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Title: Wide World Magazine, Vol. 22, No. 128, November 1908
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. 128, November 1908" ***

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



Magazines, Jonathan Ingram and the Online Distributed


[Illustration: "BENEATH THE BOUGHS AND RAFTERS OF THE FALLEN
HUMPY--KICKING, CURSING, AND SHOUTING--STRUGGLED FORTY OR FIFTY MEN."

SEE PAGE 110.]



                       +The Wide World Magazine+

  Vol. XXII.                NOVEMBER, 1908.                   No. 128.



BARMAID'S STEEPLECHASE.

                         +By C.C. Paltridge.+

    The story of an exciting race, incidentally giving one a vivid
      glimpse of the humours of an Australian bush meeting in the
                              'seventies.


I have never been a jockey, but I have ridden races under divers
circumstances, having--as is the case with most of us Australians--put
in a considerable time in the saddle one way and another.

[Illustration: THE AUTHOR, MR. C.C. PALTRIDGE. _From a Photograph._]

My people have been mixed up more or less with racing ever since it
started in our State--two uncles and a cousin have been crack amateurs
over the "big sticks," and my brother and myself have each done his
little bit in the same direction, though never attaining to notice in
the cities. My own riding has been confined principally to obscure bush
meetings, and undertaken on the spur of the moment, generally as a
substitute for an absent or "hocussed" jockey.

This was the case at Orroroo, then a newly-surveyed and only
partially-settled district in the north of South Australia, and
the episode took place at the very first meeting held in that now
prosperous and comparatively populous community.

Let me describe the scene, for probably few readers of this magazine
outside Australia have ever beheld anything like it, though many of the
middle-aged and old men "down under" will slap their thighs and say,
"Jove! I've seen it hundreds of times."

Picture to yourself first of all a wide, undulating plain, dotted here
and there with clumps of needle-bush growing in loose reddish sand,
with lignum and ti-tree not altogether absent, while in the distance
could be seen the mingled greens and blues of the salt-bush and
blue-bush. Beyond that, miles away, was a long semi-circular line of
black--the untouched acacia scrub.

In such a scene as this were gathered, one day in 1877, a small crowd
of two or three hundred men, a sprinkling of women and children, and
a multitude of dogs, while horses of every size, shape, and colour,
from the great draught stallion, brought there to advertise his points
to the new settlers, to the slim, clean-limbed thoroughbred, whose
business was to make the sport, were tied to trees or being led up
and down, awaiting their turn to run. Rogues and vagabonds of every
description were among that small crowd--three-card men, purse-trick
men, and all the lower strata of the criminal class, for in those days
the bush race-meeting was a small goldmine to men for whom the cities
and larger towns had become temporarily too warm.

The course was a circle of about a mile and a quarter in
circumference, marked out by flags on either side, the jumps for the
steeplechase--four sets of three stiff panels of post and rail--being
erected just inside the inner flags. The race consisted of three heats
of one mile each, run at intervals during the day, the riders, of
course, weighing out every time.

I will not detail the events on the flat, from the maidens to the
hurry-scurry; they passed off uneventfully amid the usual good-natured
enthusiasm of a crowd of rough men out for a day's fun.

Just as the saddling-bell--a kerosene tin beaten with a stick--rang for
the first heat of the steeplechase, Brady, the owner of a horse called
Barmaid, came up to my uncle, whom I had accompanied to the meeting,
and hurriedly whispered in his ear.

"Never!" cried my uncle, in amazement. "You don't mean it!"

"It is a fact," said Brady; "he's lying out there in the ti-tree,
absolutely helpless. We nearly shook his teeth out, but he didn't move."

"Hocussed, eh?"

"Yes; and if Lean didn't do it I'm a nigger," snapped Brady. "I told
him not to even speak to him, and yet he goes and actually drinks with
him! Confound him!" he added, viciously, as he thought of his lost
chance, for though the horse Lean owned and was to ride, a big, raking
brown gelding called Pawnbroker, was favourite, Brady's little bay mare
was a clever fencer, and had pace enough to lose his rival on the flat.
The stake, too, was twenty-five pounds, quite a respectable sum for so
small a meeting, and Brady had his mare well backed.

Brady was the local publican, and, I believe, an honest man, while Lean
made his living by going from meeting to meeting with his two horses,
generally winning or losing as best suited his book, stopping at
nothing that would make the game pay. At least, that was his reputation.

"What are you going to do?" asked my uncle, presently.

"I don't know," replied Brady; "unless you----"

"Goodness gracious, man!" interrupted my uncle. "With my leg?" He had
recently broken it, and still needed a short stick to assist him in
walking. "Besides," he added, "I am twelve stone, and you only want
nine six." Suddenly he turned abruptly to me. "Do you want a ride,
Charlie?"

"Ain't he too little?" objected Brady. "And can he ride?"

"He can ride if he's game."

I felt a hot flush spread over my face and alternate thrills of heat
and cold run up and down my body as something like fear gave place to
pleasure. At last, in a voice which, I am afraid, was none too steady,
I said, "I _am_ game."

I was promptly hurried away to a bough "humpy," the only edifice of
any kind on the course, constructed of forked uprights supporting a
dozen short cross-pieces, or rafters, surmounted by green gum-boughs
and ti-tree; this served as a drinking-booth (its chief purpose),
weighing-room, stewards' room, clerk's room, and all the other offices
required on a racecourse. An ordinary steelyard, such as butchers
use, dangled from one of the rafters, to which was fixed a stirrup.
I placed my foot in this, having previously donned a blue and yellow
jacket and cap, and clung on until the clerk of the scales said, "Eight
stone two." With a saddle and bridle weighing twelve pounds I had to
carry six pounds of dead weight, made up partly of lead, in the usual
way, and partly by rolling up a big rug and tying it on to the saddle,
swag-fashion.

"It will help to keep you on, my boy," said my uncle as he fixed it.

The crowd jeered good-temperedly at me as I was led out. "Why don't you
tie him on?" said one.

"Going on the wallaby?" (tramping), inquired another.

As we proceeded to the post, Brady addressed me in low tones. "I don't
want to frighten you, sonny," he said; "but that Lean is a bad lot, so
don't let him be too close to you as you go through the needle-bush.
You'll be out of sight there and he might pull you off; run just ahead
of him if you can, but don't have him alongside. When you are going at
the jumps let her pick her own panel. Give her her head and sit tight;
she won't stop and she won't fall. And win this heat if you can; it's
two out of three, you know." A moment later I was among the half-dozen
starters.

In a few minutes we were off, and I felt my heart come up into my
throat as, leading the field, Barmaid took off at the first jump. Being
practically a child--I was only twelve years old--I had not the hands
of an expert, but I managed to steady her a bit between the fences,
and, giving her her head at each obstacle, I won that heat without
being caught, Pawnbroker being a not very close second. Two of the
others fell, and a third was still declining the first fence when we
finished.

In the second heat I was not permitted to have things so much my
own way. Lean caught me at the first fence, and we rose and landed
together. I tried to get in front of him, but he kept Pawnbroker's head
at the mare's shoulder and came on ever faster as I increased the pace,
and we took the next fence at top speed. Lean had evidently thought
I should funk it and pull off; the rest of the field were hopelessly
behind.

Approaching the next fence, I foolishly steadied the mare and dropped
back to his flank. This just suited him. We were racing at the moment
through a small belt of low ti-tree, only our shoulders being visible
to the crowd. The next jump was in the clear, a few yards from the
bushes, and as we approached it--and while we were still almost
concealed--Lean suddenly crossed right under the mare's nose, almost
turning her off the course and throwing her completely out of her
stride. Before she could recover we were upon the fence. She rose at
it, there was a great crash, and I was thrown forward to her neck,
while she floundered with her nose on the ground. I heard the sound of
a great shout as the crowd cried, with one voice, "She's down!" The
next moment, however, the plucky little mare had recovered herself, and
we were sailing after the big brown as fast as bone and muscle could
carry us. Just over the last jump I caught him again, and, sending the
mare for all she was worth, just failed by a neck to beat him; that
made us heat and heat.

[Illustration: "SHE FLOUNDERED WITH HER NOSE TO THE GROUND."]

I, of course, got a great lecture from my uncle for trying to catch him
after the accident.

"There's another heat, you young duffer," he said; "why didn't you keep
the mare for that?"

"I never thought of it," I told him, truthfully enough. In my
excitement, and being so inexperienced, my only thought had been to get
in first.

The crowd, however, were loud in their praises, patting me on the back,
shaking my hand, and loading me with gifts of fruit and sweets.

When we came out for the third and last heat the sun was near setting,
long shadows stretched over the dry grass, and a cool south-westerly
breeze fanned our faces and blew the scraps of paper in which luncheons
had been wrapped hither and thither among the crowd.

Barmaid had been well rubbed down and a couple of buckets of water
poured over her, so that, barring an ugly mark on her stifle where she
had struck, she looked almost as fresh as paint. She was led up to the
humpy and I weighed out for the last time. Lean was not yet ready, and
while we waited for him a man, more than half-tipsy, staggered up to
the booth, leading his horse with a rein hung over his arm. The animal,
evidently unused to a crowd, hung back, and only by dint of much
persuasion was he at last brought close; then his liquor-soaked owner
hooked the rein over the steelyard on which I had just weighed in and
staggered to the counter for a drink.

The horse, already nervous and fidgety, was almost frightened to death
by the noise of popping corks, breaking glass, and the mingled voices
of the now noisy crowd. Suddenly, without warning, he started back,
gave one, two, three desperate tugs at the rein--and down came the
whole humpy, bringing with it, of course, those who had been sitting on
the roof to enjoy the last heat of the steeplechase!

The bridle of stout plaited greenhide held, and after a few wild
plunges the horse went careering madly away over the plain towards the
acacia scrub, the steelyard still dangling from the rein.

The scene that ensued is entirely beyond me to describe. Beneath
the boughs and rafters of the fallen humpy--kicking, cursing, and
shouting--struggled forty or fifty men, fighting wildly to release
themselves.

"Who the dickens done that?" "Get orf my 'ed, whoever you are!"
"Here, pull us out o' this, somebody!"--all sorts of weird cries and
exclamations floated out from the mix-up, until at last, with many
oaths, they emerged one by one from their captivity.

Meanwhile the crowd, whooping excitedly, were trailing over the plain
in the wake of the flying horse. Talk about "two souls with but a
single thought," here were two hundred in similar case. Their thought,
of course, was the scales, without which the steeplechase could not be
decided.

There were men riding, men running, men in carts, men in buggies, men
with coats and men without, all laughing, cursing, and calling, while
off in front went the runaway. Away they all sailed helter-skelter,
some spreading out to the right and left to head the horse off before
he reached the scrub.

Fortunately for all of us the fugitive's progress was hampered by the
dangling scales, and so he was ultimately turned back, caught, and led
triumphantly to the scene of the wrecked humpy, where the scales were
hung to the bough of a tree, Lean weighed, and all was once more ready
for the final.

There was more than a suspicion among the crowd that Lean had purposely
arranged this little diversion in order that he might go out without
weighing--an obvious advantage to him, I having already weighed.

One thing he had succeeded in doing--delaying the race until the sun
had set and dusk began to fall, making it almost impossible to see
across the course in the open, much less in the needle-bush.

There were, of course, only Barmaid and Pawnbroker to run, and I felt
none too comfortable as Lean pulled his great brown beast up to my side
and looked the mare over. When the flag fell he went away in the lead,
evidently intending to repeat his crossing trick, but I lay back a good
two lengths behind. After the second fence he slackened pace to let me
creep up, but I touched the mare smartly with the whip and shot away
in front. I did this so suddenly that he, holding his horse as he was
at the moment, was some seconds before he could get going again. Then
we both steadied and took the third jump carefully. Between the third
and last fences was the clump of needle-bush, extending for about three
hundred yards. These trees, as I said, grow in a loose reddish sand,
and the going there was very heavy, while the needle-like foliage was
so dense that I knew nothing could be seen of the race from the point
where the people were. As I approached this point I remembered Brady's
words, "Don't let him be too close to you in the needle-bush."

I felt that I had had enough of it all; a three-mile steeplechase is
no joke for a youngster, and it was my first race. Lean, I knew, was a
very bad man, and would not hesitate to settle me. So, determined to
get my ordeal over, I plied my whip, and we literally flew. Pawnbroker,
however, being the stronger horse, gained on me every stride in the
sand, and it was with a gasp of terror that I presently saw his tan
muzzle at my stirrup. "Barmaid! Barmaid!" I cried, as with tiring arm
I coiled the whalebone round her flanks, but still that brown head and
red, expanded nostril crept along her side. Then I felt a hand snatch
at my shoulder. Grasping the rolled blanket on my saddle with one hand,
I turned and lashed fiercely at my opponent's face.

With a curse of fury he swayed in the saddle and his horse dropped a
little back. Next, grasping his whip, he aimed a blow at me with the
handle which would have answered his purpose had it got home, but it
fell just too short, and striking the mare just behind the saddle
simply served to quicken her pace.

He caught me no more. The last fence I took alone, he coming along
steadily some four or five lengths behind. Fearful and excited,
however, I finished, using the whip as though running a dead-heat with
the Evil One himself.

I told my uncle and Brady what had happened, of course, but, as they
said, it was no use complaining; it would only be my word against his.
And so the matter ended, Brady rewarding me for winning the race with a
silver watch and chain.

Lean, under his proper name, afterwards became a notorious racing
swindler, and was warned off most of the principal courses in
Australia. He ended his days, appropriately enough, as lessee of one of
the lowest "pubs" in Broken Hill.



The Greatest Horse-Race on Record.

             +By Alan Gordon, of Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.+

  A graphic description of a wonderful six-hundred-miles "endurance
  race" which took place recently in Wyoming and Colorado, arousing
  extraordinary public excitement. The photographs accompanying the
  article were furnished by the "Denver Post," under the auspices of
  which enterprising newspaper the contest was held and the prizes
  awarded.


Some time ago, while in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Homer Davenport, the
famous American cartoonist, made a statement to the effect that the
Arabian steed could travel farther and quicker than any other breed of
horse extant. To this the owners of the _Denver Post_, as patriotic
Westerners, promptly took exception. For hard, steady going, day after
day, they said, the native Western "broncho" could wear the legs off
anything that goes on four feet. This was what the proprietors of the
_Post_ believed, and so strongly did they feel it that they have since
expended nine thousand dollars in instituting an "endurance race,"
which should demonstrate once and for ever the magnificent "staying"
qualities of the broncho.

[Illustration: THE "DENVER POST" SPECIAL ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR THE
STARTING-POINT WITH PRESS REPRESENTATIVES AND COMPETITORS.

_From a Photograph._]

Prizes were offered ranging in value from a thousand to fifty dollars,
and extraordinary public interest was at once manifested in the
contest. The whole West woke up, and entries simply poured in from
Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, and other neighbouring States.
The race was to be over a course five hundred and ninety-five miles
long--from Evanston, Wyoming, to Denver, Colorado, along the famous
old "Overland Trail." The rules governing the contest were few and
simple. Each competitor was to ride from start to finish on one horse.
He was at liberty to go as he pleased and keep on as long as he
pleased, but at regular intervals there were to be "checking stations,"
where veterinary surgeons would examine the horses and rule out any
animal which was not in a fit state to proceed. In this way cruel
overtaxing of the horses' strength--an unpleasant feature of some of
the military long-distance races on the Continent--would be prevented.
For the rest the rider could use his own discretion as to the best way
of covering the six hundred miles of mountain, desert, and rolling
plain that lay between the start and the winning-post.

[Illustration: THE STARTING-POINT OF THE GREAT RACE AT EVANSTON,
WYOMING.

_From a Photograph._]

Evanston is situated in the extreme southwestern part of Wyoming. The
course followed the Union Pacific Railroad across the entire State
to Cheyenne, in the south-east corner, taking roughly the form of
a crescent, and thence dipped southward to Denver. It was a long,
difficult stretch, for it crossed the "Continental Divide" of the Rocky
Mountains and many a dry, sandy desert forsaken of man and beast.
On this occasion, however, few of the riders found it lonesome, for
automobiles followed them in many places, and casual friendly cow
punchers dropped in and rode a few miles here and there for company
with the boys who were entered to prove the supremacy of the broncho.

From Denver a special train was run to Evanston, taking with it the
horses and riders of the section, and picking up others _en route_ at
little stations in Wyoming and Colorado. Some few of the competitors
rode into Evanston on their cow-ponies. Two of these, Workman and
Holman, actually came a distance of four hundred and fifty miles, at
the rate of sixty-five miles a day, riding the same horses that were
entered for the race! Holman, at least, regretted this afterward, as
he admitted that his steed was not so fresh for the start as it should
have been.

The little town of Evanston was hugely excited, and made a carnival out
of the event. There was a big "barbecue" the day before the start, with
races, bull-riding, a parade, and sundry other attractions, and the
town was noisy with the whoops of the gay young fellows who expected to
start out next day on their long, hard trip "down to Denver."

It was early in the morning when the start was made. The twenty-five
contestants were lined up and ready for the pistol-shot before six
o'clock. One of the judges made a short speech to the riders,
cautioning them to ride fair, remember the rules, and do their level
best. Then he stepped back, the pistol cracked, and one of the most
interesting and important races ever run in the West was "on."

[Illustration: THE PARADE BEFORE THE START.

_From a Photograph._]

The only recent long-distance ride worthy of comparison with this
contest was that between Berlin and Vienna, run between officers of
the Austrian and German armies. The distance between these two cities
is about three hundred and sixty miles, and it was covered--over
perfectly level roads--in seventy-two hours by Count Stahremburg, an
Austrian. Second place was secured by Lieutenant Reitzenstein, a German
officer, who took about two hours longer. These horses carried very
light weights, and both of them were put out of commission for life,
one of them falling exhausted at the post and the other dying next day.
It remained to be seen whether the American broncho could outlast the
thoroughbred steeds of the crack European cavalry regiments.

The race was run with several objects in view. One of them was to
determine the value of the native broncho as a cavalry horse for the
United States army; another was to discover how the bronchos compared
with the standard-bred horses entered in the race. In order to make the
data for comparison as complete as possible each horse was thoroughly
examined and its markings and measurements noted. The weight of the
entrants was about nine hundred pounds on the average, though this
varied as much as one hundred and seventy-five pounds each way. The
load they carried was about a hundred and eighty pounds, including the
rider, saddle, and full equipment.

Charles Workman on Teddy took the lead, followed closely by Smith. An
automobile which paced the riders for a few miles came back presently
to report that these two were already opening quite a gap between them
and the rest of the riders. As the day continued the news indicated
that Teddy's long stride was carrying him farther and farther to the
front, Smith galloping a mile or two behind, with Charlie Trew on
Archie hanging to his flanks. Far behind these three came the rest of
the field, scattered over many miles of dusty road.

At Carter, the first checking station, Workman registered at
ten-thirty, no other racer being in sight. He was still alone when he
passed through Church Buttes, though two other riders were looming up
on the distant skyline. At Granger he was still first in and out, Teddy
clipping the miles off one by one like a machine. But Smith was coming
fast from the rear, and at Smith's heels still hung the game little
thoroughbred stallion Archie. It was dark when Workman rode through
Bryan, and by this time Smith had dropped back beaten, but side by side
with Teddy ran Charlie Trew's Archie. By a great spurt the thoroughbred
passed the broncho Teddy and came in to Green River first. Here Trew
registered, having ridden one hundred and twelve miles the first day,
and as he turned away Workman slipped down from the saddle.

"Halloa, Charlie! Beat me in, eh?" he grinned.

"You bet," came the cheerful answer.

"Your Archie hoss is a great little goer, but Teddy will wear him down
to-morrow," commented the other man.

"Mebbe he will, and mebbe he won't," returned Trew, amiably, as he led
his pony to the stable.

Both riders fed, watered, and rubbed down their horses before taking
any refreshment themselves; then they lay down in the stalls and slept
beside their animals till they were awakened before daylight and set
off again. Although he did not know it, Trew had already won the prize
for the longest single day's travel covered in the least time.

[Illustration: WYKERT AND CANTO ENTERING WAMSUTTER, WYOMING.

_From a Photograph._]

The rest of the twenty-five starters were scattered along forty miles
of road to the rear. Most of them slept at Granger the first night,
and one or two dropped out of the race at that point, it being already
plain that their horses were overmatched. Most of the riders, however,
accepted philosophically the fact that Teddy and Archie had so long a
lead.

"It's a long trip to Denver, and I reckon we'll see them boys again
before we drop in there," they told each other cheerfully.

The leaders reached Rock Springs about breakfast time. Teddy was
still jogging along easily with long strides, but Archie was already
labouring a little to hold his own. All along the route were veterinary
surgeons to examine the condition of the horses and put them out of the
race if necessary. Those looking over the couple now were of opinion
that they were setting too hot a pace to last.

"If I were a betting man I would put my money on one of those horses
back with the bunch," said one of the examiners confidently.

The next stretch led to Point of Rocks, over a road which had a good
deal of sand. Teddy's steady trot ploughed right through it, and Archie
had to break into occasional lopes to stay with the big broncho. After
Point of Rocks came more sand, and still more. The Red Desert tried the
horses, for at every step they sank down into the loose, thick sand,
and Archie began to fall back, unable to stand the punishment of the
gruelling pace. At Bitter Creek Workman was riding alone, and he was
still alone when he rode into Wamsutter close on eleven o'clock, having
covered a hundred and ninety-two miles in two days. Considering the
heavy roads, his mount had done wonders. All over Wyoming people threw
up their hats for the local horse when the news was flashed over the
wires that Teddy led by a good many miles. But the veterinaries were
still shaking their heads.

"Too fast! Too fast! Teddy will blow up like the Archie horse," they
predicted, sagely.

It was an hour past noon when Charlie Workman rode into Rawlins next
day, fifty miles nearer the end of his journey. He was followed a few
hours later by "Old Man" Kern, on Dex. Kern was a man over fifty and
the oldest in the race, but as hardy a pioneer as one would meet in a
long day's journey. He was an ex-cow-puncher, ex-sheriff, ex-ranchman,
and what he didn't know about horses was not worth knowing. After Kern
came "Wild Jim" Edwards, a miner, from Diamondville, Wyoming, followed
by Means and McClelland, both of Colorado. Trew was sixth, and after
Trew came Casto, though some of these did not get in till next morning.
Meanwhile Workman and his horse were eighteen miles farther on the
road, in spite of the fact that they had been caught in a driving
sleet storm and had lost the way. He put up for the night at Fort
Steele, having made an average of ninety miles a day, and crossed the
"Continental Divide" of the Rockies into the bargain. It was agreed on
every hand that the wiry little man from Cody had a remarkable animal.
The horse, however, was irritable, ate badly, and appeared to be
nervous.

On the other hand, the steeds of some of the riders in the rear were
still fresh. Jay Bird, Sam, Dex, Sorrel Clipper, Cannonball, and Buck,
ridden respectively by Rolla Means, "Dode" Wykert, Kern, Edwards, Lee,
and Wilcox, all showed up well. A good many were looking for Means's
thoroughbred, Jay Bird, to romp home a winner. Others noticed that
Wykert and Lee, though they were fifty miles behind the pacemaker, came
in each night as fresh as if they had merely been out for an exercise
canter.

[Illustration: WORKMAN, ON HIS POWERFUL HORSE TEDDY, ARRIVING AT
MEDICINE BOW.

_From a Photograph._]

Teddy got as far as Medicine Bow that night, and he was followed two
hours later by "Old Man" Kern on his big bay, Dex. Means and Edwards
also registered at that station for the night. By constant hard riding
three of his competitors had caught the leader after four days' travel,
Teddy having let down very considerably during the day. The rest of
the riders were scattered between that town and Rawlins, a full day's
journey behind. Lee, Wilcox, and Doling were among those close to
Rawlins; Wykert was not far ahead of them; and Casto, on Blue Bell, was
near the front.

From this point the best of the rear-guard began to close in on the
leaders. Steadily the four horses of the vanguard--Teddy, Jay Bird,
Sorrel Clipper, and Dex--pushed forward over the rolling hills towards
the little city of Laramie, and just as steadily those behind jogged
forward in their effort to overhaul them. By nightfall the four were in
Laramie. Soon the horses were groomed, fed, and examined by the judges.
The riders ate their beefsteaks and lay down beside the ponies. Some
time in the small hours after midnight a solitary, dusty traveller rode
into the town and dismounted stiffly from his tired horse. The man was
Wykert and the horse Sam. By long night rides and continual going they
had wiped out the distance between them and the vanguard, and were now
ready to be in at the finish.

[Illustration: WYKERT LEADING INTO CHEYENNE.

_From a Photograph._]

When the riders moved out of Laramie toward Cheyenne the next morning,
there were five of them instead of four. Wykert, with a grin, nodded
greeting to his fellows.

"Mornin', boys."

"Mornin'. Where did you drop from?" asked Kern, nonchalantly.

"Me? Oh, I just happened along to be in at the finish."

"I'll tell them you're coming," laughed Means.

Wykert eyed the horse, Jay Bird, carefully.

"Well, I reckon you'll have to 'phone the news to Denver, then," he
returned, casually.

For Jay Bird, game thoroughbred though he was, showed the effects of
travel very plainly, and though Means might still jest about the
result he was already beginning to suspect that the native bronchos
against which he was pitted would wear him down before the remaining
one hundred and seventy-five miles of the race were covered.

At Granite Canyon "Old Man" Kern and his Dex were in the lead, with
Teddy second, but the five horses kept well bunched, and it was Wykert
who rode first into Cheyenne, the capital of Wyoming, that afternoon.
Eight minutes later Edwards and Workman rode in together. Means and the
thoroughbred were fourth, and the "Old Man" last.

[Illustration: THE SCENE AT THE WINNING-POST, OUTSIDE THE OFFICES OF
THE "DENVER POST." WHEN, AFTER THE SIX-HUNDRED-MILES RACE, WYKERT
AND WORKMAN FINISHED IN A DEAD-HEAT, THE EXCITEMENT OF THE CROWD WAS
INDESCRIBABLE.

_From a Photograph._]

Cheyenne gave the riders a great reception. The Governor of the State,
a former governor, and a retired army general were among those who
went out in automobiles to escort the boys into the city. Everybody
cheered for one or another of the horses, and though the Wyoming ones
were naturally the favourites the Colorado horses got a good round of
applause as well.

It had been the intention of the riders to get a few hours' much-needed
sleep at Cheyenne, but they had scarcely lain down in their stalls
beside the ponies before word came to the others that Workman had
slipped out and was on the road to Denver.

Tired as they were, the others were on their feet in an instant,
slapping on their saddles and making ready to follow. It came cruelly
hard on both mounts and riders, for all of them certainly deserved a
good rest. Instead, they faced a long ride through the night, plodding
on hour after hour in the darkness, persevering doggedly in spite of
fatigue and the craving for sleep. They could not "quit" so long as it
was in their horses to keep on going.

They were now on the final lap, the last hundred miles. The pace was
hot, for each was hoping to wear out the others. Mile after mile they
galloped through the night, the _Denver Post_ automobile at their
heels. At Carr the rest of the five caught up with Workman and Teddy.
After half an hour's rest here two new pacemakers swung out to show the
tired riders the road to Greeley. It was a "Texas jog" at first, then
it quickened to a trot and grew faster, until Dex could no longer keep
the pace. "Old Man" Kern drew to one side.

"It's too fast for me," he said, and let the motor-car pass him.

Jim Edwards was the next to fall back, and after him Rolla Means.
Workman on Teddy and Wykert on Sam were left to fight it out alone.

[Illustration: WORKMAN AND WYKERT, WHO DIVIDED THE FIRST AND SECOND
PRIZES IN THE GREAT "ENDURANCE RACE."

_From a Photograph._]

Three times the big Wyoming horse pulled out in front, but "Dode"
Wykert's roan hung steadily to his heels. Greeley was left behind, and
then Fort Lupton, first one horse and then the other being ahead. At
Brighton they were even, Sam being plainly in the better condition of
the two, but unable to get ahead of Teddy. At last the outskirts of
Denver showed in the distance. Automobiles and horsemen by hundreds had
come out to escort them in. Still the two horses were neck and neck,
and down in the heart of the city, where they passed between two living
walls of excited humanity, they were still abreast. And so, under the
finishing wire, in front of the offices of the _Denver Post_, the two
plucky ponies made their last spurt in the great six-hundred-mile race
with not an inch to choose between them. It had been a dead heat!

The first and second prizes were divided between the two men, but the
"condition prize" of three hundred dollars was awarded to Wykert's Sam
by a unanimous decision of the judges, for there was not the least
doubt that Sam was comparatively fresh, while Teddy was very, very
tired indeed.

Sorrel Clipper, with Edwards up, finished third some five hours later,
and received the two hundred dollars prize. Kern came in shortly
after, and six hours after him Casto, on Blue Bell, crossed the line.
It was nearly twelve hours after this that Lee, on Cannonball, ambled
leisurely down Champa Street and claimed the sixth and last prize.

It was a great race, pluckily run, and every horse that came in for
prize-money was of the broncho breed. Rolla Means's Jay Bird, which
had made so strong a bid for the first place, had given out entirely
about Greeley, some sixty miles from the finish. This was the last of
the standard-bred horses to stay with the leaders. For speed, wind, and
"bottom" the bronchos had come through the test splendidly.

It was a great triumph for the game little broncho. Not pretty to look
at, he is the best in the world for the conditions which prevail on
the plains and in the Rockies. For other surroundings, perhaps, other
types of horse are best, but for rough-and-ready going in all kinds of
weather, with no feed except what it can pick up, the broncho asks odds
of none.



The Promotion of Petroff.

                 +By Maxime Schottland, Doctor Juris.+

  The amazing experience which befell a drunken old Russian
  bootmaker. "The events described occurred within my own cognizance
  while living in St. Petersburg," writes the author. "The episode
  could only have happened in Russia, unless there is any other
  country where the military caste is held in such veneration among
  civilians."


It was the birthday of Petroff, the bootmaker, and he had been
celebrating it in the customary manner. That is to say, he had consumed
so much of his favourite beverage, vodka, that he had now become
hopelessly and helplessly intoxicated. In fact, so drunk was Petroff
that the proprietor of the St. Petersburg inn where he had been soaking
steadily all the afternoon had just turned him out into the street on
the sufficient grounds that he could neither drink nor purchase any
more liquor.

As poor Petroff staggered from the inhospitable doors of the inn,
accompanied by the jeers of the remaining patrons, he fell into the
arms of a couple of stalwart policemen.

"Lemme go," he protested, as the detaining hands tightened on his
wrists. "I tell you I'm not--hic--drunk! I'm all ri'--shober as a
judge, in fact. I want to go home."

The policemen laughed callously.

"You're going to the station with us," remarked the senior, with a grin
at his comrade. "A night in the cells will cool your head, old man.
Now, then, come along. Go quietly, or it will be the worse for you."

Petroff's legs swayed, and he would have fallen had not his escort, who
were accustomed to dealing with such cases, held him tightly in their
grasp.

The spectacle of the tipsy old man being led through the streets in
custody promptly attracted a crowd, who followed the little procession
at a respectful distance. Petroff turned his bleary eyes upon them, in
the vain hope that they might light upon someone who would soften the
hearts of his captors. Then another thought struck him with a chill
feeling of dismay. If--as seemed certain to be his fate--he were locked
up all night his wife would demand an explanation the next time he saw
her. Mme. Petroff was a bit of a virago, and the drunken old reprobate
had a wholesome terror of what might be in store for him if she got
wind of his misbehaviour.

"Lemme go home," he whimpered. "I've a mosh important engagement--hic!
My wife is waiting for me. It's all ri', I tell you."

The crowd laughed uproariously, as though they had just heard an
excellent joke, while the policemen gave their prisoner a push forward.

Petroff wept bitterly. He was just going to burst into an angry
denunciation upon their conduct, when his attention was attracted by
a couple of officers in military uniform, who strode up to him with
outstretched hands.

"My dear fellow," exclaimed the younger of the two, looking at him in
a puzzled fashion, "what on earth is the meaning of all this? It won't
do, you know. We must take care of you."

Petroff's eyes began to blink, and he pinched himself to make certain
he was not dreaming. But no; everything was quite real. Here were two
of the Czar's officers, whom he had no recollection of ever having seen
before, actually claiming his acquaintance! Wonders would never cease!
It was no time, however, for argument. Evidently the strangers meant
him well, and if they were making a mistake he meant to profit by it.
Shaking the speaker's hand, accordingly, he poured out his wrongs in an
eager torrent.

The brilliant uniforms of the two new-comers had a magic effect upon
Petroff's custodians.

"I beg your Excellency's pardon," said one of them, with a deferential
salute, "but we found this--er--gentleman drunk in the streets, and we
thought it best to take him to the station. May I inquire if you know
him?"

The officer nodded.

"Certainly," he returned. "We know him very well indeed. In fact, he's
a neighbour of ours. I'm afraid he's had too much to drink. We'll take
charge of him, though, and see him safely home. Here's something for
your trouble," he added, slipping a couple of roubles into the other's
hand.

"Please call a cab, and we'll take the professor to his rooms,"
observed the second officer, who had not yet spoken.

Petroff smiled affably. It was much pleasanter to be called a professor
than a drunken old man.

"It's all ri'," he exclaimed, delightedly. "These gentlemen
are--hic--old friends of mine. We'll all go home together--see?"

[Illustration: "'MY DEAR FELLOW', EXCLAIMED THE YOUNGER OF THE TWO,
'WHAT ON EARTH IS THE MEANING OF ALL THIS?'"]

The two policemen, their last doubts dissipated by the promptitude with
which the officers claimed their charge's acquaintance, acquiesced
readily enough. A cab was procured and Petroff and his new-found
friends installed therein, while the coachman was directed to drive to
an address in a fashionable neighbourhood.

As the vehicle started off, Petroff looked at his deliverers with fresh
wonder.

"Where have I met you before?" he murmured. "I don't seem to remember.
Did you ever come to my boot-shop? If so, I mush have been drunk!"

The officer thus addressed shook his head gravely. "We had the honour
of meeting your Excellency when you served in the army."

Petroff looked more puzzled than ever.

"The army?" he repeated. "What do you mean? I'm not a soldier. I'm a
bootmaker."

The two officers exchanged glances.

"I beg your pardon for venturing to contradict you, sir, but the Czar
has just been pleased to promote you to major-general in appreciation
of your distinguished services."

Petroff smiled happily.

"It's the first I've heard of it," he murmured.

"I fancied, sir, that you might have been celebrating the appointment
already," was the grave response. "We shall, however, be honoured if
you will join us in a little refreshment. Our house is close at hand."

"Certainly, my friends. I was going to have a drink when those rude
policemen interfered just now."

As the old man spoke the cab drew up at the door of a handsome
building. The next moment Petroff found himself being ushered into a
beautifully-furnished room. Here the first thing upon which his eyes
fell was a sideboard covered with bottles and glasses.

"How perfectly lovely!" he exclaimed, clasping his hands in ecstasy.
"You don't know how thirsty I am. But what house is this?"

"It is your house, general."

The bootmaker's eyes blinked.

"Who's a general?" he demanded, truculently. "I won't have you make fun
of me."

The senior of the two officers bowed deferentially.

"Your Excellency is pleased to jest. Of course you are a general. As,
however, it is only to-day that you were appointed one, it is quite
possible that the fact has escaped your memory."

Petroff's momentary anger evaporated at the speaker's apologetic tone.
After all, it was much better to be a major-general than a bootmaker,
and he was not going to quarrel with his good fortune.

"I did forget it for the moment," he returned, "but I'll remember it
now. If I'm a major-general, though, I must have something to drink,
eh?"

"Certainly, your Excellency," replied the other, as he uncorked a
bottle of vodka and poured out a brimming glass. Petroff sat sipping it
happily, when the second officer came over to his chair and saluted.

"Will your Excellency be pleased to dress now?" he remarked. "It is
time to get into uniform." Then, without waiting for the old man to
recover from the surprise which this announcement created, he brought
forward a richly ornamented tunic, together with the remaining items of
a general's uniform. Petroff gazed at the clothes in awe; he had never
seen so much magnificence in his life.

As his two companions proceeded to make his toilet for him he could
do nothing but murmur, "I'm a general." At last he had repeated the
statement so often that, in his befuddled condition, he almost came to
believe in it.

"I suppose I am _really_ a general?" he remarked, as his companions
assisted him to buckle on his sword.

"There is no doubt of it, your Excellency," replied the senior. "Let me
introduce myself as Major Romanoff, and my colleague here as Captain
Marckovitch. We have been appointed to act as your adjutants, and shall
be pleased to carry out any orders you may give us."

Petroff laughed delightedly. This was a thousand times better than
being a bootmaker and getting locked up for taking too much vodka.

"Very well, then; if I'm a general I must have another drink," he
declared, stretching out his hand towards the table.

The fiery spirit seemed to touch a chord of memory.

"But what about my wife?" he demanded, suddenly. "Does she know I'm
a--hic--general?"

"Certainly, sir. In fact, she has been trying to find you all day."

Petroff's face paled.

"What does she want?" he gasped.

"Merely to offer your Excellency her congratulations."

Here was a new mystery.

"That's very strange. She never wanted to--hic--congratulate me before."

"But she has only just heard of your promotion, sir."

The look of dismay faded from the old man's countenance, and a placid
smile took its place.

"I must buy her a present," he declared.

"Yes, sir. That is why we are going out. Your wife will have to be
presented at His Majesty's next reception, and you must accordingly
order her some suitable jewels. Captain Marckovitch and I will be very
pleased to conduct you to a firm where you can obtain such diamonds and
other articles as will be necessary."

Petroff gulped down another glass of vodka. Under its stimulus his mind
was working rapidly.

"That's all very well, my friends, but how am I going to get the money
to pay for them? I spent my last rouble in the inn where the policemen
found me."

Major Romanoff nodded.

"We have not yet had time to draw any funds from the Treasury on your
behalf. Everything will be all right by to-morrow, though. In the
meantime my colleague and myself will see that you are supplied with
whatever you may be pleased to order at any shop. As the afternoon is
drawing in, I would propose that we set out for a drive at once in your
carriage."

Petroff rubbed his eyes in amazement. It seemed that surprises would
never cease.

"But I haven't got a carriage," he protested.

"Pardon me," said Captain Marckovitch, "but your Excellency's
establishment includes a carriage and pair. It is already waiting at
the door. Will it please you to make a start just now?"

"All right! I suppose I can't say anything better than that, can I?"

Captain Marckovitch bowed.

"Certainly, that will do admirably. In fact, sir, it's the only thing
you need say while you are with us. Perhaps you will graciously pardon
me if I take this opportunity of once more reminding you that, as
your appointment is so--er--recent, it would perhaps be best if you
permitted yourself to be guided by Major Romanoff and myself."

Petroff wagged his grey head with an air of profound wisdom. "Quite so.
You tell me what to say, and I'll say it."

The senior adjutant bowed gravely.

"I was going to suggest that, sir. We are now all going out together
to make some purchases for your Excellency's wife. While we are in the
different shops it will not be necessary for you to say anything but
'All right' whenever your opinion is asked. You see, sir, your previous
experience has almost entirely been gained on the field of battle. In
fact, you have only just returned from a campaign."

"Have I?" interrupted the old man. "'Pon my word, I don't recollect it
very clearly."

"Your Excellency was wounded in action," observed Captain Marckovitch,
suavely. "Your memory may not return for a day or two. Still, you have
only to say 'All right.'"

"Yes, I can remember that."

There was only time for a parting glass of vodka, and as Petroff
drained the last drop in the bottle all his qualms disappeared. He felt
determined to show the whole of St. Petersburg that he was as fine a
major-general as any that the army of the Czar contained. The whole
way down the stairs and out into the courtyard he kept repeating to
himself, "I'm a general. All right."

A splendidly-appointed carriage was in waiting at the doorway. As the
trio entered it, Major Romanoff gave the liveried coachman the address
of a jewellery establishment in the Nevski Prospect. A few minutes'
drive brought them to the door. The moment they alighted the manager
and his assistants, dazzled by the magnificent equipage and uniforms
of the party, came forward to receive their illustrious patrons with
deferential bows.

Major Romanoff went up to Petroff, who had sunk heavily into a chair.

"Shall I explain your Excellency's wishes to Mr. Gorshine?" he inquired.

The manager rubbed his hands briskly. The unknown patron was an
Excellency, then!

"All right," said Petroff.

"Perhaps I might be permitted to show his Excellency a selection from
my stock," suggested Mr. Gorshine.

"Quite so," said Captain Marckovitch, hastily. "You must, however,
please understand that his Excellency does not wish to spend more than
two hundred thousand roubles this afternoon. The general," he added,
sinking his voice a little, "is not feeling very well, so perhaps you
had better make all the arrangements with Major Romanoff and myself."

Mr. Gorshine nodded comprehendingly.

"I understand perfectly, sir. His Excellency shall not be
inconvenienced at all. Now, what can I have the pleasure of showing
you?"

"His Excellency wishes to buy a diamond tiara and other jewellery for
his wife. He would also like some rings and bracelets. Show us the best
that your stock contains."

The manager beamed with delight, and, hastily unlocking a large safe,
produced tray after tray covered with beautiful gems. The two adjutants
inspected their contents hastily, and put aside the finest for a more
detailed examination.

"How will this suit?" inquired Captain Marckovitch, picking up a
magnificent tiara.

Petroff, who was feeling drowsy after his plentiful consumption of
vodka, pushed it away with a lordly gesture.

"All right," he exclaimed.

"Then his Excellency approves of it?" inquired the delighted manager.

"Certainly, Mr. Gorshine; you have just heard him say so," declared
Major Romanoff. "Pack it up."

"I'm feeling very thirsty," murmured Petroff. "Why doesn't somebody
give me a drink?"

The obsequious jeweller rushed forward.

"Pray allow me to send for refreshments," he begged.

Captain Marckovitch nodded meaningly towards the chair where Petroff
was sitting.

"Perhaps I ought to have told you that the general has a little
weakness," he said. "His Excellency has only lately returned from a hot
climate, and--well--you understand, no doubt."

The jeweller bowed.

"Entirely so, sir," he whispered. "In fact, a brother of mine, who is
also in the army, cannot stand the slightest----"

"Besides," interrupted the adjutant, "we must make every allowance
for so distinguished an officer. Apart from his bravery in action, it
is well known that his kindness of heart, his thoughtfulness, and his
generosity are proverbial. All the presents that he is buying now are
intended for his wife."

"Yes, I'm going to give them to my wife," said Petroff, sharply.
"She'll be so pleased that she'll forgive me. Now bring out some more.
It's all right."

Mr. Gorshine wanted nothing better. Here was a customer who showed a
lordly indifference to price, and who approved of everything set before
him. Clearly a profitable afternoon was in store. Accordingly, he
exerted himself to ransack the shelves and show-cases of their finest
gems. These, after being critically inspected by the two adjutants,
were passed over to their companion, who, for his part, contented
himself with drowsily murmuring "All right."

At last, when goods to the estimated value of two hundred thousand
roubles had been set aside, Major Romanoff declared that enough had
been exhibited.

Mr. Gorshine bowed again. He had done a very fine day's work and
nothing was to be gained by being too greedy.

"Might I venture to inquire his Excellency's name?" he hazarded.

Captain Marckovitch looked at him haughtily.

"I am surprised that you do not recognise the general," he remarked.
"This is his Highness the Prince Savanoff, who has just returned
from special service in the Caucasus. He is at present occupying an
appointment at the Imperial Court."

"That's all right," murmured Petroff.

The jeweller was almost overcome with confusion at the slip he had
made. Not to be familiar with the name of Prince Savanoff--the
illustrious soldier whom all Russia was honouring just then on account
of his distinguished services in the Caucasus--indicated a quite
abysmal ignorance.

"Of course, I recognise his Excellency's name," he protested, humbly.
"I had not, however, seen a photograph of the Prince."

Major Romanoff bent his brows.

"The Prince is as modest as he is brave. On this account he has never
permitted his portrait to appear in the papers."

"Ten thousand apologies," exclaimed the contrite Mr. Gorshine. "And
now, sir, is there anything else I can have the honour of showing you?"

"I will inquire," said the other, as he shook Petroff by the shoulder.
"Is your Highness satisfied with what you have already chosen? If
so, perhaps I had better take the jewels to the palace and let her
Highness, your wife, decide which she will retain. Then, when I return,
you can pay Mr. Gorshine for what she wishes to keep."

"All right," muttered Petroff.

The adjutant turned to the smiling jeweller.

"Very well, then. As time presses, I will start at once. His Excellency
and Captain Marckovitch will remain here to await my return. The
carriage is outside, and I can get to the palace and back in less than
half an hour. Please pack everything up very carefully."

"Certainly, sir. If her Highness would like me to change any of these
ornaments for others I shall be only too pleased to do so. Might I also
beg, sir, that you will use your influence with the Prince to secure me
an appointment as jeweller to the Court? Perhaps his Excellency would
sign my application now?"

The major shrugged his shoulders and glanced at the somnolent Petroff.

"I'm really afraid," he answered, in a low tone, "that his Highness is
scarcely in a condition to sign anything at this moment. Still, I will
remember the matter. I should prefer, however, to speak to the Princess
about it first. After all, these jewels are for her, you know."

"Quite so," was the prompt reply. "I will not detain you any longer."

As he spoke the manager picked up the velvet-lined cases and followed
the adjutant to the carriage. When it disappeared from sight he went
back into the shop, full of delight at the excellent stroke of business
he had accomplished.

"A charming afternoon, your Excellency," he remarked.

Petroff gave vent to a long-drawn-out snore and dropped his head on the
counter.

"The Prince is a little fatigued," observed Captain Marckovitch,
apologetically. "He is not used to buying jewels. Perhaps you will
be good enough to make out your bill, and it can be settled when my
brother adjutant returns with her Excellency's decision."

"Certainly, sir. I will see about it at once."

Withdrawing to the counting-house, Mr. Gorshine spent a pleasant
quarter of an hour totalling up the cost of the various articles
which had been selected on approval. A smile of content spread over
his features as he saw the substantial amount to which it came. Even
if Major Romanoff brought back half the goods there would still be a
handsome profit on the transaction. Certainly, Prince Savanoff was the
sort of customer he would like to see in his shop every day in the week.

Presently he returned and handed the itemized account to the adjutant.
Captain Marckovitch cast a cursory glance over it, and then put it down
with a careless gesture.

"I expected it to be a good deal larger," he said, airily.

Mr. Gorshine began to reproach himself for not having added twenty-five
per cent. to every item. The Prince would have paid it, he felt sure.
However, it was no good wasting time on vain regrets. Accordingly, he
began to speculate what would be the best position in his showroom for
displaying the coveted certificate appointing him Court jeweller. A
quarter of an hour passed in this fashion. Mr. Gorshine looked at the
clock pointedly. The evening was coming on, and it would soon be time
to close the premises for the night.

[Illustration: "'THE PRINCE IS A LITTLE FATIGUED,' OBSERVED CAPTAIN
MARCKOVITCH."]

"Major Romanoff is longer than I expected," observed Captain
Marckovitch, taking out his watch.

"Perhaps he has not found her Excellency at home," suggested the other.

"I dare say you're right. It is quite possible, too, that her
Excellency was out shopping when the major reached the palace. In this
case he will naturally have decided to wait until she returns."

"Oh, naturally," agreed the jeweller.

Another twenty minutes went by. Despite all his efforts to appear at
ease Mr. Gorshine began to feel a little disturbed. Several possible
explanations of the delay occurred to him, the most likely one being
that the Princess might have decided to see the general before making
up her mind.

The adjutant interrupted his train of thought.

"I'm afraid it's not very far off your usual closing time," he remarked.

"We generally close at seven, sir."

The captain glanced at his watch again.

"It is now half-past six. If I start at once I can get to the palace
and back by seven. Would you like me to drive there and explain that
his Highness the Prince wishes her Excellency to make an immediate
decision? Then, if by any chance I find she has not arrived, I will
come back with Major Romanoff and the jewels."

Mr. Gorshine felt almost overwhelmed at such condescension.

"I could not think of troubling you, sir," he protested. "I will send
one of my assistants."

"I'm afraid that won't do," returned the other, with a laugh. "You see,
only an officer of the Guards would be admitted to the palace at this
hour, and as I feel that I ought to relieve your very natural anxiety
I will go myself. By the way, on no account disturb his Excellency
during my absence. It would make him very angry, and he might cancel
his order."

"Certainly not, sir."

"Very well, then, I'll start at once. Be good enough to call a cab with
a fast horse."

Secretly overjoyed at having the matter thus settled, but volubly
protesting his disinclination to trouble his illustrious patron, the
jeweller escorted the captain to the door and saw him into a cab. Then
he returned to the showroom, where a group of assistants, with smiling
faces, were watching the still snoring Petroff. As the manager came up
to his chair he opened his eyes sleepily.

"It's all right," he murmured.

Darkness began to fall. It was too late to expect any more customers.
In fact, the usual closing hour had already gone by and the assistants
were beginning to get restless. Mr. Gorshine went to the doorway a
dozen times and peered out into the street. On each occasion, however,
he returned to his desk in disappointment. There was no sign of either
Major Romanoff or Captain Marckovitch.

"What can have happened to his Excellency's adjutants?" he said. "They
ought to have been back here long ago."

The principal assistant blew his nose thoughtfully.

"It's a long way after closing time, sir. I really think we ought to
awaken his Excellency."

Mr. Gorshine, mindful of Captain Marckovitch's injunction, would not
hear of such a thing.

"On no account," he exclaimed. "If we did so, his Highness would be
certain to cancel the order he has given us."

At the end of another half-hour, however, the jeweller decided that it
would perhaps be better to take his assistant's advice after all. There
was just a possibility, too, that the Prince might catch cold. Besides,
he ought to be back in the palace by this time for dinner. Accordingly
he went up to him deferentially and laid a respectful hand upon his
epauletted shoulder.

"I beg your Excellency's pardon," he said, "but your adjutants have not
yet returned, and we wish to close the establishment now. If you will
graciously permit me, I will see you back to the palace."

"All right," muttered Petroff. "I'm a general."

"Certainly, your Highness; but this is closing time."

The vodka mounted to Petroff's brain, and he began to get angry.

"Go to the devil!" he shouted, rising unsteadily to his feet. "I'm a
general, I tell you. I want a drink. If you don't let me have one I'll
put you all in prison!"

"Oh, pray forgive me!" exclaimed the manager, regretting his boldness.
"I did not mean to inconvenience your Excellency. I merely wished to
point out that it is closing time, and that perhaps you would like to
return home."

A gleam of intelligence crept into Petroff's eyes.

"Yes, I want to go home," he murmured. "I want to see my wife."

"Then pray permit me to escort you. I will send for a carriage at once."

"All right," was the sulky response.

Although the keen night air sweeping up the open street sobered him a
little, Petroff was still somewhat unsteady on his feet. Mr. Gorshine
and a couple of assistants, however, managed to get him into a cab.

"Will your Highness have the goodness to give me the address to which
you wish to be driven?" inquired the manager, deferentially, as he took
the opposite seat.

With some little difficulty Petroff remembered the obscure quarter of
the city in which he lived, and repeated the name and number of the
street. Mr. Gorshine heard the answer in amazement, convinced that
there must be some mistake. His companion, however, showed such an
inclination to become argumentative that he finally decided to humour
him, and they set off for the address indicated.

At the end of half an hour's drive the cab stopped in front of a
squalid-looking house in a mean little side-street, far removed from
the fashionable quarter of the city.

"It's all right," declared Petroff, glancing out of the window. "Here
we are. Don't let my wife get angry with me. Tell her it wasn't my
fault."

The jeweller smiled reassuringly, as the other clung to his arm and led
the way up a steep flight of stairs. At the top floor Petroff stopped
and fumbled with his latch-key.

"Don't wake my wife," he whispered.

As he spoke, however, the door was flung suddenly open, and an elderly
woman, brandishing a stick, rushed out into the passage.

"There you are, then, you wicked old drunkard!" she exclaimed, shrilly.
"I'll give you something for stopping out all this time. See if I
don't!"

"Please don't let her hit me," shrieked Petroff, trying to hide behind
his companion.

"Pardon me, madam, but his Highness is unwell," protested the jeweller,
quite at a loss to account for this extraordinary reception.

Mme. Petroff burst into a peal of derisive laughter.

"Unwell, is he?" she retorted. "He'll be worse presently, I can
promise you!" Then her eyes fell on the magnificent uniform her husband
was wearing.

[Illustration: "'PLEASE DON'T LET HER HIT ME,' SHRIEKED PETROFF, TRYING
TO HIDE BEHIND HIS COMPANION."]

"What drunken freak is this?" she cried. "How dare you dress up as an
officer, you silly old guy?"

Mr. Gorshine's face grew suddenly pale.

"I beg you not to be angry with his Highness," he exclaimed. "His
adjutants, Major Romanoff and Captain Marckovitch, will probably be
here directly."

Mme. Petroff snorted indignantly.

"I believe you're drunk, too. Since when, pray, has my husband been a
Highness? He was Petroff, the bootmaker, this morning."

Mr. Gorshine sank into a chair, overwhelmed with horror.

"What?" he gasped, as soon as he found his breath. "Is not this his
Highness Prince Savanoff, the famous general?"

"The famous fiddlestick," returned the other. "He's no more a Highness,
and a Prince, and a general than you are yourself. He's a rascally,
drunken old bootmaker, who disgraces the name of Petroff."

With the angry woman's shrill laughter ringing in his ears the unhappy
jeweller staggered from the room and rushed down the stairs. He could
think of nothing but the loss he had just sustained. By reporting the
matter to the police at once there was a bare chance that some of the
property might yet be recovered.

The superintendent of police, however, to whom he poured out his story,
could not offer him much encouragement. It was clear that he had been
made the victim of a singularly audacious robbery. The only thing that
the authorities could do was to arrest Petroff as an accomplice. As,
however, there was no evidence to connect him with the theft, he was,
after a week's enforced sobriety, permitted to return to his wife.

This was comforting for Petroff, perhaps, but it was anything but
pleasant for the hapless Mr. Gorshine, who never saw his jewels or the
two "adjutants" again.

[Illustration:



The Humours of a Rectorial Election.

+By "One of the Electors."+]

  Some of the customs in vogue at American Universities are startling
  enough, but it comes as a surprise to learn that the authorities of
  an ancient Scottish foundation, aided and abetted by the police,
  countenance such extraordinary doings as are chronicled in this
  topical article. The writer describes the Glasgow University
  Rectorial Election of 1905, in which he took part as an official of
  one of the clubs concerned.


On October 24th of this year the students of Glasgow University
will choose for themselves a new Lord Rector. Already announcements
have appeared in the Press that the candidates are Lord Curzon
(Conservative), Mr. Lloyd George (Liberal), and Mr. Keir Hardie
(Socialist).

Triennially the public reads in some obscure corner in its newspapers
that a Rectorial election is in progress in a Scotch University, that
the fighting is fiercer than ever before, and that damage has been
done amounting to hundreds of pounds. The reader, according to his
viewpoint, either swiftly ejaculates a condemnation of such barbarous
practices or grins as he detects what he takes to be newspaper
exaggerations. The real facts behind all this the general public never
learn; they never realize what a strange anachronism a Rectorial
election is.

Fancy carefully-organized fighting, with a hundred or two hundred young
men on either side, ending in the wrecking of the premises of the
losers--to the breaking down the plaster of the walls and the tearing
up of the floor--all countenanced by staid University authorities and
countenanced, too, by the police department of a municipality that
prides itself on being the most up-to-date in the country! Indeed, the
police not only countenance the business but actually assist by sending
forces of men to the scene of operations to ring round the arena, keep
back the crowd, and often to hold up the electric cars and other street
traffic while the rival parties push the claims of their respective
candidates _vi et armis_! In the exigencies of the campaign, moreover,
many deeds are done with perfect impunity by the students which would
be seriously visited on less favoured mortals--for example, the cutting
through of main water-pipes, carrying the supplies of whole blocks of
buildings.

The good people of Glasgow are, for the most part, not at all inclined
to withdraw this licence. They are, on the contrary, rather proud of
the sacrifices they make in order that old customs may be kept up, and
their complacency and good-humoured tolerance are almost inconceivable
to people of non-University towns.

That the readers of +The Wide World Magazine+ may realize what lies
behind the fragmentary reports which they will find in their newspapers
this month I shall relate what I know of Glasgow Rectorial elections,
and particularly of the last election in November, 1905, in which I was
specially concerned.

In most other Universities in these days the Rectorship is a purely
academic distinction, probably conferred unanimously by the students.
In Glasgow, however, it is still decided on political grounds.

In the University there exist two permanent clubs: the Glasgow
University Conservative Club and the Glasgow University Liberal Club,
the constitutional purpose of each of which is to effect the election
of a Lord Rector of its own political colour.

For three years--since the last election--these clubs have been
scraping money together. The election will cost each side from two to
four hundred pounds, and the size of the fight they put up and their
output of election literature will be on the scale of the funds in
hand. Needless to say, most of the money comes from party sources
and private subscriptions outside the University, but owing to the
extraordinary nature of the campaign no accounts are ever made public.
Like Tammany Hall and other efficient political "machines," a despotism
is absolutely necessary. The entire control of the money is vested in
four, or three, or even two students, and no questions are ever asked
as to the uses to which they think best to put it.

At the beginning of the session preceding the election the presidents
of the clubs, with great secrecy, approach various leading men of
their parties, and finally fix on candidates. In the second half of
the session, about February, the candidates are announced, and soon
afterwards the Conservative and Liberal Rectorial Committees are
formed. These committees are large, numbering, perhaps, fifty in
each, though, as I have said, the actual executives are very small.
Each committee is divided into three sections--the canvassing, the
literature, and the physical force.

The conveners of these sub-committees are busy all through the summer
vacation with preparations for the coming fray, forming their plans,
inventing ruses, and intriguing for various advantages.

The campaign commences in earnest as soon as college reassembles in
the third week of October, and continues in a wild whirl of excitement
for a fortnight, until the day of election. Then all the leading men,
haggard and nearly dead with fatigue and the incessant strain, go to
bed and sleep for twenty-four hours. The day after the election the
'Varsity is as quiet and peaceful as the most select young ladies'
seminary.

This is the invariable course of events. On the particular occasion I
am about to describe--the election of 1905--the candidates announced
in the spring were Lord Linlithgow (Conservative) and Mr. Asquith
(Liberal). The Liberals had lost the last election badly, but the
reaction against the Government gave them high hopes of pulling their
man through on this occasion.

The summer, apart from the publishing of one magazine by the Liberals,
was, as usual, a time of public inaction, but secret preparations.
The clubs rented two large shops--almost next door to one another,
by mutual arrangement--in a street near the University. These were
the "committee rooms," and were practically the head-quarters from
which the fighting was done. They were prepared for occupation by (1)
removing all partitions and throwing the shop itself and the rooms
behind into one large, bare apartment. (2) Taking out all fittings,
even to the fire-grates. (3) Taking out the windows and filling their
place with very massive, buttressed barricades, having loopholes
high up. (4) Leading in special water supplies and fitting hydrants
for hoses. In addition, the cellars are stocked with great cases of
pease-meal, made up into paper packets of convenient size for throwing.
A piano was also placed in each of the committee rooms.

[Illustration: GIBSON STREET, GLASGOW, WHERE BOTH COMMITTEE-ROOMS ARE
INVARIABLY SITUATED--IN THE LAST ELECTION THE CONSERVATIVES USED THE
PREMISES OF THE LAUNDRY SHOWN AT THE RIGHT OF THE PHOTOGRAPH, WHILE THE
INTERNAL ROOMS WERE TWO SHOPS HIGHER UP THE STREET.

_From a Photograph._]

About the 20th of October students rattled back to their Alma Mater
from all parts of the country with an eager lust for the coming fray.
For myself I can solemnly say that the ensuing fortnight was the
happiest time I have ever had. The abandon, the madness of it; the
fiercest possible fighting and raiding, with a minimum of serious
injury; and behind it all, on both sides, the greatest good-humour--all
these are impossible to describe. Only students, I imagine, could fight
such wild, lunatic fights with never a lost temper.

                 +----------------------------------+
                 |                                  |
                 | _The Glasgow University          |
                 |   Conservative and Liberal Clubs |
                 |   hereby agree to the following  |
                 |   arrangements for the conduct   |
                 |   of the Rectorial Election._    |
                 |                                  |
                 | *       *       *       *       *|
                 |                                  |
                 | 1. The Rooms of the Clubs shall  |
                 |   be used for Fighting on and    |
                 |   after October 25th, with the   |
                 |   exceptions hereafter mentioned.|
                 |                                  |
                 | 2. Pianos shall be held          |
                 |   inviolable.                    |
                 |                                  |
                 | 3. There shall be no Battering   |
                 |   Rams used or similar appliances|
                 |   whose use is dangerous.        |
                 |                                  |
                 | 4. Matriculation and Class       |
                 |   Tickets shall not be taken.    |
                 |                                  |
                 | 5. Fighting shall be with "open  |
                 |   doors," i.e., no insuperable   |
                 |   obstacles shall be placed in   |
                 |   the doorway.                   |
                 |                                  |
                 | 6. Gas fittings shall be         |
                 |   inviolable.                    |
                 |                                  |
                 | 7. Canvassers and Canvass        |
                 |   Sheets shall be inviolable.    |
                 |                                  |
                 | 8. The evenings on which         |
                 |   Smokers are held by either     |
                 |   Club shall be truces.          |
                 |                                  |
                 | 9. Truces shall exist till       |
                 |   half-an-hour after all other   |
                 |   meetings.                      |
                 |                                  |
                 |             JOSEPH DAVIDSON,     |
                 |              _Hon. Secy._,       |
                 |          G.U. Conservative Club. |
                 |                                  |
                 |                 J. C. WATSON,    |
                 |                 _Hon. Secy._,    |
                 |               G.U. Liberal Club. |
                 |                                  |
                 +----------------------------------+
                  THE "ARTICLES OF WAR," PUBLISHED BY
                    BOTH CLUBS IN THESE MAGAZINES.

The atmosphere was something different from the rest of life; it
was like a slice out of the Middle Ages. Up all night and sleeping
during the day, life became for us a complicated mass of plottings
and intrigues, ambushes, wild chases in cabs, men spying on other men
and in turn being shadowed themselves. Last, but by no means least,
there was the unholy but very real joy that comes of the unlicensed
destruction of property. A Rectorial election is the shortest road to
romance in this prosaic modern life that I know of.

The canvass, though very efficient, is comparatively routine work, and
naturally neither particularly novel nor interesting. I shall pass it
over and deal mainly with the fighting. There were four chief features
in the fighting--"painting raids," "regular battles," "magazine
captures," and "bus fights."

At this election some attempt was made for the first time to restrain
and organize the fighting. It was thought that it would be better to
have something in the way of fixed battles by mutual agreement rather
than or in addition to the constant running fight. Consequently truces
were frequently arranged, except at the times fixed on for battles.
These truces, however, were technically held not to inhibit painting
raids.

The front of each of the committee-rooms was, of course, loudly
painted with the party colour--red for the Liberals, blue for the
Conservatives. A painting raid meant stealing out at dead of night,
with paint-buckets and brushes, and daubing the enemy's rooms your own
colour.

Our opponents, however, sometimes received information beforehand
in some mysterious way. The painters would be softly busy, with a
whish-whish of brushes, chuckling to one another, when suddenly,
without a whisper of warning, two deadly streams of water would pour
an irresistible cross-fire from the loopholes and sweep painters,
chairs, and ladders to the ground in a confused, dripping mass. Then
there was much spluttering and vociferation, and, if possible, the
contents of the paint-buckets were made to shoot through the loopholes.
The barricades, however, were invulnerable, and the hoses could not
be withstood. If the enemy are prepared for a painting raid there is
little to do but retire.

In this sort of work it was pretty well give-and-take; both sides
painted and were painted. The raids, however, ceased once the regular
fighting commenced.

This happened a few days later, when the "articles of war," here
reproduced, were published by both clubs in their magazines.

The "open doors" article was new. It came of past experience. If the
massive doors of a committee-room were closed, obviously the only way
of getting at those inside was with axes and heavy rams, with results
and risks, in excited hands, rather more serious than the clubs were
prepared to face. It turned out a wise step, for it had the effect
of making the fights more physical and good-humoured, and in all
probability prevented a great deal of serious injury and wounding.

The article about pianos was, strangely enough, strictly kept. It was
a striking sight at the end of a "wrecking" to see the piano standing
unhurt and immaculate amid a chaos of torn flooring and broken plaster.

The matriculation and class tickets of a student are what make him
eligible to vote, and would cost at least four guineas to replace. To
make war on these would be a shabby way of winning an election.

Though it was the "open season," so to speak, after October 25th very
little fighting was done by the rank and file except at the battles.
The clubs concentrated all their energies on these. The occasions were
arranged beforehand, and there were four altogether.

On the evening of the first battle students arrived in the oldest rags
they could lay hands on. A great crowd of spectators also turned up,
the time of the engagement having leaked out. The crowd was kept back
by a force of policemen. Inside the rooms busy preparations were going
on. Boxes of pease-meal bags were hauled up from the cellar and served
out to all hands--if you were clever you might manage to carry ten of
these most effective missiles. The hoses were fixed up and tested,
while men who were not willing to submit even the worst clothes they
had to the combined effect of pease-meal and water stripped until they
were clad only in the sparsest of underwear.

The Liberals--of whom I may as well confess at once I was one--divided
their force. About two-thirds were detailed for attack, and the
remainder had to stay by the rooms and defend them in case of need.
This boldness was because we had been assured by our scouts that we
were largely in the majority. The Conservatives, realizing their
weakness, only threw perhaps a quarter of their number outside.

A few minutes before the hour the attacking forces lined up opposite
their doors, facing one another. They looked a queer lot, in most
grotesque attire--the first pease-meal bag ready in each man's right
hand, their figures bulging with the remainder. In the rooms the
defending forces were massed at the open doors, while at each loophole
were two men controlling the nozzle of a hose. These waited anxiously,
for the result of the collision of the outside forces determined whose
rooms were to be attacked.

On this occasion, however, there was little doubt. The odds were so
clearly against the Conservatives that, unless they had some stratagem
up their sleeve (which was always very possible), it was decidedly to
be the Liberals' night.

The good-natured and even sympathetic police-inspector in charge capped
the official sanction by consenting to blow his whistle to start us. He
stood, watch in hand, with the whistle between his lips and his eyes on
the minute-hand. Dead silence prevailed all around.

Suddenly the whistle shrilled out, the crowd shouted, and the two
forces rushed at one another, the narrowing space between them netted
with the parabolas of pease-meal bags, which burst like shells where
they struck. The concussion of the adversaries took place somewhere in
the midst of a dense cloud of fine yellow dust. But out of that cloud,
in the direction of the Blue rooms, there emerged a writhing bulk of
men. It was body to body now; there was throwing only on the outskirts.

The Liberals were as three to one, and the Blues were crumpled up and
driven before us. Our advance was irresistible; there was no stand or
halt until they had retreated right into their rooms. In less than
thirty seconds from the whistle we were in the Conservative doorway.

But there we stopped, for all their defence was opposed to us. In that
doorway there was a tight, breathless jam--as severe an experience as I
ever want to have. Our own men from the outside and the Tories from the
back poured in a steady fusillade of pease-meal, of which the doorway
was the focus. The pease-meal bag does not injure, but if it explodes
in the face it fills mouth, nose, ears, and lungs with its nauseous,
choking dust. Here there were hundreds bursting within a few square
feet. The atmosphere was unimaginable.

With eyes tightly shut--one could not see an eighth of an inch if they
were open--jammed off one's feet, and with a roaring in the ears, we
remained there, unable even to think, but possessed with one insensate
idea--to shove, shove, shove, whenever we could get the slightest
purchase.

And presently the hoses were at it. The enemy had brought them away
from the loopholes (where they were useless) and taken them back into
the room. From there they played relentlessly on the jam in the door,
the solid jets striking like rods of iron.

Behind us there were gusts of charging that shook our wedged mass.
Parties of half-a-dozen would run back ten yards and then hurl
themselves in a solid body at the pack. But still the Tories defended
their citadel most pluckily, holding on to the doorway with desperate
tenacity.

But steps were being taken to help us. In the Liberal rooms a small
party of trusted men descended to the cellar. There, by crawling
through holes and breaking down brick partitions, they arrived at
length at the foundations of the block of buildings. Here they
found a network of water-pipes, but to fix on the one which led to
the Conservative rooms was a difficult job. While they were still
hesitating, word came down to them that their men in the street above
were having an awful time with the hoses. A big main pipe was obvious,
and one of the band, equipped with an axe, speedily severed it.

[Illustration: "IN THAT DOORWAY THERE WAS A TIGHT, BREATHLESS JAM."]

Meanwhile, up above, the streams of water were playing splendidly. They
could not break the jam, but they prevented and smashed up any attempt
at organized effort on the outskirts of the attack. Suddenly, however,
they stuttered, leapt out high, and then fell to the merest dribble.
From our packed ranks there rose a muffled growl, which was meant for
a cheer. With the chief obstacle removed--it is wonderful how a hose
deters men--we began steadily to gain.

That terrible jam had lasted for nearly half an hour. The men in the
forefront of the attack had long ago become exhausted, but unlimited
energy came from behind. I felt myself scrape along the wall. Suddenly
the resistance in front gave way and we staggered forward, our mass
opening out like a fan. In another instant we were all inside.

Personally, I was content to lie on the floor in a corner; my eyes
were bloodshot, and my nose bleeding from inhaled pease-meal. But
fresher men set about the wrecking of the premises, and presently I,
too, joined them with zest, while the defeated Conservatives looked on
indifferently or jokingly proffered assistance.

The unsophisticated reader may think there is little to destroy in a
room with bare walls and floor, but we found quite a lot. There was the
woodwork to tear off, the plaster of walls and ceiling to be broken
and poked down. The doors were detached and thrown in the Kelvin, a
very convenient river, along with much other stuff. The gas-pipes for
obvious reasons were inviolable, but much of the water-piping was
destroyed, and in addition two hoses, a large supply of pease-meal, and
a storming platform were captured and transferred to the Liberal rooms.

Thereafter a joint smoking-concert was held in the Liberal rooms, as
being in their present state more comfortable, and both sides had
a very jolly and friendly time, not at all disturbed by a party of
policemen and plumbers, who came round with some strange story of a
burst pipe they had to locate.

Two days later the second fight took place. The Reds were again in a
large majority, and forced the Tory rooms in less than twenty minutes.
Very little had been done in the way of repairing damages, and there
was, consequently, not much scope for the wreckers. Nevertheless,
there were some who were not discouraged, but did their best under the
circumstances. If a barrel of dynamite had been exploded in the rooms
they could not have looked more forlorn and dislocated than they did
after this second visitation.

The third fight took place very late in the evening, because it
followed a Liberal meeting in the St. Andrew's Hall, addressed by Mr.
Lloyd George.

The Conservatives acted on the defensive all through this fight,
and never left their rooms. For over an hour we tried to effect an
entrance, but all in vain. We were baffled by a clever system of
railing, rigged up to lead from each side of the door into the middle
of the room. Almost across this passage was a platform. To enter the
room one had to traverse this nine or ten feet of narrow gangway with
the enemy massed behind the railing on each side, and dead in the face
of a powerful hose which was stationed on the platform and had a clear
sweep down the passage. Moreover, a special, inaccessible water-pipe,
which our underground scouts were unable to discover, had been led into
the building.

It was an impossible task. After many weary efforts we gave it up, and
this fight was declared a draw.

The fourth was the last fight. We had so far had all the advantage. The
enemy's rooms had been twice wrecked; ours were untouched. In this last
fight the Tories made a big effort to equalize, while, for our part, we
were rather slack.

The result was that for the first time they outnumbered us. At the
very start we were swept off our feet and beaten back to our rooms.
Our water supply was cut off, leaving only a feeble trickle, which was
refreshing rather than otherwise. For an hour and a quarter we held
them out; then we broke, and five minutes later the interiors of the
two committee-rooms were as like each other as--well, as they were like
anything.

In addition to these fixed battles there were constantly little
skirmishes in which half-a-dozen or fewer might be engaged on each
side. These mostly centred round attempts to capture the literature of
one party or the other.

The literature was inviolable at the printers' and inviolable when
it was up at college and being distributed, but it was liable to be
seized at any point in transit. The respective printers are, of course,
pledged to secrecy, and, to do them justice, for staid commercial men
they enter into the spirit of the thing with uncommon zest. So much
so, that on one occasion two genuine young Liberals, who had been sent
for some printed matter with insufficient credentials, were suspected
by our wily printers of being Tory spies, and were accordingly decoyed
into a room, locked up for an hour or so, and finally unceremoniously
bundled downstairs.

But, though the firm may be thus zealous, there are always employés in
a large works who are approachable, and, having unstinted money for
bribing, the enemy often get secret information as to when a magazine
may be expected to come out.

During this campaign, however, though there were many exciting cab
chases and encounters, the prize always escaped with its rightful
owners. There was no single delivery of magazines or bills captured
from either side. Once our magazine was only saved by a ruse. Just at
the time of dispatch a party of Tories was observed in waiting. The
convoy was not strong enough to run any risks, and had to use their
wits to save the precious publications. A large number of cabs was
promptly summoned by telephone from the nearest cab office. They all
gathered round the printers' door. Into one of the cabs the magazine
was carried and hidden. All the vehicles then drove off simultaneously
in different directions. Of course, the right cab escaped.

The literature of the campaign, I may mention here, is delightful when
one is "in the know." Unrestrained personalities are bandied backwards
and forwards in elegant Billingsgate with quite remarkable freedom, but
for the most part with perfect good-humour.

[Illustration: GLASGOW UNIVERSITY--IT IS ON THE TERRACE IN FRONT THAT
THE FINAL BATTLE RAGES ON ELECTION DAY.

_From a Photograph._]

The Liberals, being in funds, published eight full magazines during the
campaign, the Conservatives not so many. Only professional journalists
will appreciate the strain on amateurs of putting forth a series of
eight or twelve-paged magazines at intervals of a couple of days.

I have all the magazines before me now. They are full of cleverness
both in writing and caricature, but they are so essentially topical and
personal that it is difficult to make extracts that would be understood
by the non-University reader.

At length the final day of the struggle came round. The election took
place on the first Saturday in November. At an unearthly hour of the
morning parties of Reds and Blues were out pasting their bills all
over the town, on whatever flat surface they could find. These parties
met sometimes, and bills were captured or lost and paste used as an
offensive and defensive weapon.

An hour or two later began the last feature of the campaign--the bus
fights.

Between seven and eight in the morning each club sends anything from
a dozen to twenty buses to outlying parts of the city and to all the
principal railway stations. Nominally, and probably originally, these
buses were meant to collect voters. Now their chief mission is to hunt
and destroy one another.

Each bus is manned by about a dozen men. It carries also a few boxes
of pease-meal, but not many. There is a new weapon to-day, in abundant
rows of cardboard boxes--rotten eggs. Up to the day of election it is
considered bad form to throw anything but pease-meal. But on election
day everything is permitted--soot, red and blue ochre, and, above all,
rotten eggs.

When two hostile buses sight one another--and that is no very rare
occurrence, since they are dispatched to the same districts--the crews
descend and fight in the streets, unless the crew of one bus sees
itself outmanned, when it may fly and be chased at breakneck speed,
to the consternation and dislocation of the regular street traffic.
Otherwise the crews fight in the street until one of the parties is
beaten and forced back into its bus. They must defend this, whip
up the horses, and try to escape. On the other hand, the assailants
endeavour to cover the approach of one of their number who carries a
long sharp knife. It is his business to cut the traces and prevent the
enemy's escape.

[Illustration: "WE SURGED ROUND THE 'FRONT' IN A PERPETUAL RUGBY
'SCRUM.'"]

If they are successful in doing this they put the vanquished bus _hors
de combat_ altogether by cutting the harness to pieces and sending
the grinning driver back to the stables with the horses. The bus on
which I was had the good fortune to win its first fight. The combat
was long and doubtful, and, incidentally, it took place in one of the
busiest streets in Glasgow. All the time it lasted policemen held up
the traffic on either side. When we had finished there were rows of
electric cars packed behind one another, up the street and down; half
Glasgow seemed to be waiting patiently while a score of young men
exchanged hostilities.

When the battle was over we gave the policemen a hand to drag the
dismantled bus of our enemy up a side-street. After that we were
joined by a crew of Liberals who had been dispossessed in a similar
manner. Thus brought to double strength, we soon scored another easy
victory. Then we had a long stern chase after a fugitive bus. It ended
fruitlessly, because we were overloaded.

Finally we made our way to the University, where polling was in
progress all the forenoon.

[Illustration: THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO GLASGOW UNIVERSITY--FROM THE
BALCONY ABOVE THE RESULT OF THE POLL IS DECLARED.

_From a photograph._]

A pease-mealy, egg-plastered crowd we were, as we surged round the
"Front" in a perpetual Rugby "scrum." The game here was to get
possession of the doors and pass only your own men in. The Liberals
succeeded in doing this for a time, but out came the Clerk of Senate
and announced that unless the formation were broken the election would
cease. As we had only sporting reasons for this policy--we knew we were
going to win; the canvass had shown that--we dropped it, and, apart
from a few local centres of disturbance, and the perpetual pease-meal,
soot, and rotten eggs, we became quite pastorally happy and peaceful.
The election goes by a majority of "nations." There are four of these
nations--Glottiana, Rothesiana, Transforthiana, and Loudoniana.
Every student belongs to and votes in one of these, according to his
birthplace. Thus it is possible for a majority of votes to lose the
election if they happened to be massed in one nation.

The result is announced about one o'clock from the balcony. The "Front"
is packed with buses and carriages swarming with students. Long rows of
hansoms contain the "Q.M.'s"--our girl students. They vote as well, but
at their own college. I have not said anything about them during the
campaign because all they do is to canvass and make rosettes.

Presently the white-bearded figure appeared on the balcony. For five
minutes it was hopeless for him to attempt to speak. Then his lips
moved and his beard wagged, and instantly there began a gradual,
slow-swelling yell of terrific volume. Those near who had heard his
words shouted them to those far off: "Asquith is in in four nations!"

Then the buses careered wildly round the town for an hour or two and
the good folk of Glasgow grinned tolerantly, as is their way. Last of
all we went home. It was finished, and we were dying for a long, long
sleep.

In conclusion, for those who wish to follow the Rectorial campaign
at present in progress in Glasgow, I would point out that by a
rearrangement which has just come into force the session now begins on
October 9th, and the election will take place on October 24th, instead
of in November as heretofore.

[Illustration:



The Adventures of "Wide World" Artists.

                          +By J. Sydney Boot.+]

  It has always been our rule, in order to obtain accurate pictures,
  to entrust the illustration of our stories only to artists who have
  actually visited or lived in the various countries referred to, and
  are consequently familiar with the conditions of life prevailing
  there. The result of this custom is that our artistic staff is
  composed of men who have travelled extensively, roughing it in
  many remote parts of the world. In the course of their journeyings
  our illustrators have themselves met with exciting and unusual
  experiences, some of the most interesting of which are here given,
  each artist depicting his own adventure.


I.

That the artists who illustrate the stories in +The Wide World
Magazine+ are recruited from a specially-qualified staff is, we venture
to think, an obvious fact. Our stories, dealing as they do with
stirring adventures and strange happenings, ranging in their _locale_
from our own shores to the uttermost ends of the earth, could not,
of necessity, receive adequate and accurate pictorial embellishment
save at the hands of experts--men, in fact, who have themselves had
experience of the world in its most varied aspects.

Our illustrators must, indeed, have in them something of the soldier,
the sailor, the hunter, the cowboy, or the explorer to find a place in
our pages. Thus, should we have a story dealing with Patagonia, the
pictures are drawn by an artist who has actually visited that remote
country; when it is necessary to illustrate a scene in the Arctic we
employ an artist to whom the everlasting ice is as familiar as the
streets of London. Should we find it necessary to depict a marine
incident we have recourse to the brush of an artist who has himself
been a sailor. In connection with every story we consult our list of
"specials" for one who has either met with a like experience or is
thoroughly familiar with the country concerned. Thus it will be seen
that +The Wide World+ is able to avail itself of the pictorial services
of an altogether exceptional body of men, many of whom have themselves
met with thrilling adventures. As their experiences will have a
particular interest for our readers, we are glad to be able to give
an account of the most exciting episodes in the lives of some of the
artists whose work has been a prominent feature in this magazine.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Henry Sandham is a +Wide World+ artist who has had a distinguished
and adventurous career. By birth a Canadian, of British descent, he has
seen much of the world in out-of-the-way places. He has hunted on the
north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and has probably travelled
North America as extensively as any man living, his sketching trips
having taken him from the north of Canada to the south of the United
States, and across country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He served
his time in the Canadian Volunteer Artillery and saw active service
during the Fenian raid on Canada in 1864. Much to the consternation
of his friends, he once set off on a tour with a notorious desperado
known as "Curley Bill," a "bad man," whose boast it was that he could
not sleep unless he shot a man per month; if troubled with insomnia,
he said, he shot an extra one. Mr. Sandham roughed it for some time
with this fire-eating companion, who tended him with a solicitude only
equalled by that of a mother for her only child; all he could beg,
borrow, or steal he cheerfully placed at the artist's disposal. They
were attended by a dwarf, cousin to "Curley Bill," who, although of
diminutive stature, was quite as desperate a ruffian as his bigger
relative, whom he venerated with an ardour amounting to hero-worship,
and whose dress, manners, and habits he followed as closely as he
could. "Curley No. 2," as he was called, nearly got the party into
serious trouble by wanting to shoot a too-inquisitive miner, and was
only prevented from so doing by "Curley Bill" himself, who took him by
the nape of his neck and shook him as a dog does a rat.

Mr. Sandham has visited the West India Islands, the Azores, Italy,
France, Germany, and Holland. He is a Charter member of the Royal
Canadian Academy, and President Roosevelt accorded him the signal
honour of selecting him to illustrate his book of hunting adventures.

[Illustration: MR. HENRY SANDHAM, WHO, IN ATTEMPTING TO RESCUE A
DROWNING MINER, NEARLY LOST HIS OWN LIFE.

_From a Photo, by Elliott & Fry._]

Among his varied experiences Mr. Sandham has had several narrow escapes
from death, and on one occasion in particular the perilous position in
which he was placed might well have been a creation of the brain of
Edgar Allan Poe rather than an experience from real life.

It was in August, 1882, during a sketching tour in California, that
Mr. Sandham met with this alarming adventure. Accompanied by a brother
artist, he paid a visit to the Little Sailor Mine, which is situated
on a spur of the Sierra Madre Mountains, by the side of the Sacramento
River, some fifty miles from San Francisco. The manager of the mine, in
which hydraulic power is used, invited Mr. Sandham to accompany him on
the occasion of the monthly clean-up of the gold in the tunnels. Always
anxious to add to his store of information, the artist gladly accepted
the invitation, asking at the same time that his friend might join the
party, to which request the manager readily assented.

On the following day Mr. Sandham was on the spot at the appointed time,
eager for what was to him an entirely novel experience. His friend,
however, was late, and he decided to wait for him. As subsequent events
proved, Mr. Sandham owes his life entirely to this trivial incident!
The manager and his staff of assistants, anxious to start the work of
cleaning up without delay, thereupon entered the tunnel, which had
been cut through a high bluff to allow the water a free passage to the
Sacramento River, several thousand feet below the level of the mine.

While waiting for his friend, Mr. Sandham employed his time in making
a sketch of the only "monitor" (delivery-nozzle) then working, and
the man in charge of it sauntered over to watch the progress of his
facile pencil. Before his sketch was finished Mr. Sandham noticed
that the "monitor," which had hitherto been throwing a regular jet of
water at a terrific pressure, by means of which the solid rock was
literally washed away, had become spasmodic in its action. Curious to
learn the reason, he called the miner's attention to the fact. To his
utter astonishment the engineer received his remark with the utmost
consternation, and, throwing up his hands with a gesture of despair,
shrieked:--

"Good heavens! The pipe has burst, and all the boys will be drowned!"

With that he at once dashed off frantically in the direction of the
signal-station to order the water to be turned off at the upper
reservoir, which was situated many hundred feet above the level of the
mine, and was fed from the Sierra Madre Mountains, twenty miles away.
Meanwhile Mr. Sandham realized that with the bursting of the pipe
the tunnel must have been instantly flooded with an immense volume
of water, and that the unfortunate manager and his staff were caught
like rats in a trap. At that very moment they were, without a doubt,
fighting desperately for their lives. With characteristic energy
Mr. Sandham's one desire was to help in the work of rescue, but the
very thought of the men's seemingly hopeless plight left him with a
sickening feeling of impotency. He quickly decided, however, that the
one place where he might be of use was at the outer end of the tunnel,
from which the escaping waters rushed headlong over a precipice,
to fall in a series of frightful leaps some thousands of feet into
the river far below. To reach this spot Mr. Sandham had to climb the
high bluff through which the tunnel was cut, and descend the almost
perpendicular cliff on the other side. The climb itself was no mean
test of a man's agility and nerve, but Mr. Sandham has both, and he was
soon at the summit. As to how he got down the other side Mr. Sandham
says he is to this day not quite clear, but judging from his battered
and bleeding condition and the state of his clothing afterwards he
thinks he must have done so by alternately falling and sliding.

[Illustration: "MONITORS" AT WORK--THE PRESSURE OF THE WATER IS SO
TERRIFIC THAT THE SOLID ROCK IS LITERALLY WASHED AWAY. OUR ILLUSTRATION
IS FROM A DRAWING MADE BY MR. SANDHAM WHILE IN CALIFORNIA.]

Exhausted and breathless, he finally reached the short section of the
flume, immediately under the outlet of the tunnel, leading to the edge
of the precipice. At that instant a dark object shot like a ball from
a cannon out of the cavern into the flume, and was carried along and
swept over the edge of the cliff. Mr. Sandham discovered afterwards
that this was the body of the ill-fated mine-manager. After an interval
of a few seconds another body was fired out of the tunnel, and as it
swept down the flume towards him Mr. Sandham instinctively reached
out his arm to catch it. Next instant his hand was grasped with a
convulsive grip, the man's body swung out to the rush of the water, and
Mr. Sandham knew that on the strength of his arm depended a human life.

At first he thought he could easily rescue the man by hauling him out
of the water, but he speedily found that this was impossible, and that
he was not only fighting for a fellow-creature's life but for his own
as well. His position on the side of the flume afforded him but a
precarious hold, and such was the terrific force of the racing torrent
of water as it threatened to tear the drowning miner from his grasp
that Mr. Sandham realized that he was not only powerless to pull the
man out, but that he himself was in imminent danger of being pulled in.
Once at the mercy of the rushing waters, no power on earth could save
the pair of them from an awful death.

[Illustration: "NEXT INSTANT HIS HAND WAS GRASPED WITH A CONVULSIVE
GRIP."]

It is vastly to Mr. Sandham's credit that even in this dire extremity
he had no thought of releasing his grip of the man's hand in order
to save his own life. At the same time, any such intention on his
part would have been futile, for the frenzied miner, with the fear of
death strong upon him, held him in such a vice-like grip that it was
perfectly clear they must both share the same fate, be it life or death.

The struggle was a grim one, and, putting forth every effort he was
capable of, the artist strove hard to pull the man out of danger. His
frantic endeavours, however, were unavailing, and he felt himself
gradually slipping--drawn irresistibly into the mill-race, which would
sweep him and the hapless miner down the flume and hurl them over the
precipice to meet a frightful death on the rocks far below. Meanwhile
his companion in danger was powerless to help himself, but the agony of
mind he endured was vividly portrayed on his drawn and ghastly face as
he fought with all his strength against the onrush of the current.

Slipping, slipping, inch by inch, until his body overhung the water to
a perilous extent, Mr. Sandham felt instinctively that his strength was
failing him. A few seconds more and the end must come! A cold sweat
broke out on his brow, and his arm felt as though it was being wrenched
from its socket. And then, suddenly, the dreadful strain lessened. The
miner, in his frantic struggles, had managed to grasp the side of the
flume, and, with this added opposition to the force of the water, Mr.
Sandham was able to recover his balance, and at last, with an almost
superhuman effort, he dragged the man from the water.

Their peril did not end here, however, for the force he had exerted
landed the engineer on top of the artist, and in their nervous
excitement the pair clutched each other and rolled over towards the
precipice. The rocks sloped sharply down to the edge, and for the
second time within the space of a few seconds they were in actual
danger of their lives, for the impetus their bodies had acquired
carried them down until their heads were actually hanging over the
chasm. "There was no earthly reason why we should stop there," says Mr.
Sandham, "save that Providence so ordered it." But stop they did, and
in a few minutes they were able to crawl back exhausted to a place of
safety, where they lay unable to move, speak, or even think for some
considerable time. At length the miner sat up and said in a dazed,
monotonous voice, "The boss is gone dead, drowned like a rat in a hole.
Poor beggar, he was to have gone East to-morrow--he had made his pile.
He was going back to his wife and kids. And I should have died with him
if you had not caught hold of me." Then his mind seemed to clear and
he exclaimed, "Say, stranger, what particular kind of fool are you,
anyway? Because, if I had missed my clutch on the flume side when I
got my grip on your arm, we would both be down there, ground up into
tailings. Shake, stranger."

He held out a huge, hairy hand, and Mr. Sandham realized that he had
received a Western miner's heartfelt thanks for the saving of his life.

The water had now been turned off at the reservoir and, the furious
torrent being thus reduced to a mere trickle, all further danger
to those in the mine was over. The miner's convulsive grip and the
terrific strain of the current left Mr. Sandham with a crushed hand and
badly-wrenched shoulder, the effects of which he felt for many months.

Looking back to-day on his adventure Mr. Sandham says that the point
most vividly impressed on his memory is the fact that if he had not
waited for his friend he would have been caught with the others in the
flooding of the mine. Naturally, as the guest of the manager, who had
gone on ahead of the party, he would have been close to him at the
time of the disaster and would undoubtedly have shared his terrible
fate. The rest of the party, being near a manhole, luckily made their
escape--all except the foreman, who had pluckily allowed his men to go
first. His chivalry nearly cost him his life, for he was too late to
save himself and was caught in the flood. It was he whom Mr. Sandham so
pluckily rescued.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the artists who have contributed to +The Wide World+, one of the
most familiar names is undoubtedly that of Mr. Alfred Pearse, whose
well-known signature, "A. P.," appeared in the very first number of the
magazine.

Mr. Pearse has met with such an extraordinary number and variety of
accidents and adventures during his career that he says, "There is
no doubt that by all the laws of chance I ought not to be here, but
killing seems to agree with me."

His list of casualties is an extraordinary one. He has been nearly
drowned three times, and has had concussion of the brain more than
once. He has fallen off the tops of omnibuses--on one occasion through
the bus skidding when he was on his way to Cowes to make a sketch of
Queen Alexandra's pet dogs. This resulted in his being paralyzed in
the legs for six months, and one of his most cherished possessions is
a kindly letter of sympathy from Her Majesty, expressing her hopes for
his speedy recovery. Mr. Pearse has been drugged, poisoned, and shot,
has fallen down Beachy Head, and been knocked down and injured by
runaway horses and motor-cars. He has slipped between a moving train
and the platform, has been within an ace of falling over a precipice in
the Alps, has been chased by wild bulls, been blind for two days (the
after-effects of a red spider bite), and had his left shoulder put out
of joint. It is perhaps permissible, therefore, to refer to him as the
most "accidental" man in the world.

Mr. Pearse's alarming list of mishaps, however, does not appear to have
affected him in any way, for he is to-day as full of vigour and spirits
as many a man of half his years and considerably less than half his
accidents.

But there is one particular experience in his life which Mr. Pearse
confesses stands out above all others in sheer intensity of horror and
nerve-racking anguish--an occasion when he was absolutely and entirely
at the mercy of a raving lunatic. There are, it is safe to say, few men
who have been so near death and have survived the ordeal.

[Illustration: MR. ALFRED PEARSE, WHO WAS SUSPENDED OVER THE WELL OF A
DEEP STAIRCASE BY A MADMAN.

_From a Photo. by Talma, Melbourne._]

This alarming adventure dates back to Mr. Pearse's early manhood, and
had its inception in the introduction into his family circle of a
certain individual who, for obvious reasons, we shall refer to in this
narrative as Mr. X----.

Mr. Pearse first made the acquaintance of Mr. X---- owing to the
interest he manifested in the affairs of the church at which his family
attended. Mr. X---- soon began to show a considerable liking for Mr.
Pearse, and the close friendship which ensued led to the latter's
father inviting Mr. X---- to his house, where he soon became a welcome
visitor. He was undoubtedly an interesting personality, although even
at this time he was regarded as being somewhat strange in his manner
and subject to hallucinations. For instance, he once declared that
he had caused the death of his wife, and also that he took a delight
in poisoning his neighbours' dogs and then offering a reward for the
apprehension of the poisoner. These wild statements, however, were
received with pity rather than credence.

Mr. X---- was, according to his own account, an Australian, and in
appearance was gaunt, large-headed, and glaring-eyed, with a scanty
beard and moustache. He stood well over six feet in height, and was
evidently of immense muscular strength.

Although a man of professedly religious inclinations, his actions were
not always in keeping with his words; and Mr. Pearse, when visiting
him at his rooms, would often find him raving like a madman, reviling
himself and those with whom his past life had been spent. On one of
Mr. Pearse's visits he found Mr. X---- almost delirious with laughter,
owing to the fact that his servant was seriously ill after drinking
some of his master's whisky, into which Mr. X----, suspecting that the
man was in the habit of helping himself, had put some laudanum.

On the other hand, for all his evident madness or wickedness, there
was a good side to his character, and Mr. Pearse once saw him knock
down a bully who had insulted an old man; while on another occasion
he interfered to protect a woman from the brutal assault of her
husband. It was simply for this reason that Mr. Pearse endeavoured to
befriend him, although at times his conduct was such as to strain their
relations almost to breaking-point.

Unfortunately, X----'s conduct went from bad to worse, until at
length he gained for himself an unenviable notoriety throughout the
neighbourhood. Mr. Pearse was still stanch to his ill-guided friend and
ready to welcome him in his home, but his father, having regard to his
son's welfare, could not but regard their friendship with considerable
misgivings, and on one of X----'s periodical visits he was reluctantly
compelled to forbid him the house. X---- received the ultimatum in
sullen silence, and with a vindictive scowl on his face he took his
departure.

Mr. Pearse was at the time studying wood-engraving with Messrs. Nicholls
and Aldridge at 13, Paternoster Row, and one afternoon shortly
afterwards he was considerably surprised when Mr. Nicholls came into
the office and said, "Who is that madman sitting on the stairs?"

Naturally enough the young artist's first thoughts were of Mr. X----,
and he immediately ran out on to the landing to investigate. There,
sure enough, seated on the top stair, was the familiar figure of X----,
wearing a "wideawake" hat and Inverness cape.

They were on the top floor of the building, and there was a large
well staircase with a sheer drop of sixty feet straight down to the
hall below. Mr. X----, whose eyes were staring wildly and whose every
feature was working convulsively, dropped his hat and umbrella at
sight of Mr. Pearse, and without a word seized him by the collar of
his coat and the left arm and forced him towards the banisters. So
sudden was the onslaught that the young man had no time even to call
for assistance, but he nevertheless realized his peril and struggled
desperately in the grip of the madman. Mr. Pearse was not only young
but slight of build for his age, and despite his efforts he was quite
powerless in the hands of X----, who, with the almost supernatural
strength of a maniac, lifted him, apparently without effort, clean
over the banisters, and held him suspended in mid-air over the abyss,
with nothing but sixty feet of air between him and the stone floor
below.

[Illustration: "HE HISSED IN A COLD, HARD VOICE, 'I ALWAYS REPAY! I AM
GOING TO DROP YOU, ALFRED; AREN'T YOU AFRAID?'"]

Even in this awful extremity the one idea uppermost in the artist's
mind was as to his best means of escape. Could he clutch hold of
anything before the crash came? Could he swing himself on to the next
landing or cling to his captor? X----, however, was too cunning in his
methods to allow of any such manœuvres, and Mr. Pearse soon realized
that he was absolutely and entirely at the mercy of a raving lunatic,
and that his life depended, small though the chance was, on his own
coolness and resource.

At that critical moment, curiously enough, the young man's chief
concern was for the welfare of a friend of his, also studying
wood-engraving, who had followed him from the office, and who, with
bulging eyes, open mouth, and face ghastly green with fright, was
a horrified witness of the proceedings, pressing back against the
panelled wall as if he wished he might vanish through it. Mr. Pearse
devoutly hoped the young fellow would remain quiet, for the slightest
movement, he felt convinced, would hasten his own end. Fortunately,
however, he was too petrified by fear to be capable of action or speech.

Thoughts of his mother and her anguish at his tragic death next took
possession of Mr. Pearse's mind, but his desire to live and the
necessity for concentrating his thoughts on his terrible plight were
suddenly brought back to him by Mr. X----, who hissed in a cold, hard
voice, "I always repay! I am going to drop you, Alfred; aren't you
afraid?"

Mr. Pearse was firmly convinced that his last hour had come, but
summoning all his fortitude and exerting his will-power to the utmost
he replied without the slightest hesitation, "No; for I know you will
put me back."

The apparent coolness and indifference with which the young artist
replied were without doubt the means of his salvation, for the madman,
with a profound sigh--as though he was sorry, but was obliged to do
so--pulled him over the banisters and dropped him on the landing. Then
he fled, leaving his umbrella and hat behind him.

Mr. Pearse has never from that day seen or heard of his assailant, but
even now the mere thought of the agonizing suspense he endured at his
hands brings with it a shudder of horror.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MR. A. J. GOUGH, WHO NARROWLY ESCAPED DEATH AT THE HANDS
OF AN INFURIATED COWBOY.

_From a Photo. by Geo. Newnes, Ltd._]

Mr. A. J. Gough is another +Wide World+ artist--a Yorkshireman by
birth--who has seen much of the world and taken part in many an
exciting episode in wild and uncivilized places.

His early youth was spent in India, where his father--Mr. J. W. Gough,
the architect--was building a palace for the Maharajah of Durbhungah;
and there he met with his first adventure, when he lost himself in a
tiger-infested jungle, and was only found by the search-party with much
difficulty.

Mr. Gough subsequently went to America, where his experiences included
encounters with alligators and rattlesnakes and disputes with "bad men"
armed with bowie-knives and six-shooters. He has won fame as an amateur
boxer, and is still a member of the Belsize Boxing Club, being also
well known as a swimmer.

Mr. Gough has roughed it in Florida and Texas, and it was in the
latter State that he experienced his most alarming adventure, on which
occasion he was literally within half an inch of death.

It was at the hands of a cowboy known as "Harry" that he nearly lost
his life. He made this man's acquaintance under the following singular
circumstances. Mr. Gough and a friend of his were on their way to
Florida from New York by steamer, and, as funds were low, had perforce
to travel steerage. Among their fellow-passengers was a man whose
appearance clearly denoted the cowboy, and who, although of rough
exterior and manners, was evidently in some respects fastidious in his
tastes.

He took occasion, early in the voyage, to find fault with the drinking
water supplied in the steerage, which was contained in a huge tin tank.
Calling the steward, he remarked:--

"That there tank isn't fit for a dog to drink out of, let alone a man."

"Isn't it, by gum?" replied the steward, sullenly. "Well, you can take
it from me, it's all you'll get this voyage."

"Oh, it is, is it?" growled the cowboy, with an ugly look in his eyes.
"I can tell you this, mister: if you expect me to drink out of that
blamed horse-trough you are blamed well mistaken!"

"You can take it or leave it," replied the steward, with an oath; "and,
if you are so mighty particular, why don't you go first class? You look
like a millionaire, I _must_ say," he added, offensively.

The cowboy was by this time livid with passion, and, fetching his
"Winchester" from the cabin, he, without further reply, started blazing
away at the tank, from which the water was soon spurting in all
directions.

He had obviously completely lost all control of himself, and on an
attempt being made to secure him he got his back against a bulkhead
and threatened to shoot any man who came near him. If looks went for
anything he certainly meant it, and as no one dare approach him he
fairly "held up" the ship, or, at any rate, the steerage.

In this extremity the captain was appealed to. Seeing that he had a
dangerous customer to deal with, and being anxious to avoid bloodshed,
he pretended to side with the cowboy, telling him he was quite right in
what he had done, and promising to see that the steerage passengers
had a better supply of drinking water. Peace being thus restored the
malcontent cooled down, and for the rest of the voyage he was quite
good-natured and jolly, becoming the life and soul of the ship. In
fact, he became so popular that even the captain and mate of the
steamer joined in the merrymaking which took place in the steerage.
Before the voyage was ended, Mr. Gough--then a youngster in his
teens--and Harry the cowboy had established a firm friendship, and this
was renewed some nine months later at Leesburg, in Florida, whither
Mr. Gough had drifted in search of work. Harry was then ranching at
Sumterville, in Texas, and having taken a violent fancy to Mr. Gough he
offered to engage him to help with the horses, which offer, coming as
it did at an opportune moment, was promptly accepted.

The cowboy was a man of about forty, tall and loosely built, with
deep-set eyes, a bristly moustache, and a square, determined jaw. His
huge, knotted limbs gave evidence of immense physical strength, and
his brawny chest might well have served as a model for a sculptor. On
special occasions he wore on his breast a small solid gold model of a
bull, given him as a memento by a lady whose life he had saved, at the
imminent risk of his own, by killing a mad bull that had attacked her,
and he was exceedingly proud of his queer medal.

Albeit an exceedingly rough specimen of the uncut diamond, Harry the
cowboy was, under normal conditions, of an unusually kind and even
tender-hearted disposition, but, as this story will show, he was
subject to sudden outbursts of temper, often for very trifling reasons,
of absolutely appalling ferocity.

His ranch was situated in a lonely spot, and there for some months Mr.
Gough lived a hard and open-air life, enjoying to the full, in the
vigour of his youth and spirits, the arduous round of a rancher's daily
toil. Although now and again his companion gave way to outbursts of
temper, there was nothing to cause him any serious alarm.

Among his various duties, it fell to Mr. Gough's lot to cook the meals.
On one occasion he had prepared a savoury dish of stew, which he and
the cowboy, at the end of a particularly hard day's work, sat down to
enjoy.

The manners of the establishment were, to say the least, of a
rough-and-ready description, and the two hungry diners sat facing each
other on the floor, helping themselves from a large iron pot.

Mr. Gough, as it happened, was the first to finish his repast, and in
the exuberance of a passing fit of hilarity proceeded to execute a _pas
seul_, hopping on each leg alternately round the bare apartment.

In the course of his antics he came quite close to the seated figure of
the cowboy, who had just helped himself to a fresh plate of stew. Then,
stumbling, he lost his balance, and fell heavily to the ground, his
foot crashing fairly into the middle of his friend's plate.

Mr. Gough at once scrambled to his feet and began to apologize in a
jocular way for his accident. "Sorry, old chap," he exclaimed; "I hope
I haven't spoilt your dinner."

But Harry was not at all disposed to take the matter as a joke, and
with a dangerous glare in his eyes he half rose to his feet. "You
clumsy brute!" he shouted, angrily. "Isn't it hard enough to earn a
meal without you spoiling it with your infernal tricks, confound you?"

"Oh, all right," replied Gough; "there's plenty more, so you needn't
get in a rage about it."

The cowboy was now absolutely beyond himself with passion, and with
twitching lips and starting eyes he reached for his "gun." For the
moment, in fact, he was quite demented and "saw red."

Fortunately, however, his revolver was not at his side. If it had been,
Mr. Gough is firmly convinced that he would there and then have been
shot dead.

Deprived of this weapon Harry leapt to his feet. "You don't spoil a
man's dinner for nothing, I can tell you," he roared, "and, by Heaven,
I'll spoil you, if I swing for it!" With that, carried away by an
ungovernable fury of rage, he drew a gleaming bowie-knife from his belt
and rushed at Gough, who was much his inferior in strength, and was,
moreover, unarmed, thus being apparently entirely at his mercy.

To make matters worse, the cowboy was between the young artist and the
door, so that escape that way was impossible. He has never yet been
found wanting in pluck, however, and, although he felt that his last
hour had surely come, he braced himself to meet the attack. A rapid
glance in search of a weapon of defence showed that there was nothing
within reach. His first impulse was to grapple with his assailant, but
the odds were obviously too great, and there was nothing for it but to
await the attack. This, mercifully, was not long in coming, for, with
the unreasoning fury of a maniac, the cowboy made a dash for him with
upraised knife.

A quick lunge, and the knife flashed downward. If ever a man stood
face to face with death, Mr. Gough did during that awful second.
Instinctively he ducked and dodged the blow, the deadly blade whizzing
over his shoulder, missing him so narrowly that it actually grazed his
head!

Mr. Gough was standing against the wall, and as the cowboy had
literally hurled himself at him in the intensity of his passion,
the knife, driven with all the power of Harry's immense strength,
was buried deeply in the woodwork. So firmly was it embedded that
its owner, in his blind fury, experienced considerable difficulty
in extricating it. The consequent lull in the hostilities gave Mr.
Gough his chance, and with a flying leap he dashed through the door
and gained the open air. Once outside the tables were turned, for the
cowboy was no match for the youngster when it came to a test of speed.

[Illustration: "THE KNIFE, DRIVEN WITH ALL THE POWER OF HARRY'S IMMENSE
STRENGTH, WAS BURIED DEEPLY IN THE WOODWORK."]

This he soon realized, and in a few moments he calmed down. As his
brain cleared the frightful possibilities of his murderous outbreak
dawned on him, and with sincere and abject repentance in every look he
exclaimed:--

"Come inside, old chap. I was mad, and I'm sorry I made a fool of
myself. Here's my hand on it. Shake."

Mr. Gough took the proffered hand and there and then made up the
quarrel, but very wisely he decided not to risk the chances of another
similar outburst, and so shortly afterwards he said good-bye to Harry
the cowboy and secured work elsewhere.

(_To be concluded._)

[Illustration:



Climbing in the "Land of Fire."

                        +By Sir Martin Conway.+]

   Another of the famous Alpinist's fascinating articles, describing
      his attempt to reach the hitherto untrodden summit of Mount
       Sarmiento, the highest peak in desolate Tierra del Fuego.


To the ordinary reader the name of Tierra del Fuego probably suggests
a region about as remote and unfamiliar as any outside the Arctic
regions. Yet the country, far away though it is, is not really
difficult of access. The Straits of Magellan are daily traversed by
ocean-going steamers, all of which stop at Sandy Point on the mainland,
just opposite this forbidding island. Thousands of voyagers annually
pass through the Straits and, if the weather is fine, behold the snowy
mountains on the southern horizon; but very few stop by the way, and
fewer still ever cross to the inhospitable shore opposite. Nothing
more bleak and uninviting, indeed, can be imagined than the shores of
Magellan's Straits. The weather is generally abominable. Rain falls in
soaking torrents. The lower slopes and flats are covered with dense,
reeking forests. Higher up comes the snow, which gradually looms
forth in a pallid, death-like whiteness out of the heavy clouds, very
different in aspect from the splendid brilliancy of Alpine snows,
standing forth against radiant, sunlit skies. In fine summer weather
Alpine snows attract a man upwards; their loveliness seems to invite a
visit. It is far otherwise in the Fuegian archipelago. There the great
range of Andes sinks into the ocean, its peaks become islands, and its
valleys are straits or fjords. You must go by water to the foot of each
mountain, and the navigation is difficult and often dangerous. Not far
away is the raging ocean, everlastingly tortured by storm and tempest.
A black cloud roof generally passes overhead, dragging skirts of hail,
rain, or snow over the reeking earth. Never is the whole round of view
clear. Now one region is blotted out and now another. If the sun shines
for a little while it is soon obscured, and storm succeeds after a
short interval.

[Illustration: A TYPICAL LANDSCAPE IN TIERRA DEL FUEGO, GIVING SOME
IDEA OF THE AWFUL DESOLATION OF THE COUNTRY.

_From a Photograph._]

To an explorer, nevertheless, this region has great attractions, owing
to these very facts. There is so much to discover, the scenery is so
unusual, and there is the possibility of adventure at every step. All
is uncertain, and the way has almost to be felt. Moreover, if perchance
a fine interval comes, the storm-riven, ice-sheathed landscape is so
astounding, the effects of light in so dense and wet an atmosphere are
so extraordinary, that it is impossible to resist their fascination.
Add to all this the spice of danger which still remained when I was
there, and perhaps still remains. The natives were distinctly hostile
to the white man. They were few in number, an amphibious race living
in booths, practically in the Stone Age so far as tools and weapons
were concerned; not very dangerous foes, therefore, yet subtle, and
delighted to slay a white man if they got the chance. They would
overpower him in his sleep, or lie in wait for him in the dense forest,
through which they can travel far faster than he can. Many a man has
been killed by them with their stone or glass-pointed arrows, shot out
of the dense bush from the distance of only a yard or two. When I was
lying in a small launch off the foot of one of the mountains, in the
blackest darkness of a stormy night, a canoe laden with such Indians
crept silently up alongside in the shadow of overhanging trees. Had
we not been on the alert they would have tried to rush our boat, but,
finding that impossible, they as silently glided away; and no trace
of them was anywhere discoverable when morning dawned, though no
doubt they were hidden somewhere near at hand and kept us under close
observation.

[Illustration: MOUNT SARMIENTO FROM COCKBURN CHANNEL.

_From a Photograph._]

As we came into the maze of channels which surround and penetrate the
mountains, though we saw no Indians, we were aware that our coming
was noticed, because at different points columns of smoke arose into
the air. It is thus that the savages communicate with one another.
They have a smoke language, and news is passed quickly and silently
from group to group. It was only when we landed and climbed to a high
point overlooking the channels that we realized what was going on; for
then we were able to observe the columns of smoke in a dozen or more
different places--signals of our movements, spreading gradually over
the archipelago from family to family of scattered Indians.

[Illustration: THE GLACIER OF MOUNT SARMIENTO.

_From a Photograph._]

The great mountain in this part of the world is Mount Sarmiento.
It is only seven thousand two hundred feet high, but its glaciers
reach to the sea, so that it may be compared on an equality, from a
climbing point of view, with Mont Blanc, if that be thought of as sunk
into water up to the snow region. On clear days Sarmiento is visible
to voyagers through Magellan's Straits. It is a glorious mountain,
surrounded by many other noble peaks. In form it is of supreme beauty,
and its surroundings are of the most romantic character. It was this
peak, of course, that I desired to attempt, and I stopped at Sandy
Point for that purpose. After much trouble I obtained the loan of a
steam-launch for a few days, and set forth in the usual bad weather.
We voyaged up various channels, between steep hillsides streaming with
more waterfalls than, I think, can elsewhere exist in an equal area.
In Cascade Reach, for instance, there are literally hundreds of them,
succeeding one another every few yards.

After a day's steaming we reached the foot of our peak, and with much
difficulty found a treacherous anchorage. There were clouds everywhere
above and below, and wooded banks loomed dimly into view close at hand;
but towards sunset there were signs of the weather clearing up. It was
one of those slow midsummer sunsets of high latitudes, when the colour
comes very gradually and fades equally slowly. At first only the icy
base of the mountain was visible in the grey shadow of clouds, with the
dark forest ring around it, and the calm, black water below. Presently
a soft, pink light crept up the tumbled ruin of the glacier, higher and
higher, as the mist dissolved, and revealed steep ice walls scarred by
serrated ridges, and a great arête set with pinnacles of splintered
rock. Some white points on the summit crest appeared, but a soft cloud
floated just above them, enveloping the top. Suddenly--so suddenly
that all who saw cried out--away above this cloud, surprisingly high,
appeared a point of light, as it were a brightly glowing coal. The
fiery glow crept down and down till we beheld the likeness of a great
pillar of red fire. It was a tower of ice-crusted rock reflecting the
bright afterglow of sunset. Regathered mists wrapped the glorious
vision away even before it had begun to fade. We remained afloat on the
calm water, wondering at the utter silence all around. Not a breath
of air stirred, no stone fell, no avalanche slipped. The babbling
glacier-torrent above alone broke the evening stillness.

[Illustration: THE VIEW FROM THE SLOPES.

_From a Photograph._]

Next day we landed to reconnoitre, and at two o'clock the following
morning we set forth for our climb. We landed at the edge of a forest
and had to force our way through it. The ground was a chaos of stones,
the trees grew close together and were densely matted with other
vegetation. The whole place was reeking wet and it was pitch-dark. We
fought and tumbled our way through this hideous chaos as best we might,
and in an hour or two got out on the other side, near the margin of a
glacier. Here we could scramble along well enough over the moraine, and
presently we had daylight to help us. Nothing was visible ahead; there
was the ice-wall on one hand, rock-cliffs on the other. Presently it
seemed better to climb the rocks, and we accordingly turned aside to
scale them. They were not difficult, and we rose higher and higher,
passing through another narrow belt of forest, where the trees grew
in the chinks and crannies of a wall of rock polished by ice and
precipitously steep. Above that came a floundering bog, and then at
last a reasonable grass-slope that narrowed into a rock-ridge. The rock
presently gave place in turn to snow, and led us on to the mass of the
mountain.

The weather was now tolerably clear, though over all there hung a
dark pall of cloud, through occasional holes in which shafts of
solid-looking sunlight penetrated. Where we rested for breakfast we had
a most striking view over desolate channels and still more desolate
islands, a very labyrinth of waterways and mountain walls. We could see
westwards to the ocean and northwards to the continent; the flat land
of the northern part of Tierra del Fuego was at our feet.

Its great mountain backbone was behind us as we faced north. We
looked along the face of it as along a wall, but all its crest was in
the clouds. Looking down whence we had come we saw our boat like a
little cork on the water. Also we could now look down into the water
itself and discover the countless sunken rocks amongst which we had
so casually navigated. There was one, only a short distance from our
anchorage, close to which we must have steamed. These details, of
course, are not charted; a navigator in such out-of-the-way places must
take his luck.

From this point our way lay right up the great northern face of the
peak, which is covered by an ice-cascade. This empties below into a
huge glacier plateau or lake, which is drained by several glacier
tongues, up one of which we had come. As we climbed on I kept looking
round and gazing on the wonderful panorama, for it was obviously
destined to be soon blotted out. Our way lay amongst huge seracs. Deep
crevasses yawned all about, and occasionally we had to double back and
forth to get ahead.

At last, however, we reached plainer going, traversing a steeper but
less broken slope which led to the foot of a final pyramid of rock. But
these rocks, unfortunately, we never actually reached, for the storm
battalions from the north swept furiously down upon us, swallowing up
the view before ever we reached the crest of the range whence we might
have looked down into the dark hollow of Beagle Channel. The darkness
in the north before the tempest fell upon us was truly appalling. As
it advanced it seemed to devour the wintry world. The heavens appeared
to be descending in solid masses, so thick were the skirts of snow
and hail that the advancing cloud-phalanx trailed beneath it. The
black islands, the leaden waters, the pallid snows, and the splintered
ice-encrusted peaks disappeared in the blackness of the storm, which
enveloped us also, almost before we had realized that it was at hand.
A sudden wind shrieked and whirled round our heads; hail was flung
into our faces, and all the elements began to rage together. The
ice-plastered rocks were now easily accounted for; we resembled them
ourselves in a very few minutes. All landmarks vanished; the drifted
snow itself was no longer distinguishable from the snow-filled air.

To advance under these appalling conditions was impossible. The one
thing to be done, and done at once, was to secure our retreat before
it was too late. How we raced downwards! Not till we gained the lower
glacier did snow give place to rain, which soaked us to the skin and
overflowed in a steady stream out of our boots. We floundered in
swamps, tumbled through brushwood, and at last gained the shore, almost
dead beat with toil, yet delighting in what had been, after all, an
exhilarating experience. A boat came off to fetch us, and we were soon
on board our steamer. Thus we did not reach the actual summit of Mount
Sarmiento--that remains virgin, for I could not wait to try it again.
Whoever climbs it will accomplish a great feat and will have a splendid
experience. Some years have already passed since my attempt, however,
and I have not heard of another. I suppose the inhabitants of Sandy
Point have more urgent interests to attend to.

[Illustration: THE UNTRODDEN SUMMIT OF MOUNT SARMIENTO, WHICH THE
AUTHOR WAS PREVENTED FROM REACHING BY A SUDDEN STORM.

_From a Photograph._]



The Spider's Web.

AN UNDERGRADUATE'S STRANGE STORY.

+Told by "Cecil Addington" and Set Down by George A. Raper.+

  A remarkable drama of modern life, showing the pitfalls that lie
  in wait for well-connected and inexperienced young men, and that
  even to-day, in the heart of London, a man may go in peril of his
  life. For obvious reasons the names of the people concerned have
  been changed, but the correct names of all the parties have been
  supplied to us in confidence.


I write this record of a strange chapter in my life with a double
motive. It may serve, firstly, as a warning to others who find
themselves placed in what I once regarded as my enviable position.
Secondly, it ought to have a wider usefulness in opening people's
eyes to the very real dangers that lurk under the surface of London
life. Had anyone told me, two years ago, that a man living in peaceful
England could be in daily danger of assassination at the hands of an
organized gang of villains, I should have found no words strong enough
to express my disbelief. Still less would I have supposed that I, Cecil
Addington, a strong, vigorous young Englishman, would ever go about in
constant dread of murderous violence. Many who read my story will treat
it as the outcome of a disordered imagination and refuse to believe
that the forces of civilization are powerless to protect a man whose
death has been deliberately planned. I wish I could share this belief;
but, unfortunately, my experience points the other way. I have come to
know that there are to-day, in London, men who would not hesitate to
commit murder if it could be done without undue risk to themselves,
and who have enough devilish ingenuity to reduce that risk almost to
vanishing-point.

But I had better begin at the beginning and tell my story simply and
straightforwardly, just as it happened, merely warning the reader that,
though I am relating actual facts, I have, for obvious reasons, used
fictitious names.

In May, 1906, having got away from Cambridge for a few days, I was
enjoying myself in town. I was doing it in a very small way and
under a sense of injustice, for I had nothing like the means at my
disposal that I considered my due. In six months' time, on reaching
my majority, I was to come into possession of thirty thousand pounds
under my mother's will, and yet I had still to get along as best I
might on a poor undergraduate's allowance from my father. He and I
did not hit it off at all well. I was rather stage-struck, and had
made up my mind that an actor's life was the life for me. He did not
see it in that light, and was dead set on getting me into the Foreign
Office, where, he argued, I could use my money and 'Varsity education
to some purpose. If I had not been rather "green," and, I may as well
admit, headstrong, I might have seen that he was right. Anyhow, we
quarrelled, and he decided that, though he could not prevent me from
committing what he called social suicide when I became my own master,
he would at any rate put the financial screw on as long as he could.
The result was that I found myself tied down to the smallest possible
allowance, continued only on condition that I remained at Cambridge.
I was plainly told, moreover, that if I were fool enough to throw up
everything and go on the stage, I should have to exist as best I could.
This gave me "furiously to think," as they say in France. I had sense
enough to realize that budding actors do not fall on their feet at
once, and that I should very likely be most unpleasantly hard up long
before the blessed day came when I could open a bank account of my own.
At the same time I was irritated at being kept in leading-strings, and
my greatest desire was to find some way of circumventing my cautious
parent.

In this frame of mind I set off to London one Friday to spend a
week-end and a few pounds I happened to have in hand. Archie Hunter,
one of my college chums, who was to have gone with me, managed to
sprain his ankle the day before and had to stay indoors. I was half
inclined to give up the expedition, but, chafing as I was under a sense
of restraint, it seemed feeble to let my plans fall through on account
of an absurd accident, and it was with a secret feeling of satisfaction
at my own determination that I got out of the train at King's Cross,
though I was beginning to feel that I might not enjoy myself so very
much, after all, without a comrade.

I spent most of the afternoon hunting up fellows of my acquaintance
in the West-end, and not finding them. Not knowing how to fill up the
interval before dinner, I dropped into a well-known restaurant and
sought solace in a whisky and soda and a cigarette. There were very
few people in the bar--only a knot of two or three men discussing
racing--and I sat, feeling a trifle lonely and not anticipating much
fun for the evening. While I was cogitating the door opened and a
well-dressed man came in. At the first glance I took him to be a
retired Army officer. His hair and moustache were iron-grey, and,
though he might have been well on the wrong side of forty, he looked
every bit as active and supple as myself. His features were remarkably
handsome, and he had an unmistakable air of good breeding, combined
with the easy bearing of an experienced man of the world; in fact, he
was just such a type as youngsters like myself secretly envy and take
as their model. He glanced carelessly at me as he came in, ordered a
whisky and soda, and, standing near me at the bar, took a long pull at
his drink, after which he reached over the bar to take a match. As he
did so his arm touched my glass and overturned it.

[Illustration: "HIS ARM TOUCHED MY GLASS AND OVERTURNED IT."]

He was profuse in his apologies.

"How awfully careless of me!" he exclaimed. "I am so sorry. Hope I
haven't spilt any of the stuff over your clothes?"

I answered that it was not of the slightest consequence, but he
continued to excuse himself, and insisted on having my glass refilled,
in spite of my protests. In another two minutes we were chatting
away as if we had known each other for years. My new friend proved
a delightful companion. He seemed to have been everywhere worth
mentioning and to know all sorts of celebrities. He had a way of
keeping the talk on the subjects which most interested me, and I felt a
secret satisfaction at talking on equal terms with a man so much older
and cleverer than myself. Although I did not realize it at the time,
he was one of those accomplished conversationalists who do not appear
to be saying much, but manage to make the other fellows think they can
talk rather well. He soon found out that I was a Cambridge man, and as
he turned out to be an old Cantab himself, that was another bond of
union between us. We exchanged cards, and I found that his bore the
name of "Captain Wyngate."

We got on so uncommonly well together that I was quite annoyed to find
it was half-past seven, and that I should soon have to think about my
solitary dinner.

As if divining my thoughts, my new acquaintance said:--

"What are you going to do this evening?"

I had to admit, rather against my will, that I had no particular plans
and did not know what to do with myself.

"You had better come and dine with me," he said. "I haven't anything on
to-night, and we might just as well have a bit of dinner together and
go somewhere afterwards, if you feel inclined."

The invitation was given so frankly and cordially that I accepted it
without any fuss, being only too glad of the prospect of a cheerful
evening instead of mooning about by myself. It never occurred to me
that I knew nothing whatever about Captain Wyngate, and that he might
not prove so reputable an acquaintance as he looked.

We took a cab and drove to a queer little French restaurant, quite
unlike anything I had ever seen, in a back street in Soho. In a
general way I regarded the typical London restaurant as a big, showy
establishment, with a profusion of electric lights, flowers on the
tables, and everyone in evening dress. The place chosen by Captain
Wyngate was entirely different. It was up two pairs of very narrow
stairs covered with a red carpet, and seemed to be made up of quite
poky little rooms. We were shown into one containing only a small table
set for two, a sideboard, and a sofa.

"They seem to be expecting us," I remarked, with a laugh.

"Oh, they know my ways here," Wyngate replied, as he proceeded to
question the waiter in French, which was a good deal too fluent for me
to follow.

There was a surprisingly elaborate menu for such a little hole of a
place, and it was with feelings of considerable satisfaction that
I plunged into the dinner. It was admirably cooked and beautifully
served--in fact, it was about the best dinner I had ever tasted; and
by the time I had absorbed my second glass of Burgundy I was feeling
particularly well-disposed towards humanity in general and my host
in particular. Without seeming to question me at all, he showed such
a friendly interest in me that the champagne found us on quite an
intimate footing. Before the coffee and cigars came, and the waiter had
left us alone, Captain Wyngate knew all about me, and I had a strong
impression that he was preordained to be my guide, philosopher, and
friend.

When I bemoaned my fate at being kept on short commons until I came of
age, he smiled.

"You needn't unless you like," he said.

"I've heard of fellows borrowing on their expectations," I replied;
"but it costs a lot, doesn't it? And I don't know anything about that
sort of thing."

"Oh, it's simple enough," he remarked, casually, flicking the ash off
his cigar.

"I might get into some old Jew's clutches," I remarked.

"My dear fellow," he replied, "all those stories about modern Shylocks
are rubbish. You must have been reading about the man in Balzac who was
fool enough to take a bit in cash and the rest in stuffed crocodiles.
All that sort of thing is over now, and if you have anything solid
in the way of expectations you can always raise money on them from
reliable people."

Then, as if the subject did not interest him, he began to talk about
something else; but he had set me thinking. Half-a-dozen times at least
I was on the point of asking him to help me, but I did not want him
to think me hopelessly inexperienced in business matters. At length I
said:--

"Do you know, I have been thinking of raising a little money, and now
that I am in town I might as well see about it."

"If you have made up your mind," he said, "there is no use in losing
time. To whom do you intend to go?"

This was a poser. I had the vaguest possible ideas about money-lenders,
and did not know the name of a single member of the fraternity.

Before I could find an answer he observed:--

"There's Jackson, in X---- Street. Why not try him? I haven't had to
visit him myself, but I know about him, and I will go and see him with
you if you like."

"That would be awfully kind of you," I said, gratefully.

"Of course," he added, "it's of no use unless you can tell him
something definite about the property. He doesn't care about wasting
time on little bits of business, and I suppose you would like to have a
good pocketful of money."

I replied by giving him all the information I had about my
expectations. He listened attentively, asked two or three questions,
said he did not think there would be any difficulty, and made an
appointment for us to meet the following morning. This done, he called
for the waiter, paid the bill, and we spent the rest of the evening at
a music-hall. I returned to my hotel charmed with my new acquaintance,
and feeling a warm glow of satisfaction at the thought that in a few
days I should have as much as I wanted to spend instead of having to
reckon with every shilling.

Next morning, Saturday, I woke in my little sixth-floor bedroom to see
the sun shining brilliantly, and it was in excellent spirits that I
dressed and went down to breakfast. As usual in the season, the hotel
was full, and few seats were vacant in the lofty and lavishly-decorated
hall, still called, by virtue of old custom, the coffee-room. The
cheerful hum of conversation, the noiseless dexterity of the waiters
darting to and fro, the comfort and luxury of the surroundings,
increased my sense of enjoyment, and while waiting for my coffee and
kidneys I began to think what an uncommonly good time I might have in
London. What a fool I had been not to think of raising money before! It
must be simple enough, judging by what Captain Wyngate had said, and he
seemed to know pretty well what he was talking about.

I had barely finished breakfast when the captain himself came into
the coffee-room, much to my surprise. He explained that he had some
business near my hotel, and that he had dropped in on the chance of
finding me, so that we could go to X---- Street together, instead of
meeting as we had originally planned. I was afraid he had put himself
out of his way for my convenience, but this he would not admit, and I
had to put down his visit as another proof of his obliging disposition.
Off we went in a hansom to X---- Street, and were lucky enough to find
Jackson disengaged.

He was not at all the type of man I had expected to see. I had imagined
a rather grimy and snuffy-looking individual, sitting in a little,
dark room, surrounded by safes and deed-boxes. Mr. Jackson, on the
other hand, was quite a gentleman: tall, well-groomed, clean-shaven,
and wearing an immaculate frock-coat. Captain Wyngate was kind enough
to explain why I had come. After this he got up and was about to leave
the room, and I had some difficulty in getting him to stay and help me
out. This was lucky, as Jackson proved a hard nut to crack. He was very
polite, but raised so many objections that I began to despair of doing
anything with him. It was very risky, he said, to lend money to minors,
as he knew to his cost; and then, how was he to be sure I was to get
as much as thirty thousand pounds? Trusts did not always produce what
was expected of them. Finally, after asking a lot of questions about my
family and the date of the will, he promised to make inquiries and give
me an answer at three o'clock in the afternoon.

Had I known more about business it would probably have struck me as
peculiar that a few hours should be considered enough to investigate a
transaction of which the lender was supposed to know next to nothing.
In the light of subsequent knowledge I am convinced that the urbane
Mr. Jackson knew all about the matter long before he set eyes on me,
and that the postponement until the afternoon was a mere blind. In
happy unconsciousness of this I accepted an invitation to luncheon
from Captain Wyngate, who kindly expressed his intention of seeing me
through the business. And a very excellent lunch it was, too--just the
kind of thing to make a man feel at peace with himself and all the
world. Three o'clock saw us back at Jackson's office.

"Well, Mr. Addington," he said, "I have looked into the matter, and I
think I shall be able to accommodate you."

"I'm very glad to hear it," I returned, joyously.

"Of course, I need not tell anyone of your intelligence and education,"
he continued, "that this is a rather irregular sort of transaction, and
very risky for me. If you were to take advantage of being a minor and
should go back on your word, where should I be?"

I assured him there was no danger of anything of the kind happening.

"I could not do business of this kind," he continued, "with anyone who
was not a gentleman, and in whom I did not feel the fullest confidence."

He said this so impressively that I was quite touched--the champagne
at luncheon was certainly very good--and inwardly decided that a
money-lender was just as likely as anyone else to be a good fellow.

"But," he continued, "you must remember the risk, as I said before,
and that I have heavy expenses (he didn't mention what they were),
but I will advance you five thousand pounds on the spot, if you will
undertake to repay me eight thousand pounds when you come of age. The
only other condition that I make is that you insure your life in my
favour, so that in case anything happened to you I should not lose my
money."

This proposal rather took my breath away, and I stared at him blankly.

"I can assure you," he said, with a bland smile, "that these are really
very favourable terms. Plenty of other gentlemen in my line would
refuse to take the risk at any price. Perhaps you would like to talk it
over with this gentleman?" indicating Captain Wyngate.

Without waiting for an answer, he rose and left the room. I cast an
appealing glance at the captain.

"My dear fellow," he said, "you mustn't think that I want to advise
you against your own interests, but you might do worse than take this
offer."

"Three thousand pounds is a lot of interest," I urged.

"It's only a small slice out of your thirty thousand," he replied,
shrugging his shoulders. "Jackson treats you like a gentleman, and will
hand the money over at once. If you go to someone else you may be kept
hanging on for weeks and charged all sorts of fees and expenses."

"All the same----" I began.

"What's the use of haggling about a hundred or two?" Wyngate
interrupted. "You won't save anything in the long run."

His tone and look implied that he considered I was trying to drive a
hard bargain. To be thought mean by this superior being, who had shown
himself so friendly and hospitable, was more than I could endure, and
I hastily replied that he was quite right, and that we might as well
settle the affair at once.

Jackson opportunely returning at this juncture, I signified my
acceptance of his terms. A bond and an insurance proposal which had
been made out beforehand were produced, and I signed them.

"Shall I cross the cheque for payment through your own bank, Mr.
Addington?" Jackson asked, bringing out his cheque-book. "But perhaps,"
he added, before I had to confess that I had no banking account, "you
would prefer to have part of the money in cash. A thousand pounds in
notes and the rest in a cheque? Certainly. If you will kindly count the
notes in this bundle, I think you will find them all right. Thank you,
Mr. Addington. My clerk will call upon you with any other papers there
may be for you to sign."

I walked out with the money in my pocket and my troubles before me.

       *       *       *       *       *

My doings during the next few weeks were not exactly what might be
called judicious, but what can be expected from a youth suddenly let
loose in London with heaps of money and nobody to restrain him? I
am quite willing to admit that I was a fool, but I dare say a great
many other people would not have proved much wiser if they had found
themselves in similar circumstances. Without suspecting it, I was a
sort of Faust in the clutches of a modern Mephistopheles. As Captain
Wyngate had given me the Open Sesame, he naturally stepped into the
position of familiar friend and adviser. Of course, Cambridge saw me no
more. I took up my abode in furnished rooms close to Piccadilly, and
was delighted when Captain Wyngate accepted an invitation to leave his
hotel and share my quarters. Under his guidance I began to enjoy myself
exceedingly. The gaps in my knowledge of the Metropolis filled up very
quickly, and I think I could pass a pretty stiff examination about the
places of amusement, recognised and unrecognised, in London. Wyngate
and I were constantly together, and he introduced me to a good many
men who seemed, like himself, to have no particular occupation except
killing time as agreeably as possible. He generally picked up these
acquaintances on race-courses, in hotel bars, music-halls, and other
public places. We did not go to any private houses. Captain Wyngate
voted dances slow, and I was enjoying myself so much under his guidance
that I was not inclined to differ from him.

In the enclosure at Kempton Park he introduced me to a strikingly
handsome and stylish young lady, Miss Violet Alexander, and took the
earliest opportunity of telling me in a confidential whisper that she
was an actress and immensely clever. Both these statements I afterwards
found to be true in a sense; I did not understand at the time. She
was extremely gracious, and I was much flattered when she invited me
to take a cup of tea with her at her flat in Bedford Park. She soon
fascinated me completely, and after my second visit I was madly in
love, or thought I was. Captain Wyngate, to whose experience I resorted
as a matter of course, suggested that a handsome present would advance
matters very materially. He kindly undertook to find out from the lady
what would be most acceptable to her, and the result was the transfer
of a lace dress and a diamond star to Miss Violet's abode, and a hole
of seven hundred pounds in my bank account. Both these presents were
purchased (very much above their real value, as I afterwards found
out) at shops recommended by Captain Wyngate, on the ground that they
were "the" place for such things, and that gifts were always more
appreciated when the lady knew they came from the very best places.
My gifts certainly did not disgrace even the wardrobe of Miss Violet
Alexander. They made her even more gracious than before, and but for
the rude awakening that came soon afterwards there is no knowing what
further follies she would have made me commit.

One night, when we were to have gone to a new play at the Gaiety, the
captain felt out of sorts and decided to stay indoors with a book and a
pipe. I returned home rather late, and, as I passed his room, I heard
choking, inarticulate sounds. Thinking he must be ill, I opened the
door quietly and looked in. He was lying in bed, tossing uneasily and
muttering in his sleep. While I waited--wondering if I ought to wake
him--his muttering went on, broken here and there by an intelligible
word.

[Illustration: "'HANDS OFF!' HE ALMOST SHOUTED, AND STARTED UP IN BED."]

"The Rigi--Came for your health--Hate looking over precipices, do
you?--Oh, don't be a baby!--Two thousand feet down--Ah, I've done it!"

Beads of perspiration started out on his forehead, and he groaned as if
suffering agonies.

I put my hand on his shoulder.

"Hands off!" he almost shouted, and started up in bed, a horrible
expression of fear on his face.

"Why, Wyngate, old chap, you seem to be having a first-class
nightmare," I remarked.

"Oh, it's you, is it?" he replied, not very graciously. "What are you
doing here?"

"You were talking in your sleep," I told him, "and tossing about all
over the place."

"That's very strange indeed," he said, anxiously. "I'm seldom troubled
with nightmares."

"Yes," I continued, "you thought you were at the top of a precipice in
Switzerland with another fellow, and threw him over."

"Nonsense!" he exclaimed, roughly.

"Weren't you dreaming about precipices?" I asked.

"Nothing of the kind!" he snapped. "I have slept badly, that was all,
and you needn't have roused me."

"Sorry, old chap," I rejoined, and left the room, rather offended by
his unusual surliness.

Next morning Wyngate said nothing about his nightmare, but the effects
did not seem to have left him. He found fault with the breakfast, made
irritable remarks, and, though he was not actually rude, revealed a
side of his character which was new to me. This was, in fact, the
commencement of altered relations between us. I began to notice in his
conversation covert sneers at my youth and inexperience, though this
did not in the least prevent him from borrowing a few pounds from time
to time when a bill came in. The money would not have mattered at all
had he remained the good fellow he had seemed at first, but it was a
different matter now, and I began to chafe.

Things went on like this for a couple of weeks. Then one day Hicks, my
servant, came to me with three of Captain Wyngate's tradesmen's bills.

"The captain," said Hicks, "won't be back till to-night, sir, and he
told me to ask you if you would kindly pay these for him."

This was the last straw. To be sneered at by a man who was living under
my roof, and then to be expected to pay his tailor and bootmaker, was
more than I could stand. With as much composure as I could command,
I told Hicks that Captain Wyngate would settle the accounts when he
returned. I then sat down and wrote my guest a note, in which I told
him what I thought of him, and added that, as he would probably prefer
other quarters, Hicks would pack up his things as soon as he pleased.
After this I went out, spent the afternoon watching a cricket match at
Lord's, and did not return home until late, when, to my great relief,
Captain Wyngate's room was vacant.

"What did the captain say when he read my note?" I asked Hicks.

"He only laughed, sir," was the reply, "and said he was going away for
a change of air."

It was a relief to find that my Old Man of the Sea, as I had now
come to regard the fascinating captain, had been unseated so easily,
and I went to bed feeling decidedly pleased with myself, and quite
convinced that I had heard the last of him. This fond delusion,
however, was shattered the very next day by the arrival of a crop of
his bills, including those of the day before, all brought by men with
instructions to ask for payment. I was for indignantly repudiating all
liabilities, but Hicks deferentially suggested that this might create
a bad impression; and on reflection I saw that a blunt refusal might
bring some of my own creditors about my ears rather sooner than I had
bargained for. I therefore told Hicks to say the accounts would be
settled next day, and meanwhile sent him to the hotel at which Captain
Wyngate was staying before he joined me, with a chillingly polite
note requesting him to settle with his tradespeople. Hicks came back
with the cheerful information that the captain had gone away and left
no address. Not knowing what else to do, I paid. The amount was not
large--some fifty pounds, in fact--but signing the cheques was a very
bitter pill.

Being now left to my own resources, it occurred to me to look into
my finances, and I discovered to my amazement that I had run through
more than four thousand pounds in two months! There were also accounts
owing, and it dawned upon me that at my present rate of living I should
be without a penny long before my twenty-first birthday arrived.

"Bah!" I said to myself. "I can always borrow again if I run short."
And I tried to dismiss the matter from my mind. I suppose, though,
there must have been a thin strain of caution, probably inherited from
a Scotch grandfather, underneath my foolishness, for I could not shake
off a feeling that I was drifting on to the rocks. I went to see Violet
Alexander, with a vague hope of getting sympathy, but was told she had
gone out. I called again and again, with the same result. Could it be
that she did not want to see me?

In this position, ashamed to make it up with my father, and not having
a single friend to whom I cared to turn, I did what I ought to have
done long ago. I went to Lincoln's Inn Fields to lay my case before the
family solicitors.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Mr. Benedict is away, sir, but his son, Mr. Charles, will see you,"
was the reply to the announcement of my name, and I was ushered into
the presence of Mr. Charles Benedict. He did not correspond at all to
my idea of a family solicitor. He was faultlessly dressed, and did not
look much older than myself, but it did not take me long to discover
that his knowledge of town was as extensive and peculiar as Mr.
Weller's.

"Ah! Captain Wyngate," he repeated, when I mentioned the name of my
evil genius. "Tall, fine-looking man, with a grey moustache, isn't he?"

"Yes," I replied, in surprise. "Do you know him?"

"I should say that he was pretty well known," rejoined Mr. Charles
Benedict, with a smile. "But perhaps you had better go on with your
story."

Encouraged by his interest in my troubles, I went ahead and gave him
the main lines of the narrative, though I could not yet bring myself to
disclose all the details of my weakness. When I had answered his last
question he drew a long breath and said:--

"Well, Mr. Addington, I congratulate you!"

"What about?" I asked. "It seems to me I am in a pretty bad mess."

"So you are," he replied, cheerfully. "But I was congratulating you on
coming to us before it was too late. You have had a narrow escape. Did
you never suspect what kind of man Captain Wyngate is?"

"Not until those bills came in," I replied.

"The bills," remarked Mr. Benedict, "are a mere trifle. Captain Wyngate
is one of the most dangerous men in London. The police have had their
eye upon him for years, but he is so clever that they have never been
able to catch him in the act. He lives on inexperienced young men with
money."

"Like me, I suppose?"

"Yes, but you are not the first by a very long way. Your case is quite
in his best style. He has goodness knows how many accomplices, quite a
syndicate of sharks, and they have all sorts of shady people in their
pay. I have no doubt whatever that he knew all about your money affairs
and had a look at you at Cambridge without your knowledge; also that
he knew of your coming to London and had you tracked to the bar where
he made your acquaintance by upsetting your glass. Jackson is in the
syndicate, and you may be sure our friend the captain would have had a
good slice out of the three thousand pounds they reckoned to make out
of you; but I think we can stop their little game."

Needless to say, these disclosures staggered me considerably.

"Then Captain Wyngate is nothing but a swindler?" I asked.

"One of the worst type," answered the solicitor. "I don't think he
would stick at murder if it was worth while and could be done safely.
He was mixed up in the death of Charlie Byfleet, a rich young fellow
who went to Switzerland with him and was killed by falling down a
precipice. Many people suspected that Wyngate got possession of
Byfleet's money and papers and then pushed him over the cliff."

"That explains the nightmare!" I exclaimed, and I told my adviser of
the scene in Wyngate's bedroom.

"Yes; no doubt he has to do it over again in his sleep now and then,"
said Mr. Benedict, "but that's all the punishment he has had. He swore
it was an accident, and there was no evidence against him. He has been
keeping quiet since that affair, but he must have thought it had blown
over by this time as he has begun again on you. I suppose he kept you
to himself as long as he could?"

"He never took me to see anybody except Violet Alexander, the actress,"
I said.

"Oh, indeed!" ejaculated Mr. Benedict, smiling. "This is interesting.
Did you find her very agreeable?"

"Charming," I replied, ingenuously.

"Wasn't she a rather expensive acquaintance?"

I was obliged to confess that she was, and mentioned the presents.

"Of course, as you were so friendly with Wyngate, you had to be nice to
his wife," observed the solicitor.

"_What?_" I exclaimed, in astonishment.

"She is a very useful helpmate for him," continued the lawyer, smiling
compassionately at me. "They have hunted together for years and made
lots of money. Have you never heard of Violet Alexander's solid silver
bath? You may be quite sure the lace dress and the diamond star have
gone back to the shops where Wyngate made you buy them, and that he
and Violet pocketed a nice little commission on the transaction. The
shopkeepers are just as much in the gang as Wyngate and Jackson are.
Wyngate stayed with you until he saw you were getting restive; then he
ran up a few bills for you to pay and cleared out. You will not see him
again until Jackson's bill falls due."

"And then?" I asked.

"Then there will be ructions," said Mr. Benedict, cheerfully.

Here he took up a paper-knife, played with it carelessly, and looked as
if he expected me to find a way out of the tangle.

"Great Scot!" I exclaimed. "Shall I have to pay these villains eight
thousand pounds?"

"You certainly would if you had not come to us in time," was the reply.

"Then I am in time?" I asked, much relieved.

"Yes," said Mr. Benedict; "we can save your money, if you hand it over
to someone else."

"What on earth do you mean?"

"Simply this. You must execute a deed placing your property, from the
moment you become entitled to it, in the hands of trustees, who will
pay you, let us say, three or four hundred a year out of the income.
You will be unable to touch the capital. When Mr. Jackson presents his
little bill, you refer him to your trustees, who will repay him his
five thousand pounds with strict legal interest. Come back next week,
and we will have the papers ready for you to sign. In the meantime I
recommend you to change your quarters or leave London altogether."

I left Mr. Benedict with a new respect for the legal profession.
After having been so thoroughly fooled and exploited, it was pleasant
to think that I should have the laugh on my side in the long run. I
was not at all inclined to keep out of the way, however. To miss the
_dénouement_ was not to be thought of; but I decided to retire to less
expensive rooms, settle my outstanding debts, dispense with Hicks ("I
suppose he makes commissions out of me, like the rest of them," I said
to myself, savagely), and await the crisis.

The rest of the summer and the early part of the autumn I spent very
agreeably in the country, returning to London a few days before my
twenty-first birthday, which fell on November 15th. I took care to
write Jackson a polite letter, informing him of my change of address,
and received an equally polite acknowledgment, to my great delight. In
due course came another letter, reminding me that it would give Mr.
Jackson pleasure to receive the sum of eight thousand pounds at my
earliest convenience. This letter I handed over to Mr. Benedict, who,
in the best legal language, replied that he and his father, as my sole
trustees, repudiated the transactions I had entered into, but would
nevertheless repay the five thousand pounds, with six months' interest
at four per cent.

I would have given a good deal to see the faces of Jackson and Co. when
they received this missive. By what I could gather from my lawyers, the
money-lender was very indignant at first, but when he found he could
make no impression on the Benedicts he concluded to treat the matter as
one of those little disappointments to which business men are liable;
and, finally, he accepted the offer and the money. I had expected him
to show more fight, and was rather disappointed at first; but I had not
long to wait for excitement.

       *       *       *       *       *

Late one afternoon I was on my way home to dress for dinner, after
spending an hour or two at one of my usual resorts near the Strand.
Having plenty of time, I turned into the Green Park and was sauntering
along, enjoying a cigarette, when a hand was laid on my shoulder from
behind, and a well-known voice exclaimed: "A word with you, my friend!"

It was Captain Wyngate!

I wheeled round and looked at him defiantly.

"I have nothing to say to you," I said, curtly.

"But I have a great deal to say to you," he retorted. "I have been on
the look-out for you for some time, and now that there is no one to
listen to us I would like to give you a small piece of advice."

"I don't want it," I interrupted.

"Perhaps not," he continued; "but if you don't take it you will be
very sorry one of these days. Are you going to pay Jackson his three
thousand pounds or are you not?"

His manner was brusque and overbearing to the last degree, and my
temper began to rise.

"What has that to do with you?" I demanded.

"That's my affair," he snapped. "Make your trustees pay up, or----"

"Or what?"

"You'll see, and pretty soon, too."

"Look here, Captain Wyngate," I exclaimed, hotly, "I am not going to
be bullied. You and your friends have had all you will get out of me.
I know you to be one of the biggest scoundrels in London, and if you
interfere with me, look out for yourself, that's all."

"Indeed!" he sneered. "So you think you can trick me and get off
scot-free, do you? Listen! If that money isn't paid in a week I'll have
your life!"

"Don't talk rubbish," I interposed.

"Ah, you think yourself safe," he went on, in the same ironical tone.
"You imagine the police will protect you, I suppose. You young idiot,
your life won't be worth sixpence!"

"Touch me if you dare!" I exclaimed.

"Oh, you're quite safe now," he sneered. "I give you a week to think it
over, and then, if the money isn't paid, look out. You have had fair
warning."

"More than the man in Switzerland had," I suggested sarcastically, as
Wyngate turned away.

He gave me one look of concentrated hate, and seemed about to speak,
but checked himself, turned his back on me, and disappeared in the
darkness.

"Bluff!" I said to myself. "What can he do?" And I continued my walk
home.

I was quite as strong as Wyngate, and felt well able to hold my own
if he attacked me. As to the idea of being murdered in the heart of
London, it was preposterous. This kind of thing might happen among
secret society men and weird foreigners handy with their knives; but
Englishmen had nothing to fear, I assured myself, and several fellows
to whom I mentioned the matter casually at the club agreed with me. I
did not even think it worth while to tell Mr. Benedict of the meeting.

One night I was walking home through a fog which, though not possessing
the regulation pea-soup consistency, was thick enough to make it
impossible to see anyone more than twenty yards away. As I entered
St. James's Square I heard footsteps behind me, but having no thought
of danger I paid no attention to them. Suddenly I felt a violent
blow on the shoulder, and turning sharply round I saw a man with an
uplifted bludgeon, in the act of striking at me again. I was absolutely
defenceless, having not even a cane with me. The thought, "Wyngate's at
the bottom of this!" flashed across my mind. I had just time to jump
aside and avoid the stick as it fell. Then I dashed off at full speed
into the fog. I was at too great a disadvantage to be heroic.

My assailant made no attempt to follow me. His coup having failed,
he no doubt thought it prudent to clear out at once. I could not
distinguish his features, but one thing was certain: he was not
Wyngate. He was a rather short, thick-set man, wearing a soft hat
pulled well down over his eyes. The only other detail that struck me
during the instant we were at close quarters was the strong smell
of drink which he gave out. I put him down as a hired ruffian, and
it became evident to me that if Wyngate were capable of using such
instruments of revenge I should have to take him a good deal more
seriously than hitherto.

As long as there was the bruise on my shoulder to remind me of the
adventure in St. James's Square I was almost prudent. I took to
carrying a sword-cane, and went home at night in cabs instead of
walking. I also gave myself a certain amount of entertainment by
manœuvering to find out whether I was being followed. To this end I
used to stop suddenly and pretend to look into shop-windows, in the
hope of catching the spy unawares; but, if he existed at all, he was
cleverer than I at the game. Nothing happened except a collision now
and then, caused by some innocent promenader running into me from
behind when I pulled up. Then I had to apologize and try not to look
foolish. Finally my natural insouciance got the upper hand, and I
ceased to worry about my enemy.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I SAW A MAN WITH AN UPLIFTED BLUDGEON, IN THE ACT OF
STRIKING AT ME AGAIN."]

Christmas was drawing near, and I was preparing to leave town to spend
the festive season with friends in the country, when I received a
wire one morning from Archie Hunter, my Cambridge chum, telling me he
was coming to town in the afternoon, and asking me to meet him at six
o'clock in the bar of a small West-end hotel where we had foregathered
on previous occasions. I was on hand at the appointed time, but there
was no sign of Hunter.

"Train late, I suppose," I thought, and sat down to wait. There was
no one I knew in the bar, but, being sociably inclined, I was soon in
conversation with two or three other men whose only object seemed to be
to while away the time. With them were a couple of fashionably-dressed
girls, and by and by I noticed that one of them looked at me
frequently, not as if she wanted to begin a flirtation, but rather with
curiosity. I had never seen her before, but, beyond wondering vaguely
whether she had remarked something peculiar about my appearance, I paid
no attention, engaged as I was in discussing cricket with one of the
men.

Presently two of them began to talk billiards, at which, it seemed,
they were old rivals, and, as neither would admit inferiority, they
decided to go upstairs to the billiard-room and play a couple of
hundred up.

"We may as well go and watch them," remarked the man with whom I was
talking.

"All right," I said, unsuspectingly, and, emptying my glass, I prepared
to go upstairs.

The billiard-players led the way, the others following. The girl who
had been looking at me was the last except myself to leave the bar. The
door-handle apparently slipped from her fingers and the door, which had
an ordinary spring, closed in her face with a slam, thus momentarily
cutting us off from the others. To my intense surprise she turned and
whispered, hurriedly:--

"Don't go upstairs; they will throw you down!"

In another instant she had pulled the door open and was ascending the
stairs.

"Wyngate again!" was the thought that flashed through my mind.

At first I was inclined to disregard the warning, but a moment's
reflection showed me that there was no disgrace in declining an unequal
combat, and that, even if I were not knocked downstairs by some
cleverly-contrived "accident," I could be sure of being dealt some
underhand blow by agents of so unscrupulous a person as my late guest.

I went up three or four steps, and then--exclaiming, "Forgotten my
stick; I'll be back in a moment!"--I returned to the bar, went out
quickly by another door, jumped into a hansom, and made good my retreat.

"Two not out, captain!" I remarked, with satisfaction; but, as I was
soon to discover, the game was not by any means finished.

I wrote to Hunter at once, asking him if he had wired me to meet him.
He replied that he had not done so, and that someone must have been
using his name.

The more I thought over the situation the less I liked it. It was
evident that I had become the object of a sort of vendetta on the part
of a very clever scoundrel, who would stick at nothing to obtain his
revenge and was always ready to strike at me when I least expected it.
To apply to the police would have been useless, as I had not a scrap
of evidence against him. I had slipped through his fingers twice, but
I could hardly count upon another such timely warning as I received in
the hotel bar. The girl must have known that there was a plot against
me, but why did she interfere? Was it caprice or a good instinct?

In the hope of finding out something I dropped in two or three times
at the hotel at different hours, but the few guarded inquiries I
made led to nothing. The girl and her companions were merely chance
customers, quite unknown to the hotel people, who would have been
almost as disagreeably surprised as myself if Wyngate's little scheme
had succeeded.

Feeling that the air of London was becoming decidedly unwholesome,
I went off to my friends at Folkestone, rather unwisely leaving my
address, so that letters could be forwarded. Thanks to cheerful
surroundings--the society of nice people has a really remarkable effect
in changing the current of one's ideas--my enemy's sinister figure
began to recede into the background. I was one of a house-party of
about a dozen, and they were all intensely interested in my story,
though nobody could suggest anything better than going abroad for a
year or two.

On the Tuesday after my arrival somebody mentioned that there was to
be a ball on the following Monday at one of the hotels on the cliff,
and we decided to make up a party and go. Tickets were taken, and, of
course, we made no secret of our intention, which was known to the
servants, tradespeople, and, in fact, anyone who might have taken an
interest in our doings.

On the Monday afternoon, while we were talking and tea-drinking in
the drawing-room, Charlie Barbour, one of the party, came in, walked
straight up to me, and remarked:--

"Well, old chap, there's some more fun in store for you."

"What on earth do you mean?" I demanded, vaguely uneasy.

"Only that your friend Wyngate is beginning again," he replied.

Then he told us that, happening to stroll into a barber's to get
himself smartened up for the evening, he had overheard two men talking
confidentially in German while waiting their turn to be shaved. As
it happened, Charlie was educated in Germany, and understood the
language perfectly well. At first, having no desire to overhear what
was not intended for him, he paid no attention, but presently he caught
a remark about the ball to which we were going the same evening.
Listening more attentively, he made out that somebody at the ball was
to be given a letter asking him to come outside for a few minutes on
to the terrace at the top of the cliff. This did not at first strike
him as suspicious, but when the two men, who looked like innocent
commercial travellers, had left the shop it suddenly occurred to
Charlie that their conversation might relate to me. It was so very much
like Wyngate's style, he thought, to get me on top of a cliff at night,
when there would probably be no one to see what happened to me. With
this idea in his head, Charlie escaped from the barber's as promptly
as possible and spent an hour or two prowling about in search of the
two men, but in vain; after which he made for home to tell me his story.

The girls became very much excited, and one of them said I was like
the hero of a sensational novel. We held a sort of council of war, and
decided that, if any letter of the kind were sent in to me while the
dance was going on, I should go outside with a revolver in my pocket,
and that Barbour and another man, Carruthers, also armed, should follow
close behind.

We were still discussing the affair when a telegram was brought to me.
I opened it and read:--

"If you value your life, leave Folkestone immediately."

There was no signature, but I had not the least doubt that the
telegram, which came from London, was sent by the unknown girl who had
already befriended me once.

Somebody remarked that the situation was becoming quite dramatic. I
agreed; but when I asked whether anyone would like to take my part as
the hero there were no offers.

Calling in the police was suggested; but Barbour and Carruthers--both
strong, active fellows--objected strongly to giving anyone else a
chance of capturing a brace of modern desperadoes, and we concluded to
keep the matter perfectly quiet, so as to give the enemy no hint of the
counter-mine we were preparing.

I never went to such an exciting dance in my life as I did that
evening; and all the others in our party were equally on the _qui
vive_. I rather enjoyed it after a time, as the ladies were so very
anxious to keep me dancing with them; while Barbour and Carruthers
several times got into trouble with their partners through trying to
keep their eye on me instead of attending to business.

It was nearly twelve o'clock before the expected summons came. I had
just taken my partner back to her seat when one of the hotel servants
came and told me a gentleman was anxious to see me outside on important
business.

Signalling to Barbour and Carruthers, I left the ball-room and strolled
as unconcernedly as possible out on to the terrace. There was no
moon, and, but for a few twinkling gas-lamps and the light from the
hotel windows, all was dark outside. I could just distinguish two men
standing on the terrace about twenty yards away. Seeing me walk towards
them they moved to meet me, but at this moment Barbour and Carruthers
made their appearance behind me. This was quite enough for my enemies.
Without a word they turned and ran off at full speed, taking different
directions as they reached the main road. We gave chase, but they ran
as fast as we did, and we soon lost them in the darkness.

It was annoying to have let the fellows slip through our fingers, but
there was some satisfaction in knowing that I was in no danger when
with friends, and that Wyngate's emissaries were not conspicuous for
courage. Like himself, no doubt, they were ready to strike only when
there was no danger of being caught.

As soon as possible after returning to London I gave up my rooms,
stored such of my belongings as were not portable, and went to live at
my club, on the principle that there is safety in numbers. In this I
was again mistaken, as I was soon to learn.

A fortnight later I went to a fancy dress ball at the Covent Garden
Opera house. I had just been chatting with an acquaintance, and was
standing amid a small group of people who were strangers to me, at the
top of the grand staircase, looking down at the people coming up, when
I felt myself suddenly seized from behind and hurled down the steps. I
was completely taken by surprise and could do nothing to save myself.
My unknown assailant no doubt reckoned that my head would come into
contact with the wall at the bottom of the flight of steps, and that I
should either be killed or badly hurt. By great good luck, however, a
portly commissionaire, taking tickets, was standing just in the right
spot, and I dashed into him with great violence, bowling him over like
a ninepin, but luckily without hurting him. I was stunned by the shock,
and by the time I recovered it was of course useless to look for the
man who had thrown me down the staircase. He must have shadowed me for
some time and chosen his moment well, for no one saw the act, unless it
be that he had accomplices who screened him from observation.

After this fourth experience I confessed that my nerve was considerably
shaken. To go on living by myself in London was only to court disaster
and live in daily expectation of a fifth attempt on my life. I need
not trouble the reader with the details of my consultations with the
Benedicts and my father, who became reconciled to me on hearing my
story. The end of it was that, after a few months' strict seclusion
with a coach in the country, I entered the Militia.

At L----, where I am stationed, I ought to be fairly safe among my
brother officers and the soldiers. And yet, who knows? Perhaps Wyngate
(who goes about openly in London, dines at the best restaurants, and
stares defiantly at friends of mine who know the story) is tired of
pursuing me, or thinks the game is not worth the candle. I hope so, at
any rate, for I sometimes feel that if he keeps to his purpose he will,
sooner or later, achieve it.



DOLPHIN=HUNTING.

                          +By Victor Forbin.+

  A vivacious account by a French journalist of his introduction to a
 curious sport of which practically nothing is known in this country.


For a long time a hotbed of patriotic Anglophobia, St. Malo, the
ancient city whose proud boast it is that it has never been conquered,
has been of recent years quietly annexed, so to speak, by its former
foe, and has become a popular resort with English tourists, so that
the poorest of its shops is proud to display on its front windows the
welcoming motto, "English spoken."

The Malouins themselves are the boldest sailors of France; it is a
saying among them that "they have the love of the sea in their blood."
The sons and grandsons of daring privateers, they pass nearly their
whole lives at sea, many of them going every year to the Grand Banks of
Newfoundland for the cod-fishing season.

Even the well-to-do classes, gentry or bourgeoisie, are fond of
maritime pastimes such as fishing and yachting. Their favourite
diversion, however, is dolphin-hunting, a sport which the authorities
encourage by every means in their power, since dolphins and porpoises
are causing terrible havoc among the schools of herring and sardines on
the French coast, thus destroying the livelihood of the fisher-folk.

[Illustration: "DELPHINUS DELPHIS," THE LARGEST SPECIES OF DOLPHIN
FOUND OFF THE BRITTANY COAST--IT WEIGHS FROM THREE TO FOUR HUNDRED
POUNDS, AND MAY REACH NINE FEET IN LENGTH.

_From a Photograph._]

During a recent stay in the suburbs of St. Malo, my host insisted upon
introducing me to the enchantment of a sport of whose very existence I
had hitherto been ignorant.

"You cannot possibly return to Paris until you have killed your
porpoise, can you?" he asked, insinuatingly.

"I am here for rest, not for butchery," I replied, indolently.

"But just think of the story you will have to tell," he continued. "A
dolphin hunt! It is old to us Malouins, but what a novelty for you, a
newspaper man, a Parisian!"

"A novelty, to be sure," I returned. "But what about sunstroke? I tell
you, my dear Desmond, in this terrific heat the shade of your apple
trees is good enough for me. Bother your dolphin-hunting!"

That is what I told him, and at the moment I meant it; yet I must
confess that I allowed myself to be conquered in the end by a monetary
argument.

"But you're losing money," urged my host. "You forget that a certain
official is ready to pay you a five-franc piece for each dolphin's head
you may bring him!"

Five francs! I rose to the bait. What glory for a writer to be able
to boast that he has earned money with his gun! How I could crow over
my fellow-scribes! So, tempted by glorious visions of many five-franc
pieces, I weakly surrendered.

It is quite likely that dreams of sport caused me to sleep more soundly
than I ought to have done, for when my friend's shouts awoke me at
last I unjustly scolded my alarm-clock, which had done its duty.

Fortunately, everything was ready, down to the _café-au-lait_ and
_petit pain_ that the maid was bringing in. A few minutes later I
hastily jumped aboard the yacht _Christiane_, where Desmond and his
_mousse_ (cabin-boy), Jean-Marie Le Floch, were waiting for me,
meanwhile endeavouring to ascertain from some old salts in which
direction and at about what distance out we should be likely to meet
with a school of _marsouins_.

"_Marsouins?_" ejaculated one old fisherman, between puffs at his pipe.
"The confounded vermin are to be met with everywhere and nowhere."

Never expect, by the way, to receive precise information from a Breton
fisherman. But never mind; we shall reach our objective some time or
other with the help of the breeze and the good-will of the dolphins!

Presently the yacht was ploughing her way gracefully through the waves,
and for the time being we had nothing else to do but search the horizon
and talk about our intended victims. Meanwhile I learnt from my friend
many interesting details about dolphins and their ways.

It appears that several species of dolphins are to be met with near
the shores of Brittany. The largest is known to science as _Delphinus
delphis_, and differs from other varieties by its long jaws--very like
the beak of a big bird, and armed with about sixty teeth as hard and
sharp as steel. Its length may reach nine feet, and it weighs from
three to four hundred pounds. A swift swimmer, it preys on the schools
of herrings, following them right up to Scottish waters. In spite of
its greed, it is noted for its mild temper, and frequently amuses
itself by playing round ships in the open sea.

Then there is the _Delphinus tursio_, or _souffleur_. This is smaller,
and its beak is shorter, though armed with strong, powerful teeth that
enable it to attack a big fish, pinning it down to the rocks with such
force that its nose is often deeply marked with numerous cuts. This
dolphin hates the very sight of a ship and never comes close to one.

My friend was beginning to tell me something about the porpoise, or
_marsouin_, the smallest species of the genus, when Jean-Marie Le
Floch put an end to the scientific discourse by a sudden shout. He was
positive, he declared, that he had just seen a dolphin jumping out of
the water about five hundred yards ahead of us!

"Are you quite certain about it, _mon garçon_?" said Desmond, eagerly
grasping his gun. "Did you really?"

"_Tenez, m'sieur!_" replied the lad. "There! there! Did you see it?"

[Illustration: A YACHT CHASING A SCHOOL OF DOLPHINS.

_From a Photograph._]

Sure enough, a black object had just shot out of the water,
disappearing again so quickly that I almost thought I had made a
mistake. Not so my friend. He had seen enough to convince him that the
dolphin was coming towards us at full speed, and accordingly got his
gun ready, meanwhile giving me some rapid hints about the best way of
shooting.

"Now, don't aim at the head," he told me. "Never at the head, whatever
you do."

"What a queer idea!" said I. "Wouldn't a bullet through its head stop
it dead?"

[Illustration: HAULING A DOLPHIN INTO THE YACHT'S DINGHY.

_From a Photograph._]

"Most certainly; but you would waste your powder and shot. The dolphin
would sink at once, taking away to the depths of the ocean both your
bullet and your five-franc premium. No; you must aim squarely at the
belly. Otherwise----Dear me!"

At that very moment the dolphin jumped clear out of the waves quite
close to us. Swift as lightning Desmond aimed at the flying monster,
shining in the sunlight about a hundred yards ahead, and pulled trigger.

"Well done! A splendid shot!" I shouted enthusiastically, as the bullet
took effect and the dolphin disappeared.

"It was _too_ splendid!" grumbled Desmond.

Without another word he jumped into the dinghy, towing astern, where
the boy was already waiting for him, a harpoon in his hand.

"Keep an eye upon it as soon as it comes up," he shouted to me, as he
scrambled for an oar.

"There it is! I see it, bleeding!" I cried. The wounded dolphin had
reappeared a short distance away, the foam of the waves around being
tinted red with its life-blood. Pointing out the right direction to the
pair in the boat, I shouted a few remarks after them.

"I should say it is sinking. Make haste! _Dépêchez-vous!_ It is turning
over on its back; I see only its white underside. Quick! Quick!"

"_Malheur de ma vie!_" I heard Desmond groaning in despair.

Under his very nose, just at the moment when Jean-Marie Le Floch was
about to throw his harpoon, the white spot suddenly disappeared; the
sea had swallowed the dead dolphin in an instant.

At that moment of bitter disappointment I foresaw the sad _dénouement_
of the venture: our shameful return empty-handed to the little harbour
amid the sneers of the old fishermen, who would inquire eagerly:--

"What about the porpoises, gentlemen? How many dolphins are you
bringing in?"

Assuredly there must be a special Providence which looks after
hunters--especially amateur ones. Just as I was about to sit down, in a
fit of despair, a flash caught my eye. Less than sixty yards from the
bow, where I was standing, and at about half that distance from the
dinghy, a school of dolphins had suddenly appeared!

With a quick motion I seized my gun, and as I raised it to my shoulder
my friend's admonitions were clean forgotten.

Bang! bang! bang! A positive frenzy of slaughter appeared to have taken
hold of me, and I kept on shooting just as long as the magazine of my
rifle held out. Meanwhile the two spectators in the dinghy were frantic
with joy. Never in my life have I heard so thick a rain of flattering
words as they showered upon me then.

[Illustration: THE CABIN-BOY WITH THE LAST DOLPHIN SHOT BY THE AUTHOR.

_From a Photograph._]

It is quite likely that several of my victims sank while breathing
their last, for I really cannot believe that a single one of my dozen
shots missed its mark. Be this as it may, however, I had undoubtedly
broken the record in dolphin-hunting, for, as a matter of fact, Desmond
and the boy succeeded in harpooning and bringing back half-a-dozen of
the creatures.

I am satisfied that Desmond is a sincere and trustworthy friend.
Nevertheless, I am not prepared to swear that he was not just a little
bit envious when we re-entered the harbour a few minutes after noon.
Just think of it! He, the veteran hunter, was coming back as he had
gone, empty-handed, whereas his pupil--the man to whom he had had to
explain what dolphin-hunting was--would be able to bring to-morrow to
the _commissaire des pêches_, the responsible official, six dolphin
tails, receiving from that worthy no less a sum than thirty francs!
Truly it must have been a sad blow for him.

Later in the afternoon the tide brought in a dying dolphin, too weak
to resist the flood and fight its way towards the open sea. Success
makes one generous, and I begged of Jean-Marie Le Floch to help himself
freely and take possession of the tail of my seventh dolphin, asking
him, by way of exchange, to pose as heroically as possible in front of
the camera by the side of my last victim.

Such was the _début_ of a Parisian journalist as a dolphin-hunter. Do
not ask me if I went out again on a similar quest. My initial exploit
has established my reputation as a dead shot, and I do not care to risk
the loss of my laurels.



_A Tragedy of the Nile._

                     +By Major D. G. Prendergast.+

  A grim story of love, hate, and relentless vengeance. "The events
  occurred in the early 'eighties," writes Major Prendergast. "I
  learnt all the facts and met Mahkmoud, the central character, in
  the course of my official duties."


The first act of this tragedy of real life took place at a small
village a few miles south of Assiout, the chief town of what in the
'eighties was known as Upper Egypt.

It was the end of September, after the Nile had overflowed its banks,
and the crops were full and green. The time was evening, and Mahkmoud,
one of the principal actors in my story, was sitting on the sun-dried
mud wall of one of the _shadoofs_ (irrigation wells) which watered his
land. He was at this time a man of some consequence in his village, and
for a fellah was counted rich, being the owner of a fair-sized piece
of fertile land. He was a man over six feet in height, with the broad
sinewy back and shoulders and general physical strength which is the
heritage of the fellaheen race of the Nile Valley. His head was large
and bullet-shaped, his neck thick-set, his eyes keen and deep-set,
while his mouth and chin plainly indicated that he was a man possessed
of great determination and of unusually strong passions.

To-night he sat and gazed moodily into the dark, transparent waters
of the rushing stream, black thoughts of vengeance crowding into his
brain, for he was in sore trouble. Of late the village gossips had been
busy connecting the name of his young wife, Rukhia, with one Abdul, the
ne'er-do-weel of the place.

In a small community no secret can remain hidden for long, and
although, naturally, Mahkmoud would be the last to hear of the scandal,
still it was only a matter of time before it reached his ears. Only
to-day his friends had hinted to him that his wife was, perhaps, not
quite all he thought her to be, and the name of Abdul was at the same
time carelessly introduced into the conversation. Now, Abdul had only
been back in his native village for six months; for the past seven
years, previous to his return, he had been serving his Highness the
Khedive as a conscript soldier in the Egyptian army.

The fellaheen of Egypt make docile, tractable soldiers, amenable to
discipline, keen on all routine work and peace soldiering, but lacking
that _élan_ and dash which are so valuable an asset in time of war.
Even in the Egyptian army, however, there are bad characters, and for
these there is a special corps--a sort of "Lost Legion." This corps
is known as the Discipline Company, and the life led by its members
is little better than that of the convict. Their uniform is of a much
brighter yellow than khaki, and each man wears an iron ring welded
round his right ankle. Abdul had finished the last three years of his
service in this ill-starred company. News spreads in a mysterious way
from village to village along the hundreds of miles from Cairo to the
frontier, and tidings of Abdul's doings during his soldiering career
had somehow reached his native village. It was not of a sort which was
likely to ensure a warm welcome for him on his return.

During the three years Abdul served out his time in the Discipline
Company he became intimately acquainted with many men who were among
the scum of the earth. When at length the period of service in this
Legion of the Lost was concluded, and its members returned to the world
and civil life, as often as not they led lives of crime and infamy
which generally brought them within reach of the law, so that most of
them ended their days in the convict prisons of Tourah or Tokar, and
the very worst of all in the hulk moored in Trinkitat Bay.

Years ago, before the lot of the conscript soldier had fallen on Abdul,
Mahkmoud and he had had bitter quarrels over the question of the
irrigation of their respective lands, which were adjacent to each other.

The water of the Nile is the very life-blood of the fellaheen, and he
who secretly or by stealth diverts the water from his neighbour's land
on to his own is guilty of a heinous crime. In days gone by Mahkmoud
had more than sufficient reason to suspect that the water from his
_shadoofs_ and _sakiehs_ had helped to irrigate his neighbour's land.
Many angry words had been exchanged in consequence, and a lifelong feud
had been established between the two men.

On the evening of the day this story opens, Mahkmoud sat and brooded
over all he had lately heard. Many little incidents in connection with
his young wife, to which at the time he had hardly given a passing
thought, now seemed to rise up clearly before him. He realized that
within the past six months his wife had changed from a pattern of
domestic drudgery--the usual lot of a fellah's wife--to a listless,
slovenly woman who found work too much for her. Often on his return
from a long day's labour in the fields he would find the evening
meal not yet ready, the fuel not gathered, and the _ziehs_ (earthen
water-jars) only half filled. Even his two little boys, who had
hitherto been the joy of their mother's life, did not seem any longer
to interest her. Mahkmoud also remembered, now that his jealousy was
aroused, how frequently on his return he found his wife out--absent
from home at hours when it is unusual for women to be away from their
domestic duties. There had even been an occasion when Mahkmoud had come
home in the grey dawn from watching his crops by night and scaring
away wild animals, when he found her outside the wall which surrounded
his house. At the time he thought it strange, but was satisfied with
some paltry excuse. Now, all these incidents loomed large before his
gaze, and he understood their meaning. To-night he vowed he would take
a terrible revenge--revenge upon his hated enemy and on his faithless
wife. He would wait and watch; he would bide his time. When it came,
the punishment he would mete out to the guilty pair would live in the
memory of his village for all time.

About a month before the events just described a stranger arrived in
the village, and the first man he met happened to be Mahkmoud. To him
the new-comer told a plausible story of how he had worked for the
eccentric sawerheen (white travellers) who were always digging amongst
the ruins of the ancient temples. Having scraped together enough money
to enable him to return to his native village near Wady Halfa, he was
on his journey back, when he had fallen amongst thieves and lost all
he possessed. He asked Mahkmoud to help him by giving him employment
during the season of the crops. For a few pence a day he worked for
Mahkmoud--irrigating the fields, watching his flocks of goats by day,
and taking his turn in frightening off wild animals from the growing
crops at night. He slept in a mud hovel with the goats, inside the
sun-baked mud wall which surrounded Mahkmoud's dwelling-houses. He was
a taciturn man, with an evil-looking countenance. He spoke to no one,
and no one spoke to him. If mentioned in conversation, men referred to
him as "ibn el kelp" (son of a dog), and mothers warned their children
to flee from his path should they meet him, and on no account whatever
to look at him, for he was a man possessed of "the evil eye" and would
cast a spell over them.

There was one man in the village, however, who knew this stranger, and
the stranger knew him. Abdul and the goatherd had toiled together for
many a weary day, with the iron ring on their ankles, in the ranks of
the Discipline Company. By tacit consent they never openly recognised
one another, and, as far as anyone knew, had never been seen to speak
to each other. Both inwardly feared one another and wondered when
the other would give him away. As a cat watches a mouse so did this
stranger watch Abdul, and it was not very long before he had made
himself acquainted with information for which it seemed that either
Abdul, his enemy, or Mahkmoud, his master, might think it worth while
to pay him handsomely.

One night, when his employer was away keeping watch over his crops, he
lay awake in his shed and heard footsteps steal silently past where he
lay. Then he heard the door of the walled enclosure quietly opened and
shut. Scenting that something was amiss, the goatherd stranger rose
and silently went in pursuit. Seeing nothing, he hid himself amongst
the mimosa bushes, which grew thick on both sides of the narrow path
leading from the door to the river-bank. Presently, from his place of
concealment, he beheld two forms walking up from the direction of the
river towards the house, and as they slowly passed the spot where he
lay hidden the watcher, by the light of the stars, recognised beyond
a doubt who the couple were. "Allah is great, and Mohammed is His
Prophet," murmured the stranger. "My enemy has now been delivered into
my hands. I will demand from the dog the sum of twenty Egyptian pounds,
and if he will not give them to me--then my employer knows all."

As the door softly closed, out of the deep shadow of the wall one
figure retraced its steps along the path towards the river. It was
Abdul. When he arrived at the spot where the path was narrowed by
the mimosa bushes, the watcher rose up and, stepping to the path,
confronted his man. Speaking in a low, hissing voice, he said, "Abdul,
you know me. I am a man of few words, and my words to you this night
are few."

Abdul, taken unawares, stood still, trembling, and then, recognising
who it was that spoke, answered, "What do you want with me at this hour
of night, you offspring of a snake?"

"I will tell you," the stranger replied. "Since my sojourn here I
have been employed in watching my master's property; both by day and
by night I have driven the noxious animals away. But there is one
foul bird of night that I have not driven away, and that, O Abdul,
is yourself. Now I will make this compact with you, who are in my
power. If you will give me the sum of twenty Egyptian pounds at
noon to-morrow I will go forth from here and return no more; and my
lips shall be for ever sealed. This I will swear by the beard of the
Prophet."

[Illustration: "HE MOVED FORWARD AS THOUGH TO PASS HIS MAN, WHEN THE
KNIFE FLASHED DOWNWARDS."]

The stranger folded his arms and stood silent, awaiting the reply.

After a pause, which to both men seemed an age, Abdul replied, "And if
I refuse this price of blackmail, how then? What can you do--a stranger
and a dog? Who, think you, will believe your perjured evidence?"

The goatherd did not immediately reply, and for a space the two men
stood confronting each other. Abdul was wearing a _gallibeah_--a long
cloak reaching from the neck to the feet, made of thick cotton stuff,
with very large loose sleeves. The stranger was dressed, as he slept,
in a cotton shirt and drawers. So it happened that Abdul was able,
unseen by his foe, to draw his knife from its sheath. (All the natives
of this country carry a big knife in a sheath strapped to the left arm,
just above the elbow.)

After a few moments had elapsed the stranger laughed a short, derisive
laugh, and, putting out his arm, as if to brush Abdul aside, said, "You
fool! At the rising of to-morrow's sun Mahkmoud shall know all." With
that he moved forward as though to pass his man, when the knife flashed
downwards, and with a choking, gurgling sound, followed by a deep sigh,
he sank to the earth, never to rise again!

Abdul's knife had been driven home to the hilt through his heart, and
the luckless goatherd's life-blood gushed out in a dark red stream,
spreading over the pathway. Abdul, having made sure that there was
no chance of life remaining, dragged the corpse into the bushes, and
hurriedly returned to the door in the shadow of the wall. Here he
imitated the cry of the night-bird--the preconcerted signal between
himself and Rukhia. After a pause the door was quietly opened once
more, and in the dark shadow Abdul hurriedly told her all that had
happened. Before they parted it was arranged as to what should be said
and done on the morrow. The blood-stained knife was hidden by the wife
in Mahkmoud's sleeping apartment. Her part of the crime was that she
should gain possession of her husband's knife after he had sunk into
the deep sleep which usually came upon him after a night of watching,
and throw it into the river.

The sun had scarcely risen above the line of the sand-hills on
the eastern bank before the whole village was astir and excitedly
discussing what was undoubtedly a murder. The Yushbashi (captain) of
police at Assiout was in due course informed. He and his men arrived
later, and after much talking and taking down of numerous notes which
had little bearing on the subject he ordered the body of the murdered
man to be carried to Assiout, almost half the population of the village
accompanying him as well.

[Illustration: ASSIOUT, WHERE MAHKMOUD WAS TRIED FOR HIS LIFE.

_From a Photograph._]

"The Mudir (the Egyptian governor) shall decide who is the culprit,"
said the officer.

The police, of course, had to find a culprit, and also procure
sufficient evidence to convict him, and this they proceeded to do. As
the result of their investigations the unhappy Mahkmoud was placed on
his trial for the murder. He pleaded "Not guilty," but otherwise had no
defence, admitting that he was absent from home from nine o'clock on
the night of the murder until about half-past four the next morning.
The police produced evidence that the murdered man and Mahkmoud were
not on good terms, that Mahkmoud's shoes were covered with blood, and
that they exactly fitted the footsteps on the path leading from the
scene of the murder to the house. It was also hinted that there was an
intrigue between the stranger and the wife. Finally, the prosecution
produced the blood-stained knife and sheath, which had been discovered
in a rat-hole in Mahkmoud's sleeping apartment. In addition, two
important witnesses were called. One was Abdul, who swore that on the
fatal night he was watching his crops some five hundred yards from the
spot where the body was found, and heard voices in angry altercation
some two hours before sunrise.

Rukhia, Mahkmoud's wife, then appeared, to everyone's astonishment, and
told a graphic story of how she was awakened some little time before
sunrise, and heard the voices of the stranger and her husband in a
heated argument. Mahkmoud then returned, much excited and swearing
fiercely. In the morning she noticed the blood-stained shoes and missed
the knife from the shelf where it was usually put. Later it was found
by the police who searched the house.

Mahkmoud, in spite of his protestations of innocence, was found
guilty--mainly on the circumstantial evidence of his wife and Abdul.
He was sentenced to death, which sentence was subsequently commuted to
penal servitude for the term of his natural life.

       *       *       *       *       *

It would take too long to follow this miserable but innocent convict
through the weary years he spent working out his awful doom. To be able
to realize what an Egyptian convict's life is like one must at least
have seen the prisons and the hulk. The first five years were spent in
the prison at Tourah. The very fact that this man--so strong willed and
passionate by nature--was innocent drove him to the verge of frenzy,
and having become known as a dangerous and violent convict he found
himself confined first in a solitary cell, and then drafted to the
prison at Tokar. Here he was compelled to associate with the very worst
criminals in Egypt; and, breaking the rules again, he was sentenced
to undergo the remainder of his imprisonment on board the hulk in
Trinkitat Bay.

It is enough to say that this bay is on the Red Sea littoral, a
terrible place for any living man, white or black, to have to spend his
life. It was in this hulk that the writer saw Mahkmoud. Escape from
this floating jail is practically impossible. It is moored some seven
hundred yards from the shore, and the water teems with sharks, who
do not allow much to escape their observant eyes as they continually
cruise round the hulk.

Many times poor wretches doomed to this living grave have escaped from
Tokar Prison. It is easy, for the prison is only built of mud and
wattle, and the warders are very careless. But up to the time I shall
describe later no prisoner had been known to get far away.

Nomad tribes of Somalis and Arabs (the "Fuzzy-Wuzzies" of the days of
our fierce fights at El Teb and Tamai, Tokar and McNeill's Zareba) live
and move all round this part of the bush, occupying the few wells there
are, right up to the Erkoweit hills. The Government give the head-men
of these tribes substantial rewards for each fugitive they capture and
bring in, so that the convict's chance of escape is infinitesimal. They
must go to these tribes for food and water, or die of hunger and thirst
in the desert.

The Nile is the very life and soul of the Egyptian fellah, and the
captives of the Kings of Assyria, who sat down by the waters of Babylon
and wept, could not have longed more passionately for their Jewish
homes than did these poor outcasts to see once more their native
villages and taste "the sweet waters of the Nile."

"If I can but escape and reach those distant hills," they told
themselves, "then I can easily walk over them. There may still be a few
miles of desert sand to cross, but it will surely at length bring me
once again to the great beloved river, our Father Nile." This remark
has been made to the writer times without number when visiting the
convict gangs at work in the course of his official duties. But one and
all of the hapless wretches reckoned without the far-stretching, arid
sands or the prowling nomads, ever on the watch for fugitives.

One hot, still, starlight night, towards the end of the seventh year
of his penal servitude, whilst the sentry was snugly rolled up in his
blanket, Mahkmoud slipped overboard from the hulk and swam shorewards.
He had seen the sharks cruising slowly round the hulk for many a long
day, but, as he said in after years when telling the story of his
escape, "Better become food for sharks than endure a living death." As
luck would have it, he reached the beach safely, and after wandering
towards the distant hills all that day and night he was overcome with
hunger and thirst and, resigning himself to his fate, lay down under
the sparse shadow of a thorn-bush to die. But Providence decreed
otherwise. He was found by a party of raiding Baggara horsemen, who
carried him off to Adharama, the head-quarters of the celebrated
Dervish Emir, Osman Digna.

For the next two years Mahkmoud was a household slave in Osman Digna's
house. While he was there the Khalifa sent for his Governor of the
Eastern Sudan, and Mahkmoud accompanied his master. So once more, after
nine long years, he again set eyes on the River Nile.

Even now it was almost impossible to escape, for the wild Arab tribes
who at this time held sway over the country from Sarras to Fashoda
loathed and despised the Egyptian fellah, and no one would help him.
After three more years of bondage, however, spent between the Eastern
Sudan and Omdurman, Mahkmoud escaped, joined a caravan which was
bringing gum and ostrich feathers to the Egyptian frontier, and at last
found himself on the Egyptian Nile at Assouan.

       *       *       *       *       *

By this time "the murder," as it was generally referred to, had almost
been forgotten by the villagers. If it was mentioned at all it was as
an historical event, generally to fix the date of some other event
which had occurred before or since.

The people, too, had almost forgotten Mahkmoud's existence; he was
either dead or as good as dead. Abdul, in due course, had taken Rukhia
to his harem as a wife, and she was the mother of his three children.
After Mahkmoud's transportation his brother, as is usually the case
when a widow re-marries, had taken over the care of his nephews,
together with his brother's land and property.

It was again September, and the hour before sunset, when the women
of the village had gone to draw water for their households. Abdul
was sitting in his house, and his three children were asleep in the
adjoining room. Suddenly a shadow was thrown across the room. Abdul
turned quickly, half rising as he did so, to see who it was. But in an
instant strong hands gripped his throat, and a voice, to him a terrible
one, hoarsely hissed into his ear, "It is I, Mahkmoud, who after many
years have not forgotten you!" Then a knife flashed for one moment
before his terrified eyes, and in another second Abdul lay dead upon
the floor, dead as his victim had lain in the path that fateful night
twelve years before!

Later Rukhia returned. The room was almost dark and, before she
realized that anything out of the ordinary had occurred, unseen hands
seized her from the darkness and a voice, as it were of the dead, said,
"It is your husband Mahkmoud who speaks to you, you false and perjured
woman. Go now to where Abdul has gone!"

       *       *       *       *       *

At dawn next day Mahkmoud walked calmly into the police-station at
Assiout. Here he asked to see the Yushbashi of police, and when brought
before him said, very quietly, "My name is Mahkmoud. Twelve years ago I
was, through the false and perjured testimony of my wife and her lover,
convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Now I _am_ a murderer.
Arrest me. I have spoken."

[Illustration: "IT IS YOUR HUSBAND MAHKMOUD WHO SPEAKS TO YOU, YOU
FALSE AND PERJURED WOMAN."]

For a second time Mahkmoud was tried for his life in Assiout, found
guilty on his own confession, and sentenced to death. His Highness the
Khedive once again commuted his sentence to penal servitude for life.

After five years, during which Mahkmoud's character was exemplary, he
received a free pardon, and returned once more to his native village,
where he died, an old and broken man. There is an Arab proverb, "If
once you have tasted the sweet waters of the Nile, you will return to
drink of them again."

[Illustration:



A White Woman in Cannibal-Land.

                            +By Annie Ker.+]

  Some incidents of a lady's life in the wilds of New Guinea. Miss
  Ker went out to Papua--as the country is now called--attached to
  a mission, and describes the many strange, amusing, and exciting
  experiences she encountered during her seven years' sojourn among
  the natives, who, not so very long ago, were always fighting and
  much addicted to cannibalism--a practice which still prevails among
  the wild tribes of the unexplored interior.


I.

When, nine years ago, I first set out from Melbourne bound for British
New Guinea--or Papua, as it is now officially called--I had very vague
ideas about how to reach it, or what it would be like when I got there.
I knew that New Guinea was a large island lying off the extreme north
of Australia, and that the part I was going to was a little south of
the Equator, but that was about all. However, I was told that I should
catch a boat at Sydney which was sailing for Samarai, the island
port of Papua, and that there I should be met by the schooner of the
Anglican Mission. I might have to finish the journey in a whaleboat,
I was informed, so my belongings had better be packed in small boxes.
Thereupon I set off, armed with a thousand tabloids of quinine, a
defence against malarial fever, which everyone in Papua contracts more
or less badly as a matter of course.

[Illustration: THE HOSPITAL AT SAMARAI, THE PICTURESQUE CAPITAL OF
PAPUA.

_From a Photograph._]

Although the distance was not very great, the voyage took nearly three
weeks, for we certainly did not hurry. The captain was a cautious old
man, and every night, during one "reefy" part of the trip, our anchor
went down at six o'clock, not to be hauled up till the same hour next
morning.

Then, too, instead of making for Samarai, we rounded Cape York and
visited Thursday Island, where we remained for some days. Moreover,
after calling at Port Moresby, on the south coast of Papua, we
deliberately went sixty miles out of our way to land some members of
the Roman Catholic Mission at Yule Island, their head station.

But at last, one morning, we reached Samarai--and a very pretty little
place I thought it, though it is now much altered by the addition of
a number of stores and Government buildings. One of the latter, the
hospital, is shown on the previous page. Four little hills rose in
the centre of the tiny island, surrounded by a picturesque, though
unhealthy, swamp. Gorgeous crotons blazed with crimson and gold in
the tropical sunlight, and thick clusters of palms--coco, areca, and
sago--swayed gently in the wind, while their stiff leaves rustled in a
most misleading manner, imitating a heavy shower of rain. Papaw trees
hung their graceful sprays of waxen blossom, or stood upright under
their load of ripening yellow fruit.

[Illustration: THE LITTLE VESSEL IN WHICH MISS KER COMPLETED HER LONG
JOURNEY.

_From a Photograph._]

When the schooner eventually arrived, after some little delay, she
began to load up with stores, comprising food (mostly tinned), trade
goods, and medicines. After this was accomplished I went on board, and
the last stage of my voyage began. I had not been on a sailing vessel
before, and though I tried hard to believe we were actually moving,
the breeze was so light that it required a great effort. On subsequent
journeys I learned to be thankful if we did not actually retreat
instead of advance, for one morning I woke and heard the captain say,
"We're ten miles farther back than we were last night!"

[Illustration: THIS PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS HOW PRISONERS WERE CARRIED OFF THE
BATTLEFIELD IN THE "BAD OLD DAYS," TO BE AFTERWARDS COOKED AND EATEN.]

However, we drifted peacefully along the coast, with an unvarying
mountain range in the background, looking as though gigantic tiger-skin
rugs had been thrown over it. The natives, I was informed, had produced
this effect by burning the grass when hunting boars and wallabies.
Occasionally we would pass groups of coco palms, which denoted the
existence of a village beneath them. Then, one morning, quite suddenly
we found ourselves at our destination, and I stepped ashore to be
surrounded by crowds of excited natives, to whom the advent of a white
woman had not lost the charm of novelty.

The village of Wedau, where I disembarked, had been, not many years
before, the scene of frequent cannibal feasts. The Wedauans had lived
in a state of continual feud with the hill-folk and other tribes at
a distance, and had sallied forth on various occasions to fight with
them on any convenient "merewa" or battlefield. The photograph here
reproduced shows a group of natives on an old "merewa," and illustrates
the method by which hapless captives were carried off the field in the
bad old days, to be afterwards cooked and eaten.

The victim, sometimes only stunned or wounded, was lashed by the hands
and feet to a stout pole, which was borne on men's shoulders through
the village. Sometimes several of these unhappy wretches were captured
at a time, and the treatment they received before being mercifully
killed was cruel to a degree. Samuela Aigeri, a Wedauan Christian, once
related to me incidents of great barbarity which had taken place in the
village in connection with the slaughter of a man taken prisoner by the
villagers. The poor wretch asked in vain for water to drink, and was
stoned and otherwise tormented for a considerable time before being
given the _coup de grâce_. This was customary.

I soon discovered that European housekeeping in Papua is charmingly
simple. Everything arrived in a tin, for the most part ready for use.
Meat, milk, butter, vegetables--all stood in tins in neat rows in the
storeroom. A diet of tinned stuffs grew rather monotonous at times, but
we were able occasionally to vary it. Sometimes a man would arrive with
a live turtle, which he would sell for two sticks of tobacco, costing
threepence. The wretched turtle would be killed and cut up, but would
still insist on quivering in a most realistic manner even when placed
on the fire to cook. Then, too, if the season was a good one, the
kitchen would be found lined with joints of wallabies, and it would be
hard to know what to do with so much fresh meat.

[Illustration: NATIVES FILLING WATER-BOTTLES AT A STREAM.

_From a Photograph._]

I remember once thinking that smoked wallaby would be a change, and I
asked the little cook-boy if he could get some done for me. He assented
willingly, and bore a leg off to where he said there was an "ovo" or
platform for smoking meat. In a few days it was returned to me and
looked most appetizing. We cut a dish full of delicate slices, and were
just about to set it on the dining-table, when I thought of asking the
cook-boy how it had been prepared. He told me quite cheerfully that he
had given it to an old leper woman, who, being ill, could not leave the
house, and so was sure to keep the fire alight. It was she we had to
thank for so kindly smoking our meat. Needless to say, the dish did not
appear on the table that night.

Girls as well as boys learned cooking when at the mission station. One
girl was considered a very good cook, so much so that on one occasion
she was trusted to prepare a meal by herself, as everyone had gone for
a picnic. She was told to make rissoles of what she found in the safe.
The pudding, a Christmas one, was to follow.

At evening the party returned and sat down, hungry and tired, to eat.
Surely, they thought, the rissoles tasted rather peculiar. However,
they were eaten, and demands made for the pudding.

"But you have had the pudding," was the model cook's answer; "it was in
the rissoles!"

Laundry work was sometimes carried on under great difficulties. At
one station the water supply was some distance away, and was brought
weekly by bullocks which dragged a heavy "slide" on which our pails
stood. The bullocks were occasionally obstreperous, on which occasions
the supply of water was sadly diminished. Moreover, when it was safely
placed in the laundry the ducks hastened thither and bathed luxuriously
in each tub, leaving behind them cloudy water plentifully besprinkled
with feathers. At night our girl boarders, feeling thirsty, would
ask if they might drink from the tubs and would gratefully receive
permission to do so, quite undeterred by the fact that many ducks had
bathed in the water, which, I should have mentioned, was so "hard" that
no soap ever formed a lather. It may be imagined, therefore, what the
clothes looked like when returned from the wash.

[Illustration: A TYPICAL NATIVE HOUSE.

_From a Photograph._]

Papuan marriage customs are interesting and rather intricate. In
Collingwood Bay, for instance, the bride is mourned over for some days
beforehand by her girl friends, who are losing their playmate. Then she
is dressed in her best, presented with many gifts, and a procession is
formed to take her to her new home.

The bridegroom is never to be found on his wedding-day. It is etiquette
for him to go hunting or on some expedition which will take him from
the village. His relatives, however, look after his interests and
hasten the lagging footsteps of the wedding procession by lavish
bribes. On arriving at the house the bride and her maids of honour
enter and remain for the night, while the elders return home.

In the morning the poor little bride is deserted by her girl friends
and betakes herself to sweeping her new domain with a handful of
coco-nut bristles for a broom, thus officially acknowledging her
marriage. After cooking a great pot of food she waits for the elusive
bridegroom, who tarries only till the sun sets, when he joyfully
returns after his voluntary exile and, alone with his wife at last,
partakes of the marriage meal.

Medicine-men are regarded with great respect by the natives. Those I
have met certainly seemed energetic and hard-working. They sit close to
the patient, massaging the seat of pain with much vigour, and, while
they are thus rubbing, make a noise with their lips rather like that
which a groom makes when rubbing down a horse. The process is a tiring
one, and the medicine-man stops at intervals to drink hot water in
which taro has been boiled. His object is to extract some mysterious
foreign substance from the sick man's body, and if he succeeds in this
he receives a fee, otherwise he gets nothing. "No cure, no pay" is
apparently the Papuan sufferer's motto.

On one occasion a medicine-man was attending to a patient outside a
house in the village. The natives sitting round told me he had already
extracted a pebble from one invalid and another cure was about to
take place. I expressed a wish to see the next stone which should be
removed, and waited patiently while the medicine-man rubbed on. At last
he stopped and, with clenched fist, called upon me to watch. This I
did, and he slowly opened his hand and, disclosing an empty palm, cried
triumphantly, "It is gone!"

The natives were much impressed, but I must say I should have preferred
one glimpse of the magic cause of disease before it vanished.

The weather in Papua is divided into two seasons only--wet and dry. The
former is the summer, the latter the winter, but very little difference
in temperature is noticeable. During the wet season thunderstorms may
be expected, and some of these are truly terrible. I have seen even a
white man look alarmed as great claps of thunder, following on vivid
flashes of lightning, seemed to be cleaving asunder the roof over our
heads. When to these are added strong wind and sheets of driving rain,
the situation becomes distinctly unpleasant.

Like all savage races the Papuans have many superstitions, which appear
to vary according to the tribe. The Wedauans, for example, had a belief
that most of the unseen spirits around them were actively malignant.

There was a certain kind of eel which must not be eaten, or probably
a disastrous flood would follow, while if a native wanted to cut down
a tree he had to beware lest there was a _kokome_ (dryad) living in
it. If the _kokome_ were annoyed it might cause the offender's face to
swell and his skin to prick.

One of the worst possible offences against hidden powers was breaking
a "tabu." "Tabu" was placed on all sorts of things--perhaps a certain
coco-nut palm, or across a path. It was usually made of two upright
sticks, with a crosspiece, on which were hung coco-nut leaf and husk.
This was called an "iribubu," and was safeguarded by an incantation. It
took a very reckless man or woman to disregard an "iribubu," for unless
the enchanter was willing to accept a bribe he would not remove the
charm, and the victim, so the natives thought, must die.

[Illustration: A PARTY OF COLLINGWOOD BAY NATIVES ON A HUNTING
EXPEDITION.

_From a Photograph._]

A witch I knew lost her husband, and his death was put down to his
wife's machinations. Nevertheless, the polite Papuan women came to
blend their voices with the wailing of the newly-made widow. In a few
years, spite of her uncanny reputation, the witch-widow became a wife
once more. Her second husband must have been a brave man, or possibly
he was a sorcerer, and intended to counteract his wife's powers with
more potent charms than her own.

[Illustration: NATIVES ASSEMBLED FOR A PIG-FEAST--IT IS ETIQUETTE IN
PAPUA TO EAT NOTHING BUT TO CARRY AWAY EVERYTHING.

_From a Photograph._]

In Wedau, directly anyone died, the house filled with wailing men and
women, some of whom were paid mourners. Crying had to continue until
after the funeral, and was extremely painful to listen to.

Marriage takes place early in Papua, so it was quite possible to have
great-grandparents or children weeping at the grave. Imagine a whole
family tree, with its collateral branches, all lifting their voices at
once and with much energy, and you have a feeble idea of what a death
in Wedau involved. The mourners usually called on the dead man by the
relationship they bore to him, and seldom mentioned his name. After
burial, in fact, the name was "popola," and must not be spoken. A small
boy who was staying with me on a visit told me most emphatically that
he must leave at once if I so much as mentioned the name of his dead
grandfather.

At one of the villages up the coast a curious custom prevails. The
mission girls and I went to witness the funeral of an old man. In the
middle of the house, on the floor, the deceased lay in state. The poor
old man's face was exposed to view, and was a ghastly sight, for the
kinsfolk had rouged its cheeks, possibly to give it a semblance of life!

After some time spent in wailing, the procession proceeded to the
grave. As the corpse was about to be placed in it the village policeman
glanced at me, and requested to know whether I thought the grave
was deep enough! It seems he had been required by the Government to
superintend the digging of graves, and wished a foreigner's approval of
the way he had fulfilled his task. What would have happened if I had
suggested delaying the funeral to dig deeper, however, I shudder to
think.

When I first went out to Papua there were only five other white women
on the north-east coast, though there were a few at Samarai, the port.
Naturally life under these conditions was very different from that in
civilized countries. Roads there were none; but as we generally walked
along the beach, or went by boat, this did not much matter, and there
were a few tracks along which we walked in single file, with tall reeds
or grass rising perhaps to six feet on either side of us. Gloves were
unnecessary, and even veils were too hot to be worn. The best time
of the day was the evening, though the early morning was deliciously
cool. The Wedauans rose at an unearthly hour, and I have heard an
astonished visitor at about 7 a.m. ask, "Is she ill?" on hearing that I
was still in bed. But though we got up as a rule before seven we found
a rest at midday almost imperative. My days went quietly and quickly
enough. Sellers of edible ants, coco-nuts, and other foodstuffs came
when it suited them or when they required tobacco, and patients who
were receiving treatment usually arrived about 9 a.m. Then I could
settle down to translation work, while the boy and girl boarders busied
themselves in the garden or fished in the sea. In the afternoon we had
school in the village for two hours, followed by classes or visiting
the natives in their homes. They were most cordial, and would often
make me a present of a sticky piece of taro or a fibrous sweet potato
picked steaming out of the big earthenware pot. We all sat on the
shingly floor, though perhaps I was given a mat to spread under me,
and we would talk of pigs, crops, babies, and other matters till after
service it was time for me to return to the house. It was not very
exciting, but certainly a very happy life.

We tried the experiment of keeping sheep, but for various reasons, such
as the presence of spear grass and attacks from village dogs or pigs,
were compelled to give it up. Still, while we had them it was possible
to taste fresh mutton occasionally, and I remember one of the lady
missionaries coming in great glee to her fellow-workers. "Hurrah!" she
cried. "A lamb has had sunstroke; we shall have fresh meat."

Fowls have always been difficult to rear, as there is little a village
dog will not force his way through when he knows of their existence. On
one occasion one of these daring animals killed a mission fowl in broad
daylight, only to be immediately shot by a watchful missionary. We ate
the fowl that night, while the villagers feasted royally on the dog.
So, in spite of the double catastrophe, nothing was wasted.

Though cannibalism is still practised among the inland tribes, and
even occasionally on the islands adjacent to the mainland, the coastal
natives have to be content nowadays with pigs' flesh. They are very
fond of giving feasts, and the last photograph shows a group of
feast-givers decorated for the occasion, with gay feathers stuck in
their fuzzy hair, which is teased out with a comb something like a
many-pronged wooden toasting-fork. They hang egg cowrie shells on their
arms, putting on all the finery they possess, and smearing their faces
with lime.

All this preparation often took place days beforehand, for a feast in
Papua is nothing if not movable. It used to be announced for a certain
day, but at the appointed time all the necessary pigs might not have
been brought in, or some expected visitors might not have arrived, or
a pig already present might have struggled free from its bonds and
have had to be hunted for a day or two. No one ever seemed to mind the
delay, however. With well-bred calmness they waited until everything
was quite ready, and then the feast began.

On one such occasion there were nearly a thousand people present,
and fifty pigs, two thousand coco-nuts, and huge piles of taro were
distributed. The feast-givers got nothing; that is a universal custom.
The recipients likewise neither cooked nor ate a morsel until they
got home, for it is considered good form in Papua to eat nothing but
to carry away everything, thus practically reversing our notions of
hospitality. There was a great heap of dismembered pigs lying on the
ground, and the presiding genius of the feast, with his assistants,
threw these violently towards the guests. Each important man had
retainers who ran forward and bore the joint off, while the less
fortunate ones kept up a running fire of comment--identifying a pig's
head as having been the contribution of some particular man, or
reproving the hill-folk for their awkward gait, telling them not to
fear precipices on the coast, and so on.

At this particular feast one man, an ex-policeman, lost his temper
completely. As his share of pork was thrown forward, the distributor
took the opportunity of accusing him of certain misdemeanours. This
so enraged the accused that he sprang to his feet brandishing a very
unpleasant-looking knife about two feet long. His friends, not much
impressed, stolidly brought him his pork and quite disregarded his
angry commands to throw it away. Finally he subsided, muttering. In
earlier days this would have been, no doubt, but the prelude to a very
lively little battle, and spears would soon have been in action. The
culprit, however, had served under Government, and knew what power it
possessed to punish offenders.

                          (_To be continued._)



_Recollections of a Texas Ranger._

                           +By Isaac Motes.+

  Being some exciting incidents of forty years' service with one of
  the finest corps of frontiersmen in the world--the Texas Rangers.
  Born horsemen and Indian fighters, in the early days they were the
  sole representatives of law and order on the border, combining the
  functions of policemen, magistrates, and, very often, executioners
  as well.


The forty years from 1855 to 1895 were strenuous years for me. A mere
boy almost, just turned eighteen, I emigrated to Texas in the former
year, and being a good shot with rifle and revolver, and owning a
good horse, I joined the Ranger force, having nothing else to do.
For two score of eventful years I spent the best part of every day
in the saddle, taking part in some of the most dramatic, tragic, and
nerve-trying episodes of frontier life.

Those were exciting times indeed. There was but little law in West
Texas during the first half of those forty years, and the Rangers
exercised far more power and authority than at the present day. The
State was full of savage Indians and renegade Mexicans, as well as "bad
men" from the other States of the American Union.

The Rangers were chosen with very great care. A man must be brave, of
good character, preferably unmarried, a good shot, a good horseman, and
must be possessed of a horse worth not less than a hundred dollars. He
must be absolutely fearless of danger, and prepared to give his life
at any time in enforcing the law and in the protection of the settlers
on the frontier and their families. The Rangers had to deal with
wild, vicious, lawless characters and criminals, Indians, Mexicans,
and outlaws from other States--all of them men who would fight to the
death rather than surrender. Of necessity, therefore, the Rangers had
to carry things with a high hand, often passing sentence on captured
criminals and executing them without the ceremony of a trial.

From 1855 to 1870 the Rangers were chiefly employed in ridding Texas
of the Comanche Indians, incidentally keeping Mexican desperadoes from
crossing the border and protecting the stage-coaches which carried the
United States mail, in all of which work they had the hearty assistance
of the United States troops stationed at the different forts in Western
Texas. Every Ranger felt it his duty to live up to the reputation which
the corps had gained for fearlessness and untiring perseverance in
hunting down criminals. Thus it was that the Texas Rangers have been
for generations the most dreaded set of law officers in the South-West
among malefactors.

In the year 1856, soon after coming to Texas, I was at Fort Inge, in
the employ of the United States Government as a scout. That year a
mail route was opened between San Antonio and El Paso, six hundred
miles distant. The contract for delivering the mail was let to Captain
William Wallace, an old Texas Ranger and Mexican War veteran, and six
mounted guards were furnished by the Government to accompany the coach.
The Rangers were generally selected for this dangerous duty because
they knew the State better than the United States cavalry. For two
years I was one of these guards. Our route lay through the wildest part
of the State, where we were exposed to attacks from Indians and outlaws
all the way. We had numberless fights with Indians and many narrow
escapes. Two of the guards were killed during the year 1856 by Indians,
who shot them from behind clumps of cactus. We rode close behind the
mail coach, to prevent the Indians cutting us off from the stage, and
capturing the loose mules which we always took along for service in
case of accident.

The prettiest fight we had with redskins on any of these trips was at
the crossing of Devil's River. This is a deep, rocky stream, with very
high bluffs, a good place for Indians to make an attack. The west bank
was much higher than the east bank, and crowned with trees and large
boulders. We stopped on the east bank one day at noon to eat our lunch,
and were just ready to cross and continue our journey when twenty-seven
Indians attacked us from the west bluffs, keeping themselves well
hidden among the rocks.

Captain Wallace ordered us to hold our fire, knowing that the savages
would presently get bolder and come out where we could see them better.
Thinking we were cowards, they soon began to show themselves, and
the chief was heard to say that they would come down and scalp the
white men, as we were afraid to fight. We were all good shots and had
good rifles, which we kept ready for instant use. As the Indians made
preparations to descend the bank, Captain Wallace made us creep under
the stage as if frightened at the arrows which came down from the
bluffs. The redskins, seeing this, came out into the open and bunched
together in plain view. Captain Wallace now gave the signal to fire,
and his own rifle cracked, followed instantly by our six, and five
Indians fell and rolled down the bank a short distance among the rocks.
The remainder scattered at once, and nothing was seen of them for some
time. They were hidden behind the rocks close by their dead, but were
afraid to risk showing themselves. Our one volley had given them enough
of us, and they were anxious to leave, but, according to their custom,
they wished to carry their dead warriors with them.

[Illustration: "FIVE INDIANS FELL AND ROLLED DOWN THE BANK."]

Presently we saw a lasso thrown from behind a rock and fall among the
dead Indians; the survivors were trying to rope them and drag the
bodies to cover. They threw many times, and succeeded in catching and
dragging them all in except one. This man had fallen farther down the
bank than the others, and his arms hung over the bluff, so that he was
hard to lasso. Loop after loop came down, and finally he was caught
under the arms and dragged away. The Indians did not show themselves
again, and at last we harnessed up the mules, turning back to Fort
Clark to get reinforcements, as we feared an ambuscade by a larger
force. During the fight a number of arrows hit the stage and stuck
in, and we allowed them to remain where they were during many trips.
They were examined with a great deal of curiosity and awe by Eastern
visitors whenever we came into San Antonio.

In the autumn of 1870 a band of Comanches came raiding near Bastrop,
Texas. Close to this town lived a man named Craig, who was the owner
of a pair of fine grey horses, which, with many others, the Indians
stole. Craig was greatly distressed about the loss of his team, and
called on his neighbours to help him recover them, and quite a number
responded, including several friendly Indians. In the neighbourhood
lived a Tonkaway Indian named John. He was a good trailer and fighter,
and immediately joined the party, following the trail of the Comanches
very rapidly.

On the afternoon of the first day out we discovered the robbers camped
in a ravine. They were cooking meat, and it was the smoke of their
camp fire which led us to their position. We promptly charged, but the
Indians discovered us in time to make their escape, leaving one of
Craig's horses behind. We had ridden all day with nothing to eat, so
we at once proceeded to help ourselves to the roast meat left by the
fugitives. While thus engaged we heard a yell, and, looking round, saw
a solitary warrior on a hill, mounted on Craig's other horse. Seeing
us watching him, the Indian yelled again and began wheeling the horse
about in a circle. He had a brand-new bridle on this horse--probably
obtained from a looted store in Bastrop--and as he wheeled his mount
rapidly the metal on the bridle glistened in the sunshine, although the
Indian must have been a quarter of a mile away. There was a man in the
party named Bates, who was riding a very fast horse, and Tonkaway John
said if Bates would let him have the horse he would catch the Comanche
and bring back his scalp, together with Craig's horse. "All right,"
replied Bates, "but don't you lose my horse."

When the Comanche saw John coming he galloped off across the valley,
yelling defiance, and no doubt thinking he could easily get away. When
he saw the Tonkaway gaining on him, however, he began whipping and
kicking furiously, but it was all of no avail--Bates's horse steadily
overtook the grey. The Comanche now strung his bow, and a battle with
arrows commenced between the two red men, but the hostile Indian was
soon stuck full of arrows and at the mercy of John, who rode quickly up
alongside of him. They must have been fully a mile and a half from us,
but there was not a bush or a shrub to obstruct the view, and in the
bright light of the setting sun and the clear, thin atmosphere of the
prairie we could see them as plainly as though within two hundred yards
of them.

The Comanche, badly wounded, now threw away his bow and began to beg
for his life. John, however, paid no attention to him, but grabbed him
by his long, coarse hair, pulled him from his horse, and, dismounting,
killed and scalped him with his long knife. Remounting, he came back
yelling triumphantly, leading Craig's horse with one hand and waving
the scalp with the other. Craig had now recovered both his horses, so
he was profuse in his thanks, and never finished talking about the
bravery of Tonkaway John.

In a fight we had with Indians on the Upper Brazos River, in the year
1876, we captured a big Comanche chief named Black Wolf. We took him
to Fort Griffin, intending to turn him over to the colonel commanding,
but he refused to have anything to do with the prisoner. As he was one
of the most bloodthirsty Indians on the frontier, however, the officer
recommended us to shoot him. None of us fancied the job, and as some
friendly Tonkaways, who had been in this fight, had a special grudge
against the Comanche, he was turned over to them to be killed, although
we little thought at the time how they proposed to carry out the
death-sentence.

There were about twenty of the Tonkaways, armed with bows and arrows,
and they took the chief--a Herculean fellow--and turned him loose in
front of the fort. Then they began shooting at him from all sides. They
had to be careful, however, not to miss him and shoot some of their own
men, so for this reason it was not safe to shoot very strongly. The
first arrow that struck the big Indian he pulled out, and rushed about
here and there with it, trying to stab his enemies as they shot at him.
The greater the number of arrows that struck him the more furious he
became, and the faster he ran the more difficult it was for the archers
to hit him. The Comanche was tall, with long, powerful arms, and could
reach far with his curious weapon, and very soon it began to look as
though he would put the whole band of Tonkaways to flight with only an
arrow. They rushed around frantically, uttering shrill cries of rage,
trying hard to kill the big chief, but being careful to keep out of
reach of his long arms. While this went on we stood around the gate
of the fort with the soldiers, watching the absorbingly interesting
fight. The Comanche was soon stuck full of arrows, but they did not
penetrate deeply and did not interfere in the least with his fighting
powers. Presently he had most of the Tonkaways on the run, those in
front trying to get out of the way of the arrow in his hands, those
at his back and sides endeavouring to kill him without wounding any
of their comrades. Springing this way and that he wounded several of
the Tonkaways, and our captain began to fear he would kill some of
them, so the colonel at the fort sent several soldiers out to drive the
Tonkaways away. The Comanche was afterwards shot. Spite of the chief's
terrible record, one could not help admiring his pluck, and his last
battle was the bravest fight for life I have ever seen put up by a lone
Indian.

[Illustration: "THEY RUSHED AROUND FRANTICALLY, TRYING HARD TO KILL THE
BIG CHIEF."]

During the time I was a Ranger, most of the Indians in Texas, whether
hostile or friendly, were cannibals. The hostiles were probably greater
cannibals than the friendlies, as association with white men had a
restraining influence on the latter, but we had no opportunity to
observe the hostile Indians as we could the friendlies. The Indians
friendly to us, and who aided us at times in our wars with the
Comanches, were the Tehuacanas, the Tonkaways, the Karankawas, and the
Lipans; the Tonkaways and Lipans were especially friendly. But they
were all more or less cannibals by instinct and practice, and it was
only on account of the restraining influence of the white men that
they did not indulge this revolting practice more often. No matter how
friendly they were to us, and no matter how emphatically they were
forbidden to eat their enemies, there were times when it seemed the
Indians simply must give way to their natural appetites and indulge in
a cannibal feast, followed by a scalp-dance.

Some few of the Ranger captains were not so strict in this regard as
their colleagues, allowing the Indian allies to do more or less as they
pleased with their slain enemies after a battle in which they had shown
unusual bravery. But while our captain was glad to have the assistance
of the friendlies, he drew the line sharply when it came to allowing
them to indulge their cannibal instincts while under his command. In
1879 there was a fight, known as the Battle of Lost Valley, between
our company of Rangers and the Comanches, where we were assisted by
some friendly Tehuacanas and Tonkaways. The Comanches outnumbered us
four to one, and the fight was hot and furious. The friendly Indians
became much excited, and it was hard to restrain them. The Comanches
were routed after many fierce hand-to-hand encounters. One of their
braves was especially daring, wounding four of the Tehuacanas before
he dropped dead--shot full of arrows, but fighting as long as he could
cling to his horse. After the battle we were too busy attending to
the wounds of our men to give attention to the friendlies until our
captain noticed a pair of Indian hands tied to the saddle of one of the
Tehuacana braves. He was the Indian who had finally killed the brave
Comanche, and his trophies were the hands of the dead warrior.

"What are you going to do with those?" asked our captain, sternly,
pointing to the gory souvenirs.

"Goin' to eat 'em. Maybe so make me brave," replied the Tehuacana.

"You rascal! If you don't drop them instantly I'll have you shot,"
thundered the captain, and very reluctantly the Tehuacana relinquished
the hands.

The Tehuacanas say that the first member of their race was brought into
the world by a wolf. "How am I to live?" asked the Tehuacana. "The same
as we do," said the wolf, and that is just about how they have lived.
The braver the enemy they slew in battle, the more liable they were to
eat him, or, at least, want to do so, believing that this act would add
to their own pluck.

After 1875 Indians became very scarce in Western Texas. They had
been removed to the Indian Territory, north of Texas, partly by the
United States soldiers and the Rangers, and partly by the gradual and
inevitable advance of civilization. They were located on reservations
in the Territory, and a strenuous endeavour was made by the Indian
Agents and the United States troops to keep them there, but it was
impossible to prevent small bands from crossing the border and
descending suddenly and unexpectedly upon the scattered settlements in
Texas to steal horses, loot stores, burn houses, and murder defenceless
women and children. As the number of Indians grew smaller, however,
they confined themselves more and more to prowling around on dark
nights and stealing horses. Ostensibly they were now at peace with the
white men, but having been run out of Texas mainly by the Rangers, the
grievance rankled in their bosoms, and they occasionally came back in
small squads and straggling parties on horse-stealing expeditions. If
they could get away with a man's saddle-horse without fighting the
owner they preferred to do so, but if necessary they were ready to
fight.

The white settlers were so aggravated by having their horses stolen
that they resorted to all sorts of expedients to keep the Indians from
getting them. The savages, however, kept up their thieving excursions
till there were no horses left in some neighbourhoods, especially near
rivers, down which the Indians came from the north and north-west,
under cover of the timber along the waterside. If they could not get
away with a horse, they would kill it rather than leave it alive to its
owner. The settlers built strong log stables, with stout doors, which
they fastened from the inside, climbing out themselves through a hole
in the roof. Still, with wonderful cunning, the Indians got the horses,
or killed them by shooting them with arrows through the cracks between
the logs.

A friend of mine with whom I often stopped in South-West Texas told me
how, on one occasion, the Indians got two fine horses from him when
there seemed absolutely no chance for them to be stolen. He had a
stable made of heavy oak logs, with a stout door fastened by a strong
wooden pin, which one of his grown sons drove in with a maul on this
particular evening, having seen Indian signs in the neighbourhood that
day. Then the settler and his sons went to sleep in the hay-loft,
under the same roof, with their loaded guns beside them. Not a sound
disturbed them during the night, but when morning came the stable door
was open and the horses gone. The Indians had found how the door was
fastened and, by steady perseverance, succeeded in working the pin out.
Probably the job took them hours, but they had plenty of time.

Old frontiersmen are the most superstitious class of people in the
world. They all believe in omens and portents, things that forebode
death and disaster. Their lives are spent amid dangerous surroundings,
and they are suspicious of everything that seems unusual or ominous,
and often attach uncanny significance to things which would make no
impression upon the ordinary citizen living in a peaceful community.

One of the surest signs of approaching death to the old plainsman and
Indian fighter is the scream of the "death-bird." The "death-bird" is
supposed to fly about at night or hover near white men or women and
children to give warning of the approach of Indians, wild beasts, or
other great dangers. Its cry is the most piercing, nerve-racking wail
that ever smote upon human ears. There is an almost human expression in
it, as though it were the scream of a woman or child in mortal fear;
and there is no mistaking its note among all the other night-birds of
the plains. It never warns people unless there is no possible escape by
other means, and woe to the man who hears its cry and heeds it not. As
far as I have been able to discover no human eye has ever looked upon
this mysterious "death-bird," for it flies only on dark nights, never
uttering its warning at any other time, and the folk it honours with
its attentions are thrown into such a state of fear, expectancy, and
dread that curiosity as to the appearance of the bird is far from their
thoughts. It is supposed, however, to be an owl, black as midnight,
with very long wings and a large head and mouth, which superstitious
people who claim to have seen the creature declare to be strangely like
the head and mouth of a human being.

Almost every old Ranger and frontiersman has a weird story to tell as
to the "death-bird" having saved the life of someone or other from
Indians or outlaws. Most of the stories, however, are second-hand
narratives, and I found when they had been sifted down they had almost
always happened to someone other than the narrator. It was extremely
rare that they were personal experiences, and they generally happened
in some distant part of the State at some remote time. I had been
a Ranger twenty years before I met a man, in whom I had the utmost
confidence, who had a personal experience to relate wherein the
"death-bird" had warned him of danger and saved his life. Up to this
time I had doubted the truthfulness of these stories, and scouted the
idea that such a bird existed. About seven years after this my friend,
in company with two other Rangers, was ambushed and killed one night by
renegade Mexicans down on the Rio Grande border, and on this occasion
there was no "death-bird" to save his life, so I was still a little
dubious.

[Illustration: MR. ISAAC MOTES, WHO HERE RELATES SOME OF THE MOST
EXCITING EXPERIENCES HE HAD DURING FORTY YEARS' SERVICE AS A TEXAS
RANGER.

_From a Photograph._]

Three years later, however, I met with an adventure which removed the
last vestige of doubt from my mind. In the autumn of 1880, with five
other Rangers, under command of a lieutenant, I was stationed at Eagle
Pass, on the Rio Grande. About the middle of November I was sent to San
Antonio with important despatches for the colonel commanding. I was
selected for the trip because I had the fleetest horse of any man in
the force, a big black thoroughbred, for which I had paid three hundred
dollars when he was only two years old, and at a time, too, when
horseflesh was cheap. For three years I had ridden this horse daily
on all our scouting expeditions. He had borne me safely through many
dangers, and I loved him almost as if he had been a human being.

I left San Antonio on my return one morning at eleven o'clock and
rode seventy miles by nine o'clock that night, arriving at the Nueces
River and Turkey Creek bottoms. The weather became threatening in
the afternoon, and at night dense clouds obscured the light from the
stars, and as there was no moon it became so appallingly black when
we entered the thick timber of the "bottoms" that I could not see an
inch before my eyes, and even my horse could not find his way around
the trees, bushes, and fallen timber. There was no rain, no lightning,
no thunder, and no wind--simply a thick pall of clouds which seemed to
rest upon the tops of the trees--while a curious soft murmuring sound
seemed to come from the bottom lands. I would have stopped immediately
upon reaching the timber, but I had heard that afternoon that Indians
had been seen along the river within the past twenty-four hours, and I
had noticed the trail of what I believed to be Indian ponies crossing
my road about six o'clock. So somehow or other I felt my way through
the pitch-darkness till we were perhaps three hundred yards from the
edge of the Nueces bottom. Then, dismounting, I took off my saddle and,
letting down my lariat, looped the end around my left wrist so that my
horse could graze, and yet waken me if he got too far away. Lying down
under a large live-oak with my head on the saddle, I soon went to sleep
with the subdued murmuring sound still echoing in my ears. I intended
to rest a few hours, until the clouds lifted, and then continue my
journey to a settlement twenty miles farther on. The tree under which I
lay was a very large one, and I found next morning that the top limbs
were dead, the tree having been struck by lightning some years before.

I must have slept for some time, but it seemed to me my eyes had
barely closed when a piercing, wailing scream in the tree above me
brought me instantly to my feet--a scream so startling that it seemed
to vibrate every nerve in my body. Even if I had never heard so much
as a whisper as to the peculiar character of the "death-bird's" cry I
should have recognised it, for never before or since have I heard such
a wild, foreboding shriek. The cry was long and wailing--the first
note sharp, like the crack of a six-shooter, then trailing off into a
long-drawn-out, ominous wail. The bird was doubtless sitting on one
of the dead limbs above me, and at the first note of alarm had flown
off across the bottom, the cry becoming more weird and portentous the
farther away it got.

I took notice of this in a kind of subconscious way, for my faculties
were strung to their highest tension to discover the danger that I was
convinced menaced me. Even before the cry died away I heard my horse
drawing in its breath in a sort of sob, as though uneasy and somewhat
excited. Then I noticed that the lariat looped to my wrist was drawn
suspiciously tight. This impression had hardly formed in my mind before
the lariat suddenly drew a little tighter, then slackened perceptibly.
Instantly it occurred to me that an Indian was out there with my horse,
that he had the lariat in his hand, and was perhaps running his hand
along it towards me to untie it, thinking it was tied to a stake, when,
having got near enough to hear me as I sprang to my feet, he cut the
line with a knife, causing the momentary tightness, followed by the
slackening.

The thought that an Indian was making off with my valuable horse so
filled me with fury that I was driven almost to desperation, and forgot
for an instant the necessity for caution. Slipping the looped lariat
off my wrist, I drew my six-shooter and crept as softly as I could out
in the direction of my horse. I could still hear him sniffing out there
in the brush, and thought I heard him stepping among sticks as though
he was being led away. This so enraged me that I pushed through the
brush faster and more recklessly than ever, gripping my six-shooter,
though I realized I was doing a foolhardy thing, for an Indian can see
in the dark much better than a white man. Still, it seemed impossible
for me to resist the impulse to pursue my horse.

I had groped my way perhaps twenty feet when I stepped on to some
dry twigs, which cracked sharply under my weight. Simultaneously I
heard the ominous throb of a heavy bow-string, and as I ducked my
head, quick as thought, an arrow took off my hat and tore through my
hair, scorching my scalp as though a red-hot iron rod had been laid
across my head. Upon this my horse became so excited that he began to
rear, plunge, and snort. I stood irresolute, fearing to fire in that
direction lest I should kill the animal. From the sound the horse was
making I believed he was pulling considerably on the halter and backing
towards me. While I stood there, in a fever of uncertainty, I again
heard the dull hum of the bow-string and ducked to avoid the arrow,
but instead of its coming toward me there was a wild, almost human,
cry from my horse, and he reared and fell heavily to the ground, then
staggered to his feet again and came towards me, uttering the most
agonizing cry that ever tortured human ears. When perhaps ten feet from
me he again fell and lay still, moaning with pain. A mad fury of rage
possessed me at my beauty's agony, and I leaped blindly forward in the
darkness, not caring whether I lived or died if only I could kill that
brute of an Indian. I made towards where I heard my horse fall, feeling
for him with my left hand, and just as I touched him I heard once more
the twang of the Indian's bow-string, and again an arrow whizzed at
me, tearing away the lobe of my ear. In ducking this time I sank to my
knees and found myself between my dead horse's fore and hind legs as he
lay with his belly towards me, with my left hand resting on his body.
I marked carefully the direction of the bow-string's hum, and as my
knees touched the ground I raised myself up and fired twice in quick
succession, afterwards sinking down low again behind the horse's body.

There was no sound from the redskin to lead me to believe I had struck
him, so I crouched down between the feet of my dead horse, gripping
my six-shooter, expecting the Indian or Indians to be upon me every
minute. But minutes and hours passed, and still I heard not the
faintest sound from that direction. Nevertheless, I dared not move, but
spent the remainder of the night where I was, protected by the animal's
body.

As the grey light of coming day began to steal into the bottom I peered
anxiously around me, searching for signs of the Indian, either dead or
alive. I could see nothing of him through the bushes and vines, so when
it became light I got up and walked cautiously in the direction from
which the arrows had come. About fifty yards away I discovered traces
of blood, and following these for a short distance I found where the
Indian had lain down and dragged himself, leaving a plainly discernible
trail. Following this for about three hundred yards farther I came to
a tiny little gully about a foot deep. In one place the limbs of a
low tree overhung it, and here the gully appeared to be nearly full
of leaves. Looking about, I saw what I took to be an arrow sticking
up above the leaves. I approached very cautiously, watching for the
slightest movement, but there was none, and the arrow still stuck out
at an angle of about forty-five degrees. Six-shooter in hand I drew
nearer, and found an Indian lying there dead in the gully. It was
obvious what had happened. Becoming too weak to crawl, my enemy had
stretched himself in this gully, raked the dead leaves over his body,
covering himself from view very artfully, and then, with bow and arrow,
ready to shoot me if I had followed him and overtook him while he was
yet alive, he had lain there, bearing the pain of his wounds with
stoical fortitude, until death came to his release.



SHORT STORIES.

  The first instalment of a budget of breezy little
  narratives--exciting, humorous, and curious--hailing from all parts
  of the world. This month's collection comprises a weird experience
  at an Hungarian inn, a snake adventure in West Africa, and a
  sea-captain's account of a rough and-tumble voyage.


MY ADVENTURE AT ARAD.

                         +By F. Harris Deans.+

Other travellers may have experienced adventures in inns. They may
have been awakened--many declare they have--in the early hours of the
morning by the creaking of the stairs; have listened, frozen with
horror, to the whispered colloquy between the villainous innkeeper and
his equally villainous wife outside his door; have heard the stealthy
sharpening of a knife. I admit that such adventures may have befallen
other wayfarers, but that anyone has lived through a night at an inn as
strange as that spent by me I am unable to believe.

[Illustration: MR. F. HARRIS DEANS, WHO HERE RELATES AN AMUSING
EXPERIENCE THAT BEFELL HIM IN HUNGARY.

_From a Photograph._]

The only person--at one time I had regarded him as a friend--to whom
I have hitherto nerved myself to recount my experience regarded it
as an excuse--nay, more than an excuse, an incentive--for mirth. The
thoughtful reader, however, who now becomes acquainted with my story
will, I feel confident, place himself in imagination in my position,
so that his perusal of this article will, at all events, enable him to
refrain from ribald laughter.

I will confess at the outset that my knowledge of Hungarian is limited
to some dozen words. The time of day I will pass with you in the most
fluent Ungarisch; if you, enraptured at my accent, wish to continue the
conversation, and will confine yourself to remarking that the weather
is hot or cold (you must not say warm or chilly), I will agree, or
disagree, with you--curtly, maybe, but nevertheless I will do so; if
you are thirsty I will order you wine, beer, or water; your hunger I
will satisfy with bread. Further, I can amuse, instruct, and elevate
you by counting up to ten.

The reader who himself possesses some knowledge of Hungarian will share
with me my admiration of my linguistic accomplishments. It takes some
years of patient efforts for an Hungarian himself to learn his own
language. I feel confident, had I been so fortunate (I am writing this
in the heart of Hungary, and the inhabitants are an impulsive people)
as to have been born an Hungarian, I should have borne dumbness with
equanimity.

All this--though, to the broad-minded, it excuses my ignorance of the
language--does not alter the fact that I was fully aware beforehand
that in certain regions of the country I should not be able to enjoy
heart-to-heart talks with the people. Even in England there are whole
villages which speak no tongue save their native one. I did not,
however, anticipate that my ignorance would land me in the weird
adventure here set forth.

In a town, however, such as Arad I did not anticipate that there would
exist one miserable, imbecile, uneducated incompetent--who, alas, only
knows my opinion of him through a far too polite interpreter--who spoke
only his own language, and that this one disreputable outcast and
disgrace to an educated nation should cross my path.

I arrived in Arad--a town of about sixty thousand people, lying
near the Roumanian border--at about 2 a.m. I had not slept for over
thirty-six hours, and I was so tired that I would have shared a bed
with a Roumanian peasant. Can I say more?

At the nearest hotel I pulled myself together and demanded, in what
was, under the circumstances, very tolerable German, a bedroom. There
was no difficulty about this; there was a room vacant. Gladly I filled
in particulars of myself on the Police Form as the law demands.

"Are you an Austrian or a German?" inquired the porter.

I glanced at him sharply; I was in no mood for sarcasm. Besides, if it
came to that, _his_ German wasn't of much account. But no; his face
was gravity itself; courteous curiosity was its only expression. I
pointed--I had no mind to risk my reputation as a linguist by further
speech--to the form I had just filled in.

"London," he read. "So, ein Englander?"

"_Ja_," said I.

I got into bed at 2.30 a.m., and immediately fell last asleep.

[Illustration: "ONCE MORE THE IDIOT MET ME WITH AN AMIABLE GRIN."]

Some time later I awoke and sat up with a start. Thump, thump,
thump--blows rained steadily, monotonously, on my door. I switched
on the light; it was 3.30 a.m. Springing out of bed, I threw open my
door. The interrupter of my repose, apparently resting against it after
his exertions, fell forward into the room and trod on my bare toes. I
called him, in German, a clumsy donkey, and demanded to know what all
of the noise was about. By way of reply he grinned at me amiably--as if
we had a little joke in common--and promptly retreated.

Puzzled by his behaviour, I looked along the corridor. Everything
appeared to be all right, so I retired again to bed.

Seven minutes, by my watch, had I been sleeping dreamlessly, when again
that tattoo was beaten on my door. I nearly choked with anger, and,
throwing off my quilt, I dashed madly to the door.

Once more the idiot met me with an amiable grin.

"You confounded fool!" I roared, shaking my fist in his beaming face;
"what do you think you're doing? Even if this is an Hungarian game, do
you think this is the time to start teaching it to a stranger? Your
intentions may be good; I admit I am lonely; perhaps in the afternoon I
may be glad to play some simple little game with you. But not now. Do
you understand? Not at three in the morning. Get!"

My vivacity appeared to cause him much satisfaction, and he again took
his departure.

I returned to bed.

This time I didn't even succeed in getting to sleep; he must have been
waiting round the corner. Once more he beat upon my door.

I made no attempt to speak to him; I could not have expressed my
feelings even in English; I seized him by the shoulders (luckily he
was a good-tempered man) and shook him. Apparently, judging from the
sound, I had shaken him to pieces. I looked on the ground and saw that
he had dropped--my boots! This restored my speech. "Boots!" I shrieked,
as he picked them up and politely offered them to me. "I want peace,
not boots. Have I as much as mentioned boots to you? Does any sane man
want his boots at three o'clock? Do you think I sleep in them? Do you
imagine that's what's keeping me awake, not having them?"

I think it was the man's perfect placidity that made me so mad. Had he
lost _his_ temper, had he only sworn in Hungarian--a language admirably
suited for the art, by the way--I should have felt better. But no; he
maintained a perfect silence; he appeared to regard me as a lunatic on
whom speech would be wasted. Realizing at last, however, that I was
not yearning at that moment for my boots, he put them on one side--to
be introduced again at a more suitable moment. Next he pointed to my
pyjamas.

"What about them?" I demanded, furiously. "What's wrong with them?
Is it the colour, or what?" As a matter of fact they looked rather
neat--a sort of chocolate with blue stripes. In any case, I didn't want
to be awakened in the middle of the night to have a boots tell me he
didn't admire my pyjamas. They weren't meant to be admired; they were
intended to be slept in. I wished he would realize that.

"Perhaps you would rather I wore a night-shirt," I continued, as he
remained speechless. "Well, I'm not going to. I'm an Englishman,
Englander, Angol--do you understand?--and I'll wear what I like. Now
I'm going to bed again. If I so much as hear you breathe near my door
before nine o'clock I'll shoot you." With that I retired and slammed
the door.

I was half-way towards the bed when the door opened and boots inserted
his head. Then a hand followed, and he scratched his head in a puzzled
manner. Words, I felt, were wasted on him. In as dignified a manner as
possible I climbed into bed and switched off the light hanging over
it. Immediately boots turned on the light near the door. I sat up,
indignant.

"Look here," I said, "I've had enough of it." I raised a cautioning
forefinger. "I will _not_ play games with you. Understand that, once
for all. Go and wake somebody else up--somebody who knows these
national customs of yours. I'm speaking seriously now. When I engaged
this room I engaged it to sleep in. Sleep! Do you understand? It's an
English custom. You're wasting your time trying to talk to me. I don't
understand your language, and I'm not going to learn--not immediately,
anyhow. Now, go! Go, you----!" As I rushed at him he turned and fled,
and, locking the door, for the fifth time that night I got into bed.

I was by this time in such a mood that I was awakened with a start
at four o'clock by the sound of whispering outside my door. Without
stopping to consider how I should dispose of the corpse of my intended
victim, I again vacated my bed. This time boots was accompanied by
another person, who turned out to be the manager.

"I hev' come to apologize," he remarked, blandly.

I struggled to regain my composure.

"This is too good of you," I said, warmly. "Come in and take a seat."

He misunderstood my sarcasm and promptly entered, accompanied by the
boots.

"Zere have been a leetle mistake," he continued, with an amused smile I
made no effort to share.

"It's more than kind of you," I said, gratefully, "to come and wake me
up at four in the morning to explain it."

He bowed modestly. Personal convenience, he assured me earnestly, was
as nothing to an act of courtesy.

Then he explained. It appeared that the previous occupier of my room
had been a German, who had intended to take his departure at three
o'clock that morning. At the last moment, however, he had changed his
mind, and had left at 11 p.m. Unfortunately, the porter, whom he had
desired to instruct the boots to awaken him, had forgotten to cancel
the order.

"Und he had sayed he vos a ver' heafy sleeper!" he wound up. "So you
see, it vos a mutual misunderstanding. Nicht was?"

"This," I said, "makes everything satisfactory. Now, if you don't mind,
I should like to go to sleep. I have to catch a train at ten. Perhaps
you will see that I am not awakened before nine?"

When he had impressed this on the penitent boots, we parted, with
mutual expressions of regard.

The boots--no doubt in a well-meant desire to make up for his earlier
mistake--this time forbore to awaken me at all. I accordingly awoke
at midday, in plenty of time for my next train, which left twenty-two
hours later.


THE HORROR IN THE PIT.

     +By E. F. Martin, late of the Royal Niger Company's Service.+

I have since been to a great extent cured; but in my earlier African
days, somewhere about eleven years ago, I was full of romantic ideas
and intoxicated with the strange glamour and mystery that pervaded
everything connected with the great Niger River and its unknown
territories. Having tied up to a bank late one afternoon, half an hour
before sunset, I took my gun--a sporting Martini--and set out from
the little river launch, of which I was the sole white passenger, and
made my way through the long grass skirting the banks of the stream,
until I emerged into an open, ploughed field, with its lines of mounds
about eighteen inches high, indicating guinea-corn or yam cultivation.
My intention was to reach a backwater, some half a mile away, which I
had noticed as we steamed up the river a short time before tying up. I
hoped I might find hippo, or, at any rate, an alligator or two, hidden
in the seclusion of this secret byway of the great river.

Crossing the field I entered a kind of copse, consisting of minor
trees and scrub. Pushing my way through I found some clearer ground,
carpeted with the gourd plant. Ahead of me I noticed that the land
suddenly dipped to a large pool that might have been connected with
the main river. This, I thought, would do as well as my backwater,
especially as I heard just then the distant grunting roar of a hippo.
Next moment, without warning, the solid ground gave way under my feet,
and I went hurtling down into black darkness, bringing up with a
tremendous shock that seemed to jar me from tip to toe.

[Illustration: MR. E. F. MARTIN, WHO HAD AN APPALLING STRUGGLE WITH A
SNAKE AT THE BOTTOM OF A PIT.

_From a Photograph._]

When I had recovered from my utter astonishment, and had made certain
that no bones were broken, I looked about and above me to see where I
was and what had happened. Around and beneath me I could see nothing;
everything was shrouded in impenetrable blackness. Above me, however,
I saw the evening sky, gradually fading into night. My gun was gone.
Where was I? What had happened? Had the earth opened and swallowed me
up?

I decided to strike a light and see what kind of place I had fallen
into. The blue spurt and the flickering flame, settling almost
immediately into a thin, steady tongue of yellow fire, revealed to
me the fact that I had fallen into some kind of trap--probably for
hippo--and that this trap was some eight feet long by five broad and
ten deep. At the bottom, at regular intervals, were placed pointed
stakes about eighteen inches apart. Had I fallen prone I should have
been impaled. I had apparently, then, something to be thankful for.
As this thought struck me my match burnt the tips of my fingers and
I dropped it. As it fell something caught my eye that froze my blood
in my veins--some coiled black thing was slowly moving in the farther
corner! Part of its body was enshrouded in the shadow of the stakes,
but I saw sufficient to convince me that my companion was some kind of
venomous snake. Have any of my readers known what it is to feel the
heart stop dead still, after one fierce bound into the throat, the body
go cold and clammy, like dank, damp clay--like the earth that I leaned
up against in that moment of dumb, stricken terror? You that have know
what I felt then, ten feet down in the bowels of the earth, imprisoned
with that coiling thing. You that have not, pray that you never may,
for it seems as though the life is passing from one in the cold sweat
which oozes through every pore. I leant against the side of the pit
trembling like an aspen leaf. Oh! for my gun and a steady light! At
least I could then stake all in one try for life. My hands shaking
violently, I lit another match and glanced in the direction of the
horror. I might have spared my pains. The brute--a long, black, shiny
snake, with a sort of hooded head--was actually at my feet, the sinuous
body stretched across the rough floor among the pointed stakes!

I stood still as though paralyzed, the match burning like a tiny
flare in my uplifted right hand. The snake came straight on without
striking, and as the match went out it started to coil up my left
leg. The sensation of that strange, gliding grip, which squeezed the
muscles as it passed along, is impossible to describe. Up it came in
the darkness, higher and higher still, feeling like a hawser of steel
round my body--and heavy! Suddenly--to my dying day I shall never
forget the horror of that moment--its cold, hard snout touched my chin.
It was just a sort of gliding touch, with no attempt at striking.
Obeying a mad impulse, I gripped straight for where the neck should be,
judging by the feel of the snout on my chin, and with the strength of a
maniac my fingers closed on the snake just behind the head. Feeling my
advantage, I forced my two thumbs deep into its throat. Then I tripped
forward in my excitement, the coils of the snake suddenly contracting
with a fierce pressure as I strengthened my grip. Down I went, tearing
myself badly on two stakes as I fell, gashing my right leg above the
knee--the scar remains to this day--and receiving a nasty bruise on my
left shoulder. In spite of my fall, however, I had enough presence of
mind to keep the terrible head at arm's length, and now, once on the
ground, in spite of cuts, bruises, and the twining coils round my arm,
I got on to my knees and banged and dashed that deadly head on the hard
earth and against the stakes I could feel on either side. How long
I kept on in my wild, frenzied fury I don't know, but gradually the
fierce-gripping coils relaxed, until at last the limp form hung from my
bleeding hands, lifeless and harmless.

I don't remember what happened then, but I think I lost consciousness
for a time. All I know for certain is that I was hauled out of that
hole some time later--about 8 p.m., to be exact--by two of the coloured
deck-hands, who had tracked me through the field and the bushes, and,
ultimately, to the edge of the hippo trap. They guessed that I had
fallen in, and the lowering of a lamp that they carried proved this to
be the case. My gun lay where it had fallen, close to the edge.

[Illustration: "I TRIPPED FORWARD IN MY EXCITEMENT."]

Why that snake never struck me I do not know to this day, unless it was
that, seeing me in the sudden light of the match leaning up against
the opposite wall, it had attempted to get out of the pit--into which
it also must have dropped by accident like myself--by using my body as
a ladder. For all I know the skeleton of the creature still lies in
that ten-foot-deep hole. I have not since been there to inquire, nor
do I intend to do so in the future; the very thought of the place is
nightmare enough.

This incident occurred about four miles below Abutshi, the trading
station near Onitsha, before one comes to the shallows that make that
part of the Niger so difficult in the dry season.


THE CRUISE OF THE "CROCODILE."

+By Commander R. Dowling, R.N.R. (Captain in the Imperial Ottoman Navy).+

In December, 1900, I left Port Said for London in command of a small
"hopper." For the benefit of the uninitiated, I should explain that
this is a vessel with a bottom which opens out and allows the contents
of the hold to fall into the sea. The "hopper" had formerly been
employed in widening the Suez Canal, but had since been converted into
a tank steamer for carrying oil. I had undertaken to bring her to
England in tow of another steamer of some seven thousand tons burden.

[Illustration: COMMANDER R. DOWLING, R.N.R., WHO DESCRIBES A PERILOUS
VOYAGE HE MADE FROM PORT SAID TO LONDON IN A "HOPPER."

_From a Photo. by Apollon Studio._]

I got the crew together with some difficulty. When I explained the
project to English-speaking seamen, they all refused, in a most
emphatic manner, to have anything to do with it, and in the end I had
to fall back on a number of men to whom I was unable to explain it at
all properly. They were one Swede, the mate; a Greek and a Frenchman,
whom I understood to be engineers; four Italian seamen and four Greek
firemen, and an Italian cook. Excepting the Swede, who understood
English with difficulty, not one of the crew could make out a word I
said, so that during the first part of the voyage I was compelled to
give orders to the ship's company in a kind of pantomimic dumb-show.

We managed to bend on two five-inch hawsers to the other steamer and
started on our voyage, using our own engines to assist the towing ship.
The engineer was full of zeal, which he showed by repeatedly "ramming"
our consort, through his failure to understand the orders sent below
through the tube--we had no telegraph--and this, needless to say,
caused a great deal of unpleasantness, shown chiefly in personal abuse
of myself from the big vessel, though I repeatedly tried to gesticulate
explanations as to the position.

The Italian cook turned out an utter fraud, giving repeated proofs
of his incapacity. I endeavoured to instruct him by practical
demonstration in the art of boiling pork and cabbage, but it came on to
blow and, the sea rising rapidly as it does in the Mediterranean, the
galley was washed out and the cooking difficulty disposed of for ever,
for we had to live on cocoa, biscuit, and onions during nearly the
whole of that eventful voyage.

The seas grew bigger and bigger, and the _Crocodile_ rolled horribly.
Finally we had to abandon the quarters forward for fear of being washed
overboard. I had twice tried to get to my cabin, for I had stowed away
all the medical comforts, my sextant, cigars, and so forth in my bunk.
At the first attempt I got knocked down and nearly had my leg broken by
a heavy sea; at the second I came as close to being washed overboard
as possible. By a desperate effort, however, I finally got down to my
cabin, where I found everything--my clothes included--washing about in
a depth of bilge water and oil, while my precious sextant was smashed.
I managed to rescue the barometer--an excellent one, lent me by the
towing ship, but useless under the circumstances--but I was obliged to
let everything else go.

[Illustration: "THE SEAS GREW BIGGER AND BIGGER, AND THE 'CROCODILE'
ROLLED HORRIBLY."]

When I clambered back on deck I found the crew simply torpid with
fright. Our two little engines raced as we lifted in such a way as to
threaten a smash-up of the whole of the machinery. In spite of all my
threats, and even some muscular persuasion, I was unable to induce a
single man of the crew, with the exception of the mate, to stir. The
ship, I may remark, was an awkward one to handle; she had no bulwarks,
except a small piece forward and aft, with a single chain in between.
Bunker lids were being continually washed off, but, as the men were too
scared to reship them, the mate and myself had to do this ourselves to
prevent our going down.

In the middle of the night, the weather growing steadily worse, one of
the anchors got adrift. By a mingling of menace and persuasion I got
one of the Italians to go forward with me to secure it. The mate, dead
beat, was lying asleep on the engine-room gratings. We watched our time
and made a rush for it, when a tremendous sea came over, simply burying
us in water. I smashed my left toe against a pump, got a big piece
taken out of one forefinger, and felt blood running into my eyes from a
wound in my head. Looking round, I saw the Italian overboard, hanging
on convulsively to a rail, and made a rush to his rescue. I managed to
get hold of him, and finally hauled him on deck--and an awful bundle
he was, having seemingly put all the clothes he had in the world on
his back. However, we contrived to pass a lashing round the anchor and
secure it as well as could be done under the circumstances. We were
also successful in getting back aft, though the luckless Italian was
bowled over and rolled about beneath another heavy sea, but the clothes
he had on seemed to protect him, and he got to the stokehold uninjured.

Throughout the grim days and black nights that followed we laboured
incessantly, led by the two hawsers that held us to the other ship.
These hawsers had to be watched incessantly, and pieces of wood kept
under the places where they came on board to prevent them from being
cut. There was not a chair, or a stool, or a dry rag on board the ship.
The crew spent their time praying or lamenting, and when we wanted
to sleep the only place on which we could lie was the engine-room
gratings, from which we got up as black as sweeps with coal-dust and
grime. The seas were constantly washing over us from stem to stern,
though the ship ahead had been dropping oil for three days to make
things better for us. She herself was in difficulties, as we could see
from the seas which continually rushed out from her water ports and
scuppers.

About daybreak on the fourth day a loud report sounded through the din
of wind and weather, and I saw our port hawser snap close up to the
towing ship. We were then, of course, towing the broken part astern,
and for hours I was in dread that it would foul our propeller. Luckily
the weather moderated somewhat, and the larger vessel eased up,
endeavouring to drop a line down to our end of the hawser so that we
might heave it aboard. Owing to the drift to leeward, however, we found
it impossible to do anything in this way, so, after waiting some hours
longer, the towing vessel launched a boat to bring in the end. The boat
was stove in as soon as it touched the water, and it was hauled on
board again only just in time to save the crew from drowning. In the
meantime I started to get out one of our own small steel boats. For
four hours we laboured at this task, for the steamer rolled so much
that at one moment the boat would be hanging over the water quite a
distance from the side, and at another threatening to knock the funnel
off. In the end we managed to launch her, pick up the end of the broken
hawser, connect up again, and make a fresh start. But I defy anyone who
has not gone through it to realize the labour, the difficulties, and
danger we went through. Tossed about by mountainous seas, expecting
every moment to be capsized, to fish up a five-inch steel hawser
trailing deep below the surface, and pull back with it to the towing
vessel, is a labour the arduousness of which my pen is utterly unable
to describe. At last we got started again, and two days later, one
lovely clear morning, we arrived at Algiers, the first port of call on
our voyage.

Here the captain of the towing ship went ashore with me to obtain two
Manila hawsers, these having more "give" and "spring" in them than
wire ropes. We ransacked Algiers in vain, and accordingly cabled home
for instructions. These were to the effect that the "hopper" was to be
brought to England under her own steam, and I was given twenty-four
hours to decide whether I would undertake the task. I made up my mind,
now I had got so far, to see the thing through.

Most of the crew had cleared off at Algiers the moment they had the
chance, and it was with the greatest difficulty that I managed to get
another lot together. Having seen my friend the towing ship off, I
started myself two days later for Gibraltar.

Scarcely had we got to sea again when we began to encounter the
same diabolical weather as before. I made a discovery, too, that
disconcerted me more almost than anything that we had already
experienced--I found we had no instruments! During the voyage from Port
Said all the navigation, of course, was done by the towing vessel, and
the necessity of independent navigation, in consequence of the altered
arrangements, had never entered our heads. I had neither a chronometer
nor sextant; only a small-scale chart and a very questionable and
erratic compass on the bridge. After much cogitation I found the only
thing I could do was to get the bearing of the North Star, and this I
did by laying a broomstick along the top of the compass and pointing it
as straight as possible. By this I was able to shape a course to Cape
de Gat, the south-east corner of Spain, making due allowance for wind
and current.

But trouble soon began. At Algiers I had picked up a French engineer
who was in perpetual trouble with his engines. He spoke no English,
I spoke no French; so that after various altercations in our own
languages I was obliged to intimate to him, in a fashion it was
difficult for him to misunderstand, that further discussions were
useless. One morning, however, when between blowing and pitching it was
hard to stand upright, the engineer came tumbling on deck frantic with
excitement, gesticulating madly and shouting, "Monsieur le Commandant,
oily, oily!" while he pointed a quivering forefinger below.

I rushed down and found the starboard engine bearings grinding away
just about red-hot for want of oil, the stench and steam being
indescribable. I cursed him for an idiot, for he might have known we
were half full of oil, and he promptly shut off steam. During this
time our tiny vessel (she was only a hundred and thirty-five tons),
having but little way on her, was tossed about like a chip, and the
rest of the crew lay in a jumble in the stokehold--sick, praying and
groaning--neither persuasion nor kicks having the least effect on them.
It was under these cheerful conditions that, having restarted the
engines, we reached Gibraltar a day or two later.

The Officer of Health at Gibraltar received my account of the voyage,
first with incredulity, and then astonishment. He heard my proposal
to navigate home under the prevailing conditions with a stare of
stupefaction, and then remarked, significantly, "Well, rather you than
me, captain."

I had literally to hold the chief engineer down at starting in order
to frustrate his frantic struggles to get overboard. We made for Cape
St. Vincent, the weather being bad, though endurable, thence I steered
for Cape Roca and the Burlings, but made neither. Finally we picked up
Cape Finisterre and were in the Bay of Biscay, where, sure enough, we
caught it. It blew hard from the north-west, and the vessel at times
nearly stood on end. Nevertheless, we had to be continually shifting
coal and water to keep the propeller under water. In the middle of the
night the second engineer crawled along to me on the bridge to tell me
the piston packings of the port engine had blown out, and those of the
other engine were leaking so badly that they were expected to blow out
also at any moment.

Now, if the engine had gone, there was not a spar or a sail of any
kind on the vessel to keep her before the wind, and our fate, had we
once been cast into the trough of the sea, would have been certain.
Accordingly we had to keep one engine running at half speed while we
patched up the other with some valuable hose which had been used for
pumping oil out. When we had finished one we turned to the other, and
managed to make a tolerable job of both. This kept us going for nearly
two days.

On the fourth day from Finisterre, about one in the morning, we sighted
a light. At first I thought it was the coast of France, but after a
while I saw the familiar stump of the Eddystone, and then I knew where
I was. On receiving the joyful news the crew worked up some sort of
enthusiasm, and I determined to put out to sea again and face it. The
firemen threw their hearts into their work and we breasted the waves
gallantly. Soon, however, I heard a muffled report and yells from the
engine-room, and, rushing below, found we had to stop the port engine
for a time; so we went on with the starboard one pretty comfortably for
about twenty-four hours, when the repairs were roughly completed. Then
the wind rose again to almost hurricane force, and the ship rolled and
pitched quite in her best style. Even this was not the worst, for near
Dungeness a heavy sea threw a water-tank on top of me, and when I was
hauled out I found I had broken a bone in my left wrist, in addition
to other injuries. At that point, too, the electric light went out.
The ship was now in total darkness; we had no mast or side-lights, and
presently, to crown all, a dense fog settled upon us. At that moment a
nautical Mark Tapley would have been hard put to it to muster up any
cheerfulness worth mentioning.

However, to make an end to a long story, we worried through our
troubles somehow or other, got a pilot on board, and at last arrived
off the Royal Albert Docks, where very thankfully we made fast to the
Galleon buoys on December 22nd. To show one difficulty I had to contend
with during this ever-memorable voyage I may mention that the compass
was so untrue that to make a true east course I had to steer south a
quarter west.

For ten days after our arrival I was laid up and unable to get off to
the ship. When I did I found that nearly the whole of my things had
been stolen. I received from the owners, in recognition of the danger
and arduousness of the voyage, a gratuity of ten pounds!



Propitiating the Weather.

                       +By Mrs. Herbert Vivian.+

  In various parts of Europe the simple peasant-folk observe
  some extraordinary customs--strange blendings of religion and
  superstition--in their attempts to avert drought and hailstorms and
  obtain favourable weather for harvesting their crops. This chatty
  article deals with a number of the most curious methods employed.


In many parts of the world the peasant and the countryman are dependent
for a whole year's daily bread on the sort of weather Providence is
good enough to send them. In England we are perhaps more independent
than any other land, for our much-abused climate seldom runs to wild
extremes. A drought makes a serious difference certainly, but it rarely
ruins the entire crop. In the great plains of Hungary and Roumania,
however, a winter without plentiful snow means a miserable harvest, and
under the blazing sun of summer a drought there is a very much more
tragic affair than it is with us. In parts of Northern Italy and the
Tyrol what they most dread is not drought, but the terrible hailstorms
and tempests which sweep down with sudden and relentless fury upon the
country-side, doing irreparable damage in an incredibly short time.

It is interesting to notice the different ways in which country-folk
meet these trials. In England after long drought we pray for rain in
our churches, and in most Roman Catholic countries processions and
pilgrimages are the order of the day. In Macedonia the Greeks organize
great demonstrations in dry summers. A procession of children visits
all the local wells and springs, accompanied by a maiden covered with
garlands and masses of flowers. This sounds as romantic as our Queen of
the May, and it could surprise no one if, like Tennyson's heroine, she
came to a sad end, for at each of the stopping-places the poor dear is
drenched with water, whilst the children sing a rhyming prayer for rain.

[Illustration: A TYPICAL SCENE IN THE SALZKAMMERGUT, WHERE THE PEASANTS
STILL OBSERVE SOME VERY CURIOUS CUSTOMS IN CONNECTION WITH THE WEATHER.

_From a Photograph._]

The Russian peasants say prayers to Elisha, whom they consider a very
potent rain-producer. In some countries the images of the saints are
immersed in water when rain is wanted. On the other hand, sometimes
more rain falls than is needed, and in parts of Westphalia they say
that it is fatal to kill a swallow, for such a crime will bring at
least four weeks' deluge. Swallows are considered lucky birds in that
part of the world, and if they are driven away all the vegetables of
the neighbourhood are sure to be destroyed by frost.

[Illustration: THE CASTLE OF KAPRUN AND THE CHAPEL OF ST. JACOB, WHERE
HANGS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS "WEATHER AND WITCH BELLS" IN THE TYROL.

_From a Photograph._]

Weather-wise peasants know more or less at what time hailstorms may be
expected, and are on the alert for danger-signals. In Northern Italy
cannons are fired off to disperse the clouds, and enough powder is
expended to supply an army, while in some parts of France they rely on
bombs for the same purpose.

Perhaps the most interesting methods of propitiating the skies are
to be found in parts of the Tyrol, where the peasants are still
refreshingly simple and full of piety. The Salzkammergut is one of the
most interesting parts of Austria, from an ethnological point of view.
It teems with ancient survivals and customs, and is a treasure-house of
legendary lore. A certain imagination is displayed in all their tales;
sly humour, picturesque turns of phrases, and distinct kindliness
peep out everywhere. Few Englishmen can live in the Tyrol without
acquiring an affection for the friendly folk. They are like a lot of
big children, with their yellow hair, dancing blue eyes, and honest,
sunburnt faces. Moreover, they are thoroughgoing sportsmen, first-rate
at all games and athletics.

It is just about the time that the harvest is ripening that the farmer
begins to feel qualms of anxiety concerning the weather, and keeps
his eye fixed on the sky. Any particularly black clouds fill him with
gloomy forebodings, for in the course of a few moments the work of the
whole year may be swept away. Hoping to shield his property from the
powers of evil, he employs all the means that his brain can devise, and
some of these are distinctly original and curious.

As soon as low, rumbling thunder is heard in the far-off hills the
house-bells that are usually found in the roofs of Tyrolese cottages
begin to ring. This is known as "Ringing in the storm," and is
considered an absolutely necessary precaution. As the weather grows
worse you may hear the church bells all along the valleys peal as well.
Hailstorms in August are most dreaded, and if the sky seems to indicate
that they are coming the priest is warned and goes to stand at the door
of the church, bearing the Host, to pronounce the storm blessing. Some
priests are considered more gifted than others in giving this blessing,
and are supposed to be able to stave off disaster by their peculiar
powers. They become popular far and wide with the peasantry and are
known as "storm-fighting gentlemen."

Not only the priests, but also the bells of certain churches have a
great reputation for their miraculous powers of checking bad weather.
The "witches' bell" in the wood at Pinzgau and the one at Muhr, in
Lungau, are famous in this connection; while the two little bells of
St. Jacob's chapel in Kaprun Castle are supposed to be very potent,
both to avert hailstorms and to frighten away witches. In past days the
peasants used to believe that many of the storms were caused by witches
who flew through the air on broomsticks, scattering a powder as they
went and raising the blizzard. These were called "manufactured storms."

[Illustration: THE GREAT "STORM CRUCIFIX" AT GRÖDIG, NEAR SALZBURG.

_From a Photograph._]

A mischievous spirit called Zabera Jaggl is said to bewail bitterly the
difficulties that certain bells put in his path when he wants to ride
out on the wings of the storm. He is supposed to explain his troubles
thus: "When I want to dash through the pass of Lueg the watch-dog of
Werpener will not let me by"--the watch-dog being the great bell of
Werpener Castle, which was always rung at the approach of a storm
till the inhabitants of Abtenau, near by, implored the castle folk to
cease, since in consequence of their ringing all the tempest swept on
to Abtenau. He goes on to say: "If by any chance the watch-dog sleeps
and I get safely past Hell Bridge across the Fritzbach, then I knock up
against the big Altenmarker hound (the church bell of Altenmark), and
he will not let me fly up the forest of Kreisten, where I ought to be
able to do great damage. Supposing I try to turn back and ride to St.
Martin's, then the mastiff at the inn howls and all the whelps yap (the
big bell of the inn and the smaller ones found on every house-top in
St. Martin), and I must vent my rage as best I can on Hell Mountain.
Wherever I turn a watch-dog faces me, till in despair I climb the
mighty mountain, tear the trees down, and whirl around the summits,
lying down at last, dead tired, to rest on Dachstein."[1]

[1] Dachstein is one of the great mountains of the Tyrol. Round it
endless legends and romances are woven.

A legend is told of the witch bell of Muhr, in Lungau, which is of a
peculiar shape, very ancient in appearance, and very much chipped.
It hangs in the middle of the peal of bells in the village church,
and the story runs that the devil once rode down to Muhr, determined
to enjoy himself, on the back of one of the biggest hurricanes ever
seen. But the witches' bell was rung for Ave Maria, and every man in
the village fell on his knees to pray for the defeat of the Evil One.
So fervent were their prayers and so potent was the Ave Maria bell
that Satan had to turn again. The memory rankled, and he determined
to revenge himself. Now it happened that he was in league with one
of the very worst witches of the neighbourhood, so he went to give
her instructions, taking with him a "hell hammer," which is a very
infernal weapon. According to instructions, she mounted her broomstick
at midnight and flew away to the belfry at Muhr. She went straight to
the middle bell and began hitting it with all her might with the hell
hammer. But the bell had been consecrated, and resisted all her efforts
till just before one o'clock, when she managed to chip it. At one
o'clock, however, the hour for witches, ghosts, and ghouls is over, and
so she had to pick up her hammer and fly home again. Since that time,
however, the bell has lost most of its tone, and instead of being heard
for miles around it can now only protect its own little parish.

Among the sights that strike one most in passing through the villages
of the Salzkammergut are the "storm crucifixes" and "hail crosses."
Sometimes you find them in the church porches, sometimes in the
graveyards, and sometimes right out in the fields. They stand about
fifteen feet high, and are often painted a reddish brown. There is
almost always a second and shorter plank nailed across to form two
extra arms. The figure of Christ is usually carved out of wood in a
primitive fashion and highly coloured. All around, fixed on to the four
arms, are the emblems of the Passion. These are the chains, the ladder,
the sword, the staves, the lantern, the cock, the dice, the seamless
robe, the sponge, the purse of Judas, and many more. Village artists
and carvers frequently employ their winter evenings in making every
emblem that they can think of, and they call them "Christ's weapons."
On the 3rd of May, the day of the finding of the true Cross, they take
them to the parish priest, who blesses them and fixes them to the
crucifix.

[Illustration: THE "HAIL CROSS" AT UNTER ECHING.

_From a Photograph._]

The storm crucifix at Grödig, near Salzburg, of which we give a
photograph, is a very curious-looking and primitive erection, standing
in a great open field behind the village. Another photograph shows the
hail cross of Unter Eching, an immense thing over twenty feet high. It
does not bear the figure of our Lord, but, on the other hand, there
is a great collection of "Christ's weapons." A leaden cock always
stands on the very top of all the crucifixes. At the foot is usually
found a little pew where pious pilgrims frequently come to pray for
fine weather at harvest time, and close by there will frequently be
seen a frame of wood across which is stretched a piece of wire. Ten
little wooden balls run along the wire and are used by passers-by as a
roadside rosary.

[Illustration: BUNCHES OF CATKINS ARE GIVEN AWAY IN THE CHURCHES ON
PALM SUNDAY, AND THESE ARE BURNT AT HARVEST-TIME TO AVERT THE EVIL
EFFECTS OF STORMS.

_From a Photograph._]

The Tyrolese peasants have a strongly superstitious as well as a
religious side to their characters. They invoke the aid of Heaven, but
they also place a good deal of reliance in the help of amulets and
charms. It is only fair to say that these have usually been blessed by
the Church. For instance, little bunches of catkins are blessed and
given away in the churches on Palm Sunday, and are carefully preserved
by the country-folk till harvest time. Then if the weather becomes
threatening and they fear for their crops they fling them into the fire
to avert the evil effects of the storm.

St. John's Wort or Hypericum is regarded in most countries as a plant
with every sort of wonderful power. When lightning is heard a bunch of
it is hung up in front of the window to protect the house. If it is
picked before breakfast it is almost infallible as a talisman against
lightning. St. John's Wort gathered on Midsummer Eve has marvellously
magical properties.

In some parts of the Tyrol it is considered dangerous to touch anyone
who has been struck by lightning till the priest has said a prayer over
the body. There are even countries where it is considered a Divine
favour to be killed by lightning. Another protection against being
struck is the _Antlass Ei_, an egg laid on the Thursday before Easter
and then placed in the roof.

[Illustration: A "STORM CANDLE"--THESE ARE LIGHTED TO DRIVE AWAY
HAILSTORMS.

_From a Photograph._]

Summer hailstorms are feared more than anything else, and in cases of
severe hail the farmers have a "hail Mass" performed in church. In some
places where storms are much dreaded hail processions take place every
Sunday from Whitsuntide till the end of August. When the big stones
come pelting down, black and red "storm candles" are lighted. These are
kept in readiness for such occasions in every well regulated household.

I am told that in Belgium blessed wax is burnt in times of tempest.
Among the various recipes for avoiding danger the following may be
mentioned: Never point your finger at a thunderstorm. Do not eat or
drink while it lasts, but wrap yourself in silk and put a candle under
the table. If you are caught by a storm out of doors, go and lie down
under an elder tree. There can then be no danger, for the Cross was
made of elder wood.

Evidently the curious four-armed cross given below must have some
special connection with storms. It is a little metal one intended for
personal use, and is inscribed with mystic letters which seem to have
no meaning, but must convey some subtle sense of protection to the
wearer. In the middle is a little medallion representing the Host.

[Illustration: A TALISMAN INTENDED TO PROTECT THE PERSON CARRYING IT
AGAINST LIGHTNING AND TEMPEST.

_From a Photograph._]

The photograph reproduced on the next page shows a "Letter of
Protection" against storms and other evils, which is regarded as a
very potent charm by the Tyrolese peasant. At the top of the page
on the right-hand side, St. Anthony of Padua is expelling demons,
unpleasant-looking creatures with wings and forked tails. Beneath him
is St. Roch, protecting from pests, and St. Benet from sorcerers. Here
again we see the cross with four arms. The two heads are those of St.
Anastasius and St. Anastasia, both beheaded martyrs, who are invoked
against ghosts and demons, and below them, in the corner, is St.
Francis Xavier, repulser of tempests. The hands, feet, and heart of our
Lord preserve from serpents.

On the left hand side comes, first, St. Francis. Below him are St.
Michael and St. George, on either side of a cross. St. George preserves
the believer from lapses of faith and St. Michael keeps malign spirits
at a distance. The three kings sitting in a row beneath are invoked as
protectors of faithful travellers, and a very evil-looking beast is
seen grovelling before the uplifted cross of St. Ignatius. Right in the
middle is a particle of earth from the Holy Land and three relics as
safeguards against fever, fire, and lightning.

In the Tyrol the labourer when sowing the seed scatters his field with
charcoal "for luck." In Bohemia a splinter of wood from which a coffin
has been made is stuck upright in the fields to protect them from
sparrows. Another idea is that a piece of wood from a coffin that has
been dug up will defend crops from caterpillars.

[Illustration: AN ANCIENT "LETTER OF PROTECTION," REGARDED AS A VERY
POTENT CHARM BY THE TYROLESE PEASANTS.

_From a Photograph._]

It is all very well for us to laugh at these superstitions, but not so
long ago in parts of Scotland the farmers used to leave one portion
of their land uncropped year after year. The spot was supposed to be
dedicated to the devil, and known as the good-man's croft or landlord's
acre. This was done so that the Evil One should busy himself with it
and leave the rest of the place alone.

In conclusion, I should like to acknowledge the kind help I have
received from Mr. Adrian, of Salzburg, the well known authority on
folklore, who furnished me with much information for the purpose of
this article.



The Affair at Greenville.

                          +By N. H. Crowell.+

  An account of a tragic happening which abruptly broke in upon the
  peaceful routine of life in a small American village. But for
  the important part played by the cross-country telephones it is
  probable that the desperate trio with whom the narrative deals
  would have got clear away to continue their career of crime.


The fall of the year 1901 was remarkable for the number of bank
robberies occurring in the States of Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota.
The daring of the travelling bands of criminals, commonly known as
"yeggmen," manifested itself in frequent and generally successful
attempts on the vaults of various financial institutions. In Iowa alone
there had been no fewer than thirteen robberies without a single arrest
up to the date of the Greenville Bank case, which I am about to set
forth.

On Saturday morning, November 16th, 1901, a Greenville business man,
rising early, was attracted by a peculiar object lying in the middle of
the main thoroughfare. Greenville, being only a small village of some
three hundred people, possessed but one principal street, which ran
through it from east to west. Upon approaching the object the man saw
that it was the door of a bank-safe, and his surprise may be imagined
when, looking about him, he discovered that the large glass front of
the bank building near by was entirely shattered.

In a very few moments he had gathered an anxious crowd, and the more
daring ventured into the ruined building. It then became apparent
that the safe had been blown open by nitroglycerine and its precious
contents carried away. On the bank counters were found a small dark
lantern, two bars of soap, some chisels, and a silk handkerchief. The
completeness of the job showed it to have been the work of persons who
were either unacquainted with the terrific power of the explosive used,
or of extraordinary daring and recklessness.

The cashier of the bank, Mr. E. B. Harrington, lost no time in reaching
the local telephone office, from which point he immediately notified
the sheriff of the county at Spencer, nine miles north, of the robbery,
afterwards reporting it to the town marshals of all the surrounding
towns.

While thus engaged an employé of the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway
arrived with the intelligence that the station tool-house had been
broken open and a hand-car taken therefrom. The operators on the line
at Spencer to the north, and at Sioux Rapids to the south, were at once
called up, but both protested that no hand-car had passed their station
at any hour of the night. The mystery was solved half an hour later by
the discovery of a broken hand-car at the crossing of the Rock Island
and Minneapolis and St. Louis roads, one mile south of the town. It was
evident that the robbers, fleeing on the car, had met with an accident
and had been forced to abandon it. The clue was serviceable, however,
in that it pointed out the direction of the miscreants' escape, and the
officials at Marathon, Laurens, and Albert City--towns in the general
line of flight--were promptly advised to be on the alert to intercept
all suspicious characters and hold them till examined.

At this juncture a young lady employed in the Spencer telephone
exchange imparted the information that she had observed three
nasty-looking strangers the night before eating a late supper at a
Spencer restaurant. The restaurant proprietor corroborated this, and
added that one of the men was of very dark complexion, and, in his
judgment, was a mulatto.

The wires were again resorted to and neighbouring officials given
the fresh information. At nine o'clock on the morning of the robbery
the marshals of every place within a radius of forty miles were
in possession of the facts, and had trusted deputies guarding all
approaches to their respective towns. Assuming it to be a fact that
the robbery had been committed by two white men and one black man, who
were now travelling on foot in a south-easterly direction, it seemed
but a question of hours before they would be halted by some one of the
representatives of the law.

An hour passed by, then two, and a third. Not a word came from
Marathon, the nearest town in the line of flight. It was impossible
for the men to escape by train, as all depôts were under close
surveillance; it was equally impossible to conceal themselves in
a farming community so thickly inhabited as the one they were now
traversing. It appeared inevitable, therefore, that their whereabouts
must soon be reported.

Just before noon a farmer living five miles east of Sioux Rapids drove
into that town and, upon being questioned, stated that he had given
three strangers breakfast less than an hour before. He stated that one
was a negro, and that all three were well armed and were apparently
desperate characters. Upon being informed that the trio had burglarized
the Greenville Bank, the farmer was considerably surprised, but was
able to give a minute description of the robbers to the marshal.

It being now evident that the men were heading for Albert City, a
small town on the Milwaukee railroad, fifteen miles to the south-east,
Marshal Snyder, of Sioux Rapids, lost no time in picking a posse to aid
him in the capture of the desperate men. In twenty minutes he, with
three others, whirled away in a carriage drawn by the fleetest team in
the town. Marshal Snyder knew that a freight train was due to leave
Albert City shortly after the dinner-hour, and he hoped to reach the
depôt in time to thwart this method of escape.

While Snyder and his deputies were speeding toward Albert City, the
town marshal of that little place, Mr. C. J. Lodine, received definite
word by telephone that the robbers were moving in his direction. Barely
had he hung up the instrument when he learnt that three men answering
the descriptions sent out were in the waiting-room of the Albert City
depôt, awaiting the arrival of the freight train, concerning which they
had been questioning the agent.

Marshal Lodine, a brave and efficient officer, knew that there was no
time to lose. The train was due in a very few minutes, and he felt that
upon him devolved the success or failure of all the efforts that had
been put forth for the capture of the three criminals.

Seizing a Winchester rifle, he started out to secure men to assist him
in the capture. No one refused his call. He darted into a forage store,
and the proprietor grasped his hat and followed readily. A doctor's
office came next, and the physician was added to the little party. At
the bank he secured the cashier, while a farmer who was hitching up his
team joined him with alacrity. In the space of ten minutes Lodine had
five armed and determined men behind him, and speedily made his way to
the waiting-room of the little depôt.

Far to the north sounded the whistle of the approaching freight train,
and the posse stepped a trifle faster at its summons. They knew the
crucial moment was soon to arrive.

Down the length of the narrow platform they walked and approached the
door of the waiting-room. With his men close at his back Marshal Lodine
entered, and located his men seated in the corner of the room. Rifle in
hand, he took a step in their direction and commanded:--

"Hands up! We want you!"

[Illustration: "THE THREE MEN WHIPPED OUT REVOLVERS AND OPENED A
FURIOUS FIRE."]

Immediately, without warning or replying, the three men whipped out
revolvers and opened a furious fire. Marshal Lodine was hit in the
body and staggered out on to the platform, where he dropped the rifle.
Mr. M. H. Conlin, a farmer, snatched it up and ran for cover from the
galling fusillade that was being poured in his direction.

The posse, unprepared for such an unexpected onslaught, scattered
wildly, and as they ran the desperadoes emerged upon the platform and
fired repeatedly upon them. Lodine, sorely wounded, secreted himself
near the depôt, while Conlin and the forage-store proprietor, John
Sundblad, dropped behind a pile of rocks. Conlin was uninjured, but a
bullet found poor Sundblad, and he fell writhing in agony.

[Illustration: JOHN SUNDBLAD, WHO DIED FROM THE EFFECTS OF THE WOUND
RECEIVED IN THE FIGHT.

_From a Photograph._]

Having cleared the field, the robbers ran across the railroad tracks
and entered a barn belonging to one Johnson. Finding a horse therein,
one of the white men led it out and began a hurried attempt to hitch
it up to a buggy standing near, being protected in his efforts by the
negro, who stood by firing at every hiding-place where lurked a member
of the posse.

From his cover behind the rock-pile Farmer Conlin began shooting at the
horse, intending to kill it and thus prevent escape by that means. In
his excitement, and being under a severe fire, Conlin was unsuccessful,
and desisted. A moment later, however, as the men were about to leap
into the buggy, he resolved to make one more effort. At the crack of
his rifle the white man dropped to the earth, struck squarely in the
breast. The negro at once ran up and stripped his fallen comrade of his
guns and money.

At this point the freight train drew in and separated the combatants.
A delay ensued, during which the two remaining robbers leaped into a
farmer's wagon and compelled him to drive north at breakneck speed. As
rapidly as was possible three rigs were dispatched in hot pursuit, and
the chase became so warm that the fleeing men were forced to stop a
single rig driven by two boys, whom they threw out and thus continued
their flight. This rig was soon exchanged for another, a lady's vehicle
being commandeered in this instance. This team failed them shortly, and
a farmer, fixing fence along the highway, was next required to deliver
his team. Stripping the harness off, the men mounted the animals
bareback and started away at a gallop. The horse ridden by the negro,
however, suddenly "bucked" and threw his rider off. He was unable to
mount, and, seeing the pursuers approaching, dropped the reins and
turned into a cornfield at one side of the road. His partner, observing
this, also dropped off his horse and dashed into the cornfield.

The men were now practically cornered. From the east the posse from
Marathon was just in sight, and would have intercepted them in another
mile.

Conlin, with the Winchester rifle, sent big bullets screaming through
the corn-shocks (sheaves), and as the field was not an extensive one
the men were in considerable danger of being struck down unless they
surrendered, and this they finally decided to do. The desperadoes,
having thrown down their guns, were directed to approach with their
hands in the air. Thereupon they were securely tied with straps taken
from the harness.

At this moment Farmer Conlin discovered that he had fired his last
cartridge. Brooks, the negro, then stated that had he known this a
moment before he would never have been taken, as it was the fear of the
big rifle alone that had caused them to surrender.

The two robbers were driven rapidly back to Albert City, at which place
Marshal Snyder had arrived. He searched the men, and, not satisfied
with a superficial examination revealing more guns and ammunition,
ordered the men to strip. This they did with evident reluctance. Around
the negro's neck was tied a razor and a bag containing a quantity of
some liquid. As Snyder removed the latter the negro remarked:--

"Be careful of that; it's dangerous!"

Needless to say this liquid was nitroglycerine, and as there was enough
of it to have blown off at least twelve safe-doors it is not difficult
to understand the ferocious nerve of the man who carried it when
exposed to bullets and the eccentricities of bucking horses.

The examination over, the negro hastily snatched up his under-garments
and began donning them hurriedly. This aroused Snyder's suspicion
further, and realizing the calibre of the men with whom he was dealing
he searched the garments. Sewn in the seams of the shirt he found two
fine saws nearly twelve inches in length, with which he cut an iron
stove-poker as easily as a dull knife cuts cheese. This discovery was a
serious one for the negro, and his spirits fell noticeably thereafter.

The men were now turned over to the sheriff and deputies who had
arrived from Storm Lake, and by them taken to that city and lodged in
the county jail.

[Illustration: "THEY WERE DIRECTED TO APPROACH WITH THEIR HANDS IN THE
AIR."]

John Sundblad died on Sunday afternoon from the effects of the wound
received in the fight, and Marshal Lodine, after battling bravely for
eight days, also succumbed to his injuries. The robber shot by Farmer
Conlin lingered until Sunday noon, and before dying confessed that it
was he and his companions who had robbed the Greenville Bank. He stated
that his name was Dolan, although he was apparently of Italian descent.

The two surviving men, giving the names of Albert Phillips and Louis
Brooks, were tried for murder, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged.

Upon appeal to the Supreme Court errors were found, and a new trial
granted the accused. They were found guilty of manslaughter at this
trial and sentenced to life imprisonment at hard work. At the present
time they are in the Iowa State Penitentiary at Anamosa.

The money stolen from the bank was subsequently recovered, being found
concealed in the field where the desperate men made their last stand.



THE WIDE WORLD: In Other Magazines.


PHOTOGRAPHED IN A FOOT.

[Illustration]

This merry little five-year-old nigger-boy is comfortably stowed
inside an elephant's foot, and, judging from the size of his smile,
seems delighted at being photographed in such a strange position. The
elephant was shot by us some months ago, and the foot is large enough
to hide the boy completely.--+MR. F. K. ROWE+ (Uganda), +IN "THE STRAND
MAGAZINE."+

       *       *       *       *       *


BEAR-HUNTING IN SWEDEN.

Twice in my chase of Bruin I have made use of a bear-spear as my weapon
of attack, and, as some newspaper writers in their search after copy
have rioted furiously over my methods, I may take this opportunity to
maintain that the use of a spear entails no greater cruelty than any
other mode of attack and that every hunter should be armed with one
in reserve, since these powerful beasts have a vitality that triumphs
over a stray bullet or more unless lodged in a vital region, and when
wounded their retaliation is redoubtable and easily fatal. In Karelen
the bear is yet regarded as a noxious horror. The great black-haired
"Slagbjörn," or killing bear, is still rampant there, and a couple of
winters back I was able to wreak justifiable vengeance on some beasts
that had killed over a score of cows and nine horses.--+COUNT ERIC VON
ROSEN, IN "COUNTRY LIFE."+

       *       *       *       *       *


WASHINGTON'S CHARM.

Society in Washington is very attractive. Everybody in society there
is in politics or is an official. It is the one city of consequence in
the United States that has no commercial interests. In Washington they
think and talk politics, literature, and art. Men come to Washington
from all parts of the country and all corners of the earth. There is
a large section of naval and military, literary, and scientific men.
Society is cosmopolitan rather than local. It is not narrow in any
way, and over all there hangs the charm of the White House and its
inmates.--+"WOMAN'S LIFE."+

       *       *       *       *       *


A JOKE WHICH DIDN'T WORK.

Commander Peary, the famous Arctic explorer, never starts on one of
his exploring expeditions without receiving all sorts of packages from
cranks--cowhide underwear, tea tablets, medicated boots, and what not.
A few days before the start of his last trip a club acquaintance wired
him to expect an important package by express. The package came. It was
labelled: "To be opened at the farthest point north." Peary opened it
at once, however. It was a small keg, inscribed: "Axle grease for the
pole."--+"TIT-BITS."+

       *       *       *       *       *


THE CHAUFFEUR ABROAD.

[Illustration]

When going foreign in a motor-car, it is by no means necessary to take
a man--in fact, I prefer not; and though I drive a 25 Talbot which
gives 48 horse-power on the brake, and can touch fifty miles an hour,
we are getting on nicely without the extra weight and expense of a
man who, however good his intentions are, cannot work harder than we
amateurs do when there is anything to be done. You see, if you take an
honest English one, he, as a rule, is as a child, and cannot borrow
a split pin without your linguistical assistance. In England you can
say "Put the car up somewhere, get a bed, and have her round at ten
to-morrow," and go to your dinner happy in the knowledge that all will
be well. But on the Continent you have to mother him even to the extent
of arranging his dinner for him, get his rooms, and translate every
desire and necessary till one comes to the conclusion that the game is
hardly worth the candle.--+"C. B. FRY'S MAGAZINE."+

[Illustration:



Odds and Ends]


A Curious Shrine--A Human Catharine-Wheel--A Deaf-and-Dumb Band, etc.

Near Ploumanach, in Brittany, there is one of the most curious shrines
in Europe. This is the chapel of St. Guirec, a tiny, picturesque
building of the twelfth century. It stands on a rock in the bay, and
at high tide is surrounded by the waves. Inside is a wooden statue of
St. Guirec in a deplorable state, for it is simply riddled with tiny
holes. The reason for this sad state of things is that the fishermen's
daughters have a strong superstition that if they come to pray at the
shrine and stick a pin into poor St. Guirec they are certain to get
married within the year. If the hapless saint gives himself a shake
during the night and the pin drops out, it is an infallible sign that
everything will go well.

[Illustration: THE CURIOUS CHAPEL OF ST. GUIREC, IN BRITTANY--IT
CONTAINS A WOODEN STATUE OF THE SAINT, INTO WHICH THE FISHER-GIRLS
STICK PINS, BELIEVING THAT THIS WILL ENSURE THEM A HUSBAND DURING THE
YEAR!

_From a Photograph._]

The extraordinary photograph on the next page shows what may well be
called a "human Catharine-wheel." This is to be seen at the annual
feast of the Totonaco Indians at Papantla, in the State of Vera Cruz,
Mexico. Wearing huge, highly-coloured erections--made from the bark
of a tree--on their heads, four men take their positions on the arms
of the mill and proceed to make it rotate, gradually working up to a
speed of forty or fifty revolutions a minute, while the crowd cheer
excitedly. This ranks as "fun," but must be decidedly warm work for
the performers, who, to guard against the results of giddiness, are
strapped by the legs. The two Indians seen in the foreground are
wearing grotesque masks.

[Illustration: A HUMAN CATHARINE-WHEEL--THIS EXTRAORDINARY DEVICE IS
TO BE SEEN AT THE ANNUAL FEAST OF THE TOTONACO INDIANS, OF MEXICO.
FOUR MEN, GAILY BEDECKED, TAKE THEIR PLACES ON THE ARMS OF THE MILL
AND PROCEED TO MAKE IT ROTATE, WORKING UP TO A SPEED OF FORTY OR FIFTY
REVOLUTIONS A MINUTE.

_From a Photograph._]

[Illustration: A SNAPSHOT WITH A CURIOUS HISTORY.

_From a Photograph._]

From Sialkot, India, a member of the 12th Lancers sends us the quaint
little photograph here shown. He writes: "My dog had been burrowing in
loose sand, and, as he turned to come out, the sides of the excavation
fell in and imprisoned him. Had I not been there he would undoubtedly
have died; so, after freeing his head, I made a sort of tombstone round
him and photographed him as a memento."

[Illustration: THE ONLY BRASS BAND IN THE WORLD WHOSE MEMBERS ARE DEAF
AND DUMB.

_From a Photograph._]

The only brass band in the world whose members are deaf and dumb is
depicted in the photograph reproduced below. This remarkable band
belongs to the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. To teach
a person who is afflicted in this way to play an instrument and get
him to understand something of musical notation would appear at first
an impossible task, and it was only accomplished after many months of
patience. First of all the players were taught how to blow the fife,
the simplest of all wind instruments. The next step was more intricate.
By the use of certain fingers the players were made to produce given
notes, and in this way various tones were taught and committed to
memory. Being of necessity taught with the utmost exactness, the pupils
developed a confidence of execution not found in the average musical
student. Certain rules were laid down, which the deaf-mute had to
follow explicitly, and the result was absolute correctness in playing.

[Illustration: THE PENALTY OF GLUTTONY--THE PYTHON HERE SHOWN TRIED TO
SWALLOW A GOAT BODILY, BUT "BILLY" STUCK IN HIS THROAT AND KILLED HIM.

_Copyright Photograph by St. Michael Padmore._]

It is difficult for those who have not had ocular demonstration to
credit the extraordinary capacity of snakes for absorbing large
animals. The striking photograph we next reproduce was taken in the
Zoo at Perth, Western Australia, and shows a python which endeavoured
to dine not wisely but too well. He killed a goat, and commenced to
swallow it bodily, as is the pleasing habit of these great snakes.
Poor "Billy," however, had his revenge, for he stuck in the reptile's
throat, capacious though it was, and all the python's efforts to
dislodge him failed. The result, of course, was distinctly unfortunate
for the snake. When the curator went his rounds the following day he
discovered the monster quite dead, with the goat's hind legs sticking
out of his mouth, as shown in the snapshot.

[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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