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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, October 13, 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, October 13, 1920" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 159.



OCTOBER 13, 1920.



CHARIVARIA.

Mr. RIAZANOV, the successor to KAMENEFF, is now residing in Grosvenor
Street. Several readers have written to ask us how his name is
pronounced. Wrongly, we believe, in nine cases out of ten.

        * * *

We have been given to understand that that versatile pair, the TWO
BOBS, are contemplating a tour of the music-halls in the mining
district, where they are sure to be given a rousing reception.

        * * *

According to _The Evening News_ two miners recently played a quoit
match for a hundred pounds. In all probability they are now agitating
for the two shillings' increase to enable them to have a little side
bet.

        * * *

"We cannot choose how we will be born," says a medical writer. No;
some are born poor and others are born into a miner's family.

        * * *

"Where stands England to-day?" we are asked. While travelling in the
Tube we have often thought that most of it was standing on our feet.

        * * *

"With the outgoing of September we face once more the month of
October, with its falling leaves and autumn gales," states a writer in
a daily paper. This, we understand, is according to precedent.

        * * *

A Glamorgan collier, summoned for income-tax, stated that he earned
eleven pounds a week and wanted every penny of it. It is said that he
is saving up to buy a strike of his own.

        * * *

A live frog is reported to have been found in a coal seam at a
Monmouthshire colliery. It seems to have been greatly concerned at
having missed the previous strike ballot.

        * * *

With reference to Mr. SPENDER'S interview with Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
we regret that no mention is made of the exact date when the PRIME
MINISTER will declare the New World open.

        * * *

Since it has been so well advertised we understand that the banned
poster, "The Unknown," is shortly to be renamed "The Very Well Known."

        * * *

The EX-KAISER is reported to have made his will. He has bequeathed his
trial to his youngest grandson.

        * * *

It is proposed to make Poole a first-class port, at a cost of
£3,750,000. We cannot help thinking that hidden away in some
Government office is a man who could do it at treble the cost.

        * * *

A London firm of pastrycooks have purchased two obsolete tanks from
the Disposal Boards. They are said to make excellent utensils for
flattening pancakes.

        * * *

A dainty little invention has just been tried by the Bolshevists,
which consists of a method whereby boiling water from the ship's
boiler can be pumped on to sailors who do not obey their officers.
It is said to be just the thing to keep their minds off the idea of
mutiny.

        * * *

"I have all the qualifications for a post in some Government office,"
writes an Unemployed Ex-Soldier in a contemporary. It is to be hoped
that this drawback will be overlooked if his other disqualifications
are satisfactory.

        * * *

Washable hats for boys is one of the new inventions at the Leather and
Shoe Trade Exhibition. Small boys are now going about in fear that the
next discovery will be a washable neck.

        * * *

Six bandits entered the Central Café, New York, the other day and took
one thousand pounds from the diners. The ease with which they did it
suggests that they were mistaken for waiters.

        * * *

A plumber in Aberdeen is giving lessons to a women's class in
knitting. It is said that his treatise on How to Crochet a Burst
Bath-Pipe is likely to become a standard work.

        * * *

In taking away a safe containing six thousand pounds from a Fenchurch
Street office, burglars broke down a door with a thick glass panel.
The profession is of the opinion that the blame for this lies with the
firm. They had locked the door.

        * * *

_The Daily Chronicle_ informs us that a New York couple who were
engaged in 1868 have just been married. But surely the wonder is that
they were not married long before.

        * * *

A woman has told the medical officer of Burnham that rats so like the
poison being used that they come out of their holes for it while it is
being put down. We always make our rats stand up and beg for it.

        * * *

A domestic servant was recently blown out of her mistress's house
through the too liberal use of paraffin whilst lighting fires.
Luckily, however, it was her day out, so no complications ensued.

        * * *

On being asked his recipe for keeping young, a well-known physician
refused to reply. In view of the increasing number of precocious
authors, the question again arises, "Should a doctor tell?"

        * * *

_The Daily Express_ states that there is "very little demand for
champagne to-day." We fancy this is due to the fact that a number of
people are saving up to buy coffee at Messrs. LYONS'.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE MORNING TOILET.

"OH, LOOK, MUMMY! THERE'S WILFRED DOING HIS HAIR FROM MEMORY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

"THE PASSIONATE SPECTATOR."

We are asked to say that the above title of a book written by Miss
JANE BURR and published by Messrs. DUCKWORTH (it is described on the
wrapper as "an entirely unconventional novel founded on original and
ultra-modern views concerning life and marriage") has nothing to do
with our respected contemporary.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "GOVERNMENT'S STRIKING ATTITUDE. WAITING TILL THE CAR JUMBS?"

    _Nigerian Pioneer_.

Personally we always try to get out when this seems to be imminent.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO OUR PLAY-MAKERS.

    [_The Daisy_ and _The Crossing_, which both dealt with the
    life after death, have come to an untimely end; and, in
    deference to public feeling, the heroine of _Every Woman's
    Privilege_ has been furnished with a fresh _fiancé_.]

  When in my stall at eve I sit
    (And these remarks would still apply,
    Perhaps with greater force, were I
  Accommodated in the Pit)--
  Worn with the long day's dusty strife,
    I ask a brief surcease of gloom;
  I want a mirror held to life,
    But not the life beyond the tomb.

  The views of parties who have "crossed"
    (Meaning to Jordan's further shore),
    Those, as they say, who've "gone before,"
  But not (unhappily) been "lost"--
  They make me ill; they decompose
    My vital essence at its fount
  (Excepting BARRIE'S _Mary Rose_,
    But then, of course, he doesn't count).

  Give me the life that quick men lead,
    Of which I know the hopes and fears
    Better than those of shadier spheres;
  And, if at first you don't succeed,
  If you should hear the critics croak,
    "As to your heroine's choice, you err,"
  Just hand her to the other bloke--
    That's what they did with MARIE LÖHR.

  So shall creative art suggest
    A world where people may revise
    Their silly past, and realise
  Those second thoughts which are the best;
  Where, having seen the larger light,
    A perfect liberty to hedge
  And swap the wrong man for the right
    Is "Every Woman's Privilege."

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

YET ONE MORE PLAN FOR IRELAND.

Feeling rather lonely because almost everybody had entered for the
great Irish Problem Competition in the morning and evening press
except myself, I sat down and wrote the following solution, which
I posted immediately to the Editors of _The Times_ and of _The
Westminster Gazette_:--

"SIR"--I began indignantly, for I noticed all the best competitors
begin like that. In these Bolshevistic days I should have preferred of
course to have started off with "Comrade" or "Brother," or even, since
I was writing from the heart of the country, have opened with
"Eh bor," as people do in dialect novels, but, fearing I might be
disqualified, I began, as I say, "Sir," and went on, much as the other
statesmen did:--

"In all the lengthy annals of this Government, vacillation between
weakness and tyranny has never proved so disastrous as it is proving
in Ireland to-day, and the conduct of that unhappy country's affairs
is now plunged in a chaos so profoundly chaotic that it has become a
gross misuse of language to call them affairs at all. Out of all this
welter and confusion two salient facts are seen to emerge:--

"(1) No two Englishmen are agreed upon a settlement that will at the
same time satisfy the just aspirations of Ireland and preserve the
integrity of the British Empire.

"(2) No two Irishmen are either.

"At the same time the number of sane and carefully considered plans
for the government of Ireland was never so great as it is to-day. When
will our incompetent Cabinet perceive that the only way of warding
off the stain of perfidy which dogs their footsteps and threatens to
overwhelm them is to make use of all these plans? I put aside for the
moment the most violent proposals of the extremists on either side,
such as that of the annexation of England by the Sinn Fein Empire and
that of the deportation of all Irishmen to the Andaman Islands and the
re-colonisation of the country with correspondents to the daily press;
but between these two extremes there surely lie innumerable solutions
which both can and ought to be employed. I will only name here a few
of them:--

  ASQUITH autonomy.
  Dominion Home Rule.
  DUNRAVEN autonomy.
  GREY autonomy.
  Red autonomy.
  Government by Dhail Eireann.
  Government by Dhail Ymaill.
  Administration by the L.C.C.
  Clan warfare.

"And there are infinite shades and variations of all these.

"Every one of the policies I have named, and as many more as possible,
should now be adopted at once, one after the other, I suggest, for
quarterly periods and in alphabetical order.

"But let there be no mistake. They must be strictly enforced. It must
be impossible for Irishmen to come to England in the future and say
to her, as they have so often said in the past, 'You made us promises
which, when we leant on them, proved a broken reed and turned to dust
and ashes in our mouths.'

"One of the bitterest reproaches that is hurled, and hurled justly, at
British maladministration is that through all the seeming variations
of misgovernment there has been in fact no change. Dublin Castle
remains where it did. This must be altered at once. _The site of
Dublin Castle must be moved every three months._ There must be
infinite change, and it must be infinitely thorough and infinitely
systematic, so that, side by side with the continuous grievances of
all dissatisfied parties, will be the certain assurance that those
grievances will in strict rotation be remedied.

"The objection will, of course, be raised that these continual changes
of government will involve a certain amount of disorder; that one
system will scarcely be working before it is superseded by another;
that the rapid alterations in the _personnel_ of the judicature, civil
service and police will be inconvenient; that everything, in fact,
will be in a muddle. But by how much is not well-organised muddle to
be preferred to unsystematic anarchy? And as each type of government
recurs in due course will it not be found to work more simply and
satisfactorily?

"To those who shrug their shoulders and say that a series of
kaleidoscopic changes in Irish administration would never be approved
by the good sense of the British electorate I can only urge that it is
precisely this attitude of intolerance towards and ignorance of Irish
psychology which has rendered our behaviour to Ireland for so many
centuries a by-word not only throughout Europe but the whole civilised
world and the United States of America.

"I am, Sir, yours, etc."

Through some accident or other, either because I have not followed
exactly the prescribed rules of the competition, such as writing on
one side of the paper only, or addressing it from the National Liberal
Club, or obtaining the signature of five witnesses, my solution
has not yet appeared in _The Times_ or in _The Westminster Gazette_
either. Feeling it a pity, however, that any helpful suggestion should
be lost at a time when never in the annals of Irish misgovernment
has vacillation vacillated so vacillatingly as it does to-day, I have
repeated my strong but simple proposals here.

K.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Clever forgeries of Fisher notes are in circulation in St.
    Pancras.

    Last night, during the busy period, a number of publications
    in the Kentish Town district were victimised."--_Evening
    Paper_.

We had no idea that Kentish Town was such a literary centre.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Even Paris seems willing this season to add a few inches to
    the length of skirts, and six to eight inches is becoming the
    accepted length for street wear. This is an excellent length,
    not so long as to endanger the chic of the costume, nor
    so short as to be unbecoming in either sense of the
    word."--_Fashion Paper_.

We refrain from any speculations as to the previous length of these
skirts before the "few inches" were added.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE POLISH HUG.

BOLSHEVIST. "YOUR ATTITUDE CONVINCES ME, KAMERAD, THAT WE WERE MEANT
TO BE FRIENDS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Willium_ (_having at critical stage in four-handed
game undertaken to spot the red_). "'TIS ALL OVER, GEARGE--MY HAND BE
STUCK IN THE POCKUT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ELIZABETH OUTWITTED.

"An' when I dies they give me fifteen pounds on the nail an' no
waitin'," said Elizabeth triumphantly, as she explained her latest
insurance scheme.

"On what nail?" I asked distrustfully. I could not understand why
Elizabeth felt justified in paying sixpence per week for a benefit
fraught with so little ultimate joy to herself. But she is the sort of
girl that can never resist the back-door tout. She is constantly being
persuaded to buy something for which she pays a small weekly sum.
This is entered in a book, and the only conditions are that she must
continue paying that sum for the rest of her natural lifetime.

On these lines Elizabeth has "put in" for many articles in the course
of her chequered career. She has had fleeting possession of a steel
engraving of QUEEN VICTORIA, a watch that never would go--until her
payments ceased--a sewing-machine (treadle), a set of vases and a
marble timepiece. The timepiece, she explained, was destined for "the
bottom drawer," which she had begun to furnish from the moment a young
man first inquired which was her night out.

As all these things were taken from her directly her payments fell
off, I thought I had better give her the benefit of my ripe judgment.
"I shouldn't buy anything on the instalment plan, if I were you," I
advised. "Some people seem to be made for the system, but you are not
one of them."

"But I 'aven't told you wot I'm buyin' now," she said excitedly,
putting a plate on the rack as she spoke. I ought to say she meant to
put it on the rack; that it fell two inches short wasn't Elizabeth's
fault.

"It was cracked afore," she murmured mechanically as she gathered
up the fragments. "Yes, I pays a shillin' a week an' I gets a
grammerfone."

"A what?" I gasped.

"A grammerfone--to play, you know."

"Where will it play?" I asked feebly.

"'Ere," she said, waving a comprehensive hand; "an' it won't 'arf
liven the place up. My friend 'as 'ers goin' all day long."

I stifled a moan of horror, for I am one of the elect few who loathe
gramophones, even at their best and costliest.

"Elizabeth," I cried, tears of anguish rising to my eyes, "let me
implore you not to get one of those horr--I mean, not to be imposed on
again."

"I've got it," she announced. "I meantersay I've paid the first
shillin' an' it's comin' to-morrow. I 'ave it a month on trial."

The month certainly was a trial--for me. Ours is not one of those
old-fashioned residences with thick walls that muffle sound, and where
servants can be consigned to dwell in the bowels of the earth. Every
noise which arises in the kitchen, from Elizabeth's badinage with
the butcher's boy to the raucous grind of the knife-machine, echoes
through the house _viâ_ the study where I work.

Thus, although Elizabeth kept the kitchen-door shut, I found myself
compelled for one-half of the day to consider an insistent demand as
to the ultimate destination of flies in the winter-time. The rest of
the day the gramophone gave us _K-K-K-Katie_. (Elizabeth had only two
records to begin with.)

I became unnerved. My work suffered. It began to trickle back to me
accompanied by the regrets of editors; and to writers the regrets of
editors are the most poignant in the world.

The situation was saved by the most up-to-date tout of the whole
back-door tribe. He persuaded Elizabeth to go in for Spiritualism.
Do not misunderstand me. You can be a Spiritualist and also keep a
gramophone, but, if you are Elizabeth, you cannot keep the two running
at the same time if you must pay a shilling per week for each. When
she sought my opinion I strongly advised the séances, which I
said were cheap at the price; indeed I thought they were when the
gramophone departed.

It was now Elizabeth's turn to become unnerved. She has a mind that
is peculiarly open to impressions, and communion with the spirits
unbalanced her. She justified her expenditure of a shilling weekly by
placing the utmost faith in them.

"I 'ad a message from them there spirits larst night," she informed me
one day, "an' they tell me I must change my 'abitation."

"What do you mean?" I asked, startled.

"I put a message through, arskin' them when I should get a settled
young man, an' they told me that the fates are agen me in my present
dwellin', so if you'll please take my notice from--"

I will not go through the sickening formula. Every housewife must have
heard it several times at least in the past year or so. I accepted
Elizabeth's resignation and began to concentrate on newspaper
announcements. But I took an utter dislike to the spirits and listened
with cold aloofness when Elizabeth began, "I was talkin' to the spirit
of my young man larst night--"

"I didn't know you had the spirit of any young man," I interrupted.

"Yes, I 'ave. I mean Ned Akroyd, 'oo was drownded."

Now I have never believed in the alleged drowning of the said Ned.
The news--conveyed to Elizabeth by his mate--that he had fallen from
a ferry-boat near Eel Pie Island seemed unconvincing, especially as it
happened shortly after Elizabeth had lent him fifteen-and-six.

"I 'ad quite a long talk with 'im," she went on. "Next time I'm goin'
to arst 'im about the fifteen-and-six 'e borrowed, an' see if I can't
get it back some'ow."

How the spirit would have considered this proposition is still
uncertain, for Elizabeth never returned to the séances. She came to me
one day in a state of violent agitation. "I see Ned Akroyd when I was
out larst night," she began, "an' would you believe it, 'e's no more
dead than I am, the wretch!"

"Well, aren't you glad?" I inquired.

"Glad, an' 'im with another girl an' pretendin' all the time not to
see me! Men are 'ounds, that's what they are. An' I'll go to no more
seeonces. They're a swindle."

"They were wrong about telling you to change your habitation too,
weren't they?" I suggested insinuatingly.

"Course they were." Suddenly her face brightened. "I'll be able to
'ave the grammerfone back now," she said.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the moment I am writing to the sounds of _K-K-K-Katie_, which, I
fear, is giving me rather a syncopated style. But if the Editor is
k-k-k-kind he will not banish me from _P-P-P-Punch_ for this reason,
as anyone can see my intentions are g-g-g-good.

Stay! _K-K-K-Katie_ has ceased and I can think lucidly. An inspiration
has come to me. Has not Elizabeth in her time wrought havoc among my
crockery? The hour is ripe for me to retaliate.

To morrow at dawn I shall examine the gramophone records and--_they
will come in two in my hands_.

It will be the first time I have broken any record.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Wife_ (_to husband being bundled in as train moves
off_). "DID YE GET RETURN TICKETS?"

_Husband_. "NOA (_puff_)--DIDN'T 'AVE TIME."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "MISUSE OF RESEARCH GRANTS.

    By Professor ----, F.R.S."

    _Sunday Paper Poster_.

We refuse to believe it.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CONSPIRATORS.

III.


MY DEAR CHARLES,--Essential to that millennium which our restless
revolutionaries are after is your head on a charger and my head on a
charger; provided both heads are present it may be the same charger
for all they care. When you think of the importance which we of
the detested middle classes attach to our heads and the regrettable
violence we might exhibit towards whoever called at our houses to
collect them, then it seems to me you must confess to a sneaking
admiration for the bravery of the turbulent minority in attacking so
big a problem.

But when you get the inside details of their schemes you find that
discretion is not only the better part but the whole of their valour.
For arms you find incendiary speeches; for ammunition, viperish
propaganda, and for epoch-making action you have nothing. In that
"nothing" lies their main ingenuity and strong hope. If they can
prevail on the masses to do nothing, at the right moment, and to go
on doing nothing till there is nothing left, then, say they, they will
have civilisation under; and if our heads don't fall off of their own
accord then a thousand willing hands will be stretched forward to pull
them off.

You ask me how I know all this. Close the doors so that we cannot
be overheard, and I will tell you. I buy their continental
newspaper--"organ" they prefer to call it, being rather proud of the
noise--and there I read all that I want to know. It costs a halfpenny
a day, runs to six pages, is well printed and brightly composed and
contains no advertisements. There is generally a picture in thick
black lines in the centre of the first page. Blood being the easy
thing for the printer to "feature," the picture generally deals with
the cutting off of heads. If it refers to the past, you and I are
cutting off the worker's head, severing from a fine muscular body a
noble head with a halo to it. If it refers to the future, the worker
is having our heads off, severing from a fat and uncontrolled corpus a
most unpleasant excrescence in a very shiny top-hat.

To run a daily newspaper of that "make-up," without advertisements and
for subscribers of whom the larger number, like myself, omit to pay
their half-penny, is not easy business. In fact it is not business at
all. The question being raised as to where the money came from, the
producers tried to allay our suspicion by making a great show of an
appeal for help. The published results, which I give you in their
English equivalent, were much as follows:--

  +------------------------------------------------------+
  |                                          £  s. d.    |
  | B. de M.                                    6  0     |
  | Z. X.                                       5  0     |
  | Idealist                                    5  0     |
  | U. W. K.                                    5  0     |
  | A Frenchman who is ashamed of France        4  6     |
  | Young Communist                             4  0     |
  | Three young Communists                      3  6     |
  | "Great Britain" (collection)                3  3     |
  | Disgusted                                   2  6     |
  | Association of Women Fighters for Justice   2  3     |
  | O. F.                                       1  0     |
  | Down with Capital                              9     |
  | One Who will stick at Nothing                  3     |
  |                                         ------------ |
  |                                          2  3  0     |
  | Previous lists                          14  6  8-3/4 |
  |                                         ------------ |
  |                                        £16  9  8-3/4 |
  +------------------------------------------------------+

The grand total of sixteen pounds, nine shillings and eight-pence
three-farthings shows a magnificent spirit, but wouldn't keep much
more than a couple of square inches of the front page alive for more
than one day. Reverting, then, to the more pressing question of the
removal of our heads, who is paying for the operation?

He is a heavy-built octopus sort of man of about forty-seven; a red
cheery complexion, rather more fat than muscle, long grey hair tending
to curl at the extremes, and followed about by a lady who acts as his
secretary, calls him "Master" and adores the ground he walks on. They
are married, but not, I should hasten to add, to each other; none of
your dull orthodox practices for them. About his profile there is
an undeniable something which makes his head a suggestive model for
sculpture. It is framed in a large, white, soft silk collar, which
falls gracefully over the lapels of the coat and is, I am told, of a
mode much worn among the _élite_ of the anarchist and atheist world.

I've a friend here in the law-and-order business who thought that,
having reported all the movements of this Master of the Black Arts,
he might find it worth while to make his acquaintance in the flesh.
Indirect enquiry elicited that the desire to get into touch was
reciprocated, the attentions of the police being insufficient to
satisfy his sense of importance. So the meeting was arranged, and I
was allowed to come along too.

We were received in great state in a special suite of the local hotel
de luxe. The Lady Secretary was there, overflowing with "Masters" and
"Sirs," and obsessed by the fear that her idol might not do himself
justice in our presence. A very touching instance of human devotion:
the fifth instance in his case, I believe.

This is the gentleman who finances the propaganda of destruction; we
asked him if that was not so, and he answered, "Why, of course." Had
we any fault to find with his protégé, the admirable halfpenny daily?
We had noticed that its news was punctual and exact. Then of what did
we complain?

"Of a certain exaggeration in the leading articles," said I, rubbing
the back of my neck and wondering how long it would be there to rub
and I to rub it.

"But what newspaper leaders are not exaggerated?" he asked.

"Your editors should not be paid to twist everything into an
irritant," I protested.

"Of which of your great English dailies is the editor not paid to
twist, as you put it?" he asked.

I knew that I had right on my side and he had not. But still somehow I
seemed to be in the wrong all the way.

So my friend took the matter in hand. He didn't argue. He just drew
his chair up to the Master's and asked him to tell us all about
himself, how he came by his great ideals, what was the future of the
world as he foresaw it and how he meant to arrange the universe when
at length he took over?

The Master, gently smiling his appreciation of this recognition of his
Ego, gave voice.

To the lady it was all, of course, above criticism: sublime, adorable.
To me the frankness of it and the impudence of it was, I confess,
amusing.

  The world is out of joint; how good 'twill be
  When Heaven is sacked and leaves the job to me!

An agreeable, if wrong-headed, crank, was my summary.

And this or something like it was my friend's:--"b. U.S.A. of Eng.
parents, 9.5.78; tinned meat business, Chicago; 6 months' h.l. for
frauds in connection with packing; went to Mexico, but left to avoid
prosecution for similar frauds on larger scale; prison in Belgium,
France and England in connection with illegal dealings in rifles
(? for Germany); apparently liable to more prison in U.S.A. for crime
unknown, if returns there; won't say where he gets his money from, but
doesn't seriously pretend it is his own."

And when I came to go back over the Master's two hours' chat about
himself, those are about the facts it all boiled down to.

  Yours ever,               HENRY.

(_To be continued._)

       *       *       *       *       *

    "£40.--Handsome Black Silk Golf Goat (large size)."--_Irish Paper_.

The very thing for the butting-green.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: NIL DESPERANDUM.

_The Amateur Championship_. MR. POTT-HUNTER, WHO FAILED TO SURVIVE THE
FIRST ROUND.

_The East of France Championship_. MR. POTT-HUNTER IN FATAL
DIFFICULTIES IN THE SECOND ROUND.

_The Championship of Central Switzerland_. MR. POTT-HUNTER, DEFEATED
IN THE THIRD ROUND.

_The Sicilian Championship_. MR. POTT-HUNTER, WHO REACHED THE FOURTH
ROUND.

_The Championship of Mozambique_. MR. POTT-HUNTER, A FIFTH ROUND
VICTIM.

_The Spitzbergen Championship_. MR. POTT-HUNTER, ONE OF THE
SEMI-FINALISTS.

_The Championship of Upper Senegal_. MR. POTT-HUNTER, BEATEN IN THE
FINAL BY MR. HUNT-POTT.

_The Tierra del Fuego Championship_. THE WINNER, MR. POTT-HUNTER.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "NEVER YOU MIND IF 'E DID SAY YOU'D GOT A NECK LIKE A
CAMEL. 'TAIN'T NEARLY AS LONG AS ALL THAT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE KORBAN BATH.

[_Korban_--"It is a gift"--Hebrew (or some such language).]

With some reluctance I return to the subject of baths. I went into
the matter of bathrooms pretty carefully a few months ago, but since
I have been in this hotel I see that there are one or two aspects of
hotel bathing which still require attention.

To begin with, there is the question of the Korban or free bath.
It is, of course, a scandal that a bath should be an extra, and an
eighteen-penny one at that. After all, what is the bathroom for? We
are not charged extra for smoking in the smoking-room or drawing in
the drawing-room; why should we be bled for bathing in the bathroom?
At the same time this practice does provide the visitor with the
wholesome sport of Korban bathing. The object of the game is, of
course, to have as many baths as possible which are not put down in
your bill; and many are the stratagems which are employed.

The true sportsman attempts the feat just before dinner, because at
that time there are sentries posted in every corridor. Ostensibly they
are maids waiting to assist any lady who has a crisis while dressing,
but no real pretence is made that they are there for any other purpose
than to charge you for as many baths as possible. On my corridor
there is a post of no fewer than three sentries, and it is extremely
difficult to evade them. The only thing to do is to get to know three
nice ladies on the same floor and arrange for them to have a
dressing crisis simultaneously and go on having it for about a
quarter-of-an-hour.

This needs a good deal of organisation. However smoothly the operation
begins, one of the dressing crises nearly always collapses too soon,
and the sentry catches you on your return journey.

For the lady visitor the problem is comparatively simple. I should
mention that it is a perfectly legitimate manoeuvre to get your bath
put down to somebody else if you can do it; and the crack lady-player
usually wraps herself in an unobtrusive bath-wrap, shrouds her head,
modestly conceals her face, slips into a friend's room to borrow some
Crème-Limon and, after an interval, rushes noisily out of the friend's
room to her bath, which, with any luck, is charged to her friend's
account.

The beginner at the game contents himself with less complicated ruses.
Sometimes he has his bath late at night, when the sentries have been
taken off; but, as the lights go out _en masse_ at eleven, even this
operation has to be carefully timed. There is nothing much gloomier
than a bath by candle-light, except perhaps a bath in the dark.
Hundreds, however, of both sorts are endured in this hotel.

The more brazen or the more timid simply walk into the bathroom fully
dressed during the day, carrying a number of dirty golf-balls in their
hands, and towels in their pockets and sponges up their sleeves, and
issue later fully dressed with clean white golf-balls in their
hands. It is generally thought, however, that this device is _just_ a
little--I mean it's not exactly--_you_ know what I mean.

The Korban Bath Rules will probably remain unwritten for many a
day, but I earnestly hope that before next summer the traditions and
etiquette of bath-warfare as between individual hotel-visitors will
be codified and issued in an intelligible form. At the moment the
most extraordinary confusion prevails, and no one can tell whether
any particular stratagem will be hailed with applause as a bold and
legitimate operation of war or universally condemned as a barefaced
piece of bath-hoggery. Recently, for example, an extremely courteous,
not to say gallant, old gentleman was severely lectured by a lady for
digging himself in on the mat and maintaining his position there till
she emerged. She stated with, I think, considerable force that she had
passed the age when a lady likes to be seen coming out of a bathroom
with disordered locks; she also said that he was ruining her chance of
a Korban bath by drawing attention to the fact that there was somebody
inside.

He replied with equal force that, whenever he considerately withdrew
from the mat in order to let a lady escape unseen, some less
scrupulous combatant (usually one of his own daughters) immediately
rushed the position, and he was not going to be had in that way again,
though as a matter of fact, while they were arguing the matter out,
somebody actually did this, so he was.

Now what is the way out of this dilemma? The only solution I see is
the Sponge System, by which every competitor puts down a sponge, as
one puts down a ball at the first tee. In this way definite claims
can be staked out in rotation without congestion of the avenues of
approach. I hope this system will be generally adopted next summer
and, if it is used in conjunction with my Progress Indicator (which
shows by a moving needle what stage the person bathing has reached),
it ought to work very smoothly. But there must be no hanky-panky, no
sharp practice with caddies; every sponge must be put down by one
of the players in person. And there must be none of that regrettable
collusion between husband and wife which has brought such discredit on
the present system.

There was a very bad case of this the other day. A certain wife used
to entrench herself in the bathroom early and remain in it till her
husband--a heavy and persistent sleeper--arrived. When you rattled
angrily at the door-knob she said very sharply, "Who is that?"--in
itself a sufficiently disturbing thing. Even in the present days of
shamelessness and crime there are few men who care to confess openly
that they have angrily rattled at the bathroom door. If you said
sheepishly, "It is Smith" or "Thompson" or "Lord Bumble," a heavy
silence fell, broken only by those gentle watery sounds which it is so
maddening to hear from without. When her husband arrived and answered
the challenge with "It is I, Arthur," sounds of feverish activity were
heard within, and a new bath was immediately turned on.

Casting all scruples to the winds, seven desperate men rehearsed the
password, "It is I, Arthur;" seven desperate men presented themselves
in a single morning and murmured lovingly, "It is I, Arthur." None of
them had a bath. Seven times the good lady opened the door and beheld
Smith or Thompson or Lord Rumble or nobody. And seven times she bolted
back into the burrow again. She remained undefeated. Her husband got
his bath.

I wonder what devilry she would be up to under the Sponge System.

A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

A NOVELTY FROM THE PAST.

    "ANTIQUE, over a hundred years old, oak sideboard, brand new
    ... Apply after 6.30."

    _Evening News_.

Surely after this candour there is no help to be got out of the
twilight hour.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Robert ----, who is now manager, entered his late
    employer's service three or four months after he commenced,
    and remained with him until he gave up."

    _Local Paper_.

"They have their exits and their entrances"--the former in this case
being the more satisfactory.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Intending Purchaser_ (_to Artist, who is selling his
house_.) "DID YOU PUT THOSE FIGURES ON THE WALLS?"

_Artist_ (_modestly, though regarding them as a strong asset_.) "OH,
YES--I--"

_Intending Purchaser_. "WELL, THEY DON'T REALLY MATTER. A COAT OF
WHITEWASH WOULD SOON PUT THAT RIGHT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

WHEN AND IF.

(_It is rumoured that Mr. BALFOUR is shortly going to the House of
Lords_.)

  When BALFOUR goes to the Lords--
    For the Upper Chamber's adorning--
  The Lower House, if it has any _nous_,
    Will have solid reason for mourning;
  For he has no axes to grind;
    His strategy injures no man,
  And his keen sword play in the thick of the fray
    Is a joy to friend and foeman.

  When BALFOUR goes to the Lords,
    To strengthen that gilded muster,
  'Twill be sad and strange if he has to change
    The name he has crowned with lustre;
  For already there's "B. of B.,"
    A baron of old creation;
  And Whittingehame is an uncouth name
    For daily pronunciation.

  If BALFOUR goes to the Lords,
    Will the atmosphere, I wonder,
  With the placid balm of its dreamful calm
    Bring his nimble spirit under?
  Or will he act on the Peers
    Like an intellectual cat-fish,
  Or startle their sleep with the flying leap
    Of a Caribbean bat-fish?

  If BALFOUR goes to the Lords--
    But can the Commons spare him?
  Besides I'm sure that a coronet's lure
    Is the very last thing to ensnare him;
  And I'd rather see him undecked
    With the gauds that merely glister,
  In the selfsame box with PITT and FOX
    And GLADSTONE--a simple Mister.

  Still if he goes to the Lords,
    Whatever, his style and title,
  For the part he has played in his country's aid
    'Twill be but a poor requital;
  For he never once lost his nerve
    When the outlook was most alarming,
  And always remained, with shield unstained,
    Prince ARTHUR, the good Prince Charming.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mrs. Hawke would be glad to employ a Wren for domestic work."

    _Advt. in Daily Paper_.

Will she have to "live in"?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "If it be true, as SHELLEY said, that 'a thing of beauty is
    a joy for ever,' the good people of Roydon are to be
    congratulated on the new bridge over the River Stort."

    _Local Paper_.

But, supposing KEATS, for instance, said it, will that make any
difference?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Enlightened Minister_. "I CANNA UNDERSTAND YOUR
OBJECTION TO DANCING, MR. MCTAVISH. WE HAVE BIBLICAL AUTHORITY FOR IT.
DAVID HIMSELF DANCED."

_Elder_. "AY, BUT NO WI' A PAIRTNER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

PRISCILLA FAILS TO QUALIFY.

"So it runned out of its little grassy place and went all round the
garden," said Priscilla, emerging suddenly in pink from under the
table.

"What are you playing at now, Priscilla?" I inquired.

"I'm a little pussy-cat."

"And what is this?" I asked, pointing to the waste-paper basket which
she had planted beside my chair.

"It's the pussy-cat's basket of milk. It's to drink when she's
firsty," she explained.

I sighed. It did not appear to me that the child's education was
proceeding upon proper lines. I had been reading portions of the diary
of Miss OPAL WHITELEY, written when she was seven years old, a work
which has just lifted for America the Child-authoress Cup. I had hoped
to find in Priscilla some faint signs that the laurels lost by Miss
DAISY ASHFORD might be wrested back. The latest feature in nursery
autobiography, so far as I could gather, was to have a profound
objective sympathy with vegetables and a faculty for naming domestic
animals after the principal figures in classical mythology. If you
have these gifts you get published by _The Atlantic Monthly_, with a
preface by Viscount GREY. But I doubted whether Priscilla had them. I
thought I would try.

"Priscilla," I said, "be a little girl again and tell me what flower
you like best."

"Woses."

"What do the roses say to each other when you aren't there?"

"Oh, they don't _say_ anyfing," she said with great contempt.

This was bad.

"Priscilla," I continued, "what do you call the dog next-door?"

"Bill," she said; "but it's runned away."

"There you are!" I exclaimed, turning to the child's mamma. "Bill,
indeed! If she were being properly educated she would be calling it
Jupiter Agamemnon Wilcox by now. Does she ever speak to you at all of
the star-gleams amongst the cabbage-leaves?"

"I don't think there are any star-gleams amongst the cabbages in this
garden," she replied. "Only slugs."

"I don't care," I said; "the fact remains that Priscilla ought to be
constantly wondering what the cabbages do say to each other when they
have lonesome feels at night."

"Priscilla," I began again, "in about three years you will be seven
years old and quite a big girl. What will you play at then?"

"Oh, I san't play at all," she said. "I sall go visiting and sopping."

"Anything else?"

"Oh, yes, I sall have a knife."

"A pocket-knife?"

"No, not a pocket-knife, a knife to cut meat wiv, of course."

I had forgotten this goal of maidenly desires.

"And won't you go long walks in the big woods with me and tell me the
names of all the flowers and what they are thinking about?"

"Yes," she replied rather doubtfully. "Are there beasts in the woods?"

"Only rabbits, I think."

"We must be very careful, then, 'cos they're _very_ wild creatures,
aren't they?"

"Oh, not _very_ wild."

"Will you buy a gun at the gun-sop and soot them and we take them home
and eat them?"

Bless the child, I thought, there seems to be no getting her away from
this eating business.

"Priscilla," I began again, "in the woods there is a great big
lake, with trees and rushes all round it, and there are water-lilies
floating about and forget-me-nots at the edge."

Now, I thought, we shall perhaps have something about the lullaby
songs of the trees and the willow that does sing by the creek.

"Are there fiss in the lake?" inquired Priscilla.

"Yes," I said, "beautiful shining fish."

"And sall we catch the fiss and put them on the fire?"

"I suppose we might," I admitted.

"And will they sizzle?"

"Araminta," I said, "the child is hopeless. She has no soul. She
will never be a great authoress. The Cup must remain in Oregon, and
Priscilla will never tell the world how the wind did go walking in
the field, talking to the earth voices, with a preface by Sir AUCKLAND
GEDDES or Lord READING. She thinks about nothing but her food."

"Perhaps you had better try again after she's said her prayers,"
suggested Araminta. "She may be feeling a little more soulful then."

I attended the ceremony, which was performed with the utmost decorum
and gravity. When it was ended Priscilla looked up.

"I said them very somnly and in rarver a low voice, didn't I?" she
announced, and then went off into gurgles of laughter.

I determined to make one last despairing effort.

"Priscilla," I asked, "which of your books do you like the best?"

"_The Gobbly Goblin_," she said.

"Araminta," I cried, "I give it up. She has no bent for literature.
There can never have been any great authoress, young or old, who
started with such a materialistic mind."

"You forget Mrs. Beeton," she replied.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE EXPERTS.

ASQUITH. "GIVE HIM HIS HEAD!"

GREY. "TELL HIM YOU'LL CUT THE STRING IN A COUPLE OF YEARS!"

MORLEY. "WHAT YOU WANT IS A MORE POWERFUL SANITY!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

COLD COMFORT.

(_It is stated that M. KAMENEFF, on his return to Russia, having
fallen out of favour with the Soviet Government, has been appointed
Commissar at Taganrog_.)

  Upon the mighty wheels of life
    I'm but a very little cog,
  And, when engaged in active strife,
    Always the under-dog.

  No honours yet have come to me
    (My name is Ebenezer Blogg);
  I haven't got an O.B.E.
    Nor yet the Dannebrog.

  A taxi-man the other night
    Called me a measly little frog;
  It's true that in respect of height
    I can't compare with OG.

  At school I was the whipping-boy
    Whom every master used to flog,
  Although I took no stealthy joy
    In pipes or cards or grog.

  The only time that I bestrode
    A horse, like _Gilpin_ all agog,
  The creature bolted from the road
    And plunged me in a bog.

  I never learned to sing or dance,
    To bowl or bat, to stick or slog;
  The only time I crossed to France
    I struck a Channel fog.

  I'm old and poor and rather deaf;
    I'm often very short of prog;
  Yet still I grudge not KAMENEFF
    His post at Taganrog.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Bookie_. "I MUST 'AVE TAKEN TWO 'UNDRED QUID
TO-DAY. MARVELLOUS! I CAN'T THINK WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM."

_Second Bookie_. "FROM ME MOSTLY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR MODEST ADVERTISERS.

"To be Sold, small unexceptionally attractive gentleman's Residential
Estate."

       *       *       *       *       *

  There was an American "DAISY"
  Whose Diary set people crazy;
    Some called it a fake--
    A most venial mistake,
  For Opals are apt to be hazy.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Humble Guest_ (_at Profiteer's castle_). "WHAT THE
DEUCE IS THIS?"

_Magnificent Flunkey_. "THE TEMPERATURE OF YOUR BATH-WATER, SIR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MINISTRY FOR HEROES.

  _January 1st, 1920._
  To the Ministry of Pensions.

When demobilised on 5th November last I applied for a disability
pension. Having received no official communication on the subject, may
I inquire, please, how the matter stands?

  M. C. BROKE, _Capt._


  _February 1st, 1920._
  To Lieut. C. M. Broke.

I am to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 1/1/20, and to say that
you will receive a further communication from this Department in due
course.

  CUTHBERT RUTT,
  for Ministry of Pensions.


  _March 1st, 1920._
  To the Ministry of Pensions.

_Re_ your letter of February 1st, may I inquire how the matter now
stands, please? (My rank, by the way, is captain, and my initials are
"M. C." not "C. M." I hope you won't mind me mentioning it.)

  M. C. BROKE, _Capt._


  _April 1st, 1920._
  To Mr. M. Brake.

I am to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 1/3/20 and to request
that you will be good enough to state the date upon which you last
received a payment on account of your pension.

  CUTHBERT RUTT,
  for Ministry of Pensions.


  _April 2nd, 1920._
  To the Ministry of Pensions.

Replying to your inquiry of yesterday, I have not received any
payment--not a bond, not a rouble, not a bean. That, between
ourselves, was my idea in initiating this interesting correspondence.

May I direct your attention to my signature?

  M. C. BROKE, _Capt._


  _May 10th, 1920._
  To Second-Lieut. J. Brooke.

Your letter dated 2/4/20 has been duly received. I am to ask whether
you are (a) demobilised; (b) disembodied; or (c) still serving?

  CUTHBERT RUTT,
  for Ministry of Pensions.


  _May 11th, 1920._
  To the Ministry of Pensions.

I was so glad to hear yesterday that my letter of the 2nd of last
month had been duly received. I was beginning to get quite anxious
about it. In reply to your inquiry I have the honour to state (again)
that I was (a) demobilised. I mentioned this, you know, last January.
But perhaps you have forgotten? It is rather a long while ago.

  M. C. BROKE, _Capt._

P.S.--I don't mind a bit how you spell my name and all that. But our
postman is getting wild. And you know what workers are.


  _June 30th, 1920._
  To Mr. C. Bink.

I am directed to acknowledge your letter of 11/5/20. In order to
facilitate this Department's investigations into your claim, please
say if you are in possession of Army Form Z.3.

  CUTHBERT RUTT,
  for Ministry of Pensions.


  _July 1st, 1920._
  To the Ministry of Pensions.

Yes, I am in possession of Army Form Z.3. I do hope this will
facilitate your Department's investigations. Not for my sake. But I
enclose last quarter's accounts from my landlord, butcher, baker, etc.
Perhaps you will be good enough to guarantee my credit? You know how
impatient these vulgar fellows are.

  M. C. BROKE, _Capt._

P.S.--I think I like "Bink" the least of my new names. But perhaps you
will think of a better one for my next letter.


  _August 1st, 1920._
  To Mr. M. Brooks.

Your letter of 1/7/20 has been duly received, and I am to inquire
whether you submitted a claim for disability pension at the time of
your demobilisation. If so, please state date.

  CUTHBERT RUTT,
  for Ministry of Pensions.


  _August 2nd, 1920._
  To the Ministry of Pensions.

With reference to your letter of yesterday, the answer is in the
affirmative. By the way I think we went into that little matter too
last January. But, of course, you can't think of everything. Excuse
me mentioning it. Do you think you could get my pension through by the
30th inst? It is my birthday, and I would like to have my boots soled
and heeled.

  M. C. BROKE, _Capt._


  _August 30th, 1920._
  To Mr. N. Brock.

With reference to your application for disability pension I am to
request that you will furnish this Department with a full statement of
the circumstances under which you were wounded, giving the following
particulars:--Christian and surname (in block letters); regiment;
whether (a) demobilised; (b) disembodied; or (c) still serving;
whether (a) shot; (b) bayoneted; (c) gassed; (d) shell-shocked; or
(e) drowned; Christian and surname (in block letters) of batman,
stretcher-bearers and O.i/c hospital ship.

  CUTHBERT RUTT,
  for Ministry of Pensions.


  _September 8th, 1920._
  To the Ministry of Pensions.

Under medical advice I am to cease corresponding with your admirable
Department. It seems a pity, since we have got to know each other so
well. I have decided therefore to place the matter in the hands of the
Miners' Federation. I do not think I have mentioned the fact before,
but I was employed as a miner when I joined up in '14.

  M. C. BROKE, _Capt._


  _September 9th, 1920._
  To Captain M. C. Broke.

I am directed to inform you that you have been awarded a disability
pension at the rate of five hundred pounds per annum. A draft for the
amount due, including arrears from 5/11/19--date of disembodiment or
demobilisation--was despatched to your address this morning per King's
Messenger.

  I have the honour to be, Sir,
  Your humble and obedient Servant,
  CUTHBERT RUTT,
  for Ministry of Pensions.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ONE CROWDED HOUR OF GLORIOUS LIFE."

A BIT OF TOBACCO-ASH IN YOUR EYE, YOUR REEL JAMMED, ONE OF YOUR LEGS
THROUGH A LOOP OF YOUR LINE AND THE BIGGEST SALMON YOU EVER SAW ON THE
OTHER END OF IT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW RHYMES FOR OLD CHILDREN.

THE GLOW-WORM.

  The little glow-worm sits and glows
    As brilliant as the stars,
  But you are wrong if you suppose
    That he will light cigars.

  In fact, he seems to be exempt
    From Nature's general plan;
  He never makes the least attempt
    To be of use to Man.

  And if you think that it requires
    A scientific brain
  To understand his tiny fires
    Then you are wrong again.

  The meaning of his shininess
    Is fairly clear to me;
  It is intended to impress
    The future Mrs. G.

  No doubt you think it is his nose
    Which gleams across the glen;
  Well, it is not; the part that glows
    Is on the abdomen.

  And very likely that explains
    Why all these millionaires
  Buy such expensive shiny chains
    To hang about on theirs.

         * * * * *

  The Editor who read these lines
    Has quite a different tale;
  He says it is the _she_ that shines
    To captivate the male.

  He has a perfect right to doubt
    The statements in this song,
  But if he thinks I'll scratch them out
    He's absolutely wrong.

A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WHATEVER WILL YOU DO, GRANDPA, WHEN YOU'RE TOO OLD FOR
GARDENING?"

"I EXPECT I'LL START GOLF. BUT I HOPE I SHAN'T LIVE AS LONG AS THAT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

FOR OURSELVES ALONE.

Our hostess had taken us over to "Sheltered End," the pleasant country
home of Mrs. Willoughby Brock, to play tennis. As however there was
only one court and quite a number of young and middle-aged people were
standing near it with racquets in their hands and an expression
on their faces in which frustration and anticipation fought for
supremacy, it followed that other beguilements had to be found. My own
fate was to fall into the hands of Mrs. Brock, whose greatest delight
on earth seems to be to have a stranger to whom she can display the
beauties of her abode and enlarge upon the unusual qualities of her
personality. She showed and told me all. We explored the estate from
the dog-kennel to the loggia for sleeping out "under the stars;" from
the pergola to the library; from the sundial to the telephone, "the
only one for miles;" and as we walked between the purple and mauve
Michaelmas daisies in her long herbaceous borders, with Red Admiral
butterflies among the myriad little clean blossoms, she said how odd
it was that some people have the gift of attracting friends and others
not; and what a strange thing it is that where one person has to
toil to make a circle others are automatically surrounded by nice
creatures; and asked me if I had any views as to the reason, but did
not pause for the reply.

It was a warm mellow day--almost the first of summer, according to
one's senses, although nearly the last, according to the calendar--and
Mrs. Brock was so happy to be in a monologue that I could enjoy
the garden almost without interruption. For a two and a half years'
existence it certainly was a triumph. Here and there a reddening apple
shone. The hollyhocks must have been ten feet high.

"Ah! here comes the dear Vicar," said Mrs. Brock suddenly, and, rising
up from a rose which I was inhaling (and I wish that people would grow
roses, as they used to do years ago, nose-high), I saw a black figure
approaching.

"He is such a charming man," Mrs. Brock continued, "and devoted to me."

"Good afternoon," said the Vicar. "How exquisite those delphiniums
are!" he added after introductions were complete; "such a delicate
blue! I should not have intruded had I known you had a party"--he
waved his hand towards the single tennis-court, around which the
wistful racquet-bearers were now (as it seemed) some thousands strong,
"but it is always a pleasure"--he turned to me--"to be able to walk
in this paradise on a fine day and appreciate its colour and its
fragrance. I find Mrs. Brock so valuable a parochial counsellor too."

"I think," I said, not in the least unwilling to be tactful, "I will
see what the rest of our party are doing."

"Oh, no," said the Vicar; "please don't let me drive you away. As a
matter of fact, since there are so many here I won't stay myself. But
I wonder," he addressed Mrs. Brock, "as I am here, if I might use your
telephone for a moment?"

"Of course," said she.

"Thank you so much," he replied; "yes, I know where it is," and with
a genial and courtly salutation he moved off in the direction of the
house.

"Such a true neighbour!" said Mrs. Brock. "Ah! and here is another,"
she went on. And along the same path, where the Michaelmas daisies
were thickest, I saw a massive woman in white, like a ship in full
sail, bearing down upon us, defending her head from the gentle
September sun with a red parasol. "This," Mrs. Brock hurriedly
informed me, "is Lady Cranstone, who lives in the house with the green
shutters at the end of the village. Such a dear person! She's always
in and out. The widow of the famous scientist, you know."

I didn't know; but what does it matter?

By this time the dear person was within hailing distance, but she
flew no signals of cordiality; her demeanour rather was austere
and arrogant. Mrs. Brock hurried towards her to assist her to her
moorings, and I was duly presented.

"I didn't intend to come in again to-day," said Lady Cranstone,
whose features still successfully failed to give to the stranger any
indication of the benignity that, it was suggested, irradiated her
being.

"But you are always so welcome," said Mrs. Brock. "Lady Cranstone,"
she continued to me, "is kindness itself. She makes all the difference
between loneliness and--and content."

Lady Cranstone picked a rose and pinned it in her monumental bosom. "I
don't know that I had anything in particular to say," she remarked.
"I chanced to be passing and I merely looked in; but since I am here
perhaps you would allow me to use your telephone--"

Mrs. Brock beamed her delighted acquiescence and the frigate sailed
on. "You've no idea," said Mrs. Brock, "what a friendly crowd there is
in these parts. I don't know how it is, but this little place of
mine, modest though it is, and unassuming and unclever as I am, is
positively the very centre of the district. It's like a club-house.
How strange life is! What curious byways there are in human sympathy!"

This being the kind of remark that is best replied to with an
inarticulate murmur, I provided an inarticulate murmur; and I was
about to make a further and more determined effort to get away when a
maid-servant approached with a card.

Mrs. Brock took it and read the name with a little cry of
satisfaction. "Lord Risborough," she said to me. "At last! How nice
of him to call. They live at Risborough Park, you know. I always said
they would never condescend to dignify 'Sheltered End' with their
presence; but I somehow knew they would." She purred a little. And
then, "Where is his lordship?" she asked; but the girl's reply was
rendered unnecessary by the nobleman himself, who advanced briskly
upon Mrs. Brock, hat in hand.

"I trust," he said, "that you will pardon the informality of this
visit. Lady Risborough is so sorry not to have been able to call yet,
but--but--Yes, I was wondering if you'd be so very kind as to do me
a little favour? The fact is, our telephone is out of order--most
annoying--and I wondered if you would let me use yours. I hear that
you have one."

"I will take you to it," said Mrs. Brock.

"Most kind, most kind!" his lordship was muttering.

There was no difficulty in making my escape now.

E. V. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I DO HOPE YOU'LL BE ABLE TO COME TO THE MOTHERS'
WELFARE MEETING ON WEDNESDAY. WE'VE PERSUADED A FAMOUS CHEF TO COME
AND GIVE US A LECTURE ON 'THE DECAY OF COOKERY.' IT SHOULD BE MOST
HELPFUL."

"NOT TO ME, MUM. I ALLUS GIVES MINE TO THE PIGS WHEN IT GETS THAT
FAR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Punch desires to express his sincere regret for an injustice done,
though without malice, to the Publishers (Messrs. SWEET AND MAXWELL)
and the Editor of _Williams' Real Property_, in an article that
appeared in the issue of August 18th, under the title, "Blewitt on
Real Property." The new edition of _Williams' Real Property_ contains
a large amount of fresh material and represents considerable labour
spent over the careful revision of the previous edition.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At 1 a.m., uninterrupted rifle fire and bomb explosions
    were audible. It is reported that a French officer was then
    addressing the crowd." _Times of Malaya_.

Our old sergeant-major must look to his laurels.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PEERLESS PROVINCIAL.

    [A London paper learns from a West End tailor that many people
    in the North and Midlands now achieve a higher standard of
    dress than the "man about town."]

  If perchance you would gaze upon those whose array's
    Of impeccable texture and cut,
  It is futile to go to Pall Mall or the Row,
    Now the haunt of the second-rate nut;
  Take a train (G.N.R.), for example, as far
    As Cleckheaton or Cleethorpes-on-Sea,
  Where each male that you meet, from his head to his feet,
    Follows Fashion's most recent decree.

  A legitimate claim to sartorial fame
    Can be made by the locals at Leek,
  Whose apparel is apt to be ruthlessly scrapped
    After having been worn for a week;
  Trousers bag at the knees in no town on the Tees,
    And the Londoner has to admit
  That he cannot compete against Bootle's _élite_,
    And that Percy of Pudsey is IT.

  Wigan's well in the van, for her sons to a man
    Are the ultimate word in cravats
  And are said to outdo even Cheadle and Crewe
    In the matter of collars and spats;
  But the pick of the lot is the privileged spot
    Where the smart set, the quite _comme il faut_,
  Have a mentor and guide who is famed far and wide
    As Bertie the Bridlington Beau.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PASSING OF ALFRED.

Alfred is dead and with him has gone John's last efforts at making and
training pets. It has simply been one disappointment after another.
There was Charles the monkey. Charles could write his own name with
a pen and digest the creamiest shaving-stick without making a lather.
There was Joey, the billy-goat, such an entertaining fellow, who
could pick up and set down anything with his horns from a basket to a
dustman. And then there was Livo--immortal Livo. There never was such
a down-at-heel and unscrupulous young ruffian of a mongrel terrier
as Livo, nor one that more completely convinced people that he was a
gentleman of blood and a pure-souled spiritualist.

Of course there were heaps of other pets as well, but just as they
seemed about to reach that stage of human intelligence so earnestly
desired by their young master they all suddenly died, even as Alfred,
the last of a long list, gave up the ghost yesterday.

Alfred was a trout. Not your ordinary fly-jumping kind of trout,
because there is never anything ordinary about John's pets. Alfred,
for instance, had not lived in water for three months. He simply had
no use for the stuff, and, as for jumping at a fly, his nerves were
far too good for that sort of thing.

His attachment to John was complete. He would take food from no one
else and the presence of his eight-year-old master in the long grass
was sufficient to bring him erect on his tail, where he would wag his
fins and make strange noises in cordial welcome. In many respects he
was the most superior pet John has ever had. He could affect boredom
and his exhibition of the glad eye was considered by John's eldest
sister to be positively deadly. It is, in fact, true to say that his
keen desire to adopt as many human habits as possible often led us to
mistake him for one of ourselves.

John, however, was not quite satisfied with his pupil until one bright
morning last week when Alfred displayed the first signs of having
acquired the Directional Wriggle. Strange as it may sound, this very
human trout actually wriggled after John for a distance of five yards.
Three days later he pursued his master to the village post-office and
beat him by a short gill.

Yesterday, however, Alfred excelled himself. John had left early for
the stream, and being in a hurry took advantage of the thin plank
crossing. Now the plank is very slippery and had been placed over the
spot where the stream is deepest. John crossed it carefully enough,
but looking back for a second he suddenly noticed that Alfred was
following him. Before he could raise his voice in protest the trout
had mounted the plank and was wriggling across it. Then, horror
of horrors! in the middle of the plank the wretched fish suddenly
lurched, lost its footing, plunged into the water and was drowned.

       *       *       *       *       *

FLOWERS' NAMES.

WHAT THE FAIRIES WEAR.

  If only you walk with an open ear
    And watch with an open eye,
  There's wonderful magic to see and hear
    By silently passing by;
  In meadows and ditches, here and there,
  You'll find the clothes that the fairies wear.

  You can see each golden and silvery frock
  In Lady's Mantle and Ladysmock;
  There's Lady's Garter (which, I suppose,
  They wear with the cowslips called Hose-in-hose);
  The solemn fairies who ride on owls
  Shroud their faces with Monkswood cowls;
  And there's other things besides fairy dresses--
  There's Lady's Mirror and Lady's Tresses.

  Bachelors' Buttons must be for elves
  Who have to do up their clothes themselves;
  And the tailor fairies use Fairy Shears,
  Long cutting-grasses that grow by meres;
  And they mend their things with the Spider-stitches,
  Faint white flowers that you find in ditches,
  And Shepherd's Needle, which you'll see plain
  In every meadow and field and lane;
  And when they've used them they grow again.

  If only you walk with an open ear
    And watch with an open eye,
  There's wonderful secrets to see and hear
    By silently passing by;
  In meadows and ditches, here and there,
  You'll find the clothes that the fairies wear;
  And if you look when they think you've gone
  Perhaps you'll see them trying them on.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The whole of the United States is intensely interested in a
    baseball scandal revealed a few days ago.

    The Grand Judy, which is now investigating the charge, has
    already indicted eight of the leading players."--_Evening
    Paper_.

Mr. Punch wishes his old consort more power to her elbow.

       *       *       *       *       *

ROBBERY IN COURT.

There would seem to be some need for watchfulness in our Courts of
Justice lest the customs and privileges which to so great an extent
have made them what they are should be allowed to lapse.

A great sensation was caused throughout the legal profession the
other day when it was reported in the Press that a witness, in giving
evidence, made the following remark:--"It goes in one ear and out of
the other. Perhaps that is because there is nothing to stop it." The
report stated that laughter followed, and, if that was indeed the
case, then we have no hesitation whatever in characterising it as a
most unseemly outburst.

If witnesses are to be permitted with impunity to snatch out of the
Judge's mouth the jokes which naturally arise out of their evidence,
our whole judicial system will be imperilled. In offering an
explanation as to why "it goes in one ear and out of the other," the
witness committed a grave breach of etiquette. That explanation, if
made at all, should have been made by the Judge in the first place.
Or if, after due opportunity had been given, his Lordship showed no
desire to avail himself of the opening, then the privilege should have
fallen to the examining counsel. If he in turn waived it, it should
have been open to counsel on the other side to snap up the chance.

We fail to understand how such a remark, coming from a witness, could
have been allowed to pass without rebuke from the Judge or protest
from the counsel, or some attempt at least to maintain order on the
part of the usher.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CHANTRY.

  Grey dust lies on his battered face;
    The glories of his shield are dim;
  Half vanished are the words of grace
    Beseeching pity and peace for him
      Along the Purbeck rim.

  His hands are folded palm to palm
    (Some fingers lacking on the right),
  And at his peakéd feet the calm
    Old lion shows he fell in fight,
      As best became a knight.

  The ivy shakes its tattered leaves
    Where once he saw the painted pane;
  The brooding, scurrying spider weaves
    Where cloth of damask dyed in grain
      Will never hang again.

  With missal propped upon his helm
    For him no drowsy chantor pleads;
  But blackbirds in the darkening elm
    Sing plain-song, and the Abbey meads
      Retell their daisy-beads.

D. M. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady_. "AND WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR LAST SITUATION?"

_Prospective Maid_. "WELL, THAT'S A BIT INQUISITIVE, AIN'T IT, MUM? I
DIDN'T ASK YOU WHY YOUR LAST GIRL LEFT YOU."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

(_By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerks_.)

I am as a rule very strongly against the form of pedantry that hastens
to cry "imitation" whenever a new writer finds himself impelled to
a theme of the same character as that already associated with an
old-established practitioner. But in the case of _The Lost Horizon_
(METHUEN) I find myself overwhelmed. Consciously or unconsciously Mr.
G. COLBY BORLEY has produced a story that in matter and treatment is
so palpably a reflection of JOSEPH CONRAD that the likeness simply
refuses to be ignored. It is in its way a good story enough--an affair
of adventure in South America and on the high seas, with a generous
sufficiency of oaths and blood-letting; a tale moreover that gives
evidence (in spite of that distressing echo) of being written by
one who takes his craft with a becoming dignity of purpose. One
peculiarity of the Master has not only been borrowed by Mr. BORLEY,
but exaggerated to his own undoing: I mean the trick of introducing
a character or group of characters so clogged and obscured by the
adhesions of the uncommunicated past that not till this has been
gradually flaked from them do they emerge as figures in whom it is
possible to take an intelligent interest. In the present instance this
process is delayed for more than half the book. As for the intrigue,
that concerns a group of cut-throat Europeans, who, having been
ruinously involved in a South American revolution, are now further
plunged into the plots of a scoundrelly African magnate and his
conspiratorial gang. For myself, I parted from them all with a feeling
of regret that they had not explained themselves earlier as the
entertaining villains that they turned out to be.

_Manhood End_ (HURST AND BLACKETT) is the title, not very cheery, that
Mrs. HENRY DUDENEY has given to her latest novel, a simple and quite
human story of country vicarage life, told sympathetically, but in
too many words for so slight a theme. The publishers are at the
wholly superfluous pains of urging you as a preliminary to read the
"turn-over of cover." Don't! All you will find there is a synopsis
of the plot, just sufficient to destroy the slender thread of your
interest in its development. And I must record a protest against the
entirely unneeded Prologue, in which total strangers sit round at
a churchyard picnic on the graves of the real protagonists, and
speculate as to their history. The tale itself is placed in Sussex
(why this invidious partiality of our novelists?), the actors being
for the most part clerical. The main interest is centred in the
matrimonial trials of the _Rev. Frederick Rainbird_, whose bride,
having married him in haste, repented at leisure, eloped with the
promising brother of a neighbouring parson, repented more, returned
to domesticity, ran away again, and so on, _da capo_. Perhaps really
these simple but not short annals have a flavour that I have failed
to convey. Mrs. DUDENEY writes easily, but should avoid the snares
of originality. To say of her heroine's morning appearance at the
breakfast table, that she "stood in the tangle of a delicious coffee
smell," may convey an impression, but at a ruinous expense of style.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Michael Winter_, hero of _The Black Knight_ (HUTCHINSON), by Mrs.
ALFRED SIDGWICK and CROSBIE GARSTIN, had led a nice easy life till
his father's nefarious schemes crashed, bringing down in a common ruin
half the small investors in the country. Left penniless, he changes
his disgraced name and goes out to Canada to make good. There, on the
prairies, he puts in some hard honest work. But, in his haste to be
rich, the _Black Knight_, as they do in chess, after moving straight,
moved obliquely. In order to make a coup out of a Wall Street cinch he
helped himself to the money of the bank of which he was cashier. Other
people who shall be nameless have done this sort of thing before,
and, after returning the "borrowed" cash, have enjoyed a stainless
prosperity. But _Michael_, through a motor-car accident, just failed
to put it back in time, and had to do two years. But he had made a
fortune, and on emerging from prison returned to Europe to enjoy
it. There he rescues an innocent English girl from a shady Parisian
environment and marries her. By chance she learns the secret of the
source of his wealth and leaves him. In order to appease her scruples
and recover her he signs away his goods for the benefit of his
father's creditors. What might have been a too sugary conclusion is
saved by a pleasant touch of corrective irony in the very last line,
where his wife expresses a very human satisfaction on finding that her
best necklace was not included in the noble sacrifice. I hope I shall
not be suspected of flattering Mr. Punch's "PATLANDER" if I admire
the excellence of the Canadian section, obviously contributed by Mr.
CROSBIE GARSTIN, who has knocked about most of the world marked red on
the maps. Here his humour and vitality are at their keenest. The rest
of a well-told tale I attribute to Mrs. ALFRED SIDGWICK, with the
exception of a pugilistic episode, for which I imagine that the male
fist was called in to supplement her proper inexperience.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "MY DEAR, I _FELT_ I OUGHT NEVER TO HAVE TAKEN THE
HOLIDAY. SCARCELY HAD I SET FOOT IN MY APARTMENTS WHEN I WAS HANDED A
TELEGRAM FROM SARAH:--'PARROT LAID AN EGG. WIRE INSTRUCTIONS.'"]

       *       *       *       *       *

I do believe that I have caught a detective napping; a real private
detective, one of the great infallibles of fiction. Mr. J. S.
FLETCHER'S _Exterior to the Evidence_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) is one of
those thrills in which any of the characters might have committed the
murder and there is every reason, at times, to suspect that they have
all had a hand in it. Over the moorland there ran a path, and at
a spot known as Black Scar it came perilously near the edge of a
forty-foot drop, with rocks at the bottom. Over this precipice
went _Sir Cheville Stanbury_ at midnight, a very odd circumstance
considering his life-long familiarity with the path. _Weathershaw_,
the great detective called in to investigate the matter on behalf of
one of the suspects, took a line of his own and eventually hit upon
someone you and I would never have thought of. We have this excuse,
that we had no idea of his existence until he was hit upon; but no
more had _Weathershaw_. Now I am not going to give away the secret
of this enticing affair, but I must dispute the detective's
identification, on the last page but one, of the man responsible for
_Sir Cheville's_ death. If you compare the statement of fact on page
301, seven lines from the bottom, which corroborates that on page
279, also seven lines from the bottom, with _Weathershaw's_ dramatic
accusation, you will understand what I mean and you will be left
in considerable doubt (as I was) of what the author means. Does he
suggest that _Sir Cheville_ was never murdered at all? After so much
excitement that would be a sad pity.

       *       *       *       *       *

The publishers of _The Amorous Cheat_ (CHATTO AND WINDUS) generously
label it "an enthralling story of domestic and stage life." To which
my comment must be, that the domesticity supplied by the hero's family
and their quite uninteresting hesitations between town and suburban
residence are entirely nebulous and illusive, that the stage as
background has no significance one way or other, but that the
impropriety upon which (I must say frankly) the appeal of the book
seems to depend is given without stint, in a measure that certainly
may, for some readers, justify the publishers' epithet. You will
understand therefore that I experience a little natural hesitation
about suggesting the intrigue. It is certainly of the simplest--a mere
question as to whether _Edward_ and _Vivian_, casual acquaintances
of a restaurant, shall or shall not spend a sequence of week-ends
together. The lady is described as on the stage, but she might as well
belong to a guild of art-needlework. _Edward_ is the only question of
importance, and the week-ends; if you ponder the significance of the
title you can probably guess the rest. To be honest I ought to add
that Mr. BASIL CREIGHTON wields an easy-flowing pen, and that at least
one chapter certainly is wickedly entertaining, in the style of what
we used to call "Continental" humour. To sum up, not a novel
for family reading or for the fastidious. The others may even be
enthralled.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Diary of a Sportsman Naturalist in India_ (LANE) contains an
excellent collection of sporting anecdotes, and dip where you may you
will find none of them trivial or tiresome. Mr. E. P. STEBBING states
that his purpose in selecting material from his note-books was "to
emphasize the necessity which exists of affording protection to
the game and other animals of India," and, shy as some of us are of
purposeful books, there is no reason to be scared by this one. In
the first place Mr. STEBBING's purpose is one which will generally
be commended, and in the second he achieves it in an absolutely
unobtrusive manner. To sportsmen, and especially to those who have
enjoyed the good fortune of shooting in India, this volume will be
extremely welcome. The only cumbrous thing about it is its title. Add
that Mr. STEBBING is as profuse in his illustrations as he is happy in
his choice of subjects.





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