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Title: Punch or the London Charivari, September 9, 1914
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch or the London Charivari, September 9, 1914" ***

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  Vol. 147

  SEPTEMBER 9, 1914.


The _Deutsche Tageszeitung_ says:--"Our present war with England shall
not be done by halves; it is no war to be stopped by 'notice,' but by a
proper settlement. Otherwise the peace we all desire would be both
rotten and dangerous." Your wish shall be respected, _Deutsche

       * * *

The fines which Germany has been imposing so lavishly on towns and
provinces will, a commercial friend informs us, ultimately prove to be
what are known in City circles as "temporary loans."

       * * *

By the way, _The Globe_ tells us that the KAISER was once known to his
English relatives as "The Tin Soldier." In view of his passion for
raising tin by these predatory methods this title might be revived.

       * * *

The German threat that they will make "_Gurken-salad_" of the Goorkhas,
leaves these cheery little sportsmen undismayed.

       * * *

We give the rumour for what it is worth. It is said that, overcome with
remorse at the work of his vandals at Louvain, the KAISER has promised
when the war is over to present the city with a colossal monument of

       * * *

Meanwhile President WILSON is being urged by innumerable tourist
agencies in his country to stop the war before any more historical
buildings are demolished.

       * * *

A number of the more valuable of the pictures in the Louvre have, with a
view to their safety, been placed in cellars. _La Gioconda_ is to be
interned at an extra depth, as being peculiarly liable to be run away

       * * *

Strangely enough, the most heroic single-handed feat of the war seems
only to have been reported in one paper, _The Express_. We refer to the
following announcement:--

       _Express_ Correspondent."

       * * *

It is stated that the German barque _Excelsior_, bound for Bremen with a
valuable cargo, has been captured by one of our cruisers. It speaks well
for the restraint of our Navy that, with so tempting a name, she was not
blown up.

       * * *

A proposal has been made in _The Globe_ that all "alien enemies" in this
country shall be confined within compounds until the end of the War.
Suggested alteration in the National Anthem: "Compound his enemies."

       * * *

"Carry on" is no doubt an admirable motto for these times, but the
Special Constable who was surprised by his wife while carrying on with a
cook (which he thought to be part of his professional duty) complains
that it is misleading.

       * * *

We hear that some of our Nuts have volunteered to serve as regimental

       * * *

Partridge shooting began last week, but poor sport is recorded. The
birds declare that it is not their fault. They turned up in large
numbers, but there were not enough guns to make it worth while.

       * * *

Illustration: _The Thinker._ "YOU SAY THIS WAR DON'T AFFECT YOU: BUT

       *       *       *       *       *

The Gibraltar Manner.

    Ladies Making Garments."

       *       *       *       *       *


    Marvellous the utter transformation
    Of the spirit of the German nation!

    Once the land of poets, seers and sages,
    Who enchant us in their deathless pages,

    Holding high the torch of Truth, and earning
    Endless honour by their zeal for learning.

    Such the land that in an age uncouther
    Bred the soul-emancipating LUTHER.

    Such the land that made our debt the greater
    By the gift of _Faust_ and _Struwwelpeter_.

       * * *

    Now the creed of NIETZSCHE, base, unholy,
    Guides the nation's brain and guides it solely.

    Now MOZART'S serene and joyous magic
    Yields to RICHARD STRAUSS, the hæmorrhagic.[1]

    Now the eagle changing to the vulture
    Preaches rapine in the name of culture.

    Now the Prussian _Junker_, blind with fury,
    Claims to be God's counsel, judge and jury.

    While the authentic German genius slumbers,
    Cast into the limbo of back numbers.

[Footnote 1: Great play is made in STRAUSS'S _Elektra_ with the
"slippery blood" motive.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Late "Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse."

_First Student of the War._ Why did they call it "Kaiser William the

_Second Student._ Don't know. I should have described him as a Butcher.

       *       *       *       *       *



    PETROGRAUD (St. Petersburg), Tuesday.

    By Imperial order, the city of St. Petersburg will henceforth be
    known as Petrograu."

    _Evening Standard._

It looks more like three new names.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Q._ I hear the Sugar Refiners are raising cane?

_A._ That's because they haven't yet got the German beet.

[_Awarded Gold Medal and Banana Skin for worst joke of the war._]

       *       *       *       *       *


    Ye that have gentle hearts and fain
      To succour men in need,
    There is no voice could ask in vain,
      With such a cause to plead--
    The cause of those that in your care,
      Who know the debt to honour due,
    Confide the wounds they proudly wear,
      The wounds they took for you.

    Out of the shock of shattering spears,
      Of screaming shell and shard,
    Snatched from the smoke that blinds and sears,
      They come with bodies scarred,
    And count the hours that idly toll,
      Restless until their hurts be healed,
    And they may fare, made strong and whole,
      To face another field.

    And yonder where the battle's waves
      Broke yesterday o'erhead,
    Where now the swift and shallow graves
      Cover our English dead,
    Think how your sisters play their part,
      Who serve as in a holy shrine,
    Tender of hand and brave of heart,
      Under the Red Cross sign.

    Ah, by that symbol, worshipped still,
      Of life-blood sacrificed,
    That lonely Cross on Calvary's hill
      Red with the wounds of CHRIST;
    By that free gift to none denied,
      Let Pity pierce you like a sword,
    And Love go out to open wide
      The gate of life restored.


The Red Cross Society is in need of help. Gifts should be addressed to
Lord Rothschild at Devonshire House, Piccadilly.

       *       *       *       *       *


"I think we may advance to attack," said the Prussian Commander, folding
up the _Berliner Tageblatt_ War Map.

"One moment, Sir," interposed the Chief of Staff, "the supply of
captured alien women and children is exhausted."

"Then," said the Commander, "we shall be forced to confront the enemy's
fire without the usual screen."

"Why not advance under a flag of truce?" suggested the Chief of Staff.

"I am loth to violate the canons of civilized warfare," said the
Commander, "but really there seems no other way, unless--unless----
Here! Hand me a telegram form. I have an idea."

The Commander wrote rapidly for a minute. "Send this at once," he said,
"and pre-pay the reply."

In an hour the answer arrived. The Commander tore it open with eager
haste. "We are saved!" he cried. "The advance commences at daybreak
to-morrow." He tossed the telegram over to the Chief of Staff, who
read:--"Am forwarding immediately per special train 1,000 foxes as
requested.--Hagenbeck, Hamburg."

And the KAISER, reading the Commander's despatch later in the day,
mailed his Super-strategist the insignia of the Order of the
Double-faced Vulture.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Sunday._--To-day has witnessed another triumph for the high-souled
German army. Ten Belgian villages have been burnt. Some of the
inhabitants have been also burnt; the rest have been driven out to
starve. This will teach Belgium not to build villages in the way of a
possible German advance. General von Schweinehund was in command of the
noble German column. Have telegraphed my supreme congratulations and
have conferred upon him the Iron Cross. How splendidly God is behaving
in these days.

_Monday._--It is stated that in East Prussia a village has been burnt by
the Russians during a battle. This is monstrous, and must be stopped at
once. Have sent a protest to the TSAR and have telegraphed to neutral
countries pointing out that Russia is spreading barbarism, whereas
Germany is spreading civilisation and culture. A reply has come from
America; it contained only one word--"Louvain." That may be meant for
humour, but I do not understand it. The Americans must not forget that
Louvain was burnt by _German_ troops, and that being so there can be no
complaint. Have told my Court Chaplain, Dr. Meuchler, to draw the Divine
attention to this infamy on the part of the Russian Huns.

_Tuesday._--Six Belgian mayors and five hundred selected Belgian
villagers have been shot by my gallant troops. One of them had sneered
at Lieutenant von Blutgierig as he sat at breakfast. The Belgians are
indeed a stiff-necked race, but with God's help they shall be made to
understand the sympathetic gentleness of the German character. But to
sneer at a man in uniform is an inconceivable crime worthy only of an
Englishman. The lieutenant has had to go into hospital to recover from
this shameful treatment. He is a true German and shall be rewarded.

_Wednesday._--Ordered three cathedrals to be razed to the ground. Forget
how many ordinary churches have been destroyed. All Belgian and French
universities are to be at once bombarded and burnt for failing to
recognise superiority of German intellect. Have just read noble book by
Professor Lumpenthor, who proves that CÆSAR, HANNIBAL, ALEXANDER, HOMER,
He seems to fear that we modern Germans are too merciful. This is no
doubt true, for the Belgians are not yet reconciled to us as their
God-appointed masters.

_Thursday._--Our wonderful navy continues its magnificent deeds. Two
Danish boats and an English trawler have been sent to the bottom by
mines in the North Sea. Have commanded religious services to be held in
all German churches to thank God for all His mercies.

_Friday._--Have arranged everything with Turks, who will shortly
intervene with their army to help Germany to spread civilisation and the
Gospel. Hear that England is about to use Indian troops. This, being an
attack on German culture, cannot be allowed. Unless something is done
about it shall countermand religious services.

_Saturday._--Have ordered all remaining Belgian villages to be burnt and
inhabitants to be shot. This will please my glorious troops. The Divine
blessing is evidently on our cause.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Rev. N. J. POYNTZ, M.A., is appointed a chaplain on the Bengal

    Add to European Crises."--_Pioneer._

It can't be as serious as that.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lost, Appendix, heart shaped, short chain attached."

    _Sunderland Daily Echo._

It must be a very fierce one to have bitten through its lead.

Illustration: INDIA FOR THE KING!

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: SCENE--_Louvain_.

JUST GET A BROAD EFFECT OF CULTURE." [A well-known battle painter of
Düsseldorf has been commissioned by the KAISER to make studies of the
present campaign.]

       *       *       *       *       *


"Yes, I like the kit," she said, "and I'm glad you came to show
yourself, because I've got a little present for you." He winced.

"I ought to say," he remarked, "that I have already received five
barbed-wire-cutters, three vacuum flasks, eleven comforters, six writing

"Oh, but _this_ won't take up any room," and she held out a woollen
helmet of the popular colour.

"Thanks awfully," he replied, drawing back, "but I never wear them."

"Of course you don't," she said; "they're not meant for tennis
tournaments or the opera, but for the campaigner whose lodging is on the
cold bare ground. In fact when once he gets it on he never wants to take
it off again."

"From the look of it," he remarked, "it will be a case of Hobson's
choice. You've underrated the size."

"I took your measurements last week," she said coldly.

"But that was before I joined the colours. You forgot to allow for
subsequent developments."

"In any case the wool stretches," she observed. "Are you going to try it

"It will play the very deuce with my hair," he objected.

"Very well," she said. "Dick shall have it."

"Never," he exclaimed, and snatching up the woollen object, began to ram
his sleek head into the small aperture at the bottom.

Halfway through, apparently yielding to panic, he sought to return to
fresh air and the light of day, but her hands ruthlessly seized the
elaborate crochet edging, and pulled and tugged it down mercilessly
towards his shoulders until his distorted features appeared at the hole
in front with a pop, and she clapped her hands in delight.

"It fits you like a glove," she cried, "and though your nose is a bit
red you look quite handsome."

"I'm being strangled," he gasped, clutching at his throat; "take it

"In time of war," she observed, "we all have to put up with a little
inconvenience. I shall soon be living on turnips, for instance, and you
know how I hate them."

With a strange gurgling in his throat, he collapsed on the Chesterfield.
His face grew purple, his eyes bulged and rolled, his veins swelled, his
head dropped forward. She grew alarmed.

"Are you really choking?" she exclaimed. "Here, take your hands away.
Let me help! Good gracious! _Darling!_ Oh! Whatever shall I do?" She
sprang for her scissors, and in a moment the helmet lay on the carpet
hopelessly mutilated.

"Thanks," he replied, smoothing his ruffled hair. "In another minute the
Germans would have missed their billet."

"Neither you nor Dick will be able to wear it now," she said, and her
lip trembled.

"Dick won't," he said, "and as a matter of fact I'm going to."

"How _can_ you?" And there was a catch in her voice.

"Not on my head perhaps, but on my heart--or rather," he added, slipping
a khaki arm round her, "on the place where my heart used to be."

Next morning, on parade, his chest measurement was the object of
universal envy.

       *       *       *       *       *


Upstairs, Baby, after many false starts, had finally settled into sleep.
Downstairs, the little maid, alternately rattling knives against plates
and saying "S'sh" to herself, had cleared away dinner. John, who had
been strangely silent during the meal, was in his deep arm-chair,
smoking. It was Mary's peace-hour.

She lay on the sofa, for she was always tired by now, reading the
morning paper--her first chance at it. As she read, she made little
comments aloud, as that the Germans were beasts, or that it was splendid
about the Russians doing so well; and this was the signal for John to
join in with the latest strategic gossip from the City.

Only to-night he didn't. He just sat smoking and thinking ... thinking.

"I suppose the French," said Mary, lazily, "are going to---- John!" She
looked across at him suddenly, realizing all at once that he had
answered none of her questions, knowing all at once that something was
the matter.

"Yes?" he said, coming out of his thoughts with a start.

"John, you--," she sat up with a jerk and craned her head forward at
him--"you haven't been dismissed?" She clenched her hands tight for the
answer. Sometimes at night, when he was asleep and she wasn't, she would
wonder what they would do if he were dismissed.

"Silly, of course not," said John with a laugh.

She gave a sob of relief and went over and sat on his knee and put her
arms round his neck.

"Oh, John, I was so frightened. But what is it? There's _something_."

He smoked rapidly for a little. Then he put his pipe down, kissed her,
and lifted her off his knee.

"I want to tell you something," he said; "but you mustn't look at me or
I couldn't. Sit down there." She curled herself up on the floor, leaning
back against his knees. "Mary"--he swallowed something which had stuck
in his throat--"Mary, I've got to enlist."

She was round in a flash.

"What do you mean you've got to?" she cried indignantly. "That beast
going to make you?" The beast was John's employer, a kindly man, whose
fault it was to regard John as one only among many, a matter on which
Mary often longed to put him right.

"No," said John. "But--but I've got to."

"Who's making you, then?"

"I don't know ... I suppose the GERMAN EMPEROR really."

"There's lots that ought to go before _you_ go. You've got a wife and a
child. Let those without go first."

"I know," said John doggedly. "I've thought of that."

She threw her arms round his neck in a sudden passion. "You _can't_
leave me, John, you _can't_! I couldn't bear it. Why, we've only been
married eighteen months. How can you want to go away and leave me and
baby and---- Why, you might get killed!" Her voice went up to a shriek.

"I don't _want_ to leave you," said John, a strange, terrifying,
rapid-speaking John; "I hate it. I hate war, I hate fighting, I hate
leaving you--oh, my God, how I hate leaving you, my darling! I've prayed
to God all day to stop the war before I have to go, but of course He
won't. Oh, Mary, _help_ me to go; don't make it harder for me."

She got off his knee; she brought a chair up opposite to him; she sat
down in it and rested her chin on her hands and looked straight at him.

"Tell me all about it," she said. "I'm quite all right." So he told her
all about it, and she never took her eyes off his face.

"A man came into the office to-day to talk to us about the war. The
Governor introduced him--Denham, his name was ... I knew he was all
right at once. You know how you feel that about some people ... He said
he thought perhaps some of us didn't quite know what to do, and he
wondered if he could help any of us ... Said of course he knew that, if
we thought England was in danger, we'd all rush to enlist, but perhaps
we didn't quite know how much England _was_ in danger, and all that
England stood for--liberty, peace, nationality, honour and so on. In
fact he'd come down to see if any of us would like to fight for England
... Said he was afraid it was rather cheek of him to ask us to defend
him, because that was what it came to, he being too old to fight. Said
he knew some of us would have to make terrible sacrifices, sacrifices
which he wasn't in the least making himself. Hoped we'd forgive him. He
couldn't say that if he were as young as us he'd enlist like a shot, any
more than he could say that if a woman jumped off Waterloo Bridge on a
dark night he'd jump in after her. On the whole he thought it would be
much easier to pretend he hadn't noticed. In fact that's very likely
what he _would_ do. But if someone, say the mother of the girl, pointed
out the body to him, then he'd have to come to a decision. Well, he was
in the position of that mother, he had come down to point out the body.
He confessed it wasn't the job he liked best, pointing out bodies for
other people to save, but he was doing it because he thought it might be
of some service. That was what we all had to realize, that it was a time
when we had to do things we didn't like. 'Business as usual' might be a
good motto, but 'Happiness as usual' was a thing we mustn't expect ..."

John fell into silence again.

"What else did he say?" asked Mary, still with her eyes fastened on his
face, as though she were looking at him for the last time.

"That was how he began. I can't tell you all he said afterwards, but I
felt as if I'd just fight for _him_, even if there was nobody else in
England ..."

"Aren't there lots of people who wouldn't mind going as much as you?"
said Mary timidly. "I mean men with no wives or children. Oughtn't they
to go first?"

"I suppose they ought. But, you see, you'd never get anywhere like that.
A would wait for B who was married but had no child, and B would wait
for C who wasn't married but had a mother, and C would wait for D who
was an orphan, and so on. That's what Mr. Denham said."

"I see," said Mary miserably.

"I don't quite understand what we're in the world for," said poor John,
"or what the world's for at all. But I suppose the great thing is
that--that good ideas should live and bad ideas should die ... I haven't
done much for good ideas so far, I'm not the sort of person who could
... just one out of thousands of others ... But I could do something for
good ideas out there. I could help beat the bad idea of War ... Mr.
Denham says if we win there's lots of men, all the best and cleverest in
the country, who are pledged to see that there shall be no more war.
Well, that's what I call a good idea ... only we've got to win first."

"I know it sounds a wretched thing to say, but what about money?" asked
Mary hesitatingly.

"Mother would take you in; there'll be enough to pay her something. We
might try and let the house."

And then all the memories of summer evenings and happy Sundays rushed
upon Mary and she broke down.

"Our little garden of which we were so proud!" she sobbed.

"The Belgians," said John sadly, "were proud of their little gardens."

       * * *

So far Recruiting Sergeant Denham. Meanwhile Recruiting Sergeant Flossie
had also got to work. Flossie, awaked by the shock of war to the
surprising fact that, after twenty-two years of vain, idle and
inglorious life, she was now of the most complete unimportance to her
country, had (for the first time) a sudden longing to "do something."
And so, being unfitted for needlework, nursing or the kitchen, she
adopted eagerly the suggestion of some stupid and unimaginative old
gentleman, and constituted herself (under God) Supreme Arbiter of Men's
Consciences for the South-West Suburbs of London. Patriotically aglow,
she handed out white feathers to all the un-uniformed young men she
chanced to meet ... the whitest of all coming to John, as he made his
way next morning to the recruiting office.

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Old Servant (to lady who has just returned to her

       *       *       *       *       *


I sometimes doubt whether my bank takes me really seriously. Not that it
isn't businesslike. They let me know to the minute when I have overdrawn
my account by five and elevenpence; but they cash my cheques with a
certain air of patronage, whereas, if you look at things properly, the
patronage is all on my side.

Every Saturday morning a man comes to my bank to cash a cheque for a
hundred and fifty pounds. (How he gets through all that money in a week
I have never had the courage to ask him.) Every Saturday morning I come
to my bank to cash a cheque for--well, whatever it happens to be, you

The trouble is that we nearly always coincide; only the other man always
seems to coincide first. And, as he takes his hundred and fifty on a
selective principle, I am beginning to know from bitter experience what
he will ask for and how long he will take to get served. He begins with
a note for fifty and goes on with fifty in fivers. Then he has twenty
sovereigns, and so on, down to the pound in copper. He and the cashier
chat airily the while of cabbages and kaisers. Then at last he goes away
full, and the cashier turns to me.

The Saturday before last I ventured to ask whether, if the
hundred-and-fifty pounder always insisted on arriving two seconds before
me, it wouldn't be possible to cash my cheque, which is a simple little
thing, in one of the intervals during which, after sending to the
cellars for more gold, they relapse into easy conversation; or,
alternatively, if it was really necessary to pay a customer exactly the
complicated bunches of monies he demanded; and, if so, whether it
couldn't be done any quicker.

The answer proving unsatisfactory I determined to arrive earlier last
Saturday. I made no mistake. I hung about the door of the bank for a
quarter of an hour till I saw my rival approach. I came in just ahead of
him, and presented my cheque. The cashier received it with his usual
little smile and turned it over. Then his usual little smile left him
and he set sadly to work.

The hundred-and-fifty pound man chafed and stamped his feet behind me
for ten minutes, while I gloated. It was my day--my _Tag_.

I think you may like to know just in what shape I demanded the payment
of my modest fifty shillings:--

    _£_ _s._ _d._

    1    0    0     in one pound notes.
    0   10    0     in ten shilling notes.
    0   10    0     in gold.
    0    5    0     in shilling postal orders.
    0    2    0     in threepenny bits.
    0    0    9-1/2 in halfpennies.
    0    1   10-1/4 in farthings.
    0    0    4     in silver, if possible
                      (otherwise stamps).
    0    0    0-1/4 in pins.
    2   10    0

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _ GERMAN KAISER. "LET US PREY."_

       *       *       *       *       *


"No, I don't mean that at all," said my wife hastily. "You quite
misunderstand me. Of course everyone is to have as much, quite as much,
food as he wants."

"Stop a bit. Does that mean as much as he likes?" I asked.

"Or as much as his system requires?" suggested the Reverend Henry.

"Or as much as he can contain?" demanded Sinclair. "It may seem to be a
fine point, but I think we ought to have it cleared up."

The hostess resumed: "Everyone is to have as much as he likes,
certainly. Of course he is. We are not going to be inhospitable. On the
contrary, we are prepared to share our last crust. But there must be
absolutely no waste."

There was a short pause. No one was inclined to demur to that
proposition. The Reverend Henry alone had doubts.

"It is difficult at a time like this, you know," he began mildly, "to be
quite certain that you are doing the right thing. If you stop all waste
in your household are you sure that you may not be encouraging
unemployment? If you don't waste biscuits it follows that fewer biscuits
are made and therefore----"

The Reverend Henry was adjudged to be on the wrong tack and his protest
was swept aside.

"Breakfast now," my wife began briskly, bringing into action her block
of notepaper and fountain-pen. "All that I want to know--I wouldn't
dream of stinting you--is--how much do you intend to eat?"

She looked round expectantly, the pen poised in her hand. There was
rather an awkward pause. The question seemed at first blush a little
indelicate. Sinclair tried to temporize.

"But wait a bit," he said. "Can't the servants manage to consume----"

"The servants breakfast long before you are up, Mr. Sinclair," my wife
reminded him.

"It's perfectly simple," said I, suddenly taking the floor; "I think it
an admirable idea, the essence of good citizenship. What we have got to
do is to declare our appetites overnight so that every man eats the food
he has booked and we make a clean sweep. Book me for two eggs and a

"Sorry there are no kippers to-morrow," said my wife. "Boiled eggs,
bacon and kidneys and mushrooms."

"It would be wrong to suppose that I do not consider it a wise and
indeed public-spirited idea in every way," said the Reverend Henry after
some reflection, "but it is a little difficult, you know. It depends so
much upon how one sleeps and what one feels like, and what sort of
morning it is, and the letters that come, and the war news."

"And on the temperature of one's tub," added Sinclair. "For my part I
eat a lot at breakfast. I don't feel that I have the face to advertise
the whole catalogue in this sort of way. It's too cold-blooded. Besides,
I fluctuate like anything."

"Come on," said I. "You fellows are simply trying to shirk the thing. I
declare two eggs, no bacon and three mushrooms, assuming an average size
for mushrooms. One cup and a half of coffee. Three lumps in all."

"Well, that's a fairly good lead," said Sinclair. "I propose to double
you on mushrooms and I should like to be put down for a kidney. What
about you, Henry?"

"Nothing but one rasher of bacon, please," said Henry meekly. "I am
never hungry in the morning and I have always wanted to know how much
bacon there is in a rasher. A single cup of tea, no sugar, but plenty of

My wife had been writing busily. Now she looked up. "What about toast?"
she enquired.

"You _are_ going into details," said Sinclair approvingly. "Doesn't it
rather depend on the size of the slice? You may enter me for a couple of
slices, three by two. And jam--no, marmalade. An ounce of marmalade."

"Do be quiet while I add it up," said my wife, for Sinclair was causing
a lot of confusion by trying to barter a brace of mushrooms against my
second egg (or at least to hold an option on the egg) in case he changed
his mind before the morning. "And now I'll just send this to the
kitchen, and then I'll go to bed."

It never really panned out well. On the first morning a very awkward
thing happened. My wife, in her zeal to provide for her guests, had
omitted to count herself in. We had to make a subscription for her, and
it must be said that a splendid response was forthcoming, Sinclair nobly
renouncing his kidney. But the result was that lunch had to be put
half-an-hour earlier, and the day was disorganised.

On the second morning, the Rev. Henry was down early and bagged all my
toast, while Sinclair, who had slept badly, refused to meet his
obligations in the matter of kedjeree.

By the third day there was a good deal of unseemly barter and exchange
going on, and Sinclair made a corner in eggs. "The trouble is," he
explained, "that you never really know how good a thing is till you see
it. Overnight a sardine on toast means nothing to me; and it was never
announced that these eggs were going to be poached."

On the fourth day the scheme was tottering. Sinclair had actually been
for a walk before breakfast and was consequently making an unsuccessful
tour of the table in quest of extra toast. He then looked for the second
time under the little blue blanket that keeps the eggs warm and peered
disconsolately into the coffee pot. And then he struck.

"I'm afraid we shall have to chuck it," he announced. "We mean well, but
it doesn't work."

My wife was a good deal taken aback, but Sinclair went on to prove his

"We are trying to avoid waste," he said. "Well, we may have eliminated a
certain amount of--let us say _material_ waste, but we are causing, on
the other hand, the most deplorable moral waste. Henry and I were simply
not on speaking terms yesterday after he scooped my marmalade under my
very nose, and as for Charles" (that is myself) "he is simply out for
loot. He gets down before the gong. And this is essentially a time to
heal all differences and stand shoulder to shoulder."

"But I can't have waste," said my wife, who likes to stick to her point.
"If things are left over there is no one to eat them."

"It will give me great pleasure," the Reverend Henry broke in eagerly,
"to present you with a couple of live pigs--the animal kind, I mean."

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


Not the least disastrous circumstance for which this war must be held
responsible is a certain misunderstanding arrived at between Phyllis and
myself. Fortunately the sky is clearer now, but there was a time when
the situation looked extremely ugly.

This is a copy of the letter I received from Phyllis a few days ago:--

"DEAR JACK,--So sorry for you that you couldn't pass the doctor. Have
just heard from Leo for the first time. He left ---- on the ----, and
after a satisfactory passage arrived at ----. They entrained soon after
and are now in the neighbourhood of ----. What do you think? The ----s
have occupied ----. Captain ---- sends his regards to you.

    "Yours, with love,

I only know one man in the regiment that Phyllis's brother adorns, and
his name is Captain Nares. Even supposing that the name had been
censored in Leo's letter, there could be no doubt as to the identity of
the person to whom the writer referred.

So far as I could see there was one of two possibilities. Either Phyllis
was involuntarily developing the Censor habit, or she was treating the
exigencies of correspondence in war-time with a levity that in a future
wife I firmly deprecated. Humour of this kind is all very well in its
place; but these are not days in which we must smile without a serious
reason. I determined to teach her a lesson.

"DEAR PHYLLIS," I wrote,--"Many thanks for Captain ----'s regards. I
don't remember the name, but possibly we are acquainted. By the way, you
remember that bracelet you so much admired in the window in ---- Street?
I really could not let you go on breaking the Covet Commandment for
ever, so I bought it yesterday. I don't like sending it through the post
at this critical time, so if you will meet me at the corner of ----
Circus and ---- Street at ---- o'clock, on ---- night, I will bring it

    "Yours ever,

Knowing her as I do, I thought that this, if anything, would bring
Phyllis to her senses. On the other hand, she appeared to look on it as
a kind of challenge, and sent me the following reply:--

"DEAR JACK,--Thanks very much for your nice thought. But you must have
mistaken the shop. I'll tell you why. Only this morning I was gazing at
the very bracelet, when who should come up but ----. He's an awfully nice
fellow, and very determined. When I told him what I was looking at, he
actually suggested buying me the bracelet. Of course I said that no lady
would dream of accepting a present like that, but he wouldn't hear of a
refusal and simply pushed the darling thing into my hand. I am meeting
him at the ----'s at luncheon on Friday. So sorry you won't be there.

    "Yours ever,

In reply to which I wrote:--

"DEAR PHYLLIS,--You'd better marry ----.


Phyllis wrote back:--

"Sorry, shan't be able to now. ---- has just been called up, and sails
from ---- for ---- on ----. So perhaps you and I had better be engaged
again. I'm longing for a bracelet.


There was only one way of answering this superb piece of impudence. I
enclosed a blank sheet of paper to Phyllis, signifying my complete

Her still more negative answer was an envelope addressed to me with no
enclosure at all.

To this I replied by not replying.

And here, by all the laws of sequence, our correspondence should have
been brought to a standstill. I calculated, however, that when the
postman delivered my phantom communication next morning Phyllis would
not remain twiddling her thumbs for long.

Sure enough, about 9 A.M. I received this wire:

"Regret your letter of apology intercepted by Censor. Will take same for
granted in consideration of war-time. All is forgiven. Call here this
evening with bracelet.--PHYLLIS."

       *       *       *       *       *

New Wisdom for Old.

_Grattez le Prusse, et vous trouvez le barbare._

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE SUSPECT.

       *       *       *       *       *


    In Paris Town, in Paris Town--'twas neath an April sky--
    I saw a regiment of the line go marching to Versailles;
    When white along the Bois there shone the chestnut's waxen cells,
    And the sun was winking on the long Lebels,
    _Flic flac, flic flac_, on all the long Lebels!

    The flowers were out along the Bois, the leaves were overhead,
    And I saw a regiment of the line that swung in blue and red;
    The youth of things, the joy of things, they made my heart to beat,
    And the quick-step lilting and the tramp of feet!
    _Flic flac, flic flac_, the tramping of the feet!

    The spikéd nuts have fallen and the leaf is dull and dry
    Since last I saw a regiment go marching to Versailles;
    And what's become of all of those that heard the music play?
    They trained them for the Frontier upon an August day;
    _Flic flac, flic flac_, all on an August day!

    And some of them they stumbled on the slippery summer grass,
    And there they've left them lying with their faces to Alsace;
    The others--so they'd tell you--ere the chestnut's decked for Spring,
    Shall march beneath some linden trees to call upon a King;
    _Flic flac, flic flac_, to call upon a King.

       *       *       *       *       *



It is very fresh and delightful of Mr. H. H. DAVIES to regard seriously
the love of a man for a maid. North of the river and west of Temple Bar
it is the intrigues of the highly compromised middle-aged which are
supposed to be most worthy of attention on the stage. But Mr. DAVIES
(luckily) is never afraid of being young. So he starts us off with a
picture of _Geoffrey_ in the clutches of drink and drugs just because
_Valentine_ has jilted him. True that when _Valentine_ is finally
married to another man _Geoffrey_ is still in love with her, and
receives her at midnight in his rooms; but by this time Mr. DAVIES has
given us three excellent Acts in his own best manner.

And these Acts are hardly concerned with the love of _Geoffrey_ for
_Valentine_ at all, but with the relations between _Geoffrey_ and
_Miriam_, a woman of the town. She is, like _Geoffrey_, an outcast; but
she has all the good qualities which he lacks, and she is brave and
loving enough to drag him from the pit into which he was sinking. He
rewards her by chasing after _Valentine_ again (now tired of her
husband)--and also by getting Mr. DAVIES, as I thought, a little way out
of his element.

The solution of this less common triangle--man, mistress, other man's
wife--I must leave to the author to reveal to you. Meanwhile I thank him
for an absorbing play, in which the two chief characters were extremely
well worked out. Perfectly played by Mr. GERALD DU MAURIER and Miss
ETHEL LEVEY, they were two very human people.

By the way, in one respect _Outcast_ must easily break all records.
Never have so many stage cigarettes been lit (and thrown away) in the
course of an evening. I wish that somebody who reads this and is tempted
to pay a visit to Wyndham's would let me know the full number. I began
counting too late.


       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *



_House of Commons, Monday, August 31._--The peace in the Parliamentary
arena which passed the understanding of the KAISER and went far to foil
his plans, is temporarily broken.

Moving adjournment PREMIER reminded House of actual situation concerning
Home Rule Bill and Welsh Disestablishment Bill. But for the outbreak of
war Parliament would have been prorogued at least a fortnight ago and,
by automatic procedure under Parliament Act, these measures would have
been added to Statute Book. On outbreak of war political parties, amid
plaudits of the Country, patriotically put aside partisan tactics and
presented a united front to the common foe.

As PREMIER reminded House this afternoon, three weeks ago he declared
desire that no party in any quarter of the House should gain advantage
or should suffer prejudice from the temporary suspension of domestic
controversy. When this was resumed, matters should be taken up and
proceeded with exactly at the point and under the conditions at which
they were left. The main feature of such conditions was the avowed
intention of the Government to place the two Bills on Statute Book, hope
being cherished of arrival at friendly settlement by means of Amending

This simple uncontrovertible statement of familiar facts quietly
listened to. No note of contradiction broke the silence. BONAR LAW
frankly accepted the situation as set forth by the PREMIER. Expressed
hope that in the interval between adjournment and resumption of sittings
some means would be found of avoiding renewal of controversy which he
described as "a disgrace to the House," adding, amid general cheers,
"The country will not readily forgive those who are responsible."

JOHN REDMOND assumed that if the proposal to reach a friendly settlement
failed the intention of the Government to place the two Bills upon the
Statute Book remained in force. This obvious assumption, based upon
reiterated statements from the Treasury Bench, drew assenting cheer from

It was here PRINCE ARTHUR interfered. Amid angry interruption he asked
Members opposite to "consider whether it is possible decently to
introduce subjects of acute political discussion in the present
circumstances." Lively talk followed, showing that the bitterness of
Home Rule controversy is not dead or even sleeping.

What might have developed into discreditable scene of the kind
deprecated by PRINCE ARTHUR was averted by interposition Of the PREMIER.
In gravest tone, "with all the solemnity I can command," he besought the
House to bring the discussion to a close.

Appeal irresistible. House turned to disposal of remaining business,
remaining at work till half-an-hour after midnight.

_Business done._--Adjourned till Wednesday in next week.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Postmaster (to lady who has handed in a telegram in French to a friend

       *       *       *       *       *

Heavy Work at the Front.

"I had been snatching an hour's rest _after a tiring day in the shade of
a great pear tree_".--_"Evening News" War Correspondent. (Italics by Mr.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "How much the bravery of the Belgians is appreciated has found
    practical expression in ---- [London]. A Belgian hairdresser, who has
    been many years in business here, has found a very considerable
    increase in his turnover during the past week or two."

    _West London Gazette._

One customer showed his appreciation by having his hair cut three times
last week. But a subscription to the Belgian Relief Fund is perhaps the
better way of doing it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lord Hatherton has placed Teddesley Park at the disposal of the
    Penkridge Rifle Club, and offered himself as instructor in the use
    of the rifle."--_Standard._

The heading "Peer's House as Hospital" is perhaps a trifle offensive.

       *       *       *       *       *



Comprising two pipes, cigar holder, cigarette holder, pipecleaner,
patent lighter, smoker's knife, pouch with silver plate for monogram,
match box, and burning glass. All compactly contained in crocodile
leather case.

_Price Three Guineas._

Should be in every officer's kit.

       *       *       *       *       *


Genuine Offer to all Soldiers on Foreign Service.


_At 25 per cent. reduction._

Will just fit into a Bell tent.

With removable legs.

Can be also used as a bed or a billiard table.

       *       *       *       *       *



Occupies no room. Invaluable in Camp and Action.

_Price_ £10.

Should be in every knapsack.

       *       *       *       *       *


The invaluable Remedy on Long Marches.

_One Shilling per packet._

Should be in every Soldier's knapsack.

       *       *       *       *       *


Don't start without one of DIPPER'S PANDEMONIUM GRAMOSCOPES.

Enlivens the Bivouac. Promotes Optimism.

_Price, during continuance of hostilities, 50 gns.; with special truck,
250 gns._

       *       *       *       *       *


With this compact and serviceable range a delicious hot meal can be
cooked in a few minutes in whatever way is wished--by roasting, boiling,
baking or grilling.

_Total weight, 8 lbs._

_Price Four Guineas._

Should be in every Soldier's knapsack.

       *       *       *       *       *


Comprising 1 bottle refreshing dentifrice, 1 cake scented soap, 1 bottle
Eau de Cologne (warranted made in England), 1 tube face cream. Neatly
packed in art case.

_One Guinea._

A Charming Present for our Brave Lads or the French.

       *       *       *       *       *


For bruises caused by recoiling rifles.

_5s. Tins at half price to every_ bonâ-fide _soldier._

No knapsack should be without it.

       *       *       *       *       *


the Famous Art Dealers,
Offer their Entire Stock of Horrifying
Post-Impressionist and Futurist
Pictures and Sculpture
To Officers serving Abroad or on
Home Defence.

_No reasonable offer refused._

No enemy can stand against them.


       *       *       *       *       *


Jane's uncle--Jane is my daughter--came to me one day and said, "What do
you think of my giving Jane a camera for her birthday? Wouldn't she be
pleased? The advertisement says, 'Any babe can do it,' and she'll be

"I have no doubt she'd be delighted," I said, "but there's a but. If you
give it you must endow it."

"What do you mean?" said Jane's uncle.

"The camera's the least part of it," I replied. "For half-a-guinea you
can cast a camera upon the world, but have you given a moment's
consideration to that camera's means of support? No, I thought not. One
more proof of the happy-go-lucky spirit of the present day. Yet you know
that a camera has to be fed on plates, that it consumes quantities of
poisonous acids, and expresses itself on reams of paper. It is
altogether a desperate and spendthrift character. On whom do you suppose
the cost of all this will fall?"

"On the employer, I should think," said Jane's uncle. "Doesn't Jane get

"Threepence a week," I said. "Barely her share of the camera's insurance
stamp. Jane being under age, any debts she may incur will devolve on me,
and I am really not in a position to take on this responsibility. No, I
repeat, if you give it you must endow it."

Jane's uncle meditated. Then he said, "Very well, I'll endow it to the
extent of £1 a year, to be paid in quarterly instalments of 5s. each."

Jane was delighted with the scheme. She had never had five shillings to
spend before, and was enthralled to find that it would buy not only
paper and poisons and plates, but also a mackintosh coat for her camera.
Then she took snapshots indoors and outdoors, at all times and in all
weathers, with catholic indifference to subject and suitability.

"The book says one has to learn by experience," she said, showing me a
pile of under-exposures. "This one of you is very good--the only pity is
that I didn't get your head into the photo." This was one of many small

Jane looked forward feverishly to the payment of the second instalment.

"You'll have to put it by," I said. "You have plenty of paper and things
left, haven't you?"

"Yes, but I want a dormouse."

"Oh, but that wouldn't be legal," I said. "That would be a
misappropriation of trust funds."

"What's that?" said Jane.

"Well," I said, "don't you see that the money's given to endow your
camera, and must be spent on that camera and nothing else?"

"But there's nothing more to get for it," urged Jane.

"Then the money must accumulate interest until there is," I said.

Women have no heads for the law. I could not make Jane see that to buy a
dormouse with the funds of the camera would be an irregular and
punishable proceeding. Finally, in despair, I had to promise to ask her
uncle if he would recognise the application of one quarter's payment to
the purchase of a dormouse. He acceded to the somewhat unusual request
with his customary good-nature.

"But remember," I told Jane, "the next instalment must be spent on the

Slowly but surely, however, the camera fell into disuse. I was asked
more rarely, and more rarely still, to look through prints. At last I
was asked no more.

Then the third instalment arrived.

"You want some more paper and things by now, I suppose?" I said

"The light hasn't been good lately," said Jane evasively. "I've not been
taking many photos."

"Then what are you going to do with the money?"

"Ask Uncle if I may buy a stamp-album."

       *       *       *       *       *

Shortly after this, Jane's uncle's birthday came round. I passed a shop
in the City which had recently had a fire. Five hundred silver
cigarette-cases had been pluckily rescued from the flames and, to
celebrate their escape, were being offered for sale at a remarkably low
figure. One of these survivors was dispatched to Jane's uncle.

He dined with us the next evening, and was more grateful than I could
reasonably expect. He handled the cigarette-case quite fondly.

"But what about its endowment?" he asked.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"Well, isn't a cigarette-case as eligible as a camera?" he said. "Its
needs are, I consider, even greater. Presumably this gift is meant to
facilitate my smoking, but an empty cigarette-case offers me nothing to
smoke--it implies the heavy responsibility on an already overburdened
man of keeping it filled. Now, suppose you complete the gift, as I did
Jane's, by at least a year's endowment?"

I began to wish that the cigarette-cases had perished, but after his
kindness to Jane I could hardly refuse.

"Well, what would it cost?" I said.

"That's easily reckoned," said Jane's uncle. "Say I smoke on an average
fifteen cigarettes a day--that's 105 a week--that's---- Have you a piece
of paper?"

It worked out at just under 5,500 cigarettes a year. At 8_s._ a hundred,
twenty guineas would just cover the year's endowment. It seemed out of
all proportion to the cost of the case.

"It's a good deal more than Jane's camera got," I protested.

"I told you its claims were greater. Of course you can't expect to get
off as cheaply with a fixed habit of maturity as with the passing
caprice of a kid. On the other hand you might have done worse. Suppose
you had given me golf-clubs--there'd have been golf-balls, caddies, club
subscription, lunches, fares and postage on correspondence with _The
Times_. Compared with that, what is a paltry five guineas a quarter?"

On reflection I found that very few presents would have escaped the
endowment scheme altogether, and that the cigarette-case was really a
comparatively modest pensioner, and I felt a little comforted.

For four quarters I remitted five guineas to Jane's uncle.

My present seemed to change his nature. Whereas he had been a man rather
to ignore the claims of clothes than to consider them, I now noticed
that he looked more prosperous and was better dressed than I had ever
seen him before. Once, when he appeared in a new lounge suit--the second
new one within my knowledge in six months--I could not refrain from
remarking on it.

"One has to dress up to a silver cigarette-case, old fellow," he said,
and the subject was dismissed.

The year was on the point of expiring. One day I was talking with Jane's
uncle and another man at the Club. The other man offered me a cigarette,
and to my amazement passed Jane's uncle over with these words:--

"No good offering you one, I know, poor old chap. When is your doctor
going to give you a reprieve?"

"I don't know," he said sadly, taking a pinch of snuff.

"What does this mean?" I said when we were alone. "What about the
endowment at the rate of fifteen cigarettes a day?"

"A parallel case to Jane's," he answered. "There seems something fatal
about these endowments. Three days after you had agreed to endow the
cigarette-case my doctor forbade me, on pain of some awful 'itis,' to
exceed three cigarettes a day. With the first instalment you had
provided me with cigarettes for the year. So what should I do in these
circumstances but follow the precedent set by your family? Only, instead
of a dormouse and a stamp-album, I chose to purchase smartness. I spent
the three remaining instalments on my wardrobe."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was my birthday yesterday. Jane's uncle sent me a handsome
silver-mounted walking-stick. "It is the only thing I can think of that
requires no endowment," he wrote. "Pavements are supplied by the County
Council, and you have an umbrella-stand."

I should like to use it across his back.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _First Lady._ "I SEE THE MASTER CUTTING A DASH THIS


       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *



(_In the approved manner of the Sporting Feuilleton._)

Alone in a first-class compartment of the Scotch Express Ralph
Wonderson, athlete and sportsman, journeyed northwards for the grouse
hunting. He was surrounded by gun-cases and cartridge-belts, and, as the
train flashed through the summer landscape, he reflected pleasantly that
"Grey Bob," his magnificent hunter, was snugly ensconced in the
horse-box adjoining.

It was dusk when they arrived at the little Highland station. As he
stepped out of the carriage with jingling spurs he was greeted by Grey
Bob, who stood impatiently pawing the platform. Flicking a speck of dust
from his favourite's glossy neck, Ralph leaped lightly into the saddle
and cantered out of the station towards Clancrachan Castle.

As he rode through the gathering darkness he caracoled with an enviable
lightness of heart. Was not his host for the next three weeks his
bosom-friend, young Lord Tamerton? And was not the beautiful
golden-haired Lady Margaret Tamerton with her brother? Little marvel
that Ralph tossed his rifle high in the air and caught it again and
again from sheer exuberance of spirits.

When he reached the ancient castle he found dinner over and the guests,
among whom were some of the keenest sportsmen in Britain, assembled in
the gun-room.

"In the nick of time, Ralph!" exclaimed Lord Tamerton, clasping his hand
warmly. "We are trying to create a mediæval atmosphere in keeping with
our surroundings, and as host I was about to announce in the approved
manner of Chivalry that the Champion of to-morrow's hunt shall be
rewarded with the hand of my only sister, Lady Margaret. It is for you
to do your _devoir_ like a _preux chevalier_."

There was a chorus of laughter and applause. Only Ralph remained
serious. His fingers tightening on those of Lady Margaret, he plunged
his eyes earnestly into hers. Doubtless he read there what he had hoped
to see.

       * * *

It was a merry party which set out next morning, and, as each cavalier
passed Lady Margaret, who stood on the terrace, he playfully pledged
himself to do his knightliest.

Soon they parted, each taking his own route. Ralph, urging Grey Bob to
his best paces, plunged straight into the heart of the forest, his
loader running sturdily at his stirrup. A curious, taciturn fellow, this
loader, with a tangled mass of flaming red hair and a bushy red beard
which almost obscured his features and hung below his sporran.

Arrived at what appeared a suitable spot, Ralph tethered Grey Bob to a
sapling and took up his position behind a massive oak. He was extracting
the field-glasses from the case at his side when his pulses contracted
as he felt a cold rim of metal pressed suddenly against the back of his
neck. In a flash he realised that it was the muzzle of a rifle. There
was a grim, tense silence for a full minute.

"Take these," said the cold, drawling voice of the loader, "and write as
I dictate."

Ralph took the paper and fountain-pen which were thrust over his
shoulder and prepared to write.

"Commence," continued the voice. "_I--Ralph Wonderson--hereby
confess--that I poisoned--the late Lord Tamerton.--I also hereby
renounce--all pretensions--to the hand--of Lady Margaret Tamerton._ Now
sign it."

In obedience to a further command Ralph handed back the sheet. He could
not forbear a grim smile as he did so. He had written the single word,

It was received with a loud exclamation of protest. Ralph ducked and
turned in one catlike movement and hurled himself upon the loader. The
rifle flew away, discharging itself uselessly into the branches of the
oak. Clasping his adversary by the throat Ralph pushed him backwards to
the ground, and the pair rolled over locked in a deadly embrace. Then
suddenly the loader relaxed his grip and lay limp and still.

Breathing heavily, Ralph raised himself to his knees and pulled away the
false wig and beard of his prostrate foe. Not altogether to his surprise
he beheld the features of Sir Ernest Scrivener, _alias_ Marmaduke

A low gasp of relief made him glance up. Seated on her black palfrey was
Lady Margaret, who had been watching the struggle with breathless and
agonised anxiety.

"Madge!" cried Ralph, rising to his feet. "What are you----"

Her quick cry of warning came too late. Wheeling round, Ralph found that
the treacherous baronet had seized a second rifle and had levelled it
directly at Lady Margaret's heart.

"I rather think," said the slow, sneering voice, "that I am now in a
position to enforce my commands. You will walk steadily backwards for
two miles. If you refuse I shall shoot Lady Margaret. And I shall shoot
to kill."

His nerves as steady as steel in this desperate crisis, Ralph swiftly
analysed the situation. If he backed away as commanded, Sir Ernest would
then mount Grey Bob and ride off with Lady Margaret, and Ralph realised
that even her death was preferable to this. If he made a dash at the
assailant, the latter, to save his own skin, would almost certainly
fire. But Ralph knew that Sir Ernest, in spite of his threat, had no
intention of shooting Lady Margaret if it could possibly be avoided.

He determined to remain perfectly still. The probabilities were that
Scrivener, realising he had been outwitted, would sooner or later turn
his rifle suddenly on Ralph, and Ralph, in all the pride of his
magnificent physical powers, knew that in that brief moment he could
hurl himself upon the other.

But Sir Ernest knew it also.

Ralph stood motionless. Lady Margaret, playing her part bravely, sat
motionless on her palfrey. Sir Ernest lay motionless, his rifle pointed
inflexibly at her heart. No word was spoken.

A grouse in the oak-tree croaked jeeringly.

       * * *

An hour passed. Two hours. Three. Four. There was not the tremor of a
muscle among the three.

Five hours passed. Six. Seven. Then Ralph felt that the strain could be
borne no longer. He resolved to count a hundred and at the end of that
time to rush desperately forward, hoping against hope that the murderous
bullet would not find its billet.

_Ninety-seven ... ninety-eight ... ninety-nine_ ... Ralph caught his
breath sharply. The finger on the rifle trigger had relaxed.

Sir Ernest had fainted.

In thirty seconds Ralph had bound him hand and foot. With a long,
quivering sigh of relief Lady Margaret slid from her horse and threw
herself into her rescuer's arms. Ralph crushed her to his breast in a
passion of gratitude.

But Lady Margaret quickly disengaged herself. "What about the grouse?"
she exclaimed.

"Great heavens!" exclaimed Ralph, snatching out his watch. "It's four
o'clock! I have only one hour, and the others will have had eight."

He seized his field-glasses, sprang into the oak and swept the
surrounding country. There was not a grouse in sight. He gave vent to an
exclamation of despair.

"Follow me!" said Lady Margaret. "I know their sanctuary. You can do it

Snatching up the rifles, Ralph followed the girl as she threaded her way
through the trees. At last she halted abruptly. "Look!" she whispered.
"There they are."

And, indeed, Ralph saw that all the trees around him were congested with
grouse. He levelled his rifle and fired.

Bang! A grouse fell at his feet. He snatched the second rifle from Lady
Margaret, who had assumed the _rôle_ of loader. Bang! Another fell.
There was no escape from that deadly eye.

Lady Margaret had been brought up to sport from her earliest youth. As a
child she had watched many of the finest shots in Europe. But she had
never seen anything like this. Such unerring precision enthralled her.

And she played her own part nobly. Almost before Ralph had surrendered
the empty rifle the loaded one was in his grasp. And when the barrels
grew red-hot, her quick wit saved the situation and she thrust them into
the stream which trickled at their feet.

Bang!... Bang!... Bang!

       * * *

Again the guests were assembled in the gun-room.

"Oyez! Oyez!" cried Lord Tamerton merrily. "I proclaim the champion to
be Ralph Wonderson, with a total bag of two thousand brace."

Amid a clamour of laughter and congratulation Lady Margaret came shyly
forward and laid her left hand on Ralph's shoulder.

On its third finger glittered a magnificent hoop of diamonds.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: LATEST WAR NEWS.


[The Press Bureau does not guarantee the accuracy of this statement.]

       *       *       *       *       *


How I succeeded in getting this interview I should very much like to
know. But I did. Let that suffice.

When I entered He was standing before His mirror fumbling with His
moustache, which seemed unwilling any more to point upwards, but had a
persistent droop. "_Donner und blitzen!_" He exclaimed irascibly as he
added more and more stiffening paste.

Observing me He paused and sat down, motioning me to do the same. Then,
after taking a tablespoonful of the blood-and-iron tonic in a bottle
beside Him, He bade me be quick with my questions as He was busy.

I explained my visit at once. "It says in the paper," I said, "that your
Majesty's troops are being withdrawn from the North of Belgium."

He nodded.

"And that," I continued, "the province of Antwerp is free of them."

He nodded again.

"But," I said, "surely that is a mistake--an error both of tactics and
judgment of the greatest seriousness?"

"How?" He asked.

"This chastisement of the world," I said, "which you are to inflict----"

He smiled agreement.

"This spread of _Geist_--" I continued.

He beamed.

"How can it be thorough if you shirk your duty?" I added.

He bade me explain myself more fully.

"Take Louvain," I said, "as a start. That was splendid."

"Wasn't it?" He replied. "Hoch!"

"That's the way," I continued. "Destroy the gems of architecture. Burn
the priceless and unique manuscripts. Wreck the seats of learning. That
will teach the world what you really mean, what you really stand for."

His eyes glistened. "We do our best," He said. "Hoch!"

"But why be half-hearted?" I went on. "That's the folly. It seems to me
that some one among your generals must be blundering very badly if
Antwerp is to be so scandalously neglected. The lesson that it might
teach if properly handled! The enormous value of its example to those
parts of the civilised world that are still on the fence!--Holland, for
instance, Italy, Bulgaria."

"But the blunder? For God's sake--I should say for My sake--tell Me
quickly," He said with his hand on the telephone.

I drew from my pocket a packet of picture postcards and showed him one.

"How beautiful!" He said. "Where is it?"

"Antwerp Cathedral," I replied.

"What a lovely spire!" He remarked wistfully. "So tall and slender. It
looks as if it would fall so easily."

I showed Him another.

"That is charming," He said. "Where is that?"

"Antwerp again," I said. "The Plantin museum. The most interesting
printing establishment in the world. So quiet, so serene--in short,
perfect and irreplaceable."

The last word seemed to strike Him.

He repeated it once or twice.

"And these are at Antwerp?" He asked again.

"Yes," I said. "And these"--showing Him more photographs--"are at
Bruges. And," I added meaningly, "still standing."

"Yes, you are right," He exclaimed. "It is outrageous. What fool ordered
the withdrawal from Belgium, I wonder--with all this work for culture
still to do!"

He was furious.

"Not a stone should have been left," He said. "The true _Geist_ must
prevail. Every opportunity of proving our enlightenment should have been
taken. There will be trouble over this, I can promise you. Leave me now.
I must think."

He turned again to the blood-and-iron tonic, and was once more at the
mirror when I left. His moustaches had come undone again. Both ends now
pointed resolutely to the carpet.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


For business reasons I had to take my holiday alone this year, after my
wife and children had come back from Cornwall.

While I was away Peggy wrote to me and said that Evangeline, her
favourite Minorca, had laid eleven eggs. Whereupon she, Evangeline, had
become broody and refused to be comforted; so Peggy said she had added
two eggs that Clara, one of the Cochins, had laid and was saving up, and
put them under Evangeline, who had sat on the lot for the regulation
period, the result being ten of the dearest little fluffy chickens you
ever saw. My first reflection was that there they were, ten of them,
eating the bread of idleness, and in war-time, I too, with so many other
more useful mouths to fill.

But Peggy's last paragraph was consoling. She informed her father that
she intended to collar some of the alien trade, and had made a good
start with her ten chickens, in addition to the three Minorcas, five
Cochins, and two Pedigree-unknowns, which were all laying eggs like
anything. Another of the Cochins, Maud Eliza, was beginning to get
broody, and was being trained for her sitting Marathon on a box of my
best golf-balls, and altogether things looked rosy--from Peggy's point
of view.

I replied by return of post that she was really trying to ruin a neutral
Denmark, and that to compete with the hated foe she must induce
Evangeline, Clara & Co. to turn their attention to laying sausages, the
brass collars of electric-light bulbs, toys and small hardware; but, so
as not to discourage her, I added that the chickens would make splendid
table-decorations later on, and would keep down Williamson's absurd
bills for meat.

I came home yesterday; and after tea Peggy presented me with a sheet of
paper covered with figures--a set of multiplication sums in fact. There
was a column for each of the hens and their possible offsprings, and the
grand total, expressed in terms of chickens, was stupendous.

"What," she said, "is a chicken worth when it's ready to cook?"

"It depends," I said, "whether you are buying or selling it."

"Selling," she said.

"Oh; say 2_s._ 6_d._"

"Then to be on the safe side," she said, "we'll call it 2_s._ That
makes twice 1,121 shillings. How much is that?"

I found a stump of pencil, and an empty corner of _The History of the
War_, and worked it out. "£112 2_s._ 0_d._," I said at last.

"Not so bad, Daddy, in twelve months."

"Marvellous!" I said; "colossal! But you haven't allowed for the
chickens we shall eat."

"No," she said, "but we shall save 2_s._ on each one we eat, so it's the
same thing in the end."

I admitted the plausibility of this calculation.

"But," I said, "you're not allowing for deaths and bad eggs."

"Oh yes, I am," she said; "I've only allowed half the eggs to become

"You'd never make a company promoter," I said.

"I'm going to be a hospital nurse, thank you, Daddy," she said with her
nose in the air. "Do come and see Evangeline's family."

So we strolled into the garden and down to the poultry run, taking the
multiplication sums with us.

Evangeline, the optimist, was busy scratching up the more or less kindly
fruits of the earth for her family and didn't make the slightest sign of
recognition, though I coughed twice.

"She's much too busy," said Peggy, "to notice that you've come home.
Aren't they darlings?"

"They're certainly a healthy-looking lot. Two of them I recognise as
Clara's contribution. Doesn't she mind?"

"I don't think so," said Peggy; "she's busy too. She's been sitting now
for nearly a fortnight, and Maud Eliza's on eggs as well."

"I hope none of my golf balls are addled," I said. "I want to have a
round to-morrow afternoon."

"Of course not. I've washed them all and put them back again."

"Good egg!" I said.

Suddenly I had an unhappy thought. "Where," I asked, "are the figures
relating to this lot of Evangeline's?"

"Here," she said, "under 'E'. Five chickens. I've allowed five to die,
though I'm sure they wouldn't if they knew what they're wanted for."

"I'm afraid you'll have to work it all out again."


"Look here," I said, "five chickens, and each going to lay at least
enough eggs to sit on, and half of the sitting to mature, as it were;
that sounds fair enough, but not more than three of this lot will lay
eggs at all."

"Oh! why ever not?" she said.

"Nature's limitations," I explained. "Seven of them are cockerels."

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *

Our Latest Cinema Film.

    "The Boa Constrictor, 3,500 feet."
          _Advt. in "Cape Times._"

There must have been some centipedes in the family.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "'I received orders from my employer,' he said, 'to go to ----,' but
    found that the train service was stopped. I had to do many miles on
    my bicycle."--_Yorkshire Evening News._

We trust that he did not scorch very badly on his arrival at this
unmentionable destination.

       *       *       *       *       *


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

Some people have all the luck! Fancy preparing for publication this
summer a novel whose scene is laid in Belgium. The picture of Bruges
Tower on the cover of _The Belfry_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) should alone
be enough to sell it like the hottest of hot cakes. Of course it would
be rather too much to expect the story to treat of the Belgium we all
love and admire to-day. Indeed, MARGARET BAILLIE SAUNDERS, writing in
the old times of six weeks ago, permits herself some good-natured humour
at the expense of the little red-trousered army. To-day it sounds oddly
archaic. But, this apart, there is enough topical and local colour in
the setting to secure success, even without an interesting story such as
is told here. One may perhaps fairly easily detect its inspiration in
certain actual happenings. It is the story of a woman, _Lucy Briarwell_,
clever and gifted with personality, the grass-widow of an apparently
incurable lunatic who, living in Bruges, falls under the influence of a
Belgian poet-dramatist. Together--for _Lucy_ is shown as his
collaborator and source of inspiration--they evolve a wonderful new form
of miracle play in which she presently captivates London and Paris as
the reincarnate _Notre Dame de Bruges_. So much of the tale I indicate;
the rest is your affair. It is told in a pleasant haphazard fashion,
enriched with flashes of caustic wit and disfigured with a good deal of
ungrammatical and slovenly writing. I think I never met a novelist who
did more execution among the infinitives. Also I suspect that Mrs.
SAUNDERS' zeal for theatrical setting outran her knowledge of it,
otherwise she would hardly have permitted a dramatist to speak of his
"caste," or the leading lady to leave the theatre (even under
circumstances of faintness) in her stage costume. But for all that my
congratulations to her on a good story.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: A PATRIOT.


_Patriotic Seaside Villa Resident._ "NO, I DON'T THINK IT WOULD CARRY

       *       *       *       *       *

My impression of _Behind the Picture_ (WARD, LOCK) is that it would be
better worth reading if it contained less of the tale--which, to speak
quite candidly, is parlous nonsense--and more of the trimmings. The
trimmings are mostly concerned with art bargain-hunting, and are
excellent fun. Most of us have the treasure-trove instinct sufficiently
developed to like reading about a young man who picks up Gainsboroughs
for a tenner, or unearths lost masterpieces of TURNER on a clue supplied
by an old letter. The young man in question was _Hugh Limner_, and in
his off moments he fulfilled perfunctorily the duties of hero of the
story. But I can't help thinking that Mr. M. MCD. BODKIN, his creator,
liked him best as an expert. Certainly I myself did. _Hugh_, as I say,
found his buried Turner on the authority of an autograph letter from the
artist, which in its turn he had found in a volume entitled "Turner's
Poems," that proved to have belonged to RUSKIN, the whole purchased off
a stall for ten shillings. That was the kind of expert _Hugh_ was. When
he had dug up the picture he exhibited it in a private gallery, where
"each day an eager crowd freely paid an entrance-fee of half-a-guinea."
How, when he could achieve that kind of luck, could he be expected to
take more than a languid interest in a tale where the most impossible
people behave most impossibly; where, for example, a missing peer posts
a letter to his wife at the back of a picture-frame for no earthly
reason; where the villain, younger brother of the long-lost, comes into
the heroine's drawing-room and says, "You must allow me to introduce
myself. I am Frederick Ackland, Earl of Sternholt"? We were only
beginning the second chapter, but my wonder is that a fellow like
_Hugh_, who was within hearing, didn't throw up his part at once. He
would have had my sympathy.

       *       *       *       *       *

The public is quite content to have any amount of trite philosophy
passed off upon it as new goods by the author who has a gift for dialect
and uses an American negro as mouthpiece. Miss DOROTHY DIX employs a
black laundress of the name of _Mirandy_ (SAMPSON LOW) for philosopher;
and cheerfully persisting with the "yessum's," the "wid's," the "dat's"
and the "becaze's," tells us with incessant humour many things we all
knew before about husbands, their little idiosyncracies and weaknesses
and the methods by which they may be best caught and trained for their
purpose in life. Now and then _Mirandy_ gets away from matters
matrimonial, and it is upon these too rare occasions that she is at her
best. I was particularly moved by her views on the just rights of the
invalid, summed up in the urgent demand that those on the sick-bed
should (omitting the lingo) "be allowed to enjoy being ill in their own
way, without being persecuted by their friends and their friends'
doctors, pet remedies and religions." On the whole, I may quite safely
recommend these two hundred and fifty pleasantly written and
delightfully printed pages to readers who like to muse quietly on the
elementary principles of love and life without risking the surprise of
startling or revolutionary lines of thought. There is nothing peculiarly
good or bad in the many comic illustrations by Mr. E. W. KEMBLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Mr. Punch_ regrets that in his last week's notice of MARIE VAN VORST'S
delightful romance, _His Love Story_, he spoiled her good Dutch name by
calling her Marie Von Vorst. He offers his best apologies.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Touch of Nature.

["Turkey is our natural Ally."--_General von Bernhardi._]

    "Hoch! Die Kultur! High Heaven speed the work!"
    Thus cries the aspiring Teuton to the Turk.
    Creation echoes with the glad refrain,
    Deep calls to deep, Armenia to Louvain.

       *       *       *       *       *

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