark (Channel Islands) on December 23rd. He has hired the entire
Cunard and White Star Fleets for the day, and those who cannot find
standing room on the island will be provided with seats and telescopes
in the ships' riggings. All will be welcome at fifty guineas a head.

_New York, October 6th, 1924._--DEMPSEY denies that he is meeting
CARPENTIER on December 23rd. He laughs at the idea of fighting for
£100,000.

"Heaven knows I am not mercenary," he says, "but there's such a thing
as a living wage."

_London, October 7th, 1924._--Mr. C. B. COCHRAN, in an interview
granted to our reporter yesterday, says that he has done with
fight-promoting for ever and will in future concentrate on performing
seals.

_London, October 10th, 1924._--A sensation was caused at the Circle
last night when an old man jumped unannounced into the ring and
offered to fight anyone living to a finish for five pounds and a
pint of beer for the sheer fun of the thing. The disturber, who was
obviously out of his senses, was quickly removed. His identity has not
so far been established, but he is thought to be a fighter of the old
school escaped from confinement.

No authoritative announcement has been made as to who will assume Mr.
COCHRAN'S extensive boxing engagements, but rumour is busy with the
name of Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY.

_New York, January 31st, 1925._--Mr. W. BRADY, the veteran
fight-promoter, has signed up J. DEMPSEY and GEORGES CARPENTIER to
meet at Havana, Cuba, on Easter Monday, 1925. DEMPSEY will draw
£200,000, CARPENTIER £150,000.

_New York, February 8th, 1925._--Following Mr. W. BRADY'S
announcement, Mr. TEX RICKARDS (promoter of the JEFFRIES-JOHNSON
contest) has now come forward, stating that DEMPSEY and CARPENTIER
have signed a contract with him to fight at Nome, Alaska, on Shrove
Tuesday, for a quarter-of-a-million each.

_New York, February 19th, 1925._--Mr. C. B. COCHRAN, who arrived
on the _Aquitania_ this morning, says that the two champions have
contracted to meet under his management at Tristan d'Acunha on Good
Friday for half-a-million each and a percentage on the popcorn and
peanut sales.

_New York, March 3rd, 1925._--With the view of lifting the national
depression consequent on the hitch in the world's championship
arrangements, Mr. HENRY FORD, whose successes as a mediator are
celebrated, is labouring to bring about a conciliatory meeting between
the rival promoters.

_New York, July 12th, 1925._--Mr. HENRY FORD'S efforts, fortified by
the prayers of the Rev. WILLIAM SUNDAY, have at length borne fruit.
Messrs. BRADY, COCHRAN and RICKARDS have consented to talk matters
over. The White House has been placed entirely at the disposal of the
promoters, their families, secretaries, legal advisers, etc.

_Washington, D.C., July 20th, 1925._--Mr. HENRY FORD'S "Peace Party"
has not proved an unqualified success. Battle royal broke out among
the delegates at noon yesterday. Messrs. BRADY, COCHRAN and RICKARDS
have been taken to hospital, but are not expected to recover. The
White House is in ruins.


THE GREAT FIGHT.

_Geneva, July 4th, 1960._--The fight for the Heavyweight Championship
of the World, held under the auspices of the League of Nations, took
place yesterday before a gigantic crowd. DEMPSEY, who now wears a
flowing white beard, was wheeled into the ring in a bath-chair.
CARPENTIER, now wholly bald, appeared on crutches and was seconded
by two trained nurses and his youngest grandson. Both champions
were assisted to their feet by their supporters, shook hands and
immediately clinched. In this clinch they remained throughout the
entire round, fast asleep. At the opening of the second round they
attempted to clinch again, but missed each other, overbalanced
and went to the mat. Neither could be persuaded to get up, and
consequently both were counted out.

It is therefore impossible to say who won or who lost, and the
Heavyweight Championship of the World remains as open a question as
ever.

PATLANDER.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Second_ (_to stout entrant in a Novice Competition_).
"NOW, DON'T FORGET--AS SOON AS THE BELL GOES RUSH AT 'IM AN' KEEP
FLITTIN' IN AN' OUT LIKE BITS O' FORKED LIGHTNIN'."]

       *       *       *       *       *


EVE VICTORIOUS.

"Aren't girls funny, Uncle Alan?" said Christopher.

"Christopher," I answered, "girls are the very dickens. You can't
trust 'em. Never have anything to do with girls, my boy."

"I'm not going to," said Christopher.

This is what we said to each other afterwards. If either of us had
thought of it before---- But that's the usual way, of course.

       *       *       *       *       *

Christopher and I were sitting by the fire. We were very peaceful and
happy together, pretending to look at a book but really doing nothing
at all.

Then Dorothy came into the room. Dorothy is Christopher's cousin and
six years old. Not that her age matters--six, sixteen or sixty, they
are all the same.

"What are you doing?" inquired Dorothy.

"Nothing," murmured Christopher contentedly.

"I wanted you to come and play with me."

Christopher shuffled uneasily and I came to the rescue.

"Not now, Dorothy," I said; "we are too comfortable. Come and have a
look at this book with us."

Dorothy looked at me as though she had just realised my presence.

"I want Christopher to come and play with me," she repeated.

Christopher has a fine old-fashioned idea of a host's duty to his
guests. He stifled a yawn and slid from my knee.

"All right, Dorothy," he said. "What shall we play?"

Dorothy skipped like a young lamb. "Hide and Seek," she sang. "I'll go
and hide. Don't look till I call."

She danced gaily and triumphantly out of the room.

Now I don't mind being snubbed and I certainly shouldn't trouble about
a spot of a child who ought to have been kept in the nursery. Of
course it's ridiculous even to begin explaining, isn't it? The thing's
obvious. No, I felt that Dorothy should be taught a lesson; that is
all. I thought it would be good for her.

"That settles Dorothy," I said deliberately. "Now we can go on
reading."

"But she wants me to go and look for her," explained Christopher.

"Then let her want," I said shortly. "We can't always
be---- Christopher, we'll have a game with Dorothy. We'll stop where we
are and let her look for herself."

Christopher chuckled. "She'll be awfully angry," he said uncertainly.

"Good!" said I.

"Cooee!" came a voice from the far-away. We laughed guiltily to
ourselves and settled down in the chair. The scheme proceeded
according to plan.

After sundry shrieks and screeches and whistles Dorothy grew impatient
and adopted bolder tactics.

"You can't find me," she called hopefully.

I felt that it was time for a little encouragement.

"I wonder where she can be?" I said loudly.

There was a long silence. At last Dorothy grew desperate. "Look under
the armchair in the hall," she called.

Christopher and I smiled to ourselves. Then suddenly we heard her
creeping towards the door. I blame Christopher for what followed.

"She's coming," he whispered excitedly. "Let's hide."

There was no time to think. We slipped rapidly under the table. A
ridiculous thing to do, of course; so undignified. I kick myself when
I think of it, but at the time---- Well, it was Christopher's fault for
getting excited. So there we were squashed under the table when the
door opened and Dorothy appeared.

"I don't believe----" she began, and then stopped. "Why, they're
not here," she gasped. And then Christopher spoilt everything by
spluttering. I strangled him at once and we hoped that Dorothy hadn't
heard. We saw her legs standing very still by the door. Then they
moved quickly round the table to the fireplace. Christopher and I held
our breaths and waited. We saw that Dorothy was pulling our chair
round to face the fire. Then she sat herself in it and all we could
see was the back of the chair.

There was a great silence. Christopher and I looked at each other and
decided that something must be done.

I cleared my throat quietly. "Cooee!" I fluted.

Dorothy began to sing a hymn in a loud voice.

And then Cecilia came into the room.

Now Cecilia is Christopher's mother and my sister. You will understand
that neither Christopher nor I would care to appear ridiculous in
front of her. So we kept quiet.

"Hallo, Dorothy," said Cecilia; "all by yourself? Where's
Christopher?"

"I'm reading Christopher's book," said Dorothy, ignoring the question.
"May I?"

"Of course, dear," said Cecilia, sitting down. There was a lot more
silence. It grew very hot and uncomfortable under the table.

"What shall we do, Uncle?" whispered Christopher.

"Come on," I said desperately. We crawled out and stood up.

"What on earth----" began Cecilia.

I managed a watery smile. "_Here_ we are," I said to Dorothy.

Dorothy looked at us in surprise.

"You _are_ untidy," she said. "Whatever have you been doing?"

Christopher swallowed indignantly. "We were playing 'Hide and Seek'
with you," he said.

"Oh, I stopped playing a long time ago," said Dorothy. "I'm reading
now." She turned to our book again. Cecilia began to laugh.

"Come and have a wash, Christopher," I said in a strangled voice, and
we moved off sheepishly.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Aren't girls funny, Uncle Alan?" said Christopher.

"Christopher," I answered, "girls are the very----" Well, I told you
at the beginning what we said to each other.

       *       *       *       *       *

HIGH EXPLOSIVE ART.

    [_The Morning Post_ has been conducting a vigorous campaign
    against singers who dispense with careful and prolonged training,
    and by their spasmodic and declamatory style suggest the title of
    "gaspers."]

  Oh, all young folk of tuneful aims
    And fancy names like Joan and Jasper,
  I hope you'll read (and duly heed)
    _The Morning Post_ upon the "gasper."

  'Tis not the "fag" that is turned down,
    Though that often proves a rasper
  Upon the larynx; here the noun
    Denotes the human, singing gasper.

  Rome was not builded in a day,
    Nor even row-boats (_teste_ CLASPER);
  No more are voices which will stay,
    Unlike the organ of the gasper.

  Attorneys need, before they start,
    Five years of training, but the grasper
  Who grudges one to vocal art
    Will end, as he began, a gasper.

  Wherefore, ye men and maids who chant,
    Refrain at all costs from exasper-
  ating _The Morning Post_, which can't
    Abide the methods of the gasper.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Impending Apology.

    "St. ---- Hall was filled last night with people, with Scottish
    song--and with fog. Perhaps nothing but the ---- Orpheus Choir
    could have done that."--_Scottish Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "THE JAPANESE BUDGET.

    Tokio, Tuesday.

    The Cabinet has approved of the Budget, which totals 1,562 million
    yen (about 2s.)."

    _Jersey Paper._

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN, please copy.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE POWER OF SENTIMENT.]

       *       *       *       *       *


LITTLE BITS OF LONDON.

BOND STREET.

I find it very difficult to walk slowly down Bond Street as one
ought to do; I always feel so guilty. Most of the people there look
scornfully at me as if I belonged to Whitechapel, and the rest look
suspiciously at me as if I belonged to Bond Street. My clothes are
neither good enough nor bad enough. So I hurry through with the tense
expression of a man who is merely using Bond Street as a thoroughfare,
because it is the way to his dentist--as indeed in my case it is.
But recently I _did_ saunter in the proper way, and I took a most
thrilling inventory of the principal classes of shops, the results of
which have now been tabulated by my statistical department.

For instance, do you know how many shops in the street sell things for
ladies to wear (not including boots, jewellery or shoes)? No? Well,
there are thirty-three. Not many, is it? But then there are twenty-one
jewellers (including pearl shops) and eight boot and/or shoe shops; so
that, with two sort of linen places, which may fairly be reckoned
as female, the ladies' total is sixty-four. I only counted a
hundred-and-fifty shops altogether. Of that total, nine are places
where men can buy things to wear, and ten are places where they can
buy things to smoke; I have charitably debited all the cigarette-shops
to the men, even the ones where the cigarettes are tipped with
rose-leaves and violet-petals. But even if I do that and give the men
the two places where you can buy guns and throw in the one garden-seat
shop, we are left with the result:--

    Feminine Shops.            Masculine Shops.

    Dress                33    Dress         9
    Jewellers            21    Tobacco      10
    Boots and Shoes       8    Motors        9
    Sort of Linen Places  2    Guns          2
    Dog Bureau            1    Garden Seats  1
                         --                 --
                         65                 31

From these figures a firm of Manchester actuaries has drawn the
startling conclusion that Bond Street is more used by women than by
men. It may be so. But a more interesting question is, how do all
these duplicates manage to carry on, considering the very reasonable
prices they charge? At one point there are three jewellers in a row,
with another one opposite. Not far off there are three cigarette-shops
together, madly defying each other with gold-tips and silver-tips,
cork-tips and velvet-tips, rose-tips and lily-tips. There is only one
book-shop, of course, but there are about nine picture-places. How do
they all exist? It is mysterious.

Especially when you consider how much trouble they take to avoid
attracting attention. There are still one or two window-dressers
who lower the whole tone of the street by adhering to the
gaudy-overcrowded style; but the majority, in a violent reaction
from that, seem to have rushed to the wildest extremes of the
simple-unobtrusive. They are delightful, I think, those reverent
little windows with the chaste curtains and floors of polished walnut,
in the middle of which reposes delicately a single toque, a single
chocolate or a single pearl. Some of the picture-places are among
the most modest. There is one window which suggests nothing but the
obscure branch of a highly-decayed bank in the dimmest cathedral town.
On the dingy screen which entirely fills the window is written simply
in letters which time has almost erased, "---- ---- PICTURES." Nothing
could be less enticing. Yet inside, I daresay, fortunes are made
daily. I noticed no trace of this method at the Advertisers'
Exhibition; they might give it a trial.

Now no doubt you fondly think that Bond Street is wholly devoted to
luxuries; perhaps you have abandoned your dream of actually buying
something in Bond Street? You are wrong. To begin with, there are
about ten places where you can buy food, and, though there is no pub.
now, there is a café (with a licence). There are two grocers and a
poulterer. There is even a fish-shop--you didn't know that, did you? I
am bound to say it seemed to have only the very largest fish, but they
were obviously fish.

Anyone can go shopping in Bond Street. I knew a clergyman once who
went in and asked for a back-stud. He was afterwards unfrocked for
riotous living, but the stud was produced. You can buy a cauliflower
in Bond Street--if you know the ropes. There is a shop which merely
looks like a very beautiful florist's. There are potatoes in the
window, it is true, but they are "hot-house" ones; inside there is
no trace of a common vegetable. But if you ask facetiously for a
cauliflower (as I did) the young lady will disappear below ground and
actually return with a real cauliflower (_de luxe_, of course). I
remember few more embarrassing episodes.

And if you like to inquire at the magnificent provision-merchant's he
too will conjure up from the magic cellars boot-cream and metal-polish
and all those vulgar groceries which make life possible. That is the
secret of Bond Street. Beneath that glittering display of luxurious
trivialities there are vast reserves of solid prosaic necessaries,
only waiting to be asked for. A man could live exclusively on Bond
Street. I don't know where you would buy your butchers' meat, but I
have a proud fancy that, if you went in and said something to one of
those sleek and sorrowful jewellers, he too would vanish underground
and blandly return to you with a jewelled steak or a plush chop.

Many years ago, they tell me, there _was_ a butcher in Bond Street.
Perhaps you dealt there. For my part I was not eating much meat in
those days. But I can imagine his window--a perfect little grotto of
jasper and onyx, with stalactites of pure gold, and in the middle,
resting on a genuine block of Arctic ice, an exquisite beef-sausage. I
wish he would come back.

It is difficult to realise that there is anything but shop-windows in
Bond Street, but I like to think that, up there in those upper storeys
which one never sees, there does dwell a self-contained little
community to whom Bond Street is merely the village street, down which
the housewives pass gossiping each morning to the greengrocer's or the
fishmonger's and never purchase any pearls at all.

When the butcher comes back I think I shall join them.

A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Father_. "LOOK HERE, BILLY, MR. SMITH CALLED AT THE
OFFICE THIS MORNING ABOUT YOUR FIGHT WITH HIS BOY YESTERDAY."

_Son_. "DID HE? I HOPE YOU GOT ON AS WELL AS I DID."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Joan_ (_whose mother has just bought her a pair of
woollen gloves_). "OH, MUMMY, I WISH YOU HAD GOT KID. I HATE THIS
KIND; THEY MAKE MY SWEETS SO HAIRY."]

       *       *       *       *       *


THE SAD CASE OF EL GRECO.

It was at the National Gallery, situated on the north side of
Trafalgar Square, that I first made the acquaintance of one DOMENICO
THEOTOCOPULI, a native of Crete, who--probably because his own people
wanted him to be a stockbroker or something--set up as a painter
in Spain, and was dubbed by the Dons "El Greco," as you might say
"Scottie."

For years I have been rather tickled by his manner of depicting Popes
and Saints as if they were reflected in elongating mirrors labelled,
"Before Dining at the Toreador Restaurant." But until quite lately
I hardly ever met anyone who had even noticed him, so I felt quite
bucked on the old chap's account when I heard that he was considered
one of the most distinguished of the Spanish painters, past and
present, who are on view just now at Burlington House.

And what surprises me is not that old THEOTOCOPULI should attract so
much attention in Piccadilly, but that such lots of people seem never
to have known that he has been exhibiting himself all this time in
Trafalgar Square.

I'm sure Mrs. Bletherwood didn't, for one, when she tackled me at the
Chattertons' the other afternoon.

"Of course you've been to Burlington House?" she began, and she was in
such a hurry to get first innings that she didn't give me time to say
that I hadn't yet, but that I meant to go on my first free day that
wasn't foggy.

"Don't you _love_ those quaint 'El Grecos'?" she went on. "He's quite
a discovery, don't you think? My daughter Muriel, who hopes to get
into the Slade School soon now, says she doesn't see how anybody _can_
see people differently from the way 'El Greco' saw people. And yet I
don't know that I _quite_ like the idea of Muriel seeing _me_ like
that, although she's _so_ clever...."

I could not help thinking that in Mrs. Bletherwood's case the "El
Greco" treatment would be an admirable corrective to a certain lateral
expansion.

"Besides," she continued in a confidential tone, "I've heard or read
somewhere that there's just a doubt whether he distorted people on
purpose or because there was something wrong with his eyes. If I
thought it was astigmatism I would insist on taking Muriel to an
oculist. I wonder what you think."

I raised my teacup suggestively.

Mrs. Bletherwood gasped. "You don't mean that he----"

"Like a fish," I said.

"Oh, how too disgraceful!" she exclaimed. "Fancy their having his
pictures there at all. Such religious subjects too. I shall warn
Muriel at once. I'm so thankful you told me...."

Have I done a wrong to Señor DOMENICO THEOTOCOPULI ("El Greco")?
Perhaps; but I hope it has prevented Miss Muriel Bletherwood from
doing him a greater.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Sun Sets This Morning     8.8
     Sun Sets To-night         3.56"

    _Liverpool Paper_.

Just as in London last Wednesday.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Vicar's Wife_. "THE VICAR WAS ASKING ONLY THIS MORNING
WHY YOU WEREN'T IN THE HABIT OF ATTENDING CHURCH."

_Latest Inhabitant_. "WELL, YOU SEE, IT DOES SO CUT INTO ONE'S SUNDAYS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

CURES FOR INSOMNIA.

The following correspondence, clearly intended for the Editor of _The
Daily Ailment_, has found its way into our letter-box. Another example
of post-office inefficiency.

SIR,--As a regular reader of your valuable journal I am always deeply
interested in the views of your readers as expressed in its columns.
The recent letters on the cure of insomnia have interested me
particularly. Although I have read your paper for many years, always
eaten standard bread, study most diligently each morning my lesson
on Government wobble and waste, grow sweet peas, keep fowls, take my
holidays early (in Thanet) and read the feuilleton, in short perform
all the duties of an enthusiastic loyal Englishman, I cannot sleep.
Yesterday I decided to try the remedies suggested by your readers.

After inviting sleep with "a dish of boiled onions" I found that I
must go to bed "without having eaten anything for five hours or so."
This meant sitting up very late, but I found the time useful for
taking "deep long breaths." Meanwhile I ran through the names of
my friends alphabetically and emptied the feathers from my pillow,
replacing them with hops. Sometimes a hop got mixed up in a "deep long
breath," which was rather pleasant.

Every few minutes I left my friends' names to say to myself, "I am
terribly sleepy," or "I am falling asleep;" this was wrong, as the
boiled onions had not had nearly five hours. "Relaxing all my muscles"
was rather awkward, as one hand was filling the pillow with hops and
the other was "holding a wet sponge," which _would_ drip water on
the sheets. Another difficulty was "wafting myself in an imaginary
aeroplane" to bring about "a state of oblivion and coma," which I
might perhaps have done more easily by putting the hops to another
use.

I had to cut out the "recital of the Litany," partly because my
friends' names had only got as far as George (Lloyd), and also
because, being a Nonconformist, I don't know it. (I must learn it now
the feuilleton is finishing.)

But the most annoying part of the business was to find that, after all
this elaborate preparation for sleep, I was to "take a brisk walk for
half-an-hour" (whatever the weather conditions). Even this did not
work, for by that time the milkmen and newsboys were heralding the
dawn and kept my brain too alert.

As a final effort, do you think you could produce a nightcap model
of the Sandringham, or is it quite impossible for one who reads your
paper to be anything but wideawake?

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PERFECT PARTNER.

  There are, my Mabel, men who vow
    The perfect wife is theirs
  Because she smoothes the ruffled brow
    And drives away their cares;
  While there are others hold the view
    That she is best who'll pay
  Some trivial attention to
    Her promise to obey.

  Well, let each babble in his turn
    About that spouse of his;
  Not knowing you, how could they learn
    What true perfection is?
  Of all your sex you stand most high
    By far and very far
  Who mid your Christmas gifts can buy
    A smokeable cigar.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE ECONOMISTS.

SCENE.--_The Coalition Golf Club de luxe_.

MR. BONAR LAW. "DARE WE HAVE CADDIES?"

MR. LLOYD GEORGE. "NO, NO. WE ARE OBSERVED. THE PLACE IS ALIVE WITH
ELECTORS."

("Watch your M.P.!"--_Poster of Anti-Waste Press_.)]

       *       *       *       *       *


ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

[Illustration: THURSDAY.

[After the Painting by W. DENDY SADLER.]

SIR D. MACLEAN, MR. HOGGE, MR. G. LAMBERT, MR. G. R. THORNE, MR.
ASQUITH, MR. ACLAND, GENERAL SEELY.]

_Monday, December 6th._--"Logic has never governed Ireland and never
will," said Lord MIDLETON to-day. It was certainly conspicuous by its
absence from a good many of the speeches made in Committee on the
Government of Ireland Bill. Representatives of Southern Ireland have
been clamouring for greater financial control, but they quite changed
their tone when Clause 24, enabling the Irish Parliaments to impose
a surtax upon residents in Ireland, came up for discussion.
While professing the greatest confidence in the desire of their
fellow-countrymen to treat them fairly, Lords DROGHEDA, SLIGO and
WICKLOW agreed in thinking that this was too dangerous a power to
entrust to them; it would breed absenteeism and drive capital out of
the country.

Lord FINLAY, to whom as a Scotsman logic still makes appeal, was for
the deletion of the whole clause. But the Irish Peers again objected;
for they desired to preserve for the Irish Parliaments power to remit
Imperial taxes, on the off-chance that some day it might be exercised.
And they carried their point.

According to Lieut.-Colonel CROFT the pencils used by the British
Post-Office are procured from the United States. As one who has
suffered I can only hope that Anglo-American friendship, already
somewhat strained by the bacon episode, will survive this revelation.

On the strength of a rumour that the seed of Irish peace had been
planted in Downing Street, Mr. HOGGE promptly essayed to root it up in
order to observe its progress towards fruition. The PRIME MINISTER,
however, gave no encouragement to his well-intentioned efforts. Nor
did he satisfy Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY'S curiosity as to whether
Father O'FLANAGAN was "a Sinn Feiner on the bridge," beyond saying
"that is what we want to find out."

_Tuesday, December 7th._--After a week's interval for reflection and
study Lord LINCOLNSHIRE moved the rejection of the Agriculture Bill.
Adapting an old joke of Lord SPENCER'S, made in "another place" a
generation ago, he observed that this was no more an agricultural Bill
than he himself was an agricultural labourer. He knows however how
to call a spade a spade, if not something more picturesque, and he
treated the measure and its authors to all the resources of a varied
vocabulary. Possibly his brother peers, while enjoying his invective,
thought that it had been a little bit overdone, for of the subsequent
speakers only Lord HINDLIP announced his intention of voting against
the Bill, the others being of opinion that parts of it were, not
excellent perhaps, but at least tolerable.

In the Commons Viscount CURZON pressed upon the Government the
desirability of licensing side-car combinations as taxi-cabs. The idea
might, one feels, appeal to a Coalition Government but Sir JOHN BAIRD
for the Home Office hinted at the existence of "serious objections."

Collectively the House has an infantile mind. It went into kinks of
laughter over a question put by Dr. MURRAY regarding the "daily mail
service" between one of his beloved islands and the Scottish mainland.
The author of the joke--and small blame to him--quite failed to
appreciate how funny he had been until his neighbours muttered in
stage-whispers, "_Daily Mail!_" "_Daily Mail!_" Then a wan smile broke
over his own features.

It has been stated in certain newspapers that Mr. CHAMBERLAIN has
refused the Viceroyalty of India in consequence of the weak state of
his health, and that for the same cause he is likely to vacate shortly
the Chancellorship of the Exchequer. All I can say is that on the
Treasury Bench he betrays no outward sign of this regrettable debility
when dealing with critics of the Treasury. It is not easy to puncture
the _æs triplex_ of Mr. BOTTOMLEY, but two words from Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
did it this afternoon.

Sir ROBERT HORNE got a second reading for the Dyes Bill, a measure which
he commended as being necessary to protect what is a key-industry both
in peace and war. Dye-stuffs and poison-gas are, it seems, inextricably
intermingled, and unless the Bill is passed we shall be able neither to
dye ourselves nor to poison our enemies.

_Wednesday, December 8th._--The Agriculture Bill found one
thoroughgoing supporter in the Duke of MARLBOROUGH, an "owner-occupier"
so enamoured of Government control that he desires to see the whole of
the ditches and hedges of England administered out of public funds; and
a host of critics, friendly and otherwise. Lord CHAPLIN, though he
thought the Bill one of the worst ever introduced, declined to vote
against the Second Reading; Lord HARRIS believed that it would make
very little difference one way or the other; Lord RIBBLESDALE, as an
old-fashioned Free Trader, would have nothing to do with it; Lord LOVAT
was of opinion that as an insurance for our food supply it would not
compare with a Channel Tunnel; and Lord BUCKMASTER feared that it would
rather strengthen than allay the demand for land nationalisation. The
Government approached the division in some trepidation and were the
more rejoiced when, in an unusually big House, the Second Reading was
carried by 123 votes to 85.

But for the self-sacrifice of Mr. SPEAKER the Commons would have made
themselves ridiculous this evening. Major ARCHER-SHEE wanted to have
up a certain newspaper for breach of privilege in endeavouring to
dictate to Members how they should vote. He obtained leave to move the
adjournment and would doubtless have provided the peccant journal with
a valuable free advertisement had not Mr. LOWTHER, reckless of his
reputation for infallibility, suddenly remembered that motions for the
adjournment were intended for criticising the Government and not for
rebuking irresponsible outsiders. At his request the gallant Major
withdrew his motion, and _The Daily_ ---- lost its advertisement.

Invigorated by this episode the House--or what was left of it--resumed
the Report stage of the Ministry of Health Bill. The debate was
remarkable for the brevity of some of the speeches. Sir ROWLAND BLADES
set a good example to new Members by making a "maiden" effort in a
minute and a half. But his record was easily beaten by Mr. SEXTON, who
found ten seconds sufficient for expressing his opinion that the
fact that the House was trying to legislate in the small hours was
sufficient proof of the necessity of extending the laws of lunacy.
"_Si argumentum requiris circumspice_," he might have said as he gazed
upon the recumbent and yawning figures around him.

_Thursday, December 9th._--Mr. BONAR LAW enumerated a portentous list
of measures which the House of Commons must pass if it wants to enjoy
its Christmas holidays in peace. Lord HUGH CECIL wanted to know what
was the use of passing "all these foolish little Bills." Mr. PEMBERTON
BILLING had another solution for the difficulty and asked, "Why not
pass them all _ad hoc_?" meaning, it is supposed, "_en bloc_."

Well might the PRIME MINISTER remark at Question-time that he welcomed
the attacks of a certain section of the Press on the "Wastrels"
because then he knew the Government was all right. Mr. GEORGE LAMBERT
made a lively speech in support of his proposal to "ration" the
Government to a sum of £808,000,000--the amount Mr. CHAMBERLAIN had
said would suffice for a normal year. But his criticisms were too
discursive to be really dangerous, and his condemnation of "sloppy
Socialism" put up the backs of the Labour Party.

The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER reminded the House that when he talked
of a "normal Budget" he had been careful to add, "but not this year,
next year or the year after," which sounds suspiciously like the
nursery formula, "This year, next year, sometime, NEVER."

Still the great majority of the Members were only too anxious to be
convinced, and passed by a huge majority the "blanketing" amendment of
Sir GODFREY COLLINS in favour of economy in the abstract. I don't know
how this is to be squared with the PRIME MINISTER'S theory that it
is the business of the Government "to see that the population is
contented." That sounds a little like _panem et circenses_--a policy
which did not work out cheaply.

_Friday, December 10th._--With the air of one who has something fresh
and strange to impart the PRIME MINISTER informed the House of Commons
to-day that in regard to Ireland "the Government are determined on a
double policy." The novelty presumably consists in putting those
old stagers, conciliation and coercion, hitherto only tried
tandem-fashion, into double harness. Martial law is to be introduced
in certain of the most disturbed districts, and at the same time
such Sinn Fein M.P.'s as are not "on the run" are to be called into
conference. On the face of it the prospect looks unpromising, but
happily Ireland is essentially the place where nothing happens save
the unexpected.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Actor-Manager of Touring Company._ "CONFOUND OUR LUCK!
THE LEADING LADY HAS DESERTED US IN OUR HOUR OF NEED--ELOPED WITH THE
OSTLER FROM YONDER PUBLIC-HOUSE--ON _THIS_ OF ALL EVENINGS, WHEN THE
AUDIENCE THREATENS TO OUTNUMBER THE CAST."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Macdonald._ "MAN SANDY, ARE YE BOGGIT?" _Sandy._ "AY,
MACDONALD, I'M BOGGIT."

_Macdonald._ "YE CANNA GET OOT?" _Sandy._ "I'M NO BIDING HERE FOR THE
PLEESURE O 'T!"

_Macdonald._ "I DOOT YE'D LIKE FINE TO COME OOT?" _Sandy._ "AY, I
WOULD THAT."

_Macdonald._ "WEEL, 'TWAD BE A CHRISTIAN ACT TO PULL YE OOT, BUT
_VERRA_ DEEFFICULT--UNLESS YE'VE NO FAIRTHER USE FOR YOUR RED COO."]

       *       *       *       *       *

MAKING THE LAW POPULAR.

A writer in an evening contemporary complains that one has some
difficulty in finding the notices to jurors in the newspapers.

We have often thought that more prominence might be given to the Law
Notices generally. Printed in the smallest type and abbreviated almost
beyond understanding, they are by no means the brightest item of news.

Would it not be an advantage to hand the department over to a smart
paragraphist? Readers might then be entertained by something like the
following:--

Visitors to the Law Courts to-day should on no account fail to look in
at King's Bench XIII., which is one of the cosiest of our beautiful
Courts of Justice. Here will be continued the scintillating contest
between Sir Anthony Prius, K.C., and that rising young barrister,
Mr. Terry Blee-Smart, K.C. It is more than probable that the
cross-examination of the humorous butcher will continue through most
of the day.

The first case on the list in the Lord Chief's Court to-day is
no other than _The King_ v. _The Dean and Chapter of Mumborough
Cathedral_. While it is not expected that his Majesty's engagements
will permit him to be present, an action of this character is fraught
with more than common interest, since it must be seldom that the Royal
House finds itself in such conflict with the Church as to resort to
the arbitrament of the law.

We see no reason why some legal engagements should not be boldly
displayed, the more readily to catch the reader's eye. Why not the
following:--

        ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE.
        ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE.
        ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE.
      YOU MUST NOT MISS THIS!
        Chancery Court No. 29,
              Before
        Mr. Justice Howling,
  _Binks_ v. _Arcana Cinema Company, Ltd._

As one of the leading comedians of the day Mr. TIM BINKS never fails
to create roars of laughter, and with Mr. JUSTICE HOWLING may be
relied upon to put up a show provocative of never-failing mirth.


CHEER YOURSELF UP! ADMISSION FREE!

  Whether it's wet or whether it's fine,
  Visit Chancery Twenty-nine.

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW RHYMES FOR OLD CHILDREN.

  THE LOBSTER.

  The lobster is an oblong crab
    With one or two antennæ;
  I fancy life would be less drab
    If people had as many.

  I think he uses them to smell,
    But what he most enjoys
  Is rubbing them against his shell;
    It makes a funny noise.

  He rubs away like anything,
    And you should see his face!
  Alas, he thinks that he can sing;
    But that is not the case.

  He's very sensitive and shy;
    At last when he is dead
  _He knows the truth_--and that is why
    He goes so very red.

 A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Your System appealed to me as a rational means of exercise
    without undue fatigue, and I started on the 10th of March, 1920.
    I was then in my 75th year, and now within only two months of
    completing the 85th." _Advt. in Sunday Paper_.

If he keeps it up he should be a centenarian by about the end of next
year. One seems to age rather rapidly under this system.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE OTHER HALF.

I was sitting by Anderson's fire the other day when his telephone bell
rang. He made the usual insincere exclamation of disgust--as insincere
as the horror we simulate when a bundle of letters is brought into
the room, to have letters and to be called up on the telephone being
really adventures and therefore welcome; and he then crossed the room
to answer the call.

"Shall I go?" I asked, thinking that he might prefer to be alone.

"Oh, no," he said, and I remained. I was not trying to overhear, but
it couldn't be helped.

This is the conversation (his half) that I heard:--

"Yes."

"Speaking. Who is it?"

"Oh, I'm so glad! I was getting horribly nervous. How is he?"

"Good Heavens! I was afraid he might be. What do you think?"

"Of course I must trust you. But we must never let my wife know."

"I'll think about it and let you know."

"Quite likely. I'll go into that and let you know. She can't be
absolutely alone anyway. There must be another some time."

"And what do you propose to do now?"

"You're sure it will be painless?"

"I wouldn't have him suffer for anything."

"Thank you very much. I shall tell my wife he died in his sleep.
Good-bye."

What, I wonder, would you have made of that? Some telephone
conversations are easy to construct, but this to me was a puzzle. What
had Anderson been up to? It must be an awful moment, I have often
thought as I read divorce and other cases, when a friend is suddenly
turned into a witness; and I had the feeling that that might be my lot
now. Those clever cross-examining devils, they can get anything out of
you. If Anderson had known who was ringing him up he would probably
(so I reasoned) have got me out of the room; but, having once started,
he decided to brazen it out as the less suspicious way.

As so often happens, however, I was wrong. This is the whole innocent
conversation:--

"Is that 1260?"

"Yes."

"Is Mr. Anderson there?"

"Speaking. Who is it?"

"Harding, the veterinary surgeon."

"Oh, I'm so glad! I was getting horribly nervous. How is he?"

"He's worse."

"Good Heavens! I was afraid he might be. What do you think?"

"I think we had better put an end to him."

"Of course I must trust you. But we must never let my wife know."

"Shall I be looking about for another?"

"I'll think about it and let you know."

"Perhaps a totally different breed would be better; not another Peke.
There'd be fewer unhappy associations then, don't you see?"

"Quite likely. I'll go into that and let you know. She can't be
absolutely alone, anyway. There must be another some time."

"Yes."

"And what do you propose to do now?"

"Oh, I'll give him poison."

"You're sure it will be painless?"

"Quite."

"I wouldn't have him suffer for anything."

"That will be all right."

"Thank you very much. I shall tell my wife he died in his sleep.
Good-bye."

E. V. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MOUNTAIN AND THE PROPHETS.

My dear Charles,--At Geneva there is, and was long before the arrival
of the League of Nations, a mountain. There are many mountains in
Switzerland, but Geneva's private mountain happens to be in France.
It is called "The Salève," a nasty name, but not of my choosing. If,
being in Geneva, you want to go up The Salève (as I personally do not)
you have first to get your passport off the police. The police are
always a little difficult about passports, but, if you mention the
name of The Salève, you will find them easier. You have next to obtain
the French _visa_ in order to get out of Geneva; then the Swiss _visa_
in order to get back again. Thus provided you have to compete with a
complicated and long-drawn process of trams and frontier controls;
even so you find yourself at the bottom and not at the top of The
Salève.

Being a busy (or shall we say idle?) man yourself, you will thus
understand the reasons of my policy; if the mountain will not come to
MAHOMED then MAHOMED and the mountain are best kept apart.

The inhabitants of Geneva have long been contriving, intriguing, I
will even say complotting, to get me up The Salève. My doctor, having
made me thoroughly interested in myself, got on to the subject of
exercise; when my banker passed from the subject of interest on
overdrafts to the advisability of my seeing the great Geneva view, it
was undoubtedly blackmail; and as for my dentist--well, you know what
dentists are and what mean advantages they take. But this one, I
think, over-stepped the limit when he allowed the crown of my tooth to
remind him of the crown of Mont Blanc; paused in fixing the former to
descant on the beauties of the latter; told me that from The Salève
I should get a better view of the latter than he, where he was, was
getting of the former; asked me almost simultaneously if he was
hurting me and if I had been up The Salève, and told me that I must go
up it and (which I took to mean "or") that he might have to hurt me.

That was the most critical moment in the whole Battle of The Salève;
the military critics are unanimous that I should have then said, "I
will go up," had I been in a position to say anything at all. Saved by
the gag, I have won the war against the Genevois.

I have taken the standpoint of the prophet, who, as you know, is not
without honour abroad--a prophet with the policy outlined above. When
a prophet of my sort decides on a policy, and that policy consists of
doing nothing, he takes a lot of shifting, even on the flat. And there
the matter and I remained, when there arrived from England, on or
about November 15th, a positive cloud of prophets, intent on the
League of Nations. The busiest figure among them is the secretary of
one of the delegates. Pretending to be my best friend he sought the
occasion of a heart-to-heart with me. I took it he wanted to discuss
Nations; it appeared he wanted to discuss mountains. I hoped he was
considering them generally in mass, possibly with the view of making a
League of them. He was thinking in the particular, and you can guess
what particular. He was beginning to think of wanting to go up It.

In an effective speech, which brought tears to my eyes but merely gave
him an opportunity to fill and light his pipe, I put all the "cons"
before him, particularly the passport part. As a man speaking with the
authority behind him of a world leagued together, he detailed all
the "pros." We must act together, he and I; he would assemble the
prophets, I the passports.

I refused to be bullied by him. He named some major prophets, whom I
should find it more difficult to withstand. His propaganda amongst
them apparently began at once. Mark the sequence of events:--

On Tuesday, November 16th, His Majesty's Minister-Plenipotentiary and
Envoy-Extraordinary in Switzerland assembled the British element to
dinner. I have reason to know that he had already been approached
by the secretary. The Crown of Mont Blanc was freely discussed and
curiosity was aroused as to the identity, the desirability, even the
approachability of the nearer mountain.

On Wednesday, November 17th, I ran into Lieut.-Col. His Highness the
JAM SAHIB of NAWANAGAR--"RANJI," in brief. He was standing at the
entrance of his hotel in significant meditation. The entrance of his
hotel looks upon The Salève and past it to the Crown of Mont Blanc.
And that was where he looked.

On Friday, November 19th, I found the Right Hon. G. N. BARNES walking
along the Quai de Mont Blanc in the fatal direction. His eyebrows
pointed relentlessly upward.

On Saturday, November 20th, Mr. BALFOUR arrived. The secretary began
to talk about a date for our excursion.

On Sunday, November 21st, I became involved in conversation with Lord
ROBERT CECIL in his room in his hotel. He moved towards the window,
and as he did so Armenia, Vilna and all the Powers that want to come
into the League and all the Powers that want to stay out of the League
faded from his mind, and he called attention to the Crown of Mont
Blanc and fixed his eagle eye upon the mole-hill in between.

On Monday, November 22nd, the secretary came to me and ordered me to
provide passports, duly _visaed_, for The Salève party--seven in
all, myself included. I told him that I would appeal direct to the
delegates themselves, with whom I had already done some defensive
propaganda on my own. He told me it was nothing to do with the
delegates; it was the delegates' ladies. Fool that I was, I had never
thought of them!

That night I wrote in my diary: "At Geneva there is a mountain. It is
called The Salève--a nasty name for a nasty mountain. On Saturday I
shall be on the top of it. I always knew that the League of Nations
would make trouble."

On Tuesday, November 23rd, I sent an emissary among the ladies to
persuade them that the summit of The Salève was loathsome. The
emissary succeeded in establishing this point by contrasting it
unfavourably with the Crown of Mont Blanc. The ladies thanked the
emissary cordially for her most interesting information and said they
would take steps to see the Crown of _Mont Blanc_ more nearly, even if
those steps had to be up The Salève.

That night I wrote in my diary: "For a year I have fought and won, but
on Saturday the Crown of Mont Blanc will witness my defeat, and the
whole range of the Alps will look on in silent contempt."

On Wednesday morning, November 24th, I met Mr. BALFOUR crossing the
Pont du Mont Blanc. He was looking at It with that dreamy smile of
his, which seems to laugh at the littleness of man and the futility of
his policies. That finished me.

On Wednesday night, November 24th-25th (read your paper to witness if
I lie), the Crown of Mont Blanc fell off ... I have left The Salève
where it is. What does it matter now?

Yours ever, Henry.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "HULLO, BROWN! FANCY RUNNING UP AGAINST YOU. HOW SMALL
THE WORLD IS, TO BE SURE!"

"Y-YES. TERRIBLY SMALL, ISN'T IT?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

Enough Said.

"Sir Henry apologised at the close for having made the lecture
somewhat shorter than usual. Sir Donald ---- said that theirs was an
unspoken gratitude to Sir Henry for having done what he had been able
to do."--_Scots Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

"MADRID, Dec. 8.

"The Ministry of Public Works has announced that on January 15 next an
opportunity will be offered to foreign firms to secure orders for 119
railway engines and tenders needed by the Spanish railway companies.
Tenders must be handed personally by a duly accredited representative
of the firm making the offer."--_Times._

The engines may, however, be done up in a parcel and sent by post in
the usual manner.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Indian Servant (as telephone continues ringing)._
"OH, SAR, DO NOT BE SO ANGRY. THE SAHIB IS COMING VERY QUICKLY, I TELL
YOU."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ARRIVAL OF THE MANX BALLET.

The first visit of the Manx Ballet to London is undoubtedly the most
outstanding feature in the annals of choregraphic and corybantic
realism since the historic _première_ of the Botocudo Troupe on
September 31st, 1919. And it is all the more welcome as an indication
of the emergence of a native school, fully equipped in technique and
scenic resource and, above all, imbued from start to finish with
a high sense of the paramount importance of psycho-analysis in
eliminating all supra-liminal elements from the orchestro-mimetic
drama.

The most ambitious as well as the most successful item in the
programme presented on Saturday night at the Colossodrome was _The Cat
of Ballasalla_, that wonderful old Manx legend of the Princess who
was turned into a cat by the enchantments of the Wizard of Dhoon
and subsequently sentenced to decaudation by the cruel Scandinavian
invader, MAGNUS BARFOD. The scene of the trial in the great
synclinorium of Greeba Castle--exhibiting contemporaneous
carboniferous tuffs, soft argillaceous rocks with choriambic fossils
as well as later dolerite dykes, amid which the feline amenities of
the Princess were illustrated with miraculous agility by Miss Agneesh
Crannoge--compares favourably with the most ambitious enormities ever
perpetrated by the genius of BAKST, DIAGHILEV, or even COCODRILLO, the
Sardinian neo-Gongorist.

The music, which is chiefly founded on Manx folk-songs, developed
and adapted by Mr. Orry Poolvash, is richly suggestive of the
psycho-analytic basic aroma which pervades the entire scenario. The
absence of a Coda in the Funeral March which concludes the ballet is
an exquisitely pathetic touch which could only have occurred to a
composer of genius. The orchestration is sumptuous and sonorous, the
usual instruments being supplemented by two Glory Quayle-horns, a
quartet of Laxey-phones with rotating C and C sharp crooks, a Manx
harp with three strings, and a Miaowola, which gives out the Death
Motive of the Princess at the various crises of the drama in tones of
sublimated anguish and intensity.

We have only space in this brief preliminary notice to remark that the
programme includes a humorous extravaganza entitled _The Quirks of
Quilliam_, in which a grotesque _pas de quatre_ for the _Deemster_,
the _Doomster_, the _Boomster_ and the _Scrabster_, forms the central
episode; and ends with a satiric sketch, _The Golden Calf of Man_,
apparently aimed at the extravagance of Lancashire trippers, who are
pursued by demons into Sulby Glen, and released, to the sound of
sea-trumpets, by the beneficent intervention of _Lord Greeba_ on their
promising to evacuate the island.

       *       *       *       *       *

GOLFING "IFS."

  If you bring your own lunch
  And frugally munch
  Your sandwich and cake
  For economy's sake;
  If you strictly abstain
  From sloe-gin and champagne,
  Never touching a drop
  Save perhaps ginger-pop;
  If you're clever enough
  To keep out of the rough,
  If you don't slice or hook
  Into pond, dyke or brook
  Your new three-shilling ball,
  And, best saving of all,
  If you carry your clubs,
  You can pay heavy "subs.,"
  Fees for entrance and greens,
  Without straining your means,
  And, though you're a middle-
    Class man, not a peer,
  Agree with LORD RIDDELL
    That golf isn't dear.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Cheery Sportsman._ "HAD SIX FALLS IN TWO DAYS, HAVE
YOU? WELL, CHEER UP. YOUR LUCK'S BOUND TO CHANGE SOON. THESE THINGS
ALWAYS COME IN CYCLES."

_Rough Rider._ "MINE SEEM TO COME IN MOTOR LORRIES."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

The news that Mr. STEPHEN LEACOCK has published a fresh series of
burlesques will, I do not doubt, add to the Christmas jollity of a
vast crowd of laughter-lovers. The name of it is _Winsome Winnie, and
other New Nonsense Novels_ (LANE), and I can only describe it in that
pet phrase of the house-agents as "examined and strongly recommended"
for the merriest five-shillings' worth that I have enjoyed this long
time. If ever a volume demanded to be read aloud over the Yule log
here it is. Which of the eight novels is the most irresistible must
remain, I suppose, a matter of individual taste; for myself I found
the opening chapter in the title-tale the funniest thing in the
collection, and that not forgetting the billiard match in the
detective story, a contest that I defy anyone to follow without tears.
To attempt analysis of such happily unforced humour would be a dark
and dreadful task; but I incline to think that, more than most, the
fun of Mr. LEACOCK (to be accurate one should, I suppose, say Dr.
LEACOCK) depends upon the sudden tripping-up of the reader in
his moment of fancied security. The _cliché_, with its deceptive
appearance of solid and familiar ground, conceals an unexpected trap.
Thus _Winnie_, the thrown-upon-the-world heroine, asked by the family
lawyer how she proposes to gain a livelihood, replies in consecrated
phrase, "I have my needle." "_Let me see it_," says the lawyer. But I
grow pedantic; far more important than the method of this little book
is its gift of seasonable entertainment, for which we need only wipe
our eyes and be grateful.

       *       *       *       *       *

In _The Royal Artillery War Commemoration Book_ Messrs. G. BELL AND
SONS have produced a noble volume worthy of the great record of the
Royal Regiment. To the energy and enthusiasm of Mrs. AMBROSE DUDLEY is
largely due the collection of the fine material which Major-General
Sir HERBERT UNIACKE has here set out in fair order and proportion.
Personal diaries dealing with various phases of the War on all fronts
or with the daily routine of batteries are here interspersed with
articles and poems of a more purely literary quality and with original
illustrations, largely the work of Gunner-officers and extremely well
reproduced. Among the most notable contributors are Brigadier-General
J. H. MORGAN, Major V. R. BURKHARDT, D.S.O., Major The Master of
BELHAVEN, Captain VICTOR WALROND (the last two killed in action),
Captain GILBERT HOLIDAY, Captain H. ASQUITH, Lieut. ROBERT NICHOLS,
Lieut. GILBERT FRANKAU, Gunner MEARS, the Hon. NEVILLE LYTTON, Mr.
SEPTIMUS POWER, Mr. W. ROTHENSTEIN, Miss LUCY KEMP-WELCH and Mr. C.
CLARK. _Punch_ is represented by several artists, including Captain E.
H. SHEPARD, M.C., and Lieut. WALLIS MILLS (both of the Regiment), who
have contributed some delightful colour-sketches, very faithfully
observed. Many of the poems, too, that appear in the volume have been
reprinted from the pages of _Punch_. There are brief records of
those members of the Regiment who won the V.C., many portraits
of "Representative Artillerymen," and a Roll of Honour of fallen
officers, numbering 3,507. Lack of space alone prevented the inclusion
of the names of the 45,442 Other Ranks who gave their lives for their
country. Every Gunner who does not possess this splendid memorial work
should have it given to him this Christmas by some proud relative or
friend. Like the Regiment, it should go _Ubique_.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Mr. ROBERT CHAMBERS decides to give his neurotic New York society
women a miss, and exploit his more imaginative and adventurous vein, I
always know that I am in for a late night and an extra large gas
bill. Like the British soldier Mr. CHAMBERS does not carry the word
"impossible" in his vocabulary. Why should he, since he can give the
semblance of reality to the utterly unbelievable? Then one mutters,
"What utter rubbish!" and sends round to the bookseller to enquire if
by any chance there is a sequel coming out. In _The Slayer of
Souls_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) Mr. CHAMBERS is at his best and most
impossible. A race of dreadful magicians, the descendants of the
Old Man of the Mountain, who have been multiplying and acquiring
extraordinary psychic powers in the interior of China for centuries,
come forth to do battle with the United Secret Service for the souls
of men. They have inspired the Hun, and the Bolshevik has been their
tool. Fortunately a beautiful young American girl, who was brought up
in their midst and has learned all their grizzly powers and (as it
seems) a bit more, is on the side of the "forces of law and order."
The struggle is titanic, for these magicians can slay and be slain
corporeally and incorporeally with equal ease. I do not need to tell
you who wins out, but neither will I intimate how it is done. I can
only say that I envy anybody who is fortunate enough to have a long
evening before him and _The Slayer of Souls_ at his elbow, still
unread.

       *       *       *       *       *

In _Uncle Pierce's Legacy_ (METHUEN) Mrs. DOROTHEA CONYERS gives
us once more all that we have learned to expect of her novels: the
friendly, witty, blundering servants; the hunting society in which
wealth and poverty, breeding and vulgarity, cheerfully rub shoulders;
the descriptions of the wistful beautiful West of Ireland in autumn
and winter; and above all the horses. Added to all this there are Sinn
Fein raids, real and imaginary, to bring things up to date. A rather
unconvincing plot, with a dash of _Great Expectations_ in it, yet
offers a situation which has plenty of amusing possibilities. _Honor_
and _Evie Nutting_, two middle-aged spinsters, find themselves the
possessors of eight thousand a year, on condition that they spend it
all. That sounds, of course, a very pleasant arrangement; but they
have been struggling for years to make ends meet and economy has
become a habit. The end of the first quarter finds them sending
_Harris_, the English manservant, in haste to buy a frying-pan with
the last unspent three shillings and sixpence. That the _Uncle Pierce_
of the title should be really a brother, that characters should change
their names without rhyme or reason from paragraph to paragraph, and
that inverted commas should make their appearance just anywhere--all
this, I think, is the author's clever way of suggesting an atmosphere
of Irish irresponsibility, and it is quite successful. _Uncle Pierce's
Legacy_ is a pleasant tale most pleasantly told, and it is not Mrs.
CONYERS' fault, but her misfortune (and ours), that novels which
describe the lighter side of Irish life, even with the tenderest
humour, are more likely just now to make one sigh than smile.

       *       *       *       *       *

I do not know whether _The Scar_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) first saw
publication in any of our popular dailies, but from internal evidence
I should be strongly inclined to suspect it. At least Miss RUBY M.
AYRES has written an admirable example of the class of tale, beloved
of our serial public, in which new every morning are the tribulations
of the elect, only to vanish with startling suddenness in the last
days of June or December. For example, _Mark_, the hero, begins as the
misunderstood son of one of those widower-fathers who in such stories
dwell for ever behind the locked doors of studies, leaving in this
instance _Mark_ to be the victim of an aunt whose lack of sympathy
approaches the pantomimic. All the usual results follow, even to the
acquisition by _Mark_ of a faithful hound, which the least experience
of sentimental fiction would have caused any insurance company to
refuse on sight. When therefore _Aunt Midian_, following her appointed
course, effaced this friend-of-man, I confess that my grief was to
some extent tempered by a recognition of the inevitable. Of course,
however, _Mark_ does not remain for long in what I might call these
dog-days of his young affection; love, strong, passionate and not too
slavishly restricted to a single object, soon has his world going
round as fast as the most exacting reader could desire. For the
decorous details of this delirium I need only add that, if you want
them, you know where to go to find them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Had I been asked to godfather _Smith and the Pharaohs_ (ARROWSMITH) I
should have refused to stand, unless its name was changed to "Barbara
who Came Back," for the tale of _Barbara_ is by far the best in this
book of short stories. It would be boastful--as well as untrue--to say
that I have read all of Sir H. RIDER HAGGARD'S many books, but as far
as my experience of them goes I find a delightfully fresh quality in
this tale. It may be old-fashioned and over-sentimental, but in spite
of these defects it has a very definite charm, and its conclusion
makes a curious and legitimate appeal to the emotions. All the other
stories are well up to standard, and it is amazing that an author who
has written so much still shows no symptoms either of weariness or
vain repetition.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those who appreciate Miss C. FOX SMITH'S familiarity with the ways and
moods of sailormen and her flair for the true sea-tang will welcome
the new collection of poems which she has brought out under the title,
_Ships and Folks_ (ELKIN MATHEWS). Most of these verses have appeared
in _Punch_, and no further commendation is here needed.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Christmas Card Artist (of the Old School)._ "GOOD
HEAVENS! CAN IT BE POSSIBLE THAT SUCH THINGS _ARE_?"]



       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's notes:

   Page 465: Tristan d'Acunha--this spelling also appears in the
   next issue of 'Punch'.

   Page 478: choregraphic is a valid spelling of choreographic.
   (Oxford Dictionary: Cho'regraph etc. See CHOREOGRAPH etc.)





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