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Title: The Chronicles of a Gay Gordon
Author: Gordon, J. M. (Joseph Maria), 1856-1929
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The Chronicles of
a Gay Gordon _By_

Brig.-General J. M. Gordon, C.B.

_With Eleven Half-tone Illustrations_


Cassell and Company, Limited, London
New York, Toronto and Melbourne 1921

[Illustration: _Photo: Lafayette, Ltd., Glasgow._]



CONTENTS


                                                           PAGE

By Way of Introduction                                        1

Genealogical Table                                            7


Part I

CHAPTER

1. My Scots-Spanish Origin                                   11

2. My Schooling                                              20

3. A Frontier Incident                                       30

4. First War Experience                                      35

5. My Meetings with King Alfonso                             42

6. With Don Carlos Again                                     46

7. My First Engagement                                       53

8. Soldiering in Ireland                                     62

9. Unruly Times in Ireland                                   71

10. Sport in Ireland                                         77

11. A Voyage to New Zealand                                  87

12. A Maori Meeting                                          98

13. An Offer from the Governor of Tasmania                  104

14. I Become a Newspaper Proprietor                         109

15. A Merchant, then an Actor                               120

16. As Policeman in Adelaide                                132

    Military Appointments and Promotions                    147


Part II

1. Soldiering in South Australia                            151

2. Polo, Hunting and Steeplechasing                         162

3. The Russian Scare and its Results                        175

4. The Soudan Contingent                                    185

5. A Time of Retrenchment                                   192

6. My Vision Fulfilled                                      200

7. The Great Strikes                                        209

8. The Introduction of "Universal Service," and
   Two Voyages Home                                         215

9. Military Adviser to the Australian Colonies in London    224

10. Off to the South African War                            232

11. With Lord Roberts in South Africa                       238

12. In Command of a Mounted Column                          244

13. Some South African Reminiscences                        252


Part III

1. Organizing the Commonwealth of Australia                 263

2. Commandant of Victoria                                   273

3. Commandant of New South Wales                            281

4. Lord Kitchener's Visit to Australia                      290

5. The American Naval Visit                                 302

6. Chief of the General Staff                               308



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


BRIGADIER-GENERAL J. M. GORDON, C.B.              _Frontispiece_
WARDHOUSE, ABERDEENSHIRE                                     10
KILDRUMMY CASTLE, ABERDEENSHIRE                              10
ALFONSO XII.                                                 34
THE PRINCE IMPERIAL                                          34
DON CARLOS                                                   50
"TURF TISSUE," FACSIMILE OF FIRST PAGE                       84
OPENING OF THE COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENT, 1901                120
LORD HOPETOUN                                               150
VISCOUNT KITCHENER                                          220
THE COMMONWEALTH MILITARY BOARD, 1914                       254



BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION

By J. M. BULLOCH


José Maria Jacobo Rafael Ramon Francisco Gabriel del Corazon de Jesus
Gordon y Prendergast--to give the writer of this book the full name with
which he was christened in Jeréz de la Frontera on March 19,
1856--belongs to an interesting, but unusual, type of the Scot abroad.

These virile venturers group themselves into four categories.
Illustrating them by reference to the Gordons alone, there was the
venturer, usually a soldier of fortune, who died in the country of his
adoption, such as the well-known General Patrick Gordon, of
Auchleuchries, Aberdeenshire (1635-1690), who, having spent thirty-nine
years of faithful service to Peter the Great, died and was buried at
Moscow. Or one might cite John Gordon, of Lord Byron's Gight family, who,
having helped to assassinate Wallenstein in the town of Eger, in 1634,
turned himself into a Dutch Jonkheer, dying at Dantzig, and being buried
at Delft.

Sometimes, especially in the case of merchants, the venturers settled
down permanently in their new fatherland, as in the case of the Gordons
of Coldwells, Aberdeenshire, who are now represented solely by the family
of von Gordon-Coldwells, in Laskowitz. So rapid was the transformation of
this family that when one of them, Colonel Fabian Gordon, of the Polish
cavalry, turned up in Edinburgh in 1783, in connexion with the sale of
the family heritage, he knew so little English that he had to be
initiated a Freemason in Latin. To this day there is a family in Warsaw
which, ignoring our principle of primogeniture, calls itself the
Marquises de Huntly-Gordon.

Occasionally the exiles returned home, either to succeed to the family
heritage, or to rescue it from ruin with the wealth they had acquired
abroad. Thus General Alexander Gordon (1669-1751) of the Russian army,
the biographer of Peter the Great, came home to succeed his father as
laird of Auchintoul, Banffshire, and managed by a legal mistake to hold
it in face of forfeiture for Jacobitism. His line has long since died
out, as soldier stock is apt to do--an ironic symbol of the death-dealing
art. But the descendants of another ardent Jacobite, Robert Gordon, wine
merchant, Bordeaux, who rescued the family estate of Hallhead,
Aberdeenshire, from clamant creditors, still flourish. One of them became
famous in the truest spirit of Gay Gordonism, in the person of Adam
Lindsay Gordon, the beloved laureate of Australia.

The vineyard and Australia bring us to the fourth, and rarest, category,
represented by the writer of this book, namely, the family which has not
only retained its Scots heritage, but also flourishes in the land of its
adoption, for Mr. Rafael Gordon is not only laird of Wardhouse,
Aberdeenshire, but is a Spaniard by birth and education, and a citizen of
Madrid: and this double citizenship has been shared by his uncles Pedro
Carlos Gordon (1806-1857), Rector of Stonyhurst; and General J. M.
Gordon, the writer of this book, who will long be remembered as the
pioneer of national service in Australia.

The Gordons of Wardhouse, to whom he belongs, are descended (as the
curious will find set forth in detail in the genealogical table) from a
Churchman, Adam Gordon, Dean of Caithness (died 1528), younger son of the
first Earl of Huntly, and they have remained staunch to the Church of
Rome to this day: that indeed was one of the reasons for their sojourning
aboard. The Dean's son George (died 1575) acquired the lands of
Beldorney, Aberdeenshire, which gradually became frittered away by his
senior descendants, the seventh laird parting with the property to the
younger line in the person of Alexander Gordon, of Camdell, Banffshire,
in 1703, while his sons vanished to America, where they are untraceable.

From this point the fortunes of the families increase. Alexander's son
James, IX of Beldorney, bought the ancient estate of Kildrummy in 1731,
and Wardhouse came into his family through his marriage with Mary Gordon,
heiress thereof. This reinforcement of his Gordon blood was one of the
deciding causes of the strong Jacobitism of his son John, the tenth
laird, who fought at Culloden, which stopped his half Russian wife,
Margaret Smyth of Methven, the great grand-daughter of General Patrick
Gordon of Auchleuchries, in the act of embroidering for Prince Charles a
scarlet waistcoat, which came to the hammer at Aberdeen in 1898.

This Jacobite laird's brothers were the first to go abroad. One of them,
Gregory, appears to have entered the Dutch service; another, Charles, a
priest, was educated at Ratisbon; and a third, Robert, settled at Cadiz.
That was the first association of the Wardhouse Gordons with Spain, for,
though Robert died without issue, he seems to have settled one of his
nephews, Robert (son of his brother Cosmo, who had gone to Jamaica), and
another, James Arthur Gordon (who was son of the twelfth laird), at
Jeréz.

But the sense of adventure was also strong on the family at home,
especially on Alexander, the eleventh laird, who was executed as a spy at
Brest in 1769. A peculiarly handsome youth, who succeeded to the estates
in 1760, he started life as an ensign in the 49th Foot in 1766. He
narrowly escaped being run through in a brawl at Edinburgh, and, taking a
hair of the dog that had nearly bitten him, he fatally pinked a butcher
in the city of Cork in 1767. He escaped to La Rochelle, and ultimately
got into touch with Lord Harcourt, our Ambassador in Paris. Harcourt sent
the reckless lad to have a look at the fortifications of Brest. He was
caught in the act; Harcourt repudiated all knowledge of him; and he was
executed November 24, 1769, gay to the end, and attracting the eyes of
every pretty girl in the town. The guillotine which did its worst is
still preserved in the arsenal at Brest, and the whole story is set forth
with legal precision in the transactions of the Societé Academique de
Brest.

Poor Alexander was succeeded as laird by his younger brother Charles
Edward (1750-1832), who became an officer in the Northern Fencibles, and
was not without his share of adventure, which curiously enough arose out
of his brother's regiment, the 49th. He married as his second wife
Catherine Mercer, the daughter of James Mercer, the poet, who had been a
major in that regiment. In 1797, his commanding officer, Colonel John
Woodford, who had married his chief, the Duke of Gordon's, sister, bolted
at Hythe with the lady, from whom the laird of Wardhouse duly got a
divorce. That did not satisfy Gordon, who thrashed his colonel with a
stick in the streets of Ayr. Of course he was court-martialled, but
Woodford's uncle-in-law, Lord Adam Gordon, as Commander-in-Chief of North
Britain, smoothed over the sentence of dismissal from the Fencibles by
getting the angry husband appointed paymaster in the Royal Scots.

Gordon's eldest son John David, by his first marriage (with the
grand-daughter of the Earl of Kilmarnock, who was executed at the Tower
with Lord Lovat), had wisely kept out of temptation amid the peaceful
family vineyards at Jeréz, from which he returned in 1832 to Wardhouse.
But John David's half-brother stayed at home and became Admiral Sir James
Alexander Gordon (1782-1869), who as the "last of Nelson's Captains"
roused the admiration of Tom Hughes in a fine appreciation in
_Macmillan's Magazine_. Although he had lost his leg in the capture of
the Pomone in 1812, he could stump on foot even as an old man all the way
from Westminster to Greenwich Hospital, of which he was the last
Governor, and where you can see his portrait to this day.

Although John David Gordon succeeded to Wardhouse, his family remained
essentially Spanish, and his own tastes, as his grandson, General Gordon,
points out, were coloured by the character of the Peninsula. The General
himself, as his autobiography shows in every page, has had his inherited
Gay Gordonism aided and abetted by his associations with Spain and with
Australia. His whole career has been full of enterprising adventure, and,
while intensely interested in big imperial problems, he has an inevitable
sense of the colour and rhythm of life as soldier, as policeman, as
sportsman, as actor, as journalist. He is, in short, a perfect example of
a Gay Gordon.



BRIG.-GENERAL J. M. GORDON'S DESCENT AT A GLANCE


     ALEXANDER (GORDON), 1st Earl of Huntly (died 1470).
                               |
        ADAM GORDON, Dean of Caithness (died 1528).
                               |
                  GEORGE GORDON (died 1575).
                 I of Beldorney, Aberdeenshire.
                               |
                ALEXANDER GORDON (alive 1602).
                       II of Beldorney.
                               |
          +--------------------+------------+
          |                                 |
     GEORGE GORDON,                   ALEXANDER GORDON,
   III of Beldorney.             of Killyhuntly, Badenoch.
          |                                 |
     GEORGE GORDON,               JAMES GORDON (died 1642),
    IV of Beldorney.             of Tirriesoul and Camdell.
          |                                 |
JOHN GORDON (died 1694),             ALEXANDER GORDON,
    V of Beldorney.       IX of Beldorney (buying it in 1703).
          |                                 |
     JOHN GORDON,                      JAMES GORDON,
   VI of Beldorney,                   X of Beldorney.
Frittered his fortune.               Bought Kildrummy.
      Died 1698.                 Got Wardhouse by marriage.
          |                                 |
     JOHN GORDON,                 JOHN GORDON (died 1760),
  VII of Beldorney.                   XI of Beldorney.
          |                                 |
          |                     +-----------+-------------+
          |                     |                         |
    JAMES GORDON,  ALEXANDER MARIA GORDON,     CHARLES EDWARD GORDON
   Went to U.S.A.     XII of Beldorney.     (1754-1832). Sold Beldorney.
   Lost sight of.  Executed at Brest, 1769.   Of Wardhouse & Kildrummy.
                                                          |
                                +-------------------------+--+
                                |                            |
                        JOHN DAVID GORDON.      Admiral Sir J. A. GORDON.
                   (1774-1850) Went to Spain.   One of Nelson's Captains.
                       Inherited Wardhouse.           (1782-1869.)
                                |
          +---------------------+---+
          |                         |
PEDRO CARLOS GORDON,       CARLOS PEDRO GORDON,
   of Wardhouse,               of Wardhouse.
     1806-57.                    1814-97.
          |                         |
          |                         +--------------+
          |                         |              |
JUAN JOSÉ GORDON,   CARLOS PEDRO GORDON,   JOSÉ MARIA GORDON,
  of Wardhouse,           1844-76.           Brig.-General,
     1837-66.              d.v.p.         Author of this book.
                             |
                       RAFAEL GORDON,
                        of Wardhouse.
                       Lives in Madrid.
                          Born 1873.



Part I


[Illustration: Wardhouse, Aberdeenshire]

[Illustration: Kildrummy Castle, Aberdeenshire]



THE CHRONICLES OF A
GAY GORDON


_PART I_



CHAPTER I

MY SCOTS-SPANISH ORIGIN


At a period in the history of Scotland, we find that a law was passed
under the provisions of which every landowner who was a Catholic had
either to renounce his adherence to his Church or to forfeit his landed
property to the Crown. This was a severe blow to Scotsmen, and history
tells that practically every Catholic laird preferred not to have his
property confiscated, with the natural result that he ceased--at any rate
publicly--to take part in the outward forms of the Catholic religion.
Churches, which Catholic families had built and endowed, passed into the
hands of other denominations. Catholic priests who--in devotion to their
duty--were willing to risk their lives, had to practise their devotions
in secrecy.

My great grandfather, Charles Edward Gordon (1754-1832), then quite a
young man, happened to be one of those lairds who submitted to the law,
preferring to remain lairds. His younger brother, James Arthur
(1759-1824), who chanced to be possessed in his own right of a certain
amount of hard cash, began to think seriously. It appeared to him that,
if a law could be passed confiscating landed property unless the owners
gave up the Catholic religion, there was no reason why another law should
not be passed confiscating actual cash under similar conditions. The more
he turned this over in his mind, the surer he became that at any rate the
passing of such a second law could not be deemed illogical. He was by no
means the only one of the younger sons of Scots families who thought
likewise. It seemed to him that it would be wise to leave the country--at
any rate for a while.

In those days there were no Canadas, Australias and other new and
beautiful countries appealing to these adventurous spirits, but there
were European countries where a field was open for their enterprise. My
great grand-uncle--youthful as he was--decided that the South of Spain,
Andalusia, La Tierra de Santa Maria, would suit him, and he removed
himself and his cash to that sunny land. It is there that the oranges
flourish on the banks of the Guadalquivir. It is there that the green
groves of olive trees yield their plentiful crops. It is there that the
vine brings forth that rich harvest of grapes whose succulent juice
becomes the nectar of the gods in the shape of sherry wine. He decided
that white sherry wine offered the best commercial result and resolved to
devote himself to its production. Business went well with him. It was
prosperous; the wine became excellent and the drinkers many.

By this time his brother had married and the union had been blessed with
two sons. When the elder was fifteen years old, it appeared to his uncle
James Arthur that it would be a good thing if his brother, the laird,
would send the boy to Spain, to be brought up there, with a view to his
finally joining him in the business. He decided, therefore, to visit his
brother in Scotland, with this object in view. He did so, but the laird
did not appear to be kindly inclined to this arrangement. He was willing,
however, to let his second son go to Spain, finish his education, and
then take on the wine business. This was not what the uncle wanted. He
wished for the elder son, the young laird, or for nobody at all. The
matter fell through and the uncle returned to the Sunny South.

A couple of years later on, the laird changed his mind, wrote to his
brother, and offered to send his eldest son, John David (1774-1850). A
short time afterwards the young laird arrived in Spain. His father, the
laird, lived for many years, during which time--after the death of his
uncle--his eldest son had become the head of one of the most successful
sherry wine firms that existed in those days in Spain. He had married in
Spain and had had a large family, who had all grown up, and had married
also in that country, and it was not till he was some sixty years of age
that his father, the laird, died and he succeeded to the Scots properties
of Wardhouse and Kildrummy Castle.

The law with reference to the forfeiture of lands held by Catholics had
become practically void, so that he duly succeeded to the estates. The
old laird had driven over in his coach to the nearest Catholic place of
worship and had been received back into the Church of his fathers.
Afterwards he had given a great feast to his friends, at which plenty of
good old port was drunk to celebrate the occasion. He drove back to his
home, and on arrival at the house was found dead in the coach. So we
children, when told this story, said that he had only got to Heaven by
the skin of his teeth.

His successor, my grandfather, John David, died in 1850 in Spain, and my
father's elder brother, Pedro Carlos (1806-1857), became the laird and
took up his residence in the old home. He broke the record in driving the
mail coach from London to York without leaving the box seat. And later
on, in Aberdeen, he drove his four-in-hand at full gallop into Castlehill
Barracks. Anyone who knows the old gateway will appreciate the feat.

On his death in 1857, his son, my cousin, Juan José (1837-1866),
succeeded to the property. He, of course, had also been brought up in
Spain, and was married to a cousin, and sister of the Conde de Mirasol,
but had no children. When he took up his residence as laird, most of his
friends, naturally, were Spanish visitors whom he amused by building a
bull-fighting ring not far from the house, importing bulls from Spain and
holding amateur bull-fights on Sunday afternoons. This was a sad blow
indeed to the sedate Presbyterians in the neighbourhood. His life,
however, was short, and, as he left no children, the properties passed to
my father, Carlos Pedro (1814-1897), by entail.

It is necessary to have written this short history of the family, from my
great grandfather's time, to let you know how I came to be born in Spain,
and how our branch of the family was the only one of the clan which
remained Catholic in spite of the old Scots law.

I would like to tell you something now about Jeréz, the place where I was
born, and where the sherry white wine comes from. Yet all the wine is not
really white. There is good brown sherry, and there is just as good
golden sherry, and there is Pedro Ximenez. If you haven't tasted them,
try them as soon as you get the chance. You'll like the last two--and
very much--after dinner. I am not selling any, but you'll find plenty of
firms about Mark Lane who will be quite willing to supply you if you
wish.

Well, Jeréz is a town of some sixty thousand inhabitants. Don't be
afraid. This is not going to be a guidebook, for Jeréz has not a single
public building worth the slightest notice, not even a church of which it
can be said that it is really worth visiting compared with other cities,
either from an architectural or an artistic point of view. It is wanting
in the beautiful and wonderful attractions which adorn many of the
Andalusian towns that surround it. In Jeréz there are no glorious
edifices dating back to the occupation of the Moors (except the
Alcazar--now part cinema-show). There are no royal palaces taken from the
Moors by Spanish kings. There is no Seville Cathedral, no Giralda. There
is no Alhambra as there is in Granada. There are only parts of the
ancient walls that enclosed the old city. The Moors apparently thought
little of Jeréz; they evidently had not discovered the glories of sherry
white wine.

Jeréz seems to have devoted all its energies to the erection of
wine-cellars, the most uninteresting buildings in the world. A visitor,
after a couple of days in Jeréz, would be tired of its uninteresting
streets, badly kept squares and absence of any places of interest or
picturesque drives. Probably he would note the presence of the stately
and silent ciguenas, who make their home and build their nests upon the
top of every church steeple or tower. They are not exciting, but there
they have been for years, and there they are now, and it is to be
presumed that there they will remain. Yet, Jeréz is a pleasant place to
live in. Although there is only one decent hotel in it, there are
excellent private houses, full of many comforts and works of art, though
their comfort and beauty is all internal. They are mostly situated in
side streets, with no attempt at any outside architectural effects.

The citizens of Jeréz are quite content with Jeréz. They love to take
their ease, and have a decided objection to hustle. The womenkind dearly
love big families: the bigger they are the better they like them. They
are devoted to their husbands and children, and live for them. The men
cannot be called ambitious, but they are perfectly satisfied with their
quiet lives, and with looking after their own businesses. They love to
sit in their clubs and cafés, sit either inside or at tables on the
pavements in the street--and talk politics, bull-fights, and about the
weather, in fact any topic which comes handy; and they are quite content,
as a rule, to talk on, no matter if they are not being listened to. This
habit of general talk without listeners is also common to the ladies. To
be present at a re-union of ladies and listen to the babble of their
sweet tongues is a pleasure which a lazy man can thoroughly enjoy.

The local Press is represented principally by three or four--mostly
one-sheet--newspapers, which you can read in about three minutes. Of
course their all-absorbing interest, as regards sport, is centred in the
bull-fights. For three months before the bull-fighting season
begins--which is about Easter--people talk of nothing but bulls and
matadors. The relative merits of the different studs which are to supply,
not only the local corridas, but practically the tip-top ones throughout
the chief cities of Spain, are discussed over and over again, while the
admirers of Joselito (since killed) are as lavish in words and gestures
of praise as are those of Belmonte, while, at the same time, the claims
of other aspirants to championship as matadors are heard on every side.

Once the season begins--it lasts until towards the end of October--the
whole of everybody's time is, of course, mostly taken up in commenting
upon the merits or demerits of each and every corrida. There does not
appear to be time for much else to be talked about then; unless an
election comes along, and that thoroughly rouses the people for the time
being. It is of very little use for anyone to attempt to describe upon
what lines elections are run in Spain. One has to be there to try and
discover what principles guide them. For instance, the last time I was in
Spain Parliamentary elections were to take place the very week after
Easter Sunday. On that day the first bull-fight of the season was to take
place at Puerto Santa Maria, a small town about ten miles from Jeréz. Of
course a large number of sports, with their ladies, motored or drove over
for the occasion.

There was an immense crowd at Puerto Santa Maria. In the south of Spain,
especially at a bull-fight, Jack is as good as his master, and each one
has to battle through the crowd as best he can. I personally was relieved
of my gold watch, sovereign case and chain in the most perfect manner; so
perfect that I had not the least idea when or how it was taken. I must
confess I felt very sad over it; not so much over my actual loss, but, I
_did_ think it most unkind and thoughtless of my fellow townsmen to
select me as their victim. The next morning I reported my loss to the
Mayor of Jeréz. He didn't appear to be much concerned about it, and he
informed me that he had already had some forty similar complaints of the
loss of watches, pocket-books, etc., from visitors to Puerto Santa Maria
from Jeréz the day previous. He had had a telegram also from the Mayor of
Puerto Santa Maria to the effect that some seventy like cases had been
reported to him in that town.

"So that, after all," he said, "I don't really see any particular reason
why you should be hurt. I may tell you that you are in good company.
General Primo de Rivera" (who was then Captain-General Commanding the
Military District) "was with a friend when he saw a man take the latter's
pocket-book from inside his coat. He fortunately grabbed the thief before
he could make off. One of the Ministers of State was successfully robbed
of some thirty pounds in notes; while a friend of yours" (mentioning a
business man in Jeréz who hadn't even been to the bull-fight, but had
been collecting rents at Cadiz, and was returning through Puerto Santa
Maria home) "was surprised to find on his arrival there, that the large
sum, which should have been in his pocket had evidently passed, somehow
or other, into some other fellow's hands."

This, of course, somewhat cheered me up, because, after all, there is no
doubt that a common affliction makes us very sympathetic. I asked him how
he accounted for this wonderful display of sleight-of-hand.

"Oh," he said, "don't you know that the elections are on this week, and
that usually, before the elections, the party in power takes the
opportunity of letting out of gaol as many criminals as it dares, hoping
for and counting on their votes? Of course, the responsibility falls on
the heads of the police for making some effort to protect our easy-going
and unsuspicious visitors at such times. The job is too big for us at the
time being, with the result that these gentry make a good harvest. But
yet, after all, we are not really downhearted about it, because, after
the elections are over, especially if the opposition party gets in, we
round them all up and promptly lock them up again."

The explanation, though quite clear, didn't seem to me to be of much help
towards getting back my goods and chattels, so I ventured to ask again
whether he thought there was any chance at all of my recovering them, or
of his recovering them for me. He smiled a sweet smile, and--shaking his
head, I regret to say, in a negative way--answered that he thought there
was not the slightest hope, as, from the description of the watch, chain,
etc., which I had given him, he had no doubt that they had by that time
passed through the melting pot, so that it was not even worth while to
offer a reward.

The house where I was born was at that time one of the largest in the
city. It is situated almost in the centre of Jeréz, and occupies a very
large block of ground, for in addition to the house itself and gardens,
the wine-cellars, the cooperage, stables and other accessory buildings
attached to them, were all grouped round it. To-day a holy order of nuns
occupies it as a convent. No longer is heard the crackling of the fires
and the hammering of the iron hoops in the cooperage. No longer the teams
of upstanding mules, with the music of their brass bells, are seen
leaving the cellars with their load of the succulent wine. No longer is
the air filled with that odour which is so well known to those whose
lives are spent amidst the casks in which the wine is maturing. Instead,
peace and quiet reign. Sacrificing their time to the interests of
charity, the holy sisters dwell in peace.

Two recollections of some of my earliest days are somewhat vivid. I seem
to remember hearing the deep sound of a bell in the streets, looking out
of the window and seeing an open cart--full of dead bodies--stopping
before the door of a house, from which one more dead body was added to
the funeral pile. That was the year of the great cholera epidemic. And
again, I remember hearing bells early, very early, in the morning. We
knew what that was. It was the donkey-man coming round to sell the
donkeys' milk at the front door, quite warm and frothy.

My early school days in Spain were quite uneventful. After attending a
day-school at Jeréz, kept by Don José Rincon, I went into the Jesuit
College at Puerto Real for a year. A new college was being built at
Puerto Santa Maria, to which the school was transferred, and it has been
added to since. It is now one of the best colleges in the south of
Spain.

On the death of my cousin, the entailed properties--as I have
said--became my father's, and the family left Spain to take up its
residence in Scotland.



CHAPTER II

MY SCHOOLING


The journey from Jeréz to Scotland must have been full of interest and
excitement for my father. Our party numbered about thirty of all ages,
down to a couple of babies, my sister's children. My father found it more
practicable to arrange for what was then called a family train to take us
through Spain and France. We travelled during the day and got shunted at
night. Sometimes we slept in the carriages; other times at hotels. In
either case, as a rule, there were frequent and--for a time--hard-fought
battles among us young ones of both sexes for choice of sleeping places.

At meal times there were often considerable scrambles. We all seemed to
have the same tastes and we all wanted the same things. My parents (who,
poor dears, had to put up with us, and the Spanish nurses and servants,
who had never left their own homes before, and who, the farther we got,
seemed to think that they were never going to return to them) at last
came to the conclusion that any attempts at punishing us were without
satisfactory results, and that appealing to our love for them (for it was
no use appealing to our love for each other) and our honour paid better.

My elder sisters and brothers, who were in the party, knew English. I did
not. Not a word except two, and those were "all right," which,
immediately on arrival at Dover and all the way to London, I called out
to every person I met.

On reaching Charing Cross the party was to have a meal previous to
starting up to Scotland. The station restaurant manager was somewhat
surprised when my father informed him that he wanted a table for about
thirty persons, which, however, he arranged for. The Spanish nurses and
women-servants were dressed after the style of their own country. They,
of course, wore no hats, their hair being beautifully done with flowers
at the side (which had to be provided for them whether we wished it or
not), and characteristic shawls graced their shoulders. So that the
little party at the table was quite an object of interest, not only to
those others who were dining at the time, but also to a great many
ordinary passengers who practically were blocking the entrance to the
restaurant in order to obtain a glimpse of the foreigners.

All went well until the chef, with the huge sirloin of beef upon the
travelling table, appeared upon the scene. No sooner did he begin to
carve and the red, juicy gravy of the much under-done beef appeared, than
the nurses rose in a body, dropped the babies and bolted through the door
on to the platform. They thought they were going to be asked to eat raw
meat. Of course, they had never seen a joint in Spain. On their leaving,
we, the younger members of the family, were told to run after them and
catch them if we could. So off we went, and then began such a chase
through the station as I doubt if Charing Cross had ever witnessed before
or has since. The station police and porters, not understanding what was
going on, naturally started chasing and catching us youngsters, much to
the amusement and bewilderment of those looking on. Meanwhile my father
stood at the entrance of the restaurant, sad but resigned, and it was
after some considerable time and after the removal of the offending
joint, that the family party was again gathered together in peace and
quiet, and shortly afterwards proceeded on the last stage of its journey
and arrived safely at the old family home, which stands amidst some of
the most beautiful woods in Scotland. It is very old, but not so old as
the family itself.

My father decided that it would be better for me to get a little
knowledge of the English language before he sent me to school, so that I
might be able to look after myself when there. I was handed over to the
care of the head gamekeeper, Thomas Kennedy. Dear Tom died three years
ago, at a very old age; rather surprising he lived so long, as he had for
years to look after me. To him, from the start, I was "Master Joseph,"
and "Master Joseph" I remained until I embraced the old chap the last
time I saw him before he died. It was from Tom Kennedy that I first
learnt English, mixed with the broad Aberdeen-Scots, which when combined
with my Spanish accent was practically a language of my own.

I wonder if Britons have any idea how difficult it is, especially for one
whose native tongue is of the Latin origin, to get a thorough knowledge
and grasp of their language. To my mind, the English language is not
founded on any particular rules or principles. No matter how words are
spelt, they have got to be pronounced just as the early Britons decided.
There is no particular rule; if you want to spell properly, you pretty
well have to learn to spell each word on its own. This is proved by the
fact that the spelling of their own language correctly is certainly not
one of the proud achievements of their own race. In the good old days
before the War it may be stated without exaggeration that one of the
greatest stumbling blocks in the public examinations--especially those
for entrance into Woolwich and Sandhurst--was the qualification test in
spelling. There must be thousands of candidates still alive who well
remember receiving the foolscap blue envelopes notifying them that there
was no further necessity for their presence at the examination as they
had failed to qualify in spelling. As regards the pronunciation of words
as you find them written, it is quite an art to hit them off right.
Still, perseverance, patience and a good memory finally come to the
rescue, and the result is then quite gratifying.

It was from Tom Kennedy that I also learnt to shoot, fish, ride and
drink, for Tom always had a little flask of whisky to warm us up when we
were sitting in the snow and waiting for the rabbits to bolt, or--what
often took a great deal longer time--waiting for the ferrets to come out.
And--last but not least--he taught me to smoke. I well remember Tom's
short black pipe and his old black twist tobacco. I shall never forget
the times I had and the physical and mental agonies I endured in trying
to enjoy that pipe.

So six months passed away and I was sent, with my two elder brothers, to
the Oratory School in Edgware Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The head of
the school was the celebrated Doctor, and later on Cardinal, Newman. Even
to this day my recollections of that ascetic holy man are most vivid. At
that time his name was a household word in religious controversy. He
stood far above his contemporaries, whether they were those who agreed
with or differed from his views. He was respected by all, loved by those
who followed him; never hated, but somewhat feared, by those who opposed
him. I remember that one of the greatest privileges to which the boys at
our school at that time looked forward, was being selected to go and
listen to Doctor Newman playing the violin. Five or six of us were taken
to his study in the evening. In mute silence, with rapt attention, we
watched the thin-featured man, whose countenance to us seemed to belong
even then to a world beyond this, and we listened to what to us seemed
the sweetest sounding music.

But yet there are other recollections which were not so pleasant. The
head prefect was a man of very different physical qualities. Dear Father
St. John Ambrose erred on the side of physical attainments. He was by no
means thin or ascetic. He possessed a powerful arm, which he wielded with
very considerable freedom when applying the birch in the recesses of the
boot-room. I must admit that my interviews with Father St. John in the
boot-room were not infrequent. But, after all, the immediate effect soon
passed away and the incident was forgotten. Still, to my surprise, when
the school accounts were rendered at the end of the year, my father was
puzzled over one item, namely, "Birches--£1 2s. 6d." (at the rate of half
a crown each)! He asked me what it meant, and I explained to him as best
I could that dear Father St. John was really the responsible person in
the matter, and I had no doubt my father would get a full explanation
from him if he wrote. But it brought home to me the recollection of nine
visits to the boot-room with that amiable and much-respected Father St.
John. I have within the last few months met again, after my long absence
in other countries, several of my school mates. They are all going strong
and well, holding high positions in this world, and as devoted as ever to
the old school at Edgbaston. One of them is now Viscount Fitzalan,
Viceroy of Ireland.

When my two elder brothers left the Oratory, which I may say was a school
where the boys were allowed very considerable liberty, my father must
have thought, no doubt, when he remembered the twenty-two and sixpence
for birches, that it would be wise to send me somewhere where the rules
of the college were, in his opinion, somewhat stricter. So off I was
sent, early in 1870, to dear old Beaumont College, the Jesuit school,
situated in that beautiful spot on the River Thames just where the old
hostelry The Bells of Ouseley still exists, at the foot of the range of
hills which the glorious Burnham Beeches adorn. The original house was
once the home of Warren Hastings. Four delightful years of school life
followed. It was a pleasure to me to find that there was no extra charge
for birches. The implement that was used to conserve discipline was not
made out of the pliable birch tree, but of a very solid piece of leather
with some stiffening to it--I fancy of steel--called a "ferrula." This
was applied to the palm of the hand, and not to where my old friend the
birch found its billet. As the same ferrula not only lasted a long time
without detriment to itself, but, on the contrary, seemed rather to
improve with age, the authorities were kind enough not to charge for its
use.

No event of any particular interest, except perhaps being taught cricket
by old John Lillywhite, with his very best top hat of those days, and
battles fought on the football ground against rival colleges, occurred
until the end of the third year. I happened to have come out, at the end
of that year, top of my class. I had practically won most of the prizes.
It was the custom of the school that the senior boys of the upper classes
were permitted to study more advanced subjects than the school had
actually laid down for the curriculum of that particular class for the
year. These extra subjects were called "honours." They were studied in
voluntary time; the examinations therein and the marks gained in no way
counted towards the result of the class examinations for the year.

These class examinations were held before the "honours" examination. A
friend of mine in a higher class, who was sitting behind me in the study
room, asked me if I'd like to read an English translation of "Cæsar." I
promptly said "Yes" and borrowed it, and was soon lost in its perusal,
with my elbows on my desk and my head between my hands. Presently I felt
a gentle tap on my shoulder. I looked up to see the prefect of studies
standing by me. He told me afterwards that he had thought, from the
interest I was taking in my book, that I was reading some naughty and
forbidden novel, which he intended to confiscate, of course, and probably
read. He was surprised to find it was an old friend, "Cæsar." Being an
English translation it was considered to be a "crib." He asked me where I
had got it. I couldn't give away my pal, just behind me, so I said I
didn't know. "Don't add impertinence to the fact that you've got a
'crib.' Just tell me where you did get this book," he remarked. "I don't
want to be impertinent," I said, "but I refuse to tell you." "Very well,
then," he said, "go straight to bed."

I heard nothing more on the subject till a few days afterwards, at the
presentation of the prizes, the breaking-up day, on which occasion the
parents and friends of the scholars were invited to be present. At an
interval in the performance the prizes were presented. The prefect of
studies would begin to read from the printed prize list, which all the
visitors were supplied with, the names of all the fortunate prize winners
in succession, from the highest to the lowest. As the name of each prize
winner was called he stood up, walked to the table at which the prizes
were presented, received his, and, after making a polite bow, returned to
his seat.

When the prefect of studies reached the class to which I belonged he
called out: "Grammar, first prize. Aggregate for the year, Joseph M.
Gordon." Upon which I rose from my seat, and for a moment the applause of
the audience, which was freely given to all prize winners, followed. I
was on the point of moving off towards the table in question, when, as
the applause ceased, the voice of the prefect of studies once more made
itself clearly heard. It was only one word he said, but that word was
"Forfeited." No more. I sat down again. Then he continued: "First prize
in Latin, J. M. G." I must admit I didn't know what to do, but I stood up
all right again. The audience didn't quite appear to understand what was
going on, but the prefect of studies gave them no time to commence any
further applause, for that one word, "Forfeited," came quickly out of his
mouth. Down again I sat. However, I immediately made up my mind, though,
of course, not knowing how many prizes I had won, to stand up every time
and sit down as soon as that old word "Forfeited" came along, which
actually happened about four times.

I often wonder now how I really did look on that celebrated occasion. But
I remember making up my mind there and then that I would remain in that
school for one year more, but no more, even if I was forced to leave the
country, and to win every prize I could that next year, and make sure, as
the Irishman says, that they would not be "forfeited." So I remained
another year. I was fortunate enough to win the prizes--I even won the
silver medal, special prize for religion--and it was a proud day for me
when I got them safely into my bag, which I did as soon as possible after
the ceremony, in case someone else should come along and attempt to
"_forfeit_" them. I had taken care to order a special cab of my own and
to have my portmanteau close to the front door, so that I could get away
at the very earliest opportunity to Windsor Station.

But I had not forgotten that I had made up my mind to leave the school
then, so on my arrival at home I duly informed my venerable father that I
had made up my mind to be a soldier, and that as I was then over 17, and
as candidates for the Woolwich Academy were not admitted after reaching
their eighteenth birthday, it was necessary that I should leave school at
once and go to a crammer. My father made no objection at all, but he
said, "As your time is so short to prepare, we will at once go back to
London and get a tutor." Considering this was the first day of my
well-earned holidays, it was rather rough; but I was adamant about not
returning to school, so turned southwards with my few goods and chattels,
except my much-cherished prizes, which I left with the family, and
proceeded to London on the next day.

So I lost my holidays, but I got my way.

My father selected a man called Wolfram, who up to that time had been
master at several old-fashioned crammers', but was anxious to start an
establishment of his own, and I became his first pupil at Blackheath. As
I had practically only some five months odd to prepare for the only
examination that would be held before I reached my eighteenth birthday, I
entered into an agreement with Mr. Wolfram that I would work as hard as
ever he liked, and for as many hours as he wished, from each Monday
morning till each Saturday at noon, and that from that hour till Sunday
night I meant to enjoy myself and have a complete rest, so as to be quite
fresh to tackle the next week's work. This compact was carried out and
worked admirably, at any rate from my point of view. All went quite
satisfactorily, for when the results of the examination were published I
had come out twenty-second on the list out of some seventeen hundred
candidates, and as there were thirty-three vacancies to be filled, I was
amongst the fortunate ones. As I had found it so difficult to learn the
English language, I was surprised that I practically received full marks
in that subject.

There was generally an interval of six weeks from the time when the
actual examination was completed till the publication of the results. The
examination took place late in the year, and as my people generally went
to Spain for the winter, they decided to take me with them, which pleased
me immensely. We arrived back at Jeréz, which I had not seen since our
departure from there in the family train some seven years before, and,
considering myself quite a grown-up young man, I looked forward to a lot
of fun. The journey took some time. We stayed in Paris, Bayonne, Madrid,
and finally reached Jeréz. The Carlist War had then been going on for
three or four years (of this more anon), and caused us much delay in that
part of the journey which took us across the Pyrenees, as the railways
had been destroyed.

By the time we arrived in Jeréz some five weeks had elapsed, with the
result that, a very few days after our arrival, just as I was beginning
to enjoy myself thoroughly, a telegram arrived from the War Office,
notifying me that I had been one of the successful candidates at the
recent examinations and that I was to report myself at Woolwich in ten
days' time.

This telegram arrived one evening when a masked ball was being held at
one of the Casinos. Being carnival time, it was the custom at these balls
for the ladies to go masked, but not so the men. This was a source of
much amusement to all, as the women were able to know who their partners
were and chaff them at pleasure, while the men had all their time cut out
to recognize the gay deceivers. At the beginning of the ball I had seen a
masked lady who appeared to me just perfection. She was sylph-like; her
figure was slight, of medium height, feet as perfect as Spanish women's
feet can be; a head whose shape rivalled those of Murillo's angels,
blue-black tresses adorning it, and eyes--oh! what eyes--looking at you
through the openings in the mask. I lost no time in asking her to dance.
I did not expect she would know who I was, but _she_ lost no time in
saying "Yes," and round we went. I found I didn't like to leave her, so I
asked her to dance again--and again. She was sweetness itself. She always
said "Yes." It was in the middle of this that I was informed by my father
of the telegram to return to Woolwich. I wished Woolwich in a very hot
place. Soon came the time for the ladies to unmask. She did so, and I
beheld, in front of me, a married aunt of mine! Going back to Woolwich
didn't then appear to me so hard.



CHAPTER III

A FRONTIER INCIDENT


I was finishing my second term at Woolwich and the Christmas holidays
were close at hand.

I had, during the term, been closely following the fortunes of Don Carlos
and his army in the northern provinces of Spain. Year after year he had
been getting a stronger and stronger hold, and the weakness of the
Republican Governments in Madrid had assisted him very materially. There
was no one--had been no one--for some years to lead the then so-called
Government troops to any military advantage in the field against him.

General Prim, the Warwick of Spain, had been assassinated in Madrid. The
Italian Prince, Asmodeus, to whom he had offered the Crown and who for
just over a year had reigned as King of Spain, was glad to make himself
scarce by quietly disappearing over the borders to Portugal. A further
period of Republican Government was imposed upon the country, equally as
inefficient as it had been before. The star of the Carlist Cause seemed
to be in the ascendant. Never--up to that date--had Don Carlos's army
been so numerous or better equipped. The Carlist factories were turning
out their own guns and munitions. They held excellent positions from
which to strike southwards towards Madrid, and on which to fall back for
protection if necessary.

Everything pointed to a successful issue of their enterprise, backed up
as it was by the Church of Rome, and tired and worn out as the country
was by successive revolutions, mutinies of troops, unstable Governments
and hopeless bankruptcy. So I thought my chance had come to see some
fighting of real ding-dong nature by paying Don Carlos a personal visit.
Not that I thought my military qualifications, attained by a few months'
residence at the "Shop" as a cadet, in any way qualified me to be of any
real military value to Don Carlos, but rather because I thought that Don
Carlos's experience, after several years of the waging of war, would be
of some considerable value to myself. Thus it came about that I decided
to spend the forthcoming Christmas holidays attached to his army, being
satisfied that I should be welcome, for I had a first cousin and two
other relations who had been A.D.C.'s to Don Carlos from the beginning of
the campaign.

I duly made application to our Governor at the "Shop," General Sir
Lintorn Simmons, R.E., for permission to proceed to Spain during the
holidays and be accredited as an English officer. This, of course, was
refused, as I was not an officer, only a cadet, and fairly young at that.
But I was told that if I chose to proceed to Spain on my own
responsibility I was at liberty to do so, provided I returned to Woolwich
on the date at which the new term began.

I have my doubts whether any young fellow of eighteen ever felt so
elated, so important, so contented as I did on my journey from London to
Bayonne. As I had my British passport I did not feel in the least
concerned as to not being allowed to cross the frontier, which happened
to be at the time in the hands of the Government troops, into Spain. The
railways in the north of Spain had practically ceased to exist. The
journey was made along the old roads in every kind of coach that had been
on the road previous to the construction of the railways across the
Pyrenees. One particular coach I travelled in was practically a box on
four wheels, with a very narrow seat running on each side, and very low
in the roof. Going downhill the horses--such as they were--went as fast
as they could, and every time we struck a hole in the road down went the
box, up we banged our heads against the roof, and then we collapsed
quietly on to the floor, beautifully mixed up.

This little affair happened often, and it was made especially interesting
by the fact that we had two apparently youthful lady travellers. They had
started with us from Bayonne. They were very quietly dressed, and--so far
as we could see, through the extremely thick veils which they wore about
their heads, and from occasional ringlets of hair peeping out here and
there--they were quite the type of the dark Spanish beauties. They had
chosen the two innermost seats inside the coach, and I happened to occupy
the seat on one side next to one of them.

In those days cigarette-smoking by ladies was quite uncommon, much less
was the smell of a strong cigar acceptable to them. However, the journey
from Bayonne to the border was somewhat long. I wanted a smoke. I had a
cigar. I politely asked the ladies whether they objected to my lighting
up. They did not speak, but they--as it seemed to me--gracefully nodded
"Yes." So I lit up, and presently I began to notice that the one next to
me, towards whose face the smoke sometimes drifted, seemed to like it
very much, and, I would almost have said that she was trying to sniff
some of it herself. A little later on, when we came to an unusually big
rut in the road, we all went up as usual against the roof, and all came
down again, missing the narrow seat. Extracting ourselves from our
awkward positions, I came across a foot which certainly seemed to me not
to belong to a lady, but, as it happened, it _was_ a foot belonging to
one of the ladies. I began to think but said nothing, and I also began to
watch and look. Their hands had woollen gloves on, very thick, so that it
was difficult to say what the hand was like inside. I may say that the
three other passengers were Frenchmen, two of whom were very young and
apparently unable to speak Spanish. As we were nearing the frontier I
spoke to the ladies on some trivial matter, and mentioned the fact that I
was going into Spain and that I hoped to see something of the fighting;
that I was an Englishman, but that I had been born in Spain and that I
knew personally Don Carlos and several of his officers, as well as many
officers belonging to the Government troops. I noticed them interchanging
looks as I told them my story, and presently we pulled up by the roadside
at a little inn on the French side of the frontier. We were to wait there
for some little time while the horses were changed, and we were glad to
get out and stretch our limbs after our bumping experiences.

I watched them getting out of the coach, and it was quite evident to me
that, considering they were ladies, they were blessed, each of them, with
a very useful, handsome pair of understandings. I went inside the little
inn, which boasted only, as far as I could see, one little room besides
the big kitchen, and was having some tea when one of the ladies came into
the room and, to my surprise, closed the door, put her back against it
and said, "Will you promise not to give us away if we confide in you?" I
said, "Certainly. I am not old enough yet to have given any ladies away,
and I am not going to begin just now; so tell me anything you like. If I
can help you I will."

For an answer her woollen gloves were whipped off, her hands, which were
a very healthy brown colour, went up to her face, and--quite in a very
awkward manner for a lady--she battled with her veil. Up it went,
finally. A very, very clean-shaved face, but showing that very dark
complexion which many black-bearded men have, no matter how very, very
cleanly they shave, was looking right at me. There was no need for much
further explanation. He told me that she and her companion were two
Carlist officers who were hoping to join their regiments but had to cross
the belt of the Government troops to do so, and had decided to disguise
themselves as women and take the risk. I suggested that the other lady
should be asked to come in and hold a council of war. I told them that I
myself was going to Don Carlos's headquarters as soon as I got the
opportunity, and that the only trouble I foresaw was in dealing with the
sentries and the guard at the frontier. Once past that it would be easy
enough for them to get away unmolested. My next question was, "How much
money have you ladies got? We all know the Spanish sentries, and I think
their hands are always ready to receive some little douceur. There is but
little luggage to be examined by them. If you two ladies remain inside
the coach and be careful to cover your feet up, I'll keep them employed
as far as possible in overhauling the luggage. I'll square, as far as I
can, the driver not to leave his box, but to be ready to start as quick
as I tell him to, and, by generous application of douceurs, I'll try to
so interest the guards that they will have but little time to make any
inquiries as regards your two selves." All went well. We got to the
frontier, the commandant of the guard and the sentries were so taken up
in counting the tips I gave them and dividing them equitably amongst
themselves that they neither examined the luggage nor did they even look
inside the coach. I hustled the three Frenchmen into the coach, after
telling them that it was very, very important that we should proceed at
once, shouted to the driver, "Anda, amigo--corre!" with the result that
the horses jumped off at a bound, and I just managed to throw myself into
the inside of the coach, very nearly reaching the ample laps of my two
delicate lady friends.

The next day we arrived without incident at a small village, somewhat
north of Elisondo, which village was then in the hands of the Carlists.
Here my two lady friends changed their sex, and we passed a very pleasant
evening with the Mayor of the town, who had been able for some months
previously, to be a Republican of the most determined character while the
town was occupied by the Government troops, and to be a Carlist, second
to none in his enthusiasm for the Carlist cause, as soon as the Carlist
troops took possession of it again.

[Illustration: Alfonso XII. (1874-1886) at the time of his accession]

[Illustration: The Prince Imperial

His last portrait, painted from life at Woolwich by Olivier Pichat]



CHAPTER IV

FIRST WAR EXPERIENCE


I arrived at the headquarters of the Carlist Army, the stronghold of
Estella, about the middle of January, 1875. Estella had been the seat of
Government of the first Don Carlos in the earlier war.

On December 31, 1874, young Alfonso had been proclaimed King of Spain.
His accession to the throne had taken place earlier than the Civil
Government, then in power in Madrid, had intended. Its members were
Royalists, and were preparing the way for the restoration of Alfonso to
the throne, but were not anxious to hasten it until their plans were
matured. Sagasta was their Civil Head; Bodega, Minister for War; Primo de
Rivera, Captain-General of New Castile, all powerful with the soldiers
then under his command. The man who forced their hands was General
Martinez Campos, a junior general. A mile outside a place called
Murviedro he harangued 2,000 officers and soldiers, then camped there, on
December 24, 1874. The officers were already known to him as favourable
to Alfonso. They applauded him enthusiastically, the men followed, and
they there and then swore "to defend with the last drop of their blood
the flag raised in face of the misfortunes of their country as a happy
omen of redemption, peace and happiness." (December 24, 1874.) The fat
was in the fire. Those who were delaying the Pronunciamento had to give
it their support, however much they considered it inexpedient. The
Commander-in-Chief of the Army in the Field, Jovellar, and his Chief of
the Staff, Arcaguarra, were also Royalists at heart. Jovellar hastened to
instruct his generals openly to acknowledge Alfonso as their King, as
King of Spain.

One general, the Marquis del Castillo, was then commanding the Government
troops in Valencia. He was a loyalist too, but he did not think it right
to assist with the troops under his command in effecting a change of
Government, practically to take part in a rebellion while facing the
common enemy. Castillo prepared to resist the Pronunciamento and march
against the troops at Murviedro. Jovellar frustrated his intentions and
marched at the head of his troops against him. Castillo's officers and
soldiers fraternized with Jovellar's troops, and Castillo was ordered
back to Madrid.

Alfonso XII reached Barcelona January 9, 1875. Official functions, his
entry into Madrid, the issuing of Proclamations, fully engaged his time.
But he was most anxious to proceed north and place himself at the head of
his troops to whom he owed so much. Amongst the Proclamations was one
practically offering the Carlists complete amnesty and the confirmation
of the local privileges of the Provinces where the Carlist cause was most
in favour. Don Carlos rejected the offer with disdain. Alfonso then,
early in February, 1875, proceeded north to the River Ebro, reviewed some
40,000 of his best troops and joined General Morriones.

Such was the political situation. The military situation was as follows:
Don Carlos's Army numbered some 30,000 men. The provinces from which they
had been fed were becoming exhausted. On the other hand, Alfonso's troops
numbered about twice their strength, and their moral had been improved by
the success of their Pronunciamento and the return of some of the best
leaders to the command of groups of the Army. The Carlist mobile forces
had been much weakened in numbers by the blockade of the old fortress of
Pamplona, which had lasted a long time.

Alfonso, with the Army of General Morriones, marched to the relief of
Pamplona and successfully raised the blockade, February 6, 1875, forcing
the Carlists backwards. The situation became most critical for the
Carlists, as another Royalist Army, under General Laserta, was on the
move to join Morriones in an attack on Estella. If this plan had
succeeded it is probable that the war would have been finished there and
then. Don Carlos, however, succeeded in inflicting a severe defeat on
Laserta and completely upset the intentions of the Royalists. Alfonso
returned to Madrid, having been only a fortnight with the Army. His
presence was a source of embarrassment to the High Command.

I was able to be present at the retreat of the Carlist troops from the
blockade of Pamplona, as well as the capture of Puente de Reina by
Morriones, the defeat of Laserta, and other guerilla engagements. I had
become so interested in the work in hand that I had over-stayed my leave
by a very considerable period, and would either have to return at once
and take my gruelling at the hands of our Governor at the "Shop," or make
up my mind to join the Carlists and become a soldier of fortune. I
thought it out as best I could, and it seemed to me then that the
experiences I had gained--of perhaps the most varied fighting that any
similar campaign has supplied--might be considered of more advantage to
my career as a soldier than a couple of extra months of mathematics,
science and lectures at Woolwich, and that if I promptly returned and
surrendered myself to the authorities I might perhaps be pardoned. So I
collected my few goods and chattels, said good-bye to Don Carlos and my
friends, and returned home by no means feeling so elated, happy and
contented as I did on my outward journey.

On arriving in London I duly wrote to the Adjutant at Woolwich, informing
him that I had arrived safely in England after my campaign in the North
of Spain, and that the next day, which happened to be Tuesday, I would
deliver myself as a prisoner, absent without leave, at the Guard Room at
12 o'clock noon. This I did, and I was met by the gallant Adjutant, and a
guard, and was promptly put under arrest. Some of my contemporaries may
still remember the occasion of my return. Numerous had been the rumours
about my doings. At times I was reported dead. At other times I was
rapidly being promoted in the Carlist Army. I had also been taken
prisoner by the Government troops, tried by court-martial, and sentenced
to durance vile in the deep dungeons of some ancient fortress. Their
sympathies for me had risen to enthusiasm or were lowered to zero,
according to the rumours of the day, but they were all glad to see me
back. Still they pitied me indeed, as they wondered amongst themselves
what my fate was now to be.

The preliminary investigation into my disorderly conduct took place
before the Colonel Commanding, and I was then remanded to be dealt with
by the Governor. I was duly marched in to his august presence, under
armed escort, and, after having had the charge of being absent without
leave duly read to me, I was called upon by him to make any statement I
wished with reference to my conduct.

As I have already said, I had learnt English only after I was thirteen
years of age, and on joining at Woolwich I still spoke English with a
considerable foreign accent, which perhaps had become more marked during
my recent protracted visit to Don Carlos and his Army. I have always
noticed that when one gets excited a foreign accent becomes more
accentuated. It undoubtedly did on this occasion, especially when I
endeavoured to give a description of some of the fighting in the course
of my statement. I even ventured to ask that I might be given a piece of
paper and a pencil to jot down the dispositions of the opposing forces
which took part in one of our biggest fights. I had barely made the
request when the Governor stopped me and said: "Do you mean to tell me
that you have picked up a foreign accent like this during the short time
that you have been in Spain?" "Oh, no, sir, I have always had it. I mean,
I've had it ever since I learnt English."

Sir Lintorn looked serious when I said this. A smile flitted across the
countenances of the Colonel Commanding and the Adjutant--and even of the
escort. "When did you learn English--and where? And where do you come
from?" "I learnt English," I answered, "about five years ago at the
Oratory at Edgbaston, Birmingham, and I spoke Spanish before that." "What
countryman are you, then?" "Well," I said, "my father is Scotch, my
mother is Irish, and I was born in Spain. I'm not quite sure what I am."

This time the smile turned into suppressed laughter. General Simmons
looked at me for a short instant. Then he, too, smiled and said, "Well, I
am going to let you off. You must take your chance of getting through
your examination, considering the time you've lost. I let you off because
I feel that the experiences you have gained may be of good value to you."
Turning to the Adjutant he said, "March the prisoner out and release him.
Tear up his crime sheet."

I forget now the wonderful escapes from tight corners in the field, the
glowing descriptions of the valour of the Carlists, the number of times
that Staff Officers had asked for my advice as to the conduct of the war,
and the many other extraordinary tarradiddles that I poured, night after
night, into the willing ears of my astounded and bewildered fellow
cadets. One curiosity, however, may be mentioned. Amongst the most
energetic of Don Carlos's officers was his sister, Princess Mercedes, who
personally commanded a cavalry regiment for some considerable time during
the war.

The rest of my stay at Woolwich was uneventful. I _did_ manage to get
through the examination at the end of the term, but this was chiefly
owing to the generous help of those cadets in my term who personally
coached me in such subjects as I had missed. A year afterwards, at the
end of the fourth term, the Royal Regiment of Artillery was short of
officers. The numbers of cadets in the A Division leaving the "Shop" was
not sufficient to fill the vacancies. Some eight extra commissions were
offered to the fourth term cadets who were willing to forgo their
opportunities of qualifying for the Royal Engineers by remaining for
another term. A gunner was good enough for me, and I was duly gazetted to
the regiment.

I am just here reminded of an incident which took place on the day on
which His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge attended the Academy to
bestow the commissions and present the prizes on the breaking-up day. The
Prince Imperial of France had been a cadet with us. On that particular
occasion he was presented with the prize for equitation, of which he was
very proud. He was a good sport. He was very keen on fencing, but he had
been taught on the French lines, and, as the French system was different
from our English system he did not enter his name for the fencing prize.
But he said that he _would_ like to have a go with the foils against the
winner of the prize. I had happened to win it. The little encounter was
arranged as an interlude in the athletic exhibition forming part of the
day's function. We masked. We met. I was just starting to do the
ceremonial fencing salute which generally preceded the actual
hostilities, when he came to the engage, lunged, and had it not been for
the button of the enemy's foil and my leather jacket, there would have
been short shrift for J. M. G. He quickly called "One to me." Then I
quickly lunged, got home, and called out, "One to me." Next instant we
both lunged again, with equal results. We would have finished each
other's earthly career if there had been no buttons and no leather
jackets. The referee sharply called "Dead heat. All over." We shook hands
in the usual amicable way and had a good laugh over the bout.

We parted on that occasion on our different roads in life--he shortly
afterwards to meet his untimely end in the wilds of South Africa. Later
on I remember attending his funeral. His death was indeed a sad blow to
his mother, the Empress Eugénie, whose hopes had been centred on him her
only son. I well remember, as a youngster, when visiting Madrid with my
mother, looking forward to be taken to see her mother, the Countess of
Montijo, who, with my grandmother, had been lady-in-waiting to Her
Majesty Queen Christina.

Just lately I was at Jeréz again, when the ex-Empress Eugénie motored
from Gibraltar to Seville, accompanied by her nephew the Duke of Alba.
They stopped for luncheon at the Hotel Cisnes. I had the honour of a
conversation with her. Her brightness and her memory were quite
unimpaired though in her ninety-fifth year. She recollected the incident
of the fencing bout at which she had been present. Now she has passed
away to her rest.

Gazetted Lieutenant, Royal Artillery, March, 1876, I was ordered to join
at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich, in April.



CHAPTER V

MY MEETINGS WITH KING ALFONSO


While the exiled Prince Imperial was at the Royal Military Academy at
Woolwich another exiled Royal Prince, in the person of Alfonso XII,
father of the present King and the successful claimant in the great
Carlist struggle, who came to his own in 1875, was undergoing training in
the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. I came to know him intimately
during his stay in England owing to the fact that the Count of Mirasol,
whose sister married my eldest brother, was his tutor and factotum.

I well remember what pleasure it was to me every time Mirasol asked me to
spend the week-end with Alfonso in town. It was winter time, and one of
our favourite resorts was Maskelyne and Cook's. We were never tired of
watching their wonderful tricks. One afternoon we went to their theatre,
the Hall of Mysteries, with two young nephews of mine who had just come
from Spain and did not know English. One of the feats we saw was that of
a man standing on a platform leading from the stage to the back of the
audience, and then rising when the lights were lowered towards the roof
of the building. The audience were warned to keep quiet and still while
this wonderful act took place. One of my young nephews, who had not
understood the warning given, happened to be next the platform. When the
lights were lowered and the man started on his aerial flight, my young
nephew took my walking stick and struck the uprising figure. The lights
went up and we were requested to leave the theatre. Alfonso protested,
but Mirasol assured him that discretion was the best part of valour.

On the evening of December 30, I think, I was invited to dinner by
Mirasol at Brown's Hotel, Dover Street. I was surprised that the
dinner-hour had been fixed at a quarter-past six p.m. I wondered where we
were going afterwards. Was it a theatre, or was it one of those quiet but
most enjoyable little dinners and dances which Alfonso's friends arranged
for him? In addition to the large number of wealthy Spaniards then living
in London, many families whose sympathies had bound them to the
monarchical cause had left Spain during the Republican _régime_ and made
London their home. I noticed when I arrived that Alfonso and Mirasol were
in ordinary day dress. I again wondered how we were to finish up the
evening.

It was at dinner that Mirasol said to me, "José Maria, you are in the
presence of the King of Spain." I rose and bowed to His Majesty. He stood
up and, taking both my hands in his, said, "At last I have attained my
throne. To-night I leave for Paris. My country wants me for its king.
You, José Maria, my friend, are the first in England to be told the good
news. I want you, my friend, to wish me 'todas felicidades' (all
happiness). We leave to-night. To-morrow my Army will proclaim me King of
Spain. Welcomed by the Army and the Civil Government, I will be received
at Barcelona with the acclamations of my subjects, and thence to my
capital, Madrid. To the members of your mother's family who, during the
sad years of my exile have so zealously devoted themselves to my cause, I
owe a deep debt of gratitude which I shall never forget."

I then told Alfonso that I had leave to go to Spain, my wish being to see
the fighting and to be in it; but that, quite in ignorance of the fact
that his succession to the throne was imminent, I had arranged to attach
myself to Don Carlos, as my cousins on my father's side were with him.
"Go, by all means," said Alfonso; "I know well that your father's family
have been zealous supporters of Don Carlos's cause. My country has been
rent for years by the devotion of our people whose sympathies have been
divided between Don Carlos and myself. Please God I may be able to unite
them for the future welfare of Spain. My first act as King of Spain will
be to offer a complete amnesty to all and one who cease their enmity to
myself and my Government and are willing to assist me in establishing law
and order and ensuring the happiness and prosperity of my countrymen, of
our glorious Spain. Go to Carlos, certainly, but in case you wish to
leave him and get some experience of our loyalist soldiers, Mirasol will
give you a letter now, which I will sign, and which will make you a
welcome guest of any of my generals. Good-bye. Come and see me, if you
have time, in Spain."

Mirasol gave me the letter and, with it in my pocket, I felt more than
satisfied that I had the chance of my life, a chance given to few men to
be a welcome guest in the field of battle of two opponents, one a king,
the other one who, for long years, had striven hard to be a king.

The carriage was waiting and we left Brown's Hotel for Charing Cross
Station. Next day, December 31, 1874, Alfonso was proclaimed King of
Spain. He landed at Barcelona on January 9, 1875.

For just a moment let me tell of Mirasol's sad end. For some time after
Alfonso's restoration to the throne mutinies of soldiers and civil
disturbances occurred throughout Spain. One of these mutinies took place
in the Artillery Barracks in Madrid. Mirasol was an Artillery officer,
and after the Coronation of Alfonso had again taken up his regimental
duties. He received a message at his home one morning that the men at the
barracks had mutinied. He started at once to the barracks, telling his
wife not to be anxious and by no means to leave the house till his
return. As he was approaching the barracks he was met by some of the
mutineers. They stabbed him to death on the pavement. His wife had not
paid heed to his request. She waited for a little time, and could not
resist her desire to follow him in spite of his advice. As she was
nearing the entrance to the barracks she met a crowd. She asked what was
happening. A bystander said, "The mutineers have just murdered the Count
of Mirasol. There he lies." Poor woman. Sad world, indeed.



CHAPTER VI

WITH DON CARLOS AGAIN


When I left Don Carlos in Spain after my visit to his Army I little
thought that we were again to come into close touch and I was to spend
much time with him and my cousin, Pepe Ponce de Leon, his A.D.C. It was a
few days after I had received my commission and I was enjoying my leave
previous to joining up at Woolwich in April (1876), when (I think it was
the morning of March 8) I received a telegram from the War Office asking
me to call there as soon as possible.

As, for the next four or five months, I was a great deal with Don Carlos
in London and in France, I think it will be of interest to my readers if
I describe shortly the validity, or otherwise, of his claim to the throne
of Spain. Ferdinand VII of Spain, when an old man, married in 1830 Dona
Maria Cristina, a young girl, sister of Dona Carlota, wife of his
brother, Francisco de Paula. Cristina was not only young but also clever
and beautiful. Contrary to expectation, it was announced later on that
the Queen was about to become a mother. If the expected child was a son,
then of course that son would be the heir to the throne. If it was a
daughter, the question of her right to the succession would arise! In
1713 Philip V had applied the Salic Law; Carlos IV had repealed it in
1789. Now Don Carlos, brother of Ferdinand VII, had been born in 1788 and
therefore claimed the succession in case his brother Ferdinand died
without male issue. On October 10, 1830, Cristina gave birth to a girl,
the Infanta Isabella. In March of that same year Ferdinand had made a
will bequeathing the Crown of Spain to the child about to be born,
whether male or female.

Ferdinand, who had become very ill, fell again under the influence of the
clerics and of the supporters of his brother, Don Carlos, who induced him
to revoke his will. However, to the surprise of everybody, Ferdinand
recovered, and under the direct influence of Dona Carlota, Cristina's
sister, he tore up the document and, before a representative assembly of
his Ministers of State, swore that he had repealed his will only under
direct pressure while sick to death. Ferdinand's illness had become so
severe that Cristina was appointed Regent, and acted as such till January
4, 1833, when Ferdinand recovered. On June 20, 1833, Ferdinand, still
most anxious to secure the throne to his offspring, whether male or
female, convened a Cortes at Madrid which confirmed his wishes. On
September 29 he died. Cristina became Regent and the Infanta Isabella
Queen of Spain. Don Carlos refused to recognize Isabella's rights to the
throne. The enactments of Philip V and Ferdinand--no matter by whom
made--could not affect his own divine rights, as all such enactments had
been given effect to after he himself was born.

I must admit that it appears to be most difficult to convince the direct
descendants of Don Carlos that they have not been deprived of their just
rights. My readers are at full liberty to decide this difficult problem.
This does not matter to us, it is an interesting episode in the history
of one of the oldest reigning families, the Bourbons. The first
formidable rising took place at about November 14, 1833. Estella became
the seat of Government of Don Carlos during the war, which lasted till
the middle of the year 1840. Our Don Carlos was the son of his
grandfather's third son, Juan.

                   CARLOS = Francesca de Avis
                      |   (daughter of Joan VI of Portugal)
                      |
        +-------------+--------------+
        |             |              |
  Carlos Luis      Fernando        Juan
 {_________________________}         |
(died on same day. No issue)         |
                                     |
                                Carlos Maria
                                     |
                                     |
                                   Jaime

If you remember, I had left Don Carlos shortly after he had frustrated
Alfonso's plans early in 1875 by the decisive defeat of the Royalist Army
under General Laserta. The success he achieved there did not prove of
much value, in spite of the fact that the Royalist Army were very slow in
reorganizing. The result of King Alfonso's accession caused many of the
supporters of Don Carlos, who were fighting chiefly against the Republic,
to become lukewarm. The war continued to drag on. Finally, weakened by
the desertion of some of his chief supporters and the recantation of the
famous Cabrera, and being completely outnumbered by the Royalist forces,
Don Carlos, accompanied by a few of his staunchest friends and one
battalion of men from Castile, crossed over the border into France. The
second Carlist war was over February 29, 1876.

As they had been decreed rebels, the French Government of the day refused
Don Carlos and his officers permission to remain in France. They were,
however, allowed to proceed to England, provided no halt took place on
the way. Don Carlos notified the British Government of his intended
arrival in England, hoping he would receive the requisite permission to
proceed thither. It was the receipt of this telegram from Don Carlos that
was the cause of my being sent for by the War Office early in March,
1876.

On my calling at the War Office on receipt of their wire the Military
Secretary informed me that it was expected that Don Carlos, accompanied
by several officers, might arrive at any time in London, and instructed
me to make all the necessary arrangements for his comfort and welfare.
Soon after receiving these instructions I got a further telegram advising
me that Don Carlos would arrive that very same evening at about 8 p.m. at
Charing Cross Station, and further, that he and his party would actually
arrive in the very clothes in which they had left the field of battle,
for they had had no time or opportunity to obtain any personal effects
during their flight through France.

It was then that my mind took me back to Brown's Hotel and Mr. Ford, its
proprietor, at which hotel King Alfonso had often stayed, and Mr. Ford
promised me to arrange to put up Don Carlos and his suite. My next
business was to call upon tailors, hosiers, hatters and bootmakers in
Bond Street, and to arrange for them to have their representatives at the
hotel that evening to receive their orders.

I was at the station at the appointed time, and the travel-stained party,
in their picturesque Carlist uniforms, arrived. I can well remember the
impression that they made on their arrival. Such of the public as
happened to be present looked on in silent wonder at the group of foreign
officers. The rumour soon spread that the tall, commanding figure, erect
and distinguished, whose handsome face and black beard were surmounted by
the Carlist headgear, the "Boyna," was the celebrated Don Carlos himself,
of whom some of them had heard as a great leader and who was now seeking
refuge in England. We were not long in reaching our carriages--there was
no luggage to cause us any delay--and we were glad to arrive at Brown's
Hotel and sit down to the good dinner that awaited us.

The tradesmen who attended to the personal wants of our guests worked
wonders, and, in a very few days, the visitors were all provided with
complete outfits. Many thoughts went through my mind in those few days.
Within a year I had been the companion of a young prince, whose mother
had practically been expelled from her throne and who had himself been
exiled from his country; a young prince who, for some years, had been
full of hopes of succeeding to the Crown and whose hopes had seemed
always to be difficult of fulfilment and not likely to be realized. Yet
he was now King. On the other hand, the man who had fought for that
throne and had almost succeeded in attaining it was taking refuge, not
only in the same country and city, but also in the same hotel where his
successful antagonist had spent the last hours of his exile. The ways of
Providence are certainly wonderful.

As a result of diplomatic communications, Don Carlos and those with him
were permitted to reside in England until arrangements could be made for
their return to France. At his request permission was granted me to be
attached to his Staff during his stay. He was naturally very much run
after by lion-hunters, and many were the entertainments that were given
in his honour. But the hours he enjoyed best were those which he spent
amongst his old supporters, not only those whose homes were in London and
in the country, but also those who, after his refusal to accept the
amnesty offered by Alfonso, had been compelled to leave Spain and take
refuge in England. There were some seventeen thousand families then
expelled from Spain. My days were fully occupied in making all the
arrangements for visiting in the country, dinners, balls, theatre
parties. In fact, it was a constant round of pleasure and amusement.

The visitors--especially Don Carlos himself--were most anxious to ride to
hounds. It was a difficult matter to mount so large a number, as the
horses had to be hired, and we all know how difficult it is to depend on
hired horses in the hunting field. Perhaps the biggest problem was to
find a horse suitable to Don Carlos. He stood six-foot three and must
have ridden somewhere over sixteen stone. I was despairing of success
when I mentioned my difficulty to Mr. Ford. He at once relieved me of all
anxiety. He told me he thought he could mount Don Carlos and two or three
of the others out of his own private stables. It was a right jolly good
day we had. There was to be a meet of Sir Robert Harvey's Harriers
somewhere in the neighbourhood of Staines, I think, and Mr. Ford kindly
arranged all the details. The party returned home more than satisfied
with the day's sport. So time passed, only too quickly, and the day came
for their departure. We said good-bye, and I went back to duty.

[Illustration: DON CARLOS]

Some three months later I was agreeably surprised to receive an official
letter stating that Don Carlos had written from Paris expressing the
wish, if it could be granted, that, as some recompense for all the
trouble and, as he put it, hard work, that had fallen to my lot while
looking after him during his stay in London, I might be allowed a month's
leave to stay with him in Paris. The official letter notified me that the
necessary leave had been granted. Once again I was crossing the Channel,
full of contentment, as in the days when I left Woolwich to join him in
Spain. But my hopes were very much brighter. I was not going to see
battles fought or undergo hardships. No; I was going to enjoy myself
thoroughly.

On arrival in Paris I met my cousin, Pepe Ponce de Leon, the aide-de-camp
referred to before. He had, shortly after his return to Paris from
England, married a very rich widow, whose husband had been one of Don
Carlos's principal supporters. They had a beautiful and magnificent house
in the Champs Elysées, which, as a matter of fact, became the
headquarters of the Carlist supporters in Paris, and Pepe had arranged
that it should be my home during my stay. Life indeed was worth living in
those days. Every luxury that one could wish for was at hand, and perhaps
the most enjoyable one was the splendid stud of horses, harness and
riding, which my cousin had got together.

Our usual routine was as follows: _Déjeuner_ was served at noon, at which
Don Carlos generally was present and as many of his late officers and
supporters as cared to come. These _déjeuners_ were full of interest,
party affairs being discussed, but often also full of conviviality
notwithstanding the evil fortunes which had fallen upon the cause. Later
on in the afternoon riding and driving parties were arranged for. In the
evening banquets or private dinner parties were the order of the day,
after which we all made our own plans to amuse ourselves. Paris was very
gay and we generally managed to foregather again at midnight, or
thereabouts, for supper at one or other of the many cafés, where music
and dancing would be enjoyed. I soon discovered that some of our intimate
friends were in the habit, instead of proceeding home to their beds after
supper, of visiting the Turkish baths. After enjoying the bath they would
sleep until the carriages arrived, and then, after partaking of chocolate
or coffee, as they desired, they would be driven off home to sleep again
until the time to appear at _déjeuner_ should arrive once more. And so
the days and nights passed, and enough for the day was the pleasure
thereof.

It was about this time that a reconciliation took place between King
Alfonso's mother, Queen Isabella, and Don Carlos, of a personal but not
official character. The proverb, "Blood is thicker than water," sometimes
comes true. The two were near relations. They had no personal quarrels.
Her own destiny was settled and Don Carlos's own efforts to wrest the
Crown from her son had ended in failure. Why, therefore, any need for
further enmity? I am reminded of a quaint conceit of Isabella's, which
amused not only her but also her friends. Isabella had grown to be a
woman of large proportions--in fact, of unmistakable proportions. One of
her favourite ladies-in-waiting was similarly endowed by nature, if not
more so. Isabella's hospitality was noted for its old magnificence. Her
entertainments were, one might say, superb. She delighted in masked
balls, and it was her pleasure to move in the crowd of guests, masked,
without being recognized. As her wish in this was made known to her
guests, the pleasing illusion was kept up till the hour for unmasking
arrived.



CHAPTER VII

MY FIRST ENGAGEMENT


I had been in Paris about three weeks when it came to the mind of Don
Carlos that he could arrange an excellent marriage for me. Any of my
readers who know how marriages are managed in France and Spain could not
be surprised that his liking for me personally prompted this kind
thought. Without my knowledge, but with the aid of my cousin's wife and
other feminine confederates, he had selected a charming girl, some
seventeen years of age, the only daughter of a rich financier, scion of
an old French family, whose wife was a Spaniard. During my visit I had
met her at times. She was as desirable a partner for life as any, prince
or peasant, could have wanted. Educated in one of the best convents in
Paris, she spoke English and Spanish equally as well as her own language.
She was tall, for a Frenchwoman, and her love for sport was equal to her
personal charms. Up to this time I had, I suppose, not had time to fall
in love with anyone in particular. This was probably due to the fact that
I was imbued somewhat with the spirit which prompted a Spanish songster
to write:

  "Me gustan todas,
   Me gustan todas en general."[1]

Then came the day when I was told that practically my engagement to her
had been approved by her family. This came, I need hardly say, as a
considerable surprise. The future was as rosy as the rosiest sunrise in
any part of the world could be--a most desirable and charming wife, a
life of contentment and pleasure. Who could ask for a better future? No
more soldiering. On the contrary, a ready-made road to success, in
whatever walk of life I chose to pursue. Some such thoughts--and many
others--passed through my mind and I plucked up courage. Still, my heart
was not in the affair, as you will see; but I argued to myself that, if
the marriage did not finally take place, it could mean only the breaking
of a family arrangement, which would not result in much grief or sorrow
to my _fiancée_, as she certainly could not have become very devoted to
me personally.

A fortnight or so passed, during which some further family affairs were
discussed, and the day was at hand when the engagement was to be made
public. Unfortunately a stroke of ill luck overtook me the night before
that very day. It was the custom in Paris for those engaged in the
theatrical profession to hold annually an Artists' Ball in aid of the
charities supported by them. This year the ball was to be held at the
Grand Hotel. It was always a brilliant and picturesque pageant. The
companies playing in the theatres entered the magnificent ballroom
dressed in their theatrical costumes, while others appeared in fancy
dresses. Remembering the fame for good taste, smartness and chic of
Frenchwomen, the beauty of such a gathering is not surprising. The
younger members of our party promised ourselves a thoroughly enjoyable
night, while the elder ones looked forward to much pleasure too. It was
about half-past twelve that the guests assembled in the ballroom to watch
the arrival of the artists. Company after company entered, amidst much
applause, and took up the position allotted to them. At a given signal
the men approached the ladies to beg for the honour of dancing with them;
it was a thoroughly Bohemian _fête_, and it was not necessary to obtain
personal introductions. One very politely made his request of a lady for
a dance. If it was granted, all was well. If it was not granted, then a
polite bow--and all was not well.

I had been much attracted by a very sweet and charming actress. She
appeared to me as the impersonation of all that was lovely. Her
complexion was fair, and her hair golden--a head that Murillo would have
loved to paint. She was rather petite, but, oh dear me, what a figure!
What ankles! What sweetly moulded neck and arms! What delicately coloured
flesh! Are you surprised that she looked all lovable? She had a
companion, differing in type, but with equally as many charms of her own.
One of my friends seemed to be much taken with her, and we at once
decided to try our fortune and beg of them to honour us by accepting us
as partners for the opening dance. As soon as the signal was given we did
so, and, to our great joy, we obtained their permission. No two young men
were happier than we were, for one dance followed another till supper was
ready. Of course, the fact had quite escaped my mind that, in France and
Spain, it is not usual for engaged men to dance with other ladies than
their _fiancée_--and certainly _outré_ for them to make themselves
conspicuous by paying too much attention to any ladies, especially at
such public functions. Still I continued to enjoy myself. My friend was
equally successful with his partner.

Before going to supper Louise (my charming companion's name) told me that
she had another ball to attend that night, and that, as it was then about
2 a.m., she and her friend Estelle would take a light supper and leave
immediately afterwards. Their will was, of course, law to us. We sent out
a message by our footman for our carriage to be ready at the exit gateway
in half an hour, and our _partie carrée_ continued to enjoy itself. While
at supper my cousin came to our table. We introduced him to Louise and
Estelle. He joined us in a glass of champagne, and, as he left us, he
said to me in Spanish, "Ten cuidado; tomas demasiados riesgos."[2] But,
what think you? Did I care? No. I did not even realize that he was
alluding to my engagement. I just thought that he had noticed that we
four had passed the whole evening together, and that possibly we might be
opening a friendship that might result in a liaison which might not be so
judicious. We wished him good night and he passed on.

After supper we hurried to our carriage and drove to Louise's apartments,
which were only a short distance from the Grand Hotel. Arriving there,
Louise suggested that my friend should drive Estelle home and return to
take her to the other ball to which she was going. This we, of course,
agreed to, and Louise invited me to her apartments to have a glass of
champagne while she placed herself in the hands of her maid to change her
costume and we awaited the arrival of my friend and the carriage. They
were delightful apartments--such as one expects Parisiennes of exquisite
taste to dwell in. The dining-room was a work of art in white and gold.
Sky-blue draperies, deeply embroidered in Japanese fashion, with birds of
the air and fishes of the seas in such bewildering colour as only the
Japanese know how to depict. Louise's dress at the ball was in the same
sky-blue tone, and--as she stood in her dining-room taking a glass of
champagne before handing herself over to the tender mercies of her
maid--she looked almost heavenly. Anyway, so any man would have thought
if he had been in my place, and of my age, during those precious
moments.

But is there not a proverb that says: "All that glitters is not gold"? It
applies not only to physical but also to mental condition. My mental
condition was one of happiness. Louise was beautiful. Louise was kind,
and the world was good and so was the champagne. But Nemesis was not far
off.

Presently Louise returned to me. She wished for a cigarette and a glass
of champagne before her maid robed her for her second ball. Just clad in
the filmiest and most fetching of wraps (I think that is the word), she
looked as bewitching as if she had just floated down from the abodes of
bliss and beauty. She had just sipped her glass of champagne and lit her
cigarette, and leaned on the arm of the arm-chair in which I was sitting,
when we heard the hall-door open and someone enter.

"Hush!" she said; "it is Gustave! Leave him to me and say little."

"Louise, ma chèrie, où êtes vous?"

It was Gustave. He drew apart the silken curtains separating the hall
from the dining-room. "Voilà, je suis retourné. Mais ... mon Dieu!"

As the curtains were drawn Louise rose from the arm of the chair (I at
once rose also), and in the sweetest tones, speaking in English, Louise
said: "My dear Gustave. What a pleasant surprise. No? Oh, yes, for me! I
thought you would not return till the day after to-morrow. So! No? Let me
introduce to you my friend, an English officer. He has been so polite to
me at our _fête_ to-night."

Gustave and I stood facing each other; we had no need for introductions.
Gustave was the bachelor brother of my prospective father-in-law. He
happened also to be a particular friend of Louise's. I knew him and he
knew me. We looked calmly at each other. He was twice my age; it was not
for me to speak. The piece was set as if for a dramatic scene--Louise, in
her charming deshabillé; my humble self, silent but unabashed; Gustave,
practically in possession of the situation. The moment was a critical
one, but though Nemesis had arrived it was not the Nemesis with a flaming
sword; it was the Nemesis with a somewhat more dangerous weapon, that of
French politeness, which scorns to provoke personal quarrels in the
presence of ladies but awaits to obtain reparation in good time in
accordance with the code of honour.

Bowing low to Louise and looking at me straight in the face, Gustave
politely remarked, "It happens that I am acquainted with monsieur the
English lieutenant. I regret that I have intruded and disturbed your
_tête-à-tête_ at such an hour of the morning. Pray forgive me, Louise. I
have no doubt monsieur the lieutenant and I will meet by and by. N'est-ce
pas, monsieur le lieutenant? Good night to you both." And, as Louise
moved, Gustave added, "Please, oh, please, do not bother. I know my way
out quite well. Au revoir." He drew the curtains aside and, turning
towards us, made the politest of bows and was gone.

"Louise," I said, as I took her hands in mine, "it is all my fault. Can
you forgive me?"

"Mon jeune ami," said Louise as she looked up at me. "First of all, give
me one kiss. Yes, I like that; just one more. So! Ah! Good! Now you said,
'Forgive me.' For that I love you, because it is what a man always should
say to a woman. I not only forgive you, but I think you are charmant. One
more kiss--eh! ah! nice. I never allowed anyone, since I remember, even
to suggest to me to ask forgiveness. Certainly not any man. Don't be
concerned; don't be unhappy. Gustave will come by and by and will ask me
to forgive him for his conduct to-night. He was rude; he was unpleasant
in front of me. He suggested, by his words, things that had not happened.
That was more than impolite; it was ungentlemanly, and you will see he
will be very sorry and come to me and ask me to forgive him. At this
moment I know not that I will forgive him. One more kiss. He is a good
friend, but by no means indispensable to me. I have all I wish of my own
and can please myself as to whom I choose for my friends. So don't be
concerned. Just one more kiss and I go to make ready for the ball. Ah!
the hall door bell! Your friend returns. I will be with you bien vite.
Silence, n'est-ce pas?" And she went to her room.

Next minute my friend was with me. He was so full of the charms of
Estelle that I had not--even if I wished--an opportunity of saying
anything. Another cigarette, a couple of glasses of champagne, the
presence of Louise looking sweeter than ever, all in pink silks and
satins, and we were off in the carriage to leave her at the private house
where her friends, she said, would be wondering what had become of her.

We two returned home in the early hours of the morning and retired to
bed. Bed was one thing. Sleep was another. The day and evening had been
crowded with unexpected events, wonderful happenings and newly inspired
emotions. First and foremost, one event was certain. My engagement was
doomed. Why, in all creation, had I selected Louise from all those six
hundred other women who had attended the ball at the Grand Hotel? Louise,
who was Gustave's friend, and Gustave, my prospective uncle-in-law? There
was only one answer--"Nemesis."

Then I remembered my cousin's warning at supper, "Cuidado!" Well,
warnings are of no value if they are not heeded. One thing was clear. The
engagement would be off. I must admit that the fault was all mine; I
would not, nay, could not, offer any excuse. I had not played the game. I
had failed to rise to the occasion and prove myself the correct youth
that my sponsors had vouched for. So, no doubt the prospective
father-in-law would soon call a family council and Gustave's relations
would be discussed--and then, an end to the affair.

Curiously enough, this did not trouble me much. I felt that the worst
harm I had done was to hurt the pride of my would-be benefactors. This
might be pardonable, but, as regarded my _fiancée_, what should I do?
There seemed to me only one way to act that was honourable. I would ask
that I might be given the privilege of seeing her for the last time and
ask her forgiveness. If this was refused, then I would find my own way to
see her. My thoughts ran on. All the pleasures of the evening recalled
themselves. A new sensation coursed through my brain. Yes; it must be so.
I must be in love. Love at first sight--and in love with Louise. Was she
to suffer--and I the cause of her sufferings? No. I would see her, tell
her of my love for her, marry her. Louise, one more kiss--eh! Then I must
have fallen asleep.

When I returned from the world of nod my valet had brought me my morning
chocolate. My brain was anything but clear. That some happenings of a
surely serious nature had taken place the night before was certain. What
were they? Gradually my memory recalled them. And then I dressed. As I
was just ready for _déjeuner_ my cousin sent me word that he would like
to see me. I knew what it was about. Our interview was short. He was very
kind. He laid all the blame on himself for expecting that the method of
making marriages by arrangement would be a success where a youthful
Britisher was concerned. He, however, wished I should tell him all that
had happened since he had seen me at supper, and especially about my
meeting with Gustave.

I just told him--as I have told you, pointing out that the affair had
been quite harmless, though appearances were certainly against me. He
left the house and returned later on. He had seen Gustave. The
engagement, of course, was off. My escapade was looked upon as excusable.
I was young and inexperienced in the ways of the world, and permission
was graciously given me to see my late _fiancée_. This I did, and, I am
happy to say, she not only forgave me but we remained friends.

It suddenly dawned upon me that my leave was up and that I was due back
to duty at home. Don Carlos, while somewhat resenting the unfortunate
ending of his scheme, made allowances for me when the whole story was
related to him. He smiled a kindly smile as I expressed to him all my
regrets that I had failed to take advantage of his well-meaning efforts
in my behalf.

But then, what about Louise? What about Gustave? What should I do? The
solution came from Gustave himself. Next day I received an invitation
from him to a supper party at the Café d'Helder. Naturally I accepted. We
were to meet at a quarter to twelve, and my friend, Estelle's admirer,
was also asked. It was a merry party; just ten of us. The hour to say
"Good morning" arrived only too soon. For me it was not only "good
morning" but also "good-bye." I had to leave Paris the evening of that
day. My last but one good-bye was to Louise. I kissed the hands she gave
me; then she said, looking towards Gustave with smiling eyes, "One last
kiss for monsieur the lieutenant. N'est-ce pas, Gustave? Mais, oui. The
final. Pourquoi non?" So Louise and I kissed.

Then Gustave shook hands with me, placed his hand on my shoulder, and we
left the supper-room together. He came down to see me into my carriage,
and as I was stepping into it he once more shook my hand and said, "You
are very young. I am old enough to be your father. Always remember your
English proverb: 'Look before you leap.' Good night. Bonne fortune
toujours."

Thus ended my first romance and, with it, my most enjoyable visit to
Paris.

-----

  [1] "I like them all; I like them all equally well."

  [2] Take care. You are taking too many risks.



CHAPTER VIII

SOLDIERING IN IRELAND


On obtaining his commission a young officer was ordered to report himself
at the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich, to undergo six months'
further training in his regimental duties and in practical work at the
Arsenal, with occasional visits to the School of Gunnery at Shoeburyness.
It was a happy six months if he managed to keep out of trouble, for there
were many temptations to overcome. Straight away from the strict
discipline of the "Shop," the young officer found himself--or at least
considered himself--quite a gentleman at large. In his own opinion he had
become a person of very considerable importance, and the orders he gave
had to be implicitly obeyed. His uniform was a source of extreme pleasure
to him. He was allotted a whole "Tommy" to himself as a soldier servant.
He rejoiced in the possession of quite a big room for his quarters. And
there was the Mess.

At that time there had been an amalgamation of the English and Indian
Artillery, which were combined into one General List, so that the whole
of the Artillery formed one Regiment comprising Horse, Field and Garrison
Artillery. The headquarters were at Woolwich, and the Royal Artillery
Mess was the Headquarters Mess, and is so still, though lately there have
been further sub-divisions of the Regiment. Still, these have not as yet,
so far as I know, resulted in any change as regards the Headquarters
Mess. It remains to be seen what changes will or will not be made in the
future.

One of the institutions attached to the Royal Artillery Mess was the
Garrison Theatre. At regular intervals the Royal Artillery officers gave
performances at this theatre. Let me tell you that it is seldom that an
Engineer or Artillery officer was not a first-rate dancer; for, at the
"Shop," two or three nights a week dancing took place in the gymnasium to
the delightful music of the Royal Artillery band. On these nights ladies
were not allowed to attend, so the cadets had to supply the ladies
amongst themselves. But the continual practice naturally made them good
dancers. Personally I took great delight in the art of dancing. I was
built just for it, tall, light, thin and long-legged. I was able to
pirouette and high-kick fairly well.

I was very keen on private theatricals, so that, amongst my other
important duties of those days, I was appointed stage manager and
producer for a week's performance which was to take place at the Garrison
Theatre. The play was the old farce, _Box and Cox_, which was converted
into a musical comedy. Some people say to this day that this particular
production was the origin of the musical comedies which have since then
so amused the public. Mrs. Bouncer was most excellently performed by
Lieutenant Bingham, while Lieutenants Jocelyn and Fritz, if I remember
rightly, were Box and Cox. Mrs. Bouncer, assisted in the musical part of
the piece by a chorus of lusty sergeants and gunners, who revelled in
dances and choruses, was a great success, while a specially selected
chorus of ballet-girls highly distinguished themselves. The production
was quite good, and the financial results on behalf of the regimental
charities were most satisfactory. In after years the theatrical
experiences thus gained gave me considerable enjoyment. But of this,
later on.

The end of the six months' training at Woolwich being completed, I was
appointed to a Garrison company, with its headquarters at Limerick--good
old Limerick--which was then known as the paradise of hard-up subalterns.
Limerick is a quaint town. There is Old Limerick and Modern Limerick. The
old town is situated round the castle, which is on the banks of the
Shannon, and where--across the river--stands the old Treaty Stone. It is
difficult to describe Old Limerick. One must really see it and live in it
to appreciate its dirty houses, poor tenements, its smells and other
unhealthy attributes. Yet it is a characteristic little piece of old
Ireland. This part of the old town reached down to the cathedral, past
which the main street--George Street--runs through the modern town,
practically parallel with the River Shannon. With the exception of the
old castle, Limerick does not possess any buildings of very particular
interest. The best residential part was across the river, Circular Row.
Limerick itself has nothing to recommend it as regards picturesqueness,
but there is much beauty in the country surrounding it. From just below
the castle the River Shannon has some beautiful reaches, right away up to
Castle Connell; while Tervoe on the river, Adare Abbey, and many other
places are well known.

When I reported myself to my commanding officer at the castle I found
that our company, which then consisted of about eighty all told, was
doing duty from the very North to the South of Ireland. There was a
detachment of some twenty-five men at a place called Green Castle, which
was an old fort at the entrance of Lough Swilly, not far off the Giant's
Causeway. Another detachment of some thirty-five men was on duty at
Carlisle Fort, one of the forts guarding the entrance into Cork Harbour
at Queenstown. This left us about twenty men at our headquarters at
Limerick Castle. Our captain was not with the company. He was A.D.C. to a
Colonial Governor, and, of course, was seconded. The two senior
subalterns were in command of the detachments at Green Castle and
Carlisle Fort, so that the commanding officer, our good major and myself,
were left at our headquarters with the twenty men. By the time that we
found the guard for the day, the major's two orderlies, my own orderly,
the cook and cook's mate, the district gunner (who was busy keeping our
three very old guns, mounted in the tower, polished up), the office clerk
and the barrack sweeper, the morning parade consisted usually of the
sergeant-major.

At nine o'clock every morning, after first joining, I appeared on parade,
when the sergeant-major reported "All present, sir," and I said, "Carry
on, sergeant-major," and went inside to breakfast. After a time I'm
afraid I got into the bad habit of letting the sergeant-major come to
make his report at the window of my quarters, which faced the
barrack-square. At ten o'clock the major, whose quarters were above mine,
and who was the happy possessor of some eight children, appeared at the
company office, and I duly reported to him, "All correct, sir, this
morning." For it was only very occasionally that we had a prisoner. The
major would answer, "Very good." I would then ask him, "Do you want me
any more to-day, sir?" He would then answer, without a smile, for he was
a serious-minded major, "No, thanks." And then the joys of my day would
begin for me.

The way in which my major came to be quartered in Limerick was this. He
was the eldest brother of a very well-known family in Tipperary. He had
many brothers, all of whom were also well known and much liked throughout
the surrounding districts. They were all first-class horsemen, and,
needless to say, good sportsmen all round. One of these brothers was at
the time Sub-Sheriff of Limerick. It was indeed a difficult post to fill
in those days. The country was exceedingly disturbed. Evictions were all
too frequent, with the accompanying result of riots and murders, and it
required much pluck and tact to carry out the Sub-Sheriff's duties. My
major had been, some time previous to my joining, ordered to Singapore,
while another major, a bachelor, was in command of the company at
Limerick. In those days officers were allowed to exchange on the payment
of fees agreed upon. My major did not relish the idea of proceeding to
Singapore with his young family of eight, so he approached the bachelor
major at Limerick with a view to an exchange, and offered a very handsome
sum. The bachelor major very promptly accepted, and the exchange took
place. Just before leaving Limerick the members of the club gave the
bachelor major a farewell dinner, and, in proposing his health, the
chairman remarked that he didn't understand why anybody should wish to
leave Limerick for such an awful place as Singapore. When answering the
toast the bachelor major said he would tell them in confidence the real
reason. He went on to say that a short time before he accepted the
exchange he had been to dinner with friends, some nine miles away, across
the Shannon, in County Clare. He was returning home with the old jarvey
on an outside car, and as it was a fairly fine night, moonlight, and he
had had a very good dinner, he was enjoying his pipe and now and again
having a little doze. They were passing a piece of road which was bounded
on one side by a somewhat thick hedge. Suddenly there was a flash and the
loud report of a gun, which very promptly woke him and made the old
jarvey sit up too, and pull his horse up. Immediately two heads popped up
over the hedge, had a good look at the major, and then one of the men
said, "Begorra, Pat, we've shot at the wrong man again," and promptly
disappeared. "Now, don't you think, my friends, that it's time I went to
Singapore?"

But he never told them of the cheque he got to go to Singapore.

At that time the garrison of Limerick was fairly strong. There was a
Field Artillery battery at the William Street Barracks, and there were a
regiment of infantry and a squadron of cavalry at the New Barracks, so
that our turn for any garrison duty didn't come very often, and we had
plenty of time to enjoy ourselves. Anyone who wished and who had
sufficient horses could put in four or five days' hunting a week during
the season. The Master of the Limerick Hounds at the time lived at
Croome. He was a typical Irish gentleman, noted for his genial character
and the forcefulness of his language in the hunting field. Limerick is a
fine hunting country, and gives excellent sport. There were many good
riders in those days. Our friend the Sub-Sheriff was one, but perhaps the
best man there was the owner of Ballynegarde, at whose hospitable house
we spent many happy days. He must have ridden quite over sixteen stone,
and I well remember seeing him, on a chestnut horse, clear the wall which
surrounded the park, the chestnut changing his feet on the top, just like
a cat. Good horses were just as expensive in those days as they were
before the war, but we subalterns did not buy expensive horses; we picked
up good jumpers that had gone cronk, and trusted to the vet., occasional
firing, plenty of bandages, and not too hard work to keep them going.

Riding out one morning towards Mount Shannon, the then lovely home of the
Fitzgibbons, on the banks of the river, and just on leaving the old town
of Limerick, I arrived at a rather long and steep hill, at the foot of
which a jarvey was trying to induce his horse, a long, rakish,
Irish-built bay, to go up. The horse absolutely refused to do so, and
each time the old jarvey flogged him he exhibited very considerable
agility in every direction except up the hill. I rode up to the jarvey
and asked him what was the matter. "Shure, sir," he said, "I bought this
horse to go up this hill, for I am the mail contractor on this road. I've
got him here these last three mornings, and I've never got farther than
this. Now I'll have to go back again and get another horse, and all the
people will get their mails late and they'll report me, and they'll fine
me, and the divil do I know what my ould missus'll have to say about it.
And, shure, yer honour, 'tis all the fault of this donkey-headed old
quadruped."

I asked him whether the old quadruped could jump.

"Shure, yer honour," he said, "he'd jump out of his harness, traces an'
all, if I hadn't got him by the bit."

"Will you sell him?" says I.

"Will I sell him?" says he. "Will I find the fool that'll buy him, yer
honour?"

"Bring him up to the old castle in the morning," says I, "and I may find
the fool that'll buy him."

"Begorra, sir," says he, "yer a gintleman. I'll be there with him at nine
o'clock, with a halter round his old ewe neck."

Next morning, at nine o'clock, just as the sergeant-major was reporting
as usual, "All correct," I saw my old friend leading his quadruped into
the barrack square. He was a quaint looking horse. He was particularly
full of corners, for he wasn't furnished up above at all. But he had
good-boned legs. His coat was by way of being a miracle to look at. He
had no particular colour to speak of. In some places he was a bit of a
roan--Taffy-like; round some other corners he was a dirty bay. In some
places, especially where for the last three days he had attempted to get
out of his harness at the bottom of the hill, there was no hair at all.
But he had a good-looking eye; he had good sound feet; good bone, though
his tail was hardly up to Cocker. Most of it, no doubt, was now part and
parcel of the car.

I can well remember the look of the correct and austere
sergeant-major--who himself was a bit of a sport, but who still
considered himself "on parade"--as he cast his eye over that noble
quadruped, and wondered what his lieutenant was about. I could see that
he was asking himself, "Is he going to run a circus, and is this going
to be the freak horse?"

"Mick," says I, "if I get a saddle on the horse, will you ride him; come
out with me and put him over a couple of jumps?"

"Shure, yer honour," says he, "an' so I will."

"Sergeant-major," says I, "tell my groom to put a saddle and bridle on
this Rosinante" (at the mention of which name the sergeant-major looked
perplexed) "and get one of the other horses ready for me."

In a few minutes Mick and I were riding down the old street, making for a
bit of open country. We soon came to a high road, bounded on each side by
fairly stiff, stone walls. Having come to a gate on one side I pulled
up.

"Now," says I, "Mick, are you game to go into that field and take the
double across the road?"

"Shure, I am," says he; "but 'tis a long day, yer honour, since I had a
jump. Would you lend me your whip? The old horse'll want it, it may be."

I gave him the whip, jumped off my nag, opened the gate, and away went
Mick into the field. It was a sight to do one good. There was Mick, what
he called his hat stuck on the back of his head, and what was left of his
coat-tails flying in the air behind him, heading for the first stone
wall, and, before you could say "knife," he was over it like a bird,
across the road, over the wall the other side, with a "whoop-la" that you
could have heard in the cathedral in Limerick.

Just as well to mention that Rosinante's age was what is known amongst
horse-copers as "uncertain," that is, anywhere between nine years old and
twenty-four.

After that (it was not long before we were again at the Castle) I asked
Mick Molloy how much he wanted for the horse. He said, "Shure, I'll just
take what I gave for it. He's no good to me."

I asked him how much that was, and he said, "Five pounds."

I was so surprised, that he became quite apologetic, thinking he was
asking too much, and quickly began to sing the praises of his mount. I at
once disabused him of the idea by telling him that I couldn't give him
less than £7 10s., which might help him a little towards his getting an
animal that would pull his car up the hill. The horse became mine, and
the late owner left the barracks wishing me all the blessings that our
good God and Ould Oireland could bestow on my humble head. The end of
Mick Molloy came later on.



CHAPTER IX

UNRULY TIMES IN IRELAND


Affairs in Ireland have always been a source of wonderment to me. Ever
since the days I spent there, right through to the present time, the
doings--at one time or another--of some of the inhabitants of Ireland
have puzzled most people. All the talent of all the Prime Ministers and
Members of Parliament, within these forty years, has been unable to
ensure for Ireland such political and economic conditions as would have
made it the happy country which it ought to be.

When I was there in 1877-1878 the times were full of trouble, and I
recall several episodes which show the temper of the people at that day.
Some four miles from Limerick is a place called "Woodcock Hill," where
the rifle ranges, for the instruction in musketry of the troops quartered
there, were situated. Close to the range was a small Catholic chapel,
standing practically by itself. An infantry regiment was quartered in
Limerick at the time. It was an English regiment; its depôt, from which
the recruits fed it, was somewhere in the North of England, and the
number of Catholic soldiers in its ranks was very small in proportion.
One Sunday morning the priest attending the little chapel at "Woodcock
Hill" found that somebody had broken into the church and stolen some of
the altar fittings and--worse from the Catholic point of view--had taken
the chalice used at Mass. This, of course, was nothing less than
sacrilege in the eyes of the devout Catholic Irishmen.

Rumours soon began to circulate that, on the previous Saturday evening,
after some rifle-shooting had taken place, two red-coats had been seen in
the vicinity of the chapel. These rumours were not long in being spread
throughout the city, and as the regiment was looked upon as being
anti-Catholic, reports went about to the effect that the sacrilege had
been carried out not so much for the sake of the value of the stolen
articles, but purely out of hatred for the Catholics and for the purpose
of desecrating the holy place. The consequences of these rumours soon
became apparent. Soldiers, returning home late at night, were set upon
and hammered in the by-streets. As a result, instead of going about in
ones and twos, they would congregate in bigger groups and took every
opportunity of retaliating on the civilians.

On a quiet Sunday morning, a glorious day, at about eleven o'clock,
red-coats in small groups rapidly began to arrive at the old Castle. I
had been out riding and was returning to my quarters about twelve
o'clock, and I found that there were not less than somewhere between 150
and 200 soldiers within the barrack gates. It had been the custom for
members of other corps to come into the canteen at the "Castle" for a
glass of beer or two, after their dismissal from church parade. But for
such a number to get together was more than unusual.

In the absence of the major, my commanding officer, the responsibility of
dealing with the case fell on me. I determined to send my groom with a
message to the officer commanding the regiment at their barracks, which
were at the other end of the main street in the town, to inform him of
what was going on, and then to order the men off in small groups from the
"Castle." But there was no time, for hardly had I finished writing my
message than the whole lot of red-coats left the barracks together and
proceeded towards George Street. They had their waistbelts on but
fortunately did not carry any side-arms. Still, the good old infantry
belts, with their heavy brass buckles, were quite a formidable weapon to
use about in a crowd which was unarmed. I jumped on my horse and, riding
by side streets, reached the police station, which was in the middle of
the town, close to the main street, to inform the police of what was
taking place. However, when I got there, it had become evident to the
police that trouble was coming, for large numbers of civilians were
congregating and showing considerable excitement in the main street and
moving down towards the cathedral from which direction the red-coats were
coming.

Before any steps could be taken by the police the crowd of civilians and
the red-coats met. For some little time the red-coats made their way
through the crowd, slashing with their belts. Some stones began to fly,
heavy sticks were being used, and gradually the red-coats were separated
and were getting quite the worst of the bargain.

The news of the disturbance had reached the barracks shortly after the
two factions had met, and such of the soldiers as were at that time
within the barrack walls were ordered to parade under arms, with a view
of marching down the street to restore order. However, by the time they
were ready to march out there were but few red-coats left in the streets.
They had been dispersed by the crowd and had sought safety wherever they
could. They were collected later on and marched up to their barracks by
police and military escorts, quiet was once again restored that Sunday
afternoon, and the remains of the fight collected in the shape of lost
belts, broken shillelaghs, road metal and smashed glass, while a good
many broken heads and bruised limbs received attention.

The sequel was this. The regiment was confined to barracks until further
orders. Two nights afterwards, in the early hours of the morning, it
marched quietly along to the railway station. A troop train awaited its
arrival, while at another platform more troop trains landed another
regiment which, in equal silence, marched off to its new quarters. So
ended this episode, for as soon as, on the next day, the townspeople
became aware that the offenders, as they considered them, had gone, they
lost all resentment and were quite ready to make friends and to welcome
their successors, who soon were enjoying quite a time of popularity. We
soldiers always looked forward to election time with considerable
anxiety. We were generally ordered to be ready, in case our assistance
was wanted in aid of the police, and we knew that long before we should
be called on to use our rifles or even our swords brick-bats and other
missiles would be flying about, quite indifferent as to whom they would
hit. The opposing political sides had one great end in view, and that was
to break each other's heads, and they deeply resented anybody else
attempting to interfere with that playful form of amusement, so that
oftentimes both sides would turn their attention on the police and
soldiers, causing us quite considerable inconvenience. However, I must
say this, that on no occasion when I was on duty at such so-called
political meetings and elections did the situation become so aggravated
as to necessitate the use of their arms by the soldiers.

Still, we did go home sometimes with a sore head, and I received my first
wound from a piece of road metal hurled at me from quite a short distance
by a great, strapping, fine Irishwoman. This occurred at Belfast some
time after the affair at Limerick. As far as I remember there was to be a
Catholic procession from somewhere near the Customs House through the
principal streets to the Catholic cathedral. The city authorities and the
police were notified and fully expected quite high old times as regarded
street fighting. They had been advised by those who were carrying out the
procession that the Catholics fully intended to reach the cathedral, even
if it took them a week and they had to walk over the bodies of whoever
tried to stop them, They knew whom they meant all right. The Orangemen
had also informed the authorities that they had very rooted objections to
this procession and that they were determined that that procession was
not to get to the cathedral without some efforts of resistance on their
part. Consequently the authorities requested military assistance, and
further stated that they thought it would be necessary to have on hand,
or close to, a sufficient number of soldiers to preserve the peace. So
the scene was set for a pretty disputation. Many police were in
attendance, and the soldiers were principally utilized out of view, as
far as possible, in the side streets debouching on the route of the
procession. It was hoped by these means to prevent sudden rushes by these
side streets taking the procession at a disadvantage on the flank.

I was detailed to take charge of a dozen cavalrymen and was allotted my
own little side street. We waited for some three or four hours before the
procession as such, or what was left of it, seemed to be approaching our
way. It is difficult to describe the noises that filled the air up to
that time. We could not see down the main street, but we could hear the
smashing of glass windows and the rattling of stones could be easily made
out. And then came our surprise. Suddenly our little side street became
full of men and women, rushing towards the main street, no doubt to
obtain further points of advantage. I can see the women now, holding
their petticoats up with both hands, in which the munitions of war in the
shape of road metal were being carried, and from which the men helped
themselves as they wanted. They came straight at us. What could twelve
men do on horseback against such a rush? They were on us, round us,
through us, before we could get our breath. I suddenly felt one of my
feet had been taken out of the stirrup-iron, and the next thing was that
I was pulled out of my saddle and fell, to my surprise, on something
comparatively soft. It happened to be a lady who was paying me this
delicate attention, and, as I fell on her, she sat down on the ground,
dropped her petticoat out of her hand, and out fell her stock of
munitions. It was some little time before she found breath sufficient for
her to let me know just what she thought of me for coming there to
"interfere with their business." I must have hurt her and annoyed her,
for as I got up and was just mounting my horse, which one of the troopers
was holding, the lady, a big strapping, fine Irishwoman, picked herself
up off the ground, seized the handiest piece of road metal, and threw it,
from about three yards away, at the back of my head.

I saw nothing more of the procession that day. I heard no more sounds of
revelry. I woke up, late in the afternoon, not in my little side-street
but in a very comfortable bed with my head duly bandaged and a nurse
sitting alongside of me. I didn't ask why or wherefore I was there. I
felt it. All I said to her was, "One whisky and soda, please, quick!"
which she brought and which I drank, and then she told me that it had
been reported that the tail end of the procession had reached the
cathedral at last. So all was well. I bear that honourable scar to this
day.



CHAPTER X

SPORT IN IRELAND


Roller-skating had become the fashion in England, and three or four of us
became anxious to introduce it into Ireland. We formed a small company
and appointed our directors, whose business knowledge was about equal to
their knowledge of the art of roller-skating at that moment. However, all
went well. The rink was opened at Dublin. A club of the nicest of the
nice was formed. The members practised very hard, day after day, and
evening after evening, with closed doors, until we became quite artists.
Then came the time to inform the public at large that the rink would be
open to them every afternoon and evening, reserving Tuesday and Thursday
nights for the members of the club.

From the very jump the rink was a success. The members of both sexes gave
exhibitions. We played tennis on roller-skates; we danced on
roller-skates; we held athletic sports on roller-skates, including
steeple-chases and obstacle races. In a very short time the public at
large became quite as good skaters as those who taught them, if not
better. Then came the usual development that has attended similar
enterprises ever since. Fancy dress balls, gymkhanas, carnivals and such
like, and--what was more satisfactory to the company--money rolling in
all the time. The expenses were not heavy but the dividends _were_, and,
to our surprise, we members of our company, very few in number, found
ourselves absolutely drawing a regular monthly dividend. As we were
mostly poor soldiers this was highly gratifying. I remember investing my
first dividend in buying a mate to "Mick Molloy." He was much more
expensive, you can guess, and I named him, following upon the naming of
Mick Molloy, Larry O'Keefe.

The success of our venture in Dublin led us to thirst for further
triumphs, and, at an especial meeting of the company in Dublin, it was
decided to repeat the success at Limerick. So it came about that the rink
at Limerick was started. We followed the same methods that had been
carried out in Dublin, only we had not to undergo the probationary stage
of learning to roller skate. A large party arrived from Dublin, and after
one week of real joy and fun soon made the rink a success. This made us
bold, so we exploited Cork and Waterford and our pecuniary successes
increased daily, and some of us began to think that it would be worth
while to throw up our military careers and become professional
roller-skating rink promoters. That was really my first business venture.
Others followed later on, as you will hear by and by, but not with the
same result.

Let me tell you now what happened to Mick Molloy. He was certainly a good
horse and a splendid jumper, but he had one bad fault and that was that,
every now and again, apparently for no reason whatever, except the same
cussedness that held him when he wouldn't go up the hill, he would hit a
bank or a wall full hard and turn head over heels into the next field. As
the weather, as a rule, was moist, and there was plenty of mud about when
Mick Molloy performed his athletic feat and I picked myself up from the
soft ground, I generally succeeded in attaching to my person a fairly
considerable amount of Irish soil. At this particular time one of the
great demands by Irishmen was for what they then called "fixity of
tenure." Can you wonder that, after my repeated attempts to annex as much
of Irish soil as Mick Molloy could help me to, the members of the hunt
christened me "Fixity of Tenure"?

I had a visit from one of the best riders in Ireland at that time who was
quartered at the Curragh, whose riding at Punchestown Races was always
good to watch and who had come down for a few days' stay with us. There
was a meet of the hounds; he wanted a ride. I offered him Mick Molloy,
who was in good form just then, and he accepted the offer. I warned him
of his one peculiarity. The morning of the hunt we rode out together. It
was in the direction of Ballynegarde. There was often a trap to be met in
the way of a sunken ditch over-grown with gorse, and unless one knew the
lay of it a horse was apt to rush through instead of jumping and find
himself and the rider at the bottom of the sunken ditch. I had forgotten
to warn the rider of Mick Molloy of this fact. We had a fine seven-mile
run in the morning and killed one fox. My friend was delighted with Mick,
for he had carried him to the kill without a fall. He was full of praises
of old Mick.

The hounds had a spell and, once more, they were thrown into covert. In a
short time "Gone away" was heard and the hounds streamed out, following a
good scent, across a beautiful piece of country. I got into difficulties
very early. Old Larry and I had a difference of opinion about a stone
wall. He wouldn't have it at any price. I had got out of the line and,
unless I could get over that particular wall, I was going to be out of
the run. So I made up my mind that over the wall Old Larry must go, with
the result that I got over the wall all right but Old Larry didn't. Not
only that, but, after giving what I thought at the time was a very
impertinent sniff, he put his head and his tail up in the air and trotted
off across the field, leaving me in full possession of the wall. That run
was over for me. Another belated huntsman caught Old Larry and, as it was
late in the afternoon and the hounds were well out of sight, we turned
our horses' heads towards home. The hour for dinner came. It was dark. It
was raining, but neither my friend nor Mick Molloy had turned up. We
dined heartily and well, and it was not till about ten o'clock, when the
port wine was going round merrily, that my brother officer came in. Yes,
he was wet and weary. He carried a saddle and a bridle in his arms,
but--alas! also there was no Mick Molloy. In the second run he had come
across one of these sunken ditches. Mick Molloy rushed it, fell into it,
and the weight of his rider had broken his back. Such was the end of good
old Mick.

The last meet of the Limerick Hounds which was held that season gave the
opportunity to some bright members of the club to play off a practical
joke on the members of the Hunt. If the weather was suitable after the
close of the season, and the Master so wished, a few extra meets were
arranged for by him. No regular notice was given for such meets; the
secretary of the Hunt generally informed the members by post-card that a
meet would be held at such a place next day. This particular year April
Fools' Day was on a Tuesday. The members duly received a post-card on the
Monday that an extra meet of the hounds would take place at a place
called Tervoe, about five miles from Limerick, on the Wednesday. Later on
in the afternoon on the same day members received telegrams to say that
the meet would take place on the Tuesday instead of Wednesday. On Tuesday
morning members turned up and wound their ways towards Tervoe. At the
barracks we had to rearrange our plans as to who could get away for this,
perhaps the last meet of the year. It was finally settled, and those of
us who could be spared rode off.

On the way to Tervoe we overtook a couple of other members, and after
riding a little distance they said, "You fellows had better go back. This
is a sell. Don't you know it's April Fools' Day? Go back." Well, we
believed them and turned back, for they told us they were only going out
to see the fun at Tervoe.

We were going back when we met some other members going out, so we told
them, "Don't you go. This is all a sell. Don't you know it's April Fools'
Day?" They looked at us in surprise and said, "Well! How can you fellows
have been made fools of like this? Those two chaps are just making April
fools of you. Come along, let's hurry on or we'll be late." It was in no
pleasant mood that we trotted again towards Tervoe. We were anxious to
interview our two kind friends. Then we arrived at the Meet to find that
it was a sell all right, and that the whole of the members of the Hunt
had been sold. We only had one satisfaction left, and that was that _we_
had been sold twice that morning instead of once.

I must leave dear old Ireland, pass over my stay in Cork; the glorious
days in Queenstown Harbour; how we dropped two fourteen-ton guns, the
first of their kind, which we were to mount at Carlisle Fort, into the
bottom of the sea and how we picked them out again; the late nights and
the early mornings at the Cork and Queenstown clubs; the beautiful girls
for whom Old Ireland is so much noted; the meetings of the South United
Hunt Club at Middleton, where the Murphys, Coppingers and other splendid
riders lived. And I must also pass over the six weeks of what in those
days appeared to me as the term of solitary confinement right away at
Greencastle Fort at the entrance to Lough Swilly. I went up there in the
winter. Greencastle village was a small summer resort for the people of
Londonderry. There was an hotel, which was open in the summer, and was
managed by a man and his sisters. In the winter it was shut up. A few
small cottages were also closed up. The population consisted of the
policeman and three or four fishermen.

There was nothing to do for the men at the fort, except a little
gun-drill. The nearest village was Moville, some four miles off. It was
too rough as a rule to go fishing with any degree of comfort, so it was
that I learnt how to play marbles. The old policeman, a couple of the
fishermen and the hotel-keeper, when he was sober--which was not
often--were quite experts, and taught me the game. They called it
Three-Hole. The idea was this: you had to make nine holes, and the one
who was last in doing so had to stand drinks, and, in addition, to put
his hand down on the ground, with the knuckles facing the others, each
one of whom had three shots at him with a good hard marble. This may be
of little interest, indeed, as far as the game is concerned, but it shows
one how different were the lives of us young officers then from what they
are nowadays.

After my stay at Greencastle I proceeded to take charge of our detachment
at Carlisle Fort, Queenstown Harbour. Have you ever been there? If not,
go when you get the opportunity. Certainly Carlisle Fort itself--it lies
on the left-hand side of the exit from the harbour--is difficult to get
to. Either you had to cross by sailing-boat from Queenstown--there were
no motor launches--or else drive right round the long arm of the harbour,
at the end of which is Rostellon Castle. In the summer either trip was,
as a rule, quite enjoyable. If one wished to go to Queenstown or Cork, an
hour or so with a fair wind would land you at Queenstown. If, on the
other hand, time was no particular object, the drive to Middleton, the
headquarters of the hunt, was a most pleasant one. You passed Aghada
Hall, then Rostellon, farther on. You could rest at the Sadleir Jacksons'
hospitable home. But in the winter it was not so pleasant. The hunting
country was all on the inland side of the harbour. One's mounts had to be
sent round by Rostellon the day before the meet. And then, if those of us
quartered at Carlisle wished to get to the meet in time, we had to make a
very early start in our garrison boat, so as to reach Queenstown for an
early breakfast at the club, and then a long drive to the meet. Sitting
in an open boat at 4 A.M. on a dark winter's morning, with perhaps a head
wind and four miles of a choppy sea to battle against, required a
considerable amount of endurance and keenness, but we did it all right.
It used to strike me as an odd circumstance in those days that the
Tommies who manned the boat were so pleasant over the job. They were not
going to hunt. They were not out to enjoy themselves. We were. Yet there
were always volunteers, who apparently found pleasure in helping their
young officers, though at very considerable inconvenience to themselves.
But then the right Tommy is, and always has been, a good chap.

It was out with the Cork South United Pack of fox-hounds that I first met
with a serious accident. I was riding a ripping mare, which I had named
Kate Dwyer, and which, up to the day of this accident, had not given me a
fall. The hounds were running up a long gully. The fox did not seem to
have made up his mind as to which side of the gully he would break. Some
of us thought it would be to the right, and we were following the crest
of the gully on that side. We came to a stone wall on the slope of the
hill. It was a thin wall--daylight through it. One had only to give the
stones a push to make a very easy gap. I walked the mare up to it quietly
and was leaning forward to push the stones down with my whip, when, I
presume, the mare thought I wanted her to move on. So she tried to make a
standing jump of it. It was a failure. She struck it and we fell
together, my right leg being crushed by her weight falling on it on some
of the displaced stones. The leg was not broken, but the flesh and
tissues were all torn below the knee, and the bone pretty well lacerated.
I was taken to Middleton, the then home of the Murphys and the Coppingers
and many other good sportsmen, and, after having my injuries patched up,
went to hospital. The mare, I am happy to say, had hardly even a scratch
on her. She was the best bit of horseflesh I ever threw my legs across. I
sold her afterwards to a friend from Northumberland, who, having married
an Irish girl, used to come every year to put in a couple of months' hard
riding in Limerick. He bought her from me at the end of the season and
took her home to Northumberland. She did well in the summer, but, on the
opening day of their season, she fell down dead in the middle of their
first run. Poor old Kate.

My accident proved more severe than I anticipated, and I was sent home to
Scotland on sick leave. After two months my leg mended up and I returned
to Old Ireland in the early summer. Our company's annual training and the
landing and mounting of the two first "Woolwich infants"--fat, six-inch
muzzle loaders--at Carlisle Fort filled up the time till the autumn
months. As I was very keen on shooting and was given three weeks' leave,
I returned to Limerick, in the neighbourhood of which sport was of the
best. I never had anywhere in the world a better day's woodcock shooting
than the O'Grady family gave me in County Clare. Long narrow belts of
wood in an undulating country were full of the so-called best sporting
bird in the world. Hard to down; best to eat. Equally good with the
woodcock shooting in Clare was the wild-duck shooting in the quaking bogs
of County Limerick, and away in the loughs, westwards, towards the mouth
of the Shannon.

Before proceeding further, I have to make an admission. My readers will
have no doubt have discovered by this time that I am faithfully recording
what comes to my mind of the old days. If the incident I record tells
against me I am quite content to accept the blame. Why not? No one
really knows where the hand of fate is leading one. Thank God we know not
what to-morrow is going to bring forth. All pleasure and zest in life
would be gone if we only knew what to-morrow was going to do for us. Yet
we have to behave to-day--or should behave to-day--so as to secure a
pleasurable and profitable to-morrow, in case we are permitted to be
alive on the morrow. It seems to me how wonderful it is that any act on
one's part--quite unpremeditated, or only if done just by chance--can
have so great an influence on all our to-morrows. It may ruin all our
prospects or may make us the happiest of mortals. It may bring the
saddest of morrows to those dearest to us, or it may shower
blessing--unintentionally, of course--on our worst enemies.

[Illustration: The First Issue of "Turf Tissue"]

Well, no more sermons. What is the admission I was going to make? Well, I
will now tell you, right off. I fell in love. Quite hopelessly,
desperately in love. It was very annoying and distressing, for had I not,
up to then, loved so many that I loved no one in particular, at any rate,
except for short periods of time. What was coming over me, I wondered?
Oh, but, whatever it was, it was indeed sweet, and, if love is freely,
wholly given, and is returned, then is it not heavenly bliss on earth?
Yes, no doubt. But, what about to-morrow?

There was, unfortunately, no chance of a happy to-morrow for us. Except
our love, all else was against us. She was young, sweet as only a real
colleen can be, her Irish blue-violet eyes set in her lovely forehead,
fringing which her glorious gold chestnut hair sparkled in the sun with
the richest tints. To watch her on horseback was a dream. But--and now
your sympathies will, I hope, be given to me--she was married. She cared
not for her husband; her husband evidently did not particularly love her.
It was the old story. Two young people marrying young and then
discovering that they had been too hasty and that they could not live
together happily. There was nothing new in this situation. It seems to be
always happening. I have come across such happenings more than several
times since the days I am now writing of. The Divorce Court appears to be
useful in such cases and relieves the sufferings of those affected, at
times. But the Divorce Court cannot reach every one, can it? There is not
enough time nor are there enough Divorce Courts to get round.

But let me get on with my affairs before I start a discussion as to what
love is. Let it suffice that I was suffering from a violent attack of it.
However, something else was to claim me and set me on to fresh fields.
Just then, as the result of the evenings and moonlight nights spent
wildfowl shooting in the bogs in the cold, I got rheumatic fever, and
once more returned to hospital. My illness, which became very serious,
led to my being ordered the longest sea voyage I could take, in the hopes
of regaining my strength. This necessitated my resigning my commission
and taking my passage for a trip to New Zealand, though the doctors did
not seem to think I should reach that far-off land. Thus ended my second
romance. And now for fresh worlds to conquer, if Providence only gave me
health.



CHAPTER XI

A VOYAGE TO NEW ZEALAND


It was a bright summer's morning. Somewhere about noon the good clipper,
the New Zealand Shipping Company's _Waipa_, slipped her cable and was
taken in tow down the old River Thames. Her skipper was a good sea salt;
he was a Scotsman all right. His name was Gorn. I had been allotted my
cabin. I was, of course, unable to move without help, but I did look
forward to getting better as the good old ship moved to the south and
worked into warmer tropical climes. The days are now past to go to the
other end of the world--the farthest end, anyhow, then known--in a
sailing ship. We had three months' voyage in front of us. We were to call
nowhere; we were just to sail merrily along for three solid months, till
we reached our first port of call, Port Chalmers, in New Zealand.

Our passengers were not many in what we called the saloon--three New
Zealanders, who had made money as shepherds and then become owners of
sheep stations, and a few intending settlers in that beautiful land,
retired officers and ex-clergymen, with their families, took up the
available first-class accommodation. The remainder of the passengers, of
whom there were a good many, were emigrants of both sexes, a happy,
contented crowd, many of whom were looking forward to the better
conditions of life which New Zealand offered them through her commercial
agents in London.

I well remember how soon our small troubles began. Perhaps the only real
trouble was our medical officer. He was the doctor in charge of the ship,
and was kind and attentive, but, even before we reached the Doldrums,
which was about a third of the way, we were not surprised to find there
were no medical comforts left. Our worthy captain was very much
concerned, especially as about that time the potatoes had given out, the
fresh meat had been consumed--even to the last poor fowl--and the
so-called baker declared that he was absolutely unable to give us any
decent bread. So we had a lively two months to look forward to.
Personally I did not mind. Instead of getting better, as the weather got
warmer I became worse. I was taken every day from my bunk into one of the
ship's boats, which hung on the side, and made as comfortable as I could
be, and got as much fresh air as was available. Everyone was kind, and,
in the absence of any pain, I was not unhappy. But I did not look forward
with any degrees of pleasure to the time when, on crossing the line, we
should leave the warm climates, and, picking up the south-easterly trades
off the South American coast, enter the cold regions through which the
rest of the voyage had to be made. But one never knows. My friend, the
doctor, who had been most sanguine in promising me the full use of my
limbs as the weather became warmer, was more than puzzled, so much so
that I fancied he fully anticipated my final collapse as soon as the cold
weather came on; and I sometimes thought, too, that he did regret that
the medical comforts in his charge had been consumed so early in the
voyage.

Well, we reached the tropics, and for three days the Doldrums held us.
They had the usual festivities when crossing the Line, and Father Neptune
visited us. Our worthy captain pleased all the passengers by the hearty
way in which he entered into all their amusements. From my perch in my
boat I enjoyed what I then thought were the last few days I had to live.
Then came the day when a slight ripple appeared in the calm waters, which
presaged a light breeze. This breeze turned into a fairly strong
wind--and we had picked up the south-easterly trade. To my great relief,
and to the very considerable astonishment of the doctor, from that moment
I began to improve. As, each day, we made to the south, the cooler became
the wind and the rougher the sea. It was a fine trade wind, and we bowled
along with all sail set doing our eight or nine knots an hour day and
night. And each day I felt better. Before we doubled the Cape of Good
Hope and entered the long stretch which, tracking along the Southern
Seas, due east, was to land us in New Zealand, I was actually walking
with some slight help, and from that time onwards I improved to such an
extent that I was able to take my turn now and again with one of the
watches as an able seaman.

It was a long weary journey across those Southern Seas. The monotony of
it, day after day, with the following wind, wave after wave apparently
threatening to overtake us, yet our poop deck ever avoiding them. And so
on until we reached Stewart Island. We made the North Passage, and on
November 4, just ninety-two days after leaving London, we entered Port
Chalmers.

Port Chalmers is the Port of Dunedin, that fine city in the South Island
of New Zealand. Dunedin was named after the city of Edinburgh, which was
once known as Dunedin. It is just chock full of Scotsmen, and it is very
much to be doubted whether a better name could have been given it by
those sons of Scotland who first made their home there. The climate of
Dunedin much resembles the climate of Edinburgh itself. Snow covers its
streets in the winter, and the great Mount Cook, clad in snow, hovers
away in the far distance. Down towards the south scenery which not even
the fiords of Norway can rival extends from the bluff towards the north.
Milford Sounds are well known for their great beauty to all those who
have travelled in those waters. I doubt whether there is any part of the
world which, within such distances, is more magnificently picturesque
than that southern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. Enough;
this is not a guide book.

We landed at Port Chalmers and proceeded to Waine's Hotel. It was kept, I
need hardly say, by a Scotsman, and it is there still. I felt that I had
started a new lease of life. I couldn't believe it possible that I had
got rid of every pain and ache and that I was as fit as fit could be. My
first concern was to cable home and tell them not only of my safe
arrival, but of the wonderful recovery that I had made, and that I
intended to at once get to work and take advantage of the letters of
introduction that I had taken with me. Two of these were to men in
Dunedin, and, curiously enough, one of them was a well-known local man,
who happened to be the Officer Commanding the Volunteer Artillery
Company. He was most kind. He was a very keen volunteer soldier, and he
informed me that the great difficulty he had to contend with was the fact
that the Government would not place at his disposal a qualified
instructor for his corps. "If you are going to stay here a little time,"
he said, "will you give a short course of instruction to my men?" I was
only too pleased, and, within two days of my arrival in Dunedin, a parade
of the corps was held in their drill-hall--which, by the by, was an
excellent one--and we made all arrangements to commence business. It was
like old times again. Who could have told me, when I was leaving London,
three months before, as I thought a cripple, that I was going to be at
work again, as fresh as ever, within three months, at the other side of
the world? One introduction led to another, till I found it difficult to
find time to take advantage of all the kind invitations that were given
me.

I had decided, however, that it was to Wellington, the seat of the New
Zealand Government, that I had to make my way. It was at Wellington that
the responsible head of the New Zealand defence and police force
resided--good old Colonel Reader. I had letters of introduction to him,
and I thought it advisable, in view of my experience in Dunedin, to
interview him as early as possible, as he might consider my experience as
a Gunner of some value to the Government. I left my friends in Dunedin
with many regrets, and full of promises to return to their hospitable
city should the authorities at Wellington deem it advisable to appoint an
instructor to their district. I was sorry to leave Dunedin. The town
possessed, and possesses, one of the nicest clubs in the southern
hemisphere--the Fernhill Club, a most comfortable residence, standing in
its own grounds, quite in the centre of the city.

On reaching Wellington I called upon Colonel Reader, and apparently my
luck was in. He told me that he was looking out for a Drill Instructor
and that he would be pleased if I could take the appointment. The
emolument seemed to me enormous. It was just four times the amount I had
been receiving as a lieutenant in the artillery. In addition, it carried
travelling expenses and other perquisites. I accepted at once, and was
ordered to take up my duties at first in the North Island, at a place
called Tauranga, not far from the scene of the fight at the Gate Pah,
during the Maori War. Anyone visiting Tauranga can still trace the site
of the old British camp and the remains of the old trenches.

Not far from the Gate Pah, in what was then called The King Country, lay
Ohinemutu, the Maori settlement, alongside which rose the celebrated
Terraces--later on, somewhere about 1885, the scene of the terrible
eruptions which completely wiped out that wonderful country, submerged
the terraces and mountains, and formed fresh lakes in what is now well
known as the Rotorua district. How soon or how late further eruptions
will take place in this district, where now a modern hotel and marble
baths have taken the place of Maori whares and mud-holes, it is not for
me to say.

While at Tauranga I became acquainted with the method then in vogue of
settling people on the land in New Zealand. A retired officer, who had
himself migrated thither, and had secured a holding not far from the
township of Tauranga, obtained from the Government a large area of land,
north of Tauranga, on the road towards Grahamstown and the Thames
Goldfield. It was reported at the time that the price he had paid the
Government was ten shillings per acre, right out. This tract of country
was completely covered with bracken, and bracken is a difficult growth to
get rid of. Proceeding to England, he induced a good many of his friends
to try their fortune on the other side of the world, offering them land
at an upset price of two pounds per acre--good land, beautiful climate,
great possibilities. It was a very tempting offer to those who knew no
better, and he succeeded in practically disposing of the land on these
terms. The greater number of these would-be pioneers were retired
officers, an ex-bishop or two, retired clergymen, and others of a similar
walk in life, who, one would naturally think, were the least qualified to
battle at their time of life with the problems of cultivating unknown
lands in far-distant colonies. The promoter, if report is correct,
chartered two sailing vessels, and into these endless furniture, pianos,
household goods, belonging to the settlers, were duly packed. Yet,
remember, all that they were to find on their arrival was bracken--no
houses, no fences, no roads, nothing but bracken. Not one of them knew
which portion of the bracken was to be his own. Part of the contract was
that, during the voyage out, the settlers were to draw lots for the
allotment of positions, the value of which they could only judge from a
map hung up in the saloon of the ship.

I rode through this settlement about one year after the arrival of the
settlers. There were a certain number of huts, intended finally to be
homesteads, in the course of being built. A few tracks formed the
so-called roads. Some of the bracken was disappearing. But the ready
money which the settlers, or some of them, had brought out with them had
been spent, and the outlook was anything but cheerful. Further, the
necessary conditions for the survey of the allotments--as required by the
Government--had not been fulfilled. Consequently the settlers were unable
to borrow any funds on their property, unless they applied to the Jews.
This is many years ago, and, though I have not been there lately, I
believe that it is now a most prosperous district. But how many of those
courageous original settlers or their families are there now?

In connexion with the eruption at Ohinemutu there was an incident which
it is worth while to record. Should it occur again, the record should act
as a sure warning to the residents at Rotorua. Situated some thirty miles
from the coast, to the eastwards of Tauranga, there is an island. It
rises in the shape of a conical hill clean out of the sea. It was then
known as Sulphur Island, or perhaps better as White Island. As a matter
of fact it was an old volcano, though never quite extinct. On landing at
this island you would have found that the conical hill was absolutely
hollow, and that on its base, in the inside, level with the sea, lay a
lake, whose waters were of the dark blue hue that only sulphur lakes can
show. The specific gravity of the water is very heavy, much the same as
that of the blue lake in the Mount Gambier district, in South Australia,
at the top edge of which Adam Lindsay Gordon made his famous jump over a
high fence. From both the inner and the outer crust of this shell
mountain continually poured sulphur deposits, practically pure sulphur.
On the outward side of the mountain this sulphur accumulated on the base,
towards the beach. It was indeed a glorious sight, on a moonlight night,
to look at this peak rising majestically from amidst the waves of
mid-ocean, white as a sugar-loaf, as the rays of the moon bathed it with
its silvery light.

Beautiful as it looked, it was yet tainted with the saddest of histories.
Though it was known that at some period or another it had been inhabited
by natives, yet no fresh water could then be found within its shores. The
only solution that could be found for the fact that it had been inhabited
was that some springs of fresh water existed between the low and high
water mark of the tide which were known to the then inhabitants, but the
knowledge of the situation of these springs had died with them. The
sulphur, however, almost in its pure state, was there in abundance, and
White Island, at the time I am speaking of, was leased by the Government
to a small syndicate, which employed a certain number of hands, and
exported the sulphur, chiefly to Tauranga. It was a fine paying game for
that merry small syndicate. The conditions, however, under which white
men were bound to labour at White Island were as sad and as deplorable as
it has ever been my lot to know. Any man who decided to fill sulphur bags
at White Island knew that he was going to his last home in this world.
The conditions of life on the island were practically hopeless. The
strong sulphur fumes ate up one's vitality. One's teeth fell out. Nothing
but woollen clothes could withstand the ravages of the fumes. Eyesight
failed. The only fresh water available was that which was landed on the
Island by the schooners which carried away the sulphur bags. The spirit
of those labourers was broken, and they were content to finish their
lives under the influence of the strong and adulterated spirits with
which those same schooners supplied them, thus helping them on their
passage to another world. Sulphur (or White) Island is doubtless still
there, and, no doubt, supplying many tons of that most useful product of
this earth under very much happier conditions.

But, to hark back to the incident of the wonderful volcano upheaval which
wrecked Ohinemutu and its terraces, its mountains and its lakes. For
about a month previous to the eruptions the captains of the coastal boats
plying along the eastern coast from Wellington to Auckland, making
Gisborne, Napier and Tauranga their ports of call, noticed that when
travelling between White Island and the main coast they passed through
shoals of dead fish floating on the surface of the sea. They were
astonished at this, but they failed to arrive at any solution of the
phenomenon. It was not till after the eruptions took place that these
reports caused the Government authorities to attempt to trace a connexion
between the shoals of dead fish on the waters and the eruption at
Ohinemutu. The result of these investigations proved--as far as it was
reported at the time--that serious volcanic disturbances had been taking
place between White Island and the mainland, unknown and unseen, but the
result of which was apparently proved by the presence on the surface of
the waters of the dead or stunned fish. All boys know that a concussion
caused in waters where there are fish, stuns them and brings them to the
surface, ready to be gathered in by the enterprising but unsportsmanlike
spirit who fires off the exploding charge. That a great explosion and
upheaval had taken place within the deep sea was proved by the experience
of the skippers in the coasting trade. I think I am making a correct
statement when I say that the connexion between White Island and the
District of Ohinemutu on the mainland, as volcanic centres, was
established.

My duties, as I have already stated, were not onerous. My chief work, as
instructor, was minimized by the small number of troopers. I had under me
some thirty or forty mounted men. The Maoris were somewhat restless
between the east and west, and they proved that restlessness by making
raids on the working parties which were then employed on road making
through the Parihaka district. Their chief delight was to raid the
road-makers' piles of broken metal and scatter it, broadcast, from their
well-constructed heaps.

Before I left Tauranga an incident occurred which appealed to me very
much as an instance of the curious ways of Providence. I was riding back
one afternoon after visiting some of the country patrols. I had filled my
pipe, but discovered that I had no matches. Presently I noticed, on the
right-hand side of the road amidst the bracken, a very humble abode. As a
matter of fact, it was just what was then known as a "lean-to," the
preliminary stage of the farmhouses that were then being built by the
settlers. These "lean-tos" were, in the first instance used for living
purposes. Later on, when the front parts of the houses were built, they
became the kitchens and domestic offices. The building was only some four
hundred yards from the road, so I turned in to get a light for my pipe. I
noticed, as I was getting near, that a man was standing on a step-ladder,
apparently doing some painting. He looked down on me from his ladder as I
approached. Then I saw that instead of painting he was engaged in tarring
the roof of the building. He was evidently an amateur tar-man. The bucket
which held the tar was tied on to the ladder below him. The roof he was
tarring was a little above him, with the result that he himself was
fairly covered with sprinklings of the tar. As he possessed a pair of
somewhat large whiskers and his head was uncovered, he presented a quaint
appearance. After greetings, I ventured to ask if he could supply me with
a few matches.

As he turned and looked down on me from his perch on the ladder, I
recognized an old friend at whose beautiful country house in the county
of Cork in Ireland I had spent many, many happy hours when I was
quartered at Carlisle Fort. I could hardly believe that he was the host
who had been so kind to all of us young officers only a few months
before.

"Surely you are not Colonel ----?" I said.

"Yes," he said, "I am."

"Well," I said, "you probably won't remember me, but I do remember you
and all the pleasure you used to give us. Are you all out here? Where are
the girls?"

I introduced myself, and he did remember me. The result was that he asked
me to stay to their evening meal, which invitation I gladly accepted.

As he landed from the ladder he laughed, and he said, "I'm afraid I'm not
much of an adept at tarring. It's only been my second attempt, and it
takes me such an awful time to get rid of the amount of the tar which I
so freely distribute over myself. But I am sure you won't mind our
primitive ways, and if this abode is not as pretentious as the old castle
in County Cork, still we can all give you a very hearty welcome."

I put up my horse in the shed which did duty as a stable. He told me that
the two sons were away with the milk cart, while the girls were hard at
work doing the evening's milking of the cows and feeding the poultry, and
would shortly finish their day's work. In the meantime, we would have a
pipe and stroll round what he called the domain. We were a cheery party
that met at that evening meal. The girls appeared, looking sweet in their
very best clothes. The old man and his sons put on evening dress. The
centre room was a living-room, drawing-room, dining-room, smoking-room,
library, all combined in one. The table on which dinner was served was
made of rough boards resting on a couple of trestles, but covered with
the best of damask tablecloths and silver ornaments. The dining-room
chairs consisted of empty packing cases. Such were the difficulties that
the early settlers had to contend with.

Some years afterwards I was paying an official call on one of Her
Majesty's ships at Adelaide, South Australia, and the commander asked me
to go into his cabin, where I saw a photograph of a sweetly pretty woman.
I recognized it at once. It was one of the three sisters with whom I had
dined some years before. I mentioned the fact, and asked him if she was a
relation of his. "Very much so," he said; "she is my wife." He then told
me all about the family, and that they had done well, and the farm had
been a great success.



CHAPTER XII

A MAORI MEETING


At this time Tauranga itself was a centre of another kind of activity.
Exeter Hall had exerted its wonderful influence in attempting to settle
all sorts of questions affecting the Empire and the management of
Imperial interests in the colonies, the governing of which had already
been handed over to the care of those who had so ably developed them.
Exeter Hall had influenced the Imperial Government to call upon the New
Zealand Government to make monetary compensation to the Maoris for the
loss, or so-called loss, of portions of the land which had been taken
from them as the result of the Maori War.

A very considerable tract of land, then known as the King Country, lay to
the west of Tauranga, and included, I think, the Ohinemutu district.
Riding from Tauranga towards the west, you passed through the bracken
country and then arrived at the magnificent bush, which began at a place
called Europe, known as "Orope" by the Maoris. Glorious and magnificent
trees towered overhead, while hundreds of creepers and other
semi-tropical plants grew so intensely that it was more than difficult to
force a way through. Herein was the home of the supple-jack, whose
branches enfolded you more and more the longer you attempted to force
your way through. Here was the home of the wild boar. A large tract of
this country formed part of the land for which compensation was to be
paid by the Government to the Maoris in accordance with the dictates of
Exeter Hall.

Courts of jurisdiction were established at several centres of the
population. The courts consisted of an English justice and a native
assessor. One of these courts was established at Tauranga. The question
for the court to decide was which Maori tribe, at the time of the close
of the Maori War, were actually the rightful owners of the particular
land in dispute. I was informed at the time--and I think my information
was correct--that the title of ownership lay, in accordance with the
Maori traditions, with the chief of a tribe who had actually killed (and
eaten part of) his unsuccessful rival. The courts arranged to make duly
known to all tribes that put forward a claim to any such lands, the dates
on which sittings would be held to deal with each case in rotation.

I was at Tauranga when the court was sitting, and a wonderful experience
it was. The value of the tract of land under consideration in this one
case was some £6,500. Remember that it was not intended to restore the
land to the Maoris. They were to be compensated only in cash value for
the loss of the land. In this particular instance there were three tribes
whose chiefs claimed to have been in possession at the time of the war,
and who desired to appear before the court. The procedure was as follows:
The court sat at Tauranga. The tribes declined to be represented by the
chiefs, even if accompanied by a few of their elder tribesmen; they
insisted upon attending the courts with the whole tribe, men, women and
children. Their average number was about 380. Provision had to be made
for suitable camps during the course of the trial. What a time for the
furniture dealers, storekeepers, butchers, bakers, and other tradesmen,
whose pleasant duty it became to make such provision! Remember that all
expenses which the tribes incurred were a charge on the capital value of
£6,500. The Maoris cared not. They did not realize that they were
actually paying for their own subsistence. The sole aim of each tribe was
to win its case. The local authorities fixed the localities for the camps
and made all arrangements for their comfort on a liberal scale. The first
tribe to arrive found their quarters ready for them, and it then became
their privilege to welcome the second tribe, which came from across the
water, a small arm of the sea to the south of the town. This tribe swam
across, men, women and children, to the head of the jetty to which the
local steamers made fast. The Maoris who lived in close proximity to the
sea were excellent swimmers.

The order of procedure was as follows: The tribe already in possession of
the camp piled up a couple of trucks with barrels of beer, bottles of
rum, gin, brandy and whisky. These trucks were run down the rails to the
end of the jetty and were left there to await the arrival of the swimming
tribe, while the others remained on the shore end to welcome them. The
new-comers, tired after their long swim, greatly appreciated the kind
thought of their hosts, and immediately set to work to consume as much of
the good gifts as the gods, or, rather, their legal opponents, offered
them. These, drawn up in battle array, impatiently awaited their arrival,
the braves all in front in such a position as they considered advisable,
from their military point of view, to impress their guests with a sense
of their prowess. Behind the fighting line the womenfolk were drawn up.
In their front line were their best-looking girls. They were specially
put there to catch the eye of the leading young men among their guests.
The elderly women and the youngsters formed the third line.

Thus the hosts waited for the arrival of their guests. The original idea
was that the tribe arriving would take a certain amount of the drink
offered to them, enough to fortify themselves so as to arrive at the end
of the jetty in fairly good condition. But the hopes of the hosts were
unjustified. There was nothing left on the trolley at the end of the
jetty but empty beer barrels and glass bottles. Watching them as I did,
from the little fort just overlooking the jetty, I was wondering how the
advance of the visiting tribe down the jetty was going to be carried out.
I gathered, from what I had seen, that the amount of spirits consumed
would produce some comical effects. I was quite disappointed. I wondered
also whether the procession down the jetty was to be carried out in the
clothes in which they arrived, which were nil. It would have been a
quaint experience to have seen a whole naked tribe arriving at quite a
respectable English settlement. But, no. Their coverings had been
carefully carried by the swimmers on the top of their heads and kept dry.
And while they refreshed themselves from the friendly truck they donned
such garments as made them quite respectable.

The order for the advance was then formed. It was similar to that which
was to receive them on the shore end of the jetty. One could not help
admiring their methods. Ceremonial parades all over the world, held at
coronations of kings, in commemoration of the proclamation of a country's
victories, aided by the pomp and glory of all modern accessories, failed
to convey the solemnity, such as it was, of the advance of that tribe
down that jetty. Led by the chief and chieftains of the tribe, followed
by their "braves," that is, their fighting men, the march down the jetty
began. There was no band, and no music but their battle-cry--a battle-cry
that had made them redoubtable enemies and had forced us to send a large
expeditionary force, with all the then best military resources, to
overcome them. Down the jetty they came, moving in complete unison that
shook the structure itself as they beat it in their advance. As they came
forward their hosts joined in rhythm with their advance, stamping on the
shore end till the ground, too, shook. The scene became quite inspiring.
I have never been present at any review or parade--and I have seen many
in many parts of the world--which has so impressed me or left such a keen
impression in my mind as that of the moment when the two tribes met at
the shore end of that jetty. You may think this is rather a far-fetched
thought, but it isn't, and you wouldn't have thought so if you had been
there.

The official meeting of the chiefs first took place. The rhythmical
beating of the ground by the hundreds of feet of the hosts and guests
suddenly ceased, and a friendly greeting of all, which, in the usage of
the Maoris, took the form of rubbing noses, began and held full sway. The
arriving tribe settled down then to the camp provided for them by the
authorities. Two days afterwards the third tribe arrived, and the same
ceremony took place. The ground then again shook unmistakably. It took
one back--as many of the residents of Tauranga (who after fighting in the
Maori War had settled in the district) remembered--to the days of that
campaign and to the battle-cry of the advancing Maoris whom they had
fought against. But these very men were now engaged in the pursuits of
peace, and all of them welcomed with delight the presence of their late
enemies. It was the source of much profit to them.

This particular case was duly settled by the court. Its decision was
given in favour, if I remember rightly, of the tribe that swam across
from the south. The court officials were entrusted with the settlement of
the expenses incurred by the tribes. After paying all these expenses a
sum of some one thousand pounds remained as the amount to be paid in
compensation, in accordance with the edict of Exeter Hall, to the
winners.

The final celebration had now to take place. The chief of the victorious
tribe invited the losing tribes to a farewell festival. A great Maori
haka was held, to which not only the natives themselves, but the whole of
the English inhabitants, were invited. The braves of all the tribes took
part in this. It was a wonderful scene. It took place upon a moonlight
night. There was an inner circle, in the centre of which the triumphant
chief and his chieftains, surrounded by the chief and chieftains of the
other two tribes, stood. Around them was a palisade of sticks, on which
the one thousand odd pounds in notes, paid to them as a result of the
court's finding, were festooned. Immediately surrounding this circle were
the braves of the losing tribes, and beyond, all round, the womenfolk and
the children and European guests. Fires flared in all directions. You
have no doubt read about the natives of different parts of the world, but
you may not know that the Maori race was, without exception, one of the
best indigenous types in our Empire.

Well, the scene was set and the war-dance started. Victors and losers
joined, in complete accord with their own customs, and I doubt if a more
inspiring sight, taking in view their numbers, has been seen. As their
enthusiasm increased the greater became their rhythmical movements. As
their vigour increased the more weird became the scene. They were
fighting, in their minds, their old battles against their old
foe--battles which they had fought with their native weapons against
weapons of civilization. Their old war-cries leapt forth from their
hearts and mouths as they had done when they fell before their enemy.
They looked bewitched, and stayed not nor stopped in their wild orgy
until physical distress forced them.

Next day they departed to their own settlement, and peace and quiet
reigned in Tauranga, whose residents were more than grateful to Exeter
Hall for the result of the great interest which the promoters of the
meetings for the welfare of the poor Maori had aroused. Tauranga's civil
population revelled in profit. When the tribes left the whole of the camp
equipments were left behind. The Government did not want them, and the
whole concern was put up to auction. Who was going to bid? Only the local
suppliers. There was no opposition, and the whole equipment was sold to
the only bidders. _Verbum sap._



CHAPTER XIII

AN OFFER FROM THE GOVERNOR OF TASMANIA


My life in Tauranga was becoming every day more interesting. Fishing,
both fresh water in the Wairoa, and deep sea, was excellent. Any amount
of shooting could be got within easy driving distance from the
township--red-legged partridges, rabbits, and any number of pheasants; as
a matter of fact, these were looked upon by the farmers as vermin, they
were so plentiful, and they did much damage to their grain crops. Some
eighteen miles away one reached the border of the King Country, the large
tract of land then in the hands of the Maoris. At this border the natural
bush commenced. Wonderful timber, among which semi-tropical creeping
plants revelled in forming almost impassable barriers, so luxurious were
their growth. Wild boar hunting was most exciting as well as dangerous.
Supple-jack was one of the most treacherous parasites of the giant forest
trunks, for, notwithstanding hand axes, the deeper you cut your way, the
more entangled you became. Our patrolling duties often necessitated our
being away for five or six days, and enabled us to get some excellent
sport. There was but little trouble with the Maoris. They somewhat
objected to the making of roads, which were then being extended inland
towards the west coast, and they were a source of some annoyance to the
working parties; but the appearance of one of our armed patrols soon
brought them to reason.

Ohinemutu was a Maori village at the foot of the wonderful hills up whose
slopes rose the marvellous pink and white terraces which were, a few
years later, to be wiped off the face of the earth by the terrible
volcanic eruptions that devastated that part of the North Island. Acting
upon the advice of our doctor I decided to take a short course of the
sulphur mud baths which were scattered here and there over the ground.
Having obtained permission from Te-Whiti, the then king, I spent eight
days at Ohinemutu. The two chief guides, Maria and Sophia, were well
known in those days to all tourists who were fortunate enough to visit
that wonderful region. I had been free from any rheumatic pains since my
landing at Dunedin, but the doctor assured me that the sulphur baths
would complete the cure. He was right, as I am thankful to say that from
that day to this the old enemy has never tackled me again, though I am
afraid I have sorely tempted him.

It was one day shortly after my sojourn at Ohinemutu that I received a
letter from Sir Frederick Weld, the then Governor of Tasmania, offering
me the position of private secretary, which had become vacant. I had
taken out letters of introduction to him from some mutual friends, which
I had posted on my arrival in Dunedin; hence his offer. I was naturally
delighted, and cabled accepting. Without delay I tendered my resignation
to the officer in command of our district, Major Swinley, who told me I
could count upon its being accepted, and could make my arrangements to
leave for Tasmania as soon as a steamer was available. I found there
would be one leaving Auckland for Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin in
a few days. This was indeed fortunate, for it would enable me to see
Auckland, call upon our chief, Colonel Reader, at Wellington, thank him
for his kindness in giving me the appointment at Tauranga, and say
good-bye to all my old friends at Dunedin. At Auckland, a beautifully
situated city with an excellent and picturesque harbour, I spent some
four days, having ridden from Tauranga through the Kati-kati settlement,
the old Thames Gold Fields, and finishing my most interesting journey in
a little steamer, the _Rotomahana_, sailing from Grahamstown. On arrival
at Wellington I called on Colonel Reader. He expressed much surprise at
seeing me, and told me that as he had no recollection of having received
any application from me for leave, he failed to understand on what
grounds I had come to Wellington. I was, of course, surprised myself that
he had not heard from Major Swinley, and explained to him exactly what
had happened. He appeared considerably annoyed, and told me that Major
Swinley should not have permitted me to leave Tauranga before the
application for leave had been approved by himself; but, as he had done
so, he would not stand in the way of my bettering my position, and would
accept my resignation. I thanked him and returned to the steamer, which
sailed next morning for Christchurch.

In due course I arrived in Dunedin. Here a real surprise awaited me. It
was a cable from Sir Frederick Weld to the effect that he had received
instructions from the Colonial Office to proceed without delay to
Singapore, where he had been appointed Governor, and where his presence
was urgently required. He expressed his regret that the alteration in his
plans forced him to cancel his offer, and hoped that it would not cause
me much inconvenience. There was nothing for it but to bow to the
inevitable, break my journey, and put my thinking-cap on.

I had wired to some of my friends in Dunedin, advising them of the fact
that the steamer would be calling at the port, and that I would be glad
to see them again. Two or three of them were waiting on the pier on the
steamer's arrival. They were much concerned at my bad news, did their
best to cheer me up, and promised me a good time while I stayed with
them. Being young, I put aside my troubles for the time and determined to
take them at their word and enjoy myself. Plenty of time for worry by and
by. At the end of the week the senior officer of the local garrison
battery came to see me. He said his officers had asked him to apply to
the Government to have me appointed as artillery instructor to the
district, which then included the port of Invercargill, otherwise the
Bluff, and that he had that day sent on an application to that effect,
supported by the local Members of Parliament, and other influential
citizens. He was quite optimistic as to the result, but I had my doubts.
He had not been present at my interview with Colonel Reader at
Wellington. I felt convinced that the chief had been much annoyed at what
he no doubt thought the cavalier way in which I had left my job at
Tauranga, after his having given me the appointment to that district so
quickly after my application. However, hope is the mother of cheer, and I
felt more reconciled to my lot. Later on arrived Colonel Reader's answer.
It was short and to the point, but a bad point for me. He regretted he
was unable to recommend the reappointment of an officer who had resigned
at such short notice.

It was all over. I had fallen between two stools. Well, it could not be
helped; why cry over spilt milk? After all, I had been more than
fortunate in regaining my health. I had spent some six months in one of
the most beautiful and interesting countries in the world, gained much
experience, enjoyed endless good sport, made many friends. Why despond?
Nothing in it. Life was still before me. My friends in Dunedin and
Christchurch invited me to visit their stations, fish, shoot, eat, dance
and play. I would put in some three months enjoying myself, and then make
for home and Wardhouse again. The journey homewards would give me the
opportunity of visiting Australia, India and Egypt, and on arrival home I
would have been round the world. Some experience, as an American would
say, for a young man who, twelve months before, had boarded a sailing
vessel in the London Docks with little hope of leaving the ship alive.

One of the most thrilling experiences I have ever had occurred while I
made the attempt to climb the peak of that lofty mountain, Mount Cook.
The time of the year was not the best to venture on such an expedition.
On both occasions, when we tackled the venture, ill-luck befell us. Our
first attempt was foiled by fogs, which, when driven away by a fierce,
bitterly cold gale, that seemed to blow from any and every point of the
compass at the same time, were succeeded by sleet and hailstorms that
forced us to give up the fight and return home sadder but wiser men. The
second time of asking, after a splendid start, once again the Fates were
against us, and a heavy fall of snow, which lasted three days, put an end
to our ambitious undertaking.

Then my round of visits came to an end, and I took my passage to
Melbourne, sorry to leave so many friends, and little thinking that, in
after years, I would again see them and enjoy their hospitality in those
beautiful southern islands.



CHAPTER XIV

I BECOME A NEWSPAPER PROPRIETOR


On arrival in Melbourne I took up my quarters in the old White Hart Hotel
at the corner of Bourke Street and Spring Gardens, at that time one of
the most comfortable hotels in Melbourne. Situated as it is just opposite
the present Federal Houses of Parliament, it is well known indeed by many
members both of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The topic of
the day was the opening of the Exhibition, and the official
representatives of the foreign nations who were taking part had by this
time arrived in Melbourne. The representative of the German Empire was in
residence, amongst others, at the White Hart Hotel.

I must tell you of a little incident which should have finished in
someone's death, but did not. The German Commissioner's private secretary
had just been long enough in Melbourne to fall in love with the daughter
of a well-known tradesman. She was certainly a strikingly handsome girl,
and her charms had completely roped in the affections of that gentleman.
This girl, then about eighteen years of age, was engaged, or going to be
engaged, to be married to a local man. The private secretary was so
persistent in his attentions and admiration that he roused the devil in
the heart of her fiancé, who challenged the private secretary to a mortal
duel. It was to be a fight to the death, so he stated in the challenge,
which arrived at our hotel at about 10 P.M. on a Tuesday evening, just as
we were sitting down to a game of whist. The private secretary solemnly
handed the written challenge to his chief. The Commissioner read it, then
said: "Write a note in answer stating that our under-secretary will
represent you, and meet at once a representative of your opponent here at
the hotel, with the view of arranging a meeting between you at five
o'clock to-morrow morning." It was summer time. "Would you prefer swords
or pistols?"

"Swords," said the private secretary.

The letter was written and sent, and swords were to be the weapons.

Our game of cards was put off for the moment, but, as I was afterwards
informed, the intervening minutes while the letter was being written had
been taken advantage of by the Commissioner to avoid a scandal. He sent
word to the German Consul requesting his immediate presence at the hotel.
On the Consul's arrival the Commissioner met him privately, explained the
situation, and requested the Consul at once to inform the Commissioner of
Police of the intended duel between the two lovers, and to ask the
Commissioner to prevent it. The Consul quickly left the hotel to carry
out his instructions. The game of whist then proceeded. The private
secretary was not playing too well. No wonder. Even a German under the
circumstances could not have been but somewhat nervous. He needed not to
have been nervous if he had been made aware of the Commissioner's
instructions to the Consul.

At about a quarter to twelve o'clock, as we were finishing our last
rubber, the waiter brought in word that two gentlemen desired to see the
Commissioner. He asked the waiter to show them into the room. On their
coming in they informed the Commissioner that they were extremely sorry
to disturb him at that late hour, that they were police officers, that
information had been received that a breach of the peace was
contemplated, that the private secretary was one of the persons
concerned, and, further, that their orders were to arrest him. As,
however, he was a guest of the Government, it would be more than
sufficient if the Commissioner would guarantee that no breach of the
peace by any one of his staff would take place. I was looking at the
private secretary as this statement was made. I do not think I ever saw
upon anyone's face such a look of relief as came to his.

This ended his affair, as he was made to promise by the Commissioner that
the lady-love was to be forgotten and not to be spoken to again during
their stay in Melbourne.

Having determined to see as much of Australia as possible before I went
home, I bethought myself of the letters of introduction which I had
brought out with me from home. Amongst them was one to General Sir Peter
Scratchley, R.E., who had been, at the request of the Australian
Colonies, sent out by the War Office to advise them as to suitable
positions and type of fortifications to be erected for the protection of
the chief harbours and other vulnerable localities along the Australian
coast. I called on him. He was affable and kind. He gave me considerable
encouragement by telling me that as some of the forts were being
completed it was becoming necessary to increase the Permanent Artillery
Force to man them, and that--it seemed to him--I had just arrived in
time, as my qualifications were satisfactory. He undertook to introduce
me personally to the Premier, Mr. Graham Berry, who advised me to send in
a written application for an appointment and promised General Scratchley
to give it his favourable consideration when the opportunity arose. Just
about this time I received a letter from my old friend, Sir Frederick
Weld, at Singapore, stating that he was reorganizing the Native Police
Force in that colony and wanted to appoint a few British officers to it.
He offered me the position of second in command. This offer was most
alluring to me, but General Scratchley simply ridiculed it. He told me he
knew Singapore only too well, and that if I went I would probably die in
a few years--if I lived as long, and at any rate that I would become an
old man before my time. Far better, he said, stay in a glorious country
like Australia than go and work in a country only fit for niggers, and
poor at that. Taking his advice I declined Sir Frederick Weld's kind
offer. I wrote to him, thanking him, and pointed out that I was somewhat
afraid to go and live in such a hot and moist climate after my sad
experiences during my voyage out in the tropical regions, specially as
since my landing in New Zealand I had not felt a twinge of rheumatism.

So I made up my mind to wait in Melbourne until I obtained my military
appointment. I could not, however, afford to live in idleness, so I
looked round for some suitable occupation which would bring in grist to
the mill. I had always been, as you know, very fond of sport, and horse
racing is the leading sport in Australia. I had been attending the
meetings in and near Melbourne regularly and had become acquainted with a
good many sporting men and the principal bookmakers and trainers. It
struck me that it was a pity that a large city, the capital of a most
thriving colony, where all kind of sport was rife, possessed no daily
sporting paper. The one evening paper in Melbourne, _The Herald_, usually
devoted some space to sport, but it was not published till too late in
the day to be of any value to race-goers and punters. I determined to
start a "sporting news-sheet," to be published for the ten days covering
the forthcoming Melbourne Cup Meeting. This news-sheet would be on sale
at 10 A.M. in the morning, and give the latest information even up to the
last morning's gallops--if any--the scratchings, and latest betting
prices. I at once set to work and got two reliable sporting men
possessing good all-round racing information to join me in the venture.
Then I took a set of offices, which were really much too extravagant and
in too good a position. The offices were in the best part of Collins
Street. But I was a very sanguine young man in those days. It was my
first venture in business bar the roller-skating. As a matter of fact,
not one of us three had any knowledge or experience in business. We
arranged that it should be my work to collect advertisements, attend to
the editing and printing, do the financing, and see to the sale of the
_Turf Tissue_, the name selected for the publication. My two partners'
business was to visit the training tracks, watch the horses at work, get
all the information they could out of trainers, jockeys and stable-boys,
and advise the public what horses to back.

Looking at it without prejudice, it seemed quite a good proposition on
paper. So on we went. The _Turf Tissue_ was to be sold to the public at
twopence a copy, a half-penny of which was to go to the seller. It was a
good commission, but by giving it we hoped to attract a very large number
of the newsboys who sold the evening paper, in view of the fact that by
publishing the _Tissue_ at 10 A.M. the sale would be all finished some
time before the evening papers came out.

Difficulties began early. I found that it was by no means so easy to
collect advertisements, knowing, of course, nothing about it, and I
tackled the job badly. Those who took up advertising space stipulated for
an actual distribution of ten thousand copies of the _Tissue_ each day,
which had to be guaranteed and be carried out before they paid for the
advertisements. I could see no other way out of the difficulty than to
consent to their terms. Next came how to print the _Tissue_. We had no
printing plant of our own, so we had to find what I think they called "a
job printer" to pull us through. This was by no means easy, as I was
unable to find one who would promise that the paper would actually be
printed each day and be ready for issue at the stipulated time. Besides,
the price to be charged seemed to me to be nearly ruinous. Yet if our
venture was worth trying it was worth paying for at first. The _Turf
Tissue_ was to become a genuine daily newspaper. There would be more than
ample profits by and by.

The time was near when the first issue was to take place, namely, the
Thursday of the week before the day on which the Melbourne Cup was to be
run, the first Tuesday in November. We decided that the first issue was
to be given free to the newsvendors and sellers by way of advertisement,
and notices were put up inviting all such who were willing to sell the
_Turf Tissue_ to assemble outside the offices of the paper on the
Thursday morning by 10 A.M. That morning came and so did the crowds of
would-be sellers to obtain their free issue for which they were to charge
2d. each. In such numbers were they that the traffic was interfered with,
and the police took the matter in hand. I found out that a mistake had
undoubtedly been made in fixing the main thoroughfare as a place of
distribution, and that the mistake was entirely due to my inexperience as
an editor and newspaper proprietor. For such I was. In a short time the
first ten thousand copies of the first number of the newly-fledged
sporting paper were being sold throughout Melbourne town. Looking out of
the window of my office I could hear the loud cries of "Buy a _Turf
Tissue_," "All the tips," "Latest gallops," "Only twopence." All was
going well, and the firm adjourned to Scott's Hotel. A couple of bottles
of "bubbly" christened the very first sheet out of the printing press,
which I have still.

To avoid the scenes in the street of that morning, I arranged for light
carts to proceed next morning to convenient localities, where, under
proper supervision, the regular distribution to sellers would take place,
and these localities were duly and largely advertised that afternoon.

My two partners left me to ferret out what information they could,
particularly to spot, if possible, the winner for the coming Saturday's
races. If we could only strike, say, three or four winners for Saturday
our fortune was made. I looked forward to printing an issue of fifty
thousand copies on the Tuesday morning, the Cup Day, giving the last and
final and correct tip for that great race. I treated myself to an
excellent dinner at my club, and could hardly realize that with all the
disadvantages of inexperience and want of knowledge in business matters
my success had been so quickly and soundly assured. The first of the
rather rude awakenings, which came to me next morning, was a message sent
on to the office, where I was sitting after having supervised the
departure of the delivery carts to their several distributing localities,
arranged for on the previous day, to the effect that no news-sellers were
available at the arranged places, and asking for instructions. I sent for
a cab and started for the places where the delivery carts were waiting.
What a change from the previous day! Either something had gone radically
wrong with the advertising of the change in the place and mode of
distribution, or else the news-sellers had been tampered with in some way
or another. Not one was to be found. Then I remembered the agreement with
the advertisers. Ten thousand copies had to be distributed throughout the
city and suburbs. There was only one remedy. The delivery carts must
deliver them, as widely as was possible, but, of course, free of charge.
You will doubtless have noticed that this was the second issue of the
paper which had been made without as yet one penny having been returned
to the promoters.

On returning to the office I found a well-known Jew of that day, who, I
had been told, was the boss of the news-sellers and who practically had
them all in the palm of his hand. He informed me straight out that he had
passed the word round that any vendor, man, woman or child, who sold the
_Turf Tissue_ would be struck off the list of their evening paper
sellers, whom he absolutely controlled. The explanation for the morning's
failure was clear. But what was more clear was the unrelenting spirit in
which my visitor absolutely refused to come to any terms which might lead
to an amicable settlement. He delivered his ultimatum like a Napoleon. He
would have no truck with new-fangled ideas which might interfere with the
sale of the old-established newspaper. He informed me he had not the
slightest ill-feeling personally in the matter; in fact, he went so far
as to say that if I had only conferred with him before launching my
scheme he would have gladly advised me of the futility of it. Bowing
himself out, he departed. I had not the least inclination to step over to
Scott's and have a glass of bubbly. I simply had to count up what our
losses then amounted to. They were as follows, roughly:

(1) The cost of printing of the two issues by the job printer, in
addition to the cost of the paper.

(2) The cost of a fair distribution of ten thousand copies daily, in
order to keep faith with the advertisers.

(3) Our rent of the offices for three months, plus the cost of the office
accessories, lighting, etc.

These were all chargeable to the debit side. On the credit side, nil. No
matter how clever my sporting confrères might be in spotting winners, we
could add not one penny to the credit side. I summoned my two partners to
a conference that afternoon. Somewhat to my surprise they seemed
cheerful. "Things are not so bad as they look," they said. "We have a
real 'dead bird' for the Melbourne Cup. We are going to borrow every
penny we can, pledge any credit we have with the bookmakers, and on
Tuesday evening, after the race, we shall have enough to pay our
liabilities on the _Tissue_ and plenty more besides. So cheer up; just
raise as much money as you can, and we shall put it all on on Monday
evening. On the Tuesday, the morning of the race, we will print twenty
thousand copies of the _Tissue_ with the name of the winner. We will
scatter the _Tissue_ all over the city and the race-course. The public
will back him for all they are worth, for he is a good horse. He may
shorten in price. If so we can lay off and stand on velvet."

This cheered me up a good deal. Their confidence in their plan was
catching. So we went to Scott's, after all, had a bottle, and I went
home, calculating what my third share of our losses in the _Tissue_ would
amount to, and how much ready cash I could lay my hands on to back our
tip so as to balance the account. I was not the least ambitious to make a
fortune. All I wanted was to get clean clear of my journalistic
enterprise and cease to be the proprietor, editor and publisher of a
newspaper.

I put aside my worries for the week-end. As a matter of fact, three of
our tips out of six races came off on the Saturday, which gave the public
considerable confidence in our selection for the winner of the Cup on the
Tuesday. Then, casting sorrows to the winds, I arranged for a quiet
week-end down at Sorrento. The weather was hot; Sorrento beach was
delightful. The lapping waves on the beach were fresh and briny; Nature
smiled, and I put worries away.

Then came Monday. It was the evening we were to put our money on our
horse, our pick, nay, our "dead bird" for the Cup. We three met at the
office. Our office boy, rather a wag in his way, had decorated my office
table with flowers. My two partners, who seemed to me to have spent the
week-end without any sleep, visiting training stables, waiting for the
first streaks of dawn to watch the early Sunday and Monday morning
gallops, and doing all that is expected of racing touts, were more than
convinced of the certainty of their choice. There was nothing in it but
"Mata." "Mata" could not be beaten. The race was all over. "Mata,"
however, was at a short price, and I could see it would require a good
deal of money to enable me to get round my share of our losses. Still,
what was the use of all our exertions and hard work and financial risks
if the two partners specially selected for their intimate knowledge of
the true form of the horses were not to be believed? There was nothing
for it but to sink or swim together. We duly published the _Tissue_ on
the Tuesday morning, the Cup morning. By a quarter past ten you could
pick up a copy of the _Tissue_ anywhere in the city. We sent cabs full of
them to Flemington and scattered them all over the road and the course.
Every one was saying "Mata" would win all right.

The Melbourne Cup was run that afternoon, and Mata did _not_ win. As a
matter of fact, he was one of the two last horses to finish. Grand
Flaneur won--our tip for a place. All was up with the _Turf Tissue_.
Nothing was left but for myself and my two partners to try to look happy
and pay our responsibilities. I attended the office on the Wednesday, but
my partners did not turn up, as I expected. I found out afterwards that
they had lost their all, and that, as I had undertaken the financial
responsibilities of the venture, it was left to me to have the pleasure
of winding up our company's affairs. I had in this respect to stand a
great deal of good-natured chaff from my friends and General Scratchley,
who thought it was quite a good joke.

I am reminded that years afterwards the following amusing incident
occurred in Melbourne. The Melbourne Cup of 1896 was to take place. Some
two months before the race the Duke of the Abruzzi, cousin of the King of
Italy, then a young man and a sailor, arrived in Adelaide on an Italian
man-of-war. He was making a tour round the world. I saw a good deal of
him during his stay in Adelaide. I was then Commandant of South
Australia. The duke was much interested in the Cup, and he was most
anxious to get a good tip. A mare called Auraria, belonging to Mr. David
James, of Adelaide, was in the race. She was a good mare, and a good deal
fancied for the race by the talent in Adelaide. She had, at any rate, an
outside show. So I suggested to the duke and his staff to put some money
on, as the odds against her at the time were about thirty to one, and if
she improved before the day of the race that price was sure to shorten
and they could lay off. He made me write the name "Auraria" in his
notebook, so that he wouldn't forget. He continued his tour, and I had
forgotten the incident. Later on I was in Melbourne, staying with Lord
Hopetoun for the Cup carnival. I had backed Auraria myself, hoping to lay
off. However, when the day came, nobody wanted to back her. As a matter
of fact, you could get forty to one about her as the horses went to the
post. The race started. Coming up the straight it was an open race. When
they got to the distance the crowd yelled the names of several horses as
the winners. At the half distance there came a regular roar. "Auraria,
Auraria wins!" A few seconds more and Auraria was first past the post.

After the race we went to afternoon tea with their Excellencies. The room
was full, but there were only one or two of us winners, when one of the
A.D.C.s told His Excellency that the Duke of the Abruzzi was just outside
and he had asked him to come in. In he came, with two of his staff, full
of smiles, rushed towards His Excellency and said, "Look! I backed
Auraria. We"--he pointed to his A.D.C.--"backed Auraria. We each win
£160. Look! All here in our pockets," which were bulging with gold and
notes. And, turning round to the admiring crowd, he suddenly saw me. In a
moment he was embracing me with both arms round my neck, saying,
"Auraria, my friend! The beautiful Adelaide Auraria." He then explained
that it had been mere chance that he had been enabled to leave Sydney the
night before, and had arrived at Flemington race-course just in time for
the race, and they had backed Auraria with the cash bookmakers, obtaining
the useful odds of forty to one. He then pulled out his pocket-book and
said, "You see the name 'Auraria'? You wrote it for me in Adelaide. I
came to put my money on. It is splendid." And so it was.

[Illustration: The Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of
Australia by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, 9th May, 1901]



CHAPTER XV

A MERCHANT, THEN AN ACTOR


Well, something else had to be done to recover my losses and fill in
time. Having the offices on my hands--for I had taken them on a three
months' lease--it struck me that if I became a commission agent, and if I
secured something good to sell, I might make some money.

So I decided to interview several firms in the exhibition with a view to
becoming their agent. My first endeavours met with what I thought was
considerable success. They were mostly foreign firms that I approached,
as I am a good linguist, and they appeared to be delighted to have my
services as their agent. Amongst them, I remember, was a German firm
which had quite a wonderful turning lathe which could turn out table
legs, ornamental posts, banisters for staircases, and in fact all sorts
of wooden legs and posts, in marvellous quick time. Then there was an
American firm with a very reliable and still cheap line of watches, and
so on. But I was not made aware that these firms had already imported
large stocks of their particular goods and were selling them on their own
account, so that there were not many opportunities left of doing further
business for the time being. In the meantime I spent quite a fair sum of
money in advertising their goods, for which, no doubt, they were inwardly
thankful.

Sitting in my office one day I had a visit from a gentleman, who asked me
if I would act as agent for what he informed me was a sure and good line
to sell. I told him it depended on what it was. To my surprise he said,
"Yorkshire hams." I looked at him, wondering whether he was all right in
the head. He noticed my hesitation in answering him, but said:

"All right. The position is this. I am closely in touch with many of the
boats arriving in harbour from England. Most of them are now bringing
certain quantities of Yorkshire hams by way of a little speculation
amongst some of the ship's company. Knowing most of them, they have asked
me if I could place their hams. I have no time myself to do so, but I
thought a firm like yours would take it on."

Well, it didn't appear to me there was any harm in selling "Yorkshire
hams" and getting a good commission out of them, and, at any rate, there
were always people who would eat "Yorkshire hams," and if the market
wasn't glutted they could soon be disposed of. The terms of my commission
were fixed up, and my visitor undertook to start delivering the hams at
the offices in a couple of days. I may tell you that there was a back
entrance to the offices from a side street, and as the offices were
fairly large, one room was set aside for the storage of the hams. It was
to be his business to deliver them and store them. We began operations at
once, and I succeeded in getting orders fairly easily. I discovered
afterwards that the reason of this was that my price was lower than the
actual market price. Having no previous experience in selling hams, and,
as a matter of fact, of selling anything, I had no suspicion that there
might be something wrong in connexion with the business. I just kept on
selling hams as long as there were any available.

Things were looking up, I thought. If I could only get people to buy a
few legs for tables, and banisters for their staircases, good
old-fashioned four-poster beds, and some of the other goods for which I
was presumably agent, business would look up and a fair start would be
made.

But Nemesis was again after me. I received a visit one morning from a
gentleman I knew quite well. He was, as a matter of fact, one of the
senior Customs officers. He was very nice, but he advised me to give up
selling hams. It appeared that these very good hams were all being
smuggled, and found their way up to my offices by all manner of means,
sometimes in cabs, sometimes in sacks on wheelbarrows, and that
consequently I was taking part in a transaction which duly qualified me
for a heavy fine, in addition to a somewhat healthy term of imprisonment.
So my friend the Customs House officer, who was quite aware that I was
innocent of fraud and had no knowledge of what was going on, had come
round to warn me. He hoped, he said, very soon to get hold of the kind
gentleman who had been good enough to introduce the business to me. Well,
there was nothing to be done but "Hands off hams," and as I had been a
commission agent then for some six weeks, and the only merchandise I had
sold was "the hams," I considered it high time to close the business, in
case I might let myself in for something more serious.

Just about this time the notorious bushranger, Ned Kelly, who had been
captured close to Benalla, Victoria, was sentenced to death, and he was
to be hanged at the Melbourne Jail at eight o'clock one morning.

I felt a certain amount of curiosity. I thought it would be an unique
experience to witness his execution. I was a personal friend of the chief
magistrate of the city, and besides, having arranged with one or two New
Zealand papers to communicate to them any matters which might be of
interest during my stay in Australia, I could obtain permission to be
present at the execution as a representative of the Press. The White Hart
Hotel was not far distant from the jail.

I did not feel in the least happy the afternoon before the morning of the
execution, when a permit to be present was handed to me by a police
officer. My dinner that night seemed to disagree with me, and I went to
my bed feeling that I was about to witness a scene that was more than
likely to leave such impressions in my mind as I would probably regret
for the rest of my life. However, it had to be done. I was up early after
a sleepless and restless night, and then walked to the jail. I arrived at
the big entrance gates, the sad and solemn entrance to the
forbidding-looking building, about ten minutes to eight in the morning.
Around those gates a large crowd had congregated.

There was not a sound to be heard from that crowd. There was dead
silence. I made my way to those big entrance gates. A small wicket gate
with a bell-rope attached was in front of me. I pulled the bell-rope. The
little door was quietly opened. Just at the moment a cab arrived, and
three men stepped out. Naturally thinking they were officials connected
with the execution, I stood aside to let them pass through the little
door. I noticed that one of them seemed to be somewhat under the
influence of drink. They passed on into the confines of the jail. I then
asked the gatekeeper who those men were. He said, "That one is the
hangman." He was the one whom I had noticed. My wish, or my intention
rather, to step inside those gates vanished. I thanked the gatekeeper and
told him that I would not trouble him to let me through. The little door
was then shut, and I was more than glad to remain outside. I became one
of that silent crowd who waited outside the gates. It was some twenty
minutes afterwards that the black flag was hoisted on the building. The
full penalty of the law had been paid by Ned Kelly.

I dare say many of those who read this may have seen exhibited the iron
case which Kelly wore over his head at the time of his capture, and on
which the dents of two or three bullets which had struck it when he had
been captured were plainly visible.

I had now been, as you see, really hard at work for over two months, so I
thought I was entitled to a holiday; for there appeared to be no
probability of the appointment for which I was waiting being made just
then.

It was Christmas time, very hot, so the seaside was the place to go to,
and I selected Geelong--why, I know not. I was there but a few days when
I was introduced to some residents whose business was that of wool
broking. We had several mutual friends.

I had told them that I had not been very successful in my business
enterprises, and after two or three days they were good enough to offer
me a position in their offices. I thanked them very much and left
Geelong, as I was afraid that if I started business again so soon after
my late experiences I might get into further difficulties.

But, as a matter of fact, the real reason of my refusing their offer was
that what I almost looked upon as a divine inspiration had come to me in
the meantime. Why should the experiences I had gained while managing the
Royal Artillery Theatre at Woolwich for one whole week be lost to the
world, and particularly to Australia? I had been manager for that week,
and I had been one of the stars of the company. Why, of course, it would
be criminal not to give the Melbourne public the opportunity to judge of
my capabilities as an actor. So, on a Monday midday I called at the Bijou
Theatre, Bourke Street, of which the lessee was Mr. Wybert Reeve, who was
running his own company and playing at that time _The Woman in White_. He
was a good, sound, old-fashioned actor. I interviewed him in his sanctum
and told him that I was anxious to go on the stage.

"Have you acted before?" he asked.

"Oh, yes," I said, quite in a lordly way; and I told him of my
experiences at Woolwich. He was not in the least impressed.

"What salary do you expect?" he then asked.

"I should think that four pounds a week would be a fair commencement," I
answered.

You should have seen the expression on his face. He looked at me for a
few moments in silence, and then exclaimed:

"Why, good gracious! Do you know that I was acting nearly five years
before I earned a pound a week? And you want to begin with four pounds a
week."

"Well," I said, "you must have begun a considerable number of years ago.
Times change. Besides, I have some very excellent clothes, and they are
surely worth something in their way."

Well, he laughed, for he appeared to have been somewhat favourably
impressed by what he no doubt considered my impertinence and
self-conceit, and told me that at the moment his company was full, but
that if I left him my address he would communicate with me as soon as an
opportunity arose.

On the very next Thursday afternoon I received a note from him at the old
White Hart Hotel, asking me if I would call upon him as soon as
convenient. I arrived there at seven that evening, and found him waiting
for me in his dressing-room, where he was preparing to make up for his
part as Count Fosco, in which he had been quite a success. He opened the
conversation by asking me if I was prepared to take on the part of
Careless in _The School for Scandal_, which he had advertised to produce
on the Saturday night next. He explained that the artist whom he had
engaged for the part had been missing for two days, and, from what he had
gathered, even if he presented himself at the theatre, it was more than
doubtful if he would be in a fit condition to appear before the public.

The proposition was a difficult one. To study the part in two days,
appearing in it on the evening of the second day, without an opportunity
of rehearsal, would be a bold venture for one who was setting forth to
earn fame and a high reputation as an actor. I thought for a moment or
two. I remembered that I had seen _The_ _School for Scandal_ played once
or twice in my life. My recollections of the part of Careless were that
he was a somewhat light-hearted, jovial, easy-going person, whose life
was a pleasure to him, and who did not take too serious a view of the
things in this world. Well, was I not, at that moment, in a position when
I might with advantage take on the mantle of Careless's temperament and
chance the result? Yes; I consented. Wybert was evidently relieved. He
told me afterwards, in confidence, that he so admired what he considered
my consummate self-confidence that he decided to give me the opportunity,
subject to an informal rehearsal to be held on the next day, Friday, in
the afternoon. I then inquired whether Careless's costume would be ready
for me. A serious look came over his face.

"By Jove!" he said, "the Careless that's missing is only about five foot
nine. It's quite impossible to put your six feet two inches into his
clothes. What's to be done? Can you get them made in time?"

I relieved his mind by telling him that, as good fortune would have it, I
had been at a fancy dress ball at a friend's house in Toorak just ten
days before, and that a friend of mine, who was private secretary to one
of the then Governors of Australia, and who was about my height and
build, had appeared at the ball as Careless, and his costume was a
particularly handsome one. I had no doubt if I asked him he would lend it
to me. Once more the smile came across his face. He looked at me for a
bit and then remarked:

"I'm beginning to think honestly that you're pulling my leg all the time.
Say so, if you are; otherwise I shall postpone the production of _The
School for Scandal_ and continue _The Woman in White_ for another week."

I felt sorry for a moment that he had considered me to have been somewhat
flippant. I had no doubt he had some right to think so, so I very
sincerely and seriously told him that such a thing as pulling anybody's
leg had never entered my mind. Indeed, very far from it; that my
experience since I had been in Melbourne was exactly the opposite, and
that it was I who had suffered much from having my leg pulled by other
people, especially those commercial magnates whose business I had been so
anxious to promote. My explanation seemed to please him. There was one
more point which required arranging, and an important point too, and that
was whether my salary would be four pounds a week or not. So I asked him.
He answered very readily that if he was satisfied with the results of the
rehearsal next day, and in view of the fact that I was finding my own
wardrobe, and that an expensive one, he would pay the four pounds a week.
I at once thought to myself that I had made a mistake. I was giving
myself away too cheap, but I would keep it in mind for our next business
interview. I did remember, as you will see presently.

Friday afternoon came, and, as the stage was occupied in preparing the
new scenery for _The School for Scandal_, we held a so-called rehearsal
in one of the corridors. It was very informal, but I had mastered my
book. Wybert closed on our bargain, and the comedy was produced on the
Saturday night before a very large, select and enthusiastic audience,
amongst whom there seemed to be an inordinate number of my own personal
friends. All went well. I had made up my mind to succeed or go right down
under. I was in a very happy mood. My friend the private secretary's
clothes fitted me to perfection, and, to the astonishment not only of
Wybert Reeve himself, the company, and the professional critics in front,
I introduced at times some light dancing steps, which cheered me on in my
efforts and apparently highly pleased our audience. Between the acts
Wybert took the opportunity, while encouraging me, to suggest that it
would be an awful pity to spoil the splendid work I was putting in, as he
called it, by overdoing it. I could see how anxious he was. I opened a
good bottle of champagne, we had a drink together, and I assured him that
all would be well. And so it was; and at the end of the performance we
answered repeated calls before the curtain. When we had made our last
bows to the audience, the company met in what was then an old institution
at the back of the scenes, namely, the green-room, where Wybert himself
insisted on opening the champagne and was no longer anxious as to how
many glasses we drank to the success of _The School for Scandal_.

Sunday was a happy day. I spent it with some friends near Point Cook, at
Port Phillip Bay, which spot, years afterwards, I selected to establish
the first aviation school in Australia. Most of the country in that
district belonged to the Chirnside family, the first of whom had made
good in the early days of the Colony of Victoria. Werribee House was
their headquarters. So had the Clarkes made good, the Manifolds, the
Blacks and many others whom in after years I had to thank for much
kindness and hospitality.

On the Monday, which was known amongst actors as Treasury morning, I duly
attended Wybert's office to collect my first hard-earned wage. It had
been arranged that, though my engagement dated only from the previous
Thursday, I would be entitled to a week's wages if all was well on the
opening night. I was as contented as anyone could be, for I knew I had
made good. The two leading morning papers had most favourable notices,
the production was a success, and even Careless had been favourably
commented on by them. I duly received four golden sovereigns. I felt this
was a much better line of business than editing sporting newspapers or
selling hams and table legs.

But I was remembering the fact, yes, that I had asked for too low a
salary, and that having come out on top I was entitled to more money. How
much was it to be? I bethought to myself that a rise of two pounds would
not be an extravagant request, taking everything into consideration. So,
after thanking Wybert, I informed him that I could not think of
continuing in the play unless he raised my salary to six pounds a week.
He was cross, I could see, and he also pretended to be hurt.

"How can you make such a request after the chance I have given you? It is
preposterous. I am surprised at you."

"Well," I said, "I agree with you as far as being surprised. I am
surprised myself. And it would never do for you to lose another Careless
within a week, and unless I get the extra two pounds a week I might be
lost to-night myself." The idea of such a happening seemed to strike him
as possible. He hesitated; then he gave in, and my salary was fixed at
six pounds a week, but, more than that, he took me on at that rate for a
term of six weeks. I practically became a real live member of his
company, and was to be ready to play any part from Hamlet to an imbecile
old butler in a fool of a farce, if asked to do so. I was not
downhearted. I felt I could play anything. The six weeks passed only too
quickly. Wybert produced three other plays within that time, and then
came the end of his lease and the breaking up of our company.

Our leading lady was Madame le Grand, who, I think, was (or had been)
Mrs. Kyrle Bellew in private life. Mr. Ireland was one of our leading
men, the father of that gifted young actress, Miss Harry Ireland. Maggie
Oliver, an irrepressible and most clever soubrette, was ever happy and a
source of pleasure to us all. Old Daniels, a Jew, was the funny man. He
was a first-rate low comedian who never overdid his part. Then there was
Hans Phillips, a polished actor, who, I think, married the daughter of
Gordon, then the best scenic painter in Australia. Poor Hans Phillips
unfortunately died at a comparatively early age. Then I remember those
two charming sisters, Constance and Alice Deorwyn, who afterwards became,
one, Mrs. Stewart, and the other Mrs. Holloway, the mother of another
charming young actress, Beatrice Holloway.

During this time I was introduced to, and became intimate with, many of
the leading managers and actors in Australia. There was Coppin, the doyen
of the profession. Maggie Moore and her husband, J. C. Williamson, had
"struck oil." The four Stewart Sisters were at their best. In a pantomime
the youngest of them, Nelly, then only about sixteen, was bewitching her
many admirers, singing "For he wore a penny paper collar round his
throat," and dancing like a sylph. What a favourite she became, and how
for many years she continued to be at the top of her profession, all
Australia knows. Who that saw her can forget her as Sweet Nell, and who
that had had the pleasure of knowing her but thinks of her, not as "Sweet
Nell of Old Drury," but as Sweet Nellie Stewart herself.

The friendships I made then have lasted till death has intervened. During
the many years I spent in Australia I counted many shining lights of the
theatrical profession as close personal friends--and I do so now. Violet
Loraine was the last. At the end of my first and short engagement we got
up a benefit on behalf of the two Deorwyn sisters.

The opening piece was a farce named _Turn Him Out_, in which I played the
leading part, Eglantine Roseleaf. This was my last public appearance as a
professional actor.

An event happened which put an end to any reasons why I should stay in
Victoria awaiting the military appointment which had been promised me.
The finances of the colony were in a low state, retrenchment was
imperative, and the Premier, Graham Berry, set to work to carry it out
with a heavy hand. The public services suffered heavily, and amongst them
the military vote heaviest of all. Instead of any new military
appointment being made, a large percentage of the officers serving were
retrenched. I felt bitterly disappointed, but I could not blame my
friend, General Scratchley; in fact I could not blame anybody.

My friends, or at least some of them, advised me to continue my
theatrical efforts. They even offered me a tempting rise on my last
salary and fairly long engagements, but I was in no way keen. I had tried
it only as an experiment, and the ways of the theatre were not alluring
to me, and especially after having gone through them personally. There is
a good deal of fun to be got out of it, but few people know how hard one
has to work, and what a slave to duty one has to become in order to rise
to the top of the tree.

There was nothing for it now but to return home. I said good-bye to all
my friends and left for Adelaide, South Australia, en route for
Scotland.



CHAPTER XVI

AS POLICEMAN IN ADELAIDE


On arrival at Adelaide I called on the Governor of South Australia, then
Sir William Jervois, the distinguished Engineer officer, who, with
General Scratchley in Melbourne, was advising the Australian Colonies
with regard to the land defences. As I was shown into the private
secretary's room I was more than surprised to meet his son, Captain John
Jervois, who had been a cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich,
with me. We had a long chat. I told him of my varied experiences, some of
which naturally amused him much.

His father, the Governor, happened to be away, but he said he would
arrange for me to see him the next day. Next morning I received a message
from him to say that his father would be glad to see me, and would I
lunch with them? I did so, and after lunch His Excellency, Sir William,
asked me to his study. His son had told him all about me. Sir William
informed me that one of the forts which he had designed for South
Australia, Fort Glanville, had just been completed, that it had become
necessary to raise a small artillery unit to man it, and that he thought
I was just the man to raise and command it.

I must say I couldn't help smiling. I suggested to him whether, in view
of my experiences as regarded appointments, he really thought that I
ought to accept his very kind offer. He said "Certainly; go and see the
commandant"--General Downes, R.A. "I have already had a chat with him
about you. Talk it over with him and let me know what you decide. In the
meantime go and see the Chief Commissioner of Police, Mr. George
Hamilton, who lives at the Adelaide Club, and who will do all he can to
make you comfortable." The result of my interview with the general was
that I decided to stay on in the hopes of obtaining the appointment. He
promised to recommend me for it.

Later on in the day I called upon Mr. George Hamilton at the Adelaide
Club. He was a charming personality, well advanced in years. He was
kindness itself to me, and put me up as an honorary member of the club.
He told me that on the next day, which was the last day of the month, he
would be making his usual monthly inspection of the mounted and foot
police attached to the city of Adelaide. The police barracks were
situated not far from the club, on the other side of North Terrace and
beyond the Government House grounds. The front portion of the building
was being utilized as the Military Staff Office. It was a peculiarity of
the mounted police in Adelaide that they were all mounted on grey horses,
Mr. George Hamilton being of the opinion that the police force was
intended more to prevent crime than to punish criminals. He held that
mounted policemen on grey or white horses would be seen at a greater
distance, and recognized as such, better than if they were mounted on
horses of other colours, and their presence being quicker recognized,
would act as a deterrent to crime if such was premeditated. I accompanied
him on his inspection, and that small force, mounted and foot, was a
credit to South Australia.

I had been thinking seriously to myself, during the inspection, as to
what I was to do while waiting for my appointment. It occurred to me that
I had exhausted most means of making a livelihood that I knew of, and I
recognized the fact that I could not afford to let the days go by without
making some money to meet my living expenses. Walking back to the club
after the inspection, I asked the Commissioner what were the pay and
emoluments of a mounted police trooper. "Eight shillings and sixpence a
day," he said, "is their pay, free quarters, free uniform and travelling
allowance while on duty necessitating more than four hours' absence from
the barracks." Considering that the pay of a lieutenant of the Royal
Artillery was somewhere about six and fourpence a day and no emoluments,
the lot of a mounted policeman seemed a happy one. I straight away asked
Mr. Hamilton whether he would take me into the force. He seemed very
surprised, but I assured him I was quite in earnest. "Well," he said,
"there is a vacancy, but before I can promise you anything you must talk
the matter over with His Excellency the Governor, and take his advice."
His Excellency thought it was quite a good idea, and informed me that I
was to tell the Commissioner that he would be very pleased if I was taken
on. So it was arranged that I should join up on the seventh of the
month.

By this time I had been introduced to most of the members of the club and
some of their families. But it was quite evident that if I was to become
a policeman I couldn't remain at the club, nor could I be on visiting
terms with the élite of Adelaide. I therefore made up my mind to be a
policeman, a real policeman, and give up social festivities for the time
being. This decision met with the full approval of His Excellency and the
general, and, I need hardly say, of the Commissioner. The only exceptions
to this rule were that I would occasionally lunch at Government House and
at the General's home when convenient. I duly joined, and, remembering my
New Zealand experience, I swore to myself that I was not going to resign
until after being duly appointed to my next billet.

It is not to be wondered at that not only the corporal in charge of the
barracks, but the mounted troopers under his charge, were surprised to
see the Commissioner's young friend, who had been inspecting them a few
days before, joining their ranks. Only the mounted police were quartered
at the barracks, the foot police lived privately in their respective
districts and suburbs. I spent my first night in the barrack-room, and I
was glad to find that amongst the twenty-five or thereabouts of the
number of troopers, no less than six or seven were ex-officers or N.C.
officers of the army or navy, and the remainder were men who had been
selected from the pick of the many candidates who were continually
offering their services to the Commissioner.

A word about the corporal in charge--Corporal Campbell, an ex-salt, a
hard-headed, kind-hearted Scotsman. Corporal Campbell had to his credit
some thirty-five years of mounted police work in South Australia. The
greater number of those years he had spent in the northern districts of
the then young colony. In those early days the duties of the mounted
police in the far-off, unsettled districts were more than serious. They
lived away from civilization, supervising huge tracts of country,
necessitating travelling hundreds of miles at a stretch across
uninhabited country, lacking in food and water. It required men of iron
constitution and iron will to perform their duties. It wanted even more;
it wanted self-confidence and a thorough knowledge of their work to deal
equitably with the many points of dispute that from time to time arose
between the settlers and the native tribes. Practically the mounted
trooper was a magistrate. It was up to the mounted trooper to make all
preliminary inquiries not only into criminal charges, but in many cases
into civil disputes. Having done so it was up to him to prepare the cases
for the justice of the peace before whose jurisdiction those cases had to
be submitted.

The justices of the peace were men selected because they happened to hold
some interest in the district. What knowledge had they of the law? What
experience had they ever had of sitting as magistrates? Generally none.
Consequently the justices of the peace leant for support on the mounted
constables. It is to the credit of the mounted police of Australia, right
throughout the whole of it, in every colony, that within my recollection,
covering many years, I do not remember a single case of any serious
complaint against the force of mis-direction in advising the magistrates
when asked to do so.

While I had made up my mind to give up all social festivities, I reserved
to myself one privilege, so that occasionally I could be reminded of my
old social days. Perhaps my choice was guided by my success in the
theatrical profession. I took a seat in the theatre in what was the best
part of the house, next to the club box, for every Friday night. I used
to treat myself to a good dinner in one of the hotels, all alone, and
then went forth to enjoy the play. Adelaide at that time possessed only
one really first-class theatre, the Theatre Royal, in Hindley Street. On
these Friday nights I used to meet my men friends, but I did not allow
myself to have the pleasure of meeting their lady friends. I was a
policeman, and a policeman I had to be. It was really quite quaint.
Everybody knew me; they all knew who I was. But it was obviously up to me
to play the game.

A pleasing surprise awaited me the Monday morning following the day I
joined. Corporal Campbell informed me that the then drill instructor who
supervised the riding school and the instruction in sword and carbine
exercises, musketry and revolver practice, had sent in his resignation,
as he was going to get married and had decided to open an hotel in the
flourishing district on the Mount Lofty ranges, at the foot of which the
city of Adelaide is situated. He further told me that I had been
appointed drill instructor in his place, and that the rank of
acting-corporal had been conferred on me. This was indeed quick
promotion. Besides, it carried with it many privileges. In the first
place I could have a room to myself instead of sleeping in one of the
barrack-rooms; secondly, I was off routine duties, such as serving
summonses, investigating offences against the Police Act, and doing night
patrol duties. My daily pay was raised to ten shillings and twopence a
day, but I had to share with Corporal Campbell the responsibility of
being in charge of the barracks. My short experience in the North Island
of New Zealand stood me in good stead. My knowledge of military law and
procedure came in most useful, as it naturally comprised an intimate
acquaintance with the rules of evidence, most necessary in the
preparation of police-court cases. I felt that I was fairly qualified to
take on my new duties without any misgivings. Besides, Corporal Campbell
kindly offered to coach me in carrying on the discipline and economic
duties in connexion with the barracks, and the official correspondence
with the Commissioner's office.

One of the privileges of the drill instructor was to have his horse
attended to by one of the troopers. I did not avail myself of this.

A young horse, rising four, had just been bought, one of the handsomest
dappled greys I had ever seen, standing about fifteen hands three, full
of breeding. I selected him for my mount, and determined to look after
him myself. Cold work it was too in the early winter mornings to wash him
down, groom him and keep the saddlery and accoutrements in order. I
schooled him myself, and he promised to become a perfect hack and police
horse. A police horse needs to be taught the best of manners. He must be
thoroughly quiet, good tempered, and capable of being ridden in amongst a
crowd without being frightened. I succeeded beyond my expectations in
training him, and I was very pleased that he was turning out so well.
After about two months, however, he rapidly developed the worst of
habits. Suddenly, without any apparent reason, he would stop and refuse
to move. He would do this anywhere, on a country road or in the middle of
the street. It was no use plying the whip, or using a powerful spur. He
would not go forward. He would rear, or lash out with his hind legs, but
he would not move on. This happened only very occasionally, but, when it
did, it was most awkward, especially if I was in charge of an escort, or
on a ceremonial parade. It turned out that he was suffering from a sort
of horse-mania produced by having fed when young on a plant known in the
district, where he was bred, as the Darling Pea. Feeding on this plant
had this extraordinary effect upon horses. I was returning one day, after
being on duty at the races at Victoria Park, to the barracks. As I was
passing the Adelaide Hospital he stopped dead. After a few moments of
gentle persuasion I gave him a sharp touch with my spurs. He reared
straight up and fell backwards on the road. Luckily my face escaped
injury, but my chest and back were nearly flattened out. A few days in
hospital put me all right, and I returned to duty. He chose a fit place
to hurt me.

The overland railway to Melbourne was then being constructed, and a very
large railway camp was established in the Mount Lofty ranges, near a
place called Aldgate. In this camp were congregated all classes and
conditions of men, of several nationalities. I was in charge of the
barracks one evening when a report came in from the foot police station
that a girl had been nearly murdered. She had been found in the backyard
of a small house in a disreputable quarter of the city, with her throat
cut and a dagger wound in her breast. The nature of the wound pointed to
the attempted murder being the work of a foreigner, probably an Italian,
of whom there was a considerable number at the railway camp. I at once
ordered all the available troopers out to make the necessary inquiries in
the city and suburbs, and decided to proceed myself direct to the railway
camp at Aldgate.

Having a fair knowledge of the language I thought I might pick up some
valuable information on the way if I met any of the Italians. I started
about 10.30 P.M., dressed as an ordinary bushman, riding an old bay horse
which we kept for these occasions, and my revolver hidden but handy. The
distance to the camp at Aldgate was about eighteen miles, taking short
cuts with which I had already become acquainted.

I pulled up at several public houses on the road in the hopes of picking
up some clue. I failed till I reached a well-known hotel, the
Eagle-on-the-Hill, roughly half-way to Aldgate. The landlord, whom I had
to wake up, and whom I knew, told me that he had served with drinks,
amongst others, two foreigners, who had ridden up on one horse, and who
said they were on the way to the camp. They had evidently had a good deal
of drink; he had given them some more, and they had managed to climb on
to the horse again and had ridden away. He could not, however, tell me
what nationality they were. This had taken place about 11 o'clock, P.M.
It was now about 1 o'clock, A.M. The two men would be at the camp about
this time. I could reach it comfortably about 3 A.M. I got no further
information until I arrived at the camp. I had hoped to make my entry
quietly at that time of the morning, but I was disappointed. I had hardly
got near the tents on the left of the road when a whole troop of mongrels
commenced to bark furiously. I could not get into the camp without being
seen, as I had hoped. However, I found my way, after inquiries, to where
the man in charge lived.

When I had satisfied him as to who I was and on what business I was bent,
he put his services at my disposal at once. I told him I wanted if
possible to get hold of two men who had ridden up on one horse, that they
were foreigners, and I suspected Italians. To my joy he told me that he
had several men he could depend on who kept an eye on the camp generally
for him, both by day and night, and one of them might have noticed their
arrival, as the dogs were almost certain to have greeted them in the same
way as they had greeted me, especially if the horse they were riding had
come up to the tents.

He asked me to go with him while he made his inquiries. The first man he
roused up did not know anything about the matter. The second, however,
did. He had been late himself getting home, and curiously enough the two
men on the horse had passed him on the road about a couple of miles
before reaching the camp. It was a moonlight night, and he had noticed
they were pretty drunk, hardly being able to hold on to the horse. As
they passed him they called out to him, and he recognized them as two
Italians who were engaged in tunnelling, bad characters, red-hot
tempered, but good workers when sober. This was indeed a piece of luck. I
asked him if he could guide me to their tent. That was more difficult. He
was not sure; but he knew where the ganger who was in charge of the
tunnelling party hung out, and he would probably know their whereabouts.

I went back to where I had left my horse, got a pair of handcuffs I had
brought with me, and took one of the stirrup leathers off my saddle. When
I returned the ganger had been found and took us towards the portion of
the camp where the two men shared one of the dirtiest of tents I had ever
seen. By this time dawn was just breaking. I arranged with the ganger--he
was a good sort--that on arrival at the tent I would go inside and would
hold the two of them up. As they would be most probably in a heavy sleep
this would be a simple matter. Then, having handcuffed one, I would make
secure the other one's hands behind his back with the stirrup leather and
march them off to Adelaide; but in case anything went wrong inside and I
called out he was to rush in to my help. He agreed. I slipped out my
revolver, asked the ganger to hold up the lantern he was carrying so that
I could see inside the tent when I opened the tattered flap, and, raising
it, slipped inside. I had to stoop nearly double, the tent being very
low, and I could just see with the aid of the ganger's lantern.

A more filthy place is difficult to imagine. On very low stretchers
covered with rags by way of bedclothes lay the two men, one on each side
of me, with their heads towards the entrance to the tent. They were
sleeping heavily. I turned first towards the man on my right and suddenly
dropped heavily on him with my right knee on his chest, and before he
awoke to his senses I had him handcuffed. I turned over to the other one,
who was just trying to sit up, apparently dazed. I threw the stirrup
leather, the end of which I had passed through the buckle, making a noose
of it, over his head, and pulling at the end of it with all my might, I
backed out of the tent, dragging him after me. It was all done in a
minute, and I had them both bagged. The ganger was quite delighted as he
took hold of the stirrup leather to make the man secure while I went in
to pull out his handcuffed mate. This was easily done under the
persuasion of my revolver.

By the time they were both outside the tent they were wide awake. We made
them sit on the ground. I handed the revolver to the ganger and left them
in his charge while I searched their filthy abode. I was quite rewarded.
Underneath some rags which had served as a pillow to the handcuffed man I
found a knife with a blade about five inches long by some three-quarters
of an inch broad, such as is much in use amongst Italians. It was covered
with blood, some of which had not quite dried up. I also picked up a
dirty woollen comforter which he had evidently worn the night before and
on which were blood-stains of very recent date. I was satisfied; I found
nothing more of any value as evidence. My job was done; all that was left
was to escort my two prisoners to Adelaide.

It was now daylight. As there had been no noise few of the early risers
who came slouching out of their tents knew that any arrest had been made
until we were nearly out of the camp, and they took but little notice. I
thanked the man in charge and the ganger for their assistance, and, after
partaking of some coffee at the little cottage where the man in charge
lived, I started off with my two prisoners tied together, making for an
hotel not far off where I knew I could obtain a vehicle to drive them
down to Adelaide. I arrived in Adelaide all well, and by two o'clock they
were quickly and safely locked up in the police station. They were duly
charged and tried. The girl had recovered from her injuries, and the
culprit escaped with a long term of imprisonment instead of being hanged;
the other received a short sentence. My first attempt to hunt down
criminals had come off satisfactorily.

Shortly after I had joined the police my good friend, Mr. George
Hamilton, retired from his position and Mr. Peterswald was appointed
Commissioner. Mr. Peterswald, having been Mr. Hamilton's right-hand man,
was thoroughly fitted for the appointment. He held it for many years,
during which time the efficiency of the police force of South Australia
was well maintained. As Commissioner I personally received from him
during the time I was in the force every consideration. We had become
personal friends as far as it was consistent with our respective
positions, and, as soon as I received my first appointment as an officer
in the South Australian Military Forces, he was one of the very first to
welcome me to his house.

It was just before Christmas, 1881, that General Downes, the Commandant,
sent for me to see him at his office. I walked across the barrack square
to the Military Offices, and in a few minutes was shown into his room. He
informed me that he had been unable to arrange with the Government to
raise the nucleus of the Permanent Artillery Force which was required to
take charge of the lately constructed Fort Glanville, and that, as a
matter of fact, the contractors had asked for an extension of the time
for its final handing over to the Government. He had, however, pointed
out the necessity for a duly qualified Staff Instructor to be appointed
to the Volunteer Force. Several new units had been formed throughout the
colony. The localities in which the units had been raised were far
distant from the headquarters at Adelaide, and, unless the services of
some such Staff Instructor were made available, it could not be expected
that they could be held together. The Government had considered his
recommendation and had approved of it. He had, therefore, recommended me
for the position, pending the raising of the artillery unit, and he had
that morning been notified that his recommendation had met with their
approval.

"I have much pleasure," he said, "in telling you this. I have been
watching your work, while you have been in the police, and instructing
them, with keen interest, and, I am satisfied that you are quite capable
of carrying out the duties attached to your new appointment. I have seen
Mr. Peterswald, your Commissioner, and he is quite prepared to grant you
your discharge from the police. Please arrange to see him, and tell him
that I sent you, because I would like you to start your new duties from
the first of the year."

I have wondered, ever since that fateful interview with the general,
whether there is such a thing as second sight, or--to put it another way,
whether a person is permitted at times to have a glimpse into the future.
While the general was talking to me, and as soon as he told me that his
recommendation had been approved of, and that the appointment was
actually made, I was looking at him sitting in his chair at his office
desk, and I thought that I saw myself sitting in that very chair,
actually in his place, as Commandant of South Australia. The vision was a
passing one, but I well remember being seized with a determination to do
all I could to make that vision come true. As will be seen later on, it
did come true, and in much shorter time than I or anybody else could have
possibly expected.

I at once, in accordance with the general's wishes, called on Mr.
Peterswald. He was delighted at the good news. He, of course, knew about
it from the general. He told me I could have leave of absence up to
January 1, the date on which I was to take up my work at the Military
Staff Office. My next business was to cable home to my father to inform
him of my appointment. I knew what a pleasure it would be, most
particularly to my mother, to hear the news. From the time that I had
left home my only letters had been to my mother, and the only letters I
had received had been from her. She always kept me fully informed of all
the different doings of our large Gordon family.

Yet it is wonderful to think what a difference it makes to one's ideas
when you decide to place some 16,000 miles between all your own best
friends and your solitary self. Your solitary self goes forth alone. You
go into new worlds, you leave behind all the pals of your youth, all
those whose friendship in after life would be an anchor to you; all those
sweet girls whom you love, all those relations who always protested they
were so ready and keen to help you in your troubles, but who, when the
time of trouble comes, suddenly have so many troubles of their own that
they really can do nothing for you; but the one whom you feel most to
leave behind is your mother.

On the day following the news of my appointment I called at Government
House. My Woolwich mate, Johnny Jervois, was more than delighted at the
result of his advice to me to remain in Adelaide. He and I had some
exciting times later on when the Russian scare occurred in Australia in
1885; of which, more presently. His Excellency the Governor, Sir William,
gave me much encouragement by the kind way in which he received me, and I
need hardly say that I felt somewhat overcome by what appeared to me the
extraordinary kindness of my South Australian friends. With the exception
of my having been at Woolwich with young Jervois, all were strangers to
me on my arrival in Adelaide. My resignation having been accepted I had
ceased to be a policeman, and I felt at full liberty to accept any of the
many invitations which were kindly given to me for the forthcoming
festive season. It was a happy Christmas and New Year's time. My
Christmas Day was spent with the general and his charming wife and
family, at their home at Mitcham, near Adelaide.

On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day respectively I was the guest of the
Governor and the new Commissioner, Mr. Peterswald. I also obtained
permission from the Commissioner to invite my late police comrades to a
social evening at their barracks. That evening is one of the happiest
recollections of my life. During the months I had been with them I had
had no occasion, either as their instructor or while in charge of the
barracks, to find any fault with their work. We had been brought closely
together, and, if at times a few hard words had to be spoken as regards
their duties, they fully recognized that they were merited, and they bore
no personal ill-will. The South Australian Police were then, and have
been since, and are now, an efficient and fine body of men.

On January 1, 1882, I took up my duties at the Military Staff Office. My
mind was made up not to fail, but to give effect to the vision I had, at
the time of my interview with the general, which had pointed to the
Commandant's chair as my future lot.

How it was realized you will learn as you read on.



MILITARY APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS OF
BRIGADIER-GENERAL JOSEPH MARIA GORDON,
C.B.


1874--Joined Military Academy, Woolwich.
1876--Lieutenant, Royal Artillery.
1881--Police Instructor, South Australia.
1882--Staff Instructor, Military Forces, South Australia.
 "  --Lieutenant Commanding South Australian Permanent Artillery.
1883--Captain.
1885--Major.
1892--Lieutenant-Colonel on the Staff.
 "  --Acting Commandant.
1893--Colonel on the Staff.
 "  --Commandant, South Australian Military Forces.
1896--Re-appointed Commandant, under new Defence Act.
1898--Inspector, Warlike Stores, and Military Adviser for Australian
        Colonies, in England.
1899--Returned to South Australia, Commandant.
 "  --Special Service Officer, South African War.
1900--Colonel, Imperial Land Forces.
 "  --Chief Staff Officer to all Overseas Colonial Forces, on
        the Staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Roberts.
 "  --and commanded a Mounted Column, South Africa.
 "  --Brigadier-General, Adelaide.
1901--Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.
1902--Commandant of the State of Victoria.
1905--Commandant of the State of New South Wales.
1912--Chief of the General Staff, Commonwealth Military Forces,
        and First Member of the Military Board of Control, Australia.
      Retired, owing to age limit, 1st August, 1914.



Part II


[Illustration: Lord Hopetoun, Marquis of Linlithgow]



CHAPTER I

SOLDIERING IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA


On January 2, 1882, I attended the staff office and began my new duties.
The general asked me to draw up a short memorandum setting out how best
to utilize my time up to the end of the financial year--June 30. My
special work was the instruction of the Volunteer Companies and
detachments stationed in the country, as apart from the units maintained
within the metropolitan area of Adelaide. It is worth while for you to
study the map of South Australia. In order to carry out these duties very
large tracts of country had to be covered by rail and road.

The amount of money placed on the estimates to cover travelling expenses
was by no means large, so it was very necessary to work out an itinerary
for the half-year, which, while enabling the units to get as much
instruction as possible, would not entail any expenditure beyond that
placed at my disposal. In addition to this, I was in charge of the office
work in connexion with the whole of the Volunteer branch of the military
forces at that time serving in South Australia. With the assistance of a
smart clerk placed at my disposal by the general I was well able to
fulfil these duties to his satisfaction. By the end of the week the
itinerary submitted by me received approval and a fair start was made.

The Colony of South Australia was founded upon lines that differed from
those on which the rest of the Australian Colonies started their
existence. The Chartered Company of South Australia was entrusted by the
British Government with the development of an immense tract of country
stretching right up through the centre of Australia from the south to the
north coast. The Northern Territory came under its administration. This
tract of country approached in size nearly to one-third of the whole of
Australia. South Australia has been called the "Cinderella" of the
Australian Colonies, not only because she was the youngest, but also
because of the character of her constitution. The original settlers had
landed on virgin soil, untainted by previous settlements of convict
prisoners. South Australia had not begun as a Crown Colony. The Chartered
Company had been granted self government from the day that the ships
conveying the original settlers cast their anchors off the shores of
Glenelg, and they held their first official meeting under the spreading
branches of the gum tree whose bent old trunk still marks that historic
spot. It was on December 28, 1836, that the landing took place. Every
year since that date the anniversary of that auspicious day has been set
aside for a national holiday. The now exceedingly prosperous seaside
resort of Glenelg hums each December 28 with joyous holiday makers. A
banquet, presided over by the mayor, and attended by the Governor, the
Premier, members of the Government and Parliament, is held to commemorate
the birthday of the Colony and do honour to the few surviving veteran
colonists who took part in the ceremony of the proclamation under the
shade of the historic gum tree in 1836.

I have just looked up last year's Press account of this ceremony, and I
find the following names mentioned, there are only two dating from
1836--Miss Marianne Fisher and Mrs. M. A. Boneham, who were on that date
still alive.

The capital of South Australia is Adelaide. I have travelled over many
parts of the world, and venture to say I have seen every important city
and town in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. I have no hesitation
in proclaiming Adelaide the best as regards situation, laying out, and
climate. The genuine hospitality of its citizens is well known. Its site
was most carefully selected and surveyed, and the city itself laid out
and planned by a very able Engineer officer, Colonel Light. There was no
hurry, no fuss, when this was done. Colonel Light was given an absolute
free hand, besides ample time in which to complete his work. No better
monument exists to his memory than the city of Adelaide itself. Colonel
Light gave full consideration to the chief requirements of a city. He
appears to have selected from different parts of the world the best
characteristics of their cities and to have embodied them in his
conception and plan of Adelaide. Nothing which could be of benefit in
days to come seems to have been overlooked. The most important item,
perhaps--namely, facility for a perfect system of drainage--had been
evidently kept in view when the site was chosen. In after years, when it
was deemed advisable to instal what is known as the deep drainage system,
the best known up to date, it was found that it could be carried out
without the slightest difficulty, not only throughout the city proper,
but also in the numerous suburbs, which are steadily growing in
population outside the beautiful park lands surrounding it. Practically
Adelaide proper covers one square mile of ground, East Terrace being the
only broken side. Around this square mile lies a belt of park lands
averaging about a quarter of a mile wide. The suburbs commence beyond
these park lands, the oldest and chief one, North Adelaide, being itself
surrounded by a similar belt.

The park lands are indeed the lungs of the city. It is forbidden to erect
any private buildings thereon. No portions of them may be alienated
except for general purposes, such as public institutions, gardens,
exhibitions, racecourses, cricket and football ovals. The rights of the
citizens to their park lands are guarded by impenetrable legal
safeguards. Adelaide has been at times called the "city of the five
squares," also the "city of the twin towers," namely, those of the post
office and Town Hall. In the middle of the centre square marking the
heart of the city stands the statue of Queen Victoria. What city do you
know whose citizens can, after a day of heat, within a few minutes' walk
from their homes be enjoying the advantages of being in the country by
visiting the park lands? I know none other.

Adelaide nestles at the foot of a beautiful range of hills, the highest
point of which, "Mount Lofty," some 2,000 feet high, rises overlooking
the city. Numbers of spurs slope gracefully towards the plain, whose
shores the sea washes--the sea whence the cool breezes blow over the
city. What a glorious sight can be seen from Mount Lofty on a full
moonlight night! Stand on Mount Lofty, look up and revel in the sight of
an Australian summer night's sky, the dark but ethereally clear bluish
dome overhead, myriads of little stars, blinking at the steady brilliant
light of the greater constellations. Look right and left--on all sides
the spurs, covered with misty haze, lose themselves as they merge into
the plains. Look west towards the city and the sea. There beneath the
soft and silvery rays of the moon lies Adelaide and its suburbs, wrapt in
the peace and quiet of the night. Its thousands of street lights shine so
clear that they seem to lie at your feet. You see deep, dark places
amongst the lights; there are the park lands. Then raise your eyes and
look farther west; there is the sea. It shines as a silver mirror. The
soft winds from the west are blowing, and the wavelets, dancing in the
light of the moon, play with her shining rays as they leap on to break
gently on the sandy beach. Many times have I revelled in this sight while
staying with my friend, John Bakewell, whose beautiful home is close to
the top of the mount.

Colonel Light must have also kept in mind the climatic conditions. From
any part of the city a drive of less than a couple of hours will take one
up some fifteen to eighteen hundred feet above the sea. The railways, and
afterwards the advent of the motor-cars, have brought the hills down to
Adelaide and the plain, and the many and beautiful homes now adorning the
crests of the ridges and nestled there might almost be suburbs. See the
lovely foliage of the trees, gathered from all parts of the world. Look
at the gardens, luxuriant in blooms, where the flowers revel in rivalling
each other in beauty and colour and in profusion of blossoms. See the
ripening fruits festooning the trees in the orchards.

It is amongst such surroundings that the fortunate citizens of Adelaide
live, and there it was my privilege to spend--I say so without the
slightest reservation--the happiest years of my life. Would they could
come again.

You are not surprised now, are you, that the citizens of Adelaide fully
recognize the debt of gratitude they owe Colonel Light? His memory they
cherish. His name will ever be an honoured one. His monument, Adelaide
itself, a living one which will last until the day when the last trumpet
shall sound "the assembly." His recompense, the gratitude of her citizens
right up to that day.

The development of the defence system of the colony of South Australia
was as follows: In its early days the British Government maintained a
small garrison of regular soldiers, with their headquarters in Adelaide.
This garrison was at the disposal of the local Government; the Governor
was Commander-in-Chief. It was not anticipated then that troops from
Australia would be required to do battle for the Empire in European wars.
There was little trouble to fear from the aboriginal tribes. History
repeated itself in the case of South Australia. As it had happened in the
older colonies, the aborigines did not give cause for the slightest
anxiety, except on a few occasions when intrepid and daring explorers
went forth into the wild bush country miles and miles away from any
habitation. Barracks were built for the regular garrison. On the date I
started my duties the building was being utilized as an institution for
the poor and infirm. The military staff office and the mounted police
barracks were adjacent to it.

So long as the garrison of regulars remained at Adelaide there was no
particular inducement for the pioneers to burden themselves with the
additional responsibilities of becoming soldiers themselves. Yet have you
ever known or heard of any British settlement, no matter how small, which
did not elect a mayor and raise a volunteer force? When the time came for
the British Government to remove the regular garrison, the South
Australian volunteer force was established. This took place on the
conclusion of the Maori War, which was followed by the peaceful
settlement of the native question in the north island of New Zealand. The
British Government decided to withdraw all regular troops from New
Zealand and Australia then, feeling assured that the colonists, who had
already given the best and strongest evidence and proof of their capacity
to direct the affairs and develop the resources of the immense
territories entrusted into their hands, were more than capable of raising
and organizing military units on lines best adapted to their own economic
and political requirements. Thus it was that at the time the regulars
were withdrawn fairly efficient volunteer forces had come into
existence.

The South Australian Government retained the services of some of the
regular non-commissioned officers as instructors, and of some of the
officers for staff duties. At the time I joined the staff some of these
were still going healthy and strong. Well I remember Major Williams, our
staff quartermaster, Captain Powell, our cavalry instructor,
Sergeant-Majors Ryan and Connell, infantry instructors, two of the best.
They were with me then, they were under me for years; they never wavered
in their zeal, nor had I once, in our long association together, ever to
find fault with them or their work, not even in later days, when the
holders of the public purse set the pruning knives clicking and the
military vote suffered so severely as to necessitate much extra work on
the part of those who remained on the staff.

The growth of the colony steadily continued, never halting, though
occasionally bad seasons checked its progress. In the 'seventies South
Australia was fully established. Adelaide was becoming a rich and
populous city, the capital of a great territory. A stupendous pioneer
work, the overland telegraph right through the continent from Adelaide in
the south to Port Darwin in the north, had been completed, some 2,000
miles through unoccupied country. The Burra-Burra copper mines had given
forth their store of the copper. The Moonta and Wallaroo district was
still richer in that precious metal. Even now there appears to be no end
to the wealth of metal lying below the ground waiting for the pick of the
miner. Millions of acres of wild bush land had been turned into rolling
grass plains on which millions of sheep browsed in peace. In the settled
districts along the Northern Railway line to Port Augusta paddocks after
paddocks of smiling and rustling wheatfields waited for the harvesting
machines each autumn time.

The question of the advisability of establishing the Defence Force of the
colony on a sounder footing was taken up by the Government, which came to
the decision that it would be in the best interests of the forces to
appoint a regular Imperial officer, thoroughly efficient and up to date,
who should be entrusted with the reorganization, administration and
instruction of the Defence Department and the forces under its control.
This decision met with all-round approval. Politicians, Press, members of
the then existing forces and the public generally all concurred. A
request was sent to the Imperial Government, asking for the services on
loan for five years of an officer possessing the qualifications referred
to. The selection fell on Lieut.-Colonel (now Major-General) M. F.
Downes, R.A., C.M.G., who is still alive and well in Melbourne, and whose
constant friendship I have had the privilege of enjoying from the date I
first took up my duties under him. He lost no time on his arrival in
carrying out his instructions, and submitted a scheme for the
Government's approval. The general lines of his scheme were as follows:
The military forces were to consist of (a) an efficient administrative
and instructional staff; (b) a number of regular (permanent) artillery
units to man the forts and maintain them in a state of thorough
efficiency; (c) a force comprising all branches of the service, inclusive
of departmental and non-combatant corps on a partially paid system; (d)
the maintenance of a volunteer force to meet the requirements of outlying
districts; and (e) the encouragement of rifle clubs.

The only part of this scheme which requires some little explanation is
the partially paid force, the backbone of the scheme. General Downes
proposed that instead of the three months' continuous training carried
out by the Militia at home, the partially paid units should be paid by
the day, the maximum number of days being fixed by Act of Parliament.
Eight hours a day or over constituted a full day for purposes of pay; up
to four hours, half a day; and two hours or less, a quarter day. A
proviso existed that a few days of continuous training in camp should
take place each year. The original number of full days in the year first
approved of was, I think, twenty-four, and the rate of pay 5s. a day.
Whole holidays, of which there are a good many in the colonies, were
available for full day, half-holidays and Saturday afternoons for
half-day, and all evenings for quarter-day parades. By the time I joined
the general's staff his system had been in force for over three years,
was giving satisfaction to all concerned, and similar conditions of
service were later on adopted in every one of the Australian colonies.

The itinerary for the half-year ending June 30, 1882, which General
Downes had approved of, kept me continually on the move. The days in
between my journeys in the country were fully occupied with the
compilation of reports and other administrative duties. It was all a new
experience to me. I travelled hundreds of miles. The residents in the
outlying districts offered me every hospitality. Horses, of course, were
always available. Kangaroo and wallaby hunts, shooting and fishing
parties, were arranged to fill up the time in spare days. The wild turkey
is indeed a wary bird; he wants a lot of stalking, especially in the open
salt bush plains. An ox or cow was often made use of to approach this
knowing bird. It was considered an excellent day's sport if we bagged a
brace or two.

Six months sped by. Then came the day when the general informed me that
the Government had approved of the raising of the Regular (Permanent)
Artillery unit. Fort Glanville had been completed, the guns mounted, and
the contractors had handed over the fort to the Government. I remember
the general's kind words to me so well. He told me he was pleased with my
work, that he had reported upon my success as staff instructor to the
volunteer force, that he had recommended me for the position of
Lieutenant Commanding the Permanent Artillery unit, and that the
Government had approved.

So at last I had got appointed to my own branch of the service--once
again I was a gunner. I took up my residence at the fort, where there was
barrack accommodation for about thirty men and quarters for one officer.
Within three weeks I had got together a first-class lot of young men, and
the general came down to inspect us. An efficient gunner is not made in a
day, no, nor even in a year, so that for months I had little time for
play. In addition a most interesting and difficult piece of work came my
way. The fixed defences, recommended by Sir William Jervois and General
Scratchley, consisted of three forts, one not far from the mouth of the
Port River, a second one approximately half-way between the mouth of the
river and Glenelg, and the third one near Glenelg. At that time there
were not sufficient funds to undertake the completion of the whole
scheme. The centre one, Fort Glanville, was considered the most
important, and had therefore been constructed first. The plans for the
other forts had been prepared at the same time as those for Fort
Glanville.

The coast from Glenelg to the mouth of the Port River is very low, a
continuous ridge of sandy dunes fringing a beautiful sea beach from which
the waters recede far at low tide. The mail boats anchored in the open
roadstead; passengers landed at the Semaphore jetty, cargo being placed
in barges and towed up the river to Port Adelaide. It was a most
unsatisfactory arrangement, and many have been the times that I got wet
through when meeting the steamers. In particularly rough weather baskets
had to be used to get on or off the ship. When it was too rough and
dangerous passengers had to be taken on to the next port of call. For
years the question of providing proper harbour accommodation had been
before successive Governments, but the vested interests at Port Adelaide
and other political reasons had successfully blocked the project. About
the beginning of 1882, however, a company was formed, which acquired a
large frontage to the sea from the boundaries of the Semaphore northwards
to the mouth of the Port River. This company obtained the right to
construct a harbour. It was called the Largs Bay Company. It built a
first-class up-to-date hotel on the foreshore, constructed a fine jetty,
and a railway leading into Port Adelaide, with the view of diverting the
landing of the passengers from the old Semaphore Government jetty to
Largs Bay. All this will probably be of little interest to you, except
that it supplies a reason for the influences that were brought to bear on
the Government to construct No. 2 Fort. If the outer harbour was to be
constructed, its protection was necessary. Hence I was instructed by the
general to revise the original plans of the Fort and adapt them to the
new fortress guns, which had superseded those existing at the time of the
construction of Fort Glanville. To plan forts, to obtain the widest scope
for the fire power of their guns, is fascinating work to a gunner. I
revelled in it, and in a few weeks I was ready with the revised plans.
The plans were approved of, and the contract was let for its
construction. Largs Bay Hotel then became my headquarters.

The time came when the building of the Largs Fort was advanced enough to
push on with the mounting of the heavy guns, which on arrival had been
stored at Port Adelaide, some three miles away. The hauling of the guns
and carriages and their assembling and mounting was excellent instruction
to my young gunners. In revising the plans of the Fort I had made
provision for barrack accommodation for a larger body of men.

Fort Glanville has now for some time past been dismantled. The proposed
fort near Glenelg was never built, though two 9.2 inch B.L. guns, which
were imported at great cost as the result of the Russian scare, are still
lying buried in the sand hills on the proposed site.



CHAPTER II

POLO, HUNTING AND STEEPLECHASING


While busy with my professional duties I found time to amuse myself as
well. My friends at the club had put my name up as a member. I was soon
elected. You will doubtless smile when I tell you what happened the first
time I entered the club as a full member. It had been a very hot day. A
visiting team of polo players from the western district of Victoria had
battled hard in the afternoon against the Adelaide team. The good game of
polo in those days was in its infancy in Australia. A few enthusiasts in
Adelaide and some in the wonderfully rich western district of Victoria,
the De Littles, Manifolds, Blacks and others who owned thousands of acres
of as good country as there is in Australia, kept the game going. An
inter-colonial match was arranged. Lance Stirling, now Sir Lancelot, and
President of the Upper House, Arthur Malcolm, a thorough sportsman with a
keen love for practical jokes, and the two brothers Edmund and Charlie
Bowman, were playing for Adelaide. The old veteran, Dave Palmer, St.
Quintin, Para Hood and one of the Manifolds represented the western
district of Victoria.

It was the custom to celebrate all such occasions as polo matches, big
race days, Hunt Club meetings, by holding dinner parties at the club,
often attended by fifty or sixty of the younger members, with a
sprinkling of the older sports, who thoroughly enjoyed the vivacity and
exuberance of the younger men. These were dinners to be remembered, full
of joyous spirits, where many amusing incidents used to occur. As the
hours of the evening grew late and the early morning approached the fun
was at its height. I happened to choose this very particular night for my
first visit to the club after my election as a full member. I knew what
was going on, and, though I thought it better to avoid going there that
night, an irresistible feeling came over me and I succumbed to it. So, at
about eleven o'clock I made my appearance. It had been a long time, in
fact, not since I had left Melbourne, that I had had a real jolly night.
I had held the bit particularly tight between my teeth during my time in
the police, and I did feel inclined for a jollification. I got it all
right. I was greeted all round with the heartiest welcome.
Congratulations on my appointment were showered on me, and in a few
minutes I was as recklessly enjoying the fun as they were. While the
large dining-room was being prepared for an obstacle race cock-fighting
held sway. An amateur orchestra with improvised instruments,
coal-scuttles, pots and pans, hair-combs and other similar objects was
playing in the back court of the club, in the centre of which there was a
fountain. Some enterprising member had offered a prize to anyone who
hopped twice round the narrow parapet, surrounding its basin, without
falling in, while keeping time to the music. It certainly was difficult
to follow the strains of that band. From a very slow and dignified
movement the music suddenly broke into the quickest time that ever any
tune was played. The result was fatal to the hopper. A bath in the
fountain followed. The prize was not won that night. And so the frolic
ran on till the early hours of the morning.

I felt somewhat sorry for myself when I turned up next day at the office.
I didn't feel much inclined for work, and I waited patiently for noon to
strike to make my way to the club and a large whisky and soda. Lunch-time
approached. I began to notice that several of the older members were
looking serious and were not so affable as usual. The secretary asked me
to step into his office. I did so. He, too, was looking serious. He told
me that it had been reported to him that I had on my very first visit, as
a member of the club upset the whole place, that my good old friend Mr
Hamilton, who lived at the club, had complained bitterly of the noise and
disturbance, and was going to ask the committee to cancel my election and
practically have me turned out. He himself had been forced to call a
special meeting of the committee to deal with the matter. I sat, quiet
and sad, by the side of the old fountain. Every now and again one of the
chief offenders of the night before would, as he passed me, sympathize
with me in my trouble. My misery did not last long. Two or three members
of the committee entered the secretary's office. Presently the secretary
beckoned me to his office. Round a table sat three members of the
committee. In the centre of the small table was a magnum of champagne and
a small bucket of ice. In silence the glasses were filled up. The oldest
member of the committee, still as serious as a judge, handed me one. They
each helped themselves. Then he spoke: "We have asked you to come here
this morning"--and then a smile came over their faces--"to welcome you to
the club and to say how happy we are that you have got your appointment."
Thus ended my anxiety, and a few minutes later on the magnum of
champagne. I had certainly had my leg pulled.

In view of my duties in connexion with the construction of the new fort I
moved to the Largs Bay Hotel. Standing by itself mid-way between the two
forts at the shore end of the jetty, the hotel had been completed and
opened with much rejoicing. Mr. Hixon was its first manager. No expense
had been spared by the company in making it not only comfortable, but
luxurious. The winter months were just beginning; there was no attraction
to the seaside, and there were but few residents. The monotony of living
there was varied two days each week by the arrival of the inward and
outward bound mail steamers, that was all. But I was too busy to worry
about pleasure; the training of my men at Fort Glanville and the
supervision of the construction of Fort Largs kept me busy five days of
the week. Saturday and Sunday I devoted to sport and pleasure. The polo
season ended with the autumn; hunting began with early winter.

Had anyone told me in the days when I used to be carried into the boats
on the good old ship _Waipa_ that within a couple of years I would once
again be enjoying playing polo, following the hounds and steeplechasing,
I would not have believed them. Yet so it was. The hunting season coming
on, I at once set to work to get a couple of good mounts. Good Mother
Luck was, as usual, again on my side. A friend of mine, Leonard Browne,
who owned Buckland Park Station, about twenty-five miles from Adelaide,
offered me one of his station horses. We named him Buckland. He was the
soundest and best jumper I ever threw my legs across. He was even better
than "Kate Dwyer." For two seasons he never gave me a fall. I have, for a
wager, put up a sheet of corrugated iron six feet long by two and a half
feet wide, leaning it slanting against a rest, in the middle of a
paddock, and, jumping on Buckland's back, I would ride him straight at
it. He never bothered to go to the right or left of it. The old horse
would take it in his stride and sail over it without rapping it. Wire
fences were child's play to him; he got over them just as easily as he
negotiated post and rails.

Satan, a thoroughbred I bought after a selling race at Morphetville, was
my second string. He had broken down in his near foreleg during the race.
He was only three years old, jet black, sixteen hands one, and as
handsome as paint. I had named him Satan. I had by this time been asked
by the general on several occasions to accompany him as his staff officer
at such times as he was making his inspections, and I thought it would be
well for me to have a decent charger. The general liked a good horse.
Satan was just the horse. I had him for some twelve years. I schooled him
to jump, and he took to it very kindly. Many are the miles of road
travelling he saved me when later on we were busy with field manoeuvres,
by his jumping capacities. Satan was not a "Buckland," but he seldom
failed me. So it came to pass that I was able to enjoy many a good day
with the hounds on Saturday afternoons; then a good dinner, the theatre,
and afterwards a little fun and light-hearted supper and frolic at the
club till the early hours of Sunday morning.

What a crowd of real good sportsmen lived in Adelaide in those days!
Perhaps the oldest and most respected of the professional sports was Mr.
Filgate. Then there was Seth Ferry, who had ridden many a hard race in
his life; Saville, as clever with his pencil as he was as a
trainer--brother-in-law, I think, of Leslie Macdonald, who afterwards
managed Wilson's stud at St. Albans, Victoria, and on Wilson's death
became an owner himself, and a successful one, too. Revenue won the
Melbourne Cup for him, and several other good horses have in late years
carried his colours to the front in first-class races. Leslie Macdonald
is still a very well-preserved man, a first-class sport, and a good
companion. Tom Power was another good trainer, and Johnny Hill, who
trained Auraria, the Melbourne Cup winner. The pride of place amongst
breeders was then taken by Sir Thomas Elder. The stud farm at
Morphetville left nothing to be desired. The renowned chestnut, Gang
Forward, and a big-boned bay horse named Neckesgat were the lords of the
harem. Some twenty brood mares, descendants of the best strains of
thoroughbred stock, had been brought together, and many a good horse
which played about as a foal at Morphetville's beautiful paddocks
afterwards won classical races.

Sir Thomas Elder was at this time fairly on the wrong side of fifty. He
was a bachelor. He and his brother-in-law, Mr. Barr Smith, were the heads
of that well-known firm, Elder, Smith and Co., which was interested in
many important concerns, and, _inter alia_, represented the P. & O. S. N.
Co., mail contractors to Australia. This company's ships called in at
Adelaide once a week, the incoming and outgoing mail in turn. Sir Thomas
usually invited the captain to his house during the steamer's stay in the
roadstead.

They used to tell of him that though he took the greatest pleasure in the
Morphetville stud, he knew but little about horses. Sir Thomas delighted
in taking his guests through the paddocks, his manager close beside him.
"Now there," Sir Thomas would say, "isn't that a fine horse? Now, Mr.
Ellworthy, just tell us all about him." It was generally a her. But when
he came to White Arab stallion Mr. Ellworthy's services were not
required. Sir Thomas's partner, Mr. Robert Barr Smith, might well be
named the Grand Old Man of South Australia. He died at a very ripe old
age--a charming personality, a shrewd man of business, a most generous
citizen whose gifts were munificent, and equalled only by those of his
brother-in-law, Sir Thomas. Mr. Barr Smith's principal home, Torrens
Park, some six miles from Adelaide, situated at the foot of the hills,
was always open house to his friends. I can never forget the many happy
days I spent there, and who, of the many who were privileged to be their
friends, can ever forget the charming personality, the sweet ways, and
the generous nature of Mrs. Barr Smith?

My pen runs away with me when I think of all my kind friends in those
happy days. But let me not forget one family, the Bakers of Morialta. The
Hon. John Baker was one of the first citizens of Adelaide to appreciate
the value of the Mount Lofty ranges as a home during the summer months.
He took up some hundreds of acres in what was at that time bush country
up the heights to the north of Mount Lofty. I do not know whether
Norton's Summit, in the neighbourhood of which he purchased the land, was
so named when he built his comfortable home at Morialta. The entrance
gates into that beautiful domain are just past the village which bears
the name Norton's Summit. The Hon. John Baker was a politician, but he
was also a sportsman and a horse breeder. I think I am right in stating
that he bred that good horse Don Juan, which started the "King" of
Australian bookmakers, Joe Thompson, in his triumphant career. Not to
know Joe Thompson in those days in Australia meant not to know Australia.
He was the leviathan of the turf, or at least, he became so, and a keen
sportsman he was, too. Of all sports horse racing has always the pride of
place in Australia, though others flourish there.

To Mrs. John Baker, Mr. Baker's widow, I owe a deep debt of gratitude.
From the time I first arrived in Adelaide she made me welcome at
Morialta. Her eldest son, who later on became Sir Richard Baker,
President of the Legislative Council of South Australia, was a good sport
and a true friend of mine up to the time of his death.

I believe that it was his father who established the first pack of hounds
in South Australia. The kennels were at Morialta. At the time I am
writing of, Allen Baker, a younger brother of Sir Richard, was Master. I
was his best man on his marriage day. I remember it so well, though it
was so long ago. He was quite nervous about the whole thing, as he called
it, the evening before. I tried to cheer him up. He told me that he
particularly wished the clergyman to cut the service as short as
possible, and I was on no account to let him "make a speech." I duly
warned the clergyman in the morning, and he took the hint. I fortified
Allen with a small bottle of champagne just before the ceremony, which
took place at the church at Mitcham. He just got through it, and, as soon
as he got out of the church, he jumped up into the four-wheeled dogcart
that was waiting for him and, taking hold of the reins, with his pretty
bride beside him, drove away as happy as a bird. His nervousness had
disappeared.

Perhaps the most enjoyable event of the year in Adelaide was the occasion
when the Hunt Club Races took place. The meeting was held at the close of
the season, and a right merry meeting it was too. It was a huge picnic,
winding up with dinner and theatre parties, dances, and good old suppers.
I had nothing good enough to win any race. Buckland was a sure jumper,
but not fast enough. Satan's foreleg would not stand training. However,
one never knows one's luck in steeplechasing, so I sent Buckland to
Leslie Macdonald to be trained, and promised myself a real ding-dong
jumping day over the big sticks at Morphetville--and I had it, too. The
two principal races were the Drag Cup and the Hunt Club Cup--the former
about two miles and three-quarters, the latter about four miles. A maiden
steeple, a hurdle race and a hunters' flat race filling up the programme.
The best horse at the meeting that year was named Albatross, a jet black,
curiously enough, and the property of a good sport, Mick Morris, a
Government stock inspector. Albatross had been heavily backed to win the
double, the Drag and Hunt Club Cups. I think it was Bob Turner who rode
him in the Hunt Club Cup. He had bad luck opposite the grand stand, for
he struck the wall hard the second time round and unseated Bob. The race
was over as far as Albatross was concerned, and so were the double wagers
as far as Mick Morris and his friends were concerned. But Mick and his
pals meant to get their money again by backing Albatross straight out for
the Drag Cup. Bob Turner had been badly shaken by his fall, and was
unable to ride again. Morris asked me to ride him. I had already ridden
old Buckland in the Maiden Steeple and Hunt Club Cups some six miles,
without being near winning, so I thought I would oblige Morris.

Unfortunately, Albatross being top-weight had a heavy impost to carry,
some 13 st. 4 lb. I rode only about 11 st. 6 lb. in those days, so I had
to put up some two stones dead weight. The saddle was a heavy,
old-fashioned hunting one, and taking it for granted all was well I
jumped on Albatross's back in the saddling paddock and jogged quietly
down to the starting point. There were some eight starters. Down went the
flag, away we went, and I took Albatross to the front. He was a fine
jumper, but he had one fault; he was inclined to run down his fences, and
squirm a little when jumping. We went once round the course. We were
coming to the wall for the second time just in front of the grand stand
and Albatross was moving like a bird. I let him just "gang his ain gait";
nothing behind me could force the pace. He led the field easily, and I
felt more than confident that the race was mine. But you never can tell.
He came to the wall. He had to shorten his stride in taking it, which
made him squirm more than usual. I felt something go; it was my left
stirrup leather. The clip holding it to the saddle had been left open,
and the wrench of my left leg as Albatross jumped had pulled the leather
out. I managed to keep the stirrup iron hanging on to my foot with the
end of the leather trailing on the ground as we galloped on. I had hopes
I might recover the leather, and by holding on to it with my left hand
make some use of it. It was not to be. In my efforts to pick up the
leather I had to slow Albatross down. This enabled the other horses to
close up to me. There was only one thing to do--let the stirrup go and
set Albatross sailing again. This I did. At the next fence--a stiff log
one--I was nearly jerked clean off. I had forgotten I was riding with
only one stirrup, and, as Albatross swerved in jumping, I all but fell
off on the near side. It struck me that if I did not get rid of the other
stirrup I would probably be thrown soon, so I got rid of it. I now found
myself with about a mile and a half to go, some ten real stiff fences to
negotiate, and riding without stirrups. I quite well remember my memory
harking back for a moment to the old days of the riding school at
Woolwich when old Dan, our riding master, used to call out, "Cross
stirrups," and "Take care" and "'Old on." Well, it was a case of "'olding
on" on Albatross for the rest of that journey. It was soon over.
Albatross sailed along. I couldn't hold him, but kept in on the course.
Young Farr on Peter came after me. We raced together at the last fence.
Over we went; both landed safely, but I was beat. Farr, sitting
comfortably on Peter, led me past the post. The only consolation I had
was that I had not been responsible for saddling Albatross. My good old
friend Michael Morris, though he had lost his money, thought I had put up
a real good fight, and gave me a present of a handsome hunting-crop to
remind me of my ride on that good horse Albatross. We had a glorious
winding up to that day. The Hunt dinner at the club, a large theatre
party, and a dance. Indeed, I was glad when I got to bed at the end of it
all.

On the close of the hunting season followed the polo season. It was
arduous work to play polo in the heat of the summer, but it could not be
helped. The first polo ground was in the park lands inside the Victoria
race-course. Now the Polo Club owns a clubhouse and a tip-top ground not
far from the city. Ponies were rather difficult to get in those days, and
when you did get them there was very little opportunity to train them. It
was with difficulty we managed to get one practice game a week with full
sides. Several of the members of the Polo Club lived in the country, and
it was difficult for them to spare the time to come into town for a game;
besides, it was a fairly expensive game. Still, we battled away against
all difficulties, and the game of polo was kept going in South Australia
while the richer and older colonies of New South Wales and Victoria
practically dropped it.

Of recent years polo has become a favourite pastime throughout Australia,
especially in many country districts, and after the War will doubtless
become one of its national games. At the close of the hunting season I
had turned out Buckland and Satan for a long spell, and picked up four or
five ponies. I got some stables put up at Fort Glanville. The splendid
beach at low tide afforded an excellent practice ground. The season moved
along all well; we had only one severe accident. The game in those days
began by placing the ball on the ground half-way between the goals. A
player from each side was selected to gallop at a given signal from the
goal posts to the ball. On the particular afternoon of the accident the
two players selected were Tom Barr Smith and George Hawker. By some
accident the two rode straight at each other; the ponies met head to
head. There was quite a loud report. It was the cracking of the skull of
one of the ponies. The pony had to be shot, but no particular harm was
done to the riders. As a result of this accident it was decided to alter
the rules of the game. This was done, and there was no more wild
galloping to start the game. After trying several ponies, I was
successful in getting hold of two real good ones. One was a light,
cream-coloured mare, descended from a Welsh Taffy imported sire. I called
her "Creamie." She was a flyer. The other, a well-bred little bay, which
I named "Kitty," I bought from the Governor's A.D.C., Captain Williams.

The polo season closed with a race meeting, just as the hunting season
did. The chief event was the Polo Club Cup. I felt fairly confident that
I had that year's cup in my pocket. For some six weeks before the races I
had sent Creamie and Kitty to Mr. Ellworthy at Morphetville, who had
kindly undertaken to supervise their training. As the result of trials
Creamie proved much the faster. Not only that, but she started breaking
watch-records. The day of the races came. I had promised Allen Baker, the
Master of the Hounds, to have the mount on Creamie. A real good
sportsman, Stephen Ralli, was to ride Kitty. I was too heavy myself to
tackle the weights. Creamie was made favourite at even money. Kitty
started at 20 to 1. Off they went to the post. I think Lance Stirling was
starter. There were about eighteen starters. Creamie was next but two to
the rails. I had backed her for quite a lot of money, and had told all my
friends that I could not see what other pony could beat her. They all put
their money on. I had not a sixpence on Kitty. Well, down went the flag.
I was in the grand stand with my glasses fixed on the starting point. The
first thing I saw was one of the riders turning a somersault in the air.
It was Allen Baker. I of course at once lost all interest in the race. I
put down my glasses. Down the course came Creamie leading the field
riderless. Then I heard the shouting: "Kitty! Kitty wins!" and before I
realized it, she had won. Yes, Stephen Ralli had won the cup on Kitty for
me. I had lost £300.

My recollections of the introduction of cash betting, as opposed to the
system of booking bets "on the nod" in the betting ring on Australian
race-courses, are as follows: Not long after my first appointment in
Adelaide the annual big racing meeting was held by the Adelaide Racing
Club at their course in the park lands, east of the city. Large numbers
of the best-known bookmakers from the other colonies were as usual in
attendance. Their voices were hardly what could be called musical. As a
rule each one gave his own voice some peculiar note, so that their
would-be clients could spot their whereabouts in the ring. The result of
this chorus was unique as a musical phenomenon.

I think it was the Cup Day. It was fine overhead and hot, yet a charming
day. The race for the Cup was next, and the ring was settling down to
business. Suddenly, amidst the general uproar, a fine-sounding voice,
true and melodious, was heard intoning what at first sounded to most
people a church hymn. But it was not a church hymn. It was a new method
of shouting out the odds, attracting attention to an exceedingly
well-got-up gentleman in a grey frock suit, patent leather boots, white
spats, grey gloves, tall white hat, and a flower in his buttonhole. A new
bookmaker had made his appearance. He informed the crowds in song that he
betted "only for cash," not "on the nod"--"I pay on the winner,
immediately after the race." It only wanted an organ to accompany him. It
was quite amusing to watch the remainder of his brethren in the ring. At
first they looked about for the songster; then they laughed; and then set
to work fairly to howl him down. It was no use; he managed somehow to
make his dulcet notes heard. The new arrival before the end of the day
was well known. His experiment had succeeded; it had been a first-class
advertisement, and he gathered in many clients.

He left Adelaide for the sister States. Some time afterwards an amusing
story went the round of sporting circles. Whether true or not I know not.
Here it is. The committee of one of the most important bookmakers' clubs
in Australia had occasion to adjudicate on a charge laid against him for
conduct which it was stated rendered him an undesirable member of the
club, to the honorary membership of which he had been admitted. The
committee, after inquiry, decided to request him to see them, inform him
of the charge that had been made against him, ask him if he wished to
refute it; if not, it was their intention to cancel his membership. His
answer was reported to be as follows: "The charges made against me
practically accuse me of behaving like a blackguard. Well, I can be a
blackguard--probably a bigger one than any of you are or can be, but
however that may be, there is one thing I can be, if I like, but which
none of you can ever be, and that is a gentleman. Good morning; I am
returning to England to-morrow."



CHAPTER III

THE RUSSIAN SCARE AND ITS RESULTS


Sir Frederick Sargood had been appointed Minister of Defence in Victoria.
He had evidently been impressed with the success that had attended the
experiment made by the South Australian Government when they had decided
to ask the Imperial Government to lend them the services of a regular
officer to command their local troops. He decided upon a similar course
of action, but he went a good deal further than the South Australian
Government had done. He was determined to do the thing well, and he did
it. He asked the Imperial Government for the loan of officers to fill the
following positions: (a) Commandant; (b) Adjutant-General; (c) D.A.G. for
Cavalry and Infantry; (d) D.A.G. for Artillery; (e) O.C. Engineers; (f)
Chief Instructors for Cavalry, Infantry, Artillery and Engineers.

Amongst the senior officers selected by the War Office for these posts
were the following: Colonel Disney, R.A., Lieutenant-Colonel Brownrigg,
Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, R.A., Major Fellowes and Captain Ernest
Rhodes, R.E., brother of Cecil Rhodes.

It was rumoured at the time that Sir Frederick had come to the conclusion
that he had undertaken rather a serious contract in importing such a lot
of officers. How was he to protect himself against such an array of
military talent? He was a most enthusiastic volunteer. He was besides a
very able business man. All Australians know the firm of which he was one
of the partners, Butler, Sargood and Co. His military knowledge, however,
was naturally very limited, and no doubt he felt it would be difficult
for him to battle against the more than heavy demands which the new
military directorate would probably make upon the Government. It
happened, however, that General Downes' period of service with the South
Australian Government was approaching its end, and Sir Frederick hit upon
the happy idea of securing him for the position of Secretary to his
Department. The general's ripe experience in the conduct of the South
Australian forces and the success that had attended his efforts in that
respect rendered him well qualified to give good advice to the Minister
in charge of the Department. General Downes accepted the appointment.

At the time of the Imperial officers' arrival in Melbourne a Charity ball
was being held. The wives of the new officers bought tickets, not with
the intention of going themselves, as they thought it was just an
ordinary charity affair which would not be patronized by the best people.
So, instead of going, they gave their tickets to their servants and sent
them. If they had taken the trouble to ask about the ball they would have
been told that these charity balls were attended by the nicest of the
nice--and they would, of course, have been there themselves. The lady
correspondents of the society journals were naturally awaiting their
arrival as excellent subjects for their pens, and were not slow in
discovering the absence of the good ladies as well as the presence of
their servants. Naturally they felt indignant. The fact was soon
whispered among the guests, and some were unkind enough to look upon the
incident almost in the light of a personal insult. Society was quite
disturbed, and hints of boycotting the offenders were spread about.
However, full explanations were quickly made, and the incident was
forgotten.

Amongst the recommendations made by Sir William Jervois, who had left
South Australia early in 1882, and had been succeeded by Sir William
Robertson, brother of Sir Hercules Robinson, was the acquisition of an
up-to-date gunboat as a beginning of a limited but efficient naval unit
for the defence of South Australia. At this time the Colonies of Victoria
and Queensland had started naval units of their own. Victoria had quite,
for those days, an imposing little fleet, the flagship of which was the
old _Cerberus_. The Colony of New South Wales had not deemed it necessary
to start a fleet on its own. Sydney was the base and headquarters of the
Imperial warships then attached to the Australian station. Consequently
they felt more than fully protected from the point of view of naval
defence. The South Australian Government gave effect to Sir William
Jervois's recommendation, and a gunboat, christened the _Protector_,
built by the firm of Sir William Armstrong, Newcastle-on-Tyne, was
selected, and left England on its outward-bound voyage. The citizens of
Adelaide were much interested in its arrival. This vessel, which was
still in commission two years ago, served for many years as a training
ship for the members of the Naval Reserve. On the occasion of the taking
over of the Defence Forces of the several colonies by the Commonwealth
Government, the captain of the _Protector_ became the senior naval
officer of the Naval Defence Forces. Captain William Cresswell was
afterwards appointed First Member of the Naval Board of Control in the
Commonwealth, promoted to admiral, and knighted. Curiously enough, he
spoke Spanish. He had been born in Gibraltar, not far from Jeréz. His
sister was for many years head of the Post Office, in fact,
Postmistress-General at the Rock.

Sir William Jervois's son, my Woolwich mate, had taken on the duties of
Adjutant-General on the departure of his father. He was completing the
term of his engagement at the time when General Downes left for
Melbourne. Pending the arrival of Lieut.-Colonel J. F. Owen, R.A., he was
acting Commandant, and I became, for the time being, acting
Adjutant-General.

It was then we had a surprise. One morning the look-out station people at
Glenelg sighted columns of heavy smoke, evidently issuing from large
craft making towards Glenelg from the entrance to the Gulf. The fact was
communicated to the shipping and customs authorities at Port Adelaide.
They replied that they had no notification of the intended arrival of any
steamers, and none were expected. The people at Glenelg became quite
interested, if not excited, and flocked to the jetty and the Esplanade.
The excitement spread to Adelaide, and many curious people took train for
the seaside suburb. After a time the hulls of three large vessels
gradually appeared above the horizon. Many were the telescopes directed
at them, and very considerable the surprise when it was seen that the
vessels in question were men-of-war, but not British. There was nothing
to be done but to await their arrival. In due time they arrived off
Glenelg and anchored close where the mail steamers usually lay when
calling there. They were flying the Russian flag. All was bustle and
excitement when they were seen lowering their boats.

In the meantime the customs authorities had reached Glenelg in their
steamboat from Port Adelaide, and were awaiting instructions from the
Government as to what action they were to take. They were instructed to
carry on as usual, in the same way as when any foreign men-of-war visited
the port. The Customs House officials, accompanied by the Port Health
Officer, proceeded to the flagship. They were met on board with all due
courtesy, and the admiral expressed his wish for permission to land and
pay his respects to the Governor and the Government of South Australia at
such time as it would be convenient to them to receive him. On the return
of the Customs House boat the Health Officer reported that all was well
with the ships, and that he had granted them pratique. The admiral's
message was as soon as possible conveyed to the Government. His request
was, of course, acceded to, and a representative from the Premier's
office sent on board to place himself in touch with the admiral. The
official visits duly took place during the afternoon. What reasons, if
any, were given by the admiral for his sudden appearance off the coast of
South Australia I never was told. As far as I know they were never made
public, if given. Where had they come from?

It soon became evident that the officers and crews were to be treated
with the ceremony and courtesy it was customary to offer to distinguished
visitors. The admiral had given it out that the visit would be a short
one. There was to be an official dinner at Government House, the usual
reception by the Premier and members of the Government, and official
calls; and the residents of Glenelg decided to hold a ball in their
honour. Great was the excitement, especially amongst the young ladies, at
the prospect of meeting such a large number of naval officers. Previous
to their departure the admiral and officers of the ship gave an official
dinner and an afternoon reception to the chief residents. Then up went
the anchors and away they steamed. Where they were going was not made
known to the public, as far as I know. This unusual event took place
early in 1885.

While the visit lasted the excitement attending it had kept the people's
minds fully occupied, but after the departure of the ships people began
to think what would happen if, instead of coming in a friendly capacity,
the men-of-war had arrived with hostile intentions. To put it very
shortly and to the point, it would have meant practically the surrender
of Adelaide. There were no fortifications at Glenelg. Though the guns on
board the ships had not sufficient range to shell the city itself, the
distance being too great, yet they could in a short time have played
havoc with Glenelg, and it may be doubted whether in those days the
Government and people would have preferred the destruction of Glenelg to
coming to some terms with the enemy. This gave rise to much thought.

Immediately afterwards what became popularly known as "the Russian Scare"
took place in Australia. Our Government instructed the acting Commandant,
Major Jervois, to mobilize our military forces and to take up their war
positions without delay. They further gave instructions to make a final
selection of the site for the construction of the Fort near Glenelg, the
immediate preparation of the plans, and the acquisition of the land
required. A cable was dispatched to our military adviser in London, then
General Harding-Stewart, to place at once on order the armament for the
fort, which it had been decided should consist of two 9.2 and two 6-inch
breech-loading guns, mounted on hydro-pneumatic gun-carriages, the latest
up-to-date ordnance approved of by the home government for coastal
defence purposes throughout the Empire.

The mobilization was duly carried out. A couple of days after the
concentration of the forces had been completed, and the night before the
arrival of our new Commandant, I met with a severe accident. An infantry
camp had been formed at Glenelg to protect the main road to Adelaide.
Major Jervois had arranged for an alarm to take place early the next
morning with a view of testing how far the commanding officers of the
several zones of the defence had grasped their respective duties. The
Governor had paid a visit to the infantry camp at Glenelg that afternoon,
and had remained to take a light evening meal at the officers' mess. It
was a stirring time. Jervois and myself were the only two staff officers
available. We had the assistance of three or four of the instructional
officers. Within three days the whole of the members of our forces were
assembled at the war stations as provided for in our Defence Scheme,
covering the probable enemy landing places from Glenelg along the coast
to the mouth of the Port River and the approaches to the city.

After satisfying myself that the officers entrusted with the defence of
the Glenelg zone understood their instructions for the alarm, I started
off riding down the coast towards Fort Glanville, intending to visit the
commanding officers in charge of the other sections, with the same object
in view. Our horses, my own and those of my orderly officer, had been put
up at the Old Pier Hotel at Glenelg. It was dark when we mounted, and,
knowing the townships well, I cut across several vacant allotments
instead of following the road. Suddenly I felt--as I was cantering across
one of these allotments--as if the devil himself had gripped my face. I
remembered no more till about a couple of hours afterwards my senses came
back to me. My face was quite a picture. Some person had put up a
clothes-line during the afternoon across the vacant allotment. The
clothes-line happened to be a piece of fencing wire. I had cantered right
into it and it caught me just above the upper lip and below my nose. That
I have, since that day, been blessed with a nose of my own is quite a
miracle. I can assure you that when I got hold of the tip of it I could
lift it quite easily from my face.

Some kind doctor attended to it at the Pier Hotel, and, with the aid of
many stitches and good old sticking-plaster, dressed the wound
temporarily. The rest of my face was swollen and I was sore all over from
bumping the hard ground, as I fell, when I was dragged backwards off my
horse by the wire. However, I was much too anxious to get on with my work
to cry "Halt." I couldn't ride, but I ordered a buggy from the hotel and
moved on. As I reached the commanding officers of the successive sections
along the coast I created somewhat of a sensation. I was not surprised. I
presented a sorry figure, at any rate as far as my face was concerned.
However, I satisfied myself that they had mastered their instructions,
and that they would carry them out to the best of their ability.

When nearing Fort Glanville I left the main road, which ran just inside
the sand-dunes and was in a very bad condition, for the beach. The beach
was good going. Arriving close to the fort I struck inland by a track
between the dunes. I felt happier; in a few minutes I would reach the
Fort. But my troubles were not over by any means. The young fellow who
was driving me was a stranger to those parts. I was not sure myself of
the track we were taking. It was the custom to spread seaweed on the
track over places where the sand was too loose and the going too heavy.
As we moved along it we came to a particularly dark spot. The lad
hesitated to drive on. I couldn't see very well. I took the dark spot to
be a patch of seaweed, and told him to go on. We had taken the wrong
track. It was not a patch of seaweed, but a big dark hole, and into it
horse, buggy and our precious selves fell. Extricating ourselves from the
mess, satisfying ourselves that no bones were broken, shaking out the
sand from our ears and hair and off my poor nose and face, I walked off
to the Fort to get assistance for my mate and the horse and buggy. I
hadn't been long in my quarters when the bugles sounded the alarm, and
the commanding officer of the troops attached to the Fort, who had been
kindly attending to my numerous bruises, left me to carry out his duty. I
got my old Irish servant to mix me a strong whisky toddy (I don't
remember ever in my life having a drink which I enjoyed so much) and went
to bed.

I was glad to hear next morning from Major Jervois, who came to see me,
that the commanding officers had successfully carried out the task set
them. He was much amused at my personal appearance. Two days afterwards
Colonel Owen arrived. I was patched up enough to be able to ride, and
accompanied him on his first tour of inspection. He had the unique
experience of arriving in his command and finding the whole of the forces
of the colony assembled together in the vicinity of his headquarters,
Adelaide. Two more days and the scare was over. The troops dispersed to
their respective districts.

It was about this time that an event happened which greatly agitated the
social life of Adelaide. The wife of a Victorian country resident had
arrived in Adelaide and had taken a house in the city. She was
good-looking and charming. She appeared to be quite well off. Her house
became a pleasant resort. She entertained well. She delighted in giving
excellent supper parties. She was quite a Bohemian. Her invitations
included young and old, married and single. After a short time she told
her friends that she had got divorced from her husband and that she
intended to make Adelaide her home for a time.

One of the leading young men fell in love with her--or at least thought
he did--and went so far, she gave out, as to ask her to be his wife. It
was evident to those who knew him well that if he had asked her to be his
wife it had probably been after one of the jolly supper parties. At any
rate, if he had done so, he soon repented and told her so. She was not to
be denied, so she took steps to bring a breach of promise action against
him. Not content with this, she set to work to worry him and his friends
as well. In fact, she succeeded in worrying him so much that one day, in
an ill-advised moment, he made a complaint to the police to the effect
that the lady in question really kept a house to which they should pay
special attention. The police had to take the matter up, but they found
it difficult to get sufficient evidence to prove their case. Finally, one
night, after one of the supper-parties, a hansom cab driver who had been
ordered to call for one of the guests arrived at the house drunk and
created a scene. It was the opportunity for the police and they laid a
charge against her.

The case came on before the court. Evidence was given against her, and
she was called upon for her defence. She quietly told the magistrate that
as she had been charged with keeping a certain house she would ask for
time to prepare her defence. She further said she was preparing a list of
names of the married men, well known in Adelaide, who had often been her
guests at her supper-parties, and that she felt sure that when the
magistrate read the names on the list he would never convict her. We
bachelors had a joyful time at the expense of the married men. As the
case had been adjourned for three days, there was a long interval of
suspense for many of them, wondering whether their name would appear in
that "black list." The morning came when the case was to be resumed. To
the surprise of all and the extreme joy of the married men in particular,
she failed to appear in court. Inquiries were made by the police, and it
was found that she had left Adelaide the previous evening. Who had made
it worth her while to disappear was never known. She had, however, made
out the list, which the Police Commissioner received that afternoon by
post. I got a look at it myself afterwards privately, and I was wicked
enough, I suppose, to be sorry that it wasn't published.



CHAPTER IV

THE SOUDAN CONTINGENT


A few months later Mrs. Barr Smith proposed to open the new theatre and
ballroom which had been added to Torrens Park. Private theatricals and
dances were to be the chief attraction. She wished me to take the leading
part in the opening play and coach the others. I knew that I would have
to give more time, than I could really spare, to make it a success.
Further, there was always the possibility of some untoward event
happening which at the last moment might prevent me from taking my part
and probably breaking up the show. My scruples were, however, overcome by
my hostess's kind insistence. We set to work, and all went happily until
three nights before the date on which _The Jacobite_ was to make its
first appearance. The first dress rehearsal was to take place. Clothed in
our beautiful garments we had sat down, a merry party, to dinner. On the
whole I was fairly satisfied with my company, and felt that with a couple
more dress rehearsals it was probable that the show would be a success.

At that very moment Nemesis was ringing the hall bell. In a few minutes
the butler informed me that an orderly wished to see me. In the hall he
handed me an official letter, marked "Urgent and Confidential." I opened
it. I have never had such a surprise in all my life. The document was a
dispatch from Lieutenant Hawker, the officer in charge of the men at the
Fort Largs, stating that he had given some orders to the men that
afternoon and that the majority of them had refused to obey.

Here was a pretty kettle of fish! From the very day of the raising of the
force some three years before there had not been a single instance of
insubordination of any sort. Occasional cases of overstaying leave had
been about the most serious offence that had taken place. And, lo and
behold! without any warning, without the slightest suspicion that
anything was wrong, here was actually a "mutiny." To leave Torrens Park
at once and say good-bye to _The Jacobite_ was my duty. I gave the butler
a message for Mrs. Barr Smith, and she kindly came out of the dining-room
into one of the drawing-rooms. Then I showed her the dispatch. I tried to
convince her that it would be better not to postpone the performance, but
to get somebody else to take up my part. As all arrangements had been
completed, and the opening night was so close at hand, she thought we
would get on all right if I only promised to turn up on the opening
night.

There was a feeling at the back of my head that I had been devoting more
time than I should have done to play. Had I not made up my mind when
General Downes had told me of my first appointment to the staff that
nothing should divert my thoughts from my work? The fact that the social
obligations I had undertaken would necessitate frequent absences from my
command should have weighed with me more. Such were my thoughts. Then
there came back vividly to my mind some words of advice which my kinsman
General Gordon, of Khartoum fame, had given me when I first joined at
Woolwich. Talking to me one day, he told me that there were three golden
rules of life which if adhered to would lead on to success. These rules
were, first: "_Never allow your pleasure to interfere with your duty_."
Second: "Never allow your duty to interfere with your pleasure." Third:
"Never try to force a woman to give you anything more than she wishes." I
thought of these things and decided that no matter how much annoyance I
caused my good friends, there was to be no more playtime for me till I
could indulge in it without any qualms of conscience as to the fulfilment
of my duties. I succeeded in inducing one of the professors of the
university to come to the rescue, which he bravely did, and the
performance took place without me.

I reached Fort Largs late that night after a twenty-mile drive. I had
made up my mind to leave the men alone till the early morning, when as
soon as the time came for the early morning parade I would order them
myself to fall in. They were all in the large barrack-room ready dressed
when the time came for the usual early parade. I walked into the room
accompanied by the lieutenant and the sergeant-major, and called out
"Fall in, men"; they went straight out on to the parade ground and fell
in. The back of the trouble was broken straightway. It was evident to me
that its cause was in a misunderstanding, probably of a personal
character, between the lieutenant and some of the older men, who had
induced the younger soldiers to join them in the action they had taken,
as they afterwards informed me, so as to bring matters to a head. The
incident was inquired into and the evidence fully convicted the two
ringleaders. They were tried by court-martial, sent to prison and
dismissed from the force. So ended the first and last case of
insubordination that took place during the many years that I commanded
the Permanent Artillery. However, the event had been of use to me, as it
had reminded me of General Gordon's golden rules.

The action taken by Sir Frederick Sargood in importing the Imperial
officers to Victoria was resulting in a very considerable improvement in
the military forces of that colony. They were following on the same lines
as South Australia as regarded their constitution; a very much higher
standard of instruction, a better supervision of detail, and competent
inspection contributed to this much-desired result.

Let us see what was going on in New South Wales. The Officer Commanding
the Forces was Major-General Richardson, who had been in the regular
forces, had retired, and had been appointed Commandant some years
previously. The organization of the military forces of "the Mother
Colony" was being brought into line with that of Victoria and South
Australia. The other three colonies, Queensland, Western Australia and
Tasmania, had been gradually following the lead given by the others,
though, as in New South Wales, they had not as yet imported Imperial
officers to take command.

Towards the close of 1884 the course of our campaign in Egypt was running
anything but smoothly; in fact, the military situation was very serious
and critical. Throughout the Empire a strong feeling of apprehension was
rife, but it was left to New South Wales, the Mother State, to be the
first of England's children to make an offer of material help. Who first
conceived the idea is not recorded, but the credit of crystallizing and
giving it effect belongs to the late the Hon. John B. Dalley. This was
not actually the first occasion on which Australians had offered to fight
alongside English regular troops, for, at the time of the Maori War in
New Zealand, volunteers from New South Wales and Victoria had raised
units and joined in the fighting. But such action on their part had been
looked upon as only natural. New Zealand was their next-door neighbour,
really a sister colony, and it was to the best interests of Australia
that she should be freed from the native menace.

The offer to send troops from the southern to the northern hemisphere was
quite another affair. The thought which inspired that offer could not
have arisen from any feeling of selfish interest. It was really the
outward sign of the affection and love for the Old Country and home
inherited by the colonists. Indeed, the rising Australian generation
realized what a glorious and magnificent heritage the Mother Country had
so generously and freely entrusted to the care of the early pioneers,
their forbears. From the day when the first Englishman set foot in
Australia and the first settlement was founded, right up to the year
1884, when the offer was made, no enemy had ever threatened Australia's
shores.

Australians rejoice that theirs is the only "virgin" continent in this
world. From the day of its birth there had not been a drop of blood shed
on its soil in the strife of war. No other country can make so glorious a
boast. Yet it is true. It is not to be wondered at when, for the first
time for a considerable number of years, a British army was reported to
be in peril, Australia offered to share with them the burden and heat of
the day. The British Government received the offer in the spirit in which
it was made. It conveyed to Australians that it fully recognized the
feelings of patriotism and unselfishness which had prompted the offer,
and accepted it. A contingent composed of one battery of field artillery,
one battalion of infantry and a field ambulance, was organized and
equipped, and left Sydney Harbour in white troopships, carrying with them
the best wishes of all.

As a result of communications between the South Australian and the New
South Wales Governments it was decided to send two of the transports via
Melbourne and Albany, with a promise that they would call at Adelaide if
time permitted. Later on we heard that the troops would divert from the
direct route, Melbourne to Albany, and would pass through Backstairs
Passage into the Gulf of St. Vincent, continuing their journey through
Investigator's Straits. They would have no time to steam up St. Vincent's
Gulf to Adelaide, but they would "cry a halt" for a couple of hours,
taking shelter in the smooth waters of Hogg's Bay on the north shores of
Kangaroo Island.

This was as much as they could do to fulfil their promise within their
scheduled time. We arranged to proceed to Hogg's Bay in the _Protector_
to wish them good speed. The Government issued invitations for this
historic trip. Then the news arrived that the troopships were timed to
reach Hogg's Bay at one o'clock in the morning. Fortunately the moon was
nearly at its full. The _Protector_, with its valuable cargo on board,
including myself, left Port Adelaide in the afternoon. The Government had
taken on board several tons of fruits then in season, as well as a
plentiful supply of fireworks. The worthy commander of the _Protector_
arranged the speed of the ship so as to reach Hogg's Bay just prior to
the hour at which the troopships were expected. It was a glorious night,
a calm sea. Presently the two white troopships loomed up in the offing,
entered the shelter of the bay, and dropped anchor. There were no gun
salutes, of course, but from the decks of the _Protector_ soared hundreds
of rockets. With bands playing the _Protector_ made a tour round the
anchored troopships. Cheers upon cheers rose from her decks, and, before
their echoes could be heard, a thousand voices on the troopships cheered
in response. Immense flares on shore lit up the sky, and the calm surface
of the sea seemed as if on fire. It was an inspiring sight, and one not
to be forgotten. The tour round the ships being concluded, boats were
lowered from the _Protector_ and visitors conveyed to the troopships.

Farewells took place. Though tempered by the personal regrets of those
who were being left behind, their good wishes for their more fortunate
comrades were genuine and straight from their hearts. One last toast,
"Her Majesty the Queen"; one last song, "Auld Lang Syne." Back to our
boats and on board the _Protector_. The noise of the windlasses weighing
the anchors was heard as the last of us reached the _Protector_'s decks.
The troopships' whistles resounded deep on the midnight air. The engines
pulsed; the troopships moved and gathered speed. The strains of "Rule
Britannia" filled our ears, then ceased, as the white ships, phantom-like
in the haze, gradually disappeared. We arrived back at Port Adelaide in
time for breakfast.

We will not follow the contingent's history and its doings in Egypt, but
I will quote a passage from Lord Wolseley's dispatch dated June 15,
1885:--

  "The Contingent's work has been so satisfactory that I trust that
  the noble and patriotic example set by New South Wales may, should
  occasion arise, be followed by other colonies."

Lord Wolseley's hopes have been fully realized.



CHAPTER V

A TIME OF RETRENCHMENT


The term of office of General Owen began with the passing of the "Russian
scare." The finances of the colony were for the time being undergoing a
period of depression. Economy had to be enforced, and General Owen's
first instructions from the Government were to recommend ways and means
of effecting reductions to meet the decrease in the military vote. Major
Jervois's period of service as adjutant-general came to an end about this
time, and the Commandant was informed that it was not proposed to have
him replaced by another officer from England.

It was not practicable to carry on the administration without some
qualified officer to assist the Commandant with his duties. The
inspections of the country units by the Commandant at least once a year
were necessary under the provisions of the Defence Act. During the
periods of his absence on inspection tours the presence of a qualified
deputy at headquarters was necessary. To overcome this difficulty he
asked me if I would undertake the duties of adjutant-general in addition
to those as Officer Commanding the Permanent Artillery. My answer was
that I would do my best. So it came about that in some three years from
my first appointment I had reached the position of practically
Second-in-Command. The fulfilment of my vision seemed to be coming more
quickly than my wildest dreams ever expected.

To carry out retrenchment is ever an unpleasant and thankless job, and
the first six months of our new régime was no exception to the rule. If
you remember, the military forces of the colony comprised no less than
four separate systems--the Regulars or Permanent Artillery, the partially
paid force, the Volunteers, and the rifle clubs. Each of them was serving
under different regulations. Each also had its own interests to
safeguard, and each its staunch supporters. As the pruning knife began
its work, so, violent opposition arose from those to whom it was being
applied. Presently, as the knife kept on moving, dissatisfaction became
general. The supporters of each system wished for the retrenchment of the
others and the maintenance of their own. This, of course, was specially
the case with the partially paid and the volunteer forces. The first
claimed that, with their greater efficiency, if the numbers were somewhat
increased the colony would have a more reliable force than if the
Volunteers were retained. On the other hand, the Volunteers claimed that,
with more instruction and drill, they could be depended on to fight all
right if the necessity arose, and the saving made by abolishing the pay
of the partially paid forces would accomplish all the economy desired by
the Government.

Shortly afterwards the annual session of Parliament opened, with the
usual "floods of talk." Members who were really concerned for the forces
were up and fighting in the interests of the special system of
retrenchment they advocated; the Government were disinclined to stick to
their guns and insist upon the question being one for the Government to
deal with. The result was the common one in such cases--the appointment
of a Royal Commission to inquire into and report upon the conduct of the
forces for the past year, and make such recommendations for retrenchment
as the Commission should deem advisable. With the very limited staff at
my disposal the strain became very severe. In addition the Commandant's
temper did not improve with these happenings. He was a bachelor, and had
not the opportunities a married man has of forgetting official troubles
when enjoying the comfort and happiness of his home. However, we pulled
through, though the Commission sat for some considerable time, during
which no amount of returns seemed to satisfy its cravings for
information. The report of the Commission was by-and-by duly printed and
submitted to the Government, which promised to lay it before Parliament
on a suitable date for the information of Members, and after that the
Government would make the opportunity for the fullest discussion by the
House.

With the close of the year 1888 would come the completion of General
Owen's three years' agreement with the Government. This agreement set out
that at the end of three years the term of service could be further
extended by two years by mutual consent.

Month after month passed away. The Commission sent in its report. When it
was discussed in the House no final conclusion was arrived at. A second
Commission was appointed, and by the time its report was presented to the
Government and the House met, General Owen's term of three years was
coming to a close. It is not to be wondered that the condition of the
forces was unsatisfactory, their numbers reduced, recruiting stopped,
equipment wearing out, schools of instruction held only at rare
intervals. It was a disheartening time for all of us. Enthusiasm lacked,
and the officers and men were sick at heart.

As it was expedient for General Owen to notify the Imperial Government as
to his future movements, he thought it advisable to approach Mr.
Playford, then Minister of Defence, on the subject of the two years'
extension. The Hon. Thomas Playford, popularly known as "Honest Tom," had
been brought up working on his father's market garden, which was situated
in the hills not far from Morialta, the home of the Bakers. He was a
great, tall, powerful, heavy man, much above the average size. At their
interview General Owen referred to the terms of his agreement and
diplomatically sought to discover whether the Government were agreeable
to the two years' extension. As I have pointed out, the general's term of
office had not been too happy a one. The report of the Commissions and
the discussions in Parliament had given rise to a considerable amount of
friction and many adverse comments in the Press. Mr. Playford pointed out
to him that as Parliament was to be prorogued before Christmas he thought
it advisable not to settle the question for the time being. He suggested
that the general should reopen it after the prorogation. The Government
would then be in recess, and as the House would not be sitting, no
disagreeable questions could be raised by members. By making no final
decision before the prorogation he, as Minister, was in a position, in
case questions were asked, to reply that nothing had been decided, and
that the matter was under the consideration of the Government. The
general told me about this interview, and, talking it over, we came to
the conclusion--especially as Mr. Playford had suggested to the general
not to press for an answer just then--that he wished to reopen
negotiations after the prorogation of the House, and that it was his
intention to agree to the extension.

Parliament was prorogued. The general then sent an official letter to Mr.
Playford, reopening the matter, concluding with a statement to the effect
that if the Government were agreeable he, on his part, was prepared to
carry on. He received no acknowledgment of his letter, but he did read
next morning in the papers a statement, evidently inspired, to the effect
that "the Commandant, General Owen, had notified the Ministerial head of
the Department that he was willing to continue his duties for two years
if the Government so desired. The Government, however, did _not_ see
their way to meet the general's wishes." I shall never forget that
morning. The general came to the office in his uniform. As a rule he wore
plain clothes unless he was on some special duty. I was not surprised at
the state of mind he was in. The paragraph, on the face of it, and in the
absence of any acknowledgment of the general's letter, and considering
the tenor of their interview early in December, appeared to be in the
nature of a direct insult, almost premeditated. I sent off an orderly to
the Government offices with a letter from the general requesting an
interview with Mr. Playford as soon as possible.

The answer came back that the Minister was ready to see General Owen at
once. Off went the general. I returned to my room, sat down, lit a pipe
and began to think. It was not long before I heard him return. I didn't
wait to be sent for. I walked straight into his room. He was in such a
temper that he could hardly speak. I felt that his interview must have
been a very painful one. So it had. It had not been long. He told me the
only few words that had taken place. The general appeared to have made
some remark to the effect that it seemed to him that if the paragraph in
the newspapers had been supplied by the Minister, or with his approval,
such action was a direct insult, not only to himself personally, but also
to the uniform he had the honour to wear.

The answer the general received from Mr. Playford fairly astonished me.
It was something to the effect that "if the general had asked to see him
to insult him, the sooner he left the room the better, or he would _kick_
him out." Nothing would suit the general for the moment but to send for
the representatives of the Press and give them an account of the
interview. I succeeded in altering his mind, and suggested that he should
see the Chief Justice and the Governor first, and obtain their advice as
to what action he should take.

This he did, and, as far as I remember, the unfortunate incident was
never made public.

The general made his plans for returning to England at once. General Owen
subsequently filled many important appointments. He was selected some
years afterwards as Commandant of the Colony of Queensland. He was
determined to get back on the South Australians and show them that there
were other people in the world who appreciated his services, even if Mr.
Playford and Co. had not done so. He afterwards commanded the artillery
at Malta, and for a time was Acting-Governor of the island. Later on he
held the position of president of the Ordnance Committee, the most
scientific committee that I know of in our service.

Years later on it fell to me to have a tussle with Honest Tom when he was
Minister for Defence in the Federal Government. About this more anon.

Immediately the general informed me of his decision to leave for England,
the first thought that naturally came to my mind was, "Who is going to
succeed him as Commandant?" I took steps to find out whether the
Government had communicated by cable to England for a successor. They had
not done so. That they had not taken any action in the matter seemed to
me to point to the fact that the unfortunate words uttered in the
interview which had ended so unhappily had not been premeditated by the
Government; otherwise, one would think, they would have taken some steps
to secure a successor. I bethought myself of our old Commandant, General
Downes, then secretary to Sir Frederick Sargood in Victoria. I knew
personally, from conversations that I had had with him during my visits
to Melbourne, that the duties he was performing were not congenial to
him. I at once wrote to him confidentially, told him of the catastrophe
that had overtaken us, and asked him straight whether he was willing to
take up the command in South Australia again if it was offered to him. He
answered, "Yes, certainly, if it is offered." I couldn't possibly
approach Playford in the matter. Playford, according to the general's
account, had been much too rude to my Commandant.

But there are always ways--quite straight, not crooked--of approaching
those in power. Sufficient to say that the Government decided to offer
the appointment to General Downes. During my conversations with those who
had at the time the reins of Government in their hands it was suggested
to me that I should be a candidate for the position. What an alluring
prospect! Was my vision to come true so quickly? Though my work under
General Owen had given him full satisfaction, and I had a good hold of
all the senior commanding officers, I felt that it was too early in the
day for me to accept so heavy a responsibility. I could afford to wait.
Hence my suggestion to the Government to reappoint General Downes.

An interval of some two months took place from the time of General Owen's
departure and the arrival of General Downes from Melbourne. During this
period I was appointed Acting Commandant, and I took my seat in that very
chair in which General Downes had sat on the day he told me of my first
appointment. The vision had been temporarily fulfilled. It was to be
confirmed later on.

The first task I set to myself as Acting Commandant was to make a very
close examination into the state of our finances. The official financial
year closed on June 30.

The annual continuous camps of training were held during the Easter
holidays. I determined to strain every effort to hold a record camp, at
which every member of the force should be present. As soon as I was
satisfied that I could carry out my wishes I wrote to General Downes,
asking him to arrive in Adelaide, if suitable, the day after the troops
had assembled in camp for their annual training, when I would hand over
the command to him. All went well. I selected a site at a place called
Keswick, near the Black Forest, just west of Adelaide. It was the
locality that had been fixed upon in the local defence scheme for the
assembly of the troops in case of invasion. We had a full muster. The
general arrived and took command. He was welcomed by the officers and men
alike. My responsibilities for the time being were over.

The success of General Downes's previous term of command was a big factor
in assisting him to obtain support from the Government and the public at
large, and a somewhat generous increase in the military vote was made
available. His first request to the Government was for the assistance of
an Imperial officer as adjutant-general to relieve me from the onerous
double duties I had fulfilled for three years during Owen's term of
office. The Government concurred at once. A cable was sent home. Within a
few days the general was notified that Major Lovett, Somersetshire Light
Infantry, had been appointed and was sailing at once from London for
Adelaide. On his arrival I handed over to him my duties as
adjutant-general.

General Downes was fully aware of the six years' work that had fallen to
my lot since the fateful January 2, 1882, the day on which he had
notified me of my first appointment. He had, of course, watched from
Victoria with keen interest our difficult and troublous times for the
three years past.

With his usual forethought and kindness he suggested I should apply for
six months' leave. I thanked him heartily and sent in my application.

It was approved.

Oh, what joy!



CHAPTER VI

MY VISION FULFILLED


My voyage homewards on the _Valetta_ was indeed a contrast to the three
months spent on the good old clipper, the _Waipa_, on my way to New
Zealand.

I had arrived in New Zealand in November, 1879, as you know, with
practically nothing before me but a determined and firm resolve to make
good somehow, without any assistance except that which I could give
myself. Within ten years I was returning home, with a record of service
of which I could be proud.

Within those ten years I had held the position of Acting Commandant of an
important colony, with the temporary rank of full colonel, and was going
home with the rank of major. If I had remained in the good old regiment I
would have been fortunate if I had got my captaincy within that period.
But what about the knowledge and experience I had gained, not only as a
gunner, but as a staff officer, and, yet more, as an officer charged with
grave responsibilities in the administration and command of troops,
organized and maintained on lines differing totally from the hard and
fast methods governing our Regular Army, but eminently suitable to the
economic conditions of the healthy young colonies whose citizens were
true to the core at heart in their patriotism and were ready to make many
sacrifices to maintain the might of the Motherland?

For seven years my home had been in Adelaide. My friends had always
cheered me on in my work. If the exuberance of youth, good health and the
happiest of surroundings--all friends, and no foes that I knew of--had
not made my life happy, the fault would have been my own. I am
moralizing--the one thing I have been trying to avoid all through my
tale. What really is in my mind is to point out to any youngster who
reads this, and whose future suddenly becomes blurred and may appear
hopeless, that if he relies on his own self, gives his truest instincts
fair play, and determines to beat his bad luck and give to himself his
best, he will more than likely succeed, as it was my good fortune to do.

Now let us get back on board the ss. _Valetta_, on the moonlight night
when she weighed anchor off Largs Bay and I bade "adios" to the many
friends who had accompanied me on board, and who, re-embarking on the
Customs launch, followed the vessel down the gulf till the evening shades
hid them from our sight. The five weeks spent on the _Valetta_ on the
homeward trip were indeed enjoyable. First, the weather was fine all the
way. I do not think we had one really rough day. The ship was full; not
an empty berth. A "land boom" was on at the time; there was plenty of
money about, and most of the passengers were well-to-do men taking their
families home to have a good time. Land booms I have heard described as
speculations in land, owing to which men with, say, a few hundred pounds
quickly become possessed of as many thousands (on paper, not in land).
Presently the boom cracks, the thousands disappear. I am sorry to say
that this actually happened later on to several of our passengers.

We arrived at Brindisi, and thence went overland to Calais; then Dover
and good old London. What a pleasure it was to get back to the old club,
stay at the old hotel, sit in the little balcony at Morley's, gaze at
Nelson's monument, and walk round the old haunts! After a few days' stay
in London I went home to Wardhouse.

I had undertaken only one official matter to inquire into during my
absence on leave. It was to report upon the method then in vogue for the
supply of warlike material to the colonies. This method was as follows.
An officer, at that time General Harding-Stewart, retired, was acting as
military adviser and inspector of warlike stores to the several colonies.
When any of the colonies ordered rifles, guns or other requirements, he
procured them in London, working on commission. No doubt he meant well,
but at the time I left Adelaide there were hardly two heavy guns alike in
any of the colonies. A climax had been reached when New South Wales
ordered two 10-inch muzzle-loaders similar to the two which South
Australia had mounted at Fort Glanville. The New South Wales guns were
supplied by the same firm. They arrived in Sydney and were mounted at
Middle Head Fort. I visited Sydney at the time they were being mounted,
and found that their calibre differed from the South Australian guns by a
fraction of an inch, so that the ammunition was not interchangeable. As a
matter of fact, there were but few guns of Imperial pattern in the whole
of Australia; we were armed mostly with experimental guns of private
firms.

As a result of my inquiries I came to the conclusion that it would be
more satisfactory if a senior officer on the active list of the Royal
Regiment of Artillery was appointed at a fixed salary for a term of
years, who would be instructed, at any rate in the case of heavy
ordnance, field guns and rifles, to supply none except of a pattern
passed into the Imperial Service itself. This recommendation was
submitted by me to my Premier at Adelaide on my return, passed on by him
to the other Premiers concerned, and finally given effect to, and Lieut.
Colonel King-Harman, R.A., was appointed. Little did I think that, within
ten years, I myself was to receive the appointment.

I had also intended to pay a visit to the Expeditionary Force at that
time operating up the Nile. But the relief or fall of Khartoum was
imminent, and the time at my disposal was not sufficient. Khartoum fell
and General Gordon was murdered. Who was to blame? I wonder. Have you
ever been to see and studied the statue raised to his memory in Trafalgar
Square, a replica of which stands in Spring Gardens, Melbourne? If not,
do so some day, and look well into his face. Its expression is one of sad
thought. So might he have looked as he stood in Khartoum facing death.

I must pass over the glorious days I spent at home; they were the last I
spent with my father and mother.

Taking my passage by the _Massilia_, a sister ship to the _Valetta_, I
set out once more for the fair lands of the South, happy and contented,
mentally and physically refreshed, and determined to rise still higher in
my profession. On my arrival at Adelaide I received a right royal
welcome. I found General Downes going strong. There had been no more talk
of Royal Commissions. Major Lovett had settled down to his work and was a
general favourite; he himself liked Adelaide immensely. More funds had
been made available; my own Permanent Artillery had behaved well during
my absence and were doing well. For the next two years nothing occurred
out of the usual, either in South Australia or the other colonies, from a
military point of view. The end of 1891 was approaching; the general
decided to retire. Major Lovett had completed his term as
adjutant-general and was returning home. I was asked to step into the
breach once more and take up his duties as well as my own. I, of course,
agreed, and I was promoted to lieutenant-colonel early in 1892.

The Premier of South Australia was then Charles Cameron Kingston, or, to
give him his full title, which he dearly loved, Sergeant Charles Cameron
Kingston, B Company, 1st Regiment, Adelaide Rifles. Kingston possessed a
charming personality. He was a most able lawyer, could see through most
things and most people, could analyse a difficult subject, select what
was good, discard what was bad, quicker than most men. As a politician he
was highly successful. Rough old Seddon of New Zealand might be reckoned
as his closest rival. As a lawyer he was sound as a bell, a most eminent
draftsman, and a mighty quick worker when he liked, though he was not a
model of industry. As a sergeant he was tip-top. B Company was the best
company in the regiment; he seldom missed a parade. As a "sport" he was
loved by old and young. They spoke of him as "Good old Charlie."

General Downes, when leaving, made up his mind to recommend to the
Government to secure the services of another Imperial officer on the
active list to succeed him who should take over the command before the
actual date of his own retirement. Personally I must say I was rather
surprised at the general's action, for by this time I had full confidence
that I could carry out the duties myself. I had not by any means wasted
all my time during my leave two years before; I had got much information.
Then I had been instrumental in obtaining for him his second term of
command, notwithstanding that he had retired from the active list himself
when he had taken up the duties of secretary to Sir Frederick Sargood. So
I had hoped that, while he might express his opinion to the Government,
he would not insist on it too much. I must admit that he was quite frank
with me as to the attitude he was taking up. His argument was to this
effect. It had been found necessary before to supersede local officers.
"Surely," he said, "the same considerations that held good then hold good
now. I do not say that you are not qualified to fill the position, but if
you are appointed it will form a precedent, and, on the expiry of the
terms of the engagements of the Imperial officers in the other colonies
the claims of local officers will again naturally be put forward. Then
good-bye to the system of obtaining the services of thoroughly
experienced officers who have no local interests and no axes to grind."
Meantime, the senior commanding officers of several branches of our
forces were, without my knowledge, beginning to interest themselves to
have me appointed as successor to the general.

To return to Sergeant Charles Cameron Kingston, let me tell of an
incident which may give you some insight into the personal character of a
remarkable man. It is one which, except for an accident, might have had
fatal results. Kingston was leading the Government at the time; Sir
Richard Baker of Morialta was President of the Upper House. Kingston had
introduced a Bill in the House of Representatives dealing with
arbitration in industrial disputes. Sir Richard Baker was the father of a
Bill introduced into the Senate on the same subject. While the aims of
the two were identical, the methods by which those results were to be
obtained were by no means analogous. Each Bill had its supporters in each
House. As the debates proceeded considerable bitterness arose, ending in
correspondence in the daily Press. Finally, Kingston and Baker commenced
to abuse each other in print. Kingston's temper gave out. He wrote a
letter to Sir Richard which he had delivered at the latter's office in
Victoria Square, together with a case containing a pistol and some
cartridges. He could no longer stand what he considered the insults Sir
Richard had thought fit to level at him. The letter stated that he would
be on the pavement on the opposite side of the street to the entrance to
Sir Richard's office at five minutes to twelve o'clock, noon, next day,
Saturday, and asked Sir Richard to take up a position on the pavement
outside his offices at that hour, bringing his pistol with him. As soon
as the post office clock, which was close to the office, began to strike
twelve, each would step into the roadway and shoot at his leisure. A
quaint duel, was it not?

The accident which saved the situation was the fact that Sir Richard was
not in the habit of attending his office on Saturday morning. His son, or
someone in the office, opened Kingston's letter, and the police were
informed. Shortly before noon Kingston was seen walking across from the
Government Offices towards Baker's offices. Two constables in plain
clothes followed him and watched him as he coolly took up his stand on
the pavement. The hands of the post office clock pointed at three minutes
to twelve. The two constables walked up to Mr. Kingston. They politely
asked him what his business was. "I am just waiting for Baker to come out
of his office," he answered; "then you will see some sport. I advise you
to move a bit to one side. I don't think he is much of a shot. He might
get one of you two." The constables, who were well known to Kingston,
informed him that Sir Richard had not been to his office that morning, so
that there would be no sport, but they had instructions from the
Commissioner of Police to arrest him for attempting to commit a breach of
the peace, and to take him at once before a magistrate. Within half an
hour he appeared before a police magistrate, had his pistol taken from
him, and was bound over to keep the peace for six months.

In the meantime the news had spread throughout Adelaide like wildfire,
and had reached Sir Richard at the Adelaide Club. Kingston's letter and
the revolver which accompanied it had been sent down to the club from Sir
Richard's office after twelve o'clock. No sooner had Sir Richard been
told of what had happened than he put the revolver Kingston had sent him
into his pocket, borrowed another at the club, and started off to look
for his challenger, who, he knew, usually lunched at Parliament House and
would at this time probably be walking down King William Street from the
Government Offices in Victoria Square. He was not mistaken, for after
proceeding a short way up King William Street he came face to face with
Kingston. "I am sorry," he said, "I was not at my office this morning,
but here I am now. Stand off, and the first one who counts five aloud can
shoot away."

"I am sorry," said Kingston, "but I can't oblige you; the police have
taken away my revolver."

"Never mind," said Baker, "here is the one you sent me," handing it over
to him. "I don't believe it will go off. I have one of my own."

It was now time to interfere. Three of us who had followed Sir Richard
out from the club stepped in and good counsels prevailed. As Kingston had
been bound over to keep the peace for six months no duel could take
place. As a matter of fact, it was not long before the two redoubtable
belligerents shook hands and had a friendly laugh over the incident.

Now comes the sequel. By the Regulations under the Military Act, any
member of the forces convicted of an offence in a civil court was liable
to dismissal. On the Monday morning a full report of the case appeared in
the newspapers. Before this took place General Downes had retired and I
was once more acting Commandant. The officer who was acting
Adjutant-General brought the newspaper report under my notice officially.
There was no other course but to order Sergeant Kingston to be put under
arrest and called upon to make a statement, if he so wished, before he
was dismissed from the forces, in accordance with the Regulations. This
order I gave. The Attorney-General at the time, Mr. Homburgh, was very
much concerned at my order. A doubt then entered my mind as to whether
being bound over to keep the peace amounted to a conviction under the
provisions of the Defence Act Regulations. I immediately referred the
question to the Crown Solicitor, who said it was a difficult question I
had raised, but ruled finally that being bound over to keep the peace was
not tantamount to a conviction within the meaning of the Regulations.
Whether this was sound law or not I cannot say, but it gave me the
opportunity to let Sergeant Kingston off easily. I at once sent orders to
his commanding officer to warn the sergeant to appear before me at the
Staff Office the next morning, so that I could deal with the case.

I thought the incident was over, and got ready for my dinner. As I was
entering the dining-room at the Club Sir Jenkin Coles, the Speaker of the
House, a close friend of Kingston's, spoke to me about it. I told him the
decision of the Crown Solicitor left the matter in Kingston's favour; he
had been ordered to appear before me in accordance with the usual custom
of the Service to be finally dealt with. Sir Jenkin asked me if this was
necessary. "No," I answered; "if Sergeant Kingston signs a statement to
the effect that he is satisfied with the cause of his being placed under
arrest and the action taken in this matter by the military authorities I
don't want to see him at the office." No sooner had I said this than Sir
Jenkin rose from the dinner table to return in ten minutes with a written
statement, signed by Kingston, to the effect that he was quite satisfied
with the action taken by the authorities. So ended this extraordinary
episode, but I was told by a good many friends that I had driven a nail
in my coffin as regarded the Commandantship. The appointment was
practically in Kingston's hand. But those friends of mine did not know
him.

General Downes left Adelaide. The Government gave no indication of their
intentions re the appointment of his successor. The mayor's official ball
took place. Charles Cameron Kingston was talking to the Governor. He
beckoned me and said: "I have just informed His Excellency that the
Government have appointed you a colonel and Commandant of our forces."
His Excellency warmly congratulated me. I thanked Kingston.

My vision was fulfilled.



CHAPTER VII

THE GREAT STRIKES


In 1890 the great maritime strike had its birth in Sydney. The original
strikers were the wharf labourers, who paralysed all business. The strike
spread rapidly to practically all the chief ports of Australia. The
Government at Sydney trusted more to the support of the merchants and
producers, whose interests were being so assailed, than to the power that
lay in their hands to tackle the strikers by the aid of the military
forces. The police, under the able guidance of Mr. Fosberry, then Chief
Commissioner, did their work splendidly, but the situation became too
critical. Bank managers, insurance agents, squatters, architects and
others took off their coats and waistcoats, loaded and unloaded the
trolleys, and worked like common labourers. The farthest point that the
Government would go towards assisting the police in keeping order was to
detail a restricted number of mounted riflemen to protect the willing
volunteer workers from the assaults of the strikers.

In sympathy with the action taken in Sydney the Wharfmen's Unions in all
the other chief ports of Australia joined their comrades, and Port
Adelaide became a head centre. Previous to this the South Australian
Government had entered into an agreement with the Government of Western
Australia to train some fifty Permanent Force Artillerymen to garrison
the newly constructed forts at Albany. This detachment were just
completing their time at Largs Fort, so that the little Permanent Force
under my command in South Australia numbered some 130, of all ranks. The
strikers at Port Adelaide set to work with a good will. Every vessel in
the harbour was picketed, every approach to the wharves guarded. Business
was at an absolute standstill. Large mass meetings of strikers were held
morning and afternoon. The police, under Mr. Peterswald, reinforced by a
large draft from the country districts, could do no more than just
maintain order. The situation was more than serious. Mr. Peterswald
ventured to appear at a mass meeting one afternoon, hoping that he might
cast a little oil on the troubled waters. He came out on the balcony of a
hotel, facing the huge crowd of strikers. A quaint scene followed. Some
wags called out, "Take off your hat, Peter." They wanted to get
authority--as personified by the Commissioner--to bow to them. Peterswald
quickly recognized the position and, lifting his hat, said to them: "I am
glad to meet you, men. I hope you will go back to your work and put an
end to this serious trouble," and quickly left the balcony. The majority
cheered and laughed. But their leaders were on the job. The word was
passed on to the strikers that, about twelve o'clock that night, they
would receive definite instructions from their section leaders as to
their future action. All their pickets and guards were doubled that
night, and specially the guard on the railway bridge across the Port
River, which connected Port Adelaide with the shore and the forts.

During that afternoon I had given instructions that every available man
of our Permanent Force was to assemble at Fort Glanville, with a view to
a gun competition next day. Parliament was sitting. I was at Fort
Glanville, much occupied in laying down the conditions for next day's gun
practice. In the course of the evening Mr. Playford, the Defence
Minister, telephoned me from Parliament House to be ready to march with
my men under arms to Port Adelaide. As this was the first time that--as
far as I knew--an order had been issued by any Australian Government to
its permanent troops to march under arms to assist the police in quelling
civil riots, I asked that the instructions should be sent to me in
writing. The final words I heard on the telephone were, "Your
instructions will reach you by a mounted orderly in plenty of time for
you to act."

At about eleven o'clock that evening the mounted orderly arrived, and at
three in the morning--it was summer time, a moonlight night, practically
as clear as day--we marched out of the fort on our way to Port Adelaide,
where I found close on 400 police, mounted and foot, all armed. The
Government had, therefore, some 500 armed men to cope with the strikers
if they persisted in carrying out their threats. Half-past five came. It
was daylight. The inspector in charge of the police patrols which had
been posted the previous evening at all important bridges and approaches
to the wharves suggested that I should accompany him to view the
situation. We rode out together. Nobody was to be seen; the port was as
quiet as if it were Sunday morning. The strike leaders had become fully
aware of the determination of the Government to deal firmly with any
attempt on their part to disturb the public peace, and had deemed
discretion the better part of valour. The strike was virtually over, and,
after providing a good breakfast for my men, we marched back to Fort
Glanville in peace and quiet. This was the only instance that I am aware
of in the history of the Australian colonies when the members of the
Permanent Forces were actually called out and marched under arms to the
assistance of the civil power. Let us hope it will be the last.

Hardly were these troubles over when another large body of Australian
workers held up one of Australia's chief industries. The shearers, the
clippers of the fleeces, struck work. The shearers are a roving crowd,
who move from north to south of Australia's vast territory and back
again. Most of them are well known to the squatters who employ them. The
same old story--more wages, better conditions of living. My own opinions
as to the rights and wrongs of the shearers' claims may be of no value,
but my sympathies were certainly on their side as regarded, at least, the
conditions of living at the sheds.

I had had personal experience of how quickly utter ruin falls upon the
squatter. It is a question often of living in affluence one day and
having not a penny left within nine months. To record the names of the
squatters personally known to myself who had thus suffered would be a sad
task. They were many. However, their failure was not brought about by the
demands of the shearers. The granting of these demands in prosperous
times could not have much hurt the interests of their employers.
Providence has a special gift of casting ruin at times broadcast,
without, as far as we mortals can tell, any reason or rhyme. A few inches
of rain, falling at the right time of the year in any part of Australia,
ensures a plentiful supply of green feed and prevents the enormous
ravages amongst stock of all kinds which a drought causes.

The squatters fought their battle hard against the shearers in 1891. In
Queensland they had a sympathetic Government at the time. The maritime
strike had left a nasty taste in the mouths of the producers. The export
trade had been held up, and the necessaries of life imported from abroad
had been denied to the country districts. It was decided to adopt hard,
repressive measures.

The Government summoned to their aid the Mounted Rifles. These were
chiefly recruited in the country districts, and most of them were
producers themselves, and the strike broke down.

It was just about this time that I accompanied His Excellency Lord
Kintore, an old friend and neighbour from Aberdeenshire--then our
Governor in South Australia--as far as Brisbane. Lord Kintore had, some
time previously, arranged to proceed by sea to Port Darwin and undertake
the overland journey from there to Adelaide through the northern
territory, which was then under the administration of the South
Australian Government. It was a big undertaking, and by no means a
pleasure trip. We arrived in Brisbane, but, owing to the breaking down of
the ss. _Chingtu_, we had a delay of some days in that fair capital of
what will undoubtedly be in the future one of the richest of the
Australian States.

We rather taxed the splendid efforts of our hospitable friends by the
length of our stay. But they were not to be beaten. Strike or no strike,
they laid themselves out to give us as much joy as it was possible to do
in the time. I laid the foundation of many lasting friendships within
those few days. Then the _Chingtu_, with Lord Kintore on board, left for
Port Darwin, and I made my way backward to Adelaide.

The Melbourne Cup Meeting of 1891 was a fateful one for me, for I had the
happiness of becoming engaged to be married. I had known my future wife
for several years. She had been born in Victoria. Her father hailed from
County Galway, having emigrated to South Australia with his brother, the
late Hon. Nicholas Fitzgerald, than whom no public man in Australia was
ever held in higher esteem by all classes. The brothers made Burra Burra,
then a prosperous copper field to the north of Adelaide, their first
hunting-ground. From there they moved on to Victoria, in the days of the
discovery of the goldfields--Ballarat, Castlemaine, Kyneton and Bendigo.
At the time I married they had prospered well enough. Later on they
lost--for want of food and water--some 400,000 sheep on the various
stations they were interested in. My wife and I had hopes of buying old
Wardhouse, in Aberdeenshire, from my Spanish nephew. These hopes went by
the board. Ours was by no means a singular experience in the history of
Australian pioneers in the back country. I know of many friends who--if
possible--fared worse.

I was married on February 29, 1892. At the conclusion of our honeymoon,
which we spent at Gracedale House, close to the Blackspur range of hills,
Victoria, we returned to Adelaide, and once again I became a resident at
the Largs Bay Hotel.

When I look back to those happy days I feel thankful that my term of
office cost me but small worry. I happened to be successful in
maintaining quite cordial relations with the successive occupants of the
ministerial chair. I was not hampered by any serious reduction in our
financial vote. I was not troubled by any especially adverse criticisms
on the conduct of the forces, either in Parliament or in the Press. I was
able to carry out reforms which led the way to the adoption of the
"Universal Service System" now in vogue in the great Commonwealth of
Australia.



CHAPTER VIII

THE INTRODUCTION OF "UNIVERSAL SERVICE," AND TWO VOYAGES HOME


From the very time that I took over the duties of my first appointment I
had thought that a considerable improvement could be made in the
organization of the existing forces. I had encouraged the formation of
cadet corps, as far as lay in my power, and I had been splendidly
supported by the Education Department in my efforts, with the result
that, when I assumed the command, the cadet system was a flourishing
institution. The success that attended the cadet movement, the support
given to it by the parents, and the keen enthusiasm of the youngsters in
their work, led me to think that the time was ripe for the introduction
of a universal system of National Service, the ultimate aim of which was
to ensure that every youth should, by the time that he had reached the
age of manhood, twenty-five years, have undergone a course of training,
which, without interfering with his civil avocation, would render him a
desirable asset as a soldier. With this object in view I submitted a
scheme to the Government.

General Hutton, who had by this time been appointed Commandant of New
South Wales, arranged a conference of the Commandants of the States in
Sydney to discuss several important matters in connexion with the defence
of Australia as a whole. Two very important agenda were: (a) the
necessity for determining the nature of the heavy armaments of the forts,
in point of uniformity and efficiency, and (b) the co-ordination of the
several systems of enlistment then in vogue throughout the States.

I informed my brother Commandants that I intended to recommend my
Government to merge our Volunteers into the partially paid force, which
would be a substantial move towards the simplification of the conditions
of service. Further, I suggested that if the South Australian Government
carried out the proposed change it would assist them materially towards
effecting a similar change in their own colonies.

I did not, however, deem it advisable to mention the plans I had with
reference to the introduction of universal service, for the change was a
radical one. I knew that if any suspicion arose that it was proposed to
introduce a form of military service compelling citizens by law to devote
no matter how small a portion of their own time to military training,
such proposals would at once be looked upon as simply an insidious way of
creating conscription, a compulsory system of service--a form of service
absolutely distasteful and foreign to us British, and even more so to
British colonists. It was therefore necessary for me to take the greatest
care very gradually to prepare and school the public mind so that the
term "National Service," which I had adopted for my scheme, should in no
way be misunderstood for conscription, but rather that it should be
looked upon simply as a personal responsibility on the part of every
youth to fit himself to take part in the defence of his country, just in
the same way as it was his duty to attend school or submit to any other
laws governing his civil and economic life.

Kingston, with whom I had many conversations, was a most keen supporter
of the Universal Service system. He agreed at once with the proposition
as regarded the amalgamation of the Volunteers with the partially paid
forces, and, what was more to the point, promised to find the funds
required. He was very anxious to introduce and carry through Parliament,
while he was Premier of South Australia, a system of National Service,
which, he foresaw, would sooner or later find its way into the statutes
of Federated Australia. Even so early as this Kingston was paving the way
for a united Australia. He was at that time considered, notwithstanding
his personal foibles, one of the ablest of the Australian Premiers.

He gave me instructions, confidentially, to draft two Bills, one
embodying the provision for the adoption of the universal service, the
other simply dealing with the proposed changes in organization. When the
time arrived to place the proposals before Parliament Kingston had come
to the conclusion that the expenditure involved in initiating National
Service was greater than he could ask Parliament to vote at the time. He
determined, therefore, to pigeon-hole it. The Re-organization Bill was
promptly carried by both Houses and became law. The Act of Parliament
fixed a date for the carrying out of the change. To avoid the clerical
work involved by the carrying out of the re-attesting of the whole of the
citizen forces, partially paid and Volunteer, under the new Act it was
provided that every officer, non-commissioned officer and man who did
not, in writing, notify his intention to sever his connexion with the
forces owing to the new conditions, would continue in the service, and
the date for the beginning of his period of service under the new Act,
namely, three years, would be entered in his existing attestation papers
by the respective commanding officers. If I remember rightly, not one and
a half per cent. withdrew.

The eventful day arrived on which every member of the force ceased to be
a soldier. The next day all willing to do so would be soldiers again.
That night we were dining at Government House. After dinner it happened
to strike the Governor that there were no soldiers in South Australia
that evening with the exception of myself. So lifting up his glass he
said, "Behold our army! Every soldier except one has been disbanded
to-day. He is our army. Good luck to him." And "The Army" I became to all
my friends in Adelaide, and, later on, right throughout Australia.

Jubilee Year, 1897, was now close at hand. I had been steadily at work
since my trip home in 1889, and was now finishing my fifth year as
Commandant. Everything was working smoothly, and I was asked by Kingston
if I would like to take a trip home and attend officially the Jubilee
celebrations in London. I talked it over with my wife. Our two children
were then just four and three years old. My wife thought that it would be
more enjoyable for her and for the children if we let alone the Jubilee
festivities and got six months' leave, reaching London later on in the
early summer, so that we could enjoy the autumn in Scotland and return to
Australia at the end of the year. Kingston fell in with this suggestion,
and I was granted six months' leave of absence and reappointed Commandant
for a further period of five years.

We sailed in the _Damascus_, myself and wife, little Eileen and Carlos,
my youngest sister-in-law, Geraldine, and my wife's companion, Miss Ryan,
who was specially in charge of the children. The _Damascus_, an Aberdeen
liner, was a comfortable boat; she had been a short time before fitted up
to take Sir Henry Loch to South Africa. We had chosen the Cape route to
avoid the Red Sea in the very hot weather. We spent a couple of days at
Durban and another two at Capetown, and reached London about the middle
of September. My mother and father had both passed away, and the family
properties had gone to my nephew, Rafael, who was living in Spain.
Wardhouse and Kildrummy Castle were let. My sister, Magda, Mrs. Lumsden
of Clova, which marches with Kildrummy, had asked us to stay with her.
Our plans were to go to Clova on our arrival in London, put in a couple
of months shooting, visit our old friends, then move up to London, where
my wife and the others would stay while I went to Egypt. There I hoped to
see as much as the time at my disposal would allow of Kitchener's
campaign along the Nile.

All went well, and I left Clova for London, on my way to Egypt. I arrived
at Morley's Hotel on a Saturday. Next afternoon I received an urgent
telegram to return at once, as my wife had been taken suddenly very ill.
I took the first train. The telegrams I received on the journey north
were very disquieting. The news on arriving at Aberdeen made me lose all
hope of seeing her alive again. Providence was, however, kind. The crisis
passed, and the doctors assured me she would recover in time. My plans,
of course, had to be altered. I gave up my intended visit to Egypt. My
wife's recovery was very slow. We had to make our journey south in
stages.

One of our stopping-places was Newcastle-on-Tyne. An amusing incident
happened there. Both my wife and myself had met in Australia that
charming and graceful actress, Grace Palotta. On our arrival at the hotel
on a cold, dark, winter's afternoon, I left my wife in a sitting-room and
went off to attend to the rest of the family. On my return she said, "Who
do you think came in just now? Grace Palotta. She is looking as pretty as
ever. She quite astonished me by telling me she is staying here with her
friend, the prince. Do try and find out who he is. It is quite exciting."
I thought surely there was some mistake, and told her so. "No," she said,
"that is just what she said. Do go to the theatre to-night, find out and
let me know all about it." So, after an early dinner, I went off to the
theatre. As I arrived there, I noticed the big posters announcing the
name of the play. The name of the play was _My Friend the Prince_. After
the performance Grace had some supper with us and a real hearty laugh
when we told her, and, in her pretty foreign way, said: "Oh, I am afraid,
Mrs. Gordon, you thought I was a very naughty girl." We met Palotta
afterwards in Australia, where she had often told this little story to
her friends, much to their amusement.

On arrival in London I took a house close to South Kensington Station. As
time passed it became evident I would have to return to Australia alone.
My wife's health still caused me grave anxiety. My leave being up, I was
obliged to depart and leave the family to follow me. I took my passage by
the P. & O. ss. _Himalaya_, Captain Bruen, and left London at the end of
1899, once again bound for Australia and returning to my old command in
Adelaide. This was my third voyage to the other end of the world. It was,
as usual, full of pleasant memories. Once again I was elected president
of the sports and amusement committee. With a good ship, a good captain,
a full passenger list, the hearty co-operation of all, and right good
weather, it was almost a record passage for comfort and enjoyment. Up to
schedule time we arrived at Albany in Western Australia.

I went ashore to call upon some of my old friends, bought an evening
paper, and went into the club. Whilst enjoying a pipe I glanced at one of
the headings: "Death of Colonel King-Harman, Military Adviser and
Inspector of Warlike Stores in London for the Australian Colonies." You
may remember that he had been appointed as a result of my visit home in
1889. He was an old Gunner friend of mine, and I had seen a good deal of
him before I left London. Only the day before my departure he had written
me a note to say that he was sorry he had taken a severe chill and would
be unable to come and see me off the next evening. Poor Harman never
recovered from that chill. It was something more serious that carried him
off in five weeks.

The possibility of my succeeding him temporarily struck me. What a chance
to return home to my sick wife at once! It was the opportunity of a
lifetime. A convention of delegates from all the colonies was at the time
sitting in Melbourne. Every Premier was attending the convention. I
hastened to the post office and wired to my old friend, Charles Cameron
Kingston, still South Australia's Premier, notifying him of King-Harman's
death, and asking him to arrange with the other Premiers to postpone the
appointment of King-Harman's successor until the _Himalaya_ reached
Melbourne, requesting permission at the same time to continue my journey
in her to Melbourne, instead of landing at Adelaide. Our steamer sailed
from Albany before I could receive an answer, so I also asked him to wire
to me at Adelaide. I felt somehow that another streak of good fortune was
coming my way. Sure enough, on arrival at Adelaide, a telegram awaited me
from Kingston, instructing me to proceed to Melbourne.

On arrival at Melbourne I at once went to Parliament House to see him,
and told him of my wife's severe illness, which had compelled her to
remain with the children in England, and I asked him to assist me in
getting Harman's appointment. He handed me a copy of my own report of
1890, recommending that an officer _on_ the active list of the Royal
Artillery should hold the position, on which recommendation the Premiers
had acted. "Now," he said, "you are not on the 'active list of the Royal
Artillery'; how can I possibly assist you?" I had had plenty of time on
the way from Albany to Melbourne to think over this difficult point,
which I had foreseen. I had my answer ready. I suggested to him that I
should be appointed on loan, as it were, from Australia, for a term of
one year, during which time I should be granted leave of absence from my
appointment of Commandant of South Australia, to which position I would
return at the end of the twelve months, and then an officer of the Royal
Artillery on the active list could be selected. It was a big concession I
was asking for, and I knew it. I said no more. I knew my man. Kingston
grasped a point quicker than any man I have ever known, except perhaps
Kitchener. Both disliked superfluous words. Well, Kingston just smiled
and said: "Come and lunch with me to-morrow. Good morning."

At lunch next day there were four of us--Kingston, Sir Edward Braddon,
Premier of Tasmania, Sir John Forrest, Premier of Western Australia, and
your humble servant. Both Sir Edward and Sir John were old friends of
mine. After lunch Kingston asked me if I knew the Premiers of New South
Wales, Victoria and Queensland well. I told him I knew George Reid (New
South Wales) very well, but I knew nothing much about the Premiers of
Victoria or Queensland personally. "Well," he said, "see George Reid at
once, tell him what you want and the reason why, and let me know what he
says about it." I saw George Reid during the afternoon, explained the
situation to him, and asked him for his support. He informed me that he
had already been approached on behalf of another officer by some of his
supporters, but had not given a definite answer, and he felt that he
could not very well support me, who was in no way connected with New
South Wales. "You see," he added, "there are six colonies concerned. Now,
have you got three Premiers to support you?" I said "Yes." (My three
friends at lunch.) "Well, then," he went on, "if I remain neutral and
decline to vote you will have three votes to two in your favour, and thus
carry the day, even if the other two vote against you." With a hearty
shake of his hand and grateful feelings I left him. In the evening I
reported to Kingston the result of my interview with George Reid. I felt
I had succeeded as regarded the inspectorship of stores. But what about
retaining my appointment as Commandant of South Australia while I was
away? I had just returned after an absence of six months. Was it likely
that the important position of Commandant was to continue to be filled by
a _locum tenens_ for a further period of one whole year? Kingston did not
keep me long in suspense. "Well done, Reid!" he said. "That settles your
going. I will see that you do not lose your appointment of Commandant as
long as I am Premier. Get straight back to Adelaide and say absolutely
nothing to anyone. Act as if you were going to stay, but be ready to get
on a steamer homeward bound as soon as you hear from me. Good-bye and
good luck." So we parted, and I found my way back to Adelaide by the
first coastal boat.

The day after my arrival there the mail steamer _Victoria_ was due to
leave, homeward bound, at midnight. In the afternoon of that day I got an
official letter from the office of the South Australian Premier notifying
me that I had been appointed Military Adviser and Inspector of Warlike
Stores for the Australian Colonies, Queensland being the only objector.
You can imagine the surprise my departure caused, but I was away in the
ss. _Victoria_, well into the Australian Bight, making westwards, when
the news of my new appointment appeared in next day's morning papers.
This was now my sixth voyage to and from Australia, and was as pleasant
as its predecessors.



CHAPTER IX

MILITARY ADVISER TO THE AUSTRALIAN COLONIES IN LONDON


On my arrival in London I found that my wife was not well. As a matter of
fact, she was anything but well. I at once removed her and the children
to Richmond Hill and set to work at my new duties. I was not prepared for
the consternation which my arrival in London caused amongst the
Agents-General of the Colonies which I was to represent. Kingston had
evidently thought it advisable not to cable, with the result that the
official notification arrived by post practically at the same time as
myself. Not having any idea that their Governments in Australia intended
to send anyone home to fill the appointment, the Agents-General had
accepted the services of another Royal Artillery officer on the Active
List to carry on pending a definite appointment being made, in accordance
with the conditions which had held when Colonel Harman was appointed.
This officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Baker, was as much surprised as anybody
when I arrived to take up the duties which he naturally thought would
devolve upon himself. My position therefore was not a very pleasant one,
but I saw no reason why, with tact and care, the unpleasantness should
not be removed. I was right in my forecast, and, before two months had
passed, my official relations with all concerned became quite
satisfactory.

There is no need, nor would it be of any special interest, to enter into
details of the many and varied duties which appertained to the
appointment. I had to buy anything, from a submarine or destroyer to
brass instruments for bands, and from the largest of guns to carbines and
bayonets and officers' whistles. The question of advising the Government
on making inquiries as to inventions was not part of my duties, but yet
hardly a week or a fortnight passed that some persistent inventor did not
find his way into my offices. The question of getting new inventions
fully considered and tested by the War Office was always a difficult one
to those who did not know the ropes, and there seemed to be a general
idea amongst these clever gentlemen that, if they could get some of the
Colonies to accept what they had to offer, it would be an easy road to
the War Office. During my time in London, however, I must say that while
several clever and very ingenious devices were brought to me, none proved
good enough to enable me to recommend their adoption.

It had been decreed by the War Office that manoeuvres on a much larger
scale than had as yet been held in England should take place during the
summer, and I looked forward with a great deal of interest to being
present thereat. There appeared to be three principal objects in carrying
them out, to give senior officers an opportunity of handling large bodies
of men actually in the field; secondly, to test the departmental
services; and thirdly, to test the possibilities and reliability of a
system of hired transport.

The invited visiting officers were quartered at the Counties Hotel,
Salisbury. Its situation was fairly convenient and it was quite a
comfortable hotel. There were to be two armies, the Northern and the
Southern, the two together numbering somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000
men and commanded respectively by the Duke of Connaught and General Sir
Redvers Buller. The period of manoeuvres lasted some eight days.
Salisbury Plain and the surrounding country was the headquarters of the
Northern Army, while the Southern Army was camped beyond the Downs to the
south-west.

From the very start of the concentration of the troops the weather
promised to be of a very trying character. The sun shone with almost
tropical force. The large bodies of troops, moving through the narrow
roadways and lanes, hemmed in by the high hedges, churned up clouds of
dust. Moving in the rear of the troops thousands of wagons of the hired
transport made matters worse. I doubt if ever a more extraordinary
collection of vehicles and beasts of burden was ever got together
anywhere in the world. Big furniture vans, drawn by four or three
wretched-looking horses, would be seen just in front of two-wheeled carts
drawn by a couple of powerful Clydesdales. The majority of the drivers,
being civilians, did much as they pleased. Once a section of the
transport was committed to a long piece of road or narrow lane without
cross-roads it simply had to go on; it couldn't turn round; it trusted to
Providence to reach its destination. I think it was the third or fourth
day that the task set to the armies was the occupation of a long ridge of
the Downs, some eight or ten miles south-west from Salisbury.

Operations were to begin at six in the morning and cease at two p.m., and
the visiting officers were attached that day to the Northern Army. The
starting points of the two armies were at about equal distances from the
objective. The point at issue was--who was to occupy the long ridge
position first? It was frightfully hot; I have never known it hotter in
England. I was glad of my Australian hat and light khaki uniform as I
rode along the ranks of the sweltering infantry; the Scotch in their
small glengarrys, the artillery with their old-fashioned forage caps, all
were smothered in dust.

As the Northern Army advanced commanding officers anxiously sought for
news of the enemy. About half-past twelve the visiting officers decided
to ask permission to push forward to the head of the advance guard and
see what was happening, for the hour to stop the battle was getting close
at hand and no enemy was in sight. We pushed forward right to the slopes
of the rising downs. Still no signs of the enemy beyond a few small
cavalry patrols, which promptly retired before those of the Northern
Army. We were taken up to the crown of the ridges.

On arrival there we could plainly see large bodies of the enemy,
evidently resting, and camping in some beautifully wooded, shady country
about three or four miles away. Apparently something had gone wrong
somewhere. While the Northern Army marched some nine or ten miles in that
awful heat, their enemies had probably not done more than three or four
miles. But the Northern Army had won the day. It had also been arranged
that--no matter which side did win the battle that day, on the next
morning the Northern Army was to retire again, fighting a rear-guard
action. Lord Wolseley was by no means pleased with the day's work. It was
reported that after listening at the usual pow-wow to what the officer
commanding the Southern Army, Buller, had to say about the movements of
his troops during the day, he expressed his opinions in fairly forcible
terms.

Operations were to commence again at six o'clock the next morning. A few
captive balloons were being used for observation purposes by both sides.
It was presumed that the Southern Army would take the opportunity, after
the comparative rest of the day before, of showing their mettle, and a
fairly ding-dong fight was expected. So we were early in the field, back
to the old ridge on the Downs, where the battle had ceased the day
before. We were not disappointed.

I personally spent some unprofitable hours up in the air. One of the
captive balloons, in charge of an engineer officer, was just being
prepared ready to ascend when the officer, whom I knew well, invited me
to go up with him. I handed my horse to the orderly and jumped into the
basket, and we were soon up some hundreds of feet in the air. It was an
interesting sight to see the southern force making its way to the attack
through the valleys between the ridges. It was not pleasing to notice a
half-squadron of cavalry suddenly emerge from under cover of a farm near
by and charge straight for the wagon of our captive balloon. I wondered
what was going to happen. Could the wagon get away out of reach in time?
It didn't seem possible. My host had no intention of being captured; he
cut off the balloon from the wagon, which was duly taken. The day turned
out as hot as the day before. There was hardly a breath of air and our
balloon hung poised over the enemy's troops now passing under it. If we
came down we would, of course, fall into their hands as prisoners. My
host was determined not to be caught and refused to come down. A couple
of batteries of the enemy's artillery quite enjoyed themselves firing at
us. I suggested to him that, if it was real business, we were in a very
awkward position, but he didn't mind. He thought his balloon was good
enough for anything except to go down, and he didn't intend to do that
until the fighting for the day was over, two o'clock in the afternoon.
And up in the air we stayed. As I had neither pipe nor tobacco and we had
nothing to eat or drink with us, I was not sorry when we set foot on
Mother Earth again. I think it was that night, if not the next, a
Saturday night, that we received a message from the headquarters of the
Duke telling us of the defeat of the Khalifa at Omdurman by the forces in
Egypt under Kitchener. It was welcome news.

Everyone knows the plight our War Office was in _re_ the supply of small
arms ammunition at the beginning of the South African War. Early in 1899
I received two orders, large in their way, totalling some five million
rounds, for the .303 magazine rifle, from Sydney and Melbourne. The rifle
ammunition Mark V was then in use, and very good ammunition it was too.
The introduction of Mark VI was under consideration, and there was a
probability of its replacing Mark V at an early date. I had been watching
with considerable interest the experiments that had been taking place
with the Mark VI, and I was personally far from satisfied that it would
be a success. I decided to supply the order with Mark V, notwithstanding
my general instructions that all stores were to be of the latest
up-to-date pattern introduced into the Service at home. As the first
consignments of the Mark V were shipped, I notified the Victorian and New
South Wales Governments of the steps I was taking. I did not hear
anything further in the matter for some two or three months when, to my
surprise, I received a cable from Victoria, asking me upon what grounds I
was sending out Mark V ammunition and not Mark VI, which, they pointed
out, they understood had been adopted at home. At the same time a member
of one of the firms which were supplying the ammunition called and
informed me that his firm had received an order direct from the
Government of Victoria for two million rounds of Mark VI ammunition,
requesting them to cease forwarding any more Mark V. I immediately cabled
to Victoria that I was not satisfied with the Mark VI ammunition, that I
expected it to be withdrawn at an early date, and that, if they chose to
place orders direct with the contractors on their own, I would accept no
responsibility of any kind in the matter. In the meantime, what was to be
done with the still very large balance of Mark V ammunition which was
ready for shipment? My friend, the member of the firm, was just as aware
as I was that Mark VI ammunition which they had then begun to supply to
the War Office was not by any means likely to prove satisfactory. He
actually seemed rather pleased that the large balance of Mark V was now
practically left on his hands and would be replaced by the Mark VI. As
the inspection of the Mark VI would naturally take some considerable time
before it could be passed and dispatched to Australia, there was no
hurry, as far as I could see, to communicate further by cable with
Victoria. I may mention that the Government of New South Wales had
accepted the situation and were content to receive their regular supplies
of Mark V, having accepted my suggestion.

Then my day came. The National Rifle Meeting was held in Scotland. I
voyaged up to watch for myself. It was not long before serious complaints
began to be made, not only as regards the actual results of the shooting
on the targets, but, what was much more serious, the bursting of two or
three barrels and the blowing out of several breech-blocks. I was quite
satisfied and returned to London. Courts of Inquiry were ordered by the
Government, but, what was more important, similar happenings occurred
later at the Bisley Meeting. The Council immediately took up the matter
with the Government. Result: Mark VI ammunition condemned. Then went a
cable to Australia through the Press Association:

  "Mark VI ammunition condemned by Government.--The information sent
  to the Colonies by the Inspector of Warlike Stores confidentially
  has proved correct."

Next day I received the following from Melbourne: "Is the cable published
here to-day with reference to Mark VI ammunition true? If so, please
rescind as soon as possible the order for two million rounds placed with
the contractors." There was nothing more to be done but to try to induce
the contractors to forgo their order for two million Mark VI and let us
have the Mark V. I think it is to their credit to state that they at once
met my wishes in this respect, and an awkward situation was saved. This
happened only some two months before the declaration of war against South
Africa. The War Office, having decided earlier in the year on the
adoption of the Mark VI, had placed very large orders with the
contractors, probably for some forty to fifty million rounds, and these
orders had been, to a large extent, executed, while, naturally, the
stocks of Mark V had been practically depleted. The result was that the
War Office found itself in the critical position of entering upon a war
with actually a shortage of rifle ammunition. It will be remembered that
the Government of India came to the rescue.

I had now been in London over a year. The question of my return had not
been raised. Kingston was still Premier, and my _locum tenens_, a Colonel
Stuart, continued acting for me as Commandant in South Australia.



CHAPTER X

OFF TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR


Towards the middle of September, 1899, rumours of war began to spread.
Early in October war was declared. At that time a squadron of the New
South Wales Lancers, which had been sent home by voluntary subscription,
was undergoing a course of training in England under the command of
Captain Cox. The officers and men volunteered, and they were the first
Australian mounted troops to land in South Africa.

I was naturally very anxious to go out myself, so I cabled to the
Governments of the several colonies for the necessary leave. They
refused, for the very good reason that as war had been declared it was
just the very time when they required the services of their military
adviser in England. I could not quarrel with their decision. I thought
once more of my old friend, Charles Cameron Kingston, cabled to him
explaining the position, and suggested that I should resign my
appointment as Inspector of Warlike Stores, return to my dormant
appointment as Commandant of South Australia, and on my arrival in
Adelaide obtain permission to proceed to South Africa as a special
service officer, if this could be arranged without my having to give up
the Commandantship. I felt fairly certain of securing a position on the
staff of the Commander-in-Chief in connexion with the mounted contingents
of the Australian colonies, which were being so freely offered by all of
them to the Mother Country. Kingston once again met my wishes. I cabled
my resignation to the Governments I was serving, and, being fortunate
enough to secure first-rate accommodation for the wife and family, set
sail for Australia a few days after war was declared, in the middle of
October, in what was then the finest passenger boat to Australia, the
German ship the ss. _Bremen_. And so began my seventh journey across the
world.

Our passage in the _Bremen_ was as usual a fair weather one, but it was
fraught with much anxiety as regarded the progress of the war. The ports
of call of our ship were Genoa, Port Said and Aden, Colombo, and then
Western Australia. As we arrived at each of these ports the news from
South Africa became graver and graver. Siege of Ladysmith, siege of
Mafeking, siege of Kimberley. Rebellion in Cape Colony. Then Colenso and
Spion Kop. We felt somewhat relieved on arrival at Freemantle, where the
news met us that General Buller was to be superseded in the command by
Lord Roberts. On reaching Adelaide I saw Kingston, my friendly Premier,
and told him that it was my intention, if he approved, to take my family
on to my wife's relations in Melbourne, return at once to Adelaide, raise
the first mounted contingent, and sail with it for South Africa. Once
again Kingston fell in with my views. I took the family to Melbourne and
returned to Adelaide.

The excitement throughout the Australian colonies at that time, the
middle of December, 1899, was intense. Just previous to leaving England
by the _Bremen_ I had been informed by the War Office, and by the
Australian Governments I then represented, that they had offered
contingents for service in South Africa to the Home Government. I had
called at the War Office and had been told that the offer had been
accepted, but that it had been decided to accept infantry and not mounted
units. I pointed out to those in authority at the time that they had
quite failed to appreciate the temper of the offer of the Australian
colonies. The men who wished to volunteer were not in the least anxious,
in fact, they really had the strongest objection, to walk about South
Africa; they and their horses were one, and even if they couldn't shoot
or be drilled in time to fulfil the conditions of a trained cavalryman,
at any rate they could ride like hell and shoot straight.

The War Office people thought I was rather romancing. I tried to disabuse
them of this idea and ventured a step farther. I said that I almost
believed that the refusal of the War Office to accept mounted troops
might be taken absolutely as an insult. I was told that they valued my
opinions and wished they had heard them before their final decision had
been cabled out, but it could not be altered. The War Office had its way.
The first contingent, therefore, raised in the colonies were trained as
infantrymen, dispatched to South Africa, and on arrival there were formed
into one regiment, every member of which was a first-class rider but a
bad walker. They were shifted about hither and thither, gained no
particular laurels, and rested not until the day came when they were
turned into a mounted regiment, shortly before the arrival at Cape Town
of the first mounted units. No more infantry units were dispatched from
the colonies. The War Office had repented.

One of the reasons given to me for their preference for infantry had been
that it had been considered inadvisable to put upon the Australians the
extra expenditure that would be incurred in equipping mounted corps. To
say the least of it, a very childish one.

I found on reaching Adelaide that there were enough applications already
handed in at the military staff office to organize five or six squadrons,
instead of one. It became a question simply of selecting the best.
Married men were at once barred. Our unit was one squadron, a hundred and
twenty officers and men. The remark which had been made to me in the War
Office, previous to my leaving London, with reference to putting the
colonies to extra expenditure in sending mounted troops, came back to my
mind. I called on my old friend, Mr. Barr Smith, and I suggested to him
that it would be patriotic on his part if he permitted me to notify to
the Government that he was willing to bear the expense of supplying some
of the horses required for the contingent. "Most certainly," he answered.
"You can tell the Government that they can draw upon me for the amount
required for the purchase of the whole of the horses." This was a winning
card in my hand. I called upon Kingston next morning and told him of the
offer. I further told him that I had already heard whispers of probable
opposition to my so soon relinquishing my position as Commandant after my
long absence from Adelaide. "Don't bother," said Kingston. "You are now
going to fight for us; leave it to me. I am announcing to the House this
afternoon the Government's decision to send this first mounted
contingent. You have put in my hands a trump card--Mr. Barr Smith's
generous offer. It will be received with the greatest enthusiasm by the
members. I shall tell them your part in it and then immediately announce
that I have selected you to proceed at once to South Africa as a special
service officer, representing South Australia."

It all happened that afternoon just as he had told me. The House cheered
and cheered as Mr. Barr Smith's offer--following on the notification to
members that it was the decision of the Government to send the mounted
contingent--was announced. Then followed the singing of "God Save the
Queen." Before they had time to settle down Kingston told them I had been
selected as a special service officer for duty in South Africa. More
cheers. All was well. My long absence was forgotten. All were glad to see
me back. All pleased that the opportunity was being given me to go on
active service. I was presented with two splendid chargers, a bay and a
blue roan, a sword, revolver, binoculars, and enough knitted mufflers,
Crimean helmets, housewives and the like to last me a lifetime. The only
thing to be done was to select the men, purchase the horses, and get
ready to embark as soon as a transport could be secured. Those selected
were first-class riders accustomed to the care of horses--most of them
members of the Mounted Rifles, and men who could shoot straight. Within
three or four weeks we should be on board the transport, and could polish
up a little their drill and discipline during the voyage.

We arranged with the New South Wales and Western Australian Governments
for the ss. _Surrey_ to convey our three contingents to Cape Town. We
totalled some three hundred and eighty officers and men and four hundred
horses. One squadron from a New South Wales cavalry regiment, one South
Australian Mounted Rifles squadron, and a similar one from Western
Australia. The _Surrey_, with the full complement on board, left
Fremantle, in Western Australia, in January, 1900. I can still shut my
eyes and see the immense crowds that wished us "God speed," and hear the
continuous cheers of the people of Adelaide on the day when we marched
through the principal streets of the city on our way to embarkation. It
was one of those events that one does not forget. Once more I was on my
way across the seas to the other side of the world. My eighth voyage.

Fine weather across the Indian Ocean. I was not in charge of the troops
on board the ship. I was merely a passenger, as a special service
officer. Lieut.-Colonel Parrott, a New South Wales engineer officer, was
in command. I had particularly arranged for this, as I had heard of the
difficulties that had arisen in connexion with the transport of the first
infantry units, and had considered it more advisable to act as a sort of
support to the officer commanding than to be actually in command myself.
This plan turned out quite successful.

A finer lot of sports I shall probably never travel with again. Among
them we had men of all classes--judges' sons, doctors' sons, squatters'
sons, bootmakers' sons, butchers' sons, all happy together, and all more
than ready for their job. Amongst our South Australian lot was one Jack
Morant. He was not an Australian born, but had come out from the old
country a few years before, and had an uncle at a place called Renmark,
up the River Murray, where the Chaffey brothers, the irrigation experts
from California, had established a fruit colony and had induced several
retired officers from the old country to settle. Amongst these was
Lieut.-Colonel Morant, Jack's uncle. The latter had been promoted to the
rank of corporal, and had been christened by his comrades "Corporal
Buller," from the somewhat extraordinary likeness he bore to General Sir
Redvers. I will tell you more about Jack Morant and his unfortunate end
later on. Those of you who read the _Sydney Bulletin_ in the days before
the South African War may remember several typical Australian poems that
appeared in that clever journal over the name of "The Breaker." "The
Breaker" was Jack Morant.



CHAPTER XI

WITH LORD ROBERTS IN SOUTH AFRICA


It was on February 25, 1900, that the _Surrey_ anchored in Cape Town Bay.
As soon as the usual formalities were completed I was taken off in a
special launch, and on landing proceeded to report myself to General
Forestier Walker, at the time G.O.C. Lines of Communication.

Lord Roberts, who had superseded General Sir Redvers Buller as
Commander-in-Chief, was, I think, at that very date hammering Cronje at
Paardeberg. On the voyage over in the _Surrey_ I had prepared a scheme to
submit to Lord Roberts for the organization and employment of the
numerous mounted contingents that had been offered by Australia and New
Zealand. We little thought then that over 16,000 officers and men and
horses would land in South Africa from Australia alone before the end of
the war. General Forestier Walker, after talking over with me the details
of the scheme, thought that it would fit in with Lord Roberts' future
plans, as confidentially known to him, and he at once telegraphed to the
Commander-in-Chief, notifying him of my arrival, as well as of the fact
that I had an important proposition to put before him. We were not long
awaiting the answer. It came that evening. It was short and to the point:
"Chief will gladly see Colonel Gordon at Bloemfontein as soon as railway
opens."

A few days afterwards a further telegram arrived to the following effect:
"Colonel Gordon will proceed to Naauport as soon as possible en route for
Bloemfontein. Four horses for the above-named officer and two grooms to
be sent on after him the very first opportunity." I at once left Capetown
and, passing through Naauport, reached Norval's Pont, where the railway
crossed from the Cape Colony to the Orange Free State. A really
magnificent railway bridge had been completed a few years before, but
just previous to my arrival the Boers, retreating northwards across the
river, had blown up the fine piers supporting the two centre spans. The
bridge was useless. However, the South African Railway Pioneer Corps had
with extraordinary rapidity thrown a pontoon bridge across the river.

Though Lord Roberts had by this time taken Bloemfontein, having marched
across and fought his way from the west at Paardeberg to the east at
Bloemfontein, the southern portion of the Orange River State from the
bridge-head at Norval's Pont to Bloemfontein was still in the hands of
the Boers, and it was through this country that the railway line made its
way northwards to Bloemfontein. On my arrival at Norval's Pont the
railway officer in charge informed me that I would have to wait until a
train came to the other side of the river from Bloemfontein. I had to
wait two days only. In the meantime, Lord Kitchener, accompanied by the
general manager of the Bank of South Africa at Capetown, reached Norval's
Pont, and crossed the river. A fourth passenger turned up. It was Rudyard
Kipling, if I remember rightly.

The journey to Bloemfontein did not occupy many hours. We arrived in the
evening, just before dark. I made my way to one of the hotels. Curiously
enough, somehow, I caught sight of a flagstaff over the hotel. It had a
flag on it but it was evidently tied down to the pole. After arranging
for my room at the hotel I got on to the roof to see what the flag was,
and found it to be an Orange River Colony flag, which had evidently been
overlooked by the authorities. I took possession of it.

Next morning I reported myself at headquarters. In the train journey from
Norval's Pont I had had an opportunity of describing my proposition to
Lord Kitchener and talking it over with him. As a result, when by
appointment I saw Lord Roberts, he had had the matter put before him and
had agreed to its being carried out, with a few alterations as regards
detail. The chief points of the scheme were as follows:--

(1). That it was desirable to concentrate the strongest possible force of
mounted men then available in South Africa at Bloemfontein.

(2). That all further arrivals of mounted units from over the seas, or
raised locally in South Africa, should be sent on to Bloemfontein without
delay.

(3). That these units should be equipped as mounted infantry--that is to
say, that their chief arm should be the service rifle.

(4). That to each corps formed a strong unit of Imperial Mounted Infantry
should be attached.

(5). That these corps should be of sufficient numerical strength to act
as independent columns if desired.

(6). That whatever might be the strength of the contribution of any
individual Dominion or Colony, it would form one unit, under the command
of its own senior officer.

(7). That, in grouping together the units of the Colonies, care should be
exercised in their selection, so as to avoid any possible likelihood of
friction.

(8). That the officers selected to the commands should be the most
experienced in mounted infantry work, and young enough.

(9). That a special staff officer should be appointed to organize the
proposed mounted corps.

(10). That such a staff officer should be charged with the provision and
maintenance of the horses required and deal directly with the officers in
charge of remount depots.

(11). That such staff officer should be entrusted with the responsibility
of maintaining the units in an efficient state as regarded arms,
equipment, saddlery and clothing, and that, in order to successfully
carry out these duties, he should be permitted to draw all supplies
necessary in bulk direct from the Ordnance Depots at Capetown.

(12). That, in order to carry out this last suggestion as to supplies,
etc., the staff officer in question should have authority to arrange with
the General Officer Commanding the main Line of Communications for such
train services as might be required and establish his own depôts wherever
necessary, and detail the personnel for the efficient service thereof.

Lord Kitchener recommended the propositions. Lord Roberts gave them his
approval and requested me to see him again on the next day, when he
desired me to submit to him in writing all details of the proposed
organization for his future consideration. In the meantime it was
necessary to find some suitable premises to be the headquarter offices of
the new corps. In the afternoon I looked round Bloemfontein and was
fortunate to secure quite a large residence belonging to a near relation
of President Steyn.

In preparing the tables of personnel as desired by the Commander-in-Chief,
I restricted myself to the contingents that had already arrived and
those on their way from the Australian Colonies. Next day I submitted the
details I had worked out. They were approved, and I was asked if I had
sufficient knowledge of the units already in South Africa and those
expected to arrive from Canada and New Zealand. If so they were to be
included in the scheme. I had not any particular difficulty in carrying
out Lord Roberts' wishes in this respect as, during my few days' stay in
Capetown, while I was waiting to proceed to Bloemfontein, I had asked
for and had been supplied with that very information by General Forestier
Walker's staff officers.

There were sufficient companies of the Imperial Mounted Infantry
scattered about in the country to form four regiments of four companies
each. So that, by forming four separate corps, a regiment of Imperial
troops was available for each. In working out the distribution of the
Overseas Contingents it was found that by allotting (a) to the First
Corps the whole of the Canadians; (b) to the second the New South Wales
and Western Australian contingents; (c) to the third the Victorian, South
Australian and Tasmanian contingents, and (d) to the fourth the
Queenslanders and New Zealanders, each corps would number some fifteen
hundred officers and men without the departmental troops attached.

The above distribution was approved. I was then appointed Chief Staff
Officer for Overseas Colonials on Lord Roberts' Staff, and ordered to
assemble all the units concerned and organize them at Bloemfontein with
as little delay as possible into corps as above. Distinguished mounted
infantry officers were selected to command the four corps which were to
be known as a brigade, namely, Alderson, Henry, Pilcher and De Lisle.
Shortly afterwards orders were issued for a similar organization to be
carried out in the case of the mounted units raised in South Africa to be
likewise called a brigade, the two brigades forming a division. General
Hutton was selected for the command of the Overseas Brigade, General
Ridley for the South African, and General Ian Hamilton for Divisional
Commander.

Quite three-fourths of the proposed strength of the Overseas Brigade was
encamped on the lower slopes of Signal Hill within four weeks of my
receiving my instructions.

By May 7 I had established my depôts at Capetown and Bloemfontein and had
succeeded in re-equipping our brigade as well as obtaining the greater
portion of the horses required. The remainder were arriving in batches
each day, and I had accumulated sufficient stores of all kinds to attend
to their wants on arrival.

Hutton arrived and took command of his brigade; a real fine lot of men
they were, too. The horses were good and in fine fettle. When on parade
it was quite difficult to differentiate between the four corps. They were
an equally strong, hardy lot of men, clear-eyed, sitting their horses as
only the Colonials can.

I had known Hutton well, as you know, during his period of command in New
South Wales. After leaving New South Wales he had put in three years as
General Officer Commanding in Canada. If there was one branch of the
Service which he dearly loved, it was the mounted rifles. I don't
remember any general ever looking so happy and contented as he did on the
day he took command, and I was not surprised. I was proud enough of them
myself. What valuable work they did afterwards in the field was fully
appreciated by the Commander-in-Chief and the other troops alongside of
whom they fought during the campaign.

During our stay at Bloemfontein I had several opportunities of discussing
with Lord Roberts and Kitchener the scheme for universal service which I
had years before prepared at Adelaide. They were both very keenly
interested in it, and we talked it over from every point of view. Lord
Roberts considered it eminently suitable and most desirable, especially
when remembering the deep-rooted objection that existed to military
conscription at home and in the Colonies.



CHAPTER XII

IN COMMAND OF A MOUNTED COLUMN


On the day before he left Bloemfontein Lord Roberts sent for me and asked
me how many of the Overseas Brigade had been unable to march out of
Bloemfontein. I informed him that taking into account the sick and
convalescent, two or three units which had only just arrived, and some
for whom I was awaiting delivery of horses from the Remount Depôt, in all
somewhere between seven and eight hundred men. He also asked me to
ascertain as soon as possible how many had been left behind belonging to
General Ridley's brigade. I did so, and found that they had left behind
somewhere about a thousand. He said: "Very well. I now want you to put
all those details together, organize them into a mounted column, equip
them, and get the requisite number of horses within a week or ten days if
practicable. I have given instructions that your wants are to be attended
to by all the parties concerned as early as possible. You will then leave
Bloemfontein; the column will march, passing to the westward of Karee
Siding, to Brandfort. Then, with a wide sweep to the westward, returning
to the railway line at Small Deel. You will receive further orders at
Small Deel as to what route to take from that place to Kroonstad. I shall
be looking for your arrival, if all goes well with you, and I am counting
upon your arriving with between twelve and fifteen hundred horses, in
good condition, to replace the losses in horseflesh amongst the mounted
troops in my advance. I fully anticipate that as we drive the Boers
northwards on our broad front--the centre of which will be practically
the main railway line--numbers of them will break away to our flanks,
clear them, and then close in backwards in our rear to attack our lines
of communications. I don't think that they'll be expecting any mounted
columns of any strength to be following up behind. So that you have got
to watch for them and deal them a nasty blow if you come across them.

"So you understand. Your two special duties are: first, to watch the
lines of communications, and secondly, so to nurse your horses that they
may arrive as fit as possible. By the by, I don't think I have told you
that I have appointed you to command the column. I don't think it will
interfere with your other duties, as I know you've got them well in
hand."

I thanked him, but I pointed out that my greatest difficulty in equipping
the brigade had undoubtedly been to obtain suitable transport. I very
much doubted if, after the general advance from Bloemfontein, there
remained a single decent wagon or cart behind.

"Well," he said, "I know that. You must travel as light as you can. Make
use of the railway line as much as possible, and collar whatever vehicles
you can get. Good luck! I'll see you at Kroonstad."

My column altogether numbered about seventeen hundred. The night we
arrived at Brandfort the officer commanding was glad to see us. He was
expecting a surprise attack that night, but nothing happened. No doubt
the news of our arrival had reached the Boers and they had thought better
of it. On our sweep from Brandfort to Small Deel we met a good many small
parties of Boers as we went through the ranges, but they gave us no
trouble except a lot of sniping. We got a good many surrenders, and
arrived at Small Deel hale and hearty. There I received my orders to
march on to Welgelegen and thence to Kroonstad, watching the country to
the left of the railway line. As we were camped at Welgelegen two nights
afterwards I received a message from Lord Kitchener to the effect that it
had been reported that some five hundred Boers and four guns had been
seen moving in the direction of Welgelegen and that I was to do my best
to intercept them, and, in any case, in moving on to Kroonstad to proceed
on both sides of the railway line on as broad a front as the numbers at
my disposal would allow. We could hear nothing of the five hundred Boers
and four guns, so after a thorough search of the country round Welgelegen
we marched on to Kroonstad.

On arriving there I reported at headquarters. Lord Roberts informed me
that he would inspect the column next morning at 10 A.M. The
Commander-in-Chief arrived up to time. His inspection was a very short
one, his chief anxiety being the condition of the horses. Fortunately
they were in good fettle, and their condition met with his approval. He
thanked me and gave instructions to his staff officers for the future
disposition of the several units.

Before 4 P.M. that afternoon the bivouac ground was empty and my
composite column dispersed. I at once set to work to gather up the
threads of my own especial work. The first thing was to establish a depôt
at Kroonstad for my brigade supplies. The next, to bespeak horses at the
Remount Depôt, just established at Kroonstad. I was busy at this work the
next day when I received a message to report myself at headquarters. On
arrival there General Grierson, the Quartermaster-General, told me that
he wanted me to take up a special job at once. He added that the arrival
of my horses in good condition had enabled the Commander-in-Chief to move
on, and that he had decided to advance to Pretoria straight away. It had
been anticipated that there would not be any great opposition on the part
of the Boers, at any rate as far as the Vaal River. The advance would be
a very rapid one, especially on the part of the mounted troops forming
the two enveloping wings on both sides of the railway line.

It was therefore necessary that the transport for their supplies should
not fail during their advance. It had been arranged that General French's
cavalry, with Hutton's mounted riflemen, should advance to the westward
of the railway, and that he wanted me to take charge of their combined
transport and supply columns. I told Grierson that I was doubtful whether
I had enough experience for that sort of work. Didn't he think that
someone better fitted should be selected? Grierson told me that Lord
Roberts had suggested my name, and that he thought that was quite enough.
There was nothing more to be said.

I asked for instructions. He said "Go and see Ward and you will get
them." I went across to Colonel Ward, at the D.A.Q.M.G.'s quarters, and
saw him. He told me that the troops were advancing early next morning,
that General French's supply column was last heard of as about to leave
Welgelegen, and he had no intimation of any kind as to Hutton's supply
column.

The situation, then, was shortly this. The two mounted brigades were
leaving early in the morning of the 22nd, and expected to advance during
the day somewhere between twenty and thirty miles. One of the two supply
columns was timed to reach Kroonstad, the starting point of the two
troops, on the evening of the day of the departure of the brigades, and
required a rest, and there was no information available as to the
whereabouts of the second supply column. The outlook was not cheerful.
Having gathered a small staff I dispatched a party to hunt up Hutton's
column, with orders that they were to be hustled up to Kroonstad without
delay.

I spent the rest of the day making the necessary arrangements for the
provision of escorts for the columns, which, owing to the existing
circumstances, would be unable to move on together. It was quite evident
that French's column would have to leave Kroonstad before Hutton's, and
that owing to the rapid advance of the troops in front it would be
impossible for the two supply columns to join up en route. The only
practical solution that came to my mind was to hurry on French's column,
feed Hutton from it, and trust to be able to push forward Hutton's
column, when I got hold of it, in time to make up French's deficiencies
before he actually fell short.

Knowing that the supplies of a commanding officer in the field are always
looked upon as actually his own property, I deemed it most advisable to
obtain a written order from headquarters to carry out this plan, if
necessary. I saw Colonel Ward, and he was good enough to give me a
written order to that effect. This relieved my mind. As a matter of fact,
when we picked up the mounted brigades it did become necessary for me to
supply Hutton from French's supply column. Lieut.-Colonel Johnson, an
artillery officer, who was in command of this column, protested most
strongly against parting with any of his supplies, but, on my handing him
a copy of the D.A.Q.M.G.'s order to me, he, of course, complied. But I
knew right well what to expect next morning. I was not disappointed. I
had camped down that night between French's and Hutton's Brigades. Up to
that I had had no news of the whereabouts of Hutton's supply column, but
I knew that French would send for me very early in the morning. About
four in the morning I got news of Hutton's column. It had reached
Kroonstad from Welgelegen the evening before, and would move on as per
orders.

I need not say that it was a great relief, as it enabled me to look
forward to my forthcoming interview with French with less concern. Just
at daylight I saw a couple of lancer troopers galloping along towards my
little camp. I rode out to meet them. I knew what they wanted. They told
me they came from General French, who wished to see the officer who had
borrowed his supplies the evening before. Could I tell him where they
would find him? I told them it was all right, that I was the officer they
wanted, and they could lead the way. I shall not forget that morning. We
were in the vicinity of a place called Essenbosch. It was a typical South
African fine weather morning. The frost was on the ground. The sun was
just rising, but not a cloud in the sky. A big plain. Not a tree; all
clear veldt for miles. The two brigades were on the move. It was as
pretty a sight as any soldier could wish to see.

After three or four miles' ride I reached General French and his staff.
Our conversation was brief but to the point.

"Are you the officer by whose orders supplies were taken from my column
last evening?"

"I am, sir." And, pulling out my pocket-book, I produced Colonel Ward's
written order.

"Just understand that I allow nobody to borrow or take my supplies in the
field. If my troops go one hour short of supplies you will hear from me
again. Good morning."

"Good morning, sir," I said, and rode back to my camp.

I had noticed a staff officer looking hard at me under his helmet. I
suddenly recognized him. It was my old school chum at the Oratory, Edmund
Talbot, the Duke of Norfolk's brother. I had not seen him since I had
left school. We were glad to meet again. The world is small. Then off
they went, and I was left behind to work out my problem.

At the time Hutton's column was some forty miles in the rear. I had two
days' more supplies left in French's column. The question was whether I
would succeed in hurrying up Hutton's column sufficiently fast in four
days to pick up the advancing troops.

I had information from headquarters that Lord Roberts intended to get at
any rate some of his troops across the River Vaal from the Orange Free
State into the Transvaal on May 24, Queen Victoria's birthday, as he
particularly wished to cable to her, on that day, the news of the
complete occupation of the Orange Free State and the entry of his troops
into the Transvaal. This meant an advance at the rate of some twenty-five
miles a day on the part of French's and Hutton's brigades. Fortunately
Hutton's column was enabled, but, indeed, at very heavy loss in oxen and
mules, to reach French's as it emptied its last wagon.

By selecting the fittest of the draught animals left belonging to the
emptied column, and the fittest of those in Hutton's column, we were able
to push on, and, four days afterwards, on the evening of May 24, when a
few cavalry actually did cross the River Vaal, at a place called Parisj
to the westward of the railway line, the last two days' rations reached
French's brigade headquarters half an hour before scheduled time. The job
was over. I should be sorry to say how many animals were left on the road
and how long it took the empty wagons, of which there were some eight
hundred, to return to the base with their sorely depleted teams. For the
previous four days and nights I just rested and slept when and where I
could, sometimes for an hour, sometimes for two or three, but you may
imagine what a good night's rest myself and my much harried and worried
staff enjoyed that night after drinking the toast of the day, "God bless
our Queen." I didn't think it necessary to go and see General French
again.

Next morning I started across country towards Vereeniken, the border
station of the Transvaal. I reached there in safety, though I had to
cross a portion of the country in advance of our own troops. I reported
myself at headquarters, saw Grierson and asked him, as a special favour,
not to give me the charge of any more supply columns in the near future.
He was kind enough to give me a short note from Lord Roberts, personally
thanking me for the good result of the two special jobs he entrusted to
my care from the time he had left Bloemfontein.

[Illustration: Viscount Kitchener in Field-Marshal's Uniform]

After the Battle of Belfast, about August 25, the organization of the
brigade was practically broken up, and there was no further necessity for
the special post to which I had been appointed as Chief of the Staff for
Overseas Colonials. On Lord Roberts' departure for England I left in the
ss. _Moravian_ for Adelaide, making my ninth voyage across the world.



CHAPTER XIII

SOME SOUTH AFRICAN REMINISCENCES


I never enjoyed better health than I did during the twelve months when
the hard veldt was my bed and the deep, dark, starry night was the roof
over my head. No one can wish for a more healthy climate than that of the
Orange River Colony during the dry season. I was only twice hit; once
near Karree Siding when a pom-pom shell burst just under my horse and
took off the heel of one of my boots; the second time a sniper's bullet
went through my coat sleeve without touching me. But I was unfortunate
otherwise. One night I was riding along the veldt on a horse which had
been presented to me when I left Adelaide by a friend of mine, one of the
best horsemen in South Australia, Stephen Ralli, which we had christened
Bismarck. We suddenly came to the edge of a dry donga with, of course,
rotten sides. Down we had to go, and down we went. For a moment I had no
idea whether we were being flung into a river or into a dry channel. It
happened to be a dry channel, some sixteen feet deep and about the same
width. We hit the bottom hard. I was sent rolling off, Bismarck fell on
his head and broke his neck, turning over on his side. I picked myself up
and could find no bones broken, and I called out to some of my men who
had seen us disappear and had halted on the edge. They were glad to hear
me call out. The question was then, how to get out of the donga. The
banks were steep. So, unhooking the horses out of one of the Cape carts,
they joined up the traces and I was safely hauled up. I did not for some
time afterwards really feel any ill results from my fall. In fact I had
forgotten all about it. But, later on, I found that I suffered a good
deal when riding and that I had received an internal injury which
afterwards caused me considerable trouble.

I shall never forget the constant and uniform kindness which I met at the
hands of Lord Kitchener. Many and very different opinions of Lord
Kitchener's capabilities as a soldier and of his temperament as a man
have been expressed. I formed my own opinion in both capacities from
actual and continuous contact with him in his work. He was a silent man.
Talk was of no value to him when it wasn't to the point. He possessed a
peculiar but very useful gift of getting at the kernel of a subject,
seizing its meaning and promptly making up his mind what action he was
going to take. If he wanted any further information on any point he asked
you for it. If he didn't want it, he did not thank you for volunteering
to give it. He was a master of detail. He was forceful in his
opinions--too forceful for those who disagreed with him. He may not have
been too generous in giving open praise, but he never forgot those who
had done him good service. As to whether he was a great general I have no
opinion to offer, but he could always be depended upon to carry out
whatever he took in hand.

During his trip to Tasmania, years later on, at the time of his
inspection of the Forces of the Australian Colonies, a Light Horse Camp
was being held at a place called Mona Vale belonging to Major Eustace
Cameron who commanded the Light Horse. The homestead was a fine modern
house. Mrs. Cameron had arranged for a large party of young people during
the period of the camp. Lord Kitchener was the guest of Cameron for the
day and night of his inspection. After dinner that evening a small dance
was held. Songs with choruses were sung between the dances, and perhaps
nobody enjoyed himself so much as Lord Kitchener. Later on in the
evening, or rather in the early hours of the morning, he told us several
good stories and much hearty laughter filled the smoking-room. Lord
Kitchener was no woman-hater.

War has not always a grave side. Interesting events, and sometimes even
amusing ones, intervene. Some of them now come to my mind. In the early
part of the war Capetown had become overrun with men in officers'
uniforms and many ladies, most of whom were by way of being attached to
voluntary and other hospitals. Most of these ladies were amateur, not
qualified nurses. Mount Nelson Hotel was their chief resort. While a very
large building it was unable to house the majority of them. They were
scattered about throughout the city in other hotels and boarding-houses.
Yet Mount Nelson was _the_ place where all met.

Each night the resources of the Mount Nelson were strained. Dinner
parties, music and dancing were the order of the day. Tables had to be
engaged for days previously. A night arrived when the festivities were at
their height. Dinner had begun. The large dining-room was full to
overflowing, with the exception of one small table set for two in the
middle of the room. The _entreés_ were being served and the band had just
finished a spirited selection.

The babble of tongues was all over the room when in walked two gentlemen
in uniform, preceded by the manager of the hotel, making their way to the
empty table set for two. The babble of tongues began to subside. The
first officer following the manager was a tall man with rather a severe
look in his eyes. It happened to be Lord Kitchener, followed by his
personal private secretary. For a moment there came a dead silence,
immediately relieved by the strains of the band beginning an operatic
overture and the dinner proceeded. At the end of dinner all officers in
uniform were notified to interview a staff officer previous to leaving
the hotel. Within two days the number of officers frequenting the Mount
Nelson Hotel was reduced to a minimum. A couple of days afterwards the
manager informed me that he had been instructed the night of the fateful
dinner to give notice to all officers in uniform then staying at the
hotel who could not produce a permit to vacate their rooms. Steps were
also taken to inquire into the positions held by many of the amateur lady
nurses, and those whose services were deemed to be superfluous were
provided with return passages to Europe. Thus ended this episode.

[Illustration: _Photo: Shier, Melbourne_

THE COMMONWEALTH MILITARY BOARD, 1914

_Standing_: Colonel Wallace, R.A.A., Master of Ordnance; Colonel Selheim,
C.B., Quartermaster-General; Colonel Chauvel, C.B., Adjutant-General.
_Seated_: Brigadier-General J. M. Gordon, C.B., Chief of the General
Staff; Mr. Laing, Financial Member.]

An amusing incident occurred at a place called Derdepoort, some ten miles
outside Pretoria, where one of our columns, under General Hutton, was
holding a section of the defences of the capital. I had dispatched their
supplies of winter clothing to them, and it was decided to issue them on
a Sunday afternoon. Amongst the thousands of cases that my depôts were
handling were many containing presents of tobacco, pipes, books, and so
on, to the men of the contingents. When the unpacking of those that had
arrived at Derdepoort had taken place on the Sunday afternoon it was
discovered that several very large ones contained women's and children's
garments of all kinds and descriptions. The Tommies were not slow in
appreciating the situation. The sounds of hearty laughter were soon
ringing throughout the camp. I heard it in my tent, where I was taking a
quiet afternoon nap. I went out to see what was happening. It was indeed
a quaint sight. An amateur fancy dress ball was being held, and anything
more comical it is difficult to imagine. The explanation of the arrival
of the costumes was soon made clear. An association of ladies had been
formed in New Zealand with the object of supplying clothing for the Boer
women and children in the refugee camps that had been established by us
for them in South Africa. The cases containing the clothing had been
forwarded to Derdepoort by mistake.

During Lord Roberts's stay in Pretoria it was discovered that a plot was
set on foot to kidnap the Commander-in-Chief. It was, however, nipped in
the bud. One of the leaders was an officer of the Transvaal State
Permanent Artillery. The plot, of course, failed and the officer was
brought to trial and duly shot. Tommy enjoyed his bit of fun over the
attempt to kidnap Lord Roberts. At that time Lady Roberts and her
daughters were at Pretoria, and the Tommies thought that it wouldn't be
so bad if they kidnapped Lady Roberts, but they had the strongest
objection to losing Bobs.

Previous to the Battle of Diamond Hill a short armistice was arranged
for. The commanding officer of the Boers opposed to us at the time was
General Louis Botha. The military situation then was a difficult one. Had
it not been that just then General De Wet, in the north-eastern part of
the Orange River Colony, had become suddenly and successfully aggressive,
it was probable that General Botha would have come to terms. However, as
the result of De Wet's action he decided to carry on. The interesting
point in the incident was the fact that General Botha's wife was selected
as our emissary. Probably it was the first time, and the last, that the
wife of an enemy's general acted in such a capacity.

On our arrival in Pretoria the whole of the conditions appertaining to
the civil life of the town had to be reorganized. Previous to its
occupation by us Kruger had ordered that all Boer families who had
members serving in their forces and who occupied leased houses could do
so free of rent, while men in business with relatives fighting could
occupy their leased premises at half the usual rents. This disability on
the part of the property owners to obtain their rents was at once removed
by Lord Roberts. In order to give effect to this decision it was
necessary to appoint officials. Practically what was really required was
a sort of glorified bum-bailiff, with the necessary assistance, the
bum-bailiff holding a position similar to that of a magistrate. I was
asked to suggest the name of a senior officer of the Australians who
would be suitable. I did so. But the point arose by what name was the
appointment to be designated? I don't remember who was the happy
originator of the name, but it shortly appeared in General Orders that
Colonel Ricardo, of the Queensland Forces, had been appointed "High
Commissioner of Ejectments" at Pretoria. Surely a name worthy of Gilbert
and Sullivan.

I was lunching one day at the Pretoria Club when Bennet Burleigh, the
well-known war correspondent, told me that he had just lost the services
of his dispatch rider and asked me to recommend him a good daring rider
and first-class bushman to take his place. All through life I have found
that trifles often have serious consequences. I just happened, on my way
to the club, to have seen crossing the square Morant, otherwise Corporal
Buller, of the South Australian Contingent. I had not seen him for some
considerable time. I bethought myself at once that Morant would be just
the man to fit the billet. If I had not happened to see him I should
certainly not have thought of him and Morant's career might have been a
very different one. I told Burleigh that Morant was a gentleman, a good
rider and bushman, and I didn't think he personally feared anything.
Burleigh thanked me and offered to take him at once. Next morning Morant
became his dispatch rider.

Occasionally, after this, during the advance to Koomatipoort, Morant
would turn up and pay me a visit. He usually arrived with a bundle of any
old newspapers he could get, which he very gravely and without a smile
handed over to me, hoping that they would be very welcome. But there was
a look in his eye that I knew well. "Have a whisky and soda, Morant?" I'd
say. "Well, sir, I don't think it would be so bad. I would like one very
much." He would then settle himself down comfortably, light his pipe and
start to tell me all sorts of bits of news that had come his way. I often
had but a few minutes to give him and had to leave him in possession,
telling him to look after himself and be happy. Which he did.

He was well pleased with his job, looked a typical war correspondent
himself, and was making good money. I heard no more until, some months
later, I received a note from him from England telling me that he had
been taking a short holiday and was returning to South Africa. He was
joining a friend of his, Major Hunt, and they proposed to raise an
irregular corps on their arrival. The corps was raised, the "Bushveldt
Carabiniers." This corps had nothing whatever to do with Australia. Nor
could Morant himself lay any claim to being Australian. The corps was
raised from Colonials and British, chiefly out of a job, then in South
Africa. They appear to have had somewhat of a free hand in the operations
which marked the latter portion of the campaign. Drives were taking
place. Units were scattered, and to a certain extent had to be left to
their own devices. The Bushveldt Carabiniers occupied for some time a
wild region called The Splonken. While dealing with the Boers in that
locality Major Hunt had, so it was officially reported, been murdered by
the Boers, having been induced to approach a farm house on which a white
flag was flying. The story goes that he was found lying dead on the stoep
of the farm and that his body had been mutilated. Morant swore to avenge
his friend's untimely end--it was reported that he had become engaged to
Hunt's sister during his visit to England. He determined to give no
quarter, and several prisoners who fell into his hands were promptly shot
there and then. He and four other officers were, later on, in January,
1902, court-martialled on the charge of having personally committed or
been accessory to the murder of twelve Boers. The five were found guilty,
in different degrees. Handcock, Wilton and Morant were sentenced to
death, and Morant was shot at Pretoria.

I am in a position to give a short account of Morant's last hours. When
crossing over in the ss. _Surrey_ from South Australia a man called John
Morrow, who had been my groom for a couple of years in Adelaide, had
become a close friend of Morant's. It was difficult to say why.
Practically the only thing they had in common was their love for
horseflesh. Morrow was quite an uneducated man. Morant was the opposite.
Still, friends they were. When the Police Force for the protection of
Pretoria was raised the majority of the men selected came from the
Australians, and Morrow was one of them. Later on he had been appointed
one of the warders at the jail. As bad fortune would have it, he was
given charge of Morant and was with him the evening before he was shot. I
had a long letter from Morrow, later on, enclosing a photograph of the
officers concerned, which had been taken, evidently, about the time that
the corps was raised. On the back of it was written in pencil: "Dear
Jack. To-morrow morning I die. My love to my pals in Australia.--Morant."
It was probable that these were the last words that Morant wrote. Morant
died as he had lived. He faced his end bravely.



Part III



CHAPTER I

ORGANIZING THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA


On my arrival at Adelaide I at last resumed my duties as Commandant after
three and a half years' absence. The Government of South Australia did me
the honour to promote me to the rank of brigadier-general, and the
Governor informed me that I had received the Companionship of the Order
of the Bath for my services in South Africa.

The Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia received the Royal
assent on June 10, 1900. The provisions that had been considered in
framing it had received lengthy and most careful consideration on the
part of the colonies concerned. There had been no hurry and no
unnecessary speeding up. The history of each of the colonies tells us
that they had always worked on constitutional lines, and that they had
not been slow in adopting measures which had proved of benefit and a
credit to those who first put them on the statute books. No point that
might create serious discussion, or mar the initial success of the
Commonwealth had been overlooked. The ablest brains of all the colonies
had worked in unison, a great achievement in these days of selfishness
and personal greed.

Everything was in readiness. The elections for the Commonwealth
Parliament took place, and the first Government was formed. Sir William
Lyne was then Premier of the Mother State. He was charged with the
formation of the first Ministry, but was not successful in his task. The
responsibility then fell upon the shoulders of Sir Edmund Barton, who
gathered round him what was at the time called "the Ministry of all the
Talents." The Premier of practically every State was included. Then came
March 1, 1901, when the actual constitutional functions of the
Commonwealth started. For some time previously, in fact even before the
Act had received Royal assent, the question who was to hold the
all-important appointment of Governor-General had been exercising the
public mind. In Australia itself there seemed to be only one opinion. The
Earl of Hopetoun was easily favourite.

It may be safely said that no Governor of any of the Australian colonies
up to that time had so successfully represented the Throne. Those who
were in Melbourne on his arrival when he became Governor of Victoria well
remember a man of somewhat light build, middle height, pale,
clean-shaven, youthful in appearance. A few minutes' conversation with
him satisfied one of his affable ways and genial disposition. There was
nothing hard in his features, but the lines about the lower part of his
face would set firmly and resolutely when required, while his eyes, when
looking at you straight in the face, left no doubt of his strength of
character. A man of parts, a keen sportsman and a reliable personal
friend. From the very first day of his arrival both his charming countess
and himself won the hearts of the people. One may almost say that it was
love at first sight, if this phrase can be applied to popular feeling.
The outward signs of the approval spontaneously given to the appointment
ripened during his term of office into personal affection, which was
returned by both the holders of the high office, and became deeper with
each year of their stay in Melbourne. The sister colonies were not slow
in appreciating the good opinion formed of him by the Victorians.
Whenever he visited the neighbouring Governors he received splendid
welcome. When his term of office expired and he returned home he carried
with him the good wishes of all. It is not to be wondered at, therefore,
that his appointment as the first Governor-General was looked upon as a
most desirable one.

The Government had decided that the Governor-General's first landing in
Australia should be at the capital of the Mother Colony, New South Wales,
and it had been arranged that the then flagship of the naval squadron in
Australia, the _Orlando_, should meet the mail steamer on which Their
Excellencies were travelling, at Adelaide, and convey them to Sydney
Harbour. I remember well the morning the steamer arrived at Adelaide. We
had heard by cable from Western Australia that His Excellency was
anything but well, but we were not prepared to see him looking so ill. It
was with difficulty that he was transferred to the _Orlando_, and we
wondered whether he would recover sufficiently to take his part in the
arduous functions ahead of him. However, though always somewhat on the
delicate side, he was full of grit and determination, and, when the time
came, he was able to fulfil all his obligations, much to the delight of
everybody.

Sydney had surpassed itself in the arrangements to celebrate the unique
occasion. I don't remember ever seeing decorations so profuse or in such
good taste. The whole of the principal streets were a mass of colour.
Venetian masts lined the pavements at short intervals. Endless festoons
of evergreens and flowers crossed overhead. Balconies and windows were
swathed in bunting and flags; thousands of electric lamps lit up the
decorations and made the city a blaze of light. What shall I say for the
Harbour? Looking towards this from the roof garden of a club in Macquarie
Street it was a sight to be remembered but difficult to describe. The
surface of the water, smooth as oil, dark as the overhanging sky,
reflected every one of the myriad lights on the ships resting on its
surface, and the houses lining the foreshores. Endless ferry-boats, like
things of fire alive, rushed hither and thither. And when the great
display of fireworks began, and hundreds of rockets rose from ship and
shore, there seemed to be no harbour water, for the reflections of the
roaring rockets were seen apparently to dive into the earth.

The day of the "Proclamation" came. A bright and sunny morning, followed
by a real hot day. The route of the procession was over four miles long.
Immense crowds lined the streets, and all available space in the great
Centennial Park was covered with people. What a day to remember! The
Commonwealth of Australia became an actual fact. All the aspirations and
all the desires of the colonies to be one and united were consummated on
that day. What a future lies before it! Before its twentieth birthday it
has made history of which any young nation may well be proud.

The next and most important function, namely, the opening of the first
Commonwealth Parliament by H.R.H. the Duke of York, accompanied by the
Duchess (their present Majesties), took place in Melbourne. Their Royal
Highnesses, as may be remembered, travelled to Australia in the _Ophir_.
Melbourne was not to be outdone in enthusiasm or loyalty. She vied hard
with Sydney to make herself worthy of the occasion, and well she did it.
But, somehow, she seemed to lack variety in effect. This I put down--I
may be wrong--to the fact that Melbourne is a newer city than picturesque
old Sydney, and that, of course, Melbourne does not possess Sydney's
harbour. The whole of the royal functions in Melbourne, as well as those
that took place in the individual States, during the visits of their
Royal Highnesses, were carried out with complete success.

The Duke took the keenest interest in everything, and insisted on getting
information on manifold points of detail. I may refer to a case in point.
At that time the South African War was still on, but numbers of soldiers
had returned to Australia, amongst them many who had been granted
commissions while serving in South Africa. Some of the men were members
of the Permanent Forces before the war. As these forces were limited in
number, there were no vacancies to employ them as officers on their
return, so it had been decided by the Government that if they chose they
could rejoin, reverting to the rank of non-commissioned officers they had
held previously, and be granted the honorary rank of their grade on
relinquishing their appointment. The men concerned were by no means
satisfied, and the matter came before the notice of His Royal Highness.

Just before the _Ophir_ left Adelaide on the return journey to Western
Australia I was sent for on board. His Royal Highness asked me to explain
to him the position of these men. He strongly objected to the action that
had been taken, with the obvious result that the question was adjusted by
the Government quite satisfactorily. The chief officials of the
Commonwealth had been appointed, namely, the Governor-General, the Prime
Minister and the members of the Government. The Members of both Houses of
Parliament had been elected, had taken the oath of allegiance, and were
in session. The three chief departments, which were automatically to be
taken over by the Government from the States were: first, the Defence
Forces; secondly, the Customs Department; thirdly, the postal services.
As regarded the customs and the post office, these services had been, in
each State, under the able administration of competent civil servants.
The task set for the Government was simply the selection of chiefs from
amongst the officials of the existing State departments considered best
fitted for the position.

The selection of an officer for the position of Commander-in-Chief of the
Commonwealth forces was quite a different matter. While the general
organization of the forces of the individual colonies had been run on
somewhat similar lines, there were many anomalies to be eradicated and
many difficult problems to be solved. The seniority and other claims of
the whole of the officers employed on the permanent staffs of the
different States had first to be taken into consideration in the military
reorganization. This task alone necessitated much care and thought in
view of the many fairly well paid positions that would be at the disposal
of the Commander-in-Chief. Then the inauguration and organization of the
central administrative offices and State commands. Further, and
all-important, the preparation of the estimates for the yearly
expenditure at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief, for on this
naturally depended the establishment to be maintained. Last and not
least, a man possessing the thorough confidence of the Government, an
officer of high repute, with much tact, was required. At times when I had
been riding across the veldt in South Africa with General Hutton we had
spoken of the coming Federation of the Australian colonies. He was always
watching the news from Australia. When it was evident that the Act of
Parliament initiating the Commonwealth would receive the Royal assent I
became quite satisfied that Hutton had settled in his own mind to be the
first Commander-in-Chief. As far as I remember Hutton first came to the
front in the operations in Egypt, when he made a special study of mounted
infantry. He was a firm believer in the usefulness of this--then--new
branch of the service. Later on, when he was appointed Commandant in New
South Wales, he found at hand the very material to train as mounted
riflemen. Australians, as we all know, are excellent horsemen and
first-class shots. The nature of the country, with the probable forms of
attack to which it might be subjected, lends itself to their use as
mounted riflemen rather than as cavalry. While Commandant in New South
Wales he devoted much of his energy towards the training of the mounted
troops in this direction. An able soldier, firm in purpose--somewhat too
firm sometimes--he did not spare himself in the interests of his men.
Fortunately for him he was the happy possessor of considerable private
means, which, needless to say, helps towards independence. But what about
tact? During his term as Commandant in Sydney he had several differences
with those in power. That he did not always succeed in getting his own
way goes without saying. But at any rate when he left New South Wales the
forces of that State were certainly more efficient than when he took over
the command. His experiences afterwards in Canada were undoubtedly of
value to him, though it would appear that an unfortunate disagreement
between himself and the Ministers there led to his resignation of that
appointment. Owing to these two former appointments, and to his having
had the command of the Overseas Brigade in South Africa, it was evident
that his claims to be the first Commander-in-Chief in Australia would
receive consideration. The first Minister of Defence appointed by the
Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, was the Hon. Mr. Dickson, a
Queenslander, who unfortunately died within ten days of his appointment.

Sir John Forrest, who was afterwards raised to the peerage, and who since
died while on his way home to take his seat in the House of Lords, took
Mr. Dickson's place as Minister of Defence. I remember quite well dining
with him one night in Melbourne when he asked me what would I think if
Hutton were appointed Commander-in-Chief. I told him that it wasn't so
much what I thought, rather that, as he knew him personally pretty well
himself, what did he think? He answered that he thought it would be all
right. "Well," I said, "you know best. It's you, as Minister, that'll
have to battle with him."

"I won't quarrel with him. It takes two to make a quarrel."

"All right," I said. "I presume, from what you've told me, that the
appointment is practically made. Time alone will tell." General Hutton
was appointed, and within nine months the relations between him and Sir
John became, to say the least of it, more than strained.

Next in order of importance as regarded appointments was, to my mind,
that of private secretary to the Governor-General. If there is an office
that requires consummate tact, knowledge and even-minded temperament,
commend me to that of private secretary to a Governor-General. In his
case Lord Hopetoun was fully satisfied to avail himself of the services
of Captain Wallington, with whom he was already intimately acquainted.
Captain Wallington had served in the capacity of private secretary to
several Governors. I wonder, if he happens to read these lines, whether
he will agree with me that perhaps during his long term of office he
enjoyed the quiet days he spent in Adelaide with Sir Thomas Fowell
Buxton, who was then Governor, as much as any of his time in other
colonies. Captain Wallington, now Sir Edward, must forgive me if I remind
him of the soubriquet by which his personal friends knew him--"Better
not." All his friends rejoice in the fact that he is now filling a very
high position of trust and enjoying the best of health.

I have been following, if you have noticed, the sequence of appointments
which it devolved upon the Government to make in initiating the
Commonwealth. I will continue this plan as regards the senior positions
under the Commander-in-Chief. At the time of General Hutton's arrival the
commands in the several States were held by the following officers:

  New South Wales: Major-General French (late) Royal Artillery.

  Victoria: Sir Charles Holled Smith's term of office as Commandant
  had expired shortly before the inauguration of Federation, and the
  post was held by my old friend General Downes, who, on his
  retirement finally from the South Australian Command, had settled
  in Melbourne, and had been requested by the Victorian Government to
  take on the duties of Commandant temporarily.

  Queensland: Major-General Finn, seconded from the 21st Hussars.

  South Australia: I was still Commandant.

  Western Australia: Colonel Francis.

  Tasmania: Colonel Legge, (late) Royal Artillery.

Pending the expiration of the terms of service of Generals French and
Finn in New South Wales and Queensland the first important vacancy to be
filled was that of Commandant of Victoria, held temporarily by General
Downes. This was offered to me and I accepted it. When the appointment
was announced Kingston was the first to send for me to congratulate me. I
felt, indeed, short of words to thank him for what he had done for me. I
owed so much of my success to him. He was kind enough to say "that he
could honestly assure me that if my work had not been satisfactory I
would not have had his support and that of his colleagues and Parliament;
that he was sorry I was leaving South Australia, and he would prophesy
still higher promotion for me in the future."

These words, coupled with the fact that I was once more to follow my old
friend General Downes's footsteps and _occupy his chair_ as Commandant of
Victoria, set me thinking.

I certainly could not follow General Downes again to higher positions;
his retirement from active military work was final. It was useless to
seek for a second "vision," but it was in my power to renew the
resolution I made years previously, and, remembering Gordon of Khartoum's
maxim, "Never allow your pleasure to interfere with your duty," I fully
determined there and then not to rest until I had reached the highest
position in the military forces of the Commonwealth, and justified
Kingston's prophecy.

On being elected to the Federal Parliament Kingston severed his connexion
with the South Australian Government. It was not long before he made his
mark as a member of the Federal Cabinet. The influence of his strong
personality, his high attainments and sincere belief in the splendid
future of the young Commonwealth, marked him as a coming Prime Minister.
When this reward seemed to be within his grasp a serious illness overtook
him. After a long spell of enforced idleness he returned to Parliament.
He was a changed man. His constitution had been impaired beyond recovery.
A relapse followed which resulted fatally. A great man cut off in the
prime of his life--regretted by all--a loss to the Commonwealth.



CHAPTER II

COMMANDANT OF VICTORIA


My wife and I took up our residence in Melbourne, securing a comfortable
house not far from "The Grange," which had been the official home of the
Commandant of Melbourne in the earlier days and was then occupied by
General Hutton.

Four years of steady, solid work followed, during which General Hutton
laid the foundations for a sound organization of the future forces of the
Commonwealth. Contingents of Federal Troops were raised, trained and
dispatched to South Africa. It was a time worth living for from an
official point of view.

Two special occasions are worth noting: one the presentation of colours
to the units which had taken part in the South African War, and the other
the visit of the Japanese Fleet. With regard to the former, King Edward,
ever ready to recognize the services of those who had joined the armies
to fight for the Empire, presented Colours to such units of the mounted
Commonwealth Forces which had sent volunteers to the war. The Colours had
arrived in Melbourne, and Colour parties from the units concerned
throughout the Commonwealth were ordered to assemble in Melbourne for the
presentation ceremony. A parade of the metropolitan troops took place at
Albert Park. It was an inspiring sight, the first practical recognition
the troops had received of the services they and their comrades had so
well and so readily given for the Empire. This occasion marked only the
beginning of the enthusiasm which the thoughtful action of His Majesty
created throughout the Commonwealth. The Colours, so dearly valued by the
recipients, were welcomed not only by the soldiers but also by the
residents of the districts to which they belonged.

I hardly feel inclined to enter into the question of the visit of the
Japanese Fleet, either from a political or from a diplomatic point of
view. At the time when it took place there was no Anglo-Japanese Treaty.
The naval German base in north-eastern Papua was not established.
Unquestionably the peril to Australia of attack by Japan existed. Upon
what grounds the Japanese decided to send their fleet in force to
Australia it is difficult to imagine. The Japanese Government must have
been fully aware of the fact that Japan was a menace to Australia. What
was their object in proposing to pay a visit which was to bring them
within the territorial waters of a country which naturally looked upon
them as a possible enemy nation? I have failed to get any information on
this subject.

Whether the Japanese Government approached the Government of Australia in
the matter has never been made public. The fact remains that their fleet
_did_ arrive in Australian waters, that all possible courtesy was
tendered to them, and that they were given every opportunity to learn
much about Australia and its social and economic conditions, and to
become personally acquainted with its ports and harbours. The visit of
the Japanese Fleet was not popular with the public at large. The Japanese
have never been _personæ gratæ_ to Australians. Still, when they arrived
they were received in an honest, friendly way.

A very interesting point arose with reference to their visit. We were at
the time about to hold a review of the metropolitan military forces in
Melbourne by the Governor-General, and it was suggested to me, as
Commandant, that the Japanese admiral should be invited to send units
under his command to take part thereat. It was my duty to point out to
the Commander-in-Chief that there existed an international custom that no
troops of a foreign nation were allowed to land under arms on British
soil. As a matter of fact, I believe this rule applies to all European
nations.

In my mind I doubted whether an invitation to the Japanese Admiral to
send units to take part in the review under the command of--to them--an
alien officer, and to appear without arms, would be acceptable. The
invitation, however, was sent, and an answer was received to the effect
that the Admiral would be glad to avail himself of it, provided his men
would be allowed to carry their arms. It then became necessary to obtain
the approval of the home authorities to permit them to do so. Approval
was given. The review duly took place, and some four thousand Japanese
sailors and marines took part in it. I think I am right in stating that
this was the first time that a British officer commanded troops of a
foreign country under arms in time of peace on British soil.

General Hutton's term of office was nearing its end. For some time
previously a movement had been started to make a radical alteration in
the organization of the forces. Its object was to do away with the
position of Commander-in-Chief and substitute a small Army Council,
assisted by a Military Board. This was following in the footsteps of what
had already taken place at home, where the post of Commander-in-Chief had
been abolished on the expiration of Lord Wolseley's term of office and
the Army Council constituted.

Personally I was against the proposed change. From my point of view I
looked upon it as a risky experiment. The reorganization of the military
forces was still in progress and a master-mind with full responsibility
was necessary to complete it. Further, the proposed constitution of a
small Army Council and Military Board did not seem to me to be advisable.
My objections were chiefly with reference to the constitution and duties
laid down for the Military Board. I submitted a memorandum on the
subject.

The experience I had gained while I held the appointment of Military
Adviser to the Australian Colonies, 1897-99, had taught me how impossible
it would be in time of war, or even in anticipation of a war, to obtain
supplies of warlike stores for Australia, not only from the Continent of
Europe (whence at that time even the Home Government had to import many
essential requirements, such as searchlights), but from England itself.
No further example of this need be quoted than the one given by me with
reference to the scarcity of small-arm ammunition at the time of the
declaration of war against South Africa.

I had determined therefore that on my return to Australia I would set
myself the task of establishing an Australian arsenal and an explosive
factory.

The advent of the Boer War and afterwards the inauguration of the
Commonwealth of Australia necessarily postponed any practical action.
However, on taking up my duties as Commandant of Victoria under the
Commonwealth Government, I commenced to school public opinion in favour
of becoming self-supporting in a matter so intimately and seriously
affecting the material interests and welfare of its people. As regarded
the arsenal, Australia possessed every ingredient required for the
manufacture of every nature of gun, from a 9.2 to a maxim, from .303
rifle and bayonet to a service revolver. Coal, iron ore, copper, wood,
tin, zinc were there in plenty.

Railway engines, agricultural implements, mining machinery were all being
manufactured locally. Why not guns, mountings, rifles, and so on?
Practically similar conditions applied to explosives.

The change from the Martini-Henry to the .303 Lee-Metford, and later on
from the long to the short Lee-Metford, left Australia in a sad plight.
It was some years before the Home Government were able to supply the
orders sent from Australia. All through that time the local forces and
rifle club members suffered from inability to obtain up-to-date rifles.
As a few thousands of the new rifles arrived they were issued to the
partially-paid force, and their discarded ones were passed on to the
volunteers, and finally, when actually worn out, to the members of the
rifle clubs, who mostly hung them up as trophies of a past era over their
mantle-pieces at their homes, and bought up-to-date match rifles at their
own expense.

The situation was becoming grave; discontent was rife; interest in rifle
shooting was waning fast. The time had come for a determined effort to
force the Government to take action.

One of many curious facts which it is difficult to account for is the
apathy which often takes hold of a Government when a plain businesslike
proposition is put before them. My long experience in dealing with
Colonial Governments had taught me that the surest way of achieving one's
object was to take into one's confidence the leaders of the Opposition
for the time being, convince them of the soundness and merits of the
proposal, and induce them to adopt the scheme as a plank of their own
policy. Those in power generally resented the Opposition's interference,
and at times just out of "sheer cussedness," refused to move in the
matter at issue, forgetting that more than probably in a few months they
themselves would be sitting disconsolate and minus their Ministerial
salaries on the Opposition benches, while their late opponents scored
heavily by quickly giving effect to the proposals they themselves had,
through that "sheer cussedness," failed to adopt in the interests of the
country. Considering how short-lived Cabinets were in the early years of
Federation, there was little risk, if any, in carrying out the above
plan.

As a very heavy expenditure would have to be incurred in establishing an
arsenal, small arms and explosives factory, it was incumbent on me to
prove to the Government that such an expenditure was not only justifiable
from a national insurance point of view but that it could be made
actually a money-saving proposition, apart from the fact that, by
utilizing Australian products and labour, as well as local inventive
talent, all the money spent would remain in the country instead of
passing on into the hands of strangers.

In order to ascertain the probable expenditure of a plant capable of
turning out from thirty to forty thousand rifles per annum, I personally
arranged for confidential agents to make thorough inquiries in England,
America and Germany, and while awaiting their report to me I gave my
attention to the selection of a suitable site.

The coal mining town of Lithgow, situated some eighty miles west of
Sydney, possessed so many advantages that my choice was soon made.
Leaving Sydney, the plain extends as far as Penrith, which lies at the
foot of a high range happily named the Blue Mountains. The train which
serves the western districts climbs its way to Katoomba and Mount
Victoria, the highest point, through wonderfully picturesque scenery, and
then descends rapidly to low levels, emerging at the town of Lithgow, a
branch line connecting it with the southern railways system via Blayney
and Young. The coal deposits at Lithgow are extensive; large fields of
iron ore are available at no great distance further west. Iron and steel
works on a big scale were in process of being established. Every
consideration pointed to the suitability of the site, and, as a matter of
fact, no voice was raised against it.

Later on I received the reports of my agents. Those from Germany were
unsatisfactory. A close examination of the English and American estimates
of cost showed that the English prices were exorbitant, and, in addition,
the time-limit I had set for the delivery of and setting up the machinery
at Lithgow, namely, eighteen months, could not be guaranteed by the
English firms.

Armed now with full information, I submitted the proposal to the
Government, the Minister for Defence at the time being my old
acquaintance, Mr. Playford, from South Australia.

The Press and the leaders of the Opposition supported the proposal, and
the Government went so far as to approve of inquiries being instituted by
the Defence Department as to the probable cost and other points of
importance. Mr. Playford appointed one of our officers then in England to
co-operate with the High Commissioner for the purpose. I had not deemed
it necessary to inform Mr. Playford of my private inquiries, simply
pointing out to him that in my opinion the factory could be established
at a satisfactory figure.

Probably through lack of sufficient experience, the result of the
inquiries by the officer selected was a report as to cost which
practically damned the proposition. Mr. Playford was annoyed that I had
so insistently expressed my opinion that the cost would not be
prohibitory, and, as he put it in his curt way, he told me I had
practically made a fool of him. I did not allow myself to be put out by
his rudeness, as General Owen had done, but smiled and asked him if the
Government had decided to turn the proposal down definitely. If so I
would be obliged if he could let me have an official minute to that
effect, as I had another course to suggest for his consideration. On
receipt of his minute I requested a further interview with him. My new
proposal was that I was prepared to give up my appointment and establish
the factory myself, provided the Government agreed to take 20,000 rifles
a year for seven years at the price which we were then paying the War
Office, and that at the end of the seven years the Government could take
the concern over at a valuation if they so desired. This offer I put in
writing and I let it be widely known that I had made it.

Mr. Playford was once more annoyed. He could not understand how it could
pay me to throw up my career to undertake a job which his advisers had
reported upon so adversely. If he had been let down by them, my offer
accepted, and I scored a success, what opinion would the public form of
him? In order to avoid falling between two stools he decided to recommend
to the Government to call for tenders throughout the world. I had
impressed upon him that this was essential in order to test the _bona
fides_ of the tenderers. Tenders were called for. I had gained my point,
for I knew that if the confidential reports of my agents were fairly
correct, the amount of the American tenders would be close on 50 per
cent. lower than any others, as no European country, bar England and
Germany, was in a position to undertake the order. I accordingly then
informed Mr. Playford of my views on the matter and patiently waited for
the day when the tenders were due. I shall not forget Mr. Playford's
chagrin when he found that my forecast had been verified to the letter.
If I remember correctly the American lowest tender was some £97,000, the
lowest English one some £140,000. As the tenderers were a well-known firm
of high standing in the United States (contractors to their Government)
their offer was accepted and the factory was established at Lithgow.

I had been successful all round, and scored at last off Playford.

General Hutton left Australia; the Army Council and Military Board were
established. General Finn, a cavalry officer, who, at the time of the
inauguration of the Commonwealth in 1901 was Commandant of Queensland,
and had afterwards succeeded General French as Commandant in New South
Wales, was appointed Inspector-General. General Hoad became Chief of the
General Staff and Senior Member of the Military Board.

My term of office as Commandant of Victoria expired. I was offered the
command of "The Mother State," New South Wales, which became vacant on
the appointment of General Finn as Inspector-General. I accepted. It was
one more step to my final goal.



CHAPTER III

COMMANDANT OF NEW SOUTH WALES


Shortly after I took up the command in New South Wales an incident
occurred which gave the first real impetus to the serious consideration
and final adoption by the Government of the system of universal service
as proposed by me eleven years before when Commandant in Adelaide. I had
arranged to read a paper to my officers in New South Wales. Owing to the
fact that our own military institute was not sufficiently large to
accommodate them we had made arrangements to hire one of the big public
halls, and we had decided to ask the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Alderman Allan
Taylor, to take the chair and to send invitations to many of the chief
citizens to be present. My object in reading this paper was to push on
the question of universal service. The title I had selected for the
lecturette was, "What has Australia done for the Australians, and What
are Australians doing for Australia?" After I had finished the Lord Mayor
made a few remarks with reference to the subject at issue and concluded
by moving a vote of thanks. This was really outside our practice at the
institute. I thanked the Lord Mayor for his kind remarks, and in quite a
colloquial way said that it was distressing to go round the public parks
about Sydney on holidays and Saturday afternoons and see thousands of
young men sitting on fences smoking cigarettes, content to loaf and look
on while a few men played games. It happened that the previous Saturday
had been the last day of one of the cricket Test Matches, against England
played at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The attendance thereat had been
enormous, as usual--some thirty-five thousand people. The next morning I
was astonished when I got the morning papers to see the following
headings: "The Citizens of Sydney insulted.... Forty thousand loafers at
the Sydney Cricket Ground. So says our new Commandant, General Gordon."

Then followed a statement to the effect that while addressing the
officers under his command and many eminent citizens the evening before,
the general had stated that on the previous Saturday he had been present
at the Sydney Cricket Ground and had seen thousands of loafers whose time
would have been far better taken up if they had been devoting it to
fitting themselves for the defence of their country, and that they (the
newspaper reporters) considered it a very undeserved reflection on the
thousands who were watching the big tussle at the Test Match.

Knowing full well that these headings would have been telegraphed to the
Press throughout Australia and have appeared therein that same morning, I
at once wired to the Military Board, for the information of the Minister,
to the effect that the newspaper reports were inaccurate. I was reported
also to have stated that I had ready for the consideration of the
Government a scheme which would form the basis upon which to found a
system of universal service. This latter part of their report was
correct. I had made that statement. I had prepared the scheme in Adelaide
eleven years before.

Shortly after sending my wire to the Military Board I received one from
them drawing my attention to the Press reports and requesting an
explanation as to their correctness as regarded the "thousands of
loafers," and further desiring to be informed if the statement as to the
scheme for universal service was accurate, and, if so, instructing me to
forward it for the information of the Minister by the first post. My own
telegram, which had crossed theirs, had answered their first question.
With reference to the second I notified them that the scheme would be
posted that afternoon. I can reproduce here the actual document which I
sent down. It read as follows:

SCHEME for the defence of the Commonwealth of Australia, based on the
recognition by the citizens of the Commonwealth of the personal
responsibility on the part of one and all to prepare themselves in time
of peace so as to enable them to bear their share of the burden of the
protection of the Commonwealth and Empire in time of war.


                                  I

                  GENERAL VIEW OF PRESENT SITUATION

It is submitted that:

(a) The national growth of a nation depends on the recognition of the
personal responsibility of that nation's citizens to develop her
industrial and commercial interests and the integrity thereof.

(b) In the present economic conditions of a young nation such as
Australia (an island continent containing an area of practically
one-third of the British Empire whose population totals only some five
millions of inhabitants), it is not considered advisable or even
practicable to establish and maintain a standing army of sufficient
strength to enable the nation to put its trust for its protection on such
a standing army and, thereby, relieve the rest of its male inhabitants
from the responsibility of service in case of an invasion.

The maintenance of such a standing army would, it is urged, be a direct
loss, as it would severely cripple the best interests of the economic
development of the nation in time of peace, specially in the early years
of the nation's growth, and it would entail an expenditure not
justifiable under such circumstances.

(c) On the other hand, it is contested that, if a system of training
every young man can be devised:

  1stly, To have a sound mind in a sound body;

  2ndly, To submit to military discipline;

  3rdly, To shoot straight;

                                 and

  4thly, To learn sufficient drill to enable him to fulfil his duties
  in the ranks with such knowledge and intelligence as will give him
  the necessary confidence in himself; and that system is so carried
  out that it does not interfere in any way with the industrial,
  professional, or commercial avocations of such young men, then the
  foundation will be laid of a national defence force based on the
  highest principles of citizenship which will be of the greatest
  value for home defence or to fight away from her shores in the
  interests of the Empire.


                                  II

                     WHAT IS THE SYSTEM PROPOSED?

The system aims at securing for every young man:

  1st, A sound mind in a sound body;

  2nd, A disciplined mind;

  3rd, The ability to shoot straight;

                                 and

  4th, A sufficient knowledge of drill to give him confidence in the
  field.

The first requirement--that of securing "a sound mind in a sound
body"--can only be successfully accomplished by a very carefully thought
out and progressive method of training the mental and physical qualities
of our boys from the time when they first go to school. The training of
the youthful minds may be safely left to the Education Departments; it is
necessarily commensurate with the individual capabilities of the boys.

The physical training can be accomplished, and is already so accomplished
in certain schools, by a progressive system of physical culture. There is
no difficulty in providing a manual of physical culture for boys which
shall be progressive and uniform in character, and which can be taught in
all schools by the teachers themselves; in fact, one has been already
prepared at my suggestion by Mr. Weber, Melbourne.

The second requirement--that of securing "a disciplined mind." Here again
it is essential to commence to instil the principles which form a
disciplined mind as early as possible in the boy's early youth.
Self-denial, obedience to the orders of their superiors, and respect and
affection for their elders, are perhaps the most important of these
principles.

This task may again be safely left to the officers of the Education
Department.

It will be seen, therefore, that the first two requirements may be
obtained by a system, as advocated above, to be imparted to all boys in
their early youth by those who are charged with their elementary
education, and it is urged that such system should be uniform and form
part of the school curriculum, the teachers being required to qualify to
impart the necessary instruction.

The third requirement--"the ability to shoot straight." Here again the
earlier in life a boy is taught to handle firearms safely the more
probable it will be that he will become a straight shot in his manhood.

In this respect it is pointed out that such instruction could not be
expected, except, in some cases, to be given by the teachers, who could
not reasonably be called upon to qualify themselves to teach the use of
the rifle as experts. It therefore becomes necessary that qualified
instructors should be provided to attend all schools and superintend
personally the training of such boys as shall prove their capabilities to
be trusted in the actual use of the rifle with ball cartridge.

It will be seen that it is only in the attainment of this third
requirement that an extra expenditure to that now incurred is required by
the employment of expert instructors.

Now for the fourth requirement--"a sufficient knowledge of drill to give
a man confidence in the field."

In this respect it is well to give such statistics as are available in
order to grasp thoroughly the nature of difficulties that have to be
encountered in achieving the object aimed at.

It is submitted that the statistics available for the State of New South
Wales apply equally to the other States of the Commonwealth pro rata of
their population.

In New South Wales in December, 1904, there were:

17,467 male children between the ages of 12 and 13
17,214  "      "        "         "      13  "  14
16,666  "      "        "         "      14  "  15
16,084  "      "        "         "      15  "  16

Of the above number of male children the following were attending
schools:

                    Public     Private
Between             Schools.   Schools.   Total.    Out of
12 and 13 years     12,650     3,160     15,810     17,467
13  "  14   "       11,400     2,840     14,240     17,214
14  "  15   "        6,080     2,080      8,160     16,666
15  "  16   "        2,400     1,240      3,640     16,084

It is evident that the falling off of 50 per cent. at the age of 14-15
years and of 75 per cent. at 15-16 years proves that the schools cannot
and are not to be depended upon as the training ground of the nation's
boyhood beyond the age of 14-15 years; and that at the very time when
that training would be naturally expected, if continued, to reach the
most satisfactory results, namely, from 15 to 18 years of age, the boys
are removed from the schools, in natural compliance with the demands of
the economic conditions of citizenship in the nation, and that unless
some satisfactory means is devised to compulsorily compel those boys who
have left school to continue to be trained up to the age of at least 19
years, the earliest age at which young men may be considered capable of
undergoing the bodily fatigue necessary to give them sufficient knowledge
of such drill as will ensure that confidence in the field so essential to
success as a fighting unit, it would appear evident that the foundation
previously laid by the attainment of the first and second requirements as
a whole, and the third requirement in part, will remain a foundation
only, and the superstructure thereon will not be completed.

It is on the above grounds that it is contested that the cadet system, as
popularly understood, is not considered to be reliable as a solution to
the fulfilment of the requirements laid down for the training of a
citizen soldier.

It is now pointed out that it is reasonable to argue that:

  1st. It may be considered equally undesirable to compel boys from
  15 to 19 years of age as to compel young men from 18 to 23 years of
  age to be partially trained.

  2ndly. It will hardly be denied that the partial training of young
  men from 18 to 25 years of age in the field will give better
  results than the training of boys from 15 to 19 years of age, and
  on these premises it is urged that, to attain the fourth
  requirement, all young men from 18 to 25 should be partially
  trained, and thereby build on the foundation laid down by the
  attainment of the 1st and 2nd requirements and part of the third.

But, can some practical means be suggested which will maintain the boys'
interest in their work during the gap made by the period taken from the
time that a boy leaves school and that when he reaches the age of 18,
without interfering with the performance of those duties of his civil
life for which he may be preparing himself?

The following suggestion is submitted, namely, the establishment in all
centres of population of public gymnasia for the training in physical
culture, and that rifle shooting by means of miniature ranges, and,
further, the imposing upon those who employ lads up to 18 years of age,
the obligation of enabling such lads to attend a course of instruction
during each year at these gymnasia at such times as may be deemed
advisable, provided such training is not made irksome to the lads
themselves or detrimental to their employers' interests or their own.

                                 III

                           SCHEME PROPOSED

The scheme proposed therefore comprises:

  1st. A general uniform system of mental and physical culture in all
  schools up to the time when the boy leaves school.

  2ndly. The scientific training necessary to develop a disciplined
  mind in all schools.

  The above to be under the direct supervision of the Education
  Departments.

  3rdly. The teaching of schoolboys to shoot straight under expert
  supervision.

  4thly. The establishment of public gymnasia for the training in
  physical culture and rifle shooting up to 18 years for lads who
  have left school.

  5thly. Universal annual partial training in drill, also the special
  encouragement of all manly sports without interference with their
  civil occupations.

  And finally, the formation of rifle clubs for all citizens between
  25 and 60 years of age throughout the Commonwealth, with the
  fullest facilities for the encouragement of rifle shooting.

This my scheme was adopted in its entirety. A study of the Act of
Parliament instituting it will show that the whole of the provisions
suggested above were fully met.

But to return to the consequences of the Press reports. I had called upon
the editors to contradict the statements attributed to me as regarded the
loafing on the cricket ground, but pointed out at the same time that I
had fully meant what I had said with reference to the great waste of time
and the failure on the part of thousands of young men to fit themselves
for the defence of their country, owing to the absence of some form of
legislation which would make it necessary for them to devote some of
their time to the development of their physical and moral welfare. The
Press, as a whole, fully acquitted me of any intentional desire to call
those who had attended the Test Match loafers. They also assured me that
they were in full agreement with my remarks otherwise, and with the end
such remarks had in view, that they fully intended to start a campaign
with a view of bringing about the necessary legislation for universal
service on the lines suggested by me, and would not rest until that
object was achieved. This they accomplished.

As is now well known, by an Act of Parliament in 1909 the principle of
the universal liability for all males from 12 to 25 years of age to be
trained for military service was made law for the first time in any
English-speaking community, and I was more than satisfied that my
personal views which I had held for so many years, ever since in South
Australia, in 1895, I had prepared the first scheme for the approval of
Charles Cameron Kingston, had actually become the law of the land.

Before leaving this subject I must give praise to those officers and
citizens who, taking up the question at issue after the reading of my
lecturette and the events which followed, formed the Defence League of
Australia, and published a paper named _The Call_, which never once
failed in unhesitatingly and most strenuously calling on Parliament, the
citizens, and the Government of Australia to bring about the introduction
of the Universal Service system. Its leading spirit was Colonel Gerald
Campbell, of Moss Vale, a most energetic Volunteer officer.

An amusing incident occurred the night that I was entertained by some of
my friends at the Union Club on taking up the command at Sydney. After
dinner we played bridge. Mr. X, who had not been long married and had got
into the habit of 'phoning home in the evenings that his business kept
him in town, was asked to play at my table. His wife did not relish his
rather constant absences and sternly refused to go to sleep until he
returned home at night. This annoyed him much. Result, some arguments
when he reached home. On the night in question we played till about 3
A.M. "Surely," thought Mr. X as he drove home, "the wife will be asleep
to-night." Very silently he entered his house, undressed, and opened the
door of their bedroom. It was all lighted and his charming partner very
much awake. Tableau!

"Now," she said, "look at the clock--4 A.M. I am full up. You can leave
this room, please."

"No, my dear," he answered her; "to-night was not my fault at all. You
see, we gave a dinner to our new Commandant, General Gordon, and then we
played bridge. I was asked to play at his table. The old man [_sic!_]
would not go to bed, so I had to stay. So you see, I could not help
myself."

"That will do," she answered. "You have told me many tarradiddles before;
now you want to make an ignorant fool of me. Well, I am not one. I do
happen to know that General Gordon is dead! Go away."



CHAPTER IV

LORD KITCHENER'S VISIT TO AUSTRALIA


Shortly after the initiation of the Universal Service system, the
Government was met with the difficulty of providing the necessarily
increasing cost. On the estimates being framed for the ensuing year it
was found that the expenditure was somewhat heavier than had been
anticipated. The Government had followed my advice so far and were quite
prepared to urge Parliament to find the money, but they considered it
would be most desirable to get the highest military opinion procurable to
support them in doing so. How was this to be done? There was only one
solution. I advised the Commonwealth Government to approach the Imperial
Government with a view to their sending an Imperial officer of highest
standing to report, whose opinion, if favourable to the system as
inaugurated, would be of the greatest possible value in backing their
demands for sufficient funds to meet all its requirements.

Lord Kitchener was selected by the War Office, instructed to visit
Australia, make a thorough inspection, inquire fully into the progress
made with the initiation of the system, report whether it was sound in
principle and practice, and, if it met with his approval, suggest such
modifications as he considered advisable.

Lord Kitchener arrived at Port Darwin on December 21, 1910. Advantage was
taken of his visit by the Commonwealth Government, not only to obtain his
opinion as to the merits or otherwise of the Universal Service scheme,
but also a report upon the efficiency and the standard of training
existing at the time in the Commonwealth Forces. I was at the time
Commandant of New South Wales.

I arranged for a camp of continuous training for the whole of our States'
field forces, to be held at the Liverpool Area from January 5-12
inclusive, and for the Garrison troops at their respective war stations.

As it may interest soldiers to see the nature of the work carried out
during the camp, I quote from the "general idea" of the exercises the
programmes of two days' work:

  _Thursday, 6th January, 1910._

                             FIELD FORCE
                       1ST LIGHT HORSE BRIGADE
                  (Manoeuvre and Tactical Exercise)

                                STAFF

  _Brigadier_                         Colonel J. M. Onslow.
  _Orderly Officer_                   Captain E. W. R. Soane, V.D.
  _Brigade-Major_                     Captain J. M. Arnott.
  _Instl. Staff Officer attached_     Captain R. C. Holman, D.S.O.
  _Intelligence Officers_            {Captain T. H. Kelly.
                                     {Lieutenant Nordmann.


                                UNITS

          Units                                Commanding Officers

  _1st A.L.H. Regiment_                    Lieut.-Colonel C. F. Cox, C.B.
  _2nd A.L.H. Regiment_                    Major A. J. O. Thompson.
  _3rd A.L.H. Regiment_                    Lieut.-Colonel G. De. L. Ryrie.
  _No. 3 Battery, A.F.A._                  Major C. F. Warren.
  _No. 1 Field Troops, Corps of A.E._      Captain E. V. T. Rowe.
  _Half No. 2 Company A.C. of Signallers_  Lieutenant E. G. Donkin.
  _No. 1 Light Horse T. and S. Column_     Major J. G. Tedder, V.D.
  _No. 1 Light Horse Field Ambulance_      Major W. M. Helsham.


                            UNITS ATTACHED


          Units                            Commanding Officer

  _No. 5 Squadron 1st A.L.H. Regt._}       Captain C. D. Fuller
  _No. 5 Squadron 2nd A.L.H. Regt._}


                              AMMUNITION


  _No. 3 Battery, A.F.A._         5 rounds per gun, shrapnel.
                                 10 rounds per gun, blank.
  _Pom-pom Guns_                 25 rounds per gun.
  _Colt Machine Guns_           250 rounds per gun.
  _Small-Arm Ammunition_         25 rounds per rifle.


                WORK BEING PERFORMED BY OTHER BRIGADES

  _2nd L.H. Brigade_--At disposal of Brigadier for Drill and
  Manoeuvre.

  _1st Infantry Brigade_--Brigade Drill and instruction in Manoeuvre
  under Brigadier.


                   MANOEUVRE AND TACTICAL EXERCISE
                       1ST LIGHT HORSE BRIGADE

                            _General Idea_

  A Northern Force (Brown), consisting of one L.H. Brigade, covering
  the detrainment of Troops at PARRAMATTA, reach LIVERPOOL at 10 P.M.
  on the night of the 5th January.

  A Southern Hostile Force (White) of all arms is reported to have
  occupied APPIN.

                            _Special Idea_

             (Reference-map of Liverpool Manoeuvre Area)

  During the night of 5th-6th January, the O.C. Brown L.H. Brigade
  received order to march at 9 A.M. on the 6th January by the right
  bank of the GEORGE'S RIVER and reconnoitre towards APPIN.


                              1ST PHASE

  1. Reconnaissance and Screening Duties by the Light Horse.

  2. Use of Artillery in checking the advance of hostile Infantry by
  long-range fire. (_See_ Map No. 1--Target, Infantry advancing,
  marked 1.)

      Textbooks:--
          "Light Horse Manual," '07, Sec. 299 _et seq._
          "F.S.R.," Part 1, Chap. VI. and Chap. VII.
          "F.A.T.," '08, Chap. VIII.


                              2ND PHASE

                       _Development of Attack_

  1. The advance to within long-range rifle fire.

  2. The further advance to decisive fire positions.

  3. The struggle for fire supremacy.

  4. The assault.

  (Map No. 1 for 2, Infantry entrenched, Target marked II.; for 3,
  Infantry on ridge, Target marked III.)

      Textbooks:--
        "F.S.R.," Part 1, Chap. VII.
        "Musketry Regs.," '05, Sec. 110 _et seq._
        "F.A.T.," '08, Chap. VIII.


                              3RD PHASE

                            _The Pursuit_

  (Map No. 1, Infantry retreating. Target marked IV.)

      Textbooks:--
        "F.S.R.," Part 1, Chap. VII.
        "F.A.T.," '08, Chap. VIII.

  N.B.--Information as to the positions of the enemy (represented by
  targets) is to be gained by the patrols and scouts of the Brigade.
  No other information will be given.


  _Friday, 7th January, 1910._

                             FIELD FORCE
                         1ST INFANTRY BRIGADE

                                STAFF

  _Brigadier_                         Colonel C. M. Ranclaud, V.D.
  _Orderly Officer_                   Captain A. C. Muhs.
  _Brigade Major_                     Major J. P. McGlinn.
  _Instl. Staff Officers attached_   {Major F. B. Heritage.
                                     {Lieutenant W. J. Smith.

                                     {Lieutenant A. J. Gibson.
  _Intelligence Officers_            {Lieutenant J. M. C. Corlette.
                                     {Lieutenant A. W. Jose.


                                UNITS

            Units                                Commanding Officers

  _Brigade of Field Artillery_--
    _No. 1 Battery, A.F.A._            }
    _No. 2 Battery, A.F.A._            }   Lieut.-Colonel R. M. S. Wells, V.D.
    _No. 5 (Howitzer) Battery, A.F.A._ }
  _No. 6 Squadron, 1st A.L.H. Regt._       Lieutenant P. Connolly.
  _No. 1 Field Company, Corps of A.E._     Captain A. W. Warden.
  _1st Battalion, 1st A.1 Regt._           Lieut.-Colonel W. Holmes, D.S.O., V.D.
  _1st Battalion, 2nd A.1 Regt._           Lieut.-Colonel G. Ramaciotti, V.D.
  _1st Battalion, 3rd A.1 Regt._           Colonel C. S. Guest, V.D.
  _1st Battalion, 4th A.1 Regt._           Lieut.-Colonel J. Paton, V.D.
  _Half No. 1 Company, A.C. of Signallers_ Lieutenant J. E. Fraser.
  _No. 1 Infantry T. and S. Column_        Captain P. W. Smith.
  _No. 1 Field Ambulance_                  Lieut.-Colonel T. M. Martin.


                            UNITS ATTACHED

            Units                                 Commanding Officers

  _No. 1 Telegraph Company, C. of A.E._      Lieutenant J. S. Fitzmaurice.
  _Half No. 1 Company, A.C. of Signallers_   2nd Lieutenant G. K. Davenport.


                              AMMUNITION

  _Nos. 1 and 2 Batteries, A.F.A._    5 rounds per gun, shrapnel.
                                     10 rounds, blank.
  _No. 5 (Howitzer) Battery_          5 rounds common.
                                     10 rounds, blank.
  _Machine Guns_                    250 rounds.
  _Small-Arm Ammunition_             25 rounds per rifle.


                WORK BEING PERFORMED BY OTHER BRIGADES

  _1st L.H. Brigade_--Regimental and Brigade Drill, Macquarie
  Fields.

  _2nd L.H. Brigade_--Brigade Tactical Exercises, Macquarie Fields.

                   MANOEUVRE AND TACTICAL EXERCISE
                         1ST INFANTRY BRIGADE

                            _General Idea_

          (Reference Map--1/2 in. Map, County of Cumberland)

  A force (Brown) consisting of one Infantry Brigade, covering the
  approaches to PARRAMATTA from the South, is camped at LIVERPOOL.

  A hostile force (White) of all arms is known to be at HELENSBURGH.

  During the night of the 6th-7th January, reliable information was
  received that the White force had advanced along the OLD ILLAWARRA
  ROAD, and was bivouacked at DARK'S FOREST.

                            _Special Idea_

          (Reference Map.--Map of Liverpool Manoeuvre Area)

  On the morning of the 7th January the O.C. Brown Brigade was
  informed by his patrols that the White Advanced Guard had occupied
  ECKERSLEY at 8 A.M.

  On the receipt of this information the O.C. Brown Brigade decides
  to advance and attack the White force.


                              1ST PHASE

  1. Reconnaissance and Screening Duties by the Light Horse.

  2. Use of Artillery in checking the advance of hostile Infantry by
  long-range fire.

  (Map No. 2--Infantry advancing, Target marked No. 1.)

      Textbooks:--
          "Light Horse Manual," '07, Sec. 299 _et seq._
          "F.S.R.," Part 1, Chap. VI and Chap. VII.
          "F.A.T.," '08, Chap. VIII.


                              2ND PHASE

                       _Development of Attack_

  1. The advance to within long-range rifle fire.

  2. The further advance to decisive fire positions.

  3. High-angle fire by Howitzers on enemy's position--Targets marked
  III and IV.

  4. The struggle for fire supremacy.

  5. The assault.

  (Map No. 2 for 2, Infantry entrenched, Target marked II; for 4,
  Infantry on ridge, Target marked III. Enemy's reserves behind hill
  marked IV.)

      Textbooks:--
          "F.S.R.," Part 1, Chap. VII.
          "Musketry Regs.," '05, Sec. 110 _et seq._
          "F.A.T.," '08, Chap. VIII.
          "L.T.," '05, Sec. 129 _et seq._


                              3RD PHASE

                            _The Pursuit_

         (Map No. 2.--Infantry retreating--Target marked V.)


      Textbooks:--
          "F.S.R.," Part 1, Chap. VII.
          "F.A.T.," '08, Chap. VIII.
          "L.T.," '05, Sec. 129 _et seq._

  N.B.--Information as to the positions of the enemy (represented by
  targets) is to be gained by the patrols and scouts of the Brigade.
  No other information will be given.

On the morning of January 5, 1910, Lord Kitchener and his staff arrived
by train from Brisbane at Newcastle, New South Wales. Only the local
garrison troops were in camp there, the local units of the Field Forces
having proceeded to the general camp at Liverpool.

The question of the fixed defences at Newcastle was at the time causing
considerable anxiety owing to disturbances in the ground due to the coal
mines. The construction of a new fort had been decided upon and its
position selected. The whole day was spent in making a most careful
examination of the harbour, the coast line and the existing forts. Lord
Kitchener in his report approved of the site chosen.

He arrived at the Liverpool camp on the next morning, Thursday the 6th,
at 7.15 A.M. Early morning parades were being held by all corps. He
watched some units at work and then went to the quarters prepared for
him. After breakfast he at once began his inspection, and from that time
until he left the camp, three days afterwards, there was practically not
an idle moment.

When we were inspecting the camp lines Kitchener was rather interested in
the incinerators I had ordered to be used for the first time. An old
Irish ex-soldier employed as a camp policeman was asked by the general
how they were working. "Fine, sir," he said. "And what are they called?"
"Well, sir," said Pat, "I am not quite sure, but I think they call them
_insinuators_." Kitchener had a hearty laugh.

On the Thursday evening I was ordered to arrange for a certain small
portion of the troops to leave camp at two o'clock next morning under the
command of an officer specially selected. Their destination was not
divulged. The remainder of the troops under my command were to bivouac at
a place called Signal Hill, some three miles from the camp, at 7 A.M.
next day and await instructions. These orders were carried out. Sharp at
half-past seven Lord Kitchener and his staff rode up to Signal Hill. I
was not aware of the whereabouts of the small force that had left the
camp at 2 A.M.

He sent for me and informed me that he had prepared me a task to be
carried out at once. The idea was that an enemy's convoy and
escort--which was composed of the troops we had detached the night
before--were marching along certain roads following up an enemy column.
The position of the column of the enemy's troops and convoy were roughly
given. My business was to capture the convoy with the troops at my
disposal, and he wished me to at once give my orders to my commanding
officers for carrying out my plans. The commanding officers were
assembled without delay. My own mind was soon made up as to my plans. The
orders were given, and within a quarter of an hour of the time when I had
left Lord Kitchener my troops were on the move.

An amusing incident happened afterwards. One of my cavalry brigades had
been ordered to cut off the convoy. It had done so and was moving rapidly
to close in on it. I myself was riding with them; it was the last phase
of the attack. Knowing that the manoeuvre was over, for we had captured
the convoy, and seeing Lord Kitchener and his staff not very far away, I
rode up to him to report. With something of a smile on his face he said
to me when I reached him, "Have you come to surrender yourself? Because,
if not, I am going to make you a prisoner. I am here with your enemy, who
has four guns at this point" (they were imaginary), "you must stay here
with me." So I was taken prisoner. He then asked me to explain to him the
position of my troops at that moment. In doing so I told him that, on our
right, along the crest of the hill on which the convoy was travelling, I
had an infantry brigade. The edge of this hill, right along, was covered
with fairly thick bush, some three to four feet high; I had ordered the
infantry to creep right up, keeping under cover to within some sixty
yards of the top of the ridge without showing themselves, lie down, and
keep as quiet as possible until such time a certain whistle signal was
given, when they were to rise and collar the convoy.

When I explained to Lord Kitchener that the infantry were quite handy, he
said, "Well, I want to see them." I gave the whistle signal agreed upon,
and immediately, for a distance of some three-quarters of a mile along
the ridge, on the flank of the convoy, up jumped a couple of thousand
infantry. It was my opportunity now, so I ventured to tell him that, as
the convoy and the four guns were now in my hands, I took it that my
troops had rescued me and that I was afraid he was my prisoner. He
laughed and said, "Well, I'm going to order the 'Cease fire' to sound,
which puts an end to the morning's work, and then I am free."

It was an inspiring morning, that morning, a fine day. Everyone was most
keen and anxious in his work. All knew that Kitchener's critical eye had
been upon them all the morning. He had ridden from place to place
watching their work. They had been on the march for some eight hours and
were now assembled for the return to their camp, six miles off. He took
up his stand on the side of the road and watched them as they marched
past homewards. Practically every man at the time serving in the Field
Forces in New South Wales was present. They came from every part of the
State. The attendance reached the very high average of close on 97 per
cent.

After his inspection of the Field Forces the garrison troops and the
fortress defences had to be inspected. The garrison troops, the units
detailed for the defence of the forts and harbour, were inspected on
Saturday afternoon, having taken up their positions in accordance with
the local scheme of defence. Afterwards visits to the forts occupied the
time till late at night. Finally we embarked on board the submarine
mine-layer, the _Miner_, to watch the working of the searchlights
protecting the mine fields and navigable channels. Close on midnight the
inspection was finished and we returned to Government House.

Before we reached the landing-stage Lord Kitchener asked me to get him a
sheet of paper. I did so. He then said, "I wish you to publish this Order
to-morrow." Taking his pencil, he wrote as follows:

  "To General Gordon. Be good enough to inform the officers,
  non-commissioned officers and men under your command of my
  appreciation of the keen interest and great zeal they have shown in
  carrying out their duties during my lengthy inspection. They are
  doing well, and it has been a pleasure to me to have been present
  with them during their period of continuous training.

                                           "(_Signed_) KITCHENER."

This Order, I knew, of course, would be most acceptable to all concerned.
Next day, just previous to their leaving for Melbourne, Captain
Fitzgerald, his personal secretary and close friend--who later on,
unfortunately, was drowned with him--told me that I should be proud to
receive that Order, as he had never known "the Chief" to have issued one
in a similar manner before. During his visit he reminded me of the
conversation we had in South Africa when I asked Lord Roberts's and his
opinions on my scheme for the Universal Service. He heartily
congratulated me on having achieved what then he thought my too ambitious
hopes, and assured me he would support the movement heart and soul. This
he did, as his report proved.

I think it only fair to the Government of that day to say that they did
carry out the whole of his recommendations, and that every one of his
suggestions was in force within three years after his visit.

Practically all men of any importance, politicians, business men, working
men, one and all enthusiastically helped. A considerable improvement was
noticed, not only in the general bearing of the trainees, but what was
much more important, in their physical and moral development. The
keenness of the lads themselves was proved by the extra time voluntarily
devoted by them to receiving instruction to qualify as officers and
non-commissioned officers, attending courses of lectures, special parades
and rifle matches. The police authorities throughout the Commonwealth
were asked to watch carefully and report as to whether, in their opinion,
the system was influencing the character of the boys generally, and if so
in what directions.

In 1914 reports were received from the police in all the States. They
were unanimous in stating that, "in their opinion, the behaviour of the
youths who were subjected to the training had vastly improved, and that
the principal effects of a beneficial nature were increased self-respect,
diminution of juvenile cigarette smoking, 'larrikinism,' and generally a
tendency towards a sense of responsibility and a desire to become good
citizens."

Wherefore it is seen that the chief aims as laid down in my scheme have
been fully realized, namely, to secure:--

  (1). A sound mind in a sound body;

  (2). A disciplined mind;

  (3). Ability to shoot straight; and

  (4). Sufficient knowledge of drill to secure self-confidence in the
  field.

Some time after Lord Kitchener's tour of inspection the first flying
machine arrived in Sydney. It was sent out by the Bristol Company--a
biplane of the most primitive kind, where the pilot sat on the front of
the lower plane with his feet resting on a board, and the passenger
squatted behind him with the engine racing at his back. There was, of
course, considerable excitement in Sydney and much curiosity to see it in
the air. We were holding a camp of instruction for the mounted troops at
Liverpool, and the proprietors of the aeroplane suggested a flight from
Sydney to the camp, some twenty miles, and asked permission to carry it
out. I naturally agreed.

It was a perfect summer's morning when, at about 7 A.M., a small black
spot was seen high up in the air; it was the flying machine rapidly
approaching the camp at a height of some 3,000 feet. It landed safely on
a spot previously selected, much to the delight of the men in camp, most
of whom came from the country districts. The Governor-General, Lord
Dudley, was in camp with us, and was anxious to be taken up, and I
personally also intended to arrange likewise. Something, however,
intervened, with the result that the pilot left the camp before we
returned to lunch after the morning's work.

At the conclusion of the camp I returned to the barracks. The morning
after I was going into breakfast when a messenger arrived from the
manager of the Bristol Company with a letter inviting me to be the first
to fly over Sydney, and asking me to go out to the Ascot Race Course at
about eleven o'clock, where the machine was quartered. I drove out, and
on my arrival I was told that the pilot was away but that the mechanic, a
young Scotsman of about twenty years of age, who had a pilot's
certificate, was available if I wished to trust myself to him. I
certainly felt rather doubtful on the point when I looked at the youth,
especially as he had not been up in it himself since his arrival in
Australia. However, I took courage, said, "Right you are," and scrambled
up behind him. The engines were started, she sped along the grass, and
before I could realize it we were some 500 feet high up in the air, still
rising and sailing over Botany Bay. As the manager had told Macdonald to
go wherever I directed him, I decided to fly over Sydney and the harbour,
so that I should pass over the barracks, the forts, Government House, the
Post Office and the principal streets of Sydney and give the public a
fair opportunity of watching us.

It was a lovely day; the machine behaved splendidly. Young Macdonald was
as cool as a cucumber, and we returned and landed at the Ascot Race
Course after two hours of a delightful experience. I regret to say that
my youthful pilot was killed during the early days of the war; his
machine dived into the Thames and he was drowned.

Some years later I selected the site for and established at Point Cook
near Melbourne the first Flying School in Australia.



CHAPTER V

THE AMERICAN NAVAL VISIT


The next big event of importance after Lord Kitchener's tour of
inspection was the arrival of the American Fleet. Whether the visit of
this fleet, which comprised practically the full strength of the American
Navy, had any connexion with the visit of the Japanese Fleet which I have
already told you about, I do not know. Was it by way of a demonstration
in force in the waters of the Pacific in answer to the display made by
the Japanese? Had it a political aspect in other ways? Or was it purely a
pleasure trip, arranged by the American Government to give their naval
officers and men an extended tour for purposes of instruction and
pleasure? Who can tell? I cannot. But I can testify to the pleasurable
times they had during their lengthy stay at the several ports they
visited.

Sydney woke up again. The occasion had arrived to remember the great days
of the inauguration of the Commonwealth. Sydney wanted to decorate
herself again and to look her best, and she certainly succeeded. Though
somewhat different in detail, the decorations of the city and streets
were as gorgeous as those of 1901, on the inauguration of the
Commonwealth, and everyone was determined to give the Americans (and
incidentally himself) a real good time. It is doubtful if the foreshores
of the great harbour of Sydney will ever hold again so many thousands of
spectators as they did on that glorious morning when, at 11 A.M., the
leading warship of the American fleet entered the Heads, and, clearing
the inner point of the South Heads, made direct for the anchorage up the
harbour, followed by the remaining fifteen men-of-war.

Previous to the arrival of the fleet a question had arisen which had much
exercised the Government and civic authorities of Sydney. It was
understood that during the stay of the fleet in Sydney Harbour--about ten
days--there would be, daily, visiting the city anywhere from six to ten
thousand officers and men on liberty leave. The authorities thought that
it would be advisable to make some provision for military picquets and
extra police in case of disturbances, and they approached me with a view
to our supplying the wished-for military assistance. I pointed out that
there was positively no precedent for such action, especially in the case
of visiting guests. It was the privilege of the guests to look after the
behaviour of their own men and to land their own picquets if they
considered them necessary. At the same time I ventured to suggest that it
might be thought advisable to enrol a number of special constables--who,
of course, would be in plain clothes and unknown--to assist the police if
required. It is to the credit of the officers and men of the American
Fleet that during their stay in Sydney, though thousands landed daily and
many were allowed over-night leave, no disturbances of any kind occurred,
and to see any one of them the worse for drink was the exception.

Naturally, throughout the whole of the State of New South Wales, right to
the very backblocks, there was an earnest wish on the part of the members
of the New South Wales military forces to be in Sydney at the time of the
fleet's visit. So I had arranged to hold the annual camp of Continuous
Training at that period. The attendance in this camp almost beat the
record of the one we had held at the time of Lord Kitchener's visit.

As usual the public were very anxious for a review to be held, and the
matter was freely aired in the Press. The Government of New South Wales
was only too glad to meet their wishes, and requested me to make the
necessary arrangements. Here then was a repetition of what had occurred
in Melbourne at the time of the visit of the Japanese Fleet. The same
difficulty was in the way--that no troops of a foreign country were
permitted to land under arms on British soil. I pointed this out to the
Government, but drew their attention to the fact that a precedent had
been established in the case of the Japanese Fleet at the time of their
visit to Melbourne, and that an application to the Imperial Government to
permit the Americans to do so would doubtless receive a favourable
answer. The application was sent and approval given. I then put the
arrangements for the review in hand. I had an interview with the American
Commander-in-Chief, who informed me that he would land a contingent,
representing the fleet, of somewhere between six and seven thousand men.
Our own fleet was, of course, in Sydney Harbour at the time, and our
admiral told me that he would land somewhere over three thousand ratings.
My own troops mustered about some twelve thousand, with the typical and
favourite arm of the service in Australia, the Mounted Rifles, in full
strength.

The morning of the review arrived. Once again it was a glorious day. On
all occasions throughout my many years of command when "functions,"
reviews, or camps of training took place, "Queen's weather" had always
been my good fortune. The crowd that gathered at Centennial Park to
witness the review rivalled that which had witnessed the arrival of the
fleet. It was put down at some three hundred and fifty thousand people.
The actual number of troops on parade was over twenty-one thousand, of
which some four thousand were mounted troops. It was no easy task to
manoeuvre this number of troops on the restricted space at Centennial
Park, especially as I had arranged, much to the delight of the people,
for the mounted troops to gallop past the saluting point as a final _tour
de force_ before the last advance in review order. However, with the
assistance of an able staff and preliminary conferences with my
commanding officers, the review passed off without the slightest hitch.
Just as the presence of the Japanese sailors under arms at the review had
established a record in Melbourne, so did that of the Americans establish
one in Sydney, and, for the second time, I had the honour of commanding
armed forces of a Foreign Nation on parade on British soil.

One more incident of the review. There had been thousands of the
inhabitants of Sydney who were naturally unable to witness it but were
most anxious to see the foreign sailors. I had arranged with their naval
Commander-in-Chief that he should land at different landing-stages on the
several quays of the harbour. By this means residents in many parts of
Sydney would see them marching past their homes. The distances from these
landing-stages to Centennial Park were somewhat long, and as the review
was a rather trying one, occupying close upon four hours, I had arranged
to transport the whole of the Americans back from the review ground to
their different quays by tram, utilizing the tram system attached to the
Sydney Show Ground, which lies adjacent to Centennial Park, and, further,
to give them a good feed previous to boarding the trams on the return
home. My Quartermaster-General's Department quite surpassed themselves in
their efforts in this direction. They arranged for the units of the
American Fleet, on completion of the review, to march in succession
straight on to the Royal Agricultural Society's Grounds, and in doing so
to pass through some of the big buildings used for purposes of exhibits
at the show time. Long, narrow tables were set up in these buildings,
parallel to each other. On these tables, right down each side, were
placed packets containing each four healthy sandwiches, a large piece of
cake, an apple and an orange, a big bun and cheese. On passing through
the building the men of each company marched in two files, dividing on
each side of the table, and each man picked up his parcel and moved on to
the open Oval. As the tables were cleared they were immediately
replenished by a large staff of assistants, ready for the succeeding
companies. In this manner the six thousand Americans received their
rations within half an hour.

Once reaching the Oval and other open spaces of the society's grounds
each company was directed to what my Quartermaster-General called "a
fountain" (which meant that piled up around a small beer barrel were
plenty of bottles of all kinds of aerated waters), on reaching which each
company sat down around it, ate the contents of their packets and drank
to their hearts' content. The return journey to the ships was
accomplished without any accident, and a day never to be forgotten by
those who witnessed it was past and gone. The enthusiasm of the immense
crowd was raised to the highest pitch when squadron after squadron of
Light Horse galloped past the saluting point at fairly close intervals,
riding hard, as only Australians can ride, forty squadrons, some 100
strong each.

Previous to my leaving Sydney I held another great review at Centennial
Park. I had promised that I would give the parents and relations and
friends of the lads serving under the universal service system an
opportunity of seeing for themselves how well the youngsters were doing,
how keen they were, and also the state of efficiency that they had
reached. So I decided to hold a review of those from 16 to 18 years of
age serving in the Metropolitan area. The day of the review arrived. Over
twenty-two thousand lads were on parade. The Governor-General, Lord
Denman, took the salute. The crowd was certainly not so large as that
which was present at the time of the visit of the American Fleet, but
still it was enormous. At a certain stage of the review the order was
given for "Hats off. Three cheers for the King." The rule is on such
ceremonial occasions to take the time for the three cheers from the
general officer commanding the parade, who, riding in front of the line
of troops, faces the saluting point. The three cheers were duly given
when, to my surprise, I heard a shrill cry of "Tiger!" and, following it,
"One more cheer." I looked round just in time to see some thousands of
hats in the air. The lads provided this extra entertainment on their
own.

The way the boys marched, their soldierly bearing, their smart appearance
and their enthusiasm were the best answer that the Government, Parliament
and the people of Australia could have had as to the success of the
universal service system which they had brought into force. Many, indeed,
were the proud fathers and mothers on that day.

One last record. I had commanded the first review of trainees.

In 1912, on General Hoad's death, I was appointed Chief of the General
Staff and First Member of the Military Board, the highest position in the
military forces of the Commonwealth.

For the constant and willing co-operation of the Australian officers and
men who served under me with such zeal for so many years I give my
sincerest thanks. They have since proved themselves heroic soldiers in
the field.

To Gordon of Khartoum for his three golden rules of life; to General
Downes for the excellent example he gave of what an upright soldier
should be; and to Sergeant Charles Cameron Kingston for his appreciation
of my work and ever-ready assistance I owe the deepest debt of
gratitude.



CHAPTER VI

CHIEF OF THE GENERAL STAFF


When General Hoad, my predecessor as Chief of the General Staff, fell
ill, the Government decided to grant him six months' leave of absence on
full pay, and his duties were to be carried out temporarily by Major
Wilson, R.F.A., _p.s.c._, who was the only qualified staff officer at the
time attached to the Headquarters Staff of the Commonwealth Forces.
During these six months Major Wilson had an exceedingly difficult task.
It is needless to say that all he was able to do was to carry on ordinary
routine work. There was practically no organization of the department of
the Chief of the Staff. As, on my taking on the duties, Major Wilson's
period of service as a loan officer expired and he was due to return
home, I found myself all alone in my glory. A word of acknowledgment is
due to Major Wilson for the able way in which he battled against the long
odds he had to face.

My first request to the Minister was for the recall of Captain White, a
local officer, who, having been sent home to the Staff College, had taken
high honours, was attached after completing his staff course to one of
the Directorates of the Army Council, and was earning for himself an
excellent reputation, which he has proved by his success in the war. He
is now Major-General Sir Brudnel White and Chief of the Staff himself of
the Australian Forces.

My second request was for the loan of another _p.s.c._ officer from home.
The Minister approved, and within a short time Captain White and Captain
Glasford joined me. Later on the Minister approved of two more _p.s.c._
officers from home on the understanding that each year two local officers
would be selected and sent to Camberley; by doing so we would in time
avoid the necessity of further borrowing.

A great task was before us. My colleagues on the Military Board were each
faced with somewhat similar difficulties, but by working together and
mutually assisting each other we managed to make good progress.

Perhaps our most serious problem was to consolidate the organization of
our universal service system. Each battalion area--and there were several
hundreds, required an officer and at least one sergeant-major as duly
qualified administrators and instructors; each brigade area wanted a
reliable staff. Our finances would not allow us to import them; we had to
train them locally. The establishment of local schools of instruction
achieved this object in due course with satisfactory results.

The next and all-important task was the preparation of sound general and
local schemes of defence for the whole of the Commonwealth--a
far-reaching problem. It not only required endless care and attention in
its conception and construction, but needed to be so thoroughly set out
as to be easily grasped by all concerned. With the assistance of Captain
White, whose special work this was, the schemes were completed, and I
satisfied myself of their efficacy and thoroughness some ten months
before war began. No better proof of this is necessary than the rapidity
and ease with which Australia mobilized on the receipt of the news of the
outbreak of war. I am proud to quote one fact. As an adjunct to the
general scheme of defence I had been most anxious that our Government
should offer the War Office the services of an Australian division
complete in personnel and materiel for service anywhere in the Empire or
out of it if required, and to be maintained while on service at full
strength at the expence of the Commonwealth for whatever length of time
it might be wanted. After several months of persistent effort the
Minister obtained the consent of the Cabinet. The offer was made and
accepted by the Home Government. All details of organization were worked
out. When war was declared the details for mobilizing the first division
were all cut and dried. Who could have guessed in those days that finally
Australia would contribute somewhere about half a million men to assist
the Mother Country?

In connexion with the preparation of the schemes of defence a most
intricate and perplexing question was the defence of the northern
littoral of the immense island continent. It would be out of place to
attempt to discuss the matter here. Suffice it to point out that I was
instructed to visit the northern littoral of Australia and submit a
report. Choosing the most suitable season of the year to make the tour, I
left Brisbane in the company of the then Government Resident of the
Northern Territory, Doctor Gilruth. The voyage along the coast of
Queensland, sailing within the Great Barrier Reef northwards to Torres
Straits, is one of the most interesting voyages in the world. After
leaving the Reef and clearing Cape York, you enter the Torres Straits and
make for a group of islands, the most important of which is Thursday
Island. It is the headquarters of the pearl fishing industry and an
Imperial coaling station for the Navy, protected by forts manned by
Australian artillery. The opportunity was given me during my tour to
witness the wonderful diving feats of the coloured crews. Pearl fishing
is a paying business, especially since the great advance in the price of
the mother-of-pearl shells, but one which demands much nautical skill and
the surmounting of many perils.

One of my duties was the selection of a site for the construction of the
highest power wireless station to be erected in the southern hemisphere.
An entertaining incident occurred in connexion therewith. Some thirty
miles inland from Port Darwin, in the neighbourhood of the railway line
to Pine Creek, lay an extensive lake, the waters of which were an
important adjunct to the requirements of the site. Accompanied by Doctor
Gilruth and other officials we proceeded to visit the locality. Leaving
the train we trekked through the bush to find the lake. By some means I
became detached from our guides and found myself alone with the
representative of our Naval Board. We were "bushed"--had no idea which
way to turn. I knew enough of bush life to remember that the best thing
to do when bushed is to remain quiet and not attempt to walk far, light a
fire and await the arrival of the rescue party. This we did, and when,
after waiting about an hour, our friends found us, we were actually only
about a quarter of a mile from the railway line and our train, where a
good luncheon was awaiting us. "Much ado about nothing."

On the return journey to Melbourne we visited New Guinea. What a
wonderful country! I would advise those who delight in good reading to
purchase Miss Grimshaw's books. Not only are they of overpowering
interest, but they are a living picture of the customs and habits of the
Papuan race.

On our arrival at Port Moresby, the seat of Government, Colonel Murray,
the High Commissioner, invited us to be his guests. Miss Grimshaw was at
the time Colonel Murray's guest also, and I had the pleasure of making
the acquaintance of the charming person whose intrepid and adventurous
nature had made us acquainted with the fascination of that hitherto
hardly-known island and its mysteries. Its orchids and butterflies alone
are sought for with the greatest zeal by the collectors of the world.

On my return to Melbourne I found that the inevitable was approaching.
Time, which has but little respect for persons, had moved on, and I was
close up to the age when the regulations demanded my retirement. On March
18, 1914, I would overtake my fifty-eighth birthday, and my active career
would close.

Our Government, however, had invited General Ian Hamilton, at the time
holding the appointment of Inspector-General of Oversea Forces, to make a
tour of inspection of the Commonwealth. As Hamilton was due to arrive in
February of that year I was requested to carry on till his tour was
completed, and it was arranged that I should retire on August 1, instead
of March 18, 1914. The general left in May. He was specially interested
in the success of the universal service, and his report was a highly
satisfactory one.

Nothing was left to me but to make my last visits of inspection to the
several States and satisfy myself that the schemes of defence were up to
date and in thorough working order. This I did, and was well pleased with
the results.

I booked my passage by the Orient steamer _Orama_, which was leaving
Fremantle on July 26, 1914. A fateful date for me. I had said my last
good-byes, and as the _Orama_ left port we heard of the declaration of
war by Austria against Serbia. Wireless messages reached us later of
Germany's declaration against Russia. Then we got no more news till we
were reaching Colombo, about August 6. The Great World War had commenced
on August 4.

By four days I had missed the opportunity of organizing and commanding
the division which, through my efforts, Australia had offered to the Home
Government a few months before. General Bridges, my successor, raised it
and led it to Gallipoli, where, unfortunately, he fell mortally wounded.
I have often thought his end would have been a fitting crown to my life's
work.



INDEX


Abruzzi, Duke of the, in Melbourne, 118, 119

Adelaide, author appointed Police Instructor at, 136;
  author joins Police of, 134;
  author's arrival at, 132;
  cash betting introduced at, 173, 174;
  development of, 152, 153;
  early method of landing at, 160;
  Hunt Club Races at, 169;
  Largs Bay Company and, 160;
  Military Staff Office at, 133, 143, 145;
  Polo Club Cup race at, 172;
  Polo team of, 162, 171-173;
  _Protector_ at, 177;
  Racing Club of, 173;
  Russian Naval officers at, 179;
  situation of, 154;
  social scandal at, 183, 184;
  sportsmen of, 166;
  Theatre Royal at, 136

Adjutant-General, author's appointment as, 192, 193, 203

Aeroplane, first, at Sydney, 300, 301;
  author's flight in, 301

Agents-General of the Colonies, and author's appointment
  as Military Adviser, 224

"Albatross" ridden by author in Drag Cup race, 169

Aldgate, author captures murderer at railway camp at, 138-142

Alfonso XII at Royal Military College, Sandhurst, 42;
  author and, 42-45;
  entry into Barcelona of, 36;
  offers amnesty to Carlists, 36, 44;
  on Don Carlos, 43, 44;
  proclaimed King of Spain, 35, 44;
  result of accession of, 48

American Fleet at Sydney, 302 _et seq._

Ammunition, small arms, 228, 229, 230

Army Council, Australian, establishment of, 280

Arsenals, establishment of, in Australia, 276 _et seq._

Artillery Force of South Australia, author appointed
    Lieutenant Commanding Permanent Unit of, 159;
  Staff Instructor of, 142, 143;
  work with, 151 _et seq._

Asmodeus, Prince, as King of Spain, 30

Auckland, author at, 105

"Auraria" and race for Melbourne Cup, 118, 119;
  trainer of, 166

Australia, Gordons in, 2;
  great strikes in, 209 _et seq._;
  "Russian Scare" in, 179, 180;
  South African War and, 232 _et seq._;
  Universal Service System of, 214, 281 _et seq._, 290, 299, 300, 309;
  withdrawal of British troops from, 156

Australian Contingent in South Africa, 242


Baker, Allen, wedding of, 168;
  Master of Morialta Hounds, 168;
  rides "Creamie" at Polo Club Cup race, 172, 173

Baker, Hon. John, 167, 168

Baker, Lieut.-Colonel, 224

Baker, Mrs. John, 168

Baker, Sir Richard, 168, 205;
  and Charles C. Kingston, 205, 208

Balloon, at manoeuvres, 227, 228

Barcelona, entry of Alfonso XII into, 36

Barton, Sir Edmund, 263

Bath, Order of, author receives Companionship of, 263

Bayonne, author's journey from, 32

Beaumont College, 24 _et seq._

Belfast, author wounded in disturbance at, 74, 75, 76

Belfast (South Africa), Battle of, 251

Bellew, Mrs. Kyrle (Mdme. le Grand), 129

Berry, Mr. Graham, 111, 130, 131

Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, engagement at, 124

Bloemfontein, author at, 242;
  meets Lord Roberts at, 239, 240, 243, 244

Bodega, 35

Boer War, 232 _et seq._

Botha, General Louis, 256

_Box and Cox_, Royal Artillery performance of, 63

Braddon, Sir Edward, 221

Brandfort, 245

_Bremen_, ss., 233

Bridges, General, 312

Brisbane, Lord Kintore in, 213

Brownrigg, Lieut.-Colonel, 175

Buller, General Sir Redvers, at manoeuvres, 225, 227;
  superseded by Lord Roberts in South Africa, 233, 238

Bullfights at Jeréz, 16;
  at Puerto Santa Maria, 16;
  at Wardhouse, 14

Burleigh, Bennet, 257

Burra-Burra, copper mines, 157, 213

"Bushveldt Carabiniers," 258

Buxton, Sir Thomas Fowell, 270


Cabrera, recantation of, 48

Cadet system in South Australia, 215

Cambridge, Duke of, presents prizes at Woolwich, 40

Cameron, Major Eustace, Kitchener as guest of, 253

Campbell, Colonel Gerald, 288

Campbell, Corporal, 135, 137

Campos, General Martinez, and King Alfonso, 35

Canada, troops from, in South Africa, 241, 242

"Cape Dwyer," accident with, 83;
  death of, 84

Carlisle, Fort, Queenstown, experiences at, 82, 83, 84

Carlist Army, 35;
  strength of, 36

Carlist officers, disguised, 33

Carlist War, 28, 30 _et seq._

Cash betting introduced at Adelaide, 173, 174

Castillo, Marquis del, decides against Alfonso, 36

Catholics, disabilities of, in Scotland, 11, 13

_Cerberus_, 177

Chartered Company of South Australia, 151, 152

Chief of the General Staff, appointment as, 307;
  work of, 308 _et seq._

_Chingtu_, 213

Christchurch, 106

Clova, Mrs. Gordon's illness at, 218, 219

Coles, Sir Jenkin and Baker--Kingston dispute, 208

Commandant of South Australia, 208;
  author's work as, 263, _et seq._

Commander-in-Chief of Commonwealth Forces, General Hutton as, 269;
  importance of, 267, 268

Commonwealth of Australia, Army Council of, 280;
  camp of Field Forces of, 291-295;
  constitution of, 263;
  defence scheme of, 309-310;
  Government of, and Lord Kitchener, 290;
  King Edward and, 273;
  Military Board of, 280, 309;
  Proclamation of, 266;
  reorganization of Military Forces of, 275 _et seq._

Commonwealth Parliament, first elections for, 263;
  opening of, 266

Connaught, Duke of, and Army manoeuvres, 225

Connell, Sergeant-Major, 156

Cork, author's experiences at, 81

"Corporal Buller," 237, 257, 258;
  execution of, 258, 259

Cresswell, Captain William, 177


Dalley, Hon. John B., 188

_Damascus_, 218

De Wet, General, 256

Defence Force of South Australia, establishment of, 156;
  General Downes' reorganization scheme for, 158;
  reorganization of, 157

Defence League of Australia, 288

Deorwyn, Alice, 129, 130

Deorwyn, Constance, 129, 130

Derdepoort, curious incident at, 255

Disney, Colonel, 175

Doldrums, the, 88

Don Carlos, arrival in London of, 49;
  author and, 46, 48, 49, 50;
  author joins, 30, 31;
  flees to France, 48;
  in Paris, 51, 52, 53;
  in the hunting field, 50;
  reconciliation with Queen Isabella, 52;
  rejects Alfonso's amnesty, 36;
  story of claim to Spanish throne, 46, 47;
  success of, 30

Downes, Major-General, appointed Secretary to Ministry of Defence,
    Victoria, 176;
  appointed to reorganize South Australian Defence Force, 157;
  author and, 132, 142, 143, 186, 197, 198, 203, 204;
  Commandant of Victoria, 270, 271;
  leaves Adelaide, 208

Drill instructor, author appointed, in New Zealand, 91;
  work as, 95

Dudley, Lord, and first aeroplane in Sydney, 300-301

Dunedin, 89, 106;
  Fern Hill Club at, 91


Edgbaston, Oratory school at, 23

Education Department, South Australia, and cadet system, 214

Edward, King, and Commonwealth Forces, 273

Elder, Sir Thomas, 166, 167

Elder, Smith and Co., 167

English language, difficulties of, 22

Estella, as seat of Carlist government, 47;
  author joins Carlists at, 35

Eugénie, Empress, and death of Prince Imperial, 41;
  author meets, at Jeréz, 41


Fellowes, Major, 175

Ferdinand VI, 46, 47

Fern Hill Club, 91

Filgate, Mr., 166

Finn, Major-General, Commandant of Queensland, 271, 280;
  Inspector-General, Australia, 280

Fitzalan, Viscount, pupil of Oratory School, Edgbaston, 24

Fitzgerald, Captain, 299

Fitzgerald, Hon. Nicholas, 213

Fitzgerald, Miss, author marries, 213-214

Forrest, Sir John, 221;
  author and, 269

Fort Glanville, 132, 142, 159, 160, 161, 165, 180, 181, 202, 210, 211

Fort Largs, 161, 164, 165;
  insubordination at, 185, 186, 187;
  Permanent Force Artillery at, 209

Fosberry, Mr., and Great Strike, 209

Francis, Colonel, Commandant of Western Australia, 271

French, General, 249;
  in South Africa, 247, 248

French, Major-General, as Commandant, New South Wales, 270


Gate Pah, 91

Geelong, 124

Gilruth, Doctor, 310, 311

Glasford, Captain, 308

Glenelg, author's accident at, 180;
  construction of fort at, 180;
  excitement at, on arrival of Russian Fleet, 178;
  landing of first settlers at, 152

Gordon, Adam, Dean of Caithness, 2

Gordon, Adam Lindsay, 2;
  famous jump of, 94

Gordon, Admiral Sir James Alexander, 4

Gordon, Alexander, of Camdell, 3

Gordon, Alexander, of Wardhouse, 3;
  guillotined at Brest, 4

Gordon, Brigadier-General, J. M. (author),
  military appointments and promotions of, 147;
  pedigree of, 7

Gordon, Carlos Pedro (author's father), becomes Laird of Wardhouse, 14, 19

Gordon, Charles, 3

Gordon, Charles Edward (of Wardhouse), 4, 11, 12;
  death of, 13;
  sends his eldest son to Spain, 13

Gordon, Colonel Fabian, 1

Gordon, General (of Khartoum), author and, 186, 187, 271;
  death of, 203;
  statue of, 203

Gordon, General Alexander, 2

Gordon, General Patrick, 1

Gordon, General Patrick, of Auchleuchries, 1, 3

Gordon, George, 2

Gordon, Gregory, 3

Gordon, James, of Beldorney, 3

Gordon, James Arthur (of Jeréz), 3, 11;
  goes to Spain, 12

Gordon, John, 1

Gordon, John, of Beldorney, 3

Gordon, John David (of Wardhouse), goes to Spain, 4, 13;
  death of, 13

Gordon, Juan José, becomes Laird of Wardhouse, 13, 14

Gordon, Lord Adam, 4

Gordon, Mrs. Rafael, 2

Gordon, Pedro Carlos, 2, 13

Gordon, Robert, 2

Gordon, Robert (Cadiz), 3

Gordon-Coldwells, son, 1

Gordons of Coldwells, 1

Gorn, Captain, 87

Greencastle Fort, author at, 81, 82

Grierson, General, author and, 247, 250;
  in South Africa, 246

Grimshaw, Miss, 311


Hamilton, General Ian, in South Africa, 247;
  tour of Australia of, 312

Hamilton, Mr. George, 133, 134, 142

Harcourt, Lord, and Alexander Gordon, 3, 4

Harding-Stewart, General, 180, 202

Hawker, Lieutenant, 185

"High Commissioner of Ejectments," 257

Hill, John, 166

_Himalaya_, 220, 221

Hoad, General, Chief of General Staff of Australia, 280;
  death of, 307

Holloway, Beatrice, 130

Homburgh, Mr., and Baker--Kingston dispute, 207

Hopetoun, Earl of, as Governor-General of Australia, 265 _et seq._;
  as Governor of Victoria, 264

Hunt Club Races at Adelaide, 169

Hunt, Major, murder of, 258

Hunters, author's, in Adelaide, 165, 166

Huntly-Gordon, Marquises of, 2

Hutton, General, and Overseas Troops in South Africa, 242, 243, 247, 255;
  author and, 268;
  Commandant in New South Wales, 215, 268;
  Commander-in-Chief of Commonwealth, 269, 272, 275;
  leaves Australia, 280


Imperial Mounted Infantry in South Africa, 24

Invercargill (The Bluff), 107

Ireland, Miss Harry, 129

Ireland, Mr., 129

Ireland, service in, 62 _et seq._;
  sport in, 77 _et seq._;
  unruly times in, 71 _et seq._

Isabella, Queen, reconciliation of, with Don Carlos, 52


Japanese Fleet, visit to Melbourne of, 273, 274, 275, 302, 303, 304

Jeréz, author's birthplace in, 18;
  author christened at, 1;
  author meets Empress Eugénie at, 41;
  author revisits, 28;
  bull-fighting at, 16;
  cholera epidemic in, 18, 19;
  description of, 14, 15, 16;
  Gordons at, 3, 4;
  schooldays at, 19

Jervois, Captain John, as Adjutant-General, 177;
  author and, 132, 144

Jervois, Major, and "Russian Scare," 179, 180, 192;
  author and, 182

Jervois, Sir William, 132, 144, 159, 176

Johnson, Lieut.-Colonel, in South Africa, 248

Jovellar, Commander-in-Chief of Spanish Army, and Alfonso, 35, 36

Jubilee Celebrations, author represents South Australia at, 218


Karree Siding, author wounded at, 252

Kati-kati Settlement, 105

Kelly, Ned, execution of, 122

Kennedy, Thomas, 22, 23

Khartoum, fall of, 203

King Country, the, 91, 98, 104

King-Harman, Lieut.-Colonel, 202;
  death of, 220

Kingston, Charles Cameron, Premier of South Australia, 203, 204, 205, 231;
  and Sir Richard Baker, 205, 208;
  author and, 208, 220, 221, 232, 233, 235, 271;
  death of, 272;
  Federation and, 217, 271, 288;
  "National Service" and, 216, 217

Kintore, Lord, 212, 213

Kipling, Rudyard, at Norval's Pont, 239

Kitchener, Lord, at Mount Temple, Capetown, 254, 255;
  author and, 239, 240, 241, 243, 245, 253, 296, 297;
  in Australia, 290 _et seq._;
  in Tasmania, 253;
  victory of, at Omdurman, 228

Kroonstad, Lord Roberts at, 246

Kruger, President, 256


"Land Boom," 201

Largs Bay Company and Port Adelaide, 160

Largs Bay Hotel, 161, 164, 214

"Larry O'Keefe" as hunter, 79;
  author purchases, 78

Laserta, General, defeated by Carlists, 37, 48

Le Grand, Mdme. (Mrs. Kyrle Bellew), 129

Legge, Colonel, Commandant of Tasmania, 271

Light, Colonel, development of Adelaide and, 153-155

Lillywhite, John, author taught cricket by, 25

Limerick Hounds, meet of, on April 1, 80, 81

Limerick, hunting experiences at, 67, 68, 69;
  stationed at, 63 _et seq._;
  Sunday disturbances at, 72, 73

Line, crossing the, 88

Lithgow as site of arsenal, 280

London, author in, as Military Adviser of Australian
    Colonies, 224 _et seq._

Loraine, Violet, 130

Lovett, Major, 199, 203

Lyne, Sir William, first Premier of Australian Commonwealth, 263


Macdonald, Leslie, 166, 169

Madrid, mutiny in artillery barracks at, 44

Maori settlement in the King Country, 91

Maori War, Australian troops in, 188

Maoris as swimmers, 100;
  ceremonials of, 100 _et seq._;
  New Zealand Government and, 98, 99;
  raid roadmakers, 95, 104;
  war dance of, 103

_Massilia_, 203

Melbourne, author at, 109 _et seq._, 120 _et seq._;
  author's newspaper in, 112-118;
  Bijou Theatre, 124;
  charity ball at, 176;
  Duke and Duchess of York at, 266;
  Inter-Colonial Convention at, 220;
  Japanese Fleet at, 273, 274, 275, 302, 303, 304;
  Kingston at, 221;
  review of Commonwealth Forces at, 273, 274;
  White Hart Hotel at, 109, 125

Melbourne Cup, 113 _et seq._;
  of 1913, 213

Mercedes, Princess, 39

Mercer, Catherine, wife of Charles Edward Gordon, 4

"Mick Molloy," author purchases, 69, 70, 78;
  death of, 79, 80

Middle Head Fort, Sydney, 202

Milford Sounds, 89

Military Adviser and Inspector of Warlike Stores for Australia,
  author's appointment as, 223;
  work in London as, 223, 224 _et seq._

Military Board, Australian, author appointed First Member of, 307;
  establishment of, 277;
  problems of, 309

Military Staff Office, Adelaide, 133, 143, 145

"Ministry of all the Talents," 264

Mirasol, Count of, tutor to Alfonso XII, 42, 45;
  death of, 44, 45

Molloy, Mick, 67, 70

Montijo, Countess of, 41

Moonta, copper mines of, 157

Moore, Maggie (Mrs. J. C. Williamson), 130

Morant, Jack ("The Breaker"), 237

Morant, Lieut.-Colonel ("Corporal Buller"), 257, 258;
  execution of, 258, 259

_Moravian_, 251

Morialta, kennels at, 168

Morphetville, stud farm at, 166, 167

Morriones, General, and Alfonso, 36, 37

Mount Cook, 89, 108

Mount Gambia, Blue Lake at, 93

Mount Lofty, 136;
  Adelaide from, 154;
  Hon. John Baker's home at, 167, 168;
  railway construction camp at, 138-142

Mount Nelson, Capetown, wartime reminiscences of, 254, 255

Murray, Colonel, High Commissioner, New Guinea, 311


National Rifle Meeting, 230

"National Service" Scheme, author's, 216 _et seq._;
  Kingston and, 216-217

New Guinea, visit to, 311

New South Wales, author appointed Commandant of, 280, 281 _et seq._;
  Naval Defence Scheme of, 177;
  troops for Egypt from, 188, 189;
  volunteers for Maori War, 188

New South Wales Defence Scheme, 187;
  guns for, 202

New South Wales Lancers sent to South Africa, 232;
  squadron of, in England, 232

New Zealand, 87 _et seq._;
  force in South Africa, 241, 242;
  system of land settlement, 91, 92;
  withdrawal of British troops from, 156

New Zealand Government and Maoris, 98, 99

Newcastle (N.S.W.), defences of, 295, 296

Newcastle-on-Tyne, 219

Newman, Dr. (afterwards Cardinal), headmaster at Edgbaston
  Oratory School, 23

Northern Territory and South Australia, 152, 213;
  defence of, 310

Norton Summit, 167, 168

Norval's Pont, destruction of bridge at, 239;
  Lord Kitchener at, 239;
  Rudyard Kipling at, 239


Ohinemutu, 105;
  eruptions at, 91, 93, 94, 104;
  Maori settlement, 91

Oliver, Maggie, 129

Omdurman, Kitchener's victory at, 228

_Ophir_, Duke and Duchess of York's voyage on, 266, 267

_Orama_, 312

Oratory School, Edgbaston, 23;
  Cardinal Newman, headmaster at, 23;
  head prefect of, 23, 24

_Orlando_, 265

Overseas Brigade in South Africa, command of, 242, 244

Owen, Lieut.-Colonel, J. F. (General), 177;
  arrival at Adelaide, 182;
  at Malta, 197;
  author and, 193, 195, 196;
  Commandant of Queensland, 197;
  economies and, 192;
  Hon. T. Playford and, 194, 195, 196


Paardeberg, Battle of, 238

Palotta, Grace, 219

Pamplona, author with Carlist troops at, 37

Paris, Artists' Ball at Grand Hotel in, 54, 55;
  author and Don Carlos in, 51, 52, 53;
  love affair in, 53-61

Parrott, Lieut.-Colonel, 236

Peterswald, Mr., 142, 143, 145;
  and strikers, 210

Phillips, Hans, 129

Playford, Hon. Thomas ("Honest Tom"), 194, 195;
  and General Owen, 194-197;
  and strikers, 210, 211;
  author and, 197, 276, 280;
  Commonwealth Minister of Defence, 278, 279

Point Cook, first aviation school at, 128, 301

Police, South Australian, author appointed instructor in, 136;
  author joins, 134

Polo at Adelaide, 162, 163, 171, 173

Ponce de Leon, Pepe, 46, 51, 52

Port Adelaide, arrival of Russian Fleet at, 178;
  building of, 160;
  forts at, 160, 161;
  strikes at, 209, 210, 211

Port Augusta, 157

Port Chalmers, 87, 89, 90

Port Darwin, 157

Powell, Captain, 156

Power, Tom, 166

Pretoria, author at, 256, 257;
  Lady Roberts at, 256;
  plot to kidnap Lord Roberts at, 255-256

Prim, General, assassination of, 30

Primo de Rivera and King Alfonso, 35

Prince Imperial (France) at Woolwich, 40, 42;
  death and funeral of, 41

_Protector_, 177, 189, 190

Puerto Santa Maria, school at, 19;
  bull-fight at, 16;
  robbed at, 16, 17


Queensland, General Owen as Commandant of, 197;
  strikes in, 212

Queenstown, 81


Ralli, Stephen ("Bismarck"), 252

Reader, Colonel, 90, 91, 105, 106, 107

Reeve, Mr. Wybert, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128

Reid, Sir George, 222

Re-organization Bill of South Australia, 217

Retirement of author, 312

Rhodes, Captain Ernest, 175

Ricardo, Colonel, as "High Commissioner of Ejectments," 257

Richardson, Major-General, and Victorian Defence Scheme, 187, 188

Ridley, General, 242, 244

Roberts, Lady, at Pretoria, 256

Roberts, Lord, at Kroonstad, 246;
  author with, in South Africa, 238 _et seq._, 245;
  plot to kidnap, at Pretoria, 255, 256;
  supersedes Buller in South Africa, 233, 238

Robinson, Sir William, 176

Roller skating, author introduces in Dublin, 77;
  in Limerick, Cork and Waterford, 78

Rome supports Don Carlos, 30

_Rotomahana_, 106

Rotorua district, 91, 93

Royal Artillery at Limerick, 66, 67;
  author gazetted to, 40, 41;
  Headquarters' Mess at Woolwich, 62

Russia, Gordons in, 1, 2

Russian Fleet, arrival at Adelaide, 178

"Russian Scare," the, in Australia, 179, 192

Ryan, Sergeant-Major, 156


Sagasta and Alfonso, 35

St. John Ambrose, Father, head prefect of Edgbaston Oratory School, 23, 24

Salisbury Plain, manoeuvres on, 225-228

Sandhurst, Alfonso XII at, 42

Sargood, Sir Frederick, appointed Minister of Defence,
    Victoria, 175, 187, 197, 204

Saville, Mr., 166

Scotland, author's first journey to, 20-22;
  Catholic disabilities in, 11, 13

Scratchley, General Sir Peter, author and, 111, 131, 159

Seth Ferry, 166

Shearers, strike of, 211, 212

Simmons, General Sir Linton, author and, 31, 39

Smith, Mr. Barr, 166, 167;
  South African War and, 235

Smith, Mrs. Barr, 185

Smith, Sir Charles Holled, 270

Soudan Campaign, Australian troops in, 188, 189

South Africa, author in, as Special Service Officer, 232 _et seq._

South African War, Australia and, 232 _et seq._

South Australia, author and police of, 134-145;
  author appointed Commandant of, 118, 143, 208, 209, 263;
  author appointed Staff Instructor to Artillery Force of, 142, 143;
  author as Acting-Commandant in, 198, 207;
  author's work as Staff Instructor in, 151 _et seq._;
  Cadet System in, 215;
  Defence System of, 155, 159;
  development of, 151, 152, 157;
  guns for, 202;
  Re-organization Bill of, 217;
  Volunteer Force, establishment of, 156

Spain, Alfonso proclaimed king, 35, 44;
  elections in, 16, 17;
  Republican Government of, 30;
  Wardhouse Gordons and, 3, 12, 13

Staff Instructor of Artillery, author's work as,
    in South Australia, 151 _et seq._

Stewart Island, 89

Stewart, Nellie, as "Sweet Nell," 130

Stewart Sisters, the, 130

Stuart, Colonel, 231

Sulphur at White Island, 94

Sulphur Islands, 94

_Surrey_ takes Australian troops to South Africa, 236, 238, 258

Swinley, Major, 105, 106

Sydney, American Fleet at, 302 _et seq._;
  Australian Defence Conference at, 215;
  first aeroplane at, 300;
  great maritime strike in, 209 _et seq._;
  Great Review at, 304;
  Imperial Naval Base, 177;
  Union Club, author at, 288, 289;
  welcome to Lord Hopetoun at, 264


Talbot, Edmund, in South Africa, 249

Tasmania, author offered post in, 105;
  Kitchener in, 253

Tauranga, author's life at, 104;
  author meets old friend at, 95, 96;
  author stationed at, 91, 92;
  compensation court at, 98, 99

Taylor, Alderman Allan, 281

Terraces, The, eruptions at, 91;
  (Ohinemutu), 94, 104

Thames goldfield, 92, 105

Theatre Royal, Adelaide, 136

"The Breaker" (Jack Morant), 237

_The Call_, 288

_The Jacobite_, 185, 186

_The School for Scandal_, author engaged as Careless in, 125, 126

_The Woman in White_, 124, 126

Thompson, Joe, 168

Torrens Park, 167;
  private theatricals at, 185, 186

_Turf Tissue_, 113-118

_Turn Him Out_, author takes leading part in, 130


Union Club, Sydney, 288, 289

Universal Service system of Australia, 214, 282;
  author and Melbourne Press and, 281, 287, 288;
  author's scheme for, 283-287;
  consolidation of, 309;
  General Ian Hamilton on, 312;
  increased cost of, 290;
  introduction of, 215;
  Lord Kitchener and, 290 _et seq._;
  police report on effect of, 299, 300


Vaal River, crossing of, 250

_Valetta_, 200, 201

_Victoria_, 223

Victoria, author as commandant of, 271, 273 _et seq._;
  defence scheme for, 175, 187;
  goldfields of, 213;
  naval units of, 177;
  volunteers for Maori War from, 188


_Waipa_, author's voyage to New Zealand on, 87, 165, 200

Wairoa River, 104

Walker, General Forestier, 238, 241

Wallaroo, copper mines of, 157

Wallington, Captain (Sir Edward), as private secretary
    to Lord Hopetoun, 270

Ward, Colonel, in South Africa, 247, 248, 249

Wardhouse, author at, 201;
  Gordons of, 2, 3, 4

Weld, Sir Frederick, 105, 106, 111, 112

Wellington, 90;
  author at, 106

Werribee House, 128

Western Australia, and permanent artillery force, 209

Wharfmen's union, strike of, 209-211

White, Captain, 308, 309

White Island, 93, 94, 95;
  sulphur at, 94

Williams, Major, 156

Wilson, Major, 308

Wireless station, selecting site for, 310, 311

Wolseley, Lord, and army manoeuvres, 227;
  and New South Wales troops, 191

Woodcock Hill, Limerick, robbery at chapel at, 71, 72

Woodford, Colonel John, and wife of Laird of Wardhouse, 4

Woolwich Academy, author at, 30, 31;
  author coached for, 27;
  author leaves, 40;
  author's return to, from Spain, 37, 38;
  author successful candidate for, 28, 29;
  Prince Imperial at, 40, 42

Woolwich, author joins Royal Artillery at, 42;
  Garrison Theatre, author in performances at, 63;
  R.A. headquarters mess at, 62


York, Duke and Duchess of, at Adelaide, 267;
  at Melbourne, 266;
  at opening of Commonwealth Parliament, 266;
  author and, 267

       *       *       *       *       *

PRINTED BY CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED, LA BELLE SAUVAGE, LONDON, E.C.4
F 20.821





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