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Title: Wide World Magazine Vol. 22, No. 127
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 "Wide World Magazine Vol. 22, No. 127" ***

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Magazines, Jonathan Ingram and the Online Distributed


THE

WIDE WORLD

MAGAZINE

AN ILLUSTRATED MONTHLY OF TRUE NARRATIVE

ADVENTURE TRAVEL CUSTOMS AND SPORT

+Vol. XXII.+

OCTOBER TO MARCH

1909


"TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION"

_LONDON:_

_GEORGE NEWNES, LTD. SOUTHAMPTON ST. STRAND_



INDEX.


                                                                     PAGE

  AIRSHIP, ACROSS AMERICA BY                    _Arthur Inkersley._  216
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  ALASKAN CHRISTMAS, MY                          _W. E. Priestley._  299
        Illustrations by Inglis Sheldon-Williams and from
            Photographs and Facsimiles.

  ALGERIA, MY EXPERIENCES IN    _The Baroness de Boerio._  292, 377, 469
        Illustrations by Gordon Browne, R. I., and from Photographs.

  AT RANCH, THE FIGHT AT THE                      _Frank Bransted._  509
        Illustrations by Stanley L. Wood.

  BARRACOLA, THE CAPTURE OF ANTONIO               _Stephen Norman._   91
        Illustrations by Charles M. Sheldon.

  BEARS, WHEN "TENDERFEET" GO HUNTING--

      +An Evening Call+                               _Ernest Law._  580
            Illustrations by H. Sandham and from a Photograph.

      +Two "Greenhorns" and a Bear+                    _A. Wright._  582
            Illustrations by H. Sandham and from a Photograph.

      +A Nightmare Adventure+                         _G. Bennett._  584
        Illustration by H. Sandham.

  BEULAH COUNTY "WAR," THE                          _H. M. Vernon._  315
        Illustrations by Stanley L. Wood and from a Photograph.

  BILLIARD-CUE, ROUND THE WORLD WITH A           _Melbourne Inman._  573
        Illustrations by G. L. Stampa and from Photographs and a Facsimile.

  BRIGAND, EL VIVILLO, THE                          _Jose Mondego._    3
        Illustrations by W. R. S. Stott and from Photographs.

  CANNIBAL-LAND, A WHITE WOMAN IN            _Annie Ker._  171, 278, 372
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  CHASE ON RECORD, THE LONGEST                _Vincent M. Hemming._  601
        Illustrations by J. Finnemore, R. I.

  CLIMBING IN THE "LAND OF FIRE"               _Sir Martin Conway._  145
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  CREEK, THE LAST                                    _John Mackie._  550
        Illustrations by Norman H. Hardy.

  CROSSING THE RIVER                      _J. T. Newnham-Williams._  238
        Illustrations by W. R. S. Stott.

  CUPID AND THE DENTIST                      _Dr. Paul S. Coleman._  464
        Illustrations by W. R. S. Stott.

  DALTON, MY FRIEND                               _Harry de Windt._  538
        Illustrations by Charles M. Sheldon and from a Photograph.

  DOCTOR TOLD, THE TALE THE                      _Stanley L. Wood._  273
        Illustrations by the Author.

  DOLPHIN-HUNTING                                  _Victor Forbin._  161
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  DOWN THE CHUTE                                 _C. A. O. Duggan._  436
        Illustrations by A. Pearse and from Photographs and a Facsimile.

  FINCHES' FESTIVAL, THE                     _A. Pitcairn-Knowles._  503
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  "FREAK" MEMORIALS, SOME                        _T. W. Wilkinson._  428
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  GRAND CANYON, A DARING VOYAGE DOWN THE             _David Allen._   65
        Illustrations by H. Sandham and from Photographs.

  GREENVILLE, THE AFFAIR AT                        _N. H. Crowell._  200
        Illustrations by Charles M. Sheldon and from a Photograph.

  HIPPOPOTAMUS, HUNTING THE               _Lieutenant Paul Durand._  265
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  HORSE-RACE ON RECORD, THE GREATEST                 _Alan Gordon._  111
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  ICE-FLOE, A VOYAGE ON AN        _Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell, C.M.G._  403
        Illustrations by C. J. Staniland, R.I., and from Photographs.

  ISLANDS, A ROMANCE OF TWO.--II.                  _Frederic Lees._   73
        Illustrations by W. Edward Wigfull and from old Prints and
            a Facsimile.

  "JACK ASHORE."                                 _Albert E. Craft._   59
        Illustrations by Stanley L. Wood and from a Photograph.

  JAPAN, TWO GIRLS IN                                 _Irene Lyon._  544
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  LEOPARD HUNT, OUR                           _Thomas B. Marshall._  331
        Illustrations by A. Pearse.

  LIONS IN A DAY, TEN                              _Walter Cooper._  531
        Illustrations by Lionel Edwards and from Photographs.

  MALAYA, SOME EXPERIENCES IN       _Lieut.-Col. Donald Mackenzie._   52
        Illustrations by F. C. Dickinson and from Photographs.

  MARRIAGE OF LULU, THE                       _The Rev. A. Forder._  361
        Illustrations by W. Edward Wigfull and from Photographs.

  MONTENEGRO, A STATE TRIAL IN               _Mrs. Herbert Vivian._  230
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  MOUNTAINEERING BY TELESCOPE                _Harold J. Shepstone._   40
        Illustrations by F. C. Dickinson and from Photographs.

  MOUNTAIN TRAGEDIES OF THE LAKE DISTRICT
                                     _A Member of the Alpine Club._  457
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  NILE, A TRAGEDY OF THE                 _Major D. G. Prendergast._  165
        Illustrations by D. MacPherson and from a Photograph.

  ODDS AND ENDS
            _From all parts of the World._  101, 205, 308, 412, 516, 619
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  PERILOUS MISSION, A                               _E. F. Martin._  394
        Illustrations by Dudley Tennant and from a Photograph.

  PETROFF, THE PROMOTION OF                    _Maxime Schottland._  118
        Illustrations by Gordon Browne, R.I.

  REBEL CHIEF, HOW WE CAPTURED THE                  _E. F. Martin._  566
        Illustrations by C. J. Staniland, R.I., and from a Facsimile.

  RECORDS, THE BREAKER OF            _Herbert G. Ponting, F.R.G.S._  367
        Illustrations by Tony Sarg.

  RECTORIAL ELECTION, THE HUMOURS OF A     "_One of the Electors._"  126
        Illustrations by G. L. Stampa and from Photographs and a Facsimile.

  REINDEER, IN THE LAND OF THE              _H. Chusseau-Flaviens._  489
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  RETRIBUTION                                 _Captain G. F. Pugh._  451
        Illustrations by E. S. Hodgson.

  SANCTUARY, THE TERROR IN THE                   _Mrs. K. Compton._  211
        Illustrations by S. Spurrier and from Photographs.

  SAVAGE AFRICA, COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE IN      _The Rev. H. Cole._   84
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  SAVAGE PASTIMES, SOME                _E. Wav Elkington, F.R.G.S._  354
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  SHORT STORIES.

      +My Adventure at Arad+                     _P. Harris Deans._  185
            Illustrations by Tom Browne, R.I., and from a Photograph.

      +The Horror in the Pit+                       _E. F. Martin._  187
            Illustrations by Alfred Pearse and from a Photograph.

      +The Cruise of the "Crocodile."+
                                     _Commander R. Dowling, R.N.R._  190
            Illustrations by E. S. Hodgson and from a Photograph.

      +A Bluff That Worked+                  _J. R. Strachan, J.P._  285
        Illustration by H. Sandham.

      +The Yellow Fiend+                          _Julian Johnson._  288
            Illustrations by Charles M. Sheldon and from a Photograph.

      +The Ambassador's Trunk+                      _E. A. Morphy._  343
            Illustrations by G. L. Stampa.

      +Half an Hour in a Blazing Furnace+          _George S. Guy._  346
            Illustrations by W. R. S. Stott and from Photographs and a
                Plan.

      +The Headless Woman+                       _Charles Needham._  350
            Illustrations by A. J. Gough and from a Photograph.

      +Whale+ _v._ +Sharks+                  _Victor Pitt-Kethley._  419
            Illustrations by Harry Rountree and from a Facsimile.

      +A Battle in Mid-Air+                         _T. R. Porter._  422
            Illustrations by Harry Rountree and from Photographs.

      +Up in a Balloon+                                 _A. Soden._  425
            Illustrations by Monteith Dodshon and from Photographs and
                a Facsimile.

      +How I Got My Jaguar-Skin+              _Dr. T. A. Stoddard._  523
            Illustrations by Harry Rountree and from Photographs.

      +Out of the Skies+                           _L. H. Brennan._  525
            Illustrations by Sheldon Williams and from a Photograph.

      +A Night Adventure in Yokohama+              _P. V. Alpiser._  528
            Illustrations by Sheldon Williams and from Photographs.

  "SHOT-GUN JIM"                        _Edward Franklin Campbell._  385
        Illustrations by George Soper and from Photographs.

  "SIMPLICITY HALL," OUR ADVENTURES AT--III.   _Mrs. Fred Maturin._   45
        Illustrations by G. L. Stampa.

  SMOKING COMPETITION, A BELGIAN             _A. Pitcairn-Knowles._  244
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  SPIDER'S WEB, THE                              _George A. Raper._  149
        Illustrations by W. R. S. Stott.

  SPORTING STORIES.

      +IV.--Corker's Alligator+                  _Frank E. Verney._   16

       +V.--A Brush With a Bear+            _R. W. Martin, Junior._   19

      +VI.--Man+ _v._ +Python+               _Victor Pitt-Kethley._   21
            Illustrations by A. Pearse and from Photographs.

  STEEPLECHASE, BARMAID'S                        _C. C. Paltridge._  107
        Illustrations by Norman H. Hardy and from a Photograph.

  STEEPLEJACK, THE LIFE OF A                        _Will Larkins._  589
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  SUPERSTITION, THE LAND OF                        _Frederic Lees._  610
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  "TAPU"                                          _D. W. O. Fagan._  497
        Illustrations by Harry Rountree and from Photographs.

  TEXAS RANGER, RECOLLECTIONS OF A                   _Isaac Motes._  178
        Illustrations by George Soper and from a Photograph.

  TURTLE-FARMING                                 _H. J. Shepstone._  336
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  TYPHOON, FIGHTING A                               _A. P. Taylor._  221
        Illustrations by E. S. Hodgson and from Photographs and a
            Facsimile.

  VOLCANO IN ERUPTION, PHOTOGRAPHING A               _Frank Davey._  323
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  WAILING WOMAN, THE LEGEND OF THE                _D. W. O. Fagan._   35
        Illustrations by Harry Rountree and from a Photograph.

  WALRUS-HUNT IN THE ARCTIC, A                        _David Gove._    8
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  WAYS THAT ARE DARK.

        +I.--My Adventures in 'Frisco+               _Ralph Stock._  476
            Illustrations by A. J. Gough.

       +II.--A Sharp Lesson+                   _R. I. C. Morrison._  480
            Illustrations by Tony Sarg.

      +III.--"Seeing It Out"+                _Albert E. MacGrotty._  485
            Illustrations by Charles M. Sheldon and from a Photograph.

  WEATHER, PROPITIATING THE                  _Mrs. Herbert Vivian._  194
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  "WIDE WORLD" ARTISTS, THE ADVENTURES OF    _J. Sydney Boot._  135, 253
        Illustrations by H. Sandham, A. Pearse, A. J. Gough, C.M. Sheldon,
        E. S. Hodgson, N. H. Hardy, and from Photographs.

  WIDE WORLD, THE.    +In Other Magazines+  100, 204, 307, 411, 515, 618
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  WILD ANIMAL CATCHING, THE ROMANCE OF       _Harold J. Shepstone._  555
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  WILDERNESS, GUARDIANS OF THE                        _Henry Hale._   23
        Illustrations from Photographs.

  WOMEN WEAR TROUSERS, WHERE                     _L. Van der Veer._  443
        Illustrations from Photographs.

      GEORGE NEWNES, LTD., SOUTHAMPTON STREET AND EXETER STREET,
                             STRAND. W.C.

[Illustration: "HE HELD UP THE DILIGENCE ON ITS WAY TO THE VILLAGE OF
VILLAMARTIN."

SEE PAGE 4.]

                       +The Wide World Magazine+

  Vol. XXII.                OCTOBER, 1908.                    No. 127.



El Vivillo, the Brigand.

+By Jose Mondego, of Madrid.+

    After close on twenty years of warfare with the police,
    alternated by brief spells of imprisonment and daring escapes,
    the notorious Spanish brigand known as "El Vivillo" has
    recently been laid by the heels for what is hoped to be the
    last time. Below will be found an account of the outlaw's
    exciting career, written by a Spanish journalist thoroughly
    familiar with the facts.


Few of the "blood and thunder" novels that have fired the imaginations
of lovers of the sensational have dealt with so interesting and, at
the same time, so fascinating a scoundrel as El Vivillo, an Andalusian
bandit, who was recently arrested in Buenos Ayres, Argentine. At the
moment of writing he lies imprisoned, under a very heavy guard, in
the penal prison at Cadiz, but no one who knows anything about his
career and his extraordinary capacity for wriggling out of difficulties
expects that he will remain within the four walls of his jail very
long. It is freely hinted in high circles in Madrid that the hearts of
many fair and influential ladies of Sunny Spain have been lost to the
daring desperado, and that their owners will move heaven and earth to
secure his release.

Despite his life of crime and undoubted viciousness, El Vivillo has
been the favourite hero of the youth of his country for more than
eighteen years. This is not his first term behind prison bars; but all
attempts to keep him there long have hitherto proved unsuccessful.
Either by the expenditure of money in large sums, the influence of
those in high places, or his own genius as a jail-breaker, he has
walked out apparently when he pleased.

[Illustration: EL VIVILLO, THE NOTORIOUS SPANISH BRIGAND.

_From a Photograph._]

Like most heroes, either of fiction or reality, El Vivillo seems to
have borne a charmed life. Of the reckless band of lawless characters
he led during his eighteen years as premier "knight of the road,"
El Vivillo, with one exception, is the only one still alive. All
the others have fallen in skirmishes with that very excellent and
sure-shooting body of mounted police, the Civil Guards. El Vivillo's
sole fellow-survivor of those strenuous times is Pajarita, his
lieutenant, who is now undergoing a sentence of ninety-one years' penal
servitude in Cordova prison. Pajarita yields only to his chief in his
record of rascality.

A halo of romance has grown up around El Vivillo and his band.
According to the general opinion among the ignorant Spaniards of the
countryside, he is a sort of second Robin Hood, robbing the rich to
assist the poor. Some of the stories which are told of him, and on
which this view is based, are undoubtedly true, but the great majority
of them are woven out of thin air by imaginative newspaper writers.

El Vivillo was born in the Andalusian town of Estepa as long ago as
1865. As a very young boy he acquired a remarkable dexterity with
cards, and it was through the constant exercise of this talent that
he earned the nickname by which he has always been known, to the
exclusion of his family "handle." El Vivillo translated into English
means "Lively Little One," and from all accounts the future bandit was
a particularly "lively" youth. His parents appear to have been honest,
simple folks, and made a real effort to train him for a commercial
career. He was sent to Cordova to serve an apprenticeship in a business
house, but his employer soon bundled him back home again because of his
unruly ways. He then remained under the paternal roof until he reached
the age of twenty-three, when both his parents died, and he inherited a
small fortune.

[Illustration: THE HOUSE AT ESTEPA WHERE EL VIVILLO WAS BORN.

_From a Photograph._]

El Vivillo immediately started out to "paint the town red." His one
idea seems to have been to get rid of his fortune in record time,
and so successful was he that in two years he was penniless. At this
embarrassing point in his career he fell violently in love with the
girl who afterwards became his wife. She was a beautiful, dark-eyed
lass, named Dolores Gomez, and had hosts of admirers. What she saw
in El Vivillo to admire it is hard to say--indeed, what the scores
of women who afterwards lost their hearts to the bold rascal saw
in him it is equally difficult to discover. He is to-day a burly,
ruddy-complexioned man, with distinctly vulgar and repulsive features,
and it does not seem possible that he could ever have been attractive
to feminine eyes. His manner is harsh and over-bearing, and he feels,
and makes no bones about expressing, a supreme contempt for the softer
passions of the heart.

With his fortune dissipated El Vivillo was in no condition to
contemplate immediate marriage. He decided to remove the financial
obstacle in the shortest, quickest, and easiest way. After an
unsuccessful attempt to turn his skill with the cards to advantage at
the Municipal Casino of his home town, he threw in his lot with a band
of smugglers. The future bandit's ingenuity and nimble wit soon made
him a favourite with the majority of his fellow-contrabandists, but
they also aroused the jealousy of one of the leaders, nicknamed Lobo
(Wolf). The latter was renowned for his dexterity with the dagger, and
he took an early opportunity of attempting to prove to the newcomer
that his fame in that respect was well deserved. One evening, when the
members of the band were celebrating an especially successful day's
work in a café in Estepa, a quarrel broke out between El Vivillo and
Lobo over a game of cards. At the latter's suggestion it was decided
to determine the merits of the dispute with the knife, so the two
men adjourned to the street, where there was more room and a larger
audience. Heated with wine, the combatants drew their long daggers,
wrapped their coats around their free arms, and set to. A large
crowd gathered and cheered the fighters. Much to his surprise, Lobo
discovered that his opponent knew a trick or two about the use of the
knife that he himself had failed to learn, and to the astonishment of
the spectators, after a particularly lively mêlée, El Vivillo finally
ran him through the heart with a well-directed thrust. Before he had an
opportunity to get out of town El Vivillo was arrested and thrown into
prison. But that mysterious personage, the influential friend, came to
his assistance, and he was shortly at large again.

Instead of reforming him, this experience only seemed to strengthen El
Vivillo in his career of lawlessness. Soon after his release he took
to the countryside as a bandit, and rapidly organized one of the most
famous bands of brigands that have ever infested that country.

From this point in his life it is difficult to trace El Vivillo's
progress clearly. Various crimes attributed to him were undoubtedly
committed by other men of inferior calibre. On the other hand, he was
able to escape punishment for many outrages which there is no doubt
that he committed, by establishing remarkably clever alibis. On one
occasion, for instance, he held up the diligence on its way to the
village of Villamartin. After safely hiding his spoils, the bandit, by
means of a relay of horses which had been provided in advance, galloped
to a favourite retreat forty miles away in an incredibly short space of
time. There--apparently in an intoxicated condition--he showed himself
to a posse of the Civil Guard. Later, he was arrested on suspicion
and tried for the crime, but his cleverly-contrived alibi proved too
much for the officers of the law to combat, and he was triumphantly
acquitted.

Among the outrages definitely fastened upon El Vivillo are the sacking
of a mansion at Torredonjimino, when he secured more than twenty
thousand dollars; the seizure of an Andalusian millionaire on the high
road to Anteguera, when the bandit shot three servants who attempted to
defend their employer's property; and another highway robbery between
Cabra and Priego, on which occasion the bandit was captured and placed
in prison at the latter town, escaping, as usual, after two days'
confinement.

[Illustration: THE SPANISH TOWN OF SETENIL, THE SCENE OF SOME OF EL
VIVILLO'S MOST DARING EXPLOITS.

_From a photograph._]

Another exploit of El Vivillo occurred between Setenil and Villamartin.
A wealthy landowner named Don Pedro Guzman was travelling towards the
latter town, accompanied by his steward, when they were held up by El
Vivillo's band on horseback and forced to dismount. They were ordered
to throw their guns on the ground, and the bandits made a search of
their persons, relieving the master of thirty-eight thousand Spanish
reals in bank-notes and some cash--money which was destined for the
purchase of live stock at the annual fair at Villamartin.

Master and man were then seated upon the ground with their elbows
tied together at a spot hidden from the road. There they remained in
their uncomfortable posture from ten o'clock in the morning until
two in the afternoon, during which time the brigands "bagged" seven
other travellers, also going to the Villamartin fair and all carrying
considerable sums of money. The bandits then rode away, leaving their
disconsolate victims to untie themselves as best they could.

In Estepa, his native town, El Vivillo has been several times
imprisoned, usually for horse-stealing, but he invariably managed to
escape in some extraordinary manner. Some four years ago his wife
was suspected of maintaining secret correspondence with him. She was
imprisoned, and remained under lock and key for eighteen months. It
was subsequently proved that during all this time El Vivillo, although
a fugitive from justice, had managed to visit her in jail whenever he
pleased. An investigation was made, but it has never been discovered
how he arranged it.

When El Vivillo went into hiding he employed an ingenious stratagem to
put his pursuers off the scent. He would address letters to various
well-known people of Andalusia and, enclosing them to Algiers or
Tangier, would cause them to be sent to their destination, bearing,
of course, French stamps and post-office marks. This ruse effectually
convinced inquisitive police officials that El Vivillo was really out
of the country.

Many anecdotes are told of the famous bandit. There is one that
illustrates his kindness to the poor. Entering a farm-house not far
from Setenil, one day, with the intention of robbing the inmates, he
found the family in great distress. Times had been very hard with
them. Cattle had strayed or been lost or stolen; the excessively dry
season had almost ruined the crops and vines, and for some time they
had been behind-hand with the rent. Now they were finally threatened
with expulsion on the following morning if the amount due to the
landlord--some ten pounds--was not forthcoming.

Greatly attached to their home, and absolutely without hope of raising
even a _peseta_ towards the sum required, the farmer and his family
were sitting round the open fireplace in dumb despair. Careful of
the duties of hospitality, however, they offered the stranger bread
and a skin of rough, red wine to satisfy his appetite. El Vivillo,
on discovering the cause of their unhappiness, declared that he, the
next morning, would bring them the sum of money they so much stood
in need of. Jumping into the saddle, he rode to the landlord's house
and, placing a pistol to the man's head, forced him to hand over ten
pounds--neither more nor less. Riding safely away he returned to the
poor farmer, and thrusting the money into the astonished man's hand,
went off chuckling over the knowledge that the landlord's rent would be
punctually paid with his own money.

[Illustration: "HE FORCED HIM TO HAND OVER TEN POUNDS."]

Perhaps the most daring of El Vivillo's exploits, however, was his
robbing of his old enemies, the Civil Guard themselves, single-handed.
He learnt that on a certain day a pair of them were going to bring
a large sum in specie into Seville. Riding out into the country,
he entered the _posada_ where the two officers were about to
commence their midday meal. He got into conversation with them, and
they finally invited him to share their repast. El Vivillo proved
himself a delightful table companion, and the two officers of the
law congratulated themselves upon meeting such a good fellow. Their
awakening was a rude one, therefore, when the bandit pulled out a brace
of revolvers and said: "I am El Vivillo; kindly hand over the money in
those two bags." The guards were helpless, and had the mortification of
seeing their guest ride away in safety with his booty.

The bandit once escaped what appeared to be certain capture by
remarkable coolness and presence of mind. While he was seated with some
friends in a house in Setenil, playing the national card game, "tute,"
one of his numerous protégés ran into the room with the alarming news
that the Civil Guard were approaching the house bent upon his capture.
His companions offered all kinds of advice--he must hide under a pile
of sheep-skins lying in the corner, he must drop out of a rear window,
he must climb out upon the roof and lie quietly hidden there, and so
on. El Vivillo, however, begged them to be quite at ease and continue
their interrupted game as if nothing were about to happen. Descending
the staircase he opened the front door and came face to face with
a patrol of the Civil Guard. They inquired whether he had seen El
Vivillo. In a firm voice he replied that he had--that he had even been
playing cards with him, but that, half an hour before, the bandit had
ridden off to a neighbouring village. The officers dashed off in hot
haste in the direction indicated, but, needless to say, did not succeed
in capturing El Vivillo on that occasion.

[Illustration: A DETACHMENT OF THE CIVIL GUARD WHICH WAS STATIONED AT
SETENIL, AND WAS SEVERAL TIMES ENGAGED WITH EL VIVILLO AND HIS BAND.

_From a Photograph._]

The brigand's family is composed of five children--two sons and three
daughters. One of the former is married, and resides in Estepa. The
three girls--Dolores, Carmen, and Consuelo--are noted beauties, with
the voluptuous figure, dark hair, eyes, and complexion that have made
Andalusian women famous. They all speak French correctly--an unusual
accomplishment in the children of a Spanish brigand; and in their small
but comfortably furnished house in Estepa there is a piano, a luxury
for Spain, which the second daughter plays with exceptional ability.

Expelled by the police to Gibraltar last November, the children
took steamer to Buenos Ayres, and so unwittingly caused the Spanish
authorities to suspect that El Vivillo, who was badly wanted, was in
hiding there. Information was sent to the Spanish Legation in the
Argentine capital, and a few days after the arrival of his family El
Vivillo was prosaically arrested at a ranch tenanted by him at the
village of Ensenada, near La Plata.

That misplaced admiration of, and sympathy for, those accused of crime
is not confined to the fair sex of any one country is proved by the
treatment El Vivillo has received since his arrest. While he was in
jail at Buenos Ayres he received hundreds of letters of commiseration
from women, many containing offers of assistance and money. It is said
that he amassed a tidy sum by charging five dollars apiece for his
autographs, which were in great demand among the Spanish señoritas of
the South American city.

[Illustration:



A WALRUS-HUNT IN THE ARCTIC.]

+By David Gove.+

    A graphic account, illustrated by some very striking
    photographs, describing an expedition in quest of walrus amid
    the ice-packs of the Alaskan coast. "So far as I know," writes
    the author, "these are the only snap-shots of the walrus in
    existence."


The scene was the beach at Nome, Alaska, on an unusually warm day
towards the close of the winter of 1907. The ice had loosened its grip
upon the shore, and was drifting lazily in the roadstead; the sudden
spell of warm weather made it appear old, dirty, and rotten. I was
looking out over the broken pack, when suddenly I caught sight of a
black speck about five miles to the south-west. Noting that the keeper
of the life-saving station had his glasses to his eyes observing the
object, I inquired: "Is that a boat from the outside?"

"No," he replied; "it is the gasoline schooner _Witch_. Some people
have been out in her for a walrus-hunt."

I made haste to the mouth of the river to meet the party, and see what
the fruits of this unique expedition had been. The boat tied up to a
large cake of ice that lay aground in the mouth of the river. The first
man to come ashore I recognised as Mr. B.B. Dobbs, of the Nome Moving
Picture Company, and he appeared to be in a very bad temper.

"Good morning, Dobbs," said I. "Have you seen any walrus?"

"No, we have _not_ seen any walrus," he growled, "although we have been
looking for them for twenty-four hours. We got thirty miles beyond the
shore-ice when a gale sprang up, and the little boat became so lively
that I have had a dickens of a time trying to keep my inside in. Here,
take my camera and come with me to get some refreshments."

When he had in a measure recovered himself Dobbs continued the
conversation. "Now, listen to me," he said. "I must have a
cinematograph picture of the walrus. You are a better sailor than I am,
so I want you to take the picture for me."

"Yes," I replied; "but how about finding the walrus?"

"Why, just go and hunt for them; I will pay you well for it. The boat
is chartered, and you can sail this evening."

The thirst of the wild was on me, so I determined to add walrus-hunting
to my list of Arctic adventures, particularly as I could combine
business with pleasure. I thought that if we could locate the animals
it would be a sight never to be forgotten, and would also be a splendid
ending to the monotony of an Arctic winter.

That evening seven Eskimos piled their guns and spears into the boat,
and everything was in readiness to start, but we needed a skipper to
command the vessel. Accordingly I hurried up the beach to find some old
salt to take charge, but the camp was deserted. Scarcely a man was to
be seen in the streets; everybody was busy shovelling gravel into the
sluice-boxes, for this was the season of harvesting gold in Alaska.
Out on the creeks and along the ancient pay-streaks men were digging
for gold; the only males left in the town were a few store-keepers,
bar-keepers, and a pack of well-fed lawyers. I had bethought myself of
Dick Byers, an old sea-rover in the Arctic, and I found him sitting
in a wheelbarrow near the Breakers Saloon, his head pillowed upon his
knees, dozing. "Halloa, Dick, do you want work?" I asked. "I want you
to go on a walrus-hunt with me, and I will give you twenty-five dollars
for twenty-four hours of your service."

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR, MR. D. GOVE, IN ARCTIC COSTUME.

_From a Photograph._]

He accepted my offer, and I got him aboard the boat dressed in his
sealskin breeches and deerskin "parka." The ice had no terrors for
this man: he had sailed the Arctic in whale-ships and with exploring
expeditions until he believed cruising amongst the floes to be an ideal
occupation.

We were soon out over the bar, though some little difficulty was
experienced in getting past the large floes of shore ice that were
floating in the roadstead. We did not unfurl the sails, for the
atmosphere was still, the water being smooth and glassy in appearance;
but the little boat was well engined, and cut along swiftly until the
shore and the bald mountain-tops sank beyond the range of vision.
It was now ten-thirty, and the sun was setting in streaky clouds. I
felt restless, and thought a few hours of sleep might refresh me for
the morrow. There seemed nothing to keep me on deck; Jim Flynn, the
engineer, was gesticulating to one of the Eskimos, discussing the
direction in which to look for walrus, while others were cleaning
rifles, repairing harpoons, and chattering in their weird jargon. I
crawled down into the hold, rolled myself into a piece of canvas, and
bade the world good-night.

The next thing I knew was Flynn dragging me out from beneath the
canvas. Arrived on deck, I saw some black specks on the ice. "They're
walrus, right enough," said Flynn; "I can see their two white teeth
hanging down." Closer and closer we got, until the creatures were
plainly discernible and their discordant groaning and bellowing filled
the air. The noise was like a thousand cattle, but the lowing was
deeper and in a lower key.

I stood there spellbound, for such a panorama of uncouth animals, lying
in compact masses as far as the eye could see, I had never beheld
before. They presented a curious sight, their breath exhausting from
their nostrils in clouds of steam, and they appeared to take little or
no notice of the approaching boat. It was now the midnight twilight; on
the northern horizon the rays from both the setting and the rising sun
were strangely intermingled. With the boat still moving gently ahead,
the skipper became so enraptured with the sight that he let the _Witch_
bump into a piece of ice with such force that she started a seam in the
starboard side and soon began to leak, though not seriously. Meanwhile
the old Eskimo leader was strutting along the deck puffing at his
big brass pipe as a solace for his growing excitement. Presently he
ordered the oomiak (skin boat) to be brought alongside and the hunting
paraphernalia to be placed therein.

The Eskimos, sitting in the boat ready for the fray, whined like so
many coyotes, levelling their guns and trying their sights, while they
waited in anxious expectancy for the word to start. The sun was rising
under a black cloud, and there was not yet enough actinic light for me
to take my photographs. While we waited the natives grew angry with me
for not commencing the attack, but still I delayed.

Dick put the binocular to his eyes and scanned each herd in turn, the
animals lying upon the ice in solid masses.

"There's not a female in the bunch," he announced. "Just a lot of
love-sick bulls drifting towards the Arctic."

"Why don't they live with the females and help to look after the
young?" asked Flynn.

"They are not like the polygamous seal, with his harem of twelve to
fifteen wives," said the skipper, who was a surprisingly well-spoken
man. "The walrus has one wife a season, with whom he lives upon the
ice-floes. Sometimes they go ashore, climbing up the rocks and rolling
in the green grass and fresh water; then they go back to the sea again.
The young one is born in the month of May or June, upon the ice. Then
the females, with the youngsters, separate from the bulls and migrate
north until they reach the great permanent ice-pack. Those bulls that
you see form the rear-guard of the annual migration."

[Illustration: THE FIRST HERD OF WALRUS SIGHTED--THE ANIMAL WITH
UPRAISED HEAD IS THE SENTRY.

_From a Photograph._]

"What do they use their tusks for?" I inquired.

"They are used for fighting the Polar bear, but their principal use is
when they dive down to the bed of the ocean, where they dig up clams
and mussels out of the mud; bivalves and sea-urchins form their chief
food. Their numbers have been greatly diminished in late years, for
nothing can escape the wasteful slaughter of man with his scientific
weapons of destruction. The natives, with their primitive weapons, did
not do much damage, but modern rifles may cause their extermination.
But for their inaccessibility the walrus would have vanished like the
buffalo--only his impenetrable haunts save him from extinction."

Presently Dick and I launched the dory, and paddled close to the
nearest herd. This afforded me a splendid opportunity to study those
denizens of the ice-pack in their native haunts. We crawled over the
ice to within thirty feet of where the huge brutes lay, unconscious of
our presence.

"Don't make a noise," said Dick. "The one on this side is the
sentry--he is on the _qui vive_, but I do not think he sees us. If he
does, he is careless of our proximity."

At this moment one of the walrus began to perform some acrobatic feats
in the water. These concluded, he attempted to get up on the ice. He
had only one tusk, and using this like a boat-hook, tried to pull his
unsymmetrical bulk up on to the floes. But trouble arose immediately.
The sentry challenged his right to advance, raising his ponderous
body to prepare for combat. His skin was wrinkled in heavy folds,
covered with innumerable wounds, and he looked like the veteran of many
battles. Roaring hoarsely, until his fat body swelled with exertion and
rage, he plunged his tusks into the interloper's face, and forced him
to retire.

The sentinel seemed proud of this victory, for he raised himself up
and gave a great roar of satisfaction. Then he threw himself down upon
his icy bed, rolled over upon his back, and, using his flippers like a
dipper, threw the water over his body, as if attending to his morning
toilet.

Presently an ice-raft with about twenty walrus on board went drifting
slowly past us. The weight of the animals' bodies was so great that
the ice was completely submerged, and the walrus looked as if they were
lying upon the surface of the water.

[Illustration: THE ESKIMOS ADVANCING UPON THE WALRUS.

_From a photograph._]

"Unfortunate brutes," said Dick. "This will be a sorry day for you when
the sun gets out! But here, my boy"--he turned quickly to me--"it's
time you started your game; the light is here."

[Illustration: A FEW OF THE VICTIMS.

_From a photograph._]

The Eskimos were now coming towards us in their skin boat, paddling
with muffled strokes. I put my Kodak in my pocket, got the
cinematograph out, and we crawled to the lee side of fifty walrus,
where I stole up to within thirty feet of where they lay, looking for
all the world like a herd of great swine. Some of them were fighting;
the rest lay still, with their heads pillowed upon one another. I
arranged my picture machine and wound up the film, recording every
movement they made. The six Eskimos then advanced with stealthy pace
between me and the walrus. Simultaneously six rifles cracked, and fifty
grizzly faces rose up and glared at the intruders. I kept on winding
up the film, recording this extraordinary scene. Six more shots, and
four of the huge brutes fell dead. The whole herd was now aroused, and
never in my life have I seen such a sight. The clumsy animals made for
the water, but the bullets flew fast, and presently three more fell,
while with many a flop, hitch, and straddle the others wallowed off the
ice--the clumsiest living creatures that ever attempted to walk. In the
water, however, they were in their element, swimming with the grace and
ease of a porpoise. Six mountains of heaving flesh lay upon the ice.
One gave a lurch as though trying to roll into the water, but one of
the natives fired a bullet into his brain, and a stream of blood from
the wound spouted three feet into the air.

[Illustration: "THE WALRUS CAME BACK SLOWLY, TWISTING THEIR NECKS
CURIOUSLY, AS IF TRYING TO COURT OUR ACQUAINTANCE."

_From a Photograph._]

The Eskimos believe in the effect of the human voice upon their prey,
and when the walrus rolled into the sea they started grunting a strange
guttural sound, "Huk--huk--huk."

While I watched, fascinated, the walrus came back slowly, twisting
their rubber-like necks curiously, as if trying to court our
acquaintance. Several shots were fired at them, but none hit a vital
spot, though the beasts emitted weird sounds as they disappeared
beneath the water. They came into view again at the back of the
ice-floe, bellowing and roaring; their uncouth noises rang from floe
to floe, and from every cake of ice within sight awakened monsters
plunged in alarm. The sea became literally alive with them, and we soon
became the centre of a herd of at least four hundred walrus, their
grizzly heads bobbing up all round us--the long, white tusks gleaming
conspicuously against their dark breasts. The ice-world that had been
so still was now a roaring commotion of animals, tearing in frenzy
through the water, curious and terror-stricken. Their unearthly yells
filled the air with trembling echo.

[Illustration: "THE ICE-WORLD THAT HAD BEEN SO STILL WAS NOW A ROARING
COMMOTION OF ANIMALS, TEARING IN FRENZY THROUGH THE WATER."

_From a Photograph._]

When the natives had given thanks to their gods for bringing plenty of
walrus, they cut the heads off their prizes (for the ivory) and secured
about three tons of the flesh for their families on shore. Then, in the
launch, we started for the next herd that lay undisturbed, leaving the
first mob to settle down again.

There were twelve walrus lying upon this floe, covering it from rim to
rim. My picture-taking and shooting had to be done from the skin boat.
I had my Kodak ready, and as the Eskimos leaned over the gunwale of the
boat and took aim I "snapped" my pictures just as fast as they could
shoot, making my exposures without a moment's hesitation, without the
slightest regard for background, foreground, shadows, or anything else.
Two of the walrus fell dead upon the ice-floe, and another arose in the
water close to the boat, the blood streaming from his head. Two shots
were fired, and a spear was launched into his body with a rope attached
to keep him from sinking. He was soon pulled alongside, his head cut
off, and his body allowed to sink to the bottom of the sea.

[Illustration: A SNAP-SHOT TAKEN FROM THE ESKIMO SKIN-BOAT.

_From a Photograph._]

Presently the old native leader saw a very large walrus fast asleep; it
had wonderfully long tusks, and he set out to dispatch the monster by
the primitive method used by his forefathers. He carried a spear about
five feet long, with a rope of walrus hide attached to an inflated
sealskin. Hanging the rope in a coil around his neck, he crawled upon
his stomach with the stealth of a cat, until he got within three feet
of where the animal lay. I expected to see him poise and throw the
shaft, but instead he rammed it with all his force into the walrus's
body. The creature started, turned its head round, and glared at him.
Then the enormous mass of flesh arose, and with a few spasmodic jumps
made for the water in a hobbling canter. With the spear stuck in his
side and his splay feet working like paddles upon the ice, he rolled
off the floe like a sack of wool, floundering and plunging wildly. At
first he pulled the bladder under the surface of the water, but his
great strength soon failed him, and the bladder appeared floating on
the water. One of the natives, a boy about fifteen years, was out in
the boat watching for him, and when he poked his head above the surface
to breathe the lad shot him and hauled him alongside. At this stage of
the hunt we all went back to the launch for lunch, and also to give
our quarry time to recuperate. The menu consisted of one five-gallon
can filled with walrus meat. The natives took large strips of the
half-cooked marine beef, and with their hands forced as much of it into
their mouths as the opening would contain. Then, with a knife they cut
it off close to their lips. Dick was sitting on his haunches picking
out the lean pieces and devouring it like a native, and I received
a hearty invitation to join them in this Arctic banquet. I did try
to eat a morsel, but without success--not only the odour of the meat
but the mode of eating was repulsive to my taste. After the meal the
slaughter continued until midnight. At dawn the sun arose in a mass of
dangerous-looking red clouds; to the south the murky clouds hung low.
The ice began to roll uneasily, and was soon pounding against the sides
of the vessel. Dick jumped on deck and viewed the angry aspect of the
weather.

[Illustration: FIRING AT THE WALRUS ON THE FLOE.

_From a Photograph._]

[Illustration: SOME OF THE TROPHIES--EIGHTY TUSKS WERE THE RESULT OF
THE TRIP.

_From a Photograph._]

[Illustration: A WALRUS SKULL--THE BRAIN IS LOCATED TWELVE INCHES BACK
FROM THE FOREHEAD, AT THE POINT INDICATED BY A CROSS.

_From a Photograph._]

"We are on the fringe of a south-easter," he exclaimed. "Let's scoot."

He set the course for Nome, all sails were bent to the wind, and the
engine throbbed eagerly as the little vessel tore onwards with her
port scuppers awash. I looked astern, but the scene of our carnage was
already fading in the distance. Faintly I heard the wailing monotones
of the walrus leaders calling their scattered herds together, and
mourning the loss that had so suddenly befallen them. The wind was
moaning through the rigging as we flew before the coming storm, and we
left the tenants of the ice-fields slowly flitting north.

Eighty tusks were the result of our trip, together with a splendid
moving picture of those strange animals.

We arrived in Snake River just in time to escape the coming storm. Some
of the _chechacos_ (newcomers, green-horns) came down to watch us, and
gazed in astonishment at the ivory and the few heads which hung over
the bow of the boat.

"Are them elephants?" one old gentleman whispered to Dick.

"Yes," said the skipper, gravely--"elephants of the sea." Then he
turned and walked back to the Breakers. And so ended our walrus-hunt.



SPORTING STORIES.

    A further batch of breezy little narratives--exciting,
    humorous, and curious--detailing the adventures of sportsmen in
    various parts of the world.


IV.--CORKER'S ALLIGATOR.

+By Frank E. Verney.+

There were four of us on the bungalow veranda. Behind us, grim and
gaunt in the glow of the Southern Cross, rose the Blue Mountains;
out ahead, six miles away, twinkled the lights of Kingston Harbour;
whilst around us, from the profusion of tropical flowers, jewelled
with flitting fireflies, came sweet incense and insects of a painfully
inquisitive turn of mind.

It was not the charm of the night or the assaults of the mosquitoes
that held our attention, however, but the prospect of an alligator-hunt
on the morrow, led by the redoubtable Corker,[1] our host, who, under
the influence of plentiful potions of "planters' punch" and the
presence of two unsophisticated "subs" of the West India Regiment, had
been telling us tales of mighty deeds done in obtaining the trophies
which now covered his walls.

[1] For obvious reasons I have altered the real names of the parties
concerned.--+The Author.+

[Illustration: THE BUNGALOW FROM WHICH THE AUTHOR AND HIS COMPANIONS
STARTED OUT ON THEIR SHOOTING TRIP.

_From a Photograph._]

There was no planter in Jamaica to compare with Corker as a
hunter--certainly there was none who could show so many pelts and
heads; and if some of his stories were rather "tall," many of them
had a strong basis of fact, as evidenced by the size of the "bags"
which always accompanied his return from a shooting trip. As Jamaica
itself contains no big game other than alligator, one has to go to the
adjoining American continent for this class of shooting; and this fact
formed the assailable spot in Corker's reputation, for there were those
on the island who hinted darkly of New York naturalists, and suggested
that literature lost a great light when Corker became a planter.

Anyhow, I refrained from intruding such rude remarks on the peace of
our party out of respect for the feelings of my host and consideration
for the enthusiasm of his other two listeners.

After Corker had told his customary concluding yarn, we fell to
discussing where on Corker's walls could space be found to accommodate
the alligator hides he, with us to help him, was about to secure.

The next morning we tumbled from under our mosquito-nets and, after a
hasty breakfast, made a start. Corker had already sent on our arms,
which, in addition to our shooting impedimenta and flaying-knives,
consisted of a case of soda-water, a block of swathed ice, and two
bottles of what Corker called "milk," to neutralize the effects of the
swamp for which we were bound.

Mounting our native ponies, we rode down through the plantation by a
short cut. Through tobacco fields and fields of guinea grass as high
as our saddles, and down hill-sides as steep as the roof of a house,
dodging palms and banana trees _en route_, our ponies took us, never
faltering or making a false step, until, after a three-mile ride, we
arrived at Constant Spring. At this place we sent back our mounts and
did the remaining six miles into Kingston on an up-to-date electric
tram-car.

Through the hot, dusty suburbs, past crowds of native women on their
way to market, their heads laden with produce, their bare feet padding
the scorched road, past dismantled residences with walls torn asunder
by the earthquake of a year ago, into the stricken city of Kingston
itself our car carried us, until at length we reached the harbour-side
and inhaled deep breaths of the grand breeze which comes across the
Caribbean Sea.

[Illustration: MR. VERNEY, THE AUTHOR.

_From a Photograph._]

By eleven o'clock we had ourselves and our gear, together with two
black boys, stowed away in a large, open boat. Hoisting our sail, we
were soon bowling over the blue waters of Kingston Bay on the way to
alligatordom, the cooling breeze tempering the fierce sun-glare.

As usual, Corker was busy describing his phenomenal capacity for
conquering the beasts of the field, and would permit no silent
revelry in the beauty and joy of the scene. Sitting in the bows of
the boat, playing cup and ball with a tumbler and its contents, he
gave us innumerable hints as to the best way of stalking alligators,
illustrating the success of his methods with several modest stories
of what he had achieved at the very spot to which we were bound. I
had shot "crocs" myself on the Indian Sunderbunds, but I offered no
supplementary yarns, for I knew that Corker could easily cap anything I
might say.

However, by the time we had imbibed about as much advice as we could
comfortably hold without confusion, we rounded the western point of the
bay and found ourselves at the estuary of the Rio Cobre. Up this river,
far away from the coast, there are some of the fairest spots on God's
earth; but at its mouth it is an inferno well worthy of its description
as "Jamaica's death-hole."

A wide stretch of steaming swamp, intersected with inky streams of
stinking water, a breeding-place for the fever-propagating mosquito
and a home for all the loathsome creeping things of the island, it is
almost as bad as some of the pestilential swamps of the West African
coast, and seen in its beautiful setting of blue seas and golden beach
dotted with graceful green palms, it looks even worse.

But since it held our quarry we were prepared to disregard its hygienic
and scenic shortcomings, so we ran our craft on to a bank inshore, and,
clambering out, waded through the warm sea to the rotting vegetation
and repulsive mud and slime of the delta.

Fixing our rendezvous on a fairly dry spot close to our landing-place,
we arranged our plan of action. At this juncture Corker very generously
offered to stay behind to see that the boat and the "milk" came to
no harm, but, of course, none of us would hear of such a sacrifice.
Finally we decided to divide forces. Hunter and Madox, the two West
India Regiment men, were to go together, accompanied by one of the
black "boys," an accomplished 'gator tracker; whilst Corker and I
joined guns, the other "boy" coming with us to flay anything we might
get. Separating, in accordance with this plan, Corker and I squelched
off through the fœtid slime toward the upper end of the delta.

As we slushed along we carefully scanned the banks of dried mud,
intersecting the numerous lagoons, for "sign," listening keenly the
while for snapping jaws and splashing bodies. We had to be very much
on the _qui vive_, for at any moment, in stepping round the low bushes
or wading waist-deep through the intersecting streams, we might have
trodden on a sleeping saurian, with unpleasant results, for, despite an
unwieldy-looking body, the 'gator is capable of very swift movement,
and, what is more, both ends of him are dangerous--with his jaws he may
lop off a leg; with his tail he may break one's back.

After trudging about for some time, filling our lungs with vapour from
the steaming swamp, while our skins were irritated by the bites of
myriads of insects, we reached a dark, evil-smelling lagoon crusted
with cracking mud. At the side of it were several indentations, varying
in size, which indicated that a 'gator family had but recently been
taking the sun.

With such tangible evidence before me of the near presence of the
brutes, I suggested waiting quietly for the family's reappearance.
Corker, however, having his own idea about the wisdom of my suggestion,
told me I should only be wasting time. He therefore elected to leave me
with the boy, whilst he crossed to the middle stream "to make sure of a
decent hide," asking me to join him when I was tired of my vigil.

[Illustration: "I FIRED CLEAN INTO HIS MAW."]

As he tramped off through the inky slime I squatted down on a mud-bank,
with my rifle across my knees. Between me and the indentations was a
low clump of vegetation, which shielded me from observation without
interfering with my vision. The boy I had stationed out of sight in a
slight hollow on the far side of my mud perch. With these precautions
I set myself to wait. The sun, well overhead, beat down pitilessly on
my shadeless position, blistering the pattern of my thin shirt on to
my skin; whilst all the most vicious mosquitoes of the swamp came to
signify their appreciation of my succulent presence by dining on me,
and other creeping things began the tour of investigation which my
scanty attire of shirt, breeches, boots, and topée invited. Verily, ye
men who grumble at the hardship of waiting for driven birds on a Scotch
moor should try a day in a tropical swamp!

After enduring these manifold pleasures for an hour or more, the
surface of the lagoon began to heave, and a black snout showed itself
in the sunlight.

Looking round, and finding no cause for alarm, the wily 'gator slushed
his way to his basking place, some twenty yards distant from where I
sat. I raised my rifle slowly and covered him as he hoisted himself
out of the slime. Just then the distant crack of Corker's rifle
startled my 'gator. Raising his head he opened his capacious jaws, and
as he did so I fired clean into his maw. He shut his teeth together
with a resounding snap, coughed like a stricken cow, and slid back
into the slime. I thought I had lost him, but after a final titanic
convulsion, which spattered the blood-streaked mud almost to my
position, he swung round on to the ooze again and lay still. Advancing
to within five yards, I gave him another bullet through the eye, to
prevent accidents; then, aided by my yelling boy, we levered him up on
to the dry bank. From the end of his snout to the tip of his powerful
tail he measured about eleven feet!

Well satisfied with the result of my uncomfortable wait, and
instructing the black boy to go back to the boat with the skin when
he had taken it off, I followed the direction which Corker had taken,
wondering what luck the shots I had heard portended.

After hunting about for some time without finding him, and not hearing
further shots, I concluded he had gone back to the lagoon to get the
boy's assistance in flaying his "bag," and that therefore I had missed
him.

As I picked my way round some low driftwood by one of the soapy
streams, I stumbled over a half-buried log. In recovering my balance I
noticed that one end of the log, which was some fourteen feet long, had
been freshly splintered, and, strange to say, by rifle shots.

Suddenly the explanation dawned upon me. The doughty Corker, hero of
wonderful stories and holder of many "spoils," had fallen into that
facile error of the novice and shot a fallen log!

Picking up a stout splinter, which showed two neatly-drilled holes, I
made my way, grinning hugely, back to the rendezvous.

That night, when all had retired to rest at Corker's bungalow, his
three guests, clad in pyjamas and shaking with subdued mirth, crept on
to the veranda and fastened up in a central position among their host's
trophies a perforated redwood log splinter!


V.--A BRUSH WITH A BEAR.

+By R. W. Martin, Junior.+

[Illustration: MR. R. W. MARTIN, JUNIOR, WHO HERE DESCRIBES HIS
EXCITING EXPERIENCE WITH A BEAR.

_From a Photograph._]

The fall of 1905 found me camping on the Lehigh River, in Luzerne
County, Pennsylvania, in company with two friends named George and
Oscar Murray. This part of the country is wild and mountainous, the
nearest railroad being at Bear Creek, twelve miles distant.

Our camp stood on rising ground about thirty feet higher than the level
of the river, and was surrounded by towering pines fifty to sixty feet
in height, one of which almost touched our shack.

On the evening of which I write my two companions had decided to visit
a friend who lived in a small settlement known as Stoddartsville, some
four miles down the river, where they intended to spend the night.
After their departure I busied myself about the camp, cutting and
stacking wood and cleaning up our cooking utensils. When darkness had
put an end to work outside, I retired into the cabin and, settling
myself comfortably, began to read an old magazine I had picked up.
I must have been reading for about an hour when my attention was
attracted by the snapping of a small branch or stick outside, seemingly
at the front of the cabin.

[Illustration: "THE BEAR STRUCK AT ME WITH ITS CLAWS, RIPPING OFF MY
HEAVY LEGGING AND SCRATCHING ME SEVERELY."]

Although we kept our meat in a basket hung on the limb of a small tree
in front of the dwelling, we did not fear molestation from the bears or
wild-cats that were known to exist in the swamps and mountain ranges
around us. Occasionally a sheep would be taken by an old she-bear which
was known to have ranged the hills for the past twenty-five years, and
which was said to be a huge, gaunt creature, weighing at least five
hundred pounds; but, generally speaking, they did not cause much damage.

Neither bears nor wild-cats, however, entered my mind as I sat there
wondering what had caused the disturbance outside. My first thought was
that perchance one of the neighbours' cows or sheep, which were allowed
to roam at will, had lost its way and, being attracted by the light,
had wandered up to the cabin to investigate. With this idea in my mind,
and being very comfortable, I did not bother to look into the matter.
But just as I was about to resume my reading once more, the sharp crack
of a breaking limb, accompanied by the thud of a heavy body striking
the ground, caused me to jump to my feet in a hurry. Hastily snatching
my breech-loading shot-gun from the corner, I quickly inserted two
shells and quietly opened the door. There, in the dim moonlight, I
made out the form of a huge bear, busily engaged in pillaging our meat
basket! Without hesitation I brought the gun to my shoulder and fired
both barrels at the dark mass. With a fierce growl of pain the wounded
beast charged straight for the open door, and before I could close it
rushed right into the cabin!

The next five minutes were probably the most exciting I have ever
spent. The bear, blinded in one eye by shot and dazzled by the light,
gave me the opportunity--which I speedily seized--of rushing past it
out into the open. I ran round the cabin for my life, with the brute
at my heels, and quickly ascended the ladder at the back of the cabin
to the roof, thinking to throw my pursuer off the track. While busily
engaged in trying to push the ladder down, I was horrified to find the
bear already upon it, coming my way. Thoroughly bewildered by this
time, I commenced to climb the tall pine tree alongside the house,
hoping to hide myself on one of the upper branches. It seemed that I
made no progress at all, for the dead branches upon which I placed my
feet broke continually, and my fingers and legs, in my frantic hurry,
acted as though they were not part of my body. Almost exhausted, I
finally stopped to rest upon a stout limb about twelve feet above the
roof of the cabin. Glancing down, I saw the maddened bear preparing
to pursue me. In a panic I began to climb again, but as I reached up
for the limb above my hand came in contact with the rope we had strung
across the river to a lofty old pine about forty yards distant on the
opposite shore. Fastened to this large rope was a smaller dangling rope
with a loop, which we used, on account of the swift current, to keep us
in our course when ferrying across in the boat.

Finding that the rope would bear my weight, I started to go hand over
hand over it out across the river. At this juncture the bear, which
was but a few feet below me, struck at me with its claws, ripping off
my heavy legging and scratching me severely. This unlooked for attack
almost caused me to lose my hold, which would have resulted in a nasty
fall to the ground below. How I managed to escape being struck again
I do not know, but somehow or other I managed to keep out of reach of
those deadly claws until I had swung well out from the tree. It was
slow work making any progress, but, thinking only of the danger behind
and below me, I continued the journey until I was compelled to stop to
rest my weary arms. This I tried to do by throwing one leg and arm over
the line, the rope resting under my knee and armpit. Beneath me I could
hear the swiftly-running river, while the swaying limbs on the pine I
had just left told me that my late pursuer was moving about.

When I had somewhat rested my aching muscles, I started once more on
that heart-breaking journey to the opposite shore. Several times the
rope swung so violently I thought I must let go and fall into the swift
river beneath me, but each time I gritted my teeth and kept on. At
last, after what seemed ages, I reached the friendly pine to which the
rope was attached and lay for some time on a large branch, like a man
in a dream. After resting for a few minutes I ventured to gaze across
to the bank I had lately left, but could see nothing. Once or twice I
heard Bruin moving about along the bank; then all was quiet.

Fixing myself as comfortably as possible I stayed all night in the
tree, scarcely daring to move for fear of attracting attention. Shortly
after daybreak my friends put in their appearance, having decided to
make an early start after grouse in the neighbouring swales. Upon
their arrival I descended from my uncomfortable position and related
my experience of the night. Great was their wonder and surprise at
my nerve-racking experience, and a hunt for Bruin was immediately
suggested, George Murray starting off at once for men and dogs from the
settlement. Upon his return with the hunting party the dogs took up
the trail and followed it for nine miles down the ridge. At Long Pond,
twelve miles below us, the bear was finally brought to bay and shot by
another party. Upon examination, it was found that my two shots had
put out one eye and almost torn her ear off--hence her blind fury and
revengefulness. She tipped the scales at four hundred and sixty-eight
pounds.


VI--MAN _v._ PYTHON.

+By Victor Pitt-Kethley.+

On April 27th of last year, Mr. W. J. Cocklin, of Sequani _viâ_
Mochudi, South Africa, accompanied a party of friends on a shooting
expedition in the neighbourhood of Sequani.

Arrived at the point selected, some five miles distant from the
township, the party separated. For some little time Mr. Cocklin pursued
his way without incident; then he suddenly espied a guinea-fowl, which
he brought down with a well-aimed shot.

Hurrying over the veldt to secure his prize, he was just descending a
little fall in the ground when, to his horror, he suddenly discovered
that he was almost on top of a large python, which lay coiled up in
front of him. Catching sight of the startled sportsman, the great snake
moved. Its tail caught Mr. Cocklin between the legs, tripping him up,
and before he could save himself he was flung headlong into the deadly,
irresistible coils, which immediately closed around his body in a
vice-like grip. Desperately the hunter tried to extricate himself, but
all in vain; the python had him fast in such a way that his left arm,
holding his gun, was pinned to his side.

With the cold perspiration breaking out upon his flesh, Cocklin threw
himself this way and that in a frenzy of desperation, for he realized
only too well the horrible nature of the death-trap into which he had
walked.

He essayed to shout, hoping to make his friends hear and bring them to
his rescue, but no answer came to his calls; no human being appeared
in sight. And all the time man and snake lay there on the sunny veldt,
the reptile's mighty coils growing always a little tighter as it
endeavoured to lessen its victim's struggles.

[Illustration: "MR. COCKLIN GRIPPED THE SNAKE BY THE THROAT, STRIVING
WILDLY TO FREE HIMSELF."]

Presently, finding the pressure upon his body becoming unendurable,
Mr. Cocklin gripped the snake by the throat, striving wildly to free
himself. Over and over, this way and that, the pair rolled, the python
seeking all the time to free its hideous head or tighten its coils
sufficiently to put an end to Cocklin's struggles.

For, perhaps, ten to fifteen minutes--minutes that seemed like hours
of torture--this unequal, terrifying fight went on, and still neither
had gained any decided advantage; the man still lived, though fast
in the coils of the snake, which in turn, though it held its captive
securely, was unable to crush him outright or to release his hold upon
its throat, which prevented it throwing a coil round his neck and
strangling him.

Now, a python is so constructed that it can exert its crushing
powers to the full only when it is able to get a leverage upon some
fixed object--say, by taking a turn with its tail round a tree.
Presently--apparently realizing that something of this kind was
required to enable it to finish off its prisoner--the great snake
altered its tactics and commenced to drag Mr. Cocklin over the ground
towards a large hard-wood tree which stood some distance away.

The man saw and understood--the battle was about to enter on its last
and most dreadful phase! Desperately he fought against the snake,
trying to get at his knife, which was in his right-hand coat-pocket,
with the idea of cutting the creature's throat; but, to his horror, he
found that the reptile's coils passed over the place where the weapon
lay.

"Finding I could not get my knife," said Mr. Cocklin, in a letter
which he wrote to the _Cape Times_ subsequently, "and thinking that my
chances of surviving were not very bright, I determined I would not die
alone. I saw that the barrel of my gun projected just about an inch
through between my arm and body, where the arm was pinned to the side,
and luckily I managed to reach the trigger with my left hand. Gripping
the python firmly by the throat, and holding its head well away, I
pulled the trigger, and the bullet, fortunately for me, caught the
snake through the back. It then relaxed its grip, and I got rid of its
coils as fast as I could.

"When I got upon my feet, I put my gun down and looked for a big stone
to finish the brute with. Not finding one, I was about to put my foot
on its head and cut its throat, when the snake made another attack upon
me, getting hold of my coat sleeve, and again pulling me to the ground.
Once more it attempted to get its coils round me, but I escaped them.
It still retained its bite on my sleeve, however. I managed to get my
foot on its throat, which made it open its mouth. Then I got my arm
free, and called for my friends again. One of them heard me and came
running up. He saw that there had been a struggle, and shot the python
through the head, thus putting the finishing touch to what was for me
the narrowest shave I have ever had. It seems to me remarkable that
I have felt no ill effects from the encounter beyond being a little
short-winded and nervous for a few days."



  +------------------------------------------------------------------+
  |                                                                  |
  |                  _Guardians of the Wilderness._                  |
  |                                                                  |
  |                         +By Henry Hale.+                         |
  |                                                                  |
  +------------------------------------------------------------------+

    The United States Government maintains a little army of twelve
    hundred men whose duty it is to look after the vast national
    forests, whose area is about five times that of Great Britain.
    Here, monarchs of all they survey, these rangers of the wild
    lead solitary and strenuous lives, sometimes not meeting a
    fellow human being for months on end.


The United States Government maintains a curious little force of
policemen who do not patrol posts in the cities or towns, but may well
be called the guardians of the wilderness, for it is their business to
look after vast forests where few human beings live. It may seem odd
that it is necessary to have Nature's police to go here and there in
the forests and amid the mountains, but it is very necessary in order
to protect one of the great resources of America. Some of these rangers
of the wild have "beats" so extensive that one man may be the sole
protector of a miniature empire, comprising two hundred thousand acres
of primeval forest.

Mere figures cannot give the stay-at-home reader any adequate idea of
the vastness of some of the great "reserves" in which the patrolmen
live month after month. If the whole of London is measured it will be
found to contain over seventy-five thousand acres, yet no fewer than
eighty cities the size of London could easily be placed in a single
one of the American "national parks." Washington Park, situated in the
State of that name, and the greatest of them all, contains no less than
ten thousand square miles of territory.

[Illustration: A FOREST RANGERS' PACK-TRAIN ON THE TRAIL.

_From a Photograph._]

[Illustration: RANGERS MEASURING TIMBER IN A SWAMP.

_From a Photograph._]

For many years most European countries have had forest guardians and
rangers. France, Germany, Holland, and even little Switzerland, have
their armies of rangers, the French foresters being so numerous that
there is one to every thousand acres of trees under the protection
of the Government. This is quite different from the United States,
where, as has been stated, one man may be the sole protector of an area
of two hundred thousand acres; for this force of woodland policemen
comprises only about twelve hundred men all told, scattered between the
Mississippi River and the Pacific Coast, ranging the valleys and slopes
of the Rocky Mountains, and even living far out in snow-covered Alaska.

The rank-and-file of the American Forest Service are the patrolmen
or rangers. Over them are supervisors, one of whom may have charge
of a group of national forests, and may be obliged to travel several
thousand miles a year in order to perform his duties. In Washington is
the chief forester, who is at the head of the service, and has under
him a staff of assistants, inspectors, and clerks. But the men who do
the hard work, endure the privations, and brave the dangers are the
forest rangers and supervisors, who spend their lives in looking after
the domains to which they are assigned. There are far more perils to be
encountered in the wilderness than the town-dweller might think. The
wild animals that roam here and there form but a slight danger compared
with the terrible weather to which the guardians of the woodlands are
sometimes exposed. While in many regions the summers are so warm that
the heat is almost unbearable, in the higher lands, such as the slopes
of the Rocky Mountains, winter may last for four or five months, with
the temperature so far below freezing-point that a man must be muffled
in furs up to the eyes in order to keep himself alive. Storms sometimes
prevail for days at a time, covering the ground with great snow-drifts
higher than one's head, and frequently almost burying the little huts
or cabins in which the foresters live when they are not doing patrol
duty. It is the loneliness of the life, however, which forms its worst
feature. For months the forester may not see the face of a white man,
or even an Indian--going day by day amid the trees, fording streams,
climbing mountain sides, with never a person to speak to. This is why
several rangers have at different times become insane and have been
found aimlessly wandering about, while others have suffered death from
starvation while mentally unbalanced. Remembering that a man may be
sole guardian of a tract of land as large as an entire English county,
it is not to be wondered at that occasionally the sense of their
loneliness should overpower them.

[Illustration: THE METHOD USED IN CLIMBING BIG TREES.

_From a Photograph._]

It takes a good type of man to make a successful forester--he is
obliged to undertake so many different tasks and perform them all well.
His daily round does not mean merely going from this place to that in
his territory, looking out for fires and for unauthorized persons who
may come into the woods to cut down the valuable timber. True, forest
fires are perhaps the ranger's greatest anxiety, but he must also keep
a keen watch for what are called in the West "squatters"--families
who steal into the parts controlled by the Government and try to make
homes in open spots without permission. They cut down valuable trees
for fuel, occupy ground to which they have no right, and frequently
seriously injure the forest growth before they are discovered. In a
region covering two hundred thousand acres squatters may live for
months, or perhaps even a year, before being discovered by the forester
and driven out. And this eviction work is very dangerous, for the
squatter may be armed, and if he thinks he will not be detected he does
not hesitate to shoot down the guardian in fighting for the place he
calls his home. More than one murder of this kind has been committed
since the United States began taking charge of the great forests ten
years ago.

The forester must also supervise any lumbering operations which are
permitted by the Government in the region under his care. Someone may
get authority from the Forest Service to cut certain trees and make
them into lumber, and the ranger in that district must look to it that
they do not cut more than they should, that they do not damage other
trees--especially young ones--and that they do not set fire to the
woodlands during their operations. He measures the timber they cut,
and makes a report to his supervisor of what they do from month to
month. If the Government allows stock-raisers to turn cattle and sheep
into one of the woodland parks, the forester must watch the animals
and prevent them feeding at places where they would do damage. He also
oversees the stock-men and herders--and here again is liable to be
injured, if not killed, since some of these ranchmen of the Far West
belong to a desperate class, and are usually well armed and only too
ready to use their weapons.

The ranger is not only a policeman, but is frequently called upon to
act as judge when a dispute arises on his territory between rival
settlers. Sometimes he is obliged to arrest trespassers and other
wrongdoers, and take them perhaps fifty miles through the wilderness
before he can place them in the hands of the nearest magistrate. This
is one of the most dangerous features of his work, for many of the
people who go into the wild forest districts are desperadoes, who set
little value upon human life. Therefore, the ranger must be strong and
courageous, able to endure the hardships of an outdoor life, and to
"keep his end up" in a fight. For this reason the foresters are picked
men; but hard as is their life, the Government have no difficulty in
securing recruits who measure up to the necessary standard.

[Illustration: TESTING WOULD-BE RECRUITS IN THE DETAILS OF SADDLING-UP.

_From a Photograph._]

Once a year men who wish to enter the Forest Service are given a chance
to show their qualifications. Examinations are held at different places
in the West, conducted by a forest supervisor or inspector. One was
held recently in Colorado which I will describe. Most of the candidates
who "sat" for it were cowboys and ranchmen. The first day of the
examination was given up to "school-house work," and it is likely that
this unaccustomed ordeal of figures and composition caused more grey
hairs to sprout on the heads of the candidates than anything suggested
by the forestry expert in the succeeding two days. Finally, when the
examiner, with a sly smile, informed the assembled men that they might
as well put away their pens, the clerical test being over, there was a
general chorus of "Bully!" and one cowboy, with a blot of ink on his
nose and a look of despair in his eyes, rose on his high-legged boots
and fervently exclaimed, "Thank Heaven!"

The second day the applicants brought out their saddle-horses, and
at an early hour started on the trail. The forestry expert led the
way, riding with an ease that challenged the admiration of all the
cow hands. After proceeding five or six miles into the mountains, the
candidates were given axes and told to show their skill in cutting and
"scaling" (measuring) timber. Some of the cowboys, who had had little
experience with the axe beyond cutting wood for a round-up camp-fire,
had rather ludicrous experiences, but two forest guards, who were
skilled in such work, made the chips fly in a manner that excited
universal admiration.

After the candidates had been examined as to their fitness with the axe
they were given work in following obscure or "blind" trails and reading
signs. Here nearly all proved expert, for the man who rides the range
for any length of time soon acquires the ability to read the wilderness
signs like a book. A long, hard journey across the mountains, testing
the men in rough-riding, ended the day's work.

On the third day the field tests were continued. A brisk ride was made
to a water-course, where camp was pitched and notes made of the manner
in which each man proceeded to make fires and prepare a temporary
resting place. In order to test the accuracy of the men in judging
distances, the forestry expert rode over a huge triangle, and then
required the men to pace it in Indian file. The candidates were next
told to reduce their estimates to feet, and finally the examiner went
over the course with a surveyor's tape and compared the result with
the estimates. This is an important part of the forester's work, as a
ranger is often required to estimate distances with no other facilities
than his eye or the length of his stride.

One of the most interesting tests was that of packing. A pack-horse
was brought out in front of the building and each candidate in turn
was told to show what he could do in the way of putting a load on the
animal's back. They put on the blanket and the little pack-saddle, and
then stowed away the bags of feed, the tarpaulin covering, the shovel
and axe, and tied the whole load with the well-known "diamond hitch,"
which can be loosened with a single pull at the rope. It never slips,
and when it is correctly "thrown" on a well-packed animal the load
cannot be "bucked off."

[Illustration: THE INTERIOR OF A TYPICAL RANGER'S CABIN.

_From a Photograph._]

Each man had a different style of packing, but all were good in their
way, and all threw the diamond hitch with a celerity that spoke well
for their experience. Each pack was critically inspected by the expert
while in process of construction and after it had been completely tied.
Then the pack-animal was stripped again and another would-be forester
took up the work. After the packing, which consumed the greater part
of the day, some compass-work was done, to show the familiarity of the
candidates with this valuable instrument. Then, to test the ability
of the men in the saddle, each candidate was sent a few hundred rods
down the trail and told to come in at a gentle lope. This trial,
the cowboys admitted, was one of the hardest of the examinations,
because they are accustomed to riding very rapidly when not going at
a dead walk. Several of the men were unhorsed by the unusual gait and
were disqualified as a result, but most of the candidates passed the
examination and were given their uniform and other equipment.

The outfit of the American forest-ranger is unique. He is usually
provided with a rifle and revolver, but in addition to this has a kit
of fire-fighting tools, as well as other implements. Entering one of
the little cabins which form the homes of the rangers you will see
coils of rope hanging from the walls, and axes and shovels piled in
the corners. An army cot, or perhaps a framework of boughs, forms the
bed, two or three logs the chairs, and the food is usually cooked in
the big mud-plastered fireplace which occupies one end of the cabin. A
single room is generally enough for all purposes, unless the ranger is
married, when the Government may provide him a larger house with two or
three apartments. He clears a little patch of land around his dwelling,
where he can raise a few vegetables, and is allowed to kill game and
catch fish if there are streams near him. In this way he adds to the
stock of rations furnished by the Government.

[Illustration: A FOREST FIRE SWEEPING ALONG AT TWELVE MILES AN HOUR
BEFORE A BREEZE. _From a Photograph._]

The ranger must always be on the lookout for fires, especially in
summer, when, in many portions of America, the temperature becomes so
hot that even rivers are dried up, leaves drop from the trees, and the
underbrush of the woodlands is like a vast tinder-heap, ready to burst
into flame at the contact of a single spark.

At such times the greatest care must be taken about kindling fires
near the woods, for if one spreads over a considerable area of ground,
the intense heat creates a wind which grows stronger and stronger
until it becomes a veritable hurricane, driving the fire before it and
burning scores of miles of forest before it is extinguished. The havoc
wrought by the fires was one of the chief reasons for the organization
of the Forest Service. One of the worst of these conflagrations is
well remembered in the States, although it occurred in what is known
as Miramichi Valley, in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. It is
an actual fact that for three months of summer no rain fell in this
valley. Then, one afternoon in the month of October, a fire started in
the Upper Miramichi--no one knows how--but it was supposed a woodsman
did not take the trouble to extinguish the faggots by which he had
cooked his dinner. The first man who discovered the blaze found a
space about one hundred feet long and fifty feet wide in flames in
the midst of a patch of bushes and young trees. He alarmed a camp of
wood-choppers about two miles distant, and on returning half an hour
later the party found that the fire had reached a thicket of pines,
the flames running furiously along the top branches. It had spread so
rapidly that a thousand men could not now have arrested its progress,
and the choppers were obliged to run for their lives to escape. A small
pond at the edge of the forest probably saved them, as by crossing it
they reached the open country and a spot where half a mile of ploughed
field kept the flames in check.

As in other forests of this kind, the ground was covered with a mixture
of dead leaves and other _débris_ a foot or more in thickness. This
burned like tinder, and it was discovered afterwards that in many
cases roots five feet deep in the earth had been reduced to ashes by
the terrific heat. When it is stated that a single tree two or three
feet in thickness will burn to a skeleton in fifteen minutes, and ten
thousand were on fire at the same time, a faint idea can be gained of
the magnitude of the "Miramichi fire," as it is still called. Every
condition favoured its spread, for in addition to the draught created
by the hot air meeting the cooler atmosphere about it, a strong breeze
sprang up which blew directly toward the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and
forced the living wall of flame down the valley.

At the Miramichi River the flames nearly leapt across the narrow
channel, and thousands of burning embers speedily ignited the timber on
the other side. Along swept the great conflagration, turning everything
in its path to ashes. Several settlements in the woods were abandoned
only just in time for the inhabitants to escape, although the roar and
crackle of the flames could be heard three miles distant. Animals and
birds, confused and blinded by the noise, smoke, and heat, perished by
thousands, though only carcasses of such beasts as deer and bears were
found afterwards to show how deadly had been the fire.

[Illustration: A FOREST FIRE IN THE MOUNTAINS. _From a Photograph._]

The end was only reached where the forest ended at a stretch of open
country skirted by a salt-marsh. Here there was absolutely nothing
inflammable for the flames to feed on, and the fire burned itself out.
For a month it smouldered in the burned area, occasionally starting up
here and there, and then finally dying down for want of material to
consume. It reached the boundary-line ten hours after being discovered,
and in that time had spread over a territory eighty miles long and
twenty-five miles wide, travelling at the rate of eight miles an hour.

The Hinkly fire, as it is called, was the worst in the history of
America, for it actually consumed a large town in Minnesota, and nearly
five hundred persons who could not escape in time met their death in
the flames. A spark from a locomotive fell into a pile of dried leaves
in the forest at a spot about ten miles from Hinkly. For four months
not a drop of rain had fallen in this part of the State; yet when a
track labourer saw the leaves on fire he passed on, thinking they
would soon burn out. The fire did die down, but for two days the ashes
remained smouldering. Then a little breeze sprang up and spread some
of the embers, still red, to other leaves. The resulting flames shot
up from the ground to the underbrush and then to the trees, and in a
twinkling a forest fire had started. What wind there was blew directly
towards Hinkly, and in that direction the fire travelled, widening as
it went and gradually forming an inverted semicircle, with the village
opposite the centre, so that the ends of the circle were a mile beyond
the town before the fire in the centre had reached it. Three miles away
the people heard the roar of the flames as they shot a hundred feet
above the tree-tops, while every moment a huge trunk, burned through,
fell with a crash. The smoke came through the woods, filling the air
with thick clouds. Everybody seized what valuables he could lay hands
upon, and started to escape. Some, blinded by the smoke, ran directly
into the burning area, and never returned. Most of the people left by
the wagon-roads, only to find they were going into a furnace. More than
a hundred were burned to death or suffocated while trying to get away
by the roads.

As the flames reached the town, and the nearest rows of dwellings were
ignited, the whistle of a locomotive was heard. Through the opening
which marked the cut for the railroad track dashed a passenger train.
The roofs of the cars were smoking from the heat, and every window
was shut to keep the interiors from igniting. The engine-driver stood
at the throttle-valve, while the fireman drenched him with pails of
water from the tank in the tender. The crowds of people, running
hither and thither in the streets, rushed for the train, and everyone
who could get a foothold on the platforms was allowed to do so. Then
the engine-driver reversed the lever and backed his train into the
advancing fire. Luckily no _débris_ had fallen across the track. For
six miles that gallant man drove his engine through the flames and
blistering heat. Several times his clothing caught fire, but the
water-bucket extinguished it. In places the flames literally swept
under and up the sides of the coaches, while the metal-work on the
outside of the engine was so hot that it could not be touched. At last
the train reached a small clearing near a swamp, and the order was
given to all to leave the cars and save themselves. Everyone left but
two Chinamen, who were burned to ashes. The rails were twisted by the
heat and in some places partly melted. This fire swept over an area
about twenty-five miles long and ten miles wide.

[Illustration: FIGHTING THE FLANKS OF A FIRE WITH TREE-BRANCHES.

_From a Photograph._]

Since the Forest Service was established many heroic incidents have
occurred where rangers have risked their lives in preventing the spread
of a conflagration, knowing that if it got beyond control it might
cause untold damage. In fighting fires they use curious weapons. Water
is seldom at hand, but in any case it is not of much value in stopping
a forest fire, for it is useless to merely attempt to extinguish the
flames; all efforts are concentrated upon preventing the fire from
spreading, and so it is fought on the edge of the fire-line. The scene
of a recent fire in West Kansas was near a town, and the rangers were
assisted in their work by the anxious inhabitants. The fire was so
close, and spread so fast, that it began burning up the dry prairie
land on which the town was situated. Men, women, and all the children
old enough to be of service hurried to the locality, while a dozen
ploughs were loaded on wagons and hauled to a point on the prairie
several miles from the line of burning vegetation. Then the ploughs
were unshipped and the horses fastened to the implements, four to each.
As fast as it could be driven each team dragged its plough through the
ground, turning up the fresh soil and burying the dry stubble which
afforded food for the flames. The furrows were dug about five feet
apart, in ten parallel rows, each as long as it was calculated the
fire-line would be, should it reach the spot. While the ploughmen were
thus creating a sort of breastwork to resist the flames, the others
were placed at intervals in front digging earth with hoes and shovels,
forming piles to be used as ammunition to be thrown on the flames, or
spread over the fields as a further obstacle to the advance of the
conflagration. The children, supplied with branches, were stationed on
the leeward side of the burning area to beat down any blaze which might
spring up, thus preventing the fire-line from widening.

[Illustration: AN "OLD BURN," SHOWING THE TERRIBLE HAVOC WROUGHT BY THE
FIRE DEMON.

_From a Photograph._]

Although there were fully five hundred persons in this improvised fire
brigade, they were unable to check the progress of the blaze until
it had reached the ploughed area. The flames leaped over the first
furrow, but the stubble and dried grass between it and the second one
had been covered with earth, and only a part ignited. Realizing the
desperate nature of the situation, the people devoted all their efforts
to extinguishing the flames at this spot. As many as could procure them
obtained branches and beat savagely at the blaze, while others used
their hoes and shovels, some literally running into the fire in their
efforts to stamp it out.

Finally the breach was closed, and, encouraged by their progress, the
fighters redoubled their efforts. By midnight the long row of flames
had been turned into a mass of smoking embers. But the fire, though
conquered, was not wholly dead. Squads of men were left to prevent
another outbreak, and the others scattered to their homes to snatch a
few hours' rest until called to relieve those on watch, for prairie
fires are treacherous and may smoulder for several days, only to break
out with renewed energy. They must be entirely extinguished, or watched
closely until they die out.

Recently another fire occurred, its history conclusively demonstrating
the great value of the Forest Service. In Long Pine National Forest
a sawmill has been permitted to be operated by the Government, under
the control of the foresters. The supervisor of Long Pine Forest is
one Charles Ballenger, who has his head-quarters at Camp Crook, South
Dakota, some distance away. Camp Crook is connected with the mill town
by a telephone line, and one day Ballenger received a message that a
fire had started in the vicinity of the mill. He hurried to the place
on horseback as soon as possible, reaching there the same day the fire
started; but it spread so rapidly that a large area was ablaze by the
time he got to the spot, although the mill-hands and people in the town
had fought it as best they could. They began fighting the fire when it
was only a spot about twenty feet square, but the earth was covered
with so much dry wood and other inflammable material that the flames
were carried through the forest at a great speed, driven by the high
wind.

[Illustration: A FOREST IN EMBRYO--MILLIONS OF YOUNG TREES ARE RAISED
ANNUALLY FROM SEED TO BE PLANTED OUT FOR THE BENEFIT OF FUTURE
GENERATIONS.

_From a Photograph._]

Ballenger realized that strenuous efforts must be made if the fire was
to be checked, and that it would be useless to try to work against
it in the direction which it was spreading. He accordingly organized
the fire-fighters into squads, and directed them how to use earth and
tree branches in working against the flames. Then an effort was made
to change the course of the fire, all hands working along one side of
the burning area. Thus its course was gradually changed towards what
are called the Bad Lands, which are destitute of trees, and where
the fire would not have enough material to keep it alive. This plan
proved successful, although it was necessary to keep up the fight for
forty-eight hours before the danger-point was passed. During this time,
however, the flames had actually covered nearly ten thousand acres,
eating into the forest at the rate of over two hundred acres an hour.

No one thought of changing the course of the fire until Ballenger's
arrival. His skill and experience, however, showed him that it was
the only method which could be taken, on account of the extent of the
forest and its extreme dryness.

The smoke of the fire could be distinctly seen from the town of Camp
Crook, and after Ballenger left for the scene several of the men went
into the second storey of a building to look at it. While there,
someone dropped a match or cigar-end, with the result that the building
was soon in flames. As all the forest rangers and most of the citizens
had gone to the forest to put out the fire there, the few who remained
could do nothing to extinguish the blaze, and most of the town was
destroyed, including the head-quarters of the Forest Service, so that
when poor Ballenger and his weary comrades returned they found they had
lost all their possessions except the clothes they stood in!

[Illustration: MAKING A HOLE TO PLANT A YOUNG TREE IN.

_From a Photograph._]

At present the rangers have to care for no fewer than a hundred and
sixty-six of these national forests, so called because they are
controlled by the American Government. They cover a territory which
is in all nearly five times the size of England. In many places past
fires as well as storms and the work of the lumbermen have destroyed so
many trees, that miles and miles of the woodland are ruined. From these
devastated tracks spring only bushes and shrubs, with an occasional
young tree. The ground is covered with charred trunks, while the
skeletons of what were once forest monarchs rise skyward.

To reafforest these denuded tracts is a part of the duty of the
rangers, and the supervisors and their men have the work of cultivating
young trees and setting them out in such places. To obtain the
necessary tree-shoots for planting they grow them from seed. For
instance, young pines are secured by taking the seed from pine cones,
which are opened by exposing them to the rays of the sun. Then the seed
is sown in the forest nurseries. There are eight of these, situated
on reserves in various parts of the West. They contain enough land to
grow five million trees at one time, and as the nurseries have been in
existence for several years, each year a million or more of these trees
are large enough to be taken to the denuded lands and planted. Already
a large area of land made worthless by the ravages of man and the
elements has been reafforested in this way, and will again be ready to
furnish a timber supply at the end of the next twenty years or so.

[Illustration: A TYPICAL STRETCH OF FOREST CLEARED OF PARASITICAL
UNDERGROWTH AND GUARDED BY THE GOVERNMENT RANGERS.

_From a Photograph._]

It does not seem possible that this mere handful of men could perform
all the duties of the American Forest Service and yet cover such an
immense region as they do, but the records of the Government show that
since these police of the wilderness began going their lonely rounds
the number of fires has greatly diminished, while the various national
parks are in a far better condition than ever before. One of the best
things about the department is that it is educating the settler in
the Far West to a better sense of the value of the forests, and the
wasteful and extravagant methods formerly pursued by the farmer and
lumberman are gradually being abandoned.

[Illustration]



The Legend of the Wailing Woman.

+By D. W. O. Fagan, of Mangapai, Whangarei, Auckland, New Zealand.+

    The author writes: "In a cave under the cliffs of Manaia is a
    'blow-hole' only actuated once in every month, at the time of
    the highest spring tides, when it sends forth a wailing shriek.
    Below I have set down the native legend concerning it, as told
    to me by my old Maori friend Puketawa. Allowing for idiomatic
    differences, the narrative is in his own words."


We beached our boat on the shore of the islet and waited the coming
of the flood-tide to help us against the river current in the harbour
narrows. Night had already fallen, but the sands were still warm from
the heat of the sun, and though the sky was clear and full of stars,
the shadows were very dark under the Pohotokawas, where we lay. Our
fire had sunk to a few dull embers, and Puketawa's pipe glowed like a
red eye from the darkness. Across the channel opposite, a quarter of
a mile away, rose the dark mass of Manaia, its crags among the stars.
Presently, the moon, rising from the sea behind us, lit the dark rocks
with a flood of silver light.

On three sides of the headland cliffs rose sheer from the water to a
height of two hundred feet. On the flat, table-like top a cone-shaped
mass of limestone rocks, piled one above the other, rose to a further
height of a hundred feet or so. The cliff of the seaward face was
pierced at its base by a dark cave, into which the swell broke with
gurgling echoes. On the fourth side the ground fell away in a grassy
slope from the base of the rock-cone to the white sands of the bay.

At the top of the slope were the mound and ditch of an old "pah"
(fort). Whence I wonder did those old-time Maoris obtain their
knowledge of military fortification? Vallum and fosse, scarp and
counter-scarp, the place looked like a Roman "castrum." It needed no
great stretch of fancy to imagine the glint of moonbeams on brazen
armour, the clang of shields and steady tramp of the legionaries on the
ramparts.

I glanced at Puketawa, and saw by the sheen of his eyes through the
shadows and the fierce short puffs at his pipe that his mind was back
in the old legendary days, when these same cliffs rang to the clash
of weapons, the fierce shouts of contending warriors, and the dying
screams of the vanquished.

As the tide rose and a heavier swell rolled into the cave, there came
from its dark mouth a long, sobbing cry--half wail, half shriek--the
anguished cry of a woman in distress.

So sudden and startling was the sound in that lonely place, that I
half sprang to my feet. Though reason told me that what I had taken
for a cry of distress was but the jugglery of air and water in the
rock-crevices, I remained half erect, ready, at a repetition, to launch
the boat to aid. It came again, more sorrow-laden, more piercing than
before.

Puketawa must have divined my thoughts, for he laid his hand upon my
arm.

"It is Heruini who cries for her lover," he said.

"Who is she?"

"Listen. This is her story as it has come down through the years from
mouth to mouth of the 'Tohunga,'[2] even unto this day." And then he
told me the following narrative:--

[2] Priests, who preserve the oral traditions of the tribes.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ere the first of the Pakeha (white men) set foot in Aoa-te-Aroha
(New Zealand), and before the tribes of the north were welded into
one nation, Kokako was chief of Ngatitoa. Here, at Manaia, was the
stronghold of the tribe. Their lands lay broad and fertile from Waikara
in the west, through Parna, even to Tukaka in the north. Flanked on
three sides by the sea and the precipice, the place was a strong one.

By the slope alone could the enemy approach, and that was guarded by
the "pah," whereof, as you see, the wall and ditch remain to this day.
Look also how the back of the "pah" is set against the rock face.
Through the rock behind runs a steep path leading to the shelf below
the crags. Narrow, walled by high rocks on either side, this path
was also guarded by a stockade. Beneath the topmost crags is a cave.
From the cave's mouth to the cliff edge the space is narrow--scarce
a spear's length in width. Up this path, should the "pah" fall, the
Ngatitoa could retreat, when all was lost, to the cave, where, in the
floor, there was a pool of water.

Before that time of which I speak the Ngatitoa was a tribe numerous and
warlike. Now, half the fighting men had fallen in long wars, and the
tribe was much weakened. Yet was Kokako still a great chief, and five
hundred warriors followed him to battle.

Peace had endured for a year, but still the warriors kept ward on the
ramparts. The times were evil; tribe fought with tribe, chief with
chief, and none knew when the foe might come against them.

Southward across the bay lay the "hapu" (settlement) of Ngatahi, of
which tribe Parema was chief. Now Parema was a man of guile, crafty
and faithless. When words were fairest on his lips, then treachery was
blackest in his heart. Bitter had been the feud between the tribes, but
for a year there was peace.

Kokako was old, and weary with much fighting. His strong sons had
fallen in battle, and of his children there remained to him but one
daughter, and she was very near to his heart.

Heruini, a maiden of seventeen, beautiful as the dawning, loved her
cousin Taurau, and they decided to wed. Already preparations for the
marriage were being made.

Kokako was glad that the youth had found favour in Heruini's sight, for
Taurau was his dead brother's son, and he thought: "It is well. Taurau
will be chief at my death, and after him the son of Heruini. Thus shall
my seed not perish from the land."

Now it befell that Parema and certain of his followers, to the number
of two hundred, came to visit Ngatitoa. That they were uninvited
did not matter--the ovens were heated and a feast was made for the
visitors. Afterwards, as the chiefs talked in the "Whare-runanga"
(house of assembly), Parema rose, saying: "Greeting, Kokako. It is
peace between Ngatahi and Ngatitoa. Miami, my wife, groweth old. Give
me, therefore, thy daughter Heruini. I would make her my second wife.
Thus shall peace be strengthened between the tribes."

The insult was great. That Kokako's daughter, their "wahine-nui"
(chieftainess), should be sought as a mere secondary wife fired the
blood of the younger warriors. Taurau and many other Ngatitoa sprang
erect, their weapons in their hands. Yet Parema was safe, for he was
their guest, and the laws of Maori hospitality forbade violence. Kokako
stilled the tumult and answered scornfully:--

"Parema mistakes. He has feasted too well, and talks with a proud
stomach. He is not now in the 'hapu' of the Hakerau tribes, who sell
their women like pigs. (Parema's wife was of the Hakerau.) To-morrow
Heruini weds Taurau, my brother's son. Let Parema and his followers
attend the 'hiu' (wedding-feast)."

The sleeping "whares" of the single women occupied one side of the
"marae" (open space in the centre of a "pah"). Here Heruini, with
two of her favourite women, slept in a separate "whare." The Ngatahi
visitors camped without the walls.

In the middle of the night, towards the dawning, when sleep is heaviest
on the senses, Taurau, where he slept in the men's "whare," sprang from
his couch. In his ears rang a woman's scream, shrill and piercing. He
heard his name called in affrighted accents. Love's ears are quick to
distinguish. It was the voice of Heruini.

With a shout to his comrades to follow, he raced across the "marae" to
see, in the moonlight, Heruini struggling in the arms of Parema and
some of his followers! All unarmed as he was, he sprang on Parema and
bore him to the ground. In the confusion the trembling girl escaped.

Taurau was dragged from Parema's throat. Yet, ere they could slay him,
the Ngatahi were borne back by the rush of the enraged Ngatitoa. A
comrade thrust his forgotten weapons in Taurau's hand, and he leapt
into the fray.

Then there rose on the still night air a confused clamour of shrieks,
yells, the clash of weapons, and screams for mercy. Kokako raged in the
midst. Taurau's "mere" (battle-club) drank its fill of blood. "Slay,
slay! Let not one escape," was the cry. The gates of the stockade were
closed, preventing egress, and the work of death went on, whilst the
sobbing women clung together, shuddering, in their quarters. A party of
the Ngatitoa had meanwhile sallied forth to fall upon the sleeping camp
beyond the walls. It was done. Through a broken gateway some twenty
of the Ngatahi broke from that riot of blood and death to struggle,
fighting, to the shore. Launching one of the canoes, battered, broken,
and wounded, with scarce ten men at the paddles, they made their
limping way across the bay. Of the Ngatitoa, some fifty had been slain.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was dawn. The first rays of the sun lit the dark waters. High on the
rock-shelf sat Taurau and Heruini. Behind them lay the mouth of the
dark cavern, before them the precipice. He had been on watch since the
midnight hour, and his love came to him with the morning.

Night and day had the sentinels looked across the bay from the lofty
cliff. Six months had passed since the deed was done, yet had Ngatahi
made no sign. Nevertheless, Ngatitoa knew that they would surely come
to seek "utu" (vengeance) for the slaying. So, in the dawning, Heruini
listened to the "korero-tara" (love-talk) of her lover.

Suddenly, with a cry of "Ai, Ngatahi, Ngatahi!" she pointed across the
sea. Far away under the distant headland appeared a dark blot upon the
face of the waters. As they gazed, the blot became a line of little
dots, that grew as they came.

Taurau sprang up. Shouting, "E tana, e tana!" (the foe, the foe), he
raced down the narrow path.

At once the sleeping "pah" stirred to preparation. The outlying folk
were gathered within the walls, and Ngatitoa sat grimly down to await
the enemy.

[Illustration: "THE CANOES ADVANCED IN LINE--A THOUSAND PADDLES,
STRIKING AS ONE, BEATING THE WATER TO FOAM."]

In twenty great canoes, each carrying a hundred men, they came. Parema
had, with promises of slaves and plunder, enlisted the tribes of the
Hakerau to his cause.

Who shall tell the fury of that oncoming? The canoes advanced in
line--a thousand paddles, striking as one, beating the water to foam.
The rowers, straining every muscle, panted on their stroke. The
grinning figure-heads hissed through the foam of their coming, and
in the centre of each canoe, aloft on a platform, stood a chief who
chanted his "waiata" (war song), swaying his body as he beat time with
his spear above his head.

The canoes raced for the beach. The speed of their onset carried them
high upon the sand, and the warriors leapt to shore. Parema moved at
once to the assault. The Ngatahi warriors and the wild men of the
Hakerau swarmed into the ditch. On them rained a hail of spears and
stones from the defenders of the "pah." They fell by scores, and were
trampled, shrieking, underfoot by their onrushing comrades. Like the
sea beneath the breath of the tempest, to and fro in the ditch surged
the heaving, struggling mass of men under that pitiless shower.

With ladders and logs of wood, some mounted the wall to hurl themselves
against the gate, attacking the stockade with axes in a vain endeavour
to tear it down. The gate opened, and, Taurau at their head, out
poured two hundred chosen Ngatitoa in a splendid sally. Shouting their
war-cry, "Hai-o! Hai-o!" they swept the assailants from the wall and
across the ditch. Naught remained in the ditch but the dying and the
dead.

Then Parema changed his tactics. With trunks of trees, bags of earth,
and the bodies of the dead the ditch was filled. Over these, piled
pell-mell on their shrieking, wounded comrades, the Ngatahi rushed
again to the assault. Then, whilst some engaged the defenders, others
carried brushwood and dry fern, piling it in a great mound against the
stockade. Fire was put to it, and soon the whole face of the "pah" was
ablaze.

[Illustration: THE HEADLAND, SHOWING ENTRANCE TO THE SEA CAVE--THE
CAVE'S MOUTH IS BEHIND THE INTERVENING ROCK MARKED WITH A BLACK CROSS.
THE WHITE CROSS HALF-WAY UP THE CLIFF SHOWS THE ENTRANCE TO THE UPPER
CAVE AND THE LEDGE FROM WHICH TAURAU FELL. _From a Photograph_.]

Then, when the fire had done its work, came the final assault. The
weakened stockade fell before the rush, and the weary defenders found
the enemy amongst them, hacking and hewing. Out-numbered, out-matched,
out-generalled, Ngatitoa was broken and driven back.

Kokako was slain, but Taurau still fought. Scarcely forty men struggled
up the steep path and gained the shelter of the second stockade. After
them swarmed the enemy to repeat their stratagem. But the women were
watching on the cliffs. Down on their heads thundered an avalanche of
rocks. A moment, and the narrow path before the stockade seethed with
shouting, exultant men; another, and it was bare of living thing.

Parema, seeing the slaughter, drew off his men, saying:--

"Now hunger fights for us."

For the Ngatitoa there was no food. Their food was all in the "pah"
from which they had been driven. Weary with fighting, spent with
hunger, the warriors yet manned the stockade. With them stood also
the women. There was no thought of surrender. Well they knew what to
expect--torture and death for the men, insult and slavery for the women.

       *       *       *       *       *

Three days had passed--for the Ngatitoa, days of misery and want; for
the enemy, of feasting and merriment. Many of the warriors died, hunger
gnawing at their hearts. Scarcely a dozen remained capable of bearing
arms. The women and children had taken refuge in the cave. With them
was Heruini. One by one they died in the dark, as famine slew them. Now
three yet lived; now two; next, Heruini was alone among the dead.

The air amid the corpses was dank and fetid. Affrighted at the presence
of the dead, the girl crept to the mouth of the cavern. Weak and
fainting, she leant against the wall of rock.

That night came the final assault. Ere it was delivered Taurau, seeing
that all was lost, bade his men make good the defence to the utmost,
and climbed the path toward the cavern. If, haply, Heruini were alive,
he would take her by a secret though perilous path that he knew, and,
entering the bush, make a bid for safety by flight.

Cautiously, warily, he made his way upward, keeping ever in the shadow.
As his foot touched the edge of the shelf, Heruini, dazed with hunger,
half blind with misery, thinking him one of the hated foemen come to
take her, flung out her arms and thrust with all her might.

[Illustration: "TOTTERING AN INSTANT, CLUTCHING AT EMPTY AIR, EVEN AS
HE FELL TAURAU CALLED HER NAME."]

The blow, though feeble, was yet enough on that dizzy verge. Tottering
an instant, clutching at empty air, even as he fell Taurau called her
name. The moon broke through the flying scud. She saw his face for an
instant, and then it was gone. The Ngatahi, rushing up to seize her,
heard a cry, "Aie-e-e, Taurau!" They beheld her stand a moment on the
brink, and, with a second cry, leap out into the dark. The bones of the
women and children remain yet in the cavern. Therefore the place is
"tapu."[3]

[3] "Tapu"--sacred, accursed.

The fish swim, uncaught, under the cliff; No fisherman's line plumbs
the deep water that covers the bones of the lovers. Once in every moon
the spirit of Heruini returns to wail for the lover whom she slew. For
one hour she sits in the weed-grown cavern beneath the cliff, and sends
her cry across the waters. Men, hearing the voice, called the place
'Tangiwahine (the place of a woman's wailing). Even so it is named to
this day.



Mountaineering by Telescope.

+By Harold J. Shepstone.+

    An interesting account of the giant telescopes which have been
    erected on the Swiss mountains. They are very popular among
    visitors, who are enabled to watch climbers ascending difficult
    peaks, and in this way many accidents have been detected, the
    prompt dispatch of rescue-parties saving scores of lives. The
    instruments are so powerful that on clear days it is possible
    to see a distance of a hundred miles, and persons forty miles
    away appear almost within hailing distance!


A new attraction has been added to the long list which Switzerland
offers in the form of the powerful observing telescopes which have
been erected all over the country. You find them everywhere--in the
grounds of the leading hotels, at the various railway stations, and at
almost every point from which a panoramic view of the mountains can be
obtained. There is one on the Jungfrau, for instance, which stands at
an altitude of just over ten thousand feet above sea-level, and there
are many others at elevations varying from five to seven thousand feet.
They are rendered conspicuous by their construction and size, and are
of an efficiency which, aided by the atmospherical conditions in the
mountains, almost dumbfounds the tourist from more murky regions, for
it is wellnigh incredible what one can see through these giant glasses.

[Illustration: THE TELESCOPE AT THE RIFFELALP.

_From a Photograph._]

It is only during the last few seasons that these telescopes have been
erected to any extent, but the innovation has deservedly "caught on."
Few of us have time or the physical strength to ascend the highest
peaks in the Alps, but we can now do our mountaineering by means of the
great telescopes, a peep through which brings the solitary and almost
inaccessible regions of ice and snow to our very feet. The instruments
produce a wonderful stereoscopic effect, everything standing out boldly
and clearly, and appearing to be only a few yards away. There, right
in front of us, looms forth in solitary grandeur some bleak and lofty
summit which only the feet of the most experienced Alpinists have ever
trod. Below are the gullies, so treacherous to the climber, and to the
right and left great ridges which can only be safely crossed by the
exercise of the greatest skill. Here and there are mighty crevasses and
great glaciers. Without the slightest exertion on our part the whole
beauty and grandeur of the mountain is placed before our eyes.

The telescopes fulfil other useful purposes besides gratifying the
sightseer. If we have friends making some dangerous or difficult
ascent, we can turn the glass upon them and watch their progress step
by step. Every famous ascent nowadays is invariably watched through
telescopes in this way. If the climbers are forty, or even sixty,
miles away they can be detected and their movements followed almost as
easily as though they were within hailing distance. This watching of
climbers is one of the favourite pastimes of visitors. You can see them
cutting steps in the ice when negotiating some difficult ridge, watch
them paying out rope as they skirt along the edge of some dangerous
crevasse, and, in a word, share the pleasure and excitement of their
trip.

[Illustration: "SHE FOUND HERSELF SHOOTING DOWN TOWARDS THE EDGE."]

The telescopes, too, have often been the means of saving life. When
Alpinists are in serious difficulty, the guides at once make signals,
and a relief party is promptly sent to their aid. The signal is the
repetition of a sound, the wave of a flag, or the flash of a lantern
at regular intervals, at the rate of six signals a minute, followed
by a pause of a minute, with a continuation every alternate minute.
Observers using the telescopes have often detected these signals
before anyone else and given the alarm, when aid has at once been
dispatched to those in distress. Sometimes, too, telescope-watchers
have discovered climbers in difficulty, and have sent someone to their
help. Were it not for the instruments, in fact, many men and women
who have ventured far without guides would have perished. Only the
other week a lady tourist, who had gone up the mountain alone, had a
narrow escape from death, and probably owes her life to the fact that a
guide happened to be idly watching her through one of the telescopes.
In endeavouring to take a short cut down to the hotel she missed her
footing, and in an instant found herself shooting down towards the edge
of a sheer drop of a hundred and fifty feet. By the merest chance she
was thrown into the branches of a pine tree some twenty feet over the
edge, and there she hung, unable to move. The horrified observer at
once left the telescope and informed the hotel proprietor, and in just
under the hour four guides with ropes had reached the spot and rescued
her. She was comparatively uninjured, but almost dead with fright.

One might be inclined to think that with the numerous mountain railways
that have penetrated into the very heart of the Alps during the last
few years, the big observation telescope was really a superfluous
luxury. As a matter of fact, however, the railways have rendered the
telescope more necessary than ever. Indeed, the railway authorities
do not consider their equipment complete unless at the very summit of
their line they erect one of these giant instruments. These wonderful
railways--monuments of engineering skill though they be--only land
one several thousand feet below the actual summit. The view here, of
course, is grand, but the snow-covered peak, the almost untrodden
summit--the very thing the ordinary individual most wishes to see--is
almost undiscernible to the naked eye. But with the telescope it is
different. The summit comes right into the field of vision in an
instant, grand and majestic, standing out boldly and clearly, appearing
to be only a few yards away. Then the glass can be turned upon the
whole surface of the mountain, and in this way one learns more about
the formation of the rocks and glaciers and steep ridges than he would
do by weeks of arduous climbing among them.

A word or two about the telescopes themselves will be appropriate here,
for they are no ordinary instruments. The one at Nürren is valued at a
hundred and twenty pounds. It is a double instrument, and two persons
can look through it at the same time. The other instruments depicted
in the various photographs are valued at from sixty-five to ninety
pounds apiece. They were made by the famous optical firm of Carl Zeiss,
of Jena, and represent the last word in telescope construction. Not
all the telescopes through which visitors may peep for a small fee on
the mountains of Switzerland were supplied by this firm, though there
are certainly a large number of them. They are to be found on the
Riffelalp, above Zermatt; on the Schynige Platte, near Interlaken; on
the Rigi, the Weissenstein, near Solothurn; the Wengern-Alp, on the
Jungfrau Railway; at Berne, Grindelwald, and other places.

[Illustration: THE FIVE-INCH TELESCOPE AT NÜRREN.

_From a Photograph._]

Without going into technicalities, it may be added that the instruments
are fitted with the new Jena glass, which is perfectly transparent,
and, therefore, gives a clear image. In cutting and polishing the
glasses every care was taken to eliminate chromatic aberrations, this
being of great importance for landscape observations, the image being
thus freed from the distracting coloured borders with which every user
of ordinary glasses is familiar. The instruments may be roughly divided
into two classes: monocular and binocular (_i.e._, those through which
the observation is made with one eye only, and those through which
it is made with two). The former are mostly fitted with a revolving
appliance, the turning of which allows of a rapid change of magnifying
power. The object glasses in these instruments vary from four inches
to five inches in diameter. The four-inch instrument magnifies objects
thirty-five, fifty-three, and seventy-three times, according to the
turning of the wheel, and the five-inch glass instrument thirty-five,
fifty-eight, and a hundred and sixteen times.

The binocular instruments are contrivances astonishing in their effect.
It is well known that our power of perspective rapidly decreases as
the distance from the object increases. The reason of this is that
the facial angle at which objects appear decreases with the distance,
and finally becomes so slight that we lose all power of estimating
it. We can, however, enlarge this angle by approaching the object, or
by bringing it apparently near to us. This is accomplished in these
five-foot telescopes by the employment of an artificial medium, so that
separate objects in a landscape view twenty miles distant--houses,
trees, people, etc.--appear as if they were only eighteen yards away.
The effect is wonderful and charming. Mountain peaks and wooded
valleys, which when seen through an ordinary telescope are all
apparently on the same plane, stand out sharp, clear, and in glowing
natural colours.

There is a telescope on the Uetliberg, close to Zürich, through which
on a clear day it is possible to detect the stone signal on one of the
peaks of the Diablerets, near Lausanne, almost at the other end of
Switzerland, being a distance of not less than ninety-six miles. This
signal is only about four feet high. Climbers on the Titlis, forty
miles distant, can easily be seen through this telescope, as well as
the hotel on the Faulhorn, sixty miles distant, and, in very fine
weather, the small trigonometrical signal itself. From the instrument
on the Rigi the crevasses in all parts of the Alpine chain, and
also one of the church clocks in Schaffhausen, may be plainly seen.
From the observation station on the Riffelalp the movements of the
Matterhorn climbers can be followed as clearly as if they were within
hailing distance. Through the telescope on the Schynige Platte in the
Bernese Oberland the timid and unapproachable chamois may be observed
on precipices miles distant, and persons on the four-miles-distant
Faulhorn are easily distinguishable.

[Illustration: "THEY WERE ALMOST BURIED IN SNOW AND DOING THEIR UTMOST
TO STRUGGLE THROUGH IT."]

When it is remembered that there were seventy five fatalities in
the Alps last year, and three hundred and fifty more or less grave
accidents to climbers, it will be seen that observation of the
movements of persons upon the mountains through the telescopes fulfils
a useful purpose. There is no doubt that Mr. Turner, a well-known
English Alpinist, owes his life to-day to the fact that he was watched
in this way during his attempt to cross the Col Bonder-Krinden (seven
thousand two hundred feet high) last season. He was accompanied by a
guide named Amschwand. An observer at a telescope watched their ascent
and followed them step by step, until a blinding snowstorm arose. They
were then lost to view for several minutes, when suddenly they were
detected apparently almost buried in snow and doing their utmost to
struggle through it. The observer gave the alarm and, it being then
late in the afternoon, it was decided to send a search-party out on
the following morning at sunrise. Meanwhile the couple on the mountain
realized that their only hope of life was to reach a hut on the pass,
and they heroically struggled on through six feet of snow. They arrived
at the hut exhausted and without food, for they had brought none,
as the Col, under ordinary conditions, is easy to climb. The snow
penetrated into the hut and the unfortunate pair were literally buried
beneath it. Next morning ten guides left Adelboden to search for them,
solely because their distress had been noticed through the telescope.
The rescuers, however, were driven back by avalanches, several of
them being injured. A second search-party was finally got together,
and they succeeded, after great hardships and at no little risk, in
digging their way to the hut, where they found Mr. Turner and his guide
starving, frost-bitten, and in the last stage of exhaustion. They had
been imprisoned in the hut for forty-eight hours. After administering
restoratives the rescuers carried the couple to Adelboden.

Last season thirteen persons lost their lives in the Alps while
attempting to gather edelweiss and other mountain flowers. There is
no doubt the number would have been greater were it not for the part
played by the telescopes. Two young English ladies staying at Zermatt
decided to collect some edelweiss and take it back to London with them.
They learned that the flowers could be obtained within four hours'
journey up the mountain, and one bright morning started off in the
highest spirits. Everything went well until late in the afternoon, when
they were returning with their prize, much pleased with themselves as
the result of their adventure. If they had followed the same path as
that which they had taken, all would no doubt have been well; but,
believing they could make the journey shorter, they descended by a
different route and came to grief. Suddenly they found their way
blocked, and decided to negotiate a short but dangerous ridge. In doing
this one of them fell a distance of some twenty feet, fortunately into
fairly soft snow, but the weight of the lady's body broke her ankle,
and there she lay, unable to move. With the greatest difficulty her
companion got down to her and remained by her side. Then a snowstorm
came on, descended, and blotted them from view. This accident was
witnessed through a telescope by a boy, who had sense enough to give
the alarm, and two guides were at once dispatched to escort the ladies
down the mountain. They soon found them, but it was clear that if
the rescuers had not arrived when they did the two girls might have
fared very badly. They had completely lost their nerve, and were found
huddled together in the snow, crying hysterically.

[Illustration: THE GIANT TELESCOPE AT SCHYNIGE PLATTE, NEAR INTERLAKEN.

_From a Photograph._]

Few mountains look more absolutely inaccessible than the mighty
Matterhorn, standing up at the head of the Zermatt Valley like a
prodigious obelisk, some fifteen thousand feet in height. The first
impression one gets on viewing the mountain is that one could no more
climb it than he could scale Cleopatra's Needle. Naturally, therefore,
it is the peak that attracts the attention of the more daring climbers,
and watchers using the telescopes that are trained upon this mountain
are frequently afforded wonderful glimpses of what it means to ascend
its steep sides and cut one's way step by step up its ice-covered
slopes. Some nasty accidents, too, have been witnessed through the
glasses which command this famous mountain--hapless climbers have been
seen to miss their footing and hurtle downwards for hundreds of feet
until lost to view in some abyss. It is then that search-parties are
at once organized, and for hours their movements in turn are eagerly
watched through the telescopes. Then comes the pitiable sight of the
return of the rescuers, dragging the dead bodies over the ice behind
them. Fortunately, such incidents as these are rare, and to the
ordinary visitor the mountain telescopes of Switzerland are appreciated
for the wonderful scenery they reveal and the opportunities they afford
of doing one's mountaineering by deputy.

[Illustration]

[Illustration:



Our Adventures at "Simplicity Hall."

+By Mrs. Fred Maturin.+]

    An amusing narrative, setting forth the trials and tribulations
    of a party of Rand residents who essayed to found a "Simple
    Life" colony out on the South African veldt. From the first
    everything seemed to go wrong, and life became in consequence
    rather more complicated than usual. "I have suppressed the
    actual names of the persons concerned," writes the authoress,
    "but the facts are quite correct."


III.

February 18th.--A week has passed away fairly peacefully, and now the
last fresh trouble is that we have got to fumigate this house with a
very dangerous mixture of vitriol and prussic acid to kill various
non-paying guests, such as mice, mosquitoes, etc.--the etceteras being
the worst of them all.

Six-and-eightpence had to sleep in the cottage two nights because
he had such a very bad cold, and in the morning, when we asked him
was it nice sleeping in a room again, he replied, with his usual
courtesy, "I should have slept excellently but for the moss--quitoes."
Six-and-eightpence is very prim and precise. He never says "mosquitoes"
like other people, but always "moss--quitoes," the "quitoes" coming
some time after the "moss." Every morning after that he appeared at
breakfast with some polite remark about the "moss--quitoes."

"Would a net be any use?" I asked; "for you can have mine." But
Six-and-eightpence says that nets would be _no_ use for the special
kind of wingless "moss--quito" that apparently infests this cottage at
night.

The mere idea was unbearable, and that evening one of the men brought
down the _Agricultural Journal_.

"Here's a chapter," said he, "on the only effective way to rid a house
of Six-and-eightpence's moss--quitoes. It's very dangerous, and the
chapter concludes with directions and pictures as to how to revive
anyone who is caught by the fumes before they can bolt. It's much the
same as for drowned people. You work their arms and legs up and down,
don't you know, and pull out their tongues, and so on."

"Oh, dear," put in Veronica, "I don't feel up to any more dangers. The
thunderstorms have stopped for a bit, and I'm longing for some peace.
It's not two days since Jaikeran used Jay's Purifier for the pudding
instead of milk, finding some mixed ready in a jug, and then put nails
and screws into the pudding in mistake for cloves. And what I feel is,
do let's have a spell of rest!"

"The thunderstorms may come on any day again," said Mr. H----, "and I
don't like moss--quitoes any more than Six-and-eightpence does, and we
might have to turn into the house to sleep."

"Decidedly," said our solicitor, trying to scratch his shoulder-blades
as gracefully as might be. "I am for exterminating the moss--quitoes."

So it's to be done. We have spent evenings reading up the directions,
and it is plain we run the risk of losing our lives, for when the
chemist at the nearest town received our order for enough vitriol and
prussic acid to finish off a colony, he protested and refused to supply
it, making sure some huge plot was on to wipe out the population.
Someone is always writing to the papers to say that some section of
the community must be got rid of for the good of the country, and the
chemist said he would have nothing to do with it.

"But," explained our solicitor, "it's for--ahem--moss--quitoes."

"Oh," said the chemist, greatly relieved, "all right, then; but you
must sign for it, please, sir. And I suppose you know the risks? One
drop of this vitriol splashing into your face will burn to the bone. As
for the prussic acid, a grain wafted by the wind to your open mouth,
and you're a dead man."

"Thank you," said Six-and-eightpence, trying to look as if the prospect
rather pleased him than otherwise; "good morning!"

Six-and-eightpence sent me a message by the butcher--would I come in to
help him carry back the ingredients? The other men had declined, saying
they were his moss--quitoes, not theirs, and he was afraid, if he tried
to carry eight gallon-bottles of vitriol and nine jars of cyanide
(which is prussic acid) down the hill to our cottage, they might fall,
and the vitriol burn out his eyes. So I went in to help.

The prussic acid was all sealed up in a most important manner with huge
Government seals, and the chemist said good-bye to us as if he would be
surprised to see us again.

You get into the train to come here at a level crossing where there is
no station, and when you get out at another crossing you yell, as I
said before, to the engine-driver, and if he can manage it he stops,
though sometimes he can't stop till he has got some way off. This
happened with the vitriol and things. They were strewed along the level
crossing, and when the train flew past too far they had to be hastily
picked up, and as the vitriol was in ordinary whisky-bottles (the corks
put in loose, so that it shouldn't splash when we wanted to open them)
it was an awful business.

"Hi, there!" said Six-and-eightpence to the guard, who, blithely
unconscious of the nature of the bottles he was sweeping up off the
line into his arms, began putting them down with bangs close to an old
lady with several young children round her. "Hi! Easy! That's vitriol!"

"And pray, sir," said the old lady, who seemed convinced that the only
purpose vitriol could have been invented for was to throw into people's
faces, "and may I ask what you are doing with vitriol here? Guard, what
does all this mean? Heaven knows, this country is infested with enough
criminals without our being obliged to travel with vitriol-throwing
ruffians!"

"My dear madam," said Six-and-eightpence, politely, "who said that I
intended throwing this vitriol at anyone?"

"Of course you intend throwing it at someone!" said the old lady,
indignantly. "Do you think I was born yesterday, sir? Do you think I
never read the papers? Do you think I don't know what vitriol is for?
Guard, stop the train and summon a policeman! At once!"

Luckily we arrived at our stopping-place in five minutes, or what would
have happened I don't know. Six-and-eightpence had retreated into the
extreme corner of the carriage, clasping the vitriol bottles in his
arms and in vain entreating the old lady _not_ to attack him tooth and
nail, or she certainly _would_ get the stuff into her face.

We were thankful to find ourselves out on the open veldt.

February 20th.--It's late at night, and I am writing up this record of
the doings of Simplicity Hall because by to-morrow evening I may either
be unconscious or be sitting contemplating the dead bodies of everybody
else, for we all get up very early to-morrow morning to fumigate this
house with hydrocyanic gas.

Every chink has to be closed up to make it effective, and for four
mortal hours this evening we have all been cutting brown paper
into strips and standing on ladders and chairs pasting up the very
badly-fitting doors and windows of this abode so that none of the
precious and deadly gas shall escape.

The process is that you first place in each room four receptacles
for the ingredients, which when mixed instantly kill everything
near--men, beasts, or insects. You have to clear out of the house
all food of every kind, all plates, dishes, saucepans, and jugs--in
fact, the entire contents of the kitchen; also anything in the way of
furniture, clothes, ornaments, pictures, etc., that you don't want to
have bleached out of recognition. The _Agricultural Journal_ blithely
informs you that the process "causes no inconvenience of any kind,"
as all you "need remove from the house (to a safe distance) are----"
and then follow the above items, which we soon discovered to mean that
the entire house had to be dismantled and every stick in it hauled
out on to the veldt. You naturally don't want _anything_ you have to
be bleached to a cinder, so out it all has to come. The lifting, the
shouting, the dragging, and the running to and fro have lasted till
now--midnight. Being a fine night, and the barometer high, we decided
to get everything out so that at daylight the fumigation could be
started, after which everyone has to rush helter-skelter through the
doors, shut them, lock them, and paste a notice on them to say whoever
goes inside is a dead man. (The Transvaal law compels this.) Then you
sit all day on the veldt upon your possessions till eight hours have
passed, after which the thing is done, and you start to fix up your
house again the same as when you first came into it.

[Illustration: "WE DECIDED TO GET EVERYTHING OUT."]

There is a full moon, and by it we can see all our possessions strewed
round Simplicity Hall for about half a square mile. Tall cupboards
tower towards the stars, the dining-room table has all the chairs and
Mr. H----'s packing-case piled on to it, and dressing-tables stand
about, hung with bits of everyone's wardrobe, a pyjama suit floating
in the breeze here, a lady's nightdress there. In the centre of the
circus, in an open ring, sits Jaikeran on the kitchen range (which
likewise had to be removed, said the _Agricultural Journal_, "unless
you wished to have your oven permeated with prussic acid," the editor
evidently thinking it possible that such might be our wish). In this
fashion does our domestic prepare, in some sort of style, an evening
meal for us on a "Puffing Billy" stove set on the grass.

Everybody is in a temper, and once more the Simple Life is subjected to
curses low and deep, as we all sit balancing ourselves on odd pieces of
furniture, eating by the light of tallow candles which eternally go out.

We should have done the horrid thing at night and let it work while
we all slept in the tents, but the chemist warned us not to dream of
attempting it in anything like dusk or darkness. Each person has to be
told off to stand ready in one room with their allowance of vitriol,
and the prussic acid safely fastened up in a paper bag, tied at the
mouth with a long piece of string, so that you can drop it into the
vitriol and get away before the fumes suffocate you; which happens in
one and a half seconds exactly.

Should you stumble in the dark over something, nothing can save you,
though they tell the rescuers how to get on their hands and knees
with their heads in a wet blanket, and crawl close to the floor,
in the event of a friend being caught, and a cheerful illustration
of four corpses in a row is appended. Six-and-eightpence is a very
highly-strung man, and is already in a state of nervousness about the
whole thing, bordering on hydrophobia or suicidal mania. Anyhow, he has
been talking all the evening in a very despondent way, bequeathing
things (such as the old Ratner safe in his office, his "Van Dam on
Divorce," his book of trout flies, his _kaross_, etc.) to one or the
other of us, "just in case anything happens," he says. And we are quite
certain that were we to attempt to do this thing at night something
would happen for certain. Six-and-eightpence would lose his head, and
either lock himself or someone else into one of the rooms after the
stuff had been mixed, forgetting which side of the door he was on,
or something like that. Or the MacPhairson would be too long and too
careful over his mixing and fall senseless; and then, however much we
should like to, how could we leave him to die? One of us would have
to get into a wet blanket (first pumping the water out of the well
half a mile away, by the by) and go to his rescue, and, of course, be
overpowered in turn. Someone else would then have to go to _them_, and
soon it would be like the ten little nigger-boys--"And then there were
none."

So, talking it over--and the pasting-up of the house having taken us
till long after dark--we decided to wait until the friendly daylight.

We are now retiring to rest, and all bade each other "Good night" much
as shipwrecked castaways would do on an open raft in mid-ocean, with
sharks waiting for them, and only someone's blanket and each other left
to eat. I'm not at all sure that I wouldn't rather put up with the
"moss--quitoes" than all this.

February 29th.--I was aroused at daylight on the 21st by Veronica
saying, in sepulchral tones, "The day has arrived, E----. Get up."

I've always pictured that's how the warder rouses condemned criminals
from their slumbers, after which somebody else appears with the
cheerful query (as Jaikeran now did) as to what you would like for your
last breakfast.

The criminal, to judge by narratives, invariably "does himself proud"
over that last breakfast, ordering steak and oysters, kidneys on toast,
and all kinds of things that can't possibly have time to do him any
good.

We each ordered our own favourite dish, and sat down on odd pieces of
furniture or boxes to eat it, and gazing at the wide scene of peace
around, with the beauty of the typical African morning (it being a very
rare thing in Africa to wake to a wet morning), we remarked in turn
what a "lovely world it was," and other dying speeches of that sort,
and then rose to repair to the house, where the tins had been placed
overnight in the rooms, the prussic acid and the vitriol all ready in
rows of bottles on a tray, and nothing to do now but the fateful mixing.

"Now," said the Electrical Engineer (who, having passed in electricity,
is supposed to know something about everything else under the sun),
"everyone will please take jugs and go and pour your water each into
your own cans in the room allotted to you. Then come back here for the
vitriol, each carrying your mask."

By the chemist's advice we had made ourselves thick masks of felt,
covering the nose and mouth, with slits for the eyes.

These, as soon as the water had been poured into the cans--Jaikeran
standing looking on at these preparations with a countenance of
terror--we each tied over our faces with tapes. Then we all started to
feel our way back into the dining-room, where our vitriol was to be
doled out to us.

"My eye isn't big enough," groaned Veronica. "I can't see where I am
going. Someone please cut the slits larger for me." And Veronica sat
down, and then each of us in turn, while the others stood and applied
scissors to the slits, at the imminent risk of cutting out our eyes.

No one could breathe, and the panting in the room was awful.

"Come here," said the Electrical Engineer to Jaikeran, "and have your
mask on, you Jaikeran."

Jaikeran, trembling like a leaf, fell on his two knees to the
Electrical Engineer and held up his hands in prayer.

"Sahib have mercy on Jaikeran!" he quavered. "Sahib no kill poor
Jaikeran this time! Sahib spare my life, and sahib have tit-for-tat."
When the Electrical Engineer said, "Don't be a fool!" and tried to fix
his mask on for him, he made for the open door, and the exasperated
Electrical Engineer started to chase him round and round the cottage.

We would have let him go back to his home--a patch of mealies, two
cows, a hut, and a skinny brother--shining clearly about three miles
away on the broad table of green, but we had to have Jaikeran to help;
so the Electrical Engineer caught him, assured him that (if we could
manage it) no one would die that day, and, leading him back by the
scruff of his neck, it seemed as if now, at last, all was once more
ready.

"I am of o--pinion," said Six-and-eightpence, when we once more stood
ready round the table in the dining-room, "that we should each be armed
with a wet blanket in case of necessity."

"Jaikeran," said I, "go to the tents and fetch the blankets. Juldee!"

"Now," said the Electrical Engineer, "go, Jaikeran, to the well and
fetch a bucket of water, and keep your mask on, Jaikeran; it's too much
trouble to fix again. You can see your way through the eyelet holes."

So Jaikeran departed in his mask across the veldt for the water, and
returned with a string of affrighted Dutch villagers behind him.

"For certain they are dynamiters," said one old back-veldt Boer.

"Or coiners," said another.

"No," whispered a third. "It is as I told you. The English are all mad.
The Indian servant-man says it is to be a mosquito hunt! And each one
engaged in it risks his life! Who but lunatics would act so?"

The Dutch contingent now made a kind of cordon round the house and
watched proceedings closely, in case it should be necessary to send a
runner for the police from the nearest town.

Meanwhile we in the garden proceeded to soak our blankets, wrapped our
heads in them, and, re-entering the house, assembled again round the
dining-room table and announced we really were ready at last.

"The heat is too cruel!" suddenly said Veronica. "Couldn't we have
something to drink before we begin? If not, I shall faint."

It was by this time getting on for 11 a.m., and a cloudless day, such
as you expect in the Rand midsummer, and what with the felt masks and
the blankets and the fright we were all in, we were in an awful state,
and so it was imperative that whisky should be served out to the men
and lemonade and sal volatile to the ladies.

"And how are we to drink it?" said someone from under his mask.

"Sit down all of you," said the Electrical Engineer, "and I'll come
round and pour it into your mouths while each of you lifts your mask
slightly up. We can't undo them now." So we sat in a row, and the
villagers crowding towards the house beheld the operation. One of them
said this sort of thing could not be permitted to go on, and so he
rushed after a cart going up the hill towards the town and told the
driver to make for the police-station and tell the mounted police they
were wanted at once.

"Are you all ready?" said the Electrical Engineer. "Then come to the
table and I'll dole out the vitriol first."

We each stood with a tin pannikin and received the stuff, though it
was difficult from under our masks and blankets to see whether it was
going into the pannikins or over our hands or feet, which a single drop
would, of course, burn to the bone.

"Go quickly," shouted the Electrical Engineer when it was done, "and
pour it into the water in the tins. I _quite_ forgot, when I decided
on tin pans, that the corrosive fluid will burn through the tin in two
minutes. _Run!_"

"How can we run," howled Mr. H----, holding his at arm's length
and jerking himself towards the room he had to do, "with this
thrice-infernal stuff under our noses?"

"If you don't you'll have no nose left," shouted the Electrical
Engineer, making for his own room.

We all got rid of our vitriol without mishap to ourselves, flinging the
cans when finished to the floor, where they instantly burnt large holes
in the carpets, which had been left standing to get fumigated too.

"Bang goes six pound seven and eight three-farthings!" the MacPhairson
was heard to mutter, as a frizzling noise heralded the cremation of his
Axminster--bought second-hand for Simplicity Hall. "It's no' me as will
beleeve anny more in the Simple Life!"

We next collected to receive our bags of cyanide. We all stood round
while the Electrical Engineer uncorked the big sealed bottles and
started removing the prussic acid, which was in powder and lumps,
each lump being large enough to polish off a town full of people. We
drew our masks very close over our mouths during this part of the
proceedings. The back doors, and, indeed, all the doors, had to be left
wide open through which to effect our escape the instant the chemicals
mixed, and we all knew that if one speck of the poison floated down
anyone's throat, that person was done for. A joyous breeze blew through
the cottage, and the prussic-acid powder flew about and no one dared
breathe, much less speak.

The Electrical Engineer poured the lumps and powder into our paper
bags, Jaikeran standing by, his mask on, a blanket round his head, and
his knees simply knocking together.

"Now," said the Electrical Engineer, "the moment has arrived! Keep
your heads! Each take your bag, please" (out went all our hands), "and
walk quietly into your allotted rooms. Carry the bag by its string,
held well away from you. Walk up to the tins, where the water and the
vitriol will be already mingled. Slight fumes will be already rising,
so _don't_ go too near. Drop your bags into the vitriol and water, and
instantly, without one second's delay, rush from the house, shutting
and locking doors behind you. Jaikeran! Clear out, unless you want to
die!"

Before we each reached our allotted room, Jaikeran was making for the
horizon and his skinny brother, and we haven't seen him since....

There was a deathly silence as we each entered the different rooms. It
is impossible to say what we looked like--for a moving lump of dripping
blanket was all that could be seen of anyone.

"What the dickens!" shouted Mr. H----, colliding with
Six-and-eightpence in his room. "Who and what are you? Get out of my
way!"

"My dear fellow, whoever you are," said the muffled voice of
Six-and-eightpence, "this is _my_ room. I can't see a thing. Where the
dickens are the tins of vitriol?"

"Is that you, Six-and-eightpence?" said Mr. H----.

"Yes. Is it you?" responded the other. "This isn't your room, old chap;
it's mine. Yours is next door. For Heaven's sake, get out. The others
have thrown in their stuff. They're off. We shall be overpowered, I
tell you."

"Well, I can't find my room," said Mr. H----, desperately. "Here, throw
the stuff down anywhere. I'm off; come on."

As it turned out later, Six-and-eightpence's prussic acid did go into
the tins, or at any rate most of it. But Mr. H---- lost his head,
thinking he could smell through his blanket the deadly fumes already
pouring from the other rooms, and, hearing everyone else making a dash
for the open air, he upset his with a crash.

He rushed for what he thought was the door, but it was the window,
all pasted up. His blanketed head went crash at the glass, luckily
not breaking it, and then, realizing that he had made a mistake, he
groped round for the door. But--it was shut and locked! Muffled in his
blanket, Six-and-eightpence, thinking Mr. H---- had gone out before
him, had run out, slamming and locking the door behind him! His prussic
acid was already mingling with the vitriol. Mr. H---- could smell it!

When we all got outside we threw off our masks and blankets, and
someone said, "Where is H----?"

"He's not here!"

"Then he must be in the house!"

"Good heavens! Not here?" said Six-and-eightpence, looking round him
in a dazed way and rubbing his eyes. "Why, yes; I must have done--yes!
I've locked him into my room! This comes of our being muffled in these
blankets!"

"Good heavens, man!" yelled the Electrical Engineer, "he'll be dead by
now!"

We all made a run for the house, clean forgetting our blankets, and
burst open the hall door again.

It was strange; but there were not half the fumes we expected. What did
it mean?... However, we did not stop to inquire....

Six-and-eightpence dragged open his bedroom door, and there, prone on
the floor, lay Mr. H----, rolled in his blanket and kicking faintly.
"Who's there?" he demanded. "I'm almost done for, you fellows!"

"Wonder you're not done for entirely," said they, hauling him out by
his blanket and the hair of his head combined. "Didn't we say old
Six-and-eightpence would do just this? Out you come!"

And in a few seconds the rescued one lay on the veldt, and kneeling
beside him we all cried, "Saved!" and tried very hard to shed tears of
joy....

       *       *       *       *       *

The day passed somehow, all sitting on the veldt, and Mr. H---- (in the
only arm-chair, propped up affectionately with pillows) described to us
in moving terms what it had felt like to be face to face with death.

"Did you see the whole of your past life laid before you in a
flash--like they say drowning people always do?" we asked.

"Yes," said Mr. H----, in tones of gloomy triumph; "I did, and I can
tell you it wasn't pleasant."

Privately, I wasn't surprised to hear it, though I didn't say so.

"What was it like--the going off under the fumes?" asked someone else.

"It was like being rocked to sleep," said Mr. H----, in a sentimental
tone. "And I heard church bells ringing, and I said to myself, 'They
are ringing for my funeral. My poor, poor mother! And the guv'nor, too!
This will bring their grey hairs with sorrow to the grave.'"

"Please don't talk of it!" cried Veronica, wiping her eyes. "I feel (I
don't know if you do, E----?) that this should be a lesson to us all to
be more charitable to each other. I didn't believe, Mr. H----, and I
must freely confess it, that you had it in you to feel and speak like
this! It shows how we may be mistaken."

"I don't wear my heart on my sleeve," replied the hero, languidly,
leaning back in his chair. "I knew you all misunderstood me, but I made
up my mind to bear it, certain that the truth must out, even though I
_didn't_ give a potato-masher to the establishment."

"And," said I, "truth is stranger than fiction any day."

The hero glanced sharply at me, for I was sitting gazing up at our
roof-tree, and now and then I sniffed.

After a pause I said, sniffing again:--

"Does anyone smell a very strong smell of some gas--hydrocyanic gas,
I suppose? Where is it coming from? We pasted up all the windows and
doors," I added, rising from my chair.

Everybody now sniffed in turn, and all declared that the smell grew
stronger and stronger.

Suddenly both I and Veronica gave a shout together.

[Illustration: "'WONDER YOU'RE NOT DONE FOR ENTIRELY,' SAID THEY,
HAULING HIM OUT BY HIS BLANKET AND THE HAIR OF HIS HEAD."]

"Veronica! Everybody!" I cried. "We pasted up the windows and doors
and forgot to shut the ventilators of the chimneys. Every bit of gas
has escaped! All our trouble has been for nothing. And as for your
death throes, Mr. H----, well, I don't want to be rude, but it has all
been----"

"_Bunkum!_" finished Willy-Nilly. "Church bells and all, old chap!"

       *       *       *       *       *

At eve we re-entered the cottage--cautiously at first, then more boldly.

Nothing had happened--nothing at all!

Flies buzzed in hundreds around us as if they had enjoyed the nice
aromatic bath they had had. Every scrap of gas had gaily escaped up the
wide chimneys. It was two in the morning before we had got the cottage
shipshape again, and the breakages and general damage would be hard to
calculate.

"I've done with the Simple Life," said Mr. H----, the erstwhile hero of
this memorable day. "If you don't mind, I think I'll leave. There's not
enough repose about the life, don't you know."

"And I, too," said the MacPhairson. "It's too expensive! Me Axminster's
ruined, me bagpipes have gone to glory, and me tent's in smithereens."

So these two have left.

As for those of us who still remain at Simplicity Hall, we have decided
to leave the "moss--quitoes" and "etceteras" alone, hoping that, as we
mean to sleep in the tents till the Rand winter comes on, we may in the
end starve them out.

+The End.+

[Illustration:



Some Experiences in Malaya.]

+By Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Mackenzie.+

    For many years the author was Chief of Police in one of the
    native States of the Malay Peninsula, and here relates three
    queer little adventures which befell him in his official
    capacity.


"Do you mean to say you can't get any evidence whatever to go on?"

"No, Tuan."

[Illustration: LIEUTENANT-COLONEL DONALD MACKENZIE, THE AUTHOR.

_From a Photograph._]

"Then you and your detectives must be a lot of fools! In England a
burglar or a murderer might be clever enough to hide all traces of
his crime, but out here they are all coolies, and must leave no end
of evidence which any officer who knows his work could easily follow
up. If you can't do the simplest detective work, you and your men had
better return to duty and leave your work to me. The next crime I will
investigate myself. You can go."

I was Chief of Police of the native State of Sungei Ujong,[4] in
the Malay Peninsula, and Detective-Sergeant Cassim stood rigidly at
attention before me in my office. As I finished he saluted and left.

[4] Now combined with Jelebu and Negri Sembilan.

I was a fool--doubly a fool, for I had not only made a statement which
I knew was wrong, but I had lost my temper. The Malay is dignified, if
he is nothing else, and to lose one's temper with him is to lower one's
own dignity, and that means lowering his respect.

When a man is worried, however, he is apt to forget the little
niceties. Two gang robberies and a murder within ten days, and not a
particle of evidence to go on, would fret most policemen's tempers, to
say nothing of receiving one's reports back from the Resident minuted,
"The police appear to be doing their duty in a somewhat perfunctory
manner." I had to trust to my detectives, and they had failed to help
me.

The following morning Barton, the Collector of Land Revenue, came to my
office.

"Morning, old chap," he said. "You might send a detective to my house
to see if he can find out anything. A burglary was committed last
night, but the beggar must have been disturbed, for he only took away a
Bee clock."

"I'll go myself," I said. I would show Sergeant Cassim how easily a
crime could be detected, I told myself.

Like most of the houses in the place, Barton's was a bungalow. The
upper halves of all the outer doors were venetianed, the doors
themselves being merely fastened by bolts top and bottom. We did not go
in for locks.

The burglary seemed quite simple of explanation. The "boy" must have
forgotten to bolt one of the doors, and a midnight thief had simply
walked in. Of course, the "boy" denied having failed in his duty--a
Chinaman naturally would do so. But why the thief was contented with a
clock, value two dollars, when he could have taken twenty times that
amount beat me entirely.

As we left the compound to return to the office the doctor met us on
his pony.

"You are the very man I was looking for," he said to me. "I had a thief
in my house last night. One of the veranda doors was found open, but
the queer part of the business is that he only took a clock. Thank
goodness, he did not walk off with the Sultan's Cup."

"That's funny!" I replied. "Exactly the same thing happened to Barton
last night, even to the article stolen. Let's go and have a look."

Examination convinced me that the robbery had been carried out in
identically the same manner, and I grew puzzled.

"What does your 'boy' say?" I asked. "He probably forgot to bolt the
door. I am almost sure that is what happened at Barton's."

"I can answer for that," replied the doctor. "I am a pretty late bird,
as you fellows know; I did not turn in till about two last night, and I
fastened the two doors myself."

If ever I searched a house thoroughly I did that one, but not a scrap
of any sort of evidence could I find, in spite of my boast. I next sent
the sergeant-major to scour the pawnshops, but without success; no one
had tried to pawn a clock that day.

The climax was reached the following morning when, as I was returning
from early parade, one of the Resident's "boys" met me with a note:--

"You might come up to the Residency and investigate a burglary which
took place here last night. A clock was stolen."

I trust neither the boy nor my Sikh orderly fully understood my remarks
on the subject. The doctor and Barton might pass their little robberies
off as a joke, but a burglary at the Residency was a very different
matter.

Exactly the same thing had occurred. A door had been found open and
a clock gone. Nothing else had been touched. The Resident's remarks
on the efficiency of my force as guardians of the peace were not
complimentary, but distinctly to the point. Very sore, and very much
mystified, I put my pride in my pocket and sent for Sergeant Cassim.

When he arrived I took him on one side and discussed these three
bewildering robberies with him.

"Perhaps you can make something out of them," I said. "I believe it is
the servants in each case."

He walked round the Resident's drawing-room, examined the floor of the
veranda and the steps, and then said:--

"I shall be able to tell the Tuan to-morrow morning who committed the
robberies."

"If you are so certain, why not now?"

"The Tuan must give me time to think and act."

That afternoon I received a letter through the post addressed to me in
Malay. It contained a slip of paper bearing the following words, also
in Malay:--

"If the Tuan will pretend he is going away to-night, and will return
about eleven and hide near the veranda of his house, he will catch the
burglar."

I have received a fair number of anonymous letters in my time, which
usually meant nothing, but this was the oddest of them all. Why on
earth should I pretend to leave for the night? Why could I not have
been told merely to hide?

Suddenly the reason flashed across my mind--the guard! When I was
living at head-quarters a guard, consisting of a lance-corporal and
three men, was posted at my house from sunset till sunrise; in that
district it was extremely useful to have four fully-armed men ready to
accompany me anywhere at a moment's notice. When, however, I was absent
on a tour of inspection the guard was dispensed with. It was apparently
essential for the detecting of the burglar that the guard should be
absent.

Of course, it might be only an excuse to get the house unguarded till
the hour named in order that the burglar could enter before my return,
and so doubly fool me; but I determined to risk it.

Accordingly I sent for the sergeant-major and told him I was going to
investigate the last gang robbery myself on the spot, and that I should
not be back till the following morning. He need not therefore post my
guard.

A little before sunset I drove to a police-station about six miles
away, and sent my dogcart back with instructions to return for me at
six the following morning. I then told the sergeant in charge of the
station that I was going to investigate the matter of the gang robbery,
and that I should probably stay the night at the Towkay's (Chinese
headman).

I visited the place, and, after spending an hour or so making
inquiries--incidentally having to split a bottle of the vilest apology
for champagne with the hospitable Towkay--I walked back to my house.

I suppose I must have been hiding at the side of the veranda for nearly
an hour when a figure appeared at one of the dining-room doors. Being
barefooted, I had not heard him approach the house, and I must confess
that his sudden appearance was somewhat startling. He fumbled with the
venetians for a couple of minutes; then the door opened silently and
he entered the house. No sooner had he done so than the light of a
bull's-eye lantern began to flash about the room; the man was evidently
no ordinary thief.

[Illustration: "CREEPING ON TIP-TOE TO THE DOOR, I WAITED WITH WHAT
PATIENCE I COULD MUSTER."]

Creeping on tip-toe to the door he had entered by, I waited with what
patience I could muster, intending to commence operations by knocking
the thief down as soon as he appeared. Presently the light went out,
and I had drawn my arm back to let him have my fist on the side of his
head, when a voice said:--

"Tuan, here is the burglar."

It was Sergeant Cassim himself!

"What on earth does this mean?" I demanded. "Where is the man?"

"I am he. Did not the Tuan see me enter the house?"

"Of course I did; but what is the meaning of it?"

"The Tuan told me I was a fool, and that no man committed a crime in
this country without leaving some trace of it; also that the Tuan would
prove this to me by investigating the next case himself. I am a Malay,
Tuan, and do not like to be called names when I have not deserved them.
I knew that crimes were often committed and no trace left, so I thought
I would prove this to the Tuan. Did I leave any traces?"

"No, you certainly did not."

"But if the Tuan had only thought, he must have known these were not
real burglaries; they were all exactly alike, even to the article
stolen. Has the Tuan ever known such a thing happen before? Even the
letter did not help him. Surely no thief gives himself away--in this
country, at least! I was quite prepared for the Tuan to tell me he saw
the whole thing when he got the letter. He must have forgotten how he
spoke to me."

Cassim was evidently a reader of character and knew how I would take
his rebuke, which I had undoubtedly fully deserved.

"You are right and I was wrong, Cassim," I said; "I am sorry I spoke
as I did. But you were doing a very risky thing. Suppose Tuan Barton,
or the Tuan Doctor, or the Tuan Besar (the Resident) had caught you in
their houses?"

"Who would have suspected or said anything to me? I am the
detective-sergeant, and if I find a house open at night it is my duty
to investigate the matter. I _was_ seen, but the Tuan never thought of
asking even that. If he had asked the Sikh sentry at the Residency,
he would have said he had seen me walk round the building, for he
challenged me. Why did the Tuan forget such a simple inquiry?"

"Of course, no one knows anything of this?" I said, evading his last
question.

"Surely the Tuan can trust me?" he replied.

"All right. Keep it to yourself. I am much obliged to you for the
lesson, and in future we will work together. Produce the clocks, and
make up any story you like as to how you found them. The thief, of
course, must have cleared out, and these burglaries must go in the
crime book as 'Undetected: property recovered.' Oh, I forgot. How did
you manage to open the doors?"

"That is very easy, Tuan," he replied, and he proceeded to show me. It
was the simplest thing imaginable, but I am not going to give it away,
for obvious reasons. Perhaps they have not got locks on the doors out
there yet. I do not, however, mind telling a brother police-officer.

I have never told this yarn before; it would not have been fair to
Cassim while he was in the service. It happened over fifteen years
ago, and he must now have retired on pension. I hope it is the
highest he could get, and that he is enjoying life under the shade of
his own coco-nut plantation, for he was a thorough good fellow. No
doubt he sometimes chuckles when he thinks of how he taught the Tuan
Superintendent a lesson, not only in dignity, but also in the art of
detecting crime.

Meanwhile the two gang robberies, which were the cause of Sergeant
Cassim's little joke at my expense, seemed as far off discovery as
ever. They had taken place within forty-eight hours of each other and
less than five miles apart; and, so far, not a vestige of a clue could
be found to work on.

"Look here, Cassim," I said, the morning after his exploit at my house,
"something has got to be done. It is absurd, our being beaten like
this. I don't want the Tuan Besar to report to the Tuan Governor that
the police have not been able to do anything in the matter, or someone
will get into trouble about it."

Cassim was as much bothered as myself, for complaints would probably
mean the loss of his stripes, if nothing worse. An undetected crime of
any magnitude was an unpardonable offence.

"Shall I read the Tuan my notes on the robbery at Ah Sing's again?" he
asked.

"Yes. We may find we have overlooked something."

He got out his note-book and proceeded to read.

"Towkay Ah Sing reports that shortly before midnight on Thursday he was
awakened by the door of his house being broken open. He was sleeping
in a small room at the back, and his two coolies were asleep in the
kitchen. He rushed out to see what had happened, and found the front
room full of men; he thinks there were about a dozen. Their faces were
blackened, and he could not recognise any of them; one had a lighted
torch in his hand. The two coolies came in almost at the same time as
himself. One of them had a stick, which he raised to strike a member
of the gang, but he was stabbed in the side with a knife. Ah Sing and
the two coolies were then knocked down, their hands and feet tied,
and they were carried into the kitchen and thrown upon the floor.
After about ten minutes the robbers left. One of the coolies managed
to free his hands, and he unbound the other two. The gang took away a
box containing clothing and jewellery from the front room, and another
containing seven hundred dollars which Ah Sing kept under his bed. That
is all, Tuan."

"And you found no traces of the robbers in or round the house?"

"Nothing except the extinguished torch."

"Ah Sing gave you a full description of all the articles stolen?" I
asked.

"Yes, Tuan. He also says the money was in rolls of a hundred dollars,
and that each roll had his 'chop' (private mark) on it."

"Well, he can say good-bye to his dollars," I said. "The robbers won't
be such fools as to keep the 'chopped' papers they were wrapped in."

"The only other thing Ah Sing could state was that the men spoke the
Fuhkien dialect," said Cassim.

"That is not much use as a clue, I am afraid. There are hundreds of
Fuhkiens in the State. I will give a hundred dollars to the detective
who can clear up this case. Why not try and earn them yourself, Cassim?"

"I will try, Tuan," he replied. "Shall I read the notes of the other
robbery?"

"No; one at a time is enough. If we discover this one it may help us
with the other."

As he left the office my Chinese clerk came in with a number of passes
for me to initial.

In order to protect employers of Chinese labour, no coolie was allowed
to leave any of the native States without a pass. Before a man could
obtain a pass he had to produce from his employer a certificate giving
his name and province and stating that he owed nothing to the mine or
estate. This was attached to the pass, which was in English and Malay,
and signed by the chief police-officer. On every road, at its junction
with the neighbouring State, was a police-station, where all passes
were examined.

"So-and-so, Fuhkien," began the clerk, putting the letters down in
front of me, one by one, to be initialed.

What was it Cassim had said? "Ah Sing says the men spoke the Fuhkien
dialect." Now, the robbers would not attempt to dispose of the stolen
property in the State where the robbery had been committed. They knew
that every police-station and pawnshop had been warned. They would
therefore try and take it out of the country. I would mark every
Fuhkien's pass and have him searched at the frontier station he tried
to leave by.

"Hold on," I said; "I have not been listening to what you read out.
Begin again." He did so, and I initialed every Fuhkien's pass in red
pencil, those of other provinces in blue. When the passes were brought
in, I also signed all the Fuhkiens' in red ink.

I then telegraphed to each frontier station:--

"Search all Chinese whose passes are signed in red ink; detain all who
cannot account satisfactorily for their property, and report."

At six that evening I received a telegram in Malay from one of the
police-stations:--

"Eleven Chinese with passes signed in red ink arrested this afternoon,
accompanied by a bullock cart in which is a box containing clothing and
jewellery and seven hundred dollars. Can give no satisfactory account
of themselves."

Within half an hour a sergeant and six Sikhs were on their way to bring
the Chinamen to head-quarters.

They arrived the following morning, and I at once sent for Ah Sing. As
soon as he entered the charge-room he exclaimed:--

"Why, Tuan, there is my box which the robbers took away; it has my
'chop' on it!"

Sure enough it was, and it contained all the stolen property, tallying
exactly with his description, even to the rolls of dollars in the
"chopped" wrappers.

If ever a detective was astonished, Sergeant Cassim was.

"Who has won the hundred dollars, Tuan?" he asked.

"I have," I replied.

"But how did the Tuan discover it?"

"You gave me the clue yourself," I said. "You told me the robbers spoke
the Fuhkien dialect, so I signed all the Fuhkien passes in red ink,
and ordered that every man with one of these was to be searched at the
frontier stations."

"The Tuan was right," cried Cassim. "Every man leaves some trace of his
crime, and I thank the Tuan for proving it to me."

No defence was offered by the prisoners--they had none; and in due
course they were sentenced to ten years' penal servitude each.

Thirteen years afterwards I was Secretary to the Council and Chief of
Police of the international settlement of Kulangsu, in the province of
Fuhkien.

One afternoon I was taking a walk on the mainland, when a Chinaman met
me.

"Tabek, Tuan," he said.

As about a third of the male population of the province have at one
time or another been immigrant coolies in the Malay Peninsula, it was
no uncommon thing to be greeted in that language.

I returned his salutation, and was passing on, when he stopped and
said:--

"Does not the Tuan remember me?"

"No, I can't say I do," I answered. "Where did you know me?"

"In Sungei Ujong. Does not the Tuan recollect a gang robbery at Towkay
Ah Sing's, when one of the Towkay's coolies was stabbed? The gang was
caught, and each man got ten years in jail."

"Yes, of course I remember it," I told him; "but what do you know about
it?"

"I was one of the robbers, Tuan. The Tuan saw me every day in the jail
for four years. I was put to mat-making."

"Oh, you were, were you?" I said. "Well, I hope you have given up gang
robbery now?"

He grinned.

"By the by," I continued, "there was another gang robbery committed
close to Ah Sing's and only two days before it. Did you ever hear
anything about that?"

[Illustration: THE "MALE" AND "FEMALE" KRISES REFERRED TO IN THIS
STORY.]

"Suppose the Tuan found out who did it, would he have the men
arrested?" he asked.

"It was so long ago that even if I found out it would probably be
impossible to get up a case, for it would now be only hearsay evidence.
No; I don't think I would do anything."

"We committed that robbery also, Tuan," he said.

At one time or another most people have gone in for collecting things;
for twenty years my hobby was savage weapons. My Malay sergeant-major
took a keen interest--or, with his innate courtesy, pretended to do
so--in my collection, and I owe many of the weapons I have to him. Many
of them have curious histories, but none more so than that connected
with two Booghis krises.

Under our paternal rule the Malay is not allowed to wear his kris.
He has a keen sense of his own dignity, and he wore his kris, as our
ancestors did their swords, to uphold it. The resenting of an insult by
the shedding of blood being contrary to our modern ideas, however, we
disarmed him.

One day Sergeant-Major Etot brought before me a man who had been
arrested for carrying a kris. He was an ordinary-looking Malay, but
he had a deep scar across one side of his face, from the nose nearly
to his ear. He said he was a Booghis, and that his tribe lived in the
interior of Sumatra; that he had only the day before arrived from
there, and did not know he was not allowed to wear his kris.

The sergeant-major showed me the kris, and said he had never seen one
quite like it before; he had questioned the man about it, and he had
told him that the Booghis had two kinds of krises only, which they
named the "male" and the "female," which were very similar to each
other, having but a slight difference.

The man in question was wearing a "male" kris. I asked him if any
distinction was made as to who wore either weapon, and he said that the
wearing of the "male" kris was dependent on a man's valour--in other
words, I take it, the number of people he had disposed of. It seemed
somewhat hard on him, a stranger, to be deprived of his weapon when he
did not know he was committing an offence by wearing it, so I gave him
a dollar for it.

"If you come back to this country," I said, "bring a 'female' kris, and
I will buy it from you."

Some two years later I was sitting in my office one morning when I
heard the sergeant-major order the reserve duty men to fall in with
their rifles; half a minute later he appeared before me and reported
that a man had run "amok" in the village, and after killing one man and
wounding two others he had bolted into the jungle.

Now an "amok" is akin to a mad dog, and can only be treated as such.
As soon as the fit has left the man he never offers resistance, but so
long as he is under its influence the only course to pursue is to shoot
him and so stop his murderous career.

"Serve out buckshot to the men," I ordered (we were armed with
Sniders), "and send them into the jungle in pairs to look for him. They
are to take him alive if they can, but if he is still 'gelah' (mad)
they must shoot him. When you have sent them, come down to the village
with me."

When we arrived there we found one man dead, stabbed through the heart;
two others had also been stabbed, but had only received flesh wounds.
No one knew anything about the affair save that a man had suddenly
appeared, had run "amok," and then made for the jungle. No one knew who
he was. I sent the body of the dead man to the hospital to await an
inquest, and the other two to the doctor to have their wounds attended
to.

About a couple of hours later the sergeant-major again appeared in
my office. He was accompanied by a Malay constable, who reported as
follows.

He and another constable had been searching the jungle for the "amok,"
but, not having found any trace of him, set off on their return to
head-quarters. As they were walking along a narrow path in Indian file
he suddenly saw a man dash out and stab his comrade, who was in front
of him, in the neck with a kris. Realizing that he must be the man they
were searching for, he jammed home the breech-block, cocked his rifle,
and let the stranger have the charge of buckshot in the head, dropping
him dead. The wounded policeman died within a minute or two, and,
seeing he could do nothing for him, the survivor returned at once to
report the matter.

[Illustration: "HE SAW A MAN DASH OUT AND STAB HIS COMRADE."]

The sergeant-major and I accompanied him to the spot, and there we saw
a ghastly sight. The unfortunate policeman lay dead, with his carotid
artery severed, while his murderer was sprawled on his face about a
couple of yards away, also dead, half the back of his head blown away.
The sergeant-major turned the man over on to his back, and there,
staring at us, was the Booghis from whom I had got the "male" kris a
couple of years before; there was no mistaking the curious scar right
across one side of his face.

Stooping, the sergeant-major picked up a kris which was lying close to
the man's hand. He eyed it intently for a moment, wiped the blood off,
and then, taking the blade between his thumb and forefinger, he handed
me the hilt.

"The 'female' kris, Tuan," he said, politely.



"Jack Ashore."

+By Albert E. Craft+.

    The airy assurance with which "Jack Ashore" gets into--and out
    of--serious scrapes has become almost proverbial. This story
    describes the adventures which befell a party of British seamen
    who went for a ramble in a Chilian port.


It was in the early months of 1896, and I was an able seaman on
board the ship _Micronesia_, of Liverpool, then lying in the port of
Antofagasta, Chile, where we were discharging a cargo of coals loaded
at Newcastle, New South Wales. A quarter of a mile away was the French
barque, _La Provence_, loading a cargo of saltpetre for Havre.

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR, MR. A. E. CRAFT.

_From a Photograph._]

Amongst our sailors was a Frenchman, and he, being one of our boat's
crew, had made the acquaintance of his countrymen on board the other
ship in his various trips, it being the custom of the captains then in
port to call upon each other and all to go ashore in the one boat. Thus
they benefited by having the full complement of their crew on board to
work cargo--which they had to do in those days, except on the occasion
when their particular boat had to act as ferry.

We had been there something like eight or ten days when part of the
crew of the French ship got the usual twenty-four hours' liberty in
which to go ashore and enjoy themselves.

Liberty day! The one bright day in the weary monotony of a long
sailing-ship voyage--the one day in which, with a month's pay in his
pocket, Jack is as good as his master, when he may eat what he likes,
drink what he likes, do what he likes, so long as he turns up when the
boatswain musters the hands to work after the all-too-short holiday.

So, with the jingling coins burning holes in their pockets, and their
hearts as light as school-boys', they pushed off from their ship. And
we, knowing where they were going, stared moodily across the bay,
longing to be with them.

A diversion occurred, however, when we saw the boat's head swing in our
direction, and a few minutes later range alongside our ship.

Up to our deck climbed the merry Frenchmen, laughing and jabbering
like so many monkeys. Soon they were in animated conversation with
our messmate, "Frenchy," whom we presently discovered, by adroit
questioning, they were persuading to obtain leave from our captain and
go with them.

And he got it, too--minus the month's pay--and immediately set about
rigging himself out in his shore clothes. This did not suit us at
all--at least, some of us. Why should he have leave of absence, and we
not? we asked each other. We would go and ask the captain, too.

The end of it was that we got the desired leave--five of us, Frenchy
making the sixth--but only for the one night. We were given to
understand we must be on board by four bells--six o'clock--next morning
ready to turn to.

"And look here, Craft," was the captain's parting injunction--"no
monkey tricks, mind. I look to you, as leading seaman, for the good
behaviour of the rest. Further, I shall hold you responsible for these
men turning up in the morning, or else"--he shook a warning finger at
me--"not another hour's liberty this voyage for any of you."

Promising obedience--I would have promised anything just then for a run
ashore--we hustled off to prepare ourselves. This did not take long.
Throwing aside our coal-grimed dungarees, we each donned white trousers
and jackets and broad-brimmed straw hats. With these on we felt equal
to the best, happily unconscious of a few small rents, a missing
button, or the fact that the virgin whiteness of our "shore togs" was
marred by many and various stains.

But what about money? For the moment we had forgotten that. True, the
Frenchmen had a month's pay in their pockets, but we had no intention
of sponging upon them. Well, then, we would take some clothing, we
decided. There were numerous places in Antofagasta where we could trade
them. There was old Don Carlos, as he was called, whom we had heard so
much about, and his Jew partner Miguel. Perhaps they were not so black
as they were painted, and we had been told they would buy anything from
a hard-up sailor. For myself, I was the envied possessor of a whole
Australian sovereign, so you may guess my bearing was in accordance
with my wealth.

"Now, then, all aboard!" sang out one of the Frenchmen. Into the boat
we scuttled with our bundles, and, giving way with a will, we soon
covered the stretch of water between the ship and jetty and pulled the
boat alongside, mooring her head and stern.

Not a hundred yards along the quay, who should we come suddenly upon
but Don Carlos and his partner.

"Talk of the old gentleman!" cried someone in the rear. "I shouldn't
wonder if the old sharks haven't been watching us all the while. I bet
you they know we have something to trade."

"Halloa, boys"--Don Carlos's greeting was hearty enough, as was the
hand-shake all round--"going to have a little run round? That's right,
_amigos_; nothing like it. Too much salt water is not good for anybody.
What! no money! Well, now, that's too bad. Got something to sell, have
you? All right, come along to the store and have a drink with me; then
we'll talk business. Come on, now, boys, every one of you. A drink at
my expense!"

For a Chilano he spoke excellent English, with a slight American
intonation and accent, and had a certain geniality of manner which
appealed to the simple minds of the sailors.

Off we sailed, the two Chilanos and myself in the van, and soon arrived
at the "store," a combination of ship-chandler's shop, café, card-room,
and billiard saloon.

Inside, our hosts were the very essence of geniality. They served us
with drinks and cigars--real Havanas at that--telling us to "Drink up,
boys, and have another," until we were unanimous in our verdict that
they were "true blue" and not the unscrupulous sharks we had been led
to believe.

A second drink was served out, and over this Don Carlos and his party
made an inspection of the articles we had for sale.

By a previous arrangement it had been agreed upon that our Frenchy was
to have the entire handling of this part of the programme, not only
because he spoke Chilano like a native, thereby putting a stopper upon
any by-play between the two merchants, but also because we knew him as
a man who could drive a hard bargain.

Therefore, knowing that our interests--and our capital, too, for that
matter--were in safe hands, we just lay back and smoked and drank our
"piscoe," and allowed him to do the haggling. Nor did we take the
slightest interest in the bargaining until our attention was suddenly
arrested by high words and a long, burring curse from our shipmate.
We looked up to see him on his feet, shaking his fist in Don Carlos's
face--which was as white as the Frenchy's was red--and talking thirteen
to the dozen.

The volubility and the rapidity with which he delivered himself were
simply marvellous. We could for the time being simply sit still and
gape at him, open-mouthed and wondering. Such a jargon of sounds, such
a jumble of languages, it would be hard to conceive. First French, next
broken English, and then a mixture of Spanish and Chilano.

At it he went, tacks and sheets, for all he was worth, never giving
the Chilano a chance to open his mouth. And from it all we gathered
that Don Carlos, polished rascal that he was, contended that the drinks
and cigars we had received--free, gratis, and for nothing, as we
thought--were sufficient pay for the "few paltry rags" we had brought
ashore. And he'd be hanged, he said, if he'd pay another cent!

"Gif me six dollars, you shark--zat ees une dollar for each piece of
us," hissed Frenchy; "or I vill, I vill----" He ended up with a mixture
of imprecations, while his fist, thumping upon the table, jarred every
glass upon it.

The Chilano was obdurate. Finding his voice at length, he swore by
all the saints in South America that he would see our man in Jericho,
or some even warmer locality, before he would give him a ha'penny.
Springing to his feet, he ordered us all outside, threatening to call
the _vigilantes_ to shift us if we did not go.

"Gif me ze monai first; gif me ze monai," shouted Frenchy, spluttering
with rage. "Or return to me ze artickeels."

Seeing trouble looming large on the horizon, and remembering the
captain's instructions and my promise, I stepped forward with the
intention of taking it upon myself to come to an amicable settlement.

I was too late, for Frenchy, beside himself with rage, reached forward
and, laying violent hands upon Don Carlos's prominent nose, gave it a
pull that made him squeak like a bos'n's pipe. At the same moment up
jumped old Miguel, who had hitherto remained a silent observer, and
seizing a stout malacca cane, loaded at one end, he brought it down
with a crash on to Frenchy's skull.

[Illustration: "LAYING VIOLENT HANDS UPON DON CARLOS'S PROMINENT NOSE,
HE GAVE IT A PULL."]

This was the signal for what followed. As the unfortunate seaman
toppled to the floor, his face covered with blood, we five
"Micronesias" made a forward rush.

What else could we do? I am peaceably inclined, and would rather run a
mile than fight a minute; but what Englishman could stand by and see a
shipmate keel-hauled for standing up for his rights, without wanting to
know the reason? Good intentions, captain's orders, my promises--they
all blew away like a royal sheet in a breeze.

With a "Come on, boys!" we got right down to business. The table, laden
with glasses, cigars, and bottles, the chairs upon which we had been
seated, as well as other sundries, instantly found a resting-place
against the wall, all in a more or less complete state of dilapidation.
While I and another fellow attended to Miguel and his wildly-swinging
malacca cane, with the intention of rescuing Frenchy, the other three
busied themselves with Don Carlos, who had now been reinforced by his
man-of-all-work--a big, lumbering, evil-faced Chilano.

The Frenchmen from the other ship formed the after-guard. They did not
take any hand in the fight, and for that matter we did not blame them.
Frenchy was our shipmate, not theirs. It was in our interests that he
had got a cracked skull, and so we had a double right to punish his
cowardly assailants.

This, by the way, did not prove a very difficult job. They were cowards
at heart, were these scoundrelly Chilanos. A short, sharp tussle, a
few well-directed blows given with all an Englishman's zest, and we
had Frenchy out of the mêlée, while, with a quick wrench, I possessed
myself of the loaded cane.

A horse-rug in the corner caught my eye, and in a twinkling we had
Frenchy in it and hustled him outside--I, meanwhile, calling off our
men and bidding them make tracks for the boat. As we gained the open
air, and stooped down with our burden so that we might get a better
grip of the improvised stretcher, the man-of-all-work made a flying
leap towards me and, with a savage downward blow, endeavoured to drive
a knife between my shoulder-blades. Only my quickness of movement saved
me. Almost before he could recover himself I had jumped up and caught
him a resounding crack on his figurehead that laid him low. Old Miguel
joined him next with a similar dose. Don Carlos had by this time made a
rapid exit and, running to the corner, was howling vociferously for the
_vigilantes_. But what did I care for _vigilantes_ now? My blood was
fairly up. Into the store I rushed, followed by my shipmates, leaving
the Frenchman to the care of his countrymen, and in less time than it
takes to tell the place was in the most artistic state of wreck you can
well conceive.

Then, triumphant, we marched off--a defiant, victorious squad, tattered
and torn to a degree. For myself, my white coat had gone entirely; a
cotton singlet which I wore was minus an arm, and that which was left
was splashed with blood; my white trousers were torn from the ankle to
the knee, and one of my shoes was missing.

We had not proceeded far, however, before we found that Don Carlos's
howling for the _vigilantes_ was taking effect.

From this street and that figures came running, and swelled a rapidly
growing mob, which followed on our heels, hooting and throwing
missiles. Higher up the street a shout was raised, which cry was taken
up and echoed by the mob. An officer of _vigilantes_, with drawn sword
and bristling moustache, pushed his way through the crowd and called
upon us to halt. Failing to get his way by word of mouth, he started
pricking us in the legs with his sword-point. Hearing me give the order
to "rush him," and seeing in me the man whom he believed to be in
command, he directed his attentions to me. "Halta! halta!" he cried,
peremptorily, but I pushed him aside and marched on. Then a sharp stab
in my leg made me hop. For a moment only did I hesitate, then my back
stiffened, my hand shot forward with the malacca at the first guard,
and with my old R.N.R. drill in my mind I engaged him--his sword to my
cane.

For some time we went at it hammer and tongs, while the crowd stood
back in awestricken amazement. Acting only on the defensive, I warded
off his cuts with a coolness which surprised me later on, but soon a
stinging sensation in the shoulder caused me to change my tactics.
Pressing him hard until an opening presented itself, I brought him to
the ground with a "cut one," delivered with all the force I possessed.

Then came the retreat. Away we flew--the Frenchmen, with our wounded
man, towards the mountains; some of our men up one street, some down
another, while I made a bee-line for the wharf and the boat.

The howling mob behind pursued me hotly. Occasionally I would stop
and shake my cane at them, which had the effect of bringing them to a
momentary halt. Then I was off again.

I don't wonder at their halting when I swung round upon them, for I
must have cut a most awful figure. Blood-stained and ragged, with
the excitement of battle showing in my eyes and face, they must have
thought I was mad, and for the moment I suppose I was.

Soon the wharf hove into view. Out in the bay I could see the lights
of my ship. With beating heart and laboured breath I sped on. Suddenly
someone rushed out at me from a dark corner. For a moment I staggered;
then, as he raced on at my side, I discovered, to my joy, that it was
one of my shipmates.

Another hundred yards and we should be safe. Then, without warning, we
ran straight into the arms of a cordon of _vigilantes_ drawn up in a
semicircle awaiting our approach!

It was all over. Unresistingly we allowed ourselves to be manacled,
and, guarded on either side by half-a-dozen men with shouldered rifles
and fixed bayonets, we were driven off to the "calaboose," two officers
on horseback bringing up the rear of the cavalcade.

Thrown into a cell, where I found my comrades already housed, I had
ample time to meditate upon the events of the last hour or two. I had
been in many a scrape before, but this was the first time I had ever
been on the hither side of prison walls, and now that the excitement
had passed, I fairly recoiled at the disgrace of it.

My head ached, my feet were lacerated, I was dirty, blood-stained,
and nearly naked. I looked around the filthy place, at the no less
filthy Chilanos--our fellow-prisoners, who jeered at us derisively--and
groaned aloud.

Though feeling my position keenly, I was by no means sorry for what
I had done. I had acted, I told myself, just as any other Englishman
would under the circumstances. I had been goaded into it, and the blame
lay with Don Carlos and his rascally compatriot.

Arraigned before the judge the next day we presented a bedraggled
appearance. Through an interpreter the charge was explained to us,
evidence was heard, and the case decided. After we had been removed
we found that the prison-sheet contained the following notice:
"Alberto Crafto, José Essien, Juan Andres, Carlos Parko, Tomaso Mahan,
twenty-five days' imprisonment each." The Frenchmen were not in
it--they had apparently got clear away to the hills.

[Illustration: "I BROUGHT HIM TO THE GROUND WITH A 'CUT ONE,' DELIVERED
WITH ALL THE FORCE I POSSESSED."]

Prison life was not so bad, save for the taint and the vile companions
amongst whom we were thrown. We were fairly well treated and fed, had
plenty of outdoor recreation, and labour of any description was never
asked of one.

This last was the thing which preyed upon me. I like being busy at any
time, besides, the enforced idleness left too much time for unwholesome
thinking.

At length I asked permission to work. "What can you do?" questioned the
Commandante. "Do? Anything!" I told him. "Mend a roof, make a chair, do
joiner work, paint----"

"Paint, ah!" he cried--some idea had evidently struck him. "Well, I
will think of it."

The end of it was that I was given the job to paint the office at which
ships received pratique. This office stood on the wharf adjacent to the
landing-place. It was a building constructed of inch-and-a-half deal
planking, and consisted of two rooms. I was also given tools with which
to do a little repairing.

Nothing could possibly have suited me better. The moment I entered it I
thought: "Here is my chance of escape!" A thin, wooden floor, a rickety
old wharf, and beneath that the water and safety--I could not have
wished for anything better.

Each morning I was escorted to the office by two _vigilantes_, who
locked the door upon me and immediately went off, returning only to
give me my midday meal, and later to escort me back to prison.

An hour after being left alone I had weighed up all the chances.
Another went by, and by dint of strenuous exertions I had made a very
fair show of painting on one of the walls--this in case of any undue
inquisitiveness.

Next I found a suitable place, away from observation, at a point where
the floor was covered with reed matting, and began, carefully and
noiselessly, cutting through the planks.

Between times I showed myself at the one window in case anyone should
be spying; then I would do a little painting and hammering, but I
always returned to my chief objective--sawing my way through to the
water.

Using every precaution--covering up and disposing of even the minutest
particle of sawdust--always on the alert, and working like a Trojan
whenever my jailers were expected, I made such good progress that by
the third morning a hole large enough to permit of my body passing had
been cut through the twelve-inch deals of the jetty, the pieces which
I had cut out being carefully stowed in the space between the floor of
the office and the jetty. The way of escape was open!

The only thing that bothered me was that I should be compelled to make
my attempt at escape during the day, as each night, of course, I was
securely locked up in the jail. Well, I should have to risk it. I would
wait until the hour after noon, I decided, when the greater percentage
of these indolent Chilanos indulged in their siesta. It was a hundred
to one chance against my being discovered, and as I had been taking
risks all along, there was no reason why I should shirk them now.

Noon came, and with it my dinner. My hand must have trembled as I took
the dish from the _vigilante's_ hand, for he calmly walked within a
yard of the hole in the floor! Certainly I felt my face pale with
suppressed emotion and fear.

He looked sharply at me. "Usted malo?" (you sick) he asked. I shook my
head, and, apparently satisfied, the man turned on his heel and left.

Hastily swallowing a few mouthfuls of food, I waited, with what
patience I could, for the time I had fixed upon for my escape. In this,
fortune favoured me. It was a stifling, suffocating day, with not a
breath of air stirring. The populace seemed even more eager than usual
to seek the shelter of their verandas, while the boatmen and quay
loiterers retreated to the comparative coolness of the shaded alameda.

A little while longer and only an occasional straggler disturbed the
stillness of the sleepy quayside. Then I knew the time had come.

Carefully, yet quickly, I slipped through the hole in the floor, and,
hanging on to the beams overhead, pulled the matting over the cavity.
Though my heart beat fast with trepidation, I could not repress a grim
chuckle at the thought of the consternation of my jailer when he found
me gone. Then I dropped silently into the water.

It was only a few yards to the nearest boat. Reaching it, I clambered
cautiously over the gunwale and lay flat in the bottom. Barely allowing
myself time to regain my breath, and inwardly congratulating myself
upon my success, I raised my body with the intention of casting off the
painter. Then a heavy hand fell upon my shoulder, and a guttural voice
spoke a short, sharp command.

It was a _vigilante_! Under an awning in the next boat he had sought
relief from the fierce heat, and the gentle bumping of my craft against
his had awakened him. And now I had been recaptured, just when victory
seemed within my grasp!

Back to the prison I was marched, being informed that thenceforth I
should be kept in close confinement.

Next morning, while communing with my moody thoughts, I was aroused by
heavy footsteps outside. A key grated in the lock, and the Commandante,
with my captain at his side, stepped in.

"Pretty mess this is you've got yourself into!" growled the captain.
"And you are the man I depended upon and held responsible for the good
behaviour of the others! Going around the place like a madman, killing
half-a-dozen police, and wrecking a store--not to speak of the disgrace
you have brought upon yourself and my ship. You deserve all that is
coming to you--and I'll see you get it, too!"

"Very well, sir," I answered, not without a little shame in my voice.
"You have heard what these people have to say against me. But there are
two sides to every story----"

"And my side," interrupted the captain, flicking a paper in my face,
"is that you'll pay this twenty-five dollars fine and come down to the
ship with me at once, where you'll be logged two days' pay for one as a
fitting finish to your holiday."[5]

[5] It is an understood thing--perhaps an unwritten law--that when a
seaman is sentenced to imprisonment in a foreign port as the result
of a "flare-up," the captain of his ship can, with the aid of the
Consul, pay any fine imposed, thereby claiming the man's discharge and
immediate removal to his vessel. The fine, with the further forfeiture
of the two days' pay claimed for every one absent from duty, is then
deducted from the seaman's pay at the end of the voyage.--+The Author+.

So, one way and another, we paid pretty dearly for our little trip
ashore at Antofagasta.



A Daring Voyage Down the Grand Canyon.

+By David Allen+.

    An account of the unique feat accomplished by two intrepid
    miners who, in frail row-boats, made a trip which has never
    before been performed in its entirety by water--a voyage down
    the rock-strewn torrent of the Colorado River, where it burrows
    thousands of feet below the surface of the earth in a series
    of tremendous gorges, the most famous of which is the Grand
    Canyon. Time and again the two men faced death in the boiling
    rapids, but eventually they emerged in safety after a journey
    of seven hundred and fifty miles, lasting over three months.


Everybody has heard of Niagara Falls and the terrible rapids which the
tortured waters of the river form below the great cascade.

The Niagara, however, is a mere creek in size compared with another
American stream, the Colorado, which may well be called a river of
mystery, partly because of the strange region through which it passes,
and partly because so little is known about it. Unlike the Niagara,
the Colorado is far away from civilization. Making its devious way
through inaccessible mountains and arid deserts, very few human beings
live near it. But the Colorado flows _under_ the earth rather than on
the top; for hundreds of miles it rushes through vast gorges thousands
of feet in depth. The greatest gorge of all is well called the Grand
Canyon of the Colorado.

The Grand Canyon, however, is only one of a series of mighty clefts in
which the river has literally buried itself. The bottoms are so rugged,
so strewn with great rocks and boulders, that only in a few places does
the current flow smoothly. For miles and miles the surface of the water
is a mass of foaming wave-tops, tossed ceaselessly to and fro amid the
rocky obstructions, forming currents and fierce eddies beside which the
famous Niagara whirlpool seems insignificant.

There are places where the surface of the Colorado is seven thousand
five hundred feet below the brink of the gorge, and at nearly every
point it is close on six thousand feet. Looking across from one edge
of the canyon to the other, the distance seems to the novice to be two
miles. Say so to one of the guides or trailsmen and he may smile; for
at Bright Angel trail the width is no less than thirteen miles, while
the tourist who stands on the brink at Grand View and looks directly
across covers with the glance a distance of eighteen miles. The eye is
indeed deceptive here, for if you descend to what is known as the top
of the inner gorge and look down upon the river the Colorado appears to
be a muddy creek twenty or twenty-five feet wide. But these black walls
of granite, which descend almost vertically from the place where you
stand, are actually four times the height of Niagara's famous gorge,
being nearly fourteen hundred feet sheer, and the river itself is over
a hundred and fifty feet wide.

Yet, spite of its fierce current and deadly, rock-strewn rapids, men
have dared to attempt to float down this semi-subterranean river in
boats. They have tried it, but only two such adventurers can say that
they did it successfully, and can prove their story by photographs.
These men, who have accomplished a feat that seemed to be impossible,
are Charles Russell and E. R. Monett, two American gold-miners. Away
back in 1869 the famous explorer Powell tried to navigate the river
with an expedition consisting of four boats and eight men, but most of
the boats were wrecked long before the end of the gorges was reached,
and in several places they dared not trust to the waters, but carried
their craft bodily round the dangerous passages. Twenty years after
Major Powell made the attempt Stanton, another explorer, tried it with
three boats and twelve men, but his party did not complete the journey
by water. Since then several other expeditions have risked their lives;
and in some cases men have gone into those grim and gloomy gorges and
never been heard of again.

Russell and Monett expected to have a companion named Loper in their
adventure, but, as will be noted, Loper met with such disaster early in
the trip that he left them. How the trio conceived the daring exploit
is worth the telling. The plan, according to Russell, originated
several years ago in the mind of Russell's companion, Loper, while the
two men were working in a mine at Cripple Creek. In 1893 Loper had
been attracted to the San Juan River, a tributary of the Colorado,
in South-Eastern Utah, by the excitement created by the discovery of
placer gold there. He had never forgotten his experiences, and confided
to Russell his belief that the Grand Canyon of the Colorado offered
proportionately greater chances of much richer placer mining. The
two men planned to make their start in the spring of 1900, but the
dangers and almost insurmountable difficulties of the task they had so
lightly undertaken slowly became apparent to them, and they finally
decided to wait until they were properly equipped in point of money and
information. At the outset they found they must get at least one more
companion if they were to be successful--and four men were preferable
to three. According to Russell, their eight years' search for a partner
disclosed no individual with the necessary qualifications who was
willing to make the trip.

[Illustration: LOOKING DOWN UPON THE COLORADO FROM THE TOP PF THE
"INNER GORGE"--THE CLIFFS ARE NEARLY FOURTEEN HUNDRED FEET SHEER AND
THE RIVER IS A HUNDRED AND FIFTY FEET WIDE.

_From a Photograph._]

Consequently, it was not until April, 1907, that their long-laid plans
began to materialize. Loper met Monett--a boy in appearance, not
seemingly strong and unusually quiet--at the Mohawk Mine in Goldfield.
But that Monett was not young--in courage, at least--and not as weak
as a casual glance revealed, was presently evidenced when the young
man expressed not only a willingness to share the dangers of the trip
with the other two, but urged as proof of his strength his work in the
mines--a daily physical test calling for no little endurance. Loper
notified Russell, then foreman of a mine near Prescott, that the third
man had at last been found, and a meeting was arranged for Green River,
Utah, early in September. To this point were shipped the row-boats
Russell and Loper had determined to pin their faith to, together with a
three months' supply of provisions.

Realizing that the loss of the boats meant failure and perhaps loss of
life, the explorers took great care to secure suitable craft. They were
designed to be light yet strong, each large enough to hold one man in
addition to the food and clothing composing his outfit. Each boat was
sixteen feet long, with steel ribs, covered with a tough wooden "skin,"
which was still further protected by a covering of stout canvas. To
prevent them being swamped in the boiling rapids, the boats were
covered with decks made of steel sheets, carefully riveted together
so that the joints would be water-tight. A hole just large enough to
admit a man's body was left in the centre, and when the voyager took
his seat at the oars flaps of heavy cloth were stretched around his
body extending to the edges of the cavity. Each craft had a reservoir
full of air built into either end, like a lifeboat, to give it more
buoyancy. The little fleet bore the names of _Arizona_, _Utah_, and
_Nevada_, the respective States from which the intrepid trio hailed.

[Illustration: RAPIDS IN THE CANYON--AT ONE POINT THERE ARE FIFTY-SEVEN
RAPIDS TO BE NEGOTIATED IN QUICK SUCCESSION, SOME WITH FALLS TWENTY
FEET HIGH!

_From a Photo. by Fred Harvey._]

On the Green River in Utah, one of the sources of the Colorado, the men
launched their craft and began their strange voyage. They were four
days in reaching the Colorado, having to travel about a hundred and
twenty-five miles. It was not difficult to tell when the Colorado was
reached, for almost immediately they plunged into what is known as the
Little Cataract Canyon, where the smooth waters abruptly ended. For
forty-one miles they were swirled and thrown about in the grip of angry
currents. Luckily Russell and Monett came out safely, but Loper came to
grief. Their experience is thus described by Russell:--

"The rapids presented a terrifying appearance, the rushing, roaring
water, beaten into foam as it plunged over the rocks, rolling in waves
five to ten feet high at the foot. These extended for a hundred yards
and more before they became quieter, and ended in swirling whirlpools.
Hardly does the water quiet down when it takes another plunge, so close
are the rapids together. This was my first experience in shooting
rapids. I seemed to go very slowly until quite near the brink, when
my speed was suddenly accelerated and over I plunged, the boat taking
a stiff angle downward as she went over, only to rise abruptly as
she climbed the next wave. Then came another pitch downward for the
succeeding billow, but this she did not climb. The wave combed back
fiercely, and the stern end of the boat plunged under, the water almost
taking my breath away as it swept clear across the boat. She rose
nicely, however, and came out on top of the next one easily. We were
soon through the worst part, and pulled into the eddy.

"Before long we entered upon the worst part of this canyon. Rapids
Fourteen, Fifteen, and Sixteen are so close together that they must be
run without stopping, as there is practically no quiet water between
them; and so rocky is No. Sixteen that it seems impossible to get
through at all. Loper proposed to run it with his boat, the _Arizona_,
while we watched the result. He handled the craft very dexterously,
being an excellent oarsman, and was successful in striking the only
place in Rapid Sixteen that a boat could pass through. But even here
the current dashed hard against a huge rock, taking a vertical drop of
four or five feet off one side. Loper found it impossible to keep the
boat away from this boulder and she was swept heavily against it. She
turned almost on end, but luckily the water was deep and she came up
like a fish. After seeing Loper's experience Monett and myself were
fearful of our ability to get through, and Loper bravely volunteered
to bring our boats through, which feat he accomplished in safety."

[Illustration: "SHE TURNED ALMOST ON END."]

When they had pulled themselves together and looked over the little
fleet it was found that Loper's boat had been unfitted for further
service by the collision with the rock, and the greater part of his
supplies lost. After a consultation it was decided that the others
should leave their unfortunate partner at a little settlement just
below the cataract and proceed. Russell and Monett, pushing ahead,
put in many days prospecting along the shores of Glen Canyon. They
waited for Loper at Lee's Ferry, a Mormon settlement, more than twice
as long as the time agreed upon. Then, as there were no signs of him,
they determined to go on without him. Friday, the 13th of the month,
had no terrors for the intrepid pair, and they started off down the
river on the morning of that day, with the Marble Canyon acting as an
introduction to the Grand Canyon below. In dwelling on this stage of
their journey Russell seemed to lose sight entirely of the remarkable
nerve both men showed in going through what is admittedly the wildest
part of the river without the third companion who, at the outset, had
seemed absolutely indispensable to the successful accomplishment of the
trip. In seven days they had passed the length of the roaring stream
through the perpendicular walls of Marble Canyon, towering up on either
side to an average height of three thousand feet, and had come safely
through the worst rapids up to that point. At one place there were
fifty-seven rapids to be negotiated in quick succession, some of them
having falls from sixteen to twenty feet deep.

[Illustration: THE SURVIVING BOAT IN A QUIET STRETCH OF THE CANYON.

_From a Photo. by Fred Harvey._]

Entering the Grand Canyon, for the first fifteen miles below the
entrance of the Little Colorado they found the water comparatively
quiet. From this point onwards they found, however, their way was
threatened by the worst falls they had thus far met. But the good
luck which had attended them from the start still prevailed, and they
managed to force their way without damage to either boat down over
the almost continuous cataracts. Christmas found them only fifteen
miles above Bright Angel trail. In describing the manner in which
they celebrated the great day, Russell remarked, casually, that they
certainly hung up their stockings--to dry. From beginning to end of
their journey the adventurers had been obliged to depend for fuel
entirely on such driftwood as they could find lodged in eddies and on
the rocky shores. They spent more than one night in clothes soaked
through with the icy water of the Colorado, with no fire to warm
them. Their Christmas camp, however, was on a narrow strip of sand,
with a greater supply of driftwood at hand than they had found at
any point along the river. Immediately below this camping place, and
continuing for the succeeding ten miles, the river dashes through a
troubled stretch, the most perilous section of which is known as the
"Sockdologer Rapid." To make matters worse, Russell found it impossible
to follow his usual custom of "picking a trail" through these rapids.
When possible the elder man climbed along the precipitous sides of the
canyon beside each cataract, leaving Monett above the rough water in
charge of the two boats. In this manner Russell could observe the most
dangerous places through the rapids, and chart a course accordingly.
But in this ten-mile stretch the granite walls rise sheer and smooth
for the first fifteen hundred feet, and Russell could find no foothold,
so that the men faced the necessity of "shooting" unknown waters.

Russell led the way in his boat, swinging it into the boiling current
stern first--his own method of taking each cataract--making the frail
craft respond to his will when possible by a forward pull on one or the
other of his oars. After the first minute the cockpit in which each man
sat, shut off from the rest of the boat by water-tight compartments,
was filled to the gunwales with icy water, in which the oarsmen were
compelled to remain. The boats dashed through one wave only to plunge
into another. With less than a quarter of a mile still to be covered
before the less vicious water below was reached, Russell heard his
companion cry out in terror from behind, but before he could turn to
ascertain the cause he was driven into smooth water. Mooring his boat
at the foot of the rapids as quickly as possible, Russell half climbed,
half waded, along the shore of the river and made his way back.

Here was disaster indeed! Monett's boat had been thrown by a heavy
wave into a cleft between two jagged rocks. The craft was wedged in
so tightly that he could have done little to release her if she had
been "high and dry," but as it was he was literally a prisoner in
the rushing waters, and how to rescue him was the question to be
answered--and answered quickly. How Russell performed this brave feat
is best told in his own words: "Monett, with his boat wedged tightly
between two rocks, whose tops were about a foot below the sweeping
water, was hanging desperately to the gunwales of the little craft--his
body straightened out horizontally by the rush of the current. The
boat was completely wrecked, but when I threw the rope to him I was
astounded to see the boy carefully work his way closer to the craft and
begin to tie its contents securely to the one means of saving his own
life.

[Illustration: MONETT AND RUSSELL AT BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL, SHOWING HOW
MONETT TRAVELLED AS "DECK PASSENGER."

_From a Photo. by Fred Harvey._]

"So loud was the roar of the rapids that it was useless for me to yell
to him to let the provisions go and save himself. Four times he made
me haul sides of bacon and sacks of beans through the thirty feet of
rushing water between him and the shore, before he finally caught the
rope himself and let me drag him to safety. He had been in the water
more than twenty minutes, and was nearly exhausted when I helped him to
his feet."

The loss of the boat seemed at first to mark the end of their attempt
to equal the record of their predecessors, but Monett insisted that
they should try the plan of carrying him astride on the stern of the
surviving boat. "If we strike too rough water, I can always swing
overboard," he urged, "and we've needed a drag that wouldn't get fouled
in the rocks all along."

So the adventurers continued, Monett managing to keep a grip on the
covered deck while Russell navigated the frail craft through the
foaming torrent, stern first. It was a case of "get out or die," as
they put it afterwards, for they could not possibly scale the black
walls that rose on either side for thousands of feet as sheer as a
stone falls through the air. They might abandon the boat and work their
way up to some rocky shelf, but they stood an excellent chance of
starving if they found farther progress impossible. Thus began one of
the most remarkable exploits in the history of adventure. For several
days they dodged in and out of the rapids, but finally reached the
little stretch of smooth water where the river flows past Bright Angel
trail. At noon one day, about two weeks after the second shipwreck, a
party of tourists were eating their luncheon by the river-side; they
saw two men in one little row-boat swing out of the rapids two hundred
yards up stream and row leisurely toward them. In the thirty years that
tourists have visited the bottom of the canyon at this point, it is
safe to assert that not one ever saw a sight like this. Two horses were
placed at the disposal of the explorers, whose clothes were torn and
soaking wet, while their faces were covered with many weeks' growth of
beard.

They had planned to climb out of the canyon at Bright Angel to send
and receive letters, but they had no intention of remaining here.
With all their provisions now confined to the limited quarters of one
boat, and with other incentives to make them push on with all speed
possible, it was with difficulty that they were persuaded to remain at
the hotel three days. During their stay here they were fêted and made
the heroes of the hour by the guests. Through it all they displayed an
equanimity and unfailing good nature which surprised those who expected
to find these ragged adventurers rather taciturn than talkative. Three
days later the entire community accompanied the two men to the river
edge and bade them an enthusiastic farewell as they pushed off into
midstream and headed down river once more.

[Illustration: THE BOAT EMERGING FROM THE CANYON.

_From a Photo. by Fred Harvey._]

[Illustration: RUSSELL AS HE APPEARED AFTER THE TRIP, WITH THE "FLAG OF
VICTORY" AT THE BOW OF THE BOAT.

_From a Photo. by Fred Harvey._]

Below Bright Angel they had more thrilling experiences, for one of
the ugliest canyons had to be "rushed," as Russell puts it. Here they
went through no fewer than fifteen different rapids in a distance
of twenty-five miles. Several times Monett was torn from the boat
by monster waves, but being an expert swimmer and very strong he
managed to keep himself from being drowned or dashed upon the rocks,
although his escapes were miraculous. At length they emerged from the
last gorge at the little town of Needles, California, where their
appearance excited the utmost astonishment. They had started on the
journey with clean-shaven faces, but their hair and beards had grown
until Russell and Monett looked twenty years older. Their clothing was
stained by exposure to the weather and torn by the rough usage they had
experienced, and they appeared far more like tramps than the heroes
they had proved themselves to be. Well they had earned the right to
hoist the "flag of victory" on their little craft, even though it was
only the remains of a cotton undershirt tied to a pole. During the last
part of the voyage the gunwale of the boat was swung against a ledge
with such force that the steel deck was torn from its fastenings, and,
to lighten the craft and keep her from sinking, they had to pull off
the useless sheets and throw them overboard.

[Illustration: MONETT, WHO MADE THE LAST STAGES OF THE VOYAGE CLINGING
TO THE DECK-PLATES.

_From a Photo. by Fred Harvey._]

During this unique voyage they floated down no less than seven hundred
and fifty miles of the Colorado, traversing over twenty gorges whose
walls ranged from three thousand to seven thousand feet--over a
mile--in height. While the Grand Canyon and its divisions was the
longest of the gorges, extending for three hundred miles, they also
ran the Marble Canyon--a gorge seventy-five miles long. The last abyss
from which they emerged was Black Canyon. At this point they came to
the first settlement of human beings they had found on the banks of the
Colorado since leaving Lee's Ferry over three months before, for the
Bright Angel trail is several miles away from any dwelling.

The men say that they were able to accomplish their exploit only by
doing the exact opposite from what a boatman usually does. They let
their boats go stern first down stream instead of bow first, and pulled
their oars against the current. In other words, they kept rowing away
from their destination, and up instead of down river. They followed
this plan because, as Russell said, it enabled them to see where they
were going. The current and rapids propelled the boats so swiftly that
they merely used the oars for steering. Thus they avoided rocks and
points on shore upon which the craft would otherwise have struck and
been battered to pieces.

[Illustration: THE BOAT AND HER CREW AFTER THE VOYAGE.

_From a Photograph._]



A Romance of Two Islands.

+By Frederic Lees+.

    That romance, such as the writer of fiction is alone thought
    capable of producing, often lies hidden in family records is
    strikingly borne out by the following story of adventure. The
    author recently came into possession of a bundle of letters
    written from the West Coast of Africa in 1844 and 1845 by his
    paternal great-grandfather, and from these, combined with
    details handed down from father to son, he has put together
    this interesting narrative. Fierce fighting and foul play on
    sea and land is the subject; the scene, the Islands of Ichaboe
    and St. Helena; the time, the early years of the reign of Queen
    Victoria, when, as the reader will see from the dangers run by
    the hero of the story, the early pioneers of British commerce
    were brought face to face with difficulties and perils which
    are now almost unknown.


II.

In spite of what had happened, Captain Jasper Ivory, much to
everybody's astonishment, remained in the roadstead. With a twelve
months' interdiction against his name, all chance of getting a pit
or stage before the guano was exhausted was gone. Yet the _Gurango_
and the _Florentia_ stopped where they were, their owner professing
himself to be occupied with the purchase of cargoes in view of a rise
in prices. Few people, however, were deceived, for at the same time
that he carried on these very speculative transactions he was making
himself conspicuous by his overtures of friendship to certain members
of the committee, who after a few weeks' cajoling he so far won over
as to persuade them to propose a remission of part of his sentence.
But Joseph Lees and other magistrates would not hear of this, since it
would have been, as the chairman said when the matter was discussed, "a
fatal proof of weakness on their part, above all in the case of such a
man as Ivory, who would simply take advantage of it to obtain further
concessions and favours, to which--as a man who had nearly been caught
in the act of crime--he was certainly not entitled." It was rumoured
that Captain Jasper was extremely angry on hearing the committee's
decision, but he nevertheless continued his habitual policy of outward
friendliness to all men.

Early in September, shortly after the above-mentioned meeting, Joseph
Lees fell ill. The symptoms of his malady were peculiar, and as they
baffled the skill of no fewer than three doctors, it will be as
well to enumerate them. Taking up a book one evening, just before
retiring to rest, he was amazed to discover that he had suddenly
become short-sighted. As his eyesight had hitherto been perfect, he
attributed the phenomenon to fatigue and the glaring sun to which he
had been exposed all day, and decided to forego his reading and to at
once retire for the night. On awaking next morning he was relieved to
find that his sight was again normal. Shortly after noon, however, the
focus of his eyes again changed; then, as before, there was a return
to the normal state. These intervals of shortsightedness recurred with
distressing regularity for a week or ten days, at the end of which
time Lees called in the doctor who had accompanied him from England.
General physical debility, occasioned by living under bad conditions,
was pronounced to be the root of the ill, which would quickly disappear
if combated with a bottle of port, a generous allowance of nourishing
victuals, and a few days' rest in purer air. Remaining on board the
_Elora_ instead of going on to the island to superintend the loading
of the boats, the patient tried this treatment for a week. Far from
improving, however, he rapidly became worse, much to the alarm of the
doctor--a young and nervous man, as he proved himself to be by losing
his head and proposing a consultation with a brother practitioner.
Putting their wise heads together, the two doctors found that the
supercargo's stomach was at fault, so they prescribed croton oil and
a low diet. Other peculiar features of his ailment now began to make
their appearance. He experienced a difficulty in breathing; at times
his eyes brimmed over with tears, though he felt none of the feelings
that usually accompany them. Weakness, too, set in, and after six
weeks of lying on his back, he was afflicted with twitchings of the
facial muscles. By this time a third doctor was in attendance. But he
confessed to his colleagues that he had never seen such a peculiar case
before, and argued that Lees must be suffering from some blood disease,
combined with a nervous ailment, both of which, he suggested, might be
endemic in that part of the world.

"Let us try mercury," he said. "I have known it effect wonderful cures.
And to show that I do not disregard your remedy, which has also many
virtues, we will give him occasional doses of croton oil as well."

The ignorance of these three doctors brought Lees to death's door. By
the beginning of September he was reduced to such a state of weakness
that he had to have assistance if he wished to leave his cabin, where
he lay for hours at a time in a semi-paralyzed state. His brain, he
noticed, continued its functions, but his body began to lose its
sensibility to pain. At last he made up his mind to have done with his
medical attendants and their physics and try a régime of his own.

"I have the most heartrending tidings to communicate," he wrote on
December 5th to his son. "I am a dying man, and the chances are if I
ever leave this place and reach England, though I implore God to spare
me to see my family and arrange my affairs. But, notwithstanding, His
will be done. I am resigned."

Feeling no longer able to direct the affairs of Ichaboe, and fearing
that troubles would sooner or later once more break out, Lees
communicated with the authorities at St. Helena. The result was the
return of H.M.S. _Thunderbolt_, which brought not only a certainty that
disturbers of the peace would be held in check--a great relief to the
supercargo's mind--but also a first-rate ship's doctor, who was to play
an important part in this history.

"We must see what Alexander Maxwell can do for you," said the captain
of the man-of-war, when, half an hour after his arrival off the island,
he called on the chairman of the committee. "He's one of the best
doctors in the Royal Navy, without a doubt. If anyone can pull you
through--and a man of your build and constitution, Lees, isn't going to
be bowled over yet--he will. So as soon as I get back, I'll send him
over to you."

A quarter of an hour later, Dr. Maxwell, a man of close on forty, with
a broad, high forehead, was sitting by the sick man's side, feeling his
pulse, questioning him as to his sensations, and learning the history
of the case from its very beginning. His knitted brow and the intent
manner in which he watched his patient's face showed that he was keenly
interested, if not a little puzzled.

"There, now, Mr. Lees, that will do for the present, thank you," he
said after a few minutes. "You mustn't fatigue yourself by too much
talking. I'm going to leave you for half an hour or so. I'll bring you
a bottle of something to relieve that shortsightedness--something a
little pleasanter than mercury and croton oil."

And as he closed the cabin door behind him, Captain Graham, who was
present at the consultation, heard him murmur: "Mercury and croton oil
indeed! The dunderheads, not to think of belladonna!"

Dr. Maxwell, unlike the three incompetent medical men who had already
treated the supercargo, had kept pace with scientific research, and
was acquainted with the action not only of deadly-nightshade but of
other less-known poisons, to one of which he knew his remedy was a
counteractive. As a matter of fact, he was strongly suspicious that his
patient's complaint was not due to natural causes, though as yet he
could not understand how it could have its origin in artificial ones.

A few hours later Dr. Maxwell, once more by Lees' side, was in
possession of one of those facts which tell so much to the scientific
mind. The physiological action of belladonna, following on another
agent whose effects were opposite in character, had revealed the secret.

"Exactly as I thought!" he exclaimed, when he had finished his
examination of the patient. "You'll be as right as a trivet in three
months or so from now. Good food and fresh air are what you want. Your
case, my good sir, is one in which I can approve of Macbeth's advice
to 'throw physic to the dogs.' By the by, captain," turning towards
Graham, "would you kindly close the door, so that there'll be no fear
of our being overheard? I should like to have a little conversation
with Mr. Lees and yourself."

Wondering as to what was coming, Captain Graham did as he was asked,
and drew a chair up to the side of the bunk.

"Now, Mr. Lees," began the doctor, "at the risk of fatiguing you I
want all your attention for a few minutes whilst I put several very
important questions to you. This is a most serious matter, and the
sooner we act the better. Would you tell me, please, if you have any
enemies either on board this ship or in the roadstead of Ichaboe?"

"Not a few, I imagine, in the roadstead, but on the _Elora_ I should
say certainly not," replied the supercargo, in a low voice. "My
position as chairman of the committee has naturally not contributed
to popularity amongst the savages of these parts, and I could name
at least five or six of the guano thieves who wish I'd never come to
Ichaboe, and who certainly wouldn't be sorry to see the last of me."

"Particularly Captain Ivory, eh? From what I've been told he's the sort
of man who would stick at nothing. But what I should like to know is
this: What motive could he have for poisoning you, and, presuming that
he's the instigator of this crime, who is his accomplice?"

[Illustration: "I DON'T MERELY SUSPECT IT, MY DEAR SIR--I KNOW IT."]

"_Poisoning_ me, doctor?" said the sick man in astonishment, raising
himself on his elbow and gazing at Maxwell with something of the old
fire in his eyes. "Do you really suspect that my illness is due to a
criminal hand?"

"I don't merely suspect it, my dear sir--I _know_ it. I suspected it
when I first saw you, but I'm certain now. You've been systematically
poisoned for several months past, and not solely by mercury and croton
oil, but by Calabar bean as well. We may, a little later, if we can get
hold of some of the poison, be able to prove our statement by analysis.
Meanwhile, we know we've got hold of the truth, and what we've got to
do is to find out the person or persons who have had a hand in this
affair."

"Then you may make up your mind, doctor, that it's Jasper who's done
it," affirmed Captain Graham, emphatically. "Poison's exactly the sort
o' weapon he'd use, the double-faced, smooth-tongued villain that he
is."

"I grant you, captain, that he's all that, and much more besides,
perhaps. But before we fix this crime upon him we've to discover first
what motive he could have in committing it; and, secondly, what means
he adopted."

"Not much difficulty in assignin' a motive when we recall the ambuscade
and its subsequent effects," returned Graham. "Twelve months'
interdict against his name; checkmated aboard his own ship, if you
please, and unable, ever since that day, to get the least sympathy from
our gallant chairman here, though Jasper's friends tried their hardest
in committee. But you'll have to hear the whole story, doctor, 'fore
you can understand right, so by your leave and Mr. Lees' I'll spin you
the yarn from the beginnin'."

Captain Graham gave a rapid account of the events of the past four
months, and concluded with the remark:--

"Seems to me the business fairly bristles with motives. What beats
me, though, is the question of his accomplice, seein' as there ain't
more than five or six of us who have entered this cabin regular-like;
and I've never thought o' lookin' to find a traitor among the crew o'
the _Elora_. I could have taken my davy there wasn't a dishonest man
aboard."

"I shall be inclined to say that Ivory is guilty, if only we can find
the link between him and this ship," said Maxwell at last. "You have
had your meals, I understand, almost invariably alone, Mr. Lees. By
whom were they prepared and served?"

"By Daniel White, the steward."

"A man--I take it from Captain Graham--who has nothing against his
character?"

"Came to me two years ago with a clean score," chimed in the captain of
the _Elora_, "and I ain't had no fault to find with 'im since. 'Honest
Daniel' he's called, too, by the crew."

"He has certainly shown the greatest attention to me during my illness;
has been thoughtful and obliging in the extreme," said the supercargo.
"Yet it seems to me, captain," he added, after a thoughtful pause,
"that my memory is still better than yours. Don't you remember the
conversation we had in your cabin in July on the subject of the thefts?
or is it merely the fancy of a poor brain that has had much to bear
these last three months?"

"Conversation in July, in my cabin, about thefts?" repeated the
captain, slowly and thoughtfully. "Well, now you mention it, I do. But
I fail to see its connection."

He stopped, deep in thought, his eyes fixed on the invalid's white
face. A momentary pause ensued, then, recollecting himself, he gave his
thigh a mighty smack with his horny hand, and exclaimed:--

"By Jove, but I do, though! You're right, sir, you're right! What a
lubber I've been to forget that Daniel White said he'd known Jasper
Ivory at Bristol, an' that he claimed a knowledge o' some o' his
ships! The whole thing comes back to me now. White told one o' the
sailors about his changin' the names of his ships fro' time to time;
and Baines, who heard the yarn, told me. Mebbe we'd better hear it
again from the second mate's own lips to be certain, though it strikes
me circumstances are sufficiently suspicious to warrant our clapping
Daniel White into irons at once."

"They are, indeed, captain," said the doctor, in his coolest
professional manner; "but, by your leave--and you are, of course,
master on board your own ship--we will do nothing in a hurry. We've got
to prove our case beyond dispute by obtaining possession of some of the
poison, which, if we take care not to arouse suspicion, will doubtless
be again administered, probably in the drinking water, since Eserine,
the noxious element of Calabar bean, is tasteless in solution. Then,
we mustn't forget that there are two criminals who have had a hand in
this affair, and that a too hasty action on our part might result in
the principal one escaping. No; let us be content for the time being
to keep an eye on this pretty steward of yours. And now, Mr. Lees,"
turning to the sick man, who, overcome with excitement, was lying in
his berth with closed eyes, "I will leave you until to-morrow in the
good hands of Captain Graham."

Almost on the very day predicted by the doctor Joseph Lees was able to
put his feet to the ground and sit up for two or three hours in his
chair. Dr. Maxwell and Captain Graham were once more with him, talking
over the events of the past week and discussing future plans. For
several unexpected things had happened since the day on which it was
discovered that an attempt had been made on the supercargo's life, and
one of these--the disappearance of Daniel White--had completely altered
their plan of campaign. The steward, who had evidently taken alarm at
the doctor's repeated visits, the presence of the _Thunderbolt_, and
the guard that was placed upon Lees' food and drink, had escaped down
a rope and, unperceived by the watch until it was too late to hope to
be able to put a bullet through him, had swum out to one of Ivory's
ships, one of which--the _Florentia_, in all probability, since it was
no longer in the roadstead when morning came--had taken him on board.

"Fate has certainly been against us," said the doctor, "and I'm sorry,
captain, that I didn't follow your suggestion to take the fellow into
custody whilst we had the chance. From the point of view of a case
against Jasper Ivory, my blunder, unfortunately, has had disastrous
consequences. There's a moral certainty he was the instigator of the
crime, but without our hands on Daniel White's collar we cannot bring
forward anything that would lead to the conviction of the captain of
the _Gurango_. With the plea of absolute ignorance as to the very
existence of this steward, he would be acquitted without a doubt."

"You're the last man in the world, doctor, who needs to reproach
himself," responded Captain Graham. "You did the main thing, after all,
when you arrested the assassin's hand. But for you Mr. Lees would have
been takin' a longer voyage than from 'ere to the old country. And we
sha'n't be long now afore we sails, thank goodness."

"The sooner you wind up your affairs and get away from the stench
of Ichaboe the better for both of you," said Dr. Maxwell. "I should
strongly advise you, Mr. Lees, to touch at St. Helena on your way
home. The air there is particularly bracing, and a fortnight's sojourn
will put new life into you. Indeed, the climate is so favourable to
convalescents that some of my patients----"

The doctor's sentence was at this moment broken off short by the
appearance of the second mate in the open doorway.

"Beg pardon for interrupting you, gentlemen," he said, "but Captain
Ivory is here and would like to speak with Mr. Lees for a few minutes."

Before either Captain Graham or the supercargo had time to protest
against his impertinent intrusion, the captain of the _Gurango_, with
all his old assurance, had brushed past Baines and was advancing into
the cabin.

"Good morning, captain; good morning, gentlemen all," he said briskly,
and with a nod to each. "Very glad to see, Mr. Chairman, that you
are on the high road to recovery. Mackenzie told me yesterday that
you'd been making great progress lately, so I thought I'd come round
and have a chat with you before you sailed, which I gather from him
you'll be doing very shortly. You're a lucky man to be able to get from
this wretched place--with your fortune made, I warrant, but a very
unpleasant recollection, withal, of the infernal climate."

For several moments, which seemed an eternity of time, so dead was the
silence, no one replied. The three men--a little taken aback at Ivory's
audacity--gazed at him with frankly hostile eyes. The first to speak
was Dr. Maxwell, in slowly pronounced phrases, as keen as a lancet:--

"In saying that my patient is a lucky man in being able to get away
from Ichaboe, you never spoke truer words in your life, Jasper
Ivory. But you are wrong if you imagine that we are such ignoramuses
as to attribute his illness to what you are pleased to call the
infernal climate. Infernal climate, forsooth! But I am forgetting
that you are a layman, liable, now and then, to express yourself
inaccurately, and, of course, totally ignorant in the matter of
diseases or drugs--particularly poisons. I may tell you, therefore,
that the initial cause of Mr. Lees' malady has been traced to one of
the precious pack of rascals whom he had to keep in order here. I
suppose a simple seaman like you has never seen any seeds like these
before? I found them in the locker of Daniel White, late steward of the
_Elora_--a man who, curiously enough, was an old friend of yours."

The doctor, as he said these words, took a number of claret-coloured
seeds out of his waist-coat pocket and held them out on the palm of
his hand for Captain Ivory's inspection, closely watching his face the
while. But not a muscle moved; and it was with absolute control over
both voice and features that Jasper replied, nonchalantly:--

"What a beautiful colour! And what may be the name of those pretty
things, doctor? I rely on your superior knowledge, which appears to
cover a wider field than science, since you've just made me the friend
of a man of whom I've never heard in my life."

"We scientists call them the seeds of _Physostigma venenosum_; but
they are known amongst you sailors as Calabar beans. Considering that
there isn't a mariner cruising on the West Coast of Africa who doesn't
know them, your education appears to have been singularly neglected.
However, Daniel White will be able to complete it for you when the
_Gurango_ rejoins the _Florentia_, on which ship--for the time being,
at any rate--he escaped from justice."

At this Captain Jasper could preserve his self-possession no longer.

"So you persist in coupling your confounded steward with me and my
ships, do you?" he said, hotly. "Then let me tell you that you can talk
enigmas and concoct your inventions until you are black in the face. I
don't care _that_ for them," snapping his fingers; "and I'll see you
all three in Hades before you'll get another civil word from me!"

In a flash he had left them and was out on deck, where he continued to
vent his anger by a torrent of oaths. Dr. Maxwell and the captain of
the _Elora_ watched him with aggravating coolness as he was being rowed
away, a sullen, malicious look in his eyes. "His face was a study for a
criminologist," was the doctor's pregnant comment on returning to the
cabin.

Lees saw no more of Ivory before the _Elora_ set sail for St. Helena,
but he had not yet finished with that remarkable man; and so dramatic
and unexpected was his next meeting with his enemy to be, that its
every circumstance remained fresh in his mind to the day of his death.

[Illustration: A VIEW OF JAMES TOWN, ST. HELENA, AS IT APPEARED IN
1845, THE TIME OF THIS STORY.

_From an Old Print._]

The ill wrought on Joseph Lees' constitution was more deep seated than
even so astute a man as Dr. Alexander Maxwell could foresee. After his
departure from Ichaboe, which he devoutly hoped he would never set
eyes on again, he had a serious relapse--so serious that, on the third
day of the voyage to St. Helena, he gave up all his papers to Captain
Graham, believing that he would not reach his destination alive.
However, on New Year's morning, 1845, the first perspiration that he
had had for nine months brought relief, and from that day progress
towards recovery, though slow, was sure.

As the _Elora_ came within sight of St. Helena, which from the sea
looks like a bare and arid rock, the supercargo, who was sitting on
deck in a despondent mood, found himself likening it to an immense
tomb. Would it be his? Almost inclined at that moment to abandon
all hope and answer in the affirmative, he fell to musing, his eyes
fixed on the island. Black thoughts gave place to more cheerful ones,
however, as the ship drew near to land, for its aspect gradually
changed from the forbidding to the inviting. The verdure-covered
mountains of the interior, their rounded summits reaching to the
clouds, became more and more distinct; and though these disappeared
when the _Elora_ got within shorter range of the perpendicular rocky
cliffs, the watcher had soon the great satisfaction of once more
setting eyes on human habitations--the houses and buildings of James
Town, crowded within the narrow ravine formed by the almost vertical
sides of Rupert's Hill and Ladder Hill. His sense of joy on returning
to the haunts of men and civilization became still keener when he had
actually landed and was being carried through the main street of the
town--a street of solidly built houses, many with stone steps and iron
railings leading up to the front doors, some with bow-windows and
others with verandas.

Recommended to put up at "the first house in the island," Lees was
taken to the Rose and Crown, kept by Charles Fuller, an old-established
resident. The letter from which I have already quoted was written from
that hotel, three days after his arrival, and in it he says to his son:
"I have two of the first doctors on the island, who are altering my
treatment; and what effect it may have God alone knows. They are, too,
for changing my residence from town to the very house and room where
Napoleon lived until Longwood was made ready, and my nurse is the same
person who nursed Mme. Bertrand.[6] Things are very dear here, and for
all this I have to pay well; but whatever will contribute to my comfort
and recovery I will have and pay for cheerfully. Thank God, I can
afford it."

[6] The Mme. Bertrand here referred to was the wife of Count Henri
Gratien de Bertrand, the faithful general who followed Napoleon into
exile.

This nurse, Mme. MacDonald, _née_ Valadon, had a Frenchwoman's
admiration for the great captive and everything connected with him; she
bitterly hated the British Government and Sir Hudson Lowe; she was fond
of acrimoniously expressing her views on events long since past, and
she delighted in telling her patients anecdote after anecdote from her
vast store of information respecting Napoleon. Certain it is, too, that
her reputation as a nurse was considerable, especially among the few
French inhabitants that remained, otherwise the supercargo's doctors
would never have strongly advised him, as they did, to continue to
employ her when he removed from the Rose and Crown to the Briars, that
little estate on which Bonaparte resided, in company with Mr. Balcombe
and his family, while Longwood Old House was being prepared for his
reception.

[Illustration: FACSIMILE OF A LETTER WRITTEN FROM ST. HELENA, IN WHICH
MR. LEES MENTIONS HIS REMOVAL TO NAPOLEON'S HOUSE.]

The Briars consisted--and still consists, I believe--of two houses,
one called the Pavilion, where Napoleon lived, and another building to
the left, both situated on a plateau at the foot of hills and buried
in trees. A fine garden and grass fields adjoined, and the surrounding
country was then, as now, precipitous and wildly picturesque. This
beautiful little estate was some mile and a half from James Town, and
access was gained to it by a road winding up the side of the rugged
hill. Both houses, comfortably furnished, chancing to be let (owing to
the owner's temporary absence in England) when Joseph Lees arrived in
St. Helena, he rented the smaller for two months, at the end of which
time, said the doctors, he ought to have sufficiently recovered his
health and strength to be able to proceed home.

One bright morning about the middle of January, four sturdy
"yamstalks," or inhabitants of composite origin, laboriously mounted
the hillside above the town, carrying the invalid on a _chaise à
porteurs_ extemporized out of an arm-chair and a couple of poles. Nurse
MacDonald walked by his side, chattering vivaciously.

"Never before or since have I heard such vivid narratives as those of
Nurse MacDonald," said Joseph Lees in after years when relating his
adventures. "She was certainly a very remarkable woman. But with all
her cleverness, there was something about her that made me distrust
her from the very beginning. She was given to falling into periods
of morose silence, and on more than one occasion, during my first
fortnight's residence at the Briars, she struck me as being a woman
whom it would be better to have as a friend than as an enemy. In short,
the longer I was acquainted with her, the more uncomfortable did I
feel. At first I attributed my feelings to prejudice, to the morbid
effects of my illness; but as I got to know her better, and as my
bodily health rapidly returned, I had finally to confess that I could
not be altogether mistaken, and that the sooner I brought my sojourn in
the hills of St. Helena to an end the better it would be for my peace
of mind. After events proved that I was right, and that our first
impressions of a person are sometimes to be trusted."

[Illustration: THE BRIARS, NAPOLEON'S HOUSE AT ST. HELENA, WHERE MR.
JOSEPH LEES STAYED.

_From an Old Print._]

The dread--and there is no other word to express the feeling--that
Joseph Lees finally came to have for the Briars was first awakened by
an incident that occurred there after his first month's residence. As
near as possible, I will describe it in his own words.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I shall remember the night of that incident," he would begin, "as
long as I live. The impression that it made at the time appeared to
be slight, but in the light of after events it became indelible. It
was midnight, and I was perusing a letter which I had just written
to my son in the dim light of a candle placed on a little table near
my bed on which I was stretched. The captain of one of the vessels
which I myself had chartered had brought me that day fresh information
from Ichaboe, and, as he was to sail on the following morning, I was
anxious that he should take my epistle with him. After giving certain
instructions in regard to the sale of the cargo, I proceeded to speak
of my health and of the renewal of the troubles on the island. 'I
have now some hopes of returning home, as I am much better,' I wrote.
'We have suffered greatly by robberies of guano, even to the tune of
thousands. Disturbances and battles are frequent between the soldiers
and the crews, who want and will have cargo. There are yet three
hundred and fifty ships in the roadstead of Ichaboe, though there are
not twenty cargoes on the island, and these are all expecting to beat
the authorities and take it from the owners. Three hundred men made
an attack the other day, and got from the chairman's pit as many tons
before the soldiers proved masters. In consequence of all these things
we shall not be able to fill all the ships named in the list, and there
are six more to come that will not get more than half a ----'

"I had reached this part of my letter when I broke off, my attention
being attracted by the sound of voices. At first I imagined that it was
Mme. MacDonald talking to herself, as she was in the habit of doing,
but on listening I could distinguish another voice. A feeling of alarm
suddenly came over me and impelled me to blow out the candle.

"'Who could my nurse's visitor be?' I asked myself, as I jumped off the
bed and approached the long French windows that opened on to a little
veranda. To find anyone calling upon her at such an hour was, to say
the least, strange. Stranger still, I seemed to know the voice of the
person who was talking with her, but where I had heard it before I
could not for the life of me tell. There was no doubt, however, that
it was that of a man, and that the language in which he was conversing
was French, of which I knew sufficient to seize a phrase now and then.
From the words 'arrivé aujourd'hui,' 'voyage,' 'fatigue,' I came to the
conclusion that the speaker must be a sailor who had arrived at the
port of James Town after a long and fatiguing voyage; and on hearing
him addressed as 'mon fils,' my mind immediately began to weave a story
around the mother and the son. Their relationship thus established, I
felt much less alarmed than I had been at first; so I refrained from
further eavesdropping and retired to rest. But, though I tried my
hardest, I could not get to sleep for hours. Again and again I found
myself dwelling on the question: 'Where have I heard that voice before?'

"On the following morning, much to my surprise, the visitor was nowhere
to be seen. Having fully expected to meet this sailor son of hers, I
expressed my regret that he had gone so early.

"'A visitor, monsieur?' she replied, with well-feigned astonishment.
'Since no one has come here during the last twenty-four hours, no
one can have departed. You have been dreaming, monsieur--one of the
consequences, no doubt, of your illness. I hope not a nightmare?
Monsieur must not sit up so late at night. It is an imprudence when
still so weak.'

"I had not been dreaming, but I did not contradict her. She evidently
had reasons for concealing from me the fact that her son had paid her a
nocturnal visit; and as I could conceive these reasons to be of such a
nature as to warrant her little subterfuge, I decided to poke my nose
no further into her affairs. What business was it of mine if she cared
to receive her son in secret? Why should I trouble my head over the
question as to whether she had or had not--as, indeed, she affirmed--a
sailor son? Nevertheless, the old question recurred as regards the
disconcerting resemblance of his voice to that of someone whom I had
once met--but where I could not recall.

"The mystery, as you will soon hear, was to be unveiled three days
later. I had gone to bed about ten o'clock, but, being unable to sleep,
had arisen at midnight, intending to dress myself and spend a few
hours over my accounts. About to strike a light, the creaking of the
veranda under someone's footsteps attracted my attention and drew me
to the window. Fortunate it was that I had done so before lighting the
candle, for, on looking out into the darkness, I was just in time to
catch sight of the dim figure of a man creeping stealthily along in the
direction of the entrance to Mme. MacDonald's room. After proceeding a
couple of yards or so he stopped, gave a low whistle, and at the same
time so turned his head that, in the light of the moon, which up to
then had been obscured, I could see his face in profile. One glance was
enough. It was Jasper Ivory--the last man in the world whom I should
have expected to be my nurse's son! Suddenly awakened to a sense of
my danger--for I knew that this ruffian had vowed vengeance upon me,
and in my weakened state I was no match for him--I sprang back into
the room, huddled on my clothes with the greatest rapidity, and after
stowing away my money and as many of my papers as I could get together
in the dark, once more crept to the window. Ivory had disappeared into
the old woman's room, whence, amidst the dead stillness of the night,
came the hum of their voices. Were they plotting my destruction? I
wondered.

"Having opened the long window, I noiselessly slipped out on to the
veranda, turned to the left, in the opposite direction to where they
were in consultation, and rapidly passed down a small flight of steps
into the garden. What a relief it was to feel that I was free! I lost
no time, I can tell you, in making my way as best I could to the limit
of the grounds, where there was a pathway that would lead me to the
main road and James Town. But before I had reached the fence that
enclosed the Briars a cry from the house told me that my escape had
been discovered, and somehow or other I failed to find the path I was
seeking. There was nothing to be done, therefore, but to push on in the
darkness at hazard. Stumbling over rocks and shrubs, my progress was
exceedingly slow. My weakness, too, hindered me considerably, and I was
more than once forced to stop and rest. On one of these occasions I
turned round and saw that the search for me was continuing. Two lights
were moving about among the shrubberies. Suddenly one of them stopped;
there was a cry from the holder of the lantern--cry that I could easily
recognise as coming from Ivory, and the next moment he was rapidly
moving forward in my direction. He had found my track at last!

"Through the rocky, hilly country surrounding the Briars he pursued me,
tenacious as a bloodhound. Owing to the fact that he had a lantern,
and was thus able to avoid the obstacles which frequently impeded my
progress, he covered the ground much quicker than I did. He also had an
advantage in being in a perfect state of health. On the other hand, he
had this against him--I was better able to follow his movements, thanks
to his light, than he mine. Quick to see that I might turn this to
profit, I decided, since it was inevitable he would overtake me, to lie
in wait for him behind some convenient boulder, to attack him unawares,
to disarm him if he carried a weapon, and then to render him harmless
by methods which--as an old North-country wrestler--I felt were still
within the range of my powers.

"We had reached what was evidently a little plateau on high ground.
Judging this to be a suitable place for the execution of my plan, I
rapidly dodged behind an agglomeration of rocks and waited for his
coming. Being fifty to sixty yards in the rear, it was some time before
he had completed his search of the immediate neighbourhood and could
push on still farther. This gave me time to recuperate my strength.
Luck, too, would have it that when he came up with me, swinging his
lantern this way and that, he passed to the right of my shelter in such
a way that I had but to throw out my leg to send him sprawling to the
ground. As he came down with a crash, a pistol which he held in his
right hand fell and exploded, while the lantern clattered among the
stones and was extinguished.

"Hoping that he would be so stunned that he could offer but a slight
resistance, I was upon him in an instant. Much to my surprise, however,
he got to his feet in less time than it takes me to relate the fact,
and, with a growl of rage, gripped me so tightly that I saw I should
have the greatest difficulty in mastering him. Though a man possess all
the science of all the wrestlers of Cumberland, he is a poor thing when
in an indifferent state of health, and so I soon discovered.

"Locked in each other's arms, we swayed backwards and forwards in the
darkness--now one, now the other, appearing to have the advantage
through the accidental nature of the ground. It was a marvel that we
managed to keep our feet at all amidst all those stones and ruts. At
times, also, we backed against huge rocks, and whenever Ivory got me
in that awkward fix he would either angrily hiss his intention to
finish me off, in payment of old scores, or grind his teeth with grim
satisfaction. I can almost imagine, even now, that I feel his hot
breath on my neck and the grip of his powerful arms around my body.

"For a quarter of an hour my tactics were defensive. It was evident
to me from the very first that the man knew nothing of wrestling,
that he had merely his strength to depend upon. My object, therefore,
was to let him use it up as much as possible, reserving my own force
for an occasion when I could call to my aid the useful art that I had
learnt in my youth. Soon, indeed, he began to show signs of flagging.
So, seizing a favourable opportunity, I suddenly drew upon all my
resources, had recourse to a certain 'throw' which had many times
gained me the victory at Keswick, and successfully passed him over my
thigh.

"Just as his feet left the ground he released his hold of me in order
to be able to break his fall. And well for me was it that he did so,
for as he came down, like a slaughtered ox, I heard the sound of his
body slipping away from me and of stones rolling down an abyss. He gave
one wild and piercing cry of terror when he dropped down, down, down
into the darkness!

"For fully a minute did I stand where I was, my knees trembling under
me through fear and exertion. Fearing to move a step before I had
ascertained the exact position of the precipice, I at last stooped down
and, by feeling my way in all directions, succeeded in creeping out of
the danger-zone to a sheltered spot where I could lie down and sleep
until daybreak. To have attempted to have found my way to James Town
out of that wilderness of rocks would have been madness. Besides, I was
thoroughly exhausted, and had no sooner stretched myself on the ground
than I fell into a sound slumber.

"It was still early when I awoke, aching in every muscle. But I lost
no time in making for the town, a distance of some two miles, being
anxious to obtain food and drink at the Rose and Crown, and to give
information to the authorities on the subject of my adventure. I felt
that I had still a bone to pick with the treacherous Mme. MacDonald,
and the sooner she was arrested the better.

"In the absence of the Governor of the island I was received at his
town offices by his chief representative, who patiently heard my tale
from beginning to end.

"'Yours is a very remarkable story, Mr. Lees; one of the most romantic
I have ever heard,' he exclaimed, earnestly. 'It is all the more
strange, as we've been looking for years for a man bearing somewhat the
description of your Captain Ivory. I am surprised that the commander
of the _Thunderbolt_ did not spot him at Ichaboe. But I rather imagine
that that officer's knowledge of the judicial affairs of St. Helena
does not go back fifteen years, otherwise he would have been sure
to recollect the circumstances attending the capture of one of our
schooners on June 28th, 1830. The commander of the vessel in question,
Captain Harrison, a certain Dr. Waddell, and several of the crew
were entrapped on board a ship called the _Daspegado_, flying French
colours, and murdered. It has always been understood that the name of
the captain of the pirate was Williams, but your description of Jasper
Ivory tallies so exactly with his, that I have no doubt whatever that
they are one and the same man. I shall, of course, have to institute an
inquiry into this affair, and above all order the immediate arrest of
this Mme. Valadon, or whatever she calls herself. Meanwhile, Mr. Lees,
you will have to hold yourself at the disposal of the authorities.
Manslaughter, you know, is a serious thing--even though the man you
have killed is a pirate. And now, seeing that this matter is finished
for the present, I hope you will do me the honour of dining with me
this evening. I will call for you at six o'clock at the Rose and Crown
and take you with me to Plantation House.'

[Illustration: "HE GAVE ONE WILD AND PIERCING CRY OF TERROR WHEN HE
DROPPED DOWN, DOWN, DOWN INTO THE DARKNESS."]

"The pistol and lantern of Captain Jasper Ivory, _alias_ Williams,
_alias_ MacDonald, _alias_ Valadon, were found where they had
fallen. But his body was never recovered from the 'Devil's Punch
Bowl,' as the rocky and precipitous region where we had wrestled
was--and is still--called. Was he killed on the spot, or did he
escape miraculously? I cannot tell you. All I know is this: not a
trace of either him or his precious mother could be discovered. Years
afterwards, however, when I had returned to England and was enjoying
the fruits of my hard eight months' work at that horrible island
of Ichaboe, I heard that she was living at Havre, where she kept a
lodging-house and, it was said, continued to carry on at least one
branch of her son's profession--that of smuggling--in collaboration
with Daniel White, one-time steward of the good ship _Elora_."

[Illustration:



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE IN SAVAGE AFRICA.

+By the Rev. H. Cole+.]

    An entertaining article, by a missionary who has spent over
    twenty years in the interior, dealing with the extraordinary
    customs governing "the love of a man for a maid" in the Dark
    Continent.


In Africa, marriage being largely of a commercial and temporary
character, Cupid does not rule the destiny of men and women to the same
extent as in this country; and even when under his spell, the natives
conduct their love affairs in a much less demonstrative manner than
Europeans. It will, however, be seen that some of the methods adopted
by dusky swains to secure the nymphs of their choice are extraordinary,
if not romantic.

[Illustration: A DUSKY BELLE ADMIRING HERSELF IN HER MOST PRECIOUS
POSSESSION, A HAND-MIRROR.

_From a Photo, by Rev. H. Cole._]

Amongst some tribes, when a man professes his love for a woman and asks
her in marriage, she invariably refuses him at first, lest it should
appear that she had been thinking of him and was eager to become his
wife! By so doing she maintains the modesty of her sex, as well as
tests the love and abases the pride of her lover. This policy is also
intended to be of use to the woman in her married life--as, should
there be quarrelling, and the husband threaten to send her away, she
can remind him of how he made repeated professions of his love and
urgently pressed his suit before she consented to become his wife.

The charge which is sometimes brought against white men of "marrying
for money" cannot be used against their sex in Africa, for there it is
the other way about, husbands having to purchase their wives. When a
man has a wife bestowed upon him as an act of charity, he feels that
she is not properly his own, and she, if she will, can treat him with
contempt. This custom of wife-purchase, although it is to be decried
as tending to lower marriage to the level of a commercial contract,
is an incentive to young men to work. Lazy youths cannot compete with
energetic ones in the matrimonial market, as they are despised by the
young women and rejected by their parents as being unworthy of their
daughters. The number of polygamists would also be greater were it not
that each man has to buy his wife. In order to procure the wherewithal
he must necessarily exert himself, and as "the cost spoils the taste,"
many prefer to remain monogamists.

[Illustration: THE LUCKLESS CHIEF WHO NARROWLY ESCAPED POISONING AT THE
HANDS OF A JEALOUS WIFE.

_From a Photo. by Rev. T. B. R. Westgate._]

Polygamy is the source of much social evil. When a husband pays more
attention to one of his wives than the others they become jealous,
and probably set about poisoning her or their lord and master as the
simplest way out of the difficulty. Thus the polygamist has no easy
time in striving to please all his wives and guarding himself against
the deadly potion; while if by chance all of them combine against him,
his lot is a hapless one indeed. When he has reason to believe that
his women-folk are secretly plotting against him, he makes them taste,
in his presence, the viands prepared for him (males and females do not
eat together, whether married or otherwise) before he partakes of them;
or he may make it a rule to have all his food cooked for him by his
favourite wife, eschewing all others. The photograph above reproduced
shows a chief, living near one of the mission stations in Usagara, who
had a hair-breadth escape from being poisoned by one of his five wives,
whom he put away on becoming a Christian. The evils of polygamy are
further seen in the strife and jealousy existing between the children
of the different wives.

[Illustration: THE EXTRAORDINARY COSTUME OF MILLET-STALKS WORN BY THE
YOUTHS WHILE PREPARING FOR MATRIMONY.

_From a Photo. by Rev. T. B. R. Westgate._]

Near the great snow-capped Kilimanjaro live a tribe named the Wamoshi,
noted for their strange and amusing customs relating to courtship and
marriage. When a young man of this tribe sets his affections upon a
young woman, he enters the garden where she is working and casts sly
glances at her. If she looks at him occasionally, he takes it as a sign
that she would not be unwilling to become his wife. This preliminary
move being over, he sends a friend to tell her that he wishes to marry
her, and if she consents the lover goes to her father. When the latter
is told by the young man the object of his visit, he says: "I cannot
pay any attention to your request until you bring cattle or goats."
These having been brought, the father tells the suitor that he must
bring more on account of the mother; and when he brings these, he is
further told that he must bring more on account of the sweetheart
herself! These last having been brought, the palaver begins, when the
amount of dowry is discussed. Before the great cattle plague in 1884,
thirty head of cattle was the usual dowry paid by the bridegroom. Then
the young man sends a number of his friends to seize his sweetheart
when coming out of her house in the early morning. She screams and
resists, whilst her friends follow, feigning grief. The captors take
her in triumph to the house of her lover's mother, where she remains
within doors as a guest for a month, the food being supplied by her
lover. If she is in good condition at the end of the month, he is
considered a worthy suitor; but if thin and haggard, he is deemed
unworthy of her. The marriage ceremony (which consists of certain
ablutions, etc.) being over, the bride goes out with bells attached to
her legs, indicating that she has become a wife.

A missionary who witnessed the carrying off of a prospective bride
without understanding the meaning of the business thought the girl's
captors were very cruel, and raised his voice indignantly against such
conduct. When told that it was the usual marriage custom of the tribe,
however, he was greatly amused.

The Masai tribe, who are fierce in war, act gingerly enough in
love-making. When a swain falls in love with a young woman, he deputes
his brother-in-law to go to the mother of the damsel with two cakes of
tobacco. The mother usually accepts the love-token, and the daughter,
as a rule, makes no demur. When the girl comes of age (they are all
engaged long before this) the man brings a heifer, and later on two
cows, a bullock, four sheep, and two skin bottles of honey. One of the
bottles is made into mead for the purpose of offering up in sacrifice
on account of the bride. The honey of the other bottle is squirted out
of the mouths of father, uncle, and mother on to the body of the bride,
and after this ceremony is finished she is given to the bridegroom.

[Illustration: A MATCH-MAKING PALAVER IN PROGRESS.

_From a Photograph._]

Between betrothal and marriage there is no communication between
lovers, and should the man come unintentionally upon his intended
whilst eating, he runs home and brings two goats as a trespass-offering!

Another custom of this tribe is equally curious. When a man has
gained the affections of a woman whom he wants to marry, he sets off
to the forest to look for wild honey. Having procured a calabash of
the precious commodity, he takes it to the parents of his sweetheart,
going a second and third time to the forest on the same business, as
he must present three calabashes of honey before he gets a hearing.
Three cakes of tobacco added to the above make him qualified to press
his suit further. Afterwards he brings another calabash of honey, a
heifer calf, a bullock, and a sheep. The honey is made into mead, and
the suitor, with his friends, goes to the house of the young woman,
where the ox and sheep are killed. Feasting now graces the proceedings,
and the bride and bridegroom go through a ceremonial washing, which
is the formal way of "tying the knot." The ceremony being over, the
father-in-law and his new son-in-law address one another with the
familiar and endearing epithet of "Wageri."

We have seen these Masai as lovers; let us now take a peep at them
as husband and wife. The man we find intolerably lazy, and the poor
woman submits to the yoke of bondage as a matter of course, without a
moan or groan. Though submissive, she may one day get ruffled by harsh
treatment, and thus a quarrel ensues. If her husband strike her, she
must not retaliate; but should she be so daring as to strike her lord
and master in self-defence, all the males of the kraal assemble and
belabour her with thongs. It will therefore be seen that the Masai are
no believers in the doctrine that women should take their own part.
Should the lady meekly submit to her husband's brutalities, however,
those present call upon him to desist.

[Illustration: A NATIVE WEDDING AT A MISSION CHURCH.

_From a Photo. by Rev. T. B. R. Westgate._]

Amongst the Wasagara tribe, when a man wants to marry the woman of his
choice he gives her a "chipingo" (engagement-ring). Should another
suitor come along afterwards and want to pay his addresses to the
engaged girl, she reminds him that she has the "chipingo" of another
man--an example that might be commended to some ladies in civilized
countries. When the man has procured the wherewithal for the completion
of the match, he proceeds to the house of his sweetheart's parents and,
the relations and friends of both parties having assembled, the palaver
begins. The bridegroom, if a poor man, pays the dowry in fowls--two
hens and a cock being deemed sufficient. One hen is on account of the
father and the other on account of the mother of the bride. The cock
is killed and eaten with a pot of porridge. When the feast is over the
ablutions are performed, and the bride and bridegroom are enjoined by
the conductors of the ceremony to be true and faithful to each other.
The children of the union, if any, are reckoned amongst the mother's
clan, and not the father's. Sometimes, amongst this same tribe, a man
will actually bespeak a wife before she is born, by arrangement with
a certain family; and, in order to forestall other suitors, he also
offers his services to her parents as a kind of slave. He works away,
patiently awaiting the birth and growth of his future wife. Should it
be a male child, of course his disappointment is great. As soon as the
child can tell her right hand from her left, her mother whispers into
her ears her future relationship with the great big man who milks the
cows and hoes in the garden. She also instils into her mind her duty
towards him as his future wife. The little maiden must run out to meet
him when returning from a journey and take from him his spear, etc.,
and carry them for him into the house. When the girl is approaching
maturity the man pays the dowry, which usually consists of five goats,
the fifth being killed and eaten at the wedding-feast.

The Wasukuma, a tribe living to the south of the Victoria Nyanza,
conduct their love-making as follows: When a man has spied out a
woman whom he fancies, he sends a friend to her parents' house to
reconnoitre. On arriving he stands at the door, and the people of the
house invite him inside and offer him a stool. They then enter into
conversation with him and ask his business. Without hesitation he tells
them that he has been commissioned by a certain person who wants a wife
to come and be his spokesman. If the father of the girl is pleased
with the proposed alliance he gives the spokesman a goat, which he
thankfully accepts, returning with joy to the anxious swain to announce
the success of his mission.

The day of the great marriage palaver having arrived, the relations
and friends of both parties assemble and dispose themselves into two
groups--one group being the relations and friends of the bride, and the
other of the bridegroom. The hills and vales resound with the eloquence
of the orators who speak on either side. But, strange to say, they
speak of the stones lying around as representing cattle, and do not
address their audience directly. A speaker on behalf of the bridegroom
rises and names a certain number of stones (_i.e._, cattle); and when
he has finished, a member of the opposite group rises and says the
number of "stones" named is not enough. So they go on from morning till
night, debating the number of cattle to be paid as dowry. When they
have come to an agreement, the bride's friends take away the cattle;
and afterwards beer is made and an ox killed for the wedding-feast. The
friends then assemble at the house of the bride, where they eat, drink,
and dance for two days, and then disperse, save four or five special
friends of the bridegroom, who remain at the house until the ceremonial
washing is over. Then they too depart--all save one, who remains two
days more to see how the young couple get on, and to carry the tidings
to the bridegroom's friends.

[Illustration: AN ENGAGED COUPLE--THE MISSION COOK AND HIS FIANCÉE.

_From a Photo. by Rev. H. Cole._]

Last, but not least, I will relate the strange but interesting methods
of the Wagogo--a tribe found two hundred and fifty miles west from
the coast opposite Zanzibar. A woman of this tribe always refuses a
man when he first proposes to her. Knowing the usual tactics of the
opposite sex, the man does not take "No" for an answer, but keeps on
bombarding the citadel until he has captured it. Sometimes, however, it
happens that the woman really means what she says, and the man cannot
by hook or by crook cajole her into marrying him!

[Illustration: BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM.

_From a Photo. by Rev. T. B. R. Westgate._]

When, however, all has gone well, the suitor presents the woman of
his choice with three or four iron necklaces, the acceptance of which
betokens her willingness to be engaged. The man then hastens to
inform his relations of what has occurred, and, if they approve of
the transaction, they advise him to make a public offer of marriage.
His female friends undertake this pleasant business for him, and the
time chosen is the break of day. Taking a new hoe, or a few yards of
calico, to present as a formal token of the engagement, they go to see
the young lady. If she accepts the offering, the engagement is sealed;
but if she refuses, the matter comes to an abrupt end. The betrothal
is accompanied with shouting, singing, and great rejoicing, and the
tremendous noise arouses the whole neighbourhood. Hence everybody in
the place, both young and old, at once gets to know of the engagement,
and the news is hailed as a welcome topic of gossip.

[Illustration: COLLECTING THE CUSTOMARY TOLL FROM THE BRIDEGROOM AND
HIS FRIEND.

_From a Photo. by Rev. H. Cole._]

When the man has secured a sufficient number of goats, etc., he
apprises the woman's relations of his desire to "guma" (_i.e._, to pay
the dowry). A day is appointed, and the match-making palaver takes
place. Very often the negotiations are broken off because the amount
of dowry is considered too small; and it may be interesting to set
down here in detail the fees usually paid for a wife--the matrimonial
price-list, so to speak. The dowry is divided into several parts,
distinguished by separate names representing certain amounts, as
under:--

"Wupogoze" (private proposal)--three chain necklaces (engagement ring).

"Wubanye" (public proposal)--new hoe or four yards of calico.

"Madango" (first part of dowry proper)--nine goats: five on account of
the bride's father and four on account of the mother.

"Matula lusona"--nine goats.

"Lung' hundi"--seven goats.

"Ibululu"--thirteen goats.

"Musenga"--a goat with young to mother of bride.

"Wufuwa"--a goat to uncle of bride.

"Muvumba"--two yards of calico to the bride.

"Malenga"--a second-hand hoe to father of the bride.

It will be observed from this final offering that, as in civilized
countries, the hapless father-in-law, having once given his consent, is
treated as of little importance.

The preliminaries being over, the marriage ceremony takes place. The
bride and bridegroom, feigning bashfulness, run away and hide. When
found they are brought (the latter carried on women's backs) to the
altar. Here they are made to sit on stools, and are washed in turn, the
bridegroom leading the way. He is washed by his brother-in-law, or, in
his absence, by some other relative of the bride. This function being
over, they are anointed with oil, and the mothers of the happy pair
then enjoin them to love one another and to do their work as they ought.

[Illustration: CARRYING HOME THE BRIDE.

_From a Photo. by Rev. H. Cole._]

Next comes the start for the bridegroom's house. The bridegroom leaves
some time before the bride, and when close to her future home the bride
is stopped every few yards by beggars, who get all they can from the
bridegroom's friends. When they think they have given enough, however,
one of the bridegroom's friends takes the bride on his shoulders and
runs away with her in triumph to her new home.

The concluding portion of the dowry is known as "Vimililo," and is
divided into several parts, as under:--

(_a_) Things given to allow wedding procession to proceed; (_b_) A hoe
or goat is demanded at the door of the bridegroom; and (_c_) A goat has
to be given to the bride to induce her to sit down. Another goat and
kid must be presented to her in order to make her eat, and a hoe before
she puts her hand to the dish, so that the "wedding breakfast" must
come rather expensive to the young Benedict. Speaking of dowries, the
price of a cow is about two pounds; of an ox, twenty-five shillings;
and goats vary from one and fourpence to four shillings each, according
to size and condition.

On the fourth day after marriage the bride and bridegroom go on a visit
to the parents of the former, accompanied by a young man and young
woman as attendants.

Extraordinary methods are adopted by the Wagogo in securing wives in
addition to the ways described above. For instance, when a man is poor,
and has not sufficient means to procure a wife, he may resort to what
is called "kupanga." He betakes himself to the house of his lady-love
and stands or sits in the porch without eating until the girl's father
gives him a reply, which may not be for days. If the old gentleman
likes the young man, he forthwith sends messengers to his home to
negotiate with his relations; but if he dislikes the idea of having him
for a son-in-law, he hunts him away without ceremony. When the former
is the case, the messengers, on arriving at the man's home, ask whether
anyone is missing from the family circle; and on being told that a male
member has been absent for some days, they inform the people that he
is at the house of a certain man looking for a wife. The former affect
great astonishment, exclaiming: "Just fancy! It is there that our bull
has gone!" All the parties being agreeable to the match, the day of the
palaver is fixed; and when the amount of dowry (usually, in this case,
twenty goats and two head of cattle) has been settled, the wedding day
is named.

When a man secures a girl's consent to marry him, and has the
wherewithal to pay a dowry, but cannot get the consent of the girl's
parents, he adopts another plan.

He whispers into his lady-love's ear that he will "pula" (run away with
her), or, rather, send some of his friends to catch her on her way
to draw water and carry her to his house. Should she consent to his
proposal, he employs a few of his friends to go and capture her. Should
she resist (to show her modesty), they carry her on their shoulders to
her lover's house, where she remains with him until the following day,
when her relations come and claim six goats as a trespass-offering for
having carried the girl away. In addition to these, the usual dowry is
twenty goats and five head of cattle. One goat is on account of the
betrothal; one as a fine for the covetous eye which spied the girl out;
two (one for each parent) for the stool on which the lover sat when
he came to court her; two as payment for the relatives' trouble in
looking for her when kidnapped; two on account of the palaver; and two
for entering the house to make love to her. A marriage nearly always
ensues in the case of "pula"; so that an ardent lover who has tried
every other way in vain may, as a last resource, adopt this method with
success.

Wives are also obtained by inheritance. It is the custom for a man
to inherit the wife of a deceased brother or father, and the man so
marrying is expected to give three goats (one of which is eaten at the
inevitable palaver) to the wife's relations. Should he be so miserly
as not to pay this customary fee, they upbraid him, and say that the
wife is only his slave, and that his meanness has forfeited their
friendship for evermore! A widow, however, may refuse to marry the man
who inherits her, as there may be someone else whom she likes better
who wishes to marry her. When this happens, the latter has to pay the
dowry to the former as if the woman were his daughter!

It is an understood thing amongst the different tribes that a woman is
only taken on trial, and may, after a few months of married life, be
sent back to her parents. As with the advertising tradesman, it is a
case of "All goods not approved may be exchanged."

[Illustration]



  +------------------------------------------------------------------+
  |                                                                  |
  |                The Capture of Antonio Barracola.                 |
  |                                                                  |
  |                   A STORY OF THE "BLACK HAND."                   |
  |                                                                  |
  +------------------------------------------------------------------+

+By Stephen Norman+.

    In our issue for May last we published an authoritative article
    setting forth the methods and crimes of the "Black Hand," a
    secret society organized for the purpose of blackmail and
    murder, which has caused a veritable reign of terror amongst
    Italian residents in America. The engrossing story here given
    forms a remarkable sequel to our article, for it deals with
    the patient running-down and final arrest red-handed of a
    prosperous Italian banker, who is believed by the police to be
    the actual head of the whole dread organization. He is said
    to have been responsible for no fewer than fifty-one murders,
    while his "system" netted for the "Black Hand" a sum estimated
    at two million dollars! The narrative gives one a vivid idea
    of how the real-life detective--as opposed to his prototype
    of fiction--goes to work to build up a case and secure his
    evidence.


Every country in the world which possesses a detective department
has men in its service who specialize in the capture of criminals
who themselves are specialists in different lines. For instance, one
officer may be peculiarly efficient in running down "stone-getters," or
jewel thieves, another is clever at ferreting out "wanted" burglars,
while yet another division give their attention to Anarchists and alien
criminals. In America, owing to the great number of foreigners who make
that country their place of residence, temporary or otherwise, the
detective staff is largely composed of men who have made themselves
familiar with the particular branch of work colloquially known us "Dago
piping" (watching Italians). This service has lately been considerably
augmented, owing to the great strength and powerful connections of
the "Black Hand" Society. Murder after murder has been committed
by members of this sinister fraternity, and hundreds of well-to-do
Italians have been threatened, most of them paying tribute, as they
feared the consequences in the event of failure to obey the mandates
of the dreaded "Mano Nera." The detective and police departments could
make absolutely no headway against this far-reaching organization,
even the large rewards offered by public bodies, the Government, and
private persons having no effect. It was impossible to obtain the
services of an informer, and the machinery of the law was practically
at a standstill. True, now and again some suspect was arrested, but
sufficient evidence could never be obtained to secure a conviction. Two
detectives named Sechetti and Maltino were dismissed the force, not
because they were suspected of being members of the "Black Hand," but
because it was believed they possessed certain knowledge which fear
prevented them from making known at police head-quarters. Sure enough,
after their dismissal, both men returned to their native Italy, where,
it was learned, they appeared to be possessed of considerable money,
presumedly given them by somebody or other for "keeping quiet."

On the staff of the Boston, U.S.A., detective department was a young
Englishman named Walter Collins. Fair, sturdy of build, and brave
as the proverbial lion, Collins, a man some thirty-two years of
age, had gone to America with his parents when quite a boy. After a
public-school education he obtained a position as stenographer in
the Seventh Division Police Court, and later entered the force as a
patrolman. His intelligence and the clever capture of "Kid Skelly,"
a famous burglar, gained him promotion, and in 1903 Collins became a
full-fledged detective officer. Again his ability was made manifest,
for in 1905 he captured Roth and Murray, the men who robbed Mrs. Van
Rensselaer, a prominent American lady, of twenty thousand dollars'
worth of jewels, the gems being recovered in London. Collins was now
made a sergeant, which is, in the American police, a very superior
position.

When the doings of the "Black Hand" first began to attract public
attention, Collins interested himself in the matter in a quiet way,
apart from his duties. He read everything available about other
Italian secret societies, such as the Mafia and the Camorra, visited
the Italian quarter of the city, and familiarized himself with the
ways of the "Dagoes," as members of the Latin races are called in
America. Meanwhile murder after murder was committed, blackmail was
levied on all sides, and a virtual reign of terror was established
among respectable Italians, no one knowing where the terrible scourge
would strike next. Then, one morning after roll-call, Sergeant Collins
presented himself before Inspector Ross, his chief, and said,
"Inspector, I should like to be placed on detail duty in the Italian
quarter."

Inspector Ross, however, informed him that this was impracticable.
Collins was fair, and not a bit like an Italian; moreover, he could
neither speak nor understand the language. The officer saluted and went
about his usual business of guarding the banks.

That evening the door-bell rang at the private house of the
detective-inspector and a beetle-browed, ill-clad Italian presented
himself and asked to see Mr. Ross on important business. Mr. Ross
saw the man, who, after some conversation in broken English, said,
"I'm Sergeant Collins, sir!" He had dyed his hair and moustache, and
convinced the inspector that he had for months been studying Italian
and was quite proficient in the language. Ross, a very keen man, had
quite failed to recognise his subordinate, and the next day Collins
was given the job he had asked for, where he soon rendered useful
service. Dozens of "wanted" Italian malefactors--coiners, pickpockets,
and thieves--were run to earth, Collins himself never appearing in
the matter, the arrests being made by other detectives. Nothing could
be gleaned, however, about the subject that most interested him--the
dreaded "Black Hand." The Italians mentioned the name of this terrible
society in whispers, when they mentioned it at all, for one's very
neighbour might be a member, and under such circumstances it was
best to say nothing. From every city in the Union there came news of
terrible murders--all after attempts had first been made to blackmail
the victims. Reward after reward was offered, but not the faintest clue
reached the police, and meanwhile public excitement grew intense.

One day Sergeant Collins--who, still in pursuit of information, had
taken a situation with a firm of fruit shippers where many Italians
were employed--was sent to New York to arrange there for a consignment
of bananas. He was given a draft on an Italian private bank, to be
drawn on only in case the deal went through. Arriving in New York,
he mingled as usual with Italians, and wrote his letters to his firm
from the offices of the bank on which his draft was drawn. A day or
two afterwards he was seated at a small writing-desk in the bank,
reading an Italian newspaper, when there entered a man whom Collins
thought he knew. Glancing up guardedly, he recognised the visitor as
an Italian who kept a small public-house in Boston, a rendezvous for
shady characters. He saw that the man was immediately ushered into the
private office of the banker, and this struck him as peculiar. Here was
a man who could not possibly have a large banking account, yet he was
treated with the greatest deference.

The saloon-keeper was in private consultation with the banker for
over an hour, and on his departure Collins followed him. The man made
straight for the railway station, where he was met by another Italian.
There was an exchange of envelopes; then the first man booked a ticket
for Boston.

Collins promptly wrote out a telegram and sent it to police
head-quarters, and when the train left he followed the second man, who
had been earnestly talking meanwhile to the first suspect. Collins
was now taken up-town to One Hundred and Sixtieth Street, to what is
known as "Little Italy," a locality entirely given over to Italians.
Just near the famous "Gas House" the followed man stopped and looked
carefully about him. He saw Collins, but took him to be only another
Italian like himself. Reassured, he crossed the street and entered a
saloon known as the "Slaughter-House," because of the many "knifings"
which had taken place there. Collins walked right into the place and
called for a drink. His man was nowhere to be seen, but the detective
noticed that several men who had been seated at different tables slowly
walked to the rear of the place and ascended a stairway leading above.

After a minute or two he turned to the bar-tender. "Have you seen
So-and-so"--mentioning some imaginary person--"about to-day?" he
inquired. The man replied that he did not know the man referred to.

"That's strange," continued Collins. "He told me down at the bank to
meet him here."

"What bank?" queried the bar-tender.

"Barracola's," replied the detective.

In an instant the young Italian had grasped Collins by the arm, and,
pulling him toward him, whispered fiercely, "You confounded fool! Don't
you know that name is forbidden? You must be an outsider."

Collins professed ignorance of what was meant, and the youth, evidently
fearing he had said too much, then tried to turn the matter off. One of
the loungers in the place now walked forward and engaged the detective
in conversation, trying to discover whether he was a member of any one
of the various legitimate societies formed by Italian workmen. Collins,
however, returned nothing but stupid answers, and the man turned away
disgustedly, saying, half to himself, "He's only some fool!"

[Illustration: "IN AN INSTANT THE YOUNG ITALIAN HAD GRASPED COLLINS BY
THE ARM."]

Having finished his drink, the officer left the place. No thought of
the "Black Hand" had entered his mind in all this, but he seemed to
scent something wrong, and the detective instinct in him was aroused.
He was curious to know what the Boston saloon-keeper's business with so
prominent and respected a man as Antonio Barracola, the Italian banker,
could be; and so, his business in New York finished, Collins returned
to Boston. His chief there, on receipt of the New York telegram, had
placed a watch on the saloon-keeper's movements from the moment he had
arrived back in town. The man, whose name was Guido Conto, had, after
leaving the railway station, gone direct to his place of business,
and his movements ever since had been quite in keeping with his usual
demeanour. Nothing whatever of a suspicious nature had been noted.

Three days later Collins was sent to New York again, this time by
the chief of detectives, to identify a man arrested by the police
of that city, and who was wanted in Boston for forgery. On being
searched the forger was found to have in his possession a pass-book
showing a deposit at Barracola's bank. The Boston detective, still
hoping to unravel the mystery which he was convinced lay behind the
banker's acquaintance with low-class saloon-keepers and other doubtful
characters, called at this institution in the guise of a friend of the
arrested man and asked to see the banker himself. After explaining his
business he was shown into the private office. Here, at a flat-topped
desk so placed that the light from the window must fall on the face of
a visitor, while leaving his own in shadow, sat a short, stout man with
a heavy black moustache, a thick bull-neck, deep black eyes, and a head
of close-cropped black hair, combed straight back from the forehead.

"What do you want?" asked the banker, sharply. Collins replied that
his friend Casati was under arrest, that the latter had entrusted him
with the keeping of his bank-book, and that he (Collins) did not know
exactly how to act. He did not want the police to get possession of the
book, he added.

"Give me the pass-book," said Barracola, curtly.

"I have not brought it with me," replied Collins.

"Oh," said Barracola, "well, in that case, you don't require my advice.
I should have looked after my customer's interest, but you had better
take the book to Casati himself or give it to this gentleman."

Barracola now wrote something on a piece of paper, which he folded and
gave to Collins, who was then shown out. In the street the officer
looked at the paper, and, to his intense astonishment, read the
following: "Detective-Sergeant Collins, either at police head-quarters
here or in Boston."

The detective could hardly believe his eyes at seeing his own name
written in a large, clear hand. Did Barracola know him? he wondered,
and had he taken this roundabout way of letting him see that his
purpose was understood?

Collins hesitated for a moment, thinking hard; then he went direct to
head-quarters, where he had a hurried talk with Inspector O'Brien. The
latter promptly called Mr. Barracola up on the telephone, and told him
that a pass-book had just been delivered up to him by an Italian who
said he had been directed there by Mr. Barracola.

"Yes; that's quite right," replied Barracola. "I did send someone."

The inspector asked a question: "But why direct the man to Sergeant
Collins?" he queried.

"I read in the morning papers of Casati's arrest," answered Barracola,
"and that Officer Collins was coming here to extradite him."

The explanation was reasonable enough, and there was nothing for
Collins to do but accept it. Thinking quietly over the matter, however,
the detective came to the conclusion that Mr. Antonio Barracola, the
eminently respectable Italian banker, was a remarkably shrewd man,
and he became more than ever determined to discover what lay behind
his ordinary business. That there was something behind it he felt
confident, but for some time his investigations were without result.

On January 4th of this year a man called at the Boston detective office
and asked to see the chief inspector. On being shown into Mr. Ross's
room the caller took from his pocket a half-sheet of common note-paper,
on which were written the following words:--

"_You have plenty; you have been prosperous. Five thousand dollars is
nothing to you. That sum, enclosed in an envelope, in bills, directed
to Mr. Gargani, will reach those who can shield you from much trouble.
The money will be called for at the General Post Office by an innocent
messenger. Don't be foolish._--+Mano Nera+."

"I am Luigi Pelloti, manufacturer of paper bags," said the caller to
Inspector Ross, "and that reached me by post this morning."

The inspector learned that Mr. Pelloti was in affluent circumstances,
a much-respected merchant, and a very charitable man. Pelloti said he
knew perfectly well that the "Black Hand" would carry out any threat
they made, but he was determined not to be blackmailed, and would fight
to a finish. A "dummy" parcel was accordingly made up and sent to the
post-office addressed to "Mr. Gargani." Four of the inspector's best
officers were stationed there to see the matter through. The packet
was not called for until another day had passed; then, just at the
busy hour, about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, a youth of sixteen or
seventeen asked a mail clerk for "a letter addressed to Mr. Gargani."
It was given him, and the boy was then followed. He entered a tram-car
and rode to the railway station, where he waited until half-past one,
boarding at that hour the New York train. The four detectives did
likewise. American railway coaches differ from those on British lines,
being in one large compartment, with all the seats facing the engine,
a passage-way running down the centre of each coach. The Italian youth
seated himself well forward in the smoking-car, the officers keeping
well away from one another. No one approached the bearer of the letter,
who sat quietly smoking a cigarette, and the train was within a mile of
Harlem Station and was just beginning to slacken speed, when the youth
looked up, opened the window in a flash, and threw the "dummy" letter,
enclosed in a leather wallet, far from him. Three of the detectives
immediately ran out to the car platform and jumped from the train,
which was now slowing up. The third, Officer Whalen, grabbed the boy
and handcuffed him.

The three who had jumped from the moving train looked hurriedly about,
but there was no sign of the package thrown from the train and no one
was to be seen but the crossing-keeper, who had a shanty just by the
side of the up-rails. Two of the officers searched for the wallet,
while the third--Sergeant Collins himself--interviewed the railway
man. The latter had seen nothing and nobody, however, and could in no
way assist the detectives. The officers communicated with the nearest
police-station, and in a very short time a dozen men were searching
the vicinity, but--as usual where the "Black Hand" is concerned--they
discovered nothing.

Meanwhile Officer Whalen took his prisoner to the chief inspector, or
captain (as this officer is called in America), and here the youth was
severely questioned. He said he had been hired by two men to carry out
certain instructions, for which he had been paid twenty-five dollars.
The men he had met at the "Gas House," in One Hundred and Sixtieth
Street. They had called him by name, and he supposed they must know him.

[Illustration: "LUIGI PELLOTI WAS STRUCK TO THE HEART WITH A STILETTO."]

This explanation did not satisfy the police, and the young Italian was
therefore put through the "Third Degree," a rather strenuous method
used for forcing confessions from reluctant prisoners. His testimony
could not be shaken, however, and he was therefore arraigned before
a magistrate at Jefferson Market Police Court, charged as a suspect.
A remand was asked for and granted to enable the police to make a
thorough investigation.

That same night, despite the fact that he was supposed to be under the
protection of the police, the unfortunate Luigi Pelloti was struck to
the heart with a stiletto on the doorstep of his own house! The "Black
Hand" had punished him in its usual way for his temerity in going to
the authorities! The same thorough search was made as in other cases,
but once again the methods of the murderers baffled the authorities.

The young Italian was arraigned a second time and a further remand
asked for, which was again granted, but this time the lad's father,
one Amato, applied for bail. This being refused, the man left the
station, followed by a detective officer. He went direct to the office
of Antonio Barracola, where he remained for a few minutes only; then he
rode up-town on the Elevated Railway to the "Slaughter House" saloon.
The detective who was watching him telephoned to head-quarters, and
Captain O'Brien communicated with Sergeant Collins. The latter was
still busy investigating things at Harlem, but he now came hurrying in,
and, meeting the officer who was at One Hundred and Sixtieth Street,
the two waited until Amato came out of the saloon; they then arrested
him on suspicion, and took him to the station. Here he was searched,
and a stiletto, a loaded revolver, and a letter--unsigned and bearing
an address--instructing him to carry out the details for which his son
was now under arrest, were found on him.

At last the police had something to work upon. The old man was locked
up, but took matters very coolly, disdainfully refusing to say a word.
The police then walked him past the cell in which his son was locked
up, watching him closely meanwhile. The boy saw his father, but neither
one uttered a syllable. In the office upstairs the officers now held a
consultation. Sergeant Collins produced the piece of paper on which the
banker, Barracola, had written his (Collins's) name, the threatening
letter demanding money from Pelloti, and the letter of instructions
found on Amato, senior. They were not in the same handwriting, but they
were all on the same kind of paper--a very cheap note-paper, such as
might be sold by any and every stationer. Why should Barracola, whose
letter-heads and stationery were of the best quality, as befitted
a highly-successful bank, have such paper in his possession? the
detective asked himself, and he made up his mind to find out. He was
convinced that Barracola was very smart, and that there was something
"fishy" about him, but that alone did not point to his being in league
with the infamous "Black Hand."

In the career of all successful detectives the element of luck is a
great factor, and Sergeant Collins now virtually "fell" across a most
useful piece of intelligence, for the "inevitable woman" cropped up.
Young Amato was locked up in the Tombs Prison, and was allowed to
receive visitors, who, in turn, were watched. Among the boy's callers
was a girl, an employé at Allen's cigarette factory in West Street.
This girl was about fifteen years of age, very well developed, and
unusually pretty, even for an Italian. She had been to see Amato, had
taken him some fruit and cigarettes, and had given him a ten-dollar
bill. This bill Amato changed in paying for food, purchasing his
meals from the prison caterer. Sergeant Collins was just entering the
prison one day when the caterer stopped at the inside gate or grille
and, after collecting a number of plates and other dishes, remarked
to the keeper in charge there: "That young Dago certainly has good
friends; he's given me another ten spot (ten-dollar bill)." Collins
at once spoke to the man and obtained the bill from him in exchange
for another. Now it is quite impossible to trace American money in the
same way as an English bank-note, but the detective had other ideas
just then. Next day the Italian girl called again, and on her departure
she was spoken to by an elderly Italian, who asked if his daughter was
still inside visiting Amato.

"What has your daughter to do with Amato?" asked the girl, quickly.

"That is what I am trying to find out," replied the Italian. "She has
visited him regularly, and yesterday she came home with a ten-dollar
bill in her possession which he gave her."

The girl turned scarlet. "It's a lie!" she cried, passionately. The
Italian expressed surprise at her anger, but showed her the bill,
saying further that he had reason to suspect Amato of an attempt to run
away with his daughter.

On hearing this the deluded girl worked herself into a perfect frenzy
of rage, asking her questioner who and what he was. The latter,
however, acted in a mysterious manner, giving the girl to understand
that he was "one of them," but would countenance no nonsense where his
daughter was concerned. The girl, saying that she would find out the
truth of the matter on the morrow, left him, her face working with
jealous rage. The next day she again called at the prison, but was
told at the gates that Amato did not wish to see her. Moreover, he had
already had as many visitors as the prison regulations allowed for
one day. Fuming with anger, the girl departed, being again met by the
strange Italian at the gates.

"He won't see me," she burst out, eager to confide her troubles to a
compatriot. "Me, who have done so much for him--me, who gave all the
money I could to keep old Barracola from putting his father away in the
last trouble! Just wait till he gets out! I'll find someone to avenge
me, or I'll avenge myself!"

The listener now tried to pacify her, knowing that this was just what
would make her talk the more, and when he left her on her doorstep in
First Avenue, he felt he had now "something to go on with." The old
Italian, needless to say, was Sergeant Collins.

Antonio Barracola lived in an old-fashioned three-storeyed brick house
in Greenwich Street. The house next door on the right was occupied
by his brother Giacomo, who was proprietor of an express and luggage
transportation business. The house on the left, curiously enough,
was tenanted by a policeman, who was himself a naturalized Italian.
This man was guardedly questioned, and informed the detectives that
Barracola had no visitors whatever at his house, and that he never
came home on Monday nights, when he was supposed to stay with an elder
sister in Jersey City.

The next Monday Mr. Barracola, on leaving his bank at four o'clock in
the afternoon, was shadowed by two officers, one dressed as a working
man and the other as an Italian longshoreman. These two saw that
directly Barracola left his office a stalwart fellow of exceptionally
powerful build followed close behind him, keeping one hand in a
side coat-pocket. The stranger was evidently intended as a sort of
rear-guard, for he kept his eyes roving in all directions, making the
work of the detectives most difficult. One of the latter accordingly
hurried by a short cut to the Jersey City Ferry, catching a boat across
before Barracola, and thus attracting less attention.

Meanwhile the banker and his two followers arrived in Jersey City.
Barracola stopped at a saloon near the station, but soon emerged,
smoking a cigar. He walked westward for some five minutes; then,
turning sharply at a corner, was lost to view by the time his followers
reached the place. The big Italian was the first to reach the
intersecting street, where he swung round and scanned both sides of
the road narrowly, but the officers, prepared for some such manœuvre,
had taken due precautions. One entered the doorway of a shop; the
other walked straight on. Just at the corner where the banker had
turned there stood a one-storey wooden building, occupied by an Italian
barber. Barracola's rear-guard, evidently satisfied with the results
of his scrutiny, presently entered this shop, and Sergeant Collins now
coming up saw that although the man had gone in there was no sign of
him inside; there were two chairs there, but no customers.

The officer walked away, returning on the other side of the street,
keeping close to the buildings. Soon he saw another visitor enter the
shop, then a second; and within an hour nine well-dressed men had
disappeared through the doorway. Sergeant Collins now sent one of his
own men in to have his hair cut. This officer discovered that there
were no doors leading out of the place other than that leading into the
street, and the barber seemed in a hurry to get rid of him, cutting his
hair "in less than no time."

The building next door to the barber's shop was a stone-fronted bay
window residence, neatly curtained, and looking like the home of some
tradesman. The officers made a _détour_ to the rear to examine the
premises, but saw nothing suspicious--simply a couple of ordinary
backyards. By this time it was about 6.30, and quite dark. The
detectives remained at their post all night, and not until eight
o'clock next morning did the first of the men who had entered the
barber's shop emerge. Then, at intervals of perhaps ten minutes, the
others came out, the last to do so being Barracola, his burly guard
having preceded him. This time the banker did not walk, but rode in a
tram-car to the ferry, which he crossed. Thence he went to Smith and
McNeill's restaurant and had breakfast, going from there to the bank.
Sergeant Collins and his men reported to head-quarters and then went
home for a well-earned sleep.

Up to this time, although his movements were strange and his friends
peculiar, absolutely nothing had been discovered against Barracola, and
it was possible that he might be a harmless member of some perfectly
innocent secret society. The meeting at the barber's, although
suspicious, was by no means (so far as the police knew) a criminal
one. But Sergeant Collins had a very strong card up his sleeve, and he
prepared to play it at once.

At three o'clock that afternoon, having shaved off his moustache, he
called at Barracola's bank, and, stating that his business was of great
importance, was shown into the private room. Barracola looked at him
keenly. "Well?" he said, interrogatively.

Collins acted as though very nervous and embarrassed; then, apparently
plucking up courage, he informed the banker that he had called in the
latter's interests to inform him that a girl on whom he (Collins) was
"rather sweet" had been talking a great deal about young Amato and
Barracola. The girl, Collins continued, had, unbeknown to him, been
fond of Amato. The latter, however, had cast her off, and in a fit of
jealousy she had appealed to him to avenge her.

The banker leaned back in his chair, looking Collins straight in the
eyes.

"See here," he said, angrily, "what's your game? You have not fooled
me for a moment, and unless you explain your object in treating me
as though you were in search of something, I shall appeal to your
superiors, when, believe me, my influence will break you!"

Evidently, reflected the surprised detective, this man Barracola knew
more than his prayers. He kept cool, however, and answered, "Well, sir,
we thought that you, knowing most of the Italian colony, would be able
to help us, although you might not care to do so directly."

"Then why not come to me in a proper manner?" demanded the banker. "I
don't know what you're after and I don't care! Good morning."

"I am sorry to have troubled you," said Collins, politely, and took his
leave.

Once outside, the officer went direct to the Tombs Prison, where he saw
the younger Amato. "I'm going to turn you loose to-morrow," he told the
lad, "providing you tell me why Mr. Barracola is so anxious to have you
sent to the State Prison. Isn't there some woman in it?"

After some talk in this vein the young fellow finally agreed to tell
what he knew, and although this was very little it was of great
importance. The man who had engaged him to call for the letter, he
said, was the proprietor of the saloon at One Hundred and Sixtieth
Street. This man was the "up-town" agent for Antonio Barracola, whose
name, however, it was forbidden to mention in the place. Once before he
had gone to fetch a letter under similar circumstances, and, missing a
train, returned a day late. Believing he had been trying to decamp with
the money, he was taken into the cellar of the saloon by the proprietor
and some of his associates, and would have been knifed there and then
had not one of the men remarked that the father of the boy was valuable
to the Capitano--the "Capitano" being Antonio Barracola, the banker.
Even then it was decided to make away with him, fearing so young a
lad might talk; but Amato, learning the fate in store for him, sent
his sweetheart to the "Capitano" to intercede for him. That was the
substance of the lad's story, and, after hearing it, Sergeant Collins
laid all the facts before his chief in Boston, who in turn communicated
with the New York authorities.

While they suspected that Barracola was mixed up with some crooked
work, the New York police doubted whether there was enough evidence
to warrant any action against him, either a search or arrest, for
Barracola was a very influential man, and influence means much in
America. Collins, determined not to let the matter rest, now tried for
the second time the tack he was working on when he called on Barracola,
when he purposely acted like a novice so as to lead the banker to
believe him a fool. He secured the release (in custody) of young Amato,
whom he walked past the cell in which the boy's father was. Here he
repeated his fairy-tale about Barracola's attempt to "railroad" the
younger man to prison. The boy, fully believing Collins's story, told
his father likewise, and the old man, convinced in turn, promptly
turned informer. His deposition was taken, and on this information the
police decided to act.

On the following Monday, when it had been ascertained that Barracola
was safely within the Jersey City barber's shop, Sergeant Collins
walked into the place, and before the astonished proprietor could utter
a sound a revolver was placed close to his temple. Another detective
now entered, handcuffed the man, and led him outside as though he was
walking out with a friend. The barber was taken to the police-station,
and there forced to describe the location of the secret door through
which his "customers" so readily disappeared. It was deemed wise to do
this at the station, in case the man should touch some secret button
giving warning to the conspirators.

Meanwhile the place had been surrounded, and Sergeant Collins,
accompanied by Officers O'Brien, O'Malley, Whalen, Curtis, Snow, and
Hendricks, entered the barber's shop. Going to the place designated,
they found the secret door leading into the house adjoining, and
quietly passed through, closing the door after them. Silently the men
walked down the hall, but not quite silently enough, for, sitting by
the balustrade of the stairway leading into the basement, was the big
Italian before mentioned. He called out sharply before one of the
officers could stifle him. There was a scurrying sound below, and
the detectives rushed down to find the place empty, the rear door
open, and a pitched battle taking place in the yard between their
brother officers and a dozen Italians. The night being dark, it was a
difficult matter to distinguish friend from foe, but the police closed
in resolutely, leaving no loophole for escape, and soon seized their
men. Windows were opened on all sides, and the neighbourhood was soon
in a state of great excitement. Lights were brought, and the captured
men taken back into the house which they had left so hurriedly. Here
a doctor was hastily summoned, for several of the police had been
badly knifed, and one or two of the prisoners had also received some
punishment, the officers' clubs having been very busy among them.

Antonio Barracola and ten others now faced the detectives, who, at
the point of revolvers, searched them as well as the house. The
correspondence, papers, and systematically-arranged reports from
various parts of the country which were discovered afforded conclusive
proof that the captured men were none other than the officers or moving
spirits of the dread "Black Hand." Every possible attempt was made to
keep the thing quiet until further arrests could be made, but this
proved futile, the affair creating an absolute _furore_.

Sergeant Collins and Officer Whalen took charge of Antonio Barracola,
who protested that he simply acted as banker for the others, whom he
knew only in a business way.

The prisoners were taken to head-quarters and Barracola's private house
was searched. Nothing was found there of an incriminating nature, but a
secret door was discovered leading into his brother's house, and here
complete sets of books dealing with the entire affairs of the "Black
Hand" were found, all the handwriting being the same as that of the
first note given to Detective Collins by Barracola. The books were
marked "Italian Practical Aid Society."

Arraigned before Magistrate Kernochan, the men were all held for
trial, in company with twenty-seven others arrested in all parts of
the country. Barracola was found to be a man of great wealth, owning
whole blocks of houses in the lower tenement district. The newspapers
devoted pages to the capture of the ringleaders, and thousands of angry
people attempted to get into the court-room every time the men were
brought up for a hearing.

[Illustration: "A PITCHED BATTLE WAS TAKING PLACE IN THE YARD."]

Not until now, however, has the story been told of how Sergeant
Collins, little by little, worked his case up from nothing at all.
Sergeant Collins himself gave the writer the details of this chronicle
in London, while on his way to Italy, there to make certain inquiries
about Barracola, it being believed that the former Italian banker was
also a moving spirit in the malevolent organization known as the Mafia.

Imprisonment for life is the least punishment the majority of the
"Black Hand" captains may expect. "If a dozen of them don't go to the
electric chair I shall be much mistaken," said Sergeant Collins. The
detective will receive some fifty thousand dollars in rewards for his
work in ferreting out the heads of an organization which existed solely
for the purposes of blackmail and murder, and which threatened to
become a perpetual and ever-growing menace to society.



THE WIDE WORLD: In Other Magazines.


A LILLIPUTIAN RESIDENCE.

The illustration given below shows one of the queerest houses in the
United States. It is four storeys high, yet does not exceed an ordinary
cottage in height. The house itself is said to have been built by a
man of small stature and eccentric ideas, and a romantic little story
is connected with the place. When the house was completed--so runs
the legend--its owner was lonely, and, thinking the most expeditious
way to get what he wanted was to advertise in the American papers,
he inserted a paragraph under the heading "Wife Wanted." Scores of
letters and photographs arrived from the hopeful divinities. From the
collection of pictures he selected a beautiful face--one that fulfilled
his ideal of woman and wife. They corresponded and an engagement
resulted. The prospective bride left her Eastern home and came to the
eager bridegroom in California. She was a magnificent specimen of
womanhood--a modern Juno--but, to the horror and complete despair of
the now undone bridegroom, she was six feet high: for him and his house
a giantess. Under no possibility could he get her into his "Diamond
Castle." This was an insurmountable obstacle to their marriage, and
with great sadness they held a consultation and decided to part for
ever.--"+THE STRAND MAGAZINE+."

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *


PRESIDENT CASTRO'S STEEL PALACE.

President Castro, of Venezuela, lives in what is probably the most
remarkable dwelling-place of any modern ruler. It stands within a park
at Caracas, and is built almost entirely of steel. The outer walls
are covered with a kind of soft stone, so to look at there is nothing
peculiar about the place; but it is said to be the strongest house in
the world, and it will resist the heaviest gun fire. The idea of a
steel "palace" occurred to the President after he had had experience of
one or two earthquakes. One night he was awakened by an earth tremor,
and in his fright he jumped out of a window and broke his leg. After
that he decided that bricks and mortar were not safe, hence the reason
for his metal abode.--"+TIT-BITS+."

       *       *       *       *       *


GOLFING DIFFICULTIES IN CHINA.

"I remember once," says Mr. Bertram Steer, in "Woman's Life," "when I
was in Northern China, I and some others were laying out a nine-hole
golf-links near a European settlement, with curious results. The
local mandarin was informed by a native that some 'foreign devils'
were doing weird things, and it seems that in that part of the globe
the laying-out of a golf-links is not exactly an everyday occurrence.
Anyhow, that mandarin sent an urgent despatch to the Imperial
Government at Peking calling attention to our dangerous doings, and
asking for immediate instructions as to the measures he should take to
nip our conspiracy in the bud. We were, he reported, busily engaged in
mining a tract of land near the town, and had already sunk nine holes
ready to receive the charges of dynamite."

       *       *       *       *       *


SEAWEED-FISHING OFF PORTUGAL.

The picturesque boat shown in the annexed photograph (which is
reproduced from "Country Life") is used in the estuary of Aveiro,
Portugal, for the purpose of fishing up seaweed. As the boat moves
slowly along a sort of long-handled rake is dragged along the bottom
of the sea, the weed thus obtained being afterwards dried and used for
manure, for which purpose it is greatly valued.

[Illustration]



  +------------------------------------------------------------------+
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  |                          Odds and Ends.                          |
  |                                                                  |
  +------------------------------------------------------------------+


The Man-Faced Crab--A Lady Big-Game Hunter--Cock-Fighting in Porto
Rico, etc.

In some parts of the desert region of the South-Western United States,
where there are no springs or streams of drinkable water, Nature has
stored the precious fluid in barrel-like cactus plants, of which a
good specimen is shown in the accompanying photograph. They are known
botanically as _Echinocactus_, but English-speaking dwellers in the
desert call them "barrel cactuses." Mature plants stand from two to
four feet in height, with a diameter of one to one and a half feet,
and weigh from fifty to a hundred pounds. When the top of one of these
cylindrical plants is sliced off, the interior is found to be a mass of
watery, melon-like pulp, which, when scooped out and squeezed, yields
several pints of a fluid that makes a fairly palatable substitute for
drinking water. The serviceableness of the _Echinocactus_ as a source
of potable water has long been known to the Indians, and the knowledge
of its properties has saved the life of many a wayfarer who would
otherwise have succumbed to that most awful of all fates--a lingering
death from thirst.

[Illustration: A "BARREL CACTUS"--THE WATER FOUND INSIDE THESE DESERT
PLANTS HAS SAVED MANY A TRAVELLER FROM THE TORTURES OF A LINGERING
DEATH FROM THIRST.

_From a Photograph._]

The striking picture next reproduced was taken on an ostrich farm
in Cape Colony, and shows the stately-looking birds indulging in
their "morning dip." Ostrich-farming is a profitable and interesting
industry, and every year the demand for the magnificent plumes seems to
increase.

[Illustration: AN OSTRICH FARM IN CAPE COLONY--THE BIRDS ARE TAKING
THEIR "MORNING DIP."

_From a Photograph._]

The curious crab shown on the following page is to be found at only
one place in the world--the Straits of Shimonoseki, in Japan. Needless
to say, the Japanese have a legend to account for the extraordinary
face on the creature's back. In the year 1181 or thereabouts, the
story runs, two great tribes--the Tairi and the Minamoto--fought out
a long-standing feud at a place called Dan-no-ura. The Tairis, driven
down to the beach by their opponents, took refuge in boats, but the
victorious Minamotos followed, the battle being continued out in the
straits until the Tairi were exterminated. It is said that the dead
warriors, when their bodies reached the bottom, were turned into crabs,
each carrying his death-mask on his back. Be that as it may, it is an
undoubted fact that this particular species of crab bear upon their
backs a strikingly realistic representation of the features of a dead
Oriental.

[Illustration: THE MAN-FACED CRAB--THIS CURIOUS CRAB, BEARING THE
REPRESENTATION OF A DEAD ORIENTAL ON ITS BACK, IS FOUND ONLY AT ONE
PLACE IN THE WORLD, THE STRAITS OF SHIMONOSEKI, IN JAPAN.

_From a Photograph._]

The photograph given below depicts two very curious pieces of
ordnance--more curious than useful, one would imagine. They are wooden
Chinese guns, captured from the Taku Forts by the Royal Marines during
the operations of 1900-1. Nine feet in length, they have a six-inch
bore, and are composed of thick staves, firmly bound together by wooden
hooping, for all the world like a barrel. These remarkable weapons are
reputed to be over three hundred years old, and are at present mounted
on the parade-ground of the Royal Marines at Wei-hai-wei.

[Illustration: TWO WOODEN CHINESE GUNS CAPTURED FROM THE TAKU FORTS BY
THE ROYAL MARINES--THEY ARE COMPOSED OF THICK STAVES BOUND TOGETHER BY
WOODEN HOOPING.

_From a Photograph._]

[Illustration: A LADY BIG-GAME HUNTER, WITH A MAN-EATING CROCODILE.

_From a Photograph._]

Ladies have won renown in various spheres of activity usually looked
upon as the prerogative of the sterner sex, but really skilful female
big-game hunters are still few in number. Here is a photograph of a
lady who has achieved quite a reputation as a killer of crocodiles. The
picture shows her standing over a newly-killed man-eater, at a place
called Belochpore, on the river Jumna, in India. When this particular
crocodile was cut open there were found inside it two pairs of silver
bracelets, several copper rings, some boars' tusks, two human skulls,
and a new rupee, a truly heterogeneous collection.

[Illustration: COCK-FIGHTING IS PROHIBITED BY LAW IN PORTO RICO, BUT
IS, NEVERTHELESS, STILL SECRETLY PRACTISED--OUR PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS A
SECLUDED TRAINING GROUND FOR THE BIRDS, WHICH, AFTER BEING FED AND
SPRAYED WITH RUM, ARE STAKED OUT IN THE SUN.

_From a Photograph._]

Cock-fighting is as keenly enjoyed by the native of Porto Rico as
bull-baiting was by his Spanish ancestors. In the old days enormous
sums were staked on these birds, and not a few men were ruined by
their passion for the sport. Since the American occupation of the
island, however, cock-fighting has been made a criminal offence
and persons detected in its pursuit are severely punished. But it
is too deeply-rooted a habit to be suppressed in a few years, and
notwithstanding the vigilance of the police it is still extensively
practised. On Sundays and other holidays lovers of the sport select
a secluded place and fight their birds as of old. The foregoing
photograph shows a retired spot in the country where the birds are
trained. They are staked out in the morning sun after having been
trimmed up, sprayed with rum, and fed. The peasants seen in the
background are their guardians and trainers. The Porto Rican game-cocks
are fierce fighters, and, though they fight only with their natural
spurs, often kill each other with a single blow.

[Illustration: A PORTUGUESE PRISON, SHOWING THE INMATES BEGGING FROM
PASSERS-BY BY MEANS OF A BAG ON THE END OF A STRING.

_From a Photo by S. H. Wright._]

They have a happy-go-lucky way of running their prisons in easy-going
Portugal. The annexed photograph shows a corner of a Portuguese
lock-up, and concerning it a correspondent writes: "The prisoners seem
to spend their time in wrangling among themselves and begging food
and money from the passers-by. They have a bag on a string for this
purpose, and dangle it before the pedestrian's nose. The snap-shot
shows a kind-hearted gentleman just putting some coins into the bag,
while excited inmates protrude their heads and arms through the grated
windows."

[Illustration: AN ORNAMENTAL WOOD-PILE--THE PEOPLE OF THIS SWISS CHÂLET
TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN THE DESIGNING OF THEIR FIREWOOD STACK, AND CHANGE
THE PATTERN EVERY YEAR.

_From a Photograph._]

That it is possible to give scope to one's artistic feelings even in
the building of so commonplace and utilitarian a thing as a pile of
firewood for winter use is proved by the next photograph. This depicts
a châlet in the village of Toffeln, near Berne, in Switzerland, which
is celebrated far and wide for its wood-stack, which is seen in the
foreground. Each year the good folks of this particular house endeavour
to make their pile more ornamental-looking than before, and they
usually succeed. The stack is entirely composed of cut logs, extending
right to the centre of the pile, and the structure reaches to the
second storey of the châlet. There is not such another wood-pile to be
found in the length and breadth of Switzerland, and the villagers are
very proud of it.

We are requested to state that the picture of a bear appearing on page
236 of Mr. R. A. Haste's article, "Through New Ontario on a Jigger," in
our June number, was from a photograph taken by Mr. F. C. Ballard, of
Banff, Alberta.

[Illustration: THE MAP-CONTENTS OF "THE WIDE WORLD MAGAZINE," WHICH
SHOWS AT A GLANCE THE LOCALITY OF EACH ARTICLE AND NARRATIVE OF
ADVENTURE IN THIS NUMBER.]



    TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES


    Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
    errors.

    Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.

    Enclosed italics markup in _underscores_.

    Enclosed small caps markup in +plus signs+.





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